Side arms and war trophies

Discussion in 'Curio & Relic Discussion' started by Phrenzy, Jul 4, 2011.

  1. Phrenzy

    Phrenzy New Member

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    Hi all and happy 4th of July American people, condolences on 4th of July British people!
    This is my first proper thread so forgive me if I've put it in the wrong section.

    Anyhow my question is this; you see in a lot of tv shows and movies former servicemen often owning a handgun that is described as their sidearm, implying it was a gun they used in the military.

    I was wondering under what circumstances officers or soldiers are allowed to keep their sidearms and other weapons after they leave the service? I would have thought it would add up cost wise if everyone who joined the army was allowed to go home with a 1911 .45... Do they perhaps give some people an option to purchase it or something?

    Finally I was also wondering under what circumstances servicemen were allowed to keep war trophies? I know Lugers were a hot ticket item in both world wars but was there a system for officially owning them once found or captured or did they just end up in peoples duffle bags and taken home on the down low? And had it changed by Vietnam? Ive heard, possibly Apocryphal, tales of Ak's being taken home as trophies, which I suppose would have been legal to own in the states back then.

    Is it the same system for non weapon war trophies? Flags, enemy equipment and the like? Is there a system for dealing with things like that?

    Thanks in advance for your answers, I've always been curious about this and I figured if anyone would know it would be the people on this forum. Thanks again.
     
  2. Firearms4ever

    Firearms4ever New Member

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    Regarding servicemen bringing back their side arms they weren't suppose to back in WWI and WWII, but a lot of them did and at that time it wasn't a big deal, but now today it would be a big deal. War trophies like firearms and such are no longer legal to bring back I believe. There was what is called "spoils of war" which was basically in effect up until after WWII I think. Now today you couldn't just bring back lets say a AK 47 or a PKM or bring back your service weapon(s). Regarding non firearms and other effects like that I'm not sure.
     

  3. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    Times, regulations and laws change.

    TODAY- US military, there are NO legal firearm war trophies. In WW II, rifles and handguns that were captured in combat, and were "papered" with capture papers COULD be brought home. Capture papers increase the value of a collectors item significantly.

    Many GIs DID bring home firearms without paperwork- leading to the term "duffle cut" when speaking of a rifle stock- the stock was cut in such a manner that the un-assembled rifle would fit in a GIs duffle bag.

    Up thru Vietnam- rifles (like the SKS) and handguns captured in combat COULD be brought home- no full autos (in 1968, during the registration amnesty, there were 47 of the AK47s from Vietnam registered here in Richmond VA )

    In WW II, full autos could be deactivated, and brought home with paperwork. These were DEWAT's- Deactivated War Trophies. In 1968 they had to be re-registered, or become contraband.

    Military ISSUE firearm never became the property of a service member. Other than being a bit of the Ned Kelly, I mean :rolleyes:

    Today- NO firearms, grenades, tanks, battleships, or nuclear weapons as trophies. Other stuff- yeah.

    Papers from WW 2 and from Vietnam-
    Capture%20Paper.jpg

    war trophy papers.jpg
     
  4. Phrenzy

    Phrenzy New Member

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    I knew I came to the right place, that's exactly what I wanted to know.

    Is it not the case that some infantry officers can or were allowed to use a personal gun for their sidearm? People taking their nickel plated colt peacemaker into battle and the like.
    Maybe that's what's being reffered to in movies when someones worried their veteran friend is going to check into a motel room put on their class A's and shoot themselves with their service sidearm...
     
  5. Trez

    Trez Well-Known Member

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    I have a bring back Arisaka with a "duffle cut" and "Mum" I heard the only way you can get them with the Mum is to get a GI bring back, as all the surrendered ones were defaced.....
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2011
  6. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    Personal firearms are no longer officially permitted to be carried in combat. George Patton's ivory gripped revolver would be taboo. Most of us DID have a personal sidearm- a 1911A1.

    And if you expect movies to be accurate, I have this bridge I am sure you would be interested in. It runs from just outside Longford, goes right over to New Zealand- Wellington. I can make you a really good deal, and you could charge all the tourists tolls. Cash only. Small bills.


    Re: Arisaka- if the mum is intatct, it was taken in battle. The rifles that were surrendered at the end of the war had the mum ground off, to avoid dishonoring the Emperor.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2011
  7. Dennis845

    Dennis845 New Member

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    I regret my lazy action to this day. I captured a SKS & AK-47, among many weapons in Vietnam. These two were mechanically and cosmetically the best. My intension's were to bring them back home as a trophy. Legally, you were not allowed to ship them home (Radar shipped home a whole jeep :eek:) You had to hand carry them with your paper work and they wanted the barrels filled with lead (no way). Anyway, I managed to get two fully loaded military duffel bags, a large hand bad and my two rifles all the way to the airport. It became so heavy and cumbersome I decided to get rid of the SKS & AK. I gave them to another soldier. Should have thrown away my military issue and kept my trophies. Uncle Sam would have given me a very nice Article 15 to frame for posterity had I done that :D
     
  8. Phrenzy

    Phrenzy New Member

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    Certainly would have added to your military pension in a significant way, I imagine they would be quite valuable even just as deactivated collectors items...I wouldn't know where to look, anyone have any idea what a ballpark figure for a genuine Vietnam era ak trophy would be?

    My sister was in Vietnam and Laos recently and at my urging went to one of the ranges there and apparently there are ex service AKs there that are nearly 50 years old and have survived drunken tourists putting 600 rounds a day through them for a big portion if that time...
    On an unrelated to this thread note someone she met there said the day before they took up an offer to fire an rpg-7 at a cow for 500usd...animal rights issues aside I don't know I'd trust firing a junked up Laotian rpg, I've heard the spring loaded fins can jam the grenade in the tube leaving your ear all but touching an armed warhead
     
  9. armsmaster270

    armsmaster270 New Member

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    I believe General Officers have the option of buying their service pistol at Retirement.

    Also G.I.s hide weapons in cargo going back home. There was one person that wrapped a Iraqi grenade with tape and put it into the turbine on a truck, they found it when it went clunk, clunk when the engine was started in CONUS
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2011
  10. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    A Chicom type 56 (SKS) WITH capture papers, intact, complete, good condition- about $800. A LEGAL, PAPERED, TRANSFERABLE AK47, about $8000- more or less. They will not have capture papers per se, but may have other documentation- and MUST have been registered with the BATFE by May 1986 and the transfer tax paid (unless registered in the earlier amnesty program)

    Armsmaster- General officers (when they make general) were issued a General Officer's sidearm- used to be a Colt 32 Smokeless Rimless, later a .380, and damifino what it is now. There WAS a process for them to keep the sidearm, and PAPERED General Officer's sidearms are a collector's item all their own.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2011
  11. Phrenzy

    Phrenzy New Member

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    Is the reason the sks is only worth a 10th of the AK just because the AK is iconic of the period? Maybe its something I should know already but were most of the rifles used by the NVA and VC Russian made or Chinese?

    I wouldn't have thought an Iraq grenade would have been that exciting to a gi who deals with explosives on a regular basis, not exciting enough risk whatever sort of **** storm was the inevitable outcome of being caught taping explosives to the inside of an army truck....

    Ive heard tell of soldiers buying AKs off street vendors and in markets in Iraq, famous for being completely clapped out, I always wondered what they thought they were going to ultimately do with them.
     
  12. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    The SKS is a semi auto. It was legal to bring back. The AK is a full auto. In the US, ONLY the full autos that were papered by May 1986 can be transferred to a private citizen. Which is why a LEGAL, full auto M16 that is transferrable is about $12,000. Scarcity drives the market. Most of the weapons used by NVA and VC were Chinese- there ARE VERY scarce Viet manufacture SKS's and AK's.
     
  13. armsmaster270

    armsmaster270 New Member

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    C3 - My General had the Beretta M-9
     
  14. pmanton

    pmanton Member

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    I glommed onto an SKS from a cache and had it papered. Then I got hit and med-evacued. When my stuff finally caught up with me no SKS. @@%%@#!$

    Cheers:

    Paul
    Salome, AZ
     
  15. DrGonzo11

    DrGonzo11 New Member

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    I've got a all matching #'s duffle-cut bringback k98k, a bringback Arisaka T99 w/mum, and a "liberated" M1 Garand and 1911a1 that my grandfather "captured" in europe during the war. The K98k is actually his Bring-back, got the paperwork for it too.
     
  16. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    Armsmaster- yep- they now have an M-9, with it's own SN set up (GO for General Officer) Before that, the M15 45 auto, and before that, the .380 and .32 Auto.

    Click HERE: The Military Memorial Museum
     
  17. aandabooks

    aandabooks New Member

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    My grandfather brought back a Luger with swastikas on it from WWII. He served with the Navy in the Pacific Theater. It is still in the family.

    His buddy at the time and they later reunited before my grandfather died, had brought back a jeep in two seperate cartons. One was marked refridgerator and the other couch. He still had the jeep in the early 90s and would drive it in parades.
     
  18. DrGonzo11

    DrGonzo11 New Member

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    One of the rare Japanese Lugers :D
     
  19. Phrenzy

    Phrenzy New Member

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    There were Nazi military attaches serving in and around the Japanese in various capacitys and places so it's theoretically possible spose.
    A swastika Luger has to be pretty close to the ultimate war trophy...

    I wish the m1 was legal here it's the long gun I'd most wanna own and use, perfect for roo hunting, target shooting and ww2 recreation photography. With all the millions and millions they made I'm surprised more of them didn't find their way out of the army.
     
  20. xring3

    xring3 Member

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    I worked with a guy that brought back an M14 from when he was in the marine corp. He told me he sold it to a coach at U of Illinois for $150.00