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Old June 28, 2014, 07:56 AM   #1
kraigwy
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100 Years ago today

June 28, 1914 the assassination in Sarajevo led to WWI,

We should honor those who fought in the Great War by digging out our Springfields, Mausers, Enfields, Mosins Enfields, M1917s etc

And go vintage rifle shooting.
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Old June 28, 2014, 08:47 AM   #2
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Hi Kraig

Assassination of archduke Ferdinand by a known anarchist was only the igniting spark of World War I. Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman Imperial expansion, pervading Prussian military philosophy in Germany, and several other geopolitical conditions led to WWI.

This is an example of Prussian militarism and logic which was dominant in Germany and, in my opinion, resulted in very flawed reasoning by the Kaiser's advisers concerning Belgium. Briefly stated, Germany requested the King of Belgium passage across Belgium to attack France. Naturally, the king refused and German superiority and logic resulted in placing blame on Belgium for causing war between the two countries. Germany invaded Belgium and France. British, meanwhile, debated dispatching a small expeditionary force to help their allies.

One of these days I'll get my hands on a WWI era firearm. Closest was shooting a WWI vintage 1911.
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Old June 28, 2014, 10:21 AM   #3
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This radio series looks at reasoning behind the major European powers and I was quite surprised to find the march to war was based on rationale assessments. The writer found some recent source material that was not in any of my history books.

BBC Radio 4: Month of Madness

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03t7p27/episodes/guide

It is fun to hold a rifle that was around during the war. Every rifle that could be issued was, even some real obsolete rifles. The gentleman (in his 70's) who brought this rifle to the range claimed his grandfather carried this rifle in WW1 in the Landwehr. This is a single shot M71, probably had blackpowder cartridges. Grandfather probably guarded bridges or laundry facilities. Based on readings, these M71's and M71-84's were used in the German East Africa campaign to excellent effect. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/East_Af...n_(World_War_I)

I have no idea why there are Belgium proof marks on the rifle.











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Old June 28, 2014, 10:31 AM   #4
4V50 Gary
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I was reading a Mauser book at the TSJC Library (great gun book library) and learned that the 71/84 repeater was never issued to the Askaris. The German Colonial Government didn't want to retrain them, have more complicated guns and felt that their basic foes were Africans who were even more poorly armed. The single shot was good enough to do the job.

Of course, we know that the British led Indian Army resupplied von Lettow-Vorbeck's askaris with SMLEs at the start of the war.

ETA: The Serbs are putting up a statute honoring G. Princep. That the bad blood still flows between everybody there would be an understatement.
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Old June 28, 2014, 11:45 AM   #5
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My only WW1 rifle was also a WW2 rifle, and later used (probably) in "The Catastrophe" or the "War of Independence" depending on whose side you were on.



It has a mix of Imperial, post WW1 German, Nazi era, and IDF markings, plus a bunch of unknowns.
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Old June 28, 2014, 11:47 AM   #6
4V50 Gary
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I have a Mauser 98 that was once scoped. I never noticed it and my instructor pointed it out to me. The top of the receiver had been milled out for the scope base and post-war was filled back in with a steel wedge.
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Old June 28, 2014, 11:48 AM   #7
Slamfire
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Quote:
I was reading a Mauser book at the TSJC Library (great gun book library) and learned that the 71/84 repeater was never issued to the Askaris. The German Colonial Government didn't want to retrain them, have more complicated guns and felt that their basic foes were Africans who were even more poorly armed. The single shot was good enough to do the job.
Ha! Shows the racist thinking of the period.

Quote:
Of course, we know that the British led Indian Army resupplied von Lettow-Vorbeck's askaris with SMLEs at the start of the war.

Yes, the Germans used captured British rifles and ammunition and had to give up the M71's because no German supply ships got through.
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Old June 28, 2014, 11:53 AM   #8
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I was going to take my new-to-me FAL out today. Instead I think I'll take out a couple of my old war horses.

1918 Springfield




1918 Winchester M1917 w/Winchester Bayonet

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Old June 28, 2014, 11:58 AM   #9
highpower3006
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And I think I'll take a couple of handguns too.

1914 Springfield M1911 w/1918 dated holster.



And from the other side of the trenches, 1913 DWM Luger.



Maybe a shotgun just for the heck of it. This one started life as a riot gun in 1918 then was converted to trench configuration in WWII.
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Old June 28, 2014, 11:59 AM   #10
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One little .32 pistol cartridge did it all, destroyed monarchial Europe, ended the Romanovs, bankrupted the British Empire, created new nations in eastern Europe, made the USA into a true world power, brought on Hitler and WWII, and the Cold War with the Soviets.
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Old June 28, 2014, 12:05 PM   #11
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Highpower30-06 : If that stock cartouche on your M1917 is OGEK, then your rifle was personally tested and proofed by Elmer Keith at Ogden Arsenal during WW2.




Wouldn't that be a hoot?!
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Old June 28, 2014, 05:34 PM   #12
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my rifles are all several miles away at the moment, but I would love nothing more than to take my M95, m1917, and Arisaka 44 out in remembrance... perhaps I will take a trip tomorrow.
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Old June 28, 2014, 08:17 PM   #13
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The bullet that started things was not .32 caliber, but .380, fired from a .380 caliber (9mm Browning Short) FN Model 1910 pistol, serial number 19074. The four Model 1910 pistols used (numbers 19075, 19120, and 19126 were the others) were bought in a Belgrade gun store by one Major Tankosic, of the Serbian secret service. The major also provided hand grenades to the assassins, but none were used.

Tankosic headed an organization called the Black Hand, what we would now call a terrorist group. Of course, the Black Hand was a phony; it was really organized by the Serbian government to carry out "dirty tricks" the government did not want to acknowledge, such as assassinations.

Jim
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Old June 28, 2014, 09:22 PM   #14
highpower3006
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Quote:
Highpower30-06 : If that stock cartouche on your M1917 is OGEK, then your rifle was personally tested and proofed by Elmer Keith at Ogden Arsenal during WW2.

Wouldn't that be a hoot?!
Yep, it has 'Ol Elmers personal blessing.

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Old June 28, 2014, 10:44 PM   #15
James K
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It is worth noting that sellers often ask for, and get, a hefty premium for rifles bearing the O.G.E.K. cartouche with the rectangle frame. As a result, the marking has been faked. One of the more common fakes involves putting a rectangle around the identical letter cartouche without the frame used by Ed Klouser. The entire "Elmer Keith" cartouche has also been faked to the point that I myself would not pay a premium for a rifle with that cartouche.

Jim
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