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Old December 26, 2019, 05:24 PM   #1
shurshot
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Navy Seal Museum / Colt .44-40 in WW2?

I was at the Fort Pierce Florida Navy Seal Museum today. Incredible tour, impressive display, well worth adding to ones bucket list. Depicts the Frogmen and their training & gear / weapons from WW2 up to the present. Difficult to get through without watering eyes and a renewed sense of Patriotism.

On display as part of the vast gun collection was a Colt New Service .44-40 Revolver, and it was listed as used in WW2. I was aware of .45 ACP revolvers being used in WW2, but never heard or read of the .44-40's use. Just wondering if any Historians knew if this was an oversight by Museum staff, or if this was documented elsewhere???
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Old December 26, 2019, 05:35 PM   #2
105kw
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It was a lot less regulated about carrying personal side arms in WW2.
Charles Askins took a 44-40 to Europe when he served.
In Donald Burgett's book he tells that his father shipped him a WW1 vintage 1911.
Different era, possibly more common sense.
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Old December 26, 2019, 05:42 PM   #3
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I found this description by Colt in 1940 pertaining to the Colt New Service in both .44-40 and .45acp;
"The New Service is essentially a holster Revolver for the man in the open / Mounted, Motorcycle and State Police: the Hunter, Explorer and Pioneer.  It is the Arm adopted as Standard by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and hundreds of city and state Police. 
Perhaps some were carried as personal weapons by troops.
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Old December 28, 2019, 03:40 PM   #4
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It wasn't unheard of for family to mail firearms to their loved ones serving during WW-2. I wouldn't be surprised at anything. Officers in particular had much more discretion to use personal weapons. Patton carried a 357 mag and a 45 Colt revolver at different times.
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Old December 29, 2019, 03:14 AM   #5
bamaranger
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possible

As noted, its possible, it appears there there could be some discretion concerning personal weapons, perhaps especially ranking or rear echelon officers.

But I would think that while an officer might be able to secure a quantity of odd ammo for a sidearm and keep enough on hand for it to be practical, that the rank and file GI would have a heck of a time acquiring something like 44-40.

I'd be more inclined to believe that the museum wanted to display an example of a New Service, and did so regardless of caliber.
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Old December 29, 2019, 02:13 PM   #6
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Quote:
I'd be more inclined to believe that the museum wanted to display an example of a New Service, and did so regardless of caliber.
This is certainly possible. However it is also possible that it actually is

Quote:
a Colt New Service .44-40 Revolver, and it was listed as used in WW2.
Remember that "used in WW2" does not automatically mean used in combat, or issued by the military, it can mean that but it is also accurate if the gun was carried by anyone in some service at any point during the WW2 years.

Small numbers of very "unofficial" guns and calibers were "used in WW2" somewhere, usually on the home front. We had guys guarding fir forests with Winchester 94s in WWI. Probably had something very similar (and possibly very little known) in WW2 as well.

I will do some searching see if anything turns up. If it was something privately carried, there won't be anything official to find. Gun still could have technically been "used in WW2" though.
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Old December 29, 2019, 04:43 PM   #7
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The sign below the .44-40 revolver reads; "During WW2, Colt supplied the US Military with around 96,000 New Service revolvers like the one on display. Production ceased in 1946".

The sign also clearly states the caliber is .44-40 , weight is 2.5 pounds and it has a six shot capacity. Appeared to be a 4" barrel. A .45 acp 1917 is beside it. Very confusing.
I wish I had the ability (I tried in vain), to resize and post pics, as I took a couple.
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Old December 29, 2019, 09:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
"During WW2, Colt supplied the US Military with around 96,000 New Service revolvers like the one on display.
seems pretty clear to me. Colt made New Service revolvers and all of them are "like the one on display" all being New Service model revolvers, they are all "alike". Differences in calibers and barrel lengths not withstanding, they are all "alike" enough to the museum staff. Its just a minor language thing.

If the sign had said "New Service revolvers represented by the one on display" there'd be no question, would there?
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