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Old June 22, 2008, 05:00 AM   #1
jurupari
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First post in this Forum

Hi everybody! first post here, so I greet everybody on this forum and excuse myself for my bad English.

I was redirected here on advice by TheBluesMan, in the General Discussion forum. I'm not a weapons expert, and need help, if I can say so, in the name of culture.

A friend of mine, a Brazilian, is in the process of putting up a museum of the Military Police. The weapon section is in really bad conditions: no labels, nothing in written form, no inventories... She sent me some 79 (!) photos of all kinds of firearms, asking me to help identifying them. I was able to information on some of the weapons, but many of them are totally unknown, without marks (or marks are not showing in the pictures).

What I need is basic information (brand, caliber, weight, barrel length, range...) that will go on the label when the weapon will be on show in the future museum. Of course, pointing me to a site where all or part of this info can be retrieved is also welcome.

The weapon in the attachment is an example: it's most likely a tear gas launcher (as Amp 44 in the other forum informed). I know it's an almost impossible task, but can some super-expert tell me more?


Thanks in advance for any reply
Tommaso
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Old June 22, 2008, 09:11 AM   #2
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The illustrated device is a Federal Laboratories 1.5 inch tear gas gun.
They were available as long ago as 1933 and were manufactured for many years, and kept in service even longer.
I could not find descriptions of its range and other capabilities.

(Modern tear gas shell launchers are usually rifled 40mm instead of the smoothbore 1.5" and 37mm guns.)
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Old June 22, 2008, 11:30 AM   #3
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Welcome to the forum.

Post your pics here and we'll try to help. Try to include several angles of the same weapon.

BTW, what museum does your friend work for? I'm jealous.
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Old June 23, 2008, 01:51 PM   #4
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What can I say?

Thanks everybody for the replies. I already sent the good news to my Brazilian friend (Dr. Veralucia Ferreira De Souza, she's a freelance museologist, presently working for the government of the State of Amazonas - Brazil is a federal republic, like the USA, and has 26 states).

- Jim Watson: thanks for the exact identification, it's much more than I could find through my "crawl in the dark" research...

- 4V50 Gary: I hope you won't repent of your hospitality... ) . The museum of the Military Police (official name: Museu Tiradentes da Policia Militar, or MTPM) is located in Manaus, the capital of the state of Amazonas. It exists from 1986, more or less, but was in disastrous conditions. Now both the building (a 100 years old palace and the museum are undergoing a thorough and long needed restauration. The weapons section includes ancient weapons, war weapons - for example some Hotchkiss 7mm LMGs- personal weapons and, as I can see from the photos, weapons belonging to arrested criminals: there's at least one "home made" pistol... Most of these arms are in bad conditions, and need a lot of work to be shown in a museum. Worst of all, there was not an inventory, some weapons have a label on them but most don't.
As for the pictures, I can only post the photos my friend sent me, but I can try asking her for more if needed.

And here we go... two more pictures. Remember, there are 79 of them...

Thanks in advance as always
Tommaso
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Old June 23, 2008, 02:22 PM   #5
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Pictures no 3 and 4 illustrate a Danish Madsen light machine gun. There were numerous models and calibers from 1904 through 1950. I do not have the reference material to say just which this is. Several of them were used by the armies of Brazil and other South American countries.

The 1950 model weighs 22 lb (10 kg), has an 18.8 inch (48cm) barrel. It loads from a 30 shot top mounted magazine not shown in the pictures, and the sights are graduated from 200 to 1800 metres. Actual effective range in combat would be more like 300 to 500 metres, subject to correction by military men. The extra long range sights of guns designed before World War I were for long range barrage firing, a job left for the artillery and heavy machine guns in later years.
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Old June 24, 2008, 11:21 AM   #6
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Thanks Jim. In this case I was able to match yours with other information, provided from Brazil. The weapon is the Brazilian version of the Madsen mod. 50, manufactured, under license, by Industria Nacional de Armas (INA).

I must say your comments are as precious as the information itself: I'm translating them directly to my friend.

Now for a really tough one: I have only these two (bad) pictures of this rifle, hope to find information is quite feeble.
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Old June 24, 2008, 02:37 PM   #7
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My, those ARE bad pictures, aren't they?
It is a good thing the outline of the rifle is so distinctive.
It is a Belgian Comblain single shot, most likely the type made for Brazil about 1874. Caliber is 11.4 x 53R Brazilian Comblain. That designation means 11.4mm barrel bore diameter, cartridge casing not including bullet 53mm long, rimmed case for easy extraction by a single shot mechanism.

In English units, it is firing a .45 caliber bullet weighing 486 grains at a claimed muzzle velocity of 1450 fps.

I do not have other specifications, my information comes from Frank DeHaas' book which concentrates on the actions.

There is considerable discussion of the Belgian, Brazilian, and Chilean Comblain rifles at:
http://www.militaryrifles.com/Belgium/BelgComb.htm
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Old June 25, 2008, 11:06 AM   #8
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So this is the famous Comblain! It played a major role (together with the Mauser rifle) in the most "glorious" (a very arguable glory indeed) episode of the history of the Military Police of Amazon, the so-called War of Canudos, 1896-97 (a short search in the internet will explain you all).

As usual, starting from your identification, I was able to put together more details, and the label is quite ready...

I'm afraid the average quality of pictures is only slightly better than the last ones -I know the photographer... ( - but it's all I have, for now.

This time I'm posting two differents weapons, since these are the only pictures available. N.13 looks, in the trigger area, similar to the Hotchkiss LMG, maybe is produced by the same firm.

I thank you, again as usual, in advance... By the way, are you an expert about artillery guns, too?
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Old June 25, 2008, 01:14 PM   #9
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I can help a little bit with some of these; picture 13 is of a Hotchkiss light machine gun, probably the Model 1922 in 7mm Mauser, and picture 14 is of a Madsen submachine gun, probably the Model 50 (in 9mm), but Brazil also made its own licenced copy in 45 Auto, as the INA 953.
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Old June 25, 2008, 04:39 PM   #10
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You have it all over me on the Hotchkiss, though that is certainly what it is.

The Madsen submachine gun is the Brazilian .45 calibre variant, there is no cocking handle showing on top of the action; it is on the right side of the INA made guns.
These were very popular in adventure cinema of a few years ago. I assume that some using nation replaced them and the Hollywood prop companies bought a number of them.


That is five, only 74 to go.

I don't know that I will be much help on artillery, though.
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Old June 26, 2008, 02:57 PM   #11
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ok, more two gone...
And, Jim: don't worry, there are less than 74 pictures to post... There many repeated photos, so I think that we are going through this in no much time.

SDC: welcome to this thread. You both are right about the Madsen LMG: it's a Brazilian INA, they called it mod. 1952, but it's quite surely the 1953 model.

I asked about artillery because of a heavy gun used in the Canudos campaign: the so-called Matadeira (Assassin). It is, as contemporary sources report, a "Whitworth 32" gun, weighing 1.7 metric tons. The beast is now (in bad conditions) on display as a monument in Monte Santo, in the Brazilian state of Bahia. I could find no reference to this (reportedly) siege gun on the internet, though I found similar shaped pieces of artillery, but branded as Armstrong. This is only my personal curiosity, nothing to do with the thread topic. Returning to which, here tonight's pictures: three pictures of what I think are three slightly different versions of the same weapon.
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File Type: jpg Imagem 016.jpg (115.7 KB, 101 views)
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Old June 26, 2008, 03:56 PM   #12
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The submachine gun with the bayonet is to all appearances a Bergmann-Haenel-Schmeisser MP28 II with a bayonet lug added.

I cannot identify the other two.

The one with the sling has an unperforated barrel jacket and what looks like a magazine appears to me to be an extended magazine housing. I would consider the possibility that it is a suppressed or silenced weapon.

The other has a pale strip on the buttstock, like it was once labeled. A pity that has been lost off.
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Old June 27, 2008, 06:40 AM   #13
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I'd go with Jim on the MP28, but the first two are real oddballs; they both share the same form of stock, which makes me think that one has been heavily modified. The only submachine guns I can find that have that odd, deep pistol-grip style of stock are the Bergmann MP34 and MP35; both of these were made in Germany and Denmark, and should be marked as to their origin. Some of these were sold as export items to Bolivia, and most of them were sold off as surplus after WW2. The real identifier for these would be the bolt cocking handle, which your picture doesn't show. The handle should be a horizontal knob resembling that on a bolt-action rifle, sticking out the right side at the rear of the receiver. The one with the shortened stock may have had the support for the magazine housing removed, allowing it to swing down. I hope this helps.
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Old July 2, 2008, 09:37 AM   #14
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Back to the forum...

...been away for work.

The weapons in my last post should indeed be Schmeisser MP-something. From further research on the Net, the weapon with bayonet looks like a MP-18, like this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:MP18VWM.jpg

only differences being in the aiming system and, of course, the presence of the bayonet.

I'm posting two more photos of similar weapons, hoping in some more info. Unhappily, they're taken from the same side as the others, but maybe a revealing detail...

Thanks one more time for your attention
Tommaso
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Old July 2, 2008, 09:52 AM   #15
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I have still not seen anything to identify the submachine gun in the first picture with its long barrel, solid shroud, and protruding magazine housing.

The second picture looks like another of the MP 28 type without bayonet but with bayonet mounting bar. I think those are MP 28 or copies rather than MP 18 because most MP 18s were made to use the Luger drum magazine and have a slanted magazine well. Only a few were made or modified for conventional box magazines. But the appearance of the two models is close and I am not willing to go farther on the identification.
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Old July 5, 2008, 12:37 PM   #16
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Thanks for the efforts anyway, guys...

They sent me a picture of one of the mistery SMGs, taken from the other side. Problem is, the weapons are under custody of MP. This means a lot of bureaucracy just to take a simple picture.

I'm posting this new photo, along with two new weapons. The slim rifle does not look like a war weapon to me, but rather some hunting rifle: as I mentioned in a previous post, there are strange things in this lot...
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Old July 5, 2008, 01:12 PM   #17
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I have nothing new to offer on that submachine gun.

The "slim rifle" is actually a single shot shotgun. Apparently the inexpensive Brazilian made 12 gauge hunting gun sold in the USA under the brand name of "Boito."

The third picture is of a Mauser 1898 bolt action military rifle in "short rifle" configuration. It does not match the picture of a 1922 Brazilian model that I found but is more similar to the 1935 Chilean model. If so, it is in caliber 7x57 mm Mauser. (7mm barrel bore diameter, 57mm cartridge case length.)
But there are scores of different models and variations of Mauser rifles and they have been sold, resold, and traded around the world for over 100 years. So I am not confident of identification beyond the basics in the first sentence.
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Old July 5, 2008, 01:51 PM   #18
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This gun with the bayonet appears to be a MP28II. It was probably manufactured in Belgium for some South American country and was adopted by Bolivia as the Mitraillete Model 34.
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Old July 5, 2008, 03:02 PM   #19
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These references might help:

World's Machine Pistols and Submachine Guns 1964-1980

Thomas B. Nelson and Daniel D. Musgrave

Military Small Arms Of The 20th Century

Ian V. Hogg & John S. Weeks


Machine-Guns Of Two World Wars

John Walter

Machine Guns of World War I

Robert Bruce

Machine Guns

Ian V. Hogg


Illustrated Directory of 20th Century Guns

David Miller

Fighting Submachine Gun, Machine Pistol & Shotgun

Timothy J. Mullin

World's Fighting Shotguns

Swearengen
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Old July 5, 2008, 05:10 PM   #20
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We got THAT one, Gary, what are the OTHER SMGs?

I have Hogg & Weeks and Mullin, they do not show the oddballs.
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Old July 7, 2008, 02:03 PM   #21
jurupari
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- Jim, can the Mauser be a 1895 model? they were sold to many South American countries, including Chile and Brazil... I agree that it's almost impossible to go further based on a single - not so good - picture.

-4V50Gary, thanks for intervening... any contribution is welcome.
(A curiosity about your Latin signature: shouldn't it be iura, rather than jura? as far as I know, the letter J did not exist in the Latin alphabet).

-BADSBSNF81: great bibliography, but I'm only trying to help a friend... not directly interested in weapons.

New week, new weapons... here are three new ones.
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Old July 7, 2008, 02:26 PM   #22
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What is the Portugese equivalent of Bubba? That is the USA term for one of low education, few skills, and no social refinement who crudely alters firearms.
All of today's guns have been worked on by Bubba.

The first is a percussion muzzleloading rifle or musket that has been cut down in barrel and stock length. The alteration is so great and the condition so poor - the front of the trigger guard appears to be held on by a nail - that I cannot tell what it might have started out as.

The second is a Comblain which has had the stock foreend shortened to an approximation of a sporting rifle's. I see no rear sight. Perhaps it was meant to be aimed over the hammer or a notch in the receiver. Or perhaps the rifling was reamed smooth to convert it into a shotgun.

The third is any one of a number of single shot shotguns that has had the buttstock cut off and replaced with bent tubing, and a vertical front handgrip added. The intent was to give it the appearance and handling qualities of a submachine gun.
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Old July 7, 2008, 02:34 PM   #23
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Tommaso,

I am confident that the Mauser of post 16 is an 1898 model rather than an 1895.
It has the large receiver ring - the part the barrel screws into is larger than the action behind that area.
It has a thumb notch to help reloading with stripper clips - which hold five rounds to be placed in the internal magazine with one push.

In addition it has small clues like the pistol grip stock, less common on 1895s than 1898s, and the shape of the trigger guard and the trigger location within it are like the 1898.

There were 1898 Mausers sold into Latin America, as well as the many guns traded on the surplus market.
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Old July 16, 2008, 01:21 PM   #24
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A week out...

Just a quick pass, I'll not be able to post until Friday 18.

Jim, really thanks for your constance...

- The Mauser will be reported as a mod. 1898 all right!
- as for the Bubba (portuguese equivalent should be "caipira") weapons, they're are probably taken from arrested criminals. It's just a miracle you got to know a Comblain in that mess!
... and prepare for the worse ... : when we get to pistol section, there are arms in really, really (repeat many times) bad conditions. And there's a "home made" pistol I'll post just as a curiosity.
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Old July 16, 2008, 01:49 PM   #25
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I will be standing by. Looking up things for you has improved my education.

The good news is that I have more references on pistols than rifles.
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