Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Interesting things at work...

I don't just work at a gun shop, I also work at a place called "The Spoils of War". We began as a gallery for the work of James Dietz whose works our parent company publishes (We now also publish Larry Selman). We have expanded, and now the store also functions as the headquarters for a minor empire of military fine art prints including those not published by ourselves. Our storefront has, since I started there in October 2001, sold a variety of military collectibles. The only thing in which we don't deal is functional firearms of newer than 1898 manufacture. Let me repeat, we don't sell firearms there...

However, we do sometimes have non-functioning, dewat, replica and reproduction arms as well as pre-1898 originals. We also keep our ears to the ground and are often aware of individual sellers who have firearms appropriate to our interest. It is a unique benefit of this job to have access to some wonderful things because sometimes people bring things by just to show off.  Among those things recently were those items shown following.

The Model 1941 Johnson Rifle

The 1941 Johnson Rifle was an American made, short recoil, 10-round rotary magazine, semi-automatic rifle designed prior to WWII. The designer was Melvin Johnson. Made in .30-06 and 7x57mm Mauser, the rifle was used by the U.S. Marines, who used rifles originally ordered by the Netherlands for issue to the KNIL in the Dutch East Indies and by the anti-Castro Brigade 2506 in the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba. Only about 20,000 of these were produced and an unknown number were lost in combat. I have personally only seen 5 or 6 of these and only had an opportunity to handle two of them including the one here which recently passed by the shop.

The Johnson rifle competed with the Garand but lost out for various reasons. It has some faults and in some ways is better than the Garand. I'm sure that the Marines liked that it could be loaded with the same clipped ammunition as the M1903 rifles that were so prevalent in the Corps until later in the war. Some liked that it held two more rounds than the Garand.

There is, as one might expect a web site dedicated to the rifle, http://www.johnsonautomatics.com/.

The German MG-08

The German MG-34

The Luger or German P-08

1 comment:

Alex said...

Through decades German Luger is still as sophisticated as it was at the time of Hitler. My Dad have one in his collection and I can tell that it is his favorite coz’ he always put coatings protective on it.