World War 2 Weapons

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Weapons of World War 2

The Karabiner 98k was a German rifle introduced into general service in 1898. It was manufactured by the Mauser armory in huge quantities until it became obsolete after WWII. The 98K is a bolt action rifle that holds five rounds of 7.9mm on a stripper clip. It was the primary German infantry rifle in both world wars, and was noted for its excellent accuracy and effective range of 800 meters.

For this reason it continued to be used with a telescopic sight as a sniper rifle, after it was obsolete as a standard weapon. The 98k had the same disadvantages as all other turn of the century military rifles, that being bulky and heavy and slow rate of fire. It was also designed to be used with a bayonet and to fire special grenades. A version with a folding stock was introduced in 1941 to be used by airborne marksmen.

Towards the end of the war the 98K was being phased out in favor of the much more advanced SG44.
Also known as the Tommy Gun, the Thompson was a popular submachine gun that became infamous during prohibition, when gangsters would use it because of the high volume of automatic fire it made available from such a compact firearm and it could be attained legally.

Designed during World War I by General John T. Thompson, the Tommy Gun was available in the .45 Caliber ACP (Automatic Colt Pistol) cartridge, and was used by the US Army through WW2. The means of operation is direct blow-back, although early models made use of the Blish lock, turning the mechanism into a delayed blow-back system. After WW2 it saw limited service in Korea, and was carried unofficially by a smattering of soldiers in Vietnam. Domestically, it was used by law enforcement, most prominently by the FBI, until 1976 when it was declared obsolete, and all Thompsons in government possession were destroyed, except for a few token museum peices and training models. Owing to both its gangster and WWII connections, Thompsons are highly sought after collector's items. An original 1928 gun in working condition can easily fetch $15,000. Semi-auto replicas are currently produced by the Auto-Ordnance Company, which is operated as a division of Kahr firearms.

The Garand (M1) was the first semi-automatic rifle to be put in active military service. It weighed 9 pounds 8 ounces unloaded, and was 43.5 inches long. Simple in construction and easy to maintain, the rifle fired a standard clip of eight rounds, originally .276" caliber but later modified to .30" caliber. (The prototype rifles in .276 had a capacity of 10 rounds.)

It was developed by weapons designer, John Garand in the 1930s and the .30" caliber weapon became the standard long arm of the US Army, entering service in 1936. It served through World War II and the Korean War where it proved to be an excellent weapon to the point where the Axis Powers used as many as they could capture. Some were still being used in the Vietnam War in 1963, although it was officially superseded by the M14 rifle in 1957.

It did have its defects. The magazine held 8 cartridges, which were loaded by inserting an "en bloc" clip containing them into the rifle. It was not possible to load single rounds, so a partially discharged magazine could not be easily refilled. When the rifle fired the last round, it automatically ejected the clip, producing a loud high-pitched "ping" sound, although this generally could not be heard over the din of battle, despite the commonly-heard myth to the contrary.

Despite these problems, the rifle was well-received in several quarters. Gen. George S. Patton called it "the greatest implement of battle ever devised." The rifle remains popular with civilian weapons collectors and enthusiasts in the United States.

The M1911 is a .45" caliber, single action, semi-automatic handgun, originally designed by John Browning, which was the standard-issue handgun in the combat arm of the United States Armed Forces from...
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