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Curio & Relic/Black Powder Curio & Relics and Black Powder Firearms, Old School shooting fun!

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  #1  
Old 02-03-2018, 9:50 AM
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Default The pressure of war - simplification and degradation of firearms

I know many of you are familiar but I've always found it interesting to track and observe the simplification of firearms as well as the degradation in quality.

As the WW2 raged on many firearms were simplified. Machining got rougher, features dropped and finish got worse.

Anyways, here's a few pieces from my collection that show the progressive change. I don't have a picture of my last ditch and pre war Type 99 Arisakas together but those are an excellent example.

Please post pics of the same type of firearm early and late!

High Powers- Pre war, early WaA103, no letter fixed sight and late B block.

As you can see, the pre war and the early WaA103 have a similar high quality finish along with the tangent sight. Different elevation notches on the sight leaf. The one feature eliminated from these is the stock lug. You can see the transition to fixed sights happened approx 80 thousand pistols after the 103, this is an early one at 146k serial WaA140. I have a WaA140 tangent sight pistol that's serial 141k. The B block was the final one made, its rough machine marks and Bakelite grips are the final iteration of the German occupation High Power.

The final picture is earliest vs latest, quite the contrast. Easier to see in that picture.





Russian TT33's, the top being a 1939 and the bottom a 1944. Lower quality finish and wood grips.



M1895 Nagant revolvers, the top being a 1926 and the bottom a 1941. Not that much different aside from the lower quality finish. I'm a sucker for the fire blued parts on the early one.



Radom VIS, these are both somewhat in the middle of the war. The big change here was the deletion of the take down lever. Rougher machining is also evident in the later one. The very late VIS pistols were phosphate with wood grips.



Type 14 Nambus, again not too much different here aside from the machining and cocking knob. These pistols are only 13 months apart. An early Type 14 would have a round trigger guard and strawed parts.



Holsters and equipment too, the earlier leather Type 14 holster versus the late rubberized canvas variant.

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Last edited by 81turbota; 02-03-2018 at 10:37 AM..
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Old 02-03-2018, 10:01 AM
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Awesome pics! Great idea to show the transitions. The proposed topic instantly made me think of the first set of lyrics from this song:

"Life During Wartime"

Heard of a van that is loaded with weapons,
Packed up and ready to go.
Heard of some grave sites, out by the highway,
A place where nobody knows.
The sound of gunfire, off in the distance,
I'm getting used to it now.
Lived in a brownstone, lived in a ghetto,
I've lived all over this town

This ain't no party, this ain't no disco,
This ain't no fooling around,
No time for dancing, or lovey dovey,
I ain't got time for that now.

.
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Old 02-03-2018, 10:19 AM
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Nice collection OP. Thanks for sharing.

Why do the Hi-Power slides have that round cut on the right side that other Hi-Power slides do not?
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Old 02-03-2018, 10:24 AM
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Thanks gentlemen. Great lyrics Cali-Gula, it fits!

Stanze, this cut? It's a finger relief cut for pushing the slide stop lever out. Deleted some time post war. All of my pre war and wartime High Powers have the cut. Can you tell that I like High Powers?


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Last edited by 81turbota; 02-03-2018 at 10:29 AM..
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Old 02-03-2018, 10:25 AM
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Nice assortment of pistols T, great subject matter. I've only got an early T-38 and a "substitute standard" T-99 for comparison. PAX
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Old 02-03-2018, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by echo1 View Post
Nice assortment of pistols T, great subject matter. I've only got an early T-38 and a "substitute standard" T-99 for comparison. PAX
Thanks, post them up! A substitute standard T99 is an excellent example of simplification.
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Old 02-03-2018, 11:41 AM
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Damn nice collection James
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Old 02-03-2018, 12:15 PM
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James, I'm envious of that collection! Took me a minute to type that, had to wipe the drool off my keyboard.
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Old 02-03-2018, 12:48 PM
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I don't own any to take a picture of, but a great example is the switch from the $200 M1928 Thompson to the $15 M3 "grease gun" submachine guns. To save time/costs they tried to go to a wholly different gun. I have shot an M3, it was fun but I found difficult to use accurately, really just spray and pray.
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Old 02-03-2018, 2:59 PM
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Thanks gents! Two more high power variations to goZ

Sbo80, that is a great example of wartime expedience. While not the same gun per se, it was a replacement.
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Old 02-04-2018, 10:37 AM
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Wonderful thread -

Another example to add to discussion is the original TT30 -
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Old 02-04-2018, 5:20 PM
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There is always the last ditch Arisaka to collect. If you want to see desperate look at the Richardson Guerilla Gun based on the slamfire shotguns used by Philippine guerillas against the Japanese.
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Old 02-04-2018, 6:47 PM
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Great collection!!
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Old 02-04-2018, 8:15 PM
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Nice collection James. It is interesting to see how what was completely unacceptable pre war become commonplace in the late war times.
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Old 02-05-2018, 2:49 PM
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Pick two of three, price quality time or speed.
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Old 02-05-2018, 7:23 PM
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Another easy way to expand on this collection for anyone interested would be a 1930's 91/30, a 1942 or 1943 91/30, then a post-war M44.

The wartime 91/30s are really rough compared to either pre or post war mosins.
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Old 02-05-2018, 10:25 PM
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WW2 German Mausers are also a good one to do if collecting in this style.
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Old 02-06-2018, 3:15 PM
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Uh-oh you mentioned German firearms, you better put your fire suit on cuz you might get flamed.
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Old 02-06-2018, 6:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I Swan View Post
WW2 German Mausers are also a good one to do if collecting in this style.


Here's a little mini-overview. My current collection is mostly pre/early war, with one mid-war. Pre/Early War k98ks are excellent in terms of fit and finish. The 3 Pre-wars that I have a S/42G (1935 Mauser-Oberndorf), S/147 (1936 JP Sauer), and 660 (1938 Steyr). As you can see, the receivers have been finely polished and the bluing is very consistent. They are very high quality and rival Czech Mausers in terms of fit and finish. Also, up until 1937, stocks were done in walnut, which were replaced by laminated beech.

1935 S/42G (This was a 1939 depot re-work. Notice how the receiver was done in a rust blue while the barrel was hot-blued, giving it a bit of a shine)

1936 S/147 (JP Sauer did rust blue for the most part. Bluing is starting to fade a little.)

1937 S/42 (Mauser-Oberndorf, last year they used walnut stocks, great polish and bluing)

1938 660 (Steyr, very consistent bluing and polish on the receiver. Too bad the quality dropped in the years to come)
My next K98k is a 1940 JP Sauer. It isn't in great condition, but it still shows receiver polish. However, it's in a laminated stock, unlike my pre-war examples. You can also see machining marks on the receiver side wall where the bluing is starting to fade.

1940 147 (JP Sauer)
Finally, my mid-war 1942 BNZ. As you can see, the receiver wasn't polished to the same degree the 1940 JP Sauer and Pre-war rifles were. Also, what I didn't show was the amount of inspections done on each rifle. On my pre and early war rifles, 3-4 inspections were done just on the receiver. On this Steyr one, only 1 inspection. This was done in order to improve production numbers at Steyr in 1942.
Example:

1938 Steyr

1936 JP Sauer

1942 Steyr
This one also has a stamped cupped butt plate instead of the flat forged versions.

1942 BNZ (Steyr)
There are tons of other production changes that occurred during the years (flat forged butt plate vs cupped stamped, H-bands to speed milled bands to stamped bands, changes to the bolt safety and gas relief holes, changing from bluing to phophate), but I think how refined these rifles were are the most interesting to me.
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Old 02-07-2018, 2:40 AM
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To add to the post about the final evolution of K98k The Kriegsmodel BNZ45 all matching which by that point wasn't nearly as many parts as an early K98k. Rushed Finish, Welded and Screwed Bands, no band spring, No bayonet lug, no takedown disc, amongst other changes.



Last edited by capt14k; 02-07-2018 at 2:44 AM..
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Old 02-07-2018, 2:49 AM
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The Type 94 I think defines simplification. The end of the war Type 94 Nambus are even worse. This one is all matching including the magazine, which I am surprised they still numbered, made a month before the surrender of Japan. I don't know a lot about these but the grips are wooden and have a single screw compared to the early ones and the finish is crude. Like all Type 94 it can be fired without pulling the trigger simply by pressing on the exposed sear.



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Old 02-07-2018, 2:54 AM
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Very interesting thread on perils of war and impact on manufacturing quality.
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Old 02-07-2018, 5:48 AM
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Excellent contributions!! ltong29 and capt14k, thanks for posting pictures. The Kreigsmodell compared to ltong's variety of Mausers is a great comparison.

I'll dig out my pre war and last ditch T99 to take some comparison pictures later today or tomorrow.
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Old 02-07-2018, 7:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capt14k View Post
To add to the post about the final evolution of K98k The Kriegsmodel BNZ45 all matching which by that point wasn't nearly as many parts as an early K98k. Rushed Finish, Welded and Screwed Bands, no band spring, No bayonet lug, no takedown disc, amongst other changes.
Very nice Kriegsmodell. You can see the rough, unpolished receiver and increased chatter on the wood.
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Old 02-07-2018, 9:26 AM
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Less drastic as some, but you can clearly see corner-cutting to shorten production time on Mosin Nagant rifles pre and mid war.

Top is a 1939 M38, bottom is a 1943 91/30. Click to massiveify.



The action finish machining is pretty good on the 1939 rifle, the receiver body is nice and smooth (not as good as a Mauser of the same period, but pretty good), and the scallop on the left side of the action has a nice shape to it, as does the shaping/beveling of the rear of the action on the open bridge each side of the bolt. All nice details that take time.

Under pressure of being invaded and needing every possible rifle right damn now, it is pretty clear to see the quality of the finish machining has dropped. The action body is pretty rough, and the scallop on the left of the loading port and around the cocking piece look like they were done with an angle grinder. The rear cuts aren't anywhere close to even.
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Old 02-07-2018, 4:24 PM
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Emcon5, thats a great comparison as well. The rough machining of mis war Izhevsk Mosins is a great example of expediency.

I didn't dig out my pre war T99 but here's the last ditch. The pictures speak for themselves really, this one is late but not month before surrender late.

Jinsen series 40, produced by Korean slave labor. It shows.








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Old 02-11-2018, 4:10 PM
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From Top to bottom

Norwegian 1939 147
BNZ45
1940 660

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Old 02-12-2018, 7:11 AM
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The Chinese type 56s, although extremely robust, displays the least attention given to machining of the receiver internals. Necessary areas such as the trunion and all lockup areas are finished well but the surrounding areas are very rough with angular sharp edges.. people often think that pieces are broken off. They just finish these off enough to make them work and to save time, labor and money.
The Hungarian AMDs, on the other hand, were beautifully finished inside and outside. Almost as well as a sporting rifle.
The Chinese supplying their own army and other countries' war efforts on a limited economy with forced labor.
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Old 02-18-2018, 6:51 AM
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My only real comparison is my hex receiver 91/30 and my m44. The '31(if my memory serves me) hex receiver looks really nice. The m44 has really rough machining on most of it. The stock looks better, but was definitely refinished with an orbital sander at one time.

I have a couple of mausers, but
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Old 02-27-2018, 11:48 PM
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A couple of CZ27's

190000 - Blued - straw trigger and hammer - mirror finish - (bring-back)
230000 - Parked - straw trigger and hammer - very rough machine-tool-mark finish

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