Who has fired a WW2 era weapon?

Discussion in 'Weapons, Technology & Equipment' started by Owen, Nov 27, 2019.

  1. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Apart from Ron who did in WW2 has anyone fired a WW2 era weapon?
    (Ron have you shot live ammo since 1945 ?)

    The only one I can think of that I've fired is the Browning 9mm pistol. We fired a few magazines on a range day once. I wasn't very good with it . I was surprised how much it kicked back & to the right .

    We had the ACF with us on another range day. Wish I could have had a go with the Lee Enfield No 4 they had.

    At 16 I did think about joining the Junior Leaders RA who in all the leaflets I had about them were equipped with 25 Pdrs. Missed out on that as I went on to do A levels instead. (That was a waste of time.)

    I imagine most of the replies to this will come from our US members.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2019
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  2. idler

    idler GeneralList

    I shot the No.4 a fair bit and the Bren a couple of times in the Cadets. We also got to be on the receiving end in the butts experiencing 'crack and thump'. That sounds a bit suspect in hindsight...

    I must've shot it as I don't know where else I would have come across it but they also brought in a 7.62mm target rifle with a Mauser action so we're in P14/P17 territory. The action felt horrible after the No.4.

    I do recall an exercise with some SLR-toting TA who weren't expecting the No.4's BFA-less bang.
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  3. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Turn the page

    Having done 12 years qualified as an FPO and SA instructor I can honestly say that I have fired everything from an air rifle to a 25 pounder including Lee Enfield, Bren, LMG 7.62, SLR, 9mm Browning Pistol, Sterling, L98A1, SA 80 and LSW. Much of these with the sponsoring TA units or Regulars on training courses .
    That finished 20 years ago. Not fired a shot since.
    I also had a black belt in Judo, taught unarmed combat and trained First Aid Trainers.
    Worked in most countries in Europe as an Engineer ending up as an Apprentice Trainer in the UK.
    Retirement is not recommended but I had no choice due to medical conditions, I retired five years ago at 66.
    My dad always said it would catch up with me. I will remind him of that one day!
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2019
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  4. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    Only a Home Guard weapon
    Milk bottle filled with petrol and rag add naked flame and bingo
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  5. canuck

    canuck Closed Account

    I've had my sporterized Lee Enfield Mk4 for some 30 years. Deer/moose hunting and some target shooting. Still an amazingly accurate weapon.

    Also one short session years ago with an Inglis .45.
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  6. Juha

    Juha Junior Member

    In the army
    9mm Suomi smg
    And if Molotov cocktails is counted, also threw them against old T-26 (Soviet Vickers 6 tons version) wreck
    and if anti-personnel mines are counted, handled Laatikkomiina m/43, IIRC originally Soviet design, a wooden box with 100 gr TNT inside, also Germans copied it, British may have called it Schu-mine (German name was Schutzenmine), also live ones. Jäämiina M/41 (Ice-mine) Finnish speciality, designed to blow up ice to form obstacles across lakes or along rivers. We did a field of them and then blow it up, looked very nice on a sunny winter day, but of course deadly to fish. Putkimiina m/43 (Pipe-mine), nasty and deadly, danger zone some 100 metres, cannot anymore remember the 50% killing zone. Hyppymiina, the German "jumping mine", Allied called it IIRC Bouncing Betty, handled only a training mine in a classroom.
    And German Teller-mines, M/43s probably. These were anti-tank mines, but downgraded to anti-APC mines.
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  7. idler

    idler GeneralList

    I'm glad I got in quick or I would've been too embarrassed...
  8. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    During my re-enactment days I've fired blanks through Lee Enfield No4, Bren, Sten, 1928 Thompson and 25pounder

    When I visited a mate in North Carolina I've tried live through Sten, Lee Enfield No4, M1 Garand, M1 Carbine and I think a .38 Enfield - annoyingly just after I got back my mate got a Colt 1911 and a BAR, so I missed out on those
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  9. Incredibledisc

    Incredibledisc Well-Known Member

    I got to fire off a few magazines with a Thompson sub-machine gun a few years ago on a trip to the firing range in Florida with my Yank brother in law.
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  10. Blutto

    Blutto Banned

    Memories of the Lee Enfield on the range as an Air cadet, firing ammunition considerably older than I was. Also of one cadet who decided to cushion the recoil by placing his beret between butt and shoulder. He had a lovely imprint of his ATC badge on his shoulder for quite a while.
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  11. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    In the Cadets, .303 and Bren.
    In the RN, SLR, LMG, 9mm, 20mm Oerlikon, 40mm Bofors and 4.5" (didn't actually fire this, only loaded).

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  12. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA

    We have an embarrassment of riches in the states. I have a modest collection including my dad's M1 carbine and .45. Several of my friends had 1903A3 Springfields in high school for our rifle team. We called them "03A3s". I shot a 7x57 DWM Mauser instead, which I still have. I've shot most of the Enfields and Mausers. Some M1s. My uncle had a sporterized Mosin that kicked like a mule.

    One that I really remember from high school was a .22 that looked just like a Mark III Enfield. Some kid had it on a rifle range. I'm sure it was a British training rifle of some type.

    Almost every hardware store here had a rack of surplus Enfields and Mausers for next to nothing until the late 1960s. We could also buy them mail order from the back of magazines until 1968. Springfields and M1s were plentiful but much more expensive.
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2019
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  13. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Bren gun on the range during recruit training along with the L E .303 ......then a personal L E .303 rifle which was of 1917 vintage, ex US, used on the range at RAF Kirton in Lindsey.

    Issued with 5 blanks for a night exercise routing out aircrew whose role was to get through a screen of squadron groundcrew into RAF Hemswell.....ended in the early hours of the night and our group then fired off the remaining blanks in the surrounding cereal fields.Was with a lad from Bristol who had joined the squadron from the Canal Zone and was as you might say, trigger happy....challenged a suspected aircrew chap on a bike who did not respond and he let fly with a blank....an extended flame shot out of the barrel....the chap proved not to be one of our aircrew, certainly in shock he exclaimed nervously "are you lads on a scheme".As we thought at the time,a former army bod...he went on his way probably from a pub.

    Station Commander was a WW2 bomber pilot who was the Master Bomber on the Peenemunde raid.
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  14. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    That's what we started off with in the Cadets on an indoor range.

    In the Cadets we seemed to have unlimited amounts of blank ammunition for exercises and annual camp. Can't remember much control over it as I remember by the time I was a Cadet NCO I would have several boxes in my pockets. Health and Safety today would have a field day (no pun intended) as blank ammunition actually fires out a wad which can be quite dangerous at close quarters.

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  15. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA

    I think that is what killed Bruce Lee on a movie set, isn't it?
  16. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran


    I presume you refer to this episode that I discussed in 2013 ?

    "In last nights final episode something was described by one of the vets that shook me to the core because it mirrored exactly an experience of my own.

    A story was being told about a Jerry unit that was in the process of surrendering when completely out of the blue the 5th RTR were subjected to fresh enemy mortar fire.

    As a direct result, they then shot down the Jerries who were moving across an open field towards them.

    My own experience, which I have posted before, went as follows:

    Friday 13th 1945
    Moved over Santerno. Some M.G. nuisance and one H.E. about twenty yards away. Bags of prisoners, Kiss from Signora. "Liberatoris !". Chasing after tedeschis with 30 browning blazing!

    The Browning machine gun referred to was rarely fired in anger, the exception being on this one occasion when I nearly killed Hewie our Stuart Tank driver.
    We had been on the move all day and the Germans were surrendering left, right and centre. To our left, about two hundred yards away, German infantry were climbing out of slit trenches with their hands high and we were gesturing to them to get behind us and to make their way to the rear.
    Suddenly someone to our right opened light rifle fire at us and Busty (SSM ‘Busty’ Thomas) lost patience and yelled at me "Let the bastards have it!" Hewie swung the tank to the right so we could face the new threat and I started firing non-stop, without giving Hewie a chance to drop his adjustable seat down below the level of fire belching from the Browning. A horrified Busty yelled: "Get down you stupid bastard!" and to my immediate relief Hewie disappeared from view before I could hit him.
    Within seconds the rifle fire was replaced by more hand-raising, and we were able to proceed without further incident."

    And no Owen, apart from visiting fairgrounds post www2 and firing re-hashed Lee Enfields I certainly haven't fired any other ordnance since !


    ps I sometime get the horrible feeling that apart from my WW2 friend Larry Fox I am the only surviving WW2 veteran left on this site
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  17. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake All over the place....

    The Royal Artillery's OTC and HAC was using 25 Pounders until around 1990. The 5.5" gun was brought back into service in the 1980s when they found a big dump of serviceable ammunition in the sea. Anyone attending an observation fo fire course at that time would be using WW2 equipment.

    The L119 Light gun was a varfient designed to use the plentiful and cheaper US M1 105mm ammunition dating from WW2 (IRC).

    The LMG was a Bren gun modified to fire NATO 7.62 ammunition. This was in service until at least Gulf War 1.
  18. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    We did a shooting comp with some other local units.
    I was pretty handy with a GPMG but a mate from the Yeomanry beat me with his Bren.
    Known to be a more accurate weapon than the jimpy.
    Thought it unfair they mixed weapons in same comp. :(
    32 years later it still bugs me.
  19. gmyles

    gmyles Senior Member


    I was a Bren gunner whilst serving in the RAF in Germany in the 80s and 90s. It was converted to 7.62 but essentially the same in everything else.

    Training was brilliant as we fired literally hundreds of rounds on the range. This was in sharp contrast to annual SLR/LA80 training when we typically fired just 40 rounds to qualify.

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  20. Quis Separabit

    Quis Separabit Junior Member

    Does this count? Otherwise just Bren and .303 at Bisley playing boy soldiers a very long time ago...

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