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Handguns in British Service

Further to various comments upthread, it's worth noting that from about 1916 onwards, during attacks and raids, many junior officers started to dress in ORs Service Dress and carry a rifle, to avoid being identified and sniped.
 

tgo

War Hero
Snap. My old man used to do the block security for a collection of the buildings that were MQ flats in Aden in the mid-60's. As he was effectively the orderly officer out and about on Maala Strait most nights he had to be armed and used to bring a duty gat home with him every day. To confront the childs curiosity at the age of seven he dealt with the possible problem by doing skill at arms lessons with me. I also remember the Webley being a heavy thing, and I recall I could not cock the hammer back without a great deal of effort.
I think most people having grown up with toy guns and the like are surprised by just how heavy a real one is when held for the first time, perhaps not so nowadays with glocks and the like though.
 
I understand that Herrick has resulted in a bit of a sea-change in BRITFOR regarding who gets issued a pistol these days.

My last Service pistol was the Browning 9mm.....superseded by the Glock 17 in service thse days I hear .

eg
( IMAGES TAKEN FOR THE WEST MIDLANDS PRESS Pictures By: PO (PHOT) Hamish B Crown Copyright © 2011)
That chap is carrying the SIG P226 which was a UOR and was in service at the same time as both Browning and Glock 17. I'm sure other pistols were in service in much limited issue before someone stomps on my ignorance.
 

Fang_Farrier

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
I think most people having grown up with toy guns and the like are surprised by just how heavy a real one is when held for the first time, perhaps not so nowadays with glocks and the like though.

And watching folk trying to work the slide on a Browning on range days was always fun.
 

old_fat_and_hairy

LE
Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
With reference to the comments about revolvers; when I first joined up - just before Sharpe got his commission - there were a number of revolvers in use. We even fired them on the range! As I recall, some models didn't have a hammer spur by which one could cock the weapon. Just a flattish back to said hammer and the weapon was double action only. And, as has been said, with a hefty trigger pull.
In Borneo, we had visits from R.A.F and RN helicopter crews, and the small arms they carried were .......ermmm wondrous. Apart from the odd Sten gun and Lanchester carbine, there were very old Webley's and Enfield revolvers for which we carried no ammunition to help out with. Then in Aden, HQ 24 Brigade armoury carried several different types of pistol. From the 1911 Colt to the double action Webley? Enfield, by way of 9mm Brownings and a variety of Walthers.
As to why they were issued to officers, in our battalion rifles were carried by all with the possible exception of the RSM and the Colonel.
 
I think most people having grown up with toy guns and the like are surprised by just how heavy a real one is when held for the first time, perhaps not so nowadays with glocks and the like though.

I know what you mean, but even an all up loaded Glock 17 is a couple of pounds. I have found that to be a surprise to many a new shooter when I have been coaching. If they trundle up with a metal frame pistol though they are at around 2lbs empty, add to that weight of rounds - a 9mm weighs +/- half an ounce. They definitely feel it for their first couple of sessions.
 

tgo

War Hero
Trying to think what would have been the last weighty service type handgun, Beretta M9 is a bit of a lump.
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
'Handguns in British Service' ?

I was working in Defence Sales when the US forces adopted the Beretta. We were mildly astonished one way or another. The in-house offerings at the time must have been either truly shite - or the brown envelope was frankly legendary :)

My Best Man evaded three years at Uni by joining the Merchant Service and becoming a Master. Then a Pilot in Harwich.

I was intrigued to hear from him that Ship's Masters used to be responsible for a modest small arms issue - till so many alcoholic/depressive captains 'ate the gun'
 

slick

LE
I`ve had this book in my wish list for some time now, trying to find a reason to justify buying it at the price. A lot of the stuff in there would`ve been for export or private purchase but still interesting nevertheless.... Linky
 

Mölders 1

Old-Salt
'Handguns in British Service' ?

I was working in Defence Sales when the US forces adopted the Beretta. We were mildly astonished one way or another. The in-house offerings at the time must have been either truly shite - or the brown envelope was frankly legendary :)

My Best Man evaded three years at Uni by joining the Merchant Service and becoming a Master. Then a Pilot in Harwich.

I was intrigued to hear from him that Ship's Masters used to be responsible for a modest small arms issue - till so many alcoholic/depressive captains 'ate the gun'

I do believe the Sig Sauer P-226 officially won the U.S. Army' competition for the next standard issue Handgun to replace the M1911a1, but it was beaten in the end by the Beretta M9 solely on price, although there were indeed accusations of "backhanders" being involved in the final decision to adopt the Beretta.
 
That's good to know but I was in the habit of relieving that spring (ooer missus) on a 9mm magazine while cleaning the wpn. I suppose the spring was smaller (shorter) than on a rifle mag.
evert sunday the duty crew would clean the smgs empty the mags and fill a different mag on the ruas store,
 

QRK2

LE
Ask any WW-ll Veteran who used a Bren Gun and they will tell you that. The Rimmed .303 Cartridge put great tension on the Magazine Spring and could lead to a stoppage, when 1-2 rounds were left out the Magazine fed the rounds perfectly well.
Leaving aside the issue of the orientation of the Bren mag, that is rather different from 'resting the springs' which is normally achieved by cycling mags and leaving them empty for a period of time, in my experience by colour coding mags and leaving a particular colour empty each week. Not normally an issue if one is in 'action' and actually using the weapon (eg WW2 infantry) but when one is spending a lot of time on standby.

Loading a mag a few rounds below capacity is a frequent action and not 'resting the spring'. Read the pam on L85 (para 1-174).
 
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Joshua Slocum

LE
Book Reviewer
With reference to the comments about revolvers; when I first joined up - just before Sharpe got his commission - there were a number of revolvers in use. We even fired them on the range! As I recall, some models didn't have a hammer spur by which one could cock the weapon. Just a flattish back to said hammer and the weapon was double action only. And, as has been said, with a hefty trigger pull.
In Borneo, we had visits from R.A.F and RN helicopter crews, and the small arms they carried were .......ermmm wondrous. Apart from the odd Sten gun and Lanchester carbine, there were very old Webley's and Enfield revolvers for which we carried no ammunition to help out with. Then in Aden, HQ 24 Brigade armoury carried several different types of pistol. From the 1911 Colt to the double action Webley? Enfield, by way of 9mm Brownings and a variety of Walthers.
As to why they were issued to officers, in our battalion rifles were carried by all with the possible exception of the RSM and the Colonel.
The Revolvers that lacked a hammer spur, would they by chance have been the ones issued to tank crews ? my father was an armourer with Southern Command, he said it was to prevent the hammer catching on the crews overalls
1605997174654.png
 
The Revolvers that lacked a hammer spur, would they by chance have been the ones issued to tank crews ? my father was an armourer with Southern Command, he said it was to prevent the hammer catching on the crews overalls
View attachment 522538
I read that revolvers issued to tank crews in WWII had no spur on the hammer so that they wouldn't catch on the edge of the vehicle hatch when trying to exit in a hurry. Later, the spurs were removed from the hammers on all the revolvers for reasons that I am not aware of.
 

offog

LE
I read that revolvers issued to tank crews in WWII had no spur on the hammer so that they wouldn't catch on the edge of the vehicle hatch when trying to exit in a hurry. Later, the spurs were removed from the hammers on all the revolvers for reasons that I am not aware of.
Although this would seem logical I point to my post earlier post which had five round in the cylinder and the hammer on a loaded round. If the hammer was moved the cylinder would rotate and fall on an empty chamber.
 

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