Best Pistol of WW2

Discussions on the small arms used by the Axis forces.
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JTV
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Re: Best Pistol of WW2

Post by JTV » 19 Sep 2014 21:41

Poot wrote:Sid,
What's interesting is that up until the time we used rifles (AR15) across our entire entry element, most personnel used MP-5s loaded with 147 grain pistol ammunition, the same ammunition that was used in the pistols themselves. I think by then they had reached the 'sweet spot' of the loading and powder combination with a load that would accommodate/cycle in both weapons systems.
In this case comparing Sten and MP5 would be very much case of apples and oranges even if the both weapons are 9 mm x 19 caliber submachine guns. Like most of World War 2 submachine guns Sten is based to simple blowback and fires from open bolt - hence it has heavy bolt and strong recoil spring. MP5 on the other hand is gas-action weapon that fires from closed bolt and has roller-delayed bolt. Due to its operating principle from these two Sten is much more effected to type of 9 mm x 19 ammunition - in less extreme cases the effect is shown in changes of theoretical rate of fire.

As for having separate pistol ammo and submachine gun 9 mm x 19 ammo - number of countries apparently did that. Here domestic industry concentrated making submachinegun ammo, which had 115-grain bullets & was loaded as hot as possible - pushing muzzle velocity to around 400 meters/second. Pistol ammo in this caliber was imported and typically had 128-grain bullets & was loaded to level of about 300 meters/second.

Jarkko

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Poot
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Re: Best Pistol of WW2

Post by Poot » 20 Sep 2014 10:29

Jarkko,
I agree. That's the point I was trying to make, but apparently failed at!
Pat
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Sid Guttridge
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Re: Best Pistol of WW2

Post by Sid Guttridge » 25 Sep 2014 10:20

How about the FP-45 Liberator?

This seems to have been the only pistol designed for the purpose pistols were most suited to - assassination at close range by insurgents.

Certainly it was crude and unsightly, but it was small, easy to conceal, cheap and easy to mass produce.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Poot
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Re: Best Pistol of WW2

Post by Poot » 26 Sep 2014 19:19

Apples and Oranges.

It was designed for one purpose: shoot it once so that you can take the real weapon off of the guy you just killed. There's no comparison between those and any one of the other true combat handguns already mentioned in this thread.
Pat
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Gustav_SC
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Re: Best Pistol of WW2

Post by Gustav_SC » 29 Sep 2014 09:41

With all due respect to the original poster, when I read this subject line I thought "Best razor of WW2" or "Best song of WW2".

It's just not that important and as a result the criteria are pretty vague and hard to define. If any one major combatant had their service pistols all magically replaced with a weak, unreliable pistol (let's say the Japanese Type 94) the outcome for said combatant in WWII would be COMPLETELY UNCHANGED. This cannot be said about major weapons systems like tanks, aircraft, aircraft carriers, etc. The Finnish pistol champion in the anecdote above could probably still have used it effectively, but if all the Japanese armed with pistols on Iwo Jima had them replaced with Hi Powers it wouldn't have changed a thing.

Having said that, I like WWII pistols a lot and own a P-08, a P-38, a Nambu Type 14, a Beretta Model 1934, a Soviet M1895 revolver, etc. They are fun to shoot. They are all still only pistols, though. They are just one step above a knife.

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Re: Best Pistol of WW2

Post by Sid Guttridge » 29 Sep 2014 13:41

Hi Poot,

I would suggest that the FP-45 Liberator deserves consideration because it was designed for a purpose for which it was arguably better suited than other weapons.

By comparison, conventional pistols appear to have been over-engineered weapons of symbolism or last resort when no more suitable weapon was available.

There are, I note, still no verifiable examples on this thread of the effective use of any pistols in conventional combat in WWII. While I have no doubt that the occasional example will surface, the very scarcity of such examples tends to illustrate the redundancy of the pistol in WWII (and, indeed, arguably almost always in conventional warfare).

For example, up to a hundred thousand pistols must have come down with Allied bomber crews over Germany. How many were even considered for use, let alone actually used, and even then with any useful effect?

I would suggest that the pistol is essentially a civilian weapon for societies whose civil society is still considered insecure by their own lawmen and citizens. In war, it only offers an advantage over conventional weapons for guerrilla assassinations - again, not a conventional warfare activity.

I would suggest that there was no "best" pistol in WWII. They were all pretty useless.

Cheers,

Sid.

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JTV
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Re: Best Pistol of WW2

Post by JTV » 29 Sep 2014 16:09

Gustav_SC wrote:It's just not that important and as a result the criteria are pretty vague and hard to define. If any one major combatant had their service pistols all magically replaced with a weak, unreliable pistol (let's say the Japanese Type 94) the outcome for said combatant in WWII would be COMPLETELY UNCHANGED. This cannot be said about major weapons systems like tanks, aircraft, aircraft carriers, etc.
But the same thing can be very much argued about World War 2 era military small arms in general - what specific bolt-action rifle rifle, semiauto rifle, submachine gun, light machinegun or other small arm each country used did not really make such large difference as most would think.

Jarkko

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Sarge
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Re: Best Pistol of WW2

Post by Sarge » 30 Sep 2014 00:49

JTV wrote:
SVaaka wrote:Yes only answer is FN GP-1935. Largest magazine, preforms nicely when fired and can use also higher loaded 9mm ammo. Not too many springs to make it unreliable and fantastic grip. No wonder it is most widely used piastol on earth.
More likely it was the most widely used pistol on earth. The situation was changed a lot during the last two - three decades with new pistol designs eroding the popularity of GP-35. The ugly fact is that when it comes to manufacturing techniques pistols with steel frames are now old-fashioned because plastic frames are simply so much cheaper and easier to mass-produce.

GP-35 also has its share of less than successful features - these would include:- Magazine safety feature -> trigger would be much better without it.
- Very small safety switch -> should be bigger for easy use.
- Tangent-sight used in early pistols is quite unncecessary (sight settings up to 500 meters) and provides quite a poor sight picture (both blade and notch are small plus the sight picture is too "tight" for fast aim).

Jarkko
Well I have to disagree with you on most of this since I have owned and shot HPs for 50 yrs! Lets start from the bottom -
Tangent sights - this was for use with the shoulder stock. I don't find these sights to be at all "poor with or without the stock!"
Safety - I agree it could be a bit larger, But I do not find it uncomfortable or awkward - Maby with a gloved hand, but?
Mag safety - I agree it is unneccesary for a combat pistol! However it is Very easily removed and the problem goes away.

As I said above I have carried and used an HP for over 50 yrs, to include in combat. While I had my choice of several other pistols I chose the HP and have no regrets.
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ChristopherPerrien
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Re: Best Pistol of WW2

Post by ChristopherPerrien » 30 Sep 2014 03:39

Gustav_SC wrote:With all due respect to the original poster, when I read this subject line I thought "Best razor of WW2" or "Best song of WW2".

It's just not that important and as a result the criteria are pretty vague and hard to define. If any one major combatant had their service pistols all magically replaced with a weak, unreliable pistol (let's say the Japanese Type 94) the outcome for said combatant in WWII would be COMPLETELY UNCHANGED. This cannot be said about major weapons systems like tanks, aircraft, aircraft carriers, etc. The Finnish pistol champion in the anecdote above could probably still have used it effectively, but if all the Japanese armed with pistols on Iwo Jima had them replaced with Hi Powers it wouldn't have changed a thing.

Having said that, I like WWII pistols a lot and own a P-08, a P-38, a Nambu Type 14, a Beretta Model 1934, a Soviet M1895 revolver, etc. They are fun to shoot. They are all still only pistols, though. They are just one step above a knife.
You a noob, if you don't own/have hung out with a 45 ACP, This applies to even the 9mm Browning types. LOL :P

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Re: Best Pistol of WW2

Post by Gustav_SC » 30 Sep 2014 05:09

JTV - It's true that all small arms systems are secondary compared to strategic weapons. However, one could at least make a case that they mattered in the big picture. Perhaps not a great case, but one could make it. In the Pacific theater, where infantry combat was often prevalent, if the Japanese had been armed with semi-automatic rifles and better tanks, might the war have been prolonged? Possibly, it's a feasible argument.

For pistols, it's not even a consideration.

CPerrien - Of course I own a .45, but it's not a WWII dated US gov't one, so I don't count it as a WWII pistol. Authenticity matters.

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Re: Best Pistol of WW2

Post by Poot » 30 Sep 2014 06:30

Gustav_SC wrote:JTV - It's true that all small arms systems are secondary compared to strategic weapons. However, one could at least make a case that they mattered in the big picture. Perhaps not a great case, but one could make it. In the Pacific theater, where infantry combat was often prevalent, if the Japanese had been armed with semi-automatic rifles and better tanks, might the war have been prolonged? Possibly, it's a feasible argument.

For pistols, it's not even a consideration.

CPerrien - Of course I own a .45, but it's not a WWII dated US gov't one, so I don't count it as a WWII pistol. Authenticity matters.
"Of course I own a .45..."

I have to say, the simplicity and sincerity of that warms my cold, dark heart... :thumbsup:
Pat
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JTV
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Re: Best Pistol of WW2

Post by JTV » 30 Sep 2014 17:50

[quote="Gustav_SC"]JTV - It's true that all small arms systems are secondary compared to strategic weapons. However, one could at least make a case that they mattered in the big picture. Perhaps not a great case, but one could make it. In the Pacific theater, where infantry combat was often prevalent, if the Japanese had been armed with semi-automatic rifles and better tanks, might the war have been prolonged? Possibly, it's a feasible argument.
[quote]

Apparently you did you did not really read what I wrote. :roll: I did not mention anything about tanks or other heavy weapons and I did not say that bolt-action rifles equaled to semiauto-rifles. What I said is that for example in Japanese case there would have been no real difference if their troops had been equipped with for example Mausers, Mosin-Nagants or Mannlicher-Carcanos instead of Arisakas. And this is exactly the same thing that was noted about military pistols.

It was no accident that I did not mention heavy weapons like tanks or aircraft - the theory does not really apply to them that well - much due to the rapid development before and during World War 2.

Jarkko

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Re: Best Pistol of WW2

Post by Higham » 19 Dec 2017 21:47

Best pistol: Browning 9mm HP

Most useful: Welrod

Best cheat of a pistol : Mauser C96/712

Most iconic: Luger and Webley

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Re: Best Pistol of WW2

Post by PF » 21 Dec 2017 21:08

Colt .45 automatic
Browning (UK) and P-38 {Germany}; TT-30 {USSR}
I put these last three in second place-simply because the caliber is smaller than a .45
The luger I place dead last for the simple reason it was not adopted by the US Army it failed the dirt/water test; another reason the .45 was chosen is because .38 pistol used in the Phillippines 1899-1901 wasnt strong enough in battle against charging warriors...

Sid Guttridge
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Re: Best Pistol of WW2

Post by Sid Guttridge » 22 Dec 2017 12:36

Hi PF,

I would reiterate what I posted several years ago:

I would suggest that the FP-45 Liberator deserves consideration because it was designed for a purpose for which it was arguably better suited than other weapons.

By comparison, conventional pistols appear to have been over-engineered weapons of symbolism or last resort when no more suitable weapon was available.

There are, I note, still no verifiable examples on this thread of the effective use of any pistols in conventional combat in WWII. While I have no doubt that the occasional example will surface, the very scarcity of such examples tends to illustrate the redundancy of the pistol in WWII (and, indeed, arguably almost always in conventional warfare).

For example, up to a hundred thousand pistols must have come down with Allied bomber crews over Germany. How many were even considered for use, let alone actually used, and even then with any useful effect?

I would suggest that the pistol is essentially a civilian weapon for societies whose civil society is still considered insecure by their own lawmen and citizens. In war, it only offers an advantage over conventional weapons for guerrilla assassinations - again, not a conventional warfare activity.

I would suggest that there was no "best" pistol in WWII. They were all pretty useless.

Cheers,

Sid.

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