Buying American Guns inquiry

Discussions on the small arms used by the Axis forces.
charwo
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Location: Ohio

Buying American Guns inquiry

Post by charwo » 26 Mar 2023 04:33

This is for an AH project but I'm inquiring into the real laws of the pre-war era. I got this General, Becker, and he's setting up his own personal fighting fighting force, essentially like the Wagner Group in Russia, government backed but technically independent (closer to the Patriot PMC in operation). This is primarily for fighting in Spain with plausible deniability. And this guy is a HUGE fan of John Browning. Said in jest that he 'wasn't saying John Browning was a better firearm designer than himself, but he was saying John Browning did steal all of his best ideas, most of them before he was even born. But that's the world we live in and we must make the most of it.'

He's not really interested in making his own firearms, he'd just prefer to buy used kit on the open market and refurbish as needed. So he's looking to get, cheap, loads of 1897 shotguns, trench if possible, but not needed (he's a Prussian nobleman so understands the value of a shotgun, put WWI CCC experience), Thompson submachine guns, namely the failed 1923 .45 Remington–Thompson variant if he can get the license cheaply enough, surplus BARs, and Ma Dues either from American manufacturers or under license, and of course Browning High Powers. The issue is dirt cheap, reliable, off the shelf. Which Browning is in all cases two of the three, and most of these I imagine would be the same, barring the Thompson which was barely legal and expensive.

However, I also have questions regarding two close copies of American rifles. By early 1933, he'd gotten a hold of an M1 Garand that "fell off a truck" to show to Hitler who took to it immediately and it became the basis for something I call the K35 'Pinger' (from the sound of the ejecting clip) Obviously even if the gun is only made for the German army inside of Germany, there's gonna be legal battles unless they can make it just dissimilar enough to avoid lawsuit territory.

The same is true for a gun of Becker's called the Behag (BEcker HalbAutomatisch Gewehr, or Becker Semi-automatic rifle), German for Comfortable, based on this video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wNpuc7TiGU0&t=182s

It's a smaller, service rifle variant of the BAR, using as much of Browning's internals as he can legally get away with for reliability, except that it can except a 30 round banana mag and a 50 round drum, as well as a variant that is partially disassembled called the Behags (BEcker HalbAutomatisch Gewehr System), or Comfortably, so that Paratroopers can keep their rifles on them while jumping and don't have to retrieve them from canisters while might be lethally too far away.

I'm not so much into gun porn as much as I'm trying to understand roughly the difference between market purchase, manufacturing under license and second hand market in terms of price and reliability, especially in stockpiling cheap cheap cheap civilian ammunition, another reason to use American firearms given the vastness of that market. And being able to pass the smell test of not getting sued into oblivion would be very helpful.



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LineDoggie
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Joined: 03 Oct 2008 20:06

Re: Buying American Guns inquiry

Post by LineDoggie » 26 Mar 2023 10:28

charwo wrote:
26 Mar 2023 04:33
This is for an AH project but I'm inquiring into the real laws of the pre-war era. I got this General, Becker, and he's setting up his own personal fighting fighting force, essentially like the Wagner Group in Russia, government backed but technically independent (closer to the Patriot PMC in operation). This is primarily for fighting in Spain with plausible deniability. And this guy is a HUGE fan of John Browning. Said in jest that he 'wasn't saying John Browning was a better firearm designer than himself, but he was saying John Browning did steal all of his best ideas, most of them before he was even born. But that's the world we live in and we must make the most of it.'

He's not really interested in making his own firearms, he'd just prefer to buy used kit on the open market and refurbish as needed. So he's looking to get, cheap, loads of 1897 shotguns, trench if possible, but not needed (he's a Prussian nobleman so understands the value of a shotgun, put WWI CCC experience), Thompson submachine guns, namely the failed 1923 .45 Remington–Thompson variant if he can get the license cheaply enough, surplus BARs, and Ma Dues either from American manufacturers or under license, and of course Browning High Powers. The issue is dirt cheap, reliable, off the shelf. Which Browning is in all cases two of the three, and most of these I imagine would be the same, barring the Thompson which was barely legal and expensive.









Well, for one thing the .50 Browning was in very short supply in the 30's as massive production had not geared up and most went straight to the US Military. However FN of Belgium did produce a version for European sales in 12.7 & 13mm (Some Belgian Hawker Hurricanes had the guns).

As to the rest it would be better to use firearms chambered to readily available Spanish Ammo, the 7x57mm Mauser to ease the logistical nightmare

Recommend ZB26's in that chambering would be a excellent choice for Section LMG

ERMA SMG's as well
"There are two kinds of people who are staying on this beach: those who are dead and those who are going to die. Now let’s get the hell out of here".
Col. George Taylor, 16th Infantry Regiment, Omaha Beach

MariaP
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Joined: 01 Nov 2023 16:18
Location: usa

Re: Buying American Guns inquiry

Post by MariaP » 22 Nov 2023 15:54

Your project exploring General Becker's private military initiative and his affinity for John Browning's designs is fascinating. The historical context you've provided around the weaponry of that era is quite detailed and intriguing.

Regarding your inquiry about the difference between market purchase, manufacturing under license, and the second-hand market in terms of price and reliability, these are crucial factors in historical arms dealing. Market purchases typically offer the latest models but at a higher cost. Manufacturing under license can be cost-effective but requires legal and technical negotiations. The second-hand market, while more affordable, often involves dealing with wear and tear and varying degrees of reliability.

For a character like General Becker, who seems to have a pragmatic approach to acquiring arms, refurbishing used firearms could be a smart move. It's cost-effective and fits the narrative of plausible deniability, especially for covert operations like those in Spain. However, it's important to consider the legal implications, especially when dealing with copies of American rifles like the M1 Garand or the BAR variants you've described.

The legal challenges in creating something like the K35 'Pinger' or the Behag would indeed be significant. To avoid infringement issues, sufficient design modifications would be essential. It's a delicate balance between maintaining the reliability and functionality of the original designs and making them distinct enough to avoid legal repercussions.

For someone like General Becker, or any historical enthusiast interested in tactical gear and firearms, having access to quality tactical equipment is also key. You might find STL Tacticals useful for this purpose. They offer a range of tactical gear that could complement the historical firearms you're discussing. Their products might not be directly related to the pre-WWII era weapons, but they offer modern tactical equipment that could provide some context or inspiration for your project.

In terms of ammunition, stockpiling civilian ammunition for American firearms is a logical choice, considering the vast market and variety available. This would also add a layer of realism to your narrative, as logistical considerations like ammunition supply are critical in military planning, even for a private force.

I hope this helps with your Alternate History project and provides some insights into the complex world of historical arms dealing and tactical equipment. Best of luck with your writing!

OpanaPointer
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Re: Buying American Guns inquiry

Post by OpanaPointer » 22 Nov 2023 19:18

LineDoggie, didn't the FBI use BARs in the '30s?
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