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  #1  
Old 22-06-22, 03:36
David Dunlop David Dunlop is offline
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Default WW Service Rifles: Length of Service

I was going through yet another filing cabinet drawer this evening, sorting wheat from chaff, and stumbled across a collection of Canadian Army documents, all sequentially dated through 1984, dealing with the RIFLE, CALIBRE .303, No. 4, ALL MARKS. W/E (1005-21-107-2101).

In truth, the bulk of this documentation focused on the No. 4 Mk I *, but what intrigued me was this rifle was still in service at all at that time, and the receipt date on the front cover of the first document was 08 November 1987.

The last previous publications these documents superseded were all dated in June 1955.

The final document in this group was also interesting as it was the process to follow to convert one of these rifles to Competition Match level in performance, and from the outside, one of these rifles looked no different than any of the standard issue ones, once the work was done.

That seems like a pretty long service life for a World War Two rifle, still in its original calibre, and I started wondering what the service lives might have been for other World War Two rifles, in original issue calibre?


David
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  #2  
Old 22-06-22, 05:27
maple_leaf_eh maple_leaf_eh is offline
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Default WW2 Service Rifle service

The longlived models that come to mind for 1914-1918 and 1939-45 combatants:

Mauser 98 and K98
Mannlicher M1895
Mosin Nagant
Springfield
Model 1917
Pattern 1914
Ross
No.1, including Australian production
No.4 - - edited technically introduced late 1930s but developed from the No.1
Carcano (several models)

Beyond VE-Day, the list of still serving rifles would probably go down to:

Mausers
MNs
No.1 and
No.4

because many armies issued bolt actions to regular troops until the 1950s. Canada only retired the No.4s issued to the Rangers within the past few years. Your question is of course with almost limitless correct answers too.
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Last edited by maple_leaf_eh; 22-06-22 at 14:09.
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  #3  
Old 22-06-22, 05:31
rob love rob love is offline
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The no4mk1, mk1* and no4mk2 were only retired from service in the last 3 or 4 years. They were used with the ranger program in the North. As stocks of rifles became short, the Cdn government bought rifles in the late 90s and again about 10 years later from other countries stocks. As such, no4mk2 rifles made it into the system.



Another variant of the rifle, the Cno7, was introduced in 1944, with the majority produced from 44 to 46. Small numbers were made agian in the early 50s. They remain in service primarily with the cadet programs, although in recent years most were converted to drill rifles.



Another long-term weapon is the M2HB 50BMG. They were upgraded to Quick Change Barrel in the late 90s, and were partially withdrawn from service after Afghanistan. However, many have returned to service, and continue to soldier on. They can be found with Ww2 dates as well as some of the CAL produced ones for aircraft (M3AC Basic) which have since been converted to Ground mount and QCB.
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Old 22-06-22, 09:11
Neil Ashley Neil Ashley is offline
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In the UK Air and Sea Cadets still had No.4's for Drill purposes up until about 15 yeare ago.

Some dealers over here sell DP's as standard deacts with the wood work replaced as necessary to disguise their origins.
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Old 22-06-22, 10:35
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Tony Smith Tony Smith is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rob love View Post
Another long-term weapon is the M2HB 50BMG. They can be found with Ww2 dates .......
Wasn't there a post here on MLU that brand-new, in-the-grease WW2-manufactured Inglis 9mm Browning Hi Power pistols were being issued from stores for the first time for service in Afghanistan in 2001? Some sighted examples had pristine "Canada/Kanada" Aid decals. I recall humorous comments that they were up 3 times older than the soldiers that received them.
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Old 22-06-22, 14:03
rob love rob love is offline
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Yes Tony, that is a fact. They are still being issued and are still the principal handgun of the Cdn Forces. Their build dates will be 1944 and 1945......possibly 1946 but I believe those went to the Chinese.

The government, instead of buying an off the shelf replacement or perhaps tagging along with the US army on their selection, have instead gone it alone and also want Colt Canada to be involved. The time taken to purchase a simple handgun has entered into the comical zone. This started at least 15 years ago.
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Old 22-06-22, 14:05
maple_leaf_eh maple_leaf_eh is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Smith View Post
Wasn't there a post here on MLU that brand-new, in-the-grease WW2-manufactured Inglis 9mm Browning Hi Power pistols were being issued from stores for the first time for service in Afghanistan in 2001? Some sighted examples had pristine "Canada/Kanada" Aid decals. I recall humorous comments that they were up 3 times older than the soldiers that received them.
In 1990 for the Gulf War my unit (90 HQ & Sigs Sqn) was stood up in a hurry using a generic Army signals squadron org chart with a hundred staff officers and assorted strap hangers tagged in. There was no parent unit to steal from.

My C7 rifle came out of a big cardboard box. Many of the NCO's and officers' Brownings were brand new from War Stocks. I was stunned to see at least two with perfect decals. Never mind the age, guns like that were more useful than some of the people they were issued to! I can think of a few castoffs posted to get them away from their COs. In my case I was a Pte Clerk with the right selection criteria (Division-level HQ experience, qualified, fit, available, volunteer, mature, previous green experience)
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Old 22-10-22, 09:35
REL REL is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rob love View Post
Yes Tony, that is a fact. They are still being issued and are still the principal handgun of the Cdn Forces. Their build dates will be 1944 and 1945......possibly 1946 but I believe those went to the Chinese.

The government, instead of buying an off the shelf replacement or perhaps tagging along with the US army on their selection, have instead gone it alone and also want Colt Canada to be involved. The time taken to purchase a simple handgun has entered into the comical zone. This started at least 15 years ago.
And now it has been announced the remaining 2000 or so are going to be destroyed. Why not send them to the Ukraine?
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