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NON-STANDARD ISSUE SIDEARMS- MUNITIONS?


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   Could any GWF member oblige with what is probably common knowledge among those interested in the weapons of the Great War- Alas, my knowledge does not extend that far.   I have a local casualty for Wanstead, east of London- Captain Loscombe Law Stable, RWF, kia 26th october 1914. His family printed up his quite informative letters home-very good for the retreat of 1914 and a very good supplement to "The War the Infantry Knew"-Dunn is rather thin on the 1914 retreat.

     Now, Captain Stable had his own Colt .45 pistol- it disappeared during the retreat leaving him with 6 clips of ammunition. He wrote to his father asking him to pop down to a gunsmith in Picadilly and get him another. It was a surprise to me that British officers could privately purchase a weapon such as a Colt pistol.  Now, would anyone know:

 

1)  How did officers get the ammunition for this weapon-  by private purchase, on their own initiative and from their own funds?   Reimbursed from official funds?   Ordered through the Army?     Was it possible for an officer in France to get ammunition for this weapon from any Ordnance source in France?????

 

       Just curious-  Captain Stable's letters  show just how much kit he lost during the retreat- It is a commonplace of statistics and popular history of the 1940 retreat to Dunkirk just how much equipment the British Army lost- It was a complete surprise to me just how much was lost in 1914.-- and how much came through  by mail from home -or, in Stable's case, from a purchasing foray into Paris- after they had retreated that far south.

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I believe British army officers back then still had to purchase there own service revolvers. I believe Winston S Churchill also carried a commercial model 1911 during WW I when he was a t the front. As for ammo I would say sometimes private purchase and later on in the war from army ordnance since I believe the British did purchase and use a number of Commercial model 1911s. One also must point out buying firearms and ammo in England was a lot easier back then than today.  Also note other armies back then an officer had to purchase his service pistol. I would also say don't worry about Captain Stable being unarmed he was probably carrying a rifle when he lost his pistol.

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Yes, they had to purchase them, but the Army and Navy Stores - at that time a military supplies cooperative - could supply them at competitive prices; although supplies were usually very short. That was where Siegfried Sassoon, for example, bought his Browning .32". I believe that the Army held stocks of common non-standard calibres of pistol ammunition - the Browning/ACP/S&W pistol and revolver rounds plus some older British calibres - and these could be purchased from them. I think TonyE once posted a list, but don't know how to find it now.

Edited by MikB
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Officers had to buy their own pistols but the regulations stated that they had to carry Government ammunition. If officers had pistols using other ammunition, they would run into difficulties when their personal supply ran out.

 

Ron

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8 hours ago, MikB said:

Yes, they had to purchase them, but the Army and Navy Stores - at that time a military supplies cooperative - could supply them at competitive prices; although supplies were usually very short. That was where Siegfried Sassoon, for example, bought his Browning .32". I believe that the Army held stocks of common non-standard calibres of pistol ammunition - the Browning/ACP/S&W pistol and revolver rounds plus some older British calibres - and these could be purchased from them. I think TonyE once posted a list, but don't know how to find it now.

 

There you go Mik:

 

 

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7 hours ago, Andrew Upton said:

 

There you go Mik:

 

 

Nice one!

Thanks, Andrew. :D

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