Author Topic: need gun expert to answer question about guns in the '50s  (Read 629 times)

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Offline havegunwilltravel

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need gun expert to answer question about guns in the '50s
« on: August 30, 2005, 02:49:52 pm »
I need to know what make and model of a sidearm a Russian (or anywhere in eastern Europe) secret agent might have carried during the 1950s. Could someone tell me about the kinds of guns that were popular back then in that part of the world, and what would have been typical (or even untypical but still plausible) for spies and such to use?

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need gun expert to answer question about guns in the '50s
« on: August 30, 2005, 02:49:52 pm »
 

Offline kjeff50cal

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« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2005, 04:17:14 pm »
The obvious answer would be the Makarov or CZ 50, former in 9X18, latter in .32 ACP. But, you have to think if you were "undercover" you would be issued a weapon that would not "make you as a spy". Any of the small pocket pistols chambered in .32 ACP (32 Kurz) or .380 ACP (including the Walther PPK) on up to the P-38 (9mmX19) probally were used. You got to understand this period is just after WWII and the progroms of standardization were just being drafted. The old TV shows where the bad guys were using P38s and Lugers are not far off. Lots of pocket pistols chambered in .32 ACP from Astras to Stars as it were. However the oppositions assasination squads..... did not use firearms as such......

kjeff50cal
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Offline kevin.303

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« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2005, 04:20:30 pm »
would the TT33 not also have been used? aslo i thought the CZ50 was 7.62x25TT, not .32 ACP...
" oh we didn't sink the bismarck, and we didn't fight at all, we spent our time in Norfolk and we really had a ball. chasing after women while our ship was overhauled, living it up on grapefruit juice and sick bay alcohol"

Offline kjeff50cal

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« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2005, 08:57:45 pm »
Da to the TT33 but you are thinking about the CZ (VZ) 52. It takes 7.63X25 Tok. round. The CZ (VZ) 50 was the '52's 'older baby brother'  :grin: . I have a CZ 52 and it is very reliable with a very flat shooting round. Too bad they do not have a modern pistol chambered in this powerhouse. BTW they reinvented the wheel as it were when Sig Sauer introduced their .357 abeit a larger/heavyer bullet diameter.

kjeff50cal
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Offline kevin.303

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« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2005, 12:29:55 am »
is there a CZ that looks like the 52 but chambered in 9mm, either Luger or Makarov? a buddy had what looked like a CZ52 at the range, but i think it was 9mm, can't remember now. i like the looks of them, look very clean and streamlined.
" oh we didn't sink the bismarck, and we didn't fight at all, we spent our time in Norfolk and we really had a ball. chasing after women while our ship was overhauled, living it up on grapefruit juice and sick bay alcohol"

Offline williamlayton

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« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2005, 03:05:06 am »
How does one find these estate sales. I ask as I would like to attend some, but have never seen any listed. I probably am not aware of where in the paper to look.
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Offline Mikey

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« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2005, 05:24:04 am »
During the 1950s, european agents of any sort would have been carrying WWII (or before) firearms like the Luger or Walther P-38, Radoms, some of the Star or Astra pistols.  You may even have found a few 1911s and even some snub-nosed revolvers there too. From the Communist perspective it would have been the TT33, or a broomhandled Mauser, for the heavier calibers.

If assasination was called for the would have used smaller calibers such as those found in the Walther PP/PPks, Berettas or Brownings and would have been used with silencers.  There were reputed to be a few Tokarevs rebarrelled for the 32 acp and used with silencers but subsequent to that the Russians developed a sub-sonic round for the Tok - don't know how well it worked though.  

The Communists had also developed a number of other secretive means to eliminate people, including wiping out entire willages, using poisons and specialty weapons that delivered fatal viruses or diseases.  They were not usually so sophisticated about this that one might wonder how someone died as there was usually no doubt they had been assasinated.  

The use of silencers was also problematic to the europeans for a while - the actions used on the Luger pistols did not usually support the use of a silencer - same with the P-38s - neither of those actions would function reliably with a silencer attached and at that time the Europeans did not use slow heavy bullets the way the Americans did with their 45s which are more easily silenced.  The Tok is too fast to be silenced effectively.  

Some folks have the picture of a 1950s - 60s european agents in white suits with Panama type hats hanging around north African or mediteranian ports and cities carrying a small pair of binoculars or a pocket camera, and a Browning, Beretta or Walther pistol in their pockets.  Highly romanticized.  HTH.  Mikey.

Offline Ray P

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« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2005, 07:19:05 am »
Clarification:  The TT33 is a Tokarev, or  Tok for short.  I am surprised that the russian gun site doesn't list it.  Try this site for a visual: http://www.gunsworld.com/world/tt33_us.html .  

The writer David Drake had a Vietnam-era thriller where the antagonist was a NV agent carrying a TT33, with steel-core bullets IIRC.  Or was that Dean Ing?  

Either way, at the time, the indigenous guns of the USSR were rather bulky: Tokarev autos and Nagent revolvers.  Rather like carrying a 45 or a large frame S&W.  Russia's small pistol, the Makarov, was available starting around 1952(?)  The smaller guns mentioned in earlier posts, the Mausers, Walthers and Astras, would have been very available in post-war Europe.  

How about an Astra 300 or a Sauer 38?   Or for ugly, the Tomma from the german inter-war period.  If the user wanted something really small. maybe the French communists shared a Liberator or two  with a comrade.
TANSTAAFL

Offline kjeff50cal

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« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2005, 07:42:47 am »
Kevin.303 wrote,
Quote
is there a CZ that looks like the 52 but chambered in 9mm, either Luger or Makarov? a buddy had what looked like a CZ52 at the range, but i think it was 9mm, can't remember now. i like the looks of them, look very clean and streamlined.


It may have been a CZ-52 in 9mm. There are replacement barrels chambered for it (see makarov.com) and it is an easy swap. The CZ-52 magazine will work with 9mm ammo although some bullet types may or may not feed well.

kjeff50cal
Ignorance leads us into the darkness, Knowlege leads us out.

Offline Questor

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« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2005, 11:24:28 am »
What!?! You mean they didn't routinely use poisoned darts fired from drinking-straw sized blowguns and atomic rocket bombs launched from briefcases?
Safety first

Offline rockbilly

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« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2005, 01:55:19 pm »
8) williamlayton.  To find estate sales check the "Thrifty Nickle", and in the classifies section of your local newspaper for "garage sales"  auctions and antique sales.  In my area of Texas there are several sales every month in one of these categories that have firearms.

Now to the original question.  During this period the Makarov, several models of the Walthers and Mausers were very popular with agents from both sides.  The PP and Hsc Mauser were near the top of the list.  Agents operating outside their country would normally chose a firearm made or used in the country they were in.  It didn't draw the attention as quickly if detected that a firearm produced/used elsewhere would.  This was also true for American agents.

On the home front, the most popular guns were the Colt Police Positive .38; S&W Model 10, .38;  Colt, .45ACP and Browning Hi-Power 9mm.  This is true for most federal ageents to include the military.  The .357 was gaining strength, but most people were still convinced the best choice was the .38 or .45.

 

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