US Military Guns of WW2 – Do You Have Any in Your Collection? (WW1 Sequel)

In our last post we discussed the US military guns used in WW1, and today, we continue that segment as we discuss the US military guns used in WW2. From 1939 to 1945, WW2 was a global war that involved more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. Two military alliances once again formed known as the Allies (countries that joined to control German, Japanese and Italian aggression) and the Axis (Germany, Japan and Italy whom had a goal of expanding their territory). The United States acted as a supplier of weapons to the Allies once the war began and didn’t enter battle until 1941 when Japan launched a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. WW2 changed politics and social structure around the globe. The United Nations (UN) was established to create an inclusive and cooperative environment between nations to avoid future conflicts.


WW2 Guns

 There were a few repeat US military guns in WW2 that were also used in WW1. Rifle’s like the M1903 Springfield that we previously discussed, was almost completely replaced by the M1 Garand in WW2 as it was a faster-firing semi-automatic eight-round rifle. The M1911 pistol (Colt Model 1911) was a standard issued sidearm in WW2 and continued use up to the Vietnam War. The .45 caliber M1911 originated in the late 1890s in search for a semi-automatic pistol to replace the variety of revolvers being used in service. The Remington Model 31 shotgun was Remington’s first side ejecting pump-action shotgun made in three gauges (12, 16 and 20). The Model 31 was used in WW2 as a riot gun for military use unlike many other war era shotguns that were designed to be used in the trenches as a combat gun. The M18 recoilless rifle is a 57mm shoulder-fired rifle used in WW2 to destroy tanks. Recoilless rifles can fire artillery type shells at lower velocities compared to a cannon and with greater accuracy. The breech-loaded single-shot gun operates almost entirely without recoil. In the late 1930s, Melvin Johnson (lawyer in Boston and captain in the Marine Corps Reserve), designed a recoil-operated light machine gun known as the M1941 Johnson Light Machine Gun, also known as the “Johnny gun” and “Johnson.” The M1941 Johnson served a purpose of being a lighter, more accurate automatic rifle. A 20-round magazine was standard, and the rate of fire was adjustable from 200 to 600 rounds per minute.


Beyond Standard Issued WW2 Guns.. A Few Bizarre Weapons

ww2 guns

Ship-mounted aerial mine rocket launchers were created to protect ships from enemy aircrafts. While the concept was sound, the implementation was poorly executed. The idea was to create a minefield in the sky that enemy planes would fly into and become entrapped in cables that would trigger several fuses and down the plane. The rocket would launch from the ship, reach 1,000 feet in elevation and then explode to disperse mines that were attached to parachutes via 400 feet of cable. Unfortunately for the designer, these aerial minefields were easily spotted by enemies and they flew above or below to avoid any damage. The largest gun ever used in battle was created in Nazi Germany during WW2 as Hitler demanded a weapon that could pierce concrete fortifications France had in place to protect their border. The “Gustav Gun” was a four-story, 155-foot-long gun that weighed 1,350 tons and shot 10,000-pound shells from a 98-foot barrel. While the gun’s size acted as a strength for its shear power, the only source of transportation for it was by rail which made it an easy target for Allied bombers.


Do You Have Any WW2 Guns?

 As with WW1, there were many additional guns used in WW2 beyond the common issued ones. Some were produced only for a short amount of time and were replaced by superior models or a different brand all together. All WW2 guns hold a place in history that we find fascinating here at D4 Guns. We’re a small team of firearms curator’s on the hunt for the “good stuff” that sometimes can only be found in the gun safes of collectors and enthusiasts from days gone by. We scour the United States for vintage firearms, sometimes saving them from destruction to keep their heritage alive and pass them down to the next generation. Check out our collectibles page and give us a call at 775-636-9594 as we have a diverse catalog of firearms to choose from.