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Oldest weapon in the army still in use?


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32 replies to this topic

#1 of 33 Jay H

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Posted August 14 2003 - 01:48 AM

Watching a rebroadcast of a Charlie Chat (DishNetwork) last night, they had R. Lee Ermey from Mail Call (and Full Metal Jacket) on as a guest last night and they were auctioning off a bomber jacket, their question was the subject. And they said it debuted in 1925...

Anybody know the answer.. I'm just curious, as they never said the answer, hate being left in the dark.

I was thinking some .45 revolver but not sure, at first I was thinking a knife or something similar but that was before they mentioned 1925 and I think they're looking for some kind of gun.

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#2 of 33 Mark Hedges

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Posted August 14 2003 - 01:55 AM

The 1911 browning 9mm sidearm was in use till the 80's, I think. So it was around for a long time but is not still standard issue.

#3 of 33 Jason Seaver

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Posted August 14 2003 - 02:35 AM

The USS Constitution?
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#4 of 33 AllanN

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Posted August 14 2003 - 02:50 AM

Quote:
The 1911 browning 9mm sidearm was in use till the 80's, I think. So it was around for a long time but is not still standard issue.

The 1911 is a .45 ACP. The current sidearm the M9 aka Beretta 92 is 9mm. Some M1911A1's found service in Gulf War I when the Beretta's started jamming due to the sand.
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#5 of 33 Greg Morse

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Posted August 14 2003 - 02:53 AM

I believe it's the "Ma Deuce" M2 .50 heavy machine gun. The design dates back to 1925, first used on Navy Ships in 1930.

#6 of 33 Keith Mickunas

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Posted August 14 2003 - 02:55 AM

I'm pretty sure it would be the M2 .50 Cal. machine gun. It goes back into the 30's I think, it was used on most of the planes in WW2 and is still used on vehicles today. The 1911 was the pistol that spent the longest time as the standard side-arm. It may also have been the weapon with the longest life in the military, going just over 70 years, but the M2 will likely surpass it.

I missed that part about 1925, which along with Greg's comment most likely means we are right about the M2.

#7 of 33 brentl

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Posted August 14 2003 - 03:50 AM

DOnald Rumsfeld?Posted Image

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#8 of 33 Greg Morse

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Posted August 14 2003 - 04:01 AM

Keith, the B-52 Stratofortress may surpass both of them. I believe the current expectation is for it to remain in service until 2050. Scary to think an airplane could potentially be used for 100 years. Although, I would tend to think the M2 will probably still be in use then.

#9 of 33 Zane Charron

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Posted August 14 2003 - 04:26 AM

Well, it depends what you mean by in use. I saw the US Army Drill Team perform at the Edinburgh Tattoo last weekend and they were using Springfield rifles from 1903.

#10 of 33 Keith Mickunas

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Posted August 14 2003 - 04:48 AM

If you want to count ceremonial weapons, what about the swords still carried by officers and NCOs when they're in their full dress uniforms?

There was a piece on the M2 on Mail Call. I believe the specific subject was on what weapon in service has been around the longest. The M2 must work real well, as its stayed around as the standard heavy machine gun although there have been a few light machine guns. Before the M-60 there was another .30 Cal. light machine gun that may have been called the M1, it was used in WW2 as the standard squad machine gun, as well as fitted on a lot of vehicles. It may have been in service in WW1 when it was water cooled. I'm not sure how long it stayed in service, but the M2 was derived from it. Anyways, since then the US military started using the M60 around Vietnam as the standard light machine gun, and that is being replaced by the M-240, a .30 cal light machine gun, and the M-249, a 5.56mm light machine gun also called a squad automatic weapon.

#11 of 33 Jay H

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Posted August 14 2003 - 05:07 AM

Yes, Ermey did mention on the Charlie Chat that they mentioned the weapon on their show. I've only seen Mail Call like once or twice though so I think that the folks who answered with the M2 are right.

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#12 of 33 Tom Meyer

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Posted August 14 2003 - 05:31 AM

I'd guess the oldest weapon still in use would be the bayonet. Can't get much more basic than that.

#13 of 33 chung_sotheby

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Posted August 14 2003 - 05:35 AM

Quote:
I'd guess the oldest weapon still in use would be the bayonet. Can't get much more basic than that.


Damn, Tom, I was thinking the exact same thing. But what about fists? I am pretty sure that they are standard issue in the armed forces, are they not?Posted Image

#14 of 33 Dennis Nicholls

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Posted August 14 2003 - 06:30 AM

Neither the USS Constitution nor the B-52 are used by the Army.

Bayonets come in many different types, and the ones currently in use are a far cry from those used in the past.

The weapon currently in use by the US Army that has the longest history may be the model 500 Mossberg 12 gauge shotgun.

I was shooting my model 1903 Springfield just last Saturday....Posted Image I still haven't determined the receiver date but the barrel dates from 1927.
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#15 of 33 Greg Morse

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Posted August 14 2003 - 06:55 AM

I assumed the Army reference meant the armed services as a generic. If we're talking the Army only, the M2 wasn't used by the Army until 1943 (Air Corp).

I'm pretty sure the military shotguns have changed up quite a bit over the years. I remember American Rifleman did an article a few months ago about them, but I'll have to go back and look.

#16 of 33 Dave Poehlman

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Posted August 14 2003 - 07:06 AM

A rock.

#17 of 33 Mike Wladyka

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Posted August 14 2003 - 07:27 AM

how about a pair of legs? i can run pretty fastPosted Image
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#18 of 33 Bob Graz

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Posted August 14 2003 - 08:29 AM

I vote for either the wheel or fire.

#19 of 33 Steve_Tk

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Posted August 14 2003 - 09:57 AM

The Aircraft Carrier.

#20 of 33 Keith Mickunas

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Posted August 14 2003 - 10:55 AM

The aircraft carrier is just another ship, and subs and some of the other classes of ships have been around longer than aircraft carriers. Specific carriers may date back to the 50's perhaps, but that's still a ship and not a weapon.

This question most likely refers to a weapon issued by the military and used in the field. While I'm sure the M2 has been modified some in its time, it's still the same basic design, dimensions, mechanism, calibre, etc. as it was when it was first introduced. The same cannot be said of most other weapons in use now that do date back some time, such as a knife, as they are made completely different than many years ago. Also rocks, legs, fists, fire and individual wheels are not issued by the military.

Now if you just want to discuss the oldest weapon in general that's still used, and not with regards to a specific model, the knife would have to win. The bayonette is a knife put on a gun, so it wasn't invented until after the gun. And while I believe the standard knife issued by the Army can be attached to an M-16, it's not something they do much of anymore. It affects the accuracy of the weapon, and it's not to often that it would actually be useful.





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