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Old 04-19-2017, 09:48 PM
smokycity smokycity is offline
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Okay, story time:

One day many years ago, when I was a very young Army MP in Washington DC, this elderly woman came to our Provost Marshal's Office (PMO) and related that her husband had recently passed away and "he had all these guns in the house" and she wanted to give them back to the Army. She specifically wanted them to go to the MP's because her husband had been an MP officer. Not to mention DC metro PD was interested in relieving her of them too, following his death.

We learned the woman's husband had retired a Brigadier General sometime in the early 1950's and he had purchased many of his weapons from the military as surplus in the 1930's while stationed at Ft. Sill, OK. So the Provost Marshal and the JAG upstairs made arrangements for the woman to bring the guns to the post and "properly dispose" of them per the DC rules. Since we were a Federal reservation, they considered us separate from the city, even though we were in it; plus we had Law Enforcement authority to a certain degree.

So when she brought the guns to the Post, those of us working that day got something if we wanted it. The catch was, if we lived in the barracks, we had to either keep it in the arms room in the PMO , take it to nearby Ft. Myer in Virginia for storage in the main MP Company arms room there, or make arrangements for storage off post outside of DC (like with a married NCO who lived in non military housing). The JAG and Provost Marshal took care of the paperwork for DC and then we individually signed a receipt for the "gift" and where it was to be stored.

The pecking order for who got what was based on rank. The Provost Marshal claimed the Generals saber, then went the 1911, and so on down the line. My squad leader ended up with a S&W M1917, which was the first time I had ever even heard of the weapon. I ended up with a 1896 30-40 Krag carbine, which I chose because it was the only carbine length rifle. It came with the 1968 DC Police registration receipt that showed it was purchased in 1934 from Ft. Sill. My roommate got a M1903A3 with a similar receipt of registration. I tried to talk my squad leader out of his revolver, but no deal. So, ever since, I've wanted one.

Which brings us to today. Every time I go to a certain local shop I end up spending money and today was no different. It's not as nice as some of the other ones I've seen here, but it's in decent shape. Has some character marks shall we say. Finish is probably +80ish%. It dates to 1918. So, finally after more than 35 years, I have a M1917. (I also still have the Krag.)
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Last edited by smokycity; 04-19-2017 at 10:11 PM.
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Old 04-19-2017, 10:54 PM
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KEN L KEN L is offline
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I think it was well worth the wait. Nothing at all wrong with that one. That's a good looking 1917!
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Old 04-19-2017, 11:15 PM
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Good story...From what I've heard many of the guys that came home from WWI came home full equipped. I remember my family living in a rented farm house out in the middle of God Knows Where near Cedar Rapids, Ohio. The only form of electrical entertainment we had was a huge radio with a central mounted dial and one of those big green eyes for fine tuning. Hanging behind the radio was a full WWI Khaki uniform right down to the boots and spats, helmet to boots, full web gear w/bayonet everything and a beautiful bolt action rifle in the corner, I got into trouble getting caught fooling around with the stuff because after all we were just renters. That place was so boring I played with a dead cat for three days...I was four or five, the nearest neighbor's lights were barely visible on the darkest of nights. Even crows were entertainment...
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Old 04-20-2017, 01:38 AM
bill1917 bill1917 is online now
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smokycity, that is a great gun and a fascinating story. You can tell by my "handle" that I like 1917s. If you don't mind my asking, when did those
events take place? I was in the 561st in the early 70s
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Old 04-20-2017, 08:05 AM
smokycity smokycity is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bill1917 View Post
smokycity, that is a great gun and a fascinating story. You can tell by my "handle" that I like 1917s. If you don't mind my asking, when did those
events take place? I was in the 561st in the early 70s
It was the mid 1980's. I was in the MDW MP Co, formerly the 561st, on Ft. McNair. It was a neat place to be posted. I got to "meet" several well known people both in and from outside the military.

While I was there, we had this Marine Corp Lt. Colonel that would occasionally come through the gate in the back of a black staff car. He usually went to the Inter-American Defense College or ICAF (the Industrial College of the Armed Forces) on the post. He would always roll down his back seat window and greet ("Good morning, Troop!") the MP standing the gate as they saluted him on the way in or out. When Iran-Contra became a big deal, we all realized we new the guy taking heat on TV.

Last edited by smokycity; 04-20-2017 at 08:22 AM.
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Old 04-20-2017, 09:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smokycity View Post
It was the mid 1980's. I was in the MDW MP Co, formerly the 561st, on Ft. McNair. It was a neat place to be posted. I got to "meet" several well known people both in and from outside the military.

While I was there, we had this Marine Corp Lt. Colonel that would occasionally come through the gate in the back of a black staff car. He usually went to the Inter-American Defense College or ICAF (the Industrial College of the Armed Forces) on the post. He would always roll down his back seat window and greet ("Good morning, Troop!") the MP standing the gate as they saluted him on the way in or out. When Iran-Contra became a big deal, we all realized we new the guy taking heat on TV.
Neat story. Col. North?

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Old 04-20-2017, 09:47 AM
smokycity smokycity is offline
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Neat story. Col. North?

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Correct. It was a group, "hey, we know that guy", response.
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Old 04-20-2017, 09:53 AM
1-1917 1-1917 is offline
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Nothing wrong with a 1917 post or two! Nice find. I have three of them, they are fun guns from their historical interests as well as just fun shooters.
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