Canfield's Corner (Older Content)

Martially marked World War I Winchester Model 97 trench guns; separating fact from fiction.

Posted by Bruce Canfield

Among the most popular and sought after U.S. military shotguns are the Winchester M1897 trench guns. This was the first officially adopted military issue combat shotgun and was the prototype for such weapons even through the present day. As most collectors are aware, the term “trench gun” refers to a short barrel riot type shotgun having a bayonet adapter and protective hand guard. The term “trench gun” was actually short-lived as military nomenclature but is now widely used by collectors to differentiate these weapons from other types of shotguns such as the plain barrel riot guns. The shotgun was initially...

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Spotting a Restored or otherwise non-original M1 Carbine

Posted by Bruce Canfield

Among the most sought after U.S. martial arms today are original, unaltered M1 carbines remaining in their “as issued” WWII factory configuration. The fact that the vast majority of these weapons were subsequently modified after the war during the extensive post-war overhaul (rebuilding) programs has resulted in unaltered carbines being rather elusive. The practice of restoring the overhauled carbines by replacing later and/or non-original parts is a widespread practice among many collectors today. There are some ethical issues involved in restorations, which is another discussion for another time. Generally speaking, there is nothing wrong with a competently restored carbine, if the fact...

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M1 Rifle Final Inspection Stamps

Posted by Bruce Canfield

There are some widespread misconceptions regarding the markings found on the stocks of World War II production M1 rifles. This posting is prompted by an American Rifleman “Q&A” inquiry I recently received. The gentleman had just acquired a WWII Winchester M1 Garand rifle and noticed the “WRA/GHD” stamp on the left side of the stock. He was told that these were the initials of the rifle’s inspector and wanted to know if I could identify “GHD” as he thought it would be cool to know the name of the guy who actually inspected his rifle during the war. I told him that...

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Should we modify the use of "Modified"?

Posted by Bruce Canfield

Any collector of U.S. martial arms that has been at it for more than a couple of days should be quite familiar with many of the various unofficial terms and jargon that make up a collector’s lexicon. To list all of these would take up several reams of cyber paper but some of more common are: Trapdoor Springfield Rod Bayonet ‘03 Gas Trap Garand Gap Letter International Harvester M1 M1 carbine flip sight Cartouche Paratrooper carbine Low number Springfield ‘03 High wood M1 carbine stock I could go on, but you get the idea. One such term that falls into...

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Will you be able to "cash out" when you're ready?

Posted by Bruce Canfield

Interest in U.S. military weaponry continues to grow with corresponding increases in price and shortages of many types of collector-grade specimens. A number of long-time collectors have expressed some concern that new (and younger) collectors are not coming into the field due to the astronomical prices that some weapons are now fetching. While some specific types of weapons are beginning to be priced out of the reach of many collectors, I am seeing quite a few younger collectors coming into the hobby. Part of the reason is the availability of the CMP M1 rifles and other weapons. Many people can...

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