Combat!

Wyatt Smith

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I’m just going to guess that I am the only person my age (23) who watches “Combat!” but I know that some of you have watched it.
The last episode I watched, Vic Morrow faced a German adversary who was a former big game hunter. He carried a Mauser stalking rifle, with a scope in claw mounts, and double set triggers.
I know this was just Hollywood, but I wonder if any officers carried their personal hunting rifles? There is a good chance many of them would even be chambered in 8x57, making ammunition easily available.
I just thought this would be a good topic for some Sunday afternoon chitchat.
 

sestoppelman

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Well young man I watched Combat! when it aired in the early to mid 60's and still watch it today!
I saw the ep last night you refer to. That was a nice Mauser rifle he had, it almost looked like a ZG47 sporter, but without time to study it, who knows?
As to your question, I believe it was not all too uncommon for officers to have personal weapons on hand.
If IIRC the German sniper that had the duel with the Russian sniper depicted in the movie Enemy at the Gates, also used a personal rifle, while the Russian used an issued Mosin sniper rifle.
 

Wyatt Smith

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I thought that the rifle looked a little “Czech” also. I wonder if any of them made it home with allied servicemen? It would neat to see the story of a rifle like that from the day it was made to now.
 

sestoppelman

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I suspect lots of guns made it here after the war was over. Story goes that often stocks had to be cut to make the rifle fit a duffle bag. Dont know how true that is, but have seen it stated.
 

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Another "Combat" junkie here. Was a good one last night. Unfortunately the "hunter" succumbed to many a misplaced shot. I watched the originals back in the '60s. Between Combat and The Untouchables, I lusted after a Thompson and a BAR.
e-big-grin.gif
 

sestoppelman

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Another "Combat" junkie here. Was a good one last night. Unfortunately the "hunter" succumbed to many a misplaced shot. I watched the originals back in the '60s. Between Combat and The Untouchables, I lusted after a Thompson and a BAR. View attachment 391123
The actor barely knew how to hold his rifle, let alone hit anything with it. I loved the snap shot on the hanging sign though!
LOL on the BAR. I just spent a month talking myself out of buying one.
 

sestoppelman

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Playing here on a local channel. I recorded the whole series years ago when it was the Nostalgia Channel on cable. Sadly some episodes are not watchable due to some glitch or other.
 

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I read this article about a month ago and was able to find it again. It covers the Wehrmacht sniper armaments pretty thoroughly (Google can be a useful thing). ;) There are several books on the subject.

I did not see the episode, but the best German scopes of the time (which were the best in the world) often were employed on specially tuned K98 rifles. The best combinations used claw mounts and what were essentially hunting scopes (you can see one in the hands of Matthais Hetzenauer in the article). The most common used side lever and rail system that was not as accurate but easier to produce.

A better movie example of the German sniper at war and his weapon is "Enemy at the Gates" where Ed Harris plays Major Erwin Konig who may or may not have had the historic sniper duel with Vasily Zaytsev during the battle of Stalingrad.

One man who did carry his hunting rifle to war was Simon Fraser (Lord Lovat) of the British Commandos. He was photographed carrying his favorite hunting rifle, a Mannlicher Shoenauer carbine during the failed Dieppe Raid in 1942. That photo has appeared in several books and articles. He is also shown during the Movie "Longest Day" - played by Peter Lawford - carrying his little Schoenauer to the relief of Pegasus Bridge. In reality, at D-Day, he carried a US M1 Carbine.

And yes, back in the day, I grew up watching "Combat." My father and I would laugh, because you could always pick out the new cast members who you just knew would be casualties before the episode was over.
 

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I was going to say Amon Goeth used a hunting rifle to do extremely unsavory things, but according to the photo evidence, he used a standard Kar98k. Doesn't mean he DIDN'T use a sporting rifle too, but I don't think there's any photos of it outside of Ralph Fiennes' portrayal in Schindler's List.

Most German officers were equipped with a SMG like an MP40 or some such and a sidearm, anyway. Not sure how many of them carried rifles of any type in the field.

However, a few weeks ago I was rewatching one of my favorite TV movies in The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, set in 1916 East Africa. The number of times Jones and his Belgian Army comrade's rifles change is enough to have a drinking game. They come off the boat with some kind of long Mauser, when the Belgians are receiving new postings and Indy's trying to find the right trains, they have SMLE No. 1 Mk IIIs. During a long trek across the savanna, their rifles change between SMLEs, long Mauser-types, and in several obviously-filmed-later long shots they CLEARLY have a pair of hunting rifles with scopes on. And finally when they encounter Selous and the 25th Royal Fusiliers, they're back to SMLEs. That doesn't last long, they change to Mauser-types again for a behind-enemy-lines mission.

And then there's the scoped single-shot break-action small-calibre "Sharps" rifle Selous uses in one scene as a sniper rifle to hit a bundle of dynamite...
 

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Combat was one of my alltime favorite shows. I was working graveyard back in the 60s and didn't get much sleep before going to work those nights. Had to see my guys. Having just got out of the service, I could relate, right down to my lugging a BAR.
 

C.W. Richter

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When i was your age, a great friend gave me a few "souvenirs" brought home from WWII by his grandfather (as my friend had no interest in guns)....One was a Mauser 7x57 (with a longer 26" bbl and really nice peep sights-obv a target/sniper rifle) and the other a Walther PPK Wafenbrik model autoloading pistol with the former German officer's name inscribed on it.) Sadly, another neighbor borrowed the pistol, moved away and I never saw it again, but the rifle I held onto and sold to pay off a legal bill when I got divorced. How I wished I still had both today!!! But, I did replace the 57 with many Mauser actions that have served me well! Many must remember that John Browning innovated many (earlier) Paul Mauser designs....True Genius (both!) An old neighbor, former Nazi engineer or scientist was lured over to America to work on our team...he too had a similar Mauser rifle and a 9mm Luger issued to him. At 87 y/o, ailing and facing big medi-bills, he took matters into his own hands (much like Hemmingway) and saved his wife's retirement....She is still with us today! Combat is really ALL about $$$. I'm still cleaning up industrial properties fouled during WWII....I call war "the Big Sale!," and that's pretty much what it's all about, no matter what the Media and war machine "tells" you!
 
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Red Leg

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When i was your age, a great friend gave me a few "souvenirs" brought home from WWII by his grandfather (as my friend had no interest in guns)....One was a Mauser 7x57 (with a longer 26" bbl and really nice peep sights-obv a target/sniper rifle) and the other a Walther PPK Wafenbrik model autoloading pistol with the former German officer's name inscribed on it.) Sadly, another neighbor borrowed the pistol, moved away and I never saw it again, but the rifle I held onto and sold to pay off a legal bill when I got divorced. How I wished I still had both today!!! But, I did replace the 57 with many Mauser actions that have served me well! Many must remember that John Browning innovated many (earlier) Paul Mauser designs....True Genius (both!) An old neighbor, former Nazi engineer or scientist was lured over to America to work on our team...he too had a similar Mauser rifle and a 9mm Luger issued to him. At 87 y/o, ailing and facing big medi-bills, he took matters into his own hands (much like Hemmingway) and saved his wife's retirement....She is still with us today! Combat is really ALL about $$$. I'm still cleaning up industrial properties fouled during WWII....I call war "the Big Sale!," and that's pretty much what it's all about, no matter what the Media and war machine "tells" you!
The German bolt action issue weapons, sniper or otherwise, were chambered in 8x57S not 7 mm. With peep sights, it may have belonged to a target shooting club.
 

C.W. Richter

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It may have been "borrowed" for improper, off-course "target" shooting, which my friend's grandfather did not approve of before his sqad effectively "settled" the matter and scored 2 guns! ;) LOL "All" is a word my business insurance company advises that I not use....Many or Most might be more appropriate, as I'm not so sure Every soldier carried the Exact same gun. ;) I'm sure they were well aware that this (c. 1892'ish) cartridge was far superior at distance than the 8. I wish the neighbor that off'ed himself was still around to elaborate...He had one too (and did NOT hunt or target shoot)! Mauser sold a PILE of 'em for overseas work-I find it hard to believe that Hitler's bunch didn't use anything and everything available in the stockpile (i.e. unsold 7s)! His parties' 100% taxation of businesses in the end was the reason for the mass exodus to America, Africa and S. America (why my Dad's fam came over.) It only makes sense that the more modern snipers were afforded the better guns/cartridges (i.e. 300 win mag, .338 Lapua, et. al. instead of 30-06 or .308, or a cartridge not even considered for woodchucks where i live-.223.) IMHO the 8 would be a poor choice for longer shots as its trajectory is more like an arrow than a 7mm...It would not surprise me at all if similar 6.5s made their way into the mix as special purpose rifles (another neighbor has a very similar, 26" Swiss 6.5 Mauser sniper rifle w/ adj., calibrated peep sights-made in Germany.)
 
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C.W. Richter

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8mm Rem Mag w/ modern bullets? I approve of that! lol 'Never saw the show, as my neighbors and elders never stop talking about the real thing! But, at least they have the props to back it all up....
 

Wyatt Smith

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Thanks for the article @Red Leg very interesting. I guess it’s not unlike the early USMC snipers in Vietnam who took their target rifles over. Then the standard M40 is an awful lot like what a lot of us carry deer hunting.
 

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