French Resistance 2-Gun: FG-42 & Mle 1935A (Prep for Desert Brutality)

Next week is Desert Brutality 2020, the big annual 2-Gun “nationals”. I’ll be shooting it in the Classic division (guns from 1946 and earlier) this year, with an SMG semiauto FG-42 rifle and a French Modele 1935A pistol. This is my last chance to practice with the gear, so I’m shooting the regular monthly 2-gun match with it.

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28 Comments

  1. NO, NO ! I think no resistant would have bore a beret from the Milice, even as a trophy for killing one of the Milice men, there was too much hate. Additionnly it could have been confusing and dangerous in fight. Sometimes american people have strange vision of other peoples and history.

  2. Seems to me that while the Alpine troops have huge, enormous berets, and the Vichy Milice also wore huge berets, that plenty of the Communist Francs tireurs et partisans and the non-Communist FFI wore berets often. It is, after all, a French hat. Of course there is also the overall European flat cap, with examples ranging from the Irish caubeen, the Scottish bonnet, or if toorie is added, tam-o’-shanter, the Basque beret (beret in German is “basken mütze”), and any of a litany of similar flat caps…

    A French Resistance fighter or maquisard acquiring an FG42 would be mighty lucky indeed! I’d think an M1 carbine or even an M1A1 as used by the Jedburgh teams would be considerably more common… Too bad Mr. M’Collum can’t use his MAS-38 or a borrowed Sten Mk.II for the upcoming match!

    • Due to SOE, the most common weapons in the FFI were the Sten MK II and MK III 9mms, the 0.303in SMLE, and the 0.303in Rifle No. 4. The latter two were the most favored by Resistance fighters outside of the cities because they allowed them to effectively return fire against Mauser rifles, and the ten-round capacity meant they could give at least twice as good as they got vs. the five-round Kar 98s.

      The most common handguns were S&W Victory Model, Webley MK IV, and Enfield MK I and MK II .38/200 revolvers, and Colt M1911 .45 automatics, with the latter in short supply until about mid-1943.

      The only SAW supplied was fortunately a good one, the 0.303in Bren, mostly Canadian-made Inglis examples.

      M1 Carbines, M1921/28, M1, and M1A1 Thompsons, and a very few M3 “Grease Guns” were supplied by OSS. The Carbine was considered by many Resistance soldiers to be the ideal guerrilla weapon, combining light weight of both weapon and ammunition with greater range, accuracy, and killing power than any SMG and a greater volume of fire than a bolt-action rifle. This probably explains its popularity with French police and etc. postwar, along with its greater practicality for urban policing.

      Note that as Josserand relates, some police in French cities in the late 1960s to early 1970s were in fact equipped with MAS 49/56 rifles in 7.5 x 54. Why, nobody ever seemed to be able to adequately explain.

      cheers

      eon

      • Of course SOE was also unwittingly supplying the same suite of Sten Mk.IIs, No.4 rifles, revolvers, and the every now and then Bren Mk.II to the pro-Axis Vichy Milice who recovered a great many of the drops…

        • To say nothing of the number of weapons (well over 10,000) that ended up in Nazi hands due to the Funkspiel in northern France in June 1943-May 1944, and a similar one in the Netherlands from mid-1942 to just before D-Day.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Funkspiel

          I always wondered why the Gerät Potsdam Sten MK II copy was considered necessary, because between the two Funkspiels the Germans acquired over 9,000 authentic, Made-In-Blighty-And-Points-West Sten MK IIs and IIIs, plus over 2,000 TSMGs, which was certainly more than enough for things like Otto Skorzeny’s Operation Greif, with English-speaking German troops masquerading as U.S. and British troops during Unternehmen Wacht am Rhein (“Operation Watch on the Rhine”)aka the Ardennes counteroffensive or “Battle of the Bulge” (16 Dec 1944-25 Jan 1945).

          The “developed” (or perhaps a better term would be “simplified”) MP 3008 was much more to the point from the standpoint of what Germany actually needed at that point, i.e. a 9mm SMG that was much simpler and faster to make in quantity than the MP40 or even the Sten. A 9mm version of the Russian PPS-43 would have been even more so, maybe with a Sten type fixed tubular stock.

          But if Nazi Germany had consistently made intelligent decisions, the war would probably have turned out much differently than it actually did. More like Philip K. Dick’s novel The Man in the High Castle, for instance.

          cheers

          eon

    • If there is a quite known picture of a german officer with mutze and FG 42, I think that FG 42 was scarce with germans but well, there were fallschirmjaegers in Normandy. I think however that they had some custody in order not to have them falling in the foes hands. PA 35 A, contarily to the PA 35 S were manufactured to germans but, due to ammunition supply problem, they probably were limited in use in police in France or Luftwaffe were pistol is a last ditch and probably single use ever. Ther were a lot of berets in France, from the roud bowl very tight one to the large and flat one. When resistants started to make miiltary parades in groups, they frequently were bearing berets , but, my god, not with insigna of the Milice, rather a Lorraine cross. French like “souvenirs” and adrian helmets could be WWI and even WW II souvenirs, like Lebel ot Mauser, when not stens, but it was before….. Fireman had for very long, large and chrome plated adrian helmets.

      • Good god man, it is quite clearly a French Alpine chausseurs beret with appropriate insignia! Look again.

        https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/1a/Fanfare_27BCA_03.JPG

        Were it the Milice symbol, it would be the greek letter gamma, not a bugle or “clarion” or whatever… Variations on a theme. Incidentally, the Brazilian fascist/ Catholic corporatist movement Ação Integralista Brasileira had blue arm-bands with the Greek upper-case sigma with their green shirts.

        Sometimes European people have strange vision of North American understandings of foreign peoples and their history…

    • July 1944 the “maquis du Vercors” was attaqued by the 7/KG 200 (of the II/KG 200) which was equiped with the FG42 and stg44. So there hypothetically is a very small possibility that a gun was taken by some resistant from one the wrecked gliders.

    • As long as we’re being really pedantic about French headwear that makes the wearer resemble a mushroom: It would seem that French practice is typically to have the hat pulled down on the left, and any badge to be above the right eye, or all the way over to the right ear. Scots do it the opposite: The cap badge goes over the left eye, or reasonably close to it, and the baggy portion of the hat is pulled down to the right.

      The Scottish bonnet and Basque beret is often worn just like a so-called “newsboy” cap with the excess material pulled forward like a brim over the eyes. And, just to confuse matters further, some such berets are worn that way by French persons and also Argentines! Ha!

      Now that we’ve argued about the latest addition to Ian’s growing silly hat collection, we can talk about the two forgotten weapons: The Luftwaffe’s Fallschirmjägergewehr 42 7.92x57mm “battle rifle avant la lettre” and the precursor to the vaunted SIG P210, the SACM Mle. 1935 7,65×20 m/m long.

      • ” Luftwaffe’s Fallschirmjägergewehr 42 7.92x57mm “battle rifle avant la lettre””
        How do you define battle rifle? How do you define lettre? How do you define la? How do you define avant? I would say that this weapon was from very beginning supposed to be specialists’ weapons – used by paratroopers, which is at very different scale of most rifles called “battle”, which were made to be used as default weapon of numerous infantrymen.

  3. Bipods can change the point of impact. As a Marine recruit I was introduced to the notion that simply changing from off-hand (no sling) to sitting (tight shooting sling) could change my 200 meter point of impact several inches. I forgot how much elevation I had to apply to my M16A1 to compensate–it’s been 45 years–and it varied when I used different rifles because some rifles were more worn than others. I didn’t get to work with the clip-on M16 bipod enough to figure out the point of impact shifts.

    So run two groups of three or five shots each at 100 yards, one from prone and one off the bipod, and see if that makes a difference. The FG-42 has a thin barrel and firing off the bipod may change point of impact.

    • Excellent points. I was going to posit that maybe Mr. McCollum’s trigger finger wasn’t working right with all of the book signing lately… But ammo, sling support vs. bipod support, sight adjustments, etc. might account for things going way high…

    • Alan Cranford is spot on, the bi-pod can definitely change the point of aim. My STG58 (Austrian FAL) for example — hits on the money until you put it on the bipod, and then it’s a crap shoot.

      • When fired, a bare rifle of 3500 grams with 45 cm of barrel, would recoil backwards approximately 1mm with a 7 grams of bullet at just on the time when its leaving the muzzle and every added or taken mass or effects changing its natual motional behaviour, would change its rotational motion around its centre of gravity resulting the point of impact of the shot. lMHO.

  4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPHbnWZ6FeQ&t=71s Merry Christmas Ian. Thank you for helping expand the understanding about these French 1935 pistols. I think you are wrong about the safety’s on the 1935 French Pistols. The proper drill with them is ( 1)you load a filled mag (2) then chamber a round (3) Push the Safety lever up. (4) lower the hammer, The S.A.C.M. made 1935 A has a half cock notch on the hammer that should be used. the M.A.C. made !935 S M 1 does not have one. I think This makes them safe to carry with a round in the chamber. Putting the pistols into firing mode is to make a single sweep of the safety off and cocking the hammer. This takes a lot of practice. Yes it is hard for a left handier like yourself. It is easier to do with the 1935 A model. This piece already has 473 comments so this will be buried deep in them. It would be nice if you could include this in one of your Question and answer programs, Also when you shoot a match with a French1935.

    uscgalpha91
    4 days ago
    All the French handguns in the US would fit in the trunk of a Toyota!!

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    FG 42 Bob
    FG 42 Bob
    4 days ago
    Wrong they would fill a train of boxcars Alexandru Nicolin
    20 hours ago
    New Weapon unlocked: Pedersen Device!

    23

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    FG 42 Bob
    FG 42 Bob
    11 hours ago
    It is true the shells are the same size but I think the Peterson is loaded hotter. I had Peterson ammo in the 300 round boxes and was told not to shoot it in my French pistols. a long time ago. I hope to see a Peterson device shot with the new made ammo.

    Redchrome1
    19 hours ago
    I have a 1935A (which I bought many years ago, knowing nothing about it other than that the lockwork looked like a Petter design, and the price was right because there was no ammo) but mine is “in the white” – there’s no bluing. Ian, yours seems to be blued. Are both conditions normal?

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    FG 42 Bob
    FG 42 Bob
    24 minutes ago
    the . M.A.C. 1935S M 1 s ate Blued with a case hardened colored take down latch.. S.A.C.M Made Mle 1935 A Has an extremely long wearing finish it is parkerized then painted with black stove paint. The strike with the Waffenampt die actually chipped off the paint on mine. Hi Ian I sent You 5 rounds of 6.5 Carcano on a Breda M37 Mg. It would be fun for me to see it and a 8 rounder on your shelf on one of your Question and answer sessions . Ian I am repeating my request to see the the clips in the background in a video Hi Ian I sent You 5 rounds of 6.5 Carcano on a Breda M37 Mg. It would be fun for me to see it and a 8 rounder on your shelf on one of your Question and answer sessions.—- Ian I amRepeating this request – Bob Hi Ian I sent You 5 rounds of 6.5 Carcano on a Breda M37 Mg. It would be fun for me to see it and a 8 rounder on your shelf on one of your Question and answer sessions. It answers the Question what feed device left the battle field the neatest. 2 boxes of 32 French surplus it shoots about 45% of the time. The following is my experience shooting it. I wish you would have tried a lot More of what I sent you. The 32 French long shell was issued 2 ways as a brass cartridge case and copper clad bullet being rarer than the steel cased one with a TURNED STEEL bullet. or sintered Iron bullet.. This load is much more potent than you would think. While it never expands at all it does give very good penetration. Shooting 32 French Long out of a M35S into wet Sears catalogs it went twice as deep than 45 ACP ball and deeper than Nazi produced 9 mm ball but less than 30 carbine out of a Ruger that gave me constant ringing in my ears. The French long and the 9 mm ball also penetrated a 70s era Chevy bumper that stopped the 45 Ball. Shooting cement blocks produced sparks with almost every hit. There is an interesting French movie ” the old gun” that depicts a man with a double barreled shotgun taking revenge on a group of MIlice armed with Mas 38 s who killed his wife. The 762×25 is the extremely hot Czech sub gun load that reportedly defeats a lot of body armor.. It really should not be shot out of a T33 only CZ 52s or subguns. You know how the Czech subguns had the loading guides on the side. The 8 round strippers are sold as Roth Steyr or Steyr Han loaders by the uninformed. enjoy! Bob .

    john deaux
    16 hours ago
    I regularly see the SACM pistols for sale online and it’s almost always wrongly advertised as being in 32acp.

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    FG 42 Bob
    FG 42 Bob
    10 hours ago
    No a lot of them had spacer rings put in the chambers and lock tite andtheir recoil springs trimmed so they work with 32 ACP

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    john deaux
    john deaux
    4 hours ago
    @FG 42 Bob If they did that, they never mention that in their sales descriptions. I think they just see 7.65mm on the slide and assume 7.65mm=32acp.

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