Friday, August 18, 2017

Inert Replica WWII MkII Fragmentation (Pineapple) Grenade with M10 Series Fuse

Inert Replica WWII MkII Fragmentation (Pineapple) Grenade with M10 Series Fuse


  Simply the most visually and functionally authentic inert replica on the market.  Perfect for exhibit, demonstration or theatrical use.  Replica United States WWII issue MkII fragmentation (Pineapple) Grenade with correct and mechanically functional M10A2 style metal fuse, spring, striker, spoon and pin.  When you pull the pin and throw the grenade, the spring driven striker flips off the stamped steel lever just like the original.  The zinc fuse body also unscrews from the grenade body like the original.  

   The mold for the grenade body was made from an original WWII grenade.  The body of the grenade is cast in an extremely  durable, non-chipping, dark grey plastic.  You can drop it down a flight of concrete steps and the worst you'll do is scratch the paint. 
VOCO Reproduction WWII MkII Pineapple Hand Grenade
VOCO Reproduction WWII MkII Pineapple Hand Grenade


VOCO Reproduction WWII MkII Pineapple Hand Grenade

   We chose this particular plastic for its strength, light weight and ease of casting.   These replicas are light enough at 3.5 ounces to hang off mannequins and they won't bang up and scratch your military vehicles during displays, trail rides or reenactments.  If a realistic weight is required. the grenade body can be easily hollowed to add lead shot.
Original WWII MkII Hand Grenade
Chinese Made Grenade
  Keep in mind that this is the most authentic replica on the market.  Virtually all "WWII MkII Pineapple Grenades" advertised are terribly inaccurate Chinese made iron castings threaded to accept a modern surplus grenade fuse.  (fig. 1)  Don't be fooled.  Not only is the geometry of the grenade body wrong, the current issue fuse and spoon looks nothing like the M10 series of fuses from WWII.  Compare the bogus  WWII" MkII grenade (fig. 1) with the photos of the genuine (fig. 2-8).  Then compare the original to our resin replica.  You may also notice that the original doesn't stand up straight while ours does.  That's because no two MkII grenades are exactly the same.  Fortunately, our master mold was made from a fairly level bottomed grenade that will stand on its bottom. 

Sunday, July 9, 2017

French Berthier 1907/15 Rifle Exhibit Grade Resin Reproduction with Original Wood Stock

Reproduction French Berthier 1907/15 Rifle



 This is a highly detailed, non-firing /non-operational resin and wood, model of a French Fusil Mle 1907/15, more commonly called a Berthier rifle.  Rifles of this type were used extensively in World War One alongside the more common Lebel rifle by the French Army and the French Foreign Legion prior to the war.  The Berthier was also used notably by the American negro troops of the 93rd Division assigned to the French Army which included the famous Harlem Hellfighters of the 369th Regiment, the 370th, 371st and 372nd Regiments. This was also the type of rifle use by Gary Cooper during the 1939 film classic Beau Geste which portrays French Foreign Legionnaires.  

 French troops liked the light weight and fast loading of the Berthier, but disliked its three shot magazine capacity which was a handicap in close combat.  The Berthier used the same bayonet as the Lebel.  Original bayonets will fit our model.  The first seven inches of the barrel are reinforced with a steel rod cast inside for this purpose.




 Vintage Ordnance's (VOCO, LLC)  museum grade reproduction is light weight so it can be more easily mounted in your exhibits. Overall weight of the replica is only 2 lbs. 13.5 oz.  / 1.29 kg . The “metal” parts are made of durable resin plastic from molds cast from a real rifle.  The buttplate, butt sling swivel, barreled action, triggerguard, stock bolts and bands are all separately cast parts.  We use a slightly flexible plastic to reduce the chance of breakage if the piece is dropped.  The round ring for the sling on the middle band is made of metal so a sling can be mounted for exhibit purposes.  The wooden stock is actually an original century old (World War One vintage) stock, complete with dents, dings and scrapes. Restoring the original stocks is very time consuming and labor intensive.  In addition , our supply of original stocks is very limited.
 

 Models are shipped painted and ready to exhibit.  These unique reproduction rifles from Vintage Ordnance Co. are made to order and delivery will take three to six weeks. Click here for more photos.

Harlem Hellfighter: Private William Henry Johnson
 Private William Henry Johnson, like his comrades in the 369th Infantry, turned in their M1917 Enfield rifles for French made, three shot, 8mm Berthier rifles before they entered combat under the command of the French Army.  It was exactly this rifle that he used to shoot down members of an attacking German patrol on the night of  May 15, 1918.   He fired until the rifle was empty, then met the Germans in hand to hand combat swing the rifle like a club until it was smashed.  He was wounded by grenade fragments and bullets but fought on ferociously with his knife and his last grenade.  He drove off the enemy patrol, killed at least four of them, wounded at least that many more, and thwarted their attempts to take his wounded comrade prisoner.  It was later estimated that he was facing at least a dozen Germans and possibly as many as 24.
Pvt William Henry Johnson
 He was a red cap porter at the Albany Union Train Station before he volunteered for the Army to fight in France.  In 1917 he was about 25 years old.  At 5’4’ and 130 pounds, he wasn’t an imposing man but his actions in combat with the 369th Regiment earned him the nickname Black Death among his peers.  On June 2nd, 2015, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for an action which earned him France’s highest military honor (Croix de Guerre with palm and star) on May 16, 1918.   
 

His medal of honor citation reads:
The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, March 3, 1863, has awarded in the name of Congress the Medal of Honor to
Private Henry Johnson
United States Army
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty:
 Private Johnson distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a member of Company C, 369th Infantry Regiment, 93rd Division, American Expeditionary Forces, during combat operations against the enemy on the front lines of the Western Front in France on May 15, 1918. Private Johnson and another soldier were on sentry duty at a forward outpost when they received a surprise attack from a German raiding party consisting of at least 12 soldiers.   While under intense enemy fire and despite receiving significant wounds, Private Johnson mounted a brave retaliation, resulting in several enemy casualties. When his fellow soldier was badly wounded, Private Johnson prevented him from being taken prisoner by German forces. Private Johnson exposed himself to grave danger by advancing from his position to engage an enemy soldier in hand-to-hand combat. Wielding only a knife and gravely wounded himself, Private Johnson continued fighting and took his Bolo knife and stabbed it through an enemy soldier’s head. Displaying great courage, Private Johnson held back the enemy force until they retreated. Private Johnson’s extraordinary heroism and selflessness above and beyond the call of duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit and the United States Army.

Negro Soldiers In the American Expeditionary Force

Negro Officers of the 93rd Division
 Systemic racism in America didn’t stop the U.S. Army from encouraging the recruitment of negroes during World War One. Patriotic and eager to demonstrate themselves worthy of the same rights as white Americans by fighting in France,  370,000 negroes were inducted into the Army and 200,000 joined the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) overseas.  To their surprise, instead of battling the Germans on the front, most found themselves disarmed and behind the lines relegated to service units as laborers and stevedores.  The AEF, per American military tradition, was a segregated force.   It was generally felt that white units would not serve alongside negroes.  Moreover, it was feared that doing so might result in dangerous conflict in France and at back in America.  However, about 40,000 did get the chance to demonstrate their fighting prowess in the negro 92nd and 93rd   Divisions.  The latter division fought under operational control of the French Army.   The combat performance of the 93rd   Division’s  369th Regiment, of New York origin, made them famous and earned them the nickname Harlem Hellfighters.  
Harlem Hellfighters during inspection in New York City.
 The French Army was long familiar with negro troops because it colonial units were drawn from Africa.  They treated their American reinforcements with comradeship, dignity and respect.   To simplify supply, they soldiers of the 93rd turned in their American weapons and field gear which were replaced with the standard French issue.  Thus American soldiers fought with French Adrian helmets, brown leather accoutrements and 3 shot Berthier rifles (commonly misidentified as 3 shot Lebel rifles).  
Hellfighters Officers wearing the Croix de Guerre
  The regiments of the 93rd  Divisions saw more combat than the 92nd and had greater opportunity to distinguished themselves, especially the Harlem Hellfighters.   The battle hardened French were impressed.  Private William Henry Johnson, a soldiers of the 369th, was  the first to receive France’s highest military award, the Croix de Guerre.  At the end of the war, 170 more of the regiments soldiers would receive the award and the  whole unit honored with a citation for gallantry in action.    During 191 days in combat they participated in the campaigns at Champagne, Marne, Meuse – Argonne, Champagne 1918, and  Alsace 1918 and had more casualties than any other regiment.   America’s highest medals for valor were not commonly presented to negro soldiers at this time.  The two 369th soldiers whose deeds warranted the recognition of the Medal of Honor would be long dead by the time their heroism was recognized by the American government.  

Thursday, July 6, 2017

M1917 WWI Enfield Rifle Museum Exhibit Grade Resin Replica

U.S. WWI M1917 Enfield Rifle Museum Resin Replica 1:1 Scale
VOCO Exhibit Grade M1917 Enfield Rifle (Painted)
VOCO Exhibit Grade M1917 Enfield Rifle (Unpainted)
This full scale model is cast from a mold of an original WWI dated rifle. It is made of strong, impact resistant, urethane plastic. The plastic is slightly flexible making it much more durable than typical hard plastic resin casting that tend to crack or shatter if dropped on hard surfaces. Surface details reproduction is excellent. Dates stamps on the barrel, the arsenal marks on the receiver and even the grain of the wood are exactly reproduced. This model weighs only 2 lbs 12 oz. (1.24 kg) making it much easier to display on mannequins in your exhibit or use in living history programs or parades/honor guards. The main body of the model is a single casting with the front and rear sights and stacking swivel cast separately. The steel sling attachment points on the buttstock and front band are genuine so the will not bend or break off when the model is exhibited or carried with a sling. The front six inches of barrel is re-enforced with a 1/4" steel rod to keep it rigid if you need to exhibit it with the M1917 bayonet (also available from us in a strong light-weight urethane plastic.)
VOCO M1917 Enfield Rifle Replica (Painted). Click here to see more photos.

This is no toy or a shoddily sculpted Chinese resin model that you'll find advertised from several online retailers. Our products are made in house, in America, mainly for museums and living history programs and the entertainment industry were absolutely authentic appearance is the principle requirement.
M1917 Enfield Bolt Action (Painted) 
M1917 Enfield Bolt Action (Unpainted)

The M1917 Enfield Rifle Exhibit Grade model is available painted or unpainted. The unpainted version will have most of the mold flash removed but will still require some detail trimming, sanding and cleaning before final painting. We will gladly provide guidance for buyers wishing to paint there own models.
VOCO M1917 Enfield Rifle Replica (Unpainted) Click here to see more photos.

One the 100th anniversary of America's entry in the Great War, VOCO is the only company making a replica of the famous the M1917 rifle for your exhibit, ceremonial and educational needs. The M1917 was actually an English design in production in American factories but as the War To End All Wars expanded, Britain decided to stick with the old and familiar SMLE Mk III rifle. When America entered the war, the need for M1903 Springfield rifles far outstripped the production capacity so the British design was re-chambered in .30-06 and pressed into service. Ultimately , more U.S. doughboys carried the M1917 Enfield than the popular M1903 Springfield.

Product photos are provided by VOCO, LLC. For your custom exhibit grade replicas  of your museum pieces contact Vintage Ordnance Co.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Model 1908 Bayard Pocket Pistol

Model 1908 Bayard Pocket Pistol Museum Resin Replica Scale 1:1



The smallest and most powerful pocket automatic for many years after its introduction in 1908, the Bayard was far ahead of its time in design. In an era of .25 and .32 ACP autoloaders, it was chambered in the much more powerful and effective .380 ACP. Despite its small size (only 4-7/8" long) it packed a big punch. It was also much easier to shoot than virtually all of its peers because of some unique design features. The barrel was positioned directly above the trigger finger with the recoil spring on top coupled with a patented spring buffer. The result was a dramatic reduction in felt recoil allowing the pistol to be fired accurately in rapid fire. 

 
It was an expensive handgun, but without peer for highly concealable personal protection and remained highly desirable for that purpose long after manufacture ceased. 


Great for any pre-WWII, Roaring 20s or Steampunk costume impression. This reproduction from Vintage Ordnance Co. is cast from an original century old example in urethane plastic with separate grips. The bright finish is painted on. Model 1908 Bayard Pocket Pistol Museum Resin Replica Scale 1:1

If you want to learn more about the Bayard pistol - check out the latest American Handgunner Personal Defense SURVIVE, Fall 2017 Special Edition Magazine.



ARTICLE: POCKET PISTOL SHOOTOUT — A 100-Year-Old 1908 Bayard Goes Mano A Mano With A Kel-Tec P-3AT For Lightweight .380 ACP Title.