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  1. #1
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    Default Siamese / Thai military handguns

    I am presently re-wrting my old booklet covering the Siamese Mauser rifle. Friends in Thailand suggested that I include a more general chapter covering rifles and handguns used by Siam, later Thailand. Maybe the time frame will be 1900-1975. The obvious problem is that this is a bit out of my area as I am primarily a Japanese weapons collector. As my Thai friends noted "if not in this book then where else would this area be coverd?"

    I know of a few revolvers and Lugers that were used by the Siamese but I do not have many pictures I can include in the book. I especially need photographs of military handguns. Can anyone help?

    I have attached a couple of photos of early revovlers that you may find of interest. One is a Belgian Warnant revolver in a friend's collection and the other is Webley that a fellow (breakeyp) over on the Mannlicher board sent me today.

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Frank
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Webley revolver Siamese Marked.jpg   Webley revolver Siamese Marking.jpg   Warnant rev Siamese.jpg   WQarnant rev Siamese clsoe.jpg  
    Francis C. Allan
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  2. #2
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    Found these pictures of a Star Model A pistol carbine in Thailand.



    "Americans have the right and advantage of being armed - unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms." (James Madison, The Federalist Papers #46 at 243-244)

    That rifle hanging on the wall of the working-class flat or labourer's cottage is the symbol of democracy. It is our job to see that it stays there. George Orwell

    Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun. Mao Zedong

  3. #3
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    Dear Hardrada;

    Thanks. I think they used various Colt Browning type designs in both .45 and 9mm Super. I've got to dig in deeper.

    I appreciate your help.

    Frank
    Francis C. Allan
    20 Courtney Place
    Palm Coast, FL 32137-8126
    (386) 445-4225

  4. #4
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    Default

    They also used papa nambus...Odin in Alexandria, VA imported them.

  5. #5
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    There are Clement 1903 pistols marked with Chakra.

    Also, does anyone know the truth on those supposed elephant killing, rifle cartridge pistols?

  6. #6
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    Default During my several tours in Thailand...

    totalling more than 8 years, altogether, I got the definite impression that the Thai had acquired a truly eclectic assortment of military arms in the 20th century (and before), and that they also apparently never disposed of anything that was still of any use.
    Pistols which I examined which definitely or possibly had been used militarily by Thai forces included C96 Mausers (and Chinese copies thereof), several Lugers, a Borchardt or two, Japanese pistols and revolvers, and U.S. types including Smith and Wesson revolvers and U.S. M1911 variants. Examples of other types from just about every country which ever made military pistols also were seen, but there was no real evidence of their military use by the Thai, if any.
    Higher-ranking Thai officers often carried arms of their own choice. My friend, MG Amnuay Kitsuwan, had a large collection of firearms, and gave me the opportunity to go through the arms rooms of the Armed Forces Security Center, which held a great many oddities, some unique, and some just rare: examples being the CIA 'Deer gun', several multi-shot hideout guns, suppressed Colt and High Standard .22 pistols, a belt buckle pistol, Liberator pistols, and a similar variety of SMGs, MGs, and rifles of many, many types. He, himself, had been presented with one of the Chinese .32 caliber semi-auto pistols (I've forgotten the type designation) which resembles the Lignose 'Einhand' pistol which can be loaded and fired with one hand, by pulling rearward on the front of the trigger guard - it was a little gem, beautifully made and finished, though the cartridge is unique and not interchangeable with anything else. All-in-all, it was a gun nut's Aladdin's cave.
    PRD1 - mhb - Mike

  7. #7
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    I have a Thai contract Hi Power. It has a crest on top of the slide.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_4477a-G.jpg  
    Charlie

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    Cpw I can't see the attachment

    Am I the only one?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by eli View Post
    Cpw I can't see the attachment

    Am I the only one?
    no
    Absent comrades (sound of breaking glass)

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  11. #11
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    Dear Mike;

    Thanks for your little write up. I appreciate the information. I understand that there are three museums in Bangkok. I would dearly love to spend time in them.

    I did see a Borchart that a Thai fellow was restoring. Very much of a surprise there.

    How many early Japanese semi-auto pistol got to Siam and who used them is something of a mystery. My Thai contacts all point to books in the US that note that 200 were imported into Siam but they can find no record of Siamese military service.

    Frank
    Francis C. Allan
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    Palm Coast, FL 32137-8126
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  12. #12
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    I would like to see that Hi Power picture as well.

  13. #13
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    Default Frank:

    Most welcome! I wish I had taken more notes on all the things I saw, but it was just too much stuff. I was not impressed with much that I saw in museums, but did note that there was a very large arms display in the Royal Palace which, unfortunately, was not open to the public.
    My work (with the Thai military) and my acquaintance with MG Amnuay, especially, did give me the opportunity to see and handle (and shoot!) things which were definitely NOT in museums.
    Most of the Japanese handguns I saw were typical WW2 types - the Japanese did, in fact, occupy Thailand during WW2, though the Thai do not like to refer to the period, and do not consider that they had been, in any real way, allies of the Japanese. On the other hand, there was only limited opposition to the initial invasion, and no real organized resistance to the occupation (so far as I am aware), likely because Thailand was not colonized by any European power before the war. None of the Japanese pistols that I can recall had any specific markings indicating Thai military use, though some did bear civilian registration letters/numbers. I think it likely that at least some Japanese small arms were used by Thai military forces in the immediate post-war period, and, perhaps, during the occupation.
    PRD1 - mhb - Mike

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    Quote Originally Posted by eli View Post
    Cpw I can't see the attachment

    Am I the only one?
    I will try again.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_4477a.jpg   IMG_4473a.jpg   IMG_4472a.jpg  
    Charlie

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    It is my understanding that the Thai military used and uses whatever handguns in whatever quantities were/are available.

    Best Regards,
    A
    I'd rather have a bottle in frontame than a frontal lobotomy.
    --------------
    Author of the bestseller: "Strangling small furry animals for fun and profit." (University of Lagos/Nigeria press - 1978)

    Honorary curator to the Outer-Azerbeidjan National Museum of Ancient Milkbottle Caps (OANMAMC).

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    Another nice BHP from cpw

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    Quote Originally Posted by Othais View Post
    There are Clement 1903 pistols marked with Chakra.

    Also, does anyone know the truth on those supposed elephant killing, rifle cartridge pistols?
    The Siamese/Thai "Howdah" pistol has been covered a few times. One was even offered for trade here, on the trader. Don't know the outcome of that. It was originally thought to be a target pistol. But being in a rifle caliber, with fixed sights, I think not. Considering the widespread use of elephants in the military, a compact weapon capable of putting a rampaging one down, makes perfect sense. To me, anyway.
    Last edited by Trenchwarfare; 07-20-2012 at 04:13 PM.
    Before starting any serious collection: Spend your first thousand dollars on reference material. It's money in the bank.

  18. #18
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    I had a friend who had a Ruby that had a Siamese crest,he has been dead for many years no idea what happened to it.

  19. #19
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    Dear WLD Bill;

    Thanks for the Ruby info. Many handguns seem to have made it to Siam/Thailand, but few entered military service. The six- or eight-bladed charkra is the property stamp of the Royal Siamese (later Thai) Army. Many civilians were able to privately purchase commercial handguns, some of which were purchased by military officers at their own expense for their use in military service, so the picutre is a bit clouded. Civilian-owned handguns have to be registered and they invariably have roughly etched registration information on the grip strap.

    Thanks again for you help.

    Frank
    Francis C. Allan
    20 Courtney Place
    Palm Coast, FL 32137-8126
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    Love this post ! Very interesting .



    FIVESHOT

  21. #21
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    I have a very interesting SVW-45 P-38 pistol. It was captured by a Thai officer from a VC officer who was a former Viet Minh. The VC told the Thai officer that he had captured it from a French officer at Dien Bien Phu. (He also asked the Thai officer if he could have it back ) The Thai officer carried it for several years as he moved up through the ranks, and finally as a Colonel he presented it to his American advisor, a Lt. Col, who eventually sold it. Fascinating history of a pistol that I really really wish could "speak".

  22. #22
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    A great number of P-38 pistols were assembled/ manufactured for the french military right after the end of WWII. These can be identified by the small starshaped proofmark. Most of them also have lightweight stamped alluminium grips. Many many ended up in S.E.A. issued to the Foreign Legion, together with P08's and yes even MP40's. Period pictures and reports exist to attest to these facts. At some point the french gendarmerie was also issued P38's.
    But of course, you knew all that already :-)
    Best Regards, A
    I'd rather have a bottle in frontame than a frontal lobotomy.
    --------------
    Author of the bestseller: "Strangling small furry animals for fun and profit." (University of Lagos/Nigeria press - 1978)

    Honorary curator to the Outer-Azerbeidjan National Museum of Ancient Milkbottle Caps (OANMAMC).

  23. #23
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    Here are some pics of a Grandpa Nambu I used to own with a Thai Chakra. I generally never get rid of any firearms, but I also make it a point to actually shoot all of my firearms. I was afraid to shoot the darn thing because parts are made of unobtainum and the value would plummet as soon as something broke on it. I inherited it from my dad, and lord only knows where he got it - he was quite the connoisseur of firearms back in the day.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  24. #24
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    That pistol is a collectors item and -- also -- a family treasurer. I would not do anything that could harm it.
    Charlie

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    My father left me quite a large and varied collection. I auctioned it off at Julia auctions a while back as I am sure someone would appreciate it more than I. Proceeds were allocated towards filling in some gaps in my want list, so all in all a zero sum game (for me).

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trenchwarfare View Post
    The Siamese/Thai "Howdah" pistol has been covered a few times. One was even offered for trade here, on the trader. Don't know the outcome of that. It was originally thought to be a target pistol. But being in a rifle caliber, with fixed sights, I think not. Considering the widespread use of elephants in the military, a compact weapon capable of putting a rampaging one down, makes perfect sense. To me, anyway.
    I ended up with that monster. The Thai Type-66 handgun in 8x52r.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails t66.jpg  

  27. #27
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    Dear George F;

    Many thanks for posting your photos. Can you tell me if the Charkra is on the front or the rear of the grip strap? It looks like the rear, which is the oposite of the other one I have photos of. Also, do you recall the serial number of the stock?

    Frank
    Francis C. Allan
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by albacore View Post
    I ended up with that monster. The Thai Type-66 handgun in 8x52r.
    Love it! Ever had the guts / questionable judgment to try and fire it?
    Curator, the Privett Museum for Unloved & Wayward Guns. Est. 2006.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by PRIMO1 View Post
    Love it! Ever had the guts / questionable judgment to try and fire it?
    Not yet, but one day I will!

  30. #30
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    I once ran across a chakra marked fn 1910 .32, I did not get it because it was pretty hammered with wrench marks on the bbl...and I did not recognize the chakra mark at the time.

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    We have one of these pistols and are wondering what exactly the value is, the serial number is #8 on it. Can anyone help me find out more info?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ClamityJane View Post
    We have one of these pistols and are wondering what exactly the value is, the serial number is #8 on it. Can anyone help me find out more info?
    Welcome aboard Jane. I'll give you $12.00 for it.
    Before starting any serious collection: Spend your first thousand dollars on reference material. It's money in the bank.

  33. #33
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    Since there have been so many different pistols discussed in this thread....could you please tell us what model of pistol you have that is serial #8?

  34. #34
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    This is only anecdotal, and not about Thai pistols (my apolgies). but during my year stationed in Korat, Thailand (68-69) I saw only U.S. sidearms issued to the Thais on the US portion of the base. The USAF base was an adjunct to the Thai base, and, when coming from town, we had to clear the Thai base. From the bus I observed a rack full of either Type 38 or 99 Arisaka rifles, complete with bayonets in their open front guard shack.

    I made several attempts to locate and purchase a handgun on the black market, as we were not allowed to possess firearms unless the base was "in danger of imminent attack." (In spite of what it says on Wikipedia.) I never succeeded.

    Also, on a three day R&R to Bangkok, I observed a Thai guard with a Beretta 1938 smg in a Chase bank..

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