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US Military, Sidearm Issue Question

670 Views 18 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  cxm357
When was the last time that the US military issued a sidearm to pretty much all soldiers in addition to their long gun in a combat situation ?

I'm thinking that during the Civil War, only officers were issued the Colt 1860 (at least the Union Army) but not long afterwards with the introduction of cartridge revolvers, but when the rifles were still single shot trapdoor Springfields, all soldiers were issued a revolver. I'm excepting personnel who manned artillery for example and thinking along the lines of infantry and cavalry soldiers.

Were all soldiers in the Spanish American War issued sidearms ? I understand that by WWI handguns were in a shortage situation but the average doughboy private wouldn't have been issued an M1911 or Colt of S&W M1917 correct ? So maybe it was during that period between the end of the Spanish American War and WWI when the general issue of sidearms to privates and above was discontinued ? Could that have been due to the fact that by then they had repeating rifles rather than single shots, or due to a very restrictive military spending budget at that time ?
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Decided by “occupation” in the service. Crew served weapon GIs usually were issued side arms. By WWII the .30 Cal. M-1 Carbine were issued instead of side arms. GIs picked up many side arms fro the battlefield. Also the unit CO ( Col. usually) could at his discretion order side arms carried by who ever. In todays service have no idea as from what I hear from those in today, things are “ crazy”….
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