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Old 02-21-2010, 04:15 PM   #1
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Lahti

The local gun shop has a Finnish Lahti pistol. I think it is an L35, not an L40 (I did not know there was an L35 and an L40 when I was looking at it).

It looks in great shape, like it was made yesterday.



I have no earthly use for it, but I keep thinking about it. It was interesting.



Does anyone here know anything about them?

Nice shooters?
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Old 02-22-2010, 07:56 AM   #2
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Lahti

As I recall, the Lahti was the service pistol of both the Finns and the Swedes. Despite having the appearance of the P-08, it had a unique "Arctic" only feature to guarantee its function in local conditions similar to the BMG accelerator. As I recall there were two models: The L-35 and the M1940. I think, but am not certain, that the 35 was for Finnish use and the 1940 the Swedish. Both were 9mm as I remember and there was no functional difference.



I have seen them but never fired one. Both the Swedes and the Finns were serious accuracy freaks.
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Old 02-22-2010, 04:59 PM   #3
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Lahti

I had the opportunity to buy an L40 Swedish Lahti made by Husqvarna some years ago. It is one big ruggedly built pistol to say the least. The owner told me that US made ammo would barely function the pistol. It was built to handle the more powerful SMG ammo that the Finns used in their Suomi SMG's.



The Swedes adopted the Lahti in 1940 because their first choice of a replacement service pistol was the Walther HP aka the P38. But Walther could not supply the HP in sufficent numbers due to the start of WW Two. So the Lahti was chosen as the new service pistol.



At the time I owned a copy of the Swedish Model 1907 which was the Swedish made copy of the FN M1903 in 9mm Browning Long caliber. I should have bought the L40 as a companion piece but foolishly didn't.





Roadster
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Old 02-22-2010, 05:05 PM   #4
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Lahti

What little I've read in the past couple of days supports what you said.



Apparently, the L-35 had the accelerator. The 40 was a simplified 35, and one of the simplifications was deleting the accelerator, which seems to have been a mistake.

Also apparently, they were pretty accurate.



It's all moot now, since the gun was gone when I was there earlier this afternoon.

Thanks anyway.

I had fun looking at it. I'm still surprised at the condition. I wish any of my WWII-era guns looked as good.



You said a lot when you said they were serious accuracy freaks. Last year, I lucked into something I never thought I'd have- a Sig P210, and have been reading bits and pieces on the 210's development where I can. The Swiss went through some heart-wrenching decision-making to replace the 7.65mm Luger with the 9mm P210. This was not only for fear the P210 could not equal the Luger's mechanical accuracy, but because of equal concerns for the 9mm vs the 7.65mm Luger. It sounded like some serious floor-pacing went on because of it.

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Old 02-23-2010, 08:24 AM   #5
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Lahti

I've read somewhere that the Swedes had problems some decades after the adoption of the Lahti design with their Huskvarna made L40 breaking, due to high stress shooting SMG ammo. So they brought back in service the Huskvarna 1907 copy of the FN 1903 till the adoption of a new design - Glock 17 if I don't err.



I saw also some photos showing reservist officers of the Finish army with Luger pistols. Apparently, these reservist were still using in the 90s the Lugers bought in the 20s after the independance, and not L35.



All these pistols are interesting pieces of history for sure.



L.
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Old 02-23-2010, 11:09 AM   #6
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My experience with most European national military forces is that they are much more willing to use B Standard equipment than the US. In the US, the Dad's Army and the USAR constantly complain about old equipment as an excuse for their performance. They don't recognize the value of dancing with who "brung ya". I have seen lots of "Stomach Divisions", code for old guys, armed with lots of old equipment that could have outperformed many a NGUS outfit armed with equipment they were untrained on.



I can relate to you that the Norwegian National Guard would be a tough opponent on their home turf. My half-brother, the Marine, related the inability of his ANGLICO platoon to get away from them on a winter training exercise. He remarked that the captain was as old as our Dad but their ability to move in the snow and knowledge of the terrain made the old M1 rifles and M1917 GPMGs they were armed with very formidable. That sort of thing you normally don't hear from US Marines. It must not have gone well.



I have seen the Swiss, Finns and Swedes on exercise and can tell you that their conscripts, reservists and old soldiers used lots of "old" equipment. They looked pretty professional to me! I have seen lots of much worse US summer soldiers. I keep saying it is the nut behind the trigger to myself.
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Old 02-23-2010, 11:45 AM   #7
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Lahti



Quote:
Originally Posted by [color=#000080
oberstlt[/color]]

I have seen the Swiss, Finns and Swedes on exercise and can tell you that their conscripts, reservists and old soldiers used lots of "old" equipment. They looked pretty professional to me! I have seen lots of much worse US summer soldiers. I keep saying it is the nut behind the trigger to myself.


Howdy Mr. Oberst Lt..



I agree with that last part. An aussie friend always told me that, "You can hear the yanks coming from a kilometer away as they make so much noise and can follow them by the stuff (word edit) they leave behind."



I think this is just a manifestation of "keeping up with the Joneses. If the Army has it, the Reserves want it and the Marines will get it. It's sort of a never ending spiral. Anyway, I'm sorry for the thread drift. I just wanted to add that little bit.



As to the handgun in question, I have no knowledge. I'm sorry it wasn't there when you went back Mr. Barry. This thread did point out one factor that I consider significant however. It seems that the 9mm in use in Europe is not the same as the 9mm in use here in the United States. They run "hotter" ammo there, making the 9mm a more viable round IMO.



Take care and stay safe,



Biker
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Old 02-23-2010, 01:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bikerrn

I think this is just a manifestation of "keeping up with the Joneses. If the Army has it, the Reserves want it and the Marines will get it. It's sort of a never ending spiral.


I don't know if the following story is true or not, but it should be because it is a great example of this:



The USMC developed their current MarPat (digital camo pattern) after some decent development and field trials. My understanding is that it works pretty well across a variety of terrain, which is pretty hard to do, showing their efforts paid off.



I hear the US Army got their new digital pattern because some brass saw the MarPat, liked it, thought they needed something just as cool, so they chose something in a pretty hasty fashion. The result is a pattern that isn't bad, but not all that great at anything.

But somebody somewhere wanted something as new as what the Marines got, and they got it.







Quote:

I'm sorry it wasn't there when you went back Mr. Barry.
All hope is not gone yet. A lot of the regulars in this shop buy things to play around with and study, then trade them back shortly. Guns rotate through there often, and interesting ones sometimes rotate through several of us regulars before it's all over.

I'll be back in a few days to pick up something I have coming in (Colt New Service in 38-40) and I have a feeling the Lahti will be back in there by then.
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Old 02-23-2010, 01:34 PM   #9
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Few more random thought vaguely related to the Lahti:



First, I am always surprised to hear about the "high powered" European 9mm P. My tests of it show it to be nothing special at all. But I will say that the 115 FMJ stuff here in the US is underpowered in the extreme. Even the black tipped SMG only stuff was only marginally faster with 124 grain bullets than most NATO spec stuff I have seen. I wonder if it is only the "heavier" bullet that gives that impression.



A Colts New Service in 38-40 - a full report is required under the proper channel! And then the Lahti, my life will be complete. Did I ever tell the tale of the 20mm Lahti AntiTank Gun down at Interarms?



Anyone who has spent a week in the field is already sufficiently camouflaged ! Either that or they are not really working in the field. And camouflage tanks? How do you camouflage something that is 17 feet tall, makes a racket and has a dust rooster tail 1/2 mile tall? It is like camouflage on guns - silly.
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Old 02-23-2010, 03:50 PM   #10
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Lahti

I had a Swedish Lahti a couple of years ago and really liked it, very accurate, but I sold it to finance my first Luger. I would get another if the opportunity arose.

Now, a SiG210...that's also one of my "somedays".
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