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My new favorite .38 Super, Cop AND Robbers!


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#21 HANS

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 03:05 AM

Very cool piece of history. I'd be interested to learn more about their "colt army rifle." The ony Colt-made Army rifle I can think of would have been an M1918 BAR ... Sounds more like a Krag M1896 or Springfield M1903, though, what with the 52 odd cartridges they had. Generally they were badly off for ammunition. 8 for the Super .38? 17 for the revolver? 5 for their double-barrelled shotgun? Weird.

 

Cheers

 

HANS


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#22 USMC0802

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 06:22 AM

Agreed Hans. As much as I'd love it to be a BAR (indeed, the only Colt .30 Army rifle), I am betting the young typist in the office who prepared that document simply used "colt" instead of "cal" by mistake.  I figured if it was a BAR, it'd have been given special attention, explicitly described in both documents as that would have been a fairly newsworthy discovery I should think.  Agree that it was most likely a surplus Krag, or perhaps 1903.

 

I wish an inventory of their apartment had been included!  Maybe it'd have listed bulletproof vests, ammo, stolen bonds... ;)


Edited by USMC0802, 14 July 2017 - 06:23 AM.

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#23 OCM

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 09:27 AM

Good thinking on that, Hans. I doubt a Colt BAR M1918. More like a 30-40 Krags, very common. Seems only Barrow favored riding around in a 34 Ford with a couple WWI cannons. ( BARs) Exception was Nelson's pal, Chase with the Colt Monitor.

 

The Super 38 from Wolf & Klar is interesting, intrigues me. These motor bandits did travel all over.  


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#24 USMC0802

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 05:44 PM

This James Roberts seems to have been a dedicated career criminal...rap sheet a mile long.  Includes an annotation that he was held in Bryan Ohio under suspicion of bank robbery in January 1934, but no further information on that particular case in his prison file.  Makes a guy wonder what all these boys were up to that they DIDN'T get nabbed for...

 

Frank Patterson's record annotated that he had suffered a gunshot wound in the left shoulder in 1933.

 

Prison record described theft of the car they were found with in Detroit, taken at gunpoint in Oak Park (Chicago) IL.   

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#25 dalbert

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 09:24 AM

USMC0802,

 

i really enjoyed reading through your post.  The photos are amazing, and I love the maps that you added.  If GIJive has not seen this yet, he'll like the Oak Park connection.

 

Thanks!

 

David Albert

dalbert@sturmgewehr.com


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#26 USMC0802

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 11:53 AM

Thanks David!  

 

After always hearing the "if only it could talk" saying, it's truly thrilling to be able to put the story together for something like this.  I am still investigating, hoping to find a prison record and mugshot for the third man arrested with the car, and also trying to find information on James Roberts' father in law arrested for murder in Chicago.  

 

Roberts' wife had been living at 3511 W. Adams in Chicago, apparently the address at which her father was arrested on the murder warrant after the Detroit bust. 


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#27 USMC0802

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 11:58 AM

There are about 60 pages between the two prison records, and I'm still trying to dig through it all for interesting tidbits during short breaks from "regular work". 

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#28 OCM

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 05:52 PM

Nice stuff, just keeps coming. Was noticing the US Army 30 cal rifle was serial # 143135, I think that clearly takes it out of the BAR world.

Do you have an IO poster possibly, that usually gives relatives etc. Any one have info on the Purple Gang, wasn't that the Detroit area, could be mistaken. 


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#29 USMC0802

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 07:11 PM

Hi Sandy.  Yep, Detroit was Purple Gang.  I haven't found any listing of "known associates" unfortunately, which could be cross referenced for other bad guys connected to various gangs.  I'm hoping investigation of the father-in-law may give us some connection to a known Chicago group.  I'm not sure if The Outfit employed many Irishmen, but there are plenty of other possibilities of course.  

 

One of the prison file documents describing the arrest mentions a "Springfield" rifle in the car, so either a 1903 or much more likely a Krag as we supposed.  Without that document, the serial "could" still have indicated a BAR, as that number falls within the Winchester range.

 

I'd like to know more about the bank robbery Roberts was suspected in...


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#30 OCM

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 08:05 PM

Interesting, great research. Keep stabbing, something will pop up.


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#31 ron_brock

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 08:43 PM

I've got a few Purple Gang books. If there are some names you need me to look up, let me know. None have a listing, but quite a few names throughout.

Ron
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#32 USMC0802

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 08:29 AM

Thanks very much Ron - I may take you up on that once I dig a bit deeper.


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#33 HANS

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 12:36 PM

One of the prison file documents describing the arrest mentions a "Springfield" rifle in the car, so either a 1903 or much more likely a Krag as we supposed.  Without that document, the serial "could" still have indicated a BAR, as that number falls within the Winchester range.

 

 

Now that certainly sounds like an M1903. Those were around as well, you could buy them but most criminals stole them from National Guard armouries.

 

Cheers

 

HANS


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#34 OCM

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 01:00 PM

Clyde Barrow certainly stole many of his weapons from the National Guard Armories, BARs of course, but in the pictures recovered after the Joplin shoot-out, he displays the Krag 30-40 stolen from the same. ( also his famous " Whippet " gun and others )   


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#35 HANS

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 02:25 PM

I'm pretty sure Barrow's Krag was a commercial item; they were available all over in the 1930s. Barrow stole two M1903s in April 1933 from the armoury in Plattville, complete with slings and bayonets. Since those never turned up again he probably sold them or stashed them somewhere, just like he did with many of the BARs.

 

Cheers

 

HANS


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#36 OCM

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 03:46 PM

Hmmm, I have it as 3 BARs and some 45s out of Plattville, Ill which I hear was iffy, coming of course from WD Jones.

The photos of the Krag and others was taken in late March 1933, They arrived in Joplin on March 31, 1933, where the film was recovered after the shoot out April 13, 1933 and the police had the film developed- Bonnie & Clyde !! It's believed Clyde's Whippet shotgun was used to kill extensively in the Joplin battle.

They did supposedly rob a grocery store, a tourist camp and the Neosho Milling Company in the area, in the twelve days in Joplin,     

 

Off subject here a bit, sorry.

 

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#37 OCM

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 07:12 PM

HANS-( USMC)

Confirmed with Jim Knight, you are probably correct on the Krag, vs M1903. The Platteville thing is iffy as we've discussed here. ( WD JONES) .

Keep em coming, great history...


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#38 USMC0802

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 07:25 PM

Probably lost to history, but I'm inclined to believe it was most likely a Krag simply due to the prevalence of surplus/sporterized pieces floating around during that time.  Hard to beat a cut down rifle or carbine for handiness in a car, and it seems the rest of their weaponry was commercially sourced so the stolen gov't property angle seems less likely in this particular case.

 

Fascinating regardless!


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#39 USMC0802

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 07:32 PM

Some guys just never learn...Patterson busted for safe blowing after his stint in Leavenworth...

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#40 USMC0802

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 07:40 PM

The other mention of weapons found in the car...nothing conclusive.

 

 

...now I just need to locate that 1935 Ford to restore and drive around with the .38 Super in the seat next to me.

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