by T. Logan Metesh, Firearms Specialist, NRA Museums - Tuesday, April 26, 2016
Video games generally reside in a world of fantasy. However, some of their technical aspects are rooted in reality – and history. Such is the case with Call of Duty: World at War. Released in 2008, this game takes place primarily in World War II, with action taking place both in the Pacific and the Soviet Union.
The firearms and other weapons utilized in this game are historic, naturally, since it takes place some 70 years ago. As such, many of the guns are represented in the NRA Museums’ collection. Here are some examples of real-life firepower you can see on display in the museum galleries:
Nicknamed the “Chicago Typewriter,” not everyone wielding a Tommy Gun was on the wrong side of the law. The Thompson actually served law enforcement and soldiers equally well. Capable of firing from a stick magazine or a drum magazine, the Thompson was chambered to fire .45 ACP pistol cartridges. This particular example was found on the beachhead at Anzio, Italy, by Captain Frank Grismer, U.S. Navy.
This German hand grenade was nicknamed the “Potato Masher” because it closely resembled the non-lethal kitchen utensil. The stick handle greatly improved the distance that the grenade could be thrown. Thirty to forty yards was an attainable range for these devices. Originally designed as a concussion weapon, a fragmenting sleeve was adopted in 1942 that turned it into an anti-personnel fragmentation grenade.
Chambered in 7.7mm, the Type 99 was slightly shorter than the earlier Type 38 and could be fitted with the Type 30 bayonet or even a grenade launcher. While it never completely replaced the Type 38, entire regiments ended up being outfitted with the Type 99.
During World War I, the Model 1897 shotgun became known as the “trench broom” because of how effective it was at sweeping away the enemy in the ever-present trenches of that conflict. The gun continued to be used quite effectively in World War II. The trench models featured a perforated steel heat shield on the barrel and a lug at the end to accept the M1917 bayonet.
Always a reliable choice, the .357 Magnum revolver in Call of Duty is what is known as a “Pre-Model 27” because the numbered model designs didn’t come around until after World War II. This double-action revolver features a six-inch barrel in the video game, but the example shown here has a shorter, 3.5-inch barrel.
With dozens of guns featured in this game, our list could go on and on. Come by the museum galleries and see if you can spot the guns mentioned here – and plenty others that aren’t mentioned but also used in Call of Duty: World at War.