Favorite Firearms: A WWII Vet's MAB Modele C

posted on December 22, 2020
mab.jpg

My father was a World War II veteran. He was a Marine who had served in the South Pacific from 1943 to 1946, and growing up, I knew practically nothing about his service. Like many of his buddies, he didn’t talk about his service, but urging him to talk a few years before he died, I learned he had done amphibious landings in combat at Tinian, Saipan and Iwo Jima. 

His stories were sobering. Like many veterans, my dad didn’t hunt or shoot after the war, but he did own one gun that he had been given by his father: a French-made Manufacture d’Armes de Bayonne (MAB) Modele C, chambered in 7.65 mm Browning (.32 ACP).

Dad kept it in a cardboard cigar box on the top shelf in his closet. MAB sold these just after the war for personal protection, and my maternal grandfather bought one in the early 1950s. When my father’s health started to decline, mom asked me to take the MAB for safekeeping, making it my first firearm.

The Model C was a design based on the John Browning-designed FN Model 1910. Mine is in pristine condition, and I doubt my father ever fired it. He liked the design and we spoke about it and its exceptional machining and action. It is because of this gun that I began collecting a few small pre-war pistols and became fascinated by their designs.

After my father died, I pulled out the MAB Model C, and I keep it in the gun safe now—well-oiled and holding a lot of memories of my father, my grandfather and how it was the gun that first sparked my interest in becoming a firearm collector and enthusiast.

—James Hawkins, Georgia

Latest

Lupolead122
Lupolead122

2021 Rifle of the Year: Benelli Lupo

American Rifleman is pleased to announce 2021 Rifle of the Year goes to Benelli USA for its Lupo bolt action.

Sonoran Desert Institute Honored for Veteran Hiring Efforts

Sonoran Desert Institute was recognized by the U.S. Department of Labor for its efforts in hiring and recruiting veterans with the 2021 HIRE Vets Medallion Award.

NRA 150: First Gold For American Riflemen

The modern Olympics, as we know them today, started in 1896, and there were shooting events at the games as early as Athens in 1906. After all, the man who put the games together, Baron Pierre de Coubertin, was himself a French pistol champion. Neither the United States nor Great Britain sent rifle teams to Athens, but that changed for the 1908 Olympic Games in London.

New For 2021: Springfield Armory 1911 Ronin EMP

Springfield Armory blended features from its Ronin 1911 lineup with its popular carry-size EMP pistol to create a carry-friendly 1911 with top-tier elements.

​America’s First Sniper Rifle: The Telescopic-Sighted Krag-Jorgensen

The American Civil War was the first conflict in our nation’s history in which telescopic-sighted rifles were employed in combat to any appreciable extent. These muzzleloading, percussion rifles were fabricated by a number of civilian gunsmiths and gunsmithing firms, primarily for benchrest shooting matches.

The Armed Citizen® Nov. 29, 2021

Read today's "The Armed Citizen" entry for real stories of law-abiding citizens, past and present, who used their firearms to save lives.

Interests



Get the best of American Rifleman delivered to your inbox.