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USMC Marksmanship Badges


Brig
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Here're the 4 USMC Marksmanship badges currently in my collection, except for 1 in a different grouping. I was wondering what you veteran USMC collectors can tell me.

 

1st piece, and old, pre-WWII Sharpshooter badge. my guess is WWI era, since I believe the Corps didn't use their badges in the Inter-war years, correct? The pin has broken off and somebody a long time ago soldered on a replacement, it seems. Any info would be great. the rear bottom of the cross is marked 'Sterling'

 

2nd badge is a WWII era Marksman bar, rear marked 'sterling' Just picked it up a few days ago. Bent clutch on back, but nice.

 

A WWII-era Marksmanship badge with a bar for 'Grenade'. The grenade bar is 'pot metal', but the top bar of the badge, the US Marine Corps bar, is marked on rear 'Sterling' and with the Meyer shield. Picked it up a couple years ago at an antique store. I like it

 

Finally, a very unique badge I found pinned inside a gun cabinet at an antique store 5 years ago. Marked on front 'US Marine Corps, Quantico, 1942' it has a small, drooping wing EGA on a red backing, and the dangling shield has a weird looking eagle over top a revolver. Back is marked 'V. P. Blackinton C.O.' on the shield. company mark, I imagine, manufactorer. any ideas on this? all I've dug up so far is that there used to be a lot of shooting competitions in Quantico with unofficial awards, and this might be one of them. some old man at the time told me they were very common, and that he had several, and offered me 20 bucks but I turned him down and have never seen another one since. I'm very curious as to this one think.gif

USMC_Marksmanship_Fronts.jpg

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markings. first blurry sterling mark from marksman badge, the Blackinton mark from the Quantico badge, ant the Meyer shield and sterling mark beneath it from the grenade badge. not picture is the sharpshooter mark

USMC_Marksmanship_Markings.jpg

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Brig,

 

Blackinton makes a lot of police badges and I think that is their primary market. You will also find rank insignia and badges by them marketed as "HI GLO." They were established in 1852 and are still in business in Attleboro Falls, Mass.

 

I have also seen quite a few police marksmanship badges made by them so a USMC badge is not surprising. I suspect it was for a specific camp competition.

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wish I could find out more on the competitions. may take some serious research

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wish I could find out more on the competitions. may take some serious research

 

Brig,

 

Nice badges, especially the Quantico Pistol Badge. Unlike the Camp Perry Matches, I believe the Quantico Rifle and Pistol Matches were for Marines only. The maker Blackington will also be found on many of the civilian marksmanship badges from 1940's, 1950's and 1960's. I don't believe I've seen an NRA Marksmanship badge from this period that wasn't made by Blackington. Everything I've seen with their logo on it appears to be superior quality.

 

In addition to marksmanship badges, they also tried their hand at insignia making during WWII. Thought you'd appreciate this one! What I thought was a standard sterling H & H officer's cover emblem when I carried it out of a junk store, turned out to be much more when I put my glasses on and turned it over to see if it had the H & H in or out of the eagle logo. It would appear that Blackington borrowed dies from H & H during the war.

Gary

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now that's a great EGA find! only one I've ever seen like that. thanks for the great input

 

what era would you put on the sharpshooter badge? I'm a bit new at pre-WWII USMC insignia. thanks thumbsup.gif

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now that's a great EGA find! only one I've ever seen like that. thanks for the great input

 

what era would you put on the sharpshooter badge? I'm a bit new at pre-WWII USMC insignia. thanks thumbsup.gif

 

Hi Brig,

 

Thanks for the compliment on the Blackington "bird"! It did surprise me when I saw the hallmark and now I need to find the matching collar emblems, if they exist?

 

About your S/S Badge. When I was collecting USMC shooting badges, the consensus of likeminded collectors was that the two target ring Sharpshooter Badges were the Army pattern from when both Marines and Army wore the same type in the 1930's. Supposedly, the Marines only wore the four target ring pattern. From personal experience, I owned at one time a legitimate, straight up WWII USMC medal and insignia grouping and also a WWII USMC S/Sgt service blouse that both had your type of badge, so I can honestly say that the Marines were either issued or privately purchased the two ringers during WWII. I see the pin has been replaced, but the original safety pin catch is another good indicator that your badge dates from the WWII period.

Gary

 

This is what the "four ringer" badge looks like. This one belonged to WWI Marine Cpl. Neil Shannon, 97th Co., 6th Marines.

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didn't know that, thanks a lot...since this was a seperate piece with no ID, I'll have to assume it was Army then. thanks

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Now to add a little more confusion, I has a couple with three rings. I think it may be more of a time period thing. Both the Marines and Regular Army (NG used bronze) used this type of badge in WWI and they both changed in I believe 1926. Then the Marines went back to the older style again and I think they may have added the extra rings then. Most of the ones with the locking pin that I have seen have four rings and the open catch pins (WWI) have two or three. So if you have one from WWI with an open catch it could be either Army or Marine but if you have a locking pin it can only be Marine as the Army never want back to them.

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teufelhunde.ret
Brig,

 

Nice badges, especially the Quantico Pistol Badge. Unlike the Camp Perry Matches, I believe the Quantico Rifle and Pistol Matches were for Marines only. The maker Blackington will also be found on many of the civilian marksmanship badges from 1940's, 1950's and 1960's. I don't believe I've seen an NRA Marksmanship badge from this period that wasn't made by Blackington. Everything I've seen with their logo on it appears to be superior quality.

 

In addition to marksmanship badges, they also tried their hand at insignia making during WWII. Thought you'd appreciate this one! What I thought was a standard sterling H & H officer's cover emblem when I carried it out of a junk store, turned out to be much more when I put my glasses on and turned it over to see if it had the H & H in or out of the eagle logo. It would appear that Blackington borrowed dies from H & H during the war.

Gary

 

Gary, how often have you seen this? Can you post in reference so this does not get lost? Best regards,

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Guys,

 

The company name is "Blackinton" without the "g" that ought to be there and we keep trying to insert. They market themselves as "the oldest name in insignia" in the US.

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Guys,

 

The company name is "Blackinton" without the "g" that ought to be there and we keep trying to insert. They market themselves as "the oldest name in insignia" in the US.

 

Sarge,

 

Correct you are! I stand corrected! For some reason, I have always thought there was a G, until you made me look. Thanks!

Gary

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Gary, how often have you seen this? Can you post in reference so this does not get lost? Best regards,

 

Darrell,

It's the only Blackinton I've encountered in 25 or so years of collecting EGA's. I think the secret to finding one is assuming that all sterling war time H&H emblems in this pattern could be one. I really thought I was buying just another H&H until I looked at the hallmark. I'm going to try and do some better photos before it goes into the Ref. Section.

Gary

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  • 4 months later...

Found this last week in Raleigh for a mere 2 bucks. Great deal compared to what these are bringing on eBay. Rear marked Gemsco NY. My first expert rifle badge to add to the display of marksmanship badges

Expert_Front.JPG

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Nice example of a ww2 era badge. Of course, these badges are for Army use as well, although they seem to have favoured their own qual badges with the bars added during the war and after.

It is common to see these badges worn by the Army before the war.

 

CB

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Nice example of a ww2 era badge. Of course, these badges are for Army use as well, although they seem to have favoured their own qual badges with the bars added during the war and after.

It is common to see these badges worn by the Army before the war.

 

CB

WHAT ??? The ARMY has their own Qualification Badges: Marksman, Sharpshooter, Expert, & I've near seen any photo, authorization, or any proof of U.S. ARMY men wearing Marine Corps Badges.

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WHAT ??? The ARMY has their own Qualification Badges: Marksman, Sharpshooter, Expert, & I've near seen any photo, authorization, or any proof of U.S. ARMY men wearing Marine Corps Badges.

 

It's a well known and proven fact that Army and Marine Corps alternated shooting badges, USMC wearing the Army style badges through much of the 1920's and Army wearing the Marine style from WWI through 1920's. Here's a shot of my wife's great-uncle, who served with Charlie Company, 35th Infantry, 18th Infantry Division, US Army. This photo was taken, circa 1918. Yep, regular Army was supposed to be issued silver badges and National Army brass badges, but Ernest's badge is a combination of both, with brass bar and silver wreath and rifles. Some strange looking Army shooting badges came out of WWI.

 

Also, here's a photo of a Marine, taken prior to 1929. This photo was won recently on eBay by a friend.

 

Gary

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Nice Find, Brig. Almost surely a badge worn by a Marine during WWII or Korea era.

 

And CB, Gary has it absolutely right. I'm looking at Army Regs No.600-35 dtd Nov 10, 1941. The 'Arms Qualification Badges' specify by description and illustration what we know as 'Army' shooting badges. Not sure when these regs were first promulgated but likely in 1930's. Soldiers were not authorized to wear these badges during WWII or at any time thereafter.

Semper Fi.....Bob

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Just a quick note as these things are sort of a sideline with me as I was a competitive shooter for many years.

 

The silver crossed rifles Expert badge came out in the Army about 1900, the Marines began using the same badge about 1912. The bright gilt badge (called Bronze in the Army) was issued to National Guard troops and others who did not fire the full long range course of fire, but were forced to shoot on reduced ranges/targets.

 

There are a number of styles of these crossed rifles, a real collecting field in themselves.

 

The Army adopted their new badges in 1921, although it was some years before the old style went completely out of use. The Marines switched to the Army style badge in 1924 although many Marines continued to use the older style badge as they thought it was more distinctive.

 

In 1937 the Marines changed back to the old style crossed rifles, and continued to use them until the 1958 change to the current style of Marine badges.

 

Some few of the Army guys that earned the old style crossed rifle expert were apparently allowed to continue wearing that style, as I have seen photos from the 30s showing them.

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Laury Allison

Here is another picture of a soldier wearing a Marine Corps style badge. The picture and information below was found on: http://manchu.org/linage/buckle/

 

This picture was taken in May 1942 at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. PFC Hadaway was a member of Company I, 9th Infantry Regiment. This picture was taken as a possible recruiting poster.

post-1365-1191411289.jpg

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Well, Laury so much for U.S. Army regulations AR 600-35!!!!!!!!! What can I say without totally speculating. PERHAPS, he is a pre-war soldier, who qualified as 'expert' before the regs changed. Looks like he's wearing the distinctive 9th Infantry buckle as well as a French fouragerre, as awarded to the 9th in 1918. Nice historical pic!

Thanks....Bobgee

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