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Pinching Pennies

This would make a dedicated WWII reenactor gag, but it does work for airsoft.

First of all, if you live in America, it is very likely you know someone, relative or neighbor, who was in, or knows someone who was in, WWII... and in many cases they have equipment and uniforms left over that they will give away. You might think I’m crazy, but its 100% true even in the year 2003! There were 13 million servicemen in WWII multiply by three and that’s how many sets of uniforms and gear were made! I’m not joking.

Now lets assume you struck out, you didn’t score a single thing by mooching. NO PROBLEM!!!!

Shoes: Most GIs wore brown leather boots that looked almost suede, I bought a pair that are very close at a Kmart for $29 made by "Dickeys" but you can really get away with any kind of boot, so long as its brown or black, NO SNEEKERS!!!! So don't sweat the boot part, because it's the canvas leg covers that make the ww2 look.

Leggings: Ever notice that WWII American soldiers often had khaki material wrapped around their boots and shins? Well the US government must have made 40 million pairs, because factory fresh originals are still available. This will make up for your crappy looking boots! Can’t find them? Get them from the link at the end of the article. WWIIimpressions.com stocks those as well as canvas leg covers. $0 to $29.99

Pants: GIs wore lots of different pants, anything that’s strong (keep in mind your going to be beating the crap out of them). Khaki and green works, but dark brown is the best, better yet when its wool, any thrift store will have something you can use for probably like $6, if you want to go hardcore, just go buy an original pair for $30

Undershirt: A modern us army t-shirt tan or green works $6 new. $3 dollars used, you really should have one already.

Jacket: There were two major types of combat jackets in WW2, the M1941 pattern was khaki, and the M1943. The M1943 pattern was green and looked pretty much the same from 1943 to 1983 when the US stopped making them. If you can find an M1943 that doesn’t have a zipper closure, your golden, that would be an early model pre-Korean war. Either way you go, you should be able to find a WWII looking jacket for under $50.

Steel pot helmet: These are so easy to find I would be very concerned if you cant find one, go get your vision checked. The USA used these from 1940 to 1985 so who knows how many million were made. I got mine for $6 but you may spend up to $20 If the one you find is glossy or some weird color, buy some olive drab spray paint.

Web Gear: Now your looking like a ww2 GI!! what about web gear, well try to stay khaki, but if its green that’s ok. Make sure its cotton! Get a pistol belt first, and build off of that over time. A beat up original belt should be between $5 and $20. I’m wearing a WW1 the pistol belt in the picture.

Fighting in winter? Did you know the modern US army sweater is virtually identical to the WWII version? If you know anyone in the army, reserve and guard included, they might have one lying around for free or willing to loan you one.

Ok, that’s like $150 (assuming you didn’t find anything for free) and your ready to take your Thompson, carbine, or grease gun out to fight!!!

If you’re willing to spend a bit more, and look a lot better visit these two sites: WWII Impressions, At The Front.