"Tunnel Weapon"?


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Slater
October 1, 2004, 11:33 PM
http://stinet.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/fulcrum_main.pl?database=tr_u2&keyfieldvalue=ADD702156&searchterms=%28DOC_TEXT+CONTAINS+%27holster%27+%29&SQL=SELECT+RELEVANCE%28%272%3A4%27%29+AS+SCORE%2C+TABLENAME%28%29+AS+TABLE_NAME+%2C+ADNUMBER%2C+TITLE%2CPAGES%2CMEDIACODE+FROM+TR_U2+UNION+FT_U2++WHERE+%28DOC_TEXT+CONTAINS+%27holster%27+%29+ORDER+BY+SCORE+DESC%3B&hit=1&max=6&searchid=109668426016008&submitbutton=Citation

Exactly what is being referred to here? Some type of handgun or shotgun?

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Texian Pistolero
October 2, 2004, 12:23 AM
I invite you to obtain a copy of "The Tunnels of Cu Chi"

(I probably have the spelling wrong)

Trusting my woefully inadequate memory,

I think this refers to an experimental large caliber REVOLVER, say .44,

(developed by some top secret spook outfit)

firing a pre-fragmented round that split into, say, six projectiles.

To the best of my memory, the experimental revolver was not well recieved in the field.

Read the book.

I think some tunnel rats used a .45 ACP M1911,

because that was the commonly issued U.S. Army handgun.

The purists liked the six shot .38 S&W revolver,

(no ejected brass and less muzzle flash),

And some used a chopped barrel and chopped stock M-1 carbine,

perfect for Close Encounters of the Dirt-Dwelling Marxist-Leninist Kind..

Read the book.

Preacherman
October 2, 2004, 12:50 AM
Yes, it was a highly modified S&W .44 Magnum. Interestingly, the ammunition was silenced, rather than the gun! A piston drove forward in the cartridge case upon ignition, firing the projectile into the barrel: but when the piston reached the end of the cartridge case, it stopped, sealing it, and preventing the gas (and noise) from escaping. It was a most ingenious design, but never developed further. After the Vietnam War, most of the revolvers concerned (many of which had no serial number) were collected and destroyed. I've seen one example, the treasured (and probably illegal) possession of a Vietnam vet, and it's a very interesting piece indeed.

Gabby Hayes
October 2, 2004, 01:04 AM
The author of "The Tunnels of Cu Chi" describes it as a modified S&W .44 Magnum revolver with a 3-inch smooth-bore barrel that initially fired a special 15-pellet round as Preacherman described. Following some initial testing the ammunition was changed to a 4-segment load for better short-range effectiveness. Smoke and flash were virtually eliminated. The author claims that the report sounded more or less like a cap gun.

Harry Tuttle
October 2, 2004, 01:25 AM
Tunnel Running for Fun and Profit

__ Tote them demolitions!_ Lift that tunnel hatch!_ Crawl through that chamber!_ Dodge that booby trap!
__ Ho-hum, its all in a day’s work for Specialist Four Tony Murdock, who spends more time peering at the results of Viet Cong burrowing than smelling the fresh air of Hau Nghia Province.
__ Murdock, a 20-year-old native of Radford, Va., is one of the unique breed of soldier to have earned the nickname of “tunnel runner” or “tunnel rat”.
__ It all began shortly after he arrived at the base camp, 20 miles northwest of Saigon, and his unit, Co. B, 1/5th (Mech.) Inf. discovered itself sitting on the end result of 15 years of communist digging.
__ Cu Chi was the one perfect place in Vietnam to establish a tunnel school._ School?_ SCHOOL?!_ There was no school according to Murdock._ It was OJT (on-the-job-training) and I was the guinea pig.
__ But the specialist, who spent six months in Vietnam in 1964 as a helicopter aerial door gunner says he doesn’t mind squirming through the tunnels, most of which are no larger than three feet by five feet.
__ Certainly, not a job for a man with claustrophobia, the big problem lies not in the cramped quarters but in the little surprises the Viet Cong leave behind them - punji sticks (sharpened and hardened bamboo stakes), booby traps, stray dogs and even an airplane engine.
(Continued on Page 4)
http://www.25thida.com/TLN/tln1-05.htm

Leadbutt
October 2, 2004, 02:10 AM
Did that job for a short while, to this day can't stand to even be in an MRI tube.

We carried the S&W 38spl,with the old 158 or 200 load , They were FMJ's, used to use a swiss file a seabee gave me and crossed the noses. had a piece of rawhide tied to the butt where the lanyard ring should have been, we even tryed the old model 67 savage with the bblcut down to infront of the mag tube and the butt cut off at the pistol grip. With buckshot and the hard to get fleshette round it worked okay but the concussion underground was firece. Pungie sticks didn't worry me to much, but the mines / handgrenades/SNAKES!!!!:what: sure did

DigMe
October 2, 2004, 02:24 AM
I read that book. I couldn't imagine having that job.

An old Vietnam Vet friend of mine who served three tours said the craziest people he met in Nam always seemed to be door gunners or tunnel rats. Certainly not to say that ALL door gunners and tunnel rats were crazy (and certainly no disrespect to leadbutt).

Leadbutt,

You're a braver man than I would have been I'm sure.

brad cook

MrMurphy
October 2, 2004, 11:47 AM
AAI also made a silenced shotgun shell using the piston design that saw some use by the SEALs and LRRPs in Vietnam.

ceetee
October 2, 2004, 11:32 PM
Max has a fairly decent description (with a couple of diagrams) that show how those "silent rounds" work.


Silent ammunition (http://www.world.guns.ru/ammo/sp-e.htm)



Of course, he says they were originally developed over there, and you're saying we invented them here... Oh, the humanity!




P.S. Anybody that had the nerve to crawl down into one of those tunnels obviously has way, way more guts than me! My hat's off to ya!

DorGunR
October 3, 2004, 12:09 AM
I invite you to obtain a copy of "The Tunnels of Cu Chi"
(I probably have the spelling wrong)


No, you got the spellng right..........I helped build the camp at Cu Chi in early 1966, I was a member of the 25th Inf. Div.

MeekandMild
October 3, 2004, 12:28 AM
OK, I give up, how do you do it? You shoot the top secret bullet and the little seal blows forward and blocks the gap between cylinder and barrel. So now you have a revolver which has the cylinder effectively sealed to the barrel. So how does it turn? How do you open it to get the gas seal out? Or do you just shoot once and throw it away? :rolleyes: :banghead:

Backwoods
October 3, 2004, 02:14 PM
The round does not seal the barrel/cylinder gap. It seals the end of the cartridge case so that no blast leaves the chamber mouth and therefore can't blast out the b/c gap.

Don in Ohio

Vern Humphrey
October 3, 2004, 05:26 PM
Quote:
------------------------------------
A piston drove forward in the cartridge case upon ignition, firing the projectile into the barrel: but when the piston reached the end of the cartridge case, it stopped, sealing it, and preventing the gas (and noise) from escaping.
------------------------------------

The Soviets later produced an assassin's weapon on this principle. It looked like a Remington Derringer on steroids.

Randy Ellis, Tunnel Rat 6, is a good friend of mine. When I was an Adviser in III Corps, I went into a few tunnels -- the American Adviser has to set the example, you know.

I carried my Colt M357, which I never had to use (thankfully.) On one occasion, I encountered a cobra staked in the tunnel, and couldn't get past him. After thinking it over and considering all options, I holstered the pistol, teased him with my flashlight, and when his head went low enough, finished the job with my bowie knife.

DorGunR
October 3, 2004, 07:46 PM
Cu Chi was the base camp for the 25th ID and there are more tunnels at Cu Chi than any othe one place in Nam with perhaps the exception of Black Virgin Mountain, ckick on the 25th ID link below, find the search button and type in "tunnel rats" , there is some interesting info there.

http://www.25thida.com/

horge
October 3, 2004, 07:57 PM
I'll pile onto what the good priest hath said ;)

The S&W QSPR (Quiet Special Purpose Revolver) was a modified Model 29 .44Magnum, but with a supershort .40 smoothbore barrel.

The tunnel gun's 'quiet cartridge' consisted of a steel case, with a special primer, propellant, piston, and 15 small lead balls secured by a composition sabot. The ignition of propellant pushed the piston forward violently, shoving the sabot and lead balls forward. But the piston itself never left the case, sealing off the mouth of the case at the end of its stroke, and keeping the report, flash and gases within the case.

From the S&W Handguns 2002 Special Collector's Edition,
the QSPR and its cartridges...
http://mabma.thereeftank.com/postpics/qspr.jpg



Pretty neat ;)

CZ-100
October 3, 2004, 08:01 PM
All of the show on the History Channel about the "Tunnel Rats" in Vietnam, all were going in with a .45 and a flash light.

CRAZY Guys....:D

Vern Humphrey
October 3, 2004, 08:26 PM
Quote:
---------------------------------------
All of the show on the History Channel about the "Tunnel Rats" in Vietnam, all were going in with a .45 and a flash light.
----------------------------------------

You went in with what you had. When I was an adviser, all I had was a GI flashlight, my Colt M357, and an M2 carbine. The latter weapon, I would not choose for ANY mission.

Preacherman
October 3, 2004, 10:51 PM
I understand that the (very few) surviving examples of the "Tunnel Gun" are very valuable indeed as a collectors' item - my buddy tells me that he's been offered $10,000 for his! It's not for sale, unfortunately...

Trebor
October 5, 2004, 03:38 AM
I've also seen a picture of a tunnel rat with what appears to be a conventional .38 revolver with a large silencer attached. I believe he also had a infrared lamp and googles.

Penman
October 5, 2004, 07:46 PM
Anyone interested in the Vietnam War needs to read that book. It also has stories from the enemy's side. The passage that got me was when one ofthe tunnel rats thought the walls of the tunnel were moving - they were covered with spiders...

Holly76201
October 7, 2004, 11:46 AM
Just wanted to say "Thanks" to DorGunR and Vern and any other Nam Vets for their service. You didn't hear it enough when you came back to "the World" and you deserved it then and now.

Tharg
October 7, 2004, 03:27 PM
What Holly said ^^^^^^^^

ChiefPilot
October 7, 2004, 04:25 PM
You went in with what you had. When I was an adviser, all I had was a GI flashlight, my Colt M357, and an M2 carbine. The latter weapon, I would not choose for ANY mission.

Why?

DorGunR
October 8, 2004, 12:05 AM
Holly76201 and Tharg..................Thank You, you're most welcome .:)

Tunnel Rat
April 30, 2008, 02:51 PM
To Preacherman, I would like to see a photo of the tunnel weapon, there is a picture of a S&W revolver similar to the "Tunnel Weapon" I was issued while I was a tunnel rat in the 1st Infantry Division. The site is world.guns.ru/handguns/hg213-e.htm the discription of the piston/cylnder round is accurate.

To Vern Humphry, I would like to get in touch with Lt Randy Ellis, he was there and gone by the time I volunteered. The Lt during my time was Jack Flowers included in the book "Tunnels of Cu Chi"

Wes Janson
April 30, 2008, 05:45 PM
I could be wrong here, but I seem to recall an ATF ruling or release or something a while back that stated that individual cartridges such as the ones used in the tunnels, were each themselves to be considered an NFA silencer, subject to the usual regulations.

Kinda curious as to whether that means one could reload and reuse the same "silencer" over and over without re-submitting the paperwork. You'd only have to spend $1200 in taxes to load up an entire cylinder.

Vern Humphrey
April 30, 2008, 07:33 PM
Randy and I were both stationed at the Army Traning Support Center at Fort Eustis, VA in the early '80s -- I haven't seen him more than a few times since then, and have no current address for him.

Grandpa Shooter
April 30, 2008, 09:18 PM
Just want to thank my brothers in arms for their service. I spent my time in the Delta trying to clear the canals and backwaters from a Monitor. Biggest damn floating firebase we had back then that could pentrate any real distance back country.

The tough part was going in to pick up survivors of special units.

Thanks from another old war dog.

Vern Humphrey
April 30, 2008, 09:20 PM
Here's to absent comrades.

oneshooter
April 30, 2008, 10:36 PM
We managed to "liberate" a Mac10 w/can from a jeep. After the fuss died down (about 2 weeks IIRC, Gunny was not happy) it was used by our "rats" with good effect!!:evil::D

Oneshooter
Livin in Texas

Sans Authoritas
April 30, 2008, 10:54 PM
Here's a link with a modified photo and a description of how it worked.

http://world.guns.ru/handguns/hg213-e.htm

-Sans Authoritas

SDC
May 1, 2008, 09:10 AM
Here is also a photograph of AAI's "silent shotshell" (fired and unfired), that worked roughly the same way that the QSPR did; a folded metal membrane inside the shell keeps the propellant gases inside the shell when it is fired, but the payload is given enough of a boost that it's still lethal at normal gunfight ranges. Unlike the QSPR rounds, these would cycle through any ordinary 12-gauge pump-action shotgun.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=48944&d=1165401367

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