Pics of Vietnam-era "bushmaster" (not modern AR15 company)


September 2, 2006, 12:54 AM
In an earlier thread, someone referenced a Vietnam-era .223 subgun called a "bushmaster".

Does the modern AR-15 builder "Bushmaster" take its name from this earlier weapon? I know that Bushmaster built a primitive .223 bullpup back before they got into ARs (and before they built the just-discontinued M17S bullpup). Was that rifle based on the Vietnam-era "bushmaster"?

Does anyone have pics of the Vietnam-era bushmaster? Google was not my friend on this subject.


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September 2, 2006, 01:27 AM

September 2, 2006, 02:28 AM
This is something like they have on Bradleys

that is exactly what we have the brad's from the link you posted. now that is alot of fun to fire. Man i am so lucky to be a m2a2 gunner, i wish everyone could experience the thrill of table 8 during gunnery!

troops, truck, troops first gunner coax fire!!!!!!!!!!

Number 6
September 2, 2006, 03:44 AM
This might be it.

The USAF awards a contract to Colt for the construction of four Individual Multi-Purpose Weapons (IMP), as a proposed air crew survival weapon. The original goals for the weapon are a "lethal" range of 100 meters, a weight of less than 1.5 pounds, a maximum length under 13," and a minimum magazine capacity of 7 rounds. Dale M. Davis of the USAF's Armament Laboratory (Elgin AFB) is responsible the stockless bullpup design which others dub an "arm gun." The best known examples of the GUU-4/P IMP are the technology demonstrators chambered in .221 Remington Fireball. However, experimental models are constructed in a couple of .30 caliber wildcats for suppressed use. These cartridges are based upon a slightly shortened .30 Carbine case and a shortened .221 Fireball case respectively (sort of a stubby forerunner to J.D. Jones' later Whisper experiments). There was also discussion of building different models in Frankford Arsenal's 4.32x45mm micro-caliber cartridge (.17 Remington), 7.62x51mm, and 5.56x45mm. (The latter idea is developed and marketed commercially years later by Mack Gwinn Sr. and Mack Gwinn Jr. as the Bushmaster pistol.)

Edit: Whoops, I did not see that you wanted a pic of it. Try here.

September 2, 2006, 10:28 AM
There were actually a couple, the one Number 6 showed, which is probably the first PDW type gun, and this one,

B.D. Turner
September 2, 2006, 10:32 AM
According to a good friend of mine a "Bushmaster" was a poison snake in vietnam.

September 2, 2006, 01:09 PM
Bushmasters are native to central and South America.

September 2, 2006, 02:15 PM
Viet Nam has a lot of venomous snakes including Cobras, Kraits, and various Vipers. :uhoh:

Bushmasters are the largest pit vipers, but are not in Vietnam as posted above.

There is a viper sometimes called a "Bush Viper", but they are not supposed to be in Vietnam either.

September 2, 2006, 04:04 PM
@Number 6: Outstanding! Exactly what I was looking for, thanks.

Actually, that pic looks just like the early bullpup that the modern Bushmaster Inc. was trying to market for motorcylce cops and such. If I understand the posted article correctly, the modern Bushmaster Inc. was involved in building prototypes of the "arm pistol", and derived their name and original product line therefrom?


September 2, 2006, 06:51 PM
perhaps you are looking for the Colt XM177. It was AF issue to Sentry Dog Handlers. Collapsible stock, short barrel big flash hider. The second rifle is the pic. (XM177E1) I was a dog handler in RVN 1967-68 and these were our issue weapon. They were called "M16 Submachine guns" Easy to carry and mine, (Rack #29 Danang AB), functioned perfectly.:cool:
Heres a link:

September 2, 2006, 07:53 PM
The Bushmaster was originally developed as a pilot's survival weapon for use in a combat environment.

At the time, the Air Force had used the AR-7 .22LR rifle that broke down and stored in the butt stock.
This rifle is still being made by other makers.

The Air Force also used the M6, a stamped sheet steel, over and under firearm that fired the .22 Hornet and the .410 shot shell.
This was also made commercially by Springfield Inc.

These guns served the purpose as a survival gun, but were less than effective as a fighting weapon if the pilot was down in enemy territory.

The Bushmaster was intended to be more of a weapon than a survival rifle.
It was a rectangular aluminum, later sheet steel receiver, with the action and M16 magazine in a bullpup configuration.
It had no butt stock or even a butt plate, and the gun didn't really even look like a firearm.
In appearance, it looked like a long, narrow metal box with a magazine near the rear, and a pistol grip, trigger, and muzzle at the other.

The hand grip was an M16 component, with it and the trigger assembly placed forward near the front of the receiver.

The pistol grip could swivel from side to side, allowing the weapon to be fired with either hand and directing the ejected cases to either side.
The crude front and rear sights also swiveled, the rear was nothing more than a notch in a flat metal plate mounted on the rear end of the receiver.

The weapon was intended to be carried hanging under the arm by a strap, and attached to the flight suit by a snap loop.

To use, the weapon was held by the pistol grip, with the receiver laying along the forearm, and using the sling strap around the neck as a tension brace.
The other hand could press the rear of the receiver against the forearm.
The gun had no forward grip at all other than the pistol grip and trigger group.

Muzzle blast was ferocious, and accuracy was poor due to the crude sights and method of holding the gun.
After evaluating the weapon, the Air Force decided to pass because of the weight and bulk of the gun, and it's poor qualities as a true survival gun.

A semi-automatic version was made by Quality Parts Company, who later re-named themselves as the Bushmaster Company.

Here's a link showing it:

Number 6
September 2, 2006, 10:35 PM
@Number 6: Outstanding! Exactly what I was looking for, thanks.

Glad I could help.

Fred Fuller
September 3, 2006, 07:56 AM
Here's the pic:

September 4, 2006, 08:33 PM

September 4, 2006, 09:39 PM
:D I have a friend that recently acquired a Bushmaster Arm Pistol, like the one pictured. It is a little on the crude side, with some rough finish marks, and rather heavy. The reciever swiveled on the pistol grip axis so that the magazine could be laid on top of the shooting arm. I handled the weapon recently, but was not present when they test fired it. Hitting a human size target at 15 yerds was difficult. The owner said the piece was hard to aim and fire. He said the 2 shooters hit the target about 12 times out of 30.

Now for the part that will totally make you sick. He traded a Glock 34 (I think it was a 34) for the Bushmaster Arm Pistol.:barf: The Bushy came with its origional box and owners manual. I suggested to him that the Bushmaster might be a good way to get his 2 young children through college in about 15 years. I think he agrees.

Wes Janson
September 5, 2006, 12:37 AM
Pretty good deal, I'd say. Saw one about a year ago being offered at a gun sale for $1200, as I recall, without the accompanying paperwork. As you said, they look pretty roughly made, but they're definitely intriguing.

January 5, 2007, 09:56 PM
Great thread, with tons of detail, ongoing on ARF:

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