Those who served in vietnam, I have a question


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brentn
July 22, 2007, 08:00 PM
My friends dad served in vietnam for a while, enough time to collect alot of stories and some stuff to bring back home. His dad died of a stroke about 6 years ago, and left him and his brothers a whole crapload of stuff. Most of it is WW2 stuff that he had brought from the states, probably stuff from his grandpa but I didn't ask. His dad also left him an M16 colt.

When he was a kid he was told that when his dad came back from his tour, he was allowed to buy his rifle from the military. My friend doesn't know anything about firearms, all he can tell me is that it looks like the pictures that I've shown him of service rifles of that time. He remembers his dad using it for hunting etc when he was a kid, so he knows that it works properly. However its been sitting in storage for years on end.

I have a question for you guys who served in vietnam. Did they really allow you to buy your rifle when you were finished your tour? Or do you think his dad maybe took it without them knowing?
Would it still be full auto, or would the military have it converted to semi auto back in the 70's?

Its interesting to say the least, the storage locker in which its contained is in a different city but he's going up there this christmas and promised me that he would take pictures of it.

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rangerruck
July 22, 2007, 08:18 PM
not being or served in Nam, but having been in the military, if it really is a early m16, and he "got" it from the military, then it should be full auto. Drool!!!!
Personally i have never heard of the military selling any of their hardware, to civilians. Not directly anyway. By the way, if it is full auto, it is worth some big money.

Mannix
July 22, 2007, 08:20 PM
By the way, if it is full auto, it is worth some big money.
With the paperwork, yes.

Without the paperwork it's worth about 5 years in club fed.

Kilgor
July 22, 2007, 08:36 PM
He's in Canada...

AirForceShooter
July 22, 2007, 08:42 PM
It was called "Combat Loss"
If it's full auto don't go near it.
And as has been stated. if it is a bring back. it WILL be full auto.

AFS

glassman
July 22, 2007, 08:45 PM
I was there in 69 and 70 but never heard of anything like that. More likely, he picked one up and brought it back in his gear.

armabill
July 22, 2007, 08:47 PM
No, you couldn't buy it. Not any firearm at all.

It went back into the armory for re-issue.

brentn
July 22, 2007, 08:48 PM
Yep, very possible. We brought it up one day cause he was telling me that his dad served and when he was a kid would tell him stories etc about the war and what he did. He mentioned that he brought back a "rifle" and I asked what type and he had no idea. We went through some pics of different types and he pointed it out.

Honestly, I highly doubt this is BS. When he does get pics I will defenitly post them.

threefeathers
July 22, 2007, 08:48 PM
Hell no. Whisky Tango Foxtrot, the Army never allowed weapons to be brought home. If you did slip one out in pieces you will do time if found out. The exception might be 1911's brought home in a duffle if it was 'borrowed' from another unit, especially if it was classified as a combat loss. But, get caught with it when you got home in San Francisco and you were mud.
I can't believe that people from any war tell these bull**** stories. (The Army loved me so much that they let me come home with a weapon that my Company Commander is signed for and they will take it out of his paycheck to make good)

brentn
July 22, 2007, 08:49 PM
He's in Canada...


Your point?

brentn
July 22, 2007, 08:50 PM
Hell no. Whisky Tango Foxtrot, the Army never allowed weapons to be brought home. If you did slip one out in pieces you will do time if found out. The exception might be 1911's brought home in a duffle if it was 'borrowed' from another unit, especially if it was classified as a combat loss. But, get caught with it when you got home in San Francisco and you were mud.
I can't believe that people from any war tell these bull**** stories. (The Army loved me so much that they let me come home with a weapon that my Company Commander is signed for and they will take it out of his paycheck to make good)


Keep in mind this is what his dad told him.. I think its obvious that it was jacked.

Cliff47
July 22, 2007, 08:51 PM
I was there in 1969/70 and never heard of that policy. Not to stray too far off-subject, but some prople from combat units did return with AK47s, that had to have some specialized work done on them prior to return to CONUS.

I've got some stories about returning from RVN, but not here, not now. Maybe later.

DMK
July 22, 2007, 09:06 PM
How does Canada feel about machine guns? Don't you need special paperwork for your semi-autos even?

meef
July 22, 2007, 09:15 PM
How does Canada feel about machine guns? Don't you need special paperwork for your semi-autos even?:scrutiny:

Ha. How does Canada feel about any firearm?

Somewhere along the lines of they are all mass-produced by Satan, I think.

:cool:

General Geoff
July 22, 2007, 09:16 PM
From what I understand, the military has never "allowed" bring-backs from wars. During WWII and prior, officials "looked the other way" when GIs brought back hardware from either side as keepsakes. Vietnam and later, however, they sort of clamped down on it.

brentn
July 22, 2007, 09:17 PM
Sorry, I mis-enterpreted what you were trying to say. THought you were incinuating that becuase I was from canada having a friend who could possibly have this rifle is impossible.

Anyways, yea canada never ever allowed full auto's as far as I know. Been banned since they were produced.

Anyways, he doesn't want to sell it, or give it away, it was his dads and has sentimental value.
He has no idea what he has to tell you the truth, he has no idea how illegal it would be to have it, he is completley oblivious to what he really has.

Just some FYI

Battlespace
July 22, 2007, 09:31 PM
I was there from 13 Aug 70 until 15 Aug 71. Not only no , but HELL NO, could this have happened legally. When I went through customs prior to leaving country the customs MPs took a jacket that I had that was made from a poncho liner.

We used to sell AK-47s to RMFs telling them they could get them back. The going price was about $100.00. Some of the guys did keep the occasional SKS to bring back to "the world" but they were few and far between.

We had a smattering of M-1 carbines and the occasional M-3 Grease Gun floating around in the unit with the John Wayne types and I never heard of anyone trying to get those back to the states either. Something about being government property no matter how old. There was one guy who did come up with a Ruger .30 Carbine Blackhawk who was going to try to get it back. Never heard if he made it or not.

Trebor
July 22, 2007, 11:57 PM
If it is a USGI mil-issue M-16 it was stolen. Soldiers were not allowed to buy or bring back their own personal weapons from Vietnam.

I'm not up on Canadian law, but it is very likely a felony for him to own that weapon. Personally, I wouldn't ask any more about it and would not want to see it.

There's always a chance that instead of bringing a military M-16 home, his dad instead bought a Colt SP-1 AR-15 after his return from Vietnam. It would look just like a M-16, except for the markings, and would be semi-auto only.

I know this isn't what your friend thinks, but it is possible. Stories and facts can get misremembered over the years. I know of more then one family of a WWII vet where his "actual service rifle from WWII" turned out instead to be a commercial M-1 Carbine copy or a Korean War era M-1 Garand obviously bought after WII. Somewhere along the line the idea that "this is *just like* the rifle I carried in the war," becomes "This *IS* the rifle he carried in the war."

Kilgor
July 23, 2007, 12:41 AM
He's in Canada...


Your point?

People were starting to give advice as if you were in the U.S. It seemed prudent to make sure people knew to advise you on Canadian law, not U.S. law.

Tommygunn
July 23, 2007, 12:45 AM
We had a smattering of M-1 carbines and the occasional M-3 Grease Gun floating around in the unit with the John Wayne types and I never heard of anyone trying to get those back to the states either. Something about being government property no matter how old. There was one guy who did come up with a Ruger .30 Carbine Blackhawk who was going to try to get it back. Never heard if he made it or not.

My father served in a Navy UDT during the Korean War. He brought back an M-1 Carbine, several magazines and a rucksack full of .30 carbine ammo when he returned from the war.
I still have that carbine ....(and some of the ammo....:D)

.45Guy
July 23, 2007, 01:02 AM
Ahhh the good old days. My neighbor Don has his father's uniform, pistol belt, and colt DA from the first war. And I wasn't even allowed to bring a bayonet back from Iraq.:cuss:
http://i52.photobucket.com/albums/g27/aguy123/Armistice006-1.jpg
http://i52.photobucket.com/albums/g27/aguy123/Armistice007.jpg

jaysouth
July 23, 2007, 01:05 AM
No, No, NO, the Army did not allow anyone to buy their weapons. After WWII, Officers were allowed to keep their issued .45s, but that was it.

VN era Army was very strict about what you brought back with you. No U.S. produced weapons such as M-1 carbines or the odd 1903 or pump trench gun. Bolt action weapons picked up on the battlefield only. Later it was revised to include SKSs. Absolutely no Ak-47s.

I served in VN from May 66 to April 69. During that time I came and went several times and found lapses in the system sometimes (demilled MKII pineapple grenade went through customs in Oakland without a hitch. Another time I got hassled for hours over a Chinese bolt action carbine with the Proper paperwork in good order).

I am a serious collector of military insignia and as such am interested in specific unit histories. I have found the least reliable source of information to be the recollection of veterans.

As a former bartender, VN veteran, amateur military historian and volunteer at the VA, I am especially appalled at the BS that I hear from VN vets. I could write a book about lies I have heard.

brentn
July 23, 2007, 01:18 AM
If it is a USGI mil-issue M-16 it was stolen. Soldiers were not allowed to buy or bring back their own personal weapons from Vietnam.

I'm not up on Canadian law, but it is very likely a felony for him to own that weapon. Personally, I wouldn't ask any more about it and would not want to see it.

There's always a chance that instead of bringing a military M-16 home, his dad instead bought a Colt SP-1 AR-15 after his return from Vietnam. It would look just like a M-16, except for the markings, and would be semi-auto only.

I know this isn't what your friend thinks, but it is possible. Stories and facts can get misremembered over the years. I know of more then one family of a WWII vet where his "actual service rifle from WWII" turned out instead to be a commercial M-1 Carbine copy or a Korean War era M-1 Garand obviously bought after WII. Somewhere along the line the idea that "this is *just like* the rifle I carried in the war," becomes "This *IS* the rifle he carried in the war."


Yea it is a federal offence, even if you don't know if its illegal. He honestly has no idea if its full auto, i'm just assuming, and yea its ENTIRELY possible its what you speak of, colt sp-1. This is why I asked here cause I just want to find out some more info.

To also get something straight, I care not about OWNING a fully automatic weapon really, let alone would ever want to. I just find it extremley fascinating that he could have a real vietnam rifle from the war that no one else has. He looks at all his fathers stuff, not just this rifle, but everything else for that matter as very sentimental. Its not just his, but his whole familys.

I appreciate all the 'open minded' replys, and I'm not out to critisize any of the comments posted.
I think i'm going to take the advice given and just stay away, I don't want to goto jail or have any evidence on me that I'm looking at a weapon that is illegal. Just wanted some info on the possibility that someone has a genuine vietnam rifle.

Thanks for the replys :D

brentn
July 23, 2007, 01:19 AM
I think what i'm also trying to say is that i'm not trying to aquire illegal weapons, just want to know if this could be the real deal.
Just want to make this clear.

General Geoff
July 23, 2007, 01:37 AM
Bottom line: it *could* be the real deal, but if it is, it's highly illegal.

ReadyontheRight
July 23, 2007, 01:57 AM
Through all the legal issues here, I think we are missing one big, scary deal...

A United States SOLDIER can no longer use his issued RIFLE (or a similar version) back home after fighting for years in a WAR??????? Where is the outrage????

I do not think the founding fathers could have conceived that a soldier could not legally own his issued rifle while the USA still adhered to the Bill of Rights.

brentn
July 23, 2007, 02:33 AM
Thats a good point in a way, bad also in another.

Most soldiers would probably keep the gun very safe and never sell it, but there are always ones who could potentially sell it, have it stolen, or use it themselves for illegal purposes...

Kilgor
July 23, 2007, 02:49 AM
The point of the second amendment was to ensure that the population had the right the keep and own the arms necessary to overthrow a tyrannical government. The people should be able to own the same small arms (at a minimum) as the government.

Prince Yamato
July 23, 2007, 03:50 AM
He's in Canada...

Which brings up another point. Full autos for civilians were banned in Canada in either 1975 or 1978. Prior to that you could own them. Owners were grandfathered in. Here's another interesting point: If the weapon is an M-16 and not a C-X or whatever the Canadian variant is, could it have been given to him by an American soldier in Vietnam. Or, perhaps more morose, could he have taken the gun off a dead American or a dead Viet Cong who in turn took it off of a dead American? In effect, he had a "bring back". As you are in Western Canada, I don't think anyone would have thought either way about it.

If he registered it prior to 75/78, he's grandfathered. If not, you have contraband. As you are in Western Canada, I'd say keep it and use it for when the Torontonians come to try and take it away. Then when you run out of bullets, you can just throw piping hot Tim Horton's coffee in their faces... mmm... coffee and Timbits... :)

silverlance
July 23, 2007, 03:56 AM
yes, but they should buy those themselves - unless those arms were owned by the govn't and they were required to regularly submit them for review.

kev

General Geoff
July 23, 2007, 04:15 AM
Through all the legal issues here, I think we are missing one big, scary deal...

A United States SOLDIER can no longer use his issued RIFLE (or a similar version) back home after fighting for years in a WAR??????? Where is the outrage????

I do not think the founding fathers could have conceived that a soldier could not legally own his issued rifle while the USA still adhered to the Bill of Rights.

I'm sure most everyone here agrees with you, but it's something that's already known, and thus isn't usually pointed out in discussion.

brentn
July 23, 2007, 04:53 AM
They just moved to canada approximately 10 years ago btw, they brought it with them and the border obviously did not do a very good check. Point being, lol, it is not registered. So there was no grandfathering of prohibited weapons (12.3) done cause they were never even in canada at the time.

All I've been told is that it was "his service rifle", which can't be accurate as it was catalogued and would have to be checked back in when he left his tour.

Either way, more 'facts' are needed to find anything else out.

General Geoff
July 23, 2007, 05:02 AM
well, since this is in canada, even if it's only semi-auto, it's likely still breaking some sort of law. :)

DMK
July 23, 2007, 09:08 AM
Were the Canadians using M16s around the time of Vietnam? The Brits were still using L1A1s (inch FALs) then.

They just moved to canada approximately 10 years ago btw, they brought it with them and the border obviously did not do a very good check. Point being, lol, it is not registered. So there was no grandfathering of prohibited weapons (12.3) done cause they were never even in canada at the time.

All I've been told is that it was "his service rifle", which can't be accurate as it was catalogued and would have to be checked back in when he left his tour.OK, now I'm confused. Was he in Canadian or U.S. military service?

GRIZ22
July 23, 2007, 01:30 PM
OK, now I'm confused. Was he in Canadian or U.S. military service?


I met several Canadians who joined the U.S. Army so they could go to Vietnam both in the states and in Vietnam. If I recall correctly, Canada along with Poland were appointed by the UN to oversee things in Vietnam. Canadian forces in Vietnam were observers and not combat troops. I'm not sure what weapons they carried there.

There seems a lot of speculation about this M16 and here are the rules in place at the time.

The GCA of 68 outlined what could be brought back as war trophies. The requirements were:

1. It had to be a weapon used by the enemy.

2. If it was full auto it had to be dewatted usually by filling the chamber with weld permanently connecting the barrel and receiver.

3. No US manufactured weapons were allowed no matter what it was.

4. You were supposed to get a war trophy certificate from the MPs before you left. However, I saw a guy bring back an SKS (it was in a case and he handed it to the stewardess to stow during the flight back) and he didn't have paperwork. It took him about 5 minutes with Customs at McChord AFB.

5. About the only weapons you could bring back in shooting condition were Nagants (rifles and revolvers), SKSs, Tokarevs, and the big prize was a Makorov (I only saw 2 or 3 that were already in some GI's hands).

A friend of mine who did a couple of tours with the Marines had a PPSH, AK47, and SKS on his wall at home. He showed me the paperwork he had for all these.

I got there in 1968 and you could easily find a handgun if you wanted one. Just about everything from 22 to 45 caliber were available. Logistics dictated that you needed to find something that fired 38 special or 45 ACP. They weren't too particular about what you brought to Vietnam but paid attention to what you brought back. When I left in 1969 they took you in a room tables that were partitioned off. At the door was a "no questions asked" box where you could dump anything illegal you had before the inspection. You dumped everything out and the MPs went through it all. There were a few guys carted away by the MPs for drugs, weapons, and I don't know for what else.

Many things got smuggled back in a variety of ways. I know they limited Iraq War I vets to nothing and bayonets, helmets, and binoculars were seized which is ridiculous.

I do not think the founding fathers could have conceived that a soldier could not legally own his issued rifle while the USA still adhered to the Bill of Rights.


I don't agree with this. There is no requirement in the Constitution requiring the goverment to supply you with a weapon but the right to own one. The goverment giving you weapons would be an extension of the nanny welfare state.

a similar version

That I agree with.

If that's a M16 your friend has it's illegal in the US or Canada unless there's some paperwork already with it.

TnRebel
July 23, 2007, 02:05 PM
Vietnam 65-66 and no way did he buy it from the gov.{military} buuut when we changed from m-14's to 16's , you could buy the 14's on the black market and some guy's shipped them home one peace at a time till the gov. got wise and started to check all out bound packages. and if he did that then it has a selector switch from full to semi. and the numbers would be on a watch list some where you can about bet on it.

Carl N. Brown
July 23, 2007, 02:37 PM
One of our U.S. senators from Tennessee had a WWII Reising
submachinegun that his father brought back from WWII with
paperwork from his unit. There are actually quite a few of
these, and as WWII veterans die off, they should be legally
inherited by their children or grandchildren. BUT the paperwork
must be in order, and the heirs of veterans often do not
know the law.

Later on, rules got stricter about "war trophies" but WWII,
Korea and early Viet Nam conflict was an earlier era.
Look for paperwork before assuming it is contraband.

Vern Humphrey
July 23, 2007, 02:57 PM
The Army did at one time allow a discharged soldier to take his rifle as part of his mustering out pay. So far as I know, this practice stopped in the early 20th Century. Again, handguns were not included.

You could bring home a trophy weapon from Viet Nam -- I did. You had to have a release certificate from intelligence, a permit from the Viet Namese to have the gun, and an import certificate to bring it into the US. Those were easy to get -- you just taped them to the gun case and carried it through customs.

kellyj00
July 23, 2007, 03:23 PM
Had a buddy back in high school who's mother's boyfriend served infantry in vietnam. Somehow he got a hold of an ak47, he used to tell stories about the VC kid that he pulled it off of. Right... he also claimed to be a tunnel rat (he was about 5' 11", 200 lbs when I met him)

Anyhow, he did demonstrate it's felonious qualities after drinking way too much and deciding that the neighbors cat didn't belong in his old van. The man was crazy, hope he's in jail.

So, if he was telling the truth, then there must have been ways to transport stuff back from Vietnam (he actually was in vietnam as infantry, I believe that part). For all I know he had the necessary license to have an automatic...I don't remember his name either. Great, now my story is as full of holes as his was.

Vern Humphrey
July 23, 2007, 03:33 PM
It was never legal to bring back an AK 47 or any other automatic or selective fire weapon. That doesn't mean people didn't bring them back.

ArfinGreebly
July 23, 2007, 03:42 PM
In was in the USAF '68 to '72, but not "in theatre" during that time.

No, you didn't get to keep the rifle.

Indulging in a little fantasy, there is just one little part of the Swiss system I'd like to see adopted: "Here ya go, soldier, take this home and keep it safe. Make sure you keep in practice with it. You're part of the country's militia now. Take what you've learned and pass it on. Thanks for everything you've done. Carry on."

Hey, I can dream, right?

Vern Humphrey
July 23, 2007, 03:53 PM
Indulging in a little fantasy, there is just one little part of the Swiss system I'd like to see adopted: "Here ya go, soldier, take this home and keep it safe. Make sure you keep in practice with it. You're part of the country's militia now. Take what you've learned and pass it on. Thanks for everything you've done. Carry on."

Hey, I can dream, right?

The way I see it, you take your rifle to the polling place and prove you are eligible to vote by showing your ammo pouches are full and your qualification certificate is up to date.

Polekat
July 23, 2007, 06:26 PM
I too was in VN 1970-1971 and there was no way I could buy my M16 or bring it home under any rules that I knew of. My bags were searched before I left country. If there was a way to do it legally & I knew of it, I would have tried. You could have war souvenirs that were not fully automatic sent home when you left country, but nothing full auto. War souvenirs were tagged and sent to the rear and they stayed there till you processed out of country. If the tags fell off the souvenirs, they seemed to find new tags on them in short order. It seemed the souvenirs in really good shape always lost their original tags. I put original tags on a unfired Chinese pistol and a rifle, but due to the original tags getting lost, some one else got them (or so I was told).

If memory serves me correctly, I heard that during 1970 and or 1971, Sears stores were selling a civilian semi-auto M16 and I seem to remember it being manufactured by Colt. It was a long time ago and SOME things aren't so clear any more.

brentn
July 23, 2007, 06:35 PM
They were all born and raised in the states, they just moved to canada about 10 years ago, so his dad served in the US military, they all grew up in the states.

Wow as much as I want to stay away from this gun, I still can't help myself to find out the truth and see what it really is... Thats all I'm going to say ;)

akodo
July 23, 2007, 06:38 PM
Look, both the english language and the memory of a child are imprecise.

I took to 3 nongunner fence-sitters to gunshow to show them that the concern about 'loopholes' was silly. One guy was in the national guard, we went up to a table with a ton of different configured ARs. He picked one up and said "This is what I used." He was not stating that that specific gun, that serial number, was the one he was issued, he was stating that of all of them on the table, this one had the most features that were the same as his issued weapon.

Who knows what the guy actually said to his son.

Many people who had little gun experience prior to the military come back and if they purchase a gun, frequently purchase one 'just like I had in the military' because they already know how to shoot it, clean it, etc etc. It is very possible that is what the guy actually did.


Send him a pic of an AR-15 with the selector switch circled, tell him to find something similar on his gun, take a pic of it, and send it back. Problem solved

Sonora Rebel
July 23, 2007, 06:53 PM
USN 'Nam Vet '65, '71-'72. No! Nothing with US stamped on it or even looked like something we had. No automatic weapons... no matter where theywere from. AK's, RPK's, BMP's, Schmeissers... 'nuthin. I had a 'clean' 1911-A1... no markings whatever. Couldn't get it outta country. 'Finally gave it to a SEAL (Team 2) from up-river (IV Corps). I brought back a Chinese Type 56 (SKS) 7.62x39mm. Have 'War Trophy' papers for it ('72). (PIX included). No automatic weapons ever made it legally outta the 'Nam. Nobody could 'buy' anything from the Army, Navy... Marine Corps. Among other things... I was the Squadron Armorer (Aviation Ordnanceman). Whatever I had left over (on custody cards) when we decommissioned was turned into MACV Saigon. Anything else unaccountable was handed over to the SEALS 'n some others still in-country. 'Lotta what you hear from 'Vets is BS... including the fact that they ever were Vets.

However... if y'all ever wanted to se a REAL Viet Cong rifle... this one IS>

M1 Shooter
July 23, 2007, 06:56 PM
A friend of mine who is a Vietnam Vet (US Army '70-'72) has an SKS that he legally brought back, he showed me the paperwork even. He told me he wanted to bring back his M16 and a folding stock AK as well, but he was told that he couldn't. He said he thought about trying to smuggle the AK home in his duffle bag since it was quite compact with the stock folded, but he decided not to. He said it was a good thing too because they searched all his things when he left. They definitely would have found that AK. So he "settled" for the SKS that he himself didn't even capture. He traded the AK with another soldier for the SKS so he could have something he could actually legally bring back. The rifle that Sonora Rebel posted looks just like the one my friend brought back.

For a short time after WWII the Army did allow soldiers to purchase their issue rifles, but that didn't last long. The Army hasn't even allowed firearms captured from the enemy to be legally kept and brought back since Vietnam. As a previous poster mentioned, now they don't even let them bring back simple things like helmets, which is absolutely ridiculous. What harm could possibly come from a GI bringing back an Iraqi helmet?

Polekat
July 23, 2007, 06:59 PM
There is a book called "Stolen Valor" that details a lot of the BS about who was in VN, what they did or didn't do and who wasn't there, but said they were. Very interesting reading. John Kerry gets mentioned among many others.

Unfortunately.........BS is more often believed than the truth!

Aguila Blanca
July 23, 2007, 07:19 PM
Anyways, he doesn't want to sell it, or give it away, it was his dads and has sentimental value.
He has no idea what he has to tell you the truth, he has no idea how illegal it would be to have it, he is completley oblivious to what he really has.
It's easy enough to find out if it's full auto or semi. On the receiver, above the trigger, is the safety/selector switch. The civilian AR-15 has two positions: SAFE and FIRE. The early military M-16 had three positions: SAFE, SEMI, and AUTO. Later (after I was out, so I don't know exactly when) the Powers That Be realized that full-auto equated to spray-and-pray, so they changed the auto mode to three-round burst. So those models will have the selector positions identified as SAFE, SEMI, and BURST.

Aguila Blanca
July 23, 2007, 07:21 PM
A United States SOLDIER can no longer use his issued RIFLE (or a similar version) back home after fighting for years in a WAR??????? Where is the outrage????

I do not think the founding fathers could have conceived that a soldier could not legally own his issued rifle while the USA still adhered to the Bill of Rights.
Non sequitur. You are forgetting that when they wrote the Bill of Rights there was no such thing as an "issue" rifle. Each soldier supplied his own rifle.

Zoogster
July 23, 2007, 08:45 PM
Do keep in mind that a lot of draft dodgers, second tour dodgers, etc ended up in Canada, and a good portion made permanent homes there. So it is very probable that he went AWOL and just took his gear with him.

If he was a part of that crowd, he may not have wanted to tell that story, and I also doubt he would have cared about the firearms infractions since he was already breaking the law going AWOL and never returning.

Canada also allowed fully automatic weapons until 1977. They had to be registered though like handguns since 1951. However since they were still widely and general legal it would not have yet been that out of place.
In fact they were more the norm in Canada than in America in those years. Only handguns were seen in a bad light.

Canada's strict gun laws didn't start until the 1990's. Do to widespread registration it was feasible for canada to successfuly implement severe restrictions.

The 90's were when the UK, Australia, and Canada all started thier restrictive firearms practices. The US itself had the AWB, and was joining the ranks of these "enlightened" liberal nations while the democrats held power. I imagine if Gore had become president instead of Bush and had enough of congress or the senate we would be pretty close to at least Canada if not the UK or Australia in our own gun laws.

Fred Fuller
July 23, 2007, 09:13 PM
Interesting.

When we upped sticks and left South Vietnam in 1975, somewhere between 700,000 and 800,000 M-16s were abandoned in country. In subsequent decades those rifles have showed up in trouble spots all over the world.

And all this uproar over just one, of uncertain condition and origin...

lpl/nc

PH/CIB
July 24, 2007, 04:19 AM
I was happy just to bring back both legs, both arms and my head home. The Army kept everything else! No way you could bring back a full auto M-16, not legally anyway!

Carl N. Brown
July 24, 2007, 01:29 PM
Indulging in a little fantasy, there is just one little part of the Swiss system I'd like to see adopted: "Here ya go, soldier, take this home and keep it safe. Make sure you keep in practice with it. You're part of the country's militia now. Take what you've learned and pass it on. Thanks for everything you've done. Carry on."

Hey, I can dream, right?
If you take US v Miller 1939 literally, that is exactly
what should happen.

meef
July 24, 2007, 09:59 PM
So those models will have the selector positions identified as SAFE, SEMI, and BURST.Heh....

If they catch you with it, you will find out what it actually says is SAFE, SEMI, and BUST.

:)

zoom6zoom
July 24, 2007, 10:47 PM
I met several Canadians who joined the U.S. Army so they could go to Vietnam both in the states and in Vietnam.
As an interesting tidbit, I read somewhere recently that there were more Canadians serving in the US Forces during Vietnam than there were US draft dodgers in Canada.

There's only one way that I know of to purchase a US service rifle - through the CMP. Of course, they're pretty much out of Garands at this time, and I doubt we'll ever see them selling '16's.

Carl N. Brown
July 25, 2007, 05:15 PM
I read somewhere recently that there were more Canadians serving in the US Forces during Vietnam than there were US draft dodgers in Canada.

Plus the Canadian C96 registration law has been met with massive civil disobedience including rallies where they publicly burn registration forms. But the news media consider neither the Canadians who served in Viet Nam nor the Canadian gun registration protesters newsworthy.

RonSC
July 25, 2007, 05:38 PM
... circa '66-68 here:

M-16's...? The short answer to your question is NO as others have stated. There was a time when de-milled SKS's ( and on rare occasions AK's) were allowed but that was squashed in the later 60's. They really clamped down hard and for a time even poncho liners were "verboten" to ship to CONUS..(something about drugs being secreted in the quilted areas...:scrutiny:) Any "issue" weapon brought/sent back was definitely not done in compliance with any existing Reg's that I am aware of...!

Ron

feedthehogs
July 25, 2007, 08:35 PM
If you had the clearance, you could do anything and bring back just about anything.

Best part about that is when a high ranking officer tried to question you, you could tell him that he didn't have a high enough clearance to know what you were doing and if he had any questions to call so and so which would mostly shut them up.

Cause if they did call, they'd get an arse chewing and a not need to know lecture.

CWL
July 25, 2007, 09:53 PM
Brentn,

The fastest way you can find out if this was a military-issue is by checking the safety/fire selector.

M16s have a 3-position fire control selector; "safe", "fire", "auto"; while

AR15/civilian models only have a 2-position fire control: "safe" and "fire"

Really simple check to verify the rifle is what it's supposed to be. Have your friend look and send you a picture if it really has the 3rd "auto" setting.

GRIZ22
July 25, 2007, 11:52 PM
Cause if they did call, they'd get an arse chewing and a not need to know lecture.


If you tried to BS them you might get a few years at Leavenworth or Portsmouth.

MudPuppy
July 26, 2007, 01:08 AM
Heh, yeah, I have a hard time imagining a high ranking officer just taking a soldier's word for it--if anything, in the military you don't hesitate clearing something with your superior. Now, if someone above your pay grade tells you to shut it, its "Yes Sir", but otherwise...

XD Fan
July 26, 2007, 01:26 AM
I am curious. If someone came across an illegal firearm, for instance inheriting it or finding it somewhere, how would one legally get rid of the gun without having legal consequences?

wraco
July 26, 2007, 03:10 AM
In the 50's , 60's and 70's we'd go back and forth between B.C. and Washington State on a regular basis. My family lived on both sides of the border and never really gave it much thought. I'd go across with a shotgun or a rifle behind the seat of the truck and never paid it any mind as it was there for when I went hunting. No big deal in those days as most of the time I'd slow down and wave as I went through the customs. We never considered it two countries in those days.

Today is a different story, a product of too many Liberals do'in the decid'in for too many years. That's why in Western Canada there's a lot of us not too happy.

The M-16 could have just went across in the trunk of their car or disassembled and stored in a suitcase without anybody paying much attention. Yes, full auto are a prohibited firearm, but can be legally owned. Semi-auto long guns are not prohibited or restricted. To possess firearms in Canada one requires a firearms licence, a PAL. Possession and Acquistion Licence. We can stick our firearms in the mail and send them to another licenced firearm owner without having to go through the FFL routine. I received a shotgun in the mail a month ago, the Canada Post Lady rang my doorbell and said she had a parcel for me. It was a real nice M12, 20 ga. As long as it's properly packaged and not advertised as a firearm and sent between licenced people it can be sent by regular Canada Post. It's the long Gun Registry that we're trying to get rid of.

There was a lot of stuff brought home after WWII and Korea and it's still around but no one talks too much about it, as the walls have big ears, and the less said the better. Your friend is best to find a place for it and leave it at that until better days return.

Regards:
Rod

Prince Yamato
July 26, 2007, 04:10 AM
The funny thing is, for as strict as Canadian politicians are about laws, the citizenry is rather blaze', it's rather amusing. Incidentally, he isn't a member of Possum Lodge, is he? :D

jaysouth
July 26, 2007, 09:07 AM
Feed the hogs,

Your post is fantasy at best, drivel at worst.

US CUSTOMS decided which items would be admitted and which items would get you arrested, not a 'high ranking officer'.

On the other hand, ANY officer has/had the legal authority(duty to enforce ARs, General orders, etc) to impound sensitive items for safekeeping and detain(lock in a cell) the GI carrying it until proper authority could clear up the matter in the event there was a descrepancy. You might also do well to remember that any member carrying any such material would be traveling on orders specifically enumerating the items and citing the appropriate regulation authorizing such shipment. Such orders were written on about a 6th grade level so any MP or other government employee could understand them.

Internet= BS at the speed of light

Leatherneck
July 26, 2007, 11:36 AM
I agree, Jaysouth.

TC

feedthehogs
July 26, 2007, 01:52 PM
jaysouth,
Your reasoning is for the 98% of the individuals reguardless of rank that serve.
There is a 2% that travel with clearance high enough that the normal chain of command and regulations do not apply. Who have the ability to travel back and forth between countries without "customs" getting in the way.

Souveniers, trinkets that otherwise would not be allowed, do make it through this open corridor.

I myself was never part of this group, but do know someone who was and have seen what was otherwise considered "contraband", making some nice displays in their basement.

I take no offense at your comment as the world is full of experts.

jacobhh
July 26, 2007, 05:08 PM
1911's, sure. Some M14's in pieces maybe, especially Navy.

I don't believe an M-16 though. Certainly none of it legally!

ronto
July 26, 2007, 05:27 PM
I never heard of anyone taking their weapon home...I'm just thamkful I got home...And may God bless those who didn't, you are NOT forgotten.

ilbob
July 26, 2007, 05:44 PM
If you had the clearance, you could do anything and bring back just about anything.

Best part about that is when a high ranking officer tried to question you, you could tell him that he didn't have a high enough clearance to know what you were doing and if he had any questions to call so and so which would mostly shut them up.

Cause if they did call, they'd get an arse chewing and a not need to know lecture.

First off, high ranking officers are not involved directly with low ranking soldiers. Thats what corporals are for. Someone with a high enough clearance is not going to take a chance on losing it by trying to use it to sneak stuff into the country illegally. Privates generally do not get very high clearances anyway, and furthermore, soldiers travel on orders that are pretty explicit on every aspect of their travel.

That doen't mean that someone hasn't figured a way to beat the system now and then.

GRIZ22
July 27, 2007, 01:57 PM
Security clearances have nothing to do with what you can bring back from a war zone. If something is coming back because the military wants it for some reason, they ship it not give it to someone with a "high enough clearance".

There is a guy I met who told me his Army unit was so secret he didn't even get a DD214 and can't get veteran's benefits. There are plenty of people with stories.

Vern Humphrey
July 27, 2007, 02:06 PM
If everyone who claims to have served in Viet Nam was actually there, there wouldn't have been enough room for the Vietnamese to stand.

Sniper X
July 27, 2007, 02:52 PM
I wasn't in VietNam but my dad was. I asked him once about bring backs and he said it was easy to bring anything back you wanted and a lot of guys did, but he doesn't remember hearing or seeing anyone buy a M16 from the military. I think that part is BS, but if he has a real m16, full auto, like someone said, if he has legal paper work on it it is worht about $15,000.00, if he has no peper work it is worht about $5000.00....on the black market! And worht about 20 years in prison if you live in N America!

mcole
July 27, 2007, 04:47 PM
i bought a rifle in the navy exchange, i believe, in atsugi, japan. i also had and carried a s&w mod. 28-2, 4" barrel. neither of these were military issue, both were personal weapons. another in our group purchased, at the same exchange a ruger 44 mag. carbine. there was a procedure (a little hazy now) whereby you filled out some batf forms, sent them to batf in d.c. and assuming you had all your infromation, the batf would send you their certification allowing the guns into the u.s. as i recall, "property of a returning serviceman." a couple weeks before i left, packaged both up, put the batf certifications on them, went to the base post office and mailed them home. they both got there before i did. neither package was opened; both had san francisco and kansas city customs stamps on them.
i still have the 28 and it shoots as good now as then. i still have the rifle also. mcole

ilbob
July 27, 2007, 05:18 PM
There is a guy I met who told me his Army unit was so secret he didn't even get a DD214 and can't get veteran's benefits. There are plenty of people with stories.
I heard all kinds of stories like that back when I did some hiring for a security guard company I worked for.

DD214s seemed to come in a couple of flavors. A short version that basically just gave your dates of service and a long version that had more details.

I saw some that were obviously fake, as they had non-military style verbage in them.

The longer forms had a more detailed record of where servicemen served and what they did. One guy showed me his longer version that was so vague that you could not tell what the heck he did. It had all kinds of cryptic references rather than duty stations listed. Now-a-days you could probably do some internet research and figure out if it was legit. Back then I figured it was a clever fake. These days I wonder.

GRIZ22
July 27, 2007, 05:34 PM
The DD214s I have have only the last duty station listed. I've never seen one that gives a detailed record of units and duty assignments. DD214s have schools and decorations listed but none of it is too cryptic.

I'd be leery if a guy came in with a "long version".

It all should fit on one page.

ilbob
July 27, 2007, 08:59 PM
The DD214s I have have only the last duty station listed. I've never seen one that gives a detailed record of units and duty assignments. DD214s have schools and decorations listed but none of it is too cryptic.

I'd be leery if a guy came in with a "long version".

It all should fit on one page.

Maybe it was not a DD214, but I saw at least a couple of them, and they did not have that aura of fakery to them. It was a very long time ago, so I recall very little about them other than recalling there were short ones that had very little info on them and longer versions that had more.

Most of them were pretty straightforward. The one I found cryptic had a fair number of acronyms and notations I was not familiar with or had not seen before, but did not jump out and say fake. I recall very little about it other than that.

I think there were some that had a front and a back page to the form, and others just had a front page. Maybe my brain cells are fried. It was a while back.

jaysouth
July 27, 2007, 09:55 PM
There were no 'secret' army units. You might be assigned to a unit that was using a unit name (Studies and observation group, for instance) that had a publically stated headquarters location and goal but was at undisclosed locations doing classified work.

I was once the post adjutant for a local American Legion post. I used to get inquiries from applicants who were in 'secret units' who had no public records or who were doing such secret work that they did not "exist", or from the wannabes whose records were destroyed in the St.Louis records center fire. One of our members was an 0-6 serving in J1 at the Pentagon about ten miles away.

He shared with us, a copy of an army document detailing 'secret units' and the records lost in the infamous records center fire. Everyone in the U.S. Army is assigned to a unit of public record listed in the army TO. The so called records fire in St.Louis only destroyed those records of U.S.A.F. personnel who were decharged in the late 50s or thereabouts.

In my long association with veterans, I have encountered WWII veterans with faulty memories, Korean Veterans who were trying to forget and about 10,000 Viet Nam veterans who were just out and out lying about their service. If you encounter a Viet vet who tells you that he was a clerk or cook or truck driver, he is surely telling the truth. If someone claims to be a 'grunt', he is likely telling you the truth. But if you encounter someone who was an 'airborne ranger, sniper, green beret or CIA assassin, do not leave your change on the bar when you go to the bathroom. To be sure, there were several dozen trained army snipers, hundreds of brave souls serving in division LRRP units that were later flagged as the 75th Ranger Regiment and thousands of gallant men who served in the 5th and 1st special forces in VN. Only problem is that I have met about ten million of them in the ensuing years.

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