Personal guns in the Army?


CZ 42
December 2, 2007, 04:37 PM
I've heard about soldiers carrying all kinds of weapons in the sandbox. How can you bring your own guns with you? A personal handgun at least? Do you have to pick them up off the field or PX? My plan is to work in a gun shop for the discount and get myself some quality battle weaponry and then bring 'em with me to sign up. Any suggestions for guns would be helpful too.

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December 2, 2007, 04:48 PM
American soldiers carry what they're issued in the field. There is a General Order prohibiting the carrying of personally owned weapons in Iraq, knives and multi-tools allowed under unit regulations exempted. This serves a number of purposes. First, it ensure you are trained on the weapons your carrying. Secondly, it ensures commonality in parts or magazines. If you could carry whatever, getting repair parts would be a PIA, as would ammo. In a firefight, if you needed one, it would be pretty hard to ask your buddy for an extra mag if he's carrying something different from you.

If your seriously considering joining, start doing PT. The Army will provide you with the weapons you need (and will be allowed to use) for your job.

December 2, 2007, 04:57 PM
Most of my friends that went over got AKs when they got in theatre. They never used them as a primary, but had them s truck guns.

December 2, 2007, 04:59 PM
So how does one acquire something other than an m16/m4 and an m9?

December 2, 2007, 05:05 PM
MP510 is right. All branches are this way. I've wished many times that I could have my deer rifle and scope with me instead of that M-14 with the Cheap scope that cost the gov't $800 (Smith and Wesson Scope, what a POS).

This was covering a VBSS team (Navy Visit Board Search Seizure) from our ship 300-1000 yards away. I know for a fact that they were only sighted in at 25 yards 1 month before we deployed. I wanted to take the weapons to a 300 yard range on my own time and money, but there was just too much red tape to get those rifles off of the ship and out there. Thank god we didn't have any need for covering fire from our ship.

I would think the only way to get something else is to get it over there. You can't just ship weapons into a combat zone. I guess you would have to take it from the former owner, whether he be dead or captured or whatever.

December 2, 2007, 05:26 PM
There's still some limited carry of non-issue weapons. I recall that tankers liked AKs due to the folding stock... or the short length, when operating in tight confines. That was apparently allowed in some units for some time (early on), but then ended.

As a general rule, no. You will carry the weapon you are issued and you will like it. :p

You can possess private guns on base - in the US, possibly not at all bases. No idea if they let you bring them outside the US. You are not supposed to carry privately-owned guns outside the wire in a combat zone, AFAIK. There may be exceptions in the regulations for certain parties, or just a willingness to let certain rules slide in some units.

As for battlefield pickups - you don't know if they're rigged to blow up, or have plain shoddy manufacture so they'd come to pieces on you. You don't know if the insides are rusted... so it's best to leave 'em be.

CZ 42
December 2, 2007, 05:48 PM
So you can't even get accessories like scopes? Couldn't you have it sent in a care package? I've heard of organizations that send troops better M4 stuff, and people that bring there own shotshells and whatnot. I was sure they sold pistols in the PX too. Oh well, I guess the best I can do is acquaint myself with the weapons I might encounter. Safe to say we'll still be in Iraq by the time I get out of college, if Ron Paul isn't elected anyway... Oh, how about issue pistols? Can you buy, say, a H&K USP or 1911 if you don't like the M9?
And don't some units have choice over their armaments?

Corporal K
December 2, 2007, 05:53 PM
Unless you're in a highly specialized unit, you're not going to be able to modify your weapon or carry non-issue weapons. Maybe you could put a different sling on or something to that effect.
The M4 and M9 (which you probably won't carry at all) are good weapons. They'll do the job.

December 2, 2007, 05:58 PM
There are some units with diverse and impressive arms available to them, yet these are still government property not individually owned firearms. Many people see a U.S. soldier on televison or in magazines with an out of the ordinary weapon and assume they are carrying a personally owned weapon. You may see soldiers carrying weapons that seem "cooler" than average, MK23's, 1911's, m14's, semi auto shotguns, etc; these are actually still signed out of an arms room, just like those "ho hum" M4's and M9's.

December 2, 2007, 06:03 PM
I've seen one privately-purchased scope on an issue M4, but I don't know whether that is authorized or just something that was let slide. He wasn't in my company. Every reliable person in my COC that I have queried has stated that all privately owned weapons are prohibited in theater, and I have not seen anything to contradict this.

PXs do not sell firearms.

Ron James
December 2, 2007, 06:09 PM
:)CZ 42, Don't take any weapons with you when you go to sign up. You will also not be allowed to take any weapons with you to basic training or advance training, not even a knife ( if they know about it). If you are even sent to Iraq, they may send you to Korea for a year or so. Off times in a combat area there are non issue weapons floating around, but no, in the sand box you will not order any firearms from the Post Exchange. As a lower inelisted person or private nothing, you will not hand carry any personal firearms on a troop movement. Nor will you bring any modern firearms back from Iraq.. You will go through a search and a metal detector. So Just join and use what they give you. :)

December 2, 2007, 06:16 PM
The military is acually very anti firearm. Use what you are issued for the mission and have none when you rotate back state side. On post/base your weapons (personal and issued) must be locked up/secured, no concealed carry except as a duty requirement.
No personal weapons in combat.
This is my experience for 22 years, retired in 1992.

December 2, 2007, 06:33 PM
oh and as a side note soldiers living in the barracks must keep weapons locked in the arms room. This is why many single soldiers store weapons at the homes of soldiers who have living arangements off post. The more weapons you buy the more weapons you will be leaving in the trust of others while you are in basic, advanced training, or on deployments. Would hate to have a nice collection sitting at home while I was stuck in Korea for two years or Germany for four.

December 2, 2007, 06:33 PM
If you are willing to tempt going to military prison, then by all means take a pistol with you. You can bring just about anything into country, they don't search you going in, but try to sneak something out and you will get caught.

That said,my Nat.Guard company in Baghdad carried many pistols we found during raids. There were Berretas, Browning HPs, CZ75s, a couple of Glocks, and plenty of crappy haji copied pistols that were just plain dangerous. Since M9s were in short supply our company commander turned a blind eye to our using them. When we turned over our sector for rotation back home we offered the pistols to an active duty unit but they didn't want them. We ended up throwing them in the Tigres river.

December 2, 2007, 06:48 PM
we may only use guns that we are issued, we pick up confiscate etc guns all the time all types, we turn them in to the higher hq's, and keep some for training purposes of course. we have found ak's, sks's pshg-41's, glock 19's, walther p99's, ruger p89's, sig pro 9mm's and many others. i reference to keeping hold of siezed weapons, soliders can get into alot of trouble depending on the chin of command.

1911 guy
December 3, 2007, 08:56 AM
Everyone is absolutely right. Once in a while I got to carry around some odd looking stuff, but every bit of it was Uncle Sam's property.

And the shotshell thing is bunk, too. You get busted with UA ammo and it's probably going to be NJP, at least.

December 3, 2007, 09:08 AM
From what my buddies who are still in tell me, the Military treats every hostile engagement site as a crime scene now and personal weapons of differing calibers or firing pin signatures would just complicate the investigation.

Leave your personal blaster at home and hope you get issued a short barrel shotgun as a door buster.

December 3, 2007, 10:42 AM
The possession of POV's in the sandbox is a violation of General Order Number 1... along with alcohol etc etc...

December 3, 2007, 12:22 PM
The short answer is forget about it.

Having said that, my plt sgt, who has deployed to Afghanistan twice, and is headed back again, is taking his USP .45 with him. He is a senior MI NCO who will be working mostly with who we refer to as "OGA"s, "Other Governmental Agencies", in civilian clothes. Part of his job is to keep the enemy guessing as to who he is and who he works for. I talked to him a lot about it, he said, "When you get there, ask your commander what his policy is. He'll probably tell you no way in hell. If he says, 'out of sight, out of mind', then scrounge to see what people who are leaving are selling since they can't take it home with them."

Meaning, you can't take it in with you, you certainly can't take it home with you, and even if you score a good .45 from someone, you probably want to use FMJ ammo.

The truth is, if you join the army as a place to use guns a lot, or learn a lot about guns, you're going to be disappointed.

December 3, 2007, 12:29 PM
Sounds like a great way to earn an Article 92 UCMJ Violation, up to 2 years imprisonment, and a dishonerable discharge, regardless of what his company commander says he won't pay attention to. That doesn't change the fact that there is a stadning General Order.
(1) Violation or failure to obey lawful general order or regulation. Dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and confinement for 2 years.

December 3, 2007, 12:51 PM
Hey, I was the proud owner of a M249 SAW yesterday!! Problem was I am a contractor and found it left in a Army truck at Camp Liberty. I stopped a soldier and asked him to keep it under his control while I went to look for its owner. Never found the soldier but I did find the unit Commanding officer (I was helped by truck bumper number) and this is what I said. "Captain, you have a serious problem, follow me" Now he does not know me but he walked with me to the truck and pointed out the saw and the soldier stopped was guarding it. He thanked us, and took it and went looking for the owner. Now pistol rifle saw shotgun are primary weapons hard to forget. You can forget bringing POW's here, as it is most of the soldiers carry these everywhere but shoot very little.

December 3, 2007, 03:17 PM
Peyton, I call dibs!

Aww, you already gave it away. I call dibs on the next one.

On topic, OP: DO NOT bring a private firearm to Iraq. Bad things will happen to you if you are caught.

I have heard of AKs and pistols being captured and occasionally used. The general attitude I have heard is 'Everything else in this country is poorly and cheaply made. What would make the guns any different? Use American stuff."
Besides, why would you want to bring something ELSE you would have to clean and keep dust free every day? If you were my soldier, it WOULD be cleaned. Often. If it were even legal to bring it.

As to modifications, I have a private harris bipod and a private acog for my m-4. I was issued an aimpoint. I carried it like that for at least a year and nobody cared. So long as you don't modify the 'fit or function' nothing will happen. This is Barracks lawyer [AKA don't follow] advice, beware!

December 3, 2007, 03:30 PM
I'm curious are soldiers allowed to bring back war trophies like many soldiers did in WW2 and Vietnam? Do they not allow soldiers to bring back captured weapons anymore?

My grandfather brought back a Japanese sword from when he served in the Pacific theater and I had a buddy whose dad brought back an SKS from Vietnam. I've also heard stories about soldiers bringing back AK's from Vietnam and I've always wondered if they were allowed to do that or if they just did it because nobody stopped them.

I can't imagine that soldiers are allowed to bring back captured weapons anymore other than maybe knives. But what about handguns and other weapons? Kinda a shame if soldiers can't do that anymore, if I were over there I'd be very tempted to grab an AK and try and bring it home with me. Of course then you'd have to contend with standard BATF gun laws.

Sorry to change the subject this thread just made me wonder.

December 3, 2007, 03:48 PM
they do indeed sell weapons at the
You WILL NOT be carrying them in uniform in the field.

December 3, 2007, 03:58 PM
Technically, yes you can bring one back. But there are so many levels of people that need to sign the papers, and CYA is such a prevalent military objective, and so many of the people you need the signature of have never met you, it simply won't happen.

Phew, run on sentences.

December 3, 2007, 04:37 PM
CZ 42, thank you for considering signing up to serve your country! I've never been in the military, but most of my family has, and I have a great deal of respect for those who have served.

With that said, you should be aware that being in the military is very different from being a civilian. For starters, you do NOT have the ability to exercise all of your Constitutional rights while in the armed forces... even as you are fighting to protect those rights.

Like it or not, when you sign on the dotted line you become "government property." You will do what you are told... and if you need a tool to do what you are told, it will be provided to you! When you no longer need that tool, you will store it where you are told to do so.

Don't let any of us burst your bubble, though. Sign up, if you're sure that's what you want to do. If you're like most people, you'll be challenged by military service in ways you never thought possible... but you'll come out better for it by far. Heck, I feel like it builds character to just HEAR about other people's service!

December 3, 2007, 10:05 PM
The only PX that I encountered that sold firearms was at Ft.Richardson,Alaska. That was where I bought my first pistol, a Ruger P85MkII, in 90' or 91'. I've been to several other posts in the lower 48 and never saw another one that sold firearms or ammo.

December 4, 2007, 12:38 AM
I told him no, didn't I?

December 4, 2007, 04:32 AM
unless you become a secret super soldier no way in hell.
found an m4 and flak jacket that had been put in a skip obviously whoever nicked was planning to come back to get it.
Officer turned up in a flap and got it back.
you guys special forces ? he asked
yes sir 1st special needs :rolleyes: don't think he got British humor:)
found a very nice kimber one of the special types had dropped in the dirt and left outside his wagon :uhoh:
how to win friends and influence people 3am waking people up to ask if they have lost a handgun :D

December 4, 2007, 06:52 AM
from my personal experience, just got back from Baghdad a month and a half ago, personal weapons, i.e. firearms, absolutely without a doubt not a chance.

knives, clubs, batons and the like, basically if you can legally own it back in the states, you can have it over there and bring back, although with the clubs and batons that only aplies to MPs everyone else is SOL.

putting stuff on your issued weapons, in my company, and our leadership was very scared of doing anything that might possibly run the risk of getting someone in trouble, we had personal scopes, bipods, vertical grips, slings, grips on pistols (that one was iffy) and a couple guys changed out the stocks and forearms on their shotguns when we had them.

''war tropies"- not allowed, however you can bring back various military gear, bayonets, helmets, stuff like that, but you need a letter from the company commander, as well as pieces of shrapnel, switch blades, and stuff like that. As far as bringing weapons back with you, never on an individual basis, I tried with a 1945 Remington Rand 1911 A1, the company can bring weapons back, but they must be demilled, barrel plugged, and must be going to be in a display or something, we didn't do it so I'm not sure the level of red tape and to what echelon it'd go to but I'm sure it'd probably require brigade level approval.

keep in mind though that all rules are constantly changing, only getting more and more severe, and much of it depends on your company commanders discretion.

December 4, 2007, 10:36 AM
I thought some people got to use locally-purchased AKs because they hadn't initially been issued long arms?

Josh Aston
December 4, 2007, 01:01 PM
I thought some people got to use locally-purchased AKs because they hadn't initially been issued long arms?

Contractors, maybe. Definitely not military though.

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