Guns of Vietnam (contd)


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Dr. Fresh
July 16, 2009, 07:15 PM
The last thread was one of the most fascinating I've read in a while, what with all the stories told by veterans and the variety of weapons used in the war. I'd like to see it continue, so I decided to start this one.

EDIT: The old thread:
http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=174401

If you enjoyed reading about "Guns of Vietnam (contd)" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Nate1778
July 16, 2009, 08:05 PM
Very cool thread, and being 30 I would like to say thanks to the veterans that had to sleep with their weapons for my kids and my freedom and those around the world. Much respect and free drink at the bar from me...............

Shung
July 16, 2009, 08:12 PM
I really don't understand why the other thread was closed.. is the fact that the OP doesnt read it anymore relevant to close it ??? I mean, we were many others reading it !

Noxx
July 16, 2009, 08:25 PM
S'alright, just continue it here.

I noticed the Swedish K was mentioned several times in the previous thread. John Plaster mentioned in his SOG memoir (Secret Commandos, very good read btw if you haven't picked it up) that a suppressed K was his first weapon for missions over the border. Apparently he had several issues with it's hitting power and moved on to a CAR15.

I was a little surprised to read this, in that after the lessons of WWII, and the overall performance history of 9mm FMJ anybody was still taking a 9mm sub gun into a combat zone.

I am intrigued by the K tho, and would definitely like to hear more from any posters who've had some real experience with them over the years.

BHP FAN
July 16, 2009, 08:26 PM
I'd like to mention one of my favorite handguns of the Evil Empire here,and that's the excellent Tokarev pistol.

Dr. Fresh
July 17, 2009, 12:20 AM
I was a little surprised to read this, in that after the lessons of WWII, and the overall performance history of 9mm FMJ anybody was still taking a 9mm sub gun into a combat zone.

Yeah, I was surprised as well, since there had to have been plenty of Thompsons or M3s laying around.

Then again, we still use 9mm FMJ in our pistols.

Pyzon
July 17, 2009, 02:06 PM
The Ithaca 37 I was handed never malfunctioned, but it was so shiny from cleaning and carrying that I painted it with flat black spray the second day. The stock was screwed together in 4 places but felt solid as a rock.

To this day a model 37 is my favorite field gun.

krs
July 17, 2009, 03:25 PM
It looks like the old thread, very likely one of many on the topic, was closed for two-three years of inactivity, and that makes sense enough since it's still available for reading.

But there's something ridiculous when new members come in, start to search, and then contribute to dead threads. Or worse, they often ask questions of posters in long inactive threads. Do they really expect answers from someone who's last post may have been four years ago? I doubt any of them know enough to look for recent activity by a member.

Anyway, M16 issued on arrival, a S&W .38 issued on being made an OH6 crewchief, (chief of one crew, me :) ) and M60 as the door gun. Later got minigun systems for the left side, and carried assorted toys behind the seat. My favorites of those were the M79 (try those from a helicopter!) and the greasegun (M3) that was passed to me by a friend who deros'd.

Vern Humphrey
July 17, 2009, 05:44 PM
I was a little surprised to read this, in that after the lessons of WWII, and the overall performance history of 9mm FMJ anybody was still taking a 9mm sub gun into a combat zone.
As Will Rogers said, "There are three kinds of people. There's them that can learn from books, there's them that can learn from others, and there's them that has to pee on the electric fence for themselves."

Carrying submachine guns in combat is like peeing on the fence -- you're in for a shocking surprise.:p

Ron James
July 17, 2009, 06:36 PM
What lessons from WW II show that the 9MM was a bad sub machine round. Curious, The 9mm makes an excellent sub-machine gun round. By the way,compared to the Swedish K the M-3 sucks. The Thompson, 11 pounds of steel unloaded, OK,. you lug around that much weight in the boonies and see how long you last. The only one carrying Thompson's ( and M-3s) were the cooks in the rear area. Guys, I know you weren't there but read up a little bit more before you make these statements. Do you even know why the Thompson and M-3 are in 45 caliber?? It has absolutely nothing to do with combat effectiveness. It has to do with the same reason the Garand is chambered in 30-06.:neener:

JR47
July 17, 2009, 07:14 PM
What lessons from WW II show that the 9MM was a bad sub machine round. Curious, The 9mm makes an excellent sub-machine gun round. By the way,compared to the Swedish K the M-3 sucks. The Thompson, 11 pounds of steel unloaded, OK,. you lug around that much weight in the boonies and see how long you last. The only one carrying Thompson's ( and M-3s) were the cooks in the rear area. Guys, I know you weren't there but read up a little bit more before you make these statements. Do you even know why the Thompson and M-3 are in 45 caliber?? It has absolutely nothing to do with combat effectiveness. It has to do with the same reason the Garand is chambered in 30-06.

Submachineguns, as shown in WWII, are specialty weapons for a combined weapons team. They are limited in range, and tend to be less accurate than rifles at anything beyond 75 yards. In a jungle, they tend to be lots of sound and fury, but distances allow a skilled user to be more effective. The cartridge, however, is still that of a pistol, and there's a lot of cover against an SMG in triple canopy.

The Marines of WWII made good use of the Thompson in the Pacific. The M1A weighs 10.8 pounds, by the way. At least that's what the WWII manual says.

With the limited use of an SMG, one caliber is much the same as another. The Russians armed entire battalions with the SMG firing the 7.62x25 round, and had them operate in close proximity to tank formations.

I was there, were you? Please, it doesn't sound like it. The M14, standard issue until 11/67, also weighs in at almost 10 pounds. I never understood the "weighs so much" crap. The M1 Garand of WWII and Korea was in excess of 10 pounds, and those poor soldiers walked one heck of a lot more than the soldiers of Vietnam.

If you actually set foot in Vietnam, and saw cooks with Thompsons, it seems like you must have been working with them. We called them REMFs, and they were ALL SEALS, Rangers, Green Berets, Pathfinders, and SOG. You can read about their exploits all over the Errornet.

The .45 ACP was the standard caliber for all American forces from 1911 until 1986. Perhaps that's why the SMGs were .45 ACP.

The Garand was initially designed to be capable of firing a smaller, less capable, round. However, with literally millions of 7.62x63 rounds in inventory, and all other rifles chambered for it, a wise decision was made to standardize at that caliber.

What's with the revisionist bent? The two U.S. calibers were both the result of wartime experiences, and, for the day, scientific research. That was why they were standardized. That the Germans chose the 7.92x57, and the 9x19 is hardly a reference, as they tended to lose. WWII being the second time in less than 30 years. The British pistol caliber was the .38/200, an abysmal choice.

Vern Humphrey
July 17, 2009, 07:34 PM
Submachineguns, as shown in WWII, are specialty weapons for a combined weapons team. They are limited in range, and tend to be less accurate than rifles at anything beyond 75 yards. In a jungle, they tend to be lots of sound and fury, but distances allow a skilled user to be more effective. The cartridge, however, is still that of a pistol, and there's a lot of cover against an SMG in triple canopy.
Another point is that when you shoot at people, they tend to hide behind things. When your enemy is behind a concrete wall, a coconut log bunker, or something like, you need a weapon that penetrates -- which is why we went to AP ammo as standard for the M1 and machine guns.

Ron James
July 17, 2009, 08:38 PM
Oh yes , I was there, Three tours, Yes I was there, and my oldest son was in the Gulf war driving A Bradley M-2. He didn't carry a Thompson or M-3 either. Our troops did very well with the Thompson in World War II because it was the only sub machine gun they had that worked. The British Commando's loved it because it was so much more reliable that the Stern and so on and so on. My First tour I was issued and used the M-14, however the only American troops in 3 tours I saw using the Thompson or M-3 were MP's, truck drivers, cooks. and company clerks.:) Were you one of those carrying a "Tommy Gun"? The 9MM was and is still a very effective sub-machine gun round. Only the Americans are in love with the .45 ACP. And yes I own two 1911's. If you want to get together and swap DD 214's, hey , that should be fun. BTW, what was the question again? By the way, the Thompson was chambered in 45 ACP because it was the only round in the U S inventory that would work. The M-1 was chambered in 30-06 because of the millions of rounds left over from WWI

Dr. Fresh
July 17, 2009, 09:12 PM
No reason to get so worked up. Ron, it would appear that JR47 was there as well, so what's with all the attacks?

I was not there, but it would appear that submachine guns became obsolete in the military for a reason. 9mm or .45, they're still just pistol rounds, and the M16 does just fine at short range.

EDIT: Sorry, just notice you directed your comments at Vern.

Byron
July 17, 2009, 09:28 PM
I was an 11B with the 4th Inf Div 68-69. We were running a 4 man patrol in Bam Be Thout at the southern end of the Central Highlands.We came upon an ARVN patrol.They had Garands and WW II helmets. We had our 16's. It was a funny sight when we first saw them as the Garand was as big as they almost and it seemed the helmet covered most of them. Byron

Vonderek
July 18, 2009, 01:55 AM
I dunno, the Russians seemed to do good work on the Germans with submachine guns in WWII.

krs
July 18, 2009, 11:48 AM
JR47:"If you actually set foot in Vietnam, and saw cooks with Thompsons, it seems like you must have been working with them. We called them REMFs, and they were ALL SEALS, Rangers, Green Berets, Pathfinders, and SOG. You can read about their exploits all over the Errornet"

How could you leave out all the LRRPs, JR (spelled "Lurp") :)

Vern Humphrey
July 18, 2009, 12:04 PM
Were you one of those carrying a "Tommy Gun"?
Nope. On my first tour I was an adviser and was issued an M2 Carbine. I soon borrowed a Garand and carried it for the rest of my tour. My second tour, I was a company commander, and got my battalion commander to get me two M14 (pre-M21) sniper rifles. I had one kid who'd been through sniper school, and I carried the other.

I dunno, the Russians seemed to do good work on the Germans with submachine guns in WWII.
The Russians also sent unarmed men into battle, with instructions to follow someone who had a rifle, and to pick it up after he was killed. They didn't do that because it was a good idea, they did it because they didn't have enough rifles. Which is why most nations issued submachine guns -- not enough rifles and submachine guns were cheap and easy to produce. The British Sten is a case in point.

gmar54
July 18, 2009, 12:05 PM
i came across two Thompsons in 67-68 in Phu-bai.i was air crew on Huey gun ships (Marine).i did not keep them as i preferred M-79 & 1911.it seemed that there was allways some lined up to barter with. p.s. does anyone know how to contact Larry Albach?

hueytaxi
July 18, 2009, 04:52 PM
My first tour I was issued a S&W .38 and a shoulder holster as a sidearm while piloting my Huey. I used it mainly with ratshot back in the forward base at night (LZ English or Hammond). 2nd Tour I took my own Python over and declined an issue weapon. Since .357 was hard to get, I got to know the armorer and we made reloads in the evenings and some hot .38 back up. This time I was flying the Kiowa (Jet Ranger) and carried a variety of auxillary weapons. Early I traded an Arvn sgt. a desktop oscillating fan for a Thompson with 4 magazines. I loved shooting it, but it was impractical. With my flight helmet, chicken pplate and required gear, the additional weight was too much to carry. Plus it was to big and unwieldly to try to fire one handed out my door. I traded that to my armorer for a new M3 grease gun. Still couldn't control it one handed. Finally traded some 35mm film for a M2 carbine (select fire). I cut the stock just in back of the hand grip to still leave a surface to shoulder if needed. I also cut the barrel off at the forestock. This was my weapon of choice. Trying it out during one flight, it was easy to handle. Also it was loud and put out quite a fireball. I used it a few times when flying convoy cover and the troops were receiving fire. I seldom saw the target, but it seemed effective. I also carried an M79 between the seats with 3 grenade rounds and 6 shotgun rounds for my passenger (who normally had a .45 and 2 magazines). I did bring hime a battered SKS with a hand carved stock. Definitey a "Charley" model.

Dr. Fresh
July 18, 2009, 06:21 PM
Vern:
I've always been curious, why are there so many unissued Mosin-Nagants on the market if there was such a rifle shortage? Or are they actual wartime pieces? I could swear I heard most of them were unissued.

Roadkill
July 18, 2009, 06:39 PM
I was a Combat Engineer (12B) with the 25th Inf Div. Started with a M79, then a M16, later had a Ithaca Mod 37. Did primarily combat support like mine sweeping and bulldozer type road and construction work. Hit the jackpot on enemy weapons in Cambodia in 1970.
Here's some odds and ends I bought back, added some other stuff to fill it out.

http://www.hunt101.com/watermark.php?file=601596&size=1

Dr. Fresh
July 18, 2009, 06:57 PM
When your primary weapon was the M79, did you also carry a pistol? I've always been curious about that. Seems to me that the M79 is useless in certain situations (close range).

almostfree
July 18, 2009, 07:02 PM
My father was a radio operator with the Army Security Agency (ASA) assigned to support MACV-SOG. He spent most of his time in a helicopter over Laos and Cambodia doing radio relay. He carried an M-79 and a S&W Model 10 that went with his flight vest. I believe he was issued an M14. He liked all three, but really enjoyed the M-79. He makes it sound like they kind of had a pool of various weapons between them in addition to their M14s.

I would just like to say that I don't think the REMF references are especially appropriate. My father was a REMF, so what? He still found time to put law school on hold and volunteer for the Army during an unpopular war. Despite being in a support branch, he still was awarded the bronze star with a V device and received the purple heart. The Army couldn't put everyone in infantry or special operations.

SeekHer
July 18, 2009, 07:19 PM
Vern Humphrey -- I was a little surprised to read this, in that after the lessons of WWII, and the overall performance history of 9mm FMJ anybody was still taking a 9mm sub gun into a combat zone.

As Will Rogers said, "There are three kinds of people. There's them that can learn from books, there's them that can learn from others, and there's them that has to pee on the electric fence for themselves."

Carrying submachine guns in combat is like peeing on the fence -- you're in for a shocking surprise.

Then explain the Uzi that the Israelis used so well during 4 wars and the US Secret Service issues to presidential details--see Reagan shooting attempt and then explain why the HK MP5 and USP are the darlings of every Special Forces group the world over including the USA...

I didn't serve in "The Nam" but during the Yom Kippur War in an IDF Sayeret (scout) unit and my issue weapons were a 7.62mm Mauser K98 w/4x German optics and an Uzi and 6 mags and had brought over my own Browning P35 9mm pistol in a leather tanker rig of WW2 British surplus...We were later issued the M16 which I had to carry while in base but left it behind because it was (at that time) a POS and others were taking their FN-FALs back from the armourers because they at least didn't jam...I used the UZI in its prescribed manner, a close in weapon ideal for house/room clearing to excellent effect and obvious results as I'm here typing this...

Oh, the Thompson was issued in.45 ACP so it could get the military contract (which it didn't get until many years after WW1) as that was the standard round of the US...the Garand, originally designed for the .276 Pedersen and issued in .30/06 was because of "The Great Depression" and the Billions of surplus rounds in storage...

What years were you there as an observer 1960 to 62, 62 to 64 with the Marines or Army? I also have never seen an M14 Sniper rifle from those dates as IIRC the US didn't have a sniper school until a little later in the war and they were nearly all National Match Winchesters...

Also, the British Webley were issued in .45 ACP with [half] moon clips (What do you call the ones that hold only 2 cartridges???) as they found prior to the First World conflict that the .38 wasn't very good and they went to the .455 Webley which meant with a little cylinder work and now available in .45 ACP...The .455 Webley Mark 6. British Revolver adopted in 1915. Muzz Vel of 600 fps. "Prior to the acceptance of the Browning HP-35, this revolver was a standard issue sidearm of the British army...

The Bren was at best a makeshift firearm, made out of desperation, with junk parts but they worked, killed lots of "Bosch" and the side magazine meant they could fire and more importantly reload from the prone position...

Also, the in the rear with the gear REMFs accounted for 80% to 90% of the military forces in Vietnam as they had done in WW1, USSR, WW2, Greece, Korea and continue to do so with Somalia, Desert Storm 1 & 2 etc right up to today in Iraq and Afghanistan......

Byron
July 18, 2009, 08:29 PM
Perhaps combat troops called them REMF's as we were frustrated with having so much combat. It was a REMF that processed my paperwork to come home. More power to him. He did his job and I got home mid Oct 69.
Vern served his duty in Nam as an infantryman,both tours. It is not necessary to question his credentials. We came home to a hostile America, so no questioning of duty. I was in The 4th Inf and whoever carried the 79(we rotated its use) was not issued a handgun. Our CO was in the process of getting some for us when we took 70% casualties on March 5-6,1969. The 79 could be effective in close range as we had canister (shotgun rounds) in 40 MM. A little doctoring up and they were more effective. Almost free,Thank your Dad for me and tell him Welcome Home. Byron

D Co,3/8th Inf,4th Inf Div 68-69

Vern Humphrey
July 18, 2009, 09:02 PM
I've always been curious, why are there so many unissued Mosin-Nagants on the market if there was such a rifle shortage? Or are they actual wartime pieces? I could swear I heard most of them were unissued.
Wartime production eventually caught up with and passed needs -- and Mosin-Nagants were also made in other countries, including Finland and the United States.

Then explain the Uzi that the Israelis used so well during 4 wars

The Israelis mostly used them as secondary weapons for people with other duties.
and the US Secret Service issues to presidential details--see Reagan shooting attempt and then explain why the HK MP5 and USP are the darlings of every Special Forces group the world over including the USA...
Boys like to play with toys.

But in real combat, when people hide behind walls, rocks, logs and so on and shoot at you, you want penetration.

Dr. Fresh
July 18, 2009, 09:04 PM
Byron, I had no idea they made shotshells for the 40mm. Very informative.

Leadbutt
July 18, 2009, 09:49 PM
Dr. there where a couple of different rounds "made" up on a trail issue,,we had a few that where loaded up with fleshets, that where useless, the buckshot rounds worked well though

Saw a few different shotguns while there, Savage 520 pumps, 37's, Winch 12's and even a couple of the older 97's

When I didn't have to carry U.S. issue I carried what I brought in, SKS/ AK's
a very Nice MAT-49 that the VIet's had converted over to their TOK round, saw K's used and their wheren't S&W knock off, saw Ausie's use a Britt surpressed pistol later explained to me as one of the WELROD models, and the French had all kinds of lend lease stuff left off. Never had the chance to shot one, but watch a fellow shot a STONER,,America messed up on not jumping on that one full time IMO.

Byron
July 18, 2009, 11:27 PM
Leadbutt, do you recall the shallow opening on the buckshot round as you looked down on the top.We used some steel balls breaking down a claymore,skimmed it over with wax from an 81 mortar. Not sure if it increased effectiveness but I like to think it did. Byron

Byron
July 18, 2009, 11:33 PM
I hope the picture is attached. It shows my ruck and a 79 with a canister round in the helmet. This was at the Dak To airstrip. The man to the right is Eddie sanders in my squad. He made it back. Byron

If the picture does not attach, someone tell me how to do so.

toivo
July 19, 2009, 12:19 AM
I've always been curious, why are there so many unissued Mosin-Nagants on the market if there was such a rifle shortage? Or are they actual wartime pieces? I could swear I heard most of them were unissued.

My understanding--I don't have a source for this--is that the Russians tooled up in the later years of the war, as Vern said, and really started cranking them out. Add to this the fact that the war ended not so long after the introduction of the "Model 44," and the fact that the Mosin was very quickly replaced by the SKS and AK-47, and presto, you've got boatloads of surplus Mosins hanging around.

I don't believe that most of the Mosins were unissued. You see a lot of arsenal-refurbs, but not a lot of pristine ones. I haven't seen that many Mosins in my life--maybe a couple dozen--but I've never seen a Russian Mosin that looked unissued. I do have an unissued Mosin, but it's a Finnish M39, dated 1970. (That's the barrel date--it's a Finnish barrel on an older Russian-made receiver, like all M39s.) I think they were using them for marksmanship trainers at that point.

Leadbutt
July 19, 2009, 10:33 AM
Byron, nope I don't remember looking at the front and seeing that, but hell its been what 40 years dam near, the one blooper carried was modified in a big way no sight , no butt stock just one cut down to a BIG pistol grip, Big Mike was a point shooter supreme

Pack
July 19, 2009, 11:21 AM
[QUOTE=SeekHer;5766750] The Bren was at best a makeshift firearm, made out of desperation, with junk parts but they worked, killed lots of "Bosch" and the side magazine meant they could fire and more importantly reload from the prone position...QUOTE]

The "Bren" was a licensed variant of the Czech zb26, which was a first-rate weapon, as were all Czech armaments of the interwar period:

"this LMG became one of the most successful infantry small arms of the interwar period. It is believed that the ZB factory turned more than 120,000 ZB-26 guns between 1926 and 1939 in a variety of calibers (the most popular being its original 7.92x57 Mauser). It was exported to twenty-four European, South American and Asian countries, both in its original form and in the slightly improved ZB30 version. Large batches of ZB light machine guns went to Bolivia, Bulgaria, China, Rumania, Turkey and Yugoslavia. Exports continued up until 1939, when Hitler’s Germany took over Czechoslovakia. The Germans quickly recognized and adopted a good weapon when they saw it, and the ZB26 immediately became the MG 26(t) in German service. The Waffenwerke Brunn (the German name for ZB during the occupation) kept turning out the ZB26 LMG in significant numbers, and these machine guns were issued to Waffen-SS and various occupation forces. It must also be noted that the ZB26, in its improved ZGB33 version, eventually became the Bren, an extremely successful light machine gun widely used throughout the British Commonwealth between the late 1930s and the 1980s."

Source: http://world.guns.ru/machine/mg52-e.htm

I also noted that many mentioned sightings and reports of WWII-era German weapons in use by the VC and others in Vietnam. These are most often chalked up as "captures" emanating from the USSR. This is certainly plausible, and likely accounted for a substantial portion of the examples seen.

Others, however, would have been captured from Waffen-SS men (German, French, and Eastern European) in action with the French Foreign Legion in Indochina, 1946-1954. Their role and numbers are still debated, but I believe Wehrmacht arms remained in use with many. I won't post all of the links here, but if folks are really interested, it's become a popular enough topic that google will suggest "waffen ss indochina" and/or "waffen ss in vietnam" if you start typing enough of either.

If you've seen "We Were Soldiers", a movie I really loved, you will notice in the final scenes involving the bayonet charge, the NVA machine gunner (just before beging shredded by machine gun fire himself) is aiming an MG34 right at Col. Moore, and there are a great many K98k/vz24/Mauser-pattern rifles among the pile being collected.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPr9g3EVz-o

j-easy
July 19, 2009, 12:28 PM
my uncle was in Vietnam carried a 12ga pump shotgun for most of the war, had a m16 but didn't like it, had a bad experience with a a malfunction that ended up with him running down some godforsaken road dropping parts everywhere trying to fix it while getting shot at

justashooter in pa
July 19, 2009, 01:52 PM
actually, the bren was a simplified version of the czech ZB series in terms of design, but not in terms of machining. the ZB 26 and 30 had gas tubes that were seperate from the receiver, screwing into it with fine pitch threads. the bren, and the later ZB37 had a receiver with integral gas tube that was part of the solid billet from which the receivers were machined. the bren was regarded as more durable in this regard.

Back to topic, I am reading The New Face Of War, which was written by Malcolm Browne in 1965. He was a reporter for the AP, embedded from 1961 forward. He took the photo of the bhuddist Quang Duc, who burned himself in Saigon in 1963.

Browne indicates that the friendlies carried thompsons, Armalites (before they were issued to our GI), and a variety of other fun stuff. They liked the M79, especially.

The bad guys were ill equipped during this period, with approximately 30% of them having "sky horse guns" made from pipe and planks and scraps of plumbing, and the rest having only improvised weps.

He indicates that the guerillas of the Iron Triangle were largely equipped with freshly captured US weps as opportunity allowed, or older captured french weps. He wrote about the "lance gun", which was essentially a rocket hung on a yardarm of a pole stuck into the ground and aimed at a road or canal the government forces were expected to use, and electrically detonated by an observer.

Browne called the VN conflict a war of ambush, which the superior humintel of the communist forces and protracted and meticulous planning of the governmet forces enabled. He had few good words for American technology in the jungle, and particularly disliked the M113 amphibs.

Vern Humphrey
July 19, 2009, 03:10 PM
He was a reporter for the AP, embedded from 1961 forward.
There were no embedded reporters in Viet Nam. The first war with enbedded reporters was Desert Storm in 1992.
He had few good words for American technology in the jungle, and particularly disliked the M113 amphibs.
The M113 is not an "amphib." It is an Armored Personnel Carrier with limited swimming capability. I commanded a Mechanized Infantry company on my second tour, and the M113 is a superb vehicle, both automotively and as a fighting vehicle.

JR47
July 19, 2009, 05:29 PM
I would be more than happy to compare DD-214s. I was in-country from 5/66 until 4/69, with the only breaks for R&R and leave. I was in the Rung Sat Special Zone. My issue weapon was an M14, until 11/67, when I carried an M16 for three weeks. After the third one failed, I was re-issued, along with the rest of the group, the M14.

Obviously, our hero feels that his personal experiences were mirrored by everyone else over the nearly 10 year period of the Vietnam conflict. In every area of Vietnam, to boot. When we arrived, the ARVNs were still using M1 Garands, and M1/M2 carbines. Heck, they still had 1919A4 MGs. I even saw a few 1919A6s with them.

The VC had a hodge-podge of weaponry, with very few AK47s, but many Model 44 Mosins, and the Chinese Type 53 rifles. I currently possess a Mauser k98 that was a Vietnam capture.

I long ago realized that many of the posters who were in Vietnam never imagined that everyone else wasn't there at the same time as them, and that what they saw in their little corner of the world didn't encompass everything anyone else saw. When I arrived, the majority of the Marines and Army were using the M14, and the M16 was for certain SF groups. Our group worked with the Stoner 63 and 63A, while another group had some Remington automatic shotguns for a brief period. There were a lot of odd armaments and ordnance tried out in Vietnam. I ran into an SF group that had some G3s in 1968.

The Russian Mosin Nagants that are for sale as "new" are usually arsenal reworked after WWII units. The Soviets were determined that they would never again be caught without sufficient weaponry again. They stock-piled old Soviet weapons, German weapons, and even forced Warsaw Pact countries to do the same.

I do remember various A-Teams being armed with M1A Thompsons, Madsens, Carl Gustavs, Mat49s, Browning HPs, even a Tokarov or two. The M3 was issued to many trucks, probably left over from Korea. [I]n the First Gulf, a number of M1A Abrams still had M3s, as did the Sheridans with the AirBorne units.

FWIW, the current Marines in Iraq have taken some "personal" arms with them. There are a few Kahrs, S&W 3913, and other small 9mm autos riding as BUGs in the AOs over there. I have a son-in-law who's still there, and one who just returned. Onbe is a K9 MP with the Army, the other in the Marines.

JR47
July 19, 2009, 05:41 PM
Also, the British Webley were issued in .45 ACP with moon clips as they found prior to the First World conflict that the .38 wasn't very good and they went to the .455 Webley which meant with a little cylinder work and now available in .45 ACP...The .455 Webley Mark 6. British Revolver adopted in 1915. Muzz Vel of 600 fps. "Prior to the acceptance of the Browning HP-35, this revolver was a standard issue sidearm of the British army...

World War II
A box of World War II dated .380" Revolver Mk IIz cartridges

The official service pistol for the British military during World War II was the Enfield No. 2 Mk I .38/200 calibre revolver,[11] but owing to a critical shortage of handguns, a number of other weapons were also adopted (first practically, then officially) to alleviate the shortage. As a result, both the Webley Mk IV in .38/200 and the .455 calibre Webley Mk VI were issued to personnel during the war.[12]

The .455 cartridge was a service revolver cartridge, featuring a rimmed cartridge firing a .45 bullet at the relatively low velocity of 650 ft/s (190 m/s). The result was a cartridge and handgun combination with relatively mild recoil, but with good penetration and excellent stopping power. It was rated superior to the .45 Colt in stopping power in the disputed US Thompson-LaGarde Tests of 1904 that resulted in the adoption by the United States of the .45 ACP cartridge.

The Webley never needed moon clips, which didn't exist until well after WWII. The original issue for the Colt 1917, and the S&W 1917 revolvers were clips that held three bullets each, or a half-moon clip. The ,455 Webley cartridge was a rimmed round. The real issue caliber for WWII Britain was the .38/200. The .455 guns were pressed into service as losses overwhelmed manufacturing capabilities.

It wasn't until well after WWII ended that imported Webley revolvers had the rear of the cylinder machined to accept these half-moon clips, loaded with .45 ACP rounds. The .45 ACP was never a standard British caliber.

Byron
July 19, 2009, 05:48 PM
JR, a lot of troops served in many capacities in Nam. I note you were in the Navy and I Thank You for that. Have a lot of friends who served in the Navy during that time. I think we who served in the infantry,Army or Marines have a different perspective on the war from where we were but yet all saw the violence that as a result bound us together. I respect all who served no matter when.
When I got there, the 16 worked well. I kept mine clean and it never jammed.I recall opening a crate of ammo and each box was marked "Dupont Powder" which as I understand was the original powder that worked well in the early period of Nam.
I note you are from NW GA. I was raised in Catoosa County.Byron

DougDubya
July 19, 2009, 05:49 PM
JR47 - I believe you meant to write .38/200, not .30/200, which never had existed.

Also of note - decades before the Judge became the ultimate in revolvers (sarcasm, my friends) - some Tunnel Rats had been issued Model 29's converted to .410 shotshells - mainly because the shotshells could be fired in a sealed system which limited the potential for auditory injury in a confined tunnel.

chuckusaret
July 20, 2009, 12:21 AM
I've always been curious, why are there so many unissued Mosin-Nagants on the market if there was such a rifle shortage? Or are they actual wartime pieces? I could swear I heard most of them were unissued.
I have seen reports that there were over 12 million produced not counting the ones from Finnland and the USA. I have 91/30 from Russia, fun to shoot and very accurate. In fact we put about a 100 rounds thru it today.

Detritus
July 20, 2009, 01:23 AM
I also have never seen an M14 Sniper rifle from those dates

Ok, I wasn't there, wasn't even born till over a year after Saigon fell. But if Vern and the other gentlemen who WERE there don't mind. I'll try and answer the implied question.

just b/c someone hasn't heard of or seen one, Doesn't mean much. Friend of mine has a Model 700 variant Remington says they never made.

First off Lack of a Sniper School does not preclude sniper rifles of a given type. in the case of the M14 family, once the army setup the schools, the arrival of the XM-21 variants was as i understand it rather quick.

as to the M14, and the time to which Vern was speaking about having a Sniper configured model there of.

the M-14 always featured a method of adding a scope mount. those in charge of design wanted to have a means to make a "Sniper rifle" or at least "DMR-type rifle" out of it if needed, without major surgery such as that required to make an M1C/D

Also fairly soon after the rifle was adopted, a number were accurized for match use. just like the garand eventually was.

Now, accurized M-14s were already in the system, the means to mount optics to the rifle are "in system". whether or not it was official or not the rifle config Vern describes was available to an officer determined to get his hands on it.

and in fact when the (X)M-21 showed up it was basicly just that, an M14 accurized in a manner similar to "National Match" examples, with optics mounted to it.

JR47
July 20, 2009, 11:51 AM
Yes, I was in the Navy, and operated with Riverine forces, and the Marines in the Rung Sat. We performed WBLV interdiction, delivered marine elements for patrol and ambush, and later in the tour, performed the ambushes and patrols while working with SEAL Teams 1 and 2, ourselves. I wasn't a SEAL, and have never claimed to be. Nor was I a LRRP, Green Beanie, Pathfinder, or Sog member. However, I have engaged the enemy with small-arms from the ground side, on multiple occasions, and for more than the average patrols contact time. There were any number of times that I would have just as well traded my position for one on the USS New Jersey. However, to assume that the Branch of service qualifies one to make judgments is a bit hard to take. Yes, the infantry had a different job than a chopper pilot, but does his job automatically render him less experienced in his observations?

My exact point was that not everyone experienced the same thing in Vietnam. Our combat roles changed over the several years I was there, as did our armaments, vehicles, and communications gear. An infantryman in the Rung Sat operated in a far different environment than one in the Highlands. Marines in Khe Sanh operated differently than those in Hue. Marines in the same areas, years apart, found themselves with different weaponry, and fighting a different foe. After Tet, the VC were virtually gone, with the NVA assuming the major roles.

It all goes back to when you were there, and where you were, much more than what you did in combat. My observations came from my experiences of the time. Trying to put anyone's experiences out there as THE Answer, as I've tried to point out, only means that the poster ignores the length of the conflict, and the size of the AO. Blanket statements about the M1A Thompson's effectiveness, and who used them, and where, are rife with error. The same for the M3 SMG.

Heck, Riverines routinely saw more combat than many front-line troops of that time, period. Unlike John Kerry, we didn't feel the need to get in-country, make a video, put ourselves in for medals, then head for D.C.

84B20
July 20, 2009, 12:08 PM
I could never forget the Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol (LRRP, pronounced lurp). They had the best food aside from eating on "the economy", much better than the "C" or "K" rations. Not to get off topic. :)

EAJ
July 20, 2009, 12:36 PM
And in the AIR ABOVE Vietnam our A-7 Corsairs armaments included:

Mk 82-84 GP (dumb, laser, etc.) Bombs
CBU’s
Vulcan M61A1 6-barrel 20mm Gatling gun
AIM-9 Sidewinder Air-to-Air Missiles
Zuni 5” Air-to-Air/Ground Missile Pod
Mighty Mouse 2.75” Air-to-Air/Ground Missile Pod

Seems so long ago, but most who served remember it like it was yesterday. God bless all who serve and or sacrifice.

VA-82
USS America
72/73

http://www.carrierbuilders.net/store/images/A-7E-002-A2.jpg

Gryffydd
July 20, 2009, 12:46 PM
and the US Secret Service issues to presidential details--see Reagan shooting attempt and then explain why the HK MP5 and USP are the darlings of every Special Forces group the world over including the USA...
Just like Vern said...they're for special uses--notice the "special" in special forces. Good for SF and the SS does not make them good for Infantry.

jimmyraythomason
July 20, 2009, 12:52 PM
I turned 18 years old in 1971. In 1972 ,I talked to an Army recruiter (Sargent Burton,IIRC)with the intention of enlisting. I caught him in a lie that resulted in my not joining up(if he lied about my MOS,how many other lies did he tell me?). This turned out to be the biggest regret I have, that of not serving. I cannot make up for it,I can only thank those who did,particularly those of that era. GOD bless you all.

Marlin 45 carbine
July 20, 2009, 01:29 PM
sort of echo JR47. I was up near the DMZ, I Corp U.S.N. enlisted. served in Riverine force. near as many Marines as sailors in our unit.
I was first on a towed-into-place arty barge that was tough duty, constant shelling around the clock at times. I was glad when the barrels gave out and we got pulled off that scow. small arms were varied with the Marines haveing the modern guns.
was then sent onto a 'monitor' that again had as many Marines as Navy personell but there were more small arms carryed by crew and when I got my hands on a Thompson w/a stick mag I would not let it out of arms reach. rinsed the weapon and mags in diesel from the fuel lines to engines and never once had a jam likely fired 5K shots. I got pretty good at resting the fore end on the fireing port edge and dumping the mag into the riverside bushes. seeing the branches and fronds drop was a 'feel good moment' for me knowing a hidden enemy was likely scared to death if not actually hit.
arms varied considerably with Navy haveing M1 Carbines and pump 12ga mostly. Marines had 79's and M16's mostly and .45 pistols both branches had.
U.S. Navy enlisted 6/68-6/72.

84B20
July 20, 2009, 02:20 PM
This poster might give you an indication of some of the weapons the "enemy" were using.

84B20
July 20, 2009, 02:37 PM
Jimmy,

I caught him in a lie that resulted in my not joining up(if he lied about my MOS,how many other lies did he tell me?).

I don't know how you caught the recruiter in a lie but in my experience the recruiters were often misinformed as to the MOS's that were available at any given time. For me, I wanted to enlist as a combat photographer but was told that there were no openings at the training school. I opted for camera repair thinking I might be able to work my way into the class since it was at the same location. I eventually did and served two tours as a photographer.

You might consider my cameras as one of my weapons in addition to the .38 or 9mm I carried as indicated in a previous post, so this post may not be entirely off topic.

jimmyraythomason
July 20, 2009, 02:45 PM
84B20,I cannot comment firsthand about the guns of Vietnam and my post was just my way of saying thank you to those of you who were there. The lie that I was told was that if I did not get my preferred MOS that I was no longer obligated to the army and could just leave. Remember this was in 1972. Please forgive the off topic post.

Byron
July 20, 2009, 03:12 PM
Jimmy,you are not off topic and I do appreciate your comments.I talked to otherers who were mislead (I was drafted so there was no choice). I am completly disabled from that war and could not wish it on anyone. I have a good life. Byron

84B20
July 20, 2009, 04:22 PM
Jimmy,

Again we may be getting off topic but it still needs to be said. I for one think you were trying to do the right thing so no need to apologize for not serving. Recruiters back then, and probably to some extent now, were under a lot of pressure to get people in the service so I'm sure some stretched the truth to some extent, to put it kindly.

Just look what is being asked of National Guards troops like multiple tours, more so than we served in Viet Nam. These soldiers, as far as I understand are supposed to guard our borders not fight battles overseas. It may be unpopular to say but maybe we should bring back the draft. IMHO.

Now I am getting off topic! Don't get me started on Viet Nam. I'll stop.

(I understand if a moderator wants to remove this post)

61chalk
July 20, 2009, 05:32 PM
My brother served very near the DMZ in 1969, I was in the early 80's with the
24th, we were mech with what I believe was the M113 APC. A Sgt. told us
that they were coffins made out of aluminum, a M16 couldn't penetrate it,
but a AK47 would rip right into them, you are very unsafe in them....can any
one verify this?

Dr. Fresh
July 20, 2009, 05:44 PM
Must not have been much of an APC if that's the case. Looks like they forgot the A part of it.

Vern Humphrey
July 20, 2009, 06:24 PM
we were mech with what I believe was the M113 APC. A Sgt. told us
that they were coffins made out of aluminum, a M16 couldn't penetrate it,
but a AK47 would rip right into them, you are very unsafe in them....can any
one verify this?
A 7.62 round will not penetrate an M113. However, an RPG most certainly will. In addition, they are vulnerable to mines - part of this is due to the construction, with the tracks inset so they are actually under the hull, as opposed to a tank which has its tracks mounted outrigger fashion. Inside the vehicle, the inset forms a ledge where radios and so on are mounted. A mine will often rupture the right angle formed by the ledge. As a result, only the driver rode inside the track -- eveyone else rode on top.

On the other side of the ledger, with the A-CAV kit mounted, you had an M2 HB .50 caiber in a reasonably well armored mount, and two M60s mounted in antenna brackets on either side. A single platoon, with 4 M113s, had 4 .50 cals, 8 M60s, and all the ammo they could possibly need inside the track. In many fights, that much firepower became a sort of "armor" -- to knock out a track, the enemy had to survive.

The M113 could also carry a coil of razor wire, so at night defensive positions were wired in. With wire and interlocking, overlapping fires, a mech company was a very tough nut to crack -- we fought some engagements in western I Corps, near the old base of Khe Sahn, where NVA battalions were thrown at mech units at night, and failed to penetrate their perimeters.

Byron
July 20, 2009, 07:16 PM
Nov 68, my battalion worked with the 2/8th Mech Inf in Bam Be thout. I got on a mortar track. It was comforting to have the fire power at night and the wire in place which is something we rarley had. The men I was with said the AK rounds would not penetrate. After that it was on foot and walking the Central Highlands weeks at a time. Byron

mattk
July 20, 2009, 07:20 PM
I have a picture of my dad with a Luger he captured in Vietnam. He picked it up while on an advisory team in 1967.

SeekHer
July 21, 2009, 04:11 AM
Iím not casting aspersions on his name and it means naught to me whether he served or didnít, I commented that I had never heard or read of the M14 being outfitted, in the early years of the conflict, with scopesÖnot until the Army decided to do away with their Winchester Target M70sÖ

At least not one of the authors that I have mention it and that includes: Kevin Dockery, Stalkers & Shooters; Hans Halberstadt, Trigger Men and To Be A Military Sniper; Milo S. Afong, Hogs in the Shadows; Mark Spice, Sniper;, Andy Dougan, Through the Crosshairs, Peter Brookesmith, Sniper; G.Sgt. Jack Coughlin, Shooter; Anthony Swofford, Jarhead: A Marine's Chronicle Of The Gulf War And Other Battles of the more recent author published with reference to Vietnam and of those memoirs of Vietnam: Ed Kugler, Dead Center; Michael Lee Lanning, Inside the Crosshairs; John J. Culbertson, A Sniper in the Arizona and 13 Cent Killers; Joseph T. Ward, Dear Mom: A Sniperís Vietnam; Craig Roberts & Charles W. Sasser, Crosshairs on the Killzone and One Shot, One Kill; Adrian Gilbert, Stalk and Kill and Sniper; Roy Chandler, Sniper One,; Peter R. Senich, The Complete Book of US Sniping and Limited War Sniping and all six volumes of Norman A. Chandlerís USMC Sniping: Death from Afar and another 140 books on sniping/distance shooting that Iíve collected over the years as part of my 4,200+ volume libraryÖ

SeekHer
July 21, 2009, 05:03 AM
Vern Humphrey --
Then explain the Uzi that the Israelis used so well during 4 wars
The Israelis mostly used them as secondary weapons for people with other duties.
Bullcrap, not until after Lebanon did they remove the Uzi from front line infantry use, thanks to the Galil and other firearms and the tank corps still used the folding stock version...prior to that every unit had SMGs just like the British & US forces did during WW2 and later...there is a classic photograph of a bunch of Golani (crazy like Marines) soldiers entering Jerusalem during the 6 Day War in 1967 all carrying Uzis...

The guards in the old days (1970s & 80s) on the beaches in Tel Aviv almost all carried US Carbine M1 and a few, Uzis...I haven't been back since 1999 so can't tell you what they're carrying now...probably old Galils...
and the US Secret Service issues to presidential details--see Reagan shooting attempt and then explain why the HK MP5 and USP are the darlings of every Special Forces group the world over including the USA...
Boys like to play with toys.

But in real combat, when people hide behind walls, rocks, logs and so on and shoot at you, you want penetration.
You're saying definitively that that 9mm and .45 ACP AP won't penetrate cinder block walls, fences and lath & plaster walls?
Then why would the Special Forces use them? They so special they only encounter their enemy in the open!
They are not distance weapons by any means but more because of their size, not caliber, they are used for room clearing or concealed carry and at that they excel...
Because I can definitively state they can!
Gryffydd --
Just like Vern said...they're for special uses--notice the "special" in special forces. Good for SF and the SS does not make them good for Infantry.
Bullcrap! Then why were the Thompson, Sten, US Carbine M2, M3 Grease Gun and the Uzi, issued to front line infantry as that's what the statements were about not special uses!

chuckusaret
July 21, 2009, 10:07 AM
Not trying to beat my own drum but I served tours in Viet Nam from 1962 to 1971 and in some cases a second tour with the same unit. I saw the aircraft change from the H13, H19, H21 to the UH1, CH47, CH46, OH6 and OH58. I saw our issue weapons change from 30 cal M1919A4 and A6 MG's, .50 cal MG, BAR's, M1 Garands, M2 Carbines to the M14's, M60's and then to the M21's, M16's, M241, M203's, M79's and shotguns, but with a few Thompsons and AK47's used in some special applications. I also carried a Ruger .30 caliber Black Hawk on several tours.
The equipment I saw or used in Viet Nam was not necessarily the same equipment you saw or used in the same unit in latter years. What am I trying to get across-------The Table of allowances and equipment (TO&E) for a unit meant very little during the Viet Nam conflict and the majority of units allowed the use of non TO&E weapons that could get the job done at least until 1971.

I forgot to mention the way out weapons and knives carried by the REMF's. I would guess the REMF's can be placed in the same catagory as the present day "Mall Ninja"

JR47
July 21, 2009, 05:08 PM
You're saying definitively that that 9mm and .45 ACP AP won't penetrate cinder block walls, fences and lath & plaster walls?
Then why would the Special Forces use them? They so special they only encounter their enemy in the open!
They are not distance weapons by any means but more because of their size, not caliber, they are used for room clearing or concealed carry and at that they excel...
Because I can definitively state they can!

That would be correct. Neither ther 9x19, or the .45 ACP is very good at penetrating plaster and lathe walls, nor are they very good at reliably penetrating brick, mortar, cinder block, or concrete as used in walls. The engagement range of the MP5 is 100 yards, maximum, and that only with skilled operators, against targets in the open. The round, itself, is dropping below 250 ft/lbs of energy at that range.

The pictures of HK MP5 equipped SF were mainly used to illustrate their abilities at Hostage Rescue, where higher powered weaponry could be hazardous to the hostages. They are also handy in subterranean work, or in similar confined areas.

A simple reading of any of the Operations Manuals for SOCOM makes that abundantly clear.

rcmodel
July 21, 2009, 05:17 PM
The engagement range of the MP5 is 100 yards, maximum, SO, if a calvery trooper in 1885 could kill a horse or it's rider with a .45 Colt SAA revolver at 200 - 300 yards, why couldn't a skilled shot with a MP5 do as well?

We used to shoot and hit ammo crates at 100+ yards with 1911's when I was in the service, and I can assure you that you would not want to get hit with one at 2 or 3 times that distance!

rc

CH47gunner
July 22, 2009, 12:38 AM
While I respect & appreciate all who served overseas, many of those who did not serve in a combat MOS took advantage of their jobs, and made mine even more difficult. These would be the REMF's.

I served in VietNam from 12/2/69 to 12/4/1970.
I was a helicopter doorgunner (part-time crewchief) on CH47C Chinooks. I was with the 1st Aviation Brigade, 213th Assault Support Helicopter Company (BlackCats), in III Corp., at Phu-Loi. I was based within 10 K's of the Iron Triangle, flew the entire Cambodia Incursion, have over 1,000 hrs. of actual combat flight time, and have four Battle Stars on my VietNam Service Medal. I'll match DD214's with anyone here.

OK - there's my bona fides (& slight remf rant).

I was first attached to an aviation replacement company which was called Security Platoon, we didn't do anything except pull Bunker/Perimeter guard every night. The purpose of the security platoon was that each of the aviation companies would pull replacements as their people went home or as needed. I pulled bunker guard every night for almost a month. I was issued an M14 for this duty (M14 in 1969?), I had gone thru Basic with the M14 so I wasn't concerned. Each bunker was also issued an M60 machine gun, at least 4 Claymore mines, and sometimes a Starlight Scope.
I was quite surprised when I got my orders to a Chinook company as all my maintenance & gunnery training had been on UH-1's. Oh well, the Army knows best.
Once in my aviation company I was issued an M16 (I'd never even handled one), given a choice between a Colt 1911 .45ACP or S&W Model 10 .38 Spl., I took the S&W Model 10. I was also issued two M60D machine guns, these are the aviation model of the M60, with the butterfly handles and the ring & bead sights.
The arms guy took me out to zero my M16, I never fired it again, I also never carried it on the aircraft. As soon as I had an opportunity, I traded for a folding stock AK, and that was my personel weapon, which resided behind the refrigerator, in my hootch.
Almost every aircraft carried a M79, as these were very multi-functional. They could be used as a big shot-gun, grenade launcher, CS gas grenades, or even fire hand flares thru them. Most importantly, we could fire them from the back of the bird & the pilots couldn't hear the "Bloop" discharge. Occasionally, the pilots "didn't need to know".

Bruce

chuckusaret
July 22, 2009, 08:33 AM
I was with the 1st Aviation Brigade, 213th Assault Support Helicopter Company (BlackCats), in III Corp., at Phu-Loi.

Stopped at the 213th on many trips to and from Siagon when picking up new replacement aircraft. I knew Sfc Givens, one of the 213th's maintenace chiefs, he always had a snack and soda for our crew. My last tour was in Phu Bia 70/71.

Ala Dan
July 22, 2009, 01:18 PM
A silenced version of the Smith & Wesson model 39-2 9m/m was used by
some elite special forces, to silence sentry's and guard dog's~! ;)

PAshooter
July 22, 2009, 01:31 PM
Also of note - decades before the Judge became the ultimate in revolvers (sarcasm, my friends) - some Tunnel Rats had been issued Model 29's converted to .410 shotshells - mainly because the shotshells could be fired in a sealed system which limited the potential for auditory injury in a confined tunnel.

DougDubya,

I suspect you're referring to the QSPR (a.k.a. "tunnel revolver") - a highly modified S&W Model 29 fitted with a smoothbore .40 cal barrel and built to fire a special round which externally resembled a .410 shot shell. The round launched a small handful of tungsten balls, and was designed such that it trapped all the propellent gasses within the case, thus drastically reducing the sound signature of the gun.

I have the honor of knowing the folks who designed and built this specialized weapon:

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

GeorgeF
July 22, 2009, 01:41 PM
My father was in Vietnam in 1968 and 1969. He carried different firearms, but those in regular rotation were a Uzi, a Beretta M12, a Model 97 Winchester Shotgun and a Browning HiPower.

He was a civilian contractor training the South Vietnamese forces as well as some other duties.

JR47
July 22, 2009, 04:49 PM
SO, if a calvery trooper in 1885 could kill a horse or it's rider with a .45 Colt SAA revolver at 200 - 300 yards, why couldn't a skilled shot with a MP5 do as well?

And a .22 long rifle is lethal at 1 mile, according to the manufacturers. Hitting a horse with a pistol is one heck of a lot easier than trying to hit a hostage-taker at 100 yards. Horses tend to be a bit larger, and the rider/horse combination is larger still.

I can hit an ammo crate at 100 yards, too. Just not sure where on the crate it's going to hit.

The 100 yard range was determined by the SOCOM troops for use in hostage situations, where the MP5 is used. The ammunition for it was geared to be able to score head-shots to that range.

CH47gunner
July 22, 2009, 06:49 PM
Quote:
I was with the 1st Aviation Brigade, 213th Assault Support Helicopter Company (BlackCats), in III Corp., at Phu-Loi.

Stopped at the 213th on many trips to and from Siagon when picking up new replacement aircraft. I knew Sfc Givens, one of the 213th's maintenace chiefs, he always had a snack and soda for our crew. My last tour was in Phu Bia 70/71.

Off topic here.

chuckusaret -

Givens name rings a bell, was he a black NCO and did he recieve a Bronze Star?
My Flight Platoon Sergeant's name was Sgt. Gross, short little white guy. Pain in the rear (but Sarge, I'm too busy/stoned/drunk to get a haircut) but, a decent Platoon Sgt.

Are you a member of either the VietNam Helicopter Pilots Assn. or the VietNam Helicopter Crewmembers Assn.?

I'll see if I can dig up some pics of Phu Loi.

Bruce

Blakenzy
July 22, 2009, 08:06 PM
SeekHer-

The Bren was at best a makeshift firearm, made out of desperation, with junk parts but they worked, killed lots of "Bosch" and the side magazine meant they could fire and more importantly reload from the prone position...

You are mistaken, unless you are referring to the British Sten:
http://world.guns.ru/smg/sten_mkII.jpg

Bren (doesn't look like makeshift junk to me):
http://world.guns.ru/machine/bren_mk3.jpg

Dr. Fresh
July 22, 2009, 08:19 PM
I do believe he meant the Sten. The Bren is a fine weapon.

trex1310
July 22, 2009, 09:39 PM
I'll be the first to admit I was drafted. I ended up in the 1st Cavalry and
became VN (Republic of) meat in July '66. My major (and mostly only) concern was to do my tour and go back to the world alive and in one piece, never to return to that living hell on earth.

SeekHer
July 23, 2009, 12:51 AM
Dr. Fresh -- I do believe he meant the Sten. The Bren is a fine weapon.

Thank you, I did...

Mea culpa, it should have been Sten, as the Bren was the best squad automatic weapon of the war (Sorry BAR!)--which the Japanese copied for their Type 99 (they also copied the 7.7mm round from the .303 British and removing the rim) and that I had the pleasure of being issued as my kibbutz gun for my position in the sandbags atop our cement underground bomb shelter...We also had Stens and Davidofs that were made in underground (literally) armouries during the Palestine Occupation days...

As the Canadian troops described the Sten, "pushed together baling wire and plumbing pipe" (I got to shoot them first time whilst in Army Cadets in the 1950s and 60s)...Licensed or unlicensed copy or their own design, Britain didn't care...they worked (enough) and they could turn them out quickly, cheaply and MOST importantly, with materials at hand...Czech, design, who cared, as it was behind the Nazi wall and in their control so royalties c/wouldn't have been collected or paid...

chuckusaret
July 23, 2009, 10:21 AM
Givens name rings a bell, was he a black NCO and did he recieve a Bronze Star?


Yes, the one and the same and I believe he was from Mississippi

DougDubya
July 23, 2009, 02:02 PM
DougDubya,

I suspect you're referring to the QSPR (a.k.a. "tunnel revolver") - a highly modified S&W Model 29 fitted with a smoothbore .40 cal barrel and built to fire a special round which externally resembled a .410 shot shell. The round launched a small handful of tungsten balls, and was designed such that it trapped all the propellent gasses within the case, thus drastically reducing the sound signature of the gun.

I have the honor of knowing the folks who designed and built this specialized weapon:

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

That is indeed the revolver I was referring to. Taurus owes those folks big time, but that is a fine piece of blued steel.

CH47gunner
July 23, 2009, 05:54 PM
Quote:
Givens name rings a bell, was he a black NCO and did he recieve a Bronze Star?

Yes, the one and the same and I believe he was from Mississippi

Yep, remember him - Mostly by reputation tho. Flight Platoon (unless you spent some time in maint.) usually didn't hang-out with anybody else. And then we were divided up into Heads (Hippies/dopers) & Juicers (Rednecks/drinkers). We wore our Nomex flight suits everywhere, had our pistols slung low, and were elitest bastards.

Interesting times!

Bruce

213th Flight Line @ Phu Loi
http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f232/ch47gunner/vacapicsmontana/213flightline.jpg

213th ASHC BlackCats Patch
http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f232/ch47gunner/vacapicsmontana/213th_Black_Cats_tile.jpg

My duty station for 11 months w/ M60D
http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f232/ch47gunner/vacapicsmontana/ch47gunner.jpg

Hangar Monkeys
http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f232/ch47gunner/vacapicsmontana/hangarmonkey.jpg

Pretty sure that's me hanging out the right door
http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f232/ch47gunner/vacapicsmontana/WE20CARRIED20EVERYTHING.jpg

1st Infantry Div. Patch cut out of the jungle with Rome Plows
http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f232/ch47gunner/vacapicsmontana/1stInfDivPatch.jpg

Best friend M. Casey (still) Slick Crewchief w/ his cut-down M79
http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f232/ch47gunner/vacapicsmontana/mattM79.jpg

Chinese resturant in Long Binh - had lunch there a couple of times.
http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f232/ch47gunner/vacapicsmontana/mandarinsm.jpg

122mm Rocket crater in 213th Company area (oooh, that one was close!)
http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f232/ch47gunner/vacapicsmontana/122mmrocket.jpg

Nui Ba Dinh (Black Virgin Mtn.) near Tay Ninh & Parrot's Beak.
http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f232/ch47gunner/vacapicsmontana/nuibadin.jpg

Recovering a snake
http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f232/ch47gunner/vacapicsmontana/hooknsnake1.jpg

We broke too
http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f232/ch47gunner/vacapicsmontana/cranehook.jpg

Java51
July 24, 2009, 06:55 AM
CH47gunner,

Thanks for the pictures of Nui Ba Dinh and the "Big Red One" 1st ID patch cut out of the jungle. I remember seeing both of these many times when we flew missions to this area from Can Tho. I also remember beaucoup bomb craters
near the Black Virgin as well.
Always carried an S&W Model 10 and of course, my M16. Also humped an M60, an M79 (my favorite) and a PRC-25 from time to time. Thanks again for jogging my failing memory!
DRC

chuckusaret
July 24, 2009, 07:40 AM
CH47 Gunner. Yes, your description fits him to a "T". Great pictures. The majority of my combat pictures were either destroyed by the results of rocket/motar fire or were confiscated on my return trip to the states. Remember towards the end all body count numbers had to be documented in some manner and I took many videos and 35MM shots to do just that.
My unit provided DS maintenance support to the 213th when they returned from Viet Nam to Lawson AAF Ft Benning, Ga.

d2wing
July 24, 2009, 06:29 PM
I wonder where the ammo and equipment came from for all the odd ball stuff?
I only saw standard issue stuff. I dunno that I'd prefer something I didn't have ammo for really handy.
But then, I had no idea what was going on other places in the war or in the world for that matter. And some accounts of a battle I was in were so different than I remember, that I wonder if I was in another war? I do know that some stuff was beyond weird. A friend of mine has a captured French shotgun so odd and worn out that it's a wonder that anyone would use it in combat. I dunno where the line is between facts and bs anymore.

cane
July 24, 2009, 08:41 PM
Sinced our PFs had surplus WWII US weapons (M-1, M-1 carbine, BAR, etc) we tended to carry the same, especally after we had to turn our M-14s in for M-16s. I carried both a M-2 carbine and a M-3 "grease gun", prefered the carbine.

CH47gunner
July 25, 2009, 01:24 AM
Thanks, and welcome home.

So many missions, sorties, & stories.

Walking Flight Line guard duty & carrying an old pump shot-gun (Mossburg?) so if I used it, I wouldn't shoot another aircraft on the other side of the Base. On the way back to the Arms Room, to check-in the shotgun, a mortar round hit & blew-up our turbine engine shop (PA&E). I'd just walked past it.

Test firing my folding AK for the first time, shooting out the rear port of the bird, and holding the gun sideways, 'cause we'd been told they may have been sabotaged & might blow-up. It didn't.

The time Polack (another gunner) got shot in the back-side 'cause he was wearing his chicken-plate instead of sitting on it. He walked off the bird & couldn't figure out what all the commotion was about.

Setting down near a 175mm artillery piece and having it go off and the concussion of it firing was so big it blew all the plexiglass out of the left side of the bird.

Taking the magnesium out of the hand-flares and shooting them at the bunker next door. Also taking all the tracers out of the M60 belts, taking those apart, & mortaring those at the bunker next door.

Cutting the flash suppresors off the M60 barrels and throwing a 3ft. flame (I got in trouble for that). Also double springing and adding washers behind the buffer to increase the RPM of the M60.

Putting both M60's full forward to the mount's lock, having the pilots say "fire", so they could pretend to be fighter pilots & do strafing runs. Or switching places with one of the pilots so they could come back & play with the guns and we could get a bit of stick-time.

Just a few flash-backs there.

Bruce

Byron
July 25, 2009, 08:25 AM
March 5th and 6th was were bad for my infantry company. The rest of my tour was not good.I was pulled out of the field after I got out of the hospital the 3rd time. Byron

http://www.ivydragoons.org/Files/Hill%20947%20Story_htm.html

Vern Humphrey
July 25, 2009, 10:40 AM
I also remember beaucoup bomb craters near the Black Virgin as well.
I always chuckle at that name. The mountain is named (as you said) Nui Ba Dinh. "Ba" means "woman" and implies an older person. (The Viet Namese for young girl or virgin is Co.) Seen in the mists of the monsoon, the mountain looks like an old woman, sitting, her head tilted forward with her shawl over her head.

But to our horny troops, she was a virgin.:D

Detritus
July 25, 2009, 05:09 PM
Off topic but i have to ask..

I always chuckle at that name. The mountain is named (as you said) Nui Ba Dinh. "Ba" means "woman" and implies an older person. (The Viet Namese for young girl or virgin is Co.) Seen in the mists of the monsoon, the mountain looks like an old woman, sitting, her head tilted forward with her shawl over her head.


so a better translation would have been "The black crone"??

Vern Humphrey
July 25, 2009, 05:18 PM
That would convey the meaning as accurately as anything else.

The monsoon in Viet Nam is miserable -- it's cold (at least for people who are aclimated to the hot weather there), everything gets wet, no matter how you try to keep it dry. Boots under a bunk inside a hut will mildew overnight. Ball point and ink pens won't write -- the ink runs into the fibers of the paper.

When you see that old woman hunched over like that, you know just how she feels.

CH47gunner
July 25, 2009, 07:28 PM
If you closely at the Black Virgin Mtn. pic, at the top, you will see what look like tree tops. They aren't - they are antennae. There was a small communications & observation post on the top which we resupplied occasionally. There wasn't any other way to the top except by air. We had the top, Charlie had the middle, & the bottom was a free for all.
I'm glad I didn't have to spend a night there.

Bruce

Peyton666
July 25, 2009, 09:18 PM
I carried a SW MOdel 76 SMG (9mm), it is a copy of the Sweedish K but not as well made. The Carl Gustav is also a copy of the Sweedish K. Both are excellent submachine guns.The only submnachine gun I would prefer is tghe MP-5 because of the dealyed roller lock sytem.

The other smg's of all types are "open bolt", the MP-5 uses a closed bolt. Yes I have read articles by ther "experts" how the SW 76 was piece of trash, I carried one and it never failed me. It was more controlable than an M-16 by far and more reliable too back in 1970 that is. YOu neversaw the enemy very often anyway, only the muzzle flashes if that. If you did he was 'bingo' right in your face and my smg worked just fine, easier to bring to bear more quickly than an assult rifle too.

But I know this is true too, once a gun has saved your life you love that model no matter what.

A 9mm smg is justa good a weapon today as it was 75 years ago.

gp911
July 25, 2009, 11:26 PM
Awesome site danbrew...

gp911

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