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Anybody know what the Swiss Guard carries?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by MacPelto, Apr 1, 2005.

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  1. MacPelto

    MacPelto Member

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    With the Pope being in the news so much lately, I got to wondering - does anybody know what the Vatican Swiss Guard carries in the way of small arms? I mean besides halberds. Do they have pistols concealed in their little medieval outfits? Do they use long guns? Heavier munitions? Anybody actually seen them at work/training?

    Mac
     
  2. WT

    WT Member

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    The ones that wear school bus yellow and purple uniforms, designed by Michelangelo, carry the halberd. There are others in the background wearing blue-gray uniforms who carry Beretta 9mm handguns or Beretta M12 9mm submachineguns.

    Just past the Bronze Doors next to the Bernini columns on the right is an armored booth containing light machineguns. When the pope appears snipers are placed on the roof.

    The Vatican Police also carry Beretta handguns.


    Edit: one website I checked noted that the SG carries H&K smg's. When I last visited The Vatican I saw Beretta smg's.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2005
  3. Onmilo

    Onmilo Member

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    The Swiss 'mercenaries' are funded and equipped by the Swiss government.
    Current Swiss Military items predominate.
     
  4. OH25shooter

    OH25shooter Member

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    Why don't the Italians guard the pope? :confused: When in Rome.....
     
  5. entropy

    entropy Member

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    This is a holdover from mideval times when potentates (which the Pope was one of in those days) didn't trust their own citizens to guard them. If Romans guarded the Pontiff, it would have been easy for some plotting Cardinal (back in that era, quite common) to have the house guard spy on or dispatch him.
    The Swiss, being neutral and having the best trained troops at the time, were a natural choice for the Vatican Guard, and have served most loyally for several hundred years.
    Oh, BTW, they carry the M1542 halberd backed by the M1640 SchweitzerSchwerde and M1641 Bollock dagger. It's rumored that they may, in light of recent events, be soon carrying firearms. :neener:
    Seriously, they are very well armed and well trained. Not to be trifled with, to be sure.
     
  6. WT

    WT Member

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    The Vatican is an independent country. Having foreign police enforcing the laws is not widely accepted. The Rome police patrol on the Italian side of the border which is simply a white painted line across the plaza.

    The Swiss Guardsmen take a personal oath of loyalty to the pope. Who would the Italian police be loyal to?

    That said, the Rome police and Italian military do provide support for special occasions. Transgressors of The Vatican are handled by the Italian courts and prisons per various treaties between the 2 countries. See link.

    http://www.aloha.net/~mikesch/treaty.htm

    The biggest problem The Vatican has is the pickpockets that work St. Peter's.
     
  7. Trebor

    Trebor Member

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    One of the Swiss Guards murdered another guard a few years ago. IIRC, the news stories at the time indicated that the murder weapon was the issue HK handgun. I bet a google search would turn up some articles on the murder.
     
  8. io333

    io333 Member

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  9. io333

    io333 Member

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    The uniforms are a little fruity if you ask me.
     
  10. 50 Freak

    50 Freak Member

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    I think their quite "tactical" :evil:
     
  11. jlwatts3

    jlwatts3 Member

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    IO333,
    I agree but tell them that. You'd probably get skewered. :neener:
     
  12. Sistema1927

    Sistema1927 Member

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    Back in the 1930's, there was a special run of 100 K-31 rifles made specifically for the Swiss Guard.
     
  13. lockedandloaded

    lockedandloaded Member

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    The official handgun for the Vatican Guards is the Swiss SIG P-220 9mm designated the M-75 in the Swiss Army.

    I have an extensive collection of books and magazine articles dealing with this subject, and believe it lists somewhere the entire "arsenal" of them.

    Here is a link to a very good story detailing one of the darkest days in the Swiss Guard: http://www.ianpaisley.org/article.asp?ArtKey=swissguard

    PART II
    http://www.ianpaisley.org/article.asp?ArtKey=swissguard2

    PART III
    http://www.ianpaisley.org/article.asp?ArtKey=swissguard3
     
  14. No_Brakes23

    No_Brakes23 Member

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    Now, you know some cruffler has ants in pants over getting ahold of one of those.

    Hell, I think it is pretty neat.
     
  15. Tall Man

    Tall Man Member

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    The Holy See (Vatican City) is not a country. It is a principality - the world's smallest, as a matter of fact. Said another way, it is an independent state.

    The distinction between a country and a principality/state is significant enough to warrant correction here.

    TM
     
  16. jhisaac1

    jhisaac1 Member

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    It kind of puts a new spin on:
    "In God we trust. Everyone else keep your hands where we can see them."
     
  17. lockedandloaded

    lockedandloaded Member

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    Principality, Country, or how about a "Duchy" (sp) such as Lichtenstien?
     
  18. GEM

    GEM Member

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    How about the Duchy of Grand Fenwick?
     
  19. dasmi

    dasmi Member

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  20. No_Brakes23

    No_Brakes23 Member

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    From the above link:
    Their working uniform is more functional, consisting of blue coveralls with a black beret.

    That's more like it. And SIG pistols, c'mon now, that ony makes sense, nationality wise. I am a bit surprised they don;t use 550s, though. Guess they wanted a subgun and pistol only.
     
  21. MacPelto

    MacPelto Member

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    Thanks for all the info, fellas...been doing some digging on my own, too.

    Can someone tell me what the rifles in the picture are? This is them in training -

    [​IMG]

    Mac
     
  22. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    OK, Tall Man, what is the difference between a country and an independent state? AFAIK, the Vatican meets every definition of a "country", small as it is. It has a defined territory, a capital city, national borders, its own police, its own army (the Swiss Guards), its own treasury, its own passports, its own government, its own foreign policy. It coins its own money which is recognized as a legal currency in other nations. It sends ambassadors to other nations and receives their ambassadors. It is an absolute monarchy, but that is neither here nor there as far as its being an independent country.

    That is not true of other so-called "independent states" like Monaco, the old Soviet Republics, Tibet or, for that matter, Ohio.

    Jim
     
  23. MudPuppy

    MudPuppy Member

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    Those rifles look like SiGs to me--maybe 552s?
     
  24. Logan5

    Logan5 Member

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    Hmmm, I want to say 550s/SSG90s.
    I seem to recall that the Vatican has additional armed security services distinct from the Swiss Guards, that have their own arms selection process. Still, where else are you going to get genuine military armored halberd training? That's no joke crowd control. Brilliant job, provided one is a Schweizer Staatsbürger. (hah, I had no idea I could umlaut on THR...)
     
  25. Walt Rauch

    Walt Rauch Member

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    The non costumed Swiss bodyguards carry Glock Model 17 pistols.
     
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