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Tunnel rat weapons?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by 45Guy, Mar 2, 2007.

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  1. 45Guy

    45Guy Member

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    What kind of weapons did tunnel rats in Vietnam carry? In the movies it is always a flashlight and a 1911, but what other types of weapons did they have? Shotguns? Suppressed weapons?

    Thanks- 45Guy
     
  2. carpediem

    carpediem Member

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    I've heard .38s, .45s, and the occasional sawed off or M2 Carbine

    Personally, if reliable suppressed weapons weren't available, I'd probably take a 6" .38 revolver...don't want to flashblind or deafen yourself
     
  3. CWL

    CWL Member

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    One of the earliest tunnel rats (forgot name) used a Ruger .22lr that he brought from the USA. Killed a VC with it.
     
  4. SDC

    SDC Member

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    38 Special revolvers and 1911s were the most common, according to the books I've read, but there was at least one weapon system supposedly made specifically for the tunel rats; the "Quiet Special Purpose Revolver", or "QSPR". This was a modified S&W 44 Mag N-frame chambered for an internally-silenced buckshot cartridge. When these rounds were fired, an internal piston would capture the propellant gasses, but still push the payload out the muzzle at a lethal velocity. http://stinet.dtic.mil/oai/oai?&verb=getRecord&metadataPrefix=html&identifier=AD0524796

    They also manufactured suppressed 12-gauge shotgun shells along the same line, like so:
    [​IMG]
     
  5. TnRebel

    TnRebel Member

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    SDC ; that was in the later part of that mess, in 65 n 66 when I was there it was the 1911 or a captured luger in 9 mm the 1911 would cause a cave in's alot. :mad:
     
  6. mike101

    mike101 Member

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    I heard that a lot of Ruger .22 pistols were issued, after the .45s proved to be so loud in the tunnels.
     
  7. Wayne D

    Wayne D Member

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    An article I read said .38 special revolvers.
     
  8. Leanwolf

    Leanwolf Member

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    I've only known one "tunnel rat." USMC. He used a 1911 Govt. .45ACP.

    L.W.
     
  9. U.S.SFC_RET

    U.S.SFC_RET Member

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    An tunnel rat (Combat Engineer) told me he used a flashlight in one hand and a knife in another. Tunnels were so small he wouldn't dare use a gun, hauling in explosives and shaped charges to blow up the tunnels.
     
  10. Harry Paget Flashman

    Harry Paget Flashman Member

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  11. Trebor

    Trebor Member

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    I'm sure the most common "Tunnel Rat" weapon was the 1911A1 pistol. It was the most readily available and was in the infantry supply chain.

    I know that .38 Special S&W revolvers were also used. I've seen pics of both short barrel and 4" guns. I've read that these were prefered when they could be obtained as they had less muzzle blast and noise then the .45.

    I doubt if more than a handful of the "exotic" weapons, such as the silenced .38 revolver were used. I don't think that one ever got past the prototype stage.
     
  12. Husker1911

    Husker1911 Member

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    I remember an article from years ago that mentioned High Standard .22 pistols as another popular choice.
     
  13. TheFederalistWeasel

    TheFederalistWeasel member

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    Flame Thrower... :D
     
  14. oneshooter

    oneshooter Member

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    Tunnel Guns

    "We", being myself and another Staff, managed to "liberate" a M-10 w/ can from an unmanned jeep. This was given, after a well deserved rest( 3 weeks), to our tunnel rats. THEY LOVED IT!!:evil:
    Don't know what became of it, I was med-evaced two months later.

    Oneshooter
    Livin in Texas
     
  15. TnRebel

    TnRebel Member

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    none of them was any good if a two step got you :fire:
     
  16. carpediem

    carpediem Member

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    Smith & Wesson M10 :confused:
     
  17. TimboKhan

    TimboKhan Moderator

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    I know an old Marine that was a tunnel rat on occasion, and I know he used his bare hands and a ka-bar on one occasion...
     
  18. ABTOMAT

    ABTOMAT Member

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    Ingram M-10? Those things are a hoot and a half with the supressor.
     
  19. oneshooter

    oneshooter Member

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    Yes it was a Ingram M10! :evil: :D

    [​IMG]


    Oneshooter
    Livin in Texas
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2007
  20. dfaugh

    dfaugh Member

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    I've heard/read accounts of them using cut-down shotguns as well. Hadda be REALLY loud in those tunnels.

    There is a book called (IIRC) "The Tunnels of Chu-Chi",which is very interesting reading on the VC use of tunnels, and our efforts to stop them.
     
  21. Battlespace

    Battlespace Member

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    Our tunnel rats used a GI flashlight and M1911A1. One did get hold of a .38 from an aviation unit. He liked it as it was lighter, but ammunition was hard to get since we only had .45, .223, 7.62, and .50 in the unit.

    But he used the .38 mainly for shooting the rats (four legged and long tail) around the mess hall on the fire base. They were bigger than most cats and the first sergeant had a bounty of a can of beer or coke on each one you turned in to him. Most deadly round for them was a 5.56 with the bullet removed and a core of Ivory soap in its place.
     
  22. Leatherneck

    Leatherneck Member

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    We didn't have FAEs in the VN war, at least when I was there in 68-69. I don't know how you would assure dispersal of the fuel-air mix in the restricted space of a tunnel. We dropped MK 82 and MK 83 GP bombs with delayed fuzes to get down in the tunnel complexes. The Marine 'Rats in I Corps mostly preferred the 1911, IIRC.

    TC
     
  23. Harry Paget Flashman

    Harry Paget Flashman Member

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    Leatherneck. The B/N said in tests that the peak over-pressure from FAE air bursts would collapse underground tunnels and leave a visible trenchline on the surface. This was from a course I attended in '82. I can't say whether or not they were ever used in Vietnam. I sort of inferred from the classroom that they were. Who knows? Given my druthers, I'd call in an air strike before crawling into a tunnel.

    I think someone may have posted about the "Rodenator" before. Here is an interesting link to a video: http://www.rodenator.com/videos.htm
     
  24. Mannlicher

    Mannlicher Member

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    my younger brother crawled through a few holes. I called him and asked what he had with him. He said he carried the 4 inch S&W Mod. 19 that I had given him, loaded with 148 grain LWC. Less muzzle blast and flash. He said it was 'effective'.
     
  25. Trebor

    Trebor Member

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    Sound like your were a good big brother.

    Thank your brother for his service for me next time you talk to him, would you?
     
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