Quantcast

Vietnam-Era Shotguns

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by Ruggz1515, Mar 5, 2017.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Ruggz1515

    Ruggz1515 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2014
    Messages:
    36
    Hey everyone, I am very interested in owning a Vietnam Era shotgun. I want to get one as period correct as I can without breaking the bank. Any one of these would be great.

    Ithaca 37 riot.
    Winchester Model 12
    Stevens 77E
    Remington 870

    My problem lies getting any one of these period correct. As far as Ithaca's go, I want one without a game scene on the receiver but those are hard to find. I guess could have it parkerized in time, because most civilian models are blued, and deal with the game scene.

    One of my big questions is, the Winchester Model 12s that were used in Vietnam, were they used in Trench gun configuration with the heat shield and bayonet lug? Or were Winchester Model 12s used in Riot configuration as well? Because getting an actual model 12 trench gun is expensive. And buying a heat shield to install it and everything seems very complicated.

    Stevens 77E are very hard to find for some reason. Especially with the black paint look they had on them in Vietnam.

    And how much were Remington 870s used in Vietnam? Because I feel a lot of people don't really associate the 870 with Vietnam. Also, I feel that I can buy an 870 and put the corncob forend on there to get it more period correct.

    I am having an issue and was wondering what would be the best way to go about getting a Vietnam Era/period correct shotgun. Any Vietnam Veterans help would be much and greatly appreciated! Any other knowledge about this would help so much! Thank you!
     
  2. entropy

    entropy Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    Messages:
    8,826
    Location:
    G_d's Country, WI
    The pics I've seen of shotguns in VN were Stevens 67s, and the odd Ithaca 37.
     
  3. expat_alaska

    expat_alaska Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2010
    Messages:
    1,589
    Location:
    Pe Ell WA
    I am a 64-year-old USAF vet and all of the SP's guarding the bases then used Rem 870 Police or Riot Models.

    I have had a copy of this book for a couple of decades and It has a lot of information:

    https://www.amazon.com/Streetsweepers-Complete-Book-Combat-Shotguns/dp/0873644247

    A new copy is $3.51 + $4 shipping. Cheaper than I paid in the 90's.

    The only VietNam flick I have ever seen to use a Savage/Stevens pump shotgun was a class B movie "Platoon Leader" (I still have an old VHS copy but no player: thanks be to YouTube!). The best part is watching how often the actor has to keep feeding shells into the mag (even though it appears to be a Stevens 69RXL with extended mag which was not produced until around 1988).

    It starts around 15:40 and later...



    I think the 77E shotguns were mostly Savage, but Stevens was the cheaper line and they could have been more prominent.

    Good luck in your quest, sir!

    Jim
     
  4. Coyote3855

    Coyote3855 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    Messages:
    2,293
    Location:
    Wyoming
    Inland and Ithaca are collaborating on re-issue of a Model 37 Trench shogun. However, it will break the bank.

    https://www.inland-mfg.com/Inland-Shotguns/M37-Trench-shotgun.html

    Not sure how "authentic" you want to be, but I looked at an old but sound Remington Model 10 at the LGS the other day for $100. The Model 10 loads and ejects from the bottom like an Ithaca 37, no engraving on the receiver. If you found one of the Remingtons, you could chop the barrel, tap for a bead, refinish the stock and have the metal parkerized. Probably not a lot of money invested. Or redo the metal yourself for even cheaper. That would be, IMHO, period correct as to configuration but not "authentic".

    I've seen a picture of a Vietnam era swift boat guy coming ashore with what appears to be a 37 with a short barrel. If you Google "Ithaca shotguns in Vietnam," you get a lot of articles and pictures about the 37 and other in-country scatterguns.
     
  5. Alte Schule

    Alte Schule Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2016
    Messages:
    613
    Location:
    Brazos County, Texas
    Army 70 - 79. In the RVN, if my memory serves me right, we had Model 1200 Winchesters. Never personally carried one but there were always one or two on the rack in our static posts. Stateside, w/o a doubt, it was the 870 Remington.
     
  6. Crawdad1

    Crawdad1 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2012
    Messages:
    3,725
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    I would go with any of those listed except the Model 12. Even beat up field grade Model 12s go for hundreds more than other pump guns and in any military configuration its 'sticker shock' prices.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2017
  7. Panzerschwein

    Panzerschwein member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2011
    Messages:
    8,124
    Location:
    Desert
    If I recall correctly the military did use some Ithacas with the game scenes on the sides of the receiver.
     
  8. Panzerschwein

    Panzerschwein member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2011
    Messages:
    8,124
    Location:
    Desert
    Buckwacker likes this.
  9. Zoogster

    Zoogster Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2006
    Messages:
    5,288
    That is pretty neat if they were using shotguns with game scenes. How many other militaries have such a strong civilian RKBA that the military is borrowing civilian manufacturing overrun instead of the reverse (which is no longer allowed.)
    Sad that civilian firearm ownership is no longer on par with the military to the extent we see that kind of thing anymore.

    If fact I find that a fascinating topic, when military weapons started deviating from civilian technology thus changing the give and take relationship they had.
    A lot of why the AR is a much better rifle today than when it was first fielded is upgrades the civilian market has brought to the platform.
    The military market doesn't create technology like the civilian market, even though the civilian market creates all level of quality good and bad, it has a lot more variety to allow different technologies to improve. The result is a special operations unit can shop in the civilian AR market and get better equipment to customize their tools than the general military has purchased from the lowest bidder. A situation many nations cannot benefit from.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2017
  10. Kendal Black

    Kendal Black Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2011
    Messages:
    1,648
  11. entropy

    entropy Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    Messages:
    8,826
    Location:
    G_d's Country, WI
    Thanks for providing that link! Seems I was looking at pics of Stevens 77's instead of 67's, although I know at least one was a 67.
    I guess I have sort of a collection of them going- I have an Ithaca 37 and an 870. Maybe I'll have to finally pick up my own Win. M12, and stop passing on all those cheap Savage 67's and 520's. ;)
     
  12. CoalTrain49

    CoalTrain49 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2014
    Messages:
    4,153
    Location:
    Somewhere in WA.
    I have a Rem 870 purchased new by me in 1970 so I know it's period correct. Vietnam barrel length I'm not sure about because I wasn't there. I was in N. Africa at the time. USN 67-71. I can send you a pic if you want, but it looks exactly like the one in the AR link except there is no USN property stamp. Best pump gun ever built. Simple, high quality and solid as a rock.

    I have a feeling most of those are either still in Vietnam or in the USN arsenal. They just don't surplus that stuff. I had a 1911 that I'm sure was WW2 vintage. The Marines maintained our arsenal and there were plenty of vintage Garands and 1911's in there.

    I also have a Win 97 with a riot barrel that shipped with the gun. I guess they had a lot of bank robbers and riots in 1917. :D
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2017
  13. Tom D

    Tom D Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    Messages:
    71
    The least expensive Vietnam era Military contract shotgun is probably going to be the Stevens 77E riot gun or maybe a Remington 870. Trench guns, no matter who the maker is, are going to cost a lot more money unless it's one of the commercial made Ithaca trench guns which can be had for around $1,500. The Vietnam Ithaca Military contract shotguns do not have game scenes on the receiver.
     
  14. .455_Hunter

    .455_Hunter Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2005
    Messages:
    1,944
    Location:
    Colorado Front Range
    My enthusiasm for the Savage/Stevens 67 and 77 series went downhill when I knocked a 67 out of my gun safe and the pot metal trigger group broke completely in two pieces.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2017
  15. AeroDillo

    AeroDillo Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2007
    Messages:
    77
    Location:
    Texas
    The Model 12 and Ithaca 37 are great designs. If kept, they'll run forever. I have one of each (the Winchester in a trench gun configuration, the Ithaca a riot model) and count them among my favorites. The trench gun I built. The riot gun is as it came.

    It's hard to argue with an 870. How many were in Viet Nam, where, and when is the question. I believe the RVN bought a number in the middle '60s. As pointed out, the USAF had a few. The Marines didn't make an official purchase until 1972...doesn't mean some didn't filter into the arms room, though.

    The 67 is problematic. They were cheap guns then. Now they're OLD cheap guns and most of them (in my experience) have problems. Some of these are cosmetic. Some of these are inherent in being cheap and old. The reason you don't find them much anymore doesn't have a whole lot to do with their collector value. Frankly, the cost to fix one usually exceeds the value of the gun.

    My opinion. No more, no less.
     
  16. Hangingrock

    Hangingrock Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2010
    Messages:
    2,141
    Location:
    NC
    Occasionally carried a Winchester M97-12Ga pump with exposed hammer, heat-shield and bayonet lug. I was in the raggedy A** Marine Corps
     
  17. RPRNY

    RPRNY Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2012
    Messages:
    2,336
    Location:
    Front Range, CO

    All the Department of the Navy had to spare ? I understand that there was talk in 1967 of issuing the Corps with the Rogers & Spencer cap & ball revolvers until someone realized they had been sold off to Bannerman at the turn of the century...
     
  18. Hangingrock

    Hangingrock Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2010
    Messages:
    2,141
    Location:
    NC
    Apparently so!
     
    RPRNY likes this.
  19. Panzerschwein

    Panzerschwein member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2011
    Messages:
    8,124
    Location:
    Desert
    It appears they had a price cut. I'm seeing the Ithaca/Inland trench guns for right at $1000 on the auction and big box sites. Probably because nobody was buying the damn things for $1500. But, I hear the Ithaca shotguns made today (they still make a number of models BTW) are really good guns. $1000 is still a lot and technically it wouldn't be an original trench gun, but it is a close replica and the price while expensive isn't totally unreasonable.

    A while back I set up a Mossberg M590A1 into a sort of "modern trench gun" format with heat shield and M7 bayonet. I've since sold that gun though. It was excessively heavy and handled like a dead pig on a shovel. I am much more of a fan of the 4-6 round magazine tube guns. I also used to have a Winchester M12 riot gun that was a joy to shoot and handle but had some feed problems.
     
  20. Acera

    Acera Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2007
    Messages:
    3,169
    Location:
    Free State of Texas
    Didn't Bunny carry a Remington 870?




    .
     
  21. Gordon
    • Contributing Member

    Gordon Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    9,906
    Location:
    Southern Oregon
    to be really kewl like I was; I had my father bring me one to Viet nam in 1969 : An Ithaca M37 LAPD model . It certainly wowed the troops and guess what ? I used ny MACV pass to bring it back (with a general officer signed chit :) )
    No I don't have it since early 70s , and the M37 DeerSlayer I bought in the 80s to replace it was given to my son about 5 years ago. Take my word for it you want an M37 Ithaca military riot . The only other ones of them I saw were in the hands of Saigon MPs and Navy Security guards.
    http://www.armslist.com/posts/30129...-ithaca-model-37-12-gauge-riot-shotgun-8-shot
     
  22. Youngster

    Youngster Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2003
    Messages:
    987
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest
    A quick flip through Bruce Canfield's Combat Shotguns book reveals that no less than 38,500 870s were supplied to South Vietnam just in the early '60s, while the number issued to U.S. forces appears to be well into the thousands despite the use of several other types of shotguns.
    I remember read the memoirs of Marine infantryman Ron Flesch who was part of the initial contingent that landed at Danang in 1965, and it appears he was issued an 870 early in January 1966, mentioning that the first time he fired was in combat!
     
  23. Gordon
    • Contributing Member

    Gordon Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    9,906
    Location:
    Southern Oregon
    The 870 is my favorite shotgun hands down, an old ex police riot will be accurate enough. For kewl and iconic factor tho the Ithaca 37 Riot has it IMHO, everyone over there who saw mine thought it was. In my second tour , as a 97B on TDY there 1970 and I only was issued a 1911a1 with 3 mags. My dad was a manufactuers rep for the first FLIR units being installed in the Mohawk Army plane and had enough pull with brass in Saigon , combined with my MACHV "pass" to bring me what I requested a model 37 Ithaca riotgun . I used brass cased buckshot which was easily enough found. I never saw any model 12 trench guns in use, I was even then a gun enthusiast and was constanttly checking stuff out. all over the country.
     
  24. papaairbear

    papaairbear Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2011
    Messages:
    221
    Location:
    Oregon
    I had a friend who was there in '68 as an 11B that carried one and I believe he said it was an Ithaca, but I can't remember now.
     
  25. mavracer

    mavracer Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    Messages:
    4,987
    Location:
    wichita
    Converting a M12 into a trench gun isn't that difficult Numrich has the handguard you'll need to shim it cause real trench barrels are a little thicker.
    Please find one somebody has already bubba'd with a polychoke nice M12s are getting scarce.
     
    entropy likes this.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice