Smith & Wesson Forum

Go Back   Smith & Wesson Forum > >

Notices

S&W Revolvers: 1961 to 1980 3-Screw PINNED Barrel SWING-OUT Cylinder Hand Ejectors


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 06-18-2011, 12:49 PM
29-1's Avatar
29-1 29-1 is offline
US Veteran

1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic  
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Vancouver, WA
Posts: 1,468
Likes: 956
Liked 2,775 Times in 371 Posts
Default 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic

Between 1968 and 1969, S&W shipped 23 (known serial numbers) Model 29-2 revolvers, some frame only, to Aircraft Armaments INC, (AAI), in Cockeysville, MD for conversion to what was known as the Tunnel Gun. After a 3 month field test between July-Oct 1969 in Vietnam, it was renamed the Quiet Special Purpose Revolver (QSPR), after some minor mods were made to the weapon. The changes made were based on recommendations from soldiers from the 25th ID, the 23rd (Americal) ID, and the 1ST ID, who field tested 10 revolvers over those 3 months in the VC tunnels in their areas of operation. Read the Tunnels of CuChi to hear about the 25th ID (Tropic Lighting), mention of the Tunnel Gun. S299258 pictured here represents an example that never made it to conversion for unknown reasons. I am very fortunate to have acquired one of my grail 44 magnums, albeit the frame only, just the way it was shipped to AAI on 5/23/1969. There will be a full article presented to the SWCA Journal for publication consideration. With the help of Roy Jinks and members of the International Ammunition Association, as well as retired employees from AAI to include the now 65 year old gunsmith who built the original Tunnel Guns, I've been able to gather much provenance and information on these arguably rarest of the 44 magnum variations. This will all be detailed in the planned article. I had hoped to have a mock up of the Tunnel Gun available by this weeks SWCA meeting in Orlando, but it wasn't possible. It was just finished yesterday by my gunsmith, John Blauvelt in Wallkill, NY. Voted by Field and Stream Magazine, one of the Top 10 Gunsmiths in America, John can do anything with a firearm, literally, and he described this project as "very interesting and a one of a kind job". SWCA members stay tuned for the article in the Journal, hopefully in the not too far distant future. S&W forum members will get an abbreviated version soon as well. For now, enjoy the pics of what must have been one heck of a weapon, as the Army test reports back in 1969-72 certainly claimed it to be. Unfortunately, timing is critical with most everything, and it was with the TG/QSPR. By 1972 when the final Land Warfare Unit/AAI testing and evaluation had been completed and all defiencies, especially with the cartridge (which is the real story), had been corrected, Vietnam was drawing down so the need for a tunnel weapon was no more. This became the Model 29 that really never was.
Enjoy
Chuck

Invoice to AAI 5/23/1969 for two 44 Magnum frames
S299258 and S318575


Factory Letter S229258


Frame only as shipped to AAI 5/23/1969


Notice serial number only, no model # stamp in frame. crane has same assembly number as the frame which was not always the case after AAI gunsmiths cannibilzed the first 10 guns received.




Blauvelt Conversion to exact original specs but false/plugged barrel to meet BATF compliance:








The cylinder chamber walls are paper thin as were the originals due to reaming them out to.526. Notice the daylight seen through the stop notches, as were the originals.






The cartridge is the real story behind this revolver. The captive piston round was capable of containing the blast noise, flash, and other energy normally done by the weapon. In essence, the round is the weapon and the revolver is simply the carrier.








Tunnel Gun Holster built by Bucheimer, Frederick, MD


Custom Made TG Holster for display purposes.


Original TGs at Aberdeen, MD. gun on the left is coated in Teflon and is the QSPR version with lanyard loop requested by soldiers in the field, for a "dummy cord" as Army Rangers call them.







Tunnel Gun Specs


S299258



See this short clip of what I am pretty certain is one of the original test guns. It's about mid-way through.
http://www.history.com/videos/tunnel-rats-show-courage#tunnel-rats-show-courage

Just got the link to a new piece in Field and Stream. Looks like the Tunnel Gun is getting some attention again. Note the gun in the article is a photo shopped 5 screw N frame S&W. This has been the widely circulated photo of the TG/QSPR that looks great, but is not correct. All TGs/QSPRs were 29-2s and 3 screw revolvers.
Chuck
Tunnel Rat Pistol: The QSP Revolver | Field & Stream
__________________
SWCA1517 SWHF256
Rangers LTW!

Last edited by 29-1; 11-16-2019 at 02:31 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 06-18-2011, 12:57 PM
toddimusnimski's Avatar
toddimusnimski toddimusnimski is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Western WA
Posts: 683
Likes: 310
Liked 403 Times in 188 Posts
Default

"WOW" just doesn't sum it up.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #3  
Old 06-18-2011, 01:05 PM
PALADIN85020's Avatar
PALADIN85020 PALADIN85020 is offline
US Veteran
1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic  
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Arizona
Posts: 9,339
Likes: 3,049
Liked 41,704 Times in 5,101 Posts
Default

VERY informative post - clears up a lot of things I was not aware of on these interesting guns. Thanks for posting!

John
__________________
- Cogito, ergo armatus sum -
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 06-18-2011, 01:35 PM
ladder13 ladder13 is offline
Suspended
1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic  
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Wake Forest, NC
Posts: 25,433
Likes: 37,276
Liked 38,265 Times in 12,469 Posts
Default

Great story Chuck, thanks. John Blauvelt can hold his own with any in the profession.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 06-18-2011, 01:48 PM
Art Doc's Avatar
Art Doc Art Doc is offline
SWCA Member
Absent Comrade
1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic  
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: The kidney of Dixie.
Posts: 10,532
Likes: 49
Liked 13,420 Times in 3,290 Posts
Default

Obviously the gun is a very rare piece. But the project seems ludicrous to me. All that expense and bother? I'd rather stick in some ear plugs and take a 1911 into a tunnel.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #6  
Old 06-18-2011, 01:55 PM
balldboy balldboy is offline
Member
1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic  
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Scenic New Joisey
Posts: 116
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default

Thank you for sharing this rare bit of history.
I've had John Blauvelt do several custom guns in addition to his duty action job on all my carry Smiths.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 06-18-2011, 02:03 PM
Muley Gil Muley Gil is offline
US Veteran
1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic  
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: The SW Va Blue Ridge
Posts: 15,460
Likes: 64,521
Liked 19,989 Times in 6,983 Posts
Default

IIRC, Guns & Ammo magazine did an article that featured these revolvers, back in the day.
__________________
John 3:16
WAR EAGLE!
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 06-18-2011, 02:12 PM
sw44spl's Avatar
sw44spl sw44spl is offline
Member
1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic  
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: NORTH CAROLINA.
Posts: 1,659
Likes: 199
Liked 933 Times in 208 Posts
Default

thank you for posting this I learned something today.
__________________
God save the SOUTH
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 06-18-2011, 03:08 PM
03clyde's Avatar
03clyde 03clyde is offline
Member
1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic  
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Knoxville TN
Posts: 503
Likes: 778
Liked 286 Times in 128 Posts
Default

Very interesting, thanks!
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 06-18-2011, 03:21 PM
29-1's Avatar
29-1 29-1 is offline
US Veteran

1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic  
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Vancouver, WA
Posts: 1,468
Likes: 956
Liked 2,775 Times in 371 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by SaxonPig View Post
Obviously the gun is a very rare piece. But the project seems ludicrous to me. All that expense and bother? I'd rather stick in some ear plugs and take a 1911 into a tunnel.
SP, actually the loudness of the 1911 and .38 cal revolvers normally used for tunnel warfare was a major reason the Army went looking for something else. In the dark, the flash and the bang were so disruptive, it was almost impossible to operate with any degree of success/surprise in a tunnel a little over 3 feet in height floor to ceiling. The TG/QSPR barely had the report of a .22 with no flash!
Chuck
__________________
SWCA1517 SWHF256
Rangers LTW!

Last edited by 29-1; 12-24-2011 at 02:28 AM.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #11  
Old 06-18-2011, 04:14 PM
29-1's Avatar
29-1 29-1 is offline
US Veteran

1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic  
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Vancouver, WA
Posts: 1,468
Likes: 956
Liked 2,775 Times in 371 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Muley Gil View Post
IIRC, Guns & Ammo magazine did an article that featured these revolvers, back in the day.
MG, yes, G&A had a short piece in it's "Ordnance Department" called "The Silenced QSPR Revolver" by Konrad F. Schreier,Jr. in the October, 1974 issue, which in one page actually does a better job of describing the Tunnel Gun than a lot of the other references.
Chuck
__________________
SWCA1517 SWHF256
Rangers LTW!
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 06-18-2011, 04:59 PM
smokey04 smokey04 is offline
Member
1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic  
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: LA[lower Alabama
Posts: 714
Likes: 292
Liked 652 Times in 252 Posts
Default

SaxonPig, no offense,but maybe you've never crawled in to a VC tunnel? The last thing I want to do is plug both my ears so I can't hear. That is about like putting sunglasses on before you enter.Dulling, dimming or disabling any of your senses going in is a pretty quick way to a body bag. Nick

Last edited by smokey04; 07-12-2011 at 04:07 PM.
Reply With Quote
The Following 4 Users Like Post:
  #13  
Old 06-18-2011, 05:30 PM
kennethg kennethg is offline
SWCA Member
1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic  
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Northern California
Posts: 907
Likes: 883
Liked 1,190 Times in 372 Posts
Default

29-1,

Thank you for taking the time to post this information. A very informative and interesting post.
__________________
Ken
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 06-18-2011, 09:01 PM
mc5aw's Avatar
mc5aw mc5aw is offline
Member
1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic  
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: The free state of PA
Posts: 5,225
Likes: 5,722
Liked 8,575 Times in 2,781 Posts
Default

Chuck ... This is the type of informational post that makes the forum such a wonderful & enjoyable resource. Many thanks for the effort and best of luck with the project.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 06-18-2011, 09:58 PM
Bajadoc Bajadoc is offline
US Veteran
1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic  
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: CA
Posts: 987
Likes: 4,568
Liked 2,176 Times in 683 Posts
Default

One of the best gun posts I have ever read read. Thank you very much.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 06-18-2011, 10:22 PM
Flint Ridge's Avatar
Flint Ridge Flint Ridge is offline
Member
1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic  
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Flint Ridge, MO
Posts: 1,260
Likes: 662
Liked 369 Times in 151 Posts
Default

Simply amazing journey, how is it that it came into your possession?

What a journey and thanks for the background detail, obviously you have a part of history and a serious S&W addiction.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 06-18-2011, 10:40 PM
haggis haggis is offline
Absent Comrade
1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic  
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Aiken, SC
Posts: 1,191
Likes: 16
Liked 200 Times in 85 Posts
Default

Very interesting story about a highly specialized gun.

Perhaps it's just me, but I feel a little uncomfortable about a gun with a plugged barrel that is functional in every other way. I understand that the solid barrel was required for BATFE compliance, but that firing pin would be gone (or shortened) if it was mine.

Buck
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 06-18-2011, 11:14 PM
Sebago Son's Avatar
Sebago Son Sebago Son is offline
Member
1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic  
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Sebago Lake, Maine, USA
Posts: 5,437
Likes: 6,724
Liked 6,702 Times in 1,854 Posts
Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by 29-1 View Post
Tunnel Gun Holster built by Bucheimer, Frederick, MD


Custom Made TG Holster for display purposes.

Great Report Chuck. The extra fine detail in the presentation is noted and appreciated.... Thanks for putting it up...

How about a little more info about the Replica TG Holster.... Is anyone going to commercialize this design?

I could see it having other, less martial applications... as in maybe for one of these little monsters.....



Afterall, they are cousins to the TG.



Drew
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 06-19-2011, 12:00 AM
29-1's Avatar
29-1 29-1 is offline
US Veteran

1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic  
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Vancouver, WA
Posts: 1,468
Likes: 956
Liked 2,775 Times in 371 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by haggis View Post
Very interesting story about a highly specialized gun.

Perhaps it's just me, but I feel a little uncomfortable about a gun with a plugged barrel that is functional in every other way. I understand that the solid barrel was required for BATFE compliance, but that firing pin would be gone (or shortened) if it was mine.

Buck
Buck, if there were any live ammo still available I might be concerned. Just the spent rounds are next to impossible to find much less a live one. It's going to West Point eventually anyway for the Museum's Vietnam era section complete with a Tunnel Rat mannequin dressed for combat in the tunnels.
Chuck
__________________
SWCA1517 SWHF256
Rangers LTW!
Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Like Post:
  #20  
Old 06-19-2011, 12:06 AM
29-1's Avatar
29-1 29-1 is offline
US Veteran

1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic  
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Vancouver, WA
Posts: 1,468
Likes: 956
Liked 2,775 Times in 371 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sebago Son View Post
Great Report Chuck. The extra fine detail in the presentation is noted and appreciated.... Thanks for putting it up...

How about a little more info about the Replica TG Holster.... Is anyone going to commercialize this design?

I could see it having other, less martial applications... as in maybe for one of these little monsters.....



Afterall, they are cousins to the TG.



Drew
Drew, those 44s of your's would be a perfect fit in this holster actually. Frontier Gun Leather in Cathedral, CA stitched it up for me as a special order. I provided them with the only 2 known photos of an original holster and they did a pretty nice job I think, even with the ammo pouches. There are no known original TG holsters that I know of. If you contact these folks they are great to work with. Not cheap but very reasonable for a one off holster I believe.
Chuck
__________________
SWCA1517 SWHF256
Rangers LTW!
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 06-19-2011, 12:13 AM
29-1's Avatar
29-1 29-1 is offline
US Veteran

1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic  
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Vancouver, WA
Posts: 1,468
Likes: 956
Liked 2,775 Times in 371 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flint Ridge View Post
Simply amazing journey, how is it that it came into your possession?

What a journey and thanks for the background detail, obviously you have a part of history and a serious S&W addiction.
Well I guess you could call it an addiction, more like a way of life actually after all these years, close to 40 now.

I was waiting for someone to ask how it came to me. I found it on GB being sold as a 29-2. It had an unmarked cylinder and barrel with smooth target stocks. Having an S serial # made me take a chance on it being a late S series 29-2 as that is my interest these days. I always request a letter on any S&W I acquire and what a nice surprise I got when the letter came back. You just never know what you really have until you get a letter.
Chuck
__________________
SWCA1517 SWHF256
Rangers LTW!

Last edited by 29-1; 06-19-2011 at 12:48 AM.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #22  
Old 06-19-2011, 12:28 AM
DCWilson's Avatar
DCWilson DCWilson is offline
SWCA Member
1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic  
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Orange County, CA
Posts: 13,766
Likes: 4,582
Liked 7,036 Times in 2,445 Posts
Default

Fascinating post! You included so much more about the TG than I had learned from the scant other sources that it's almost like learning the whole thing for the first time.

Just unbelievably cool that you found one on Gunbroker!

Thanks for taking the time to put this post together.
__________________
David Wilson
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #23  
Old 06-19-2011, 12:51 AM
galena's Avatar
galena galena is offline
US Veteran
1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic  
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: COLORADO
Posts: 869
Likes: 2,454
Liked 1,308 Times in 359 Posts
Default

Outstanding presentation. The Tunnel Rats were a different breed of cats. Keep shootin'
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 06-19-2011, 12:57 AM
27145 27145 is offline
Member
1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic  
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Virginia
Posts: 959
Likes: 0
Liked 29 Times in 12 Posts
Default

An amazing post, I cant believe men actually volunteered to do this.
__________________
Fidelis Ad Mortem
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 06-19-2011, 12:59 AM
ARMinSC's Avatar
ARMinSC ARMinSC is offline
Member
1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic  
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Aiken,SC
Posts: 372
Likes: 0
Liked 31 Times in 4 Posts
Default

Now I know where S&W got the idea for the Governor, it wasn't from Taurus.

Just kidding! Thanks for the post, this is exactly why I visit this forum.
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 06-19-2011, 01:08 AM
Sebago Son's Avatar
Sebago Son Sebago Son is offline
Member
1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic  
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Sebago Lake, Maine, USA
Posts: 5,437
Likes: 6,724
Liked 6,702 Times in 1,854 Posts
Default TG Holster Rig....

Chuck, interestingly the holster rig shown as worn by the gutzy troop with the TG pretty clearly at 1:02 of Gunny's clip looks to be a Brauer Brothers shoulder rig.... complete with undyed leather and elastic straps... Or given that brief glimpse, it's also possible that this holster is a Heiser No. 22....
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 06-19-2011, 01:15 AM
JayCeeNC's Avatar
JayCeeNC JayCeeNC is offline
US Veteran
1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic  
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 3,865
Likes: 15,599
Liked 3,200 Times in 1,015 Posts
Default

Amazing job on the research, and great info!
History like this is why I keep coming to the Forum and reading the Journals.
__________________
John
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 06-19-2011, 01:31 AM
northslope northslope is offline
Member
1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic  
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Central Valley, CA
Posts: 416
Likes: 7
Liked 163 Times in 41 Posts
Default

Awesome post!

--Neill
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 06-19-2011, 02:01 AM
Combat_Diver's Avatar
Combat_Diver Combat_Diver is offline
US Veteran
1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic  
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 573
Likes: 115
Liked 108 Times in 48 Posts
Default

Very informative post, thanks.

CD
__________________
De Oppresso Liber
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 06-19-2011, 09:46 AM
dnonac's Avatar
dnonac dnonac is offline
Member
1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic  
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Baytown Texas
Posts: 876
Likes: 297
Liked 307 Times in 69 Posts
Default

Amazing post Chuck.
I can't wait to see more on this historical project. And to think you actually found it on GB! Wow...it proves there is still hope for the rest of us to find unusual and rare guns.
Thanks,
Craig...
Reply With Quote
  #31  
Old 06-19-2011, 09:47 AM
29-1's Avatar
29-1 29-1 is offline
US Veteran

1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic  
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Vancouver, WA
Posts: 1,468
Likes: 956
Liked 2,775 Times in 371 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Combat_Diver View Post
Very informative post, thanks.

CD
CD, first thank you for your service. I have some clips of modern day tunnel rats in Afghanistan. I'll try and find them and post. Except for about 40 years passing little has changed technique/weapon wise. Stay safe.

Chuck
__________________
SWCA1517 SWHF256
Rangers LTW!

Last edited by 29-1; 06-19-2011 at 09:54 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #32  
Old 06-19-2011, 09:51 AM
BE Mike's Avatar
BE Mike BE Mike is offline
Member
1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic  
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Indiana
Posts: 2,896
Likes: 1,584
Liked 2,484 Times in 1,075 Posts
Default

This is a fascinating story. These special guns and rare guns are fantastic to see and read about, but I always found that the best story is in the people who possessed and used them. You provide both.
Reply With Quote
  #33  
Old 06-19-2011, 10:19 AM
TACC1 TACC1 is offline
Member
1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic  
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Wautoma, WI 54982
Posts: 4,122
Likes: 6,572
Liked 789 Times in 493 Posts
Default

Thanks for posting. I had no idea...
Reply With Quote
  #34  
Old 06-19-2011, 10:39 AM
Flint Ridge's Avatar
Flint Ridge Flint Ridge is offline
Member
1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic  
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Flint Ridge, MO
Posts: 1,260
Likes: 662
Liked 369 Times in 151 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 29-1 View Post
Well I guess you could call it an addiction, more like a way of life actually after all these years, close to 40 now.

I was waiting for someone to ask how it came to me. I found it on GB being sold as a 29-2. It had an unmarked cylinder and barrel with smooth target stocks. Having an S serial # made me take a chance on it being a late S series 29-2 as that is my interest these days. I always request a letter on any S&W I acquire and what a nice surprise I got when the letter came back. You just never know what you really have until you get a letter.
Chuck
GB - Now that's funny. But an S as you noted would be worth the effort anyway. "Nice Surprise" - seems like an understatement - you just won the S&W Lottery.
Reply With Quote
  #35  
Old 06-19-2011, 11:13 AM
mc5aw's Avatar
mc5aw mc5aw is offline
Member
1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic  
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: The free state of PA
Posts: 5,225
Likes: 5,722
Liked 8,575 Times in 2,781 Posts
Default

Chuck ... You've inspired me to re-read my tattered paperback copy of "The Tunnels of Cu Chi" ... Thank you once again.
Reply With Quote
  #36  
Old 06-19-2011, 02:53 PM
mike from st pete's Avatar
mike from st pete mike from st pete is offline
Member
1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic  
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: st pete fla
Posts: 2,858
Likes: 5,597
Liked 2,740 Times in 1,206 Posts
Question Why?

Quote:
Originally Posted by haggis View Post
Very interesting story about a highly specialized gun.

Perhaps it's just me, but I feel a little uncomfortable about a gun with a plugged barrel that is functional in every other way. I understand that the solid barrel was required for BATFE compliance, but that firing pin would be gone (or shortened) if it was mine.

Buck
Quite an article, thank you.
Why does the barrel have to be plugged? Just 'cause they say so or is it because it is too quiet?
Reply With Quote
  #37  
Old 06-19-2011, 03:12 PM
29-1's Avatar
29-1 29-1 is offline
US Veteran

1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic  
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Vancouver, WA
Posts: 1,468
Likes: 956
Liked 2,775 Times in 371 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mike from st pete View Post
Quite an article, thank you.
Why does the barrel have to be plugged? Just 'cause they say so or is it because it is too quiet?
Hi Mike, good question. The original TG barrels were smooth bore and those are illegal to own unless the gun has been declared a C&R by the BATF and it has not been because all but three have not surfaced and there have been none in private hands so there has been no application to the BATF to have this gun declared a C&R. I may actually start that process if it looks like it might be a possibility. Another reason is because the gun would be classified the same as a sawed off shotgun which is also illegal. If I had had my gunsmith simply rifle the barrel then it would have been ok left unplugged, but I wanted to keep as close to the original design as possible. It will never be fired because there is no available ammunition and I only plan to put it on display so having a plugged/inop barrel is no real concern.
Regards
Chuck
__________________
SWCA1517 SWHF256
Rangers LTW!
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #38  
Old 06-19-2011, 03:29 PM
boykinlp's Avatar
boykinlp boykinlp is offline
SWCA Member
1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic  
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 5,638
Likes: 9,603
Liked 7,341 Times in 2,241 Posts
Default

This is another reason I enjoy this forum so much. You could not see these kinds of things anywhere else. Very interesting information. The way in which you came into this piece is fantastic. It is as if you won a lottery. Like getting a gun lettered to Wyatt Earp. Thanks for sharing.
__________________
SWCA #3198-Each one, teach one

Last edited by boykinlp; 06-19-2011 at 04:51 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #39  
Old 06-19-2011, 03:29 PM
Thuer Thuer is offline
Member
1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic  
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: The Netherlands Rotter
Posts: 1,852
Likes: 1,185
Liked 1,802 Times in 537 Posts
Default

It dont happen often. But this is realy an revolver I havent seen yet.
Thanks for the information.
Reply With Quote
  #40  
Old 06-19-2011, 03:44 PM
dacoontz's Avatar
dacoontz dacoontz is offline
Member
1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic  
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Southern Oregon
Posts: 2,819
Likes: 364
Liked 1,116 Times in 355 Posts
Default

Chuck, outstanding post. I will be adding my "like" as well to add this one to the notable thread index. This may be obvious but this has to be the only gun I have ever seen that expected the cartridge to essentially contain it's own pressure. Interesting idea. Maybe we'll see this one in Boise next summer.
__________________
Daniel #2322
Reply With Quote
  #41  
Old 06-19-2011, 05:20 PM
mc5aw's Avatar
mc5aw mc5aw is offline
Member
1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic  
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: The free state of PA
Posts: 5,225
Likes: 5,722
Liked 8,575 Times in 2,781 Posts
Default

Chuck ... Wouldn't it be possible to have this pistol classified as AOW, similar to short-barreled shotguns born with pistol grips, thereby making it entirely legal to own by BATF standards, but with only a required $5 tax stamp?
Reply With Quote
  #42  
Old 06-19-2011, 05:29 PM
ar15ed ar15ed is offline
Member
1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic  
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: western north carolina
Posts: 1,070
Likes: 0
Liked 165 Times in 62 Posts
Default

how interesting! you have done some great research! thanks for the info!!!
Reply With Quote
  #43  
Old 06-19-2011, 05:53 PM
29-1's Avatar
29-1 29-1 is offline
US Veteran

1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic  
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Vancouver, WA
Posts: 1,468
Likes: 956
Liked 2,775 Times in 371 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mc5aw View Post
Chuck ... Wouldn't it be possible to have this pistol classified as AOW, similar to short-barreled shotguns born with pistol grips, thereby making it entirely legal to own by BATF standards, but with only a required $5 tax stamp?
Don't know. I'll have to check on this. It'd be convenient if I could do this.
Chuck
__________________
SWCA1517 SWHF256
Rangers LTW!
Reply With Quote
  #44  
Old 06-19-2011, 06:00 PM
wheelgun28's Avatar
wheelgun28 wheelgun28 is offline
SWCA Member
1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic  
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: SW CT
Posts: 2,422
Likes: 2,538
Liked 3,012 Times in 949 Posts
Default

Great thread!!

I have a friend that was a tunnel rat, not by choice. He is about 5'4" at most. He wont talk about it my other than he had a flash light and a 1911 and it was AWFUL. He wont go into small spaces even today.
Reply With Quote
  #45  
Old 06-19-2011, 06:10 PM
photoman's Avatar
photoman photoman is offline
Member
1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic  
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: The Great State of Texas
Posts: 4,940
Likes: 482
Liked 1,724 Times in 721 Posts
Default

Very informative. It's easy to forget what some men have done for our country...
__________________
Centennial Every Day
Reply With Quote
  #46  
Old 06-19-2011, 06:25 PM
29-1's Avatar
29-1 29-1 is offline
US Veteran

1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic  
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Vancouver, WA
Posts: 1,468
Likes: 956
Liked 2,775 Times in 371 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Photoman44 View Post
Very informative. It's easy to forget what some men have done for our country...
PM44, from one Texan to another, amen brother.
Chuck
__________________
SWCA1517 SWHF256
Rangers LTW!
Reply With Quote
  #47  
Old 06-20-2011, 02:04 PM
29aholic's Avatar
29aholic 29aholic is offline
Member
1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic  
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Bolivar, MO
Posts: 6,332
Likes: 3,464
Liked 3,078 Times in 1,066 Posts
Default

Very nice job Chuck. You dont post enough, because I always enjoy your presentations.

PS S315946 shipped July 1969
__________________
C M Brier CPA, CIA, CFE

Last edited by 29aholic; 06-20-2011 at 02:13 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #48  
Old 06-20-2011, 03:46 PM
29-1's Avatar
29-1 29-1 is offline
US Veteran

1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic  
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Vancouver, WA
Posts: 1,468
Likes: 956
Liked 2,775 Times in 371 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 29aholic View Post
Very nice job Chuck. You dont post enough, because I always enjoy your presentations.

PS S315946 shipped July 1969
Curtis, thanks for the serial number. The late 60's guns seem to have shipped in some simblance of order. Yeah, I know I don't post enough but try to make up for it in quality.
Chuck
__________________
SWCA1517 SWHF256
Rangers LTW!

Last edited by 29-1; 04-07-2012 at 10:06 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #49  
Old 06-20-2011, 07:27 PM
29-1's Avatar
29-1 29-1 is offline
US Veteran

1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic  
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Vancouver, WA
Posts: 1,468
Likes: 956
Liked 2,775 Times in 371 Posts
Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sebago Son View Post
Chuck, interestingly the holster rig shown as worn by the gutzy troop with the TG pretty clearly at 1:02 of Gunny's clip looks to be a Brauer Brothers shoulder rig.... complete with undyed leather and elastic straps... Or given that brief glimpse, it's also possible that this holster is a Heiser No. 22....
Drew, I've replayed the clip slow-mo a few times now and it very well could be either actually, but I'm leaning toward Heiser. By the way, the video clip is probably as rare as the gun. History.com won
t sell any of their clips and I'm afraid this one will go away some day. I wish I had a way to find out who the TR was in the clip holding what I believe to be one of the 10 test guns that went to Vietnam for scarcely 90 days in the Summer/Fall of 1969. After they came home, though one didn't as it was lost in a tunnel after being dropped hence the request for a lanyard loop, none ever returned to Vietnam and the program was shut down. In the article I plan to pull out several Army test reports on the TG. They tell a whole different side to the story. The gun wasn't only tested in the tunnels, it was also used in a few ambushes above ground and the results were surprising. More later
Chuck
__________________
SWCA1517 SWHF256
Rangers LTW!
Reply With Quote
  #50  
Old 06-20-2011, 09:25 PM
moosedog moosedog is offline
SWCA Member
1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic 1969 Tunnel Gun new Pic  
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Michigan
Posts: 6,940
Likes: 8,651
Liked 10,692 Times in 2,717 Posts
Default

A great post and research Chuck. You really do your home work.
Thank you.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
1911, 44 magnum, 629, cartridge, crimp, gunsmith, heiser, jinks, leather, model 29, presentation, sile, swca, taurus

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Paw Paw Tunnel Walk Through snubbyfan The Lounge 11 08-05-2015 09:40 AM
Tunnel Gun ISCS Yoda S&W Hand Ejectors: 1896 to 1961 8 03-06-2014 10:43 PM
An old train tunnel Lizardman_u The Lounge 3 03-03-2010 05:22 PM
A Tunnel Gun gizamo S&W Revolvers: 1961 to 1980 13 07-15-2009 09:52 PM

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
smith-wessonforum.com tested by Norton Internet Security smith-wessonforum.com tested by McAfee Internet Security

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:45 AM.


Search Engine Optimisation provided by DragonByte SEO v2.0.42 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2021 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Smith-WessonForum.com is not affiliated with Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select: SWHC)