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Old 01-27-2009, 08:57 PM
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I have seen several references to GIs using privately owned Magnums in combat in Vietnam.
Guess that they would have really nocked out the soft body armor the VC wore.

How prevalent was this and how did they get ammunition? I know one guy said he used the powder from 45 ball ammo and rolled his own.
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Old 01-27-2009, 08:57 PM
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I have seen several references to GIs using privately owned Magnums in combat in Vietnam.
Guess that they would have really nocked out the soft body armor the VC wore.

How prevalent was this and how did they get ammunition? I know one guy said he used the powder from 45 ball ammo and rolled his own.
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Old 01-27-2009, 10:34 PM
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I knew a couple guys in US Navy helicopter sear and rescue (SAR) that packed privately owned Magnums: an M19 and an M28, both in 4" and in armpit holsters. Ammo was no problem, as it was readily available at the PX. Navy regulations required carrying only .38 Special ball-tracer cartridges, but these wiseguys always packed Winchester-Western or Super Vel hollow points. The Navy designated the sidearms function as primarily emergency signaling, with personal protection as a last-ditch effort. Ball M41 was also available, but seldom issued to aircrew.
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Old 01-28-2009, 10:16 AM
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I don't know how prevalent they were, but Col Bull Simons wore a 4" Python in a shoulder rig on the Son Tay Raid.


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Old 01-28-2009, 03:11 PM
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I was in country 69 to 70. I worked the DMZ with Golf 2/3. After the pull out, I went south to India 3/5 at An Hoa ...LIberty Bridge .. and the phu nons.

I ended up with a CAP unit off of hill 65, and we carried some off the wall stuff. I saw 1 guy who bought a .38 snub off of a CID Sgt. who came out to talk to us. That was the only Smith I saw in the field.

I saw several guys when I would get into the rear that had revolvers that looked to me like they were .38s but that about all I could tell.

I've heard of and seen a photo ( here ) of Smiths that were used by rats, but I never saw any of those either. I'm sure they were there, but like everything else in any war zone it depends on where you were I guess.
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Old 01-28-2009, 07:08 PM
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In the year I was there I knew of one carried by a Marine aviator never used.
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Old 01-28-2009, 09:15 PM
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A friend of mine was an M-60 gunner and carried a 2.5" Python.
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Old 01-28-2009, 09:24 PM
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My FIL served two tours of duty. He told me on his 2nd tour he carried a 6" S&W 28 Highway Patrolman. When he was to go back home he handed it off to another guy in his unit.

I'll talk with him this weekend to find out more specifics.
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Old 01-28-2009, 10:02 PM
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I was their very early...........1963..64. All I saw were model 10's. Seamed like every one had one. Illegal to have but no one said anything. Oh yea......I was a Saigon Commando.
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Old 01-28-2009, 10:09 PM
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In, "Flight of the Intruder", author Stephen Coonts, a former Naval aviator (A-6 pilot) armed his main character with a Combat Magnum. Jake Grafton had that gun in several books. The other guy who was shot down with him had a .45 auto.

I think this reflected what the writer saw on his carrier, and used himself. You can probably ask him, via his site.

While in the USAF, I saw several Naval aviators in our dining hall, as they flew through our base. They had what looked to be Victory models or M-10's. All had shoulder holsters.

I know that some units had S&W 9 mm autos, the M-39.

Officers could often buy what they wanted, as could some Special Forces types. I'd be amazed if some didn't wear .357's. An officer in my unit owned a K-38, which he wore on patrol in lieu of the issued Combat Masterpiece. He thought he shot the longer barrelled gun better.
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Old 01-29-2009, 12:09 AM
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The .357 Magnum didn't go away after the Vietnam war. The S&W Stainless .357 Magnum is still part of the standard weapons supplied to the U.S. Navy SEAL Teams.
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Old 01-29-2009, 12:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by ArchAngelCD:
The .357 Magnum didn't go away after the Vietnam war. The S&W Stainless .357 Magnum is still part of the standard weapons supplied to the U.S. Navy SEAL Teams.
I believe they have used both M-66 and M-686 examples. Does anyone know for sure?
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Old 01-29-2009, 05:45 AM
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In 1966 one could take personally owned weapons to Viet Nam. I did.In 1968 privately owned weapons were prohibited. Some helicopter pilots bought 357s in the '65-'66 time frame and carried them in Viet Nam. I suspect many 357s remained there when pilots rotated.
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Old 01-29-2009, 06:11 AM
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I served in the 4th ID in 1969 and we operated in the bush most of my tour. The Captain had a 45 Government and I think the was the only handgun in the whole company.
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Old 01-29-2009, 08:34 AM
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One of the loach pilots in my unit carried a Colt Trooper that his father sent him. Parents, especially those who were combat vets, routinely ignored regulations and mailed guns, ammo, booze, etc. to their kids. This highly decorated pilot was eventually shot through both legs. I understand that, thanks to his buddies, the Colt got shipped inside his cast along with him when he went stateside.
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Old 01-29-2009, 03:56 PM
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I recall seeing a photo in American Rifleman years ago of an SF-type with a 4" Model 66 (?) on his belt.
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Old 01-29-2009, 07:57 PM
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Well, not in Viet Nam but there is an interesting picture in the new Ruger Pistols & Revolver book by John C. Dougan. It's a couple of Marines in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic dated 5/13/65. They are seeking out a sniper, and one has a Ruger 6 1/2" .357 Blackhawk in his hand. You can't see what type of holster he was using unfortunately.
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Old 01-29-2009, 10:20 PM
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In Frank Barnes' Cartridges of The World, reference is made to the .357 being quite effective against the body armour worn by Chinese Communists in the Korean Conflict, perhaps identical to that worn as hand-me-down's to Viets?...might be worth a starting point.

Hell, if it did well then, perhaps improvements in ballistics and projectiles can only lead one to assume a fairly decent performance in later conflicts?
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Old 01-29-2009, 10:57 PM
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I carried a S&W Model 19 from 63-66 with MACV. We were working with "Company" types and could get any kind of ammo we wanted. I wasn't issued a pistol (carried a scoped Winchester Model 70)so there was no restriction or issue of handgun type. It had a 4" barrel and I carried it in the standard issue shoulder holster for the 1911. I bought the pistol in the Exchange in Saigon.I never fired it(or even drew it!) in combat and brought it back to States with me when I rotated. Regretfully I sold it years later.
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Old 01-30-2009, 11:51 AM
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A buddy of mine was SF in VN. He had a model 19 that he let his counterpart use while he was in country. The story is that the ARVN kept flipping the cylinder open and closed with one hand and by the time my buddy was ready to DEROS the crane was sprung so badly that the cylinder couldn't be closed.
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Old 01-31-2009, 12:32 AM
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A well-respected senior figure on this forum has told me funny stories about .357's in his division in Viet Nam. Maybe KKG will come by and speak directly...
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Old 01-31-2009, 12:08 PM
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For Bryan;

I spent from Thanksgiving '69 to Christmas Eve '70 "In Country" with the 1st Cav Division as a 45B20(aka:Small Arms Repair Specialist) and was promoted to being the Division Small Arm Inspector about half way through my Tour - somebody had to get stuck with the Job.

When I arrived "In Country" and completed my week at the "First Team Academy" I was assigned to a place called Phuoc Vinh(aka:'Forward Area') while the rest of the 45B20s stayed in Bein Hoa(aka:'Rear Area') and these guys were true REMFs. When I arrived I was assigned as the NCOIC of the Small Arms Shop - for those who don't know it; in those days the Army considered anything from a .22rf to a 106MM Recoilless Rifle to be a "small arm" but before long I ended up being in charge of the entire 'Weapons Shop' which include Artillery and Fire Control Devices(early Computers).

Now, back to the subject of the original Post. I also found 11 Conex containers which were stacked from floor to ceiling with small arms of all sorts. One particular container was filled to pretty much over flowing with handguns of pretty much all shapes and sizes and conditions. I had been "trained" on the Smith & Wesson Model 10(had also purchased my 1st one of these before I left the CZ) and Model 15 during my time in Maryland and there were literally "bunches and bunches" of these. I also found a very nice S&W .357 Magnum "N" Frame with a 5 inch barrel. It soon became my personal "open carry gun" while I was around the Company area. I had managed to 'modify' a holster for a Victory Model to fit my new Magnum. I had a very good friend who would ship me a box of Magnums to me each month so I had something good to shoot in it at least, once in a while! The rest of the time I shot the standard issue Military 130grain, .38 Special Hardball. It was accurate enough but certainly not what you'd call a real "killer" of a round on the other end.

The '68GCA had been past by this time and the Army had decided that no personal firearms would be allowed to be returned to the US. It seems that someone had determined that this was part of the '68 Law. Before I left the Smith got damaged and was finally torn down for parts. At 19 I didn't know much about handguns probably because we never had one at home when I was a kid - rifles and shotguns but no handguns except for my .22 caliber pellet gun which I managed to shoot as much as I could afford.

Whatever happened to all those gun I don't know. The one thing I do know is I never got around to destroying them which is what I had been told to do when I arrived.

Except for the Model 10s and 15s - most of these were all US Property marked - the bulk of the revolvers seemed to be in .357 Magnum but we did have a couple of .44 and .41 Magnums and at least one .44 Special but I didn't have any real interest in these. There were also some old 1917s - both Colts and S&Ws - but we didn't have access to half moon clips and the full moon clips were still in the 'idea' stage. Besides, my 1911A1 was all the .45ACP I needed in those days.
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Old 01-31-2009, 12:37 PM
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Thanks for sharing your recollections, KKG.
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Old 01-31-2009, 04:19 PM
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I was in the 1st Cav 67-68 everybody had a backup or hideaway gun, saw just about everything you could think of; Rugers, Smiths,cut down M2 carbine and lots of derringers, one very large one that took 22 magnums. I carried a 1911 I had put together out of eight different pistols we had found somewhere. It was ugly but would really shoot.
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Old 01-31-2009, 10:46 PM
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Before he retired from the USAF with 20 years and the rank of Major, an area man did a tour as a administrative officer in a military hospital somewhere in Viet Nam. During an earlier tour in Germany, he had bought a Colt Python. He took the Python to Viet Nam and wore that revolver to work every day. He said that his peers gave him a fair amount of razzing about wearing the Python, saying that they were Air Force hospital administrative officers, not B-movie cowboys or Army infantry officers.

Then one day a Viet Cong unit attacked and got inside the hospital. He found the Python useful as he and others held off the Viet Cong in their immediate area long enough for the Air Police to arrive and repulse the attackers.

Next day he wore the Python to work, as usual. His peers didn't razz him about the Python then or at any time during the rest of his tour.

I don't recall any further details; he told me the story in 1973, give or take a year.
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Old 02-01-2009, 09:50 AM
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I saw no .357's when I was there. The few helicopter pilots I was stood close to seemed to have a mixture of stuff, mostly Modedl 10 type revolvers. A few of my people had things shipped from home, one I remember was a very nice colt .32 with 2.5" bbl.

Never saw any of the "VC armor" where I was, a least none of the "VC" I saw had any such thing.

We were issued a Ruger standard model .22, 4" bbl, with our "tunnel kit".

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Old 02-01-2009, 01:15 PM
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While serving in RVN in 1970 I was assigned to 191st AHC, Gun Plt. The enlisted crewmembers were not issued pistols, just an M-16 or what ever other type of weapon we could trade for or scrounge. Every one of us had an odd assortment as our downed weapon. I thought I needed a pistol and had the chance to buy a Ruger 357 Blackhawk from a agency guy. He also had a Hi-power for sale. Being young I wanted the 357 so I got it with 3 boxes of Federal JHP. I carried it while flying for a couple of months and had just received the required paperwork from BATF to bring it home as a war trophy when a Captain offered me a deal that I could'nt refuse so I know it was still in country when I left in 1971. Mike
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Old 02-02-2009, 03:15 PM
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During my time "In Country" most of the Pilots I dealt with were either carrying M-1911A1s usually in a modified holster on their Survival Vest or nothing. I think the Vest was designed for use with a .38 with a four inch barrel. I did a fair amount of flying while I was there but since most of my time was spent standing behind a door gun I used an old style "Cavalry" Holster for the M-1911A1 that was on my web belt. I also carried another one behind my Right Hip with a 'Grip Clip' that a friend had sent to me when I was in the CZ. The 'Grip Clip' came home with me and ended up being fitted to my "Kustom" Detonics .45ACP while I was working for them in the '70s.



It's a "parts Kit gun" that I purchased and built and which spent some time with a Detonics Collector for several Years until his death and then it came home again.
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Old 02-02-2009, 11:01 PM
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During the early 1980's, a then co-worker told me that he had bought or traded for a Ruger .357 Blackhawk while serving as a rifleman in a combat infantry unit in Viet Nam. After a month or so, he sold the revolver to another soldier. He said that his M-16 met all his needs for a firearm. Therefore the weight and bulk of the Blackhawk, holster and ammo, plus the daily maintenance required to keep the revolver combat ready, were not worth his time and effort.
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Old 02-03-2009, 05:23 AM
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The only non issue side arm I personally know of being carried in Viet Nam is one carried by a old friend during his tour. It is a 1922 Browning he carried in a shoulder holster. Said he bought it in Nam and liked it because it was light weight and easy to carry.
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Old 02-03-2009, 09:52 AM
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The Conex I referred to earlier must have had 75 to 100 different models of handguns in it when I arrived. Someone, before me, seemed to have 'gathered' the Smiths somewhere near the Front. Most of the "Issue" 1911A1s were also somewhat 'gathered' together - also near the front - but I never managed to make my way all the way to the end of that box. I did find a couple of Mauser Broomhandles, including one that was a full auto version. It became part of the "Museum of Full Autos" that I assembled while I wasn't doing anything else. Browning High Powers, Commercial models of Colts(revolvers and 1911A1s including a couple in 9MM and at least one in .38 Super), Smith & Wessons(including M-39s and many "N" Frame guns), Rugers(I don't remember anything but Single Actions but I did see several in calibers other than .357 Magnum) and I'm sure many others I never got around to identifying.

I had a pretty much endless supply of .45ACP Hardball and I had no trouble getting 9MM Hardball but the .38 Special stuff didn't come in near as often but I didn't have much "demand" for that stuff so I wasn't worried. I always had more than enough 'on hand' for my own shooting.
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Old 02-03-2009, 12:12 PM
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keith44spl:

Rechambering your .38-44 Heavy Duty from .38 Special to .357 Magnum MAY have been done officially or unofficially at the Smith & Wesson plant. If you get a factory letter for your revolver, it would't hurt to ask whether the observed chamber alteration had been recorded as having been done in house.

I write this because a deceased friend, while on one of his tours of the Smith & Wesson works, paused to chat with one of the gunsmiths as he worked at his bench. The gunsmith noticed that Bob was carrying a Heavy Duty and asked if he could examine it. After Bob handed him the revolver, the gunsmith inspected it quickly and carefully and then looked up its serial number. The gunsmith asked Bob whether he'd like his Heavy Duty rechambered to .357 Magnum right then and there. Bob said OK and the job was quickly and properly done.

Bob was a pistolsmith at the Rock Island Arsenal. Among other things that he did while working at the arsenal, Bob helped to develop the M-1911-based General Officer's Pistol that the Army started to issue after its supply of Colt .32 ACP and .380 ACP pistols had been exhausted.

Bob went to the Smith & Wesson works multiple times for training in his capacity as a federal employee. After he retired from the arsenal, he returned for training several more times because he was the armorer for the Scott County (Iowa) Sheriff's Department.

Bob was a great guy. I still miss him.
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Old 02-03-2009, 03:21 PM
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S&W38, are you talking about Bob M.? If you are, I knew and liked him very much also. I spent the late 60's and early 70's in that area and thought it was a gunner's paradise with all the talented gunsmiths and shooters in the area.
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Old 02-03-2009, 03:41 PM
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I spent some time back in that area this Summer and have to say that things have changed a great deal. Everything from what is going on at the Arsenal to the number of Gun Shops/Gunsmiths still in the area.
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Old 02-03-2009, 03:56 PM
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I was there 69-70. I had learned to reload as a teenager, and had bought and shot a variety of guns before the Army days, so I knew guns.
I moved around a lot during my tour. I was around both Marine and Army units, ARVN's, and ROK's. I flew a lot, on both Marine and Army choppers of all kinds, and AF C-130's, C-123's, and Caribou's, so you might say I saw a lot of flight crews. I never recall seeing a 357.
45's and 38's is all I recall.
This is the first MENTION of body armor I have ever heard related to the VC or NVA troops. I don't believe that any of them ever wore any.
I suppose it would have been possible to find anything there, since it had been a busy area for decades.
My CO handed me a 1911A1 one day, saying I "might need it to protect him". No paper, no receipt. He also handed me a Mod 37 Ithaca Trench gun and lots of 00 for the same reason. Again, no paper, no receipt. I liked it- one of the old ones that fired as you pumped it if you held the trigger. I loaned it to one of my men, and he let it get confiscated by an MP one sad day. The MP made no charges, and did not even take his name, so he was just flat swiping my Ithaca! We went looking for him, but could not find him.....
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Old 02-03-2009, 04:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by handejector: ...This is the first MENTION of body armor I have ever heard related to the VC or NVA troops. I don't believe that any of them ever wore any....
Me too. I also got my share of travel time - mostly via aircraft - and as I stated most all were carrying M-1911A1s, at least, in the 1st Air Cav. I knew a bit about guns but not much about handguns but the Big "N" Frame .357 with the 5 inch tube was my favorite. Also, was really tough to find another one once I got back here. But, I finally did.
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Old 02-03-2009, 04:25 PM
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Here's the link to Paco Kelly's article that mentions use of primitive body armor by the Vietnamese:http://www.leverguns.com/articles/pa...l_handguns.htm
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Old 02-03-2009, 04:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lionhound:
Here's the link to Paco Kelly's article that mentions use of primitive body armor by the Vietnamese:http://www.leverguns.com/articles/pa...l_handguns.htm
I read part of that link, but eventually started laughing so hard I could not focus. His reference to body armor:
"I did two TDY tours in Southeast Asia...and had occasion to use the magnum several times. Once firing thru a boiler plated idiot with a sword that came screaming into our A-Camp one night." Now I remember- MANY VC wore boiler plate around. It made them easy to ID. That, and the long swords......
He talks of being an "Intel Officer" that trained troops in Africa- in small arms! He mentions that he took this with him- "A Colt S/A in 45 Colt and a second barrel and cylinder for 44 special." Interesting- I guess he just grabbed that ol' barrel, and unscrewed it by hand whenever he hankered for a change.

The clencher-
" trained their training personnel, in the use of the small arms the U.S. was giving them. From the 38 Special up thru the 105 Recoilless Rifle. The Recoilless was mounted on jeeps and the aiming system was a 50 cal. Browning Machine Gun. You would walk the 50 BMG rounds into the target and then fire the 105..."

He MEANT to say the 106mm Recoiless Rifle. They do NOT have a 50 cal MACHINE gun mounted on them- they have a 50 cal Semi-Auto, that takes a shorter cartridge than the 50 BMG. Trust me- I HAVE actually fired them....
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Old 02-03-2009, 05:25 PM
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I lost it when he made this remark:

"<span class="ev_code_RED">The 173 grain hard cast bullets...punched right thru the old iron plate, leaving some good sized holes exiting his body. Which amazed all the Vietnamese G.I.s when they gathered around to gawk at the dead V.C. I remember one youngster asking..."Gowd Lt. what you got in that gun...?"</span>"

This guy certainly has his higher education degrees:

BS, MS & PHD!!!
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Old 02-03-2009, 05:35 PM
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You don't remember the boiler plated Banzai charges in VN?
I'm surprised. We used to trade the iron we picked up afterwards to papa-san for Tiger beer. Then papa-san would sell it back to the VC, and we could pick it up again, and trade it for more Tiger beer.
This is how I invented recycling. If Al Gore claims he invented recycling too, well....

Sorry for the thread drift.
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Old 02-03-2009, 09:37 PM
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Joe Kent:
Yes, I do refer to the late Robert "Bob" Mallette. He was a fine craftsman as well as a knowledgeable and generous friend. He made that corner of the world a better place just by the way he conducted his everyday business and personal affairs.
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Old 02-03-2009, 11:36 PM
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S&W38, I could not agree more. My very best regards, Joe.
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Old 02-04-2009, 03:30 AM
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In 1964 there were far fewer regulations of firearms, both civilian and military. When facing movement to Vietnam I shopped at the PX in the Philippines thinking of buying a S&W .357 to take with me. Never got around to it.

In Desert Storm my Army Reserve aviation unit was still issued M10's. Of course, by 1990 all firearms were tightly regulated and no personal weapons were allowed without written authority of an O-6, or higher. Consequently I caught a lot of grief because of my M10. Everyone thought I was in violation of the general order.

I dared on REMF O-3 to confiscate my weapon, but he backed down.
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Old 02-04-2009, 06:38 AM
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USAF OSI gifted me a Model 19 in appreciation of exploiting intelligence it passed on to me while I served as a counterinsurgency officer in Tay Ninh. Since the target was a several lucrative caches with small chance of a firefight, I invited several of them to join our motley bunch for a day in the woods. The OSI agents were quite a contrast to a small group of 25th Infantry Division soldiers, starched camo fatigues and highly polished boots vs. pretty rangy jungle fatigues and scuffed, muddy jungle boots. They were so tickled we dug up various firearms, munitions, and documents that they later invited me for a weekend party in Saigon as well as the presentation of the S&W. I only received a half box of .357 ammo and had to use .38 special when that ran out. I only used it for one operation and just carried it when in garrison or a meet with RVN officials. That wheel gun was a real hoot. Normally, the handgun of choice for me was the 1911, which could take nasty conditions and packed a greater punch than a .38 special.
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Old 02-04-2009, 07:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by handejector:
Quote:
Originally posted by Lionhound:
Here's the link to Paco Kelly's article that mentions use of primitive body armor by the Vietnamese:http://www.leverguns.com/articles/pa...l_handguns.htm
I read part of that link, but eventually started laughing so hard I could not focus. His reference to body armor:
"I did two TDY tours in Southeast Asia...and had occasion to use the magnum several times. Once firing thru a boiler plated idiot with a sword that came screaming into our A-Camp one night." Now I remember- MANY VC wore boiler plate around. It made them easy to ID. That, and the long swords......
He talks of being an "Intel Officer" that trained troops in Africa- in small arms! He mentions that he took this with him- "A Colt S/A in 45 Colt and a second barrel and cylinder for 44 special." Interesting- I guess he just grabbed that ol' barrel, and unscrewed it by hand whenever he hankered for a change.

The clencher-
" trained their training personnel, in the use of the small arms the U.S. was giving them. From the 38 Special up thru the 105 Recoilless Rifle. The Recoilless was mounted on jeeps and the aiming system was a 50 cal. Browning Machine Gun. You would walk the 50 BMG rounds into the target and then fire the 105..."

He MEANT to say the 106mm Recoiless Rifle. They do NOT have a 50 cal MACHINE gun mounted on them- they have a 50 cal Semi-Auto, that takes a shorter cartridge than the 50 BMG. Trust me- I HAVE actually fired them....
I don't have my reference here in the office, but I do believe there was a 105mm RCL, but it wasn't successful and dropped out of the system (if it ever made it in) long before Vietnam.

I'm always tickled by people with JUST enough knowledge to prove themselves liars about a particular subject. There was a guy in usenet years ago who talked about how his grandfather carried a "full-auto 8ga. shotgun" in WWI. Similarly, there's actually a quite well known usenet "kook" who fancies himself a "dad's rights advocate". Really, he's just a misogynist, bully and pathological liar who was in "Air Force Special Forces in Vietnam, when all of the Special Forces units were together"... or at least that was his story. That prompted a comment from me about the "Parachute Ski-Marines" that stuck for YEARS.

One day he started running his mouth about how AK47s and their "500 round magazines" should be banned. I took especially great pleasure in holding him up as a liar.
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Old 02-04-2009, 07:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by hoglaw:
In 1964 there were far fewer regulations of firearms, both civilian and military. When facing movement to Vietnam I shopped at the PX in the Philippines thinking of buying a S&W .357 to take with me. Never got around to it.

In Desert Storm my Army Reserve aviation unit was still issued M10's. Of course, by 1990 all firearms were tightly regulated and no personal weapons were allowed without written authority of an O-6, or higher. Consequently I caught a lot of grief because of my M10. Everyone thought I was in violation of the general order.

I dared on REMF O-3 to confiscate my weapon, but he backed down.
I carried my own Series 70 Colt in Korea in '80-81. I also carried it on occasion as a pay officer at Fort Knox. One pay day, they had made us turn in all of our .45acp ball and not yet issued replacement ammunition. We were given the choice of carrying M16s, providing our own firearms, or providing our own ammunition. I wasn't going to schlepp an M16 around, so I carried my Series 70 loaded with my VERY hot handloads using the 200gr. Hornady "Combat-Target" jacketed semi-wadcutter.

I also had my Ithaca M37 DS/PS 12ga. I used it to teach Korean civilian guards to use their newly issued Winchester 1200s. Other platoon leaders I knew in the 2nd ID had a 8 3/8" Model 29 and a 4" Model 13 respectively.
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Old 02-05-2009, 04:06 PM
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I am continually amazed by the number of special operations folks who served in RVN. If my informal internet survey is any indication, there were 3 other people besides myself who were not "special operators" involved with clandestine and secret missions during my tour there. Since everything was secret, nothing must have happened while I was there......
all records having been written in disappearing ink.

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Old 02-05-2009, 08:33 PM
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Quote:
"may I see your DD 314 please??"
It's DD 214.
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Old 02-05-2009, 09:00 PM
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You didn't have to be "SpecOps" to not be issued a pistol. Very few enlisted men other than senior NCOs were issued .45s. A lot of them bought their own sidearms until that was shut off in 66. Plus, most folks in RVN prior to 65 were in fact part of some form of "SpecOps" I was a Marine and all of us were either directly or indirectly (attached) to MACV in 63. Even the helicopters and Bird Dogs up in Danang belonged to MACV in 63. Most Marine units were phased back into Marine units as those units (3MARDIV and 1stMAW)came into RVN after 63.In early 63 ShuFly was a MACV command, something constantly contested by Marines who weren't there then.Long story short, we were "Misbegotten Children" that sometimes bought our own sidearms. The Old Timers that came in 65 and after forget there was a "special presence" in RVN prior to that time.
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Old 02-05-2009, 09:19 PM
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As I said earlier, in '69 - '70 the guys I worked with carried " issue". When I was in the CAP unit, I carried a grease gun. It was good for ambushes which was what we mainly did. I also carried a demo bag full of grenades, We didn't hump far, so the added weight wasn't a problem.

From what I saw and later heard from others ,,, I think there were a wide range of truthful experiences and stituations depending on when and where you happened to be there.

During my time , every m 60 machine gunner was issued a .45 auto.
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