Jump to content
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
  • Welcome to the forum!

    Welcome to the War History Online Community Forum, please register or login to start commenting.

jackal009

List of weapons used by the U.S during Vietnam

Recommended Posts

M16 - standard issue rifle for the US forces and was commissioned in 1969

M14 - standard issue rifle before the M16 was commissioned and was said to be powerful than the M16.

M1 Garand - limited use

M60 - most common machine gun

M79 - standard grenade launcher

M1 Carbine - used by both the US and the Viet Cong

M1A1 Thompson - limited use

M3 Grease Gun - standard submachine gun

M26 - grenade issued to almost every US troop in Vietnam

M1911 - standard issue pistol for US forces

Tell me if i missed something.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/24/2018 at 11:39 AM, jackal009 said:

M16 - standard issue rifle for the US forces and was commissioned in 1969

M14 - standard issue rifle before the M16 was commissioned and was said to be powerful than the M16.

M1 Garand - limited use

M60 - most common machine gun

M79 - standard grenade launcher

M1 Carbine - used by both the US and the Viet Cong

M1A1 Thompson - limited use

M3 Grease Gun - standard submachine gun

M26 - grenade issued to almost every US troop in Vietnam

M1911 - standard issue pistol for US forces

Tell me if i missed something.

Just off the top of my head.. M 2 carbine (same as M1, but with fire-select lever) M3 carbine (again, same as M2, but fitted with active infrared sights for night fighting) Silence "Hush puppy" .22" semi-auto pistol, Ingram MAC11 SMG, with or without Sionics Silencer, S&W "QSPER" ("Quiet, Special PurposE Revolver", an unusual weapon custom made for "tunnel rats" to provide a short, powerful pistol for use in tunnels without deafening the person firing it. It used silent AMMUNITION.) The XM177 carbine for special forces (telescopic collapsible stock and long flash-hider, which evolved into today's M4. The Armalite survival rifle, in .22" LR calibre, issued to aircrews... Probably a few others as well - Sniper rifles for example. Seem to recall that some "Stoner system" weapons went on trial; an integrated system of weapons from SMG up to MMG using a large number of common parts. Possible some Johnson rifles, still in use by the Marines, left from WW2? (They were good guns, but needed to be kept scrupulously clean, or they'd jam.) And, of course, the good old BAR, and variious other Browning machine guns.

Edited by Ron Walker

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Browning .50 caliber heavy-barreled machine gun was widely use, both on full auto and semi-auto fire as a long-range sniper rifle.  Winchester M70 in .30-06 and .300 Magnum with scopes used as sniper weapons.  Quite a few models of Smith & Wesson revolvers in .38 caliber were used.  The M14, firing the 7.62mm NATO rounds was and is much more powerful than the 5.56mm round of the M16. The various versions of the M1 carbine were also widely used by the South Vietnamese forces.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's also a potwntial for confusion, in that the USA supplied weapons to the native population of "Occupied French Indochina" to assist in their fight against the Japanese. The Japanese were defeated, The local natives were only partly disarmed, and fought on against the French... Then the Americans. So American weapons were used AGAINST the USA.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 01/03/2018 at 7:34 PM, Ron Walker said:

 in that the USA supplied weapons to the native population of "Occupied French Indochina" to assist in their fight against the Japanese. The local natives were only partly disarmed, and fought on against the French... Then the Americans. So American weapons were used AGAINST the USA.

and American pilots armed the Viet Minh even further by missing their drop zones at Dien Bien Phu   

*stirring the pot*

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Chris Harrison said:

and American pilots armed the Viet Minh even further by missing their drop zones at Dien Bien Phu   

*stirring the pot*

More like "stirring the shit". At the end of WW2, Ho Chi Min foolishly believed that true to the spirit of 1776, the USA would want to protect them from "tyranical European Imperialism".How wrong can you be?!  I was in Warsaw, not long after the installation of the memorial statues commemorating the Uprising against the German Occupation. The Official tourist magazine included a substantial article about the airdrops made the the Armja Krajowa by the RAF and the USAAF. According to the article, the RAF airdropped gear from pretty much treetop height... and the USAF dropped it from several thousand feet.A further sub article covered the graves of bomber crews who'd lost their lives attempting to re-supply the Poles. Rather more dead RAF crews than USAAF. The magazine wasn't 101% reliable - they managed to confuse Zyklon B with Zyklonit (the Poison gas used in concentration camps, vs. an early fuel/air explosive mixture used to clear out sewers under Warsaw. Explosions apparently left paper-thin bodies of rats plastered to the walls) Now THERE is a prime example of the USA dropping equipment to less than ideal people. As the Third Reich finally collapsed, German forces were reduced to using captured Sten Guns (or close copies of them that they'd made themselves.).

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/24/2018 at 3:39 AM, jackal009 said:

M16 - standard issue rifle for the US forces and was commissioned in 1969

M14 - standard issue rifle before the M16 was commissioned and was said to be powerful than the M16.

M1 Garand - limited use

M60 - most common machine gun

M79 - standard grenade launcher

M1 Carbine - used by both the US and the Viet Cong

M1A1 Thompson - limited use

M3 Grease Gun - standard submachine gun

M26 - grenade issued to almost every US troop in Vietnam

M1911 - standard issue pistol for US forces

Tell me if i missed something.

April 66 I traded for a AK 47, next few months on patrols out of Lai Khe only I carried it. The M16s we had the 1st year were in plain english "junk" Never did have to fire it in a combat situation but when you got down on the trigger it never stopped until the mag was empty 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Lee Helle said:

April 66 I traded for a AK 47, next few months on patrols out of Lai Khe only I carried it. The M16s we had the 1st year were in plain english "junk" Never did have to fire it in a combat situation but when you got down on the trigger it never stopped until the mag was empty

Inexplicably, the Pentagon tested the M16 thoroughly with a particular specification of ammunition... and then ordered the gun, and vast amounts of ammunition for it.. but did NOT specify the spec of the ammunition that was to be delivered. Unsurprisingly, the purveyors of ammunition delivered what would make them the most profit, which generated large amounts of crud and fouled the action. Under US law (the result of a law suit brought by Millken the junk bond king against the managers of a pension fund that refused to buy his bonds) when "on the clock" the employees of a company owe allegiance to the stoockholders.... not to the country.Their primary responsibility is to maximise profits for their stockholders.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Ron Walker said:

Inexplicably, the Pentagon tested the M16 thoroughly with a particular specification of ammunition... and then ordered the gun, and vast amounts of ammunition for it.. but did NOT specify the spec of the ammunition that was to be delivered. Unsurprisingly, the purveyors of ammunition delivered what would make them the most profit, which generated large amounts of crud and fouled the action. Under US law (the result of a law suit brought by Millken the junk bond king against the managers of a pension fund that refused to buy his bonds) when "on the clock" the employees of a company owe allegiance to the stoockholders.... not to the country.Their primary responsibility is to maximise profits for their stockholders.

Are you certain that what you had was an AK47? I ask, as it's often applied as a generic term; the 47 was only in production for a shortish period. Unlike the Germans of WW2, they were not experienced with the use of stamped sheet steel.The AK47 featured a receiver that was machined from a single billet of steel.(A very expensive process) As the Soviet economy rebounded from war damage, they developed their ability to stamp and weld steel sheet, and ceased production of the AK47, replacing it with a very similar looking rifle based around a stamped steel sheet receiver AND a gizmo to reduce the cyclic rate of fire to a more managable level. They built a LOT more of the new "mechanically improved" (AKM) models than of the original AK-47. And despite what Hollywood will show you, the Russians and then the Chinese were stingy with their supplies of Kalashnikovs, providing rather more SKS Simonov  carbines than Kalashnikovs. The Chinese really liked the SKS themselves, and began producing their OWN variant on the original. (The SKS was a semi auto carbine, stripper fed, with a fixed magazine. The upgrade had a fire select switch, and used the same magazines as the Kalash.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, Ron Walker said:

Are you certain that what you had was an AK47? I ask, as it's often applied as a generic term; the 47 was only in production for a shortish period. Unlike the Germans of WW2, they were not experienced with the use of stamped sheet steel.The AK47 featured a receiver that was machined from a single billet of steel.(A very expensive process) As the Soviet economy rebounded from war damage, they developed their ability to stamp and weld steel sheet, and ceased production of the AK47, replacing it with a very similar looking rifle based around a stamped steel sheet receiver AND a gizmo to reduce the cyclic rate of fire to a more managable level. They built a LOT more of the new "mechanically improved" (AKM) models than of the original AK-47. And despite what Hollywood will show you, the Russians and then the Chinese were stingy with their supplies of Kalashnikovs, providing rather more SKS Simonov  carbines than Kalashnikovs. The Chinese really liked the SKS themselves, and began producing their OWN variant on the original. (The SKS was a semi auto carbine, stripper fed, with a fixed magazine. The upgrade had a fire select switch, and used the same magazines as the Kalash.)

Certain?☺ they were called ak 47s by the people there, everything was stamped steel except the barrel, the one I had the stock had been shot off, replaced with a crude chunk of 2X6, a round had hit the the end of the barrel just in front of the gas return which kicked the bolt back. 1st time I took it apart I was surprised at the recoil system. inside the front of the stock was a spring loaded drum with maybe 20 inches of steel cable, when fired the bolt went back it pulled on the cable ( don't remember how the bolt was hooked to the spring) but the spring loaded drum was what pulled the bolt forward chambering a new round.  Don't think I ever bothered to even look as to who made it. Contrary to what some say, Charlie had more ak 47s than SKSs. When we encountered charlie with the SKS they were trained marksmen quite capable of 100 yard head shots. On the other hand charlie with the ak if he didn't hit you with the 1st round the rest went high 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Ron Walker said:

 And despite what Hollywood will show you, the Russians and then the Chinese were stingy with their supplies of Kalashnikovs, providing rather more SKS Simonov  carbines than Kalashnikovs. 

I'm pretty sure that AKs are the most prolifirated weapons in the world's history - bar none.  

Edited by George Collins

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, George Collins said:

I'm pretty sure that AKs are the most prolifirated weapons in the world's history - bar none.  

I'd heard that myself, although I seem to recall that the Lee Enfield rifle came a close second (Given how long the SMLE was in service, and how widely it was used...) The Kalash was imposed upon the entire Soviet Empire, with everyone apart from the Czechoslovaks adopting it under one name or another, Even nominally independent Romania adopted a variant. BUT the Kalash was designed for issue to an army of badly trained conscripts. After 1991, Russia aspired to divesting itself of its conscript cannon fodder, and replacing them with a smaller army of much better trained regulars. The new army would need a better rifle, and trials took place to decide which one.At the time in Germany H&K had been asking "With infantry rifles having got about as good as they can be, WHAT do we need to change to make them better at their job?" And the answer that H&K came up with that what was needed was a rifle that fires two or three rounds SO quickly that the point of aim doesn't have a chance to shift between shots, A VERY short burst with an astronomical rate of fire. The Germans concluded that there would be no time to extract the spent shell case, so they'd need caseless ammunition.Their solution to the conundrum was the H&K G11... They spent an absolute fortune on developing the rifle, expecting to recoup their investment  by totally re-equipping the Bundeswehr. However, with the Warsaw Pakt no longer in existence, East Germany needing to be brought into alignment post-reunification... Germany wondered if they even NEEDED (or could afford) the Bundeswehr any longer. They certainly didn't want to spend a fortune on new rifles. H&K went bust, and was bought by British Aerospace, The Germans considered the issue of the Bundeswehr long and hard: a citizen army had been written into their post-war constitution, existing solely for self defence, barred from fighting outside of its own territory, banned from establishing any "elite" formations...They decided to keep it.. but NOT to adopt the H&K G11. Curiously, after invading Iraq, the USA found itself saddled with the need to provide a substantial army of occupation in an increasingly hostile Iraq. Pres. Bush griped that Germany OWED the USA BIG TIME, and was doing NOTHING to help.He seemed unaware that Germany was constitutionally barred from sending troops outside its own borders, thanks to a constitution that had been written and imposed after WW2 by the USA and UK. Germany went about re-writing its own constitution, allowing both the use of German troops abroad, AND the creation of elite formations.(Two changes that history may well show as having been extremely dangerous.) HOWEVER... the rifle that the Bundeswehr had adopted instead of the G11 proved itself to be flawed, when deployed with troops to Afghanistan. The German government complained to H&K, H&K pointed out that they'd been asked to design and provide an appropriate rifle for the German army... and at the time the request was made, that meant that the rifle would ONLY be used INSIDE Germany. Not somewhere as hot as Afghanistan.The government ws now trying to unilaterally change the deal! The government sued H&K, H&K sued to Ministry of defence... H&K won. However.... that (although kind of interesting, no?!) isn't really relevant.Russia's choice for  a rifle to replace the venerable AK74 was going to be... the Abakan AB94. It puts the first two shots of an automatic burst down the barrel amazingly fast, and through a system of levers, delays the perception of recoil (called "shifted pulse" by the Russians) From a distance the Ab94 looks a lot like the Kalash, aside from the magazine,which is canted slightly sideways.  Putin took over from Yeltsin, and the idea of professionalising Russia's armed fores was dropped... and with the idea, so too went the idea of replacing the AK series of rifles.

Ab94.jpg

Edited by Ron Walker

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Ron Walker said:

The Kalash was imposed upon the entire Soviet Empire, with everyone apart from the Czechoslovaks adopting it under one name or another, Even nominally independent Romania adopted a variant.

That's just a portion of where it went. AKs were shipped everywhere from Middle East to Africa, wherever Politburo chose a spot to steer another so-called 'national independence movement.'

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/23/2018 at 11:56 PM, Lee Helle said:

Certain?☺ they were called ak 47s by the people there, everything was stamped steel except the barrel, the one I had the stock had been shot off, replaced with a crude chunk of 2X6, a round had hit the the end of the barrel just in front of the gas return which kicked the bolt back. 1st time I took it apart I was surprised at the recoil system. inside the front of the stock was a spring loaded drum with maybe 20 inches of steel cable, when fired the bolt went back it pulled on the cable ( don't remember how the bolt was hooked to the spring) but the spring loaded drum was what pulled the bolt forward chambering a new round.  Don't think I ever bothered to even look as to who made it. Contrary to what some say, Charlie had more ak 47s than SKSs. When we encountered charlie with the SKS they were trained marksmen quite capable of 100 yard head shots. On the other hand charlie with the ak if he didn't hit you with the 1st round the rest went high 

Trying, without success, to reconcile your description of the innards of an AK with my own recollection. Just to check, I disassembled one of the AKMs in my own collection... no "drum", and the recoil spring sits BEHIND the bolt, wrapped mostly around a guide rod. At the rear end of the rod is a plunger which pokes through the back of the stamped metal receiver cover, and holds it in place. (First thing you do when stripping an AK (after clearing the weapon) is press in that plunger, and remove the cover. So... what looks enough like an AK to fool people, but uses a spring to PULL the action? Not the Chinese version, nor the North Korean one, nor the Czech Vzor 58... I'm completely unfamiliar with the German Sturmgewehr, of which the Soviets (or, apparently the Czechs) donated loads of captured examples to their Vietnamese friends....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How about military-grade tomahawks?  I came across a 'nam reference at some point, looked them up, and was shocked that many men preferred them [now and then] for 'wet-work'...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/25/2018 at 7:05 AM, Ron Walker said:

Trying, without success, to reconcile your description of the innards of an AK with my own recollection. Just to check, I disassembled one of the AKMs in my own collection... no "drum", and the recoil spring sits BEHIND the bolt, wrapped mostly around a guide rod. At the rear end of the rod is a plunger which pokes through the back of the stamped metal receiver cover, and holds it in place. (First thing you do when stripping an AK (after clearing the weapon) is press in that plunger, and remove the cover. So... what looks enough like an AK to fool people, but uses a spring to PULL the action? Not the Chinese version, nor the North Korean one, nor the Czech Vzor 58... I'm completely unfamiliar with the German Sturmgewehr, of which the Soviets (or, apparently the Czechs) donated loads of captured examples to their Vietnamese friends....

Now I'm wondering what I had. Just for the record I have never done drugs☺

I did come across a article, in the early years the vc were making weapons and my dim memory thinks there was even a mention of making a automatic rifle patterned after the AK. Will try and re-find the article it might have even been on a u-tube 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Lee Helle said:

Now I'm wondering what I had. Just for the record I have never done drugs☺

I did come across a article, in the early years the vc were making weapons and my dim memory thinks there was even a mention of making a automatic rifle patterned after the AK. Will try and re-find the article it might have even been on a u-tube 

Examples of some crudely made Vietnamese copies of the Thompson can be found in "Illustrated History of the SMG"... But, I'm a huge fan of the late Ian V Hogg - one of the GREAT writers about firearms (open a book about weapons, and chances are quite good that it'll contain photographs provided by Hogg) A couple of his weightier (and very readable) encyclopaedic tomes used to sit in my downstairs toilet, and frequently would be dipped into. That idea of a recoil spring that stretches, rather than compresses, rings a bell... In a few days time, I'll probably wake up in the middle of the night KNOWING what weapon I'd read about. Off the top of my head... it sounds either Japanese or Italian.. British and American engineers would wisely tell you "If it LOOKS right, it probably IS right" Some Japanese hardware - and Italian - looked anything BUT right.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

whatever the VC were using we had a lot of captured magazines for what everyone called ak47, curved steel 30 rounds

I never did examine any of the other captured AKs, just assumed they were all the same.  I grew up with guns and when I took it apart I was impressed with how simple it was. The cable looked liked control cable used in small planes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Lee Helle said:

whatever the VC were using we had a lot of captured magazines for what everyone called ak47, curved steel 30 rounds

I never did examine any of the other captured AKs, just assumed they were all the same.  I grew up with guns and when I took it apart I was impressed with how simple it was. The cable looked liked control cable used in small planes.

That 30 round mag would fit in a surprisingly large range of weapons, aside from the AK itself. There's an LMG in the series  - the RPK - for example with came with an even longer magazine, interchangeable with the AK itself. Not sure if the mags from the Czech Vz58 are interchangeable with the AK, but they ought to be! (The Vx58 looks cosmetically VERY like the AK, but internally is utterly different.) Russia donated their entire SKS production line to China; they adopted the SKS as the "type 56" (confusingly, they also adopted the AK as the "type 56" as well.) Just to add to the fun, from that production line, they developed an SKS/AK hybrid called the type 63/68, which looks exactly like what it is - the bastard child of an AKM and an SKS. They supplied them to VietNam... and they take AK magazines (but you need to file off the "hold open" catch on the mag follower.) I have no idea whether Israel's native knock-off of the Kalash accepts Kalash magazines; probably not, as it uses different calibre ammo. Or South Africa's copy of Israel's copy of the AK.

When the war broke out (again!) there was kind of an auction as to who would supply North VietNam: Russia or China (who weren't very good friends at the time) Russia won the "auction" but having no land borders with VietNam, had to negotiate with the Chinese to allow shipment of arms by rail across China. (China refused to allow them to be air transported.) And for good reason - it's very difficult to steal the cargo of a plane that's flying over your head. Anything that went from Russia to Vietnam by rail was carefully opened, inspected, and if it was something the Chinese didn't have in their own arsenal, they'd steal it and make copies. The Vietnamese grew increasingly fed up with the attitude of their Russian "Advisors" (who behaved more like the Imperialists that the war was supposedly against.) And the Vietnamese decided to swap suppliers. The Russians were sent home, and replaced by the Chinese  - and Chinese made arms.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you ever find out what the rifle I had was, let me know please. I've always thought my memory of vietnam was pretty good, but now☺

In the summer of 66 a buddy rotated back to the states and he gave me his M16, it was the only one that if kept fairly clean was dependable. I traded something for a 30 rd mag that a huey pilot had. That mag worked great if you only put 26-27 rounds in it. Pretty sure I was the first grunt in the 1st Div to have such a magazine. We were at Loc Ninh one time and some people from Ordnance showed up inspecting all M16s using a no go gauge. Mine chambered the no-go. Someone said to turn it in and my reply "over my dead body" and walked off.

I can't remember what became of the AK, but I've always been a trader so know I swapped it for something

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Lee Helle said:

If you ever find out what the rifle I had was, let me know please. I've always thought my memory of vietnam was pretty good, but now☺

Sadly, four years back my wife and I moved from a sprawling three storey Victorian "Semi" (Don't know what Americans call such buildings - twin mirror images of each other, with one wall shared. In England, we call them "Semi detatched") into a rather smaller bungalow. There was a delay, and I went ahead to accept delivery when the moving truck arrived, my wife stayed behind and finished packing up the last things to go... She left behind about half of my collection of books about firearms (which nearly led to divorce!) I suspect that the book I'm remembering was one that got left behind. Pretty sure it was one of the Ian Hogg books - he manages to turn dry descriptions into an interesting narrative, by including amusing additional details. Although he was an artilleryman by trade, he lectured on firearms to both Sandhurst AND Camberley (the UK's Army Officer training school AND Staff training establishment. With THAT on his CV, he was a welcome guest anywhere he wanted to go in the world of firearms, and he established a collection of photographs in his OWN personal collection that was without a serious rival. Quite often, if you browse books about the history of weapons, you'll find that he provided some of the illustrations.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now



×