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

I saw a CAR-15 and a M-16.  The CAR 15 was a version of today's M-4.  The M-16 was not an M-16A1 because it did not have a forward assist on it.  It was also green and made by Mattel.  I carried an M-203 for a while.  That was a hybrid M-16a1/79.  It was a pretty good weapon.  I made a mistake once of firing a tear gas round upwind from the platoon.  I was not popular for a while.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lee, I was assigned to the security detachment at the 90th Replacement Battalion at Long Binh for a few weeks.   I know what I saw.  Sure the books say Colt made it.  But remember, prototypes were fielded.  

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No one mentioned The Pig?

Carried by grunts, mounted on Hueys, mounted on M113's, mounted on jeeps, it was everywhere.

The M60 machine gun.

Vietnam, Northern I Corps, 1969-1970

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 Ig Al,. It was also by me.  Great weapon, it can really clear out brush.  My next rifle will be .308

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Joe Rich said:

 Ig Al,. It was also by me.  Great weapon, it can really clear out brush.  My next rifle will be .308

And - with the earliest models - if you reassembled the weapon carelessly (And remember, it WAS being issued to conscripts!) with the gas piston the wrong way around...when you pulled the trigger, it would continue to fire until the ammunition supply ran out, or the gun jammed.; NOT because you'd released the trigger pressure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/5/2018 at 7:20 AM, Joe Rich said:

Lee, I was assigned to the security detachment at the 90th Replacement Battalion at Long Binh for a few weeks.   I know what I saw.  Sure the books say Colt made it.  But remember, prototypes were fielded.  

 

A very old rumor, however since Mattel did make a toy M16, I could see a company supply sgt showing new guys the Mattel M16. ☺☺☺

https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/m-16-made-mattel/

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.

The 1st Inf Div was issued the M16 Feb 1966, pretty good trick since it wasn't even adopted yet. Sad that it wasn't issued until 1969

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My M16A1 was made by Colt, issued to me in September 1969.

Prior to this my issue rifle in both training and in a stateside artillery unit was the M14.

Today, I own a 20 year old Springfield M1A, and have absolutely no desire to own an AR from any maker. My sweetheart is a 1945 M1 Garand.

I bought a Romanian AK in 2008 simply because Obama didn't want me to have one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 (And remember, it WAS being issued to conscripts!)  , Ron, the draftees, US, I served with were just as good as the RAs, regular army.  In many cases, they were smarter and better educated. We never had any problem with the M-14s that you described.  Believe me, if someone could screw it up, a private in basic will manage to do it.   I did get my butt beat after I sent the long spring thingee all the way across the barracks and bounced off someone's locker.

Share this post


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

A very old rumor, however since Mattel did make a toy M16, I could see a company supply sgt showing new guys the Mattel M16. ☺☺☺

https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/m-16-made-mattel/

I picked the rifle up and examined it on several occasions.  It was made by Mattel.  I also heard the rumor, and when I taught ROTC, an ex-Marine gave me a hat that stated made by Mattel. You either believe it or you don't.  I have no need to make this crap up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Joe Rich said:

 (And remember, it WAS being issued to conscripts!)  , Ron, the draftees, US, I served with were just as good as the RAs, regular army.  In many cases, they were smarter and better educated. We never had any problem with the M-14s that you described.  Believe me, if someone could screw it up, a private in basic will manage to do it.   I did get my butt beat after I sent the long spring thingee all the way across the barracks and bounced off someone's locker.

Logic would seem to indicate that you're wrong there.I'm British, so I've not been in a situation where I served alongside draftees, but I note - for example - that Under Boris Yeltsin, Russia decided to switch from a mass army of draftees to a rather smaller force of better trained full-time professionals.AND at the same time decided to abandon the AK74 as the standard rifle of Russian forces, because its main appeal is having  degree of simplicity SO great that not even a conscript can screw things up. After trials, they settled upon a very sophisticated replacement, the "Abakan" AN-94.(Which looks superficially much like the current AK series, but with the receiver shortened by a couple of inches, leaving the pistol grip hanging over the back of it, and the magazine sloping slightly to one side.) Internally, the AN94 is a brilliant piece of design. Yeltsin's death, and his replacement by Putin knocked the idea of a small professional army on the head, the idea pof replacing the AK74 with something more sophisticated was abandoned. (The AK74 IS being replaced with a cosmetically improved model of the same old thing) Russia clearly doesn't think as highly of draftees as you do.

Note also that I was referring NOT to the M14, but to the M60. A weapon with so many problems that the Pentagon continually upgraded it, and then lost patience and replaced it with the FN MAG (known to me, back in the day, as the "Gimpy"; never had to lug one around myself: the Sterling and Browning were my issue weapons.)

Share this post


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

Logic would seem to indicate that you're wrong there.I'm British, so I've not been in a situation where I served alongside draftees, but I note - for example - that Under Boris Yeltsin, Russia decided to switch from a mass army of draftees to a rather smaller force of better trained full-time professionals.AND at the same time decided to abandon the AK74 as the standard rifle of Russian forces, because its main appeal is having  degree of simplicity SO great that not even a conscript can screw things up. After trials, they settled upon a very sophisticated replacement, the "Abakan" AN-94.(Which looks superficially much like the current AK series, but with the receiver shortened by a couple of inches, leaving the pistol grip hanging over the back of it, and the magazine sloping slightly to one side.) Internally, the AN94 is a brilliant piece of design. Yeltsin's death, and his replacement by Putin knocked the idea of a small professional army on the head, the idea pof replacing the AK74 with something more sophisticated was abandoned. (The AK74 IS being replaced with a cosmetically improved model of the same old thing) Russia clearly doesn't think as highly of draftees as you do.

Note also that I was referring NOT to the M14, but to the M60. A weapon with so many problems that the Pentagon continually upgraded it, and then lost patience and replaced it with the FN MAG (known to me, back in the day, as the "Gimpy"; never had to lug one around myself: the Sterling and Browning were my issue weapons.)

This could have been a good site but it seems whatever anyone thinks is fact. Green M16s made by a toy company and now the M60 with so many problems. 

If you have never carried the original 1966 issue in a combat situation don't repeat whatever outhouse rumor you heard about the weapon. It was a POS but it was not made by Mattel or Walt Disney 

Same goes for the M60. I came in when boot camp training used the water cooled 30 cal. With three tours in Vietnam,  11Bravo Mos with a CIB . Any person that says the M60 was not dependable doesn't know what they are talking about. I don't give a damn what any report says

I'm out of this group of wanna be somethings

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, Joe Rich said:

I picked the rifle up and examined it on several occasions.  It was made by Mattel.  I also heard the rumor, and when I taught ROTC, an ex-Marine gave me a hat that stated made by Mattel. You either believe it or you don't.  I have no need to make this crap up.

I can'r speak for American ex-servicemen (or "veterans" as you seem to call them.) But in the UK ex-servicemen's banter is often concerned with the issue of the rifle you carried. The FN FAL , aka "Rifle L1 A1" aka "SLR" was greatly loved by the majority of those to whom it was issued, and they joke affectionately about its power and accuracy in what often sound like "Chuck Norris" jokes.I don't think I've ever met anyone who had a good word for the SA80, which until it as recalled, rebuilt and re-issued had a dreadful reputation for low quality control, and falling to pieces under field conditions.Going back further, men who carried an SMLE in .303" looked proudly upon it as the best of its kind. (As a cadet, I trained on a #4 Lee Enfield, and would confirm that in the "Mad minute" there's no other bolt action rifle to touch it. (Run a hundred yards, drop to a prone position, and fire as many rounds at a two-foot rectangle two hundred yards away as you can manage in 60 seconds. With practice, the number of accurately placed rounds resembles what you might expect from an LMG)
Mattel DID make a toy in the shape of an M16. If memory serves they sold it as the "M16 Marauder" On one side of the stock was what amounted to a loudspeaker, and concealed within the "receiver" was what looked much like a heavily-toothed saw blade. When the gun was cocked, and the trigger depressed, the "saw blade" rapped against the "speaker" in a fair immitation of automatic fire. I can well imagine the generation who carried Garands and M14's poking fun at the "Gee whizz" plastic M16.

When 223" rounds were first adopted, I remember the wild rumours about what happened if you got hit by a bullet travelling at the best part of 3,000 fps.

Share this post


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

Logic would seem to indicate that you're wrong there.I'm British, so I've not been in a situation where I served alongside draftees, but I note - for example - that Under Boris Yeltsin, Russia decided to switch from a mass army of draftees to a rather smaller force of better trained full-time professionals.AND at the same time decided to abandon the AK74 as the standard rifle of Russian forces, because its main appeal is having  degree of simplicity SO great that not even a conscript can screw things up. After trials, they settled upon a very sophisticated replacement, the "Abakan" AN-94.(Which looks superficially much like the current AK series, but with the receiver shortened by a couple of inches, leaving the pistol grip hanging over the back of it, and the magazine sloping slightly to one side.) Internally, the AN94 is a brilliant piece of design. Yeltsin's death, and his replacement by Putin knocked the idea of a small professional army on the head, the idea pof replacing the AK74 with something more sophisticated was abandoned. (The AK74 IS being replaced with a cosmetically improved model of the same old thing) Russia clearly doesn't think as highly of draftees as you do.

Note also that I was referring NOT to the M14, but to the M60. A weapon with so many problems that the Pentagon continually upgraded it, and then lost patience and replaced it with the FN MAG (known to me, back in the day, as the "Gimpy"; never had to lug one around myself: the Sterling and Browning were my issue weapons.)

5

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

R on,   I hate to admit this, but you are going to have to forgive me for my American attitude that all the world is American.  Of course you are right.  Conscripts in the way you used it should be taken for c9honscripts from all over the world.  I made an assumption based on my American experience that the average US citizen considered draftees as scrapping the bottom of the barrel.  In my case, I tend to defend our draftees. 

   I have run across a few conscripts overseas that would confirm your statement.  Some should have been led around on a leash.

   

image.png

image.png

Share this post


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

I can'r speak for American ex-servicemen (or "veterans" as you seem to call them.) But in the UK ex-servicemen's banter is often concerned with the issue of the rifle you carried. The FN FAL , aka "Rifle L1 A1" aka "SLR" was greatly loved by the majority of those to whom it was issued, and they joke affectionately about its power and accuracy in what often sound like "Chuck Norris" jokes.I don't think I've ever met anyone who had a good word for the SA80, which until it as recalled, rebuilt and re-issued had a dreadful reputation for low quality control, and falling to pieces under field conditions.Going back further, men who carried an SMLE in .303" looked proudly upon it as the best of its kind. (As a cadet, I trained on a #4 Lee Enfield, and would confirm that in the "Mad minute" there's no other bolt action rifle to touch it. (Run a hundred yards, drop to a prone position, and fire as many rounds at a two-foot rectangle two hundred yards away as you can manage in 60 seconds. With practice, the number of accurately placed rounds resembles what you might expect from an LMG)
Mattel DID make a toy in the shape of an M16. If memory serves they sold it as the "M16 Marauder" On one side of the stock was what amounted to a loudspeaker, and concealed within the "receiver" was what looked much like a heavily-toothed saw blade. When the gun was cocked, and the trigger depressed, the "saw blade" rapped against the "speaker" in a fair immitation of automatic fire. I can well imagine the generation who carried Garands and M14's poking fun at the "Gee whizz" plastic M16.

When 223" rounds were first adopted, I remember the wild rumours about what happened if you got hit by a bullet travelling at the best part of 3,000 fps.

9

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ron, here again, I can only speak from my experiences. We had a radioman walk outside his platoon defensive position late at night.  On the way back in, the guy on watch was asleep.  He woke up and assumed it he was North Vietmenese.  He shot the poor guy on automatic.  He was hit 10 times by the M-16A1. 

   The radioman was still in the hospital in DaNang a few weeks later when I was there.  The bullets did not kill him.  They bounced around inside his body.  I have often wondered how many times he had wished that it had killed him.  I volunteered to carry the M-60 after that.  If you have to shoot someone, you don't want him still coming at you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Joe Rich said:

Ron, here again, I can only speak from my experiences. We had a radioman walk outside his platoon defensive position late at night.  On the way back in, the guy on watch was asleep.  He woke up and assumed it he was North Vietmenese.  He shot the poor guy on automatic.  He was hit 10 times by the M-16A1. 

   The radioman was still in the hospital in DaNang a few weeks later when I was there.  The bullets did not kill him.  They bounced around inside his body.  I have often wondered how many times he had wished that it had killed him.  I volunteered to carry the M-60 after that.  If you have to shoot someone, you don't want him still coming at you.

The quality of conscripts varies quite dramatically, depending on a number of variables. Conscription in the UK ended in the early 1960's, meaning - for example - that the majority of the British troops who served in Korea were conscripts, including those serving in the regiment that recruits from near my family home (The "glorious Glosters") The conscript Glosters "upheld the traditions of the regiment" in Korea, despite being outnumbered by a ridiculously large number of Chinese opponents. In the UK, conscription was widespread, VERY difficult to avoid, and the regiment provided a "family-like" support structure. You served for two years, and back then the UK still had a sizeable empire - you could serve ANYWHERE in it.(My own Dad served in the RAF in Alexandria, back in the early 1950's) Note that - back then - Britain was most assuredly NOT a multi-ethnic society; almost no Afro-Carribeans, No South Asians (Note that in the UK "Asian" tends to mean "Indian-looking" whereas in the USA it tends to mean "Chinese looking") In the USA, the pool of potential conscripts would have been drawn from a society divided into three very different groups - "whites", "Hispanics" and "African Americans".The USA has a tradition of the white middle-class dodging conscription going back at least as far as the Civil War. "The Donald", apparently had "problems with his feet", "Dubya"'s Dad bought him a place in the "Champagne Squadron" of the  Air National Guard. Bill Clinton managed to serve out HIS time in the Coastguard... Do I detect a pattern there...? Note also that the British Army was established in 1649, by Oliver Cromwell, making it the oldest army of full-time professionals in the world, Since 1649, there have been less than a handfull of years during which a soldier wasn't KiA somewhere in the world. In other words... in the UK conscription didn't exist simply to provide cannon fodder for a perhaps unpopular war. It was an integral part of how the UK policed its empire. One (quite well known) book about VietNam was titled "365 Days" - because that's how long a US conscript spent "In Country".

Different countries, different ways of doing stuff.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ron, you are 100% right.  The saying in the US is the rich man goes to college and the poor man goes to work.  In those years, the poor and the politically unconnected got drafted.  As far back as the War Between the States, the "draft" system had problems.  I once went to an 18 month US Army school I was not qualified for.  There were several draftees there that lived in the area.  They were drafted for two years, spent 18 months training and 2 months on leave.  That left two months for them to serve on active duty.  I find it hard to say this was not planned out.  They got a great technical education.  I went to an infantry unit on the Korean DMZ.

   I once wrote an article about a UK regiment that fought a pitched battle just south of the Im Jim river in the winter.  Like you said, they were way undermanned when they were attacked by the Chinese Army.  That was not uncommon.  But they did a great job before the bullets ran out, and the British artillery ruined their gun tubes.

   The US's combat troop to support troops have always been lopped sided.  In Vietnam, it was about 11% combat to 89% support troops.  This is about what I remember.  We had basses there bigger than a lot of our cities here in the US.

  Today, I don't even want to think about it.

Share this post


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

Ron, you are 100% right.  The saying in the US is the rich man goes to college and the poor man goes to work.  In those years, the poor and the politically unconnected got drafted.  As far back as the War Between the States, the "draft" system had problems.  I once went to an 18 month US Army school I was not qualified for.  There were several draftees there that lived in the area.  They were drafted for two years, spent 18 months training and 2 months on leave.  That left two months for them to serve on active duty.  I find it hard to say this was not planned out.  They got a great technical education.  I went to an infantry unit on the Korean DMZ.

   I once wrote an article about a UK regiment that fought a pitched battle just south of the Im Jim river in the winter.  Like you said, they were way undermanned when they were attacked by the Chinese Army.  That was not uncommon.  But they did a great job before the bullets ran out, and the British artillery ruined their gun tubes.

   The US's combat troop to support troops have always been lopped sided.  In Vietnam, it was about 11% combat to 89% support troops.  This is about what I remember.  We had basses there bigger than a lot of our cities here in the US.

  Today, I don't even want to think about it.

The soldiers involved in the battle you describe were mostly from the "Glosters", which despite the name, recruited as much from Bristol as from Gloucester (The two cities are about 60 miles apart) My Maternal Grandfather was a "Gloster" during WW1. Recent re-organisations of the British army (for which read "RiF") have amalgamated the Glosters into "The Rifles"; Rifle regiments have a fine tradition of their own, but the Glosters go back in history as a particularly good county regiment of LINE INFANTRY; carriers of the Brown Bess, not a Baker rifle. You're probably aware that the British generally march "in threes"; during a running battle in Egypt (during the Napoleonic wars) the Glosters, attacked on both right AND left flanks by French cavalry reformed in twos, and fought "back to back". As a battle honour, the regiment's soldiers wear not one, but TWO cap badges - a miniature one clipped on the BACK of their beret as well as the usual sized one on the front. (The regimental magazine is titled "The Back-badge").It's stuff like that which generates and perpetuates "esprit de corps". How can you even THINK of running away, when the men who wore that uniform, that regimental badge, set such an heroic example for you to follow? And it works - even for conscripts! After shooting off ALL of their ammunition, and falling back into a smaller and smaller mountain-top position, it became impossible to continue to re-supply them by air, and the survivors were captured and imprisoned by the Chinese. They were known affectionately back home in Bristol as "Fred Karno's Army" -  a play on the name of their commanding officer and a popular Vaudeville troop. (I think Charlie Chaplin might have been with the real "Fred Karno's Army") Even in captivity, their courage remained unabated.

Edited by Ron Walker

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ron, now that I've retired with more time on my hands, I've started reading up on the details of recent wars.  As of now, I am on the Battle of the Atlantic.  The British military traditions make the British a military force not to be underestimated. I am looking forward to reading about the UK's actions in Vietnam.

  There was a British major that walked us over the Korean battlefield.  I think he was from the embassy in Soul.  The US had many units stand proudly in other battles of that war.  We also had some very embarrassing cases where whole divisions broke and ran. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/1/2018 at 8:41 AM, Chris Harrison said:

Yes definitely by some LRRPs

The Stoner Weapons System was tested by Marines in the carbine configuration. The men who used it liked but USMC decided against it. The USN SEALs adopted it and used the 63A version with both the long and short barrel. It was belt fed either from left or right side. A box or a drum was used. I used the Stoner 63A Commando (short barrel) box fed .

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

×