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Thread: Small Arms of the Vietnam War

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    Default Small Arms of the Vietnam War

    We all know that the Second Indo-China Conflict involved a number of players and many different types of small arms. The M-16, Ak-47 (type 56 SMG), SKS (Type 56 Carbine) and M-14 were some of the most prevalent but there were numerous other types used.

    I thought I would start this thread to collect some pictures and information detailing the differnt small armed used.

    The other night I was watching a DVD on Vietnam and in one of the scenes there were three Viet Cong all armed with Mauser 98ks. From what I can gather, this was a popular VC weapon during the early stages of the war. Some were French captures and post 1945 manufacture, others came from Soviet and Chinese stocks. According to one report I read from around the Mekong Delta fairly early the American Involvement it was one of the most prevalent VC weapons.

    I have read and seen pictures of such varied arms as Bren guns and even Mg-34s turning up over there!

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    Member Rynnäkkökivääri's Avatar
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    I also remember seeing a boatload of VC armed with Garands and one BAR. Some pretty awesome weapons ended up in their hands.

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    Member Waterman's Avatar
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    Cool

    M1 Garand (ARVN mostly)
    M1/M2 carbine (ARVN & US advisors early in the war)
    M3 "grease gun" SMG (US & ARVN)
    Ithaca 37 & Remington 870 pump shotguns (US)
    M60 GPMG (US & ARVN)
    M45 Carl Gustaf SMG (US SOF & US allies)
    MAT49 SMG (French used by VC)

    Thats what I can think of off the top of my head..........

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rynnäkkökivääri View Post
    I also remember seeing a boatload of VC armed with Garands and one BAR. Some pretty awesome weapons ended up in their hands.
    I think I know what photo u are talking about. The BAR looks bigger than the guy holding it in that pic.

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    Anything that was in the U.S., French, or Russian inventory during WWII was used in Vietnam, in addition to a variety of stuff that had been supplied to Nationalist China prior to the defeat of the Kuomintang and a bunch of German stuff that the French and Russians got a hold of during WWII...

    Then, throw in all the more contemporary Chicom/East Bloc weapons (AK fmaily, SKS, RPD, DsHKA or whatever they had then) and U.S. stuff - M14s, M16 family (there were probably about a dozen variations of the M16 alone, if not more, and all prior to 1972), M60, Stoners, etc. I suspect a fair number of FALs and MAG 58s made it over with ANZACs, and some units (SF) even used the Swedish K submachine gun, silenced Stens, etc.

    There was a huge variety of stuff used.

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    The Vietnam conflict was a pretty fascinating window of time for small arms. It was more-or-less the point where the post WW2 infantry weapons made their nigh-imperceptible transition towards the kind of systems we are using today. There was a new emphasis on smaller calibers, lighter weight and overall ease of handling and portability. People went in with M1 Garands and BAR's, and by the time all was said and done, they were coming out with M16's, Night Vision Optics, M60's, and all manner of weapons familiar to the modern soldier.

    Some of the weapons used by US Special forces groups undertaking LRRP's are of particular interest to me, namely the Stoner 63 System Weapon - a concept ahead of it's time, and the EX-41 pump-action Grenade Launcher, which ironically, amid today's homecoming of the M79, seems to be the type of weapon allot of frontliners today would prefer, as some say the Milkor is too cumbersome, despite its volume of fire.

    Both of these weapons were held in pretty high regard by their operators, but you hear very little about them these days.




    Apparently there were less than 100 or so EX-41's produced, but recently, there's been a kind of Lazarus movement, and last I heard, an arms developer in the states has acquired a license to begin producing a modernized version for military assessment.

    Who knows, perhaps it will be as such for the DeLisle Carbine too? It was an obscure .45 Carbine used by the brits in WW2, also produced in tiny quantities, and used with deadly effect. Apparently it was exceedingly accurate and it's been called the "quietest firearm ever made" - with the sound produced by the manual hand-**** re-chambering of the next round, being louder than the shot itself.

    Most of these firearms were destroyed after the war, in an apparent effort to prevent their use for nefarious purposes in the wrong hands.

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    Troops from Australia and New Zealand used the L1A1, as well as US weapons:
    Attachments Pending Approval Attachments Pending Approval

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    I believe there may have been some Japanese weapons thrown into the whole mix, Arisakas and Type 99 LMGs respectively.

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    Moderator James's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wicked_hind View Post
    I believe there may have been some Japanese weapons thrown into the whole mix, Arisakas and Type 99 LMGs respectively.
    Indeed, the Japanese were there from 1941 until 1945, at which time they simply laid down their arms. The Viet Minh used them.

    I've even seen pictures of homemade weapons that were used by the Viet Minh and Viet Cong.

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    I remember seeing some archival footage of marching V.C., and one of them appeared to be carrying an MG-34 over the shoulder. Any idea where it may have come from, or could my eyes be playing tricks on me?

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    check out the 'nam LRRP, MACV-SOG pic thread also.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wicked_hind View Post
    I remember seeing some archival footage of marching V.C., and one of them appeared to be carrying an MG-34 over the shoulder. Any idea where it may have come from, or could my eyes be playing tricks on me?
    Don't read earlier posts in this thread. Wait. You didn't. Never mind.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anti_tanky View Post
    Apparently there were less than 100 or so EX-41's produced, but recently, there's been a kind of Lazarus movement, and last I heard, an arms developer in the states has acquired a license to begin producing a modernized version for military assessment.
    Good luck - these were unpopular 40 years ago because of weight and bulk. I don't imagine that that has changed very much. A good grenadier could drop 15 rounds a minute with an M-79. If you need more than that, you need a Mk. 19.

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    Member Hecatonchiros's Avatar
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    What kind of weapons production capabilities did the VC and N. Vietnam have during the Vietnam War? The only weapon made by them, that I know of, is the K-50m, which was a variant of the Soviet PPSh-41 SMG, seen here as the topmost weapon.


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    "Wise and Grumpy" Ban Stick Wielder of Death digrar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by James View Post
    I suspect a fair number of FALs and MAG 58s made it over with ANZACs,
    We were using M60's back then, mag58's were introduced in the 80's. Maybe the bren was used in limited numbers too, I don't recall ever seeing a pic of one, but they were used before and after the 60's early 70's.
    Owen guns got a run for a little while before the m16's were introduced.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anti_tanky View Post
    Apparently there were less than 100 or so EX-41's produced, but recently, there's been a kind of Lazarus movement, and last I heard, an arms developer in the states has acquired a license to begin producing a modernized version for military assessment.
    They won't need a license from the designer/inventor to build it. Patents don't last that long.

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