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Old September 27, 2012, 02:03 PM   #26
aarondhgraham
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My uncle was in the Korean War,,,

He told me that he carried a snub-nose 38 in a pouch hidden in his pants,,,
His thought was that if he was captured they might miss that gun.

He said he couldn't remember the brand of the gun,,,
But he talked about his "Owl Head" .38,,,
I suspect it was an Iver-Johnson.

I knew an Air Force AP in the early 70's,,,
He carried a Model 19 instead of his issued Model 15,,,
Apparently he had been doing it for years and no one ever noticed.

How he successfully snuck it from base to base I'll never know,,,
I spent three hours at Frankfurt explaining a wall-hanger dagger in my duffle bag.

Aarond

.
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Old September 27, 2012, 07:59 PM   #27
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Webley...you are correct...it was a Combat Masterpiece...my mistake....38 Special with a 4" tube and adj. sights, but with the small S&W Magna? grips that needed a filler behind the trigger guard. Rod
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Old September 27, 2012, 09:24 PM   #28
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I read an account, I want to say it was Eugene Sledge in "With the Old Breed" but it might have been "Bloody Ridge" that talked about a former FBI agent turned Marine who used a .357 Magnum in the Pacific.
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Old September 27, 2012, 09:40 PM   #29
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Handgun ammunition was indeed available at PXs in rear area. I bought enough 7.62, or was it 7.65mm Tokerev to feed a Chinese "Burp gun" with one magazine. I emptied it out and threw the gun away.

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Old September 28, 2012, 06:59 AM   #30
Mike Irwin
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What the hell was the PX doing selling Chinese ammo?

What year and where?

Was it battlefield pick up ammo that they were selling to guys to feed their Tokarev trophies or something?
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Old September 28, 2012, 08:16 AM   #31
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Quote:
What the hell was the PX doing selling Chinese ammo?

What year and where?

Was it battlefield pick up ammo that they were selling to guys to feed their Tokarev trophies or something?
Just a stab in the dark, but perhaps it was commercially-made 7.63 Mauser ammo.
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Old September 28, 2012, 08:26 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carguychris
I recently read a memoir by a Vietnam War OH-6A scout helicopter pilot; he managed to bring a personally-owned 6" Colt Python to the front lines and sometimes used it to take one-handed potshots at the VC when he didn't need both hands on the controls. The doors of these helicopters were usually removed in combat, so he could shoot out either side, but he usually fired right-handed because they circled targets clockwise. This was primarily done so hot shell casings from the rear seat gunner / crew chief's M60 machine gun wouldn't blow back into the cabin, but it also helped minimize the muzzle blast from the Python (the pilot in Western helicopters usually sits on the RH side, so a right-handed shot would involve holding the gun out the door).
The loch was pretty much unarmed initially. We used them as "bait" for the circling gunships. Arming with the a mini gun pac or grenade launchers came later.

Quote:
Of course, the helicopter was also armed with the rear-seat M60, and most of them were also subsequently equipped with forward-firing Minigun packs; the writer readily confessed that he mainly used the Python for shock value, and he doubts he ever hit any VC with it.
The UH1 C's and H's used the side mounted M60's, the C's would be used as gunships with different combinations of mini guns and rocket launchers, 20mm cannon.

Fairly common for Army Aviation unit members to have personal side arms. The problem was no .357 ammo in the system.


Quote:
FWIW the US Army needed helicopter pilots so badly during the Vietnam War that they bypassed normal officer training and created a warrant officer program; these folks went through the same flight school as commissioned officers but didn't get the same administrative and leadership training and were given the option for shorter deployments. Since the typical warrant officer was a "short timer" who just wanted to fly helicopters for 2-4 years and then leave the military- rather than use the deployment as a stepping stone to a promotion to Colonel, command of a battalion, 20-year career, etc.- the warrant officers didn't have the same incentive to do things "by the book" and often got away with things that no 2LT would attempt.
The WOC program pre dates the Viet Nam war significantly. It was substantially increased in the mid 60's to deal with the increased need for fodder. WOC's would go the flight school from basic training. Commissioned officers would not go to flight until well after receiving there commission. Many a Captain and Major earned their wings alongside WOC's.
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Old September 28, 2012, 09:37 PM   #33
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IIRC, the FMJ ammo of the gangster era was for the penetration of body armor occasionally worn by the thugs and other varuious outlaws.
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Old September 28, 2012, 11:37 PM   #34
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I read an account, I want to say it was Eugene Sledge in "With the Old Breed" but it might have been "Bloody Ridge" that talked about a former FBI agent turned Marine who used a .357 Magnum in the Pacific.
I almost started to correct you thinking the FBI wasn't born until after WWII, then I realized I was was thinking about the CIA.
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Old September 29, 2012, 06:35 AM   #35
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For what its worth I believe French special force squads were/are equipped with a French made 357. Dennis
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Old September 29, 2012, 12:38 PM   #36
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The impression I have is that in the 40's and 50's the U.S. mail was a little more loose about things like guns and ammo. Many a soldier received a handgun in the mail back then. I would imagine it was the same for ammo.
I ordered some boxes of ammo a few months ago and they were delivered by the mailman. Apparently either the USPS is less squeamish about ammo in the mail when it comes from a commercial outlet, or they'll bend the rules a bit to get the additional revenue.
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Old September 29, 2012, 01:39 PM   #37
Bob Wright
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Mike Irwin wrote:

Quote:
What the hell was the PX doing selling Chinese ammo?

What year and where?

Was it battlefield pick up ammo that they were selling to guys to feed their Tokarev trophies or something?
The years were 1958,1959, the PX near Uijongbu. The boxes were buff colored, similar to GI issue. I have no idea of the source, but it didn't look like Chinese issue ammunition. As I recall the boxes looked similar to the 12 Ga. boxes sold there.

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Old September 29, 2012, 02:36 PM   #38
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Quote:
The years were 1958,1959, the PX near Uijongbu. The boxes were buff colored, similar to GI issue. I have no idea of the source, but it didn't look like Chinese issue ammunition. As I recall the boxes looked similar to the 12 Ga. boxes sold there.

Bob Wright
Man that is a far cry from today. PX's in deployed areas sell fixed blade knives from time to time, but no ammo at all. I wish they would sell guns and ammo overseas, but then again in iraq as a civilian security contractor I had to get permission from the iraqi government to to carry a gun and that took about 2-3 months from the time i got in country. The Army also wanted us to only carry our weapons when we were on duty and turn them into the company arms room at th eend of our shift.

Not sure what the rules are for soldiers, but a contractor would get in major trouble if caught with an unauthorized weapon. Fired at the very least.
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Old September 29, 2012, 02:55 PM   #39
Jeff #111
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Rather off topic, but all the talk about buying ammo in the PX got me thinking. Here in Idaho we have exactly one active duty military installation. Mountain Home Air Force Base.

A couple years ago I was in Mountain Home's BX and much to my surprise I came across a very well stocked gun counter. All the major brands were there. Ruger, Glock, Taurus, S&W, Remington, Winchester, Browning, Beretta, H&K, SIG, Henry and Kimber. I was impressed.

When I was in the Army (1986-2000) the idea of buying firearms and ammo in the PX would have been considered a pipe-dream. The Air Force has it good. Has always had it better than the Army.
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Old September 29, 2012, 06:30 PM   #40
Bob Wright
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I learned that phesant are actually native to the far east, especiall China and Korea. I was surprised when the Service Club near Seoul got up a phesant hunt. Even more surprising was that shotguns could be checked out of the Service Club. I went expecting some ratty Winchester Model 97 or something like that, only to get a Browning Superposed!

Didn't get a phesant, by the way.

The PX sold a Japanese made shotgun called a Nikko, and we joked about it still having Budweiser logo visivle in the barrels. These $130 US. Learned after it was too late Nikko was the maker of the Winchester 101 O/U shotguns!

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Old September 29, 2012, 08:03 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephanie B View Post
I ordered some boxes of ammo a few months ago and they were delivered by the mailman. Apparently either the USPS is less squeamish about ammo in the mail when it comes from a commercial outlet, or they'll bend the rules a bit to get the additional revenue.
Steph,

Ammo can be shipped but it must be ground. Ammo can't be sent by air. No explosives can be transported via air. When getting ammo from the states to say Nam, it didn't get there by truck. Also, the mail restrictions were much more lax back then than they were a few months ago...
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Old September 30, 2012, 12:30 AM   #42
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Evidently this become more common (unofficially) after the first winter of the war when our troops discovered that the heavy quilted paddiing of the winter uniforms that the Chinese and North Korean soldiers wore gave them some protection from the M1 carbine 30 caliber load and even the 45ACP.
I've seen this stated many times and till recently could not figure out how clothing could stop or even slow down a .30 Carbine. Then I found a book on Body Armor of WW1. Seems that vests made of many layers of tightly woven silk could stop even a .45 colt bullet at a distance where the velocity had dropped a bit. Thinner concealable vests were only good for stopping the occasional lead pocket pistol bullet at low velocity.
The Russians took it a step further and used a thick layered silk tunic with a nickel steel breatplate over that.
During WW 2 the Russians fielded a mass produced Manganese steel breastplate that could stop the 9mm from a pistol at close range and from an MP40 at 100 yards or so. One Russian reported that a German officer had emptied a full clip into his breastplate from across a room and no bullets pentrated, but he didn't state the caliber so it may have been a .32 officers sidearm.

Anyway I figure that if the Communists had any body armor, even captured Japanese stuff, the Japanese also having developed manganese steel armor during WW2, then the unifoorm coat would have hidden it.
Also since in China silk scrap would be cheap they could make quilted linings that had some resistence to penetration if thick enough.

Another factor that could come into play. Tests using more powerful rifle cartridges against the silk armor indicated that passing through the vest somehow stabilized the bullet and slowed it so any wound would be much less severe. In intense cold such a wound from a Carbine at any great distance might not be felt as more than a punch, the victim not even realizing he had been shot for some minutes.

PS
The Russians also developed thin titanium inserts to be placed in the inside pockets of the greatcoat, but I think that came later.
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Old September 30, 2012, 04:45 AM   #43
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Very interesting information Rainbow Demon. Thanks.
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Old September 30, 2012, 06:07 AM   #44
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I would posit that anything a .357 could penetrate so could a .30 Carbine at much higher velocity. I would think an M2 Carbine (full auto variant of the M1 Carbine) would be just the ticket against circa 1950 Chinese armor.
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Old September 30, 2012, 08:36 AM   #45
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Not to side track the original topic, but I doubt the most of those M1 Carbine stories are true. It's almost always someone who knew someone, or heard it somewhere. If the clothing could stop a 30 carbine round from an 18" rifle barrel, a 357 round from a 4"-6" pistol barrel wasn't going to do any better. I suspect that if it honestly did happen a few times, it was either lousy ammo or GI's using the round outside the effective range of the caliber...firing at long ranges when the GI with M1's began firing. Or they just flat missed, got a hit on a thick coat but failed to hit the body inside it.
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Old September 30, 2012, 08:49 AM   #46
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Back in the mid 80's we had the option to carry a S&W 28.They were probably purchased in addition to the S&W 10,Colt off.pol,and Ruger service six that were still in inventory.As to whether they ever made it to combat?
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Old September 30, 2012, 09:29 AM   #47
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I remember seeing a few of our Air Force officers carrying .38 Specials during the '91 Persian Gulf War. They were not pilots; the pilots were carrying Berettas and some 1911s.
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Old September 30, 2012, 10:07 AM   #48
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French :

http://www.chapuis-armes.com/26-manurhin

Said to be used by some special forces as mentioned before.

The MR-88 was some chimera with Ruger collaboration.
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Old October 1, 2012, 05:24 AM   #49
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Rainbow Demon: another factor to consider is that many NK & Chinese troops would tuck a piece of scrap metal inside their coats as makeshift body armor. That could also explain part of the M1 carbine ineffectiveness myth.....
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Old October 1, 2012, 01:29 PM   #50
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Quote:
Or they just flat missed, got a hit on a thick coat but failed to hit the body inside it.
Andrew Jackson won a Duel because he wore a loose cloak that obscured his stance and body position. He was hit in the chest but not dead center. His opponent was a pro and renowned marksman. Had the opponent had a clear view of Jackson's torso he would have centered him and the duel would have been over. As it was Jackson though wounded took his time and delivered a fatal shot.

Quote:
another factor to consider is that many NK & Chinese troops would tuck a piece of scrap metal inside their coats as makeshift body armor. That could also explain part of the M1 carbine ineffectiveness myth.....
Theres a Japanese entrenching tool with two holes in the blade. At one time some thought these were so a soldier could use the blade as a face shield when looking over a parapet, but it turned out the holes were so you could pass a cord through it and sling it from neck or shoulder for quick use. If worn in front the blade would offer some protection for the torso from bayonet, grenade fragments, or pistol rounds.

One selling point of the M1 Carbine was that it would penetrate the various known body armor types available before and during WW2.
In USN tests the Japanese armor stopped the .45 ACP fairly easily.
Some photos from the Japanese occupation of China show Japanese officers wearing elaborate steel breastplates over their uniform tunics.

The .357 would be unlikely to out do the carbine, but would out do the .45 ACP in penetration of body armor, helmets, and the sheet metal of light vehicles, just as in civilian LEO applications.

PS
At some point a gasmask pouch was available with a pocket at the back for insertion of a thin manganese steel plate, don't know if these were ever used.
The British Manufactured thousands of reinforced fabric Chem armor vest near the end of WW1 for a final big push that proved un necessary.

Also the U S technical manuals on small arms ammunition list a number of non standard rounds for use in non regular issue handguns in inventory for un specified reasons.

Last edited by Rainbow Demon; October 1, 2012 at 01:36 PM.
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