View Full Version : Leverguns in Vietnam???

December 18, 1999, 02:25 AM
I have a question that has been nagging me for a long time. Did any of the soldiers in Vietnam ever use civlian arms brought to Vietnam, i.e. leverguns, revolvers, etc. I find this to be a fascinating.

December 18, 1999, 07:11 AM
I've read where many servicemen (and women) had privately purchased revolvers in Vietnam. When I was in college I had several classmates that served there and at least one of them carried a personal Chief's Special IIRC.

Jim V
December 18, 1999, 06:57 PM
I know of several Viet Nam vets that had used S&W M-60's over there, or at least carried them in a BDU pocket. I am not sure if they used the gawd awful 138 grain fmj .38 Special military ammo or not. I talked to one vet that carried his personal 1911A1 over there loaded with Super Vel's.

Charlie Askins, when there as a militray advisor, had several sporting type rifles that he used for hunting. I think one was a lever action Winchester M-71. But I don't think he used them in any anti-personell role.

Ne Conjuge Nobiscum
"If there be treachery, let there be jehad!"

December 18, 1999, 08:41 PM
Askins told of shooting a VC with a S&W M29; he said it was probably the first man killed with a .44 Magnum.

December 18, 1999, 09:07 PM
Naval aviators routinely carried the sidearm of their choice when flying combat missions over Vietnam. There were many .357 magnums, which were personally owned. The issue sidearm was (generally) a .38 special, which many believed was grossly inadequate.

December 19, 1999, 08:14 AM
I was told by my brother [101 Airborne] that certain 1st Air Cavalry units purchased and carried single action revolvers [mostly Rugers] as a tribute to their cavalry tradition. Quantrill

Glenn E. Meyer
December 19, 1999, 11:46 AM
There was an article in some gun rag,
sorry I can't remember which, that
mentioned some special forces group
in which one member at least carried
a 45-70 lever action.

Glenn E. Meyer
December 19, 1999, 11:46 AM
There was an article in some gun rag,
sorry I can't remember which, that
mentioned some special forces group
in which one member at least carried
a 45-70 lever action.

Big Bunny
December 19, 1999, 03:58 PM
We have a local club member who says he used a Remington 600BDL in 308 and scope for long range shots, also a pump 12GA by the same maker(may have been a slam-fire, but it was destroyed by OZ "buy-back" campaign in 1998) - but for scrub patrol-work, behind the lead scout using secateurs, (to clear the track quietly.)

April 24, 2001, 11:10 AM
I knew a WWII vet who was a civilian working at Robbins airforce base in Georgia during Vietnam. He was sent there to assist in salvaging electronic gear out of downed aircraft.

When he came back he mentioned several unusual weapons he saw, most notably a Winchester '94 30-30 which had been cut down fore and aft by a tunnel rat, for use in clearing out tunnels. He described it as looking just like Steve McQueen's cut down '94 in "The Bounty Hunter."

This old vet had been smitten by the S&W model 15 .38 with 2 inch barrel, which I undersatnd was a status gun among aircrew in Vietnam. I remember him pulling it out of his glovebox and showing it off like it was a bar of gold.

The .444 Marlin lever gun mentioned above was described by John Plaster in his book "SOG," which was excerpted in a gun magazine a few years ago.

Another friend who served in VN told me of seeing a Marine officer wearing a Ruger Super Blackhawk .44 mag! He also told me that he won a S&W model 19 in .357 magnum off a marine in a poker game, and carried it in perference to his issue .45 auto.

Pave Pilot
April 24, 2001, 05:46 PM
Yes, but not many. Usually aircrew with sidearms where a small quantity of ammo was adequate..same in Panama, South America nad Gulf.

Mike Irwin
April 24, 2001, 07:52 PM
I asked my next door neighbor about this, who was an F4 pilot in Vietnam in 1967-68.

He used his father's commercial Colt .45, which his father had purchased just before shipping overseas in WW II.

Another member of his unit bought a Colt .357 (probably a Trooper, they were popular at the time) and use it.

After Tet rattled their cages, they decided to arm themselves a little better while on the ground so my neighbor got himself a Savage side-by-side 12 gauge, cut the barrels back, and kept that in his quarters for "night" actions.

He's still got the thing. It looks like he cut the barrels off with a butter knife. :)

Dave McC
April 25, 2001, 05:14 AM
There was a mix of personal weapons there, everything from Browning 25s in shirt pockets to myriad shotguns. I recall Winchester 97s,12s, Remington 870s and 11s, and Browning A-5s.

Handguns ran from trophy Tokarevs to Hipowers to S&W 38s.
I acquired a GM through highly irregular channels and helped finagle a M-79,neither authorized for my MOS. After a frightening and dangerous experience with a spotlessly clean M-16, I used those irregular channels to get an M-14. Much better choice for me...