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 US Military Veteran Forum - Vietnam
 Shotguns in Vietnam
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ElMuertoMonkey
Advanced Member

25406 Posts

Posted - 04/19/2006 :  01:58:23 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This is a bit of a Vietnam and gun question rolled into one: Just wondering how prevalent shotgun usage was in Vietnam as well as what models and whether or not they were effective for that terrain.

The reason I ask is because I know the british had a great deal of success using shotguns (Browning A5's, I believe - could be wrong here) in Malaysia, but I hear very little about their use by our guys in Vietnam.

I'd like to hear y'all's stories if there are any to be shared.

prangle
Member

USA
980 Posts

Posted - 04/19/2006 :  05:57:31 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The shotgun was the Pointman's weapon when he wasn't hacking with a machete thru the jungle.We had Winchesters.Only useful in the jungle and village sweeps.
Also the M-79 Grenade launcher had a canister round(buckshot).

A-4th=12th-199th Inf Bgde

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Edited by - prangle on 04/19/2006 05:59:00 AM
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MIKE WISKEY
Advanced Member

8031 Posts

Posted - 04/19/2006 :  10:51:50 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
in my area they were very much in demand, we had Ithaca m-37's, savage m-67's, win. m-12 & 1200's and even a 97, and my favorite a m-11 rem.


Edited by - MIKE WISKEY on 04/19/2006 10:52:27 AM
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dolfan
Advanced Member

USA
5369 Posts

Posted - 04/19/2006 :  10:49:41 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by MIKE WISKEY
and even a 97
Interesting tidbit. I wonder if this was "government issued" or a trooper's personal weapon?
I own a nice M-1897, made 1906. I've never shot it, because I was advised by many here on GB that they can be dangerous, something about the hammmer not staying in the cocked position and falling on a round when you pump it.
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ElMuertoMonkey
Advanced Member

25406 Posts

Posted - 04/20/2006 :  02:39:39 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
dolfan,

I've read on a few other forums that the older model of 1897's were capable of slam-firing, a characteristic that gave it such a fearsome reputation in World War One.

From what I've read, so long as you kept the trigger depressed you could fire as fast as you could pump the action.
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S. Grundy
New Member

70 Posts

Posted - 04/20/2006 :  03:48:32 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
i have no knowledge of the models being used but I have read that fletchette rounds were used. Mainly used against snipers that were in trees or otherwise well hidden. Anyone else come across this info?
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MIKE WISKEY
Advanced Member

8031 Posts

Posted - 04/21/2006 :  10:45:34 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
"I own a nice M-1897, made 1906. I've never shot it, because I was advised by many here on GB that they can be dangerous, something about the hammmer not staying in the cocked position and falling on a round when you pump it."... there is no reason not to shoot it if it's in good condition, have a 'smith check it over. Just use the same caution as any 'hammer' type gun. these are very strong but as the other poster said, they will fire if you pump them with the trigger held back (same as a m-12).

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buddyb
Senior Member

2237 Posts

Posted - 04/21/2006 :  10:42:16 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We had a few Ithaca 37s.I had never heard the rounds called fletchettes until the last few years.We called them bee hive rounds and they did what thay were intended for at close range.
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dheffley
Moderator

20960 Posts

Posted - 04/21/2006 :  11:21:05 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Saw several shotguns, but never carried one.

Expect the unexpected!


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Tiger6
Senior Member

USA
1740 Posts

Posted - 04/23/2006 :  07:55:30 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We normally had 2 per team.. Generally Ithaca 37 pumps, However we also had the 12 ga Winchester Liberator (4-barrel), later replaced by the 8-barrel 20 ga Colt Defender. Fletchette or #4 buck were the rounds I remember most. These were secondary weapons for close in (up to 30 yard) work..

Accuracy is relative: most combat shooting standards will be more dependent on "pucker factor" than the inherent accuracy of the gun.



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TIGER6
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rovernut
Junior Member

257 Posts

Posted - 04/23/2006 :  8:46:54 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I ocasionally carried one to clean up spider holes, or village clean up. Ours were Stevens, with a short stock. Ammo was buck-shot and bee-hive rounds. not good very far, but good at poker table range.

SEMPER FI MAC, SEMPER FI!!!
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101AIRBORNE
Senior Member

1742 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2006 :  03:34:23 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The squad weapon shotgun that we used was the M 79 w/a varity of
different shells. The fletchette and buck shot were typically
inserted while on a mission. We never had a point w/ a 79.
Point *almost always* carried the M 16.

Military intelligence is a contradiction in terms.
G. Marx
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freddbear4
Junior Member

106 Posts

Posted - 08/09/2006 :  5:48:49 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Arrived in country 7/65 as a squad leader. 3 fireteams and a grenadier. C.O. decided the squad leader could take over the M-79 and not have to direct the grenadiers fire. So, had a M-79,a 1911 and checked out a Winchester 97 12 ga pump. After a couple of night patrols I longed for my M-14 so I strapped the M-79 to my pack and went back to my M-14. Good move on my part--saved my life.
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Grunt2
Senior Member

1238 Posts

Posted - 08/11/2006 :  12:38:56 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I only saw Winchester during my tour. Our point always had a M79 unless we had a dog team as point...he always carried a CAR or an M-16. Buckshot was the norm but many loaded the 40MM with nails (fletchetts)...when back at the FSB...

The difference between 'involvement' and 'commitment' is like an ham-and-eggs breakfast: the chicken was 'involved' - but the pig was 'committed'."
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bobski
Advanced Member

Vatican City
19621 Posts

Posted - 08/28/2006 :  3:27:56 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
our ship had ithaca 37 riot guns.
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bobski
Advanced Member

Vatican City
19621 Posts

Posted - 09/07/2006 :  4:02:25 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
u.s.army photo.
stevens model 77.
bring back any memories for anyone?
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rovernut
Junior Member

257 Posts

Posted - 09/07/2006 :  8:30:54 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yea, looks like mine!! Is that a Zippo in his hand??

SEMPER FI MAC, SEMPER FI!!!
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nunn
Administrator

USA
36091 Posts

Posted - 09/24/2006 :  09:38:16 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
A retired Sgt. who was my boss told me he had a special affection for the Ithaca 37, due to the fact that it has no disconnect. Hold the trigger down and pump and every time the bolt closes, it fires. He said you can shoot a gook three times before he can fall down with an Ithaca.

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Myra-Lou
Member

USA
802 Posts

Posted - 11/02/2006 :  09:22:52 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I was in the 1/27 Inf (Wolfhounds) in the 25th Inf Div in nam in 65....I carried a Stevens 77E........It was like new and was a piece of junk......the sand and crud jamed it up and the only way you could eject was to slam the butt on the ground while you held onto the pump handle.....but it was better than the M16s of that era.....john

....If you have to shoot...SHOOT!...don't talk!
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golf311
Starting Member

USA
8 Posts

Posted - 01/17/2007 :  6:23:38 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My Captain carried a shotgun in the bush...and a .45 strapped on his hip. This guy was huge, big enough to play in the NFL, and ugly, I mean it. What an apparition he was. Tough, but very good to the snuffies.
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nunn
Administrator

USA
36091 Posts

Posted - 02/11/2007 :  12:29:28 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I hope a non-vet can post here.

A good many years ago, my PD adopted the Ithaca 37 for a patrol shotgun, mainly because of the insistence of the firearms instructor we had at that time. He was a Vietnam vet, Marine, mean as hell.

I remarked that the Ithaca has no disconnect, and will fire every time you work the pump, as long as you hold the trigger back. He laughed and said, "Yeah, you can shoot a gook three times before he can hit the ground."

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CapnMidnight
Advanced Member

USA
6182 Posts

Posted - 05/28/2007 :  02:24:51 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Some of our point men carried 79s, some carried Winchesters. 79s were handy, could be used for alot of good stuff, but a shot gun was a far supior point weapon, as far as keeping your ass alive.
I own a model 97 win 12ga that was built in 1919. I shoot it with lo base trap loads and have no problems at all. Last year I broke 21 out of 25 and won the oldest gun event.
HHT 2-1 A Cav. 68-69

"The most pervasive and least condemned form of dishonesty is not doing the best you can." Jeff Cooper
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Lanark Sixgunner
Junior Member

100 Posts

Posted - 06/11/2007 :  12:23:18 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Did any of you carry the Browning A-5, or were the Brits the only ones to?
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bobski
Advanced Member

Vatican City
19621 Posts

Posted - 06/12/2007 :  12:03:30 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
navy had the A5 look-a-likes, remington model 11's.

former air operations officer SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team 2. former navy skeet team, former navy rifle/pistol team member. co-owner skeetmaster tubes inc.. owner/operator professional shooting instruction. NRA certified instructor.
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BuffaloGun
Starting Member

USA
11 Posts

Posted - 06/14/2007 :  02:18:07 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Having been USAF, I never had much call to carry anything other than the .38 Colt revolvers we were issued as air crews, but I met up with a friend from home who was USMC at Na Trang in '71 and he was carring the M97 Winchester. Today I own an original M97 trench gun and a new ChiCom copy and both will slam fire as noted. I consider it more a feature than a defect.
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lamblouie
Starting Member

2 Posts

Posted - 01/05/2008 :  7:46:50 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Served on two subs in the gulf of tonkin in 64 and 66 and we had mod 12 winchester pump 12 ga. plus other small arms. Were allowed to have personal wepons, mine was a mod 29 S&W 357 mag. still have it today
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River Rat
Advanced Member

USA
9004 Posts

Posted - 01/10/2008 :  6:15:26 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This is a question that comes up from time to time, because with the advent of new weaponry the military always wonders if shotguns are no longer needed. Then the grunts find another niche for it. I understand in Iraq today they are used to blow open locks, although I would think that they are unmatched in classic house-to-house urban combat.

We had a shotgun issued for each of our patrol boats (PBRs). The deal was, if we put a radioman on the "beach" -- ahead of the boat -- as a lookout he was to carry the shotgun with him. During my very brief experience, in 1972, the M-16 had evolved out of the original mistrust due to unsuitable ammo. Our radioman preferred the M16 to a shotgun, and I think most others did also. They were pumps, can't say what make. Have heard of some serviceman in Vietnam buying auto shotguns on their own, and cutting down the barrels.

An armed society is a polite society -- R. Heinlein
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lamblouie
Starting Member

2 Posts

Posted - 01/10/2008 :  8:04:15 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We used the 12's to repel boarders, also had thompsons. Only broke them out one time. Next time in port I picked up a case of 9 pellets(9 22cal. shot in each round) better than slugs. Mod 12 holds 5.
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Belt Fed .50 Cal.
Starting Member

28 Posts

Posted - 10/06/2009 :  5:48:02 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We had one man in my unit who carried a Rem. 870 loaded with buckshot. It was the only shotgun we had.

All Of The Big Guns Are In The Navy!
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SAM-USMC
Starting Member

USA
24 Posts

Posted - 11/02/2009 :  3:28:51 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The shotguns in our unit were Remington 870's loaded with 00 Buckshot. It was mostly a SGT's weapon. I remember when we'd go out on 6 man night ambushes and the SGT.would say, "When the GOOKS go by, no one opens up until you hear my shotgun blast".

3RD BN 3RD MARINES
3RD MARINE DIVISON
VIETNAM 1967-68
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