Anyone see an 870 trench gun in Vietnam?

cplnortoncplnorton Member Posts: 2 ✭✭
edited January 2011 in US Military Veteran Forum
I first wanted to thank everyone for their service during Vietnam. I served in the Marines in the 90's and most my Staff Nco's and above were Vietnam vets. Great guys and I learned a lot of them. But thank you again for your service during a very difficult time.

Anyways, long story short. I picked up an 870 for a home defense weapon off a classifed ad. I bought it really cheap and looking at it for the first time it looked like it had an original USGI trench gun heatshield installed on it. And had US handstamped on the side of the receiver.

I've been researching it for the past couple days and this is what I have found out. It is a early 70's Wingmaster with an 18'' Cyl barrel and what everyone says is an 60's Ithaca trench gun heatshield. When I called Remington on it, they said the weapon was original blued when it left the factory. But when I found it, it was an old parkerized job. Like one done 20-30 years ago. It has handstamped the letters US on the side of it. But it was stamped before it was parkerized as you can tell it was sandblasted and parked over after stamping. The same with the barrel as the bead sight was removed and the holes on the underside of the barrel to mount the trench gun adaptor were sandblasted and parked over. This appears to have been assembled together for at least 20 years as the park job is really old. It's definetly not new.

Reminton has no info on any govt purchases of shotguns during the war, but I know many vets who said they saw 870's in use in Vietnam. So that makes me believe that all were commercial guns that found their way to Vietnam.

The previous owner said he has had this shotgun for over 20 years and purchased it from a man who claimed it was a military shotgun. He said the heat shield was attached when he got it. He said he replaced a plain wood stock set on it several years ago to put the tactical stock set that is on it now. The wood stock set was then thrown away. The guy didn't know anything about military shotguns and I basically bought this gun dirt cheap. It's not like he tried to jack up the price on me saying it was an original trench gun, which makes me believe his story a little more as he told it to me.

The heatshield is stamped SP-30-06 on the right hand side and other than the US stamp on the side of the receiver, no other military stampings can be found. I have only found one other heatshield with the SP-30-06 stamping on it and it was an Ithaca 37 that was property marked and in a rock island auction saying it was made for the Army special forces in Vietnam.

I've included a link to a ton of pics. But I'm just curious if anyone has ever seen anything like this is use in Vietnam. It's not factory and looks like it was humped together. But whoever did it, did a really good job and reparked it a long time ago. The parking and how well the trench gun shield was installed leads me to believe it might have been an armorer who did it. It wasn't bubba'd like most fake trenches I've seen. That along with the heatshield being a USGI part that was probably hard to get at the time in the civi world.

I guess it could have been a police gun, but it would make a little more sense to have a military origin as I doubt police would have put a heatshield on a shotgun. It could also be a bubba special done in a garage. But as old as it appears to have been assembled, trench guns were cheap back then. So it wouldn't make sense to me to take a new expensive Wingmaster and the buy the trench shield if you could find one and repark it, when a real one was probably cheaper back then. It just doesn't seem anyone would go through all the hastle to make one back then.

Let me know what you guys think. Anyone see anything close. I know from what I hear you could get anything and everything over there as far as weapons go. And you were allowed to take personal weapons over as well. I'm just curious what you guys have to say about it. And thanks again for your service.



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