Personal weapons carried by U.S. Soldiers and marines

Discussion in 'General Military Arms & History Forum' started by 17thfabn, Apr 20, 2010.

  1. 17thfabn

    17thfabn New Member

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    What where/are the rules on U.S. troops carrying personal (non government issued) weapons? On "Band of Brothers "before D-Day one of the men receives a revolver from home in the mail. On "The Pacific" one of the Marines receives a .45 revolver in a care package from his father. Were service men allowed to carry non government issued weapons.

    Of Course General Patton is famous for his personal side arms. But would rules be different for officers, especialy high ranking ones?

    My father in law told me that in Vietnam they were allowed to carry personal weapons, but they had to register them with their command.

    I was in the Army and Coast Guard during peace time so it was never really an issue with us.

    How about during our current conflicts?
  2. RJay

    RJay Active Member

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    Times change, no personal firearms will be carried. Even in Viet Nam they started cracking down on personal weapons. In 1967 in my command We had a shake down inspection ( and we were in the High Lands, away from the Brass ), You should have seen the boxes of guns that the guys didn't have time to hide, even a few hand grenades. Of course, laying on my bed, casually covered with a towel ( you know, as if some one had just wiped their face and threw it on the bed ), was a .45, a Browning HP a Model 15 and a M1A1 Grease gun. Hidden in plain sight. Needless to say there was a lot of personal weapons in Nam but the supply were slowly drying up. My understanding that in the sand box, ( from folks who have been there ) nothing is taken over and nothing is brought back.
  3. Suicide*Ride

    Suicide*Ride New Member

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    That might be the case re; firearms, but doesn't apply to edged weapons.

    Back when I could afford to, I sent more than a few knives (& 1 tomahawk) to several Soldiers over there.


    S*R
  4. jondar

    jondar New Member

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    I've been acquainted with two WW2 veterans that their wives sent them Colt .45 ACP's. Probably Government Models as I don't think any USP models were available. One lady I correspond with said at that time she went to the local pawn shop, purchased the gun and sent it well packed in a shoe box. At the separation center an officer tried to confiscate the weapon, her husband produced the papers on the gun and got it back. He was a Marine. Whether he had registered the gun with his Commanding Officer or not she doesn't know. From what I've learned the U. S. Government was VERY careful that their sidearms weren't stolen. You just didn't walk out the gates with your discharge in one hand and a Colt 1911 A1 in the other.
  5. Snakedriver

    Snakedriver New Member

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    I was Air Cav. all the way in Vietnam up to '73 when Nixon struck the "Peace with Honor" accord with North Vietnam. Having personalized weapons among the troops was a matter of great pride in the Cav. If anybody cared, nobody tried to do anything about it. There was every kind of weapon available. I saw AK-47's, AK-50's, Swedish K's, Thompsons, M1 & M2 Carbines, M3 Greaseguns Sten guns and Uzi's. I had a CAR-15 with the collapsible stock and a short barrel with long flash suppressor. It was awesome.

    At the end, nobody got to take any of their personalized weapons home with them. I gave mine to the Montagnard's with a large supply of ammo as did most guys I know.

    Now days, I doubt if such things would ever be allowed. Afghanistan is a wild lawless place, as is NW. Pakistan, with a large crazy gun market. There may be more stuff floating around there, especially with the line units in the field. :cool:
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2010
  6. RJay

    RJay Active Member

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    There was indeed a wide and varied selection of "Military " personal weapons in Viet Nam. While" regulation " only weapons were allowed in combat operations ( at least where I was at ) back in base camp ( Ban Me Thout, in my case ) we had access to anything we wanted in the way of military arms. Because of our relationship with the local S F Group we had M1's, Carbines ( Both the M1 and M2 ) shotguns, BAR's, a few Swedish K's. For the most part you could get away with carrying a personal Model 10 or 15, a 1911 or even a High Power, anything more visible was usually taboo. I would loan my M-3 Grease gun to the convoy guys making runs to Nra Trang, My High Power was always tucked into the back of my belt during free time down town. , and on flights my S&W 15 was carried in a military shoulder holster. The first time I left Nam, no metal detectors, as A NCO my bags were not checked nor was I, so my 15 came back with me , cylinder and grips in my shaving kit, frame tucked under my Khakis. Shame on me, their fault for trusting a young E-6 with loose guns :) By the way, my bags were check by the US Customs stateside, but just a " look at ", I could have hid a Ma-Deuce and brought it home. Second trip they acted as if they didn't trust me anymore, Metal detectors twice on the way back. Times do change.
  7. Inthewind1976

    Inthewind1976 Member

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    I am personally familiar with a number of instances where handguns were sent "from stateside" to guys stationed in "Nam. In one case, one older brother who had already served and come home sent his younger brother a Star BKM, which was the younger's constant companion throughout his tour. In another, a Marine, whos father was a local police officer, received from Dad a 2 1/2" diamondback, and a couple boxes of Super Vel hollowpoints!! Put THAT in your Geneva Convention and SMOKE IT, Charley!
  8. spankie46

    spankie46 New Member

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    not sure if i was alowed to in the Marines but right after sept 11 we spent some time in East Timor trying to help the people effected by the civil war that they were having but be cause of the fightng every one one the crew had side arms and we have loaded .50 in the windows just incase but instead of the baretta in the shoulder holster like everyone else i had my stainless Taurs 454 with a 8 3/4 inch barrel but i end up going back because all that weight after a few days of long flight my shoulder was killing me lol
  9. Old Steve

    Old Steve New Member

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    My friend Ramon, texan with a battlefield commission in north africa, told me he had his mother send him his grandfathers Colt 45 SA revolver and he carried that into Sicily. Things were different I guess. He didn't indicate that there was anything unusual or unapproved about it.
  10. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    Can anyone here get their heads out of WWII and VN? Different wars, different times, different rules.

    The current policy, which I have on good authority, is simple. NO personal firearms or personal ammunition in a combat zone. Period. A soldier is not allowed to bring a personal weapon into the area; if he/she should smuggle one in, it will be confiscated if found and searches are conducted on leaving the area. Severity of punishment varies, but can be very harsh.

    SM stateside can own personal weapons, but have to comply with local policy, which generally allows them in off-post housing and post family housing if state and local laws are complied with. Troops living in the barracks must have their personal weapons stored in the unit arms room. They can be signed out for hunting, target shooting, etc. Those policies are or were under review after the Ft. Hood incident, and may have changed.

    Of course, some troops may choose to violate the regulations. But I guarantee the court martial board won't give a damn what someone's grandfather did in WWII, or what his uncle did in Korea or what his father did in Vietnam. If he doesn't obey the rules, he is in a world of hurt.

    Jim
  11. Old Steve

    Old Steve New Member

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    Hey Jim; I was just commenting on how different things were then. Lots of things I did when I was a kid that kids nowdays aren't allowed to do. Things change, often not to get better. I never heard of a bicycle helmet.
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2011
  12. Dr342

    Dr342 New Member

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    During the First Gulf War deployment, Aug 1990, a number of AF pilots deployed with personal weapons (Handguns) This was especially true of the F-15C Pilots at Langley. Many Chose 1911's over the M9 that was still relatively new and they didn't have enough to arm all 48 pilots in the initial deployment. Some were offered the S/W 10 revolver. A Gun Store & Range on Mercury Blvd in Hampton Roads provided a number of the weapons for the pending deployment.

    As for AF enlisted with shotguns and other personal weapons, that's all pure fantasy.
  13. rentalguy1

    rentalguy1 Former Guest

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    Can only speak to the army, but current policy is that only SOF troops can carry a personal firearm. They usually carry issued firearms, though. The majority are issued M9's, just like officers and all aircrew members, but soldiers in SFOD-D have wide latitude regarding handguns. Many of them carry long guns that match the enemy in the theater, though. They attempt to blend in while over there. There are plenty of tricked out 1911's serving throughout the world with these guys right now. Not much of a need for a personal weapon when the army will set you up with pretty much whatever you request.
  14. RunningOnMT

    RunningOnMT New Member

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    Like RJay I also carried a grease gun in Nam along with my issued .45 for awhile. I paid a guy $40.00 for it. No one ever questioned it...in the bush the rules are all different. After awhile though I gave it to someone else as I preferred the M16. I know officially using other than issued weapons was discouraged and in my unit we were told not to use captured or found AK47's because they could jam or blow up in your face.:eek: Only later did I find out that that directive may have been due to a little SF operation...sneaky devils that bunch.:):D

    It's a whole new military now and I think more structured and disciplined. I seriously doubt any field commander would allow personal weapons if he was aware of it. Getting them into the country these days might be near impossible anyway. I have heard of guys buying their own red dots and other equipment though. Kind of a pricey investment for something you might end up not taking home with you.
  15. jjmitchell60

    jjmitchell60 Active Member

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    My youngest is in the intel filed, I will not say which branch, BUT he has been told that he can take his personal side arm (a hi cap 45) as long as he has it put on his orders AND he carries ONLY ball ammo. One of his buddies is in another branch and has pulled 2 trips to the sand box with taking his personal revolver BOTH times with it being on his orders as well. Reason it has to be on their orders is so they can bring it back into the US or so my son was told.

    As to WWII, my neighbor carried a S&W Lemon squezer in 38 S&W with him all through from D-Day on. He said he slept with it in his hand. He told me that he liked the 38 S&W being ammo was available from any English Unit.
  16. 3/2 STA SS

    3/2 STA SS Active Member

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    First Gulf War we could carry side arm as long as it was 9mm. Now you tell any Marine he can bring his own weapon and you won't believe what gets brought overseas. I took my Colt .357 4'' Lawman MKIII and handloaded rounds for my sniper rifle that were loaded with Green tip Nosler bullets.
  17. chuckusaret

    chuckusaret New Member

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    I served several tours in Vietnam in aviation units and I carried privately owned weapons that smuggled into country but did not bring them out of country when I DEROS'd. My last tour in 70-71 I carried a Ruger Blackhawk .30 cal in a cowboy holster and belt.
  18. Teejay9

    Teejay9 New Member

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    It was said during WWII, that you could take any GI and shake him and all kinds of weapons would fall out. Lots of "Victory" revolvers, US Navy Property found their way into the hands of Marines. There's a war time film of a Marine popping a Jap as he runs from his bunker. Viet Nam, well you get away with carrying your own stuff if you wanted. It was kind of hard getting on the plane at Ton Son Nut with it, though.
    Today's Military, who knows. They are probably much stricter, but I bet some guys get something through. TJ
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2011
  19. Teejay9

    Teejay9 New Member

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    Handloaded rounds for your sniper rifle, you say? Just how many rounds did you take, or were they hand loaded over there in Kuwait or Saudi? How did you get them through inspection? You must of had to take a lot of .357s of your own as well, being a non-issue round. Very Informative. TJ
  20. 3/2 STA SS

    3/2 STA SS Active Member

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    Teejay- We inspected ourselves-we did our own thing. Hell my platoon Sgt. had a .44 Magnum Desert Eagle he brought. I knew a kid from Miami that brought a full auto tec-9.We were STA platoon. Thats how we did it. Then again it was 1990/1991. We went over on the USS Raleigh (LPD-1) and only got inspected in Rota ,Spain when we desnailed coming home. I had 200 rounds of .357 and 100 Rounds of Nosler green tip. They were never used since we had plenty of 173 grn Lake City match.:D
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2011
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