Questions about 1960's Cold War Era Weapons

Discussion in 'General Military Arms & History Forum' started by roguespy007, Dec 30, 2007.

  1. roguespy007

    roguespy007 New Member

    Dec 30, 2007
    Hello. I just joined the forum. My name is Keith. I'm in my late 30's and live in North Carolina. I did some hunting as a kid, but I didn't grow up in a family that had a lot of guns around. I'm trying to learn more now. I thought this forum looked pretty interesting. I'm also a big fan of history. I wanted to learn more about the history of guns. Right now I'm really interested in the 1960's. I had a few questions about the guns that would have been popular during the 60's Cold War era. I hope this is the best place to post such questions. If not, I apologize.

    What handguns by the mid-1960's could have been equipped with a silencer? I guess I'm curious as to what a secret agent could have used during this time period besides a Walther like James Bond. Specifically were there any models of Sig Sauer or Browning that could have been used with a silencer?

    What was the most popular handgun and machine gun used by the Soviets during this time period?

    What was the most popular handgun and machine gun that was used by those in NATO?

    Thanks so much. I look forward to your feedback. Take care. Happy New Year. Keith
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2007
  2. remguage

    remguage New Member

    Sep 24, 2006

  3. Welcome to TFF, rogue! Glad to have you with us. :)

    The 1960s were really a time of change in terms of military firearms, most especially for the U.S.

    In the 1960s, the standard military issue pistol for the Soviets was the The Makarov PM 9x18 caliber (Pistolet Makarova) though the older TT-30 (7.62 mm Samozarjadnyj Pistolet Tokareva obrazca 1933 goda) was still in use to some extent as well. The Makarov remained in use until 2003 when it was replaced by the Yarygin PYa. As for machine guns, the Soviets relied on the RPK light machine gun primarily.

    In the 1960s the U.S. switched from the M-14 (7.62 NATO) to the M-16 in 5.56 NATO caliber for its general issue rifle. As for handguns, the U.S. still issued the venerable 1911 Colt in .45 ACP caliber. Other NATO nations, however, used various pistols in 9mm para bellum caliber. As for machine guns, the most commonly used by the U.S. was the M-60 (7.62x51) and, of course, the venerable M-2 .50 caliber machine gun.
  4. bunnyhunter12

    bunnyhunter12 New Member

    Welcome Keith,

    for referrence to handgun issues I like The Handgun by Geoffry Boothroyd(I think that's the correct spelling). The book is a bit dated now, but for dealings in the 1960's all the info should be pretty well spot on.

    That or you could just keep asking questions around here. :D

    A lot of the guys around here can tell you pretty well anything relating to military history because they lived it (not me). Berto, Al and many others are Vietnam vets and Pistolenschutze was actually a private in the good ole war of 1812 :D . I mention it because for the benefit of the (ahem) chronologically advanced members, you might try a larger font size, bi-focals can only do so much.................... :D:D:D

    --------- running for the door------------ (luckily Pistol has to find his glasses before hitting a running target)
  5. BillP

    BillP New Member

    Handguns with silencers

    Keith, you found the place to ask questions like that. I like to think I know about guns but in this thread I have to bow to some real experts. However in the spirit of things I will comment on your silencer question. As you probably know most any handgun can be equipped with a surpriser. Revolvers because of the air gap are not a good choice. Semi-automatic pistols often have to be cycled by hand and some have been altered to lock the action closed for max quiet. Small bore guns are by their nature easier to suppress and sub-sonic rounds will not have the obvious problem of sonic crack.

    The US military seams to have decided that purpose built guns are the way to go for silenced weapons and I would like to hear from one of our experts on what has been tried and why. One gun that got some use on "black" ops. was a Ruger .22 built with a barrel that had an integral suppressor. My understanding is that Ruger admits to building them but won't say who bought them or how many were made. The US Army & CIA frequently deny any specific use by them, but too many grunts have seen them carried on ops. to make the denials creditable.

    Lets hope that someone can flesh out my admittedly sketchy information.
  6. Millwright

    Millwright Well-Known Member

    Jun 30, 2005
    Welcome Rogue !!!

    You picked a 'tough' era in many ways, but also, a historically and (sometimes hysterically) interesting one. (Commiting the USG to bulk purchase of a gun 'demonstrated' by shooting watermelons at a barbecue is just one example.)

    Lots of people here with far more in depth knowledge of the arms in service and being introduced than I have, so I'm sure you'll get some interesting - and perhaps historically correct - information. I'll just stick to some USG highlights that stick in what passes for my mind......

    Circa 1955 NATO sought to 'standardize' its rifle/light MG round. The Brits proposal of something akin to the current 6.5 MM was nixed in favor of the .308 - basically a truncated .30/06 with better powder. The USG M-14 in .308 - although a very good weapon - wasn't 'measuring up' to changing tactical demands. ( It was basically uncontrollable in full auto.) The 'heavy weapon' was the M-2 JMB .50 caliber. Troops on recon and as "advisors" toted the M-1/M-2 carbine -essentially a pistol-weight round. Lots of M-4 'grease guns' were still seeing service - because they existed and were 'convertible' to 9 MM......

    The pistol of "choice" remained the 1911 Browning in .45 ACP - although our allies used the superb JMB 9MM. The USG looked at - and bought into - a .224 cal. rifle round-that lasted 40 years in succeeding iterations of M-16, M-4/A2, etc, but kept "Ma Deuce" ....

    Today's troops still tote that M-16 derivative, some M-14's, and a host of other 'gadget guns'......but those at the 'pointy end' still rely upon the .45 ACP and "Ma Deuce"........ >MW
  7. Bunny, I suppose you know, this means war. :D;):p Besides, it's Marlin who is a veteran of the War of 1812; my own military experience began with the Civil War, on the Confederate side of course. :D I heard a rumor though, that Berto and Al did BIT in 1917, just before going "Over There." ;)
  8. roguespy007

    roguespy007 New Member

    Dec 30, 2007
    Hello everybody. Thanks for all the great response. I really appreciate it. You've given me some wonderful information and insights. There's quite a lot of great stuff here for me to do some research on now. I think this time in American history is so fascinating. I enjoy reading a lot about the Cold War, especially during the 1960's. Plus I enjoy spy novels set in that decade, both those written now and books actually written back then. I definitely want to look up the different weapons that were mentioned here. I can't wait.

    Seeking your opinion on something. Curious to see what you guys say. If you were a secret agent in let's say 1965, working for some sort of Western intelligence service (CIA, something with NATO, etc.), you had to have a gun that could be concealed in your suit or tux, and that could be equipped with a sound suppressor if you needed to do that for a mission, what would be your weapon of choice? A gun that you could use with or without a silencer to carry out whatever your objectives in the field. It was be neat to see what you pick.

    Thanks again for all your helpful advice. It does seem like there were some big changes in the weapons selected by various military and intelligence services during this era. Take care. Happy New Year. Keith

    P.S. I saw that book mentioned The Handgun. I did look it up. Any other books that were released then or now on weapons used in the 60's?
  9. Most of that 007 spy stuff was crapola, Rogue. The intelligence services on both sides were interested only in gathering information on the opposition, not in shooting people. Most did not even carry weapons while in the field. When discovered, spies were usually just arrested and later exchanged for captured members of one's own spy network. Ian Flemming's James Bond makes for nice novels and movies, but it is not really true to life.
  10. roguespy007

    roguespy007 New Member

    Dec 30, 2007
    Point well taken. I even saw where MI6 is trying to hire new agents. They said they don't want people to think that they will be like James Bond or anything from the movies. That it's not much like that.

    But I guess my thing is let's say it was like that, if being a spy in the 60's would have been like something out of a Bond film or one of the other spy movies of that era, what would have been your weapon of choice in my question.
  11. A stolen .22 LR revolver that would be sunk a few minutes after use.

    Otherwise Pistol said it all.
  12. islenos

    islenos New Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    West Texas
    Don't forget about the USAF pilots and their .38 revolvers :D
  13. roguespy007

    roguespy007 New Member

    Dec 30, 2007
    That's true. Thanks.
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