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Vietnamese Guns for Algeria

Vietnamese soldier in French service working on his MAT-49 SMG.

Vietnamese soldier in French service working on his MAT-49 SMG.

I was pointed to this interesting snippet of a document about one particular shipment of arms to the Algerian rebels fighting French colonial occupation in the 1950s – from Vietnam. Can’t say I would have thought about the Vietnamese trying export supply military aid […]

Vietnamese Crude 1911 Copy


This is an example of a craft-made pistol captured in Vietnam and brought back to the US. While many Vietnamese fighters were supplied with good-quality weapons from other nations (primarily Chinese-made AK and SKS rifles), weapons are virtually never in sufficient supply for guerrilla-type forces and that forces improvisation. In this case, some Vietnamese […]

Viet Cong Handmade Luger Lookalike

Vietnamese Luger lookalike

In the continuing occasional series on crude handmade firearms, we have an entry sent to me by a reader on Facebook (thanks!). It’s a Vietnamese Luger lookalike, which was being sold by Arundel Militaria in the UK (and no, I didn’t buy it – it was already sold when I first saw it).

This […]

A Rifle of Many Travels

I was visiting a friend recently (James, who runs Tombstone Territorial Firearms, which you should definitely visit if you are ever in Tombstone – it’s a remarkably well-stocked shop), and he had pulled out a particular beat-up old rifle that he though I would find interesting. I definitely did – and grabbed some photos to […]

Jim Sullivan on the M16 in Vietnam

When I have the chance to interview Jim Sullivan, one of the original designers of the AR15, one of the subjects that came up (not surprisingly) was the record of failures of the M16 early in Vietnam. What was the cause of those problems? The full story includes several compounding issues, including a lack of […]

Vietnam’s Overburdened M16

by Tom Laemlein

I’ve been working with Dale Dye of Warriors Inc. to put together a photo study on the infantry weapons of the Vietnam War. The conflict in Vietnam is particularly interesting for students of small arms as all of Southeast Asia became both a proving grounds for the […]

Vintage Saturday: The Female of the Species

He looks like he’s out of his depth and terrified, while she looks downright mean. (photo courtesy of Max Popenker)

When Nag the basking cobra hears the careless foot of man, He will sometimes wriggle sideways and avoid it if he can. But his mate makes no such motion where she camps beside the […]

Viet Cong 1911 Copy

In recognition of Halloween, we have a pistol that would be genuinely frightening to shoot, straight from the jungle shops of the Vietnam War. Made out of desperation and a lack of factory-produced arms, a few of these guns came back to the US as war souvenirs. This pistol was modeled after a US 1911 […]