5.56 Timeline

History Of ERDL Uniform

I ran across this youtube channel Saturday. It has some in depth and very well researched videos on the history of military uniforms and camo patterns in the US and other countries.

The video above covers the history of ERDL camo, most famously used during the Vietnam war. I have collected ERDL ( say it as ERDUL) uniforms for many years. It’s not easy to get since it was not as widely issued as the OD jungle uniform. Below is one of my sets made in 1973. This set was never issued and worn. The ERDL patter was not used for many years and eventually was used to develop the Woodland pattern.

Viet Cong Grenade “Bring Backs”

Another little bit of Vietnam war history. The grenades pictured above have an interesting story. The pictures where posted by a vet who brought them back home.

He recovered the grenades after taking them off a communist who didn’t need them anymore in the Delta region of South Vietnam. The grenades are “jungle work shop” grenades and he explained that the bodies are made from lead. He had them de-milled by the unit experts and rendered safe. He some how was able to bring them back home with him as souvenirs. He mentioned the had run up against these in combat before and they were ,luckily for the GIs, not very deadly.

The owner of the VC frags mentioned donating them to a museum. That would be a great place for them to end up. Makes you wonder how much more of this stuff is out there brought back from VN .

Below is another Viet Cong jungle workshop grenade. This one was made using a discarded 20 round mag from an M16 and the fuse from a smoke grenade most likely. This was used for a booby trap if I recall correctly.

Wyatt Earp’s ‘Vendetta Ride’ shotgun

The shotgun Wyatt Earp used in one of the West’s most famous shootouts is up for auction.

On March 24 the posse came across the cowboy camp in the Whetstone Mountains west of Tombstone, where they encountered nine suspects in Morgan Earp’s murder.

Amongst them was ‘Curly Bill’ Brocius, known as “Arizona’s most famous outlaw”, who was also wanted for robbing two Tombstone stagecoaches just two months earlier.

Brocius fired at Earp with his own shotgun and missed, but when the lawman returned fire his aim was true, and the outlaw was almost cut in two by a round of buckshot to the stomach.

Earp had borrowed the shotgun from his friend Fred Dodge, an undercover Wells Fargo agent sent to Tombstone to investigate stage coach robberies for the company.

After the shoot-out he returned the weapon to Dodge, who continued to use it throughout his 40-year career with the company before retiring in 1917

The double barrel Stevens is being sold by Heritage Auctions if you are rich enough to make a bid.

The Weird Vietnam War AK/M16 Hybrid Magazine

There are several pictures that can be found of this oddity used in the Vietnam war. It is an Ak mag welded or attached some how to a USGI 20 round M16 magazine. This resulted in a weird hybrid that may or may not have worked reliably. It seems the vast majority of these oddballs are seen in pictured being used by ARVN troopers. Most people tend to agree they were a local made thing. No one really has any idea or facts on these mags that I have been able to find trustworthy. Post war some company or other made some a little but more refined here in the US with reports of their quality being hit or miss.

Finding out about these has been something I have revisited on and off for 2 decades. I have seen photos online and in a couple of books but still have nothing I would offer up as solid facts on them.

Vietnam Door Gunner Techniques

One of the Vietnam vet groups I belong to on FB shared these pictures. I learned something I didn’t know tonight. The door gunner said he would often do this to avoid the risk of empty cases flying into the tail rotor. I had never heard of this or heard of this before.

As you can see the door gunner has his M60 upside down to “aim” the ejected brass and links away from the direction of the tail rotor when leaning out to fire at targets at certain angles.

I’m not sure if this had the added benefit of making it easier on the gun to cycle the belt or harder. Hopefully Kirk will offer some insight on this.