Saturday, May 23, 2009

Interesting Viet Cong Propaganda Photo & a 21st Century American Irony

Looking for something Absolved related this morning and found this propaganda photo of VC fighters. Some interesting things that strike my eye.

** The rifle grenade on the end of the Moisin-Nagant appears to be a US M9. This means that the grenade launcher has an external diameter of 22mm -- NATO standard. Improvisation? Or am I wrong about the grenade? If anybody has experience with M-N grenade launchers, please contact me.

** Can't quite identify the belt and pouch with which the grenadier is carrying his ordnance. I've seen, handled and collected a lot of Combloc pouches over the past two decades. This one is new to me.

The Irony

There is a neighborhood defense militia not far from me here in Alabama that I recently met. They are armed with the same mix of weapons: Noisin-Nagants, semi-auto AKs, Chicom and Yugoslav 59-66 SKSs (the latter because, not being able to afford NODs, they intend using carefully hoarded Korean-War vintage parachute flares and star clusters for illumination at night).

They have adopted these quite simply because they had them, and they had them (some since before the AWB in the 90s) because they were cheap. They also use the AK and SKS web gear shown in the photo, albeit modified for American-sized bodies.

They are sitting on ammo stocks of 7.62x39 and 7.62x54R sufficient to their needs for a small war, again, because they bought it when it was cheap.

Funny thing. They, like the VC, also wear boonie hats, although in OG. (There is a manufacturer here in Alabama, Ladiga Sportswear, that still manufactures OG-107 pattern fatigues and hats, just as they did during the Vietnam War.) They do NOT wear black pajamas, thank the Lord.

Ironic, isn't it? Communist bloc weapons and webgear, used in 21st Century America against the threat of collectivist tyranny from our own government.


drjim said...

Hey, whatever works!
As a wise man once said: "Necessity sure can be a mother"!

Mattexian said...

I find it more ironic that we have a founding document that nearly requires every citizen to be armed (with the 2A), and yet, our gubmint doesn't trust us with our own surplus arms (starting with the M-14), so we must procure our own arms (civilian-legal, semi-auto only!) from former ComBloc countries. Furtheromre, most domestic-produced, militia-grade guns are incredibly expensive ($1K for an AR-15 or M1A), driving us to need the ComBloc guns more.

The grenade pouch looks like the same-old ChiCom one for sale now in our surplus stores, to my inexperienced eyes. I've considered using the VC as a rough "model" for any militia activities; certainly along the Gulf Coast it's humid enough most of the year to be similar in climate to VN. Also, since the Viet Mihn (and later the VC) were operating in essentially "Enemy territory" without a standard military supply chain, they had to be craftier in getting their supplies and weapons. We can at least legally stock up on our gear, even if it might face growing restrictions by new laws and supply-and-demand.

Transsylvania Phoenix said...

Weird. A Mosin carbine with a grenade launcher. Never seen or even heard of such thing.

Transsylvania Phoenix said...

Apparently, there was one developed by the Russkies, named Diakonov grenade launcher. See:
It was a worthless piece for junk and they abandoned it in 1942.

pdxr13 said...

The SKS in Yugo trim is a well-made weapon. I added a spring-return firing pin (ends slam-fire and unintentional FA) and a set of peep sights to mine.

Like any rifle, the SKS benefits from being very clean, lightly lubed with modern oil, and having a hand-load developed to maximize accuracy. A clean and adjusted gas-block makes a difference!

7.62x39mm is a little on the weak side compared to the 54R/.30-'06/.308Win, but accurate fire is more important than a bigger boom.

Not that the older larger man has the M44 Mosin-Nagant rifle (I would have picked the MN91/30 for less recoil/less flash and a few more fps). 54R shooters ought to weigh 130 pounds, at least.

For academic purposes only, would you rather have 12 men carrying M91/30's and M44's (150 rounds each) or a single troop carrying a semi-auto FAL with 250 rounds (in magazines)? Price for rifles was about the same (in summer 2007).

I'm going with the low-buck bolt-action home-accurized stealth squad.


Old NFO said...

And a sad irony at that... sigh...

CorbinKale said...

Ironic, yes. My gut tells me we will see much stranger things. Swords and spears may become fashionable, pun intended. :)

Frederick H Watkins said...

Whatever price you pay for your rifle, as regards to your liberty, it'll never cost what it's really worth.

Brock Townsend said...

After TET '68 there weren't many VC left, though by '75 they had built up their ranks somewhat, though the NVA were by far the main force, and the VC were mainly for show, as they found out when the North Vietnamese excluded them from any important government posts afterwards.

" After TET '68, I could drive from Tu Duc six days a week almost to the Cambodian border leaving at five in the morning when it was dark with never a problem. The few Viet Cong left resorted to stealing chickens at night which quite often left them dead by the side of the road in the mornings. From then on the North Vietnamese main army had to shoulder the burden."

David Codrea said...

This reminds me of a little playtime exercise I did many years ago:

The MAK-90

(To the tune of “The Macarana”)

I own a gun for self-defense,
it’s semiautomatic.
The media’s afraid of it–
they call me a fanatic.

Don’t need guns?
Don’t buy it–
I remember the L.A. riot.

Politicians tell us gun control is the solution.
Ask ‘em if they ever heard about the Constitution.
What do they think people used to win the Revolution?

Hey, MAK-90!

When hurricanes hit Florida
all law and order vanished,
but lives and property were saved
when firearms were brandished.

Without guns
no one could
defend their lives or their neighborhood.

If you try and take my guns I’ll really raise a stink-o,
if you want to you must be a moron or a pinko.
Funny how we have to buy our freedom from NORINCO.

Hey, MAK-90!
And don't worry--I won't quit my day job.

ParaPacem said...

David could have a hit and enrich the coffers of the 'non-movement' with a good video to go with the words.
As for rating it - it has a good beat, the words are great and you can dance to it - I'll give it a three per cent.

Anonymous said...

Mike, that looks like a Chicom Carbine due to the fixed bayonet(or does my old eyes play tricks). I'm not familiar with the grenade launcher.

Ol' Vet

Mattexian said...

Anony, if'n that's a M-44 M-N carbine, then it could have the side-mounted spike bayo. (We seem to have a lot of the M-44 and M-91/30 as cheap ComBloc surplus guns right now. As a beat-it-to-hell&back gun one would be great to stash away, but I don't want one that'll beat me back with a solid kick in the shoulder with every trigger pull!)

Anonymous said...

Gotta remember the times. The Chicoms were providing most of the weapons to the Viet Cong, while the NVA were getting weaponry from Soviet Union. Why would a Viet Cong carry a MN (762X54R) while all the other weapons they used (AK47, SKS) used 7.62X39. They had logistic problems just gettin' support. I don't think it's a Mosin Nagant rifle....length of that weapon is one consideration....the Chicom Carbine was shorter than the MN too.
Just a couple of thoughts for consideration.

Ol' Vet