Jump to content


Photo

Stevens 77a in Vietnam


  • Please log in to reply
11 replies to this topic

#1 JohnnieDavis

JohnnieDavis
  • Members
    • Member ID: 3,039
  • 84 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:USA

Posted 12 October 2008 - 02:23 PM

Hey all, I was wondering if the 77a was used in Vietnam. I heard that rumor, just checking if it was true or not.

thanks

JD

#2 El Bibliotecario

El Bibliotecario
  • Members
    • Member ID: 2,215
  • 903 posts
  • Location:SW

Posted 12 October 2008 - 04:07 PM

According to Bruce Canfield's A COLLECTOR'S GUIDE TO UNITED STATES COMBAT SHOTGUNS the Stevens 77E was 'the most widely issued US military shotgun of the conflict and is rarely seen on the market today." (page 151) Canfield continues to say that not many of these weapons returned from Vietnam.

Thomas Swearingen in THE WORLD'S FIGHTING SHOTGUNS says contract specs for these weapons included a relatively short butt for use by Asiatics. (page 284)

This next is from memory, and subject to correction, but I recall reading an eyewitness report of someone seeing a heap of these shotguns rusting away in a warehouse, allegedly because the RVN government was more afraid of arming their citizenry than they were of the enemy. If true, this might explain why so few came back to the US. Again, that's unverified.

#3 45B20

45B20
  • Members
    • Member ID: 3,506
  • 127 posts

Posted 14 October 2008 - 02:57 AM

During 1967 & 68 I was a Small Arms Repairman in Viet Nam, and the military Stevens Model 77E was the most common shotgun we worked on. Its’ great failing was the attachment of the Stock to the Trigger Guard, which was made of a non-steel alloy (aluminum I suppose) was easily broken, and this Trigger Guard was not available as a repair part (at that time). Interestingly the military 77E had more parts in common with the Savage Model 30 than it did with the civilian version of the Stevens 77E.

I had a conversation with a civilian member to the Army Material Command concerning maintenance of US military shotguns; part of this covered the 77E. They were very unhappy that the Stevens 77E was being issued to US troops. It was felt that this shotgun was just not robust enough for combat use.

If I remember correctly, I read on another forum (one of the Enfield forums) that some NVA captured US Military Stevens Model 77Es were imported into Australia and Canada. The comment was also made of what poor condition they were in.

45B20

#4 mrhell

mrhell
  • Members
    • Member ID: 3,414
  • 627 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Midwest

Posted 22 October 2008 - 08:07 AM

During 1967 & 68 I was a Small Arms Repairman in Viet Nam, and the military Stevens Model 77E was the most common shotgun we worked on. Its’ great failing was the attachment of the Stock to the Trigger Guard, which was made of a non-steel alloy (aluminum I suppose) was easily broken, and this Trigger Guard was not available as a repair part (at that time). Interestingly the military 77E had more parts in common with the Savage Model 30 than it did with the civilian version of the Stevens 77E.

I had a conversation with a civilian member to the Army Material Command concerning maintenance of US military shotguns; part of this covered the 77E. They were very unhappy that the Stevens 77E was being issued to US troops. It was felt that this shotgun was just not robust enough for combat use.

If I remember correctly, I read on another forum (one of the Enfield forums) that some NVA captured US Military Stevens Model 77Es were imported into Australia and Canada. The comment was also made of what poor condition they were in.

45B20


45B20 -

I was curious if you ever encountered any Stevens 520 or 620 shotguns during the Vietnam war?

#5 45B20

45B20
  • Members
    • Member ID: 3,506
  • 127 posts

Posted 22 October 2008 - 11:59 AM

mrhell

Yes, at one time or another, I inspected almost all the US Military shotguns in use at the time, including the Win 97. The exceptions would be the Win 1200 and the Rem 11/ Savage 720, there is nothing in my log book nor do I remember even seeing any. My log book indicates I worked on a few 520s, but again the 77E made up the vast majority of our shotgun works. The ‘road’ MPs appeared to have most of the 520s and 620s. From my notes it appears that I thought the 520 was the better of the two. The Ithaca 37 was the best shotgun of that time.

The one “manual” we had for the 77E limited the number of parts that could be ordered and even then, they were slow in coming. A few parts (mostly magazine) from the 520 would work on the 77E.

45B20

#6 mrhell

mrhell
  • Members
    • Member ID: 3,414
  • 627 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Midwest

Posted 22 October 2008 - 12:22 PM

Thank you for the reply. The reason I asked is because I bought a couple of Stevens trench guns from a guy that claimed he used one of them in Vietnam as a green beret. Based on the long conversation we had throughout an afternoon, I am convinced he was indeed in a special forces group, but as far as using it in 'Nam, I decided to just buy the guns and not the stories. After the deal was done however, he asked me to take some pictures of the shotgun he said he used in 'Nam, so I kind of believed what he said.

So, I appreciate hearing that a WWII era shotgun was used in that war. Thank you again. http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/thumbsup.gif

#7 45B20

45B20
  • Members
    • Member ID: 3,506
  • 127 posts

Posted 22 October 2008 - 05:34 PM

The few Win. 97s that I saw were all at SF A camps. If I remember correctly the CIDG’s weapons were actually under the control/ownership of the Vietnamese Army. Their paperwork control was rather lax to say the least, so your seller could have taken the shotgun. Getting the shotgun out of the country is another question. Sending weapons home without paper work prior to mid 1968 could be done, but after mid 68 it became very difficult for most GIs.

45B20

#8 NobleLoyalGSD

NobleLoyalGSD
  • Members
    • Member ID: 1,759
  • 353 posts

Posted 22 October 2008 - 08:29 PM

I happen to have the copy of the American Rifleman magazine from March of 2002 with the article (by Bruce Canfield) titled "Combat Shotguns of the Vietnam War".

It mentions that while many surplus military shotguns were sold on the civilian market after WWII, the Winchester Model 12 and Stevens M520-30 and M620A trench guns were the only combat shotguns that remained classified as "Standard".

As US involvement in Vietnam grew, many of these shotguns were refurbished "as necessary" and used for Vietnam service. Later Canfield notes that the most common of these refurbished WWII guns were the Model 12 and M520-30 trench guns. (The most common combat shotgun used in Vietnam was the Stevens M77E followed by the Ithaca model 37 riot).

Photo is from the American Rifleman article. Shows a trooper of the 173rd Airborne Bd holding a Stevens Model 520-30 trench gun.

~Jeff

Attached Images

  • stevens_520_30.JPG


#9 mrhell

mrhell
  • Members
    • Member ID: 3,414
  • 627 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Midwest

Posted 23 October 2008 - 03:48 AM

Hey that's great Jeff, thanks for posting. It looks like to me that the pictured shotgun does not have a heat shield....interesting. I really need to get Canfield's trench shotgun book to learn more about these. Mine has been modified to allow for slam firing; yet another question I've always wondered about is if this was a common mod for military shotguns.

#10 El Bibliotecario

El Bibliotecario
  • Members
    • Member ID: 2,215
  • 903 posts
  • Location:SW

Posted 29 October 2008 - 07:30 AM

Here's another Stevens 520 sighting for you--one night in 1972 I had one pointed at me by a zealous Korean security guard on a US compound in Korea. After he'd satisfied himself that I was a roundeye, I noticed his weapon, which appeared to have no finish left whatsoever.

Apparently a number of Stevens 520 riot guns were surplussed off; I recall seeing repeated ads for them in the early '60s, during the mail order gun sales era. In the early '80s, for a time the Stevens 620 riot gun could be found at gunshows. I've no idea where these came from.

#11 jjdevi1

jjdevi1
  • Inactive
    • Member ID: 857
  • 1,178 posts

Posted 30 October 2008 - 03:43 AM

Yep. they were used in Vietnam, they came in really handy clearing bunkers. As stated above, the Stevens had parts break in them, there are some alumium or alloy parts (not sure which) in them. A lot of the larger bunkers had a zig-zag WW1 type of trench system associated with them. When clearing, we'd use the shotgun combined with grenades and .45's. The shotgun was pretty handy!

John

#12 usoverlord

usoverlord
  • Members
    • Member ID: 105,153
  • 69 posts

Posted 07 December 2018 - 09:12 AM

Top
WW2 Winchester model 97 Riotgun
Middle
WW1 Remington model 10 riotgun
Bottom
Viet Nam 1963 Stevens model 77E
resized_IMG_20181204_085430.jpg


3 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 3 guests, 0 anonymous users