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Thread: M1/M2 Carbines in Ken Burns "Vietnam" on PBS

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    Really Senior Member imarangemaster's Avatar
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    M1/M2 Carbines in Ken Burns "Vietnam" on PBS

    I have been watching Ken Burns extravaganza on Vietnam. It is interesting that the second most common US firearm, after the AR15 platform, used by us and the ARVN is the M1/M2 Carbine. Until around 1965, or so, the Carbine was the most common.

    I knew a guy that was a MACV Advisor in the early 60s, and he used an M2, even though he could have an AR15 (Model 601 or 602 - the incarnations prior to type classing the platform as M16icon and M16A1). He said everything they did was close up and personal (generally 50 yards or less), and the .30 Carbine round was very good at permanently reforming communist insurgents. He also said it was more reliable than the AR15 platform in the jungle. That agrees with what my dad said about his carbine on Iwo Jima - very reliable, in more ways than one.

    As a side note, the series is fairly well done and objective, and shows little or no evidence of Burns' left leaning tendencies. No examples of the revisionist history that is so common now days - probably because so much primary source research. There was lots of primary source stuff, including presidential tape recordings of Kennedy, LBJ, and Nixon. It very closely mirrors my recollections of growing up in those times, though I did not go into the Army until 1974 at age 22.

    Last edited by imarangemaster; 10-11-2017 at 11:05 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by imarangemaster View Post
    I did not go into the Army until 1974 at age 22.
    I did the same except I was 17...

    I see you have a rubber handled M4. Those were in high demand a few years back, bringing high prices. I found a source here and sold a few that I bought at $10CDN each. They ranged from as new to complete junk, had come from somewhere in the Pacific I think.
    Regards, Jim

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    Really Senior Member imarangemaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by browningautorifleicon View Post
    I did the same except I was 17...

    I see you have a rubber handled M4. Those were in high demand a few years back, bringing high prices. I found a source here and sold a few that I bought at $10CDN each. They ranged from as new to complete junk, had come from somewhere in the Pacific I think.
    I was told it was Korean. Blade and hilt identical to US made M4 bayonet. The scabbard it came in was garbage, though so I replaced it.

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    I thought they were a rebuild program from somewhere tropical...the ones I saw were all US manufacture and some hard to find. The only difference was they had this handle cast onto them...probably old goodyear tires melted down...the sidewalls at least. The ones I saw had no scabbards and were in a wooden crate.
    Regards, Jim

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    Tjis one had the rubber cast on, also. I had to trim the flashing with a razor. I don't think it has any markings, so I don't think it is a US made one. I'll have to double check, though. Its been awhile.

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    Back in the '80's my older son was planning to join the US Army upon high school graduation, so he had a recruiting poster on his bedroom wall. It showed a group exiting a Huey into a hot LZ. The fun, at least to me, was that if you looked carefully the one in the back was carrying an M1 Carbine, not an M16icon. I suspect he was the smart one.
    By the way he did join the army and did two tours in Panama as an MP after the fall of Noriega.
    Ed reluctantly no longer in the Bitterroot

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    Really Senior Member imarangemaster's Avatar
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    I know I have said this before (many times, LOL) but I carried a USGI M1icon Carbine for years as an LEO trunk weapon. I easily qualified with it on our 100 yard course, and I never had a malfunction. The caveat is that I ONLY used USGI 15s and 30s, with new springs, and always made sure i had a recoil spring that was at least 10 1/8" long. I had the utmost confidence in it, especially after I took a 180-200 lb. Blacktail deer with it in 1988, at 97 paces with a single broadside heart/lung shot. I was using R-P 110 JSPs. Heck of an exit wound!

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    Quote Originally Posted by imarangemaster View Post
    As a side note, the series is fairly well done and objective, and shows little or no evidence of Burns' left leaning tendencies. No examples of the revisionist history that is so common now days - probably because so much primary source research. There was lots of primary source stuff, including presidential tape recordings of Kennedy, LBJ, and Nixon. It very closely mirrors my recollections of growing up in those times, though I did not go into the Army until 1974 at age 22.
    Thanks for the positive review. I have been trying to find an antenna that will allow me to pick up my local PBS station so I could watch the series.

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    Really Senior Member imarangemaster's Avatar
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    It is available for streaming online at PBS website.




    01: DéjÃ* Vu (1858-1961) | The Vietnam War | Broadcast Version | PBS

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