The M1 Carbine (formally the United States Carbine, Caliber .30, M1) is a lightweight, easy to use semi-automatic carbine that became a standard firearm for the U.S. Military during World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War, and was produced in several variants. It was widely used by U.S. and foreign military, paramilitary and police forces, and has also been a popular civilian firearm. In selective fire versions capable of fully automatic fire, the carbine is designated the M2 carbine. The M3 carbine was an M2 with an active infrared scope system. Unlike conventional carbines, which are generally a version of a parent rifle with a shorter barrel (like the earlier .30-40 U.S. Krag rifle and carbine and the later M16 rifle and M4 carbine), the M1 carbine has only one part in common with the M1 rifle (a short butt plate screw) and fires a different cartridge.
The M1 Garand (officially designated a United States Rifle, Caliber .30, M1 and later simply Rifle, Caliber .30, M1, and also abbreviated as US Rifle, Cal. .30, M1), was the first semi-automatic rifle to be generally issued to the infantry of any nation. Called "the greatest battle implement ever devised" by General George S. Patton, the Garand officially replaced the bolt-action M1903 Springfield as the standard service rifle of the United States Armed Forces in 1936 and was subsequently replaced by the selective fireM14 in 1957. However, the M1 continued to be used in large numbers until 1963 and to a lesser degree until 1966. The M1 "is an air-cooled, gas-operated, clip-fed, and semiautomatic shoulder weapon. This means that the air cools the barrel; that the power to cock the rifle and chamber the succeeding round comes from the expanding gas of the round fired previously; that it is loaded by inserting a metal clip (containing a maximum of eight rounds) into the receiver; and that the rifle fires one round each time the trigger is pulled . After the eight rounds have been shot the clip automatically ejects causing a "ping" noise to occur. The M1 was used extensively by U.S. forces in World War II, the Korean War, and, to a limited extent, the Vietnam War. Most M1 rifles were issued to Army and Marine troops, though many thousands were also lent or provided as foreign aid to America's allies. The Garand is still used by drill teams and military honor guards. It is also widely sought by the civilian population as a hunting rifle, target rifle, and military collectible. The name "Garand" is pronounced variously as/ɡəˈrænd/or/ˈɡærənd/. According to experts and people who knew John Garand, the weapon's designer, the latter version is preferred. It is available for American civilian ownership through the Civilian Marksmanship Program.
M14 Rifle( formally the United States Rifle, 7.62 mm, M14) is an American selective fire automatic rifle firing 7.62x51mm NATO (.308 Winchester) ammunition. It was the standard issue U.S. rifle from 1959 to 1970. The M14 was used for U.S. Army and Marine Corps basic and advanced individual training, and was the standard issue infantry rifle in CONUS, Europe, and South Korea, until replaced by the M16 rifle in 1970. The M14 remains in limited front line service with the United States Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard, and is also used as a ceremonial weapon. It was the last American "battle rifle" (a term applied to weapons firing full-power rifle ammunition) issued in quantity to U.S. troops. The M14 also provides the basis for the M21 and M25 sniper rifles.
The M16 (officially Rifle, Caliber 5.56 mm, M16) is the United States military designation for the AR-15 rifle adapted for semi-automatic, three-round burst and full-automatic fire. Colt purchased the rights to the AR-15 from ArmaLite, and currently uses that designation only for semi-automatic versions of the rifle. The M16 fires the 5.56×45mm NATO cartridge. The rifle entered United States Army service and was deployed for jungle warfare operations in South Vietnam in 1963, becoming the U.S. military's standard service rifle of the Vietnam War by 1969, replacing the M14 rifle in that role. The U.S. Army retained the M14 in CONUS, Europe, and South Korea until 1970. Since the Vietnam War, the M16 rifle family has been the primary service rifle of the U.S. armed forces.
I believe the shotgun is:
The Winchester Model 1897, also known as the Model 97, M97, or Trench Gun, was a pump-action shotgun with an external hammer and tube magazine manufactured by the Winchester Repeating Arms Company. The Model 1897 was an evolution of the Winchester Model 1893 designed by John Browning. From 1897 until 1957, over one million of these shotguns were produced. The Model 1897 was offered in numerous barrel lengths and grades, chambered in 12 and 16 gauge, and as a solid frame or take down. The 16-gauge guns had a standard barrel length of 28 inches, while 12-gauge guns were furnished with 30-inch length barrels. Special length barrels could be ordered in lengths as short as 20 inches, and as long as 36 inches. Since the time the Model 1897 was first manufactured it has been used by American soldiers, police departments, and hunters.
The M79 Grenade Launcher is a single-shot, shoulder-fired, break-action grenade launcher that fires a 40x46mm grenade which uses what the US Army calls the High-Low Propulsion System to keep recoil forces low, and first appeared during the Vietnam War. Because of its distinctive report, it has earned the nicknames of "Thumper", "Thump-Gun", "Bloop Tube", and "Blooper" among American soldiers; Australian units referred to it as the "Wombat Gun". The M79 can fire a wide variety of 40 mm rounds, including explosive, anti-personnel, smoke, buckshot, flechette, and illumination. While largely replaced by the M203, the M79 has remained in service in many units worldwide in niche roles. Taken at Arizona Military Museum [link] Phoenix, Arizona.
The History Channel had a few good documentaries on the M16. After the design and supply flaws were fixed it is a fine firearm. If I remember correctly, the first production runs did not have a nickled chamber making them prone to rusting shut in the humidity of Vietnam. The supple flaw was the first 5.56 rounds for the M16 used ball power, and again the humidity would cause the powder to swell, which affected the shell casing, which then jammed. Once the rounds were switch to stick powder the chain reaction was stopped.
The array firearm used during Vietnam and now Iraq is just crazy. A friend of mine found a LeMat revolver in a weapons cache. It was sad, it was melt it down, or let it be butchered beyond even just a show piece to get it home.
It was worn, would have never wanted to fire it again. It had been pack with modern smokeless power out of modern rounds, it does a number on older firearm when you don't use the proper powder. Hopefully there will be more finds as he found a way he might be able to bring prize and rare pieces back without the item having to be demiled. We will see what will be. I will give him you condolences, it is really sad to collectors and enthusiasts.
Did he use it throughout the whole of the war, by any chance? I've heard that soldiers with M16s would dump it the first chance they got and pick up a nearby AK, or perhaps a dead guy's M14. I've even heard stories about soldiers grabbing M2 Carbines because the first M16s were so unreliable.
My dad didn't talk about it much except for seeing a lot of the world while sailing. I don't think he saw any ground combat and the rifle photo may have been from basics. I'll try to put the photo in my gallery.