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  #1  
Old 09-20-2019, 06:44 PM
patterson patterson is offline
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M1911A1 smuggled home from Vietnam

I wonder how many M1911A1 45s were brought home in duffel bags?
Some grunts got caught and some weren't.
Tell me your story and I'll tell you mine! After all, the statute of limitations has long passed.
Perhaps your story could be about how and/or what your "friend" did to get his M1911A1 home.
It was 1966 when my "friend" simply went thru the US Customs line where only about 1/3rd of the duffel bags seemed to be actually searched. My "friend" was asked what was in his bag and he responded, "Mainly underwear and socks - - lots of socks."
My "friend" was looked in the eye, didn't blink, and was allowed to go thru.
I gather that changed dramatically after 1968.
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  #2  
Old 09-20-2019, 10:43 PM
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dsk dsk is offline
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I hate to be the one to say it, but there is no statue of limitations on stolen government property. If the US military wanted to reclaim a Civil War cannon that they were sure had been illegally wheeled off the battlefield in 1862 they can confiscate it. Having said that, the likelihood that anyone with a pilfered .45 needs to worry about a knock on their door is extremely remote. The US military kept very poor records during the wars and they simply don't know for sure what pistols were lost, stolen, destroyed, given away to other countries, or legally sold through DCM. Besides that, the 1911 is obsolete in today's military and they simply have better things to do than go running around trying to round up guns that they no longer have any use for.

However, with all that out of the way I'm not sure many people here are going to freely admit that they personally liberated a 1911 from Uncle Sam.
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Avoid the temptation to replace everything on your brand-new 1911 just to make it "better". Know what you're changing out and why. You may spend a lot of money fixing things that weren't broken to begin with. Shoot at least 500 rounds through it first, then decide what you don't like and want to improve. Regarding vintage 1911s, pre-1970 pistols are highly collectible in original, unaltered condition and should NEVER be refinished or modified as it completely ruins their monetary value.
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  #3  
Old 09-20-2019, 11:28 PM
USMM guy USMM guy is offline
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Stories are one thing.

Reality is another.
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  #4  
Old 09-21-2019, 03:44 AM
STORM2 STORM2 is offline
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You can turn in your US Property guns to Retired Military folks. We will look after them until Uncle Sam needs the guns and/or us. We will keep your sins secret and give you a genuine receipt, we are trained for and experienced at realignment of Government assets.
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  #5  
Old 09-21-2019, 08:22 AM
Ranger566 Ranger566 is offline
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Originally Posted by STORM2 View Post
You can turn in your US Property guns to Retired Military folks. We will look after them until Uncle Sam needs the guns and/or us. We will keep your sins secret and give you a genuine receipt, we are trained for and experienced at realignment of Government assets.
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  #6  
Old 09-21-2019, 08:59 AM
Chunker Chunker is online now
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As mentioned in another post stories and reality. I can tell you that during WWII it was not as common as some say. My dad told me that before he was sent home from the European Theatre in Mar 45 their sea bags were checked. German stuff was OK but not American arms. After all there was still a war going on and they needed weapons...
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  #7  
Old 09-21-2019, 02:44 PM
SW CQB 45 SW CQB 45 is online now
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in my office is a Kongsberg Colt marked 1942.

There is no ATF trace history and it was turned in to the dept as found property. There is no import stamps. IIRC, it was found in an apt closet (top shelf) with no previous apt owner information obtain.

It was destined to be cut up. I saved it and got it awarded to the dept.

Someone had messed with it as the original slide stop is gone, it sports hard/slick pacmyers, aluminum trigger and a decent trigger press for a 1942 manufacture.

while this is not US Govt property.... somebody brought it over. If you blow up the ejection side photo, 1942 is stamped on the slide, just forward of the grasping grooves.






Last edited by SW CQB 45; 09-21-2019 at 02:46 PM.
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  #8  
Old 09-21-2019, 03:30 PM
filson filson is online now
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Late 1969. Disassembled, components wrapped in aluminum foil. Taped inside a TEAC tape deck, speakers and Panasonic clock radio. Shipped stateside via the APO (Army Post Office).
Youthful stupidity offset by the luck of the draw

Last edited by filson; 09-21-2019 at 03:36 PM.
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  #9  
Old 09-21-2019, 07:46 PM
STORM2 STORM2 is offline
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Originally Posted by filson View Post
Late 1969. Disassembled, components wrapped in aluminum foil. Taped inside a TEAC tape deck, speakers and Panasonic clock radio Shipped stateside via the APO (Army Post Office).
Youthful stupidity offset by the luck of the draw
Well done. It was patriotic of you to share your hold baggage weight allowance to ensure US Property was not left behind for the enemy.
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  #10  
Old 09-21-2019, 08:27 PM
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And this is just another reason why nobody wants to share their stories.
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Avoid the temptation to replace everything on your brand-new 1911 just to make it "better". Know what you're changing out and why. You may spend a lot of money fixing things that weren't broken to begin with. Shoot at least 500 rounds through it first, then decide what you don't like and want to improve. Regarding vintage 1911s, pre-1970 pistols are highly collectible in original, unaltered condition and should NEVER be refinished or modified as it completely ruins their monetary value.
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  #11  
Old 09-21-2019, 08:40 PM
Sistema1927 Sistema1927 is offline
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I was disappointed that Dad didn't bring one back from Vietnam. I was 14 when he returned. The best item that he brought back was a ratty old poncho.
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  #12  
Old 09-21-2019, 10:23 PM
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Just be grateful that he managed to bring himself back. I used to wonder why GIs would risk getting into trouble bringing back their sidearm, until it dawned on me that many of them felt Uncle Sam owed them something for what they were put through.
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Avoid the temptation to replace everything on your brand-new 1911 just to make it "better". Know what you're changing out and why. You may spend a lot of money fixing things that weren't broken to begin with. Shoot at least 500 rounds through it first, then decide what you don't like and want to improve. Regarding vintage 1911s, pre-1970 pistols are highly collectible in original, unaltered condition and should NEVER be refinished or modified as it completely ruins their monetary value.
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  #13  
Old 09-21-2019, 11:54 PM
3rdRRU_PhuBai 3rdRRU_PhuBai is offline
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I carried a Browning .25ACP and ammo to VN in my duffel bag. While there I swapped it for a Thompson. Approaching DEROS and separation I thought about taking the Thompson home but decided I'd rather be sure of getting home and out of the USArmy. I forgot how I got rid of the Thompson but it remained behind. This was '62-'63, before it was a war.
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  #14  
Old 09-22-2019, 05:43 AM
tristan tristan is offline
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Mostly on topic, my father was an Infantry 2nd Lt. in the 25th Division ("Tropic Lightning") during the unpleasantness in Korea in 1952-53. After the Armistice he and the survivors of his unit, fresh from a disagreement with some Chinese "volunteers" over the ownership of Pork Chop Hill, were lined up on the docks of Pusan waiting to board their troopship home. A newly minted 2nd Lt. with a clipboard announced that all duffel bags would be searched for contraband. While my father chuckled behind his hand, a couple of grizzled sergeants informed the Lt. that any such attempt would result in him being thrown into Pusan Harbor. My father and his unit, their duffle bags ummolested, boarded their troopship with a newly liberated burp gun secreted in every other bag.
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  #15  
Old 09-22-2019, 08:54 AM
Rosco Shooter Rosco Shooter is offline
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I came "back to the World" in 1969 with 219 other guys. We landed at McCord AFB. A customs inspector went through all of our bags with a fine toothed comb. My guy was really interested in my SKS. I also had to pay duty on the booze I brought back.
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  #16  
Old 09-22-2019, 09:35 AM
Sergio Natali Sergio Natali is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SW CQB 45 View Post
in my office is a Kongsberg Colt marked 1942.

There is no ATF trace history and it was turned in to the dept as found property. There is no import stamps. IIRC, it was found in an apt closet (top shelf) with no previous apt owner information obtain.

It was destined to be cut up. I saved it and got it awarded to the dept.

Someone had messed with it as the original slide stop is gone, it sports hard/slick pacmyers, aluminum trigger and a decent trigger press for a 1942 manufacture.

while this is not US Govt property.... somebody brought it over. If you blow up the ejection side photo, 1942 is stamped on the slide, just forward of the grasping grooves.





Nice pistol, too bad being a KONGSBERG 1914 you can't even look for correct parts to replace odd ones, as all its original parts were numbered.
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  #17  
Old 09-22-2019, 09:39 AM
filson filson is online now
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And this is just another reason why nobody wants to share their stories.
dsk
You are right. I know better.
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  #18  
Old 09-22-2019, 09:49 AM
Ranger566 Ranger566 is offline
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Originally Posted by tristan View Post
Mostly on topic, my father was an Infantry 2nd Lt. in the 25th Division ("Tropic Lightning") during the unpleasantness in Korea in 1952-53. After the Armistice he and the survivors of his unit, fresh from a disagreement with some Chinese "volunteers" over the ownership of Pork Chop Hill, were lined up on the docks of Pusan waiting to board their troopship home. A newly minted 2nd Lt. with a clipboard announced that all duffel bags would be searched for contraband. While my father chuckled behind his hand, a couple of grizzled sergeants informed the Lt. that any such attempt would result in him being thrown into Pusan Harbor. My father and his unit, their duffle bags ummolested, boarded their troopship with a newly liberated burp gun secreted in every other bag.

Infantry 2d Lt., 25th Infantry Division "Tropic Lightning"---2/27th Infantry Battalion "Wolfhounds", 1967-1968, Vietnam.

My respectful hand salute to your Father----alive or deceased.

ALOHA.
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Last edited by Ranger566; 09-22-2019 at 10:02 AM.
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  #19  
Old 09-22-2019, 11:10 AM
Auto Blaster Auto Blaster is offline
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A good friend of my dad's served with the 88th Infantry Division in Europe. It was given the job of occupying the Italian city of Trieste at the end of WWII. Buck used to tell the story about a guy in his unit that disassembled a German MP40 machine gun and mailed the parts home separately. At some point this guy got a package from home that contained the fully assembled MP40. The story was that this guy's wife had assumed he needed it for army use, somehow had it reassembled, and shipped it back, complete and fully functional.
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  #20  
Old 09-22-2019, 11:26 AM
SW CQB 45 SW CQB 45 is online now
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Originally Posted by Sergio Natali View Post
Nice pistol, too bad being a KONGSBERG 1914 you can't even look for correct parts to replace odd ones, as all its original parts were numbered.
yes sir.

it has no real value other than the story mention and me being a 1911 fan, I saved it from the chop saw.

makes me wonder if this shooter came to the US piece by piece.
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  #21  
Old 09-22-2019, 03:26 PM
tazaroo tazaroo is offline
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Originally Posted by dsk View Post
I hate to be the one to say it, but there is no statue of limitations on stolen government property. If the US military wanted to reclaim a Civil War cannon that they were sure had been illegally wheeled off the battlefield in 1862 they can confiscate it. Having said that, the likelihood that anyone with a pilfered .45 needs to worry about a knock on their door is extremely remote. The US military kept very poor records during the wars and they simply don't know for sure what pistols were lost, stolen, destroyed, given away to other countries, or legally sold through DCM. Besides that, the 1911 is obsolete in today's military and they simply have better things to do than go running around trying to round up guns that they no longer have any use for.

However, with all that out of the way I'm not sure many people here are going to freely admit that they personally liberated a 1911 from Uncle Sam.
Unless you have a Amnesty registered USGI bring back M16 lower that was registered in 1968.
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  #22  
Old 09-22-2019, 09:10 PM
shooter5 shooter5 is offline
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As I recall, the Nebraska State Museum in Lincoln as well as the Hastings Museum have a number of WWII era firearms that were donated by/from soldier bringbacks including NFA items. One of my best friend's dad (USMC) returned home from Vietnam in 1969 after Hue, Da Nang, Khe Sanh et al with a duffel choc full of goodies including a Thompson and other assorted; ATF met him at customs to ask if the bag was his-he agreed and after a review of his service record, declined to pursue anything beyond mere confiscation...I would say that his good fortune and luck held out one more time after surviving 'Nam 1968! That said, pushing it can easily get you hard time as some dude from Ft Campbell recently found out...
My personal conclusion is; its not worth it. Just wait & go home and buy something from the gunshow.

https://history.nebraska.gov/museum/exhibits
http://hastingsmuseum.org/exhibits/lock-stock-barrel/
https://www.kentuckynewera.com/artic...c51ab3f7c.html
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  #23  
Old 09-23-2019, 11:20 AM
Ranger566 Ranger566 is offline
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It was a pretty well known fact that the higher up the food chain you were (i.e. general officers), the easier it was to get your "captured weapon" back to the states. RHIP, and all that.

For those of us at the bottom of the pile, it was an all around crap shoot, and everyone who played the game knew the prescribed consequences if you were caught and punished.

I can't imagine the price I would have paid when I got home if I was indefinitely detained in country because I was caught trying to smuggle the barrel of an AK 47 in my shaving kit!!!
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  #24  
Old 09-23-2019, 06:55 PM
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We're actually talking two different things here... bringing back captured enemy weapons as souvenirs versus trying to smuggle home US military or NFA restricted firearms. If you captured a Tokarev or SKS and wanted to bring it back with you there was a procedure for doing so, and I believe your CO had to sign off on it, but it was usually doable. Bringing back something that still belonged to Uncle Sam was of course a different matter, as was an AK-47 since it would've been an honest-to-Mao machine gun.

Of course that was only up until the time of Vietnam. Nowadays you're not allowed to bring anything back except embedded shrapnel.
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Avoid the temptation to replace everything on your brand-new 1911 just to make it "better". Know what you're changing out and why. You may spend a lot of money fixing things that weren't broken to begin with. Shoot at least 500 rounds through it first, then decide what you don't like and want to improve. Regarding vintage 1911s, pre-1970 pistols are highly collectible in original, unaltered condition and should NEVER be refinished or modified as it completely ruins their monetary value.
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  #25  
Old 09-24-2019, 11:54 PM
green papaya green papaya is offline
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a friend of a friend shipped back a M1911A1 and marked it as "shoes"
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