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Brush Okie
09-16-2015, 21:13
Ran across this interesting article. The link had cool photos etc.

http://smith-wessonforum.com/blogs/29-1/90-smith-wesson-aai-44-magnum-vietnam-tunnel-gun.html


Between 1968 and 1969, S&W shipped 23 (known serial numbers) Model 29-2 revolvers, some frame only, to Aircraft Armaments INC, (AAI), in Cockeysville, MD for conversion to what was known as the Tunnel Gun. After a 3 month field test between July-Oct 1969 in Vietnam, it was renamed the Quiet Special Purpose Weapon (QSPR), after some minor mods were made to the weapon. The changes made were based on recommendations from soldiers from the 25th ID, the 23rd (Americal) ID, and the 1ST ID, who field tested 10 revolvers over those 3 months in the VC tunnels in their areas of operation. Read the Tunnels of CuChi to hear about the 25th ID (Tropic Lighting), mention of the Tunnel Gun. S299258 pictured here represents an example that never made it to conversion for unknown reasons. I am very fortunate to have acquired one of my grail 44 magnums, albeit the frame only, just the way it was shipped to AAI on 5/23/1969. There will be a full article presented to the SWCA Journal for publication consideration. With the help of Roy Jinks and members of the International Ammunition Association, as well as retired employees from AAI to include the now 65 year old gunsmith who built the original Tunnel Guns, I've been able to gather much provenance and information on these arguably rarest of the 44 magnum variations. This will all be detailed in the planned article. I had hoped to have a mock up of the Tunnel Gun available by this weeks SWCA meeting in Orlando, but it wasn't possible. It was just finished yesterday by my gunsmith, John Blauvelt in Wallkill, NY. Voted by Field and Stream Magazine, one of the Top 10 Gunsmiths in America, John can do anything with a firearm, literally, and he described this project as "very interesting and a one of a kind job". SWCA members stay tuned for the article in the Journal, hopefully in the not too far distant future. S&W forum members will get an abbreviated version soon as well. For now, enjoy the pics of what must have been one heck of a weapon, as the Army test reports back in 1969-72 certainly claimed it to be. Unfortunately, timing is critical with most everything, and it was with the TG/QSPR. By 1972 when the final Land Warfare Unit/AAI testing and evaluation had been completed and all defiencies, especially with the cartridge (which is the real story), had been corrected, Vietnam was drawing down so the need for a tunnel weapon was no more. This became the Model 29 that really never was.

JJ_BPK
09-17-2015, 05:01
Ran across this interesting article. The link had cool photos etc.


Great read,, Thanks.

I wonder what kind, if any, penetration was attained with the sabot'd shot?

The ammo is similar to the Russian sp-4 captive piston round used in their OTs-38 pistol. They were primary used as very close in silent assassination work.

http://world.guns.ru/ammunition/russian-special-cartridges-e.html

Here is a pic of the PAM, SP-3, & SP-4 rounds. top to bottom.

CAARNG 68W
11-01-2015, 21:16
Interesting pistol. Incredibly short barrel. Doesn't look like a typical 44 Mag. round, but still must have been absolutely deafening to have fired such a high caliber weapon in what would be the tight confines of a VC/NVA tunnel. The recoil also. Wow.

Thanks for sharing.

JJ_BPK
11-02-2015, 05:56
Interesting pistol. Incredibly short barrel. Doesn't look like a typical 44 Mag. round, but still must have been absolutely deafening to have fired such a high caliber weapon in what would be the tight confines of a VC/NVA tunnel. The recoil also. Wow.

Thanks for sharing.

Read "The cartridge is the real story behind this revolver. The captive piston round was capable of containing the blast noise, flash, and other energy normally done by the weapon. In essence, the round is the weapon and the revolver is simply the carrier."

120 Db is just over what the best current suppressor can do for a 22lr(115db) and just under what you get with 5.56 (130db).

Richard
11-02-2015, 06:52
The AAI modified S&W 29-2 for tunnel rats - pic from the S&W Forum.

Richard

CAARNG 68W
11-03-2015, 11:49
Read "The cartridge is the real story behind this revolver. The captive piston round was capable of containing the blast noise, flash, and other energy normally done by the weapon. In essence, the round is the weapon and the revolver is simply the carrier."

120 Db is just over what the best current suppressor can do for a 22lr(115db) and just under what you get with 5.56 (130db).

So the round would have a sound wave of 120 Db? That's still loud as hell.

JJ_BPK
11-03-2015, 12:02
So the round would have a sound wave of 120 Db? That's still loud as hell.

I suggest you go to a range Or search youtube before making more noise...

Search for silencer shop. They record good demo's under meaningful conditions.

:munchin

Dean Jarvis
11-04-2015, 08:58
Ok, so I'm seeing on TV all these hi-tech weapons used in Desert Storm, Iraq War and Afghanistan with the cruise missiles and smart bombs dropping down ventilation shafts etc.

And this is an example of the "hi-tech" sheit we had. :rolleyes:

Team Sergeant
11-04-2015, 09:12
Ok, so I'm seeing on TV all these hi-tech weapons used in Desert Storm, Iraq War and Afghanistan with the cruise missiles and smart bombs dropping down ventilation shafts etc.

And this is an example of the "hi-tech" sheit we had. :rolleyes:

Seriously, you mentioned Desert Storm? Hi-tech?

Except for snipers, we had zero optics.

Body armor? None. (except for Delta Force that is.....)

Many of us didn't even have desert boots. And our LBE was Vietnam vintage! ;)





Now smart bombs, yeah, we had those...... :D I think we used every last one! :D