Door Gunner Arsenal

1st Squadron / First Cavalry - First Regiment of Dragoons
Helmet Crewman's Helmet. Sometimes painted with crewmembers name or special artwork.
M-60The M60 machine gun was the main weapon used by Scout door gunners. The M-60 was suspended from the rear door by a bungee cord. This allowed maneuverability to all areas outside the LOH helicopter. Often times, a C-ration can was used to help guide the ammunition over the leg and into the firing chamber and often times jammed. Gunners learned to adjust the feeding and eliminate potential gun jams. Spare barrel, firing pin, and feeders were often carried along and replaced when the weapon was wearing down.
altThe M-16 was the primary weapon during the Viet Nam war. The Scout door gunner often times carried the M-16 behind the rear seat as a secondary weapon if the M-60 should jam in a confrontation. It was also a great weapon to take along in the event of being shot down.
Colt .45The Colt .45 was the preferred sidearm of most door gunners. Was quite a wallop at close range, but lacked accuracy and impact for targets at a distance.
Smith & Wesson 38The Smith & Wesson .38 caliber revolver was a very versatile and lightweight handgun. Used by most pilots.
M61 Hand GrenadeThis was the grenade typically used early on in the Viet Nam war and was soon replaced by the M67.
M67 Hand GrenadeThese small, baseball, shaped grenades were the choice of the Scout door gunner. They had great rolling ability and were easy to handle in the back seat while the main focus was on the use of the M60. A box with as many as 20 frags was not uncommon to carry on a mission.
MK3A2 Concussion GrenadeThe MK3A2 concussion grenade, is designed to produce casualties during close combat while minimizing danger to friendly personnel. The grenade is also used for concussion effects in enclosed areas, for blasting, or for demolition tasks. It was very effective against enemy soldiers located in bunkers, buildings, and fortified areas. Also quite effective in persuading the enemy to surface when using evasive tactics such as breathing through bamboo tubes while submerged in rivers and streams.
Smoke canisters were used primarily to mark a target area for our gunships. They were also used by ground troops to indicate their location. Smoke was also used to provide wind direction for helicopters flying into a LZ. Smoke came in Red, Yellow, and Purple. It was not uncommon to carry up to 10 different smoke canisters
M14 Incendiary CanisterThe incendiary canister was seldom used. It was sometimes dropped into locations where weapon cache's were suspected. This device was useful in creating havoc on metal objects because of it's intense heat.
M7A3 CS GasCS or Riot gas was quite effective in persuading hiding enemy or suspected civilians to come out into the open. Unfortunately, the CS canisters were hot enough to cause fire to dry hootches or surrounding areas. This gas caused severe burning to the eyes and mucus areas of the body. Throughout the course of a mission, many CS canisters could be used.
M34 White PhosphorusWhite phosphorus grenades were used sparingly because of the destruction it carried. This grenade type device was used primarily to destroy camouflaged hootches. It would burn anything it came in contact with. The only way to stop the burning was to smother the phosphorus. It was quite a devastating weapon and as many as 4-6 were carried on each Scout helicopter.


The M79 was a secondary weapon for the door gunner. Allowing for grenades to be launched into small areas without risking the safety of the Scout crew. The projectile came out of the barrel with a spiraling trajectory to the target. The shells were small and easily transported.

Kevlar VestThe Kevlar vest was used by all helicopter flight crews. Many crewmembers also put a vest under their seat as a precaution. Although it was heavy and somewhat cumbersome, it served it's purpose and saved many lives.

Tail Rotor ChainThe helicopter tail rotor chain bracelet was worn my many crew chiefs and gunners of helicopters throughout Viet Nam. They were very difficult to come by and were a treasured item.

Fleshette'sHere are some fleshette's... remember these?