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545th Military Police Company
1st Cavalry Division
Pictorial History
Weapons of the Military Police in the Cavalry
As of
January 26, 2012

This document is by no means to be considered an authoritative reference work on military weaponry with accurate nomenclatures, effective ranges, rates of fire or any such detailed information.  In some cases a little of this type of information is provided when readily available for the viewers information. This article is provided for the viewing pleasure of Military Policemen and women who have served in the Cavalry Military Police and who enjoy a bit of nostalgia and a look back at the history of the weaponry of the Cavalry MP’s.


The Old Horse Cavalry.


The prepared trooper sports his Model 1859 Sharps carbine, Model 1860 light saber, and a pair of 1851 Colt Navy revolvers.
Notice the leather knot tied to the sword, wrapped around the wrist to prevent dropping it, and the wide carbine belt around the
shoulder, attached to the Sharps with a sling through its o-ring.

 
A little historical note regarding the photo above - there were several standard issue US Army Cavalry or Dragoon pistols which will be covered later on in this document, but many cavalrymen preferred the Navy revolver as it had a shorter barrel and therefore fit tucked into the belt more comfortably. There is historical proof that members of the 7th and 5th Cavalry even cut off 2 inches of their issue cavalry revolvers for this purpose.

Cavalry units and individual troopers assigned as temporary provost units may have very well been armed as shown in the photo above.

 

Model 1859 Sharps Carbine, 52 cal, single shot, breech loading originally issued during the Civil War to Cavalry units

Standard issue Spencer Carbine which was first used towards the end of the Civil War and was a large improvement in that it had a seven round magazine which was loaded through the butt plate of the rifle stock.

 
Many other carbines and rifles were issued between the Civil War the Mexican War, but most were unsatisfactory or not popular with the cavalry troopers. One that was popular and was used by some cavalry units is shown below:





Model 1898 Krag Springfield .30-40 Rifle





Model 1860 Light Enlisted Cavalryman’s Saber
Note: There was a Heavy version called “The Wrist Breaker” by the troopers that was not often in use as it weighed 4 ½ pounds more than the light model

 



Remington 44 cal Cavalry Pistol
Just one of several versions of the cavalry pistols issued to early Cavalry units

 



US Model 1873 Henry Nettleton Colt 45 cal Cavalry Pistol

 




M 1191 Colt US Cavalry Pistol model 1873 .45 cal



Here is a photograph of an actual model 1873, M 1191 that is in the possession of a hand gun collector and he claims that this pistol was on the body of a dead 7th Cavalryman at the Little Big Horn and was stuffed in the troopers boot. You will note the sawn off barrel. There were supposedly several more like it at this battle site and they are in the hands of other collectors. Some other collectors believe the Indians sawed off the barrels and when re captured the cavalrymen kept them as extra hide away guns – these boys went on patrol armed to the teeth.

 


M 1055 Old Dragoon pistol Model 1848


It varied from unit to unit, but cavalrymen normally did not have a pistol holster on their belts as there was no room what with the hook for the carbine on one side and the saber on the other. In the old dragoon units they usually had saddle holsters for their “Horse Pistols” and that tradition carried down to some units. But as a rule the cavalrymen carried their pistols stuffed into the front of their belts. Sometimes two or even more!

Here is a photograph of some troopers from the 5th Cavalry and you will note the pistols tucked into their belts

 

 



Fort Bliss, Texas

 


Prior to the formation of the 1st Cavalry Division and during the Mexican War and the 1st World War, there were a lot of changes in weapons within the US Army and these changes came to Fort Bliss as well.

 


M 1903 Springfield bolt action rifle cal .30 this was the rifle that SGT York made famous during WW I It was the darling of the Drill Sergeants, Weapons Instructors, Drill team Captains and Honor Guard Commanders as it was the perfect height and weight for formal drill and ceremonies, looked good in a marching formation and was accurate at long ranges.

The U.S. Model 1903 Springfield Rifle, manufactured 1903 to 1945, this rifle replaced the Krag-Jorgensen and was the primary U.S. battle rifle until 1936, when it was replace by the M1 Garand. Some variation of the '03 rifle saw service all the way into the early stages of the Vietnam War, were it was still utilized as a sniper rifle in the form of the 1903A4.

Although authorized M-1 Garand rifles, the original MP Platoon members had to draw M 1903 Springfield’s in 1942 as the supply of these new weapons had not caught up with the demand yet and the unit did not receive their M-1’s until just before they shipped out from Australia for the Pacific Theatre.

 




US Army M 1911 .45 cal automatic pistol which was to become the main side arm of the Army for years to come and later versions could be converted to 9mm by changing the barrel and magazine – note the 45 round on the left and the 9mm on the right. On March 29, 1911 this weapon was selected as the official side arm of the US Army.

 
There are many versions of this weapon, both civilian and military and all of them are excellent weapons. It is one of the easiest weapons to dissemble and reassemble that the writer of this document knows of and it will fire even after having lain on the bed of a stream and in the mud over night covered in running muddy water. Most MP’s that have qualified with this weapon did so at least by firing Sharpshooter and many of them fired Expert. I don’t ever recall seeing an MP with a Marksman’s Badge with a 45 pistol bar beneath it. Easy to maintain, easy to shoot and easy to qualify with and talk about knock down power!!!

 



US Army M 1917 Colt .45 cal revolver


There is a good deal of conflicting history concerning this revolver both in the military and among gun collectors. The writer of this document has sifted through a lot of this written history and come to the following conclusion. This weapon was originally intended for issue to officers only and then it was decided that it should be a cavalry side arm but a good many of them ended up in military police units. The primary reason for its manufacture was to fill a gap in the availability of the M 1911 .45 cal automatic pistol, then the standard US Army pistol. Colt and Remington were producing the M 1911 at capacity, along with many other military arms, when the need for more pistols for WW I became urgent. Production of the M 1911 could not meet all requirements, so orders were placed with both Colt and Smith and Wesson for a heavy frame revolver that would be compatible with the .45 ACP cartridge used by the M 1911 automatic. By the time the MP Platoon finally joined the 1st Cavalry Division in 1942, most of the troops and regiments within the division had the M 1911 so the MP Platoon got stuck with the 45 cal revolver hand me downs until they arrived in Australia where they exchanged them for brand new M 1911’s.







Australia

 
Things now really ratchet up for the MP Platoon, they receive jungle training, amphibious landing training, new uniforms, new weapons and lots and lots of weapons training – even on some weapons that the unit did not possess or were authorized possession of in the TOE.

The MP Platoon finally turned in their old bolt action Springfield’s and received brand New M-1 Garand’s. These were gas operated with an 8 round clip of .30 cal ammunition and could be fired in semi automatic mode by just pulling the trigger repeatedly. General George Patton once said “The single most important weapon in WW II was the M-1 rifle” This was another weapon like the M 1911 pistol in that it would take abuse and was easy to field strip and clean. The only problem was not on the battle field, but on the parade field (as many of you who ever received an M-1 thumb will recall) and also like the .45 cal M 1911 this rifle had stopping power.





The MP Platoon also finally turned in their 45 cal revolvers in exchange for brand new
M 1911 Semi Automatics in Australia.

 



This was the machine gun that was used for extended long range sustained fire and was heavy as HE_ _!! This was not a weapon that two men could lug around easily – especially in the jungle.
The Browning M 1917 A1, water cooled .30 cal heavy machine gun.

 
The Ordnance Department adopted this Browning water-cooled machinegun for use in the Army just after World War I, superseding the M1917. The original World War I ammunition boxes for this weapon were made of wood. The boxes were replaced by metal during World War II.

Caliber: .30
Effective range (on tripod): 2500 yards
Maximum usable range: about 4000 yards
Method of Feed: fabric belt
Barrel Length: 24 inches
Weight of gun (and pintle) 32.8 lbs.
Tripod weight: 53.2 lbs.
Total weight, including gun, tripod, water, ammunition, and box: 102.5 lbs.
Rate of fire: 50-600 rounds per minute
Maker: Browning

 

The MP Platoon received lots of training on this weapon in Australia and as you will see later on, devised a way to make it easy to transport. This weapon remained in use as late as the Korean War.

 





M 1919 A-4 Browning Air Cooled light machine gun .30 cal.

The air-cooled 'A4 was much lighter and more portable than its M 1917 A-1 water-cooled counterpart

Operation Fully automatic recoil operated, air-cooled
Caliber:  .30 (7.62 mm)
Ammunition Ball M1:  174 grain bullet, 50 grain charge (.30-06)
Muzzle velocity: 853.4 mps (2800 fps)
Capacity: 250-round belt
Weight: 18.5 kg (41 lbs) with tripod
Overall length: 104.1 cm (41 in)
Rate of fire: 400 to 550 rounds per minute
Effective range: 1000m (1100 yds)


The members of the MP Platoon got plenty of training on this weapon as well. This weapon or variations of it remained in use until it was replaced by the M–60 machine gun.

 



M-2 Air Cooled .50 cal heavy machine gun or more affectionately referred to as
“Ma Duce!”



The Browning M2 .50 caliber (12.7mm) Machine Gun, is a World War II era automatic, belt-fed, recoil operated, air-cooled, crew-operated machine gun. The M2 is crew transportable with limited amounts of ammunition over short distances. This gun has a back plate with spade grips, trigger, and bolt latch release. The gun is equipped with leaf-type rear sight, flash suppressor and a spare barrel assembly. By repositioning some of the component parts, ammunition may be fed from either the left or right side. A disintegrating metallic link-belt is used to feed the ammunition into the weapon. The gun is capable of single-shot (ground M2), as well as automatic fire.

This gun may be mounted on ground mounts and most vehicles as an anti-personnel and anti-aircraft weapon. Associated components are the M63 antiaircraft mount and the M3 tripod mount. The M2 .50 Cal. flexible version is used as a ground gun on the M3 tripod mount or various naval mounts. The M2 .50 Cal., M48 turret type, fixed type, and soft mount are installed on mounts of several different types of combat vehicles and ships. The weapon provides automatic weapon suppressive fire for offensive and defensive purposes. This weapon can be used effectively against personnel, light armored vehicles; low, slow flying aircraft; and small boats.

Builder: Saco Defense
numerous manufacturers originally produced the M2 Heavy Machine Gun.
Length: 61.42 inches (156 centimeters)
Weight:
Gun: 84 pounds (38 kilograms)
M3 Tripod (Complete): 44 pounds (19.98 kilograms)
Total: 128 pounds (58 kilograms)
Bore diameter: .50 inches (12.7mm)
Maximum effective range: 2000 meters with tripod mount
Maximum range: 4.22 miles (6.8 kilometers)
Maximum effective range: is 1,830 meters
Cyclic rate of fire: 550 rounds per minute
Unit Replacement Cost: $14,002

Since this weapon had just been approved for use by the US Army at the beginning of WW II, there weren’t many available to the 1st Cavalry for training in Australia, but each man in the MP Platoon did get to fire a few rounds for familiarization and attend a class on the care and maintenance of this weapon. As anyone knows who has ever fired this weapon it is easy to care for and so long as you don’t loose the little head space gauge and the barrels are also easy and quick to change (there is also a little trick for that as well).



Pacific Theatre

 

 

M 1897 Trench Shotgun with Bayonet

 These were originally developed for use in the Philippines and used later on in WW I in the trenches and the Cav MP’s loved them for use in guarding POW’s as well as clearing Japanese hold outs from buildings and culverts in the Islands. It is this writers understanding that although not on the TOE, the MP Platoon had dozens of these and came by them easily, but the 20 gauge ammo was extremely difficult to obtain. Years later the shot gun in many variations would be a common item on the MP Company TOE’s. The writer of this document clearly remembers a number of similar shot guns with a folding bayonet in use in the Stockade at Fort Dix, New Jersey in the 1970’s.

 



Model 1923 Thompson Sub Machine Gun
Almost every NCO in the MP Platoon had one of these and they were not on the TOE either.

 



Here is an MP Platoon MP directing traffic at the Division CP with one of those Thompson’s

 



Here is a photo of a Water Cooled MG on a pedestal mount in a jeep. The MP Platoon was authorized one of these machineguns, but not the pedestal mount for it. They had two of these MG’s and a mount for both!

 



M-1 Carbine

Caliber: . 30 US Carbine (7.62x33 mm)
Action:  Gas operated, rotating bolt
Overall length:  904 mm
Barrel length:  458 mm
Weight:  2.36 kg without magazine
Magazine capacity:  15 or 30 rounds

The M1 carbine is an interesting little weapon. The original request for a compact and lightweight shoulder arm to replace service handguns for second-line (non-fighting) troops was first issued by US Army in 1938. The idea behind this request was that a shoulder arm, such as carbine, firing ammunition of moderate power, will have more effective range and will be much simpler to train the users to fire it accurately, than the standard .45 caliber semi-automatic pistols or revolver. This request was probably the first recognition of the need in the Personal Defense Weapon in the modern sense. Request was shelved for some time and re-issued in 1940. It included the new cartridge of .30 calibers but of power far less than of US general issue .30-06 ammunition. The cartridge, officially named the "cartridge, ball, .30 caliber, M1", was developed by the Winchester company. It was a straight-case, rimless design with round-nose bullet weighting 110 grains (7.1 gram) and muzzle velocity of 1860 fps (~ 570 m/s). Muzzle energy was about 2 times more than of .45ACP pistol cartridge but still almost 3 times less than of .30-06 rifle cartridge. In the modern sense the .30 carbine cartridge can be called an "intermediate" but the lack of the muzzle energy and round nosed bullet limited the effective range to about 200 meters or so. Anyway, it had still much longer range than any pistol round of its time, along with moderate recoil. Many companies submitted their designs for US Army trials but the winner eventually became the Winchester. The design of the Winchester carbine is often contributed to the David "Carbine" Williams, who were the developer of the gas system.

Sometime during the Island operations, these great little weapons showed up and were issued to most units within the 1st Cavalry Division in various quantities. The armor crewmen loved them as they took up much less room in their vehicles than the M-1 or even the Thompson Sub Machine Gun and the MP’s especially liked them as the were easy to handle and control while searching POW’s and other detainees.
TOE’s were finally brought up to date and the MP Platoon was eventually authorized these great little weapons and they were used extensively in not only the Pacific Theatre, but in Japan and Korea as well.




M-3 A-1 Grease Gun

Although never authorized for the 545th MP Company an occasional Grease Gun found its way into the organization. They had a few of these in the MP Platoon during WW II and the writer of this document saw one carried by a 545th MP in Song Be, Vietnam in 1969 Although not as famous as the Thompson Sub, this weapon had less moving parts and was less subject to malfunctions due to lack of maintenance and cleaning. It was also much less expensive and quicker to mass produce. The only draw back was that it would “Cook Off” if fired in long bursts for extended periods of time.

Operation: Fully Automatic, Blowback
Caliber: 45 cal (11.4mm)
Muzzle velocity: 280 mps (920 fps)
Ammunition: 45 cal ACP, 230 grain bullet, 5 grain charge
Capacity: 30-round detachable box magazine
Weight: 8 lbs.
Overall Length: 2 ft 5.8 inches, stock extended – 1 ft 10.8 inches, stock retracted
Rate of Fire: .50 – 450 rpm
Effective Range: 50 m (55 yds)



Japan

 


The MP Platoon, 1st Cavalry Division as well as the rest of the Military Police Units world wide, finally received the first standard issue Military Police Night Stick which was Club, Police, M-1944. It took a while for them to be distributed to all MP units in the Army and in many cases the MP units (such as the MP’s at the Nuremburg Trials in Germany) had to make their own which was usually done with Mop Handles. The Cav MP’s were no different and there were many styles within the unit for a while as seen in the photo below.


Here are some members of the CG’s Security Detachment at Camp Drake Japan with one of the many versions of the improvised Night Sticks in use until issue of the standard M-1944 (It looks like it was made from an old WW I entrenching tool handle?)

 



Here is a photo of MP L.C. Shane (above) which was taken circa 1915 – 1919, unit or location unknown. Note the revolver holster and the OG Sweater worn in place of the Blouse or Jacket. The MP Arm Band may have been tan or white or yellow but it’s difficult to tell with the old tin type photo. He may have been in WW I in France? Or he might have been one of the old provost troopers at Ft Bliss as we know for a fact that the MP’s at Ft Bliss in those days were issued .45 cal revolvers. The “Billie Club” or Night Stick also appears to be of the type hand made from mop handles which was common prior to 1944 Photo complements of MSG Dick Burch.

 



The M-1944 was definitely in use by all members of the unit by the time it arrived at Camp Crawford as seen worn by PFC Gould of the 545th MP Co in the 1950’s

In addition to this new issue Club, Police M-1944, the MP Platoon and later the 545th MP Company continued to maintain their proficiency on their individual and crew served weapons in various field training exercises and trips to the weapons qualification ranges. Their newest weapon aside from the Night Stick was the M-1 Carbine which they used often during confinement operations at the Camp Drake and later the Camp Crawford Stockades.
For those history buffs among you that just have to have the documentation – here is the US Army Specification No. 23-110, dated February 23, 1943 for the CLUB – POLICEMAN, M-1944.

 

 
This document complements of the MP Museum

 

 



Korea

 

Browning Automatic Rifle .30 cal more affectionately known as the BAR or BAR 30
M-1918 A-2



John Browning designed the BAR to provide an automatic rifle for use during World War I. The M1918 saw service toward the end of World War I. The M1918A2, adopted by the Army in 1940, saw extensive service during World War II and Korea. The BAR used .30-06 cal. cartridges in 20-round magazines. The BAR provided an effective rate of fire of 550 rpm, and proved to be a very reliable weapon during adverse operating conditions.

  • M1918 (1917) was selective to fire either semi- or fully-automatic. The M1918 did not have the shoulder support plate or bipod that was characteristic of later models. The M1918 had a blade front sight and a leaf with aperture battle sight with aperture rear sight.

  •  M1918A1 (1937) was selective to fire either semi- or fully-automatic. It had a shoulder support plate hinged to the butt stock and a spike type bipod. The M1918A1 had a blade front sight and a leaf with aperture battle sight with aperture rear sight.

  •  M1918A2 (1940) was fully-automatic, but selective at either Slow (300-450 rpm) or Fast (500-650 rpm) rates of fire. The M1918A2 was originally issued with a spike based removable stock rest which fitted in a hole in the butt stock. It had a shorter hinged shoulder support plate and a skid type bipod. Later modifications included a plastic butt stock and the addition of a carrying handle. The M1918A2 had a blade front sight and a leaf with aperture rear sight adjustable for windage.

 As of the writing of this document it cannot be determined if the 545th MP Co was ever authorized this weapon in the TOE, but there is sufficient evidence to clearly indicate that some individuals within the unit did in fact possess this weapon and used it successfully in combat not only in Korea but also later in Vietnam. Many of the older NCO’s in the unit really liked this weapon as it was much lighter than either the water or air cooled MG’s in use at the time and since the M-60 did not exist yet this was a perfect fire and maneuver weapon. It also had a much greater effective range than either the M-3 Grease Gun or the Thompson Sub Machine Gun which were also very much in use by members of the 545th MP Co. in Korea.

 

 

Photo of a BAR in use in Korea


The M-1 Garand was still very much in use in Korea and of course the favorite side arm of all MP’s, the M 1911 A-1, .45 cal pistol as seen worn in a shoulder holster by CPT Mehl the commander of the 545th MP Co during the Korean War below --

For a short while during the Korean War several members of the 545th MP Co had M-3 Grease Guns until one evening one of them “Cooked Off” Discharging its entire magazine before ceasing fire. The next day all the Grease Guns were replaced with M-1 Carbines and never seen again in the 545th in Korea or Japan.








Vietnam





M 67 Recoilless Rifle

The M67 90mm recoilless rifle is a lightweight, portable, crew-served weapon intended primarily as an antitank weapon. It can be employed in an antipersonnel role too. It is designed to be fired primarily from the ground using the bipod and monopod, but it may be fired from the shoulder. It is an air-cooled, breech-loaded, single-shot rifle that fires fixed ammunition. The rifle is equipped with a manually operated breech mechanism and a percussion-type firing mechanism. It is designed for direct firing only, and sighting equipment for this purpose is furnished with each weapon.

Although the 545th was officially authorized four of these weapons, CPT Lawhead and his boys had to dig up some Fleshette rounds before they could use one successfully during the early 1960’s in Vietnam. They especially liked the results the Fleshette anti-personnel round provided! “Charlie” was not fond of this weapon!

This was a time of new concepts, new weapons, new aircraft, new uniforms, new equipment and new thinking in the US Army. When the 11th Air Assault became the 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Benning, Georgia, they (and that included the 545th MP Company) had already undergone Air Assault training and training on many new weapons which they were issued and took to Vietnam with them. Now the 545th were not only Cavalry MP’s they were Air Mobile Cavalry MP’s as well! The 545th MP Co arrived in Vietnam in the old style fatigue uniform, but with an entire inventory of new weapons.

 

 



M-16A-1, A-2 and with the M 203 grenade launcher attached.


A lightweight, air-cooled, gas-operated, magazine-fed rifle designed for either automatic or semi-automatic fire through use of a selector lever. There are four variants - the M-16A1/A2/A3/A4. The M-16A2 incorporates improvements in iron sight, pistol grip, stock and overall combat effectiveness.

Accuracy is enhanced by incorporating an improved muzzle compensator, three-round burst control, and a heavier barrel; and by using the heavier NATO-standard ammunition, which is also fired by the squad automatic weapon. The M-16A3 is identical to the M-16A2 but has a removable carrying handle that is mounted on a Picatinny Rail (for better mounting of optics) and is without burst control. The M-16A4 is identical to the M-16A2 except for the removable carrying handle and Picatinny Rail. Placed into service in 1964.




M-79 Grenade Launcher
“THE BLOOPER or THUMPER”

 This weapon first appeared during the Vietnam War and closely resembled a large bore, single barrel, sawn-off shotgun. The first M79 Grenade launchers were delivered to the US Army in 1961.

The M79 was designed as a close support weapon for the infantry, and was intended to bridge the gap between the maximum throwing distance of a hand grenade, and the lowest range of supporting mortar fire, an area of between 50 and 300 meters.
The M79 was a single shot, shoulder fired, break-barrel loading weapon which fired a spherical 40mm diameter grenade. The M-406 40mm HE grenades fired from the M79 traveled at a muzzle velocity of 75 meters per second, and contained enough explosive within a steel casing that upon impact with the target would produce over 300 fragments at 1,524 meters per second within a lethal radius of up to 5 meters (?). Stabilized in flight by the spin imparted on it by the rifled barrel the grenade rotated at 3,700rpm, this in turn after 15 meters (?) of flight armed the grenade.

 For close range fighting the Army came up with two types of M79 rounds. The first was a Fleshette round which housed approx 45 small darts in a plastic casing, these rounds were issued on an experimental basis. Later this round was replaced by the M-576 buckshot round. This round contained twenty-seven 00 buckshot which on firing was carried down the barrel in a 40mm plastic sabot, which slowed down in flight so the pellets could travel in their forward direction un-aided. The M79 could also fire smoke grenades, CS gas, WP and flares.

The M79 had a large flip up sight situated half way down the barrel, with a basic leaf foresight fixed at the end of the barrel. The rear sight was calibrated up to 375 meters in 25 meter intervals. In the hands of a good experienced Grenadier the M79 was highly accurate up to 200 meters. Later in the war the M79 was superseded by the M203 40mm launcher which was fixed beneath the fore grip of the M16 rifle.

 



M-60 7.62 mm Machine Gun


The M60 Machine Gun was type classified in 1957 by the U.S. Army. It fires the standard NATO 7.62 mm round and is used as a general support crew-served weapon. It has a removable barrel which can be easily changed to prevent overheating. The weapon has an integral, folding bipod and can also be mounted on a folding tripod.

Length:  42.4 inches (107.70 centimeters)
Weight:  18.75 pounds (8.51 kilograms)
Bore diameter:  7.62mm (.308 inches)
Maximum effective range:  3609.1 feet (1100 meters)
Maximum range:  2.3 miles (3725 meters)
Muzzle velocity:  2800 feet (853 meters) per second
Rates of fire:
Cyclic:  550 rounds per minute
Rapid:  100 rounds per minute*
Sustained:  100 rounds per minute*
(* with barrel changes at each 100 rounds)
Unit Replacement Cost:  $6,000


The M60E3 7.62mm machine gun is a lightweight, air-cooled, disintegrating metallic link-belt fed, portable or tripod mounted machine gun designed for ground operations like its predecessor, the M60. It is gas operated with fixed headspace and timing which permits rapid changing of barrels. (Associated components: Mount tripod, machine gun, 7.62mm, M122). Slightly different from its "parent," the M60, the M60E3 has a receiver-attached bipod which easily deploys for stability. It has an ambidextrous safety, universal sling attachments, a carrying handle on the barrel, and a simplified gas system that does not require safety wire to prevent loosening. However, the light weight barrel is not safe for overhead fire and is not capable of sustaining a rapid rate of fire of 200 rounds per minute without catastrophic failure of the barrel.

The M60E3 (light weight version of the parent M60) was fielded with the intention to reduce the load carried by the gunner. However, the reduction in weight resulted in firing limitations and a loss of reliability that severely restricts the use of the weapon in the Fleet Marine Force. Consequently, troop acceptance of the E3 has been very poor. This gun will be replaced by the M240G.

AMMUNITION
The preferred combat ammunition mix for the M60 is a four-ball (M80) and one-tracer (M62) mix. Again, the four-and-one mix allows the gunner to use the TOT method of adjusting fire to achieve target kill.
Note: Each squad was authorized two M-60’s in the TOE, but the 545th ended up with quite a few more than authorized and used every one of them often.
The 545th continued to utilize the M1911A1 as a side arm and of course the Ma Duce continued as the Heavy MG. As indicated earlier in this document, the combat pump shot gun was by now a mainstay in the MP Company and the 545th had several models – all pumps and mostly Remington’s
Historical note: The 545th also were issued Flack Vests and Jungle fatigues shortly after arrival in country.

 

545th MP’s from the 2nd Plt with their M-60, M-16’s and note the flack vest on the seat (sometimes it was a good idea to sit on it) {many Vietnam vets sat on their vest in helicopters while in flight} circa 1967

 

 

 

 Desert Storm

 

 

The 545th MP Company arrived in the Middle East with Vietnam era weapons as seen in the photo below of 2nd Lt. Robert Byrd, 2nd Platoon leader of the 545th MP Co during Desert Storm.

 

 M 1911 A1’s, M16’s and even Vietnam era Jungle Boots. They were still authorized M60’s and the M2 .50 cal MG’s The US Army had begun to issue the M9 9 mm pistol and some replacements arrived with them, but since there was no ammunition within the division for them, the Provost Marshal, LTC Anthony Lupo had them turned in and replaced with the .45 cal M1911 A1.

 

 



M-9 9mm Pistol

A semi-automatic, single-action / double-action pistol placed into service in 1990. The M9 is the primary sidearm of The U.S. military, replacing the .45 caliber model M1911A1. The M9 has a 15-round staggered magazine with a reversible magazine release button that can be positioned for either right- or left-handed shooters.

       Caliber:  9 mm
       Length:  217 mm
       Barrel length: 125 mm
       Weight: 2.1 lbs (unloaded); 2.6 lbs (fully loaded)
       Range: 50 m

Manufacturer
Beretta USA

 



The Iraq War

 

 

 

 



The 545th MP Co was now authorized the M9 9 mm pistol first issued in Desert Storm and continued to use the old reliable weapons from WW II such as the Ma Duce. They had their SAW’s and their M-4’s and there were some improvements in Body Armor as well. They also finally received a new weapon which had been in use in Desert Storm but had not been issued to the 545th at that time, the MK 19. An entire new generation of CBR gear was also now in use at this time.





M-4

 



M-4 A-1 with night scope




M-4 with M203 Grenade Launcher

Caliber:  5.56mm NATO
Action:   Gas operated, rotating bolts
Overall length:  838 mm (stock extended); 757 mm (stock fully collapsed)
Barrel length:  370 mm
Weight:  2.52 kg without magazine; 3.0 kg with magazine loaded with 30 rounds
Rate of fire:  700 - 950 rounds per minute
Maximum effective range:  360 m






M 248 SAW

The M249 is an air-cooled, belt-fed, automatic-only firearm that fires from an open bolt position. It can accept linked ammunition through the top-mounted feed tray, or M 16 magazines through the side-mounted port. Linked ammunition can be fed from either a loose belt or from a plastic 200-round magazine clipped under the receiver. The SAW (Squad Automatic Weapon) features a built-in bipod and a tripod mounting lug for supported fire, and a quick-change Barrel that helps prevent overheating during sustained fire.

 





MK19 40 mm air cooled machine gun


Features: The MK19 40mm machine gun, MOD 3 is an air-cooled, disintegrating metallic link-belt fed, and blow back operated, fully automatic weapon and is crew transportable over short distances with limited amounts of ammunition. It can fire a variety of 40mm grenades. The M430 HEDP 40mm grenade will pierce armor up to 2 inches thick, and will produce fragments to kill personnel within 5 meters and wound personnel within 15 meters of the point of impact. Associated components are: MK64 Cradle Mount, MOD 5; M3 Tripod Mount; and the AN/TVS-5 Night Vision Sight. The MK19 also mounts in the up-gunned weapons station of the LVTP7A1 model of the AAV and vehicle ring mounts.

Length:  43.1 inches (109.47 centimeters)
Weight:
Gun:  72.5 pounds (32.92 kilograms)
Cradle (MK64 Mod 5):  21.0 pounds (9.53 kilograms)
Tripod:  44.0 pounds (19.98 kilograms)
Total:  137.5 pounds (62.43 kilograms)
Muzzle velocity:  790 feet (240.69 meters) per second
Bore diameter:  40mm
Maximum range:  2200 meters
Maximum effective range:  1600 meters
Rates of fire:
Cyclic:  325-375 rounds per minute
Rapid:  60 rounds per minute
Sustained:  40 rounds per minute
Unit Replacement Cost:  $13,758

 

 

545th MP SPC Yarbrough with his SAW in Iraq

 

 545th MP with his night scope mounted on his SAW in Iraq

 





545th MP Co Supply Sergeant, SGT Martinez qualifies with her M-4 in Baghdad
WAY TO GO SARGE!

 





545th MP Co NCO with his M-9 on his thigh, sporting his M-4 w/grenade launcher and a loaded ammo vest - Hoooah!

 

 



And of course the old reliable Ma Duce on Check point in Baghdad, Iraq with the 545th MP Company

 

 

545th MP’s check and clean their M249 SAW’s at the qualifications range in Baghdad, Iraq

 

I hope you have all enjoyed this little walk back in time through the weapons history of the Cavalry Military policemen. I did not cover the mines, disposable weapons (LAW), grenades or pyrotechnics that were often in use by the 545th MP Co as they were numerous and varied by platoon, geographical area, dates and operational requirements. Comments, suggestions, additions or corrections may be submitted to:


Sam Reinert
CPT MP USAR (Ret)
Founder
545th Military Police Company Association
626 1/2 South 9th Street
Richmond, Indiana 47374 USA
(765) 962 4627 phone & FAX
http://545thmpassn.com/