Sam Hayden

Web Developer in San Diego, California

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My life in Vietnam:

I was issued one, a 13mm Bensen (sp?) Gyrojet, in Vietnam, SOA (CCC), in February or March 1969, right out of the supply room, along with a couple dozen rockets. I used it as my "belly gun", on a lanyard around my neck and tucked into a claymore bag across my chest. It was very light, even fully loaded, so the weight wasn't a problem. A little big and bulky, but no worse than a .45, and shorter than the .22 silenced Hi-standards that were also available.

Never cleaned it the entire 10 months or so I had it. Nothing to rust, all aluminum and alloy, beautiful wooden grips. Light, simple, and despite what you may read elsewhere, absolutely DEAD-ON accurate at 10 or 20 yards. Demonstrating its sound and performance to my Recon Team Montagnards, I put one rocket dead-center into a log at 20 meters, then a second rocket right in behind the first, in the same hole. Seemed to be as accurate as any other pistol I've ever fired (and I shot a lot) out to 30 meters or so. And anyone shooting over 30 meters with a handgun is a damned fool anyway.

You have to give the rocket a few yards to get up to speed though; as written elsewhere, muzzle velocity was about zilch, but was quite respectable a few yards out. Not the gun you'd stick into someone's belly though .. unless you wanted to share a good laugh.