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Whats new

Whats new

Holiday Update 2021 / 2022

2021 has been a really strange year with a lot going on. That being said, our customer base has proved again to be amongst the best in the industry and continued to support us throughout the year. Slowly but surely we have been able to get some new products to market and January will see the return of our inhouse 1st, 2nd and 3rd model Poplin uniforms. These are 100% ours and after several years of searching for new fabric mills and sewing houses in the middle of the pandemic, we were able to hook up with a US GOVT contract sewing house based here in the Southern US. Sometimes it is worth the wait! We will be on vacation the last week of December (leaving on the 27th) and will be back in on January 2nd. The website will be working while we are gone, so please continue to place your orders and they will be packed and shipped in the order they were received. Thank you again for your patronage

Shipping Updates Dec 2020

We have had a fairly steady uptick in orders this year with the Pandemic. It surprised me as we were expecting a drop in orders. We have been able to keep up with most of the demand and I would say 95% of all orders are still shipping within 24 hours of being placed. Others ship within 3 to 5 days as we are often waiting on restocks of products to come in. Fortunately it is rare that the wait is much longer. This isn't much comfort if you are the one or two people who have to wait a little longer, but at least this is not a common event. The biggest issue we are currently facing is the national / international issue with shipping. USPS is overwhelmed and some packages are going at the normal pace while other Priority Mail packages sit at distribution hubs for 2 weeks or more before moving. We recently had a package bound for Canada make a pitstop in Australia. Good news / bad news it isn't just us, it is nation wide. If you are pressed for time, or order something with higher value, UPS is by far more reliable right now.

Finally, please note that when checking out, the API calculator for rates / shipping times for USPS is provided by the US Postal Service. We cannot control what it says. When it says "Priority Mail 2 to 3 days" that is not a guarantee and in the best of times it is an estimate. RIght now it is guaranteed it will take longer. There is a reason that USPS Priority Mail at 2 days may be $12 and UPS 2nd Day is $46. One is getting there in 2 days and one isn't. I get emails all the time from people wanting their shipping money back because they did not get the package in the time it said for the US Postal Service. Again, these are estimates that the Postal Service is giving you and they are NOT backed by any kind of cash back guarantee like UPS puts on overnight and 2nd Day.

There is also a reasonable amount of time to ship an order. I also work a shift schedule of 24 hours on / 48 hours off so every third day I am not here. If you place an order on a day I am working at the fire dept, best case it will ship the next day. So in summary, don't place an order Monday afternoon, select Priority Mail "2 day service" at check out and then be upset that the package did not arrive on Wednesday. That just isn't reality right now.

International Shipping

Please be advised that International Shipping times may be quite long right now. We have decided to keep shippimg international orders, but we have had some Priority and Express shipments take excessive times while others have been normal. Please note that once shipping shows a package leaving Chicago, there are no further updates until the destination ciuntry updates USPS. That means that if there are not any updates, there is nothing we can check on this end. Some packages have been timely but we have had an Express and several Priority take up to two months. The Covid situation and increased shipping demands coupled with drastically reduced international flights has created a backlog. I know many vendors who have simply discontinued sales overseas at this time, but we feel that as long as the packages are still ultimately getting there and not being lost, we will continue to send them. We just ask that you be patient. I would also suggest Priority over 1st Class where feasible.

Inventory Update

We have ERDL Jungle Fatigues back instock in size LR. We also have JWD tigerstripes in Small, Medium and Large instock.

Inventory Updates

We have Tadpole Uniforms in size small back instock. We also have a limited amount of tadpole berets instock as well. On the insignia front, we were finally able to get Staff Sergeant (E-6) Subdued Sleeve Rank back instock. We also have the reproduction USMC Jungle 1st Aid Pouches on hand and ready to ship.

Inventory Update

A brief update on some inventory items. We have added some NOS M6 and M7 Bayonets to the page.

We also have added merrowed edge para-glide rounds and we have the cut edge, color 25th ID patches back instock (it has been a while). Both are available in the insignia section. We have some subdued staff sergeant sleeve rank on order and expect it to be back instock at the end of March.

On the uniform front, we have some exciting new items inbound. We went a little out of order on how we wanted to produce items as some hard to find / hard to make materials came our way through a joint venture with a friend. As a result, we have 3rd Pattern Ripstop, Ripstop ERDL, Tadpole Tigers and Boonies, and a very limited number of John Wayne Dense wrapping up. I have the listings active with sizes and prices, but I do not have photos up yet. I hope to have pictures up and be shipping by March 21st. If you order a uniform now, it will be around March 21st before I can ship.

We are still planning on making 1st, 2nd and 3rd model poplin jungle fatigues, but it is a really large project for those styles. I am hoping to arrange for the production this summer.

Thanks again to everyone for your patience and continued support! -- Trey

Fatigue Uniform Update

I apologize for not posting any updates in a while in regards to uniforms. I answer multiple phone calls and emails a day about it. We have been incredibly busy outside of the shop and due to a myriad of factors have not been able to get everything lined up for manufacturing. Sourcing new custom fabrics at a fair price has been difficult to say the least and after almost 20 years of the same pricing on fatigues, we will likely have to go up a little bit going forward. That being said, I do have a rough plan that I hope to stick to and I am excited about possibly trying some new products that we have not made before.

Phase I will be a small venture into some ripstop fatigues. I have a great source for some fabric and am looking at a small batch of ripstop 3rd pattern and ripstop ERDL. If things go well on this, I am hoping to have them in April / May. Phase II will likely be late summer but I am shooting to do a large run of poplin jungles to include 1st, 2nd and 3rd models. I will also try to get OG-107 fit into this time frame and also some tigers. We have done gold and tadpole in the past and I would like to do something different. Possibly JWD, but again not positive.

I appreciate everyone bearing with me and enjoy hearing from old customers. I assure you we are not closing down or stopping production. I know some people worry when they cannot get us on the phone, but I also work as a firefighter on a 24 / 48 schedule so I am out of the office completely 1 out of 3 days. The market has definitely shrunk some for Vietnam and vendor issues have plagued us for a while, but we are moving forward and will continue to do the best products that we can. Thanks again for being patient! -- Trey

Updates for What's New

I apologize for not often updating this page. We receive calls or emails on occasion asking if we are still open, etc. The best way to keep up with new item listings that we have is to look at the Newly Listed Page here on the site or to follow our Facebook page. Thank you - Trey Moore

Shipping Delays

Hurricane Harvey has hit Texas hard. We are safe and relatively dry, but due to our proximity to Houston we are experiencing shipping delays with UPS and USPS. Orders will continue to be processed and prepared for shipping, and we will send them out as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience.

Colorful Mailbags of the Vietnam War

The Colorful Mailbags of the Vietnam War By Fielding S. Freed

Green, in a variety of shades, was the color of choice for the US Military during the Vietnam War. Green helmets, green helicopters, green cans of ham and lima beans, and of course green uniforms were all designed to blend in with the sometimes overwhelming jungle. There were some exceptions, however, to this rule of green. Purple smoke grenades and eye popping pink signal panels identified friend from foe from the air. There were times when bright colors could save a GI’s life. Mail, that all important link to home, also came in colors during Vietnam. Red, yellow, and orange mail bags were especially designed to stand out against all that green and make the mail easier to keep up with while in transit. It is not that the US Military and US Postal Service did not try to join forces and make delivering mail to front line troops green as well. A well-intentioned but failed experiment was the design of olive drab mail bags intended to be dropped from helicopters. They worked well, too well. It must have seemed completely predictable in hindsight, but during test drops the bags ended up blending in with bushes and grass and could not be found. It was decided that colorful mailbags were worth the camouflage risk if they got the mail delivered.

Many who served in Vietnam still recall those vivid mailbag colors. Jimmie Stephens (Tactical Operations Center, 1st Bde, 4th ID, 12/69-11/70) remembers, “Bags full of smiles, tears, laughter and sometimes heartbreak. Millions of bits of individual moments of reality ‘back in the World’ within those crimson and canary colored pouches.” Of those that made it out to the field, the most common mailbag color was red, really more of a magenta. If you look closely at color photographs taken during resupply or down times during the war you might be surprised at how often you see the telltale splash of the color of a mailbag. Sometimes Hollywood gets the small things right. When Forest Gump and Bubba are dropped off to their unit in Vietnam, a red mailbag gets tossed out right behind them. A detail most likely lost on all but the vets who were there.

One thing remains the same for generations of service men and women deployed overseas, mail was, and is, their tangible link to home. Even in our era of email and Skype, there is still something special and uplifting about a handwritten letter or care package. One of the many things that made the Vietnam experience unique was the way mail was delivered. There is little doubt that the sight of those colorful bags tossed out of a Huey must have caused some hearts to beat a little faster, hoping for a letter or package from the World.

### Image Captions: A US paratrooper from the 1st Air Cavalry, receives mail, while stationed in a blocking position north of the Michelin Plantation. Vietnam, 1969. | Location: north of Michelin Plantation, Vietnam. (Photo by © Tim Page/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)

Experimental, prototype olive drab mail pouch developed by the Postal Service for use in the jungles of Vietnam. Image courtesy of the Unites States Postal Service Museum

Heavily sandbagged post office operated by the Marine Corps during the siege of Khe Sanh. ©Corbis

Forty years after the end of the Vietnam War, the United States Navy still uses bright yellow mailbags. Image courtesy of the Unites States Postal Service Museum

Copyright 2016, Fielding S. Freed Contact: fieldingslayton@gmail.com Phone: 843-709-3120

Merry Christmas!

Moore Militaria would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. We will be closed Monday, December 26th through Friday, December 30th. Normal business hours will resume Monday, January 2nd. You can still place an order during this time using our online. Orders will be processed in the order they are received and we will make every effort to ship all back orders on the 2nd. Thank you all again for your continued support!

Cyber Week Sale!

Cyber Week at Moore Militaria! Support your favorite online Vietnam Era retailer this week and prepare for the Holiday Season with Cyber Monday kicking off Cyber Week. From Monday, November 28th through Friday, December 2nd, enjoy 15% off of most items. This includes all of our Vietnam War era Uniforms, Insignia, Field Gear, etc. No coupon code necessary.

Thanksgiving / Black Friday Sale!

Thanksgiving Special! Time to prepare for the Holidays and take advantage of our annual early Black Friday "Thanksgiving Special!" From today through Sunday, November 27th, enjoy 20% off of any order over $150. This includes all of our Vietnam War era Uniforms, Insignia, Field Gear, etc. Our selection of modern tactical gear is included as well. Even One of a Kind items are included! Discount is reflected at checkout.

Veteran's Day Sale

In recognition of Veteran's Day, from today through Sunday, November 13th, take 15% off of almost every item in the store.

Shipping Updates

We are going to try something new for domestic orders. With the USPS now having better tracking, and offering it for 1st Class items, we are going to offer 1st Class as an option for domestic orders. This is only for packages up to 15 ounces, but it will be ideal for those with small insignia orders, etc. With Priority starting at $6.40 this may be a good option for a less expensive solution. That being said, if we see a spike in lost orders, we will revert to Priority being the "base" level for shipping.

Mid July Savings

We had a lot of customers that missed the 4th of July sale and have had people asking about any deals or coupons. We are trying something a little different than we have ever done before. Now through the weekend (ends July 18th), you can save 20% on any order over $150.00. When you go to check out, enter the coupon code JulySavings and the price in the cart will change. You must do this at the time of ordering. There will not be an retro discount, etc. Feel free to share the code with your friends, and groups, etc. and we can see how this works.

Independence Day Sale!

Fire Mission! Celebrate the 4th of July with savings on Vietnam War era uniforms, insignia and field gear! Discounts of up to 15% on most items so check every category for the best deals! Sale applies to instock items only and will run through Monday, July 4th.

Fatigue Restock

We finally have our restock of fatigues in. We now have all sizes available in poplin 1st, 2nd and 3rd model jungle fatigues as well as Tadpole Tiger Stripes. We will be unpacking today and over the weekend. Any back orders should be shipped no later than Monday. http://www.mooremilitaria.com/apparel.html

Newly Listed Item

We just listed an unissued set of aircrew armor in size long on the Newly Listed Page and One of a Kind Page.

Newly Listed

See the Newly Listed for lots of new items including M55 Flak Vest, M6 Bayonet Set, WWII Ponchos and more!

Holiday Closing Schedule

We will be closed Monday 12/28 through Friday 01/01. We will have limited phone access but will be available by email. Continue to place orders online as usual and we will get as many packed over the weekend and ready to ship out on Monday the 4th as possible. They will be filled in the order they are received. Thank you for your support this year and have a Merry Christmas!

Cyber Week

Don't miss your final chance to take advantage of Holiday Savings. As Back Friday comes to and end, our Our final season sales will begin tonight rolling into Cyber Week. Saturday through Friday enjoy 15% off of most categories. Thank you for continuing to support our online store!

Thanksgiving Special!

Thanksgiving Special! Time to prepare for the Holidays and take advantage of an early Black Friday "Thanksgiving Special!" From today through November 28th, enjoy 20% off of any order over $150. This includes all of our Vietnam War era Uniforms, Insignia, Field Gear, etc. Our selection of modern tactical gear is included as well. Even One of a Kind items are included! Discount is reflected at checkout.

New Items and Restock

Lots of new items added today. We have M-42 Carlisle pouches back instock (both VG and EXC), Unissued Shelter Half Sets, A VN vintage USMC FIghting Knife, USMC M-41 Haversack in Nylon, 2 Cell Subgun Pouches, Shotgun Ammo Pouches, a Large Nomex Flight Shirt, M60D Brass Catcher Bags and more. Please see the Newly Listed Page for details.

Newly Listed Items

We have lots of new items listed. 1967 Pilot Survival Knife, 1964 dated M1916 Holster, Water Purification Tablets, C Rat Spoons, Claymore Bag, and more. See the newly listed page for details.

Veteran's Day Sale

Moore Militaria Veteran's Day Sale! Now through November 11th save 20% on Vietnam War era uniforms and headgear. Jungle Fatigues, ERDL Camo, Tiger Stripes and OG-107 Utilities are all included. This is a great chance to replace your 1960's era uniforms that are worn (or a little small) for upcoming parades, ceremonies, reunions, etc!

Inventory Update!

We have lots of new items on the website. You can get a quick glance on the Newly Listed Page. ERDL Utility Covers, USGI 20rd Magazines, Original Mitchell Pattern Helmet Covers, M-67 Belts back instock, M-56 compass pouches back instock in G and VG, NOS VN Dated Holsters, Branch of Service Ascots and more!

Load Up for Labor Day!

Load Up! Many customers who missed out on our back to school event have been asking if we would have a Labor Day Sale. We have decided to answer with a resounding yes! This sales event is limited and will run through the Labor Weekend only. Sale ends at the end of the business day, Monday September 7th. Once this sale is over, we will not have another event before the Holidays, so don't miss out again! Vietnam era uniforms, field gear and insignia as well as modern tactical gear and current issue MOLLE II gear are on sale. All categories (except for one of a kind, complete helmets and packages) are 20% off! Sale prices are for current, instock items only.

Inventory Update

We have lots of new items on the Newly Listed Page. Our restock of ERDL and OD Green boonies is here and ready to ship. We also have a new run of "in-country" style ERDL Utility Covers for USMC / Navy Impressions. We have also added some USGI Contract 20rd magazines and a Claymore Mine Practice Set. A small stash of excellent condition air mattresses was found in the warehouse and we have listed them back instock as well. We still have some M60 barrel bags and WWII Ponchos as well. Finally, as you may have already seen, we have created a set of prepackaged uniforms from Apocalypse Now including Captain Willard, Lt. Col Kilgore and Col Kurtz. http://www.mooremilitaria.com/newly-listed.html

Back to School Sale

Save big with our back to school sale! Now through the end of August, save big on Vietnam era uniforms, field gear and insignia as well as modern tactical gear and current issue MOLLE II gear. All categories (except for one of a kind and packages) are 20% off! Sale prices are for current, instock items only.

Inventory Update

We have several new items instock. We just received a new shipment of bipods and there were a lot of Colt marked in the lot. We also have restocked on M60 Spare Barrel Bags. We almost have the new 18th MP subdued twill patches finished and will post new photos as soon as they are done. http://www.mooremilitaria.com/newly-listed.html

New Items

We have several new items on the Newly Listed page. Mitchell Pattern Shelter Halves, Jungle Boots in 9R, a nice BAR belt and some extremely nice WWII Hoodless Ponchos. We will also be receiving our final shipment of new fatigues tomorrow including 1st, 2nd and 3rd pattern as well as ERDL jungle fatigues. As a result, all fatigues will be instock in all sizes.

We are Moving!

After 9 months of construction delays, we are finally in our new building. We started the move Friday morning and worked over the weekend. There is still some work left to be done, but we are working on balancing that with packing orders and getting shipments out. If you placed an order Friday through today, and you have not received a receipt / shipping information yet, I will be sure that it ships before the end of tomorrow. I am sorry for any delay but please rest assured we are working as fast as possible to resolve the situation. Thank you.

New Items and Shipping Updates

We have two Mitchell Pattern Shelter Halves instock. These have really gotten hard to find over the years and every early to mid war USMC display needs one! We also have a shipping update for international customers. We have been torn on 1st Class shipping. When offered, we have customers who complain about the time it takes to receive the item and we have also had problems with high value packages being lost. I think we have a good compromise that we are working on. We will again offer 1st Class shipping for international sales, but only on orders UNDER $50. If an order has a value greater than that, it must be sent via USPS Priority or Express. As per our previous policy, orders shipped 1st Class are at the customer’s risk due to poor tracking and lack of insurance.

Jungle Fatigue Restock

We just received a “mini” shipment of OD Jungle Fatigues in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd patterns. For the most part, we have some available in all sizes (save for a few missing here and there). This is not a deep restock; in some sizes we only received 3 or 4 pieces. The main restock, in depth will be the end of June. This includes ERDL jungle fatigues in all sizes, boonies, etc.

Shipping Delays

I wanted to let everyone know that we have been having some shipping delays on packages sent over the last two weeks and that this may continue for another week or so. Packages are leaving our store “on time” but all of our mail and UPS packages go to Houston for sorting / processing. As you know, Texas has been literally flooding this month with much of it in the Houston area (yes this photos really is of Houston on Monday). As a result, we are seeing Priority Mail packages spend up to a week in Houston before moving again. I cannot explain why some packages are moving faster than others, but I would just like to ask for your patience while it gets sorted out.

Inventory Update

We just listed several new items including a pair of jungle boots in 10W, a really nice M67 buttpack and a claymore mine practice set. See the Newly Listed page in the store for details.

International Shipping Update

I want to apologize but we will no longer be offering 1st Class Mail (Letter Mail) on an International Basis. We tried this to offer a less expensive way for International customers to save on shipping. However, the transit times are long and the tracking is poor to non-existent depending on country. We clearly state on the Terms page of the website that orders shipped this way are at the risk of the buyer, but it does not change how they feel when the package does not arrive. We have had packages go missing to Germany, Sweden, Malaysia, and France in the past month alone. These packages cannot be insured so they are a total loss. As a result, we cannot continue to stand behind them and take $100’s of dollars in losses. I apologize that shipping must be higher, but there is no other alternative.

Inventory Update: New Items

We have added several new items including 1963 dated M1916 Holsters, 2nd Model Jungle Boots, 3rd Model Jungle Boots, an XM148 Handguard, Jungle 1st Aid Pouches, and an M60 Spare Barrel Bag. Click on “Shop Now” above and it will take you to the Newly Listed Page for details.

Spring Cleaning Time!


It is time for some Spring Cleaning! We still have some uniforms that we need to move to make room for our new run. For one week only, take 25% off of in-stock sizes only for Tadpole Sparse Tiger Stripes, OG-107 Utilities, 1st Pattern, 2nd Pattern and 3rd Pattern Jungle Fatigues, ERDL Jungle Fatigues and NVA Uniforms! Our new run and restock on all sizes should be early May. We should have our Advisor Sparse Gold Tigers back in-stock at the same time.

Inventory Update: New Items

We just listed several new items including a nice pair of Nomex Helicopter pants in size LR, a sleep shirt in size M and a 3/4 Collar Flak Vest in size XL.

President’s Day Sale


Fire Mission! Moore Militaria is having a giant President’s Day Sale with 30% off on in-stock Tadpole Sparse Tiger Stripes, OG-107 Utilities, 1st Pattern, 2nd Pattern and 3rd Pattern Jungle Fatigues, ERDL Jungle Fatigues and NVA Uniforms! We need to move some remaining inventory before our new run is finished. Sale ends February 25th and applies to instock sizes / stock on hand only. Our new run and restock on all sizes should be late April.

Inventory Update: Field Jackets #2


The Generals agree that winter is here for another six weeks. In response we have listed a host of vintage M51 and M65 Field Jackets ranging in size from Small to Large! See the “What’s New” page for details.

Inventory Update: Field Jackets


Cold weather is here! We have several new field jackets / coats that we just listed. USAF N3B Flying Jacket (heavy parka), M-1951 Field Jackets and an M-1951 Field Jacket liner. Don’t miss out on your chance to beat the cold in vintage style!

Inventory Update: SMG Ammo Pouches

We just received a small lot of unissued sub-machine gun ammo pouches. These are made to hold 30rd stick magazines for the M3 Grease Gun, Thompson, Swedish K, etc. See the Newly Listed page for details.

Holiday Cyber Sale

Holiday Sale!

Get ready for Santa, he is sending a package your way! It is a Holiday Cyber Sale! We are having a cyber sale this week through Friday. Take 20% off of most uniforms, insignia, weapon accessories and tactical gear! Order must be placed online and the sale applies to in-stock items only.

XM148 Under Barrel Grenade Launcher

The Vietnam War saw the first practical use of dedicated grenade launchers versus the rifle grenades of WWII and Korea. The M79 Grenade Launcher was revolutionary. It was light weight, accurate and had a range of up to 300 meters, well beyond the range a man can throw a hand grenade. The inherent problem with the system was that your Grenadier was a dedicated grenadier and not a rifleman as well. Grenadiers were issued a sidearm as well for personal defense but the quest to combine a rifle with a grenade launcher was born. In an attempt to solve this problem, several designs were submitted, but the most widely used and recognized development was by Colt Firearms and their XM148 Grenade Launcher. The Colt XM148 mounted under the barrel of an M-16 rifle, allowing an infantryman to have both a primary weapon and a grenade launcher.

The Early Years

The first successful prototype grenade launcher for under barrel mounting was the Colt CGL-4. The CGL-4 was manufactured by Colt on an extremely limited basis. They made 30 total launchers based on a March 1965 contract. The launcher is very similar to the XM148 in appearance with the primary visual difference being a a round cocking knob at the rear of the receiver. Failures in the extractor and allow for the housing plagued the initial trials at Aberdeen and Fort Benning and a short list of quick improvements was given to Colt. (An interesting side note is that despite the failures of the CGL-4 in stateside testing, units did make it to Vietnam and can be seen in photos. The round cocking knob is a dead giveaway in a photo).

The changes to the CGL-4 were combined into the Colt XM148 and test production started immediately. There were some issues with the sights working loose and castings cracking. It took months to correct these basic problems and no real attention was paid to the basic functional issues. With the basic durability issues corrected, the first shipment of 1764 launchers and spare parts was sent to Vietnam in December 1966 with the rest of the contract following in the next three months.

Issues and Limiting Factors

Most of the XM148’s issues were simply a result of a rushed design process. The launcher’s designer, Karl Lewis, claimed to only have taken 47 days to write the specifications, design the launcher, draw all original prints, and build a working model. Without time to conduct proper field trials and testing, the issues with the launcher had to be learned in combat. Some of the XM148’s more dangerous and frustrating issues stemmed from the basic design. The sight was a very primitive quadrant sight, that was mounted off to the side. The lack of accuracy and off positioning of the sight meant most soldiers operated without it. Another major flaw was in operation of the launcher. The XM148 had a cocking handle and an extended trigger that allowed the weapon to be fired without removing the users hand from the rifle’s pistol grip. In theory, this was an excellent idea, but in reality the extended trigger was extremely fragile and prone to snagging or breaking. The trigger pull was also fairly light at six pounds on average and resulted in accidental discharges when the trigger was snagged.

Short Lived Legacy

Initial combat reports from Vietnam were positive, but they would be short lived as major issues began to appear by March of 1967. By May 0f 1967 it was recommended that the launcher be withdrawn from use in Vietnam. Despite this order, the launcher would continue to see use in combat with infantry units as well as Special Forces. The SEALS would continue to use it up through the early 1970’s.

Colt had their foot in the door with the XM148, but the issues with the launcher kept the hunt open for a replacement. Colt had already lost manufacturing contracts on the M-16 rifles to H&R and GM Hydromatic, and did not want to lose the contracts for a new under barrel launcher. The need for a robust and reliable under-mounted launcher was great and the recommendation to remove the XM148 from combat in 1967 created panic in the company.

The XM148 had proved the concept viable, it had just failed in application. Colt quickly created a revised prototype, the CGL-5, to address the problems relating to the XM148 Launcher. They delivered 20 units to the Army free of charge in 1968, but it was too late. A new design from AAI Corporation (formerly Aircraft Armaments Inc.) had a solid lead in the testing department and seemed to address all of the issues of the Colt launchers. The AAI design was designated as the XM203 and an order for the initial 600 units was placed to be delivered to Vietnam for further evaluation. Production started in 1969 and the XM203 launchers would be delivered to Vietnam later that same year. With successful field testing completed, production was increased and the launcher was classified as standard. The “X” designation was dropped and the name changed to M203.

Though Colt would lose out on the design process for the M203, they did benefit from their large scale manufacturing ability. AAI Corporation made the first 600 XM203 launchers and then completed approximately 10,000 M203 units, but as a research and development company, they were not equipped for mass production on a scale the armed forces required. As a result, the technical data package for the M203 was sent to Colt and they were awarded contracts for mass production. In the end, the M203 would still wear Colt’s prancing pony.

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Inventory Update


Just in time for the cold weather! We have a nice selection of Field Jackets and winter wear in sizes S through L. M-51 Field Jackets, N3B Flight Jackets and USAF Field Jackets. We have several more pieces to add in the next day or two, so keep an eye out. Vietnam era cold weather gear is hard to find, so don’t miss out! See the What’s New Page or One of a Kind Page in the store for details.

Body Armor: Vietnam Use and Development

Body armor and flak jackets have been something sought after by armed forces around the globe to protect their troops from arms fire and shrapnel. Developed to prevent death and lessen injuries, body armor has been used in war combat since as early as world war one. Even from the first mediocre attempts at development, body armor has seen generations upon generations of revisions and weight reduction to provide the most efficient way of stopping rounds. This article however, will focus mainly on the creation of body armor for the Vietnam War for pilots and ground infantry.

Armor in the Air

During the Vietnam war, one of America’s top strategies in combat was high air mobility. Army pilots often conducted low flying reconnaissance, rescue, and insertion missions which made the pilots vulernable to small arms fire. As hostilities increased, so did casualties to pilots and aircrew. The only protection these pilots had from enemy fire was the M1952A Fragmentation Vest from the late Korean War era. These flak jackets (the M1952A) which provided no real protection from small arms fire and were also standard issue to US Army infantry at the time. As information came in from the field, a new hard face composite was looked at to replace the previous DORON plates. This new lightweight (relatively speaking) ceramic composite was made into chest shields and issued in the TRECOM Aircraft Armor Kit from Natick Laboratories. Despite the protection offered from the new shields, both the Hard Face Composite and Doron shields where too uncomfortable for pilots to wear for any length of time, and as a result saw little usage in the field. Another side experiment by Natick used a curved torso shield made from 13 ceramic tiles bonded to a reinforced plastic shell. The shell then rested on the seat between the pilot’s legs. Defense Advanced Research Projects testing found that the new system reduced the weight to the pilot, but it interfered with the operation of the aircraft and was quickly scrapped.

Natick Labs continued working on prototypes for new armor to be used in helicopters and soon came up the experimental T65-1 cloth back carrier that was mated to a prototype curved front torso using female snap fasteners. Padded shoulder sections helped distribute the armor’s weight and a cloth wrap around straps with a Velcro fastener held the vest in place. Natick Labs members and AMC armor team members visited Vietnam in 1965 to obtain reception of the concept armor and found that combatants responded well to its use. The only drawback from the field was that aircrews stated the plates were too large and not ergonomic making them uncomfortable. Pilots and aircrew both overwhelming stated they would sacrifice protection and risk increased exposure to small arms fire for comfort. As a result, the HFC vest was reduced in size by 3 inches and made more contoured in the shoulder and arm area. Coupled with the T65-1 cloth back vest, this Aircrew Body Armor set became the infamous “chicken plate” that would serve Army aviators for the next 30 years.


Infantry Armor in the Field

The first use of efficient body armor by US infantrymen was the USMC-M1951 vest. The vest, like all of its contemporaries, offered protection against shrapnel and fragmentation, but did not offer any protection against small arms fire. The Marines and the Army both developed body armor of roughly equal efficiency, but their development paths would follow different routes. The Army would introduce the M52 and soon M52A which would feature “soft” armor made of ballistic fabric. The Marines would use hard Doron plates that would give their armor a rigid quality.


The Marines

The USMC M-52 Fragmentation Vest had three primary variants with minor modifications during the Korean War. Design improvements were quickly incorporated and by the third model, you can clearly see the basis for the M-55 that would servethroughout the Vietnam War and well into the 1980’s.


Based on the final M-52 design as shown above, the M-55 series was born. The basis of the M-55 was a cotton shell with zipper front and 23 Doron Plates in the main body with ballistic fabric in the shoulder areas. The vest also included a rope ridge sewn into the shoulder area to help prevent a rifle butt or sling from sliding off of the face of the vest. The first version had a single, small pocket on the left chest area. In 1967 the vest was modified and a “second” version was introduced with large pockets located on the lower front area on each side of the zipper. The pockets were nylon and offer a contract to the cotton fabric of the shell. The final version of the vest included a body made of nylon to match the pockets. This change was aimed at addressing wear issues with the cotton body of the vest. Of note, there are versions with a single rope ridge as well as a double rope ridge (as shown) on each shoulder.


In the later part of the 1960’s, both the Army and Marines recognized the limitations of fragmentation vests and the benefits of being able to field armor that would actually stop a .30 cal AP round. They both looked to the success of the Aircrew Body Armor and used the ceramic plates as a basis for infantry armor. The Marines developed a carrier made of rough ballistic nylon in ERDL camo print. The carrier had an integrated “haversack” on the back and pockets to hold the ceramic plates in both the front and back. This system, like the Army Variable Body Armor, was deemed insufficient for several reasons, primarily weight. As such, it was made in extremely limited numbers and never tested in Vietnam.

The Army

The standard Army infantry vest at the beginning of the war was the M1952A from the late Korean War era. It would be the most commonly seen fragmentation vest in Army use through 1966. The vest is easily distinguished by its brown color, lack of a collar, and epaulettes on the shoulder. It features a zipper front with nylon over flap. This style of vest would remain popular with vehicles crews as the lack of a collar make it more comfortable to wear with a helmet.


When looking at ways to improve the vest, the first thought, aside from more effective materials was to increase the area of protection. The new vest was very similar to the M52 in basic design: zipper front, two pockets, lace sides, etc. but it featured a collar. Hence they were labeled as Armor, Body Fragmentation Protective, With, 3/4 Collar. The first six months of production saw a version with epaulettes on the shoulder. This is the first vest with the “823” specification on the label.

The next variation in the Army Flak Jacket came when they decided to simplify production of the vests and dropped the epaulettes on the shoulder. The resulting vest is the iconic Army flak vest of the Vietnam War. At this point, no other changes were made and the spec tag still retained the 823 designation. The vest would continue production in this manner through 1968.


There were some minor issues with the design, chief among them a tendency for the armor to bunch up inside the vest. As a result, in late 1968, an improvement was designed into the internal ballistic filler in an effort to prevent bunching. The new model was cosmetically identical, but featured a different contract specification number to reflect the change in material. These changes would take place in the production year of 1969 ending the 823 contract series production and replacing them with the 122 series as the code for the new anti-bunching inserts. At this point, it was still referred to as Armor, Body Fragmentation Protective, with 3/4 Collar Fragmentation and featured the zipper front.


The final changes to the 3/4 Collar Flak were ordered in late 1969 for production to start in 1970. The vest would retain the 122 designation and the new anti-bunching inserts, but they would change the zipper front closure to a velcro closure. The thought process was that zippers could be damaged in combat by shrapnel or fragments making the vest difficult to remove from a wounded solder. This was the first cosmetic change since the epaullettes were removed at the end of 1966. These vests began production in 1970 and had a nomenclature change as well. At this point, the vest was renamed Armor Body Fragmentation Protective Vest with 3/4 Collar, M-69




While production and design improvements were being made on the 3/4 Collar vests, there was still a push to apply the technology from the ceramic plates of the Aircrew Body Armor (chicken plate) for infantry use. The concept was a bullet proof vest for infantry use was intriguing and the need for it became more apparent as casualties grew in Vietnam. The result of Natick’s efforts was Variable Body Armor. The armor set consisted of a nylon felted vest with a front and rear ceramic plates. It was named Variable Armor as the carrier could be worn alone for protection from fragments, the plates could be worn alone utilizing Velcro and buckled straps, or the plates could be worn in conjunction with the vest carrier to provide maximum protection. The system did provide protection from .30 cal AP rounds, but due to its weight at 20 pounds and the bulk of the system it was never popular in the tropical heat and humidity of Vietnam. Variable armor could be worn with the carrier as shown or the plates could be worn together without the carrier. Due to the weight, 20 pounds, the system was very unpopular with Infantry and was never widely used.



Despite their shortcomings, the USMC experimental body armor with hard plates and the US Army’s Variable Body Armor were important steps in the development of bullet proof body armor for ground troops. The concepts were sound, but the technology was just not there to reduce weight and provide a viable vest. After the war, both the USMC M-55 vest and the Army M-69 vest would see another 15 years of service but development of the next generation of armor would rely heavily on the experimental models from the Vietnam War. The final result was the development of the Personnel Armor System for Ground Troops (PASGT) introduced in the mid 1980’s. With the introduction of the PASGT system, the M-55 and M69 of Vietnam fame were finally retired.

Inventory Update

We have several new items listed. We have three OD Cotton USMC M-41 Haversacks as well as a 68 dated Nylon USMC M-41 Haversack. We also have a nice, 1968 dated 3/4 Collar Flak in size Large available.

New Items Listed

We have several new items that have been listed on the site recently. Go to mooremilitaria.com, click on the “shop now” button and check the newly listed page for details. We have added a nice BAR belt, M-41 Haversack in Nylon, a CWU-1/P Winter Flight Suit, a dummy belt of ammo for an over-sized 1919 trainer, a pair of 69 dated leather boots in 11R, and we added size 7 3/8th in the 2nd pattern OG-106 ball cap in the uniforms section.

The XM16E1 Rifle



In 1958, the United States military evaluated two prototypes being considered as a new standard issue infantry rifle. One of the requirements identified as centrally important for the new rifle was reduced weight. A lightweight rifle would allow soldiers to carry more equipment, supplies, and ammunition. Just as the new designs were being evaluated, the U.S. Army’s Continental Army Command compiled and eventually published two combat studies from both world wars to help shape the requirements for the new rifle. One of the more compelling statistics from this study revealed that 2/3 of soldiers in combat never fired their weapons and that the vast majority of firefights occurred at close range and commenced as “surprise” encounters, especially in a tropical environments. Assuming that the low-intensity conflict South East Asia would continue to escalate, the Continental Army Command recognized that a lightweight rifle firing a small caliber, high velocity cartridge would be the ideal weapon for the coming jungle war. Of the two prototypes submitted to the U.S. Army’s Infantry Board for evaluation, the ArmaLite AR15, which was based on an earlier design by Eugene M. Stoner stood out early on as the better gun. 

Weapons Testing and Reception

In 1961, General Curtis Emerson LeMay is made the fifth Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force and, shortly thereafter, he placed an order for 80,000 AR15’s for U.S. Air Force security forces. However, the President John F. Kennedy’s administration refused the order on the grounds that it the logistical challenges associated with having two different rifle calibers – 7.62x51mm and 5.56x45mm – in use by the U.S. military at the same time would be too great. As the conflict in South East Asia continued to grow, the U.S. sent 10 AR15s to Vietnam for testing and evaluation in early 1962. Soldiers using the AR15 quickly praised the rifle’s effectiveness in combat. In response, the US sent more rifles for South Vietnamese Special Forces unites. Soldiers using the weapon, again, offered unreserved praise for the stopping power of the rifle’s 5.56x45mm cartridge.

Although the AR15 received great accolade for its performance in battle, what no one knew outside of the men using it was that the wounds the rifle produced were ghastly – so much so that the photographs showing these wounds remained classified until 1980. The source of the rifle’s destructive power was not so much the 55g 5.56mm bullet it fired, but the pitch of the rifle’s barrel’s rifling.  The 1 in 14 twist rate of the rifling produced sufficient ballistic stability to get the bullet to a target, but on impact with that target, the bullet tended to tumble end over end. Although the 1 in 14 twist rifling produced devastating lethality, it did not produce satisfactory accuracy in cold temperatures. In July of 1963, Secretary McNamara approved the Air Force’s request to change the rifling twist to 1 in 12. The main theory being that the increased probability of a hit outweighed the higher chance of a kill resulting from that hit. 

Final Stages of Development: M16 vs XM16E1

As the shortcomings of the M14 rifle’s design became more thoroughly understood, more attention was shifted to the new AR15 rifle. The Kennedy Administration and other officials began to push for a “modern” rifle and the AR15 provided the clear answer. With the change to the 1 in 12 twist rate having been already made, the U.S. Air Force’s plans to adopt the AR15 began to move forward swiftly. The Army however, was still dragging its feet and looking for ways to challenge the adoption of the new rifle. The Army insisted on the installation of a bolt closure device so that the troops would have the ability to manually close the bolt on a rifle in the event of a malfunction.  Manual bolt closure had been a part of the design of every U.S. service rifle since the M1903 Springfield, and the Army was not about to give up on it now. Both the Air Force and Eugene Stoner insisted that the rifle did not require a bolt closure device and pointed out that there had been no failures in testing that would have been remedied by the addition of the device. The Air Force stood fast on the fact that the bolt closure device was unneeded while the Marine Corps and Navy sided with the Army in recognition of the device being potentially useful.

By October of 1963, U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Strange McNamara had no choice but to recognize that the service branches would not all agree on the change and that there would not be a single model of the rifle. Soon thereafter, Contract 508, which was valued at $13.5 million, was issued to Colt on November 4, 1963. The contract was for 104,000 rifles. 85,000 rifles with the bolt closure device (forward assist) would be for delivery to the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps. These were designated XM16E1 rifle (Experimental M16, change one – the addition of the forward assist). The remaining 19,000 rifles would be delivered to the Air Force and did not have the bolt closure device. They were designated as the M16. The only difference between the two models was the the bolt closure device, and the roll marked name designation on the receiver. Delivery of these rifles began in March of 1964.

The Army’s rifles were delivered to elite units including Special Forces, the 101st Airborne Division, the 82nd Airborne Division and the newly formed 1st Cavalry Division. Early use in Vietnam and the 82nd Airborne Division’s use of the weapon in the Dominican Republic indicated that the design was a great success. In July 1965, General Westmoreland asked that a logistical study be conducted to evaluate the possibility of expanding the adoption of the new rifle to such an extent that it would be issued to every U.S. serviceman in Vietnam. In the Fall he advocated ordering 100,000 new rifles. The low recoil, light weight, and impressive rate of fire of the 5.56mm XM16E1 was perfect for the jungles of Vietnam. However, the quick success and immediate need for more rifles would soon lead to problems.



Mistakes and Casualties

With an increase in demand for rifles came an increase in demand for ammunition, which would ultimately cause a series of notorious failures that would plague the M16’s reputation for decades to come. Ammunition manufacturers were struggling with the requirements specified by the technical data package for the M193 cartridge (the official designation for the M16’s 5.56mm ammunition). High gas port pressures, chamber pressures, and cyclic rates of fire, along with arguments over the bullet’s shape initially led all approved ammunition manufacturers to decline bidding on the contract. However, an agreement was eventually reached and DuPont produced CR8136 powder (commonly referred to as stick or tube) and Olin Mathieson produced WC846 powder (commonly referred to as ball powder). This initially satisfied the Army by keeping with the concept of having two approved yet different powders to compensate for shortages, manufacturing problems, etc. However, in reality, DuPont could not meet consistent pressure measurements for the ammunition which resulted in the first 18 months of ammunition production using the WC846 powder almost exclusively.

By September of 1965 evidence and testing clearly indicated that the WC846 powder caused a higher cyclic rate and was more prone to fouling. In fact, the 15th Memo Report on the XM16E1 system stated “the control propellant, WC846 though otherwise satisfactory, does produce quantities of fouling…sufficient to affect weapon function if the weapon is not cleaned after firing a maximum or 1,000 cartridges… that [Olin] be encouraged to modify their propellant.” However, the rifle continued to fair well in Vietnam, primarily as a result of the training that soldiers in elite units had received.

In the summer of 1966, the new rifle began replacing the M14 in all U.S. Army combat arms units – soon, “everyone” would have the XM16E1 rifle. Many units received them in-country with very little attention paid to training the soldier on the care and maintenance of the new rifle. A shortage of cleaning kits, a total lack of a chamber brush, shortcomings in training, and ammunition that created fouling problems soon led to failures in combat that ultimately resulted in a Congressional Investigation, the Ichord Committee, in 1967.

By late 1966/early 1967, chamber brushes, bore brushes, and a swab holder for the new 4 piece cleaning rod were on order. Maintenance cards were printed and circulated to help instruct soldiers on the care of their new rifle. While necessary, it would still take months to get these items into the field. In the late 60’s, the Army turned to artist Will Eisner of Mad Magazine to help illustrate maintenance comics. Anything that could be done to help a soldier care for his rifle would be done.


Revisions and a New Generation

The XM16E1 rifle had many small changes during its development, but there were 10 primary engineering changes that took place before the reclassification of the rifle as “Standard A” and its eventual designation as the M16A1 in February of 1967. The gas tube, buffer, bolt hardness, bolt carrier key finish, firing pin retainer, bolt catch, disconnector, and flashider were all modified, and a raised fence area was added around the magazine release to help prevent hitting the release unintentionally. A chrome plated chamber would eventually be added to the revision list in May of 1967.

While these changes enhanced the rifle’s performance and reliability in the field, they did not address the heart of the issue. The “failure to eject” stoppages were primarily being caused by the change in powder type from a stick propellant, to ball propellant. This switch achieved the desired muzzle velocity of 3,300fps, but it increased the cyclic rate of fire from 850 rounds per minute to 1,000 rounds. This caused poor case extraction as a result of prematurely opening the bolt, and it increased fouling in the rifle in both the gas system and chamber. The main culprit, the ball propellant, would not have its formula adjusted and re-designated as WC844 until January of 1970



With design improvements, a chrome chamber, reformulated powder, and proper training for soldiers in the field on the use and maintenance of the rifle, reliability improved quickly – as did morale. A testament to the legacy of the M16 series is the M16A4 currently in use the U.S. Marine Corps and the M4 Carbine in use by the US Army. 50 years after is adoption by the U.S. Military, the M16 family is still soldiering on as the longest serving US rifle.


Contact Us

Inventory Update

We have added a pair of jungle boots in size 9R to the page and also received a new shipment of 1st model OG-106 ball caps. We now have sizes: 7, 7 1/8, 7 1/4, 7 3/8, and 7 1/2. Some of the sizes we have fairly deep inventory, some we only have a few pieces.

Inventory Update

We have added many new items to the site recently and have more to go. In the past few weeks we have added 1950’s and 60’s dated bandages. We also listed a pair of 69 dated leather combat boots in size 11R. Today we added four complete Lightweight Rucksacks, a Lightweight Rucksack Frame, and 64 dated Rucksack Bag for use with a welded frame. We have some other items including a nylon – dual rope ridge USMC M-55 Flak that we will list in the next few days. Also looking to get a new supply of original 1st pattern OG-106 ball caps back instock soon.

Inventory Updates

We added several new items in the past few days. We have a pair of unissued original panama sole jungle boots in 11R. We also added some 60’s dated 1qt canteens and OD Cotton Canvas Tripod Covers. We should have some more 1st aid dressings sooner than later if our hunt for them pans out! As some of you have noticed, we also added a “Tactical Gear” category as well as a “Modern Surplus” category. We have listed a lot of nice items in the Modern Surplus in the last two weeks including USGI Multicam Uniforms, USGI Multicam MOLLE II Gear, ACH Helmets, etc. All of the items are in mint, unissued condition. We are going to limit the offerings in this category, so for “modern” gear we are trying to offer the hard to find and in great condition.

Inventory Update

Lot’s of things going on here at the shop. We listed a nice, solid VG used M-67 Buttpack on the website today. We also finished adding photos to some of the pouches in the Tactical Gear Section. We went on a buying trip and found a new source for Nam era bandages. We hope to have them back instock in two weeks or so. We also have a good selection of unissued MOLLE II pouches and webbing inbound in Multicam as well as some unissued USGI Multicam uniforms (the real deal, not a commercial copy). Finally we also found some unissued ACH Helmets in mint condition. We will be adding these items to the Tactical Gear / Modern Surplus section in the next few weeks as they come in.

New Items: Hot Weather Flyer’s

We added two pair of Hot Weather Flyer’s pants (size SL and ML) to the site as well as a nice Flyer’s shirt in size XL Short. Also working on expanding some more of the pouches on the Tactical Gear Page and will update with photos late next week.

Inventory Update: Tadpole Tigers

All sizes of tadpole tigers are back instock and ready to ship. If you have an order on “hold” waiting for tadpole tigers, your order will ship today. Thanks for your patience!

New Items

We added two new field jackets to the One of a Kind Page including a USAF Field Jacket and a nice M-51. Also would like to point out some other new items on that page. We not have a limited stock of Specialist 6th Class rank in subdued sleeve, color sleeve, and subdued pin on. All are original vintage items. We have had OD Boxers on the site for years, but only in size XL. I have added a small supply of original XL, 2XL and 3XL! We have also added both VG and EXC condition PRC radio carriers. Finally, we have listed some 80’s dated sweatbands in NOS condition to offer a less expensive alternative to the DSA dated sweatbands that we carry.

New Items: OG-106 Ball Caps

We have a small stash of 1960’s dated OG-106 ball caps that just came in. They are in overall EXC used condition. Sizes include: 7 1/8, 7 1/4, 7 3/8, and 7 1/2. See What’s New Page in the store for photos and details.

Tadpole Tiger Update

For those who have been patiently watching and waiting, the Tadpole tigers should be here at the store and ready to ship on Monday the 4th of August. I updated the site for available sizes in anticipation of their arrival and did not expect so many orders before they came back in. If you have some Tadpoles on order, I have your order charged and ready ship with all tracking numbers, receipts, etc. As soon as the tigers arrive I will pack your order and get it on the way. We hope to have all pre-orders / back-orders filled and shipped by Tuesday the 5th. Thank you for your patience!