Vietnam Army using M4-style AR-15 carbines!

Keen-eyed reader Lance spotted these photos on Wikipedia

Vietnam People’s Army Marines
Vietnamse ready to perform their 1000th anniversary march (that would be the 1000th anniversary of Vietnam, not the Army)

They could be captured Colt Commando carbines, but given the condition that appear to be in, I think it is more likely that they have been purchasing Norinco CQ 5.56mm carbines.

[ Many thanks to Lance for emailing me the pics. ]

UPDATE: They may have been manufactured by this factory.

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Vak

    Most likely they don’t use them and only have them around to make like all the western special forces and show that they too, have M4s.

    Hey Vietnam, the ar15 is old stuff now, get with the time, the cool kids rolls with HK416 and SCARs, not with old as dirt M4s !

  • Seriously Mike

    Heh, Vietnamese with M4s. So deliciously ironic.

  • Aurelien

    They seem to be refurbished Colt Commandos, original or copies made somewhere in Asia. They definitively have the old school A1 uppers, without deflector and with the A1 rear sight.
    A friend that lived for a few years there told me the Vietnamese army has quite a few M16A1 rifles, they might have modified them for special ops.

    And thats a bunch of old school Colt Commandos. They seem to have markings on the magwell, but the quality is to low to tell what it is.

  • snmp

    in fact Vietnam have it own factory of AR15 clone. Some peopoles in Swiss Weapon forum claime that Astra AR15 clone are build base vietnamses part

  • Bill

    The Vietnamese Army infantry weapons section of Wikipedia doesn’t shed any light either as they also list AKMs and 74s as other weapons. Probably a good call that they’re Norinco.

    But what does that say about the 5.56 round being adopted by Vietnam?

  • snmp

    the name of carbine for VPA is sound like to be M18 ( the name use by South VN Force for xm177e2 )


  • flatdarkmars

    True A1 uppers, without the ‘Brunton bump’ case deflector. Also, one of the other photos in the Wikipedia article makes it appear that they have flat slip rings instead of the current tapered delta ring. BUT they have fat, ‘M4’ style, 7-vent hole handguards. So an odd mix of old and new features.

  • El Duderino
    • El, LOL, well spotted, there are heading toward 3000 blog posts and I forget what I have posted!

  • We’ve got tons of those Norincos up here in Canada, most people seem to feel they’re a pretty good value.

    I don’t see why Vietnam couldn’t be making their own though.

  • snmp
  • Lance

    I like that some have sound suppressors. And some may have M-4 Style 6 position butt stocks.

  • snmp

    The Vietnameses soldiers in the pics are “Vietnam Marine Police” (Cảnh Sát Biển) with navale police & coast guard mission

  • Mat

    I doubt then need to refurbish old Us weapons as Vietnam is a major AR15/M16/M4 parts manufacturer many Ar15 family manufacturers use recievers (raw or finished form)and bunch of other parts made in vietnam (example mentioned Swiss Astra Arms,also many other companies)

  • Ndoggunfreek

    But look closley at the 20 rnd mags and the M-16A1 uppers.