A student of the development of the M4, M4A1 and MK18 rifles knows that the lineage of these guns goes back to the Vietnam era with the Colt 629. The United States Army bought the Colt 629 and designated it the XM177E2. The United States Air Force bought the Colt 629 without the forward assist and designated it the GAU-5A/A. At SHOT this year, Troy is offering a limited edition replica of the GAU-5/A/A rifle.
The Colt GAU-5/A/A was carried during the Son Tay Raid (Operation Ivory Coast). The Son Tay Raid took place on November 21st, 1970. The mission was a joint operation between the Air Force and the United States Army Special Forces. The point of the mission was to rescue 61 prisoners of war being held at the Son Tay prison outside of Hanoi. Though the prisoners had been moved, the raid was still deemed a “success” due to the successful application of the tactics rehearsed before the raid and the coordination between the Air Force and the Army. During the raid, United States Special Forces took zero casualties and killed between 100 – 200 enemy soldiers. The 56 operators were on the ground for approximately 27 minutes.
If you want to purchase one of these rifles, you can pre-order one at MyServiceRifle.com. MyServiceRifle.com also has some fascinating information about Operation Ivory Coast as well as some neat pictures. Troy will donate $50 of reach rifle sale to The National League of POW/MIA Families.
I had a reader email me about a glitch in Troy’s pre-order system. If you pre-ordered one of these rifles and did not get an email response saying “Thank you for your interest …” the pre-order didn’t go through, or did not save. If that happened you will need to contact Troy or pre-order again.
Thank you Karl.