Quote: With all the speculation, in the end, this new revolver was used in the tunnels during the Vietnam war to hunt for the Viet Congs.The Viet Cong dug elaborate subterranean networks to hide guerrilla fighters and supplies from American firepower.
Soldiers who volunteered to scour these amazingly complex tunnels couldn’t carry full-size M-16 rifles with them through the narrow entry points. M-1911 pistols were their only means of defense.
However, the tight passages amplified the sound of gunshots. These U.S. “tunnel rats” could quickly go deaf from firing their pistols at enemy fighters.
To try and save the soldiers’ ears, Army commanders scrounged up silenced .22-caliber handguns. The Limited War Laboratory at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland also sent suppressed .38 caliber revolvers—but without any special piston rounds.
This gave the AAI Corporation a chance to to build a dedicated “tunnel weapon.”
As it turns out, the AAI’s gun was a modified .44-caliber Smith and Wesson revolver. The weapon fired piston cartridges loaded with 15 steel pellets, making it a miniature shotgun. The Army quickly sent 10 of the unique revolvers and almost 1,000 rounds of ammunition to South Vietnam for testing.
While intended for tunnel-scouting soldiers, the 23rd and 25th Infantry Divisions both handed the weapons over to their Ranger units. Special Forces soldiers reportedly got some of the guns, as well.
Units using it had successes as reported by the U.S. Army, “The tunnel weapon was found to be ideally suited for ambushes.” As originally expected, the elite troops used their silent guns on various occasions to ambush and kill enemy officers.


http://americanshootingjournal.com/t...ent-revolvers/