Soldiers love to tinker with their equipment. Give a soldier something and he'll fool with it. I don't know what it's like today, but in my service in Viet Nam, I saw some pretty strange stuff. Working with the big Infantry things first, I saw M-60 machine guns cut down to just forward of their gas tubes, eliminating the flah supressor, bipod, and six inches of their barrel . I spoke to the man who had done this and he explained that "the flash and noise scared the hell out of the gooks." I know it scared the hell out of me, he was all over the place with it. The fireball must have been four feet. (It was on a range.) The M-79 grenade laucher was a single shot, great weapon. It would put a 40MM grenade very accurately on a man sized target out to about three hundred meters. The bursting range was 5 meters (kill zone) and 15 meters (wound zone.) It also kicked like hell. This was with a full stock and thick rubber recoil pad. I saw them cut down to the pistol grip, and five inches sawed off the barrel. That must have been fun to shoot. I also saw M-14's cut down to the gas port and the stocks cut to the pistol grip. One Lieutenant carried a M-2 carbine cut to the forend with a the sight re-mounted on 8" barrel. It was a folding stock. He also carried a .38 S&W Chief's Special in an ankle holster. Wouldn't that have worked well after wading through a rice paddy. Any infantyman could get hold of a M1911A1 .45 if he really wanted one. Technically .45's were issued to Officer's and NCO's. BUT, there was a wonderful instrument called a "Hand Receipt" in which you could transfer Government property from one unit to another, or from one individual to another. So, If Sergeant Jones is rotating home, he toddles down to the supply room, get's a blank hand receipt, and signs it over to SP/4 Smith. He dutifully turns in two copies to the supply room, throws his copy away, and his friend has a pistol. Many men decided to get ther own personal pistols, however, and such a hodgepodge you have never seen. Helicopter pilots with WWII German Lugers, P-38's, and S&W .357 Magnums. Browning P-35's were pretty common, and I remember a Polish Radom 9MM. Families would send pistols concealed in baked goods wrapped in tin foil to their Son's. One man was thrilled to show me a Browning .25ACP his fiance had sent him. A .25 ACP? In a combat zone? Don't ask me. Knives were another thing. The issue M-16 Bayonet was too light for routine work. (I never saw it used for anything else). So Western Bowies ($12.00 a copy in those times), Randall's and Air Force Survival knives abounded. At one point we were issued fluorescent orange swichblade knives with a parachute cord cutting hook????? Odd time.