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Ask SSD – “Do SOF Use Whatever Weapons They Want?”

The answer to the recent request for verification of whether or not Special Operations Forces are allowed to use any weapon they choose, is a very simple, “No.”

26 Responses to “Ask SSD – “Do SOF Use Whatever Weapons They Want?””

  1. Darkhorse says:

    YES but only with brass catchers on denied black ops.

  2. SShink says:

    I though it was OK as long as the weapon has a top rail with a vertical grip and 30 mag clips.

  3. Tim says:

    I think certain usasoc units can swap out uppers, but it’s not technically allowed.

    • Matt says:

      I mean, people would swap the Mk18 lower and put a mk12 upper on it, and some people prefer the 14.5 uppers over a 10.5/vice versa, but yea, no carte blanche on shit, just whats allowed for mission set.

  4. Hubb says:

    What? No Hi-points?

  5. Jack Griffin says:

    Lemme tell ya… I was super disappointed when I learned that they don’t actually get to carry a Goose as a primary and a Cobray Street Sweeper as a secondary. That’s an all-purposes package right there, amigos.


  6. Aaron says:

    They just get cooler shit to choose from

  7. Stefan S. says:

    It was far easier the first few phases of OIF, OEF. Slap on a personal upper rattle canned like your issued lower and nobody cared. 1911’s, FN Hi-Powers, Sten Guns on bungees in the GTV’s. Once both theaters got static (FOB’s etc.) and big Army took over, the chain of command got squeamish. “No non-issued kit allowed” (2009-10 etc.). But we still kept it on the down low till outside the wire.

  8. Matt says:

    I never understood these urban myths where people think special operators/SMU’s just get “carte blanche” on gear selection. That’s just not how it works, they might have a WIDER selection of items to choose from dependent on mission set (e.g. some seal teams being able to pick between the MK23 and the P226/MK25, which I don’t know if it still goes on). If you are detached to a certain unit/enabler, you get to pick from the gear they can acquire, but no one is just going to go out and buy a 10mm glock and carry it in.

  9. paul says:

    If memory serves correctly, swapping uppers on an M4 isn’t a big deal since the only serialized part is the lower…and you can bring it into country with a commanders memorandum. All this depends on where you are going and who has to sign off BUT it is possible.

    I haven’t seen personal weapons taken down range but it doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened.

  10. Kemp says:

    “Do SOF use whatever they want” and “Do SOF use privately owned weapons” are two different questions.

  11. Phase 12 Plasma Rifle in a 40watt range!

  12. Mike Nomad says:

    At an individual level, no. But, when they want something as a unit… When I helped Seal Team Six move to Dam Neck in ’83, they were running MP5s and S&W revolvers, among other bits of then-exotic kit.

  13. Christopher Schmidt says:

    I like when someone tells me that “Their uncle/buddy/brother in SF” brought their personal sidearm with them to Iraq/Astan. It lets me know immediately that they are full of shit, or at least dumb enough to believe the shit that someone else fed them. At any rate, it lets me know not to waste another single second conversing with them.

    That said, many units (not just SF) have utilized weapons they’ve found or confiscated in the field. We were short of M4s (armor unit, only 1 M4 for every 2 tankers) after the invasion (Iraq). Allegedly, many tank crews ended up with confiscated AKs, MP5s, Sterlings, etc.

    • SShink says:

      I personally dropped-off and picked-up a high-school Marine Force Recon buddy from the airport when he deployed to ODS…he had an AMT 45 long slide with him.