Quantico Tactical

Vietnam-era NZSAS

Fine study of a New Zealand SAS patrol member, c1969/70; the noticeably clean ERDL uniform suggests that the photo was taken at the start of the mission. His web gear is M1956 with at least one low-slung SASR pouch; hung from his harness are M33 “baseball” (predecessor to the M67), M18 smoke and M34 white phosphorus grenades. Note the special SASR patrol gloves. His SLR has typical modifications: most obviously, the removal of the carrying handle, sling swivels and flash suppressor.

Late and well-worn equipment set used by a New Zealand SAS man, shown from the rear to illustrate personal modifications. The M1956 belt and suspenders are unchanged except that the former is fitted with a Davis quick-release buckle. The four Australian M1956 “large pouches” have all been modified by the removal of the metal slide keepers and addition of cloth belt loops. The outer pair are configured to hang low; the one on the right has a small leatherette pouch for a sharpening stone stitched to its side. Two canteens are worn: at right an unmodified M1956, at left a British 44 Pattern fitted with belt loops to ride higher than usual. All components have been camouflage-painted in greens, browns and black.

For more information on Vietnam-era SOF, visit instagram.com/studies_and_observation_group

4 Responses to “Vietnam-era NZSAS”

  1. Phil says:

    How many mags, 6 or 4?

  2. Insane Soldier says:

    Those belt mount pouches that are high -low mount were awesome!I used 2 of them in low mount for extra E and E kit. I have always wondered why a modern vetsion was not made again.

  3. Howard Hatfield says:

    I always loved the idea of running rather slick like that, but I always then ended up needing to carry a map, cleaning kit, electrical tape, map pens, protractor, compass, flash light with red lens, 550 cord, first aid kit, glove shells, extra boot blouses to prevent getting PTed for unsat uniform, boot brush and/or polishing kit so we didn’t get in trouble for having dirty boots in the field, extra collar stays incase one gets bent in the field, extra 8 point cover rigid insert in case something smashes your cover, E-Tool for the fighting position you are going to have to dig because your collar say got bend and you fail 0230 uniform inspection while on fire watch, black paint or enamel to repaint your metal chevrons should the paint on them get chipped while you are in the field so that Top Sgt doesn’t fuck you up when you get back from the field. Old school metal iron you can heat in the fire fit and starch so you can fix the creases on your uniform between patrols because we are not able to fight the enemy unless we look professional, etc.

    So we always ended up with day packs or over stuffed buttpacks.

  4. Kelvin says:

    That’s a training pic from Malaysia.


    Great website on Kiwis in Vietnam.

    They were still issuing the “large pouches” for magazines (hold 4x steyr mags or 200 rds of 5.56 link) with ALICE and M1956 webbing in the mid 90’s, also it was standard practice to replace the butt pack with 2-3 of them. Another common mod was to replace the ALICE clips with belt loops on your webbing.