Dragoon breath

Has somebody any info about 12 gauge loaded with incendiary loading used by US Army in Viet-Nam ?
I am talking of the shells called Dragoon Breath (the genuine ones , not the funny aftermaket ones)

I love special purpose ammo and have pursued it for most of my collecting days and I must say I am always game to learn more, but I have never heard of a

Thanks Pepper.

My source is an american guy who is not a collector.
He used to be in a special group (don’t remember the name) in Vietnam and after he was working for another agency (don’t remember the name, it is like CIA but not CIA, but was cooperating with it) in Turkey, Liban, Central America, Iran.

His work in Viet-Nam was doing special operations and after in middle East he was overthere to help the police and so on.

His career finished when he was badly injuried and now he is no more working for the goverment.

Anyway, this guy is not collecting, and I trust him because :

  • first he perfectly knows all the silenced weapons used at this time, american ones and foreign ones (he used when the operations were very secret)
  • second he gave (I say gave !) me a lot of special ctges (in boxes) like for example US made sterile Ak 47 ctges or AP 9 para made in USA (not the KTW), 12 Gauge flechettes, 9 para subsonic made by ELD, aso
  • third he gave me foreign ctges even Bill W. didn’t have (old 380 ACP turkish rounds , ball and dummy for example)
  • and so on

Therefore when he says he had special 12 Ga incendiary ctges loaded with napalm for a special mission I think he is right.

All the things (weapons, ctges, tools, clothes aso) used by army or government agency are not always listed in manuals or official lists.

Just to give you some idea:
In the 80’s I worked on a telecommuniactions project for the french army.
The project in itself was very special and we didn’t go through all the military paperwork as I was in the habit of. My product was absolutely sterile and if you take a look on it you will think at first they were from civilian origin (I said civilian I din’t say french).
I made many experiments in Army field with the guys to test the devices.
And one day I visited their casern and I took a look on their equipment.
Imagine how surprised I was when I discovered that all (I say all) was not coming from the french army !!
The weapons were MP5K (instead of FAMAS), the handguns were not MAC 50.The ctges (including special loadings) , the knifes, the lights, the food were not from the French army,(even the clothes !), but coming from civilian market because, as they told me, they were allowed to choose the best , even if it is not military, in any domain.

And I can assure you, at this time (perhaps now it is different), you will never find on a french army listing some weapons as : MP5, AK 47, or russian grenades or any of the silencers, clothes, ctges and so on they had !


Looks like pretty similar to Russian spec ops. For example Alpha team also has ability to adopt any equipment including foreign weapons.

the team i was making the devices is about the same indeed


I have only ever heard of the gunshow Dragon Breath, and frankly a cartridge loaded with Napalm makes no sense to me. I have worked around it in Vietnam.

Second, there many more guys who claim to be Vietnam vets then were ever in Vietnam or SEA. Some are not even old enough to have gone. A few years back there was a guy in San Antonio who was a very vocal Vietnam vet, and it turned out he was only 12 years old in 1972 when we left. It is almost a joke if it isn’t so sad. It also seems that 80% of the guys who claim to have been there were all special ops or in some secret unit. The more secret and less heard of the better. The truth is your guy’s story sounds totally made up to me.

The cartridges he gave you have all been floating around the gun business (ie gun shows) in box lots and I have owned boxes of most of them. 20-30 years ago you could buy boxes (or I guess cases) of them for shooting.

I have spent time around the Special Operations business over the years including some of the black activities, and you are correct, they buy (or have made) whatever they want. Some of it works and some doesn’t.

To me he gives himself away when he says he was in a group “like the CIA but not CIA”!!! I don’t believe it. Could I be wrong? Sure, but I don’t think so.



You’re right. It is both a joke and sad at the same time. When I see those guys standing on a street corner holding up their sign, “VIET NAM VET, PLEASE HELP”, and they are in their 30s . . .

But I suppose it has aways been so. And always will.



You’re right. It is both a joke and sad at the same time. When I see those guys standing on a street corner holding up their sign, “VIET NAM VET, PLEASE HELP”, and they are in their 30s . . .

But I suppose it has aways been so. And always will.


We have same “vets” of Afghanistan company and even new generation of “vets” of Chechnya who never were there.


Do you know how many Viet Nam vets it takes to screw in a light bulb?

I feel better…I did not know you were asking about the chance of a particular round(s) being used in “black ops” or “spook stuff”. It is well said, (as I have been told), in those “circles” the “rules” were/are different. I would not expect to get definitive info on any “weird” ammunition unless something made it’s way being classified (and since declassified and released)(most, I am told, never made it close to a piece of paper !)…or as we are all alluding to…imaginative stories and hearsay prevails in the

I can’t speak for today, but this used to happen within the military itself. In 1958, when I was working the Military Personnel section of Yukon Command, USARAL, I always interviewed any new soldier in any of the units for which I kept the 201 files, to correct any errors in his records. I got one guy who I noted was wearing a Purple Heart and Korean War ribbons. On checking his files, his earliest entry into the service was in 1953, but late enough that I felt he could not have made it into the Korean War. A check with TAG Records Center in St. Louis confirmed that was his first enlistment. He was still in Basic Training when the Korean war ended, and had never subsequently even served in Korea. I reported it to the unit commander. Within a couple of weeks this E-5 Sgt. was a Private E-2 and wearing only what the rest of us who never served in combat were wearing - his marksmanship medals. He is lucky he was adminstratively reduced and not by General Courts Martial.

Am I proud of having turned in a fellow soldier - damned right I am. The Purple Heart is what did it for me. I would have just suggested between him and I that he remove the other ribbons if it were not for that!

It amazed me he was not discovered before coming into our command, although maybe that’s when he started wearing lettuce he wasn’t entitled to.

wouah !!!

  1. First this guy never told me he was working for CIA.
    I said (read my post) :
    (I don’t remember the name, it is like CIA but not CIA, but was cooperating with it)
  2. Viet-nam, Liban, Iran, Europe and Central America is it too much for a career or does it looks good ?
  3. He gave me very rare Turkish rounds. Old and rare.
    Some Bill W didn’t have, some Lew didn’t have.
    (You don’t remember from who you got your Turkish 9 para , Lew ?
    And from where did you get yours, John ?)
  4. Perhaps it was possible to find twenty years ago at gunshows some strange rounds. The fact he had :
    sterile 9 para
    sterile 7.62x 39
    AP 9 para (not KTW, very pointed bullet)
    subsonic ELD 9 para
    9 para with 3 letters hstp (I don’t remember the letters but Lew knows , it is coming from an american laboratory)
    all these rounds in quantity, and some with sterile paper box is strange, isn’t it ?
    (And AP rounds were not already prohibited at this time ?)
  5. Knowing perfectly all the tricks of a MAT 49 (shooting, disassembling, aso) is it common in the States, do you think ? Because,if I am right, not many of them are registered, aren’t they ?
    Same for MAC 50 (very scarce also in USA), silenced Sten and Ingram, Sterling and so on.
  6. And do you know many US guys (I am not talking of very rich people, he isn’t) you can talk with them of : Vietnam, Liban, Turkey, France, Central America ? All places I have been also and I know well.
  7. This guy was not in ctges business he knew nothing except military rounds. He gave me some sporting and old revolvers rounds he din’t even know what they were.
  8. I saw the guns he brought from Turkey and others more modern.
    I can tell you, to find this staff you have to be very well introduced in Turkey (have you already seen gold arabic engraved C96 and P08 in wooden boxes ?) and furthermore to have very good connections both sides if you want to export and import them.

The knowledge he has from this countries proves he has been overthere.
The knowledge of the foreign and special weapons proves he was not a regular GI.
The ctges he GAVE me and the weapons he showed me proves he has very good connections in the countries where he found them and no problem to import them.

So why not believe him when this guy says he used incenfiary 12 Guage ??

Critiscism is easy.

If all that is not enough, I can ask you for example :

  1. In which year did you get your first Russian captive piston round, Pepper?
    Have you ever seen the box ?
  2. What was the special trick in Leban used by the Italian troops and having as effect their headquarter was not bombed like the French and the US, Ray ?
  3. How many rescue raids were tempted in Iran , Slick ?


[quote]So why not believe him when this guy says he used incenfiary 12 Guage ??

What was this special ammunition used for that other ammunition or munitions couldn’t do ?

In my, some might say limited, experience the more special and secret someone says they are the less likely they are telling the truth. But I don’t know in your friend so what he says could be true.


I will not try and speak for the others but will say for myself that I certainly did not mean to imply that your friend was anything other than what he said. You are in a better position than me to make that judgement. My post was to simply concur that there are many people in this world who are not who or what they say they are.

The Internet is a fantastic tool but unfortunately there is also a dark side to it. Anyone with enough time can become an expert on almost any subject. I have been on the Internet for only about 3 years but have had dealings with many of these people. I’m sure you have too. As I said in my post, it has always been so and it will continue to be so. I believe Armourer said it best. The more special or knowledgable someone claims to be, the less likely they really are.

In the words of our late, great President Ronald Reagan, trust but verify.


1998 (? if pistiol), no box

Since you threw my name in there, J-P, guess I can answer too. My 25-book series on the Viet Nam War, “The Viet Nam Experience” will tell me all about the Viet Nam war and where and when it was fought, more than any single veteran of that war would know without further study beyond his own experiences. My first full box of Turkish .380 ammunition dated 1950 came from a friend of mine in Korea along with the pistol, holster and spare magazine (Kirrikal PP Wlather-type) and I have had those since 1956, but I was never in Korea. I don’t recall where my other 40 or so old and new Turkish cartridges in my collections came from. ELD Subsonic loads are common, having been sold commercially in the USA contemproary with their manufacture - I have the box and the rounds in my collection. I have probably 30 or 40 sterile 9mm Para in my collection. I have had sterile 7.62 x 39 in my dupes from Lake City, and other companies, but was never in Laos. I have sterile 5.45 x 40 East German cartridges in my collection, but I was never in Angola. I had a Chicom Type 59 Makarov pistol from Cambodia in about 1966 before the U.S. Science and Technology Center knew they were made there, but I have never been to Cambodia. I had a Czech VZ 52 7.62 x 25 pistol in 1966, brand new with holster and all accessories, 25 years or more before they were ever sold in the U.S. In fact, I published the first article on that pistol to appear in a U.S. Gun magazine. I forget how many varieties of pointed AP rounds I had in 9mm - U.S. and foreign - I had to give them up when I gave up my license. I have French manuals on the MAT 49 and I owned a MAC 1950 brought from Viet Nam originally, so would have no trouble disassembling them, or any other gun covered in even just one book, “Small Arms of the World,” that covers about half of the small military arms of the 20th Century. I was never in the French Army, or in a unit of the U.S. Army that used or even had any French weapons.

Fancy guns - I had Mauser Model 1912/1914 9mm Pistol (for the DWM 487C cartridge) even though my salary as a clerk in a gun shop at the time was very low. I sold it years later for enough to buy a very fine automabile. I still have the pictures that the Japanese Gun Magazine took of my pistol, credited to me, in my gun room. I have never been in Japan, by the way.
I had a Grandpop Nambu, serial number 727 with original stock that was found in Shanghai at the end of the war. I have never been to Shanghai, and was six years old when the war ended. Another gun that today will buy a car. I had the Smith-Corona proto-type M1903A3 Rifle, different in three distinct ways from a standard 03A3 of the same manufacture, the 4th serial number in their assigned range, but I never worked for Smith Corona.

The point is, hardware proves nothing about where you have been and what you have done, nor does it disprove that you have done those things and “been there.”

I did not cast any doubt on the veracity of your friend’s war stories; I simply related my own experience with a phony war veteran, with no mention of your friend, so the use of my name in your answer was gratuitous at the least.

Pistol, San Salvador war, in box

Hi John,

  1. I just asked you where you get your 9 para FTCI round.
    It was from me and coming from this guy. Try to remember.

You agree also I think there is a big difference between regular Turkish 380 dated 1950 and 380 FTCI rounds : normal loading and nickeled dummy.

  1. You are a COLLECTOR and you have been in the GUN BUSINESS for a long time.
    It is for that you KNOW AS MUCH.

  2. I just said in my initial post a guy told me he used D’ B in Vietnam and I was ready to trust him because of what he told me about his carreer, and what he showed me and gave me.

  3. What I don’t like is EVERYBODY is telling it is not true , EVEN before asking more info.
    This is not friendly !!

  4. For my opinion, what he said about his career is the truth.
    The rounds he GAVE me (strange or hard to find),
    the guns he showed me,
    the details on shooting of guns (which are not I think in the books),
    the details on the countries,

All that are for me proofs this guy was :
in the military,
using special weapons,
working with foreign goverments
having good connections to import and export staff
knowing very well countries where most of the US people have never been.

Even if he haven’t told me he has been working for a special group, it is what I would think !


Back to the topic, check out:


(or google: dmclark dragons breath)