my mate lost his gun...

Everyone has seen that panicky look on someon's face.

My mate -let's call him Carrot- kept losing his gat in NI.

It got to be a bit of a habit. He and I were over there in the early '90s, working in plain clothes; that's not as exciting as it sounds, we were just couriers really. Being in civvies gave you lots of opportunities to swan round HQ unshaven, long haired, jeans and rugby shirt etc., just as if you really were Sssshh... Have to Kill you, which no one gave a tiny toss about of course. These opportunities were taken with both hands. The icing on the cake to a teenage squaddy in these circumstances was the Browning in the belt. How cool is that out of eleven? A real gun! Just like in the films! (except you have to load it, and clean it).

Carrot was a very good tradesman but one of the worst soldiers in NATO. In the Sigs, there was a lot of competition for this title. His personal admin was like that of an especially forgetful Alzheimers victim, he took to authority like a duck to paraffin, he drank too much and told RSMs that their wives looked like mooses. There was a lot of competition for these last two points too. Everyone loved him to bits.

his first locational challenge re. pistols came one dismal February morning at a busy heliport in the tourist mecca of Ulster. He and I had just got off a Lynx from some det. or other, he to zip back to HQ by Sierra, me to go on by Gazelle elsewhere. He got his route cleared, put his work bag on the back seat and his personal kit in the boot, and went down to the main gate to sign out with the vehicle, posing like crazy to the chunky on stag, with the butt of the gat ostentatiously poking out of his waistband. Signing out completed, he saunters, Clint Eastwood style, back to the car. Damn. Where's the keys? Rummage rummage, wallet out and on the roof, pistol likewise, (can you see this coming?) ah, found 'em. Whew. Brum brum, off he goes, waving to the chunky who he sees in the mirror practically jumping up and down with the fondness of his farewell. 'Must have really impressed that guy' thinks Carrot, wondering if he should do a radio check. Nah. Why bother? Be there in an hour.

AN hour later...

ID to the chunky on the home gate, step out of car, walk over to sand pit. Hmm, something nagging at his mind. Wonder why the SSM is watching? Looking a bit cheerful, too. Hello, he's beckoning. Best complete the drills first, don't want to get caught out like that. Oh. That's what was nagging at his mind. Damn. Can't let the SSM in on this yet, it must be in the car... Idea! turn back slightly and mimic the actions of a man calmly clearing a pistol. Great plan! That's sorted, bought a few minutes to search under the seat. Best go and see what the SSM wants. Hello sir. A present sir? Deliverd by helicopter 5 minutes ago? Whatever could that be sir? Giftwrapped? Gosh it's heavy... oh. A Browning. Yes it is just like mine sir. Errrmmmm.... In a ditch you say sir? with my wallet?

OK sir. 8 am your office tomorrow. Sigh.
What's a 'stumpy story'?

And, please, don't kid on that any wrac could play chess. No one could sit facing one for long enough.
Gods Teeth! That stuff is hilarious.

Damn, I thought I was doing all right there. Oh well, I'll put the next one on anyway. For every Arsenal there's a Crewe Alexander...

A few weeks later, same tour, Carrot is 200 quid and a stripe lighter but on the same duty.

He has endured all manner of pi55 taking on the subject of guns, including having the armourer hand him a Browning painted with the paint Dyno-Rod use, you know the dayglo orange stuff, ‘so you won’t lose it’. Ha ha says Carrot. Next time it’s a Browning with a length of string attached, a mitten on the other end ‘you can put it inside your coat like when you was a little kid’ oh how hysterical growls Carrot, I’d like to start laughing but I’m afraid I’d never stop.

This has all worn off, and Carrot is at a certain heliport ‘the busiest in Europe’ waiting for CrabAir. (Time to spare? Travel Crab Air!)

As usual, he looks the part, all stubble and tatty jeans, there were a couple of senior Civil Servants and a Minister waiting for the same chopper obviously taken in, but no one else thought he was special. Since when do The Boys play mini Space Invaders on their wrist-watches in public?

The chopper turns up – a Wessex – and out they all go through the swirling snow into the evening gloom. Carrot has his big work bag, a satchel of his own, and the trusty 9mm (not dayglo this time) in his belt. No holster – he never seemed to get around to signing one out.

In they get and up they go, Carrot near the door which has a Crab leaning out with some sort of weaponry, posing like a good ‘un. Carrot later said he looked like something out of Platoon, and Carrot was amusing himself by mouthing ‘wankre’ at him when, to the civilians terror and Carrot’s surprise (he never got the hang of flying), the Wessex banked sharply. Carrot grasps his seat and the edge of the door, braces himself with a foot and oh my Gawd, out pops the Browning and whirls away into the night.

Crab gunner bloke splits a ginormous smile, says something into the mike, and mouths ‘wanerk’ back at Carrot, who buries head in hands and toys with the idea of jumping out.

But what’s this? Unmistakeable sensation of landing. Loady appears with headset. Carrot hears the pilot – a Wing Commander (is that about Colonel?): We were only 120 feet up and the copilot thinks he saw it fall into this field. Out you get and look.

Saved? Hmm. Seconds later, Carrot is out in a foot of snow, the blades turning slowly and the exhaust of the Wessex creating rivers of slush. The copilot is pointing out of the window. Out gets the loady and the gunner, and one of the civvies (presumably the least senior). Everyone is rummaging around, Carrot more frantically than most. Another civvie joins in, and then the pilot! There is only the Minister aboard by now, he must have been a touch concerned at the way things were going.

The pilot shouts Ha! Found it! holding up a snow encrusted Browning sized item. But no, it’s a dog turd. Carrot sees that things are going from bad to worse. At that point the loady actually finds the gat, the odds must have been about a million to one, and they all clamber back in the chopper, the pilot pointedly wiping his hand on Carrots smart briefcase as he gets in.

The rest of the flight was quite uneventful, Carrot not meeting anyones eye and not having a headset, so missing out on what appeared to be quite an amusing conversation amongst the crew. On landing, he hopped out, grabbed his satchel and gripbag from next to the Ministers briefcase and scuttled off to clean his gun.

He never got into trouble for that one – I assume it’s ‘cause the pilot didn’t want to do the paperwork – but he would never hear a word against the RAF ever again. Can’t blame him.
Ta. I feel a bit inadequate having read more AuldSapper stuff, but I'll keep trying. Got to hone those typing skills somehow.

When I look back on my Army time, I seem to recall a lot of genuine hilarity, the sort you just don't get as a civvy. I love these boards for bringing it all back.
roger. I am seeing Carrot soon and will pump him hard. For memories that is. I know there's more, I was in one of them.
Steamywindow said:
Can't let the SSM in on this yet, it must be in the car... Idea! turn back slightly and mimic the actions of a man calmly clearing a pistol. Great plan! That's sorted, ........
:lol: :lol: :lol: Fack ! how did I miss these ? must pay more attention, excellent tales Steamy, keep 'em coming. A'm running oot o' ideas !!! :wink:

Ubique ya bass !!!


War Hero
Book Reviewer
Thanks Steamy - you cheered up a boring Monday morning. Don't go into competition with A-S, as you should continue to write just as you have been doing.

Did Carrot keep a full set of kit one with Lance Jack then one with Corporal then one with Sgt for his ups and, more to the point, downs?

Great stories, keep them coming.
he is not working in basra now cos some yank contractor drove off with his berreta on the roof of his nice new 4*4 a while back
Q. What has 4 legs and a C*NT on its back???

A. A police horse. :D
Talking about losing bangsticks -

On the first exercise you do whilst doing basic, this one bloke (I will not name him as I wish to save you blushing...) slept WITHOUT taking the gat into the dossbag with him.

In the morning, flashbangs everywhere, blanks and shouting: STAND TOOOOO; STAND TOOOOO.

Well, up ina flash and all looking very military kneeling with SLR in the shoulder waiting for the imaginary enemy to appear!

Well, nearly all.... just Rob (ooops) had a branch looking very... well.... unarmed..... :roll:

Platoon sergeant asks him if he would like to kill the screaming soviet with the branch or if he would prefer his rifle back.....
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