In very good plus/excellent condition, we have a 100% correct and original textbook example of an early 1963 production US Army Issued Savage Model 77e 12 gauge Riot Shotgun. This is fully functional and exactly as issued, you will note that as will all of these examples most of the original black stock paint has become worn off. The serial number puts this early in the production run. approximately 67,000 were produced but the actual number used by the Army was about 10,000.
In the early 60’s the United States began to escalate it’s involvement in Vietnam. The Army issued a contract request for combat shotguns to arm the South Vietnamese Army & Police. The Lowest bidder was the Savage Stevens Company which developed the Model 77e for this single purpose. Savage has long been known as a cheap gun maker and they applied all of their tricks on this one; you will notice the “T” cutouts in the recoil pad, that literally saved a penny over the solid one.
When we deployed at strength in Vietnam a need developed for combat shotguns for Army use and there were not enough WWII leftovers to keep up with demand, so about 10,000 of these Model 77e shotguns were diverted right into the Army. They saw extensive action in Vietnam with the Mp’s and also in regular combat as an anti ambush weapon. They were well thought of at close range and actually had a higher kill ratio than the M-16 per an Army study.
This example certainly served and it saw continued use post war probably with a National Guard unit until it was disposed of. Today these shotguns are quite scarce and if you collect Vietnam era small arms this is a significant find.