So you are a Navy SEAL crawling around deep in the enemy’s back yard. You are vastly outnumbered which means your primary weapon is stealth. You are a shadow—you have to be if you expect to get out of this alive. The thing is, the enemy’s camp has dogsthat are bound to bark. What do you do to keep hidden?

What was the Hushpuppy?

Today the US Navy’s 2000+ Special Warfare operators, commonly referred to as SEALs for their mastery of SEa, Air-and Land insertion and extraction techniques, are well-known. In the 1960s, however the concept was brand new and just a few hundred men formed two small teams of frogmen. The majority of these divers, trained to fight in small groups, were forward deployed in a nice slice of green hell and brown water known as Vietnam. Operating in an intensive and unforgiving environment, these early Seals were always on the lookoutfor non-standard firearms to help give them an edge. Besides the myriad of standard-issue military weapons in Uncle Sam’s deep closets, the Seals used Swedish K-guns, commercial shotguns, and non-standard pistols.

Navy SEALs in Vietnam (photo courtesy of
Navy SEALs in Vietnam
(photo courtesy of

Among these was the Smith and Wesson M39, a 9mm handgun. Originally bought as a commercial off the shelf design this compact semi-auto pistol was coupled to an effective detachable suppressor and dubbed the Mk 22. Since its use was in taking out sentries and the occasional yapping stray dog, it was commonly referred to as the Hush Puppy.

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(Featured image courtesy of