In the day, the suppressed weapon of choice for surreptitious sentry takeout, or quietly killing a guard in attempt to gain deeper access into a target subject, was the 9 x 19mm Heckler and Koch MP-5SD (pictured below).

A 9mm MP5 SD3 Heckler and Koch submarine gun.
A 9mm MP5 SD3 Heckler and Koch submachine gun.

Not good enough for the rogue Sam. He preferred the superior stopping power of the American-made .45 caliber Automatic Colt Pistol (ACP) cartridge fired through a suppressed M-3 “Grease Gun” submachine gun. I admit, I had never heard of it, and the first time I saw it appear in Delta was when Sam came a-totin’ it into the team room reciting a planning rhyme taken from the film “The Dirty Dozen”: “One, two, the guards are through!”

“What are you going to do with that, Sam? Plant potatoes?”

The first live use of the ‘potato planter’ was in downtown Fayetteville, North Carolina. The Fayetteville Police Department identified several crack houses in a rundown hood that we would use as training targets before they were demolished.

“No bangers,” our squadron sergeant major, Vince P., declared during our mission planning. “We can’t take the risk of starting fires in these houses. I know, they are going to be torn down anyway…but no bangers!”

“Hey Sam, with bangers out of play, and only suppressed weapons, we can go on a hit for once without earplugs!”

“Cool!” Sam agreed, and we advanced onto the target buildings in the night of ~2200hrs.

Live ball ammunition was on the order of the target takedown, and steel bullet traps were placed behind all terrorist targets on the objectives. The van we were crammed into came to a gentle stop curbside several houses down from our objective. As we crept toward our house, all decked out in James Bond black, an order came over each headphone: “Compromise, compromise, compromise!” That meant we needed to rush the objective, gain entry, and neutralize the threat immediately.