A marauding gang can do to your NPT what was done to the US unit shown in the video or the soviets in the photo above. They’ll get in close if you’re not out there looking for them. You’ll walk into their ambush. Learn from History….don’t let it repeat itself all over your NPT, NPA, and ‘precious cargo,’ when OPFOR is done with you.
H/T to ‘Weapons Man’, here.
The story also underscores the need for skills that Sam Culper can teach you, here.
“The film gives a sense of just how an ambush feels from the receiving end, if it’s a well-done ambush. By 1967 the 271st Regiment had been at war for about nine years and was the repository of a great deal of institutional knowledge about fighting. The 2/28 was manned by draftees and led by careerists.
Repetitive Public Service Announcement: Having a gun is not enough . . .
It’s the R&D guy here (Chris) . . . I’m the one who doesn’t post as much.
Last night a market / beer shop owner that I used to see on a semi regular basis was murdered. He was a heck of a nice guy, knew his beers very well, would take the time to talk to his customers. I’m learning this morning that I work with people that knew this guy – he was that kind of personality. What a shame. During the robbery, the store owner was able to get his gun out and exchange fire with the criminal (and wounded the criminal). He went down fighting. Thankfully, the police now have a blood trail to follow the bad guy. Other than the fact that he (the store owner) was reacting to an ambush, there aren’t very many details available yet. If the bad guy is still alive, maybe he’s holed up somewhere slowly bleeding out and going septic from a gut shot. One can only hope.
The sobering reality for me and people in my community is that the party shop owner was right next door to the diner that I take my family on the weekend, and right next door to the place where my precious cargo gets their hair cut. Generally it’s a peaceful area. But you just never know . . . .
Ironically, at my real job, I have to follow up on projects that are in some really nasty “hoods”. And without drawing attention to yourself, you keep your head on a swivel for real. Seriously, it’s that kind of an area. But then stuff like this happens right around the corner in a seemingly nice area. And it’s a reminder that the people of my metro area are actually seeing is criminals moving out of the city and into the ‘burbs. There’s not much left to rape and pillage in the city. So welcome to the new “hood”. It’s right around the corner from your family’s house. I’m guessing my area is not the only one in the country that’s seeing this spread of criminals from the urban areas to the suburban areas. The time to learn to fight is not after stuff gets real. Being on the wrong end of a gun is not a good place to be, but looking down the barrel of a gun with very few options other than “Gee I hope this guy doesn’t pull the trigger” is a much, much worse predicament. It sucks. At least the store owner had the awareness and ability to fight back.
It’s a good reminder that the mere possession of a gun is not enough. It’s a reminder to get into the training area, practice fighting to the draw, and drawing to fight with the pistol. (Craig Douglas’s (www.southnarc.com) name is synonymous with that kind of training). I know I incorporated ECQC into my personal training routine long ago, and into our self-defense program as well. If you get a chance, go train with him or someone like Paul Sharp (www.sharpdefense.me) . We are adding our program (Finish It Now –Self Defense System) to our online classroom to augment training needs (nothing trumps live instructor training though). We also run courses on combatives from time to time as there is interest, but usually as a broken out class in our Train the Trainer course. If you haven’t before and haven’t in a while, get back into training combatives and realistic pistol use (for contact range).
Our approach is to develop the complete Self-Defense Fighter. There are guys who can fight like no tomorrow on their back. There are guys that can get a pistol on target and fire shots in fractions of a second. I want to be ALL of those guys. The trick is balancing the efforts appropriately. We train in the following areas:
Combat Mindset (This is one of the best articulations of combat mindset I’ve read)
Fighting Attributes (developed through LOTS of practice – timing, speed, combinations, command of range, etc)
Stand-Up Fighting, including developing a great clinch fighting ability
Ground Defense (how to survive on the ground and get back to your feet)
Edged Weapons defense (stuff that actually works when you go full force)
The Fighting Pistol – Drawing to Fight and Fighting to the Draw
The good news is that this kind of training doesn’t have to be complicated. Good instruction in proven methods is a must. The dedication to training it over and over and over is the biggest hurdle for people. Getting over that hurdle sure beats the hell out of “damn I wish I had trained more”. We cannot choose the moment when bad guys come to take our life, but we can choose how we react.
And to the criminals and marauders out there: As Edmond Dantes said to Albert Mondego in the “Count of Monte Cristo” – “ Do your worst . . . For I shall do mine”.
Thanks for taking the time to read.
Spring…when a man’s mind turns to….well, ok, it’s already there, as per male SOP….but it should ALSO turn to making sure the winter weapons and equipment set up is inspected and modified for more temperate use.
Here’s a few things you need to consider:
- Personal Defense Carbine/Rifle: I always use the opportunity for the Spring or Winter ‘Re-Lube’ as a great reason to do a deep-cleaning of the entire rifle. Everything I can get to without being a qualified armorer. The idea is to ensure that should SHTF, your platform is operating at optimum rather than minimal performance.
- Buffer Tube – AR users need to pull the buffer and spring, take a cloth and wipe out the tube. Take a very, very light coating of lubricant and coat the inside of the tube; lightly coat the spring and buffer, and reassemble.
- Chamber – Get some ‘Tapco’ brand lug pads for the AR, and clean the lug recesses as well as the lug area forward of the recesses. Don’t worry about lubricating this area. The light coat of lubricant on the AR bolt assembly will take care of any needs in that area
- Bolt Carrier Group and Bolt – All types should be detail disassembled, cleaned, and lubricated. Consider replacing any springs, and on the AR, the gas rings.
- Barrel – A good, thorough cleaning, even if you have (and you should) a chrome lined barrel. A touch of Sweet’s 7.62 or Barnes on a patch to clean up any copper residue is a good idea. Make sure that you finish up with Hoppe’s or some other good solvent to neutralize the ammonia in the Sweet’s or Barnes before you dry patch it. By the by, chrome lined barrels do not need a light coating of oil (new shooters, this is for you) between firings. Just clean it and dry patch it. You’re good to go.
- Flash Suppressor/Muzzle Brake – Make sure you clean the flanges or anywhere carbon can collect. Over time it’s possible for collected carbon to corrode/pit your FS/MB.
- Gas System – Clean it as best you can. M1 Garand and M-14 type rifle systems are pretty easy to clean, and it gives you a chance to inspect the piston for wear as well. For the non-piston driven AR’s, a long pipe cleaner can carefully be used to run through the gas tube, though this is really not a necessary step if you’re using decent ammo.
- Optics – Check the base to see that it’s solid and the optics don’t move, even a tiny amount. Check the glass for damage, fog, or anything that causes your sight picture to be less than optimal. Optics with tritium need to be taken into a dark room and checked for operation. Fiber Optics equipment need to be taken into daylight and checked.
- Iron sights – Take a brush and clean out any debris that has gathered. Check to see if the rear of the front sight post and the rear of the peep sight is flat black and that nothing is obstructing the peep sight. A dab of flat black Krylon will take care of any shiny spots.
- Trigger Group – Get any/all ‘gunk’ out. Check for unusual wear. Re-lube with either CLP or grease (depending on the platform and spec requirements) – personally, as I run an AR, I use either Gunslick or Froglube, depending on what I’m looking at.
- Magazines – Unload, disassemble, and wipe out. Lightly coat springs and the internal mag walls (for steel mags). Reassemble, reload.
- Sidearm: Same sort of check as the Personal Defense Carbine/Rifle, with obvious exceptions. Make sure you function check both before putting back in the ‘ready rack.
- Load Bearing Equipment/Vest/Ruck Sack/3 Day (Assault) Pack: No matter the style you prefer, now’s the time to clean and check for wear, frays, cuts, or anything that could possibly cause it to break when you don’t want it to….like during a SHTF scenario, or even in a NPT training exercise. Check buckles, straps, pouches, etc. A good idea is to take everything in your LBE out, launder it (water, a small amount of soap (we prefer ‘Sport Wash’ as it doesn’t use UV brighteners), and a hand brush, and clean it. Let it dry thoroughly, then coat it liberally with ‘Camp Dry’ or something similar. Let hang until the tell-tale odor is gone, and it’s cured.
- Gore-Tex Jackets: Here’s how to ‘rejuvinate’ your Gore-Tex: http://www.gore-tex.com/remote/Satellite/content/care-center/restoring-water-repellency
How to Restore Water Repellency
Machine wash your garment as described in the wash instructions. Line dry your garment, or tumble dry it on a warm, gentle cycle.
Once it is dry, tumble dry your garment for 20 minutes to reactivate the durable water-repellent (DWR) treatment on the outer fabric.
If unable to tumble dry, iron the dry garment on gentle setting (warm, no steam) by placing a towel or cloth between the garment and the iron. This will help reactivate the DWR treatment on your garment’s outer fabric.
When the factory applied treatment can no longer be reactivated, apply a new water-repellent treatment available as a pump-spray or wash-in product to the garment’s outer fabric.
We do not recommend the use of waterproofing waxes or greases as they can seriously affect the footwear’s breathability. Apply only treatments, polishes, conditioners, and dressings recommended by the manufacturer. Always check the manufacturer’s care instructions on the label of your footwear first.
- Boots & Socks: Check for splits, sole separation, cuts, holes or anything that would cause them to fail in hard use. Consider replacing laces with paracord.
- Used Up supplies: Replace the food, fire starters, TP, or anything else expendable you had in your rucksack and expended during your fall and winter training.
- Sleeping Bag/Tarp Shelter: Get them laundered/cleaned. If you use our recommended brand of sleeping bag, Wiggy’s, you’ll find that they are designed to be washed, unlike ‘other’ brands.
- Edged Weapons/Tools: Inspect the edges for chips and flat spots. Sharpen as necessary. Here at DTG, at least for knives, if they don’t shave hair, they’re not ready for the field. This includes your ‘combat’ or general purpose field knife, folders, and multi-tools. If you carry a ‘hawk, machete, or e-tool, they should be reasonably sharp.
Ok, that’s about it for ‘Spring Time Shake-Up’. If you have any ideas that might help folks do even better, please add them in the comments.
H/T to Wirecutter, here.
This is what’s going on inside of major universities….and .gov wonders why Joe and Jane Citizen is prepping??
We move slowly through the dense morning fog, for all appearances simply dark shadows slipping silently through the forest. Each man constantly scans his area of responsibility around the patrol while also keeping track of each others disposition. Foot placement is carefully considered to avoid snapping twigs or rustling brush. Slippery moss-covered stones and logs are stepped over or around to avoid injury due to the burden of our heavy kit or leaving any sign of our passing. Branches in the way are lightly grasped with gloved hands, slowly moved to the side or up to allow for better vision and ease of movement. After passing they are slowly returned to their former position to avoid quick movement or noise when released and to avoid tell-tale breakage.
The predominant sound in the woods is the steady dripping of the mist from the trees which, along with the thoroughly soaked and…
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This past weekend while visiting close friends in the Appalachian Redoubt, I had a real treat by being unexpectedly asked to attend a Basic Marksmanship course as a ‘guest instructor’ (Range Safety Officer/Coach) by one of the primary instructors. Every shooter participating was new or somewhat new (consciously skilled) to the platform, which were primarily AR series ranging from the most basic to complete ‘bells and whistles’ models. The home cadre did a great job teaching the class the ins and outs of basic nomenclature, the cycle of operation, malfunction drills, admin, tactical, and combat reloads, and so forth. What became very apparent was that many in the class weren’t familiar with the zeroing process to include iron sight and optics windage and elevation adjustments, as well as the math to compensate for condensed ranges (1 click at 100 equals 4 clicks at 25), so folks with 1/2 MOA at 100 wheel clicks on their chosen optics had a difficult time figuring out how many clicks that would equal at 25 to move the strike of the bullet 1 inch. Some were firing their AR’s for the first time. Most of the AR’s were run dry; a few of the more experienced had lubed their pieces, and it showed by lack of malfunctions.
As is the case many times, the new shooters and a few of the not-so-new shooters had a hard time zeroing their rifles; following the steps below before going to a rifle drill class will help make it much more enjoyable, and will get shooters in the habit of having their rifles zeroed at all times, against no-notice, ‘failures of civility’ as there won’t be time to zero then! For NPT members using a military pattern platform (AR, FAL, M14 type, Garand, AK etc), the ‘general purpose’ zero, or ‘battle sight zero’, is defined as having the round impact on a torso sized target (20 inches X 20 inches) from the muzzle to the farthest point away from the muzzle that the bullet flight path crosses the line of sight and still effectively hits the target without adjusting the sight. This is the definition of ‘point blank’ range. Typically, that distance is about 250 to 300 meters with either the 5.56 or 7.62 NATO cartridges when shot at either 25 or 36 meters. Other calibers mileage will vary.
While sub-MOA (Minute of Angle) accuracy is great, you’re not shooting a precision instrument, especially if it’s “off the rack” (accuracy is important, yes, but for this subject, we are focused on practical accuracy). So forget precision shooting for now. The idea is to get your rounds on target hitting vital zones as far away as possible without further sight adjustment. Your groups will tighten with your dry and wet fire practice, especially of you perform dry fire 3 or more times a week for 10 minutes religiously and learn to use your sling. Taking the time to navigate the ‘zeroing process’ will really help the new and not-so-new shooter to learn their rifle and it’s inherent accuracy (see above) potential, strengths, and weaknesses. Know that it will take a bit of effort, and more than 15 minutes, so don’t plan on zeroing your rifle the morning of a NPT qualification shoot. All you’ll end up doing is annoying everyone else who’s done their homework prior to training. An aside: When holding a NPT qualification check (match), the participants must shoot their rifles without benefit of ‘zero confirmation’. Here’s a sure way to make sure you can zero your rifle so you start hitting where you want to hit in your training: Step 1: Detail disassembly, cleaning, lubricating, reassembly, and function checking (especially with a new rifle, even if it’s just ‘new to you’). Take your time. If it’s a new rifle, get a manual or have someone who knows how to take it apart come over and teach you. Make sure you oil (thick or thin liquid) and lubricate it per specs (lube is typically grease or a semi-paste). In the AR’s case, this includes the buffer spring and buffer tube. Get the best you can afford. We prefer Frog Lube, but there are other really good ones out there, too. Step 2: Check the sights. Make sure they’re mounted solidly with no ‘play’ in them. Set to mechanical zero. On iron, this entails running the windage adjustment all the way to right or left, counting the clicks all the way across, dividing by two, and bringing it back half way. Same with elevation. New optics generally are already at mechanical zero, but used ones may bee to be reset. Take care with these, as over tightening the wheels can cause damage. Step 3: Make sure your zero ammo is the same you would carry if SHTF. Different manufacturers and different bullet weights will make your job harder. If your SHTF ammo is 55gr Lake City ball, zero with that. If it’s 147gr South African ball (7.62NATO), use that. Later, after your rifle is zeroed, is the time to mix all the ammo types you have together randomly and see how your rifle shoots when it’s fed whatever you can find. Step 4: Known Distance Range Familiarization Fire (AKA ‘getting it dialed in on paper’). This is the only time I recommend bench shooting for actual training. Set the piece on either sandbags or a rest. Start close. 10 meters is fine. Make sure you’re hitting approximately where you think you should be. Use a smaller target, say 2 inches square, especially if you’re shooting irons. Shoot 3 shots, making sure you do a complete cycle each round.
- Breathing Cycle – Deep, regular breathing, two in, two out, stop midway through the third.
- Sight Alignment – Top to bottom/side to side (irons); No side or top ‘shadow’ in optical picture.
- Site Picture – Sight aligned on aiming point on target (some folks use different aiming points, but the principle is the same). Focus is on the front sight or the reticle, NOT the target.
- Take Up – On a two stage military trigger, this is called, ‘taking up the slack’ and it will not discharge the piece. Make sure you know whether or not you have a two stage or single stage. Single stage triggers skip this step, because you’ll inadvertently discharge the piece.
- Trigger Depression – Ball of the finger, straight to the rear, space between the rest of the finger and the pistol grip (otherwise, you’ll ‘drag wood/plastic’ and cause your round to hit in other areas than you desire).
- Follow Through – Ride the recoil all the way until the rifle settles back into the rest or sandbag. Don’t take your face away just yet.
- Target Reacquisition – Get eyes on the target again.
- Repeat for two more rounds before you look at the target. Check the target, and if you’re on paper near the 2 inch target, you’re on your way. If not, adjust your sights using whatever increments multiplied by 10 (at 10 meters). If you have to move the sights 3 inches up, that’s 30 clicks for a 1 inch at 100 elevation adjustment. If you have to move the sights 2 inches left, that’s 20 clicks for a 1 inch. Your adjustment at 10 meters, though, will most likely be minimal.
You may have a group on the target that’s low and right, like this picture. That’s ok. You’re on the paper. Now move the target to 25 meters and repeat the cycle. Now you can start adjusting your iron sights or optics realistically. Remember, 3 shot groups is all you really need with semi-automatic piece. Remember to let the rifle cool every once in awhile, because you’re also checking it’s inherent accuracy (all things being equal, the shooter, the rifle, and the ammo, how tight it shoots and the shape of the group) looking for that tell-tale triangular group indicating a consistent cone of fire. Step 5: Achieve Battle Sight Zero. Once you’ve put three 3 shot groups center at 25 from the bench, it’s time to move off the bench and get your practical zero. Set up a clean target, go back to your firing line, and take up a prone position. Support yourself with a ‘hasty’ sling wrap. Sandbags or whatever you have is fine for this particular exercise (as a second choice). Shoot another 3 shot group without looking at where you’re hitting, following the basic steps above. After the group is shot and you’ve cleared and grounded your piece, now go check your group and determine any sight adjustments necessary. Fire two or three more groups to confirm. Step 6: Practice at ranges out to your ‘point blank range’ with a 20×20 inch target. Note the different points of impact at different ranges. You’ll still be on target, but will most likely note that at about half distance to max battle zero, your rounds will impact high. This is simply because the round is at the highest point in the trajectory necessary to hit the target at the max point blank range. Step 7: Do your dry fire. Make sure you do it painstakingly correct. It’ll make a difference come ‘Basic’ or ‘NPT Qualification day.
One way to look at the boot problem, circa 2008.
This prompted a little journey down memory lane….
In the 80’s, the Ranger Battalions came up with something similar, and more readily available.
Regular old GI speed lace boots.
Wool or poly undersock.
The old tan ski sock.
Gore Tex socks.
The old Gore Tex gaiter.
Arrid XX spray deodorant.
Pedi Dry foot powder.
Fitting: Gather under socks and tan ski socks. Go for a road march. Pick your boots in the afternoon so your feet will have swollen about all they’re going to.
Put on the socks. Try on boots until you find a pair that fits:
– With about 1/2 inch to spare in the toe.
– And laces up snugly with about an inch between the eyelets.
If you wear an insert, please don’t forget them. My feet are shaped such that I have…
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