Monthly Archives: April 2017

On Walk About…

After a very hectic 3 weeks of longer days than I care to remember, both on the road and at home, I’m going on walk about…time to refresh the batteries and get some bush time.  Let me know if Korea attacked us or ‘Antifa’ has taken things a step further when I get back.  See you next week….

 

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A Law Suit that COULD Shatter All Federal Gun Control Laws??

From the writer’s lips to God’s ears….

Bob Owens, on, “Bearing Arms,” details the case involved.

Talk about a ‘key graf!!!!!!!!!

“What most 21st Century Americans simply do not grasp is that the Constitution and Bill of Rights were not written to to give rights to the citizens of our then-new nation, but was instead written to tightly constrain the federal government.”

……………………………………………………………………………

And a couple of other very important facts:

“The Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution to placate the concerns of the Anti-Federalists, and was mean to be ten strong chains binding down the then-puny federal leviathan to prevent future abuses.

The Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights was written by Founding Fathers who understood the right to bear arms as a natural human right that the Creator bestowed upon each and every human being. How can there be any other right, if the right to defend your life is not the most paramount right of them all?”

A Shot Across the Bow?

 

While the blackouts yesterday were primarily during daylight, could it be that they were a ‘shot across the bow’ from those who wish us ill?

“Total Chaos” – Cyber Attack Feared As Multiple Cities Hit With Simultaneous Power Grid Failures

Tyler Durden's picture

Authored by Mac Slavo via SHTFplan.com,

The U.S. power grid appears to have been hit with multiple power outages affecting San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles.

Officials report that business, traffic and day-to-day life has come to a standstill in San Francisco, reportedly the worst hit of the three major cities currently experiencing outages.

Power companies in all three regions have yet to elaborate on the cause, though a fire at a substation was the original reason given by San Francisco officials.

A series of subsequent power outages in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York City left commuters stranded and traffic backed up on Friday morning. Although the outages occurred around the same time, there is as of yet no evidence that they were connected by anything more than coincidence.

The first outage occurred at around 7:20 a.m. in New York, when the power went down at the 7th Avenue and 53rd Street subway station, which sent a shockwave of significant delays out from the hub and into the rest of the subway system. By 11:30 a.m. the city’s MTA confirmed that generators were running again in the station, although the New York subways were set to run delayed into the afternoon.

 

Later in the morning, power outages were reported in Los Angeles International Airport, as well as in several other areas around the city.

 

Via : Inverse

The San Francisco Fire Department was responding to more than 100 calls for service in the Financial District and beyond, including 20 elevators with people stuck inside, but reported no immediate injuries. Everywhere, sirens blared as engines maneuvered along streets jammed with traffic.

 

Traffic lights were out at scores of intersections, and cars were backing up on downtown streets as drivers grew frustrated and honked at each other.

Via: SF Gate

The cause of the outage has not yet been made clear, though given the current geo-political climate it is not out of the question to suggest a cyber attack could be to blame. It has also been suggested that the current outages could be the result of a secretive nuclear/EMP drill by the federal government.

As we have previously reported, the entire national power grid has been mapped by adversaries of the United States and it is believed that sleep trojans or malware may exist within the computer systems that maintain the grid.

In a 2016 report it was noted that our entire way of life has been left vulnerable to saboteurs who could cause cascading blackouts across the United States for days or weeks at a time:

 It isn’t just EMPs and natural disaster that poses a threat to the grid, but there is also the potential for attacks on individual power substations in the vast network of decentralized and largely unguarded power grid chain. A U.S. government study established that there would be “major, extended blackouts if more than three key substations were destroyed.”

Whether by criminals, looters, terrorists, gangs or pranksters, it would take very little to bring down the present system, and there is currently very little the system can do to protect against this wide open threat.

Whether the current outages are the result of a targeted infrastructure cyber attack or simply a coincidence, most Americans think the impossible can’t happen, as The Prepper’s Blueprint author Tess Pennington highlights, a grid-down scenario won’t just be a minor inconvenience if it goes on for more than a day or two:

Consider, for a moment, how drastically your life would change without the continuous flow of energy the grid delivers. While manageable during a short-term disaster, losing access to the following critical elements of our just-in-time society would wreak havoc on the system.

  • Challenges or shut downs of business commerce
  • Breakdown of our basic infrastructure: communications, mass transportation, supply chains
  • Inability to access money via atm machines
  • Payroll service interruptions
  • Interruptions in public facilities – schools, workplaces may close, and public gatherings.
  • Inability to have access to clean drinking water

It is for this reason that we have long encouraged Americans to prepare for this potentially devastating scenario by considering emergency food reserves, clean water reserves and even home defense strategies in the event of a widespread outage. The majority of Americans have about 3 days worth of food in their pantry. Imagine for a moment what Day 4 might look like in any major city that goes dark.

This exclusive clip from American Blackout shows what an American Blackout might look like:

USAF Security Forces Ruck March Training Tips

BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan—Participants in the Senior Airman Jason Cunningham Remembrance Ruck March trudge along the perimeter of Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, March 4, 2012. Cunningham was a pararescueman who died in combat on March 4, 2002 while saving 10 men’s lives. The Air Force’s Camp Cunningham at Bagram is named after him. The ruck march was one part of a three-part ceremony held in remembrance of the 10 year anniversary of his heroic sacrifice. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Ericka Engblom)

Although this article is five years old, it was very nice to read it concerning my old career field.  We weren’t called ‘infantry;’ to us, that was a general description of our skill sets.  When it comes to ruck training, the author of the article provides some excellent advice.

Original article, here; excerpts below. Emphasis added – brackets in #10 for clarity.

Ruck Marching – Every Day is Hump Day

Posted on May 12, 2015 at 4:16 pm by

Ruck Marching – Every Day is “Hump Day”

I’ve been carrying a rucksack for more than 20 years and confident I’ve put hundreds, maybe thousands, of miles on my feet with a ruck on my back.

Most people that have experienced life under a ruck often say it’s more mental than physical. I agree with that statement 100% and add that the toughest six inches of any road march is directly between your ears.

………………………………………………………

Why would someone want to follow a specific program for something that seems as simple as walking? It is necessary for adaptation. Your bones, connective tissue, and muscles need to get accustomed to carrying heavy loads on your back and for long distances.  If you fail to follow a program that gradually introduces your body to the type of movements and mechanics of rucking; the body may not adapt properly and problems occur. But if you follow a solid program, you can avoid that fate.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Make sure your kit fits and that you are wearing it properly. This includes weight distribution in your ruck. The majority of your ruck’s weight should rest on your hips, not your shoulders. The shoulder straps are there to merely keep the ruck from falling backwards.
  2. Do two marches per week — a slow march and a fast march — separated by two to three days. As you increase in distance, you may want to consider using a Saturday or Sunday so you’re not pressed for time before or after work.
  3. Your pace for the slow march should allow you to hold a steady conversation through the march.
  4. During your fast march, the pace should limit you to speaking in quick bursts, and you should be just out of breath the entire time. You should not be marching as fast as you can — you have to build load-bearing capacity first.
  5. Make sure you’re getting plenty of sleep and eating plenty of carbohydrates. No creatine or protein powder — just lots of organic carbs and water. If you don’t start hydrating until you step off for your march, you’re setting yourself up for failure.  As one of my mentors explained almost two decades ago; “today’s water is for tomorrow.”
  6. Do not wear cushioned boots — cushion causes joint instability and will cause severe micro-trauma and fatigue. DO NOT WEAR ATHLETIC SHOES!
  7. Do not alter the body weight percentages outlined in the accompanying plan. Stick to the plan!
  8. Do not exceed 30% of your body weight in an effort to improve your endurance, ever. Upon completing this plan, limit your rucking to a maximum of four per month, with at least one of them being 30% body weight for nine miles to help maintain your conditioning.
  9. Never run with a ruck! If the time comes where your life or your mission requires you to run with a ruck, then run with a ruck; but don’t train by running with a ruck or your body will pay the price later in life. However, in the process of your training YOU WILL BE SORE. Learn the difference between soreness and injury. If you are injured (a blister is not an injury), heal, then work your way back into it. Being injured doesn’t do you, your unit, or the mission any good.
  10. While wearing shorts and athletic clothes may be more comfortable, if you are training for a school such as CLC, Ranger, or Air Assault, [or SHTF] then practice your rucking while wearing the same uniform [or type of clothing] you’ll wear at the school or while on a real-world op.

Coming to a Neighborhood Near YOU!

“Abdullah Rashid, 22, a Georgia native who moved to Cedar-Riverside last year, has been making the rounds in the Somali-dominated neighborhood, telling people not to drink, use drugs or interact with the opposite sex. If he sees Muslim women he believes are dressed inappropriately, he approaches them and suggests they should wear a jilbab, a long, flowing garment. And he says he’s recruiting others to join the effort.”

Read the rest, here.

And the Argument Rages…

DOES THE SHOE FIT?  There isn’t one person or group called out in the below post by name, location, or identifiable trait….unless the shoe fits, it’s not describing any reader personally.  If the shoe does fit, the reader might want to sit back, evaluate why, and go from there.

The argument continues to rage in the blogosphere between two factions:  Prior military w/combat arms experience and those people, who for whatever reason, aren’t, and the perception that those who were won’t let those who weren’t be viewed as ‘the same thing’.  See this post, here.

My thoughts on military service from the perspective of a retired Senior NCO that spent 12+ years in his branch’s combat arm out of 21+ years active duty:  Since 1974, we’ve had a volunteer military.  To my mind, that means that if you don’t want to go, don’t.  Do your thing, whatever that may be (so long as you don’t harm others in the pursuit of ‘your thing’).  To that end, I hold no grudge or look down on anyone who didn’t join the military and serve wherever their potential, skills, and talents allowed.  However, I’d suggest to those who made the choice not to go, be strong enough to give credit where it’s due when discussing the exact area and skills those who did are choosing to dispense knowledge or provide perspective on, whether you like it or not.  Does this mean take everything as Gospel and agree?  No, not at all, but do yourself and everyone else a favor and turn off the ego and the emotions.  Especially if what’s said or written punches a button or two.

My thoughts on the ‘militia’ from the same perspective, added to by a period of helping train one to no avail, since that group refused to heed anything but their own ego:  Since the early 90’s, we’ve had a resurgence of the ‘militia.’  Not an issue, either.  I believe their intent is pure, but their execution (to whatever extent they choose to go)  causes extreme limitation in the increase of capabilities (think of it as organizational learning disability, aka, ‘short bus mindset’) exacerbated by unrealistic perceptions of who and what they are, most likely influenced by Hollywood, conventional ‘wisdom,’ and personal pride (ego’s writing checks that can’t be physically cashed, getting consistently butt hurt when spoken to directly about their actual capabilities when compared to active duty units, etc).

I recognize also, and am glad that there are some STRAC (Skilled, Tough, Ready, Around the Clock, as the acronym was defined in my branch and day) militia, survivalist, and NPT groups out there, and that they are very low key and don’t advertise who they are, where they train, and when they train.  Most likely, these groups are led by combat arms veterans (which is exactly why they know what they are about).  If you’re ever invited to join one, know that you’ve been watched and vetted from afar, and you’ve passed the primary entrance exam:  “Are you trainable and can you keep your mouth shut?”  If you keep your eyes and ears open and your mouth shut, you’ll learn more than you can possibly imagine.  All to the good.

The groups/individuals I, and many others (if I may be so bold as to write on their behalf) who served in a combat arm have issues with are those more outspoken and/or well known groups (based on contacts from them on face book, group websites, twitter, instagram, and/or actual face to face time with some of them, etc) that have developed tremendous egos, are easily butt hurt (watch the fireworks this post brings about)  and, for the most part, are not led by anyone serious about what they do.  These individuals/groups demand the respect of those who actually did what the overblown ego individuals/groups are claiming they are capable of doing (without proving a thing by doing) without earning that respect from the combat arms veterans.

Oh, sure, they give great speeches and post inspirational quotes about tyranny, fighting invasion, providing succor during national disasters, etc, but that’s about it.   A lot of talk and no walk…literally.  All one has to do to see how much ‘walk’ happens is note the portable front mounted food storage unit on many of these guys, and the ‘no walk’ part is evident (cheap shot?  Sure, but it actually proves a point — the butt hurt from that comment will bring about an emotion based flame fest of epic proportions).  Further, most members of these groups, for the most part, are not willing to sit down, shut up, take copious notes, and learn better ways to do things, whatever that may be, when someone who, by virtue of what they wear/wore on their head, left breast, and collars/sleeves, have proven themselves as a subject matter expert, decides to lend a hand.  To do so takes dedication to your cause and the humility to know that instructor knows a hell of a lot more than you do and did/does this as his profession.

An example:  Back in my active duty years on occasion, in our little corner of our branch’s combat arm, we’d be graced by Marine infantry, Army Airborne, Ranger, and rarely, SF NCO’s (never Navy, for some reason) who, while on a training mission of their own, one or two NCO’s would drop by to practice their teaching skills and by providing  us ‘advanced’ (meaning more than what we knew) training on a variety of subjects.  It was pretty much ‘win-win.’  We absorbed information like a sponge, and they were able to practice teaching INDIG’s who were not known to them.  About once a year, our instructor cadre would be asked to play ‘aggressor’ during war games for some of these same groups which were never scripted.  They wanted to see what we could do with the training we had, and what their own troops would do when faced with an unknown.  Both sides would cheat their asses off, but I digress.

When asked if we wanted to participate, we’d jump at the chance, so much so, that sometimes, if we had to, we’d attend during our non-duty hours (we were so aware of the opportunity presented and so anxious to learn that on two separate occasions, about a dozen of us took a 3 day permissive TDY to get to attend).  When we got to the training site, we sat down, shut up, and took copious notes.  If we got the chance to go to the field and practice with these guest instructors, we’d do whatever was necessary to get the training.  We’d provide their weapons, pyrotechnics, food, whatever, as they were doing us more of a favor than we were doing them.  It should be noted that most of us were rated as, “Master Instructors” already, and as far as our branch was concerned, didn’t necessarily need to put ourselves through anything additional, training wise.  We were smart and knew better, so we learned what we could when we could, especially from those who’s training acumen dwarfed our own.  And, yes, that meant acknowledging they were better than we were, and to gain anything, we had to subordinate our own egos and open ourselves up to constructive criticism, no matter the intensity of the sting.  Sometimes it wasn’t easy, but it was always warranted.  After all, these guys were on our side and helping us get better made their jobs easier if war came.  Interestingly enough, on a few of these training sessions over a five year tour, when they were completed, and we had done well and learned what was presented, and performed the skills to the level required, we were complimented with, “You guys are alright!  Let’s get a beer.”  And they’d buy a round.  Lack of ego, acknowledgement of higher skills and expertise, and courteous attention made all the difference.

Fast forward to today, many years later:  If offered training by anyone who’s had more experience in a skill I want to get better at, whether they be Army, Marine, Navy or Air Force, or Airborne, Ranger, SF, Marine Infantry, Force Recon, SEAL, PJ, Security Forces, or whoever, I will bring a huge note book, no ego, and learn everything I can….why?  Because these are what I refer to as ‘solid gold.’  Unless I know the man/men personally, I won’t expect to be their ‘coffee buddy’ during breaks; I’ll give them room until they approach me.

Does that equate to my being arrogant and condescending?  No, not at all.  It simply means I’m fairly well-skilled now in a variety of areas, and still want to add to my training and personal capabilities and am willing to learn from those who are better than I am in the area I wish to learn more about.

The groups/individuals I refer to are basically ‘problem children’ that would rather model the latest and greatest ‘tactical-just-back-from-the-sandbox-look’, confer ranks with no criteria of skill mastery or leadership capability, demonstrate by their own statements, writing, and performance (or lack thereof) that they do not study or practice effective leadership, tactics, training methodology (and especially Adult Learning Theory), weaponry, OPSEC, INFOSEC, acceptable fitness levels (how many pictures do you see of these guys smoking and not sweating?), but always have more patches on their clothing and jackets than carter has liver pills, face book, twitter, instagram or other pages announcing every thing done, planned, thought, etc, etc, etc, as the more well-known and out spoken militia representatives are and still wish to be viewed by former and retired combat arms veterans as peers in skills and capabilities.  Basically, these guys actually believe their own press, and are a tad narcissistic, in my view.  These are the guys who yell and scream the loudest that we are arrogant, elitist, and don’t care about them after many countless hours have been spent by these same vets developing training and lesson plans, blog posts (giving information out because it’s the right thing to do), and conducting training (even if for a fee) to help them get the basics down pat.  These are the guys who will naturally feel friction with the combat arms veterans who provide articles and commentary in the blogosphere.

Bottom line:  Anyone who really wants to learn, I’m willing to help, so long as they are sincere and can swallow the ego long enough to get something productive done.  That’s the purpose of this blog and the reason we do private training.  Otherwise, I’m wasting time teaching someone who really doesn’t want to learn when I could be helping someone who does.

People will gain a lot more knowledge and skills if they can get past the emotional responses and defensiveness born of insecurity.  That’s my post on the subject.

Re-Post: If/When SHTF, How Much Ammo Should I Carry?

ammo

EDIT:  The following is not to be construed as to how much ammo you should own, but rather, what is carried on your person.  Our recommended absolute (that means if there’s just no possible way to get more, which there is as ammo is WAY more affordable now) minimum is to have 1,000 rounds per rifle and 500 rounds per pistol owned in reserve, which does not count that which you use to keep your skills honed, which should be about 750 to 1,000 rounds per year with your rifle, and 500 to 750 rounds per year on your pistol.

A good question posed that has numerous answers based on the conditions you may find yourself faced with.

Here’s a few basic questions to help you find out what’s right for you:

  • Are you sheltering in place (SIP)?
    • If so, would you be defending your home (and helping defend others) and staying in close proximity?
    • Are you part of a Neighborhood Protection Team that might be posted to protect an area perimeter?
  • Are you planning to GOOD on foot or in a vehicle?
    • Important, because your equipment will most likely be set up differently for each scenario.
  • What physical shape are you in?
    • Have you practiced long walks with a full pack (ruck) and your LBE?
    • Do you have a regular PT plan that you maintain?
    • Do you ensure you don’t eat much (if any) processed food?
  • Do you have a cache (or several) with a resupply en route to your hidey hole/retreat location?

The amount of ammo you should carry on your LBE/person depends entirely on the answers to these and other questions to get to the amount that would most likely work, but there are some general parameters you can use to start your evaluation.  Doesn’t matter what caliber; a lot of people have the AK platform and the 7.62×39 or 7.62X54.  For brevity, I’m keeping the scope of this Op-Ed to the 7.62NATO and 5.56NATO.  Adapt from there to whatever caliber is your choice.

First, the platform you have is going to have a direct impact on how much ammo you can physically carry when balanced against your fitness level.  Here and on other training blogs, the cry of, “MORE PT!!” is echoed regularly by bloggers and students after attending classes and learning first hand that being in shape is the foundation of being able to do what you need to do.  So, take that in and let it burn in, real good.  Get into the best shape you can get.  Digression complete.

Back to the platform.  7.62NATO weighs a lot when you start putting loaded 20 round mags on your LBE (kit).  The most I’ve carried is 13 (12 on the LBE; 1 in the rifle), and that was not typical.  That’s 260 rounds.  In the ruck I had another 200 rounds in bandoleers and another 4 mags on the outside of the ruck in pouches.  540 rounds of 7.62NATO is extremely heavy.  So, back to PT if you’re chosen caliber is 7.62NATO.  Long, long walks with a full ruck, LBE, and a rifle to get used to it is your requirement.  As you go, move to inclines, rough ground, and so forth, because that’s what you’re going to be dealing with once you get out of populated areas.  I carried the M-14 type rifle (civilian) doing training, walks in the hills, and on shooting excursions at local ranges for about 20 years before I realized I was getting to the age that I might want a lighter rifle and ammo so I could carry more during a SHTF situation, because truly, if S does HTF, you’ll be carrying all the ammo you need for the rest of your life….or so I’ve heard.

A realistic load (at least for me and my situation) was to go down to six 20 round mags on the LBE, one in the rifle, and still keep 200 rounds in bandoleers (complete with mag charging spoons pinned to each bandoleer) in waterproof bags in the ruck where I could get to them easily.  340 rounds was a lot more manageable to me with that platform.  I still conditioned with ruck walks of up to 10 miles with the pack weighing anywhere from 35 to 80 pounds, depending on the training day/cycle.  It helped, and still does.  (Notice a pattern here on PT and fitness level?)

5.56NATO allows you to carry a lot more in the way of ammunition, and from reports from people who spent a lot of time in the last 10 years in Afghanistan shooting people, it does a really good job.  Not quite as good as the 7.62NATO, but everything’s a trade off.  With the 5.56NATO, shot placement is KING, which means you have to actually SHOOT WITH YOUR GEAR ON (I know, I’m digressing a lot) REGULARLY when training!  Right now, I carry eight 30 round mags on my LBE, one in the rifle, and another six in my 3 day pack or ruck (along with 210 rounds in a bandoleer inside if my personal DEFCON is elevated).  So, that’s a total between 420 and 630 rounds, situation dependent, and they noticeably weigh less than my full load of 7.62NATO when I carried it.  Some guys like to carry 13 mags (390 rounds) between their LBE and rifle, and another 360 rounds in their rucks either in mags or in bandoleers.   That’s 750 rounds!   They are much younger and in much better shape than I am.  I am working on the PT.  Can’t do anything about the wear and tear of years lived, though.  So, I carry less than they do.  Plus, should things go South, I’m figuring I won’t be doing much ‘snoopin’ and poopin’; that’ll be for the younger guys.

Here’s the bottom line for how much you should carry:  You have to figure out what works for you and balance it against the threat you’re planning for, your physical capabilities, your GOOD planning, projected daily activities, how fast and how far you think you’ll have to move, what resupply may be available along your route or at your future location.  That’s why your pack list will continuously change to one degree or another as you learn and try to improve what you carry in the way of ammo and equipment in terms of Return On Investment for effort expended and the capability of the item in question to help keep you alive.  If you were to reduce everything to a simple equation, it would be this:  Ammo, water, food, essential survival gear/equipment, all else.

The one factor you can influence that will have the most bearing on how much you carry?  Your fitness level.  Do more PT!!

Re-Post: Essential Skills – NPT Weapon Standardization Benefits

garand issue

In this post, we described a few good, basic general purpose rifles for individual SHTF preparation focusing on defensive capability and durability. Points that are still valid.

Savage Scout Rifle

However, when taking the next step in either joining or helping form a Neighborhood Protection Team (NPT), before anyone hits the gun store, careful consideration and discussion should be given to the idea of standardizing the basic firearms each person will be armed with in a grid down situation. This should not an argument about which platform or caliber is best; rather, it should be a comparison of the group/individual skill mastery contrasted against the ‘user friendliness’ of the platform/calibers considered. Things like ergonomics, parts availability, ammo resupply once the local retailer just can’t seem to get anymore shipments in, ease of learning, cost per round spent in training (some people love to shoot 500 rounds a training session – that’s not necessarily a ‘bad’ thing, but at .38 cents per round for 5.56mm, as an example, that means a single training session will cost $190 for the ammo alone, so budgetary considerations have to be taken into account unless your NPT is individually wealthy), ease of cleaning & routine maintenance, and lastly, cost/ROI of any upgrades including optics.

If you’re joining an existing NPT (say that you’re somewhat new to the neighborhood, and the NPT has checked you out and determined that you’d be a good fit), they might have done this first step already and all you have to do is pony up the cash for the weapons, ammo, and equipment. Or sell something so you can ‘move up the food chain.’ It might mean selling that general purpose bolt gun referred to in the first post, or it might mean selling a bunch of other ‘stuff’ that you don’t use conveniently collecting dust in the garage.

Some folks get rankled when they are told they ‘must’ have this or that.

Don’t.

Be objective. Look at the facts unemotionally. If you can do that, you’re ahead of the learning curve. Remember the objective: Arming with the most effective tool you can afford balanced against your NPT’s objective, the job you’ll most likely be doing, and the amount of training you’ll be able to get in the near and intermediate term.

All things being equal, and the NPT is squared away, you might really benefit from standardizing your personal arms with theirs in terms of resupply during a hot situation, ie, you’re out of ammo, the rest of the team isn’t and you’re given a couple mags that make your Personal Defense Weapon active again, instead of being a nice club, or, in the case of a pistol, an imitation rock to throw.

Other authors and various schools all have their recommendations; we’re no different. Your mileage may vary, but if you’re looking for an ‘out of the box’ choice that’s very user friendly, this is what we recommend for the standard NPT ‘issue’:

Personal Defense Carbine: AR-15, 16” chrome lined barrel, Nickel Boron BCG and Bolt, upgraded 2 stage trigger, zero’d back up sights, with either a 4X ACOG or an Aimpoint CompM4, and 13 mags to start.  2 cases (2k rounds) to start: 1K for reserve; 1 K for the first 6 months of training (and replace the used case by the end of the six months, and shoot 100 rounds every six weeks for the rest of the year).

  Painted AR 15 Example

Painted AR 15 Example

Personal Defense Pistol: Glock 17 or 19 (for concealability): Add Tritium night sights. 500 rounds 124gr ball for practice, 500 rounds 124gr Fed HST (or other ammo your team likes) for ‘real world’ use. After being familiarized with your Glock (having run several hundred rounds through it in focused practice), run 50 of the HST through it to note any differences in recoil in point of impact v. point of aim.

glock 19

Glock 19

An option would be to choose the S&W M&P Shield, especially if your team has women or guys with small hands. Very concealable, great controls, and so far (my own) very reliable.

There are many others, to be sure. These recommendations are our, “You want to get armed now? Do this.” answer to the question.

Make sure you paint your PDC, minimally. Duracoat base; Krylon-type camouflage pattern. Earth tones. Nothing fancy. Ugly is beautiful.  The picture taken of the AR was spontaneous; I laid the rifle down without any planning, walked a couple yards away, and snapped the pic.  It works.  It’s ugly, but it works.

Next installment we’ll talk about basic LBE set up and why/when things should be standardized.