Category Archives: Small Unit Tactics

Jack Lawson Interview on “Civil Defense Manual”

H/T to Matt Bracken on Gab.  Great Interview!!

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Go here and get your copies!  Yes, COPIES!  Two volumes, 930 pages. Best $100 you’ll spend!!


Wisdom from WRSA…

Link, here.

Keep your mouth shut.

Build your network in meatspace, far away from ALL electronics.

Protect your families and neighborhoods.

You have bought yours plus a spare, right?

Essential Skills: Knowing the Impact of Magnetic Declination on Compass Accuracy

Posted on AP 23 March 19.

This was originally published on the DTG blog under a similar name; it’s still there if you want to look it up.  The subject is so important, however, I updated it for consumption here.  Enjoy, and please add your two cents in the comments.

land nav map 1

In the past when discussing the subject of Magnetic Declination Compass Adjustment and/or Azimuth Calculations, from time to time, the comments seem to minimize the importance of A:  Knowing what your local Magnetic Declination is, B: How to adjust for it both on a compass or a map, and C: the minimal amount of extra walking won’t kill the party doing the walking.

Now, for every general example and subject description on land navigation there are people out there who don’t use it because they are so well versed in their AO they literally know every tree, stream, draw, ridge, and hill and don’t need the information presented. AO familiarity is a wonderful thing, and we should all work to improve on our local topographical knowledge.  However often the map & compass and associated skills, such as knowing and adjusting for magnetic declination are considered ‘back up,’ it’s wise to keep those skills very sharp, if for nothing more than showing the newly aware ‘trad’ or ‘normie’ how to do it.  Or grand kids.  Or friends and their kids.

USMC Land Nav

For discussion’s sake, let’s get into a SHTF scenario or some other situation where the person is using a new map and is unfamiliar with the territory.  Say, for example, they’re the team leader charged with running a security patrol with your NPT and have the task of linking up with a neighboring NPT at a particular location at a particular time.  If the NPT’s in the scenario don’t concern themselves with accurate grid azimuth conversion to magnetic conversion, and then ‘shooting’ an adjusted azimuth, lives could be at stake, and the link up will most likely not occur.

Experienced navigators backed up by the facts regarding magnetic compasses and the magnetic ‘North Pole’ will quickly tell you that if you don’t account for the local declination, you stand a great chance of not reaching your objective (which may be getting back to your truck or home or reaching and injured person or whatever you can think of) or becoming lost yourself.  Let’s look at the impact failing to adjust for local declination will have on your route planning and actual arrival.  Below is a graphic that shows both East & West declination differences.

US Magnetic Declination Map

                                                              US Magnetic Declination Map

Let’s say you’re studying your map to navigate the link up patrol, and find by using your protractor you need to take a 78 degree azimuth.  So, you set your compass accordingly BUT you haven’t converted the grid azimuth to a magnetic azimuth or corrected the declination reading on your declination adjustable compass for the local declination ( Declination is defined as the difference between Magnetic North and True North, either East or West – see the graphic below).   When using a grid map, you’ll use Grid North instead of True North – there is a minor difference.  Either way, you are starting your link up mission with a built in proportionate error when you shoot your azimuth (bearing)  to start your navigation.  Here’s the error factor of being off by various degrees computed to distance from the target/link up point (if on a straight line from your start point:

declination map

We’re using one kilometer (‘click) which is just under 1,100 yards (1,093.61 to be exact) for our arbitrary example.  The degrees of error are declination degrees.  If your declination is off by the below examples, the distance off target is the minimum error you can expect even if you walk in a perfect azimuth with no drift, deviation, or pace count error.

1 degree of error at 1,000 meters from start point = 17.5 meters off target (or 19 yards)

5 degrees of error at 1,000 meters from start point = 87.5 meters off target (95 yards)

8 degrees of error at 1,000 meters (my AO) start point = 140 meters off target (153 yards)

10 degrees of error at 1,000 meters start point = 175 meters off target (191 yards)

16 degrees of error at 1,000 meters start point = 280 meters off target (306 yards)

21 degrees of error at 1,000 meters start point = 367.5 meters off target (401 yards)

That’s for a 1 click leg.  Now, let’s multiply that to, say, a 7 click (4.35 miles) straight line walk.   Drum roll:  2,572.5 meters ( off target at the end of that little 7 click jaunt from the start point, not taking into account any additional anomalies you may encounter while trying to walk that perfectly straight 7 kilometer line you drew on your map.

My AO has an 8 degree West Declination for example.  I know; I check it frequently.  I shudder to think of what would happen to my ability to get from ‘A’ to ‘B’ without properly adjusting my compass or converting the grid azimuth to magnetic azimuth by adding the 8 degrees declination to my grid azimuth (I’m West, so I add to get a MAZ (Magnetic Azimuth) and subtract to take a MAZ and convert to a GAZ (Grid Azimuth).  So, in my case, before I even start, I’m going to be about 140 meters off for a .  This can be deadly in a SHTF scenario.

But for discussion’s sake, let’s make our walk shorter.  We’ll use the maximum variation in the US – 21 degrees East (Washington State) for a short, 3 click walk.  Drum roll:  1,102.5 meters/1,206 yards (even backing it down to the declination in my AO, 8 degrees, it comes out to 420 meters/459 yards – almost half a click – which is a LOT in a rural/wilderness environment).  Over a click off your target from the get go!  Want to gamble the success of your link up mission on ‘personal AO knowledge’ or the ‘noob’s’ knowledge?

That’s where you are before you start; imagine where you will be when you think you’re at the end of your first leg.  The mind boggles.  For fun in this mental exercise, let’s add a little thing called, “night” to the equation.  Now, for added flavor, consider when the map isn’t matching up to the terrain and you’re positive that your on the right azimuth, the disorientation (something that occurs with little notice) that can add to all the things you’re dealing with, and oh yes, human error in our calculations.

Good luck.

So, if you’re serious about learning or improving your land navigation skills, find a good course and attend it.  Or join a local orienteering club.   If you decide you want to have personalized instruction from AP staff, send the administrator a note with how many people, when you’d like to take the course, and we’ll see what’s possible.

ADDED:  A good place to get your updated Magnetic Declination for your own little corner of the world::

For Those Last Minute, “Here, Read This; it Might Save Your Life..” Recommendations

Especially for people in your AO who are (unbelievably) just now becoming conscious of what’s coming down the pike from now until after the election….basically, in varying degrees, for the foreseeable future, and really don’t have nearly the time needed to learn the ‘school’ method.

Author’s name is Don Paul; his books identify him as a retired Green Beret and Christian.  Not too shabby a combination, in my book!

I’ve read through his ‘Never Get Lost,’ and it’s a superb way to get someone up on how to navigate without learning the grid system, coordinates and relying on a map and only a compass, watch, pen/pencil, and paper to perform your calculations.  Maps do have their place, as do GPS devices, topographical maps, protractors, declination equations, and so forth.  In fact, while I have a couple USGI Lensatic Compasses, they’re relegated to back up for my back up, as I’ve changed over to a Suunto M-3 NH Global Compass and have a MC-2 Mirror Compass as a back up.  They’re faster for me as I set the declination for accuracy and speed in determining azimuths on the map.  No conversion necessary.  It also provides for more accuracy using Paul’s method, as he teaches a non-declination compass method, which works, but without the correct declination, you’re off your intended location by varying distances, which may or may not prove to be very important.

The next couple I’m going to read is, “Everybody’s Knife Bible,” where he teaches knife skills for use in a survival situation.  He covers a lot of standard subjects/tasks, like making beds, additional weapons, etc, but he also provides instruction on how to use your knife to tell time and cross rivers.  Might prove to be interesting.

I’ve got a couple other of his books coming to check out and put in the library, but if what I’ve read so far is any indication, the few bucks I’ve spent per book is well worth it.  Some are available on Amazon or eBay.

Check them out.


Repost: Basic Building Block: The Buddy Team

Re-posted from April 2012 and then December 2013, with a few updates.

By reader request due to recent events.

Chances are, you are not going to make it alone. Accept that. You need a helper. A buddy. Someone to trust with your back.

Everyone has an idea about what a ‘Buddy Team’ should be, but not many people can actually articulate their expectations. That’s the point of this post: To provide you with some basic essentials of what the ‘Buddy Team’ is and what you can expect of your ‘Buddy’. You can, and should, build Buddy Teams in your family first (a brother, sister, cousin, uncle, etc), as well as the rest of your group or team. Working in pairs increases probability of survival significantly. Once you have two pair, you can form a ‘fire team’, which increases your chances dramatically, all things being equal.

Your buddy is just as important as your rifle, your knife, or your fire making device to your survival; possibly more so! Without your buddy, your chances of survival in a hostile environment are diminished by such a large percentage that you must face the fact that short of divine intervention, you are probably not going home when it’s over.

So then, what is your responsibility as a ‘Buddy’? Here are some good guidelines:

    • Always watch your buddy’s back because he’s watching yours!
    • Never take more from your buddy than you can give (supplies, time, support, etc).
    • Know that your buddy is your best friend, even if he’s jumping your ass to get you to learn something new or do something better!
    • Get together to do some training minimally once a month. Challenge each other to get better at whatever skill you’re practicing — don’t accept ‘good enough’!
    • Never lie to your buddy (lie to anyone outside your tribe all you want, but never to your buddy)!
    • Never leave your buddy behind unless he’s dead.  If he/she is, take what you can use and move on.
    • Never betray your buddy – loyalty that can be bought is despicable!
    • Learn his rifle as well as you know your own if his is different.
    • Learn where everything is on his harness and make him learn where everything is on yours, especially those things that will keep him alive!
    • Talk to each other about training, tactics, family, friends, the news….literally everything to keep you on the same page on current events.
    • Be ready to listen to him when he’s got a problem – he’ll return the favor.
    • Be honest with him about your own weaknesses and strengths. You can’t build your team on bullshit.
    • Take the calculated risk to build trust with each other. NOW! Yeah, it’s hard when you first get to know each other, but you’ve got a pair of balls, right? (Goes with loyalty.)
    • If your Buddy has more experience than you, admit it and listen to him! Get rid of petty    jealousies.
    • Always give your best to and for your buddy-no exceptions!
    • Be a friend, because he could be the only one you’ve got when the SHTF!

Outstanding Post at American Partisan; Read and Heed!!!


Original, here.

“Very basic background. My friend is a prior service 1st LAR 0311, 0351. (from Wiki: 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion is a fast and mobilized armored terrestrial reconnaissance battalion of the United States Marine Corps.) Multiple tours in the early to late 2000s, then DoE, then was put through selection and went to work for Colonel G____ as a team member. Since leaving, he has been doing contract work.

He is an experienced and capable meat eater and the furthest thing from a pussy or coward. Try to learn from his experiences.

“Me and three of my buddies were in Portland this weekend, got attacked by Antifa. There’s a Twitter video with millions of views on it. They ended up on Hannity and Tucker Carlson, Ben Shapiro etc., of us getting beaten with bats and rocks the size of cantaloupes thrown at us, getting spit on etc. We were all carrying pistols as well. Opportunity, ability and jeopardy, we were in a deadly force situation and we could easily articulate the use of deadly force, but they had pepper sprayed us. They were using industrial strobe lights on us, etc. We couldn’t PID our target and what lied beyond it, They did a great job of taking our situational awareness away, it was fucking incredible.
Bro my perspective on this changed so much.

The reason we were there wasn’t to counter protest or some shit, **** and *****, two of the guys with me, one of which is a bronze star and Purple Heart recipient. They’re both in the hiring process for the Portland Police Department. One is from Ohio and one is from Virginia. They both flew in that day just so they could come check out the city before they move their families across the nation.

Something else that I should make perfectly clear. We went to the Federal Courthouse first. There wasn’t a whole lot going on down there. We walked around and took some pictures. Bumped into a Sheriff at one point. Talked to him for a while. We asked him if the riots were over? He said fuck no, they’re trying to fuck a police station up right now on 47th and Burnside, We asked him if we could go, and he said yeah, it’s still a peaceful assembly, it hasn’t been declared a riot yet…. So, legit, we walked into this thing blind, in hindsight it was stupid on our part, I had no idea that they were like that. If it had been a full-blown riot we would not have gone. Bottom line, man, if you had ever given me a scenario like this and said hey, you’re sober, and you have a gun, and somebody is hitting you with a bat and throwing rocks at you that could kill you or put you in a coma, you try to get away but they cut you off with a convoy of vehicles and the assault starts again. They impede your movement and beat you with bats…
Would you shoot?

I’d be like, yeah what fucking planet are you from?

But in all the training that I’ve been through my life, I’ve never been in one where in the first five seconds of the scenario you’re blinded with a strobe light and sprayed with pepper spray…. That changes everything. They were throwing these rocks from 15 feet back in the crowd, you couldn’t see who the fuck through it, etc. things like that…. It’s just a good talking point for guys that carry concealed, but you need to think through all these different scenarios.

It got way worse after that video ended, they chased us for 11 city blocks. They had a convoy of about 25 vehicles that cut us off at the next intersection, They had scouts on the corner with radios, they had a drone following us, they had a bull horn calling us Nazis, and the crowd was following a red strobe light that was up in the air on a stick, so they would announce Nazis and then people would follow the red strobe light, That video is just the beginning, I’ve got a fucking fractured hand from a baton, everyone of us has black and blue bruises up and down their legs and back, I had a guy spit in my face from 6 inches away, call me a pussy and a coward for not doing anything about it, and then tell me that he was going to find where I live, rape my mother, rape my children in front of me and then kill me.

I’ve never been more angry about something in my fucking life, the level of restraint that it took for us to not fight back in any capacity whether that was with a gun or fists is incredible. All of us have kids at home. The only thing going through all of our minds was we have to be able to justify deadly force if we’re going to go that route, there’s also hundreds of these people, we can’t see straight because of all the pepper spray, and it’s hard to PID exactly who is throwing these rocks and hitting us with batons, because they would hit you and fucking run and their buddy would run up and hit you. It was an incredibly stressful situation, they did a very good job tactically of taking away your situational awareness, and in my opinion complicating your legal defense when you split one of their faces open with a hollow point.

As we were running from the crowd after about the third block or so, we’re sprinting because the mob head caught back up to us and vehicles were trying to cut us off, I put my hand on the back strap on my appendix, And I heard somebody yell “Hey bro, whatever you’re reaching for, don’t reach, just keep running, they’re still 30 feet behind you. Keep running straight.”

We get 11 blocks down the road and this black Chevy Impala is ghosting us down the street, he’s kind of been in our shadow since block two or three He rolls his window down and starts asking us a bunch of questions. Why are we here, what are we doing, telling us we need to get the fuck out of here, asking us where our car is etc., we pretty much told him to get the fuck away from us because we didn’t know who he was. I finally asked him at one point, Who the fuck are you, man, you need to leave us alone, and he was like I’m the fucking police, bro, who are you? So he pulled his car over and he and his partner talked to us. He was one of the special programs guys, either with SWAT or SRT or whatever. He was the one that yelled at me not to reach, and tried to help us out. He said he knew that we’ve been pepper sprayed and we’re having trouble seeing, I kind of snapped at him, Like hey motherfucker, You’ve been watching this whole thing fucking unfold and you didn’t intervene at all or light the crowd up or something? He started laughing and he was like, Man, if I got out and tried to help you guys, my fucking car would be on fire right now, and I’d be running next to you.

Bottom line: don’t go to an Antifa protest where you can put yourself in that situation. And if you find yourself in that situation, expect them to employ tactics that take away your situational awareness, and complicate the use of force continuum.”


Lesson: Never EVER go Anywhere Without your, “Battle Buddy”…

This lesson herein is presented without any disrespect toward young Mr. Rittenhouse in the slightest; he did what he thought he needed to at the time.  Unfortunately, his decision to act alone without a partner put him in extreme danger.

Simply put, this is an object lesson for those yet unaware of the dangers of going solo in a kinetic environment.  Always, always, ALWAYS have a partner.  Always.

From Gateway Pundit.   Do read the whole thing.

Key Points:

  • Great intent; miscalculated execution, if the quote is true and he did, indeed, (which is apparent based on follow up actions) go alone:  “After the situation seemed to be diffused, Rittenhouse became increasingly concerned about people who were injured at the gas station, so he went in that direction with his first aid kit. He helped those he could find who were injured, either by administering aid or directing them which way to go for help beyond what he could offer.”
  • Having a battle buddy makes ALL the difference!  “As Kyle proceeded towards the second mechanic’s shop, he was accosted by multiple rioters who recognized that he had been attempting to protect a business the mob wanted to destroy. This outraged the rioters and created a mob now determined to hurt Kyle. They began chasing him down. Kyle attempted to get away, but he could not do so quickly enough. Upon the sound of a gunshot behind him, Kyle turned and was immediately faced with an attacker lunging towards him and reaching for his rifle. He reacted instantaneously and justifiably with his weapon to protect himself, firing and striking the attacker,” Pierce explains.

Apropos of Nothing Whatsoever….

I had an urge to go to the range yesterday, which was finally open.  Got there early to make sure I got a lane.  Ironically, I had the pistol range to myself for the first 25 minutes.  So I had some quality time to work on with my Glock 19 & M9.

Full Size Human Anatomy Target – Distance: 25 Meters

Close Up of Low Percentage Target – Distance: 15 meters with both Glock 19 & Beretta M9                                                                                                  1st drill covered with pasters.

A week ago I went to the finally open rifle range I frequent, and was able to fire 62 rounds in as many seconds (not counting mag changes) at a reduced human silhouette at 100 meters.  I did the last 2 as head shots because, well, I felt like it.

                                   Federal .223 62gr MSR mixed in w/various M855 for comparison – works great!

It’s always good to know that your dry fire exercises don’t fail you at the range.

So then, today, I made sure my kit was up to snuff, and then checked AR mags and various other accouterments, should things get spicy in my little corner of the world….you know, should these guys or their friends or friends of friends show up?

I know they’re about to be declared a Domestic Terror Group, but I still sleep better knowing I’m still able to effectively manipulate my carbine & pistol as well as having more than a simple working knowledge of the area in which I live.

Hope you’re doing the same.

Repelling Boarders…

Kind of gives you the impression of being on a ship, doesn’t it?

I’m not writing about dealing with pirates on the open sea, but another kind of pirate that you may soon find yourself dealing with whether you want to or not.

That’s the urban, living from EBT recharge to EBT recharge, or the low income wage earner suddenly out of a job that has several children to feed.  They’ll be just as lethal to you and yours as the pirates of old, or the more modern kind out of Somalia that were a ‘thing’ for awhile a couple years ago.

Old or new, they all understood/understand one thing:  Violence of Action, meaning, they go on to other targets when things they’re after get too expensive in terms of their lives.  Whether you face one or more, the same rules apply:

Surprise & Violence of Action against an aggressor(s) invading  your home will overcome the perps.

But what if there’s more than one and they attack from different angles?

But what if they enter from an area I’m not watching?

But what if they shoot from outside my home?

I’m sure there’s a whole bunch more questions out there like the ones above.  Basically, what you need to do is ‘own’ your home from a tactical perspective.

You need to know ALL avenues of approach (how they can get to your house, seen or unseen, any obstacles, and ‘dead space’ areas (places they can stop and not be hit by your fire or seen).

You need to determine if you can defend your home in-depth, inside or out.  How many people do you have that can take up an armed position and fire on the bad guy the same time you are, but from another angle (old timers used to call it a ‘crossfire’ – now we call it, ‘Interlocking Fields of Fire).

You need to have some sort of system that buys you time to either get in position or call in the cavalry (if they’ll come…).  Like door or window barricades.  You need to know where you can and can’t shoot inside your home where other innocents are during the invasion.  You also need to have them practice moving to your ‘safe’ spot before the repelling action starts so they’re out of the line of fire.

Most of all, you need to respond to a home invasion with your AR or AK or Scout M14 type rifle.  Remember, pistols are for surprises, once you know there’s a problem, you get your rifle.  They trump pistols 24/7.

Now’s about THE best time to do some walk-through drills in your home.   It’s only a bad idea to not start thinking and acting in a positive manner toward your family’s defense.  Remember:  Once the supply chain breaks down (and it’s slower than it ever has been) and markets, grocers, and big chain stores can’t provide food, you have about 72 hours before the danger needle goes into the red zone.


And What, American Marksman, Would a Target Like This Provide You?

This photo, taken from Breitbart*, here, poses an interesting question in terms of marksmanship hypothetical discourse:

What would an active target, posed like this, mean to the armed American citizen if he or she found him or herself in a place and time where people like this were actively conducting unconventional war somewhere in the continental US?

Photo Credit: HENGHAMEH FAHIMI/AFP via Getty Image

Answer:  The astute shooter would find it much easier to sail a round through his aorta or liver or kidneys or spine or another vital spot such as the cranial cavity,  depending on the angle of view, and the shooter possessed the requisite skills.  Torso shot would have a higher percentage for most, but this target provides a lot of possibilities.

I now return you to your regular Sunday morning reading.

*Breitbart neither agrees, disagrees, or endorses this hypothetical discussion on marksmanship; link provided to their site for credit purposes.