Category Archives: Small Unit Tactics

A Designated Marksman Rifle & Cartridge That Won’t Break the Bank

First, let’s understand what I mean by, ‘Designated Marksman Rifle.’  Simply put, it’s any rifle that can reliably hit to and beyond the maximum effective limit of the riflemen being supported.  That means if you’re going to support ‘off the rack’ AR’s or iron sighted .30 caliber rifles being used by your NPT, you’re going to need something that can hit consistently between 550 and 650 meters and be effective.  Effective means ‘put the target down.’

                                            For Illustration Purposes – Dead German Soldier circa WWI

Extrapolate that to mean the platform and cartridge chosen must be able to do what it needs to do at the specified range typically with the first shot (that doesn’t necessarily mean kill, either.  If you have 3 zombie bikers coming, and you gut shoot or hip shoot one, and they actually care about their buddy, it’s going to take the other two to get him out of the line of fire).  That can buy time for you to dislocate to another shooting position for further support or cover the egress of your NPT from the situation.  Most folks think of the 7.62NATO round or even the .300 Win Mag to fill the role, but I’m  thinking of a now, for the most part, ignored cartridge that when originally introduced, was used as a 1,000 yard cartridge.  Over the years with advances in bullet design, propellants, primers, and all things ballistic, as well as the excitement new rounds and platform design causes, it has all but been relegated to the dust bin of history other than for hunting excursions.  Don’t get me wrong, I dearly loved the 7.62NATO round; at one time had a Fulton re-worked Norinco M14 that was MOA with irons and really enjoyed the .300 Win – I spent about 5 years doing precision with home rolled 200gr Sierra HPBT Match Kings from a very, very accurized Remington 700 Sendero that routinely stayed sub – MOA at 1,000 yards – awesome rifle and cartridge to load  and shoot experiencing its capabilities.  But it was real expensive!  The base rifle was $650 off the rack, then there were the accurizing modifications, such as cryogenic treatment to relieve all stresses in the steel from the manufacturing process; the re-crowning of the barrel to a perfect 11 degrees (ensures consistent gas release) then the action was trued, the trigger replaced with a Timney, a Leupold M-8 Fixed 10X

I’m sure the older and very experienced shooters have now surmised I’m thinking of the 30-06 Springfield.  Excellent round, and very  versatile.  It can be loaded up to 220 grain bullets and down to 110gr bullets.  It can have a .22 caliber ‘accelerator’ projectile loaded by way of a sabot.   Amazing round.  Developed and deployed in 1906, over 113 years ago, it still packs a HUGE punch and is very accurate when either purchased as a match round or loaded as an extreme performance round, usually by an experienced hand loader.  Personally, I’m a Sierra HPBT Match King 175gr guy, but 168’s work just as well.

The platform to choose for a DSM rifle, in these days of wanting to do everything for a dollar, is a now seldom pursued used hunting rifle with a 22 inch barrel called the Savage 110.  These things come cheap, and many don’t know that Savage accuracy out of the box beats many high end competitors in the rifle business at a price point that can defy belief.  Do a few accurizing modifications as described below, and you’ve got a really good DSM.

Yes, I like Savage rifles.  I’ve got two right now.  One is a project rifle, and the other a Scout.  They are out of the box extremely accurate.  That’s not the point, though.

The point is tuning a John Doe ’06 bought OTC for comparably few dollars into a very precise over-watch or support rifle that a reasonably trained rifleman can make sing.  Especially in times of emergency conditions or circumstances.  If, for whatever reason, the rifle is ‘lost,’ it is inexpensive enough to have an identical copy (or two) at the former owners finger tips.  If you already have one languishing in your safe or you can get your old uncle or grandpa to give you theirs, you’re ahead of the game.

To be clear, this is not a ‘sniper’ rifle, either (and a DSM is not a sniper – a DSM is simply a rifleman who can shoot extremely well and has the calling to provide ‘pause’ to an approaching enemy).  The barrel is pencil thin; the stock is standard; the trigger may be polished, but it’s not going to be in any stretch a ‘precision trigger’.  The optics are not going to be anything to write home about, either.  In fact, I’d consider using the optics the rifle came with, so long as the glass is clear, doesn’t fog, and provides at least a 9 to 12 power magnification.  It probably won’t have mil-dot reticles, either.  The standard “thick-n-thin” reticles will do nicely, especially when the rifleman learns how to use them to estimate range against a known target’s size.  Here’s an example of what might be on a scope coming with a used rifle like this one.

All that has to be done to the Savage 110 ’06 after you’ve purchased it and taken it to the range to see what ammo it eats best (you’ll want to save your targets for comparison later when the accurization project is complete) is to, first, assess the trigger pull.  If it’s not at about 3.5 lbs, and isn’t adjustable, take it to a competent gunsmith and get it done now.  Once he’s done his work, take it back to the range and see how it performs again.  Save these targets as well, and mark them “post trigger smoothing.”  Then, the next step is to completely strip and detail clean/degrease it, recondition the barrel (easily done with JB polishing compound, some boiling water and dish soap (hint – do this outside to ensure you don’t hear the high pitched war cry of your spouse unit when she sees you doing this in the sink….ask me how I know).  I’ll outline the method I learned for conditioned a barrel in another post (this method works so well that with a new out of the box rifle, your break in is done in about 10 rounds without cleaning between rounds).

Once the rifle is completely clean and the barrel has been reconditioned, the next step is to polish the bolt lug raceways in the action.  JB’s is good for this as well, and all you do is smear a bit on the bolt lugs and work the action smoothly for about 30 revolutions all the way in and locked and all the way out.

Then you clean the action again….really clean it.  Boiling water helps get all the crud out. While your at it, clean the bore again against anything that may have moved in during your action cleaning.  And make sure to clean the lug recesses, too.  You don’t want any gunk in there.   You want the chamber pristine, as well.

Purchasing one of these kits, or something similar, will make you a happy camper.Once it’s clean, dry it thoroughly.  Don’t worry about oiling it just yet.  If you just have to for your own peace of mind, run and oily rag through the action and almost dry oily patch down the bore.

Now comes the hard part:  You have to free float and bed the barreled action.  Why?  You want to ensure that the harmonics of the barrel steel when the round is fired is as consistent as possible from one shot to the next.  This consistency means that the “Cone of Fire” (every rifle fires in a cone – no BS) will be as uniform and as small as the rifle’s inherent accuracy will allow.  It’s usually evidenced by a triangular group when firing 3 shots properly (meaning breathing, sight picture, trigger depression, firing, and follow through all come together at the same time).

I am partial to atomized stainless steel bedding, but will also use Devcon fiberglass bedding material.  So long as you have proper release agent.  Pictured below is Brownell’s Steel Bed Kit, now about $60 or so at Walmart.   Follow the directions precisely, especially as it involves applying the release agent, or you’re going to have a permanently affixed stock.  And I mean permanently.

                    A bedded Savage stock after releasing the action from the bedding compound.

When you insert the action into the bedding compound, a simple way to free float the barrel is to have a pre-cut piece of coffee can plastic lid, about 2″X 3″, to place between the barrel and the stock near the front end of the stock.  Once the action is secured into the bedded stock (and presuming the action has been thoroughly coated with spray or brush on release agent), the plastic will keep the barrel about 3/32’s or 1/8th inch at the most up from the stock.

Once the cure time has passed, you can unfasten the action retaining screws according to the instructions, and tap the action out of the bed.  C.A.R.E.F.U.L.L.Y.  Clean any excess bedding compound and painters tape from the stock and action, clean their surfaces, and reassemble your rifle.

Then paint it to match the area you may be operating in….then go back to the range.  The example below should have the action, barrel and scope painted as well.  Remember, looking cool isn’t the object of painting a rifle or any piece of equipment.  The main objective is to break up the outline.  Ugly is your friend.  When you’re done, you might do a simple test:  Lay your rifle down in some  typical vegetation around where you live and walk 5 to 10 yards away.  Can you easily see it?  If not, you did it right.

That’s the ‘in a nutshell’ on how to get a DSM rifle with a spectacular cartridge that packs a punch.  There are still components out there from WWII, Korea, and Vietnam that make interesting hand loads for range experimentation.  Due to our current laws, however, make sure you are in compliance with your local and state (as well as federal) before you buy or load any surplus components.

What’s your choice for a DSM rifle and caliber?

 

Disclaimer:  This article is for educational purposes only; any misuse of the information contained herein is the sole responsibility of the reader.
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Snow Shoe Comparison & Out of the Box Review – Northern Lites and MSR Military Surplus

Posted on AP 9 Jan 19.

This will be an out of the box first impressions review and comparison with my tried and true Northern Lites Tundra.  I’ll do a follow up post once I get enough snow to do some field trials.  Fortunately, I have a friendly golf course nearby that allows snowshoeing once the snow gets above 6 inches, so that’ll be great!

For the last 6 years, I’ve had a pair of Northern Lites Tundra trail shoes that I’ve used for hauling sleds & equipment through deep snow in the North country.  They cost about $250, and are worth every penny!  They are THE lightest shoe on the market (3 pounds per pair) compared for size and deck surface area (9.5 inches X 32 inches = 258 Sq Inches of displacement) and are rated for loads that can exceed 250 lbs.  Think of how your weight can go up if you are, say 175 pounds, add winter clothing, add LBE, add whatever long gun you choose, ammo, mags, and so on.  250 pounds is not hard to achieve (personally, I like the fact that they keep virtually any load floating on the surface of the snow). This will keep you, your pack (if you carry one), your carbine, and anything else floating in any snow condition you can think of.  Really, these shoes float better than any shoe I’ve ever tried with or without carrying a load, the bindings are easy on/easy off, are durable, and do not get phased by quick changes from extreme barely cold to back again.  The decking is especially noteworthy, in that it’s made from the material that White Water Rafts are made from, and will not tear.  I painted mine using a pattern similar to the original ASAT (All Season All Terrain) to blend in with the winter landscape, especially when I was in camp and stuck them into a snow bank near my shelter.  As you can see, the paint will wear off the bottom, but the top stays nice and camouflaged wherever the boots don’t rub it off.  This Spring will see them getting touched up.

Here’s a pic of my Tundras as they are now:

Here’s their site for you to review some of the advantages if you’d like.

The one weakness they have is that once you get into deep woods that a lot of trees close together along with semi-deep snow, they’re too long (almost a yard – 32 inches) to maneuver well, and you may have to take them off, strap them on your back, and break trail.  So, I’ve been looking for something I can use in the woods that’s light, can easily be stowed in my sled, are maneuverable, and usable on the trail if necessary, and so on.  Basically, the best of all worlds.

I’ve been researching various brands/types/kinds of shoes by various manufacturers, and I’ve settled on what I think will be they answer.  They’re made by Mountain Safety Research, aka ‘MSR.’  Specifically, it’s their USGI MSR Denali snow shoes with the 8 inch trail extensions.  They could be called a ‘convertible’ in that when you take the tails off, they’re only 22 inches long, and are just right fore tight maneuvering forest or brush.  They usually run about $250 – $280 from known retailers, but I found a pair for less than $135, new!  That’s about the best deal I’ve found and am like many folks refusing suggested retail on anything, including snowshoes.  So, I snapped them up.

These are slightly less robust, in that they handle “up to” 250 lbs with the 8 inch tails attached.  They’re also narrower by an inch and a half (8 inchs v 9.5 inches) and two inches shorter (30 inches – w/tails v 32 inches).  They’re also a tad heavier by 5 ounces per shoe without the tails.  I’m willing to take the trade off for the 22 inch capability in the woods coupled with the 30 inch trail capability.  We’ll see how this works out once I get some decent snow on the ground.

Here’s the out of the box pic of the MSR shoes:

The tails can be attached with little effort and secure nicely with the retaining screw.  Nice and snug is the way to go; you don’t have to use a lot of force.  The bindings are virtually identical to the Northern Lites, and I found through use they’re very, very easy to snug up when putting your shoes on.

The pictures immediately above and below this text show the aggressive cleating on the shoes for walking on icy terrain, climbing or traversing slopes.  Not a bad thing to have!

Beyond good snowshoes, something else to ensure you have is a good set of trekking poles whether you’re carrying a pack or pulling a sled.  The picture above of my Northern Lites shows how I covered mine with burlap because I didn’t have time to paint them when I first purchased them, and since then, the burlap worked out well.  However, I plan on painting them in the same pattern I put on my Tundra’s when it gets warm again (on the April through June project list).  So, if you don’t have any, make sure you get a pair. They are indispensable in keeping your balance and assisting you when going through snow.  The newer models are also extremely light, so when you get into very shallow or no snow, they can be easily tied to your ruck without adding significant weight.  The picture below demonstrates even in 18 inches of snow poles can help you even when you’re not breaking trail.  Yours truly was 3rd in line and was using the Northern Lites.

 

An aside on winter camouflage:  Too many people take a smock, poncho, or plain sheet and drape it over the top half of their body with dark patterns on their pants.  Doing so actually works against the person trying to move through snow country as the patterns are reversed.  Dark pants against white snow and white jacket covers against dark trees.  Try doing just the opposite:  Wear your white, grey, or very light tan snow camouflage from the waist down and the darker colors from the waist up when moving if one wishes to blend into the surrounding terrain.  Look at the lead man in the line:  All dark and he stands out.  Number 2, 3 & 4 all have their light camouflage over their pants and the darker colors on top.  Simply more effective.

What’s your favorite shoe and set up?

Training Opportunity!

How To Develop A Safe And Effective Armed Security Team For Your School

Tue, Mar 6, 2018 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM EST

Distributed Security, Inc. offers armed security training programs for teachers, administrators, and staff. They have helped develop state legislation allowing teachers and administrators to carry weapons in class. Bill Tallen, Executive Vice President of DSI said this about the webinar:
“There is lot of confusion and misinformation surrounding the issue of armed staff in our schools.  The purpose of this webinar is to give school officials, teachers, and staff a clear and concise road map to set up a their owned armed security team.“
Bill Rogers (former State Representative and Chairman – House Appropriations Subcommittee On School Aid and House Appropriations Subcommittee On Education) will be speaking at the webinar and had this to add: “Safe and secure schools are paramount to Michigan’s future. I have teamed up with the DSI organization because of their innovative approach to offering distributed security solutions not only to schools, but also businesses, churches and communities.”
Details for the webinar are:
DATE: Tuesday, March 6, 2018  TIME: 5:30 – 6:30 PM EDT
COST: This is a FREE webinar. This 1-hour webinar will discuss:
1. Training requirements for concealed carry in schools.
2. Smart planning for school security: site surveys and vulnerability analysis.
3. Selecting and managing armed school staff.
4. Michigan law relative to school defense.
Here’s the link.  Sign up now!

Comment at WRSA….on ‘Night Movements’ from a Recent Participant…

To this post and the subject of ‘Night Movements.’

Good enough to stand alone.

TheyCallMeRockStar22

In the Deuce we used to hunt the SF guys and they would Hunt us.

So much fun. Exhausting work, But fun. You pretty much always have to take the long way at night.

A few things I learned.

1) You can follow a sentry or patrol in the leafy woods by “stepping in step” with them. If you extend your Stride you can sneak up right behind them. Works every time. Crunch, Crunch, Crunch… dead.

2) You can see a red light with with a pair of 3rd Gen NVGs at nearly 300 meters or more. Depending on the moonlight. Seriously guys, the red light thing is a practically a Hollywood gimmick. Make sure you use a poncho to cover up. If the air is clear and the LOS is there, You can see even farther.

3)Your hearing is much, much better at night.

4) Wildlife makes ALOT of background noise. So skip the whistles, claps, and snaps. Practice an owl hoot or perhaps series of clicks. Youtube has unlimited videos of the sounds for wildlife in your area. Look them up and Practice those.

5) Night Sights are your friend. If you can’t afford a night sight, a touch of glow-in-the-dark paint works in a pinch. Make sure the top of your front sight post is still smooth, flat, and black. You don’t want extra gunk on that thing.

6) You move much, much slower. When I was at my peak, my time was (Probably) plus 20 percent at night assuming you don’t walk into a draw. My pace count is about 70 during the day and nearly 90 at night. If you don’t know what a draw is, it’s the Biological equivalent of no-mans-land times three. They are found outside of the blue parts(Water) on your map every time. Seriously, the green monster will swallow a whole paratrooper, or Green Beret, and his gear. Take off your stupid battle belt and put it in your ruck when the sun goes down. If you go into a draw with a battle belt on, you will exit the draw without your battle belt. Good news though, you might find someone else’s Battle Belt. The battle belt is cool if you feel like moving every fucking vine or branch out of the way from snagging. I assure you this gets exhausting. That shit is so stupid in the woodbine. Save the cool guy gear for the Urban Environments.

7) Go way the fuck around any water if you can. You can hear every sound coming across still waters. Also, post up near water if you can, but move directing in and out. You can hear everything around you. I was “Killed” several times because I didn’t bounce around the water. The SF dudes even warned us and they still got us several times because they were posting up near the water. Hard to defend, hard to assault. Lose-Lose all around. It’s a slaughter house for both sides and one hell of a tricky obstacle. It’s the tactical equivalent of playing poker and everyone has wild cards up their sleeves.

8) When you establish a Bivouac site, you can set up the sentry/point position ponchos like a sonar dish, they can be used to enhance your hearing. It’s not incredible, but its def worth testing if you can make it work.

9) Whisper. Always, Always, Always Whisper. Sound carries very well at night.

10) You can hand-rail roads to speed up your movements significantly. Headlights on any normal Vehicle can’t see much past 150-200 yards dead ahead with Low-beams, 300 or more with High-beams. on either side its maybe 25 meters. 99.9999/100 Vehicles will NOT see a camouflaged Man 3 feet off a wooded road. We never got caught by a vehicle.

11) For whatever reason, Wildlife is very Curious about you at night. Typically Mammals and Birds. We used to avoid eating at night. It brings out the curious woodland creatures in droves. The last thing you want is someone picking up the raccoons or Coyotes flowing you around picking up scraps and digging up your buried litter.

12) Command and Control of your Troopers is ten times harder. Keep Your head count, and tighten up your formations. You will lose someone if you don’t make sure everyone is moving the same direction. You have to be right on your buddies ass. A single glow stick on the back of the lead element’s helmet can designate the front of the formation. A different color for the rear can identify the rear of the element. You can use regular masking tape to block out some of the “Glow” OR you can pop your night time sticks during the day and by night time they are significantly dimmer.

13) Make sure any gear you take off or take out is put right back or put an extra carabiner on you kit to hook stuff together. You WILL lose something if you don’t.

14) 95% of Firefights occur at night at less than 10 meters. SO make your peace with God now.

15) Don’t have Light sticks, Flash Lights, Tactical Lights or anything like that hanging around. You WILL accidentally trigger the light or break the chem. It could be minutes before you even notice.

16) Put your gun team or heavy weapons in the rear. Odds are you will walk right into the enemy. You want your big guns in the rear so they can save your ass.

17) Your point man MUST have the best night vision, hearing, and directional awareness regardless of rank, position, duty, or title. They also need to understand how to react if they walk up on the enemy or into an ambush. Which WILL happen. That is only a matter of time. Make sure you dry run this and talk it out. You cannot be planing a hasty raid 30 meters from the enemy. That shit should already be planned and a simple left, right, or down the middle is all your boys need to know. You can’t run around whispering the Op into every swinging dick’s ear. You are gonna get shot doing that. 90% of security is in a triangle. So there are always two belt feed weapons pointed at you. Even if you only see one, there is two, or more. Probably more.

18) ALWAY Tell people where you are going, how long, and how far. Even if it’s just to piss.

19) Shut the fuck up. The leaves on the trees trap sound and amplifies it in every direction.

20) The Enemy is going to hear you before they see you in dense woods. But in the “Healthy” Woods the enemy will notice your movement very, very quickly. The woods stand still at night because the wind doesn’t penetrate, so naturally If you enter the “Woodline Saturation State” people turn into Hawkeye within a couple of days of Nighttime woodland Ops. Any movement is a 110% Eye catching give away. Instead of dropping to the ground or taking a knee, you should “melt” into your surroundings or “melt” into the ground. Slowly, and smoothly. Don’t swing your rifle around like Tom Cruise. You need to be slow, and smooth and steady. Like a deer. Move Like a deer.

21) If you are walking in an area with a lot of dead fall, You need to pick up your feet. You can pretty much eliminate 90% of trip hazards by simply lifting your stride a little higher. And tighten your damn boot laces up. You will step on a 3 inch branch and roll the ever loving fuck out of your ankle.

22) Practice your hand signals. All hand signals need to be issued directly in front of your face or off to the side so they can differentiate the two details. You can’t have a camouflaged hand giving hand signals in front of your camouflaged kit. Your buddies can’t see it.

23) Tracers in a Firefight at night are absolutely awesome. They light up your enemy AO and create little fires around them. This silhouettes your targets. You’ll see them bound, move, dive, and run and most importantly you will see them looking at their buddies. It also has the added effect of inevitably ruining their night vision as we are biologically hardwired to look at a flame. Which is good if you break contact. Plus their bivouac site is at risk of burning. Which is also good. And, god willing, if you win the fire fight you can sweep and clear EPW, EKIA, and EWIA with a serious quickness.

24) If you walk into a hasty ambush, linear ambush, or textbook complex ambush at night you are gonna take a lot of casualties and likely someone will be captured. Make sure you have a rendezvous point established that is well within your own turf. I would suggest at least a solid 12 hour march or 20 miles depending on terrain. If you engage an enemy, Within minutes more bad guys are gonna be spun up and coming to get you. Modern Militaries send their Coordinates up the chain of command when they camp out. This is to prevent friendly fire and also makes things easier for the artillery and Intel guys. They will be right on top of you within 20-30 minutes. 30 minutes if they take a wrong turn. Which happens a lot at night.

25) If you can’t carry the enemy equipment, for the love of god destroy it. We don’t need it, and they can’t have it back. Besides, its probably bugged anyway.

Feel free to add, correct, or modify this in anyway.

***Also, in the early 90’s and 80’s they used to walk around with flashlights taped to their rifles. Don’t do that. We don’t do that anymore. Thats Cold War killing commies crap. The purpose being they shoot at your and your drop indirect on them. You don’t have an entire army backing you up. That’s for the Regulars, not the irregulars.*** We don’t do that anymore. ***

Comparison and Contrast for Training in ‘Infantry’ Skill Sets Part 2

Update from JC Dodge.  Again, up front, his post is not meant to dissuade anyone from learning these necessary survival skill sets; rather, it’s meant to provide some sort of objective way to look at what might be gained from attending various schools aimed at civilians when compared to active duty service in a combat arm.

Remember the levels of learning:  Unconsciously Unskilled, Consciously Unskilled, Consciously Skilled, and Unconsciously Skilled.

The very highest level you can attain (which is good, if you’re diligent and practice what you’ve learned in your chosen school) is Consciously Unskilled (You Know What You Don’t Know) and possibly Consciously Skilled ( You can perform, but not at ‘second nature’ level).  Most civilians are not in the environment that helps attain skill mastery (Unconsciously Skilled – Performing tasks as second nature level), because they have jobs, support families, and have other obligations that keep them from practicing all day, every day and some weekends with their chosen team 0f four to twelve people.

Keep plugging away, keep learning, but understand the limitations of your training and capabilities.  It’ll help keep you alive a lot longer than harboring illusions of what you can do.

 “Are You A ‘Snowflake’ Or A ‘Meteor’?” – Becoming A Meteor

Last week a group of four Combat Arms Veterans contributed to a post I wrote concerning the premise that, “on a good day, a civilian that has taken 3 or 4 SUT type classes from a Tactical Trainer won’t even be at the experienced Infantry PFC level”. Although the majority of the comments, both here on WRSA,  and in email were positive, even though there were still those who are still unwilling to mesh reality with their delusions of grandeur, concerning their level of training, and it’s comparison to that of the experienced Infantry PFC.

I have mentioned a number of times (these highlighted links are just a few examples) a variation of this theme, “You are not a Commando/Infantry, but you do not need to be.”. I actually had a guy say, “YES! and if you had just said it this way from the beginning then you might not be getting any negative feedback.” to part of my response to another comment he had made. My actual comment to him consisted of this, “Here’s the thing, “You can’t be what we are/were without doing what we do/did (BUT YOU DON’T NEED TO BE).”.

Let’s talk about that phrase for a minute. “You can’t be what we are/were without doing what we do/did (BUT YOU DON’T NEED TO BE).”. The question I’d imagine most SAC’s (Situationally Aware Civilian) have is, 1) How do I put myself on par with a guy who has not only gone through a 4 month One Station Unit Training course (Basic and Infantry School)? 2) Do I need to put myself on par with that guy to have a chance at surviving what is coming?

This post is about some of the “What”, the “Why”, and the “How” of “Combatant Skills” needed for the Neighborhood Protection Team member, or Survivalist. You are not Infantrymen, you have to be much more. As I have said a number of times, “Be a Survivalist who is a ‘Jack of all Trades’, master of some (preferably the life saving and life protecting arts).”. Are there Infantry skills that you should master? Hell Yes! In this post I mentioned the Army’s “Everybody requirement” concerning Common Task Testing. This is not an “Infantry specific” requirement, but an “Everyone” requirement. Have you mastered the tasks in that post, because even the “Water Purification Specialist” in the Army has to show proficiency in those tasks.

Most of you want to pick and choose what you want to learn, and what you want to avoid, and that doesn’t cut it if you are serious about surviving a combat scenario. This is what I said in the post, “If you can’t show proficiency in the common tasks of First Aid, Commo,  Land Nav, Movement as a Buddy Team and in a patrol, and be proficient and accurate in the use of your primary weapon, when even a Dental Hygienist in the Army has to do it every year, how do you plan on functioning in an ‘Infantry’ type role?”. Remember that? Probably not huh?

Something else of note that was “made clear” in one of the comments on the last post was that we apparently don’t explain terminology well enough. The terms in question were “Offensive” (you are taking the fight to the bad guys) and “Defensive” (you are defending what you already have secured against the bad guys) in the context of operations. My response was thus, “You make out like we treat you like you are stupid, then get pissed when I don’t explain simple terms like “Defensive” and “Offensive”. Make up my mind, are you guys a bunch of illiterate, dull eyed retards, or are you rational, generally above median, adults (like I believe you are)?”.

This type of juvenile criticism is one of the reasons many of you get grief from people that are knowledgeable and experienced in the craft you wish to learn. So here’s the deal,  if it is a term that is specific to the subject I am writing about, and not in common use, I will explain and define it. If it’s something simple like the two terms above, I expect you to look it up via google, a dictionary, or any of the following Field Manuals: FM 7-8, FM 21-75, ST 21-75-2 (presently the SH 21-76), or the ST 21-75-3.

What follows is the thoughts of the same four Combat Arms Vets who contributed to the first post. They all have a unique perspective, but you will notice, once again, a recurring theme. After the last contribution is complete, I will give some thoughts in closing.

Read the rest, here.

Mason Dixon Tactical

mdt-patches1-1

Last week a group of four Combat Arms Veterans contributed to a post I wrote concerning the premise that, “on a good day, a civilian that has taken 3 or 4 SUT type classes from a Tactical Trainer won’t even be at the experienced Infantry PFC level”. Although the majority of the comments, both here on WRSA,  and in email were positive, even though there were still those who are still unwilling to mesh reality with their delusions of grandeur, concerning their level of training, and it’s comparison to that of the experienced Infantry PFC.

I have mentioned a number of times (these highlighted links are just a few examples) a variation of this theme, “You are not a Commando/Infantry, but you do not need to be.”. I actually had a guy say, “YES! and if you had just said it this way from the beginning then you might…

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NPT Active Defense Priorities

When setting up in urban/suburban areas, these principles apply when defending against MZB type attacks.

In a case of ‘right now’ defense of your NPA, NPT strength dependent, here are 3 simple priorities to guide your DFP (Defensive Fighting Position) site selection:

  • Site your DFP’s to cover as many potential MZB (Mutant Zombie Biker) ingress and egress routes to your NPA as possible.  Sure, you’re not going to be able to get them all, but focusing on the ones that are most likely will get your NPT into a better position for defending your NPA.
  • Set your DFP’s up in positions that mutually support each other, so that when one comes under attack, at least 2 others can render fire support.
  • When selecting your DFP’s, pick positions solid enough that they could be defended against a heavy attack for an extended period of time if necessary.  The rest is supplementary to these basics.Fully developed mutually supported, interlocked fields of fire NPT defense.

How To Do It Right: Listening Posts and Observation Posts

From Tom Baugh’s, “Starving the Monkey’s” sight; a guest post that breaks it all down for you and applies it to the NPT.  The author is SFC Steven M. Barry; his bio is below.  This is ‘gold’.  Soak it up.

“SFC Steven M Barry USA RET served twenty-four years in the US Army (1973 – 1997), USMA 1973 – 1976 then US Army Special Forces 1976 – 1997. Barry served in 5th SFGA (11BS, 31VS and sniper), USAJFKSWCS (Unconventional Warfare instructor and sniper instructor), and 3SFGA (18F and 18Z). Barry has advanced training beyond military schools in Special Operations and was an instructor at United States Army Institute of Military Assistance and Special Warfare Center in Unconventional Warfare (these days called “terrorism”). Barry has UW experience in Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. Barry’s military schooling includes infantry, heavy weapons, communications, sniping, engineering, operations and intelligence, and counterintelligence.”

Listening Posts and Observation Posts (Guest Article)

Barry is retired Special Forces, Traditional Catholic, monarchist, historian, Scholastic, counter-Reformationist, and counter-revolutionary.

Introduction

During a recent correspondence with Tom Baugh about his AAR following Hurricane Matthew this writer commented that his OPs should have had check points behind them to prevent the perimeter being “crashed.” Baugh responded that he had been split between describing his deployments being LPs or OPs. Returning his letter I commented that we often combined the two functions (i.e, LP/OP) and mentioned that I had written a rather long paragraph describing how we really used them but that I had deleted that paragraph before sending because of the unlikelihood of civilians protecting their holdings from looters or bandit gangs having the manpower to do it properly.

Baugh asked if I would reproduce that paragraph here. What follows is a (somewhat expanded) reconstruction of the purely military paragraph on LP and OP. Then I will take the principles from the military paragraphs and explain how they are translated into civilian use by Neighborhood Protection Teams.

How We Used OPs and LPs (not necessarily according to doctrine)

The smallest tactical unit that can provide all ’round defense for itself (this includes OPs and LPs) is a rifle company. A rifle platoon cannot provide all ’round defense for itself and maintain security. By itself the best a platoon can do is push out a Listening Post or two; the platoon in all ’round defense is itself the Observation Post. It’s a different thing when the platoon in defense is part of a rifle company in defense. A rifle company in defense normally occupies a front of 1000 meters. A platoon in defense normally covers a front of about 300 meters with two squads “up” and one squad “back.” Each squad occupies a front of about 100 meters. We will assume squads of nine men. In a platoon defense, given its frontage, there will be a main avenue of approach the enemy will attack along. (Figure 1.)

plt_500x300

Figure 1: Platoon Deployment and Observation Post

Given observation and fields of fire a single OP is sufficient. From the OP are sent out one or two LPs. The OP is positioned so it can observe the main avenue of approach. The LPs are positioned in terrain that provides concealed approach to the enemy. The OP must be within covering fires of the main line, the LPs line of withdrawal must be covered by the OP. The OP and LPs are drawn from the “back” squad. We invariably used a four man OP and two, two men LPs. The Squad Leader from the “back” squad stayed with the Platoon headquarters so when the OP and LPs had to withdraw he would be at the place of passage lines to ID his men.

Here’s how it worked. One of the LPs would detect movement (a rifle company in movement to contact cannot “sneak”) The LP alerts the OP – which alerts the Platoon Leader — then both LPs withdraw to the OP. The OP is now an eight man fighting position. The OP opens up fire with everything it has in the direction of enemy movement. That forces the enemy to deploy. That’s the important part. It takes much longer than people can imagine for PLs – let alone Company Commanders – to get their units back under control and deployed into battle formation after they’ve come under fire. Meanwhile the OP has withdrawn and is conducting passage of lines to reoccupy the “back” or reserve position. (In a protracted defense OP duty rotates among squads.)

How Do Civilians Do That?

Basically, they don’t. It is highly unlikely any Neighborhood Protection Team is going to exceed much more than six to eight people (Hopefully all men and hopefully all in the same neighborhood). Nevertheless, the basic principles outlined above still apply. LP raises the alarm, OP forces deployment and disruption, defensive line fights the battle.

In the case of NPTs the invariable Avenues of Approach of roaming looters or bandit gangs will be the local road system. In the illustration there are three Avenues of Approach to the local neighborhood. (Figure 2.)

npt_1500x900

Figure 2: Neighborhood Protection Team LPs and OPs.

Let us assume an NPT of six men. Obviously they cannot cover the LPs, the OPs, or the defensive positions. What to do? Here is where friendships and diplomacy come into play. You have to convince Aunt Martha and Uncle Joe and Cousin Bess that it is in their own best interest to “road watch” for you and report the movement of looters or bandits toward your neighborhood. They are your LPs. They raise the alarm. Each OP is manned by two men. The last two men man the Command Post. Positions 1, 2, and 3 have already been prepared for defense. It is unlikely that gangs of looters or bandit gangs will have the sophistication to use converging avenues of approach, so all you need to know is what direction they are coming from.

Here is how it works. Aunt Martha reports to OP1 that several pick ups of armed men just passed her house. OP1 Alerts CP; CP alerts OP2. Both CP and OP2 move to defensive position 2. At the appearance of the lead pick up OP1 gives them everything they have, then withdraws to defensive position 2. Meanwhile the looters/bandits are disrupted and trying to deploy and probably wasting ammo.

From that point on you may or may not have a battle.

Addenda

1) Tom Baugh tells me that USMC doctrine from his time (ed. late 80s/early 90s, as taught at Quantico) often conflated OP with LP (i.e. an LP/OP). Current Army doctrine does the same. In Special Forces we did that out of necessity (and only on the back trail). If a rifle company is doing it it is out of stupidity.

2) None of the above has anything to do with the legal niceties of a non SHTF scenario.

Center Mass Shooting? Not When You Want to Live…

headshot-target

“Here we are specifically and clearly, without euphemisms or verbal deflections, targeting the face/neck area of the bad guy to kill him as quickly as possible.  If that takes one shot, great.  But if it takes fifteen to the face, that is acceptable as well.”

Read the rest, here.  Then get ye to the range and do some practicing.

H/T to “We Are the New Barbarians,” here.  If you don’t have them on your daily spot check, you should consider it.