All posts by Shawn

How Insurgencies are Broken

This is another re-post from our ongoing tribute to our friend Kevin OBrien , AKA “Hognose”.  Who was the owner and primary of weaponsman.com  who passed away   much too early in the spring of 2017.

 

"Is it safe?"

“Is it safe?” Torture makes for great entertainment, but it’s seldom needed to roll up an insurgent network.

We bumped into an interesting post at a blog called The Lizard Farmer on the subject of COIN intelligence TTPs. He uses the example of an imaginary Texan resistance cell and describes how intelligence practitioners would roll up a would-be “militia” unit. They do this without even a State of Emergency, or tapping the NSA liasons’ at the fusion centers’ direct warrantless access to domestic mass phone and digital surveillance. They just apply the tactics, techniques and procedures that police use now to close criminal cases, which are very close to what intelligence organizations use to unravel, expose, and annihilate insurgent entities.

His specific example begins with a dead body found after a small unit contact. The decedent was sanitized of serial numbered equipment, electronics, ID and identifying marks, and had even defaced his fingerprints. But he still was the thread they pulled to unravel his entire cell. In the end, modern technology (and psychology) have made no man an island — not even a dead man.

He concludes:

These tactics are how insurgencies are broken.  They’re what enabled the system to pin Bin Laden down, catch the Tsarnaevs, and identify drone strike targets in the middle east.

We have to interrupt here to say two things about the Tsarnaevs — they were not caught until after they acted, and there was no great effect of the intelligence effort to hunt them. They were caught because they got in a gunfight with the cops; one (Speedbump) was killed, finished off when his brother ran him over, and one (Flashbang) wounded badly enough that a citizen found him and turned him in, after a botched Gestapo-style house-to-house razzia failed to find him.

Networks are deadly to an insurgency.  Even operating in meatspace can be deadly without the right precautions.  All it takes is for one person to use that phone to call or that debit card to pay and they’ve been nailed in time and space.   Sure you may be using your regular phone (and not your disposable one) to call ma but you’re there and the records show it.  And if your battle buddy does something similar he’s fixed at that time and place as well – so now both of you are associated.  The key is discipline.  When you meet you go completely off the grid.  Completely.  No phone use, no debit card use, nada in and around the geographic area and  timeframe you meet.  Recon and identify how you could expose yourself.  Does a certain route have license plate readers?  Then don’t use it.  Convenience stores?  They all have cameras at the counter and pumps. Nearby ATM machine? Cameras and transaction records.  The golden rule at all times (and I mean all times)  is to ask yourself: How will what I’m doing at this second expose myself and others to identification?

via How They Hunt | The Lizard Farmer.

Emphasis was in the original. Note that already the police work around legal restrictions on using “forbidden” or warrantless unlawful surveillance by the fiction of “parallel construction,” which means, quite literally, presenting false records to the court that were generated to plausibly explain government possession of illegally collected data. Parallel Construction is not a novel GWOT era technique but was used at least as early as the early 1990s in drug cases, both running warrantless wiretaps against organized crime figures and using military intelligence assets against domestic crime groups. In those cases, it was justified in part by a drug case carve-out to Posse Comitatus engineered into being in the 1980s, but once they began doing it they were on the slippery slope of doing it whether they had a drug nexus or not.

The 1990s-vintage botched raids at Waco and Ruby Ridge both used military assets (physical and human) acquired by ATF and FBI agents simply lying and manufacturing a nonexistent “drug nexus” to get what they wanted. They were coached in this by DOJ lawyers (which should be a reminder to you that a lawyer is a man who is trained to lie for a living; that’s why they do so well as politicians). And these seemingly extreme measures of the 1980s and 1990s were taken in the face of routine and small-time crime. You may rest assured, you would-be revolutionaries, you, that the gloves would come off in a shooting insurgency, and you haven’t seen gloves-off yet.

In some ways this is new; in others, it is as old as the Roman suppression of the Jews 2,000 years ago. A good overview of the techniques, minus the modern technology, can be found in the movie, The Battle of Algiers, and that puppy’s over 50 years old.

Even now, in the FBI, which is increasingly redefining itself as the Sword and Shield of The Party1, monitors what it calls “extremists” and is making long lists of who it would like to round up, when The Party lets slip its leash. Erdogan isn’t the only one who had an “enemies list” cued up for neutralization.

So, if you are, say, an antiauthoritarian personality, if the will to resist is strong in you, what can you do without winding up on a slab like “Bob” in Lizard’s post, or in a death-row holding cell like his brother, or having his kids passed to the probable molesters of the state’s Child “Protective” Services like Bob’s brother’s kids?

One notes that the FBI has been extremely poor at detecting troublemakers who act alone. This is a general truism of police work. Criminals get caught because they interact: they talk, and seal their fate; they associate with other criminals, and the capture of one gives investigators a powerful lever with which to pry loose the rest.

Or, to put it in the words of an old western movie, if you’re going to shoot, shoot. Don’t talk.

Notes

  1. You may have heard that phrase before. We were reminded of it by the Bureau’s reluctance to support a prosecution of Mrs Clinton for a more egregious version of an offense that it has arrested and helped imprison several for every year of the last decade, while snapping-to immediately in pursuit of the hackers that embarrassed The Party. The former alone might simply have been a case of how the Beltway operates increasingly on a Code of Hammurabi type law, with “different spanks for different ranks.” But in conjunction with the second, and various other activities, it’s clear that FBI is increasingly comfortable viewing itself as a partisan political police. People fear a military coup in the United States, but that is very unlikely; however, the Bureau’s higher echelons are starting to see themselves as the Praetorian Guard.

About Hognose

Former Special Forces 11B2S, later 18B, weapons man. (Also served in intelligence and operations jobs in SF).

A Subject Matter Expert Checks In

I don’t think I have to say anything about the now standard  mouth foaming idiocy  that comes from these tragedies.  But I   saw this and thought it too good not to share.

 

“An AR-15 is a semi automatic rifle. It shoots 13.4 bullets per second, 800 rounds per minute. It was created for the purpose of hitting multiple targets in a short amount of time, making it ideal for mass murder. It’s been used in the military to clear out areas in the Middle East for the reason above. Compare it to, say, a Glock 19 (a popular handgun, since you’re confused about it). This gun is small and holds a chamber big enough for 10 rounds of ammo. It is not an automatic or semi-automatic weapon, meaning it takes more time in between shots to be able to shoot again. The Glock 19 shoots less than a single bullet per second. It is used in homicides and burglaries, crimes with singular victims. it is not ideal for mass murder because of its inability to target multiple people at once. But you know what can? A fucking semi-automatic weapon”

 

Interview With Lynne M Black Jr. US Army Special Forces & SOG Veteran

For this post we have a very special guest.     Below is an interview with Lynne Black Jr.  I asked Mr. Black  if he would be so kind to submit to the torture of me asking him a lot of annoying questions he has been asked a million times before  and he very graciously accepted.  Some of our readers who have come over to  us   after the too soon passing of our friend  Kevin, who, like Mr. Black , was/is also a Special Forces soldier and owner of weaponsman will hopefully especially enjoy the conversation with  Mr. Black.

He is a vet  of the    US Army  Special Forces, The 173 Airborne Brigade and the legendary  Studies and Observations Group  (SOG) as a “One-Zero” team leader.    MACVSOG was the   top secret, super clandestine multi-service  special operation forces unit from the war that  had it’s hand in most of the war’s most notable events. SOG’s strategic reconnaissance teams and Hatchet force companies  conducted a variety of missions, raids and rescues in the bordering countries of Laos,  and Cambodia, North Vietnam and the DMZ with contingency planning for  possible missions into China and Burma.

 

Mr. Black is also the author of  Whisky Tango Foxtrot,  where he recounts some of his time in the elite unit. You can, and should buy  his book at the link below.

https://www.amazon.com/Lynne-M.-Black-Jr./e/B0064D94AO/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1516684955&sr=8-1

Mr. Black and some of his fellow unit members , were also featured on an episode of the History Channel’s Heroes Under Fire  that details  one of his many  dramatic and inspiring  missions. “Jungle Ambush”. You can buy  and watch it at the link below.

https://www.amazon.com/History-Heroes-Under-Jungle-Ambush/dp/B01GUOW4O4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1516688592&sr=8-1&keywords=Jungle+Ambush+history+channel

 

This introduction was forwarded to me from Mr. Black from a previous interview for  a brief background about himself.  I include it so as to not make him type it all up again for our readers.

 

At first a small introduction to readers who you are and what SF groups you served?

Lynne M. Black Jr.: I was born April 22, 1945 at 10:00 a.m.; the same hour and day Hitler announced to his General Staff he would be committing suicide, the war was lost; coincidence I’m sure. I voluntarily joined the U.S. Army in June 1963 after graduation from High School. During school I had been working at a local television station art department as an artist. My boss was a World War II veteran who informed me I had a duty to perform for my country, and that the job would be waiting for me when I got back after three years.

 

I attended basic training at Fort Ord, California; Advanced Leadership School and Armor School at Fort Knox, Kentucky. During Armor School I was recruited into jump school at Fort Benning, Georgia and became a paratrooper assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. I was assigned to a Cavalry Company on special assignment to 612 Quartermaster Arial Supply learning to rig personal parachutes and heavy drops, such as vehicles and ammunition.  After six months with the 82nd Airborne I received orders for the 173rd Airborne Brigade (Separate) on Okinawa, Japan. I reported to D Company, 16th Armor sometime in April 1964.

May 12, 1965 we disembarked off the USS Mann in Saigon Harbor, and trucked to Bien Hoa to secure the air base. We had been told this would be a short police action and that we would all be back on Okinawa for Christmas.

One of my two younger brothers, Hugh, was in the 173rd Engineering Company, which was mortared by an unseen enemy. Hugh’s injuries were critical and he was sent back home to Madigan General Hospital in Washington State. He spent several months recovering in the hospital and many more after he was released from military duty.

I spent thirteen months in Vietnam with the 173rd Airborne Brigade and have to say I never once saw the face of the enemy. They had nailed my younger brother and I was mad as hell and wanted revenge.

I got out of the Army July 1966 and moved to Hawaii where I worked in a television station art department watching the war on the nightly news; watching the gun fights from a safe place; watching the bodies coming home in metal boxes; talking with other veterans who said they had never seen the enemy, but had lost buddies to Viet Cong covert jungle tactics.

June 1967, I took and passed the Special Forces examination, and reenlisted reporting in at Fort Bragg, North Carolina to the 82nd Airborne Division. I was on a waiting list for the next Special Warfare School class; The Q Course. I had one goal in mind, to see the face of the enemy as I killed him. I would get even for the mortaring of my brother Hugh.

June 1968, I was back in Vietnam with classified orders for Military Assistance Command Vietnam/Studies and Observations Group (MACV/SOG).

I was initially assigned to Forward Operations Base – 1 (FOB-1) located outside Phu Bai just down the road from the old imperial capital city of Hue. Earlier that year during the Tet Offensive the area in and around Hue had seen a lot of battle. I and one of my classmates were assigned to Recon Team Alabama, which was a Vietnamese team. It was newly formed as most of the Americans’ and Vietnamese members had either been killed or severely wounded. Our first mission across the fence was October 5, 1968. We were to track a three thousand North Vietnamese Army Regiment down the Ho Chi Minh trail in order to collect intelligence. What we ran into that day was a Division of ten thousand; we inserted by helicopter right into the middle of them.

I have chronicled that day in the first chapter of my book, which is titled Whisky Tango Foxtrot. The History Channel also created a show titled Jungle Ambush, which was one in a series called Heroes Under Fire.

I served with MACV/SOG in the Recon Company for 25 months under the codename of Blackjack before getting out of the Army for the second and last time. As I stated earlier I began with RT Alabama at FOB-1, moved to RT Idaho just before we closed down Phu Bai, FOB-1 and moved to FOB-4 the Danang Command & Control North (CCN) headquarters.

Above intro was excerpted from previous interview by  collectors.eu  and provided by Mr. Black for our readers.

 

 1.The Colt CAR15 is well known for being used by SOG, how well did you like it or did you prefer something else? By most accounts it seems to have been well loved.-LR

The Colt CAR 15 was an excellent weapon in that it was light, accurate, short and ergonomically suited for jungle warfare. It didn’t hang up in the brush or rust like the M14 or other all metal weapons. The majority of my time was spent in Laos and the DMZ which were heavy brush and mountainous. Our enemy contact, due to the terrain, was usually close and intense.

This topic has been talked to death over the years. So, here’s my experience and two cents worth. The M16s we were issued in 1965 fired the .223 round which was marginally suited for the weapon; there were many extraction and ejection problems. These issues got some of our guys killed or wounded and forever cast a cloud over the M16.

When I went back for a second tour the military had alleviated many of the malfunction issues, but exacerbated another which was the overheating of the barrel; especially on full auto. Both the M16 and the CAR15 had thin “pencil” barrels which did not handle heat effectively. Hence the pictures of a lot of us having a glove on our left hands to deal with the heat.

Those AR platforms were designed by Stoner to handle a .22 magnum round and that level of recoil. All that said, by military standards the CAR15 was exceptionally light, accurate and lethal. The majority of jungle warfare is close encounter, so in my opinion, vegetation penetration was not an issue. It is well documented that when the 5.56 round hits bone that it can ricochet inside the human body causing extensive damage; that’s a plus not a minus in war. If I were in camp defense mode I’d choose an M14 or a BAR over the CAR15 due to shooting at greater distances. It’s just about choosing the right tool for the job.

The AK47 (7.62×39) is a good weapon in the hands of a big man that can wield it. The Vietnamese are not big enough to effectively handle the AK47. They can’t control its barrel climb on full auto and on average take a lot longer time to regain their sight picture on single shot. Also, the recoil pounding the shooter is far greater with the AK than a 5.56. If you’re the guy they’re shooting at this is good news; averages are on your side. The round the A47 fires is excellent. The AK47 is reliable but not as accurate as the M16 or CAR15.

Much of the debate is around a thing referred to as stopping power. A 7.62 round will easily pass through the human body. Unless it hits a vital organ, makes a head shot, or cripples the target can keep moving. The 5.56 round will also pass through but if it comes in contact with bone will often ricochet and cause even more internal damage. Take your pick. No matter what caliber fired, a kill shot is a kill shot.

 

  1. Did you make any changes to your carbine for you personally? Many pictures have been seen with forward grips attached to CAR15s among other things and I wonder if that was done by the users or an armorer. -LR

The only change I made to the CAR was the temporary addition of an experimental 40mm grenade launcher. I used it on a couple missions and found it to be awkward and not as accurate as the sawed-off usually carried. The only good news about it was it allowed my hand to be further away from the hot front grip during a firefight. Normally I wore a glove on my left hand to be able to handle the barrel heat.

I don’t recall ever seeing anyone with a forward grip on their CAR during my two years in SOG, so I can’t answer that question

  1. When on missions did you or your peers carry a sidearm/pistol as a secondary weapon? And if so what was it and where was it normally carried? Many books mention carrying handguns but few photos give any indication where on the body or field gear it was carried.-LR

I carried a Browning Hi Power on a lanyard around my neck with the pistol tucked into an inside pocket of the One Zero vest. I considered it to be part of my E&E gear or to be used when I ran out of 5.56 or 40mm.

Many of the Americans carried a Browning, Colt .45, silenced Hi Standard twenty two, Smith & Wesson Combat Masterpiece, and other personal firearms. They were carried in holsters, rucksacks and pockets.-LB

  1. Could you tell us what other weapons you may have carried during your time in the war and how you liked each?-LR

I had three tours in Vietnam. The first was with the 173rd Airborne Brigade. The weapons I carried there were:

M14 – Not good for jungle patrols in that it was too heavy and long. Better suited for base camp defense and long range shooting. Great round and penetration.

Grease Gun (.45) – I have nothing nice to say about this weapon in that it would rust right before your eyes. The magazine springs were weak and we had to double them up. They continually had feeding problems to where we had to turn them upside down to gravity feed the rounds. This caused hot brass to eject onto forearm bare skin causing blisters, which became infected.

M16 – In 1965 the M16 was not a reliable weapon, which is well documented. We learned to tape the cleaning rod segments to the fore grip in case of shell casings being jammed in the receiver.

Colt .45 – I’m not a fan of the .45 for only one reason which is ergonomics. I couldn’t effectively wrap my hand around the grip and hang onto it after the first shot. I like the round. I don’t like the pistol.

M60 – Absolutely one of the worst light machine gun designs ever foisted on any military unit. As long as you were in a fixed position, with an assistant gunner, were in a level firing position and didn’t tilt or twist it on its side it fired. Otherwise it was a jamming piece of shit. I much preferred the Russian RPD.

Second and Third tours were with MACV SOG:

Browning Hi Power – For my hand a perfect ergonomic fit. I used it several times in combat and never saw a target get back up.

Tokarev – Fun to shoot in camp and on the range. I considered it to not be a field weapon for our area of operation.

Gyrojet – Love the concept of a .50 caliber rocket round, but … like all rockets the round had to build up inertia to penetrate its target. Firing it at anyone closer than 15 feet away would only piss them off and cause a big bruise. How do I know that? I was shot in the stomach with one from about six feet. The round hit my belt buckle and knocked me down. Bruised the hell out of me for a couple weeks. At lethal distance they were not accurate. We gave the weapon back to the armorer.

Spanish Star 9mm (Silenced) – Specialty weapon to be used in prisoner snatches. Functional, no pro’s or con’s.

Llama 9mm (Silenced) – Specialty weapon to be used in prisoner snatches. Functional, no pro’s or con’s.

High Standard .22 (Silenced) – Specialty weapon to be used in prisoner snatches. Functional, no pro’s or con’s.

British Sten Gun 9mm and .45 (Silenced) – Specialty weapon to be used in prisoner snatches. Functional, no pro’s or con’s.

Swedish K 9mm – Loved this submachine gun. Perfect for close in fighting with minimal recoil. Great for one day in and out missions due to the weight.

AK47 – Good cyclic rate of fire. Not accurate. Poor recoil ergonomics on full auto causing extreme barrel climb. The North Vietnamese had difficulty staying on target … thank god.

CAR15 – Primary Weapon: Can’t imagine a better jungle warfare weapon. Because of my experience with the M16 during the first tour I taped cleaning rod pieces to the fore grip. Never experienced a jam or malfunction of any kind with the CAR.

40 mm Grenade Launcher (Sawed Off) – Handheld artillery. We didn’t operate in areas where artillery support could reach us. We improvised by sawing off the barrels and stocks of M79 Grenade Launchers. Doing this resulted in no loss of accuracy or range. The versatility of rounds from high explosive, buckshot, gas, flares, etc. was very useful.

Russian RPD – We used this in place of the American M60 as it was much more reliable and versatile.-LB

  1. During the Vietnam War some very early optics were used like the colt 3x and 4x and the early red dots, did you use or see used any of those early optics?-LR

I range tested each of them as they became available and they did everything as advertised. However, I found them to be useless due to the kind of missions we ran. Generally we were operating in close and most of us were instinct shooters.

Instinct or snap shooting is a whole other topic worth describing. When I went through the Special Forces Qualification Course (Q Course) for weapons one of the things taught was instinct shooting. An instructor took four of us into a room with tall ceilings. We were each given a Red Ryder BB Gun and each stood in one of the corners. The instructor tossed number 10 can lids up and we had to hit it with one shot. When we walked out of that room, after picking up all the BB’s, we were hitting 8 out of 10. They loaded us on a truck and to the range we went. We shot at pop up targets with M16’s without sighting and hit our average of 8 out of 10. That technique also works with pistols. Sights became obsolete for jungle fighters.

6. Always an ongoing topic of interest, the individual gear and items is something  people who read about SOG are curious to learn . Can you tell us what was carried on your person for mission?

7.Back to the CAR15, pictures exist of the gun with a cleaning rod taped to it to clear stuck cases. Was this also a practice of yours? Did you know of any of your fellow SOG vets having to use it in a fight?-LR

This picture of my CAR15 being held by our hooch maid is a good example of the cleaning rod being taped below the hand guard. By the way, she was a damn good shot.-LB

8.Of all the configuration of the current M4/M4A1 and its various rails, optics lights/laser offering nearly endless variations. If you could have had them in your time in SOG, is there a combination of carbine and part of the SOPMOD kit for it you would like to have had back then for your missions in SOG?-LR

The short biased answer is NO. The current weapons are set up for long range sandbox warfare and are heavier with so much stuff to get hung up in the brush. Wrong weapon for jungle warfare.L

 

 

 

 

 

Vietnam Sniper Study

Today’s article is a repost  from   our  deceased friend Hognose, owner  of Weaponsman.com.  Kevin, AKA Hognose passed away last year and as an ongoing tribute to his memory and excellent work we repost the  his works to help preserve it. 

Vietnam Sniper Study

In 1967, the Army got the idea to study whether, how, and how effectively different units were using snipers in Vietnam. They restricted this study to Army units, and conventional units at that; if SF and SOG were sniping, they didn’t want to know (and, indeed, there’s little news either in the historical record or in conversations with surviving veterans that special operations units made much use of precision rifle fire, or of the other capabilities of snipers).

Meanwhile, of course, the Marines were conducting parallel development in what would become the nation’s premier sniper capability, until the Army got their finger out in the 1980s and developed one with similar strength. The Marines’ developments are mentioned only in passing in the study.

Specific Weapons

The study observed several different sniper weapons in use:

  • ordinary M16A1 rifles with commercial Realist-made scopes. This is the same 3×20 scope made by Realist for commercial sale under the Colt name, and was marked Made in USA. (Image is a clone, from ARFCOM).

realist11

  • Winchester Model 70s in .30-06 with a mix of Weaver and Bushnell scopes, purchased by one infantry brigade;
  • two versions of the M14 rifle. One was what we’d call today a DMR rifle, fitted with carefully chosen parts and perhaps given a trigger job, and an M84 scope. The other was the larva of the M21 project: a fully-configured National Match M14 fitted with a Leatherwood ART Automatic-Ranging Telescope, which was at this early date an adaptation of a Redfield 3-9 power scope. (Image is a semi clone with a surplus ART, found on the net).

M21 ARTR

The scopes had a problem that would be unfamiliar to today’s ACOG and Elcan-sighted troopies.

The most significant equipment problem during the evaluation in Vietnam was moisture seepage into telescopes. At the end of the evaluation period, 84 snipers completed questionnaires related to their equipment. Forty-four of the snipers reported that their telescopes developed internal moisture or fog during the evaluation period. In approximately 90 percent of the cases, the internal moisture could be removed by placing the telescope in direct sunlight for a few hours.

The leaky scopes ranged from 41% of the ARTs to 62% of the Realists. The Realist was not popular at all, and part of the reason was its very peculiar reticle. How peculiar? Have a look.

Colt realist 3x20 scope reticle(A later version of this scope, sold by Armalite with the AR-180, added feather-thin crosshairs to the inverted post. The British Trilux aka SUIT used a similar inverted post, but it never caught on here).

The theory was that the post would not obscure the target, the way it would if it were bottom-up. That’s one of the ones you file away in the, “It seemed like a good idea at the time,” drawer. Theory be damned, the troops hated it.

The use of the rifles varied unit by unit.  Two units contemptuously dismissed the scoped M16s, and wouldn’t even try them (remember, this was the era of M193 ammo, rifles ruined by “industrial action,” and somewhat loose acceptance standards; the AR of 20145 is not the AR of 1965). The proto-M21s came late and not every unit got them. It’s interesting that none of the weapons really stood out, although the NATO and .30-06 guns were the ones used for the longest shots.

None of the weapons was optimum, but in the study authors’ opinion, the DMR version of the M14 was perfectly adequate and available in channels. The snipers’ own opinions were surveyed, and the most popular weapon was the M14 National Match with ART scope, despite its small sample size: 100% of the surveyed soldiers who used it had confidence in it. On the other hand, the cast scope rings were prone to breakage.

The biggest maintenance problem turned out to be the COTS Winchester 70 rifles, and the problem manifested as an absence of spare parts for the nonstandard firearm, and lack of any training for armorers.

Looking at all the targets the experimental units engaged, they concluded that a weapon with a 600 meter effective range could service 95% of the sniper targets encountered in Vietnam, and that a 1000 meter effective range would be needed to bag up to 98%. (Only one unit in the study engaged targets more distant than 1000 m at all).

Snipers were generally selected locally, trained by their units (if at all), and employed as an organic element of rifle platoons. A few units seem to have attached snipers to long-range patrol teams, or used the snipers as an attached asset, like a machine-gun or mortar team from the battalion’s Weapons Company.

An appendix from the USAMTU had a thorough run-down on available scopes, and concluded with these recommendations (emphasis ours):

Recommendations:
a. That the M-14, accurized to National Match specifications, be used as the basic sniping rifle.

b. That National Match ammunition be used in caliber 7.62 NATO.

c. That a reticle similar to Type “E” be used on telescopic sights of fixed power.

d. That the Redfield six power “Leatherwood” system telescope be used by snipers above basic unit level.

e. That the Redfield four power (not mentioned previously) be utilized by the sniper at squad level.

f. That serious consideration be given to the development of a long range sniping rifleusing the .50 caliber machine gun cartridge and target-type telescope.

(NOTE: It is our opinion that the Redfield telescope sights are the finest of American made telescopes.)

Note that the Army adopted the NM M14 with ART (as the M-21 sniper system) exactly as recommended here, but that it did not act on the .50 caliber sniper system idea. That would take Ronnie Barrett to do, quite a few years later.

Rifle_M21_2

The Effects of Terrain

Terrain drives weapons employment, and snipers need, above all, two elements of terrain to operate effectively: observation and fields of fire. Their observation has to overlook enemy key terrain and/or avenues of approach. Without that, a sniper is just another rifleman, and snipers were found to be not worth the effort in the heavily vegetated southern area of Vietnam.

In the more open rice fields and mountains, there was more scope for sniper employment. But sniper employment was not something officers had been trained in or practiced.

The Effects of Leadership

In a careful review of the study, we found that the effects of leadership, of that good old Command Emphasis, were greater than any effects of equipment or even of terrain. The unit that had been getting good results with the Winchesters kept getting good results. One suspects that they’d have continued getting good results even if you took their rifles away entirely and issued each man a pilum or sarissa.

Units that made a desultory effort got crap for results. Some units’ snipers spent a lot of time in the field, but never engaged the enemy. Others engaged the enemy, but didn’t hit them, raising the question, “Who made these blind guys snipers?” Sure, we understand a little buck fever, but one unit’s snipers took 20 shots at relatively close range and hit exactly nothing. Guys, that’s not sniping, that’s fireworks. 

The entire study is a quick read and it will let you know just how dark the night for American sniping was in the mid-1960s: there were no schools, no syllabi, no type-standardized sniper weapons, and underlying the whole forest of “nos” was: no doctrine to speak of.

Vietnam Sniper Study PB2004101628.pdf

Vietnam Sniper Study

About Hognose

Former Special Forces 11B2S, later 18B, weapons man. (Also served in intelligence and operations jobs in SF).

Inland MFG M1A1 Paratrooper Carbine

Today we have another product from the company with the historic name in firearms history.   I have reviewed 2 of their growing M1 family of rifles in the past two years  and so far they gave all been great.

The prize for me was getting a sample of the paratrooper carbine. Man, who doesn’t want to play with such an iconic gun from WWII? I never saw a real one in the 80s or 90s.   But we all sure saw them in Saving Pvt Ryan and Band of Brothers.  In fact we all saw them so much the price for one went  up to roughly the amount spent on the Manhattan project.     Getting a real one was pretty tough even though the stocks could be bought and put on a standard model.

Then we started to see  remakes come out on the market over the last few years.  And in my opinion the rest of them are crap.  I have played around with the ones made by the other makers and rthey are dreadful.  I passed up  a auto ord. example  it was so crummy.

But the Inland model is another matter.  After the M1 and the experience with it, I was pretty sure the paratrooper would be in the same league.  And., it was.

The gun has the same rear sight as the  other Inland models.  The adjustable type that some dislike because its not the simple rear fixed peep but I love it.   I appreciate some adjustment on any rifle I expect to want to shoot past 50 yards.  And contrary to  the videos of some worthies, they do stay put.   I fired 500 rounds through this gun and it stayed put.  On top of that I tossed it in the back of a truck bed and drove around on the top of a mountain off trail for 6 hours.  That is pretty rough on stuff but it was still tight as a mouses  ear.

The controls on the gun are the same as the other models with the push button safety and the button mag release that sometimes I hit by mistake.  A common mistake it seems.

Now the stock. It is  a metal wire stock with a leather “cheek piece” for some kind of comfort.

It doesn’t offer up much though. But it is not mean to be a McMililan fully adjustable target stock. It’s meant to be a light folding stock for  guys dropping behind lines with  twice their weight in gear to fight for a hand full of days.    It works just fine for that.

I was a little surprised  how the felt recoil of the 30 carbine was increased with the weight of the full wood stock gone.   Now it wasn’t painful or anything close to that, but you do notice it when shooting the  two models  nearly back to back like I have been doing this past year.

To fold the stock..  well, you just fold it.  It does not lock in place and require the pressing of a button . It hinges open , clicks and  is held open via spring. When you want to fold it, just fold it.   It lays down the left side of the gun and still allows the gun to be fired.  The butt plate can rotate to the side I assume to let the gun lie more flat in its case? I really have no idea why it was made to let the butt plate rotate to the side. it doesn’t lock or lock to anything and it doesn’t function as the mechanism that you use to unlock the stock to fold or unfold it.  I guess some one decided to make it that way for a reason that seemed good at the time. Maybe Dan will comment below and offer up and explanation.

The”pistol grip” is a little short for my hand and blocky.  But I would want it that way for a gun I would be jumping out of a plane with.  It needs to be thick, chunky and tough.  It is.   It also  has at the bottom the  rear sling mounting point which is a tough metal part that is part of the folding stock assembly.

Now, how did it shoot? Great.  Even with the stock not locking and place  and allowing some wiggle.

I couldn’t find as large selection of .30carbine ammo to test as I would have liked.    I even resorted to some ammo from the 70s to have enough to offer a variety.  There are some very high dollar high quality specialty  duty loads for the .30carbine out there you can find.  The bottom group in fact was shot using the federal police duty load.

I fired all groups from a bench and bags at 50 yards using the iron sights.  I feel this is a reasonable test of its accuracy  to shoot groups  because the size of the peep is not great for my eyes.  Not to mention using 3/4 inch sized dots as aiming points get hard to see through iron sights at much distance and eye strain starts fast.

I did shoot the  carbine at 100 yards for  group using iron sights.   It took an hour to put this group on target but it was worth the extra effort.   The armscor brand ball ammo shooting great.  It was my favorite ammo to use in the M1s over the last years.   You can see that is well within head shot sized

Like the other M1s, I fired out to 200 and 300 yards on steel man’s chest sized targets and hit without issue.   That is perfectly doable with the M1 if you are  a competent shot .

Not much to say about weather testing this one since it just this week got cold enough for me to treat it like I did the last two and my time with it is up. I did leave it out all night last night in snow and 7 degree temps.   I walked outside , chambered a round and fired it.  What a shock!  It penetrate a cinderblock!  How could that be when  “experts” on older weapons say that it just can’t happen! ?     Must have been a one off fluke.

The next day I made this little test . I soaked the gun in a frozen creek for a few hours in 8 degree temp.

 

 

 

The gun is reliable accurate and looks great.  It is the solution if you want a nice example  that you can shoot without the guilt of a real one being further worn.  I think if I  was a real but about WWII airborne units and their gear it would be a must have for me.  If you buy your own, you can pretend to be in 101st or 82nd or 17th airborne shooting up the krauts. Or if you really did those things, it would maybe be nice to have your old friend in your hands again if you carried and liked the  weapon.  Some say they hated it. But the M1 carbine was much loved by Audie Murphy.

I certainly enjoyed taking some mood and glamour shots with WW2 items.

 

 

The Inland MFG Custom Carry M1911

I been waiting on this gun for a while.   After testing the Inland USGI clone M1911A1 I had  been impressed.  I had seen this model in media release material and after the performance of the stock Inland I was  really curious to see how an Inland done up as a fully modern pistol would do.

I have had this gun for nearly 6 months as I write this. I kept it and waited so long to write about it because I wanted to really be hard on it.   It is more expensive than the 1911s I usually write about.  If you have been reading this website a long time you will know that I even don’t normally go for 1911s that  start going over the 1500 dollar mark.    My philosophy with the 1911 is  less than about 800 or more than about 1600 and as a rule,  a lot of 1911s will give you one set of problems or another.   Too cheap speaks for itself.  Too high and you get into finely tuned special purpose guns that can’t take WW1 trench conditions  no matter what the maker may claim.  With a few exceptions of course.  Heirloom precision, Derr precisions,  guns that are mil spec but have something else about them that drives the price up like coatings,  engraving or rarity.   Now you may not agree with me at all and I am sure many will  but I have been using the 1911 for 30 years now and in my personal experience, 1911s that cost over 1600 dollars and are made by medium sized companies that make “custom production” 1911s , usually will give problems.   Bigger established firms can make ones that work fine and the small  artists like Jason Burton does but the in between places I pass on.    That is one man’s opinion  from experience only.

Now the Inland gun is one of those made in the middle ground  I just mentioned.  And, being  in the “custom production ” class  that sets off my 2nd warning flag.   After spending a fortune on ammo, I can say to you it’s good to go.  It  is as good as the M1911A1 USGI clone with match accuracy.

So lets get to it.

The gun is what it says and  with all the features that implies.  As seen above the frontstrap is checkered with aggressive well done checkering.  That bad camera angle makes it look uneven for some reason but its not.

main spring housing  has matching checkering and is flat and not arched.  The grip safety is the upswept beaver tail with the memory bump to insure you depress it.

You can see the single side extended safety.   I really like the part as it is close to the safety that is my personal favorite.   Just to see what would happen, I removed it and tried 5 different colt and USGI  safety locks and all dropped in place.   That is a good sign in my opinion.  I like my 1911s to  meet or approach the milspec requirement to have interchangeable parts.

The magazine well has a very slight bevel.  That is one thing I did wonder about. I am not a big fan of extended beveled wells but a to of people are.  If you buy this gun you will have to add your own.

You can see  the other features of the gun.   Competition style skeleton hammer, Match trigger that really does break like a glass road and is  lighter than my own guns. Front and rear slide serrations which I love and prefer on guns like this.  A full carry dehorning and no slip grips.  The one bad thing was it came with a full length guide rod which isn’t too bad but it was the two piece part.   I asked why it had the full length guide rod and was told the first guns didn’t and so many people complain wanting it that Inland added it to appease the complainers. That baffles me because I was under the impression it had finally fallen out of the fad but apparently there are still a lot of people that like it for its looks or because they think a custom  or competition pistol is “supposed” to have it..     I replaced the guide rod with a personally owned  GI  part after my first session shooting it.   I fired 15 wilson 10 round mags through it non stop  with no oil to see how it did and at the end noticed the two piece rod  had unscrewed itself.   Don’t use two piece full guide rods people. Barrel is the same match barrel used in the USGI model and is fitted to match spec without being over  tight.   Lastly you can see the standard ejection port work common to all modern carry guns.

Rear sight  is black novak style with a wide notch.

Front is matching flat black wider  blade.  These sights work great for me   and are fast to use.  Both can be drifted out with a punch if you want something else.   I would leave them be myself.

Now on to  how it shot.     I fired all but the last group from  sandbagged position from a bench.  Temp outside was 11 degrees.

As usual the speer ball ammo  is pretty lackluster no matter what its used in.  But I include it because it is common around here  and a lot of people buy it for plinking.

Above is the Winchester personal defense load that is basically the black talon bullet not coated black and sold every where.  It always does well  for me  and this gun was no different .

Here above we have the other NOT -black talon,  but the “ranger T”  which is a black talon +P load  in the winchester ranger police duty load. And of course for those who don’t know it is once again the black talon bullet just not black.

Best group fired with my handloaded Hornady 185 grain jacketed semi wad cutter match bullet.

Above is the most expensive group fired.   This is my carry load of  corbon 185 grain +P   solid copper hollow points.   Very accurate and effective.  I can’t recommend this load or the Barnes  version of it enough. You can also buy the same load marketed under the Colt Brand ammo I  and a various other specialty brands.

Below  is a group fired with my personal  favorite ball round, the winchester 230 FMJ which always seems a bit more accurate than other bulk buy  ball ammo for general use.

 

Lastly  we have the 100 yard long  range shot  by request.  As I mentioned before, the long range shooting  was requested by reader who was also a fellow visitor to Weaponsman’s blog who wanted to see some one  give  users an idea of what carry guns could do if  ever  the need  became a requirement  in a self defense situation or other emergency.   It instantly became a new standard policy for me to test such things.  It is something you should think about and try to test the limits of your own carry guns  and ability because it is something that very well could save your life or stop some kook like we have seen recently.

Group was fired at 100 yards. I did not use a full sand bag bench rest but I did use a support like one would use in real life.    Center of circle was  aiming point.    I used my most accurate load as a bit of a cheat and not a pure self defense or duty load.  Ideally people carrying  would  select the most accurate duty load they can regardless of intended distance they expect to shoot.   I think I can’t ask much more out of the Inland Custom carry.

 

The Inland is a 1911 I would own and use.  And you know how picky I am about my 1911s and who makes them.   Word from Inland is, some even bigger and better things are coming in their 1911s. I look forward to what is coming, I would like to tell you now but these things are not always something they are ready to share publicly without asking permission first.   But I am excited from what I hear.

The custom carry is a solid carry gun that is also competition ready.  The rep who sent it to me had been using this same model for matches for several months before I requested a sample.  You can use it for about anything you would want, I really don’t know what more to say about it. It worked. No excitement. It was as reliable as a claw hammer.    Buy with confidence .  not only can it do all those things well it can also protect  you from those damn dirty apes.

 

If you want more out of my pistol reviews please speak up.  I know reading pistol reviews can get dull  and they are the same over time.  It sometimes feels writing them is  as semi boring as reading them.  I am always looking for ideas of how to spice it up.    If you want more  video or mud tests or  further ranges shot comment below.  Tell me what you would like to see.    Nothing  pointless but anything you want to see that would help you decide if a gun is right for you or what would test its limits  please speak up.

Street Robberies And You

Today’s  post is all copy/paste from a write up a fellow did on Arfcom some years ago.  It began a thread with a lot of discussion.  It is one of the best threads on AR15.com  in the years I have spent  as a member of the website.     Several times over the years I have emailed and IM’ed the author  for purposes of reposting here and have never gotten a response either way.   With that in mind I am sure he would rather as many people as possible  read this and I will post a link to the thread.

https://www.ar15.com/forums/General/Street-robberies-and-you-The-Basics/5-1285487/#bottom

 

By BurnedoutLEO

Lately in GD we have had two different board members find themselves looking down the barrel of a gun along with the GF of another ARFCOMMER in street robberies. Also Blitz308 got shot all to pieces last year.

While many say it is better to be lucky than good, no one is lucky every time. In this post I am going to attempt to provide some insight into street encounters. Other may have different viewpoints. I am not here to argue. I will say some of the comments I have seen posted in the threads about this sort of matter make me realize that while some ARFCOMMERS are clearly street veterans others are not. This is really for those who are not.

Background

First, my info. I worked in the street of one of America’s most violent, dangerous cities for 15 years. I usually worked in the worst part of that city. I spent 15 years in patrol. I liked patrol. It was wild. Most of the time I worked in areas covered in ghetto. By that I mean large housing projects combined with run down slum housing. I have worked all shifts. Later I became an investigator including a robbery investigator. I have spent countless hours in interrogation rooms talking to hold up men. I know them. I am still an investigator but have quit playing the Robbery game because my family was starting to forget what I looked like.

The Enemy

Some may object to me calling hold up men “the enemy”. You can call them whatever you like. I can assure you however they are as deadly an enemy as you will find anywhere but the battlefield. Even many soldiers probably lack the viciousness and utter disregard for life most hold up men possess.

No one wakes up in the morning one day and decides to become an armed robber. It is a gradual process that requires some experience and desensitizing. Before a man will pick up a gun and threaten to kill people who have done him no harm in order to get their usually meager possessions he has to get comfortable with some things.

He has to get used to seeing others as objects for him to exploit. He has to accept he may be killed while robbing. He has to accept the felony conviction for Robbery will haunt him all his life. He has to accept he may need to kill a completely innocent person to get away with his crime.

This is a process that starts with stealing candy at the corner store as a child. It progresses through bigger property crimes that may also involve violence. But one day G gets tired of selling his stolen property for nothing and decides it would be better to steal cash. Cut out all that tiresome sales stuff.

Keep in mind many petty thieves, auto burglars, residential and commercial burglars, paper thieves, and hustlers will get to that point and decide not to become armed robbers. Most will. It is a special group of outliers who decide threatening to kill people for a few dollars is the way to go.

Once a man starts armed robbing he has crossed a line most won’t. Don’t forget that when you are looking these bastards in the eye. Their decision to kill you is already made. Your life means nothing to him. Only his does. His sole motivation for not killing you is he doesn’t want a murder case. He has already accepted he may pick one up though.

We hunt hold up men around the clock once they are identified. We send teams of fire breathing fence jumper/door kickers to find them. We will bring their mother to the office and convince her she is going to jail if we don’t have Junior in our office in an hour. We have her call her son crying hysterically for him to turn himself in before she is arrested and held without bond as a material witness and her home seized for harboring him. Most of the time they won’t. Fuck their own momma.

We will hit all Juniors friends and family’s houses. We make it so no one will harbor him. He is so hot no one will let him in their house or even talk on the phone with him. We put money on him so he knows he is right to be betrayed and set up. We do this because of one thing.

That thing is they WILL kill someone if they keep robbing. That is why the city is willing to pay all the overtime. They don’t want the murders. Think about that when you see Junior coming. The more robberies he does the closer he is to killing someone. Maybe you.

The guys who hit you on the street are gang members. They are Gangster Disciples, Vice Lords, Crips, Sureonos, many others. They do not see themselves as part of society. The street is all they know. They don’t expect to live long or stay out of prison. They take a delight in your fear and suffering. They are warped individuals for the most part. They can be extremely dangerous.

One time we were locking up a hold up man and having a conversation about how they target their victims. I was saying they pick easy ones, another guy was saying they preferred easy ones but would take anybody.

I pointed out a uniform Officer there was an NFL size guy to that hold up man. Frankly the dude was a monster. I asked hold up man if he would rob him. He said “If I needed the money”.

You

Chances are good you are a law abiding person except for maybe a little light weed smoking and maybe driving a little drunk every once in a while. Most of your life you have been taught to be nice and don’t point guns at people. You are the exact opposite of your enemy who was taught just the opposite. Remember a lot of street life is like prison life. Who’s the man is everything. Violence is the currency of the street.

You do not possess total disregard for the lives of others and do not want to kill anyone. You are concerned about the ramifications of shooting someone. Your family, your possessions and finances on the line. Your enemy has none of these concerns.

The laws that keep you from carrying your gun in bars or where ever mean nothing to your enemy. Your reluctance to shoot someone works to is advantage. His greater experience in street violence and the element of surprise is on his side.

Everyone should call their local FBI office and get a copy of Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted. When it first came out it was ground breaking because it demonstrated to academics and other elites what street police knew all along. What did it show in interviews with cop killers? Nice guys finish dead. That’s right. Most of those offenders commented that the Officer they killed set himself up to be killed because of reluctance to use force early in the encounter.

You can probably find it on line now. A lot of the victim Officers were a lot like a lot of other people, normal people. They were the opposite of their enemy.

Am I advocating becoming the enemy? No. I am saying the person who is robbing you has certain traits, attitudes, and background. That is all.

Dynamics of Encounters

Hold up men target victims on the street in an impulsive, opportunistic manner. They see someone and make a quick judgment call on whether to rob them. The time between when you are targeted and they are on you isn’t long. Therefore, situational awareness is everything.

If you see G coming you are in good shape. If you don’t you will be the victim who says “He came out of nowhere”. No he didn’t. There are many tricks to watching out but simply watching your back is the main thing. Watch your back. If you do it enough it becomes second nature and you won’t even realize you are doing it.

Watching out is great but unfortunately many self defense courses stop there. You have parked you car in a well lit area, are aware of your surroundings, and looky here, here comes three guys across the parking lot and they start to kind of fan out.

When you lock eyes with G the very first thing you need to do it indicate you have a weapon. It doesn’t matter if you do or not. If you are a woman put your gun hand in your purse and keep it there. If you are a man fan your shirt or coat tail with your gun hand. Make it clear to dude you are mentally prepared to draw and making sure your gun is clear. This will many times result in an about face by dude. It is the single best robbery avoidance tactic IMHO.

Not long ago I was walking down the sidewalk in my town to go get my car. I was holding a folding chair in my gun hand. A car slow rolled past me with 4 heads in it. The guys in the back seat turned around as they went by looking at me. They went a little farther and U turned in the street.

Here they come back. As they started to slow down I looked at them with as contemptuous a look as I could muster and switched the chair to my left hand and flicked my shirt tail with my right hand. They just drove on mad dogging me.

In another case I was at a Christmas party and walked a girl to her car about 3 am. As we said our good-byes two guys were walking across the parking lot. One went behind a dumpster. I though he was peeing. He came out from behind the dumpster with a bottle.

As they got closer I stepped clear of that girl and unzipped my jacket at those two guys. When I did the guy threw down the bottle and they walked by cussing at me. If someone challenges you after you indicate you are armed say “I don’t have a gun”. Then they will know you do.

Here is an opposite story. A girl my brother knows was walking her dog when a guy approached her. She was polite. Mistake. He talked to her about the dog and said she had pretty hair and reached out and touched her hair. She did not slap his hand down or aggressively object. Mistake. He asked her if her dog bit and she said “No”. At that time he slapped the shit out of her, drug her into a wooded area, and raped her.

The answer in the street is always “No”. Can I ask you something? No. Do you have a cigarette? No. Can you tell me what time it is? No. The answer is always “No”. Don’t be nice. Stop the encounter as soon as it starts.

When to draw

Despite warnings I often see on the Net I have yet to encounter an instance in which a hold up man called the police to report his intended victim threatened to shoot him. Thugs do not want to come into contact with the police. They may already be wanted or realize chances are good they have been identified in a recent robbery. Or what ever. They are not going to call the police if you draw on them.

Supposed two guys are approaching you in a parking lot and do the classic fan out maneuver. You indicate you have a weapon by clearing your gun hand and fanning your jacket at them. They are not discouraged. DRAW!

I am not saying you should pull your gun out, assume a Weaver stance, and scream “That’s close enough motherfuckers!” What I am saying is draw your gun and hold it beside your leg as you start to move to cover. I am very fond of telephone poles. Anything will do though. They will see this. They will remember they have to be somewhere else. They will not call the police.

Then you can just put your gun back in the holster and go back to whatever you were doing like nothing happened. Why? Because nothing did happen. A happening is when shots are fired.

Do not hesitate to draw. If you are somewhere you are supposed to be and someone appears who is not supposed to be there like a closed business show him the end of your gun. Could it be Mother Teresa looking for her lost cat behind your closed business? No it is some motherfucker up to no good. He won’t call the police to report he was prowling a location when a guy ran him off.

When to shoot

The time to shoot is immediately upon seeing his weapon. You are not a police man who has to try to arrest the guy. No need to scream at him. No exposure while you yell for him to drop the gun.

In deer hunting the experienced hunter takes the first good shot. May not be the perfect shot but it never is. Novices pass up a doable shot waiting for a better shot and then the deer is gone. Take the first good shot you are offered. Hopefully your alertness and hostile cues will prevent you ever having to fire. But once you see his weapon, shoot.

If a guy is coming at you with a gun in his hand shoot him. Shoot him right then. If you don’t shoot first you may not shoot at all. I have known more than one person who was shot and received life changing injuries and also shot their attacker. Their only regret was not shooting sooner. Like Bill Jordan said “Nothing disturbs your enemy’s aim like a slug delivered to the belt buckle area”.

Guns and weapons

The handgun is the best weapon you can carry easily. I understand it is not always possible to have one due to laws, restrictions, whatever. I am not telling anyone to disregard laws about carrying weapons. Each person has to decide for themselves what they are comfortable with. I will say there is no substitute for a pistol when you need one.

Also if you can not be trusted with a pistol after a few drinks you can’t be trusted with a pistol period. Booze is liquid bad judgment no doubt but it shouldn’t make you into a damn moron. If you are a moron sober I don’t know what to tell you.

Types of guns and ammo are always debated and probably always will be. I have seen people shot with all common calibers. My conclusion is if you hit someone between the collar bone and the tip of their ribs three times with anything, they are handled. Bigger is better but something is better than nothing. Get your front sight on his shirt and stay on him as long as he is standing with whatever gun you have.

Just have a gun with sure fire ammo. Draw early and fire immediately upon seeing his weapon. That course of action is about all you can do to up your odds of ending things favorably. Guns like the Ruger LC9, SIG 239, Glock 26/27 are examples of guns small enough to carry but with enough power and capacity to be useful. Do not be afraid to use a French Lebelle if that is the only gun you have. A gun is a gun. I like a Glock 19.

Training

We all want the best training. It can be expensive if you are having to pay for it and it can be hard to find the time to do it. There is a whole lot of BS out there. What can you do? First, pistol handling is not rocket surgery. If you will learn the basics and practice on your own you can be fine. Smooth draw, quick pairs, reload. If you know those things well you can be OK.

I know a young man who shot down two hold up men in 2010 at very close range while he and his GF were walking home from the store. He in Wyatt Earp like fashion ignored the fire coming from the gunman and killed him and wounded his accomplice. He nor his GF were injured. He like many was willing to give them the money until he picked up on nonverbal cues that because of his GF they were not quite satisfied with the money. He had a Glock 27.

He had only the most basic of training in gun handling but did do some draws and some dry fire a couple times a week and live fired maybe once a month. That basic skill combined with knowing what to do was enough. He shot at the first possible moment despite having let the guys get the drop on them. When the gunman turned his head because a car drove by that was the opening. A split second is a long time sometimes.

Work on some one hand shooting at close range. That is a skill not as popular as it once was and you want to use two hands when you can. Often you can find yourself doing something with your off hand though so be able to shoot with one hand out to 5 yards or so.

After

If it comes to pass you are forced to shoot someone do not feel bad. When the police come just tell them a guy threatened you with deadly force and you were forced to fire. I know there are bad police out there in some parts of the country who don’t support self defense. I can’t help you with that.

Do not talk to them until you have your attorney present. Now most young guys don’t have an attorney on retainer and you may have no idea who to call. That is OK. You will figure it out but in the mean time don’t talk about what happened other than to say you were forced to fire. You don’t have to be an asshole just remember wait for your attorney.

Hopefully you will not give a statement for a couple days. Remember if you are put in jail that doesn’t mean you are charged. Most places can hold you 48 or 72 hours on a felony before charging you or letting you go. Breath deep and get an attorney.

Expect to never get your gun back. You may get it back one day but maybe not. Do not buy expensive guns for the street. Buy yourself a nice sporting gun if you want a nice gun. Keep your street guns basic. The factory Model 10 Smith and the GI 45 have done a lot of work over the years and aren’t fancy.

Worlds

We all live in different worlds. My world is filled with felons and gang members. Violence is common place. No one would be surprised if one of their friends called and said they shot a hold up man at a place of business or parking lot. In the past when I made calls the fact that the guy who is beating his GF is also on parole for 2nd degree murder flavored my world.

You may live in a smaller, less violent place where shootings seldom occur and it would be a rare to shoot a hold up man. I envy you and will be moving to a place like your town as soon as I can.

But be advised no matter where you are a hold man is going to be about the same. Whether he is a home boy or a guy who just exited the interstate into your town and needs some quick money. He is going to have a vicious streak and no regard for your life. Treat him like he treats you.

Giving them the money, doing what they say, all that may work but there is no guarantee. If you have never read Jeff Cooper’s book The Principles of Personal Defense I suggest you order a copy immediately. It is a short book but summarizes a lot of important things.

Last year we had a trial here regarding an armed robbery that occurred. Three or four guys took a young couple from a parking garage near a college out by some railroad tracks where they raped, shot, and beat them. Their lives will never be the same.

The lesser thugs all turned on the trigger man at trial. The trigger man’s statement in the paper was after all that had happened he felt like he was a victim. Think about that. That is the mindset you are up against.
In addition to the original post some other active police members added some  further thoughts. These from John_wayne777.

You can’t understand the way they think because they aren’t human. I say that with every ounce of sincerity I can muster. They are not human. They are best thought of as an alien species. They do not share or appreciate anything approaching a value system you or I would recognize. Their formative years were spent in an environment that was utterly alien to anything you or I ever lived in. As an example, yesterday I attended a lecture by William Aprill that dealt with what he termed “Violent Criminal Actors”, essentially the people who would be classified as sociopaths. He told the story of a 15 year old boy who got in a fight on a basketball court and lost. When the boy’s mother found out that he lost, she handed him a pistol and told him “WE don’t go out like that!”…and the boy returned to the basketball court and killed the other kid that beat him up. When Aprill did social work he would often stop and take a look at a neighborhood before a visit to a home. On one visit he was in an urban area and he noticed a group of young kids (8-10 years old) that were playing on a basketball court that didn’t have any hoops or backboards. The game they were playing involved grabbing one kid by the scruff of the neck, forcing him to his knees, then making the finger gun to the back of his head and mocking blowing his brains out execution style. After each repetition of this game the kids laughed hysterically and did it again.

Would your mother hand you a gun and direct you to go kill someone? When you were running around in your Tom Sawyer/Huck Finn years were you basically rehearsing street executions? I’m going to guess the answer to that is a big “No.”

That’s why you don’t understand criminals…because you’re thinking of them as human. Think of them as an alien species that just happens to be vulnerable to gunfire. They don’t think like you. They’ll become highly insulted if you don’t instantly cooperate in a robbery and feel that they are perfectly justified in killing you because…and I am not making this up…you’re the one who fucked up. They were minding their own business pulling off a perfectly routine robbery and you fucked it all up by not doing what you were told. That means it’s your fault, and you’re the one who was evil. Sociopaths consider themselves to be a breed apart from the rest of humanity. The rest of the people on this planet are nothing more than livestock to them. They have no more appreciation for human life than we have for the life of a bug when we stomp on it. In fact, they actually enjoy victimizing other people. They’ve done surveys of these guys and asked them about motivations for committing crimes and the answers range from giving them a sensation of power to actually giving them a feeling of accomplishment. You know how you felt when you graduated high-school or when you managed to get a raise? That’s how these guys feel when they cave somebody’s head in with a shovel.

From Blitz308’s AAR thread….which everybody should read…:

“Most violent criminals have been predators for a long time. They’ve actually developed a fairly sophisticated sense for what prey acts like and the characteristics of people who have fangs. They can also pick up on subtle body language cues that others might miss…like members of a small group of people all looking at one guy signaling unconsciously that he’s most likely the guy with a plan. A bad guy can be sophisticated enough to pick that up. In fact, it’s something that retired police officers or off-duty cops can encounter as people who know them can look to them in a bad situation betraying their badge.

Some bad guys react to that by fleeing. Some react to that by getting violent. You never know which you’ve got in front of you ahead of time.

Bad guys test and prod with all sorts of schemes and behaviors they’ve picked up from observation or from their criminal brethren whom they often team up with for the purposes of victimizing people. (Like the scumbag who shot Blitz did with that fat slag) To believe they are all mindless idiots who have no skill or sophistication is foolhardy. Nearly every violent criminal is or has been at one point a con man in another criminal endeavor…playing people’s emotions like a fiddle. Witness the number of bad guys who turn from attempted murder into blubbering beggar if the tables get turned. It’s not remorse…it’s a strategy designed to work on people who have a functional conscience like most of their prey has. They seared their conscience long ago.

The incident with the girl who was raped by the bad guy who touched her hair is a perfect example of that. He used a ruse to close distance (the ruse is a common tactic of street thugs), crossed boundaries to see what her reaction could be…all sizing her up for assault. He saw the girl and in that moment decided he’d see if he could rape her. That’s how opportunistic these motherfuckers are. Don’t be nice or polite to people who look like thugs. Don’t be nice or polite to people who come at you while you’re all alone.

Example: There is a fellow out there by the name of William Aprill who has spent his adult life studying criminals as a psychologist. In one of his lectures I attended, he related that criminals have been surveyed on various things including why they commit violent crimes. One of the top responses for why they commit a violent act was a “feeling of accomplishment.”

Now that’s abstract, so let me anchor it in reality: Stop for a moment and think about how you felt when you graduated high school…or graduated college…or got that promotion…or bought your first house…or finished that difficult project. Something difficult that took you time and effort and that challenged your abilities, the completion of which signaled to you achievement of a goal or attainment of a status you’d been hoping for over an extended period of time. Do you have that feeling in mind? Good.

That’s how a bad guy feels when he bashes somebody’s skull in with a fucking shovel.”

 

Engagement in BaQubah, Iraq Nov, 14, 2004

Today we have a  guest post from  friend of the website  Max  writing about his experience in Iraq.

Engagement in BaQubah, Iraq

Nov, 14, 2004

 

We were rabbits.  That was our job.  Every morning we would travel the MSR (Main Supply Routes) and try and get AIF (Anti Iraqi Forces) to detonate IEDs on our HMMWV convoy.  If they waste their munitions on us in the morning, then the supply trucks had a better chance to make it to their destinations.  Plus, if they engaged us, we were prepared for engagement with a QRF Bradley platoon at the ready if we need them.

Our Lieutenant was new to our platoon.  He was a finance officer just transferred in from Kirkuk so he can get the ever coveted ‘combat experience’ that can really make or break an officer’s career.

We had been in country for 10 months and today was the final day of Ramadan.  Earlier that morning we had already had an engagement.  A few IEDs exploded as we travelled down a highway that I can’t recall the arbitrary name we assigned to it.  One of our vehicles had taken a bit of damage to a tire, but we closed the distance and engaged the enemy.  Which meant we had to wait around for another platoon to take the wounded enemy fighters to FOB Warhorse.  After releasing the wounded people that were only minutes earlier trying to kill us we receive a radio call notifying us that someone had called in to the hotline saying that a large group of men were carrying RPGs and AK-47s.

 

This is a call we received often.  Occasionally, you would engage the enemy, but most of the time you just drove around looking and finding nothing.  With one vehicle down (we dropped the damaged vehicle off at the Iraqi Police station to repair the damage to the tire) we took three vehicles and headed to the location given to us.

 

This time was different.  As soon as we rounded the corner the women in their black robes all started running.  I was in the gunner’s hatch manning the 240b.  I lightly tapped the Lieutenant with my foot and told him, “Here it comes, sir!”

 

The only thing I heard him say was “Here comes what?”.  After that I gazed down the street and identified an individual turning around and lifting an RPG.  He fired the weapon and I could hear the RPG round skip across the pavement.  The rocket propelled grenade skipped under all three of our vehicles, finally popping up behind us before detonating.  Being in the lead vehicle, I spun the 240b around and began firing controlled bursts of 3-5 rounds at the individual that fired the RPG.  He dropped quickly.

This is the moment when time started to slow down.  As the driver hammered the gas and we began to pick up speed I started looking down the alleys.  They were all full of cars with the trunks open.  I could see the RPG launchers, RPG rounds, RPKs, and AK-47s spilling forth from the open trunks of the standard orange fender taxi cabs that are all over Iraq.  These guys meant business.

It was our luck that we came up from behind the ambush that was being prepared.  Another individual with an AK-47 raced across the street.  I fired and missed.  Out of ammunition.  I scream for the AG to feed me more ammunition for the 240b as the vehicle slides around the corner.  We are face to face with a guy holding an AK-47.  His face covered by the red and white checkered head scarves typical of the area.  His AK-47 was jammed.  He was slamming the charging handle back and forth trying to clear the jam.  I called for ammunition once again.  Still nothing.  I scream at the driver, “Hit this motherfucker!”  Hit him we did.  The vehicle lurched forward toward the man before us.  I remember his eyes were green, and I thought that was a bit odd for an Iraqi.  I could see his eyes clearly because they widened to the size of saucers when he realized that we were just going to run him down with the vehicle.  The driver slammed directly into the man before us, sending him and the HMMWV through a wall.  The driver backed up, and ran him down again.

Finally fed the ammunition I desperately needed, I reloaded the 240b and the HMMWV was maneuvered around back to the original road we traveled down.  We arrived at the first intersection and stopped, all three trucks taking defensive positions and we quickly set up a 360-degree security.

Another individual wearing what was lovingly referred to as a ‘man dress’ popped around the corner and fired his AK-47 directly at me.  Honestly, I have no idea how he missed me, he was only about 25 meters away from our position.  I didn’t waste any time pulling the trigger and dropping him, dumping a few extra bursts into the body to ensure the threat was removed.

At this time my squad leader called for me to exit the vehicle, and the AG and myself switched places.  I handed two cans of ammunition to the AG in the gunner’s hatch and headed over to my squad leader.  I was the grenadier of the squad, which meant I had the m203 attached to my M-16 (yes, we still used the long musket M-16s at this time).  I was instructed to destroy the vehicles in the alley before us with HE 40mm grenades.

This was where I made my mistake.  My first shot landed directly in the trunk.  No detonation.  We were too close.  A 40mm grenade must travel about 50 meters before it would arm the round to explode.  So, I backed up, fired again.  Still to close.  This round bounced off the wall, off the car, and down the street (unknowingly, the round landed and exploded at the feet of a couple of AIF members severely injuring them.

Also, unknowingly, I had positioned myself directly in the intersection.  I had zero cover.  It was at this moment when I felt the impact to my chest.  The best way I can describe it is this:  take a 6’7” 320lb professional baseball pinch hitter and let him swing full force into your chest.  One moment I was kneeling in the intersection and the next I was laying on my back, bleeding from my neck.  The next thing I knew, I was being dragged behind a wall by my own personal lord and savior, SPC Grive (thanks, man… you really save my ass).  The medic looked at my neck and said I had bullet fragments and plate fragments in my neck.  Honestly, I couldn’t feel any pain, but I could see the blood that covered my IBA and the hole that was now in my IBA.

I quickly got my head back in the game and ran back to my HMMWV to meet up with the driver who was outside the door of the HMMWV engaging the enemy across the street.

“Phil, I don’t want to be here anymore.” I said louder than I wanted to.

“I don’t want to be here anymore, either man.” SPC Philips said.

We now began to engage the enemy with as much firepower as we could.  Everything was so hectic I didn’t even hear the Bradley’s roll up directly behind us.  SPC Philips and myself dropped back a bit and let the Bradley through.  The Bradley placed itself between the HMMWV and the enemy.  Giving us perfect cover.

As the Bradley’s fired, we began to check our magazines, grabbing a few out of the HMMWV to refill the ones that were empty.  It was at this time that the mortars started to fall.  They had already set up a mortar team to engage us – because they knew exactly what we would do.  Stop and make a 360-degree circle to defend.  Worse yet, they were perfectly aimed to air burst above us.  One of the mortars exploded and my left leg felt like it was on fire.  A piece of shrapnel had pierced my calf and sank itself deep.  I fell to the pavement.  SPC Philips pulled my Israeli bandage from my cargo pocket and wrapped my leg up at the point of entry and called for the medic.

The medic didn’t arrive.  He was engaged, so I drug myself across the ground and began to fire from behind the Bradley.  Honestly, at this point I was only firing randomly down the alleyway towards the sound of incoming fire.  I cannot say exactly how long we were engaged by the enemy, but after the Bradley’s arrived, the enemy all quickly exfiltrated.

For the next four hours we kicked in doors and questioned the people that lived in the area.  I turned out that the mosque right across the street had been allowing jihadis to store weapons inside of it.  Not only that, but the jihadis had been recruiting locals to attack us.  We discovered this from one of the women in a rather large house.  She told me that her son was one of the people that had agreed to take up arms against us for the ambush.  I remember telling her, “Lady, your son is probably dead.”  Her response?

“Good.  Kill them all.”

Winchester Model 1897 Riot

I have always loved the Model97.  Just it’s look is iconic.  I doubt any one has made it to adulthood as a gun enthusiast and not seen pictures of Marines in the Pacific, GIs in Vietnam or even some Doughboy in the trenches with a M97.    That isn’t counting all the police units who have used it over the years.   And even in the hands of lowly  Joey Shmoe in the woods and fields for hunting,

The M97 is another  masterpiece from the Master , John M Browning himself.  A more refined and beefed up version of the earlier M1893.  It’s production running from  1897 , Natch, to 1957 with over 1 million made by USRAC, AKA Winchester.  It came in a variety of barrel lengths and in take down and non take down models but offered only in 12 and 16gauge.    On top of that we have seen clones from varies over seas makers since then.

The shotgun is like most in that it feeds from the bottom into the magazine tube and the “pump” is used to cycle the ammo with empties ejecting from the right hand side ejection port.  It does however have an external hammer and a slide does travel reward outside of the action while cocking the external hammer.     If you are not familiar with this, care has to be taken with your grip or you may end up  getting a little love bite from the gun.     Capacity is 5 rounds in the magazine plus  1 in the chamber of an un plugged gun.

The M97 also lacks a disconnector  for the trigger.  Yes that means that as long as you hold the trigger to the rear, and work the action the gun will fire as soon as the action closes and achieves lock up.   The gun can be fired very quickly this way and it is a big thing for guys now a days to want this.  It’s usefulness is arguable though and  in less experienced hands it can be dangerous for the careless.   But then again, what isn’t dangerous when in the hands of the careless? Oh, and the safety is the trigger at half cock.

The saw action in all those ways I mentioned above, and more.  It has certainly qualified as being in any gun hall of fame.    I’m not going to go into its vast detailed history here since everyone and his mother in law has a website somewhere talking about it.   I am going to show how mine shoots.

I fired some 00 bucks and  rifled slugs through the gun only.   My number 4 buck and various other shotgun loads are all 3 inch shells and the old ’97 is a 2-3/4 shell only affair.    Hopefully I will round up some more variety later and edit it into this  and repost  in the near future.

Having an open choke.  I kept it to normal shotgun ranges.   I did intend to fire slugs out to 100 but  there is only so much  the old shoulder can take  from a hard buttplate.

First picture below is  one round of 00 buck at 20 yards.  I fired this at the head of  the target and all but one pellet stayed on the “head” zone.

Above is one round of 00 from 25 yards.    Well within what I would want it to do.    I have noticed though that the federal “military ”  00 buck   full brass buck does not shoot as tight as the  federal low recoil low brass  00 buck load the local police use.   I did not have it on hand today , but in the past the low recoil load shoots excellent in every shotgun I have  used it in.   For a look at that  check out my review of the Inland/Ithaca  trench gun review from last year.  If you are too lazy to do that here is a target fired with the excellent federal low recoil 00 loads  from the other shotgun.   This is pretty standard performance in all shotguns when using this ammo in my experience. It shoots nearly identical in the m97.  The patter in the orange stick is from the shotgun.

You can see how well the low brass/low recoil load shoots even at distances I would  never actually risk shooting at some one with if I were a cop in a urban environment.   I wish I had  some  for this test by I had grabbed the wrong loads before I left sad to say.

Next up was the federal  rifled slug  load.

Above you can see my 3 shot group from 40 yards, off hand.   I really surprised myself because I hate and dread shooting slugs.  I hate shooting them and if I had some other sucker with me I would have made them shoot the slugs as I am wont to do.   The hole that looks like another slug hole is from  the wadding from an earlier shot.   The top left  hole that seems to be a flyer was  a slug I fired from 75 yards as I was finishing up.  I aimed a little higher and since I was off hand and hate firing  12ga slugs , I wasn’t able to  put it into the group from 40 yards.  But I will take it!   I also  fired two  last slugs at the  “head” from  50 yards and was able to keep them nice and tight. This was from a supported position.

The gun is pretty old but it is still very capable  in these modern  times.   It is fast to the shoulder, handles terrific and the action is slick and fast.

Beyond all that is just the plain cool factor. It is a classic and has been something I wanted  for many years.   Mainly since I saw William Holden and his pals wasting people in The Wild Bunch.   A film that obviously has spawned the wild bunch matches in cowboy action shooting.  Those matches have done more than anything to drive up the prices of models and make them harder to find.    Shooters of those matches quickly scoop up any original riot/trench model they can find as well as  longer barreled models for conversion.  Even the Norinco 97 copy  has  become a collectors item more or less.   Even made in China it  is fine gun  if you do run across one  by the way.  Do not hesitate to buy one if you find it and wonder.

The Model 97 Winchester is one of my favorite guns and when I see it and use it I always think of The Wild Bunch.  In fact the two are so intertwined in my mind I sought out the display  at the NRS museum  while in D.C. a few years ago  and took a picture.   The display model is the  gun used by Holden in the film.