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Hong Kong Boogaloo 8/21/2019

So things are still ongoing and getting more complicated every day. Independent youtube news channels and commentators are starting to see some of China’s influence on our tech overlords. Talking about HK gets videos instantly demonitized or strikes. One well known YT personality being kicked off.

You can watch protest coverage live here.

Hong Kong is one of the most extreme examples of big finance, neoliberal capitalism in the world. As a result, many people in Hong Kong are suffering from great economic insecurity in a city with 93 billionaires, second-most of any city.

Hong Kong protesters waving U.S. flags last week. (YouTube)

Hong Kong is suffering the effects of being colonized by Britain for more than 150 years following the Opium Wars. The British put in place a capitalist economic system and Hong Kong has had no history of self-rule. When Britain left, it negotiated an agreement that prevents China from changing Hong Kong’s political and economic systems for 50 years by making Hong Kong a Special Administrative Region (SAR).

China cannot solve the suffering of the people of Hong Kong. This “One Country, Two Systems” approach means the extreme capitalism of Hong Kong exists alongside, but separate from, China’s socialized system. Hong Kong has an unusual political system. For example, half the seats in the legislature are required to represent business interests meaning corporate interests vote on legislation.

Hong Kong is a center for big finance and also a center of financial crimes. Between 2013 and 2017, the number of suspicious transactions reported to law enforcement agencies rocketed from 32,907 to 92,115. There has been a small number of prosecutions, which dropped from a high of 167 in 2014 to 103 in 2017. Convictions dropped to only one person sentenced to more than six years behind bars in 2017.

The problem is neither the extradition bill that was used to ignite protests nor China, the problems are Hong Kong’s economy and governance.

The Extradition Bill

The stated cause of the recent protests is an extradition bill proposed because there is no legal way to prevent criminals from escaping charges when they flee to Hong Kong. The bill was proposed by the Hong Kong government in February 2019 to establish a mechanism to transfer fugitives in Hong Kong to Taiwan, Macau or Mainland China. 

Extradition laws are a legal norm between countries and within countries (e.g. between states), and since Hong Kong is part of China, it is pretty basic. In fact, in 1998, a pro-democracy legislator, Martin Lee, proposed a law similar to the one he now opposes to ensure a person is prosecuted and tried at the place of the offense.

The push for the bill came in 2018 when a Hong Kong resident Chan Tong-kai allegedly killed his pregnant girlfriend, Poon Hiu-wing, in Taiwan, then returned to Hong Kong. Chan admitted he killed Poon to Hong Kong police, but the police were unable to charge him for murder or extradite him to Taiwan because no agreement was in place.

The proposed law covered  46 types of crimes that are recognized as serious offenses across the globe. These include murder, rape, and sexual offenses, assaults, kidnapping, immigration violations, and drug offenses as well as property offenses like robbery, burglary and arson and other traditional criminal offenses. It also included business and financial crimes.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross addressing AmCham event in Hong Kong, 2017. (Twitter)

Months before the street protests, the business community expressed opposition to the law. Hong Kong’s two pro-business parties urged the government to exempt white-collar crimes from the list of offenses covered by any future extradition agreement. There was escalating pressure from the city’s business heavyweights.  The American Chamber of Commerce, AmCham, a 50-year-old organization that represents over 1,200 U.S. companies doing business in Hong Kong, opposed the proposal.

AmCham said it would damage the city’s reputation: “Any change in extradition arrangements that substantially expands the possibility of arrest and rendition … of international business executives residing in or transiting through Hong Kong as a result of allegations of economic crime made by the mainland government … would undermine perceptions of Hong Kong as a safe and secure haven for international business operations.”

Kurt Tong, the top U.S. diplomat in Hong Kong, said in March that the proposal could complicate relations between Washington and Hong Kong. Indeed, the Center for International Private Enterprise, an arm of the National Endowment for Democracy, said the proposed law would undermine economic freedom, cause capital flight and threaten Hong Kong’s status as a hub for global commerce. They pointed to a bipartisan letter signed by eight members of Congress, including Senators Marco Rubio, Tom Cotton, and Steve Daines and Members of the House of Representatives, Jim McGovern, Ben McAdams, Chris Smith, Tom Suozzi, and Brian Mast opposing the bill.

Proponents of the bill responded by exempting nine of the economic crimes and made extradition only for crimes punishable by at least seven years in prison. These changes did not satisfy big business advocates.

The Mass Protests and U.S. Role 

Hong Kong World Financial Centre Tower, 2008. (Ray Devlin/Flickr)

From this attention to the law, opposition grew with the formation of a coalition to organize protests. As Alexander Rubinstein reports, “the coalition cited by Hong Kong media, including the South China Morning Post and the Hong Kong Free Press, as organizers of the anti-extradition law demonstrations is called the Civil Human Rights Front. That organization’s website lists the NED-funded HKHRM [Human Rights Monitor], Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions, the Hong Kong Journalists Association, the Civic Party, the Labour Party, and the Democratic Party as members of the coalition.” HKHRM alone received more than $1.9 million in funds from the NED between 1995 and 2013. Major protests began in June.

Building the anti-China movement in Hong Kong has been a long-term, NED project since 1996. In 2012, NED invested $460,000 through its National Democratic Institute, to build the anti-China movement (aka pro-democracy movement), particularly among university students. Two years later, the mass protests of Occupy Central occurred. In a 2016 Open Letter to Kurt Tong, these NED grants and others were pointed out and Tong was asked if the U.S. was funding a Hong Kong independence movement.

During the current protests, organizers were photographed meeting with Julie Eadeh, the political unit chief of U.S. Consulate General, in a Hong Kong hotel. They also met with China Hawks in Washington, D.C., including Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, National Security Advisor John Bolton, Sen. Marco Rubio and Rep. Eliot Engel, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Larry Diamond, a co-editor of the NED’s publication and a co-chair of research, has been openly encouraging the protesters. He delivered a video message of support during their rally this weekend.

Protests have included many elements of U.S. color revolutions with tactics such as violence — attacks on bystanders, media, police and emergency personnel. Similar tactics were used in UkraineNicaragua, and Venezuela, e.g. violent street barricades. U.S.  officials and media criticized the government’s response to the violent protests, even though they have been silent on the extreme police violence against the Yellow Vests in France. Demonstrators also use swarming techniques and sophisticated social media messaging targeting people in the U.S..

Mass protests have continued. On July 9, Chief Executive Carrie Lam pronounced the bill dead and suspended it. Protesters are now calling for the bill to be withdrawn, Lam to resign and police to be investigated. For more on the protests and U.S. involvement, listen to our interview with K. J. Noh on Clearing the FOG.

What Is Driving Discontent in Hong Kong?

Makeshift shelters at Tung Chau Street Temporary Market in Sham Shui Po. (Nora Tam)

The source of unrest in Hong Kong is the economic insecurity stemming from capitalism. In 1997, Britain and China agreed to leave “the previous capitalist system” in place for 50 years.

Hong Kong has been ranked as the world’s freest economy in the Heritage’s Index of Economic Freedom since 1995 when the index began. In 1990, Milton Friedman described Hong Kong as the best example of a free-market economy. Its ranking is based on low taxes, light regulations, strong property rights, business freedom, and openness to global commerce.

Graeme Maxton writes in the South China Morning Post:

“The only way to restore order is through a radical change in Hong Kong’s economic policies. After decades of doing almost nothing, and letting the free market rule, it is time for the Hong Kong government to do what it is there for; to govern in the interests of the majority.”

The issue is not the extradition proposal, Carrie Lam or China. What we are witnessing is an unrestricted neo-liberal economy, described as a free market on steroids. Hong Kong’s economy relative to China’s gross domestic product (GDP) has fallen from a peak of 27 percent in 1993 to less than 3 percent in 2017. During this time, China has had tremendous growth, including in nearby market-friendly Shenzen, while Hong Kong has not.

As Sara Flounders writes, “For the last 10 years wages have been stagnant in Hong Kong while rents have increased 300 percent; it is the most expensive city in the world. In Shenzhen, wages have increased 8 percent every year, and more than 1 million new, public, green housing units at low rates are nearing completion.”

Hong Kong has the world’s highest rents, a widening wealth gap and a poverty rate of 20 percent. In China, the poverty rate fell from 88 percent in 1981 to 0.7 percent in 2015, according to the World Bank.

Hong Kong in Chinese Context

Skyline of Beijing, China’s capital city, at dusk, 2017. (Picrazy2, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons)

Ellen Brown writes in “Neoliberalism Has Met Its Match in China,” that the Chinese government owns 80 percent of banks, which make favorable loans to businesses, and subsidizes worker costs. The U.S.  views China subsidizing its economy as an unfair trade advantage, while China sees long-term, planned growth as smarter than short-term profits for shareholders.

The Chinese model of state-controlled capitalism (some call it a form of socialism) has lifted 800 million people out of poverty and built a middle class of over 420 million people, growing from four percent in 2002, to 31 percent. The top 12 Chinese companies on the Fortune 500 are all state-owned and state-subsidized including oil, solar energy, telecommunications, engineering, construction companies, banks, and the auto industry. China has the second-largest GDP, and the largest economy based on Purchasing Power Parity GDP, according to the CIAIMF and World Bank.

China does have significant problems. There are thousands of documented demonstrations, strikes and labor actions in China annually, serious environmental challenges, inequality and social control through the use of surveillance technology. How China responds to these challenges is a test for their governance.

China describes itself as having an intraparty democracy. The eight other legal “democratic parties” that are allowed to participate in the political system cooperate with but do not compete with the Communist Party. There are also local elections for candidates focused on grassroots issues. China views Western democracy and economics as flawed and does not try to emulate them but is creating its own system.

China is led by engineers and scientists, not by lawyers and business people. It approaches policy decisions through research and experimentation. Every city and every district is involved in some sort of experimentation including free trade zones, poverty reduction and education reform. “There are pilot schools, pilot cities, pilot hospitals, pilot markets, pilot everything under the sun, the whole China is basically a giant portfolio of experiments, with mayors and provincial governors as Primary Investigators.” In this system, Hong Kong could be viewed as an experiment in neoliberal capitalism.

The Communist Party knows that to keep its hold on power, it must combat inequalities and shift the economy towards a more efficient and more ecological model. Beijing has set a date of 2050 to become a “socialist society” and to achieve that, it seeks improvements in sociallabor and environmental fields.

Where does Hong Kong fit into these long-term plans? With 2047 as the year for the end of the agreement with the U.K., U.S. and Western powers are working toward preserving their capitalist dystopia of Hong Kong and manufacturing consensus for long-term conflict with China.

How this conflict of economic and political systems turns out depends on whether China can confront its contradictions, whether Hong Kongers can address the source of their problems and whether US empire can continue its dollar, political and military dominance. Today’s conflicts in Hong Kong are rooted in all of these realities.

*  *  *

Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers co-direct Popular Resistance. A version of this article first appeared in PopularResistance.org.

A parable about getting help

In The Basic School (TBS) Quantico, there was a problem with Marines getting DUIs or getting stuck out in town drunk.

Around 2004-2005ish, a solution was created. Called “Arrive Alive”, the Staff Duty would have a lockbox with some cash. The Staff Duty had a logbook and the key for this box. If a Marine who was out in town found them selves drunk and unable to drive, or unable to pay for a taxi for what ever reason, they could get a taxi to bring them on base to the Battalion Staff Duty Officer. Who ever this Staff NCO was, they would pay the taxi fare from the lock box and note who the Marine was. That Marine would then repay the cost by the next payday. If the Marine lived off base and it was not working hours, they could sleep in the room set aside for the Staff Duty Officer until they sobered up.

This way Marines could get safely to base. There would be no excuse for a DUI, since a Marine wouldn’t have to drive them selves, and if they were broke, they could still get a ride.

We had that for about a year with out anyone using it. Our superiors would mention it every liberty briefs and the like. Until finally someone did use it. This Marine was out in town, got drunk, and didn’t want to drive drunk back to base. So he got a taxi and used this “Arrive Alive” program.

In return, the command punished him. I can’t remember if this jarhead just got an Article 15, or a full blown NJP, but the command tried to punish him as much and in every way they could.

Sometimes people need help. But when we punish people who try to get help, we discourage everyone from getting help.

This applies to everything. It seems like every week I read or hear some story of a cop or soldier to afraid to report their PTSD due to fear of backlash, ridicule, punishment, appearing weak, etc.

Recently, there was news articles about the FBI taking credit for stopping a mass shooting. What happened was that the guy’s Grandmother noticed he had issues, and talked him into going to a hospital. The Grandmother is the real hero here, not the federal agents trying to take credit. This guy consented to a police search, and in return he is rewarded with charges and is facing up to 5 years of jail time.

Now, it does sound like this guy broke the law. It was likely foolish of him to consent to a search. But if we go after and punish every single person who asks for help, people are not going to ask for help.

1911s, Accuracy vs Reliability And Are Tight, Hard Fit Guns Worth It?

I’m reposting an article from our early years today. I am trying to get some other things finished for later this week and so I don’t have a lot of time today for a new post. This one caused a lot of butthurt when it first went up. Some smaller full custom shops ( now Tango Uniform) did NOT like what I had to say and had some mean things to say about yours truly for a few weeks over this one.I’m sure some of the commentors will tell me how wrong I am all over again. Like last late summer/fall, I may post stuff from our early days for those who likely never saw it as we have a mountain of content in the back of the basement no one sees anymore.

This post is not easy to sum up with a short title. It contains my thoughts on the 1911 in its custom form, if the high end super pricey custom guns are worth it, And my thoughts on how they often give the 1911 a bad rap by people who do not care to take the time to understand some of the down sides of the tight fit match and carry guns. Apologies for the rambling nature of the post.  Also I want to warn it is my opinion and you may not agree, If you can not handle that, I do not know what to tell you other than don’t bother posting in the comments complaining to me about how wrong I am.  I have spent a long time with 1911s and have my opinions on them. Everything  below is given as opinion and personal experience and observations only.

I am always having discussions with people about accuracy. Readers who check here regularly know that it is a topic I often write about. I give my thoughts on what guns I find to be accurate, the amount of accuracy you can expect from rack grade combat guns and the distance that those guns are capable of shooting to way beyond the common knowledge of the internet experts along with the fire arms magazines. I put great effort into showing that most factory guns are more capable than most people will ever know.  A match barrel does indeed have it purpose and can give a great deal of improvement, but the barrel that comes from quality factory guns are a lot better one may think, despite the fact  that the match barrel selling merchants would like you to  believe them to be crap.

When it comes to factory barrels and accuracy, self defense is one of those times people would understandably want as much accuracy as they can use. Even if they can not actually use i due to their skill level. The model that in my opinion, gets the short end of the stick when it comes to higher accuracy demands for self defense is my beloved 1911.  For the almost 30 years I have been using the 1911, I can remember being told that all this and that kind of work has to be done to the gun to make it accurate. No factory 1911 is all that accurate some said ( and still do) and a lot of specialty shops have popped up to cater to this idea.  But this is often at the cost of reliability.  The 1911 was made to work withing certain specs. It was made to work when filthy and muddy and with little cleaning, And the military models, when made to the correct specs and dimensions and with good ammo, will work.  the problem I always see, are 1911s not made to the military combat specs.

To me, it is important to have one that meets the original specifications. I want it to always work and to be accurate. After a recent conversation about it for the 1 millionth time, I decided to show a little testing of what a nice loose, proper 1911 is capable of.

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Using the V-Tac target, I fired a full magazine of just plain old ball ammo from 25 yards, off hand. The ammo is nothing special, it is not match or Black Hills or handloaded. It is just military ball.  I fired at the head and the center of the chest.

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While it is certainly not a tight pretty little group. Who would argue against this being acceptable for ball ammo, off hand no bags or rest, at 25 yards? All but one round feel in the box of the head. The “flyer” is not a great shot. But I would think it would be a good chance it would probably stop the fight anyway, or at least make the attack second guess his commitment….  Maybe not, but the other shots would have gave him pause. Note the between the eyes hit just happened to end up that way, not by any special effort.

In my mind, for a 1911 so loose it rattles, and ball shot off hand at 25 yards, this will do the job pretty well while giving me a gun I know will work every time.

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The second mag was fired at the chest as seen above. Again this was within the kill box of the target using plain ball. All nine shots are good hits to me.  The gun grouped a but better due to a large area to aim at and be able to see my front sight against it better, but not a drastic improvement.  Three hits seem to be pretty good CNS hits while four hits are in the heart and lung area with at least another hit in the other lung.

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the back side of the target has very hand Bullseye  targets on the back that are exactly placed on the opposite of the head and chest. Compare the front hits with the scoring of the bullseye on the back. I think this is a great feature without getting the shooter hung up on worrying over some kind of score while they see the human anatomy on the front. Few bad guys are likely to have black bullseyes on them so I don’t suggest spending too much time on them when training for self defense.

Again, while not good enough for Camp Perry. Not bad at all for ball.  Of course this would be a different matter with my chosen self defense carry load. My daily carry ammo preforms better than ball. but, my gun is still a looser fit gun that gives me the combat gun reliability I demand.

This bring me to another of my pet topics about the 1911.  I DO NOT believe or recommend a hard, tight fit gun for self defense or combat.  I know you can find plenty of people out there who will want to argue with me about this. But you don’t have to spend much time on gun forums to see some guy complaining about how is multi thousand dollar custom Ed Brown or Les Baer 1911 let him down at a training course.  Well. there is a reason for that.  the 1911 is a combat gun meant to go to war, to be in mud and gore. rain, snow and with little cleaning. It was originally meant to be loose. Those tolerances allowed mud and carbon to get all in the gun while giving it enough room to breathe and move. A gun with the slide/frame so tight you have to beat it open, is not going to give you that.

That is not to say I think a 1911 should look like the original with no upgrades. I am not a follower of the “don’t  put anything on the 1911 JMB did not put there.”  I think ambi safety and better sights are a must have, among a few other things, but the the gun I use to protect myself will never be “tightened up” or a “hard fit”.

Tight fit guns have a place, and if you want one thats fine.  But, if I was not going to be shooting a bullseye match at Perry, I would not carry one for self defense without a very long testing period. It is not that these guns are not quality. Because they are custom guns and they are made to a high quality. But sometimes that works against you when things get dirty.  It is one thing to have something to pass down to your kids and show off at a BBQ and be a investment.  But, I do not believe the super expensive, custom 1911s to be better choices for self defense over a 1911 with a looser fit.  They are beautiful to be sure. but to me, that is not good enough.

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The gun I carry every day, is a Colt XSE.  It comes from Colt as you see it expect for the grips with gold medallion.  The reason I love the XSEs so much, is that they have a lot of the upgrades a custom gun comes with but is not a hard fit 1911. The barrel locks up tight enough to improve that accuracy over a USGI issue. but it is not so tight to cause any possible problems if it gets very dirty. I have used this gun a long time and shot it so much I could not even count.  It has never failed me.  The first year I got it, I left it soaking in a silty creek for eight hours and fired it, I froze it in a freezing rain and snow. I opened it and poured powder fine dirt in it and one day I fired 1,000 rounds though it in about 30 minutes after not having cleaned it for many rounds before it, except to oil it.  The gun became too hot to hold but still worked.  It is also so loose that it rattles like a pebble in a empty milk jug.  But it still works and I can make the hits well within what is needed.

My personal standard for a 1911 is to be able, off hand, to keep all my shots on a human head at 25 yards. all in the chest kill zone at 50 yards, and to be able to hit a man at 100 yards with my quality self defense loads at a minimum. I don’t expect it to do all that with ball ammo or sub par plinking  rounds, but it does not need to. It has to be comfortable  and have ambi safeties and sights big enough for me to see.

That is not too much to ask with modern guns. but due to the flood of 1911s made by so many companies trying to cash in on the guns popularity, it  is not as common as it would seem. All the crap copies have given it a bad rap among some, that it does not deserve when made to the specifications originally meant for a pistol to be used in muddy trenches, volcanic sand on Pacific Islands, snowy mountains in asia and the Jungles of Indochina. The USGI 1911 lasted so long because it works when made right with combat in mind.  And in my very personal opinion, the hard fit 1911 is about as useful for fighting as the cheaper coat tail riding knock offs from other countries and even quite a few made here.  When it comes to tight, hard fit 1911s sometimes there is such a thing as too much of a good thing.  Save the 2,500-5,000 dollar custom guns for family heirlooms, Bullseye or hanging on the wall or just shooting for pleasure and the enjoyment of having an investment grade gun.   If you do choose to have a custom high end, tight fit 1911 made and decide to carry it.  test it until you know it will work no matter what. For your own sake, get it filthy., abuse it within reason, if you are afraid of a blemish, then you are already going down the wrong road.  Beat the hell out of it to make sure it works.  If you ignore all I have said, at the very least, when it fails  you at a training class when it is subjected to a high rate of fire and round count for the first time. at least tell the Trainer/instructor that looseorounds warned you.

Fighting a superior force: Overmatch

Fuck overmatch.

I hate buzzwords.  Especially when they are tied to flawed ideas.  For example, overmatch.

Imagine you are a member of the French Resistance in World War Two.  You have just received a Liberator pistol to aid you in your efforts.  Your response would be, “Je te chie dans le cou, you ugly American swine.  You expect me to fight without OVERMATCH?  You should have given me a weapon that can fire faster than a MG34, has longer range than a K98k, and is lighter and handier and more controllable than a MP40.  It needs to have greater anti-armor capabilities than a Panzerfaust.  It had better be more of a psychological horror than the Flammenwerfer.  And lastly, it had better cooler looking than a Luger with a snail drum and buttstock.  If only you had provided me a real gun, like a .30 cal M14, we could beat the Nazis.

When I was in the Corps we didn’t have the buzzword Overmatch yet.  We did believe in the concept of “peeling the onion”.  We wanted to be able to harm the enemy at longer ranges than they could harm us.  At each layer, we would have greater range. Our M240 would be more accurate at longer ranges than their PKMs.  Our M16A2 would strike them down at 500 yards while their AKM would only effectively hit us at 300m.  Finally, should any get close enough, our M203 launchers out ranged their GP30 grenade launchers.

Little did we know that those Russians had switched to 5.45 and a 400m zero long before we were born.  So, while we were running around with M16A2 and 300 yard zeros, they had overmatch on us.

I don’t like to use profanity, but sometimes I feel it the only appropriate word with the correct grammatical purpose.

So if the Russian’s had overmatch in infantry rifles on us, would that mean they could beat us in equal numbers.  My response to be would be. . .

I don’t think so. Fuck Overmatch.

If we follow the concept of overmatch to its logical conclusion, we would deduce that all our infantry need to be carrying select fire Barrett .50 cal rifles and all our planes and armor need to be launching cruise missiles with tac-nukes. Overmatch has become a buzzword used to question US Military Superiority and used as justification to try and fund what ever is the cool new toy of the day.

I am not going to wax and wane on tactics and equipment when I can ramble on with different parable.

I like to think that all my firearms are weapons ready for war.  In reality, I’m not about to grab my 10/22 for a fight.

In the military, with training, we often trained as if we were fighting an equivalently equipped force.  Many reasons for this:

  • If you can beat a force equal to yourself, you can beat an inferior force.  Hopefully.
  • You can split your force and do training against each other.  Each group can try their best to win without having to artificially limit one side.  Allows all the individuals to get the best training in the limited time and budget.
  • You don’t have to try and simulate or obtain the equipment of any particular enemy group.  If you use M4 carbines, do you really want to buy AK that use simunition rounds and hand them to people who have no training on them?  Then the group using the AK are not getting good training themselves.  Etc.
  • Your group is familiar with what you use and the tactics you use.  Trying to get a group of your guys to properly role play the enemies tactics is hard. Especially if they are novices themselves.
  • And more…
  • The most important reason is that blue on blue training is easy and makes for the least amount of work for military leadership.

Thus, to make things easy for me, I’m grab a few pics of random our forces for the following examples instead of trying to find pictures of various other countries’ forces.

Back to that 10/22.  Given the choice of fighting a superior force with a 10/22 or doing something else, most would advocate doing something else.  Some would say you ignore the enemies combat forces and only strike at their support equipment and supply lines. This article isn’t for those cowards. If a hostile force is in your neighborhood going into homes and dragging off your friends and families, are you going to wait till you could hit the supply lines some other day? Success comes from taking one of your strong points poking it into an enemy’s weak point. But you don’t always get to pick your best strength or the enemies weakness, so we must be as flexible as possible in tactics and employment.

Look at these troops in Afghanistan. Body armor, good weapons, communications equipment. Against an individual with a 10/22 they would not just be overmatch. There would need some new term like overkillmatch. But it is hot over there in Afganland, almost as hot as Florida. These guys are not wearing their neck guards. Note, the article name is “fighting a superior force”, I didn’t saying anything about totally defeating them. If you were fighting a force like this a neck would be an excellent target for a .22 shot. Low recoil and low report may allow you to engage multiple individuals or fire multiple shots at one individual before you egress that firing point. You are not going to totally destroy an enemy patrol (unless you are horribly lucky), but you can hurt them.

070403-A-3887D-003 U.S. Army soldiers move down a street as they start a clearing mission in Dora, Iraq, on May 3, 2007. Soldiers from the 2nd Platoon, Alpha Company, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division are patrolling the streets in Dora. DoD photo by Spc. Elisha Dawkins, U.S. Army. (Released)

If you were the unfortunate aggressor armed only with a .22, an urban environment would very much be to your advantage. Plenty of windows, mouse holes, walls, doors, or assorted opening to take a couple of shots and move before an organized response by your enemy. Even when firing a single shot from a full power rifle, it can take a few moments for the firing location to be identified. Firing a quieter weapon can make it even harder to identity when where shot came from. Helps you survive. Shoot and scoot!

Looking at the four soldiers above, only one is wearing a groin protector. Imagine if with your .22 you shot one of your enemies twice in the groin and then moved to another location in order to prepare to repeat the process. There is a good chance your .22 shots would have just struck thigh muscle and cause very little harm to the individual. There is a smaller chance you struck a major blood vessel or caused damage to the pelvis reducing mobility. There is very good you traumatized and demoralized an enemy possibly eliminating their will to fight. Think for a moment how a unit might react if 2 or 3 of their soldiers were shot in the groin. Might be a good time to get out of the area before try to use their armored vehicles to level buildings. If your enemy believes you will shoot them in their sex organs, it will have a noticeable effect on their will to fight. On the other hand, you might not want to get caught by them if you have been using this technique. Use the urban environment to engage from close range and disappear before they can respond.

U.S. Soldiers from Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment, U.S. Army Europe and members of Romania’s 21st Mountain Division assess an area of land for the site survey for a location for the soon-to-be-founded Forward Operating Base (FOB) Mescall, Afghanistan, March 25, 2009, near FOB Lagman, Afghanistan. (U.S. Army photo by Christopher S. Barnhart/Released)

These guys are wearing their neck protectors. But they either are not wearing them right, or have really long necks. Probably just have them too loose. This group is probably in the middle to rear of a larger formation. The guy on the far left is an officer. From the creepy pedophile looking mustache on the middle guy, I’d bet he is a staff NCO. Top sergeants seem to be drawn to that look for some reason unknown to me. Far right is might not be that important. But look, we have a guy wearing a funny outfit with a different gun, he must be a “collaborator”.

Major thanks to all the interpreters who helped us, especially the good ones.

I don’t want to be thought of as the guy that is just saying, “shoot them in the dick”, but lets continue with this silly example. Shooting the Officer or Staff NCO in the neck or groin is going to reduce their ability to lead and command. If you targeted an attached unit or collaborator, that may reduce the volunteers for those jobs.

Hopefully, you would have more than a .22 LR.

When you fight a superior force, you have to accept that you are not going to be able to decisively destroy them in every engagement. So you have to figure out how to use the assets you have to reduce the enemy.

Fuck overmatch, you don’t need it.

Or shoot them in the dick, whatever.

The Colt .22LR AR15/M16 Conversion Kit

This is a re-post from 2013 but because of this weeks theme of 22 rim fire used in the Ar15 I thought I would bring it back for those who hadn’t seen it.

I know I have talked a little bit about the old Colt produced .22LR conversion kit before, but it was not in much detail. I get asked about the conversion units often and they seem to be fairly rare these days.  I am not even sure how popular they used to be since commercial .223 and surplus 5.56 use to be so cheap.  So anyways, I thought I might talk about it a little more now.

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Sorry to say I can not nail down an exact date for when these things first started being produced, but I know I had seen them around for as far back as I can remember and bought one with my first AR15 way back when I was still young and supple. Above is a picture of a conversion kit still in its original plastic blister pack and shot only enough to confirm it works, which is maybe 20 rounds.  You can tell by the crappy art that it was from at least the early eighties.  Nothing on the paperwork even gives a hint of its starting  date of MFG.   The instruction with this one show it was made at least until the end of the 80s but I have no idea when they first made them.

The unit came with  1  magazines that holds ten rounds, the conversion bolt, a chamber plug and the instructions along with a manual for the AR15 of the time, a SP-2  sporter ( A2 ).

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This is actually one of two that I own.  Since it is mint, I do not shoot this one.  But, I do have a second one with spare magazines.  Since it comes with just one 10 rounder, things move a little slow. Though it would be enough for what I am sure they intended at the time of its release, i.e. teaching a kid or plinking at cans, hunting small game, or like me, a broke college student who could barely afford 22LR and had 30 rounds of 5.56 at any one time to my name.

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As you can see, the second kit is  more used and the two mags make shooting it move along a little better.  The mags are easy to load and are about as tough as a AK mag. No joke. They are solid hard plastic with metal  feed lips etc.  Its like a solid block of hard plastic.  You can see in the picture the size compared to a standard colt 20 round magazine.

I actually owned a third kit before these two and one of my best friends owned a kit as well.  All of them work great. I have never had a problem out of them. I remember my friend had a miss feed a time or two but once was from too low powered ammo and the other from a little too much heavy lube.  They work great and are very simple.  The bolt is hardened steel and a file would not make a mark I would rate its hardness just below Chinese algebra.

I did recently buy one of the 30 round mags made by Black Dog Machine and had high hopes only to find out the mag is a POS and BDM would not return my emails about their garbage product.  So, you won’t be seeing it in this post.

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In this picture above, you can see the little metal nub at the chamber end. That is where the charging handle catches to worth the “bolt” and chamber a round or to chamber check or for whatever other reason you may need.  It seems like its not enough and it probably isn’t but it is just a 22 and no one is going to be beating on it to clear a malfunction to save their life.  Its also as hard as wood pecker lips and I have never seen or even heard of one breaking. As a side note, many years ago DPMS copied this kit and sold one. No surprise there.. The end tab is just what you think it is.  The bolt rides on the two rails and it tracks very smoothly. You do feel the fouling of the rimfire after enough rounds but the springs and rails keep it moving great. Its easy to clean and maintain though colt does say absolutely not to take it apart. There really is not need to take it apart anyway. Its just so simple you see everything you need to clean and lube anyway. Brake parts cleaner and oil is all it really needs.  I knew another guy who  is one of those types who just HAS to take something apart. especially if the factory says not to.  He caused a few problems to the one he had but it still worked.

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The magazine does not have a bolt hold open, but its not really needed.  I suppose if you are super into training with a rimfire to simulate what you do with a 556 thats a down side, but with only 10 round mags and the kit being a rare item these days, I don’t care. I am not much  on using a 22 for training anyway. But that is just me.    You can see the steel feed lips. The mag has the ejector on it  on the rear left of the magazine.  It works well and the steel is hard enough.  The plastic nub in front keeps the magazine from going into the gun too far.  You can see a screw on the side of the mag, but it is not for taking it apart.   the mags have never failed me and as I said, they are very tough.  Though 10 rounds is boring for serious dirt shooter and tin can killers.

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I find it interesting the mags are marked “for M16/AR15”.  I do not know if the military ever bought any to supplement the kits they  used at the time, but it looks at least like colt hoped they would. Or, since people could buy a real M16 for just a few hundred more than a semi auto gun at the time, maybe they just marked it for those who may not have known the AR15 and the M16 are the same gun. Whatever the reason, its neat.

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Here is the kit beside its intended home.  The gun is older then the kit by a lot, but the SP-1 and SP2 is  what the kits probably saw the most use in.   As far as  accuracy, its not too bad in the older gun with a 1/12 twist.  Its good enough to hit a rabbit or squirrel out to around 20 yards. I find with good ammo, skeet are easy to hit out to 100 yards and sometimes 200 with really good ammo and some hold over.  Its not MOA  by no means and its less accurate in a barrel with a 1/7 twist, but its still a rabbit killer out to 100 and a ground hog killer to 150 yards or so when you get use to your hold over.  I have not shot it much beyond 150 yards in a barrel with a 1/7 twist.

Back in the late 90s and friend and I did try it in a Colt Accurized Rifle with a 24 inch SS barrel and a 1/9 twist. It was was accurate enough to hit a old stop sign out to 250 yards with a 18x scope on it adjusted for such or course,  If I recall, it would have been enough to keep it on a coyote sized animal 80 percent of the time.  That is not bad considering what the thing is really meant for.

it will work with some of the hotter standard velocity ammo, but they work best with the high velocity ammo.  Using proper ammo, the kits have never failed me.  If you can buy one for a decent price  I would go for it.   I know that there are very few spare mags floating around. Colt did sell them but not many.  If you do get a kit, it will be just with one mag. If you are offered the kit but no mag, I would pass. Its very, very hard to find a lone magazine for sale.  I would not even bother with trying to get a BDM magazine for it without expecting to have to send it back.  Some guys claim their BDM mag worked, but mine did not and since they would not even return any email I sent trying to get some help I would never recommend buying a kit with no mag and plan on using the BDM mag.