5.56 Timeline

Musing on dealing an ambush

There was a post over on ARFCOM where someone was asking if there is Civil War 2.0, how to deal with ambushes. They brought up the military doctrine dealing with an ambush and asked how it would apply in that situation. But, because the forum was ARFCOM, responses tended to most all be jokes and sarcastic remarks. Stuff like, “hurr der hurr, if you be in da ambush, you be already dead.”. Ad nauseam.

Whom ever started the post had some good questions.

“How do we know we’re in an ambush?”

“Is it still relevant to differentiate near/far ambushes?”

“Contemporary wisdom says a react to near ambush is an immediate assault through, but what should that look like?”

“How useful is initiating everything with a bit of Drake shooting?”

AR15.com forum response was an argument of if it should be called the “boogaloo” or “the great hootenanny”.

So let’s think about this. What is an ambush?

An ambush is a surprise attack by fire from concealed positions on a moving or temporarily halted enemy unit. It combines the advantages and characteristics of the offense with those of the defense.

An ambush is a surprise attack against you while you were moving through an area from an enemy that is in a prepared position.

So if you are in a static position. Either from your fighting hole, or sleeping in your bed at home, and you get attacked. That is a standard attack, not an ambush. But if you are walking to your car, or patrolling an area and get attacked, that is an ambush.

How do you respond to an ambush?

The writer asked if we still need to differentiate near or far ambushes?

If you have been ambushed, you are in the “kill zone”. Not a good place to be. In a “near ambush” this kill zone is close enough to the enemy that you can assault into their position to make it harder for them to attack you. In a “far ambush” this kill zone is far enough away that you can’t just immediately assault into the enemy position. In the far ambush you can attempt to break contact or use fire and movement, or fire and maneuver, to close with and repel or destroy the enemy.

Let’s pause for a moment. This military doctrine assumes you are talking about two groups of disciplined warfighters. In an insurgency, civil war, or you being ambushed by some thugs/robbers, that may not be the case.

A military unit caught in an ambush may be perfectly willing to take some casualties to route or destroy an ambushing enemy force. If you are with your family, you may not feel the same way.

The first thing to do when ambushed is survive. Generally the best way to do that is to get out of the kill zone. You might only be able to get into cover, but that would be far better than staying in that kill zone.

Once you have survived that initially attack, there is a hard decision that has to be made instantaneously. Do you attempt to press on and attack your attackers, or will you try and break contact and retreat? There is no simple answer to this as the possibilities of what you could encounter are nearly infinite.

What would assaulting though a near ambush look like?

Let’s imagine the simplest possible version of this. Two bad guys are standing out there and start shooting at you. You realize you are close to them and this is a “near ambush” so you decide to assault through. While engaging these two baddies, you run in between them. Now you three are in a line.

Bad guy 1 You Bad guy 2

Hypothetically, if either bad guy shoots at you now, they might hit the other bad guy. Hopefully, that discourages them from shooting long enough for you to engage both of them with the necessary level of ultra-violence so that you can go home safe.

Let’s now look at an alternative version of that. They attack, you run up so that you three are in a line.

Bad guy 1 Bad guy 2 You

In this case, bad guy 2 had a clear line of sight on you, but you are using bad guy 2 as a shield from bad guy 1. Hopefully bad guy slows down or stops shooting at you, giving you the chance to engage both bad guys from your location.

That is the very simplest example of assaulting into a near ambush.

What about using a “Drake Shoot” to respond to an ambush?

The goal in life is to first to survive, than to thrive. If you have survived being in that kill zone, you then have to decide if thriving means getting out of there, or attempting to repel the enemy or destroy them.

A “Drake Shoot” is when you are taking fire from an unknown location. You (and your group) engage potential locations where that fire might have come from with 2 rounds.

I like the idea of a Drake shoot, but it has various limitations and I don’t think I really applies well to an ambush.

Imagine your group takes sniper fire from an unknown location in a building. So your group then engages the building with a “Drake Shoot” firing a few rounds into each window, door way, visible “mouse hole”/”loop hole” where a shot might have come from. I think that makes a great deal of sense. I think firing 40mm grenades into the windows makes even more sense. Just as long as you are doing the Drake Shoot with out concern of civilian casualties or secondary damage.

I think if the enemy is performing an effective ambush against you, you far more likely to know where they are attacking from. Should you not know where the ambush is coming from, you are probably pretty well fucked. If you don’t know where the fire is coming from you don’t know where to take cover from it. You can’t effective return fire to your attackers, or attempt to attack or assault their position.

That might be a time when a death blossom might be an appropriate response if collateral damage and civilian casualties are not a concern.

So what is the big picture?

Being ambushed sucks so try to avoid it. If you end up being caught in one, expect to have to rapidly respond and DO SOMETHING proactive. Doing nothing will leave you in the kill zone, which will likely lead to your demise. Better to do a wrong response with violence of action than to do nothing.

Gun owners vs. people who own guns.

Shawn wanted me to comment on a post on a gun forum. I think I can broach the subject better with out the original writers’ ramblings mucking things up. Screw that guy.

A tangent:

I don’t like cars. I don’t like driving. If I were filthy rich, I would hire someone to drive for me. I’d have them handle picking and buying vehicles, driving, maintenance, etc. My own Launchpad McQuack. Back in highschool ALL my friends loved cars. Constant Ford vs. Chevy arguments. You could name a car and they could tell you the horse power, the cubic centimeters of something or another. If it had a carburetor or that other car part thingie. If it used a Wankel engine or a scram jet or piezoelectric something or another. I don’t care. I own the car that takes the least maintenance and effort to use. Yes, it’s a Toyota.

Lots of the guys in high school were “car guys”. But only of a few of them might be “gear heads”, those who would work on and customize their own rides. Then there was that one kid who had that really awesome cherry red sports car. Mind you he lived in that car, wore rags, and ate from the lunchroom trash cans since all his money was tied up in the car. He could only afford his car payment and gas money. Probably didn’t have insurance as they would have cut into the car money. You know the guy.

Then we don’t talk about that one weird kid who was caught performing a sexual act on a car. That wasn’t even his car. Yea, he might have tried to claim that he was drunk and it was a prank, but we all know he was sober and no one else was there. We don’t talk about him.


There is a book I loved called “Never Sniff a Gift Fish“. Find a copy if you can. One time I was reading a hunting magazine and there was a one page bit in the back that was tremendously well written. It was a little comedic piece about the difference between a “Hunter” and a “Person who hunts”. I was so enamored by this explanation that I looked it up and it was written by the same author as the book above.

He explain how a person might wake up at 3 in the morning and see that is it snowing and excessively cold and windy. A “person who hunts” would decide to just go back to bed. But a “hunter” would be ecstatic as they knew they would be able to see fresh prints in the fresh snow, and the wind would help hide their scent, etc. A completely different mindset.

The topic:

The guy who wrote the post on that gun forum is a gun hobbyist at best. They guy couldn’t understand why anyone would have any more interest in guns than that. He doesn’t understand why someone would want a fancy gun, or want to own several guns, etc.

Yesterday I was talking to my dad. He related a story of a guy who liked hunting, but didn’t like guns. So each year he would buy a gun, use it for hunting that year, then sell it.

What a weirdo! To quote Shawn’s reaction, “That’s like the way an alien mind would think compared to how my mind works.”

There are different grades of gun owners. From the guy who owns a .38 and a 10/22 to the guy who collects .50 BMGs. There is that person who own two hundred Mausers, to the guy who own has 4 guns, but each of them are $4000 plus. I knew a guy who owned something like 58 Garands, among all his other guns. A guy with 1000 AR15 magazines. I knew a person who considered the types of stuff I owned as the “cheap stuff” that people who are not serious about guns would buy. But then when I talk about some of the stuff I own online, I get lots of responses like it is too expensive and only a nut would pay for something like that.

There are collectors, there are shooters, there are competitors, plinkers, trainers, snipers, dirt shooter, bench rest record setters, and blasters. We have a greater spectrum of types of shooters than the LGBTQia+ group claims there are genders.

And that is ok. We have room for all of you.

It is easy to be gunsnobbish. One guy might say, “If you don’t own a Colt, why bother owning an AR15?”. Yet someone else might plug in KAC in place of Colt.

I’ve heard people say if you are not going to train at least twice a year, you shouldn’t own a gun.
How about, “twice a month“. Or “twice a week“? What if someone said if you don’t train 8 hours a day you are not serious?

We are each going to have our own personal threshold for what we want and what we consider good.
And that is fine.

But seriously, if you own less than me, and shoot less than me, you’re not a serious shooter.

The AR15ization of the AK.

Shawn and I have been talking about this for a while, and we weren’t sure how we wanted to approach the subject.

I swear if I had a nickle for every time I’ve seen this meme I would be able to afford to buy Epstein private island and turn it into a personal automated 360 degree shooting range. I’d also have enough money left over to buy New Jersey, but no one would want that place.

Now, before we get to the AK, let us look at a few other guns. Let’s talk about the AR15ization of everything.

Single shot break open .410

FN SCAR 17 with M4 style waffle stock

Now I love collapsing stocks and I love side folding stocks but why would you put an AR stock on something when there are so very many other options? Now putting an AR stock on a single shot shotgun make makes sense because it is so simple and cheap to do it, but why the hell would someone replace the adjustable side folding stock on an FN SCAR with an AR15 stock? Why?

The AR stock is designed around the receiver extension/buffer tube. This tube is necessary for the function of an AR15. On almost all these guns the AR15 stock is slapped on later, that just ends up being empty space. Let me use a personal example:

When I set up my stand along M203 Grenade Launcher, it cam with an AR stock, a LMT SOPMOD to be precise. I didn’t see much point to running an AR15 stock on this weapon. So I installed a SIG folding and collapsing stock. You know what, the SIG folder kinda sucks in some ways. It is very slow and awkward to collapse and extend. I need to use two hands on the stock to do either. The folding mechanism is great, that makes it worth it. Far better for me than an AR stock on a non-AR weapon.

Let us go back to the AK. Here are some pictures of modern AK rifles.

Most pictures from Ivan Tactical’s instagram, some from the Vepr12 forums.

Wow, magpul stocks, western optics, quad rails. But who care about those plebs, what about Russian special forces?

Back in 2015, Larry Vickers did a video on the Russian Counter-Terrorism unit “Alpha”. Link here.

Extended quad rails, AR15 stocks, western optics, lights and lasers.

I see plenty of people complain about this trend. They think it is wrong that this is happening to the guns they like. They argue that it is only happening because people want to look cool, and they have all sorts of derogatory terms for it, “Tacticool”, Tacticalol”, “Tactifool”, I think you get the drift.

What these people think.

These people would argue that we downgraded when we went from what is on the left to what is on the right.

But at much as they hate it, these are all great improvements. Collapsing stocks allow you to better fit the gun to the shooter or make the gun compact for transport. Rails allow you to better adapt the weapon for the tasks you need it to do. From bipods to IR lasers. The ability to mount optics has been a huge force multiplier.

AR15 stocks, while somewhat silly to mount on other guns, tend to be a massive improvement over alternative options. That is why we see so many Magpul CTR stocks on guns that are not AR15s. The modern AR15 is just so much better than most of what else is out there that other guns have had to become more AR15ish to remain competitive. The AK has always been a good gun, but it is a better gun for fighting when you can mount modern weapons and accessories to it.

Making other guns more like the modern AR15 is always an improvement.

Ok, maybe not always.

John Wesley Hardin’s Guns

John Wesley Hardin was one of the most famous gunfighters of the old west. He claimed he’d killed over 40 men in his days but it was more like 27. That’s still a pretty damn high number. He was certainly a bit of an exaggerator when it came to his confirmed kills but one thing he didn’t BS about was his skill with a firearm.

He is well known for giving away or selling his business card and playing cards he shot with a pistol from various distances. Above you can see both displayed. He was the real deal with a handgun and a very dangerous man who would kill you as easy as breathing. No doubt he enjoyed it or at the least he didn’t lose any sleep over it.

Beyond his skill with the handgun he also was a man that thought about how best to get them into action. He had a concealment vest made that allowed him to carry two colt revolvers under his armpits on each side. He was able to appear to casually cross his arms then rapidly dual cross draw the brace of colts out in a flash.

His various guns are well documented and are preserved in various collections. Especially the ones from the end of his years.

JWH’s Colt Thunderer .41 Colt

After being released from prison in February 1894, Hardin became an attorney. His inner demons still plagued the hair-trigger tempered Hardin though, and he quickly reverted to his old ways of gambling and drink. The firearms from this notorious Texas pistoleer’s final years are solidly documented through official court records resulting from his murder. Among these were a .38 caliber Model 1877 Colt Double Action “Lightning,” which his cousin by marriage, “Killer” Jim Miller, gave him after Miller represented him in a murder case. Hardin also owned a pair of .41 caliber 1877 Colt DA “Thunderers,” a Smith & Wesson DA “Frontier” in .44-40 chambering and a 4 3/4-inch barreled, .45 caliber 1873 Colt Single Action Army (with the ejector housing removed, most likely for an easier draw from his pocket). At the time of his death, Hardin was packing these two latter six-shooters. One of Hardin’s ’77 Colts, along with his .45 Colt-chambered ’73 Peacemaker, are housed at the Autry National Center’s Museum of the American West in Los Angeles, California.”

Several examples of the Texas gunman’s weaponry have survived, thanks to court records, Hardin relatives and dedicated historians and collectors such as the late Robert E. McNellis of El Paso, Texas, who discovered several of Hardin’s documented guns and other memorabilia. Hardin’s guns at the Museum of the American West are the only ones I know of on exhibit; the rest of Hardin’s hardware is presumed to be safe in private collections”

Hardin’s watch and .38Colt Lightning

The Colt M1877 “Thunderer” was a double action design chambered in .41 Colt. The “lightning” being a .38 long Colt. You can see it looks like a slightly smaller M1873 “peacemaker.” Even thought it was a DA revolver, it wasn’t very durable. The DA spring and parts didn’t hold up well and it was hard to repair. Luckily for the owners it didn’t render the gun useless. Just single action. Which I’m sure a lot of modern readers would consider the same thing. Billy the Kid , Doc Holiday and Hardin are among its more famous users.

Writing in his book “Sixguns” Elmer Kieth said that the “41LC was a better fight-stopper than its paper ballistics would indicate” and it was “better for self-defense than any 38 load made”. Keith would go onto design the 41 magnum possibly influenced by the advantages of the .41 Long Colt. The .41 long Colt was a moderately popular chambering in several Colt models. It was available in the Model 1877 Thunderer double action revolver, the series of New Army and New Navy revolvers.

9/11 So What Have We Learned

It’s that time of year again when we all look back at the events of 9-11-2001. I think I have told this story before but, I’m going to tell it again. I watched it happen live about 10 minutes after the first jet hit. I was at work at a big gunstore/sporting good/pawn watching it on a big screen tv over in WV. One thing I clearly recall is all the guys walking in to get their bows worked on or arrows made. They would glance at the TV news footage, and barely care. Getting that bow ready for bow season in WV meant more to them.

Over the years since the Gov has destroyed our freedoms in the name of safety and the forever wars rage on and on, I often think on how these same people are the ones that just shrug their shoulders and let all this stuff happen without a whimper.

After the attack they used to say “don’t do this or stop doing that or the terrorists win. Yea, Well. People get arrested for saying mean things online.The gov spies on everything we do and is trying it’s best to disarm us. It brings in the people who want us dead and half the country hates the other half with the heat of thermite burning. They did win.

Authored by Jacob Hornberger via The Future of Freedom Foundation,

The 9/11 attacks not only killed thousands of Americans, they also led to America’s forever wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Iran, and elsewhere, which have brought about the deaths of thousands of other Americans and millions of foreigners. But the 9/11 attacks did more than that. They also fortified the U.S. government as a national-security state, which solidified the destruction of the freedom of the American people.

What is a national-security state? It is a type of governmental structure that has an enormous, permanent military-intelligence establishment. In the case of the United States, that means the Pentagon, the vast military-industrial complex, foreign military bases, the CIA, and the NSA. It also means power — enormous power, not only for the overall government, but also within the governmental structure itself. To place things in a general context, Egypt is a national-security state. So are China, Cuba, and Russia. And the United States.

It wasn’t always that way. America was founded as a limited-government republic, which is the opposite of a national-security state. No Pentagon, no vast military-industrial complex, no foreign military bases, no CIA, and NSA. Just a relatively small army.

That’s the way the Framers and our American ancestors wanted it. The last thing they wanted was the type of governmental structure under which we Americans live today. In fact, if the proponents of the Constitution had said to the American people after the Constitutional Convention that the Constitution was going to bring into existence a national-security state, they would have died laughing, thinking it was a big joke. Once they had realized that it wasn’t a joke, they would have summarily rejected the deal and continued operating under the Articles of Confederation, a third type of governmental system under which the federal government’s powers were so few and weak that the federal government hadn’t even been given the power to tax.

The post-World World II revolution

The revolutionary change occurred after World War II. Although the war against Nazi Germany had just ended in victory, U.S. officials told Americans that, unfortunately, they could not rest. That was because, they said, the U.S. now faced a foe that was arguable more dangerous than Nazi Germany. That foe was the Soviet Union, which, ironically, had served as America’s partner and ally during the war. U.S. officials maintained that America now faced a vast post-war communist conspiracy to take over the world, including the United States, one that was based in Moscow, Russia. (Yes, that Russia!)

U.S. officials said that the only way to prevent this conspiracy from succeeding was to convert the U.S. government to the same type of governmental system that the Soviets had, which was a national-security state. Continuing as a limited-government republic, they said, would almost certainly result in defeat for America and a communist takeover of our nation.

Omnipotent government

That’s how we ended up with a national-security state type of governmental system, along with all of the dark-side powers that come with it. Assassination. Kidnappings. Torture. Regime-change operations. Sanctions. Embargoes. Invasions. Wars of aggression. Occupations. Coups. Secret surveillance. Indefinite detention. Secret prison camps. Military tribunals. Denial of due process of law. Out of control federal spending and debt, in large part owing to ever-increasing budgets for the national-security establishment. In other words, all of the things that one would have expected from the Soviet Union were now part and parcel of the “arsenal of freedom” wielded by the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA.

Never mind that none of this was authorized by the Constitution, the charter that called the federal government into existence. U.S. officials maintained that the Constitution was not a “suicide pact.” Continuing to follow it meant certain defeat at the hands of the Reds, they said. It was necessary to abandon constitutional niceties, they maintained, to save America.

Implicit in all the Cold War hoopla was that if the Cold War were ever to end, Americans could have their limited-government republic back. Of course, U.S. officials never thought for a moment that that would happen. The national-security state was a racket that was supposed to go on forever.

But then in 1989, the racket suddenly and unexpectedly came to an abrupt end. Financially broke and uninterested in continuing the Cold War, the Soviet Union declared an end to it, dismantled itself, and brought Soviet troops home from East Germany and Eastern Europe.

Interventionism and a new official enemy

That should have resulted in the restoration of America’s limited-government republic, but it didn’t. Having lost its official Cold War enemy, the U.S. national-security establishment found a new one by going into the Middle East and embarking on a killing spree, especially in Iraq, where it killed hundreds of thousands of people from 1991 through 2003. The victims including Iraqi children, hundreds of thousands of them. When US Ambassador to the UN under the Bill Clinton regime, Madeleine Albright, was asked by “Sixty Minutes” whether the deaths of half-a-million Iraqi children were “worth it,” she responded that while the issue was a hard one, the deaths were in fact “worth it.” By “it,” she meant regime change in Iraq.

Not surprisingly, the U.S. mass killing of Iraqis, along with its decision to station U.S. troops near the Muslim religion’s holiest lands, along with the unconditional military support of the Israeli government, led to terrorist retaliation, beginning with the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center, the attack on the USS Cole, the attacks on the U.S. embassies in East Africa, and then the 9/11 attacks.

The 9/11 attacks then led to the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, followed by the interventions in Syria, Libya, Yemen, and elsewhere, which necessarily entailed a fortification and strengthening of America’s national-security state form of governmental structure. They also led to the Patriot Act, which eviscerated the Fourth Amendment as well as to a formalized assassination program, including the power to assassinate Americans … to torture people, including Americans … to indefinitely detain American citizens and others as “enemy combatants” in the forever “war on terrorism” … to conduct secretive surveillance schemes over the American people and others … and to conduct intrusive searches at airports through the TSA … to impose more deadly sanctions and embargoes on foreign citizens … and to initate more coups and other regime-change operations.

It all adds up to the destruction of American liberty. There is only one way to get our freedom back: the dismantling of the national-security state and the restoration of a limited-government republic.