I was forwarded this via email from the local 3 Gun match director Mark Meek. I think a good many people don’t realize how quickly a situation can escalate, and how hard it can be it identify the good guys from the bad guys. Many anti-gun people believe that their mantle of innocence is a shield from violence. That belief leads to impotent inaction which can cost them, or their loved ones their lives.
We have seen a lot of change in firearms advancement and their use. Even the owners of this website have seen major changes in firearms and their application for sporting and war in our relatively short times. Keeping that in mind, it is always worth a look back at the rich past of our favorite tools.
Testing of one of the early “bullet proof ” vests.
US Special Forces vet helping Rhodesia fight off the communists.
A picture of some very, very famous men who would greatly influence rifle development. Among these worthies are Harvey Donaldson and John Unertl.
NRA marksmanship badges.
Famous barrel making genius, Harry Pope’s gun collection.
Women practices running to her fighting position during the Rhodesian Bush war.
US Green Beret adviser in South Vietnam in the very early years.
S&W Heavy duty.
Indig troop sets watch against the communists with his child in his lap.
An advertisement for the old excellent Marble cleaning rod.
ARVN troops learning how to use the M16 at the firing range.
Back in the good old days, when gun stores had all manner of exotic foreign weapons.
All of the guns or a true genius and a gift to us all.
The Block I SOPMOD kit. that was the start of a giant industry that continues.
Over 100 years and still serving perfectly.
And a reminder. Facts that should always be handy for those who try to rob of such an important history and right.
Article by Mark Hatfield.
I was the first to shoot a hostage.
Not that I shot at the wrong person, it was that I hit the hostage while attempting to hit only the hostage taker behind him/her. It was probably a survivable wound but would have been crippling. Thankfully these were only cardboard targets.
A few other things happened during these sessions. I had emptied my handgun and reloaded with a fresh magazine. As I removed my support hand I saw the new magazine fall out of the gun. I simply grabbed another spare mag and loaded the gun, that was much better than getting on the ground to get the fallen mag. The fallen mag might have been irretrievable for a number of reasons, falling into water, an unreachable space, be unseen, or even come apart upon impact. Much better to have more than one spare mag.
On another drill we shot one handed until the handgun was empty, reloaded, transferred the gun to the other hand and again fired until empty, reloaded again then moved to the next station. After emptying the gun the second time, I transferred it back to my dominant hand, or rather I attempted to, I dropped it. When I realized the gun was going, I, for only a fragment of a second, thought of going to the ground after it but instead my other hand drew my other identical gun and had it pointed downrange, possibly by the time the other gun hit the ground. It would not be correct to say that I was glad I had the second gun and more so that I had trained with it, I really didn’t have any such feeling. It was rather that there had been a problem and I had successfully resolved it.
Some people, even rather experienced shooters, when under pressure often forgot to operate the safety before they attempted to fire their rifles. Some, though experienced, had never fired their rifles from the ‘wrong’ shoulder, many had never before fired their rifles using only one arm. Often there were multiple targets, the defender had to move between different locations of cover, to find the right angle or height for which to engage any one or two targets then change to do the others. Defenders would forget that there were multiple targets which were threatening them from different angles. When trying to find the best position from which to shoot one particular target while staying behind cover from that attacker, the defenders forgot about keeping cover between themselves and the other attackers.
Physical fitness matters. Too many people want to ignore that. This was not a physical course, not physically demanding, especially compared to some. But, for best ‘results’, one needs to be able to move short distances quickly, to be able to get up and down, change positions, and adapt as needed. Never forget that a fight, any fight, will not be compatible with whatever skills you practice, what you train for, or what you predict might likely happen. The fight will be what ever it is and you don’t get to choose how it will start or under what conditions. Even a modest amount of physical fitness training can make a huge difference over doing no training at all.
One man, a Federal ‘First Responder’, wore not just his complete gear and equipment but body armor, this significant amount of kit was what he wore daily on his job. Despite the heat and activity he trained in and with the equipment he would most likely be wearing if he needed to do what he was hired to do. This is a sign of a wise man.
Doing anything under stress, even just a little pressure, and your performance can change, it can be very different from just casual practice. The stressors of such drills or even competition is much less than that of an actual event of deadly force. However, after learning a skill, practicing it under stress helps to ‘inoculate’ one to better perform when the stress is not artificial. This includes decision making under pressure, an attribute which is even more important than just skills.
Even a little practice of something, a little preparation makes a huge improvement on how a person can handle stressors and problems of many types. ‘Make your mistakes here’, Do something here now for the first time rather than trying to figure it out for the first time when life depends on it, was the theme of this course. This anti-terrorism aspect of this offering by John Farnam was not about shooting. One could not just shoot fast and accurately, one had to think, decide, adapt, and act, and do it quickly.
John Farnam is known and teaches internationally, his Defense Training International webpage can be easily found. I recommend you sign up to receive his random ‘quips’.
In the first part of the series, I quoted from the study on infantry weapons in the Korean war and some of the lessons learned and other points of interest. Leaving off at the point of the rifleman holding his fire until the enemy was within a range the rifleman felt he could hit the target due to either lack of confidence in his marksmanship skills, enemy exposure or weapons type. This will pick up from there.
“this; the one point which seems deserving of particular emphasis is that the BAR greatly compounds the stopping effect of rifle fire at ranges considerably in excess of those at which unaided rifle fire is potent. It has long been prized as a mop-up agent, for depressing final resistance in a conquered area, or liquidating tenacious elements infesting the rear. There is perhaps need to emphasize that it adds body to the rifle volume at any range”
“What is said here is meant to reflect in no degree whatever on the accuracy of the standard rifle; the men who use it in battle swear by it. Junior officers frequently said that they had seen it do decisive work in excess of 250 yards range. When the question was raised whether this was in combination with heavier fires from other weapons, the answer was invariably yes”.
“Rifle practice at the longer ranges is still desirable. But the rifleman needs about five times the amount of practice now given him with live ammunition if the weapon’s potential is to be fully exploited in combat.”
Once again the Army was told the more training for longer ranges by rifleman was needed with more time devoted to it. It seems the average unit may have felt that longer range shooting at the enemy was to be left to the heavy and light LMGs with them adding their rifle fire, either from lack of confidence in themselves of the rifle. Though officers noted that the rifle was effective at longer ranges but seemed to not have given it much thought.
“The Korean experience proves substantially that the fighting posture of the line is most sound when automatic fire is combined with slow fire in its weapons complex.This subject will be treated more extensively in the data bearing on evaluation of the various weapons. Suffice to say now that any trend toward eliminating the semi-automatic, hand-carried weapons in favor of full-automatic weapons in the hands of all infantrymen should be vigorously combated. In perimeter defense, the time almost invariably comes when the automatic weapons run short of ammunition, with the local issue still to be decided. This is the crisis of the contest, when decision may swing either way, depending on which side is most capable of delivering the last few volleys”
Once again we see this debate pop up in history. It is interesting to see the military go from the M1 to the M14 on full auto, learning it was ineffective, then going to the controllable M16, then the pointless 3 round burst, and now back around to the general issue of the M4A1. It seems the military can not get a handle on full auto weapons for the rifleman, No doubt because of the fear of the cost of training a man to use.
“In the infantry company data from Korean operations there are numerous examples wherein the retention of the position depended finally on fire from the M1, and rifle fire finally decided the issue. The troops who carry the weapon almost unanimously recognize the vital importance of this factor. On the basis of their experience, they would not concur in any suggestion that the line could be strengthened by fitting it exclusively with full-automatic power.”
The effectiveness of accurate, effective semi auto fire by a rifleman has been proven over and over. In a time when it is so popular to place so much importance on the hyper violent rapid firing and weapons manipulation for close range because it is so sexy, it is always worth pointing out the past experiences learned that the individual marksman who can make effective hits at long range will always be able to make a difference. The skill should constantly be kept up for the serious shooter and rifleman.
“the rate of ammunition expenditure in night engagement will be from two to four times as rapid as during day-light fighting, depending upon the extent of battle seasoning of the ranks and other variable factors such as the degree of control exercised by junior leaders. There area number of reasons for this, most of which are rooted in psychological rather than material factors. When men see targets in the clear light of day, or at least sense the general area from which they are drawing enemy fire, they tend to be more conservative of ammunition than when, under darkness, they are brought under a general fire but cannot identify its source. In daytime, the men who are carrying flat trajectory weapons,and are on ground where they cannot bring the enemy within line of sight, will not spend their ammunition uselessly; moreover, unless they are urged and commanded,in the majority they will not advance or shift to ground which will give them a more favorable target opportunity. By the same token, in night fighting, there is an excess of firing through the access of fear. Men in night engagement do not suffer the same cramping and instinctive feeling that any act of firing will increase personal jeopardy through greater exposure.”
“This sense of relative freedom, combined with fear reaction to the sudden attack, builds up the fire volume. There will be a greater number of willing participants in the fire contest; also, on the average, these participants will shoot off more stuff than in daytime engagement.”
The development in night vision devices and the military’s ability to operate in darkness to a level probably equal to their abilities during the day time is widely know and no doubt feared by hostile forces in modern times. I found the above information fascinating and would be very interested to see how this compared to modern tactics.
This was considerably shorter that the first part for various reasons and was longer coming that promised. Due to new T&E products arriving a few times a week now that warm weather is coming, I will try to update with the next parts as soon as I can. If you found these interesting keep checking back. You can also comment on the looserounds facebook page to so we can judge the level of attention this series may be gaining and if enough people as about it, more updates will follow quicker. Tshame.