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Auto Ordnance Tommy Gun

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There is just some cool about the Tommy gun. The is Thompson submachine Gun is a piece of Americana, something cool and classic like a Harley Davidson. Few Americans don’t feel something when they see one.

Sadly, the day of the Tommygun is over. It is obsolete, as large as a M4 with stock extended(longer if you have a 16 inch barreled Thompson), but much heavier. Expensive and complex to produce, much smaller lighter, newer weapons give much more capability. The original Thompson is a collectable American classic, but new production ones leave much to be desired.

Back around 2002 I saved up and purchased a new Auto Ordnance Thompson. It was a real lemon. Constant malfunctions. I think I once managed to fire 5 shots in a row with out a jam. Both the front and rear sight fell off. When I sent it back to the factory they used over sized self tapping screws to try and hold the rear sight on the soft receiver. Those screws were so large that the rear sight couldn’t fold down properly. Yet the rear sight still stayed loose. It was a piece of junk that I sold at a loss.

Since then Kahr has purchased Auto Ordnance. The wood looks nicer on these rifles, they have a nicer charging handle, and the front sight is pinned on. I have seen several of these newer, slightly nicer, Thompsons at the range and they still tend to have reliability problems, rear sights falling off, and other issues.

Not to long ago, I was at the range sighting in a new AR upper I picked up, and the shooter to the left of me was shooting an Auto Ordnance Thompson. I don’t know when it was made, but it is one of the newer ones with the improvements that happened after Kahr bought them. I had casually mentioned that I had one in the past and had issues. Then while I was sighting in my scope I noticed this Thompson had issues also.

Not much later, the owner of this rifle had a showstopping malfunction, and got a Range Officer for help. That RO got another RO for help, who said to get me. First inspection the rifle showed it was jammed bolt partway open. Previously people tried to drive it back, and it would not move more, so I attempted to move it forwards. It did move, and then I was able to see that the extractor has popped out of its channel and jammed the whole gun up. Fortunatly I managed to get it out, and the weapon was cleared. I gave the owner of the Auto Ordnance Thompson the best advice I could, “Sell it to someone you don’t like.” Then I found out it was also piercing primers.
Auto Ordnance Thompson

Rumormill: FN to release a semi-auto M249 SAW?

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I saw this over on SoldierSystems.net. While I think it is cool that FN would do this, I really can’t imagine this being a big seller.

As a light machine gun, the SAW isn’t a bad gun. But as a semi-auto, it is going to be large, heavy, most likely expensive. Cleaning the SAW is annoying. I wont be getting one, but I hope anyone who does enjoys it.

The Assault on Vicksburg Part 1

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Vicksburg  had a population of 5,000. It set on a 200 foot bluff on the east bank of the Mississippi river  below , the river  jagged into a steep hairpin curve.   Between there and Memphis, TN the bluffs ran far inland and the land around the rive, if it could be called land, was swampy soggy and soft. The ground was often flooded and covered with water and was deemed impassable for an army. The Yazoo river blocked the land approach from the north and in every other direction the a hostile people populated the are. From 1862 the CSA  installed cannon  batteries below the town to command the river approach from the south  and later batteries were added above above the town.    If an invading force wanted to travel the river, they had to run a stretch of river while looking into the bores of the defenders batteries.

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Vicksburg was rightly seen as the most critical piece of the war.  Without Vicksburg and control of the river, federal troops would make no real progress in the war allowing the CSA the full run of their territory. Troops could be moved west to eat and back as well as supplies.  It was key to take Fortress Vicksburg to win the war.

After a brilliant and amazing campaign still studied to this day, General U.S. Grant and his army had closed within  shouting distance of the fortresses works.  With the clock ticking and troops being sent to relieve reinforce and Johnston presumably massing an army in Grant’s rear to relieve the now surrounded fort it was time to take by force the objective of months of  fighting, marching and maneuvering.

the morning of 19th of May, Grant decided to order a general assault.  After the long hard months of fighting, it was thought that with the sudden assault from all direction, the confederates’ will to stand and fight would fail under the pressure of the army that had cornered them after the long campaign.

On the right , Sherman was in command and was to learn that confederate soldiers had not and would not give up as easily as hoped.  Facing Sherman’s troops was a the Stockade Redan complex.  In the front of the complex was a revine  covered with fallen trees  as an obstacle.  The union troops charged into it during the assault and quickly found it had to keep organized. Once caught in the killing zone, the rebel troops poured merciless rifle and cannon fire into them. Men quickly took cover among the fallen trees and were pinned to the ground unable to  move as ball, canister and shell racked them.

Further to the right of the assault on the complex, the men of the 13th Infantry came out from behind a hill hiding them while they had formed up for the attack. Running double time rushed them head long into a beaten zone of rebel fire  of canister and shell fire.  As they attempted to rush forward men fell by the score,  arms torn off by canister while shot blasted ragged holes through chests. Cannon shell removed legs and flung screaming regulars in the air while other men fell dead instantly in a small mercy.   Those that made it across the ravine found themselves caught in a crossfire from the Stockade and men in a lunette on the left of the stockade.

“Color SGT James E Brown was shot through the head and killed. Another soldier instantly piked up the colors, and was immediately killed . In all. five different men were killed or wounded as the sought to carry the colors forward” 

The men closed to within 25 yards of the Redan, succumbed to the blister fire and pressure and fell back to the cover in the fallen trees and timber in the ravine.  After the first assault the 13th’s flag was found to have 55 holes shot through it with the battalion losing 13 percent of its strength. For its bravery  Sherman authorized the unit to insert “First at Vicksburg  into the colors.

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It soon became clear the assault in front of Sherman was not going to carry through the rebel works.  The General realized he could not withdraw his troops safely until after dark. The men began to fire by volley to keep the rebels on the parapet down. The rebels showing their usual cleverness took the shells from cannon and cut the fuse short and rolled the shells down the works into the ravine among the Federal troops shattering tree limbs and human limbs. The union troops sometimes catching them and tossing them back, more often the fuse ran out and  tore arms from the men.

As the day wore on into evening, the men’s steady firing had them soon running low on ammunition. Volunteers jumped up and ran and dashed between the fallen trees in the ravine to take ammunition from the dead, dodging ball and shot to fill pockets and hats with ammo to keep the firing up.

Orion P Howe, a 14 year old musician in the 55th Illinois, volunteered to go to the read and order up fresh supplies. While running thought the timber he caught a minnie ball in his leg. undaunted, he staggered on. At the point of exhaustion he reached General Sherman himself and reported the critical ammunition shortage. Sherman called for volunteers to lug heavy boxes of cartridges forward and every man of  the nearby  Company C, 12 th Iowa, stepped forward. Musician Howe was subsequently awarded the Medal Of Honor for his service on that bloody day”

With the ammunition the union troops held off until night and under the cover of darkness withdrew. The first attempted assault to take Vicksburg had been a failure  other than to gain a few advanced artillery and staging positions. But more was to come.

*quotes from Americans at War

DOUBLE TAP and FIGHTING IN STRUCTURES in Calera, Alabama

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Article by Mark Hatfield.

A little while back I repeated a course which was this time given by Rick Klopp representing Suarez International, the course was Fighting in Structures. It was my first class with him and I would attend one by him again. The presentation had changed from when I had taken it two or three years earlier under another of the S.I. instructors. With the special facilities of Double Tap the course could be done differently, we did less action than previously but more time on the ‘why’ of what we were going to do and then analyzing what we had actually done.

Double Tap is a privately owned and constructed facility which has an outdoor range designed for tactical training but the heart of the facility is the ‘shoot house’. The ‘shoot house’ is not a live fire facility but designed for use with Airsoft, Simunitions, or even paintball if desired. It is a complete multiroom, two story facility contained within a warehouse type building. There are movable interior walls designed such that the floor plan can be easily changed. There are closets, furniture, and a staircase to negotiate. The lighting can be completely controlled so if you want to simulate approaching the structure at night and room clearing by flashlight, this can be done at any time of the actual day or night. Further, the facility has its own camera and video system so most of the action can be captured then reviewed at the control room. This is a big plus for determining what may have gone wrong or right. There are even ‘catwalks’ for observers if desired.

Another ‘plus’ is the classroom and yet another are the ‘bunkhouses’. Quarters are simple, clean, and have microwave ovens and hot showers. There are both male and female sections. Bedding is provided. This is all in the same building as the shoot house making for great convenience and the cost per night to stay there is a huge savings over that of a hotel. If all students of an activity bunk on site then they can take breaks or use the facility at any time around the clock. This is a big advantage compared to having to stop at five or six in the evening then meeting up again in the morning.

I got to spend some time with the family who owns and operates the facility. They can assist with guidance on how to use the structure and can assist with video or leave you alone as you desire. They built this themselves and with no prior experience with such designs. They are due much credit for this creation.

Most people who are not military or police SWAT team members never get to train in facilities like this. Do it if you have the chance. I can strongly recommend this facility and the class. Note, the course attended, instructor, and the sponsor are independent of the Double Tap facility.

Is Your Red Dot Turning Into Sour Grapes?

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I used to have a Comp M4, but I could tell, even at 30, that my eyes were not what they used to be. The biggest and chief concern to me was the gradual smearing of the dot and seeing it lose some of its crispness as my eyes aged. I typically wear corrective lenses, but even that wasn’t able to fully mitigate some of the smearing.

The 2 MOA RDS was still very useable, but I didn’t like the idea that ten years from now my $800 dollar investment might not have the same value to me as a shooter that it once did. Along the way, I learned of some tips and alternatives to help any other shooters with poor eyesight still make use of RDS or similar 1x systems.

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Flipping up the irons is a good way to help increase the crispness of the dot. In this example, I used the large aperture for the picture just as an example, but in reality using the small peep is an effective way to reduce the smearing effect of your RDS and give it a resolution boost. Practically, I used this method to shoot at longer range targets at competitions when I needed a sharp dot and to reduce dot glare. This assisted me with 200-300-400 yard targets as it made the dot incredibly crisp.

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Sighting through your small peep is a band aid solution to a fuzzy reticle, and if your eyes are very bad, it may not increase the sharpness of the dot enough to help. Furthermore, it eliminated some utility of the RDS… but if you have to settle into your sights and concentrate on a distant shot the speed loss might not be so critical. Another alternative to a RDS is a simple prismatic optic.

Prismatics are like a 1x scope that’s fixed at, well 1x. I have had a chance to look through a Leupold Prismatic at the funshop, and have recommended it to others who have experienced a loss of RDS resolution. Since it doesn’t rely on a LED diode and a reflective lens, the prismatic should offer a solution to dot distortion and loss of resolution that can help keep your 1x game up for years to come.

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The disadvantages to these systems are, however, a smaller eyebox than traditional RDS and short battery life on the illuminated reticle. On the flip side, these optics will maintain their resolution and still offer the shooter a black etched reticle should the electronics ever fail.

My chosen route, for now, was to go with a variable to eliminate the concern of a fuzzy reticle and give me a more versatile shooting setup. I wouldn’t mind getting another RDS, but I would like to keep the cost on the lower end for something that may decrease in value for my shooting as my eyes age.

I hope this can help some of our older shooters looking for options on their defensive rifles!

CompTac Infidel Holster and Mag Pouch

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I am a huge fan of Comp-Tac gear. Over the years I have tried a a variety of holsters and such from many companies and have been impressed with a variety of products from some of them.  While some companies have made one thing great and other stuff crappy Comp-tac has impressed me with everything  I have tried.  Even some of the smaller companies making kydex gear can be hit or miss in my experience.  But I realized this past month, I have never been let down by the Comptac stuff.

I started out buying Comp-tac gear on my own and writing about it here before they contacted me and asked if I would T&E  stuff for them.  Right now my all time two favorite IWB holsters are made by Comp-tac.  When I got the newest bit of gear from Comptac a few weeks ago, I was really surprised with how fast I instantly fell in love with the holster in the box.

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The holster is the Infidel  IWB, and it is superb. It has become my every day use holster. The holster can gave the tension adjusted and can be attached to the belt, with  belt loops or clips, which is what I chose. The  nice slick holster slides down inside the pants and the clips snap over the belt fast and clean and easy.

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The infidel  really is so easy and slick to use, it reminds me of a pure competition holster meant for speed. Being able to adjust the tension and the nice open top you can get your gun in and out of easy  with out any work is something you don’t always get in a holster of this type believe it or not.  Since it is not as wide as some others.it can be worn with a greater degree of comfort. Some kydex holsters are great and easy to hide but do not always  set very comfortably inside the waste over long periods of time. Not so with the infidel.  Of course the extra bit of kydex protecting your side from the gun rubbing against you is something always great appreciated.  I have been using it non stop for a few weeks now and I love it.   The ease of taking it on and off with the clips is really a selling point to me as well.  If you do consider picking one up. I strongly suggest skipping the belt snap loops and get this option.

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The other thing I got with the holster is the mag pouch for  AR15/M16 mags,. Another top notch product. If you notice it is a scaled up version of the pistol pouch.

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Like the pistol pouch, it is adjustable for  tension to keep the mag in as secure or loose as you want. The clip slides over the belt and  closes over it securing it perfectly especially if you use the Comptac gun belt.  I love the Comptac leather reinforced gun belt so much, I wear it exclusively. The holsters and pouches work so well with the belt,you can clearly tell they were all meant to be used together with top performance in mind.  In fact I love the belt so much I have to be careful or I will get carried away talking about it here.

The pouch will obviously hold 30s as well as 20s and 10 rounders. I used it to run around and shoot with a 40 round Pmag and it held it perfectly. Like anything you do have to make sure your belt and pouch belt clips are the correct size to work together or you may have some wiggle.  For ease I always get the same size in everything so I never had to worry about it  as long as its not something meant just for MOLLE gear.

I have been using this AR mag pouch for a few weeks and it has been everything I hoped it would be.  I do not have the time with it that I have with the pistol mag pouch, but nothing has led me to think It will be a let down. In the coming weeks I will be comparing it to some other brands of kydex mag pouches for comfort, speed and use with a variety of mags so keep checking back for that.

The Infidel holster really is hard to describe just how nice it really is. its always a  tough to really explain holsters in my opinion, Everyone is different and no two bodies are the same. But I truly think this is one of the rare Kydex IWB holsters that would work great for just about everyone. Even being what it is, I have found it so fast and easy to get to, that it is hard for me to justify using anything else even my beloved KirkPatrick leather IWB holster that has traveled all of the country with me for years.  If you are looking for a great holster, really check this one out and give it some serious thought, I promise its unlikely you will be let down by it.

Lastly the video below is me shooting a drill while using the infidel holster.  I am no super fast shooter, But the holster allowed me a great fast, smooth draw that certainly aided me in the run.

The Art of Slinging Up: Using the USGI Web Sling to its Max Potential

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We all know about slinging up, but doing it right is always a question for those who are not well versed in its application or use. Let’s take a look at traditional sling positions, and then we can explore another method of slinging up which gives even greater stability to the tried and true USGI web sling.

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In this animation, Shawn demonstrates application of the sling and a quick demo of several shooting positions: Kneeling, Crossed leg Sitting, and Prone.

The proper steps to sling up are thus:

  • Cradle the rifle in the arm and detach the rear of sling from the rifle
  • Make a loop by pulling the sling through the middle of the slider buckle and put your arm through the loop
  • Slide the loop above the bicep, and tighten the loop
  • Unlock the keeper and pull the sling strap until you have removed the slack and close the keeper
  • Bring your hand to the forearm, coming from above the sling. It should wrap around the back of your hand as shown above
  • The sling should feel tight everywhere, if it feels loose… take up more sling slack and settle back into position

There is a clockwise twist to the sling that is done before you loop it over the arm. The strap should smoothly transition from your arm, over the back of the hand, and on to the swivel. If its twisted over somewhat, its not correct.

Once slung up, you will feel a constricting pressure above the bicep and your arm veins may bulge. You may feel your pulse in the bicep. These are signs of proper sling tension. Yup, it’s that tight. Properly applying the sling gives you a stable shooting platform for whatever reason you might need to steady the shot.

Slinging Up Ver 2.0

If we explore the sling further, we can make some changes to our setup that puts the sling in a much better position than with a stock A2. Moving a sling swivel down the forearm gives us two new advantages: 1) the sling swivel will act as a natural hand stop and 2) the angle of our arm increases to reduce sling slippage.

Sling Position

Sling Swivel Midway Down the Forearm

Now keep in mind that everyone’s arm length is different. What works for me might not work for you. About midway down the hand guard, I could mount the sling swivel to act as a hand stop which bends my elbow closer to 90 degrees. This 90 degree bend keeps the loop up on the arm and prevents slippage. If I were to put my hand at the sling swivel on the USGI A2 swivel… the angle would be great and the sling creeps down towards the elbow. That’s due to my arms being too short for the length of the stock sling swivel setup.

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Getting closer to that 90 degree angle and keeping my hand in place with a hand-stop locks me into the sling hard. What’s nice is with carbines, is that your stock sling swivel might be set up in a good spot to act as a hand stop and give you that 90 degree elbow bend… no changes necessary.

Modern Shooting Slings

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Since this photo, I have added a QD swivel midway down the forearm of the rifle

There are a few products which make things *even better*… More better you say? Yes I did. I use a Short Action Precision Positional sling, which is something I recently purchased. It is a modern shooting sling, and it has all the benefits of a traditional shooting sling, but it is both faster and easier to use. Setup like this, I can lock myself into the gun quickly, and get out of the sling quickly as well. There are a few other products out there as well, such as the Armageddon PRS, the TAB gear shooting sling and a few others, so do some research.

Adding and using a traditional or even a modern shooting sling to your equipment lineup is a great way to get more mileage from a sling than simply a means to carry the rifle.

-TheNewRifleman

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.308 M1Garand with training ammo

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Fox News 10 – Civil Rights Activist Experiences Shoot or Don’t Shoot Scenarios

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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.

A look Back, Guns and People Over The Years

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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.

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Testing of one of the early “bullet proof ” vests.

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US Special Forces vet helping Rhodesia fight off the communists.

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A picture of some very, very famous men who would greatly influence rifle development. Among these worthies are Harvey Donaldson and  John Unertl.

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NRA marksmanship badges.

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Famous barrel making genius, Harry Pope’s gun collection.

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Women practices running to her fighting position during the Rhodesian Bush war.

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US Green Beret adviser in South Vietnam in the very early years.

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S&W Heavy duty.

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Indig troop sets watch against the communists with his child in his lap.

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An advertisement for the old excellent Marble cleaning rod.

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ARVN troops learning how to use the M16 at the firing range.

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Back in the good old days, when gun stores had all manner of exotic foreign weapons.

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Dillinger’s weapons.

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All of the guns or a true genius and a gift to us all.

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The Block I SOPMOD kit. that was the start of a giant industry that continues.

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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.

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