All posts by Shawn

High Com Security Plates & Carrier

Regular readers of the website may have noticed a certain piece of gear popping up in pictures   for the most part of this year.  The multi cam plate carrier seen in most gun test reviews is a product of High Com Security.    HCS very kindly sent me the PC and the  rifle plates inside it, for  testing and evaluation.  I have had it since last winter and have been heavily using it over the past months. This review is the first part in what will be an ongoing longer term test and review. Since buying armor is not sexy and can be a considerable investment for most gun owners, I will be wearing and using the PC and armor heavily to report on how it stands up. I hope this will help decide for some of you who are on the fence about getting armor since I think everyone who can, should have it just as much as a gun for personal protection.

If you don’t know about HCS, I will post the blurb from their website to get you filled in since they can explain it better than I.

http://highcomsecurity.com/

At HighCom we design, develop, test, manufacturer, and distribute body armor and personal protective equipment including more than two dozen NIJ compliant hard and soft armor products.

We are in business for one simple reason to protect lives from bullets and bombs. For nearly two decades, HighCom has helped to save countless lives by supplying critical security products and personal protective equipment (PPE) to America’s federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies and military branches.

We stand behind our armor and are proud to say that our products are manufactured in the United States.  We are constantly striving to produce armor solutions that far exceed our customer’s expectations. We know lives depend on our commitment to excellence which is why we are constantly developing innovative armor solutions.”

001

  • Premium Cordura Nylon exterior materials
  • Shoulder inserts for comfort fit with spacer mesh lined padding
  • FASS: Fully adjustable four-point suspension system
  • 360 degrees MOLLE/PALS webbing
  • External wraparound 6” x 11” cummerbund platform
  • Velcro loop for identification placard
  • Sewn on mic tabs on shoulders
  • Front and rear plate pockets fit: 8 x 10, 10 x 12, SAPI S and SAPI
  • Reinforced drag handle buddy strap
  • DWR treated package for water resistance
  • Warranty: 2 year on exterior cover material and workmanship

The carrier that HighCom sent me  is the  Trooper APC is Multicam and it has been excellent. The first thing I did after getting it together, was to bend over and touch  toes, do some pushups, roll around on ground like and idiot and generally see if i had the full range of movement I would have with wearing anything. I did. This is the first PC  I have tried that I feel like  nothing about it hinders my movement.   Is it comfortable? Yes. As comfortable as any of these things can be. Nothing grinds against you or sticks juts into any body parts.  Sitting in a car is comfortable, laying prone is comfortable, climbing up ladders and through windows is no problem.  Yes, the plates were inside the carrier during all this.

The carrier itself is made well with good stitching. Usually some of the lesser quality stuff will have some of the sub par sewing to bust and come loose.  This has held up.,  I have sweated in it and its been soaked in rain and been in the sun for long hours and the material and colors have had no degrading.

The shoulder straps are the first  I have ever used that actually felt comfortable and I could stand. Usually they dig into me and I detest them but not these.  They have no imapct on shouldering a carbine/rifle for me   either.  The shoulder straps have a good range of adjustment to fit even the most hideous of mutant bodies.

img_6494

One thing I really like is the plates go into a different pocket than the soft armor. The soft armor goes in through the bottom. The plates insert through a nice tight sealing velcro seem pouch through the top of the carrier.  I really like this.   The cumber bun of the carrier is familiar to anyone who has ever used a PC. Adjustable in the read and velcroed in the front  for attaching under the front flap.  The side of the cumber-bun will accept soft armor and the side SAPI plates for protecting you from broadsides.

img_6497

Once I got the carrier fitted, I started adding a few things to it for use.  I like to avoid putting a lot of stuff on my PC. I like the option of using it almost bare and putting on a chest right or TAP over it if need be.  For this test, I added pouches right onto the PC to test out the strength of the stitching while I used it heavily this year.   In this case, I have a double mag shingle, three pistol mag pouches and a IFAK  that moves from it to a chest rig depending.

img_6552

Obviously you can, and most likely will, add more stuff for whatever requirements you may have.  Wearing the PC while shooting and moving around is easy and comfortable after a minute of two of getting used to the weight.

005

The plates ( front and rear) are the Guardian 4SAs7 model. This is a Level IV stand alone plate. You can use soft armor for a back up, (and certainly more is always better!) but this level is made to work on its own. You can also buy soft armor from HCS to add to your carrier in addition to the plates if you want it and can afford it.  For those who choose to pass on soft armor for whatever reasons , you can still have more peace of mind with stand alone plates. If there is any true peace of mind that comes with the thoughts of being shot anyways.

I prefer this cut of plate but they offer various styles and types.  This plate has the side angles at the top for better movement in the arms and shoulder and is curved for the body.

004

  • Protection: Level IV Stand Alone Armor Piercing
  • NIJ Standard 0101.04 (2005IR): This product has been certified compliant by NIJ
  • DEA: Hard Armor Protocol Compliant
  • RST:  Rifle Special Threats Validated
  • Material: Ceramic strike face composite backing
  • Exterior Cover: 1000D Cordura®, Textured Nylon, Polyester Veil, Polyurea
  • Thinness: 0.75”
  • Cut: The 10” x 12” shooters cut and multi-curve shooters cut plates are considered nominal and the actual measurement is 9.5” x 11.5”
  • Warranty: 5 years on all ballistic material excluding exterior cover and 1 year on exterior cover material and workmanship.
  • Disclaimer: Text shown on strike face is for marketing purposes only. The actual labels on HighCom products are NIJ approved self-adhesive labels.

003

The 4SAS7 plates are a really great deal. Getting stand alone plates at a reasonable deal is like finding some mythological beast.  It is hard to say what “enough” body armor  is.  Any sane person would want as much as possible, n0 matter the cost or weight but that is just not practical or feasible for most of us.  If your work place doesn’t give you armor and you have to buy it yourself, this is a great deal and a a level of protection that may go a long way towards making you feel safer while offering real, serious ballistic protection up to serious rifle rounds. Plates give a peace of mind you don’t have from  soft armor that will stop a pistol round,  stand alone hard armor  will stop most of the common threat rifle rounds. To me that is priceless.

The days of scum bags only using .25s and .38special snub noses revolvers are over.  If you have a gun , and master it and you are serious about your personal protection I can not imagine why you would not have armor if you could possible afford it.   I know it costs money, but it will be more useful to you than those 3 stripped lowers or that 3rd glock and 8 inch barreled .44mag wheelgun that sets in the safe. I know some one out there is thinking of how many Mosins they could buy  for the price of a PC and armor, but if you take your safety and this world seriously consider getting some armor of some type at some point. Every time I watch the news and see cities being burned and looted I am glad I have spent them on all the armor I have accumulated over the years.

img_6525

I you are looking for some armor to protect your body from being shot by who knows what, go check out HighCom Security.  You can find about anything you want armor wise and that can hook you  up with a carrier to put it in. If you don’t like their carrier options, the plates will still fit in any other brand and they  are great plates at a great price.   Youtube is lousy with destructive testing of the HCS plates if you want to see if the proof is in the pudding before you buy. We even have some HCS plates being shot on video here. You can find those videos using the search bar.   I know armor sits around most of the time and you could buy a gun with that money and all that, but it IS important if you really understand the world is a dangerous place and getting worse by the minute.  If you take your safety and responsibility seriously and don’t have body armor for yourself or a family member(s), now is a good time to start thinking about it.

The Inland MFG. Model 37 Trench Shotgun Review

 

 

I first spotted the Inland M37 shotgun when on the Inland facebook page around SHOT show earlier this year.  I was intrigued instantly.  So when I got to the NRA 2016  show, I made sure the Inland booth was one of the first places I stopped at.  I wanted to see that M37 in the worst way. I was not let down.  After just a few minutes of handling it, I asked for a T&E sample.  After a month or so, the demo gun showed up.

010

The “trench gun “and police “riot guns” have  taken off as collectibles over the decades.  The Winchester Model97 being an example that is really hard to find these days.  Finding original examples can be pretty tough.  The combat shotguns stayed in military service a long time.  From before WW1  to the Vietnam war all the way  until recently.  Some are well known like the M97 mentioned above , some are not as well known, like the Remington 7188 full auto shotgun.

The Ithaca M37 is an example that is well known by casual firearms historians as a police or riot model and sporting weapon of high quality.   The Ithaca as a military “trench gun” is likely not as well known by many. The action of the shotgun would look familiar to a lot of hunters out there.  Though the first thing you may think when seeing its action is the Mossberg 500, it and the 500 are really a simplified version of the most excellent Remington Model 31  shotgun. The M31 itself an evolution from the M17. The Model 17 designed by no less than John Browning himself.

The M31 is in my opinion  one of the smoothest pump action shotguns of its time.  Replaced by the cheaper to make and sell M870, the M31 action lived on in its ancestors.  If you are a fan of smooth as silk shotgun actions, tracking down a M31 is a must. I consider the new Model 37 to be as smooth as the M31and I don’t give that compliment out often. If ever.

The M37 has been one of those  martial  shotguns talked about, and sometimes seen in places like the American Rifleman and other places that reflect back on US service arms, but not really seen very often. Thanks to Inland MFG and Ithaca, we can now own one of the more rare trenchguns from US military history.

The Inland M37 Trench Shotgun all-American-made combat shotgun is faithful to the original from its bead sight, Parkerized finish, oiled stock, and ventilated hand guard to its hard-to-miss bayonet lug that fits the long 1917 bayonet.

The Inland M37 Trench shotgun is manufactured in a joint effort with the Ithaca Gun Company, Upper Sandusky, OH.  The original steps of shotgun manufacture that was originally used by Ithaca during WWII has been carefully duplicated utilizing modern technology and CNC machining which yields components that are precise and accurately reproduced.

The Inland M 37 is based on the original Ithaca Model 37 Trench Gun which was a variation of the Browning Model 17 and features the following”:

Gauge: .12 gauge / 3″ Chamber

Magazine capacity:4+1

Barrel length: 20″

Total length: 38.5″

Barrel Choke: Cylinder Choke .730

Action: Manual Pump, Bottom Load & Ejection

Weight: 6.7 lb

003

The new Model 37 combat shotgun is first class in my opinion. They really did it right.   After using it for several months I find it really hard to put it down.  Hundreds of rounds have went through the gun this summer without a problem. Birdshot, 00Buck, 4BK, slugs, you name it.  The solid walnut stock really helping make it bearable to shoot the stiffer loads.  Being use to tactical shotguns of modern times with their synthetic stocks, I dreaded testing.  It is still a 12, but wood stock goes a long way towards a healthy shoulder.

The Model 37 is a combat shotgun so testing was done with combat and police loads.  Target below  was fired with low recoil OO buck from 25 yards standing with no support. This was a bit of a warm up for the real test, to get a feel for possible recoil.  Much relief was felt by all at how the gun managed to tame recoil a bit.

006

007

Above is a target with 3 slugs fired from 50 yards.  No the gun did not fling them to the left.  After two test rounds, the shooter got a little flinchy on the trigger.   Shooting a 3″ magnum slug round from sitting is hard. Hard and painful. I sure  did not want to do it, and we only had 5 rounds anyway.  Even as much as the heavier solid wood stock helped, it can’t help that much.    With some one more willing to eat the recoil and hold steady ,the M37 would likely hold all 3 slugs in the head of the Q target at 50 yards.

With that done, we got serious about testing the shotgun for pattern at usual distances using a variety of shot and police buck loads.  The target below was one round of OO Buck at 25 yards.  The large hole is from the wad hitting the target.

img_6445

The next target shows a second  and third shot into the same zone.   Again, large holes are from wad hitting and punching through the cardboard.

img_6447

Target below shows hits from  4BK from 25 yards out. The 4BK was fired into the upper chest.  Bottom  circled group is from standard OO Buck round fired from 35 yards.   The “40 yards was written in error.

img_6459

The next target is  OO Buck from 50 yards out.  Two rounds were fired at the target  off hand standing. I know a lot of people, experts and average Joes have all kinds of things to say about what the best shotgun load is for whatever distance. Obviously it’s best to test the shotgun out with each load to determine what you want to use, in whatever situation, before generally deciding.  I think if I were a full convert to the tactical shotgun as a general purpose tool I would trust this one with OO buck to make a 50 yard shot if background was not a concern.  We do have video of me knocking down a steel popper plate from 60 yards with the OO buck round.  Once it is uploaded I will insert it into this post.

 

As promised here is the video of buck fired from 50 yards.  Camera  lens and angle makes it look much closer but it is indeed 50 yards

img_6472

img_6476

The short riot/trench shotgun is a pleasure to handle. It’s fast and easy to work with and the slick action is as fast as lightning.   The original M37s would indeed “slam fire”  but this one will not.  As I understand it, this was done at the request of Inland when having the guns put together for them by Ithaca prior to the converting to “trench gun.”  I know some will gripe about this, but let it go. It’s a fact of modern America that lawyers and sue happy anti-gun activists would salivate at trying to prove the gun defective in court.    For those who do not know,” slamfire” refers to the lack of a disconnector in the originals that lets the hammer fall as long as you hold the trigger back. Just like the M12 and M97 etc

The gun does have the infamous “barrel shroud”!  Not to be confused with the shoulder thing that goes up.   The  ventilated shroud functions as the bayonet lug and sling swivel as well.  It marginally protects the hands from being burned by a hot barrel.  It will work for a while, but heat will transfer after enough rounds.   I think no one  other than a liberal can deny it looks cool.  Sad to say I don’t  have a bayonet to mount  for your gratification. The front sling swivel is nice. Very  big and tough.  You can attach about anything you want to the front and rear. I originally mounted a USGI leather sling to the gun as seen in pictures, but went to the  M1 cotton sling for easier use.

The Model 37 ejects and feeds from the bottom.  Handy for both left and right handed users. It can take a bit to get used  to if you have only ever used the M87o or most other pump shotguns out there.  The gun kicks out the empties with enough force to send them about 20 yards if you turn the gun sideways while operating the action . So no worries about any fired case getting hung up.

Pictured above, I fired that gun while wearing a WW2 belt with M1911 , holster  and mag pouch with a Pacific Canvas& Leather  WW2 shotgun shell pouch I purchased only to be used with the M37  for the full experience.  The shotshell canvas pouch holds a dozen rounds in loops in two rows.

14656244_947800715347144_1370004595548515550_n

When the gun is empty, reach down and open the flap and strip rounds out of the loops to load into the gun.

img_6480

I have  seen some old timers turn the gun upside down and tuck it under the firing arm while loading to maintain solid control over the weapon while moving.  So I tried it out.  Please no comments about how Chris Costa says to load a shotgun. I am aware.  Process and gear used for nostalgia purposes only.

img_6481

When loaded, got back to making it empty again.

img_6441

img_6467

Inland MFG has really been on a role the last few years.  The M1 Carbine I tested earlier this year was a faithful reproduction that was beautifully done. The M1911A1 made by the same company equally impressed me, and you know how hard it is for a company to impress me with a 1911 if their name isn’t colt.  The Model 37 is another hit with me.  Inland has turned into one of mt favorite gun companies in recent times.  All of us have seen a rise in demand for “retro” guns in the last ten years and while several companies make Ar15 retro models, few have offered quality reproductions of the weapons commonly used in WW2 and after leading to the AR15.

13615416_882391041888112_8719717654945470529_n

Inland has gone a long way to meet that market of retro and nostalgia.  Now that easy M1s from the CMP are about to be gone and the M1 carbines being  long gone, prices  for originals are continuing to sky rocket. Repro guns are a great choice for those who want one of the old firearms but can’t afford or can’t find and original. Or just to have one to use hard without hurting the value.

Hopefully  Inland will keep expanding its line and one day we can buy a M1903A3 or A4  new production.  I would like to see  Inland produce a faithful M1911 to join the M1911A1 already in production.

14666235_10210952769074488_8699811295573029649_n

Two M231 Port Firing Weapons Or How Bad Can You Want Something Complete?

About 10 years ago the ARFCOM  retro forum had not become the price driving monster it would end up.  During that time it was still still possible to find some pretty rare parts on ebay and various places.  Some of those parts could be made into a full weapon minus the lower of course.  That is the goal for most of the retro builders. Ideally they want all original parts they can get to finish the gun. A lot of people manage to piece together a gun by finding all the correct parts. Obviously I am leaving out the full auto lower, but when I say all, I mean everything but that lower and whatever other parts that would risk crossing the absurd rules.

What really sticks in the craw for a lot of people, is getting 90% there. Ewww that has to burn!   You get something super rare and cool and you just can not wait to post pics of it all over place at the gun prom!  But. You just can’t. Get. It. All!    So what do you do?  Give up?  Sell it all off to some other guy who still has a hope of  finishing it up?

Nope. You go online and find some one who knows a guy who knows a guy and just have the parts you need made from scratch of course!.

oijoijSo now we come down to the “rest of the story”.    The two guns shown are of course Colt M2231 post firing weapons.  An oddball from a period of time where the military wanted to  have something to fire from the side holes of a Bradley.  You can look up the details yourself but it basically a M16  simplified down and with a really high cyclic rate meant to be used from the Bradley.  There are a few variants of it but one in particular more or less stands as the standard model as far as looks and recognition goes.   A guy who ended up becoming a dear friend came on the retro forum one day after ending up with a hand full of M231 parts from some auction and wanted to finish it up as it was not something being done at the time. He was really stuck on a couple of parts that seemed to be impossible to find and was out of options or ideas.    I happened to wonder into that thread and after seeing the  almost finished weapon, really got hot to see it completed.

I contacted my friend who is a skilled machinist about the possibility of making that part for  the arfcommer.   After some emails and back and forth the project was on its way.

The major hold up for the arfcom retro guy was the gas block  that was also that part that hooked into the vehicle.  No one could find measurements or  even a picture to show it from all angles and sides.  Some found some specs some where and I sent it on to my machinist friend.   Just using pictures found online that no one took for the purposed of making a copy of it and eye balling it, my friend came up with a plan.  Below is a picture of a real one and the fake one made up by my friend, who has made an appearance on this website a few times over the years.

sdfsdfEveryone has heard of the 10 foot rule or some version of it.   Well most will agree that if you have never handled a M231 yourself and even if you did you likely never cared, this copy would most likely pass the 10 inch  test for anyone other than people very , very familiar with it

You can see the places where the fake , faked it.   Mostly this is a result of making a copy from pictures.

m231a

In this case, the length of the barrel gives it away. The real M231 upper has a slightly shorter barrel. The longer 16 inch barrel is used as the variant with stock, makes for a legal carbine. Real M231 upper with shorter than 16 inch barrel is a “Pistol” so as not to have to get into NFA laws.

The machining to make that gas block took a few months and trial and error.  Some experimenting had to be done with the gas system and gas tube.  A gas tube had to be cut down by the machinist and a one of a kind gas system made.  We tested fired it one night  and it was feeling of real accomplishment.

oipoipoipoi

The gas block above is pictured in the white.  The machine shop my friend worked at did not have an ability to park’ it and the owner received and and sent it off to be finished in the appropriate shade  for retro looks.

it was a lot of effort to pull this off. I did not mention that I and my friend live in Ky and the owner close to the other end of the country so much phone calls and emails , shipping and a lot of effort by guys on Arfcom retro forum went into getting this thing together. It tunred out pretty good I have to say.

Of course it was all kind of a waste because a month or two after it was all completely a real completely M231 came up for auction on gun broker and the owner of the M231 bought the complete upper.  If he had only waited !    It was all worth it regardless. things were learned, some one worked on something at work he was not supposed to. life long friends were made and some esoteric M16  retro parts skyrocketed on ebay ever after. Good times had by all.

Bellow I am posting some more picture of the oddities M231 parts. Most are the major parts that are a hang up for any one pondering putting one together.  At the time, I recall some other machinist was making copies of some of these parts.

Long Term, Hard Use FootWear

Today we have a guest post from sporadic contributor and quasi-Looserounds member  “CJ”, about his favorite topic. 

 

Prepping – Some thoughts… A lot of gun enthusiasts seem to justify their hobby as some sort of preparation for armageddon. Sure, when the aliens invade I won’t deny the usefulness of an arsenal. But let’s not deny the usefulness of other items. Food storage is commonly thought of. Less commonly thought of is footwear. Unlike other looserounds contributors, I didn’t grow up around firearms. My parents’ household to this day is a “gun free zone,” complete with the usual objections to self defense. But I did grow up hiking, camping, and backpacking. I may have as many years of experience being serious about footwear as Shawn has being serious about the 1911.
Footwear cannot be neglected. Anyone who is a fan of the Walking Dead (I’m assuming the majority of Looserounds’ readership) should realize how much walking people are forced to do in a zombie attack. In our normal daily lives we take these things for granted. In an apocalyptic scenario, we may need to walk long distances regularly and we will need to avoid injuries (sprains/blisters/etc) while doing so. Our feet, like a good 1911, should be something we can rely on. I want to share some of my thoughts and experiences in this area and will limit the discussion today to boots.
First, let’s realize that we aren’t going to become like the Confederate soldiers who marched long distances barefoot overnight. If you’re the type of person who has managed to build up a quarter inch of leathery callous on your feet, you’re probably already barefoot and you probably don’t have internet access and probably aren’t reading this. Two of the three people who have done this are somewhere in the Amazon rainforest and the other guy is a Kenyan persistence hunter. That just simply isn’t realistic right now for us today. We need footwear that won’t fail us today, but more importantly won’t fail us tomorrow when we might not be able to buy new shoes.
14458871_10157445351235142_322924400_n
The first pair of shoes/boots I want to introduce is the Salomon Quest 4D GTX. Let me first say that these are the most comfortable boots I’ve ever worn, right out of the box. They require zero “break in.” I recommend them for daily wear, but they will not last and you should not count on them as a long term solution. The boots pictured here have about a year’s worth of wear, there is a hole in the sole, and they’ve been glued back together twice. Next, I want to introduce their polar opposite.
14459702_10157445351505142_2108586881_n
The Raichle Montagna. In this picture there are 3 pairs. Two of them are new and the one on the right has 3 times as much wear as the Solomon boots above. They really are indestructable. But they’re heavy, hard to break-in, and very hard to find today. This is closer to what I’m talking about. You may not like them at first, but long after the Salomons are gone they’ll still be fine. This matters if civilization ends tomorrow. In fact, I’ve stockpiled these for just such an event. Some minor discomfort caused by their admittedly heavy weight is not going to injure you, and provided you have a pair that is broken in, the benefits are very clear. And if they aren’t broken in, soak them in baseball glove conditioner and just wear them every other day until they mold to your foot. Alternate with something else to avoid injury. They’re priceless.
Similar boots have also been made by Lowa, Scarpa, and Vasque. In fact, the Vasque Montana is almost a direct copy. Vasque is a great company that made my first pair of hiking boots (the Sundowner II). I wore these on roughly 30 serious backpacking trips over approximately 10 years and about half the time during the week to work/school. I still have them somewhere. Today I wear a pair of Vasque St Elias boots (hown in the 3rd picture) every day. These have the same wear as the Solomons above, but they’re still in great shape. They’re a good compromise between comfort and ruggedness. I would also trust them over the long run (pun intended). Shawn tends to favor Merrell boots, and I’ve tried them as well, but I put them in the same category as Salomon. They’re certainly comfortable and that is valuable. But this comes at a cost–light/flexible construction. I personally don’t trust them for anything other than work. Without a decent pair of boots, you need to realize that you will quickly be reduced to trying to cut sandals from used tires.
14429351_10157445351710142_2010364422_n

 

 

The Listening / Security Halt

The following is repost from Hognose at weaponsman.com.  Weaponsman is an excellent weapon related website that is a friend to this website and also a favorite internet stop.

 

The most annoying person in the world is the write-only device. You know that guy: he never shuts up, yammering on and on, and never stopping to listen, only to take a breath. As you might expect, that habit which makes everyone want to kill him in a peacetime classroom or office, makes it easy for the enemy to literally kill him in combat.

There is much to be said about stealth and silence. The first thing that we will say is this: truly silent motion across terrain is not possible. It is an ideal for which you must strive, but even Mark Twain recognized it as nothing but a literary convention, when he was beating the defenseless James Fenimore Cooper senseless in a battle of wits:

Another stage-property that he pulled out of his box pretty frequently was the broken twig. He prized his broken twig above all the rest of his effects, and worked it the hardest. It is a restful chapter in any book of his when somebody doesn’t step on a dry twig and alarm all the reds and whites for two hundred yards around. Every time a Cooper person is in peril, and absolute silence is worth four dollars a minute, he is sure to step on a dry twig. There may be a hundred other handier things to step on, but that wouldn’t satisfy Cooper. Cooper requires him to turn out and find a dry twig; and if he can’t do it, go and borrow one. In fact, the Leatherstocking Series ought to have been called the Broken Twig Series.

It was always a Cooper white man who broke the twig, because Indians were born to patient stealth, at least in his universe. (Cooper, one must remember, was no frontiersman, but a cashiered Naval Academy midshipman). The Indian, in fact, was no more capable of silent movement than a ninja, an SF soldier, or you.

It was a crushing disappointment to learn that we would not, in SFQC, learn the Indian ninja art of silent walking on dry oak leaves. Instead, however, we learned something more practically useful: how to be quieter than the other guy, and as quiet as we needed to be.

If silent movement is not possible — and it isn’t, if your enemy can’t hear you, his dogs, with their superhuman hearing, can — then moving stealthily at night requires several things:

  1. Masking local noise with background noise;
  2. Altering the kinds of noise to attenuate sound travel; and,
  3. Periodic listening halts.

Not hard enough? Try it in MOPP.

The first two are fairly obvious: you can move much more rapidly without giving yourself away when a train is passing by, and high-pitched sounds travel poorly. (You do need to bear in mind that sound travels differently in different atmospheric conditions). The most complicated of those three principles of night movement to apply is the periodic listening halt.

Immediately after inserting, assembly, or crossing a danger area (of which more in some subsequent article), the patrol or team must conduct an initial listening security halt. While the details of the halt may vary, something like this works:

  1. Freeze in place.
  2. Remain there for five full minutes. 
  3. Maintain 360º security.
  4. Actively listen the whole time.
  5. After five minutes, make a decision: move, or continue listening?

Why five minutes? You can change that time if you like, but it’s a good minimum because it’s quite a long time to be frozen in one place. Even a patient enemy, who stops when you do, will move and give his existence and position away before five minutes is up.

Active listening? That means concentrating on listening. You’re not only listening for the enemy, but also to develop a mental picture of what normal night sounds in your location are like. What are they like immediately when you stop? If you have been halted for a time, are there animal noises that come back (and that presumably stopped while you were moving)? Knowing this gives you an edge in the woods, compared to someone who doesn’t.

After the initial halt, the element leader must have a way to silently signal the element to begin moving again. If there is sufficient illumination, hand and arm signals may be effective; if not, touch signals should be used. Only in the most extreme case should a command be verbalized, and then, it should be whispered (remember, a higher-pitched whisper will travel much more poorly than a normal-pitched vocalized word — which is a good thing in a night full of hostiles).

It goes without saying that all these modes of command and control, and the listening security halts themselves, must be practiced in controlled conditions in garrison before attempting them in the face of an armed enemy. Night combat patrol operations are at the far end of a long crawl-walk-run pipeline; they’re the Boston Marathon of crawl-walk-run.

Animal and bird sounds make both effective stealth command and control means, and also excellent “cover” if you inadvertently make a sound in the possible presence of the enemy. Do a Leatherstocking and break a twig, or snap back a branch? The risk of exposure may be mitigated, if you can fake the snort of a deer or porcine species native to the area.

Once the element is on the move, further listening security halts should be executed at relatively short but variable periods. You can set these by distance or by time; it’s also helpful to be cognizant of terrain. If you have just passed through some stuff that was impossible to be truly quiet in, like dense mountain laurel or the dry leaves of an oak forest in winter, a listening security halt on the far side should be able to reassure you about the prospect of being tracked or tailed. As in all patrol technique, principles are iron but the means of serving those principles are best mixed up so as not to simplify the enemy’s counterpatrol planning.

Don’t be the foot-shufflin’, twig-snappin’, noise-makin’ equivalent of the yammering guy in the first paragraph. On patrol, the silent man comes home; the guy who loves the sound of his own noise dies from it.

About Hognose

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

 

 

 

New 2016 Colt Delta Elite 10mm Part 2 : Accuracy Test

Last time we took a look at the new Delta Elite 10mm pistol from Colt, we saw the refinements on the new Delta, compared to the classic Delta Elite from the 1980s. In my opinion , it is a very fine pistol.  It has all of the “custom production” enhancements I want in a modern M1911, that I intend to carry and use as opposed to set in a safe.

With the new Delta being  obviously configured for carry and hunting in mind, I used a variety of ammo choices in this go around.   I chose some modern carry /defense loads along with ball practice/training ammo.  There are still some brands and types of 10mm ammo out there I have not gotten my hands on yet and when I do I will add to this review or update.    One thing I kept in mind this time, is the cost of the  10mm ammo and how likely the average buyer could find them in the local gun store.   My thinking is to mix in ammo the new buyer, who is not a dedicated 10mm lover, would likely see in the same store the gun was being sold.   I did mix in carry and high performance ammo that would also be encountered in a store, compared to some of the more expensive high end ammo from places like Double Tap.  Lastly, I did not ignore the reality that money is tight for most people these days and most 10mm shooting is likely to be done with ball training ammo.  As I said above, a future post with high performance 10mm ammo will be upcoming.

The groups shown are an average of all rounds fired from each ammo type.  I fired from a bench rest with sand bags, with ranges marked on the target.  Shooting was slow fire with most groups taking at least 5 minutes to complete, to give the ammo every bit of concentration and effort I had.  I did fire off hand in a few instances to take a better look at how the gun and ammo combination would do in a self defense situation.  The third part of this review will be shooting the Delta at longer ranges of 75, 100 and possibly 200 yards, to illustrate how the 10mm round really benefits from its higher velocity and power.

008

First, I want to talk about the big surprise for me. The Armscor ammo was a brand I have had little experience with.  The gun loved this ammo.  I have not verified its velocity or any specs on it other than bullet weight, but it was noticeably hotter than the other generic FMJ plinking and training ammo.  As far as I am concerned, for now, if I want ball ammo for the Delta or for any thing, this is what I will be using, until I find some other ball ammo that shoots better.

007

The PPU 180 grain hollow point was not so great and felt like a medium power load. Of course the dual spring system can be throwing off my judgement on account of it working so well to tame the 10mm recoil.   This group is normal for PPU ammo in my experience.  I have tried PPU match and have not seen it live up to any of its marketing claims. It is nice plinking ammo though and it has the benefit of being easy to find locally.

006

The Federal Trophy Bonded soft point is another round I have little experience with.  It shot great and would be a good choice for hunting if you are a believer in the bonded bullets from Federal. It could also serve double duty for self defense. I also fired a Federal Hydo Shock round, that shot about the same but I confess to losing the target it was shot on before I could take a picture.

005

The Winchester 175 grain Silver Tip hollow point. This is an old favorite of mine from back when the 10mm was  in its early days in the 80s.  A very good round and highly thought of at the time. It is still the first pick among a lot of people for CCW.   I  have had these rounds for a long time but a quick check at Midway showed me this round is still being made and sold.  It has always shot very well for me and was perfectly reliable in all three (3) of the Delta Elites I  have owned.  The Silver Tip is pretty well regarded by a lot of people including myself and if I was not a convert on the use of solid copper hollow points, this would be a load I would stock up on for daily carry.   Apologies for the blurred picture.

004

The Hornady Critical Duty with the flex tip shot outstanding, as the group above shows. I used this load as the “match load” standard, for accuracy and  for the rest of the tests for longer range groups.  Reports and testing show the round to be very effective on ballistic gel. Friends who have more experience with it, tell me it is superb.  Until I settle on a solid copper HP load for this gun , this is the load I have been using as a place holder in the gun for CCW.

003

The S&B  ball ammo seemed to always shoot 3 rounds tight and then toss the last 2.  It feels like a mid powered plinking round. Which it is. Good for training and plinking. Its not too expensive but nothing special.  I saw this ammo have problems in a Kimber 10mm and even a glock. If you want some ammo to plink with I would say it is ok,  but understand what you are getting.

002

Another offering from Hornady is the XTP round.  A good solid round that shots great. I would have been shocked if it didn’t.

009

This is a group fired off hand with the Fed American Eagle ball ammo.  I fired it off hand  as I had already put up the bags and my set up.  I happened upon just a few rounds of this ammo. I fired it offhand and it did about what I expected from it. It is always reliable and decent training quality ammo.

001

Now we get to trying the ammo in a method more in line with real world self defense.  This group is fired at 25 yards, off hand.  I did  shoot it at a slow methodical pace, to get the best out of itself and myself as I could.  I fired eight (8)  rounds of the Critical Duty ammo using the center of the large orange sticker as my aiming point.  I think  you can’t really ask for much more out of it.  The group would easily fit inside a target the size of a human face or inside something the size of a human heart.  This target group is one of the reasons this ammo is what I am currently using as the CCW ammo for the Delta.

011

For fun I took the gun out to 50 yards using the Hornady ammo.  I fired this group from the bags and bench.  I have to say I was pretty pleased with myself on this one! Too bad I couldn’t shoot that same level off hand at a bulls eye match.  This target shows you that the 10mm is fully capable of an easy hit on a man sized target at 100 yards, which we will be doing in part 3 of the review.

010

Of course with the group from the bags being as good as it was, I had to try it off hand at 50.  I fired ten (10) rounds off hand (though two handed) and got most of them on the target.  For my excuse, I am going to admit that buy this time I was getting pretty tired.  Shooting a 10mm for hours is harder work than  you may think.  It doesn’t have the nice soft push of a 45 ACP or childish slap of a 9mm. It starts to wear on you.  I am confident I could have done better if I started this fresh.

013

The new generation Delta Elite is proving itself to be everything I hoped it would be. It has already over taken the place in my heart the  older original version occupied.   After a little over 1,500 rounds so far, it has had no problems and has all the extra touches I want.  It has been my daily carry since I received it and it will be with me come hunting season.

In part 3 of the T&E of the new Delta, we will be shooting it out to as far as I can possible make a hit with it, to take advantage of the powerful 10mm round. We will be adding in some drills and training to get a handle on what a new 10mm user may have to get used to, if they are interested in moving up to a new level in power, by letting some one who has never fired a 10mm do some drills with it.  Check back in the next few weeks to see that and more.

 

 

Rare Civilian Legal Colt XM148

Below are some pictures sent to me by good friend to the website, Trey Moore, owner of MooreMilitaria.  He is selling something that is rarely seen on the market.  The ultra rare Xm148 made by Colt.

This is the Vietnam war era grenade launcher that mounts to the barrel of the M16 family of weapons.  It has the X designation because it was never made standard. The M203 was the grenade launcher that was adopted by the military for use with the M16 series  and is still in use today.   Trey tells me there only about 6 of them on the registry.

If you have the money and want this one you can find it at http://www.mooremilitaria.com. You can get to it by clicking on the banner link on the right.   It is certainly a once in a life time chance.   For the rest of us, enjoy the detailed pictures of the system.