Thursday, August 13, 2015

Max Velocity Talks Normalacy Bias and Load Out's

Posts that directly inspired this:

To Chest Rig or Not? This is a well thought out post that has, itself, little I disagree with. However the comments coming from it have brought some strong opinions and interesting discussion.

John Mosby talks Normalcy Bias

Max Velocity talks Normalcy Bias

Max Velocity talks Two Tactical Worlds

First I want to address the mindset issues here. The reason for this is mindset is more important than stuff. Also that mindset drives stuff, not the other way around!

John Mosby's points that you need to 1) Accept that “normal” is no longer “normal.” This requires more than simply telling yourself. It requires internalizing it as reality and truth. It’s great for patriotic, conservative, Americans to long for yesteryear, and the greatness of the Pax Americana. It’s also completely fucking delusional. America is only a superpower now, among nation-state actors. The transnational terrorist groups do not recognize American sovereignty and superiority. If they did, they would never have started fighting, or would have yielded by now. A wall along the Mexican border is great…except we already know there are more tunnels than an goddamned ant farm, traversing the border. So, sure, let’s drop several billion dollars building a wall that won’t be any more useful than the locks on your car door are (remember, as my grandfather told me when I was a kid, “car locks only keep honest people honest.”). Illegal aliens are going to continue crossing the border, and there’s not a damned thing you can do about it, outside of genocide, or the total collapse of our economy. 2) Recognize what the “new normal” implies for you and yours. This may range from reduced police presence in your neighborhood or community, especially for dealing with property crimes and other “minor” issues. Think about what happened in NYC last year after two officers were assassinated, sitting in their cruiser. If you live in a really shitty neighborhood, where people are as likely to assault cops as help them, you should—justifiably–expect the same thing. As my wife pointed out yesterday, when she heard that people were “acting out” in Ferguson, on the anniversary of the Wilson-Brown shooting, “if I was a cop, I wouldn’t even respond to calls in their neighborhood. Fuck them. If they hate me, why help them?”

Ryan here: 
I think it is worth noting the situation at an individual level is very localized. I'm talking tank of gas and maybe the nearby big town you go to quarterly for doctors appointments, to the airport, etc. While national trends and events are symptomatic of a larger issue they are mostly just noise. Case in point I could give a rip about Detroit turning into Tijuana or Ferguson because I am nowhere near them. However there are some trends that are truly nation wide like say certain groups being given special snowflake status which further emboldens bad behavior and individuals of non special snowflake status almost certainly getting the book thrown at them for legitimate self defense. Also that, while crime rates may not be that high on the large average predominantly urban problems slipping out to the burbs, small towns and rural areas.

Max (Actually some guy named DIZ on the MVT forum) describes the 'new normal of today' and 
'what may reasonable come in the near future' as  conventional crime and unconventional crime. 

I think this is an OK way of putting it though a bit binary. Reality is a lot more of a continuum of potential outcomes ranging from rising crime and a bad economy (we are very arguably there now) on one end through some sort of unrest and a full on economic collapse through civil war and eventually passing the historically likely to say an EMP and then ending with a strait up nuclear war.

Also I feel strongly that we should put more energy into preparing for the statistically much more likely events than less likely ones. You are way more likely to get in a fist fight that may go to concealed handguns than do battle drill 1A for real out in the woods with your buddies. It is important to prepare for the less likely contingencies but you need to survive today to get to that potential dark future. I think a big part of preparedness is preparing for various scenarios we might face now in order to minimize their impact on us if/ when those events happen. Tactical Tommy might be preparing for a car jacking or an active shooter situation as his worse case scenario. However Survivalist Sam is training for that and to do battle drills with his buddies.

I think that sufficiently covers my opinion on the mindset piece.

Now onto gear.

It seems logical to me that we would first decide on how many mags to carry and then on the best way to carry them. Of course not all defensive carbine related scenarios are created equal. Here is my take on some realistic scenarios. Lets presume a pretty standard 30rd magazine. Just my opinion.

Home defense: 1-2 reloads. Even in the wildest and least likely scenario of 3-4 Goblins all off whom have guns this is still PLENTY of ammo. At in house ranges no way I am shooting off that much ammo without stopping the bad guys or getting stopped by the bad guys.

Active Shooter: 3-4 reloads. Lets say Mumbai or crom forbid Beslan type with multiple shooters armed with rifles. Honestly this is more from an LEO type perspective because Ryan is going to GTFO of one off these situations and won't need that much ammo. However an LEO might get in a relatively prolonged fight and or potentially use some fire and maneuver techniques.

Some sort of riot or localized civil unrest such as say Hurricane Katrina for the most part falls into this range also. That being said I see long guns as having a narrow role here. If I was moving around it would almost certainly be armed with a concealed pistol and maybe a rifle handy. I find it unlikely that I would be moving around with a rifle because well it would cause attention and potentially get me arrested.

Lets say I was say helping a friend guard their pawn shop LA Riots or Hurricane Katrina style. I would be quite comfortable with having about this much ammo on my body. Sure there is some violence in this type of scenarios and gun fire people are not, to the best of my personal knowledge, getting in tons of crazy gun fights. Since the only place I would really be wielding a rifle would be a fixed location a few mags in a bag or something would be available for resupply.

Full on fighting load. Like for a war or some sort of Mad Max ish scenario: 6+ reloads. We could quibble about exact numbers but they would be situational/ mission dependent. For reference I think my battle belt is set up for 10. My pistol belt with Costa Leg Rig and chest rig holds 9 or 10.

Now to how to carry this ammo.

The fluidity of events combined with the benefits of keeping things the same as much as we can in our setups heavily favors some sort of tiered system.

For the home defense setup if a person decided on one reload they could legitimately have it on the gun, like a ready mag or a buttstock pouch. More than that and you need some sort of gear. It could be a pair of pants with some pouches on a belt, a chest rig, a battle belt or a PC set up with your stuff on it. [As a tangent I generally disfavor this method except at the real bottom end. If you are going to have 2-3 reloads, maybe a med kit and a knife AND plan to use a PC I'd just put the stuff on the PC. This really tops out at the 'active shooter' ammo count.]

After a lot of consideration I went with a pistol belt an Costa Leg Rig.
 From left to right Costa Leg Rig with 2x rifle reloads, 1x pistol reload, flashlight, TK4 Tourniquet and Compressed Gauze. Safariland holster with ghetto rigged leg strap and kabar knife. Not shown Glock 19 with Streamlight TLR-1.
 As worn with the front to the bottom. Costa Leg rig on one side, knife and holster on the other.
Leg rig up close. Yes that is tape holding it in place.

To do:

There are some non padded belts that have inner loops which would be great for this. Might upgrade from this decade old TT belt at some point.

Get a pair of light suspenders. For prolonged use my lack of behind or hips tend to make it move towards the ground.

Get a small admin pouch that could hold a few items like a compass and a lighter. Maybe a NOD pouch too.

Active shooter setup: I don't really have a great plan for this. It would be my pistol belt plus a way to carry a bit more ammo and maybe an admin pouch. Guess either I would add a couple mag pouches on the front of a PC or use one of those minimalist chest rigs that are all the rage. Or slap a mag on the butt stock of my rifle/ put one in a pocket and call it good.

Full on Fighting Load: Pistol belt plus chest rig. The chest rig isn't totally set up but I'll get there. Honestly I need to think this out a bit. I have a chest rig and a variety of pouches so I probably have a 75% solution in the garage.

The modularity of this setup is handy. I could remove the chest rig, say when doing work, around camp, etc but keep the pistol belt and have a pretty decent bit of capability.

I am not ditching the battle belt as it has a place but I think this setup is forming into my go to. 



The Displaced Louisiana Guy said...

Ryan- for the pistol belt setup: have you ever concidered a LEO duty belt setup? I'm not talking a leather, basket weave pattern type that screams LEO, I'm talking a nylon/ synthetic type. Bianchi makes a good one, for short money. They are lined with velcro loop, and you get an inner belt, that the outside is covered in velcro hook. The inner belt goes through your beltloops, and the duty belt velcro to it, and buckles in the front. You buy some keepers to give the extra support to make sure the outside belt doesn't slide around in vigorous activity, and you are set. It's a great setup, because you can divest yourself of the outer belt easily to take a breather, then put it back on quickly and easily when needed. You can get the whole setup for less than $100.

After using them for several years, I would definately recommend for a battle belt.

Theother Ryan said...

Displaced Louisiana Guy, I'll think on that.

riverrider said...

frankly i think we all carry too much crap. we have been led to believe we "need" all this stuff and gobs of ammo but unless we're fighting chinese invasion(not likely)its a waste. w/out air, arty, crew served and dust off how many rounds do you expect to get off before the magic bb finds you? tourniquet? okay you stop the bleed, now what? ems? not likely, and if by some miracle they are still open AND have doctors and drugs, how long b4 the enemy comes looking for you there? i think by the time we're going full battle rattle it'll be 1860 all over. take a hit, amputate or die, mostly die. i figure alone i'm at best a mag or two from the latter. no need to hump so much gear, only to die tired. maybe a light load lets me be a step faster than the magic bb. just my 3 cents.

Theother Ryan said...

RR, Interesting perspective.

Ironically I look at the lack of force multipliers in an entirely different way than you. I would say a force with all the modern amenities (Air, arty, armor, mortars, machine guns, grenade launchers, etc) can diminish the role of the riflemen and let soldiers rely too much on stuff. A modern SOF type doing raids, probably by helo, has tons of support. They have attack aviation, QRF on standby and emergency resupply on command.

On the other hand guys far behind enemy lines with zero support needed to carry a lot of ammo. Awhile back I saw a lay out of some Vietnam era MAC V SOG guy. He carried 20x 20 round rifle magazines.

We can certainly discuss weight as it pertains to different situations but in a scenario where I/ We are on our own without any force multipliers or a robust resupply network I will go long on ammo.

As to medical gear in my setup. I specifically have the TQ and gauze because this is the setup that sits by my bed. If I get in a fight and am injured or much worse a family member is injured controlling bleeding in a hurry is the best way to live.

As to medical care in some sort of a major collapse where we are fighting foreign military or roving gangs of mutant zombie cannibals. I agree almost civil war era medical care is a plausible and ugly picture.

Still my general belief is that we have to deal with one problem at a time. If we win the fight we perform self aid and treat casualties. After we treat casualties we need to get the evacuated. After we get them evacuated we need to get them to the best medical care we can. Worry about the first few hours then the day. After the day we worry about the next day, etc.

Fidel said...

I have an old (canvas) GI fanny pack with a half-dozen loaded magazines, a flashlight, a power bar and a bottle of weapons lube (Mobil Jet 254), an IFAK on one side outside, and a 1 qt canteen with carrier on the other side, all carried with a shoulder strap. This is kept next to my go-to carbine, and if I need anything else, I will be well and totally screwed.

Of course I normally have a handgun and two spare mags on my person

jh said...

Thoughts? Well, Max is getting a lot of mileage out of a picture from a class of basic skills from the author of Chest rig or not. Guess he won't post my reply to it since it doesn't fit his current blog rant. Do you really need to wear a full tactical kit with 20-35 magazines on a basic skills class? NO. He calls the training they were doin being tacti-cool. Well, sorry, but I know of that class and it was a BASIC defensive carbine class. There were experienced shooters and people who've never shot their rifle outside of trying to sight it in that class. I don't understand a segment of the preparedness/shooting community that if you're not doing it THEIR way then you're wrong then start calling them names. Sorry, but THAT is the tacti-cool group. If you read everything literally from Mosby and Max, one should be in full tactical kit 24/7 and also while going to the local store for groceries or gassing up the tactical vehicle that's always loaded to run to the hills or fight the (insert favorite mastabatory fantasy here)group, rioters, MZB's or Opfor. Yeah, that's my thoughts.

riverrider said...

jh, i'm tracking with you. i was a max fanboy at first but it seems to me he's going over the edge somewhat. he teaches the same basic infantry drills just like i had 30 years ago at ft. benning with small changes i'm not even sure will be any better. don't get me wrong he's doing some great work teaching to the non-prior service but his way or the highway attitude is creeping in. my thing is....exactly who are we training for? unless we have a heavy squad or platoon of lmi's, we better be laying low or hauling ass, neither of which can be realistically done wearing plates and 100 lbs of crap. anything i get into that can't be solved in one or two mags, can't be solved with thirty. that's my view, its worth what you paid for it at least.

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