Showing posts with label Max Velocity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Max Velocity. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

What Have You Done To Prepare Lately

I picked up a couple of budget chest rigs to fill some gaping holes in my gear stash.

The FAL needs a chest rig so I got this
I want an MVT Versa Chest Rig but right now the tactical nylon budget is tight and while I do love the FAL it is kind of an ancillary rifle. I'll probably pick one up this fall/ winter when the fairly predictable run on politically incorrect guns as well as the mags/ ammo that feed them happens.

For the old Commie Warhorse I got a

Also bought some silver a week or so back when it was under $15. These days I would say silver is a deal under $20, under 16 and fugetaboutit. The rest of my discretionary funds are getting stashed for another ammo purchase. Probably a case of 7.62x51 but if I get impatient might just get more 5.56.

Other than that there has been a renewed effort on diet and physical fitness plus some dry fire.

So that is what I have been up to. What have you been up to lately?

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

MVT Versa Chest Rig!

The MVT Versa Chest Rig is now available in Multicam and Coyote Brown.

This is a cool rig. I favor single stack chest rigs with integral pouches for their thinness and ease of use. This setup fits that to a T. Additionally it is pretty darn cool that the MVT Versa Chest Rig lets you change between calibers by swapping an insert. So the same chest rig can work for 5.56, 7.62x39 and 7.62x51! A very cool setup. Granted I think you need a dedicated rig per rifle but that might be a budget rig of some sort, ALICE gear or whatnot. Being able to use your same go to setup with different weapons types is huge.

I want to buy an MVT Versa Chest Rig to use as my personal go to chest rig. It is on my list for sure. Being able to switch between 5.56 and 7.62x51 like the rig below will be nice.

The price on the MVT Chest Rig is $240-245. At first that seemed a bit steep to be but then I really looked at it. First of all it is made in the US which just costs a bit more. Second of all it is an integral rig that is really ready to go. It has mag pouches, pouches for gear, NOD, etc and a nice padded H Harness. Best of all you get a second 'insert' so you can choose 5.56/7.62x39, 5.56/308 or 7.62x39/.308. It is basically (except for the redundancy) 2 chest rigs for the price of one. If you buy a chest rig without mag pouches you immediately spend a hundred bucks on mag pouches and then $60+ on pouches for other stuff. If you buy a chest rig with integral mag pouches you immediately spend $60+ on pouches to hold everything else. Also most companies charge an added premium for a good harness like the nice padded H Harness on the Versa. So basically it costs the same as other comparable quality US made chest rigs, they are just being honest about the cost instead of nickel and dime ing you.

It is a cool rig and I want one. Cursed infinite desires and limited resources. Still I will get one at some point.

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. 


Monday, August 10, 2015

Training # 2: What To Train On

When I wrote my first real post on commercial firearms training I envisioned it being a 3-4 part series. The first part I wrote awhile back.

Training #1: Barriers to Training

I discussed barriers to training in that part. Now let us say we have moved past those barriers and are seriously looking at getting quality training.

John Mosby did an excellent post on this.

What Classes Should I Take?

I find little to argue with in Johns post. If my goal in this post had been to create a list of classes ranked by priority that people should take A) mine would look a whole lot like Johns and B) since John got to it first I would take that off my 'to do' list, link to Johns post and go about my merry way.

However I have a slightly different goal then John did. My goal is more to lay out a conceptual framework which you can use to set long term goals, rank order the sub goals to ultimately get to the place you want to be at.

First we have to establish where you are.

The hard part about this is that most of the people who find their selves in this predicament do not have a sufficient background to really assess their skill level. We will walk through things for Joe a hypothetical person.

Lets say we make a list of generally useful skills we have and rank order them from most capable to least capable. Say it goes like this for our hypothetical person Joe:
-Rifle shooting (big time into varmint hunting/ distance shooting)
-Pistol shooting (recreational plinking on a monthly basis).
-Combatives (wrestled in HS, did some boxing in College)

Second we have to establish where we want to go. This should logically be based upon skills we believe we will need in the future. The difference between this and the first list is what you need to train on.

Now we have to prioritize. As John Mosby says FOCUS ON THE 25 METER TARGET!  You are far more likely to get mugged than find yourself shooting that F Class 300 win mag at targets 800 meters away or be the first on the scene in a trauma situation than execute core light Infantry competencies such as patrolling, react to contact, squad attack etc. I am not saying these Infantry skills, like Max Velocity teaches aren't important. They absolutely are. It is just that you might want to  focus on the relatively likely mugger in parking lot scenario first.

Here we also want to look at out relative skills for things we can potentially 'test out of' or at least prioritize a bit lower. Remember the goal is not to be amazing at a couple things and suck at others but to be well rounded (skills not waistline;) and progress in a logical way.

A veteran ER nurse does not need to take a red cross first aid class because it is on some list. As to our fellow Joe; he has been shooting rifles at little pests for a long time. He spends weekends smoking Prairie Dogs at 400+ meters. He mostly uses a bull barreled 22-250 but sometimes takes his AR-15 out. The point I am getting at is that Joe is totally good to go on basic rifle marksmanship and good on basic to intermediate long range rifle shooting. Instead of a 'this is how to shoot a rifle' class Tim might need one on tactical movement or close range marksmen ship.

So in closing:
1- Do an inventory of your current skills
2-Figure out the skills you think you will need based on the situation(s) you foresee.
3-Rack and stack the classes you need to get from 1 to 2 prioritizing more likely to be used skills and putting the skills you have a start on and less likely to be needed ones at the bottom of the list.
4- Get started.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

RE: Ballistic Plates Yes or No by Max Velocity

Ballistic Plates Yes or No by Max Velocity. A very worthwhile post at Max's place. I talked about this general issue some time back. 3 years later I cannot say my thoughts have changed significantly.

1- If you can afford you should have body armor. Everyone expected to carry a rifle should have body armor. Depending on your concept of use, budget and needs it could be a somewhat lighter set of ceramic plates or AR 500 body armor.

1A- Body armor is nowhere near as expensive as it used to be. There are a lot of options in the 4 bill range and some in the mid to high 3 bill range if you shop carefully.

2- The discussion about whether you should wear body armor in a given situation is an entirely different one from whether you should have it. For any defensive situation you want armor. For any deliberate offensive situation like a raid or a attack you want armor. Gun fights are dangerous!

3-Personally the times I might not want armor are roughly as follows:

-Situations where the risk of contact are minimal and speed is of the essence. Say a person is acting as a runner between some sort of a base and a patrol or outlying group. The risk of contact is very low otherwise this would be a deliberate patrrol. The runner is going to check up on that group, pass some orders/ messages and new frequencies/ link up or dead drop locations. The runner might be carrying a rifle, a camel back with 2 spare mags, small first aid and survival kits, a knife and if applicable written orders/ maps/ comms cards.

-The added (roughly 20lb) of a plate carrier means I would not be able to carry a sufficient sustainment load. This is particularly applicable when the risk of immediate violence is minimal. Say a group is going to do a LRS type mission and set up an over watch an area to gather intelligence. They are going to infiltrate at night and stay in position for 3-4 days. Their goals are to watch, take notes, draw sketches and take pictures. The location being watched is not actively patrolled by the opposition, say it is an electric sub station vs a combat outpost or something. We would need to bring a fair bit of food and a lot of water to make that work. Hauling say a rifle,  20 pounds of kit, a 40-50 pound ruck and 5 gallons of water a piece would suck. Doing that with another 20 pounds might well not be feasible.

This would extend to situations where a patrol is unable to project their force far enough due to lack of sheer physical ability to carry weight. Doing the math a 4 day patrol is probably a bridge too far with the addition of body armor, especially if water resupply en route is not available. The math just doesn't work.

- Situations where we need to do all manner of work and the risk of violence is present but minimal. One can work a lot more efficiently without being encumbered. Say the state of things is such that folks clearing rubble or cutting wood feel the need to carry pistol and wear a light battle belt/ patrol belt. Maybe they carry rifles and maybe they keep them within a couple steps reach while working.  That is a realistic load for a person to wear while doing hard work. Add much more and the effort becomes self defeating.

Anyway those are my thoughts on that. What do you think?

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Rucking N Other Things

5 miles with 35 pounds in 70 minutes. 14 minute miles are not amazing but aren't too shabby either.

Next week I will be doing a speed ruck so it will be shorter but a faster per mile split will be the goal.

Also I picked up that stripped lower I have been wanting.

So now when things get silly, say this fall, I will have a viable option to build the budget(yet still serviceable) AR that is my next planned rifle acquisition. The concept of use will be a reasonably priced AR that can serve as a backup to my primary rifle, a 'truck gun' and such.

Tomorrow after running some math I will pick up more FAL mags. The planned purchase should put me into 'happy numbers' of mags. To round out that setup I will still need to buy a couple cases of good 7.62x51 surplus in due time. Ammo matters a lot but for a ban scenario ammo, which could feed Bubbas bolt action deer rifle, is a lot less likely to be targeted than say guns and military pattern rifles and the standard capacity mags that feed them.

The Max Velocity VERSA chest rig is almost ready for sale. I am excited and totally want one. My Costa Leg Rig it can rock FAL mags. That this setup can rock 5.56 and 7.62 in the same rig is a huge plus. I need to buy a chest rig for the big boy rifle and being able to swap out to AR stuff is a plus. I plan to purchase one of these to fill that role.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Training #1: Barriers to Training

I have wanted to talk about this for awhile and today is as good of a day as any. I want to have a polite and respectful discussion about barriers, both real and perceived, that prevent people from going out and getting the quality training they need. Max Velocity has been talking about this for awhile now. Maybe in some way others can benefit from this. The format for each issue will be:


I will try to do this in some sort of logical flow of psychological, physical and financial/ logistical. So here we go.

Barrier- "I don't need any fancy training, I've been shooting my whole life."
Discussion- Every red blooded American man who owns a gun thinks they are a legitimate gunfighter at a completely bad assed Raylan Givens or Kyle Lamb (CSM, RET) type of level. The problem with this idea is that people A) are so fundamentally ignorant on the topic(s) at hand that they are unable to assess their own ability and B) these people are universally failing to train to any worthwhile, measurable standards that factor in both time and accuracy. Saying it more seriously you should look up Cognative bias or just read John Mosby's post on it.

It is a huge ego thing.What I would submit to people is that being ignorant of a topic that involves violence does not make you a bad person or weak or anything like that. You are no less of a man (I say that because this is 100% a male issue) for not being able to clear a malfunction and reload an M4 in the dark, or execute an ambush which I can, than I am for not being able to wire a house or fix a car or something you know how to do. Fighting is just a skill and like any other one if you want a skill you lack the way to fix that is to go out and learn it.
Recommendation- Test yourself to a measurable standard. If a person gets a timer and shoots any decent combat based such as the CSAT Tactical Pistol Instructor standards they might eat a serious dose of humble pie.

Barrier- "I am/ was a Marine/ Soldier/ Cop so I know everything about everything."
Discussion- Experiences, in particular combat related ones are very powerful. To be honest without taking anything away from whatever you might have done unless you recently retired as an E8/E9 Tier 1 Jedi or as a senior SWAT Officer from a major city or Federal organization I would submit you might still have some things to learn. This will bleed slightly into the next planned post (What to train on) but I would say these folks might have valid experiences in one area (an Infantryman is probably pretty decent with rifles and a Cop should know how to shoot a handgun) but be entirely inexperienced in other areas. Reference the discussion of standards in the last piece.
Recommendation- First measure yourself against a quantifiable standards that factor in both time and accuracy. Second prioritize training in your weaker areas first.

Barrier- "I'm too old/ fat/ out of shape to go get training."
Discussion- Of course you have to be realistic. If you have some serious medical/ physical issues they may well prevent you from some more physical training. In Lost John Locke tried to do an Australian Walk About type survival thing in a wheel chair. Obviously that would not work. An 80 year old woman with a walker is not going to be able to do a 3 day patrolling class where you live out of a ruck that is carried on your back. That being said.....

It is my general impression that potential students regularly abstain from training they would be fine in due to this concern. Most classes are set up to accommodate a reasonable range of fitness levels. Look, while the military and law enforcement are heavy on fairly fit 20 and 30 somethings the civilian training market is a decade older and 20-30 pounds heavier. Aside from some classes that are probably MIL/LEO exclusive you will likely see a broad range of fitness levels. Nobody gives a shit if you are fat so stop being so self conscious about it. If in doubt I would say to contact the instructor before signing up for the class an lay out your specific concerns.

My general observation is within practical limits most instructors will help find a way to accommodate whatever issues you may have. They might adjust some pieces of instruction to say have a person who can't run omit running pieces and walk or just start at the shooting point. Instructors do this because a) they are good people who genuinely want to train others and b) they are capitalists and your money is green.
Recommendation- Obviously don't sign up for a class that involves climbing a building and living out of a ruck if you are in a wheel chair. Beyond that if in doubt just ask the folks running the class. Instructors worth dealing with will work with you as much as they can.

Financial/ Logistical
Barrier- "I can't afford to train."
Discussion- Taking a step back. We live in a very consumerist society. This extends to firearms and training. People would rather go buy a shiny new widget or a really, really expensive gun than work on the fundamentals and get better with the guns they have. We are very hardware centric with minimal interest in software. If someone sold a widget that was supposed to make you shoot better for $500 (and many companies do) folks would line up around the block for it. On the other hand folks are far less likely to financially and emotionally suck it up and pay hard earned money to learn skills they need but do not possess. Look at any blog and compare comments/ views on a post about a new accessory for an AR-15 vs one about training.

To the specific question. Obviously if you make 25k a year and have 6 kids a training class with an all in cost of say $700 might well be entirely unfeasible or a multi year savings type goal. However if you have some disposable income and are using it to buy more stuff instead of training it is an issue of prioritization not economics.

There are certainly ways to minimize costs on training. Many places have some sort of lodging or allow camping. Taking classes within driving distance of your location helps to keep costs reasonable also. Maybe find a friend to split gas and hotel costs with.
Recommendation- Aside from real low income folks if you prioritize training the money situation will work out.

I hope this gives you something to think about. Comments are open as always.

Monday, June 1, 2015

From Around The Web

Lucky Gunner does an interesting post on mounting optics to the AK platform. An Ultimak rail with an Aimpoint micro is probably the way to go for a defensive rifle. Honestly around the range you would need a scope you probably have the wrong rifle in a ( a 7.62x39 chambered) AK. That being said I can see the utility of a low variable or fixed power scope on one for older eyes or hunting where target discrimination (2 point not OK but 3 are, etc). For that option I would either use one of the side mounted rails or replace the whole top cover with a purpose made one. I know Texas Weapons Systems makes one and think Midwest Industries does too.

John Mosby talks Escape and Evasion 1 and 2. While I certainly would not disagree with anything John said I wish to put some emphasis on two points from the articles. First is physical fitness. If you are going to make some sort of gaping burst to get out of the immediate area they could cordon then make a slow determined slog to wherever you are going you have to be able to physically cover many miles under stress over multiple days. Second is consistently having some useful tools on your person and a more robust fighting load or get home bag readily available will give you a fighting chance to have some gear if things go down.

Max Velocity talks about different gear he is producing in partnership with AMH Tactical Gear. I am starting to get a case of gear lust for that chest rig.

Tactical Professor, who runs an excellent blog, talks about a shooting case up in Maine. It is one of those messy family farm/ small business things. This situation should have been settled by people acting like adults over a cup of coffee or worst case gone to civil litigation but instead one guy ended up dead and another is probably going to spend the rest of their life in jail. 

Take away's
1- Don't shoot people over stuff! Aside from ethical considerations we could look at it strictly from a financial angle. Lawyers and trials are really expensive.
2- Know your local laws. This might have been a different case in a place with a less restrictive rule of retreat.
3- Having a less lethal weapons bears consideration. A can of mace might have stopped this incident but that is unlikely. It might ave given the guy enough space to get out of these.  More realistically it could have showed that the man was trying to use the smallest amount of force necessary and the much larger, younger man kept attacking.
4- This case was further muddled because while the family were probably in the wrong there was not a clear criminal act going on like say if one person owned or rented the shop and the other was trespassing.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

SA Defense Force Vets Fighting Islamic Terrorists in East Africa

Max Velocity and Peter both mentioned it. Whatever you might think of Apartheid South Africa some of those guys were kick ass fighters. After the move to majority rule a lot of very experienced fighters were suddenly unemployed. Some of them started a PMC called Executive Outcomes. If you are bored some Sunday go down the rabbit hole learning about them, very interesting stuff. They made Blackwater look like a mom and pop security guard operation.

In any case some of those guys are still out fighting for hire. They are killing terrorists, real asshole types, so I wish them good hunting.

On another note Max Velocity is offering a discount for summer training. Max's place has a nice canopy of trees that cuts the heat and the schoolhouse. I would certainly hydrate and (a thing I saw at CSAT) bring a cooler full of Gatorade. The point is people use weather as an excuse not to train just about all the time. The winter is cold, often in the spring it is rainy. Summer is hot and fall is full of holidays where we all do family stuff. Save your money, look at your calender and get the training you need as soon as possible.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Pic Post

Had plans to do a real post today. There are some good ideas floating around in my head. The CSAT Tac Pistol post is in progress. It is about half done and sitting at 2 pages. I was pretty busy with Mothers Day today. Let Wifey sleep in real late (till she woke up) then did some stuff around here. Called the Mom's to say hi and thanks then cooked us some dinner.

Since I'm too tired and lazy to write a real post today you are going to get some pictures.
Kenny did well on this one. Honestly we could do well with these two rules.

The S&W Model 19. It was the most common man affordable service revolver for years. As TBF mentioned it was the preeminent policeman's revolver for a couple decades. Also as Bill Jordan mentioned you could do a lotworse than a Model 19 if SHTF. For whatever it is worth I trust an S&W .357 a lot and would have no isssue with it as a house gun or whatever.

The point I am getting at is that the .357mag is good to go and you could do a ton wors.

Sometimes you have got to bug out by water with your go geear whhick includes a rife. I would sling it around my neck and roll whih that.


My dogs. 200 pounds of hassle nobody wants. Priincess (tan dog) bit a hog leg bone n half in 1 bite.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Semi Automatic .308 Rifle

I have been thinking about a semi automatic .308 for awhile. Now that I picked up the little .380 a semi automatic .308 is the only decent sized remaining hole in my battery.

The .308 rifles are expensive to purchase and more expensive to feed.  They are also heavy and none of them are especially common. That niche market has been split between the M1A, FN-FAL, HK G3/ PTR 91 and the AR-10.

I do not have the time or energy to discuss all of them. The M1A is stupidly expensive and one can argue the M14's legend is actually a myth.

The FAL is a fine rifle, at least the decent ones (Genuine FN, Springfield and DSA) are but they are expensive and so are their mags. Even a Century knock off runs a grand these days.

The PTR-91 is a solid rifle at a very aggressive price point often under a thousand dollars. Being honest aside from collector value they are probably as good as a genuine HK. Commander Zero favors the PTR-91. Even today the mags are around 4 bucks a pop.

The AR-10 has so much promise but it has been a train wreck off a platform. Many of them suck and there is a complete lack of standardization. The Army adopting the M110 SASS (Knight SR-25) may help in time. Some of them work but they are big time expensive. The new DPMS Hunter G2 shows a lot of promise but isn't really tested, might have proprietary parts (I don't know), and they don't really make a configuration I am in love with.

There is promise now that folks are generally moving to the M110 style and Magpul is making mags for them. However I do not think it is quite there yet.

Here is what Max Velocity think. Max Velocity talks about the semi automatic .308 rifle. 

American Mercenary has a Siaga .308 which he pairs (smartly) with a Savage Model 10. I have toyed with a similar rifle in 7.62x54R just because the ammo is about a quarter a shot but it would add another caliber which is a problem. Ultimately I decided I'll just stick with .308.

In general semi automatic .308's are big, heavy, low capacity and expensive. Also the ammo is heavy to carry so most people end up bringing less of it along. While not optimal they can be used for close quarters work.

On the plus side the .308 hits hard, especially at range, is good at going through cover/ vehicles and can be used to legally and ethically hunt medium to large game. Also since their ammo fits most 'precision' rifles you can have two rifles and only need to stock one type of ammo. The combination of semi auto mag fed anti personnel capability with hunting and long range capabilities make it, in my opinion, a useful rifle to have. Also if I was stuck in a 'one rifle' situation a .308 like a PTR-91 would bring a lot to the table.

Next year (or sooner if I stumble into a wad of cash) I will probably purchase a semi auto .308. As of right now I feel like the best option is a PTR-91. Thoughts?

Monday, April 20, 2015

Land Nav Training with Max Velocity

Max Velocity is offering land nav training.

MVT will offer practical Land Navigation classes. These will be 2 day classes.
Classes will include:
Practical Instruction
Day & Night Practical Land Navigation
(Night course optional)
Background Reading HERE.
Orienteering Compass
Map Case/ZipLock Bag (A4 sized)
Day Pack
Water Source
Light Stick
(Lensatic Compass & Protractor use will be covered, equipment supplied).
A permanent orienteering course is set up at the MVT site, due to the MVT Rifleman Challenge.
Free basic camping is available at site. Motels are available in nearby Romney, WV.
June 8/9 (Monday/Tuesday): This class will be offered immediately following the Combat Team Tactics (CTT) Class (space is available on that CTT class).
June 19/21 (Saturday/Sunday).
Cost: $250.

Land nav is not something you can learn watching youtube or reading a book. If you do not have these skills then best remedy the issue promptly. I urge you to do so while all it costs is a bit of money. 

Friday, April 17, 2015

Max Velocity and Alexander Wolfe Talk Gear

Max Velocity is ditching his beloved battle belt for a much more modern setup of a lightweight battle belt with a couple rifle mags and a pistol plus his sweet new MVT CUTT chest rig by AMH Tactical. I think this sort of system brings a lot to the table.

As you may well know I have a heavy battle belt/ modern LBE a lot like what MAX used to run. 

Both Max Velocity and Alexander Wolfe pretty much lay down the same thinking on the pro's and cons of the heavy battle belt.

Pro's-  Probably the most comfortable way to carry a fair bit of weight in a fighting load. It also lets you go prone comfortably and open the belt for even more comfort if you are say lying in an position for hours.

Cons- Not so great for vehicles as it's lots of extra stuff around the mid line on your sides and back. This isn't a huge deal for me as I can't see too many situations where I would be driving for any distance and having it sitting by me would not be sufficient.

Not scalable. These are all or nothing and they are fairly heavy. Mine is (IIRC) almost 20 pounds with ten or so loaded AR mags and 2 Glock mags. This brings a couple of issues. First for most realistic civilian situations I am not going to need to be carrying a dozen AR mags. The option to have a couple reloads for my long gun is a handy one that fits a whole lot of realistic scenarios. If I was say, going a block over to check on a neighbor, even during the nastiest situations to hit the US is recent memory, the LA Riots and Hurricane Katrina, I would feel quite comfortable with my AR and 2 reloads.

Second people who haven't done much field time fail to realize this stuff gets heavy. When people get back into camp after a long hard day of patrolling the first thing they want to do is take off all their heavy stuff! If people are going to be doing work around camp the first thing they want to do is take off all their heavy stuff! A big ole battle belt might get left behind under a bunk or in a shelter.

Personally despite the fact that I am selling stuff right now you note my battle belt is not for sale. I believe that system has a valid niche and plan to keep it. That being said...

I do have another 'prime time' (not to be confused with various ancillary backup stuff) system. That system is a 2 part tiered system. The first part is a Costa Leg Rig (reviewed at T Blog) with a good heavy duty belt and a holster. I currently have this set up for home defense so instead of rifle mags it is holding shotgun shell cards for my trusty 870P. A benefit of this system is I could swap it to use with my AR tomorrow, a PTR-91 the next day, whatever.

I could attach a fixed blade knife and a TQ to this system and it would be plenty for most scenarios. Certainly even in a nasty situation it would be enough to wear while doing chores around the house/ camp or relaxing after a tough day of fighting off Chinese hordes/ Zombies/ whatever. 

The second part is a chest rig, probably my MOLLE II TAP panel because it can easily be used with body armor or solo. That gets the mag count of this system to a respectable level and gives places to put necessary stuff.

Which system do I prefer? It is definitely situationaly dependent. The tiered system is a lot more versatile. Honestly I can see my battle belt ending up in a cache at some point. It would be great for going all Red Dawn but I can't see wearing it in a hurricane or riot where I can definitely see the pistol belt from the other system being a constant companion.


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Ammo Counts, Expending Ammo and Resupply plus 2k Down a Glock 19 with 1 Misfire

Max Velocity had a pretty interesting post on ammo and rates of fire.

According to the omnipotent US Army the M4 rate(s) of fire are:
  • Semiautomatic - 45 rounds per minute
  • Burst - 90 rounds per minute
  • Sustained - 12-15 rounds per minute
The first two are what you would use during an ambush or break contact drill. Yes that is 1.5-3 mags a minute. Since most of us do not have burst let's round up to 2 mags a minute. The significant thing to note is that people typically do not keep these rates of fire up for very long. Either the situation is resolved successfully (kill BG's or break contact), it is resolved unsuccessfully (death/ capture) or it stalls out into a slower scenario where people are firing a round every few seconds while trying to maneuver their elements or waiting for back up.

 Units in combat can quickly run very short on ammo even if they act reasonably. People can only reasonably carry so much of the stuff. The saving graces of this are 1) people within a unit will use ammo very unevenly. The guys on perimiter security will probably not shoot at all. If the left side of the patrol base takes contact the guys on the right are just waiting for the flank, etc. Guy with 8 mags gives 3 to the guy with 2 mags.

This is also why caliber and magazine interchangeability matters.  The AR-15 in 5.56/ .223 is the hands down obvious choice these days followed shortly by the AK-47 in 7.62x39. There are lots of valid options but pick one and stick with it. Hard to toss a PTR-91 mag to your buddy who is rocking an AK-47 or borrow from the guy with the AR in 6.8. Pistols matter a lot less because you won't honestly use them much. If things are that bad that you are widely cross leveling pistol mags in contact you are probably about to die anyway.

This is also why active combatants need a solid resupply plan for ammo. Maybe you keep a few spare mags in an assault pack, a couple bandoleers in a ruck and a bunch more in the truck. Maybe you go assault pack, pre positioned speed balls and a resupply cache. I do not know what the answer is for your scenario but if needed you better have a way to get ammo.

Lastly the issue of shooting your ammunition vs saving it is paradoxical. You are not (though different for a survivalist than a soldier) incentivized to bring ammo back from a fight but woe be the person who runs out before the fight is over. However people, especially survivalists, can worry too much about some 'one shot one kill' fantasy that does not accurately reflect the fundamental nature of modern small unit and insurgent combat. If it takes a mag of ammo to kill I guy I will call that a win. You lived and that guy died, now you have X amount of ammo remaining for your other problems.

This is not to say you should waste ammo but, especially in an environment where civilians are not a big concern, if you get a shot take it. I'll shoot a guy in his exposed foot because it will greatly hinder his movement. Even though it is an ifffy shot on a non vital part of the guy hitting him there makes my situation better. If I do not have time for perfect fundamentals I will still take the shot. Worst case I waste a 35 cent bullet, best case I hurt the enemy.

I hope this helps share this valuable discussion and bring my thoughts into the picture.

Also Tam shot 2k rounds through a Glock 19 without cleaning or lubing it and had 1 misfire.
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