Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Magnified Optics on Fighting Rifles


Saw this video and found it to be interesting. As a general rule I like 1 magnification red dot type optics for CQB type stuff. They are the fastest thing out there. The downside is they are not great at long range. In fairness you can HIT at fairly long ranges with them (say 300-400m) but the issue is target identification. As Peter noted in Thoughts on Combat Weapon Sights for Civilians this is significant. I'd really like to be sure what I am shooting at since as a Civilian I do not have the type of functional immunity that cops and soldiers who act semi reasonably (or not) tend to get.

Also while folks can often engage targets, albeit with limited identification, at distances beyond 200m almost everybody shoots better with magnification. Without a doubt I shoot project AR with a magnified optic a whole lot more precision than a red dot.

I used to have an ACOG but as affordable rugged optics like the MTAC (John tried like hell to break one and all it did was damage one of the adjustments) have come onto the market I think there are better options. My personal choice for an all around fighting rifle is a low to moderate variable magnification optic with an illuminated reticle. My MTAC is a 1-4x which acts a lot like a red dot up close. I keep it set at 1x but can crank it up to 4 if needed. They also make a 1.5-6x version that John Mosby has. If/ when I end up building another AR I'll likely go this route.

For a more designated marksmen type setup I would either get a scope that starts at a slightly higher power like a 3x9 or 4-12 or pay big money for a scope with a larger magnification range like a 2-8 or something.

Thoughts? What kind of optic is on your fighting rifle?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

RIP Robery 'Barry' Elliot

It is with a sad and heavy heart that I let you know Barry of IraqVet888 has passed. Eric has some more information.


Unfortunately after doing some google 'research' it seems Barry had some legal and medical issues during the months before his passing. Out of respect I will not get into his business but will say that we are all human and have shortcomings. I will not detract from the 2A supporter, trainer, firearms educator, character and arguably the best tactical beard owner ever Barry was by degrading his name in any way. Nor will I tolerate that talk here.

There is a fund to help the family with his final costs online if you want to donate. I think if you've every enjoyed his piece of the Iraqvet888 page a Jackson ($20) is a fair contribution for the entertainment he gave you. I will be donating to the cause myself. Making sure Barry can rest in peace is worth a small contribution. Whatever shortcomings he may have had Barry is a good man who deserves respectful and appropriate final arraignments.

 Honestly this whole thing depresses the shit out of me.

In closing I will leave you with what is probably my favorite Barry video and certainly the best multi big name youtube collaboration, the Hoss USMC Pony and Barry Backpack.



 RIP Barry, we miss you. Youtube will never be the same without you.

Monday, April 14, 2014

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

I was pretty late with this last week so not much this week. Also we had guests which was big fun but didn't lend itself to getting preparedness oriented things done. Anyway since I want to get back onto the more regular schedule you get this post again today.

Filled up some gas cans in the ever continuous struggle to ensure all our stored fuel is reasonably fresh.

Restocked some disposables.

When getting some admin stuff done I realized there was some unexpected cash in my Paypal account. Probably going to get a poncho and a Mountain Serappe like Alexander Wolfe's. Also looking at making a substantial food storage purchase. So not much happening this week but lots coming down the pipe. Also we'll have the last few posts from the Fighting Load contest to wrap it up.

What did you do to prepare this week?

Fighting Load Contest Entry #15 by Greg

 Today I am proud to bring Entry #15 of our Fighting Load Contest by Greg

We'll be talking chest rigs and battle belts as well as guns and get home bags/ assault packs. Get yours together to win some great prizes including:
1st: Blackhawk 3 day Assault Pack ($90) AND a $50 gift certificate from LuckyGunner.com ($50 value) plus 2 copies of The Reluctant Partisan by John Mosby.
2nd: HERC stove from Titan Ready Water ($169 value) plus The Reluctant Partisan by John Mosby.
Note: Prizes 1 and 2 are really closely matched. As such the overall winner can pick the Lucky Gunner stuff OR the HERC. 2nd place gets what is left. 2 books will go to #1 and 1 book to #2.
3rd Place: 3 Sport Berkey Water Bottles donated by LPC Survival ($69 value)
4th Place:  A Lifestraw donated by Camping Survival ($20 value)
5th Place: A pair of Gyver Gear survival tin's
6th Place: The Western Front (hardcopy) or 3x e books by Archer Garrett.
Wildcard: This one goes to whoever I want to give it to for whatever reason I feel like. It will be a grab bag donated by yours truly. The exact makeup is TBD depending on what I have lying around  and may include books, gear, medical stuff or even a couple silver dimes. ($30+  value).
For a good example of a post reference my EDC Contest entry. Those should give you a good idea what type of thing I'm looking for. I will probably do a full fighting load post some time before the contest is over.

The contest is closed but we still have a few more posts to show due to my technological issues and some field time. Voting will start after the last entry is shown on the blog. Voting will run for about a week and will decide the winner's who get the prizes. Onto the Entry.....

Here is my Submission. I would be using this rig to leave a metro area to get to my home in beautiful rural America.
Here's whats in the bags. I tried to design my setup so I could lessen my load if needed.

Mossberg 590 with Kicklite Stock and Streamlight TRL-1
Shell Bag with 50 Rounds 12 gauge and CRKT Corkham FirstStrike; Worn on riggers belt right side

Custom AR Pistol with Bushnell TRS-25 and Streamlight TRL-1
Condor MC3 Chest Rig
Voodoo Tactical IFAK
Double Mag Pouch w/ 2 Mags
Radio
Gerber Multi Tool

Hazard 4 Kato worn cross body on the left side.
FN FNX-9 w/ 2 Mags
4 AR Mags
Water Filter Straw
Collapsible Cup
iPad
iPhone
Small First Aid Kit (Boo-Boo Bag)
4 Protein Bars
Gloves/Beanie
CRKT M16-14SFG
Streamlight PT2AA
N95 Filter Mask
Leatherman Wave

Kelty Redwing 50
100 Rounds 9mm
200 Rounds 5.56
10 New Millennium Energy Bars
Compass
CRKT Eating Tool
Magnesium Fire Starter
Hygiene Kit
Medicine Bag (Motrin, Tylenol, Sunscreen, Eye Drops, ETC)
Ndur Water Filter Straw
Steripen with Filter
Headlamp
Extra Batteries
3L Camelbak Bladder
Mountain Hardware Rain Coat and Boonie Hat
Otis 5.56/9MM Cleaning Kit
2 Mountain House Meals
Soda Can Alcohol Stove
2 Aluminum Water Bottles
1 Bottle Rubbing Alcohol
Streamlight PT2AA Flashlight
Duct Tape, 550 Cord, Crazy Glue, Electrical tape, and other small tools
2 Pairs extra socks and drawers
Thanks for letting me play along to.
Greg
 End Post

Ryan here: First thanks a lot to Greg for entering.  I like the guns a lot and the Kelty bag is nice too. I do have some concerns about how the satchel type bag and backpack will work together. Seems like stuff might be flopping all over the place. However if you've done some walking with it and tactical movement type stuff and it's good for you then roll with it.

Thoughts?

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Saturday Night Song- Country Boy




Speech by a friend of Cliven Bundy

Speech by a friend of Cliven Bundy:


I haven't been following this whole thing in Nevada too close. That being said I hope it does not get stupid.

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week

Spent a lot of time organizing the garage. Finally got it almost where I want it. We can park a car, or barely 2 cars in there which is a nice option to have. Still need to organize and inventory some stuff but at least it is all readily visible on shelves (vs piles on the floor) so that is good. Also it's a lot easier to find stuff now.

Ordered some wool socks.

Ordered a case of 5.56 ammo.

Got a bunch of disposable plates, cups, bowls and silverware. Put it all into a plastic box with a roll of trash bags. Figure enough for at least a couple weeks. Also added a case of TP to the stash.

That's what I've been up to. What did you do to prepare this week?

Friday, April 11, 2014

RE: 5.56 Duty Ammo

Prairie Patriot asked
"Do you consider green tip to be your stash for a SHTF scenario or do you look at it as quality training ammo?

I've been stashing away green tip for a while, but I also keep an eye out for Hornady TAP (usually the barrier blind variety) when there's a good deal on sale. I've heard Black Hills 50 grain TSX is a good round as well for barrier penetration.

I guess I've never been quite clear on how TAP/Black Hills barrier blind type loads would perform on something like Level III body armor. I'm pretty sure non-barrier blind like TAP FPD would not perform as well since it's designed to expand and fragment.

Or do you think it's not a huge enough difference to worry about between green tip vs. barrier blind commercial ammo when it comes down to slinging lead in a SHTF scenario firefight?"


Ryan here: I sort of touched on this awhile back with Reader Question: JHP Ammo for the Emergency Stash. Personally when it comes to centerfire rifles by and large ammo is ammo. Sure there are reliability and accuracy concerns but rifle rounds are so fast they are pretty effective with any reasonable load.

Specifically this ammo is for the ammo stash though if I wanted training ammo I'd have ordered the same stuff. Over time I'll probably train with other ammo purchased long ago till the stash is M855 or comparable ammo. Given the modest cost difference between it and cheaper XM193 or generic 55gr FMJ I don't see a reason not to train with what I'd fight with.

As to 'barrier blind' ammo I personally would have to see some pretty compelling evidence to justify the additional expense as well as potential POI/ Zero issues. 5.56 just isn't a great penetration of barriers any way you cut it. The answer is either to shoot more to punch a hole, get a better angle or pack a different gun, something .30 cal be it an AK or some sort of .308.

As to general ballistic effectiveness if yous hoot somebody with 5.56 in a spot that will kill them and they'll probably die. I say probably because no small arm is a true 100% sure thing. Folks have gotten shot (COL Charles Beckwith and somebody else specifically) with 14.5mm, AKA the red .50, in the chest and returned to active service.

To answer the armor question. Any centerfire rifle is going to penetrate soft body armor be it an AR, AK or Aunt May's .243 deer rifle. As to hard (Class III/ IV) body armor none of the stuff we've discussed is going to penetrate as it is rated to stop .308 and 30'06 M2AP ammo respectively.

I'm not passionately against TAP or any other type of comparable ammo but simply do not see the need. A more compelling argument can be made with 7.62x39 sheerly due to QA/ QC issues. I love me some Wolf but if I had to shoot the guy holding a knife to someones neck I'd rather be slinging TAP than risk Vladdy had a bit more Vodka than usual when he made that particular bullet.

I'm perfectly comfortable with M855 as my go to. Honestly if I was going to branch out from there it would be to something more like the Black Hills MK 262 Mod 0 but for my current situation I'm happy with what I have. 

Thoughts?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

RE: Ammo Now, Savage Hog Hunter in a bit or Visa Versa

I asked about this and you all chimed in. After digesting it all I decided to go with the ammo. After some consideration I decided to go with the excellent deal on M855 62 grain 5.56 ammo. The rifle isn't going anywhere and I can use the spare time to figure out how to set it up right, research my 7.62x51 options and make sure it's what I want to do. I think a Savage Hog Hunter set up with QD rings on a rail base set up to shoot a 150 grain soft point well and 147 grain surplus type FMJ acceptably would be a really versatile setup. Down the road when I have more cash I'll upgrade the scope to something like this SWFA SS 3x15 and keep the current one (a plane Jane 3x9 Leupold) as a backup. That's half the reason for the QD setup. That I could zero the current scope then at my affordability/ leisure upgrade and have an already zeroed back up appeals to me.

Hopefully in a month or so I'll be a proud owner of a new .308 rifle. In any case I'll have some more 5.56 ammo.That is a comforting feeling. Given that I'm paying a bit under 40 cents a round for quality 5.56 I think it is a heck of a deal. Something I really wanted during firearmagedon and now am purchasing.

To the fellow who asked about the amount of 5.56 currently on inventory. My semi coy answer is 'more than I probably need but less than I want'. Personally I'd like to have 3,000 rounds of ammo (a gun so 2 guns would be 6k, etc) per fighting rifle. Am not quite there. We could debate that number but it's what gives me a warm and fuzzy. This puts me significantly closer to that goal.

Anyway I'm going to be doing a bit better on 5.56 ammo which is good.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

FBI Dumps Southern Poverty Law Center as Hate Crimes Resource

Read the story here. I say this is long overdue. Those race baiting agenda driven hate mongers have been considered a valid source for far too long. Thank goodness official government folks have finally started to catch on to what many people have known for years.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Fighting Load Contest Entry #14 by CarryAlert

Today I am proud to bring Entry #14 of our Fighting Load Contest by CarryAlert

We'll be talking chest rigs and battle belts as well as guns and get home bags/ assault packs. Get yours together to win some great prizes including:
1st: Blackhawk 3 day Assault Pack ($90) AND a $50 gift certificate from LuckyGunner.com ($50 value) plus 2 copies of The Reluctant Partisan by John Mosby.
2nd: HERC stove from Titan Ready Water ($169 value) plus The Reluctant Partisan by John Mosby.
Note: Prizes 1 and 2 are really closely matched. As such the overall winner can pick the Lucky Gunner stuff OR the HERC. 2nd place gets what is left. 2 books will go to #1 and 1 book to #2.
3rd Place: 3 Sport Berkey Water Bottles donated by LPC Survival ($69 value)
4th Place:  A Lifestraw donated by Camping Survival ($20 value)
5th Place: A pair of Gyver Gear survival tin's
6th Place: The Western Front (hardcopy) or 3x e books by Archer Garrett.
Wildcard: This one goes to whoever I want to give it to for whatever reason I feel like. It will be a grab bag donated by yours truly. The exact makeup is TBD depending on what I have lying around  and may include books, gear, medical stuff or even a couple silver dimes. ($30+  value).
For a good example of a post reference my EDC Contest entry. Those should give you a good idea what type of thing I'm looking for. I will probably do a full fighting load post some time before the contest is over.

The contest is closed but we still have a few more posts to show due to my technological issues and some field time. Voting will start after the last entry is shown on the blog. Voting will run for about a week and will decide the winner's who get the prizes. Onto the Entry.....

This setup has evolved from my BOB into a BOB/Fighting Hybrid.  My intended scenario is bugging out about 50 miles if the SHTF which might require reacting to contact either in my vehicle or on foot.  There are a few things I would change for a light infantry setup but I think they are all possible with what I have and would only take a few minutes of reconfiguration.  Finally, this is setup for my AR10 and only provides 7 mags but it's also compatible with an AR15 and that adds 3 mags on the chest for a total of 10 mags if that fits the situation better.

I wrestled with the "how do you wear a pack with a war belt" problem for quite a while until I saw the ALSPak system and decided to try to make something like it.  The concept is that your frame sheet or for my pack (CFP90) the aluminum stays connect to your war belt by resting in a pistol pouch.  This allows your pack to rest on your hips as it would with the waist belt but when you shrug out of the shoulder straps the pack just falls behind you.  Putting the pack on is easy, you just lean forward while reaching your hands back to guide the stays into the pouches.  So far I've had no issues but I keep the original waist belt in the pack just in case :)

Here is a detailed pic of how the aluminum stays fit onto the belt:



And Here's my fighting load:


First Line
Like most I'm trying to get it right cheap first and then upgrade as needed.
-Condor War Belt
-Leapers belt inside
-double pistol mag pouch
-2x2 308 mag pouch 
-2 x homemade pack connectors (kydex inserts in pistol pouches) 
-Roly Poly dump pouch in-between 
-Glock field knife (will likely change this as I don't like how low it hangs for vehicle use)
-Blade-Tech Light Bearing holster inside a blackhawk double mag pouch 
(ghetto but it works to keep pistol secure and makes it molle compatible)
-Glock 23 with TLR3 using Glock 22 mag with XGrip spacer
-E&E kit
-TQ 
-double pistol mag pouch with monocular and multitool

Second Line
This is my bullets and bandaids tier, I like the integrated pouches and the flexibility to use 2 types of mags.  I added the straps across the top of the mag pouches using the 5.11 rush tier straps because I don't like bungee straps.  I would prefer a full cover across the top but buckles seem like a decent compromise of speed, stealth and security.
-HSGI Weesatch 
-Level 4 Multi Hit Plates 
-Camelbak in rear plate pocket
-Admin Pocket with frog lube, compass, pur tabs, notepad, pen, clif bar, spare parts, small cleaning kit, etc
-L to R pouches - sidewinder light, mag, mag, mag, ATS med pouch Kenwood TH-F6A
-ATS med pouch - gloves, TQ, IBD, most of a TRG Ventilated Operator Kit (npa, cath, etc) 

Primary Weapon
I recently made the move to AR10 so this isn't even close to a finished state but I had to get it workable until I can afford a Vortex 2.5-10 and a Troy rail for it.  It's a very light gun (about 9lbs with the scope) but the ammo and mags keep me honest on my PT schedule. 
-Smith and Wesson M&P 10 
-Troy BUIS
-Burris XTR 1-4

Shameless Plug:  If you have an iPhone or iPad check out my CCW iPhone app Carry Alerts at:  www.CarryAlerts.com

Ryan here: The ALICE/ pistol mag pouch thing is interesting. I just dropped my BB low enough so the ALICE rests on top. I'm curious about the contents of the E&E pouch. Otherwise no big comments, I like the setup.

Thoughts?





Sunday, April 6, 2014

Ammo Now, Savage Hog Hunter in a Bit or Visa Versa

So here is my debate. I was basically set on getting a case of PMC 62 grain M855 5.56 ammo. It's a good deal at $380 and is on sale for $370. Then I went to the gun store where I saw a Savage 111 Hog Hunter. Really like that gun. On a slightly unrelated note I really need to buy some ammo cans though that might come out of a different pot of cash. I could buy either the case of ammo or the gun (just the gun) right away with some cash left over.

1) Could probably buy the gun and equip it, since I have a scope already, but not really have anything for ammo. At this point I would need to choose to get ammo for the .308 or the case of 5.56 I've been wanting.

OR

2) I could get the case of 5.56 ammo, that I can really use, NOW and in a little bit get the .308. Shortly thereafter I'd snag some more ammo for it and go from there. 

The Savage is a cool gun and I want it a lot. However my head says the smart move is 2) the way to go. Finish off something I've been wanting then save a little bit of coin to get the new rifle. Better to have more ammo I can use and jump into the next gun ready to pursue that then have a gun with no ammo and a competing need elsewhere.

Thoughts?


Fun With Children

It's been a long day on the end of a very productive but long weekend so more coherent thoughts are not really forming. I want to share a few fun parenting moments of late.

-We started tiny child t ball for my son. At the first practice he tried to pee in 'the big back yard'. Wifey had to explain to him that it is not acceptable to drop your pants and pee on the baseball field.

-Walker also started this new game called 'attack'. As in he says/ yells 'ATTACK' then attacks his little sister. He is firmly convinced if you yell attack it is then a game and thus acceptable. Everyone else is far less than convinced.

-Princess is a riot. She really likes to climb the brick outcropping in front of the fireplace. She then used to move up onto an end table to stand and bounce around laughing. It's great except she falls down all the darn time. We ended up moving the table. She now pursues her favorite hobby of standing precariously as high as possible elsewhere.

-She has one of those booster chair that clips onto the regular chair things. Little munchkin managed to push off of the table and knock the whole chair over last week. Darn near gave Wifey a heart attack. Thankfully she was fine. Now we make sure it's close enough to the table that she cannot get her legs up to push.

-Princess feeds the dog at the table. Like just hands him food. Dog obviously likes this. He is old and gentle so there isn't a concern there. It is rather funny to me though it sort of bothers Wifey.

-Walker has proclaimed the place on post I work is 'where the army is'. Our entire force is working out of that particular place. The other day he saw me making lunch and was quite concerned/ unimpressed that the Army doesn't have food.

-We took our first fishing trip of the season. Walker finally caught on that there wasn't any line or a bobber coming out of his pole. I fixed the line (he tangled/ twisted it all up), slapped on a bobber and a lead weight. He can't keep the thing in the water, let alone still, so he isn't catching anything. I'm more concerned about the kid hooking himself.

-We went for a family jog this morning which was fun.

-Princess, who is pleasantly plump has a little velour track suit thing. It is ridiculously cute.

That is all.

JM on Generational Conflict- You ain't As Good As You Once Were, and You Never Were

John Mosby makes a pretty good case for why the newest generation of teens and 20 somethings isn't really worse than every other generation. Folks often recall in hindsight their generation were all fit, active, hard working, smart and virtuous. However there were surely some older people who thought, probably with good reason, you kids were a bunch of lazy dope smoking deviants who listened to stupid music and wore stupider clothes.

Also to the 45-60ish crowd whining about today's youth I have to say congratulations, you raised them.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Precision Rifle Fondling and Questions

Went to a local shop for the first time today. It is hard to get there as they are open 8-5 M-F and 8-12 on Saturday, despite their sole customers being people who are probably busy then. This is in typical Louisiana fashion so I shouldn't be that suprised.

Got my hands on a Savage 111 Hog Hunter today. Daddy like, daddy like a lot. Great bolt, nice backup sights, a whole lot to like there, especially with a street price under $500. Got to run some numbers but I should be able to get one next week. Honestly I have the cash today, though not enough for rings and mounts, a sling or 500 rounds of surplus .308 ammo to go with it. Most of the reason I paused is that while it's on my list I'd like to sleep on the purchase. Have regretted not taking a nights sleep far more often than the opposite.

My plan is to slap on a basic Leupold 3x9 scope I already have with QD rings on pic/ weaver bases. That way down the road I can upgrade the scope and have a zeroed one for backup. Has anybody tried this approach with a rifle?

Also I'd love to find a precision load that shoots fairly similar to the standard 147gr surplus FMJ. Not opposed to loading my own at some point but am not there yet. Any ideas?

Also anybody own or have meaningful personal experiences with a Savage 111 Hog Hunter? If so I'd love to hear your thoughts?

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