Been thinking some about Patriot’s Day this year and how long ago and far away it is back to the Rude bridge at Lexington Green. Seems to be a real spate of good stories this spring addressing some of the basic topics that deserve more vigorous discussion in the Militia community. Thought it would be useful to string a few together in one place. These resources are available, for now, and well worth the five minutes or so it will take you to read them. Hope you find some inspiration as to where we need to be today. And a big “Thank You” to all these guys that are willing to spoon-feed us those things which we should already know.
First, from Ol’ Remus at the Woodpile Report (421), a short discussion on rifles of the type we should all have for that transition to Post SHTF times.
Let’s talk doomsday guns. You’ll not be shocked to learn my opinions are resolutely and firmly based on not much experience, even less technical expertise and wholly unsupported conjecture. As Groucho would put it, if you don’t like my opinions, I have others.
Guns can only be as good as the cartridge they shoot, so let’s start there. The .223/5.56 of AR fame is a middling good tradeoff of cartridge size, case capacity and terminal effect. My opinion: it’s an okay short to medium-range cartridge but there’s little to recommend it other than the rifles it fits. It’s not particularly flat shooting, and as with all light bullets, it’s drifts a lot in not much wind, runs out of oomph quickly and is ineffective against even modest cover.
Yes, when .223/5.56 ammo is available it’s cheap and plentiful, but it also means it’s the first to get scarce in a shortage. In a Mad Max vs. Zombies scenario there’s likely to be a glut of ARs dying of starvation following orgies of suppressive fire, or described more correctly, filling the air with lead to no good purpose. Ammo may be more valuable than the rifles that shoot it.
If I find myself in a shootout it will be because I was inexcusably careless, not because I decided to take up the life of a partisan. A close-in dustup is an even more egregious failure to stay away from crowds. First place always goes to Not Being There, but a 12 gage loaded with full house double-ought seems an efficient way to redeem such a blunder, with an assist from a sidearm.
And a flamethrower.
The AR is a brilliant concept but compromised both by the .223/5.56 and the .308 round, each for different reasons. Something in the neighborhood of .25 caliber with a bullet weight in the range of 85 to 100 grains would bring out all the platform has to offer. The AR-15 could be a wonderweapon instead of a beauty queen stuck with a cheap date. This isn’t original with me, the same thing was argued about the M1 Garand, by Garand his own self.
If it comes to an era of collapse into violent disarray, a good quality bolt action in .308 is my survival rifle of preference, equipped with a rifleman’s sling and first-rate iron sights topped with a compact scope of modest power. No showpieces please. Simple, reliable and lovable. In stainless with a plastic stock it’s as impervious to weather and general corruption as can be managed. The .308 will take down anything I’ll encounter, four legs or two.
Notice I said survival rifle. It’s not my intention or desire to live like an battlefield infantryman, getting involved in one firefight after another, but should lethal force be required against an armed opponent, front line soldiers did just fine with crank action Mausers or Springfields or Lee Enfields or Mosin Nagants. The idea is to avoid being drawn into, or stumbling into, situations where an opponent with a semi-auto has any advantage.
.308 rounds take up much more space than an equal count of .223/5.56 so my everyday carry would be less, but it’s a long range cartridge, meaning many hundreds of yards, even for merely competent shooters. In a full-on homicidal collapse it will reliably take out marauders at distances that all but defeat .223/5.56 return fire from the likelier shooters. And cover for a 165 grain bullet is a whole different proposition than for a .223/5.56.
ARs are now so popular most owners are fad-’n-fashion urban people, not riflemen, certainly not hunters, usually not even casual shooters. Think of “spray and pray” trigger-pullers who had their rifle bore-sighted by the sales clerk and haven’t sighted it in since, much less used it in regular practice. Should they decide to augment their resources with those of a decent marksman, imagine their disappointment when they take a solid hit while knee deep in brass.
Basic shooting positions taught to 1918 doughboys look like advanced combat training to ‘em because, in their experience, a shootout is something police and unfashionable miscreants do on a standup basis in a burger place or on the street outside, fully accessorized with freeze-frames and a voice-over delivering the official homily du jour. Exchanging lead while lying in the mud ‘n weeds is outside their discomfort zone to even consider. For these guys it had better be a calm, comfortable day with their opponents tied to stakes reasonably nearby.
A good quality rifle like Ol’ Remus is talking about could be this $650 Howa 1500 in .243 Winchester. Same price as a useable AR. The cartridge is basically a .308 case necked down a little to .243 and are available from 55 up to 110 grains, with 90 and 100 gr the most prevalent at Ammo Seek, so you could pick the right size for the job, from shooting crow to deer, or whatever. Maximum point-blank range for the 95 grain size is 300 yards. Same as your 130 gr .270 or my 180 gr .300 WSM. Just too many hills and trees in these parts to shoot much beyond that. Still too much gun for squirrels, but that’s what your .22 is for. And with $20 worth of Conibear spring traps, you can save that .22 ammo for something else.
And a good inexpensive scope to go with it might be this $30 Simmons 4 x 32. Fairly well-built, but if it does break, you can just replace it with another and you’re good to go. Nothing like affordable spares.
Sam Culper of Forward Observer, this month writes on a USAID report on Latin America called , What Works in Reducing Community Violence.
Using the spectrum above, we can describe local conflicts during a SHTF scenario to help us better understand our security problem. After we define the problem, we can begin actively working towards a solution.
In conclusion, I want to stress that community security starts now. We have to be standing up our Community Protection Teams and identifying problems that our community could face in the future. The more problems we can solve today are problems that don’t grow out of control tomorrow.
The White Rose had a short story on learning how to run an operation by looking how the criminal organizations run theirs. Not that we all want to be successful criminal organizations, but we really could use many of their practices and techniques, and for the same reasons they use them. Many useful items there. Plus we already pay a whole slew of State and Federal agencies to figure this stuff out so this information is nearly free for the asking. We should ask.
The difference between the person who ignores security practices and wants everyone to be loud and proud under one big banner, and the person who understands how to truly effectively operate, is the difference between the “movement” and the resistance.
John Mosby wrote a short one over at Forward Observer Magazine on the simple METL we should all have defined for our areas and be thoroughly tired of training for, just like Land-Nav. Always good stuff from Mosby. Always.
The Mission Essential Task List (METL) can be most simply described as a composite, comprehensive list of the specific tasks necessary for a unit or group to master in order to complete whatever missions they may be assigned or believe will be necessary. The METL is absolutely crucial to the preparedness group security team and the trainer in order to provide focus to the on-going training of the security team.
In order to develop a solid, realistic METL, the trainer, the team, and the leadership of the preparedness group must sit down, determine what missions they will objectively and realistically expect the team to perform, and then determine what tasks are inherently necessary to the performance of those missions. This will keep the METL development focused on realistic, achievable missions that the security team can be expected to perform effectively.
For the purposes of this article, we will focus on a small-unit security team of 8-12 personnel, focused on conducting security operations for a retreat/community in a rural or semi-rural environment characterized by scattered farms and communities with agricultural ground and timber lands interspersed. Thus, much like most of so-called “fly-over country” in the United States of America.
The operations our security team may have to perform might include:
Defense of the physical property
Reconnaissance and security patrolling to find, fix, and finish or deter hostile aggression
Attack hostile forces, including ambushes or raids.
The final two pieces are from J.C. Dodge at Mason Dixon Tactical. He was at the NCPATCON once a few years back. Recently been visiting some local units up his way. Probably won’t be dropping in on us because he’s just inside the Pennsylvania border. Maybe that’s a good thing, because we’re not nearly ready for that kind of inspection. Or are we? Anyway, he’s wrote on how we should be thinking more in terms of acting as good neighbors in our communities with a little less focus on playing army.
Get with those in your area, come up with a protection plan for the “When”, not the “If”. You can only count on those within walking distance (I’d say 50 miles or so at the most), or those who plan on evacuating to your site (for God’s sake leave a day or an hour early, not a minute too late). If you think you can count on the militia group that is 150 miles away, but it can’t support its own logistics requirement for a weekend training without having to half ass it and make excuses, you are deluding yourself. Keep emotion out of the equation.
You’re preparing for a neighborhood group defense, not a martial offense. You want to know where the best “Substance” for the buck is? It’s in your realistic preps. It’s in your realistic assessment of your physical shape, and how to make it better if possible. It’s in you getting with family, friends, and neighbors to plan and train to protect what is important to you. There is no Damned exit strategy it is a “hold until relieved!” proposition. No matter what you might think about our nation, and the screwed up soup sandwich that we call our government, and all the other faults you want to name. It’s still the beats the Hell out of anywhere else in this screwed up world, and I’m doing what I can to help secure and protect my little piece of it.
Train Prepare Pray
And, in a later piece, went on to assess the Militia community in comparison to some of the historical insurgencies in the past 50 years :
It’s a sobering thought to think that patriots have less support, less money and fewer friends than any of these historical insurgencies. It is all the more reason for us to be extremely critical of ourselves, our skills, our tactics and our tribe-building. This is not meant as a Chicken Little assessment, but rather a reason to motivate us to be serious. Things will not just work out, it will require planning and God-awful amounts of perseverance. We are Americans and we do it better, so let’s get to it…and for goodness’ sake get a pair of khaki or olive pants and quit being a gear queer!
So, well, there it is. The yard stick of our unit readiness. Any Militia or Patriot community unit would do well to carry out their training programs this year with these simple things in mind. These principles of “WHAT” to be doing and “HOW” to do those things are secondary only to the “WHY” we train as a unit.
It truly is long ago and far away back to the Rude bridge at Lexington Green. Many changes have occurred in these United States and the American people since then. But has the “WHY” really changed that much?