June 2015 Notes

Leave a comment

June FTF will be in the park on the 28th beginning 14:00.  Subjects to be covered are Land-Nav and Mapping, Hand Signals,  Radio Communications and  IFAk’s/First Aid.  If there is some subject you’d like to give a short lecture on, we can try to work it in.


Our Neighbor NC3B had their recent meeting this past week.  They’re working on a long list of skill sets and training, too.  We’ve met with them a few times and they seem to have a pretty good program underway.  We’re here to help when we can. 




This is the week of the Centennial celebration of the Boy Scouts of America Order of the Arrow.  One hundred years of tradition is a pretty strong thing.  The Order of the Arrow as an honor society is clearly one of those great traditions.  The Boy Scouts as an organization have taken some pretty hard hits in the past couple of years, and maybe rightly so, as they are drifting away from their traditions under pressure from social changes.  Another case of people from outside the community dictating new rules.  The Girl Scouts are getting it too.  If someone wants to abandon 100 years of tradition in favor of making  something completely different, yet still try to leverage the historic value of the organization based on the old traditions, then they need to go start up their own and call it something else.   Once you start putting Chevy parts into that old Ford truck, you’re just not “It” any more.  The Order of the Arrow is all that’s left and I hope they will hold true to those traditions for another hundred years.  My two-cents.





ITS Tactical recently did a story comparing various brands of freeze-dried foods and MRE’s.  Lots of pictures and taste-testing.  Something worthwhile when you don’t have to eat it if you don’t like it.  On your eighth day out in the field and on the run, you might wish you’d done your homework on good things to eat.  You really shouldn’t plan on eating your fill of the local bugs and berries because that saves weight and time.





A second story from ITS Tactical is on the two-day long-range shooting class from US Optics Academy in Apple Valley, California.  This course is being run by Tyler Hughes, a trained Marine Scout Sniper.  Looks like 200 yards  in the photo and those targets are people sized.  The shot grouping is top-notch for someone equipped with an average rifle and good ammo.  Most of those holes in the 5-shot groups touch/overlap.  Pretty good shooting.  The two-day course runs $900 and has shooting exercises from 100 yards out to 1000 yards.  If you already have a $6000 rifle/scope combination and are  loading your own ammo, you’re likely to have a great time there.



And yes, making that spine/crotch shot at 600 yards is a viable strategy.





Advanced Scout/Tracker class is offered  in September by Nature Reliance School near Lexington, KY.  The $150 three-day class  goes over using camouflage and stealth to move unseen across the terrain while trying to follow someone else doing the same.   Very useful for things other than just deer hunting.




 Randalls School of Survival has a similar one-day class in October.  This $100 one-day “Intro to Human Tracking” class is driven more at search and rescue operations is held at the Randall training site in Gallant, AL.



Over at the Personal Security Institute, Grant Cunningham is teaching that section of Defensive Handgun called “Shoot – Don’t Shoot”.  Unlike in those video games you play, you just can’t go around blasting everything in sight.  See the definition for recklessness.  This is a skill not usually taught in a shooting class but it’s just as important to know when not to do that Mozambique Drill.  Maybe even more important for your buddies to know.  During hunting season, we wear that cheap orange vest so our buddies don’t shoot us in the face with a shotgun.  Not a very practical fashion accessory for your patrol uniform.





And from Recoil Magazine, a short story on Kalashnikov USAThey will be making them in  Florida soon.










And just in case those new AK’s made in Florida aren’t just as good as those old ones made in the factory back in Tula,   M+M, Inc. is starting to roll out their model M10XWhen you throw an AK and an AR into the chipper and wave the magic wand over the big pile of plastic and metal chips, you’d get something like this.  Romanian reliability mixed with American know-how in Colorado.  You do like making bigger holes, don’t you?







May 2015 Supplemental

Leave a comment

The Oathkeepers are in the Galice Mining District of Josephine County, Oregon, in an ongoing operation and are requesting volunteers for various duties for what may become a long-term operation (years). 



In particular, we need:

HAM radio operators, medical personnel, tactical teams, do it yourself guys, logistics, IT people, patrol and security crews.


We run teams around the clock so we need hundreds of volunteers. It’s time to step up and serve your beliefs. You will learn skills as well that you can take back to your own community.


Why do we need help? It is critical that we protect the mine, and the cabin and equipment at the mine, because of the well documented history of BLM burning down cabins and confiscating property at whim, without due process. We have spoken to multiple miners and even retired BLM officers who have relayed past examples of BLM setting fire to cabins, including occupied cabins (with residents having to scramble out of a burning cabin to avoid being killed). The miners do not trust the BLM for good reason and they fear that once there are not enough security volunteers BLM will drop the hammer on them Burning their cabin and stealing their equipment which is common (which is then held for years, while the miners try to get it back – that is BLM’s standard M.O.). That is why they asked for help in the first place, and that need has not gone away.

It is critical that we support and protect patriotic Americans who are standing up for themselves and their rights. The miners are now making a brave stand against the pattern of BLM abuse that they have suffered for years. We need to stand with them, and you need to stand with them. Please volunteer to help them.




Traveling 2500 miles to set up camp and volunteer for a few weeks might not be an option for a lot of you.  Sending donations could help fund somebody that can go. 


This is something we need to think more about.  The possibility of some group  needing help, like these miners, is getting to be more common and this type of information is quickly spread in our on-line community.  Being prepared and equipped to go, on short notice (maybe not 2500 miles) and to be able to offer a few useable bodies for whatever role is needed, is a lofty yet noble goal for any militia group.  This is pretty much Minutemen type work.  How does this scenario fit into our plans?  


Along different lines, a little peek into the future comes from Tyler over at Zero Hedge.  Once again we find the economic numbers set out for general consumption are being manipulated to “enhance your economic outlook”.  Economic collapse is just one of the doorways to so many other unpleasant events leading to that time when Training Phase is over and the actual doing begins.  It will be here sooner that anyone wants.


May 2015 Notes

Leave a comment

May FTF will be held at Training Area West at 1300 on the 17th.  There will be an AAR from the Spring PATCON of the week before.  Should have a presentation on reports from NPFD1 and CPX Black Swan.  Both exercises yielded useful results.  A lot of people contributed.  A lot of INTEL was gathered.  One of the most useful items I learned was about the VOCAP HF Propagation tools available that makes for quick “best useable frequency” predictions between two stations.  Lessons learned this time out to be applied to the next field day exercise.  Getting a better antenna might be a good start.


In addition to RECON practices this summer, we need to get back onto the subject of IFAKS and basic field medical practice.  Doc Grouch was kind enough to supply the packing list for the M5 medic kit.



And any questions about selecting tourniquets is addressed in the NEDU Technical Report 07-07 where they compared 13 different styles of tourniquets under various conditions and on different body parts along with user feedback. 


Finally, a little pep talk from J. C. Dodge up at Mason Dixon Tactical on Leadership, Motivation and Support.  It’s a short read.  Something to keep in mind as we go thru this summer.




Patriot’s Day 2015

Leave a comment

Patriot’s Day has been all about remembering the Battle of Lexington and Concord and “The Shot Heard Around the World”.  It’s not remembered as “Tyrants Day” for a reason.


Free From Tyrants


This year, we have a schedule of events on a larger scale than ever before for all of you Militia and Minutemen.  There is National Patriot’s Field Day 2015 and a subset called CPX Black Swan.  Participation across the states is estimated to be in the thousands and there may be that many more participating on the local level only.  We will be working out the bugs as we go along in this exercise with an eye towards making this easier next time.  There will be a next time.




Along these lines, I am reminded of a story from a year ago promoting the view from the gun control folks, that in today’s time period, an armed citizenry has no hope of wresting control of the country from a tyrannical government.  Seems the liberals of the gun control lobby have yet to meet any tyrannical governments that they didn’t like.  It would really be bad for them on the day they do if there were no “well-regulated militias” willing to save their little butts from the fire.

And some of us are spread out into other areas this Patriot’s Day.  Keep in mind the Oath Keepers and volunteers out at the Josephine County, Oregon gold mines.  Donate or volunteer on their site set up just for this event.


Flight of  The Wookies






April 2015 Notes

Leave a comment

April FTX will commence at 1100 on the 19th. Location TBD. This is part of NPFD 2015/1. 19APR is also Patriot’s Day, remembering the Battle at Lexington Green.  Bring your three-day rapid deployment gear.

There will be a second presentation on the details from the Grid-Down Comm Class and a debrief on the field trip to visit the NC 3rd BATTALION, 51st MOUNTAIN DIVISION.

An important topic for discussion will be NC PATCON that starts 6MAY. Remember, CPX Black Swan is coming up.


1 1 Freedom

March 2015 Notes

Leave a comment

March FTX will commence at 1700 on the 27th at Training Area North.  We will be doing a little scenario overnight and need to get a head start before last light, so get on the field early.  Saturday morning we’ll hold the AAR and then  repeat the exercise Saturday night so you can see the difference. Prior to this exercise, you should go over FM 3-55.93 Long Range Surveillance Unit Operations (over on the side-bar).  Also a recent post at SOCO will help get your minds in gear:  Beginning Reconnaissance Operations.

And, if you have a copy of this little book, it could be handy too.


Reconnaissance Handbook

Reconnaissance Handbook

A sudden spike in ammo prices is once again upon us.  The mere rumor that future sales of XM855 to the little people will be banned  has made the price of all .223/5.56 ammo nearly double in some places in just a few weeks.  Supply is getting drawn down also as everyone goes into that buying cycle all over again.  Just keep in mind that once again, the government is yanking you around because they can, and they’ve been doing that for years.  It distracts you from thinking about how weak the government  is perceived around the world.  And you might start getting that itch because you’re voting more but enjoying it less.  There is no justification for banning ammo that has had an exemption for several decades.  There aren’t any L.E.O. types that are getting shot at with this type of ammo in a $1000 AR style pistol.  When there aren’t any good reasons, then what you have left are only the bad reasons.  To make things better though, the BATFE did invite everyone to send in their comments.  Funny how they forgot to tell you that in January, they published their new regulations removing the exemption for XM855 thereby banning it.  You are now all felons in possession of banned  ammunition.   Yes, this violates the Administrative Procedures Act and goes around Congress.  How long have we been in a WROL situation?  “But your opinion does matter.”  Just not to them.

You can get your copy from the ATF’s website here.


Lastly, something that makes me feel good about being just a hayseed out in the sticks is this Army report about fighting in mega-cities.   Our little town of 55,000 is ten miles end to end with way too many little side roads and wooded areas to make sealing it off a practical endeavor, but somebody has probably already  looked into it.  Even at a ratio of one soldier for every 10 civilians it would just not be practical.  Or sustainable.   And, the Army guys know that their worse nightmare is Urban Ops.  It’s a walk in the park for them to load up all their fun toys and drive out into the country and settle in for a spell.  They’ve been doing that for the past century and they’ve wrote several good books based on their successes.  But fighting in cities is all just crap waiting to happen.  In their study they explain  how big cities, with populations in the  millions, can just suck up an entire army.  Mexico City today has 21 million people in 600 square miles.  Istanbul is a city of  14 million.  Tehran 12 million.  Bagdad has only 5.5 million packed into 150 square miles.  And yes, there are planning scenarios for combat operations in those cities.  Not a popular option these days to  bomb major cities into rubble like back in WWII.   Imagine the projected losses from kicking in just one million doors.  The locals will know you’re coming to their neighborhood.  How many UAV’s would that take?  Where would your close air support be staged?  Or artillery, or field hospitals, or resupply depots?  Plus it would be a small war itself to protect those assets on the ground .  If only the Army could develop something like robots…. yeah, robots that can haul stuff around in urban settings and do some of the door kicking.  Thousands of them.  Just like in a movie or a video game.  Now that would be a real game changer.  Good thing nobody will have XM855 then when that happens.  And  that’s why we need good, common-sense gun control laws.


Pet Man Robot

Army Pack Mule Robot

Second Squad

Population Control


Downtown Overwatch



50 Shades Of …..

Leave a comment

So….. all the BATFE has to do is say they’re thinking of changing the classification of this cartridge, based on some made-up, flimsy, unsupportable excuse, to get everybody to start running around in little circles and crying like little girls that didn’t get that pony for their birthday?  Yes, there currently is an exemption for this cartridge.  Yes, it’s not actually armor-piercing, but is called a penetrator.  Something like the difference between “Open Tip Match” and “Hollow Point” ammo classifications.  Yes, it is an obvious twisted contradiction of the regulations already on the books.  And a blatant violation of our Second Amendment Rights.  But really, I’ve got more than one box of bullets because I do more than one kind of shooting.  How many screwdrivers do you have right now in your toolbox?  One?  Yeah, that’s what I thought. 

XM855 FMJSCBT 62 gr Green Tip

Here’s a short collection of YouTube videos to help you sort this out.  First, a few different classic presentations of projectile deceleration in clear ballistics gel.  Good to see what goes on exactly when those little thingies careen through something that is functionally equivalent to man-sized slabs of living flesh.  Or in the case of Zombie attack, un-living flesh.

556 XM855 in Ballistic Gel

5.56 x 45 NATO M855 Slow Motion Ballistic Gel by Brass Fetcher


762 x 39 PowerPoint in Ballistic Gel

7.62 x 39 Federal 123 gr Soft Point


308 M80 147 gr in Ballistic Gel

7.62 x 51 M80 147 gr FMJ in Ballistic Gel also by Brass Fetcher


And it would seem a lot of people have the scenario in mind where they might have to shoot at Zombies in serious armor plate ballistic vests.  Maybe.  You never know.

Ballistics TestingBallistic Penetration Testing by Sootch00


There might even be the odd time when you need to shoot through something in order to hit a zombie that thinks it’s hiding.  And there are some suitable rounds for that.

MK 318

Mk 318 OTM 62 gr  5.56 SOST


MK 262

MK 262 OTM 77 gr 5.56


Mosin Nagant 1000 yds

Even a $200 Mosin-Nagant can shoot way out to 1000 yards and leave a nasty bruise.



300 wsm canyon

You might also consider solving the problem a little further out with the ever popular long-range solution in .300 Winchester Mag.  My favorite variation is in .300 WSM.  Not cheap to shoot but you get what you pay for.


And something with perspective and entertainment value, here’s a video so you can share in my comedic and slightly sadistic anticipation of the Zombie attack, without the recurring nightmares that comes with actually having to do this.


Pumpkin vs 300 WSM300WSM vs Pumpkin

 Just one more, because you can’t see enough ballistek gel blocks getting shot up.  And I mean about two feet straight up.  Again with my round of choice:


Two Blocks

So.  There you have it.  As much as XM855 is suddenly all the rage because it might be on the way to becoming unobtainium, there are reasonably viable alternatives for you to consider.  Besides, you are supposed to be training on a variety of weapons platforms and need to know how they perform under differing conditions.   Don’t get hung-up on doing your one favorite thing over and over the same way all the time.  Remember, there are 50 shades of red.


Additional video here:

xm855 purple tip

Great explanation of why this is not an armor piercing round, but just an “enhanced penetration” round.  The “X”  in XM855 means “seconds”, rejects for some reason or another.  Not good enough for the military to use to shoot zombies.  But they might be good enough for you.

Older Entries


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.