Archive for the 'Firearms' Category

Assessment Of SOF Ambush In Niger, The Gun, And Major General Bob Scales

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 3 days ago

Whether it’s worth it to the reader notwithstanding, I’m going to give some initial thoughts on the Islamic ambush on the SOF (Green Berets) in Niger in 2017, and then conclude with a few thoughts on guns and generals.  I expect pushback, just as I got with A Marine Corps View Of Tactics In Operation Red Wings, a very well visited post, and also a very controversial one.  With this former post, not very many commenters understood what I and my son were saying concerning the boundary conditions for the fight, i.e., we were questioning not just the weapons and staffing of the operation, but why it was conceived the way it was to begin with.  I expect SF and SOF to disagree with elements of my assessment here too.

First of all, let’s dispense with the preliminary necessities of acknowledging that the operation had a very sad ending, in spite of the heroic efforts of some brave men.  Let’s also stipulate that it was very sad that men had to sustain this sacrifice for an army is Islamists created by George Soros and the CIA (along with DynCorp, the CGI, the deep state and others appurtenant parties).  Now that the preliminaries are out of the way, we need to learn from the operation in a clinical manner.

First of all, read this CNN article, and then read this Military Times article (which is better) for background.  For a redacted DoD assessment, read this document (PDF).  I’ll embed a video later, but for the time being, this is necessary reading in order to understand the context.  Now for my assessment.

[1] There is absolutely no question that they “continued to engage the enemy” throughout the event.  That is stated a number of times in the formal report, and the report is correct and honest about that.

[2] The SOF soldiers had M4 carbines with EOTech holographic sights, not scopes with magnification.

[3] A larger caliber weapon would have been irrelevant without long distance sighting capability.

[4] The M4s they deployed with were sufficient to the task given the distances they were shooting.

[5] A small caliber weapon (5.56mm) was the best choice for the engagement anyway given that they were having to lay down very quick fires and needed rapid recovery of sight picture.

[6] The entire operation was poorly conceived and poorly planned.

[7] It isn’t clear to me why they chose to engage the enemy when they did via dismounted operations rather than evasion, egress and escape more quickly.  The vehicle they were using was driving very slowly, leaving them exposed with no cover or concealment.

[8] When they were laying down the only suppressive fires they could, with M4s, there was no coordination of fires.  One soldier was shooting while another was waving for the driver to hurry, and vice versa.  I understand conservation of ammunition, but this was a high intensity rather than a protracted fire fight.

[9] There was no combined arms fires because there were no combined arms to deploy.

[10] They needed a suppressive weapon and didn’t bring one.

[11] The presence of an M249, while perhaps not changing the outcome, would have made it much more difficult for the enemy.

[12] None of the soldiers in the video had an M203, which has a long range of somewhere around 400 yards and an effective range of somewhere around 150-200 yards.

[13] The presence of an M79 would have made it much more difficult on the enemy.  I understand that M79s are still in use.  It has an effective range of somewhere around 400 yards, which I estimate to be within range of the cover and concealment used by the enemy.

[14] Sadly, they were vastly outnumbered.  Furthermore, the enemy had combined arms.  More specifically, they had a crew served truck mounted machine gun.  This was likely determinative for the engagement.

[15] Finally, the M4s didn’t jam.  They functioned well, they were able to shoot within the range of the cover and concealment used by the enemy, and given the rapid sight picture recovery of the weapon, they were probably the best choice if all you had was a rifle.  This was a high intensity engagement.  There was no time for designated marksmen or snipers.  They needed to break contact more quickly, evade, find concealment, and ensconce with a suppression weapon (which they didn’t have).

In my opinion, the video you are about to watch, combined with the reports I cited, bear out much of what I’m saying.  This video was from a helmet camera, confiscated by an Islamic fighter, and now on YouTube.  I don’t vouch for it’s presence on the internet for any specific length of time.  I cannot say how long it will be available.

Again, this is all so very sad that these men perished the way they did.  It should serve as a warning to American politicians on the dangers of open borders for our own country, but it won’t.

And in spite of all of this, Major General Bob Scales indicated this.

He pointed to lives lost due to small arms and other infantry equipment holes from Vietnam to Afghanistan to last year’s deaths of special operations soldiers in Niger.

If you’d listened to me three years ago, those soldiers in Niger would have had this rifle in their hands,” Scales said. “So, take that to bed tonight.”

He is specifically saying that having a rifle of his own choosing would have changed the outcome of the engagement in Niger.

He is an awful man.  Not only is he an idiot and ass-clown, he’s cravenly using the deaths of soldiers in an operation-gone-wrong (because it was conceived wrong) to push his own agenda.  He’s blood dancing on the graves of those soldiers to get his way.

Bob … Scales … has … no … shame.  He is incapable of shame and has no scruples.

Prior: Wait, Defense Secretary Mattis Put Bob Scales In Charge Of WHAT?

Mossberg And MKS Break Ties With Dick’s Sporting Goods

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 4 days ago

Ohio-based MKS, whose products include Hi-Point Firearms and Inland M1911s, have announced they won’t sell to Dick’s and their affiliates on Second Amendment grounds.

MKS said the recent move by Dick’s to hire a government affairs group for the purpose of gun control lobbying, coupled with the big box retailer’s past choices to destroy their existing inventory of AR-15s and refuse firearm sales to those under age 21 put the two companies at odds when it came to the right to keep and bear arms.

“In recent months, Dick’s Sporting Goods and its subsidiary, Field & Stream, have shown themselves, in our opinion, to be no friend of Americans’ Second Amendment,” said Charles Brown, MKS president. “We believe that refusing to sell long guns to adults under age 21, while many young adults in our military are not similarly restricted, is wrong. We believe that villainizing modern sporting rifles in response to pressure from uninformed, anti-gun voices is wrong. We believe that hiring lobbyists to oppose American citizens’ freedoms secured by the Second Amendment is wrong.”

I doubt MKS sells that much inventory to Dick’s.  But this next one hurts.

NORTH HAVEN, CT – O.F. Mossberg & Sons, Inc., a leading American firearms manufacturer, announced today its decision to discontinue selling products to Dick’s Sporting Goods, and its subsidiary, Field & Stream, in response to their hiring of gun control lobbyists in April 2018.

Effective immediately, O.F. Mossberg & Sons will not accept any future orders from Dick’s Sporting Goods or Field & Stream, and is in the process of evaluating current contractual agreements.

“It has come to our attention that Dick’s Sporting Goods recently hired lobbyists on Capitol Hill to promote additional gun control.” said Iver Mossberg, Chief Executive Officer of O.F. Mossberg & Sons. “Make no mistake, Mossberg is a staunch supporter of the U.S. Constitution and our Second Amendment rights, and we fully disagree with Dick’s Sporting Goods’ recent anti-Second Amendment actions.”

I have written a note to Mossberg Media Relations as follows.

I have no doubt my readers will ask about whether this decision is determinative and controlling, or just applies to firearms ordered from Dick’s bypassing distributors.  Or another way to ask the question is this.  Will Mossberg enforce this decision with distributors too, requiring them to refrain from selling to Dick’s?

As of this writing I have not received a response.  But it appears as if these two manufacturers aren’t so worried about “a conspiracy in restraint of trade.”  What is Dick’s going to do – fight the lawyers from every gun manufacturer in America?

Good for MKS and Mossberg.  Let’s keep piling it on with other gun manufacturers.  I hope Mossberg’s lawyers can work out not supplying them with existing contracts.

Marine Corps Confirms Adoption Of Mk 13 Scout Sniper Rifle

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 4 days ago


Back in April TFB reported that the USMC was finally moving to replace the venerable M40 Sniper Rifle. The Corps has confirmed this in a press release announcing the adoption of the Mk 13 Precision Sniper Rifle which will replace the M40A6 currently in service.

The Marine Corps is set to begin fielding the Mk 13 Mod 7 in late 2018, with infantry and recon battalions, as well as scout snipers receiving the weapon. The Mk 13 Mod 7 is already in service with the Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command (MARSOC).

[ … ]

The Mk 13 Mod 7 is chambered in .300 Winchester Magnum and features a “long-action receiver, stainless steel barrel, and an extended rail interface system for a mounted scope and night vision optic.” The new rifle and round will bring the Marine Corps capability into alignment with that of the US Army’s snipers and those of Special Operations Command.

[ … ]

While the Corps’ press release does not state how many of the new precision rifles have been purchased as we previously reported the USMC’s FY2019 Budget Estimates Justification Book indicates that 356 rifles will be purchased during the 2018 fiscal year at a projected cost of $4.287 million. This puts the per rifle cost at around $12,000.

Excuse me?  $12,000 per rifle?  I could field three times that many rifles for the cost simply by purchasing parts and doing the build myself.  This is a .300 Win Mag with a tactical chassis, bipod and scope.  Good Lord.  The Marine Corps was taken in this deal.  This is why it’s so costly to arm the U.S. Military.  We make idiotic decisions.

One good note, however.  Heretofore the Marine Corps only shot with the .308, and anything stronger usually involved the deployment of the .50 Sasser.  Deploying the .300 Win Mag is a good intermediary step, one that should have been taken long ago.

Wait, Defense Secretary Mattis Put Bob Scales In Charge Of WHAT?

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 5 days ago

The lead man tasked by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis with transforming everything infantry and close combat on Tuesday challenged industry and government leaders to put a leap-ahead rifle in his boss’ hands in less than two years — or else.

Retired Army Maj. Gen. Bob Scales was a keynote speaker at the annual National Defense Industry Association Armament Systems forum here, and he didn’t waste any time launching into a takedown of key components that equip the close combat infantryman.

Scales recounted how he’d spoken at the conference three years ago, pushing industry and government procurement officials to create an intermediate caliber rifle with a piston action, polymer ammunition casing, a suppressor and digital fire controls.

“Now, in 2018, does any of that sound familiar?” he asked.

Scales is the chairman of the Department of Defense’s recently created “Close Combat Lethality Task Force.” The task force formed at Mattis’ direction and has $2.5 billion to fundamentally transform all things close combat for Army and Marine infantry and Special Operations troops.

The rifle he described in his opening remarks is handled under the Next Generation Squad Weapon project, headed by the Army.

But there, too, are problems, he noted.

The NGSW program was aimed at making a rifle or carbine to replace the flawed M16/M4 system, which Scales has railed against since his own experience with early versions of the M16 in Vietnam.

But an incredulous Scales told the audience that developers on the NGSW are now prioritizing the light machine gun in a program called the Next Generation Squad Automatic Rifle to replace the Squad Automatic Weapon, with the rifle or carbine to come later.

“It’s the Next Generation rifle or carbine, damn it,” Scales said.

The change in focus means that under current schedules, the rifle/carbine won’t be ready until 2024.

That is not acceptable, Scales said. To either him or his boss.

“Let me tell you something, folks. It’s not working,” Scales said. “Make the rifle by 2020. My God, folks, it’s a nine-pound piece of steel. The cost isn’t as much as a lug nut on a B-1 bomber.”

I confess I didn’t know this.  Scales is an imbecile.  Mattis is an imbecile for putting Scales in charge of anything except taking out the trash.  Scales isn’t qualified as a gunsmith, engineer or mechanic to order decisions on cartridge size, type, caliber, or anything else, much less to order that it be a pistol gun rather than DI.

Good Lord.  What an idiot.

So, Scales, here are some questions for you to ponder as your play Napoleon with the would-be weapons makers.  Are you prepared to change not only weapons, but training and doctrine?  You see, the notion of a light, small caliber, automatic gun with high projectile velocity, line of recoil along the axis of the gun, and quick sight-picture recovery, is necessary for the doctrines on which the current militaries of the entire world are built.

They are aided by snipers and DMs carrying larger caliber guns.  So where is the money coming from to change everything?  Why do you want a piston system?  Who told you it is better?  Do you know more than my friend the training NCO in the Army, who told me this?

The Marines have established in their 24-72 hour protracted, static, fire fights in Southern Afghanistan, that three 30 round magazines will do the job, if you have NCO directed, well aimed and properly spotted fire. Shoot from cover, control your security and do not allow an element to maneuver unobserved on your position. Maintain indirect fire back-up for surprises and to exploit enemy error’s. It sounds basic but we (Army) do not routinely practice this doctrine. So we kill and maim our troops because of and regardless of, the grain count of our issue rounds. As you point out.

My friend goes on to explain that the gun isn’t the problem – it’s the shooter.  It’s almost always the shooter.  Hey Scales, do you know more than my buddy does about what’s happened in any theater of conflict in the past 40 years?

Hey Scales, tell me all about the caseless cartridge you want so badly?  I want to hear the engineering aspects of this thing.  I also want to know all about how easy you think it is to keep recoil down while giving the shooter better ballistic coefficient, less weight, more reliability, a cleaner weapon, and instant recovery of sight picture?

Where did you get your engineering degree to insult design engineers like that, you insufferable old fart?  If it’s so easy, why don’t you do it?

What do you know about the cost of a bolt on a B-1?  Why did you use that analogy?  As for this gun, it’s a nine pound piece of steel.  Steel?  Is that what it is, Scales?  Steel?  None of it is polymer or aluminum?  And it’s nine pounds?  Nine pounds?  I own a 6.09 pound AR, and you’re going to put a 9 pound gun in a woman’s hands to carry?

Hey, speaking of that, how much of this has to do with trying to reduce weight for women in combat?  Or are you trying to reduce weight?  Nine pounds isn’t a weight reduction.

How much has changed since you saw the gun in action in Vietnam, Scales?  Is it the same gun, or not?  Have you shot one lately?  Field stripped it and cleaned it?  Are BCGs even made of the same material these days, Scales?

You moron.  The fact that Mattis put you in charge of this effort makes me laugh and sad at the same time.  This is a living example of the Dunning-Kruger effect.   Without metacognition, low-ability people cannot objectively evaluate their actual competence or incompetence.

You’re an incompetent dumbass.


USMC M38 DMR Not Ready For Battle

Scales Traffics In Half Century Old Rhetoric On Stoner Design

Problems And Solutions In Rifle Caliber And Training

Blaming The Gun For The Battle Losses

Champion Pistol Shooter Doug Koenig To Lead Team Ruger

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 5 days ago

Surprising news:

In 1993, the San Francisco 49ers shocked the world when they traded future NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana to the Kansas City Chiefs. Earlier this year, a similar situation occurred when Ruger announced that 18-time NRA Bianchi Cup National Action Pistol Champion Doug Koenig was joining them to become their new shooting team’s captain—it stunned the competitive shooting world.

So how did it happen? Earlier this year we talked to Koenig about his big move to Team Ruger, his passion for accuracy, and the future home of the Sportsman’s Team Challenge National Championship.

A pro shooter’s goals may change over the course of a career. Sometimes a change of scenery is necessary and proper. Occasionally, the stars align and opportunities arise.

“When Paul Pluff went to Ruger, we stayed in touch,” said Koenig (Pluff is Ruger’s public relations manager). “He shared his thoughts with me about getting a shooting team together, and I looked at the move as a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor with a great company.”

The combination of Koenig maturing as a professional shooter, whose still-fresh career has reached lofty heights, and Smith & Wesson’s evolving needs as a company, brought on the split. Additionally, the wide range of Ruger’s firearms lineup matches his desire to branch out into other disciplines.

“Ruger has some fantastic products I can compete with, but there are also opportunities to be involved with new products,” said Koenig. “When I started out with Smith & Wesson 14 years ago, I was heavily involved with product design, working with their engineers and product managers. They have their own thoughts and they do it a different way now, which is okay, but they haven’t utilized the team under those parameters in the last several years.”

Koenig goes on to explain that he intends to do some competitive precision rifle shooting too.  It will be rather odd to see Doug in rifle competitions.  He has been such a staple on the competitive pistol shooting circuit that it will be a huge change to see him with a rifle in his hands.

This would seem to be a huge loss for S&W.  Other than S&W not making him happy with product oversight anymore, or perhaps more money offered by Ruger, I wonder how this happened?

I also wonder what’s become of the other notable S&W shooter, Jerry Miculek?  I haven’t seen a video by him in more than a year.

The Pentagon Considers This Russian Sniper Rifle A Big Threat To U.S. Soldiers: The NRA Helped Promote It

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 6 days ago

David Corn writing at Mother Jones:

In late 2016, the US Army released a report noting that the Russian military, through experience gained during fighting in Ukraine, was undergoing a transformation and becoming a more potent battlefield threat to American forces. One troublesome development identified by the report’s authors was the increased proficiency of Russian snipers. “The capabilities of a sniper in a Russian contingent is far more advanced than the precision shooters U.S. formations have encountered over the last 15 years,” the study noted. One reason for this was the Russian military’s recent adoption of the ORSIS T-5000, a relatively new Russian-made firearm that the report called “one of the most capable bolt action sniper rifles in the world.” As one military technology expert noted, after reviewing this report, the US Army faced “being outgunned” by foes armed with the T-5000—which can be accurate at a distance of 2,000 yards—and these Russian rifles were showing up in Iraq and Ukraine. That is, this weapon posed a threat to US troops and those of its allies. Yet the National Rifle Association—which boasts it is identified with American patriotism—has helped promote Moscow-based ORSIS and its sniper rifle.

Corn goes on and on in breathtaking and dramatic fashion over this highly lethal rifle, which happens to be a .338 bolt action gun.

I guess the U.S. doesn’t have .338 bolt action guns.  Oops, never mind.  Guess we don’t have .50 BMG rifles.  Oops, never mind, the Marine Corps Scout Snipers use them all the time.  Guess the .338 is an innovative round never before seen on the battlefields of the world.  Oops, never mind.

Guess David Corn bought the Pentagon picture-book hook, line and sinker.  David, this report is a request for money.  Do you get that, son?

By the way, nice job, Army-folks.  Lots of nice, pretty, action-pictures to keep the brass and politicians interested as they turn the pages.

Collectible Rifles: The Winchester Model 70

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 6 days ago

George Block at Observer-Reporter:

Perhaps the greatest collectable, if in pristine and original condition, is the pre-1964 model 70. While 580,000 of these rifles were made, they bring a good price because of the quality of manufacturing and are considered by many collectors and shooters as the finest standard production rifle ever offered to the public. There is one thing about this collectable rifle: it seems to hold value better than any other. But remember, originality and condition still enter into the picture.

There is little doubt but that the name Winchester increases the value of any rifle. There are many lever action models that have jumped in value. An 1888 in good shape is worth quite a bit as is the ugly and awkward to carry 1895. Even the most popular Winchester of all the 1894 holds its value well. The 1894 later became the model 94 that most of us have shot at some time.

In 1927, the 18 was dropped from the name. Like most rules, there are exceptions and the old Winchesters fall under that category. Most high priced collectables are those models that didn’t sell well and were dropped after a brief period.

Earlier I misstated in a reply back to Georgiaboy that Winchester Rifles are now made in Portugal.  Actually, Winchester rifles were made in Japan for a number of years, and at that point the quality deteriorated to near nothing.

FN purchased the brand, and now the parts are made in Columbia, S.C., while being assembled in Portugal.  It’s still difficult to get a Winchester Model 70 because FN tools their line in Columbia to make a certain gun, retools for the next one, and so on and around it goes.  I question whether this is a good business model, but it’s what they do.

Few people outside FN know when a new release of gun models is going to become available.  I’ve sent FN customer service notes before on other subjects only to be ignored.  I also don’t know anything about the quality of the Model 70s being made today.

Bank Of America To Make Bankruptcy Loan To Remington

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks ago


Bank of America Corp is preparing to provide critical financing to Remington Outdoor Co, which makes assault-type rifles, just weeks after the U.S. bank said it would stop financing “military-style” firearms for civilians.

The bank is contributing $43.2 million to a $193 million lending package funded by seven banks, according to court documents, which will help put Remington back on stable footing as it emerges from bankruptcy later this month into an uncertain environment for gun makers.

The package replaces a similar credit facility the banks committed to providing Remington. Both were agreed in late March, before Bank of America, the second-largest U.S. bank by assets, changed its policy to stop financing companies that make military-style guns for civilian use.

Anne Finucane, Bank of America’s vice chair, said in April that the bank had decided on its pledge to help reduce mass shootings, saying in an interview with Bloomberg TV that “it is not our intent to underwrite or finance military-style firearms on a go-forward basis.”

[ … ]

But withdrawing from the deal would hurt the bank’s reputation for standing by its lending agreements and could undermine Remington’s survival, according to one person familiar with the bank’s thinking.

Surely BoA knew about this loan package before it’s stupid announcement on other firearms manufacturers.

That means one of two things.  Either BoA is full of liars and crooks who were only trying to make an appearance of cooperating with the gun controllers, or Remington has been strong armed and is preparing to jettison its Bushmaster line of guns.

If the first is true, it doesn’t mean BoA will lend in the future to firearms manufacturers.  It just means that they are liars.  If the second is true, this is the end for Remington.  There will be no recovery.  Tikka can easily supplant the Remington 700 because it’s a better gun.

Ruger Facebook Response To Request That They Not Distribute To Dick’s Sporting Goods

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks ago


To All Our Loyal Fans & Customers: We have had a number of inquiries about whether we plan to discontinue sales to Dick’s Sporting Goods. We do not sell to Dick’s. Ruger utilizes a two-step distribution system in which we sell to independent, federally licensed distributors, who sell to independent, federally licensed retailers. Because the distributors are independent, we cannot control where they sell the products they acquire. However, we share your concerns about how Dick’s is conducting itself and are disappointed by their recent actions. Given Dick’s recent pronouncements, we expect it is safe to assume that you will not be seeing Ruger firearms in their stores. #Ruger #firearms

I just don’t know whether I believe this.  All Ruger – or any other manufacturer – has to do is require of their distributors that they not sell to Dick’s Sporting Goods.  If they are caught doing that, then Ruger does not use those distributors any more.

In fact, this could all be set up in a contractual agreement.  What’s so hard about that?  Why is Ruger dismissing this as if we’re stupid and can’t figure it out?

Magpul Bipod

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks, 3 days ago

Magpul is soon to release a new bipod they’ve apparently been working a while on.  Here is the video.

It has extendable legs, as well as hardware for a Picatinny rail mount.  I’m assuming that this video and their design targets tactical shooters, whereas the Harris bipod targets precision shooters and hunters.

The best thing about this product is the cost.  At $110, it will market for approximately half the cost of the Harris bipod.

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