Archive for the 'Army' Category



The Overuse Of Special Operations

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks ago

I tried to warn everyone, but just like America has a cop-worshipping problem, it also has a special operator worshipping problem.  Abolish SOCOM, I said.  Distribute direction action capabilities among the units, get out of countries where we don’t belong, and whet our appetite for war-making.

No one listens to me.

The breakneck pace at which the United States deploys its special operations forces to conflict zones is taking a toll, their top commander told Congress on Thursday.

Army Gen. Raymond Thomas, commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, called the rate at which special operations forces are being deployed “unsustainable” and said the growing reliance of the U.S. military on its elite troops could produce a dangerous strain.

“We are not a panacea,” he told the Senate Armed Services Committee. “We are not the ultimate solution to every problem, and you will not hear that coming from us.”

About 8,000 U.S. special forces are currently deployed in more than 80 countries, Thomas said. Many are at the forefront of advising missions in Syria and Iraq as well as counterterrorism missions in Afghanistan. There are about 500 special operators in Syria.

Senators said they were worried about the military’s overreliance on special forces, who are increasingly being called on for missions outside their usual range.

“Our combatant commanders around the world have developed a seemingly insatiable demand for the unique capabilities of our special operators,” said Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who chairs the Armed Services Committee.

The operational tempo is also wearing on the commanders, who in recent months have been called on to take the lead in anti-terrorism efforts and in monitoring the spread of weapons of mass destruction.

Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., said it was a “growing myth” that the U.S. “can use special forces and nothing else to achieve goals.”

Special forces are involved in operations against terrorist groups across the world, including the Islamic State and al Qaida in the Middle East and al Shabab in Somalia. On top of that, they are being assigned to a wide range of other conflicts, from “countering Russian aggression to preparing for contingencies in Korea,” Thomas said.

Thomas said special operators had engaged in “continuous combat over the past 15 and half years.”

U.S. special forces were deployed to 138 nations last year. Around 55.3 percent of Special Operations forces deployed overseas in 2016 were sent to the Middle East, a 35 percent drop since 2006, according to Special Operations Command. In the same decade, deployments to Africa rose steeply, by more than 1,600 percent, from just 1 percent in 2006 to 17.3 percent last year. Roughly 12.7 percent of special operators served in Europe, 9.2 percent in the Pacific Command region and almost 5 percent in Latin America.

The origins of this problem are actually quite simple.  First of all, allow meddlesome rulers control over the military.  Second, create military leadership who agrees with all this meddling.  Next, fling the borders wide-ass open and allow anyone to come here for any reason under the sun.  The resultant witch’s brew of toxicity requires you to control everyone, everywhere, all of the time in order to try to ensure that the country doesn’t completely collapse.

Further, invite gays, transgenders, women and weaklings into the military.  The only way to accomplish warfare then is to rely on the only remaining bastion of capability, SOCOM and the U.S. Marine Corps.  The general purpose forces have become a jobs program, and it’s doubtful whether “big army” will ever be capable of fighting another major war.

Perhaps one good side effect of this is that we leave those 138 counties where we deployed last year and mind our own business.

Problems And Solutions In Rifle Caliber And Training

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 1 week ago

In The Army Wants A New Rifle, we discussed my view of the Army’s searching for a larger caliber rifle to replace the M4.  Experience in Afghanistan is the pretext for this need, and while as I show below I support a copious choice of weapons, selection of a different caliber won’t make marksmen out of Soldiers.  In fact, perhaps just the opposite.  You can go read the discussion for yourself.  I hope I’ve adequately dispelled the ridiculous notion that The Battle of Wanat is justification for anything at all except being smarter in the future in your COIN strategy.

Soon after this commentary, a active duty friend who has been with me for nearly ten years (basically ever since I was doing military blogging and commentary) and who can tell you more about these things in an hour than I will ever know in a lifetime, wrote to continue the conversation with me.  I am always richer when he does so, and honestly, this is one big reason for writing.  I always learn more from my readers than they learn from me.

I will not supply his name, but as you can see below, we build on our notes to each other like Lego blocks, and always have.  Each subsequent note presupposes that I recall what he told me before, which is usually a lot.  There are notes that preceded this one, on shooting uphill, mountain training of soldiers (which he knows a lot about), and various and sundry things.  But even in the absence of those notes, you may be able to benefit from his knowledge.

One “Lego block” that I didn’t add yet was that while he heaps praises on the Marine Corps shooting program, I think the MC could take a page from the army on a few things.  The MC still has in its stable of DM and sniper rifles the 5.56mm, 7.62mm, and Sasser .50.  When Carlos Hathcock did his work in Vietnam, he used the Winchester 30-06 (not the .308), which has a slightly higher muzzle velocity, and when that wasn’t sufficient he used the .50.  He was the first to do so.

When something works, it’s difficult to get the MC to change.  But their shooting program might benefit from inclusion of the .300 Win Mag and the .338 into their stable of weapons.  I know one Marine Corps Scout Sniper, in impeccable condition, his physique a literal specimen, who told me that in not too many rounds shooting the .50, he had headaches.  Why do this if it isn’t necessary?

Again as you can see, I support the inclusion of many weapons and weapons systems in the stable of tools for both the Army and Marine Corps, but I will never jettison my trusty AR-15 for CQB and medium range shooting.  With that said, here is our exchange of notes.

As ever, my congratulations to you for your tireless efforts on your Blog. You are still slamming them!

I read your “Army wants a new rifle” post with interest. I have a little different perspective. Nothing you say is wrong or incorrect. How could it be? You are more emphatic of late in general and no less here. I’ll explain myself, but I do need to admit that I think that the Army is full of shit on this issue, in general and will do something or nothing in this case, for all the wrong reasons.

I’ve tested a lot of gear for the U.S. Army over the years. The Army has a civilian in charge of boots and boot development. He’s a huge, overweight man who wears worn loafers on his own feet. But he has a Doctorate in “footoligy” or some such thing and a very keen understanding of the politic’s of procurement.  Our relationship with this idiot got so shady that he would bring bullet headed body guards with him to attempt to shut I and my peers up. So the Army has garbage boots because that is what they want.

I’ve tested and trained and conducted training on lots of weapons too; long arms, sniper rifles and the full suite of Warsaw Pact weaponry.  My favorite is the SVD with the wacky Soviet scope; it’s quick, easy to shoot, accurate and people are scared of it. The RPD is an LMG that is greatly underrated. That is because the “PiKa”, Pkm, PK, is so dominant. I cannot say enough good things about getting hosed down by this bad boy. It is  a real attention getter!  Even beyond it’s 600m sweet spot, its plunging fire is stunning. The 240B is a honey but the Pkm has it beat for down and dirty warfighting.

5.56 v/s 7.62; ask a man who has taken 7.62 rounds into the chest or back plates, who also has the experience of dumping 5 or 6 rounds of issue 5.56 into an enemy to stop him. He will tell you that one 7.62 round in the plates will knock you down now and that the 5.56 will not return the favor. A few of the high-speed-low-drag elements get special 5.56 rounds that are one-shot-one kill specials. Our General Purpose forces don’t get this round though.

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 spoted 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 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.

I’ve trained lots of guys to shoot both 5.56 and 7.62 in all sorts of long arms out to 1000m and lots of it on a high angle range; aim low, practice shooter spotter and get your point of aim and point of impact details worked out ahead of time. I can teach an experienced and confident soldier to shoot an Acog equipped M4 out to 600m with an hour of class room time and with 30 rounds on the range.  He will of course have to practice these new shooting skills to develop their value.

I cannot train an inexperienced and unconfident shooter in this ridiculously brief time span and round count. In fact I’ll make him a worse shooter because he will do so poorly and understand zero of what I’m telling him. Even shooter/spotter will blow his mind. The exception here is with young Marine’s. They can often hang enough to get in their heads what is going on.

If you give me a 7.62 round weapon, even the M14 variants kicking around, and a little more time; I can get the confident guy consistently out to 850m. He’ll be able to read bullet trace, call his shots and walk a less experienced shooter quickly on to a target.

Good for me, so what. Hopefully the details are instructive. Again, as you point out, unless there is a solid grounding in the fundamentals of marksmanship, and or well trained NCO leadership in all our maneuver units; we may be better equipped to kill if we carry spears. We can conduct the training. But our Army does not currently know how to train, so maybe new magic rifles with new magic rounds are the answer.

Thank you,

[Name Redacted]

I respond.

Very good to hear from you.  I like the MC idea of a number of DMs who have something a little different.  My own son was trained as a DM even though he was a SAW gunner. [But] The notion the new 7.62 guns will make all soldiers marksmen is overreach versus what big army management wants.  Too many poorly educated kids from homes with no fathers who look to the *.gov for a meal and education.

He responds.

You are correct; the DM is the way to go. The Army took this seriously from about 2005 to 2010. The POI was really the 1st week of Sniper school; grouping, range E, calling your own shots and wind, point of aim/point of impact. And they issued a lot of “black rifle rigged ” EBR’s. A good shooter, but without a LaRue tactical mounting system for the optic, it would not hold a zero.  The iron sights are fine but that is another training challenge.

So if we could get a Marine or a Ranger Regiment soldier, he got the EBR and a chance to step up!

Lets face facts though; the Marine Corps base of marksmanship training is superior in every way and the U.S. Army’s base of rifle training is a hand wave. This disparity puts a lot of pressure on Army units gaining Basic Trainee’s. If the US Army has a trained DM in every Infantry Squad, then we have an opportunity to make up for this ridiculous institutional disparity.

In fact, as a First Sergeant, I’d get soldiers back from their Basic Training and Infantry AIT who had never qualified with the M4!  One young man was so bereft of basic skills that I issued him a black plastic, “rubber duck” rifle, until his platoon was able to prove he could safely carry the real thing. We did turn him into an Infantryman. But as you point, we were fighting 17 years of neglect.

Nothing gave me as much confidence, in a platoon, as a shit-hot SAW gunner.  Imagine one man who can fill in for a two man machine gun team. Would not believe it unless I was a witness! The enemy does not like the SAW either!  It takes a huge amount of skill and dedication though. Its worth the effort but it puts a lot on one mans shoulders.

You are most welcome to print what you choose Mr Smith! All I can say is; don’t quit! We need what you are doing.

As you can guess, I am actually much more concerned about how we incorporate these lessons in our work than with whether Big Army incorporates anything I have to say.  Let’s make it more personal.  I’m much more concerned about whether I incorporate these lessons than anything else.

Second Amendment May Be Restored On Army Corps Of Engineers Land

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 1 week ago

David Kopel:

You might think that a government unit called the “U.S. Army Corps of Engineers” would mainly perform projects such as building military forts and similar facilities. Yet the Corps of Engineers has acquired jurisdiction over many things that have nothing to do with the military. In particular, “The Corps of Engineers is the nation’s largest provider of water-based outdoor recreation. It administers 422 lake and river projects in 43 states, spanning 12 million acres, encompassing 55,000 miles of shoreline and 4,500 miles of trails, and including 90,000 campsites and 3,400 boat launch ramps. Waters under its control constitute 33 percent of all U.S. freshwater fishing.” (Here is a list of the Corps’ 1,969 recreational facilities.) Thanks to a lawsuit brought by the Mountain States Legal Foundation, the Corps has announced that it is reconsidering the gun ban on its outdoor property.

The Corps allows hunting on some of its land. Except for hunting, possession of a functional firearm is prohibited on Corps land — even a handgun inside one’s own tent. In Nesbitt v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Mountain States Legal Foundation (a public-interest law firm based in Denver) filed a lawsuit on behalf of two Idaho residents, regarding Corps recreational land in Idaho. In 2014, Federal District Judge B. Lynn Winmill (appointed in 1995 by President Bill Clinton) ruled that the ban violates the Second Amendment. The Obama administration then appealed the ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.

The prohibition was adopted in 1973, during the Richard Nixon administration. Nixon – -the only U.S. president ever to resign in order to avoid certain removal from office by the House and Senate — thought “guns are an abomination.” His administration promulgated a variety of anti-gun regulations.

[ … ]

Note that by banning ammunition, the regulation also forbids the possession of unloaded firearms that could be loaded in an emergency (if sufficient time were available).

Winmill held that “this complete ban goes beyond merely burdening Second Amendment rights but ‘destroys’ those rights for law-abiding citizens carrying operable firearms for the lawful purpose of self-defense.” Accordingly, the ban was unconstitutional. The opinion recognized the Corps’ authority to regulate guns on its outdoor property, but not to forbid them altogether.

A similar case in Georgia, involving a different attorney and plaintiffs, was remanded by the 11th Circuit. GeorgiaCarry.Org, Inc. v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 788 F.3d 1318 (11th Cir. 2015). The 11th Circuit held that the total ban was not a destruction of Second Amendment rights, since visitors spend only part of any given year on Corps property.

[ … ]

As the Corps follows through on its reconsideration, it has a very useful model available. In 2009, Congress passed and President Barack Obama signed (as an amendment to bill involving credit card laws) legislation allowing the lawful carrying of firearms on lands in the National Park Service. This was later extended to include the National Wildlife Refuge System. 54 U.S.C. § 104906; 36 C.F.R. § 2.4. In short, a person can carry a firearm on such property if the person can legally own a firearm and if the carrying is compliant with the law of the host state. Some states require a permit to carry a firearm; some require a permit for concealed carry but not for open carry; and others do not require a permit for either mode.

Although some people predicted disaster when the National Parks law was enacted, its operation in the past eight years has been uneventful. It is reasonable to presume the same for a similar regulation for Corps of Engineers recreational property.

A number of comments are in order.  First of all, it’s inappropriate in the superlative for the Army Corps of Engineers to have control of land and waterways like they do.  This is a misuse of tax monies and of the Army as well.  If the Army did engineering well, SL-1 wouldn’t have had a control rod ejection accident and they would be the reactor operators rather than the Navy, or at least in addition to the Navy.  Perhaps they are doing an outstanding job with dam engineering, I wouldn’t know, except for the fact that they’re not.  But they certainly don’t do sporting and recreation well.  Good Lord.  I can think of a million uses for the Army, and control of sports and recreation isn’t one of them.

Second, it’s inappropriate in the superlative for the Army to have restricted guns on property like this.  The horrible Richard Nixon notwithstanding, the Army could have reversed this without a court fight.  Instead, they had to look and act like progressive social justice warriors in court rather than the robust, constitution-loving group they are supposed to be.

Third, I cannot think of a more ridiculous argument than the 11th Circuit’s ruling that prohibition of guns sometimes doesn’t infringe the second amendment because that’s not the same thing as a prohibition all the time.  It’s okay, under this schema, to make it impossible to defend yourself if you’re at location “x” because sometimes you’re at location “y.”  The phrase “shall not be infringed” means nothing anymore and the English language is Swahili while the sky is the earth.  Contradiction and beclownment is our friend.

Fourth, consider a second the Army’s argument, and as you do, it should be insulting to you.  Returning to the article, it says “The Corps pointed out that the Supreme Court’s 2008 decision District of Columbia v. Heller allows gun bans in “sensitive places” such as “schools and government buildings.” Winmill explained that the “sensitive places” principle might justify a gun ban for Corps buildings, but not for “outdoor parks.” As for the Corps’ concerns that many of its recreational visitors are drunks who sometimes assault park officers, the court held that this cannot justify prohibiting everyone from exercising a constitutional right. The district court issued an injunction against gun prohibition on Corps property in Idaho. That injunction is still in effect.”

Drunkards, you are.  Many of you, if you frequent Army Corps of Engineers Land.  Many of you.  Just troublemakers and drunkards, and potential murderers.  And yet the fact that it’s precisely the innocent and peaceable man who may be assaulted by drunkards who needs that protection that is overlooked and unaddressed.

At one time I conducted my own research of homicides in National Parks before and after guns were again legalized in 2010, and the parks were no less safe in 2011 than they were in 2010.  Kopel is right about this, and perhaps soon I’ll submit another FOIA request for updated information.  As always with constitutional and open carry, mothers and children don’t run screaming and blood doesn’t run in the streets.  These are all just hysterical reactions.

This whole episode should be embarrassing to the Army, and it shouldn’t just mediate this case until a satisfactory conclusion is reached.  It should forthwith reverse the regulation and recognize the very constitution it should be defending.  David Kopel is a truly nice guy.  I’ve exchanged email with him before.  He thanked the Army Corps of Engineers.  I’ll reserve my thanks, thank you very much.  This has redounded to a lot of wasted taxpayer money and nanny state collectivism by the Army.  The Army should be ashamed it ever got this far.

H&K Doesn’t Just Hate You, They Hate America Too

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 2 weeks ago

H&K hates you, or so they say.  It appears they hate America too.

German gunmaker Heckler & Koch said U.S. aerospace and defence company Orbital ATK Inc had filed a suit in the United States seeking damages in excess of $27 million.

In the complaint, filed at the U.S. District court in the district of Minnesota, Orbital said it was seeking damages for breach of contract over the XM25 semi-automatic weapon system which Orbital and Heckler & Koch started developing more than 20 years ago.

“Heckler & Koch GmbH rejects all claims, based on the information we have so far,” the company said in a statement on Thursday.

“Heckler & Koch GmbH did not receive the complaint formally from the U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota so far,” the gunmaker also said in its brief statement.

A spokesman for Heckler & Koch declined to comment on the details of the claims.

Orbital said in the filing, seen by Reuters, that Heckler & Koch had failed to deliver twenty additional prototypes of the XM25 weapon systems, as contracted, and that its failure to do so meant the U.S. Army had raised the possibility of terminating its contract with Orbital.

“Even if the Prime Contract is not terminated, Orbital ATK has incurred and will incur additional costs as a direct result of the substantial delay caused by Heckler & Koch’s non-performance and the need to re-procure the twenty weapons from an alternate manufacturer,” it stated in the filing.

Orbital is also asking in the filing that Heckler & Koch transfer certain intellectual property to enable another contractor to carry out the work.

The filing said Heckler & Koch had queried whether the weapons, which target enemies protected by walls or hidden in hard-to-reach places, would violate international laws of war.

The filing also said that after receiving legal opinions, Heckler & Koch had said it would only supply the weapons if the U.S. government provided a special certification, which the government refused to do. Informal mediation failed, and Heckler & Koch refused to engage in formal mediation, the filing stated.

Um … what?  As best as I can determine, H&K decided that the very weapon they were designing for the stated purpose of being an airburst counter defilade weapon isn’t appropriate in anyone’s hands, and decided not to fulfill contractual obligations.

Army Tags:

U.S. Army Chooses Sig Sauer P320

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 4 weeks ago

Fox News:

The U.S. Army on Thursday awarded Sig Sauer a contract worth $580 million to make the next service pistol based on the company’s P320 handgun.

Sig Sauer beat out Glock Inc., FN America and Beretta USA, the maker of the current M9 9mm service pistol, in the competition for the Modular Handgun System, or MHS, program.

“We are both humbled and proud that the P320 was selected by the U.S. Army as its weapon of choice,” Ron Cohen, chief executive officer of Sig Sauer, said in a statement to Military.com here at SHOT Show, the world’s largest gun show, taking place this week in the city.

“Securing this contract is a testimony to Sig Sauer employees, their commitment to innovation, quality and manufacturing the most reliable firearms in the world,” Cohen added.

Whatever.  Color me unimpressed.  Go look at the model.  I’m not a Sig fanboi (nor a Glock fanboi), so I hadn’t really noticed the Sig pistols all that much.

This is God’s honest truth.  The first thing I thought when I saw that thing was “The slide profile is very tall and it has a high bore axis and so it will have worse muzzle flip” (well, I say God’s honest truth, but to be completely honest, this thought coincided with the thought “boy that thing is ugly”).

Now to be sure, you can look at the Sig fanboi forums (yes, here are such things), and they swear up and down that Sigs don’t have a high bore axis, and even if they do it doesn’t mean there’s more muzzle flip.  That’s a myth.  It isn’t real.  Seriously, you can’t make this up.  Go look at the forums yourself.

Well, here it goes, so listen up.  The bore axis is higher in this pistol than any I’ve ever seen (distance between bore and web of your hand in Cartesian space, here think the “y” axis, straight up and down).  The greater the moment arm, the greater the force.  That’s engineering mechanics to those who have taken courses in statics and dynamics.

Or to little boys who first learn to work a jack when they change a tire.  Amusingly, Uncle says “I also don’t disagree with picking the Sig. Or if they’d have picked the M&P. So long as they went with a striker-fired, polymer-framed gun that holds a lot of bullets. And isn’t an XD or Taurus.”

Well, that puts me about 180 degrees out with Uncle, since it eliminates 1911 and XDm, the only two guns I would want to take into combat.  I thought about that the other day (“If I had to go to combat, what sidearm would I want to take?”), and while my heart says 1911 because I shoot it better than any gun I have, my head says XDm for its durability, reliability, simplicity and 11 degree 1911-style grip angle.

I could beat on it with a sledge hammer and it would still work, I’m convinced.  All of you Glock owners out there, you realize that your grip isn’t the perfect 11 degrees, right?  And all of you M&P owners, take your pistol (make sure it has no rounds in the chamber first), look at it from the side, and observe the gap between the front of the slide and the frame compared to lack of gap at the rear of the gun.  You can even take your fingers and squeeze the slide together with the frame at the front of the gun.  It rattles.  This is true of all M&Ps.  The slide sits a full 1/8″ off the frame at the front sight.

You see, right?  Did you M&P owners do it like I suggested?  I don’t like that gap for reasons too numerous to outline here.  I don’t shoot 9mm (chamber pressure of around 35,000 psi compared to around 25,000 psi for the .45 ACP), and I don’t have Sigs.

As for other reviews, there is this one from Shooting Illustrated, and in it there are these nuggets.

One of the pistol’s features I really like is the cutouts on either side of the frame, which allow the magazine to be stripped forcefully from the frame when necessary, such as when correcting a double-feed.

Funny, that.  I’ve shot thousands of rounds through my XDm, and I’ve never had a double-feed.  Not a single FTF or FTE.  Not even once.  And then there is this.

My overall complaint about the P320 is a net that I’ll cast over nearly every SIG pistol: a bore axis that results in more muzzle flip than necessary.

Well, like I said.  So to reiterate my take on the Army decision … whatever.  I won’t be getting one.

Army Round Triggers Problems In The Marine Corps M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle

BY Herschel Smith
5 months ago

Military.com:

Preliminary results of an Army test to see how the service’s M855A1 5.56mm round performs in Marine Corps weapons show that the enhanced performance round causes reliability and durability problems in the Marine M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle, service officials say.

The Marine Corps in March added the M27 and the M16A4 rifles to the Army’s ongoing testing of M855A1 Enhanced Performance Round at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland after lawmakers questioned why the Army and the Marines use two different types of 5.56mm ammunition.

“One of the reasons we were doing that test was because of congressional language from last year that said ‘you two services need to look at getting to a common round,’ so we heard Congress loud and clear last year,” Col. Michael Manning, program manager for the Marine Corps Infantry Weapon Systems, told Military.com in a Dec. 15 Interview.

Lawmakers again expressed concern this year in the final joint version of the Fiscal 2017 National Defense Appropriations Act, which includes a provision requiring the secretary of defense to submit a report to the House and Senate Armed Services Committees explaining why the two services are using different types of 5.56 mm ammunition.

[ … ]

The Army replaced the Cold War-era M855 5.56mm round in 2010 with its new M855A1 EPR, the result of more than a decade of work to develop a lead-free round.

The M855A1 features a steel penetrator on top of a solid copper slug, making it is more dependable than the current M855, Army officials have said. It delivers consistent performance at all distances and penetrates 3/8s-inch-thick steel at ranges approaching 400 meters, tripling the performance of the M855, Army officials maintain.

First of all, my former Marine Daniel laments the transition from the SAW to the IAR.  It’s all part of the softening of the USMC.  They should still be deploying the SAW.  But let’s assume that whatever problems they’re having with the IAR, they would have with the SAW too.

About this being a better round, I think the Army is lying.  That isn’t what I hear.

The Army M855A1 had a LOT of problems in development. Wearing down barrels, damaging the chambers, requiring new magazines because of the feed angle

Folks, they threw ballistics to the wind, didn’t consider what’s best for killing, and decided to go all green with their ammunition (this isn’t the only area they did this, witness the push for solar panels on military bases with the use of defense dollars).

And about this, commenter Fred tells it like it is.  “It’s green, why won’t you understand that? It’s green for everyone’s benefit especially the children. What is wrong with you people who can’t understanding destroying whole countries in a friendly, environmentally sound, and loving way is green?

Lets wreck this whole motherfuckin’ city and blow it up and kill millions of people but, let’s do it in an environmentally responsible way.”

Army And Marines In No Rush To Chamber A Common 5.56mm Round

BY Herschel Smith
5 months, 1 week ago

Military.com:

So it doesn’t seem that the Army or the Marine Corps are in any hurry to explain to Congress why they don’t use a common 5.56mm round.

The final joint version of the Fiscal 2017 National Defense Appropriations Act includes a provision requiring the secretary of defense to submit a report to the House and Senate Armed Services Committees explaining why the two services are using different types of 5.56 mm ammunition for their M16A4 rifles and M4 carbines.

The bill has already passed the House and is expected to be voted on and approved by the Senate this week before going to President Obama’s desk for his signature.

This is not the first time Congress has gotten its dander up over this subject. Lawmakers asked both services to explain the same thing last year, but Marine Corps leaders said they need to do more testing of the Army’s M855A1 enhanced 5.56mm round.

I reached out to the Marine Corps yesterday and the Army today to ask about how they planned to deal with the request. I could almost hear the head-scratching as if neither service had heard anything about it.

According to the provision, the report must be submitted within 180 days after the bill, which includes the entire defense budget for the coming year, is enacted.

If the secretary of defense does not determine that an “emergency” requires the Army and Marine Corps to use the two different types of rifle ammo, they must begin using a common 5.56mm round within a year after the bill is passed, it states.

OK so here is the back story for those you out there who don’t know it.

The Army replaced the Cold-War era M855 5.56mm round in 2010 with its new M855A1 enhanced performance round, the end result of more than a decade of work to develop a lead-free round.

The M855A1 features a steel penetrator on top of a solid copper slug, making it is more dependable than the current M855, Army officials have maintained. It delivers consistent performance at all distances and performed better than the current-issue 7.62mm round against hardened steel targets in testing, Army officials maintain. It penetrates 3/8s-inch-thick steel at ranges approaching 400 meters, tripling the performance of the M855.

The Marine Corps had planned to field an earlier version of the Army’s M855A1 until the program suffered a major setback in August 2009, when testing revealed that the bismuth-tin slug proved to be sensitive to heat which affected the trajectory or intended flight path.

The setback prompted Marine officials to stay with the current M855 round as well as start using the MK 318 Special Operations Science and Technology round developed by U.S. Special Operations Command instead. Commonly known as SOST ammo, the bullet isn’t environmentally friendly, but it offered the Corps a better bullet after the Army’s M855A1 round failed.

Since then the Marine Corps has purchased millions of MK 318 rounds.

The MK 318 bullet weighs 62 grains and has a lead core with a solid copper shank. It uses an open-tip match round design common with sniper ammunition. It stays on target through windshields and car doors better than conventional M855 ammo.

The Army quickly replaced the bismuth-tin slug in its new round with a copper one, solving the bullet’s problems in 2010, Army officials said.

The new Army round also weighs 62 grains and has a 19-grain steel penetrator tip, 9 grains heavier than the tip on old M855 ammo. Seated behind the penetrator is a solid copper slug. The M855A1 consistently penetrates battlefield barriers such as windshields more effectively than the M855, Army officials contend.

The accuracy of the MK 318 may not be what it’s cracked up to be.  However, for any of these heavier than 55 grain rounds, there is a detriment in muzzle velocity (these rounds lose up to 200 FPS), and that can actually make a difference in penetrating capability.

Suffice it to say that creation of an environmentally friendly round for the armed forces is laughable, and the main thing to be concerned about is ballistics.  It would be interesting if someone still in the service would weigh in on this debate.

But as for Congress being briefed on the details of the ammunition being chosen by the armed forces, I agree with one of the comments.  You may as well try to teach physics to a pig.

“We Don’t Want The Soldiers To Get All Freaked Out!”

BY Herschel Smith
8 months, 1 week ago

ABC News:

As gun ownership drops among young Americans and the Army trains a generation more accustomed to blasting out emojis on cellphones than taking aim at targets, drill sergeants are confronting a new challenge: More than half of raw recruits have never held, let alone fired, a weapon. Young people who form the bulk of the Army’s rookie soldiers don’t have nearly the exposure to guns as past generations. And the drill sergeants tasked with transforming these men and women into competent marksmen are going back into training to adjust their approach. Many are dropping the tendency to bark out orders and are adopting a more mentor-like coaching attitude. “You don’t hear any drill sergeants yelling, unless it’s a huge safety issue,” said Staff Sgt. Randy Fisher, one of about 600 drill sergeants working daily with recruits at South Carolina’s Fort Jackson, the Army’s largest basic combat training post. “We don’t want the soldiers to get all freaked out.” Amid deafening blasts of semi-automatic rifle fire at one of Fort Jackson’s 30 ranges, Army drill sergeants paced behind four dozen soldiers aiming M-4s at distant targets during a recent practice session. The hard-nosed, barked commands from the first days of basic training were absent. And though real bullets were being used, not one of the young recruits nor any sergeants wore heavy body armor or helmets. And, during a lull in the shooting, drill sergeants leaned over to offer guidance in measured tones to soldiers learning to fire.

My former Marine, Daniel, is thrilled he is no longer associated with a military like this.  His text reply to me concerning this article was this.

Oh …

My …

God …

Granted, he was a Marine, but even the Marine Corps is being pressed to send women through the Marine Corps infantry officer course at Quantico. We will lose the next legitimate war we fight.  But perhaps we’re already there.  A saddening question comes to mind.  The kill ratio of the U.S. military has been around 6:1 – 10:1 in both Afghanistan and Iraq.  What would it have been with no CAS, no AC-130 gunships, so helicopters, no A-10s?

It will get worse, as the U.S. government continues to fill the ranks of the military with weaklings, homosexuals, women and nonconformists (here you can safely assume what I would have to say about people like the Sikh Army Captain wearing nonconventional cover).  It’s a sad day for the U.S. military

General Peter Chiarelli Invites Veterans To Violate Their Oath

BY Herschel Smith
8 months, 4 weeks ago

Time:

As General Stanley McChrystal noted in the New York Times: “In 2014, 33,599 Americans died from a gunshot wound. From 2001 to 2010, 119,246 Americans were murdered with guns, 18 times all American combat deaths in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Nightclubs have become battlefields.

Schools have become combat zones.

Movie theaters have become theaters of war.

This should anger us. It should make us want to do better. And we can.

While our gun-violence crisis is complex, there is no doubt that our weak, gap-ridden gun laws help fuel the violence by making it too easy for dangerous people to access firearms.

Right now under federal law, felons, domestic abusers and the dangerously mentally ill have the option of buying a gun without a background check and with no questions asked. Even people who are considered by the the Federal Bureau of Investigation to be a known or suspected terrorist can pass a background check and legally buy a gun.

Extremist groups like al-Qaeda and ISIS have long urged their followers to use our country’s weak gun laws to acquire deadly weapons and commit active shooter terrorism here in America.

So why has Congress refused to act to address these loopholes and to keep guns from falling into the wrong hands?

Congress in the grips of the Washington gun lobby.

There is a better way forward.

Earlier this year, I joined the Advisory Committee of the Veterans Coalition for Common Sense, a national initiative of distinguished veterans from all branches and ranks of the military who are committed to advancing commonsense solutions to gun violence here at home.

Some of us are combat veterans. Some of us are gun owners. All of us were trained in the responsible use of firearms and to have respect for their incredible power. All of us swore an oath to defend our Constitution and to defend the homeland. And we all agree on this: our country is in the grips of a gun-violence crisis.

We know there is no single policy that will prevent every gun tragedy here on our home soil, but we cannot afford to let perfect to be the enemy of good—not when innocent lives are at stake.

The policies we support—closing the loopholes in our background check system and prohibiting known and suspected terrorists from legally buying guns—are not controversial.

So apparently Chiarelli has joined the ranks of the gun controllers, or more probably he was always in their ranks and is of that particular ilk.  He invokes the emotional “terrorist watch list” card, but he knows that there shouldn’t even be any such thing as a terrorist watch list since it is concocted out of whole cloth by the unaccountable federal executive based on suppositions and conjecture.  He knows.  He just doesn’t care.

He has clearly aligned himself with the murderer Stanley McChrystal and adulterer David Petraeus.  Of these two I have made my own position clear.

… the irony is that McChrystal, who issued the most restrictive rules of engagement ever promulgated on American troops, waxes know-it-all on what it takes to keep our people safe.  He can micromanage the campaign, release a bunch of inept, bureaucratic, PowerPoint jockeys into highly protected mega-bases to command the troops under fire in the field, turn so-called general purpose troops into constabulary patrolmen, and become a laughingstock when his juvenile staff turned party-animal with Rolling Stone.  But he didn’t manage the campaign in such a manner as to keep our children in uniform safe in Afghanistan.  If he didn’t do that, why should I care what he has to say about anything else regarding my safety?

This is what happens when media stars think they know something about policy.  So here is a suggestion for Mr. McChrystal.  You go read the lamentations at this article from the families and widows of SFC Kenneth Westbrook, Gunnery Sgt Aaron M Kenefick, Corpsman James Ray “Doc” Layton, and others in the Ganjgal engagement.  You know the one I’m talking about, even if others have forgotten.  You and I will never forget.  The one where they left our men to perish without fire support because of your rules of engagement.  You sleep with this reality, if you can, you ponder on those men and their lives morning and night, and you lament with the widows and families.  And then you tell me why I should give a shit what you have to say about anything, much less what it takes to keep my children or loved ones safe?

… McChrystal, with his ROE, is a murderer.  I don’t give a shit what he says about anything.  As for Petraeus, he is an adulterer and that during deployment when men under his charge were suffering and dying.

I’m glad those are the best two men this ungodly bunch could come up with.  Those two men should be embarrassments to the gun controller crowd.  It gives me amusement and pleasure to have them as enemies.

Chiarelli is now part of the cool kids gang along with all of the other statists.  I’m glad to have him as an enemy.  But if he rationalizes his own adultery towards his oath to the constitution right after reminding us that he did in fact take such an oath, he makes matters worse by telling us that he has no respect whatsoever for those who served and suffered.  He invites veterans to break their oath as well.

My suspicion is that the ranks of veterans isn’t fertile ground for Chiarelli and his gang of cool kids.  But it should be enough that he thinks no more of you [veterans] than to surmise that you might be an oath-breaker just like him, and he would sooner see you sent to hell than lose his political fight to control other people and take their liberties.

What contemptible trash.  How sad that men such as him were in charge of any campaign at all.  They are all as bad as the corrupt politicians they serve, and dear veteran, if you side with them, you’re no better than they are.

The World’s Top Ten Special Operations Units

BY Herschel Smith
9 months, 3 weeks ago

Gazette Review has a very interesting article on what someone believes to be the world’s top ten special operations units (the article is titled special forces, but they got that part wrong).

I think that inclusion of Quds Force is insulting and laughable, and they are more of a gang or group of thugs.  Not surprisingly, SEALs top the list and the world’s best, with SAS coming in at number two and Delta Force at third place.  This is a little surprising, and I’ve always thought of Delta as being the world’s best, and I’ve also always been under the impression that Delta is entirely a tier 1 group whereas SEALs is made up of tier 1 plus others who aren’t relied upon as much as, say, SEAL Team Six.  I also may be somewhat jaded in my evaluation given the horrible arrogance, inappropriate tactics, lack of control and lack of proper planning that attended Operation Red Wings.

Then there is this paragraph.

First officially denied to have ever existed, and then the subject of countless books, movies and video games, Delta Force is now among the most recognized special forces units in the world. Despite having few officially recognized missions available for mention, Delta’s training regimen alone is enough to warrant their high placement on this list. First, nearly 70% of the recruits for Delta are experienced Rangers of the famed 75th regiment, whose training is equivalent to many of the premier special forces units in the world. Then once selected, recruits are put through a 6 month training and testing period which includes schooling from the FBI, FAA, CIA, and Secret Service. Much like their Israeli counter parts who were previously mentioned in this list, both on and off duty, Delta members lack any insignia and often do not even wear standard issue military uniforms; Likewise military style hair and facial grooming is not required. With their high level of training and low profile, operators from this unit have been seen in Afghanistan hunting Taliban members, helping Peshmerga forces in Syria fight off ISIS forces and assisting in evacuation, and even in 2016, aiding in the tracking and capture of the Mexican Cartel lord, El Chapo.

True enough, Delta has been known to send its members into countries almost in spying assignments to scout out enemies, evaluate tactics, plan operations and conduct a whole host of activities (sometimes in concert with the CIA and sometimes even with females in order to aid concealment and role playing).

But I find it odd that they are trained by the Secret Service unless it applies to protection of dignitaries (what can the secret service teach them except to party, shirk their duties and bed down with whores?).  I would think the list would have focused more on training in CQB, covert insertion and extraction, combat diver training, weapons training, communications and medical training, and dark operations.

But what do I know?


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