Archive for the 'Weapons and Tactics' Category

Billions in US weaponry seized by Taliban

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 2 weeks ago

The Hill.

Billions of dollars of U.S. weapons are now in the hands of the Taliban following the quick collapse of Afghan security forces that were trained to use the military equipment.

Among the items seized by the Taliban are Black Hawk helicopters and A-29 Super Tucano attack aircraft.

Photos have also circulated of Taliban fighters clutching U.S.-made M4 carbines and M16 rifles instead of their iconic AK-47s. And the militants have been spotted with U.S. Humvees and mine-resistant ambush protected vehicles.

And that’s not all.

Between 2002 and 2017, the United States gave the Afghan military an estimated $28 billion in weaponry, including guns, rockets, night-vision goggles and even small drones for intelligence gathering.

[ … ]

Since 2003 the United States has provided Afghan forces with at least 600,000 infantry weapons including M16 assault rifles, 162,000 pieces of communication equipment, and 16,000 night-vision goggle devices.

Do you know how much you would have to invest in a PEQ-15, NODS and a ballistic helmet to hold the NODS?  Yes, a lot of money.  I know, but I’ll let the reader be shocked on his own.

You cannot even send that sort of equipment overseas – it’s all controlled (except for the helmet) under export control regulations.

The FedGov just gave it all to Pakistan, Iran and China.

Congratulations!  Your tax dollars at work.

Armaments To The Taliban

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 3 weeks ago

The Taliban have now captured Kandahar.  Kabul won’t be long behind.

This is their booty.

The last quarter’s most valuable items included six EMB 314 Super Tucano light attack aircraft, 174 Humvees, almost 100,000 2.75 inch air-to-ground rockets, 60,000 40mm high-explosive rounds, and more than 2 million 7.62 mm cartridges.

[ … ]

The air force flies at least nine Sikorsky-made UH-60A Black Hawk helicopters—of the original 159 ordered at a cost of between $5.75 billion and $7 billion—and 68 McDonnell Douglas-made MD530F light helicopters, part of a deal for 150 aircraft at a cost of $1.4 billion.

Among the ANA’s armored vehicles are hundreds of American-made platforms. Kabul signed a deal for 8,500 Humvees, at least hundreds of which are already believed to have been captured by the Taliban.

The ANA also agreed on deals to receive more than 200 Mine-Resistant Armored Vehicles (MRAPs) from the U.S., plus 634 M117 Strike Force Vehicles at a cost of $661.3 million.

ANA armored vehicles are supported by a range of artillery pieces, both American and Soviet. The ANA has more than 20 U.S-made M114 155mm howitzers.

Hey, how about sending some of that armament this way.  We paid for it.

M79 Grenade Launcher

BY Herschel Smith
12 months ago

Via Wirecutter, the M79.

I would remark that the older tactical / weapons configuration of the U.S. military (in Vietnam) made much heavier use of grenadiers.

At that time they used the M79, and today that has been replaced with the M203.  But the M79 has greater accuracy and distance than the M203.  I’ve often wondered if it wouldn’t be better to return to heavier use of grenadiers, even though they must carry a sidearm.

The current technology seems to be replacement of the M203 with the M320.

Tactics For Engaging Green Light Laser Threats

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 3 months ago

Comments from Danny.

Riffing off the NPT theme, you will not defeat the horde standing in front of your domicile. Members of a NPT can operate in unison, one or two from different angles with high lumen spots to blind (especially if the spots have a strobe function) while other members of the team engage with weapons (as an obvious last resort) or with our own lasers. But blind with spots and lasers briefly and then move. Blind again from a different vantage point and move again, from the flank, the rear, etc. The goal is to spook the mob and sow fear and uncertainty. Just throwing it out there, how about blanks fired, again to sow uncertainty and hopefully a stampede of the mob. We should all have a considerable advantage regarding terrain, cover, lanes of ingress/egress in our own neighborhoods. I am not not could play a bona fide operator on TV. But I do have a very thorough knowledge of my AO in daylight or dark, can maneuver undetected, understand camo have NV and thermal to assist. Certainly YMMV and simply posit the above as a thought experiment hopefully with refinement from folks with more practical experience in hostile situations.

Oh, and pop up flares could be used as well. Much easier to launch w/o ones position being detected. Can we not also throw frozen water bottles, fireworks, wrist rocket projectiles arrows with small game tips instead of broadheads from the cover or darkness to sow fear and confusion? PCP air rifles might be a tactic when plunking them off the ANTIFA shields or helmets or vehicles (some of the recent reports of the incursions have mention support vehicles for the mob). Tire bang strips to disable the mob support vehicles? Paint balls on the windshields to limit visibility? All part of sowing doubt that your neighbor is the place to cause mayhem?

Questions, comments, observations and remarks?

How Thermal Optics Work

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 3 months ago

Shooting Illustrated.

For the past 10 years, a bunch of straight-shooting roughnecks from Colorado, New Hampshire, Arizona and California have been targeting feral hogs each spring somewhere special in South Texas. As a defense industry exec focused on advanced warfighter aiming and illumination technology, I’ve coached these hunters along the technology curve. The hog, coyote, bobcat, raccoon and jackrabbit body counts have significantly increased each year as the group embraces advanced night-vision technology and works on marksmanship with MSRs and bolt guns.

[ … ]

Good news, prices are dropping fast. You do not need to spend $5,000 or $10,000 anymore. I am having good success with a sub $3,000 384×488 thermal scope with a 50 mm lens assembly. Good luck and straight shooting at night.

Great.  The picture associated with the article shows two guys with lights, NODs equipment, thermal imaging scopes, and PEQ-10s.  How much does all of that cost?

It would be nice if some company could come up with a reasonably priced set of alternatives to all of this for those of us who aren’t millionaires or funded by the taxpayer.

Green Laser Eye Protection In The Wild

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 4 months ago

We’ve all seen that Antifa/BLM has blinded the border patrol agents sent to protect federal property in Portland.  Andy Ngo has been directly attacked with a green laser, and he points out that the threat is expanding (via WiscoDave).

After #antifa were dispersed by police following the attack on the East Precinct, they tried to blind a woman at her home with lasers and attacked her.

This is remarkable video.  The communists have found an effective weapon short of using firearms.  So the question is necessarily posed, what can you do about this threat?  The answer isn’t easy or clear short of deadly force (and this in fact may be the best option, but it may be difficult to effect that end for reasons we’ll discuss below).

Most of this post will be the result of studying I did on laser safety for a very specific examination, and it has been a long time since that study, so some of it will be incomplete, and some may be inaccurate.  As readers stumble on better data, knowledge and analysis, feel free to post it here.  I make no claims as to the complete accuracy of everything in this post.  I offer it up as a starting point.  I can follow it up with more information, but I’ll need reader assistance to do that.

To begin with, you need to understand the concept of optical density (OD) calculations.  According the ANSI Z136.1-2007, a class IIIa laser is visible and limited to 1-5 mW.  Nothing more powerful can be sold in the U.S. without special licensing (if the communists in Portland are using lasers more powerful than 5 mW, then this poses a special and expanded problem, even worse than I am assuming).

I could post calculations of OD, but it’s best simply to watch this short video if you want to pursue it (for folks who have an aversion to math, here is an online application that will do these OD calculations for you).  Now listen carefully.  He credits the blink, or aversion, reflex in his calculations.  The blink reflex is 0.25 seconds.  The blink reflex is also credited in laser protection eyewear for green light lasers (532 nM).

The ANSI Z136.1 Standard bases the “blink reflex” MPE on an exposure on 0.25 second exposure. This yields an MPE of 2.5 mW/cm2. When this irradiance is spread over a “worst case” 7mm pupil opening (0.4 cm2), the total power entering the eye can be then computed as follows: Power = (2.5 mW/cm2) x (0.4 cm2) = 1.0 mW. This suggests that laser pointer type devices might be limited to an output of 1 mW (Class II).

In some darkly lit environments, and at some wavelengths, a 1 mW pointer power is perhaps an option, but in rooms with a high ambient light level and if operation is at the longer 670 nm wavelength, 1 mW is just marginal for visibility and, therefore, 3-5 mW is generally required for better visibility. Note that if the exposure is raised to a maximum of 5 mW (Class IIIA), then an eye filter with an optical density of 0.7 would be required for protection in the event of an intrabeam exposure of 0.25 seconds. This suggests that caution is needed when the pointer emits near the 5 mW power level!

When they speak of optical density, remember that lasers emit radiation, and just like radiation emitted from the nucleus of an atom (laser wavelengths are emitted from the electron shell), it is attenuated exponentially (or in this case, log base 10 will describe the effectiveness of eyewear).  You don’t stop it – you just attenuate it.

OD1+ = 10% gets through

OD2+ = 1% gets through

OD3+ = .1% gets through

OD4+ = ..01% gets through

This video shows you how poor the cheap eye protection purchased from EBay and Amazon might behave.

It’s up to you.  You can opt for the cheaper stuff being marketed to military and law enforcement, or you can purchase ANSI Z136.1 rated and tested eye protection marketed for industrial laser safety use.  Either way, remember that in all cases of which I’m aware, no eye protection can enable you to stare directly into a laser nonstop with no aversion response (or maybe a better way of saying it is that the OD calculations would show an extreme level of protection that no one sells to be able to look at a laser nonstop).  All eye protection design assumes the blink reflex of 0.25 seconds.

Also, it may be that wearing this eye protection isn’t conducive to good vision at night and in a threatening environment where you need all of your faculties and senses.  In the case Andy Ngo links above, the lady under threat has perhaps dozens of green light lasers pointed at her, little time to respond, and the communists are gleefully taking video of the suffering of the innocent.

The best bet in case of threat from visible lasers is to not be around those who would threaten you.  If you do happen to be in proximity of those threats, then remember that looking into an array of lasers in order to try to effect self defense isn’t advised, even if you are wearing eye protection.  Blink.  Be averse to this threat.  Get away from it.

This is a serious threat folks.  Being tactically careless or thoughtless in dealing with the threat isn’t recommended.

As time permits, I may update this brief post.

New Mexico Civil Guard Under Arrest In New Mexico

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 5 months ago

David Codrea has some coverage on this.  This is raw video of the goings-on, albeit shaky at times.

So as best as I can figure, a dude associated with the New Mexico Civil Guard tried to defend a monument along with his fellow members, and ended up retreating from rioters and eventually having to shoot an assailant.

The governor of New Mexico is livid.

One man was shot in Old Town as a protest over the “La Jornada” sculpture in front of the Albuquerque Museum erupted into violence Monday evening.

The shooting occurred during a clash following a peaceful protest to remove the controversial sculpture, a monument that features conquistador Juan de Oñate. The FBI is assisting in the investigation, according to an APD spokesman. U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, meanwhile, called on the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the shooting.

The night began with peaceful protest and prayer but tensions began to escalate when protesters took a pickaxe to the statue and members of the heavily armed New Mexico Civil Guard, a civilian group, tried to protect the monument.

Before the night was over Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and other officials condemned the violence and those who instigated it.

“Although we are still learning more about the situation, I am horrified and disgusted beyond words by the reports of violence at a protest Monday night in Albuquerque,” Lujan Grisham said late Monday in a statement. “The heavily armed individuals who flaunted themselves at the protest, calling themselves a ‘civil guard,’ were there for one reason: To menace protesters, to present an unsanctioned show of unregulated force. To menace the people of New Mexico with weaponry — with an implicit threat of violence — is on its face unacceptable; that violence did indeed occur is unspeakable.”

Mayor Tim Keller reacted swiftly following the shooting, tweeting that the city would be “removing the statue until the appropriate civic institutions can determine next steps” in order to contain the public safety risk.

“The shooting tonight was a tragic, outrageous and unacceptable act of violence and it has no place in our city,” the mayor wrote in a statement. “Our diverse community will not be deterred by acts meant to divide or silence us. Our hearts go out the victim, his family and witnesses whose lives were needlessly threatened tonight.”

It didn’t look peaceful to me.  So the rioters got their way, the members of the militia were face down in the street and are currently under arrest (I presume), the state wanted to allow the destruction of public property under diversity, and refuses to support the only people who attempted to stop it.

This is humiliating for the militia.

I don’t have many comments, except: [a] don’t go into crowds, [b] don’t carry weapons if you don’t intend to use them, [c] if you intend to retreat, then retreat, don’t waste time, [d] know when your battle will be a losing battle.  Without vastly superior projection of force to both the rioters and police, it was always going to end this way.

The rioters were … well, rioters.  The police were there in greater numbers and were organized, and were there to protect the rioters anyway, not the militia or state property.  The individual cops were there to protect their rank and pensions.  By the way, take a look at the armored vehicle in the background.

If you cannot or do not intend to engage in force projection, then operate discretely.  As it is, the militia has done damage to their cause, whatever that was.

Introduction To Land Navigation Tools

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 6 months ago

That’s A Pretty Slick Move!

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 6 months ago

Introduction To Night Vision Setups

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 10 months ago

If you’re into this sort of thing.  $4000+ is out of my range.

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