Combat Marksmanship

Combat Marksmanship

The argument has been had over and over, time and again. Now its time to settle the debate, the jury has come back in. The (un)official best "Prepper Handgun" you can buy is the Glock 19. The Glock 19 has been selected as the critic's choice as the Chosen One. Why you may ask? We're glad you asked!The argument has been had over and over, time and again. Now its time to settle the debate, the jury has come back in. The (un)official best "Prepper Handgun" you can buy is the Glock 19. The Glock 19 has been selected as the critic's choice as the Chosen One. Why you may ask? We're glad you asked! Over the course of many years, countless debates and ballistics tests, the 9mm has been selected as the superior defensive round by a scientific, comprehensive review of it's velocity, penetration and capacity. Manageable recoil, wide availability, international usage and low price point are but a few other major considerations.

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Never to be at a lack of upgrades, modifications, or performance enhancements - the Glock 19 is a solid fit in the hands of the most battle hardened operator or the newest lady shooter, having never touched a firearm previously. User friendly fire control, no clumsy exterior controls or levers to get hung up on, the G19's sleek lines won't bind up in a holster or get hung in a cover garment when making a draw in a defensive scenario. No special tools or complicated breakdown procedures, the G19 breaks down in three easy steps. Presto, you're done. Lubricant/CLP of your choice and she's battle ready. Using it's own magazines or it's bigger brother's, it's combat adaptable to almost any scenario. Robust in it's construction, the finish is highly corrosion and scratch resistant. You won't have to worry about it being to susceptible to too much as far as wear and tear is concerned.

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Many makers out there have found that they can make near perfect better. There are barrels, pin kits, triggers, frame enhancements, lights and sights...well...you get the point. And if you think by now that we dig Glocks, you'd be spot on! We do. And with good reason. No, we are not sponsored by them. We receive no kickback from them. We simply go with what works and what we've come to trust and feel comfortable recommending you trust as well. While we agree there is NO such thing as a "one stop solution", the G19 is pretty darned close. It performs very well under combat stresses as we effectively demonstrated to our recent pistol clinic class held in Ohio. [caption id="attachment_911" align="aligncenter" width="300"]G19 in action during the Ohio tactical clinic G19 in action during the Ohio tactical clinic[/caption] We are interested in your feedback whether you agree or not. Your opinions are equally valid, just make sure you use fact and reason as your tools!

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Sources and citations:
article: FBI report on 9mm lethality
article: 9mm Justification for FBI
article: SOF and 9mm Glock
article: SOF converting to the 9mm Glock
article: SMU and the 9mm Glock
article: Glock popularity and availability
article: Glock is easy to learn

I don't often make absolute statements, especially about firearms. There's always somebody out there who did it different and has good results, so even if you know why, it's best to just nod your head and "go along to get along".I don't often make absolute statements, especially about firearms. There's always somebody out there who did it different and has good results, so even if you know why, it's best to just nod your head and "go along to get along". On the other hand, there are some things that just have to be said, and you aren't going to hear them from the normal shooting press, whom I perceive to be generally scared to death of offending anyone who is an advertiser, or might someday be an advertiser. I have quite a bit more freedom than that.

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Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead: If you don't know what you are doing, the worst thing you can do to a rifle is shove a cleaning rod down the barrel. That's right. I'm going to fill you in on something that competitive shooters have known for 20 or more years, but hasn't really seemed to percolate out to the general shooting public. You've probably heard that competitive shooters are fanatics about keeping their rifles, and especially the bores, shiny clean. You may have even heard some apocryphal stories about gunsmiths who received rifles that "just wouldn't shoot good anymore" and all they needed was a good cleaning. All of this is at least partially true. But without the right equipment, pushing a discount store cleaning rod down the barrel of your rifle can permanently damage the rifling, especially in the critical throat area where the rifling begins ahead of the chamber and at the muzzle. You can also end up with cleaning solvents leaking out of and under the action, softening the critical bedding areas. All of these things, and more, can ruin the fine accuracy of a perfectly good rifle, just from doing something that you THINK is helpful.

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Damage to the bore is generally caused by the cleaning rod contacting the barrel steel, and the use of some types of bore cleaners can make the damage occur faster. Sectioned rods are out. They just have too much flex in them. Pushing them down the bore with a jag and patch that actually fit will result in the rod contacting the bore. In addition, the sections never fit together absolutely perfectly, resulting in ridges that can pick up carbon grit and/or physically damage the barrel itself. Never ever use a stainless steel cleaning rod.... for that matter, never put anything that's stainless steel in the bore of your rifle. You don't need anything that's anywhere close to the hardness of the barrel steel itself in there. Likewise, don't use uncoated brass or aluminum rods. They can pick up carbon grit or abrasive bore cleaners that can do a very fine job of unintentional lapping. Just ask a machinist what you can do with an aluminum rod charged with grit. [caption id="attachment_664" align="aligncenter" width="500"]Pic from Gunn Innovations www.spinjag.com Pic from Gunn Innovations www.spinjag.com[/caption] This is an extreme example, but that's often the best way to illustrate a point. The point is: either do it the simple way, or go whole hog, but don't inbetween it. (I'm not one of those people who advocate never cleaning a rifle. Torture tests are interesting but I was taught to acquire fine tools and then take care of them.) [caption id="attachment_665" align="aligncenter" width="660"]CLP and a bore snake is the fast and easy way to bore clean without damage. CLP and a bore snake is the fast and easy way to bore clean without damage.[/caption] The simple way is with a basic bore solvent and a bore snake. Squirt a little solvent down the bore, being careful to get it into the chamber and not into the action, and then drop the bore snake weight down the barrel while keeping the bore pointed down. Step on the string end of the bore snake with your foot and pull on the rifle to get the bore snake started in the bore. This procedure keeps the solvent from running back into the action. Once you have the bore sealed, you can invert the rifle and pull the bore snake all of the way out. If you suspect the bore is especially dirty, you can repeat this procedure several times. Before you finish, pull the bore snake through the bore several times without adding solvent, and you are done with bore cleaning. [caption id="attachment_666" align="alignleft" width="300"]A correct cleaning rod is one piece, coated, has a ball bearing spin handle, and is specific to the caliber of the bore you are cleaning A correct cleaning rod is one piece, coated, has a ball bearing spin handle, and is specific to the caliber of the bore you are cleaning[/caption] This is the correct kind of cleaning rod. It's one piece brass covered in a protective nylon coating, it's caliber specific to prevent flexing, and it has a ball bearing on the handle so brushing and patching tools rotate with the rifling. The one pictured is a Dewey. Boretech also makes some fine cleaning rods. There are probably others but these are the two that I have used, and the ones I see other competitive shooters using. Even with the proper coated cleaning rod, you don't just shove it down the bore. You need what's called a rod guide to hold the rod centered in the bore. For any rifle that can be cleaned from the chamber end (bolt guns and ARs) they can also seal the chamber so solvent doesn't leak back into the receiver. Rod guides are available from a few places but I highly recommend the ones from Sinclair International, purveyors of many fine tools and supplies for cleaning and reloading. [caption id="attachment_667" align="aligncenter" width="400"]Sinclair bore guides are made of machined delrin plastic with an O-ring seal. Sinclair bore guides are made of machined delrin plastic with an O-ring seal.[/caption] The bore guide is inserted into the receiver where it guides the rod, seals the chamber, and provides a port to apply solvents, so you can keep cleaners in the barrel and not on your rifle. For an AR platform they also sell some handy little links that hold the receivers apart just right for cleaning. This is how it looks on an AR: [caption id="attachment_668" align="aligncenter" width="225"]Sinclair makes the bore guide and the link used to hold the receivers apart. Sinclair makes the bore guide and the link used to hold the receivers apart.[/caption] This is doing it right. The rifle is held so it's slightly muzzle down, allowing excess cleaner to run out the end of the barrel instead of into the action. A bore guide is in the receiver to seal the chamber and guide the cleaning rod. [caption id="attachment_669" align="aligncenter" width="660"]Doing it right. Doing it right.[/caption] In part two, I'll cover the proper process for using a cleaning rod in more detail, including more specifics about brushes, jags, patches, and cleaning compounds.

A couple of months ago I mentioned on Special Forces Preppers that I was building an AR10 platform rifle to upgrade to the .308 cartridge. That project is now finished, although I am still working up loads for it. A couple of months ago I mentioned on Special Forces Preppers that I was building an AR10 platform rifle to upgrade to the .308 cartridge.  That project is now finished, although I am still working up loads for it. I feel it may be helpful to head off the "....but what about....?" replies by running through a short discussion of my criteria for building this particular rifle.  The most important criterion was for a rifle that could function as the primary armament for a squad designated marksman, while retaining some tactical utility.  As such, it needed to stay short and light enough to at least be usable in tactical situations, while still having sufficient power at extended range to be effective at +500 yards versus the standard carbine armament, or around 800 yards overall.  I felt that a mid-length AR10 in .308 Win was the best platform to build such a "compromise" on. And.... the finished product. 2315837

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So let's get right to it, from back to front: Stock:  Magpul PRS.  Stock options on the .308 platform are not wide, and although it's a little heavy, it's not heavy enough to unbalance the rifle.  The ability to maintain a solid, consistent cheek weld with optics that are fairly high above the bore (compared to bolt guns) put this stock over the top for me. Buffer Spring:  I have to mention this separately because no, I don't just use a stock spring, and yes, there is a very good reason why.  David Tubb's CS springs are awesome for many applications but possibly nowhere are they more useful than on an AR platform.  For every reason you would use one on an AR15, it's doubly important on an AR10 just because the volume of gas is so much greater.  If you didn't know:  yes, the buffer spring is an important part of your semiauto gas system. Lower:  DPMS Gen1.  Because it's what I had.  Got a really good deal on a complete rifle, and parted out the upper and other parts I didn't need for basically what I paid for the whole thing.  There are slightly nicer lowers available with larger trigger guards for gloves, but I didn't think it was worth the trouble. Grip:  Ergo Grip.  This is probably a matter of taste, and this is what my taste is. Trigger:  Geissele B-G2 S-E.  I prefer a two-stage trigger for precision shooting. This is Geissele's Enhanced two-stage trigger, which means it has a first stage of 2.3 lbs and a second stage of 1.2 lbs, instead of a total weight of 4.5 lbs like you will find on a LOT of AR platform triggers.  It was expensive, and worth every penny IMO. Upper:  Aero Precision M4.  Yes it's an M4 style upper not an A3, meaning it has the M4 feedramp cuts.  You can't get this in a Gen1 DPMS brand upper. Charging Handle:  An AR platform with a scope on it needs a good charging handle, and the standard ones have problems with the latch that just begs for an upgrade.  I chose the Bravo Company BCM Gunfighter Medium handle.  You can spend a bunch of money on a charging handle.  I compromised in a lot of ways here, this one has an improved, extended latch and was reasonably priced. Bolt Carrier Group:  Alex Pro Armory.  One of the few sources for nickel boron coated bolt carrier parts for AR10 that I could find, and they also use 9310 steel for the bolt (win!).  It's cheaper to order directly from them than it is to buy from Brownell's or Midway. Barrel extension:  I don't know what brand it is, as it was provided by the gunsmith that did the barrel.  All I know is it has M4 feedramp cuts, which is important if you are using an M4 upper. Barrel:  Shilen stainless 18", custom configured by Craddock Precision.  The barrel is ported for a mid length gas system, tapered to .835" from chamber to gas block, then stepped down to .750" at the gas block and same diameter to the muzzle threads, fully fluted fore and aft of the gas block.  I wanted the stiffest, lightest barrel I could get away with without fouling up the balance of the rifle.  Paul Craddock suggested adding the extra meat between the chamber and the gas block and I'm glad we did. Handguard:  Troy Alpha.  I can't say enough good things about this handguard.  It's super light, which lets me put more weight on the barrel where it actually does something.  The accessory rails are easy to install and configure, and I absolutely love the rubber insert "squid grips" that give a slightly larger, slightly tacky surface to index your support hand on for normal positions.  The downside is that you are going to have to pick your gas block very, very carefully to make sure it fits under the darn thing. Gas Block:  JP Enterprises JPGS-5G.  It's low profile, blackened stainless, and adjustable.  That last part is important because I expect this rifle to function flawlessly with both 175gr and 150gr loads, out of an 18" barrel with mid length gas system.  Some ability for adjustment is very handy.  There really wasn't a second choice here. Compensator:  BattleComp BABC.  Not only a compensator with value for reducing muzzle climb, but also a flash hider that doesn't direct any gas downwards, reducing dust signature when firing prone. Cerakote:  Brothers in Arms, Tulsa OK.  A veteran owned business.  Highly recommended. Sights: Flip up iron sights:  MagPul MBUS Scope:  Vortex Viper PST 6.5-24x50 in LaRue SPR1.5 mount.  This optic is being used for load development.  It will actually wear a Burris XTR II 3-15x50 34mm tube optic when they can be bothered to start shipping them. Tactical Sight:  Aimpoint PRO in LaRue quick detach mount. I must mention I went with a swappable optic setup instead of a microsight on a 45 degree canted mount because I want to be able to integrate an NVG monocle with the red dot at a later date. I hope this was informative.

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The military has a lot of combat skills that could enhance the survivability and lethality of a marksman. But have you considered why they learn the techniques they do? The military specializes in offensive operations and by default trains mostly on how to assault. When you look around do you see the need to take ground? Or to defend what you have? There is a lot of overlap when it comes to offensive and defensive skills, as they say " the best defense is a good offense" and we definitely agree. But on your limited budget if you are focusing on skills that are intended to support room clearing or raids you may be better served reconsidering your approach. Learning how to shoot FROM the concealed carry is an excellent place to start. This is sometimes called a retention shot, that is shooting from close ranges and using muscle memory to aim your shots. When you're searching for a Concealed Carry Weapons (CCW) class, make sure you are also learning how to shoot from a concealed holster, and most likely when your shirt is tucked in or wearing a jacket. Simulate as many day-to-day details as you can. This isn't about points on the bull's eye... It's certainly fun to plink steel targets on the range, but can you shoot with your heart rate up? While getting assaulted? In close quarters? Maybe there is a crowd? Are you practicing verbal commands? If you're not sure and still need to ask some questions hit us up on Facebook and start a dialogue. We can help get you pointed in the right direction. As always, thank you and follow us on Facebook @Crisis Application Group.

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