Friday, December 30, 2011

California politician to retired LEOs: give up your patrol rifles

  After a breathless expose by a San Francisco paper detailing personal purchases by LEOs (Law Enforcement Officers) of eeevul assault rifles "patrol rifles" (think AR15s), California Assemblyman Roger Dickinson has stepped in to keep retired LEOs from retaining their rifles after retiring.  Governor Jerry Brown, back when he was the state's Attorney General, ruled that retired LEOs must give said rifles up upon retiring last December.  Looks like Dickinson is trying get the implementation of said ruling rolling, you know for the children.

"What's the justification, in the event of retirement, that would suggest an officer or a former officer would need such a weapon?" Dickinson asked. Having thousands of assault weapons in the hands of former police officers "only increases the risk, it would seem to me, that such weapons would find their way into the hands of people who don't have a legitimate law enforcement purpose."

Source: Retiring Officers Want to Keep Assault Guns | NBC San Diego 

  More shrill hysteria has ensued over active duty LEOs having these weapons.  One Oakland councilwoman is apparently worried that the Oakland PD could use these rifles on Occupy protesters (you can't make this up).

Oakland City Councilwoman Jane Brunner questioned the policy, particularly for a department that has a reputation for excessive force, most recently against Occupy protesters.  "I do not believe the police officers should be able to buy them personally anymore," she said. "Particularly after everything that has happened in Oakland, we need to make sure our officers are following protocol.
  Apparently CA police departments need to register their rifles with the US Justice Department.....

  Meanwhile, those pesky gun rights activists at the CalGuns foundation are filing suit on behalf of a retired officer.

The Calguns Foundation, which supports gun owners' rights, plans to use the peace officer exemption in a lawsuit next year that will attempt to overturn California's ban on civilian ownership of assault weapons, said foundation attorney Jason A. Davis of Mission Viejo.
The foundation will argue that California's assault weapons ban violates the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution, because before the attorney general's opinion, retired officers were able to keep weapons not available to the general public

Source: Retiring Officers Want to Keep Assault Guns | NBC San Diego 
  Something that made me laugh is that the CA Fish and Game Wardens have some of these personally purchased rifles as well but their department spokesman literally said he did not know why their officers have the rifles.

  Remember folks, this is the state in which there is a growing movement to blame fast food for obesity in poor folks and actually enact laws against fast food joints and to consider mandating use of condoms in porn.  You know, because our elected overlords know best....  The same elected overlords who deem California residents as not needing "shall issue" concealed carry permits but.....all animals are equal but some are more equal than others.

  Mark my words, LEOs.  Sooner or later you will lose your right to carry after you retire.  "High capacity magazines" will soon become serialized, controlled gear for LEOs.  A government that thinks it can fix every problem ends up controlling every aspect of your life.  You give up your rights for false semblance of security.

 One can only wonder if the California police unions will finally realize that the CA Democratic Party is hell bent on making California a socialist utopia, free of guns, fatty foods, bad thoughts, Constituional rights, etc....

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

How I fixed my AR15

So, I had this Sabre mid length 16" 5.56mm upper just sitting around.  It used to reside upon my CavArms lower and worked well for the most part in that configuration.  I had quite a few problems with stuck cases (fired and stuck in the chamber).  I tried switching to brass only ammunition (I was shooting steel cased Wolf).  The problem lessened but did not go away.

I swallowed my amateur gunsmithing pride and went and saw renowned competitor and armorer Robb Jensen at my local gunshop Virginia Arms.  He inspected the weapon and ran Ned Christiansen's 5.56 Neck and Throat Reamer through the weapon.  He said it removed a surprising amount of metal thereby bringing the chamber into 5.56 military specifications.

The rifle ran OK after that.  Bear in mind this was about 4 years ago.  I moved onto my much cheaper to shoot S&W M&P15R 5.45x39mm and pretty much ignored that poor Sabre.  Meanwhile Sabre officials were destroying a good, hard earned reputation in the firearms industry.  Cute little tricks like declaring silencers as "lawnmower mufflers" and barrels as "gear shafts."  Sabre Defense is now bankrupt.  Too bad, as their barrels and ARs had an excellent reputation.

So, after wearing out one barrel (at 11k rds) and one lower parts kit on my 5.45 AR (both replaced speedily with no questions asked by S&W), I realized that while the 5.45 is a great training weapon, I need a good 5.56mm AR in case of zombies or if the cheap 5.45 ammo runs out.  I will cover the 5.45mm AR in an upcoming blogpost.  I tried the old Sabre upper on my 5.45's lower and it turned into a single shot, manually operated weapon.  I immediately proscribed it to buffer problems (the CavArms lower had a slightly shorter buffer spring and used an unmarked carbine buffer as opposed to the 5.45's "H" (heavier) buffer and forgot about it.

I took advantage of Troy's Black Friday sale to pick up 2 of these; one for each rifle.  Reasoning behind that purchase is that I've graduated to my support hand being way forward on the handguard.  I also prefer to wrap my hand around the handguard for control.  The Sabre 5.56 upper was optic-less so I watched the equpment exchange at until an excellent deal on an Aimpoint Pro with an ADM mount popped up.  A Bravo Company blemished lower rounded out my needs (I like being able to adjust LOP (length of pull) on my carbines and am saving the Sabre lower for a precision AR project down the road.  Magpul furniture finished off the lower (the Magpul Plus rubberized grip is the heat, buy one, buy two!).

Now, the Phoenix has arisen, right?  I took my rejuvenated Sabre (on top of the BCM or Bravo Company Manufacturing lower) to the range.  Shit.  Single shot, manually operated weapon, even when changing out the new H buffer and spring to the CavArms units and switching bolts (backup 5.56 bolt).  Back home to troubleshoot with much swearing.

I was certain the weapon wasn't getting enough gas to operate.  Consultation with wiser heads in the industry resulted in agreement.  Close examination of the gas system showed the below; a broken gas key screw.  It's kind of hard to see but there was evidence of a lack of seal there; shown by lube seepage under the area previously secured by the now broken screw.  Definitely enough to cause a gas leak, probably enough of a leak to cause malfunctions.

Luckily, a local gunshop had the screws in stock.  I put a light coat of Rockset threadlocker on the new screws and


those suckers down.

Another trip to the range resulted in extreme disappointment and frustration.  Even with the aforementioned repair; the Sabre was still a single shot, manually operated weapon.  Luckily, I had brought my 5.45's bolt carrier just in case.  FYI, only the bolt itself is 5.45x39mm specific; everything else besides the barrel on the 5.45 is 5.56x45mm compatible.  Swapping out BC's (bolt carriers) resulted in much joy.  The weapon functioned perfectly.  I shot almost 300 rounds of mixed Wolf and brass.  I ran that rifle hard; until the handguard was too hot to grasp without gloves.  Perfect functioning.

Now that I had isolated the problem down to the bolt carrier; it took me no time at all to find the culprit.  


had gotten lodged in the gas key.  I surmise that it was the cause for the intermittent malfunctions I had experienced over the years and carbon had built up behind it.  Also, perhaps a bit of corrosion?  Anyway, I had to lightly and carefully drill it out using ye old trusty Dremel.

Drilling it out, see the powder like substance?

Almost there.....

It's out!  What is that?

  Now, we're back in business!  Soaked the gas key in Montana Copper Killer and ran pipe cleaners through it.  Reinstalled it and back to the range.  This time, over 300 rounds of flawless functioning.  Mixed Wolf and brass.  I tried to get a stuck case by letting Wolf and brass rounds sit chambered in a hot rifle.  No dice; the weapon refused to malfunction.  I used older Lancer, a mixed bag of Pmags, US GI, and Troy magazines.  Even with old stuff like below.  I am very happy with how this ended up and enjoyed the troubleshooting process.

The finished product!

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Thursday, December 15, 2011

NYPD to Kahr Arms: 7.5 lbs is an unsafe, light trigger pull

No, seriously. This is the PD that mandated a 12 pound trigger pull for their Glocks.

I guess it's cheaper than investing in training, right? Blaming a 7.5 lb trigger for accidental negligent discharges is beyond moronic.

Kudos to Kahr Arms for not holding a press conference to say Are you freaking kidding?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Gabe Suarez is getting into the AR15 magazine game

  Looks definitely like a rebranded Lancer AWM to me, your thoughts?  Let's not make this about Suarez personally other than the irony of a guy who hated on ARs for so long now making AR magazines.  Suarez's mag above, Lancer AWM mag below.  The product description on his web store and here's the product description at Lancer.

Somebody picked the wrong diner....

Monday, December 12, 2011

AAR/Review of Kyle Defoor Advanced 2 day carbine class

My apologies for not getting this out sooner; a vacation to Vegas for the National Finals Rodeo and having to code all of this in straight HTML due to software problems slowed me down. Work in progress!

After my Defoor Basic Carbine class experience, my anticipation for the advanced Defoor carbine class had been building for some time.

The drive down with my buddy Beamish to Blackwater US Training Center consisted of a libertarian conversation punctuated with brief musings on how hard Kyle would push us in our training. Well, Kyle did not disappoint.

This was neither a gentleman's course of shooting from static positions and telling war stories nor was it a chest beating "we take the training wheels off, big boy rules" sort of class where bravado ruled the day. Rather, it was a trainer that exuded quiet professionalism and the entire class followed his example. The atmosphere was most assuredly easy going but Kyle was 100% focused the entire time. Humor and war stories were told but we snapped right back into training each time with a minimal amount of down time. No one focused on hardware/gear queer stuff. You were expected to have functional rifle and gear but the focus of Kyle's training is software, not hardware. Some folks trained in civilian clothes (including myself) and some trained in multicam head to toe all weekend. Some wore armor and chest rigs, most didn't. Kyle shot in a t-shirt and bluejeans. His excellent rationale behind that was that he's no longer in the military and said attire is what he would most likely be wearing in case he needed to grab a carbine for serious purposes again.

Along with the tone of quiet professionalism was an overriding sense of aggressiveness. Not bravado but this was training to eliminate a threat or threats and it showed. You were told to stay on target (to make sure the target is eliminated) after engaging and look for more targets to engage. Searching and assessing was fine of course, but what Kyle was doing was inoculating against the mentality of "oh, I just engaged the target and now it's time to do an exaggerated search and assess." In other words, he was training us from his real world experience of you know.....killing America's enemies. Given that there were several active duty members of the military attending this class on their own time and money, I couldn't help but contrast this training against my own Marine Corps Infantry training of ten years ago. You can guess which one is superior......

Kyle demonstrating his aggressive carbine shooting stance
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

The class was a mix of civilians, military, law enforcement officers, and industry professionals. Streamlight and White Sound Defense showed that their employees not only talk the talk, they walk the walk with employees spending time and money to improve their own skills and keep a finger on the pulse of the shooting community. Both chatted with me about their products; offering helpful tips. Kevin from Streamlight also gave an impromptu class on the realities of flashlights. My takeaways from that were that candlepower is a more accurate measure of a flashlight than lumens and no matter what the claims, two hours is a good seat of pants standard for how long batteries last.

We start off with a quick zeroing at 25 yards to make sure everyone was at least on the paper and then went to 100 yards for a true zero. Kyle advocates a 100 yard zero based on his experience. He believe that a carbine is a 200 yard and in weapon but workable at 300 hence our shooting from the 300 yard line this class. Just like the Basic Carbine Class I attended, 10 shot groups were mandated for the obvious reasons.

We shot Defoor's Carbine Test #1 and it was no joke. Defoor's tests are designed so that even he has a hard time with them. Class scores were high which set a trend for the rest of the class. There never were consistent winners of each test; rather you never knew who would do best at a drill.

After that and some work on the various shooting positions, Kyle gave us a talk on mindset. It was a stark talk with grim examples of those that don't try to fight back. Situational awareness and having the mindset to be prepared to fight with any weapon possible were examined and driven home into our brain housing groups. One saying Kyle attributed to Tom Kier of Sayoc who in turn got it from Ralph Waldo Emerson was Thoughts, words, deeds, habits.

My takeaways from Kyle's teachings on shooting positions is that the kneeling position rules in the real world. Better for working with cover, better for concealment, more stable than the standing, and great for working with barricades. His variation on the kneeling shooting position is to lean way forward, thus negating quite a bit of recoil knocking you off of target. When working with barricades, Kyle teaches you to put your outside leg forward

The night shoot really showed me how much more flash hider/muzzle brake matters than ammo selection when worrying about losing your target due to flash from your own ammo. The lowlight shooting was done one at a time to to keep us from losing our target as the fog and smoke from others shooting rolled from one side of the range to another. As usual, Kyle personally inspected your target and your shooting. Defoor classes are not pertaining evolutions where your deficiencies will be missed. Even during the running and shooting drills (Defoor carbine tests), he ran the drill with all of us. So if you lose site of your buddies while running from one line of fire to another, you would hear him near you telling you if you were safe to shoot or not. Constant supervision, realistic training within the boundaries of safety.

We moved onto Defoor Carbine Test #2 for the cold start on training day two. Folks, try and use all of your time on these tests. Details of the test are:

IPSC target
8 rounds
1 minute time limit
16 pts (Vicker's count) in body to pass
all 4 head shots in head, 2 must be in credit card (eye box of skull) to pass

Run 50 yds to the 100 yd line, kneeling 2 rds to body
run to 50 yd line, standing, 2 rds to body
run to 25 yd line, standing, 2 rds to head
run to 10 yd line, standing, 2 rds to head

After Carbine Test #2, we moved back to the 300 yard line. Some nuggets of hard won Defoor wisdom were:

- 100 yard zero works well at 200 yards and Kyle is a firm advocate of the 100 yard

- at 300 yards, you are hitting the realistic limits for a carbine on hits not arget and
much more importantly, target identification. Our cardboard targets were hard to
identify at 300 and imagining them being enemy combatants actively seeking cover
and concealment in earthen colored clothes drove the point home firmly.

- my 80's produced Soviet military surplus 5.45x39mm shot in the center mass at
300 yards using a 100 yard zero and a holdover on the neck of the target. Actually
shot a nice group using a 4MOA red dot optic. At 200 yards, all of our 100 yard
zeroed rifles were very close to matching point of aim (POA) with point of impact

- use zip ties and/or tape to secure enough cleaning rod sections to your rifle as you'll
need to clear an obstruction such as a stuck case in the field

initial 100 yard group while conducting zeroing

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

300 yard groups 

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

The class wrapped up with a moving and shooting exercise from barricades. To say that this was a high intensity, dynamic, fun exercise is an understatement. My biggest takeaways from Kyle's discourse on shooting on the move and from barricades are:

- face your target if possible even when moving.

- do not over think shooting on the move, just walk or run naturally.

- when moving from cover, move as fast as possible. Cover beats shooting
on the move most of the time from Kyle's operational experience. Obviously, the
situation will require judgement on your own part.

My gear did not let me down except for some brand new CProducts 5.45x39mm AR magazines that repeatedly failed me. Ceasing use of those fixed all problems. Remember children; the number one component that fails in magazine fed weapons is.....magazines. I ran my Smith&Wesson M&P15R in 5.45x39mm with an Aimpoint Micro red dot sight (RDS). The padded Blue Force Gear Vickers sling was a welcome upgrade. Round count was around 900 rounds shot.

Much thanks to US Armory Corpsfor overnighting a spare 5.45x39mm AR bolt just in case since I am nearing 20,000 rounds on this bolt.  They also threw in a free Wolff extra power hammer spring free of charge on their own suggestion.  Much appreciated.  Do business in confidence with them.

Kyle Defoor teaches a fast paced, safe, humbling, and enlightening carbine class. I am extremely happy I was able to attend this class and learn from him once again. I cannot recommend his teaching enough and plan to put my money where my mouth is once again by taking his advanced handgun class next year hopefully.


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Weapons maintenance tricks I've learned along the way

Let me preface this with a warning: more people have learned themselves into better accuracy than cleaning themselves into better accuracy. Most gun owners treat cleaning as some sort of religion in which if one makes the sacrifice of time and inhaled/absorbed chemicals; the guns gods will be pleased and you will shoot better. You won't. Spray out occasionally with non chlorinate brake cleaner, clean the bore every thousand round or so, dry fire, and SHOOT. Oddly, enough this is one of those things where practice is required. You can actually check condition of the weapon in a few second without cleaning it from top to bottom.

On cleaning your bore and barrel break in, listen to Gale McMillan.

- oil of wintergreen is the best penetrating oil I have ever seen, bar none. Get some
at your local crunchy granola, hippy food store

- in the military and having a problem getting your M240's operating rod end clean for
inspection? Get it clean and then before firing next time, "acquire" or "liberate" some GM-D
gray grease; best source is from anyone in your AO that is maintaining or shooting an M242
25MM chain gun. Coat op rod liberally. Next cleaning time, literally wipe the fouled
grease away

- in a pinch for lube, drizzle some oil off of the dipstick of any engine in your vicinity.
Motor oil is an excellent lubricant.

- non chlorinated brake cleaner is cheap, and ridiculously effective. Hose your weapon down
with it before getting silly with the brush and Qtips (if you must, you really don't have to)

- always clean your bore for carbon before copper. KG-12 and Montana Copper Killer are my
favorite bore cleaners. Plain old Kroil works well for carbon.

- when cleaning your bore, do NOT overdo it! Better to have a dirty bore than a damaged crown

- let that bore cleaner soak and do its job! At least 5 minutes between patches.

- abrasive bore cleaners are a bad, bad idea and should only be used as a last resort.
Remember, those abrasives are abrading EVERYTHING. Those sharp lands and grooves, the
copper, everything. Better to use chemical cleaners.

- when disassembling, a weapon for the first time, take pictures of it as you go. Have a
magnet handy to pick up any small metal pieces that may go flying. The magnet can find what
your eyes miss.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Another hero doing heroic things

This time, said heroism is twofold. One for personal actions during combat and two for that less commonly recognized but perhaps more important accomplishment of effecting a paradigm shift in an huge, stilted, slow to change entity. The United States Marine Corps. Jack helped effect a change in focusing on say tightening up your looped sling in the prone to shoot man side paper targets at 500 yards to actually training to fight with your weapons.  The very fact that thousands of Marines are learning what a controlled pair as opposed to the ubiquitous "double tap" is a cause of wonderment. 

Jack Leuba AKA "Failure2Stop did these things. I knew vaguely about the training and as it is with so many that have done great deeds like these; nothing about the Bronze Star until I heard it secondhand from a Marine that served with Jack.

As mentioned before on here, Jack is now in the training business. Carbine and handgun mostly but he and a certain Marine Scout Sniper we know are considering a DMR/SDM type long range shooting class depending on deployments and time off in between. Jack's first class sold out in a week FLAT.

Please excuse the formatting. Posting from an iPad in hotel in Vegas. Here for the National Finals Rodeo.

Nominee: Failure2Stop
Recommendation: BV
Status: Archived APSPrint  Award Info
Summary of Action

Award Info
1. APS Form: 1650X 2. SSN: *****3402 3. Service: USMC 4. Name: Failure2Stop,
 D 5. Rank: SGT 6. Geofield: OCONUS
7. Recommended Award: BV 8. Final Award: BV 9. Date Submitted:
2004-08-08 00:00:00.0 10. Date Approved: 2005-01-06 00:00:00.0 11.
Action Dates/Meritorious Period: 20040408-20040630

Summary of Action:

The Combat Distinguishing Device is authorized.

From 08 April to 30 June 2004 Sergeant Failure2Stop served as the
scout squad leader for Third Platoon, Company D, 2D Light Armored
Reconnaissance Battalion.

On 08 April 2004, Third Platoon was escorting an Army Heavy Equipment
Truck platoon from Taji Airfield to Camp Fallujah, Iraq. En route a
convoy of civilian contractors in 18-wheeled cargo trucks encountered
an obstacle in the town of Abu Ghurayb. The platoon's Alpha Section
moved forward to provide security for the vehicles as they evaluated
the obstacle. When the section moved up to the convoy they came under
heavy small arms, Rocket Propelled Grenade, and indirect fires from
both sides of the road. The 18-wheeled vehicle drivers panicked, jack
knifed two vehicles, and ran from the scene, separating the two
LAV-25s. Sergeant Failure2Stop dismounted with his scout team and emplaced
them to provide fires to both sides of the road. He then, under fire,
chased down two drivers of the 18-wheeled vehicles and convinced them
to return to their vehicles. He helped maneuver the LAV-25s to provide
security for the vehicles to leave the kill zone and helped direct
fires from the vehicles to engage enemy on both sides of the road. He
personally escorted the drivers to their vehicles and directed them
out of the engagement zone, while under fire. In the face of
relentless enemy fire, he continued to employ his scout team for over
30 minutes, never worrying for his personal safety, resulting in 10
confirmed enemy killed in action. During the engagement, one of the
vehicle commanders was shot in the abdomen. Sergeant Failure2Stop's scout
team covered the vehicle's withdrawl from the engagement zone,
allowing the vehicle commander to maneuver his vehicle to a covered
area to be evacuated. His courage allowed for the recovery of all
personnel from the engagement zone, and the safe return of all
personnel to Camp Fallujah.

On 10 April 2004, at 0045, the platoon came under ambush in Al Karhma,
Iraq. Sergeant Failure2Stop's remained standing in the face of small arms and
Rocket Propelled Grenade fire, from both sides of the road, and
accurately engaged multiple enemy targets in windows and hardened
positions on rooftops. His fires and courageous example inspired the
scouts in his vehicle, allowing the platoon to gain fire superiority
and breach an obstacle of 8ft tall "Texas" barriers. His example in
the face of enemy fire helped the platoon maneuver through the ambush
with no casualties and destroy multiple enemy positions.

On 13 April 2004, Third Platoon conducted a raid while attached to
First Reconnaissance Battalion, capturing three Naji Brothers and
multiple AK-47s. His expertise in close quarters battle allowed him to
prepare his scouts for the raid. Sergeant Failure2Stop led the assault
element on one of two Battalion Objectives. His quick reaction and
presence of mind ensured the safety of the family members inside and
separated the two men inside the building. He implaced the outer
cordon to secure the building and detainees, allowing the HET team to
interrogate the males, while he lead the search of the premises
recovering four AK-47s and seven magazines of 7.62 mm ammunition.

On 22 April 2004, at approximately 0130, Third Platoon was moving into
blocking positions when Sergeant Failure2Stop's vehicle rolled into a canal
trapping the entire vehicle crew under water. Sergeant Failure2Stop remained
calm and ensured that all four scouts made their way safely out of the
vehicle. He then moved to the drivers hatch, knowing that the driver
had been trapped underwater for over a minute and a half, and opened
the drivers hatch underwater and pulled the driver to safety where he
was resuscitated. His immediate action saved the life of the vehicle's
driver. Sergeant Failure2Stop immediately set his scouts into a security
posture while he recovered sensitive items from the vehicle. He then took
accountability of the gear he recovered and maintained security for
the vehicle until he was removed from the scene to return to Camp

On 30 April 2004 at 1050, while on a zone reconnaissance patrol, the
platoon's rear LAV-25 was hit by a vehicle borne improvised explosive
device. The initial blast killed two Marines that were standing in the
scout hatches of the vehicle, wounded the vehicle commander, two
Marines in the scout compartment, a Marine in an anti-tank variant,
and the Platoon Corpsman. At the time of the explosion, Sergeant Failure2Stop
was leading a two team patrol to gain information on three 155mm
Artillery Pieces. Immediately after the explosion Sergeant Failure2Stop
directed both teams to secure the area and he personally helped pull
the wounded scouts from the scout compartment and carry them to a
secure position to be given medical attention.

Upon the arrival of six HMMWVs from 2d Battalion, 2d Marines, Sergeant
Failure2Stop emplaced the vehicles and Marines to reinforce the perimeter
security. Sergeant Failure2Stop continued to improve the perimeter, giving
updates to his platoon commander continually, and check on the wounded
Marines. Upon Arrival of the Air-MEDEVAC Sergeant Failure2Stop helped carry
the Marines to the helicopter and once the helicopters had left the
scene Sergeant Failure2Stop returned to the disabled vehicle and directed the
Marines to remove the SL-3 equipment from the vehicle. He continued to
move the scouts to improve the perimeter and keep the Marines focused
till the quick reaction force arrived.

From 05 May to 30 June 2004 Sergeant Failure2Stop served as the Platoon
Sergeant for Third Platoon. His leadership ensured the strong
performance of the platoon and continued to push each Marine to the
limits of their performance. He reformatted the platoon Equipment
Density List, and ensured that all rosters were up to date and

On 15 May 2004, Company D, 2d Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion
conducted a raid on the Date Palm Grove north of Al Saqlawiyah.
Sergeant Failure2Stop helped coordinate and supervise the training for the
company scouts and was the Assault team leader for the company on two
of the three Company Objectives. His expertise and professionalism
were vital both in the planning and execution phases of the operation.
From 06 June to 08 June 2004, Third Platoon attached to First
Reconnaissance Battalion to conduct a raid on the Chicken Farm north
of Al Fallujah, Iraq. Sergeant Failure2Stop led his scout team through the
clearing and securing of the chicken coup andemplaced his scouts on the
outer cordon. His efforts aided the capture of nine detainees and the discovery of an improvised explosive device lab and large munitions cache.

On 24 June 2004 at 0829, Third Platoon came under fire from small
arms, rocket propelled grenades, and mortars south of Al Fallujah
while conducting a security patrol. The platoon engaged a squad size
force, and Sergeant Failure2Stop led the platoon's scouts through the ambush
site to secure the location. Sergeant Failure2Stop personally led his Marines
under fire through the clearing of several buildings to which the
enemy retreated. Directing the supressive fire of his team's Squad
Automatic Weapon, Sergeant Failure2Stop directed the firing of three M203
grenade rounds into the building, and with no regard for his personal
safety, exposed himself and killed the remaining enemy, completely
destroying their attempt to interdict coalition forces on MSR Mobile.
The platoon's response and Sergeant Failure2Stop's employment of the scouts
led to five confirmed enemy personnel killed in action and the capture
of one RPK medium machine gun, one rocket propelled grenade launcher,
two hand grenades, one ID, and four AK-47s.

On 28 July 2004, while attached to ODA forces from Camp Chosin,
Sergeant Failure2Stop led the raid force on one of four HVT objectives. His
quick action caught two known leaders of an improvised explosive
device making ring in their sleep, ensuring the safety of one female
and two young boys on the site. He personally questioned the men,
confirmed they were the HVTs and led the search of the site recovering
multiple improvised explosive device making materials to implicate the
two HVTs.

On 06 September 2004, Sergeant Failure2Stop's platoon participated in an
attack on Objective Bryant in Fallujah, Iraq. Sergeant Failure2Stop emplaced
his scout section to cover the platoon's southern and eastern flanks.
His actions along with his platoon accounted for seven confirmed enemy
killed in action.

His knowledge and ability was an asset not only to the platoon but
also to all scouts in the company. His expertise in his field allowed
him to continue to train his Marines for each mission they were
assigned and ensured that they were technically and tactically
proficient. His heroic actions saved the lives of his Marines and were
in keeping with the Marine Corps motto "Semper Fidelis".

Summary of Action:

Summary Action: Staff Sergeant  Failure2Stop distinguished himself
while serving as the Staff Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge, Chief
Instructor and Instructor, Small Arms Weapons Instructor School,
Marine Corps Marksmanship Center of Excellence, Weapons Training
Battalion, Training Command from 23 October 2005 to 1 Nov 2006.
Intelligent, focused, and tenacious, Staff Sergeant Failure2Stop's
performance was consistently superior while serving the battalion and
the Marine Corps' requirements. His combat experiences, intensity and
clarity of thought, coupled with command presence and unquestionable
professionalism, made him an effective leader and administrator to the
Small Arms Weapons Instructor School. Leading by example as his
trademark, Staff Sergeant Failure2Stop's supervision, mentorship, and all
around leadership was tremendous, and significantly contributed to the
success of the Marine Corps Marksmanship Center of Excellence and the
whole of Weapons Training Battalion.

Staff Sergeant Failure2Stop and his section have taken the lead in
implementing various new training programs to enhance every Marine's
individual rifle marksmanship skills. Staff Sergeant Failure2Stop's
commitment to marksmanship excellence and providing the Marine Corps
the best possible marksmanship training will leave a lasting mark on
the Marine Corps for years to come while ensuring our combat readiness
second to none.

Cohesive Efforts and Team Building

Staff Sergeant Failure2Stop took it upon himself to develop a cohesive staff
that could meet the requirements of Formal School Instructors and
curriculum developers until such a time that formal schooling could be
allocated and attended by the staff. Receiving augment and replacement
instructors from the Weapons Training Battalion Rifle Range Unit meant
that these new billeted instructors were not qualified for the
daunting task of completely redesigning, developing and implementing a
completely new Marine Corps Combat Marksmanship Program that took
marksmanship from one table of fire on known distance, to four
distinctly different firing tables, surpassing initial skills on known
distance by adding day and night fires, firing while on the move,
firing at unknown distance, firing at extremely short range on
multiple targets that required target discrimination and selective
target identification to ensure accuracy and success. Staff Sergeant
Failure2Stop initiated his own train the trainer program to develop the
instructor skills, the curriculum development skills and spent
countless weekends and after hours conducting "murder boards" with the
intent of honing the skills as they gradually developed for this
novice staff that he inherited on extremely short notice. Holding a
Gunnery Sergeant's billet while a staff sergeant, conducting
curriculum development on two completely separate cirriculums while
never himself receiving formal instruction on curriculum development,
training instructors on his own time to overcome a lack of quotas or
time to attend formal school instructor courses while preparing for
and teaching his own set of classes as the Chief Instructor was just
the beginning of this Marines' accomplishments.

Combat Marksmanship Program

The staff of Small Arms Weapons Instructor School (SAWIS) received the
task to assist the Marksmanship Program Management Section of Weapons
Training Battalion in designing the recently approved Combat
Marksmanship Program. This program would take the entire Marine Corps
beyond fundamental instruction to complete with ready to use skills in
the streets of Fallujah and Ramadi with combat equipment and
accessories to the weapon system all incorporated into the
marksmanship program. The task of identifying the necessary training
events to meet the marksmanship tasks fell upon the personnel of
SAWIS. Forty-eight separate classes were identified as necessary to
teach students, teach coaches how to teach students, teach coaches how
to fault check the performance of students and to evaluate the
capability of both students and coaches throughout the Marine Corps.
Initially serving as the Chief Instructor, Staff Sergeant Failure2Stop used
his understanding of his personnel to make the appropriate taskers for
each SAWIS Instructor for the design and development of the training
material, conducting daily instructor evaluations, daily rudder steers
in the context of the documents that would be used for instruction and
interaction in the design of the ranges that would be utilized to
transfer the necessary skills in support of the identified
marksmanship tasks. From October 2005 to late January 2006, Staff
Sergeant Failure2Stop led his instructors to complete the daunting task of
curriculum development of these 48 different classes, the design,
development and validation of four different gunnery tables, each with
different sub-parts. In less than three months, Staff Sergeant Failure2Stop
completed a task that is identified in the curriculum developers
manual to take in excess of 18 months. While our nation was at war and
needed critical skills taught NOW, Staff Sergeant Failure2Stop was the right
man at the right time to meet this daunting task.

Staff Sergeant Failure2Stop did not sit back and await the results of his
other seven self trained instructors. Using his multiple combat
experiences that earned him the Bronze Star with distinguishing V
device, he ensured his experiences would be shared with every facet
that opportunity provided regardless of the time this would cost him.
He personally took on the responsibility for the heaviest loads by
individually developing from scratch the following instruction:

-Ballistics. An in depth instruction on internal, external and
  terminal ballistics.

-Weapons Handling techniques: Incorporating combat gear and the new
  three point slings into the marksmanship instruction led to conflict
  that needed resolution between fundamental and combat skills.

- Methods of Target Engagement: The baseline of all combat techniques
  for hammered pairs, controlled pairs, aimed fire.

- Design/Development and Validation of Table three short range day

- Design/Development and Validation of Table three short range night
   using white lights on the weapons

- Design/Development and Validation of the Rifle Combat Optic for
  incorporation into the course of fire during Table 3 and 4.

- Design/Development and Validation of the AN/PEQ-2A laser
   pointer/illuminator for incorporation into the course of fire for
  Table 3 known distance night and Table 4 short range night courses of fire.

- Design/Development and Validation of the AN/PVS-7b night vision
  goggle for incorporation into Table 3 unknown distance night and Table
  Four all night fires.

- Design/Development and Validation of the Laser Boresight for
   incorporation into AN/PEQ-2a and RCO zeroing procedures during Table 3
   and Table 4 night fires.

- Design/Development and Validation of Table three unknown distance range day

- Design/Development and Validation of Table three known distance
  night with goggles and laser/pointers.

- Design/Development and Validation of Table four short range day

- Design/Development and Validation of Table four short range night

- Design/Development and Validation of Table four unknown distance
  with magnified optic

- Design/Development and Validation of Table four lateral movement engagement

- Design/Development and Validation of all tables scoring procedures
  Mobile Training Teams (MTT's) for Marine Corps Combat Marksmanship
  Program (MCCMP)

After three months of sleepless nights and hearing his instructors
teach the same class for the eighth or ninth time, seeing the same
ranges conducted until perfection was achieved, the order to take a
team of instructors to the Marine Corps was issued. Staff Sergeant
Failure2Stop was identified as the Staff Non-Commissioned Officer and Chief
Instructor for Team One. This team conducted MTT's (Mobile Training Teams) to Camp Pendleton
Edson Range, Okinawa-Japan, Camp Pendleton Wilcox Range and Fort Smith
Arkansas. In all, 120 students were certified as Combat Marksmanship
Trainers during an exhausting 15 day training schedule that sped up
the training process by training 15-18 hours per day, conducting 15
different daytime live fires per four different bases, four different
night time live fires per base using over 250,000 rounds of 5.56mm
ammunition in various settings with combat equipment on. This
ammunition did not account for the local ammunition and live fires
conducted in the development and validation programs, nor in the other
training that occurred separate to this marksmanship program.
The hardest part about the implementation was the timeline. Receiving
the tasker in October 2005, rapidly developing the course material and
completing all the mobile training teams to the Marine Corps less than
nine months later in what should have been a 2-3 year process was
phenomenal. With the new MCCMP all Marines now will receive formal
training on fundamental marksmanship skills, combat marksmanships
skills, and employment of associated rifle equipment such as the Rifle
Combat Optic and AN/PEQ-2A Night Aiming Illuminator/Pointer.
Foreign Weapons Advisor Training Course.

Before the last Combat Marksmanship Trainer received his certificate
of completion, the personnel of SAWIS received yet another short fuse
tasker. This task was to design, develop, resource and implement a
Foreign Weapons Advisor Training Course in support of various foreign
military transition teams comprised of individual augments from around
the Marine Corps. Once again, Staff Sergeant Failure2Stop demonstrated his
resourcefulness and organizational capabilities by having to identify
the necessary training requirements to meet a six weapon task list,
assign the appropriate instructor to the appropriate training
requirement, conduct faculty development to ensure that his
instructors were the true masters of the curriculum while also having
to resource his own training requirements. These two separate skills
were to be completed from July 2006, just one day after returning from
the last MTT on Combat Marksmanship and to be complete no later than
the first of October 2006. Once again, a course that the systems
approach to training states requires 18 months in development was
ready to execute in just 2 months.

The first order of business was faculty development. Using limited
resources from local museums and explosive ordinance disposal units,
training material was obtained to begin the staff development.
Scheduling classes with the Naval Ground Intelligence Center, Aberdeen
Proving Ground- Maryland and a sister agency of the Alcohol, Tobacco
and Firearms, sufficient training was conducted to fully develop the
staff. Several staff members attended a civilian run course on foreign
weapons at Gun-Site in Arizona.

To meet resource requirements for functional weapons was yet another
challenge. Weapons were initially located and temp loaned from the
Fort Bragg National Guard armory, from the stocks of Aberdeen Proving
ground and accessory items were even purchased from resourceful
civilian companies who had former military loaders, magazines and
essential accessories for sale. Staff Sergeant Failure2Stop maintained
complete oversight on what was needed, what was inbound or already on
hand and ensured the necessary training material suited the
requirements of the instruction while constantly holding instructor
development training "murder boards" complete with the necessary
remediation to correct what he perceived as shortfalls.

During this time, Staff Sergeant Failure2Stop also performed the duties as
Staff Non-Commissioned Officer which required him to perform:

-Scheduling of all live fire ranges

-Attendance in battalion meetings and administration functions

-Scheduling the allocations for ammunition

-Scheduling the corpsman and safety vehicle requirements

-Scheduling the necessary communications requirements

-Coordinating external logistical support

-Coordinating the schedule of training for incoming students mere months away

-Coordinating the mobile training teams administrative schedules of
flights, rental cars, lodging, per diem, range usage and support

Performing either the SNCOIC or the Chief Instructor job by itself is
a completely full time job, especially during a compressed schedule in
a war time effort, but to be expected to perform both duties
simultaneously and do so admirably is beyond explanation or

Mobile Training Teams for Foreign Weapons Advisor Training Course (FWATC)
In support of a II MEF requirement on very short notice, a request to
receive our MTT on FWATC was approved and once again Staff Sergeant
Failure2Stop was on the road to work in someone else's backyard to conduct
live fire training. This time the training was on our opponent's
weapons. As the premier Small Arms Weapons Instructor, Staff Sergeant
Failure2Stop was the perfect Marine to receive this task. In all, four
different MTT's were conducted in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina from 14
October 2006 to 3 November 2006, comprising 140 different students,
firing in excess of 50,000 7.62 x 39mm rounds of ammunition to ensure
these military transition teams were prepared to advise their Iraqi or
Afghani counterparts during the Global War on Terror.

Other Accomplishments

-Staff Sergeant Failure2Stop's influence did not end within the confines of
his world of mobile training teams. During this time, he also:

- Participated as the subject matter expert (SME) for Marine Corps
Combat Development Command's requirements officers in the development
of the Combat Pistol Program.

- Assisted in the Testing and Evaluation of Marine Corps Systems
Command's 3-Point Tactical Sling procurement program. Identified as
the SME during the writing of the technical manual that would be
fielded with the selected sling.

- Participated as a Subject Matter Expert on small arms during a
Limited User Evaluation for the SOCOM weapon system titled SCAR in
Camp Pendleton, CA during June 06.

- Hosted the Chief of Naval Operations during a familiarization shoot
of small arms from 25-26 March 06.
- Attended and graduated Close Quarter Battle School in May 06.

- SNCOIC and Chief Instructor during the annual Marine Gunner training
aboard WTBN during June 2006.

-SNCOIC and Chief Instructor during the reserve unit Train the Trainer
for Combat Marksmanship Program during September 2006.

-SNCOIC and Chief Instructor during the Range Officer Symposium live
fire 18-19 Sept 06.

-SNCOIC and Chief Instructor during acquisitions contractors live fire
demonstration on 21 Sept 2006.

-SNCOIC and Chief Instructor during Assistant Secretary of the Navy
live fire on 4 Oct 06.

-SNCOIC and Chief Instructor during Combat Marksmanship Trainer course
for WTBN personnel 10-12 October 2006.

Staff Sergeant Failure2Stop is the epitome of a Marine Instructor. Nothing
means more to him than a student understanding the critical elements
that will keep that Marine alive, especially dealing with
marksmanship. Staff Sergeant Failure2Stop has been the key to the success of
two complete marksmanship programs, leading by example on and off the
instructor platform, meeting the logistical challenges normally
requiring a seasoned Gunnery Sergeant, developing an instructor cadre
while simultaneously developing curriculum (extremely difficult feat)
and maintaining positive attitude and bearing as an example of
leadership throughout. Any normal human would have been crushed under
the pressure, but Staff Sergeant Failure2Stop grew stronger as the pressure

This submission for a Meritorious Service Medal is made because Staff
Sergeant Failure2Stop's level of responsibility, accomplishments, and impact
on the entire Marine Corps truly have been at the level of and order
of magnitude necessary to justify this award.

Summary of Action
The Combat Distinguishing Device is authorized.











Kyle DeFoor Basic Carbine class 04/02/11 Review/AAR

Review of Kyle DeFoor 1 day Basic Carbine Course at US Training Center April 2nd, 2011

  First off, a bit about Kyle.  Retired SEAL with his own training company now and 100%, a proud, red blooded American.  The guy drives a Ford pickup that he bought because it was one of the last built in Norfolk VA by his buddies at tyhe now closed factory there and Kyle is a born and bred country boy.  He also happens to have hunted Bin Laden and the Taliban on their own turf in the mountains of Afghanistan (as detailed in this excellent book.  Having worked his way through the SEAL ranks, starting out as a young BUDS student at the ripe age of eighteen and then going to sniper school at twenty one; Kyle's bio might be matched by a few people in the world but not surpassed.  He now trains smalls arms, deep concealment, and other martial skills to his former team mates and a few lucky civilians on the side.  As an infantry Marine, I was surprised to note the absence of hair gel and Oakleys :)  Kyle also competes in ultra running races (50 milers), hunts, is a proud family man, and loves his Harleys.

  The morning was cold and started off with class on the back of Kyle's truck detailing how the AR/M4 platform works, how to lubricate it, what parts break (Kyle brought examples as a visual display), and how often to perform certain maintenance.  Dynamic, humble, and with tidbits of hard won personal knowledge peppered throughout, this hour went by quickly as Kyle kept us engaged despite the cold winds and near feezing temperature.  Basics of marksmanship and safety rules were covered.

(pictures of class around Kyle's truck)

  We then moved onto the 25 yard line to check zeroes.  Doing so saved us bit of time not trying to get on paper for the 100 yard line.  Once zeroes were confirmed and adjusted (with Kyle in motion non stop, checking each student's targets, a habit he would stay in for the rest of the day), we moved back to the 100 yard line.  There we had talk about why Kyle advocates the 100 yard zero and how it works with practical carbine engagement distances.  Kyle used newbie friendly words to describe the concept of "max point blank" which is basically the distances at which you do not have to use hold overs/Kentucky windage to hit a man's chest.  Kyle also covered exactly what a killing shot is in combat and dispelled a few internet gun forum concepts on killing power, combat zeroes, and worrying about the difference between 100 and 200 yards.

  At the 100 yard line is where the time honored truths of natural point of aim, bone support, shooting on the natural pause between breaths all came into play and Kyle worked these lessons individually into several different groups at 100 yard line fired from the prone and kneeling positions.  Ten shot groups were the name of the game as Kyle explained three and even five shot groups can mask problems that will come out on paper with the ten shot group.

(one of my 10 shot groups at 100 with 80's era Soviet mil surplus 5.45 ammo.  The 2 to the left were from an earlier group before I adjusted for windage)

  Kyle's take on the kneeling position was something I'd never seen before and I'd like to mention it here.  In the Corps, we had to use the kneeling for score at the 200 and 300 yard lines.  I am lucky enough that I have "weak" ankles and can literally sit on my ankle with it being flat against the ground, outside touching the dirt.  Very stable as opposed to other folk and I always shot well this way.  Kyle's take on the kneeling was to lean way forward, keeping the recoil from rocking you out of your good position, natural bone support, and good sight picture.  It worked and I did what I always do when new facts come to light - I change my position on the matter.

  Another gem that impressed me and changed the way I think was Kyle graphically demonstrating how much movement goes into pressing the trigger with the pad of the finger versus the first knucle joint.  Using the pad of the finger almost makes your entire finger pivot and pull in an exaggerated fashio whereas the first knuckle joints makes for a true straight back pull.

  The day continued to be cold and extremely windy.  Fortunately, the wind was at our backs, having no effect on our shooting.  However, the weapons suffered a bit from the blowing sand.  My S&W M&P15R 5.45x39mm AR15 ran perfectly.

(pictures of my dirty 5.45 AR, nto staged nor retouched)

  We worked on our kneeling and prone at 100 yards with a prone group at 200 shot to illustrate max point blank and then broke for chow at the US Training Center chow hall.

  After chow, we ended up on another range to work on our 25-50 yard carbine drills.  Accuracy standards were heightened and our lessons from the morning on the fundamentals of marksmanship and the different shooting positions rang home.  Shooting from the high ready and low ready were covered, with emphasis on situational awareness and safety and speed being hammered home.  We worked on how do deal with multiple targets with Kyle teaching us to "give everybody a slice of pie (one round) hit the end of your threats (last threat not shot yet), give him two slices of pie (two rounds), and then go back everybody else one more slice of pie."

(Myself, FredM, and an active duty serviceman friend of ours doing drills up close)

  We spent a great deal of time at the 50 yard line doing drills and dodging the storms that rolled in, dumped on us, and rolled out, leaving sunshine and even a double rainbow in their wake.  In one 30 minute period, we experienced sunshine, rain, darkness, falling slush pellets (almsot hail), rainbows and sunshine.  Kyle worked these intervals perfectly, timing classes between drills during the worst of the downpours.

(weather pics)

  We eventually broke for evening chow and came back to an extensive class on low light fighting.  Kyle told of his real world experiences in fighting at night and his hard lessons learned from them.  Lasers and NVGs/NODs rule the night but for the civilian shooter, an 80 lumen or so white light mounted as close to the bore as possible is excellent.  Do not leave the light on continuously and do move after shooting, something I've learned from other trainers as well (Larry Vickers).  We worked on shooting steel targets at 50 yards using these techniques and even moving steel.  This is where I had a gear problem.  My TLR1's rocker switch did not work fast enough for me and also the light had inadequate illumination during some drills since it had to penetrate smoke and fog rolling down the line from other shooters.  My buddy German Synergy using a bone stock SureFire G2 incan in a VTAC light mount graciously loaned to him by fellow student ShawnL
enjoyed much better performance and found the light much easier to actuate on and off quickly.  Needless to say, I changed my gear after the class.

  That wrapped up the class and once all gear was stowed safely, Kyle broke out awesome DeFoor branded trucker's hats for the students and we had an after class wrapup talk and then settled down to pick Kyle's mind on any topic we were curious about.

  I really have no nits to pick about this class.  Kyle accelerated the learning curve according to the proficiency shown by the class and we were constantly in motion and learning.  I will say that there can be a lot of gossip in the firearms training industry but Kyle never had a bad word to say about anyone and is a patient, open minded instructor who inspects every student's target after each drill.  He never raised his voice but did give praise on tight groups and was always there, making sure students got help when they needed it.  I would also add that I would be cautious about looking down upon "Basic" classes.  Several folks who had received advanced training elsewhere all commented on how much they had learned at this class.  I plan on taking Kyle's Advanced Carbine class and training with him as much as possible.  I like his jaw dropping bio, relaxed stress free training environment, sense of humor, and how he breaks drills down; not expecting you to take it all in in one sentence but making sure folks are dead certain of what they are getting ready to do and the goal they should should strive for.  Not one student was ridiculed and everyone left a better shooter with a positive training experience under their belt.  I don't think that you can ask for much more than that.  Simply outstanding.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Remember those who are overseas in our country's service.  Drink a toast today to those that have gone on before us and tell a story or two about them in their honor.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Rumor has it....

That the SERPA holster is now standard issue at USSOCOM....

Big friggin' sigh followed by head banging on the wall.

Posting from Blackwater err....US Training Center. I am here for the
Kyle Defoor Advanced Carbine Class.

British newspaper article on the SA80

You click here

Not exactly....complimentary

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Actual friggin' data on the SA80

  From our buddy Failure2Stop,  Not actually a formal write up per se (one is coming once he catches his breath from setting up classes and whatnot) but rather this was a rebuttal to folks with very little operational knowledge of bullpups other than "ZOMG!  I hate the AR/M4 because I had to clean it in the US military and bullpups LOOK so freaking cool!"

 And with that being said, step up to the fountain of knowledge......  Note the level of detail.

The SA80 is a poor design and prone to a lot of problems. The M16/M4 isn't superior in ALL regards, be it is in MOST of them 
When dudes raised on the SA80 switch over to M4s (and even the M16A4 fence-post) they love them, especially when I show them the versatility of the system. 
It is heavy. It feels like an AK, weight-wise. It is primarily constructed from stamped sheet metal. 
The trigger has serious issues, and under a heavy firing schedule are prone to failing. I have personally seen three guns go down almost simultaneously with the same problem. 
The handguard has a mounting screw that goes through the gas-block on the barrel which makes the gun very susceptable to POI change due to pressure on the handguard from aggressive hold, VFG use, or supported positions. This is not changed with the DD handguards- which have their own problems. They are prone to loosening of the retention screws (one through the gas-block and one that presses into the front of the receiver), which results in drastic POI variance. The gas block is exposed, and it happens to be right where the support hand wants to be for good front-end control. The top rail is lower than the top of the gas-block which severely limits a 12:00 light mount. 
It is highly trigger sensitive and prone to having consistently low groups during rapid fire or rapid trigger manipulation. 
It is no more accurate than an M16 or M4 when compared with similar optics. 
The line of sight over bore is really high, especially when using a piggybacked MRD. 
The NATO rail is severely lacking. 
The SUSAT is a nightmare.  
I have not seen the magazine well bend. However, I have seen what we would call the "lower receiver" (TMH here) bow outward which results in the magazine over-seating (like crappy 10 round 1911 mags do) during speed reloads. 
The weapon can be fired left-handed, but only if you are very very careful and have a laser. 
The rearward weight distribution makes the gun bouncy during multi-shot engagements and auto. I can hold 20 rounds on an IPSC on FA (full auto)with an M4A1, about 10 to 12 with the SA80. 
The lack of adjustability of the LOP (length of pull) makes the gun sub-optimal for CQB. Everybody touts the thing for being so short, but the LOP is barely shorter than an M16A2. Combined with the zero amount of eye-relief of the SUSAT; CQB work with it when wearing armor sucks unless you want to rely solely on the laser (if you get one) or until the ACOGS come in (which have a MRD piggy-backed). The long LOP prevents the 3-man from carrying in the high port, which results in a less than speedy 3-man's gun in the room/fight. 
It is virtually unusable with a single-point sling though the issue 3-point essentially configures into a single point, it isn't really. The sling sucks hard, but that will probably be a non-issue since we do have options. 
The pistol grip is uncomfortable unless, get this, you hold it with all of your fingers. That's right- it's more comfortable to carry in a non-firing grip than with a finger straight and off the trigger. 
The position and type of safety requires the shooter to use the left hand to engage the safety. It's a cross-bolt safety just forward of the trigger guard. 
The mag catch is stiff and only operable with the left hand. 
The placement of the mag release and charging handle (left side and right side, respectively) means that you have to flip the gun back and forth for stoppage reduction instead of just canting it and running it. The bolt-catch is handy though. Unfortunately, the bolt release is tiny and requires a bit of dexterity to consistently manipulate it. 
The short handguard makes it impossible the grip out on the rail where you are most efficient, but you have to hit the safety with the left hand anyway, so it's just a forced compromise anyway. It feels like a pan of water during SOM (shooting on the move). 
The trigger mechanism is slightly less complicated than the interior of a combine harvester, and prone to all kinds of fouling and unnecessary play, resulting in a great trigger (sarcasm). 
The buttstock is ribbed, but doesn't stick in place during firing like a decent stock should. It is also heavily curved which makes running in the frontal pocket with armor more difficult than it needs to be. 
You need two hands to work the gun and a functioning right side hand, arm, and clear line of sight to the right eye. This implies a lot of of failure points when in unconventional positions.
I taught the lead urban combat course in both marksmanship and tactics in the UK to instructor-level personnel from everywhere from SFSG to FPGRM. To a man they are senior and all have multiple tours in Iraq and the 'Ghan. I work with senior guys, guys that have been around and done stuff, many of which carried weapons systems other than the SA80. All of them are vocal about the fact that the SA80 needs to go away and be replaced with something that is actually made to fight with.  
Yes, we are using A2s. There are no A1s, as they were all upgraded to the A2 configuration. Yes, I know the difference. 
The SA80 is a bit better with the ACOG, but it doesn't do a damned thing about the problems with the system. The mount is a weak point. The ACOG needs to be cantilevered forward with the mount due to the rail being too short, and there are numerous accounts of a dropped rifle breaking or bending the mount. Implying that system would be fixed with an optic is grasping for straws and trying to obscure the real issues. 
I have sufficient experience in CQB to say that the short overall length of the SA80 is not an advantage over an M4, especially considering that the length of pull is not adjustable. Most movements within the enclosure will be done from a compressed position with the barrel pointing either upward or down. Virtually no actions will be taken with the gun up unless covering a danger area or threat, in which case the shorter OAL does nothing. Indexing the gun sucks since the bolt travel will cause the cocking handle to strike the bicep if brought into an under-arm position, which means that I can actually make the M4 protrude a shorter distance and still be usable for extremely close contact. I have hopped into and out of vehicles a few times and I can positively say that the SA80 is barely better than a SAM-R (USMC's version of the Mk11 SPR essentially), and no better than an M4 in those conditions. 
Why can't people be honest about things like guns? The SA80 is a POS. A better gun backed by better training would yield a better result. Why don't people want that to happen? As it is, HK is running out of SA80 receivers (I forgot to note, they are prone to cracking), which means that the MOD (Ministry of Defense) will have to accelerate their selection of a new system. I know this because I was in a tri-service (British) meeting about the topic.

Gunny Honey Badger

Remember this post about my friend Master Sergeant Blanton?

Well, "Randall" of the Honey Badger video fame has recently narrated a video on the Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant or "Gunny" as they are affectionately known.

And guess who's in the video?  That's right, Master Sergeant Blanton back when he was a Gunny.  I contacted him about this and he confirmed that he indeed does not give a shit and had a cobra for lunch.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


  from a Marine buddy who's now out of the Corps and currently deployed overseas:

and where one man would stand alone, to defy an empire
and bring peace upon the land.  Even if afterwards he couldn't
find his pants and could barely remember the public officials that he

Miss ya, bro.  Stay safe.

Giving back to Veterans

  There's folks that say "thank you for your service "(much appreciated) and there's some that do a bit more.

  This past Veteran's Day; veterans showed up to combined handgun and carbine shooting clinic put on by Jack AKA "Failure2Stop" of F2SConsulting and Todd Green and his merry band of men from Pistol-Forum.  Volunteers, mind you.  As in free range time, as in offering use of a carbine and free ammo to a vet as documented here.  TCinVA is not the sort of guy that would mention his own generosity so I'm doing it for him.

  This is not the first time has done this sort of thing either.....  Not to mention a little somethingsomething prize for the wildly popular ongoing Drill of the Week.

  Folks, there's a new carbine instructor on the horizon.  A guy who literally wrote the book on the Marine Corps new combat marksmanship training and standards.  A guy loaned out to the Royal Marines for three years to show our buddies across the pond how we shoot small arms and to train them accordingly.  A guy who can tell you about making shots as a DM (Designated Marksman) whilst laid up behind concrete rubble that had a dead, green human hand sticking out.  One of the first military testers of the FN SCAR.  Taught CQB to the Royal Marines. Deployed to five different combat zones.

  Failure2Stop is getting ready to announce classes.  I'll be first in line.  He and I went shooting together.  It was one of those range sessions where you're thinking "I HATE shooting with this guy because he makes me feel like I can't shoot at all.  Sorta embarrassing.

  Here he is, shooting at Todd Green's Aim Fast Hit Fast class.  Note the three (count'em, 3!) cases in the air as he is back on target already.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Bacon: Is there anything it can't do?

Wired article

 From the article:

A few pig cells, a single surgery and a rigorous daily workout: They’re the three ingredients that patients will need to re-grow fresh, functional slabs of their own muscle, courtesy of Pentagon-backed science that’s already being used to rebuild parts of people.