The reality of combat

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When SHTF nobody told me how hard is gonna be and what things I will have to do to survive, there was no training or simulations, through most of the stuff I was going for the first time in my life, and I was hoping it is only temporary situation, it is not going to last for whole year.

Few events opened my eyes, and somehow make me survivor right at the beginning, and I can say I have luck to understand in very early stage how hard it is, and what it takes.

During one of the first bigger events of killing in the streets, I was out together with my friend who also was medical professional.

Fire from machine guns was on people who were standing in front of the main city bread factory, and people started to scream and run over each other.

My first impulse was to run to nearest cover but my friend got down to help some lady, so I stayed one meter next to him.

I was confused about my decision and not sure to stay with him or run. Bullets from machine gun hit him over his legs, and I saw how his knee cap exploded, it looked like some bad movie special effect.

He just looked at his legs, then at me, in silence. Even that was just seconds moments like this feel very long.

I took him by the hands and drag him some 20 or 30 meters to safety. Only there I saw that he was missing his leg under the knee. It stayed with dead lady on the street.

And only then he started to scream.

I used belt to stop bleeding, ambulance still worked in that period. He went to hospital and then evacuated from the city. He survived but never came back.

Lessons learned?

In moments of chaos always listen to your instincts and do not hesitate. Especially if you are involved in situation when someone is shooting at you with high caliber machine gun. Just accept that people will die, and you have to survive. To help others is great thing, to survive is even better, also I realized that human being is so fragile and easy to destroy.

Later I learned some things about weapons and how to use them, so I realize that more firepower does not necessary mean more dangerous and better chance to kill.

Owning a weapon is just absolutely necessary in preparing for a survival scenario, even more in urban survival. You just need to go and get as close as you can to the real stuff while you are doing the preparing and training for the SHTF, so it makes sense to go out and check your preps, to check your gear and yourself.

For example pair of boots that you bought and store for bad days will not be used for walking only, it will be use for running, squatting, jumping, in mud, junk, blood, guts maybe or just running trough a shallow river.

Everything that you have prepared and stored for SHTF will be pushed to the limits.

One thing is to go out into woods nearby and do recording of your weapon testing on some beer bottles with your friends, and after that concluding that particular gun or rifle is best for SHTF, and that you are dangerous dude because your accuracy rules. Some people gonna put that clip on you tube and go home convinced that they are ready and prepared.

In reality you do not know if you are prepared.

A lot of survival stores that sell things sell idea of buy this and you are safe. No you are not. Also you learn more about real urban survival scenario in my survival course and this helps you to mentally be better prepared but real deal when SHTF always comes as surprise.

When time comes again it gonna hit everyone like a hammer. Good news is that when you know you will get hit like that you can recover fast and use your skills, knowledge and preps to make best out of situation.

Using weapon in real life, in real survival situation is something absolutely different from shooting bear bottles, and if you could do some real training that is realistic that would be maybe going to camping with trash bag as a tent, being on camping for 10 days with 10 small cans of food, and 10 liters of water, walking every day for 10 km.

And then on 11th day run few kilometers and then shoot and see how accurate you are when your body is wasting away.

And still the most important thing is missing. While you are shooting at the beer bottles they do not shoot back at you in order to kill you.

During some of the first battles in city I was moving trough the building behind a guy, we both had rifles. He was sweeping the rooms and shooting, it was the closest urban combat as it can be. In the moment when he run out of ammo he used his rifle as something between spear and bat.

Now someone could say why he did not just switch to pistol? He did not have one, also he did not have time to look for ammo. But there I learned how it is useful to have folded stock of rifle when shooting and moving in very confined spaces.

Also I learned that rifle with pretty sharp parts at the barrel can be very handy. He stabbed guy to the cheek, ripping his face down and finishing him on ground.

One of the biggest misconception at the people who do not have fighting experience is what they need to practice.

It is all about pressure. You need to learn:

1. What your weapon can take

In terms of kicking, throwing, how often and when will it malfunction, and what the most common malfunctions are, and how to fix it, of course how to fix it in middle of fight. If you find yourself in the middle of fighting, and your weapon „jams“ do not be as we called “zblesavljen” or in English is probably looking like idiot.

I have seen that: guy is shooting and in the middle of fighting his weapon jammed, and he surprisingly look at the weapon in a „what the f#ck?“ state. And of course in two seconds he ends up dead.

You absolutely need to know how to manage small weapon jams without looking at the weapon, you need to look at the target while you are „repairing“ weapon (clearing the bullet, switching to other magazine etc.)

Other option would be to MOVE immediately when your weapon jams, move to cover in same second, or to dropping it on ground, or on your back, and switching to your other weapon. But you need to learn to do all of above without thinking. You need to train that this becomes automatic.

Small things like how quickly you can put your rifle on your back and a switch to pistol can be difference between life and death, if you somehow „trip“ yourself while you are trying to put rifle on your back in order to take pistol you can end up dead.

2. What you can take

Remember this: while you are shooting at the bad guys, those bad guys will be SHOOTING AT YOU TOO.

So shooting at the beer bottles in the woods with your buddies will not really do all the training you need. I am doing it often, but it just not covering everything.

Fighting and surviving combat means constant moving and outsmarting the guys on the other side, you gonna need to run, squat, throw yourself in the ditch, lay down in all kinds of sh!t and shoot at the same time, and probably fix your rifle from jams, or switch to another weapon.

Do some basic weapon training and learn about line of sight and how to get out off it.

Very great percentage of shooting is done without aiming, just spraying bullets.

It makes sense to do some airsoft or paintball in the woods to check how constant moving change whole game, and what kind of moving makes sense in order to survive gunfight.

For example how often you shoot from your weapon with both hands, dominant and not dominant? In urban fighting you will need switch weapon around very often (moving through the apartments, rooms, around the corners etc.). When you are shooting behind corner, and you are having rifle in your right hand and corner is on your left side it make sense to transfer weapon to left hand. otherwise it is dangerous to stick your left part of body out in order to shoot form right hand.

For all you who have some military experience this all is basic stuff, but I have seen many guys who were killed in stupid ways.

Real gunfight is dynamic thing. Adrenaline is weird thing too, so people can do tremendous things while adrenaline is pumping, but also with lack of training and common sense guy can do tremendously stupid things. I have seen man who was pointing to something and he stood up from the cover, and got shot.

3. How to train yourself

Training is the key. You can not do anything else today except to train very hard.

You can not experience real stuff today of course, but you can take it as close to real stuff as you can. Go out with your friends and think about all possible scenarios. But think about worst case scenarios. SHTF is not gonna wait for nice and sunny weather, you gonna be maybe hungry, dirty. Maybe have to give up your shelter and food storage on second day of SHTF.

Or you gonna be forced to use other weapon that you are not used to. Maybe you gonna be forced to hide for hours hidden under a pile of rubble and then you are gonna be forced to jump out and „kill“ ten beer bottles. Sounds like fun? This is why resilience and mental strength is so important.

Maybe you are gonna be cold and thirsty and in the middle of the battle. One thing is sure – very rarely it goes the way that you planned. So just be ready for many options and do not panic when things go other way. Want to get some funny sounding advice?

Get good at suffering while still being able to work towards a goal.

4. What weapon, caliber, stopping power etc?

It is very hard question (that I get asked a lot). But think about fact that everything today is about mainstream and commercial. And somehow it is more about what other people say is good and not necessarily about what you need and what is good for YOU.

You and your hand kill, weapon is only tool. I have seen fight when man with knife is killing the guy with rifle. He had mastered fighting with knife and had will to kill. Other guy had a rifle only, and he ends up dead. I also seen more than once people shot with rifle bullets still fighting, running for good amount of time. Some of them were not even aware that they are wounded before someone else pointed that out to them.

What I am trying to say, do not expect miracles if you own weapon that is at the moment most popular, having great stopping power, cool reviews. It is about practicing , weapon mastering and correct bullets placement.

I said bullets for a reason, I have seen many things, but I did not see someone survive multiple shots in correct place at the body. Have weapon that is best for your case, and achieve perfection in using it. Do not expect that people will fly back if you shoot them with one bullet from some widely popular weapon and caliber (not talking about shotguns).

So I am not gonna tell you what is the best weapon because what works for me maybe does not work for you or others.

Having a weapon that is too rare, too good or too bad does not make too much sense for me. Do not find yourself in situation when you lose your weapon and pick someone else and then find out that you do not have clue about it, because your weapon was special and rare.

Just have what everyone else around you has, because of gun parts, ammo and you look like everyone else.

Your weapon is only tool to survive, be ready to lose it if you need to lose it, and pick some other from ground in the middle of fight.

I knew a guy who did some scary stuff with rusty shortened M48. He was old and poor looking dude, he played that part good, until he would take out this old gun from under his coat and rob and kill people. Simple strategy but it worked for him. So look around and think what works for you.

If you have experienced combat or heard what matters from veterans please share in comments.

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34 replies
  1. kyle says:

    If people want to see what real firefights look like (some in HD!) search for “Syria” on liveleak.com and then sort the results by comments. Or you can also go to the Syria channel on liveleak, http://www.liveleak.com/c/syria

    Warning! Some really graphic stuff there, the worst I’ve ever seen on the internet. But it does show the chaos that is war and how easily people can die. Very informative as it is essentially the first war to be filmed digitally by the participants and not journalists running for cover. Some of the people recording video also record their own deaths, creepy.

    Reply
  2. T. Mark Graham says:

    “moments of chaos always listen to your instincts and do not hesitate.”

    We train so as to act in crisis *contrary* to our instincts. That is why we practice immediate action drills over and over and over and over. React to near ambush. React to far ambush, React to flare. React to hostile aircraft. Battle drills – contact left (right, front, rear). Rehearsing it until the action is conditioned and no longer at the high brain level, but at the lizard-brain level.

    “In moments of chaos, follow your *training* and do not hesitate.”

    As to weapons, it is the same. whether an AK, an AR, practice malfunction drills and reloads until they are no longer conscious actions, but a conditioned response to hearing a “click” instead of “bang”. This is going to take over a thousand repetitions. Maybe even ten thousand. Most won’t bother. They think under crisis they will “rise to the occasion”. Nope. People do nopt rise to anything, they revert to their training and conditioning.

    Reply
    • JS says:

      I think that Selco would be the first to agree that the whole point of training is to condition quick, automatic, appropriate responses during stressful situations.

      I read his statement more as meaning “trust your instincts to tell you when a situation is dangerous and immediately act accordingly”. Most people are not used to being in life-threatening situations, and they are likely to freeze, panic, and/or try to deny the situation is as serious as it is.

      Instinct is valuable in that is can help alert you that “something is not right”, after which (hopefully) training kicks in…allowing you to act in the best, most efficient manner.

      Reply
    • Bubba Man says:

      I got some really crappy ammo for my G17 once. I went through about 500 rounds with a failure about every 3 rounds, before I just gave the rest of the case away. But my Glock clearing technique is not fast and automatic. No thinking involved.

      Reply
    • Darkheart says:

      “I can tell you that in the condition of dynamic urban warfare, a person could transform himself into a professional soldier in two or three days.”

      –Ilyas Akhmadov

      Training is important, but it’s not everything. Many a highly-trained grunt is dead because he froze when it mattered.

      I think preparing yourself mentally to take a human life is just as important.

      Reply
    • JC says:

      Agreed. I’ve been in some life threatening situations before and in every case I’ve done what I’ve trained myself mentally and physically to do.

      Reply
  3. wardoc says:

    Another excellent description of the reality of collapse. One of the most common and strange (in the sense of unexpected, by me) things I have seen in combat settings is that many people are completely stunned, freaked out, nauseated, and shocked at the site of wounds and blood. The distinct smell of blood also causes many people to freeze or become nauseated, possibly putting them at serious risk (if you’re reeling and nauseated from seeing bloody wounds, you won’t see the guy sneaking up behind you or the shooter on the roof across the street).

    Becoming at least somewhat accostomed to the sight of blood might save some people and prevent their being irrational or stupid in a combat setting. Spending time as a volunteer in an Emergency Room might be very helpful, if you know someone who can arrange that (often very difficult esp. in major med centers w/ lots of regulation). Going to a slaughter house is also an eye opener for many. Or, volunteer to ride with EMS. Either way, my experience is that seeing horrendous wounds and lots of blood for the first time bothers many people to the point of making themselves easy targets by taking their mind off the situation at hand.

    Keep up the good work Selco.

    Reply
    • JS says:

      I agree…folks out there may want to: 1) expose themselves to blood/guts/gore/death so it won’t be quite as much of a shock in “real life” situations 2) seek out safe, but stressful, situations in which you have to perform quickly and accurately under pressure.

      I’m a critical care nurse, and I’ve learned to be able to think and function quickly/effectively when a person is dying in front of me. Blood, exposed bone, and visible organs won’t make me freak out or pass out. However, the ability to handle such situations is something that’s learned.

      I can vividly remember the “tunnel vision” and near-panic I experienced when I first found myself in a sudden emergency situation. I was well-trained, I knew what was happening, and I knew what I needed to do…but I wasn’t able to think clearly enough to function well (older, experienced nurses stepped in and helped me during the code situation, and I’ve done the same for a number of “newbies” since then).

      Your body reacts to sudden threat (to yourself or someone around you) by mounting a “fight or flight” response. Selco mentioned several situations in which a person did something dangerous or stupid under severe stress. A person can panic, freeze, or make the wrong decision; and it can cost them their life. Stress hormones can focus perception and sharpen reflexes, or they can so severely narrow sensory input and the ability to think clearly that you become unable to function. The stress response can either help you or hurt you, depending on how you handle it.

      You can’t control biochemistry, but you can learn to recognize the stress response and think/function despite it. Repeatedly putting yourself in reasonably safe but stressful situations (skydiving, realistic martial arts training, airsoft, rock climbing, intense competition of any kind) allows you to become familiar with how your body’s “fight or flight” response feels and how you respond to it. Over time, you’ll become better at performing complex tasks under pressure. It’s no guarantee that you’ll react appropriately during “The Big One”, but you’ll probably be more likely to react appropriately under severe stress than you otherwise would have been.

      Reply
    • denis says:

      this is one of the reasons I became a medical first responder out here in the rural area. Free training, equipment and experience!

      Reply
  4. Gary Showalter
    Gary Showalter says:

    Selco, you make a lot of sense, and you do not waste any words doing it. I spent 16 years in the Israel Defense Forces, lost a few friends to combat-related injuries and saw the results (up close and personal) of several IED’s and car bombs in and around Jerusalem and on the highways of Israel.

    There is NO warning of an IED; no split-second in which you can mutter, “Oh, crap”, and duck behind something. One second everything is peaceful; the birds are chirping, car horns beeping, cell phones ringing, people walking on the sidewalks or crossing streets and then then car parts, glass shards and body parts are flying. A few seconds later the wounded begin to cry and moan, and sirens begin to wail. SHTF in an awful hurry.

    I have stood in the line with my buddies waiting for a mob of rioting Muslims to approach. I have spent nights in an ambush waiting for smugglers carrying weapons and ammo to enter the “kill box”. I have commanded jeep patrols at night in the West Bank, moving slowly without lights through wadis and over hills, knowing we were little more than a noisy speed bump if any bad guys did chose to hit you.

    You never know when the hammer will drop; you never know if you have trained hard enough, often enough, or if you are geared-up for whatever does drop on you. You just never know until it’s over, and you get to go home again to your wife and kids, and wait to hear about the next funeral you will have to attend. And then you give thanks to your G-d that you are the one who got to go home that day.

    Reply
  5. Christopher Hill says:

    Selco, some time ago I came across a study of nearly 1,800 shootings by a veteran police officer/personal defense instructor which supports the idea that shot placement- improved through training- is more important than caliber with handguns. Greg Ellifritz of Active Response Training found:

    “What matters even more than caliber is shot placement. Across all calibers, if you break down the incapacitations based on where the bullet hit you will see some useful information.

    Head shots = 75% immediate incapacitation
    Torso shots = 41% immediate incapacitation
    Extremity shots (arms and legs) = 14% immediate incapacitation.

    No matter which caliber you use, you have to hit something important in order to stop someone!”

    http://www.activeresponsetraining.net/an-alternate-look-at-handgun-stopping-power

    Reply
  6. Chris Hess says:

    Begin training now! As previously mentioned when trouble starts it’s to late to prepare. Physical fitness and hand to hand skills are a must. Proper mindset and nutrition are key. Seek qualified instruction. You are the weapon. Everything else is just a tool. Often beating a hasty retreat or running to cover is the only option. Can you and your family run? Or If you happen to be caught at extreme close range can you employ empty hand and weapon retention skills? God forbid you lose your gun, have a stoppage or even have your gun damaged or shot up, Can you transition to a blade or an improvised weapon. Be ready,

    Reply
  7. area_51_games says:

    I can go on for a few pages from what I have learned in Bosnia and Desert storm , let me give a real basic outline, Weapon .22 rifle and pistol. why numerous and easy to find bullets, high caliber Forty five. why stopping power and still a numerous round. AR 15 and AK are good weapons yeas , for people who can be trained to use them. .22 is easy to use by every one.
    .45, .44, nice stoping power weapons , use revolvers. for low skilled people. easy to train with and can be very deadly in accuracy, even for a low skilled gun user.

    second do not fight with a knife if you do not know how, clubs sticks , batons are simple martial weapons that can be easy to teach and learn to use even by a child and no one questions a cane or a walking stick in rare area.

    exercise exercise – combat is exhausting – fear is exhausting,
    Adrenaline well sap you fast – there for fear, you can not get use to sudden fear, but you can get in shape, and i do not mean body shape , but exercise with high stamina could save your life.
    do not play games with a fire arm, do not run while firing ever!
    I have seen more people shoot them selves with their own weapon while running, because they where running and trying to fire their weapon.

    if you retreat, move to cover and fire, if you can not, do not run in a straight line.

    never stand in the open to fire a weapon in a urban or even open country- COver cover cover, no one ever get to fire in a so called fire’ing stance. no one if they want to stay alive. police do this because they rarely face more then one attacker.
    soldier in combat always face more opponent then they can see!
    by the way if you think there is going to be trouble get your weapon out and readied then, do not wait to draw or pull out your weapon when the fight starts, you well already be dead!

    hope this helps
    Be well and stay the hell awy from gun fights!@

    Reply
  8. Jim Holmes says:

    Something that I think Americans are going to have a problem with is logistics and support. Right now a gangbanger gets shot, and in 10 to 20 minutes is in an emergency room being taken care of by surgeons.

    A cop gets injured, the same thing happens – same for regular citizens.

    If we run out of food, we get some THAT day.

    If something breaks it is almost never a crisis because we do not truly depend on much of what we own and use. My rifle breaks, I order a part and fix it within a week.

    If the water stops running, I have some stored – same for heating.

    But let’s just imagine anything happening when we have NO idea when we will be able to fix the problem or get the needed supplies.

    What we train for in most classes are essentially, “sweep and kill”. I have yet to take a class that talks about a fighting retreat from a threat.

    We are not going to be able to organize into squads, or even pairs, in most situations we are going to be alone. American’s have become a nation that encourages it’s children to move far away from parents, and to have 2 or less children if you have any at all. Our “tribe” consists of a few close friends that don’t live near us (by near I mean walking distance of less than ten minutes) we come home, drive into our garage, close the door and the only time we walk down the street is if we’re walking the dog. We have very little idea of who our neighbors are, and we do not cultivate a neighborhood “tribe” approach to social interactions. In a way, urban gangs have a distinct advantage in this area.

    If extensive civil unrest or war hits our neighborhood, we’re going to be on our own. The people that survive are going to be the most ruthless. I don’t think Americans realize how quickly our societal norms will change.

    If we train, we have to train like we’re homeless. NO logistics, NO hidden supplies, NO idea that a quick call to 911 will save us from bad decisions. We should not appear to be “rich” in the survival sense, the guy who’s decked out in ACU and a rucksack is a target for opportunists – they wont see that he can hit a running cat at 300 yards, they’ll only see what they can loot from his body when he inevitably sleeps.

    Argh… Too much!

    Reply
  9. Grog says:

    Selco,
    I was in Germany during the “Cold War”, The First Gulf War, doing “Force Protection” and have been in both Somalia three days after the BlackHawk was shot down, and in Kuwait, in 2003 – 2004 for again force protection into and from Iraq. While, I will admit, Kuwait was better than Somalia. Personal insight leads me to believe that Policy by Extra National Entitnites, to be misguided, ill resources piles of expensive garbage. In a total collapse, I fully understand that National Graud style forces, are less than great, however at times, Good things can happen.

    Reply
    • Grog says:

      Not always, Any weapon one has can do something, Not everything, Take the example of the WWII liberator pistol, worked well enough, Not a smart weapon to be sure. as to what folks can or should do, There is NO perfect, One size or situational answer. I will kep tings, like Individual Movement Techniques, or IMT, and other tactics out of the post. Thanks for the insights and thoughts,. I realize sharing these things at times are painful, to say the least.

      Best of luck, healthy food, clean water and NO drama for you and yours. with long and well lived life.

      Grog

      Reply
  10. revjen45 says:

    “I knew a guy who did some scary stuff with rusty shortened M48.”
    I take it this refers to to a M48 Mauser? Could you give a little more description?

    Reply
    • Selco
      Selco says:

      Yes, Yugo M48, it was not really in use in ex army for some time, but there were a lot in military storages, saved there(conservation) so when SHTF there were taken out too. Older folks liked that rifles.

      Reply
  11. joeB says:

    This is the part that scares me the most. I suck at viewing blood and guts. I wretch and get dizzy. My wife works in a hospital and spends hours in surgery like it was nothing.

    I am forcing myself to watch war videos to get my tolerance up, but it is very hard. Everything else I can deal with, but blood and guts is the hardest.

    Reply
    • Selco
      Selco says:

      Lot of people have same problems, and yes it can make you problem when SHTF. Try to do some voluntary job in hospital or similar.

      Reply
    • Rick Diekman says:

      This is for Joe B. If you have trouble dealing with blood and guts watching war movies is a marginally adequate way to get used to the visuals, but in a real emergency you may find youself freaked out by the smell. The coppery smell of blood, overwhelming stench of feces, urine, intestinal material and liquid from the abdominal cavity could have you puking your guts out involuntarily. I myself have a real problem with vomit; I can usually hold my gorge down pretty well, but if someone barfs, I follow suit. Something you need to give some thought to.

      I don’t know where you could get training to overcome this problem, only thing I can think of offhand is gutting out a deer . You seem like a decent guy, I wish you luck.

      Reply
  12. timgray says:

    Facts: Your pretty AR-15 is junk. an ak47 is a better choice. Why? Bury your precious AR15 in sand and mud, then pull it out of that mud, flip off the safety and start firing. No you dont get to clean it or even take the gunk out of the barrel end. The ak47 is so loose tolerance it will happily fire full of sand. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8hFZ7Jt2hQ for proof that this is reality.

    You love your 1911 45 semi auto work of art? A good old 357 magnum or 38 special or other .45 revolver will work if not cleaned for weeks or months. your 1911 is garbage if left uncleaned for only a couple of days. Are you really going to stop and clean your handgun?

    Selco, did everyone stop each night to carefully clean and oil their guns? Did everyone have a nicely stocked cleaning kit?

    Reply
    • Selco
      Selco says:

      Not really every night, we tried to keep it clean yes, but nothing like real cleaning kit and real cleaning after every use.

      Reply
    • Colorado Pete says:

      Um, Tim, then how come I’ve been able to fire my ‘garbage’ 1911 several hundred rounds, over several practice sessions spaced over a couple of months, without cleaning it at all, and it worked just fine? And done such several times over the course of a few years? Please stick to writing things you know from experience.

      Reply
      • denis says:

        60 year old as issued 1911a works dirty, at minus 30C and has eaten everything I fed it! and it only cost me about $50 20 years ago.

        Reply
    • oldfatguy says:

      Sorry, Bud, you’re wrong about the 1911. It’s recoil cycles the action, not gas pressure. The AR and AK are gas-dependent, and if dirty enough, won’t function. The AK is much hardier than the AR and can be used without cleaning for a long time, but the AR has a more finicky gas system, and can fail due to powder fouling.

      Reply
    • warpedrazorback says:

      Reader: Please ignore this guy. Do not listen to anyone who tells who an entire class of weapons is garbage.

      Well built ARs will fire very well if kept “wet and dirty” (lubed with no to minimal cleaning). AKs that have the “loose tolerance” spoken of can’t hit sh!t accurately, so unless you happen to buy an AK that fires on auto, you’re going to be out of luck. Well built AKs are more accurate, and are really only limited by the ballistics of the round, but have only a slight advantage over a well built AR in reliability. That being said, I’m not an AR guy; I actually prefer my AK to my AR, because it makes a bigger hole in what I shoot, but the AR is a very respectable class of firearms.

      The same can be said of the 1911 (or most any well made semi-auto) and the revolver. The revolver actually has more moving parts, so yea, that first round might fire if you dig the gun out of three feet of mud, but you’re hoping the chamber and hammer will cycle. SAs are easier to clean, easier to clear, easier to reload. Again, I don’t hate revolvers, but the person who trashes an entire category of firearms does so based on forum boards and youtube.

      Go to your local firing range. Disregard the caliber, the length, the bells and whistles. Pick up every sidearm they have on display. Find several that feel right in your hand. Take them out on the lane. Fire 10-20 rounds through each. You’ll know which one to buy.

      Reply
  13. Pat says:

    I have a couple of rifles. Nothing spectacular just a saiga and a CZ bolt action rifle both of which are in the same caliber 7.62×39. Yet as i get older i find myself looking more toward my shotguns of which i have many. Many will say it is not a good choice, but it is what i am the most comfortable with. And as my eyes get worse and i have to have glasses to see, the shotgun becomes a better choice. I cant see iron sights anymore and if all i had was a rifle and lost my glasses i would be unable to use it without a scope. I cant run much anymore. I have had to understand my limitations and that i cannot get myself into running gun battles in the streets. I understand that most people will be better armed than me and I will have to hide most of the time. I do wish i had some night vision equipment. If anyone has any good sites for some type of reliable NV equipment let me know.

    Reply
  14. Chuck B
    Chuck B says:

    ” No you dont get to clean it or even take the gunk out of the barrel end. ”

    Someone here is talking beyond their area of expertise apparently. Almost every gun ever made will suffer catastrophic failure, frequently swell and/or rupture the barrel and/or blow the bolt back into the face of the shooter, if there is any “gunk” blocking the end of the barrel. I even know of one example that destroyed the rifle because the shooter did not run a patch through the barrel and remove the layer of grease from the bore after storage – it wasn’t “packed,” just a thin film for storage, but there was enough in the grooves to build up in front of the exiting projectile and add enough mass to overpressure the barrel and bolt assembly into scrap metal.
    I’m not particularly a fan of Stoner’s M4/AR/M16 family of weapons, but to call them “trash” is pretty lame. There are some individual builds that aren’t up to spec, but there’s really nothing wrong with a decent unit. I’ve also seen AK builds that were “lucky” to run a full magazine without “assistance.” I even had mine jam during class a couple weeks ago, and although it’s a quality build I still keep it as clean and lubed as a “picky” AR.
    I’ve seen 1911s that choked on Ball ammo, and others (I tuned mine) that would dependably load HP and wad-cutters, whereas my friend had a Glock that would only feed Ball until it was tuned.
    Any such blanket statements on mechanical devices are suspect at best.

    Chuck B.

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  15. robert says:

    Selco, great job on the site . I however have no experiance living in a 2nd world country at all, but i did visit Czech Republic and learned bartering and communication skils. I unfortunatly have 15 months of experiance in Baghdad as the role of Oppressor. Unfortunatly at the time iwas a little brainwashed into thinking what i was doing was right. In saying that , what does that have to do with combat? Well psychological warfare is a sort of propaganda that can be used for recruiting …excellent tool if aimed at the right audiance. An idea that i think when SHTF hits the fan is it might be best to stick with some cities if your survival skills are less than subpar,,, like me…Im not much for Rural areas, but Urban Combat is what i was good at so Urban for me. You do have to take in account of weaponry, but since i dont know what is in common in the USA(i mean a gun period is common regardless of make or model) Id say something relativly lightweight yet accurate is more than adequate for shot placement. The browning Hi Power in 9mm comes to mind for Urban Combat when faced with multiple opponents or a .40SW USP for for the occasional mugger or murderer. It all depends on your own experiance, what you can carry and what you can afford. Sometimes smaller isnt always better , you give up capability with less weight. Back to combat, If you can form a group of 5 ppl to use as a group for Urban Combat, combined with Communication/Direction then you can survive almost anything. With the exception of Armor Vehicles. Skills like Communication, Movement, and First Aid are paramount in these types of situations. Some ppl have a bag that is like 40lbs heavy. That isnt exactly a positive thing, it makes you a target and you cant run well with it. So Physical Conditioning as well as psych. conditioning is the most important. Whats the point in having a rifle if you cant lift it to shoot. NONE. Use of Cover is important as well, I mean, preventing a casualty is everyones goal, so why not use cover.

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