Brushbeater On Mountain Men And Survivalist

Brushbeater spells out the winning combination of the skills and mindset which made the mountain man a world class Survivalist.

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The Mountain Man as a Rifleman: An Analysis of a Better Survivalist Strategy

mtn-menWhen it comes to survivalism, prepping and general self reliance, an overtone of a militant nature flows through the veins of many. Rightfully so. The ability to skillfully protect what is near and dear to a community is the backbone of why one would prepare. Often enough this necessitates a high focus on military weapons and tactics in an effort to mirror that same capability. Its not that such a focus is wrong- it is not, entirely- but rather a modification of Light Infantry method, or a rejection of such in lieu of a better approach, may be far more effective while keeping you and yours alive.

Take the historical Mountain Man from the fur trapper era. Rarely were they the lone wilderness dweller types as romanticized, but rather were usually private contractors that served dual roles as both trappers and scouts for the US Army. While hunting or scouting in small groups, these men were constantly on guard for everything from combat with hostile native tribes and predators to natural disaster to flat out bad luck. By necessity they had to be a jack of all trades, and a master of quite a few just to survive. This should sound familiar to many. Their requirement to live is your goal, whether you realize this or not.

mtn-men2Another glaring fact to coincide with this reality is that the furtrappers of yore were not Infantrymen of any type; in many cases the men of those groups had served in various uniforms during wars of their respective eras, some were criminals running from a rough past, and others just misfits or all of the above, but at this point they were hunters and most importantly, scouts. There existed no support for them in any immediate sense. Outposts were usually days away at best, with material usually being sparse as-is even when it arrived. Their only assets were their wit, their marksmanship, their teamwork, and their ability to remain hidden and sustained through healthy knowledge of their terrain. They were Survivalists of the strongest type. It is necessary then that their experiences serve as a lesson and guidelines to how a mutual assistance group or militia would work in a grid-down world versus attempting to mirror a disciplined and predictable Light Infantry model with limited or no required assets.

Haweye.jpgFollowing a man’s best asset, his wit, skill as a marksman often was the measure of quality and made their  reputation. James Fenimore Cooper’s Natty Bumppo (also known as Hawkeye) was the perfect illustration of this, being a mixture of many of the legendary frontiersmen of the day.  In every case be it fiction, woodslore, or real, the ability to streamline and perfect practical marksmanship is the most critical skill a man at arms can have and in a practical sense should be one of the benchmarks of your own training. You should be able to estimate range, know the approximate trajectory of your own rifle, and be competent enough to know at what range you can make a clean kill- and more importantly- when you can’t.

In stating this, it must be recognized that merely shooting from a bench or under controlled conditions cannot equate skill in the field. Shooting fast at stationary targets, alone, cannot achieve such skills either. The former does not push the shooter beyond a comfort zone, the latter only wastes resources and assumes a reactionary stance, reflective of police and military tactics during peacekeeping occupations. Having done the later overseas, it is no model anyone should adopt as their own on these shores. Neither work for any sort of effective defensive plan. The mountain man, knowing that every round must count, and every round will give you away, worked diligently to know where those rounds were going before they were sent. Marksmanship was every bit as much about making a clean kill with that one shot as it was conserving their own resources.

mountain man horsesIn the small unit sense, mountain men were team hunters. Each man in the team knew how to move quickly and quietly while assessing terrain. All the skills of team movement, such as knowing where each man in the group is in the hunting party, having an experienced pathfinder and tracker taking lead, and the others watching for any and all signs of danger, all being well versed in land navigation, were exactly the model of small unit prowess that many seek today. Further, they knew when and where to make an effective ambush, whether it was to kill game or getting the better of a team of hostiles.  The ability to see the game first meant the difference between them living another day or dying a very, very miserable death. In that sense their hunting party is synonymous to a type of Light Infantry, where one is hunting and only concerned with winning and withdrawing versus taking and holding terrain for follow on forces.

mountain man blanketWhere this leaves you, the soul concerned only with protecting his own God-given liberty and posterity, is to view your skills, training, and equipment in a different way than some in the contemporary sense may. The mountain man of yore had no illusion of their place in the world- they were not Infantrymen of any standing army and had no desire to be, had no supply line aside from what was on their backs or could be procured, and above all else, knew wholeheartedly the very fine line they tread between life and death. For some, perhaps that was all part of the thrill of living. But all of the above was and is predicated upon their skill with a rifle; the ability to make the shot under any condition while tired and cold. Simple and effective kit, a good rifle, and the skills to make it all work was, and remains, the most effective model of survival and personal defense versus training to be exactly the opposite. The traditional mountain man scout, both individually and as a team, serves as an effective example of what the survivalist should strive to be. The jack of all trades and master of quite a few, including expert proficiency with his chosen weapon. They were not Infantrymen nor troops of any real kind; simply hard, stubborn, self reliant and skilled men. And you should be also.

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Go study, practice and do likewise.

JCD

American by BIRTH, Infidel by CHOICE

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A Fundraiser For Angel

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Many of you which have read this blog know Angel as one of the people that went through a lot of the crap (receiving a lot of personal attacks for asking valid questions) that Kenny Lane (KDMLA) and I did with IIITard. She’s had a devastating loss which Kenny covers here. If you can, please help her out in this time of need by contributing to this fundraiser that Kenny has started for Angel. It doesn’t replace the loss, but it can help take some of the stress off of the financial burden they have and will receive.

JCD

American by BIRTH, Infidel by CHOICE

Upgrading/Improving Your Rifles

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With limitless funding, we could all create the perfect survival/combat rifle imaginable, right? Barring that, we do what we can when we can afford it, and hope that we can get our weapons to where we thing they need to be before they are need for a real world event.

I recently acquired two items that are sold by Primary Arms and one that is made by XS Sights. The optics that PA carried that I received/purchased were the Holosun HS515C red dot, and the PA 1-6×24 SFP riflescope with the ACSS reticle. The item I purchased from XS Sights is the full length rail for my Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle. BTW, all three items are cheaper if you go through Amazon instead of the links shown.

 

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Top is Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle with the new scope rail, Next is a DSA ParaFAL with PA 1-6x ACSS, and the bottom is the SIG M400 AR pistol with the Holosun red dot.

To start off with, my awesome Wife, (WMD) bought me the Holosun red dot for my Sig M400 AR pistol for Christmas, and it’s performance is as good as any red dot I’ve used (most experience is with the Aimpoint M68 sight). This optic is waterproof, has a battery (2032) life from 20,000-50,000 hours. Has a redundant back up solar panel for powering with available ambient light, and comes with a “Killflash” lens cover and flip down lens covers.

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The 2MOA dot (with a 65MOA circle around it if desired) was able to give me half inch, three shot groups at 50 meters, and not only is this sight compact, but it co-witnesses well with my GG&G BUIS (back up iron sight). Rounding out the features is a quick release mount that is fast, but has a built in lock so it doesn’t accidentally come open.

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Note the small, cylindrical tube in hole of the QR lever. This has to be pushed forward before you can flip the lever over and pull the sight off of the rifle.

Next up from Primary Arms is the 1-6x rifle scope with the ACSS reticle. I was immediately enamored with this scope’s reticle when I first saw it advertised and read about it. The reason being is that the reticle in the ACOG on my M4 on my last deployment was very similar, and it appears the ACSS is just a refinement/evolution of the ACOG reticle, and the PA ACSS is faster at close range.

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ACOG reticle I used in Iraq

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Our ACOG’s came equipped with a “Killflash” device attached to the end of the sight.

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Primary Arms ACSS reticle for 5.56N, 5,45S, and the 7.62N. Note the similarities to the ACOG reticle.

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How you use the reticle.

 

OK, so I purchased the 1-6x ACSS for my ParaFAL because I wanted something that was a little more useful at distance than my Millet DMS-1 with a circle dot reticle, and the ACSS seamed like the perfect sight since I already had experience with a similar reticle on another rifle. At the range, I sighted it in 1″ high (.308/7.62) at 100 meters ( tip of the chevron, per the instructions), and it shot 1.5-2.5″ groups with Mil ball.

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Top is the Millet DMS-1 scope that the PA 1-6xACSS (bottom) replace on the ParaFAL.

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Keep in mind, this is a second focal plane scope, meaning to get the correct range and hold, it has to be on the highest power setting (6x). At 200 meters, it was dead on (between the bottom tips of the chevron). I haven’t had the opportunity to shoot past 200 meters yet, but I’ve heard nothing but good things about the reticle’s ability to range correctly at all the given ranges.

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DSA makes a decent brass catcher if you have need for one, it attaches directly to their scope mount via two holes in the rail.

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Ball detents keep the catcher attached, and the bottom has a convenient velcro opening to let the brass fall out in a nice pile if you don’t want it collecting in the bag.

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Holes for brass catcher shown in rail scope mount.

The final item I bought recently was the XS Sights extended rail for my Ruger Scout Rifle. The difference this made in the accuracy of the rifle was phenomenal. The rail has a built in ghost ring rear sight (sighted in at 50 meters) built into the back end of the rail, so I don’t have to worry about not having back up iron sights (the reason I didn’t use the Ruger supplied rings for a rear scope mount before. You have to take off the rear sight). As you can see in the below pic, the scope sits a good bit lower now and wears quick release rings. During the sight in, I actually shot two one hole groups at 100 meters. This might not seam like a big deal, but the best it shot before that was 1.5″ at 100 meters. A good cheek weld and lower sitting scope (no raised cheek piece) can make a big difference.

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Top shows the scope mount before and bottom is the new rail system.

Well, that’s it for now, let me know if you’ve tried any of these items, and your “mileage”.

JCD

American by BIRTH, Infidel by CHOICE