The Riotgun And The Bayonet

The Riotgun And The Bayonet

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I was asked a while back if I thought a semi auto rifle like the AR or AK was a good “Anti riot” gun. My response was that although either of those rifles would do fine, I was a bigger fan of the 12 gauge shotgun, specifically one designed with an extended magazine, rifle sights, and is designed to mount a bayonet.

The individual started laughing and said “I don’t see myself doing a bayonet charge, Sarge.” To which I replied, “Do you know of any other firearm that is designed for close in defense, can fire non lethal ammo like rubber balls, pepper dust, or pepper balls in the same repeatable way you can with lethal ammo, can accurately hit and drop a man sized target at 100 meters, and can immediately and effectively disable a vehicle engine with accurate hits?” His answer was “No.”.

Is the shotgun the “be all end all” of fight stoppers? No. Is the shotgun the most versatile weapon available to the average consumer that might get caught in a riot situation? Yes. I have an old friend that had a guy come at him with a knife, and from about 20 feet away, his partner shot the guy in the center of the chest with a full power, 9 pellet, buckshot load. The guy survived the hit.

Three 590’s. Top-590A1 with MagPul stock set, Aimpro Tactical Rear ghosring/rail and Holosun solar red dot. Center- My original 590 bought in 1988. Bottom- 590 Shockwave.

The shotgun isn’t necessarily a “Death Dealer”, but it generally is a “Fight Stopper”. Do you think that shooting a rioter from 50 meters would be justified in a court of law? Probably not. Do you think you would be justified firing a “Pepper round” in that direction to redirect those individuals from coming in your direction? Maybe, maybe not, but you can show your intent to not shoot to kill someone unless absolutely necessary was there.

The pump shotgun can cycle all the less lethal ammo I know of at the same speed as a full power buckshot load, and that’s something that a semi auto shotgun cannot do. Are semi auto shotguns a bad choice? No, but the caveat is that you will have to hand cycle those less lethal rounds through your gun until it’s time to use the lethal option.

There is also something funny about a bad guy hearing that distinct click-clack of a pump shotgun’s action being cycled and it involuntarily causing their rear orifice to slam shut upon realizing what it is. I’ve seen grown men stop in there tracks, then turn and run away when hearing that sound. Let me tell you something, when you’re the guy it is covering, it is an awesome sound of relief.

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There are a number of good anti personnel buckshot loads out there. Everything from #4Buckshot (.24 caliber) to OOBuckshot (.33 caliber) and OOOBuckshot (.36 caliber) in either 2 3/4 inch standard or low recoil (usually has 8 or 9 OOBuck pellets instead of 9-12 OOBuck pellets in the standard load) or 3 inch magnum (up to 15 OOBuck  or 10 OOOBuck pellets). The #4 Buck has between 34 and 41 pellets in the load depending on if it’s a 2 3/4 or 3″ Magnum shell. OOBuck, OOOBuck and #4 Buck tend to be the most popular sizes of buckshot used, and most law enforcement and military ammo is OOBuck or slugs.

Aimpro Tactical Ghost ring aperture and rail with a Holosun solar red dot attached with a quick detach mount. Red dot zeroed at 50 meters, Ghost ring at 25 meters.

But JC, why would I need to have slugs available for a shotgun in a riot situation? Well, although I have practiced privately and professionally shooting a hostage drill scenario with buckshot, I would much rather take it with an accurate slug. I also would want to be able to fire slugs instead of buckshot at a car that was getting ready to ram a makeshift barricade in my neighborhood or my dwelling. In my riotguns (bead or ghostring sights), I use Brenneke slugs of both the 2 3/4 and 3 inch variety. Below is some ballistic info for both.

The black slug on the left is the Black Magic Magnum and weighs 1 3/8 oz. The lead slug/yellow wad on the right is the Brenneke K.O. and weighs 1 oz.

As said earlier, I suggested having the ability to mount a bayonet on your riotgun. But JC, that seems kinda ridiculous. Maybe, or maybe not. If multiple bad guys are coming through your front door, wouldn’t it be nice to not only have a blunt trauma capability (buttstroke), but a lethal force ability beyond just the shotgun shells in the magazine of the riotgun? So now we’ll talk about the Mossberg M590 nine-shot shotgun.

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This Stoner bayonet attaches to the sheath via a hole in the blade that lines up with a pivot point that protrudes at the bottom of the sheath.

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The wire cutter in the fully closed cutting position.

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The saw on the blade is actually more practical than the average survival knife saw.

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The sheath the Stoner bayonet has, incorporates a quick release belt attachment

 

I bought my first M590 back in ’88, and other than having to square up the angle on the end of action bars from doing a lot of shooting, I have never had any issues with any of the M590’s I own, even after many thousands of rounds fired through them. I also carried a M590 (18.5″ barrel, 6-shot) along with my M4 in Iraq, and never had a malfunction or concern about trusting my life to it.

Why am I a big fan of the M590? First, it has been the military issue shotgun for almost 30 years, and has seen a lot of use without much in the way of complaints. Second, I’m a lefty, and the safety is completely ambidextrous. This type of feature is a big deal, and not just to lefty’s. You should train to fire your long guns off of each shoulder, and having a safety that is able to be manipulated with either hand can be very helpful.

Accessories for my riotguns are generally pretty spartan. I won’t have a defense shotgun without a sidesaddle if it’s available for it. There are a number of different types of sidesaddles available now, but I can tell you that I have had one on mine for over 20 years, and it still works well. Next up is a light. I use the same light I use on all my long guns, and that is the Surefire G2 light with this pressure switch. I use a clamp designed to hold the light to the magazine tube.

One of my M590’s (pictured) has a Magpul stock and forearm. A Spec Ops shotshell pouch is attached to the side of the buttstock and holds 12 rounds of buckshot. I carry 6 slugs in the Sidesaddle. I would recommend that if you carry less lethal ammo for your riotgun, that you carry them (and only them) in that location. When you think about it, if you are carrying lethal ammo in the Sidesaddle, you have 21 rounds of buckshot, and 6 rounds of slugs, and that’s just on the gun.

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Finally, the bayonet. A Mossberg M590 will take any standard M16 bayonet. The bayonet I usually use is one I’ve had for decades. Some will recognize it as a bayonet designed by Gene Stoner for his rifles. It has the wire cutter device and a small tooth saw that is actually much better for that type of cutting than some of the other knife blade spine saws out there.

Do you need a Mossberg M590 with a bayonet? No. There are plenty of well made shotguns out there that will do well in that roll, but very few have the ability to attach a bayonet in it’s stock configuration. The Mossberg M590 is a good value for the money, and is one of the best deals on the market.

What about a rifle with a bayonet? Well, they are available, but unless you get something like an M1A with a standard stock configuration, performing the battery of arms for a bayonet drill with something like an AR15 requires you to relocate your firing hand from the pistol grip to the wrist of the buttstock. A standard M1A is a great rifle, and would perform as well or better than most other rifles in this role. The primary disadvantage of a rifle like a standard M1A is it’s size. In this case however, the M1A’s size might be a huge asset.

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Top is an M590. Bottom is a Match M1A. Both work very well with a bayonet attached, and make great blunt force weapons (buttstock) using the manual of arms for use of the bayonet. The scope on the M1A has a QD/ZH SEI mount, so taking it off and returning it to zero is not a problem.

Considering the situations that have presented themselves over the last few years, if you have not thought about how to handle things like a riot in your neighborhood, you are lacking in a realistic perspective for preparedness. When they want what you have, all they have to do is wait for something to happen to give them the “excuse” (it doesn’t have to be right or make sense to us, they just need the media or liberals to forward it as “righteous”, correct?).

A lot of guys will try to make out that “Old School” doesn’t work simply because it’s “Old School”. Riots ARE “Old School”, and discounting techniques or equipment because they are not “High Speed” is ridiculous, and the sign someone fixated on what’s popular, not what’s useful. Right or wrong, Robert Roger’s Standing Orders are just as valid in context today as they were when he wrote them in the 1750’s. Keep that in mind when you are evaluating equipment and techniques for defending yourself and your loved ones.

JCD,

"Parata Vivere"-Live Prepared.
Raising Kids With The Survivalist Mindset

Raising Kids With The Survivalist Mindset

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This was taken the day before my first deployment after having children.

One of the toughest and most rewarding jobs you can have is raising a child from infancy to adulthood, and finding out that you “Did it right”. When my children were born, the biggest thing I remember thinking was how much greater a sense of love and protectiveness I felt for them than I had ever imagined I could. While raising them, there have been many lessons I’ve learned, but I think the greatest one was that of teaching them how to think, not what to think, and how to figure things out for themselves.

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Make Survivalist oriented things fun for them.

As much as we’d like to indoctrinate our children, giving them the freedom to come to their own conclusions about different topics is prerequisite to setting them up for success. The biggest hurdle is being a good example and living “what you preach”. You can say whatever you like, but if your actions don’t reflect what you’ve said, it will eventually fall on deaf ears (especially with teenagers), and maybe even push them in the opposite direction.

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Top, Bryco “Jennings Jr”, Center “Red Ryder”, Bottom is a Cabelas double barrel cap gun

My children started shooting at the age of 3. Initially, they started out with a Bryco “Jennings Jr.” .22LR (I used a .22, because they could cock the action themselves, Red Ryders were too difficult) shooting Aguila Colibri rounds at cans 15 feet away (kids love and I believe need the immediate feedback of reactive targets, especially at that age).

Around 6, they received “Red Ryders”, and were able to go on their own mini safaris while camping or in the back yard. At the age of 10, they both started with an M4 (low recoil, adjustable stock and I have the .22 kit for it) and a Springfield XD 9mm (high capacity, smallish grip, and I like the grip safety for kids). By the time they reached the age of 12, they could put many an adult to shame with their shooting ability.

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Many a “hunt” they took their “Doubles” on.

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Getting ready for the “Big Hunt” in the back yard.

Safety started with Cabelas toy side by side cap shotguns at 4 years old (they didn’t walk around the house with any “gun”, toy or otherwise, before that) These toy guns had a working safety and cartridges that could be loaded and unloaded, and if they were playing with them, a surprise inspection better show they were in a safe condition.

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Kids love those reactive targets with the Red Ryder or the .22LR.. “Enemy bottles, 12 O’clock!”

By the time they received their M4’s and Springfield XD 9mm’s, they were about as safe as one can be in handling a firearm (Muzzle, Trigger, Safety). They have continued to practice and get better over the years, and I have never had to worry about whether they were safe (the most important aspect of firearms training) when given a loaded firearm.

From 10 to 12 years of age, they never did any rapid fire shooting with any semi automatic (but they sure wanted to!). Slow aimed fire was the rule (only hits count, right?), so when they finally got to the point of being able to rapid fire, they always hit the target they shot at.

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100 Meter practice with the M4

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First time rapid fire with the xd. 6 shots, 5 hits at 15 meters

When it comes to survival firearms training, it is important to give them experience on all types of weapons. My children have learned to use most military and civilian type (actions) firearms, simply because you never know what you might pick up and have to use in an emergency.

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Springfield Model 1922 .22LR

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Shooting the AKMS

I have given my children training in basic Small Unit Tactics (they have gone through the same stuff I teach in the Rural Buddy Team Essentials Course [RBTEC].) They have learned the basics of wilderness survival, simply because it is the most basic individual survival skill a person should know. Even if you are anti-violence, ant-gun, an ExCon or whatever, you should know how to survive in the woods.

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Down time during a Survival class.

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Practicing patrolling techniques

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If you can combine survival skills with having fun, what’s not to love?

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Cuz deer is yummy, and huntin’ is fun, right?

Although teaching good habits and solid techniques with firearms and other survival skills is important, we have to know how to keep it in perspective, or you will make them sick of it and probably grow to hate it. I am not really a “sports guy”, but I understand it is important to give kids a sense of camaraderie and “team”. Being involved in sports is a good way for them to do that. Another thing about the sports stuff that is important is requiring that they keep it in perspective in regards to what’s really important in life.

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When you’re 5, and one of your favorite movies is “Blackhawk Down”, and you’re going on a Halloween “Op”.

I always encourage my kids to find out why something is the way it is. Don’t take anything earthly on blind faith. Question what is the truth, and toss out things that don’t stand up to realistic scrutiny. Do they sometimes question things that I tell them? Sure, what kids don’t? Do I give them places to go to find the same truths I did? Most definitely. That’s my job. Another thing I have stressed is learning the history of where we’ve been as a nation specifically, and the world in general.

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Teaching them our national history has a huge part in giving them direction. You can’t know where you are going if you don’t know where you’ve been, right?

If you give your kids a solid foundation that includes personal survival skills, understanding how the real world works, and to always be prepared for the worst outcome happening, while still hoping for the best. You will have given your children something upon which to build a lifestyle that exudes confidence, and is free of a lot of the fears the average person has about their future.

A Survivalist should be someone people look to in a time of trouble. They are people who can be decisive because they have the confidence that only being prepared gives them. They have prepared and thought through the possibilities and the probabilities of future bad situations, and they have a plan for the continuity of their lives during those situations. Don’t we owe our children that?

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Back from a deployment…….AGAIN!

Don’t be a talker, be a DOER! Back up what you say with an example that endorses your words. These are just some thoughts I have based on how things have gone with my first two children. My Wife (WMD) and I actually have one on the way now, and what I’ve written about above will be the exact way our next child will be raised. This is the least that we owe the future generations.

JCD

"Parata Vivere"-Live Prepared.

The Difference Between A Garden Hose And A Fire Hose-A Commo Class AAR

 

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The majority of my 14 years was spend using conventional commo like this.

A long time ago in what seems like a galaxy far, far away, I was in a unit whose mission requirements dictated that everyone down to the lowest ranking “Joe” knew how to make improvise antennas for use primarily with our PRC 74 or 77 radios which was then slaved to a DMDG (Digital Message Device Group).

We (the “Joes”) sat through a number of classes concerning radio use. Considering the unit’s mission required that we be well out of range for regular mil commo, EVERYONE had to know how to make the antenna required for effective commo.

At that time, the classes consisted of a “Fire Hose” dump of info that would have been difficult for most to digest, let alone have a basic understanding of. Like many things I learned in the military, The initial “Dump” of info was through the “Fire Hose” technique.

We learned how to go through the motions to accomplish the task, and we memorized what needed memorized, but the understanding of the reasons for doing it that way, or in this case, the theory of the “Why” and “How” an improvised antenna worked was lost to many of us.

My good friend NC Scout and I have a lot in common, from some very similar background In certain types of units, to our philosophy as Survivalists. He was tellin’ me on the phone one night what his class consisted of, and we hadn’t gotten together for a while, so I said, “What the Hell” (after clearin’ it through the “First Sergeant” of course) and decided to go check out his class a few weekends ago.

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My prep for the class over the next couple days consisted of going back and finding my old notes from those classes 27 years ago (which I had transcribed into a “Write in the Rain” notebook a number of years back), and square away my radio and field gear. I reviewed my notes over the next couple days, packed up my vehicle and left, the Friday afternoon before the class, on my 5 hour drive to NC Scouts teaching site.

Something that I’ve noticed (it’s pretty obvious to most who are observant) while putting on classes for Mason Dixon Tactical, is that classes such as we put on are as much a networking event, as a learning event. Upon my arrival, I met a number of guys that I knew of, but had not met. I got to know them over the next couple days and am glad to say they are now part of my “Network”.

As an aside, I’ve found a number of times over the last decade or so, you can neither count on, trust, nor believe many that you will meet through the internet. Two “Well knowns”  in particular come to mind that were given a high level of trust based on the Mil background they told me. One proved to be a snake and a liar, the other, a thief and a liar (go figure). What’s the saying….. “Caveat Emptor”?

So Saturday morning, after a kick ass breakfast, we got to the classroom work. NC Scout started with different radios, their positives, and for some, their negatives. Along with that, he discussed power supplies in the field. Next up was creating an SOI (Signals Operating Instructions) for our group. This is an important step. Since everyone there was involved in doing this, they now have experience in doing it for their own groups. NC Scout didn’t just tell us how to do it, he had the class actually make an SOI. Along with the SOI instruction, the class received a block of instruction in putting together an OpOrd (Operations Order), and where the SOI is included in that OpOrd.

Next up were report formats, and the “when”, “where” and “why” of their uses. Certain reports (“CRACK” in this instance), he modified the format slightly to fit the Prepper/Survivalist needs. After report formats we went on to using the radio, and how to speak on a radio (‘You, this is Me”) to be understood and verify that your message was received correctly.

We then covered the uses of radios with HF, VHF, and UHF frequency coverage, along with the advantages and disadvantages of each type. Unless you realize what you have, and how best to utilize it’s potential, your ability to relay info will only work if there is some luck involved. NC Scout covered the radio freqs, and the “How” and “Why” of there ability or inability to work in certain environments.

The next part of the class was where I received the most “real world” info. Everything else we had covered in the class was either familiar to me, I had a pretty good working knowledge of, or I had used it a lot (SOI and OpOrd for instance). Antenna theory was something that I was force-fed as a “Joe” and “learned” it (remember my “Fire hose” analogy), but I didn’t understand it. I now understand it, and am not only able to implement it, but feel comfortable with using the info.

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Using the “Cobra Head” we attached wires and insulators to create a “Jungle Antenna”.

NC Scout covered Di-Pole and Jungle Antennas in the class. We learned the theory behind their use, The history (including the Japanese and German answers to the same problem) and the reason they worked so well in their niche. Then we built (he had supplies for everyone to build one) a Jungle Antenna for use with a specific freq for OUR radios, using the formula we were give in the class. Imagine that, they worked……

NC Scout was able to make things we knew of such as the “Old School” TV antennas we had on our houses years ago, relevant to what we were doing in class (They are “Yagi” antennas, which was the Japanese answer to the “Jungle Antenna” question). He also made relevant why an antenna such as that has so many  forward cross pieces (we learned the are called “Directors”) by advising of the “Gain” achieved with the different number of “Directors”.

We learned about digital radios, and some really cool advantages of the different ones available. BLOS (Beyond Line of Sight) was covered, as well as NVIS (Near Vertical Incident Skywave), and the radio categories and freqs used with the previously discussed antennas and also the advantages (range and security), of their use, and the “How” and “Why” they work so well.

Some of Saturday and most of Sunday was spent in the field practicing radio use. Saturday afternoon was spent actually transmitting messages from one group to another using the different formats (SALUTE, SALT, ANGUS, CYRIL, CRACK, BORIS, UNDER) the class had been taught, along with using radio security measures with those reports.

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Most of Sunday the students spent in teams (that were flip flopped occasionally) in the field sending back reconnaissance (to the Tactical Operations Center) info gleaned from actual sightings of OpFor in the field. They put up the “Jungle Antennas that were built in class, and utilized the different reports they had been taught for various scenarios. From what I saw, the students became pretty comfortable with doing what was needed for relaying the info.

From my perspective, the AAR would go something like this:

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What was the mission/task?

Teach basic radio/antenna theory, the types of radios and antennas available, their use, and conduct practical exercises.

Items needed for the class?

A notebook and a pencil or pen, a radio was not required. This was not a HAM only class, and was relevant to anyone wanting to learn the basics of the above mentioned “”Mission/Task” for the Prepper or Survivalist.

Was the mission/task accomplished?

Yes

What should be sustained?

The method of delivery, the area the class was taught, and the info put out was excellent, and needs to be maintained. The time was used efficiently. The classroom was sufficient (dry with tables to work on) for what was needed. The supplies given to us for building an antenna were a bonus. We were fed some awesome home cooked meals (Breakfast, Lunch, Supper/ Breakfast, Lunch) and I was stuffed in a good way after every one. The class took the theory taught in it and put it into practical application, and everyone (even the two young girls who came with their parents) got to participate. The chance to network with those of like mind and make new friendships can not be understated as a “Sustain”.

What should be improved?

Nothing, given the time constraints of a two day class. If we had more time, maybe more field time, but referring back to “It was only a two day class”, yeah, that’s not an option.

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To NC Scout I want to convey a “Well Done Brother!”. To put it mildly to those reading this, I wish he had been the guy with the “Fire hose” 27 years ago teaching the antenna class to us “Joes” in the detachment. You made some things learned, all those years ago, not only understandable for this “Non Commo” guy, but I now feel comfortable with the improvised side of radio/antenna use.

To those I met in the class I want to convey that you guys made it a quite enjoyable time, and I plan on keeping in touch with a number of you. I know I said this in the class, but it stands to be reiterated that you guys are very lucky to have a guy like NC Scout putting out this info in such an easily digestible manner.

Great class taught by an outstanding instructor, Good people with the same goals and mindset, what could be better?

Ruckin' with the FAL

By no means am I a “commo guy”, but I always carry a radio in the woods. Now I know I can carry a conveniently compact antenna with me and get info out over a lot longer range than the standard antenna would have let me in the past. 

JCD,

“Parata Vivere”-Live Prepared.