Category Archives: 016 Rifles

Of Tribes, Transitions, Voids, and Resurrection

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I’m a veteran. More specifically, I am a US Army, Light Infantry veteran.

As a grunt, I was surrounded by like-minded individuals who were working as a team toward a goal with a “higher purpose”. Now, in retrospect, I have some doubts about the means, methods, and righteousness of that goal, but I cannot ever doubt the commitment and cohesion of my peers or the merits of service to something bigger than myself.

My various units and the relationships within them were indescribably tribal. We were much more than “co-workers”. We were family. Moreover, we were family who understood that we may have to die for one another on a foreign battlefield, in a fight we didn’t start, at the direction of faceless bureaucrats, in service to a country we all loved. That is a bond that is not replicate-able outside an infantry environment.

When I decided to leave the Army, I had lots of good reasons to do so. And, those reasons still stand today. However, what I could not have predicted was the void left by not having my tribe at my shoulder, going forward. And, it was unrecognizable for a good long time. In fact, I have only very recently identified it for what it was and is.

That void is tangible. It acts on each of us in different ways I imagine, but it’s there for each of us. I suspect that it is what drives the veteran suicide statistics. I suspect that, if one were to be diagnosed, it would be identified psychologically as a sort of depression. It doesn’t render any of us dysfunctional, but it renders us less than whole. And in a way that is impossible to adequately describe to those who haven’t experienced it.

My own personal journey has been marked by any number of attempts to fill that unnamed void. From immersing myself in family, to attending college, to working in various fields that held some interest for me, to pursuing high level management positions and business ownership in order to recreate some meaning in my life. The end result has been that, I have professionally, wandered aimlessly for 20 years. And, again, until very recently, I couldn’t identify the feeling or where it was coming from.

There is a deep satisfaction in being involved with a tribe that has a mission bigger than the individual and the team. There is a deep satisfaction in fighting the “good fight” against all odds. There is something empowering about a situation where it is just you and your tribe against the world. And, my experience to date is that, it is very difficult to achieve that state of satisfaction away from your tribe and in the civilian/corporate world.

The problem is, I think, that for fighters, warriors, soldiers, etc, the civilian world is a shallow and superficial place. It is completely alien to our programming and wiring. The psychology is different, the goals are different, and the outcomes are not vital. Winning and losing boils down to getting paid and cashing the check every other week.

Contemporary civilian life exists in a world of paychecks, balance sheets, sitcoms, and politics. That’s where it seems to begin and end. There is no higher purpose to be found there. No brotherhood. At the end of the day, no matter if it was a good day or a bad day, everyone goes home. At the end of the day, there are no life or death consequences to being good or bad at your job. There is no need to survive. Civility is the realm of the soft and corrupt. And, for the former soldier, there is no place that feels like home.

This is why the idea of “transition” from the military is a myth. It does not exist.

Now, I say that with no malice. It isn’t anybody’s fault. But, it is the reality. Former service members, particularly triggerpullers, are aliens in the civilian world. They are left missionless, alone, and burdened with rules that have no merit.

When you are “transitioning” from the military, it is commonplace for the resume writers to try to highlight “leadership experience”. Which is great… and appropriate, but one’s military leadership experience is irrelevant on the other side of the wire. I have been asked more times than I can count to institute and apply “military-style leadership principles” in companies I have worked for. And, each and every time was a dismal failure. Because, those who need to be led are incapable of it and company ownership has no idea what they’re asking for. Moreover, in a feelings-based, emotion driven, civilian economy, that ownership has no tolerance for the waves that “military leadership” creates.

And, so, veterans are left aimless to wander the civilian wilderness. Strangers in a strange land. By the time they find out how separation from their tribe will affect them, it’s too late. Our purpose has been stripped of us and the search for new purpose is lengthy and difficult… and for some, an impossible quest.

So, what to do? The “yearbook” answer is, “use your GI Bill, go to college”. Been there. Talk about agonizing. If you want to feel alienated, just attend college as a veteran. I could go on, but I won’t. I’ll simply tell you that, for me, college was an exercise in absurdity.

Working for others doesn’t typically mesh because, in order to be happy doing that, you have to respect your employer. And, frankly, most employers don’t have the prerequisite experience necessary to inspire respect from a veteran who’s spent any time downrange. Additionally, the employer has to respect the veteran. And, they can’t because they lack the frame of reference to do so.

So… the option is to work for yourself. Right? Maybe. That’s a minefield all it’s own. Because, the reality is that the economy is set up to reward one of three things; creation, sales, or labor. Creating a product or service OR assembling or selling someone else’s product or service. Without getting into the relative merits of creation and sales, the reality is that there is little inspiring or “higher calling” about either of those endeavors for warriors. And, that inspiration to a higher calling is what the veteran seeks. The only inspiration and satisfaction that I have found is finding that thing that meshes with what I enjoy, am good at, and where I deal with little interference from ‘higher’..

So, what is it that former triggerpullers are good at? Well… shooting and teaching others to shoot. All that being true, it’s important to approach that vocation and marketplace with eyes wide open.

It’s become a reality that the “tactical” market is somewhat saturated. And, it’s more saturated with know-nothing clowns than it is with real-deal, former action guys. So, if that’s the path you want to go down, and you recognize that the market is saturated… how does the prospective entrepreneur set themselves apart in that marketplace?

You have to start with a plan. Not a gimmick-y, hyped plan. A real plan, with a real foundation, based in real knowledge and skills. If you want to build a solid business that will serve you and your market for a long time, it is not enough to simply hang your veteran credentials on a shingle and open shop. You’re going to need a curriculum, a business plan, marketing materials, teaching chops, and the desire and ability to talk to people. And, that is where I think I can assist.

In my own personal search, I finally found Distributed Security, Inc (DSI). A company of former military personnel, contractors, and businessmen with a desire to improve their communities and country with Combative Firearms training offerings for individuals, enterprises, faith-based organizations, educational institutions, and healthcare facilities.

The business model satisfied my higher-calling needs, the proof-of-concept has been established in recent years in Iraq and Afghanistan, there was an established curriculum that had more merit than I have seen elsewhere in the firearms training community, and I could work for myself and with guys who had a common background and understood where I was coming from. Jackpot.

As a part of my involvement with DSI, we have introduced the Defender 300 Program (D300). Through which, a veteran who wanted to embark on the path of self-employment in the firearms training industry could carve out his place. Along with the benefits of commission based sales of DSI products and reduced personal training costs, that veteran can (and is encouraged to) certify as a Combative Firearms Instructor. After which, he may become an independent instructor or prospective DSI franchisee.

Based on my particular perspective, and head full of questionable wiring, this is a no-brainer kind of choice. If you are a vet, enjoy shooting and training, and are looking for a higher-calling career that taps into your skillset, I think you owe it to yourself to check out the D300.

Join the Tribe. Be a Warrior Capitalist. Fill the Void. Recreate yourself.

Get in touch. I can help.

Marc Benioff And Salesforce.com Are Booting AR-15 And Handgun Sellers From Their Platforms.

Marc Benioff’s ban includes “any semiautomatic firearms that have the capacity to accept a detachable magazine” which basically bans all handgun sellers too. I’m actually ok with Benioff doing this. First, it further exposes him as a hypocritical twinkie (hey Marc, going to ban your security detail from carrying AR’s and Glocks?), and, second, this is a huge opening for real Americans to develop competing platforms. Get to work America!

Business-software giant Salesforce instituted a new policy barring its retail customers from selling semiautomatic weapons and some other firearms.

Source: Tech giant brings software to a gun fight

The Gun Control Campaign Against The AR-15 Is Full Of Lies

“Moreover, the nice thing about having our individual rights codified in the Constitution is that Americans, unlike most others, don’t (or shouldn’t) have to explain ourselves to government officials. Though many Americans use ARs to hunt, I’m certain nothing in the Second Amendment (or the debates surrounding the Constitution) mention “hunting,” because the right to self-defense—both as an individual concern and a buttress against tyranny—had nothing to do with bagging deer. It was about the state taking away firearms.”

 

 

Political efforts to ban the AR-15 are part of an incremental movement by gun controllers to ban all semi-automatic guns.

Source: The Gun Control Campaign Against The AR-15 Is Full Of Lies

Less than 24 hours after mass shooting at mosques, New Zealand vows to ban semi-automatic rifles. Idiocracy at its best.

Less than 24 hours after mass shooting at mosques, New Zealand vows to ban semi-automatic rifles

This is idiotic. And counterproductive. Instead, Jacinda Ardern should pass an emergency declaration authorizing funding to subsidize the cost of semi-automatic rifles and training for all houses of worship in New Zealand.

Why?

Because her ban won’t stop the next attack.

Because profiling won’t identify the next risk.

Because cops won’t be there in time.

Because worshipers are the best defenders of their place of worship.

Because properly vetted and selected worshipers can quickly learn how to be safe and effective defenders of their house of worship.

That’s why.

This is security theater in it’s most absurd version.

Source: Less than 24 hours after mass shooting at mosques, New Zealand vows to ban semi-automatic rifles

The New York Times Editorial Board Thinks American Gun Culture Is Going On Trial

What concerns the alpha females at the New York Times is not that this rifle has been used to kill children. What concerns them is that millions have these rifles and the training necessary to defeat their agenda.

Learn how you can develop a distributed security network in your community: https://distributedsecurity.com/offerings/private-defense-networks.html

Source: Opinion | American Gun Culture Goes on Trial

Hybrid-80 polymer 80% AR-15 lower build and review – Will it hold up to heavy use?

Lets go ahead and list the pros and the cons and why I suggest this as your next AR build! Pros follow. Lightweight, it weighs on average about half what an aluminum standard lower will weigh. Remember, ounces are pounds and so on. I like having an AR that is capable of 200- 300 yard shooting that weighs 5-6lbs loaded. Its NICE! Strong, I was unable to break it with standard drop testing and even some minor use of it as a hammer with the butt stock as the handle.

Source: thesurvivalistblog.net

The Best Thing for Concealed Carry

While I understand why people make up lists for the “x” best “armaments or equipment,” it is important to always remember that the single best thing you can get is training.

“The best gun to win a gunfight with is the one in your hands” is what Evan Marshall says.

After a lifetime of shooting weapons, Evan understands that “any gun will do if you will do.”

The reality is that you can fight like a champ with what you have as long as you have the training required to use it well.

Give an operator a Hi-Point or the darling of this week’s gun magazine and the problem will be solved just as quickly.

They may curse you for the former and bless you for the latter, but make no mistake, it’s not the gun or equipment doing the work, it’s the training they received and the dedication they put into mastering any new tool or equipment they are issued.

Having said that, please, do go out and experiment with different firearms and equipment to your heart’s content.

Please do support the industry with your time and money, it will spur further innovations we all can all use.f you are lucky, you will find a tool or equipment that is worthy of joining or replacing something in your carry kit.

If you are lucky, you will find a tool or equipment that is worthy of joining or replacing something in your carry kit.

But while you do, just remember that it’s your training that will put you over the top and make you better, it’s not the tools and accessories themselves.

 

What is the Strategy for Winning a Gunfight?

The strategy for winning a defensive gunfight is converting disadvantage to advantage.

Let’s clarify what we mean by defensive combative firearms training.

Because you are not the one instigating the confrontation, you will initially be at a disadvantage and in a reactionary and defensive state because you are behind in what John Boyd called the decision making process or the “OODA Loop”.

Conversely, because your adversary is selecting the time, palace, conditions, and weaponry for the confrontation – he will initially start with the initiative as the causal factor in your situation because he has already completed may OODA Loops before you ever even knew of him or his intent.

While starting in a reactive state is an initial disadvantage; proper training can teach you how to convert this initial reactive and disadvantageous situation to your advantage and to the disadvantage of your adversary.

Solid training programs can teach you how to react in a manner that will cause your adversary to react to your actions, and exploiting this initial success can allow you to then wrestle the initiative away from your adversary and then keep him in a reactive state so you can end the with a more favorable outcome for yourself.

The key here is for you to become the causal factor to your adversaries plan for you, and thereby placing him in a disadvantageous reactive state, and the more solid your skills are, the easier it will be for you.

Obviously, converting the initial disadvantage to advantage is key, and this key does have a price, and that price is effort in training.

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Coming After Your (replica) Guns?

Toy gun

Of the 86 fatal shootings involving imitation firearms since 2015, the most common theme was mental illness: 38 of those killed had a history of it, according to their families and police reports. Fourteen of the calls were domestic disturbances. Ten others began as robberies. The remaining circumstances range from patrolling neighborhoods to serving arrest warrants to making traffic stops.

Are more laws needed to make a fake gun look fake to protect the person wielding it inappropriately?

Is the problem fake guns that look too real (whatever that means), or could other factors be at play?

Since people under a life or death situation (such as those described in the article) naturally achieve a sympathetic nervous system or (SNS) response which includes the loss of color vision; what modifications will be demanded when simply coloring guns differently doesn’t fix the problem?

It seems to me that the real problem is that some people choose to intimidate, coerce, or otherwise threaten other innocent people, and then other people react with appropriate levels of counterviolence when faced with someone acting in a manner that suggests that they or others are in immediate jeopardy of loss of life and limb.

As my friends in law enforcement say “You do stupid thing, you win stupid prizes.”

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Krebs Custom Interchangeable Muzzle System (IMS)

Just in case you missed it, our friend Zeke of Zeke Shoots had an opportunity to test these out and chat with Mark Krebs during the 2016 Bullpup Shoot hosted by Manticore Arms up at The Site.

If you are a fan of the AK platform you will want to get to know Zeke and his work (website, youtube, facebook).

TFB story below.

Krebs Custom Interchangeable Muzzle System (IMS) for AK rifles is now available through their website at $90. It allows to have 16.25″ barrel length and still be able to attach different muzzle devices without significantly increasing the overall length (except when used with suppressors)…

Source: The Firearm Blog

Steiner’s new 6X40 Intelligent Combat Sight or “ICS”

We love technology, and it’s only getting better.

At the push of a button, an eye-safe laser instantly provides distance to the target, and calculates an illuminated, trajectory-compensated aiming point based on ammunition ballistics, measured distance, and angle to your target out to 800 meters. As a true electro-optical aiming device, it combines combat-optimized technology, operating simplicity in the field, and the targeting effectiveness to give small-caliber weapons oversized clout.

Source: Intelligent Combat Sight (ICS) 6×40 | Steiner Optics

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