Taking Down the Tacticool Transition Dogma

MVT: Transition & New Training Opportunities
November 15, 2013
AAR – Oct 26/27 2013 CRCD – Ben
November 18, 2013

Well, this is interesting, but highly predictable. Forums! Oh yes, Forums! Aren’t they wonderful places, that develop little hierarchy’s of their own, with certain posters establishing themselves and controlling the groupthink.

‘F’, otherwise known as ‘BlueZ’ on the preparedsociety.com/forum, sent me an AAR after he attended my latest CRCD class (HERE for the AAR).

As ‘BlueZ’ he also posted the AAR on the preparedsociety.com/forum: HERE. (Edit: after a predictable forum fight, they took down the post & thread).

In the AAR, he makes some comments about ‘transition’ training, and its context. This is an extract from his review:

I had been in the military for quite some time but with only very sporadic tactical training.

Recently I decided to up my game and was looking around for some tactical classes.

Looked at the ubiquitous Magpul videos and some other “big name” classes and they just bothered the heck out of me.
They were mostly about becoming an AR driver and transition dancer, not a tactically proficient and rounded individual.,

Those others seemed to be focused on a PoU (Philosophy of Use) that might be good for a SWAT team but not for a civilian 1st Defender.

In my mind it is laughable that some of those schools make practicing transitions from rifle to handgun a mandatory part for their students, most of which have not yet even maxed out on the Rifle.

I myself even though I am <quite> good with a handgun wouldn’t think of making a training effort for transitions until I can no longer improve anything with my rifle skills AND I get driven to wherever I go, so I don’t have to worry about the handgun displacing needed magazines or water…

I am not an experienced Infantryman but I know a thing or two about training troops and using the right PoU ….and in my mind the mainstream, Carbine classes that are currently taught often use a PoU that fits the instructors needs better than those of the students.

Whoa, whoa whoa there fella! How dare you! Criticize the mainstream of tacticool training! This of course caught the ire of another poster, ‘Sentry18’, who attempted to take BlueZ to task for his heresy (policing the forum, how apt!). I don’t know anything about Sentry18, but he appears to be some sort of SWAT, CQB, high speed tacticool, kind of guy. In other words, he knows what he knows but doesn’t know any better – can’t see the woods for the trees.

OK, so on to my point. This is kind of a hard one, because it involves applying reading comprehension and seeing things in shades of gray, rather than black and white:

Both BlueZ and I are not saying that training in weapons transitions may not be useful to you. The point is that you have to train right, and get competent, before training in some of these techniques. It’s a question of targeting correct training in order to maximize your survivabilty. Work on the good solid basics before you try and work on the niche stuff.

On my ranges during team drills it is fairly common that someone will ‘transition’ to their handgun due to a weapon malfunction, usually in a buddy team drill when both weapons go down at the same time. It will be temporary, until they get an opportunity to get their rifle back into the fight. What does this mean? It means that they rapidly get their pistol out and engage the target. But notably, usually from the prone position, which is not usually trained as part of tacticool transition training. Why? Because the prone position is where you survive, and the standing is where you die. However, I prefer that they concentrate on clearing their rifle and getting it back into the fight, because that is the focus of the training. Until you have done field firing out on real live ranges under combat conditions you may well think you are a great ‘AR driver’, and really into transition  training and all that, but the fact is that your probably aren’t, and you are probably living in a false comfort zone.

The use of the handgun is not the focus of my combat rifle class. Running your rifle in realistic combat situations, both as an individual and member of a team, is the crucial lesson. I know that BlueZ is a good pistol shot. It is also important to train with a pistol in case you don’t have a rifle on you. Also, in case you are carrying a rifle and that stops firing at a crucial moment where your life may be saved by taking out your pistol rather than clearing the stoppage on the rifle (‘i.e. ‘transition’ – yawn).

The vital point here is that if you go straight to concentrating on square range shooting and transitions and all that, you are not developing competence in rifle soldiering in light infantry combat – which is what combat is. If you try the tacticool stuff in combat, you will die. BlueZ’s point is that you need to get competent at the rifle stuff before moving into the tacticool stuff. I mean, bottom line, ‘transitioning” is simply getting your pistol out when your rifle stops firing – let’s not cloak it in tacticool mystique . But if you don’t correctly learn all the other things before that, you will die. Things like correct reaction to enemy fire (RTR); primarily initial reactive combat  shooting followed by TAKING COVER in an effective way and then continuing to return fire.

It’s not that square ranges don’t have a place – they have a vital place as part of your progression. But you can’t stop there, you need to move onto combat training. Staying on the square range and thinking you are tactically trained is a fatal error. You need to progress with a competent military tactical trainer in order to learn effective light infantry tactics. I’m sorry, but so much of the SWAT stuff is simply not effective outside of a narrow application and is actually dangerous if you are not using it to do what SWAT does, which is structure entry and room clearance, when not facing a determined or barricaded enemy – it’s not high intensity urban combat for example. I had an ex-SWAT guy on the same class as BlueZ and he was telling me how poor the training that he received was . Outside of room clearance/hostage rescue operations, SWAT training  and tactics are hopelessly flawed – they don’t pass muster at the light infantry litmus test.

So when would we transition from rifle to handgun?:

1) When our rifle stops firing when very close to the enemy, such as in a CQB room clearing operation, usually at hand to hand combat distances.

2) When our rifle has a permanent  malfunction, such as something breaking or even the rifle being hit by enemy fire.

So, the time when the transition training has most utility is for an individual at close range without backup. If you are at any distance from the enemy, such as more than 7 – 10 meters away as an arbitrary number, and you have cover, you can clear and reload your rifle and get back in the fight. And this is where the whole tacticool thing misses the point. It is the main point that people learn when they train with me (well, other than they need to do more PT!) – it is the secret formula of TEAM. If your buddies are suppressing the enemy, you can clear the stoppage in cover and get the rifle back into the fight.

There are plenty of situations where people’s lives have been saved by having a handgun available for quick draw, and where they have used it when they were unable for some reason to use their rifle. There are other situations where they are able to simply get out of the way and let their backup buddy put rifle rounds into the bad guy.  There are even more situations where people survived because they could do the basic combat rifle stuff well. So am I arguing against the need to transition if necessary? No. I am arguing against it as a primary focus, that takes place before you are competent with your rifle and handgun separately, and before you can conduct yourself in a tactically sound manner in a firefight.

Historically, most soldiers in war don’t have backup handguns. They rely on their rifles. If their rifle stops, they rely on TEAM to back them up. Yes, you are a civilian and an individual and you don’t want to become a statistic, so you may want to have a handgun on your gear in case you need it. I do. I can get it out and use it if my rifle goes down (‘transition’ – yawn). The problem is if this becomes your focus. You see the videos, guys standing on the range doing all this, in front of an array of targets – you know what I mean.

This comes back to my point about good combat training  – the need to engage the threat and then get into cover before continuing to engage, and the example I use of a boxer only training to ‘dominate’ the enemy by punching the heavy bag. Once he gets into a  fight, or sparring, he learns that he needs to duck and cover. Moving on from the square range to field firing ranges is the equivalent of moving on from hitting the heavy bag to sparring, preparing you better for an actual fight.

So much of this tacticool stuff involves standing in front of targets on a  square range (hitting the heavy bag), and it sort of spins off from there, gathering more momentum, madness and tacticoolness as it goes. Walking around blue barrels, spinning in circles in slow motion? Awesome training for combat! (sarcasm). The square range should be used as good progression training for transitioning from the shooting fundamentals to weapons manipulation and combat shooting positions. But you need to learn about cover,  movement, firing your rifle and changing magazines in the prone position, use of ground and all that. Use of the flank!

As I have stated before, what is missing from a  lot of training that people receive from law enforcement types is context. A lot of this training is designed for operations inside structures. So, you are walking down the corridor, a target appears, you engage from the standing position. There is no cover, you are not outside, it is not the 360 degree battlefield. You clear rooms. You train to transition to handgun in case your rifle stops firing as you confront a target at close range inside that room. etc. That is your focus.

Unfortunately, the SWAT type, or the SWAT trained student, will die in light infantry combat before he ever gets to transition to his handgun. He does not understand light infantry team tactics (even buddy or four man teams), the correct use of cover and concealment, fire and movement. What happens is that techniques that are used to train for structure entry are misapplied. For example you may train for an engagement walking down a corridor, by walking towards a  target on a  square range. You are then supposed to apply that in a corridor. The ‘field firing’ equivalent is to take that technique into a kill house and train (spar) before the fight. What happens however is that those skills are trained on square ranges (hitting the heavy bag) and they never progress to a kill house. It becomes what people learn. They learn to stand up,  and walk towards a target, in a totally inappropriate manner. This leads to people thinking they can conduct ‘squad attacks’ in an extended line all walking towards the enemy firing. Hollywood. You will die. While you are taking down the target frames 5 meters to your front, the guy hidden in depth to your flank 300 meters away will put one through your chest.

Instead, for example, how about: spreading out to a decent spacing, taking cover and applying fire and movement?

It is the misapplication of SWAT-style-hostage-rescue-structure-entry-and-clearance-techniques to civilian ‘tactical’ training that is the problem. I don’t care if the SWAT guy is even a combat veteran. Survivor bias – what did he do or what does he actually know, and is he qualified to teach light infantry combat tactics?

A large part of the problem is ego, ego married to ignorance and over-confident. I may post this blog up on the prepared society forum. That will be like the guy in the zombie movie having his hideout tracked by the zombie-trolls. Oh the joy! But, because I want people to get the right training, I need to fight this fight. Ego and ignorance is the biggest obstacle to a teachable attitude and learning it right. My training is ego-free. Its time that the LEO/SWAT types took a back seat and allowed military trainers to pass on the right kind of tactical knowledge. It is happening, the worm is turning, but there is a lot of ego, groupie-ism, misinformation and such in the way before we can get there.

Sentry18 references specops units in his responses (i.e. ‘the guys that took down Osama’ or something to that effect). The thing is, you are not in a spec ops unit that is engaged in high risk direct action structure clearance operations, for which they train ceaselessly. He isn’t either. Even units like the Rangers will try and avoid utilizing hostage rescue ‘SWAT style’ tactics in high risk clearance with likelihood of barricaded enemy. They will use ‘combat clearance’ techniques, or perhaps a ‘call out’ (as per rules of engagement) followed by a thermobaric weapon to bring down the whole building. SHTF, you do not want to be conducting urban fighting. Have you any idea of the attrition rates in urban fighting? If you want to survive, get out and fight in the woods. The SHTF fight is not in the cities, they are death traps. It’s out in the boonies.

Which leads me nicely on to this: on page 2 of the post, ‘Sourdough’ looks up my website. He is actually trying to help, and is well meaning. However, he misses the point. I often reference my training as ‘old-school’ which misses the point that it is premier light infantry tactics. It’s the fricken motherlode. He references something about  15 year old girls and their dad’s’ taking my training, and that it therefore does not make then 1000th of the level of Sentry18 (oh hell…..stop….). Here’s the thing (modesty aside): because I have some talent as a military trainer, I have designed the CRCD class to take you beyond the square range into the world of light infantry skills. It’s not a theme park class, for fun; it’s real. Whether you have nothing but square range shooting experience, or you are a combat veteran, I will take you there. I have had recently serving SF, Marine infantry (recent combat vets) and all sorts take the class and I tailor their range experience to their level. Students also come back and do the class multiple times. My point is that this is not some low level class. It will take you as far as you can go, particularly if you re-attend – and the next step is the combat patrol class. My skill is being able to bring you this level of training in a  crawl-walk-run format over a weekend.

Just to put all this into perspective, the below VIDEO shows some SAS techniques for hostage rescue operations. In case you didn’t know this is where all this came from, these were the guys who originally developed all the CQB techniques. The SAS maintains a counter-terrorist role squadron at all times, specializing in these operations (in the ‘black kit’) There is a little clip in there on transition. The man has a stoppage, takes a knee, draws his pistol. Note that his buddy is immediately covering him. The other lesson to draw from this is how well trained, drilled and practiced these guys are.


In contrast, to show the difference in roles, check out this video from the same series, same guys, showing what it looks like out in the boonies. This is the light infantry tactics of which I speak. I actually teach very similar drills on my CRCD class as part of the break contact team training :


Contact! A Tactical Manual for Post Collapse Survival

Patriot Dawn: The Resistance Rises

Live Hard.

Die Free.

MV

44 Comments

  1. Jay says:

    Copy that Max. Having taken both your course and tactical rifle/ pistol courses… And as a civilian, the information taken from your course was far more informative and realistic than the square ranges. The only course similar to the stress felt in your course was a shoot house with Sim rounds. From my weekend with you, knowing the physical stress on your body from the jungle walks, and understanding the weapons system I put together to survive the woods was invaluable. Like any good experience, it left me knowing how much I need to do, and provided a path to accomplish the training and PT I need to survive and thrive. Any square range course is inherently incapable of transmitting that information.

  2. Ray says:

    I have for years debated leaving my 1911a1+ M-1916 holster off my webbing and just hanging an extra bag of ammo. I don’t even try to “quick draw” my weapon as I don’t carry it with one up the pipe. The only reason I have kept it up to now is; It is a great comfort when laying in a foxhole or shell scrape at night staying out of the wind. (and off the OPFORs IR imager) But on my darker days I do think it is “one more thing to clean daily and haul ammo for”.

  3. FatTire says:

    Im a member of the forum you mention, I have conversed for all of the members involved for a couple years now, so I do know Sentry18, at least in so far as his intent and integrity online. You seem to be mischaracterizing what was an intelligent adult discussion on one of the rare forums made up of a lot of really good people, most of whom make a solid effort to stay down to earth and keep things real. I would ask, respectfully, that you take some time to get to know the members there before you insult them here.

    • Max Velocity says:

      Here we go, the first one is in range:
      Mr. FatTire: Write all you want below my posting of the link to this post on the prepared society forum, but now you are over at my site so how about you do a little less talking, and a lot more listening? What did I say about reading comprehension? As I stated, these forums tend to have a groupthink. I joined to post my article, and I am classified as a ‘newbie”. (Well, you can put that in your pipe and fuck off at the high port). I have, as I knew when i did it, committed the cardinal ‘newbie’ crime of transgressing the groupthink, in this case dominated by ‘topdog’ Mr. Sentry18. I don’t know this chap, he may very well be a nice guy. However, not only is that not the point, but I don’t care. There as nothing insulting in my post, it was simply the truth.
      You group of keyboard buddies can sit about and have your adult discussion all you like, but if that suppresses vital life saving tactical truths, then its fucking stupid.
      Roger?

      Right, off to post this over at the forum, and see how long before I get banned. Until these people realize that I just don’t care about upsetting the tacticool applecart, they are barking up the wrong tree.

      Fuckers.

      🙂

  4. John says:

    Outstanding article! It is SO good to see someone else saying this!!

  5. John says:

    FatTire, I have no experience with the referenced forum, but could you please point out specifically where Max insulted anyone?

    • FatTire says:

      Ok, first off the juvenile deliberate misspell of his handle, ok no big deal, but still its insulting. But mostly its the mischarecterization of that particular forum as being all tacticool and group thinky. its just not true. also IMHO, sentry wasnt taking anyone to task, he was very respectfully sharing his opinions, it was a discussion, not some typical bullshit forum group jumping on the guy daring to step out and find other info. The focus of the forum is preparedness and homesteading, btw, home and personal security are but a small piece of the pie baked there.

      • Max Velocity says:

        Was that referring to me and my writing scout18 and not sentry18? If so, I just caught that and edited it. Why didn’t you say? So easily fixed….It was just the mad cow disease at work, all us redcoats have it – the cows are infected, don’t you know?

  6. Mike Dismuke says:

    Couldn’t agree with you more Max. Every time I have tried to buck the tactical dogma somewhere, I get labeled a “tin hat” kook and pushed aside. But more and more people these days are seeing the value of actual reality-based training, versus playing dress-up action heroes.

  7. FatTire says:

    Seriously? Thats your response?

    Ok, clearly you know your shit as far as this type of training goes. I’d likely buy your book, as I am very interested in this sort of thing. But why is it a bad idea to get a lot of different perspectives? Post that, and yeah, youll likely be banned. I wouldnt ban you, but im not a moderator. I am not in to group think, honestly Im not educated enough in weapons and tactics to even know what the current group think is. I posted here merely to politely request that you stick around a bit and get to know some of the people there. You have a unique and interesting perspective, and would be an asset to the group. And you might gain a few clients out of it too. Anyway, you have this particular group placed in the wrong slot. Its not the norm. Code 4 bud, have a good one 🙂

    • Max Velocity says:

      🙂

      I love a good scrap after lunch.

      I will add: I was going to mention in the post, regarding handgun combat and realistic engagement ranges: I know a guy who had a handgun shootout around a taxi! No-one hit anyone until the other guy broke and ran, and was hit three times escaping across the road. That’s part of why I mention getting your rifle back in the fight as a priority, and the handgun as mainly useful at hand to hand range. We can all shoot shit at long ranges on the range, but when you are crapping your pants a handgun is a less ideal accuracy weapon.

  8. Former Sapper says:

    I love the fact his first post and subsequent replies were laced with various logical fallacies including argument from authority and reductio ad absurdum. Whilst he stays within the confines of the rules of his forum, you can tell he is a Cop of some kind (baiting without saying anything) he comes across as a bit of a twat…

    • Max Velocity says:

      Oh Shit, FS, I have not heard anyone called ‘a bit of a twat’ in too long…love it.

      • Former Sapper says:

        What can I say? It seems to be an apt description of him! Here is another one too: smarmy wanker!

    • FatTire says:

      Haa! no one has ever accused me of being a fucking cop before! thats awesome! Im just a humble electrician, prepper, and member of a forum that i felt was being mis characterized. do you not defend that which you believe in?

  9. Mike Dismuke says:

    If you are seriously training, I think you need to take a good, hard look at your tactical dogma and see if it aligns with reality. I happen to agree with Max, in that our best chance is to base out of deep woodlands, swamps, mountains, etc. and fight in light infantry units. If you agree, then you need to figure out what T,T,&P’s are relevant to that terrain and situation, and what aren’t. Listen to veterans with light infantry experience and see what worked for them, and what didn’t.

    If you don’t agree, then good luck and God bless. I have spent much time and money searching out the tactical truth, as it were, and I think guys like Max are much closer to what I need to survive, then fight, than most mainstream tactical thought, which seems to favor the urban assaulter.

  10. SP says:

    I’m gonna go out on a limb here,but I reckon the real reason why a lot of the tacticool ninja SWAT square range wankers don’t like what Max is doing is because:

    1. It is exposing just how hopelessly ineffective their own training methods/experience/doctrine is.

    2. They don’t like being shown up by an “outsider” who is an American only by paper default and not born and bred into the good old inward thinking US of A.

    Also, being an Englishman probably doesn’t help matters haha!!!

    • Max Velocity says:

      Yea, fucken redcoats! Fuckem!

      • Muddyboots says:

        Point of order: Max is a typical patriot… Of another age. The founding fathers were British citizens that rebelled. Thus becoming Americans! his heart and now the rest of him are in the right place. The only comment I would add is, Max, you’re late! but better late than never.

        On the tactical points of “transitions” I agree. While most everybody would love to have all the latest kit and be delivered on top of the objective by the Nightstalkers, clear from top down and be flown to a hot breakfast, the reality is cold dirty boring light infantry work is most likely to be what we face. He’ll, I’d rather have a designator and a radio with doom on tap. But no, having seen it in other countries, I think were in for a lot more walking than shooting. Also, transition to video MIT become a lot more important in our “4G” world. Master the rifle first and then worry about the rest. Keep it up Max! You are helping a whole lot!

        Muddyboots

    • LFMayor says:

      Don’t forget the sweat equity part. When you blow 2 grand on fancy multicam pouches to hold your cell phone and kubotan, you don’t want to get them dirty!

      And physical excertion will make you all sticky, especially south of an ample equator.

      • Jay says:

        LFMayor.. you have no idea how true that is. In my class, we had a nice enough guy and his girlfriend. Both in their 50’s (as am I) but woefully out of shape. I was, at best, a burden. Fortunately, I was paired with a bloke who brought a Ruger 10/22 that didn’t cycle ammo. He eventually had to yell out “Bang Bang” so I knew he was covering my movement. Made me look a bit better than I would have in another group. The couple had every gimmick and tacticool device, but they couldn’t go prone more than one time. Proving the point made in a forum by Mosby at Western Rifle Shooter… if you are out of shape, slovenly or in general unable to move well, you will be nothing more than a pile of flesh to hide behind when you are shot and your squad needs cover before getting off of the “X”.

  11. Mike Dismuke says:

    Concerning the pistol, I have not made up my mind on this one yet, but I do agree that transition drills are stressed way out of proportion in most combat rifle courses. Most guys have not mastered their rifles before switching up to pistol transition drills. Here’s a turd in the punch bowl. If we are operating in deep woodland terrain, I think a tomahawk might be a much better choice of transition tool than a handgun. If I’m far enough away to get to cover and get my rifle back up, GTG. If not, then assaulting with a ‘hawk might be a better option. Can’t malfunction, never needs a re-load. Splitting wigs old school ranger style.

    • Guido says:

      The tomahawk seems like quite an awkward shape to try to fit onto your gear somewhere. That’s probably why they aren’t more used.

      • Jay says:

        Tomahawk…Do you really want to be that close to start defending yourself? Also, hand to hand is a lot dirtier and faster than you would think. No sense carrying a tomahawk in the woods where you won’t get closer than 10 yards unless you are overrun or overrunning the enemy. Just added weight and, as you said, ungainly.

        • John Ammons says:

          Jay, Mike and I both know a bit about hand to hand and it’s dirtiness.

        • Mike Dismuke says:

          Uh, what do you think we’re doing here? It’s called combat training. Do think you’re gonna always be able to control the range of engagement? Sure you try and break contact if at all possible, but if you literally bump into the enemy at night, which I have done in training, then it goes hands-on regardless of your preferences.

          I think a ‘hawk makes a lot of sense and bears consideration. If you don’t fine. Don’t run one.

      • Mike Dismuke says:

        Well actually they are in use among certain units. Think break-away kydex sheaths.

  12. F says:

    Obviously spot on remarks write-up on the proper training approach.
    I am glad a found a source of training and exercises that matches my philosphy.

    Will come back for more.

    There is little I can add to the post itself though I dont think Sentry deserved quite the drubbing he got.
    In general it is true though that a lot of forums descend into groupthink and they all have a “cool kids” group that reinforces that group think.
    Preparedsociety is one of the nicest forums around though.

    Still reading on Contact.

    Cheers,

    F

    • F says:

      To reply to my own post:
      I am really glad somebody took my red flag feelings and gut reaction when seeing the curricula of the tacticool schools and spelled out specifically why we need to train different than they do.

      I no longer fell like I am the lone shouter in the desert.
      F

    • Perioikoi says:

      Mike

      It’s about time that someone brought up good old cold steel! As I understand it cold steel weapons have a higher degree of success at very close range. It makes since when you think about it given all those good fundamentals and fine motor skills that must be employed when shooting a gun vs someone using gross motor skills to stick a hawk in your dome. Effective firearms manipulation is one thing at range but quite another when your being set upon. Also people get shot all the time without being killed or disabled immediately with rifles, let alone handguns, whereas if a hawk doesn’t kill it disables whatever it connects with.
      I had a hawk in my load out for some time but, while versatile, it has notable limitations. Hawks are very limited in their thrusting capabilities, require specialized forearm strength, and have a small cutting edge that is easy to miss with. Now opposite of this is the long knife which has none of these limitations but lacks the hawks power. If only we could combine these two weapons into one. Thankfully someone already did, it’s no secret, and it’s the kukri. The Kukri can do everything a knife can do and has most of the power of a hawk, more than enough to take off a limb. I’ve even found a quality one that’s affordable, not over weight, and made out of modern materials. The specs are as follows:

      • Ontario Kukri Knife, US Made
      • Grind: Full Flat
      • Finish: Black Powder Coat
      • Thickness: 0.26in
      • Steel: 1095
      • Blade Length: 12in
      • Overall Length: 17in
      • Weight: 18oz
      • Price on Amazon: $54.99 + FREE Shipping

      Link: http://www.amazon.com/Ontario-6420-Kukri-Knife-Black/dp/B00519UT42/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1384850855&sr=8-1&keywords=ontario+kukri

      Of course any weapon that must be drawn is a problem at “hand to hand” distances, i.e., your already engaged. While trying to draw a weapon the enemy may already be in the process of beating you to death so we better be training those H2H combatives, not sport fighting or marshal art. Engage until your enemy is incapacitated and/or H2H contact is broken then get back to a weapon and finish them off if need be. Of course the best option at that range is the weapon we should already have in hand, our rifle, ideally with bayonet attached. Even without the bayonet a rifle is a metal club, and metal beats flesh every time. I can guarantee that having a rifle muzzle stuck in your grill is a bad day. But until I make my AR bayonet capable I’ll be sticking with the kukri. It works for the Gurkha’s and even the jihadi’s are terrified of getting to close to them.

  13. Miles says:

    Just happened upon your site and what should I find as the first topic! still cannot stop laughing.
    I am an old “Falklands era” fart, the method Max speaks of are exactly what were used by 45 commando on the yomp from the San Carlos shit hole, to the sisters. you are ready to dump your pack and run with belt kit at all times, the contact and break drills are identical.
    The armchair commandoes, with massive chest rigs that will cave in their ribs the first time they have to hit the ground, plus all the open top rapid magazine pouches will be full of crap as they crawl though the scrub!… Will be eaten by the locals in very short time.

    • Former Sapper says:

      Urgh, now we have a bootneck here? Now this place will really go down hill! Lol. I agree on the chest rig mate but if you’re doing mounted ops (vehicle, horse or whatever) then there’s nothing better. It gets to be a pain taking the webbing on and off to sit down for long durations.

  14. Ray says:

    An often overlooked weapon by the FREEFOR ranks is the bayonet. Training to use the bayonet SHOULD be a standard part of any infantry “skillset”.

  15. Mike Dismuke says:

    Back to the OP, I think Max makes the most salient point, which is: your battle-buddy is your “secondary” weapon, which you depend on to put fire down range while you’re behind cover getting your rifle back up.

    • Miles says:

      You are quite correct Ray. When taking the sisters, we wove through all the rock with bayonets fixed, there was no “transitioning” crap, if the blob in front smelt like an argie, you shot or stuck him. They hated the bayonets coming at them.

      • Max Velocity says:

        Miles: happy to have you here. When I joined Para Reg, the Falklands vets were the backbone. I listened avidly to their stories. You may want to be more specific in the comments – I.e. people may not know what the sisters are etc. lets’s hear more of it!

        • SP says:

          Falklands is the one thing my Dad never (rarely) spoke of. He was RE specialised in amph warfare and such like. I’ve got a full copy from Glasgow of his full service record and there’s a few months in 82 that are blank. He went somewhere overseas shortly before the task force set sail. Just says on operational duty or something to that effect (haven’t got his records to hand to check). He’d talk about every other place he went – Aden, NI ect but hardly any of the Falklands. Very odd. Makes me wonder what he got up to.

        • Miles says:

          Thanks Max, Must admit that i am not used to writing that much, and have a tendency to ramble a bit when I get excited. so i will try and “fill out” stuff as I go.
          I have been enjoying your site. A lot of things have changed over the years in our field of expertise, the technology advances have been to extend the range where soldiers engage the enemy.
          However the more thing change, the more they stay the same. We always seem to have the need to close on an enemy and bring as much violence to him as needed to get the job done, be it FMJ, Bayonet or bare hands
          I am amazed at some of the numptys out there training good people to have little chance of surviving first contact. good on you for telling it like it is.

  16. […] recently wrote my post ‘Taking Down the Tacticool Transition Dogma‘. Those of you who have read it will know that it involved an excursion into the world of the […]

  17. Sanders says:

    During my misguided years as an 11B, I had a weapons card for a 1911A1, but the only time I ever drew it from the arms room was for qualification.

    If I’m out playing soldier, I’m carrying a rifle or carbine. I’m dang sure not going to be clearing any buildings. Even if my own house gets attacked, I’m going out the back and flanking. No way in hell I’m staying indoors.