Commentary on the Prepper/Forum/Tacti-cool problem

Follow Up on the Windproof Smock Concept
November 19, 2013
Artkis B110 Smock
November 20, 2013

Tacticool square range

Above: this is not tactical training. This is square ranges, beyond which you need to move to field firing.

I 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 ‘preparedsociety’ forum.

When I first wrote ‘Contact‘ and was getting into this game, before I had my own blog, I frequented a few forums with mixed results. It was due in large part to a lot of effort blogging on forums that I initially got the word out about ‘Contact‘. One of the forums that I found fairly decent was ‘American Preppers Network‘. Others I joined with mixed results. I remember trying out ‘lightfighter’ and finding it full of egotistical tacticool idiots, who soon shut me down when they found I was peddling something non-tacticool. These guys honestly think they are SOF members in some sort of virtual team room. There were also some of the classic tacticool numpty trainers on there as well, who soon wanted me shut down. So, Max Velocity, you don’t think we should be peddling room entry and transition drills all day, pretending it is suitable tactical training? Assholes.

So, two days ago, I made a huge mistake. I went back to APN. My thought was that I had pasted a lot of useful information there in the past, and that I had a following, and I wanted to update people about certain things like my training site and Contact II. Oh, what a mistake. I fell foul of some sort of tough guy ‘moderator’ who called me a ‘spammer’ and told me he was going to ‘deal with me’ and some such. By the way, did I mention that I am (was) actually a paid sponsor at APN, specifically to allow me to do limited advertising of my stuff, as well as all the free blog posts that I had put up there? Anyway, not one to be meek and mild, I got into it with this asshole and ended up getting banned for ‘ignorant behavior’. Following that, I wrote in and made sure they removed all trace of my personal and business information from the site and the forum, including  my paid text Ad for Contact II in the sidebar. Assholes.  I was freakin’ incandescent with rage! I’m just glad I was not located in proximity to these turd eaters.

(BTW: none of the things I wrote on the forum to do with this fight were unreasonable, threats, etc. They all bear second reading. The problem is trying to reason with egotistical maniacs with limited reading comprehension, which is a familiar problem on these forums.).

I since find out from an insider at APN that I know:

“Here is what has happened on the forum just prior to your return. HUGE fight among moderators – many were banned. A fight among members standing up for the moderators. Many members were banned. And yes, NEW rules choking opinion and honesty from posters and moderators who now think they are real bad asses. Childish drama from people once respected. It’s a small community word gets around.”

Which leads me to this post. There seem to be several problems hamstringing the ‘prepper community”:

1) The prevalence of ‘tacticool’ unsuitable and tactically unsound training practices, often promulgated and defended aggressively by LEO trainer types who guard the gates, or their acolytes. They only know what they know, they don’t know what they don’t know, and they can’t see the wood for the trees. It’s my mission in life to pull apart tacticool training practices and wake people up.

2) Forums full of ignorant assholes who are trying to control other people and are on power trips. These are the archetype of the egotistical arrogant fool. They are utterly unteachable. Unassailable egos paired with ignorance of what they don’t know is the huge elephant in the room of why any sort of ‘Patriot’ movement is dead before it starts. Look at all the bickering in the ‘community’ for examples of that. One of the things I was pointing out to the assholes at AP is that as the forum has grown, they have put these ‘moderators’ into positions and they are no better than collectivist tyrannists on power trips. They are the same as your HOA enforcer. The only difference between these guys and the tyrannists is that the ones on the prepper sites are “me, me, me” and the collectivists are “yours, yours, yours”. They are all about power over others. These forum moderator types are exactly the types who would flip to inform for the tyrannic regime in a heartbeat if it helped their ‘survival’.

3) ‘The Selfish Prepper’: as I have written before, a lot of these preppers are not actual survivalists or potential resistance fighters against tyranny. They are just selfish fat-asses collecting piles of junk and dry food. Their whole intent is to crawl away and hide while the country collapses. They will let others get out and do the heavy lifting for liberty, fighting and dying resisting the forces of domestic and/or foreign tyranny. They expect to emerge at the end, truly your meek and selfish inheriting the earth.

I wrote Contact and started tactical training classes in order to help good decent honest folk survive. I also want people to have the information needed if they have to fight tyranny, if that is the way it goes, rather than some sort of standard collapse. I get that your first priority is your own family/tribe. Mine is as well. But if I can get them to safety I will throw on my gear and muster to fight tyranny. But not if everyone else is just hiding out and not willing to participate. Then we will all die piecemeal and in our small family groups.

I’m sure that is what the tyrannists are counting on, and probably why they may even be running some of these assholes on the forums and blogs. Trolls.

Part of the problem is the selfish ‘retreat sniper’ type (sniper: yea, right!). How many will be murdered while trying to escape the fluctuating tides of a civil war or balkanization, when they walk onto the wrong property and get shot at long range for their trouble? Or, alternatively, they come across the pile of bodies on the trail below the sniper’s position and decide to go flanking through the woods to close with the murderer’s retreat. He has to sleep sometime, and tend the tomatoes, right?  This is where you get into the madness of the ‘killer bee guy’. No, the killer bee guy is not a product of my insanity, it was actually a real insane guy who commented on my blog saying he would be OK in SHTF because he has killer bees – he would just shoot the hives and they would kill any intruders. So who needs to train in tactics right? This is the sort of insanity and ignorance that we are dealing with here. You just know this guy is a 500lb asshole who is tying to justify his own laziness, and inability to get off his lazy ass, within his own denial.

So,  I wrote the books to help good honest folk, and I offer training. Many of you have a teachable attitude and are taking advantage of that. Good. So  many others are beyond help. You will find them out there on these forums. When I come across one, I just have a mental image of a guy with ignorant stupid eyes, mouth open, jaw flapping, mouthing off tacticool or crazy stuff he heard somewhere else, unable to listen to the wisdom of others.

In a world of selfish assholes, you have no choice but to stick close to family and tribe. Selfish begets selfish. There are some really decent people out there. I have met many of you on my training classes.

What needs to happen, and what I have made it my mission to do, is to tear the band-aid off this whole tacticool/selfish prepper meme. Just tear it right off and expose it for what it is. We need to be training right, networking with others, and getting ready to do something other than hiding in our basements. In your area, you need to plan to put your families somewhere safe, so you can grab your gear and rally to the call. Because, make no mistake, enemies foreign and domestic are coming. As individuals you will die as individuals.

OPSEC be damned – organizing civil defense groups is entirely legal with this United States, however the tyrannists try to paint it. Don’t listen to them. Just do it. It’s part of having the courage to stand up.  Organize. Be ready to stand up and help your communities. Have a trained tactical capability to back up any work you do in the community. Oath Keepers is doing it. Oh, but now you sneer, because you don’t like OK for some reason? Well, they are doing it, and you are not, so put that in your pipe and smoke it.

I think I might start a forum. Anyone any ideas of how I can simply get one going linked to this site? Something at a ‘bits of copper wire and some 100mph tape’ level of computer expertise….

For those of you who are awake enough, with a teachable attitude and a suppressible ego, I welcome you to come and train with me if you haven’t already. It is vital that you get the right sort of tactical training in real light infantry tactics. Something that an ex-military trainer can provide. If not from me, from someone offering something along those same lines.

I have always been pleasantly surprised by the decent folk who show up at my training classes. When I started,  had fears of all sorts of crazy or criminal types showing up. Not at all. Its been a good bunch of like-minded professional types. Socially aware good honest folk. With the odd ‘ that guy’ scattered among them… you know who you are…;-)

One thing to be very aware of: my training classes are not about ‘Max’s ego’. They are not about my ego, and they are not about yours either. They are information passing sessions.

And BTW: I had a couple of reschedules on my DEC 14/15 CRCD class so it is only half full. Taking names….

Contact! A Tactical Manual for Post Collapse Survival

Patriot Dawn: The Resistance Rises

Live Hard.

Die Free.





  1. John says:

    Some very good points Max.

  2. CAPatriot says:

    Max, you are correct in assuming the powers that be are sending trolls out to forums and blogs that are patriot/SHTF/prepper related. They have stated as much. Cass Sunstein (Regulatory Czar) suggested this very idea.

    It should be pretty easy getting a forum set up here using something like phpBB or some other canned system. Let me know if you need help, maybe we could trade services. (Web development is my profession). Feel free to email if this something you would be interested in.

    Also, I’m glad I ordered Contact II as I now have copies in the upstairs and downstairs “reading rooms”.

  3. RRS says:

    Go look at G&A TV, tacticool is how they make a buck. Be honest Max most people follow authority and the tacticoolies are the authority. Its one SF type after another, and you yourself have to admit that SF sells even if it is teaching nothing more advanced than mag dumps at 10yds.

    Till that script of mag dumps at 10yds is completely de-bunked and an embarrassment to recite using just logic to reach those types will be mainly fruitless.

    Most will defer to authority than go thru the work of using logic. Or, put it this way your training is up against Kyle Lamb (this is not to start a silly feud with him)and others like him whose living is Delta fantasy camp. In America fantasy rules

    • Max Velocity says:

      I don’t see myself as up against anyone. This is not a business competition thing. Those that train with me know the value. I have enough students to fill the training that I schedule, from a business perspective. I’m not a big numbers tacticool school. I see it that there are a small few of us out there, running the real training, and my hope is that we will compliment each other.
      What this is really about is concern for what people are learning, and how it will get them killed.
      Honestly, I don’t even know who Kyle Lamb is! I’ll look it up…

  4. QuietMan says:

    Never explain yourself: Your friends don’t need it and your enemies won’t believe it.

    Keep up the fire!

  5. Mike Dismuke says:

    I have run into much the same thing within the industry. Because I didn’t agree with the resident gurus or kiss the ass of their heroes, I was slagged without mercy. My main point of contention was that as armed citizens, we might have different T,T,&P’s then police or military. This was generally met with derision.

    I think the main thrust of these tacticool sites is that all these pretenders or wannabes want to emulate their heroes by dressing up and playing DevGru/CAG door-kicker. There is this interesting trend, of guys with no prior experience, taking these classes and then becoming “cool by association”, merely because they have trained with some FAG (Former Action Guy). They then assume this badass attitude and feel free to slag anyone who disagrees with them. Because, after all, they learned directly from LAV or whoever, therefore they are better than you.

    The problem with this whole construct, is it’s all based on fantasy. These guys are imagining themselves on the frontlines, and living vicariously through their heroes. When you challenge them, you are attacking their carefully constructed fantasy image of themselves.

    The shame of it all, is that if these guys would take a hard look at what their doing, and admit it’s more hobby then reality, they could easily become actual badasses rather then simulated. But either pride, or arrogance, or whatever prevents them from being able to change and embrace reality-based tactical doctrine.

    There is probably a small minority within this group that are actually serious about their training, but they think that since the police and military are the duty experts here, then learning from them is all they need to do. Problem being, the guys with the most current experience are not necessarily teaching what we will need to know. Someone with experience from before the GWOT, when the emphasis was on “green ops” is more relevant to what we will need, IMHO.

    My estimate of this situation is that most of these guys will continue to live in their fantasy world, being the wankers they really are, and that a hard-core minority will understand and be willing to change.

    At least this will finally separate all the pretenders from the real warriors. They can now join the airsofters, re-inactors, and collectors where they really belong.

  6. RRS says:

    You do have a competing meme though. They sell product, and they work hard at becoming the trusted authority. Which they obviously have as you have found out.

    FTR Kyle Lamb owns V-TAC, producers of great gun accessories and a line of expensive S&W ARs along with holding SWAT training classes.

  7. Comrade X says:

    Max; doing good never has to be defended or explained!

    If I was on the east coast I’ll be one of your students(some of my comrades have been to Mosby’s classes out here and is passing the word to those that have not), but your books & writings are good too for those of us that can’t be there with you. Don’t worry there’s a lot more of us than anyone can imagine who are paying attention and getting it right.

    Keep up the good work my brother!

  8. Mike Dismuke says:

    As a guy that has been in the tactical community for awhile, and also making kit for sale, I can tell you that the vast majority of the market is aimed at the fan-boys who idolize the door-kickers. People are naturally marketing weapons, equipment, and training to the biggest segment of the market, and so there you are. From the beginning, my partner and I have focused on the actual needs of armed citizens, not the tacticool market. I can tell you from experience that maybe 10% of the market are guys that are serious about their trade. They are taking a hard look at what they may need and are planning accordingly. So there are folks out there that get it, but as always, they are a minority. But that being said, we still have a several month back-log. So I think you can make a living at reality-based tactical training and such, but it will never approach the popularity of Walter Mitty Tactical.

    • Chuck says:

      I’d say there’s a reason why there’s so much demand for your problem and hence your backlog: that 10% you speak of adds up to a pretty big number. There’s a lot of demand for gear and training for the serious armed citizen, especially those of us who are awake.

      On a related note, I check Soldier Systems Daily to keep up with latest on the “tactical” industry and there is a clear shift towards the LE market as the military downsizes and draws down. I find that particularly ominous and it makes the need for people like you that much more urgent.

      Keep it up. You and Max and Mosby and others like you are doing the Lord’s work.

      p.s., I like your website.

  9. Guido says:

    I think the tacticool attitude can be “worked around”. I don’t think it’s necessary, or necessarily correct, to just declare “SWAT tactics are wrong”. They are right for SWAT guys, and it’s just that people are incorrectly training in SWAT tactics that are not ideal for their situation.

    The other reality is, people are paying big bucks for the not-ideal SWAT training (e.g. “tacticool”). Instead of beating them over the head about it, why not go with the flow a little, and use it to give them some skills, teach them what situations those skills are for, and then direct them on to further training that is most suitable?

    In the end the tacticool SWAT skills aren’t “bad”. You’ll improve students’ weapons handling skills, and you can fill in the blanks that are causing some of the problems (e.g. “You only walk at the target shooting like this in situations like an indoor hallway.”). The real root problem is that the tacticool training is being marketed as “the thing”, many students don’t know any better, and the tacticool marketing is louder than the message of people like Max.

    For example, on the original topic of weapons transitions, give them their weapons transitions, but do it your way! Do you think weapons transitions in the open are not suited to SUT (and I’m not saying I disagree)? Then make them do drills that transition in the kneeling, behind cover, and in the prone. The students will have learned the lessons you want them to learn, and then they will have done the new cool thing that none of their tacticool buddies have done! Make your training the new fad.

    This isn’t like it was in the military, and we can’t hold down the people that don’t want to listen and beat it into their head. We have to be smarter about this, and beat them at their own game… hearts and minds.

    • Max Velocity says:

      Thoughtful. Hmmm.

      However: grab them by the balls and their hearts and minds will soon follow..! 😉

      You are not wrong, but I disagree on the SWAT training/tacticool not being ‘bad’. I understand your point that it at least teaches weapon handling, but I think it is precisely bad, because it teaches such bad TTPs. It not even the room clearing I’m talking about – its the absolute tactical unawareness outside of a building. Moving clustered together in groups etc. The anecdotes I hear about such training from those that have done it are appalling.

      Other than that, I do do it my way – transitioning from the prone etc, because that’s how it is run on my ranges. This isn’t about me trying to pull the fan-boys my way. It about trying to get the message out in general. Those that want to train with me are coming anyway. What am I saying? That this isn’t personal. I’m trying to divert the stream.

      • Guido says:

        Understood Max. I was just trying to use those as concrete examples, so that it wasn’t too abstract of an argument.

        I agree that some of what they do is actually “bad”. I think I’ve heard some of the anecdotal stories you’re referring to.

      • Guido says:

        There are many factors that make the tacticool training popular:

        1.) It’s easy to take (e.g. no running).
        2.) It’s easy to conduct (e.g. targets + berm).
        3.) It’s inexpensive (e.g. targets + berm).
        4.) It’s well established (e.g. status quo).
        5.) It’s what instructors know (e.g. LEO).
        6.) It’s fun, even if inappropriate (e.g. 3-gun).
        7.) Unconscious incompetence (e.g. most people don’t know any better).
        8.) There a kernel of truth to it.

        We need to find ways to turn these things into ways to make SUT training popular. This post did a good job of identifying that tacticool training isn’t the most appropriate, but where do we go from here?

        We can give our small SUT classes, and fill a dozen students in a week. Over time, that may turn the tide. It may even develop its own viral following that is much more rapid. But what strategies can we enact to set ourselves up for success, and make this happen more thoroughly and quickly?

  10. Bravo Juliett says:

    First, congratulations on your new website. Look and functionality are excellent. You can be proud of it.

    I wanted to provide a mitigating comment to your irritation. It’s important to keep in mind that most, if not all, forums are initiated by dedicated people with right and honorable motives. Sure, some are kicked off with an ulterior agenda, but most are for the good. By its very nature, the amount of work moderating, the amount of work developing and maintaining, a website, blog, or forum management only appeals to a very few. Most of them are highly motivated, strong willed, even egotistical.

    I think what you may be recognizing is the narcissistic side of the highly motivated, strong willed egotist running the forum. They aren’t evil, just convinced that “it” is all about them. These folks are not leaders, or at least not leaders you would follow into battle. They may be the ones who start a scrap, but when you look for them to back you up they won’t be there, because “it” isn’t about them anymore.

    I would fully support you in setting up a forum. I could help out from a technical side (I’m the CIO of a midwestern college) or business side, but my greatest help may be in providing a mellowing tolerance.

    Sure the moderators at the problem website are jerks. But in the overall scheme of things they don’t matter. They are not part of the very small percentage that will run toward the sound of the battle. There are a lot of civilian patriots, still a small percentage of the whole, but still sufficient, who need the training to survive the coming hard times. We need to hear the truth about the coming battle and how to protect our family/tribe and then get in the fight and win.

    This is your calling.

    You have to keep focused on the fight. You have to keep focused on the ones who count, not the jerks and poseurs, but the farmer soldiers, the citizen who will grab their kit and join the fight. We’re the ones you need to focus on serving.

    The other guys will be what they will be. Continue to speak the truth and don’t get torqued off with idiocy. Maybe it will sink in and they will change, maybe not. Either way it doesn’t matter, there are people out there who are listening and taking notes. My only hope is that it is enough to drag this nation back from the abyss, or to defeat tyranny when it comes to an open fight.

    • A Freeman says:

      Yes. To paraphrase the late, great George Carlin:

      “Never argue with an idiot. They will only drag you down to their level and beat you with their superior experience.”

  11. Sanders says:

    That’s why I like you and Mosby. You all are keeping it real.

  12. Jay says:

    All points so far well thought out and likely a large factor. You teach what you learn and tacticool is what they learned. Remember Max, you and a hand full of people are the only ones with the land and range to pull off what you do. Finding friendly acreage to pull off your brand of training is rare. Only you have thought this out and risked the dollars (or pounds/euros 😉 to create your site. That is rare and hard to emulate. As far as their hostility, you are goring their sacred bull. You are showing them their weaknesses and with no land or training to compete with you… well, you get denigrated, marginalized and vilified. As they say, you must be on target because you don’t get any flak unless you are over the target.

    There is no right way to do a wrong thing

  13. Mike Dismuke says:

    I think Bravo Juliet (!) makes a good point, in that the target audience may not be exactly who we think it is. Instead of trying to “convert” the mainstream community, we may find that the real rifleman are now just coming out of the woodwork. So although there is some overlap, we may find that the majority of the present community are doing this as a hobby, and when you get down to training to actually fight, well there’s this:

    “It scared me so, I hooker it off,
    Nor stopped as I remember,
    Nor turned about ’til I got home,
    Locked up in mother’s chamber.”

    From “Yankee Doodle”

  14. Perioikoi says:


    One of the issues going forward into our future challenges that I think about more and more, and one you often point out, is the need to build operational units. There is certainly an isolationist culture at prevails in the “prepper community” and is a direct result of community destruction that has occurred in the late 20th century, at least here in the US. In general we have been compartmentalized and lack a broader class consciousness needed for collective, grassroots, and communal action. Instead of being the creators of culture, cultures are sold to us by those at the heights of power who can then easily play these constructed cultures against one another; it’s nothing more than a divide and conquer strategy.

    In a world where the individual is isolated it’s no surprise that tacticool training practices prevail. People feel they need only concern themselves with their skills, operating as individuals, and of course their gear. Square range training caters to this mentality now just like the dueling salons did in renaissance Europe. The training we need going forward as a community is that of good fundamental soldiering. But there seems to be little of this type of training available, you are the only person I know of that offers such training. Thus, one of the resources that would be of great help in growing a soldiering mentality is a listing of where one can get such training. If this were to happen geography would become less of a limiting factor when people are looking for a school. Many people would find this to be of great assistance as they may live a great distance from your school and flying with a military pattered rifle is becoming ever more risky given the proclivities of increasingly authoritarian state.

  15. Miles says:

    Bravo J said it pretty well.
    I also think I thinks its about marketing, each outfit needs something cool and different, but they need to get people in. they need the people with spare money, and they usually are not fit enough to run real world drills.
    So, they cram as many people into a small area, charge as much as you can for a YouTube legend. they do not hammer the cardio thing as this would lose them customers! maybe..
    people think that they can learn by association, or taking a magic powder
    If someone could guarantee that rubbing scrambled eggs on my calves would stop the burn on the hills, and rubbing dog crap on my back would stop the pinch between my love handles, bergan and belt, I would be in the mountains smelling like a dogs ass in a diner
    We all want to get there easier and quicker, and if throwing money at it helps, then off we go.
    The tactics have to be field based, plus work without air cover, re-supply, medical assistance, mortar or arty cover etc

  16. SP in NC says:

    If people are knocking your training without ever taking it, that’s professional level ignorance.

    It’s a big world out there and there is lots to be learned.

    • Max Velocity says:

      If they are, I’m not aware of it. The criticism came on some of those forums before I started the training school. And before I was aware of the whole tacticool meme.
      But on another note: I’m happy to see the intellectual level of comments on this post is high – far higher than my expletive laden original post!

  17. F says:

    yet another great summary.

    For a while that had been my sentiment but I felt I was making those arguments by myself since no one else seemed to agree much.

    Was starting to wonder if maybe I am wrong all along..
    Good to know that there are others that shared my discomfort/disdain for the mainstream training and I am not just out to left field by myself 😉

  18. Red Forman says:


    This article ( concerning group-think was fortuitously posted today. It speaks volumes about those who are blind to the truth and can be applied to political and tactical situations equally, I think.

    I would have to agree with several posters that after an initial attempt to bring sheeple to the truth, they should be left to their own devices. So…don’t let the naysayers side track you from the direction you know you need to go. In the end, they are just a distraction.

  19. Cowtipper says:

    You made a mistake? Bullshit you did. Look, this Tacticool/SWAT/LEO shit is great at what it is designed for: Cops taking down bad guys that do not know what they’re doing. Period. Your instruction is how to deal with bad guys that DO know what they’re doing. Big. F’n. Difference. Is there an SF Element to CQB that takes out Competent Bad Dudes? Hell, yes. Those cats are amazing. But, you should not be training for CQB. If you should find yourself in a CQB situation, then you have already made a number of mistakes, haven’t you? Fuck ’em, Max. You keep doing what you do.

  20. Hingle McCringleberry says:

    Hey Max, obviously one way to grow the SUT trainer corps is to network with veterans/prior service guys of similar qualifications. Perhaps you and Mosby could to speak.. to some of the many veterans groups? TogetherWeServed, SpecialOperationsSpeaks, and Oathkeepers come to mind.

  21. Former Sapper says:

    What is all boils down to, as you’ve said is that they know that they know within their own area of expertise and it’s dangerous to step out and try and pass their training off which as best is OBUA for valid SUT, which it isn’t. At best it’s a feel good measure for Tubby McLard-Arse and hi cohorts of “apex predators” and at worse it’s dangerous for he and his family when he feels over confident in his ability.

    Whilst I’ve never attended your training and may never do so, watching your brief videos on youtube reminds me of the jungle lane training I received in the Army. I’d be happy to pay for a class if we had such a thing here in England.

    • SP says:

      Our bullshit anti gun, anti freedom and anti self defence laws will never allow such a thing.

      • Former Sapper says:

        There’s actually a law that forbids informal paramilitary training too but yep, I 100% agree with you but for now it’s what the British public want so it’s what they get. Not saying I like it because I’d leave at the drop of a hat if I could but it is what it is.

        • SP says:

          Bit of an old post revival but…..

          Up until 1920 I believe, the British public had virtually zero gun control measures. The only thing stopping someone from buying a firearm of any description (less arty pieces I think) was having the money to buy it. Hell, up to that point the UK was probably more pro gun than all of the US combined.

          Then after WW1 and after witnessing the after effects of the Russian Revolution, the powers that be got a bit scared of all those hundreds of thousands of vets coming home and causing problems for the power players. The vets were a teensy weensy bit pissed off with the Establishment for the fact that their lives were treated with utter contempt by the way they were slaughtered on the Front, and were going back to a life of squalor whilst the elites were still living the high life.

          Then after WW2, the gun control got worse leading to what we have today – total disarmament.

  22. Submariner says:

    A popular M4-centric forum, begun by a dealer, features one former Australian SAS and four former SFOD-D members in an “Ask the SME” sub-forum.

    The following exchange is indicative of the thinking of these men on the notion of anything other than individual personal defense skills.

    Q. “What do you believe the skill ceiling for the average civilian shooter would be in the realm of the tactical employment of carbines and pistols? The skill ceiling being the point at which no significant improvement can be made, through part-time practice and attending firearms courses from highly-skilled instructors such as yourself, without becoming a member of the military.”

    A. “There really is no civilian ceiling – believe it or not many civilians have the oppurtunity [sic] to get to the range and shoot far more than 99% of the military – only certain units have shooting oppurtunities [sic] beyond what a civilian enthusiast has

    It really depends what skills you want to master – defensive weapon craft is no problem for a motivated civilian

    How much need does the average civilian need for patrolling techniques?” Larry A. Vickers

    When The LAV writes, everyone reads and heeds. Challenging the Subject Matter Expert’s view might drive them away (a former SEAL recently left the forum.) In other words, dear reader, it is bad for business. The bottom line is dollars for the trainers, the Industry Professionals who populate the board and the businesses that pay to advertise.

    Max, if you go the forum route, please consider making it a paid membership forum to keep out the rabble. Do you really need to spend time/money herding cats on a forum? Word of mouth (or forum posts in various places) is the best advertising you can get. Cheapest, too, as it costs nothing more than your training satisfied clients.

    Note that Lightfighter gives open access to AARs without having to become a member and being subject to its moderators. This has been found to be some of the best advertising for the trainers who post there.

  23. Submariner says:

    Correction: A popular M4-centric forum, begun by a dealer, features one former Australian SAS and three, not four, former SFOD-D members in an “Ask the SME” sub-forum.

    Another former SFOD-D member, Paul Howe, follows the board and will respond to readers if queried.

  24. Chuck says:

    I’d definitely read and participate in a Max Velocity forum. A tactical forum that’s geared to the armed civilian and explicitly NOT all about badge kissing and SOF worship? Count me in!

    Also, to follow up on what Hingle McCringleberry wrote, there are plenty of us out here with the qualifications to fill in as Assistant Instructors anytime you need help, Max.

  25. Mike Dismuke says:

    The key component to a new forum would be the integrity of the contributors; adherence to the tactical truth, as close as we can get, without regard to vested interests, personal bias, cult of personality, etc. In other words, an honest attempt at finding and disseminating solid tactical doctrine, as it applies to us, as armed citizens. And, a willingness to change if a better way is discovered and proven. The one thing that I find with most of these experts is they are stuck in time with their particular way of doing things, and don’t take kindly to being questioned. One potential problem is the sale of goods and services. If done with integrity, it actually supports your tactical doctrine. If you’re just selling a product based on your theories, experiences, etc, with no demonstrable relevance to the reality at hand, well, we already have plenty of those.

    • Chuck says:

      Much of what passes for debate on tactical “doctrine” comes down to “my technique is better than your technique.” Well, to paraphrase an old saying, techniques are like assholes…

      It’s about tactical principles, not techniques, because, while techniques (and more broadly, TTPs) are situational (METT-TC) principles are enduring. For example, maintaining security at all times is a principle, how you achieve it is a TTP. Do you dog-leg into your patrol base? Why? Because it makes sense in a given tactical situation or because “that’s how we were taught when I was on active duty in the 83d Mess Kit Repair Battalion” or “that’s how we did it in the ‘Stan, dude.”

      A forum that dissects the various TTPs we were all taught and/or used in theater and breaks them down to principles and then reconstructs them to fit each of our particular AOs and potential tactical situations would be very useful. What works in the mountains of North Carolina may not be applicable in Arizona.

      However, a forum that degenerates into arguments over whether an “aggressive C clamp grip” is the ONLY way to “drive a carbine” and if you don’t do it that way you’re nothing but a hack and a poseur…well, I’m sure we’ve all wasted enough time on forums like that.

  26. Sid says:

    I have a domain name and experience building/operating firearm related forums. Willing to donate to the cause. Sent you an email with contact info.

  27. Guido says:

    So to summarize many of these comments:

    1. Those other forums have the wrong idea, are run by overbearing moderators, and experience too much groupthink.
    2. Let’s start our own forums, where our own ideas are king, and we’re in charge.

    I’m pretty sure this is exactly how every forum gets their start. But realize that you are solving the problem by becoming your own version of the very thing you take exception to.

    • Mike Dismuke says:

      Not if you have an open mind. What if you state, right up front, “Here’s what we think makes the most sense for us. If you have a better way of doing things, and can prove it, we are willing to look at it and change.” That is not pushing any agenda, for selfish reasons, that is seeking the truth. Perhaps you miss the point. It’s not about self-aggrandizement, or selling product, it’s about disseminating sound tactical doctrine. If you stay true to that principle, you are not becoming another version of the status quo, as you predict.

      • Guido says:

        There are lots of assumptions wrapped up in your statements here. You’re assuming it is possible to concretely define what something like “sound tactical doctrine” is, and get all the “experts” to agree. I think that is pretty impossible to do, so you can never actually get to a state where you have the “one true open-minded home of sound tactical doctrine”.

        Instead, all you can do is create your own personal brand of perfection. This would be “your” forum, where you hang out, you think you’re ideas are right or better thought out, and you or people you support are the ones in charge. You’ll probably be happier there, but you haven’t created anything unique. That’s the mission statement of pretty much every forum everywhere… “Come here, where we have better ideas, better people, are more open-minded, etc.”

        We’ve all been around to lots of forums, and some we think are better at doing this than others. However, I can’t think of a single one that lives up to this kind of utopian dream.

        Hell, the major militaries and top-tier units of the world can’t even agree on the same “sound tactical doctrine” is. It turns into all SOPs and TTPs, which are specific to your team/environment/composition/etc. So all that is really going on here is the desire for forums that are specific to our “patriot” ideas of what will happen, how it will happen, and what we need to do to succeed. So we just want to do it “our way”, which is what all those other forums want to do to.

        And then the argument just circles back around.

        • Mike Dismuke says:

          Well, maybe, maybe not. I guess we just have to agree to dis-agree. I think you can approach something close to the “tactical truth” as it were, if we’re all willing to put ego, agenda, etc. aside. While true, getting a bunch of type “A” meat-eaters together and trying to get consensus can be difficult, it can be done. Just because the task may be a mother-fucker is no reason not to try.

          • Guido says:

            I’m not saying a forum is a bad idea. I’m just throwing a bullshit flag on the contradiction of criticizing another forum’s “open mindedness”, and suggesting that the solution is to create a better forum that holds the “tactical truth”. Taking an opinion like that is the very nature of close mindedness, and it’s valuable to realize that.

            So you’re not trying to set up an “open minded” forum, quite the opposite. You want to set up a typcial, close minded forum, but one that more closely aligns with your beliefs, so that it’s easier to cut through all the red tape and non-sense bogging you down on the other forums.

            For example, if someone came along wanting to talk about SWAT tactics, do you want them wasting your time on the Max forum? Probably not – they can go to the SWAT-tacticool forum for that, and be with the like-minded. The MaxV forum would be the ideal, closed environment, to make the most efficient conversation about the specific topics that appeal to this crowd.

            That’s where I was going with it.

          • Max Velocity says:

            Shit, it’s like a forum on here already! Sweet raspberry pie, shut the fuck up and do what I say already. My way or the highway. 😉


            (only joking, for those who are comedy challenged)

        • Chuck says:

          Doctrine is a moving target. And we’re not doctrine writers anyway. What I think would be valuable is the ability to bounce ideas off one another to come up with better ways to do things by adapting them for armed citizens. No TTP works all the time everywhere and as I’m fond of saying, TTPs make you predictable and being predictable gets you killed.

          I see value in things like figuring out how to adapt, for example, battle drills developed for squads armed with weapons armed civilians won’t have (SAW, grenade launcher, AT4, etc.) and making them work for us.

          Just because you did something one way in the military (or whatever your experience base is) doesn’t mean it will work for the armed civilian. Or maybe it will. Separating the wheat from the chaff, so to speak, will also have value.

          I view it as brainstorming rather than doctrine development (or worse, dick measuring).

          There’s no need for consensus. You may not agree with 90 percent of what people throw out there, but out of ten ideas you may read one and think, “you know what? That is a really good fucking idea! I never thought of it that way…”

  28. Jake says:

    I have to say that it is sad that people in the prepper community can be so ignorant. It must be hard to defend yourself against people who you think are like minded but are really just a bunch of fools. Like A Freeman quoted, arguing with idiots is hard because they always bring you down to their level. And I hate to admit that I was one of those people for a while until I found this site and Mosby’s site. It was eye opening discovering I didn’t know the first damn thing about defending myself and my tribe. And if there are people out there who read your site and still don’t get it, then it’s probably not worth your time to try to convince them of anything. Keep fighting the good fight. I only wish I could make it to your CRCD class sooner than late next year but I will be there.

    And if you do a paid forum, count me in.

  29. Max Velocity says:

    After all my tacticool/forum bashing, I had a little troll monkey revenge themselves by posting this review on Contact. Reviewer was “lolajack”:
    “Reading his blog would easily dissuade me from ever reading any of his books. Incorrect information given about a preparedness forum and general whininess does not a survivalist make. Just another chest thumper.”

    • Guido says:

      Voted his comment down, flagged it as inappropriate, and posted my own review (yes, I have the book).

      • Mike Dismuke says:

        Same here. Hard to give an honest review when you admit you never even read it.

        I see your point above as well. We’re kinda talking apples and oranges. You need to have a narrow width in topic, such as the armed citizen, but you need a deep field within that range. In other words, as long as you’re discussing our needs as light infantry fighting a collectivist gov’t, I’m willing to consider all points of view. So you’re right in that I’m not open to discussing SWAT tactics and so forth, but I’m very open to unconventional warfare.

  30. D says:

    I am highly proficient in the field of hand-to-hand fighting, and there is absolutely no way that someone can bullshit me and “sell” me something stupid related to CQB… which I see a lot of: BS related to CQB, that is.

    However, having never served in the military, and not finished my basic training a few decades ago due to medical issues, I have no practical skills in military trade, so unfortunately I cannot professionally judge whether some training is really good or pure nonsense, or anything in between.

    I do however have relatively good analytical skills, and common sense, and I see a lot of BS in tactical training which YouTube is full of.
    Sometimes, when I watch those room clearing techniques, I think: their bosses must have a lot (!) of cannon fodder, because the way those fucking black-clad ninja’s operate… let’s just say: if they ever attack me, I hope it will be those who train like that; maybe, I’ll have a chance against them.

    Let me give you an example from what I know very well.
    Probably everyone has heard of, and saw, if not practiced, Krav Maga: sold as the best of the best system of fighting against armed and unarmed enemy, originating from Israeli military.
    One of the most basic techniques of this super-duper-efficient system is a block against an atack in the face, combined with a simultaneous punch in the face.
    First off, I’d love to see one living person (meaning: who used that in a real fight, and lived to tell the tale) who can simultaneously block and attack… Almost impossible, no matter how many thousands of times you drilled that into your subconscious. You either will block-then-counterattack, or your punch and block will both be less than effective.
    Second thing: look at how they perform it: if you are as tall as the attacker, or shorter than him, you will be punching at an upward angle. Seriously?! Did they EVER punch anyone for real, or at least practiced this technique on a punching bag?.. It is physically (meaning: physics and geometry) impossible to PUNCH the nose at that angle. It ay look OK when an uninitiated looks at the picture, but it will NOT work. What CAN work?.. Same, but using a palm-heel strike. Why don’t they show it?.. My guess is: “civilians should not know it”, because THAT would be really dangerous, especially if some soccer mom kills another soccer mom.

    My point is: this BASIC example is pure and undiluted bullshit.

    Here’s another example in which I am not so sure, but my guess is probably right…
    Some former SOF guy was showing (on YouTube, from his training course) how to shoot from a moving truck: instead of shooting normally, he said: minimize the shooter’s visible profile (or something like that…) by turning the rifle sideways, etc.
    It sounds good, by I can easily imagine him shooting into the back of the (moving!..) truck – just an inch or so lower than intended – and ricocheting into himself or teammate.
    I don’t know if that’s right or wrong, what I think here…

    Yet one more example:
    shooting from behind and under a car: the guys are hiding behind a tire and shoot so that their rifle is just an inch or two from the ground.
    This really makes sense, IMHO.
    What I am having a problem with, and I’ve seen this in several different sources lately, is that they all lie PARALLEL to the vehicle. As opposed to lying BEHIND the tire (thus making their body PERPENDICULAR to the vehicle).
    Maybe, I am just a couch potato (which I am…) who doesn’t know shit, but I certainly do know my geometry: the tire protects maybe 10 to 30% of his body, depending on the horizontal and vertical angle of the enemy fire, but his legs are exposed, and so is most part of his body.
    I just don’t understand the reason for lying parallel to the vehicle. Lie down at an angle if need be, but not as exposed as geometrically possible, am I right?..

    Anyway… I just try to take what I see with a grain of salt, regardless of who is teaching that.

    My point is:
    thank you very much for this article, and others, and please keep writing this stuff.
    Your no-bullshit approach makes me trust you (not that you should care, but just saying…).

    Thank you.

    • D says:

      I’ve just remembered another good example (and again: I’ve seen this a lot!..):
      a group of folks on patrol, in a wooded area.
      Looking tough.
      The one at the end keeps looking back quite often. I think it’s good.
      Those in front and in between watch the flanks, with their “stern” faces on. Probably, alert to a possibility of an ambush and ready to react at a moment’s notice.

      The only question I have is:
      why in the world would they move on the road, where a sniper can see them at least half a mile away, if the area just 20 meters away from the road is quite passable (trees and some bushes, with low grass), but not nearly as open as the road!!!???
      Apart from “easier to walk on the road”, is there some other wisdom in this dangerous movement that I fail to see due to my inexperienced naivety?

  31. D says:

    I am terribly sorry for writing so much and probably polluting your blog post… If that’s the case, please feel free to filter out my comments: there will be no hard feelings; it’s YOUR blog, not mine.

    One more point I would like to make, a generalized one.

    It may sound extremely ridiculous, especially coming from a guy with no military experience, but anyway: here it goes:

    I think that many former SOF guys are not as well-trained, and not as smart, as they and other people believe.
    I think that most people in other professions are not very good, and SOF probably is not an exception from this general rule.
    But everyone wants to eat and feed their families after they retire from the military, and given that they retire relatively young, it seems like an obvious choice to either go to the Middle East in some Blackwater group, or start their own training business.
    What can they teach the civilians, most of whom are something like middle-age to old-age accountants, police, computer programmers, small business owners and the like?..
    You can’t teach them really cool shit, because they will die of heart attack during your course.
    You migth not want to teach them the real tactical stuff, because eventually some idiot will accidentally shoot someone during your course, and you will spend the rest of your life paying for the legal defense against the family of the diseased.
    You (sorry, not YOU, but most of other people) can teach those fat asses SOMETHING that LOOKS LIKE tactical stuff, but IS NOT.
    Something that can be sold as an essential part of a real fight, while being only a tiny portion of it, if at all.
    Such as a transition from a rifle to a pistol.

    It’s like all those countless “martial arts” schools all over the world: you can’t teach the idiots to NOT kill each other during a regular sparring, so you end up teaching them relatively safe techniques.

    It’s like Russian paratroopers doing shows where they break bricks and burning pieces of wood, perform “kata” (formal exercises), and other such nonsense…
    It looks super-cool, it brings the spectators’ blood to a boil, it is mostly harmless to everyone around…
    … and it has absolutely nothing to do with a real fight. Even with a CQB.

    Am I out of line here?..
    As a person who openly admits that he doesn’t know shit about the real gunfight and/or military, may I assume that most people who claim being experts, are in fact fraudsters and/or idiots?

  32. blue10 says:

    Chuck wrote: “…there are plenty of us out here with the qualifications to fill in as Assistant Instructors anytime you need help, Max.”

    I see where clearly the two most active Subject Matter Experts who are regularly providing training in this arena are Max and Mosby. And I read often in this thread and others where comments such as Chuck’s lament geography as the primary roadblock to there being no SUT training from these two instructors in their AO. Max doesn’t take his show on the road and Mosby ain’t comin’ to your area, at least not in the immediate future.

    My solution is to take the bull by the horns and put that prior training and experience to use. I’ve been doing this in my area. I’ve been evolving a POI over the past several months based on the blogs of these two men and realizing that they dove-tailed exactly with my own training and experience from the Army. When Mosby came to my area last month, I jumped on the chance to reinforce what I knew with better, more comprehensive, and more contemporary content. I am now in the process of spreading my instruction from my few closest compatriots, to others that I know are interested and willing to learn. Along with a fellow patriot from my AO whom I met at the Mosby class, we’re beginning to develop a long-term program of instruction and drilling.

    I’ve been surprised to learn how many people I talk to who are interested in the SUT subject matter. We’re by no means as experienced as Max or Mosby, but between the two of us, we’ve got a lot of training and enough real-world experience to make us competent enough to teach what we know to people who don’t know anything beyond the swat-clown square range. As it stands, we’re doing this for free while we develop a solid program.

    The way I see it, I’m not as qualified as Max or Mosby to teach this stuff, but if I can take what I know about contact responses, patrolling, navigation, and field craft, and impart a goodly percentage of this content to guys who otherwise have nothing, then we all gain. I suggest some of you Former Action Guys can do the same in your AO.

    In the vein of this thread and a couple others about the possibility of Max opening a forum, a training, or trainer’s section would be great and perhaps some mechanism where Max and/or Mosby “endorse”, if you will, other trainers through some kind of “train the trainer” program.