The Citizen Unconventional Rifle Squad: Arming with .308?

Additional CTT Class late April/Early May? + ‘Fundamentals’ Class Question
March 17, 2015
Student Review: Combat Team Tactics March 2015: Ben
March 18, 2015

STOP!

I know, you saw .308 and you were reflexively going to scroll all the way down to comments without reading the article? I hope I’m wrong….I know it only applies to some…

This is going to be a hard article to write, because there are nuances to it. This is not intended to be the 5.56/.308 endless debate. However, there is so much invested in that debate, and so much prejudice, that it is going to be hard to do what I am going to try and do, which is move beyond that and talk about the subject at hand, which is arming the citizen unconventional rifle squad, and potential options and considerations.

OPEN MINDS ONLY BEYOND THIS POINT!

One of the stated purposes of MVT is to bring tactical excellence and discussion. Here we go.

_______________

Read the rest on the MVT Forum:  Forums Tactics & Leadership CUTT Operations

 

47 Comments

  1. Stinger says:

    A couple comments / questions, although I don’t feel qualified to be the first to reply to a post such as this, having no military experience.

    1. I am of the opinion that ammo caliber consistency is vital. For my wife and I, we both have AR15’s (5.56) and Glocks (9mm). Others in our small group have the same. Done. Nothing else, besides the other random revolvers and “fun guns”. But for tactical loadout, it seems like with the skill of a DM w/5.56, the consistency of ammo with other squad members is very important. Especially in SHTF, when your ammo re-supply either is a long way out, or doesn’t exist.
    2. I think this would depend on what type of situation you end up in. Maybe just a .308 bolt action would be of use for long range, super-high accuracy? Maybe not.
    3. What about .50 cal (McMillan, Barret, etc.) for vehicle disabling? Is it worth the $8,000?

    Hope these points are relevant; if not, please ignore.

    • Max Velocity says:

      In response to:

      1) Yes. I feel this is important too. Equip in both calibers. If you get together with your notional super-squad, you can all take .308, if the mission makes that a good call. I don’t like mixing calibers.
      2) That’s not really the point. The rifles need to be battle rifles for all uses. AR-10 style.
      3) That takes the argument out of the scope for a squad weapon. You can extrapolate caliber to a .50 cal, but you won’t want to assault with that weapon right? If you wanted to buy a Barrett, put it on a checkpoint…..the scope of the article was a squad capable of maneuver in the assault cycle.

      • Stinger says:

        Makes sense.

        I already have a DMR (5.56) in the family. Perhaps I should sell my bolt-action and build an AR10, to have both options depending on the mission? Would there even be an advantage of keeping the .308 bolt when you can have an AR10?

        • Michael says:

          .308 bolt action will deliver higher velocity and greater range/accuracy than an AR10 (unless the gas system is shut off). So, if you really need the extra range – a bolt action will have the advantage over an AR10.

          When I build my AR10 (2 rifles away – wife and son), I’ll build it with an adjustable gas block so I can shut off the gas and gain velocity.

          • Allan says:

            The amount of gas tapped off, at the pressure at the location of the port, for the duration of the tap, has almost no effect on muzzle velocity. Other factors, such as barrel length (but lets set that equal), chamber dimension, and bore dimension will have a far greater, but still minimal effect. My 18″ barrel gas gun shoots 175 SMKs at 2478 fps, my 20″ bolt gun shoots the same ammunition at 2019 fps. 36 fps – I think that’s due to 2″ of barrel length, not a loss of gas at the port.

          • Allan says:

            Math with kids screaming = bad. 41 fps.

            So downrange energy with a gas vs. bolt gun in .308 is a moot issue. If you want to justify the capabilities of a bolt gun, think .300 WM.

  2. Leatherneck556 says:

    I think this is a good, thought-provoking post. It brings up questions that I myself have considered before. I am short on time, so I may give a more lengthy reply later, but also consider that it might not be a matter of choosing to arm your squad with one type of weapon or the other all the time; it might be a matter of picking a specific caliber for a specific mission.

  3. JeffSags says:

    I used a .308 at CR last weekend : )

  4. StarvinLarry says:

    “The nature of this post means that it will drag out every ‘retreat sniper’ there is who is sure he will kill everyone with his .308 at 1100 yards. I call BS.”

    I second the BS on that-guys that can consistently hit the target at 1,000 yards are scarce-despite all those who say they can hit a dime at 100 yds with their .308.
    When I was working for an outfitter guiding backcountry elk hunts,first day I would set up paper plates on a sheet of plywood at 300 yards with each guest’s name written on cardboard stapled above the plates.
    Most couldn’t even hit the paper plates at 300 yds.
    These were guys with Weatherby,Montana Rifle co,Kimber,and custom built rifles,topped with high dollar glass-Ziess Conquests were popular.They all claimed to be “expert” shots.
    Calibers were .308,.30-06,.300 Win Mag.338.
    My party took 6 guys-I was lucky if 1 out of 6 could hit a paper plate at 300 yds.
    99% of the 1100 yard sniper guys are full of shit-they ouldn’t hit a paper plate at 300 yds either.

  5. Mac says:

    556 or 762 ??? Personally I’m a big fan of both and own platforms for both cartridges. An upgraded M4 and an FNFAL para model. I like my little M4 for it’s high round count, light weight, adaptability, compactness, accuracy, and ease of use. Everything about it screams SPEED !
    However…. If I’m on my land in middle TN I’m careening the FNFAL. There are trees, large rocks, large open fields, dense foretsted areas, bears, cugars, pigs, and wild dogs. I want a hard hitting sledg hammer cartridge. 762 !!! The FAL in 762 is perfect for my out doors needs. It will smash through brush, stumps, hardened earth or clay, and drop anything on 4 legs I bump into. Closing thoughts…. I see my M4 as more of a home defense or urban combat tool, by that I mean car doors and or windshields, aluminum sided houses, drywalld, etc.
    The FNFAL however is larger heavier and takes longer to bring onto target with fallow up shots. It is not a beginners rifle ! The weapon and it’s ammo also cost more than an M4 or a lesser 762 rifle. However the pros for both bullets out way the cons. Honestly thou if you see my points I’d say own an AR15 and a good 762 rifle. Get in shape and stay in shape, practice practice practice, train in your gear do rifle PT. You’ll be glad you spent the time money and sweat !

  6. AlleyF says:

    Thank you for a good article.
    I’ve recently seen that my 5.56 skills need improvement and I’ve not even messed with a .308 system so I will hold my tongue rather than spew second-hand nonsense. Thank you for your solid thinking in general, I’ll enjoy the free chicken of this discussion & maybe the next time you put a class on in TX I’ll be ready to step up to some professional, competent instruction.

  7. G.W.N.S. says:

    This is an outstanding article!

    Two points that really stand out for me are:

    “The idea of a .308 equipped rifle squad is in my mind something to be considered if that squad has reached a level of training competency where they can effectively employ the weapon system. I am a little loathe to consider equipping (for example) only one of your teams within the squad with .308 and the rest with 5.56, because I feel that your teams , as per the assault cycle in the linked posts above, must be able to fulfill any role, from SBF to assault. They need to be able to rotate through. You don’t necessarily decide which team gets engaged and which one will assault. However, despite that, having a dedicated support fire team is something that could be considered.”

    And:

    “There is certainly an argument for at minimum the employment of a DM group in .308. This is a more flexible option because it allows the carriage of 5.56 in a perhaps less well trained and less fit rifle squad, supported by a couple of competent guys who fulfill the DM role. As I wrote in the post linked above ‘The Flank‘ it is useful if the squad or platoon leader has a small group, which can either be a machine-gun team or DM team, that he can use to influence the battle with some serious support by fire.”

    Above taken with the idea that we should be completely squared away at the “Graduate Level” before considering this option!

    Imagine that!

    If only this could kill the 5.56/.308 debate, however I think that would require “Divine Intervention.”

  8. Weber says:

    I don’t expect to see much caliber debate here. Anyone who is honest with themselves will realize that Max is saying that proficiency with .308 is a great thing, but if you are not competent with it, you are not going to be a benefit to your team in any way, shape, or form. But the same goes for 5.56. .308 can be a great advantage if you are competent and know your METT-TC. Rifle caliber in itself is not a solution to any type of engagement. Caliber is a problem looking for a METT-TC solution.

  9. TomS says:

    The military uses machine guns in 7.62 for a reason: range,penetration , taking concealment/cover from the enemy.

    In close combat in a urban /built up environment prevalence of body armor the ability to penetrate trees telephone poles car s cinder blocks might be a game winner.

    For any extended operation supply/re supply can and will be an issue.

    Bolt action should be considered. Properly trained the bolt is no slouch the enfields mad minute in ww1 and ww2 were game winners the Germans thought they were facing mass machine guns..it was a battalion of trained soldiers operating a bolt action 303.

    Any gas gun at some point will need maintenance and spare parts from use and or breakage while transiting

    any bolt is more durable less prone to breakage from falling/ maneauvring over obstacles. Generally lighter and much more compact to march with.

  10. Mike H says:

    I would think down south the idea of a .308 equipped squad would make sense. Wide open large spaces plus the Mexican Army troops still carry alot of G3s in their arsenal. Mobile resupply caches.

    Used to think you had to have that firepower of the .308/NATO round. As I get closer to 60 yoa I think the weight of both rifle and ammo supply trump loss of firepower. Plus as stated elsewhere here the cost of startup and getting trained up on a .308 platform would be better spend on getting to a training class and working on team tactics.

  11. Oregon Hobo says:

    Max, thanks for a thoughtful discussion on this.

    I’d appreciate thoughts on a related concept…

    I’ve been thinking for a while about bringing a heavy-barreled AR10 into the mix as something that can perform double duty either as a DMR with a scope on some quality QD rings or as a medium support weapon with some 50-round drum magazines and a slide-fire stock.

    My thinking was that these could go to one of the stronger and more competent guys in a fire team to give the team some extra punch in a support role, while the other 3 team members would still have their small/fast/light carbines for the more meat & potatoes type work. Similarly to a 240 gunner, the medium fire support guy could have his team mates each carry a drum or 2 to spread out the load.

    Obviously this would break the commonality-of-ammo rule, but would provide a bit more flexibility at the fire team level. Fitting the gear to the mission is all good and well to say, but how certain do we expect to be about what we might encounter on every patrol? Also given that our civilian reality is likely to be a family-and-friends affair with significant variance in physical strength and endurance levels, is it practical to completely forgo 7.62 if every single team member isn’t hard enough to carry one and remain effective?

    Happy trails,

    #OREGON HOBO#

    • Max Velocity says:

      Or, why not everyone carries 7.62, one guy in the team of 4 with the heavy barrel drum version, and the others with 16 inch battle rifles? Put a bipod on his weapon and you have a close support weapon in each team. Its the same as the LSW (light support weapon) concept. Of course, rather have a 240, but we don’t have a 240, so let’s go for accuracy rather than rate of fire.
      This concept is ‘only for grown ups.’

  12. Philip says:

    Once competance is in hand: Why .308? For example, I own a Glock G23, which is .40 native. However, with barrel changes, I can quickly move to either 9mm or .357Sig if mission or ammo availability require it. Similarly, wouldn’t it make more sense to start with a 5.56 AR and then add one (or more) of the alternative calibers that are truly 5.56 compatible? I’m referring to .300BLK, .458SOCOM, etc. Yes, each of those calibers has its own set of compromises, such as performance vs. weight, but they don’t require you to carry a dedicated platform like 7.62 does, i.e. an AR-10. Are there enough advantages to 7.62 when compared to these alternative calibers to justify going with 7.62? Is there a 7.62 lower that allows you to swap in an alternative caliber upper? If so, then we could start with an AR-10 platform instead of an AR-15 and retain flexibility. To my limited knowledge, nobody makes a 7.62 lower that will allow swapping an upper to shoot 5.56 or the alternatives. Am I just unaware? Or am I worrying about something that doesn’t matter because .308 is a better choice over all and we don’t care about any of the alternative calibers?

    • Max Velocity says:

      .308 because, as stated, it hits harder at both short and long ranges.

    • B-Dog says:

      308 (7.62×51) is a common NATO round and generally has far more availability than does 300 BLK, .458 SOCOM, or any of the other specialty rounds that can be used with an AR-15 Lower.

      Would you want to set up a squad using the 6.5 Grendel round (or any other specialty round), then find the supply of factory ammo and reloading components dried up? I had that happen, and was without ammo resupply for two years, while .308 would show up on the shelves from time to time.

      • Philip says:

        Valid point. Thanks, B-Dog.

      • Backstay says:

        I think resupply is not going to happen. I for one will not be selling anyone ammo. So where are you going to get yours? I plan to equip with 6.5 Grendel. If one of our rifles is lost or stolen, they won’t be using it against us more than 25 rounds. What ever you have for rounds when the ballon goes up is what you will have, regardless of caliber. Resupply is a BS dream.

    • robroysimmons says:

      Colt makes a switch upper AR from 7.62 to 5.56 with an adapter kit, you tubes all over the net and the ones I watched all seemed positive.

    • Sumdood says:

      Another BIG worry with .300 BLK and 5.56 in the same team/squad: the possibility of loading a .300 BLK magazine in a 5.56mm rifle.

      With some .300 BLK loads (bullet shapes), you can chamber a round and lock the bolt in a 5.56mm rifle. If you pull the trigger then, you get a big KABOOM, a friendly casualty, and a trashed rifle.

      Remember, a .300 BLK uses the same mags as 5.56mm, and you’ll have a LOT of them floating around in a team of 4 or squad of 8+.

  13. Owl21 says:

    I agree that having a squad equipped with .308 battle rifles could come in quite handy. If you stretched the idea out a little, you could have a very effective group. Using the AR-10 as the basic platform:

    Each man is equipped with an AR-10. Two have light weight carbines (16″) with low powered optics (1x, or 1-4x), another has a marksmen version with an 18-20″ barrel and a better optic (3-9x), and if there is a real, no shit, sniper in the squad, he/she could carry a specialized AR-10 with a high end optic (4-24x or 4-32x). This squad could become your “support element” that would still be capable of operating as a standard squad.

    Because there are those snipers out there who loathe the semi-auto as a long range platform, and because of the ammunition compatibility, he/she could portage their bolt rifle while patrolling with an AR-10 carbine (or SBR.)

    •••••

    There can be many misconceptions about the 308 battle rifle. The FN-FAL has a tunable gas system that can significantly mitigate recoil if you know how to adjust it. My small wife was able to handle the recoil with little issue. The weight of the rifle was the bigger problem.

    There are now so many options in the DPMS based AR-10 platforms. These rifles can now be built up to be very light weight in carbine versions. A 7 lb rifle is fairly easy to pull off in today’s market. In such a light weight rifle, recoil usually goes up. This problem can be mitigated by installing an adjustable gas system and/or extra heavy buffers.

    When all ammunition is readily available, typical 7.62×51 ammunition barely costs 10-20% more than typically 5.56 ammunition. In some cases, they cost about the same.

    •••••

    As has already been stated, I do not think that the .308 battle rifle should replace the AR-15, but should complement it when in the right hands, and used in a manner best suited for it.

  14. Native Baltimoron says:

    Issuing an AR-10 or equivalent 7.62 rifle when most of the troops are using 5.56 isn’t crazy at all; the Norwegians, for example, dropped their FAL clone for the HK416, and are using the 417 for marksmen. The Bundeswehr use the HK MR308, and the Brits adapted LMT’s 308MWS. The U.S. was using the M-14 as a DMR for a while, but, as the gents over at Loose Rounds have documented, that platform is a real pain to keep accurate.

  15. Easy says:

    Man…

    I love the .308 round. I didn’t realize how much more power that the 7.62×51 packs until, several years back, sighting in a DPMS SASS rifle that I had.

    A couple days later, I was riding my quad back through the trees, and saw marks, holes, one both side of trees that were anywhere from 6 to 8″ in diameter. Just plain old South African 147 gr FMJ was going through 2 or 3 such trees before it would stop. Awesome.

    On the other side of the coin, practicality. Practicality to my 52 yr old body is quite different than what it may be for a 22 yr old Army Ranger. If my legs feel it after 8 hours of staying on my feet wearing my rig during training, I cannot imagine trying to carry around three times the weight in ammo.

    The bigger consideration after attending class at Max’s twice last year, is how much ammo one can go through in even a simulated fire fight. Time is ammo, and if you can carry twice or three times in 5.56 what you could in 7.62, it only makes sense, to me anyway, that all things considered, the 5.56 is a better round for guys like myself

    • Max Velocity says:

      You don’t have to equivalate ammo loads. Operationally you will use less ammo when accurately engaging PID targets. Real enemy are not robotic ivan. Suppressing you will use more, and yes I do talk about ammo being time, but heavy hitting with 7.62 you don’t need to expend as much ammo.

  16. Don Starkweather says:

    You seemed to overlook the growing popularity of the 300 blackout. The rifle shoots a 7.62 by 35, weighs as much as a 5.56 and with a pull of the take down pin can be converted into either caliber.
    Now they don’t have as much knockdown power as the typical 7.62 by 51 at distance but within 200 yards they are devastating.

    • Max Velocity says:

      So, not overlooked then?

    • Sumdood says:

      See comment above under Phillip’s post. Mixing .300 BLK and 5.56mm rifles, ammo, and mags in the same tactical unit is begging for a KABOOM when someone loads a .300 BLK round in a 5.56mm rifle. Trying to shove a .30 caliber projectile down a .22 caliber barrel is double-plus-ungood.

  17. Pineslayer says:

    Great post as usual. I learned how to shoot with 556 and it is my go to, but I just recently purchased a 308 Battle Rifle and can’t wait to play with it. I think every squad should have a 30 caliber or two. The only real debate is what platform. That would become a slugfest post.

  18. redcoat says:

    A key point to this thought provoking post is referencing muscle memory in regards to AR15 and AR10 platforms.

    You’re not having to teach an “old dog new tricks” if you stick with the AR platform for both 5.56 and 7.62 calibers.

    The discussion is 100% on point and valid. A patrolling squad would be well served to incorporate a DM, who is competent enough to be deployed in the role.

    I’ll save the bucks training with my 5.56, but retain the option of deploying my AR10 should the mission warrant.
    How’s that for rabbit hole avoidance!

  19. Thumper762 says:

    You guys that are talking about 300 blackout our any thing else are missing the point of the post. That being said I don’t want to get into a which caliber is better but if you are using anything other than 5.56,7.62×51,7.62×39 9mm you are crazy. You should be using one of the calibers for your CUTT. Makes no difference which one. All in semi auto. One last thing I have never heard anyone say after a firefight that they brought way to much ammo and next time they will carry less. Take that for what it is worth.
    PS: If I shoot you in the face your not gonna be saying well he shot me with a 9 not a 45 or a 5.56 not a 7.62 have a nice day

  20. TFA303 says:

    7.62×51 is also a great choice to have a mag full of AP rounds tucked away in case the squad runs in to bad guys hiding behind a bulldozer blade or something.

    • Oregon Hobo says:

      I thought sale of 7.62x51mm in AP was banned by the BATFU? I suppose one could buy the bullets and or pull them from .30-06 cartridges, but 18 USC §922 reads in part (boldface added by me):

      Sec. 922. Unlawful acts
      (a) It shall be unlawful—

      […]

      (7) for any person to manufacture or import armor piercing ammunition, unless—
      (A) the manufacture of such ammunition is for the use of the United States, any department or agency of the United States, any State, or any department, agency, or political subdivision of a State;
      (B) the manufacture of such ammunition is for the purpose of exportation; or
      (C) the manufacture or importation of such ammunition is for the purpose of testing or experimentation and has been authorized by the Attorney General;
      (8) for any manufacturer or importer to sell or deliver armor piercing ammunition, unless such sale or delivery—
      (A) is for the use of the United States, any department or agency of the United States, any State, or any department, agency, or political subdivision of a State;
      (B) is for the purpose of exportation; or
      (C) is for the purpose of testing or experimentation and has been authorized by the Attorney General;

      I read that to mean that one would be wading into treacherous waters by going the AP reloading route. Maybe I’m being naive but I’d rather not make it any easier for the bastards to come up with an excuse to SWAT me. Perhaps legalities would be less of an issue in some collapse scenarios, but I don’t expect that’s when I’ll be sitting down for some leisure time at the press.

      The issue of easy and legal access to AP/API actually drove me to pick up an AR30-06 years back when I had less sense than money. Yes there is such an animal, but it’s got drawbacks to say the least. Aside from handling like a dump truck with a flat tire, some parts are common to AR15s, some are common to AR308s, some (including mags) are common to M1918 BARs, and some aren’t common at all. So much for commonality among teammates.

      Maybe AP/API capability just needs to be treated as a special case, like an antimateriel rifle, and that lucky guy gets to pack 2 guns and 2 loads of ammo. Dammit why does the answer always have to be MOAR PT! Wait, wait, I already know that answer too…

      #OREGON HOBO#

  21. Haxo Angmark says:

    realistically, when the violent discussion begins, it’s going to be a mix of 5.56, .308 and other platforms. Leaders/units will just have to figure out ways to use both at once, as per MV’s stipulations. I, personally, wouldn’t trade my M1a for anything; with sling and scope + 10 rd. mag it comes in at 12 pounds; with 50 rd. drum at 16 lbs. which is heavy but do’able. I already know my limits: a consistent head-shot at 100 yards, and hit the trunk of the body at 200. That will do for fire support during quick raids/ambushes, which’ll be at considerably less range…As MV indicates, FreeFor units that get in sustained, longer-range firefights will attract Regime air assets and cease to exist

  22. Max Velocity says:

    True. I was still referring to the BEF retreat at the opening of WWI

  23. Comrade X says:

    I run Scar’s in light & heavy, it is interesting in seeing the actual difference of recoil when shooting one behind the other.

    My first choice is the light because of the lightness of ammo, which means I can carry more but also because my AO is either mainly urban or mountainous.

    Now if I was to go to the other side of the mountains(high desert) and were using vehicles; 7.62×51 would be a real consideration.

    Notice in American Sniper he carried two long guns, but he also had the vehicles luxury too.

    However if it was only an urban situation the Tavor would be my first choice with or without vehicles. IMHO in close quarters bullpups are hard to beat and the Tavor is a sweet gun if you can get past the trigger, which doesn’t bother me.

    I also believe that in a SHTF situation it will become a time that you will be using what is available on the battlefield, a friend of mine who fought in the Lebanese Civil war (on the Christian side) who when I first shot with him picked up my 1911 type weapon and charged it one handed, I asked how did you learn that and he said that during battle you would pick up all of the weapons you could as you went along and sometimes you only had one hand available.

    Funny what you can learn when your life depends on it.

    Death before slavery!

  24. Long Hammer says:

    One solid hit is worth more that half dozen misses. I agree that there is a need for heavy hitters in a team. As far as suppressive noise goes, I lean to the suppressed and not the noise. I think there is nothing more frightening to the enemy than to seeing the hits and the rest confused about where and how far away they are coming from. All our teams have diverse tools and everyone is modular with multiple uses. One thing I don’t see the need for is odd calibers [.300/ 6.8] unless you plan to ditch it when the ammo runs out and it will run out. Thanks, MV our MTU uses you in some of our training…..it is too bad you are not out west we have a lot of members that follow MV.

  25. dredd says:

    It’s refreshing to see some light at the end of the tunnel in the great caliber debate. A one size fits all approach is finally being questioned and for good reason. Mil.gov figured this out a long time ago. A firearm is a tool and as Max correctly points out-using the right one the right way at the right time can mean the difference between winning or becoming the other guy.

    The 7.62 was out of favor when I went in and when I retired my last issue weapon was an M14 in a new Sage/EBR chassis. The M4 was replacing the old CAR15s and some still carried M16A2s. The tool you were issued was determined by the mission and your position in the unit.

    Max is right on with the pros and cons with both calibers. Our local unit training has evolved from AR 5.56 basic marksmanship on square spots to integrating both of these calibers in field training. The idea of AR platforms for both makes sense. We also practice with other calibers we will most likely encounter in our AO but that’s another discussion.

    The 7.62 is experiencing a revival and I’m glad it is being included in more realistic small unit training. A DM providing timely, effective fire support can be the difference between success or failure. We train up to 500m with our semis and 800m+ with our bolts. The bolts are employed in fixed OPs only.

    Max has it right. Operational compatibility, system familiarity,logistics and sound tactics plus training and practice equals success.

    Or to put it another way…sometimes you just need a bigger hammer.

    Just one question Max…can a 7.62 be part of training at MVT? Thanks for the reply.

    Alpha Mike Foxtrot
    Gulf War 1…21SOPS…somewhere in the Magic Kingdom…

  26. RobertinTexas says:

    This is the first article I’ve read and I’m glad I ran across it. I also don’t think there’s anything I can really add to the discussion, I thought I’d give our thought process leading up to this and where I feel we need to go after reading. We have been working through these types of decisions within our group. It’s a small group but what we lack in size we make up for in skill. We all have military experience – all in combat MOS’s and 1/3 of us have combat experience, both with US forces and South African forces. We have good balance of rifle and pistol marksmanship.
    Often our perspective is of commonality of platform and caliber. This allows interchangeability of mags and to a degree parts and ability to share ammo if needed. We all have 556 platforms because we trained with it, the ammo is cheaper, and it’s just a sensible place to start. However we have begun discussions about how to pack more punch/create a little more distance in the battle space. Initially we went with the bolt guns. Two. One a hunting platform (30.06), the other a sniping platform (308) with a SWFA scope, can, and bipod. Certainly everything we need for distance beyond 300 meters. But even with this configuration we realized we still have a gap. Basically with the bolt-gun we’ve taken a potentially mobile shooter and made him static. Certainly he can provide support at distance, but if the situation deteriorated into CQC (what combat situations don’t deteriorate?) we have severely hampered our already small team. The way to mitigate that gap is to bring up an AR-10. I believe it can provide that immediate difference in the battle space, and if we do get pushed out or have the necessity for longer range engagements, we still have that capability, fully understanding that it may not be up to par (long range) with a bolt gun with the SWFA. Thinking the optic on the AR-10 will need to have some compromise between a CQR optic and something that can give us some range, we’ve used the Leupold VX-R patrol on a SPR (not ideal I know) but maybe this would give us what we need without the ACOG price tag. We are in the process of sharpening our long range skills. Distances +300 meters were pretty foreign for all of us, so we are working to overcome that temporary training gap.
    Thank you for writing the article Max. This will provide much food for thought and talk the next time our group gets together. I appreciate the objectivity of the information and your willingness to share your knowledge.