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Thread: What is a rifle for?

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator longwatch's Avatar
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    WHAT IS A RIFLE FOR??
    A rifle is for killing. A statement as forcefull as it is clear.

    Now I am not a classical hunter per se. I hunt as a tactical exercise, and not for sport...although it is certainly fun to hunt. And although I may eat what I kill, it would be much easier to drive into town and buy a steak. The purpose for me is to test my abilities and skills with my fighting rifles.

    So, in that sense...what is a rifle for??
    1). Reaching out and hitting things
    2). Busting through stuff to hit things
    How far do you need to reach and what do you need to punch through? When we look at the WW1 era, they didn't need to punch through anything unusual, but the dynamics of conflict required reach. Read McBride for the dynamics of trench warfare.

    As the century progressed and WW2 and Korea rolled around, the dynamics seemed to change a little bit. I've read several accounts where the shots taken were 125-150 yards. Reasons - in urban battlefields, it is difficult to see anyone farther than that.

    The Germans saw this and developed their Sturmgewher, the Russians the AK series, and the Americans their M1 Carbine...(which was not as applicable as an intermediate rifle as initially thought). The entire Assault Rifle-Intermediate cartridge concept revolved around shorter distances as seen in the urban problem coupled with the need for more firepower. Somewhere around this era, the FAL became popular, the AR-15 (the M4's granddaddy), and the G3 burst onto the world's battlefields. The AK was already there since 1949 IIRC.

    For short ranges as seen inside urban areas, or heavily wooded, overgrown areas, super-long range shooting capability was not an issue...what was an issue was the ability to hit with authority within this distance envelope and be able to punch through things such as automobile bodies, brush, vegetation, and light walls. The Russians, like the Germans before them, had realized this.
    That the 308 battle rifle can do it better, theoretically, than the 7.62x39 or the 5.56 is really not that important as long as the job gets done. Results and not theory are important.

    Now if the fight is clearly, and not just possibly, going to be at longer ranges...beyond 200 yards, then the advantages of the Battle Rifle/.308 cartridge become obvious and welcome.

    There are those who think a certain .223/5.56 load is better than the 7.62x51/.308. In my opinion, that is seriously wishful thinking. The 5.56 is an intermediate cartridge. It is suitable for certain things. Reaching outside the urban fight environment is not one of them.

    I am also well aware of shooting at a range at 400 and 500 yard paper targets. It is not the same in environments away from the range. I'll bet most of us would not even be able to see a human being hidden at 400 yards.

    Can you make an Assault Rifle into a sniper rifle? Sure. You can also put an optic on an R PK and call it the Designated Marksman’s Rifle like the Tabuk does. It is still what it is...and assault rifle firing an intermediate cartridge and will never be a replacement for a full powered battle rifle.

    Look at it this way..if the 5.56 (or 7.62x39 to be added in fairness) was suitable for sniping, the world's snipers would be using it and their M40s, Remingtons, and other special 308 based rifles would be collecting dust in the armory.

    So the mission will dictate choices as well. For me...for shots taken inside 200 yards...with the need to possibly punch through cover, brush, vegetation,...be unaffected by wind at these distances, and still hit with authority after doing so, my choice is the Kalashnikov and the 7.62x39mm. That is not to say the 5.56 won't do much of this...but I don't think it will do all of it, nor as well.

    Now to really stir the pot. How will a battle rifle compare to the AK? In the urban close range problem, I think it will be easier to operate with the AK.
    I am not sure the added power of the 308 will change anything up close like this. Moving through congested/confined areas the vote goes to the AK as well.
    I am also well aware of the ability to prepare a shorty battle rifle such as the M1A Bush Rifle/ M1A Socom, and FAL Paras. However, one does not produce a shootable battle rifle that is also light. Carry one of these around with you all day and the difference will be seen quick enough.

    Moreover is the issue of cost. I know...I know...how much is your life worth. We've heard and answered that before.
    If money is no object then equip a platoon of bodyguards. If we are looking at what you can afford, the man on a budget can buy a suitable rifle for the cost of a FAL PARA lower receiver! The M1A Socom, or the FAL Para will do just as well in the urban environment as the AK (in spite of the weight given a strong rifleman), but is the extra power necessary??

    Is the extra cost of that extra power necessary? Only you and your checkbook can answer that.
    Once we leave the confines of the urban problem, or examine it from the realm of sniping, we leave the intermediate cartridge behind. It simply will not reach far enough.

    With a battle rifle and a 308 (or 7.62x54R for that matter), you can make up for the limits of the Assault Rifle cartridge. So first decide what your mission will likely be...then choose your weapons with an open mind unbound by prejudices or by pseudo- patriotic traditions.

    Next time, we will discuss the philosophical reasons for having a rifle.

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    One of the reasons I opted for an AR platform as a primary was because it looked and sounded like what our military and law enforcement use.

    That may seem funny but look at it this way - if I were in the delta after Katrina wearing 511 trousers and a black t-shirt carrying an AR based weapon I would not draw as much attention as if I were lugging around an AK.

    And the sound...we know what ARs sound like and we think OK, one of us. An AK sounds like, someone else. And a .308 really stands out in the crowd!

    Spare parts are plentiful as is ammo. There are a mutitude of reasons I opted for the black varmint gun despite it having a weak round.

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    Link?

    The endless debate continues.

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    No good link, except to sign up for Warrior Talk.

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    http://www.warriortalknews.com/

    Looks like it changes every week or so, but right now it's showing the posted article.

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    Renegade wrote:
    One of the reasons I opted for an AR platform as a primary was because it looked and sounded like what our military and law enforcement use.

    That may seem funny but look at it this way - if I were in the delta after Katrina wearing 511 trousers and a black t-shirt carrying an AR based weapon I would not draw as much attention as if I were lugging around an AK.

    And the sound...we know what ARs sound like and we think OK, one of us. An AK sounds like, someone else. And a .308 really stands out in the crowd!


    Spare parts are plentiful as is ammo. There are a mutitude of reasons I opted for the black varmint gun despite it having a weak round.
    That's why we AK users would just have to carry more ammo...

    Eventually I want to tactical-out one of my AK's, with a scope, laser, etc. But I'll take my 75-round drum for now.

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    longwatch wrote:
    The Germans saw this and developed their Sturmgewher, the Russians the AK series, and the Americans their M1 Carbine...(which was not as applicable as an intermediate rifle as initially thought).
    Whoever wrote that needs to read up on his military history. The M1 carbine wasn't developed as an infantry weapon, but as a defensive weapon for truck drivers, artillerymen, supply clerks, and all the other combat support and combat service support personnel for whom an M1 Garand would be unnecessarily heavy and powerful, but who might need a bit more range in an emergency than could be achieved with an M1911A1.

    Look at it this way..if the 5.56 (or 7.62x39 to be added in fairness) was suitable for sniping, the world's snipers would be using it and their M40s, Remingtons, and other special 308 based rifles would be collecting dust in the armory.
    I can't argue with that statement, but when he talks of "special .308-based rifles," he's no longer talking about battle rifles (i.e. M14 and FN FAL variants). If you're going to go that route, why not skip over the .308 entirely and go straight to .338 Lapua?

    I also think the guy's a little too fixated on the notion that assault rifles are suited only for an urban environment. He's losing sight of the fact (ah-hah) that forested terrain all too often doesn't allow for 400m-long lines of sight either.

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    Renegade wrote:
    One of the reasons I opted for an AR platform as a primary was because it looked and sounded like what our military and law enforcement use.

    That may seem funny but look at it this way - if I were in the delta after Katrina wearing 511 trousers and a black t-shirt carrying an AR based weapon I would not draw as much attention as if I were lugging around an AK.

    And the sound...we know what ARs sound like and we think OK, one of us. An AK sounds like, someone else. And a .308 really stands out in the crowd!

    Spare parts are plentiful as is ammo. There are a mutitude of reasons I opted for the black varmint gun despite it having a weak round.
    I understand your logic and it makes sense. But we AK owners have our reasons too. First of all, spare parts aren't necessary with an AK, and ammo is cheap enough that it doesn't have to be plentiful. Secondly, most of us AK owners get the rifle not because it's cheaper than an AR, but because it is nearly impossible to jam, even without cleaning. Why is this important? I mean, you can clean your rifle and it will work right? Maybe. Maybe not. If you have 20 minutes to pack up food and supplies before you have to get out of dodge and head for the mountains, or if you've survived the hurricane, but your house didn't, a cleaning kit might be a tall order. You may not have the time or supplies to clean your rifle. Now bear in mind that having a go-bag that lacks a cleaning kit is absolutely rediculous, but let's look at a worst case scenario. What if you are trapped in the city and actually have to use your rifle? What if you are living under a bridge for two months and having to fight nearly every day to protect yourself from desparate criminals? Eventually, you're going to run out of that $20-a-bottle fancy rifle oil andlittle cloth squaresand all of a sudden it's not so easy to clean your rifle. With an AK, this is not an issue, but with an AR, this is worse than cancer. With an AK, you can tie some knots in a shoe string, dip it in gasoline, and pull it through the barrel and you're done. An AR will not be so forgiving.

    Don't get me wrong, ARs have their place. If I was in the military or a cop I would like having one over an AK. That is because I would be returning to a base or a police station to resupply on cleaning materials. As a citizen, I could be forced into a situation where resupply is impossible.

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    Isn't that material copy righted

    I do like a good rifle but.
    From where I sit, a good shotgun loaded with slugs will fit MY needs.
    I can always obtain a rifle from some goof that had more money than brains if need be.

    Caliber and type/style of rifle is arbitrary.
    One man's canon is anothers man's pea shooter.

    If I had to choose a rifle/caliber it would be a 1918 BAR (yes a 90yr old design).
    The Springfied30-06 is a proven cartidge and can be easliy found




    If you think like a Statist, act like one, or back some, you've given up on freedom and have gone over to the dark side.
    The easiest ex. but probably the most difficult to grasp for gun owners is that fool permission slip so many of you have, especially if you show it off with pride. You should recognize it as an embarrassment, an infringement, a travesty and an affront to a free person.


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    After a 1911, the next gun on my to-get list is an AK.
    As said, they'll operate without consistent cleaning and are as durable as rocks. From what I've seen, the 7.62x39 cartridge also has more ability to penetrate a greater range of materials than the .223.

    And zombies don't know how to operate firearms so I don't think it really matters what your gun sounds like.

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    I also don't like the argument that, "The military uses it, so it must be the best since they can pick whatever weapons they want."

    The thing is, what the military uses depends much more on marketing, politics, and economics than it does on the actual ability and propriety of the weapons themselves. Take the AK-47. Brilliant rifle: dependable, cheap and easy to produce, and can break down quite easily. Some refinement and it would shoot circles around the AR-15-esque family of rifles. But the US military could never use it because it's what the "enemy" has used for 50-some years, so we can't use it. Our military stopped issuing the M1911 because international politics dictated that they adopt a 9mm pistol instead.

    While I've not read up on it, it's more likely that the .308 is used as a sniper round because someone was paying someone else a lot of money to adopt it for that use, not necessarily because it was the best. And actually, the world's snipers are moreso using the 7.62x54R as a sniping round, not the .308...


    I tend to look at 3rd world countries for what weapons to use. These are people who are trusting their lives and their cultures (whether good or bad) to certain guns, not for political reasons, but for the fact that they work the best. Yes, cost of the guns plays some role, but even the well-funded militias of dictators and warlords tend to use these same guns.

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    imperialism2024 wrote:
    ...

    I tend to look at 3rd world countries for what weapons to use. These are people who are trusting their lives and their cultures (whether good or bad) to certain guns, not for political reasons, but for the fact that they work the best. Yes, cost of the guns plays some role, but even the well-funded militias of dictators and warlords tend to use these same guns.
    A lot of thatmayalso be politics as much as it is economics. In many of these cultures M16s symbolize "the enemy's gun". AK47s are a symbol in many cultures, but I agree that the primary reasons for choosing a weapon in those places is more likely to be dictated by survivability than it is by politics.

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    imperialism2024 wrote:
    I tend to look at 3rd world countries for what weapons to use. These are people who are trusting their lives and their cultures (whether good or bad) to certain guns, not for political reasons, but for the fact that they work the best. Yes, cost of the guns plays some role, but even the well-funded militias of dictators and warlords tend to use these same guns.
    I would say the cost and availability are the major factors. Not only are AK's cheap, they are cheap because they are easy to manufacture locally. There are a lot of rifles that shoot straighter than the average AK, including the M-16, but a third world power needs quantity more than anything else.

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    when Gabe Suareztalks about a fighting rifle, I (among others) listen. The man knows his sh*t.

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    imperialism2024 wrote:
    I also don't like the argument that, "The military uses it, so it must be the best since they can pick whatever weapons they want."

    The thing is, what the military uses depends much more on marketing, politics, and economics than it does on the actual ability and propriety of the weapons themselves.
    Perhaps more importantly, if you're part of a military apparatus (particularly that of an industrialized nation), you have a rear echelon that will keep you supplied with ammunition, cleaning supplies, batteries for your mounted electr(on)ic gizmos, gunsmithing services, and, if necessary, a replacement rifle if yours breaks.

    As a private citizen, especially in a "breakdown of the social order" scenario, that's not a luxury you're going to have. In such a scenario, the main advantage the AR-15 variant will have over an AK-variant chambered in 7.62x39mmR is that ammunition (and spare mags) may be easier to scavenge, especially given the proliferation of AR-variant "patrol rifles" among law enforcement these days. But that advantage could be mitigated to a large extent by opting for an AK-variant chambered for 5.56mm. (I know Valmet in Finland and Crvena Zastava in Yugoslavia produced AK-variants in 5.56, but I don't know whether any of those were semi-auto-only "suitable for sporting purposes" weapon; there's always Galil variants, I suppose.)

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    I lean toward AK type platforms, ableit somewhat customized. I like the reliablilty of the AK in bad conditons. Some of our troops in the sand box are having to clean their M16/M4's as much as 3 times a day to keep them up and running in the dusty conditions.I am scrounging my pennies to buy an AR, but it will undoubtedly be in 6.8SPC caliber. I hope I can also afford a 5.56 upper to go along with it, giving me even more options. The 6.8 was developed by 5th Group SF, and has taken hold in a big way. It delivers performance approaching that of the 7.62x51 (.308) in a round that is the same length as the 5.56, making it readily adaptable to the the AR platform.

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    Another point. Suarez writes:
    I am also well aware of the ability to prepare a shorty battle rifle such as the M1A Bush Rifle/ M1A Socom, and FAL Paras. However, one does not produce a shootable battle rifle that is also light. Carry one of these around with you all day and the difference will be seen quick enough.
    It's not just a matter of weight. The Australian contingent in Vietnam soon discovered that their L1A1s (FAL-variants) were too unwieldy for close-quarters firefights in the bush. Accordingly, a version was created with a chopped-down barrel and a foregrip added, which was notably shorter (though not appreciably lighter) than the full-length weapon (and the later FAL Para). It also rapidly acquired the nickname "the mule," because with a 7.62x51mm round being fired from that short a barrel, it kicked like one. Now bear in mind that we're talking about Aussies, in their physical prime, in the mid to late 1960s; no wimps in anyone's book, and yet they found the weapon uncomfortable to fire.

    I might add that I humped an FN-FAL through basic training in the RNLA (Royal Netherlands Army). The Dutch are the tallest people in the world (only those able to keep their heads above water in a flood get to reproduce ), but those rifles weighed us down (admittedly, the crappy slings didn't help). According to the RNLA soldier's field manual 1991 edition, an FN FAL with empty magazine weighs 5 kilos (just over 11 pounds). To compare, an AK-47 with empty magazine weighs 4.3 kilos (just under 9.5 pounds), an AKM with empty magazine 3.14 kilos (6.9 pounds).

    Re: my previous comment about "if you want to snipe, why bother with .308 and not just go straight to .338 Lapua?" I might note that part of the reason why I suspect the 7.62x51mm has remained the default sniper/DM round in Western armies, and similarly the 7.62x54mmR in former Soviet Bloc armies, for so long has less to do with their suitability for sniping as with the fact that those rounds were also what went into either side's GPMGs, thereby simplifying logistics. But the since the RNLA replaced the FN FAL with the Diemaco C7 and C8, they also seem to have relegated the 7.62x51mm to mothballs; the default infantry machinegun is the FN Minimi (more or less the M249 SAW), and if more punch is needed, the next step up is the M2HB. Dutch infantry DMRs used to carry accurized FALs with telescopic sights; now they carry Accuracy International Arctic Warfares in .338 Lapua, because even though that rifle is available in 7.62x51mm, there's no logistical need for the DMRs to use that particular round.

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    glocknroll wrote:
    I am scrounging my pennies to buy an AR, but it will undoubtedly be in 6.8SPC caliber. [...] The 6.8 was developed by 5th Group SF, and has taken hold in a big way. It delivers performance approaching that of the 7.62x51 (.308) in a round that is the same length as the 5.56, making it readily adaptable to the the AR platform.
    I'd hold off if I were you (and I've been thinking very similar thoughts). The 6.8mm SPC does appear to deliver pretty good terminal ballistics at short to intermediate range, but support appears to be shrinking. Winchester and Federal have apparently declared they do not intend to manufacture 6.8mm SPC ammo, and Remington reportedly intends to discontinue production at the end of this year. You might find yourself stuck with an upper and no ammo for it.

    Of course, if enough American civilians create a demand, somebody will likely step up to fill it (that's the free market for ya), but I'd keep reading the gun sites for now to see what's developing.

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    Euromutt wrote:
    glocknroll wrote:
    I am scrounging my pennies to buy an AR, but it will undoubtedly be in 6.8SPC caliber. [...] The 6.8 was developed by 5th Group SF, and has taken hold in a big way. It delivers performance approaching that of the 7.62x51 (.308) in a round that is the same length as the 5.56, making it readily adaptable to the the AR platform.
    I'd hold off if I were you (and I've been thinking very similar thoughts). The 6.8mm SPC does appear to deliver pretty good terminal ballistics at short to intermediate range, but support appears to be shrinking. Winchester and Federal have apparently declared they do not intend to manufacture 6.8mm SPC ammo, and Remington reportedly intends to discontinue production at the end of this year. You might find yourself stuck with an upper and no ammo for it.

    Of course, if enough American civilians create a demand, somebody will likely step up to fill it (that's the free market for ya), but I'd keep reading the gun sites for now to see what's developing.
    Ruger just introduced the Mini 14/Mini 30 in 6.8 (Mini 6.8?), in the Ranch Rifle version. I am hoping that this will bring even more shooters into the 6.8 fold, and maybe the ammo makers will reconsider. I didn't know that Remington was discontinuing production. At least we still have Black Hills and Hornady.

    I looked for an AR in 6.8SPC at the last gun show we had here in Hampton, and couldn't find one. Quite a few in 6.5 Grendel, though. I hadn't seen any (6.5 Grendel)
    at a local gun show before. I don't know enough about the round to comment on it. Maybe 6.5 is the wave of the future, or it may be that the recent proliferation of AR15's in .308 has rendered the 6.8 moot in some people's eyes. I still think it's an excellent round, and really like the idea of being able to switch upper receivers to change caliber. Brownell's is making new, dedicated 6.8 AR mags, or you can switch followers and use the standard 5.56 mags.

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    FightingGlock19 wrote:
    when Gabe Suareztalks about a fighting rifle, I (among others) listen. The man knows his sh*t.
    I've seen Gabe Suarez and haven't been too impressed. The jail-time served and criminal felony charges aside, he's a bit "holier then thou" when referencing the teaching style and direction of other instructors. More then 1 person I know has been in one of his classes and heard him bad mouth other trainers who were teaching basic 101 stuff.

    Not saying that what he has to tecah is without value. . .but his criminal background and caustic training style has kept me from signing up for his classes in the past.
    The problem with the internet is nobody can really tell when you’re serious and when you’re being sarcastic. –Abraham Lincoln

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    Euromutt wrote:
    As a private citizen, especially in a "breakdown of the social order" scenario, that's not a luxury you're going to have. In such a scenario, the main advantage the AR-15 variant will have over an AK-variant chambered in 7.62x39mmR is that ammunition (and spare mags) may be easier to scavenge, especially given the proliferation of AR-variant "patrol rifles" among law enforcement these days. But that advantage could be mitigated to a large extent by opting for an AK-variant chambered for 5.56mm.
    actually, as a private citizen score one for the AKM's in 7.62X39. Have you priced 5.56, or .223, lately? A case of 7.62X39 can be had for less than 200$ in most cases & 30-round magazines are often less than 20$ each.

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    FightingGlock19 wrote:
    Euromutt wrote:
    As a private citizen, especially in a "breakdown of the social order" scenario, that's not a luxury you're going to have. In such a scenario, the main advantage the AR-15 variant will have over an AK-variant chambered in 7.62x39mmR is that ammunition (and spare mags) may be easier to scavenge, especially given the proliferation of AR-variant "patrol rifles" among law enforcement these days. But that advantage could be mitigated to a large extent by opting for an AK-variant chambered for 5.56mm.
    actually, as a private citizen score one for the AKM's in 7.62X39. Have you priced 5.56, or .223, lately? A case of 7.62X39 can be had for less than 200$ in most cases & 30-round magazines are often less than 20$ each.
    You should be able to get AK magazines for $10-13 each. $20 is a rediculous price that only gun stores and pawn shops charge. Sadly, that's the going rate for non-internet sales.

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    ChinChin wrote:
    FightingGlock19 wrote:
    when Gabe Suareztalks about a fighting rifle, I (among others) listen. The man knows his sh*t.
    I've seen Gabe Suarez and haven't been too impressed. The jail-time served and criminal felony charges aside, he's a bit "holier then thou" when referencing the teaching style and direction of other instructors. More then 1 person I know has been in one of his classes and heard him bad mouth other trainers who were teaching basic 101 stuff.
    From what I've read, he often has a good reason for the badmouthing. The biggest difference between Suarez and others is his focus on relentlessly testing everything in force on force exercises that are as realistic as he can make them. The result (according to him and his fans) is that much of what others teach as basic 101 stuff is actually a bad idea. From his writing that I've read, I don't think he badmouths other instructors for self-aggrandizement, but because he sincerely believes that their techniques are ineffective, and in some cases actually dangerous.

    Now, I should point out that I'm writing this from the perspective of a total "armchair warrior", with no training at all (Gabe's or otherwise) beyond a little tactical training from the military (10% cop training, 90% grunt training). However, I'm also an engineer, and I have a bone-deep belief that if you haven't tested it, it doesn't work, and what I read on-line from most of the schools says nothing about testing, which inclines me favorably toward Gabe's opinions. Even more impressive to me is his willingness to change his mind when experience proves that a technique doesn't work as well as he thought it did.

    I might give him a little less credence when talking about rifles, though, for the simple reason that it's pretty hard to conduct accurate exercises to test rifle doctrine. Airsoft can simulate pistol combat ranges pretty effectively, but not rifle ranges. Just not accurate enough at those distances. Lasers, on the other hand are TOO accurate.

    In any case, he's certainly well worth listening to. Take it with a grain of salt, but you should do that with anyone.

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    If you haven't already, sign up for Saurez Internationals newsletter. Its always got a good article in it. Not always will I agree with it, but it is something to think about it.

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    Lacey, Washington, USA
    Posts
    151

    Post imported post

    FightingGlock19 wrote:
    actually, as a private citizen score one for the AKM's in 7.62X39. Have you priced 5.56, or .223, lately? A case of 7.62X39 can be had for less than 200$ in most cases & 30-round magazines are often less than 20$ each.
    There's a reason I said "scavenge"; I was thinking of what happens after the supply of ammo you were able to carry with you after you were forced to "bug out" starts to run low.

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