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APRIL 2004



Check out these features: molded InterCooler Venting System channels air over your back, keeping you cooler, StormLok on-off valve that totally prevents leaking, Delta Bite Valve that orients properly and allows proper flow of lots of liquid. NyTaneon nylon backed reservoirs with internal baffles, screwon drink tube for easy cleaning; the list goes on and makes HydraStorm the only choice for the dedicated professional.


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Powerful, Compact, Reliable BY DENNY HANSEN

A .308 AR-Type Rifle BY STEVE MALLOY

A Dying Breed? BY STEVE LEE

Another American Classic? BY ASHLEY EMERSON



Versatile And Powerful BY ROB PINCUS

GSE-AR15 Match Carbines And Rifles BY RUSS ADLER

S.W.A.T. APRIL 2004



Robust And Reliable BY PAUL G. MARKEL



Tactical Innovation BY JEFF GONZALES

Self-Defense Situations Around Vehicles BY JOE TORRE

Combat Aircraft Passenger Egress BY CHRIS ADAMS

The Old Ball Game BY BRENT WHEAT


Who Should Fight The War On Terror? BY RICHARD W. STEVENS



Gambling With Tactics BY LOUIS AWERBUCK

Letters from Our Readers

Maxpedition Thermite Versipack BY FLINT HANSEN

Pros And Cons Of The AK-47 BY LEROY THOMPSON

Strategic Weapon Academy Of Texas Executive Protection Course BY STEVE MOSES




Laserblaster Marksmanship Training Device BY EUGENE NIELSEN

A Hundred Years And Still Going Strong BY LOUIS AWERBUCK

New Line Of Tactical Folders From M.O.D. BY EUGENE NIELSEN

Small Gauge Shotguns BY STEVE MALLOY

ON THE COVER: Louis Awerbuck, S.W.A.T. Tactical Consultant and Director of Yavapai Firearms Academy, with DSAs FAL SA-58 Carbine.
S.W.A.T. (ISSN# 1062-2365) Volume 23, Number 3, April 2004. Published monthly, except February, July and November by Group One Enterprises, Inc. 5011 North Ocean Blvd., Suite 5, Ocean Ridge, FL 33435. Copyright 2003 by Group One Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved. Nothing herein may be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission of the publisher. Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, photographs, etc., if they are to be returned, and Group One Enterprises, Inc. assumes no responsibility for unsolicited material. All letters sent to S.W.A.T. will be treated as unconditionally assigned for publication and copyright purposes and are subject to S.W.A.T.s right to edit and comment editorially. SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION: For subscription customer service, call (800) 673-4595. A one-year subscription is $26.95 (9 issues). Foreign subscriptions add $15.00 U.S. funds. Back issues are $8 each, postage and taxes included. (California and Ohio add applicable sales tax.) These prices represent S.W.A.T.s standard subscription rate and should not be confused with special subscription offers sometimes advertised. Change of address: Allow six weeks advance notice and send in both your old and new addresses. ATTN POSTMASTER: Send change of address to: S.W.A.T. Magazine, PO Box 16207, North Hollywood, CA 91615. Periodicals postage is paid at Boynton Beach, FL and additional mailing offices. S.W.A.T. is registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office by Group One Enterprises, Inc. Printed in the USA.


New Products And Accessories

S.W.A.T. APRIL 2004



PUBLISHER Richard J. Lucibella EDITOR Denny Hansen PRODUCTION DIRECTOR Kathleen Allard ART DIRECTOR Betty Wendt COPY EDITOR Dennis Bateman CIRCULATION DIRECTOR Richard Convertito FINANCE DIRECTOR Louis J. Paffumi LAW ENFORCEMENT CONSULTANT Brent Wheat TACTICAL CONSULTANT Louis Awerbuck TRAINING CONSULTANT Rob Pincus CONTRIBUTING STAFF R.K. Campbell , Ashley C. Emerson David Fortier, Jeff Gonzales Flint Hansen, Steve Malloy Tiger McKee, Eitan Meyr Eugene Nielsen, Patrick A. Rogers Clint Smith, Richard W. Stevens Leroy Thompson WEBSITE TECHNOLOGY Justin Guyett ADVERTISING SALES phone: 800-665-SWAT email: SUBSCRIPTIONS INFORMATION R.J. Swircz 800-673-4595

lthough it seems to me like we just had a Presidential election, voting day will be upon us before we realize it. Are you, your spouse and like-minded friends registered to vote? Casting your ballot is the only way we can make sure the politicians we agree with the most get into office. If you are registered, do you know the beliefs and voting records of those who will appear on the ballot? Did they want to take more taxes out of your paycheck? Did they consider the wishes of their constituents? Now is the time to check out their record. Take the time to do so. To those readers who take the time to perform their civic duty and vote, I applaud you. To those who say their vote doesnt matter and do not take part in an election, please dont bother whining if things dont go the way you would like them to. Your free and secret vote is a precious right, and it is your duty to exercise it. Those of us over the age of forty have seen many of our rights trampled on and, in some jurisdictions, completely taken away. What can you do what will you doin the coming year to ensure future generations will have the same freedoms we enjoy today? Here are a few tips. Take a young person shooting. In many schools today, students are only taught the negative side of gun ownership. Teach them that the shooting sports can not only be fun, but that shooting can be done safely and responsibly. Local 4-H Clubs, Boy Scouts and other such organizations are frequently short on qualified volunteers and will often welcome the help of interested individuals. Contact the National Rifle Association and find out if they need someone in your area to help out with the acclaimed Eddie Eagle program. While it may be difficult to the viewpoints of a hard-core anti-gunner, you can make a huge impact on those who are sitting on the fence. Offer to take them with you on a trip to the range and show them why you enjoy shooting. This is not the time to impress them with the recoil and muzzle blast from your .699 Magnum Super Blaster. An informal plinking session with a .22 rifle or pistol is the ideal tool for such an outing. If your acquaintances enjoy their time on the range, invite them over for dinner and a viewing of Innocents Betrayed. This powerful film makes the case for firearms ownership by showing the effects of gun controlsubservience and frequently genocide. The film is available in both VHS and DVD formats from At a cost of only $29.95, it may be the best firearms-related purchase you make all year. Until next time, stay low and watch your back.

For editorial submissions, press releases or questions, contact the editor at: 3025 N. Valley View Dr., Prescott Valley, AZ 86314 or by email at:

Certain products represented in this magazine may be subject to prohibitions, restrictions or special licensing for sale, possession or interstate transport. If this annoys you, Get the Bill of Rights...all of them! In the meantime, check with local and federal authorities regarding legality of purchase, possession and transport. The information described and portrayed in this magazine is based upon personal experience of the author, under specific conditions and circumstances. Due to time and space constraints, the entire authors experience may not be reported or otherwise verified. Nothing in these pages should be construed to substitute for a manufacturers manual or for professional firearms training. This magazine, its officers, agents and employees accept no responsibility for any liability, injuries or damages arising from any persons attempt to rely upon the information contained herein. Responsible shooters always seek formal training.

S.W.A.T. APRIL 2004


copies of the magazine that far back. For those unfamiliar with Dennis Tueller, he is generally credited for researching and establishing the 21-foot rule when confronted by an assailant with a knife. For an update on the 21-foot rule, you may want to take a look at the article KNIFE ATTACK! Rethinking The TwentyOne Foot Rule By Scott Reitz that appeared in the March issue. ed the XM-177E1. The U.S.A.F. procured the Colt Model 610 and it was designated the GAU-5/A. The difference was that it had no forward assist. Later Colt improved on the design and delivered the Model 629, designated by the Army as the XM-177E2. The U.S.A.F. received the Model 630 and it became the GAU-5A/A. Again this model did not have the forward assist. These commandos were used throughout the 70s and into the 80s. The Army pulled all of them from the infantry units, where they ended up in the 1st & 2nd Ranger Battalions. (3rd Bn and Regt were not activated until 1984). The Special Forces Groups ended up getting their share too. Then the M16A2 came along with its new rifling and M855/M-856 round. Thus these remaining weapons were pulled from the Army inventory. The USAF continued to use their GAU-5/A and GAU-5A/A commandos up until 1995 (for SOCOM units) others under ACC, AMC, PACAF, and USAFE still have them! Beginning in early 1990s the U.S.A.F. started replacing the barrels on their GAU-5/A and GAU-5A/A commandos. They installed an M4 barrel and all

Dear S.W.A.T., I am looking for a copy of Sgt. Dennis Tueller s article How Close is Too Close from the 1983 article in Survival Weapons and Tactics magazine. I need the article for a citation in a paper I am writing, so I need all the particulars (page number, volume, etc.). I would appreciate any help you could give me. M. Atkinson, email That article appeared in the March 1983 issue of S.W.A.T. (volume 2, Number 1) on page 22. Unfortunately, we dont have

Dear S.W.A.T., I just checked out the November issue of S.W.A.T. and read the article by Mr. Patrick Rogers on M4 carbine butt stocks. In one picture, a SSgt Dean, a U.S.A.F. Para-Rescue specialist, was shown firing a GUU-5/P carbine. Your readers (both military and law enforcement) might ask, What is a GUU5/P? In 1966 Colt was producing the M16 rifle. The Army used the XM-16E1 rifle and later the M16A1 rifle. As you know, Colt produced the Commando series weapon at this time, but in smaller numbers. The U.S. Army & U.S. Navy procured the Colt Model 609 and it was designat-

S.W.A.T. APRIL 2004




3-9X36MM MR/T M3

The new Leupold Mark 4 3-9x36mm MR/T M3, mid-range tactical scope, designed at the request of the U.S. Military for use in Afghanistan and refined with your input, is now available to all first responders. With eye relief optimized for AR-style weapons, finger-adjustable, knurled windage and elevation dials, and a bright, clear sight picture in all light conditions, its ideally suited for mid-range engagements. Three new models of Leupold Mark 4 LR/T M1 Illuminated reticle riflescopes are also available, for extremely precise shooting at the longest distances, in the worst light conditions. The 4.5-14x50mm, 6.5-20x50mm, and 8.5-25x50mm LR/T M1 each give you outstanding brightness and edge-to-edge sharpness for superior low-light capability, and fingeradjustable, knurled windage and elevation dials, which can be zeroed after sighting in. Based on your input, weve also illuminated the entire Leupold Mil Dot reticle from post to post, for maximum utility. First responders know their Leupold will perform as needed, when needed. After all, we build them like our lives are on the line, because we know yours is.
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the models I have seen or fired had an M16A1 flash suppressor, not the M16A2/M4 version. The U.S.A.F. gave this an in-house designation of GUU5/P. This is the model shown in Mr. Rogers photo. The GUU-5/P is not a separate carbine created by Colt. I have seen some that have M16 and M16A1 lower receivers. There is a book out now titled None Braver about a U.S.A.F. Para-Rescue unit in Afghanistan. In there are some photos of PJs with GAU-5/A or GAU5A/A lower receivers that have M4 upper receivers. So a GUU-5/P is a carbine that may have any type of lower receiver, an M4 barrel, original M16 rear sight, front sight post and no forward assist. I hope this clears the fog and cast out confusion for any of your readers. C. Hazell, email Thanks for the good info. Were sure S.W.A.T. readers appreciate it. of these bad boys since they were introduced. I want to thank S.W.A.T. Magazine for choosing me as the winner of the Bushmaster Modular Carbine and the Insight M6. You definitely have a subscriber for life. Staton Spiller Congratulations! The rest of the package is now up to you: buy ammo, practice regularly and seek further training from a qualified instructor. as Street Smarts, as they do wonders for dissipating the trigger-happy-yank image, replacing it with one of professionalism, clear-headed thinking and less than lethal resolutions to violent and potentially devastating situations. Your columns are both relevant and helpful to someone who doesnt carry a firearm. I would like to see an article highlighting street patrol survival. I understand that most of the S.W.A.T. staff are veteran police officers and trainers. I have found out in my (seemingly minor) three years in the field that the more you pick up from veterans, the less skin you lose yourself. Thank you for your dedication to safety. Sincerely, A. Lillie, London, Ontario, Canada Thank you for the kind words. We will continue to run articles on safety/survivalboth for peace officers and those citizens who do not carry a badge. One example is the article Street And Vehicle Tactics: Self-Defense Situations Around Vehicles found in this issue.

Dear S.W.A.T., I am writing to thank you. Ive been reading S.W.A.T. for several years now and truly enjoy getting every edition. As it has been stated many times before, your team of professionals keeps me and everyone else who reads your publication safe as we go about our lives. I am Canadian security officer who is responsible for a large, diverse property. Given my position and our lack of your Second Amendment, I do not carry any form of firearm on duty. Fortunately, it has never been an issue. I truly appreciate your columns, such


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S.W.A.T. APRIL 2004

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change clearly exists, it must be balanced with sound leadership and education but it is not an excuse to abandon tried and proven techniques. No amount of planning, drilling or the use of standard tactics and procedures can prepare a unit for all eventualities. A competent unit knows when standard procedures are best and when innovation and ingenuity must be employed. It is difficult to clearly define when this occurs. However, if the unit is a competent team that knows and understands standard procedures well, it will quickly know when these procedures do not apply. Due to the uncertainty of combat it has become necessary to think outside of the box and the solution rests with education. While training focuses on the perfection of techniques or procedures, education focuses on mental flexibility, to anticipate and plan accordingly. Training teaches how to place the round peg in the round hole, but education teaches how to fit the round peg into the square hole. For the most part, nurturing this individual thought can be difficult. The demands of teamwork tend to inhibit independent action. For most members of the military and law enforcement, daily life is so hectic that finding time just to sit down can be extremely difficultlet alone finding time for critical thought on a particular subject. However, fighting and thinking need to be complementarynot adversarial. The trick is in creating an environment where the individual can be trained to recognize the unexpected. In this environment, individuals flex the muscles they need to think their way out of the problem. Another dilemma can manifest itself if a member develops an innovation and proposes a change. This can be viewed as challenging the accepted wisdom. Looking deeper into this issue, this may not be a bad thing. The innovative concept may have come along because there was a legitimate need, oftentimes it requires a tragedy to occur before these new concepts can be accepted or even given their due share.

an we afford to become complacent and rely on our past successful deeds to forestall any adversity we may face in the future? Given the current global situation we have been forced to rethink several major doctrines of combat. As the face of future combat remains unclear, progress towards new concepts and theories must be developed, tested and then put into service. The downside to this is that most organizations which benefit from the advances of combat, i.e. military or law enforcement, tend to also have difficulties encouraging free thinkers. It is a delicate balance between military muscle and independent thought. Is it so hard to accept tactical innovation? Or maybe the question should be where would we be without it? Where would we be without the repeating rifle, aircraft carriers or personal body armor? All of these items were outside the boundaries of current thinking, but proved to be priceless in their application. While the need for growth and

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To make matters more confusing, even if the tactics or procedures are successful, new ideas tend to be frowned onwhich makes perfect sense. Why fix it if it isn't broken? Of course, it worked in the past, but what guarantees will we have it will work in the future? As the criminal and terrorist elements evolve so too must our thinking and training. To fail to keep evaluating and changing when necessary only helps the bad guys do their job better. Without tactical innovation, methods of combat become predictable and eventually vulnerable. The burden for keeping this concept in check falls on the shoulders of the leaders and commanders. It is incumbent on them to encourage freethinking when and where appropriate. When leaders have adequate confidence in themselves and their team to encourage subordinates to seek out improvements and revisions, the organization benefits as a whole. The leader will be able to identify the individuals who can discharge their tasks with the utmost professionalism yet still have the time and motivation to think constructively about what they are doing and how they can do it better. In the end, the leader will foster the ability for the individual to learn the time for thought and the time for action. It develops sound judgment so the member can determine which time is appropriate for which activity. I would be remiss if I did not again stress that currently effective methods should not be capriciously neglected or abandoned. In fact, trained responses contribute to conformity and conformity increases overall effectiveness, which is necessary for any successfully coordinated tactic. However, complete conformity can stifle independent thought and the totally dependable can become the easily predictable. Good training will produce quick and instinctive actions, but the unexpected may require more than preconditioned responses. The unplanned, which for some reason seems to go hand in hand with combat, can rapidly erode any positive gain in overall objectives. It is for this reason that an environment where creative thought and ingenuity on an individual level can make the difference when an individual is capable of thinking on his feet and making sound decisions that support the overall objectiveeven if those decisions fall outside the scope of the trained response. The well trained response can be extremely effective and every effort should be made to ensure the unit has developed its training to its maximum potential. At this point, when faced with an unplanned event that does not fit into the training doctrine, the individual or individuals can feel confident making decisions that may not have been covered in training. As the saying goes, "Most well laid plans rarely survive the first contact with the enemy," but that should only emphasize the importance of conditioned responses. After the fact, taking time to evaluate performance often is what leads to changes in doctrine. History shows us tactical innovation has been crucial to shaping and preserving the world we live in. Our leaders and commanders are better able to tap into the motivation for improvement and preparation within their subordinates. Each conflict brings to light the effectiveness of current methods, which are reinforced to upcoming members, but at the same time they have identified chinks in the armor. It is a delicate balance between conformity and individuality, but tactical innovation is critical to staying one step ahead of our adversaries.


S.W.A.T. APRIL 2004



During the evaluation, a Kimber Compact was carried in the main compartment of the Thermite pack.

together with a high tensile strength nylon thread. On the exterior of the pack, the Thermite has a flap that secures with a quick-detach buckle. On this flap is a small zippered pouch, which can be used to hold a small wallet, credit cards, cash etc. Integral tool scabbards on both sides of the pack can be used to hold a Leatherman-type tool, flashlight, pistol magazine, knife, etc. The pouches are adjustable using hook and loop material. At the top of the pack is a heavy-duty zipper that allows access to a pocket, which runs the length of the pack. This pocket would be ideal for maps, documents, plane tickets, etc. Instead of a regular zipper pull-tab, a para-cord loop is used to open this pocket. Releasing the QD buckle reveals the main compartment and another zippered pouch. The zippered pouch can be used to hold a PDA, cell phone or similar sized tools. The Thermites main compartment measures 8 x4.75 inches. A strap at the bottom of the pouch attaches to the QD buckle and can be pulled tight to compress the entire main pouch if so desired. The pocket is roomy enough to hold a short-barreled revolver or a medium-sized semi-auto. One caveat is in order here: the inside of the main compartment has a water resistant cover made of light nylon that can be closed over the contents with a drawstring. This may cause the hammer of a revolver or pistol to snag while being withdrawn. If the Thermite is used to carry a handgun, one with a hammerless design would be recommended. While many folks wont need it while walking around, a detachable thigh


or the most part, I prefer to pack a handgun and extra equipment in gear specifically designed for what Im carryingand carry it concealed. There are times, however, when I compromise and carry in fanny pack rigs in the open. One example is when Im at the local lake. Fishing while wearing a jacket or vest in the summer can be as much of a giveaway that one is armed as carrying in the open. A fanny pack is ideal for such occasions. One such product that I recently had the opportunity to test is the Thermite Versipack manufactured by Maxpedition Hard-Use Gear. While the Thermite Versipack is not purpose-built to carry a handgun it can be used for that objective. The Thermite is constructed of 1000 Denier ballistic nylon fabric, making it both water and abrasion resistant, sewn
S.W.A.T. APRIL 2004




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strap is included with the Thermite. However, the really cool feature of this strap is that it can also be attached to the waist belt, converting the Thermite from a waistcarried pack into a shoulder-slung bag, increasing its versatility. Both the belt strap and detachable thigh strap are made from quality nylon webbing. Besides being used to tote a handgun, possible uses for the Thermite Versipack include an emergency first aid kit or a small bug-out bag to be kept in the family car or patrol unit. The numerous pockets are capable of carrying some energy bars, extra ammunition, or simply extra diapers for the little one. Its uses are limited only by your imagination. During the evaluation, I carried the Thermite in both waist and shoulder-slung modes. I did not wear it with the thigh strap. Inside the main compartment I switched off between a Kimber Compact and a Taurus Model 450 (.45 Colt) revolver. I also used it to carry extra AR-15 magazines on a trip to the range. The main compartment held four, thirty-round magazines with Magpuls perfectly. The Maxpedition Thermite Versipack is a well-made piece of gear that adds flexibility to carrying the load. The Thermite is available in black, olive drab, khaki, woodland camo and the desert camo pattern I received for evaluation. Suggested retail price is $39.99.

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Four, 30-round magazinescomplete with Magpulsfit perfectly in the main compartment of the Thermite Versipack.






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re we winning or losing the Global War on Terror? asked Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in an October 16, 2003 memo to his top advisors. Are we capturing, killing or deterring and dissuading more terrorists every day than the [enemy is] recruiting, training and deploying against us? To use think-tank language, we are watching a monumental paradigm shift. Mr. Rumsfelds memo posed many other excellent questions about strategy and organizational changes to meet the challenge. These questions all arise because the world has never seen global terrorism before. most part, the war was still between two centralized government structures, and both sides aimed mainly to kill the others combatants, not innocent civilians. When the hometown support for the U.S. forces waned, then the ideology energizing the Vietnam War evaporated. The powerful military tools that the U.S. possessed were either not used, or were the wrong types to actually stop the Viet Cong guerrillas. Had Hanoi been conquered, its government overthrown and its military realigned, then even the guerillas might have given up the fight. But Hanoi was not conqueredand the U.S. pulled out. rigidly goal-directed. Police agencies identify criminals by receiving tips, using undercover agents and by observing suspicious behavior. Although they receive intelligence sometimes from distant sources, police agencies react to situations at a local level. Police agencies usually apply lower technology weapons and the direct application of manpower to capture (not kill) specifically targeted suspects. Unsurprisingly, local FBI agents using police techniqueshad learned about suspicious pilot-training activities of some of the terrorists before the September 11, 2001 attack. The police model works effectively to find and neutralize small targets in local areas. Typically, military units are trained to kill people and break things and not designed to operate as police. The police model might be better than the military model for responding to a decentralized enemy, by gathering local intelligence and locating terrorist cells. In fact, the FBI and other police agencies have been doing exactly that. The police model is worrisome, however, because if we expect the police to solve the whole problem, then it is difficult to limit police powers. In the name of fighting terrorism, police powers can turn a formerly free society into a prison. Indeed, even prisons experience lots of crime and abuse of power, so the police model is not the single best answer.


Lets ask a different question: who should fight the war on terror? The answer depends upon what kind of war it is, and how the combatants operate. Some key elements to consider are: (1) objectives, (2) the command and control model, (3) tools and weapons, (4) human resources, and (5) energizing ideology. In the World War II example, the objectives involved acquiring territory and exerting government power over it. On both sides, the command and control model was top-down, with military personnel and conventional military weapons deployed to achieve strategic positioning. On one side the ideology was aggressive (to acquire), on the other, basically defensive (to drive out and defeat the aggressors). The World War II model did not apply well in Vietnam. The U.S. attempted to use World War II command and control techniques to deploy conventional war resources with a basically interventionist ideology. The opposition had both a regular military and a relatively independent guerrilla force that operated with more localized command and tactical objectives. Its ideology was both politically aggressive and emotionally defensive. For the


Global Terrorism in the 21st Century differs greatly from the World War II and Vietnam examples. The terrorist enemy is not a government, does not have a military per se, and uses weapons designed to kill civilians. The terrorist ideology is extreme; it aims not only to drive out Western influence from the Middle East but to retaliate against Western ideas everywhere. It seems today that the terrorist movement is decentralized, and that there is no top-down command and control. There appears to be no terrorist capital to destroy, no territory to acquire, no troops to kill or capture in large units. And the terrorists appear to be routinely willing to conduct suicide attacks on purely civilian targets. The old paradigm, of a centralized government deploying a top-down military fighting machine against another of the same type, does not apply to the global terrorism problem.


So who else might be helpful at combating terrorism? Perhaps the potential victimsthe citizenscould help. The 20th Century worlds solution to violence problems was to disarm the victims and to concentrate power into government agencies. The downside results: some 170 million innocents killed by the powerful governments that disarmed them.
continued on page 91


There is another paradigm for fighting bad guys, however, using the police agencies . Police organizations, unlike the national military, are less centralized, top-down controlled, and


S.W.A.T. APRIL 2004

Students step to the right while shootinga skill stressed by Clint Smith.

above: "If it ain't rainin, you ain't trainin," is one of our mottos here in the Pacific NorthWet (sic). With students looking on in full rain gear, Smith demonstrates reloading the AR-15.


've known Clint Smith for many years, although I had never seen him teach until recently. I was aware of his curriculum through secondhand reports from various students, colleagues and my own wife who has taken several classes with him and his staff over the years. When I found out Smith was teaching two classes in nearby Oregon, I jumped at the opportunity to drop in and observe. Clint Smith is, of course, one of the most recognizable names in the firearms training world. He has been a professional firearms trainer for more than thirty years, which gives him a longevity unsurpassed by most people in the industry. After talking with him about his background it seems like he was destined to make his life around firearms. Both his father and brother were cops, exposing Clint early to the world of the gun. A day after he graduated from high school, Clint enrolled in the Marine Corps, volunteering for the infantry. Vietnam was going hot and heavy at the time. According to the
S.W.A.T. APRIL 2004

Corps, Clint had a gift for languages, so he was sent to language school before shipping out to Southeast Asia. There he spent most of his time working with the Vietnamese Popular Forces (akin to our civilian militia of the American Revolution). Clint also saw his share of combat, although he doesn't talk about it much, culminating when he found himself on the wrong end of a 7.62 x 39 projectile. As they say, been there, done that, got the bullet hole. After coming back to the States, he entered police work (what other choice did he have, with his dad and brother both cops?) and quickly found himself assigned as department firearms instructor. That was 1974, and since then he has been a full-time firearms instructor, with close to three decades worth of experience. In 1980, after he had taken several courses at the American Pistol Institute (now known as the Gunsite Academy), Col. Cooper offered Clint a full-time job as Operations Manager. He then spent the next three years teaching there, helping build the repu-

tation of what I consider to be the premier private gun school in the world. In 1983, Clint left API to start his own traveling schoolInternational Training Consultants. During 1986 he worked for H&K full-time, helping develop their training division that continues to be one of the most successful law enforcement training companies. Clint started Thunder Ranch in 1993. His vast experience and consistent dedication make him one of the most knowledgeable trainers in the business. So, now that we know a little more about Clint Smith, just what is the "Best of Clint Smith"? Many people who have taken Clint's classes feel his opening lecture, which is full of memorable quotes, is the best thing he does. When I attended this lecture, my scribbling hand was kept busy, writing down one liners such as "Wolves travel in packs," "The rifle's primary job is to generate violence," "Just because you shot him doesn't mean the fight is over, it just means that you have had your turn," and lastly,


Smith demonstrates moving backwards while using AR-15, at his Thunder Ranch facility.

"People shoot you because they can see you, and they see you because you let them." What I found most interesting from an instructor s standpoint was Clint's absolute command presence in the classroom. Looking like a college professor in his wool vest (complete with buffalo head nickel buttons), safari shirt and khaki Dockers, he kept the class spellbound for three hours of rapid-fire lecture. In fact, I think of the group of twenty, I was the only one to ask any questions, and these were simply clarifying questions so I could get this article correct. I asked Clint what he believes he does the best. He immediately answered his "urban rifle" program, which he started teaching in 1983 and has become his most popular class. The crux of his program is teaching rifle techniques, and how to fight with the rifle inside what most people call pistol distances. In fact, most training academies and private trainers have benefited by this curriculum, and most have borrowed components of it for their

n 2005, Thunder Ranch will move to Oregon. Over the next year and a half, Clint and his wife Heidi will be winding down their involvement with their very successful Texas-based operation and moving to Southeastern Oregon, just a couple hours North of Reno, Nevada. Why close down what many consider the most successful training school in the country, to downsize and move to rural Oregon? "Because I can," replies Smith. It seems like both Clint and his shooter/instructor wife Heidi miss the day-to-day interaction with the students, which has suffered as the success of Thunder Ranch has consumed more and more of their time managing the business affairs of the company. This will change, says Clint, as the couple plans on offering training only to small groups and classes, while keeping the prices for the training comparable to what Thunder Ranch now offers. Sometimes small is better, and it sounds like Clint will once again be blazing a new trail for shooting schools.

S.W.A.T. APRIL 2004



Sharp Curves Ahead

Except for the Buffalo head nickel buttons, one might think they were watching a college professor waxing philosophic.

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own training classesmyself included. Clint is quick to point out that he didn't invent most of what he teaches, but simply arranged it into a cohesive, building-block type of program. I must respectfully disagree with Mr. Smiths self-assessment. I already believed I knew what his best was, and observing these two classes did not change my mind. After decades of static range drills and marksmanship principles being taught to hundreds of thousands of cops and private citizens, Clint got us moving on the range. His "getting out of the hole" drills and conceptsthe willingness to get the shooters movinghas saved at least one life that I know of. I am referring to our own academy where we started teaching the concept in the mid-nineties after one of our instructors attended one of Clints classes. Shortly after we started teaching shooting while moving in a retreat or lateral direction, one of our students, a Canadian law enforcement officer, was attacked by a knife-wielding assailant. Paul was trapped in an apartment building hallway, with only backwards movement possible. As the assailant closed in on him, Paul fired his .40 caliber Beretta and retreated as he had been taught. Finally, with Paul's back against the end of the hall, the assailant fell at Paul's feet. Chalk one up for the good guys. Paul later told me that what he employed on the street was what he learned at our academy, and it saved him. What Paul was taught came straight out of the Clint Smith playbook, for which both Paul and I are


S.W.A.T. APRIL 2004

Photo by Shelby Chan


grateful. There is no greater gratification for a firearms instructor than to know that something you taught saved a life. Clint should be feeling pretty good about this, as it is a rare training curriculum these days that does not have some aspect of this type of training in it. To me, that is "The Best of Clint Smith."
Can't get good hits while moving? Deputy Erichsen tapes his hits after a lateral movement drilleach hit a demonstration of perfect technique.

Students start from holster, about three yards from target, step back using the shuffle step method to create distance while getting hits, and continue to move back and shoot, ending up about ten yards from target, with plenty of good hits.


S.W.A.T. APRIL 2004





oday we are going to discuss a delicate subject that is near and dear to all men: the family jewels, also known as gonads, testes or The Dangling Beauties. Why in the hell would a tactical magazine the stature of S.W.A.T. discuss a relatively minor organ that is only extant in a little less than half the population? Because in many fights, the groin is one place that a punch, knee or occasionally even teeth will home in like a Tomahawk Cruise Missile trying to find Saddams bedroom. Unfortunately, a cruise missile sometimes does less damage than a well-placed knee to the nuts. This came up during a recent dinnertime bull session among a bunch of cops. Talk turned to funny war stories and, of course, there is nothing more humorous to men than another man

being injured in the private region. Sitting back and listening to the yarns fly, I realized how frequently the junction of leg and torso becomes a primary target for assault, yet is often poorly protected for such a high-value location. I think the primary reason for this is simple. While we can practice punching other areas of the body, we cant practice striking and defending the groin without doing serious damage. At the very least, there is going to be a lot of vomiting and cursing if we try. Thus, training to protect the area is something we all think about, but seldom rehearse. Thinking back on fellow officers injured in the line of duty, I can personally remember several who were nearly taken out of a fight by a smack to the junk. It goes without saying that the area is a favorite target of women, but there are also many men who will take

a cheap shot because it is such a simple but devastating blow. In one typical case, a co-worker was speaking to a seventy-five-year-old man to find out why he had threatened drugstore employees with his cane when the senile man suddenly exploded, tackling the officer in a flurry of punches. As they went to floor, the old man grabbed my friends testicles so hard that my buddy is still experiencing health problems four years later. There are several strategies to consider when protecting the crown jewels. First and foremost is to always blade your body when dealing with people. This is something that should be second nature whenever talking to anyone who might conceivably become unfriendly. By placing your strong-side foot to the rear and slightly turning your pelvis, you are not only protecting your


S.W.A.T. APRIL 2004

groin but also putting yourself in the basic fighting stance. This position is taught in every shooting school, martial arts and law enforcement academy, but too many people still forget to blade until it is too late. Even in this position, your groin is still accessible to a kick or punch, but the blow will be greatly deflected and less painful. If you are struggling with a woman there is nearly a one-hundred percent likelihood that she will reflexively try to use a knee against your most tender personal region. When grappling with a female, I always try to turn my pelvis as much away from the front as beer gut and physiology will allow. A few years ago while working night shift I experimented with wearing a catcher s cup. The cup was effective and did deflect an errant kick early one morning in a bar parking lot, but the discomfort over eight hours made the whole thing more trouble than it was worth. There were also logistical difficulties after drinking a couple of soft drinks and one or two cups of coffee. If you are frequently in a situation where bad things regularly fly toward your groin, a protective cup is worthwhile, but there are serious comfort sacrifices to be made. I dont wear one now. Think beforehand about situations where you are especially vulnerable. One such circumstance is while trying to force an irate suspect into the backseat of a police car. As you try various methods of hurling the recalcitrant criminal into the car, the suspects feet are aimed precisely at your groin and even an alcohol-soaked brain can take advantage of a target of opportunity. During the struggle, dont forget to defend your friends downstairs. There are various methods taught by marital-arts instructors to recover from a shot to the twins. One technique that seems to work is to stand on the balls (no pun intended) of the feet while rocking gently and breathing deeply. Hunching over and jettisoning your lunch also appears to help. Forget embarrassment and always seek medical consultation after any moderate to serious groin hit, even if things seem in order afterwards. This became obvious after witnessing the tribulations of my injured friend. Im fairly sure that some of the medical tests he has now been forced to undergo originated in Nazi Germany. Dont return the favor if you are hit in the gonads because most use-of-force policies consider a shot to the groin a lethal blow on par with striking someone on the temple or throat. Unfortunately, based upon my indirect observations, a shot to the groin wont be lethal enough to meet your needs if you are in a true life-or-death struggle. Many years ago I watched a large, intoxicated hulk of a man take a direct and vicious testicle hit that should have immobilized or possibly killed him. He calmly responded with, You shouldnt have done that, and then the fight really started. Protecting your most prized possessions is something that all men learn from an early age, but in the heat of battle we often forget. Dont let an incoming knee suddenly remind you of some important business south of the border. While it is funny to hear about a buddy taking a shot to the groin, the reality is anything but humorous. If you do take The Big Hit, just try to remember that your friends are crying and slapping their knees because theyre concerned about you.


S.W.A.T. APRIL 2004



pros cons

of the
by leroy thompson

AK -4 7
Author with Poly Tech AK-47.

guess I started off with a built-in prejudice against the AK-47 since I first encountered it while running ambushes in Southeast Asia. If we saw the distinctive AK upper and banana clip silhouetted, we assumed we were facing the VC, NVA, or Pathet Lao. That's why only special ops troops in "Indian Country" ever carried AKs. Using one in most parts of Vietnam was an invitation to get shot since the distinctive look and sound generally drew fire. And, the distinctive "click clack" sound of an AK-47 safety was guaranteed to draw fire from any U.S. troops close enough to hear it. In my mind, the AK-47 was a bad guy's gun. It's interesting how that impression can last deep in one's psyche. More than a quarter century after I had returned to "the World" I was attending a performance of Miss Saigon. During one sequence where the NVA characters were dancing around on stage, their pith helmets and AK-47s silhouetted against the lights, I found myself squirming and my trigger finger feeling an impulse to start shooting.
S.W.A.T. APRIL 2004

Though the AK-47 still had that effect on me in the darkened theater, I have grown to appreciate the AK over the years. I've trained enough counterinsurgency or special operations forces in areas where the AK-47 was ubiquitous that I've had to learn to shoot it and maintain it. I've also worked VIP protection details in areas where insurgents were using AKs so I had to be quite familiar with its capabilities to counter it. Perhaps my greatest appreciation of AKs came when I was training businesspersons and government personnel who were deploying to "troubled lands." At one point I taught an awareness and survival course which incorporated basic techniques to counter a kidnapper or other attacker. Basically, I taught a few simple methods to quickly incapacitate an armed enemy, lever his or her weapon out of their hands, instinctively find the safety/selector, and turn the gun against its owner. Though we dealt with other standard "National Liberation" weapons such as

the SKS, Czech Skorpion, CZ-52, and Makarov, we spent the most time with AK-47, and the more shooting I did with the AK, the more I grew to appreciate it. By the beginning of the 21st Century, some 70 million AK-47s had been produced; obviously an enormous number of soldiers appreciated the AK-47. By observing a lot of third world troops armed with the AK-47, as well as doing a substantial amount of shooting with it myself, I've come to some conclusions about its strengths and weaknesses which I thought might be worth discussing in this column. The greatest strengths of the AK-47 are undoubtedly its toughness and reliability. Designed to keep functioning in the hands of conscript troops and "freedom fighters" with little or no maintenance, the AK-47 will keep shooting in conditions that would render most other weapons hors de combat. I have seen captured AK-47s that obviously had been dragged through all manner of dirt or sand and had never been



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cleaned. They were filthy, but whenever we tested one it fired. Closer to home, I had a friend who bought one of the first semi-auto Poly Tech AK-47s imported into the U.S.A. and shot it for years to

the tune of 12,000-15,000 rounds of corrosive ammunition without ever cleaning it, yet every time he pulled the trigger it fired. Fortunately for those of us who like to shoot the AK-47 a lot, rea-

sonably priced non-corrosive ammunition is now available. I normally use Cheetah from Zimbabwe. Three of the AK-47's other strengths contribute to this reliability. The chrome-lined barrel helps the rifle stand up to a steady diet of corrosive ammunition, and the non-adjustable gas system keeps untrained troops from messing with ita key element of soldier proofing. Additionally, AK-47 magazines are generally made of steel or tough polymer and are designed to stand up to as much abuse as the weapons they feed. In simplest terms, the strongest point of the AK-47 is that almost invariably when one pulls the trigger it will go off. For U.S. shooters, the ready availability of inexpensive ammunition in 7.62x39mm is an additional advantageas is the availability of inexpensive AK-47s which contain enough U.S.made parts to be "post-ban" legal. There are, however, a substantial number of negative aspects of the AK47 as well. Many of these are based on ergonomics. For example, many shooters find the stock too short, though it must be borne in mind that this is a rifle

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which has seen a great deal of use in Asia where most soldiers are much smaller than in the West. In fact, the export Poly Tech and Norinco AK-47s with which we're familiar have a special longer stock than those used domestically. I have used some of the Chinese AKs with the "Asian" stock and that one is, indeed, too short. I don't mind the one on most I've used, however, and it does work well with body armor. Most real shooters prefer the fixed stock to the folding stock on the AK-47. The under folder, especially, is not very comfortable and after some use gets rather loose. The side folder is better, though it is still not especially comfortable. One of the greatest ergonomic weaknesses of the AK is the safety. This safety not only has a distinctive and loud sound as it operates, but is also poorly designed for operation with the shooting hand. It is not particularly well located, either, for operation with the weak hand. Usually, one just lets the trigger guard rest on the hand and wipes it off with the thumb before moving the finger to the trigger. On the other hand, considering how often the AK-47 is issued to conscript troops or marginally trained third world soldiers, the fact the safety cannot be readily flicked off for a fast shot may be a good thing! One other weakness is the trigger guard which does not lend itself well to trigger operation wearing heavy gloves. Considering that the Russians, Chinese, and North Koreans, all of whom may operate in very cold conditions, have issued the rifle it seems odd that a hinged trigger guard was never developed. There is one very good ergonomic featurethe magazine release. The AK's mag release is easily operated with either hand, though one does have to get used to the method of loading the magazine into the mag well by rocking it in. I normally do not do well with the AK47's sights, the rear "V" not allowing very precise work. I think this is one reason the Soviets issued a lot of Dragunovsso that units had some long-range capability. I have had friends who could shoot well at 300 yards with the AK-47, but for me it's a 200-yard rifle. Past that, I just don't shoot it well. I do, however, like the sight adjustment system which allows one to zero the rifle by adjusting the front post for both elevation and windage. This is a system consistent with the AK's toughness and with preventing troops from tampering with it.
S.W.A.T. APRIL 2004


One of the AK-47's disadvantages is only apparent if one uses the military full auto version. The wooden handguards can overheat on continued full auto fire and, reportedly, have been known to catch fire if enough mags are fired quickly on full auto. The average infantryman won't be carrying enough mags normally for this to be an issue, however. The AK's sling system may be an advantage to some and a disadvantage to others. It generally allows only for standard mounting to carry the rifle slung and does not lend itself to the use of tactical slings, though I have seen some developed for Russian Spetsnaz. I actually like the simplicity of the AK's sling since I often find myself befuddled by tactical slings that I can't figure out. When I weigh these pros and cons, I generally come down in favor of the AK-47. I have been in situations where my "oppos" were armed with it, and I've been in situations where I was armed with it. I own threea Poly Tech Legend, a Maadi, and a Hungarian underfolder. At least once a month I take one of those to the range and put a hundred rounds or so through it and always have a good time. However, I also generally take along my AR-15. I shoot the AK-47 at 100 yards and 200 yards, while I shoot the AR out to 500 yards. Admittedly, I have an ACOG on the M4 and open sights on the AK-47s. Still, if I had to choose one for combat I'd normally choose the AR, either my 16.1-inch LE AR-15 or a real military M4. That is, of course, based on the assumption that I would have access to cleaning gear and an armorer. If I found myself heading off as an advisor to a guerrilla force when I was going to be in the field for months without proper cleaning gear or an armorer, then the AK-47 would become much more appealing. An interesting aspect of the M16/M4 or AK-47 debate may well be playing out in Iraq as you read this. I understand that many of the armored units which have been or are being deployed to Iraq only have two M4 carbines per four-man crew. Since the crewmen are being used on ground security duties and need rifles or carbines for each trooper, plans are to issue captured AK47s to some. I'm sure this will lead to a great many discussions of the merits of each weapon based upon the experiences of troops familiar with both.


S.W.A.T. APRIL 2004



LaserBlaster installed on a Springfield Armory XD-40.


ew of us can get to the range as often as we would like to. Good marksmanship requires a series of complex motor skillsskills that deteriorate over time without practice. Laser Devices LaserBlaster marksmanship training device is a convenient way to maintain and improve your gun handling skills when youre not at the range. Much as bullet holes provide visual feedback at the range, the laser dot from the LaserBlaster provides visual feedback during dry-fire training. Benefits include the ability to train nearly anyplace, reduced ammunition costs, increased safety and the ability to practice realistic tactical training scenarios that would not be possible with live-fire training. The LaserBlaster is a special, patented dry-fire laser transmitter that fits inside the barrel of the firearm. The
S.W.A.T. APRIL 2004

laser is activated by the vibration caused by the hammer fall, or release of the striker on striker-fired firearms. Each time the firearm is dry-fired, the laser will remain on for a brief second to indicate where you hit the target and will indicate a tail if sight alignment is disturbed when you pull the trigger. Because of its design, the LaserBlaster allows you to train with your duty firearm and holster. No modification to the firearm is required. It works with any revolver or semi-automatic pistol with a barrel length of 2.5 inches or greater. The basic LaserBlaster kit includes a laser module, battery pack and a bore sleeve (caliber specified by customer). Bore sleeves are available in 9mm/.38/.357, 10mm/.40 caliber, .44 and .45 caliber. A Master Set (tested by author) is available which includes all

four bore sleeves in the LaserBlaster kit. The sleeves are constructed of plastic and will not harm the bore of the firearm. The LaserBlaster laser module features a Class IIIa 635nm (SPP) laser diode. The housing is constructed of brass. Power output is <5mWthe maximum permitted by law. Beam diameter is 0.58 cm at twenty-five meters. The LaserBlaster is powered by a special battery pack available from Laser Devices. Four #377 watch batteries (available at most drug stores) can also be employed in lieu of the battery pack; however, you must wrap them before use. (Scotch tape works fine for this purpose.) Battery life is approximately 2,000 activations. Installation of the LaserBlaster is simple and takes less than a minute. No



disassembly of the firearm is required. You simply screw off the orange bore sleeve cap, insert the battery pack into the laser module, insert the laser module into the bore sleeve, screw on the bore sleeve cap, verify that the firearm is unloaded , and then insert the LaserBlaster into the barrel of the firearm. No alignment is necessary. Once inserted into the barrel, the LaserBlaster will be within 0.25 inch at fifty yards. I tried the LaserBlaster with a variety of pistols and holsters and found no problems with any of them. The LaserBlaster fit and functioned perfectly. According to the manufacturer, the LaserBlaster is visible for up to thirty meters in daylight. Range may vary depending on the ambient lighting, reflectivity of the target and the dark adaptation of the eyes, as well as the wavelength, power output and energy density of the aiming dot. A laser is most effective in low or dim light situations, such as at night, indoors or in the shade.

The LaserBlaster Master Set includes laser module, four bore sleeves (9mm/.38/.357 caliber, 10mm/.40 caliber, .44 caliber, and .45 caliber) two battery packs and a soft nylon carrying case.

Although no target is needed to see the laser dot from the LaserBlaster when practicing indoors, Laser Devices manufacturers a special Accur-Aim Target for daytime laser practice. The patentpending target features a special reflective finish that provides maximum laser visibility of the laser dot. I found that the Accur-Aim target does significantly increase the visibility of the laser dot in bright conditions. Although Laser Devices states that the target provides visibility of a laser point in bright sunlight out to one hundred plus meters, my testing indicates that the maximum practical range for the LaserBlaster for training purposes to be approximately twenty feet in bright sunlight when employed with the AccurAim target. Daytime laser viewing glass-


S.W.A.T. APRIL 2004

es are also available from Laser Devices. I havent tested the glasses, so cannot comment on how well they work. It should be noted that the LaserBlaster will not work with the Beamhit target system. However, Laser Devices manufactures a special version of the LaserBlaster for Beamhit that is designed to work with the Beamhit target system. This version, the Beamhit LT-500 Internal Laser Transmitter can be ordered directly from Beamhit. I found the LaserBlaster to be a great tool to diagnose and correct problems during dry-fire practice. If an observer or firearms trainer isnt available, a video camera can be set up to record the training session. The tape can then be replayed to diagnose your shooting technique. Poor handgun marksmanship can generally be traced to problems with trigger press. Although this is most commonly the result of the shooter jerking the trigger or flinching, even a slightly off-center pressure on the trigger is sufficient to move the handgun and disturb sight alignment. If your shots impact to the left when the trigger is pulled (or to the right, if youre a left-handed shooter) you may be flinching, jerking or applying pressure to the side of the trigger instead of straight to the rear. Flinching is a subconscious reflex caused by the anticipation of recoil. Jerking is caused by trying to fire the handgun at the precise instant that the sights align with the target. Shooters who have a problem with jerking will often tighten the large muscle in the heel of the hand to keep from jerking the trigger. This is known as heeling. Heeling will cause the shots to impact to the top right of the targetaround the two oclock positionif firing right handed (or the top left, if firing left handed). All of these problems can be corrected by applying the correct trigger press. A correctly applied trigger press wont impart any unnecessary movement to the handgun. The placement of the trigger fingerwith a semiautomatic pistol should ideally contact the trigger between the tip of the finger and the first joint. This will allow you to apply a uniform, steadily increasing pressure on the trigger without disturbing sight alignment. If the trigger is pressed properly, you wont flinch, jerk, or heel as you wont know when the handgun will discharge (a surprise break). Another area in which the LaserBlaster

The typical shooting happens suddenly, at close range, with moving targets and bad light. With traditional sights, only about 20% of shots hit. With Lasergrips, officers are hitting at over 90%. What's more, Lasergrips often end the need to shoot by helping de-escalate violent situations. That's why major agencies like Los Angeles County, Las Vegas Metro, Orlando PD and hundreds more have authorized Lasergrips. Get the facts in our FREE REPORT "Lasers in Law Enforcement". Call

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shines (no pun intended) is for holster presentation and point-shooting skills. Repetitive, frequent practice is the key to mastery of these skills. The laser makes this possible. Holster presentation skills are often overlooked aspects of training, especially related to concealed carry. Such practice is essential. The LaserBlaster makes it both safe and practical. Training with a laser may enhance muscle memory at a greater rate than would be the case with an identical amount of repetitive practice without a laser. According to a study conducted by a major law enforcement agency, point-shooting skills without the utilization of the laser showed marked improvement after laser-assisted training. With a retail price of $209 for the basic kit, the LaserBlaster is an affordable an affordable and effective training tool that may enhance your training opportunities. Retail price for the Accur-Aim target is $32. Laser Devices is an ISO 9001:2000 certified manufacturer that has been manufacturing lasers and tactical lights for over 25 years.

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Laser Devices, Inc. Dept. S.W.A.T. 2 Harris Court, Suite A-4 Monterey, CA 93940 (800) 235-2162
The basic LaserBlaster kit includes a bore sleeve (caliber specified by customer), battery pack, laser module, and bore sleeve cap.


S.W.A.T. APRIL 2004

This photo shows the elevationadjustable front sight and gas regulator.

below: The SA58 Carbine shown with the supplied Extreme Duty A muzzle brake is mount, Warne Maxima Series attached to the 30mm QD rings and a Tasco 16.25-inch barrel. Super Sniper 10X42 scope.


irst developed by the Belgian firm Fabrique Nationale, the Fusil Automatique Lgre (Light Automatic Rifle) has been called many things. In Austria it was called the Stg. 58; in Britain it was the L1A1; Canada called it the C1; South Africa called it the R1; in Germany it went by the moniker G1 (Gewehr 1); in India it was referred to as the 1A rifle and in the U.S. it is often referred to simply as the FAL. The list goes on and on, as the FN FAL was adopted by over ninety countries and manufactured in at least ten. No matter what the official nomenclature may be or in what language, one word is used universally when describing it reliable. The FN FAL was never adopted by the United Statespossibly because of the not-invented-here syndrome. Brand new rifles are, however, available for sale in the U.S., manufactured by DSA. Like all FAL-type rifles, the SA58 is a semiautomatic rifle, which features a fully adjustable gas system and is chambered for the battle-proven .308 Winchester (7.62 NATO) cartridge. While it

is considered by many to be the most ergonomical, full power, battle rifle ever made, it is a bit long in standard trim for some people. DSA has responded to this by introducing a carbine-sized version with a 16.25-inch barrel and integral muzzle brake. Known as the SA58 Carbine, I recently received one for evaluation. DSA offers the rifles with many finish options including standard black, black with OD stocks and handguards, and numerous camouflage patterns finished in DuraCoat. The test rifle came in a tiger stripe pattern. The rifle came complete with a sling, operators manual, front sight adjustment tool and gas regulator wrench, an Extreme Duty scope mount/top cover and a twenty-round magazine. As a side note here, DSA rifles utilize metric pattern magazines, which are in plentiful supply and more economical than the inch pattern magazines. The front sight is a post protected by wings and is adjustable for elevation. The rear sight is an aperture adjustable for elevation and windage.

Sniper rifles excluded, as a rule I generally dont prefer optics on a tactical rifle. The exception are ACOG/reflextype optics on AR riflesand then only if the rifle has backup iron sights. My reasoning is that since Murphy is alive and well something terrible will happen to glass just when I need it the most and I know for a fact that I will not have the proper size Allen wrench to remove a scope in the field. If a scope is mounted and back-up iron sights are not immediately usable, quick detach rings are the only way to go. If I chose to use a scope on an FAL, one mount which I might consider would be the mount/top cover offered by TAPCO used in conjunction with Warne quick detach steel rings. This mount fits both metric and inch pattern guns, sits very low, has a built in tunnel to allow use of iron sights when a scope is not installed, and has a built in stripper clip guide to allow top loading when used without optics. I tried using the TAPCO mount/cover so I could report on it here, but it sat too low to allow testing with the Tasco scope, with


S.W.A.T. APRIL 2004

The bolt release.

The aperture rear sight is adjustable for windage and elevation.

left: All fire control devices are well located on FAL-type rifles including the magazine release right: ...and the safety.

the ocular end of the scope hitting the rear fixed sight. The TAPCO mount would require a shorter scope or one of smaller diameter to work. Although the majority of my testing with the SA58 Carbine was performed with iron sights, I did use the supplied Extreme Duty mount, Warne Maxima Series, 30mm QD rings and a Tasco Super Sniper 10X42 scope with mil-dot reticle sent to me from SWFA ( to see how good I could shoot the SA58 with glass. After mounting the Tasco scope, I obtained a rough zero using a Bushnell Professional Bore Sighter. Before getting down to serious Shooting, I broke in the new barrel according to DSAs recommendations. For the first ten shots, using a good copper cleaner (I used Shooters Choice) clean the barrel after each shot. For the next ten shots, clean the barrel after every two rounds until all ten have been shot. This is done to ensure the barrel is properly burnished and the pores created during the normal manufacturing process have been closed.

least, is too small to be seen well. As the rifle heated up, groups tended to string vertically. Accuracy, however, is relative and depends more on the man running the gun than the firearm itself. Although I can do pretty well with some firearms, every one I own is probably capable of better accuracy than I am. Above all else, however, a battle rifle must be reliable and as mentioned in the beginning of this article the FAL is famous for being just that. In two days I fired three hundred rounds through the rifle. The first day the weather was very pleasant, with temperatures hovering close to seventy degrees with not a cloud to be seen. The very next day it was snowing, the wind was howling and the mercury was standing at thirty degrees (you just have to love Arizona weather). This gave me the chance to test the SA58 under extreme conditions. Not a single malfunctionexcept for one which was operator inducedwas experienced. As expected, the rifle ran with the gas regulator closed down, but it also ran withS.W.A.T. APRIL 2004

The only quality ammunition I had on hand at the time of the test was Black Hills 168-gr. hollowpoint Match. This load has proven to be a superior performer in other .308 rifles I have fired. All testing was performed using field positions rather than firing from a bench. Accuracy from the DSA SA58 was disappointing. The worst ten-round group during the break-in period measured just under four inches, with one called flyer about four inches out of the group. After the recommended barrel break-in, my best ten-round group using the scope measured just over two and one-half inches fired from prone. Dont get me wrong, I wouldnt stand in front of it and in all fairness the FAL isnt a precision sniper rifleI was just hoping for better accuracy with a tenpower scope. With the scope removed and firing from prone and sitting, groups of around six to eight inches were common at one hundred. I believe this could be improved with a more visible front sight. The issue front sight, for me at



out a hitch with the regulator almost fully openand this with cartridges so cold that ones tongue would have stuck to them (no, I didnt try it). The DSA SA58 is a robust, reliable, battle-proven design. Its reasonably priced, made in the USA, and accurate enough to fulfill its role. Nuff said. TAPCO, Inc. Dept. S.W.A.T. P.O. Box 2408 Kennesaw, GA 30156-2048 (770) 425-1280 WARNE Manufacturing Company Dept. S.W.A.T. 9057 SE Jannsen Road Clackamas, OR 97015 (503) 657-5590

DSA, Inc. Dept. S.W.A.T. P.O. Box 370 Barrington, IL 60011 (847) 277-7258 Black Hills Ammunition Dept. S.W.A.T. P.O. Box 3090 Rapid City, SD 57709-3090 (605) 348-5150 SWFA/ Dept. S.W.A.T. 420 Century Way, Suite 100 Red Oak, TX 75154 (972) 627-7056


Model Caliber Type Overall Length Weight (unloaded) Upper Receiver Lower Receiver Barrel Sight Radius Front Sight Rear Sight Feed Device Stock and Handguard Finish Accessories Included Suggested Retail SA58C .308 Winchester (7.62 NATO) Gas operated semiautomatic, adjustable 37.5 inches 8.35 pounds 4140 high grade steel Lightweight aluminum Chrome moly 16.25-inch with integral muzzle brake 22 inches Elevation adjustable post Windage adjustable peep Detachable 10 or 20-round box magazine Synthetic Black; OD and black; numerous DuraCoat camo finishes available. Hard gun case, sling, operators manual $1,395.00 (basic carbine)


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ig-bore AR type rifles have been around for several years and the number of manufacturers can be counted on one hand with fingers left over. Unlike the AR systems in .223, two main afflictions have plagued these weapons from the beginninginconsistent accuracy and unreliability. Knight Manufacturing and ArmaLite Inc. have devoted years to refining this product, but high cost has prevented widespread popularity.

DPMS, a major manufacturer of ARs in .223, has been kicking around the idea of entering the big-bore market for some time with their own version of the .308. However, demand for .223 rifles had kept the .308 on the back burner until now. Newly added production capability at DPMS has finally opened the door for production of the newest member of their line, the Panther .308 Long Range Rifle. Randy Luth, President of DPMS, told me it has been hard

work and a long time in coming but they now are pleased to finally unveil their entry into the AR big-bore market. They feel confident that customers will be very pleased with the quality, workmanship, performance and best of all, the affordable value of the new .308 Panther. DPMS is the first to offer such a rifle in this price range. The word Match is not mentioned in the name, as this is considered a standard configuration but it should shoot pretty well.


DPMSs new Panther .308 Long Range Rifle in action with author. Shown with Shadow Leaf camo by Mossy Oak, Leupold 6.520X50 optic, and Camelbak hydration pack.

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The Panther with the seventeen commercial loads tested in the .308 AR-type rifle.

OK, that is my job at see what it can do! Specifications for DPMSs new Panther .308 Long Range Rifle begin with a lower milled from a solid bar of aircraft

alloy. Uppers are heavy walled, extruded flattops with push-type pivot pin assemblies. Barrels are 24-inch, 416 stainless steel bulls, with a 1:10 twist rate, a muzzle diameter of .920 and


100-Yard Accuracy Average, Ten- Shot Groups
AMMO Black Hills Black Hills Black Hills Black Hills Black Hills Cor-Bon Cor-Bon Federal Federal Federal Hornady Hornady Hornady Lapua PMC PMC Winchester BULLET 150-gr. BT 165-gr. BT 168-gr. XB 168-gr. Match HP 175-gr. Match HP 125-gr. HP 168-gr. Match HP 155-gr. Match HP 168-gr. Match HP 175-gr. Match HP 110-gr. TAP 155-gr. TAP Match 168-gr. TAP AMAX 167-gr. Match 168-gr. Match FMJ 168-gr. Match HP 168-gr. Match HP VELOCITY 2,939 fps 2,747 fps 2,770 fps 2,617 fps 2,590 fps 3,026 fps 2,754 fps 2,776 fps 2,660 fps 2,644 fps 3,119 fps 2,732 fps 2,717 fps 2,711 fps 2,686 fps 2,642 fps 2,783 fps AVG. GROUP 1.64 inches 1.77 inches 1.81 inches 2.20 inches 1.97 inches 1.11 inches 1.18 inches 1.30 inches 0.89 inches 1.25 inches 0.98 inches 1.36 inches 1.97 inches 1.64 inches 1.38 inches 1.00 inches 1.47 inches


200-500 Yards
AMMO Federal 168M 200 yards 0.58 in. 300 yards. 3.46 in. 400 yards. 3.06 in. 500 yards 2.478 in.

recessed, target-cut crowns. Internal parts, with the exception of the bolt and carrier assembly, use standard AR parts. Therefore, modifications such as a match trigger replacement are simple. Furniture for the Panther includes a ribbed free-float handguard and A-2 style buttstock. Overall length is 44.5 inches and it weighs about 10.5 pounds. Two, ten-round polymer mags made especially for the Panther come with the rifle along with a sling and a cleaning kit that fits in the buttstock. It comes with a standard trigger assembly or can be had with the excellent J.P. Trigger option. Out-of-the-box trigger pull on this rifle averaged 8 lbs. 12 ounces as measured by my Lyman electronic trigger pull gauge. Testing for DPMSs Panther .308 included my standard accuracy and effective range drills for rifles of this type. The accuracy stage consisted of multiple ten-shot groups fired at 100 yards with each load using a CoyoteJakes portable shooting bench and Shootn Buddy rest. Groups were measured center-to-center and averaged for overall performance. Best performing loads from the accuracy stage move on to the 200-500 yard Tactical and Effective range tests. At 200 yards, this stage of testing starts with a three-shot group to the body and one shot to the head of a Speedwell IPSC target. If the rifle/ammo combo can hold kill zone accuracy and head shot capability, the test is repeated in hundred yard increments out to 500 yards. As accuracy requirements of each stage become


S.W.A.T. APRIL 2004


more challenging, each rifle/ammo combination eventually will fail a stage. That defines the Tactical and Effective range limit for that rifle/ammo combination. Additional tactical and long-range scenarios were shot on steel rifle targets made by Mike Gibson of MGM targets. All loads were chronographed using an Oehler Model 35P with screens set ten feet
Steel IPSC Precision Rifle Target by MGM Targets offers precision and longrange work in one.

from muzzle. For testing, the rifle was set up using a 30mm Leupold 6.5-20X50mm long-range target optic mounted with high rings by Precision Reflex. Ammo included fourteen different match loads from 155 to 175 grains and four secondary loads suitable for law enforcement work from 110 to 165 grains. These loads included Hornadys 110-gr. TAP, Cor-Bons 125-gr. HP, and the newly introduced 150 and 165-grain Nosler boat-tails from Black Hills Ammo. They provided a well-rounded database of overall performance for the 1:10 twist barrel. As always, this rifle was not babied or cleaned during testing. Performance here should be considered worst case. Accuracy from this Panther .308 was really impressive considering the godawful heavy trigger pull it had. I was going to replace the trigger but decided to stay with out-of-the-box performance. The

all average of ten-shot groups from one hundred yards using the seventeen different loads was 1.49 inches. The top five loads averaged ten-shot groups of just 1.03 inches. Top load for accuracy in this Panther .308 was Federals 168-gr. Match producing outstanding averages for an autoloader (or bolt-gun) of .89 inches. These were followed by Hornadys 110-gr. TAP load at .98, PMCs 168-gr. Match at 1.00, Cor-Bons 125-gr. HP at 1.11, and CorBons 168-gr. Match at 1.18 inches. It was very interesting that the 1:10 twist barrel would shoot the 110 and 125-gr. loads so well! Velocities from this 24-inch autoloader were on par with most bolt guns, providing an overall average of 2,758 feet-per second (fps) for the seventeen loads tested. Top velocity honors from this Panther .308 went to Hornadys 110-gr. TAP load averaging 3,119 fps with Cor-Bons 125-gr. HP right on its heels at 3,026 fps. Winchesters 168gr. Match, now using a Nosler bullet, was the top performer in this bullet range at 2,783 fps. Black Hills new 168-gr. Barnes XBullet load at 2,770 was number two. Due to continued heavy rains and bad weather during this test period for the Panther .308, with ranges flooded and nasty, Tactical and Effective range testing was limited to the top accuracy load of Federal 168-gr. Match. From the performance results turned in by this rifle/ammo combination, I doubt if any of the others would have come close anyway, but I would have liked to have seen some averages. Average overall 200-500 yard groups measured 2.39 inches with easy headshot capability when I was lucky enough to judge gusting winds properly. Additional informal testing using MGMs steel IPSC rifle targets proved this DPMS Panther .308 capable of taking out 1/2 man-sized targets out to 500 yards and beyond with any of the top five loads. After reviewing the test data results from this DPMS Panther .308 Long Range Rifle, all I can say is, move over boys, there is a new contender in town! Accuracy was outstanding and as good as or better than any other big-bore AR type rifle I have shot. I wonder now what results would have been with the lighter JP match trigger. Function and reliability were 100% and lots of rounds were sent down range in this baby despite bad weather conditions. I have to take my hat off to Randy Luth and DPMS. They have come up with a real winner at a cost considerably less ($1,149.00) than the competition. If you have been looking at AR-type .308 rifles and thought they were out of your price range, checkout the Panther .308 today!

D.P.M.S., Inc. Dept. S.W.A.T. 13983 Industry Ave. Becker, MN 55308 (763) 261-5600 Brigade Quartermasters Dept. S.W.A.T. 1025 Cobb International Blvd. Kennesaw, GA 30152-4300 (800) 243-8274 Coyote Jakes, Inc. Dept. S.W.A.T. 1305 Elm Hays, KS 67601 (785) 650-4770 Eagle Industries Unlimited, Inc. Dept. S.W.A.T. 400 Biltmore Drive, Suite 530 Fenton, MO 63026 (314) 343-7547 Leupold & Stevens, Inc. Dept. S.W.A.T. P.O. Box 688 Beaverton, OR 97075-0688 (503) 646-9171 Mountain Plains Targets Dept. S.W.A.T. 244 Glass Hollow Road Afton, VA 22920 (800) 687-3000 Harris Engineering, Inc. Dept. S.W.A.T. Barlow, KY. 42024 502-334-3633 (800) 338-4327 MGM Targets Dept. S.W.A.T. 17891 Karcher Rd. Caldwell, ID 83607 (888) 767-7371 Speedwell Targets Dept. S.W.A.T. 136A Lincoln Blvd. Middlesex, NJ 09946 (732) 560-7171
S.W.A.T. APRIL 2004





ave Lauck has been designing carbine accessories for over thirty years and has put his vast experience and knowledge into the design of this rifle. Built on a Colt HBAR receiver, the mediumweight, sixteen-inch .223 caliber carbine features the latest developments in stock, handguard and sights. This purpose-built combat rifle is built for versatility and performance. The solid stock provides a comfortable, consistent cheek weld and also provides two storage compartments for a cleaning rod and complete spare bolt assembly, batteries or other items that might be crucial to the user in the field. The free-floated handguard is built for durability, is mechanically connected to the receiver and can be fitted with Picatinny rails for the mounting of a variety of accessories.

D&L Sports Dept. S.W.A.T. P.O. Box 651 Gillette, WY 82717-0651 (307) 686-4008 Spec-Ops Brand 1601 W. 15th Street Monahans, TX 79756 toll free: 866-SPEC-OPS

The prize rifle will be fitted with a D&L Sports CQB Rear Site mounted at the forward edge of the A-3 flattop and is matched to a blade front sight. The system was designed by Dave Lauck to survive the rigors of police and military use as well as serious competition shooting. A large selection of optics can be mounted behind or above the iron sight, providing a variety of options to the shooter and promising a reliable back-up in case of primary optic failure. Also included in the prize package is a SpecOps Brand chest pouch designed by D&L Sports to hold eight magazines firmly without top covers. It has an adjustable X Harness in back with D rings to attach a hydration system or additional pouch. There is also an open pouch to the rear of the cells for spent magazines or other gear.

Send a postcard (no envelopes) to: S.W.A.T. Magazine April Sweepstakes 5011 North Ocean Blvd. Ste. 5 Ocean Ridge, FL 33435


your name, address, zip code, state phone number email address name, address and phone number of FFL for prize delivery

RULES: Contest is open to individuals who are residents of the United States of America and its territories. Limit 1 entry per household. Agents and employees of Group One Enterprises and their families are not eligible. All state and local firearms regulations apply. If contestant is unable to take lawful possession through a local registered firearms dealer, an alternate winner will be chosen. Winner shall be responsible to comply with all tax and firearms laws and regulations. Contest void where prohibited by law. All entries must be postmarked no later than midnight, April 23, 2004. Drawing will be held at the S.W.A.T. corporate offices on April 30, 2004. No purchase necessary to enter.


Proper use of the sling provides a much more stable shooting platform and markedly better accuracy.



here are a lot of people who can shoot, and shoot well. But the skills of the real rifleman seem to be fading quickly into the mists of time. After conversing with some real riflemen (and many who merely own rifles), I am convinced riflemen are uncommon today. Thus, it may be well to discuss such skills, those practices and abilities which seem to exist only in dusty, preWWII books. This article will deal chiefly with the bolt-action rifle, although owners of other action types may derive benefit from the principles contained herein.

of Whelen and Crossman are my favoritesthe titans of riflery. All of these men, however, taught lessons about riflery which the average rifleman of today has never heard. The remainder of this article will outline many, but not all, points made in their works, including some fine points not found anywhere else, all emphasized by salient quotes from the grand old riflemen themselves.

do it for himself. - Capt. Crossman, 1932, Military and Sporting Rifle Shooting.

This topic is something I have rarely seen mentioned, because it is assumed everyone knows proper bolt-action technique. When it is mentioned, we are merely warned to avoid short-stroking a round. Ill let Capt. Crossman address this topic. The ability to swing the bolt handle of the military type of rifle smoothly, quickly and easily is one of the chief points of difference between the tyro or even the slow fire target shot, and the real rifleman. The beginner should study by slow operation of the bolt the easiest way to effect this turning motion and upward bolt lever thrust with the minimum motion of the right hand and arm. Experience has shown that it may be aided to a marked extent by rolling the rifle toward the bolt lever, resisting the tendency to roll the rifle to the left along its axis and aiding the right hand in its work. Therefore, in operating the bolt


Most of the old-timers address sighting systems and that the rifleman absolutely has to be familiar with how his system, aperture or telescope works so he doesnt take all day to get the job done. With readily adjustable sights ... the trained shot can sight in his rifle in about six or seven shots. - Lt. Col. Townsend Whelen, 1927, Wilderness Hunting and Wildcraft. Notice in the following quote who is to do this job: The only way in which a sportsman may have his rifle sighted in for any given range for his own use is to


If, according to my premise, riflemen are uncommon and their skills almost forgotten, then what did the old-timers know? Thanks to modern reprints, interlibrary loans at local libraries and private collections, we can obtain and read complete books by riflemen such as Townsend Whelen, Elmer Keith, Capt. Edward Crossman, John Pondoro Taylor, Warren Page and Jack OConnor. There are many others, but the works

Good bolt-action technique prevents banging the proboscis with the rearward travel of the bolt from a too short stock. Simply roll the rifle to the right as the bolt is lifted, run the bolt, then tilt rifle back into upright position as bolt is pushed down.

A Dying Breed?

from the shoulder in the offhand position, as the upward thrust is put on the knob, roll the rifle to the right with the left hand. It results in shortening the apparent motion of the right hand, and it moves the path of the bolt to the right, missing the face and obviating having to duck the backward travel of the bolt. The first thing for the tyro to learn is that correct and fast operation of a turn-bolt rifle in rapid fire is not one, two, three, four, as the beginner operates the bolt, one, upturn; two, pull back; three, shove forward; four, turn down handle. With the wrist playing its correct part in the matter the motion is a one-two count, not a one, two, three, four...

Shooting from a bench rest is not a field position. You probably knew that, but there is always some happy fellow who doesnt. Thats why such a person always practices solely from a bench at one hundred yards, and only for group size. In the field, he almost always shoots from the weakest and least stable of field

positionsoffhand (standing). The other field positions are kneeling, sitting and prone, and variations of each. Fortunately, most books on shooting still offer instruction on this topic. It has been my observation over many years that the man who makes the most noise about always shooting offhand like a man is the party who knows nothing about the other positions and how to assume them. - Capt. Edward C. Crossman, 1932, Military and Sporting Rifle Shooting. The field positions exist to allow the rifleman to work from as stable a position as possible under most conditions. The quicker the rifleman can assume a given field position, with confidence, the more success he will have. Capt. Crossman put shooting positions into perspective when he said: Consistent practice will make offhand under favorable conditionswhich means with little or no wind, and no disturbing conditions fairly effective but under the best of conditions the groups made offhand will run three times the size of those made prone in the case of an expert and in the case of

from top to bottom: Familiarization with all controls is important to fully know the weapon. Pictured here are the aperture sight, safety and bolt cutoff in the on position. Thorough knowledge of the sighting system allows sighting-in with just a few shots. Ancillary equipment such as sight hoods, butt traps, trigger adjustments, etc., is valuable for developing confidence in a weapon. Clean is more than a bore. Dont forget the chamber, as shown here, the magazine well, receiver and the inside and outside of the bolt itself.


according to specific shooting requirements according to various texts. OConnor wrote that two-inch groups were good hunting accuracy. Military manuals from the beginning of the 20th century stated three-inch groups were sufficient. Others have written, to this day, hitting an eight-inch plate on demand from various field positions, at unknown distances, under time pressure defined the rifleman. But those old guys couldnt do any better, you squeal. Au contraire. Lest you think they didnt have the equipment or ability to do better, history records sub-MOA groups at several hundred yards even with black powder loads. Riflemen as far back as the Civil War were known for great feats of marksmanship. tyro is apt to look at the sling as just one added pain in rifle shooting and it probably is until he learns how to use it. He added, No man who pretends to be a rifleman of any variety, game, target or military, can afford to be ignorant of the use of the sling ... Outside the kindly aid of Mother Earth, the sling is the best friend of the rifle shooter, and it bears much study and practice. - Crossman, Military and Sporting Rifle Shooting. Adjust a sling - and carry it that way so that it is right not only for carrying but also for shooting from sitting, which in open-country and mountain hunting is the most generally used position. - Jack OConnor, Complete Book of Shooting. The old-timers all agreed on several propositions regarding the use of the sling: 1) Use it for all positions except offhand; 2) the arm loop must be properly adjusted and placed well up on the support arm; 3) the well-adjusted sling must be tight on the support arm. Crossmans book gives many excellent pages of instruction on the use of the sling, which alone makes it worth buying.

One fellow asked me to take his rifle or shotgun to a gunsmith because it wouldnt feed or cycle. The gunsmith laughed and asked me if it was clean. An electric drill and a bore brush in the chamber cured the problem. Another friend wanted to show me the chamber and his pre-whatever claw bolt face. He did everything but stand on it and yank the bolt with both hands to get it open. I can only imagine what the action and the inside of the bolt looked likeand this may be a clue as to why the thing went off when he closed the bolt on a recent hunting trip. Every one of the old-timers was adamant on the topic of cleaning. Consider these things they had to say: In cleaning a gun, the owner should take care to see that the chambers are clean. - Warren Page, The Accurate Rifle. Not just the barrel, but the chamber, action and bolt. Cleaning the bore makes the bullet go. Cleaning the rest of the parts makes the rifle go. Most people over-oil their guns ... I have seen many old guns with the wood spongy and rotted from excess oil. Jack OConnor, The Complete Shooter. John Pondoro Taylor told in African Rifles and Cartridges, 1948, about a man who cleaned his rifle then oiled it with hippo fat, which solidified and prevented his firing pin from working during an

The military sling, left, is much different than the carrying strap. Know the difference.

the tyro ten times as large. Want to shoot ten times better? Learn how and when to use all field positions.

This depends on your ability and your equipment. If you can shoot into two inches at 500 yards (several of my friends can), you may benefit from a precision rifle. If you can only shoot well to 100 yards, you dont need a 500-yard rig, and nearly any style of rifle will do. But most people in reasonably good health can do wonderful rifle work if they only take the time. Elmer Keith made a great comment on this topic in his 1930s classic Big Game Rifles and Cartridges . He was talking about the .400 Whelen cartridge, which pushed a 40-caliber, 300-grain pill at the satisfactory speed of 2500 feet-per-second. He said: At such a velocity it is not hard to hit any game up to 400 yards, if you know your rifle as you should.

Whatever the controls on your rifle, whether they are a bolt cutoff, bolt release, safety, box or detachable magazine, floor plate, forward assist, sights, etc., know how to use them. A big game hunter should have that confidence with his rifle which only comes with perfect familiarity with it. Only thus will he be able to use it to effect, especially in moments of excitement. - Lt. Col. Townsend Whelen, 1927, Wilderness Hunting and Wildcraft. John Pondoro Taylor, the great British hunter, tells several stories of hunters getting injured or killed by dangerous game because they didnt know how to operate their safeties properly.

Once an accurate load is found, this portion of the debate revolves around placement of the shot on demand. Other aspects include calling the shot, calibrating the rifle to varying distances, using a range card and binoculars. Standards of accuracy may differ


The military-style sling, when properly employed, steadies the rifle a great deal and allows for very accurate shooting. This is not the non-adjustable carrying strap which masquerades as a sling on most rifles. Crossman pokes light fun at shooters who have no facility with the sling. The


S.W.A.T. APRIL 2004


engagement with a charging lion. All too many hunters in Africa are content to just hand their rifles over to their servants to clean. Thats no good; you must clean it yourself, he said. The mechanics of cleaning may be found from other sources. The point made here, as with all riflemans skills, is to do it personally and do it well. Use a proper lubricant designed for riflesnot WD-40 or hippo fat.

Space prevents the presentation of all the things a rifleman should know. A thorough reading and understanding of the classic shooting books, however, will acquaint shooters with such topics as aiming, hand position and trigger control, breath control, canting, wind doping, target anatomy, ballistics, mirage and light, estimating distance, optics, trajectory, hitting moving targets, snap shooting, assembly/disassembly, weapon carrying, etc. The old guys have plenty to teach us about riflery. The shooting classics are available, and with a little effort they can be acquired for ones own libraryeven the out-of-print books. With plenty of proper practice we can improve ourselves to the level of real riflemen before these lessons are lost to history. There are still a few riflemen left. Attach yourself to one of them and acquire real shooting skill. Then teach someone else. A genuine rifleman is a cut above the rest.

Military and Sporting Rifle Shooting, Capt. Edward C. Crossman, Wolfe Publishing. The Complete Book of Shooting, Jack OConnor, Outdoor Life Books . Wilderness Hunting and Wildcraft, Col. Townsend Whelen, Wolfe Publishing. Big Game Rifles and Cartridges, Elmer Keith, Wolfe Publishing The Book of the Rifle, Jim Carmichael, Outdoor Life Books. The Art of the Rifle, Jeff Cooper, Paladin Press.

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left: Ian Kissell with volunteer doe. right: Concrete benches (Tac Pro Shooting Center) plus good bags and good glass (Leupold 2 _X Scout scope) make for reliable testing. This gun ran flawlessly with ammunition from 110gr. Hornady TAP to Black Hills 175gr. Match.


ith more than the usual anticipation, I opened the box I found leaning against the kitchen table. (Did I mention that the woman unit did not tell me the package I was waiting on arrived while I was in the library studying diligently? Girls just don't understand.) Before the Springfield SOCOM arrived I must admit I didn't think I was too crazy about the thought of a sixteen-inch M1A. Within minutes of getting it out of the box, I had lurked around the house with it and I was hooked. At 37 inches overall, this blaster is an inch shorter than my 18-inch 870way handy. Before I go over the various aspects of the SOCOM, understand that this is a pre-production gun and as it goes into

production some details may change. Most notably, the sights may change and there may be an accessory rail added. The front sight that is on this gun may or may not make production, but it is interesting for a number of reasons. This sight uses a round top tritium dot. The tritium is boldly surrounded with white and is mounted in a cylindrical hood giving the impression of an HK-like front sight. Do not misunderstand, this sight is beautifully made and since XS Sights made it I'll bet it's made out of good steel. Even though it is a masterpiece of craftsmanship, it is a turd of a sight. While a large white dot with a tritium center is optimum on a defensive hand-

gun, it will screw you on an aperturesighted rifle. I will spare you the pages of why I know this won't work. For the short version, just think of how you would sight this thing in. Are you going to center that dot on the intended target? You really have no choice because it's centered in a cylindrical hood and your brain won't let you sight off the top of it at speed like you might try if you were saddled with this arrangement on a rifle with open ear protection. It appears to me that this dot obscures nine to ten inches at 100 feet. Think about that. If someone was shooting at you from behind cover across the street, you couldn't aim at the threat because the front sight would obscure it. I would hate for someone down the block to


S.W.A.T. APRIL 2004

far left: A step in the right direction; the SOCOM aperture on left is larger than the standard M1A on right. Author believes that the most useful aperture size for hunting or fighting will be at least 50% larger than the original aperature. left: Rumor is XS Sight Systems will bring out, in the near future, a sight that incorporates their standard front white line blade (right) with open ears like the standard M1A (center) to replace the beautifully made dog on the left.

sneak up behind your front sight and kill you. If you would like to entertain that this sight is for across the room shooting, I will have to point out that at about 1/8 inch the aperture is much too small to be useful. Basically the front and rear sight set is not close to optimum for anything and throws away the great potential inherent to the platform delivering a powerful blow from hand shaking distance to out past half a mile. Now for the good news: Rumor has it that XS will be offering their standard .100 wide/.040 white line post, leaning away at 30-60 degrees, with open protective ears for the M1A in the near future. On the rear, all Springfield or an enterprising owner needs to do is run

an approximately 3/16 inch drill through the aperture on the existing (and excellent) fully adjustable standard M1A rear sight. The stock on the test gun was more to my liking than the oversize walnut stock usually found on the M1As intended for competition. The stock on the SOCOM is the much more slender fiberglass military stock covered with some high-tech black crinkle stuff I really like. This stock feels good to me everywhere except the comb. The comb height is probably a best compromise for most people. My head is apparently smaller than most. (My brother says it's from eating gun powder as a small child.) Because of this I would prefer the comb to be 3/8 inch higher. The good

news is that it's easy to work with a fiberglass stock and anyone who does stock work can make it exactly like you want it. There is not much to say about the trigger on this test gun other than it is predictable, manageable and easy to shoot. It is the standard smooth twostage trigger with a snappy reset you expect on a Springfield M1A. I cannot over emphasize how easy to shoot this trigger is, you just pull through the first stage and when you pull through the second stage it breaks clean. It is not particularly light, just easy to hit with. For my trip to the range, I swiped the Leupold 2.5X Scout scope from a custom Kimber and mounted it on the forward mounted sight rail of the SOCOM.
S.W.A.T. APRIL 2004


great and serve as a standard M1A front sight mount. I headed out to the TAC Pro Shooting Center for some range time and with the assistance of English Bill (Bill Davison to those of you who aren't from around here), I was able to shoot and chronograph four loads. I was curious to see if this redesigned gas system would run a wide variety of ammo or prove to be finicky. It ate every thing I fed it without a hiccup. Hornady 110-grain Urban TAP averaged 2,920 feet-per-second (fps) and averaged under 2 MOA. The velocity of Lapuas 155-grain Match is unknown (English Bill is a firearms instructor and not a full-time chronograph operator), and averaged about 3 MOA. Black Hills 175 grain Match averaged 2,480 fps and ran nearly 4 MOA. South African military surplus averaged 2,505 fps and strung vertically nearly six inches at 100 yards with the group about 2-1/2 inches wide. This is interesting to me because the same ammo strings vertically over twelve inches in my FAL. This either means "Yea!" as in its not all the FALs fault or "Yea! I have thousands of rounds of crap ammo. This gun clearly liked the Hornady 110 TAP load. Over a two-day period, I fired over forty rounds of it on paper and can't remember a group going over two inches. Chuck Karwan turned me on to this ammo and said I had to try it. This is not the first time he was right. I also owe Wayne Holt at Hornady a big thanks, as it was late in the game when Chuck told me about this stuff and I gave Wayne a last minute call to beg for someand it arrived before the rifle. Obviously if I was getting some 2 MOA groups with a "Scout" scope, this gun with the Hornady 110 TAP load is an easy to hit with combo. Fully loaded with a twenty round magazine, weighing in at the ten-pound mark, this gun does not have much recoil with any load, thanks in part to the high efficiency brake. With the 110 TAP ammo the recoil is negligible. With only the changes discussed above and loaded with Hornady 110 Urban TAP (a few extra mags of ball and/or AP wouldn't hurt either), I would gladly take this rifle to an unknown fight over any shotgun, rifle or carbine I have used to date. Plenty accurate, plenty powerful and plenty handy.


AP stands for Tactical Application Police. I am not crazy about cute acronyms, so shooting TAP in a SOCOM rubs me a bit. However, this Urban TAP .308 Win 110-gr. load represents a very accurate, fast expanding polymer tip bullet with a high ballistic coefficient driven to a high velocity. In the case of the sixteen-inch SOCOM, this bullet is leaving the muzzle at nearly 3,000 fps. I figured it would probably leave a mark on whatever it hit, but decided I wanted to see for myself and headed out to a friends nearby property to find a volunteer deer. When I arrived at the property, I met fifteen-year-old Ian Kissell (son of Girven Kissell who was hunting nearby). I determined that Ian was somewhat familiar with what an M1A is and had prior knowledge of scout scopes. Additionally, he had shot with 4-H for several years. Shortly thereafter, we were overrun with volunteer deer. I offered the SOCOM to Ian and, like the young man I took him for, he quickly and with zero drama executed the largest volunteer. The necropsy showed that the 110-120 pound doe probably died from the large hole (1 to 11/2 inches on both sides of the chest cavity) in the chest. Ian knew where, when and how to shoot as he had surgically punched the heart and both lungs at a range of about seventy yards. Good job Hornady and good job Mr. Kissell.

This is a very rugged looking mount and though I prefer to use well designed iron sights on a gun like this, I was appreciative of the fact that this mount allowed a super low mounting of the scope sight. Obviously this would work well for those inclined to use electric dot sights. One last area to discuss before talking about how it shoots. At the front of this gun quite a bit had to happen to make a sixteen-inch M1A work out. Just cutting the barrel to sixteen inches would result in a non-functioning gun with no place for a front sight. The designer, gunsmith and engineer dudes at Springfield had

to extensively rework the gas system changing the metering orifice size, the fundamental shape of the gas plug and interestingly adding an expansion chamber that can also be drilled to act as a brake. The test gun had the expansion chamber drilled as a very efficient muzzle brake. Rumor has it that not having it drilled might be an option. I would prefer it undrilled, as a brake can be more than annoying in certain circumstances. For me, I want all the blast going forward and will gladly eat a little more recoil if necessary. Not only did the design guy get these modifications pulled off, the resulting pieces look


S.W.A.T. APRIL 2004

For a multitude of reasons, this new sixteen inch M1A SOCOM did not make it into my hands until just days before my deadline to make this issue. Partially because getting the gun so late and partially because I am a gear head type that just had to know the why and how on this version of the famous M1A, I spoke with five different people at Springfield. Usually when I deal with a gun company the results are only reasonably satisfactory. Sometimes it's not so great and sometimes I just have to add the individuals concerned to the list of people I would gladly stomp the kidneys out of if given the right opportunity. The people at Springfield though were a joy to deal with. During the week before this was written, I had phone calls returned just to let me know the person I needed to talk to wasn't in town and when I talked to people there about the gun, they actually answered my questions and listened (I think) to my bitching and whining. When they didn't have an answer they went and got someone who did. What a concept Springfield hasemploy knowledgeable and enthusiastic people! I kind of favor American stuff and I like the idea of people like the ones I dealt with at Springfield working on 1911s, M1As and M1 Garands. I'm thinking this is a good place to spend some money.
The SOCOM and the standard M1A.

Springfield Armory Dept. S.W.A.T. 420 West Main St. Geneseo, IL 61254 (309) 944-5631 Black Hills Ammunition Dept. S.W.A.T. P.O. Box 3090 Rapid City, SD 57709 (605) 348-5150 Hornady Manufacturing Co. Dept. S.W.A.T. 3625 Old Potash Highway Grand Island, NE 68803 (308) 382-1390 Leupold & Stevens, Inc. Dept. S.W.A.T. 14400 Northwest Greenbrier Parkway Beaverton, OR 97006 (503) 646-9171 Tac Pro Shooting Center Dept. S.W.A.T. 35100 North State Highway 6405 Mingus, TX 76463 (254) 968-3112 XS Sight Systems, Inc. Dept. S.W.A.T. 2401 Ludelle Street Fort Worth, TX 76105 (888) 744-4880

S.W.A.T. APRIL 2004


he market is full of specialized rifles made to excel at doing one thing right. Many of us want to find one rifle that will do a variety of things very well. Over the last two years, Ive found the ArmaLite AR-10A4 to be just that kind of rifle. When I originally bought my AR-10 (carbine length, flat-top configuration), I intended to use it at the range during precision rifle training and, based on the performance, possibly have it approved for use during deployments with my departments Special Operations Team. I have always been firmly in the AR camp, but wasnt convinced that the .223 would always be the best choice, even in an urban environment. Similarly, in that environment, I felt there was a place for a semi-auto platform out on the perimeter of a critical incident. As I was already familiar with the manual of arms and maintenance of the AR-15, the AR-10 seemed a natural choice for this role, particularly in my inventory. What I discovered was that this .308 caliber semi-automatic rifle was one of the most versatile firearms I had in my collection and it could serve me well in a

variety of activities including tactical operations, hunting and competition. For those of you not familiar with the AR-10 rifle, think of an AR-15/M16 on steroids. The fact is that the .308 caliber AR-10 was actually the predecessor to the ubiquitous .223 family of AR rifles currently deployed by countless armies and agencies and enjoyed by millions of recreational shooters around the world. There is an excellent treatise on the history of ArmaLite and their rifles on that companys website (, but here are the highlights as relate to the AR-10. In 1954, Eugene Stoner became the chief engineer at ArmaLite and by 1955 the company was focused on presenting the original AR-10 to the U.S. government as a replacement for the M1 Rifle (Garand). The rifle was not accepted, instead, the U.S. Army chose the Springfield Armory T-44 and dubbed it the M14. In 1959, an apparently dejected ArmaLite sold the designs and trademarks for both the AR-10 and the AR-15 to Colt. The rest of that story should be well known to readers of S.W.A.T. Fast forward to 1996, when ArmaLite

began delivery of the AR-10B, a modern version of the original rifle incorporating design lessons learned from forty years of experience with its little brother. Today, ArmaLite, Inc. offers many versions of the AR-10 including the focus of this articlethe Flat Top AR10A4 Carbine. The first thing I did with my A4 was mount an adjustable Kahles scope on it and head to the range. I was able to do a lot of shooting in a variety of positions out to about 250 yards and the weapon was very impressive, holding right around one minute of angle and keeping up with my Steyr SSG PIIK for all practical purposes out to about 200 yards. I define practical purposes in this context as consistently putting the round within a five-inch circle on demand. ArmaLite advertises that this rifle will hold 1.5-2.0 MOA at 100 yards, but I found it to be a noticeably better rifle than that at these ranges. Initially, I used only match ammunition in the rifle, but I have since used a variety of target and surplus ammo as well, with the expected lack of consistency and precision. Im not suggesting


far left: The author and his AR10 posing behind one of the widest wild hogs either he or his guide had ever shot. left: One of the most flexible setups for the AR-10 flat top is the combination of iron sights and co-witnessed red-dot such as the Aimpoint pictured here in use during a competition.

that the AR-10 A4 Carbine, with its sixteen-inch barrel and heavy trigger, should immediately replace all the traditional bolt-action sniper rifles being used today. I am saying that it has proved to me that it can perform in that role very well. I think the AR-10 would be an excellent choice for an observers rifle in either the law enforcement or military environments. At both Blackwater Training Center and a military, known-distance range, I have engaged silhouette targets at distances beyond 500 yards. At these distances, the rifle performs very well, but groups got much closer to two MOA reminding us that this is not a sniper rifle. This past fall, during a SWAT School at Camp Blanding, several of us engaged targets prone and kneeling with the AR-10 using an A.R.M.S. flip up rear sight on a Swan Sleeve and traditional front post out to 700 meters with over an 80% hit rate using surplus ammunition. In addition to being an excellent second rifle for a sniper/observer team, I believe the AR10 would be an excellent choice for a rural patrol rifle.

About a year ago, I had the opportunity to do some wild boar hunting with my friend and fellow S.W.A.T. contributor, Ashley Emerson. Among a variety of other talents, Ashleys about the best hog guide I know and the terrain wed be hunting included a lot of rolling hills and open land. The first morning, we were going to drive around and scout the area. I had brought several weapons with me, having taken hog with pistols, shotguns, rifles and knives, I was ready for anything that Ashley would get me into. That first morning, I choose the AR-10 as my primary rifle while we drove around in the jeep. About an hour into the tour, Ashley pointed out the hump of a large boars back about 75-80 yards away. I found the hump in the scope, guessed where the vitals were and pulled the trigger. We both thought I had missed. The animal did not react. Ashley had already told me that anything short of a .45-70 might not be enough for big Texas boar. A second shot went out and the hump still hadnt moved. I got up enough confidence to claim one shot, one killthat second

shot didnt count and we headed down to see what was what. We found the hog (300-plus pounds worth) and found two holes within an inch of one another high on the shoulder. A hasty dissection showed that the first round, a Winchester Failsafe, drove right through the spine at the base of the neck. The AR-10 had just become my new favorite hunting rifle. My AR-10s next life came about when I was doing a lot of work with night-vision devices. I acquired an A.R.M.S. Swan Sleeve (with flip up rear sight) for the rifle (#38-EX) and removed the scope and mounted the ArmaLite detachable front sight. That combination was matched with an Aimpoint Comp-M and an AN/PVS-14D night vision device to create a redundant sighting system that would be viable under a great variety of conditions. All of these items were obtained through Aurora Tactical in Springdale, Arkansas. Extensive shooting with every possible option presented by this configuration proved once again that this platform was incredibly versatile and


Matched to a quality scope, the AR-10 rifle makes an excellent Observer or Perimeter Support weapon.


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effective. The value of the sight redundancy was proved during the 2002 World 3-Gun Championship shoot in Las Vegas Nevada. I had shown up with the AR-10 counting on the versatility and the edge offered by the .308 both in range and points for shooting in the major class. I registered in the optics category, as I expected the Aimpoint to be perfect for use in a tactical match. During the first rifle stage, I realized that the dot in the Aimpoint was a bit too large to be fast with 10-12 inch blaze orange targets at 200+ yards. After a dismal performance on that stage, I tossed the Aimpoint and relied on the iron sights for the rest of the competition. Currently, my AR-10 is in a similar configuration, but with a Colt Optics CMore sight on the flat-top. This sight has its own built in A-2 type rear sight that mates perfectly with the detachable ArmaLite front. As with anything, the AR-10 is not perfect. The AR-10 family of rifles comes standard with ten-round magazines which are quite sufficient for most endeavors. As the current iteration of the rifle has only been manufactured after the 1994 hi-cap ban, those interested in high capacity magazines will have to obtain M14 magazines and modification kits. This process can be relatively expensive and cumbersome, but the good news is that most owners will have little need for twenty-round magazines. I have three modified M14 magazines, all of which have performed very well. They have come in handy for competition use, but that is about it. When I first used the AR-10 for competition, I mounted Magpuls on these mags and they fit and perform very well. The most serious and most consistent problem I have had with the rifle is a failure to extract malfunction that has at times left me with a partially rimless round lodged in the chamber. This malfunction has only occurred with surplus ammunition, never with match grade ammunition from a variety of manufacturers including Winchester, Federal and Black Hills. Ive used the latter under a variety of circumstances and it has always performed flawlessly. There has been reference to a problem with the finish of the hard chrome chambers on some early AR-10s which caused this type of malfunction, but ArmaLite has stated that they have addressed this problem in the current generation of AR-10s. Whenever I am doing anything that amounts to more than plinking, I

avoid surplus ammunition and have not encountered this problem. Of course, it is not cheap to shoot high-quality .308 all day long and this may be a factor for some potential buyers. When I went looking for an AR-10 I was simply looking for the good old feeling of an AR with the punch of a .308. What I got was a very versatile and capable .308 rifle. Youll notice in the accompanying pictures that my AR-10 has green furniture. This was not an accident. With several AR configuration rifles in the safe, truck or generally lying about, I wanted to be sure I knew when I was picking up the Big Brother. If you have .223 rifles from the AR family, I encourage you to consider a reliable way to easily tell the difference between any different caliber version which you might add to your collection. Other versions of the AR-10 that are available include T designated models which include two stage triggers and stainless steel, free floated barrels. These rifles are advertised as 1 MOA weapons and are available in both standard and carbine length. The AR-10A2 is a carry handle configuration rifle with adjustable iron sights. There is also a retro version available for those interested in having a replica of the original design complete with brown tapered hand-guards, an alloy receiver and stamped with the Original ArmaLite logo. All this said, I will admit that I havent tested twenty of these rifles and, in fact, have shot fewer than a dozen examples, but I can promise you that mine is a great rifle and, no, its not for sale. Be Careful.

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Instructor Steve Moses demonstrates close-quarters snap shooting with the GSE Carbine.



fter several requests for formal carbine training in the north Florida area, I put together two Advanced Carbine Operator classes and contacted my good friend and colleague Steve Moses to assist me by taking a Lead Instructor position. Steve has been involved with firearms training for more than a decade, and wrote a book on the subject called CARBINE AND SHOTGUN SPEED SHOOTING How to Hit Hard and Fast in Combat (available through Paladin Press). Only one problem cropped up. I did not currently own a carbine myself! Obviously, my next step would be to look for one, as I would be acting as an assistant to Steve in this venture and one of my mantras in training is, Do what I do as well as what I say. How could I show the students what to do if I didnt have my own carbine to demonstrate with?

Members of the Florida Defensive Carbine Club participated in the first of two back-to-back Advanced Carbine Operator courses.

While there are many manufacturers of the AR-15 family of rifles and carbines, I was looking for something that perhaps was either a step above the rest or at least in some way unique.

In a conversation with Steve about the different attributes of each of the major manufacturers, one topic in particular came up regarding some of the alleged success our military forces were having in Afghanistan using 75- and 77-grain bullets fired out of 1:7 twist barrels. Persons in the know were reporting incapacitating hits at distances estimated at around 600 yards. We also discussed how that same barrel could stabilize the lighter and more frangible 55-grain bul-

lets that were useful for close-quarters work where excess penetration is a concern. So I searched the information superhighway for something with a 1:7 twist and all that I could come up with was 1:9 until I ran across a company that specializes in manufacturing custom AR15/M16-type carbines and match rifles with 1:8 twist barrels. That company is Gunsmoke Enterprises, Incorporated and is located in Okeechobee, Florida on the north tip of the


S.W.A.T. APRIL 2004

big lake with the same name. The companys owner and operator is Ed Basile who served in the U. S. Navy from 1961 to 1964 and started shooting DCM competition in 1965. That is where he became interested in customizing, and eventually manufacturing, a variety of firearms. Ed officially opened the doors of GSE in 1981 specializing in custom 1911-style pistols and class III firearms. In June of 2003, Ed received the proper ATF approval he needed to throw his hat into the AR-15 manufacturing ring and began building custom carbines and rifles. He offers custom-fit upper and lower receivers that are cut on the same CNC machine for a matched hand fit and are 100% mil spec, and therefore will work with other uppers, lowers, parts, accessories, etc. The receivers are made of 7075 T6 Aircraft Aluminum forgings and sealed with a hard anodized A8625 type III finish. The bolt carriers and bolt wells have a baked-on dry film lube for freedom was once again forged in destruction and devastation by the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center buildings and the Pentagon. Therefore, I found it ironic that I took possession of the carbine that Ed sent to me on September 11, 2003. As I drove home with the The GSE carbine that I was rifle, I reflected on the many sent came with a flip-up rear freedoms that we take for sight from A.R.M.S., Inc. granted such as freedom of religion, speech, the pursuit of happiness, and the one that makes the rest of them possible, the Right To Keep And Bear Arms. Two days later began the first of two back-to-back, twoday Advanced Carbine Operator courses that Steve and I conducted. The first course was open to civilians while the second course was for law enforceThe carbine came equipped ment personnel only as the Cenwith a full-integrated rail tral Florida Community College, system, a vertical foregrip Criminal Justice Institute in (that I removed out of Ocala, Florida hosted it. During personal preference) and those four days, I fired approxia fixed front sight. mately 500 rounds through the weapon and allowed several of the course participants to fire it monoas well. Sgt. Scott Finnen from pod prone the Levy County Sheriff s position (using Office gave the carbine an the base of a thirtyexcellent rating overall and round magazine as a noted its smooth action. Sgt. field-expedient monopod). Al Ramirez from the Marion This is the zero that I used for the County Sheriffs Office also next four days. gave the weapon an excellent During courses of this nature, we usuoverall rating, but stated, ally sight the rifle with the small aperture For tactical purposes it is somewhat and then flip to the large aperture for heavy. Everyone who shot the rifle was close quarters engagements. When dissatisfied with the function and perform- tances increase to approximately fifty ance with the only negative comments yards, we switch back to the small aperlisted being the weight factor, attributed ture for accuracy enhancement (time perto the full rail system. mitting, of course!). The A.R.M.S. rear To do potential future customers of flip-up sight system that was provided GSE and myself no injustice, I challenged with the GSE Carbine was difficult for this weapon to the best of my abilities me to use, as the aperture plane for the and then some. While it came to me nice smaller rear aperture was substantially and clean, I did not clean this weapon different than the plane for the large during the time that I used it. aperture, and I missed a few shots at one We started the actual shooting portion hundred yards that I should have been of the first day of each course by estab- able to make. Steve is a big fan of the lishing a battle zero of an inch low at after-market XS Sight Systems sametwenty-five yards. I was able to consis- plane rear aperture sight, and claims tently shoot five-shot groups through the that it would easily remedy this small GSE Carbine that were under an inch problem. using Israeli made 55-grain ball ammo, We then conducted close-quarters with all shots being fired from the drills where we practiced making highS.W.A.T. APRIL 2004

enhanced reliability and decreased lubrication requirement. GSE offers a wide choice of chrome lined barrels that reportedly have a 30,000 round life, and vary from the 14.5inch M4 profile with a two-inch birdcage style muzzle brake and a carryhandle upper receiver, to a 26-inch bull barrel up to 1-1/4 inches in diameter with a flat-top receiver and optional flipup front and rear sights, or any combination in between. They also offer five different hand guards and five different stocks. All of the rifles and carbines come with a DCM legal 4-3/4 pound trigger. After explaining my interest to Ed, he agreed to lend me one of his carbines for an evaluation of the weapon. The model that Ed sent to me is what I refer to as the Cadillac carbine. The flat-top upper had a flip-up rear sight from A.R.M.S., a fixed front sight, a full integrated rail system with a vertical fore grip, and an extended purchase charging handle. The sixteen-inch, fluted M4 barrel had a 1:8 twist. The lower had a VLTOR stock, and a Hogue pistol grip. The carbine also came with side-mounted swivels and a sling. The whole package weighed roughly 7-1/2 pounds and measured 35 inches overall.

On September 11, 2001, the spirit of


speed snap shots at distances of three to ten yards. Using the GSE carbine I was able to hit hard and fast in under the par times, which were .8 second for one round and 1.1 second for two rounds at the specified distances. As we moved back to approximately fifteen, twenty-five and eventually fifty yards, the old adage As distance increases, accuracy decreases did not apply to the GSE carbine. I was able to keep all of my rounds within the eight-inch vital area of the S&W bobber targets that we used for the training, while snap shooting from the off-hand position. On the second day of each course, we re-established a battle zero from the fifty yard line to verify that while we sighted them an inch low at twenty-five yards, they should be close to dead-on at fifty yards. This gave us a very useful battle zero that for the most part permitted us to concern ourselves with getting the front sight on the target and applying good trigger control, knowing that our rounds would impact within a couple of inches of where we wanted them to hit. Remember, we were not teaching our students to shoot paper targets for bragging rights, but instead how to effectively use their rifles in situations where lives are at stakeand fast, good hits beat slow, perfect ones. Regarding the 1:8 barrel twist: I fired a multitude of rounds with different weights, from 45-grain varmint loads to 73-grain hollow points, from a variety of field positions, and as previously mentioned, all of my rounds from three yards out to a hundred yards hit their mark when I did my part. Due to time constraints, I was not able to properly bench test the Carbine for accuracy, but Im sure that in the right hands with a scope and bench, this rifle will produce satisfactory groups. I base this in part on fifty-yard, three-shot groups fired from the monopod prone position using the large aperture rear sightby both Steve and myselfwhere one-inch groups were the rule, not the exception.

The Advanced Carbine Operator course demanded a lot from the participants and their tools. It was designed to equip the participants with skills and tactics that would provide an edge in those situations where the ability to think tactically and shoot fast and accurately may make the difference between going home or going to the hospital (or worse). Proper gun handling was emphasized


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throughout, as students were constantly reminded that they must operate in a 360degree environment that was full of friendlies. Several of the students found that their weapon setups were deficient and less than user-friendly. Fortunately, this was not the case with the GSE Carbine. As I mentioned earlier, several participants who handled the GSE Carbine said that this model was a little too heavy considering that rifles are carried a lot more than they are shot, and heavy guns have a tendency to get laid aside right before they are needed. I personally prefer a lightweight version without the rail system (which of course is available through GSE). But the flawless function, reliability and accuracy that were apparent after four days of rigorous drills fired from multiple positions and distances with the variety of ammunition deserve my highest marks. Prices for the GSE Carbine and Rifle lines are competitive with suggested retail starting at approximately $800 for a basic model and $1,400 for a match rifle. Each model is laser engraved with the GSE logo, which is a modified Navy SEAL trident, surrounded by the words Duty, Honor and Country on the left side of the lower receiver on the magazine well.

Gunsmoke Enterprises, Inc. Dept. S.W.A.T. P.O. Box 2537 Okeechobee, FL 34973 (863) 763-1582 A.R.M.S., Inc. Dept. S.W.A.T. 230 West Center Street West Bridgewater, MA 02379 (508) 584-7816 Paladin Press Dept. S.W.A.T. Gunbarrel Tech Center 7077 Winchester Circle Boulder, CO 80301 (303) 443-7250 XS Sight Systems Dept. S.W.A.T. 2401 Ludelle Fort Worth, TX 76105 (888) 744-4880

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left: In this scenario, a carjacker threatens a law-abiding citizen at a stoplight. below: The citizen pretends to comply and reaches for the seat belt

Self-Defense Situations Around Vehicles

f youre like most people, you spend more time in your car than any other place besides work and home. All of us drive to and from work, run errands, drop the kids off at school and take summer vacations, yet not much of our tactical training time is spent preparing for situations in and around the car. Self-defense situations in and around vehicles throw some new variables into the mix: The vehicle itself can be used as a weapon to run over would-be carjackers or to push road-blocking vehicles out of the way. Windshields and car doors will deflect or stop bullets. Sometimes. Your visibility will be impaired once
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the shatterproof glass has bullet holes in it. Your hearing will be gone after firing your weapon from inside an enclosed vehicle. To come up to speed on the latest in tactics and training around vehicles, S.W.A.T. recently attended one of the few courses that addresses this needa three-day Street and Vehicle Tactics course offered by InSights Training Center in Bellevue, Washington. Note that were not talking about a defensive driving school here, but rather a course that focuses on self-defense scenarios that can occur on the road or in public places such as convenience stores and gas stations. The course took place both

in a large indoor garage and outdoors. While there was no live fire in this course, there were many practical scenarios using Simunitions marking cartridges.


It doesnt get much more basic than this, does it? But like many areas of tactics, there is a better and not-so-better way to do this. When possible, try to park your car under a light post and back into your parking spot so you can make a quick exit when its time to leave. While walking to your car, maintain situational awareness around you and your vehicle. Your keys should be in-hand


above: then suddenly lies down in the seat and drives off.


above: Real-life executive protection specialist Jeff Burns demonstrates how to exit under fire. He first opens the car door, pinning it open with his left foot, and points his weapon at the threat left: he then gets out, keeping eyes front and weapon at the ready below: after a quick scan for additional threats, he moves to the back of vehicle for cover, taking a position 5-7 feet behind the car to maintain visibility around both sides of the vehicle.

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Whenever possible, pie around vertical corners such as the side of the vehicle and not horizontal corners such as over the top of your hood. Going over the top of the hood will expose more of your body to return fire.

and if you have an electronic lock, InSights advises that it should be the kind that unlocks the driver s door only, not all four doors. As you approach your car, scan the under side of the car for tampering and then the backseat for any assailants. Open the door and immediately lock it before getting in, then get in, close the door and start the car. At this point you are ready to roll if a threat appears. Use your non-dominant hand to put your seat belt on, check for oncoming traffic and be on your way. If a would-be mugger or carjacker were watching you, he would find you an unusually hard target and most likely look for easier targets to victimize.


Someone who thinks youve cut him off at the last exit has been tailing you, changing lanes when you change, and tailgating you. At a light, you look in your rearview mirror and see him get out of his vehicle and head in your direction with a purposeful stride. What should you do? Whatever you do, do not get out of your car to confront him. If the confrontation gets physical, witnesses will testify that two guys stopped, got out of their cars and started fighting, and that wont help you. Instead, wait until the last possible moment and then drive offthankful that you left half a cars length between you and the car in front of you. Then head for the nearest police station. If driving away isnt possible, roll your window down (half way only) and try to resolve things peacefully. If that doesnt work, then you have what InSights affectionately refers to as a pepper spray moment. Spray and drive.

you are right handed) grabs the weapon but the left handinstead of being placed on your chestgoes to release the seat belt. On count two, the left hand flings the seat belt over your left shoulder to get it out of the way, while the right hand clears the handgun from holster. Now it gets interesting. Instead of punching out in a straight line, InSights teaches to present the weapon by moving the muzzle over the top of the steering wheel. This is done not only to avoid sweeping your hips and legs with the muzzle after it leaves the holster, but also because your air bag may have deployed. At this point, your seat belt is off and your weapon is at the ready. You should scan to see what your range of motion is. How far to your left or right can you see and effectively engage targets? Where are the blind spots in your vehicle? Practice this in your garage so you know what you can and cannot do before an incident happens.

One could write an entire book just on the multiple carjacking scenarios covered in the course: What if youre unarmed? What if youre armed? What if you have a baby in the back seat? What if the carjacker approaches on the passenger-side and you have to shoot? What if there are multiple attackers? For now, lets just consider the base case: Youre driving alone while waiting at a red light on a fairly deserted street when a carjacker points a gun at you through your half-rolled down driver side window and demands your car. What do you do?


In some ways, drawing a sidearm while behind the steering wheel is similar to the five-count draw while standing. On count one, your right hand (if

Look ahead to see if theres any oncoming traffic. If the coast is clear, then appear to cooperate. Ok, no problem. The car s yours. Let me get my seat belt off. Fix the steering wheel in place with your right hand as you floor the accelerator and throw your body back and down with your right side onto the passenger seat. Its amazing how quickly youll be gone before the carjackers brain can process what just happened. In multiple repetitions of this drill in class with all kinds of vehicles, no one playing the role of carjacker felt they could have gotten an effective shot off in time. If the coast isnt clear e.g., theres a car in front of you, or theres lots of cross traffic, youd be better off not risking an accident. In that case, you start the same way: The cars yourslet me get my seat belt off. While you undo your seat belt, glance to the left to check for a second carjacker. As you open the door, draw your weapon into a position of concealment, such as inside your jacket or vest. Glance to the rear of the vehicle as you exit and if the path is clear, back up to the rear of the car, keeping your weapon concealed, but oriented toward the threat. As the carjacker drives off with your car, remind yourself that it wasnt worth risking your one and only life just so your insurance company wouldnt have to buy you a new car. A few notes about this procedure: Never unlock or open the door before your seatbelt is offyoull be dragged out and you dont want to have to fight with your seatbelt on. Also, it should also be noted that students whose cars had passive restraint seatbelts had


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But thats one of the benefits of taking a course like Street and Vehicle Tacticsit highlights deficiencies in ones training. And one deficiency I learned about is that this author needs to spend less time at the range practicing onehole groups, and more time doing tactical scenarios.

Students were put through a number of convenience store scenarios. Here, a student walks in on a robber threatening a clerk behind the counter, while an instructor (kneeling) monitors the drills.

siderable difficulty with these drills in class.


Another common street situation is the visit to the local Stop and Rob and again, there were many different scenarios. What if theres a gun but no shots fired? What if shots are fired? What if there are multiple robbers? What if theres another one outside waiting in a getaway car? After a classroom lecture, the students rotated through a number of scenarios using Simunitions and took turns playing the robber(s), the armed citizen and innocent bystanders. If a robbery is in progress and no shots have been fired yet, InSights recommends you immediately move to an exit if possible, and if not move to a covered and concealed position. Remember the possibility of an accomplice behind or around you. Draw your weapon to concealment (such as to a point inside your vest or jacket), and watch from a safe position. If no shots are being fired, theres no reason for you to risk your life. If shots are being fired, you have to decide whether or not to get involved. Private citizens are not required to risk their lives to save others, but if the bad guy is shooting and you choose to intervene, shoot him from behind cover and do not give any advance warning. As soon as the incident is over, call out in a loud voice for someone to call the police. Witnesses will remember you as the guy who wanted the police there, and only good guys do that. Thats much better than remembering you as

the guy with the gun who shot that kid. As we went through these scenarios in the course, one wild card was the customers in the store. That innocent bystander down the aisle may actually be the robbers accomplice acting as a silent partner. Or that person with a gun who you thought was an accomplice was actually an off-duty police officer responding to the threat. Just when you think you know what to do, you take a Simunitions round in the back! One thing that really became clear as we went through these scenarios was how secondary ones shooting skills are. The action happened quickly, with people shouting and running in all directions. Most students were so busy trying to figure out what was happening, who the good guys were, who the bad guys were, and what to do about it, that our shooting abilities were rarely a factor.

In addition to the classroom lecture and practical drills on the topics above, the course also covered structure clearing exercises in buildings, hotel/motel room precautions, interactions with police and paramedics, and even a briefing on a captured Al-Queda terrorist training video, played and discussed in class. The Street and Vehicle Tactics class is a necessary complement to the training youve already taken. It takes the tactics one learns in shooting schools and at the range and applies them to everyday situations in a way that really puts it all together. I could easily take the course again and get as much out of it the second time as I did the firstbut Ill wait until my Simunitions welts go away first.

InSights Training Center, Inc. Dept. S.W.A.T. P.O. Box 3585 Bellevue, WA 98009 (425) 827-2552 Simunition, Inc. Dept. S.W.A.T. 65 Sanscreen Road Avon, CT 06001 (860) 404-0169

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One of the author's favorite handguns is this engraved S&W Model 24 with ivory grips and in an El Paso Saddlery rig.


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from left to right: France's classic revolver, the MR73, is used by police and military units around the world; 686+ Mountain Gun and twenty-five yard, seven-shot group; the author likes the S&W Model 66 so much he has this matched pair of Class A engraved guns with Ajax ivory grips; the author's Gary Reeder custom Alaskan Survivalist, a Redhawk chopped down for ease of carry as a wilderness backup against dangerous game.

below: This Colt Agent with Eagle Secret Service grips is a long time favorite pocket revolver with the author.


qualification cards on file with the St. Louis firearms training division since he had owned and carried so many different revolvers during his career. While driving home that day, I began to think about how many of my favorite handguns were still revolvers, many of which are still availablean indication quite a few other people like revolvers as well. I also thought that a discussion of those favorites might be interesting to S.W.A.T. readers. Although I had owned a couple of .22 revolvers earlier, my first "serious" revolver was the used, five-inch barreled Colt Official Police I purchased as my duty gun when I got out of the police academy. For the first few months I carried it on and off-duty until I earned enough moneymoonlighting as a store detective during the Christmas rushto purchase a Smith & Wesson Model 36 Chief's Special. The little Chief was a definite off-duty boon since I was attending college at the time and could now take my jacket off in class! Those were my only revolvers for a year or so until I had a chance to buy a Smith & Wesson Model 58 .41 Magnum, which I carried on duty until I graduated from college and left the sheriff's department. After completing officer's training and

while back I was at Alamo Military Collectibles, a St. Louis gun shop where a lot of law enforcement types hang out. This was a pretty typical Saturday with chairs in the back room occupied by a retired St. Louis detective who works cold cases on a part-time basis for a small department; his son, currently a St. Louis detective assigned to firearms examination and ballistics; a St. Louis patrolman who is also attending law school; an investigator for the prosecuting attorney's office; and an FBI agent. St. Louis was in the process of changing their policy on off-duty guns to allow a choice among a half dozen or so autoloaders in 9x19mm, which generated a discussion about the fact that none would really carry well in a pocket. Those of us who were old timers, at this point, expressed fond memories of the days when a Smith & Wesson Chief's Special or Colt Agent made the perfect on-duty backup or off-duty primary weaponin either case thrust into a trousers or jacket pocket. From that point, our discussion moved to favorite revolvers, though most of the younger group were autoloader fans. My retired detective friend laughingly told us that he probably still held the record for most

being commissioned in the U.S.A.F. Security Police, my issue weapon was a Model 15 Smith & Wesson, but when I received orders for Southeast Asia I managed to locate a Smith & Wesson Model 60 (at the time the only commercially produced stainless steel handgun) to take along as a secondary weapon. Since I was assigned to a special unit which set ambushes and actively searched for Viet Cong infiltrators around air bases, I carried it all the time as a backup and appreciated its corrosion resistance. After being discharged, I attended graduate school and then started working on VIP protection jobs overseas. During that period, I used mostly autoloaders; however, I did keep my Model 58 .41 Magnum. It was, in fact, at times my only revolver, though I purchased a Smith & Wesson Model 38 Airweight Bodyguard for use on protective jobs where I might have to shoot through a pocket, but I really only carried it a few times. This was partially the case because I kept a couple of sets of autosa Browning Hi-Power and a Walther PPKat strategic locations where I often traveled to save dealing with import/export formalities. Eventually, I started writing articles and books about firearms, which offered
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a wonderful excuse to expand my "reference collection." It also gave me a chance to try a lot of different guns and decide which ones I really wanted to own. Despite the ubiquity of auto-loading handguns over the last decade, I find that more than half of my favorites remain revolvers. Revolvers remain highly viable through a combination of filling niches that autoloaders can't fill as well and through innovation in materials and design. Revolvers are particularly useful in providing compact, powerful defensive weapons, in providing very powerful hunting weapons and in providing very versatile weapons for the owner of only one or two handguns. In thinking about my own favorite handguns today, I still own a couple of .22 Long Rifle examples which I use primarily for plinking. I use three variations of the Smith & Wesson Kit Gun as well as a K-22. My first revolvers were .22 examples, because they offered a cheap way to shoot, and I still find one of my .22 Smith & Wessons and a couple of boxes of .22 Long Rifle ammo just the ticket for inexpensive and enjoyable shooting practice. Despite the profusion of excellent combat autoloaders, the compact snub revolver is still one of the best choices for close combat. I've always liked Smith & Wesson J-frames and own a model 638 the stainless and alloy version of the Lightweight Bodyguardwhich I shoot quite a bit. I also own a Model 360PD the Scandium .357 Magnum Chiefs Special. This revolver weighs a bit over twelve ounces unloaded and offers a lot of power in a handgun which can easily be carried in a pocket. I have fired mine with 125-grain Cor-Bon JHP loads (.357 Magnum loads with bullet weight under 120-grains are not recommended) and must admit that it can be an "interesting" experience. I find that it is very painful on my trigger finger to shoot this revolver and also find that the first two rounds fired group fairly well, then tend to scatter as my pain/discomfort threshold is crossed. Still, I like the idea of having such a powerful handgun that carries well. And, as African hunters used to say about the .600 Nitro Express, You don't notice the recoil if you really need the weapon. As has Smith & Wesson, Taurus has used titanium to fabricate very compact, light, concealment revolvers. I use a Taurus Model 85T .38 Special as a pocket gun when I don't want quite as much power as my 360PD offers; though, of course, I can load the S&W with .38 Special loads if I so choose. On the opposite end of the spectrum from the current pocket revolvers are those which offer great power. I am not really a handgun hunter so I do not own any guns chambered for the .454 Casull or other true hunting loads. I do occasionally spend time in the outdoors or in situations when I want the stopping power of the big bore revolver. My favorites are the Smith & Wesson Mountain Guns. I own four N-frame guns, chambered for .41 Magnum, .44 MagI am also very fond of the .44 Special cartridge. I still shoot a Charter Arms Bulldog in .44 Special, but my favorites in this caliber are two recent titanium models. Smith & Wesson's 396 Mountain Lite revolver is very light in weight, yet incorporates a three-inch barrel, adjustable sights and holds five rounds of .44 Special ammunition. As a camping companion or trail gun, this 18 ounce revolver is hard to beat. It shoots especially well with Cor-Bon's 165-grain .44 Special loads. Although it takes a reasonably large pocket to carry it, Taurus' 445T

num, .45 ACP and .45 Colt. These skinny-barreled, round-butt revolvers are easily carried yet offer a lot of punch. If I lived in Alaska where dangerous bears might be encountered during my daily routine, then my 629 Mountain Gun (the early model such as mine was actually known as the "Mountain Revolver") would probably be my favorite. However, since I normally carry my Mountain Guns for self-defense against two-legged rather than four-legged beasts, my favorite is actually my 657 .41 Magnum Mountain Gun. I have also carried the 625 Mountain Gun in .45 ACP on occasion as I like the rapid reload capability of full moon clips. I also own a Ruger Redhawk .44 Magnum customized by Gary Reeder. Round-butted and with a three-inch barrel, this "Alaskan Survivalist" is a customized and tuned revolver specifically designed to carry easily, yet stop dangerous game. I use it just because I like it, though I certainly would consider it as an alternative to my 629 Mountain Revolver if I were going to spend time in Alaska.

is a snub .44 Special which weighs just under 20 ounces due to its titanium construction. Its ribbed rubber grips help cushion recoil and allow this revolver to be fired very quickly in double-action mode. When I first started purchasing handguns I avidly read Elmer Keith and Skeeter Skelton, both of whom were fans of the Smith & Wesson .44 Special revolver. Unfortunately, it was virtually impossible to find one around Missouri where I grew up. I did eventually, however, acquire various examples, including two of the small number of four-inch barreled target models made primarily for lawmen in the early 1950s. One had been engraved and took me years of effort to trade away from a shooting buddy. It's still among my favorite handguns and is enhanced by an El Paso Saddlery holster/belt combo. Smith & Wesson reintroduced the .44 Special in limited numbers during the 1980s, and I own a four-inch Model 624 stainless that I shoot quite a bit. When experienced shooters who own a substantial number of handguns are


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asked what they would keep if they could own only one handgun, its interesting that the reply often is, A .357 Magnum revolver. I tend to concur with this as I find the .357 Magnum revolver especially versatile. The fact the same gun can fire hot .357 Magnum loads or light, .38 148-grain wadcutter paper punchers adds still another dimension. Although it might not be the best handgun for self-defense, hunting, hiking, wilderness survival or target, it can perform each of these functions relatively well. Many police officers have used a frame .357 Mags, my favorite Smith & Wesson .357 Magnums have normally been the K-frame Models 19 and 66. In fact, I like these models so much that I am always on the lookout for good buys on engraved examples and have two engraved Model 19s and three engraved Model 66s, including a matched pair of engraved 2-1/2" Model 66s. Although I consider the four-inch barreled K-frame magnum the most versatile, I have to admit that I find the shorter barreled ones a guilty pleasure. The Model 66 with 2-1/2 or 3-inch barrels seems to balance just right for double-action shooting, and I must admit I just like the way these shorter magnums look. One of my favorites is a three-inch Model 66a scarce barrel lengthwith a Magna-Trigger Safety installed. I also shoot my engraved Model 66s quite a bit. Another .357 Magnum which qualifies as a guilty pleasure is a two-inch barreled, nickel-plated Colt Lawman, which I purchased a couple of years ago because, well, I had always wanted one. I don't shoot it or carry it much, but I do like it. The more sturdy Model 686 was designed to allow extensive shooting of full-power magnum loads, but I have really only owned a couple of 686s. In fact, currently, I only own two. One is a three-inch round butt Customs Service model which was returned to Smith & Wesson for a "street" action job. This is one of my favorite guns, which I often carry in a Blade-Tech holster for hiking, camping or other outdoor activities. I already mentioned how much I like Smith & Wesson's Mountain Guns. As a result, in addition to the N-frame examples, I also own an L-frame 686+ Mountain Revolver. This seven-shot .357 Magnum is so versatile that at least one shooter I know who owns dozens and dozens of handguns states he would choose it if he had to rely on only one handgun. Many shooters have considered the Colt Python the ultimate .357 Magnum revolver. It is certainly one of my favorites. I own and shoot a pair of ultimate stainless Pythonsone with a 21/2 inch barrel and one with a four-inch barrel. The actions are very smooth and both guns are extremely accurate. I've always liked stag grips on bright guns, thus my two Pythons are so equipped with beautiful stags from Ajax Grips. As a result, they are an excellent combo of handsomeness, durability and accuracy. Even though I argue that the .357 Magnum revolver is so versatile that one could get by with it as his only handgun, note how many of them I own. I obviously like this caliber and handgun type quite a lot. Because the .357 Magnum revolver is such a classic, I also own two revolvers in this caliber which are particular examples of European craftsmanship. One of these is a Korth Combat Model. This German revolver is virtually handmade, and is a work of art in steel. The Korth shoots extremely well as befits is price tag$5,000-$7,500 depending on options. Mine came with an auxiliary 9mm cylinder to allow it be shot more inexpensively in countries where 9x19mm ammo is more readily available than .357 Magnum. I also own and shoot a Manurhin MR73France's excellent combat revolver. This revolver is so durable that examples with 50,000 rounds or more fired through them are not uncommon. Accurate and fast handling, the MR73 has been chosen by some of the most highly trained counterterrorist units in Europe as their primary handgun. Mine, in fact, was used for years by a member of Austria's GEK Cobra antiterrorist unit, yet other than a bit of holster wear shows little signs of hard use during constant close combat training. The French are arrogant about many thingsin the case of the MR73, they are justified. One other interesting .357 Magnum which I use is a Walther R-99: yes, I said Walther! When Smith & Wesson was licensed to produce the P-99 automatic, they also produced a limited number of three-inch Model 66 .357 Magnum revolvers with interchangeable grips from Walther. Designated the R-99, this revolver was intended only for European sales. However, I've always liked Smith & Wessons, Walthers, and threeinch barreled .357 Magnums so I managed to obtain one of the very few examples in the U.S.A. As I was writing this article, it occurred to me that it's obvious I still like revolvers a lot. Three of the last four handguns I've purchased have been revolvers, and the top gun on my "want list," is a Smith & Wesson 386 Mountain Lite, revolver. I've got a lot of favorite revolvers, but despite the plethora of excellent autoloaders available today, I keep finding new revolvers to join those favorites. For me, certainly, the revolver remains a highly viable type of handgun.
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from left to right: Korth, perhaps the world's highest quality and most expensive revolver; five-inch barrel, nickelplated Smith & Wesson Model 27; S&W 360PD is a great pocket revolver as it is light and chambers the .357 Magnum round.

four-inch barreled .38 Special or .357 Magnum revolver as both a duty and off-duty gun and found that with the proper holster it concealed quite well. I've owned a lot of .357 Magnum revolvers during the almost forty years I've been shooting handguns and have developed quite a few favorites. Smith & Wesson's Models 27 and 28 were among the first .357 Magnums I used, and I still like these sturdy classics, though I do find them a bit heavy today. My special favorite lately has been a 27-7 with fourinch barrel and eight-shot cylinder which was part of a small run of the final descendent of Smith & Wesson's original .357 Magnum. Mine was sent to the Smith & Wesson Performance Center for an action job and now is very smooth for both single and double-action shooting, and, with its eight round capacity and full moon clip reload capability, it can compete with powerful autoloaders for capacity and speed of reload. Another old time favorite of mine was the original Colt Trooper with which I always shot wellstill do, in fact. I hadn't owned one for years but bought a used one a couple of years ago and now shoot it a lot. Although I always liked the big N-



Practical handgun skills were taught throughout the course, including the appropriate use of hard cover during counter-vehicle ambushes.




primary responsibility lay to the front. Approximately three paces to the client's left walked the flank man, who was responsible for watching for attacks that might originate to the left side of the diamond. Rear security had been strategically located five paces directly behind the client and assigned the task of protecting the client from a rear attack. As the final player in this particular diamond formation, I was designated the Personal Protection Officer (PPO). I was situated about one pace back and to the right of the client. My first and foremost responsibility was to shield the client and move him to a safe place, which might mean that I got my Kevlar vest (with me in it) between an attacker and the principal. If circumstances dictated that I was in the best position to deal with an assault based upon proximity or angle, I would do so and "hand off" the client to one of the other team members. The team went into action. Point and rear turned abruptly to the right and took several steps in the direction of the threat as they drew their service pistols and locked into solid shooting platforms. I had already identified the location of the attacker, and was aware that both point and rear were moving decisively to engage. I reached with my left hand and grabbed the client by the back of his neck, placed my right hand on his hip, and turned him abruptly so that he was facing the opposite

t was a near-perfect place for an ambush. The client, for reasons known only to him, was walking in an open field completely barren of anything that resembled hard cover. To the left lay a rather large creek that was impassable for all practical purposes. Out in the open, with unknown territory to the front, a waterway to the left and an armed attacker to the right, the client should have been a "sitting duck." Fortunately, his four-man protective team was prepared for just such an assault. We had been moving in a formation around the client that is commonly referred to in the executive protection business as a "modified diamond." About four paces in front of the client was the team point man. His
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Tim Bulot demonstrates the use of the THE ARTICLE NAME tactical rifle. He noted that the rifle has its place in certain protective details, both domestically and overseas.




tion. I started moving him at a rapid pace to the rear towards familiar territory where I knew we could find good cover. The flank man closed in on us, moving next to me so that we formed a solid wall of Kevlar between the threat and the client. Flank had seen that there were at least two guns on target, and made the decision to join me. Upon our arrival at cover, I turned to observe how the balance of the protective team had fared. Quite well, I saw, as both point and rear were competent shooters. The threat had been shot to the ground. Point shouted to rear, "Clear left." Rear quickly responded, "Clear right, move in," and both team members moved in to insure that the threat was not only down, but also incapable of continuing the attack on their client. Rather than walk directly up to their downed adversary on a straight line, both moved in a pronounced arc. This served to make them a much more difficult target in the event the attacker was feigning injury. Rear said, "Clear right," and point responded with, "Clear left, all clear." The attacker was down and out.

Strategic Weapons Academy of Texas Instructor Mike Walker, a decorated combat veteran who saw action in both Desert Storm and Somalia.


Prudence dictated a tactical withdrawal, as this team subscribed to Yogi Berra's maxim of "it ain't over until it's over." Rear was closest to cover, so it was logical that point move first. Upon rear's command to move, point responded with, "Moving" and fell back about fifteen yards behind rear. He then took a knee, covered the threat area and commanded rear to move. The two alternated the process of moving and covering until they were able to rejoin the rest of the team at the rally point I had chosen. "Not too shabby, guys, but I saw a few places where improvement could be made." These were the first words of Tim Bulot, owner of and chief instructor at Strategic Weapons Academy of Texas, at the completion of what had been an immediate action drill during an executive protection course conducted at Tim's private thirty-seven acre range in Ennis, Texas (about forty-five minutes south of Dallas). Our attacker had only been a single steel Pepper Popper. Regardless, some of us were breathing hard. Tim Bulot is the founder of Strategic Weapons Academy of Texas. Tim has worked for over twenty years as a police officer for a large, metropolitan police department, and is a state-certified rifle, pistol, close quarters battle and defensive tactics instructor. He teaches hostage rescue, high-risk warrant execution, explosive entry tactics, and sniper craft for the famed Tactical Explosive Entry School. Over the years, Tim has trained hundreds of law enforcement personnel, as well as the members of several well-known corporate security teams. He entered the executive protection field after completing numerous executive protection courses taught by the United States Secret Service and Federal Marshals. He has become very active in the executive protection field, and currently has several protective teams in place throughout Texas. Tim's seven-day Executive Protection and Security Specialist Course repeatedly sells out. Students that complete the course are eligible to become Texas state-certified, Level III Commissioned Security Officers and Level IV Personal Protection Officers. The course itself covers conflict resolution, use of force, CPR and emergency first aid, unarmed defensive tactics, knife defense, handgun shooting tactics, tactical rifle shooting tactics (Tim includes foreign rifles like the AK-47), advance work and client debussing and embussing. Also covered are state-of-the-art VIP protection skills dealing with foot formations, counterambush and kidnapping, and vehicle motorcade placement. Much of the training takes place on the previously mentioned thirtyseven acre training facility, which includes a shoot-house, steel range and sniper range. The students participate in a final training exercise on the last day of the course that requires them to actually escort a client and his family during an evening on the town. The students must don suits or sport coats and dress trousers, and are top: The protective team prepares to debus the client. The expected to perform importance of being able to dominate a 360-degree enviadvance planning, ronment was repeatedly stressed to the students. embus and debus the above: "Contact Rear!" Instructor Tim Bulot (pictured on client and his family the left) uses hard empty hand skills to disable an attacker and assume foot formawhile the rest of the team evacuates the principal. tions that will provide 360-degree protection for the client nating. Mike is soft-spoken (unless he without "crowding" him or appearing needs to be otherwise), and I found overly conspicuous. This is easier said myself hanging onto his every word. He fully subscribes to the theory that than done! Tim is the consummate instructor. the best personal protection officers are Highly professional and articulate, he those that take training seriously and clearly and concisely conveys to his stu- use their brains to minimize the oppordents what he wants them to learn. He tunities for confrontations through is deadly serious about this business, good advance planning, reconnoitering, and tolerates no horseplay. That does proper foot formations and situational not mean that he is humorless by any awareness. Tim noted that many of his students, means. More than once he summed up a student's performance in a very suc- including some that are currently active cinct fashion like, "Well, that really in the security business, lack good sucked." He always smiled when he firearm skills at the beginning of the said thatand he was always right. course. To that end, he places a lot of Instructors like Tim, as my former focus on developing the ability to make Marine friends are prone to say, are short-range, surgical hits. Collateral damage in this business is definitely a "highly motivating." Strategic Weapons Academy of Texas bad thing. He also stresses that the abilInstructor Mike Walker supported Tim ity to properly run a gun is only one in this course. Mike brings a lot of expe- part of being a PPO. The ability to rience to the table. A decorated combat quickly and effectively fend off a nonveteran, Mike saw action as a Marine in lethal physical threat is critical, and the Iraq and Somalia. Mike has "seen the PPO should have in his grab-bag of elephant" on numerous occasions, and skills the ability to intercept and control his ability to explain what works and persons who intend to grab or strike doesn't work in the real world is fasci- the principal. Often referred to as


S.W.A.T. APRIL 2004


"defensive tactics," Tim's knowledge of what works and doesn't work greatly exceeds that of the average trainer. As a holder of a fifth degree black belt in American Kenpo Karate, he draws upon a martial arts background that spans nearly three decades, plus time spent as a police officer during raids and on the streets. As a student, it is nice to know that your instructor has seen first-hand the results of a given technique. I am a peace officer and former full-contact tournament fighter, and I have never seen anyone that had such an in-depth and esoteric understanding of defensive tactics as Tim. It was worth the cost of the course just to learn how to defend a principal with the hard empty hand skills that Tim teaches. Tim's Executive Protection class teaches live-fire emergency vehicle extraction of the principal. This is a block of instruction that is pretty much unique to Tim's classat least in Texas. The principal was in the lead car, sitting in the right rear passenger seat. The car had been "driving" in the left lane. Tim teaches his people to spend as much time driving in the far-left lane as possible. The reason for this is that the easiest way for an assailant on a motorcycle or in a car to kidnap or kill the client is to drive up alongside the driver and shoot him. This would eventually bring the client's vehicle to a complete stop, almost always in a dramatic fashion! By driving in the left lane, an attacker must then drive on the left shoulder to be abreast of the driver, and this is a very noticeable action that should allow the driver more time to respond appropriately. Tim had already advised the protective team of how he wanted them to handle the rescue and evacuation of the client, and previously ran us through a series of drills that became increasingly complex in order to prepare us for the final run. Our four-man team was in the follow car, when the lead car holding our client was "taken out" by a "rocketpropelled grenade" (actually, a firecracker). The lead car came to a complete halt, the driver and PPO were "dead", and the client was left momentarily unprotected in the back seat. Six armed attackers (actually six Pepper Popper targets) were located in front of and to the side of the lead car. Our follow car driver immediately drove the car into a blocking position between the lead car and the attackers. As designated team leader, I occupied the front passenger seat. I drove the muzzle of my Glock 19 though the car's side window and immediately brought suppressive fire on the attackers, even though the car had not come to a complete halt. The team member in the rear passenger seat on my side waited until the car stopped, and then started carefully picking off the attackers. Our driver exited and went to the front of the car to return fire, careful to keep as much of the engine, axle and wheel between him and the enemy as possible. Our fourth team member likewise exited, but went to the rear of the car, crawled under the trunk, and used the right rear wheel as a shield from incoming fire. Within mere seconds, all four of us were placing a withering amount of fire on the attackers. The attackers were down. I did a quick scan. As there was no further immediate threat within my field of vision, I yelled, "One clear!" The others responded in a like fashion. I now knew that the team was ready to secure the principal and vacate what was obviously an unfriendly environment. "Evacuate," I yelled. The team member in the rear passenger seat on my side and I provided cover and remained on guard for a renewed assault while the other two moved to the lead car and literally pulled the client from it. The driver stepped in front of the client, and the other moved directly behind the client, literally sandwiching him in Kevlar. They quickly moved him to our car. He was placed in the middle of the back seat so that he sat between two operatives. The driver got in our car and quickly reversed it, which kept two of us in a position to continue cover fire if necessary as we completed the extraction. In only a few seconds we were a considerable distance from the attack. The car stopped, and we waited to get de-briefed by Tim. He looked at the scene, and then looked at us. We waited for him to speak. Finally, he did. Tim smiled and said, "Not too shabby, guys, but I saw a few places where improvement could be made." That was okay with me. I was there to learn.

Lodging is available. Please contact us concerning schedules, pricing and equipment.

The RIFLES ONLY facility is If you can located in the Wild Horse Desert only take one area of South Texas, offering class in your life the opportunity to train under (precision rifle), extreme conditions. Classes RIFLES ONLY and competitions at Rifles Only is the place are not shooting vacations, they - Frank Galli, are training for professionals Snipers Hide. and enthusiasts who have a desire to better their skills.

361-595-5472 361-522-4165

Strategic Weapons Academy of Texas Dept. S.W.A.T. 100 N. MacArthur, Suite 120 Irving, TX 75061 (972) 251-7075
S.W.A.T. APRIL 2004


XS Sights ghost-ring rear sight.


ho was it that said, The more things change, the more they stay the same? I dont know, but they were right. Consider for a moment the middle to late 1980s and the 9mm craze. The decision of the U.S. Military to change over to a 9mm NATO pistol coincided with the nationwide law enforcement trend to switch from revolver to semi-autos. Very quickly, the 9mm pistol was the rage and the .45 ACP cartridge was given a back seat. Fast-forward twenty years. The .45 ACP is once again seen as the serious operators pistol of choice, e.g. L.A. SWAT, FBIs HRT, and the U.S. Militarys SOCOM. Now, consider for a moment the .308 Winchester cartridge (7.62 NATO). Replaced by the .223 Remington (5.56

mm), the .308 Win. waned in popularity as a combat rifle cartridge and was basically relegated to the bolt-action rifle for sniper work. No, I am not suggesting that the .223 ARs and M4s are going to be replaced by a new wave of .308s. What I would submit, however, is that the reality of terrorism and outright lawlessness on the part of determined felons has made more and more law enforcement personnel consider a powerful semiautomatic rifle. For those unfamiliar with the concept, allow me a moment. A Level I Aggressor will surrender when confronted by a firearm. This is a psychological submission. A Level II Aggressor will surrender after receiving gunfire, even non-life threatening hits. This too is a psychological submission. A Level III Aggressor

stops only when gunfire disrupts their central nervous system or they have bled out to the point where they lose consciousness. This is a physiological submission. During the time it takes a murderer to bleed to death, possibly several minutes, they can inflict great harm and death upon innocent persons. Therefore, the only way to assure immediate cessation of violence from the aggressor is to disrupt the central nervous system. Consider the FBI Miami shoot-out, the North Hollywood bank robbery and, more recently, the less publicized but equally horrific murder of two Alexandria, Louisiana police officers by a rifle-wielding maniac. Like the Miami and Hollywood situations, the copkiller in the Alexandria case absorbed


S.W.A.T. APRIL 2004

.308 become the universal issue long gun replacing the 12-gauge shotgun or the .223 carbine. I would, however, argue that the .308 battle rifle can defeat cover, bring suppressive fire, and stop Level III Aggressors more reliably than the previously mentioned tools. After all, shouldnt stopping murderous felons as quickly as possible be the main goal?
XS Sights Standard Dot Tritium front sight.

With all of the above considerations in mind, I contacted Century International Arms, Inc.a longtime supplier of new and re-conditioned arms for the American gun buyer. At the time of this article, Century has re-conditioned G3 and CETME .308 Winchester rifles available. The prices on these are so reasonable that they simply cannot be ignored. The CETME is less than $400 and the G3 is less than $500. The G3 rifle is a Heckler & Koch design and has seen use by military units worldwide. The particular model featured herein is known as the G3 Sporter. This rifle will accept all new and surplus H&K G3 magazines. The semiautomatic action is a delayed blowback, roller locked design. Equipped with a black synthetic stock and forend, the G3 Sporter weighs 9.3 pounds and is 40.75 inches long. Barrel length is nineteen inches with a ported muzzle-brake regulator affixed to the muzzle. Metal finish is a baked on, non-reflective black coating. The stock sights are H&Ks unique rotating drum rear and a ringed front sight post. The drum sight offers 100, 200, 300, and 400meter settings. While the stock sights may be good for conventional military work, I wanted a sight set-up that would work for close-in fighting as well as reasonably long distance, say 100 to 150 yards. After confirming the rifle order. I made a call to XS Sight Systems in Ft. Worth, Texas. Many readers may be familiar with the XS Express handgun sights. XS also makes a wide variety of sights for

rifles and shotguns. It just so happened that XS had a set of replacement sights for the H&K family as well. Using only common tools, I was able to install a standard dot tritium filled front sight and a ghost-ring rear sight in the G3. The concept of the tritium filled, white dot front sight is to give the shooter a rapid sight picture in normal, half and low light situations. The ghost-ring rear sight naturally allows the shooter to align the sights of a long gun for enhanced accuracy. Would the sights work for close in as well as distance work? Would the gun function well or sputter and jam? I would soon find out.


I received both a G3 and a CETME rifle a week prior to my trip to the Gunsite Academy in Paulden, Arizona. The primary purpose of the trip was a writers roundtable. Gun writers from across the country got together to test and evaluate various pistols, rifles, and shotguns on Gunsites numerous ranges. Traveling with me to Arizona was the G3 rifle, a 12-gauge pump, and my duty .45 ACP pistol. On the first Gunsite range, shooters first worked with rifles/carbines at CQB distances. Most everyone else used .223 AR variants. Using my .308 G3 from five and ten yards I was pleased to find that I could indeed double-tap man-size silhouette targets with ease. By double-tap, I mean acquire one sight picture and fire two rounds. At distances of fifteen, twenty, and thirty yards it was best to reacquire the sight picture for each successive shot. The white dot front sight allowed very rapid sight acquisition. As the sun set on the first day, we returned to the range to work in the dark. Using only the available moonlight and the green tritium front sight, I was able to make solid center mass hits from five, ten, fifteen, and even twenty yards. Back at thirty yards, I pulled out my new Streamlight NF-2 flashlight and was able to cradle the rifle in my left arm, while holding the light in my left hand. This position feels awkward at first, but with practice it works. Moving back to fifty yards I had a friend shine a flashlight downrange while I engaged a steel Pepper PopS.W.A.T. APRIL 2004

The G3 Sporter from Century International Arms, Omega vest from Blackhawk, knives from Spyderco and S.O.G.

multiple gunshots before finally expiring. These three examples represent Level III aggressors. Also, in all three cases the felons used cover for protection while engaging law enforcement officers. What should be blatantly obvious is that law enforcement officers need to have a tool available to defeat light to medium cover (body armor, standard vehicle bodies, modern building construction, etc.) This tool cannot be locked in the department armory thirty minutes from the scene. It must be readily available to responding officers. What tool is readily available for law enforcement purchase today? The semiautomatic .308 Winchester rifle. Again, I am not suggesting that the



per target. The sparks from the bullet striking the steel gave instant feedback. Although by no means easy, hits on the Popper could be made with the glowing front sight. The next morning found us all out on Gunsites rifle range. Targets of opportunity would be twelve-inch hanging steel plates and rifle grade poppers. Starting at the one hundred yard line, I lay prone and had a friend spot for me. I was pleased to find that the front sight was not too big as I had initially feared. Placing the dot in the center of the plates or the poppers gave consistent results. The kneeling and off-hand positions demanded greater concentration, but the G3 still performed well. Back at the two-hundred yard line I found that the front sight dot completely covered the center portion of a popper. To achieve hits I needed to place the dot just below the head of the popper. Hits at two hundred yards proved to be difficult, but possible. Using the XS dot/ghost ring setup, two hundred yards was the maximum effective range for my G3. For most uses of the rifle in civilian hands, urban or rural, this should be sufficient. the dot/ghost ring sight configuration. Is a consistent three-inch group practical accuracy for our given task? Again, I would say yes. How about function? Did the G3 ever jam, malfunction or fail to feed? No, no, and no. Using two H&K twenty-round magazines in conjunction with the rifle, I did not encounter a single stoppage or failure. The round count for this evaluation was somewhere between three and four hundred shots fired.

Century International Arms, Inc. Dept. S.W.A.T. 1161 Holland Drive Dept. 0307A Boca Raton, FL 33487 (800) 527-1252 Bagmaster, Inc. Dept. S.W.A.T. 2731 Sutton Ave. St. Louis, MO 63143 (800) 950-8181 Black Hills Ammunition Dept. S.W.A.T. P.O. Box 3090 Rapid City, SD 57709 (605) 348-5150 Federal Cartridge Dept. S.W.A.T. 900 Ehlen Dr. Anoka, MN 55303 (800) 322-2342 Gunsite Academy Dept. S.W.A.T. 2900 W. Gunsite Rd. Paulden, AZ 86334 (928) 636-4565 Hornady Dept. S.W.A.T. P.O. Box 1848 Grand Island, NE 68803 (800) 338-3220 XS Sights Systems, Inc. Dept. S.W.A.T. 2401 Ludell St. Ft. Worth, TX 76105 (888) 744-4880

During the testing of this rifle, I was able to put to good use accessories from several companies. Blackhawk International makes an excellent tactical vest called the Omega. In addition to magazine pockets for .223 or .308, the vest has carrying compartments for shotshells, pistol magazines, OC spray, handcuffs and more. I also put Blackhawks Hydrastorm hydration pack to good use in Arizona. From Bagmaster, Inc. I picked up one of their tactical rifle cases. The padded soft case has four magazine compartments and a large pocket for miscellaneous items. In addition to carrying handles, the case has a sturdy sling on the backside. This is a nice touch as it allows you to sling the case and free up an extra hand.


While at Gunsite I used primarily Hornadys AMAX ammunition. Upon returning home I took the G3 to the range with loads from Black Hills, Hornady, and Federal. A fourth .308 load came from Century Arms. In addition to firearms, they also distribute accessories and ammunition. This last load was surplus Spanish Fabrica full metal jacket. Not only did the Fabrica function without flaw, I also found it to be very clean ammo. At seventy-five yards I put several three shot groups on paper. The results are included in the included table. Though the results might not seem impressive a first glance, keep in mind

While the hot, new .223 carbines may have bumped the .308 battle rifle from the spotlight, they are not ready for the glue factory just yet. If you need a hardhitting semiautomatic rifle, then the Century International Arms G3 might just be the ticket. Hopefully you will never need such a tool. However, an investment of less than $500 just might save the day. The tools are available, the rest is up to you. Train today, survive tomorrow.


AMMUNITION Black Hills 168-gr. Match Federal 175-gr. Match Hornady 155-gr. AMAX Spanish Fabrica 168-gr. FMJ AVERAGE VELOCITY (Fps) 2405 2323 2479 2457 BEST 75-YARD, 3-SHOT GROUP WITH XS SIGHTS 1-1/2 in. 2-1/2 in. 1-3/4 in. 1-9/16 in.


S.W.A.T. APRIL 2004

Assuming the brace position as the cabin begins to fill during a slow run-through. Yes, he will actually squeeze through the window on the left.

SURVIVAL SYSTEMS TRAINING, INC. combat aircraft passenger egress

magine you are a soldier crammed with your buddies in a helicopter, flying over the ocean en route to a target. You are loaded down with your helmet, body armor, weapons, ammo, and other tools of war. Suddenly you hear the engines decelerate, the helos master alarm blares, and the pilot screams over the intercom those words of dread, DITCHING! DITCHING! Thoughts of an agonizing death by drowning run through your head. How are you going to survive? If you survive the initial splashdown and have no specialized egress training, your statistical chances of survival are a mere one out of three. With training those odds rise to respectable 90-92%. Clearly, training can help you avoid making fatal decisions. Understandably, soldiers dont like the idea of being in the water weighted down with a full combat load, let alone being

strapped inside an aircraft that is sinking. But that is precisely why specialized training is required to survive a ditching. If you do what your instincts tell you, you will do the wrong things. The U.S. military has recognized the value of egress training and has provided some of our servicemen who routinely do over-water operaThe METS tions with a modicum of poolside. training, which has traditionally been reserved for pilots. Formalized skills training in this area is relatively new for aircraft passengers, particularly infantry. A driving force behind the modernization of military aircraft egress standards was a particu-

simulator, operated via remote control

larly tragic accident which occurred fifteen miles off San Diego back in 1999. Fourteen Marines were aboard a CH46E Sea Knight helicopter as the pilot tried to land on the deck of an underway ship as part of a combat boarding
S.W.A.T. APRIL 2004



A student breathing off his EBS squeezed through a window clutching his M4 while a safety diver watches closely.

exercise. The Sea Knight came in low and snagged its left rear wheel on the ships metal netting. When the helo broke loose it became vertical, rolled into the ocean and sank. Seven died their bodies were later recovered at a depth of 3,800 feet. The Marines then moved to equip and standardize emergency breathing devices, floatable vests and helmets, and other equipment for over-water operations. (See Lanyards: Antiquated or Essential? by Patrick A. Rogers in the April 2003 issue.) Other service branches followed parallel courses of action. This begs the question, where does the military go for high-end egress training? They go to Survival Systems Training, Inc., a private company specializing in water-related rescue and survival training. Some of their courses include Aircraft Ditching, Sea Survival, and the highly specialized Underwater Patient Evacuation course for air medical personnel. SSTs clientele list reads like a Whos Who of the commercial, civil and military aviation spectrum. Quite a few elite police and military units train regularly with SST. Recently, S.W.A.T. attended SSTs relatively new Combat Infantry Passenger Course, the program which specifically deals with the additional burdens of a gear-laden infantry soldier. The U.S. military runs its own egress programs, but elite units often get sent to SST because, quite simply, the standards are higher. The Combat Infantry Passenger Course is an intensive one-day program for those who

have already completed the basic Aircraft Ditching Course. As the name implies, this course is tailored for soldiers who engage in over-water operations, with a heavy emphasis on helicopter specific procedures. SST features a sophisticated training center built around a fourteen-foot deep, water-filled training tank. Students are dropped into this tank while riding inside a Modular Egress Training Simulator (METS), a high-tech aircraft cabin (and cockpit) simulator. The METS can be configured to accurately represent a wide variety of aircraft interiors, as its seats, bulkheads and wall panels are all modular and interchangeable. The METS even has a built-in smoke and fire generator to give students an extra dose of realism. The METS is a modernized marvel compared with the older dunker more familiar to military aviator pilots and crews. SST is currently selling several METS to various military agencies to replace their older dunkers. Our day begins with a classroom review of basic hazards specific to overwater operations. This leads to viewing dramatic videos of ditchings and a thorough discussion of procedures we will practice throughout the day in the pool. Then out comes the gear, and the class explores the various new Emergency Breathing System (EBS) devices currently in service with the U.S. Military. These are simply mini SCUBA bottles providing an emergency air source for egress when you are having a really bad day. Each service branch has its

own configuration and name for its EBS (naturally), but they all serve essentially the same purpose. Students then don ceramic ballistic vests, Kevlar helmets, and rig on a full load of ammo pouches, holsters, etc. This is an aspect of ditching preparedness which is currently undergoing rapid change; ceramic Class 4 ballistic vests can now include an emergencyditching rig which allows the vest to separate and fall off an immersed soldier. Next, we grab a rubber M4 training rifle and practice assuming various seated brace positions. A strong brace position will anchor the body against the powerful force of water flooding the cabin upon impact. Done incorrectly, a soldier might knock himself unconscious with his rifle butt, which could become a fatal scenario as the aircraft sinks with him still strapped inside. The pool sessions at SST are where students truly overcome the innate human reflexes which can send a soldier to Davy Jones Locker. Because helicopters are top-heavy and typically roll over and invert when ditched, certain water survival skills must be developed. When a human inverts under water, his sinuses flood. Now were not just talking about some water in the nose herewere talking about water filling the sinus cavities behind the nose, the very same condition used by torturers the world over with the old dunk the head in the water upside down simulated drowning. For most of us, this can lead to panic,


S.W.A.T. APRIL 2004


left: After climbing aboard the simulator it is raised to prepare for another drop. Thankfully the pool is heated so practice can continue for many hours. below: Student practicing the brace position in the classroom with M4 training carbine.

tary spasms and gagging, all of which work against our surviving the egress. The instructors at SST very effectively walk us through dealing with this problem and let us spend time upside down in the pool while learning to breathe through our EBS. Soon it becomes no more than simple ritualthe anxiety is gone and we move on to the Training Simulator. The METS simulator is a piece of training gold. We swim out to the simulator, climb inside, and grab a seat. For this particular program we requested the METS be configured as a UH-60. Then begins the first series of egress drills, which become progressively more complex. The METS is dropped into the water, floods within seconds, and then inverts. Even so, most of us can escape comfortably in ten to fifteen secondslong before we feel any discomfort from holding our breath. If we do things properly, the window panels pop out providing escape. Once the cabin inverts, things get very dark very quickly. Finding an escape route visually is impossibleevery move is done by touch. Once we escape and bob to the surface of the pool, our instructors raise the METS to the surface so we can reboard and set up for the next run. After a few practice runs at each skill level we keep adding progressively more combat gear. The rifle not only likes to smack your buddy, but literally bar your exit if you are not careful. This entire evolution is done under the watchful eyes of SSTs instructors, one

of whom is always inside the cabin riding with the students. Safety divers wait submerged in the pool to watch the escapees for problems. By the end of the day, students are expected to egress the simulator in full combat gear and pop to the surface with their rifle in hand. This can become interesting when your escape hole is on the opposite end of the cabin, five of your buddies are between you and that hole, and you must use the same escape route. Staying calm and in control can be easier said than done as evidenced by one of the companys M4 training guns missing its front sight assembly. The soldier carrying it panicked when it jammed in the window barring his escape, task fixation set in and he forced his way out. One of the many beginners mistakes which can lead to this sort of frantic action is simply releasing ones seatbelt too soon. If you release the belt before the cabin stabilizes you will lose contact with the bulkhead and become completely disoriented. Still, it takes discipline to wait until the initial rush of water hits. The physical and technical skills required to successfully complete this course are not difficult at allits the ability to remain cool-headed and in control which must be developed with the aid of SSTs training progression. SST makes the point that non-swimmers have successfully completed their egress programs, driving home the point that technique and mindset are the key factors in the program.

SST provides a high-quality, streamlined, professional-grade program well suited for military and law enforcement special operations personnel as well as the combat infantry passengers for whom it was designed. The overall quality of SSTs staff, facility and program are commensurate with the seriousness of the subject matter. The hands-on nature of the training as well as the repetitive and varied practice sessions effectively allowed us to overcome our instincts and carry out escape procedures no matter what the instructors threw at us. Overall it became a huge confidence builder, and lived up to the ideal of replacing panic with action. If you fly and your duties carry you over water, SSTs programs will have a very positive impact on your survivability.

Survival Systems Training Inc. Dept. S.W.A.T. 144 Tower Avenue Groton, CT 06340 (888) 386-5371
S.W.A.T. APRIL 2004


S.W.A.T. Staff writer Brent Wheat shooting for group with a rifle-barreled, scoped shotgun.


here are very few family businesses which flourish for more a century. One such company is that founded by Wilhelm Brenneke, and currently owned by his great-grandson, Dr. Peter Mank. Like so many other successful entrepreneurs, Mr. Brenneke started manufacturing his own product after becoming disillusioned with the performance of other companies wares. Thus, in 1898, was born the Original Brenneke shotgun slug. For 105 years it has been begged, borrowed, and plagiarized by other ammunition companies, but has probably never been surpassedsave for some in-house factory modifications over the years. Before reading further, an honest confession to the reader of this article. This scribe is biased in favor of shotguns, feeds his personal 12 gauge children slugs only (no buckshot), and is biased in favor of Brennekes. In forty years of both shooting these slugs and observing others fire literally thousands upon thousands of this brand, I have yet to see one round fail to feed or firenot one. And I dont believe in fixing something that aint broke. However, after freely admitting to personal prejudices, let it also be clearly stated that S.W.A.T. Magazine prides itself on integrity and truth above all else, and what follows is an honest, unbiased appraisal of the new line of
S.W.A.T. APRIL 2004

Brenneke slugs, marketed exclusively by Brenneke Of America. To clarify any potential confusion, some ammunition companies load the Brenneke slugs into their own cartridge cases under license to the parent company, but the following review covers the line of products loaded and sold by Brenneke of America only. This clarification is necessary because (a) outside of the United States the word Brenneke is often used colloquially and interchangeably with the word slug, and (b) the term Original Brenneke describes a bullet design, sometimes loaded by other companies, but does not mean that you are getting the original Original Wilhelm Brenneke-designed product. If youre not totally confused by now, heres one more tidbit of information the initial line of 12 gauge, steel-tipped, fiber-wad slugs has now expanded to a choice of a dozen Brenneke cartridges, three of which are a .410 slug, a 20 gauge 3-incher, and a 12 gauge nine-pellet buckshot load. So yes, this article may require reading more than once to absorb all the complexities of the contentjust follow the bouncing ball and everything will come up smelling of roses. Excluding the .410 slug, the 20 gauge Magnum, and the 12 gauge buckshot, the product line is as follows:


Both configurations contain a oneand-an-eighth ounce bullet, and shot reasonably tight groups out of a rifled barrel. As only a couple of dozen rounds were available for test, we elected to shoot them at twenty-five yards, hoping for one ragged hole in the target. S.W.A.T. staffer and law enforcement sniper Brent Wheat could manage only two-inch groups at twenty-five yards with a scoped, rifled-barreled shotgun. Figuring he might be having an off day, we tried again twenty-four hours latersame result. This was slightly disappointing, as this can be achieved with standard slugs out of a smoothbore. Ignoring factory recommendations that the unique one-piece sabot round be fired from a rifled barrel only, I let a couple of rounds go out of a smoothbore from twenty-five yards. Result: ten-inch group. Apparently the factory has more knowledge than Mister Know-it-all. Summation: Ive never liked sabots and still dont, despite the devastating appearance of fired SuperSabot bullets fished out of soft test tissue. Factory recommended use: For big game out to eighty-plus yards for the 2-3/4inch round, and for big game out to one hundred plus yards for its larger cousin.




Bumped up a full twenty-five percent in bullet weight over a conventional one-ounce slug, this baby is still hauling at 1000+ feet-per-second at a hundred yards, with a claimed foot-pound energy approaching 1200. Summation: Another flat shooter. Factory recommended use: For use on medium and larger game out to 100 yard distances. Personal recommendation: Dont stand in front of this one!


These bullets can be fired from either smoothbore or rifled barrels, and for whatever reason, seemed to be a better bet than their SuperSabot brethren. Summation: I still dont like sabots! Factory recommended use: Same as for the SuperSabots.


Both of these come in three-inch configuration only, and both deliver an incredible claimed 3,000-plus foot pounds of energy at the muzzleand I believe the claims. Both contain a big-boys-only 1-3/8 (yes, thats one-and-three-eighths ounce) projectile. If these two rounds dont put a layer of froth on your saliva, nothing will. The Super Magnum, again, is for rifled barrels only, while the Black Magic can be fired from rifled or smooth barrels. Summation: Now were cooking! Factory recommended use: For large and dangerous game out to one hundred yards. Overall, despite the hitch with the SuperSabots, Im still Brennekes Number One Fan. And based on four decades of shooting this product, and the results of the rest of the product line, Im not altogether convinced that there wasnt something intrinsically amiss with either the scope or the barrel of the sniper gun used by Lieutenant Wheat. I am certainly prepared to give Brenneke the benefit of the doubt, believe their claims, and would like to try again with another gun as a triple-check before making an absolute decision one way or another. Heres to big guns, big bullets, and another successful century of business for the Brenneke/Mank family.


Personally, this scribe is biased against low recoil projectiles of any caliber, except for specific examples (such as .22LR Standard Velocity for target shooting). This bias is based upon several personal experiences, one of which is seeing so many different brands of the now invogue low recoil slugs printing such atrocious groups past forty-plus yards that I dont trust any of them. The second reason, in all honesty, is that yours truly is so bereft of cerebral faculties that if I were blindfolded I couldnt tell the difference in felt recoil between a standard load and a low recoil round. If you dont want recoil, shoot a 28 gauge theres no free lunch. Physics is physics, and if you want the payload result emanating from the front of the shotgun, deal with the thrust of the recoil. Summation: 200 rounds of test ammo shot a flat trajectory and six-inch groups out to 90 yards. Factory recommended use: For zero to thirty-five yard hunting of 4-legged game. (I seriously doubt that 2-legged game would be ecstatic after absorbing this round either.)

This is a low-priced round which has enjoyed increasing popularity in the past couple of years, and which this author personally believes is going to become a favorite of many shooters in the future. Summation: 200 rounds of test ammo shot a flat trajectory and more than adequate groups out to 100 yards (and provided endless hours of enjoyment to boot). Factory recommended use: For deersized game out to sixty yards (and will undoubtedly get the job done on dearsized game as well).

Brenneke Of America, Ltd. Dept. S.W.A.T. P.O. Box 1481 Clinton, IA 52733 (800) 753-9733
S.W.A.T. APRIL 2004



The 685 Series knives are available with single ground drop point, double ground and tanto-style designs.


asters of Defense (M.O.D.) has a well-deserved reputation for making first-rate tactical knives. Its designer-series knives have won considerable acclaim by both knife aficionados and hard-use operators. Although priced well in line with other semi-custom knives, M.O.D. designer-series knives do cost more than some people are willing to pay for a knife. Recognizing this, M.O.D. has introduced a new line of tactical knives designed, according to M.O.D.s Jim Ray, for those people who want quality but dont want to invest top dollar in a service knife. According to Ray, the new line will consist of two series of foldersthe 685 Series of small tactical folders and the 875 Series of large tactical folders. All of the knives in both series will be available in manual opening and automatic opening versions. All of the blades are available with either a plain edge or one-half serrated edge. The 685 Series knives are the first of the new knives to be available. The compact 685 Series knives have a 2.9inch blade and an overall length of 6.85 inches. Blade thickness is .125 inch. The
The single ground, drop point blade is a good all-around, utilitarian design.

knives come in three blade styles. The STT-685 (Small Tactical Tanto) has a tanto blade style. The STF-685 (Small Tactical Fighter) has a double ground fighter-style blade. The STH-685 (Small Tactical Hunter) has a single ground drop point blade style. The 875 Series was not yet available at the time of this writing, but it should be available by the time you read this. The 875 Series knives will have a 3.8-inch blade and an overall length of 8.75 inches. Blade thickness will be .148 inch. As with the 685 Series, the 875 Series will also be available in three blade styles. The LTT-875 (Large Tactical Tanto) will have a tanto blade style. The LTF-875 (Large Tactical Fighter) will have a double ground fighter-style blade. Instead of a drop point, the third blade style in the 875 Series, the LTC-875 (Large Tactical Clip Point), will have a double ground clip point. M.O.D. uses 154CM high carbon stainless steel for the blades. 154CM is made in the U.S.A. by Crucible Steel. Its nearly identical to Hitachis ATS-34, which is made in Japan. Its one of the finest steels. 154CM has an extremely

fine grain structure with excellent edgeholding ability. M.O.D. cryogenically tempers and hardens the blades to RC 60. RC 60 is considered optimum for 154CM, providing maximum edge-holding ability without becoming brittle. The deep cryogenic tempering process is an extension of the heat treatment process. It greatly increases the strength, durability and performance of the steel. The high carbon content of 154CM makes it less rust-resistant than lowercarbon content stainless steels. To protect the blades, M.O.D. utilizes a Diamond Black DLC finish. Diamond Black DLC is extremely hard and scratchresistant. It was first used on M.O.D.s A2 carbon steel fixed blades to protect the steel from rust. Its non-reflective and provides a high degree of corrosion resistance. The blade and operating system are held to extremely close tolerances. All M.O.D. knives feature hollow-ground blades. While hollow-ground blades are more time consuming and expensive to produce, they have a superior edge and are easier to sharpen in the field.
The double ground blade is well suited for fighting.


The locking mechanism on the 685 Series and 785 Series knives is a proprietary push-button plunge lock with a secondary safety lock. The plunge lock securely engages a notch cut into the tang of the blade. The secondary safety slide lock is located on the thumb face of the scales. When activated by sliding it forward with the thumb, the secondary safety lock prevents the primary lock button from being depressed to release the blade from the open position and, in the case of auto-openers, from the closed position. The locking mechanism is quite strong and very secure. Operation of the knives is completely ambidextrous. Dual ribbed thumb studs allow the knives to be opened with either hand. M.O.D. folders utilize a protected speed bushing for smooth operation. The blade pivot screw is adjustable, allowing the blade to be tensioned to individual preferences. The aluminum scales on the designer-series folders have been replaced on the new series by 30% glass-filled Nylon scales. By going to polymer scales, M.O.D. has eliminated machining costs, yet not sacrificed on durability. The strength of the scales is augmented by the use of 301 stainless steel liners. The glass-filled Nylon is the same material M.O.D. uses for the handles of its top-of-the line Dieter CQD fixed blade fighters. The Nylon scales are an attractive dark, gunmetal blue color. A black, textured wingwalk insert provides a non-slip grip. Wingwalk is similar to skateboard tape. A sculpted finger groove acts like a hilt, providing better control of the knife and helping to prevent the hand from contacting the blade. The pocket clip is made of mattefinished hardened 301 stainless steel. The scales and pocket clip are fastened to the liners by Allen-head screws. M.O.D. provided S.W.A.T. with a STT-685 (Small Tactical Tanto) for evaluation. Fit and workmanship on the sample were excellent. The blade operated smoothly, with a crisp, solid lock up. There wasnt any play or wobble to the blade. OK, so what about the price? The manual opening versions of the 685 Series knives have a suggested retail price of $119.98. The auto openers have

a suggested retail price of $149.98. The 875 Series will set you back a few more bucks. The manual opening versions of the 875 Series knives will have a suggested retail price of $159.98. The autos will have a suggested retail price of $199.98. The knives are by no means inexpensive, but cost less than one would pay for many of the quality production tactical folders on the market. Also, remember that these are only manufacturer suggested retail prices. If you look around you should be able to find them for less. All M.O.D. knives have a limited lifetime warranty that covers replacement parts and labor. The auto-opening versions are only available to military, fire/EMS and law enforcement with proper ID.

Masters of Defense, LLC Dept. S.W.A.T. 256 A Industrial Park Drive Waynesville, NC 28786 (888) 832-4158

Like the double ground blade, the tanto-style is well suited for fighting.




n old timer once told me, "A family that hunts together stays together." Well, thats not quite the way I heard it goes, but it makes sense. Finding a hunt that the whole family can enjoy is a good way to break 'em in and I cannot think of one better than a dove field during the first week of September. Dove hunting is hot and heavy with lots of shooting and no time to be bored. The problem is what to put in the hands of the wife and kids that won't spoil all the fun by beating their shoulders to death or being awkward to handle. The best combination I have found is the small gauge, youth-type shotgunplenty of power and range, but on a smaller scale that they can handle easily. Three models I recently found to fit the bill were Tristar's 28 gauge TR-II, Tristar's 20 gauge TR-L, and Beretta's AL391 20 gauge youth model. Tristar Sporting Arms is located in North Kansas City, Missouri. They are importers of Italian shotguns by Rizzini and Rota. Don't get excited, these over and under shotguns have all the
S.W.A.T. APRIL 2004

features one could ask for, but at affordable prices. I like the over and under concept for training purposes. They have the safety features of a single shot, but offer the inexperienced shooter an extra round for that quick second shot often needed. Besides, it offers the prestige of looking like a million bucks to them, even though it didn't cost it. The TR-II features an engraved blued frame, walnut stock, auto-ejectors, single select trigger, and a 7mm vent rib barrel. This 28 gauge model weighs only 6-3/4 pounds and has 26-inch barrels. Length of pull on this model is 143/8 inches. It makes a great ladies or youth shotgun with lightweight handling and very little recoil. The TR-L is made for ladies, but serves double duty as a youth version. It sports a fancy silver engraved frame, auto-ejectors, choke tubes, single select trigger, and a 10mm vent rib. Its semifancy walnut stock has a shorter 13-1/2 inch length of pull for smaller frame individuals. The TR-L is offered in 20 gauge only and has three-inch chambers if more power is needed. Both

Tristar models have a limited five-year warranty. Beretta has been in the firearms business for 475 years and needs no introduction. Their AL391 semi-auto (Youth) model is for the more advanced shooters of the family. This 20 gauge is a three-inch magnum model designed to handle all types of loads. Barrel length is 24-inches to enhance handling. The 391 comes with a full set of choke tubes to cover all types of hunting conditions. It weighs only 5.95 pounds. Finish is anodized black for corrosion and wear resistance. The stock and forearm are select walnut with a semi-gloss finish and waterproofing for protection from harsh conditions. Forearms are of the slim line type with fine cut checkering and fluting for a firm grip with all size hands. Another feature of the 391 is that length of pull can be changed using an extra supplied recoil pad with spacers provided and cast to fit any shooter. Field tests went without a hitch as the wife and kids were having a ball getting the lead out (so to speak). After several boxes of shells, their shot to kill




continued from page 20

Who Should Fight The War On Terror?

Imagine that the potential victims, the citizens, fully understood that neither the military nor the police could successfully defeat global terrorism. Imagine that all the citizens, like the Swiss and to some extent the Israelis, were expected to protect their homes, communities and nation from terrorists. In such a scenario, the citizens would be armed and trained. They would be watchful. They would be filled with an ideology of anti-aggression and righteous defense. If a terrorist blew up a busload of school kids in Illinois, the citizens would look to each other to learn, improve and prevent recurrences. Instead of blaming government agencies or calling for expanded police powers and higher taxes, the citizens themselves would have substantial responsibility for homeland security. A skilled, armed and vigilant citizenry would pose a direct, local deterrent to decentralized local terrorists. The soccer mom next door, the retired plumber across the street, the school principal at her office, the young city bus driverall of these decent people would be the enemies of terrorists. Armed citizens, working together with local peace officers, could form the huge but decentralized, highly mobile, locally-aware defense force necessary to stop this new foe. Richard W. Stevens is author (with Aaron Zelman) of Death by Gun Control: The Human Cost of Victim Disarmament. He can be contacted at

above: Shotguns as tested included (left to right) Tristar's TR-II, 28 gauge, Beretta's AL 391 Youth 20 gauge, and Tristar's TR-L 20 gauge. Ladies/youth model. left: Dove hunting and small gauge shotguns can be enjoyed by the whole family. Camouflage is Diamondback.

ratio for doves was not very high, but that was not the fault of the shotguns. The main idea here was to have some fun, practice safety and handling skills and get some testing in. All shotguns performed very well and function with light loads in Beretta's 391 20 gauge magnum was surprising. Handling and safety features presented the shooters no special problems even when swapping the different models around. After only a few rounds, even my eleven-year old son could handle the semi-auto Beretta by himself (under supervision of course) with confidence. The only difficulties encountered were with the Tristar over and under models. They were extremely hard to break down for loading and reloading. It could be they take a while to breakin because of the tight fitting tolerances, and they did get slightly better as the hunt progressed. However, they still were hard to break open and having to cock the hammers made it tougher. Its fun for the whole family, take 'em dove hunting. They may not hit

very much, but there will be lots of shooting, lots of bragging and lasting memoriesand don't forget the small gauge shotguns!

Beretta USA Corp. Dept. S.W.A.T. 17601 Beretta Drive Accokeek, MD 20607-9566 (301) 283-0189 Diamondback Camouflage, L.L.C. Dept. S.W.A.T. P.O. Box 1419 Marble Falls, TX 78654 (800) 909-9972 Tristar Sporting Arms, Ltd. Dept. S.W.A.T. 1814-16 Linn St. N. Kansas City, MO 64116 (816) 421-1400

Donald Rumsfelds Memo: FBI pre-911 intelligence:
S.W.A.T. APRIL 2004



NEW KIMBER ULTRA RCP II Perfect Little .45 (Almost) KEL-TEC'S P-3AT Less Is More THE TASER X26 The Ultimate Less-Lethal Weapon? GLOCKS MODEL 37 Not What You Expected?




APRIL, 2004




DATE Apr. 3-4

COURSE Seattle, WA Combative Pistol Bishop, CA Combative Pistol San Antonio, TX Combative Pistol

DATE COURSE Mar. 29-Apr. 2 Bushmaster Carbine Operator Apr. 5-9 5-Day Pistol/Carbine Apr.12-16 Tactical EMT Apr. 19-23 5-Day Pistol II Apr. 26-30 Executive Protection

DATE Apr. 2-4

COURSE Lakeland, FL Intermediate Handgun

Apr. 15-16 Apr. 16-18 Apr. 16 Apr. 17 Apr. 18 Apr. 24-25 Apr. 30-May 2 Apr. 30 at ITTS Intermediate Handgun Handgun IIA Handgun IIB Handgun IIC Defensive Handgun I Advanced Handgun Series Handgun IIIA

Apr. 24-25



DATE Apr. 16 Apr. 17-18

COURSE Philadelphia, PA Officer Knife Safety Civilian Contact Weapons Defense


DATE Apr. 5-6

Apr. 5-7 Apr. 7-9


DATE Apr. 10-11 Apr. 11 Apr. 17-18 Apr. 17-18

COURSE Tactics For Armed Encounters Concealed Carry 101 Defensive Handgun Advanced Survival Tactics

DATE Apr. 2-4 Apr. 5-9 Apr. 13-15 Apr. 16-18 Apr. 19-23 Apr. 26-30

COURSE Competition Handgun Defensive Handgun Competition Handgun Competition Rifle/Shotgun Tactical Carbine LE/Mil Tactical Carbine Instructor

Apr. 89 Apr. 10 Apr. 13-15 Apr. 15-16 Apr. 19-22 Apr. 26-30

COURSE AR-15 Armorers Course in conjunction with The Defensive Edge Advanced Concealed Carry AR-15 Instructors Course in conjunction with The Defensive Edge Combat Focus Shooting Executive Cane Fighting Contact Combatives Combat Focus Shooting Surgical Strike K-9 Handler Tactics




DATE Apr. 2-4 Apr. 19-27

DATE Mar. 29-Apr. 2 Mar. 29-Apr. 2 Apr. 3-9 Apr. 5-9 Apr. 12-16 Apr. 12-16 Apr. 17-18 Apr. 19-23 Apr. 26-30

COURSE Precision Rifle Close Quarter Tactics R.E.S.T. Senior Law Enforcement Executive Basic Defensive Pistol Intermediate Defensive Pistol Ladies Pistol 2 Advanced Defensive Pistol General Rifle

COURSE Precision Rifle Competition Precision Rifle 1&2

DATE Apr. 5-7

COURSE San Jose, CA LE Stage I Handgun


DATE Apr. 5-9 Apr. 1-3 Apr. 12-14 Apr. 15-17 Apr. 26-28

COURSE Defensive Handgun Ladies Tactical Handgun (Level 2) General Purpose Rifle Shotgun Defensive Revolver

[Note: Some of the classes listed may already be filled to capacity. We suggest you contact the specific school you are interested in for class availability and further information. The schools' website or email addresses are listed for your convenience.]
S.W.A.T. APRIL 2004


Danner has introduced new styles to its Striker line of uniform boots. Two of the new models include eight-inch Striker Side Zip models. Built on the patented TERRA FORCE platform, these boots provide the support and durability of a classic Danner heavy-duty boot in a lightweight model. TERRA FORCE consists of five components: an insole plate, midsole, internal and external shanks and the Danner-designed, durable and slip-resistant Radical TF outsole. The upper is stitched to the midsole plate in the heel and forefoot areas for added stability in these key areas. The internal shank works with the insole plate to create a firm foundation while the external shank provides exceptional lateral and medial strength. The result is an incredibly lightweight yet stable base. The Striker Side Zip Crosstech NMT and Striker Side Zip Crosstech styles are built with 2.0-2.2mm waterproof full-grain leather and feature a side zip to allow for quick on and off in emergency situations. Constructed with a Crosstech protective fabric liner, the Striker Side Zip models repel rain, blood and common chemicals while keeping feet comfortable and dry. The Striker Side Zip Crosstech NMT also features the Danner ProTec non-metallic toe (NMT) for maximum toe protection, won't conduct heat or cold, is corrosionresistant and won't activate metal detectors. For more information contact Danner, Dept. S.W.A.T., 18550 NE Riverside Parkway, Portland, OR 97230, (503) 2511119,


The AR-15/870 CQB stock adapter allows an M4 style telescoping stock and pistol grip to be attached to the Remington 870. This adapter is part of an ongoing development effort that will form the basis for a range of shotgun weapons systems. The AR-15/870 CQB stock adapter becomes the cornerstone for these weapons systems, and initiates a transformation from an ordinary Remington 870 to a CQB shotgun with high user adaptability. Much of this adaptability comes from two Picatinny rail systems designed to complement the stock adapter and provide a mounting base for a wide range of aftermarket accessories such as sights and illuminators. These two choices in Picatinny rails are one 5.75-inch rail which mounts directly to the shotgun receiver, or a full 20-inch long rail system. For more information, please visit or write to Argonaut Armament Ltd., Dept. S.W.A.T., P.O. Box 27020, Tuscany RPO, Calgary, Alberta, Canada T3L 2Y1.


Custom Cartridge has developed a cartridge using a frangible bullet at subsonic speed that is truly effective when striking human targets, but breaks down to relatively harmless small projectiles when striking hard surfaces. The bullets do not ricochet, nor do they penetrate automobile sheet metal or aircraft skin. The cartridges are designed to be used safely in urban settings where overpenetration is undesirable, but hits on target must be effective. For more information contact Custom Cartridge, Inc., Dept. S.W.A.T., 5878 Hollister Ave., Goleta, CA 93117, (888) 357-4440,


BEAMHIT has been providing cost effective small arms marksmanship training systems to military, law enforcement and individual shooters. The BEAMHIT family of small arms training and shooting sports simulation products are effective, affordable, safe and reliable training tools to help build strong firearm handling and shooting skills.


S.W.A.T. APRIL 2004


Combining in-bore laser precision with stand-alone and computer-connected targets, BEAMHIT Systems provide highly portable and expandable, stateof-the-art firing rangesanytime, anywhere. The targets are easy to set up, the lasers slide right into your firearm's barrel, and you're ready to begin. BEAMHIT Systems are in use today by the U.S. military, federal law enforcement agencies and many state, local and international police and security organizations. These organizations use BEAMHIT to maintain and develop basic marksmanship and handling, reflexive skill sets, dynamic movement, and other tactical applications. For more information on BEAMHIT products or to purchase products, call (800) 232-6448 or visit

accommodate barrels with diameters less than one inch, namely the military M-4 contoured barrel and the industry standard heavy barrel. Made of a high-tech, temperature resistant polymer, the handguards withstand temperatures greater than 500 degrees which allows them to resist over-heating after continuous fully automatic fire for over 200 rounds. For more information contact DPMS, Dept. S.W.A.T., 13983 Industry Ave., Becker, MN 55308, (763) 261-5600. paired with the XS Ghost-Ring rear sight, shootability and hit potential are greatly enhanced. For more information contact XS Sight Systems, Dept. S.W.A.T., 2401 Ludelle Street Fort Worth, TX 76105 (888) 744-4880,


For more than 100 years, fins have been used to cool metal objects. Now DPMS Panther Arms brings that concept to your AR-15 rifle. DPMS Panther Arms introduces the new M-4 "GlacierGuards"an M-4 style handguard that utilizes fifteen internal fins, rather than the standard aluminum doubleshield, for heat dispersion. These unique fins, while dispersing the heat generated by rifle fire, also provide unsurpassed strength and rigidity for the handguard. Externally, the M-4 GlacierGuards feature fifteen ribs that mirror the internal fins, and provide the shooter an enhanced grip. The M-4 GlacierGuards


Para is the company that made High Capacity and Light Double-Action synonymous with .45 ACP. The new Para Carry Option pistols have the security and shootability of the LDA trigger system plus recoil absorbing, solid stainless steel construction. The New Carry 12 with its 3.5-inch barrel, flush hammer and bobbed grip safety make it the newest addition to the Para line of Carry Option pistols. These pistols give you a smooth, snagfree draw, the power of the .45 ACP cartridge and the safety of a hammer down carry with a sweet, smooth trigger every shot. The Carry 12 uses a ramped barrel with a supported chamber, has tough polymer grips and tritium three-dot Night Sights. For a limited time, where legal, the new Para Carry 12 will be shipped with two preban high capacity magazines. For more information contact Para-Ordnance Mfg. Inc., Dept. S.W.A.T., 980 Tapscott Road, Scarborough, ON, M1X 1C3, (416) 297-7855
S.W.A.T. APRIL 2004


XS Sight Systems 24/7 Mini 14 front sight fits both Mini 14s and Ranch Rifles. The 24/7 design provides excellent sight visibility in all light conditions and firstrate accuracy at all practical ranges. The square top post provides excellent long range accuracy, the white face of the sight reflects any available ambient light for outstanding half-light sight visibility and tritium supplies superb lowlight sight acquisition. This is a true 24/7 sight, visible in daylight, half-light and low light. When


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US Military Recon & Snipers. US Police dept. Night Shift & Black Ops. Blacker than Midnight BDUs, Webb Gear, Packs, Assault Vests, US Military knives & much more. Catalog $2.00 to OLCS, PO Box 1618, Alamogordo, NM 88311. Largest online catalog:

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ADVERTISER American Technologies American Watch Co Barrett Firearms Black Hills Ammunition BlackHawk Industries Blackwater Blauer Tactical Buck Knives Bushmaster Firearms, Inc Clark Custom Guns Competitive Edge Dynamics Crimson Trace Lasers Crows Tactical D.P.M.S. D.S.Arms Defense Band Defensive Edge Training Delray Shooting Center ESI, Inc. Firearms Academy of Seattle Firepower FP-10 (MPC) First Samco GB Media Gemtech Gunsite Academy H and H Associates H-S Precision Hatch Corp Hellstorm Horus Vision Hydrastorm Insight Technology, Inc. D&L Sports APRIL SWEEPSTAKES WEBSITE PAGE Cvr.4 no website available 29 10 8 11 21 30 14 42 59 43 41 96 35 34 97 41 97 18 96 96 12 39 7 24 62 37 3 55 2 33 ADVERTISER International Security School Jungle Toy Karambit Kimber Mfg, Inc KNS Precision Lagger Pro LaRue Tactical Leupold LightFighter Tactical Maxpedition MD Tactical Meprolight Mil-Comm Products NightVisionMall NiViSys Old Lincoln County One Stop Knife Shop Operation Parts Outdoor Channel OutdoorBidur Practical Shooting Academy Probe, Inc Rifles Only SideArmor Smith and Alexander Springfield Texas Tactical Supply Thunder Ranch Valhalla Training Ctr Watsons Weapons XS Sight Systems Yankee Hill Machine Your American Backyard WEBSITE PAGE
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ngaging in one-man tactics is like walking a tightrope without a safety netif you make it to the other side without mishap, you winbut if you dont make it, you lose everything. Contrary to popular opinion, no matter how much you train and no matter how adept you may be at your trade, you need a huge preponderance of luck when youre playing a game with such heavily stacked odds. Yes, people win jackpots in gambling casinos, but the payout is covered by the losses of thousands of bankrupt suckers. Nothing comes out of the house coffers, because the odds are so weighted on the side of the casino. The losers pay for all the jackpot winningsand more. And so it is when one attends a gunfight vying against almost insurmountable odds. One would think nobody but a halfwit would become unnecessarily embroiled in a deadly force conflict, but Las Vegas isnt exactly patronized by brain surgeons either. The only hope you have before you walk onto someone elses battlefield is to hedge your bets, train like theres no tomorrow, and avoid unnecessary pitfalls. And only so many of these selfimposed pitfalls can be curtailed to the extent that you can reduce the odds stacked against you to maybeand the operative word is maybeallow you to have a running chance of success. Fighting is a mental game, and even though it helps to have a gun when engaged in a gunfight, a firearm is merely a mechanical power-delivery system. Many a big game hunter has left Africa in a shoebox because he thought a large bore rifle plus a small bore IQ equates mathematically to a small bore pussycat with a large bore attitude. Heres a closely guarded secretit doesnt. And if that isnt enough of a clue, work this one out: no hunter has ever been killed by a rifle-toting leopard. The leopards skill at paws beats your skill at arms every time if you dont pack your brains along with the rest of your safari luggage. So what are some of the most common avoidable man-hunting pitfalls? First, pour your bottle of testosterone pills down the drain. If you dont understand the message of discretion is the better part of valor, go ahead and get yourself killed in a lethal confrontation escalated by an ego-driven, single-cell brainbelieve it or not, nobody really cares whether you live or die. If youre forced into a rencounter, think on your feet, not with your feet. Defined, this means that many people will start forward physical progress while simultaneously trying to formulate a game plan, when it is far better, if possible, to pre-plan any further physical advance before leaving the warm womb of cover. While you have to be able to think on your feet because the situation invariably changes as soon as hostilities commence, the problem is that you have to thinkliterally and figurativelynot one, but two steps ahead. The problem when you are a man alone is that, unlike the ubiquitous fly, humans dont have 360-degree vision. And even if you were a house fly, you still have only an eighteen-inch focal plane, which means if you run into a bad guy chameleon with a fast nineteeninch tongue, hell French kiss you to hell. If you start advancing unnecessarily into an area without pre-planning, youll undoubtedly lock your beady little China Blues on one area and automatically attract lead pills from a secondary area which youve over-run. In other words, before you start spinning your tires, pre-plan along the lines of if I move to Position B, am I going to run into a potential problem from Position C? Then, and only then, should you move from Position A. Unless completely unavoidable, tap the brake pedal. Most people realize the Position C problem only after theyve already started forward physical progresstoo little, too late. Yes, sometimes dynamic movement is a prerequisite because of the situation at hand, but most of the time stealthy, steady advance (or retreat) is more sensible. Dont over-run your headlights if you dont have to! Another common faux pas is giving up distance advantage, which often leads to being blind-sided, telegraphing of a gun muzzle around corners or open portals, or over-crowding of thought processes because youre forced to make too manyor incorrectdecisions. Distance creates time and time creates distance. If you can react at 100 mph in a 35 mph speed zone as effectively as you can react at 35 mph, then by all means hit the gas pedal. Otherwise, slow down, or youll be wearing two nuns and a school-kid for a hood ornament. The reaction time is a constantits the stopping distance that counts. The more sedate your pace, the more time you have to think to take effective reactionary measures. Another tactical argument which will continue for longer than itll take this author to acquire a pleasant disposition is the quick peek. While this technique may initially seem like a brilliant idea, what you optically obtain from a quick peek is a micro-second of information of what was there when you looked, not necessarily what will be there when you cunningly stick out unimportant body parts (like your head) the second time around. If you see an armed assailant on your first look, you may as well hold him optically and deal with himyou own him. You could, of course, let your head protrude at a different elevation second time aroundnaturally hell never work that out. Just because hes a crook doesnt mean hes stupidhe does this for a living, remember? On the other hand, dont worry about it. Youll probably die from multiple bullet wounds after he stitches eleventyseven rounds through the sheetrock wall while youre ruminating over your newfound problem. Or hell advance from his initial position while youre performing your turtle-neck act, and when you stick your beak around the corner second time around hell fill your snot-locker with lead from two feet away. Yes, tactics are like rear endseverybodys got one. But for the gamblers in S.W.A.T.s readership, which Royal Flush do you want to bet onthe one which nets a thousand dollar jackpot, or the one which ends with the King drowning ignominiously by having his head inserted upside down in a toilet bowl? Or last, but not least, cut the powerhungry ego and abdicate your throne, dont go into casinosand stay alive.


S.W.A.T. APRIL 2004