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com Sometimes we don’t get to pick the weapons we use. Or can use. Sometimes we have to rely on weapons that aren’t on the level we’re used to; older, slower, less precise, less powerful, less durable, ammunition likely scarce; below optimum for taking on OPFORs. We’re stuck with the hand we’re dealt. So be it. 22 RIFLES 22 long rifle cartridge out of a rifle can kill only with a heart or head shot, and only out to 100 yards. Since the enemy is likely to be fielding body armor that leaves head shots on protected personnel. That being said, the .22 is the easiest cartridge to suppress, find subsonic loads for-which out of a longer barreled rifle can make a report no louder than an airgun. A lot of the .22 rifles you will encounter will be single shot rifles, either break open or boltpredominately bolt action. Some models will have a internal tubular magazine, others will have a small 5 or 10 shot magazine you probably won’t be able to find, others will be single shot. These are best used as a disposable sniper rifle or what Mark Koernke refers to as a ‘butter knife’; something to hand out to a new recruit to see if they have what it takes… kill the enemy, take their weapons and gear. Best to scope such a rifle. The tube fed .22 rifles, be they pump, bolt, or autoloader have a limited battlefield use if nothing else is available. You have 14-18 shot capacity of a weapon that is best reserved for 100 yard headshots, but can be made quiet enough with suppressors or subsonic ammo that stealth
can be used on multiple targets. Best to lay back in a cluttered environment, either thick forest or urban areas. If your enemy is in a group, take out those furthest in the back and work your way forward, always killing those behind the view of those in front. If walking and you and your rifle are on, it’s possible. If the enemy sees their own falling they will assume cover and lay down suppressive fire so
you have a choice between engaging with the rest of your tube taking a huge chance of victory or death, or withdraw to hit them again. A trick to rapidly reloading the tube fed rifles is to make a speed loader out of a length of rod of suitable diameter, beveling the end so that it fits up to magazine tube, which allows about as much combat utility as you’re going to get out of this design. The Ruger 10-22 rifle has a large supply of aftermarket 20, 30, and even 50 round magazines, which makes the weapon currently valuable for marksmanship training for main battle rifles. This little rifle can also easily be fitted with any number of improvised suppressor designs and be made into quite a lethal 100 yard killing machine. With a folding stock, low power scope or even first generation night vision, suppressor one could in a cluttered environment sneak about and do a lot of culling of enemy personnel. .22 pistols and revolvers can be suppressed either with a makeshift attached suppressor that is easy to make or with a revolver simply encasing it in a box, which also affords being able to disguise it as a package until it’s time.
SHOTGUNS I personally am not a shotgun person. The shells are balky, the weapon itself has limited ammunition capacity, short range-like the .22 rifle. Unlike the .22 rifle a shotgun will definitely kill, even if you aim at a limb or groin area from combat incapacitation and blood loss. Birdshot, BB and similar shot sizes are reserved for close in work. The shells themselves can be reworked into a crude slug. A gentleman from Nigeria looking to get around his government’s ban on such ammunition shows how it’s done: make a mold cylinder bore for your gauge, pour out the shot from your shell, discard the wad, melt the shot into a slug and repack the shell. You have a slug shell. Buckshot from No. 4 to OOO is good out to 30 yards or so if you want to maximize the amount of pellets into target, but the wider shot at somewhat longer ranges does allow a wider pattern and a chance to at least get a few into target. Slugs can be shot out at least 100 yards. Dedicated rifled shotguns can lob them out to 200 yards. Consider shooting slugs as roughly akin to a Colonial era musket firing a ball though. Not much in range, probably not much more in accuracy unless you’re dialed in but if that one ounce slug makes contact it will take out a limb or
cause massive bodily trauma, even with a Kevlar vest. Single shot shotguns have an exposed hammer; you have to crack open the piece, load, close, cock the hammer, point and shoot. Double barrel shotguns have two barrels-two shots. Rapid reload tip to keep up your rate of fire: Have in your support hand a couple shells. As you cycle
through the reload process you have shells in hand instead of having to dig through your gear or pockets. Be sure to grab more shells once you’re reloaded. Tube fed shotguns: as best possible load the tube up and shoot one, load one. Shoot one, load one to keep your weapon fully stoked. For tube fed shotguns, a speed loader can be built:
RIFLES There are hundreds of different models of older sporting and military rifles numbering in the tens of millions out there. Unfortunately they are in about as many calibers-many of them hard to track down even now in a time of open firearms ownership. As with other arms what action you wind up with will determine your potential combat capacity-but so will the cartridge your make-do rifle is chambered for. Those single-shot H&R shotguns can also take a rifle barrel in your caliber, so you have a single-shot rifle with which to snipe at individual targets. Just thought I’d mention that. Lever action rifles: in pistol caliber reserve them for game and emergency home defense. The 30-30 cartridge with its blunt nose, along with any other lever action cartridge like the 444 and
45-70 will rapidly drop and drop severely after 100 yards unless you can field with leverevolution cartridges with the polymer tip, which will extend your maximum point blank range a good 100 yards or more. With the levers, stoke the tube, then shoot one, load one, reserving the tube magazine for close combat. Lever action rifles with a detaching box magazine-these can shoot at much longer ranges more readily. It would be a good ideal to get spare magazines or try to have extended capacity magazines fabricated for them. There may be some 10 round Coyler clips floating around, you never know. Sporting bolt action rifles, such as Winchester 70s and Remington 700s, along with converted Mausers are in the millions. Many have basic iron sights, many have older generation scopes already mounted, and at least most will be sighted in to some load you’re going to have to figure out. Hopefully you have one in a common enough caliber that ammo will still be available or in a pinch your empties can be reloaded using swage presses, bullet molds and primer and powder scavenged from battlefield pickups. Bolt action rifles have been used as sniper rifles for over a century, they are proven, accurate. Their weaknesses are low ammo capacity and slow reload time if using an internal magazine-remember you are likely going to be operating ALONE. You will be looking to engage isolated targets you can as best possible be able to swoop in and strip them of their gear. Because every round counts and if you’re not coming out on a positive as far as results versus expenditure of time, ammunition, risk-you’re not winning. And if you’re not going to win you might as well not even go out there. There are millions of Lee-Enfield, Mauser, Mosin-Nagant rifles in .303 British, 8mm, and 7.62x54. These are for the most part iron sighted weapons that take a stripper clip of five rounds for a rapid reload. The sights were designed for aiming at a man out to 600 yards-beyond that a whole company of infantry were told the range to dial in and shot volleys en masse to
produce a machine gun like pattern… at least until World War One where musketry died in trench warfare. YOU however, not having machine guns, artillery, or air support could still use this tactic, even if you are alone. Even as recent as the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan the fathers of the Taliban who spray and pray with their AK-47s took Lee Enfield rifles, ramped up the rear sights and engaged at several hundred yards ranges. They spread so much terror that Spetznaz units, if they found a single expended .303 cartridge would level the village it was found near.
Millions of P14 Enfields in .303 and P17 Enfields in 30-06 are in both military and sporter configurations with scopes. I myself had a sporter that I put a scope on-wasn’t hard. Very accurate weapons, the action was used for rifles up to 458 Winchester Magnum-which can easily defeat a level 4 vest. In fact about any true big game cartridge firing rifle can rip through vests designed to keep out 7.62 NATO. The Mosin-Nagant, currently cheap and in the millions, are being imported along with billions of rounds of former Warsaw Pact 147 gr. Mild steel core ammunition to go with it… the Mosin is a tough rifle, it’s action designed to operate in arctic conditions and is a very accurate weapon; even the Soviet wartime production rifles aren’t to be sneezed at after accurizing but the Finnish Mosin-Nagants were built to shoot at least 1.3 inches at 100 yards… 1.3 minute of angle, you can zap a bad guy at several hundred yards. Remember, check the caliber your country gun is made in, few things are worse than acquiring a rifle you can’t shoot. Check the action; load and work dummy cartridges to see if it loads, extracts and ejects. Check the safety, the bolt, and bring a pencil or appropriate size dowel rod to test if the firing pin strikes. Check to see if the sights aren’t bent, also look the rifle scope over. Check the magazine to see if it still has tension. A worn spring means a malfunction. Check the bore for pitting. Check the muzzle crown for dents, dings-though that’s fixable with grinding compound and a dremel tool. If possible, ask to try the weapon out. If it’s a rifle, ask what load it’s sighted in for and at what range. But first, ask if they shot it. Look, act, talk approximately like the seller but don’t imitate. Try not to give off the wrong vibe. To them. Get proper cleaning supplies and check if ammo is available for your gun.
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