The Role of Snipers in the Donbas Trench War

THE ROLE OF SNIPERS IN THE DONBAS TRENCH WAR

 

Make no mistake, Snipers can turn the tide of a battle and demoralize the enemy with FEAR.

Stay Alert, Armed and Dangerous!

 

One Shot One Kill

One Shot, One Kill

A decent essay on the subject.

Check out my offering, Urban Guerilla Sniping v3.0

The bottom line is that this is no longer leisure reading for the Tactical Golfer.

Some seriously nasty Ungentlemanly Warfare is coming our way.

Prepare Accordingly.

 

The “Practical Not Tactical” CO Sniper Rifle

From the Archives, 2014


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In a previous article entitled “The 5 Gun Theory” I expounded on the logic of the CO owning at least 5 types of firearms in order to be adequately prepared to survive and defend himself adequately. One of those guns was a .30 Caliber scoped bolt-action or semi-auto rifle to be used for hunting and sniper work. It is that gun and the training that goes with it that we are going to discuss.

Now since the driving mantra behind the Civilian Operator Lifestyle is “Practical not Tactical”, I wanted to explore a subject which is not really talked about much in most “Sniper” or “Precision Rifle” training courses, and that is for the EVERYDAY CIVILIAN, what type of rig and training is the most realistic and practical for what that CO will most likely be doing with the weapon system? Just to be clear: This is not a rifle for shooting steel gongs and paper and impressing your buddies at the range.

TRAINING

You see, most all weapon training courses, whether you are talking about Handgun, Assault Rifle, Shotgun or Long Range Rifle are typically approached from either a Law Enforcement and sometimes a Military Training approach/method. Now depending on the trainer and his expertise, this can be made to work for most weapon systems, because MOST OF THE TIME the skill-sets transfer and are applicable. For example, with a Handgun, as long as the trainer integrates specific civilian-type carry issues and scenarios, it works.

This is not the case with Sniper training. As a civilian, if you are picking up a sniper rifle, you are picking it up as a GUERILLA SNIPER, not a Law Enforcement or even a Conventional Military Sniper. This demands and calls for a unique tradecraft that has no parallels in conventional type training. The CO CANNOT AFFORD to waste his time sharpening skills that are not applicable to his particular tradecraft. For example, WHY waste the time and money attempting to hit targets at 1,000 yds, when the farthest shot you will most likely have to make as a GUERILLA SNIPER will be under 400 in an urban environment most likely? Yeah, 1,000 yd and one mile shots are fun to watch on You-Tube, and for the Military Operator in dirka-dirka A-Stan who is packing a $12,000+ Rifle and Scope, this may be a typical shot, but for the CO GUERILLA SNIPER, who is operating in his own backyard, it makes much more sense to prepare to make closer, higher percentage shots, as this will most likely be the scenario he faces. For more on Guerilla Sniping  check out Fry the Brain by John West.

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RIGS

We have to remember that as a Guerilla Sniper, the CO has to RE-DEFINE the meaning of what a “Sniper Rifle” can be. Now as John West elaborates in his book Fry the Brain, anything from a Ruger 10/22 to a Stock AR-15 CAN BE USED as a “SNIPER RIFLE”, it just depends on the situation. For our cause however, a scoped .30 Caliber is the most practical choice, for the primary reasons that this will (or can be)  a duel use gun (man killing and hunting for meat) and no better caliber exist for those two task than the .30 caliber. For those of you that think the two worlds of hunting and sniping cannot cross over and mesh, I direct you to two historical points.

The First is Carlos Hathcock, one of the deadliest Marine Snipers to ever walk the face of the Earth with 93 Confirmed kills. One of Carlos’s first rifles was a stock Winchester Model 70 .30-06 topped with a 8x Unertl Scope. The Second is Charles Whitman, the UT Tower Sniper ( Another Marine). Whitman killed 16 and wounded 32 in 1966 during one of the most violent college campus shooting spree’s on record. Whitman’s primary rifle that day was a Remington Model 700 in 6mm with a 4x Scope, in which he made kill shots out to 500 yds.

Now I am not about to open up the eternal can of worms which begins with the idiotic phrase:”Buy this rig because it is better than that rig.” What I am going to do is present to you that you DO NOT need to take out a second mortgage on your house or risk divorce to have a decent sniper rig!

Now before I continue, I want to address the fact that there is a HUGE amount of “gun snobbery” out there when it comes to precision, long-range rifles. There is the “custom” crowd, who maintains only a custom tube can give you the accuracy you need to be considered a “SNIPER” (BS!!) There is the “modification” crowd, who absolutely love to talk triggers, sears, scopes, barrel twist and ballistics. Typically their snobbery has to do with BRANDS of after market parts. Now all these things are fine as HOBBIES, but contrary to popular opinion, there is only a certain degree of accuracy the CO sniper rifle needs (minute of man versus minute of a fly’s ass). As I said before, we are NOT building a TARGET RIFLE, but a MAN KILLING and HUNTING RIFLE. Like I said PRACTICAL is our aim here!

So as far as the rifle goes, no “off the shelf” gun manufacturing company has went further to offer the average, everyday joe civilian more practical bang for his buck than Savage Arms. 

Speaking from experience, I personally don’t think you can find a better out of the box, off-the-shelf bolt action rifle than their Model 11/111 Long Range Hunter. Although they have many caliber choices for this model, (including the ever-popular, but uber-overkill .338 Lapua Mag) the venerable .308,  .300 Win Mag and .300 WSM are awesome choices for the CO Sniper. My reasoning for not choosing the .338 Lapua (or the .50 BMG for that matter) goes back to the “practical not tactical” thing: it is simply TOO MUCH GUN for what the CO would typically need. Add to this the exorbitant cost of ammunition, and you have all the reasons you need. I mean seriously, why own a weapon that you could only afford to shoot maybe a few times a year and by “shoot” I mean only five rounds at a time!

The CO needs a weapon system he can shoot regularly, because precision rifle work requires trigger time, lots and lots of trigger time, and choosing a caliber that handicaps that is just stupid. Now if you want to buy a .50 BMG or .338 Lapua or .416 Barrett for the simplest and most basic of all reasons, BECAUSE YOU CAN and it’s currently LEGAL TO OWN, then by all means! But let’s be clear on our reasoning before we jump off that cliff!

So let’s talk scopes. Now this is the area where the “gun snobs” really love to flaunt, and unfortunately, in this area, they are right to a degree. A Precision rifle CANNOT CONSISTENTLY be precise with INFERIOR GLASS. No Way, No Day. I don’t know if any of you have tried to cut corners with the cheaper scopes and experienced the frustration of the scope not being able to hold zero, and floating all over the paper, but I will tell you, it can, at the end of the day, make you want to cry.

And though there is no cutting corners in this area, there is finally a compromise. A Scope that offers you the full benefits of the higher priced glass but at reasonable “CO prices “check out Lucid Optics. In a recent article from Guns America, Lucids L5 Model is put through the paces, and although the distances are a bit much for what the CO would realistically need, nevertheless, the scope proves it’s metal without breaking the bank!

So there it is in a nutshell guys. I know it was brief, but I intend to do some more intensive, more specific articles in the future on sniping to help you guys along on your journey.

Stay Alert, Armed and Dangerous!

 

Fire and Maneuver in Urban AO’s

From the Archives, 2015.

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In a recent Article, Law Enforcement told how they found a very large collection of ‘tactical writings’ in the home of Dallas Police Shooter and Army Panty Bandit Micah Johnson.

According to Police, the tactic of “Fire and Maneuver” or “Shoot and Move” was the tactic seen most often in Johnson’s “voluminous” notes.

Since Johnson’s MOS and military career was devoid of any real Combat training or experience while in Afghanistan, Where Johnson actually learned these tactics is up for debate. Most Combat and Firearm Tactics Instructors and Combat Veterans agree  that Johnson was taught these tactics by somebody who had participated in Mil-Sim (Airsoft).

My personal opinion is that Johnson at some time or another, post-Army career, received training by Black Power militants within the BLM community, who are most likely, according to Robert Spencer from Jihad Watch connected with HAMAS through the help of CAIR, which is widely known to financially support Terrorism.

The student of history and Guerilla Warfare does not have to look very far back to see the deadly nexus between 1960’s  Black Power militant movements, like the Black Panther Party and the Nation of Islam led by Louis Farrakhan, so the BLM/HAMAS-CAIR connection is by no means a conspiratorial stretch.

Below is a vid from a Black Panther rally in 2015 in Austin, Texas where armed black militants called for the death of “pigs” (Police Officers) with the ominous chant “Oink, Oink Bang, Bang.”

When one starts piecing together the Dallas attack, the “Shoot and Move” tactic used by Johnson was one of the main reasons police thought there were facing MULTIPLE shooters, instead of just one shooter, as the fire was coming from many different positions. Gunfire echo in an urban setting combined with the chaos and high stress most likely attributed to this confusion.

This is a very important lesson to learn, both in the study of Guerilla and Counter-Insurgency Warfare (COIN). The guerilla must use any and all “force multipliers” to his advantage to try to overwhelm the enemy (both mentally and physically). One of the greatest force multipliers is the APPEARANCE that the Guerilla (or the Guerilla Force) outnumber the Conventional Force.

chimney

This tactic most often manifest itself as a psych-warfare tool first. Keeping the enemy confused and fearful creates hesitation in how they will respond both tactically and strategically, which gives the guerilla more time to plan and attack. We can understand this point better as we listen to the Police radio traffic from that day of the attack in Dallas.

Now that we have briefly touched on some of the offensive aspects of fire and manuever warfare, let’s talk about the DEFENSIVE aspects.

The armed citizen must understand that regardless if it is you and a perp facing off at 10 feet in a gas station parking lot or you pinned down in an urban shootout like the one in Dallas, MOVEMENT = LIFE!

 I will be touching on some of the more detailed aspects of urban sniping and fighting in some later installments, but right now the key thing for you to remember is to ALWAYS MOVE TO SOLID COVER AND KEEP MOVING UNTIL YOU ARE OUT OF THE KILL BOX. 

In Combat Shooting you will often hear the maxim: “GET OFF THE X!” (With the “X” Being the Kill box.) For those of you that understand how the OODA loop works (Observe, Orient, Decide and Act) when you MOVE In a fight, regardless if it is empty hand, stick, knife or gun, you force your enemy to RESET their OODA Loop. Even something as simple as a side-step can buy you 1/2 a second of reaction time in a fight and that half-second may be all you need to neutralize your opponent or escape.

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When we are talking about a situation like the Dallas shooting, where civilians were caught out in the open with a shooter in an elevated position, Movement can be a tricky thing. Depending on the shooter’s elevation, your cover may be of little use since the shooter may be able to position themselves to look OVER and DOWN onto your position. This is what I mean by having SOLID or 360 degree COMPLETE cover. Remember, If you don’t have a solid roof over your head, he may can see you and consequently, shoot and kill you.

Combine this fact with the shooter using “Fire and Maneuver” tactics and this is how you or your squad can end up being PINNED Down and eventually overwhelmed and killed. I cannot stress enough how important movement is in these situations. Staying “planted” in a kill box, regardless of how “safe” you feel, is a sure-fire recipe for a funeral.

Pictures from that day show how officers and civilians alike were “hugging” the ground, Getting as LOW as possible behind vehicles or any cover that was available.

PP01

Staying as Low as possible is a good tip anytime shooting is taking place, however, in an urban setting where the shooter is elevated, it is mandatory. We will discuss more on “Urban Sectors of Fire” in another post, but right now it will suffice for you to understand that in an urban setting, depending on how elevated the shooter is, he may be able to shoot further on the “oblique” than he can straight on.

Many elements factor into this equation of course, one of the primary ones being the type of rifle being used and the shooter’s skill level.

I highly recommend John L. Plaster’s The Ultimate Sniper and his chapter on Urban Sniping for further reading on this subject.

Stay Alert, Armed and Dangerous!

Learning from Insurgent Tactics: The Vehicle as a Weapon

From the Archives, 2015

Armored Van used in Attack on Dallas PD 6/13

Armored Van used in Attack on Dallas PD 6/13. Bought on Ebay for $8K

The attack on Dallas PD this past Saturday by a man in an armored van represents a variation on a tactic that has not been seen since the DC Sniper Murders in 2002, where a man and his young accomplice, using a Chevy Caprice sedan and turning the trunk into a “mobile” sniper hide, killed 10 people and critically wounded three others. The two concepts, an Armored Wagon or Van and the Mobile Sniper Hide, have at their core, basically the same concept: To Use a vehicle as a platform for a shooter or shooters to engage civilians and law enforcement, attempting to kill as many as possible. The differences lay in HOW these methods are applied.

The Mobile Sniper Hide (MSH) is a covert weapon, meaning it’s strength lies in NOT being detected, as the shooter engages targets both quietly and quickly as possible, keeping the location of the shooter (and shot) both hid (in the DC Sniper Case, by shooting from the car’s trunk through a small hole). The Armored Wagon on the other hand, OVERTLY engages targets (through gun ports), purposely drawing fire as it rolls on, ie like the Dallas PD attack recently.

The critical keys to remember if the AV concept is to work effectively, is that the engine block must be further bullet proofed (a .50 Caliber round took out the engine block) the tires must be run flats and reserve fuel bladders added.  If the engine or tires get disabled, or you run out of gas at a critical juncture, you are no longer mobile and have no egress options available; you are dead in the water, literally.

car

As far as the two concepts go, the Mobile Sniper Hide is a much more effective tool for the lone or small unit of of Guerilla fighters who live in a civilian population that is not controlled by military forces. Less attention is drawn to the vehicle as a whole, making it easier to hit and run (in reference to the One Shot Sniper Method discussed in the book Fry the Brain by John West.)

If history is studied, armored vans (or improvised fighting vehicles) work well in WAR zones, where both the VOLUME of fire coming OUT of the vehicle and the expectation of SUPPORT (from other vehicles and infantry) can be expected to be large. The downside of course is ANTITank and Vehicle weapons such as Mines, IED’s, RPG’s, Javelins and Grenade Launchers. The evolution of the IFV is an interesting study for the CO. Although I typically steer away from Wiki-Pedia, their entry on this subject is quite extensive and for the most part, correct. Read it HERE.

ATF

Another element of the insurgents use of vehicles to achieve a desired aim can be seen currently with the situation in Iraq where a large number of American Humvees that had been given to the Iraqi Security Forces were stolen by ISIS and turned into VBIED’s (Vehicle Born Improvised Explosive Devices). Read that story HERE

VBIED’s (or car bombs) have been a technique that has seen widespread use by insurgents and terrorist alike. Some of the worst attacks (as far a total number killed) have occurred on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan. However, if you ask any American with a sense of history, they will tell you by far, the two attacks that are seared into their memory are The 1993 World Trade Center Bombing and the 1995 Oklahoma City Bombing, both car bomb attacks.

In 2010, a car bomb was detected and diffused in New York’s Times Square, thanks to some street vendors who were paying attention. Just another example of why AWARENESS is our first and primary weapon in self-defense.

 

Bibliography and Suggested Reading

  • Fry the Brain by John West

  • Buda’s Wagon by Mike Davis

  • Bandit Country by Toby Harnden

  • Days of Rage by Bryan Burrough

 

Stay Alert, Stay Armed and Stay Dangerous!