Part 1: Introduction
Howdy everybody, I’m going to try this new idea where I introduce content in both text and video form. People can either read it on my website, JobDestroyer.xyz, or watch it on Odysee. I might even post it to YouTube occasionally but I really don’t like YouTube so I might not even bother. Both the article and the video should have the same basic content.
Several years ago I saw a video where a bitter old fudd complained about gun culture 2.0 and calling those with AR15s “soldier wannabes”. He made many arguments about caliber selection, the proper use of various firearms, and how modern militaries work to reinforce his point that modern tactical shooters are totally dumb military cosplayers that wouldn’t actually be able to hold their own in a firefight. Many people dismissed all the arguments he made because the guy was, genuinely, a dickhead. However, some of the points that guy made were dismissed when they deserve more attention. I made this video to put out some ideas that may be controversial in the firearms community but which I believe need to be seriously considered. AR15 fans may hate what I say. I might just say something positive about bolt guns. You might hear me say things like, “You can’t hunt with that”. I ask that you hear me out on this, and consider the ideas seriously.
When I have ideas, I let them marinade and stew until they become delicious and ready for the grill. After years of mulling over what some fudds have been saying, I believe I’m able to make a case in regards to a different way of engaging in tactical training and preparation.
I am not here today to tell you that I am the smartest man on the planet, or that my conclusions in regard to the matter are the end-all-be-all. As Paul Harrell would put it, my opinions are based on my education, my training, and my experience. Different people have different experiences and have different opinions, and I make no claim that my opinions have their origin in a mind of greatness. The intent with this video is to introduce ideas into the firearms community and hopefully improve the viability of the citizen militia as described by the 2nd Amendment of the US constitution and various state constitutions. Hopefully such information is never actually required by the American citizenry, but if tyranny ever comes to America and the taking of arms is deemed wise by a significant enough amount of the public, hopefully this video can aid them in defeating TFADE.
Part 2: Conflict with TFADE
Who is TFADE? TFADE is an acronym that I made up. It stands for “The Foreign And Domestic Enemy”. If the Mongol Hoarde pours in from the north on horseback demanding our virgin women for concubines and putting our homes to the torch, that’s TFADE. If Hitler is reincarnated and teams up with Napoleon to seize and control the US Federal Government and all state militaries, that’s TFADE. If the Rooskies cross the Arctic with a goal to manifest their destiny from Moscow to Mexico, that’s TFADE. For these videos, I’m assuming that it becomes a moral imperative to take up arms against TFADE, and that all peaceful options are forced off the table. I’m not making this video to encourage citizen vigilanteism against random politicritters. Many consider politics to be a peaceful proxy and alternative to open warfare, and if you’re not willing to run for office or petition for a candidate who shares your values or to call your congressman to encourage them to vote a specific way on a certain bill, but are willing to engage them in open warfare, then you’re an idiot, your priorities are broken, and this video isn’t for you.
For our hypothetical war against the TFADE menace, it makes sense to spell out the METT-TC. METT-TC is another acronym it stands for “Mission”, “Enemy”, “Terrain”, “Troops”, “Time Available”, and “Civilians considerations”.
MISSION: The overall mission is to rid the US of TFADE. When you set up your own missions, your goals may be different, but they should generally service this overall goal. If you start altering it and fiddling with the goal, then you get internal conflicts that decrease the overall efficiency and preparedness of the citizen militia, and are likely setting up for a civil war. To avoid these conflicts, simply align to the uniform goal: Get rid of TFADE.
ENEMY: TFADE is the enemy, they are a superior force to our civilian militia. We’ll assume they have supply lines set up, that they are well-equipped with modern weaponry, have access to troop carriers, tanks, fighting vehicles, air support, artillery, night-vision and thermal imaging, body armor, rifles chambered in an intermediate cartridge like 5.45 or .223, as well as machine guns chambered in a full-sized rifle cartridge like .308 or 7.62×54 rimmed. They might also have grenade launchers, mortars, satellite imagery, and they exist in superior numbers to the citizen militia forces.
TERRAIN: The United States has almost every type of terrain that exists. We have tundra in Alaska. We have jungles in Hawaii. We have deserts in Nevada. We have mountains in Appalachia. We have wide-open plains in the midwest. We have thickly forested regions in the Northeast. We have swamps in Florida. We have cities in every state. Some are sprawls, some are densely compacted on islands. Therefore, the onus is on you to consider the terrain in your area of operations (AO) for this hypothetical. I will often refer to the sort of terrain that exists in the midwest and northeast as that is what I’m more familiar with.
TROOPS: We’re going to assume that you do not have fully-developed fire-teams organized into squads, platoons, and companies. The enemy probably does but we’re going to assume a distributed and decentralized fighting force of mixed equipment, mixed ability, mixed leadership, and mixed supplies. They may not receive orders from on high, they may largely rely on their own initiative. We’re going to assume that most of the fighting will be guerilla in nature. You may have 3 dudes with guns and a couple shitty sedans.
TIME AVAILABLE: This is a variable that we will not be considering because it’s too complicated and largely beside the point.
CIVILIAN CONSIDERATIONS: We will be assuming for the sake of hypotheticals that the vast majority of the civilian population is not willing to engage in fighting but is largely supportive of our citizen militia. It may be the case that this support is region-specific, it could break down upon party-lines or something similar, but we’ll assume that minimizing impact on civilians is paramount to mission success. If you piss off the locals, expect blowback.
Part 3: Advantages and disadvantages.
TFADE greatly out-numbers and out-guns the guerillas, however let’s not pretend that the guerillas don’t have advantages. Due to the popularity of gun culture in the US, we have numerous advantages.
- Our firearms are superior in accuracy and potentially in range. Mil-spec rifles may be fairly accurate in modern times, but anyone who has ever built an AR15 knows that “Mil-spec” is code for “Cheap”. If TFADE uses modern American M4s with ACOGs or red-dots, they’ll be running with 14.5 inch barrels predominantly. The typical civilian AR15 uses a 16 inch barrel. Most modern civilian AR15s are free-floated barrels, most military M4s are not. The M4 may have burst fire mode, but TFADE is unlikely to use that regularly as most American-style doctrine emphasizes speaking with your rifle in semi-automatic mode. If the enemy is using AK-74s or rifles based on the 5.45 cartridge, they are likely to have full-auto capability as well. They are less likely to have any optics available to them, and the AR15, if properly maintained and fed, should be able to best it in range and accuracy. It is extremely common for AR15s owned by civilians to be outfitted with an LPVO allowing 1-4x optical zoom, and some go all the way from 1-8x optical zoom. This gives us an advantage in allowing us to accurately engage TFADE at distance, using well-placed semi-automatic shots while they likely respond with a barrage of ammo-consuming poorly-placed shots. TFADE may use American-style doctrine which emphasizes suppressive fire to keep our guerillas pinned down, while a flanking element closes the gap to get in close, or they might utilize more Russian-style tactics which largely prefer using motorized armor to close the distance and attack from short range. Either way, the militia’s advantage is in long distance, and TFADE needs to get up close.
- Depending on a variety of factors, the citizen militia may have a home-field advantage in knowing the terrain and territory better than TFADE does.
- The citizen militia will likely have access to a wide variety of firearms that can be used in ways beyond what the typical TFADE soldier will. They may have an auto-loading sniper rifle chambered in a full-powered cartridge, but they’re unlikely to have a bolt-action 300 Winchester Magnum that can deliver accurate-enough fire at 1000 yards. They may have the odd breaching shotgun, but aren’t as likely to have semi-automatic shotguns packed to the brim with buckshot and slugs. TFADE is likely to have access to a large amount of very specific rounds which the citizen militia can steal for use in our firearms, but depending on what firearms the militia is using, they probably won’t be able to re-purpose our 6.5 Creedmoor ammo stashes and 30-06 soft-point hoards to their firearms.
- Speaking of ammo, the ammo that the American Militia stores up includes not only steel spam-cans of low-quality ball ammo, but also includes competition-grade never-fired brass wrapped around meticulously measured projectile and powder loads. It includes soft-points, hollow-points, ballistic tipped boat-tails, factory loads, hand-loads, specialty loads, and wildcat cartridges. TFADE’s snipers may have access to higher-quality ammo than most of the grunts, but our farmers have access to even higher quality ammo with projectiles that are clearly not kosher with the Geneva convention. Hunting rounds are not a joke.
TFADE has an absolute and a comparative advantage in most respects. It is a larger force. They are organized, with a rigidly defined chain-of-command. They have modern armor, artillery, and standardized weapons. They have air support. They have money. They are trained and we’d assume they operate fairly well with each other. They are likely more disciplined than the Militia.
They likely have ammo compatibility between almost everyone within their organization. They are free to use ammo-intense tactics. They have automatic fire available to them and can suppress members of the militia. They also wear body armor that is likely capable of stopping at least 7.62×39 cartridges, and potentially full-sized rifle rounds such as .308 or 7.62x54r.
Part 4: The Problem with the current militia doctrine
Current wisdom in tactical shooting generally is based on an AR15 chambered in 5.56×45/.223 Remington. It generally involves either an LPVO or a red-dot, sometimes mixed with a magnifier. It often also involves AR-like pistols chambered in 9×19. Tactical shooting competitions generally focus on close-range shooting with multiple nearby targets, and moving between cover quickly in the course of fire. When people shoot, they often shoot at an IPSC target where the A zone is right around the location of the heart. Competition and training emphasizes hitting “Center mass” of the target, as this is the region where a hit is most likely to result in the disabling of the attacker. Shooting often happens off-hand or off of simulated cover. Often courses will emphasize speedy reloads.
If you approach tactical shooting as a fun game, there’s nothing wrong with any of this. This is a fun sport, people enjoy doing it, and I don’t want to be the fun police. If, however, you approach this as training for a potential conflict with TFADE, then this has several flaws that point to it not just being sub-optimal, but actually counter-productive.
One of the largest problems I see is the emphasis on aiming “Center Mass”. Focusing on this in your training is essentially training people to shoot at the least vulnerable part of the TFADE soldier. TFADE wears hard plate armor over the vital organs of their chest. Training using IPSC targets puts emphasis on shooting TFADE right where it is most convenient for them to be shot.
The typical firearm carried by the American militiaman is currently the AR15, normally with a 16 inch barrel. The most common sort of ammo for them to fire is 5.56 using a 55 grain projectile. This offers reasonable accuracy, skilled marksmen can hit man-sized targets out to 600 yards with an accurate AR15 and good ammo, and mil-spec AR15s with spam can ammo can still expect to be able to engage targets that are at least 300 yards away. The offer very low recoil, with the small 22 caliber bullet that relies on speed over mass for it’s efficacy. The ammo is cheap and widely available. People have stocked up on it, and it’s everywhere. AR15s are also normally capable of shoting .223 Remington, which though technically different from 5.56, is identical for most practical purposes.
However, great as the AR15 is for all of these features, it is incapable of penetrating level IV body armor. This, combined with militia training doctrine that emphasizes shooting TFADE right where they are least vulnerable, means that the AR15 is, unfortunately, not what I would consider the first choice for fighting against a well-armed, well-disciplined enemy such as TFADE.
Don’t get me wrong, the AR15 is an excellent firearm. It is light and you can carry a lot of ammunition with it, but these are benefits to standardized militaries who rely on suppressive fire and can afford to burn ammo shooting at nothing. It isn’t necessarily a great choice for a militia who may be extremely strapped for ammunition. To be clear: The AR15 you have is infinitely better than the guns you don’t have, and way better than nothing whatsoever, but I see the reliance on the AR15 to be contrary to the goal of preparedness.
Another issue with the current training that the citizen militia regularly enjoys is that most of the training is focused on short-range, fast-shooting, action-packed engagements against static targets. Certainly this isn’t harmful and certainly this is fun, but if you are engaging in close-quarters combat with TFADE, you are very likely to die. Maybe you’re willing to die for the cause, but those who depend on you might not appreciate the sacrifice. If you are forced into a close-quarters situation, then it cannot be helped, however training should not be focused on the least winnable portion of the combat. Regardless of how amazing you are at knocking down targets, the chances of you being able to take out several armed and trained attackers on your own is extremely slim. Remember, TFADE has thousands upon thousands of soldiers. The citizen militia likely requires any man it can get.
Focusing on short-range encounters also results in situations where many American riflemen do not know the effective range of their firearms. Though an AR15 may be able to hit a man-sized target at 600 yards with good ammo, it’s effectiveness at such ranges is debatable, and largely dependant on the firearm and loads you’re using. I don’t believe it’s controversial to say that the lethality of 5.56 drops fairly significantly after about 400 yards. Some niche rounds of 5.56 may mitigate this, however the typical 5.56 round that Americans typically buy cheap and stack deep are unlikely to perform miracles at such distances.
TFADE, on the other hand, uses automatic belt-fed machine guns chambered in both intermediate cartridges similar to 5.56, full-sized rifle cartridges similar to .308, and even oversized rounds like .50 BMG. Accuracy through volume is a real phenomenon, and by focusing our energies and our wallets on the AR15 and 5.56, the American militia is decidedly embedding itself within the effective range of a superior force. This will almost certainly result in few casualties on the side of TFADE, but massive casualties on the side of the militia.
Another limitation of the AR15 is that it is semi-automatic in nature. Disregarding the “Drill a third hole” crowd, forced-reset triggers, and binary triggers, the AR15 is predominantly a semi-automatic rifle and is likely to stay that way for a very long time. This is a blessing and a curse, however, as automatic fire is almost assuredly a good way to get rid of ammunition quick, and the militia is not able to re-supply ammo regularly (or perhaps at all). TFADE, however, is very likely to be able to get more ammo delivered frequently and is by far less likely to run into an ammo shortage. This means that ammo-intense tactics work in their favor, but do not work in the favor of the militia. This also means that every round for the militia counts, accuracy-through-volume is not an option for them and is not conducive to victory.
Though the US is ahead of the curve in having a citizen militia that is well-armed, some serious issues exist with gun culture in regards to the preferences for things that are used by the US military, even though the citizen militia has entirely different means. By abandoning a focus on what the US military does, and instead focusing on what we would need in the eventuality that we must rise up to the demands of militia service against TFADE, we should be able to come to different conclusions than the brass at the DOD come to, and be more able to handle existential threats to our existence.
Another issue that is worth mentioning, though much less serious overall, is that the 5.56 round is not suitable for taking large game such as white-tail deer or elk. This limits it’s ability to be used for foraging. This isn’t the most important thing in the world, but it’s worth mentioning. I know some people hunt with .223 bolt-actions but whether it is very good for that role is debatable.
- Competition shooting and civilian defense training emphasizes shooting TFADE right in their armor
- The ammunition typically used by the militia is not conducive to penetrating the armor TFADE uses
- Popular training emphasizes short-range lethality over long-range lethality, thus ensuring that the militia is fighting at ranges where they are most out-gunned by TFADE
- The militia uses a cartridge designed primarily for strategies that rely on using large amounts of ammunition, but the militia is unlikely to have the ammunition stores to rely on such tactics reliably for potentially drawn-out conflicts
- The militia uses a cartridge that loses efficacy at long ranges, thus ensuring that fighting is to occur at ranges that are primarily beneficial to TFADE
- You can’t hunt with that AR15!
Part 5: Solutions.
Mitigating these issues are not cheap, and are not easy, but are completely doable. Let’s go through the previous issues, one by one, and find ways to mitigate them.
Competition training emphasizes shooting TFADE in the armor, but this isn’t the only place to shoot a guy. What if instead, we trained new shooters to aim for the belt-buckle? This brings about many benefits. For one, it means that if you hit, you damage the enemy’s hip. A man with a bullet in their hip cannot walk and is unlikely to be interested in returning fire. They cannot sit. They must lie down, and likely will not be able to operate their legs. A near miss can cause the enemy to have a severely painful gut wound. A shot in the groin will almost certainly have a psychologically damaging effect on TFADE soldiers. A damaged femoral artery is very likely to result in death by blood-loss. There is also a large amount of area around the belt-buckle, thus reducing the possibility of misses. If you shoot high at a fully-exposed man-sized target, you hit center-mass, which though armored is certainly more effective than no hit at all. A low shot might miss between or around the legs, but it may disable the enemy soldier.
This also mitigates the second major issue brought up: The ammunition used by the militia is incapable of penetrating the armor used by TFADE. If we are not shooting the armor, then this is not a very important factor. Obviously, better armor penetration is a plus, but considering the advantages that the militia has in regards to it’s supply of ballistically superior ammunition, this is less important. A soft-pointed deer round travelling at 2500 feet per second is not a fun thing to have hitting your belly or leg.
I also brought up the irrationality of pushing short-range action shooting as a part of training when TFADE absolutely will dominate the militia in short-range engagements, and the typical civilian AR15 has TFADE’s typical intermediate-cartridge duty rifle beat at distance. This is obviously mitigated by emphasizing more long-range shooting from the prone and kneeling position. AR15 shooters who learn how to quickly drop into the prone, take well-aimed shots at a static target beyond 300 yards, and then get out of dodge are more likely to be able to survive a firefight with TFADE than someone who tries to take them at 100 yards or less. The longer-distance the confrontation, the better the odds favor the civilian marksman due to the superiority of civilian weapons when compared to the cheap rifles TFADE will likely equip their forces with.
The final two points brought up in the previous section relate to the 5.56 cartridge, and now we get to the elephant in the room. The 5.56 cartridge is largely intended to be carried with a lot of 5.56 ammunition. It’s meant to be light enough to allow a soldier to carry a lot of ammo, and this is because it is intended to be fired a lot. It also is not extremely effective much beyond about 400 yards. Many of you probably have likely already figured out what I’m about to suggest to mitigate both of these issues, so let’s get straight to the point: I think that we should be using full-sized rifle cartridges fired out of auto-loaders and bolt-actions set up for long-range accuracy. For this purpose, I suggest the ubiquitous, inexpensive, and proven .308 round (as well as it’s brother, the 7.62×51). I believe that we keep “buying cheap and stacking deep” when it comes to .308, but also ensure we are stacking high-performance deer and competition loads.
The typical cheap 7.62×51 ammunition you can buy in bulk usually has a projectile between 145 grains and 150 grains. For anything less than 500 yards, this has a devastating effect on target. It’s abilities wane after 500 yards in terms of accuracy, but the effect of the round on target is still incredibly devastating when compared to a 5.56 round. Stepping up to heavier competition .308 rounds that can more efficiently buck wind, a .308 is generally seen as a round that can be effective at ranges up to 1,000 yards with high-quality ammunition. That’s significantly more capable than a 5.56 round. To put it in perspective, depending on the load, it’s not surprising for a .308 round to have more than twice the power in energy-foot-lbs at 500 yards when compared to a 5.56 round. Even a high-quality hand-loaded 5.56 is unlikely to match the power of the cheapest 7.62×51.
Centering strategy around a .308 rifle provides benefits beyond ballistics, as well. Since civilian firearms are generally of higher-quality than their cheaper military counter-parts, strategy should focus on long-range encounters with TFADE, beyond the point where they can easily return fire. This increases survivability greatly, and means that the militia that fights is more likely to live to fight again. TFADE will almost certainly rely on closing the gap between them and combat. Doing so while taking well-aimed fire from an auto-loading rifle is incredibly dangerous.
Consider: TFADE sends a platoon-sized light-infantry element in a column on a road. They take contact from 600 yards away by an enemy under cover, a single shot that hopefully makes contact with a member of leadership. They need to take cover, figure out where the shot came from (difficult if only one shot was taken), and decide upon a movement. If they decide to go forward, they need to cross at least 100 yards before they are able to even think about placing accurate fire upon the militia. They have to cover the length of a football field before they can fire back. This entire time, the militia can take slow, well-placed shots on the enemy while they are bounding, or decide to break contact. If more accurate arms are possessed and ammunition suitable for the task is had, this can be pushed out even further, requiring TFADE to cross more land before entering a distance where they can be reasonably expected to return fire.
When TFADE is mounted, a single militiaman can take precision shots at a gunner, and then scoot. By the time the mounted force gets to where the shot is fired, the shooter is gone. If they cannot shoot the actual gunner, they can shoot the gun itself and potentially damage or disable it.
Obviously, the METT-TC would dictate a wide variety of this. TFADE will likely find ways to mitigate these specific attacks, and the actual specifics of the real-life scenario would dictate the efficacy of this, but I would contend that in most scenarios where citizens are expected to take up arms against a well-armed and hostile military force, the .308 is more better more often than 5.56.
The militia can even supplement it’s caloric intake with it.
Part 6: But the solution brought up more problems!
Using .308 brings up many problems. The largest and most obvious is that you can’t chamber a AR15 in .308, and the AR10 and similar rifles never had a “Mil Spec” and therefore differ wildly in parts compatibility. There are several different standards that resemble an AR10 in functionality, there’s the actual Armalite AR10, there is the DPMS LR-308 in both high and low-profile options, Palmetto State Armory has a 308 AR that has it’s own standard, there’s SR-25, and then there’s non-AR options such as the FN SCAR or FN FAL or other cold-war era rifles. The competing standards makes it somewhat difficult to build an AR308 when compared to the simplicity of an AR15.
AR308s are also more expensive than AR15s, largely because the market for them is smaller. I believe the total cost will never be as low as an AR15, but I believe it can go down significantly if demand for parts were higher and more manufacturers entered the market.
You can carry less .308 ammo than you can 5.56 ammo, but this isn’t a particularly big deal if you simply shoot less and take more careful, precise shots. Hell, carry 2 20-round AR308 magazines and that’s 40 shots. You’re likely to be long gone before you fire them all if you’re doing your job right.
A lot of Americans have very nice rifles chambered in rounds other than .308, and I’m not suggesting that those are not serviceable. Americans collect guns and it isn’t uncommon for 3 ARs and 2 AKs to share a gun rack with 30 other rifles and shotguns. Ultimately, METT-TC determines which you grab, but I’d say practicing with a .308 as your main rifle is a wise choice.
Part 7: The American Rifleman
During the Revolutionary War, Minutemen armed with long-rifles with rifling in the bore were used to great effect to aid in the killing of British officers and commanders. The muskets issued to British soldiers were entirely out-classed by long-rifles, and this edge in regard to accuracy was one of the factors that lead to an American victory over the crown.
Americans have always had a love affair with a powerful rifle wielded by a keen marksman, and I believe that when pressed, the American Rifleman needs to be prepared and standing by with the ability to take tiny pieces of lead and place them at significant speed onto a target located some distance away. This is the legacy of the American revolution, and it is the legacy that we inherit as Americans to this day. We must remember our roots while embracing new technology as it becomes available.
We mustn’t initiate violence and must always pursue peaceful options if they exist, and so far in my life peaceful options have always existed. Hopefully this remains the case, and cooler heads prevail when tempers rise and a fighting mood develops. Hopefully, this information is relegated to the armchair generals and those who enjoy playing soldier at a range without a real enemy to be fighting. Hopefully it remains an interesting topic to talk about and we are not forced to put these ideas to test in the real world. I would love it if TFADE never comes to our shores, and I’d love to live a long and healthy life without having to engage in deadly contests for the future of our people.
But if trouble must come, and if we cannot prevent the onset of war, it is better to be prepared than it is to be unprepared. To that end, I offer these thoughts to you, and ask you to judge them based on their merit after considering them seriously. Feedback is appreciated, feel free to comment below, and share your thoughts on the matter.