Gun-Day Monday: The Citizen-Soldier’s Load

We applaud Tango Seven-Six for his SIG 556 purchase, and eagerly await his comments from the inaugural range time. I’d like to know how the ergonomics are over the M4? How is the disassembly/reassembly? And is the adjustable gas system of any utility? DO TELL.

In the same vein, and following my previous post on everyday carry, here’s the next installment– what the Citizen-Soldier needs to keep and bear, be proficient with, and maintain in a state of readiness. The themes here will be simplicity, reliability, sustainability, cost-effectiveness and true firepower. We stress fundamental proficiency over gadgetry and preoccupation with inconsequential increments in accuracy that most of us can’t use.

This post is mainly aimed at those who have been considering these purchases but haven’t made them yet. The time is NOW. Act now.

You need a long gun. There are excellent platforms and calibers out there, but we say that the best choice for the American-citizen soldier is the AR in .223/5.56. It might be that in short order the 300 AAC Blackout will supplant the .223/5.56, but that hasn’t happened yet. A massive tail of parts and optics and magazines and ammunition and training exists for the basic AR in .223/5.56. You do NOT need a super-accurized sub-MOA urban sniper rifle with match barrel, etc etc. You need a solid mil-spec M4 with iron sights, a two-point sling, plenty of good magazines, a deep pile of ammo that includes a lot plain old FMJ ball, some greentip, and some softpoint or hollow point rounds for defense and hunting. A dedicated mounted light is good, but that can come later. If you can afford optics off the bat, so much the better, but if not then learn the irons first and save your pennies for later. I use a Smith & Wesson M&P 15T, with a Vickers Combat Application Sling, a Streamlight TRL-1, Troy folding back-up sights with the AR front sight, and an Aimpoint Micro H-1. I’ve switched to using Magpul PMags almost exclusively; there are other very good mags out there, but the PMag reigns supreme. It took me a while to get it to this point and I still have a few more mods, but right now it is a solid fighting gun, and it has more inherent mechanical accuracy than I do.

(If you have the $$$ and want to get a solid fighting gun with all of those features installed, right out of the box, they are available and are probably cheaper in the long run. Try Farnam’s signature rifle, for one.)

You need a handgun. Here’s a contentious subject, but we need to dive in. I carry a Smith & Wesson M&P 45 that has had some aftermarket work done on it, addition of Apex parts to clean up the trigger pull. I bought it used, with all of this done already, with a couple holsters and a lot of magazines, and since I had a pile of .45 ammo, it was the right choice. I *was* very much a 1911 guy, but I’m now sold on the M&P as a carry gun. It’s just more practical. I could easily have gone with a Glock or one of the other major brand striker-fired guns, but the M&P is what I was offered. If you find the Glock more to your liking, then go for it. And if I had to do it over from scratch, I’d probably go for for a 9mm. The available fighting loads for that caliber have greatly improved and with the massive pile of milsurp and LE and commercial ammo, well, you get the point. I carry it in a Comp-Tac paddle holster, and it’s loaded with Cor-Bon DPX.

That’s all for tonight. In Part 2 we’ll address some ancillary gear, maintenance, storage, and most importantly, training issues.

I cannot stress enough how serious this is. Now is the time to acquire these items if you are a dedicated American citizen and have not already done so. Make 2016 the year of action, and preferably the first few months.

More to follow.

About vmijpp

VMIJPP hails from the star city of the south, Roanoke, Virginia. A 1989 graduate of the Virginia Military Institute, he is a retired artillery officer in the United States Marine Corps, with time in both the active and reserve sides. He served in Iraq in 2004, and in Afghanistan in 2009-2010. He joined the magnificent OPFOR.com as a guest blogger from the now defunct but never uninteresting Rule 308, where he denounced gun control and other aspects of tyranny, and proclaimed the greatness of the United States. When the sun set on OPFOR.com, he migrated here with Keydet1976 and the others.
This entry was posted in Arms and the Citizen, The Long War. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Gun-Day Monday: The Citizen-Soldier’s Load

  1. keydet1976 says:

    Range time went well. Easily zeroed it at 25meters. Initial shot were right and low. Shot dispersion was about 3 inches. Adjusting the rear sites were easy, I brought a screwdriver with me. Front site typical A1/A2 site. Back in the day when I was in a Basic Training unit I used a M16 firing pin to move the front sites, not sure where that it is now! Anyway fired the second group, it was tight probably 1 inch dispersion and probably two inches low. Adjustments made. Fired a ten round group at 50 meters tight and slightly high. Fired a final ten round group at 100 yards. High and slightly right, high because I had my aim point high, not sure why it was right. Probably will reconfirm zero next time I go to the range.
    Assembly and disassembly a breeze. Two takedown pins, remove the charging leaver and the bolt comes easily out. (Removing the charging leaver a little harder than it looks in the manual.) Cleaning was a breeze. Rifle comes with a really good cleaning kit, solid brass with appropriate brushes etc. Break Free power blast works well, gun was clean in about 15 to 20 minutes, reassembled and stored.
    Being a leftie (not just in politics but also shooting) shooting military rifles are always a challenge as you never know when the brass will go down your front. What I was really impressed about the 556XI was the brass was kicked up and out, much like my M1, which means the chance of brass going down your shirt are remote. One of the reasons I always hated shooting the M16 is the brass was kicked out and slightly up which in my case meant that once in a while it might end up going down ones top if one forgot to button the top button.
    I will begin looking at optics as this has the full rail system. More to come.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. rustybill says:

    Long gun isn’t much good if you can’t see that far. I’ll stick to my 20g Mossberg 500 for the moment. Of course, after the holiday overtime comes in I may finally get that 12g Mossberg 88 I’ve been looking at…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. MDL says:

    Ammo, buy a bit at a time while it’s on sale and/or split large orders with a friend or two.

    Like

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