Weapons Wednesday: “Just Enough Gun”

A paean to the great M1 Carbine!

As I have said over and over, this great little gun has plenty to love as-is, and thanks to its particular form and construction it can easily be modified with very simple after-market parts to bring it up to 21st century currency.

And as for the prime objection to the .30 Carbine as a fighting cartridge:

During its military career, the .30 Carbine was considered by many to be inefficient at stopping the enemy, especially when compared to the .30-06, which offered a lot of penetration and energy. Stopping power was really criticized during the Korean War where the enemy — often hopped up on stimulants — was usually wearing bulky, cold-weather clothing.

However, the ballistics of the .30 Carbine are surprising — the standard military round with a 110-grain bullet at around 1,900 fps generates about 900 foot-pounds of energy. This is better performance than the .357 Magnum, which is an excellent choice for defensive purposes. The problem back then was the FMJ ball ammo used by the military, which basically punches right through an adversary without expanding or fragmenting. Choosing the right ammo is the key to defensive effectiveness, and modern designs with expanding JHP bullets will perform nicely. Some examples? Federal has a 110-grain JSP Power-Shok offering that has an average velocity of 1,990 fps. Hornady offers their FTX version of the .30 Carbine with a 110-grain Flex Tip bullet at 2,000 fps. According to their specs, this round delivers 15 inches of penetration in ballistic gelatin, which provides enhanced stopping power.

It’s a fine choice all-around, and a neat piece of American military history.

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General Neller

Even though I am an Army Officer, I have served with General Neller.  For a period he was the Deputy J3 in EUCOM.  It was in that position I started referring to him as Smiling Bob.  As he always has a dour expression but is funny as hell.

Today he was dour and was not laughing.  He had to endure the question of the right honorable lady from New York, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.  She was upset over the recent photo scandal involving female Marines.

General Neller displayed great restraint and leadership.  He acknowledge he was responsible.  He showed great restraint in not ripping the good Senator’s head off and shitting down the hole.  Her line of questioning was out of place.

“This is a problem with our culture,” Neller responded. “I don’t have a good answer for you. I’m not going to sit here and duck around this thing. I’m not. I’m responsible. I’m the Commandant. I own this, and we’re going to have to change how we see ourselves and how we treat each other. That’s a lame answer, but ma’am, that’s the best I can tell you right now. We’ve got to change, and that’s on me.”

She has a right to be upset, but damnit give the USMC the time to get to the bottom of the story.  While everyone wants someones head, General Neller and his Sergeant Major of the United States Marine Corps are not the heads you need to hoist on a spear head.

I have great confidence that General Neller will get the answers and take the right and proper actions of keel hauling the offending members of the Corps under the USS Gerald Ford.

Besmirching the honor of the Corps is not something General Neller or his Sergeant Major take lightly.

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Heard From Today: COL Steve Warren ’89 Tapped for SecDef’s Media Advisor

89! 89! 89!

WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is expected to tap Army Col. Steve Warren, a former spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve, as a key media advisor.

Warren will retire out of active duty to take the spot, according according to a defense official speaking on background. The Pentagon is waiting for Warren’s retirement to clear before making any formal announcement, the official said. The news was first reported by the Washington Examiner.


“During his [previous] time in the Pentagon and Baghdad, Warren established a reputation as someone who would be frank with reporters, and was known for mixing pithy soundbites with operational information.”

Congrats, BR!

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Mission Creep

It depends on your lens.  I personally think we should have been continuing to reduce our presence in Afghanistan and Iraq as much as possible.  Our forces are pretty much in the same state as Canada’s.  In 2010 it was first announced that Canada would disengage from Afghanistan, they did not formally end their mission until 2014 because they did the US a solid unlike most of NATO.  The Canadian Army is pretty small, 23,000 Active Force Soldiers and for most of ten years they were in Afghanistan with a Battle-group and then support forces.  That put them at capacity for deployment of forces forward unless we’re talking a true world war type event.

Now looking at our Army and Marine Corps, we went through a tremendous force expansion and then two force reductions over the last 16 years cutting below where we started at the end of the Clinton Administration.  Our equipment is busted, our Soldiers tired.  It’s not that we don’t want to fight, talk among the ranks and everyone is motivated in service to this country.  But you have to take an outside lens, we probably needed a draft to do what we did.  At one point we had over 300,000 troops in the Middle East, that’s 1/3 of all forces across the DoD.

I think a lot of people voted for Trump due to the idea of disengagement.  Hillary kept saying no Troops on the ground, just enablers…wtf!  Enablers (Intel, Signal, Linguists, SF), all of those folks are Boots on the Ground, they are troops.  What Trump did say was that he would go after ISIS.  That he wasn’t going to play games and he wasn’t about the drone strikes when he could do better with a scalpel.  Marines from 11Th MEU BLT are on the ground to provide artillery support for the upcoming assault on Raqqa by the Kurdish SDF and SAA.  And then apparently Turkey doesn’t listen to diplomatic cables and memos within the NATO command Structure so we had to have Operators run around in Strykers flying American Flags around Manbij.

Now lets look at some other things, after pulling out of Germany during the 2000s, the Army has started executing site surveys in order to place 4,000 soldiers.  Which tells me they’re looking for another place to station a BCT, rotating or forward deployed is not clear at this time.  My opinion is that we have several Kasernes available for us to re-occupy immediately as soon as the privates do some landscaping, although DaveO would say different.

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It is the end of the world as we know it,” Part II.

Sergeant Majors all over the Army are going to be committing harikari if this is true.

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“I Thought This Is What the Ratline Was Supposed To Do”

Ragnar sends, this link, with the subject-line question.

Me too. Me too, Ragnar.

Who is this person and what claim does he have to modern warriorship? I can’t tell from his bio. (Not being facetious, just can’t tell. Never heard of him.)

WTF is going on at VMI?


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Firearms Friday: Range Time!

I spent a most enjoyable morning at the range, in the company of MDL, G-Tex (of Civ-Div holsters fame), the Coach, “Sgt Hufnagle,” and EK’03. It was a such a good session it went beyond “enjoyable” and achieved I-need-a-cigarette / Was-it-good-for-you-too? status.

  • Re-zeroed the M4 at 36 yards, using both the Aimpoint *and* irons; that is a great feeling
  • Let everyone blast away with Vlad the Impaler, i.e. the outstanding Romanian WASR-10 featuring a Primary Arms red-dot
  • Test-fired the 1941 Winchester M1 carbine bought earlier in 2016 from a BR; I dropped a Winchester bolt into it (came to me without one) and fed it with reliable-but-dirty Aguila ammo by way of two (2) original Winchester 15-round magazines; RAN WITHOUT A HICCUP even though it hadn’t been fired in at least 40 years and it’s 75 years old
  • Shot the Robinson XCR for the first time in a couple years after I Loctite-d and torqued the bolt nut to specs and tried the new ASC 20-round magazine; the big problem with that gun– which is otherwise one of the most pleasurable and handy rifles I have ever shot– has been the magazines, the 10-rounders are reliable but don’t have enough capacity and the 30-rounders were awful; it looks like ASC has hit the X-ring with the 20-rounder

When was the last you zeroed or checked zero? Test-fired your weapons? It had been a while for me, admittedly. Commit to taking some time in March to do just that. Who knows when those capabilities will be needed…

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