Posts

How a Navy SEAL Clears a Room

How to Clear A Room in Close Quarters Combat

In this video, Jason covers a technique for maintaining balance while crossing the threshold into a room, during CQB. If you are watching this video because you want to learn “Close Quarters Battle”… Well, then you are in the wrong place, because we won’t share tactics that the enemy can use against our warfighters overseas. If you want to learn tactics, come and sign up for a class.

That said, we are all about covering all the fine details, and this week, we are going to get into a few Close Quarters Combat (CQC) tips and techniques.  CQC is practiced over the course of all Special Forces careers and endless hours are spent honing these skills as it is sometimes considered the “bread and butter” of the trade.  
 
     First, and foremost, operators have to master the fundamentals of marksmanship. That sounds simple enough… sight alignment, rotation of the selector lever, trigger squeeze, follow through; easy right? Yes and no. Yes, these skills are easy to do on a flat range with a coach telling you what drills to run. Harder, when you have a three-dimensional battle field, such as a building, and it is filled with combatants (bad guys) and non-combatants, such as women, children, dogs. So, mastery of the fundamentals is important, so that the operator has pushed these fundamentals into his subconscious mind. This takes thousands of repetitions of the same drills. He no longer must think about sight alignment and trigger squeeze, because his subconscious mind is dealing with them. That frees up his conscious mind to focus on “Is it a Threat? Is it NOT a Threat? Is it a Threat that warrants Deadly Force?”  Now, shooting subconsciously? That doesn’t sound safe, does it? However, it is extremely safe, as the subconscious mind actually works faster than the conscious mind. Think of it as driving a car. Then you first learned how to drive, you had to think about it. Coming up on a stop sign; you would think to move your right foot from the gas to the brake. Apply the directional signal. Look Left. Look Right. Then, look Left again. Then, apply the gas. Fast forward to today, where you have literally driven thousands of times, and you no longer must think about doing these things. You are now driving subconsciously. This frees up the conscious mind to watch for traffic, listen to the radio, watch for that green light turning yellow, or spot that bouncing ball coming out into the street with the running child behind it. 
 
     Once operators have mastered the fundamental of marksmanship, they then enter into the world of tactics; in this case, the fundamentals of Close Quarters Battle; Surprise, Speed, and Violence of Action. Each of these is a huge can of worms that each operator must again master. Different shaped rooms get taken different ways. Stairs and hallways are different also. Now, add flashbang grenades, mechanical & explosive breaching, low & no-light procedures; and you can see this is not as easy and they make it out to be in Hollywood. 
 
    Operators work tirelessly to perfect this craft and breakdown each phase of an assault as to increase their performance from one kinetic operation to the next.  In this video, former Navy SEAL Jason Phalin shows us a simple technique to optimize efficiency of movement into a space.  Although it may seem like common sense, even the entry through a doorway is thought about and practiced.  The way in which an operator initially enters a space is just as important as their action within.  An operator has to be on balance through all phases of an entry in order to take a well-placed shot regardless of target position.  A simple calculation of foot placement and entry procedures can be the difference between a well-aimed and balanced shot and a miss.    
 
     Jason approaches the open doorway and pivots into the room to engage any “threats” in the blind corner. Easy enough? Yes, but again, we are talking about mastering the art of CQB. So, if we can shave tenths of a second while turning the corner, that’s tenths of a second saved engaging the target. While that might only be the difference between First and Third in a USPSA pistol competition; here, we are talking about the difference between whether you pull the trigger first or whether the bad guy(s) pulls the trigger first. That is life or death here. So, we break each portion of each task down. For today, we are just talking about the “foot work” of breaking the corner. 
 
     This “footwork” starts as Jason was approaching the doorway. He has identified that it is a corner-fed room (doorway in the corner of the wall), and he has already decided that he will turn left, to the blind corner. As he continues to approach the doorway, he will adjust his gait so that his “inside foot” (the one which he will pivot on) will be timed to be the final step when he arrives at the door. This takes practice, but once mastered is as easy as a short last-minute shuffle of the feet. Upon arrival at the doorway, that last step, Jason plants ever so slightly into the room. This allows him to pivot quickly while maintaining balance, as he enters the room. A balanced body is a stable body, and a stable body makes for a more accurate shooting platform.  Remember, he is not stopping there; he has to keep moving out of the “Fatal Funnel” to allow the rest of his team to enter. 
 
     The technique shown in this video is a testament to the detail with which Green Berets and SEALs practice their trade.  So, listen up! This video will forever change the way that you enter a room and may you never be off balance again. 
 
    Now, one more time, if you want to learn CQB, sign up for a class with the Tactical Rifleman team. However, if you really want some great entertainment; go down and read all the comments under this video in the “Comments” section. Judging from some of the suggestions from the “Tactical Experts” that I’ve been reading in this comments section; I pray to God that all of our Enemy and Bad Guys are reading and listening to these suggestions. Gents, I want to answer SO MANY of these messed up comments, but we decided years ago that we would NOT discuss Tactics on Tactical Rifleman, only tips and techniques. The focus of this video is Jason talking about better “Foot Work” for assaulters that already have a basic understanding of CQB. It is NOT to teach viewers how to clear a corner-fed room. If you want to learn CQB, please come take a class; but we are not going to do this over the open internet. Thanks for watching,

Strength & Honor, TR 

How to Set Up Your AR

How to Set Up Your AR | AR Setup and AR Accessories

By: Tactical Rifleman  

If you have ever gone to a major gun show, NRA show, or to the huge SHOT Show; then you have seen literally hundreds of booths by companies all claiming to have the “Latest and Greatest” weapons and accessories for you to spend your hard-earned money on. Every one of those booths has something “New” and “Better” than the same thing that they were selling last year. Don’t get me wrong; every company out there has to come up with some “new” product every show. So, basically, we have hundreds of “new” items there that looked just like last year’s “new” items. 

My point: New doesn’t mean better. Stick to gear that has a proven track record. Keep it simple. Keep it light. Keep it the best quality that you can afford.

VIDEO: Want to know the best way to set up your AR? You don’t have to upgrade to this year’s “latest and greatest.” I had it taught to me, year’s back, that “you don’t need a new gun until you can out-shoot the one in your hands.” Do you really need a gun that’s capable of .25 MOA groups when you (as a shooter) are only capable of shooting 2 MOA groups? Do you really need this year’s “fastest Shotgun” when you drop half the shotgun shells while loading on the move in a 3-gun competition? Master what you have. When you can outperform your gear; then you upgrade. 

The hot weapon out right now is the “AR” family of rifles. Again, there are hundreds of choices. So, which should I pick? I appreciate you asking. I spent over 26 years in the military, most of that in SOF units, behind a “AR style” M-16 or M-4 Carbine. I had the honor of serving in units that had the latitude to pick and choose accessories (so long as they were MilSpec) and got to try most optics and accessories under the sun. Some are good and some are great; others, not so much.

Which AR to Buy

Let’s start with what rifle to buy.  You don’t have to own one of everything. I would rather own one type of weapon system and shoot thousands of rounds through it, than own twenty different types of weapons and only shoot a few hundred rounds through each type. Where’s the muscle memory or good shooting habits? Which one would be more proficient with the gun in their hand? So, for me; let’s get an AR. 

Quality of the AR

Now, all ARs are not created Equal. That said, you don’t have to buy the most expensive rifle either. The most important factor for me is that the rifle has got to be reliable. It has to go “Bang” everytime I pull the trigger. In the middle of a shooting competition, if your rifle jams, that could be the difference with 10th and 50th place; not that big a deal. However, in combat, you have got to win that fight. If your rifle screws up in the middle of a room, the other guy is not going to just stand there while you try to fix it, and he is not going to miss from only 10 feet away. You came in second place, because you skimped on reliability; good job. Your family members will be proud of you for saving them that hundred dollars, but would rather have you around than a less than ideal rifle.

AR Accuracy 

Second, I want a rifle capable of delivering accurate shots. This is important to me because I have a military sniper’s background, and I teach Precision Rifle courses to LE/Military and civilians alike. I also live on 63 acres of rolling hills. Just ask the deer eating apples in my orchard how accurate my weapons are. We can discuss it while we eat venison burgers. If you live in a small apartment, then long-range accuracy isn’t that important. 

AR Optics 

Third, is you have to be able to hit where you are aiming. That means you need Iron Sights and/or an optic like a reddot scope. You might notice I said “Iron Sights” before I mentioned optics. That is because I believe all new shooters should first master Iron Sights and also that Iron Sights won’t run out of batteries, like some optics will. That said, there is a reason all SOF units run optics on their rifles. They are a great force multiplier; helping to deliver faster, more accurate shots, under stress when it really matters. So, master the Irons; but then invest in a good MilSpec Optic. I’m often asked which brand I recommend… again, get MilSpec and buy the best optic you can afford.

Lights for an AR

Fourth, you need a visible light on your rifle. Why? Well, for my old unit, 90% of our raids and combat ops were during hours of limited visibility. One op that was during the day, was on the second floor of a 400-room apartment building which had the power cut off a month earlier. Even during the day, it was dark as spades in there. You have to be able to identify is it a “Threat, not a Threat, or a Threat that warrants Deadly Force.” So, a good visible weapon light is high on my list. It has to be something that can handle the blast from the muzzle. Again, there are lots of great brands out there, like Surefire and Streamlight. I recommend you get one that has an “instant on” feature; don’t leave it turned on, as it gives away your position. 

Other AR Accessories 

That’s it. I add a sling, as I have trained to transition to my pistol, if my rifle goes down. However, you’ll notice that I haven’t listed all the other dozens of items that we often see people adding to their guns, just because they look “Cool” on TV. If your mission requires it, like IR illuminators or Suppressors, then add it; but understand that every ounce you add is one more ounce that is going to slow down your presentation during a gunfight. Ounces add up to pounds; and pounds add up to slower response times. 

What about the next gun show?  You don’t have to upgrade to this year’s “latest and greatest.” I had it taught to me, year’s back, that “you don’t need a new gun until you can out-shoot the one in your hands.” Do you really need a gun that’s capable of .25 MOA groups when you (as a shooter) are only capable of shooting 2 MOA groups? Do you really need this year’s “fastest Shotgun” when you drop half the shotgun shells while loading on the move in a 3-gun competition? Master what you have. When you can outperform your gear; then you upgrade. 

So, again, keep it simple. Look at your mission; what do you actually want to use your AR rifle for? Then, spend your hard-earned cash on the best quality gear you can afford, that supports what you are actually going to use it for. You can buy all the bells and whistles and make yourself a ten pound rifle that looks great sitting on the shelf. Or, you can be that guy with the slick lightweight blaster, fast as hell, outshooting everyone else on the range.  Your choice. 

I hope you enjoyed the video. We put out a new Tactical Rifleman video every Friday. Thanks for watching, and we’ll see you next time. Strength & Honor, TR. For more go to http://www.tacticalrifleman.com/ and Follow TR on Twitter-http://bit.ly/TACrman

Which is the Better Rifle? | AR-15 Versus Mini-14

The AR-15 Versus the Mini-14

The short barrel carbine rifle is a remarkably popular rifle system with endless use cases and versatility. Rifles like the AR15, Mini30, Mini14, and AK47 offer adaptability at the range and in the field. While the AR15 is by far the most popular carbine rifle among shooters today, discerning shooters often consider other rifle platforms the industry offers. One rifle that has quite the following is the Mini14, a design steeped in tradition and birthed by the tried and proven M1 Garand. Comparing the Mini14 and AR15 platforms reveals many similarities and differences, confirming strengths and weaknesses one may have over the other. This article features a headtohead comparison between these two popular rifles.

The Case for the Mini14 

Jeff Cooper, perhaps the father of the modern rifle and pistol tactical techniques, said of the Mini-14: “It seems to me that the Mini-14 is a curiously successful marriage of the .30 US carbine and the .223 cartridge.  It will do everything the carbine would do, but better; and everything the M-16 will do, but better.” (Guns for Home Defense)

 

Introduced by Sturm, Ruger in 1973, the Mini-14 chambered in .223 caliber was called the Mini-14 because of its design based on a scaled-down version of the M14 rifle. Mechanically similar to the battle-proven M1 Garand the Mini-14 is built with a self-cleaning, fixed-piston gas system.  Featuring an adjustable ghost ring iron sight and detachable box magazines, the Mini-14 is produced in a variety of models, the most popular being the ranch rifle. Outfitted with either wood or plastic traditional style stocks in blued and stainless finish, the Mini-14 ranch rifle is a handy fast action reliable carbine.   

The Mini-14 has found a loyal following with shooters who have experience shooting the M1, M14, and M1A, and appreciate the design in the .223 caliber. The Garand rifle platform was said by General Patton, “In my opinion, the M1 rifle is the greatest battle implement ever devised.”  In the hands of a rifleman, the Mini-14 is a powerful, tough and proven rifle capable of many functions across use cases; including home defense, tactical, and sporting. 

The Case for the AR15 

Developed by Armalite in 1956, the AR platform was developed in hopes of fulfilling a US military contract. Armalite was not selected for the military contract and sold the platform to Colt Manufacturing. Colt developed the platform for the civilian rifle market and the most popular carbine platform in America was born. 

Easily the most adaptable, flexible, and versatile rifle platform ever devised; the AR-15 is modular in nature, allowing for customization with an endless array of aftermarket components.  Built on synthetic stocks, grips, and rails the AR-15 has become known as the “black rifle” because of its similarity in appearance to the military issue M 16. Many non-shooters mistakenly classify the AR-15 as a non-civilian grade rifle simply because of its appearance.   

Accurate and capable, the lightweight carbine AR-15 rifle is produced by many arms makers in many configurations for defense, sporting, and tactical use. Versatile enough for long range and excellent for in close tactical shooting, the AR-15 has proven itself as the modern sporting rifle of the day. 

Head-to-Head 

The fact is that many shooters have already made up their minds concerning which platform is better than the other when it comes to the AR-15 versus the Mini-14. However, this decision most likely was made without considering all the factors. Brand loyalty runs deep in the firearms world, so it’ll take a high-level view between the two platforms to leave the opinions at home. 

Pros for the Mini-14  

  • Perception – The Mini-14 is considered a “safe” rifle in most states with strict gun laws. Unfortunately, many states have laws restricting the possession of AR-15 rifles. If you live, work, or travel in one of these states, a Mini-14 ranch rifle with a wooden stock and a 5 or 10 round magazine might be the solution. The look of a wooden stock on a sporting rifle is easier to digest for many non-shooting folks, it looks like Grandpa’s bolt gun. 

Unfortunately, there is a large debate surrounding the AR-15 and its possession  as a legal rifle, most being caused simply by the appearance of the gun. Be sure to know your local laws pertaining to owning a carbine before deciding on which carbine is right for you.      

  • Stock Trigger – The Mini-14 by Sturm Ruger is manufactured with an exceptional trigger when it comes to carbines. Shooters know that a quality trigger is a vital part of accuracy. The trigger group on the Mini-14 is not easily swapped or adjusted, thankfully Ruger equips the rifle with a quality trigger. 

Generally speaking, the trigger group on stock AR-15 rifles are not that impressive. With that in mind, upgrading the trigger on your AR-15 is easy to do, but at a cost.

  • Piston Operation – The fixed gas piston system used in the Mini 14, based on the M1 Garand, is cleaner and more efficient than the direct impingement action typically used in the AR 15 platform.  This feature leads to a cleaner running rifle with less fouling and jamming in the Mini 14 than the AR 15.  The Mini 14 is not equipped with a forward bolt assist, because it doesn’t need one. 

AR-15 carbines have a reputation of being finicky with issues like short stroking and ejection failures. The direct impingement action in the AR-15 platform is more likely to see jamming issues than the Mini-14 action. 

  • Low Profile – The Mini-14 rifle has a lower profile compared to the AR-15 design. The low profile composition allows for lower mounted optics, and for a traditional “hunting rifle look”. 

AR-15 rifles are built with a higher profile, options like pistol grips and flat top rails create a higher profile. The raised profile of the AR-15 rifle makes mounting optics interesting, and gives the rifle more of a tactical look. 

  • Cold Hammer Forged Barrel – Sturm Ruger outfits their Mini-14 rifles with an extremely durable forged barrel from the factory. The durability of a cold hammered barrel cannot be beaten. The end result of the cold hammered forged barrel is longer barrel life. 

Most AR-15 rifle platforms come standard with pencil barrels. Lighter weight factory barrels are not as durable as the forged barrel standard on the Mini-14.  AR-15 barrels are easy to swap and upgrade, but again, at an added expense. 

Pros for the AR15  

  • Accessories and Customizing – The greatest advantage of the AR-15 over any other rifle system is its ability to be easily customized.  The interchangeable nature of the AR-15 makes for a rifle platform that is totally customizable and adaptable. This coupled with the popularity of AR-15 rifles has driven an explosion in the market around AR accessories and options for customizing your AR.  From AR optics to stocks, slings, barrels, foregrips, and heat shields, there are countless options for customizing your AR-15. 

The Mini-14 platform does not lend itself to added accessories or customizing.  The Mini-14 carbine rifle is only produced by Sturm Ruger, limiting the production of aftermarket options for the rifle. 

  • Accuracy – Stemming from the availability of quality accessories and customizing parts, the AR-15 can be made to produce extreme accuracy.  With all things being equal in consideration of ammunition and range conditions, expect greater accuracy from an AR-15 over the Mini-14. 

The largest complaint and shortcoming of the Mini-14 rifle is accuracy. Designed to be used as a varmint style ranch rifle, the Mini-14 has respectable accuracy inside of 200 yards, but don’t expect it to perform like a bench rest rifle. 

  • Magazine Availability – Because of the fantastic popularity of the AR-15 rifle, there are legions of companies building and selling magazines for the AR. If you plan to keep a healthy stock of mags for your rifle at a decent price, then the AR-15 is for you.

The Ruger Mini-14 does not have the circulation of the AR-15 platform and you’re much less likely to find as many options when it comes to price and variety for the Mini-14 magazines.

  • Options with Manufacturers – Colt’s patent on the AR platform expired in 1977 opening the market to all manufacturers. The number of companies selling the AR-15 rifle platform and rifles based on its design is too hard to define.  From traditional arms companies like Remington to tactical rifle companies like Bushmaster, the AR-15 market is full of various gun builders all competing for your business. 

The only manufacturer of the Mini 14 platform is Sturm Ruger. Consider that even though Ruger makes the Mini-14, they also produce a line of AR-15 rifles. 

The debate between the Mini-14 versus AR-15 rifles is one based on both personal preference and use case. Both systems have their pros and cons, and their die-hard followers as well.  Shooting either rifle at the range or on the hunt is enjoyable and fulfilling. At the end of the day, maybe it’s best if you decide which you should own by shooting and testing both.