The SHOT show last year was a blast even though it was a whirlwind for me. I was out in the desert for the range day and then did one day of the show before flying out that night as I had to begin the next semester of college. This year will be a little more relaxed. I’m flying out early to meet up with some old Ranger buddies to film the next episode of Inside the Team Room for SOFREP TV. I think the show is going to come out great and it will be awesome to catch up with some old friends. After that, it is off to the media day at the range and then the SHOT show itself. I’ll be scoping out some new gear and post some updates and pictures here at Reflexivefire.com! It will also be cool to hang out with fellow military fiction writers such as Peter Nealen and Jack Silkstone. You never know who you will run into at SHOT. Last year I crossed paths with Matt Bissonnette, the now infamous SEAL Team Six operator who published “No Easy Day” under his pen name, Mark Owen.
The Sub-Saharan from Grayman knives is made for killing. I searched far and wide but was unable to find a Nazi, communist, or terrorist to sink this blade into. I killed the s**t out of a downed tree for you though to give you an idea of the kind of damage this knife can deal out. The picture above shows the tree after maybe five or six chops on each side. The Sub-Saharan has more in common with a Roman short sword than the type of fixed blade knives that most of us are familiar with. Deckard makes short work of some cartel trash in Target Deck. It is also the knife depicted on the cover of the book.
Admittedly, the M3 Carl Gustaf isn’t the sexiest of weapons among the 75th Ranger Regiment’s rather extensive arsenal. This is especially true when you have to pack this giant metal tube into an AT4 jump pack with cardboard honeycomb and exit a C-17 during a Mass-Tactical airborne jump at night. Getting hung up in a MH-60 with the Goose slung over your back while fast roping and dangling 50ft in the air ain’t sexy either. Don’t ask me how I know that… I’ve written about being Tank Sniper and elaborated on the training and tactical issues surrounding the Gustaf in the past, so take a look!
In Target Deck, the mercenaries of Samruk International utilize the flechette round against a hoard of cartel gunmen.
The HK 417 is the 7.62 big brother of the 5.56 HK 416 developed at the request of a certain Special Mission Unit and now used in various SOF units. Chambered for the larger 7.62 round, Nikita makes good use of the 417 as a sniper rifle in Target Deck. You will also get a lesson in the intricacies of making a high angle shot.
Basically the Hooligan tool, or Hoolie, is a high speed pry bar for mechanical breaches. Useful for making a quiet entry…
The most memorable remark about the Mk48 that I ever heard was, “That is the lightest heavy machine gun I’ve ever seen!” As a Corporal, I was a Gun Team Leader in Ranger Battalion where my team made great use of the Mk48 in training as well as combat. The Mk48 is the size of a SAW but packs the 7.62 punch of a M240B. It’s small size makes it perfect for immediate support by fire in dismounted, urban environments.
Chromacamo is a name I invented for the next generation of camouflage uniforms, those that actually change their color to mimic their surrounds. The idea for it is based on SMARTCAMO developed by Hypersteath which I have written about previously on this blog.
Improvised breaching charge
Ever wonder what you can do with a flashbang and an IV bag? Some MacGuyver shit, that’s what.
Alone and un-armed, Deckard has to improvise a solution when trapped in a room with a very dangerous Lebanese money launderer and his bodyguard. A pencil laying on his desk makes a handy weapon, especially when jabbed into the soft tissue of the body guard’s neck.
On my last deployment, we were no longer permitted to use the MK19 inside the cities, so these were left to collect dust in my weapons shed until myself or my Junior Weapons Sergeant gave them a cleaning every so often. While fun to shoot, I always found the 40mm rounds to be under powered, not providing sufficient explosive impact. Then again, I never had the chance to use the MK19 against dismounted infantry. I did have a friend who was a MK19 gunner in Afghanistan when his convoy was ambushed. He rotated his turret and let it rip on the enemy positions to devastating effect. One point to remember with the MK19 is that you have to charge it twice, that is to say, rack the charging handles, drop the bolt, and then repeat the procedure once more to seat the first round all the way down onto the bolt face. Not knowing how to do this properly can result in an accidental discharge, or worse yet, leave you firing on an empty chamber during a firefight!
Yeah, this bad boy makes an appearance in the book as well…
Many of you may remember that I had a very favorable impression of SOD’s uniform in Pencott’s “badlands” pattern that I reviewed last year, so it was great to meet the uniform’s creator at SHOT. Max Valente told me that he is very excited about working with Pencott and that in Italy they are having some of the same issues that we are having with our camo patterns, and he is happy to offer his products to the Italian military since a lot of their issued items are not always up to standard. Interestingly, he also said that what is publicly available on SOD’s websiteis perhaps 10% of the products that he has developed and sold. The rest have gone to Italian Special Operations units, such as Folgore, and can’t be disclosed. I could tell from talking to Max that he was really excited about the projects he had brewing behind the scenes and wanted to tell me more but simply couldn’t. I’m hoping that some of these details will be revealed as the war in Afghanistan winds down but for now we can enjoy SOD’s work with Pencott, such as the “sandstorm” patterned uniform above.
Accuracy International was at SHOT this year showing off their new sniper rifles, including an updated modular chassis system with increased mounting options for slings and rail systems, newer models forgoing the classic thumb-through-the-stock grip that served us well with the .300 WinMag when I was a sniper. The above rifle is AI’s new .338 long gun that accepts both 5 and 10-round magazines, without the need to lift the rifle off the ground while in the prone position due to a cut out on the side of the magazine well.
This is the official website for my military action-adventure novel, "Reflexive Fire" and the "PROMIS" series. Here you will be able to sample large portions of my books and read more about them. Also discussed are various military and para-military topics such as Private Military Companies, mercenaries, Special Operations units, historical events, book reviews, and much more. Please feel free to respond with any questions or comments you may have.