In 2004 my Task Force rounded up a former (current?) member of the Taliban who was up to no good. I won’t mention his name here for OPSEC reasons, but I will say that we were forced to release the jackass a few weeks later due to lack of evidence. In the meantime we shot the guns we confiscated from him out at the range. It’s the least we could do, I did have to carry crates of his ammunition down the side of the mountain he lived on.
The PPSh-41 is a Soviet WWII era Sub-Machine Gun that was designed for close in fighting in urban and forested areas. Like other drum-fed machine guns, I found this one was very prone to Failure to Feed malfunctions. On the other hand it could be that this specific gun was as old as Uncle Joe Stalin and had been kept in a Taliban cache for god knows how long.
Firing a .303 Lee Enfield rifle. Strong recoil but a nice rifle to shoot. I’d love to know the back story of how some of these weapons found their way to Afghanistan. Among other confiscated items we had laying around was what looked like a Rhodesian web gear harness…I can only imagine. One thing I found notable about the .303 was that the sights can be adjusted out to 1000 meters. A friend told me that in the old days the British were prone to sending volleys of fire.
Approaching a bad guy’s residence.
Skirting behind the house.
Yours truly getting put to work pulling some shit out of the way.
The modern day battlefield. You will see more of this kind of thing well into the future.
Deckard pointed to the front door, his other hand gripping his rifle, directing his men into the casino.
The assault squads pushed through screaming civilians and made entry through the double doors, the sounds of slot machines emanating from within.
A gunshot cracked in the darkness, Deckard looked up just in time to lunge out of the way.
The would be trigger man went face first into the cement, his teeth skipping across the street and bouncing off Deckard’s booted foot. Edging backwards he looked up, the neon lights on the building preventing him from seeing into the darkness above.
Spraying the lip of the roof with a hasty burst of fire, he continued backing towards the protection of one of the assault trucks, his shots taking out segments of the neon bulbs. Another shot sounded, another body collapsed forward, this one down with arms hanging limply over the edge of the roof. His H&K G3 rifle smashed through another neon sign on it’s way down before landing on the sidewalk amid a shower orange sparks.
The Sigs were a good choice after all, Deckard reflected.
Running back across the street he pushed through the door and into another gunfight.
Sighting in from a roof top mock up at the range. As the sun continued to set we could watch the sun reflect off the .300 WinMag bullets as they arced along their trajectory with the naked eye. It looked like watching a tracer round but was just the setting sun reflecting off the copper jacket of the round.
Sniper/spotter at a unknown distance range. Note the Viper laser range finder in the foreground, a very useful piece of kit with a variety of functions beyond range finding.
This was a nice CZ75 pistol a contractor doing some construction for us had. I liked it enough that I was going to try and buy or trade something for it until I realized that he wanted to charge me enough that I could just buy myself a brand new one back in the US.
In slide lock. I’ve also seen some Iraqi security forces carrying new Smith and Wesson automatics… WTF? Iraqi soldiers are carrying M16’s…don’t even get me started.
This is a AK rifle grenade that I was looking at in a improvised Iraqi arms room. It is fired from the barrel of the AK-47 with a blank round that is provided with the grenade. The pin in the nose is a safety.
This is a Gorjunov WW2 era Soviet machine gun. It fired the same 7.62x54mm Rimmed ammo as the PKM. I took this picture before I attempted to disassemble the thing. Ultimately an Iraqi NCO (pictured below) showed me how it was done. This particular rifle has been retrofitted with a bizarre flash suppressor (?) for some reason.
Check out this Chimera of a rifle. It was home made, constructed by the soldier holding it in his home with a mish-mash of weapons components. It features a AK receiver fitted with a home made M16 style charging handle, a PKM barrel, a improvised wooden stock, a Browning Hi-Power pistol grip, and finally a crappy BB gun scope. This thing actually fired, I saw it with my own eyes, from a safe distance of course.
Here is another shot of the rifle with it’s owner. You can tell he is a gear nut as well as being a gun nut. We had a lot in common. Note the flash bangs we gave him, the flare gun on his left side, and home made unit insignia on his chest.
Another picture from the training exercise in ’05. I’m on the right hand side standing next to a buddy prior to a training mission. We are both carrying the .300 winmag sniper rifle fitted with a Universal Night Sight (UNS) for night vision capability. For gear nerds like me, I am wearing a chest rig with two magazine pouches for when shooting the SR-25. The longer tan pouch is a sniper wallet that folds out and carries individual 7.62 LR bullets. At that moment I wasn’t carrying any ammo because we didn’t have .300 winmag blanks to shoot on a training objective, in fact I don’t think they exist. The silver snap link you see on my chest rig is to snap the sling of the rifle into while in a helicopter. This way if the rifle gets torn out of your hands or something your $7,000 rifle and $1000 high power scope and $3000 night sight don’t go pinwheeling through the night and get lost in a swamp somewhere below.
Take it from someone who has been balls deep in freezing water looking for a machine gun some private lost during a parachute jump in January. Please use your snap link.
Several months ago I spent a few days helping my old unit field test the new Scar rifle that is supposed to replace the M4. All and all I came away with a favorable impression of it, with a few tweaks I think the Special Operations community would be pretty satisfied with it. The Scar, isn’t the revolution some make it out to be, after all, the gas tappet system (or gas piston as FN likes to call it) has been around for a long time but it is a step up from the gas system on the M16 family of rifles.