By Bret Gould
Combat is nothing new. Unless we factor in a few technological advances, small arms and their uses, have changed little in the 20th century. For example, an ’03 Springfield in 30-06 has everything in common with a custom 30-06. In hand to hand and cutting weapons, there is nothing new under the sun. One of the areas needed to be studied is layering the weapons.
The great Bruce Lee once made the supremely profound statement. The only thing that changes in combat is distance. This is a critical factor in today’s world of specialists. I know boxers who only do hand techniques. MMA guys who don’t use weapons. Guys who only do sniper rifles or guys who only do pistols. Folks, with what we have on the horizon, especially after the recent election, one must be a general practitioner not a specialist. We all must have enough cross training to be able to hit targets at long range and transition to a bowie knife if needed.
We need to think like our ancestors did. The frontiersman of old, had his trusty bowie knife and tomahawk matched up for a variety of reasons. For one, they used the tomahawk for fighting and for shelter building. The bowie knife was also used for fighting and a multitude of purposes. Our frontiersman also had his rifle. Skill with a rifle is paramount. The great Jeff Cooper stated that the purpose of a rifle is to project power at a distance with speed. It gives one a lethal reach with precision. The proviso is to bring a real rifle. Yes folks I know the .223 is the death ray and carries more bullets. I choose the .308 and carry less bullets because each of mine can kill at 800 yards and pierce cover.
Our frontiersman had his pistol. A pistol is a defensive weapon but an important weapon. A study of combat tactics reveals that one carries a pistol like insurance. You have it in case something happens. If you know something is going to happen, you bring a battle rifle or a sniper rifle. Also be aware that pistol shooting skills requires more maintenance than rifle shooting skills.
So what do we do with layering? We stack our skills along with our weapons , in a manner with which we can deliver force into a target with multiple options. But why do we need all these options says the reader? Because combat is unpredictable. And distance changes. Ask a veteran of Iraq or Afghanistan why they are carrying the same battle weapon that Rogers Rangers carried in the french and indian wars over 200 years ago. Same reason, you run out of ammo, or a gun jams and the bad guy is right on top of you. You pull out the trusty tomahawk as our forefathers did and whack the fool until he stops.
So we need a good knife. I recommend a cold steel Kuhkri or Natchez Bowie. The khukri can take a man’s head off of his shoulders with ease. The bowie can do the same with slightly more effort. The khukri is a better overall knife but the bowie, with the sharpened back edge is so versatile in a fight. Old Jim should be smiling now to see us still using his blade. I like the cold steel natchez bowie for many reasons. It gets very sharp. It balances perfectly for a knife of this size and it gives power with reach. I use an imamba tomahawk by Jared Corry at omnivore blade works. He is a superior craftsman. This is part and parcel of basic combat kit. We have covered the basic close range hand weapons.
Let’s add a pistol. something in a caliber starting with a 4 if we are serious. Folks, I have been in law enforcement for 26 years and a firearms instructor for 14 of those years. Buy a quality pistol as your life depends on it. I personally like the glock and the 1911 for different reasons. I like the glock because more than 75 percent of the cops in America use it. That means a ready pool of holsters, parts and magazines along with ammo . I like the 1911 for it’s superior ergonomics and also the ready pool of parts. With the 1911 being in service for 100 years, lot’s of parts exist and ammo is common. Folks it is hard to go wrong with .40 or .45. Now there are lots of other good pistols out there. I make my choices out of parts availability.
Rifle selection is serious business. In putting together a team we must layer here as well. We give our best shooters our sniper rifles in .308 or bigger calibers. The venerable Remington 700 in it’s accuracy versions is very hard to beat. Yes, you can spend more money but exactly how accurate can you be? We back this up with a group of men armed with .308 battle rifles. The venerable FN FAL, once called the right arm of the free world, used by 93 countries. It is battle proven and reliable, with parts abound. The G3 and it’s many versions, the HK-91 and PTR 91. The Mercedes of rifles. It is accurate, brutally reliable and parts and magazines abound. Our home grown rifle the M1a. Also a god buy. also look at match and sniper M1a packages for dual use guns. Now folks, many will ask about the Ar-15. I do like the Lwrc gas piston rifle in 6.8 spc. It is a match accurate, hard hitting rile. Also very good is the Pof rifle in .308. Now you ask about the venerable AK 47. Yes we have a place for it. Even though it is not a battle rifle, we are layering our firepower, so we put several on the team. This give us a high volume weapon with good stopping power.
So here we have it personal weaponry, layered in application, used tactically to cover all ranges. we are now equipped for combat. Be salty and be ready.