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photo of George Orwell That rifle hanging on the wall of the working-class flat or labourer's cottage, is the symbol of democracy: It is our job to see that it stays there. Quote by George Orwell.

Join the Militia

We believe civilians have a duty to help defend their nation and essential freedoms by becoming a member of a state run militia like the US National Guard. If no such organization exists or membership is artificially restricted we hope you will join or start a public militia group, militia training group, military re-enactment club, or a gun club which hosts combat style matches like IPSC. Membership is the key factor - it is far better to have a lot of members armed with lawfully owned bolt action rifles than a few people with illegally obtained machine guns. We also recommend you join a national gun owner group like the NRA in order to help protect your right to keep and bear arms.

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Weapons

Become familiar with the small arms used by your nation's military and, if legal to do so, acquire the same type of rifle and pistol commonly used by its soldiers. That said, we recommend the weapons listed below. Self-loading rifles are best due to their rapidity of fire, which makes them ideal for suppressing fire and recon by fire missions, as well as leading, traversing and bracketing fire. Pump action and lever action rifles have poor extraction of high pressure rifle rounds. Bolt action rifles are excellent for sniping but too slow to reload for close range combat against opponents armed with self-loading weapons, so users are advised to obtain a self-loading pistol.

If using corrosive ex-military ammunition first clean the bore/muzzle area with hot water and detergent to dissolve and remove the salt residue from the corrosive primers before using a standard bore cleaner (to remove gunpowder/copper residue) and oil. Ideally one would clean it ASAP to prevent rust forming (barrels with chrome plated bores are substantially more rust resistant). Corrosive primers have the advantage of a longer life than non-corrosive primers, albeit at the cost of complicating the cleaning regime.

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PISTOLS


Glock M19 (15-shot magazine)

Glock M19  [ 9x19mm ]  PDF info sheet
Gaston Glock's Model 19 the best service pistol due to its unmatched combination of reliability, durability, robustness, simplicity, ease use, compactness and firepower. The NY-1 trigger spring provides a heaver 8-lb trigger pull when used in conjunction with the standard connector (std. trigger pull is 5.5-lbs), which helps prevent accidental discharges in stressful situations. Armor piercing bullets are best due to their excellent penetration (expanding pistol bullets like hollowpoints will not penetrate soft body armor or helmets).  [manual]


Tokarev TT-33 (8-shot magazine)

Tokarev TT-33  [ 7.62x25mm ]  PDF info sheet
Fedor Tokarev's TT-33 pistol is ideally suited to militia use in nations where soldiers and police use small arms chambered for the 7.62x25mm Tokarev round like this pistol and the PPS-43 machine pistol. Although not as durable or ergonomic as more modern designs like the Glock 19 they are just as reliable if properly maintained and used with quality magazines. Armor piercing bullets are best due to their excellent penetration (expanding pistol bullets like hollowpoints will not penetrate soft body armor or helmets).  [manual]

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SUBMACHINE GUNS


MP5 (30-shot magazine)

HK MP5  [ 9x19mm ]  PDF info sheet
Ludwig Vorgrimler's MP5 is the best SMG due to its combination of reliability, durability, ergonomics, accuracy and firepower. It is essentially a scaled down G3 service rifle chambered for the 9x19mm Parabellum pistol round. Fully automatic SMGs (chambered for pistol rounds) are also known as machine pistols. Short, lightweight SMGs like the MP5 are ideal for CQB. Armor piercing bullets are best due to their excellent penetration (expanding pistol bullets like hollowpoints will not penetrate soft body armor or helmets).  [manual]

Sudaev PPS-43 (30-shot magazine)

Sudayev PPS-43  [ 7.62x25mm ]  PDF info sheet
Alexey Sudayev's PPS-43 SMG is ideally suited to militia use in areas where soldiers and police use small arms chambered for the 7.62x25mm Tokarev round like this SMG and the TT-33 pistol. Although not as ergonomic or accurate as more modern designs like the closed bolt MP5, the open bolt PPS-43 is just as reliable and has better penetration. Armor piercing bullets are best due to their excellent penetration (expanding pistol bullets like hollowpoints will not penetrate soft body armor or helmets).  [manual]

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ASSAULT RIFLES


Kalashnikov AKM (30-shot magazine)

AK-47  [ 7.62x39mm ]  PDF info sheet
Mikhail Kalashnikov's AK-47 series assault rifles are the best service rifles due to their unmatched combination of reliability, durability, robustness, simplicity, firepower, penetration and economy of manufacture, which is why these rifles are the most widely used assault rifles in the world. We recommend the AKM variant with the light stamped steel receiver. Armor piercing bullets are best due to their excellent penetration, though the Barnes 123-gr TAC-X (TSX) has good penetration and much better stopping power.  [manual]


FN 15 Military Collector M4 (30-shot magazine)

AR-15  [ 5.56x45mm ]  PDF info sheet
Eugene Stoner's AR-15 series assault rifles are ideal for militia use in nations where soldiers and police use these weapons. Although not as simple or robust as AK-47 series assault rifles they are just as reliable if properly maintained and used with quality magazines, and more ergonomic and accurate. We recommend the FN 15 Military Collector M4. Armor piercing bullets are best due to their excellent penetration, though the Barnes 62-gr TAC-X (TSX) has good penetration and much better stopping power.  [manual]

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BOLT ACTION RIFLES


Mosin-Nagant M38 Carbine (5-shot magazine)


Mosin-Nagant M38 Carbine  [ 7.62x54R ]  PDF info sheet
Sergei Mosin's Model 1938 Carbine (five round magazine) is the best bolt action service rifle due to its unmatched combination of reliability, durability, robustness, simplicity and accuracy. It is chambered for the same round used by the SVD sniper rifle and PK series general purpose machine guns. We recommend an M38 with a tough laminated wood stock (pictured above). Armor piercing bullets are best due to their excellent penetration, though the Barnes 123-gr TAC-X (TSX) has good penetration and much better stopping power.  [manual]


Ruger GSR  (5-shot magazine)


Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle  [ .308W (7.62x51) ]  PDF info sheet
The Ruger GSR is notable for its reliability and accuracy. Although not as simple or robust as the Mosin-Nagant series service rifles they are more feed reliable thanks to their Mauser type controlled feed action, and are more ergonomic and accurate. It is also much easier to fit a telescopic sight to it than the Mosin-Nagant and can be fitted with a 10 round magazine. Armor piercing bullets are best due to their excellent penetration, though the Barnes TAC-X (TSX) bullets have good penetration and much better stopping power.  [manual]

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SELF-LOADING SNIPER RIFLES


SVDS Dragunov (10-shot magazine)


Dragunov SVD  [ 7.62x54R ]  PDF info sheet
Yevgeny Dragunov's SVD self-loading sniper rifle is ideal for sharpshooters due to its combination of reliability, robustness, accuracy, firepower and penetration, though the Romanian PSL (manual) is less expensive and easier to maintain but not as accurate. We recommend the folding stock SVDS variant pictured. Armor piercing bullets are best due to their excellent penetration, though the Barnes 150-gr TAC-X (TSX) has good penetration and much better stopping power.  [rifle manual]  [PO4x24 scope manual] [zeroing scope instructions]



HK G3A3 (20-shot magazine)


HK G3  [ 7.62x51 (.308W) ]  PDF info sheet
Ludwig Vorgrimler's G3 is the best full power self-loading service rifle due to its combination of reliability, robustness, accuracy, firepower and penetration. Although not well suited to assault use due to its weight, it is excellent for sharpshooters when fitted with a scope like the Hendsoldt Wetzlar 4x24. Armor piercing bullets are best due to their excellent penetration, though the Barnes TAC-X (TSX) bullets have good penetration and much better stopping power.  [rifle manual]  [Model 1 4x24 scope]  [Fero-Z 24 scope]


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SPECIAL PURPOSE RIFLES


Barrett M107A1 (10-shot magazine)


Barrett M107A1  [ .50 BMG ]  PDF info sheet
Ronnie Barrett's M107A1 self-loading anti-material rifle is the best rifle for destroying equipment due to its combination of reliability, robustness, firepower and penetration, though the bolt action M99 (manual) is less expensive, more accurate, and often legal to own in nations that ban the private ownership of self-loading rifles. The multipurpose Raufoss Mk 211 HEIAP round is best for anti-material use, though standard armor piercing rounds like the M2 AP with tungsten steel bullets are better for sniping use.  [rifle manual]



T/C Encore rifle (single-shot)


T/C Encore  [ multi-caliber ]  PDF info sheet
Warren Center's Encore is the best single-shot rifle due to its combination of reliability, versatility and compactness. One can easily change barrels to change caliber, from .17 caliber rimfire rounds to .50 caliber centerfire rounds. Standard length barrels range from 12” to 28”. It can also be fitted with a Choate side folding stock to facilitate discreet transportation. Armor piercing bullets are best due to their excellent penetration, though the Barnes TAC-X (TSX) bullets have good penetration and much better stopping power.  [manual]

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HAND GRENADES


M67 hand grenades

M67  [ hand grenade ]  PDF info sheet
The M67 is a defensive (fragmentation) hand grenade is that an improved version of the baseball shaped M33 hand grenade which was developed in the early 1960s by the American armed forces to replace the larger egg shaped M26 hand grenades. The M67, M33 and M26 use a smooth pressed steel body with a fragmentation liner that provides more uniform fragmentation than the WWI era MK2 which used a ribbed cast iron body that shattered on detonation. It can be readily rigged to work as a booby-trap for perimeter defense using the standard fuze when attached to a tripwire. It is widely used due to its low cost and reliability.  [FM 3-23.30]


RGD-5 hand grenades

RGD-5  [ hand grenade ]  PDF info sheet
The RGD-5 is a defensive (fragmentation) hand grenade developed in the early 1950s by the Soviet armed forces to replace the WWII era F1 hand grenade. Whereas the F1 used a ribbed cast iron body (like the WWII era American MK2 hand grenade), the lighter RGD-5 uses as smooth pressed steel body with a fragmentation liner that provides more uniform fragmentation with 350 or so fragments. It can be fitted with the MUV booby-trap firing device pictured on the right which is much better than the standard fuze for booby-trap use as much less pressure is required to pull the pin when attached to a tripwire. It is widely used due to its low cost and reliability.  [Russian grenades]

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GRENADE LAUNCHERS


HK69A1 grenade launcher

HK69A1  [ 40mm grenade]  PDF info sheet
The HK69A1 is a single-shot, shoulder-fired, break-action grenade launcher with a collapsible stock that is chambered for the 40x46mm grenade round. It is slower to reload than muzzle loaded grenade launchers like the RGM-40 that use caseless rounds as users must remove the spent cartridge case from the chamber after firing, but there is wider range of ammunition available for the 40x46mm round. It is also a little slower to reload than the M203 which has an ejector and not as intuitive to use as the M79, but is reliable and easy to carry.  [manual]


M79 grenade launcher

M79  [ 40mm grenade ]  PDF info sheet
The M79 is a single-shot, shoulder-fired, break-action grenade launcher chambered for the 40x46mm grenade round. It is slower to reload than muzzle loaded grenade launchers like the RGM-40 that use caseless rounds as users must remove the spent cartridge case from the chamber after firing, but there is wider range of ammunition available for the 40x46mm round. It is also a little slower to reload than the M203 which has an ejector. That said, the M79 is the most intuitive grenade launcher to use due to its ergonomics.  [manual]


LMT 9'' M203 Stand-Alone Grenade Launcher (L2F)

M203  [ 40mm grenade]  PDF info sheet
The M203 is a single-shot, shoulder-fired, breech loading grenade launcher that fires the cased 40x46mm round. It was originally designed to attach to an M16 rifle but is best fitted to a stand-alone stock (like the one pictured) as they add too much weight to the front of a rifle. It is slower to reload than muzzle loaded grenade launchers like the RGM-40 that use caseless rounds as users must first remove the spent cartridge case from the chamber to reload it, but there is a wider range of ammunition available for 40x46mm round.  [manual]



RGM-40 Kastet grenade launcher

RGM-40 Kastet  [ 40mm grenade ]  PDF info sheet
The RGM-40 is a single-shot, shoulder-fired, muzzle loading grenade launcher with a collapsible stock and fires caseless 40mm grenades. It is faster to reload than grenade launchers like the HK69A1, M79 and M203 that require uses to remove the spent cartridge case from the chamber after firing. HE, smoke, CS and sponge rounds are available for it but not an armor piercing round like the M433 HEDP (a cased 40x46mm round that can be used in the M79, M203, M320, HK69A1 and HK169 grenade launchers).  [manual]

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ROCKET PROPELLED GRENADE LAUNCHERS


M72 LAW rocket launcher

M72 LAW  [ rocket propelled grenade launcher ]  PDF info sheet
The M72 is an unguided, shoulder-launched, rocket propelled grenade launcher designed to defeat armored vehicles. Unlike the reloadable RPG-7, the M72 is a single use design so the empty launcher is discarded after use. Variants with HE fragmentation grenades designed for anti-personnel use are also available. Its reliability, simplicity and ease of use have made it a very successful light anti-armor weapon. Although no longer adequate against main battle tanks (though it could disable them if it hit a track) it is still very useful against less well protected vehicles and bunkers and (unlike the RPG-7) is short and light enough for soldiers to carry along with a rifle.  [manual]



RPG-7 rocket launcher


RPG-7  [ rocket propelled grenade launcher ]  PDF info sheet
The RPG-7 is an unguided, shoulder-launched, rocket propelled grenade launcher designed to defeat armored vehicles with HEAT rounds like the one pictured (shown without the booster). Fragmentation and thermobaric grenades designed for anti-personnel use are also available. Its reliability, durability, robustness, simplicity and ease of use have made it the most widely used anti-armor weapon in the world. The most commonly encountered variant today is the RPG-7D (designed for paratroopers) that can be broken down into two parts in order to make it easer to transport, which also facilitates discreet transportation by guerillas.  [manual]

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Miscellaneous  Equipment

Militia members should be lightly equipped and highly mobile with just the essential equipment they need for a particular mission. Your equipment is there to facilitate your task, not complicate it. Ballistic helmets and hard body armor are more trouble than they are worth in most situations due to their bulk and weight. The weight you save will allow you to carry more useful equipment such as compact binoculars and a thermal imaging monocular which are invaluable for locating people (both for tactical use and search & rescue).

The primary purpose of the militia is as a military reserve, so it is appropriate to have BDUs like you nation's soldiers and the same type of rifle and pistol used by said soldiers. That said, one should not wear such BDUs in public unless authorized to do so by your government. One should have an armband to readily distinguish you from regular soldiers when wearing the same BDUs, with the letter 'M' on it to denote 'militia'. One would ideally have both muted and unmuted armbands (black on a white and black on olive drab).

The gear listed below is recommended in addition to a watch with an alarm (e.g., Casio DW5600E-1V "G-Shock"), a waterproof notebook and pen (e.g., Rite-in-the-Rain No. 935-Kit), multi-tool (e.g., SOG PowerLock EOD Scissors), fixed blade utility knife (e.g., Glock FM 81 Survival Knife), flashlight (e.g., Gerber Recon-M), waterproofed topo map and compass (e.g., Silva 4-6400/360), green light sticks (Cyalume), green duct tape, green 7 strand 550 paracord (100 ft.), heat resistant clothing and gloves that cannot melt, boonie hat and baseball cap, poncho/shelter half, spare batteries (ideally Lithium), fire starter (e.g., Zippo lighter), flares, water purification tablets/straw filter, at least one canteen (stored water is desirable even in an urban area), sanitation kit and hydrophilic towel.

Aimpoint 'Micro H-1'  [ red dot sight ]
A small red dog sight like the H-1 is ideal for use on assault rifles and SMGs for CQB use as they facilitate rapid sight alignment and help keep the weapon light. Such weapons may already be fitted with a laser sight like the DBAL-I2 from Laser Devices, a white light like the M300C from SureFire, and a sound suppressor. The CR2032 watch battery provides 50,000 hours of continuous illumination (best left on).  Aimpoint

AR500 Armor 'Level III Lightweight UHMWPE Body Armor'  [ armor plate ]
These affordable level III ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) plates weigh a mere 3.3 lbs each in 10" x 12" (standard shooters cut). These stand-alone NIJ 0101.06 certified plates have positive buoyancy and are multi-hit capable. These ergonomic single curve plates are also wrapped in a Nylon cover with edge impact padding to increase durability and comfort. These 10" x 12" plates are 1.3" thick and carry a 5-year shelf life. They will fit most common plate carriers, though we recommend the 'Assaulter Lite Plate Carrier' from Ronin Tactics.  AR500 Armor

ARMASIGHT by FLIR 'MNVD-51'  [ night vision monocular ]
A NVD like the 40° version of the MNVD-51 night vision monocular from ARMASIGHT by FLIR (10.9 oz, 1x AA or CR123) can be attached to a bump helmet via the L4-G24 mount from Wilcox Industries (the wide angle 51° version is not suitable for CQB). It is essentially a smaller/lighter version of the AN/PVS-14 night vision monocular (12 oz, 1x AA) adopted by the US military in 2000. It is best mounted to a helmet and used in conjunction with an IR laser/illuminator weapon sight like the DBAL-I2 from Steiner.  TNVC

British 'Pattern 58 Webbing'  [ assault vest ]
Pattern 58 Webbing is made of rugged cotton canvas that will not melt/drip when subject to a flame like Nylon equipment does, and can (unlike Nylon) be dyed black. As you cannot use a load bearing back pack waist belt with webbing a back pack was designed for the Pattern 58 Webbing that is attached to the shoulder straps, but as the load therein is carried on the shoulders it is not suited to heavy loads (a conventional back pack is best for heavy loads). They were made in enormous quantities for decades so are still readily available from companies like Silvermans in the UK.  Silvermans

British 'Waistcoat Mans General Purpose Ops'  [ assault vest ]
This large Nylon mesh assault vest is well suited to use in vehicles and back packs as they have don't have rear storage pouches, though their bulk makes them less suited to moving through small spaces than low profile chest rigs. They have eight assorted pouches, two of which are dedicated ammunition pouches which each accept three 30 round AR magazines, and two huge zipped map/storage pockets with a pistol holster inside of the left one. This one-size vest has three adjustable quick-release front buckles and an adjustable back. This very popular vest was adopted by the British military in 1995 and is still made by the original contractor and available from Silvermans as the 'Assault Combat Vest 95' in the original British temperate DPM, British desert DPM, US 3-color desert, black and green.  Silvermans

Bushnell '8x32 Prime Binocular'  [ binoculars ]
Compact binoculars (16.9 oz) like this are ideal for general purpose use as they are light and compact enough to be carried without undo discomfort. Sometimes less is more, as bigger binoculars like the 7x50 size commonly stored on boats will often not be carried even though they are technically superior. It is waterproof and has the superb water shedding EXO Barrier lens coating. Bushnell also offer the Fusion series binoculars (1x CR123 battery) with a built-in laser rangefinder - 8x32 (30.8 oz), 10x42 (31 oz) and 12x50 (32.7 oz) - which appear to be the only laser rangefinding binoculars made today that do not use a CR2 battery.  Bushnell

Bushnell 'Elite 1 Mile ARC'  [ laser rangefinder monocular ]
This 12.1 oz laser rangefinder (7x26mm) can be invaluable when taking long range shots with a rifle or grenade launcher. They can also be invaluable for scouts and spotters to help locate the exact position of targets. It is waterproof and has the superb water shedding Rainguard HD lens coating. The 'CONX' variant can be connected with the Kestral device (bundled with the CONX in the 'Combo' package) to provide wind hold values, and allows users to input custom bullet trajectories via Bluetooth. It uses a readily available CR123 battery.  Bushnell

Chinese 'AK47 Chest Pouch'  [ assault vest ]
These military surplus chest rigs typically have three double magazine pouches for 30 round AK magazines and four small pockets for a variety of gear including hand grenades. They are made of olive drab cotton canvas. The toggle pouch flap retention system is simple and effective, though some replace the toggles with Fastex buckles on adjustable length straps. Some may prefer the Chinese military surplus Type 63 Chest Pouch (also cotton canvas), which typically have five ammunition pouches designed to accept two 10 round stripper clips for an SKS rifle, but will accept one 30 round AR magazine or 20 round AK magazine. They have two shorter pouches that can be used for other gear like grenades and will accept one 20 round AR magazine or 15 round AK magazine.  Locklode

Combined Tactical Systems '5210JL Jet-Lite White Smoke'  [ smoke grenade ]
The lightweight 5210JL discharges in just 8-10 seconds (compared to 30-40 seconds for conventional smoke grenades like the 5210) so is ideal for rapidly creating a smokescreen for offensive or defensive purposes. If military type smoke grenades are unavailable in your area we recommend a marine distress signal like the Lifesmoke MK9 from Pains Wessex.  Combined Tactical Systems

Criss Optical 'MAG-1 Spectacles'  [ eyeglasses ]
These tough spectacles are used by the armed forces of the United States and many other nations. They were designed to be worn under gas masks by people who need eyeglasses with prescription lenses, with the temple area of the retaining strap, where a facemask seals, being paper thin. They are also an excellent choice for general tactical use and protecting the eyes of people with normal vision when fitted with non-prescription lenses. They come in three eye sizes (46, 48 and 50 millimeter), two strap lengths (short or regular) and two frame colors (black or tan). Use polycarbonate lenses with a hard scratch resistant coating and an anti-reflection coating.  SafeVision

Duram Mask 'CHEMBAYO Chemical/Biological Escape Mask'  [ smoke hood ]
This smoke hood weighs about four ounces, comes in a 5"x 4.25"x 0.5" sealed bag and provides users with an excellent field of view that facilitates the use of rifles. This single use device protects users from most airborne hazards (not carbon monoxide) for at least 15 minutes. This product is available with a black hood and filter for tactical use.  Duram Mask

EOTech 'X320'  [ thermal imager ]
This waterproof thermal imager (30Hz, 320x240 pixels sensor) weighs 13 oz and is ideal for finding people in total darkness or when vision is compromised by foliage, smoke, dust, bright lights, glare, fog, rain or shadows. It is powered by two AA batteries (ideally Lithium) which can last up to five hours, or a DC mains adaptor (it can be connected to a monitor for use as a remote surveillance camera).  EOTech Inc

Fuglies 'ADF4 Ballistics'  [ protective eyewear ]
The ADF4 Ballistics are perhaps the best general purpose protective eyewear, which can be fitted with vision corrected polycarbonate lenses (clear, UV 400 tinted, polarized, photochromic) and have a removable 4mm vented closed cell EVA foam gasket.  Fuglies

Garmin 'eTrex 30'  [ GPS navigator ]
A GPS navigation aid is very useful in unfamiliar terrain but should only be used in conjunction with a map and compass, never used to replace them as all battery powered devices are inherently failure prone. The eTrex 30 has an electronic compass, altimeter, can transfer data wirelessly with other units (waypoints/routes/tracks), is waterproof and uses two readily available AA batteries (ideally Lithium).  Garmin

Hagor 'Combat Harness for Infantry / Paratroops' (402000)  [ load carrying harness ]
This Nylon load carrying harness will carry all the essential equipment needed for combat operations. It is adjustable, has 4 rifle magazine pouches that will hold 2 AK-47 magazines each, 2 hand-grenade pouches, 1 smoke grenade pouch, 2 detachable canteen pouches, and 1 binocular / night vision gear pouch.  Zahal

Israeli 'M15 Military Gas Mask'  [ gas mask ]
The M15 is an IDF government issued gas mask for the Israeli defense forces. It has large eyepieces provide a very good field of view while its integrated voice meter facilitates verbal communication. It also contains an upgraded exhalation valve for easier breathing, offers compatibility with a drinking tube assembly, and accepts any standard 40 mm NATO filter. The goggles are made from scratch-resistant polycarbonate lens while the easily adjustable straps make it a 'one-size-fits-all' option for adults and juveniles. The simpler Israeli Rubber Respirator Mask is available in a small size to suit children. Army Navy Sales

Leonardo 'Personal Role Radio' (H4855, AN/PRC-343)  [ UHF handheld transceiver ]
This heavy duty 50 mW handheld military transceiver is waterproof, has a short 500 meter range (reducing the chances of detection/intercept), is superb at allowing communication through structures due to its high frequency (2.4 GHz). Options include encryption, extended range and data enablement. It has 256 radio channels (16 directly available to the user without tools), and operates for more than 24 hours with two AA batteries (1:7:16 Tx/Rx/Standby). The headset securely and comfortably places the speaker over the left ear while the vented earcup enables peripheral hearing and prevents heat buildup. Some turn up on the military surplus market and can be serviced by businesses that deal with commercial/amateur transceivers. Most are issued with a carry case, antenna, detachable one button PTT switch (there is a two button variant) and a headset.  Leonardo  [brochure]

Leupold 'LTO Tracker'  [ thermal imager ]
This waterproof thermal imager (30 Hz, 206x156 pixels sensor) is ideal for finding people in total darkness or when vision is compromised by foliage, smoke, dust, bright lights, glare, fog, rain or shadows. A HD version (25 Hz, 320x240 pixels) is also available but lacks the versatility of the more expensive EOTech X320, while Leupold also make 15 Hz rechargeable mobile phone style thermal imagers (LTO Quest and LTO Quest HD). It uses a readily available CR123 battery which provides more than 10 hours of operation. Leupold

Motorola 'RDU4160d'  [ UHF handheld transceiver ]
This simple and durable 4 W handheld 16-channel transceiver is water resistant (IP54/55), has a scrambler feature and can use AA batteries (ideally Lithium) when necessary (the RLN6306 Alkaline Battery Frame is not listed in some manuals and uses five AA batteries). The factory default channels are in the 162 MHz (1 channel) and 461-464 MHz (15 channels) bands. They are set up for simplex use by the factory as they were primarily designed for on-site use in work sites like factories, but can be programmed for duplex use with repeater stations (contact Motorola Solutions for more info). For covert use Motorola's HKLN4477A Surveillance Earpiece is ideal. We recommend the TACK 1 headset and the PATROL-II Tactical Single Comm Headset with the Tactical PTT for High Impedance Headsets switch (Motorola Spirit 2-Pin Interface - SPIR) from Tactical Command Industries for overt tactical use, and the Motorola HKLN4606 Remote Speaker Microphone for overt non-tactical use.  Motorola Solutions  [brochure]

Ops-Core 'FAST Bump High Cut Helmet'  [ lightweight bump helmet ]
This vented lightweight non-ballistic bump helmet was designed for recce operations, search and rescue, fast roping and climbing, and has an excellent chinstrap suspension system that does a great job in stabilizing NVDs. It can be fitted with a range of night vision aids via the Velcro panels, plastic ARC rails and the metal MARSOC/WARCOM mount, such as the AN/PVS-14 night vision monocular (use an Ops-Core Counterweight to balance the helmet), Mantra Strobe from S&S Precision, and the Charge MPLS light from Princeton Tech. Unvented ballistic helmets are heavy and trap heat (causing fatigue) and will not stop rifle bullets at normal engagement ranges thus are best avoided. If you must have a ballistic helmet a military surplus MICH/ACH will serve and can be fitted with an upgraded Ops-Core chinstrap (Gentex make them with Ops-Core chinstraps), but we believe they are already too heavy without being fitted with an NVD.  Ops-Core

Revision 'Desert Locust'  [ goggles ]
If you want large goggles that can fit over prescription eyeglasses then we recommend the Revision Desert Locust (with clear and tinted lenses) which can also be fitted with prescription lenses via the optional Rx Carrier, and is available in black, foliage green and tan frames/straps (U.S. Military Kit). The Rx Carrier will also fit Revision's Sawfly series protective eyewear.  Revision

Ronin Tactics 'Assaulter Lite Plate Carrier'  [ plate carrier ]
When fitted with level III or level IV plates this plate carrier provides protection against many rifle rounds. UHMWPE plates like those from AR500 are best despite their bulk as they trap bullets (which tend to ricochet off hard steel or ceramic plates despite the application of bullet fragment trapping coatings) and are lighter than water by volume so will help you float rather than drag you under if you are in deep water. Though their weight, bulk and heat trapping nature make plate carriers unsuited to hit-and-run guerilla tactics, they can be very useful in some situations.  Ronin Tactics

Second Chance 'Monarch'  [ soft body armor ]
Monarch soft body armor provides protection against most pistol/SMG bullets and may stop a rifle bullet slowed and fragmented by cover. The Monarch is readily concealable in the SPA carrier and comfortable under a load carrying vest or harness (unlike bulky plate carriers with level III or level IV hard body armor).  Second Chance

Steiner 'M830r' (formerly the 'M830R')  [ binocular ]
This high grade 8x30mm military binocular weighs 18.7 oz, has a rangefinding reticule, and has been used for decades by the armed forces of many nations. The discontinued 6x30mm variant (Steiner now uses a lower case "r" to identify models with a rangefinding reticle) has a wider field of view, larger exit pupil (5mm vs. 3.75mm) and more eye relief. Steiner also make the M830r LRF (33 oz, 1x CR2 battery) which has a built-in laser rangefinder and a rangefinding reticule for backup use.  Steiner

Strike Hard Gear 'AK 47 Chest Rig'  [ chest harness ]
This Nylon chest rig (unlike the Hagor harness) allows one to discreetly carry a combat load. It has four 6" deep pouches to accommodate AK-47 magazines with shock cord retention. The rear panel contains one 12" x 7-1/2" pocket and two 4-1/2" x 7-1/2" pockets with Velcro closure that will hold pistols, radios, maps or other gear.  Strike Hard Gear

SureFire 'M300C Compact LED Scout Light'  [ chest harness ]
This compact and rugged white light was designed for attaching to rifles and SMGs. It uses a single CR123A battery which generates 500 lumens, weighs 4.1 oz with a battery, and is available in black or tan. It comes with an integral thumbscrew clamp so it can be attached to Picatinny rails, but we prefer the optional RM45 low-profile mount to keep the light as low-profile as possible as we believe white lights should be permanently mounted. It is activated by clicking its pushbutton tailcap switch or pressing an optional pressure-activated remote tape switch like the DS07 (on/off) and ST07 (momentary-on). We don't like remote tape switches which are prone to damage. A low cost alternative is the 600 lumens G2X (4.4 oz with two CR123 batteries).  SureFire

SureFire 'EP4 Sonic Defenders'  [ chest harness ]
EP4 Sonic Defenders protect your hearing without interfering with your ability to hear routine sounds or conversations. Their triple-flanged-stem design fits most people and provides a Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) of 24 dB. Sounds, at safe levels, are allowed to pass through into the ear canal, while potentially harmful noises (above 85 dB) are reduced via a proprietary design that incorporates a special noise-reducing filter. The EP7 variant has a foam-tipped (Comply Canal) stem design (28 dB rating) which some may find more comfortable to wear. They come in three sizes and can serve as earpieces for compatible radio systems.  SureFire

Tactical Medical Solutions 'TacMed Operator IFAK'  [ individual first aid kit ]
The TacMed Operator IFAK should compliment a basic first aid kit like the Pro 1 from EQUIP with the addition of a small plastic mirror and 10 Leukostrip wound closure strips. Complete an advanced first aid course and know how to deal with bullet wounds and punctured lungs.  Tactical Medical Solutions

Tactical Scorpion Gear 'Level III+ PE Polyethylene Body Armor'  [ armor plate ]
These affordable level III UHMWPE plates weigh a mere 3 lbs each in 10" x 12" Modified shape (Swimmers Shooters cut) or 3.3 lbs each in the standard shape (SAPI cut). These stand-alone NIJ 0101.06 certified plates have positive buoyancy, are multi-hit capable, are wrapped in a Nylon cover with edge padding. The 10" x 12" plates (flat, single-curved and multi-curved in SAPI and Swimmers Shooters cut styles) are 1" thick and carry a 5-year shelf life. They will fit most common plate carriers, though we recommend the 'Assaulter Lite Plate Carrier' from Ronin Tactics.  Tactical Scorpion Gear

Torrey Pines Logic 'T10-M'  [ thermal imager ]
This small thermal imager (30 Hz, 80x60 pixels sensor) can be fitted to a Picatinny rail and used as a weapon sight with the [coarse] reticle function activated or used in front of a red dot sight like the Aimpoint Micro H-1. The 50° viewing angle gives it an effective recognition range of 30 meters on a boar sized animal with its low-resolution 60x80 pixels sensor. It uses a readily available CR123 battery which provides more than 8 hours of operation, and weighs 3.8 oz (w/o battery) with the quick release Picatinny rail mount. Torrey Pines Logic

Trijicon '3x24 Compact ACOG'  [ riflescope ]
This compact, light but tough 3x telescopic sight is ideal for use on assault rifles and is best attached via a quick detach mount. The Ballistic Reticule is the most versatile reticule option (green is best). Tritium is used to illuminate the reticle in low light environment, while the fiber optic tube on top boosts the illumination in bright light. Trijicon's RMR reflex sight can be fitted on the top rear of this scope. It has much better eye relief than the 4x32 ACOGs used by the US military.  Trijicon

Trijicon 'REAP-IR IRMS-20-2 Mini-Thermal Riflescope'  [ thermal riflescope ]
This thermal riflescope (60 Hz, 640x480 pixels sensor) is far better than the T10-M but far more expensive. The 22° viewing angle gives it an effective recognition range of around 300 meters on a boar sized animal with its larger sensor. It weighs 16 oz (w/o batteries) and uses two readily available CR123 batteries (two hours of operation). It has three viewing modes (black hot, white hot and edge detect) as well as simple and complex reticules which include a stadiametic rangefinder feature which works at any magnification as they work like first focal plane reticules in conventional telescopic sights. It has a 19mm f/1.2 lens and a fixed optical magnification of 1.5x (8x digital).  Trijicon

Tru Flare 'Thumb Launcher'  [ flare launcher ]
MK-79 style thumb operated pen flare launchers like the Thumb Launcher from Tru Flare can be operated with one hand and are invaluable for signaling purposes in some situations. They are best used with the red and white MK-80 type flares marketed by Tru Flare which reach a height of 150 feet and burn out before hitting the ground in order to prevent fires.  Tru Flare USA

Yaesu 'VX-6R/E'  [ UHF handheld transceiver ]
This sophisticated heavy duty 5 W handheld multi-band 900 channel transceiver is waterproof and can use AA batteries (ideally Lithium) for emergencies with a power output of 0.3 W or 0.05 W (FB-23 2 x "AA" Cell Battery Case). It transmits on the 144 MHz and 430 MHz bands at up to 5W (the US version - VX-6R - also transmits on the 222 MHz band at up to 1.5 W) and has a scanner (0.5 - 999 MHz). It also has DCS which alerts users to incoming calls which have the tone code they have programmed the DCS system to react to while ignoring other transmissions without the tone code at the beginning of the transmission (the squelch will not open so you won't hear anything). The EAI feature allows other people with CTCSS/EAI enabled transceivers to locate an injured person who cannot operate their radio by transmitting a CTCSS tone pair that causes the injured person's radio to transmit so they can locate them using direction finding.

We also recommend the TACK 1 headset and the Patrol II Single Comm Headset with the Tactical PTT for High Impedance Headsets switch from Tactical Command Industries (Vertex/Yaesu 1-Pin Threaded/Waterproof Interface - VXWTR) for overt tactical use. These two TCI headsets leave the ear canals free to use mechanical earplug type hearing protection (like the SureFire EP4 Sonic Defenders) or electronic earplug type hearing protection (like the rechargeable 3M Peltor TEP-100 Tactical Earplug) that protect the ears while allowing near normal or enhanced hearing. Electronic earmuff style headsets are bulky, heavy, tend not to give a reliable seal during rigorous activity and trap heat, so are not recommended. We also recommend the CMP460A Waterproof Speaker/Microphone for overt non-tactical use, and the VC-27 Ear piece/Microphone for covert use of this transceiver.  Yaesu  [brochure]

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Common Sense

It is desirable to have the optimum personal equipment for a given task, but common sense is far more important. A case in point is the police tactical team which responded to the gun massacre on the island of Utoya, Norway, in 2011. Delta Force had the latest equipment, but the only operational police helicopter available at the time could only transport a few people (the transport helicopter's crew were on leave) so they all drove to the lake surrounding Utoya rather than send two members ahead in their helicopter and hire/commandeer a larger private helicopter. Thus the spree killer had much more time to kill the defenseless people he was stalking on Utoya (law-abiding Norwegian adults cannot obtain a permit to carry a concealed pistol, unlike the case in the Czech Republic, Switzerland and the US).

When Delta Force eventually got to the surrounding lake, having been delayed by heavy traffic and rain (a news helicopter got there long before they did), they all crammed onto a single inflatable dinghy which took on water and eventually stopped. They had to be rescued by a local with a small wooden motor boat. Things never go quite like you expect in an emergency so you must be prepared to think on your feet and improvise, which includes playing the "What if?" game in order to think about unusual scenarios, prioritizing objectives and making the best use of limited resources. One must be willing to make tough decisions that are not in keeping with OH&S guidelines and do things that make you feel uncomfortable: "Hello, I'm the police Delta Force commander and was hoping you had a spare helicopter we could borrow."

Incidents like this illustrate the need for people in remote areas who have the training and equipment necessary to act as first responders to a terrorist incident. In Algeria during the 1990s there were many massacres committed by Islamic extremists which the government did not have the resources to effectively combat. By the time police or soldiers responded all they found were corpses, most of them hacked to death with machetes in order to save bullets, as occurred during the genocide in Rwanda in 1994 where an estimated 800,000 men, women and children were murdered by government forces. Private gun ownership was effectively banned in Algeria and Rwanda so the victims were defenseless. It was not until the Algerian government created local militia units that these types of attacks came to an end.

Anders Breivik was dressed as a police officer, a tactic commonly used by terrorists around the world. As a matter of interest, the worst peacetime gun massacre prior to Utoya was in Sang Namdo province, South Korea, in 1982. An off-duty policeman murdered 56 people, often entire families, as he went from village to village looking for victims. None of his victims owned a gun as ordinary people were not deemed "trustworthy" by the government. As terrible as these crimes are they are as nothing compared to crimes committed by governments gone bad, in which thousands or millions of people are brutally murdered, as occurred numerous times during the 20th century. Crimes facilitated by laws that effectively disarmed law-abiding victims and the general population.

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Strategy & Tactics

Sun Tzu
Incorporate Sun Tzu's principles from The Art of War into one's strategy and tactics. For example, it would be unwise to attack a more powerful enemy on terrain that suited them. Ideally you would only attack when the situation was conducive to a quick and decisive victory. Intelligence about your enemy is crucial, as is deception and communication. Deterrence is best; namely your forces pose such a formidable threat that nobody in their right mind would attack you, thus preventing a bloody conflict with an unpredictable outcome.


Four F's
Apply the Four F's to your small unit tactics, as taught to American soldiers during WWII. Find, Fix, Flank, Finish. You must Find the enemy, then Fix them to their position with suppressing fire from your fire team (which will limit the ability of the enemy to maneuver and return fire) while the assault team Flank the enemy and you Finish them by neutralizing them as a fighting force by killing them or forcing them to surrender. The enemy must not be allowed to escape so they can regroup and fight another day.

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Books

The Art of  War (96 pages) by Sun Tzu (translated by James Clavell)
Sun Tzu's timeless classic on strategy and tactics. Essential reading.

Combat Skills of the Soldier (161 pages) by US Army
Basic information soldiers need to know.

Counterintelligence (241 pages) by US Army
The US Army's keystone manual for military counterintelligence (CI) doctrine.

Incendiaries (160 pages) by US Army
Useful guide to creating portable incendiaries which can quickly destroy equipment, vehicles and buildings.

Intelligence (200 pages) by US Army
The US Army's keystone manual for military intelligence (MI) doctrine.

Intelligence and Military Operations (432 pages) by Michael I. Handel (Ed.)
A collection of case studies and essays on the use of intelligence by field commanders, from the US Civil War to WWII.

Leading Marines (136 pages) by US Marine Corps
USMC guide about how to be an effective combat leader.

Marine Corps Tactics (152 pages) by US Marine Corps
USMC guide to basic infantry tactics (Ambush! by Joshua Potter has more detail about ambushes).

Militant Tricks: Battlefield Ruses of the Islamic Insurgent (412 pages) by H. John Poole
Details a wide range of tactics used by insurgents (he also wrote Tactics of the Crescent Moon: Militant Muslim Combat Methods).

Military Operations on Urbanized Terrain (312 pages) by US Marine Corps
USMC guide to urban combat.

Resistance to Tyranny: A Primer (432 pages) by Joseph P. Martino
A primer on violent and non-violent resistance to tyrannical regimes.

Small-Unit Leaders' Guide to Counterinsurgency (138 pages) by US Marine Corps
USMC guide for leading small units against insurgents.

Special Forces Guerrilla Warfare Manual (208 pages) by Scott Wimberley
Provides a thorough overview of guerrilla warfare including managing the aftermath of a revolution.

Two-Way Radios & Scanners For Dummies (384 pages) by H. Ward Silver
Provides a thorough overview of radio communication.

The Ultimate Sniper: An Advanced Training Manual for Military and Police Snipers (584 pages) by John L. Plaster
Comprehensive sniper manual (he also wrote The History of Sniping and Sharpshooting).

U.S. Marine Corps Strategy (124 pages) by US Marine Corps
USMC guide to strategy.

U.S. Army First Aid Manual (192 pages) by US Army
First aid guide of the US Army (the US Army Special Forces Medical Handbook is a comprehensive field guide for medics).

Victorious Insurgencies: Four Rebellions that Shaped Our World (336 pages) by Anthony James Joes
Examines four conflicts in which guerrillas exploited population grievances and counterinsurgents made mistakes.

Warfighting (70 pages) by US Marine Corps
USMC description of the mindset of US Marines.

Words That Work: It's Not What You Say, It's What People Hear (368 pages) by Frank I. Luntz
Practical guide to creating propaganda (Age of Propaganda by A. Pratkanis & E. Aronson explains how it has been used in the past).

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Videos

AGI Technical Manual & Armorer's Course by Robert Dunlap
AGI have video courses with detailed information about a wide range of firearms.

AR-15 Rifle Gunfighting + AR-15 Rifle Maintenance (72/60 minutes) by Dan Agakian
Excellent videos on maintaining and shooting AR-15 type rifles like the M16 and M4.

Hand-To-Hand Combat: Marine Corps L.I.N.E. Training (60 minutes) by US Marine Corps
Effective unarmed combat techniques clearly illustrated.

Kalashnikov Rifle Gunfighting + The Fundamental Kalashnikov (97/75 minutes) by Gabriel Suarez
Excellent videos on maintaining and shooting Kalashnikov type rifles.

Semper Fit: The Marine Corps Workout (35 minutes) by US Marine Corps
USMC workout to maintain agility, strength and aerobic fitness.

StressFire Series - Part One - Handgun (93 minutes) by Massad Ayoob
Advanced handgun techniques clearly demonstrated (also available as a book).

StressFire Series - Part Three - Rifle (51 minutes) by Massad Ayoob
Advanced rifle techniques clearly demonstrated.

Ultimate Sniper + Advanced Ultimate Sniper + Ultimate Sniper III (90/120/190 minutes) by John L. Plaster
Best instructional video series on sniping.

US Marine Rifle Squad in Attack (60 minutes) by US Army
Training film showing the tactics of USMC rifle squads.

USMC Combat Leadership: The Ultimate Challenge (28 minutes) by US Army.
US Marine Corps training film detailing the training of combat leaders.

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Training Courses

American Small Arms Academy
Provides a range of world class small arms training. Founded by Chuck Taylor.

International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
Provides first aid training worldwide via its 186 National Societies.

Gunsite
Provides a wide range of world class small arms training. Founded by Jeff Cooper

Massad Ayoob Group
Handgun defense courses address legal issues, tactical issues, and shooting aftermath management. Advanced course includes long gun instruction and weapon disarm/retention instruction. Founded by Massad Ayoob.

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