Category Archives: Weapons Website of the Week

Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week: Max Velocity Tactical

max_velocity_tactical_webpageA long time ago a commenter recommended this site, Max Velocity Tactical, as a Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week. And indeed, we’ve read it from time to time, and it seems to be a pretty good and sensible discussion of fitness, tactics, and so forth. It’s primarily a vehicle for tactical training, both by word and by promoting “Max’s” books and, especially, tactical training classes.

The training classes include people with all levels of training and experience, but they tend to look eerily like military training, because that’s what they are, essentially. Here we have shooting on the move, live-fire. (Note the high instructor-student ratio, a must with live fires, especially with people new to the group and each other).

Max Velocity-CTT-July-Square-Range

The word “tactical” is rather haphazardly strewn about, these days, but in the case of Max Velocity, it fits. If you attend a course, read a book, visit the forum or read the posts on the website you may indeed learn something about tactics — something of some practical use.

Here is another picture that, apart from the mismatched uniforms, might have been snapped at Dahlonega or Camp Mackall (actually, we had mismatched uniforms in Ranger Class 1-83, because Army students had to wear OD green fatigues or OD-107 jungle fatigues, and the other services could wear ERDL camo or the then-new BDUs).


Max encourages students to review and critique training, and these reviews are available on site. There’s also a discussion forum of value.

You never know what gems will show up. For a single current example, this recent report from one of the site’s associates deals with one of the most necessary and, especially when starting out, unpleasant fundamental skills: rucksack marching. Here’s the briefest taste:

[S]tart some run/walks with some added weight.  Don’t start with a full load out.  Just like any other progressive training program, start with 15 lbs and maybe 2-3 miles.  Work up to a goal weight of say 35 lbs.  I would take 4 weeks on this.  Then get off the pavement onto the trails.  This will really start to condition your feet and ankles and lots of other stuff.  At this point you would also switch to your trail runners/light hiking boots (duh) and regular hiking clothes.  Another 4 weeks here.  Then you take it up hill.  This will be  real eye-opener.  You thought you were in shape.  Hell you are in decent shape.  But this is a whole ‘nother level.  Hard to believe you can be breathing hard, close to red-lining when you are just walking up a hill.  But you will.  Another hard 4 weeks (this is based on fitness level, see below).

At each stage, drop the weight, and lower the distance again, and work your way back up to goal load and distance targets.  Speed becomes a relative thing now, because you are moving as fast as you can sustain, for whatever the terrain allows.

I can’t think of any other physical activity that is directly applicable to what we may have to be doing in the future. It is a hell of a lot of work, but it is also immensely satisfying. So get out there and get in touch with your inner Mohican.

The author also makes the point that you should be running. That hits hard here, because Your Humble Bloghost can’t run, and doesn’t even walk so great (when they said don’t turn the MC1-1C below 200 feet, they weren’t just whistling Dixie). Here’s his point:

[M]y running base made a huge difference in being able to switch gears and do serious ruck marching. Your feet, ankles, knees, and other body parts take a serious pounding in this activity. What this tells me is every one who is serious about preparing for uncertain times needs to get out and establish a running-based fitness program. Along with calisthenics, this will prepare you body for the rigors of field work.

If you don’t do this, when it’s go-time, the fitness curve is so steep that your body will inevitably break down, leaving you combat ineffective at the moment you need to be at your best. It’s not just about cardio or muscle strength; it’s also about all that connective tissue being conditioned to take the pounding. Feet, ankles, knees, hips, lower back. This goes double for older folks. All that shit is not as supple as it was before so you have to work harder to make sure you stretch it out and strengthen it to take the load.

Now, that’s all from one post, and that by a guest author (but it got us to figure out where the ALICE is… under a bunch of books in the library… and shake it out and take out some of the weight that was in it for an initial shakedown).

Here’s another guest post: a one-post history of the German invasion of Russia, 1941-44, and its consequences for Germany, which along with the crushing of the Japanese Empire constituted the most complete and thorough defeats of nations since the national exterminations of ancient warfare. (Had Stalin, and some Americans such as Baruch had their way, Germany might have gone the rest of the way to the fate of Carthage and Troy).

Many of the real gems that MVT has to deliver you will have to pay for, like the courses and the training plans. This is how he, and his assistant instructors, pay the bills. It is not very expensive for training that can save your life and that of your family (consider this post on the recurring problem of shooting friendlies, and how to avoid it, complete with video of a real puckerful moment where the camera-equipped shooter ceases fire just for an instant because a teammate runs in front of him, oblivious). Even the free parts of the site are very worthwhile, and that would make their dollar value infinite, wouldn’t it?

There are no great mysteries to combat tactics, now “jaw-dropping shortcut” or “One weird trick,” to use the argot of clickbait. There are fundamental principles, which the tactical training programs of every professional armed service in the world follow, and tactics, techniques and procedures, which are variable so long as they preserve the inviolable principles. If your “militia” shoots now and then on a flat range but can’t organize and conduct a patrol, establish a defensive position, or advance by fire and maneuver, it’s not a militia but a mob. (Call it a “nilitia.”) Max and his guys have been working to close this gap, and they deserve recognition and attention.

Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week: Doomed Soldiers

doomed_soldiersWhat was so doomed about the “doomed soldiers?” They were freedom fighters. For a nation squeezed between two of the great nightmare totalitarian tyrannies of the 20th Century; at first, the two mighty powers combined to conquer and divide the nation of the doomed; then, one of the two double-crossed the other and started a war, with the doomed’s land a battlefield going and coming; and then, the other gang of totalitarians triumphed, and proved to be even worse in victory than the first bunch had been.

The doomed, of course, were the bold resisters of the Polish Home Army (Armia Krajowa); their nation divided by the de facto Axis allies, Nazi Germany and the USSR, in 1939, only to become a battlefield again when the Nazis turned on their fellow totalitarians in 1941, and for a third time in 1944 as the Red Army harried the Wehrmacht back towards Berlin.

Then in later 1944, the Russian NKVD began to hunt the AK implacably, with unlimited resources, and with a ruthlessness that put the mere Nazis to shame.

A message from one monster to another tells one part of the tale, as Russian troops began to disarm and jail their ostensible allies of the Polish Home Army:

July 20, 1944
L. Beria to J. Stalin
Nr. 778/b
Top Secret
State Defense Committee

[For:] Comrade Stalin, J. V.

Following information regarding operation to disarm enlisted men and officers of the Polish Home Army were received from comrade Serov and Tcherniakovsky: All in all, according to the preliminary assessments, during two days of the operation, 6,000 men were disarmed. Among them, 650 officers and NCOs.

During the disarming, confiscated were 5,100 rifles, 350 machine guns, 230 light and heavy machine guns, 12 light artillery pieces, 27 vehicles, 7 radio transmitters, 350 horses, and large amount of ammunition.

The Polish enlisted men and officers [of the Home Army] are transported under security to the assembly points.

Some of the Poles saw what was up and scattered. The last time Poles had been taken prisoner by the Soviets, in 1939, the officers had been murdered almost to the last man on the direct orders of Stalin via Beria.

It seems as if Beria, at least, was willing to do it again:

2. Enlisted men and NCOs who expressed desire to join the [Communist Polish People’s] army are to be directed to the reserves’ regiments of the Main Recruiting Board, in order to use them in the future as rear units of the Red Army.

3. The officers’ cadre of interest to NKVD-NKGB, counterintelligence, and “Smersh” [… unintelligible]

4. The remaining officers are to be transported to the NKVD camps, because under the present circumstances, they will begin to [re-] organize various Polish resistance organizations.

The Doomed Soldiers site is dense with information and the pathways through it are not always clear or logical. We found it rewarding to hunt up primary sources like the above, and survivor interviews. Plus, there are the many dimensions of human courage, from the guy who broke away from a mass execution (“the PPSh fired… I felt a bullet go through my shoulder”) to the officer who got himself captured and condemned so that he could get eyes on what the Germans were doing in Auschwitz.

The site definitely has a point of view, and sometimes seems to lapse into paranoia. But if you were as ill-used as the poor suffering bastard’s of the Home Army, is it really paranoid to think that everyone’s out to get you?

Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week: The Dirty Cone

dirty_coneWhat, you are doubtless thinking, is a “Dirty Cone?” Well, “Cone” is the slang for an individul striving to be an Air Force Pararescueman, which will be Pararescue Person as soon as they can lower the standards to where a 90 lb. (or 4’12” 280 lb.) Womyns’ Studies grad can meet them. But we digress. “Dirty” is a reminder that the Cone is not a PJ yet, and in the cold hard light of fact, most of them will not be. So The Dirty Cone is a website for aspiring PJs. For the rest of us, it’s a glimpse of their demimonde.

The Air Force PJs have one of the toughest (or most wasteful, depending on your point of view) courses of training in global SOF. Attrition is easily 90%. (Which makes us wonder, can’t they do something to identify the weakest candidates and dumping them, or persuading them to self-select out? A lot of SF, Ranger, and other ARSOF selection is designed to make the candidate who isn’t going to work out, essentially purge himself from the training pipeline as early as possible. A 90% drop rate would bankrupt us). But it’s their training program, which they call the Pararescueman/Combat Rescue Officer Training Course, the PJ/CRO Training Course, or, to pin a name right on the nut-cuttin’ phase, Indoc. They need a very few very good men, and this system has been working for them for years.

Nothing about Indoc is secret, nothing about it hinges on springing surprises on the candidates, unlike some other SOF selection and assessment programs. It’s simply a black and white question, a binary, a boolean bit that is 1 or 0: you meet the standards, or you hit the trail. (Actually, you get opportunities to retest, more or fewer of them depending on the cadre’s assessment of your potential and attitude. But in the end, you meet the standards, or… guess). When Mike Bernstein, who had served one term in another service, and his buddy Derek Hines, also a prior service guy, started Indoc, they bemoaned the lack of good gouge available to them.

But they didn’t just bemoan it — while still in the course, these guys started a website providing that gouge to future candidates. It’s fascinating to look at this and get an impression — because it can’t be more than an impression — of how the USAF trains and selects PJs with this murder-tough course.

United_States_Air_Force_Pararescue_Emblem.svgThe cadre seem to be OK with their students doing this; as far as we know, both of them have passed the heavy-attrition parts of the course and have moved on; Bernstein was, last we heard, in the SOF Combat Medical phase. Their site is practical in its advice, positive and upbeat, and seems to be quite frank about setbacks like getting recycled, which the Air Force calls being washed back. (One young Airman 1st, Christian Ritacco, writes about that exact experience. Which he had, twice. You feel for the kid).

For civilian readers (or us long-retireds) some of the work out and water exercises described on the site remind us how glad we are to have people who are willing to do this for us.

The PJs and CROs we encountered downrange were good guys, and the country could use more of them. So keep striving, cones.

One warning — go to the site, but do not watch the Sexy Cone CPR video. You can’t unsee that. We always suspected the Air Force was kind of that way.

Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week: Paul Mauser Archive

mauser_archiveWe have already honored one of the creators of this site, Mauro Baudino, for his other site on the Artillery Luger. But Baudino and Gerben van Vlimmeren manage another must-view website in the shape of this delightful archive from their Belgian base. At the Paul Mauser Archive, they bring to light facts about one of the greatest minds in the history of firearms design, Paul Mauser; his designs, from the Prussian M/71 on; and the mighty company he built, which had such a profound impact on the industry that Heckler & Koch is but one secondary spin-off of the living legend that is the Mauser-Werke.

The bio of Paul Mauser alone is fascinating. I didn’t know his brother Wilhelm was his partner (European gunmaking is full of these brother acts, and Paul Mauser’s father and all of Paul’s brothers became gunsmiths, with one brother even working at Remington in Ilion, NY). Paul was the primary inventor and Wilhelm the primary contract-chaser, something he worked himself to death (literally) doing o that Waffenfabrik Mauser could succeed.

Their first factory burned down in 1874, a common hazard in 19th Century gunmaking (Colt’s burned down in 1862, for example). But they had already proven themselves indispensable to the armorers of the German principalities, and they were back in production in a few months.

The site is, in fact, so full of promise it’s a little bit disappointing that it doesn’t deliver it all at once! But Baudino and van Vlimmeren are conscious that they have a treasure trove here, and they’re taking care to see it’s properly analyzed, digitized and preserved.

Recommended without reservation, the Paul Mauser Archive.

Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week: Assault Weapon Watch

The Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week is a bit of a one-trick pony. It is, as far as we know, the longest-running test of the involvement of “assault weapons” in crime.

Assault Weapon Watch, run with tongue firmly in cheek by the Coalition to Prevent Assault Weapon Violence,  has had three firearms set up for years with cameras on them 24/7/365, there to document it when they snap and go on a killing spree.

So far, they haven’t.

The three weapons are a frightening AR, a dangeous M-14 and a very dangerous belt-fed HK21.


Read the FAQ for more.



Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week: Police One

policeone_screenshotWe wish we had more time to tell you why we like this site. The bottom line is this: PoliceOne is a good place to go for cop news. For news about cops, for news that is important to cops, and to get a handle on what cops in general in the USA are thinking. It also has some training and equipment stuff, but that’s not its strong point.

Where it’s good is just seeing what cops, and criminals, are up to.

Some parts of it are private, closed to anyone that’s not a sworn officer. That’s perfectly OK; like anyone else, cops need a place to hang out with their own kind.

While individual cop blogs can cover one jurisdiction well — one favorite here is Second City Cop, who has Chicago wired like the FBI wires its confidential informants — PoliceOne covers a wider range, in (necessarily) less depth.

Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week: Christo’s Military and Intelligence Corner

Today has been a travel day, and we’re still a bit behind, so this is going to be brief: the Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week is more an intel website than a weapons one. (So sue us. We’re 18F as well as 18B around here). But you’re really going to like it.

It’s Christo’s Military and Intelligence Corner.

Christo is an avid student of intelligence history, as you can see by a couple of recent post titles:

As can be seen from these examples, the site is full of serious, quality scholarship on subjects that remain of great interest to us today, many decades later.

Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week – Lexington for Liberty

The Redcoats are still coming

The Redcoats are still coming!

The town of Lexington, Massachusetts, which prides itself on being the birthplace of liberty, is now being set up to be the birthplace of something else — a national socialist gun law has been introduced by a local activist, Robert Rotberg, who claims to be acting on his own behalf but is actually a functionary of an international socialist organization, which seeks the power to impose a global, top down government of a small, preselected aristocracy.

Which aristocracy would just happen to include local national international socialist Robert Rotberg.

The article Rotberg has inserted on the town meeting warrant calls for an immediate ban of all semi-automatic firearms and standard capacity magazines, and calls for door-to-door police enforcement. The police, notably, have not opted to take a public stand on the item.

Against this, there is a small and low-key effort by gun-owning Lexington citizens, who believe, unlike Rotberg, that their loyalty to their town, state and nation should trump their loyalty to the man who would be People’s Commissar of Gun Confiscation.

Meet Lexington for

As many of you already know, there is an effort currently underway to implement a sweeping ban of many commonly owned firearms in the town of Lexington, Massachusetts.   The effort was initiated by town meeting member Robert Rotberg, and is currently on the warrant for the annual town meeting on March 21, 2016.

via January 2016 – Lexington for Liberty.

Lexington for Liberty does its best to organize fellow townsmen to fight the international national socialist coup that’s pursuing house-to-house gun confiscation as a question of town policy.

They are careful to ask only townsmen to engage, and careful to instruct them to engage with tact and diplomacy, and careful not to make too much of the enemies they are up against or the sort of rebarbative totalitarian the sponsor of this initiative is.

That’s our assignment, eh.

CIGI RotbergRotberg claims to be acting on his own, but his history exposes him as a functionary of a shadowy international cabal, CIGI. CIGI is based in a creepy subarctic lair somewhere in Canada, and its mission is to change the world — for the benefit of “the right sort of people.” To wit, themselves.

Like SPECTRE, THRUSH and KAOS before it, CIGI seeks world domination. Unlike those spy-show villains of the sixties and beyond, CIGI is real. Its fundamental premise is that people and even nations are unfit to govern themselves; a chosen subgroup, what Lenin (whose ideology animates Rotberg and all of CIGI) would have called a vanguard, must protect the proletariat fro their own false consciousness.

We’re not joking about the world domination. From CIGI’s “about us” page:

CIGI supports research, forms networks, advances policy debate and generates ideas for multilateral governance improvements.

CIGI’s research programs focus on: global economy, global security & politics and international law.

CIGI will build bridges from knowledge to power…

Emphasis ours.

They want power, do they? Well, if the international national socialists of CIGI want a war, let it begin here.

That didn’t work out all that well for George III, did it?

Returning to Lexington for Liberty, there’s careful analysis of Rotberg’s internationalist, anti-American warrant there. For example, here they expose Rotberg’s “seize and destroy” language:

Any weapons or magazines deemed illegal… within the Town of Lexington shall be seized and destroyed by the police of the Town of Lexington….

As Lex for Liberty tells us:

Make no mistake, this is a confiscation measure, and as such goes well beyond the federal “assault weapons” ban of 1994 as well as the as the ban currently in effect throughout the Commonwealth.

Again, we are not talking about employing such severe tactics against gang members or terrorists, but rather the most law-abiding of Massachusetts residents — the licensed gun owners who have successfully passed some of the strictest scrutiny in the United States as well as the discretion of the Chief of Police…. remember those words, “seize and destroy.”  Then remember who the target is — law-abiding gun owners.

That is, of course, the problem with registration. In the hands of Pol Pot, Lenin, Chavez, Mugabe or Rotberg it leads inexorably to “seize and destroy.” And that leads inexorably to the Pots’ and Rotbergs’ real objective, to “seize and destroy” human beings.

If you’re a police chief in a nearby jurisdiction, the passage of this will let you cherry-pick the best of Lexington’s policemen and -women, because they’re not going to want any part of this bleep sandwich.  The Tactical Tommies who want to have a little Fallujah without the hassle of joining the Marines and having actual insurgents trying to kill you will stick around. It’ll be… interesting.

Lexington for Liberty goes on to advise Lexingtonians how to fight this; whom to contact; and it even provides lawn signs. The advice is universally sensible, correct, and practical.

In the form of government in place in Lexington, the “elected town meeting,” a couple hundred of the town’s political nerds who cared enough to campaign make decisions as a sort of representative assembly. This makes that kind of town government very vulnerable to SJW entryism and takeover, and so this measure has a real chance of passing.


Back to the Blofeld of this whole thing: Rotberg himself has a blog, in which he provides leadership for Africans and Asians, whether the little black and yellow beggars want it or not. A frequent point of his posts is that this academic or that NGO is not doing it right, because … and then he links to a previous article or post of his own, where he told them what to do. How dare they not follow him? There’s always something he can link to: he’s not only very power-hungry, but also very prolific, this Lexington national socialist.

Rotberg’s Wikipedia entry currently contains this line, which we captured early this morning.

In Feb 2016 Rotberg chose to craft local legislation that would lead directly to confiscation of arms in Lexington, MA. Recapitulating the tyranny which triggered the start of the American Revolution in that same place for the same reason, 241 years earlier.

It’s entirely truthful but unlikely to last in the SJW-rich environs of Wikipedia.

Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week: Russo-German Archives

german_docs_in_russiaРоссийско-германский проект по оцифровке германских документов в архивах Российской Федерации. Trips right off the tongue, doen’t it? Well, it does if you’re Russian, and you’ll need to read Russian, German, or (best of all) both, to get the maximum benefit of this remarkable collaboration to publish declassified German archives.

Until recently, the German military and state archives were divisa in partes tres at the end of World War II: Some stayed in Germany, many went to the United States, and another massive batch went to Russia.

So far two collections have been published, one of Gestapo documents (most of which are about Comintern agents and other Commies in the occupied nations of Europe) and one of World War I information.

There are some challenges to reading this information. The documents are old and weary; some show signs of burning or other attempts at records-destruction by the defeated Nazis. Many are printed in the difficult German Fraktur blackletter script; many more are written in any of a variety of obsolete German penmanship styles, mostly Sütterlin.

We found the Comintern-agent Gestapo files a bit of a snore. We haven’t read them all, but didn’t see much in terms of resistance activity by these guys.

The World War I documents are a lot more interesting, in our opinion. These include ultra-rare war diaries, including one we really enjoyed, that covered a stint at the front by one of the Kaiser’s observation-balloon unit. The stories of the airplane pilots who went out to attack these well-defended balloons has been well and often told, but the balloon troops themselves have been relatively silent in the histories. Thanks to some long-dead Russian archivists who squirreled these enemy documents away, we now can read their experiences, a century later.

But chances are good that if you have any World War I era interest, and can read German, you will find something to enjoy here.

Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week: Aussie Hunter

Don Caswell is an avid hunter who lives in a rural, farming region of Australia. He’s also a fantastic photographer who’s well attuned to capture the natural beauty of his home, and of its fauna. His blog is

We’d like to highlight two of his posts. These illustrate, to us, the eclectic nature and skilled, fact-packed writing that characterize the whole blog. In the first one, he’s celebrating the world-record Himalayan Ibex taken by Pakistani hunter Hesham Khan on New Year’s Day. Khan takes the record-book #1 away from the celebrity hunter of the 1960s and 70s, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran. This picture is (obviously) not taken by Caswell, but we bet he wishes he was there!

Last night I received an email from Ayesha Alam alerting me to a new world number one record for Himalayan Ibex.  The massive ibex, measuring in at 53 inches, was taken by Hesham Khan in the Gojal Valley of the Passu region in Pakistan on 01-Jan-2016.  Hesham’s ibex beats the previous world record Himalayan Ibex for an animal taken many years ago by the Shah of Iran.


As seen in the photo, the location is one of rugged, snow-bound Himalayan peaks bordered by massive glaciers.  It was a long shot of 800 yards, taken with a Steyr Mannlicher in 7mm Remington Magnum firing a 165 grain soft point projectile.

Both the physical beauty and the physical challenge of the ibex habitat is patent in that photo. We’ve walked similar mountains in pursuit of more dangerous game.

Hunting’s not our thing, but we respect hunters, especially the ones that love the sport and the animals, and that show the hunter’s craft and hard work, in the way of Caswell and Khan. We hope that Khan will enjoy a fine trophy that his grandsons can still show to family guests a century from now, with the oral tradition of Granddad’s record-book hunt.

The next post we want to flag includes two of his own photos, and features two native Australian critters — a Kookaburra, the bird, and a python, the bird’s lunch.

However, the sounds of a particularly vigorous struggle drew my attention back to the kookaburra that was thrashing about in the rough. When the bird flew up to a nearby tree branch it was carrying a decent sized striped snake.


When I was a youngster there was considerable folklore about kookaburras preying on snakes. This was deemed to be an admirable trait and endeared them to gardeners in an era before antivenin, where a snake bit could quite easily prove to be fatal.


As the kookaburra pounded the snake against a large tree branch I figured I had a couple of minutes grace to go fetch my camera. When I got back the bird was still flogging a now very limp snake against the tree. The kookaburra then paused to rest a while, allowing me to capture a few iconic Aussie photos.

Down the hatch!

Down the hatch!

We could not, prior to reading this post, have identified a Kookaburra beyond “something ‘Strine”. Plant? Snake? Marsupial? Nope, it’s a rather disheveled-looking bird that, sure enough, does God’s work vis-a-vis snakes.

Caswell observes that it’s a pity it was a python (a constrictor which eats smaller animals) not a brown snake or taipan (whose venom is a threat to human life). We observe that Australia needs more Kookaburras.

Our local game biologist tells us that “herps are a sign of a healthy ecosystem” and has always exhorted us to overcome our atavistic urge to “shoot ’em, stab ’em, roto-till ’em, any way you want to kill ’em,” in the words of the song. He would probably think Australia is the healthiest ecosystem ever!

However, these posts are not entirely representative of the blog — only of its quality. We found it all fascinating, whether he was reloading the .257 Weatherby Mag (and struggling to match factory-ammo accuracy with the powders and components available Down Under), pursuing local game or varmints (which include infestations of feral cats and dogs, unfortunately), celebrating another hunter’s trophy like Khan’s, or just — and we are not making this up — mowing his lawn.

We think we have a new appreciation for hunters, and we’re going to take one of the guys from Fudd Range out to lunch and listen to his hunting stories. Thanks to our commenter “S” for sending us to this blog!