Sunday, January 25, 2009
Praxis: Training Elmer Fudd? Maybe he should train you.
This is Elmer Fudd, the Warner Brothers cartoon character.
This is a modern-day hunter.
Before we get into our subject matter, troops, I have a mea culpa. I have referred to hunters who exhibit no interest in defending their Second Amendment rights and who are willing to throw MY right to own military pattern rifles under the bus as "Elmer Fudds." Many of us Three Percenters do. It is understandable to resent folks who you believe are totally without a clue when the threat to you seems so real, so imminent.
However, adopting this attitude across-the-board, that is, by looking at all politically non-involved hunters as "Elmer Fudds" is not only wrong, it is counter-productive. My thinking has changed thanks to several conversations I have had with folks over the last few months which finally crystalized for me this week. It began with a request from a newly politicized hunter.
"I read your article on packaging, but I have a scoped bolt action rifle (a Winchester Model 70). What can I do to pack my ammo any better than in the boxes it came in so I can transport it and use it quickly?"
There are, of course, many open-looped ammo belts of the type first invented by the US Cavalry officer Anson Mills. Here is an example:
However, my hunter friend's question was one of packaging and storage, as much as tactical utility. What I came up with is, I think, a good compromise. It uses as its principal component the plastic insert that comes in Federal and other rifle ammunition boxes. Here is a sample:
Note that these ten round inserts come with belt loops, enabling them to be worn on a standard pants belt. The loops are just a bit less than two inches internal width. Of course the colors of these inserts are hardly tactical, usually being red or white as in the illustration above.
My solution was to spray prime them with Rust-Oleum Plastic Primer and then spray paint them OD. I have some 1.75" OD thin webbing on a roll that I picked up cheap somewhere in the Clintonista era and so I cut an appropriate length of material, threaded it through four 10 round carriers (scavenged from the trash barrels at the range), and secured the two ends by threading them through some 2" plastic slides that I scavenged off packs, duffle bags and purses bought at the thrift store. (For an average of $.79 each, I get a fair number of slides, d-rings and fastex buckles off each one. Can't buy them that cheap in WalMart or a sewing shop.)
Four bandoleers will fit in an M19A1 "thirty cal" ammo can, giving a hundred and sixty rounds per can. Voila! Tactical storage that can be used in the field. The plastic carriers actually grip the rounds more tightly than the average modern Mills-type belt, no matter what it is made of.
When it is used up, it can be discarded at little expense, or reloaded from bulk boxes. This is my contribution to making deer hunters tactical.
Over the years, many volunteers have come up to me saying, apologetically, that they don't have a military pattern rifle (AR, AK, etc.) they JUST have their bolt action deer rifle. Previously, I usually said something like "That's OK, it'll do until you can get something better."
Now, I'm not so sure that a military pattern rifle IS better all the time. For one thing, a man who has used a deer rifle all his life knows that rifle inside and out. He KNOWS what it can do, and what he can hit. He knows other things too.
This subject came up not long ago when I was speaking with a young man who wondered how we would train all the "Fudds" in military tactics and battle rifle marksmanship when they did rally to to us.
That many hunters will rally I have do doubt, even given their political inactivity now. Events have always been our greatest recruiter. In some peoples' minds, it just isn't that bad yet. They don't keep track of the bills in the hopper, or the internet websites devoted to firearms rights. They work, they read the paper, they watch TV, hence they have no definite word of how ominous the threat really is.
I told my young friend that maybe they wouldn't need that much training. Look at what a real hunter knows:
He knows how to live in the woods, how to move quietly, to stalk game and how to dress it.
Because he uses a bolt-action rifle he is free from the burst-happy sickness of spray and pray. You cannot bump fire a bolt action rifle. The hunter picks his target, and his aim point, carefully, and if he is good it is one shot, one kill.
His marksmanship is almost always better than the paper-punchers down at the range. This was brought home to me by a hunter who just bore-sighted his .300 WinMag rifle and came to the range on Friday to fine tune it. He did it, with TWO ROUNDS.
And also unlike those non-veteran paper-punchers, the hunter knows what it is like to kill. Oh, there's a jump to be sure from taking four-legged game to killing two-legged predators, but not as much as for someone who has killed nothing bigger than a cockroach with his shoe.
In a military situation, the hunter armed with a bolt-action rifle need not get so close to engage his target and he is unlikely to stay too long (an important point in 4th Generation warfare).
To take that bolt-action rifle out of the hands of someone who has been using it all his life and hand him a semi-automatic military pattern rifle is like asking a Samurai swordsman to chop brush. It can be done, but it is a waste of resources.
Better would be to figure out how to use hunters as designated marksmen in your larger organization. Food for thought toward the day when many hunters rally to us. For they will, whether they fit the description of "Elmer Fudd" now or not.