Saturday, May 11, 2019

An interesting look at urban defense

I'm not one to fantasize about civil war, or armed rebellion, or whatever.  I've seen them in real life, in more than one African nation, and they're the very last thing I want to see in these United States!  I think most people who've experienced them will say the same.  Nevertheless, some worry that we may see some sort of major civil unrest in our cities.  With Antifa, Black Lives Matter, urban gangs, and other elements in the news, that's certainly not impossible.  If it looks likely, my preferred response will be to get the hell out of the way before things happen . . . but that may not be feasible.

In that case, in a series of articles, Clay Martin offers his thoughts on defensive measures for city dwellers:  preparing one's property, choice of defensive weapons, and other issues.  I don't agree with everything he proposes, but on the whole his ideas appear sound.  His experience was in Iraq, whereas mine was in Africa, but urban conflict isn't all that different anywhere around the globe.  His articles are, in chronological order:

Follow each link to read the articles.  I hope you won't need the information they provide, but you never know . . .

My favorite quote from Mr. Martin's series:

The one thing I see over and over again in prepping circles is a belief that a mountain of ammo is all you need. Absolutely not true! In fact, I believe that most people would be better off with 300 rounds and the skills of having shot 20,000 as opposed to 20,000 stockpiled and the skills of having shot 300.

Very true, IMHO!

EDITED TO ADD:  I've since put up a brief analysis of the urban conflict experienced in Marawi, in the Philippines, two years ago.  It discusses that conflict and experience in others, with an emphasis on what it's like to fight your way into, around, or out of a city.  It includes a link to a very graphic, brutal video that shows actual murders, combat in the ruins, etc.  This is not what we expect to face in US cities;  but, given that some law enforcement agencies are already refusing to back up local cops in cities where liberal administrations are giving the mob free rein . . . it's not inconceivable.  Go read it, and factor that into your preparations.



Rob said...

When folks start talking about things going bad in a town/city/area I think of a guy called Selco & his year of doing that in Bosnia. There is nothing quite like reading about someone who actually survived it.

I went looking for this link for this remark on your blog, there could be more & better other there..

paladin3001 said...

A lot of good information in those articles. Some will be taken to heart, and plans will need to be made. Along with shopping, lots of shopping when I can afford it.

Miguel GFZ said...

Ammo will also be trading currency. 300 rounds is a very optimistic forecast having been witness to a L.A. Riot type of incident in South America. A store owner defending his property against looters, went through close to 50 rounds in a couple of hours.
And he piled bodies in front of his store.

Peter said...

@Miguel: I don't think the author was being dogmatic about 300 rounds and 300 rounds only. I think he was emphasizing the need to expend ammo on training and keeping in practice, rather than stockpiling it without expending enough on training and practice. From that perspective, I entirely agree with him.

As for stockpile levels . . . let's just say I have a lot more .22LR in stock than the figures the author mentions, and that's just in rimfire! I think anyone with any real-world experience understands the needs, and has already responded accordingly.

Uncle Lar said...

I have to admit that there is something very comforting in knowing you have several cases (5k rounds per case) of good quality .22lr tucked away for a rainy day.
During the late and oh so unlamented ammo drought I kept several buddies in enough .22 so they could still go plinking with their kids and grandkids. They insisted on giving me twice what I'd paid originally which was still a quarter of what scalpers were demanding for the same ammo.
And as a reloader of multiple calibers I follow a similar philosophy regarding components.
Supplying several friends with their hunting ammo has kept both them and me well supplied with fresh game.

Will said...

Someone has to say it: unless you are swimming or on fire, better too much ammo than not enough.

Mad Jack said...

The post-Katrina scenario is the closest we'll get to the fallout from an armed insurrection of some kind. What you'll likely to need above everything else is water. Lots of fresh water. Beyond that, any local organization of social group that is geographically close to you and who thinks the same way you do, and that will accept you as a member.

Item number three is fire control. Your place catches on fire, the fire department isn't available just now, you'd better be able to put it out or grab your gear and run for it.

First aid is important, but extended first aid even more so. Having one or two antibiotics on hand is a good thing, and being able to fix problems with your digestive tract is also important.

Having an AR15 is a great thing, and I wouldn't criticize anyone for stockpiling rifles or ammo. However, the fact is that no one wants to get shot, and that includes the authorities. Should a group of a dozen or so blue clad officials start going house to house in your neighborhood confiscating food, water, and everything else they can use, what would you like your response to be? You alone with your AR, you and a few neighbors that you don't really know all that well, and some of whom are armed, or a group of 30 armed men and women who have known each other for years, and who know that they all - all 30 of them - mean business.

We all know the answers to that one.

Hightecrebel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hightecrebel said...

@Peter And for those of us who have no real-world experience, any suggestions on practice/stock ratio as we buy it?

I've basically been putting every fifth box aside for stock (every other for .22), should I change that up?

Peter said...

@Hightecrebel: I'd go with these minimum, I say again, MINIMUM figures.

1. For your primary defensive rifles (those for self- and home defense, and defending your family): 1,000 rounds per weapon of high-quality defensive ammo (i.e. hollowpoint or softpoint), plus enough magazines to chamber at least a basic load (240 rounds) per weapon. I'd prefer two to three times as many magazines.

2. For your primary defensive handguns (and I agree with Mr. Martin, a rifle is much more important and versatile than a handgun), I'd keep at least 500 rounds of high-quality defensive ammo on hand - a good hollowpoint round is optimum. Also, have enough magazines to carry at least four loaded spares with you, plus one in the gun; again, two to three times as many is probably better.

3. For a defensive shotgun, the ammunition is bulky and heavy, and you may need to switch between birdshot, buckshot and slugs depending on your situation. I don't rely on a shotgun as my primary defensive weapon, but if I did, I'd want at least 200 rounds of buckshot (preferably Federal's Flite Control round) and at least 100 rounds of slugs (preferably Brenneke brand).

4. Rimfire: Pile it high and stack it deep. A couple of family members with Ruger 10/22's and 25-round magazines can make your environment within 100 yards very, very uncomfortable for looters and would-be attackers; even though the .22LR is small and not very powerful, no-one wants to get shot! I'd suggest at least 1,000 rounds per weapon, with enough 25-round magazines to provide each rifle with at least 6.

Your mileage may vary, of course.

HMS Defiant said...

it really boils down to putting warheads on foreheads. If you can't do that, you can sit on a mountain of ammo and do nothing with a gun.

The bleeding edge, is you have to actually target the foreheads in question and most people cannot do that.

Hightecrebel said...

@Peter My apologies, I phrased that poorly. I am looking for guidance on the process of building the stockpile- use for practice vs putting in stock for those of us who can't afford to do it all at once and lack any real-world experience to guide us on how much practice we need (other than "more") compared to preparing for shortages

Peter said...

@Hightecrebel: I'd suggest a 5-to-1 ratio for "apprentice" riflemen, who need a lot of practice. In other words, buy 5 rounds of practice ammo for every 1 round you stockpile. (By all means, stockpile some practice ammo too, because you'll need to keep your hand in: but I tend to use .22LR for practice, because I can get adapters for that cartridge to fit my fighting rifles, and it's actually more challenging to use .22LR at medium to long range than it is .223.)

As you gain skills, I'd suggest that the ratio should drop to 3-to-1, and then to 2-to-1. (Again, use .22LR as a cheap practice round instead of expensive battle rifle rounds - unless you're made of money, which I'm not. If you are, then stockpile whatever you can afford, and have fun with it!)

I'd also suggest buying several .22LR rifles of different types (i.e. semi-auto, bolt, lever-action, slide-action, etc.) and using them to maintain your familiarity with larger-caliber weapons in those actions. For example, my standard hunting rifle is the Marlin .30-30 lever-action, so I practice with Henry and Marlin lever-action .22 rifles, to good effect. I simply reduce the size of the targets as I bring them closer, so that one at 50 yards looks visually similar through the sites to a similar, larger target at 200 yards. That keeps the level of challenge and difficulty where it should be. Also, if you have to teach others, .22LR is a much cheaper way to do so; and if you have to arm members of your family or friends, who may not have much in the way of training or experience, they'll learn to handle the .22LR's minimal recoil and muzzle blast much more quickly than a more powerful round.

A very important point is to avoid having too many different cartridges and calibers in your stash, whether of weapons or of ammunition. I know several people who have two to three dozen rifles, of a dozen different calibers and cartridges. They have to stockpile ammo for all of them, at considerable expense, and at the risk of confusion when it comes to throwing ammo into a carry box in a hurry during an emergency. I've cut down drastically over the years. I now have .22LR, 5.56mm, .30-30, 7.62mm Russian, 7.62mm NATO, and pistol-caliber carbines. With just 4 centerfire rifle cartridges to worry about, my ammo stockpile becomes much more manageable.

Again, YMMV.

Phil said...

Great advice and thank you Peter, for the links.
I truly believe this is more timely than most people could possibly imagine.