OPERATION: DAY SHIFT

MAY 5TH, 2007

 

It was warm, it was sunny, it was nice. We came, we sweated, we trained. That empty grass in the picture above, the blank space, yeah, we are saving that spot for YOU. Come on out with us!

A total of nine people showed up for the day shift on Saturday, May 5th. We guess everyone else was out celebrating a nice Mexican holiday, Si?

In any event, we had a hell of a time. We started with some weapons familiarization, as we were happy to see both a nifty Socom 16, and a Steyr civilian version of the AUG out at the range. Thumbs up on the Socom, and thumbs down on the Steyr. More on that later.

Above left is the Socom, the Steyr is on the right. The mags are for the Steyr.

After a bit of mad weapon lust with the above, we had our Patrol Class. Since we weren't really pressed for space or overcrowded, we decided to put the results of the class into actual practice, to include training and stuff. Boo-Yah.

Patrol class expertly delivered by dedicated Pioneers, as seen below. 

   

Right off the bat (I HATE bats, BTW), we put the chain of command to test by having the Patrol Leader fall out before the patrol began. Alpha Team Leader, Bishop then took over as Patrol Leader/ Squad Leader, with the next highest level militia person, Doc, taking over the Alpha team. Weapon M was Bravo Team Leader.

We moved in two expanded wedges across the field, and set up an ORP or Patrol Base, and sent Alpha Team out to do a recon. The use of digital imaging devices for such a recon were discussed. Get a digital camera for recon missions, folks. 

After the recon, the whole squad moved in a file along the tree line toward a rendezvous with a friendly member of a local tribe, Chief SheetAyad al-Brateen. Thumper attempted to track this movement with binoculars, but failed to find us.  Boo-yah for camo!!! He also tried to call my cell phone to locate us by the ring, but I had smartly left the phone in his truck. Before any mission, set your phones, etc, on silent or vibrate. Always. 

After securing vital documents from Chief al-Brateen, we conducted a road movement back to base for burgers and such. Thumper rocked.

We then did some left-handed shooting, which everyone handled rather impressively. Here is where the Steyr simply failed. It cannot really be fired left-handed without swapping out some parts and changing the ejector cover around. In a rapid tactical situation, this is a no-go. It also got rather hot, and had an uncomfortable trigger. We all really wanted to like this rifle, but being unable to shoot it around a corner left-handed, ESPECIALLY ON A DAY WHERE WE HAD SCHEDULED SOME LEFT-HANDED SHOOTING, really earned it a thumbs down. There is a lot to like about this weapon, but we have to ship it back to our favorite Hapsburgs.

C4's Socom, however, was a completely different story. There was absolutely nothing to dislike about this rifle at all. If you find that a regular M1A/M14 is a bit too long for you, then the Socom is an answer to your prayers. Some might gripe about having a 16 inch barrel on a .308 rifle, but this is simply an awesome package. Awesome.

  

Above left: Doc with the Steyr. Right: C4 with her Socom.

After the impressive display of left handed shooting, in which everyone tagged a decent number of pins, we stepped up the challenge to include off-handed pistol shooting from the prone, around the corner, at 25 yards.

Yeah, we have fun like this. More than fun though, was the practical know-how we gained as far as being able to take a shot from our weak hand (assuming you have such a thing), from an odd position. A lot of people I know have never shot their pistol from a prone position at all, much less with their other hand. This may come in handy some day, and the practice will than have become priceless.

Practice this, yo.

This was followed with some 100 yard shooting, and then we went to wrap it up. After a quick recon by a couple of dedicated militia fellows out to investigate the whiff of shenaniganism in the air, we packed up and started to roll out.

But lo, and behold, at 6pm, just as the Day Shift was wrapping up, The Hutaree showed up to relieve us, and to conduct training of their own.

For the first time, an entirely different unit was afield as we left. And left we did, with Camp Stasa in the more than capable hands of our friends in The Hutaree, we went home and had some fajitas.  

Next up: The first Saturday in June, we will expand upon our patrol training, AND have some fun with Low-Budget Militia Day. Bring your old bolt-action rifles, your home made hardtack, your pop-bottle canteens, and your dollar store first aid kits. This may also be your last chance to qualify at least Level One for The OCV 1st Annual Invitational.

See you out there, peeps!

-Weapon M

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