My weapon is a transformer! But does it need to be?
Today’s weapons have stuff that folds, flips, collapses, extends, rises, adjusts, rotates, splits, opens, inserts, and basically goes together like a set of Legos®.
I hear a lot of talk about certain accessories and whether they are easy to “adjust on the fly” or to complicated/slow/difficult to adjust, fold, or whatever while “being shot at.”
This leads me to believe that there is a general misunderstanding by many people about how rifle or carbine accessories are intended to be used in combat.
. . . they need to change their mindset. They see themselves as a potential victim, not as a potential victor.
Adjusting stuff while being shot at, or “on the fly”
When you are being shot at, your concern should be one thing: to aggressively return fire, maneuver on, and destroy the threat. If that is not the sort of thing you do, then perhaps the objective is to aggressively return fire so that you can break contact. In the case of a civilian in a self-defense situation, your goal should generally be to aggressively return fire and maneuver on and destroy the threat in order to protect your family, or whoever you are protecting.
Do you notice a trend? A well-trained person should be thinking less about being shot at, and more about shooting at. When people emphasize being shot at, escaping, staying alive, it leads me to believe that they need to change their mindset. They see themselves as a potential victim, not as a potential victor.
We win by destroying the threat. We can’t be destroying a threat if we are fiddling with adjustable stocks, folding grips, etc. There is a time and place for that stuff; a fight is not it.
This does not mean that I am against adjustable stuff. I’m all for it. I run an M4 stock at the second position from fully collapsed. A fully extended stock will throw me off.
Take a look at some photos of soldiers. Not admin types, but combat troops. They have all kinds of adjustable stuff – straps on their helmets, body armor, magazine pouches, assault packs, rucks, slings, etc. All these straps to adjust their gear to themselves. You will notice something else too. Duct tape. On all the straps. Why? So they don’t move during a fight. The gear is all adjustable, and soldiers spend a lot of time adjusting their gear so that it fits them just right. They do this before the fight, not in it. If I am in a fight and a strap on my gear comes loose, I have to deal with it. I’m not going to adjust it when I need to be shooting. If I have to pick up a buddy’s carbine during a fight, and he likes his stock extended further than I do, I will deal with it. I’m not going to mess with the stock when I should be shooting.
Pick up your carbine, and figure out where you like your stock. Shoot it, train with it, determine what works best for you and your method of fighting. Now, leave it there. Don’t adjust the stupid thing. Don’t collapse it to put it back in your safe, rack, or patrol car. Don’t mess with it. It does not matter how hard or easy it is to adjust, because you are not going to adjust it. If you want to change it for winter use with a heavy coat, adjust it once when the weather gets cold in the fall and again when it warms up after breakup.
How many times have you seen a guy pick up his self-defense carbine or duty carbine and put it to his shoulder, pull it down and adjust the stock, throw it up again, adjust the stock again, until he gets it where he likes it. What if instead of picking it up casually, he was grabbing it to deal with a threat? Why was it not already adjusted correctly? I just had a carbine here that belonged to a Navy SEAL. He had a stripe of paint on the top of his buffer tube. His buffer tube’s finish was worn – not in a linear way from adjusting, but from the stock always sitting in the same place, right behind the paint mark.
Folding stocks serve one main purpose – to make a weapon more compact for use in aircraft, vehicles, boats, or by paratroopers. The intent was never for soldiers to run around fighting with a folded stock. If you have a folding stock that makes it difficult to shoot the weapon with the stock folded, no big deal. “What if a threat appears suddenly and I don’t have time to deploy the stock?” you say. What are you doing walking around with the stock folded? A folded stock is for storage, an extended stock is for fighting. The only real exception is a shotgun that is used as a secondary weapon primarily for breaching.
If you use a grip that folds to the front or back (or to the side for use on AK-type rifles), figure out where you like it and leave it there. I saw a video recently of a side-folding grip on a rifle that required the magazine to be rocked in. The guy was folding the grip to the center, shooting, then folding the grip to the side to change mags. The correct use it to just put the thing at the right angle to let the mags clear and run it there.
Did your battery die right in the middle of a fire fight? Time to open the compartment in the bottom of your grip, pull an insert out and remove a tiny battery, open the battery compartment on the sight, dump the dead battery, drop the new one in, screw the cover on, and get back into the fight. Or just use your back-up iron sights. What do you think?In combat or law enforcement work, there will be times when you are shooting, times when you are moving, and times when you are waiting for a bit. The waiting times are when you can pull batteries out of your grip or stock and put them in your equipment. The shooting times or moving times are not the time for it. I often had batteries stored in my stock, not for pulling out on a mission (I had extra batteries for my light in a pocket and a pouch – its faster) but for those times when it was not convenient to go to supply for a new battery before a mission or when they were out of batteries for a day or two, as occasionally happened. It does not matter how easy it is to get into a storage compartment – a bullet button is fine with me. I am more concerned with the compartment staying closed no matter what.
In combat is short periods of a lot happening at once with periods of nothing happening in between. Set your stuff up, reload, replace batteries, etc. in the between times, not the busy times. Self-defense or counter-terror events tend to start very fast and end very quickly. Set your stuff up the way it needs to be before the event starts, because once it does, there is not time for anything but to end it as fast as you can. The longer it goes on, the more people die. The longer it takes you to get into the fight . . . you get the idea.
The point I’m trying to make is that too much emphasis is placed on the ability to adjust equipment in a fight. Set it up and test it before you have to use it, and then leave it that way. Keep the simple things simple so you can concentrate on the complicated stuff.
Leave the the combat transforming to Optimus Prime.