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Devils get more tactical/practical shooting in at qual time

She was named after the 1944 Battle of Peleliu, where US Marines had to fght for every inch of real estate. Note the BAR and M1919 dropping it like its hot.

Battle of Peleliu, where US Marines had to fight for every inch of real estate. Note the BAR and M1919 dropping it like it’s hot.

I figured if this was new to me, it was likely new to some of your as well, but did you know that the table two portion of the Marine’s annual rifle range qualification has changed to become more practical?

Among the changes:

•Keeping up the heart rate: Instead of Marines staying stationary while shooting, they are required to start at the standing position and quickly get into the kneeling or prone position when the targets are ready to appear.

•Engaging the enemy: Marines begin qualifying at the 500-yard line then advance towards the 100-yard line, where previously they trained the other way around.

•Maintaining situational awareness in combat: New targets show both friendly and enemy forces and Marines must maintain awareness of the targets to determine when to shoot forcing them to make combat decisions.

More info here

Mattis, arriving

Douda, Djibouti (Dec. 5, 2006) - U.S. Marine Corps Forces Central Commander, Lt. Gen. James Mattis visits with local officials from Douda, Djibouti, home base for the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa command. U.S Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Eric A. Clement (RELEASED)

Douda, Djibouti (Dec. 5, 2006) – U.S. Marine Corps Forces Central Commander, Lt. Gen. James Mattis visits with local officials from Douda, Djibouti, home base for the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa command. U.S Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Eric A. Clement (RELEASED)

By a 98-1 vote, the 115th U.S. Senate confirmed retired Marine Corps Gen. James Norman “Mad Dog” Mattis to be the 26th secretary of defense Jan. 20, and Vice President Michael R. Pence administered his oath of office shortly afterward.

Mattis is the first retired general officer to hold the position since General of the Army George C. Marshall in the early 1950s. Congress passed a waiver for the retired four-star general to serve in the position because law requires former service members to have been out of uniform for at least seven years to serve as defense secretary.

Mattis retired from the Marine Corps in 2013. The former CENTCOM commander previously led I MEF, United States Marine Forces Central Command, and 1st Marine Division during the Iraq War as well as 1/7 Marines in the Persian Gulf War. He reportedly carried a worn copy of the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius throughout his deployments while his extensive library has earned him a reputation as something of a warrior monk.

His first message:

Message to the Department of Defense from Secretary of Defense James Mattis

Press Operations
Release No: NR-020-17
Jan. 20, 2017
***

It’s good to be back and I’m grateful to serve alongside you as Secretary of Defense.

Together with the Intelligence Community we are the sentinels and guardians of our nation. We need only look to you, the uniformed and civilian members of the Department and your families, to see the fundamental unity of our country. You represent an America committed to the common good; an America that is never complacent about defending its freedoms; and an America that remains a steady beacon of hope for all mankind.

Every action we take will be designed to ensure our military is ready to fight today and in the future. Recognizing that no nation is secure without friends, we will work with the State Department to strengthen our alliances. Further, we are devoted to gaining full value from every taxpayer dollar spent on defense, thereby earning the trust of Congress and the American people.

I am confident you will do your part. I pledge to you I’ll do my best as your Secretary.

MATTIS SENDS

Endangered Marine XM-3s being preserved via CMP

In 2004, the Marine snipers deployed in the sandbox needed a rifle that was shorter and lighter as well as quieter, than their standard M40s.

This led a small group of sniper wonks including Steve Reichert (then SNCOIC of the 2nd Marine Division’s Pre-Sniper course) and others to hammer out what was known as the DARPA XM-3 rifle, using an 18.5″ Hart 416R Stainless Steel (Mil-Gauged) barrel that was suppressor ready.

That's a full length rifle

That’s a fully asssembled sniper rifle…

What was so special about them?

From Steve Reichert:

-The receivers were clip slotted to accept the reverse-engineered titianium picatinny rail (IBA Design) to fit firmly.
-The receivers’ internal threads were opened up to 1.070” to allow a perfectly true alignment with the bolt face and chamber/bore dimension. The chamber was cut to accept M118LR ammo.
-The titanium recoil lug was built with the 1.070” diameter opening for the larger-barrel threads and surface ground true.
-The stainless steel magazine box was hand fitted and welded to eliminate movement when assembled.
-The stocks were custom made for the project.
-The barreled actions were bedded in titanium Devcon and Marine Tex to allow for decades of hard use without losing torque or consistency.
-Nightforce made a full 1 MOA elevation adjustment on their NXS 3.5-15X50’s to allow for faster dope changes at distance. These scopes had 1/4 MOA windage.

While successful and a hit with the Devils who got to use them, the 56 or so XM3’s were all pulled from service by 2014.

Thankfully, some have made thier way to the CMP and, as surplus bolt-action rifles, can be sold to the public.

They just auctioned off XM-3 rifle, serial number S6534025 with a factory green stock finish, built at Iron Brigade Armory by D. Briggs, USMC (Ret), 2112.

The rifle included the scope, sniper data book with some firing information; PVS22 Night Vision Device and other goodies.

xm-3-rifle-serial-number-s6534025-has-a-factory-green-stock-finish-and-shows-signs-of-use-but-was-well-maintained-and-cared-for-was-built-at-iba-by-d-briggs-usmc-ret-2112 pvs-22

Talk about functional history…

Magpul, USMC

pmag-30-arm4-gen-m3-window-in-black-and-medium-coyote-tan-mct

It looks like Wyoming-based Magpul will be providing the mags for the Marines moving forward, with their PMAG being the only authorized mag for field use while the USGI EPM will be relegated to training.

In government administered tests, the Gen M3 PMAG ran through 20,400 rounds of M855A1 ammo without any magazine-related stoppages, so there is that. The mags will be in two types, GEN M3 PMAG in Black (NSN 1005-01-615-5169) and the new Medium Coyote Tan (NSN 1005-01-659-7086).

“In light of the results from an enormous body of reliability and durability testing and 4 years of combat use, today it was announced that the PMAG 30 AR/M4 GEN M3 Window, in Black and Medium Coyote Tan (MCT), would be the official magazine of the entire United States Marine Corps,” noted the company in a statement on social media.

The company says the MCT mags with the NSN will be available around SHOT show for commercial sale and were designed with the HK416/M27 in mind, which is a big plus.

And it also means their will probably be about 2 million old metal body GI M16/M4 mags hit the surplus pipeline in the coming year or three.

Sometimes copper is your best friend

Marine Special Operations Team (MSOT) 8222 was deployed to Bala Murghab in 2009-10. The team was tasked with partnering with national Afghan forces to train them to stabilize a remote valley in northwestern Afghanistan.

This specialized beryllium copper knife was used by the team breacher to cut plastic explosives.

beryllium-copper-knife-was-used-by-the-team-breacher-to-cut-plastic-explosives

Currently on exhibit at the National Museum of the Marine Corps

This knife cut every charge used by MSOT-8222 during this deployment.

It’s a Strider BD Beryllium Copper (CuBe). These knives, made in St. Paul, MN, have a 6.5-inch blade, paracord wrapped handle, and go an impressive 0.25-inches wide. They run four-figures but are guaranteed non-sparking & non-magnetic.

They are extremely corrosion resistant and doesn’t spark like a steel blade would. Precisely the type of knife you’d want if your job involved cutting through hundreds of blocks of high explosives.

SECDEF, arriving

gen-mad-dog-mattis

And I heard, as it were, the voice of thunder. A voice spake, saying, “Come and see.” And I saw. And a thousand PT belts were rent, and blood spilt upon the earth, wherefore the grass did grow. -1St Fallujans, Chapter 17, verse 75.

Of course, Mattis is something of a modern day Patton. A warrior monk with gregarious and outspoken nature.Let’s just hope there is a modern day Ike, Bradley, and Beetle in place to provide mid-course input as needed.

The Jacob Double Rifle

Brig. Gen. John Jacob (CB) was an officer of the British East India Company born in 1812. Reared at the Addiscombe Military Seminary, he completed his formal education at age 16 when he was commissioned in the Bombay Artillery on his 16th birthday, subsequently sailing for India within the same week.

As a young subaltern of artillery he saw steady service on the Afghan frontier, covering himself in glory at the Battle of Meanee in 1843 which resulted in a Brevet Captain honor and his CB.

Sir John then went on to form an irregular cavalry unit which endured under his name as the 36th Jacob’s Horse (which, amalgamated in 1922 to become the 14th Prince of Wales’s Own Scinde Horse, remained until 1947 when it was allotted to the new Indian Army). He also went on to raise both the  130th Baluchis and 26th Jacob’s Mountain Battery.

He also crafted a very interesting rifle.

National Firearms Museum photo

National Firearms Museum photo

Jacob decided that a double barreled rifle with an elaborate sabre bayonet was just the ticket for his troops in India’s Northwest Frontier. His design fired a .52 caliber conical projectile with winged studs that could be modified for explosive impact against ammunition wagons at extreme distances (keep in mind the dum-dum round was born in the same place and time). The folding rear sight leaf was marked to an optimistic 2000 yards.

jacobsrifle7

Some 900 were made by Swinburn & Son in England around 1860, though apparently few were ever issued. You see, the man who had ordered them had already expired of exhuastion. They circled the glob as military surplus for a few generations with the 1907 Bannermans’ catalog listing them as “double barrel elephant rifles.”

Jacob, known locally as Jekum Sahib Bahadur, never returned to England, fought in Perisa, and, buried in what is today Pakistan at Jacobabad (guess who it is named after), is well-remembered and even to a degree, liked.

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