Tuesday, October 29, 2013

DARC LECTC Overview Part 2

DARC LECTC Lessons Learned Part 2

Yes, a M1 Garand and angle headed flashlight will work  - millions of dead Nazi’s can’t be wrong. This is a big thing to remember, especially as it is easier to talk gear than it is to actually do work. M1 Garand’s are not a joke; if you don’t doubt it, follow the M1 Garand shooter over at garandthumb.com.

Understanding that equipment is not the make or break of this class, it can be “easier” if you have good equipment you know how to use. This allows you to spend time focusing on learning the SOP’s.

So what equipment worked for me?

1. Fire Clean and Acetone/Finger Nail Polish Remover.
Force on Force ammunition (Simmunitions, UTM or the standard of Speer FOF) will make your gun dirty. Standard advice for running a AR rifle is to make it wet. The barrel and bolt being too wet will cause the FOF ammo to have issues though.

With FOF ammo, you need to clean the barrel of plastic and paint from the FOF ammo every time it’s used (or after every run). I would pour some Acetone down the barrel then clean the chamber and bolt face with a Q-tip laced in Acetone. Next I would run a bore snake down the barrel twice. It would have a couple drops of Fire Clean on it applied at the start of each day. I also put a drop on each rail of the bolt the first part of the week and half way through. No issues as a result of this cleaning method. I ran about 800-900 rounds of 5.56 FOF ammo through the gun during the week. Also did about 75 rounds of 9mm thanks to a round blowing up in the barrel of my AR at the start of a couple runs.

2. Dump Pouches.
I ran a Tyr Tactical dump pouch at about 8-9 O’clock on my first line and a Blue Force Gear OSS Dump Pouch off my plate carrier at about 10:30-11 O’clock. The Tyr was used for dumping empty or tactical reload mags (when retention was possible) and the OSS pouch for Chemlights.

3. Princeton Tec Charge MPLS helmet light.
The button was big enough to easily manipulate with gloves on. The blue light was a must when working on a casualty as you can see blood under it. Fortunately no real blood was shed on ops, but being able to see what I was doing to access a casualty and ensure all medical protocols taught were followed, big success.

4. Weapon Mounted Light
I ran a Surefire P2X Fury modded to work like a EAG model. This was mounted in a Larue Tactical Offset mount. I was able to activate the light how and when I wanted to without issue. I only went through 2 sets of batteries for the class, and both sets were replaced before the light went dead so I’m not sure but I might have been able to run through the class with 1 set of batteries. Better safe than sorry though.

5. Laser Devices DBAL-I2.
If you’re LE, get a IR/Vis laser on your fighting weapon now. It’s a game changer. Only thing I wish I had was the PEQ-15 as it had a IR Illuminator built in and that was definitely needed at times. I won’t go into this more than that.

6. Quality Two Point Sling.
I run 2-point adjustable slings – usually a Blue Force Gear VCAS, and ran a VCAS for this class. The adjustable portion of the sling was only useful when I was moving a casualty and therefore my rifle was not needed (hopefully) and needed to be cinched down tight so I could move a casualty. I saw all the common 2-point slings (Blue Force Gear, VTAC and Way of the Gun) there except a SOB-B sling and all worked fine. The 1-point slings caused issues when people tried to put them on under stress, not to mention were horrible to control if you were moving a casualty.

7. Rehydration/Hydration
I had a Camelback attached to my protective mask. It kept me hydrated on the runs. I also followed a pre hydration regimen with 1 liter of water before I went to bed and 1 liter when I woke up. During the day, 2 liters of water, 1 liter of Vitalyte. Vitalyte is the best Electrolyte supplement on the market. I feel a “sugar sick” when I drink Gatorade or Powerade, even in a diluted state. Vitalyte works, without magnets or other smoke and mirrors based nonsense. A couple guys ran the Camelbak Elixir with good reviews as well.

8. SBR
A 10.5” barrel (or similar 10.3-11.5) is a must for when you go FISH’ing. Allows you to move in the compact spaces of a building and the cramped quarters of a team in that building. Also a big help when moving in and out of a vehicle. Lighter is better when you have to hold the gun up. Remember that mission drives the gear train.

If you can take a class at DARC, DO SO IMMEDIATELY!

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