Archive for the ‘History’ Category

Jim Schatz – Caseless Ammunition Small Arms

Sunday, March 19th, 2017

Late last week we lost Jim Schatz, a true expert in the small arms community. Jim was a presenter at many a NDIA Small Arms Conference and this briefing to the 2012 meeting on Caseless Ammunition Small Arms, is one of his best. Click on the image below to read the briefing slides. While Jim’s discussion is missing, he would always offer some great slides, packed with info. There’s a lot going on with Small Arms these days and we’re going to dip into some of it this week, so consider this a read ahead.


PPTranger Puts The Modern Profession Of Arms Into Perspective 

Monday, March 13th, 2017

This Day In AFSOC History

Sunday, February 26th, 2017


On this Day in 1991: The AC-130A Spectre “Azrael” was sent to the Al Jahra highway between Kuwait City and Basrah, Iraq, to intercept the convoys of tanks, trucks, buses and cars fleeing the battle. Facing numerous enemy batteries of SA-6 and SA-8 surface-to-air missiles, and 37mm and 57mm radar-guided anti-aircraft artillery, the crew attacked the enemy skillfully, inflicting significant damage on the convoys. Learn more here thanks to the National Museum of the United States Air Force.

Lowe Vector Catalog

Tuesday, February 21st, 2017

From the late 1970s until the early 1990s, Lowe Alpine Systems offered a military line of packs called Vector. I owned a Woodland LCS-85 pack which is similar to the LCS-84 seen here, but I had also used an OD LOCO at 3ID LRS. LOCOs are rarely found with the rappelling harness as those were used long after the packs were discarded. These are pages from their catalog from the mid-80s.

“In 1978 in response to their experience in the U.S. Special Forces, Greg and Mike Lowe began designing to the needs of the U.S. Army and Marines as well as search and rescue organizations. Today, based on wide ranging input from outdoorsmen, hunters, rescue groups, SWAT teams and the military, Vector has become the leader in backpack design and innovation.”

“Soviet And Mujahideen Uniforms, Clothing And Equipment Of The Soviet-Afghan War, 1979-1989”

Saturday, February 11th, 2017

Published in 2016, “Soviet And Mujahideen Uniforms, Clothing And Equipment Of The Soviet-Afghan War, 1979-1989” by Zammis Schein catalogs the author’s extensive collection of wartime artifacts.

The 500-page volume contains every conceivable variant of Soviet uniform, including armor crew, aircrew, infantry and spetznaz as well as women’s ensembles.

Mujahideen clothing has also been catalogued. Much of it will be quite familiar to those who have served in Afghanistan. In fact, that’s where the author began his collection, while working as an interpreter.

The collection is certainly impressive and includes inert models of the infamous PFM-1 “Butterfly” landmine.

Additionally, the author has included pocket litter such as ID cards, letters and other ephemera.

The book has value as a reference document but I wish it had also featured the historical images depicting the equipment in use which were used by the author to validate the items.

You can get your copy from

Combat Control Team History Lesson

Thursday, February 2nd, 2017

CMSgt Alcide “Bull” Benini portrait, reproduced from Gathering of Eagles drawing (with permission).

This graphic hangs in the Combat Control School Heritage Foundation Museum at Pope Field, NC. Benini was designated the first Combat Controlled in 1953 and the Museum is named in his honor.

Gathering of Eagles Foundation

If Only…The Magpul Masada

Sunday, January 29th, 2017

Gear Modifications in Vietnam

Saturday, January 28th, 2017

I wanted to share these two photos of MG Ken Bowra when he was a 1LT serving in MACV-SOG’s CCN (TF1AE), in 1971 l, as the Reconnaissance Team Leader (One-Zero) of Recon Teams Idaho and Sidewinder. He wore an AK chest rig during missions and also sewed pockets on to the sleeves of his ERDL jungle fatigues.

These wartime mods were replicated by individuals  and small units from the war, up into the early 00s, but eventually became standard.