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Gabe Suarez on Why All Weapons are Specialized and Ways to Deal with It

Gabe Suarez makes a case over on Warrior Talk on why every gun is specialized (kind of like how we feel on camo patterns). The more effective something is in one area, the less so in every other application. So, we end up with compromises. In camo, we can overcome this with a general pattern and some good old Soldierly application of local vegetation, scrim and paint. With weapons, it ain’t so easy. Gabe is throwing a couple of concepts out there and it is worth a gander. Naturally, Gabe bases his argument on the Kalashnikov design. Even if you don’t agree with him, it is worth getting the dialogue going.

Read his story here.

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5 Responses to “Gabe Suarez on Why All Weapons are Specialized and Ways to Deal with It”

  1. Stefan says:

    Well I do not 100% agree. But like everything from kit, cammo and guns everyone has their opinions. Just do not think that a 1947 design is the end all be all in rifles. Sorry.

  2. Stefan says:

    The Insurgent Combat Rifle? Nice title. Working for Al-Quaeda? Like those knuckle-draggers are so weapon savy. That is why the AK is so popular. Any yahoo can use it.

  3. MarKM says:

    No, the focus isn’t the AK – it’s who uses it for what. Overall, the concept is right – weapons ARE specialized, what we chafe at is discovering it. A bolt sniper in .300 Win Mag is a lousy choice to carry in vehicles or clearing a compound, a true long distance shot is not going to be effective from a intermediate caliber whatever at 600m.

    Break it down further, you fit the gun to what it needs to do: caliber and barrel first, and don’t even try to make the argument an intermediate caliber SBR does a long distance precision job. Far too many internet wannabes post up their tricked out 14.5″ scoped and bipod equipped CQB sniper guns as all purpose, when they are really bad at everything. Caliber, barrel, action, optics base, furniture, trigger – compromise the wrong way on any step, you compromise the special purpose the gun does.

    Case in point, the venerable FNFAL. Great firearm, not so great mounting optics. The removable bolt cover makes it an iron sights gun, a secure mount is a huge compromise. It has a reputation for being 2MOA and that’s exactly why – it can’t be generally used for precision work. Same for the M14 as originally issued, take a very close look at the new refits, and what you see is an overbuilt compromise to get an optic on a top eject exposed bolt curio. Not much better than what you do to an old Winchester 94. It’s the wrong action for that job.

    Start looking at things for functioning with the job, instead of pining about why no one understands the superiority that isn’t there. We are’t the ones clueless about it, cream rises to the top. The AR10 fits the medium range sniper gun better than an open bolt curio, drill down the list and make the proper choices.

    There’s no great one size fits all hammer or even socket for working on a car, tools are designed to fit the job precisely, not the One Gun That Rules Them All.

    Even the M2 has it’s drawback, one man can’t hump it all.

  4. A weapon is a tool, nothing more or less. You wouldn’t use a hammer when a screwdriver is needed. Similarly you wouldn’t want to use a shotgun for a long range precision shot. Choose the correct tool for the job at hand.

  5. WeaponBuilder says:

    The “Insurgent” Sniper/Combat Rifle is a fairly poor conception. I think the key shortcoming is the “Insurgent” part… As in poor weapons selection.

    300 Meter Range on the Combat Rifle? No wonder the Insugents we’re fighting lose so often… Truth is – it all boils down to the Weapons, Tactics, and Training at the individual level. Taking advantage of the advantageous stand-off distances between weapons systems through proper training & application.

    Major John Plaster was quite right when he stated that (paraphrased) “The 5.56mm Stoner platform dominates everything within 500 meters.” The 5.56mm with low recoil, and higher accuracy & velocity provides an advantage over the AK platform due to inherent accuracy, and an advantage over precision sniper rifle due to the ability to make faster follow-up shots.

    The AK platform is inherently less accurate, and Gabe was right in pointing out that it really isn’t an effective weapon beyond 300 to 400 meters. I can hit plenty of targets at 400 meters with my AK, but beyond that the mechanical accuracy of the weapon, and the inconsistency of the ammunition makes accurate hits much more difficult.

    On the other hand, my Sabre Defence AR-15 with 14.5″ barrel can get fast and accurate hits out to 400 yards with ease (using irons), and out to 600 yards with my 1-4x US Optics scope. There is a notably better stand-off distance with an AR-15.

    Likewise, anything over 600 meters you’ll need a more specialized weapon. 308 Minimum.

    The only reason why engagements well under 400 meters are the norm is because of our OBJECTIVES, and the TERRAIN in which we’re fighting are the primary influencing factors of which TACTICS and EQUIPMENT will provide us with the best chance of successful acheivement of those objectives.

    You’d be a fool to go into battle with any intermediate caliber assault rifle if the terrain were more like the Dakotas, Montana, or Alaska where your MINIMUM likely engagement distance will be over 600 meters. This is one of the main problems in Afghanistan. You can often spot your enemy long before you can maneuver within range to engage them, and likewise they can spot our soldiers coming a long way off & easily setup ambushes with ‘Sniper’ fire once our soldiers come within 400 meters.

    No one rifle can do everything… But the 5.56mm AR platform can do a fine job of dominating the sub-600 meter range as a general purpose infantry weapon.

    As Martin Lambert noted – Choose the correct tool for the job at hand.