Five on Friday 1-17

This is a weekly feature blog post composed of a selection of items from around the web that I read this week; five links and a cool Instagram photo to grab attention. It's not all firearms or duty related. Some items are current events, some are industry news, some are technology. It's going to be all over the place with the only central theme being that I read it some time this week and found it interesting.
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Primary & Secondary is a network created to discuss professional grade modern weapons and their applications with supporting equipment and skills.

Ballistic Helmets, Construction, Testing, and Ratings

So, after one of my gear reviews, I received so much feedback, I decided to clarify/expound. It seems most end users are merely consumers. They want to give you their want as they see it, and they expect you to point their nose at an easily affordable product without any real regard to their needs. This problem is compounded by the fact that unsavory companies will do just that…on the surface…while easily disconnecting said consumer from their money. The problem isn’t always on the behalf of the business. As with anything we purchase, we know that with quality comes monetary compensation, so where do we draw the line and how do we spot these companies? That is easy my friend, it is called education. For today’s entertainment, I will discuss ballistic helmets, how they are rated, and why some companies offer them at a different price break. We will also talk about the simple solution for finding a good helmet that won’t break the bank. First of all, I am no “expert.” I am mostly just experienced and educated. Having procured, tested, evaluated, and taken to combat many different systems, I have learned a lot through a few decades. While

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Guest Contributor
This contributor is a member of the Primary & Secondary Network.

Choosing a Protection Level for Rifle Plates

Armor 101… I tell customers that armor is one of the most confusing commodities in the defensive industry. Understanding the rating systems, the materials, and the capabilities associated with each is a must for one to make an educated armor choice. When selecting armor, start with the most likely threat that you may face (be realistic) and work from there. It is always a trade-off (protection, cost, durability, weight, thickness); just balance the capabilities to arrive at the best available solution for your requirement. RATINGS/LEVELS (Rifle Threats) Rifle Plates and Levels. NIJ is the rating that drives the armor train (for now). It is horribly outdated and does all of us a disservice. But NIJ is the only girl left in the bar and it is 2am...so it is what it is. So why is the NIJ rating system "out of date"? Well, the CONUS bad guys aren't shooting at us with 30.06 AP rounds for the most part. The current certification does not account for common threats such as 7.62x39, 5.56 (ball, M855, AP), or 7.62x54R. Rifle plates are rated to stop 6 hits of 7.62 ball (Level III) or 1 hit of .30cal Armor Piercing (Level IV). These

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Mike Martin
Enjoys tanks, armor, and other items that stop bullets.

http://store.atarmor.com/

Materials Used in Hard Armor

*Editor's note: NiJ ratings do not consider 5.56 in classifications. If something is rated level III it will stop .308 but not necessarily 5.56/.223. Currently there are four common options for Level III plates:  5-6 mm steel (AR500/R50c/AR46100) plates: Level III steel plates offer a very thin profile, but are a bit heavier (6.5-7.5 lbs for a 10x12 plate) than some other options. They are very durable and offer inexpensive multi-hit capability against even closely spaced non-AP 7.62 x 39 mm and 7.62 x 51 mm projectiles, as well as for heavier 5.56 mm loads, including 62 gr M855 “green-tip”. Unfortunately, many lightweight (55 gr or less) 5.56 mm loads will defeat steel plates, including the extremely common 55 gr FMJ loads like M193. It is a VERY good idea to wear level IIIa soft armor underneath steel plates. *Spall is a great safety concern. Hard compressed polyethelene (Dyneema/Spectra) plates: These are very lightweight (3-4 lbs for a 10 x 12 plate) multi- hit capable level III plates that will stop closely spaced hits of both the lightweight 5.56 mm ammo that defeats steel, along with the 7.62 mm threats stopped by steel, as well expanding rifle ammunition in many

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Primary & Secondary is a network created to discuss professional grade modern weapons and their applications with supporting equipment and skills.

The Value of Backgrounds With Teaching

Something that's been bugging me of late and I have to rant a bit about...let me be blunt (as those who know me can appreciate) - I CAN GIVE TWO BIG SHITS WHAT YOUR BACKGROUND IS WHEN IT COMES TO TEACHING ME ABOUT SHOOTING!!!!! That's right...anybody who knows me, knows I know my way around guns. But what's more important is, how I got to know my way around guns MATTERS THE FUCK NOT!!!!! It suffices, that if somebody can concisely, succinctly and confidently make a logical teaching point, I DO NOT validate that point by asking that person, "ok...what SOF unit were you in" before I take that lesson and use it to it's fullest. I've learned over time that I'm a good judge of character and experience has shown me that I have a knack for surviving gun fights and making young Soldiers into old ones. But the most important lesson I've learned is that the youngest Soldier does not define that person's level of competency. What I've learned is that confidence, maturity, logic intelligence and the ability to use common sense to validate fundamental truths comes in all shapes, sizes, colors, age and EXPERIENCE LEVELS!!!!! My belief

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Jose Gordon
BTDT

Citizens Defense Research’s The Armed Parent/Guardian AAR

So my friend John Johnston of Ballistic Radio called me out on a recent Primary and Secondary modcast to check out his class Contextual Handgun: The Armed Parent/Guardian.  Since the class was only about 90 minutes away and hosted by the Sentinel of Freedom John Murphy at FPF Training, in Culpeper, Virginia, how could I resist? Later I was grateful to find out that Melody Lauer would be there and bring some sophistication to even out this cocktail of knuckle draggers. Together this duo forms Citizens Defense Research. I was, to say the least, intrigued. Before we begin let me lay out my background to see if me opinions are relevant to you. Lifelong martial artist (TKD, Muay Thai, BJJ), no LEO or military experience (save being an Air Force brat), NRA pistol instructor (who isn’t?). I have received previous training from George Wehby of BlackBelt Tactical, Matt Jacques of Victory First, John Murphy of FPF Training, Chris Sizelove of 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Aaron Brumley of Solo Defense, Steve Fisher of Sentinel Concepts, Greg Ellifritz of Active Response Training, Pat Goodale and Wayne Fisher of PFT Training, Ernest Langdon of Langdon Tactical and private training with Al DeLeon of the State Dept’s

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Scott Jedlinski
Contributor at Primary & Secondary
Lifelong martial artist (TKD, Muay Thai, BJJ), no LEO or military experience (save being an Air Force brat), NRA pistol instructor (who isn’t?). I have received previous training from George Wehby of BlackBelt Tactical, Matt Jacques of Victory First, John Murphy of FPF Training, Chris Sizelove of 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Aaron Brumley of Solo Defense, Steve Fisher of Sentinel Concepts, Greg Ellifritz of Active Response Training, Pat Goodale and Wayne Fisher of PFT Training, Ernest Langdon for Langdon Tactical and private training with Al DeLeon of the State Dept’s MSD unit. I shoot anywhere from 200 to 400 rounds a week. I try to compete three times a month. I train BJJ 2 to 3 times a week. Strength & Mobility training twice a week. I am the 15th recipient of the F.A.S.T Drill coin.

Critical Equipment

This article began as some thoughts when I was listening to the P&S Kyle Defoor interview a few months ago, and I am finally putting thoughts on paper (or the internet’s version of paper). “Tell me about your rifle” (here) was Kyle’s question that started me thinking. On a similar vein, more handgun-focused, was the phrase “tell me a story about your pistol.” Ask yourself “How confident am I in my gear?” In that worst case scenario where a failure of your gear means grave bodily injury or death, can you count on it all the time, every time? If not, why not? How can you bring your gear up to that level of trust? Watching videos of many violent encounters, you quickly realize how vital the opening moments are. As someone closes distance, can you guarantee that your handgun is where it should be? Will it have fallen out, shifted position drastically, or otherwise become unavailable? When you press the trigger, how sure are you that the gun will fire, and that is will hit at the point of aim of your sights? If you grab your rifle, is your optic going to be on? Will it have shifted to

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Nate Osborne
Range Manager
Nathan Osborne began a serious study of shooting in 2012 when taking the "Citizens use of Deadly Force" class with Massad Ayoob. Being able to drink from the fire-hose in class started a desire to learn as much as possible, and hopefully be a source of quality information to others. In addition to attending and working as staff with the Massad Ayoob Group, Nate has taken classes with John Chapman, Earnest Langdon, Chris Costa, and others, and will never be able to go to classes from every instructor on his 'to attend' list. He is also a Glock and S&W M&P Armorer.

Nate currently manages a gun range in Northern Utah while finishing a master's degree, and running a weekly practical pistol match.

AAR’s for Scenario Based Training: How to and Why

AAR. What is it? After Action Review is the short answer. Why do we do them? Because we have to. Because we’re supposed to. First Sergeant said to. Because I like to hear myself talk. The correct answer should be to give the students (soldiers, cops, whoever) feedback on their performance, to facilitate learning and to make them better. As a young infantryman I hated AARs, I felt like they were just a waste of my time. I would rather be training, or eating, or sleeping, or playing grab ass. These, many moons later, I feel quite differently about it. I honestly think that AARs are only slightly less important than the actual training itself, but only if done correctly. Over the years it has become clear to me that most people simply don’t know how to conduct an AAR. I don’t recall ever being given specific training on how to conduct one. And if you ask me to sit through one like I used to have to endure, I’ll still think it’s a waste of time. An AAR gives the students time to reflect on what happened, what they did, what they did well, and what they could have

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Dan Guy

Battlesight Zero

Those who carry guns for a living know the world isn’t a nicely manicured flat range and threats will present at differing distances. You won’t have an opportunity to dial in your DOPE to take the shot when you need to. To counter this, anyone not using an optic equipped with a bullet drop compensator uses a battlesight zero or BZO. Before we really get into the BZO let’s look at what the Army and Marine Corps have to say in doctrine. “The term battlesight zero means the combination of sight settings and trajectory that greatly reduces or eliminates the need for precise range estimation, further eliminating sight adjustment, holdover or hold-under for the most likely engagements. The battlesight zero is the default sight setting for a weapon, ammunition, and aiming device combination. An appropriate battlesight zero allows the firer to accurately engage targets out to a set distance without an adjusted aiming point. For aiming devices that are not designed to be adjusted in combat, or do not have a bullet drop compensator, such as the M68, the selection of the appropriate battlesight zero distance is critical.” - US Army Training Circular 3-22.9, May 2016. “…In combat, the Service

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Mike Lewis
Retired Senior Noncommissioned Officer of Infantry with 20 years of active service in the United States Army.

"During my tenure, I was blessed to serve in some of the most storied units in the Army, including the 82nd Airborne Division and the 506th Infantry Regiment (AASLT) (Band of Brothers), and with some of the finest human beings one could know. I have deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan in support of combat operations, served on deployments to Egypt and Saudi Arabia in support of peacekeeping and stability operations, and served on the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). My final assignment in the Army was as the 82nd Airborne Division Small Arms Master Gunner, developing and instituting weapons training, conducting force modernization activities pertaining to small arms weapons and enablers, and consulting with the Maneuver Center of Excellence (Fort Benning, GA) on said subjects. I have attended both shooter and instructor level classes from some of the best trainers in the industry, am an NRA certified instructor, and have conducted firearms training on the civilian market for concerned citizens since 2007."

Sucked Down the Tube: A Failure in Training

Much, if not all training and practice is conducted on flat ranges under calm conditions with no surprises. We shoot steel and paper that we purposely place and identify. We have lanes and all sorts of safety considerations that make a day at the range a pleasant experience.  This is fine for most of us but can lead to some critical failures if you are in a line of work that may not look the same as the flat range.  For those that form either the thin Blue or Green Lines targets will probably appear in from unknown positions and ranges. Many people preach situational awareness but fail to account for it in our training. COL Boyd gave us the OODA loop, which on the surface, is a rapidly trainable flow of Observe, Orient, Decide and Act. It is a loop because as soon as you act you start over. Observe. To hit a target, you must first observe it. You could possibly be an intergalactic grand sensei with Generation Next hardware and you will still miss a target you didn’t see. With the proliferation of magnified optics, the tendency of getting sucked down the tube is becoming more prolific

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Ash Hess
Senior NCO in the US Army currently serving as the Senior Writer for Small Arms in the Weapons and Gunnery Branch at the Maneuver Center of Excellence Fort Benning, Georgia .
Army Schools include US Army Master Marksmanship Trainer Course, Rifle Marksmanship Instructor Course, Urban Combat Leaders Course, Air Assault, Rappelmaster, Senior Leaders Course, Army Basic Instructor course, High Angle Marksmanship Course, and Unit Armorer course.

Has also attended the TigerSwan Basic Carbine course, Defoor Proformance Advanced Carbine and Scoped Rifle courses, Sionics Weapon Systems M4 Armorer course, and the MDTS Practical Small Knife 1course.

Four combat tours totaling fifty-two months overseas.

Pro Guns, Gear, Tactics, Training & Discussion

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