The Carrington Effect
Argent Jaeger Press
Andrew B. Dill
Weapons used in the book:
The following text comprises a list of common weapons used in the book and upcoming book series. The list is by no means complete, and is not meant to be a definitive guide, though it is quite detailed. It is intended to supplement the reader's experience and answer questions concerning the weapons systems as they appear in the work. Any good web browser can be used to display images of the individual weapons, and the reader is encouraged to view these weapons as the visual reference can add to the impact of the text. Most images of the weapons systems are available on the manufacturers' websites and naturally are beyond the scope of the review article. The products described here are the property of the individual manufacturers. Please review the disclaimer above.
What follows is a very detailed explanation of weapon systems platforms that I have had the great privilege to use or be directly associated with. I have personally used all of the firearms and most of the bladed tools in this section. I own and regularly train with most of the civilian models. I have logged thousands of hours shooting and reloading over decades and have extensive military training with the rest. My descriptions of heavy weapons and vehicles is founded on not only my personal military training, but also the intimate knowledge of my expert panel of active duty and retired US military personnel. I am truly blessed to have association with several world experts in the use of such equipment. The contents of this section are not intended to stimulate debate, and the various conclusions reached about the effectiveness of each weapons system are mine alone, as are any errors or omissions. Controversy over which are the superior weapons systems, styles, brands and calibers should be left to internet commandos, "Screen Berets," "Mall Ninjas," and the like, and I will not engage in any debate over the facts presented here or in any current or future literary work, either online or in any face to face forum. Every reader is entitled to his or her opinion, as am I. These are my opinions, based on extensive experience.
Parang- a backswept, curved machete around 12-24 inches in length used in Asia and highly effective as a slashing weapon. Inexpensive. Cavalry saber- a long, curved sword, also backswept to prevent the edge from binding in a cut made while moving forward on horseback and attacking stationary or moving targets. A highly effective, relatively lightweight, one- handed weapon.
Katana- a Japanese two-handed sword, blade between 27 and 30 inches in length, with 8-11 inch handle. Designed to slice through targets of various densities with rapid precision. Analogous to a western saber in its curved shape, it differs in its original convex or "appleseed" profile. While other edged weapon can be modified to accept the edge style, the katana and some early European combat swords were designed originally to maximize the effectiveness of this blade profile, which enables full transections of targets, without sticking into the target body. Light, at less than two and a half pounds, complex fighting styles have been developed to maximize its strengths while minimizing its weaknesses.
Wakizashi- Japanese one or occasionally two-handed short sword. 18-23 inch blade with 7-10 inch grip, most models in US with 20 inch blades. Secondary weapon to the
Katana- Very popular due to ability to use in confined spaces indoors and slightly lower weight than Katana. Exactly the same blade design with almost the same effectiveness on targets in a smaller package, usually under two pounds weight.
M9/Berretta M92- 9mm 15+1 round semi auto. US Military standard issue sidearm. Very accurate on human targets, head shots to 25 meters, torso shots to 50 meters in skilled hands. manual safety, requires more advanced training to use. Considered very reliable when factory magazines are used, less reliable with aftermarket military issue magazines.
Glock- multiple models and calibers. Original polymer sidearm. Austrian design. Lacks any external or back strap grip safety. Unusual grip angle requires retraining compared to other pistol designs. Accuracy in same class as XD below. extremely rugged. considered by most authorities to be the most reliable pistol ever made, with some units logging over one million rounds fired without failure.
Springfield XD- 9mm, 40S&W, .45ACP, various capacities from 13-16 round +1 capacities. Considered nearly(95%) as accurate as M9. Popular civilian and police sidearm. Simpler operating system than M9, robust safety features with back strap grip safety and three internal safeties. Arguably the safest combat pistol ever made. Extremely reliable.
1911- most are .45ACP, Multiple brands and models (Wilson Combat, Springfield Armory, Para, etc.), 7 or 8+1 round capacity in standard format and some wide grip, double stacked high capacity models 14+1, such as Para Hog, etc. Considered to be one of the most accurate pistols ever made, head shots to 25 meters, torso shots to 50 meters, some military units even train for 50% torso shot accuracy at 100 meters. More powerful round than 9mm or 40S&W, external safeties considered less robust than other models. Requires far more training to operate safely and effectively than any other model. Most sought after sidearm by many elite military units.
Smith and Wesson Bodyguard .380- 6+1 round capacity. Fits in pocket holster in standard pants pocket. Extremely concealable. Very popular. Less powerful round requires greater accuracy in shot placement on target to assure terminal effect. Has integral laser aiming system which is considered by some, but not all authorities, to be more effective compared to standard iron sights, though system requires more time to activate than standard sighting techniques. Common everyday carry pistol for registered concealed weapon permit holders. Some advanced users actually capable of head shots at 25 meters, despite the fact that most authorities consider this unit significantly less accurate than larger designs. Designed primarily for very close range, room distance engagement. Considered by some authorities to be only effective as a backup to a larger pistol due to lower powered round with lower capacity.
Ruger LCP .380- 6+1 round capacity. Very similar to Bodyguard above, usually lacking laser, but can have one attached to trigger guard as option. Wildly popular due to its low cost, light weight, reliability, concealability, and moderately effective ammunition. Same potential accuracy as Bodyguard.
Mossberg 590/500 series- 12 gauge pump action 590, 500 in 12/20/.410. capacities: 6-9 rounds. Inexpensive, highly reliable. 590A1 used by the US Army and US Marines, all metal design. 590 standard and 500 has some plastic parts, somewhat less robust. All metal design determined by the US Army to be the most reliable shotgun tested in 10,000 round torture test, beating both the Remington 870 and Winchester 1300 models in testing in the 1980's. Very popular with civilians due to low cost and reliability.
Remington 870 series- 12 gauge pump action (also 20 gauge and .410). 4-9 rounds capacity. Most common police shotgun in US. Reliable. Easily customized. Used as a base for many specialty custom guns. Most common parts supply, more armorers trained with this shotgun than any other. Wide quality range from cheaply made bargain versions to truly slick mid and high grade versions.
FN SLP- 12 gauge. 9 round capacity. Military version of Winchester autoloader. Requires high brass ammunition (high powder charge, heavy load) to function best. Very fast cyclic rate, Considered one of the fastest shotguns ever made. Rapid reloads. Built in optics rails. Requires more maintenance than other models. Can't use birdshot for practice. More expensive to train with than other guns as it only runs well on high brass buckshot and slug loads. Used worldwide by police and military.
AR-15- Innumerable models. 20-100 round magazines (30 round most common). Multiple calibers, 5.56x45 or .223 most common. Effective to 500-800 meters for .223 (carbines have less range than longer barrelled accurized marksman versions) and 500- 1000 meters for .308 (AR-10 below) All share basic receiver, parts modularity, and either direct gas impingement or piston operating systems (several piston types). Pistons considerably cleaner, debatable if more reliable, requires less maintenance to run reliably, have more recoil, tend to be slightly less accurate. Direct gas impingement guns considered less reliable in the past, but new direct gas designs are extremely reliable if properly maintained and lubricated, more accurate than piston guns (with all else equal as there are still a few very accurate piston guns), weigh less and are dirtier and require more cleaning compared to piston guns. Literally millions of different parts that can be used. Exceedingly common replacement parts. Civilian semiautomatic version of US Military M-16/M-4, legally not allowed to use military parts without special permits.
The standard M-4 style rifle has a 14.5-16" barrel, collapsible/ adjustable stock, and accepts any optic on a flat top upper receiver. Many DMR (designated marksman rifle) styles have 18-20" barrels and vary between lightweight and heavy profile. Some tactical (sniper) versions are even more accurate than bolt action rifles and allow very rapid engagement of multiple targets at distance. Optics typically fall into battery powered zero magnification illuminated red dot (Aimpoint, Trijicon Tripower, Leupold), battery powered zero magnification illuminated holographic (Eotech), zero magnification fiber optic/tritium illuminated or solar/battery illuminated(Trijicon models of each), fixed 1.5,2,2.5,3,3.5,4 power with fiber optic and tritium illumination(Trijicon), illuminated or non-illuminated variable power (1-3,1-4, 2-8, 3-9, 2.5-10, 4.5-14, 3-18, 1-8, 1-10 and other powers- Trijicon, Leupold, U.S. Optics, Nightforce, Burris, Nikon and innumerable other brands), or fixed power non-illuminated models (4,6,10,16,20, Super Sniper, Leupold, and innumerable other brands). Examples of AR-15s used in the book: Colt, Daniel Defense, DS Arms, Doublestar, DPMS, Olympus arms, Rock River, Ruger. There are dozens of other excellent brands, perhaps over one hundred makers, each with a multitude of different styles of rifles in this platform.
The AR-10 platform is the same, except that it is designed to use the larger and more powerful .308 cartridge and its associated other calibers in that family. Carbines have 16" and tactical (sniper) variants have 18-24" barrels respectively. Tactical variants rival and sometimes even exceed bolt action tactical rifles in extreme long range accuracy. The DPMS LRT-SASS is an excellent example of the extreme precision obtainable with this platform. Dozens of other makers produce extremely accurate variants, often competing in 1000 yard shooting matches with 10 round 1000 yard groups smaller than 8-10 inches, equalling all but the most robust bench-rest bolt action designs. Perhaps half of the makers of the AR-15 also make AR-10s in various calibers. The AR is the quintessential modern American rifle and is used in every type of shooting activity including: self defense, military, target, competition, and hunting game from squirrel to Elk and beyond. The AR is the new right arm of the American Patriot.
FN-FAL- "The right arm of the free world," so named because it was adopted by more free countries than any other rifle during the cold war. .308, 20-50 round capacities, 99% of magazines are 20 round. Effective to 500 meters. Slightly slower to reload than the AR platform. Very robust reliability with adjustable gas piston that can be set to keep recoil low while allowing for a wide range of ammunition types. Cleaner operating system than a direct gas impingement AR. While newer AR-10 (.308) models have achieved improved reliability than their predecessors, the FAL is unquestionable more reliable than the standard AR-10, and is arguable more reliable than the AR-15 (.223), though the latter claim is hotly debated, as AR-15s properly made and lubricated have dramatically improved their reliability compared to prior models. Heavier and slightly less ergonomic than the AR and without an integral picatinny rail for optics mounting, the FAL is still an excellent rifle.
Kits are available for home assembly, but the penultimate FAL manufacturer remains DS Arms. DS Arms has remedied almost all of the shortcomings of the platform, adding integral optics rails, improving ergonomics, offering a bewildering array of styles, barrel lengths, fixed and collapsible/folding stocks, and almost every conceivable option that could be added to a rifle today. While still heavier and inherently slightly less accurate than a comparable AR (though the DSA DMR variant is very accurate), all other things being equal, they represent an outstandingly reliable, accurate and effective weapons platform. Many buyers are drawn to the more powerful cartridge, good ergonomics, proven battlefield history of the rifle. While DS Arms sells an excellent AR-15, the FAL sales form the backbone of their product line.
AK- innumerable versions. Designed in old Soviet Union as the most reliable rifle ever created. Far less accurate than other designs. Slower to reload than AR. AK-47 uses 7.62x39, while AK-74 uses 5.45x39 round. Effective to 300-400 meters. 20-100 round capacities, most magazines are 30 rounds. Later cheap Romanian and Yugoslavian copies and some American brands are far less reliable due to shoddy workmanship and corner cutting to reduce production costs (the guilty companies are easy to root out on the blogs). The Russian, Bulgarian, and high- priced newer American brands are unquestionably the most reliable semiautomatic rifles ever created. While an FAL may reach 95% of this level of reliability, nothing other than a properly built AK can claim the title of the world's most reliable rifle. Newer designs have added optics and light rails, improved ergonomics and newer calibers including long range rifle calibers such as .308 and even shotgun calibers. Higher priced builds such as Arsenal, Krebs Custom, VEPR, and other high end variants rival FAL and AR platforms in cost and provide extremely durable, utterly reliable rifles with moderate, but certainly combat effective accuracy potential.
Remington 700 tactical variant- innumerable versions and aftermarket custom makers, dozens of distinct rifle styles based on this unit. Most .308. 4-10 round capacity, depending on exact brand and variant. Bolt action, high precision. Extremely accurate and effective out to distances of over 600-1000 meters (shorter barrelled versions are not less accurate; that idea is a myth, they simply have lower velocity at the muzzle and this causes the round to destabilize in the trans-sonic velocity boundary at a closer range and have less terminal effect than longer barrelled versions, hence reduced effective combat ranges for shorter barrelled guns of every type, all other factors being equal). Slower rate of fire than semiautomatic rifles. Used for long range or extremely high probability requirement engagements (such as moderate or closer range head shots on an enemy target surrounded by friendlies). More expensive than Savage variants with comparable accuracy. Utterly reliable. Heavy, requires complex optical magnified optics. Slow rate of fire, difficulty engaging very close range targets (due to weight, optics magnification and ergonomics) and limited ammunition capacity make these specialized niche rifles, not main battle rifles. Still, an absolutely essential part of any military or police unit's armamentarium.
FN-TSR- .308 or bolt gun similar to Remington above. 4 round box magazine, 20" barrel. Multiple other variants. Accuracy somewhat equal to Remington depending on variant, same tactical role out to 600 plus yards. Based on proven Winchester model 70 action. Used by police and military around the world. Very reasonable price. Almost as accurate as Savage. Excellent ergonomics.
Savage 10 FCP-SR- 24" fluted bull barrel, 10 round detachable box magazine. Bolt action. Specifications and tactical usage parameters are identical to Remington above. Multiple other configurations are available from the manufacturer, from shorter barrelled compact police sniper systems all the way up to 15 pound single shot bench- rest rifles capable of placing 10 rounds into the same .3-.4 inch groups at 100 or 3-4 inch groups at 1000 yards. Some are even more accurate. In recent years, the Savage long range precision shooting team has won more competitions than all other manufacturer's teams combined. This is easily verifiable in any internet search, yet the facts produce controversy, argument, dispute and derision from buyers of other brands. The situation is understandable, as any buyer spending upwards of $2000-10,000 dollars on another maker's rifle (not including optics), who might have had to wait a year for the custom maker to produce the unit, will often become enraged when a shooter utilizing an unmodified base model tactical or bench rest Savage rifle pulled from the shelf of a local gun store, costing a fraction of the price of their custom rifle, bests them in a shooting competition. This pattern of competitive victory over more expensive makes has been seen so many times, that is has even been coined "being Savaged."
While other makers have equalled and in some cases exceeded the accuracy of Savage bolt action rifles, Savage precision rifles are unquestionably the most accurate rifles for the price point in the world to date. Other rifles that produce comparable accuracy include the Remington above, Accuracy International, Surgeon, McMillan and many others, all costing 2-10 times as much as a comparable Savage. Certainly McMillan holds the first and second place world record for kills at distances over 2,500 yards in combat. It would be inaccurate to demean the reputation of other precision rifle makes, as dozens of excellent companies make superbly accurate rifles. Truly, at this performance level, most of these rifles have greater accuracy potential than the shooters using them are able to match and factors of cartridge manufacture, atmospheric condition, temperature and frankly, simple luck, have as much impact on the end results as the precision of the rifle make. Ultimately, in the bolt gun arena, for the end user's money, no company can currently match, dollar for dollar, the accuracy of a precision Savage.
Sage M-1A EMR- .308, 20 capacity round semiautomatic. Based on the M-14 platform. Highly accurate, capable of rapid target engagement at distances of 800 yards plus. Far more powerful round than .223, especially at distance. Nearly (90%) the accuracy equal of above bolt guns with much more rapid rate of fire. Very heavy 15-17 pounds fully equipped. Still capable of very close range target acquisition. Considered an accurized main battle rifle. Can perform the roles of close quarters battle, medium distance engagements and long range engagements in one rifle. Often set up with long range magnified optics and close range red dot unmagnified optics in tandem, allowing for 0-800 meter engagement transition instantly. (any similar rifle type can be set up this way). Close copy of similar models used by US Navy, Marines and Army.
Lever action rifles- numerous versions, multiple brands, but dominated by Marlin and Winchester. Extremely hot debate rages on which is the better brand. Both truly excellent designs, as are many others. Calibers range from .22 to .450 Marlin and beyond, capable of harvesting game from mice to Elephants. Before the advent of the AR platform civilian models, was considered to be the penultimate American rifle, eclipsing even the many excellent bolt action rifles for hunting and self defense use. Until twenty years ago, even used by rural law enforcement. Experts estimate that more deer have fallen to the .30-30 lever gun than any other type in history, so common and effective is the rifle/caliber platform.
Seen by rural Americans as a reliable, trusted companion. Inexpensive. Recently, a resurgence of interest in the platform had led to a multitude of available models including tactical, stainless steel corrosion resistant marine, long range, target, historical reproduction and dedicated big and small game models. Polymer rubber compound tipped Hornady LeverEvolution bullets with aerodynamic profiles allow for safe use with drastically increased range compared to standard flat or round tipped bullets required previously for safe use (use of standard metal tipped spitzer bullets in tubular magazines has caused chain-fire detonation of the entire magazine contents, due to recoil, as the metal tip acts like a firing pin on the round in front of it, sometimes killing the operator; the flexible patented tips of the LeverEvolution bullets prevent this deadly risk, while allowing for a dramatic aerodynamic benefit of retained long range velocity, improving both trajectory and terminal performance at distance)
Savage 110 BA 338 Lapua- .338 Lapua cartridge, 5 round detachable box magazine. Fully ergonomically customizable integral modular stock system. Has an integrated recoil reducing muzzle compensator required to prevent recoil injury to user. Requires optical scope. Extreme long range soft target interdiction. As accurate as any other Savage precision rifle (extremely accurate). Capable of partially penetrating metal engine blocks and certain body armor types at very close range (not capable of true hard target interdiction, but vastly more powerful than .308 or even .300 Winchester Magnum). Designed from necked down elephant gun calibre. Designed to kill humans with extreme precision at extreme distance. The cartridge, when used in a McMillan rifle, holds the world record combat kill, over 2,700 yards, farther than even the 50BMG. Very powerful round, but reduced recoil and weight of rifle and ammunition compared to 50 BMG, with similar soft target effect at extreme range due to unmatched ballistics of cartridge. 50BMG still much more powerful (338 not capable of hard target interdiction). Very expensive, over five to ten times the cost of .308 match rounds at time of writing.
Barrett M82A1- 50BMG semiautomatic. Has an integrated recoil reducing muzzle compensator required to prevent recoil injury to user. Civilian version of military SASR (Special Application Sniper Rifle) which is used for hard target interdiction (destruction of lightly armored vehicles and emplacements), destruction of improvised explosive devices and informally used with dramatic terminal effect as an antipersonnel sniper rifle out to great range. 10 round detachable box magazine. Over 40 pounds with optics. Less accurate than other sniper rifles, it is still capable of 15-20" ten shot groups at 1000 yards in good conditions in expert hands. Produced locally in Tennessee by world famous maker and gun rights advocate, Barrett Manufacturing.
M-249- 5.56x45mm belt fed squad automatic weapon. Frequently fills the role of light machine gun in single unit combat. 18-22 pounds loaded depending on configuration. 100 and 200 round belts. Emergency use of 30 round M16 magazines. Based on FN design. Multiple variants. Praised by most users, some reported malfunctions with aging units used in desert environments. Trijicon or similar fixed, low power optic standard. Quick change barrel allows for continued firing even when barrel overheats during long combat engagements. Standard issue for US Army and National Guard units.
M240- 7.62x51mm (.308) belt fed heavy machine gun. Very similar to M249 above, also an FN design. Much heavier, 22-28 pounds depending on variant. Often mounted on hard point on vehicle or on tripod, but can be carried and fired by hand. Very reliable, extremely well regarded by users.
M72 LAW- Light Anti-tank Weapon. 66mm. Disposable, tube mounted, shoulder fired, man portable rocket. 5.5 pounds. Iron peep sights. 10-165/200 meter range (stationary/ moving target). Will penetrate up to 10 inches of heavy armor plate, depending on payload. Multiple versions including high explosive, improved penetration, fire from enclosure models. Very common, Vietnam war era design, recent improvements as above. Excellent power to weight ratio. Capable of destroying moderately armored vehicles and fixed targets, or damaging heavily armored vehicles. Standard issue in multiple US military units.
Mk153 SMAW- Shoulder Launched Multipurpose Assault Weapon. Man portable, 83mm, shoulder fired reusable rocket launcher. 28-31 pounds depending on rocket type. Multiple rocket types including high explosive and anti armor. Designed to engage multiple target types including armored vehicles and hardened bunkers. Much more powerful than LAW rocket above, but heavier and more complex to operate. Easily reloaded for multiple uses.
AT-4- 84mm disposable, shoulder fired, man portable smooth bore recoilless anti- tank weapon. 14.8 pounds. Iron peep sights. Capable of penetrating 14.7-19.8 inches of rolled homogenous armor (standardized steel armor) depending on warhead type. Devastating beyond armor effect after penetration. Standard HEAT round able to defeat even ablative armor using classified focussed ceramic/metal composite shaped-charge warhead. Able to penetrate moderate tank armor and instantly destroy vehicle cabin and crew by: crushing 1 bar atmospheric overpressure, massive secondary fragmentation (spalling), 100x natural sunlight photointensification, massive heat burst (exact thermal intensity classified) causing detonation of any existing ammunition or fuel stores inside the target vehicle, and intense smoke formation displacing remaining ambient air thus suffocating any surviving crewmen (extremely unlikely that any crew could survive the first few millisecond of the blast).
Deuce and a half- Various model designations over decades of service. All referred to by "deuce" moniker. Large, surplus military load hauling vehicle frequently used by preppers as many have multi fuel engine capable of operating on any of a number of hydrocarbon fuels including diesel, kerosene, aviation fuel, used motor oil, mineral oil, and even vegetable oil. Many are EMP resistant and employ no transistor circuits. Able to haul 2.5 tons off road and 5 tons on road. Very inexpensive to buy and maintain. Six wheel drive system. Multiple models and duty platforms from cargo transport to gun truck weapons platforms and other specialized versions.
HMMWV- Humvee. Standard US Military four wheel drive vehicle. Robust off and on road capability. Not armored in standard form. "Up armored" variants offer better protection of occupants at the expense of reduced road stability. EMP resistant design. Currently most common general purpose. US Military vehicle. Being replaced by newer, IED resistant designs.
M1117 ASV- Armored Security Vehicle. Four wheel drive. Next generation replacement for Humvee above. Entering into service in recent years. Light to medium armor comprised of ceramic composite angled deflecting plates backed by internal anti- spall liners. Armed typically with Mk19 40mm automatic grenade launcher (grenade launcher machine gun), M2 50BMG heavy machine gun, and M240B 7.62x51(.308) secondary machine gun. Somewhat larger than Humvee, still very maneuverable. M2 Bradley IFV- Infantry Fighting vehicle. Various configurations. Continuous track (tank tread). 600bhp Cummings Diesel engine. Medium armor with steel and aluminum laminate sections and outer segments of classified ablative armor skirting. Upper turret houses main M242 25mm chain gun cannon with 600 rounds mixed high- explosive and tungsten armor piercing anti-armor rounds. Turret also has 2 TOW (Tube launched, Optically tracked, Wire guided) anti- tank missile tubes with 7 TOW missile reloads and an M240 secondary light machine gun. Crew of three, capable of carrying six additional passengers. Various upgrades include FLIR (Forward Looking InfraRed) optics, improved, computer controlled weapons optics and fire control systems. Robust defensive and offensive capability, second only to M1 Abrams main battle tank in US Army stockpile.
OH-58D Kiowa Warrior- Single engine, single rotor scout and attack helicopter. Standard US army scout and light attack helicopter. Extremely advanced mast mounted (above helicopter rotor) avionics and optical package with multi-spectral optical systems including highly sensitive TIS (thermal imaging sensors-exact specifications classified), LRF/D (laser rangefinders/designator). Dual weapons pylons capable of carrying any combination of two separate weapon systems: dual AGM-114 Hellfire antitank missiles, ATAS air to air stinger missiles, Hydra-70 7-shot 70mm air to ground rockets, or M296 50BMG heavy machine gun. Capable of top speed "nap of the earth" treetop level flight. Optical systems can fully integrate and network with commander and other air and ground assets such as Apache Longbow Attack Helicopter.