Equipping yourself for the Free Militia


".... millions of people armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us.... The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone: it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave." Patrick Henry, March 23, 1775

"To that end, I intend to arm myself." From the oath of office for the Free Militia

2.2.1 Choose your weapon!

As a minuteman in the Free Militia, you are responsible for arming and equipping yourself. Your first priority, of course, is to effectively arm yourself. All firearms have their place. Some are good for hunting, some for plinking and target shooting, some for self-defense. But only a few are really effective combat weapons.

When selecting a firearm, remember that you are a member of a team, not a loner. It is therefore to your advantage to select a weapon that is more or less standard in your unit. This will facilitate exchanging ammunition, magazines, and even spare parts when supplies are limited. You are also preparing for combat, not hunting or personal defense. Thus, hunting rifles, shotguns, and handguns are generally (but not always; see below) undesirable weapons. Ideally your weapon should be a medium- to high-power semi-automatic (automatic only if licensed) rifle with a detachable magazine. The following are suggested firearms with their pros and cons.

The weapon of choice

The Ruger Mini-14 is the ideal rifle for service in the Free Militia.

  • It uses the .223 caliber cartridge which packs a high muzzle velocity of over 3000 feet per second and is therefore capable of penetrating most Kevlar body armor. This .223 ammunition will also be most readily available in a crisis since it is the same that is used in M-16s/AR-15s which are standard weapons of the U.S. military and police.
  • The Mini-14 is semi-automatic and has a detachable magazine. Although Sturm, Ruger only sells 5-round magazines to the public; larger capacity magazines (10, 20, 30, and 40-round) are made for the Mini-14 and sold by other companies. You can pick these up at gun shows.
  • At about $400 to $500, the Mini-14 costs about half or a third as much as an AR-15. And this savings is in spite of the fact that the Mini-14 surpasses the AR-15 in many specifications! The cost is held down because Sturm, Ruger makes maximal use of investment casting instead of machining of parts, not because of any inherent lack of quality.
  • In fact, the Mini-14 is one of the most dependable firearms ever made. Several gunsmithing book authors have never encountered a Mini-14 that has had a part fail or break! Magazines feed the chamber well with infrequent jamming, and the Mini-14 is one of the easiest rifles to clear when it does jam.
  • The Mini-14 is one of the most popular and manufactured firearms on the market. It is therefore more easily found on the used gun market than some other so-called assault rifles. It also has more military accessories made for it than any other rifle including synthetic and folding stocks, scopes, bipods, bayonet lugs, flash suppressors, etc.

For a standard, inexpensive, effective, dependable, and versatile combat rifle, you will be hard-pressed to do much better than the Ruger Mini-14!

Of course, not everyone in the Militia will be able to find a Mini-14. Some diversification is both inevitable (since many recruits will already be armed) and useful. So, there are several alternatives to the Mini-14.

All-around combat rifles (in the order of my preference)

  • The Springfield M-1 Carbine is common, inexpensive at [illegible] semi-automatic, uses detachable 15 or 30-round magazines, and a [illegible] with a medium punch. It can, however, be unreliable. Magazines tend to jam in the cold and sometimes a full 30-round magazine puts too much pressure on the bolt to seat and lock for semi-automatic firing. Be sure to avoid Universal- manufactured copies since these do not have fully interchangeable with G.I. carbines.
  • The Colt AR-15 is the semi-automatic civilian version of the military M-16. Parts and ammo would be easily obtained in combat since a potential enemy will likely be armed with this weapon. While the army's use of the M-16 shows the usefulness of this weapon, it is expensive at $1000-$1500 each. The Galil 223 AR and Berretta AR-70 are suitable substitutes.
  • The Springfield M-14 and M-1A are very dependable semi- automatic weapons and their .308 caliber packs a punch that is well-suited for long-range sniping. Their drawbacks are high price (around $1000) and the fact that their ammunition would not be quite as common as the .223 cartridge.
  • The Russian SKS, AKM, and AK-47 are somewhat common, reasonable priced, reliable, semi-automatic, and use detachable magazines. But it is unclear how easily the 7.62mm Russian ammunition could be obtained in a crisis.
  • The Heckler and Koch rifles in the 9mm, .223, and .308 calibers are top of the line, dependable, effective, and very expensive firearms.

Specialized combat weapons (generally not recommended)

  • Submachine guns like the TEC-9, MAC-10, Colt 9mm, and UZI are not especially well-suited for the typical minuteman. While the semi-auto versions do provide rapid fire, they are not particularly accurate on a battlefield and their calibers are generally lack the punch of assault rifles since they use pistol ammunition (9mm or .45 ACP). They are, however, excellent commando and policing weapons, especially in close quarters.
  • The Barrett Model 82A1 is a semi-automatic assault rifle with a 10-round magazine that uses .50 caliber machine gun ammunition. You would not want to carry this on a patrol, nor can many people afford its $2500+ price tag. But as a static defense weapon it packs a punch that is unmatched.
  • High-power hunting rifles with suitable scopes make excellent sniper weapons. (The .308 caliber M-21 is especially useful but expensive as a standard NATO sniping weapon.) Unfortunately, most hunting rifles are bolt-action and are therefore undesirable as standard weapons for a minuteman.
  • Shotguns are generally ill-suited for the battlefield since they do not have the precision, range, or velocity needed for typical combat. One exception is the "street sweeper." These are semi-automatic and have a 9- to 12-round magazine capacity. Such shotguns are useful for self-defense in close quarters or for certain types of raids as was proven in Vietnam.

Remember, the potential enemy will be well-trained, heavily armed, and probably protected by Kevlar body armor. Single shot, bolt and lever action, and light caliber rifles are virtually useless against such a foe as is virtually any kind of handgun. Of course, being armed with a less-than-ideal firearm is many times better than being totally unarmed.

2.2.2 Outfitting yourself for combat

While your gun is important, it is useless without magazines and ammunition and virtually useless without other equipment. Consequently the minimum necessary equipment for a Free Militia minuteman is as follows.

Quantity

Description

Cost

1

semi-automatic Mini-14 rifle (alternatives include the M-1 carbine, AR-15, or M-14 in that order).

$500

4

30-round magazines (this is a minimum, 8 or 10 magazines would be better). Smaller capacity magazines need to be reloaded too often. Larger capacity magazines are more prone to jamming. You must be able to carry at least 100 to 120 rounds of ammunition ready to fire.

$100

1000

rounds of full metal jacket ammunition compatible with your rifle. The more ammunition the better. It will probably be the hardest thing to supply or replace in a pinch. Avoid hollow point and soft point cartridges since these are not permitted by the Geneva Accords.

$250

1-2

magazine pouches to carry your magazines conveniently. Be sure your pouches are compatible with your magazines and are green or camouflaged so they are inconspicuous.

$10

1

pistol belt for carrying your gear like magazines and a canteen.

$7

1

pair of combat suspenders (either the "Y"-load or "H"- load design). Without suspenders, the weight of all your gear loaded on your pistol belt will pull down your belt, especially when running and jumping.

$8

1

water canteen. Even if you stay close to home and never have to "rough it" in the woods, you will need to spend long periods of away from running water. A full canteen will keep you from thirsting while you work or fight.

$10

1

rifle cleaning kit with supplies for your rifle. Ideally, you should have a universal cleaning kit stored in a camouflaged field pouch.

$20

1

woodland camo M-65 field jacket. You need to be uniformed since we will need to identify each other and since clear identification and open carrying of weapons are two of the requirements for combatants recognized by the Geneva Accords. It is unlikely that the U.S. Army will be the primary enemy. Moreover, army uniforms are readily available and inexpensive at military surplus outlets. Thus an army field jacket is our choice. The woodland camouflage pattern is preferred since in buildings, no camouflage is needed while outside, there will be many trees, bushes, and grassy areas (even within our community) which will afford concealment.

$55

1

woodland camo trousers. Obviously the bottom half of the body needs to be uniformed and camouflaged as much as the top. The rationale for the woodland pattern is the same as that for the field jacket.

$25

1

pair of army boots or equivalent will protect your feet from the elements, mud, and sharp objects while providing a good footing.

$50

Total approximate cost of necessary equipment as of 1994

$1035

I know this may seem like a lot of money. But it is a small price to pay for your liberties and for your life!

The previous list is the bare minimum for outfitting yourself. With this equipment you can basically shoot, hide, move, and take care of your gun. Many desirable items are neglected. No provision is made for survival in the wilderness. Consequently, if you can afford it, the following items are desirable to have. They are listed in their rough order of importance considering the probable enemy and circumstances.

Quantity

Description

Cost

1

set of spare parts for your rifle. A few dollars invested in the parts that are most likely to fail will extend the life of your gun almost forever! Parts for M-1s, M-14s, M-16s, and AR-15s are readily available at gun shows. For the typical rifle a spare firing pin, extractor, extractor plunger, extractor spring, ejector, ejector spring, recoil spring, and hammer spring are sufficient.

$25

1

G.I. kevlar flak jacket. The current issue military kevlar body armor will stop most knife and bayonet thrusts, all shotgun blasts, and most pistol and some submachinegun bullets (velocities under 1300 feet per second). They will also protect you from mortar and hand grenade fragments. In Vietnam, U.S. soldiers would have sustained 40% fewer casualties if they all wore their body armor and helmets (and this was before the advent of the kevlar helmet). Of course, blunt trauma from bullets will leave welts, bruises, and perhaps cracked bones, but this is better than a loss of blood or life! This body armor can even be upgraded to Type III, stopping even .308 rounds with improvised titanium or steel inserts.

Small:
$75

Medium:
$100

Large:
$150

1

G.I. kevlar "Fritz" helmet. The old "steel pot" helmets are better than nothing, but will not stop anything with significant velocity. The newer "Fritz" helmets look like the WWII German helmets in form and, accordingly, give better protection of the ears and neck. Best of all, they are fabricated with kevlar and are capable of stopping shell fragments and most pistol and submachine gun and even some long-range rifle rounds (velocities under 2000 feet per second). Concussion from some bullets might leave you a bit dazed and do some internal damage. But, again, this is better than having your brains blown out. And of course, neither kevlar body armor nor helmets can protect you from high-velocity (.223/.308) bullets from assault rifles.

$75

1

bayonet or knife for hand-to-hand combat. While bayonets are rarely used in modern combat, you will need some type of knife for hand-to-hand combat and utility. You might as well get a bayonet since these make good fighting knives anyway plus give you the option of fixing them on the end of your rifle for special situations that arise.

$40

1

ballistic goggles to protect your eyes from wind, dust, and dirt flying in poor weather or in the heat of combat.

$12

1

gas mask and extra filter. While chemical warfare is unlikely, tear gas is a real threat from various law enforcement agencies. Israeli gas masks are not too difficult to get a hold of.

$25

1

winter camo field jacket and trousers. Since you may need to operate in the snow of winter, this would afford good concealment.

$85

1

various light camping gear like backpacks, tents, sleeping bags, mess kits, flashlights, batteries, and so on would be useful if you must live in the country.

$140

Total approximate cost for desirable equipment as of 1994

$500

For $1000 to $1500 you can outfit yourself for combat fairly well. However, there are some things that your cell will need as a unit even if every cell member does not possess them. To outfit men accordingly, each cell will need the following equipment. The equipment can either be bought by the man assigned to use it or the cell can pool funds to buy cell it.

Quantity

Description

Cost

1

hand-held CB radio for communication with other nearby cells.

$65

1

pair of binoculars (7x to 10x) for observation and spotting.

$40

1

rifle scope. Note: Scopes are undesirable and too costly for the average minuteman. They are cumbersome in brush and slow the acquisition of targets in quick combat. Contrary to popular belief, they do not make a rifle more accurate! But they are useful for clearly seeing distant targets while sniping.

$200

1

practice rifle. Ammunition is expensive, so the cell should have either a .22 rifle or an air rifle with iron sights (no scope) to use for inexpensive target practice.

$100

1

general first aid kit along with other selected medical supplies.

$40

1

set of gunsmithing tools. This would include a set of pin punches, hammer, screwdrivers, pliers, files, rasps, hacksaw, etc.

$100

2-4

tri-folding shovels for trenching and field fortifications.

$40

Don't go out and buy these yourself. Coordinate purchases with your cell so you avoid unnecessary redundancy and expense.

Of course, there are also some kinds of equipment needed at the platoon, company, and battalion levels. Some examples include:

  • Electric generators to run equipment during power outages/failures.
  • Ham/short-wave radios to communicate over longer distances than CBs.
  • CB radios to communicate over short distances with neighboring cells.
  • Batteries to power flashlights, radios, other electric equipment.
  • Portable lights/flares to give light for combat during darkness.
  • Laptop computers/printers to prepare plans and training materials.
  • Photocopiers/printing presses for training materials and persuasion.
  • Shovels/picks/spades for digging and preparing field fortifications.
  • Chain saws for clearing fields of fire in heavily wooded areas.
  • Gasoline for powering chain saws, vehicles, and electric generators.
  • Vehicles (trucks and vans) for transportation in and around our town.
  • Fire extinguishers for fighting fires that break out during combat.
  • Office supplies for supplying computers, photocopiers, and so on.

Again, don't go out and buy any of these things on your own. But if you already have any of them, let your cell leader know so they can be put to good use if and when they are ever needed during an actual mobilization.

What you must do is be sure that you are adequately equipped for combat and contribute (time, money, or things) to the equipment needs of your cell.

It is admittedly expensive to adequately equip an individual or team for effective combat. But your Constitutional liberties and life are worth it!

2.2.3 Be careful how you buy

It is just as important how you go about buying the things you need to equip yourself as it is what you equip yourself with for future combat.

The last thing you want to do is to draw attention to yourself when you buy or leave a "trail" after buying. Gun registration records will no doubt be used to track down and confiscate weapons. Even though those yellow forms you fill out for a gun dealer stay with him, they are subject to BATF inspection and also will compromise your guns. The mailing lists and invoices of suppliers for paramilitary books and gear might also be used to hunt down gun owners. And don't forget about your checking account: it is an open book to the government revealing what, when, and where you buy. Consequently, there are several guiding rules you should follow when you begin to outfit yourself for the Free Militia.

  • Never sign anything. Don't buy guns through dealers since they require you to fill out paperwork.
  • Never give your name and address. Don't order through the mail since invoices will record your name, address, and what you ordered.
  • Always pay with cash. Don't use your checking account or credit cards since these types of transactions leave a record.
  • Be inconspicuous. Don't go to gun shows or dealers decked out in your camouflaged battle dress uniform and body armor.

You might wonder how you can possibly be outfitted given these four constraints. Actually, it is not that difficult. It just takes some time and patience. You may not have the money to buy everything all at once anyway! Here are some tips on outfitting yourself in a confidential way.

  • Slowly build up a supply of cash. Large withdrawals of cash from the bank can trigger (and $10,000 transactions automatically trigger) a report to the federal government.
  • Buy what you can at area gun shows. Your cell leader should have a list of places and dates. Other cell members will be glad to go with you. Virtually everything you need will eventually be found at gun shows, even guns without paperwork! Sometimes private individuals or dealers selling their own personal guns will sell without papers. Look for private individuals carrying around weapons at gun shows and ask if they are selling.
  • It is alright to buy ammunition and supplies from gun dealers, just be sure you pay in cash and don't give your name.
  • There are also other good sources of the types of things you will need like sporting goods stores and military surplus stores. Pay cash!
  • Watch the classified ads in the paper, especially for firearms for sale. Private sales are exempt from paperwork and are confidential.
  • Check with members of your cell. Perhaps they have extra or redundant guns and ammo that they have stashed just for people like you to buy!

2.2.4 Sources of equipment and supplies

In addition to area gun shows and classified ads in the newspaper, there are several sources of firearms, ammunition, and gear in the area.

Look up "gunsmiths and gun dealers," "sporting goods," "military surplus," etc. in the yellow pages of the phone book. Write down the addresses and phone numbers for each listing in the space provided on the next page. As time permits, check them out to get an idea of what they have available. Shop around since prices can vary quite a bit from store to store. Even if you can't afford something now, this shopping will pay off in the future when you can afford to buy.

In any event, buy the priorities first. Don't spend a lot of money on body armor and high-tech "toys" before you own a rifle and ammunition!

Area sources of equipment

Name:____________________________________________________________________

Address:________________________________________ Phone:____________________

Notes on supplies they stock:_________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________

Name:____________________________________________________________________

Address:________________________________________ Phone:____________________

Notes on supplies they stock:_________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________

Name:____________________________________________________________________

Address:________________________________________ Phone:____________________

Notes on supplies they stock:_________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________

2.2.5 Discussion questions

What, if any, experience have you had in gun safety, cleaning, or shooting (i.e., hunting, target shooting, etc.)? What type(s) of firearm(s) have you used in the past? What type(s) of firearms would you say that you are proficient in? How accurate are you?

What firearms do you own? Are any of them formally registered with a government agency? Informally registered using the yellow forms retained by gun dealers? (You may opt not to write down the answers.)

How familiar are you with the firearms discussed in this section? Are you planning to buy any of the firearms recommended in this section? If so, which one(s)? How do you plan to acquire it (them) without leaving a record of you as the buyer? (You may opt not to write the answers.)

Among the firearms that you currently own or intend to buy, which one is your "weapon of choice"? Why? (You may opt not to write the answers.)

How much of the necessary equipment, if any, do you already own?

Do you intend to buy the remaining necessary equipment in the future? If so, how quickly do you plan to do so? (List in the order of priority.)

How much of the desired equipment, if any, do you already own?

Do you intend to buy any of the remaining desired equipment in the future? Which items (list by priority)? How fast do you plan to get them?

Why is it very important that you be careful not to leave any records of sensitive purchases you make like guns, ammunition, and military gear?

Please list the four principles of outfitting yourself confidentially.

Do you agree to follow these principles in the future?

Personal inventory

Note: The following is intended to assist the Free Militia commanders in planning. If you have any of the following items, your sponsor will make a note of it and pass it through to his superiors without your name. Thus, the commanders will have an idea of what might be available in a crisis without having any central records of who has what. We trust that you will freely make these items available when the need arises.

Do you possess any binoculars, field glasses, hand-held CB radios, first aid kits, or gunsmithing tools that you would be willing to let your cell use?

Which of the following items do you both own and volunteer to loan to any Free Militia "war effort" in the event that we must mobilize?

Item

Type

Quantity

Electric generators

 

 

     

Ham/short-wave radios

 

 

     

Laptop computers/printers

 

 

     

Photocopiers

 

 

     

Printing presses

 

 

     

Shovels/picks/spades

 

 

     

Chain saws

 

 

     

Vehicles (trucks and vans)

 

 

     

Fire extinguishers

 

 

     

Medical supplies

 

 

     

Main ideas of this section

For a standard, inexpensive, effective, dependable, and versatile rifle, you will be hard-pressed to do much better than the Ruger Mini-14!

It is admittedly expensive to adequately equip an individual or team for effective combat. But your Constitutional liberties and life are worth it!

It is just as important how you go about buying the things you need to equip yourself as it is what you equipment yourself with for future combat.
    

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