Posted by johnyMac | Oct 4, 2020 | CommsJohnyMac |  |

Propagation Predictor – Enhance Your Ham Radio Experience

With the ERIN (Eastern Regional Information Network) net getting ready to restart this week, I have been looking at a propagation predictor to plan the time and band of the net (s).

Bottom-line first. The sun plays a major role in an amateur radio enthusiasts life; Specifically, sun spots. To add to the challenge of TX (Transmitting) or RX (receiving) propagation is not unlike the ebbing and flooding of a tide. There is an approximate eleven-year cycle and the good news is, we are at the bottom or in the “quiet sun” phase now.

Looking back over the past 80-years here is a graph,

As has been explained in earlier articles, the different layers of the ionosphere play a key roll on distance and quality of each band. The more sun spots the better the bands become. A great article to read that explains all of this in laymen terms titled Propagation Primer 101 by Lee Jennings ZL2AL is well worth the 15-minutes of your time to read.

What I do to prepare a PACE (Primary, Alternate, Contingency, Emergency) plan for a net is first go to my favorite propagation predictor called VOACAP For Ham Radio.

Now that you have brought up the app you need to enter some data. The first is enter the grid square or nearby city you will be TXing from to. For today we are going to pick the cities of Albany New York to Charlotte, North Carolina. Remember, you can use grid squares or latitude/longitude also.

Now we need to set the particulars. Since this will be a voice or phone QSO we will change the CW using the drop down menu to SSB (single side band), watts from 1500 to 100-watts, and antennas. I change the antenna settings to the lowest denominator in the bands so I will be using Dipole 10-meters (33ft high) for Rx and TX. The reasoning behind this is that most folks will be using a classic dipole, Off Center Fed, Windom, or end fed horizontal dipole antenna. Some folks will be using an inverted ‘V’ which applies to this application too.

The next to the last step is to set the date. Scroll down to you see the date icon in the lower left corner of the page. Click on the calendar for the date you want. In this case October 6, 2020.

The last step is to click the ‘chart prop’ setting underneath the Setting’s icon in the upper right corner of the screen and viola you have the best bands displayed by hour ZULU time.

Looking at the Circuit Reliability Graph…

…we see that if we wanted to do the net at 1600 hrs ET (2000 hrs ZULU) we see that 30-meters is at 98% CR (circuit reliability), 40-meters is at 96% CR, and 60-meters is at 90% CR. Knowing that most folks have antennas tuned to 20, 40, and 80-meters, I will set the primary to be in the 40-meters band.

With no alternate other than 30 & 60-meters which I do not want to use I will look ahead in time to see if there is a time, I could get a primary and alternate. It seems that 2300 hrs ZULU (1900 hrs ET) it looks like the Primary will be 40-meters (95% CR) and the alternate will be 80-meters (80% CR). Better yet at 0000 ZULU (2000 hrs ET) will be the best with 40-meters at 94% CR and 80-meters at 90% CR.

With that accomplished, I now need to find a frequency’s in 40 & 80-Meters October 6, 2020 at 2000 hrs ET for my Primary and Alternate. Contingency will probably be my site Unchainedpreppers in the radio board. The emergency will be via text that is if I have your cell phone number.

Using the VOACAP is a great tool to use to figure out in advance what band will be open for your QSO with other American Partisans.

Freedom Through Self-Reliance ™


Posted by johnyMac | Oct 4, 2020 | AP StaffPhilosophy |  |     

“As It Is Written” 1 Corinthians 2:1-10

“As It Is Written” 1 Corinthians 2:1-10

Today I present to you another great devotional from CountrySlicker. Enjoy – JMc

And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God.  For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.  I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling.  And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power,  that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.  However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.  But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”  But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. 1 Corinthians 2:1-10

In the first 10 verses of 1 Corinthians 2, Paul discusses what we could call five fundamentals of the gospel.

  1. The gospel is centered on the death of Christ.

Instead of a philosopher or thinker (which the Greeks viewed as having excellent speech and wisdom), Paul was able to offer himself as a witness.  Paul had experienced the power of God and His work first hand.  Recall Paul’s encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus that lead to a new dedication of his life to serving God.

Paul made a conscious decision on how to present himself…I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.  Paul presents himself as an ambassador.  Ambassador can be defined as an authorized messenger or representative or  as a diplomatic official of the highest rank sent by a government to represent it on a temporary mission, as for negotiating a treaty.  Some of the roles of an ambassador include: deliver messages from another individual, accomplish the agenda of another individual (have no personal agenda), represent another individual (typically of greater power or importance), and to operate under the authority of another person (not one’s own authority).

Paul knew the Jews desired a sign, and Greeks sought after wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:22), but Paul’s not writing to appease them.  Instead of giving them what they wanted… Paul will give them what they need.  He will preach Jesus Christ and Him crucified.  Paul will keep the focus on Christ and His work on the cross.  That is the only message with the power to save.

  1. Man’s position (position of weakness)…

According to Paul’s own words, he was not brimming with self-confidence…  in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling.  When we recognize the needs of others (salvation or healing or revelation or spiritual growth)… we often also become aware of our own weakness and limitations… ”How can I help someone else when I am so messed up?”

Knowing the needs of the Corinthians and recognizing his own limitations made Paul weak and afraid.  Paul knew that he could not meet the needs of the Corinthians.  Guzik comments… Yet it kept him from the poison of self-reliance, and let God’s strength flow.  Paul had to depend on the power of another.  Being aware of our own weakness isn’t a bad thing when it drives us to find a real source of strength.

The strength of a Christian comes through the Holy Spirit.  In John chapter 14, Jesus said… I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. (John 14:16-17)  Later in John chapter 16, Jesus said… when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. (John 16:13-14)

Instead of using persuasive words of human wisdom, Paul allowed the Spirit to work in the simplicity of the message of the gospel.  In doing so, the power of the Spirit is revealed.  G. Campbell Morgan comments… “So great was his sense of weakness and fear, and so profound his lack of trust in himself that he quaked, he trembled. Those are the secrets of strength in all preaching.”

Which leads to the third fundamental of the gospel…

  1. Faith in the power of God… that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.

The power of the cross is not dependent on man’s persuasive words.  Paul doesn’t put his faith in his own power of persuasion… instead, he puts his faith in God to do an eternal work in hearts and minds.  In his letter to the Romans, Paul writes… For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.  For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:16-17)

Paul declares that through the gospel of Christ we see the power of God to save sinners.   The Spirit is able to use the truth of the message of the cross to convict and teach man and woman.  Paul compared the wisdom of man to the wisdom of God in the previous chapter.  In this verse, Paul is pointing the reader back to that discussion.  For there to be a true work in a person’s heart, they have to look to God’s ability to do a work.  Only by placing our faith in the power of God can we experience true strength.

Man’s pride often stands between himself and God, preventing that faith from taking root.  Our pride leads us to believe that we have to accomplish something.  We believe that it all rests on our shoulders.  We carry the burden of solving problems.  What we need to do… is look to God for solutions.  We must lose faith in our own abilities and develop faith in God.

  1. The gospel is part of God’s eternal plan… we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory.

Why did the rulers of this age fail to recognize God’s wisdom?  Because it came in a mystery; a “sacred secret” that could only be known by revelation.  It is the hidden wisdom that is now revealed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which Paul preaches.  To gain understanding, we must spend time with the word and in fellowship with God.  It is an apprenticeship of sorts.  God grows us one lesson at a time.  He reveals His truths to us one at a time and teaches us to walk in them as we navigate this sinful world.

In our human wisdom, we cannot comprehend the entirety of the plan of God.  His plan transcends our concept of time, space, and understanding of the complexity of the world (physical and spiritual).

Paul writes… But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”  This is not a strict quotation from the Scriptures. Paul is paraphrasing Isaiah 64:4 to remind us that God’s wisdom and plan is past our finding out on our own.  Clarke commented… “These words have been applied to the state of glory in a future world; but certainly they belong to the present state, and express merely the wondrous light, life, and liberty which the Gospel communicates to them that believe in the Lord Jesus Christ in that way which the Gospel itself requires.

Before the life and ministry of Jesus, God’s people had a vague understanding of the glory of His work and what it would do for His people. But they really did not and could not fully understand it ahead of time.  The old testament lays the ground work for the message of the gospel.  In studying the old testament we can see the need that we have for a savior.  It’s evident in the writing in Isaiah and it’s evident in much of David’s writing in the Psalms.  In verse 9, Paul is paraphrasing Isaiah 64:4.  Let’s also take a look at verse 5: You meet him who rejoices and does righteousness,  Who remembers You in Your ways.  You are indeed angry, for we have sinned—  In these ways we continue;  And we need to be saved.

The need for a savior is evident in the old testament writings.  What was unknown, was exactly how and when the savior would accomplish the task.   This work of God is a mystery that Paul is explaining to the Corinthians.  It’s not a mystery because it is hidden.  It is a mystery in that it must be explained in order to be understood.  The plan was in place since the beginning of time.  However, the mystery is unraveling and becoming evident as we spend time with God allowing Him to instill His wisdom into us.

We need help to understand the mystery and grow in God’s wisdom.  This is where the Holy Spirit comes into the picture.

  1. Our salvation is the work of God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit)… But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.

Only the Holy Spirit can tell us about God and His wisdom. This knowledge is unattainable by human wisdom or investigation.  We could guess what God is thinking, and about His wisdom, but we would never know unless He told us.

Our salvation involves all three persons in the Godhead.  You cannot be saved apart from the Father’s choosing to pour out His grace upon you.  God chose you long before the creation of the world ever happened.  It was part of His plan from the beginning.

Only through the loving sacrifice Christ made on the cross is the debt for our sins paid.  Christ paid the price for your sins long before you sinned.  Jesus was able to declare “It is finished” there on the cross because the debt had been paid.

Through the conviction of the Holy Spirit, we come to the realization of our need for salvation and allow God to work in our lives.  God chose you and Christ paid the price for your sins before you ever knew either of them or recognized that you needed to be saved.  Once you realized that you needed a savior, the Holy Spirit began to transform you and place a desire in you for a relationship with God (your heavenly Father).

This work was all a mystery to us… until God began to reveal it to us.  It is still being revealed today.  Man often spends a lot of time trying to figure out God’s plans.  This is often not necessary…For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.

Due to their love of human wisdom, the Corinthians thought that Paul was still speaking of “the basics” like the gospel and that there were more intricate and complex details that  they needed to hear.  But according to Paul, the gospel message is the revelation of the deep things of God.  Our pride often leads us to develop complicated strategies where simple truths are more than sufficient.  Many problems today can be solved by simple biblical principles.  Complicated plans of men are not necessary.  The solutions to today’s most challenging problems are contained in the ancient writings that God has provided to us.

One excellent example of this is recorded in the founding of our own country…

About five weeks into the Constitutional Convention of 1787, when the delegates were attempting to draft the U. S. Constitution, their efforts were a signal failure. As things were beginning to break up and delegates return home to their states, Benjamin Franklin challenged them and called them to prayer. He addressed the delegation with the following words:

 In this situation of this Assembly, groping as it were in the dark to find political truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when presented to us, how has it happened, sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of Lights to illuminate our understanding? In the beginning of the contest with Great Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayer in this room for the Divine protection. Our prayers, sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a superintending Providence in our favor. . . . And have we now forgotten that powerful Friend? Or do we imagine we no longer need His assistance? I have lived, sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth – that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We have been assured, sir, in the Sacred Writings, that “except the Lord build the House, they labor in vain that build it.” I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without His concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel. . . . I therefore beg leave to move that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business.

Franklin believed their prayers over the Convention had been answered.  After five weeks of failure, following the recess and time of prayer, they reconvened and in only ten weeks produced the document that has become the longest on-going constitution in the history of the world. Franklin definitely saw a difference after the recess and prayer. He again addressed the congregation with the following:

[I] beg I may not be understood to infer that our general Convention was Divinely inspired when it formed the new federal Constitution . . . [yet] I can hardly conceive a transaction of such momentous importance to the welfare of millions now existing (and to exist in the posterity of a great nation) should be suffered to pass without being in some degree influenced, guided, and governed by that omnipotent, omnipresent, and beneficent Ruler in Whom all inferior spirits “live and move and have their being”.

Many other delegates were in agreement with Franklin.  One of which was Alexander Hamilton who declared:  For my own part, I sincerely esteem it a system which without the finger of God never could have been suggested and agreed upon by such a diversity of interests.

The delegates recognized a need bigger than themselves.  They followed the simple biblical principle from James 1:5…  If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

According to their own testimony, the delegates were rewarded with divine guidance in the task at hand.

God doesn’t make things difficult or complicated.  He develops plans that are so simple that anyone can understand and follow them.  Our salvation, in its entirety (conception, execution, and revelation) is the work of God.  The gospel message is that simple and that powerful.  Peter declared… “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)  Our salvation is based solely on a relationship with the savior… Jesus Christ.

What overwhelming problem are you struggling with today?  What obstacle stands in the way of you fulfilling God’s call in your life?  Turn it over to God.  Put your pride aside, lose faith in yourself, and put your faith in the One that was able to conquer death.  Don’t limit yourself to the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing.  God has greater plans for you… But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”  Develop your relationship with Jesus.  Everything else will be revealed to you.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. James 1:5

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Posted by Holy Serf | Oct 5, 2020 | Holy SerfIntelligenceNC ScoutPreparedness & HomesteadingTacticalTech and Privacy |  |   

IMINT- The Drone For Your Imagery Intelligence

   IMINT as the military calls it, or Imagery Intelligence and the civilian world calls it aerial photography.  Another arrow in your quiver for your overall intelligence gathering capabilities. Drones can be used to give the individual or group real time aerial imagery intelligence. The general public has access to pretty advanced drones these days. The drones available today have clear onboard cameras for both photos and video. A drone should be viewed as a camera with wings instead of an remote controlled aircraft with a camera. The drones can be flown up to hundreds of feet above ground level and essentially parked at a location in the air while holding its position without operating the controller because of its onboard GPS. The operator can watch a location or it can be flown along a route. The video on the controller gives you a live shot of the activity on the ground. A photograph and video can be stored on a flash drive inserted into the drone to be analyzed at a future time.  The drone can travel parallel to your target and take photos at an oblique angle which can supplement satellite images.

   The images obtained from the drone flight can be compared to satellite photos online such as Google Earth or even to supplement them.  The drone can be used to fill gaps from these satellite images because of outdated files or tree cover blocking some or all of information on the ground. 

  The weak points of a drone is that they can be heard which sounds similar to a chainsaw or weed eater.  If flown at a low altitude, they can be shot down or collide with an object.  They can give away the operator’s position when launched or landed.  To mitigate this, its suggested that the flight be at a high altitude and to stay on a direct course.  Changing the direction of travel, raising and lowering the altitude will have a tendency to make more noise thereby drawing attention to its flight.  Make a smooth flight across your location of interest and it should not be noticed.  Also consider launching it from outside of the group’s location and landing it in another spot. 

  A recent Scout Course taught by NC Scout mentioned using a drone during the class.  I am sure it was a valuable piece of kit to put eyes in the air up above their target and without putting anyone in enemy sights.

  If you haven’t yet made the purchase, a DJI Mavic Mini is a popular choice that has top notch reviews and packs up into the palm of your hand.  I have this drone and extremely happy with its capabilities and price.  I suggest purchasing their Fly More Combo package.  By having a drone in your arsenal, you can see more of your Area of Operation and not subject anyone to hostile fire.  That alone makes it well worth it. 

  Here are a few links to watch in considering the addition of a valuable intelligence gathering device:

Eyes on the target…

Holy Serf


Posted by NC Scout | Oct 3, 2020 | AP Editorial StaffNews and Links | 14  | 

EchoCharlie Sends: Arizona Ammunition Maker Facing $80-Million In Back Orders

Got ammo? You should have by now, before all this. Can’t say I didn’t tell you so. But a lot of people didn’t, and it is what it is. Run what you brung bacause it ain’t gonna get better anytime soon. -NCS

Read the original at Bearing Arms

Just how bad is the ammo crunch right now? This bad.

Scottsdale-based ammunition company Ammo Incorporated is facing an $80.1 million order backlog amid record demand for ammunition.

“We’re working right now seven days a week, 24 hours a day in all the manufacturing plants,” said CEO Fred Wagenhals.

Ouch. The good news, if there is any to be found here, is that ammunition companies like Ammo Incorporated are now investing millions of dollars in infrastructure upgrades to increase their output. If manufacturers felt like this was only a short-term run on ammunition, they might keep their cash in reserve rather than spending it on new equipment, but at least for Ammo Inc, that’s not the case.

“We just bought 2.8 million dollars worth of machinery and equipment last week to increase our production and increase our volume,” Wagenhals said.

According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the year has already seen a boom in gun purchases, up 95% in the first half of 2020 compared to the same time period of 2019.But ammo sales skyrocketed even higher, up 139% compared to 2019 during that same time period.

“The start was the pandemic that was going on. But there was always that fear of the election. Of who’s going to be elected of the next President of the United States,” Wagenhals said. “But thirdly, I think the unrest in this country right now. And as you’ve seen in a lot of cities, the looting and the burning, and I think people are just scared.”

Wagenhals is right about what’s driving the increase in sales for both firearms and ammunition, and unfortunately no matter who wins in November I think there’s a growing expectation among many Americans that the unrest, looting, and burning will continue. That will likely keep sales strong well into 2021, and hopefully other manufacturing companies will be making similar investments in their own operations in order to increase the availability of ammunition.

It’s also worth noting that Wagenhals says production lines are operating 24/7 right now. That’s an indication that supply chain problems with ammunition components may be easing, allowing the manufacturing facilities to work at full capacity instead of being limited by the amount of raw materials that they can get their hands on.

The problem right now seems to be a simple matter of supply not being able to keep up with demand, and it’s good to see manufacturers being proactive in addressing the problem by increasing supply rather than waiting for demand to subside. With just one company looking at $80-million in back-ordered sales, however, it could still be some time before the crunch for consumers lessens and a decent supply of ammunition can be found on store shelves.


Posted by NC Scout | Oct 5, 2020 | AP Editorial StaffIntelligence |  | 

Armor: Chinese Stryker Brigade

Critical information on the development, task, purpose and implementation of the Chinese ZBL-09. Read the original at Strategy Page. -NCS

China has begun organizing its first combined arms brigade based on the American experience with brigades equipped largely with the Stryker wheeled armored vehicle. This comes 17 years after the Americans introduced the Stryker but also after the American had gained over a decade of combat experience with the Stryker units. Based on that experience the Americans made changes in Stryker vehicle design, equipment and methods of using it. As a result China’s first “Stryker” unit, the 181st Combined-Arms Brigade will enter service having already absorbed and applied what the Americans had learned about how best to use Stryker in combat.

While the U.S. was first to develop a unique fully electronic wheeled armored vehicle like the Stryker it was late to do major upgrades to its family of wheeled combat vehicles. China, which emulated Stryker, moved fast to upgrade and heavily arm its Stryker-like wheeled armored vehicles. China already had wheeled combat vehicles before Stryker was introduced. But noting the success of high-tech Stryker in Iraq, China made changes to its new ZBL 09 8×8 wheeled armored vehicle, which entered service in 2009. This 21 ton vehicle has a crew of three and carries 7-10 passengers. The ZBL 09 is actually a bit larger than the 7 meter long Stryker. At 8 meters (25 feet) long, three meters (9.2 feet) wide and 2.1 meters (6.5 feet, to the hull roof) high, the ZBL 9 is also heavier. Yet the ZBL 09 is amphibious and has a top water speed of 8 kilometers an hour. On roads, top speed is 100 kilometers an hour, and max road range on internal fuel is 800 kilometers. The infantry carrier version has a turret with a 30mm autocannon. There are also artillery versions carrying either a 105mm or 122mm howitzer. An export version was offered in 2011 as the VN1. The ZBL 09 was also based on Chinese experience with its smaller 13 ton 6×6 WZ551 that had entered service in 1995.

Seeing what the Stryker could do, the ZBL 09 was became more than just an enlarged WZ551. With the addition of many of the electronic systems found in Stryker, China proceeded to try out many more electronic gadgets (not all of them worked) and more variant models. China has several medium brigades equipped with ZBL 09 and the VN1 has become a popular export item. The Chinese marines also use versions of the ZBL 09 and this vehicle is found in many other combat units besides the medium brigades. But now the 181st Combined-Arms Brigade will not just have some ZBL 09s but use that vehicle as the primary combat vehicle for the entire brigade.

When the U.S. Army introduced its 18 ton Stryker 8×8 wheeled ICV (Infantry Combat Vehicle) in 2002, it was meant to equip the new medium brigades. The Stryker ICV had ten variants. In addition to the basic turretless M1126 IFV (Infantry Fighting Vehicle) for infantry, the other variants were for reconnaissance (M1127), a 105mm assault gun (M1128), a mortar carrier (M1129), command post (M1130), fire support (M1131), engineering support (M1132), ambulance (M1133), anti-tank (M1134) and NBC (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical) reconnaissance (M1135).

Fifteen years later the army introduced the Stryker A1 with a V-shaped double bottom (to handle bomb and mine explosions) a lot of new equipment inside and a turret armed with a 30mm autocannon (similar to the 25mm one used on the M2 tracked IFV). The A1 version can carry nine infantry in addition to the three-man vehicle crew. The A1 has better protection and communications as well as “surround view”; a system of vidcams built into the hull that enable crew and passengers to see what is happening all around the vehicle via flat-screen displays in the vehicle.

The original Stryker design called for a 12.7mm machine-gun mounted up top but no turret plus another 7.62mm machine-gun operated from one of the other top hatches. When the first Stryker brigade was sent to Iraq in 2003 the ICV version was armed with the PROTECTOR Remote Weapon Stations (RWS), which later got a thermal sight and full stabilization. The RWS became standard with a 12.7mm ring mounted machine-gun as secondary armament. In combat, the RWS was the main weapon and reduced crew casualties while also providing much more effective firepower. The RWS used on Stryker was a key component of the CROWS (common remotely operated weapon stations). This idea has been around for nearly half a century, but years of tinkering and better technology had, by the 21st century, made the remote control gun turret finally work effectively, dependably and affordably. CROWS was a real lifesaver, not to mention anxiety reducer, for troops who drive through bandit country a lot, and man the turret gun. You’re a target up there, and too often, the bad guys get you. Not with CROWS. The gunner is inside the vehicle, checking out the surroundings (with night vision and telephoto capabilities). CROWS also has a laser rangefinder built-in, as well as a stabilizer mechanism to allow more accurate fire while the vehicle is moving. The CROWS systems cost about $260,000 each (including the weapon), and can mount a variety of weapons (M2 .50 caliber machine-gun, MK19 40-mm automatic grenade launcher, M240B 7.62mm machine-gun and M249 5.56mm squad automatic weapon).

CROWS was but one of many new, or improved, electronic systems in Stryker and that was one of the things that made this wheeled armored vehicle very popular with its users. The troops using Stryker very much appreciated that they had a vehicle they had to “boot up” rather than just startup. The downside of that was recent exercises in Eastern Europe, near the Russian border, which resulted in numerous Russian efforts to hack the Stryker systems. The army won’t reveal any more than that but even before the Russian border incident, there was a major effort to protect the electronic networks in the Stryker.

As useful as the all the new electronics and the RWS was on the Stryker, a heavier, longer-range weapon like 25mm or 30mm autocannon RWS was possible but would be more prone to damage because it would be outside its normal turret and more exposed. The solution to that was the 30mm autocannon on Stryker which operates like an RWS because the turret is not manned. The 30mm was long a proposed upgrade for the M2 tracked vehicle and the 30mm and 25mm weapons are both similar in design and from the same manufacturer. The 30mm autocannon RWS adds over a ton to the weight of the Stryker but the troops who received the 30mm ICM in 2017 found it a major improvement. The 30mm autocannon had a max range of 3,000 meters (more than twice that of the 12.7mm machine-gun) and was more accurate. It fired HE (high explosive) anti-personnel shells with the option of using armored piercing ones as well or shells HE with fuzes that produce airbursts.

China is apparently working its way through all the Stryker improvements and upgrades, while also adding their own innovations. Time will tell how this all works out. Meanwhile, the Americans are converting some of the Stryker brigades to armored (lots of tanks, fewer Strykers) brigades.


Posted by NC Scout | Oct 5, 2020 | AP StaffWeapons |  | 

Dave Lauck Sends: D&L Custom Piston Carbine
  • Simplistic to assemble / disassemble
  • Easy field maintenance
  • No injecting of hot gas and carbon into the receiver
  • BCG lubricant does not dry out or get carbon fouled
  • Standard M4 controls and handling

What front line military operators say:

This is great gear…as always you are years ahead of the others.

We have tested the D&L carbine with 55, 62 and 77 grain ammo. It has functioned flawlessly in all tests. Everyone loves how clean it stays even after 500 rounds. We have kept a log and the gun is at 2400 rounds and we have had zero malfunctions. The temp got down to -5 (in AFG) and it fired flawlessly….fine equipment…thank you.

We are finding the D&L carbine works much better than the M4 in the dust and dirt. We have had zero malfunctions on any of the missions and we have logged 4200 rounds in 4 months.

I could see that the D&L carbine is hands down the best AR I have ever seen or fired, period. 100% function of all rounds…rock solid handguard…it gives me complete confidence…definitely could tell it ran a lot cleaner than a DI gun. I’m sold!

Dave Lauck is the owner of D&L Sports, Inc., custom builder of several of the finest weapons found anywhere in the world and is recognized as the foremost expert on the 1911 platform. He has built custom 1911s for a long list of celebrities as well as President Donald Trump and was awarded “Pistolsmith of the Year” by American Pistolsmiths Guild in 2012. His AR-15 carbines have frequently been used among top-tier competitors and his sniper weapon system, the MR-30, was featured as the Black King Rifle in the TV Series Shooter.