American Flag flying upside down as signal of DISTRESS

Modern Minuteman Fieldcraft

By "Rastaman"

Let us enter the forum with the request from Peter Mancus -

To: [deleted for obvious reasons]


  1. "To" recipients are ex-US military and/or active hunters and/or self-imposed modern Minutemen who regularly train to do X, including in inclimate weather, and/or at least one is a superb bolt action gunsmith.

  2. "Cc" recipients might be interested in benefiting from the knowledge of the "To" recipients about certain relevant things regarding X and/or willing to post whatever one or more "To" recipient might write about their recommendations regarding X.

  3. Bottom line: I recommend, and urge, "To" recipients to individually promptly succinctly share their best thoughts regarding what they recommend in the way of modern Minutemen fieldcraft, etc. Suggested topics: How to carry ammo and how much? [Pouch? Loop belt? Bandoleer?] How to keep feet/hands warm and dry in cold, wet weather? Good scope choice? How to eat when there is no kitchen? Any and all insights that "city punks" with little or no military/hunting/field/fighting experience do not know but need to know.

  4. Please help! Now! Learning first hand under fire is not a good way to learn . . . and to survive and/or be effective. How about sharing your hard earned experience and knowledge while there is still time. 5 to 25 "best ideas" apiece from "To" recipients would probably make some darn interesting, helpful reading.

  5. Perhaps Shamaya and/or Zelman and/or Joyce would be willing to post same for each of you individually or collectively. Your remarks could be under your real names or anonymous.

  6. Assuming an unsatisfactory political/legal solution, the advice from "To" recipients would be, and is, priceless, but it will be useless if it comes to late or if it never comes.

  7. With all the compromisers, Sheeple, and Gun Prohibitionists out there, I feel a big need for practical advice. Please share it.


Now for a "meritorious" reponse composed by


  1. First, quickly come to the realization that, due to our numbers, we are constrained in the type of equipment and tactics we may employ and that those tactics and related subjects are in the "small unit" variety, most likely 2-3 man teams. With that realization, consider that your most effective approach to conflict will be to employ your training as a scout/sniper.

  2. Second, get the book, "The Ultimate Sniper" by John Plaster, ISBN 0-87364-704-1. This is THE definitive guide to the discipline we know as sniping - with two man scout/sniper teams. I can also recommend the "U.S. Marine Corps Sniping" manual, FMFM1-3B. I don't have an ISBN for this volume. Also, see if you can find the "U.S. ARMY Sniper Training Manual", (TC 23-14) ISBN 0-87364-120-5. However, the top of the list is Plaster's book, which covers:
      Sniper Unit Organization and Equipment
      The Sniper's Rifle
      Sniperscope Basics
      Using a Sniperscope
      Bullets and Ballistics
      Basic Sniper Marksmanship
      Advanced Sniper Marksmanship
      Special Shooting Situations
      Heavy Rifle [.50 cal & TOW missle) Sniping
      Binoculars and Spotting Scopes
      Spotting and Target Detection
      Range and Wind Estimation
      Camouflage for Sniping
      Stalking and Movement
      The Sniper's Hide
      Basic Offensive and Defensive Tactics
      Sniping in an Urban [MOUT] Environment
      Countersniping Tactics and Techniques
      Special Sniping Operations
      Night Sniping Operations
      Special Sniping Environments
  3. Find a unit that knows how to employ a sniper and who can take you through basic training like hand signals, communications, land navigation and survival. Then, hook yourself up with someone who has an AR-15 rifle and who knows how to use it with open sights. AK47's DO NOT HAVE THE ACCURACY AT RANGE! So, don't settle for that. The AR doesn't have quite the knockdown power, but you're only trying to keep enemy troops outside a 600 yard perimiter. AK's are good for clearing buildings - in urban terrain - but that type of operation is for the young and/or foolish.

  4. Get the proper gear. Get lots of polypro or capilene. There's an outfit that makes "pepperskins" - which isn't anti-gun like patagonia. Whatever you do, remember this: cotton kills. If you come to the initial rally point for one of our FTX's in cotton, you don't go out with us. Polypro and capilene (capilene being superior) - both wick moisture away and keep you warm at the same time.

    Polypropylene and capilene are synthetic materials that wick moisture away from your skin, while keeping you warm. Generally, these materials come in the form of long johns.
  5. Survival gear: Get a rucksack to carry your "house". You can get a military (read camoflage) pack at a good surplus store. I personally have a special forces patrol pack. If you don't go this route, be sure to get a bag with muted colors.

    • Sleeping bag - get one rated to at least -30 degrees. Also get a military-style foam pad to put underneath it and a goretex bivy sack to go around it. If you don't have a sleeping pad, the cold ground will suck the heat out of you and turn you into a popsicle. I know this from personal experience at 11,500 feet on Mt. Evans in January. By morning I'd created a block of ice out of the snow we were sleeping on. The bivy sack will keep you dry and add another 10 degree rating to your bag. You shouldn't need much more than this here in the lower 40 states.

    • Water: Get a bladder-style canteen - preferably a Camelback - so that when partly empty it won't slosh around and give you away. Hard canteens make enough noise to get you killed, but if you empty your Camelback enough, you can pour the ENTIRE contents of a completely-filled (& therefore silent) hard canteen into it. You'll need the canteen cup and burner to make coffee, hot chocolate (provided in your MRE's) and hot tea - with trioxane. The canteen cup should also have a strange-looking (vented) piece outside it which you invert and place your canteen in -

        • I would like to interject here that I availed myself many years ago of a small, light water filter device that could process up to 10,000 gallons. It can actually process water from a mud puddle and make it drinkable, including the removal of such parasitics as giardia, and even viruses - ED.

    • Food: MRE's. What can I say? Make sure of what kind you're getting because the civilian type doesn't come with an MRE heater. Also get some trioxane for your canteen/stove.

    • Light: Whatever flashlight you get, make sure it's a rugged outdoor light with a RED LENS. Remember: you'll be observing LIGHT DISCIPLINE out in the field. So, no "white" lights and NO FIRES! Trioxane gives off almost zero light, so this isn't a problem.

    • You might also consider getting a dual-fuel backpack stove. I say "dual-fuel" because this type can typically run off of white gas - or regular UNLEADED. So, if you're in the field for a prolonged period, you can sneak up on a vehicle and siphon off a little fuel in an emergency.

    • Cotton KILLS! Remember that. I'll keep repeating that.
      Cotton kills because it HOLDS moisture, just as you surmised. Cotton is absorbent - and in the field in winter - will give you hypothermia. So, all those cotton long-johns you have for hunting or whatever - toss them. They will do exactly the opposite of insulate you - if you get wet. In the field under normal training conditions, you can count on that happening.
    • Communications: FRS Radios. Get the highest-dollar ones you can find. There is one model that has actual encryption built in - in addition to the standard "privacy channels". I won't divulge that make and model here over an unencrypted communication.

    • Footwear: If you can't move, you die. Get the best. For summer, I wear a pair of Vasque hiking boots. For winter, I have a pair of Sorels, rated to -45 degrees. Then, I have synthetic (cotton kills, remember?) socks. Lots of them. I recommend the Fox River socks. They're thick, warm and green.

  6. Get into competitive long-range shooting (600-1000 yards). Aim to get AT LEAST an Expert classification (minimum requirement for the U.S. Marine Corps) in highpower rifle - long-range. Then remember that sniping is a "three-legged" discipline, shooting being one "leg", but probably the most important one if you are to accomplish your mission. Also train in regular highpower with open sights, using an AR-type weapon. You will be trading off with the sniper every hour or so, becoming a spotter/scout every other hour. You'll need to be able to hit man-size targets out to 600 yards.

  7. Get into the field and APPLY all you learn. Even when going for a walk with my wife, we practice hand signals. We practice them so that nobody observes we're using them, too.

  8. Train in martial arts. This is the best exercise and fulfills another purpose as well. Personal hand-to-hand combat can teach you tactics if you apply the principles of attacking obliquely and moving in and out of their "range".

  9. Get good camoflage. If you have the money but not a lot of time, go to and pick out a military ghillie. If you have more time, or you just like doing things yourself, make your own ghillie suit. It's quite time-consuming, so you must weigh the cost/benefit.

  10. Optics: I believe I've already covered the sniperscope I use. On top of that, follow Plaster's recommendations. Get a small pair for cursory first-scans, then a larger pair to find camoflaged troops in the grass. The spotter should have a spotter scope which he can employ to mark bullet strikes - or find the eyelet of a boot in the grass. You get the picture.

  11. Ammunition: Load your own! You absolutely MUST have confidence in your rifle/ammunition combination. To find the absolute BEST combination of powder, primer, brass and rifle, you'll need to work up the load that your rifle "likes" best. Also: use only HPBTM's (Hollow Point Boat Tail Match). The military has gone to a 175 grain bullet for a sniper round, so work on finding the best load for that bullet - in your rifle. As for choosing between Sierra and Hornady, I'll leave that up to you. I shoot the Sierras, even though I know a sniper who swears by the Hornady AMax.

    Now, you want to know how to carry your ammunition. 120 rounds. I keep mine in 20-round boxes - with foam rubber in the top and a band around the outside. The foam rubber keeps the rounds from rattling. When you go into the field, SUPPRESS ALL RATTLES! Loose ammo will give you away, it will get you killed.

  12. Web gear/LBV: I recommend the Load-Bearing Vest, which has pockets that will fit your 20-round .308 boxes as well as AR magazines. Carry your ammo in the Web gear or LBV.

  13. Punch knife.

  14. Compass with azimuth notch. I have both military and civilian-style compasses, but I prefer my Silva.

  15. Quality digital camera for reconnaissance.

  16. USGS quads of your AO (US Geological Survey) quadrant maps of your Area of Operations. We'll get a protractor to you if you request it. That way, should the occasion arise, you can call in an artillery strike.

Well, that's it for now. Note that I've attached our winter "loadout" list...


  1. .308 sniper rifle w/scope
    1. ammunition – 100 rds.
    2. cleaning kit
    3. Data chart
    4. Comeups chart
  2. Spotter Rifle
    1. Ammunition – 200 – 300 rds
    2. Cleaning kit
    3. Mags
  3. Sidearm
    1. Ammunition 4 magazines
    2. Cleaning kit
    3. Mags
  4. Combat knife
  5. Ear Protection
  1. FRS radios
  2. Backup batteries
  3. Fully-charged cellphone
  1. MRE’s
  2. Cliff Bars
  3. Water – Primary Camelback
  4. Water – Extra canteen
  5. Primary firestarter (striker)
  6. Backup (lighter, matches)
  7. Stove
  8. Cooking fuel (possibly for melting snow)
  9. Knife
  1. Capilenes
  2. Gloves
  3. Extra Gloves
  4. 2 extra pair socks
  5. Extra pants
  6. extra shirt
  7. Fleece pants
  8. Fleece jacket
  9. Snowflage Camo topcoat
  10. face shield
  11. Sorels
  12. Winter hat
  13. camo hat
  1. Roadmap
  2. AO map
  3. primary compass
  4. backup compass
  5. star chart
  1. Penlight with red lens
  2. Backup batteries
  1. Pentax mini-binocs
  2. Tasco Binocs
  3. Cat Crap anti-fog
Literary materials
  1. Ranger Manual
  2. Pen
  3. Pencil
  4. Paper
  5. “Ultimate Sniper” by John Plaster
  6. Range Cards
  7. Laminated Range Card w/Grease pencil
  1. Winter bag
  2. Bivvy Sack
  3. Mat
  1. Snowshoes or Cross-Country Skis.
  2. Poles
  3. Gaiters

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