Skills For Revolutionary Survival No.8: Cutting Tools for Field Craft

Cutting tools are some of the oldest, most important implements used by people to cut, shave, shape, carve, and butcher the things that make life enjoyable to live. Today these tools are still vital tools to own and utilize, both in day to day life, and in field craft. The four vital cutting tools for bush craft/field craft consists of a field knife, a machete, an axe, and a saw. We will look at the features to look for in each of these tools along with useful tasks that can be accomplished with each.

Field Knives

Field knives are full tang fixed blade knives, meaning that they cannot be folded (fixed) and have blade steel that runs from the tip of the blade to the end of the handle (full tang). They are typically 5-7 inches in blade length. There are a lot of options with knives, a lot of them featuring tactical or aesthetic design elements that are not useful, and are sometimes detrimental to use as a field knife.

What are knives needed for?

To understand what kind of knives will serve our field craft purposes best, it is useful to first learn some of the uses and skills that go along with their use. These skills are vital to know if you intend to spend any amount of time in the wilderness, remote and with little resupply.

One of the most vital functions a knife can perform is providing ignition for fires. They can be used for several tasks in camp, the first of which is making feather sticks. These sticks are used to create enough thin wood surface area to help get a fire started from a small initial flame. Feather sticks can be made from split pieces of wood or even sticks (around thumb sized). Feathering is done by gently pushing the blade into the wood, shearing a piece of wood away from the main section, while leaving it attached. You repeat this action until you have dozens of these which will resemble a feather (see illustration below). Feathering requires a sharp knife with good blade control. A knife that is too big will make this task difficult an a knife that is too small will require more focus. The blade needs to be sharp and nimble.

The second task related to fire making is reducing larger pieces of wood into smaller pieces. With a field knife, this is called batoning. Batoning uses the knife as a wedge and a baton (usually a blunt stick) to drive the knife through the wood, reducing the piece into halves. Through this method a log 4-5 inches in diameter can be broken down into sticks the size of a fat pencil, perfect for building heat in the fuel of a small fire and fueling a small discrete campfire for cooking and personal heat. Batoning also allows you to break down wood so that even when damp, will burn with less trouble than a thick log. It is all about the surface area of your fuel when building fires. Batoning requires a full tang knife and a knife featuring a flat profile to spine (the edge opposite of the cutting edge on your knife).

The last task that a field knife is vital for is sparking ferro rods. Ferro rods are amazing technology, allowing a knife to scrap it surface, creating a shower of sparks. Many people have been disappointed in the field after buying a ferro rod, taking the spine of their knife to it, and discovering they can only produce a few sparks or almost none at all. Why isn’t is as easy as it looks in books and videos? Simply, its because most knives are designed to be pleasing to the hand, meaning all sharp edges (with the exception of the cutting edge) are buffed and rounded to make them smooth and nice to handle. Field knives often do round edges, but not on the spine. A squared spine with sharp angles will throw a better, more reliable spark. That is what you want to look for.

The final feature we want to discuss, blade shape, relates to a lot of uses, but will become even more apparent when skinning and cleaning fish and game animals. Skinning or caping, requires smooth cuts to separate skin from flesh. This means that your blade edge needs to be curved, allowing a slicing motion throughout a cut. Tanto style blades are not good for this because they have angular edges that will sometimes cut too aggressively where the edges meet, damaging skin. A curved blade will be useful in a variety of situations, while blade shapes like a wharncliffe, tanto, or dagger, should be left as aesthetics suited to other knives, not field knives.

Knife Materials

When considering field knife materials, there are some handle materials and blade materials to look at and suite to your purposes. Handle materials range from traditional materials such as bone or wood, to modern materials such as plastic, glass polymer, G-10, or Micarta. The field knife needs to be used in all conditions with sometimes abusive use. As such, materials such as G-10 or Micarta will serve you well. Micartas are composites of linen, canvas, paper, fiberglass, carbon fiber or other fabric in a resin. This creates tremendous durability and types using fabric such as canvas or linen micarta also provide a grip that maintains gripyness even when wet. G-10 is a high-pressure fiberglass laminate, giving the ultimate in strength and waterproofness, while sacrificing some of the gripyness micarta has.

Blade steels come in hundreds of varieties. We will discuss two of the general categories of these steels: traditional common steels and modern super steels. Common steels include steel stocks such as 1095, 154CM, AUS-8, 420HC, and VG10. These are found on most entry level knives, offering differing corrosion resistance, durability, and ease of sharpening. Modern steels will take performance up substantially, often emphasizing certain qualities such as CPM-3V’s extreme toughness, CPM-S30V’s extreme edge retention and corrosion resistance, or H1’s corrosion proofing against sea water.

Some bushcrafters will prefer softer steels arguing that it allows for easy and fast sharpening, even using improvised sharpening stones. I argue from experience that edge retention and durability are more desirability qualities in a blade. You spend less time, less frequently sharpening.

This comes with a caveat, you need to carry a sharpening stone with you. I typically carry a diamond stone as it maintains flatness and helps sharpen hard steels a bit faster. Either way, get good at sharpening your knife and be sure to oil it to prevent corrosion (unless it’s H1… rust will never be a problem). Here are some very good guides on sharpening knives:

You can get along fine in camping situations with a so-called $5 knife (knives from $5-$20), but when you spend long days for sustained periods of time using your knife, steel quality and ergonomics. Knives can make you develop blisters if they are not contoured to prevent hotspots. The extra force required to drive a quickly dulling knife through wood can create dangerous situations where slips can occur. Better steels allow your knife to do more of the work for you, conserving energy and keeping you safe.

Here are some recommended knives that have been tested and proven. There are other knives out there that are likely just as good, but not listed here because I have not had a chance to try them out or have not had a friend with good experiences with them. You will only be buying one knife. This is a tool that you will use a lot when field crafting, so invest in quality.

  • Morakniv Bushcraft – $40
  • Morakniv Graberg – $80
  • Ontario RAT-5 & RAT-7 – $80
  • ESEE-4, ESEE-5, ESEE-6 – $90-$130
  • Ontario Blackbird SK-5 – $165
  • Bark River Aurora, Bark River Aurora 2 – $180-$262
  • Benchmade 162 Bushcrafter – $210
  • Bark River Kephart – $220
  • Benchmade 202 Leuku – $220
  • Bark River Bravo 1, 1.5 Field, 2 $200-$300

The cheapest knives you can get that will work decently for survival are the Morakniv Basic 511 and the Mora Companion. These have decent steel, but have a rounded spine, making the task of striking ferro rods much more challenging. For $8, you can’t go wrong having a couple of these or using it as your first knife to practice with.

What about folding knives?

Folding knives are great tools as well, for every day carry or for tasks around camp. They are just less robust for sustained field use and are typically better suited for smaller, finer tasks. You can definitely find that one will suite you for these kinds of tasks. Folding knives are also very compact, which makes carrying one at all times easy. This makes them an awesome backup if your primary knife is lost or has to be abandoned in a hasty retreat.

Be sure to get a folding knife with a durable locking mechanism. Here you can see a comparison:

Here are some tested tough folding knives to consider:

  • Ontario Rat 1 (3.5″) or Rat 2 (3″) – $25-$40 – Honestly a great affordable knife that will serve you well for years to come! Anything else you are just upgrading steels, locking mechanisms, or blade shapes.
  • Spyderco RockJumper (2.83″) – $85
  • Spyderco Para 3 (3″) – $110-190
  • Benchmade Bugout (3.24″) & Mini Bugout (2.9″) – $110-$160
  • Spyderco Paramilitary 2 (3.44″) – $160-$220

Machetes

Machetes are long broad bladed knives 12-18 inches long and made of thin steel, usually less than 3mm thick. This makes these blades slice cleanly through vegetation and weighs very little when compared to an axe. Machetes are good for places where vegetation is less densely construction. Machetes are useful for cutting into soft woods, cane, vines, saplings, palms, and for clearing away sticks/branches. They also can find use in more northern hardwood and pine forests when limbing trees and shaving bark.

Machetes are simple implements that have taken form in warmer latitudes around the globe. Some notable types include the Philippine bolo, Malay parang, Indonesian golok, Brazilian facão, and the ubiquitous central American machete.

Columbia is the largest producer of machetes in the world. One of the best ways to experiment with what works with your local vegetation is to get a multi-pack. These give you five different styles for around $40. Enough that you can share with your comrades or do a very affordable group buy (here’s an example: Columbian Military Machete 5 Pack

In my experience, the best machete for the money is the Ontario 18” Military Machete (also available in 22” blade for bigger people or more tropical environments). The blade is thick enough to remain stiff, making easy work of reeds and soft woods alike. They are easy to resharpen and have extremely durable handles. These are about ~$20 and worth every penny.

Axes

Axes are powerful tools for the right use and environment. If cutting into hard woods or pine, they are excellent for felling and limbing. They are also excellent for splitting wood into more manageable sections. They also are good hammers for stakes and have sharp edges that will help with striking a fire. They are a high energy tool that can do a lot of work on their own, but are better employed as a part of a system. For field craft, a small axe is the best all around type of axe to select. Hatchets lack the versatility and power of a small axe, while large felling axes are too heavy to be a part of a light weight & mobile survival/field crafting setup.
Choosing an axe that is quality will also make an extreme difference to your ease of use. Most axes you find at outdoor & hardware stores these days are crap. They are cast steel instead of forged and their heat treating combined with inferior materials means they dull extremely fast. A sharp axe is a good tool to use. A dull axe is an extreme waste of energy. Another area where modern axes tend to fail first time buyers is in the handle quality. Improperly set & wedged, covered in lacquer, and made from less than ideal woods, these handles will be a sore spot (literally) for users.

There are two options for the perspective axe buyer who wants to buy a lifetime tool. The first is to buy from one of the modern quality manufacturers. Notable axe makers and models recommended are:

  • Council Hudson Bay Camp Axe – $70 (Will require you to hone/sharpen the blade and possibly replace the handle.)
  • Hults Bruk Akka – $179
  • Hults Bruk Aneby – $159
  • Gransfors Bruk Small Forest Axe – $153

The second option saves you a lot of money, but requires you to do some searching and some labor. First you need to find a quality axe head at an antique store, flea market, or swap meet. You are going to look for a head that is 1.5lbs-2lbs in weight from a quality maker such as Kelly, Plumb, Zenith and Sager, Norlund, Collins (pre-Mexico), Snow & Neally (pre-China), Keen Kutter, Belknap, Warren and Mann, Emerson & Stevens, Peavy Mfg., or Witherell. You want a blade without any major chips and without fire damage and you want the striking face to be free of any mushrooming. The whole head should not have any cracks; if you see a crack, walk away. Rust and even pitting are ok. You will then want to get an axe handle from Hults Bruk or Gransfors Bruk, 18-26” in length. Here are some useful videos about restoring axe heads and hanging handles:

Saws

Saws are limited to one task, cutting through wood. They are primarily used to fell small-medium trees and section wood into logs for splitting. When cutting through the whole trunk of a tree, saws are the most energy efficient way to get the job done. When looking for a backpacking saw you want three primary characteristics: A pull saw style blade, sharpenable or with a replaceable blade, and folding blade protected provided by the handle.

Pull saws are very energy efficient saws, allowing you to use your whole body in the sawing motion. These are typical of Japanese style saws, though the pull saw has begun to catch on in the rest of the world in the past few decades. European style saws are push saws, meaning they cut into the wood when you push the saw blade forward through the wood. These require more focused use of the arms and shoulders, causing fatigue more rapidly than pull saws.

Pull saws are almost universally replaceable-blade saws. This allows them to be made of thin material with exceptionally hard teeth that last for a long time. They can not be resharpened, so be sure to keep spare saw blades handy (in the back-country, just one spare blade should last you a few months of continuous use). You should pick your blade length to be ⅓ longer than the diameter of the trees you expect to be cutting. If you are going to cut ~9”(228mm) trees, you need at least a ~12”(300mm) blade. Smaller saws are lighter and easier to carry. Larger saws expand the size of the wood you can cut and the speed at which you can cut. Long strokes cut faster and more efficiently than short strokes.

Two general rules: Pull saws cut faster. Longer blades cut faster.

Folding pull saws often work in much the same way pocket knives do, folding back into the handle. European bow saws can be found in collapsible form, but can be more difficult (only marginally) to assemble and take down each time you need to use it.

For pull saws the following recommendations are tried and true from smallest to largest:

  • Silky GomBoy
  • Silky Professional BIGBOY 2000
  • Silky KATANABOY Professional

If you are interested in building a european bow saw with some axe handles, here is an excellent demonstration of a very practical saw that allows you to bring spare axe handles for your axe. Excellent redundancy!

Conclusion

At the end of the day, try to buy something quality, maintain it, practice with it, and keep it sharp. Figure out what works best in your environment by getting out there and building survival shelters, laying concealment, starting fires, and preparing plants/animals for meals. The better you know your knife, your saw, your machete, and/or your axe, the better prepared you will be to use these tools in dynamic survival situations.

The Anti blackness/Transmisogynoir of White Anything

Whether they described themselves as leftists/anarchist/antifascists. The anti blackness/transmisogynoir of these white “radicals” never stays hidden. These folks dare to have BLM in they profiles, say they protesting for us, but when we say that they aren’t doing enough, we are gaslighted, called tankies, accused of being feds, etc anything do dismiss the concerns of slave. Me and a few comrades were kicked of Twitter for confronting this white antifascist. They were in a more vulnerable position as me, existing as Black trans radicals. For me while being disconnected from close to 9,000 certainly hurts it does hurt as much as Black trans radicals being disconnected from the community they found on Twitter. There is another example to it involves the killing of Antonio Mays Jr at CHAZ/CHOP. White and even non Black continue to find something positive about the failed “autonomous zone (it’s a fucking settler zone, that’s what it is). With those positives ignoring and downright gaslighting Black death. For Black folk more importantly Black trans folk their are no allies amongst the whites and it’s way past time we realize that. Being kicked of Social Media Platforms to being killed in Settler Zones is proof of our status as slaves. We’re being told maybe not directly to be grateful while these white folks further marginalize and socially/physically imprison and kill us

The War on Terror Started in 1492

INTRO: By Mohammed Harun Arsalai and Dominique Barron

During a December 2nd, 2020  interview, former President Barack Obama again attempted to persuade young activists calling to “defund the police” to drop their cause, calling it a “snappy slogan,” and that activists ” lost a big audience” the moment they presented their demand with clear anti-police language. Obama’s remarks are another indication that he and the DNC are more interested in appeasing US based fascists, than moving even slightly to the left. The remarks are also part and parcel of Obama’s ongoing media campaign to minimize the damage done during his presidency as he continues to embark on a book tour for his memoirs “A Promised Land”, a seemingly innocuous endeavour that doubled as cover for the former president to rehab the US’ global image, while revising his own legacy.

Using the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, a former Civil War hospital, with a giant painting of Abraham Lincoln as backdrop for his theater stage, Obama spoke of America as a “work in progress,” while the nation’s capital was flooded by the fascist supporters of US president Donald Trump. In this moment America is showing its true face; revealing a collapsing political project built upon the shakey foundations of genocide, slavery, the myth of its own exceptionalism, and the lineage of resistance to it — aired like dirty laundry on TV for the entire world to see. Obama is only half correct when he says “Our nation is on the brink of crisis,” as the US has been in a perpetual crisis and war against its Native population and those it enslaved to build this 538-year-old settler colony turned nationstate. 

In politics, one learns how to absorb impending blows. Obama shows masterful skill as he ducks and dodges choreographed hits from a fictitious “impartial journalist” — Scott Pelley of CBS’ 60 Minutes – he claims he was “heartened by the galvanizing effect” on the US population that came out and “marched” against police racism and state-sanctioned murder of Black people. But these were not “marches,” these were rebellions in which thousands upon thousands of Black, Brown, Indigenous youths alongside their white radical counterparts fought the police in the streets — together. They nearly stormed the White House itself even as the state, desperate to contain this anti-state and anti-police rupture, unleashed nearly every tool in its arsenal against them. These are moments of historical reckoning in the current US’ self-identity crisis, realized, and actualized by Black and Indigenous youths across these stolen Native lands.

American///Nationalism is its Own Race (by Dominique Barron & Mohammed Harun Arsalai)

In his 60 Minutes interview Obama, perhaps unwittingly but accurately spoke to the constantly shifting and adapting nature of the US nationstate project, again described America as “a work in progress,” not yet “a perfect union,” but something he aimed to make “a more perfect union.” In doing so, Obama revealed his own complicity as not a rebel outsider stuck among white supremacists, but a pacifying bridge between white supremacist president in times of uncertainty and Black rebellion/racial strife.

Since 9/11 and the beginning of the War on Terror, the US has expanded its list of enemies of the state to include non-Black Muslims, incorporating them into its long running war against Black and Indigenous rebels for their resistance (active or passive) largely due to their core belief systems. The war against Islam and Muslims did not start on 9/11, it started at the same period Europeans made their way to Turtle Island, bringing diseases and their newly envisioned violent ideology of white Christian supremacy — this is how Black Moses or Brown Jesus became white Europeans, a perversion then forced upon the colonized. Genocide and slavery followed, only “re-forming” itself continuously to fit the new settler generation’s palate. These same battles continue to play themself out generation after generation inside the American plantation colony. Obama played an instrumental role in updating this old aging system — using identity as his secret weapon.

After the 9/11 attacks, American democracy once again showed its true nature as the distinctions between Democrat and Republican faded almost entirely and in a haze of bloodlust as the entire ruling class rushed to be loudest proponents for war, showing just how similar these two parties actually were. The continuity in the American political project that Obama dry-snitches about in his interview as he admits the presidency is like a relay race in which one “passes the torch”, president to president. The problem, of course, is that the torch was also carried by the Klan to burn down Black homes/churches and by their settler ancestors when they raided Native villages and encampments. That torch still represents anti-Blackness, white supremacy, and racial capitalism, passed down from president to president; George Washington to George W., Obama to Trump and now to Biden.

Bush: The War on Terror (by Mohammed Harun Arsalai)

In the lead up to the 9/11 attacks, two scandals were brewing in American politics, one on Wall Street and a lesser-known one at the UN, where a commission on COINTELPRO provided firm evidence of the US government’s war on dissidents. On a August 1, 2020 program/discussion on COINTELPRO between political organizers, researchers, and scholars, Tanzeen Doha and Hannibal Shakur of Milestones Journal spoke with respected elder, radical activist, and author Professor Ward Churchill. In the program, Churchill explains the details of the US government’s war against US-based dissidents throughout the 1900’s, culminating in a war against Black and Indigenous radicals in the 1960s/1970s. Churchill was one of those who presented evidence to a commission on US government abuses, including murders, violations of free speech as well as evidence of over 10,000 home break-ins by the FBI among other US government agencies. As America was finally about to receive the truth of what had been taking place, the 9/11 attacks and the rush to war silenced, then buried the commission’s inquiry.

In the days that followed the attacks, the US project, then led by George W., launched “Operation Enduring Freedom,” the war on Afghanistan/the global War on Terror on October 7th — the same day America celebrates “Columbus Day” to signify the settlers first step into this “New World,” now used to signify America’s colonial expansion through an all out assault on the world’s politically minded Muslims. US officials scrapped federal and international laws signed at the UN (as they always do when it ties their hands), and claimed Muslims detained on the battlefield of the War on Terror were “enemy combatants,” and thus no law, treaty, or agreement among nationstates applied to independent Muslim actors or their organizations. This in effect transformed the entire planet, including the US itself, into a battlefield meaning there would be no peace for rebellious Muslims anywhere. The War on Terror was Bush’s addition to the American political project’s Counter Intelligence Program, or COINTELPRO, against Black radicals and the potential for separation — a war that began centuries before with the settlers’ wars against Indigenous resistance, slave revolts, and maroons. There is another torch, relay race, and political project happening inside the so-called Americas that runs antagonistically counter to Obama’s relay race; the political project of decolonization and liberation. 

After introducing “enemy combatants” into modern discourse, Bush was able to dodge prosecution for clear violations of international law signed at the Geneva Convention regarding the rights of detainees and prisoners of war. Muslims throughout the US and the world were subject to US-sponsored abductions, extraordinary rendition, arbitrary and indefinite detentions and torture, in some cases leading to death. Homes were raided from New York City to Jalalabad, civilians were brutalized and taken into arbitrary custody. Some simply disappeared. According to the ALCU, between November 2001 and March of 2002, then-Attorney General John Ashcroft, the Department of Justice, and the FBI detained or questioned more than 8,000 Arab or South Asian Muslim immigrants and students visiting the US. Many of those detained were deported without reason, trial, or access to legal representation — a basic fundamental right and one of the basic conditions for democratic practice — which were stripped from Muslims and other politicized and racialized subjects. It was the largest roundup since WWII, when the US placed between an estimated 110,000 to 120,000 Japanese people into internment camps. In the raids post 9/11, practically all political Islamic, Islamist, or Muslim participation in the coming weeks, months, and years of an “antiwar movement” were disrupted. This allowed for rampant Islamophobia and ineffective front groups and organizations to control the direction of the antiwar movement, while those the War on Terror was waged upon were sidelined. The antiwar movement collapsed with the election of Obama , proving it was never antiwar, but merely anti-Republican – therefore still pro-state/pro-war.                                                                                    

Although there was less focus on the American police during the Bush era, police began to use disposable cameras at antiwar demonstrations under the cloak of “national security,” laws so vague a stuffed backpack was enough to catch the Department of Homeland Security’s eye. High tech surveillance equipment and cities covered in CCTV, all monitored in real time from ‘fusion centres,’ quickly followed to aid domestic intelligence sharing. With an approximately 50 billion dollar-a-year budget, the DHS was focused internally and with very few or no “Islamic terrorists” to capture, the agency began inventing threats, entrapping Muslim youth or chasing down and hunting left radicals, in many cases “intervening” under the guise of Countering Violent Extremism programs that included druggings and torture— with a specific focus on the synthesis of “left” and “Muslim” radicals emerging from militant struggles that broke out against police after the election of Obama and the collapse of the anti-war movement. Ultimately Islamists and Black separatists/militants in general continue to be the number one enemy, as defined by the US government itself. Similar to the drones that were tested in Afghanistan starting in 2001 just to come “home” to surveil every US suburb, town, and city alike — much of the equipment and surveillance tactics we now see inside the US itself come from overseas counter-insurgency programs and wars. In a very short period between the Bush and Obama administrations, high tech weaponry and anti-riot equipment were put in the hands of nearly every police department in the country. In this time, it has become unusual to not see MRAP tanks patrolling the streets during protests and riots.

Obama Years: Hope and Change in the Era of Riots (by Mohammed Harun Arsalai)

It is true when Obama claims in his interview that he had no choice over “inherited policies from George W. Bush,” but that doesn’t explain why the former president glady accepted his predecessor’s civil liberties violations against the US population or why Obama did not deviate in the slightest in the US’ War on Terror against the world’s Muslim population. Nor does it explain why Obama himself unleashed a wave of repression against US-based protestors that he is now praising for having marched against police murders of Black people. Nor does that explain how Guantanamo is still open. Obama used every tool left to him by Bush, from NSA wiretaps to reckless droning. It is estimated that Obama conducted at least 542 drone strikes that  killed an estimated 3,797 people, including 324 civilians.” As he reportedly told senior aides in 2011: “Turns out I’m really good at killing people. Didn’t know that was gonna be a strong suit of mine.” Obama’s expansion of the War on Terror into Africa, coupled with his calls on African leaders that they “can’t blame all their problems on colonialism,” shows insensitivity at best, a violent arrogance at worst.

As the country celebrated in the streets upon the election of America’s first Black president, Black, Brown and Indigenous radicals were cautioning against the coming days’ theatrics as the US once again attempted to shed its skin like a snake, as it does every 4–8 years with election-fever-theater, this time with a Black man to absolve America of its heinous crimes and sins against Black/Indigenous people at home and all Muslims globally. In an instant, a hostile and violent white supremacist problem had been pawned off on a Black man.

Just a few short weeks before Obama was set to take office and magically usher in a new “post-racial” era of hope and change, 22-year-old Oscar Grant, a young Black man from Hayward, California, was gunned down while handcuffed at Fruitvale BART station in East Oakland on New Years Eve, with 100s of onlookers filming with their then-newly-accessible cellphone cameras. Again, in an instant — a white supremacist problem had been shifted to a Black man.

The moment Obama faced national resistance he unleashed a wave of unprecedented repression upon those involved in the early stages of today’s anti-police, largely Black rebellion, starting with what locals and US-based radicals call the “Oscar Grant Rebellions” in Oakland, California. These rebellions spilled into years of anti-police uprisings, the UC student strikes, and then into Occupy Oakland — where the state flooded the community with agents while engaging in extreme surveillance and psychological operations against the city’s radicals under cover of national security, Countering Violent Extremism, Black Identity Extremism, and other programs concocted with lies and bad intel under Obama or continued from the Bush era unabated in the days following 9/11/2001 until today. Although court documents do exist with names of federal officers, operatives, state’s witnesses, among which are military contractors with ties to local, state, and federal authorities as well as within the military intelligence community, and although BlueLeaks does offer a glimpse into the insidious nature of US policing, much remains unknown as the US government refuses to release documentation under guise of “national security.” These intrusions into the lives of activists across the US happened at the same time Obama was helping Arab dictators squash rebellions with endless supplies of teargas in the 2011 global uprisings; he simultaneously coordinated the takedown of every protest encampment in every major city in the country. 

Author of forthcoming book “Waves”, which seeks to examine the past decade of political ruptures and rebellions, Black radical theorist/essayist Bobby London writes in 2018, “There were intense and active rebellions across the world. And although we were not all on the same wave, we were inspired by each other and that made us a danger. We were unaware that we had been set up like a row of dominoes, falling one by one after another. Because as we taught each other how to resist, the states we were fighting also learned from each other and coordinated our repression”  which accurately summarizes the events that have unfolded, a pattern that continues today.

While these events were unfolding on the ground, mountains of video evidence of police abuses were flooding American timelines — YouTube was forced to wipe videos of police violence, as well as videos unflattering to the nation’s police forces in attempt to simmer anti-police hostilities among the nation’s youth. Videos of police misconduct, brutality, murder, or even footage of police officers falling off their motorcycles vanished from public record – in coordination and collusion with corporations. However, in quick succession a series of grotesque police murders enraged an already bursting-at-the-seams generation of young radicals. When asked by Pelley if he’d watched the video of Derek Chauvin killing George Floyd in May of this year, Obama responded saying “very rarely do you see it so viscerally,” a comment that is extremely disrespectful to the families of Oscar Grant, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Sandra Bland, Freddie Gray, Walter Scott, Philando Castile, Tamir Rice, and Akai Gurley, all of whose lynchings happened under his presidency – all of whom never received justice while Obama assured “change” would come if we all remained calm. But what remains abundantly clear is that riots and rebellions garner results far quicker than “working within the system”.

CONTINUATION OF VIOLENCE // INCOMING BIDEN ADMINISTRATION (by Dominique Barron)

With Biden as the projected winner of the election, there’s been predictable reports regarding his transition team. This includes Cecilia Muñoz, former immigration advisor to Obama who defended family separations and Obama’s cruel immigration policies; Rahm Emanuel, former White House Chief of Staff under Obama and former Mayor of Chicago who covered up the Chicago Police Department’s 2014 murder of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald for over a year; Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.) who has received numerous donations from oil and gas companies, despite Biden’s campaign promises to support climate action, which many see as a betrayal by Biden. There is also speculation that Hillary Clinton, former Secretary of State in Obama’s administration, is a potential candidate to become the next US ambassador to the UN. Numerous people have praised Joe Biden and Kamala Harris for the number of people of color and white women on their transition team and whose names have been raised as potential prospects for their administration. But it’s important to not get caught up in this current wave of celebrating liberal identity representational politics, or how such politics simultaneously mask and usher in neoliberal fascism. Different from the growing type of fascism we’ve witnessed under Trump’s administration, but fascism none-the-less.

We’ve already seen people ignoring Obama’s record as they beg for a “return to normal,” a process that has also meant the rehabilitation of George W. Bush, who until Trump, was thought of as the most evil and idiotic president in US history. Now, with Kamala Harris as the first Black and Indian woman vice president, this sentiment is becoming even more exaggerated. However, Harris’ track record in office as first San Francisco District Attorney then as California Attorney General paints another picture. For Black families, especiallly for Black trans people and cis women, Harris’ victory is nothing to praise. She has criminalized parents as part of her anti-truancy program, denied life-saving medical care to a trans woman held captive in a men’s prison, and attacked sex workers’ in her opposition to the Backpage platform. The Bay Area can not be so quick to forget that while Harris had power as DA in San Francisco, or AG of the entire state of California, she had decision making powers that brutally put down a hundred righteous uprisings and prosecuted countless rebels. Harris is a master at the shadowy arts of state repression. Just like with Obama in the run up to the 2008 election, the Democratic Party has relied on Kamala Harris’ identities to garner support in the election only to immediately throw Black/Indigenous/Latinx people — the very people who got them elected — under the bus. We already know that Trump and the GOP don’t care about us, but we must remember that neither do Obama, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, or the Democratic Party – which gave birth to the Klan. 

In his conversation with Scott Pelley, Obama said that in order to “overcome” Trump’s impact, “we have to work at a local level…at that level, I don’t think people have that kind of visceral hatred…” But look at the evidence at the local level: Daniel Cameron, the Black Republican Kentucky Attorney General who oversaw the case after Louisville police shot and killed 26-year-old Breonna Taylor in her home, only presented the jury with first-degree wanton endangerment charges — for the (white) people in a neighboring apartment — no charges for killing Taylor. Keisha Lance Bottom, the Black Democrat Mayor of Atlanta, is being considered as a potential candidate for the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development position within the Biden/Harris administration. Just this June, Rayshard Brooks was killed by the Atlanta Police Department while asleep in his car in a Wendy’s drive-thru – which was later burned to the ground as a righteous response. Atlanta-based activists have also made it clear that, in addition to repressing the uprisings that resulted against Brooks’ murder, Bottom has aided and abetted the horrific housing crisis in the city during her time in office. The pattern of the American political project should be obvious for anyone paying the slightest attention.

Right Wing DNC (by Dominique Barron & Mohammed Harun Arsalai)

In recent years, the Democractic Party, including its past two front runners Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, have presented anti-immigrant, anti-open borders talking points, selling racism as a nuanced progressive position. They introduced these talking points in the very same week — indicating obvious coordination. This signified the Democratic Party’s choice to move towards the far right before even humoring the left, forget about the far left. Instead, the Party continues to grovel itself in an attempt to win over Republican voters, with Sanders even making the claim that “open borders would bring poverty,” echoing the racist, xenophobic myth of the so-called lazy immigrant milking the government for resources, while also somehow at the same time stealing white people’s jobs.In our current revolutionary moment, the DNC has gone far out of their way to stifle progress and introduce reactionary legislation. The spectacle still continues — with recent reports of top Democratic officials blaming “Black Lives Matter” and “defund the police” campaigns for their losses at the state level, despite winning the presidency with unprecedented turnout numbers. Yet again, another affront to the Black/Indigenous/Latinx voters who won them the election. The Democratic Party continues to throw people of color under the bus. Under Obama’s tenure, over 3 million people were deported, surpassing George W. by nearly 1 million.  

The havoc that Trump has wreaked since taking office in 2017 was made possible by the cultural and political infrastructures ushered in by Obama and the Democratic Party. Their refusal to oppose the GOP while violently suppressing any resistance waged by radicals, a welcoming doorway for a full-blown 21st Century fascist takeover of the country. Trump and the GOP, in response to this year’s Black/Indigenous rebellions, escalated this “cold civil war” (shoutout to Hortense Spillers), aided by Obama and the Democratic Party, with their continuously equating any resistance to fascism (all of which they’re grouping under “antifa”) to fascism itself. Obama and the Democratic Party enabled the far right, while Trump emboldened it. The state took both its mask and gloves off in ways that have not been seen inside the US since the 1960s. 

The War on Terror started in 1492 (by Dominique Barron & Mohammed Harun Arsalai)

From George Washington, to George W., Obama to Trump into Biden, there is a straight line of state fascism and repression. It is no wonder why the American project used October 7th, so-called “Columbus Day weekend” celebrated by settlers and the settler state to launch the War on Terror that started with the invasion of Afghanistan. It is the original date of the settlers arrival in this new world that culminates in an ongoing dialogue between the oppressed and oppressor – colonizer vs colonized – two diametrically opposed forces whose contact with one another is written in history with ink of blood. The state has made these connections, making it imperative for resistance to the state to understand these connections as well. 

The American project was built on genocide, slavery, and the myth of a white supremacy. People have been struggling against this project since 1492 in the Americas, but even prior in modern-day Africa and Asia. Though the state is constantly shifting and molding itself to maintain its power, the patterns are clear and we can see right through its facade. We will not fall for the ruse of liberal representation-based identity politics, which promotes and celebrates marginalized communities being in key positions of power to dominate and oppress. We must resist the temptation to see this type of representation as “progress.” Just because Trump has technically been voted out of office does not mean we should become complacent in our critiques and struggles against the state. “America” only works through the illusion of a cohesive, organized nation stretching from the Pacific to Atlantic Oceans – simply too big to take down all at once. A decolonial approach to this problem is to fall back into regions/territories once autonomously governed by its original Indigenous population – those we seek to work alongside if we are not already of those communities ourselves – by working within their already existing frameworks, bringing our skills to share, not to enforce – toward correcting historical injustices. By falling back into Indigenous territories rather than the settlers city and state structures,our networks, tribes and various organizations may be able to respond and organize more accurately among regional resistances, capable of our own decolonial revolutions within the respective Indigenous territories instead of attempting to take down the American project all at once – a materialization of those rhetorical land acknowledgments made over and over by non Indigenous “community organizers” on stolen Native lands. By drawing clear lines “inside” or “outside” is known, there will be no “outside agitation” unless invited through agreements between the Indigenous territories – the answers were *always* already here: blood, guts and mfkn landback. Although it is up to the next generations to work out a post-decolonial-revolutionary society, this approach will bring us closer to the ultimate point of political rupture –  together: the one in which white supremacy, capitalism and the nation-state phenomenon collapses, or is destroyed by our hands.

Skills for Revolutionary Survival 7: Tertiary Firearms

By Eepa

The acquisition of arms is as old a revolutionary story as revolution itself. From Tupac Amaru to the Zapatistas, arms have been vital material components for liberation. American revolutionaries are uniquely positioned in the world to have access to affordable, quality, modern firearms for defense & action. The market for firearms in the US is so saturated with options, it can be intimidating to first time buyers to find the tool that will fit their needs.

This article will discuss your options for tertiary firearms, i.e. firearms that might be considered for purchase after acquisition of primary and secondary firearms (see the previous articles in this series). Primary firearms are largely for use against aggressive people in defensive/combat situations. Primary firearms are versatile defensive/offensive arms, while secondary firearms are used for hunting and training. The tertiary firearms we will be discussing today can be divided into two groups; defensive handguns and precision rifles. We will examine each of these firearms systems and discuss the accompanying kit you will need to get these into action.

Lets again start with some definitions:

Precision Rifle: Any rifle designed for accurate/precise fire at range. The range in question will depend on the cartridge of the rifle and the skill of the shooter.

Bipod: A device consisting of two legs used to support the front of a rifle when resting on the ground or surface of a shooting position.

Pistol: A semi-automatic handgun that fires one shot per trigger pull, feeding cartridges from a magazine.

Revolver: A handgun with a cylinder containing 5-12 cartridges. These can be single action, meaning they have to be cocked after each shot, or double action, meaning they can be fired by pulling the trigger after each shot.

RMR: A Rear Mounted Red-dot, a red dot optic that is small enough and durable enough to be mounted on the back of a pistol slide that has been milled to accept this type of optic.

Scope: An optic designed to provide magnification of a target while shooting.

I. Handguns

Handguns can best be described as a last ditch defensive firearm. They are far harder to shoot and are far less accurate that the primary firearms we have already discussed. Their short sights, trigger pulls, and lack of stock support makes accurate fire challenging without regular practice. Practice mean hundreds of rounds a month and lots of dryfire exercises. What they are designed for is close encounters at ranges of ten yards and less. Any further (as cops in NYC have regularly demonstrated) you run severe risk of errant bullets hitting innocent people. These truly are for the following limited circumstances:

  • When carry of a rifle/carbine would draw too much attention.
  • When concealment is the number one concern.
  • When as a backup to a primary or secondary firearm.
  • When in extremely tight areas that limit freedom of movement.

Handgun brands/models number in the thousands. This can make selecting a firearm difficult. We will not be making an exhaustive list of firearm models, but will recommend used types to look for. Remember, these are not something you are going to be using a lot, so it is better to get something used here than skimp on your primary firearm. If you already have a pistol, stick with it and get good with it.

Semi-Auto Pistols

If looking for something used or new, look for something in the universal cartridge, 9mm (9x19mm Parabellum/9mm NATO/9mm Luger). Don’t get into caliber debates with salesman, don’t get sucked into debates about ‘stopping power,’ 9mm is commonly available, modern hollow-points are extremely effective, and recoil is manageable for most everyone.

New: Glock 19 or Glock 17 – Excellent well proven firearm with wide availability of parts and magazines. The Sig Sauer M17 is quickly gaining this reputation as well.

Self Made: Polymer 80 or Glock type 3D Print – No transfer through FFL and easy to build!

Used: Glocks, S&W M&Ps, Springfield XDs, Sig Saur’s, Canik, CZ semi-autos, Beretta 92s, HK USPs, Tanfoglio CZ clone, Browning High Power, Steyr M9, Rock Island 9mm 1911’s

Ultra Budget: Hi-Point 9mm & Hi-Point YEET CANNON G1. Bulky but reliable and all for around $100-$150.

Revolvers

Despite popular rumors, revolvers are not good options for new shooters or shooters with weak hands. They are good for those in states that limit magazine capacity or for those who may need to defend themselves against aggressive animals with a more powerful cartridge, such as 45 Colt, 44 Magnum, 357 Magnum. Any revolver by Ruger or Smith & Wesson will meet the quality standards for these types of guns though they are expensive unless found used. The cheapest new guns are the Rock Island .38 Specials, which are good, just rough. 357 Magnum is probably the most versatile cartridge in revolvers, shooting both the excellent defensive 357 Magnum and the much lighter-recoiling .38 Special, perfect for cheap practice.

Pocket Handguns

Pocket handguns offer deep concealment fitting in most men’s jean pockets (women’s pants notoriously have tiny pockets, but your local alterations shop can help get proper sized utilitarian pockets sewn into your favorite pants). Pocket pistols are typically chambered in .32 Auto (Walter PPK, CZ-70, FÉG PA-63), .380 ACP (See Ruger LCP, S&W Bodyguard, Glock 42) & some in 9mm (Glock 43). Revolvers are typically in .38 Special (Smith & Wesson J-Frames, Ruger SP101 & LCR). Revolvers can be purchased with shrouded hammers, allowing them to be fire ‘from the hip’ while concealed in a windbreaker pocket, a dangerous use, but one that would allow you to react covertly to someone who already has drawn their weapon on you.

Armor Defeating Handguns

Handguns can defeat soft body armor with the correct caliber choice. The cheapest option would be any pistol chambered in 7.62×25 Tokarev. Variants of the Tokarev TT-33 pistol are available for around $150-$350. Make sure to get surplus ammo that is full metal jacket (FMJ). Modern ammunition is loaded to slower speeds and won’t perform as well. Be sure to do your research and avoid ammunition reported to have hard primers.

FN 5.7×28mm is a high capacity modern alternative for this role. Ruger recently released a more affordable option than FN’s expensive pistol. Ruger’s pistol costs $575-$800. Make sure to get SS198LF or preferably SS190 for the penetration performance. All other rounds are down-loaded and designed not to penetrate vests.

Handgun Accessories

Holsters:

Handguns require a holster for safe carry. A good holster will cover the trigger fully. Holsters come in three main varieties: pocket, inside the waistband (IWB), and outside of the waistband (OWB). Concealment holsters will usually use tension to hold the firearm in place. Make sure your holster has adjustable tension for these types of holsters. An easy way to test to see if your holster has enough tension: you should be able to hold the holster upside down without the handgun falling out.

OWB holsters that are non-concealment MUST have active retention. Active retention requires the activation of a switch in order to draw the pistol. Why is this important? It prevents anyone other than you from pulling your gun. Someone can’t grab your gun in a fight or disarm you when you are not paying attention. The Blackhawk! Omnivore is a great option, capable of taking almost any firearm with a Picatinny light rail!

One final note on retention holsters: DO NOT BUY A SERPA style holster or any holster where the release button is close to the trigger. That is dangerous and can lead to accidental discharges/injury. Thumb release holsters are the way to go.

Don’t be this guy! Don’t buy a SERPA holster!

Magazines and Speed Loaders:

Only buy duty magazines (the magazines you will carry with you in a defensive situation) from the manufacturer of the firearm. After-market magazines are fine for practice, but should not be used in defensive situations.

Speedloaders and Moon Clips are useful, but you need to practice with them often.

Optics:

If you can buy a pistol or revolver that has the ability to mount an RMR, do it. These significantly increase the speed and precision of your shooting, especially on follow-up shots. Practice with them regularly. Good RMR’s will last with the same battery for months, even years. We recommend Trijicon RMR, Aimpoint ACRO, Leupold DeltaPoint Pro Reflex Sight, Holosun 507c (which has an integrated solar panel!). The best optic for the money right now is the Holosun HE509T-RD, which featurs a fully enclosed emitter, solar panel, and titanium constrcution and versatile mounting otions. Other RMRs are known to fail or have very short battery life, so skip them. Make sure you get a holster that will accommodate an RMR on your handgun. Small craftspeople will often custom make holsters for you and you won’t have to give your money to Safariland, that maker of anti-protestor munitions.

II. Precision Rifles

Precision rifles are designed to do one thing, put bullets predictably in the same spot with consistency. There are a number of ways to do this and a number of factors that go into deciding what rifle will best fit a foreseen role. These factors include expected ranges, weight of the rifle, and target abundance (need for rapid follow-up shots). We will examine two types of common rifle, the semi-automatic designated marksperson rifle (DMR) and the precision bolt action sniper rifle.

i. Designated Marksperson Rifle (DMR)

DMR’s are designed to provide accurate fire at range in a squad formation. This means an individual who has the training and experience to engage targets at unknown ranges with accurate fire. This can be for the purpose of suppression (keeping their heads down while other elements advance) or for target neutralization (taking out enemy snipers, commanders, and equipment). This is done on the move, often with limited preparation. Designated markspersons should be able to rapidly choose shooting positions that provide cover and overwatch. They need to take rapid shots, often at moving targets. This requires a semi-automatic rifle.

When ranges are expected to be 600yds or less, an AR-15 with an 18-20inch heavy barrel, free floated handguard, 1-7 barrel twist, and 75-77grain .223 Rem or 5.56 NATO ammunition will work well. This allows you to use other squad mate’s ammo in a pinch, and has the same parts interchangeability. This is the cheapest DMR rifle to build or buy. Some options include the following:

When ranges are expected to be 600-1200 yards, an AR-10/SR-25 type rifle will work well. Be sure to look for a rifle in 6.5 Creedmoor, 18-20inch barrel with 1-8 twist, with a free floated heavy barrel, and using 140-147grain match ammunition. The Robinson XCR-L in this caliber is also a good option. Recoil for this caliber is low, bullet drop is minimal, and it is more forgiving at range. USSOCOM (U.S. Special Operations Command) found that, as compared to .308/7.62x51NATO (specifically M118LR, the military’s best long-range .308 load), 6.5 Creedmoor doubles their snipers’ hit probability at 1,000 meters, increases effective range by at least a third, increases energy on target by 50%, and reducing the effect of wind by 40%, all with at least 30% less recoil. These are professionals, so anything we can do to increase our hit probability is very desirable. Luckily ammo costs are comparable with match .308 Winchester ammo. These rifles are expensive, hence why only one person in a squad needs to have one. Some options include the following:

  • LMT MWS
  • Aero Precision M5
  • Savage MSR10
  • Seekins SP10
  • JP LRP-07
  • LWRC REPR MKII

DMR Optics:

Optics for DMR’s should provide the shooter with speedy ranging and a reticle that provides ballistic drop aiming points. The best of these reticles are the ACSS optics offered through Primary Arms. These reticles allow for the rapid determination of range based on a standing person, marks for bullet drop from 100 yards to up to 1000 yards, and marks for wind speed and a running target. Many DMR platforms use fixed power optics such as the 6x Trijicon or the 5x Primary Arms, though variable optics in the 1-6x, 1-8x, and 1-10x are also available for this role.

DMR Bipods

Bipods provide rapid rifle support in mixed positions. The best bipods for rapid deployment are Harris bipods. Make sure you get the ones that come with the pan and tilt function. Removable mounts for these, such as quick detatch mounts for picatinny rails, allows the rifleperson to remove the bipod, making the rifle lighter for long periods of carry.

ii. Precision Bolt-Action Rifles

Precision bolt action rifles are designed for slow, deliberate fire, from deep concealment. These riflepersons, better known as snipers, require precision first, then choose caliber based on the range of expected targets and level of protection expected on the target. These rifles are typically bolt-action, have long barrels which enables full velocity of a cartridge by allowing more time for the powder to burn, and a heavy barrel weight to help reduce barrel deviation from repeated fire.

Typical modern hunting rifles with lighter barrels are capable of incredible accuracy (sub-MOA; less than an inch at 100 yards), but only for a few repeated shots. As the barrel heats up, it will start to deviate, meaning your fire will become less precise with each additional shot taken. They also will typically have shorter, handier barrels, that make stalking deer in the woods easier, but limit performance at extreme ranges. Important note here, longer barrels do not make a barrel more accurate. Short barrels can be more accurate, but sacrifice velocity. Velocity is important for maintaining precision at extreme ranges by reducing the effect of wind on the bullet, and for retaining the enery needed to drop a target.. Hunting rifles will often require a stronger trigger pul, a safety that is included for the stalking hunter. Precision rifles often will have tuned or adjustable triggers allowing for very light trigger pull. A good rule of thumb is not to go below 3.5lbs unless you are very experienced.

We will examine three classes of rifle: rimfire, medium caliber, and large magnum caliber.

a. Rimfire Precision Rifles

Precision bolt action rifles in rimfire calibers such as 22LR and 22WMR might surprise you, but they have seen effective use in several guerilla campaigns where the number one priority of the sniper was concealment, both from the quiet report of the rimfire ammunition and from the concealability of the rifle (see the book Fry The Brain: The Art of Urban Sniping and Its Role in Modern Guerrilla Warfare by John West). When looking for a rimfire precision rifle look for a bull barrel, a good trigger, a threaded barrel (for suppression), and if possible, the ability to take down the rifle into a smaller size. Even a semi-auto rifle such as a Ruger 10/22, with the right features, will fill this role very well. The maximum range on these rifles in this role is ~100 yards. Rimfire scopes can be much cheaper and smaller as well, but versions with an ACSS reticle tuned for rimfire will aid immensely in aiming, even for less experienced markspersons. If long-range shooting is an interest you want to pursue, this is a good way to develop your fundamentals; wind, elevation, target movement.

b. Medium Caliber Precision Rifles

The medium caliber precision rifle is designed for engagements out to 1200 yards. The two recommended cartridges for this rifle would be the 6.5 Creedmoor for low recoil and lower weight of rifle and ammo, and .300 Winchester Magnum for retained energy at range. The rifle choices will be similar for both of these cartridges and cartridge choice between these two will be the biggest deciding factor. Both cartridges are ballistically comparable with the 300 Win Mag outperforming the 6.5 Creedmoor slightly in every respect with exception of one factor: energy. At 1000 yards the 6.5 Creedmoor retains ~890ft/lbs of energy, while the 300 Win Mag retains nearly double at 1560 ft/lbs. Is this worth the additional weight and recoil? That is up to you. Over 1000 yards, 300 Win Mag is the clear winner.

Don’t go buying specialized cartridges. There’s a tendency in the firearms industry to invent hot new cartridges, all to dupe people into buying new rifles. Right now, there is a train of new cartridges like 6.5 PRC, 300 PRC, 28 Nosler, 224 Valkyrie promising to be the next new hot cartridge. Remember, there is a vast graveyard of rifles that have a hard time finding ammunition for their now abandoned fad calibers. 300 PRC looks positioned to stay but is that a bet you are willing to take (it’s your decision, not mine). It is recommended to stick with cartridges that have broad support, meaning rifles and ammunition options from a large number of companies over a period of more than five years. 6.5 Creedmoor and 300 Win Mag are here to stay.

When looking at rifles to buy there are three options you may run across; older rifles in glass bedded wood stocks, rifles in precision polymer/fiberglass stocks with built-in rigidity, and chassis rifles. Avoid the first, go with the second or third based on your needs. Chassis rifles can be very lightweight and offer a great deal of flexibility with regard to mounting night vision and thermal sights. If you don’t need that, rigid stock options will serve you well for less money. Here are the top recommendations for budget options in both formats:

Precision Stock Rifles:

Bergara HMR – Available in 6.5 Creedmoor and 300 Win Mag along with other calibers. Costs ~$950 USD. Left hand versions are available. Adjustable stock and threaded barrel.

Bergara HMR B14

Ruger Hawkeye Long Range Target – Available in 6.5 Creedmoor and 300 Win Mag along with other calibers. Costs ~$1150 USD. Mauser controlled feed action. Adjustable stock and free-floated, threaded barrel. Comes with muzzle brake.

Ruger Hawkeye Long Range Target

Savage 110 Tactical Desert – Available in 6.5 Creedmoor and 300 Win Mag along with other calibers. Costs ~$650 USD. Left-hand versions are available. Free floated, threaded barrel.

Savage 110 Tactical Desert

Tikka T3x Tactical – Available in 6.5 Creedmoor and 300 Win Mag along with other calibers. Costs ~$1700 USD. Left-hand versions are available. Adjustable stock and threaded barrel available.

Chassis Rifles:

Ruger Precision Rifle – Available in 6.5 Creedmoor for $1300. (Skip the 300 Win Mag, it is too heavy/expensive for its size over 20lbs loaded and ~$1700). Adjustable stock, free-floated barrel with long handguard, uses multiple kinds of magazines, including Magpul 308 AR / SR-25 magazines.

Ruger Precision Rifle

Savage AXIS II Precision – Available in 6.5 Creedmoor for $790. Adjustable stock, free-floated barrel with Mlok handguard, threaded barrel.

Savage AXIS II Precision

Savage 110 Precision & 110 Elite Precision – Available in 6.5 Creedmoor, 300 Win Mag, & 338 Lapua for $1200-$1700. Adjustable stock, free-floated barrel with Mlok handguard, threaded barrel. Available in all calibers in a left-hand configuration.

Savage 110 Elite Precision

Tikka T3x TAC A1 Available in 6.5 Creedmoor ~$1700. Adjustable stock, free-floated, threaded barrel, muzzle brake, Mlok handguard, threaded barrel. Available in all calibers in a left-hand configuration.

Tikka T3x TAC A1

c. Large Magnum Precision Rifles:

Large magnum rifles are designed to reach out far. How far? Some consider the maximum range of the popular 338 Lapua Magnum to be around 1800 yards. The more specialized 375 CheyTac extends that range to 2400 yards. These are highly specialized rifles requiring a large amount of skill and training to use at these ranges. You should not consider the purchase of one of these rifles unless you can A) already hit consistently at 1200 yards with a medium caliber precision rifle or B) are committed to practice with a medium caliber precision rifle and are just buying this while they are still available over the counter. Ammunition is expensive, so you should be prepared to buy enough in whatever caliber you choose to allow for practice, sighting in, and deployment. Calibers in this class include 338 Lapua, .338 Norma Magnum, .338 Remington Ultra Magnum, .338-378 Weatherby Magnum, 375 CheyTac, .408 CheyTac, 416 Barrett, and 50 BMG. At this level of shooting, you can do your own research to choose your cartridge if deciding for something other than 338 Lapua.

Here are some options, from least expensive to most:

Savage 110 Precision & 110 Elite Precision – Available in 338 Lapua for $1300-$1700. Adjustable stock, free-floated barrel with Mlok handguard, threaded barrel. Available in all calibers in a left-hand configuration. Really one of the best choices for this caliber under $2000

Barrett MRAD – Probably one of the most flexible platforms on the market, this rifle allows for you to switch between 6.5 Creedmoor, 300 Win Mag, and 338 Lapua easily on the same platform. This makes practice cheaper and allows for mission flexibility. It also stores very compact. It is pretty spendy though at ~$6000.

Barrett MRAD

Cadex CDX-40 Shadow – Available in 375 & 408 CheyTac for ~$7000. Adjustable stock, free-floated barrel with Mlok handguard, threaded barrel.

Precision Rifle Optics

Optics for bolt guns should provide adequate magnification, the reticle should allow for ranging and holdovers, it should have adjustable turrets, and it should be durable enough to handle recoil. Reticles like the typical ACSS become irrelevant, as precision fire requires the calculation of a fire solution and adjustment of scope with turrets. Reticles here should still have MIL markings to help with ranging and to help with holdovers given by your spotter.

Here are some recommended scopes to consider in this class of optic:

  • Primary Arms PLx 6-30x56mm – ACSS Athena BPR MIL $1500
  • Nightforce ATACR 7-35×56 & ATACR 5-25×56 $3500
  • Vortex Razor HD Gen II 4.5-27×56 & 3-18×50 $2500
  • Kahles K525i 5-25×56 $3,300
  • Schmidt & Bender PMII 5-25×56 $3,200
  • Bushnell Elite Tactical XRSII 4.5-30×50 $2,250
  • Burris Xtreme Tactical XTR II 4-20×50 $1,400
  • Bushnell Elite Tactical DMRII 3.5-21×50 $1,600

Another optic you will need to get is a spotting scope. Spotting scopes are for your spotter, an essential member of the precision rifle team. The spotter should be equipped with a spotting scope that performs well in low light, is durable, has very good magnification, and preferably, has the ability to employ a reticle of its own to provide even more accurate ranging.

Here are some recommended spotting scopes to consider:

  • Vortex Optics Viper HD 20x-60x $800
  • Vortex Optics Razor HD Spotting Scopes – Mil Ranging Reticle Available $1200-$1900
  • Burris Signature HD Spotting Scope 20-60x85mm $1500
  • Athlon Optics Argos HD 20-60×85 $369
  • Vortex Optics Diamondback HD 20-60 $500
  • NightForce TS-80 20-60x80mm $1600
  • Bushnell 20-60X80 Terrain $1200
  • Bushnell Legend Tactical – T-Series 15-45X60 $625 – Affordable Option with a Ranging Reticle

Here are some of the considerations that go into selecting a scope:

Here is a good breakdown on spotting scopes. Spotting scopes are excellent for observation, not just for precision rifle shooting:

As you can see, working at long ranges is an investment. It will take time to assemble both the equipment and skills needed to be useful. Rifles, Optics, and accessories can often be found for substantially less if used, demo-used, or cosmetically marred. That’s the ticket to saving a lot of money when assembling this kind of kit.

“I want to get started now in Long Range Precision Rifle shooting without fundraising a bunch of money.”

Ok, ok, I hear you. Lets assemble a bargain basement kit to get you started in long range precision rifle shooting.

First we will need a rifle. Currently, the most affordable accurate rifle we can settle for is Ruger American Rifle Hunter (Model 26998). At a price of $630, it comes with a receiver mounted rail to mount your scope, a muzzle break, a 22″ heavy barrel, adjesustable trigger with light pull, detachable magazine, and a Magpul PRS-style stock.

For the optic, we are going to focus on the reliability of the turrets and optical quality. This means we are going to stick with a fixed power optic. For this, the well known SWFA SS 10×42 Tactical (Stock#: SS10X42MQ) is a very rugged and reliable choice for only $300. There are also 12x, 16x, 20x magnification versions of this scope for the same price, though 10x or 12x are very flexible in deployment situations like has been seen in Rojava. The SWFA SS 10×42M Tactical (Stock#: SS10X42MMQ) offers a side focusing turret, a creature comfort that allows for less movement while adjusting focus. This upgrade is $100 more.

For scope mount/rings, we will select the Leupold PRW2 30mm Rings, Medium Height (UPC 030317017835) for ~$50. Steel rings with equal mounting pressure. Be sure to apply blue thread-locker to your screws and torque the screws to the inch/lbs or ft/lbs recommended in the instructions. You can rent a torque wrench from a local hardware/automotive shop, or you can have the scope installed by a gunsmith (this will be pricier). Over torqueing can break your scope, so be careful!

Bipods are extremely useful and important tools. For our budget build, we will opt for the Caldwell 110140 Picatinny Rail Bipod 6-9 in (UPC 661120001553) for $48, paired with a Magpul M-LOK Polymer Rail with 3 Slots (UPC 873750000343) for $8, that will allow the mounting of the bipod to your rifle. This also allows you to detach the bipod and carry it in your back, taking the weight off of your arms and reducing snags on the brush.

The last things you will need are a beanbag support for the rear of your stock, a notepad, and a pencil. A beanbag will help you subtly change and hold elevation when aiming your rifle, you can get a premade or just make one yourself. A notepad and pencil will be important for taking notes, for making range and windage calculations, and for noting number or rounds fired/sight-ins/and any performance issues. We will be exploring this further in a precision shooting guide to come.

For around $1050 USD, we have a highly functional setup. By looking for used gear and sales, this could drop a bit further. This is less than many rifles listed above without any accessories.

III. Conclusion

After all of this it is important to remember that these are tertiary firearms, firearms that you should only thing about getting once your primary and secondary needs have been fulfilled. These are specialized weapons for specialized roles. They both require dedication to practice. Pistols require a lot of effort to become proficient in. Precision rifles also require effort both shooting, and more importantly, in learning ballistics and field craft. Take your time, don’t spend money that you don’t have, be patient, and don’t chase the next best thing. Pick something, get it, and master it. Capitalism will always throw shiny new ‘wonder-guns’ or ‘super scopes’ at you constantly. Don’t get distracted. Your money is better spent on more practice ammunition and marksmanship courses. Good luck in your practice!

Letter to the Crown

By BeadsAgainstFascism

My history on these lands begins long before yours does– at least 15,000 years ago. Over these fifteen millennia, our peoples have developed informed and respectful ways of sharing this land and water with each other and with our non-human relatives.  Approximately 500 years ago, after we had already spent at least 14,500 years learning, sharing, and growing with our lands, white settlers arrived in the Americas. After this defining moment, our ways of existing were altered henceforth. Thus began, at the hands of white colonizers, the genocide of approximately 90% of our populations. As this process was very intentionally enacted and carried out, another process was taking place: settler colonialism. This is an ongoing process and a form of genocide which is occurring right this very minute, one which necessitates the replacement of Indigenous ways of living, cultural and spiritual practices, our communities and very selves, with those of settler culture and society. Contemporarily, one facet of this process is evidenced in the disregard and active repudiation of Indigenous sovereignty, and in the specific case relevant to this letter, the sovereignty of the Wet’suwet’en people. 

In regards to why I participated in the non-violent blockade of the railway, I assert that the Wet’suwet’en people, who vehemently oppose all pipeline development on their land, have full and unrestricted sovereignty over all of their lands, both unceded and those covered by treaties. We also demand the settler colonial state be held accountable to uphold its own freely-made commitment to Nation-to-Nation engagement. There has been and continues to be active State militarization and mobilization on Wet’suwet’en land; there have been media blackouts and areas where journalists have been barred from entering; the settler state known as “canada” continues to force through this environmentally catastrophic project, and we refuse to accept or allow this. In the face of the aforementioned media restrictions, we also insist the canadian public has a right to know what their government is doing.

In terms of methods, we had tried a multitude of tactics to bring to public awareness the canadian government’s actions in Wet’suwet’en territory, and many methods were effective on some level. Meanwhile, canada’s human rights abuses and violation of Indigenous sovereignty never ceased for even a moment. While we as allies worked to support the Wet’suwet’en and ensure the canadian public knew what their government was doing in their name, Wet’suwet’en people were still fighting on the frontlines every day, the pipeline project was progressing every day, and militarization and policing were ever-increasing. The canadian government was (and continues to be) committing daily violence on the Wet’suwet’en people as time passes; they inflict harm and instill trauma that may be irreparable. This was not the time for holding signs in Queens Park; the lives, safety, health, and well-being of human beings and their Indigenous territories were, and are, on the line, as well as the health and safety of us all as the climate warms. We made the decision to escalate our tactics because no one going about their daily life will look– and truly see– until we make them see. We can pass out pamphlets when lives are not on the line. But when the canadian government is brutalizing Indigenous peoples daily while attempting to force through a new pipeline in the midst of a climate apocalypse, we do not have the luxury of protesting in a way that does not disrupt someone’s day. We needed to draw mass attention, and we needed it done immediately. What we did was very reasonable; some peoples’ commutes home were delayed, but for the greater good of bringing attention to egregious violations of Indigenous sovereignty, and the heinous attempted construction of a federally funded pipeline while we are already feeling the devastating effects of permanent climatic warming. Our actions received nation-wide coverage to these dire, and completely avoidable, circumstances. The public needs and deserves to know what the canadian government is doing in their name, and we helped to make them know. 

In regards to the canadian government’s treatment of the Wet’suwet’en people and their land and how it fits into the broader context of canada’s ongoing legacy of genocide and settler colonialism that continues to this day, one relevant piece of international law comes to mind. The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) is a resolution passed by the United Nations in 2007. It was adopted as international law by 144 countries. 11 countries abstained, and 4 countries voted against it. Canada is among those four. If canada had adopted UNDRIP, its actions in Wet’suwet’en territory would be in violation of the following articles of this UN resolution:

  • Article 3:

“Indigenous peoples have the right to self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.”

Indigenous right to self-determination has been thoroughly and repeatedly violated.

  • Article 4:

Indigenous peoples, in exercising their right to self-determination, have the right to autonomy or self-government in matters relating to their internal and local affairs, as well as ways and means for financing their autonomous functions.”

Wet’suwet’en right to autonomy and self-government in matters relating to internal and local affairs has been both violated and usurped. 

  • Article 5:

“Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain and strengthen their distinct political, legal, economic, social and cultural institutions, while retaining their right to participate fully, if they so choose, in the political, economic, social and cultural life of the State.”

Wet’suwet’en peoples’ right to maintain and strengthen these institutions has been violated, for example in the disregard for the unanimous ruling against the pipeline development by the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs. 

  • Article 8(2b, 2d):

“States shall provide effective mechanisms for prevention of, and redress for: 

 (b) Any action which has the aim or effect of dispossessing them of their lands, territories or resources; 

(d) Any form of forced assimilation or integration”

Intentional and irreparable harm is being committed against the Wet’suwet’en including dispossession of their lands, territories, and resources; they are also being forced into assimilation with these actions on threat of military retaliation.

  • Article 10:

“Indigenous peoples shall not be forcibly removed from their lands or territories. No relocation shall take place without the free, prior and informed consent of the indigenous peoples concerned and after agreement on just and fair compensation and, where possible, with the option of return.”

The Wet’suwet’en people are being forcibly displaced from areas of their traditional and contemporary territory by this pipeline and its construction. 

  • Article 11(2):

“States shall provide redress through effective mechanisms, which may include restitution, developed in conjunction with indigenous peoples, with respect to their cultural, intellectual, religious and spiritual property taken without their free, prior and informed consent or in violation of their laws, traditions and customs.”

Canada continues to take cultural, intellectual, religious, and spiritual property without free, prior, and informed consent and in violation of Wet’suwet’en laws, traditions, and customs, with zero effective redress. 

  • Article 18:

“Indigenous peoples have the right to participate in decision-making in matters which would affect their rights, through representatives chosen by themselves in accordance with their own procedures, as well as to maintain and develop their own indigenous decision-making institutions.”

The Wet’suwet’en peoples’ right to participate in matters that would affect their rights has been violated and disregarded, including disregard for the decisions made by the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, who are the peoples’ chosen representatives. 

  • Article 19:

“States shall consult and cooperate in good faith with the indigenous peoples concerned through their own representative institutions in order to obtain their free, prior and informed consent before adopting and implementing legislative or administrative measures that may affect them.”

Canada has consistently neglected to consult and cooperate in good faith and has totally neglected to obtain free, prior, and informed consent regarding this pipeline and almost every other relevant instance impacting Indigenous peoples. 

  • Article 23:

“Indigenous peoples have the right to determine and develop priorities and strategies for exercising their right to development. In particular, indigenous peoples have the right to be actively involved in developing and determining health, housing and other economic and social programmes affecting them and, as far as possible, to administer such programmes through their own institutions.”

The Wet’suwet’en peoples’ right to determine development has been completely violated.

  • Article 24(2):

“Indigenous individuals have an equal right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. States shall take the necessary steps with a view to achieving progressively the full realization of this right.”

The Wet’suwet’en peoples’ equal right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health has been repeatedly violated over a long period of time. Their physical health has been threatened constantly by the state and its military as it illegally occupies Wet’suwet’en land and threatens land and water defenders, including the violent arrest of a pregnant Wet’suwet’en woman. The presence of man camps during pipeline construction and operation is also a direct threat to the safety and security of Indigenous people, particularly women, girls, and two spirit people. All of these factors are also deeply detrimental to the mental health of the Wet’suwet’en people under constant threat by the state, and whose role as stewards of the land and its health is threatened by an environmentally disastrous pipeline. 

  • Article 25:

“Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain and strengthen their distinctive spiritual relationship with their traditionally owned or otherwise occupied and used lands, territories, waters and coastal seas and other resources and to uphold their responsibilities to future generations in this regard.”

Wet’suwet’en ability to maintain and strengthen their distinctive spiritual relationship with their territories is actively prevented and threatened, as well as their ability to uphold their commitments to future generations in this regard.

  • Article 26(1, 2, 3):

1. Indigenous peoples have the right to the lands, territories and resources which they have traditionally owned, occupied or otherwise used or acquired. 

2. Indigenous peoples have the right to own, use, develop and control the lands, territories and resources that they possess by reason of traditional ownership or other traditional occupation or use, as well as those which they have otherwise acquired. 

3. States shall give legal recognition and protection to these lands, territories and resources. Such recognition shall be conducted with due respect to the customs, traditions and land tenure systems of the indigenous peoples concerned.”

Wet’suwet’en right to their lands, including stewardship, control, and development, has been violated. No state protections or recognition have been provided. There has been zero respect to customs, traditions, and land tenure systems by the state. All of the above have indeed been actively disrespected and thoroughly and repeatedly violated. 

  • Article 27:

“States shall establish and implement, in conjunction with indigenous peoples concerned, a fair, independent, impartial, open and transparent process, giving due recognition to indigenous peoples’ laws, traditions, customs and land tenure systems, to recognize and adjudicate the rights of indigenous peoples pertaining to their lands, territories and resources, including those which were traditionally owned or otherwise occupied or used. Indigenous peoples shall have the right to participate in this process.”

There has been no attempt at a fair, independent, impartial, open, and transparent process, with zero effective access for Indigenous people to the process that does exist. 

  • Article 28(1, 2):

“1. Indigenous peoples have the right to redress, by means that can include restitution or, when this is not possible, just, fair and equitable compensation, for the lands, territories and resources which they have traditionally owned or otherwise occupied or used, and which have been confiscated, taken, occupied, used or damaged without their free, prior and informed consent. 

2. Unless otherwise freely agreed upon by the peoples concerned, compensation shall take 21 the form of lands, territories and resources equal in quality, size and legal status or of monetary compensation or other appropriate redress.”

There has been zero redress in the forms of restitution, compensation, or otherwise, and harm is ongoing. A lack of compensation has never been agreed upon by the Wet’suwet’en people.

  • Article 29(1, 2, 3):

“1. Indigenous peoples have the right to the conservation and protection of the environment and the productive capacity of their lands or territories and resources. States shall establish and implement assistance programmes for indigenous peoples for such conservation and protection, without discrimination.

 2. States shall take effective measures to ensure that no storage or disposal of hazardous materials shall take place in the lands or territories of indigenous peoples without their free, prior and informed consent. 

3. States shall also take effective measures to ensure, as needed, that programmes for monitoring, maintaining and restoring the health of indigenous peoples, as developed and implemented by the peoples affected by such materials, are duly implemented.”

Indigenous right to conservation and protection of their lands has been repeatedly violated. No assistance programs exist or have ever existed. Hazardous materials are certain to harm their lands if the pipeline is completed and harm has already been caused by construction. No effective measures can be implemented to monitor and restore health while the state is still actively pushing the pipeline through.

  • Article 30(1, 2):

“1. Military activities shall not take place in the lands or territories of indigenous peoples, unless justified by a relevant public interest or otherwise freely agreed with or requested by the indigenous peoples concerned. 

2. States shall undertake effective consultations with the indigenous peoples concerned, through appropriate procedures and in particular through their representative institutions, prior to using their lands or territories for military activities.”

Unjustifiable military activities directly threatening the Wet’suwet’en people have been enacted by the state and are ongoing. There has been zero consultation with the Wet’suwet’en people on the subject of their militarized oppression and suppression by the state. 

  • Article 32(1, 2, 3):

“1. Indigenous peoples have the right to determine and develop priorities and strategies for the development or use of their lands or territories and other resources. 

2. States shall consult and cooperate in good faith with the indigenous peoples concerned through their own representative institutions in order to obtain their free and informed consent prior to the approval of any project affecting their lands or territories and other resources, particularly in connection with the development, utilization or exploitation of mineral, water or other resources. 

3. States shall provide effective mechanisms for just and fair redress for any such activities, and appropriate measures shall be taken to mitigate adverse environmental, economic, social, cultural or spiritual impact.”

Wet’suwet’en right to determine and develop strategies for the use of their lands and resources  has been thoroughly and repeatedly violated. Zero good faith consultation has occurred. The state has actively disregarded the rule of the hereditary chiefs, the peoples’ representative institution. Zero free, prior, and informed consent from the Wet’suwet’en has been attained by the state. No just and fair redress has been implemented. 

I would also like to direct you to article 43, which states that “the rights recognized herein constitute the minimum standards (emphasis mine) for the survival, dignity and well-being of the [I]ndigenous peoples of the world.” Canada has voted against adopting UNDRIP, which follows logically considering the colonial state’s egregious historical and ongoing violations of Indigenous rights and sovereignty. In regards to canada’s recent actions against the Wet’suwet’en people alone, the state has committed direct violations of 17 unique articles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. 

Finally, I recognize that we need to understand each other in order to resolve these issues in “canada”. Indigenous peoples have been living on and with the land for at least 15,000 years. Settlers arrived in 1492 and proceeded to commit (before or since) unprecedented genocide against our peoples. The nation state of “canada” was established in 1867. Since then, canada forced the majority of the surviving 10% of our populations into residential schools with the express interest of “killing the Indian and saving the man”. In these schools, where mortality rates ranged from 30-60% over five years or 6-12% per annum, Indigenous youth were forbidden from engaging with any aspect of our cultures, including education, language, spiritual practices, and more. Instead, entire generations of youth were immersed in canadian propaganda for many years, with little or no access to their families or communities. Indigenous peoples were legally prohibited from practicing our cultures and spiritualities until the 1960s. The last residential school closed the year I was born, and I’m only 23.

To this day, Indigenous peoples and our communities are criminally underfunded and under-served; we are enormously and intentionally disadvantaged in every socio-economic measure. We are taught in one of two colonizer languages in our thirteen years in public school. We are even forced to stand and sing as the colonial state’s anthem plays over our school’s PA system each morning. The very premise of settler colonialism is ongoing genocide and replacement of our ways of living, our cultural and spiritual practices, our ways of relating to the world, our very communities and selves as human beings. My use of the word “genocide” is not a metaphor. Every waking moment of our lives, from birth to death, we are imbued with a deep and thorough understanding of settler ways. I know for a fact I know settler culture better than most settlers do. How many settlers can say the same about me and my culture? About us and our cultures? Can you? I venture to say it is not I who needs to further understand you; I have done my due diligence and the settler-colonial occupation known as “canada” has ensured it. But what have you, in your 500 years of presence on our land, done to understand me, to understand us? 

Skills for Revolutionary Survival: 6. Secondary Firearms

By Eepa

The acquisition of arms is as old a revolutionary story as revolution itself. From Tupac Amaru to the Zapatistas, arms have been vital material components for liberation. American revolutionaries are uniquely positioned in the world to have access to affordable, quality, modern firearms for defense & action. The market for firearms in the US is so saturated with options, it can be intimidating to first time buyers to find the tool that will fit their needs.

This article will discuss your options for secondary firearms, i.e. firearms that compliment your primary firearm for survival. Primary firearms are largely for use against aggressive people in defensive/combat situations. While they can be used for hunting in survival, there are better options to bring food to camp, to practice marksmanship, and to take downlow-flying drones. We will look into these options, their relevant uses, and considerations for where you live. We will also break down the basic kit you will need.

Lets again start with some definitions:

  • Shotgun: Any smoothbore (non-rifled) firearm that can shoot slugs or masses of pellets at short range. Some shotguns are rifled for slugs and may be referred to as shotguns or slug guns.
  • Rimfire Ammunition: a type of ammunition that uses a soft brass rim filled with primer to ignite the powder in the main cavity of the cartridge. Low pressure, usually for small caliber rifles and pistols.
  • Centerfire Ammunition: A type of ammunition that uses a central primer to ignite ignite the powder in the main cavity of the cartridge. High pressure, usually for shotgun, rifle, and pistol rounds.
  • Rimfire Rifle: A shoulder fired firearm that imparts spin on a projectile to increase long range accuracy.
  • Shotgun Choke: A constriction at the muzzle end of the gun that tightens the pattern of pellets. The further a target is going to be, the tighter a choke you will want.

Firearm Options

Shotguns

A shotgun is an extremely versatile weapon. It can be used to hunt fast moving small game like doves and squirrels using light bird shot, it can be used to take down larger geese and turkey in flight, it can be used to hunt feral hogs and deer, it can be used as a defensive weapon and as an anti-drone weapon. They rely on dozens of pellets (round bullets) that are fired together, spreading out towards your target, increasing the chance that some of the pellets will hit your target. Shotguns come in a variety of form factors. We will look at each and examine their utility.

Single Shot Shotguns:

These shotguns are typically break open affairs that fire a single round. These can be extremely cheap, costing only $70-140.Downside is the lack of a follow-up shot and a light weight that makes the kick more perceptible.

Budget Options:

ATI Nomad SGS Single Shot, Rossi Single Shot Tuffy, Yildiz TK12, or CharlesDaly 101

Double Barrel Shotguns:

These shotguns are typically break open affairs that fire two rounds, either side by side (SxS) or over and Under (O/U).They have either two triggers (double trigger) or one trigger that will allow you to fire both barrels, one after the other. These are perennial staple of hunters and competitors alike as they are simple, reliable, and often can be had for cheap prices. The difference between SxS and O/U is largely personal. Avoid external hammers; these are obsolescent and are more troublesome than they are worth. Avoid getting one if it would be the same cost to get a pump or semi-auto.

Budget Options:

Stoeger Uplander & Stoeger Condor

Manually Repeating Shotgun:

These shotguns operate by reloading the shotgun from a magazine using a lever action, pump action, or bolt action. These allow an extended capacity, allowing for larger volumes of fire. These are very popular choices for hunting and defensive use alike. Some feature changeable barrels, enabling the conversion of a shotgun from long bird-shot type barrel, to shorter rifled slug barrel or short defensive barrel. These are heavier, helping with recoil, but making portability a little more difficult. Additional downside is the propensity to short stroke the action under stress, meaning you eject the previously fired shell but fail to rack the action back far enough to pick up a new round. That means under stress you might hear a click when you really needed to hear a boom. Up side is you can often get combo packages that let you switch between a short defensive barrel and a longer hunting barrel. Police surplus shotguns are a good way to save money.

Budget Options:

Stevens 320, Stoeger P3000, Maverick 88, Winchester 1300, Mossberg 500

High End Options:

Mossberg 590A1, Benelli Supernova, Henry Lever Action .410 Shotgun

Semi-Automatic Repeating Shotgun:

These shotguns operate by automatically reloading the shotgun after each shot from a magazine using either recoil or gas from the fired round. These allow an larger capacity and instantaneous reloading allowing for larger volumes of fire. These are very popular choices for hunting and defensive use alike. These help with making recoil feel softer, with gas operated guns having some of the softest recoil of the shotgun types. There are hunting specific shotguns, defense specific, and competition. Finding a compromise that will cycle all types of ammunition reliably is the most important factor to look for in a semi-auto. These are modern, but reliable semi-autos are generally the most expensive.

Budget Options:

Tri-Star Viper G2, Stoeger M3000 & M3500

High End Options:

Beretta 1301 Tactical (2nd Gen with Chokes), Benelli M3 & M4, Saiga 12, Vepr 12 Shotgun

Shotgun Gauges:

Shotgun Ammunition is measured in gauges. Gauge is an archaic term used to describe the diameter of the bore (the inside of a barrel).We will examine the three most popular gauges, their benefits, downsides, uses: 

12 Gauge is by far the most versatile gauge for a shotgun. For recoil-sensitive people, 12ga is available in low recoil bird shot, turkey shot, buckshot, and even slugs. For recoil resistant people, 12ga in a 3.5”length can replicate the payloads of even 10 gauge for higher altitude waterfowl hunting, hunting of large game, and drone interdiction. 12 gauge is often available when other gauges are sold out. It is an all-around solid pick.

10 Gauge is too limited in its use and is heavy.

20 gauge is good, common, and an excellent choice if only to be used by a recoil sensitive person or a person of small stature / body weight.

The smallest common shotgun cartridge, .410, is a great choice for small game like squirrels, small birds, rabbits, and prairie dogs. It is very limited in its use, but it is light weight both in weapon and ammo. A good small single or double shot could be packed for long distances without weighing you down or forcing you to choose between a shotgun and a primary firearm, like an AR.

All of these come in different shell lengths. The barrel of your shotgun will list the maximum length shell your shotgun will take. If it says 3″ for example, it will take both 3 inch as well as the shorter 2.75 inch shells. However, It will not take 3.5 inch shells; those are too long for a 3 inch chamber.

Shot Size:

Shot size for your shells should be selected based on the target of your game. Shot is measured by size with tha largest number meaning the smallest shot and lower numbers meaning larger shot size.

Small shot like #7 should be used for small game like squirrels and small birds. Medium Shot like #5, #4, and #3 should be used for medium to large birds like duck, geese, turkey, coyotes. Large shot like #1, 0, 00, and 000 should be used for larger game like deer, hogs, and for defense. Slugs are great for hunting large game as well, all the way up to moose.

Rimfire Rifles:

Rimfires fill a similar niche to the .410 shotgun as a small game firearm. The are extremely light, can be easily silenced, and thousands of rounds of ammo can be packed without weight becoming an issue. They additionally can be used for marksmanship training or practice, again, silently, allowing for subsistence without alerting people to your presence or position. The downside is simply that it requires better marksmanship to reliably hit game. Rimfire rifles come in a variety of calibers, with 22 Long Rifle (LR) and 22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire (WMR) being the most common. 22LR is the most common and has a variety of common rifles and pistols built for it. The top choices for these firearms are the following:

Ruger 10/22 Takedown disassembles to a very small size and packs easily. Make sure you get a threaded muzzle if you want to suppress it. Magazines of a variety of capacities are available. Some models allow for the storage of three additional magazines in the buttstock. These are reliable rifles with extremely good parts availability. Available in stainless steel for corrosion resistance. Weighs 4.5 lbs.

Marlin 70 PSS Takedown disassembles to a very small size and packs easily. Made from stainless steel and nickel coated to provide corrosion resistance. No Threaded barrel. Much less common than the Ruger. Buy if you can find a good deal on a used one, but only if cheaper than a 10/22. Weighs 3.25lbs.

Ruger’s American Rimfire is a bolt action, providing even more quiet suppression. Reliable and widely available. This rifle is very accurate but is not collapsible. Weighs 5.9 lbs.

Chiappa’s Little Badger Survival Rifle has a threaded barrel, breaks down to 17 inches, is extremely light weight, can mount a red dot, the buttstock has a built-in shell holder, and is available new for just over ~$200. Best option for keeping the weight down. Weighs 2.9 lbs.

Combo Guns & Drillings:

Combo guns offer the advantage of firing both rimfire and shotgun ammunition with the same firearm. Drillings also can be found from Europe on the used market offering rimfire, shotgun, and high-power rifle in one hunting firearm. These have been go to survival rifles for over a hundred years because of their versatility. Here is our top option:

Chiappa M6

The Chiappa M6 folding survival gun based on the original M6 survival rifle, and today is available in 12ga/.22LR, 12ga/.22WMR, 20ga/.22LR or 20ga/.22WMR combinations. All new models have interchangeable choke tubes. Barrels can be fired quickly and selectively, each having its own trigger. Picatinny rails on the top allow for mounting optics. The skeletonized metal buttstock surrounds a foam insert is designed to hold three 12 gauge shells and five .22 rimfire cartridges. A cleaning kit that stores neatly in the stock is included. Available adapters also allow the 12ga versions to shoot  380 ACP, 9mm, 357MAG/38SPL, 40 S&W, 44 Mag, 45 ACP, .410/45COLT, and 20ga. Durable and proven. Costs around $600.00 & weighs 5.8 lbs.

Conclusion:

As with anything, practice is the most important thing you can do. Pick something and get really good with it. Use it to hunt. Practice field dressing. Practice carrying it with you in your pack while outdoors. Become a good hunter by ethically hunting. Thank the animals you take and enjoy building a connection with the natural world. The firearm is but a tool that will open a world of survival, earth relations, and animal relations to you if you do your best to approach it with patience, humility, and respect.

Ethiopian Anarchist Report: Nationalists Pushing for War in Tigray

From Fikir of the Horn Anarchists

Two days after the most recent massacre on the Amhara people living in the Oromia regional state of Ethiopia, whose perpetrators were claimed to be backed by the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF), the Ethiopian federal government announced a military “operation” against the regional state of Tigray. The Federal government led by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Abiy Ahmed accused the TPLF of a treasonous attack on the Ethiopian military stationed in Mekelle and called on the military to “save the country and region from instability”.

The Marxist-Leninist TPLF has for long been the dominant force in an authoritarian coalition that led the country for 27 years until Abiy came to power in 2018 in a widely celebrated “reform”. After Abiy assumed power the country started shifting to a reactionary center right politics with fascism on the rise and polarized ethnic elites exploiting ethnic divides leading to waves of violence against minorities within the federation.

The Tigrayans’ liberation struggle was birthed as a resistance against repression and discrimination but once the TPLF seized state power it turned into the oppressor. The last two years have witnessed state sponsored Anti-TPLF sentiments which helped create a siege mentality among Tigrayan population as the populist PM and many metropolitan elites started alienating the TPLF and the people of Tigray from national politics and this opened way for the TPLF to once again assume position as the defender of Tigrayans. This led to tensions building up between the Federal government and Tigray which was clearly demonstrated when TPLF held parliamentary elections earlier in September despite the elections being deemed illegal by the federal government who had postponed the 2020 elections because of the Corona virus pandemic. The Tigray regional government declared the federal government as illegitimate and expressed that it will not comply with its laws, directives, and regulations while the federal government on its part called the election “null and void”. After the armed confrontation started earlier on Wednesday electricity, telephone and internet services in Tigray have been disconnected and the only official news coming from Tigray is from the regional state’s TV. It is not clear what’s happening in the grounds besides each government’s propaganda but the latest reports indicate that the military has started air raids in the capital of Tigray, Mekelle.

The framing of the narrative from the Federal side has been that this is a defense against the attack the TPLF posed on the country and a mission aimed at “liberating the people of Tigray” from the authoritarian grips of their government. While news from Tigray is that of self-defense from an invasion by the Ethiopian forces.

This confrontation that is being exacerbated by urban right-wingers edging war against the “corrupt TPLF” and framing it as a mission against TPLF officials and not the entire region puts the country on the brink of a civil war that will have major implications in the entire region.

Indigenous Anarchic Hierarchy

By Eepa

What is hierarchy outside of the European anarchist cosmology? Hierarchy is something that is often overlooked among Indigenous anarchics, but is essential for understanding social relations in Indigenous cosmologies. These forms of hierarchy are not based in the same relations and need to have broader discussion among Indigenous anarchics as we move forward outside of European political paradigms.

Indigenous Historical & Cultural Understandings of Hierarchy

It is possible to characterize positions of hierarchy within some Indigenous systems as hierarchies based on respect, not domination. People may hold a position as ‘chief’ in a hierarchy that encourages people to follow their guidance, but there is no mechanism to enforce obedience or observance of these leaders’ ideas.

Caribs/Kalinago would never abide an order to go fishing, but at the suggestion that fish was needed by the chief, people would join him in fishing. Among Yuman tribes, chiefs & orators would lead in offering suggestions for activities, but mutual consent was required for action. In another instance of this among a Yuman tribe, the Kwapa war parties could only be successful if the person urging the military action could convince people to join him in combat.

Looking at my people, the Kwapas, we see select forms of respect-based leaders serving in different roles. The most prominent was the chief, who acted as the unitor and coordinator for the entire tribe. It was his responsibility to gather people together for funerals, for deliberations of justice, for trade, and for diplomatic discussions with foreign emissaries. Kwapa chiefs usually came from a family line, but this was not always the case. Patrilineal chiefs arose largely because the son of a chief was expected to learn from his father, to participate in his father’s duties, and to prepare to one day lead with wisdom. This usually worked, but in cases where the son wasn’t able or willing to provide wise leadership, another person who held the community’s respect would take up the mantle. Orators followed a similar tradition to chiefs, passing from father to worthy son or too another man who had the respect & knowledge to fill the role. Orators provided spoken wisdom. Orators would be present in each village, getting on the roof of a home/ramada each day to tell stories that were relevant to social conditions on that given day. They taught ethics, morality, and some aspects of spirituality. Often a respected man without the oral wisdom of an orator would act as a capitan, helping lead the logistics and cooperative labor for a village/clan in daily activities.

Another positions for leadership was only active during times of war. The kwinemi (war chief) was selected by all Kwapa people, men & women, at a general meeting. His selection was based on his oration, his dreams for how to accomplish the war. A previous kwinemi could not appoint a new leader; this was seen as a community decision because it involved the lives of so many families, and might invoke retribution on the entirety of the tribe. Once selected, a kwinemi would lead through the entire battle, unless incapacitated, at which time a new leader would spontaneously arise, usually from the ranks of the experienced warriors. Secondary, were the ñakwil bakas (feathered lance warriors) who had demonstrated great courage and carried with them great experience, who carried only a double pointed feathered lance. The tertiary fighters of less experience would be shield warriors and archers, divided based upon personal preference for weapon and the needs of the campaign.

With these hierarchies, we see that leaders are given preferential ‘authorities’ to suggest actions, but no authority to compel it. This authority hinges on respect, with a person being demoted from their position in the hierarchy, without ceremony, when people lose respect.

Hierarchies within these communities were not solely based on respect; domination-based hierarchy existed, particularly with regard to women, children, and slaves. With respect to the Kwapa, Women were given autonomy over their choice of partner and could leave a non-providing partner at will. Women, however, were historically denied opportunities to lead or to craft an identity independent of a man. All leaders were men and women all had the same name, with specific women being referenced by which mans home she lived in. With the exception of trans men, there was no option in this. This was the first way that hierarchy and domination manifested in Kwapa culture.

Kwapas also took kwabayau (slaves) in battle and would trade them for goods with neighboring tribes. The master-slave relationship in Kwapa society was markedly different than that of western chattel slavery. Kwabayau were often adopted into families and were expected to act as Kwapas. Some, especially those captured in revenge battles, were subject to abuse. Children born to captured Kwabayau were considered free and full members of the tribe and would be treated as such. This was the second way that hierarchy and domination manifested in Kwapa culture.

One culture we can look to too for an almost complete absence of hierarchy is the Hadza people of West Africa. The Hadza have a simple solution to those who feel they have the right to control others. They pack up camp and leave them behind. They do this until the person stops attempting to control them. In Hadza culture everyone is one the same level of a respect based hierarchy, in that a person can only fall from grace, not aspire to it.

Anarchist Historical & Cultural Understandings of Hierarchy

Anarchy & Anarchism take their name from the Greek root anarchos, broken down to its roots- an meaning without and archos meaning ruler. Without-ruler has differing interpretations, the most rigid being the absolute destruction of hierarchy. This has led many Indigenous communities to steer clear of defining themselves under the rigid definition used by some to be anarchism, an ideological dogma that pushes aside material and spiritual realities of our peoples. Rigid and often European centered interpretations of anarchy/anarchism do have variations within them: herein we will briefly explore

For the absolutist position on hierarchy, we can look to a contemporary writing in Anarchy Vs. Archy: No Justified Authority Or Why Chomsky Is Wrong by Ziq. The author expresses the position that anarchy is not defined as the absence of rulers, but specifically states that “Hierarchies exist for rulers to maintain their social control & power over the population. This control is maintained with violent force by authorities appointed by the rulers: the army, national guard, police, courts, prisons, social workers, the media, tax collectors, etc.” While Ziq makes allowances for services and advisement by specialists, they fail to acknowledge the deference between respect based hierarchies (such as the deference to specialists) and the coercive hierarchies with their machinations to maintain coercive power.

Edwin Hammer analyzed hierarchy as manifest in the role-playing needed to allow hierarchies to exist. They write:

“The role mediates authenticity, preventing the experience of directly lived life. One does not experience any particular generalized activity, one experiences the responsibilities and duties demanded by one’s role in that activity. If at times it appears social life permits individuals to transcend their roles, this is merely the assumption, the animation of another preexisting role, or perhaps even the creation of a new role, but it is not transcendence at all. It is a new context, a replacement into the hierarchically structured enterprises that predominate: a new role, with new, specialized duties, and the power to execute those tasks or ensure their accomplishment.”

Ever shifting roles allow us to delegate of parts of our existence for others to perform or oversee. This analysis of hierarchy strikes more deeply at both respect based and domination based hierarchies as a fragmentation of the self.

Murry Boockchin understood oppressive hierarchy as centralized in domination. He argued against much of the European left’s incorrect analysis that domination-based hierarchy arose from a desire to free ourselves from the ‘domination of nature.’ Indigenous people have long laughed at these assertions by Marx and others. It has always been deeply alienating. Bookchin calls it out with an understanding we can appreciate as Indigenous people:

“However much the writings of liberals and Marx convey the belief that attempts to dominate nature “led” to the domination of human by human, no such “project” ever existed in the annals of what we call “history.” At no time in the history of humanity did the oppressed of any period joyfully accede to their oppression in a starry-eyed belief that their misery would ultimately confer a state of blissful freedom from the “domination of nature” to their descendants in some future era.”

He also wrote,

“Domination of human by human did not arise because people created a socially oppressive “mechanism” — be it Marx’s class structures or Lewis Mumford’s human-constructed “mega-machine” in order to “free” themselves from the “domination by nature.” It is exactly this very queasy idea that gave rise to the myth that the domination of nature “requires,” “presupposes,” or “involves” the domination of human by human.”

Bookchin generalizes some of the conceptions of hierarchy and property in Indigenous societies, but does note that outside of European or similarly feudal societies globally, Indigenous people generally did conceive of nature literally permeating “the community not only as a providential environment, but as the blood flow of the kinship tie that united human to human and generation to generation.” The connection to land & nature often coexists with respect-based hierarchies but also can exist in domination-based hierarchies.

Western Academics’ Understandings of Hierarchy

Western academics have noted the difference between hierarchies and have attempted to test and quantify. They state that certain hierarchies are based in domination are inherently based in ‘rule,’ the ability to enact domination to ensure compliance. This social structure, also seen in some Indigenous systems, is a hierarchy that relies not on mutual consent/respect, but on domination /competition.

Dominance and Prestige are used in some psychological literature to explain the differences between these already extant Indigenous systems (Cheng et al, 2012). These have been competing models for how hierarchies are established and maintained. Similar language can be seen with “selfish or servant” leadership where selfish leaders act to empower themselves and allies at the cost of the greater community (Gillet et al, 2011). Servant leaders are seen to act out of empathy and a sense of duty to the community, often taking a broader perspective than just those of the narrowly interested parties. As Cheng discussed, these both can exist within the same systems, something that we as anarchic Indigenous people are eager to change, expelling dominance-based leadership and hierarchy mobilities and building systems that rely on respect (academically known was prestige or servant hierarchies).

A Vision for Indigenous Anarchic Hierarchy & De-Hierarchy Moving Forward

We as anarchic Indigenous people, oppose domination-based hierarchy, rejecting it entirely as self-serving and to the detriment of everyone in the community. Mutual consent & respect are essential. Domination must never be used against others in our communities to enact compliance. Indigenous systems, like those seen in the Mayan communities who have helped build the governance systems of the Zapatistas, provide a way forward, safeguarding against domination.

We must drive out domination-based hierarchies. Who is a man to coerce a woman to do anything? Abolish Patriarchy. Who is a woman to coerce a woman to do anything? Abolish domination. Who is a light skinned person to coerce a dark skin person to do anything? Abolish anti-Blackness and colorism. Some of these things are deeply rooted in parts of our cultures. It may be painful for some to see these changes, but we must act towards equity within our Indigenous societies if we are ever to escape the workings of self-centered rulers. Free from internal domination, we can finally unite in an effective fight against colonial domination and capitalist domination.
Indigenous people can find strength in our spirituality. We must discover our spirituality for ourselves and remember that colonizers have tainted some of our spiritual practices. Equally, some of our spiritual practices may have been developed as a means of enforcing domination-based hierarchies. With open eyes and loving hearts, we can lay these truths bare, building from what we find, spiritualities that are true to our ancestors and true to the generations that shall come.

We can find strength in respect, mutual cooperation, and leadership from those who hold no coercive power. We must be equally ready to build systems in our societies to root out self-serving people who use acts of domination to achieve their goals. No matter the goals of the community, domination is not to be used as a tool used to plant revolution by so-called Indigenous revolutionary leaders. That is a dangerous path that which wash away with the first hard rains, into authoritarianism.

Indigenous anarchic futures are ours to create. They will be different, without a doubt, from Indigenous society to Indigenous society; our cultures, both as they are and as they will be, reflect our lands, our experiences, our struggles, and how we wish to shape our existences in the future. All colonized people have lost so much, but with what we have left, we can start anew. We can learn from each other, we can share, we can build new networks of relations and trade to replace those that were destroyed. Without centralization we can unite in material and intellectual solidary. With the wisdom of our ancestors and living kin today, Africa, Americas, Australia, Micronesia, Melanesia, Polynesia, Arctic, and Asia can unite in cooperative, decentralized struggle. What hierarchies provide us with benefits? How have other people lived without domination? Look around the world; Indigenous people have answers.

Skills for Revolutionary Survival: 5. Communications Equipment for Rebels

By The Javelina Network of the IAF-FAI

Face the facts. We are tied to our devices in ways that are incredibly useful for organizing, but that also expose us to isolation should the state and companies take away these technologies. Cell phones and the internet rely on corporate infrastructure and is subject to both government surveillance and service denial. What do we do when social media bans anti-capitalists and anti-colonialists? What do we do when our cell phones fully become monitoring devices we willingly keep by our side, all to the benefit of state intelligence services? What happens when our cell phone numbers are blocked from service? How will the revolutionaries continue to communicate locally, regionally, and internationally?

These are the questions that have been left in the dust, forgotten or ignored in favor of more romantic visions of armed struggle. People forget; no struggle has ever been successful without robust communication networks that are not subject to state control. From the French resistance in WWII to the Zapatistas in the Lacandon Jungle, communications matter!

Subcomandante Marcos communicates by radio with his soldiers in a road close to the Zapatista stronghold of Prado Pacayal, in southern state of Chiapas, March 22, 1994. Photo by Heriberto Rodriguez

Here, we will propose ways that you can start building this infrastructure, TODAY. As we slip further into the fascist future, we must build, lest we be left defenseless and disconnected from each other.

Building Nodes of Communication

In order for us to build useful infrastructure, we must understand what needs we need to fill. Simply, these can be broken down into four categories: 1) immediate comrades /affinity group, 2) larger community of accomplices, 3) regional networks of resistance, 4) national/international news & resource sharing. We will examine the technologies and skills you will need to fill each of these.

1. Immediate Comrades / Affinity Group / Collective (Your Squad)               

This group can use cheap, commonly available radios such as the 5 watt Boafeng UV-5R, to communicate at longer ranges of up to 10 miles, much further using repeaters. With an antenna upgrade, you can receive signals from much further away. For UHF/VHF a Dual Band Slim Jim antennas with 16 foot cable, tied up high, in a tree for example, can help a lot with range.                                

The issue with these radios for small group tactics and real time coordination is a lack of encryption. There are patches to allow for encrypted transmission, but to implement these, you need to understand that a) this is illegal, b) this requires technical skill to implement. Encryption should only be used for transmitting sensitive information to protect immediately actionable information.

Another option to investigate for Immediate Comrades / Affinity Group / Collective would be business band radios. These radios are sold with encryption, but are much more expensive. You can get an FCC license if you have a registered business or non-profit, something to leverage to get equipment / experience if this is a route your group decides to take. This is a really expensive option, but might be worth trying. An additional benefit to this type of license is the ability to set up repeaters. GMRS is the only radio option other than Ham that allows radio repeaters.                

Remember, encryption only delays decoding of messages. Good for immediate actions, but you still need to be careful not to transmit sensitive names/locations. Encryption is best used for small groups. If there are thirty affinity groups, all operating on multiple frequencies with encrypted transmissions, it reduces the opportunity for the compromise of the entire network. Instead of one snitch, they would need thirty. This horizontal organizing and compartmentalization is extremely important. VHF/UHF would be the preferred band for this type pf line of sight, close communications.                

2. Larger Community of Accomplices

Now let’s imagine there are thirty groups operating in a city. Some providing medical services, some providing intelligence, some providing direct action. How can they coordinate if they are all operating on encrypted radios? They need to have a general band for communication. This band would be accessible using any of the personal radios used by the previously mentioned Immediate Comrades / Affinity Groups / Collectives, but would not use encryption. That means this could be used to coordinate.
During actions, one person per Affinity Group / Collective (referred to as a ‘squad’) would act as the comms coordinator. They would have both a radio dedicated for their immediate comrades encrypted communications, and a separate radio tuned to the general band. Should a need arise, say with a direct-action group for medical assistance, the call would go out from the comms coordinator to all other comms coordinators. This would allow medical squads to determine who is closest and send assistance, while also keeping situational awareness for all of the people on the general band. VHF would be ideal for this communication between small groups, only limited by the horizon.


3. Regional Networks of Resistance

Moving out of the city or the affinity group, long distance communications will be needed for regional coordination, news, and resource sharing. This will require range over anything else. HF radio is what will be needed for this to be completely autonomous, but VHF can be used via repeaters, if that is the only affordable option.

Regional communications via radio should only speak of things that are not security critical. Security critical information needs to be transmitted using code, but again, this is crack-able, so be very careful. HF can be used to transmit data, files, and images, over long distance without the use of internet. This is a huge benefit. HF will also be useful for broadcasting public news, though pirate FM transmitters would be preferable even to that.

It is important to get people experienced in the local ham radio landscape, so to speak, so that you understand what frequencies would be useful for creating a regional band plan. Band plans share designated frequencies for sharing information, coordinating, data transfer, image sharing, and socializing. They basically create spots in the radio spectrum where you can tune in and connect with like-minded people. Remember, band plans give some level of pre-planning for frequency use, but anyone can listen or transmit on those frequencies. We will be sharing an article on creating band plans soon.

Do not neglect the value of runners passing information orally and in person. Runners are still an important part of information sharing in Indigenous communities today. This should be your primary means of sharing extremely sensitive information.


4. National/International News & Resource Sharing

Communication between comrades nationally and internationally has long been important. HF provides the ability to communicate with comrades without the censoring of the internet or phone calls. HF radios used for regional communications can also be used to spread messages for the world to hear. Let us say that Alaska blocks all communication regarding Indigenous resistance. An HF transmitter could broadcast news and images to comrades in so-called Canada who could propagate it through the internet. It also allows for direct communication with communities in rebellion across this hemisphere and globally with the right technical expertise. HF receivers like the Tecsun PL-365 Pocket AM/FM/SSB Receiver are also cheap enough to spread across your community to allow them to receive news using these radios.

What Should I Buy?

Handheld Radios for Individual Use in Small Groups

These are small handsets that would be used to primarily communicate during actions between individuals and small groups. They are self contained, portable, lightweight, and simple to use while moving.

The following devices are our recommendations for options. Buy what suits you best. Our recommendation for best affordable handheld transceiver is the Alinco DJ-VX50 for its rugged build and weatherproofing. The Yaesu VX-6R is even more rugged (submersible!) and has tri-band capabilities, but is $150 more, so that is for you to decide if it is worth the additional cost. The Kenwood TH-D74A is extremely expensive but opens up a world of digital transmission possibilities and location sharing. Again, that is for you to decide if it is worth the additional cost.

Also remember, if you are in an Urban situation where arrest is common, don’t buy expensive handheld radios that will get confiscated or destroyed. Use a UV-5r for temperate climate with little precipitation or a UV-9r for cities with lots or rain or dust. These radios are cheap enough that their loss is not going to impact your finances in the same way as losing an expensive Kenwood for example.

Packable Radios for Individual/Group Use Regionally/Internationally

These systems are designed to work out of a backpack or a vehicle, allowing you to vary transmission location to avoid having equipment confiscated. All you need to run one of these is a transceiver, a power supply, and a microphone or digital interface.

These radios use the HF band, meaning you can make contacts around the world with enough experience and know-how. HF also can be used in digital modes to send text, photos, and location. These require experience to operate effectively, which is why we recommend getting a License and practicing field deployments while hiking or driving regularly. This will hone your skills and make this equipment more valuable when transmission become more critical to resistance. Practice, practice, practice with HF!    

The top recommendation we have for HF would be the only weatherized transceiver on the market, the Lab559 Discovery TX-500. Light weight and with very low power consumption, this radio can operate off-grid for a very long time. It also has a very intuitive user interface, making the learning curve a little less steep.

Lab 559 Discovery TX-500 in a light snow.

As for the required ancillary equipment, for a power supply we recommend the PowerFilm Lightsaver Max, which provides enough power for longer sessions (18Ah!), charging of other devices, and integrates the solar panel into a compact, packable unit. For the antenna, we recommend the CHAMELEON ANTENNA MPAS 2.0 Portable HF Antenna for the Xeigu G90 or the Elecraft KX3, which have internal antenna tuners (optional on the KX3) and the Super Antenna MP1 (MP1DXMAX is a good model) for all of the transceivers as it doesn’t require a tuner (you tune it manually). External automatic antenna tuners can be used with radios lacking an internal antenna tuner to work with the Chameleon MPAS 2.0, which is the best of the bunch.

Building Based Transceiver

     a.       These are permanent, fixed installations. That means you need to be licensed and observing the law while transmitting, lest all of your expensive equipment be confiscated. Recommended options are really dependent on the location of your transmitter and methods being used to communicate. Building based should only be considered after becoming familiar with using some of the above options, or if disability makes a stationary, building based system preferable.

If you are disabled or are an elder and want to build a home based station, there are lots of good reasons to do this. Base stations have capabilities that the above options do not have. You can provide valuable assistance to the cause simply by monitoring the airwaves for intelligence or interacting with other people on the air to get information. Again, you will have to follow the law and protect your true intentions because your location is fixed.

A go-to for tranciever is the Icom IC-7300. This radio offers almost every functionality you can ask for and is on the affordable side of the spectrum for base stations, at around $1100.

Icom IC-7300

Legality

  • If you are operating a base station from your home or from a co-op, get your licence & follow the law. They can quickly track down fixed locations of transmission. 
  • If you are interested in transmitting outside of the law, make sure that your equipment is discrete while being transported and make sure you widely vary the location and timing of transmission. Vehicle based systems should use removable or discrete/camouflaged external antenna.
  • If you decide to get your HAM licence, never transmit anything potentially comprimising from your home or workplace. Never share your call sign in relation to your politics.Your address is known to the FCC or equivalent National Regulatory Agency and therefore, everyone else.Websites like QRZ.com make it very easy to find someone once you know their callsign.
  • If you decide to get your ham licence, get a PO Box to list as your address. Getting one at the UPS or FedEx store is even better.
  • Becoming active in the ham community can get you lots of useful experience and technical knowledge. It also will clue you in to the best places to gather intelligence, should that need ever arise (this is a skill that can be practiced now).

Decolonize Your Airwaves

As you get into broadcasting, realize that the strict control of the ability to transmit is do to the fear of the state. They realize that radio is a decentralized form of communication that can be used by freedome loving people to question their power. The air has always been free.Around the world, our Indigenous ancestors used the air to communicate with smoke, with fire, with drums, and with flags. That air was not the colonizers’ to take. It is time to reclaim it and put it to Indigenous use for our liberation and for the liberation of all of humanity from colonialism & capitalism. Hope to hear from you soon!

Video Resources:

OH8STN – Off Grid Communications Techniques & Equipment

OH8STN provides extremely valuable, field tested information about communications preparedness. He also does equipment tests that are very objective. We recommend exploring his channel, starting with the Ham Radio Emergency Comms series.

Also OH8STN has some videos about wilderness operating and equipment that might help if you are injured or older.

David Casler (KE0OG) Licensing Test Tutorials

David Casler has an excellent series for people to study for their Technician and General License. If you want to get practice and practical knowledge, getting licenses allows you to start learning by gaining experience. The material for the tests is less relevant than what you will learn once you start transmitting, so don’t sweat it. Pass the test, then the real learning starts.

Skills for Revolutionary Survival: 4. Primary Firearms

By Eepa

The acquisition of arms is as old a revolutionary story as revolution itself. From Tupac Amaru to the Zapatistas, arms have been vital material components for liberation. American revolutionaries are uniquely positioned in the world to have access to affordable, quality, modern firearms for defense & action. The market for firearms in the US is so saturated with options, it can be intimidating to first time buyers to find the tool that will fit their needs. This article will discuss your options for a rifle, will break down the basic kit you will need, and will briefly discuss calibers and their uses. Lets start with some definitions:

  • Shotgun: Any smoothbore (non-rifled) firearm that can shoot slugs or masses of pellets at short range.
  • Rifle: Any shoulder fired firearm that imparts spin on a projectile to increase long range accuracy.
  • Carbine: Any short rifle that is compact enough for carry in vehicles and in tighter urban spaces.
  • Short Barrel Rifle (SBR): Under US law, any rifle with a barrel length under 16 inches and a shoulder stock. SBR’s are legally required to be registered with the ATF and permission is required to cross state lines. There is also a category known as ‘pistols’ which use a brace instead of a stock that is a loophole.
  • Pistol Caliber Carbine (PCC): A carbine that uses pistol caliber ammunition (9mm Luger, 45 ACP) instead of rifle caliber (.223 Rem, .308 Win).
  • Red Dot Optic: An optic that uses a laser to illuminate within the optic, where a projectile will hit. Unlike a laser sight, this will not be visible to anyone but the shooter. Contrary to the name, red dots can come in a variety of colors; red, green, amber, etc.
  • Magazine: Often mistakenly called a clip, magazines are removable boxes that contain ammunition. This ammunition is held in place by a spring that pushes rounds upward, where the firearm can strip cartridges one at a time into the chamber of the barrel during firing.
  • Sling: A fabric or leather strap used to carry a firearm when using your hands for other tasks or for holding the firearm for extended periods of time.

Firearm Options

Right off of the bat, most people think of firearms and picture in their head four iconic weapons, the AK-47, the M16/AR-15, the Colt ‘45’ 1911, and the Glock ‘9’. These are staples of movies and actual revolutionaries alike. With regard to rifles/carbines, the AK and AR platforms continue to have world-wide use. Which is right for you?

Rifles:

In America, the safest bet for reliability out of the box is an AR-15. America’s marketplace for AKs has filled with poorly made copies of the AK that are prone to failure and even explosion.

AKs are difficult to make, requiring extensive manufacturing capabilities. Even home built, selecting parts can be challenging because of the dimensional differences between AK variants. Barrels are difficult to install in a home garage. These rifles are good if you don’t have the option of an AR as they require little maintenance. They are, however, not as reliable in sand/dust/mud as an AR. AKs come in many calibers with common calibers being the 7.62×39 and the 5.45×39. The 7.62 cartridge is obsolescent, having a bad ballistic arc and heavy ammunition. The 5.45 cartridge is a modern cartridge that shoots flat and saves on weight. Unfortunately, the 5.45 cartridge is hard to get in military quality ammunition because of import bans. The closest you can get is an AK in the AR 5.56/.223 cartridge, but these use expensive proprietary magazines that vary based on the country the rifle comes from.

ARs suffer from none of these problems. AR-15s are simple firearms that can be assembled at home with little to no experience. Their parts are largely universal, they are ergonomic, and parts/tools are readily available. AR-15s can accept modern parts like red dot optics, flashlights, bipods without afterthought fixes that are not ergonomic. AR-15s are generally well built from forgings and some options in the $400 range are good to go. Make sure you get a rifle with a dustcover over the action. The forward assist is unnecessary. Flash hiders are a must. In ban states you can get the FightLite SCR, which gets around the ban but takes mostly normal AR parts and standard AR magazines. Important things to look for in an AR-15 rifle is a MPI (Magnetic Particle Inspected) bolt, which checks for any defects in the bolt, and a 1/7 or 1/8 barrel twist to stabilize any ammunition you may need to use.

If you would like to see some of these rifles tested in extreme conditions, check these out.

There are an array of other firearms that also have military service history and work fine, such as the PTR91/G3, FAL, HK33, Galil, VZ-58, SCAR, ARX100, etc., but if you can get a more common firearm for cheaper, it will help you logistically in the long run. Use what you’ve got, but keep things simple where you can.

What about Surplus?

Avoid buying surplus bolt action unless they are under $150. They are obsolete. Avoid buying WWII semi-auto designs like the SKS, SVT-40, AG-42, Hakim, FN-49, MAS 49/56, or G43 unless they are under $300. They are obsolescent and for some, if a part breaks you might be out of luck getting it back into the fight.

Barrel Length

For most people, the 16 inch barrel carbine will fit your needs well. Good velocities at medium ranges up to 600 yards, it is also compact enough for vehicle transport and moderately confined spaces. If you are in an urban setting and need to have more concealability, we would recommend getting an AR/AK pistol with a brace. For the AR, do not go smaller than a 10.5 inch barrel. For the AK, don’t go smaller than the 8 inch barrel. These can be carried in gym bags, backpacks.

Deep Concealment Weapons

For the ultimate in concealed carry, pistol caliber carbines (PCCs) in pistol form with a brace can be kept under a jacket at the hip for rapid access from concealment. These are generally chambered in 9×19 Luger and are good for ranges up to 100 yards. Only recommended in situations where concealment is paramount.

Pistols should be considered last-ditch weapons. Under stress and at any kind of range, they are difficult to use. They are still essential backups and should be practiced with regularly, they just shouldn’t be your primary firearm.

Shotguns

Shotguns have some utility for breaching doors or shooting down drones, but their primary function is hunting for food to sustain a camp. Take that into consideration when you shop for a shotgun.

Long Range

There are other more specialized rifles we will discuss in a coming article about long range shooting for general marksmanship in mountainous terrain, Designated Marksman Rifles (DMRs), and anti-material rifles

Basic Rifle Kit

The basic rifle kit is everything you need to use your weapon. These are the parts of this kit:

  1. Rifle
  2. Minimum of 8 Magazines, 30 Round Capacity
  3. Sights; Red Dot & Backup Iron Sights
  4. Sling: Two Point
  5. Cleaning Kit
  6. Ammunition: 500 rounds duty, 1000 rounds training.
  7. Range Notebook
  8. IFAK

Rifle: Make sure that the rifle you purchase is in working order. Check that the action is smooth, that the sights are not canted/off-center, that the handguard/ pistol grip is secure, the muzzle device (flash hider or muzzle brake) is secure, that the barrel is rifled and clean, and that there is light lubrication on all moving parts. Paint your rifle to conceal it in your environment; get a can of the hunting matte paint. Tans for arid areas and prairies, greens/browns for forested and vegetated areas. Black sticks out in almost any environment. Remember, this is a tool, not a fashion object. You don’t have to be an expert painter to get the job done.

2. Magazines are a required part for operation. Metal magazines are prone to failure at the feed lips if dropped. Magpul Gen 3 PMags are the most reliable option on the market for the price. Aluminum magazines are good for practice, but can be a source of malfunction without clear signs of failure. When polymer magazines fail, it is clear to see, and easy to discard. Magpul & Lancer are the only good polymer AR magazine manufacturers out there right now. Don’t gamble with your life using cheap magazines. Avoid surplus AR magazines at all costs! Be sure to number your magazines with a paint pen. If you start getting malfunctions with your rifle, check which mag number it happens on. If that becomes a consistent problem mag, destroy/discard it.

3. Sights: Red dot sights dramatically increase the speed of fire for even experienced shooters. For new shooters, it provides a rapid route to marksmanship. Quality red dots can be dropped on concrete, submerged in water, and be left running for months without damage or going dead. Right now, the recommended budget options would be Holosun, Sig Sauer, and Primary Arms. For high end, look at Trijicon MRO or the Aimpoint T2 or CompM5. Some like the Holosun have solar panels built-in allowing for years of use without a battery change.


Red dots are good for ranges up to 300 yards & up to 500 with a 3x magnifier. For range over that, a variable power optic is preferred, usually a 1-6x or 1-8x. The Primary Arms ACSS reticle is designed to allow you to automatically account for bullet drop and to get the ranges of a target without a rangefinder. Major force multiplier.

Back-Up Iron Sights (BUIS) are exactly what they say they are. They are non-electric, mechanical backups. While they are not required, they are good insurance. They are also an indispensable teaching tool for new shooters. Getting good with iron sights will teach you more about breathing, trigger pull, and posture than optical sights ever will. Folding iron sights will keep the sights out of your sight picture when not using them.

4. Sling: Carrying your rifle for more than 30 minutes will find you wanting for a sling. Slings are also useful for bracing your rifle, increasing accuracy when firing from a standing position. There are a bunch of sling types, single point, two-point, three-point., etc. Just stick with the two-point. You can use it for patrol and you can sling it over your back if you need to climb a ladder or a rocky escarpment. Rapidly adjustable slings like the VTAC are easy to use and can be adjusted to the situation.

5. Cleaning Kit: The ability to clean your rifle and clear malfunctions is paramount. Even the AK benefits from regular cleaning. Most malfunctions come from lack of cleaning or bad magazines. A USGI kit is a cheap simple kit. OTIS makes some nicer kits that come in organizers. Just make sure you get a rigid cleaning rod. Cleaning barrel obstructions require a rigid cleaning rod.

As for lubrication and solvent, don’t get too caught up in the marketing. Use an actual lubricating oil, not WD-40. Apply sparsely in arid/dusty climates, apply more liberally in wet climates. Solvents are meant to break down carbon/lead fouling and for some, copper fouling. For general field use, use a carbon/lead fouling solvent.

6. Ammunition: Training ammunition is meant to be cheap. NEVER BUY RELOADS. This is the number one cause of weapons explosions from ammunition. Cheap training ammo can be found on websites such as ammoseek.org. Russian steel case ammo is underpowered and dirty, but it makes for excellent practice ammo. You will experience occasional failures to fire. That’s good. It teaches you to quickly clear and return to firing. Wolf, Barnaul, Brown Bear, Golden Tiger, Tulammo are good brands for training ammo.

Duty ammunition is meant to be reliable and accurate. Some indicators of duty grade is sealant around the bullet & primer to keep moisture out, crimped primer pocket and case neck, brass case, and copper bullet jacket.

  • 5.56 NATO ammunition, get 75-77 grain ammunition, Black Hills if possible. This is the gold standard for duty ammunition. 62 Grain M855 ammunition is an alternative and 55 grain military ammunition is also fine.
  • 9mm ammunition, get 124 grain Jacketed Hollow Point (JHP). Modern JHPs like Federal HST are much better than older bullet designs for penetration, lack of over-penetration, and lack of fragmentation.

7. Range Notebook: If you aren’t recording your shooting, you have no way to track your progress and to see if your learning is translating to improved shooting. Document groups from drills. Notice you are pulling to the right consistently? Might want to keep practicing trigger-pulls in dry fire drills. Notice that your times to complete a shooting stage are stagnating? Might want to consider practicing rifle handling and target transitions. You notice your scope needs to be adjusted for elevation after every range trip? Might need to get your scope repaired or replaced. Range notebooks are important and often overlooked tools.

IFAK: You need one, even without a rifle. With a rifle, you need it even more. Check out our article on IFAKs here.

Conclusion

Take your time to research new purchases and check for reports of problems before you buy. Treat your equipment as tools and care for them.

At the end of the day, work with what you have. Don’t go spending thousands of dollars constantly chasing better. Get good with what you have, only improve gear if it will be more durable or ergonomic. Don’t be the person with 5 rifles and only a few hundred rounds of ammo. If you have additional rifles, be ready to part with one the moment a comrade needs one who can’t afford one.

Get trained and practice. Sign up for tactical two-gun matches if you can. Don’t go to win, go to stay fit, get faster, and test your equipment’s shortcomings. Read. Read as much as you can about tactics, small unit and individual. Watch videos from reliable sources. Talk with comrades who have combat experience.

Most of all, be humble, be safe.