1. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Another Firearms Question...

    Discussion in 'Research' started by BayView, Jan 30, 2016.

    Setting: present day Montana, USA

    My MC is ex-military (US Marines, 4 tours of Afghanistan) and then an LAPD officer (now homicide detective).

    He's out of LA and has just been in a gun battle with some militia types.

    I want him to have the knowledge that a competent Marine/cop would have, but not be Mr. Wizard. And I want my militia to be very well-armed, definitely into the realm of illegal weapons, but not to the "backpack" nuke level.

    So, while looking at three dead militia men, still in a fairly combative situation, what would he be able to observe about their weaponry without deep investigation?

    I've already figured they'll have an M32 grenade launcher, and it's distinctive enough that I assume he'd be able to identify it at a glance.

    But for the other weapons? My cops have M4s in their cruisers, so they'd know that weapon well, even without the military background. Would my guy be able to tell at a glance that the militia were carrying M4A1s rather than the simple M4? Or if they were carrying other rifles, maybe the type that can be configured for semi-automatic or automatic firing, would he be able to tell at a glance that these were automatic, and therefore illegal?

    Are there other distinctive weapons that would be useful for militia to carry, assuming they'd just gotten a shipment from their illegal weapons supplier?

    Thanks for any help!
     
  2. Samurai Jack
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    Samurai Jack Active Member

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    For an M4A1 specifically, the last option on the selector switch would be 'F' rather than '3', fully auto versus 3 round burst. That's easy enough to glance at.

    For a modified M4/M16/AR15, a quick look at the bolt carrier and trigger assembly will tell if it's fully automatic.

    I used an M4 in the Army, and that would be easy for me to identify if I had a need to look for it.

    The HK416 from Germany fires the same round and is full auto. The Galil from Israel. There's a solid grocery list worth of Western manufactured rifles firing 5.56 NATO rounds that are licensed to be made or exported to Asia, South America, and Eastern Europe. It would be as simple as picking the one you thought looked coolest, and it would make sense for a former Marine to have possibly crosstrained on one or more of them.
     
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  3. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Cool - thanks!
     
  4. zoupskim
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    zoupskim Contributing Member Contributor

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    One thing that I see overlooked in stories is people disassembling weapons. A gun could be altered on the inside in such a way that changes the way it functions. An example would be filing down the sear on semi-automatic weapons to make them automatic.

    Having your MC quickly pull apart a weapon to look at the inside could be interesting.
     
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  5. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    And if it were a modified gun, one sold as semi-auto and then modified to full-auto, that would make it illegal, right?

    How hard would it be to pull the weapon apart? Like, a ten-second job, or ten minutes?
     
  6. BrianIff
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    BrianIff I'm so piano, a bad punctuator. Contributor

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    I'm open to correction on this, but I've always thought of illegally-modded guns as being externally indistinguishable from the originals. So depending on the definition of "glance," I think that matters.

    Regardless of legality, a militia in Montana would definitely have some sniper rifles, or hunting rifles for that purpose.
     
  7. Samurai Jack
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    Samurai Jack Active Member

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    Anything modified to be fully automatic is
    Yes, illegal.

    On anything M16/M4 or civilian variant, a matter of seconds, and would be intimately familiar to a Marine.

    Most Western designed rifles are the same way, and again, might be familiar depending on cross training
     
  8. Samurai Jack
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    Samurai Jack Active Member

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    The difference between an M4 (semi auto) and M4A1 (full auto) is all internal: a new bolt, spring, and trigger assembly.

    Federal definitions of what constitutes an assault rifle include things like pistol grips, foldable stocks, removable guards... items externally distinguishable, but non of those things alters the function of the rifle itself.
     
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  9. BrianIff
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    BrianIff I'm so piano, a bad punctuator. Contributor

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    Yep, I failed to specify the rate of fire.
     
  10. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    You could have them get their hands on LAW (light anti-armor weapon) missiles for taking out things like MRAPS and such. They are fairly easy to identify as you have to extend the launcher tube before firing. Figure it would be easier than having them carry a Dragon, because you can't really conceal that so well. Since we are the topic of identifiable weapons, why not have him make his way through a minefield of Claymore Mines. Since the Militias means are illegal in obtaining weapons, and they would definitely hit up a black market for mines, grenades, and small missiles that can be fired from the shoulder.

    When you get down to it you can really make them well equipped by utilizing a black market, now as far as being well trained and competent that is a whole other ordeal entirely. Though they could obtain grenades and suppressors with proper permits. Mines and LAWs would definitely be a black market shopping expo. :p
     
  11. X Equestris
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    X Equestris Contributing Member Contributor

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    As I recall, this is what got the Branch-Davidians in trouble and led to the Siege at Waco. So yes, definitely illegal.

    I imagine that if he's in combat with them, he would be able to tell the guns they're using are automatic before even seeing one up close, simply because of the rate of fire. But I could be wrong.
     
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  12. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    @X Equestris I remember the iraqveteran8888 using something he called a bump something or other on youtube. If memory serves correct it simulates automatic fire in a semi-auto weapon. So they could trick them into thinking they have full auto weapons. IDK. :bigconfused:
     
  13. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah, I'm definitely interested in playing up their lack of training. So far I've said:

    They were trying to circle around behind the agents below, he figured, trying to take them out before reinforcements arrived. It was a reasonable strategy, but Jericho didn’t see anything else competent about them as they stomped through the forest; they seemed like men who were used to hunting things that didn’t shoot back. Men who’d decided to play soldier, but who didn’t want to follow the rules of being in the actual military.

    Of course, stupid men were still dangerous, or maybe even more dangerous, when they were packing as heavy as these assholes were.
    But if you had any specific details that would indicate their lack of military training, that'd be excellent - any ideas?
     
  14. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    Well my knowledge is limited compared to someone who has served or is currently serving. I am more of a theoretical strategist and have played a few Sci-fi and present military games. Black is the best example of ballistic physics, and you spend a lot of time sneaking around and hiding behind cover. Basically you have shown their incompetence, when you said they know more about hunting things that don't shoot back. That means they will not try as hard to conceal themselves, and more likely to stay quiet and down wind. They have an issue using the environment to better blend in, because they think that their forest camo is going to be more than enough to hide among the trees. They more than likely will have loose tactics and execute them poorly and disjointedly. One might say that they do not function as a proper unit, but more as a bunch of grown men playing Army on the weekend. You can see some of these faults coming through in them as a 'Melita'. Bunch of redneck gungho gun nuts that claim to be patriots with out any real idea of what in the hell they are doing. For example when they surround the agents, they don't really work together beyond simply employing the maneuver. With a little research and discussing such things with somebody who knows these things (not me), you will get a better grasp on how to show their incompetence as a group of wingnuts. Your best bet is to like I said, find others that have or had been in the service and have been in combat situations. They would know way more about such things than I, and could better explain it that I ever could. Good luck. :p
    Going to post a couple of pics. The first is what you are describing as incompetent, and the second is more on par with what a trained person would do (cause it is of real soldiers). MilitaryWannabe.jpg PositioninForest.jpg . Also will post a vid of Militia training so you can see how an 'untrained force' kind of works. :D

    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/JWX7SdUMBHk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>


    I am fairly certain these guys are considered 'weekend warriors', and have little to no real training or combat exp. Just to give you an idea of what a Militia looks like during a training exercise. They look like a bunch of man childs playing Army out in the woods. :p
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2016
  15. zoupskim
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    I'm assuming you're writing fiction, so the laws can be whatever you want. In many countries you can buy automatic weapons no problem, you just have to have the proper licenses, permissions, etc. A serious militia can get their hands on anything, no problem. I think in the USA with a class 3 license you can buy automatic weapons up to 20mm.

    In reference to disassembling weapons, a well trained soldier can get a fairly complicated machine gun disassembled into its primary operating groups in 20 seconds. The soldier in the video below does it slower for demonstration purposes, but I'm sure he could do it faster.



    From that final state every aspect of that weapon, from it's order of operations, to it's caliber is revealed, in addition to any changes or damage.
     
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