Militarization of Police

"Local police boost arsenals with free military weapons": What Could Possibly Go Wrong?


From the state that calls itself "The Heart of It All" comes this terrifying image of cops morphing into military forces on the backs of "budget cuts" and "well-armed criminals."

A Dayton Daily News investigation found budget-challenged Ohio departments are increasingly using military surplus to arm and equip their staff — last year acquiring a record $12 million in equipment and weapons through the Pentagon's 1033 program.

That was more than a third of the $33 million in surplus gear obtained since the program started in the mid-1990s. On top of that, Ohio police have received more than 6,000 firearms valued at $2 million, mostly M16 assault rifles.

"Everybody's budget is dying," [Dayton Police SWAT leader Maj. Robert] Chabali said….

The state data shows 23 police departments, from Toledo to tiny Uhlrichsville, obtained free armored personnel carriers that look like small tanks without cannons, each with an original acquisition cost of $244,844. The Allen County Sheriff's Office in Lima has acquired more than $4.8 million in gear, including $491,000 worth of laser range finders. The Marion County Sheriff's Office got a helicopter, and police in Delaware, north of Columbus, got a grenade launcher that can fire tear gas canisters.

Are budgets really "dying"? It depends on your definition of death. There are two charts in this post. The first shows spending on police services in Ohio, the second on police services throughout the U.S. at all levels of government. Both are in inflation-adjusted dollars. While showing some minor reductions in recent years, reports of budgets for police dying are wildly exaggerated, to say the least.

The same pattern holds true for the total number of workers providing police services. In 2007, the total number of employees providing "police protection" at the state and local levels totaled 893,079. In 2009, that number had reached 913,532. In 2010, the latest year for which data is available, the number had reduced to 902,372. Between 2007, 2009, and 2010, the number of police officers went from 677,357 to 695,981 to 687,817. Having an officer level that's more than 10,000 higher than in 2007 doesn't fit anyone's definition of "dying." (Source: U.S. Census government payroll data.)

But it's not like arming the cops with military gear can create problems, right? It's just giving "extra life" to material that's already been paid for, right? The Dayton Daily News offers up some examples such as

• A Mansfield-area SWAT team shot and killed Gilbert Rush in February 2007 after storming his home in an investigation of the alleged theft of baby clothes from Walmart. Rush wasn't the target of the investigation. His survivors filed a civil lawsuit against Mansfield and Richland County that is set for trial in federal court on July 30.

• On Jan. 4, 2008, the Lima SWAT team chose to bust a suspected drug dealer at his girlfriend's home while she and her six children were present. During the forced-entry raid, a SWAT officer shot and killed the unarmed girlfriend, Tarika Wilson, as she held a baby. Police gunfire also wounded the 13-month-old baby in the shoulder and blew off one of the baby's fingers. The city of Lima settled a subsequent lawsuit for $2.5 million.

The story quotes from critics of the militarization of police, including former Reason staffer Radley Balko, whose 2006 "Overkill" report for the Cato Institute remains a standard reference on the subject. Balko is now at the Huffington Post and still operates his must-read blog, The Agitator. Read his Reason archive, which is full of appalling stories of SWAT-style raids gone wrong, here.

But in the end, police chiefs always seem to get the last word, whether we're talking funding from government or quotes in stories. Here's the the top cop of a small town explaining why his crew benefits from having an armored personnel carrier (and a semi to transport it).

Oliver acknowledged that some local residents don't see a need for Brimfield to have the vehicle, which has not been used since it was acquired in 2010.

"I respect that," Oliver said. But "I'd rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it. My job is to be ready. I don't play the odds. That's not how you win at police work and how you keep people safe."

Whole story, which includes a concise history of the SWAT concept, here.

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  1. I’d rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

    That a slightly open ended argument

    1. Isn’t that the way the government likes it?

    2. “I’d rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it.”


      1. **Lights Dunphy Signal**

    3. I’d rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it.
      That a slightly open ended argument

      All right. We take off. Nuke the site from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.

  2. Considering these pretend commandos are too fat and out of shape to even be considered for basic training, much less the training necessary to use all this weaponry correctly and without harming the civilian population they are purportedly charged with protecting and serving, I’m sure nothing will ever go wrong.

    1. The rifles pictures are actually much easier to use accurately than a pistol.

      1. True, but they are also more likely to go through multiple walls and kill innocent people when they go off “by accident” (or because some meathead was walking around with his finger on the trigger).

        1. they go off “by accident” (or because some meathead was walking around with his finger on the trigger).


          1. I thought the quotes did the job, but yeah, that was my point.

            1. The quotes did, just reiterating. Just in case.

        2. Not really.

          The safety system on the AR is great, and it’s easy to keep safed when you are not on target.

          FBI tests have shown that the fast/light projective that they fire can be safer than a 9mm, depending on what bullet you are using.

          Military rounds are all FMJ, but cops use modern JHPs that over-penetrate less and cause more trauma.

          The rifles are all around safer to use. Just the accuracy and ease of use mean that you’ll get a lot fewer rounds fired, and a much higher hit ratio.

          1. This is crap. Fewer rounds with an automatic weapon? Please. Once those trigger happy donut gobblers get their adrenaline flowing and throw in the lack of training then more bullets will be flying, note less.

            1. Who said they were automatic?

              1. M16 implies they are military spec, fully auto rifles. If they said AR-15 or civilian rifles, they would be semi-only.

                1. Yes and no. The original AR15s were full auto. When they were adopted as the XM15E2 by the Air Force the moniker M16 was chosen by the Army.

                  Technically most AR15s are XM15E2S — the semi auto only variant.

              2. The article descibes the guns as having come from the military, so I would assume they still have the automatic function like the military uses?

                1. Yes. Once a MG always a MG according to the law. Even if they were converted to semiauto only by changing the fire control group and welding the auto sear trip pin jole closed, they would still be machineguns according to the law. Hence they would need to be transfered as machineguns and there would be no reason to disable the automatic function.

            2. It’s ergonomic and intuitive to flip the safety to semi every time you raise the rifle. Flipping past that to auto is not a natural movement.

              It’s an easy rifle to train on, and much easier to fire under stress. Pistols are much harder to use even without a gallon of adrenaline running through your brain, and take a lot more training. That’s why you end up with 87 shots fired with none hitting their target.

              A rifle with a reflex sight is ridiculously easy to be accurate with.

        3. Using proper ammunition, they will penetrate far less than heavier, slower moving pistol rounds fired from pistols or SMGs. If the teams use JHP or JSP ammo, it will penetrate far less. Though, based on the fact they are using all military surplus, they are probably using military FMJ rounds that will penetrate far more than pistol rounds.

          1. There is a ton of good modern ammo available for AR-based rifles.

            Military uses FMJ ammo because they have a lot of constraints that cops do not have.

            TAP is popular with the po-po.

            1. I agree there is PLENTY of great ammo for use on people at close range that doesn’t conform to the Geneva ban on expanding ammo. Though, what makes you think that the police are using TAP ammo in their military supplied M16s and not surplus military FMJ ammo? If they are getting free military rifles, why wouldn’t they get free military ammo as well?

            2. Sorry, just read you saying they don’t really have surplus ammo! At least it is good to know my neighbors 3 doors down won’t get killed if I the victim of an “accidental discharge” (or, more likely six accidental discharges)…

        4. Actually no, they aren’t.

          Virtually any pistol caliber will go through more wall and cause more damage than a .223.

          I have seen the evidence and it is well documented, though a link eludes me at the moment.

      2. Much easier to use? Sure. Much easier to use correctly? I doubt it. At least with a pistol you actually have to get up close and personal with your target, and the bullets are less likely to travel through the victim and into somene else – like an innocent bystander whom the blueshirts are charged to serve and protect.

        1. like an innocent bystander whom the blueshirts are charged to serve and protect.

          There are no innocent bystanders, just potential criminals

        2. I’d rather have to deal with 2 shots fired accurately than 87 fired inaccurately.

          Cops are going to miss a lot more with pistols, and they make up for it with volume.

          1. and the bullets are less likely to travel through the victim and into somene else

            As wingnutx already pointed out above, this is not necessarily true. Go google for penetration tests of drywall for 5.56 vs 9mm. Surprisingly, you’ll find that the 5.56 penetrates less, provided ammunition is selected carefully. At least, it surprised me when I read the results. A lot has to do with the rifle bullet’s greater tendency to fragment than the 9mm. Nevertheless, any projectile that will penetrate sufficiently to reliably stop an aggressor, will unfortunately also penetrate enough to blithely sail through several walls.

            I have no problems with the po-po carrying 5.56 carbines, provided of course, as I believe RC Dean has stated in the past, that we hoi polloi get to carry them too. (I’ll pause while you finish laughing.) The problem is cops kicking in doors at 3AM, not what they’re carrying while they’re doing the door-kicking.

            As far as not flicking on the happy switch, I think that’s wishful thinking. Jose Guerena would probably have agreed. Didn’t one or more of the SWAT members empty their mags into him? Takes a bit of time to dump all 28-30 rounds out of the mag on semi.

            1. “The problem is cops kicking in doors at 3AM, not what they’re carrying”

              Exactly. And why they are doing it.

              1. Yes, yes, and yes. An innocent woman holding her baby gets iced, six kids end up with no mother, and the baby gets shot and loses a finger. For WHAT exactly? Jesus, Jesus Christ.

            2. While proper ammo will penetrate far less than slower, heavier pistol rounds – that is assuming they are using expensive JHP or JSP premium ammo. They are using ALL military gear which leads me to believe they are probably also getting surplus military ammo – which would be of the FMJ variety – which penetrates more than pistol rounds since it requires far more penetration and material (you) to deform and fragment.

              1. Military has lots of surplus gear.

                They don’t have lots of surplus ammo. It’s a consumable.

                Military type ammo sold as ‘surplus’ are contract overruns sold by the manufacturers that were never bought by the military.

                Cops already use a ton of modern 5.56/.223 ammo like TAP in their patrol rifles. Even their open purchase rifles are mostly AR types.

  3. “well-armed criminals.”

    Seriously! Have you seen the M16s they just got in?

  4. That’s not how you win at police work and how you keep people cops safe.

    Cop thought in a nutshell.

    1. Except they don’t even keep the cops safe – mainly because they are going in to a dynamic situation with a dozen other commando wannabees with poor training on an adrenaline high who are just itching to ‘blow something away’.

  5. As a collector and shooter of machineguns, I deal with Class 3 dealers in Title II firearms. Many of these guys are getting rich off of selling MGs to police departments. Because of the way the regs are set up, a dealer cannot purchase a new MG without a letter of approval from a law enforcement agency. This seems to result in close collusion between the LEOs and dealers so that dealers can get cool new toys while the police get new stuff.

    The military transfers to police departments need to be facilitated and I think this leads to additional revenue for dealers acting as paperwork agents as well. One way to fix part of this problem would be to adjust the restrictions on Title II firearms such that transfers between military and police become at least as onerous as transfers between dealers and non-LEOs. Of course that’s not optimal for those of us who are Title II collectors and shooters. The best overall would be to remove the post 1986 MG restriction and get the dealers out of the business of having to suck up to LEOs to stay in business.

    1. I can’t think of a possible reason why LEO’s would ever need a fully automatic weapon. You tell me a situation where a semi automatic rifle or shotgun would not do what LEO’s need. I can’t think of one.

      1. They’ll likely never flip the switch over to auto or burst, just keep it on semi like most of the military does.

        1. And the military M16A2s only have burst. They won’t go full auto. Even the military realized full auto is nearly always a waste of ammunition outside of a crew serve weapon.

          1. M16A2E3, which is what my branch (Navy) uses, is still full auto.

            Lots of M4 carbines are full auto.

            Only a designated auto rifleman ever bothers to flip the switch that far. It doesn’t get you much unless you needs to suppress someone, and you don’t want to do that outside of a war zone.

            Semi is definitely the useful setting for cops, but if they are going for cheap surplus rifles then it’d be a waste to replace the fire control group instead of simply not flipping the switch that far.

            1. The ones they give you in the Army are always burst. I have never seen a full auto M16 or M4.

              1. That’s because they like to use a technical solution to settle a training issue.

                Navy FTW

                1. Since we actually have to fire ours in anger once in a while, we have to be more careful with ammunition.

                  Army FTW. 🙂

                  1. Zing!

                2. That’s because they like to use a technical solution to settle a training issue.

                  If you object to that, I assume you also have a problem with the external safety in the first place. After all, shouldn’t have your finger in the well and all…right?

                  1. Not a good comparison.

                    Pistol lives in a holster where the trigger is protected.

                    Rifle gets banged around, trigger is exposed to all manner of things to get snagged on.

                    Also, AR has a single action trigger, and is designed to be carried cocked. Average cop pistol (Glock, M&P)is DAO, so it doesn’t need an external safety. A single action pistol like a 1911 needs an external safety of some sort, if only the grip safety. It also is designed to be carried cocked and locked.

                    1. Though in a SWAT encounter the pistol lives in the hands of an adrenaline filled commando-wannabe pointed at your head – most likely with their finger actually on the trigger cocked and locked (in SA mode). I don’t think the rifle is any less safe than the pistol, though from all the reports of “accidents” with SWAT you would think it is WAY more dangerous. Though, I’m sure if you removed all the “it just went off by accident…9 times” – there would probably be similar accidental discharges – mainly because the pistol can be dropped on the ground and a rifle with a sling cannot.

                  2. Yes Randian you should. I think the military should be using Glocks. But the lack of a safety keeps them from adopting it. I think that is dumb. Your finger is the best safety mechanism.

                    1. The external safety on the m9 is useless.

                      First of all it’s up on the slide, second it is a DA/SA pistol. The first shot is double action. You don’t need to run around with it cocked.

              2. The M4A1 has full auto, but the only guys I ever saw carrying them were SF.

                1. Seabees and EOD, too.

        2. They’ll likely never flip the switch over to auto or burst, just keep it on semi like most of the military does.


      2. Well there was this one time when a guy stole some baby clothes from Wal-Mart…..

        Woulda been nice to have full auto for use against this latter day Dillinger!

      3. Exactly my thoughts. There is no practical use for a machine gun for civilian law enforcement. There is no situation where it won’t endanger more innocent people than it might protect.

        1. I agree in part. Machineguns are not inherently more dangerous than semis. A well trained operator can control an MG very precisely and get very consistent shot placement. Are most police this well trained in MG use? Judging from the many O’ve watched shooting pistols, they’re lucky they come off the practice range with all their fingers.

          1. I suppose you would know. I want to go shooting with you. I woudl love a MG, but the hassle and expense probably means I never will.

            1. There are some really good “entry level” MGs out there. For instance, the basic M11/9 cam be modded out the wazoo to create a really nice, accurate competition gun. I don’t know what the base guns are going for now, but last I checked they were in the $3500 range. Compare that to the M16s that start around $10k and they’re a bargain. Sure they’re expensive but not too much more than a nice motorcycle.

              1. I would love to get a hold of an M60. Of course, the one I used to lug around was a piece of junk, but it has sentimental value. I never thought I’d miss the pig when I switched to the M240B, but turns out I did.

                1. Did you ever accidentally assemble the bolt upside down in the ’60? I heard that was possible (and potentially catastrophically jamming) with them, at least early models.

                2. Did you ever assemble the bolt upside down in your ’60? I heard that was possible, resulting in a single bang and a nearly field-unrecoverable jam, at least in early models.

                  1. I never did, but our armorer showed me the aftermath of someone else doing that. Somehow it bent the guide rod, and the buffer spring got dragged back and kinked by the bolt. I was never clear on how that happened, but it was as we were transitioning to the 240s, so he said he wasn’t even going to bother trying to fix it.

                    1. There was a fundamental design flaw in the way the M60 bolt and carrier interfaced witg each other that made it possible to assemble the bolt upside down. Bad mechanical design that evidently resulted in not a few lost lives due to weapons jamming.

        2. There is no situation where it won’t endanger more innocent people than it might protect.

          They’re not trying to protect innocent people. That’s not their concern. Their job is to protect themselves and each other, while instilling as much fear and terror as they possibly can.

          To that end fully automatic weapons are very effective.

        3. The only practical application of full auto I can think of for cops is for wilderness patrolling like BP.

          Even that may be a stretch.

          1. I can vaguely see the utility of suppressive fire for LEOs in a maritime environment, like drug smuggling across lakes/reservoirs. (Though that really should be for the Coast Guard, and not Texas’s DPS) Maybe. Perhaps taking a fortified position, like the Branch Dividian compound?

            But jeez, these sound a lot more like military taskings than LE ones.

            I’m fundamentally uncomfortable with the idea of full automatic bullet hoses, like the 240 or M2 atop that LEO APC Reason was showing awhile back, used by an entity that will disclaim any liability from the 99% of the rounds that miss their intended target.

            1. Ignoring that the Branch Davidian compound never should’ve been “taken,” and that drug smuggling should be, at most, a tax collection issue rather than a law enforcement one, let alone a military tasking?

      4. I agree, but the “you don’t need that” argument is one I can’t agree with. ( why do I need a machinegun? Because fuck you, that’s why”)

        I can see the wisdom in prohibiting police from having them but the implications for private shooter/collectors is not good.

        Plus, there is evidence that multiple rapid hits causes more disruptikn to the central nervous system than single large hits. This is a reason police want to have automatics.

        1. Police forces are not free. They are paying for their equipment with other people’s money. So the “you don’t need that” argument is perfectly fine.

          I totally agree that if a law abiding cop or anyone else wants to buy a machine gun on his own, good for them. But when it comes to purchasing it with tax payer money and using it in situations where the liability for fuck ups will be borne by the tax payers, “you don’t need that” is a perfectly appropriate answer.

          1. No, employment as a cop should bar a person from owning or possessing a weapon off duty or even from voting. If they want the power and money they need to start giving up some basic rights that honest citizens have.

            1. Being a cop is not a job. It is a lifestyle. They’re always on duty, always ready to use violence at the slightest provocation.

              That’s why they took the job.

              So they could use violence without being a criminal.

          2. I totally agree that if a law abiding cop or anyone else wants to buy a machine gun on his own, good for them.

            Yeah, but where are you going to find one of those?

        2. You don’t need it either, but if you go around pointing it at people, you will be in a lot of trouble. Not so much with the police. So I’m much happier for you to have a MG than the police.

  6. Should be interesting to see how that all works out.

  7. Every time I hear that police departments budgets are getting cut, I get hopeful about the world.

    Thanks for crushing my hope with your stupid accurate statistics, Nick.

    1. While I think it’s overdue, the cuts will be accompanied by the departments scrambling to find more money, either through seizure or other means. They’re just part of the beast that is government now, feeding on everyone else.

      1. It’s been like that for decades. The stories my dad tells me about the Houston PD back in the ’70s are rather horrifying.

      2. that’s one reason drug laws will never change. They have become to law enforcement what state lotteries are to education – supplementary, if not primary, sources of funding.

        1. Without drug laws there simply is not enough crime to justify the size and scope of law enforcement agencies.

          When there aren’t enough criminals to justify a police state, then criminals must be manufactured.

          So yes, drug laws will never change.

  8. I simply can’t think of a single scenario where cops need an armored vehicle. Maybe it’s a failure of my imagination, but some guy holed up in an apartment or house with a hostage doesn’t qualify.

    1. The WAR on drugs.

      1. Can’t see YouTube at work. I take it back, though. I can think of one scenario that has happened in my lifetime: Killdozer. But the fact it hasn’t ever repeated is probably a clue that spending a lot of time on the possibility is counterproductive.

        1. How would an APC with the cannon / TOW’s removed have helped?

          1. You could have blocked the killdozer with a big enough vehicle that has armor to protect the driver.

            Seriously, though, you know how you stop a tracked vehicle in a situation where the crew can’t get out? Lots and lots of barbed wire or heavy gauge communications wire. Once you get enough wire wound up in the drive wheels and sprockets, the vehicle stops. And it takes forever to cut that shit out.

            1. In my experience, airstrikes and TOW missiles work great too.

            2. IME, concertina wire is very effective at stopping wheeled vehicles (specifically, a HMMWV) as well.

    2. Wounded pickup, like the injured park ranger that bled out before they could retrieve her a few months ago.

      1. Okay, there’s a legitimate use.

        1. Also, if German terrorist take over Nakatomi Plaza.

      2. One incident justifying an armored vehicle for every department because they might need it. Seems like a rationale my local department would use.

        1. Armor is useful for any standoff.

          Not practical to patrol with, so you keep it in the barn until you need it.

          1. Except that they will never NEED it, so they manufacture reason why they need it in order to use it.

    3. I was in a Tank Battalion and I cannot think of a military “armored personnel carriers that look like small tanks without cannons.”

      What the hell are they talking about? Like an old M113 without the .50 cal? Why would the police want that piece of shit? Just because the carrier was free doesn’t mean the maintenance and massive quantities of diesel fuel it consumes are also free.

      1. You’ll probably see them get a lot of MRAPs.

        They are a lot more practical on the road, but still fuel hogs and a PITA to drive.

      2. They probably look more like small tanks to people who were not in a tank battalion.

        1. Good point.

        2. Same way ARs look like machine guns to non shooters.

      3. This is the same media that continually refers to the Bradley as a tank. They think APCs look like tanks, because they don’t know what the hell they are talking about.

  9. one of the leading signs of the times is how a cop casually asserts how budgets are being cut and 1) the typical citizen believes it because 2) the typical reporter will not call bullshit. Some kudos to Nick for putting up numbers but the way officials toss out disinformation and the way the public sucks it up are bad signs.

  10. If you are not doing anything wrong you have everything to worry about.

  11. Interesting anicdote on this subject. When Charles Whitman went berserk on that tower at the University of Texas, the Austin PD had to borrow hunting rifles from locals to fire back. They only had hand guns and shotguns. They didn’t own so much as a single large caliber rifle much less an automatic weapon. Yet, somehow, Austin was a pretty peaceful place in the 1960s.

    1. Not to mention, there were lots of locals returning fire all on their own.

      These are Texans. If there’s shootin’ to be done, there not going to hand over their piece to some flatfoot.

  12. In the good old days before Clinton, surplus military rifles had semi-auto only trigger groups installed and were then sold to the public through the Civilian Marksmanship Program (formally the DCM). Clinton changed it all when he ordered the Army to destroy their M14’s instead of selling them. Prices for comparable Springfield M1A1’s start at $1,500 and go way up from there.

    Plenty of law abiding civilians would gladly pay hundreds of dollars a pop for the M4’s and M16A2’s in the photo. I would prefer them to be owned by civilians than cops.

    1. I would bet that more Americans outside of combat have been killed by cops wielding M16A2 than civilian.

      1. That is probably true for all AR type weapons, period.

        Very few get used in crimes.

        1. That is very true. Think about that for a moment. Cops and their lackies claim to hate concealed weapons because they claim it facilitates crime. Okay. But then they also claim to hate assault rifles (excusing for a moment that they don’t even know what that term means) because they claim it facilitates crime. Well which is it? You can’t carry an assault rifle concealed.

          1. The only good thing about pistols is convenience.

          2. Well which is it?

            None of the above.

            Cops hate armed citizens because they can fight back.

            1. And that is exactly my point.

              1. Cops should not have any weapon that civilians cannot own.

                Repeal the Hughes Amendment.

                1. Indeed. In America, our civilian police forces have been transforming themselves into a paramilitary gendarmerie, and not a peep is heard.

      2. I believe you are correct.

        “It’s a WAR out there!”

        A war on dogs. And “civilians”.

        Fuck tha poe lease.

      3. Not sure why cops would even want the A2 (other than being free). Not full-auto (3-rnd-burst), and longer-barreled than the M4. A better weapon for the Marines in the desert and mountains, not so good for indoor SWAT raids.

        1. I think the M4 is a great weapon and far superior to the M16. M16 is the jack of all trades and master of none. It is just as long and nearly as bulky as an M14. But if you want to shoot someone at long range an M14 is vastly superior. The advantage the M16 has is that the ammunition is so much lighter. And you don’t generally have to shoot people at 300+ meters. Okay. But the M4 shoots the same round and is much less bulky and just as good at short range. Given a choice, I will always take the M4.

          1. Nearly as bulky, yes, nearly as heavy, no. An M14 is a goddamn brick compared to almost any of the M16 variants. You take off 6 inches and 4 pounds going from 14 to 16.

            1. True. But if you are in a building or a vehicle, that damned barrel is really long. And what is it buying you? I will take the M4.

          2. M16/M4 is good to 550 meters.

            That would be a ridiculously long shot for a cop with a patrol rifle.

          3. I think they are all obsolete shit. Stoner never intended direct-impingement for a battle-rifle, that’s why he designed the AR18. I prefer the longer barrel M16 (yes the Marines brainwashed me, but the M4 is worthless on the 500-yard line). I would rather have an M14, or better yet, something designed in the last half century.

            I want a piston operated bullpup rifle with a 20-inch barrel in 6.5 Grendel or Remington .260. Just me.

            1. Of course the M4 is worthless at 500 yards. But how often do you have to shoot someone at that range? And when you do, how often is it that there is no crew serve weapon available to do it?

              You have been brainwashed by the Marine Corps. My father is the same way. Yeah dad it is great to be able to kill at a 1000 meters but he .50 cal or the Mark 19 makes that a lot easier.

              1. I was in the First Gulf War. Every fight we were in was 500 yards +.

            2. Funny, my LR-308 works just fine without a piston. I’m uncomfortable with bullpups because that’s putting the boom right next to your face.

              I still have to finish my 6.5G build. I also have another LR-308 lower I may turn into a .260 Rem just for giggles.

              1. What’s that 6.5 Grendel ammo going for these days?

                1. Dunno. Should drop in price now the Bill Alexander opened it up as a SAAMI cartridge. Even so, I need to get out the press and start reloading.

                2. Looks like about a dollar a round online. If the Army would cooperate and order a couple of million rounds, the price would come down nicely.

              2. My next rifle is going to be one of those new Sig Sauer .308’s. has the short piston set up. Similar in price to the Springfield M1A’s. maybe a little more expensive.

            3. If I really have to shoot someone at 500 yards, I would rather have a Mauser. Maybe it is just me, but a bolt action rifle always seems steadier and shoots straighter than a semi automatic. Yeah, you have to get a new site picture after every shot. But a good heavy Mauser is so easy to shoot accurately, even at long range.

              1. Speed of followup shot. My LR-308 is more accurate than me. It’ll go under an MOA with match ammo. Yeah, a bolt gun is a little more accurate, but I can put more shots center of mass in less time with the semi. If I’m trying to make head shots at 800, the bolt gun wins. But body shots out to 800? Semi.

                1. Sure. But it only takes one shot.

                  1. Anybody worth shooting is worth shooting twice.

                    More seriously, that one shot one kill crap is great in theory but it means a head shot or blowing a hole through somebody’s aorta.

                    In practice, you can poke a guy full of holes and he will keep trying to kill you. If you don’t do enough trauma to immediately incapacitate someone, they’ll keep trying until they bleed out or go into shock.
                    Admittedly, it’s harder to do when they’re 500 meters away.

            4. All the cool kids are going to .300 Blackout.

              1. I thought the cool kids were going with the 6.5 Creedmoor?

                1. I didn’t realize anybody cared that much abot 6.5 Creedmor.

                  1. I care – not enough to sell my house to buy a rifle in that caliber, but I care.

              2. Still a short range solution. For people like me and Drake, a cartridge that’s no good past 400m isn’t the answer.

                1. I’m fine with the shorter range.

                  I just want it to be quiet and poke big holes in things.

                  1. I just want it to be quiet and poke big holes in things.

                    Related to that, I wonder if anyone’s scaled up the .308 Whisper to .50? Would a .308 case expanded to take a 750 gr .50 work? Trajectory like a baseball, but I’d imagine that whatever you hit was going down.

                    On the various 6.5 cartridges. A lot of their effectiveness comes from the very high BCs available in 6.5 bullets. Can you seat a, e.g., 142 gr 6.5 in a 6.5 Grendel, and keep the OAL down enough to chamber and feed, while still having enough case capacity?

                    1. I don’t think so. I think a 130 gr. bullet is the max you can do and still get it to chamber (from a mag) in the AR platform.

                  2. On the big holes front, I’m still intruiged by .458 SOCOM and .50 Beowulf. That just seems like fun. I dunno how useful, but it sure seems like it’d be a good time at the range.

                    1. I was at the range one time and this guy had a .50 rifle. He was actually looking to sell it. $5 a round. When it went off it caused car alarms to go off in the parking lot which was probably a good 75 feet from where he was set up. Kicked up some serious dirt.

              3. I love the blackout. It rocks in full auto. Sadly, the Knob Creek subgun match director won’t permit it to be used in the match because it’s possible to load it to a full rifle spec. Boo.

            5. I want a piston operated bullpup rifle with a 20-inch barrel in 6.5 Grendel

              6.5 Grendel FTW!!

              Fantastic round. Does everything a .308 (7.62) can do, only better (especially at ranges further than 300 yards), and can fit in an AR magazine. I’ve shot mine out to 800 yards. Accurate, powerful, and virtually no recoil.

    2. Are you sure that’s true? Once a MG always a MG according to the NFA regs. The extra cuts in the receiver and oprod of an M14 make it permanently an MG. I didn’t know that the DCM was ever allowed to distribute these rifles merely by changing the FCG.

      1. I could be wrong, but didn’t the CMP change over some of the full-auto M2’s made later in WWII and during Korea? They were still selling returns from Korea until Obama shut it down a couple of years ago.

        I see no reason a government agency (the DCM / CMP) could not replace the trigger groups and sell them off.…..-the-m-14/

        1. Because the guns are considered machineguns by ATF regs simply by merit of having the receivers cut to accept the selector switch and the op rod having the surface milled to catch the auto trip. I don’t know about M2 carbines being downconverted but I do know that yeaslrs ago I was at a surplus gun dealer’s warehouse. They hade .50 cal ammo cans full of M2 carbine parts that they said could not be sold because they would constitute machineguns. This was well befor I got into NFA collecting so I didn’t know the right questions to ask so I never got the whole story. The dealer’s stock (Spri.gfield Sporters) has been long since liquidated since the owner died, and who knows what became of those M2 parts. Hell they could havebeen registered receivers all packed jn those boxes for all I know. I would think it more likely that M2 parts were usex to build M1 carbines off of M1 receivers thant that? 2 receivers were legally downconverted. Also, you’ll find a lot of M1 carbines witg M2 bolrs in them which could be a result of a building m1s on? 1 receivers witg? 2 parts. Id like to find more info on this topic.

  13. This article about an Ohio man who stole a police cruiser calls the weapon he took out of the cruiser to shot at the cops a “patrol” rifle but it’s been reported by other news sources that it was an M16.…..death.html

    1. To the average reporter, those ARs on sale at Walmart are M-16 machine guns.

      1. Heres one that id’s it as an M16.…..r-1026882/

      2. Perhaps he bought an AR-15 and modified it to full auto.

        1. Maybe it was an M16.

          Maybe it was an AR and the reporter doesn’t know or care about the difference.

          1. I know I don’t care.

  14. I’m confused by the rangefinders. Under what tactical scenario would a cop EVER need one? Firing a mortar or an unguided missle, or maybe target painting?

    1. Cat distraction device.

      1. cats can see infrared?

        1. After the surgery they can.

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