At first, Accessories seem like a waste of time to write about. In this age of clamp on, quick detach, picatinny rail adaptable items, the need to specify particular accessories seems redundant as the next generation will always be better. However, some items are so well thought out and are so clearly necessary that to include them enhances the weapon rather than takes away. At first I was going to recommend exact models, but as history moves forward new and better options will come forward. Besides, this is an overview, each man must decide what protects him best.
Choose, but choose wisely.
In the last hundred years of conflict we have learned a great deal about what items MUST be matched to a weapon; what items SHOULD be matched to a weapon and what is a waste of time. Here are my thoughts:
In this age of no armor (or very expensive armor) for the common man, four items stand out as protection for the rifleman:
- Low Power Scope
Increasing his ability to shoot and see (detect a threat at a distance and lay the crosshairs in the same focal plane as the target or evade) via a scope. What in my fathers day was a delicate, long, unreliable, dark, fog-prone accessory has grown into an item that once correctly matched to the weapon, need never be taken off again and is so durable it can drive nails. It becomes a part of the weapon. A variable scope can also be used as a scouting device so as to eliminate binoculars, but care should be taken to make sure it is reset to low power setting for close range. A four power fixed is a good compromise. Take the money you would have spent on binoculars and upgrade your scope. If you are using Day/Night Optics THE SCOPE SHOULD BE AS SHORT AS POSSIBLE so that Night Vision can fit on a short rail. A Killflash is another good item, helping to prevent the rifleman from giving away his position by the flash of his scope glass. The example here is a 4x fixed power Lucid but their are several others. The 3-12 Konus T30 or the Leupold ultralight scope series are all excellent candidates.
2. Weapon Mounted Lights
2. Move at night with little or no light detection via a filtered (red lens) navigation light or a very bright focused beam to blind an opponent at close range. Gone are the delicate, dim, and battery sucking bulbs and “D” cells. Today’s advanced LED lights with red filtered covers (or even adjustable heads) allows you to move at night as well as any nocturnal Predator and not be seen or temporarily blind an opponent with an amazing amount of light out of an indestructible unit weighing a few ounces. Surefire and others have excellent units.
3. Night Vision
To be able to detect opponents coming your way even at night while posting Sentry Watch or a moving Watch. Powerful flashlights can give away your position. Night Vision works only for you. Prices have been coming down for years so that a good night vision scope Day/Night is in the mid $1800.00 range and an inexpensive but reliable night scope is in the $300 range. The more expensive Day/Night unit attaches to the rail in front of your scope, so the day scope is never removed. ATN PS-22 unit shown
To be able to fire his weapon and make no more noise than a crossbow. Loud bangs attract attention and such attention can get you killed, so stay quiet. Supersonic cracks are impossible to hush with standard ammo, but the bang and flash of the muzzle can be hidden. Special Ammo can be used to eliminate even the supersonic crack for Sentry work or just to save your hearing. Federal paperwork and expense is involved. Anduril upper shown.
SHOULD: Chest Rig…Vertical Front Grip…Single Point Sling
Chest Rig Magazine Carrier:
Most carriers are pouches that are leftover military items for one conflict or another, though in the realm of the AR and the AK the refinement has been continuous. For Anduril, I searched for the best of the best. What I wanted was a rig that would hold four or more sticks on the chest so as to get that weight off the Belt/Vest, yet could be removed quickly. Grease Gun magazines are very long, and the Army’s answer has been to sling three of them on the side on a three stick setup which takes up most of your belt or one huge heavy bag (with strap) that holds eight magazines. The triple stick setup takes up a huge amount of real estate on the belt as it only can be placed on the offside (opposite your pistol). Placed at the rear, you can’t sit down, placed at the front, you can’t bend over. The 8 mag bag is just as bad as it is so heavy, you walk “sideways”.
After a great deal of searching I found this:
So I wore it for a day around the house and I found it was better than anything I had tried previously. No interference to the regular stuff I have on my belt (as a matter of fact, it actually helped hold my belt up!) and was relatively comfortable. I could sit normally and get up and walk around drawing magazines at will. I would use M3 rubber boots or mount the magazines upside down if I were crawling through the mud, but this carrier could take that easily. The flaps keep a great deal of stuff from falling in and the leather is sturdy and tough and deep enough for M3 Mags. Loaded with 5 magazines at 35 rounds plus a double stick taped together in the gun, plus two backup magazines for my pistol plus my pistol load we are looking at 5(35) + 2(35) + 2(15) + 15= 295 rounds of 10mm and none of those long sticks are on my belt! Notice the mag carrier can be worn above or below a vest, or even under a plain coat, to protect it from the weather. I am going to take it afield to see how it works as soon as the prototype is finished. The alternative is to get P-90 pouches or sew/MOLLE the three stick pouches to your plate carrier. Flatter and narrower than AR-15 pouches, Grease gun pouches can be fitted left and right for draw when down in the weeds.
Vertical Front Grips
I like vertical front grips on a neutral balanced weapon, but this is a matter of taste. I like them for more than just stabilizing the weapon, but also to turn the entire weapon into a blunt weapon like a baton or a thrusting pole. In fact, the Monadock 24 baton is the model for this arrangement. Imagine you are jumped in the dark and you have to beat the guy off with the weapon. The rear grip and the front grip together allow you to grasp the weapon and surge the weapons suppressor forward into the enemies groin, stomach, solar plexus, throat or face with incredible force, even if the stock is folded. With the stock extended, the weapon become a quarterstaff with two grasping handles. Jabbing punches, leg sweeps, joint smashes, kneecap strikes and a whole range of other blows become possible. Further, the weapon is firmly in your control. Where your grip on the front might slip on a smooth front end or be cut by a rail front end, with a front grip a grab to the muzzle by your enemy leaves him with the worse possible situation; you slamming him in the face with the suppressor end, stepping back and shooting him off the end of the gun.
ALL ITEMS DESCRIBED and their sources will be placed on a “Sources” page so that “Anduril” can be duplicated.