Hype, merit, or is it the flavor of the week?
There is a lot of com chatter on the internet and Youtube about “WW*D” “What Would [insert SOF favorite icon legend here] Do? Equipment, reviews, tactics, shooting styles tips and tricks, or is this a new to the gun culture?, is this hype or are there a lot of merit in these? I would speculate to some degree all of the above, with the advent of strea…ming video it has brought it more to the front than before.
Tactical shooting and the equipment used use to follow a disciplined doctrine, it was black or white with no in between, either you were doing it their way or you were doing it wrong. Times have changed and a lot of thought, training, and practice have gone into this with great results. The old mold is broken and there is an outpouring of information at our finger tips. How to translate these into performance?
Most of these SOF guru’s invested a lot of time and effort in developing their skill sets, had an almost unlimited budget for R&D, and were constantly supported by a big green machine, either militarily or by large private contracting companies like Blackwater and even equipment manufacturers. Now where does this leave the average grunt, contractor or sport shooter?
The individual have to decide what he can incorporate into his training syllabus, is it worth the change, and most of all will he benefit from it? Most will benefit from the lessons learned and developed by these respected individuals. Please understand that these were developed by individuals that suited their styles with untold amount of ammunition expended downrange, and may not be for everyone but it certainly gives us all options.
My own personal preferences are basic, I use equipment that is functional, set up for mobility. Anything I can do with a gross motor skill is my first choice as it will be the state I revert to when things go bad. I practice until it is natural, then I practice to fail.
I tend to use the least amount of equipment that I can, some items have multiple uses. I like a basic pistol (Glock 17) simple, accurate and most of all dependable with very few modifications. Grip tape on the pistol grip and an extended mag release. I prefer piston carbines, with the AK-47 being my favorite for CBQ to 200m’s as it is rugged, simple to use with gross motor skills and most of all dependable again. This works for me in the environment that I expect to be engaged with.
My plate carrier is basic, large SAPI plates front and rear, holds up to 7 thirty round magazine, medi-kit, GPS, fighting knife, a couple of pistol magazines, utility knife. It is set up for mobility and everything can be reached with either hand.
Unlike the SOF legends and icons, some of us work unsupported, no big green machine, with no ability to call in a nine liner, airstrike, arty, or medievac, not even a fire team partner, just our local nationals which we invest a lot of time training and building a team with simple but effective tactics and equipment. I developed my training, equipment setup and tactics to suite this and at no time do I curl up in the fetal position, cry for my Mommy and wonder WW*D?
If I adopted every new tactic, piece of tactical gear, every new wizzbang gadget I would be weighted down beyond belief with most of these items requiring fine motor skills to use effectively and I would be in a world of hurt quickly. This would be counter productive for me, and is why we select our equipment, weapons and training as we do.
We see too many tactical gear whore poster children at the ranges and in theater, it can be quite entertaining to say the least. Use what you can optimally use, train within your capabilities and train for your expected engagements. It will not hurt to learn something new to add to your mental toolbox but your focus should be on what you are likely to encounter most.
Be safe and train hard.