Could Militia Pistoleros Defeat Jihadi Spetnaz?

What if what happened in Bombay had been attempted in Houston? Or Bloomington, Minnesota? Or any other urban conglomeration of High Occupancy Facilities that would rivet the attention of the world and monopolize the 24-hour news channels?  Would New Yorkers or Bostonians or Washingtonians acquit themselves any better than did the Mumbaikers?  I have my doubts about those folks.  I’d like to think that if such an event was attempted in a Red State with Shall Issue CCW some rams in the flock would have done something other than cower, but maybe that’s just a gun nut fantasy.  Apparently Indian police officers didn’t have the stomach for that sort of action.  Could American civilian pistol packers be expected to do any better?


A couple of days ago I made this comment over at TBC:

 We are all potential soldiers. And we all may be, at any moment, at the war’s front, because in this war the front can be anywhere.

“No one is going to help us. We’ve got to do it ourselves.”

A bit of healthy paranoia is warranted these days. It CAN happen here.

American readers of BC can choose NOT to be defenseless. Patriots pack heat. And every time they slip that S&W Model 642 in their pants pocket or that Kimber Pro Covert II into a Milt Sparks Summer Special inside-the-waistband holster or that Keltec P-32 in their bra, they think, for a few seconds, that today may be that day.

It will take courage to engage an AK-47 wielding terrorist with a hand gun. It takes courage to fight a small fire with a fire extinguisher. The guy with the AK will probably kill you if you miss. Enough of us must find that courage within ourselves to take the shot, or we will be powerless victims, too.

May St. Gabriel Possenti steady our trembling hands.

Nov 27, 2008 – 1:50 pm

I’ve been giving some more thought to the tactical problems of engaging automatic riflemen with hand guns, which are the only firearms Americans are likely to have on them in such a scenario as we have just witnessed.  The big tactical problem is being the first guy to shoot back makes the civilian irregular pistolero the target of all the return fire.  Probably suicidal unless done from behind bullet-proof cover, from which our hero must escape and evade most riki-tik.  The bigger psychological problem is to get over the shock.  The pistol-armed militiaman needs to have thought of many things before he reveals himself as a ram among the helpless flock.  He needs to have already made peace with the idea of taking another person’s life before he ever started packing. He needs to have war-gamed scenarios in his head.  He needs to have been in a state of low-level alert awareness, Condition Yellow, before the Bad Guys pull their AK’s out of their rucks.  He needs to recognize very quickly what a group of military-aged males pulling rifles out of rucksacks in unison means, and decide what, if anything, he is in a position to do about it at that moment.

As far as our pistolero knows, he is the only armed citizen in the crowd. In some American cities there may be a squad or platoon or even company of pistoleros in the crowd, but they won’t know that.  The first citizen to commence firing will be a very brave person, indeed.  Citizen York.  The second citizen to commence firing may save the first’s life and change the dynamic of the battle.  The other armed citizens add their firepower from multiple directions, and Bad Guys start to fall, their arrogance shattered, their plan wrecked.

Do we produce people like Alvin York anymore?  I’d like to think we do, but I don’t want it proven in an American Mumbai.

“The handgun would not be my choice of weapon if I knew I was going to a fight. I’d choose a rifle, a shotgun, an RPG or an atomic bomb instead.”

“Do something. It may be wrong, but do something.” — Clint Smith

“One cannot legislate the maniacs off the street… these maniacs can only be shut down by an armed citizenry. Indeed bad things can happen in nations where the citizenry is armed, but not as bad as those which seem to be threatening our disarmed citizenry in this country at this time.”

“The will to survive is not as important as the will to prevail… the answer to criminal aggression is retaliation.”  — Jeff Cooper 


UPDATE: 200812010204:  Tim Lynch left this comment over at TBC:

I am pretty certain that the whole “buddy pair” concept came from close quarter battle (CQB) training. Every CQB trained team member knows when they come to an open door or hallway the point hesitates until he gets a “bump” from behind ensuring he has a wing man for the dynamic entry. Conversely going in alone was considered nothing short of a mortal sin. Back in 96 – 98 time frame only Force Recon (Marine Corps) and the SF community trained in CQB – you had to have a clearance to attend the assault breacher course and the whole bag of techniques and procedures was considered classified. Today Close Quarters Battle drill is standard infantry training and also most likely the source of buddy pairs – although in CQB it is not always the same buddy backing you up when you run a house.

I would like to think that armed Americans would be able to disrupt a similar attack if it were perpetrated in a Red State with shall issue CCW laws. Last year and off duty police officer went up against a lone rifle wielding assailant in the Trolley Mall of Salt Lake City with a favorable outcome. Of course that was a single assailant – fighting in buddy pairs makes that a lot harder to do. But in similar circumstances I would not hesitate to do the same even against 2 or more armed assailants – at the distances these shooting are averaging a good pistol fighter is not significantly at a disadvantage against marginal riflemen because the riflemen tend to spray on full auto which from the hip is not well aimed fire and off the shoulder is defacto anti aircraft fire after the 3rd round. Nobody wants to find himself armed with only a pistol at a proper gunfight but it is better than nothing and with a little luck and some solid training I would think the average CCW holder could stall an attack like this very early as it unfolds. Those who do not rush to the sound of gun fire and hold up with others would be very problematic for terrorist gunmen to run down too. Trapped people, like trapped animals, tend to fight (well some do many just accept their fate) and if you have mothers with children included they can fight very well – especially if they have a pistol and a clue how to use it. Terrorist expected to walk into hotel rooms facing unarmed people who can do very little to stop their attackers. In the United States that scenario would be true only if the terrorists picked a city where the population has been disarmed – Washington DC, Baltimore, Chicago, San Francisco….those types of places with entrenched Democratic machines who, provided cover by a clueless and compliant media, never have to answer for the carnage in their streets when compared Red State cities like Salt Lake.

It is a matter of time before we see a similar attack in America. The group who planned this operation can obviously plan well – like so many Muslim extremist groups their execution was piss poor. Ten guys, total surprise, three days of active shooting, unlimited ammo, and cops who go to ground or run at the sound of gunfire and the total tally is maybe 300 KIA? That is a bad execution of what appears to be a solid plan. But still an attack or two or even more like that launched simultaneously across the country would bring huge amounts of stress to our complacent population and our fragile economy – even with piss poor execution. But one thing all if us can count on is that the planners know where armed Americans are and where they are not. If you live in a Blue State with restrictive CCW laws you are at a much greater risk from this sort of event than I am.

These kinds of attacks are coming and in the aftermath of the first wave it will be very interesting to see what our elected betters choose to do about it. There are a lot of options to include encouraging CCW holders to carry instead of discouraging this healthy habit. I doubt Cannoneer #4, myself or any of the other regular commenter’s here will be lucky enough to see a “buddy Team” of young terrorists pop up in front of us at the local mall or hotel (I carry a full size Kimber .45 when in CONUS just in case I do get lucky) but I promise you if we did those boys would not escape our tender mercies without a few leaky holes in their torso. Sheepdogs aren’t sheepdogs because they enjoy the title – they are sheepdogs because they cannot be anything else. Our country still produces far more than our share because unlike most people around the world we remain free men. Free to own firearms if we want, free to say or publish what we want, and most importantly free to protect ourselves, our families, and any stranger in need – with lethal force. I work with former military men from around the globe and the Brits, Aussies, Kiwi’s, Canadians, all of them know that they no longer come from lands where men can be called free. All of them have a single goal it seems and that is to live in America (I already told them that Ted Kennedy has ruined their chances because they are not poor, illiterate or from the third world) because there a man is still free. And free men don’t let ten teenagers run amuck for 72 hours shooting people in the largest city of the land. Only serfs or slaves would tolerate that.

Nov 30, 2008 – 2:56 am

UPDATE:  200812011757  — The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid compared with Mumbai — what if the hotel staff had had access to a few old Ishapore Enfield 7.62mm bolt actions?

UPDATE 200812061740 — Good discussion at Preparing for Mumbai in America



Filed under Heroes, IW

20 responses to “Could Militia Pistoleros Defeat Jihadi Spetnaz?

  1. munzenberg

    This is a good post cannoneer. You also know the drill if an enemy out numbers you and also has superior firepower: you run away. I dunno how the yanks do it, but that’s generally how we did it ( and I’d imagine the brits, whom we took most of our tactics from). Not strictly heading for the hills mind you, but a tactical withdrawl so as to fight again another day (usually preceded by the unloading of a panic mag, or massive amount of fire in the enemy’s direction so as to get their heads down).

    I guess that this actions on would have to be tweaked though given: (1) the lack of ammo that a civilian would take with them. It’s not like civilians are packing frontline ammo capacity (2) Running away is tantamount to adding to the slaughter (given that you have a weapon and are probably one of the only people to use it. It’s an ethical duty to stop the bad guys if you have the ability to do it).

    But another tactical option, confronting them head on, with the unknown of how many other friendly civilian gunmen are out there to also aid you, could be tantamount to suicide (also consider the possibility of blue on blue, how do you know if that guy wielding a pistol is not a terrorist? Under an immense amount of stress and gun fire, you only have a few seconds to decide if they are friendly or not).

    I guess that is where the tactical problem you raised comes up. A possible solution though is brief tactical withdrawl followed by ambush and then repeat: withdrawl then ambush, hide then surprise, and so on. Of course, they are gonna know you are there after one or two contacts, but I guess the point is to somehow evade the networked swarms, as that is one of their chief strengths, and you need to avoid that strength and strike at their weaknesses (this is assuming they ever try these type of tactics again … fighting the last war and all). I guess you could call it “tactical 5gw” if I wanted to name it somehow, as it uses elements of deception and subverts 4gw-esque swarming. I guess you could take advantage of such swarming but coaxing them into ambushes via other ambushes (being drawn to the gunfire and all). Turn their swarming ability into a weakness. Make them swarm into geographic killzones. Of course once it hits that point you better hope that (1) you have enough ammo and; (2) you can get the shots before they shoot you. Anyway, I’ve probably rambled enough, this is a good post but cannoneer, lots of food for thought.

  2. munzenberg

    Also, the majority of the time the first shot fired is from the bad guy (and in a lot of cases you don’t see it, you only hear it). The good guys rarely get to use pre-emption. Pre-emption is kind of a luxury. If it happens then good, but planning for them to get the first shots off might also be useful.

    What happens to the citizen pistolero when the gunfight is already ensuing?

  3. how do you know if that guy wielding a pistol is not a terrorist?
    You don’t, for certain, but clues would be his weapon orientation (is he aiming at the same bad guys you’re aiming at), his age/weight (fat and old probably is a good guy), gut feeling. These clues won’t work for the cops who show up with little situational awareness, and if they start shooting at you you’ll just have to duck. Friendly fire isn’t.

    Coaxing the BG’s into ambushes would be good if anybody has enough ammo on them to do that. I see every armed citizen acting on his own, not knowing if anybody else in the crowd is armed, and once the armed citizens commence fire they will be firing from multiple directions and escaping and evading along different avenues of egress. As the battle continues, citizens still in the fight will begin to recognize each other and coordinate their activities, forming their own two-man buddy teams. Ex-GI’s will quickly form a squad.

    What happens to the citizen pistolero when the gunfight is already ensuing?

    Depends on his situation. If he is in a position from which he can engage them in their front, he might consider letting them pass so he can engage them from the flank or rear. He might play dead and let them walk over him, then jump up and blast them in the butt. Our citizen pistolero only has the ammo on him, so maybe he wants to take out a bad guy at very close range and police up the BG’s AK and ammo.

    Like the American militia at Guilford Court House, if our militia man empties his piece and withdraws, he has done all that can be reasonably expected of him. If he manages to acquire weapons and ammo from the enemy and stays in the fight, that’s hero shit right there.

  4. Good Post, and thanks for the link! You summarized the point I was trying to make about a well-armed citizenry being a pretty good thing!

    Keep up the good work.

    Bob W

  5. I see all your PSYOP stuff all over this blog, so I though you might want to read my little piece of Psyop-related here.

    Then again, maybe becasue I beat up on Psyop a bit, you might not!


  6. PSYOP probably doesn’t feel all that brutalized.

  7. Just being practical, the first move of the armed citizen is to a place with decent cover. Then to return fire. I normally am carring 19 rounds of .45 acp, and 15 rounds of .38+p, everywhere, everyday. The practical American mindset is to work your way out of a hot area. I would naturally be working toward my pick-up truck if I could, because that is where my Rifle and a considerable amount of ammo is kept. This is different than the Israeli mindset, which is to continue fighting until the threat is gone. Two different approaches.

  8. I wonder how many armed citizens carry as much Basic Load as you do, JC? Hell, my main carry piece is a BUG, and I think I’m doing good to have one speed loader. I need to do better.

    Access to rifles could be tactically decisive in putting down Kalashnikov gunners. Disengaging in order to return to the fight better armed would work for those with the forethought to keep heavier ordnance in their vehicles.

  9. Depending on the numbers being faced, you can get in close to a group and defeat it in detail using non-automatic weapons and then you have access to enemy arms and ammo.

    If you have a closer point of supply, then you would just do the same thing, except with a rifle or something heavier. Now you have more weapons and ammo than you need. Time to find some allies.

  10. Most all of the Good Guys will be using non-automatic weapons initially, until they can police up AK’s dropped by dead Bad Guys.

  11. I’m pretty sure I am running with a little more than most. Most folks would be carrying whatver their pistol or revolver would hold, and maybe one reload. I run heavier because of my AO. My work takes me into Detroit, Flint, Pontiac and Saginaw. In my job, I am a civilian doing some heavy lifting for a commercial bank, trying to get their collateral back. So I run heavy. I’ve worked as a game warden in my previous life, and I always carried three while I was on the job. Keeping one speed load is a good deal for the average CC holder. FBI data shows that most shoot-outs are only a couple shots at close range.

    As far as getting to the truck for a rifle., review the North Hollywood LAPD shootout with the two bandits that had AK and a AR. The LAPD, was pretty ineffective in a pistol v. AK match-up. My truck load is a short barreled, lever action .357, loaded with 125 Grain JHPs…and I usually have a box of 50 on hand.

    A pistol v. AK is not a good situation, and as for me, the pistol is the tool to fight my way out of a situation.

    Best regards

    JC Bystrom

  12. You’re not the typical CCW Militiaman, JC. More like a Colonial Ranger.

    I thought those North Hollywood guys were wearing body armor. That should not have prevented head and knee shots, but they stayed up a long time. The next Mumbai operation may feature body armor. something else to think about.

    Our CCW Militia First Responders will have done their duty if they empty two mags at the BG’s and retreat. Trying to get back to the fight with a long gun in your hands makes you a target for friendly fire.

  13. you are correct, the North Hollywood boys were wearing body armor. The second shooter to go down was shot in the ankles from underneath a vehicle.

    Moving back into a firefight, as a civilian, is against my instincts. Finding or making a hard position with a rifle, is more in line with the scope of a civilian.

  14. Thanks for putting me on your list. I like your site, and your willingness to make a stand, and for that you are a Patriot and a modern day minuteman.

  15. You’re welcome. Thanks for putting me on yours. I like your title.

  16. Upselelep

    Привет, я думала что это совсем не так происходит:)

  17. Вы неправильно. Бывает

  18. Sheepdogs aren’t sheepdogs because they enjoy the title – they are sheepdogs because they cannot be anything else. Our country still produces far more than our share because unlike most people around the world we remain free men.

  19. We used to be a lot freer. My great-grandfather was freer than I’ll ever be.

    Compared to most of the rest of the world, we still exercise freedoms rare elsewhere, but compared to the America of a century ago we tolerate government intrusion and control that would have been unthinkable then.