Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Survival Arsenal

I wrote this post some time ago. I have seen this topic continually popping up on the blogs and on different forums. So, here are some of my Ideas on this topic.

What you choose to fill your arsenal is largely dependent on your whole philosophy of what you are preparing for. Here are some possible scenarios:

1) Pandemic
2) Natural Disasters
3) Economic Instability/Social Breakdown
4) Martial Law/Civilian Disarmament
5) Civil War
6) UN/NWO Takeover
7) World War (Nuclear or Biological)

Other factors that could influence your choices are as follows:
1. What can you afford?
2. Where do you live? Are you planning on bugging out or hunkering down?
3. How old are your children? Can they competently shoot a .22lr? How about a larger caliber?
4. Do you plan on hunting for sustenance?
5. How does your family perceive your preparations? Are they behind you 100% or consider you eccentric? This will affect how well they will train/prepare for TSHTF.

Rifles:

The 1 Gun Scenario:
If you can only afford one gun, make it a single shot, over/under style. Try to get .22 LR over 12 GA. Other gauges (20, .410) are acceptable as long as you can stock enough ammo for it to last the life of the gun. The ammo is common enough for both as to probably be available in almost anyplace you might be.
Role:
Primary - Hunting small/large game animals
Secondary - Home Defense against Intruders

Your geographic location will have an effect on what make the best arsenal, so I will break this down into Rural and Urban choices.

RURAL
Let’s examine what I consider to be the basic survival arsenal for a rural area:

Basic (Budget)
1) Shotgun, 12 Gauge
Role:
Primary - Hunting small/large game animals
Secondary - Home Defense against Intruders

2) Large Bore (Bolt/Lever Action) Rifle, Legal Hunting Caliber
Role:
Primary - Hunting large game animals
Secondary - Sniping/Home defense

3) Rifle, .22 LR caliber, Bolt Action
Role:
Primary - Hunting small game animals
Secondary - Home defense

This selection provides a diversity of calibers that each compliment the other.

The shotgun is capable of taking deer and bear, as well as vehicles when using slugs. With #6 shot, it will be adequate at close range for home defense without too much risk of over penetration. A pump shotgun is 1st choice, followed by the double barrel and then the single shot.

My recommendations are Mossberg pump (500/590/etc...) and the Remington 870. There are lots of choices for accessories for these rifles. The large bore rifle should be a common, preferably military cartridge. The Mosin-Nagant 91/30 is a great value for the cost and is a good long distance and hunting round. They cost around $90 at chain sporting good stores (Big 5 in my area) and 440 rds. of 7.62x54R 147-grain FMJ Ammo can still be purchased from the Sportsman’s Guide. Stay away from the 200 grain surplus ammo that is available as it may be designed for machineguns and therefore have too high of pressure for your rifle!

The M38/ M44 are a good choice also but has a pretty good muzzle blast. These rifles have been arsenal reconditioned and are in pretty fair shape. The Finnish m/39 Mosin-Nagant is reputed to be a better quality rifle, but as such it is harder to get and more expensive.

The 8mm Mauser would be my 2nd choice for around $120. The condition of these is not as good as the Mosin-Nagant, but is acceptable for the price. The Mauser can be re-barreled to .308/7.62x51 and makes a nice rifle as such. Re-barreling though may be beyond the reach of some, lacking skill to do it themselves or income to pay to have this work done. If that is the case, they are better off to invest in Mil-surp ammo.

There are other bolt actions rifles available, but probably pricier than the Yugo m24/47 Mausers hitting the Surplus market currently. Surplus .308 is also more expensive than the other calibers mentioned above. Some of the Indian surplus ammo also has problems so avoid it if you go this route. Reloadable 8mm can be made from resized and trimmed .30-06 cases.
It must be noted that the surplus ammo available is for the most part Corrosive Primed and your weapons should be cleaned soon after firing it.

Visit Surplusrifle.com and read up on the available Mil-Surp rifles and their ammo.
http://www.surplusrifle.com/index.asp

Other non-military rifles in common calibers are available, but will cost more to purchase and buy spare parts for. Unless you are flush with cash, stay away from exotic calibers as ammo for these will become hard to find. The .243, .270 and 7mm are popular hunting cartridges, but unless you are into reloading, and have lots of supplies, the ammo cost to support these rifles long term is prohibitive. They may however have a place in a limited Sniping role.

Another choice is a lever action Marlin 336 or Winchester model 94 in .30-30. It is a common enough caliber and it is more than adequate for harvesting deer. Lever actions are available in other calibers but I wouldn't recommend them as a primary weapon for survival.

The .22 LR is available in so many different models and brands that it could fill a whole book. I will only mention those here that I believe meet the requirements. The cheapest model worth purchasing would be a magazine fed bolt action. No Single Shots.

So why not an assault rifle? Because the Assault rifle is too costly for the basic budget.
Many assault rifles come in .223 caliber.
The .223 is not legal to hunt with in most states.
The effective range is less than a battle rifle
The cost is generally more than a Mil-surp battle rifle.
The penetration of the .223 is less than a battle rifle.
Even the 7.62x39 is not as effective as the major military calibers for battle rifles
Hunting with an Evil Black Rifle will draw possible un-wanted attention to you and your family.

The assault rifle has its place, just not in the basic arsenal. Read further on to find where AR's fit in.

A basic budget Arsenal would be the 22 LR, Mossberg 590 and the Mosin-Nagant bolt action. This arsenal can be assembled with some ammo for under $1000 dollars. It is also capable of filling all hunting roles from squirrels to Deer. Also, it is adequate for home defense, up to a point.

Once you have established the basic arsenal, you might wish to expand it as your finances allow. Don't over buy if you can't afford to stock the ammo for it. Your money would be better spent on food, spare parts and other gear. Few things are more useless than a gun without ammo. It just becomes an awkward club. Spare parts are a must! Learn how to install them.

In addition to the above choices:
Advanced (Budget)

1) Military Surplus Semi-Auto Battle Rifle
Role:
Primary - Home defense
Secondary - Hunting game animals

2) Semi-Auto Assault Rifle
Role:
Primary - Home defense

3) Rifle, .22 LR caliber, Semi-Auto
Role:
Primary - Hunting small game animals
Secondary - Home defense

There are many choices here but only 2 are actual Mil-Surp. The rest are re-assembled parts from de-milled selective fire military rifles with new Semi-Auto recievers. And since we are talking low budget, these 2 fit the bill. They are the M1 Garand and the SKS.
Now the question. Why the SKS?
1. Low recoil.
2. Ballistics are comparable to the .30-30.
3. Low cost - about $200.00, less on sale or possibly at gun shows.
4. They are designed for people of smaller stature. (wife, children)
5. They are very reliable with a simple design to maintain.
6. There are lots of accessories for them.
7. Adequate firepower. Better penetration than smaller calibers.
8. Ammo is fairly cheap and is readily available. (for now)
9. It can also somewhat fill the role of the assault rifle due to its magazine size and caliber.
10. It is legal to hunt with using a 5 rnd mag.
11. It is capable of taking deer sized game.

I would suggest for adults 1 ea. SKS's with the standard 10 rnd magazines with a minimum of 1000 rnds stored. Average combat load for the SKS is 180 to 240 rnds with other gear. Why the 10 rnd magazine? Less chance of malfunction than with the larger capacity magazines. I feel that the ones that I have owned were of questionable quality and I would not risk my life with them.

If you have children they can be outfitted with an SKS or .22 LR., depending on their stature and age. Say from 6 to 12 years a .22 LR. From 13 up, arm them with an SKS. Give them what they are comfortable with shooting. An alternative to the SKS or .22 LR for kids would be a carbine in 9mm, .45 ACP or .30 carbine. Another possibility would be lever action carbines in .357 Magnum and .44 Magnum. I believe that you can shoot .38 Special in one .44 Special in the other. These cartridges should be manageable by some children.

Next I would look at the M1 Garand from the CMP. (Civilian Marksmanship Program) http://www.civilianmarksmanshipprogram.com/Services/ Their prices are getting higher all the time and are reaching the point where you are almost better purchasing a new one from either Fulton or Springfield Armory’s.

Surplus ammo is still fairly low priced and can be found in the 8 rnd en-bloc clips. 280 rds of .30-06 150-gr. FMJ with ammo can for $49.97. Includes 8 rnd en-bloc clips. http://www.sportsmansguide.com/cb/cb.asp?a=259531

The Garand is much heavier than the SKS as is the case with its ammo, so it is primarily a weapon for adults. It also has better penetrating power and will allow you to shoot thru some types of cover. It has a longer range than the SKS also. It is also a better made, if not a little more complex weapon.

The assault rifle is a much debated weapon with many saying it is not necessary and others that it is. If you can afford one and the ammo/magazines/spare parts for it, get one. They are hard to beat for perimeter defense against multiple targets at shorter ranges, up to 100 yards. If you are rushed by 20 hungry sheeple intent on looting your home, the Garand and SKS might not be enough firepower.

The AK-47 is a better penetrator than the .223 and shares the same ammo as the SKS. The Mini-14 comes in 2 Military calibers: the .223 and 7.62x39. There is some debate as to whether it will hold up under combat situations but since you are using for defensive purposes this shouldn't be an issue. I hope. The AK-47 is the least expensive of the two rifles.

Some of the common assault rifles are the AR-15 family and other more costly guns such as the Galil, Valmet, Steyr AUG, AR-180 and HK-93. I may have missed some but it doesn't really matter since they are beyond the cost limitations of a basic budget.

Everyone should be taught basic gun handling and marksmanship with the .22 LR to become proficient with a rifle.

.22 LR = no flinching from recoil/muzzle blast as well as low cost practice.
Then move up in caliber to your main rifle.

For the .22 LR, next up would be the tubular magazine feed. The Marlin Glennfield model 60 is one such gun that comes to mind since I am familiar with it (my 1st Gun). I have never had any experience with the Remington Nylon 66/77 but have heard good things of them.

Last would be the best of the .22 LR's, the Ruger 10/22. Make yourself afford it.

URBAN
The roles of weapons are basically reversed in an urban environment from hunting to home defense. Let’s examine what I consider to be the basic survival arsenal for an urban area. The choices of weapons are quite broad:

Basic (Budget)
1) Shotgun, 12 Gauge
Role:
Primary - Home Defense against Intruders
Secondary - Hunting small/large game animals

2) Large Bore Rifle, Legal Hunting Caliber, Semi-Auto
Role:
Primary - Sniping/Home defense
Secondary - Hunting large game animals

3) Rifle, .22 LR caliber
Role:
Primary - Home defense/Feral Dogs
Secondary - Hunting small game animals

With the exception of the large bore Semi-Auto, the choices for shotgun and .22 LR in the Basic category remain the same as in a rural environment.

Let’s look at suitable large bores. First, what do I consider a large bore? Anything .30 caliber or larger in a Rifle cartridge. If you live in an area that is largely urban or suburban and plan on staying there, I would suggest a Semi-Automatic with a magazine of at least 10 rounds. This would be good for self defense during a riot or other civil disorder/natural disaster.

I recommend the SKS once again. It is hard to beat this inexpensive semi-auto without spending lots more money.

Most of the HK's on the market now are actually rebuilt G3's using newly stamped sheet metal receivers. These can be had for a reasonable price. An original HK-91 will set you back a tidy sum though. 20 rnd magazines can be had for as little as $2.00 each in good condition. Stock up.

The Cetme's are also a fair value, but there have been some quality issues with the various receivers available
They will for the most part accept the HK-91/G3's magazines, having the same heritage.

The Chinese made M1A (Polytech) has one of the best receivers ever made, however the rest of the parts are questionable. Fulton Armory will rebuild these with Original GI parts to a better than new condition.

When I first got into survival the cadillac of all firearms (at the time) was the FN-FAL. If I remember correctly, they were going for about $1200 new then (early 80's). New and rebuilt ones are available but are still expensive. DSA make some nice ones. I wouldn't call these “budget” though.

Any of these are suitable for your large bore choice as long as they are dependable.
So why not a Bolt action for urban areas? You may need to use your Large bore for defense against crowds of looters or gangs intent on doing you harm and the greater firepower of a semi-auto with detachable magazines may be needed.

If you are still in the urban environment WTSHTF, you will probably need the firearms in the advanced section just to get out.

Advanced (still Budget)
1) Assault Rifle
Role:
Primary - Defense
Secondary - Hunting small/large game animals

2) Carbine
Role:
Primary - Defense

3) Combat Shotgun
Role:
Primary - Defense

Note: Avoid firefights at all costs. The odds are you or some of your family will die as they are not trained for Urban combat.

The Mini-14 and AK-47 rifles in caliber 7.62x39mm are adequate for both defense and hunting (with the addition of quality optics).

For strictly firepower, the AK-47 can't be beat, followed by the AR-15 family. Dollar wise, you will get more bang for your buck with the AK since it is priced well below the AR-15 family of weapons. You can get ammo, magazines, gear and gun for the price of 1 AR-15. The AR-15 has the edge over the AK in weight and accuracy, as you can carry considerably more .223 than 7.62x39. The quality of manufacture is better also.

In considering carbines, their use is best left to those who are unable to carry heavier weapons and ammo and are not accurate enough with handguns. Some carbines to consider are the Keltec SUB-2000 in 9mm & 40 S&W, Hi-Point Firearms carbines in 9mm & 40 S&W, The Marlin Camp Carbines Models 9 (9mm) and 45 (.45 ACP), the Ruger Police Carbine in 9 mm Luger or .40 S&W and the Beretta Cx4/Px4 Storm in 9mmx 19 and 9mmx21 IMI, 40 S&W and 45 ACP.

These range in prices from affordable to expensive and you will get what you pay for in these. There are others out there. If a carbine suits you, look around you'll find what is best for you.

Another choice is the .30 Cal M1 Carbine. Ammo for this rifle is no longer cheap and it is basically a pistol caliber in performance. Many people love it and you may still find it around for a reasonable price. Lots of different capacity magazines are available for it too.

Many other guns are acceptable, as long as you can stock the ammo and spare parts for them. If you are part of Preparedness Group or a Para-Military organization you will want to standardize your choices to maintain compatibility within your group.

So what is a Combat shotgun?
It can be either a Mossberg 500/590 or an Remington 870 with an 18” to 20” barrel and a 7 or 8 shot magazine. It can have a folding stock as well as a pistol grip front and rear. Most come with a heat shield on the barrel that has Ghost Ring sights. You can deck them out with Sidesaddle ammo holders and under barrel flashlights/laser sights. There is even now a 10 shot drum magazine and 6 shot box magazine available from Knoxx Industries. These are only for the Mossberg line currently.

Another is the Saiga-12 self-loading smooth bore shotgun manufactured by IZHMASH of Russia. It is built on the AK-47 action, comes with 12-ga. smooth bored barrel and the chamber which accepts ammo equipped with shot or slugs including "Magnum" cartridges with 2-3/4" and 3" cartridge case. It is magazine fed. Since I do not have any experience with it yet I find it hard to say it is a good choice, but it is available. Some older military weapons are the Winchester Model 1897 and the Winchester Model 12 as well as the Ithaca Model 37. These are not readily found in the civilian gun market so I will just mention them in passing.

The combat shotgun is good for clearing rooms and hallways of intruders allowing you to get out of a bad situation in a hurry. You can put a lot of hits on multiple targets with this weapon. The biggest drawback to a combat shotgun is the weight of the ammo you must carry to have a fighting chance against adversaries. If you are using a combat shotgun you should have someone backing you up with either an assault rifle or a battle rifle. Even with slugs, these are not a long range weapon.

Handguns:
This is a very personal choice and what works for one may not for another. At the very minimum I would recommend a .22 LR revolver for your emergency pack along with 500 rnds of ammo. That’s 500 potential meals.
Buy and shoot what you are comfortable with. If you are afraid of the recoil, you will have a hard time hitting what you are shooting at. Before you buy, go to a shooting range that rents handguns and try out several. This is less expensive than buying a .44 mag only to find out you need a .38 special.

Magazines:
Buy at least 15 each 30-rnd for each Assault Rifle, and an extra 5 for replacements. For Battle Rifles, purchase 15 each 20-rnd mags with 6 extra. The Garand uses the 8 rnd clip, so buy 100 each. They are much easier to loose than a standard magazine. Handgun magazines should be 6 to 10 each depending on capacity and price. Mil-Surp battle rifles use stripper clips, and while some ammo comes on it most does not. 240 rounds on 5 round clips is 48 stripper clips.
Purchase an even hundred. The SKS stripper clips hold 10 rounds so 240 rounds would require 24 clips. Since these are still fairly cheap, get a hundred of them also.

As always, these are my opinions and are just guidelines for you to help build your own Survival Arsenal. Weapon selection is a choice that must be made with patience and lots of thought. Don’t just rush out and buy something based on someone else’s experience. Plan well now, you won't be able to do it WTSHTF and you will live or die with your choice.

Selous Scout.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Cache – Part 11 – Descent into Darkness

He got up and added wood to the fire once more, breaking free of the past, his thoughts surfacing in the present. He needed to get more water as his water bottles were dry, and he was beginning to get thirsty. He moved to the remnants of the doorway and looked outside. It was still raining but nowhere near as hard as before.

There was a lot of standing water in low places and still some piles of snow remaining. Moving outside, he found a snow drift that was not entirely melted yet. It had formed a pool of melt and rainwater from which he refilled his water bottles. In the distance he could hear the roar of the rain swollen river, growling its discontent at its captivity by its banks. There would soon be flooding no doubt, if the streams and rivers were not already at flood stage. He wished he had his weather alert radio with him, but it was at home in his bug out bag.

He returned inside where he then treated the water with his Polar Pure water disinfectant, just in case. It was noticeably warmer now, and he could no longer see his breath easily, so the temperature must be in the high 40’s to mid 50’s. He knew that with the rising temperatures he would need to do something to preserve the remaining meat, or it would spoil before he could eat it. He took his last 2 bouillon cubes and crushed them into his cooking pot and then filled it with water, creating an impromptu marinade.

He sliced the remaining meat as thinly as he possibly could and then placed it in the marinade to soak for a while. While the meat was soaking, he built a crude drying rack from maple branches off the tree outside his shelter. He strung the rack with the inner strands from a length of para-cord, creating multiple levels to hang the meat to dry. He then leaned the rack against the stone fireplace, far enough away so that it would not smolder, but close enough to get the full benefit of the radiated heat. The trick is to dry, not cook the meat.

It was now about mid-day, so he decided to gather more firewood for the evening. The walls near the bedrooms had surrendered most of their sheathing already, so he began to work towards the kitchen area. Off the end of the kitchen was a small room which appeared to be a pantry. He explored the shelves, but found nothing useful. As he turned to exit the room his foot came up against something solid amongst the leaves blanketing the floor in that area.

He stooped down and brushed away several layers of decomposing leaves to discover a large brass ring. He pulled on the ring and was surprised to find it attached to a door in the floor. He picked up his collection of wood, which he deposited near the fireplace, and then retrieved his Mini-Mag flashlight to which he attached a lanyard in case he dropped it. He fastened the lanyard to his belt and then returned to the pantry to examine further this new discovery.

The door was comprised of most the floor space in the pantry, being about 3 ½ feet wide by 6 feet long. When fully open, it rested against the shelf behind it and was held open by a hook and eyelet. He could see the top of a stairs leading downward into the stygian blackness. The smell of earth and mouldering old things was faintly rising from the cellar, as he correctly guessed it was a root cellar. Shining his small flashlight downward revealed more steps without a railing and little other detail. The little flashlight just was not made for illuminating large areas. Gingerly testing the solidity of his footing, he began to descend into the darkness below.

His greatest worry at this time was that the old steps may have rotted from age and exposure to ground moisture. So far they appeared to be solid. Rather than treading in the middle of the steps, he stayed to the left side, letting the nails bear his weight as he slowly tested his weight on each step. The cellar appeared to be about 8 feet deep as he could now see the bottom.

The stairs creaked ominously with each step downwards, voicing their complaint against his intrusion into their slumber. No one had tread this way for many years, so the event was far from welcome. Even with all the groaning the steps seemed solid enough, so he continued downward in spite of their complaints.

With 3 more steps to go, he relaxed a little and put all his weight at once on the next step. The step let go with a groan and a crack and he was plunged forward into the darkness headfirst. His head met with a hard object that arrested his forward plunge, knocking him senseless to the ground.

And then he was swallowed up by the blackness for a time.

===============================================

Agent Cobb was an asshole.

He didn’t care that he had this image, in fact he built it up any chance he could get. He preferred to work alone, and by having this image got his wish more frequently than naught. Other agents chided him whenever that opportunity arose, heaping scorn and ridicule upon him. But he shed it like a duck sheds water. His superiors were aware of this, but since it didn’t affect his performance in the field, they were not inclined to interfere with his fa├žade.

Agent Cobb was a real big asshole.

Cobb was a twenty year veteran with the agency, having been involved with both the fiasco at Ruby Ridge and the disaster at Waco. He was remorseful that he had only gotten any trigger time at Waco, at the very end of the standoff. He knew for certain that he had gotten at least 4 kills at Waco, even if they were just women and children they were still kills. He also had other kills there: pets. At least two dogs and one cat while waiting for other targets of opportunity to appear.

Agent Cobb was a Bastard!

One of things that he didn’t brag about when discussing the Waco massacre was the fact that he had delivered the coupe-de-grace to several of his wounded colleagues after noticing that they had been shot by the Branch Davidians’ during the firefight. He was correct in surmising that their death’s would be attributed to hostile fire and that no investigation would follow the incident.

Now his latest assignment was stalking and killing Government sanctioned targets of the latest power grab and treasonous legislation just enacted, over public outrage! Cobb didn’t care that the government was leaning towards totalitarian tactics; he just wanted to kill someone. That was his main driving force, killing. The more targets the better. His dept. head was aware of this desire as Cobb had stated it in clandestine briefings, but it made no difference in his assignments. He was just warned about going overboard in his targeting of non-sanctioned packages.

This latest assignment was a Godsend as far as he was concerned. All options open was the word from his commander. "Unless they are National Guard, they are expendable!" Preparing for this latest assignment allowed Cobb to select fresh equipment to fill out his M.O. His choice for a rifle was the FN SPR A1a suppressed Sniper rifle. For a side arm, he chose his normal choice, the Browning Hi-Power 9mm autopistol with 4 extra magazines, untraceable of course!

He had two days of range time before deployment on his latest assignment, so he spent that time getting used to the new rifle. He was a natural with most weapons so in short order he was printing his targets with smaller than 1 MOA shots. This garnered grudging admiration from his fellow agents, as they were not nearly as proficient at target practice.

His orders stated that he was to be ready for deployment at some hick town north of Seattle in a two day time frame, all options open. He grinned at the prospect of liquidating another unsuspecting target and getting paid to do it. He never felt any remorse for taking the life of a fellow human being. It was all part of the job.

On day two, he rose early and showered, luxuriating in the hot water cascading over his body. He hated the fact that he would not be able to shower until after the target was sanctioned, but that was part of the job. Gathering his kit he left the ready area and headed to the chopper that would drop him near his A.O. As the chopper lifted off he waved at his C.O. who was watching him depart. “Fuck you asshole!” he said as the chopper lifted off.

It only took 25 minutes to reach the primary area of deployment and un-ass the chopper for his selected target area. He had spent the last two evenings going over topographical maps of the terrain to select the area of coverage. There was no guarantee that his primary target would pass his way, but if he did, he was dead! Of course he had secondary targets to watch for, as the area was a known transit area for disaffected veterans and other undesirables.

After a short hike, he arrived at the spot he had chosen for his ambush. A heavily treed slope with light underbrush, overlooking a railroad trestle that any east-west traffic must pass. He set up his camouflage and settled in to wait. This was the most boring part of the whole deployment and assignment scenario. Waiting for a target of opportunity to arrive. He dug his tactical radio out of his pack and checked in with his base of command. Having finished with the niceties of dealing with his superiors he put the radio back, wanting no further contact until “He” felt it was necessary.

Cobb set up his small camp stove to heat up some water for dinner and some coffee. Since it was getting late in the day, with shadows darkening the areas under the trees, he took his night vision out from his pack, tested its operational status, then lay it beside his rifle for easy access.

Cobb was a single man, as no woman would stay with him for more than a few evenings before leaving in disgust. A few of the women agents that he knew had been accommodating until they had gotten their fill of his true nature. They then left in revulsion, questioning their own judgment in associating with this monster.

He grinned at the memory of his conquest of them. He cared not a whit for any of them, using them only to pass the time between his assignments. Sighing with satisfaction over his reminiscence, he resignedly devoted his attention to the target area. Using a range finder, he charted the whole target area and prepared for his mission.

One piece of Cobb’s equipment was a advanced motion tracker. It would pickup motion from as far as 500 yards away, so he deployed it in case he should fall asleep and a target of opportunity pass by. He hunkered down and begin his wait for his human prey.

----------------<>---------------

Cobb was getting bored. He had been in position now for 30 hours without so much as deer breaking the monotony. He got the radio back out of his pack and checked in. His commander chewed him a new one for not staying in contact, and then informed him the interdiction was going down. He was to stay on alert until the target was apprehended or eliminated. Cobb snorted and said a few choice words, then responded in the affirmative.

The radio crackled with activity at the strike site. Agents were in what they thought was hot pursuit of the target! Then they lost him. Cobb’s commander came on the radio and told him that the target was on the move and to be alert. He readjusted his rifles position and then picked up his binoculars and began scanning the western end of the trestle for movement.

There! Something moving at the west end of the trestle caught his eye. He set down the binoculars and picked up his rile, gripped by an adrenalin surge as the target moved into view. He now broke out into a sweat as he followed the movement out into the center of the trestle. Was it his target? He couldn’t be sure, but he was going to take him down anyway.

Lining up his crosshairs he focused on the mans head as he stopped mid-trestle. The man looked around and then it seemed as if he focused on Cobb where he lay! “ What the hell?” he thought and then squeezed the trigger. Half a second later and Eddie was tumbling over the edge of the bridge, his life pouring from the wound in his head. “Oh Yeah!” said Cobb! He then radioed command that he had a kill, and would ID on the trestle as he had no clear view of his victim.

That’s where Dusty saw him.

That’s where Cobb’s fate was sealed.