This week I finished my five-year analysis on five intermediate range cartridges. I did an overview of semi-auto rifle logistics in six calibers. Scope of operations must support mounted vehicle extraction (Getting Out of Dodge/Bugout). Hostage recovery (Close Quarter Combat) and a more typical three to four-person Fire Team foot patrol/maneuver element 6,000 feet above sea level must also be supported. We train for pain. But we are smart, hairless apes/intelligently designed, free-thinking primates, so we plan-do-check-act (or use the OODA Loop) wisely.
“Amateurs study tactics,” goes an old saying, “armchair generals study strategy, but professionals study logistics.”
The Sweet Spot That Wins Wars
If you add physiology and endurance athleticism to those fields, you get the fusion of high altitude light infantry– the sweet spot that wins wars.
Have you heard of this saying?
“From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.”
I would hope you’ve heard of this saying. It’s from Luke 12:48 (NIV). It’s why we integrated into a (mountain) community in our philosophy, rather than hunkering down in the virtual middle of nowhere. Our strategy is one of interlocking Mutual Assistance Group arrangements.
Tactics Are For Amateurs
Tactics are for amateurs, so the saying goes, and we aim to be considered professionals. So we attack the logistics problem to complete our pathway to resilience in support of the Constitution and our Christian principles; in SHTF, we must be able to respond to our MAG neighbors who are just over hill and dale.
Bottom Line Up Front
The bottom line up front (BLUF) is simple.
The least expensive and best upgrade to any existing AR-15 fire team for high altitude blended threats is to purchase standardized barrels and stock up on single-use, heavier bullets. Barrels would be in 12.5”, 16”, and 18–20” with 1 in 7.7″ twist. Bullets would be steel-cased Tula 75 grain.
The best upgrade would use a dedicated 6.8 SPC four-rifle fire team, with barrels of 12.5”, 16” and 18”. Dedicated upper receivers in 5.56mm are used for training. And the most flexible yet practical combination for high altitude blended threat environments is to have mixed 6.8 SPC and 5.56mm fire teams, particularly in ad hoc “roll your own” community defense integration.
If I were loading up a new survival team for SHTF operations from scratch, I would seriously consider outfitting my sample fire team of four people exclusively with 6.5 Grendel for four rifles and restrict their missions away from MOUT. The next comparable package for loading up a new survival team from scratch is to seriously consider adopting 6.5 Creedmoor, with full gear loadout supporting the AR-10 magazines and restrict their missions away from MOUT.
We recommend against adopting the beautiful, survival standard of .308/7.62x51mm caliber semi-automatic rifles. I’ll bet that got your attention! Read on.
How We Got Here: Winter Coming
I have a survival group consisting primarily of other combat veterans from multiple services ranging in age from mid-fifties down to late twenties and their families. We’ve had two members of our team die from lifestyle-related factors since we started. One died from heart disease and exertion and the other due to diabetes. This was when we were based at much lower altitudes. I take no great pleasure in communicating that someone will have to not only shoot and communicate but also move into position in order to maneuver. It’s not only about the bugout; it’s about the expected duration of collapse. We prepare for anything from six months to ten years of deprivation.
Assumptions in Retreat Location
Time and distance away from cities grant survivalists more decision-making advantages. This instruction is intended to assist those who already have or are considering a retreat located well away from urban centers of population. Choosing such a location means that should a failure of supply chain economics occur for whatever reason (financial collapse, pandemic, political coup, electro-magnetic pulse, zombie puppies and kittens, outer-space alien invasion, excessive bad manners, et cetera), a retreat to a well-provisioned safe zone will provide the dimensions of time and space for the “ants” who prepared against the “grasshoppers” who played during the seasons of plenty.
The metrics most survivalists value therefore dictate retreat locations along America’s Rocky Mountain range. The climate zones for this retreat locality are above 5500 feet but below timberline (11,000+ feet), which is an elevation where no vegetation can grow due to the thin air.
This exit strategy has been in place for over five years, with a sustainable, resilient homestead integrated into a village-sized mountain community. This survival group’s retreat is located somewhere within the Rocky Mountains south of Missoula, Montana and north of Albuquerque, New Mexico between the altitudes of 5500 feet to 9000 feet with subalpine climates down to high desert climates within reasonable hiking distance. Yearly temperatures at the homestead range over 110 degrees in variance, from -15F to 95F.
Roadway Access Issues
Some sort of roadway access is necessary when you consider how to bug out in all seasons, and this is where the philosophy of embedding yourself within an existing resilient community clashes with the philosophy of buying as much time, distance, and space as you can afford between you and your neighbors. We had locations we could go further off-grid, but four months out of the year the roadways are completely impassable after moderate storms. It wouldn’t work out as well for our children if we had to hike six miles through three feet of snow during an Apocalypse as it would to be able to reach where we needed to be with the moderate 4×4 or AWD SUV/CUV.
Available groundwater typically means you need to find rivers, lakes, and streams. Guess what? Others have figured out over the past three centuries where the best spots are, and they have colonized those with farms, towns, and other various and sundry human applications. With water comes population, because someone else found it before you did, right?
A Goldilocks Community of People
So our location has water, and, therefore, it has people. We chose to embed into a “Goldilocks” of a community, along a strategic high ground. It provides a valuable security over-watch for our adopted village community, should they require it. Because of this, we go to church with our neighbors. Their children play with our children, and we would be obliged to assist them if they were under attack by marauders. There’s a high saturation of preppers along with a high saturation of veterans, making this region difficult for the “grasshoppers” of the urban Free S— Army to try and overwhelm.
Not a Resort
Some mountain locations are merely resorts or getaways. We chose an area that had a wealth of agricultural operations as a point of resilience. Remote ranch sites exist everywhere, but those are considered by our intelligence assessment to be the outlying areas who will become “indicator species” for our security ecosystem.
If they start getting probed or raided, eventually we’re next. Our strategy is to aid and patrol within trusted elements of a community, which is already well saturated with a survival and resilience mindset.
Relevant Physiological and Environmental Factors
The environmental factors for this comparison include altitudes of 5500 feet to 9000 feet, taking foot patrols and escape and evasion (E&E) into consideration. E&E is a discipline we build into our survival community as a foundational element. E&E and remote hunting or patrols are assumed to begin above 8000 feet and go to timberline at 11,000 feet.
Outdoor operations must occur in tremendous temperature range during Rocky Mountain winter conditions as well as summer temperatures ranging into the mid-90s. We have to plan logistics and training for a hundred-degree swing in temperatures. That is no small feat, considering calorie, shelter, and defensive elements. This means that our survival caches are far more robust than they would be in a temperate climate. Perhaps I’ll write another article detailing our strategy on caches, if this one works out well.
I’ve looked at all logistical approaches to the rifle problem. This includes the startup cost, the ad hoc pickup game cost, and the total cost of strategic implementation. Strategic implementation includes the financial impact of integrating and supporting stashes of ammunition and magazines across cache locations along several main escape and evasion routes, along with potential interoperability with other groups. I’ve considered strategies of bulk military grade ammunition purchases along a DCA– Dollar Cost Averaging– timeline as well as component purchases and reloading time and effort. We’ve even looked at outsourcing our reloading for cost effectiveness. Bottom line: You can purchase all this ammunition and the components of the rifles we mention within this article with very little effort and upgrade your security fire teams.
Tomorrow, I’ll continue on with this article and write about physical factors and scenario conditions, as well as get into load-outs for alpine, sub-alpine, and high desert SHTF operations.
- 2 – Sweet Spot For the 21st Century With Calibers Beating .308, by Alpine Evader 
- 3 – Sweet Spot For the 21st Century With Calibers Beating .308, by Alpine Evader 
- 4 – Sweet Spot For the 21st Century With Calibers Beating .308, by Alpine Evader 
SurvivalBlog Writing Contest
This has been part one of a four part entry for Round 73 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest . The nearly $11,000 worth of prizes for this round include:
- A $3000 gift certificate towards a Sol-Ark Solar Generator  from Veteran owned Portable Solar LLC. The only EMP Hardened Solar Generator System available to the public.
- A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate. This can be used for any one, two, or three day course  (a $1,095 value),
- A course certificate from onPoint Tactical for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses , excluding those restricted for military or government teams. Three day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
- DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 NATO QD Billet upper . These have hammer forged, chrome-lined barrels and a hard case, to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR-type rifle to have a quick change barrel. This can be assembled in less than one minute without the use of any tools. It also provides a compact carry capability in a hard case or in 3-day pack (an $1,100 value),
- An infrared sensor/imaging camouflage shelter from Snakebite Tactical in Eureka, Montana (A $350+ value),
- Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees  in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
- A $250 gift certificate good for any product  from Sunflower Ammo,
- Two cases of Meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value).
- A Model 175 Series Solar Generator provided by Quantum Harvest LLC (a $439 value),
- A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4  Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, which have a combined retail value of $589,
- A gift certificate for any two or three-day class from Max Velocity Tactical (a $600 value),
- A transferable certificate for a two-day Ultimate Bug Out Course from Florida Firearms Training (a $400 value),
- A Trekker IV™ Four-Person Emergency Kit from Emergency Essentials (a $250 value),
- A $200 gift certificate good towards any books published by PrepperPress.com,
- A pre-selected assortment of military surplus gear from CJL Enterprize (a $300 value),
- RepackBox is providing a $300 gift certificate to their site, and
- American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses .
- A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of  Directive 21 (a $275 value),
- A custom made Sage Grouse model utility/field knife from custom knife-maker Jon Kelly Designs, of Eureka, Montana,
- A large handmade clothes drying rack, a washboard, and a Homesteading for Beginners DVD, all courtesy of The Homestead Store, with a combined value of $206,
- Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners , donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
- Two Super Survival Pack seed collections , a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
- Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances,
- Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord  (in-stock colors only) from www.TOUGHGRID.com (a $240 value), and
Round 73 ends on November 30th, so get busy writing and e-mail  us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.