Tuesday, August 30, 2011

It smells like oranges...and victory!

I have been a machine gun armorer for a while now and have recently taken over the armorer duties at work as our full time guy bounced and is currently in vetting for an overseas gig. I dont really mind this as i enjoy wrenching on guns.

While i certainly dont have as much time wrenching on guns as a lot of guys do i do have a lot of time carrying them for a living, and teaching their use. Over the years i have learned some things...mostly that the way i was originally taught to clean weapons was a complete waste of time and actually contributed to wearing them out faster.

Most quality firearms will run with no cleaning as long as you keep them wet with quality lube. Once they do get sluggish its time to bust out the cleaning gear and get to work.

The last few days i have been dicking around in the armory trying to get stuff organized and clean and repair stuff that needs it.

Our schoolhouse 240's and 249's have seen some major rounds without cleaning (Live and blank) and are starting to show it.

A few years ago i got turned onto the SLIP family of products through Pat Rogers of EAG Tactical. I have used just about everything on the market and this is THE stuff. All the products in the line work together to clean/lube/and make follow on cleaning much,much easier.

I use SLIP 2000 Extreme weapons lubricant on everything from handguns to big bore precision rifles. It works especially well on light and medium machine guns. Most lubes will burn off fairly quickly when run through belt fed weapons but SLIP EWL tends to last longer than most.

The entire product line is non toxic/non hazmat and as such you can have it shipped to your APO downrange. ....giggitty....

For cleaning i use the 725 cleaner/degreaser and the carbon killer. The 725 works well for minor stuff but the carbon killer straight makes baked on carbon its bitch as im about to show you.

One of the dirtiest parts of both the 240/249 are the gas system plugs (Newer 249's dont have these anymore) and they are required to be reasonably clean to function.

Attached are a series of photos both pre and post cleaning. These are the spare barrels as well, they are cleaner than the barrels on the gun that i got yesterday.

I hosed everything down with 725...let sit for a minute and wiped off, removed the gas cylinder plugs from the M240B barrels and let them sit in the carbon killer for 10 minutes. I then used an AP brush (Toothbrush) to scrub as much of the crap off as i could and punched the bores with a 1 piece cleaning rod with carbon killer. Next i dried off and relubed with Slip EWL. Good to go. Elapsed time was about 15 minutes per barrel.

Pre cleaning

post cleaning

Another quality product thats out for weapons cleaning is this stuff...works great when you are in a hurry.

Its available from TacStrike on their webstore.


Kill Babies!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Med bags and the stuffing there-of

After today’s earthquake shenanigans (Have not been through one of those in a while) I decided to take stock of my emergency supplies. Weapons/ammo/kit/chow and water I checked a few weeks ago so pulled out my house and truck med bags to check them out.

A few words and pics of my truck Med bag (Rockin the 4:1 consulting Velcro TQ holder \m/ ) will follow.

A lot of us prepared types keep a med bag in our vehicles (as well as having the training and experience to use them)…if you don’t… you need to unfuck yourself. You could be the difference between someone living or dying. I am amazed at the number of instructors of various tactical related subjects who have zero medical skills and or equipment onboard when conducting training but that’s a rant for another day.

As to the bags themselves they don’t have to be fancy, if you are on a budget a few simple pieces of med gear tossed in a zip lock bag will do. I am currently using the ATS Tactical gear FRB med bag and like it…although it’s going to get sent off here soon to have some mods made to it to work better for me.

1 piece of advice…everything you throw in your bag needs to be waterproofed, having had several hundred dollars of medical gear destroyed when my pack soaked through once in a rainstorm I learned that lesson the hard way…again Ziplocs for the win.

I am a former EMT-B with combat lifesaver training and spent a little time while deployed as my team’s backup medic when our 18D trained guys were on leave so I keep my bag tailored to my level of training and abilities. I am not going to get into why I carry each piece of gear in my kit, but I am sufficiently trained and have used every single piece of equipment I carry in the real world.

I like to break my med bags down into “Sections” if you will for ease of finding stuff in the dark. Note; I need to find a decent headlamp and throw it in my kit.

My bag is broken down as follows.


VS17 panel+IR and white light strobe.

On outside of bag I keep a half roll of riggers tape on the waist belt + a SOF TQ in one of the 4:1 Velcro TQ holders I make and sell.

Inside bottom zippered pouch of bag I keep my taped together Splinting kit consisting of

X3 finger splints

X1 Sam splint

X1 cravat

X2 space blankets

X1 Coflex roll

Inside main pouch of bag I keep 2 Oales modular bandages for easy access, my bleeder kit consists of the following.

X1 SOF TQ secured with another of my Velcro TQ holders

X3 rolls of H+H compressed gauze

X3 rolls Kerlix gauze

X5 Combine ABD pads

X2 Quick clot combat gauze

X2 ActCel Hemostatic gauze

Airway kit

X3 Asherman chest seals

X2 14 gauge angiocaths for NCD

X3 H+H wound seal kits

Also my boo-boo kit consisting of moleskin/band aids/oral rehydration salts

Another Ziploc contains my BSI kit with non-latex gloves/beta dine and iodine prep pads/hand sanitizer

1 roll of athletic tape and 2 spare pistol mags.

This kit is setup to allow me to treat mostly trauma/minor injuries while out and about or on the range, and is either in my truck or stuffed/lashed to the top of my pack while out trying to shoot critters in the face or general woods bumming. Works for me.

The FRB bag is available from ATS Tactical gear here...


Money saving tip of the day...dont throw out your old kydex (Its easier to work than you think). Only thing you need is a heat source/multitool or your old lady's salad tong ;)  to hold/bend/shape the item and a few seconds of your time.

 I have managed to break EVERY single kydex holster and magazine pouch i have ever used with the exception of these.

These are by far the best and longest lasting kydex items i have used and have no screws or attaching hardware to break.They are made by a company called Ready Tactical and i purchased these through SKD tactical (GREAT company by the way).

 I have these two 1911 pouches and also 2 Glock 19 pouches. I bought them in 2006 IIRC and they have seen constant use since then in both Iraq and here stateside.
They have started to loosen up as of late so today i fired up the kitchen stove and rebent them for better purchase. Worked like a champ..and im very surprised how easy it was to work the kydex...hmmm i may have to play around with this Kydex a bit more.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Monday, August 15, 2011

Welcome aboard!

If you found your way here let me introduce myself and fill you in on what 4:1 consulting is all about. I am a (1st Force Recline, couch Platoon) Marine and security contractor with about 10 years’ time OCONUS.
 I am currently a full time firearms/security driving/PSD instructor/ armorer which allow’s me to give back to my community and T&E existing products from other manufacturers as well as my own. I still have the overseas itch and may eventually head back over but for now I am having a good time doing what I do.

I am now back in Afghanistan and working on my sunburn.
Each job I have held over the last 15 years has afforded me the ability to both carry and teach the employment of belt fed weapons . I have utilized both U.S. and Combloc belt fed weapons almost daily over that time period.
Belt Fed weapons have saved my life and the lives of my team mates in the past and as you may be able to tell I am rather passionate about them.
Over the years some amazing guys have shared their knowledge with me, and in turn made me a more efficient and knowledgeable operator and instructor of said weapons.
 I still have much to learn.
I still use that same network of guys to bounce ideas off of, T&E equipment I am working on, and to update our TTP’s for training so our curriculum at work reflects what is actually happening on the ground. I owe it to them and their families if they come to us for training/advice/or products to do the best I possibly can.
I have spent a great deal of my own time and money modifying various belt fed platforms and support gear over the last several years for varying uses  and plan to continue to do just that on in to the future.
Frustrated with the lack of modern equipment and quality firearms training (despite the HUGE advancements in gear and training for riflemen) for guys using belt fed weapons, I formed a company to address just that.
 This all actually began in 2001 when I built a nomex quiver for carrying hot M249 barrels while working for a climbing gear manufacturer just prior to getting into security contracting before 9/11.
The idea for 4:1 consulting has been floating around in my banged up melon since then and is finally coming to fruition.
 I sure as hell don’t know it all nor do I pretend to, I am still learning every single day.
While 4:1 is belt fed oriented I am working on other products for shooters and armed professionals as well.
With the help of my friends in and out of the industry I finally got the ball rolling. I owe it all to them and do it for the guys on the ground fighting the good fight.
 We owe you all everything we have and I will NEVER forget that.
I hope this blog/training/products/future research and product development help you in some small way to do just that.