Get some…

What: Multiple weapon familiarization
Where: BeaveRun Readiness Training Center
When: Aug 1-2, 2011

After taking some time off from contracting I have been looking to get back on a gig. I didn’t want to show up to assessment and be the weakest link so I have begun getting back into shape and brushing up on skills that I can’t do in the standard carbine/pistol/team tactics classes.

In early July I contacted 03humpalot to get an info dump on the Intermediate Machine Gun Operators Course and check on the next class date. At that time no classes were scheduled and Buck mentioned that there may be a chance for a less formal opportunity in the near future. A couple days later Buck advised that he and the staff at BRTC would be doing a couple days of range time to work on videos and photos for program development and advertising use and offered me an invitation to come up and get some time on the guns as well as a chance to check out the facility. I told him I was there and he advised on travel and lodging info.

I made my reservations at the local Holiday Inn in Beaver Falls, just a few miles from the facility (approximately 7 min drive). BeaveRun does have a special rate which will save you a couple of dollars. The town has most amenities that you would need while there for a class including a number of good mom and pop restaurants, a Walmart, and a number of gas stations and liquor/beer shops. I did see a gun store about a mile from the facility but didn’t have time to drop in so not sure how much they have to offer in the way of last minute ammo needs or the like.

TD 1 was scheduled to start at 0900 in the class room. Directions to the facility were easy to navigate and when I arrived at the complex I checked in at the ‘ECP’ with security and was directed to the training building. I was a few minutes early and Buck and staff were there with Tacman71 and Wayneard were already there linking some PKM belts and catching up on old times.

We loaded up the little bit of gear that wasn’t already staged at the range and headed out. Once on the range we setup some targets Tacman71 (Rob Tackett) had brought up to be used and setup a variety of ‘areas’ on the range to allow for shooting pistols, carbines, and machineguns on the range without conflict. While there are a number of ranges at the facility we worked on the 100m range which has (from memory) a covered concrete pad with integrated work areas at the primary firing line as well as concrete pads on the left side of the range at 25m, 50m, and 75m, allowing a variety of layouts for specific points of instruction. The entire range has a deep layer of crushed stone to allow for drainage and fight flooding when the weather turns wet. The berms are high and basically cut into a large hillside.

The range has ample target stands for paper and quite a bit of steel to allow for a wide variety of instruction and exercises.

Once on the range Buck took a solid couple hours to go over the 249 and 240B platforms with me. Having used these on previous contracts but not getting a lot of time on them I had a very basic knowledge of the platforms but had (and still have) a lot to learn. We covered the following (I am sure I am leaving something out):

-Concept of the system and how it is best applied
-Tear down, inspection points, and reassembly (user level) and function checks
-Lube points/pre-mission checks
-Setting the gun up for success for various missions as well as how to setup your gear for success (slings, belted ammo, emergency mag, etc)
-Platform options including the fixed and adjustable stock, standard and parasaw barrels, adjustable and fixed gas systems, iron sights and optics
-Mission application (vehicles, on foot PSD, on foot patrol, static op/lp, QRF, ambush) and adaption.
-Malfunction clearance and IADs
-Barrel changes
-Application of fire on target as a solo gun and in teams
-Rates of fire, bursts, barrel life

After discussing and practicing dry these things I got behind the platforms and we went through a number of drills to get the hands on and a feel for firing them from various positions.

In addition to the 240/249 Buck also brought out his personal PKM and went through the operation of that and we got a chance to shoot it as well. He has done some significant mods to it and it is a nice piece of hardware with quite a bit of weight reduction. Given the opportunity to customize one down range I would really like to set one up similar to his.

I easily reached all the goals I had set for getting familiar with systems and then some. Buck definitely knows his stuff and has the ability to communicate it.

Later in TD 1 we ran some pistol and carbine drills, shooting on the copious amounts of steel on the range and generally having a good time shooting a variety of guns that everyone had brought out including an M203. Buck ran through a run down on the 203 and we all got a chance to shoot quite a bit of training and practice rounds with a little competition to see who could get the most hits on steel at 100m.

Around 1700 we shut down for the day, packed gear, and headed off to clean up and have chow.

The next morning we hit the range again running more time on the guns and get video and photos of specific skills and procedures including running some vehicle down drills.

In addition to another solid day of shooting the 249/240B/203 Buck broke out a M24A1 with AAC (IIRC) can and everyone took turns shooting it as well. I am not much of a precision gun guy, I have one IBA bolt gun, but that SWS was pretty slick. We also rounded out with some more drills and general shooting.

I wan’t to say thanks to Buck and Aaron from BRTC, Rob from Tacstrike, Wayneard, Mark S, Mark T, and the rest of the guys that came out. I learned a lot and had a kick ass time.

I hit the road after dinner on the 2nd and didn’t get all the files but look for some pics and vids to follow.

In closing, be sure to check out BRTC and the classes they have to offer. The facility is great and the staff are knowledgeable and passionate about the work they do. A great combination.

Pics and Videos:


Early in the day, the pile kept growing…


Buck running the SAW


Rob on the PKM


Putting the 203 to work

Vehicle Counter Assault Drill (Static camera)

Vehicle Counter Assault Drill (CAT SAW Gunner helmet cam)

Buck testing out a new machinegunner go
bag from EGGROLL

On the note of steel…
I do not remember how many pieces Rob brought down for us to shoot but I would venture to say that spread across the 5-10 targets we cumulatively put 10-15k rounds (a lot of it being green tip 5.56) on the targets, most of it through the 249. All of them held up extremely well with zero plate penetrations and minimal pock marks.

As you can see in the vids a number of drills put us pretty close with excellent durability on the target side and no splash or spall on the shooter side.

We literally did everything we could with guns and the 203 to try and destroy them and they weathered the storm.

Until next time…

Stay sharp,


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