Travis sent us a photo of himself taken and members of his squad in Afghanistan taken during 2009. He wrote…

This is myself (the big dude) and two of the guys in my Squad circa 2009 Helmand Province Afghanistan. Weapons are FN M4, MK 12 Designated Marksman Rifle, and M240 Machine gun.

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  • JumpIf NotZero

    Looks a lot like the post-OEF guys I’ve talked to..

    1. No drop leg holsters. IWB or OWB, and maybe an extra mag but typically just one in the gun. This weekend I trained with a lot of police who showed up in their active shooter gear and I saw a lot of bad drop leg holsters that apparently they were told they needed.

    2. 3-4 AR mags typical load… For a war zone. I laugh when I see civilians running around with 6+ 556 mags on their vests. I personally carry two in my go-bag. If two mags isn’t enough, I should be running – or I’m the bad guy in this scenario.

    3. Mk12. Yea buddy 🙂

    • Imjusmi

      These are Marines in support of OEF. and a full combat load is actually 6 mags .. well depends on your loadout. you can spread load your ammo in 8 mags if you wanna but 6 is a full load . ive been there

      • Yeah 6 mags minimum for rifles, and 3 mags for M9s, and most machine guns had a thousand rounds

      • JumpIf NotZero

        “full combat load is actually 6 mags”

        I wasn’t there. But I try and not limit myself to absolutes.

    • iksnilol

      Those guys can resupply. I might not be able to resupply. So taping on that extra mag and carrying extra mags is a safety precaution I am willing to take… especially considering I don’t wear armor (so I don’t have extra weight to contend with like they do).

      • JumpIf NotZero

        Where has your training come from? Because I’d strongly question that any civilian would take 6x 556 mags and no armor over 2 mags with or without armor.

        Just from some the SWAT guys I’ve trained with, if you’re wearing a fully decked out tac vest with 6 mags when they roll up… Well, let’s just say I advocate low profile.

      • As a civilian, if you end up fighting such that you would need resupply, something very much more serious than your loadout has gone wrong.

        • Zachary marrs

          The only time less ammo is a good thing is when you are on fire or swimming

          Us dirty civvies don’t need to carry LBE, kevlar helmet, etc that military guys do, so what’s tje harm in having a few extra mags?

          • I appreciate the “no one ever finishes a firefight and says ‘I brought too much ammo'” rhetoric, but realistically speaking the chance of a civilian needing their rifle at all – much less multiple extra mags for it – is very slim.

            The logic that one needs to bring along oodles of ammunition because they “might not be able to resupply” doesn’t really account for the way civilians fight. Civilians do not fight like soldiers, they fight when cornered only. I can imagine scenarios where a civilian (or multiple civilians) are cornered and may need as much ammunition as they can carry… And such a scenario almost always would end better for the civilian if they just surrendered.

            Now make no mistake – what I’m talking about here isn’t a “you don’t need more than X rounds” kind of argument to try to set a legal groundwork – carry as many magazines as you want, I guess. Just don’t fall into the trap of “your gunfight”. Try to think about the scenarios you could conceivably encounter and how to go about surviving them.

            In my case, if I need a rifle I am probably in my house. It’s probably been breached by one or more intruders, and I will need to secure part of it from them, up to and including shooting them. A rifle with 30 rounds, sling, optic, and light will do that job fine; I don’t need more ammunition. Ditto civil unrest; even if I needed to patrol the roof with my rifle, I am very unlikely to have gotten into a situation like Najaf where I’m blowing mag after mag shooting at hostiles 800m away. That implies a rather extreme (and thus probably predictable, and thus probably avoidable) degree of civil unrest. The rifle, and maybe a mag or two in my pockets would probably work just fine for that.

            All of these scenarios are themselves unlikely. What I’m most likely to need is my handgun, while I’m out of the house walking around. And what I’m most likely to carry is my handgun and as little extra baggage as possible.

          • Zachary marrs

            If it adds little to no bulk; im not wearing armor/radio/backpack why not carry an extra few mags?

            Actually, you and jumpif notzero are right! I only need 2 extra mags!

            I dont even need 30 rounds!
            Screw this! Im going back to California where everybody knows whats best for us!

          • Don Ward

            I don’t think you and Nathaniel are too far apart. In the majority of scenarios where a civilian is using a firearm to protect his/her self, a shot isn’t even fired. In the rarer instance where a shot is fired, usually it is just one or two. You hardly ever come across any instances where the civilian empties the weapon and is forced to reload. Yeah it does happen but someone also wins the lottery once a week.
            With that in mind, the only self defense weapon anyone really “needs” is a .357 revolver. That’s my carry piece. I do tote around a speed loader or speed strip. Not out of tactical necessity of a fast reload but because it is awkward to have a loose round fall out of your pocket when you’re counting out change.
            As for the guys going around tactical with multiple magazines, we all know what they’re preparing for and it’s not fighting off muggers.

          • Zachary marrs

            Along with a rifle, i keep 10 ar mags in my trucks lock box.

            I’d consider 5 enough, but i do like to go to the range when i have nothing better to do.

            My carry piece is an s&w m&p shield, and i carry an extra 8 round mag, with a spare in the truck

            I do think it is ridiculous for people to have 10 mags on them, but it has nothing to do with me

          • Carry with you where? Carry with you how? At what time? Are you assuming you’re “deploying” somewhere and somewhen you know you’ll see trouble? I agree with you; in that case, I want several spare magazines.

            Civilians do not generally encounter situations like this.

          • Zachary marrs

            I carry my handgun iwb holster, and an extra mag in my pocket

            My rifle +10 mags stay in* my trucks lockbox, i think 5 is good enough, but i like to go to the range when im out and about with nothing better to do

            I agree with you having 10 mags on your chestrig/whatever is a bit much, its none of my business

            My rifle has come in handy several times for feral hogs, though ive never emptied a full mag, it’s just nice to have

            *I put my rifle in my safe when at home

          • When you say:

            “If it adds little to no bulk; im not wearing armor/radio/backpack why not carry an extra few mags?”

            It seems to imply that you mean on your person. Of course I do not object to throwing a bunch of extra mags in a safe, in a truck, etc. Why should I?

            Again – not sure why I would need to reiterate this since I write for a firearms website with the motto “firearms not politics” – I am not discussing this subject with any regard to the law. So maybe this sentiment:

            “Actually, you and jumpif notzero are right! I only need 2 extra mags!

            I dont even need 30 rounds!
            Screw this! Im going back to California where everybody knows whats best for us!”

            …is also a bit misplaced.

          • Zachary marrs

            That sentiment is not misplaced.

            The writers of this site have routinely crossed the “no politics” line, and the ability to own a chunk of metal and plastic is not political

            The point is, i don’t have 10 mags on me, but who gives a damn if i do? Worst case scenario, i use a few, so what?

            Since the chance a person will get into a firefight with a long gun is so remote, why even bother
            b-tching how they run their gear?

          • Leonard

            “Since the chance a person will get into a firefight with a long gun is so remote, why even bother b-tching about how they run their gear?”

            which is exactly what you’re doing……

            Which brings me to another observation. In a situation where you have to actually use a long gun due to a wrol event, thinking that you’re going to just shoot it out on your own and survive is an inane belief at best.

            Basically what would happen is you would turn into an ammo cache for whatever group of organized armed individuals that were alerted by your “10 mag” presence.

          • Zachary marrs

            No, I’m b-tchin about the people b-tching about guys who carry 10 mags on them, HUGE difference

            You should read my other comments

        • iksnilol

          Though I look at this differently. I sorta expect a new war in my homeland. You guys at worst expect a riot like the Rodney King riots and whatnot. Short duration, medium intensity at most (people getting killed but not efficently or organized).

          I expect something else, I expect long duration (years), high intensity (getting shelled daily, people getting systematically killed, etc.)

          That and I don’t intend to wear a chest rig or something. I prefer a jacket (preferably leather) over with a subtle rig. Something to keep the mags on my side instead of infront. cover it with the jacket and problem solved. Rifle is slung under backpack. If something happens, use pistol to break away and get the rifle out. Subtle yet capable.

          Also I don’t expect to be able to find ammo, I surely will be able to get some but I prefer 6-8 mags (+ two in rifle and maybe a 20 rounder in stock) instead of 2 spare. It will last longer and if I get cut off = higher chance of surviving if I don’t run out.

          • Absolutely; do not take my opinion of what’s right and reasonable for me and adopt it as your own without thinking about it. If you live in, say, Liberia, you might well want to run around with a chest rig and as many magazines as you can get, and as many friends with rifles, chest rigs, and magazines as they can get, too.

          • Zachary marrs

            So you acknowledge that “whats right and reasonable” for you might not be for others?

            Then why are we having this conversation?

          • iksnilol

            Liberia I believe might be a bit different (easier). I mean, you likely won’t get shot if you are seen with a rifle or something.

  • Imjusmi

    FN doesnt make the M4 at least not for the Marine Corps. The receivers are still from Colt. The M16s thats a whole different question.

    • Some FN M16A2 lowers have been arsenal rebuilt/remarked as M4.

    • You are correct they don’t but odd things happen in country and he was a Combat Engineer that originally came with a SAW when attached to our infantry, but was a sweeper, and after jumping through hoops, got an M16A4, and his command(Combat Engineers) eventually got a M4 shipped to him that was an odd ball with iron sights, and HK mags, new in the box. I wanna swear up and down it was FN because some of us noticed a distinct lack of the Pony

    • Grindstone50k

      When I was in USAF (yeah, yeah) basic, my M16 straight-up had the FNH logo on the lower.

    • Scott

      FN does make them.

  • RealitiCzech

    Needs more PT belts.

  • Joshua

    Has to be fake… everyone knows the LMG goes to the smallest guy.

  • USMC03Vet

    Guns up!

    Weapons plt or just attachments?

    • Both, Our company made their own recon squad and pulled from everywhere, The DM is a 0341, the Mger(Me) is of course a 31, the guy with the M4 is a combat engineer, we also had a 51 another 31, a few 11s, a 0611, an artillery scout

  • Zachary marrs
    • iksnilol

      Poke it for Gods sake, POKE IT!

  • iksnilol

    I know I would, would love it if somebody made a lightweight version of the PKM.

  • Don Ward

    In the scenario you outline there should be weapons and ammo for the taking in a fifteen mile radius around every population center as would-be Preppers start discarding heavy items from their overloaded “bug-out” bag that they’re hiking out with.

  • Matthew Brennan

    Semper Fi

  • Maybe, but I loved my M240, and I had more ammo options

  • Fruitbat44

    Cool photo.
    Of course this is a photo of three guys posing for the camera, and not a photo of these guys actually out on patrol.
    Either way, thanks for posting it and keep safe.

  • mig1nc

    Ops Inc suppressor holster on his left hip. That muzzle brake is a beast without the can on.