US Special Forces rescue American citizen held hostage in Nigeria

The Following is Straight up from CNN
By Barbara Starr and Ryan Browne, CNN

(CNN)US special operations forces on Saturday rescued an American citizen taken hostage by armed men earlier this week in Niger and held in northern Nigeria, the Pentagon said.

“U.S. forces conducted a hostage rescue operation during the early hours of 31 October in Northern Nigeria to recover an American citizen held hostage by a group of armed men. This American citizen is safe and is now in the care of the U.S. Department of State. No U.S military personnel were injured during the operation,” Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said in a statement.
“We appreciate the support of our international partners in conducting this operation. The United States will continue to protect our people and our interests anywhere in the world.”
The mission, which was several hours long, was conducted by the Navy’s elite SEAL Team 6 who were flown to the region by Air Force special operations, a US official with knowledge of the operation told CNN.

The US forces who conducted the mission killed six of the seven captors, the official said. The US believes the captors have no known affiliation with any terror groups operating in the region, and were more likely bandits seeking money. The State Department confirmed earlier this week that a US citizen had been abducted in Niger.

Local media outlets reported that the US citizen was a male missionary. CNN has not been able to confirm the citizen’s identity.
The governor of the local region where the abduction took place was quoted in various local media and by French media reporting from Niger as saying that six men on motorbikes armed with AK-47s came to the man’s property in the village of Massalata, close to the border with Nigeria.

The governor, Abdourahamane Moussa, told these media outlets that after demanding money, the men took the American citizen with them in the direction of the Nigerian border.
The State Department spokesman said that “when a U.S. citizen is missing, we work closely with local authorities as they carry out their search efforts, and we share information with families however we can.” On Saturday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the US citizen would be reunited with his family.
“Thanks to the extraordinary courage and capabilities of our military, the support of our intelligence professionals, and our diplomatic efforts, the hostage will be reunited with his family,” Pompeo said in a statement. “We will never abandon any American taken hostage.”
President Donald Trump on Saturday thanked the special operations forces for rescuing the American citizen and said more details about the mission would be shared in “a very short period of time.”
“I want to thank the special forces. We had a tremendous event happen and really these are incredible people that do this,” Trump told reporters as he departed for a day of campaign travel.
This story has been updated with additional reporting.

CNN’s Nicole Gaouette, Tim Lister, Alison Main and Veronica Stracqualursi contributed to this report.

Oregon’s First Anti-Poaching K9, Buck


Fresh snow had just melted and the scent trail was more than a day old when a yellow Labrador Retriever named Buck went in search of evidence linked to an elk that had been poached on March 19, near Cottage Grove. Time- and snow- work against tracking dogs. Still, Buck was hot on the scent of gunpowder and shell casings. He found casings, also known as brass, among grass and twigs, invisible to the human eye. Three times Buck signaled his handler, Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife Senior Trooper Josh Wolcott.

Buck, a K-9 with the Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife Division, poses with his handler, trooper Josh Wolcott.
Credit Chris Lehman / KLCC
Finding three casings confirmed the story OSP F&W Senior Trooper Martin Maher had heard from two suspected poachers. Five shots had been reported through the Turn In Poachers (TIP) Line, five bullets recovered, two elk were down. During his interview with members of the hunting party, the deceptions of that morning came out. First, the teenager claimed he had shot both elk. He had a tag for one, and the other he had shot accidently. However, his tag was for a different unit so it was invalid. Both kills were poaching. The penalties would be severe.

Then another member of the group confessed. He had poached the second elk in two shots, then picked up his brass to conceal evidence of the crime. They had not anticipated the shots would be reported. Or that they would be approached by Senior Trooper Maher, who would spot the second carcass nearby. And they certainly hadn’t anticipated that Buck, Oregon’s only anti-poaching K-9 unit, would be able to track the scene of the crime to confirm the number of brass casings following an overnight snowfall.

Buck is just one resource in Oregon’s anti-poaching arsenal. The culture of poaching is pervasive and entrenched, as demonstrated by the young elk hunter’s inauguration into the deceptive practice of hiding a wildlife crime.

The Oregon Hunters Association- a stalwart in ethical game practices- and Defenders of Wildlife, a national conservation group, both lobbied for stronger legislation and prosecution against poachers. In January, The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) launched a new anti-poaching education and awareness campaign to teach Oregonians how to recognize and report poaching. Because of Oregon’s vast land and water areas, assistance from the public is the only hope for unearthing crimes- and crime scenes- that are all too easy to bury.

That’s where Buck comes in. Buck locates gunpowder residue, human scent and evidence trails that troopers would not find visually. Sometimes that scent leads to additional evidence. Sometimes the scent itself marks a specific location.

Earlier this year, OSP F&W troopers served a search warrant on a residence in Roseburg. Residents were suspected of poaching various bird and game species in the area. Troopers suspected the evidence had been burned or buried. Or both. They were right. When Wolcott gave Buck the “Show me,” command, the dog surveyed the area by scent and found remnants of a burned turkey carcass and feathers in a fire pit. They found deer bones in burn barrels. They thought they were done, but Buck signaled a find to Trooper Wolcott, in front of an old overturned boat.

“We could smell something bad,” Trooper Wolcott said, “It smelled like old rotten insulation.” Buck gave the signal that he had found what he was looking for. Trooper Wolcott and OSP F&W Trooper Jason Stone started looking. They found a partial decomposed buck deer under a blue tarp under the transom of the boat.
Bulk Ammo In-Stock

Buck started his career with OSP F&W and Senior Trooper Wolcott in 2018. He was donated to OSP F&W by the Portland non-profit Oregon Wildlife Foundation (OWF). OWF members had started a fund to purchase an anti-poaching K-9 unit. Wolcott was selected to pilot the program and was paired with the gangly yellow Labrador. They completed training in Indiana at the Canine Resource Protection School and began working as a team in May of 2019. Buck proved his worth immediately.

Their first assignment as an anti-poaching team was a saturation patrol during pronghorn antelope season on Hart Mountain in Eastern Oregon. Trooper Wolcott positioned himself on a high plateau and glassed the ridges and valleys around him. He saw a pair of hunters aim for and kill an antelope buck. He continued watching, waiting for them to tag the animal. They didn’t.

He watched as one of the pair started hiking out of the kill zone. Wolcott knew what would come next: The man would return with a four-wheeler, they would load up the animal and be gone. He suspected they would try to get away with the animal without tagging it because either they didn’t have tags and were poaching from the start, or they had tags, but would high-grade. High grading, also called trading up, is when someone kills an animal, but delays tagging it in hopes of getting a larger one later. In those cases, the smaller animal is often hidden and left to waste.

When Trooper Wolcott saw the man leave the site in a hurry, he knew the race was on. He got in his pickup, started the engine and looked for a road that would take him nearest the kill site. But he was unfamiliar with the territory and had to loop around, then hike in to where he thought it was. When he got there, 30 minutes had passed and there was no sign of the men, the antelope, or a four-wheeler. He thought he had lost them, and was going to give up, but Buck started signaling that he was on a scent. Wolcott followed Buck more than a mile across two ridges and another canyon, eventually finding the kill site. Both men were loading the antelope onto a four-wheeler. It had been over an hour and the antelope still had not been tagged. When the men saw Wolcott and Buck, they placed a tag on the antelope. Wolcott cited them for failure to immediately tag their animal.

Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife Troopers, like all OSP Troopers, visit schools, hospitals, senior centers and other institutions to educate the public about their work. Trooper Wolcott and his K-9 anti-poaching partner, Buck, were getting ready for a meet-and-greet with kindergartners at a local grade school when the teacher and principal pulled the trooper aside. They said something traumatic had happened to one of the students a couple nights before.

The police had gone to his house and interviewed his parents about illegal activities. Dogs had been brought in and searched the premises. As a result, his parents were taken into custody. It had been an emotional time. The student might not react favorably to a dog or law enforcement. Be ready for anything. The Senior Trooper nodded his head. He understood.

The small boy walked forward slowly, eyes cast down, hands by his side. When he neared the dog, he stopped. Dog and boy looked at each other somberly, then the boy slowly stretched his hand out toward the dog. Buck tilted his big yellow head and sniffed the boy’s hand. What happened next stunned Josh and the teacher.

Buck and the boy leaned in toward each other. As they did the boy gently broke his somber composure. He smiled a little, then wrapped both arms around the dog’s big neck and spoke into a droopy yellow ear.

“Good dog,” he said, “You’re a good dog,” backing away another step, “I love you Buck.”

Buck and Trooper Wolcott will continue as a team, barring the unexpected, until Buck reaches retirement age, which is about nine years old. Part of Buck’s assignment, along with all Oregon State Troopers, is community development and relationship-building. A larger part is paws-on-the-ground nose work to detect poaching.
It can be difficult to find the scene of a crime with no visible evidence. For Buck, it is a game.
“He has the best job a dog can have,” says Trooper Wolcott, “He’s doing what comes naturally to a dog like him and then he gets to play.”
Buck has the long back, deep chest and drawn flank of an athlete. He circles the field, making his way lightly through thick grass and low brambles, floating smoothly over the terrain. Legs swing with pendulum precision. He cruises efficiently, neck stretched forward, head gently swaying back and forth to sample the wind.

Buck meanders with purpose. His ability to find something by scent rather than vision makes it possible for him to cover more ground in a shorter amount of time than traditional search methods. For example, when troopers need to find shell casings in a grassy field, they can bring in several people, line up and walk the area in a grid pattern using metal detectors. Or they can bring in Buck to cruise the field, pick up the scent, and locate the shell casings.

When Buck catches the scent, it looks like a fish on the end of a line. His grace changes to chaos as he whips his nose high in the air, holding it in place to catch the scent. His body flails behind, changing direction in mid-air. Then its game on. He plunges to the ground and runs his nostrils along the turf like a vacuum, sucking up every morsel of scent. He is thorough if not methodical, sampling grass here, ground there, and the wind constantly. When he finds the scent- and he does find the scent- he signals by stopping, sitting, and then looking over his shoulder expectantly at Trooper Wolcott.

The Payoff

For Buck, the payoff for a job well done is straightforward: Play time with Trooper Wolcott. Buck switches from working the case to retrieving a ball in an instant. Watching Buck switch from working dog to playing dog is a transformation exemplary of perfect work-life balance. He has mastered the art of compartmentalization. When he runs fast after the ball, every ounce of his purpose dedicated to the chase, he demonstrates what it means to live in the moment.

Straight Shooters

The following is straight up from Stars & Stripes

Army to revamp small arms training with tougher marksmanship tests

STUTTGART, Germany — The Army is revamping small-arms training with tougher marksmanship tests designed to better prepare troops — whether cook or infantryman — to shoot straight while under duress.

The new standards, which take effect in October, will change how troops train with pistols and automatic rifles, the Army said. The standards must be met by October 2020.

“It’s exactly what we would do in a combat environment, and I think it’s just going to build a much better shooter,” Sgt. Maj. Robert K. Fortenberry, of the Army’s infantry school at Fort Benning, Ga., said in a statement.

The aim is to get all soldiers to a “baseline” set of marksmanship skills that go beyond achieving just a passing score during routine weapons qualification testing. Rather than pulling from stacked pre-staged ammunition to hit targets, troops will now need to draw their gear as they would in conflict.

”Marksmanship training should also train soldiers on the other tasks they’d face in using their weapon in combat,” the Army release said.

Soldiers will be tested on whether they can rapidly load and reload as they would in combat, as well as quickly switching firing positions and making snap decisions on what targets to hit. Other new requirements include demonstrating proficiency in night combat conditions and simulated chemical attacks.

“You’re employing your weapon system in a more tactical environment or scenario, versus the more traditional way of doing it,” said Fortenberry. “And by doing so, it creates additional rigor, using all of the elements of critical thinking, sound judgment, adapting to change, all of those nontangible attributes.”

The Army also is eliminating timeouts when weapons malfunction during testing.

“You have to fix the malfunction,” Fortenberry said. Timeouts would only be authorized by leaders on a case-by-case basis, he said.

The new standards also require units to use indoor and electronic firing ranges as more affordable aids to instruction, rather than just relying on outdoor ranges.

“All units regardless of type will be held to the same new, tougher basic standards,” the Army said. “All will have to train the same skills, and ensure they schedule the same amount, type and frequency of marksmanship training mandated (by the new manual).”

In the past, the Army did not use a single approach to teaching marksmanship. The training overhaul pulls together all the individual weapons standards.

The Army said it spent about two years developing the program, drawing upon the expertise of nearly 200 marksmanship experts.

“It’s not to say that what we were doing in the past was wrong,” Fortenberry said. “We killed a lot of bad guys in Iraq and Afghanistan and all over the world with our current level of marksmanship training.”

However, the changes coincide with what the Army has learned over the past two decades about how to develop proficient marksmen, he said.

Harris County Welcome Sign

This Sign led the Pack for most Politically Incorrect Sign of the Year.

Harris County Sheriff Mike Jolley posted a most epic, pro-carry sign in front of his sheriff’s office. This has taken the community and online world by storm.
The sign read “Our citizens have concealed weapons. If you kill someone, we might kill you back. We have ONE jail and 356 cemeteries. Enjoy your stay!”
Fox news asked about the meaning of the sign, the Sheriff points out that the citizens are armed, and if you commit murder in his county, well, the citizens might just kill you back themselves.

The Sheriff also said, “The verbiage of this is just tongue-in-cheek to the fact that we have a lot of concealed weapon cards going out right now, and I truly believe in my citizens in the county protecting themselves, that if someone comes up here and tries to harm them, they will use [their weapon] in a lawful manner”.
The photo of the sign was posted on Facebook and have received approximately “98%-99% supportive.
This isn’t the first time Sheriff Jolley did something like this.
Back in 2015 he posted a sign that reads, “WARNING: Harris County is politically incorrect. We say: Merry Christmas, God Bless America and In God We Trust. We salute our troops and our flag. If this offends you…LEAVE!” His comment was, the sign was a culture of political correctness.
“It’s time for the silent majority to stand up for our beliefs and not be ashamed,” he said at the time. Local response to that sign was overwhelming positive, and Jolley said he got several offers from people wanting to buy it.

NSSF, Project ChildSafe Celebrate 20 Years of Leading the Way on Genuine Firearms Safety

Community-led effort focuses on preventing firearms accidents, thefts and misuse

LAS VEGAS – As Project ChildSafe, the nationwide firearms safety education program of the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, it’s stepping up efforts with the shooting sports industry to remind gun owners of their important role as leaders in genuine firearms safety. 
“Nearly 9,000 retailers, gun ranges, makers of accessories and conservation groups, along with many of the nation’s largest firearms manufacturers, have joined us in spreading the message of ‘Own It? Respect It. Secure It.,’ and encouraging gun owners to store their firearms responsibly when not in use,” said Steve Sanetti, NSSF’s CEO. “With new companies in our industry adding their support for Project ChildSafe, I know we can continue to reduce firearms accidents, thefts and misuse, including suicide.”
Project ChildSafe was launched in 1999 and has become the largest, most comprehensive firearms safety education program in the U.S. Through partnerships across the shooting sports industry, as well as with more than 15,000 law enforcement agencies, the program has distributed more than 38 million free firearms safety kits — each including a gun lock and safety brochure–to gun owners and become the leading voice in promoting safe storage of firearms when they aren’t in use.
The program is financially supported by NSSF member companies, and during its history has received a number of federal and state grants helping to extend its reach. At the industry’s annual trade show this week, the SHOT Show, program leaders are focused on increasing direct industry engagement with customers and the gun-owning public to promote safe firearms handling and storage. The effort is primarily driven by the results the program has already achieved. In the time since Project ChildSafe launched, fatal firearms accidents in all age groups have dropped to historic lows, according to the National Safety Council. Additionally, in 2017, the Government Accountability Office issued a report with a clear determination that giving gun owners free gun locks, as Project ChildSafe does, results in more gun owners choosing to use the locks and store their firearms securely.
Sanetti said that there are many safe storage options gun owners can use to keep guns out of the wrong hands, including lock boxes, and that parents should make it a priority to talk with their children about gun safety.
“The firearms industry is committed to the safe, legal and responsible use of firearms, and, as an industry, we are the leading voice in the national conversation to promote responsible actions among legal gun owners, to help prevent accidents and to help keep guns out of the wrong hands. Because all those actions are real solutions that make homes, neighborhoods and communities safer,” Sanetti said.
NSSF’s Shooting Hunting and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show presents a perfect opportunity for industry members to learn more about Project ChildSafe and how they can be involved. Project ChildSafe will be on site at SHOT Show at booth #2426 and, because mobilizing an industry also requires engaging the leading voices in that industry, Project ChildSafe will host a special “Women of the Gun” reception, on Wednesday, Jan. 23, featuring many of the most prominent women in hunting and the shooting sports today.
For more information on Project ChildSafe and how to get involved, visit
About NSSFThe National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of more than 12,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers. For more information, visit
About Project ChildSafeNSSF launched Project ChildSafe in 1999 (prior to 2003 the program was called Project HomeSafe) as a nationwide initiative to promote firearms responsibility and provide safety education to all gun owners, young adults and children. Through partnerships with more than 15,000 law enforcement agencies nationwide, the program has provided more than 38 million free firearm safety kits to gun owners in all 50 states and the five U.S. territories to help prevent firearms accidents, theft and misuse. That’s in addition to the more than 70 million free locking devices manufacturers have included with new firearms sold since 1998 and continue to do today. Project ChildSafe was also recognized as one of three finalists in the National Safety Council’s 2018 “Green Cross for Safety” Awards. Learn more at

Grizzly Bear takes Shotgun Blast at point-blank range

When a Canadian family noticed a group of bears on their property, the father attempted to scare them off by firing a warning shot into the air. Unfortunately, this provoked the mother bear, who charged. Amazingly, the man was able to fire off his last shot, momentarily knocking the beast off her feet and giving him enough time to make it back to safety. He later tracked the bear family, and believes while the mama bear is sore, she’s okay.

Man gets Mauled by Bear while trying to take a “Selfie”

Here’s proof that us folks in the U.S. aren’t the only idiots when it comes to wildlife interaction, a man in India was reportedly mauled to death when he tried to take a “selfie” of himself with a bear.

According to an Indie article, Prabhu Bhatara was returning from a wedding with some others when they stopped for a potty break.
Seeing an injured bear, he decided it would be a good idea to get close to it and take a “selfie”.

Here’s the video, that shows the bear chewing and shaking this guy. There was quite a crowd there, but I saw only one person and a dog that attempted to help the poor guy.
If the entire crowd had rushed the bear, chances are good that it would have stopped its attack. The only creature really trying to save this man was a dog.

How sad.

While the carnage was goin on the fellow passengers who watched the entire act, were busy shooting the incident on their mobile phones instead of trying to rescue him. (maybe they work for the news)
A stray dog tried to fight with the bear but failed to save the man from the bear’s grip, forest officials said.

POTD: 3-D Printed Pistol Grips with Craftsman Curb Appeal

A TFB reader who hails from Denver, Colorado recently sent us several pictures of their 3-D printed pistol grips. Sounds mundane and boring, right?… Until you see the grips! These are not some primitive, Play-Doh looking grips that could have come from a middle-school science project.

I like to believe I am well-versed in firearms, but I am not well-versed in 3-D printer technology, components or functionality. I will leave that explanation to Jody Garrett, the artist, to explain:

The grips are digitally sculpted, SLA 3d printed, molded and then cold cast with performance resin and metal powder.

The complete project that Jody Garrett has dove into for pistol grips can be seen here.

Pistol Grips

Ruger SR1911 outfitted with 3-D Printed Grips custom from Jody Garrett

Pistol Grips

Ruger SR1911 with a 3-D Printed Brass and Blue Patina Finish Pistol Grip with a Wolf Design

Pistol Grips

Ruger SR1911 with 3-D Printed Brass and Blue Patina Finish Pistol Grip with a Wolf Design – Complete Set

Pistol Grips

Bronze, Aluminum and Mineral Filled beginnings of the 3-D Printed Brass and Blue Patina Finish Pistol Grips with a Wolf Design

Pistol Grips

Computer Generated Image of Future 3-D Printed Pistol Grip with a Wolf Design

Pistol Grips

Early Sketch Drawing of the 3-D Printed Pistol Grip with a Wolf Design

These elaborate 1911 grips are not the only grips produced by Jody Garrett though. Like a great infomercial…

“But wait! There’s more!”

Pistol Grips

Complete Collection of 3-D Printed Grips for a Model 1911, Ruger Single-Six and potentially a Ruger MK I, II or III

Pistol Grips

Not quite finished grip for a Ruger MK I, II or III

Pistol Grips

Design Sketch for a set of Ruger Single-Six Grips

Pistol Grips

Computer Generated Image for a set of Ruger Single-Six Pistol Grips

All in all, a pretty impressive collection of 3-D printed grips for several common firearm models.

And as always, we welcome all of our readers to send us suggestions for our POTD (Picture-of-the-Day) segment!

LEAKED: USMC Test Calls M27, M38 DMR Into Question

On the heels of the USMC’s effort to field 15,000 more Heckler & Koch M27 Infantry Automatic Rifles, as well as the M38 Designated Marksman Rifle variant, The Firearm Blog has received a copy of a 2016 report intended to justify procurement of accessories and additional M27s to fill a need for a special purpose rifle (SPR). The report documents a test conducted at Quantico, Virginia, by the Product Manager, Infantry Weapons Product Management Office (PdM IW). 9 M27 IARs were tested, each firing 2700 rounds over the course of the test. Notably, the Lead Engineer and Assistant Product Manager for this test was the recently-retired Salvatore Fanelli, who worked at Heckler & Koch in the early-mid 2000s.

Despite the document’s overall upbeat tone, it does not present a picture of a system “ready to field”. The optic chosen for the test was the Leupold Mark 4 2.5-8x36mm variable power scope, part number 60150, one mounted to all 9 weapons via a LaRue mount. This particular optic is a strange choice, being a virtual antique by today’s standards (the optics themselves are leftovers from the Mk. 12 SPR program of the early 2000s), and having a mix of mil reticle and MOA adjustments. This latter feature means that an operator cannot make adjustments in the same increments as what is shown on the reticle. For a simple concept validation test this would not be a problem. However the intent, as stated in the document, was to test the:

feasibility and practicality of using the M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle (IAR) as a
Special Purpose Rifle (SPR) to fulfill an Urgent Statement of Need.

[emphasis mine]

Reportedly, the reason for choosing this optic (the 3-9 version of which is slated for use with the M38 which descended from this test) was simply that they existed in inventory at the USMC logistics base in Albany, left over from 2000s-era Mk. 12 SPRs. This raises the question of exactly what logistical pipeline the M38 will depend on for replacements. If the Leupold scope cannot be procured somehow, then the M38 as a system is unsustainable at the start.

The appendices of the document indicate that the rifle system is far from optimally reliable when equipped with the tester-preferred KAC sound suppressor. Guns in the “Bravo” test group, all of which were equipped with that suppressor, experienced bolt over base malfunctions indicating an extremely high cyclic rate and marginal weapon reliability in the suppressed configuration. The test was conducted in winter, when temperatures were low, and used Mk. 262 ammunition, a round well-regarded for its consistency and suitability with 5.56mm weapons. However, USMC forces abroad are now using the M855A1 EPR round, which typically produces much higher cyclic rates than Mk. 262. Despite the obvious cyclic rate issues when suppressed, the equipment used to measure cyclic rate reportedly malfunctioned, and no further mention of cyclic rate issues was made until the appendix.

Coupled with that, point of impact shifts of up to 5 MOA between the suppressed and unsuppressed configurations raise the question of whether the weapon is suitable for suppression at all: Cyclic rate and reliability are marginal at best when suppressed with the KAC unit, precluding an “always suppressed” doctrine to fix the POI shift issues. At the same time, the test manager concludes that “POI shift is not as important as it once was”, an unusual statement when concerning a system that is intended for precision use against point targets while either suppressed or unsuppressed.

In brief, the weapon system demonstrated in this test does not seem to be suitable for issue in that configuration. Unfortunately, the M27 and M38 platforms as they currently stand are fixed specification items. Engineering change proposals (ECPs) to the weapon itself would be necessary to make it suitable for use in this role with the KAC suppressor, or a greatly improved and much more durable model of the OSS suppressor used instead. This presents an issue for the M38 DMR program, as the original intent was to use off-the-shelf components along with the in-inventory M27 rifle to produce a designated marksman’s rifle or special purpose rifle to fill an urgent USMC need. ECPs or new suppressor designs potentially change the M38 program from a non-developmental effort, into a new developmental program which could potentially deviate the M38 specification away from the current issue M27.

There is another layer to uncover here, as well. Looking through the 4 November 2016 Infantry Training & Readiness Manual, we see something a little odd:

Pictured: Oddly specific.

The Infantry Training & Readiness manual lists the M27 (not M38) “Designated Marksman rifle”, as well as the “Leopold (sic) Mark IV 3X-9X scope”. No other T&R listing is this specific, and no other lists a manufacturer, as that would imply weapons must be procured from that vendor. This raises the question of whether a change to the T&R Manual was made in an attempt to “backdoor” the M27 with the Mark 4 scope as a designated marksman rifle system, eventually leading to the M38. To say this would be out of the ordinary is an understatement; it’s virtually the opposite of how the process is intended to work.

Disclosure: I am now an employee of Knight’s Enterprises, LLC. Any statements made in this or any other article are my own and not promoted by or associated with Knight’s Enterprises, Knight’s Armament, or any affiliate company. Despite my relationship with Knight’s, I try to maintain an objective perspective on small arms development. However, it is impossible to eliminate bias completely, therefore any analysis made in this article should be taken with that fact in mind.

CCTV Cameras Mounted to Nigerian Army Turret Systems, Possible Scam?

Recent images have emerged of CCTV video cameras mounted to Nigerian Army tactical vehicles operating in the country. At first glance it would almost appear to be an attempt at configuring a remotely operated turret but upon closer inspection, this doesn’t appear to be the case due to the lack of relevant gearboxes and hydraulics necessary to operate the accompanying machine guns. In one example the CCTV camera is bolted to an adjustable mount that is attached to the upper portion of the armored cupula that forms the turret. There appears to be a wire running from the camera itself to the inside of the armored vehicle, either for power or to a screen so vehicle operators can observe the footage of the camera. At present it is unclear how the wire is to be protected while the turret is operated in its 360-degree arc, as spinning the turret around might tangle the wire. The person behind the 7.62x51mm NATO GPMG appears to be a law enforcement officer instead of an actual soldier that would be manning the turret. In another example the CCTV camera is mounted to the roll cage of a light all-terrain tactical vehicle, just below the armored mount behind which a gunner would stand or sit with a machine gun.

The vehicle in the first photograph might be a French Panhard VBL light armored reconnaissance vehicle, used extensively by the Nigerian Army.

Unfortunately, upon asking one of our own writers about this development, there is a possibility that the cameras could be scam contracts awarded either through purposeful corruption or lack of knowledge about the product. An example of this on a very wide scale is the recent installation of CCTV cameras in the capital city of Abuja wherein only empty camera containers were actually installed in place of working ones. At $470 Million dollars, this was a very costly error on the part of the Nigerian government.