This Week in Guns: August 9th 2014 subject logo: RKBA
Posted by: badanov

By Chris Covert

About the Border

Donald Rumsfeld, US Secretary of Defense under George W. Bush - a favorite here at Rantburg back in the day - said it best: You go with the forces you have, not with the forces you wish you had. Although military experts may have their own term for the concept, I dub it "available forces".

Just two weeks ago, the San Antonio Express-News published a story about a group of men patrolling the border in far southern Texas. They can be seen in military kit in the first 27 photos of the photo layout here (Houston Chronicle).

This activity first caught the attention of media four weeks ago when a prior service army man, Chris Davis, posted a Youtube video saying that his group intended to point weapons at border crossers, to tell them to go back, and if fired on, to fire back.

The predictable response of the press in southern Texas, as well as elsewhere, is that what they are calling the "border militias" will be aiming loaded weapons at "children" crossing into the US illegally.

Indeed, when the Huffington Post posted a "news article" linking to the photos, the reaction from commenters was mostly along the lines of calling the men at the border vigilantes, gang members and cowards. As an aside, the writer of the news article is a former member of the leftist Talking Point Memo website, which makes Igor Bobic a reliable leftist.

Criticism from the right includes criticism of individual equipment, pointing out the lack of body armor and how out of place those men appear in tactical gear.

But the most mystifying criticism comes from Mike Vanderboegh, who has tagged the border activity as ill-thought, ill-considered, ill-planned and self-defeating.

He goes on to note that a meeting had taken place, presumably in the wake of Texas Governor Rick Perry announcing he would send troops to the border, between "a retired general officer of the US Army, a former commander of the Texas National Guard, and members of responsible Texas militia units, including Three Percenters and Oath Keepers," to discuss a plan to patrol the border. Vanderboegh also notes that nothing else has come of the meeting.

The "retired general officer" must be Major General Robert Scales, who has for a long time been advocating for increased use of US military along the border, if only to temper the movement of drugs across the border. In one of his documents (I have to search for it, since I downloaded it back in 2012) he describes in feint detail how the US military special forces has been conducting long range reconnaissance patrols in the area for years.

Another ally of Vanderboegh, Herchel Smith, who said in his response that unlike Vanderboegh, he is not a nice guy, agreed that the men patrolling at the border are foolish, if only for the balaclavas. Smith admits in his blog that he, too, once advocated using the threat of firearms to turn back illegals and cartels from crossing the border.

All this seems to go back to the Bundy Ranch incident last spring, when Oathkeepers and their allies were severely critical of independent militia such as the men portrayed in the photo spread. As if in counter, the militia and Patriots there at the time were also critical of Oathkeepers and their allies for failing to properly secure the perimeter, amongst other antics.

Then as now it seems to be all about the optics. Mike Vanderboegh acts as though they are playing to a political rally where votes are at stake, rather than focusing on a real issue affecting the southern border states which has been ignored for years by both political parties.

Now, finally, something is being done about it, albeit not by the government but by men who do not know any better than to do what they think right, and it appears to grate on Vanderboegh and his allies.

Something else may well grate on him and his allies as well: in six months, if the border patrols continue, those men will have more experience patrolling in that area under desert conditions, and on their own dime, than all their critics put together. You may not like the optics, but at least they are doing something.

I spoke with Barbie Rogers of the Patriots Information Hotline, who is coordinating support for the men at the border. According to her, much of what has been written by the paid press is simply wrong. Those men are not militia, but independent Patriots who are patrolling on private land with the support of the landowners. And at the moment 13 separate teams are set all along the Texas border. Rogers told me today in an email that they are in contact with three of the teams, meaning supplies and pledges can be sent directly to them.

An additional three teams are in Arizona.

Those teams supply themselves and set their own rules of engagement. Rogers said that the teams are from all over the US. Individual members are told they can expect to be at the border for what they call "an extended camping trip."

Most startling is that none of the groups actively patrolling the border are from Texas. Seems Texas has other priorities.

These are available forces. You may not like their kit, nor the optics, but they are what is available at the moment. We can't have the 364th Seal Division at the border along with 500 M1A1 tanks and 1,000 AH-64 attack helicopters. All we have are these forces, available forces of men who decided on their own to do something.

I asked Rogers about the groups she helps and the possibility of coordinating with Texas and their forces. She replied people can contact her anytime.

You can contact Barbie Rogers at the Patriots Information Hotline, or you can call (559) 726-1300 63939 #.


Rantburg's summary for arms and ammunition:

Prices for rifle ammunition were mostly lower, while prices for pistol ammunition were mixed. Prices for used rifles and used pistols were mixed.

Of note is 7.62mm NATO ammunition prices have stabilized, remaining
stable for six plus weeks. In fact, 7.62mm NATO ammunition is lower in price than similar types of 7.62x54R for some classes of newly manufactured cartridges

Pistol Ammo

.45 Caliber, 230 grain, From Last Week: -.01 Each After Unchanged (2 Weeks)
Cheapest, 50 rounds: O.D. Green Supply, Tulammo, steel cased, .28 per round
Cheapest Bulk, 250 rounds: LAX Ammunition, Tulammo, steel cased, .28 per round (From last week: Unchanged)

.40 Caliber Smith & Wesson, 180 grain, From Last Week: +.01 Each
Cheapest, 50 rounds: I.Q. Metals, HSM, FMJ, Factory Seconds .25 per round
Cheapest Bulk, 500 rounds: LAX Ammunition, Store Brand, reloaded, .23 per round (From Last Week: +.01 Each)

9mm Parabellum, 115 grain From Last Week: Unchanged (5 Weeks)
Cheapest, 50 rounds: O.D. Green Supply, Fiocchi, Brass Cased, FMJ, .19 per round
Cheapest Bulk, 500 rounds: Freedom Munitions, Store Brand, Reloaded, RN, .19 per round (From Last Week: +.01 Each)

.357 Magnum, 158 grain, From Last Week: -.01 Each After Unchanged (4 weeks)
Cheapest, 50 rounds: SWVA Arms, Ruag RWS, FMJ FN, .39 per round
Cheapest Bulk: 250: LAX Ammunition, Store Brand, Reloaded, .34 per round (From Last Week: Unchanged (3 Weeks))

Rifle Ammunition

.223 Caliber/5.56mm 55 grain, From Last Week: Unchanged
Cheapest, 20 rounds: LV Ammo, Wartak, steel cased, .22 per round
Cheapest Bulk, 1,000 rounds: Munire USA, Tulammo, steel cased, .22 per round (From Last Week: -.02 Each)

.308 NATO 145 grain, From Last Week: Unchanged (6 Weeks)
Cheapest, 20 rounds: Cheaper Than Dirt, Barnaul, steel cased, .41 per round
Cheapest Bulk, 500 rounds: SG Ammo, Silver Bear, steel cased, .45 per round (From Last Week: Unchanged (8 Weeks))

7.62x39 AK 123 Grain, From Last Week: Unchanged
Cheapest, 20 rounds: Ammunition Depot, Wolf, steel case, .22 per round
Cheapest Bulk, 500 rounds: Cheaper Than Dirt, Brown Bear, steel case, .23 per round (From Last Week: Unchanged)

.22 LR 40 Grain, From Last Week: -.02 each
Cheapest, 50 rounds (1 box limit): Cabela's, Remington Thunderbolt, .06 per round
Cheapest Bulk, 500 rounds: Outdoor Unlimited, Aquila, .10 per round (From Last Week: Unchanged)

Guns for Private Sale

.223/5.56mm (AR Pattern Semiautomatic) Average Price: $595 Last Week Avg: $610 (-)
California (208, 214): Del-Ton (M4 Pattern): $625
Texas (304, 306): Alexander Arms: $600
Pennsylvania (155, 155): Bushmaster Carbon Fiber (M4 pattern): $600
Virgina (216, 213): Smith & Wesson M&P 15 Sport: $550 (!)
Florida (404, 429): Palmetto State Armory (M4 pattern): $600

.308 NATO (AR-10 Pattern Semiautomatic) Average Price: $1,025 Last Week Avg: $1,010 (+)
California (53, 51): DPMS: $950 (Possibly Same Gun)
Texas (55, 61): DPMS Oracle: $975
Pennsylvania (22, 24): Bushmaster: $1,100 (Same Gun)(!)
Virginia (44, 44): DPMS Oracle: $1,000 (!) (Same Gun)
Florida (82, 87): DPMS: $1,100 (!) (Same Gun)

7.62x39mm (AK Pattern Semiautomatic) Average Price: $610 Last Week Avg: $585 (+)
California (39, 39): Saiga : $750
Texas (63, 66): CAI Sporter: $575 (!)
Pennsylvania (49, 51): Saiga: $700
Virginia (73, 73): WASR Romak: $500 (!)
Florida (135, 146): Romak (Underfold Stock) : $525 (!)

7.62x54mm (Dragunov Pattern Semiautomatic) Average Price: $1,000 Last Week Avg: $1,000 ()
California (0): None Available
Texas (0): None Available
Pennsylvania (0): None Available
Virginia (1, 1): Romak PSL: $1,200 (Same Gun)
Florida (7, 7): Romak PSL: $800 (Same Gun) (!)


.45 caliber ACP (M1911 Pattern Semiautomatic Pistol) Average Price: $411 Last Week Avg: $425 (-)
California (175, 164): Auto Ordnance: $480
Texas (232, 226): Tisas: $400
Pennsylvania (176, 179): Rock Island Armory: $375 (!)
Virginia (184, 179): Rock Island Armory: $375 (!) (Same Gun)
Florida (378, 375): American Tactical Imports: $425

9mm (Beretta 92FS or other Semiautomatic) Average Price: $430 Last Week Avg: $414 (+)
California (147, 148): Glock 19 : $450
Texas (307, 317): Glock 26: $450
Pennsylvania (215, 206): Glock 19: $399 (!)
Virginia (262, 240): Beretta Storm Px4: $400
Florida (468, 480): Glock 19: $450

.40 caliber S&W (Glock and other semiautomatic) Average Price: $398 Last Week Avg: $394 (+)
California (103, 99): Glock 22: $400 (Same Gun)
Texas (146, 146): Glock 22: $380 (!)
Pennsylvania (124, 130): Glock 22: $375 (!)
Virginia (123, 115): Glock 22: $450 (Same Gun)
Florida (249, 259): Beretta Storm Px4: $385 (!)

Used Gun of the Week: (North Carolina)

Bobcat Weapons HK MP5 copy chambered in 9mm Parabelllum

Chris Covert writes Mexican Drug War and national political news for and He can be reached at

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