Danger Close: In close air support, artillery, mortar, and naval gunfire support fires, it is the term included in the method of engagement segment of a call for fire which indicates that friendly forces are within close proximity of the target, usually 600 meters however the close proximity distance can be determined by the weapon and munition fired.

Danger Close is a term ground pounders use when calling in supporting fire – be it mortars, larger artillery, or close air support. The margin of error for those munitions means that the troops calling in the strike may also be injured, and when calling danger close, everyone takes more time in calculating the round trajectories.

Why is this important?

As I teach in the Scout Course, based on what I learned as doctrine, the standard course of action when troops begin taking casualties is to call for indirect or supporting fire. While Hollywood depictions might make it seem like runnin’ n’ gunnin’ your way through a firefight is somehow realistic, in reality, it looks a lot more like the ambush scene from Forrest Gump. You usually have no idea where its coming from and by the time you do you’re screwed if your adversary is not completely retarded.

Camoflage, concealment, and competent terrain analysis. It wins fights.

Coupling that concept with a weapon capable of operating within that same Danger Close envelope then becomes imperative. It has a paralyzing effect on small unit fire and maneuver, tricking a foe into negating that which becomes their default option. It is one the Chechens adapted to their advantage in the first Chechen War. And it is that paradigm from which I teach. In the Scout Course we cover marksmanship on Day 1 getting the students out to at least 400m with their rifles – whatever they bring to class – in a simple and easily replicatable way.

There is an excellent discussion ongoing on the forum dealing with this very topic and revisiting some of the things previously written. But when you boil it down, take into account what most people are likely to actually have. Not some $5,000 tricked out setup, but a standard AR-15 with a 1-6 or 1-8 LPVO. Keep it simple, and it won’t fail you. Our own contributor American Yeoman chimed in with some excellent input:

My thoughts on the weapon itself if you are scratching one together?

Ar15. For all the same reasons it’s the universal American rifle of choice for defensive/offensive use-
1. Light weight 2. Accurate 3. Ergonomic 4. Support- ammo, mags, parts, gunsmithing knowledge base 5. Powerful enough 6. Light recoil 7. Reasonable Cost, rifle and ammo

Barrel length 16-18″- You don’t need anything longer, medium contour–nothing heavier. This ain’t Najaf and you ain’t Travis Haley, I don’t care how many times you watch the video…..

Chrome lined, Stainless, Nitrided….I don’t care as long as it meets the accuracy standard of 2.5 MOA (And yea, I made that crap up! BUT, at 5oo yards, that’s HALF of a mans chest roughly)

Free floated- buy a decent friggen handguard- I recommend the Larue- its cheap at $10 an inch and absolutely bombproof- they’ve used the same attachment systems since they began making quad rails- it works….

Ammo- High Quality M193 or better. Universally available…and Yea, that’s something of a Red Herring “high quality M193”— But, we all know that 1. There’s M193 and then theres’ M193- it’s NOT all the same. There’s a difference between RUAG M193 and Armscor M193….. 2. No two rifles shoot the same ammo exactly the same. Know your rifle. Buy a shit ton of it and stack it away, but it’s not something to just “have”- use it to train.

Mags- Aluminum or Plastic. Don’t care. Pick one. Don’t use 30 year old USGI Gunshow Special Mags. They are $10 apiece new for high quality mags. Buy 20 and call it good- be done with it.

Scope- Most any LPVO 1-6-8x- Primary Arms, Vortex Strike Eagle, Steiner P4XI etc….- You need magnified optics on a sniper rifle. No, they don’t make you shoot better technically but they will sure help you identify your target much easier and if they have a BDC reticle that is reasonably accurate, they will make you a better field marksman.

Mount- The Weaver Tactical Rings are fairly inexpensive and won’t move– $40 on the low end. There are plenty of other mounts etc…get something that is going to stay in place- spend a little money but you don’t need to spend $300 either…. Torque it TO THE PROPER SPECS AND LOC TITE IT!

Trigger- You can do lots of good work with at stock AR15 trigger. Simo Hayhas Mosin didn’t have a “match grade trigger”. If you want a better trigger- and that’s fine- an ALG is a reasonably priced and bomb proof unit. If you want something even more “precision” then again, check Larue, they had their match triggers at $80 forever when you bought a rail from them- a steal. They have since gone up but represent excellent value still.

Stock- What do you want? Fixed or retractable. Just make sure it’s reasonably tight if you go with a retractable- some of the cheaper Magpul units- the MOE etc…have a lot of slop in them. I like the B5 or the Magpul MOE SL on a good quality tube.

Bipod- On a rifle that’s a dedicated sniper rig, gotta have a bipod. Though the Tripod is preferred in many cases. Buy a Harris to start. I’ve seen two broken Magpuls so far….the Atlas is nice and you pay for it. The Chinky Harris knock offs are ok but the real thing isn’t that much more.

There’s your Guerilla Sniper rifle. It gives you capability that the Stalingrad Snipers etc….could only have DREAMED OF and looks an awful lot like 90% of the AR15’s most people are carrying around these days. That’s my thoughts on it….

You can fancy it up as much as you want- heavier/more precise ammo, expensive “Recce/SPR” barrels, $2500 Scopes, Gucci Triggers/Uppers/Lowers…….but the gains at some point are pretty small in real effectiveness in my opinion.

Can’t find fault with any of that – its sound advice that should be heeded, and is pretty darn close to what I’ve advocated in this role for many years now between the pieces I’ve written on the SPR and ‘The War of the Cutover’ addressing the realities of combat in the rural southeast. And it underscores the reality that you fight with what you have, not what you wished you had, and on that note what you can also source now.

And it also underscores the absolute need for competent, realistic training in actual tactics. There is nothing more important than taking that seriously, and now.

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