Marines on SAW duty deployed with Combat Team 3. Their mission is to conduct counterinsurgency ops in partnership with Afghan security forces.

The one term heard in the Tactical Weapons offices that kick-starts the most and best prose, launches the most photo missions, and triggers the most excitement is Firepower.

Firepower, training and tactics take our writers and photographers to Canada, Fort Benningm Utah and California to satisfy your appetite for reports on what’s new and what’s hot.

The focus on individual firepower gets off to a strong start with Michael Humphries’ carbine testfire report on “Mil-Spec Masterpieces,” Daniel Defense’s battle-proven rifles for pros and civilians. This is an in-depth, hands-on look at the rifle that takes advantage of the PMAG for decisive firepower.

Our sniper rifle testfire takes place in Canada, where the PGW Timberwolf in .338 Lapua Magnum gets a wring-out at the Sniper Training School, showing sub-MOA accuracy at 1,200 meters from the load responsible for what is said to be the longest actual battlefield sniper kill, by a British Army shooter, at 1.54 miles with a L115A3.

In a combat rifle roundup, we detail nine models of the compact-yet-capable bullpup military rifles with big-bug bite in a small-bug envelope. Some are available in semi-auto versions for civilian use. In even-more U.S. Military coverage, we take a close look at the venerable, reliable M249 Squad Automatic Weapon, providing light machine gun firepower since 1984. It’s still in the field in Iraq and Afghanistan because it gets the job done! It has some variants, and we take a look at those too.

The U.S. Army is constantly on the search to improve shooting skills and equipment, and a leadership role in that area is performed at the Army Marksmanship Unit’s Custom Firearms Shop at Fort Benning, Georgia.
We take you inside the unit, where rifles, pistols and shotguns are tweaked and tested to the ultimate levels, as some of the nation’s top marksmen improve their skills.

Firepower is not the only aspect of our military coverage. Just when you think you’ve seen everything in the HMMWV battle wagon area, along comes Oshkosh Defense’s SandCat M-LPV, a growling and going SOCOM war machine. It’s a mine-resistant, light patrol vehicle, fast and tight-turning.

S.W.A.T. teams are busy in this issue. We visit the highly regarded and professional unit at American Fork, Utah, where they are transitioning to the new SR-556 Ruger rifle. We’ll show you why the change and what makes this group “call-out ready.” We also review S.W.A.T. tactics and gear for “Storming a Felon’s Fortress.” It’s about proven tactics and teamwork.

In civilian crime-fighting activities we have “Patriots on Patrol,” about a group of volunteers, self-funded, who dedicate themselves as auxiliary eyes and ears for the Border Patrol with the ever-growing problem of illegals trying to pour over our southern border. In police training, we take a look at new, advanced “Mean-Street Simulators,” the LET BlueFire Training devices from Meggitt Training Systems that focus on decision-making and accuracy.

In the High-Tech arena, you don’t want to miss our look at how SureFire Laser Optics have literally gone from the “Big Screen to Battlefield.” Plus, Gunny is here with straight answers.

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The one term heard in the Tactical Weapons offices that kick-starts the most and…