Since your editors are here to bring you the words and pictures of Tactical Weapons, you can’t blame them for being fascinated by remarks and quotations about our favorite subject when such really hit the truth on the head. Among our most memorable (yours too, possibly) are the Marine recruiting slogans, “A Few Good Men” and “The Few, the Proud.”

Recently, however, while immersed in the preparation of this issue of TW, with a full boat of articles on the newest and best tactical weapons and training, our attention was diverted to an older book about the Marines that is so aptly named, and written, that it is still in print decades after the original publication. Its title is a powerful reminder how our nation faced the daunting challenges after Pearl Harbor. It’s called STRONG MEN ARMED: The United States Marines Against Japan. Written by Robert Leckie, the book takes you through the bloody sands of Iwo Jima, the deadly wharf and seawall at Tarawa, and on through all the Pacific campaigns.

Yes, Virginia, “Strong Men Armed” are still with us in 2009. While the expression may come from a book about days long ago, the words still resound with truth, commitment and presence. And the ranks now include women, part of the warriors on duty as warfighters or civilian peace officers around the world. As far as being “Armed” is concerned, the weapons that our “Strong Men” and women deploy today are seriously effective—as you will see in the pages ahead, for this issue is bristling with advanced weaponology.

On the all-important firepower topic, ballistic breakthroughs are highlighted by a detailed roundup of 40mm grenade launchers, covering single-shot riot busters to multi-shot battle changers. A new sniper rifle is featured in an exclusive testfire of Remington’s Modular .338 Sniper Rifle, ready for 1,500-meter shots on SOCOM duty. Mountain-duty units needing an easy-carry bullpup rifle with sharp teeth will like the MSAR STG-556. There are going to be a lot more Somali pirates who never make it home if enough ships start carrying the Rock River Arms LAR-458 SOCOM, the latest word in maritime security.

Unit-training features include looks at Slovenia’s elite Mountain Warfare Soldiers; Alaska’s Hooper Bay PD on the Bering Sea; Spokane, Washington’s, S.W.A.T. on duty!

Could you survive in enemy territory while being hunted down day and night? What if you’re captured? Learn more in the big feature “Combat Zone Survival.” Another professional question: Are you sure you’re ready for a gunfight with the worst that “Mean Streets” can throw at you? This is where being “ordinary” can get you killed. Master the unorthodox shooting positions and stay alive when bullets fly!

Indeed, when the chips are down, staying alive is the name of the game. As renowned combat instructor Clint Smith says at the Thunder Range facility in Oregon: “If you find yourself in a fair fight, your tactics suck.” He also adds:  “Make your attacker advance through a wall of bullets. I may get killed with my own gun, but he’s gonna have to beat me to death with it, ’cause it’s going to be empty.” []

Strong Men Armed! Women too.  Thank God we have them!

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