Can you send a soldier in Iraq a scope and mounts? Wanna help?


El Rojo
May 4, 2005, 02:12 AM
Hey everyone. The interim pastor from our church up and joined the military and is now a Chaplain serving north of Baghdad. He set up a prayer support writing campaign and so he has given out some addresses and a few of us write to a pen pal soldier twice a month as moral support and to just let them get some mail now and then.

So I finally heard back from my soldier and what do you know? He wants to start a gun collection and was very interested that I was a shooter. Nice!!! So I just sent him a letter back and asked him about his service rifle and what he has on it (14.5", 20", A2, A3, Aimpoint, EOtech?). I asked him if the Army minded if he got a scope in the mail and if he could stick it on top of his weapon for guard tower duty. He isn't infantry, but I know I would love to have a 9, 12, or 20 power scope on top of that tower if I were trying to stop insurgents from launching mortars, RPGs or a Draganov at me from 400-800 meters off.

For those of you here who have served or are serving, what is the army's take on getting a scope in the mail and sticking it on your M4/M16? Can they do that? If they can, I am considering lending one of my scopes to him if he wants it and just returns it when he is done. Or I was thinking, how cool would it be if I could get a few THR members to kick in $5 each and buy him a scope on the condition that he takes a photo of him with it and a "Thanks THR" placard (keeping op security in mind). Then when he leaves at the end of the deployment, he can just pass it on and have the next guy write me and take a new THR thanks picture.

Someone let me know if we can get away with this and also chime in if you would be interested in such a project. It might not happen, but I am sort of excited about it. I think that would be a great thing to do. Sure we can't help every soldier, but just one makes it worth it in my book.

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May 4, 2005, 02:53 AM
you can send him whatever you want, including complete uppers, if you wanted to. whether or not he is able to use them is up to his individual chain of command.

i ran a fund like this to send one of our soldiers an eotech and necessary mounting hardware for his a-2. had a helluva time getting the money up, but we did it, and sent it to him. the eotech is now residing on his weapon... the only thing i asked of the soldier was that he let me know that he got the stuff. took around 2-3 weeks for him to get it.

as far as scopes go, i would think in a combat situation that a soldier would prefer the heads-up display of the eotech over a 'traditional' scope - but i am not the one over there.

if you are gonna send him an eotech, i might have some extra mounting hardware left over. i'll check friday (i'm wrapping up finals now), and let you know.

May 4, 2005, 04:19 AM
BE VERY CAREFUL. Much, if not all, of what you want to send would be ILLEGAL. You can carry it over or he can carry it over, but it cannot be sent without an export license from the US State Department.

[CITE: 22CFR120.17]
Sec. 120.17 Export.
(a) Export means:
(1) Sending or taking a defense article out of the United States in
any manner, except by mere travel outside of the United States ...

[CITE: 22USC2778]
§ 2778. Control of arms exports and imports
(b) Registration and licensing requirements for manufacturers, exporters, or importers of designated defense articles and defense services
(i) As prescribed in regulations issued under this section, every person (other than an officer or employee of the United States Government acting in an official capacity) who engages in the business of manufacturing, exporting , or importing any defense articles or defense services designated by the President under subsection (a)(1) of this section shall register with the United States Government agency charged with the administration of this section, and shall pay a registration fee which shall be prescribed by such regulations.

[CITE: 22CFR121.1]
Sec. 121.1 General. The United States Munitions List.
Category I--Firearms

(b) Riflescopes manufactured to military specifications; firearm
silencers and suppressers, including flash suppressors. (See Category
XII(c) for night sighting devices.)
*(d) Components, parts, accessories and attachments for the articles
in paragraphs (a) through (c) of this category. All the components,
parts, accessories and attachments

[CITE: 22CFR121.8]
Sec. 121.8 End-items, components, accessories, attachments, parts, firmware, software and systems.
(c) Accessories and attachments are associated equipment for any
component, end-item or system, and which are not necessary for their
operation, but which enhance their usefulness or effectiveness.
(Examples: Military riflescopes, special paints, etc.)
(d) A part is any single unassembled element of a major or a minor
component, accessory, or attachment which is not normally subject to
disassembly without the destruction or the impairment of design use.
(Examples: Rivets, wire, bolts, etc.)

May 4, 2005, 04:26 AM
I'm an Army Officer serving in Iraq right now.

First, Chaplains don't carry weapons (but Chaplain's Assistants do).

Second, you can send an optic but not a complete upper. Changing out the upper changes the weapon and the company's MTOE (stuff they are allowed to have).


May 4, 2005, 05:29 AM
Optics are fine, so long as it is bolt on only. No perminent change to the weapon itself. You'd probably want to look at the Colt 4x quick detachable scope, specificially designed for the M16/AR15 carrying handle. I've seen them for $50 or so.

Fred Fuller
May 4, 2005, 07:19 AM
Must not be too much of a legal problem, the group formely known as "Adopt A Sniper" is still soliciting optics and other things, albeit under a new name:

Please help us help working snipers in combat zones around the world.

Snipersonline UA and Sniper's Paradise have several members and Sniper friends actively engaged in the battle against terrorism. Our friends are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the number of snipers deployed around the world right now. These snipers are deployed in the theaters of combat, both in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as other locations overseas. Many of these are full time law enforcement officers that have been activated for regular duty action.

Our memberships have chosen to help support our fellow snipers, and brothers in arms, by helping supply them with items that they need to get the job done better as well as things to make their lives easier while on deployment. This has been everything from the basic hygiene type items such as handy wipes to tactical products such as holsters, high speed rucksacks, new optics, rifle accessories, to mini binoculars and batteries.

Who are We?

We are active local, state, and federal police snipers as well as snipers from the various military branches.

We are a tight-knit group that believes strongly in supporting our brothers that are deployed to the front lines. In return for that support, they then pass on their gained knowledge upon their return.

We work hard and believe in our missions.

We train hard so that when the time comes, we can accomplish our missions to the fullest of our abilities.

We are snipers that need support in the form of advanced gear as well as "creature comfort" items to help us pass the time while we are away from our jobs and our families.

We are the ones putting our lives on the line to help keep this great country safe and free from terrorism. We are your sons, your brothers, your husbands, your fathers, as well as your friends.

We invite you to directly support the effort of those that are going in harms way on your behalf.

List of Things Needed
Since this has started, we have seen patterns of common gear requests emerge between the different operators. The below list is not all inclusive but does include the most common items requested.

ALL GEAR PREFERABLY IN COYOTE TAN, TAN OR KHAKI - OD will suffice, Woodland LAST but okay.


Sage M14 stocks (Fulton Armory) Mention this project
Quick Disconnect Bi-Pod Adaptors - ARMS # 32
(Ask for Ned - Mention this project)
Heavy duty foregrips for M16s
Leupold scopes. Any of the tactical line or MK IV's - 1" or 30mm tubes
Leupold CQT - Close Quarter Target Scope
Decent quality mini binos and mini spotting scopes
Leica 1200 rangefinders
Aimpoint Comp M2s
EOTech sights that run on AA Batteries - Night Vision compatible
ARMS M14 Scope Mounts
ARMS Scope Rings
Larue Scope Rings
Badger Ordnacne Scope Rings
Lens wipes
MTM Ammo Wallets
MTN Ammo boxes for 20 rounds that will fit a BDU pocket - Brown or Camo
Garmin 12SL GPS
Kestrel 4000 Weather Meters (Any is better than none)
Mil dot masters
Beretta 9mm pistol magazines (preferably factory mags) or Wolff-brand replacement magazine springs for same
Tactical Sling for DMR Rifle (M14)
CQB slings of all types
Handgun Lanyards

That said, I always find it fascinating that a country which spends more on "defense" than the next 20 countries combined cannot ever seem to provide soldiers in the field with the things they need to get their jobs done. But the troops in the field do not make decisions on gold plated hyper expensive weapons systems, Congress, senior DoD civilian bureaucrats and the military brass does that. And the troops in the field do not get the luxury of deciding where they are deployed or what they do either, so none of this should in any way be construed as criticism of the troops. The fatcat bureaucracy, brasshat military and bloated government, yup, no prob criticizing them. But not the troops.

That "more than the next 20 countries combined" remark is not exaggeration on my part, by the way- see for the reference. Spend some time on the site there, it's a good education...

And support the troops, if you can spare a dime now that your taxes are paid.

lpl/nc (John Boyd had it NAILED)

May 4, 2005, 07:23 AM
That said, I always find it fascinating that a country which spends more on "defense" than the next 20 countries combined cannot ever seem to provide soldiers in the field with the things they need to get their jobs done. But the troops in the field do not make decisions on gold plated hyper expensive weapons systems, Congress, senior DoD civilian bureaucrats and the military brass does that. And the troops in the field do not get the luxury of deciding where they are deployed or what they do either, so none of this should in any way be construed as criticism of the troops. The fatcat bureaucracy, brasshat military and bloated government, yup, no prob criticizing them. But not the troops.

Well, this has been going on for as long as soldiers have been soldiers.

But keep in mind, for the price of a single Stealth bomber, the US could outfit every soldier in the entire US Army (Active, Guard and Reserve) with a couple sets of GOOD boots (ask any soldier if he only wore his issued boots), good optics for their rifles, and plenty of those goodies meantioned in the above list. Just something to think about.

May 4, 2005, 09:09 AM
The brass wants something that the grunts can't break.

And I think that the issue boots are pretty comfy.

Not every GI needs a scope. They can slow target acquisition, and cause you to focus too much on what's in the scope, and not on Achmed 15 yards from your intended target, who is aiming an RPG at you. Iron sights are faster in getting lead close, if not on, the target. The battery powered things are great, but you don't get time-outs in event of malfs... I could see mounting one forward of the carry handle ("scout" position" so that you get a nice dot over your front sight if you turn it on, but the iron sights don't need to be switched on or off.

Who do you think an enemy sniper (and I use that term very loosely) as a target of opportunity? A grunt with a stock '16 variant, or the fellow with several pounds (!) of mall-ninjaesque gear hanging off his rifle?

May 4, 2005, 09:29 AM
I've heard it stated that if you send something and someone else in the unit needs it, they'll get it instead. You'll still be doing a service but don't expect to get it back. That Colt Sporter scope may be the ticket for this use since it is not a CQB situation and it is very inexpensive.


El Rojo
May 4, 2005, 09:53 AM
First, Chaplains don't carry weapons (but Chaplain's Assistants do).
I know, read my post again and you will see that the Chaplain isn't my pen-pal, one of his soldiers is. And thanks Citadel for the permision heads up and for serving. I appreciate your sacrifice.

Second, this isn't really a debate about effectiveness of this scope vs. that scope and for us to mall ninja, armchair quarterback the effectiveness of a scope in combat situations. If he says he could use one and wants one, I will send him one. He isn't infantry, he sits in a tower on base perimeter and just about dies of boredom. He isn't going CQB, but he is keeping an eye out. Usually he just reports anything suspicious a ways out there and an Apache goes out and sees if there is anything to light up with its 30mm.

With that being said, if I were there in that situation, I would not mind at all having a variable power scope on a 20" M16 for sitting up in a tower. If I could get a hold of a scoped M14 or a M21, that would be even better. However, there probably aren't a bunch of non-infantry types that can get an M14 or M21, but he can easily receive a scope, rings, and mounts in the mail that might just give him an edge should the need to reach out there arise. Again, I am just thinking if I were there would would come in awfully handy and a scope just might do it.

I will wait to see what he says. Thanks for the info so far.

May 4, 2005, 09:53 AM
"ask any soldier if he only wore his issued boots"

They gave me two pairs, once I got out of training, I had jungle boots on my feet. Wore them through two winters in Korea and 4 winters in Kansas (thermal socks) when I was stationed in Texas, they were the "cat's meow."

Anyway, back on topic, like was stated, you can send it, and depending on his command, he might be able to use it. I know I used a personally owned spotting scope on guard duty many times in the ROK. My commander on Ft Riley hated non-TOE equipment.

May 4, 2005, 10:15 AM
I have to agree with the statements that it will be up to the soldiers commanding officer whether he will be able to mount the scope or not.

I have a friend who was in Afganistan. He received a scope for his A2, but his commander told him to take it off. I guess it will depend on what type of duty this soldier will be pulling.

May 4, 2005, 10:57 AM
Why do we have snipers out there who don't have scopes?

Sounds like very poor planning.

May 4, 2005, 11:10 AM
Let me get this straight, the gov't takes half my income in taxes. The gov't starts a stupid, unnecessary war to bring democracy to a bunch of primitives incapable of rational thought. We are dumping $10B of our national wealth per month into that black hole - and you want me to pony up more of my own cash?

No way.

USA will go broke like the USSR because of our obsession with spending money we don't have on places that don't deserve it.

May 4, 2005, 11:15 AM
Let me get this straight, the gov't takes half my income in taxes. The gov't starts a stupid, unnecessary war to bring democracy to a bunch of primitives incapable of rational thought. We are dumping $10B of our national wealth per month into that black hole - and you want me to pony up more of my own cash?

Thats kind of what I was thinking too...


The arabs may be fanatical, following a false god, and generally despise us, but I think they are definitely capable of rational thought.

I do agree with the idea though that the government takes in way too much tax money to send our soldiers off without the gear they need to do their job.

Bush went to war too soon, and too unprepared, but luckily still has been successful.

May 4, 2005, 11:29 AM
" a bunch of primitives incapable of rational thought..."

BUT they were MORE than capable of grasping nuclear physics, microbiology, and organic chemisrty, and had demonstrated an alarming tendancy to use those talents on their own people AND other countries, (not to mention trying to scrag a former president...). A WMD or even a "dirty bomb" in LA, Chicago, Houston, Miami, New York,...heck, why not all of them? Would make 9/11 look like a walk in the park. Not to mentionthat if we can make democracy take hold in the area WITH ALL OF THE OIL, we will be better off in both a defensive, and an energy sense. But go ahead & gripe about the money we are spending - ask any of the next of kin from the World Trade Center how much they would pay to have their relative back..., and multiply that by a factor of 100 to 1000.

May 4, 2005, 11:40 AM
richyoung, why would asking a WTC family have anything to do with the Iraq War?

Do you know of a connection between the WTC disaster and the Iraq War that no one else knows?

May 4, 2005, 11:53 AM
While I served in Somalia, our Platoon sniper had a non-military issue scope on his weapon. Nothing negative ever came of it. The scope was some type of "red dot" optical scope, but to the best of my knowledge it was not battery powered. I looked through it a couple times. Anyone know what kind of scope it might have been?

May 4, 2005, 11:57 AM
el rojo- first, get the soldiers email addy, and find out if he has a specific need - much faster than waiting on the post offices to run letters. if he does, then try to get a fund going. i had the same trouble w/ my fund that you have now in that everybody wanted to talk about different aspects, and ignored the issue of a soldier in need. stupid or not, the bottom line is one of our own is over there and needed something.

second, if you can define exactly what is needed, and how much it is, the fund will run much smoother.

third, don't send anything low end that runs the risk of coming unglued during use.

fourth, address the package to the specific soldier and he (and only he) will get it.

fifth, if you go ahead w/ this, lmk and i'll see if i still have the arms mounting hardware. i had colt, armalite, and arms, and i *think* i might still have one or two of the mounts left (not an ar-guy, so don't have any need for it).

El Rojo
May 4, 2005, 01:04 PM
Thanks Dakotasin. Good advice.

Hey everyone, do me a favor. I don't really care why we are there or what you think about Bush or the war. I have a pen pal, a US citizen who is sacrificing his time and life to be away from his family and to serve our country. I want to see him come home in one piece. If I can get him something simple to possibly make a difference, let me do that without having to hear your non-legal reservations. Those are your reservations, keep em.

Like I said, they are there, there isn't much we can do about it now, so what can I do to make the difference in one soldier's life? And if he makes a difference in his squad's life, then it multiplies. A lot better odds than casting a vote or writing a letter to my Congressman if you ask me. Most certainly better than hijacking my thread to spread your racist views or hatred for our politicians and tax and spend government. So before my thread gets locked, buzz off and start your own if you want to complain about politics. Thanks.

Thank you to everyone who has given me legal and real world examples of this happening without diving into politics. I do appreciate it.

May 4, 2005, 01:14 PM
Nicely said El Rojo. If you do start a fund let me know. I'll contribute. A few bucks out of my pocket is nothing if it helps one of ours come home safely.

May 4, 2005, 01:17 PM
If you send something, be mindful of what you put on the green customs declaration, more than a few guys have had gear "vaporize" in the mail.

Also be midful of the packaging. Underarmour, often doesn't make it to the recipient because the packaging is covered with Underarmour labels. Same applies to other companies peddling their wares.

If it runs on batteries "AA" is best.

Binoculars are also very useful.

May 4, 2005, 01:34 PM
I support your efforts, El Rojo.
My best friend is in Baghdad, Iraq right now. He is an Army Infantry Major. When he asked me to find him a set of Crimson Trace Laser grips for his issue Berretta 9mm, you can bet I did. He has them on his pistol now, and is very happy with them.

May 4, 2005, 03:55 PM
Yes, Lone Gunman, I do...

Put this under your thinking cap -
1. We KNOW Sadaam had chemical weapons - he used them on the Iranian army, the Kurds in his own country, and a cheical shell was detonated in Iraq as an IED.
2. We also so that this same guy tried to shoot down U.S. planes, apparently held a POW long after the war in defiance of the agreements he signed, tried to assasinate a former POTUS, invaded two neighboring countries, was killing 5000 of his own people a MONTH to stay in power, (and hiding the bodies in mass graves), was trying like all get out to build a nuke or buy one from either the former Soviet Union or North Korea.

3. To top it off, known terrorists were allowed to enter his country and operate - something that I assure you did not occure without his knowledge and approval.

4. Plus there are those mysterious truck shipments from known WMD developement facilities across the border to Syria shortly before the shooting started.

GIVEN the above -

Picture a couple of railroad or semi tankers full of VX, or Sarin, or just plain old phosgene, (easy to make) emptied upwind from a major metropolis, possibly in more than one location at a time. (Or a dirty bomb- whatever...)

Its not like you couldn't get it across the border, or put it in a shipping container.

9/11 would be TINY in comparison - THATS the connection. Or to turn your argument around, what did Bosnia or Somolia ever do to us?

May 4, 2005, 05:09 PM
El Rojo, the soldier is not serving our country. He is excuting a flawed political strategy by an ignorant President and group of advisors. Iraq was never a threat to us and the reasons they stated for this war have been proven to be a lie. Just because they send the troops somewhere, doesn't mean they are fighting for our country. They are being used.

Chemical weapons? You have got to be joking. If we invaded everyone with chemical weapons, we would have to take on half the world. WMD is an "assault weapon" type of word. It is meant to instill fear in the ignorant to achieve political victories.

Saddam was a bad guy. But, we will go broke invading every country with a bad guy. He is not worth $10B/month.

May 4, 2005, 05:32 PM
Dave 3006;

(Ranting mode on)
This thread is about trying to help a guy out who is up to his a*% in alligators, not the appropiate place for your political diatribe. Could you please stay on topic? Give it a rest. Not every social situation is a soapbox for your political opinion rant. I'm going to go out on a limb and say what I think a lot of others are thinking right now. Sit down and shut up. Take it to the political forum and learn to regulate yourself just a little.
(Ranting mode off)

May 4, 2005, 05:45 PM
El Rojo,

I am sorry for participating in the drift that has occurred in this thread.

Your question about helping out a soldier is honorable, all politics aside. I hope you help him, and I hope he returns safely.

As to the individual who said this soldier is not serving out country, but a failed political strategy, I really think you need to rethink what you are saying. This soldier is doing his duty, no doubt about it. Whether you support the politics or not is irrelevant. The man is doing what his country asked him to do.

If you are sitting at your computer screen in the safety of your home here in the US, and finding fault with a soldier in the middle of a war zone for doing what he was asked to do, then you are a hypocrite, and don't deserve the freedom guys like him provide.

Disagree all you want with the politics of the war, but don't fault the soldiers, and don't minimize their sacrifice.

May 4, 2005, 05:47 PM
El Rojo, the soldier is not serving our country.

That right there is about the worst thing I have ever heard on this forum.

I'm suprised at the number of people who would take El Rojo's question and turn it into a political debate. He doesn't care what you opinion on the war is. If he did, he would have started a thread titled 'What is your opinion of the Iraqi war'. None of you debating politics are in any way helping him.

El Rojo -
While I was doing research on building an AR, I found many topics on soldiers/families ordering uppers and optics for their use in Iraq. To me, however, the idea that it would be up to the officer in charge is probably the most logical answer. I think if you two work something out, the most definitive answer would probably be from whoever is in charge of him. I wish you the best of luck in getting him what he thinks could make him a better soldier, and hope thi thread does not degenerate any more.

May 4, 2005, 05:50 PM
Why don't soldiers with insufficient equipment just take out a loan?

"Loans up to $7,500 available at competitive interest rates for military service members (E6-E8)."

That would certainly cover a really nice scope, some magazines, a different pair of boots, or whatever the soldier wants.

May 4, 2005, 05:51 PM
Tell ya what. Send me and the rest of my reconnaissance crews a bunch of fresh P&W TF-33 engines for our Rivet Joint/Combat Sent/Cobra Ball/Constant Phoenix, or the spare parts to keep them converting JP-8 into noise, and I'll be more than happy to send a scope or two (if it's on his TOE, and Mil-Spec) to your pet soldier.

Hint - his isn't the only unit fighting the Global War on Terrorism.

And if I were his unit armorer once he got back stateside, that privately-supplied stuff on his issue weapon would be ripped off posthaste. What happens to it afterwards is of no concern to the armorer, but if he's doing his job right, he knows it was neither contracted, tested, certified, warranteed, or issued for the pet soldier's particular situation. Nor was aforementioned pet soldier trained or qualified on the item if it arrived out of the blue via parcel post. Like Bogie said, it may be more of a liability than an asset. Sure, everybody wants to play sniper over there and have a nice scope on their M16/M4. But I can imagine the look on Sgt. Hardrock's face when they're getting ready to clear houses room-to-room, and Private Snuffy shows up all grins with a shiny new optic on his M4 for some close-in tap dancing with the jihadists.

If you send him a scope with the understanding you bought him one for use when he gets back stateside for his own rifle, then fine. If you send one with the understanding that his chain of command will allow carte blanche modifications to issued weapons systems, then you may be disappointed. :o

May 4, 2005, 05:56 PM
The arabs may be fanatical, following a false god, and generally despise us, but I think they are definitely capable of rational thought.

Last I looked, Jews, Christians and Moslems all shared the same diety - they just have different prophets and messiahs that they pay attention to...

May 4, 2005, 06:04 PM
As for the "validity" of this conflict...

It began a LONG time ago. These folks have been pissed at the rest of the world for hundreds of years.

It started get get worse following WWII.

Began to get truly nasty in the sixties and seventies. Then Russia did Afghanistan...

Now you've got a lot of nation/states and essentially tribal groups that need something to hate. That's their schtick.

We didn't fire the first shots in this thing.

We can either fight this thing over there, where our soldiers can break things with relative impunity, or fight it over here, and you'll likely see your relatives as casualties.

But it's gonna have to happen. Because as soon as we let these lowlifes regroup, they're gonna cook up something gnarsty, and float it into LA or Miami or New Orleans or up the Hudson...

Then we'll make a large portion of the middle east glassy and glowing, but it'll be too late.

May 4, 2005, 06:21 PM
You guys need to remove your star spangled glasses. The German soldiers that invaded Poland were not serving their country. They were grabbing land to satisfy the political goals of their leader. Poland was not a threat.

Osama despised Saddam because he was a secular Muslim. Saddam did not follow the religious model of running his country under Islam. To think that by invading Iraq, we are fighting Islamic terrorism is nuts. Our insane President thinks he is going to mold the middle east into a democratic community starting with Iraq. He is wrong. We will end up bankrupting the USA and achieving imperial overreach just like all the great powers before us. Then, it will be checkmate for the USA.

You will wake up one day to find that the dollar has plummeted. The trigger event will only need to be one catastrophy or panic from those that hold our IOUs.

All of this is because of our arrogance and not knowing where our limits are. And, the soldiers fighting this stupid war in Iraq are NOT defending the USA. They are pawns in an idiot vision that will destroy us.

Don Gwinn
May 4, 2005, 07:08 PM
Last chance to get back on topic before I perform permanent, authorized and duty-specific modifications to this thread. Come on, people, discuss the issue at hand or don't. There are a bazillion threads for all the reasons why you don't support the American soldier or why the American Fighting Man can do no wrong. This is not the time or place for either.

If you don't have something to say on the topic of sending materiel to a soldier for use on duty, you have no reason to post on this particular thread.

May 4, 2005, 07:20 PM
Okay. I can't send a soldier scope and mounts because I am tapped out due to the excessive gov't taxation of my income. I also don't want to teach the gov't that the citizens will provide the materials as gifts to soldiers for it's foreign wars.

Count me as a big NO.

May 4, 2005, 08:23 PM
The U.S. invasion of Iraq was a message sent to the rest of the middle east - didn't matter whether Saddam did, or did not, really deserve it. The situation is somewhat akin to the new sheriff in town walking into the saloon, and whuppin' up on the biggest, meanest cowboy in the place. Sometimes you have to meet force with force. The culture respects that.

IMHO, it's nice to send the stuff the the grunts, but odds are that the average grunt either won't need it, or it'd get in his/her way. Possibly in a lethal manner. MOST of the grunts aren't involved in house clearing, nor are they ubertactical snipers. They're doing guard duty, or they're driving, or they're performing essentially police duty. They don't _need_ these scopes. And I'll wager that the soldiers who _do_ need the scopes already have 'em. In a coupla weeks, I'll be seeing the boss at Leupold, and I'll ask him what he's heard about it.

May 4, 2005, 08:31 PM
Oh, and drawing a lesson from history here...

Back in 1992, I was active on gun boards on WWIVnet, FIDOnet, and USEnet... You wouldn't believe the number of people who rationalized voting for someone who was for extensive gun control over someone who was for moderate gun control. What I've been reading on the "war on terror" in the internet boards reminds me a lot of that.

May 4, 2005, 08:42 PM
Hey everyone, do me a favor. I don't really care why we are there or what you think about Bush or the war. I have a pen pal, a US citizen who is sacrificing his time and life to be away from his family and to serve our country. I want to see him come home in one piece. If I can get him something simple to possibly make a difference, let me do that without having to hear your non-legal reservations. Those are your reservations, keep em.

Email the soldier. Ask him what he wants and if he is allowed to have it by his command. From what I gather, most things are ok if they do not perminently alter the weapon and command approval.

Mail directly, in a very plain box. Just his address, your address, and the customs declaration slip. Be accurate in your customs declaration, but don't be overly specific, if you get my drift. "Optics" is better than "Super-Duper MajorBrand red dot sight, with features xyz". Otherwise, it might get "lost" in the mail.

I got mailed a bunch of stuff when I was last overseas. Some things I didn't find overly useful. (Uh, feminine products for instance.) I usually passed them along to buddies. If you'd like a response, include a pre-addressed envelope, with a few sheets of paper and a cheap disposable pen. I feel guilty, but I usually wrote back for those that used this method, and sometimes didn't for those that didn't include a pre-addressed envelope. If you want pics back, include a cheap disposable camera.

Normal 'comfort' items are just as useful as most 'tactical' gear. Tossing a few goodies in the box are nice gestures, nothing overly expensive, and really do remind soldiers that some people actually give a damn.

I got several such packages from the Pagan "Adopt a Soldier" program. Various pagan families and groups mailed me small trinkets and made me smile. I am still kicking myself that I lost their addresses... Did they mail me essentials? Na. Just letters, candy (which I mostly threw out, but still appreciated), books, magazines, small crafts. The niftiest thing I got was a tiny Zen rock garden. Still have it on my desk.

El Rojo
May 4, 2005, 08:55 PM
Thank you THR members for completely disregarding my request to keep this on topic and going ahead and getting into your own little diatribe about politics and the war. Is it just me or is the quality of THR members going down the tubes? I am becoming less and less impressed with some of our members here. I guess that is what makes this place so interesting, we let anyone remaining civil post, even if they are rude and disrespectful.

Don, keep it open just a tad bit longer, but one more, shut it down and lets give a big thanks to the disrespectful members who could't follow thread etiquite and take it somewhere else. :fire:

May 4, 2005, 10:36 PM
But I asked for them. Particularly the maxi-pads. Probably one of the best first-aid compresses ever designed (for obvious reasons), and they're still part of my essential kit. I'm taking them with me on my next rotation over there. This next one will be a doozie, one whole year in-country.

Red, my post wasn't political or disrespectful - it was practical. As one of those old-bastard links in the military chain of command, you wouldn't believe what I see my young troops pack into their deployment bags, saying it was absolutely essential. A LOT of it gets left sitting on the ramp at home-drome. I'm sure they cuss me out behind my back, but I've never had them come to me after they've rotated stateside again and tell me they really needed that widget I made them leave at home.

You can literally kill somebody with kindness.

May 4, 2005, 11:00 PM
A relatively small scope will weigh about a pound. Maybe more with ubertactical mounts, etc... Add ubertactical flashlights with ubertactical batteries, etc., etc., and before you know it, when it really hits the fan, the topkick will find out that Bubba Grunt left half his ammo load back at the base so that he could hump his toys...

El Rojo
May 4, 2005, 11:21 PM
Ok. What is your point? That added nothing to this thread whatsoever. Not to mention you guys still don't seem to recognize that I have said repeatidly this isn't an infantry soldier, but a guy sitting guard duty in a tower on a large base in Iraq. If you want to start a thread about over-tacticality, go do it somewhere else already. And as far as the decision on what he needs or doesn't need can be made by him and his CO. I am not making it for him. If he says he would like a scope, then I will look into it. If he says don't worry about it, then I won't worry about it. For a conservative group we sure try to micromanage and use these knee jerk reactionary tactics a lot around here. How is "Don't send him a scope, he might get killed with it" any different than "Don't carry a gun, it could be used against you?" An over emphasis of potential risk in order to paralize action and remain status quo. Again, that is the soldier and his COs decision. I will let them make it.

Man I feel for the moderators around here. It must be like doing this all day long. :banghead:

Ok, Bogie, your answer to "do you want to help" is no. You are excused from this thread. Have a nice day.

May 5, 2005, 12:09 AM
I think this thread veered off The High Road some time ago and went straight into the gutter.

May 5, 2005, 12:12 AM
The Army does not allow their Chaplins to carry a weapon. Ours is a shooter in the civilian world and it was pretty hard for him to do a stint in A-stan and not have one.

If he is carrying one, it is not with the approval of the DOA.....

May 5, 2005, 12:29 AM
Wow! Don't log in for a day and a thread takes off on a mind of it's own.

I feel to be more of an expert on this issue than most of the people back home. I've been here at LSA Anaconda (one of the biggest "camps" in Iraq) for almost six months and have been to a number of the FOBs in Northern Iraq.

Well, here's the deal. There are very many soldiers here in Iraq with personally owned accessories for fighting. I'm sporting my own EoTech. I had my last name engraved on the top of it. Soldiers will have plenty of time to remove their accessories before/during redeployment. Many soldiers have added flashlights vertical fore grips, rail systems, flashlights, and flashlights. Did I mention flashlights? :D

There are a lot of EoTechs and AImpoints out here (not so many ACOGs unless you're in a Marine AO). Just remember if your buddy's got an M4 it's an easy mount but if it's a M16 it'll need it's own accessories. You see some, but very few, rifle scopes out here on M16/4.

As far as tower duty goes, it's a two man team with a M16/4 and a crew served weapon. Anything at a long distance will be handled by QRF so it's not a huge issue. Also, make sure whatever you send him works with night vision. All the tower guys go to work with NODs.

If you were to send a optical scope, it would need to have very sturdy rings and be a high quality scope that can take a knock or seven and remain on zero.

I'd recommend a red dot. I prefer the EoTech but it's pretty much Ford/Chevy. One thing is that AA batteries are a helluva a lot easier to come by than Aimpoint batteries. Bear that in mind.

Hope that helps.


El Rojo
May 5, 2005, 12:47 AM
The Army does not allow their Chaplins to carry a weapon.I know Pyle, that is why this is a guy the chaplain hooked me up with. I never said it was the chaplain.I wish people would read the thread more carefully.

May 5, 2005, 03:52 AM
I've got a spare $20.00 to chip in. PM me as to where to send it.

May 5, 2005, 09:04 AM
Citadel... How likely is the average troopie to actually need a scope? I know folks said that this was only for guard duty, but Back In The Day, when I was dressing up like a tree, the general buzz was that one had to be prepared for anything on The Modern Battlefield, due to the fact that the concept of a "front line" has more or less gone away...

BTW, I agree that Achmed with an RPG out 800 or 900 yards is a good excuse for breaking radio silence, and disrupting the nap that your friendly mortar crew is taking...

Also, do you think that optical sights increase aimed fire, or even the likelihood of fire, considering that more than a few soldiers have been known to either blindly dump mags or even not shoot at all during an engagement? If so, they definitely need to be part of the TOE... I'd worry, however, about a video-game focus taking over, with Bubba Grunt getting too intent on what he's seeing through the gizmo, and not keeping situational awareness about other threats.

May 5, 2005, 02:21 PM

Does the average Joe need a scoped rifle? No. 8X-10X scopes aren't too condusive to shooting on the move. 5.56 isn't particualarly effective at long distance. Distant targets are engaged by crew served weapons, mortars, artillary, or QRF.

Optics are, on average, proven to increase accuracy. Some people just don't like them. Some don't want to take the time to get used to them. But when the 82nd started using them qualification scores went up considerably. It's a better system period. Also, consider that many soldiers in non combat arms branches never fire except for qualification twice annually. Sad but true. The Army is doing great things now in changing equipment and the way we shoot and act in training. For instance, there is no more keeping the weapon "up and down range" and shooting ranges. Now soldiers range walk at the low ready position. When we got to Kuwait we had a three day block of instruction from NPRI, a civilian outfit, on reflexive shooting and convoy live fire training that was superb. My brigade (communications unit) was issued approximately one optic per four rifles before we deployed. A number of soldiers brought their own. I already had my EoTech so I brought it so a soldier could have the one issued to me. I wish we had more time to train soldiers with them before we deployed but we didn't. You see a lot of rail systems. Things in this arena are changing for the positive but it just takes awhile--it's a big Army.

I believe that the situational awareness in increased with non magnified optics because shooters are allowed to keep both eyes open during aimed fire increasing their peripheral vision and depth perception. Hell, maybe it is easier for the video game generation to focus in a simple red dot than concentrating on a sight picture. Especially for the guy who doesn't do a lot of shooting.

Non SF units having had a full auto selector switch for years. That was done because of the Vietnam era issue identified with people dumping mags. Yes, people can still do it with three round bursts, but not as quick. It helps to for the guys to see the SF types at the range doing their firing on semi.

Just my thoughts.


May 5, 2005, 03:48 PM
You might check over at for some suggestions. They are supporting an army sniper team over there with shipments of various materials including a couple of Nightforce scopes, so they probably know how to do it.

HI express
May 5, 2005, 04:12 PM
El Rojo,
What unit is he in?
My nephew is in the 101st Airborne, they don't look like they are going to deploy soon, but I can ask him what the rules are.
Will get back to you when he e-mails back.

El Rojo
May 5, 2005, 08:31 PM
Thanks HI Express. We won't worry about it anymore until I hear back from him. I don't even know if he wants one yet. I was just excited about helping out so I posted this question. I will let you know if I need more info.

4v50 Gary
May 5, 2005, 09:44 PM
I concur with Citadel99. Chaplains aren't combatants and it's unlikely if your friend is a chaplain that he will be pulling guard duty in a tower.

There are historical precedents of warrior monks (chaplains) in our army. Lorenzo Barker of the 2nd U.S. Sharp Shooters was one of the best shots in the army. He preached and help fight to put down the rebellion and the boys loved him. The 1st U.S. Sharp Shooters were jealous that their chaplain wasn't the same sort of man Barker was.

Go to the "Bedtime Stories" thread in our Black powder forum if you want to learn more about fighting priests.

El Rojo
May 5, 2005, 10:50 PM
Chaplains aren't combatants and it's unlikely if your friend is a chaplain that he will be pulling guard duty in a tower.Not the moderators too!!! How many times do I have to explain the chaplain is not the shooter, the guy he set me up with to pen-pal with is!!! Doesn't anyone read the threads first anymore?

May 5, 2005, 11:58 PM
Back to the original topic. If you send stuff like that over you have to have a license. If he takes it over with him then it is legal, but not to send it. The rules are so strict that Ranch Products got slammed for shipping the moon clips for revovlers outside the country without a license. The moon clips are classified as munitions according to the State Department’s International Traffic in Arms Regulations. If moon clips are classified as munitions then there are a lot of other things that would get you into as much or more trouble.

Crawford fears the State Department could actually declare him to have been out of compliance with the regulation since Ranch Products first began stamping out the innocuous metal cartridge clips, and that was way back in 1975. If that is the case, the agency could assess his company for “unpaid fees” dating back over 25 years.
Crawford’s problem with the State Department began in July of last year when the agency’s Office of Defense Trade Controls notified Ranch Products by mail that, “This office has reason to believe that Ranch Products is involved in the manufacture and/or exporting of defense articles.”
“The failure of manufacturers and/or exporters to register and maintain their registrations with this office constitutes a violation of the Arms Export Control Act and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations and could result in criminal penalties of 10 years imprisonment and/or $1,000,000 in fine plus administrative penalties of $500,000. It is recommended that your firm register immediately.”

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