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We’ve heard plenty about the ‘seepage’ of arms from the Mexican army and police forces into criminal hands, but we’re not quite so used to it happening here at home.  When twenty-six AK-74 rifles and one Dragunov sniper rifle went missing from a U.S. Army storage depot at Fort Irwin, California, however, Army officials knew just who to call: the ATFE.

After all, no other Federal agency has more experience with losing rifles than the ATFE, which spent years deliberately losing track of thousands of rifles, most of which were ultimately delivered to Mexican drug cartels and used to murder civilians, police, and two U.S. law enforcement agents (so far).

The ATFE is pursuing this Army case vigorously, and has already made several arrests related to the 27 missing rifles.  This investigative diligence stands in stark contrast to their Schultzian (I know nothink!) investigation of more than two thousand missing rifles, now in the hands of hands of Mexican drug gangs.

The Moral Of The Story?  Lose 27 rifles, and all Hell lets out for lunch.  Lose more than two thousand, and it’s just another year on the job for the ATFE.

Details at

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    • Fort Irwin is the location of the Army’s National Training Center. The 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment serves as a dedicated ‘OpFor’ unit there, and they’re trained to use the equipment, organization and tactics of various US adversaries and potential adversaries to provide more realistic force-on-force training to active-duty US units. They keep AKs, Dragunovs and RPGs (and lots of other foreign small arms) on hand to study their effectiveness and how they’re used in the field.

      • What nonsense. They already know the capabilities of these weapons and have known for years. How many people can you arm with 26 rifles? 26. How many people in a rifle company? Oh, never mind. AK 47, model year 1947, cal. 7.62mm and AK 74 model year 1974, cal. 5.56mm, the one the Russian armed forces use. Something wrong here. The only mystery is why they were really there. Weapons testing is done else where.

        • The Ak-74 is 5.45 not 5.56. Now you know why they are there.

          Either that or it’s really arid and dusty at Ft. Irwin and all the M4/16s jam. . . I kid, I kid.

        • At fort Irwin the US Army has a unit the 11th ACR that is trained and equiped in the Russian pattern to simulate possible enemy forces. This means they use AKs in the training exercise. That is why they have these rifles. They also use them to familiarize the incoming units on the common weapons of the enemy. There is no evil conspiricy.

        • AK-47 7.62×39 mm
          AK-74 5.45×39 mm
          M-16/M-4/M-249 SAW 5.56×45 mm nato
          M-240/M-60 7.62×51 mm nato
          Dragunov 7.62x54r mm

          i used an AK-47 for training in BCT at FT Benning, we had hundreds in my company’s armory when i was at FT Drum. why? we trained with the enemy’s weapons so we could know intimately their capabilities and how best to counteract them. we didn’t get rid of them once we finished with them. we kept them so we could pass this information onto newer soldiers.

  1. ATF is requesting an appropriation of $100 million dollars, saying that it needs the additional money to handle this investigation and the Tommy Lee case.

    • That’s really frieghtening. With 10 million dollars they have caused the death of about 3,000 people at our southern border and they still have 30 million left to stire the pot. If my memory serves me, the AFT (then) was lobbying for increased funding before, during and after they killed all the men , women and children at Waco. The BATFE needs to be abolished not given additional funding.

        • And here in San Diego county, we get the dregs of Ruby Ridge, one William Gore, the butcher of Ruby Ridge, who somehow finagled an appointment as top cop in San Diego county, and rode the inertia as incumbent into an election. This is the kind of man who deploys LRADS at public meetings for “addressing the crowd”.

  2. so i wanna know who was the officer in charge of securing these weapons? and what punishment did he receive for failure in accountability of military property ?

    • Weapons not actually in the hands of the troops are stored and maintained by civilian contractors. Good luck holding any of them accountable for anything.

      • and there in lies the problem why are non military personal
        managing US Army weapons? beyond foolish, crazy.

  3. Why in their wrong mind would the Army call on the ATFE to find guns they lost when the ATFE couldn’t find the guns they themselves lost on purpose. Maybe, (and I’m just spitballing here) they don’t want them found or they were involved in the loss.

  4. I know the Navy gets the FBI to investigate stolen firefighting gear. Probably just policy SOP.

  5. ATF or Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms: means they get drunk, smoke some funny cigarettes and give away guns.

  6. Yeah, the OpFor at NTC even uses Soviet and Warsaw Pact armor. Which makes me wonder, if a cartel shows up with a BMP or T72… well, where else would ATF get them?

  7. Unless things have changed greatly since I was last there, the “BMPs” and “t-72s” are actually US vehicles mocked up to look like them. The Pact stuff was just not reliable enough.

  8. Firehand:

    There’s a company in the UK which sells old Warsaw Pact vehicles, primarily from what used to be Czechloslovakia (sp?). Besides BMP-1s and -2s (the Czechs have their own names for them), they also sell a half-track that is based on the old Wehrmacht SdKfz 251.

    • of all the branches it would seem to me that the Army has the capacity to investigate this themselves with the aid of local state law enforcement, BATE has proven recently that they can’t even be responsible for themselves lately, i would not trust them with air rifle.

  9. The point of an independent investigator, outside your local chain of command is that there is less incentive to corrupt the investigation. The BATFEIEIO would like to have a successful investigation about now. The Army should not be able to screw up the investigation of this federal crime.

    Thanks to Tam (View from the Porch) for the BATFEIEIO tag.

    The drug cartels smuggle stuff for a living. Smuggling in guns is easy for them. Stealing guns is the crime, and the intended purchaser is probably not the drug cartels.

  10. If it’s determined US military, civilian, or contractor personnel were involved, Army CID (Criminal Investigation Division) will be involved in gathering evidence and preparing for prosecution. If the perp is somebody outside the gates it’s FBI or, apparently, ATF territory.

  11. If I understand the “Fast and Furious gig, the weapons in question were purchased from civilians and sold to unknowns for transit to Mexico to find out where they were ending up. That by itself is lunacy. AK 74’s were not likely to be in the hands of any legitimate civilian seller because that weapon is the fully automatic 5.56mm version used by Russia these days. Not to be confused with the AK 47 , 7.62mm semi-automatic version which can be obtained almost anywhere in the world with ease. The fully auto version takes a bit more effort. Also, 27 weapons at Ft. Irwin would not be of any real use in OPFOR.

    • Dude its been said before but the AK 74 is NOT chambered in 5.56, it’s chambered in 5.45. Semi auto AK 74’s are almost as easy to find (in stores) as semi auto AK 47’s.

      Semi auto AK’s are not easily obtained legally around the world with ease, in America they are, but not every where else. Not many countries allow the sale of “non sporting” semi auto rifles to civilians, let alone the oh so “evil” AK series rifles.

      It was never said that the 27 rifles were all the OPFOR guns at Fort Irwin. It could be that just 27 were stolen before anyone noticed. They could have tons more com bloc rifles to play with.

  12. The cartels can get all the full-auto AK’s (both 47, & 74) that they want in the arms bazaars of Central and South America, for less than $200/ea (probably a lot less).
    Fast & Furious (or whatever you want to call it) was never about interdicting, and destroying a logistics column supplying the Cartels with weapons from the U.S., but was about giving the Left hard evidence to back up their phantasy allegation that the violence in Mexico was due to the Cartels’ easy access to weapons in El Norte, so that major portions of the 2nd Amendment could be set aside – if not all of it – without a constitutional amendment in the compassionate attempt to alleviate the suffering of our Southern Neighbor.
    It was all political theatre, just as the raid in Waco was political theatre staged at a time that the Congress was “marking up” the budget for the ATF for the following year; just as Ruby Ridge was initially political theatre by the ATF to make a big splash disrupting the violent neo-Nazi skin-head Aryan Brotherhood, by entrapping some small shnook into selling an undercover-informant an undersize shotgun (Randy Weaver was found to have been entrapped by the ATF at his trial, and the only thing he was found guilty of was “missing a court date”).
    Political Theatre: It is what the ATF does.

  13. ATF has allways been a tool of the progressive communists to disarm America
    while their operative in the White House and the senate works to disrupt the economy, then they create a crisis to cause riots and the clamp down with martial law and make some fundamental changes to the basic law of the land.

    then you round up the unarmed dissidents to the FEMA concentration camps to make them disappear …… worked for Mao and Stalin and the camere rouge in cambodia 40 million dead latter ….. naw, cant happen here ……

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