Mention of second and third 1 October shooters appears in official FBI report obtained by Intellihub.
LAS VEGAS (INTELLIHUB) — A female who attended the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival on the night of October 1, 2017, where 58 people lost their lives to automatic gunfire told the investigators from the Federal Bureau of Investigation that she saw a second shooter firing a high-powered automatic rifle from a parking lot located to the east of the venue where country music singer Jason Aldean and his band were playing onstage at the time of the shooting.
The eyewitness told investigators with the bureau that she and about 20 other concertgoers managed to escape the venue grounds and head northeast toward the Tropicana during the third volley of gunfire.
“When she reached the parking lot, she saw a person whom she did not believe was an officer with an automatic high-powered rifle firing his gun,” the report says. “She ran past him and left the festival grounds ducking into the Tropicana.” FBI
Moreover, the report mentions the presence of an additional shooter who the eyewitness believes was located underneath the kitchen or laundry room of the Tropicana the exact location that Joe Napoli and others saw brass shell casings strewn across the parking lot as I reported on November 12, 2017, in the article titled Route 91 massacre survivor saw brass shell casings strewn across Tropicana parking lot upon his retreat.
Beloved by many, despised by many others, the AR-15 is the most controversial firearm in America. The gun’s notoriety primarily stems from its use in some of the deadliest mass shootings in United States history, including Parkland, Sandy Hook, and Las Vegas. Critics suggest that it is a military-grade killing machine that is too powerful for unrestricted civilian use, while the AR-15’s millions of owners suggest that its power is the exact reason why it is so valuable for self-defense and sport.
The frequent media coverage and controversy over the AR-15 have made it a symbol of the debate over firearms in America. But many people who are not members of the firearms community still know relatively little about it. What is it about the AR-15 that makes it so special—and so deadly?
The following article will give some background information about the AR-15, explain what makes it so effective, and point out some of the reasons why the gun has been wrongly vilified.
What is the AR-15?
The AR-15 is a semi-automatic rifle (one shot per trigger pull) created in 1957 by a little-known firearms manufacturer named Armalite. Contrary to popular belief, the “AR” in AR-15 actually stands for “Armalite,” not “assault rifle.” The gun was originally designed to meet the U.S. military’s request for an automatic rifle that could effectively replace the rifles and submachine guns used during World War II, which had been deemed underpowered or otherwise outdated.
Studies at the time suggested that the nature of war had changed and that most combat was now being fought at close to intermediate ranges, rather than the long ranges that characterized World War I. To that end, the AR-15 was chambered in an intermediate-sized caliber (.223 Remington) that was well-suited for this style of combat.
Aside from its caliber, the AR-15 boasted a handful of innovative features for the time, including a straight-line barrel/stock design which helped reduce recoil and muzzle rise, making the gun relatively easy to shoot. The rifle was also constructed out of polymer and aluminum alloys, which made it significantly lighter than other comparably sized firearms (Most guns previously had been built with wood and steel.).
The AR-15 was first adopted for military use during the Vietnam War and was dubbed the M16. The M16 and its variants, which unlike the civilian AR-15 come equipped with either full-auto or burst fire capabilities, have become staples of the U.S. Armed Forces, and the original M16 was described by “American Sniper” Chris Kyle as one of the 10 firearms that changed United States History.
Nowadays, the name AR-15 is used as a catchall term for rifles built in the AR-15 style. Technically, the only manufacturer that produces an actual AR-15 is Colt, which obtained the rights to the gun from Armalite in 1959. However, countless manufacturers now make semi-auto AR-15-style rifles that can be purchased for civilian use.
Why is the AR-15 So Effective?
Without getting bogged down in the technical details, AR-15-style rifles are renowned for four primary characteristics: they are lightweight, reliable, customizable, and easy to shoot.
We touched on the AR-15’s lightweight build in the previous section. There we saw that due to its aluminum and polymer construction, the AR-15 is significantly lighter than many comparable rifles. In fact, the average AR-15 only weighs about 6 pounds while unloaded, which makes it convenient for both military and civilian usage, particularly for individuals with limited upper body strength including women, the physically disabled, and even children.
AR-15s have also become known for their reliability. The basic design has remained largely unchanged for the last 50 years (albeit refined), and a modern AR-15 can likely fire thousands of rounds using quality ammunition without any issues. AR-15s are also highly modular, meaning they can easily be taken apart and reassembled with replacement parts should anything ever fail.
Another important selling point of AR-15s is that they are extremely customizable. The AR-15’s modular design, in combination with its overwhelming popularity, means that there is a huge selection of AR-15 parts available from both gun manufacturers and companies specializing exclusively in parts and accessories. AR-15s can be equipped very easily with add-ons like scopes, red dot sights, flashlights, bipods and more. Some have even called the AR-15 the “Barbie doll for guys”— because you can accessorize it however you like!
Finally, the single most important characteristic of the AR-15 that has made it the phenomenon that it is today is that it is very easy to shoot. A quality AR-15 has a muzzle velocity of about 900 m/s and an effective range well over 400 meters. The high speed at which bullets are fired, along with the previously mentioned straight-line barrel/stock design, helps to make AR-15s extremely accurate. An experienced shooter can shoot groupings of 1-3 inches from 100 meters away, but even a novice shooter will be significantly more accurate with an AR than they are with a handgun. This feature alone has made the AR-15 extremely popular for sport shooting, hunting, and self-defense purposes. The AR-15 is especially valuable for self-defense because almost anyone can use one effectively within the usual self-defense distances, regardless of shooting experience or physical ability (strength, age, physical disability, etc.).
Together, these characteristics help to explain why the AR-15 is so effective and so popular. It is simply a well-designed, time-tested firearm that is reliable, easy to use, and easily customized. Too Powerful for Civilian Use?
There is no denying that the AR-15 is a highly effective and, if held in the wrong hands, a highly dangerous weapon. An important fact to keep in mind, however, is that the same could also be said of other so-called “assault weapons” with civilian semi-automatic versions available for sale today.
For example, not far behind the AR-15 in terms of notoriety is the AK-47, a Russian-designed firearm first created in the Cold War. Compared to the AR, the AK is less accurate at long ranges and a fair bit heavier, but it fires a significantly larger-caliber round and is equally if not more deadly at close to intermediate ranges. A prospective mass shooter armed with an AK would likely be able to do just as much damage as they would with an AR.
Point being, the AR-15 has gotten its reputation for being the “gun of choice” for mass murderers not because it is uniquely effective for committing such atrocities, but simply because it is the most popular semi-automatic rifle design on the market today. Thus, the vitriol directed at the AR-15 is somewhat misplaced.
Of course, many gun control advocates have suggested that all “assault weapons” are too powerful to be trusted in civilian hands. These critics ignore the fact that according to the FBI, rifles of all kinds, including both semi-automatic and bolt-action rifles, are used in an extraordinarily small percentage of homicides—just 2.5 percent in 2016 and 1.9 percent in 2015.
Instead, these activists are committing a logical error thoroughly examined by criminologist Grant Duwe in his seminal text, Mass Murder in the United States: A History. According to Duwe:
“…Claimsmakers [journalists, politicians, etc.] have used high-profile cases not only as indicators of trends in the prevalence of mass killings, but also as typifying examples…[However,] the high-profile cases are the most unusual and least representative examples of mass murder, which is precisely why they are more newsworthy. Consequently, in using heavily publicized cases as typifying examples, claimsmakers have presented a distorted image of mass murder. This is significant because the popular perceptions of a problem often help shape the policy recommendations to control it.” (Emphasis added)
Good public policy is rarely derived from snap judgments about the “least representative examples.” Firearms, like many other kinds of technology, have a direct relationship between their capacity to be used for good and their capacity to be used for evil; the same characteristics that make an AR-15 dangerous in the hands of a lunatic make it invaluable in the hands of a hero. It seems to me that the majority of Americans are good, law-abiding citizens who should not be wrongly punished for the horrible deeds of a few deranged individuals. Thus, a ban on assault weapons like the AR-15 would likely do significantly more harm than good and make us less safe, not more.
ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, prior to hunting season and/or disaster, those rifles of yours need to be ready to go…cleaned and in peak operating condition. Thinking of the rifle as an extension of yourself is a good rule to follow that will keep you on your toes regarding maintenance and maintaining skills. This piece is not intended to recommend any particular type of optic, as needs are widely varied in terms of rifles used and the tasks those rifles are intended to perform. For a “Happy Family Scope Primer,” talk to a salesman at Cabela’s or some other big-box store selling the equipment.
This piece is designed to place emphasis on one of the concepts I’ve been trying to hammer home in almost every article: Master the “primitive” before you employ the technological.
Your first emphasis should be on iron sights and Kentucky windage. You must be able to hit your target without optics. OK, you have a perfectly-zeroed scope. What if it breaks off its mount or one of the objectives shatters? Oops, can you wait for Mr. Bad-Guy, so that I can aim? How about an EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse), and suddenly that $10-grand thermal image optical “dancer” on top of your weapon becomes a paperweight…what then?
Hopefully (in that regard) you listened to my advice and bought a second one and clapped it into a Faraday cage just for that event. Either way, you will need that iron sight for a time…until that Carrington Effect wears off. Same precautions need to be followed regarding your Red Dot sights and any laser sights or lights you may be employing.
Work with your rifle for at least a week or two with the iron sights. Learn how to adjust them (if they’re adjustable) and how to estimate your ranges. Find your optimal range to hit that target…the range you are comfortable with. It will vary with age, eye-strength, experience, and natural shooting ability. For example, one man may have an easy time with a man-sized target at 100 meters (300 feet), whereas a second man engages it effectively at 50 meters. This is not to make any judgments on either man, but to emphasize a point: know your abilities and your limitations. In this manner, you will be more effective.
Standard scopes with non-electrical/laser objectives (just lenses in a tube!) vary in quality and price. Stick with this motto: Cheap you buy, cheap you get. Although not perfect grammatically, it emphasizes the point clearly. Quality in terms of durability, lens clarity and craftsmanship, and simplicity of function are things to seek after. Take the time to really test out the scope. The “gun salesman” is out to make bottom line and commission by selling guns and accessories. Every scope is good… yada, yada. Want to make a good selection?
Find someone with military experience as a sniper and ask this individual to either make a recommendation or go with you to pick up a good scope that fits your weapon’s needs. Give ‘em the standard: “Thank you for your service.” Great. Then pay him to show you the knowledge that he earned…at a price.
It is a life or death decision, and if it’s not in your mind? You better make it so. If it’s hunting, it’s to provide meat for your table and your family. You can’t get more life or death than that…except for defense. When the goon is coming up the driveway with a pistol after the EMP strikes…you need to drop him before he ever reaches the door.
Once you have the scope, zero it properly. You will have to set goals for yourself. You will have to invest the time and the ammo. Save your brass, reload, and determine your needs with the proper ballistics and bullet tables. That scope…once it’s mounted, it needs to not move. A boresight laser is invaluable: not so much for zeroing, but for confirming your zero and that you’re still “on” if you move the weapon or touch it. Every time you touch that scope, you’ll have to re-zero it or re-confirm the zero. Now, there are a ton of durable scopes and mounts that need minimal work in these departments. It’s up to you to find them for your weapon and apply them.
Then, to the high-tech stuff. As I said, you can invest tens of thousands in this department. For those of you who think I just visit the “Dollar Tree,” think again: that was recommended for those who simply cannot afford to purchase the best equipment. I give you my stance on scopes in a nutshell: only the best will suffice, in all departments as merits a professional soldier. Rest assured, my optics are the best, and following OPSEC, I will not reveal to you what I have.
Thermal imaging scopes should be purchased that have the ability to switch off from thermal imaging to a standard refractory scope with objective lenses. You will be able to “game” the prices on this one. Better follow the rule, though, and buy two of them: one to “squirrel” away in a Faraday cage and one for the weapon that you will lose if an EMP strikes. I’m not advising you to do anything that I myself do not pursue. You may wish a range-finding apparatus within/attached to your scope, or a handheld one. It’s a matter of preference.
In closing, your optics are going to better enable you to hit your target from a distance. The optics are no substitute for the basic fundamentals of rifle marksmanship: breathing, aiming, and trigger squeeze. You can’t “spend” yourself into proficiency. Accoutrements are just that: accessories that need to be “dumped” if they either fail to work or are out of commission for the return to the iron sights. Practice perfects, and in a firefight second place is a “loss,” and perhaps a permanent one. Take your optics seriously, and start with the fundamentals…those iron sights as a mainstay. JJ out!
DefenseReview (DR) is very interested in this one. Lobaev Arms out of Tarusa, Russia is reportedly developing a record-setting sub-.2-.3-MOA bolt-action .408 CheyTac anti-materiel/sniper rifle called the SVLK-14S Sumrak (Twilight) Ultra Long-Range Rifle (ULRR) that’s already achieved 3,400-meter (3,718-yard) hits in testing, and is being further developed with a longer barrel and heavier ammunition to effectively engage targets of opportunity out to 4,200 meters (4,593 yards), or roughly 2.6 miles. Lobaev Arms CEO Nikolay Lobaev says “Last year we successfully shot a target 3,400 metres (3,718 yards) away. Since then, we have implemented a number of innovations including making the barrel longer and the bullet slightly heavier. Hopefully, this year we will be able to set a new record,” the aforementioned 4,200 meters. Wow.
The latest iteration of the Lobaev Arms SVLK-14S ULRR anti-materiel/sniper rifle utilizes a composite stock comprised of “a carbon fiber-reinforced ‘sandwich’ of plastic, fiberglass and kevlar that is specially designed for the powerful Cheytac round. A long aircraft-grade aluminium alloy chassis is with stainless steel threaded insert and bolt, known as the KING v.3, is integrated into the stock to provide increased firmness and stability,” according to the company’s website, and is described by the company as “precise and unbreakable”. DR will try to glean some technical data on the barrel, including its materials, construction/manufacture and rifling. In the meantime, stay tuned.
Anyway, assuming the gun works as advertised, Vasily Zaytsev could’ve really used this thing.
The following information on the Lobaev Arms SVLK-14S Sumrak (Twilight) Ultra Long-Range Rifle comes directly from the product page on the company’s website:
“ULTRA LONG-RANGE RIFLE SVLK-14S ‘TWILIGHT’
SVLK-14S is a unique sniper rifle showing outstanding performance for more than 6 years at ranges well exceeding 2000 meters. It’s power, accuracy and extreme range in your hands.
The precision characteristics of this model line sound almost unreal and yes, daring. SVLK-14S rifle owners often get sub .2 MOA 5-shot groups. And all this with such powerful round as .408 Cheytac that hardly anybody can make shoot. We could.
Hitting target beyond 3km? Easy! Nice group at 2500m? Yes, with that it’s quite feasible. New world record? She can deliver.
The newer model has a carbon fiber-reinforced “sandwich” of plastic, fiberglass and kevlar that is specially designed for the powerful Cheytac round. A long aluminium alloy chassis is integrated into the stock – to provide increased firmness and stability. Core of the model is our highly reputable KING v.3 action made to the strictest tolerances in the industry. Precise and unbreakable. KING is aircraft aluminum body receiver with stainless steel threaded insert with stainless steel bolt. This SVL model is intentionally left with single-shot action to provide needed stiffness for Ultra-Long range as well as versatility of having several different boltfaces in one rifle (Cheytac, Supermagnum, Magnum). You don’t machinegun at 2000m, but more rigidity and extra bolts and barrels in other calibers are always good to have.
Sporting new design multi-layered composite stock, made of carbon fiber, Kevlar and fiberglass sandwich. Even more reinforced than before – long and specially shaped aluminum chassis added for more rigidity and use of most powerful cartridges. Cheek-piece mechanism has been also changed towards more shooter friendly design.
What completes the picture is the heavy stainless steel barrel manufactured by LOBAEV Hummer Barrels by the highest standards of the world of shooting. With these barrels the shooting that was previously only at the edge of possible is now possible. Those who have tried confirm it.
For this model all our barrel lengths are available.
Technical accuracy – 0.3 MOA\9 mm between centers(5 shots at 100m) Maximum Effective Range (tested) – 2500m++ Muzzle velocity – 900+ m\s Operational range (Temperature) – -45\+65 C
Caliber – .408 Cheytac\.338LM\.300WM Length – 1430 mm Height – 175 mm Width – 96 mm Weight – 10 kg Barrel length – 900 mm Еrigger pull – adj. Bolt handle – right Bolt action – right Magazine – none