Selco: What combat is like after SHTF

(From the article)

The first lesson

During one of the first bigger events of killing in the streets, I was out together with my friend who also was a medical professional.

Fire from machine guns was on people who were standing in front of the main city bread factory, and people started to scream and run over each other.

My first impulse was to run to the nearest cover but my friend got down to help some lady, so I stayed one meter next to him.

I was confused about my decision and not sure to stay with him or run. Bullets from machine gun hit him over his legs, and I saw how his kneecap exploded. It looked like some bad movie special effect.

He just looked at his legs, then at me, in silence. Even though it was just seconds, moments like this feel very long.

I took him by the hands and dragged him some 20 or 30 meters to safety. Only there I saw that he was missing his leg under the knee. It stayed with the dead lady on the street.

And only then he started to scream.

I used a belt to stop the bleeding. The ambulance still worked in that period. He went to the hospital and then evacuated from the city. He survived but never came back.

Lessons learned?

In moments of chaos always listen to your instincts and do not hesitate.

Especially if you are involved in a situation when someone is shooting at you with a high caliber machine gun. Just accept that people will die and you have to survive. To help others is a great thing, to survive is even better.

Also, I realized that a human being is so fragile and easy to destroy.

You must practice with your gear.

Later I learned some things about weapons and how to use them, so I realize that more firepower does not necessarily mean more dangerous and better chance to kill.

Owning a weapon is absolutely necessary when preparing for a survival scenario, even more so in urban survival. You need to go and get as close as you can to the real stuff while you are doing the preparing and training for the SHTF, so it makes sense to go out and check your preps, to check your gear, and yourself.

For example, that pair of boots that you bought and store for bad days will not be used for walking only, it will be used for running, squatting, jumping, in mud, junk, blood, guts maybe or just running through a shallow river.

Everything that you have prepared and stored for SHTF will be pushed to the limits.

It is one thing to go out into the woods nearby and do a recording of your weapon testing on some beer bottles with your friends, and after that concluding that particular gun or rifle is best for SHTF and that you are a dangerous dude because of your accuracy rates. Some people gonna put that clip on YouTube and go home convinced that they are ready and prepared.

In reality, you do not know if you are prepared until it happens.

A lot of survival stores that sell things sell the idea of “buy this and you are safe.”

No, you are not. You can learn more about real urban survival scenarios in my survival course and in my book, The Dark Secrets of SHTF Survival . This helps you to mentally be better prepared but the real deal when SHTF always comes as a surprise.

When the time comes again it gonna hit everyone like a hammer. The good news is that when you know you will get hit like that you can recover faster and use your skills, knowledge, and preps to make the best out of the situation.

Using a weapon in real life, in real survival situations, is something absolutely different from shooting beer bottles.

And if you could do some real training that is realistic that would be maybe going camping for 10 days using a trash bag like a tent, with 10 small cans of food, and 10 liters of water, and then walking every day for 10 km.

On the 11th day, run a few kilometers and then shoot and see how accurate you are when your body is wasting away.

And still, the most important thing is missing. While you are shooting at the beer bottles they do not shoot back at you in order to kill you.

During some of the first battles in the city I was moving through the building behind a guy, we both had rifles. He was sweeping the rooms and shooting, it was the closest to urban combat as it can be. At the moment when he runs out of ammo, he used his rifle as something between spear and bat.

Now someone could say why he did not just switch to the pistol? He did not have one, also he did not have time to look for ammo. But there I learned how it is useful to have folded stock of rifle when shooting and moving in very confined spaces.

Also, I learned that rifle with pretty sharp parts at the barrel can be very handy. He stabbed a guy to the cheek, ripping his face down and finishing him on the ground.

One of the biggest misconceptions that the people who do not have fighting experience is what they just need to practice…

(Not the whole article, click link to read full article)


Really good info. Aside from actual military training, run n gun 10k biathlons seem like the next closest thing for training based on his experience and suggestions.


You dont need military training to get tactical training. Im just a civie and ive attended quite a few different courses from Carbine to pistol to CQC based stuff and even some night/lowlight training. Its reall fun but spendy.

Those biatholons look pretty awesome though, Wish there were some around here. Really its better to take a few courses then buy a bunch of ammo and practice what youve learned over and over even in comps if you can. I recommend taking a few classes on defensive/gun fighting/tactical stuff, its a blast and you learn alot of neat shit if its a good instructor.

You guys have a ton of qualified instructors down there:

Paul Howe

According to his bio, He was at The Battle of Mogadishu. In the movie “Black Hawk Down” SFC Jeff Sanderson (who is played by Jeff Fichtner) is based on Paul Howe.

Jeff Gonzales of Trident Concepts

Max Velocity Tactical hosts classes in Texas. He teaches a wide variety of classes for civies including alot team based stuff.

Frank Proctor is ex special forces guy and USPSA/3 gun grand master. His course is located in AZ though, I think.

Supposedly he is one of the better instructors on pure shooting for either defensive use or comps. His course is definitely on my bucket list.

Travis Haley - ex CEO of Magpul Dynamics, ex SF and a former contractor. He was one of the guys in the Magpul dvds back in 2010ish , I partially blame him for the mall ninja epidemic. He also does make-up commercials but its ok due to the fact that hes a rockstar in gun/ firearm training industry.
Also located in AZ.

Theres alot more but any of these guys would be able to teach you some gunfighting/tactical skills.


Again, excellent info.


Although I’m in pretty good shape for someone over 70, I don’t think that I’m ready for that kind of training. My defensive actions will be mostly shooting if it comes down to it, or retreating to safety with my wife and daughter. I get them to the range when I can and let them shoot as much as they want to. I’m most concerned for my daughter. She’s 13 and I fear that she might really need to have some training for the crazy future that lurks ahead.


Did he ever say which guns he used and where and how he got them and their ammo? Did he say which were his favorite guns and caliber?

What about gun maintenance and cleanings? Sounds like if you never stockpiled spare parts, gun cleaner and oil, those things might be hard to find. Maybe they concocted “Ed’s Red” type cleaning and lubricating oils with whatever they could find, like transmission oil?


I will look for the article in a bit but he likes the AK platform in 7.62x39 mainly due to the fact that its what he trained on and its whats most available over there. He also stated he mightve gone a different route if he was in the U.S. He is big on picking something common with readily available ammo. I think for pistols he likes 9mm, I think it was a Tokerov or something like that.


Selco has a blog and frequents on the Organic Prepper forum, I dont know how good their forum is but if Selco posts there that says something.

Turns out I was wrong about his pistol choice.


no - more like diesel or kerosene - matter fact I still use diesel to do a first cleaning of metal parts of all my new firearms.
Everyone poopahs diesel but it is and will be available -and modern fuels have carbon detergents that work quite well.


You can take oil out of any car to lube your rifle. Ive done this. I also keep an eye drop container of oil in the grip. You dont need to clean your AR (let alone an AK) very much to keep it running, just lube it up. I went over 5k rounds(closer to 7k) through comps and training courses with zero cleaning with no real issues.

To clean just take a piece of ripped shirt or something similar and tie a shoestring to it then pull it through the barrel.

This guy went thousands of rounds abusing his gun without cleaning it.
He did lube it though

The guy who did this test is deceased but he wasnt some youtube blow joe , he was a professional in every sense of the word as a Marine then a LEO. He was respected by most in the industry.

Mike Pannone wrote this next article. (Some of his credentials, according to the article.)
"He’s also a certified Colt Armorer. Mr. Pannone is a former operational member of U.S. Marine Force Reconnaissance, U.S. Army Special Forces, and specially selected elements of the Joint Special Operations Command. "

“I reliably fired 2400 rounds (80 magazines) on a bone dry gun, and I would bet that is a lot more than any soldier or other armed professional will ever come close to firing without any lubrication whatsoever. So, disregard the fouling myth and install a better buffer spring, H2 buffer, enhanced extractor spring and a Crane O-ring (all end user drop-in parts). With normal (read “not excessive”) lubrication and maintenance, properly-built AR-15/M4 type rifles with carbine gas systems will astound you with their reliability and shootability.”


Didnt know this. Will Diesel hurt the coatings?

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no worse than any other gun solvents, however I do remove the wood or plastic grips and have yet to soak a polymer frame (but there is no reason to)…
I like it because it displaces water, very cheap and if you let it soak it gets to places most of the other stuff doesn’t. And when it flashes off (dries) it has coated everything in a very light oil.
Down side because it gets every where keep a rag handy for when it weeps.

we use to dump our MGs (both the 7.62 and .50) into a diesel bath to soak over night after using.


Hell, I might try that with my AR15 bcgs when they get dirty. Thanks :+1:


This is all great stuff.


Bump… Selco also has a few books out now.