Support Weapons Class Review November 19-20, 2022 by “Jake”

“It’s all about force multipliers”

BLUF – this was a well crafted course that will help team leaders or individual members maximize their potential by integrating two specialized weapons/positions within their teams.  It won’t turn someone into an expert in the application of either the automatic rifle or the anti material rifle but it will lay the foundation and provide the drills to move you well along your way in developing the skills.  Remember, training is having someone else teach you things you don’t already know.  They teach you what to practice, how to practice it and why you need to.  This course provides that.

The course began with the general overview of what the automatic rifle is and how it’s use differs from machine guns or the more common general purpose rifle.  Also outlined is how to use a title one semi auto rifle in this role, how to set it up and how to employ it.  I’ll not get into all of the subjects covered but I will say that the priority of fire for the different weapons within a team is vitally important to understand and Mike does a great job in outlining these concepts.  This is why I feel it’s important to stress that the automatic rifle is a position within the team moreso than it is a piece of equipment.  A teams automatic rifleman isn’t just armed with a different gun, he’s tasked with a different role within the team.

The .50 BMG anti material rifle is the heaviest weapon that is available to the average individual without special license.  Read that again.  It’s fully capable of handling most light armored vehicles from cash transit vans that may be pressed into use by criminal organizations to most armored personnel carriers and it can do so out to probably 800 yards or more under the right circumstances.  As with the automatic rifle the priority of fire is key to it’s proper employment and this too is covered in detail.

The course covers both individual skills and how to properly integrate both weapons into a team with the required collective tasks.  How a team leader or squad leader assigns targets and control measures is covered as well so some leadership training is covered as well.

I could continue and explain quite a bit more about the class but I wanted to keep this short enough people might want to read it.  As far as I can tell this class is entirely unique in the private training realm and it is a good overview on how to integrate these two force multipliers into a small team.

I’ll close with one final topic, the equipment required.  The course outline says that a properly configured semi auto rifle and anti material rifle aren’t required and that’s true, but I believe people will get a lot more out of it if at least 1 in 4 students has a suitable semi auto rifle and probably an equal ratio of anti material rifles.  Any semi auto rifle can be pressed into service as a civilian Automatic Rifle but a properly built and vetted rifle will really show you the capabilities of the concept.  As for the AMR, a Barrett or similar semi auto is nice but in all honesty a single shot bolt action is enough to fill the role.  It’s much lighter and more mobile without sacrificing too much in terms of rate of fire.  With a little practice you can easily feed and fire 9-12 well aimed shots in a minute with one.


Published by vonsteubentraining

Mike is the owner and chief instructor of Von Steuben Training & Consulting (VSTAC). A self-described “Tactical Scholar,” he spent 6 years in the Marine Corps as a radio operator and small-unit tactics instructor. He has dedicated his life to honing the tactical prowess of himself and his fellow patriots, guided by the wisdom of his commanding officer, Jesus Christ. He can be contacted via email at

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