The Interesting and Unusual Small Arms of Kurdistan and Ukraine w/ Neil Vermillion

I’m excited today to speak with Neal Vermillion, a US Army veteran (2002-2006) who served contracts in Kurdistan (2016) and Ukraine (2022) for the nonprofit PMC Sons of Liberty International. In Kurdistan he was a volunteer training and fighting with a group of Kurds around Erbil and Mosul. In Ukraine, he trained Ukrainian snipers and other troops. Today we are specifically talking about the different small arms that were (and are) being used in Kurdistan and Ukraine. From Turkish starter pistols to handmade anti material rifles, the fight against ISIS in Kurdistan saw it all. Ukraine today is seeing a similarly wide variety of small arms, although generally much more effective…unless you are a guy like Neil who gets issued an M14!

00:47 – Neil’s basic background
02:31 – Guns of the Peshmerga
23:07 – Guns of Ukraine

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      • That was an arsenal filled with lend-lease weapons from the Great Patriotic War. The Soviets held on to most anything just in case it may be needed again. For example another war of the scale of the Great Patriotic and not be caught unprepared. Any boomstick is still better than no weapon at all. The Soviets even had a big overhaul program during the eighties for stored ww2 artillery and tanks like T-34. And put them back into longterm storage.

        I guess no Ukrainian oligarch got around to selling these old reserves to Viktor Boot or unter of his colleagues.

        • I have a Soviet M44 bolt action made in 1953 ( year I was born ) brand new from factory cosmoline storage to me . Not a scratch or ding on it bore pristine.
          By 1953 bolt action were obsolete as military weapons ,SKS and the new kid AK 47 ,but I guess they figured you can’t have to many guns.

  1. Gee every other contemporary comment on Stechkins I’ve seen seems to find them uncontrollable. I did see a comment from an ex-cop who just liked the big magazine and general handling…not messing with full auto.

  2. The part about the M-14 made me laugh. I was part of a PRT sniper team in Afghanistan. We were told we were getting M-14s as backup weapons. I brought a Leupold Mk 4 M3 LRT with a Springfield mount. The M-14s never showed up so the Leupold went on my M-4…But that’s a different story for another time.

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