American Rifleman - July 2019 - 8

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8

THE KEEFE REPORT
Photo by Forrest MacCormack

10/22® LULA®

I

t's not every day that one gets to
ambush one of America's top secret
commandos. But that is just what
we did. Not long ago, Maj. John L.
Plaster, U.S. Army (Ret.), who ran 22
secret missions behind enemy lines in
Laos and Cambodia with the Studies
and Observations Group (SOG), wrote
about his "best friend" in Vietnam in
"Behind Enemy Lines With The CAR-15"
(February 2019, p. 44). "Some men's
best friends might be named Bill or
Mike or Dave. But the best friend I
ever had bore the unusual moniker,
905442. That was the serial number of
my Colt Automatic Rifle-15, and 'he'
saved my life many times."
You might recall the nearly fullpage photo of Maj. Plaster holding his
"friend," a Colt XM177E2 carbine, after
returning from a mission. In it, the
electrical tape covering the CAR-15's
muzzle had been partially shot off, a
sure sign of a recent firefight.
Mention of Serial No. 905442 in
these pages set off a chain of events. It
involved a conspiracy, started by Curtis
Debord and Curt Wolf. They are the
owners, respectively, of U.S. Ordnance
and U.S. Armament. Then they pulled
in Justin Baldini from Colt.
A few years ago, Debord picked a
windmill at which to tilt. And that
windmill was to perfectly re-create
Colts from the Vietnam era with the
AR-15 Military Classics series
(colt.com). It began with a perfect
replica of the U.S. M16A1, obviously
with semi-automatic-only fire-control
components, and the XM177E2.
Debord is a meticulous man. And
when he set out to re-create these
guns from the Vietnam era, he wanted
them to be exactly the same as the
original in every way possible. He
did not default to commonly available components; he spent literally
hundreds of thousands of dollars
tooling up to make parts that Colt
and its vendors had not made since
the 1960s. He may have spent more of
his own money on getting these parts
exactly right than Colt did tooling
up to make them in the first place.
But that's just the kind of guy that
Debord is. You make it right, or you
don't make it at all.
JULY 2019

The ambush of Maj. Plaster began
with another Vietnam veteran who
carried an XM177E2, Bob Sanders, who
brought the article to the attention
of Debord and Wolf. That's when they
decided they should make Serial No.
905442, and present it to Maj. Plaster.
When Wolf called Baldini, it turned
out that 905442 had already been
produced-and shipped to a distributor. A series of frantic phone calls
resulted in the gun being returned
to Colt. And that's where I came in.
Wolf and Baldini asked if there was
an appropriate venue where this rifle
could be presented to Maj. Plaster
in appreciation for his service to our
nation during Vietnam, as well as his
service to snipers.
I informed them that I knew
exactly where Maj. Plaster would be
at 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 26. He
would be presenting "Behind Enemy
Lines: The Men & Guns Of SOG" at the
NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits in
Indianapolis, a special presentation for
NRA members. At this point I needed
another co-conspirator. And her name
was Gayle Plaster, John's lovely wife.
As I introduced Maj. Plaster, I then
gave up the podium to let Baldini
speak for a few minutes about the
Colt Military Classics series, and
then very specifically about Serial
No. 905442. And that's when Debord
and Wolf uncased the carbine and
presented it to Maj. Plaster. This
great American, a man who served
his country so well as a Special Forces
soldier and then as an officer in
the U.S. Army Reserve, was visibly
touched. As Maj. Plaster approached
the gun, he looked down at the serial
number and said, "That's my rifle!"
Indeed it is, John.
Sincerely,

AMERICAN RIFLEMAN


http://www.colt.com http://www.maglula.com

American Rifleman - July 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Rifleman - July 2019

Contents
American Rifleman - July 2019 - Cover1
American Rifleman - July 2019 - Cover2
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 1
American Rifleman - July 2019 - Contents
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 3
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 4
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 5
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 6
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 7
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 8
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 9
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 10
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 11
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 12
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 13
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 14
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 15
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American Rifleman - July 2019 - 17
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 18
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 19
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 20
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 21
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 22
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American Rifleman - July 2019 - 24
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 25
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 26
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 27
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 28
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 29
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 30
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 31
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 32
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 33
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 34
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 35
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 36
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 37
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 38
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 39
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 40
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 41
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 42
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 43
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 44
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 45
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 46
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 47
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 48
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 49
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 50
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 51
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American Rifleman - July 2019 - 53
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 54
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 55
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 56
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 57
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 58
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American Rifleman - July 2019 - 60
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 61
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 62
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 63
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American Rifleman - July 2019 - Cover3
American Rifleman - July 2019 - Cover4
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