Advice


Assembling Your Survival Kit.

Posted on April 10th, by Michael in Advice, Gear, Mindset, Survival. No Comments

By: Instructor Michael Lake

There are a number of different names for them: “bug out” bags, “72-hour” bags, “get home” bags, etc…  They all refer to a duffle-bag full of stuff that may mean the difference between life and death, or at least between marginal comfort and severe discomfort  during an emergency situation.

There is also no shortage of opinionated articles written about what these kits should contain, and for the most part, the advice out there is OK.  Face it,  survival is what we do, it doesn’t take a PhD to figure out what things might provide a survival advantage during a societal breakdown.

Fortunately for us, total societal collapse is probably the least likely scenario we need to prepare for.  Oh, I’m not saying that it can’t happen or that it eventually won’t happen, but my bet is that it won’t happen the way most people … Read More »



Scoping the Precision Rifle

Posted on February 22nd, by Michael in Advice, Gear, Precision Rifle, Tactical. 2 comments

By: Instructor Michael Lake

So you need a scope for your precision rifle and there are just too many confusing options…  let me take a few minutes to help you sort some of this out.  There are a lot of other articles written by a lot of other people covering some of this stuff, albeit partially, so here’s my effort to put some of the information in one place:

Question 1: What do all the numbers mean?

Answer:  The first number or set of numbers refers to optical power, which is measured in units of magnification that, in industry jargon, are referred to as “X.”  A 4X scope magnifies the image 4 times.  In other words, a 10 inch target viewed through a 4X optic would appear the same size as a 40 inch target at the same distance viewed with the naked eye.   Fixed power scopes … Read More »



Sinister Studies: Serious Scrutiny into Southpaw Shooting (Part VIII)

Posted on January 18th, by Michael in Advice, Gear, Lefty, Precision Rifle, Uncategorized. No Comments

Hey boys and girls, you’ve had a few months to practice all of those techniques we talked about in Sinister Studies 1 through 6, and hopefully you’ve squared away your eye dominance as well like we discussed in Sinister Studies 7.  This next installment isn’t going to address technique as much as it will be an equipment review.

My introduction to shooting was competitive riflery and despite my interest in other shooting disciplines, throughout the years I have always had a special connection with shooting at distance.  Most of my competitive shooting was done with match-tuned M14’s and M1A’s, which can be excellent performers.  When it comes to precision shooting however, there’s just no substitute for a scoped bolt gun.  So in this installment, I would like to explore some options available for the left-handed rifle marksman.

A few years ago I signed up for some precision … Read More »



S.M.A.R.T. Holsters

Posted on June 2nd, by Michael in Advice, Gear. 2 comments

There are plenty of holster options out there, unfortunately, most of the good ones aren’t typically what you find at the local gun and sporting goods stores.   They certainly carry a variety of holsters, but for critical uses like concealed carry, the holster is an integral part of your overall weapons system.

Here is my criteria for a suitable concealed carry holster:

1. The holster must STAY OPEN when the firearm is drawn, this implies the material must be something durable like rigid leather or Kydex.

2. The MUZZLE must be protected or covered.  Holsters that allow the muzzle to completely protrude, such as competition-style holsters, are not desirable for defensive use for a number of reasons.

3. It should ATTACH firmly to the belt.   There are some minor exceptions that are very specific in nature but IN GENERAL, for a defensive   carry holster,  it should … Read More »



All kinds of stuff about 10/22’s

Posted on May 13th, by Michael in Advice, Gear, Survival. No Comments

It’s been over 50 years since Bill Ruger introduced his semi-automatic, rotary box magazine-fed rimfire: the 10/22.   For those of you new to the 10/22, I suppose a little introduction is necessary.    The 10/22 was basically a semi-auto .22 rimfire about as popular as any other until Ram-Line company introduced their polymer high-capacity (20, 30 and 50 rounds) magazines for it.   Suddenly, the 10/22 was a lot more exciting than its tubular magazine-fed competitors.     Enabled by this increase in capacity, a number of companies introduced polymer folding stocks, ventilated handguards and other “dress-up” accessories.    Things were going along fine until September 13, 1994, when President Bill Clinton signed the “Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act” into law.  This act, which included an “assault weapons ban,” essentially ended the party for sexed-up 10/22’s by effectively put an end to the … Read More »



Sinister Studies: Serious Scrutiny into Southpaw Shooting (Part V.2)

Posted on April 20th, by Michael in Advice, Lefty, Tactical. 1 Comment

We left off on part IV with basic left-handed AR manipulations, but it doesn’t end there, like any semi-automatic firearm, AR’s can sputter, cough or puke occasionally.  The military teaches a malfunction clearance drill called “SPORTS” which is an acronym for:

“Slap” the magazine,

“Pull” the charging handle,

“Observe” the chamber,

“Release” the charging handle,

“Tap” the forward assist and

“Shoot,”   …assuming you have a target that is still a threat.

Many credible instructors consider this flawed, primarily due to the third step; “observe.”  First of all, “observe” only works when you have enough light to see the chamber.   Second, and more importantly, the eyes and visual cortex are tied to the frontal, logical, “thinking” portion of the brain.  The muscles performing the pull and release action, however, perform it by a programmed algorithm that originates in the central, primitive “action” portion of the brain.  We usually … Read More »



Sinister Studies: Serious Scrutiny into Southpaw Shooting (Part IV)

Posted on March 1st, by Michael in Advice, Lefty, Tactical. No Comments

In 1954 Eugene Stoner and ArmaLite brought forth on this continent a new rifle, conceived in aluminum alloy, but not totally dedicated to the proposition that all were created equal, in particular: lefties. The original design, the AR-10, featured a charging handle on top of the upper receiver in the “suitcase handle.” This design, while bilateral in nature, didn’t make it to the final AR-15. Skip ahead 60 years: several factors have made AR-15 pattern firearms the most popular rifles in America.

On AR-15’s, efficient manipulations are particularly important. What is the use of all that firepower and inherent accuracy if we waste time fumbling with it? What’s more, the type of manipulations can change depending on the shooting activity. If your weak arm is tied up in a sling because you’re at Camp Perry, you need a different set of … Read More »



Sinister Studies: Serious Scrutiny into Southpaw Shooting (Part III)

Posted on February 23rd, by Michael in Advice, Lefty, Tactical. No Comments

By now, you’re probably thinking “boy, it seems like there’s an awful lot of difficult manipulations involved with semi-autos that aren’t very easy for lefties,” and maybe you’re considering that switching to a wheel-gun may simplify your world somewhat.  Because after all, if you have spent any time in gun stores, you have heard the sacred mantra: “Ohm myree volva neva jammmm” …sorry, bad Yoga joke.  I appreciate your thought process, but the fact is that nothing really gets easier with the wheel gun, especially for southpaws.   While it is true you won’t wind up with a stovepipe or double-feed in your revolver, I won’t go so far as to say they never jam, which is the common misconception.  There are a few ways revolvers can and do malfunction, the majority being ammunition induced, which can be all but eliminated by using … Read More »



Sinister Studies, Serious Scrutiny into Southpaw Shooting (Part 2)

Posted on February 16th, by Michael in Advice, Lefty, Tactical. 1 Comment

In the previous article, we addressed basic 2-handed manipulations of common semi-automatic handguns for left-hand dominant shooters.  Now let’s talk about one-handed manipulations specific to the left hand.  As a left or right-handed shooter, who knows which hand you will have to use for this?  For the sake of argument, let’s say that it is the left hand, as right-handed manipulations have been covered more than adequately by other sources.  Keep in mind that this is increasing the level of difficulty, so a corresponding increase of good sense is needed while practicing or executing these moves to prevent injury to yourself or someone else, maybe someone you don’t intend to injure, so…be careful.

Gripping a hand-gun with one hand typically encourages a slight cant (left or right tilt) inward while shooting with the arm extended.  As a lefty, this slight cant … Read More »



Sinister Studies: Serious Scrutiny into Southpaw Shooting (Part 1)

Posted on February 9th, by Michael in Advice, Lefty, Tactical. 7 comments

For the left-handed shooter, aligning the sights and pressing the trigger may look like a mirror-image activity of a right-handed shooter, and physically it may be, but psychologically… well, we’ll get into that later.    The physical firearms manipulations preceding and following the actual act of shooting, however, can be significantly different for the southpaw marksman depending on the type of firearm used.     At the time of this writing, I have been a firearms instructor for about 7 years, but I have been a recreational and competitive shooter for over 30 years.  For almost 20 years I have worked as a full-time industrial safety professional, which has afforded me a great deal of experience with ergonomics and particularly the ergonomics of hand tools.     More appropriate to this article, I have spent almost 4 decades experiencing the full benefits and challenges of … Read More »






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