Ask almost any supposedly reputable source for training on the obscure body of knowledge that includes fieldcraft, stalking, hides, camouflage, in short: “sniper skills,” and the answer is almost always the same: “…but we don’t teach that stuff to civilians.” It’s probably best if I reserve further comment on that, other than to say that, like most rarified disciplines there is obviously more talk than authentic knowledge and finding a legitimate source willing to share that knowledge with the garden-variety armed citizen can be difficult, believe me – I’ve looked.
There are, of course, good reasons to be cautious with the dissemination of this information. Let’s face it, under current societal conditions in the United States there is no definitive defensive application for long range, shoot from cover, rifle skills, and these skills in the wrong hands can be very hazardous … Read More »
Well, a few months ago when I wrote the last article, I had a few tests I decided to run at our spring Precision Optics Workshop and the great folks who attended were all willing guinea pigs.
In the previous article, I postulated that the ability to accurately estimate the range to a target using a graduated scope reticle would be limited by the capabilities of the human eye, and that capability would be somewhere between 1 and 5 arc-minutes, but I didn’t exactly know where to set the bar. My best guess, given glass quality and atmospheric effects was about 2 arc minutes.
To test this, we played a little game with 10 participants. 5 “shooters” with optics greater than 20X and 5 “shooters” using optics less than 20X. The scopes used were a fairly representative sample of the common glass out … Read More »
I suppose it is in my nature to try and resolve certain observed phenomena down to the mathematical formulae that can reliably and logically explain them. This is surprising, given that I flunked Calculus 2 three times consecutively in college and eventually had to change majors because that dog just wasn’t going to hunt.
f(x)dx notwithstanding, I did eventually graduate and go on to work as a research and development chemist for one of the world’s largest producers of consumer products.
No one was more surprised than I when a sudden impulse arose in me at lunchtime today to calculate and chart the potential error in range estimates induced by the limits of visual acuity of both the reticle and the target. Let me restate that in simpler terms: I wanted to figure out just how screwed up reticle range estimates could get for someone with … Read More »
We don’t need any more posts, videos, articles, memes, epistles, or other complaints about the state of the industry. They were interesting at first, but we have had quite enough of them now, thank you. The shark has been thoroughly jumped. Any additional kicking of the dead horse just makes you sound like a bitter, grumpy, tactical snob… and buddy (and I swear this isn’t targeted at any one person), it doesn’t look good on you.
The English-speaking world already knows that you think there are just too many “firearms instructors”;
too many unqualified posers;
too many wannabe operators;
too many altered DD214’s;
too many “mall ninjas” and “cop-erators”;
too many chairborne rangers;
too many competition shooters teaching tacticool classes;
too many plumbers, and accountants, and engineers teaching “concealed carry” classes;
too many fancy terms for simple techniques;
too many people who have more … Read More »
Recently, ASIS International (an international organization for security professionals) and NFPA (National Fire Prevention Association) teamed up to talk about writing a standard for “active shooter” prevention and response in the workplace. You can read the notes of their January 19, 2016 meeting online here: https://www.asisonline.org/Standards-Guidelines/Standards/Documents/ASISandNFPAMeetingNotesPowerPointandAttendeeList.pdf
In their statistical analysis, they do note that 13.1% of active killers are successfully stopped by unarmed citizens and 3.1% are stopped by armed citizens, however, the role of the armed citizen is conspicuously missing in their threat assessment and response brainstorming session. Generally speaking, ASIS seems to have a history of being opposed to licensed citizens carrying concealed in the workplace, or even having a firearm secured in their own vehicle on their employer’s premises. Based on this, it is safe to assume that any “workplace safety” standards they are involved in writing, … Read More »
So I’m going to try really hard to stay in my lane in this article, as the saying goes. The question at hand: to chest rig or not as a “citizen carbine operator. “ Before anyone freaks out too badly, because I can already sense blood pressures rising from an army of keyboard commandos ready to deal out a tirade of punishing remarks, let me advise you to just chill for a second. Let’s apply some logic and work our way through this, mmmk?
Let’s talk nomenclature first, from back to front: when I say “operator” I realize that in military circles this refers specifically to members of SEAL Team 6 and 1SFOD-Delta. In this article, we’re not talking about them. We’re talking about John Q. Public who owns, and may find occasion to use or “operate” a carbine for defensive … Read More »
Prioritizing Your Defensive Dollar – By ADC Instructor Michael Lake
We all know that time and money are finite resources and most of us normal folks have to make careful decisions about how to spend them, after all, most of us hand more than 1/3 of it to Uncle Sam so he can piss it away. That doesn’t always leave much for keeping a roof over our heads, meat on the table and the wolf from the door. Most of us know what our rent or mortgage payment is, and we budget for that. Most of us have some idea how much money we spend to feed ourselves and families, and we budget for that. We keep track of our time and plan for our day jobs, domestic chores, and recreation time. When it comes to keeping the wolf from the … Read More »
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 »
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 »
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 »