Four Rifle Marksmanship Fundamentals From a Military Perspective

Rifle marksmanship tips

In my military career, I have shot the M16 more times than I care to remember. Imagine lying outside in the prone position in the rain or snow trying to shoot; miserable. Miraculously, those elements had no effect on my shooting ability. I learned that the weather, my attitude, and location would vary each time I shot, but four fundamentals stayed the same through those shooting experiences. I had established a steady position, my aim, breathe control, and trigger squeeze. These skills sound pretty simple but surprisingly many people might forget one or two of them.

Without getting too technical, I’ll cover these four basic skills mixing in my previous experience with text book answers. I truly believe everyone should understand, practice, and apply these skills on and off the firing line.

Steady Position

Pretty straight forward. The firer should assume a steady, comfortable position on the firing line. The firer is the best judge on their position, and they should be able to hold the front sight post steady during a shot.

  • Rifle Butt Position – Place in pocket of firers’ shoulder which helps reduce recoil.
  • Firing Elbow – Depending on the firing position, the firer should ensure their elbow placement allows their shoulders to stay level. For an unsupported prone positon, elbow is usually tucked close to the body. This helps keep the butt stock in the shoulder pocket.
  • Non-Firing Elbow Placement – Firmly under rifle providing a comfortable, steady position. If the firer shoots at moving or various elevated targets, this elbow supports those movements.
  • Cheek Placement – Firers’ cheek should naturally fall onto the stock, neck relaxed. This placement also reinforces a natural line of sight through the rear sight, front sight, and onto the target. Tip: To achieve the same cheek position every time, firer can use two fingers to measure between their charging handle/rear sight and cheek. This ensures the same distance used every time.

Aiming

The firer needs to align the rifle with the target the exact way every time. To do this, there are a few important sight elements that come to play.

  • Aligning The Sights – The firer needs to have the tip of the front sight post centered in the rear sight. It is critical to know that any miniscule misalignment here multiples the further the target is. A twentieth of an inch misalignment at a 25 meter target can cause the firer to miss their 300m target by about 2 feet!
  • Eye Focus/Fatigue – Unless you have experience, it is common misconception for new firers to keep one eye closed while aiming. One eye closed will actually cause very fast eye fatigue. Leaving both eyes open reduces eye fatigue which aids in keeping the same sight picture. In conjunction, the eye should be focused on the tip of the front sight post which makes the target blurry, but that is normal. This aids in proper sight alignment.
  • Sight Picture – Having the sights aligned and aiming point pinned, the firer can now take their sight picture. The target, front sight post, and rear sight post will be aligned.

Rifle Marksmanship basics

Breath Control

The firer needs to control their breathing during target engagement. Practicing on paper targets is a sure fire way of seeing if breathing is under control. If a firer’s shot group shows elevation changes (up and down variance) between shots, it is likely they need to practice breathing control.

  • Natural Exhale Pause – If engaging targets with an increased time limit or zeroing the weapon, the natural pause of exhale in a breathing cycle is when the firer needs to pull the trigger.
  • Stop Breathing – If the shooting exercise employs very limited timed targets, the firer can expect to stop their breath before squeezing the trigger.

Trigger Squeeze

 

At last, the final fundamental. The firer can have all other fundamentals perfect, but if the trigger squeeze is off, the rifle misaligns with the target at the firing moment. Dry fire training is the best way to practice and examine whether trigger squeeze is being utilized correctly. If the firer’s shot group shows wide horizontal variance between shots, this is a big indicator of trigger squeeze.

  • Surprise Shot! – Many firers overthink this one. If the firer knows when they will pull the trigger, this will activate their natural reflexes such as tensing up for the recoil which can make them miss the target. Tip: Firer should focus on their breathing. This will eliminate the anxiety of thinking about squeezing the trigger.
  • Trigger Finger – The firing hand’s index finger should have the trigger positioned between the first joint and tip of finger. Using the absolute end of the finger could result in a very slight pull/jerking motion on the trigger, resulting in rifle movement.

Wrapping Up

Shooting takes practice. Some people are naturally good shooters while others may have a few kinks to work out. These rifle fundamentals are here to instill the rifle marksmanship basics from veteran shooters down to the utmost beginner. With these marksman skills in mind, remember that it might take more than one try to get them nailed down and that is ok. Aside from these skills, always remember to practice rifle

This guest article was written by Joshua Babicz. He is the founder of a firearm blog, combated. This firearm enthusiast served 6 years Active duty Army and continues to serve as a reservist.

The Factors in Picking Between Gun Training Classes and Self-Teaching

african american gun club, ken blanchard jr shooting at the range

When we think about it, we all intuitively know that we learn way better with classes. They offer accountability, expert knowledge, structure, and feedback. The independence of self-teaching is enticing, especially with prolific online resources a click away, but idiosyncrasies sneak in every time, and people will learn more slowly with the result of incomplete knowledge or skills.

So why on Earth are people opting out of gun training classes?

At a time when guns are in the hot seat politically and vilified by the media more severely by the day, it seems more important than ever to know your stuff inside and out as a gun owner. Whether it’s the thrill of making that shot at a distanceyou never knew you could in competition or out hunting, or that unbeatable feeling of knowing what to do in an emergency (and how not to cause emergencies), there’s a lot to gain from learning shooting, not just teaching yourself.

Let’s look at it from the perspective of a brand new gun owner:

 

My dad taught me how to shoot when I was twelve!

We can first acknowledge that large portions of new firearms owners aren’t entirely new to firearms. They’ll be young people who were finally old enough to buy their own gun, able to save up for one, or ready to pursue EDC in their own lives. They’ll be the ones looking into classes thinking they’re too basic, or looking at the types of people who are buying guns for the first time due to fear, who are practically holding them like dirty diapers. The “some experience” types of should-be students got informal training from their parents on weekend visits to the range, hunting trips, or even working with their parents on gun maintenance. Maybe they have a healthy respect of gun safety because their dad was the very model of a modern major concealed-carry permit holder… but, then again, did they ever get dedicated, piece-by-piece instructional time? Probably not.

Guns are magic bullets that make you feel safer once you own one!

 

A large percentage of the population uses the words “feel” and “safe” in the same sentence regularly, illustrating the first problem facing a new gun owner who needs to get to a few classes. The new gun owner now has the toolto feel safe and doesn’t consider the practical skills required for that tool to actually create a safe environmentwith the everyday care and keeping of firearms, let alone when they need to use them. Leading to…

You don’t know what you don’t know.

Even if the new gun owner has studied safe gun ownership practicesand their new weapon, and even gone to the range a few times to practice, they might not know that they should practice with their holster, or secondary defensive skills (hey, bullets aren’t infinite except in Hollywood), or managing an emergency situation as a lay first responder. It’s not to discredit new gun owners, but it’s a simple fact of life that one “skill” actually involves about a thousand smaller ones. The trick is to push through the “hot button topic firewall” to get people to think carefully about the act of using their gun in real life, not just having it and occasionally visiting the range.

 

“First day of school” Anxiety

In this case, the anxiety breaks down into two main parts:

1. Finding a trustworthy class

 

We here in the gun community could be doing a better job making our own work legible to novice readers and buyers. Anybody researching a gun they might want to buy will also have to look up tons of jargon, abbreviations, and extremely technical writing.

 

After they’ve waded through that, it’s understandable how they might have diminished patience for finding a trustworthy first timer class. Ranges do not look like yoga studios or gyms, all windows and open space and smoothies. The first time someone goes, they’ll feel a bit like they’re entering a lair or a bunker. The staff is armed (smart for business, unsettling for those who aren’t used to it), the range, though well-kept, is concrete and drab at best, and it is very clearly a “tactical zone,” with lots of strict rules, standard precautions, and a somewhat intimidating atmosphere.

 

Besides the struggle of just getting to a place to practice with a weapon, someone who wants to take a class will have to try to sort out the reputable programs from the scams. From the seemingly reputable programs, they then have to decipher which classes have enough qualified instructors and holistic curriculums. You could see where it might start to read like Greek to the novice shooter.

2. Being the little fish

 

If they can push through and get to a class, the new gun owner is sure to meet at least one much more experienced gun owner, their instructor. As someone who just purchased a firearm, the student is probably still working on the “not all guns are bad” concept, especially in the context of armed, experienced shooters in the same room as them, ready to talk guns.

On top of that, newcomers to any hobby seem to think they’re starting from a lower baseline than the rest of their class (exception: the “my dad taught me how to shoot when I was twelve!” guy). They’re going to feel like they’re not prepared for even the first day, that they can’t ask questions because they should know the answer and that their classmates are way ahead of them in training.

We’ve all seen these classes and know it’s not true, but you can’t blame them for feeling that way, especially when deliberately entering into a taboo-status skill.

 

In every excuse or rationalization for not taking a gun training class as a new gun owner, we see those little endearing but infuriating quirks of the American personality: the cocky, the stick-in-the-mud, the no-patience. Finally, we see that, on average, America is still just a little bit delusional about gun ownership.

As experienced shooters and competent, responsible owners, now is a fantastic time to modernize our blogs, training course sites, and other media, to make it inviting for the people who most need to read what’s on there.

We also need to recognize that we’ve gone Deep Technical for a long time and that we can’t expect non-shooters to meet us there. While the US is fighting over gun control and flinging their misinformation all over the place, we’ve shown that we can do a lot better engaging people on an educational path rather than in a political debate and climate that isn’t going to make anybody safer or smarter.

 

7 tips on how to improve your camping experience

As the summer is coming, many of us will enjoy a favorite outdoors activity – camping. It is definitely important to plan ahead, especially if you take your family with you. Nowadays, there are many ways to make your camp life easier, although some of them could cost you a lot. In this article we will share with you some ideas that will help you relax while camping, without seriously affecting your wallet.

1. Have an emergency kit with you.

It is very common to have a first-aid kit in a car, but while camping you should have a survival kit with some additional features handy, such as basic medical equipment, a whistle, a compass, flint and steel. You can create a small box out of Altoid tin which will give you enough space to fit all the necessary items.

2. Prepare your own fire starters.

Considering the changing weather conditions and potential dampness of the wood, creating your own ready-to-use fire starters could really help you avoid unnecessary stress while starting a campfire. All you have to do is to stuff a cardboard paper tube with some dry lint. 

3. Create your own lantern.

Instead of using camping lanterns, which at times can be way too bright, you can make your own lantern with less intense light. Just take a gallon of water and strap the headlamp around it. The light going through the water will be much milder. 

4. Use solar energy to have light at night.

In order to avoid getting lost at night while going to the bathroom, take advantage of solar energy. You can place some outdoor solar lights near your tent, which will definitely help you walk at night without tripping over things. 

5. Make your own mosquito-repelling bracelet.

While sometimes it is impossible to avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes, you can still stop a great majority of them. A Para cord bracelet infused with citronella essential oil will repel these blood-drinking insects, while a Para cord itself can be used in case of some other emergencies. 

6. Take with you ready-to-use eggs.

You can speed up the process of making scrambled eggs by simply doing some of the work at home. The eggs must be cracked into a mason jar, then you have to store them in your cooler. Don’t forget to shake the eggs before you use them.

7. Prepare “shake & pour” pancake batter.

Same as it is with the eggs, you can also make your life easier by using a “shake & pour” pancake batter. Just prepare at home the dry mix and put it in a mason jar. Once you want to make pancakes, simply add an egg and some water. Then shake the jar. 

We are sure that following these tips will save you some time while camping, which instead you can use to simply enjoy your stay in the nature. If you want to find out what else you can do to make camping easier, check outdoor gear reviews on Gear Lobo.

 

 

Disclaimer:
The opinions and or beliefs expressed in this post belong to the author, and are not endorsed or necessarily shared by Kenn Blanchard or other contributors to this site.

 

HOW TO STORE GUNS SAFELY IN YOUR HOME

Are you afraid of guns? Or the question should be Are you afraid of intruders? In both cases the answer most probably would be ‘yes’ for most of us. Both are equally scary.

Majority of us has seen firearms only in action movies where it seems cool, fun and full of action, not knowing any of its specifications or the goose bumps we get by its shot sound in reality. We never ever want to handle it manually as for us it’s the tool either for robbers or police chasing each other.

What if we need it equally? For it gives us a sense of security and protection. Ever imagined keeping it at home?

Many of us think it’s vital and dare to keep it for safety measures but Life is not a movie; to own a gun needs a lot of courage, proper knowledge, guidance andprecaution for sure.

1: STORAGE:

It’s imperative to look for a safe place to store a gun, not easily accessible. With the advancement in technology we get more options like Biometric Weapon Safe is a good selection for its fingerprinttechnology as it gives you quick access to your firearm in case of emergency.

Gun vaults are also a good option from protection against burglar’s and kids as well.

2: AMMUNITION:

Never place ammunition with a gun so it can’t be misused without your permission. Be sure to use correct ammunition for your fire arm because improper ammunition can cause you severe injury and damageyour gun as well.

Where ever you keep it, make it safe from heat and moisture. Before handling gun to anyone always check the magazine, that it doesn’t contain any ammunition.

3: UNSAFE STORAGE:

Unsafe domains to keep a gun should never be in a bed room drawer, under a bed, on a shelf or with other expensive items. These are the most common places even for a child to know to grab a gun easily.

In case of robbery, valuables kept with a gun increase the risk of you getting shot.

4: MAKE RULES:

For whatever purpose you use a gun (hunting or practice) make it a rule to always unload it carefully, clean it and finally store it in a safe area in your home.

Hunting rifles should not be proudly displayed or hanged in a showcase or wall; its easy access to everyone adds no less danger to lives. Sometimes people out of rage losing their mind use it, to repent for life.

5: OUT OF CHILDREN’S ACCESS:

Today’s kids are action kids, smarter and have curiousnature especially knowing about a gun at your place will make them brag about it and they will want toaccess it one way or other.

Kids have their perfect dream imagination with their favorite cartoon or movies heroes with gun action. They can’t differentiate between real and fake firearm. It’s better to give them proper guidance about a real gun and its bad results.

Kids learn from actions more than words, create a better example for them being extra cautious dealing with firearms at home.

To keep guns out of reach of kids should be a priority. It’s better to be safe than to be late.

6: DIRECTION:

Never aim your gun at any individual either for fun, acting or mimicking purpose because accidents occur with no warnings. Always point the muzzle of gun to a safe direction. By safe direction mean where the bullet cannot hit anyone, like it can be ‘upward’ direction.

7: UNLOAD THE GUN:

Whenever you store your gun in a safe, it should always be empty.  Unloading your firearm prevents any mishap from occurring and its best to prevent any unauthorized access.

8: GUN HANDLING:

You must know every characteristic about the gun you own, like the gun handling specifications and its mechanicals. You must never fool around; only press the trigger when you are ready to fire. Keep in mind that real gun isn’t the paintball guns or airsoft stuff.

Most of us are not experts at shooting and panic when it’s most needed. Better to keep finger away from trigger to avoid unintentional finger slip unless you intend to shoot or your sights are at target.  Before loading and shooting make sure the barrel is clear of any obstruction.

9: GUN LOCK:

Gunlock is additional safety measure, using it make a fire arm inoperable. The more protection, the more it’sbetter.

Padlocks and cable locks are being used for trigger lock which is also a good option.

10: EDUCATE FAMILY:

Everyone in home must be aware of the dangers of gun use and misuse. Healthy fear is necessary and worth saving lives. Give them proper safety tips and guidelines about arm handling in case of emergency or situation.

Author-Bio

Anthony Maldonado has over Thirty (25) years of experience in the field of guns, hunting, sports and self-defense related fields.Now he keeps on doing it through teaching others about how to do it. He is an expert in the area of DIY. He is presently working at his tenbesttipz.com

Learn With A Scope First

hunter with rifle, scope and shotgun

Shooting with Iron sights is a bit like driving with a manual transmission. It’s always great to learn how to drive a manual but automatics the United States have become overwhelmingly common and few people ever learn to drive both.

For the same reasons you teach a new driver to drive an automatic,you should teach a new shooter to shoot with some sort of optic. It’s always weird how shooters demand new comers to learn with iron sights even though they are more complicated and can cause problems inthe range.

Here, we’re going to dispel a few myths about the purpose of the scope and what they actually do for shooters and give a few reasons as to why new shooter should always be taught with some sort of magnified optic or red Dot sight before they are taught with iron sights.

Purpose of a Scope

Scopes can do a lot for a shooter. They can be used to predict the ballistic performance of around and bring range estimation capabilities to the very forefront of your consciousness why your shooting but the two main things they do is simplify the aiming process and add magnification.

Simplifying the aiming process is one of the main reasons you should start a new shooter with an optic. Instead of having to align three things, the front sight, rear sight, and  target, you only need to up two things, a reference point, andthe target. This allows you to deliver your fundamentals of marksmanship much easier, which is great for new shooters.

Telescopic sights also have the distinction of adding magnification. This is important because it optically brings the target closer to your eye and allows for finer adjustments of the site picture. In layman’s terms, it makes the target appear bigger, so you have an easier time lining up the crosshairs of the scope. In older people or just nervous people, magnified optics can help them see much better and allow for more fun time at the range.

Magnification does not help you shoot better, it helps you see better. Many people lose sight of this and they purchase scopes that are way too big thinking is going to make them better shooters. If you don’t have the fundamentals of marksmanship before you bought the scope, if you jerk your trigger or don’t fall through you’re going to have the same problems once you spend all the money getting your scope mounted up and dialed in. Make sure you know how to shoot before you start buying things to make you a better shooter. Start with simple optics and work your way up.

Why You Should Learn with a Scope First?

  • It’s Easier

The primary reason to learn with a scope on the rifle first is thatit’s easier. Yes, this is the exact reason many people site is the reason why you should learn with iron sights first but in the grand scheme of things you are more likely to be using an optic that iron sights and with the beginning shooter it is much easier to get them moving and enjoying shooting with a scope that is with iron sights.

  • It Reduces Anxiety

Because scopes and optics are much easier to use than iron sights they reduce anxiety with new shooters that are afraid. Many people have a deer in the headlights look the first time they go shooting. With safety being the paramount lesson to be learned early on, and proper handling of a firearm being next marksmanship and proficiency with iron sights are far down the line. Throwing all of these concepts at a new shooter at once is a recipe for disaster. Every effort should be made to reduce anxiety and simplify new shooters experience at the range. This means using tools like low magnification optics and red dot gun sights.

  • It’s More Fun

Anyone who’s ever shot with a red dot optic at close range or on the move, or used a highly magnified scope to shoot targets at long-range will never forget it. Using optics is just plain fun. Telescopic scopes and optical gun sights at another depth to shooting that makes using firearms more enjoyable and making shooting more enjoyable for new shooters is the single best way to make sure they continue shooting.

  • It Adds Weight to Reduce Recoil

If you are shooting a medium to large war centerfire rifle for the first time, a heavy, high-powered optic can go a long way to attaining recoil and smoothing out the impulse. New shooters especially have a hard time managing recoil and a lightweight .308 hunting rifle the scope can be as much is a third of the overall poundage. Removing this wage can add significantly to the perceived recoil and is a bad idea for training a new shooter with a large rifle than they would normally be used too.

How & When to Transition to Iron Sights

Simply put, usually transitioned iron sights when you want to. Modern electronic a magnified optics are reliable enough that even on a home defense gun you can reasonably expect them to do their job and not rely on backup iron sights. That being said, every shooter at some point should become familiar with iron sights and be able to use them within at least 50 yards.

Batteries do die, and things do break but iron sights have been the standard for well over 200 years and there’s no telling how long in the future we will rely on them for aiming reference out to several hundred yards.

Men in the old West could shoot well out past 1000 yards with big bore buffalo guns and nothing but sliding iron sights. Nowadays were lucky if we get to shoot past 100 yards and many people never get the opportunity to range out with iron sights.

Do your best as a shooter to progress at your own pace and really learn how to safely handle a weapon. Iron sights are part of marksmanship, but scopes and other gun sights have become the norm and should form the bedrock of your marksmanship in the future they provide an enormously important tool for teaching new shooters.

 

Author BIO

McKinley Downing is an avid shooter & firearms instructor. He shoots, hunts and is a patriot in the sense that he enjoys pissing off gun grabbers and an anti-hunters. He has worked with and around firearms for several years, and enjoys talking to anyone interested in learning more about firearms and their 2nd Amendment rights. He currently writes for several online outlets on the use of   guns and ammunition, you can find more articles from him on  Outdoor Pursuit.

 

Ammunition Nomenclature: Eliminating Confusion for Newbie Shooters

For someone new to firearms and ammunition, it can be confusing to understand the different names and terms given to ammunition cartridges. There are several types and shapes of ammunition, and knowing the difference can make a big impact on the safety and performance of the firearm.

 

The confusion is brought about by the absence of a naming standard. Generally, the numbers used in ammunition indicate the metal bullet’s diameter. Therefore, a .45 means that it is .45 of an inch in diameter while the diameter of a .22 is .22 of an inch.

 

The compound number used to describe ammunition represents diameter to length ratio, such as:

 

  • 56×45 mm – 5.56mm wide, 45mm long
  • 9×19 mm – 9mm wide, 19mm long

 

Shotshells on the other hand are measured in gauge. The larger diameter is the lower number. A 12-gauge shell is 70mm in length, which is about 2.5 inches. It is also available in 3-inch magnum.

 

Components of a cartridge

 

A cartridge is the type packaging of small arms ammunition, which is composed of four parts:

 

  • Case – which is typically made of steel, nickel or brass
  • Primer – the propellant’s ignition. It is the round dimple located at the cartridge’s base.
  • Propellant/powder – the gunpowder
  • Projectile – the actual bullet

 

A cartridge with propellant but without a bullet is called a blank. A dummy or drill round does not have a primer, propellant and bullet, and typically used for training purposes and when checking the performance of a firearm. A dummy round is also called a snap cap.

 

Types of cartridges

 

As there are several types of firearms, there are also different types of cartridges that are loaded into them. The types include the following:

 

  • 8mm Mauser (actually 7.9mm)
  • 12 gauge Shotshell
  • .22 Long Rifle
  • 45x39mm Soviet
  • 56x45mm NATO (.223 Remington)
  • 62x39mm Soviet
  • 62x51mm (.308 Winchester)
  • 62x54mm Russian (rimless base)
  • .44 Magnum (rimless base)
  • .45 Automatic Colt Pistol or ACP
  • 9x19mm Para. (also called Parabellum, Luger or just 9mm, but they slightly vary in length)

 

What is a caliber?

 

Caliber or calibre, (abbreviation – cal.) is the estimated diameter of the internal part of the gun’s barrel. It also represents the diameter of the projectile or the bullet. A .45 caliber gun for example means that the barrel diameter measures .45 of an inch or close to but still not quite half an inch.

 

Diameters can be expressed in metric as well, such as 9mm guns. The decimal point is typically dropped when said orally, but included in written descriptions.

 

Here are examples of the typical naming conventions, to make it easier for you to understand the caliber of the ammunition (ammo).

 

  • 30-06 – the first number represents the caliber of the ammo, while 06 represents the year 1906 (standard rifle cartridge of the U.S. military)
  • 270 Winchester – approximate diameter of the bullet (actual size – .277-inch); Winchester is the manufacturer that standardized this type of ammo.
  • 375 H&H Magnum – bullet diameter = .375-inch; H&H stands for Holland & Holland, a British manufacturer; magnum is the name given to the ammo because it is slightly bigger than its counterparts
  • 220 Swift – about .224″ in diameter; swift is added because it is exceedingly fast (also manufactured by Winchester)
  • 45-70 Government – officially adopted for the use of the U.S. government; size is .458″
  • 30-30 Winchester – first number is its diameter while the second number represents its 30 grains of black powder load.
  • 45 ACP – the ’45’ represents the diameter of the bullet while ACP refers to the original gun, the Automatic Colt Pistol model 1911.

 

Types of bullets

 

The projectile or the bullet, which is the actual piece that flies out of a firearm, comes in different types, which are usually called by their acronyms, as follows:

 

  • LRN – Lead Round Nose
  • WC – Wad Cutter
  • SWC – Semi Wad Cutter
  • SJ – Semi Jacketed
  • SJHP – Semi Jacketed Hollow Point
  • JHP – Jacketed Hollow Point
  • FMJ – Full Metal Jacket
  • SP – Soft Point (not coating on bullet tip, exposing the lead)
  • AP – Armor Piercing (alloy core)
  • BT – Boat Tail (cartridge’s read end is tapered for flight stability of the projectile)
  • BTHP – Boat Tail Hollow Point
  • RBCD – Special (the acronym is the name of the manufacturer)

 

Ammunition nomenclature is definitely confusing. The important thing to remember is to have the appropriate ammunition and protection for your firearm. The diameter should perfectly match the size of the gun’s barrel to have the right seal.

 

With the market flooded with different makers, you need to be specific when you purchase your cartridges. A common 7.62 could be for a 7.62×59, 7.62×54 Russian, 7.62×54 Russian, 7.62×39 Soviet or a 7.62×25 Tokarov.

 

Contributor:  Imran Khan

 

Guest Post: Do You Know About the AppleSeed Project?

Jack Billington

I really hate to mention it here in this realm of derring-do and expertise in all things martial.

But I’m a lousy rifle shot.

Picture it: I’m a guerrilla fighter. My comrades are counting on my sniping skills to take out a key enemy position. I aim, breathe, squeeze the trigger — and take out a cow in a barn 12 degrees to the left, alerting the enemy, losing the battle, and depriving my fellow fighters of milk they need for survival.
Fortunately, no one is likely ever to be dumb enough to rely on my sniping skills.

Still, one recent Saturday I found myself, rifle in hand, at a nearby farm in the company of 20 women and girls.

We were there to attend a LadySeed, the women-only version of an Appleseed marksmanship clinic. Project Appleseed, as you may know, is an effort to turn Americans back into expert shooters “one rifleman at a time.” Its events are put on by the wonderfully named Revolutionary War Veterans Association and are staffed entirely by volunteers.

It’s not just about shooting. Each Appleseed also features an extended history lesson focused on April 19, 1775.

But mostly it’s shooting.
A blog post is too short to cover much about the events. The quickest and best thing to say is this is valuable training for anyone — man, woman, or child — who wants to buff up on rifle skills and do it with excellent help and in good company. And if there’s an Appleseed near me in the uber-boonies, there’ll probably be one near you at some time or another. Schedules are listed on the organization’s site.

Appleseed is not ideal for someone who has never fired a gun. Still, the woman next to me on the firing line was a newbie. She began the day unable to hit the paper. By the time we dragged our tired selves home, she was punching impressive holes.

The friend who came with me and I quickly realized we had handicapped ourselves by not bringing proper equipment. She had a bolt action with a single five-round magazine, and I had a tube-fed Savage that was my brother’s Cub Scout gun back when dinosaurs ruled the earth.
A semiauto .22 with two or more mags and a sling is really a must to get the most out of an Appleseed.

Turns out there’s a good equipment list linked right from the front page of the Project Appleseed website. But since we came to the class sign-up via a different route, we never saw it and couldn’t find one. It was our fault for not digging deeper. But it would have been nice had the organizers ensured that every attendee had such a list.

That’s a nit-pick. There are many, many more positive things to say. For the sake of brevity, I’ll focus on one: the excellent volunteer staff. The instructors in our case were all women — and could easily have been professional trainers.

Appleseed got started just five years ago with roughly two dozen clinics. This year, according to our instructors, it’s putting on close to 1,000. Even the New York Times took notice — although predictably the writer put the scariest possible slant on things.

Did my friend and I emerge as better shooters? Hard to say. Most people in the class did — and that was just on the first day. For a variety of reasons, we decided to skip the Sunday session. Both of us felt we’d have made more progress had we brought semi-autos.

But there’s always another Appleseed. And maybe someday “I’ll be good enough not to pot that cow.”

 

Gun Laws: Illinois

Hello and welcome to this week’s edition of Gun Law weekly. Before we jump into this week’s State, Illinois, we’d like to quickly address that there were a few errors in last weeks’ article about gun laws in Texas. Thank you readers’ for pointing out those errors and this week we are working harder to provide direct links to the relevant legislature and are reading the legislature directly so that we can avoid these mistakes in the future.

 

With that being said the show must go on so without further ado: Illinois.

firearmsrack

Possession

 

To purchase a firearm of any kind in Illinois you need a Firearm Owner’s Identification (FOID) card (430 ILCS 65/2). After you obtain an FOID though you do not need to register any firearms you purchase. In purchasing a handgun however there is a 72 hour mandatory waiting period before picking up your new handgun and there is a 24 hour holding period on any rifle or shotgun before you can take possession (720 ILCS 5/24-3). If you are purchasing multiple firearms or need a gun case to transport your new firearm securely then this would be a good time to look at gun lockers and other gun storage solutions.

guncase

The requirements to obtain a FOID card are as follows:

 

  • At least 21 years old, or at least 18 with parental consent (and a parent who is eligible for a FOID card).
  • A U.S. citizen or legal resident, and
  • Eligible to obtain and possess a firearm under federal law.

 

Additionally you must not be:

 

  • A convicted felon.
  • A minor convicted of certain misdemeanors, crimes that would be felonies if committed by an adult, or who has been adjudicated delinquent,
  • Addicted to certain controlled substances, or
  • “mentally impaired” or “intellectually disabled”

 

Transportation and Carrying

 

Moving onto transporting and carrying your gun, residents of Illinois can conceal carry their handgun if they obtain a concealed carry license from the Illinois State Police. For a full list of the eligibility requirements you can visit their site here. Otherwise you are still allowed to transport your firearm as long as you meet one of the following conditions:

 

  • Are broken down in a non-functioning state.
  • Are not immediately accessible.
  • Are unloaded and enclosed in a case, firearm carrying box, shipping box, or other container by a person who has been issued a currently valid FOID Card.

 

This is not a full list, I highlighted the first three because these are the easiest to achieve. There are also additional exceptions made for hunting and target shooting in regards to transportation and open carry. To see all of conditions you can transport your firearm in see the link at the bottom of the article for 720 ILCS 5/24-1 (4). There are also location restrictions where concealed carry permit owners aren’t allowed to have their handgun. This extensive list can be found here.

 

Non-Residents

 

Non-residents are allowed to have a firearm without an FOID if it is unloaded and in a case or if they are:

 

– Hunting and has a non-resident hunting license, while in an area where hunting is permitted.

– On a target range recognized by the Department of State Police.

– At a gun show recognized by the Department of State Police.

– Currently licensed or registered to possess a firearm in his state of residence. (NRA-ILA)

 

The section of the law that deals with non-resident firearm possession referenced here is 430 ILCS 65/2, which deals with FOID Card exceptions, as is the case with most non-residents. Non-residents are allowed to obtain a Concealed Carry License so if you are frequently in Illinois this may be a good solution for you.

 

These are the basic firearm laws in Illinois. The majority of this information was found in the FOID Act, Concealed Carry Act and the Unlawful Use of Weapons Act. With interpretation help from the NRA, Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence and the Illinois State Police website.

 

Like all laws these are subject to change. There may also be county and city laws not covered in this article that change your ability to carry, transport and otherwise possess your firearm.

 

430 ILCS 65: FOID Act

 

430 ILCS 66: Firearms Concealed Carry Act

 

720 ILCS 5/24-1: Unlawful Use of Weapons Act

 

NRA-ILA Illinois

 

Illinois State Police Firearm Services Bureau

 

 

 

 

 

Gun Laws: Texas Hold’em

People not in the gun community often think that Texas would be the Wild West when it comes to gun laws but it’s not.  It is not the most relaxed State when it comes to possession, open carry and laws requiring secure weapon storage. While there is good reason and clout to back up these rumors, Texas still does have gun laws that you have to follow and should be aware of.

 

To start, there are no rifle, shotgun or handgun registration laws in Texas. That means that there is no waiting period to buy a gun if you woke up in the morning wanting one. This includes weapons deemed “assault” weapons by Federal laws and other State laws. Additionally, this extends to ammunition capacity where there is no limit on how much ammunition you can have in a magazine or on your person. In short, the only limit to how many bullets you have is your capacity to store them. Or money.

 

The only time you will need to get a permit in relation to firearms is when you want to carry a handgun concealed or open. As of January 1st 2016 you are allowed to open carry a handgun, in a safe non-threatening manner, if you have a concealed carry permit. You are allowed to open carry a shotgun or rifle without a concealed carry permit unless it is in a manner “calculated to cause harm”. So be careful because the wording can be slippery and is up to the police to interpret.

 

City dwellers should pay extra special attention to the exceptions to these rules, which are; even with the open and concealed carry permit you are not allowed to have firearm in:

 

  • texas-weapon-storage-225x300Amusement Parks.
  • Churches and other places of religious worship.
  • Hospitals.
  • Correctional facilities.
  • Courts.
  • Polling places on Election Day.
  • High schools.
  • In an establishment where 51% or more of the revenue comes from alcohol.
  • Inside an airport.

 

In regards to transportation you may carry a loaded handgun within reach in a vehicle as long as it is out of sight. Long guns, as in shotguns or other rifles, may be loaded, within reach and in plain view in the vehicle.

 

If you are not from Texas it may be hard to purchase a firearm while in Texas because you must show ID to buy a firearm and in many stores they will not sell them to you because of the potential conflicts with other States laws. Also, if you have a concealed carry permit from another State, Texas will allow you to open carry in their state as well.

A note on safety in these troubling times, in light of the recent shooting in Houston. If you live in one of the big cities (Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Dallas or Fort Worth) the only city that is high on the FBI’s list of most dangerous cities in Texas is Houston. Austin particularly is noted to be very safe, so just because you live in a state that has relaxed gun laws and you live in a big city does not mean you have to feel unsafe. Crime rates in the five biggest cities in Texas have actually dropped by an average of 6.5% in the last year.

 

If you are still worried about violent crime or if you are a business owner worried about protecting his/her wares there are plenty of versatile storage options available.

 

 

https://www.texastribune.org/2016/04/22/crime-rates-fall-texas-cities/

https://www.texaslawshield.com/portal/texas-gun-law/

http://www.texasgunlaws.org

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_laws_in_Texas

 

 

 

Essay: Insights

I’m a proponent of the 2nd Amendment… right to keep and bear arms.

Gun Control, rights, Safety, Lobbyist, legislation, ownership, violence, Anti-Gun Policies, training, etc.

These terms swirl around us.   I can remember those “ Thrilling days of yesteryear!” Cowboys or combat certain images were associated with America’s love for firearms. Which brought me to an awareness that I needed to know how to protect myself properly and responsibly, when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em…   As children, especially boys were encouraged to play with guns, toughening up rite of passage and if someone hits you, hit ‘em back. Cowboys and Indians was the thing to play! We saw cowboys in “Shoot ‘em up” westerns with trusty six shooters. Television shows like The Lone Ranger, Wyatt Earp, Gunsmoke, The Rifleman, characters were featured as gun slingers. Still in re-runs today. Untouchables with Machine guns, the detectives versus the Mob, outlaws and police everywhere with guns. Shows also featured military brigades, fighting for truth, justice the American Way

Women toted pistols…Annie Oakley portrayed by Gail Davis, of course Roy’s Dale Evans. Davis (Betty Jeanne Grayson) was particularly interesting because she was a legendary sharp shooter who wasn’t just acting. She had pistol packing power. Davis’ character, and ability to outshoot men, (while they thought she was a pansy) really fascinated me. There were cops and robbers shows of every sort. Firearms have been a staple “prop” throughout television history. Used to establish, enforce law and order. In movies and real life, the power of a gun let’s you know that something serious is about to go down. A gun is a persuader of perceived power, one upsmanship. Wielding a gun can be intoxicating… It can save your life and if you pull one out you’d better be prepared to use it, know what, how to do what must be done. It’s about accuracy, safety, consequences, aftermath, and perhaps a deadly outcome.

Yes, we want safety; better safe than sorry, when it comes down to being violated, perhaps it’s kill or be killed. Worst-case scenario, last resort, left with no choice, life or death situation, be prepared. Emergency preparedness training must be ongoing. Life circumstances became real and I needed a gun. I had been violated and robbed at gunpoint. I am thankful to be alive to tell this story. The situation could have been the other way…The need to protect/defend myself on another level was of concern. The person was never caught and brought to justice. (Sound familiar?) The responsibility to be an informed, experienced gun owner was obvious. I purchased two. One to keep with me, the other in a safe place to protect my property. I practiced regularly, joined the NRA, and used the range for target practice. That was decades ago, before I understood politics as I do now. If you have to take matters into your own hands to defend yourself, your body must be the ultimate weapon. I am an advocate/activist for what I believe and hold dear. 2nd Amendment advocates are on both sides of the political aisles, diverse, of every political persuasion. Preserving life, using deadly force to protect the life of loved ones and property is not a partisan issue, must be preserved as our 2nd Amendment rights state. There is a delicate balance between protection, safety, awareness, and responsibility. The NRA and reputable gun advocacy organizations have their merits. Better served not being limited in scope to focusing on endorsing any one particular parties’ politics. They need a different approach so that 2nd Amendment rights are inclusive, not exclusive. They need not be pitting themselves against each other concerning gun policy legislation.

My goal is to keep training, honing my skills, improve accuracy, and stay abreast of relevant issues and laws. Setting my sites on new improved weaponry and ammo, and of course watching my back. Bullying isn’t just a youth issue. As I observe the political stance of the American people, I am mindful of safe, sane and solid ways to exercise this right.

When serious issues have arisen local law enforcement tells me, “there’s nothing they can do” after they’ve told me to “ call them if I need them”… I have no choice but to defend myself, take matters into my own hands, if necessary.

This time I’m not training as an amateur. The law is there whether you are a proponent of it or not. That’s what it’s there for…protection. I’m choosing to take advantage of that 2nd Amendment!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                “ Praise God and Pass the Ammo, the heat is on!”

 

This message is intended to raise awareness, gather support, and maintain a voice for gun rights and safety.

Antoinette Singh                                                                                                                                    Writer/Journalist   Gun rights advocate/activist   Radio producer     Civil /Human/ Women’s Rights advocate   Crisis Counselor   Artist /Designer       Woman of God…