20 July 2019

"Riflemanship"

 
RIFLEMANSHIP”

The state that the Nation is in right now with its deep-seated government corruption, immigration and economic problems, threats of terrorist attacks; both foreign and domestic along with the ever-present possibility of war with Iran, China, Korea, Russia and probably a half dozen others, has had me thinking about the following topic quite a bit lately. I talked about it extensively on my radio show a few days ago so I thought I'd share my thoughts with you here as well.

Let's talk about something I like to call "Riflemanship". Its hard to find a good definition for the word and some say there's no such thing. Isn't it the same as marksmanship? Well, no, no its not. Not at all. Riflemanship entails much, much more than marksmanship. Marksmanship really doesn't mean much more than you're a pretty good shot and generally under fairly favorable conditions. Let's get into this a little deeper...

The Marines Corps was on to something when they came up with the saying, "Every Marine a rifleman". Along the same lines, the United States Army likes to say that everyone's primary MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) is 11B, infantry, regardless of what your actual MOS is. In a nutshell they are both referring to the fact that first and foremost, the fighting men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces are Ground Pounders. When/if all else fails, we must be prepared to grab our rifles and gear and defend life and liberty as riflemen. Regardless of the advances in modern technology, the rifleman/infantryman will always be the backbone of any fighting force.
So what is a rifleman, exactly?

By military standards, it simply means an individual that can take their personal weapon and perform the very most basic of tasks like loading, unloading, clearing malfunctions and cleaning and be qualified to hit a man-sized target a certain number of times at designated distances. The Army usually qualifies with iron sights out to 300 meters, the Marines do the same thing at 500. (Rumor has it that the Air Force still uses paintball guns at the length of the NCO club.) So let's say we accept the military's version of "Rifleman" as the first level. The lowest and most basic level. A level which most high school kids and conscripts can achieve through the cheapest, fastest and most minimal amount of training.
Is that good enough?

It may be good enough when you have a company or battalion sized unit out on a battlefield squared off against an equal or smaller sized unit and probably good enough for personal defense scenarios in most cases. But what if you have a platoon against a company or a company against a battalion? Can the smaller unit still prevail? Yes, they can and they have. But generally not if the smaller units are cooks, mechanics or truck drivers. Not to disparage cooks, mechanics and truck drivers but generally speaking, their rifle and tactics training ended with boot camp and the field exercises and qualifications that they do a couple of times a year don't really keep them tuned up. Maybe not even if they are 11 Bang-Bangs. But if the smaller force is dedicated, determined and well-trained they have a chance. They have a much better chance if the riflemen are at the next level up from the most basic. Those that have spent more time with their weapon in varied terrains and environments. Those that can quickly and instinctively perform an emergency reload or clear a malfunction and engage that target at unknown distances out to at least the same ranges that they qualified at.

But what about a squad or just a handful of soldiers, just a few, against a much larger force, say, platoon or company size, maybe even larger? They may call the warfighters in that smaller force guerrillas or even militia in some places. Unconventional warfare. This is where the Rangers, Green Beanies, SEALS, Force Recon, et al really shine. This is their territory and no one else wants it.

Now, we are stepping up to the ultimate and final level of "Riflemanship" as it pertains to engaging other human beings in mortal combat. These men are intimately familiar with a host of weapons, not just their own. Weapons not just from their country but from others. They can push that weapon platform to it's very limit as far as range goes with virtually any sighting system. They understand the concept and the internal workings of weapons in general and make impromptu repairs in the field. They, too, can perform reloads and clear malfs quickly and instinctively but they can do it just as fast and surely in the dark, in the mud and maybe while wounded. They understand the Art of the Rifle, as Jeff Cooper called it. Yes, they are certainly marksmen in their own right but they are riflemen to the Nth degree.

It takes years to achieve this level of proficiency and much dedication is required but considering the shaky future that many of us see right now, I think that's a goal that we should all work towards. We won't have anybody to call for help. There won't be any reinforcements coming from the rear. If we can't do what needs done, it simply won't get done...and it MUST!

I think we should all ponder on this long and hard while we still have time!



In Liberty, Cope Reynolds (Desertscout)
Southwest Shooting Authority of Arizona

If you'd like to help support our efforts, you
can do so by donating to The Shooting Bench
by clicking the "DONATE" button below!
Listen to Cope live on The Shooting Bench
Mon and Wed, 8 to 9pm Pacific/11pm to midnite Eastern and Friday,
8 to 10PM Pacific. "The Shooting Bench" Podcast: The Shooting Bench

Colts and Kimbers are what you show your friends. 
GLOCKS are what you show your enemies!

09 May 2019

Every Day Carry Suggestions

 
EVERY DAY CARRY (EDC) ITEMS
from SouthwestShootingAuthority.com


Like all other suggestion lists, EDC suggestions abound and are wide and varied. The only thing I will suggest to you is that you think long and hard about what you have on you, physically on you or very near you that will help you survive the first hours of a disaster or prevail in the event of a personal attack. I don't mean what you may have in a closet in the other room or downstairs in the car. I mean ON you, right now. I will bend slightly and allow a purse or briefcase that is within arm's reach at all times. Disasters frequently come with little or no warning. They may come from an unexpected direction. You may not be able to get to that closet or down to the car. What I ask people in my classes is what do you have on you at any given moment during the day, if you were to literally have to jump through the window or dash out the nearest doorway in the event of a disaster, that will help get you to a place of safety? Sadly, all too often, the answer is virtually nothing. Below, I will tell you what I carry on me every waking moment of my, 365 days a year. No exceptions.

My EDC, counting my boots and clothing, weighs 13 pounds. Here's the list in no particular order...
  • At least one good quality knife is imperative and non-negotiable. I carry 3; a folding, 3-bladed utility knife that I probably use 100 times a day, a Leatherman SuperTool 300 that saves me countless trips to the toolbox in my truck and a small, 3-bladed penknife that is surgically sharp. The penknife has two smaller blades that work well for opening low security locks like cabinets, toolboxes, etc. I have no desire to open any if these things for illegal purposes but during a disaster, it could be a useful skill for finding needed supplies and materials like 1st aid supplies, bedding, food or other potentially lifesaving items.
  • Chapstick – good for mild burns and protecting minor wounds, helping to start fires, quieting noisy metal-to-metal squeaks in your gear, lubricating threads and it even soothes chapped elbows, knuckles and lips!
  • A P-38 can opener on my keyring. Good for prying off lids, etc; use as a screwdriver and opening cans.
  • A small, good quality, one cell flashlight and extra battery. The reason I say one cell is because batteries die at the most inopportune times and it is more convenient to carry only one spare and it takes less time to change it in an emergency. I also carry a little key fob flashlight. It is about the size of a quarter and has a red led light. I carry it for those few times that I may need a subdued, low intensity light.
  • Earplugs - How many times have you been inadvertently placed in a situation where there was uncomfortable noise like maybe from machines, heavy equipment, music or shooting?
  • Small disposable lighter. This one really needs no explanation. 
  •  A small punch. I carry a Glock punch. Lots of utilitarian uses not only involving firearms but for small, incidental tasks, not necessarily disaster-related.
  • A watch. This may sound silly as many people, like myself, are never without their watch. Others say that they can simply look at their phone if they want to see what time it is and that's ok for normal, day-to-day use. However, during a disaster, it is more likely that you will lose track of your phone than something that is strapped to your wrist. Why is the ability to tell time so important? Determining pulse rate, accurately reporting events and sightings, meeting up with family members, etc.
  • Smart phone - barring an EMP, the smart phone can have many uses in an emergency even if the phone system is down or you are out of the service area. Camera, compass and maps to name a few.
  • Pen - take notes and leave messages.
  •  A quart-size Ziplock bag to protect phone and wallet in case of heavy rain or a water crossing.
  • Finish up with a good quality small to medium sized handgun and extra magazine for self-defense.
  • Training!
  • Training!!
  • Training!!!
How do I carry all this stuff comfortably? Partly because I wear 511 Tactical shirts or equivalent every day of my life. These shirts have large cargo pockets secreted behind the conventional breast pockets where I carry some of the smaller items. Everything else goes in pants pockets or on my belt. It has never been uncomfortable for me. In fact, the comfort that I get from knowing that I have done everything that I can  reasonably do to be as prepared as possible negates any inconvenience that any of this may cause. 

Your mileage may vary but that's what I do...ALWAYS!



In Liberty, Cope Reynolds (Desertscout)

Southwest Shooting Authority of Arizona

Subscribe to our podcast!                                          

                                           
                     
                                           
                                       
                                      

If you'd like to help support our efforts, you can do so by donating to The Shooting Bench by clicking the "DONATE" button below!
Listen to Cope live on The Shooting Bench Mon and Wed, 8 to 9pm Pacific/11pm to midnite Eastern and Friday, 8 to 10PM Pacific.

"The Shooting Bench" Podcast: The Shooting Bench

 Colts and Kimbers are what you show your friends. 
GLOCKS are what you show your enemies!

08 May 2019

PURPOSE AND CONTENTS OF THE PERSONAL 72-HR. KIT (updated)

 
PURPOSE AND CONTENTS OF THE PERSONAL 72-HR. KIT
from Southwest Shooting Authority


In turbulent times, we may be forced to leave our homes temporarily for a few days. Depending on circumstances, we may have to leave immediately at any time during the day or night and having the bare essentials at hand and ready to go at a moment’s notice may mean the difference between life or death to you and your loved ones. 

We see all manner of lists out there that are suggested as necessary for a 72 hour kit. Many of these are unrealistically elaborate, expensive and heavy. Please bear in mind that a 72 hr. kit should be something that you can carry comfortably if you have to evacuate on foot and should contain only a minimal amount of items. All a healthy adult needs to SURVIVE comfortably for 72 hours is a change of clothes, a handful of Granola bars and a couple gallons of water. Anything beyond this should be considered carefully. Understanding that the possibility may exist for a longer stay than planned, here are a few suggestions for your kit. Keeping it minimal may even allow you to carry enough supplies for 96 hours or more instead of 72.

Two of the most important things to consider first, are water and a comfortable means of carrying your supplies. A durable, comfortable backpack is certainly the best choice for our personal kit and some families may want to include a medium sized duffle-bag for a certain amount of family items or things for the young or old that they cannot carry for themselves. If you are fortunate enough to be able to stay at or near your home, you should have plenty of water put away. If you have to leave on foot, you should make plans to carry at least enough for one day in your pack as 2-3 gallons of water would be too heavy for most people to carry along with the rest of their gear. Another option is to carry a water purification system or tablets to purify irrigation or rain water. Camelbak and HydraStorm make some outstanding packs of various sizes with built-in water bladders. There are military/law enforcement models and recreational models. The military versions are extremely well built and heavy duty but more expensive than the recreational models. An adult should be able to put everything needed in a pack with a cargo capacity of around 1800 to 2100 cubic inches. Children should have packs of from 750 to 1200 cubic inches depending on age and build. Naturally, the adults will have to carry a certain amount of the children’s gear but the children should be able to carry quite a bit of their own gear. It is essential that families plan training outings of increasingly longer hikes at least monthly with increasingly heavier packs to be certain that all members are properly prepared.

The following is a list of suggested items that should be included in your personal kit.

Enough food to keep you reasonably comfortable, but not necessarily full, for 3 days. The average adult should be able to easily get by on 2 MRE’s a day for 3 days. The more hardy and children may get by on one. The MRE’s should be stripped of non-essential weight by removing anything that you won’t eat or can’t use. Home-made meals can be a simple as Spam, jerky, dried fruit, crackers and Granola bars or something similar as long as it provides enough carbohydrates and protein to provide the energy to do whatever physical
tasks are required for your situation. Add some chocolate and hard candy.

One change of clothing with 2-3 pairs of socks and a change of underwear. Long johns, jacket, coat, knit cap or ball cap, depending on season. Add a couple of large plastic garbage bags to keep your equipment dry and to store clothing and other items in.

1-2 space blankets and a couple of disposable ponchos should be adequate for shelter and sleeping in moderate weather for most people but others may want to include a light-weight sleeping bag or a couple of blankets. Of course, additional provisions will have to be added for the very young, elderly and infirm.

Small first aid kit - Various sizes of Band-aids, surgical gloves, topical ointment, pain reliever (Motrin, Advil, etc.), hydrocortisone cream, eye wash, gauze and tape, sterile compresses, elastic bandage, Super Glue gel, suture kit, tweezers, antiseptic wipes, betadine or iodine and burn cream. Chapstick or small tube of Vaseline (numerous uses). Additional items can be added for individual needs such as diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure, etc. but keep it reasonable.

A pair of goggles and a couple of N95 masks.

Personal hygiene items (chapstick, sunscreen, toothbrush and paste, comb, hand towel, wash cloth, bar soap, shampoo, feminine hygiene items, etc.)

Toilet paper and a few paper towels in a zip-lock bag.

A small notebook and a pencil.

Wrap-around sunglasses.

Small sewing kit to include various sizes of safety pins.

Waterproof matches and disposable lighter.

Good quality flashlight and extra batteries. Also, a couple of large candles may be helpful. Preferably beeswax candles.

GPS or compass.

Optics (compact binoculars or monocular)

25' of 5/16" or 3/8" nylon rope or mule tape and at least 25' of strong twine for securing additional items to your pack, building shelters, aiding in climbing walls or lowering your gear down an embankment, etc.

A well-made multi-tool such as Leatherman or Gerber.

Heavy duty non-folding knife and sharpening stone.

A pair of light work gloves

A pair of inexpensive FRS/GMRS or handheld ham radios and possibly a hand-held scanner

Handgun and/or short barreled shotgun and ammunition for personal defense.

The above list of supplies will be more than enough to keep a person alive, comfortable and healthy for 3 to 5 days. Those that have trained and practiced for such an emergency may survive much longer by supplementing their food supply by hunting or scavenging and obtaining water through other sources. This list will likely be modified for some individuals in a more hostile or tactical environment.

The event or series of events that cause us to have to rely on our emergency kits could very well be a situation that may last much more than 3 days. Our 72 hour kit is primarily designed to provide us with enough supplies to sustain us for the time that it takes for emergency services to get organized. THIS WILL BE AN EMERGENCY, NOT A VACATION! Public utilities and transportation may be shut down or interrupted. Be prepared to make do without phone service,  water, sewer and electricity. Stores, gas stations, schools and your job will likely be shut-down. Emergency services may be interrupted and hospitals full. It may also be prudent to seek training in first aid, land navigation, firearms use, edible plant recognition and ways to obtain water.

Long-term survival preparations are much different than what is listed above. Please don’t confuse the two and have a bunch of stuff that you can neither carry or use in 3 days as mobility may be essential.


In Liberty, Cope Reynolds (#Desertscout1)

Southwest Shooting Authority of Arizona
If you'd like to help support our efforts, you can do so by donating to The Shooting Bench by clicking the "DONATE" button below!
Listen to Cope live on The Shooting Bench Mon and Wed, 8 to 9pm Pacific/11pm to midnite Eastern and Friday, 8 to 10PM Pacific.
 "The Shooting Bench" Podcast: The Shooting Bench    

Colts and Kimbers are what you show your friends. 
GLOCKS are what you show your enemies!

07 February 2019

Why Get a CCW in a "Constitutional Carry" State?

I am asked quite frequently why one should get their CCW, especially in a "constitutional carry" state (which there is really no such thing anyway). If it were truly constitutional carry, there would be no restrictions. What it really means is "permitless carry". The explanation below pertains primarily to Arizona but some of it applies nationwide. 

There are 5 pretty much indisputable reasons and 3 of them are very, very good reasons. Those reasons are:

FAMILY

The permit gives you the legal ability to have that weapon with you virtually everywhere you go. That means when you're out with the family, you should have your gun. I know more than one person that has said that they wont risk carrying their gun without a CCW sometimes when they're out with the family because they don't want to put the family through the trauma of the trouble they may get into if they are caught. Is that not about the dumbest thing you've ever heard?

There are also a certain number of people out there that like to beat their chest and proclaim that the "2nd amendment is their CCW". Well, to some degree, I agree with that but here's the deal... there are a number of places where carrying without a permit may be a felony. In some states, carrying at all without a permit is a felony. What that means is you are risking a very expensive ordeal and possibly a lengthy prison term for "exercising your rights". Each and every thing we do ever day of our lives can be summed up in 3 words - "risk versus reward". You have to decide in every conceivable decision that you make whether what you are about to do is worth it or not. Eat? If you don't you'll eventually die. Walk across the street against the light? Drive a little over the posted limit? Say something or be quiet? Pack a coat today? EVERYTHING comes with a consequence. Is it worth risking a felony to prove a point, especially when your family is involved? You get caught and one more patriot is out of the fight and who's going to protect your family then?

LEGAL DEFENSIBILITY.

If you ever actually had to use that gun what do you think would look better to the jury; the guy who says the "2nd amendment is my CCW" or the guy that went the extra mile and took professional, certified training even though it really wasn't required?

RECIPROCITY

We all travel, at least a little. The AZ permit gives you the freedom to legally carry virtually all over the country, I think 36 or 38 states now. Even if you dont use it here, its nice to have when you go to another state to visit, vacation or for business. Some states take a very dim view of carrying a gun without a permit.

PLACES THAT SERVE ALCOHOL

"Well, I dont drink anyway"
Do you eat? How many restaurants do you know that serve alcohol? Wanna just dash into Pizza Hut and pick up a pizza for tonight? They serve beer. You're illegal as soon as you step through the door UNLESS you have a permit. If the place doesn't have a sign prohibiting guns, you are perfectly legal with a CCW. However, if they have a state-prescribed "No Guns" sign, all bets are off and you cannot legally take your weapon in there, CCW or not.

PURCHASING A WEAPON

With a CCW, the feds don't have to know you bought that new gun. Just fill out the Form 4473, pay the man and walk out. No muss, no fuss.

AFRAID YOUR NAME WILL BE PUT ON A LIST?

Your name is already on a list. If you have ever bought a gun from a dealer, or bought a hunting license, subscribe to certain magazines, gotten into political discussions on social media, if you're a veteran, if you've ever been to a gun show or preparedness fair, your name and likely your face is already on a list.
Lastly, if you are not on a list, you are not doing your part to defend liberty!

OK, if anyone had any questions, that should answer most of them. There are a few additional little details but that's it in a nutshell.

07 January 2019

See No Evil, Shoot No Evil

This post is about something that I started doing probably around 2015 due to some circumstances that arose and I've been thinking lately, why haven't I shared this with you? You may or may not find it useful.
Many of us regularly go to church and/or various other types of meetings that may open and close with a prayer. Generally, it is considered customary to close one's eyes during that time but consider this... 
Many of us carry a handgun regularly, including to church, with the notion that we may actually be able to save lives in the event of an active shooter/terrorist attack. Throughout the course of a 1 to 3 hour church session or meeting and related classes/activities, we may find ourselves with our eyes closed at least twice and maybe as many as 6 times or more, for varying periods of time. If I were a shooter/terrorist, I would have probably already checked out the routine here and would plan my attack around what I learned during my initial recon. In my mind, that would mean attack during one of those occasions when everyone's eyes are supposed to be closed. Myself, I always try to sit in a position of advantage, hopefully where I can see each exit clearly.  I don't mean to be disrespectful but I do not close my eyes during this time.  I try to discreetly scan the room while everyone else's heads are bowed and yes, I can still pretty well focus on what is being said while watching for that telltale indicator that may help me to get a handle on a developing situation.
You say if something happens, you can instantly open your eyes and be 100% prepared to take on the beast? No, I'm sorry but you can't. After your eyes have been closed much longer than a routine blink, it takes a little time, maybe .01 of a second, maybe 2 or 3 seconds for 3 things to happen. One, your eyes must become adjusted to the light again. The length of time required for that to happen will depend on how long they were closed and how bright the ambient light is. Two, your eyes need to refocus to the distance of the threat. The third thing is you have to get your mind in the game. If your eyes were closed and you were trying to listen and concentrate on what was being said, it will take even the most tuned-up warrior a brief instant to access what is going on and which direction the threat is coming from. That is NOT going to happen instantly!
Recruit a helper and try this... 
Take a chair with you to your favorite safe shooting spot (an organized range may not allow you to do this). Place a humanoid shaped target on a portable target stand and go sit down in your chair. You will need to do this from concealment. Close your eyes completely. Have your shooting companion QUIETLY place the target at random distances between 3 and 10 yards from your position and at different angles as safety allows. When he or she is safely behind you again, they are to loudly shout "Allahu Akbar!" (or maybe "Fire!" will suffice) but either way, that is your signal to stand quickly, present your weapon from concealment and make a clean head shot on the target. Using a hostage target will add some challenge. A shot timer may be very revealing as well. Do that a few times then do it with your eyes open the whole time. You may be surprised. 
#Desertscout1 
#theshootingbench 
#swsa 
#gunsofgab 

In Liberty, Cope Reynolds (Desertscout)
Southwest Shooting Authority of Arizona
If you'd like to help support our efforts, you can donate to The Shooting Bench by clicking the "DONATE" button below!
Listen to Cope live on The Shooting Bench Mon and Wed, 8 to 9pm Pacific/11pm to midnite Eastern and Friday, 8 to 10PM Pacific.
"The Shooting Bench" Podcast: The Shooting Bench    

Colts and Kimbers are what you show your friends. 
GLOCKS are what you show your enemies!