Monthly Archives: February 2018


Listen to what the man says….


Re-Post – Essential Skills: Land Navigation – Get the Best Map You Can Find

topographic map

Originally posted on 12 Dec 2014.


Today, NPT members learning or practicing land navigation have so much more going for them in the way of map accuracy than those of us who learned some years back (like in 1974 for some folks….).  Back then you took what they issued you, and dealt with it.  Declination off?  Oh, well, deal with it.  Contour lines deceptive?  Too bad, deal with it.  Symbols inaccurate?  Ditto previous answers.

No, the snow wasn’t deeper, and we didn’t have to walk the entire route up hill.  However, unless you really paid attention, you could find yourself disoriented very quickly, because of the quality of maps needed wasn’t always there.

Thankfully, today map quality is a quantum leap better than they used to be.  Map studies done before taking to a route or a land nav course can save the navigator a lot of time because what he or she sees on the map will more likely reflect what is being traversed.  Especially if one gets themselves one of the more expensive, up to date satellite maps with MGRS grid and contour lines superimposed on it.  The declination is always the latest available, symbols match what you see on the ground, and the terrain features and contour lines are accurate.

Sure, it costs much more than the basic topographic maps on hand, which are fine for practice, but if you’re serious about your AO, you might consider saving your pennies for an up to date satellite map in 1:25,000 scale.  You can also choose the size of map you wish, which equates to how much territory is covered.  Again, you can get whatever you want to pay for.

My personal, ‘go to’ place for maps is,  I’m sure there are other places out there just as good, but I’ve been very satisfied with mytopo’s offerings, so I stick with them.  So much so that when I teach land nav, the maps I get for the class are from there.  I don’t recommend the satellite version for a beginning class, because the student will be plotting coordinates and azimuths on it, and that’s a lot of cash for practice.  But, to each his own.  You have the scratch?  Go for it.  Otherwise, for a beginner or even an intermediate skilled land navigator, the topographic maps with or without relief shading will do you fine.  Just make sure you get the MGRS lines (option available).

An aside, if you’re watching videos from you tube, don’t make the mistake of thinking that you don’t need to attend a good course or join an orienteering club to learn land nav well.  All the on-line courses or blog posts in the world can only do one thing:  Familiarize you with the concepts, principles, and techniques.  You need time under an experienced instructor to make sure you really gain the skill.  I highly recommend reading/learning everything you can before attending a course.  Doing so makes the class much more enjoyable for the participant, and learning kicks into high gear.

Re-Post: Essential Skills: Field Craft 1 – Land Navigation

Originally posted on 25 March 2016

Original definition, here; our modification immediately below.

Fieldcraft is a set of tactical skills and methods each NPT member requires to operate stealthily, which may be applied in various ways in hours of darkness or inclement weather throughout the year.

For NPT members, fieldcraft skills include camouflage, land navigation, knowing and being able to apply the difference between concealment from view and cover from small arms’ fire when choosing fighting positions, using the terrain and its features to mask NPT movement, obstacle crossing, selecting good firing positions, patrol base positions, effective observation, detecting enemy-fire direction and range, survival, evasion, and escape techniques.  Expertise in fieldcraft is only possible by spending the time, effort, and attention to detail in long hours of training and practice on a consistent basis.

That said the first skill in the fieldcraft family we’re going to address is Land Navigation.  It’s a popular subject right now on various blogs, such as ‘Weapons Man’ (former SF soldier – you might consider making his site a daily stop), here, and for good reason:  Your expertise as a navigator will have a direct and relational impact on your life expectancy in a SHTF/WROL situation.  Further, learning to use a map and compass in and of itself will not suffice:  you will need to learn how to travel by terrain association.  This skill involves map study and interpretation, and the ability to use the features of the geography you’re in to provide your navigational guide.  In essence, your map and compass will become your ‘go to’ reference when you need to verify your location.  You’ll have to know the map and compass inside and out before you can effectively terrain associate.  Understanding declination adjustments, grid, magnetic, and back azimuth conversions, plotting 8 digit grid coordinates, intersection, and resection in addition to understanding the symbolism used on a map to illustrate various terrain features that will impact your travel are all essential before learning terrain association.

Also understand that learning land navigation is not a daunting task that will take months or years to get the basics.  You can learn general land navigation in a two day course (like those we and others offer) over a weekend.  The rest of the time is on you – how much you may or may not devote to practice, especially if you’re just starting out on your path to learn this vital skill.  Sure, you can go to YouTube and find hundreds of videos on ‘how to’ do land navigation.  They’re really great ‘ice breakers’ and overviews.  3 of them are embedded below.  The bad news is that, with very, very few exceptions, you’re not going to be able to learn the skill without the guidance of an instructor.  So, get a cup of coffee, and watch the below 10 to 12 minute videos for a superb introduction to land navigation, even if you’re familiar with the subject, these are great refreshers and will most likely bring to mind things you may have forgotten over time.




Then, once you’ve done that, if you don’t own one, choose a good compass.   If you choose the USGI Lensatic, great!  Get the tritium model; you won’t be sorry.  Or, if you don’t want to spend nearly $100, get either the Brunton TruArc 20, SUNNTO MC-2 or MC-3.  All are superb land nav compasses and won’t break the bank.  The Brunton is a bit less expensive than the SUUNTO, and comes with a few advantages you can read about here.  In our classes, we teach all three.  To be truthful, the USGI Lensatic is the most accurate (1 degree or less) best, but it requires the most expertise and practice to use effectively when attempting precision.  The other two are geared more to orienteering, but fit the NPT navigating requirement very, very well.  The advantages over the USGI Lensatic is the built in declination adjustment which makes them faster to use for map work because the user isn’t required to convert magnetic azimuths to grid and vice versa.  All azimuths are measure on the map as magnetic (again, this is ONLY because of the built in declination adjustment capability – if you don’t adjust the declination to what is on the map, you MUST do the conversion!)  We haven’t found any better when it comes to function and price points.  Your mileage may vary.

Heads Up from the Raconteur Report

This needs to go viral….here’s the link.

Heads Up: Liberal “Gotcha!” Project Targetting Gun Rights

Heads up, boys and girls:

Virginia – (via Last weekend, while doing what seemed to be a regular interview, I discovered that a movie is being made with the intent to discredit gun-rights leaders across the country.

No, this is not a joke, it is real and we need to get the word out to other gun-rights organizations, gun-rights leaders, and prominent firearms trainers across the country and we need to do this FAST.

Back in 2014, alleged Hollywood sexual predator Harvey Weinstein said he was going to make a movie “that would make the NRA wish they weren’t alive.” (All gun organizations are the NRA in his mind.) And he was dead serious. Michael Moore has been attempting to discredit gun owners and leaders for years by tricking people and using creative editing techniques to make them look foolish or idiotic.

Who’s behind this effort isn’t clear, but they are EXTREMELY WELL FUNDED PROFESSIONALS.

Think a Leftard version of the Veritas Project, by way of Borat.

As the 15-minute interview terminated, the interviewer asked me if I, as an English-speaking firearms trainer, would help him make a “gun safety” training video for children of various ages. This had to be the “kicker,” I thought.

I was right – it was a set up – and it was much worse than I could have imagined. If you’ve seen the 70’s movie, “The Sting,” it was much like that. It was a well-orchestrated, well-choreographed, psychological manipulation, with a production cast of at least 10 people, to slowly lead a person down the primrose path.

We went step-by-step with a ready, and seemingly logical, answer every time I balked at some crazy part of the training. They seemed to have thought of every thing that a person might question. All I can say is that these people were extremely good at deception and manipulation. And no matter how stupid the things the interviewer and I were doing (we were side-by-side the whole time), no one else cracked a smile or laughed once, and I was watching. The professional actors were keeping up the appearance that this was a serious project.

The end goal was to get the victim to make a “training film”teaching 3 and 4-year-olds how to shoot guns hidden in toy animals at “bad” people, to sing little songs and make gun noises during the training to make it “fun for children,” and even teach little kids how to shoot a rocket-propelled-grenade or a squad automatic weapon at an approaching suicide bomber vehicle!
It all sounds unbelievable. But everything was elaborately and expensively staged; every contingency planned for, with explanations that make unbelievable things seem plausible (fake documents and videos about how Israel handles security in their schools, for example). The interview moved along at a pace, designed not to give the “mark” time to reflect on where things are going. The craziness factor very gradually got more extreme, like cooking a frog by slowly heating up the water so he doesn’t realize what’s happening until it’s too late. It’s a con game, a sting, plain and simple.

I don’t know if they have other scenarios or they will use other company names to continue concealing their identity, but anyone doing an interview dealing with gun rights where they sense something odd should terminate that interview. Or, better, bring a recorder and tell the other party you are going to make your own recording of the interview. If they say “no,” then walk out. I am going to make that my own policy going forward to protect against any future fake interviews. BTW, they had me leave my cellphone in an office “because it might interfere with the recording devices,” but I think it was so I couldn’t take any photos of them or make any video or audio recordings on that phone.

I’ve worked in production for A-list movies and TV for over 20 years, kids. There’s quite simply no way in hell a cellphone would “interfere with recording devices”. On an average set, there are 100 cellphones within 50 feet of the camera and sound cart 24/7/365/forever.

There’s more at the link, incl. screenshots of their WhoIs lookup, their LLC filing papers shielded as a WY corporation, their business address maildrop at a UPS Store in West Hollywood, and multiple Craigslist posting trolling for crisis actors and marks.

And pass the word on every pro-gun and 2A-friendly site you visit, and to any and all firearms trainers and spokesperson you know about.

These @$$holes have a bone to pick, and a serious dose of the red-@$$ with guns, the NRA, gun owners, and the whole crew of Trumpist MAGA Deplorables. So based on the info at the link, I don’t doubt for a moment that somebody with deep pockets is ginning up a BS hit piece, exactly as described, and probably far worse.

Warn off the good guys, try to dox the bad guys, and let’s burn these mofos down.

And FFS, remember:


Write that on your hand in laundry marker in case you forget.

RE-REPOST: Essential Skills: Impact of Magnetic Declination on Accuracy

land nav map 1

Thought I’d put this back up as there was a comment at WRSA on the impact of not having a correct declination adjustment.

Originally posted 12 Mar 2016


Comments on the last post on Magnetic Declination disagree with, or at least minimized the importance of magnetic declination with the general feeling that, ” …’15 degrees’ isn’t that much of an error” or, “15 degrees will only result in a little bit of extra walking..,” or “I can get where I’m going…”

Now, I’m sure that guys and gals out there who’ve been hunting in one area or another (no matter how large) all their lives and have well used topographical 7.5 minute maps can get from point A to point B and so on with a cursory look at their map and shooting a general bearing with their compass.  The primary tool they use is familiarity with the AO (a good thing) and terrain association with the compass used as a back up.  Ergo, they may not think they need to worry about declination.  And, in that particular scenario, those making claims like that are most likely  100% correct.

USMC Land Nav

For discussion’s sake, let’s get into a SHTF scenario or some other situation where the person is using a new map and is unfamiliar with the territory.  Say running a security patrol with your NPT with the task of linking up with a neighboring NPT at a particular location at a particular time.  If the NPT’s in the scenario don’t concern themselves with accurate grid azimuth conversion to magnetic conversion, lives could be at stake, and the link up will most likely not occur.

Experienced navigators backed up by the facts regarding magnetic compasses and the magnetic ‘North Pole’ will quickly tell you that if you don’t account for the local declination, you stand a great chance of not reaching your objective (which may be getting back to your truck or home or reaching and injured person or whatever you can think of) or becoming lost yourself.

US Magnetic Declination Map

US Magnetic Declination Map

If you’re looking on your map and  figure you need to take a 78 degree azimuth, and set your compass accordingly, and you haven’t either adjusted the compass for the local declination (difference between Magnetic North and True North, either East or West), you have a proportionate error when you shoot your azimuth (bearing)  to start your navigation.  Here’s the error factor of being off by various degrees computed to distance from the target:

1 degree of error at 1,000 meters from start point = 17.5 meters off target (or 19 yards)

5 degrees of error at 1,000 meters from start point = 87.5 meters off target (95 yards)

8 degrees of error at 1,000 meters (my AO) start point = 140 meters off target (153 yards)

10 degrees of error at 1,000 meters start point = 175 meters off target (191 yards)

16 degrees of error at 1,000 meters start point = 280 meters off target (306 yards)

21 degrees of error at 1,000 meters start point = 367.5 meters off target (401 yards)

That’s for a 1 click leg (1,093 yards).  Now, let’s multiply that to, say, a 7 click straight line walk.   Drum roll:  2,572.5 meters off target at the end of that little 7 click jaunt from the start point, not taking into account any additional anomalies you may encounter while trying to walk that perfectly straight 7 kilometer line you drew on your map.

Now, for discussion’s sake, let’s make our walk shorter.  We’ll use the maximum variation in the US – 21 degrees East (Washington State) for a short, 3 click walk.  Drum roll:  1,102.5 meters/1,205 yards (even backing it down to the declination in my AO, 8 degrees, it comes out to 420 meters/459 yards – almost half a click – which is a LOT in a rural/wilderness environment).  Over a click off your target from the get go; drift, deviation, and pace count error haven’t been factored in yet.

That’s where you are; imagine where you will be when you think you’re at the end of your first leg.  The mind boggles.  For fun in this mental exercise, add a little thing called, “night” to the equation.  Now, for added flavor, consider when the map isn’t matching up to the terrain and you’re positive that your on the right azimuth, the disorientation (something that occurs with little notice) that can add to all the things you’re dealing with, and oh yes, human error in our calculations.

Good luck.

So, if you’re serious about learning or improving your land navigation skills, find a good course and go to it.  Or join a local orienteering club.  If you want to attend ours, here’s the link.  It’s going to be in April 2015.  One day will be spent on the academics; one day will be spent in the field getting some, “dirt time,” rain or shine.

declination map

For All of Us That Were Hoodwinked into that ‘Must Have’ 1:7 Twist Barrel….

Some facts regarding the 1:7 & M-855 and M-193.  It also stands to reason that the 62gr MK-318 OTM would follow suit.  Enjoy, it’s a worthwhile and educational read.

Maybe one day I’ll be able to swap out my 1:7 to a 1:8 or 1:9….this sure explains my ‘fliers’….the title has the link to the original, for those interested.

AR-15 Ammunition And Barrel Twist Rate

BY Herschel Smith
1 year ago

There are a lot of articles and discussion forum threads on barrel twist rate for AR-15s.  So why am I writing one?  Well, some of the information on the web is very wrong.  Additionally, this closes out comment threads we’ve had here touching on this topic, EMail exchanges I’ve had with readers, and personal conversations I’ve had with shooters and friends about this subject.  It’s natural to put this down in case anyone else can benefit from the information.  Or you may not benefit at all.  That’s up to you.

This is a discussion about 5.56mm ammunition and barrel twist rates (and later, about the shooter and ammunition quality).  If you wish to debate the effectiveness of the 5.56mm round generally, or wish to disparage the choice of the Eugene Stoner system, I’m sure there are forums for you.  This is not it.

In the real world, ammunition isn’t concentric, and even if it is almost precisely concentric, pour density can be slightly different throughout the ball, and voids can develop.  This causes gyroscopic stability problems with bullets, even in the best manufactured ammunition. But much ammunition would not be considered the “best manufactured ammunition.”  Ammunition will only be as good as the QA under which it was made.

When center of gravity is off-axis it can cause bullet lateral throwoff, yaw and a host of other problems with bullet trajectory.  In order to overcome these problems, rifling twist achieves this gyroscopic stability for the bullet, thus negating the effects of the manufacturing process (at least in part).

Overstabilization can occur with a barrel twist rate that is too high.  There are incorrect commentaries out there on this subject.  This writer explains that higher twist rate is virtually always better.

Conventional wisdom taught us that slower twist rates wouldn’t properly-stabilize a bullet, causing it to yaw. On the other hand, faster rates could over-stabilize lighter bullets, causing similar problems. This is correct in theory—however, modern ballisticians have pretty much de-bunked the over-stabilization theory as a practical matter. All things being equal, it is better to have too much twist than not enough.

While his statement is a bit imprecise, there is something very precise about it.  It is precisely wrong.  Yet there are much cleaner and simpler explanations of why high twist rate is not always good.  One commenter at this discussion thread summed it up well.

You can certainly overstablilze (sic) a bullet if you spin it so fast it doesn’t nose over at the top of its trajectory … Best thing to do is not spin bullets any faster than what’s needed for best accuracy.

Correct.  If a bullet is overstabilized, it tends to stay pointed along its axis of rotation, even on the final (downward) part of its trajectory.  This can cause keyholing, odd aerodynamic effects (flying sideways through the air) and even bullets to wildly spin off trajectory.

Above it was noted that displaced CoG can cause gyroscopic stability problems, including “lateral throw-off.”  This figure is given to us by Paul Weinacht in his paper for the U.S. Army (Army Research Laboratory, ARL-TR-3015) entitled Prediction of Projectile Performance, Stability, and Free-Flight Motion Using Computational Fluid Dynamics (Figure 9).

Or if you wish to visualize what this might look like in 3D … Dean and LaFontaine, Small Caliber Lethality: 5.56mm Performance in Close Quarters Battle.

Bullets from rifled barrels eventually achieve stability by yawing back and forth, while undergoing a larger revolution about the major axis of the trajectory.  So quite obviously, it’s necessary to spin the bullet, and to spin it enough to give it stability, while protecting the need to nose over on the final part of its trajectory.  Getting this twist rate and spin right has been a matter of much testing, internet fights, and lot of engineering study and heavy spending by the taxpayers.  I know that my guns perform well, and so I decided to contact my manufacturer for his opinion on the matter.

In the interest of full disclosure, I have two Rock River Arms rifles, one Elite CAR A4 with a 16″ Barrel, twist 1:9, Quad Rail, and another competition gun with a muzzle brake and 18″ SS barrel with a twist rate = 1:8.  I have recommended RRA rifles to my readers before, but there are many good guns on the market.  Your probably have one.  I sent a list of three questions to RRA, and Steve gave me these responses (the question isn’t included because it wasn’t forwarded back to me, but it’s apparent what I asked except for the first question, which was basically does RRA warranty their 1 MOA for both M193 and M855.  This is Steve’s response.


Thanks for your questions.  I’m going to take them in reverse order.

3.  1:9 is adequate for many, but not all rounds typically used in an AR platform.  Between .223 Remington and 5.56mm NATO, there are rounds from 45 to 90 grains (that I am familiar with) and I know of, but have never shot, lighter and heavier rounds.  No single twist is going to handle all of them.  1:9 is adequate for a sizable number of them, however…including the two most commonly available, in bulk and at reasonable prices…55gr FMJ (M193)and 62/63gr FMJ (M855).  It is not ideal for rounds lighter than 50gr nor those over 68 or 69 grains, which is why there are other twist rates commonly available…including from RRA. We offer a 1:12 24” bull barrel for our Varmint hunters who prefer to use the lighter bullets for prairie dogs and other targets, and both 1:7 and 1:8 barrels in a variety of configurations for those who want to shoot heavier bullets…up to and including the newer 77gr loads and 80gr VLDs.  We’ve also run custom twists for a limited number of contracted purchases.

2.  Yes.  1:9 does well with both M193 and M855.  Different barrels perform differently, but 1:9 generally stabilizes both weight/length bullets fairly well,  It neither over nor under spins either and does not produce key holing.

1.  The hardest question to answer.  Neither M193 nor M855 are notoriously accurate rounds.  They meet military, not match, requirements.  Our accuracy claims are the rifle’s capability…but the shooter and ammo have to do their parts.  There are loads that are commercially available and claimed to be “M193” and “M855” equivalents that clearly aren’t, and they aren’t  capable of  ”minute of bad guy” at 100 yards, let alone the .75 to 1.5 MOA claims that we make for our different rifles.  That is no reflection on our rifles or barrels, or the shooters…unfortunately there is some real crappy ammo on the market today, which will not perform well out of any barrel, of any twist rate.



This is a good response, but let’s not stop here.  While perhaps not recalled by some, American Rifleman has given us a fairly comprehensive look at 5.56mm ammunition and barrel twist rates in an article entitled Testing The Army’s M855A1 Standard Ball Cartridge.  It is rich with history on how the Army fielded the M855A1.  Ignore the issue of the M855 versus the M855A1 for a moment and consider the background.

Accuracy cannot be assessed without addressing the rifle barrels’ twist-rates. In the early 1980s the M855’s 62-grain bullet was developed for the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW). For purposes of interoperability, the same load was adopted as the M16A2 rifle’s standard ball as well. A February 1986 U.S. Army study noted that the M855’s bullet required a “1:9 twist [which] would be more appropriate for the M16A2 rifle, improving accuracy and reliability.” Multiple studies confirmed the 1:9-inch twist requirement.

But then a problem arose. The U.S. military’s standard M856 5.56 mm tracer round was longer, heavier (63.7 grains) and slower than the M855 ball, and simply would not stabilize with a 1:9-inch twist barrel. Thus, despite it doubling M855 group sizes, the M16A2 (and later, the M4) specified a 1:7-inch rate-of-twist barrel to stabilize the tracer round. It remains so to this day. Therefore, M855A1 was test-fired with both 1:7- and 1:9-inch twist barrels, and it was verified that this new cartridge is consistently more accurate in the latter barrels-as was its predecessor.

Don’t slip past these paragraphs, because they explain why “Milspec” is 1:7.  It isn’t because 1:7 shoots M193 or M855 more accurately.  It’s because of the weight of tracer rounds.  As we’ve discussed before, the term Milspec doesn’t mean better, or worse, or anything at all except that it precisely meets the specifications outlined in the purchase order(s), excepting whatever variance notifications they might make on a given batch of guns.

The M855A1’s developers have described it as yielding “match-like” accuracy, which most rifle shooters would define as one minute-of-angle (m.o.a.), or groups measuring no more than 1 inch at 100 yards. While the new ammunition has proved more accurate than the green-tipped load it replaced, testing did not yield match-like accuracy, especially in the standard 1:7-inch twist-rate found in today’s M4s and M16s. At 100 yards, the best group with a 1:7-inch barrel was 1.62 inches (1.6 m.o.a.). At 300 yards. it similarly fired 1.6 m.o.a. (4.9 inches) and widened to 1.8 m.o.a. (7.5 inches) at 400 yards. At these same distances, firing the M855A1 through a 1:9-inch twist barrel reduced group sizes by approximately half.

The tests demonstrated that 1:9 twist produced better accuracy, approximately twice as accurate.  Now take note what the testers found with the newer M855A1 regarding repeatability.

On average, the new ammunition produced one flyer in roughly each five rounds, which, it can be argued, exaggerated the group sizes. Since the Army announced that, “On average, 95 percent of the [M855A1] rounds will hit an 8×8-inch target at 600 meters,” each group’s most errant bullet impact was discarded and group sizes recalculated. Statistically they improved, but not enough to place 95 percent of rounds so close at 600 meters, at least when using the standard 1:7-inch barrel-which may explain why accuracy was less than expected.

There is one “flyer” in every five rounds.  This seems to me to be a significant problem with this ammunition combined with the barrel twist, and the commenters don’t seem to like it very much either.  Finally, this.

When U.S. Army shooters twice fired public demonstrations of the new round, they did not employ standard 1:7-inch twist M16A2s or M4s, but accurized, match-grade, stainless-barreled rifles from the Army Marksmanship Unit (AMU). I contacted the AMU and learned that these rifles did not have standard-issue 1:7-inch barrels, but most likely 1:8-inch twist, which probably accounts for their “match-like” accuracy.

Isn’t that rich?  The Army made claims of “match-like accuracy,” and proved the rounds shooting out of different barrels than are deployed with Soldiers, using 1:8 twist, not 1:7 twist.

The American Rifleman article goes on to discuss in some detail the performance of the M855A1 with slim-profiled targets like malnourished tribal fighters in Afghanistan (so-called “ice picking” the target without fragmentation), performance at barrier penetration (concluding that it is better than its predecessor), and its lethality once it does penetrate barriers.  I recommend this reading to you.  It’s well worth the time.

So to summarize what we know, remember some basic things.  First, the bullet has to be spun to give it gyroscopic stability.  This spin needs to match the bullet (including mass and length), and care must be taken not to over-stabilize the bullet.  If you shoot typical .223 ammunition (55 gr.), or M193 or M855, a twist rate of 1:9 is probably just about ideal.  You’ll probably lose some accuracy with a higher twist rate.

This loss of accuracy is likely not significant for a lot of shooters.  If you shoot much heavier ammunition (and there is a lot on the market), you probably need to consider a twist rate of 1:8.  Finally, none of this matches the value of good ammunition or good shooting.

That’s the good news.  Most guns can outperform the shooter, and I know that’s the case with me.  I’m a decent shooter.  Not great, but decent.  I’ve taken my Tikka T3 .270 bolt action rifle and literally put rounds through the same hole at 100 yards (with slightly more tearing of the same hole in the paper).  On the other hand, this is with a good scope, no wind, a cool and comfortable day, all day to work my craft and thus no time pressure, no one else to be concerned about, lots of coffee to wake up, and a full belly.

But if I had kept records, it wouldn’t have happened again exactly like that since, theoretically, even with perfect ammunition, considering barrel harmonics and that physical processes like this are a heuristic phenomenon, if I had continued to log my shots this way, it would have doubtless shown a standard distribution (distance between each shot and mean).

But regardless of the details, you’ve done it before.  Control breathing … get good sight picture … back out of the shot if you’re not mentally right … know where your trigger breaks … and so on.  You know the drill, since you’ve done it many times.  It’s perhaps the purest pleasure a shooter can have.

Now throw in simple annoyances like a whining partner at the range, losing daylight and time pressures, hunger, and any of the other 100 possible nuisances that can sap your accuracy.  Then your accuracy goes to hell, doesn’t it?  Now, combine that with wearing heavy gear and being shot at, and I’m sure it diminishes your control over your weapon.  Thankfully, I only have the experiences of my former Marine son conveyed to me.

The good part of this is that regardless of your barrel twist rate, if your AR-15 is reliable, even if it’s not top of the line, it can probably outperform you.  That means getting better isn’t a matter of getting a new rifle or barrel with a different twist.  It means practicing with your rifle, sometimes under duress.  It also means buying good ammunition.  Steve at RRA is right.  The shooter and ammo have to do their part.  I object to cheap ammunition just like I object to cheap engine oil.  I’m trying to develop the discipline at the store or online to buy better ammunition.

Right, I’ve got it.  I feel your objection.  Good ammunition (e.g., Hornady $2 per round .270 for my Tikka) hurts.  This is my wealth, and it’s hard to part ways with it since it’s hard to earn it.  But using bad ammunition at the range makes it hard to impossible to assess your practice.  Use of my value pack Federal .223 at the range means that my accuracy is irrelevant if I’m using the same reticle holdovers I would for 5.56mm since the muzzle velocity is different (and very slightly lower than the 5.56mm).  You’ve got the picture.

The best way to get better accuracy is probably not to get a better gun.  It’s to practice with the one you’ve got.

Here is a related video I found interesting on gyroscopic stability.  He’s wrong about the math being incomprehensible, but it is rather difficult if you’re involved with partial differentials or worse, the Navier-Stokes equations in CFD.  You need some specialized training in mathematics in order to tackle that.  You don’t have to know any of that in order to understand the basics of shooting.

This discussion probably won’t end the debate on barrel twist rate, and it certainly won’t end the fight between the Army and Marine Corps (who doesn’t want to deploy the M855A1).  But I hope it was helpful to you.

There Ya Go….

Prima Facie evidence that the police and FBI are guilty of GROSS malfeasance (at the least) and are the direct cause as to why Florida happened.  They’re no different than the ‘School Resource Officer’ who refused to confront Cruz.

He allegedly put a gun to someone’s head??  Really??  If he would have been living with someone or married and the partner/spouse called that in, they’d have tossed his entire house looking for it, he’d have been arrested, put on the Lautenberg ‘no buy’ list, and prosecuted.

So, since the police and feds didn’t perform their sworn duty ‘to protect the general public’ (because before the high school incident, the threat could be perceived against the ‘general public’, thereby violating several SCOTUS decisions on the duty of the police) when do the those sheriff’s deputies and federal agents with knowledge of he case get relieved of duty, disarmed, and the prosecutions start?

[Underlined boldface emphasis added.]

“911 records show the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office (PBCSO) was reportedly told in November 2017 that Nickolas Cruz allegedly put a gun to someone’s head.

CNN reports that the day after Thanksgiving 2017, PBCSO was called and told that Cruz had allegedly hidden a gun in the backyard of a family with which he was staying. Deputies conducted a search, then wrote up the incident as “domestic unfounded.”

PBCSO was called four days later with a report that Cruz had allegedly “lashed out against the family that took him in.” Deputies found Cruz at a local park and spoke with him. He told them he was upset because he had lost a photo of his late mother. But the family with which he was staying claimed he had just bought a gun and they believed he was coming back to use it against them.

During the second 911 call, the dispatcher was told that Cruz was buying “tons of ammo” and had allegedly put “put [a] gun to others heads in the past.””

These are called, ‘clues’ and should have been aggressively followed up on, especially in that the family he was staying with were scared shitless.

This, on the other hand, isn’t a clue, it’s a frickin’ SLAP FLARE:

Likewise, the FBI admitted that it did not act on a January 5, 2018, tip pertaining to “Cruz’s gun ownership, desire to kill people, erratic behavior, and disturbing social media posts, as well as the potential of him conducting a school shooting.”

Read the rest, here.  And take the author’s advice to heart about protecting yourself and your family.