Category Archives: Basic Skills

For Those Last Minute, “Here, Read This; it Might Save Your Life..” Recommendations

Especially for people in your AO who are (unbelievably) just now becoming conscious of what’s coming down the pike from now until after the election….basically, in varying degrees, for the foreseeable future, and really don’t have nearly the time needed to learn the ‘school’ method.

Author’s name is Don Paul; his books identify him as a retired Green Beret and Christian.  Not too shabby a combination, in my book!

I’ve read through his ‘Never Get Lost,’ and it’s a superb way to get someone up on how to navigate without learning the grid system, coordinates and relying on a map and only a compass, watch, pen/pencil, and paper to perform your calculations.  Maps do have their place, as do GPS devices, topographical maps, protractors, declination equations, and so forth.  In fact, while I have a couple USGI Lensatic Compasses, they’re relegated to back up for my back up, as I’ve changed over to a Suunto M-3 NH Global Compass and have a MC-2 Mirror Compass as a back up.  They’re faster for me as I set the declination for accuracy and speed in determining azimuths on the map.  No conversion necessary.  It also provides for more accuracy using Paul’s method, as he teaches a non-declination compass method, which works, but without the correct declination, you’re off your intended location by varying distances, which may or may not prove to be very important.

The next couple I’m going to read is, “Everybody’s Knife Bible,” where he teaches knife skills for use in a survival situation.  He covers a lot of standard subjects/tasks, like making beds, additional weapons, etc, but he also provides instruction on how to use your knife to tell time and cross rivers.  Might prove to be interesting.

I’ve got a couple other of his books coming to check out and put in the library, but if what I’ve read so far is any indication, the few bucks I’ve spent per book is well worth it.  Some are available on Amazon or eBay.

Check them out.


Why I REALLY Like the ACSS Reticle from Primary Arms…

There are quite a few reasons I like the Primary Arms offerings:  Quality, affordability, durability, eye relief, clarity, and so on.

BUT…..the foundational reason I really like these scopes (I have one on my ‘go to’ AR and one on my semi-precision .308 Savage) is the ACSS reticle.

These scopes are meant to be zero’d at 100 yards, and from there, the Bullet Drop Compensator (BDC) for your caliber let’s you shoot your target without making another scope adjustment.  Saves time, which is really important.

The first pic is on my 1X6 ACSS mounted on my, ‘Go To’ AR.

Now, do I believe I’ll make 800 yard shots with a 62gr m855?  No, but I may make 500 yard shots more times than not with this phenomenal scope from a prone and clear line of sight.  I also am very comfortable with the ‘CQB’ donut.  I also appreciate the 5 mph wind holds for both lateral directions.  And the measuring tool on the right is a great range finder presuming your human target is about 5′ 10″ tall.  Below is a great example of how you can range with it, even though the reticle is a ‘dot’ version, vice the chevron, which I prefer.

Then there’s the 4X14 FFP Illuminated on my humble semi-precision Savage Model 10.

I have no illusions about my .308, even with Berger rounds, being accurate enough OR having enough ‘oomph’ to stop someone/thing at 1000 yards.  If this scope was on a 300 Win?  You bet!

You can also determine range with this fine optic, but you’ll have to do the math, which isn’t so difficult, and if you’re a few hundred yards away and camouflaged, unless the target is sprinting, you’ll more than likely have time to do your calculation.

And that, in a nutshell, is why I’m really taken with these scopes.  I’ve been using them for about 3 years now, and I’m not dissatisfied in the least!

Do I still teach the 25 meter zero?  You bet.  It’s great for straight iron sight shooters, or for zeroing your BUIS.  Even a red dot, depending on the application.  But for optics at the price paid and the clear value, I can’t see not using these fine scopes.

*Disclaimer – I am simply a happy Primary Arms customer – I get nothing from this, or any other write I have done on their products.

Repost: Basic Building Block: The Buddy Team

Re-posted from April 2012 and then December 2013, with a few updates.

By reader request due to recent events.

Chances are, you are not going to make it alone. Accept that. You need a helper. A buddy. Someone to trust with your back.

Everyone has an idea about what a ‘Buddy Team’ should be, but not many people can actually articulate their expectations. That’s the point of this post: To provide you with some basic essentials of what the ‘Buddy Team’ is and what you can expect of your ‘Buddy’. You can, and should, build Buddy Teams in your family first (a brother, sister, cousin, uncle, etc), as well as the rest of your group or team. Working in pairs increases probability of survival significantly. Once you have two pair, you can form a ‘fire team’, which increases your chances dramatically, all things being equal.

Your buddy is just as important as your rifle, your knife, or your fire making device to your survival; possibly more so! Without your buddy, your chances of survival in a hostile environment are diminished by such a large percentage that you must face the fact that short of divine intervention, you are probably not going home when it’s over.

So then, what is your responsibility as a ‘Buddy’? Here are some good guidelines:

    • Always watch your buddy’s back because he’s watching yours!
    • Never take more from your buddy than you can give (supplies, time, support, etc).
    • Know that your buddy is your best friend, even if he’s jumping your ass to get you to learn something new or do something better!
    • Get together to do some training minimally once a month. Challenge each other to get better at whatever skill you’re practicing — don’t accept ‘good enough’!
    • Never lie to your buddy (lie to anyone outside your tribe all you want, but never to your buddy)!
    • Never leave your buddy behind unless he’s dead.  If he/she is, take what you can use and move on.
    • Never betray your buddy – loyalty that can be bought is despicable!
    • Learn his rifle as well as you know your own if his is different.
    • Learn where everything is on his harness and make him learn where everything is on yours, especially those things that will keep him alive!
    • Talk to each other about training, tactics, family, friends, the news….literally everything to keep you on the same page on current events.
    • Be ready to listen to him when he’s got a problem – he’ll return the favor.
    • Be honest with him about your own weaknesses and strengths. You can’t build your team on bullshit.
    • Take the calculated risk to build trust with each other. NOW! Yeah, it’s hard when you first get to know each other, but you’ve got a pair of balls, right? (Goes with loyalty.)
    • If your Buddy has more experience than you, admit it and listen to him! Get rid of petty    jealousies.
    • Always give your best to and for your buddy-no exceptions!
    • Be a friend, because he could be the only one you’ve got when the SHTF!

Available for Order Now! Jack Lawson’s “Civil Defense Manual, Volumes 1 & 2

This is your ‘go to’ manual for protecting your community and training your neighbors! I think these are going to go like hot cakes – he’s only got 1038 in stock, so order yours today!!

Order here.

The definitive guide to preparedness and civil defense for homes and neighborhoods.  Two volumes comprising 950 pages of detailed information from authoritative sources.

Jack Lawson, pseudonym of the writer, served in the United States Air Force as a missile guidance and SAFO nuclear arming controls electronics technician and was later a member of a Foreign Legion rapid response anti-terrorist unit during an anti-Communist guerilla war in Africa.

He was trained by British Commonwealth SAS and Israeli commando instructors and took part in counter insurgency operations and commando raids on Communist training camps in a number of African countries. While there he became a bodyguard for a farmer’s cooperative association in his off-duty time.

Jack is an Honorary Member of a U.S. Army Special Forces Association Chapter and for seven years served on one of the largest metropolitan police department Review Boards in the country. As a member of that Review Board, he judged the justification of Officer Involved Shootings and use of deadly force incidents.

He was also a consultant to the Officer in charge of the United States Marine Corps evaluation of Fire Force procedures for heliborne vertical envelopment anti-terrorist tactics.

Rittenhouse Damn Near was Killed by ‘Little Arm’…

From, ‘The Captain’s Journal.’  Check it out.

Kyle Rittenhouse Was Inches Away From Dying

12 hours, 27 minutes ago

The moment his arm exploded, the pistol was being pointed at Kyle’s head.  While I’ll still cover this event, and pray for Kyle, I’ve seen everything I need to see.

An Old Technique Who’s Time Has Come Again…

From American Partisan, via WRSA.

Do read the whole thing; very good way to have another full mag RFN!  Now, there is the Surefire 60 round mag and the Magpul 60 round drum mag, but they are spendy and getting spendier.  So, as Matt says below, this doesn’t cost you anything if you’ve got the tape you need….

So here is my old essay, which first appeared on the old Western Rifle Shooters Association website, and is now featured in “The Bracken Collection.”

“Who wouldn’t want a sixty-round magazine for their trusty AR, one that fits in roughly the same space as a standard thirty-round mag?

Nobody I know.

Problem is, such a magazine doesn’t exist. But there is a way to link two thirty-round mags so that the switch from the thirtieth to the thirty-first cartridge is extremely fast. Much faster than any switch to a second magazine kept in a pouch on your body.

Twice as fast.

Some of us were doing this in the SEAL Teams decades ago. Today, companies make magazine duplexing gadgets that you can buy, but don’t bother with them. The old way is better, because the bottom of the homemade double mag is narrower and easier to grab and manipulate. This is because the two mags are in a narrow “V” shape. They are not parallel, as with the store-bought duplexing gadgets. You will understand why this matters when you do these speed changes in practice. The bottom of your duplexed mag is your handle during the switch.

So here’s how you make it.

Take two good thirty-round AR mags that you know work well. Then take an ordinary wood pencil, and cut off a two-inch piece, square at both ends. Place it cross-wise three inches up from the bottom of one magazine. Take green military “hundred-mile-an-hour” tape, duct tape, camo tape or green electricians’ tape, and bind the two mags tightly together, starting at their bottoms so they are touching.

Tape them all the way up to the pencil location. To make an even more solid mount, fill the gap below the pencil with silicone rubber before you tape them up. The pencil placement three inches up from the bottom is important. The slot between the two mags will just clear the magazine well of your rifle, and it will allow enough space for the open dust cover.

What about taping two mags end-to-end, with cartridges at top and bottom? Only in grade-Z action movies. When you hit the ground, you will be pounding dirt into the open magazine at the bottom, and maybe even denting or deforming the critical feed lips. And besides, doing it the end-to-end way makes a double magazine much longer than it needs to be. This end-to-end method makes a little more sense with very curvy Kalashnikov magazines. Not every rifle’s construction permits the use of side-by-side duplexed mags. They are perfectly suited to ARs, however.

Now you are at the range, and you have your duplexed AR mags ready to try. Load one so that the right-side mag is in the well, and the spare mag is fitting just along the left side of your rifle. This twice-as-heavy double mag will not fall out accidentally, or wear out the mag catch. It will drop free completely normally with the usual push of the mag release button. If you are doing a tactical reload before running dry, or if you do actually run out of cartridges, you will do everything the same as you did before, but faster.

Quite a lot faster.

Whether you are initiating an ambush or if you are on the receiving end, the first reload will very likely be the most critical of any engagement. If you can sustain rapid fire when the other guy’s weapon runs dry, your odds of seeing tomorrow will go up and his will go down. If you can cut your first reload time in half, it might make all of the difference.

Even having the ability to bluff greater firepower on your side than you actually possess is a good thing. You can do this simply by touching off up to sixty incredibly fast shots when breaking contact—a one-man Australian peel. Based on your rate of fire the opposition may mistake you for three or four shooters, and pause to think things over from behind cover over while you slip away.

This brings to my mind the old SEAL Team adage about the critical importance of dominating all sides of the following triangle, namely: “surprise, firepower, and violence of action.” (Law enforcement has tamed this down to the more PC “speed of action.”) A duplexed mag in your rifle gives you more effective firepower, which is always a good thing — especially at the critical beginning of a firefight or ambush. If you’re too slow on that first mag change, you might not need a second magazine.


Here’s a hypothetical example; your mileage may vary, but the principle will hold.

How many rounds can you fire in three seconds? Really light up that trigger.

That is how many rounds might be fired at you by just one bad guy during the three seconds it may take you to fumble a mag out of its pouch and shove it up into the well. Why not cut that delay in half on your first reload? (2020 addition: You also reduce the odds of the dreaded “fumble-rooski” with that fresh mag you are trying to extract from its pouch unseen while your eyes remain on target. You are just grabbing the fat base of the double mag that’s already in the well, lowering it a few inches, and shoving it back up two inches over.)

You won’t always have your battle rattle handy, much less already on your body, when trouble comes along. Goblins do not call ahead. Will you holler “time out” under incoming fire or when your front door is kicked in, while you suit up like Robocop? You might not live long enough to be ready to fight, depending on the immediacy of the danger. No, when jumped, you will grab what is most handy and get in the fight, now! Maybe just the rifle itself. So keep sixty rounds really handy, in your rifle.

Another cool advantage to the V-shaped double magazine is that it will fit snugly over your belt, (or upside down in a sturdy pants pocket). No time to throw on your high-speed tactical harness, web gear, plate carriers and all the rest? Shove an extra double mag over your street-clothes belt, rounds down. You already have a double mag in your rifle, right? Now head out of your door with 120 rounds ready to go on a moment’s notice. Be ready to dominate. Always!

Should you duplex all of your AR mags?

No way. Duplexed mags don’t fit easily in many standard pouches. Only two duplexed mags will fit into a standard military three-mag pouch, a clear disadvantage. But your first sixty rounds can and should be hanging from your rifle, ready to go. (IMHO.) The big double magazine lives in your rifle waiting to go in harm’s way. It’s not a pouch queen. It doesn’t give one damn about pouches. (Dump bags it loves, if you have the time.)

One final point — there is the inevitable complaint that the open mag will become jammed with debris. It won’t. It’s up next to the receiver, and under your clear vision. You can see that the loaded mag is clean and ready.

“Old Sarge” will say not to do this. “Old Sarge” also said that optical sights would never cut it in real combat on a soldier’s rifle or carbine.

So why doesn’t everybody do this?

This is just my hunch (since I’ve been out of the tactical ops arena for so long), but I think that the “Big Army” and other large military formations find “one size fits all” SOPs to be easier for everyone to follow up and down the chain of command. Same in police departments, and these restrictive SOPs permeate the shooting world.

In the SEAL Teams, we didn’t suffer from this malady. We did whatever worked. And not even all SEALs liked this duplexed magazine trick. But you might. So give it a try — it costs virtually nothing.

And on your next range outing with your AR, do some speed trials. Compare changing between duplexed mags to changing to a spare mag kept on your body in a pouch. If you find it useful, use this trick, and pass it along to your shooting buddies. Otherwise, forget you read this piece, untape your duplexed magazines, and no harm done.

But for me — make mine sixty, attached to my carbine and ready to go.”

I still need Practice…

15 meters, M9 – 124gr FMJ.  50  rounds consecutive – 5, 10 & 15 round magazines.  Target size approximates full human size dimensions.  The small paster is from spawl…

Glock 19, 124gr FMJ, 15 meters.  One 10 round mag, rapid fire.  Overall target size 8.5X11.  Ocular Cavity practice.

So, lots more dry fire until I get to the range for my next rationed FMJ practice session….

How are you doing with your range time?

Lesson: Never EVER go Anywhere Without your, “Battle Buddy”…

This lesson herein is presented without any disrespect toward young Mr. Rittenhouse in the slightest; he did what he thought he needed to at the time.  Unfortunately, his decision to act alone without a partner put him in extreme danger.

Simply put, this is an object lesson for those yet unaware of the dangers of going solo in a kinetic environment.  Always, always, ALWAYS have a partner.  Always.

From Gateway Pundit.   Do read the whole thing.

Key Points:

  • Great intent; miscalculated execution, if the quote is true and he did, indeed, (which is apparent based on follow up actions) go alone:  “After the situation seemed to be diffused, Rittenhouse became increasingly concerned about people who were injured at the gas station, so he went in that direction with his first aid kit. He helped those he could find who were injured, either by administering aid or directing them which way to go for help beyond what he could offer.”
  • Having a battle buddy makes ALL the difference!  “As Kyle proceeded towards the second mechanic’s shop, he was accosted by multiple rioters who recognized that he had been attempting to protect a business the mob wanted to destroy. This outraged the rioters and created a mob now determined to hurt Kyle. They began chasing him down. Kyle attempted to get away, but he could not do so quickly enough. Upon the sound of a gunshot behind him, Kyle turned and was immediately faced with an attacker lunging towards him and reaching for his rifle. He reacted instantaneously and justifiably with his weapon to protect himself, firing and striking the attacker,” Pierce explains.