Read it, here. And then get your comms up. While your at it, see if you can schedule yourself into his RTO classes.
To determine what might work for you when it comes to going to the range to practice the fundamentals with live fire, a presumption must be made that you’re doing dry fire a couple times a week for at least 10 minutes a session. Yes, boring, repetitious, and tedious, but you need to accept this as a minimum if you want to master your weapon of choice and become very, very good at applying the fundamentals you practice in live fire. And truly, that’s all renowned shooters are doing when you see them performing very fast and very accurately on the range:
They are simply applying the fundamentals in a quick, effective manner. Nothing more, nothing less. No secret techniques, just mastery of the fundamentals.
So, how much range time? I’ve found that for me to ensure personal proficiency, I’m expending at least 50 to 100 rounds of whatever I’m primarily carrying every 4 to 6 weeks. If it’s monthly, a box of 50 is fine, if it’s every 6 weeks, 2 boxes of 50. I might even go as often as every 3 weeks, but that’s because I’m stoked, but it’s not all the time, and no matter what, I do the dry fire as often as I can. It’s all based on balancing my schedule (personal and professional obligations) and checkbook (even bought by the 1K round case, ammo gets expensive!), and need for simple relaxation.
So, what’s the take away here? Simply this: Make the practice of handling/shooting your weapons part of your normal routine. The skills you pick up are perishable by nature, and if you aren’t careful, life has a way of overcoming your practice, and the next thing you know, you haven’t touched a pistol, rifle, or shotgun in months! Do not let that happen!
Minimally, if you dry fire routinely (twice a week, 10 minutes each session), you can get away with every 6 weeks. For self-evaluation, every other range session put yourself through a 50 round ‘qualification’ course. With a pistol, at 25 yards/meters; with a rifle, do an AQT or NRA High Power type course. Doing so will have you ‘qualifying’ every quarter, which is much, much better than 95% of all shooters will do. Your skill mastery will show it, too!
Discipline is key here, because if you’re like me, dry fire gets to be very monotonous. However, without it, those perishable skills you’ve picked up will deteriorate to one degree or another. I’d prefer disciplined monotony to suffering regret when or if I need to employ those skills. Just sayin’. One way I keep it interesting is only doing dry fire with one platform a session. One day I might be using my M-Forgery; another a pistol; another, a bolt gun. I also add different miniature targets any time I can.
One thing in my dry fire that is not negotiable is the application of safety practices:
- NEVER MIX ALCOHOL WITH DRY OR LIVE FIRE! It should go without saying that if you’re going to drink, do it after your practice or live fire shooting.
- ALWAYS remove any magazine before dry firing to ensure it’s empty.
- ALWAYS check the chamber to ensure there isn’t a round hiding in it (Remember, ALL weapons are ALWAYS loaded until you ensure they’re not!!)
- NEVER point your weapon at another human being you don’t intend to shoot, even in dry fire practice (tv/movie characters are different – it’s a projection).
- THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS AN ‘ACCIDENTAL’ DISCHARGE – IT ALWAYS COMES DOWN TO NEGLIGENCE!
See you on the range.
In the comments, someone wanted to see if these could be started with a ferro rod. Here’s your answer:
From the man who makes them: “Those who have bought from reading here said they wished the listing had the ones with jute in them. If you put in the notes or send an email you found them here Ill mix and match what you want at no additional cost. This is a thank you for supporting this site. Halfpint45
Always clearing my 6 God Bless”
Every now and again, I find a great little survival product on ebay that actually performs like it’s supposed to, is very reasonably priced, and gives you the confidence you’re looking for in a survival product.
In this case, it’s a Fire Starter – Tinder that’s homemade by the seller, and sold exclusively on ebay, who goes by ‘halfpint45’. He offers it in several variations of numbers and two configurations.
One has jute interwoven and the other does not. They’re extremely light, waterproof, and, if one used an entire piece, would last longer than vaseline infused cotton balls, and are a hell of a lot less messy.
I ordered the larger 50 pack of the ‘plain jane model,’ (full disclosure) and included a few of the jute interwoven for me to try out. (Full disclosure – I had told him after the transaction about DTG’s blog and that I was going to do a review, so he threw them in and instructed me to be straight up no matter what I thought.) The waxed jute interwoven into the cotton rope makes this fire starter ‘super charged,’ if you will.
I ordered the large lot – 50 of the wax cotton starters for $10.35, shipped – about .20 cents each. Not bad for a supply that size – I might get a couple more for stored preps at that price! He’s also got an option to get 12 with jute, 20 plain, a striker, a ferro rod and 4 feet of waxed jute for $10.97. SHIPPED.
In discussion with him, he says he can offer these so inexpensively because he buys all his materials in bulk. Makes sense to me. Now, I’m sure the DIY types can probably make these easily at home if you have the time and don’t mind whatever mess it’ll make, but for me, having them made up and ready to go is worth the cost. I’ve got some now in my ‘get home bag’, my SHTF ruck, my LBE, and my windproof smock. All for under $11. Not too shabby.
Bottom line? They. Work.
The one thing I’m doing is in each area I’ve added these, I prep one or two by shredding the ends, so that if I’m in a situation where I need “Fire, NOW!”, getting one lit will be that much faster (I also have several lighters stashed on my person at any given time, so I would go to that first, before employing a ferro rod/striker combo. So, they’re added to my fire kit, along with some very dry red pine slivers, dryer lint, ‘wet fire’ tinder pieces, some magnesium, I’m pretty confident I can get a fire going most ricky tick.
All in all, I give this neat little product an AAA+ rating. Check this seller out and get a few; you won’t be sorry.
How To Develop A Safe And Effective Armed Security Team For Your School
Tue, Mar 6, 2018 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM EST
Late winter is always a good time to check the declination adjustment on your compass, if you have a declination adjustable model. It’s also good to check it against what might be on your AO maps.
Due to my friend JC Dodge’s post on staying warm when one is ‘out there’ and reading about what he recommends on winter clothing, here, I started to do some digging in my clothing & equipment boxes – I had nothing much left that was ‘old school’. Mostly modern, post 1970 gear, clothing and equipment. So, I looked around and found two very nice M-1952 wool long sleeve shirts. Two for $35, so I snagged them. When I got them home, they smelled a tad musty, I had them dry cleaned, and voila! Just as crisp and new as the day they were issued. I also picked up some 100% wool VERY old school trigger finger mitten liners (they don’t have much nylon, if any at all – they bring to mind the wool mittens my mother and grandmother knitted for me as a kid). It wasn’t cold enough yet to try them, so they’re in the queue.
I must admit, putting aside my new winter warm gear to don the older ones was a bit of a forced decision on my part, as I don’t like being cold at all, and as I get older, I like it even less. So, right now my little AO is experiencing temps that range from just above zero in the morning to mid to high 20’s by about 1500, then temps descend inevitably toward their lows. We’ve also got a good foot or better of new snow on the ground, and it’s been consistently coming down enough so that if one wishes to keep his driveway clear from the ‘snow plow spoil,’ one must do his shoveling/snow throwing at least twice a day.
When I am active in the cold, I run a tad hot, so all I was wearing (other than Schnee’s pac boots or modified USAF muks – see how, here – depending on if it was dry or wet cold), was a pair of jeans (bad, bad, bad – cotton – the cloth of death), a wicking t shirt, my M-1952 shirt, and an old OD M65 shell that has seen better days – along with a fleece cap and intermediate cold weather USGI gloves (sized one up so they’re loose enough to put on a pair of silk liners if it’s 10 below or colder). Ambient temp was about 23 Fahrenheit w/a 10 mph wind from the West.
I was so warm I had to partially unzip the M65!!
The old school wool shirts are phenomenally warm outside, and when worn inside, they regulate pretty well. I checked today to see if there were any in the large regular size on ebay, and there were a couple, so if you want to try them out or need a spare, get there quick. The larger ones are more rare these days. Large Regular equates to about a 16.5 X 34. It works for me. While your there, check out the M1951 wool field pants. They were designed to be worn over your long johns and under a field trouser (old school layering) providing more than sufficient warmth for your legs in very cold temperatures. I would think a blending of the old and new might work with these: Goretex over trousers on top of the wool pants sounds exceptionally warm, especially if you’re going to be working in wet cold!
The last old school item I have in my winter ruck are the M1965 trigger finger mittens, complete with old school pure wool liner. I also size these up one to allow for liners under the mitten. I’ve got two pair; one is OD and stays with my ‘get home bag – winter edition’ and the other is woodland. You can find them cheap on ebay, too. They’re worth the money I paid, and I piece mealed them: bought the shells separately from the liners. 4 pr of liners shipped for about $5 a pair. Mitten shells – $11 a pair. So, now I’ve got primary liners with the mittens and a spare pair in the ruck for when/if the primary pair gets wet. They weight about 4 ounces. Total cost: $21 a pair w/an extra set of liners. I’m set, as you will be when you decide to shore up your winter kit with some old school gear.
Now remember, these items weren’t designed specifically for static use or vigorous movement. You’ll have to regulate how you layer with what you’re up to. If I’m moving on snow shoes with a pack, I’m probably only going to wear the shirt itself and a wicking t shirt, no long johns, and a BDU type pant. Once I stop, I’ll add more after I dry off.
Hope this helps your winter…..we’ve got a month left of hard core temp potential. If SHTF in the next 30 days, this might be useful to you.
Addendum: Don’t forget about snow blindness mitigation. You can do that on the cheap as well, with either old school or current issue sun/wind goggles. Just make sure you treat the lenses with an anti-fog agent! You’ll be glad you did. Our post on that is here.
UPDATE: Clothing treated so far and used in wet or winter weather:
- Survival Smock
- M-65 Field Jacket
- 2 Pr BDU pants
- 2 Winter Camouflage Over Jackets
- 1 Pr Winter Camouflage Over pants
So far, everything has held out beautifully when it comes to repelling water/snow. In the rain, it takes a very heavy downpour for the material to start taking on any water (the NYCO mix is what weakens the waterproofing property because it’s for 100% cotton…). When it comes to snow, when body heat starts melting the snow, it flicks off as small water droplets leaving the material dry. All in all, staying drier keeps me warmer longer. This is a great product!
Originally published on 11 April 2017.
In the quest for staying dry as long as possible in cold, wet weather, while looking for a Goretex rejuvenator, I happened upon a product by Nikwax, called, “Cotton Proof.” Now, truth be told, I’m always skeptical of the ‘magic pill’ offered by various companies, but, as I wear a lot of Nyco things, to include field jackets and smocks, I figured, ‘what the hell, it might just be worth trying out.’ After all, cotton is known as ‘the cloth of death’ in anything but warm weather, once it gets wet.
Here’s their video on the product:
So, I go ahead and watch the video and decide to go ahead and order it. I bought mine on Amazon.
Once it got to me, I read the directions and followed them explicitly. One thing many don’t do is to remove all soap residue from their washing machine. I did it by running three ‘heavy load’ cycles with only hot/warm water and two ounces white vinegar in each cycle. Once the machine was clean, I washed the items I was going to experiment with in ‘Sport Wash’ twice, as I noticed residue in the first rinse from previous washings. I’ve got some Nikwax Tech Wash on the way for next time, but hey, this was an experiment.
The directions will tell you that you don’t need to dry the items once washed, and that’s true. For 3 to 4 medium & large mixed items, you need to put 7 ounces (I estimated between 3/4 of a cup and a full cup, so I could have been a smidge off) in the washer after it’s completely full. Once you do that, you run the ‘heavy’ cycle as normal, to include the rinse and spin cycles.
When it’s done, put them in the dryer with no softeners on delicate/low. I put the timer on max, for 60 minutes; everything was dry in about 40.
After everything cooled, the first thing I did was take an item over to the mud sink faucet and turn on the water, letting it fall on the material.
The water bounced off for about 45 seconds with a steady stream hitting the material at a perpendicular angle before the tiniest wet spot was visible! So, I shut the water off, shook off the item, and it was completely dry again in about 90 seconds or less. Not bad for a 50/50 Nyco item! From what their instructions/adds/videos say, it works better on 100% cotton, but will suffice with nylon blends. Man does it!
So, I give this product 5 stars for those who like to walk around in the bush or rain or whatever and want to stay dry as long as possible. I’m actually looking forward to a ruck walk in the rain in the next week for a minimum of 5 miles to see how it performs. An update will follow.
Originally posted 6 Feb 2014; updated on 4 May 2015.
8 Feb 2018 REPOST: The AR-15 carbine is quite possibly the most customizable platform on the planet. Given so many choices for enhancements, which upgrades offer the best “bang for the buck”? Some upgrades have a huge “tacti-cool factor” specifically designed for the battlefield, and others are designed with practical use in mind. Naturally, reliability upgrades should win over what is “tacti-cool” if your AR is the primary tool you’d use for self-defense of hearth and home during a WROL or SHTF situation. And that’s what we’ll focus on here.
When it comes to practical enhancements, keep in mind that the AR market is flooded with parts as well as rifles. Some are top notch quality, some are mediocre and the others . . . well, they’ve been manufactured not using the best quality control. So, remember, not all parts and carbines are created equally. Caveat Emptor! Best strategy when looking for an AR? Whether building your own AR or buying a complete one; use reputable manufacturers, such as Daniel Defense, Bravo Company or Spikes Tactical, for example. (We have extensive experience with the quality turned out by BCM and ST. *Please see the note from ST at the bottom).
As of this repost, pricing for AR parts, as well as ammo, are well below what they were when the original was posted & updated. Now. Is. The. Time!
AR Practical Reliability Enhancements (in order of importance)
I. Chrome Lined Barrel (CLB): The fact that some manufacturers still make non-chrome lined barrels for non-competition AR barrels is astonishing. By forgoing this option, the consumer is saved $50 to $100 depending on the manufacturer. It’s worth the money if you’re building, or having an AR built. Chrome lined barrels offer protection from corrosion and ease in cleaning after shooting a high volume of rounds at the range. It also takes much longer to ‘shoot out’ a CLB, which is the pratical advantage in terms of cost for having one. Through the years, serious competitors have held that accuracy suffered from having a chrome lined barrel. Not so much anymore. Top quality manufacturers have pretty much perfected the process. Recently one of our staff built a carbine with a ST light weight 16” barrel and clover-leafed his group off the bench at 100 yds with a 3x ACOG. Granted that’s not field condition shooting, but more so a demonstration of the inherent accuracy of the platform with a good chrome lined barrel. Bottom line? Don’t let claims of diminished accuracy in a CLB dissuade you from protecting the lands and grooves of your bore from corrosive conditions. Most AR’s priced around $800 (or less) and up typically have a chrome lined barrels anyway, so this may be be a moot point for you. If you’re thinking about replacing your barrel, make sure it’s a CLB!
II. Bolt Parts Upgrade Kit: http://www.bravocompanyusa.com/BCM-Extractor-Spring-Uprade-Kit-p/bcm%20extractor%20spring%20upgrade.htm $4.95. This is a no brainer. Increased extraction reliability is a very good thing. http://www.bravocompanyusa.com/BCM-Gas-Rings-p/gas%20rings%20set%20of%203.htm New gas rings anyone? $2.95. Another no brainer. If you stand your bolt on it’s end and the weight of the carrier is forced down on the bolt by gravity, you need to replace your gas rings on your bolt. Some factory gas rings don’t do well past 1000 rounds. Some last much longer, but the point is to have a spare set to change out. You’ll be happy you did.
III. H2 Buffer & Sprinco “Blue” Buffer Spring: H2 buffer – http://www.bravocompanyusa.com/H2-Carbine-Buffer – About $30. Increased reliability and reduced felt recoil (read faster target reacquisition). Springco’s buffer spring – about $20: “The Enhanced Power spring is designed to provide a bit more spring power than a standard power spring along with improved consistency, long service life and sustained reliability of a high quality spring.“ http://www.nokick.com/Sprinco_M_4_Carbine_Enhanced_Power_Buffer_Spring_p/sprinco-25007.htm
III. Froglube: (instead of standard CLP). $15 for a container. http://froglube.com/ Not only is it much safer to use than standard military CLP, but the paste functions properly much longer. Cleaning is easier with a Froglube treated product. Friction reducing Froglube increases reliability and keeps your upper assembly housing cooler, which minimizes wear . . . you can see where I’m going with this. Of course you could just stick with copious amounts of LSA or motor oil and have it spray down the guy next to you, but I’d rather pack a small container of Froglube given the option. Important note: Apply sparingly, let adhere to the part in question, and then wipe virtually dry until only a thin film remains. Too much and you might find your AR bogging down for a few rounds.
IIIA. Gunzilla: DTG has been using this for a couple years now, on both pistols & rifles. Cleaning is a breeze; great rust inhibitor, and we carry in our rucks in a 6 ounce squirt bottle. So far, so good. Another good option.
IV. Nickel-Boron Bolt Carrier Group: Whether you choose a $250.00 Fail Zero Bolt Carrier group, or a $140 Surplus Arms & Ammo version, the NiB coating has shown to reduce friction and heat big time. Cleaning the BCG is a breeze. You can almost just wipe it down with a rag. Fail Zero claims you can run a ridiculous amount of rounds through a dry weapon fitted with a FZ BCG. We still use a thin coating of Froglube anyway. After all of the other practical enhancements, this is the next thing you would do . . . if you had the cash.
Practical Accuracy Enhancements (in order of importance)
I. Reliable set of Optics: Aimpoint, ACOG, Burris, Vortex Strike Eagle, Etc. Optics whether magnified or not, help one hit what they are aiming at more reliably than good old iron sights. (Iron sight shooting should be practiced and the skill should be maintained as we all have backup sights on our personal protection carbines. Sometimes optics do fail. Simply having iron sights and not having practiced with them to a degree of proficiency won’t help you when your optic goes Tango Uniform.) You’re looking at $400 to $1300 for a good set of optics depending on the brand and the application. The ACOG would be the best in our opinion for general purpose accuracy on an AR IF the eye relief wasn’t so short that it’s uncomfortable. Best is now between the Aimpoint Comp4 or Aimpoint PRO (what we have) and the Vortex Strike Eagle, depending on the application for the carbine in question. If you’re on a budget and can’t afford the Aimpoint Comp4, get the Aimpoint PRO for $400 shipped. You’ll receive a 2MOA (Minute Of Angle) red dot with an amazing battery life, mount included, and you’ll have an immediate leg up on engaging your paper targets. The Strike Eagle is a great replacement for the ACOG with a built in BDC for 5.56mm; it is also around $400 or less. You can’t go wrong with either choice. A word on cost: If I had to choose between a $100 red dot, ACOG knock-off, or other cheaply made optic or my irons, I would take my irons. Quality optics are that important.
II. Geissele 2-stage Trigger: $250 to $180 depending on sales. A Geissele trigger is just the cats-ass. You have to feel the trigger break on one of these to truly appreciate it. Your groups will get tighter, given proper trigger control/depression. Some like the ‘flat trigger’, others like that standard curved trigger. We have both on staff rifles. Either way, Geissele triggers are superb!
There are many upgrades and customizations that offer a minimal increase in accuracy, however, the overall plain-jane mil-spec M4 (gery) works very well. These are the two accuracy enhancers that give a noticeable improvement in grouping.
III. Vortex Flash Hider: Why? Because it works. Extremely well. So much so that we use these exclusively on any defense carbine or AR pistol we have available. Several styles, all for $65. We’ve used night vision to try to see flash from semi-auto firing. No flash. It’s worth the money. http://smithenterprise.com/products04.01.html
The Bottom Line: We recommend learning to build your own AR, (with the help of an expert if you are not one), naturally complying with all applicable laws regarding the purchase of lower receivers and associated parts. You’ll end up knowing your personal protection AR much better than if you had it built by someone or buy it “off the rack.” If you end up doing all of the reliability enhancements we suggest, you’re looking at about tacking on $165 to $275 on your $800 carbine. Not too hard to swallow that pill. And if you have the cash to spend on the suggested accuracy enhancements, you are looking at adding anywhere from $400 to $1500.00 on to your AR for a total high end cost of about $3,000 (a hell of a lot less now, at least for the time being – the 2018 elections might have a significant impact on pricing…now. is. the. time.), give or take. It all depends on what you want to spend. When making your decision to enhance your AR to any particular level, whether it’s only adding a better extractor or going ‘whole hog’ and spending a few grand, always remember this true statement about anything to do with AR’s: You get what you pay for. So, don’t go ‘cheap’ or settle for a ‘reasonable facsimile’. The AR will fail when you don’t want it to fail…
* SPIKE’S TACTICAL – Updated Policy for State and Local Law Enforcement Agency Sales: In light of the recent and numerous anti-gun and anti-2nd Amendment laws pending across the Nation, Spike’s Tactical will be joining other manufacturers and distributors and limiting the business we do with LE agencies in those states. As of today, it will be our policy not to sell prohibited items to government agencies and agents in states, counties, cities and municipalities that have enacted restrictive gun control laws against their citizens.
Spike’s Tactical LLC 2036 Apex Ct. Apopka, FL 32703 Phone: 407-928-2666 Fax: 866-283-2215
DTG tries to support companies like this whenever possible. We are aware that ST is not the only firearm manufacturer out there to take this stance. It’s nice when you see a company stand by the premise that citizens have the same rights to secure their lives and property as law enforcement.