Friday, March 7, 2008

Part One: Starting Out

Courtesy of Fred's M14 Stocks (

We begin today our series on becoming a Rifleman:

Every new year, it’s time to take stock, and time to make resolutions. To resolve to do important things you need to do.

But how do you know what you need to be doing?

You need an anchor -- a framework, a perspective -- to judge what is happening about you, what you want to accomplish, and the effectiveness of your actions.

If you get back to basics, to what this country is all about - freedom, individual liberty - and look about you today, you'll soon terrify yourself with what you see.

It could be the beginning of your wake-up. Like the guy in "The Matrix", waking up in that artificial womb, controlled by the machines - or like that frog in that rapidly-heating pan of water – you’ll be facing a new world, a world where you realize the wake-up by itself is not enough. You need to get busy if you are going to protect freedom, especially if you’re going to make sure it’s passed on to your kids.

Now is when you can set a goal, something to aim for, to work towards and achieve. Sort of a personal AQT - what the AQT targets and Guide do for your shooting, your firm grounding in the American tradition of liberty can do for your life.

That goal is to strengthen Liberty.

You’ll soon realize that there is a ‘soft’ war raging in America today. You’ll see how the mainstream media lies and distorts – whether it’s the exploding pickup trucks that needed a little "help" from the news crew, the "semi-automatic" rifle fired on full auto to please the anti-gun cable news producers, or the phony memo used by a certain "respected anchorman" last year to try and throw a Presidential election.

If you stand for liberty and the American tradition, you’ll see how everything you stand for is under attack by the liberals, using the mainstream media, the entertainment industry, the "public school" educational system, and arrogant lifetime-tenured judges, along with local, state, and Federal government - when they control it.

Despite their recent electoral setback, the liberals are still in the cultural and political driver’s seat. They have successfully convinced most Americans that the environment is more important than freedom, that it's a fair trade to surrender personal freedoms and rights for a little more security, and that while we are all equal before the law, some people are more equal than others.

Now, in the New Year, with the year barely started, there’s an opportunity for you to add your shoulder to the wheel, to do your part in strengthening American freedom and the American tradition of marksmanship.

Now is the time to think about serious things - about being a citizen, and what it means.

It's actually long past time to become a citizen, rather than a parasite. It's time to stop being someone who sits back and lives off the efforts of the founders while liberals busily undermine this country and its greatness.

It means becoming a man, not that gelding laughed about so much around the dinner table by George III and his boys, as well as their modern statist descendants.

It means that you value freedom over promises of "safety", as Ben Franklin warned you to do.

It means that you recognize the Bill of Rights not as some historical out-of-date tommyrot written by dead white slaveholders, but the firm and unalterable present-day shield of personal liberty against the state. As JPFO says, "What is needed today is a ‘Bill of Rights Culture’" – see

It means that you understand your role in protecting all of the American traditions of personal liberty and responsibility. You know that you, your family, and your friends are the ‘ultimate check-and-balance’ in a system built on checks and balances.

It means that you will provide the sword to defend the shield created by the Bill of Rights.

It means that you recognize that the time to fight is now, in the ‘soft’ war, through the existing political system– and that only fools would choose to wait until the war against tyranny turns ‘hard’.

It means that you understand that the fight is a team fight, that you do not fight alone, that you fight with fellow Americans by your side. You realize that divided amongst ourselves, we will fall, but united, we are unbeatable.

It means that you are willing to work – and work hard – to bring back the days where "a man’s home is his castle", where you are a citizen, not a tax-paying serf.

But as you shake off your slumber, look where we stand in the battle for freedom in this country. Even the concept - the notion - of a battle for freedom is alien to the dumbed-down, barely conscious American public. Don’t forget -- that ‘public’ is your friends, your family, your co-workers. You’ll need persistence and courage to take the message of Liberty to the "sleepers" – count on it.

But the "sleepers" can become part of the solution, if you persist. Their resistance makes all the more important the duty laid on you, in your chosen role of freedom fighter.

How do you start protecting freedom? Step one is to learn to shoot well, to qualify as a Rifleman, so as to become proficient in the means of protection for yourself, your family, and your country. Even more importantly, the skills that you develop in becoming a Rifleman – perseverance, discipline, and patience – will serve you well, both in helping others to become Riflemen and in fighting the ‘soft’ political war.

Next step is to awaken fellow Americans to the dangers posed by the liberals and their plan of creeping socialism. In the ‘soft war’, you’ll need more than just your one vote to make a difference. You’ll need a team of educated voters who know the American traditions of liberty and are willing to work to restore those ideals.

After that, you and your team continue by waking up your politicians and educating them...and if they won't be educated, then work together to replace them.

Liberty. It’s a tradition. You keep it alive only if you pass it along. You need to be thinking about how you do it, not only for yourself, but to make up for all those others who are asleep at the switch. It’s your duty to cover for those who will not help to pass Liberty along to the next generation.

You begin at the personal level. You educate others - your family, friends, co-workers - to wake them up, to get them out of the cooking pan, and into protecting and saving freedom. It’ll be discouraging -- most of them will just look at you and accuse you of being paranoid. Others will scoff and ask you for your tinfoil hat - but that's why you have to wake them up.

Just remember how many good men have died to give you what you have today. Don't give up!

And never last, and never least, you get someone down to the range, shooting.

You’ll bring someone just like you, some who is hoping for the best, but planning for the worst.

Both of you will want get to the range, soon, and finally learn how to shoot.

Learn how to shoot – true and fast -- like an American rifleman.

Part Two: What Rifle For a Rifleman?

Courtesy of Fred's M14 Stocks (

Assume you were just born.

What would be really important to learn, once you reached a certain level of maturity?

That 401(k) accounts might be useful to retirement? The various competing prescription programs in Congress? Arguments about school class sizes? What a great and progressive president Bill Clinton was? What?

Well, some of us think it is simple.

You should learn freedom -- about what it is, and most importantly, how we got it. Just as important, you should learn how we keep it, help it to grow, protect it, and - in too many instances - how we get it back again.

Stripped to the bone, it's really a simple story:

We have freedom because somebody fought for it.
We keep it because we are willing to fight for it.
We lose it because we are not willing to fight for it.

We are fortunate that the people who fought and won it for us starting back in 1775 also gave us a written guarantee (that is, the Bill of Rights) that we would have the tools to protect that freedom. But, of course, they couldn't guarantee that we would have the sense or the will to do the hard work of defending Liberty.

It doesn't hurt to recognize how far we have slipped in the battle to maintain freedom here in 21st century America. It's even more important to understand how far the war on terrorism is going to further erode our freedoms. We have to have the sense to know the fight is HERE, and NOW. Once we know that, then we must be convinced of the rightness of our cause, and have the firm determination to use all of the tools available to us in reversing 70 years of creeping socialism.

If we can win the 'soft' fight in the political arena, we'll also win the 'hard' one by avoiding it entirely. Believe me -- you DON'T want to have to fight the 'hard' war. There's no joy in running for your life from people that want to kill you. Win the 'soft' fight by winning the political game, and there'll be no lying in the mud bleeding, no separation from home and family, no interrogation of your children by government agents, no lifetime prison sentences, no public demonization of "those domestic gun-nut terrorists".

The first step in fighting and winning the 'soft' war is mental: knowledge, determination, even anger - at what they have done to our country, to our freedoms. You should be angry -- really angry -- at being required to live in a world of both 'tolerance' and 'zero tolerance'. A world where at the same instant, 'tolerance' means "love every socialist, UN flunky, drug addict foreigner" - and 'zero tolerance' means that patriotism, achievement, love of freedom, and mistrust of government are scorned, punished, and finally, eliminated, mostly in psychiatric facilities. Yep, the Center for Disease Control is already into guns, inevitably leading to treating your political views and your exercise of Second Amendment rights as a 'medical/psychological' problem.

But anger alone won't solve any problem. You need to use that anger to motivate you into taking concrete action.

Let's assume you've already started to fight the 'soft' battles. Sure, you start to educate others - in your family, at work, wherever - to wake them up, get them out of the boiling pan, and into protecting and saving freedom. Some will scoff - but you have to wake them up to save America, so don't give up! And you vote, and get others to vote. And you write letters - 'to the editor', to your politicians.

You also get people down to the range, rifle shooting with you, as you finally learn how to shoot yourself. You do it gladly, because once you recognize that you may someday have to defend freedom, you have a duty to get ready.

Look at it this way: You have life insurance, fire insurance, and health insurance. Now, as you learn to shoot well, you've got freedom insurance. Of course, you hope you never have to call on any of them. But at least the paying the freedom insurance premium -- by learning to shoot yourself and teaching others -- is fun! And the money put into premiums can be gotten back out as dividends, later, if needed to defend our country against foreign enemies and their quisling allies.

But if you ever have to do it, you want to do it with minimum risk and maximum impact, and that means working at distances from 300 to 500 yards, where you are outside their effective range, but inside yours. If you never have to do use those skills in defense of Liberty, if it turns out to be insurance only, which you never have to use, at least you keep the tradition alive, and pass it on, a role secondary to none in importance.

So, with the stage set and you looking for an accurate, hard-hitting rifle to use in the 2A context, where do we go?

It's a favorite pastime amongst shooters, debating the 'best rifle' issue. Most times, the debate is over good and bad points of each firearm. But actually, the debate should be first over the projected role of the firearm. Like golf, with different clubs for long and short ball movement, the best tool you can select will be designed for the specific task you envision. It¹s the crowbar or wrench question. Which is better? Well, it depends on the task, naturally. If you have to open the lid of a wood box, the crowbar fits the bill. If you have to loosen a nut off a bolt, the crowbar is number 10, and the wrench is the choice.

Now, if the hammer ever falls, are you gonna face long-range shooting, beyond 600 yards? Or short-range, urban-style shooting, at 300 yards or less? Or will you be able to work mainly in the 300-500 yard distance, if you so choose? Short range stuff can conceivably be handled with an SKS, AK, AR-15 or other reduced caliber rifle, although the .308 gives a superior punch when obstacles are involved. In addition, the .308 offers better tracer performance for signaling or incendiary effect. According to reports from Somalia, Afghanistan, and Iraq, you also get a knock-down performance with the .308 that the lesser calibers, especially the .223, lack. As one guy says in "Blackhawk Down" regarding intense urban close-quarters shooting, "when I shoot them, I want them to go down. I don't want to have to shoot them over and over."

As a budding Rifleman, you can appreciate the desire expressed in that comment - to do the job once, not again and again. Long range (that is, farther than 500 yards) is clearly .308 territory, with accurized rifle and ammo. But 'rack-grade' rifles can still be effective out there. That being said, it's in the 300-500 yard area where your standard .308 and surplus ball ammo really shine. Over 300 yards, so you are beyond effective range of their popguns, and out to 500, where you are still laying almost a thousand pounds of energy on the target. If you can set it up so you catch your opponent in this area, you'll dominate him, assuming you acquire Rifleman skills - the ability to hit a torso-sized target rapidly with every shot, at ranges from 25 meters to 500 yards.

If you have ever seen one of those WWII weapons training films, where the narrator talks of a machine gun replacing 6 riflemen in fire effect, you might question this approach. Here's where the narrator gets it wrong. First, those 'riflemen' in the film are not real Riflemen - probably no more than 5% of military-trained shooters are 4 MOA to 500 yard genuine Riflemen. So you are really replacing 6 'area-fire' weapons [the not-so-accurate infantrymen] with one 'area-fire' weapon [the machine gun]. And a machine gun is, by definition, an area-fire weapon, meaning you spray bullets in an area, like casting a fishing net, and hit whatever is unlucky enough to be in the area and to catch a bullet. An actual Rifleman is superior to an MG at Rifleman distances, because 90%+ of his shots will be a hit, whereas the MG will be lucky to get 3% hits. For a real-world example, see John George's WWII memoir "Shots Fired in Anger", where an unlucky Japanese Nambu gunner loses when he meets a rifleman.

Six no-kidding Riflemen can equal the firepower - the number of rounds per minute - of an MG, but that six-man team will quickly run out of targets. For the MG, the limit is the number of rounds you have; with riflemen, it is the number of targets. Look at it another way: a bullet from an MG is like a dumb iron bomb. A well-aimed bullet from a Rifleman is like Precision Guided Munitions - addressed to the target, speeding straight and true, with the target its destination.

As an illustration, someone recently shot the granddaddy of all assault rifles, the StG 44, at the RWVA range. In semi-auto mode, every time he pulled the trigger, a popup target at 200 yards went down. When he switched to 2- and 3-rd bursts, he went thru a mag without hitting a single target.

But wait, you say. You don't use full auto at 200 yards, you use it up close. Right?

So, my friend, the enemy is 'in the wire', even past the wire, and on top of you, in numbers. That's when you are going to start wasting ammo with full-auto fire? That's when you are going to wind up with an empty mag only a few seconds after firing your first shot? What sense does that make? One shot, one kill, at 25 yards, right?

As a Rifleman, you're not likely to let them get that close. 300 yards is more than close enough. My point is just that full-auto fire is pretty useless in the 2A context. There is real meaning behind the term 'toys for big boys'.

But what kind of rifle should a Rifleman use? Well, the good news is that most of you guys already have a rifle suitable for training to be a Rifleman. Starting with a very limited budget, the choice is clear. There is no faster bolt action rifle in the world than the No. 4 Enfield with its long-radius peep sight and ten-round magazine. The older No. 1 Mark III model is no slouch, but the No. 4 has a heavier barrel, and peep sights much superior to the open-sighted Mk III. They're cheap -- around $125, but try to get the No 4 Mk 2 or Mk 1/3 with the late trigger modification. Ammo runs about .15/round, and while most remaining surplus .303 ammo is corrosive, these rifles are simple to strip and clean, which you'll need to do that day to keep rust from forming in your barrel. In a pinch, any firearm will have to do, but if you have the time (and smarts) to pick and choose beforehand, and are on a tight budget, this classic is the one to get.

Second up the ladder is a semiauto, the SKS. If you practice with the Enfield until you can get 20 or more hits on a 4 moa target in a minute, you should be able to do 30 or more with an SKS. An SKS will run you up to $50 more than the Enfield, but the ammo is half the price. It is reliable, accurate, lightweight and very effective out to 300 yards, dropping off considerable past that (but still, in a pinch, usable). However, if you're serious about shooting at Rifleman ranges on a tight budget, just note the British .303 is still going strong at 500 yards or more. On the other hand, one of the RWVA regulars uses his stock Yugo SKS and commercial Russian ammo ($90/1000 rounds) to get consistent hits on the popups at 400 yards.

Next up: a big price jump to $400-500 for a CMP M1 Garand or an FN-FAL, both powerful and effective past 500 yards. Garand ammo and clips are getting a little tight, but you still find ammo in the .16-.22/rd range, whereas .308 is in the .12-.15 range. The M1 has the better sights - longer sight radius, better sight adjustment - and has the forward assist bolt handle, but the FN has a 20-rd mag, and extra FN mags are cheap. Add the bolt handle from the heavy barrel version so you have a positive forward assist, and you've cured biggest fault of the standard FAL.

Some people will stop there, with the FAL, as FAL prices range up to over $1200. Kinda raises a question about what you are getting with the cheap ones. But let's go one step farther, for you guys who have the bread and want the best. In my view, that's the M1A. You can still find them at gun shows for about $1100 new in the box. Used American-made ones might go for a hundred or two less than that, most of them are not used much at all. There is no better rifle in the defense of liberty than the M1A, under the standards anticipated above:

maximizing your impact while minimizing your risk,
keeping the other side in your 300-500 yard 'kill zone', while
keeping out of their 200 or 300-yard kill zone.

Where to begin? Why not set a goal? Get a British Enfield or SKS now, if that is all you can afford. Learn to shoot it like a Rifleman. Save up for an M1, or, better yet, an M1A. Make it a goal - a resolution - that you are going to get one. And don't assume you can take years to do it. They may not be around forever, and time is not on your side.

Buying an M1A requires choosing between rack-grade and match grade. You make this choice based on, first, your projected accuracy needs in the defense of the Second Amendment, and, second, selecting the most reliable and long-lasting rifle. Four MOA is good enough to hit a man at 500 yards, and a rack-grade out-of-the-box using surplus ammo should give you 3-4 MOA. Maybe, if you are lucky, and go to the trouble to 'match' various types of ammo to your rifle, you'll find one it really likes and maybe get 2-3 MOA.

Compare those results to the 1 MOA of a thoroughly accurized M1A. On the other hand, the match-grade rifle is much more expensive, requires handloading to optimize performance, and you'll likely give up some reliability - bad in life-and-death situations. In addition, that gilt-edge accuracy can have a short life-span of only a few thousand rounds, at best. On balance, you're better off with the rack-grade, putting the money saved into more ammo and shooting. Repetition is the mother of skill, and you'll want to put your new rifle through its paces -- again and again -- until you and your rifle are a well-practiced team in defense of Liberty.

Note: Everyone interested in becoming a Rifleman would be well advised to pick up a copy of Boston T. Party's Boston's Gun Bible (see Along with inspirational and hard-hitting chapters on Second Amendment issues, Boston has compiled an exhaustive comparison of all battle rifles and .223 carbines. His intensive evaluation says the M1A beats out the FAL by a small margin, but the lack of positive forward assist chambering on the FAL - potentially life-threatening -should be given far greater weight. You need to be able to correct a ammo feed problem quickly and with certainty if it occurs; a failure to feed/chamber is not a rare occurrence. However, add the forward assist modification from the heavy barrel version, and the FAL is back in the game.

Part Three: Learning to Shoot

Courtesy of Fred's M14 Stocks (

Okay, you know what the important issues are - freedom, and its protection against growing encroachment from the Left in this country.

You know that your task is to wake up those sleeping frogs around you, as they slowly poach in the water that gets hotter each year. You understand that you have to get them to the range to learn rifle shooting, and you also have to motivate them to become politically active. Clean up your corner of the country, so to speak.

And you know we need to get back to that concept of a ‘Nation of Riflemen’. You know the importance of the ‘soft’ war, the war being fought out now. You realize that the ‘soft’ war has to be won or, someday, it'll be the ‘hard’ war.

And you know that any rifle is useful in the protection of freedom, as long as you can shoot it and hit the target, but some are decidedly better than others.

The choices, in order of cost:

the British Enfields;
any SKS;
the M1 Garand;
the FN-FAL; and
at the top of Fred’s heap, the M1A (although a properly modified FAL can give it a run for the money).
In a way, it doesn’t matter what tool you use. Get skilled with any rifle by enough practice and you should be able to reliably hit 10 targets a minute at any range out to 500 yards, maybe 600. Don’t doubt it: a well-trained rifleman with a 100-yr-old Lee-Enfield is still a potent threat on any present or future battlefield.

Ask any General with brains what the value of troops like that would be to his command. His guys will fire hundreds of rounds per hit - partly due to the doctrine of ‘suppressive fire’, but mainly due to poor shooting skills. As Riflemen, you and your team will be firing 10-20 rounds per minute, with hit rates – bullets in the black on target – greater than 90%.

Now, which rifle you choose matters to you, because it is your life that will be on the line, and while 10 hits/minute is impressive to the General, it’s no big deal to you. Why? Because you picked a rifle that'll allow you 20 – or more - hits a minute.

Given that a battle is literally life-and-death, you want any edge you can get. General Brasshat would be ecstatic to have his guys get ten hits in a minute, but you want the rifle that’ll do 20 or more. When you choose an M1, an FAL, or an M1A, you are reaching for that upper level of performance. The faster those targets go down, the less they'll be shooting - at you!

Now, let's talk about learning to shoot the buggers. After all, what good is a tool – even the best tool in the world – if you don’t know how to use the darned thing?

If the Day comes on your watch, you want to show up ready to go. You’ll be eager to be effective in defending Lady Liberty, which means being effective on those targets downrange, which most likely will be UN blue. You know -- don’t you? -- that there are millions of committed liberals in this country who would answer the call of President Hillary and UN Secretary General Bubba, wave a little blue UN flag, and gladly unlock the gates to let the foreign villains in. Talk about crazy...

And if the Day doesn't come on your watch, you’ll want to learn to shoot that battle rifle well to preserve the tradition of marksmanship, so you can pass it on to new shooters and the next generation. That way, when the Day comes - and, in the long term, it WILL come - there will be dedicated Riflemen to greet the foreign oppressors and their quisling allies, and show them a proper welcome.

When it comes to learning to shoot, there’s a couple of ways to go about it. The easy way is by ordering our 25-meter AQT targets with the Guide to Becoming a Rifleman []. And you might as well get yourself a copy, because sooner or later, you're going to need the info in the Guide.

But just in case you want to start tomorrow, here's what you do:

1. Using a black marker, make up some one-inch black squares on sheets of white typing paper. Staple them up wherever you can find 82 ft [25m] with a safe backstop.

2. Fire 3 shots at the target, from any position, with your selected battle rifle. Prone might be best. To aspire to Rifleman status, all you have to do is keep the three shots in a 1-inch circle.

Can you do it? If not, you need practice. Sure, you can practice without any instruction, and maybe eventually you will get it right. Just like if you are lost, where if you wander long enough and far enough, you might come out at your destination - possibly. But on the other hand, a map would sure make things easier, quicker - and surer. That's where the Guide comes in.

There are three general areas of shooting instruction which you must master:

holding, and
firing the shot.
Position uses the strongest part of your body -- your bones -- to support the rifle to minimize strain and tremor. Position also lines you up properly so the rifle naturally points at the target.

Holding focuses on reducing strain and achieving consistency. You'll want to know how to get your Natural Point of Aim and use a sling to support the rifle, so you can relax all muscles except those in your trigger finger.

Firing the shot zeroes in on a set routine to follow for each shot, again, to achieve consistency - and to let the rifle go off without disturbing the aim. Done correctly, you’ll also get instant feedback on the shot result.

If you start off right, applying the distilled wisdom of generations of rifle shooters who went before you, it's much easier to learn to shoot. If you start off getting in the right positions, holding correctly, and firing each shot ‘by the numbers’, you'll be better off than if you blunder around, rediscovering and reinventing the wheel.

There are also tricks to speed up your learning: ‘ball and dummy’ (the most valuable), the ‘one-round’, ‘two-round’, and ‘four-round’ drills. The Guide also has a list of the ‘Common Firing Line Errors’ so you can work backward – making sure you avoid the errors everyone else makes. Get the Guide, and you’ll also learn about ‘Shot Group Analysis’, so you can look at your group and identify errors from how your shots are located on the target.

However, there is one essential ingredient that’s not in the Guide. Without it, you’ll almost certainly drop out by the side of the road. On the other hand, if you bring this ingredient to the game, you almost certainly will succeed.

None of the information in the Guide will be of the slightest help in becoming a Rifleman unless you persist. If you want to join that elite group known as Riflemen, you’ll persist, even though the positions are initially uncomfortable. You’ll persist, until you control your body well enough to hold your rifle consistently. You’ll persist, until the numbered steps in ‘firing the shot’ are so familiar you can recite them forward or backward, in your sleep! You’ll persist, until your skills develop to the point where you become a Rifleman and join the top 5% of shooters in this country.

You won’t get there overnight, so you’ll persist. And here’s a tip: it’ll help a lot if you get someone else into your personal ‘becoming a rifleman’ program, learning to shoot with you. That way, you can buck each other up when the going gets tough, and you can share in each other’s triumphs as you each reap the benefits of your hard work.

Sometimes people will become interested in what you are doing on the firing line, because you show up with a definite program of activities. They know that they are aimlessly plinking, without a goal, and that they have no idea about learning to shoot better. They are ripe prospects. Recruit them for your benefit and for their benefit. Shooting with other learners will boost your progress immensely. Even more importantly, when you are done, those fellow students may be the foundation of the Rifleman team you'll want to have ready.

Part Four: Firing the Shot

Courtesy of Fred's M14 Stocks (


If you’re still with us, you’ve taken an important first step – a baby step, but a vital step nonetheless -- towards becoming a Rifleman. Persistence, even from behind that computer monitor, is one of the very few absolutely indispensable abilities that one must have in order to shoot well.

You’ll still have to get out to that 25m range in your backyard (What? You haven’t built one yet? Sheesh….) and actually shoot that rifle, but the fact that you are here reading this post means that you are sufficiently humble and educable so as to try something other than “your way or the highway.”

Believe ol’ Fred when he tells you – your humility and teachability makes you very much one of the chosen few. Good work at controlling your ego and being willing to learn.

Now, to work. Today’s topic is the much neglected process of actually sighting and firing the rifle.

Seems pretty easy, right? Load the darned thing, point it, take the safety off, aim it, and pull the trigger.

Don’t get me wrong. You can do it that way and, at least some of the time, make the bullet go where you want it to go.

Some of the time.

At pretty short distances.

But the difference between a Rifleman and an ordinary shooter is that the Rifleman can put his shots where he wants them to go from any position at any range from 25 meters to 500 yards.

To do that consistently, you have to be a bit more rigorous in how you fire the shot.

One other comment -- experience has shown that where a shooter memorizes the steps below, and then repeats the steps quietly as he actually aims and shoots his rifle, these steps become second nature. As they become second nature, improvements in your shooting will “magically” appear.

“Magically”, that is, if you think hard work, perseverance, and practice constitute “magic”. Come to think of it, to most so-called Americans in these decadent times, maybe those virtues are “magic”, after all.

So what are the steps?

1. SIGHT ALIGNMENT -- Line up the front and rear sights: Simply center the front sight in the rear sight. If you are shooting a rifle with a “peep sight” (more correctly, an “rear aperture sight”), you’ll make sure that you are holding the rifle such that the top of the front sight post is in the center of the opening in the rear aperture sight. If you are shooting a rifle with traditional open sights, you’ll want the front sight post to be located in the center of the rear sight notch, with the top of the front sight post no higher or lower than the top of the rear sight.

Those of you with a scope (which is cheating at this point of the game, by the way) have your sights aligned for you by the scope. Take off that glass now and learn to shoot well without it. Once you know how to do that, you can use that scope, but not be dependent on it. It’s one thing to have a broken scope ruin a hunting trip. It’s another thing to be fighting for Liberty and suddenly lose your effectiveness ‘cuz your scope’s front lens got crushed as you dove for cover. Think Boris from that UN convoy will give you a “do-over”?

In the words of Clint Smith, owner of Thunder Ranch [one of the country’s premier practical shooting schools; see], “Two weeks after the balloon goes up, iron sights will rule the world.”

‘Nuff said.

2. SIGHT PICTURE -- Keeping the sights lined up, bring them onto the target: You have two basic choices in accomplishing this step. First way is to use your muscles and fight your body’s natural alignment so as to bring the sights onto the target. That’ll work – maybe – as long as you can

a) use the same amount of muscle power to force your body into the exact same position for each shot (remembering, of course, that even the “Quick and Dirty” single-sheet Army Qualification Test will require 40 shots), and

b) keep your muscles from growing tired and starting to tremble as you fight your body in keeping your sights on target.

Being a bit stubborn himself, Fred knows that there are lots of you guys that’ll try it your way, fight your body’s natural position, and get frustrated at the difficulties in shooting a good score. The smart ones out of that crowd will admit defeat early and join the really smart guys who were ready to learn the right way in the first place.

Your second choice – the right way – is to enlist your body’s help in holding the sights steady on target. It’s called the “natural point of aim” (NPOA) technique and it’s the secret to rapid and consistent improvement in shooting. We’ll talk more about it next time, but for now, just understand that by moving your body position so that your rifle points naturally at the target, you will eliminate muscle fatigue and improve accuracy dramatically.

Those of you that want to read ahead can read the section in the Rifleman’s Guide on NPOA. You do have a copy of the Guide (, right?

3. RESPIRATORY PAUSE – Deep breath, exhale, hold breath as front sight touches bottom of target: Take a deep breath, let it out slowly, and watch how the front sight dips, then rises as you exhale. Let the front sight rise as you exhale until it barely touches the bottom of the bull’s eye. Now, hold your breath. You have just used a natural act - breathing - to establish your correct elevation.

4A. FOCUS YOUR EYE -- Focus your eye on the front sight: It may be a little hard to do at first, as you naturally want to look at the target. But overcome the temptation and keep your eyes focused on the front sight, even if it means that the target gets blurry. -

4B. FOCUS YOUR MIND – Keep front sight on target: Your concentration should be on “keeping that front sight on the target”. It may help for you to consciously repeat, “front sight on target, front sight on target.” This is the big one!

5. TRIGGER SQUEEZE – Squeeze straight back while front sight stays on target: Here is the tricky part. While you are doing both parts of step 4, you’ll take up the slack and squeeze the trigger straight back. At the same time, you MUST keep your concentration on the front sight! Don’t let the front sight off the target; if it does move off target, gently bring it back on target, while continuing to squeeze the trigger. Of course, just to keep it interesting, you are still holding your breath from step 3’s Respiratory Pause.

You are trying to do three tasks at once. It’s not gonna be natural for most people. However, if you want to be a Rifleman, you have to burn through what seems unnatural until it becomes routine.

Of the three steps, the most important piece is to keep the front sight on the target! This is the part where practice really pays off, and practice is the only way that all three steps [respiratory pause, front sight focus, and trigger squeeze] come together to produce a Rifleman.

Remember: there simply is no substitute for either actual shooting “by the numbers” at the range, “dry firing” [more next time], or a combination thereof.

6. FOLLOW THROUGH -- Sighting eye open, take mental picture of where sights were when rifle discharged, and follow through with trigger: When your rifle fires, you MUST keep your sighting eye open. Without that step, you cannot “call the shot”, or predict, via that mental picture, where the bullet will actually strike the target. If you can’t call the shot, you won’t ever be able to tell whether the shot was bad because you did something wrong, or whether the shot did not go to the aiming point because your sights need adjustment.

The final part of this step – “follow through” – is important, too. If you are concentrating on keeping your front sight on the target, and you continue to concentrate on following through with your trigger squeeze after the rifle discharges, you will greatly reduce the chance that you will move the rifle and duff the shot before the bullet leaves the muzzle. Believe it or not, it happens!

A few more suggestions here at the end:

Make a copy of this post and keep it where you do your reading. Read it slowly, once a night. Think about the concepts, and the reasons behind the concepts.
Write each step down on a 3” x 5” index card. Carry the card with you in your shirt pocket. Read it whenever you get the chance, thinking about the step and the reasons behind it.
Memorize the steps until you can recite them without assistance. A Rifleman has these steps memorized not because he likes to memorize things, but because he knows that the six steps to firing the shot are the key to consistent accuracy.
Finally, grab your rifle and some ammo, and get out to the range. Very slowly at first, put each step into action as you fire each shot at those 1” black squares at 25m/82 feet. Talk to yourself. Be encouraging. Remember why you are doing all of this work. Be confident in your role as a student learning to defend yourself, your family, and your country from those who would oppress them. Have faith in your ability, through methodical hard work and practice, to become a Rifleman.

Part Five: Natural Point of Aim (NPOA)

Courtesy of Fred's M14 Stocks (

Welcome again to our series on becoming a Rifleman – someone who can, with rack-grade rifle and surplus ammo, maintain a 4 MOA group at ranges from 25 meters to 500 yards from field positions.

In Part Four, we discussed the 6 steps to “firing the shot”. Course by now, you have these committed to memory, right?

But for folks who might have just joined us, I’ll repeat ‘em :

1. SIGHT ALIGNMENT -- Line up the front and rear sights

2. SIGHT PICTURE -- Keeping the sights lined up, bring them onto the target

3. RESPIRATORY PAUSE – Deep breath, exhale partially, hold breath as front sight touches bottom of target

4A. FOCUS YOUR EYE -- Focus your eye on the front sight

4B. FOCUS YOUR MIND -– Keep front sight on target

5. TRIGGER SQUEEZE –- Squeeze straight back while front sight stays on target

6. FOLLOW THROUGH -- Sighting eye open, take mental picture of where sights were when rifle discharged, and follow through with trigger

Today, we’re diving deeper into Step Two of “firing the shot” and discussing “Natural Point of Aim” (NPOA).

NPOA is the one factor which separates the Riflemen from the ‘wannabees.’ Like I said last time, you have two basic choices in getting and keeping your sight picture. First way is to use your muscles and fight your body’s natural alignment so as to force the sights onto the target.

That’ll work – maybe – as long as you can:

a) use the same amount of muscle power to force your body into the exact same position for each shot (remembering, of course, that even the “Quick and Dirty” single-sheet Army Qualification Test will require 40 shots), and

b) keep your muscles from growing tired and starting to tremble as you fight your body to keep your sights on target.

Being that you’re one of the bright students here (or, like Fred, you’ve gotten tired of doing the same thing and getting the same results), you’re gonna want to have your body work with you, rather than against you. So you’re going to use the second way, which is your NPOA.

What does NPOA offer you?

If you don’t get your natural point of aim, your shots will be off the center of the target, even if fired perfectly. Why? Because your body is out of position, and you have to muscle the rifle to get your sights onto the target. That muscle strain is difficult to replicate, shot to shot, and it wears out your body’s fine muscle control pretty quickly.

A Rifleman takes his shooting position so that his rifle, with his body relaxed, is pointing at the target. He doesn’t have to fight muscle strain and he makes his job of firing the shot a lot easier. Best of all, his shots will be on target, accurately and consistently, because he’s not fighting his body’s natural position.

Here’s a guarantee: learn to establish your NPOA and use your sling in all positions (more next time), and you’ll reduce your groups by at least 33%, maybe more. Promise.

Sounds like it’s worth the trouble, right?

Thought so.

So how do you find your NPOA?

First, follow Step One of “firing the shot” and align your sights once you are in your shooting position. Next, follow Step Two and get your sight picture by lining up on the target with your sights.

Now the NPOA work begins. Close your eyes, relax your body, taking a deep breath in and let it out.

Open your eyes and check your sight picture. 9 times out of 10, your sight picture will have changed, because your body is now relaxed.

You’ll now reestablish your sight picture by making slight adjustments in your position. If you are in the prone position, you’ll shift position pivoting around your forward elbow to bring the sights back on the target. In other positions, you will make whatever small adjustments in your position so that the rifle points naturally at the target.

Satisfied with your position? OK, let’s test your work.

Once again, close your eyes, relax your body, inhale deeply, exhale, open your eyes, and check your sight picture.

Depending on your position, your sights may be dead on target. If not, repeat the cycle:
- Establish your sight picture
- Close your eyes
- Relax your body
- Inhale deeply
- Exhale
- Open your eyes
- Re-check sight picture
- Make slight adjustments to your position, and
- Repeat

How many times do you have to repeat this process? You’ll want to repeat it until when you open your eyes, your sights are naturally on the target. No more, and no less.

Once you establish your NPOA, MAINTAIN YOUR BODY POSITION from shot to shot by not moving that forward elbow supporting the rifle [prone] or keeping your position steady [all other positions]. Even tougher, you’ll need to keep that same body position as you reload and fire a fresh magazine.

If you move, your shots will move. It’s that simple, and that important.

Now, I know that someone out there is thinking, “Why do I have to go through all of this hooey just to fire a shot?”

Well, guess what?

You don’t have to. You can fire each shot just the way you have always fired each shot.

Thing is, though: if you do that, you’ll get exactly the same results that you always have.

The rest of us want to be Riflemen. We are willing to overcome our sloth and change our habits, whatever the cost, because we want to join that elite top 5% of marksmen in America. We know that if we do that, we’ll be among the best shooters in the entire world.

And we are committed to that goal. Even if that means memorizing some stuff that we don’t want to memorize, and forcing our bodies into positions that are pretty darned uncomfortable, at least at first.

Most of all – we are committed to becoming Riflemen, even if it means going through the NPOA cycle 10 times for every shot, until we get the hang of dropping into a good position from the beginning.

You see, when ol’ Fred told you that NPOA sorts out the wannabees from the Riflemen, he was speaking in two senses.

First, NPOA is the technique that will allow you, with practice, to shoot 20” groups at 500 yards. Without it, you’re toast.

But even more importantly, the learning and application of the NPOA process is where you build the self-discipline, perseverance, and moxie that will benefit you for the rest of your life, both as a Rifleman and as a citizen.

So, right now, while the information is still fresh – go to your gun safe, grab your rifle, ensure that it is unloaded (chamber and mag), and take 15 minutes of dry-firing practice from prone position using the NPOA steps we’ve been discussing. Start slowly, and repeat each step quietly to yourself as you do it. If you can, get your spouse, roommate, or eldest child to help you by reading the steps as you go through them.

Take that practice 3 times a week, 15 minutes a session, in the comfort of your home – practice, persevere, persist. You don’t even have to go to the range – but of course, if you can get to the range, don’t miss the opportunity.

Part Six: Common Firing Line Errors

Courtesy of Fred's M14 Stocks (

We continue on the road to becoming a Rifleman:

You go to a lot of trouble to fire a shot - buy a rifle, ammo, travel a long distance, and lay out in hot and cold weather - so you should want to have that shot impact COT [Center of Target].

Well, watch out for these common errors, and you’ll be ahead of the game:

#1: Failure to keep eyes open when the rifle fires to ‘call’ your shot
To know where the shot just went, you need to take an instant mental photo of where the front sight was when your rifle went off. If you don’t, you lose the information value of feedback from that shot - and you’re almost certainly flinching and/or jerking the trigger. So, keep that eye open - call the shot based on the position of the front sight on the target when the rifle fired, and watch for bullet splash downrange for confirmation of your call. On the firing line, in practice, you aim to continually increase the percentage of shots that you can honestly call 'good' - the front sight was on the target when the rifle fired.

#2: Failure to pull rifle back into shoulder
One of the leading causes of trigger jerk, bucking, and flinching is fear of recoil, and the impact of the rifle on the shoulder. If you come away from the firing line complaining about recoil, or a ‘sore’ shoulder, this one is what you are doing wrong - and it WILL lead to flinching. So grab the pistol grip firmly and pull the rifle back into your shoulder while you fire the shot - so you ‘roll’ with the recoil. A side benefit: extra pressure of the trigger hand on the stock will give the perceived impression of a ‘lighter’ trigger.

#3: Failure to get NPOA
“Natural Point of Aim” has been said to be the one factor which separates the riflemen from the ‘wannabees’. If you don’t get your natural point of aim, your shots will be off the center of the target, even if fired perfectly, because your body is out of position, and you have to muscle the rifle onto the target. A rifleman takes position so that his rifle, with his body relaxed, is pointing at the target. He doesn’t have to fight muscle strain and he makes his job of firing the shot a lot easier - and his shots will be on target. Get your NPOA by lining up on the target with your sights, closing your eyes, relaxing your body, and taking a deep breath in and letting it out. Open your eyes and shift position pivoting around your forward elbow, to bring the sights back on the target. Repeat until when you open your eyes, your sights are naturally on the target. Once you establish your NPOA, keep it by not moving that forward elbow supporting the rifle [prone] or keeping your position steady [all other positions].

#4: Failure to pull ‘trigger’ leg up tight behind trigger arm to absorb recoil and generally tighten position [prone position]
Try it and you’ll see your front sight settle down like it should. Grasping the forearm with the non-trigger hand and pulling slightly back into the shoulder may also help in rapid fire [what other kind of shooting is there?].

#5: Failure to maximize your feedback
Shooting is always learning, and every shot you fire should be a learning experience. If you're in a match, and screw a string of fire up so badly you are ashamed, you keep shooting just as hard as before, with those educational purposes in mind.

#6: Failure to ‘followthrough’
By the time you think “Followthrough” as you hold the trigger back after the shot, this step in ‘Firing the Shot’ is done. But don’t overlook it, because you need to do it.

#7: Failure to keep the sight on the target
The most important step in “Firing the Shot”. Ignore this, and you might as well be shooting blanks, or setting off firecrackers. This is a 2-part step: physically focusing your eye on the front sight, and firmly focusing your mind - your concentration - on ‘keeping that front sight on the target’. Whatever else you do, you must do this for the shot to hit COT.

#8: ‘Flinching’, ‘bucking’ or ‘jerking the trigger’
“Flinching” is anticipating recoil by an abrupt backward motion of your shoulder to get ‘away’ from it. “Bucking” is anticipating recoil by shoving your shoulder forward to ‘make up’ for or ‘resist’ the impact. “Jerking” is snapping the trigger quickly to get the disagreeable experience over with as soon as possible. All three will throw your shot off the target - in fact, are guaranteed to throw your shot off the target. All three (usually lumped under the generic “flinching”) are natural responses to your body’s abhorrence of sudden impacts. You have to work to control your body, so the rifle is not disturbed by any movement at the time the hammer falls. You do this in several ways. One is to eliminate the recoil impact by pulling the rifle snugly back into your shoulder, so that there is no impact, and you simply ride the ‘push’ of the recoil. If you don’t pull it back tightly into your shoulder, the rifle has time to pick up speed and slam your shoulder, and you start to flinch, buck or jerk the trigger in response. So pull it back into your shoulder, and you’ll do OK. Second, keep your eyes open so you can take that instant mental photo of where the front sight was on the target at the instant of firing. If you can’t do this, you know you are guilty of flinching, bucking, or jerking. Third, concentrate on keeping the front sight on the target. Pulling the trigger is not the main task - No! Keeping the front sight on the target is the main task. So practice until that trigger finger is ‘educated’ to take the slack up and steadily increase the pressure when the front sight is on the target, ‘freeze’ when the front sight drifts off the target, and continue the squeeze when the sight is back on the target. You’ll have to do this in the 6-10 seconds you’re holding your breath. If you don’t fire the shot in that time, simply relax, take a deep breath and start over. [Trigger finger tips: middle of the pad of the first joint, or the first joint itself, should be where the trigger touches the finger. Keep the finger clear of the stock (‘dragging wood’) as it will throw your shot off. Visualize a straight pull back, not to the side.] Once out in the 'real world', you'll find that with practice, you'll punch out 20 good shots in 30 seconds, if you ever need to shoot fast. Even the best riflemen can develop a flinch, so periodically do the ‘ball and dummy’ drill to test for one, and then continue ‘ball and dummy’ until you are ‘cured’ (but remember that rarely will the cure be permanent, so you still periodically recheck). Twenty rounds should suffice for both the detection and the cure. Have a friend ‘load’ and hand the rifle to you [make sure all safety precautions are observed!] either with or without a round in the chamber. Usually, he will start off with a live round to ‘juice up’ any tendency to flinch, and then give you an empty one to see if there is movement in the muzzle when the hammer falls. He continues with ‘empties’ until your muzzle doesn’t move. Then he feeds a live one followed by more ‘empties’ - actually, he is trying to ‘smoke out’ your flinch and get it to show itself. He continues until he is convinced that your flinch is gone. Along the way he will watch your aiming eye to make sure it stays open when the rifle goes off.

#9: The biggest failure is to go to the range without a goal
Your goal should always be to improve your shooting, and come away from each session on the range a better shot. And you do that by firing the Army Precision Combat Rifle Qualification Course - which Fred’s has reduced to 25m for speed and convenience. Those in the know at Riverside who have fired the full course at 100, 200, 300 and 400 yards will tell you - “the course at 25m is harder!” And each time you fire it, you have a numerical score by which you can measure your progress towards becoming a good shooter - a RIfleman!

#10: Failure to use your sling
For over 100 years, the sling has been in military use as an aid to marksmanship. Because of the tendency of the M16 barrel to flex under sling pressure, the sling has been slighted in the last few decades. But make no mistake: the sling is one of the biggest aids to accurate shooting that you have, and you always have it with you, to carry the rifle. So, never fire a shot without the sling. Use the hasty sling for standing and anytime you’re in a rush, or may need to move fast after firing a shot; and use the loop sling for prone and sitting when you have the time, but try to make sure your upper arm is padded to block muscle tremor and heartbeat, either with a shooting jacket or heavy clothing. It’s hard to estimate how big a factor in accuracy the sling is. A minimum of 20%, going up to 80% or more. It will help in rapid fire, keeping your position tight, speeding your recovery for the next shot. The bottom line is, always use your sling - in every position, for every shot.

Click on these links for some diagrams on sling use:

Attaching the M1907 traditional leather sling:
Attaching the 1907 Sling

Using the M1907 sling:
Using the 1907 Sling

Using the M1 web sling:
Using the M1 Web Sling

#11: Failure [sitting position] to put both elbows in front of both knees
If you’ve been to the range much, you’ve seen a new shooter trying to shoot sitting - with that trigger elbow up high in the air, almost like he’s shooting standing, totally ignoring that nice big fat knee, as steady as a bench, and less than a foot away. The shot will be much better, with that trigger elbow down on the front of the knee, where it belongs (NOT on top, where recoil will knock it off, slowing recovery time). And that other elbow, the one under the rifle? Hunker forward and drop that sucker on the target side of its knee - again to resist recoil. A good sitting position will initially break your back until you get stretched, but once everything falls into place, you can shoot nearly as good as you do off the bench! Don’t sell the position short, especially if you are on a downward slope and need to shoot over grass, etc.

#12: Copy this checklist & take it to the range with you
You'll be amazed at what a quick review of these lessons can do for the rest of your range time. Make it a habit to take a look through the list as you are eating your "range lunch", then fire your remaining shots even better than before!

Part Seven: Fight Alone, Fail Alone

Courtesy of Fred's M14 Stocks (

Today, Fred talks about why teamwork is the only way to win, whether in the 'soft war' or something more grim:

The Rifleman knows that the defense of Liberty is a team effort, and that's why he always defends Freedom as part of a team. As one Army instructor observed back in 1942:

"Experience has shown that in the absence of team training, the fire of a group of riflemen in battle is poorly controlled and is haphazardly directed. This fact remains true even where every individual in the group is an expert shot (emphasis added)...."

So becoming a Rifleman is only the first step -- an important step, a worthy step -- but only a first step. If it ever comes to defending Liberty, if you are out there all by yourself....well, it'll get lonely, at the very least. Although you'll be effective firing twenty or maybe even thirty well-aimed shots per minute, you will be terribly vulnerable both to frontal and flanking attacks. By fighting alone, you will be ignoring one of the central Rifleman rules -- to stay alive to fight tomorrow.

Compare that "lone wolf" vulnerability to the concentrated firepower of three trained guys, shooting as a Rifleman team. Sixty, even ninety well-aimed shots, each minute, penetrating the heart of the foe. Comrades to each side of you, sharing the pain, and the joy, of the battle for Freedom. A miniature 'band of brothers', guys you can count on to never let you down, who'll share the risks and cover your butt while doing it.

If you are really lucky through persistence in recruiting, you'll be able to set up a second Rifleman team. Think what tactical advantages two Rifleman teams offer: mutual support (thwarting both frontal and flanking attacks), fire and movement, and mass rifle fire from different points (devastating to an opponent). With two teams, you also move more securely, using the techniques of traveling, traveling overwatch, and, if necessary, bounding overwatch.

For all members, your team's security will go through the roof, while your effectiveness goes up - not 2X - but 8X or more. And during training, competing teams sharpen up everybody's shooting.

Most importantly, with the 'soft war' in full fury right now, that same group effort which will sustain you through a Rainy Decade will make your team's political power almost irresistible, at least to any politician who wants to keep his job. The "force multiplier" effect of allied voters communicating in a coordinated fashion will be even more powerful when you and your teams network with other teams.

But your basic problem, now that you are a Rifleman or soon-to-be Rifleman, is to find two more kindred souls -- today.

The prospect, in present-day America, is kinda depressing. You'll be surprised at the percentage of gun owners ignorant of both the past and the future. People who should know better instead are content to sit and wallow in that slowly heating pan of water. Your audience is crowded with lazy, arrogant know-it-alls, nurtured by the best in liberal education, who are going to wilt like a spider on a hot brick as soon as you mention freedom and the traditional role of the rifleman.

But you will persist.

You'll persist, because it's part of being a Rifleman.

You'll persist, despite discouragement, rejection, and scorn, because you know the battle for freedom has to be won.

You'll persist because you understand that the only people who are going to win it are people who are mentally alert, know their history, respect those brave men who have fought before in defense of freedom, and are determined that freedom will not be lost on their watch.

And the only way to get those sloths awake is to wake 'em up yourself. Your duty as a Rifleman is to be the stone in the pond, sending ripples traveling in all directions, disturbing the existing calm.

Remember, by becoming a Rifleman, you have accepted, at least implicitly, the responsibility to:

1) learn how to shoot, consistently from field positions, at or above the Rifleman standard of 4 MOA from 25 meters to 500 yards;

2) recruit future Riflemen;

3) educate your fellow Americans about the need to become Riflemen, to stop further Second Amendment infringements, and to bring back what the JPFO ( calls a "Bill of Rights culture"; and

4) spread that message wherever and whenever you can.

The short form?

Persistence is the key -- the only key -- to meeting those four obligations.

Now, how you go about your recruiting is up to you. But a few suggestions can be made.

A prime way is to simply let others see you shooting to become a Rifleman. As people watch you going through your shooting drills, welcome their interest by letting them try the AQT with you. Encourage them to overcome their miserable lack of skills with a little practice, using yourself as an example. This is probably the easiest way to bring new members into the fold.

Once you get a couple of guys lined up as "students", your recruiting may tend to snowball, so that the second team recruits quicker than the first. You see, your first team's practice sessions are the bait for the next crew -- or so you hope it will be, anyway.

Another more risky way to recruit is to attempt to wake people up through words and information. Understand though -- for whatever reason, you'll find even many gunowners to be less than receptive. Most gunowners who'll do anything at all will donate $35 to the NRA and go back to sleep on the couch.

Even though to you it seems as plain as the nose on your face, those folks on the couch just don't appreciate what gunowners can accomplish by working within the system -- and working together. That cheap surplus ammo you are able to buy in unlimited quantities now? You know it came from the Reagan years, and the 1986 Gun Owner's Protection Act. In other words, that case of $150 South African 7.62 ball in your safe today was brought to you by an Act of Congress. Without wide-awake, no-fooling Riflemen campaigning and voting for the right people, it would never have happened.

The Good Guys can win. Most times, it happens only by work -- lots of hard, unrelenting slogging towards a goal that may be only barely visible, at least at the beginning.

Sometimes, it happens by luck, or by fate.

But don't fool yourself. Luck and Fate are darned slim reeds to pin your future happiness on.

We have to get this country to wake up, so that the Good Guys win by design, on purpose, through hard work - not by the whim of fate. If we don't, dark days await us.

Right now, we are in the pre-WWII period, fat and complacent, sure of our superpower status. Even 9/11 did not really wake us up. We are still bankrolling the Middle Eastern lunatics who would slaughter us, rather than develop domestic oil and gas resources. Worse yet, we are still pouring billions in trade into the Chinese economy, which is dominated by the Chinese Communist military, just like we did 70 years ago with Japan.

And those lean and hungry Chinese boys are not going to be stupid. If you want a taste of what the future possibly holds, check out Jeff Head's Dragon's Fury novels at It's a five volume series, and it is explosive!

Because the entire country is asleep to the lessons of history, we are going to repeat some bloody chapters in our foreign policy history once again, just as soon as we elect another appeasement-at-any-cost liberal to the Presidency.

That's why now is the time to build your Rifleman team. While you know it will likely be hard to get other team members on board, it'll help you narrow the search if you know the kind of person you are looking for, so you don't waste time on the wrong - i.e., worthless - prospects. "Summer soldiers" and "sunshine patriots" have no place on a true Rifleman team.

No better advice can be found than in an old AMTU Rifle Instructors Guide. Here's their list of questions to ask:

Is your prospect easily perturbed?
Does he quit easily?
Is he easily discouraged by unfavorable conditions?
Is he susceptible to rumors?
Does he worry too much about equipment?
Does he have the will to win?
Is he cooperative?
Can he work with others, of different skill levels?
Is he ambitious?
Is he honest?
Is he reliable, even when being so cuts against his interests?
Let's see - steadiness, doggedness, calmness, determination, honesty - sure 'nuff sounds like a good person to have around if TSHTF. Go ahead -- be honest. How do you stack up?

Now someone is sure to ask -- "But Fred, what about shooting?"

Don't get me wrong. As you build your team, you bet you're gonna work on your team's shooting skills. They will need to become Riflemen, after all. But in recruiting, you should remember an old business saying -- "Hire for attitude, train for skill." If your recruit doesn't have the gumption to persist and burn through the frustrations that he will encounter on the path to Rifleman status, he'll be less than worthless.

Why? 'Cause at the same time that you're pouring your efforts down the dry hole of your prospect's bad attitude, there's likely to be another recruit who does have the stuff to become a Rifleman, just waiting to be found.

Plant your Rifleman seeds where there's a good chance they'll grow into strong trees. Perseverance and willingness to learn are the good soil and water for this particular crop.

Find those character traits listed above, and you'll have a good prospect. Then, using your experience and the Guide to Becoming a Rifleman (, help that recruit through the struggles that you went through as your shooting improved. Your prospect may not be perfect - after all, it's unlikely he'll be able to shoot well, for one thing - but as long as he is willing to learn both the shooting and the teammate skills, I'd sure give him a chance! And once those Rifleman skills are in the bag, you and your new Rifleman should start to integrate team shooting drills into your practice -- just read the Guide for lots of suggestions.

Remember -- you are unlikely in the current environment to find anyone decisive enough to commit to the team idea, which is why the first technique suggested earlier is a good one. You don't sign them up in advance. Nope - you sucker them in gradually, until they are already a team member and confident enough to be decisive.

Part of the outcome of Rifleman training is a new personality - confident, decisive, knowing who you are, what you can do, what you should be doing, knowing your goals, working to attain them. As the AMTU guide put it, "Individuals must possess outstanding qualities of sportsmanship." Of course, this was written back fifty years ago, before the angry, victimized, she-male types who are so prevalent today.

So what? So it's harder to find good-natured people with integrity. Heck, it's hard to do anything in the battle for freedom. Just that first step away from the couch in front of the TV is too much for many people.

You'll persist, however, because you are a Rifleman.

One final thing: As a Rifleman, and as part of a rifle team, you want to get prepared and to be the best shot you can be. You know and understand your role in the defense of liberty, as visualized by the Founders when they drafted the Constitution.

But never forget the 'soft war' that's raging now. You and your team should be fighting that 'soft war', in hopes of avoiding a future 'hard war'. You and your team should be waking people up, personally & with Letters To the Editor, educating 'em who to vote for, getting 'em to the range, and helping them to shoot well.

And guess what? In the 'soft war', it doesn't even matter one tinker's damn if some of your teammates can even shoot!

What do I mean? The 'soft war' is a political war, and the ammunition in a political war consists of contacts and ballots. Think of contacts -- letters, faxes, emails, phone calls -- as rifle rounds, while ballots -- "fired" only on Election Day -- can be considered as heavy artillery shells. There's no reason at all why you shouldn't get as many "soft warriors" as you can, each sending as many pro-Second Amendment contacts -- pro or con, as appropriate for the particular politician -- as they can send between elections. Then on Election Day, a barrage of pro-Second Amendment, pro-freedom ballots comes crashing support of our pro-freedom political allies, and in opposition to our socialist, gun-grabbing foes.

In those 'soft war' battles, anyone -- as long as they are of voting age and registered to vote -- can and will be a freedom fighter, even if they have no desire whatsoever in learning how to shoot.

Pretty neat, eh?

So, non-shooters can and should be a part of your team in defense of Freedom. And you never know -- lots of us didn't grow up with guns. We came to the tradition through people who cared enough about us and our country to be patient with us. You, as a Rifleman, need to be patient as well. Remember, the crime is not shooting badly. Everybody shoots badly when they start out. The crime is not learning to shoot better.

Sure, it's tough -- all of it. But not tough compared to what it'll be if you DON'T do it. So you do it, because it is important. Don't forget to have fun, too!

Part Eight: Ammo and Sights

Courtesy of Fred's M14 Stocks (

A few caveats/suggestions:

1) Avoid Indian surplus 7.62 like the plague. Scanning the boards over the past few months, the horror shows (stuck cases, etc.) far outweigh any savings gained by the cheap price.

2) Folks shooting calibers other than 7.62 will find food for their machines as well. The key part is to buy as much as you can now, while ammo is cheap. You’ll need enough for learning, teaching others, maintaining your own skill, and supplying your “Rainy Day/Decade” fund. That’s a lot of ammo – a lot more than you have right now, I’ll bet. See suggestions #4 and #5 below.

3) If you can do it, many dealers will give you a substantial cash discount if you pick up at their location (plus you save shipping costs and (sometimes) sales tax). The money you save can pay for the trip, believe it or not! Contact the dealers and see what they’ll do for you.

4) You need more ammo. Buy at least a case for each rifle today. Plus at least 5 mags for each rifle – buy more if you need ‘em.

5) See suggestion #4. Really.

If you remember one thing about ammo, it is this – you can never have enough ammo, let alone too much. Figure out how much you will need over the next year, and multiply that amount by five, at least. Then take that amount and multiply it by five again. That’s how much ammo every Rifleman should have on hand for each rifle, all of it easily accessible. Anything less, and you are taking a chance that what can be easily purchased today will be so in the future.

Wanna bet on that? How much?

How about your life? How about your country?

Do you really want to take that chance?

Enough about ammo. Now, let’s talk about what you need to get that ammo to go where you want it to go – downrange, on target, in a tight group, at a high rate of fire.

Sight settings and trajectory are keys that will unlock many doors. It’ll take a bit of work to learn what you need to know, but then a Rifleman never shys away from the work need to defend Liberty.

There are two basic sets of facts you need to memorize. The first is the relationship between where you shots are hitting on the target, the measurement unit of ‘minutes of angle’ – also known as ‘MOA’, and your sight settings.

MOA is what your sights are graduated in, whether an M1/M1A or scope. We’ll talk about other rifles later.

As the first step, you need to know that 1 MOA = ¼ inch at 25 meters. That distance is important, ‘cuz that’s where you’ll be doing a lot of practice shooting, until you acquire Rifleman skills.

That same 1 MOA equals 1 inch at 100 yards. How? Ratios – that icky stuff you avoided back in school. ¼ inch is to 25 yards as 1 inch is to 100 yards. Put another way, 100 yards is four times as much as 25 yards, right? And 1 inch is four times greater than ¼ inch, right?

Memorize this ratio so that you have it down cold: 1 MOA = ¼ inch at 25 yards = 1 inch at 100 yards = 2 inches at 200 yards = 3 inches at 300 yards = 4 inches at 400 yards = 5 inches at 500 yards.

Memorize that ratio, and you are ahead of 95% of shooters in America, sad to say. Do it, and you will be on you way to thinking in MOA whenever you adjust your rear sight or scope.

Now, let’s apply that ratio to some shooting situations. We’ll start at 25M (which is actually 27.32 yards, or 82 feet – we’re talking close enough for Government work, as the saying goes), and have you fire three good shots at your 1” black square.

You go downrange, check the target, and find that the center of your group is 1 inch below the aiming point, and ½ inch to the left of the aiming point.

First step is to ask yourself if you fired good shots. If not, your group is of no use to you, so go back and fire 3 good shots. Keep at it, using your sling, the Rifleman’s Guide (, and your training until you do.

Assuming that the first group were all good shots, it’s time to think about how to adjust your rear sight. If you have a Garand or M1A, your job is simple. All you have to do is remember that each click – windage or elevation – is equal to 1 MOA.

Here’s how you do it:

1) Inches: How many inches, for both elevation and windage, is the center of my group away from my aiming point? In this case, you are 1 inch below the aiming point (elevation), and 1/2 inch to the left of the AP for your windage.

2) MOA: The second step is to convert your inch calculations from step #1 above into MOA for that distance. You have memorized the fact that 1 MOA = ¼ inch at 25 meters, so what you need to do is figure out how many ¼ inch units (or MOA units) there are in your 1 inch low elevation, ½ left windage calculations. Anybody know the answer? Anybody? Bueller???

That’s right – 1 inch low elevation equals 4 ¼ inch units, which in turn equals 4 MOA low. ½ inch left windage equals 2 ¼ inch units, which equals 2 MOA left windage.

3) Clicks: Now that you know what your elevation and windage errors are, it’s a simple matter to adjust your M1/M1A sights, on which 1 click for standard sights always equals 1 MOA for both elevation and windage. You know, based on your calculations above, that you are 4 MOA low, so add 4 clicks “up” elevation (that’s the left-side knob) on your rear sight. You should be turning the knob back towards you to add elevation. Same drill for windage, which is the right-side knob on your rear sight. Your windage error is 2 MOA left, so add 2 clicks right windage (checking the markings on the knob so that you know you are turning it the right way.

Now, when you fire your confirmation 3-round group and those 3 shots are each good shots, your rounds should be hitting right at your aiming point.

Bingo! You have established your 25M zero, which also equals your 200 yard zero, because of the trajectory of the standard NATO load. You are also only one step away from setting your Battle Sight Zero (BSZ), which allows you to shoot without worrying about sight settings all the way out to 275 yards.

Part Nine: Battle Sights and Staying Alive

Courtesy of Fred's M14 Stocks (

Besides learning how to firing a shot ‘by the numbers’, there are two other basic sets of facts you need to memorize as you continue to grow into a Rifleman. The first issue is ‘minutes of angle’ – MOA, and the second topic is your rifle’s basic trajectory.

We covered MOA in our last discussion. To recap, this is what you need to know: 1 MOA = ¼” at 25 meters (where you’ll be doing a lot of practice shooting, until you acquire rifleman skills), 1” at 100 yards, 2” at 200, 3” at 300, 5” at 500, and so forth. Basically, just remember an inch for each hundred yards. Memorize that, and you’ll start thinking in MOA whenever you need to adjust your rear sight or scope.

Today, we are going to talk about trajectory, a key that will unlock many doors.

Central fact -- military .30 caliber rounds are pretty much the same out to 500 yards. Learn the trajectory for one, and you can do pretty well - good enough for government work - with any military .30 caliber.

For those of you using either a Garand or an M1A, your trajectory studies are pretty simple. Just memorize the following numerical combination: 3, 3, 4, 4, 5, 5, 6, 8, 8.

What’s that?

Those are your rear sight’s “come-ups” out to 1000 yards using standard M2 150 grain FMJ ammo for your .30-06 Garand and the standard M80 147 grain FMJ in 7.62x51/.308. Learn those come-ups cold, and you’ll be on target all the way out to 1000 yards, as long as you know (1) your rifle’s initial sight settings and (2) the range to your target.


Simplicity itself. Assume you have a 300 yard zero on your rifle and you know your target is at 400 yards. Just rotate the left dial on your rear sights four clicks up (rotating the dial back towards you, or, in other words, clockwise), and fire your shot by the numbers.

Bang, hit, next target. Easy as pie.

Note from Cabinboy: It helped me to memorize the come-ups with the associated ranges, like this:

100-200 3
200-300 3
300-400 4
400-500 4
500-600 5
600-700 5
700-800 6
800-900 8
900-1000 8

See bottom of page 4 of the Guide; order at

If you just wanna walk, before you learn to run, here’s all you need to really know: 3, 3, 4, 4. Those four digits give you the come-ups from 100 yards out to 500 yards. Thus, to shoot at 200 yards instead of 100, you raise your sights 3 MOA/3clicks; from 200 to 300, another 3 MOA/3 clicks, etc.

Those of you using scopes will have to read your documentation. Some scopes may have quarter-minute (4 clicks = one MOA) or eighth-minute (8 clicks = one MOA) adjustment. Regardless, as long as you know the come-up in MOA, just apply the necessary clicks to move that amount in MOA.

Let’s say you zero at 100 yards, like most guys do. To put your 200 zero on, you simply raise your rear M1/M1A sight 3 clicks, or 3 MOA - the first ‘3’ on the list you just memorized. To shoot 300 yards, you raise your sight another 3 clicks - the second ‘3’ on the list. To shoot 400, raise it 4 more, and 500, another 4. Hence, the ‘3, 3, 4, 4’. If you forget, count the clicks on your M1/M1A’s rear sight between the marked distances.

Sound too easy? Don’t worry about that. Remember, when we talk about Rifleman standards, we are talking a group size of 4 MOA from field positions, using rack-grade rifle and ammo. That’s good enough to hit a man-sized target out at 500 yards (or 1" at 25 m), which is good enough if you ever have to defend freedom. And it’s good enough to put you in the elite down at your local gun club. These come-ups are the key to that kind of performance, once you are a Rifleman.

But first you’ll have to become a Rifleman. You’ll have to get to the place where you can fire a good shot. If you can’t shoot 4 MOA from prone or sitting, you aren’t going to benefit a lot from knowing your trajectory - or any other knowledge, such as techniques for target detection and range estimation. While those last two tasks come before firing the shot, they are useless if you can’t fire a good shot. So if you can’t shoot 1” groups at 25 m - 82 ft - or 4” groups at 100 yards, with a rack-grade rifle and surplus ammo, from prone or sitting, get our AQT targets and Guide to Becoming a Rifleman - now!

One other point we have to get out of the way. The rear sight on the M1 Garand is marked in yards; the sights on the M14/M1A are marked in meters. It’s not a real big difference - meters are about 10% more in distance than yards, so 100 meters = 110 yards [actually 109, but close enough], 200 = 220, etc. Where it comes into play is your Battlesight Zero [BSZ], which is your friend under pressure, ‘cuz if you are within your BSZ setting, you just aim at center mass and let fly without worrying about elevation.

BSZ on the Garand is 275 yards, and on the M14/M1A, it’s 250 meters. Now that you know the meter/yard relationship, you know 250 meters = 275 yards, so the BSZs are the same. In other words, both rifles are sighted to shoot pointblank out to 300 yards. At 300 yards, they will both impact 1 MOA low on the target. Since you now know moa, you know that’s 3 inches low at 300 yards, meaning you aim at center mass, and your bullet will strike above the navel. Your target is not gonna know or appreciate the difference, nor will the folks who’ll dispose of what’s left.

The rear elevation knob of the M1 and M14 being interchangeable, you need to check your rifle and see which you have. The M1 is marked out to ‘12[00]’, and the M14 goes out to ‘11[00]’ and, in addition, is marked ‘M’ for meters.

In each case, BSZ is your 200 zero, plus 2 clicks - or your 300 zero, less one.

Here’s how all this come together, on the range or in the field:

Example 1: Your 3-shot sighter group at 25 meters is 1” low and ¾” left. What sight adjustment do you need to make? Use the formula from last time – “inches, minutes, clicks”. You already have the “inches”, and at 25 meters each minute equals ¼”, so the clicks on your M1/M1A will be 4 UP and 3 RIGHT. (On your scope, you’ll have to multiply by the number of clicks per MOA - usually either 4 or 8.) Now when you go back to the firing line, while the guys around you are guessing their sight changes - usually wrong – you’ll know that your changes are right.

Example 2: Your sighter group at 300 is 1” low and 3” right. Change? Well, at 300 each MOA = 3 inches, so make no vertical change for iron sights, since you don’t have 1/3 of a click, and put 1 LEFT on. For a scope, you’d go UP 1 or 2 clicks, depending on how your scope is calibrated.

Example 3: You confirm your 200 zero is 11 clicks UP and 1 LEFT on your M1/M1A sights. How? Once you have verified your groups at your sight-in distance, you count the elevation and windage clicks back to zero for each element, then record your results in your shooter’s notebook. You are keeping a shooter’s notebook, aren’t you?

In this situation, what is your BSZ?

13 clicks up, as related above (BSZ = 200 zero + 2 MOA, or 2 clicks with M1/M1A sights).

Example 4: Your SKS with iron sights set at 200 yards shoots 6” high at 200. You don’t have your front sight tool with you, and you want to do well in the competition. What to do? The solution: 6” high at 200 is 3 MOA, which is the same 3 MOA you would raise the sight to go from 100 yards to 200 yards (remember – all .30 caliber/7.62 mm military ammo shoots similarly, at least out to 300 yards). So, simply lower your rear sight to “100”, taking those 3 moa back out, and you’ll take out those 6” high at 200 yards and be right on!

Example 5: Your best zero is a 200 yard confirmed zero of 11 UP and 1 LEFT. The target is 500 yards away. Can you hit it? Yes, if you adjust your sights per your trajectory. Simply raise them 3 + 3 + 4 clicks to go to 300, thru 400, then to 500 yards, and you¹ll hit a man-sized target. (You¹ll be alert when firing at an unconfirmed zero to spot the first shot if there is a miss, and adjust accordingly. In all cases of calculated sight adjustment, the careful shooter - the rifleman - will confirm the zero at the actual distance at the first opportunity.)

Example 6: You fire a sighter group at 100 yards. The group prints 2” high. How do you adjust to get your BSZ on your sights? Your BSZ will print 5” above POA at 100 yards. How do you know that. Your BSZ is your 100 zero + 3 MOA to get to 200 yards plus 2 more MOA to get to 275 yards. This 5 MOA total translates to 5” high at 100 yards. So to get your isgher group up where it should be, you raise your sights 3 clicks/3 MOA/3 inches at your 100 yard range.

Example 7: Your friend brings his new Romanian Dragonov in 7.62x54R down to the range and is trying to sight it in. It shot high at 25 meters, so he thought he would try it at 200. Bad idea - if it shoots high at 25, it will shoot proportionately high at 200. Sure enough, down at 200, his sighter group was 18” high.

“What do I do?” he says. “The sights are all the way down at 0.” So I said, “Inches, minutes, clicks! Your shot group on the target is in inches; your sights are in clicks; and the bridge across is minutes of angle [MOA].”

We went back up to the firing line and looked at the rear sights. An elevation drum marked in meters, with an even 2 clicks from one yardage to the next, indicating a 50-yard graduation.

I said, “Here’s what we’ll do. The rifle sights are at zero, and it shoots 18” high at 200 – that’s 9 MOA - remember, an MOA is one inch at 100, 2 inches at 200, etc. So the rifle is shooting 9 MOA high at 200. Since the trajectory is about +3 MOA to 300, and +4 MOA to 400, and +4 MOA to 500 - a total of 11 MOA - you could say the rifle is zeroed at a little less than 500 yards. All we have to do is index the elevation knob to 500, and then bring the sight back to 200.”

Loosening the elevation drum, I held the elevation knob steady while I rotated the elevation drum so the sight was set for 500 yards, tightened the lock screws, rotated the knob to ‘200’, and then said, “Fire a group at 200 yards.”

That group was 3 inches [1.5 MOA] high and 3 inches [1.5 MOA] right. DOWN one and LEFT one would put him right on!

As a Rifleman, you’ll soon start thinking in terms of hundred yard increments, and minutes. To you, a hundred yards (out to rifleman max 500 range) is 3 MOA. Likewise, 3 MOA equals a hundred yards. So if your buddy is trying to sight in his British Enfield at 25 yards, and his group is ¾” low, you immediately can tell him, “Add a hundred yards on the sight”, since his rear sight is graduated in yards. How do you know to tell him this? Because each quarter-inch at 25 yards is one MOA, so he is 3 MOA low, so - since 3 MOA = a hundred yards - all he needs is another hundred on his rear sight.

For practical use out to 500, this information’ll get you started. If you want to be effective at longer ranges, learn your trajectory out to 700 or 900 or 1000 yards, and understand that you’ll be juggling a lot more balls in the air in order to make a hit. If you’re planning to go this route, take the time to find a 1000 yard range and get some long-distance zeroes. Take your time, fire each shot by the numbers, and write down EVERYTHING. The knowledge you gain may save your life.

Trajectory is your friend. It’ll work for you, if you let it. All you need to do is remember MOA, “3, 3, 4, 4” - and use them before the first shot!

Staying Alive

If you ever have to show up, show up ready!
· Have your bore and chamber clean and bone dry.
· Your M1A gas piston and cylinder should be bone dry, from the last time you cleaned it.
· Check the tightness of the gas plug, and with the bolt locked back, rotate the muzzle up-and-down, listening to ensure the piston moves freely.
· Have your action properly lubed with the correct grease.
· Front sight should be blackened with a flat black paint or other blackening.
· Sights should be checked for looseness, front and rear.
· Carry the complete cleaning kit in butt, along with spare parts & rod guide
· Sling should be adjusted to hold the weight of the rifle when you are in your position. A check: the rifle should stay in your shoulder without having to grasp the wrist of the stock with your trigger hand. · Mark the sling so you can always adjust back to the right place.
· Have your BSZ on your sight, or the zero for actual estimated distance, like 400 or 500.
· Mags should be cleaned and dry, springs lightly oiled.
· Other items on your list -- earplugs, cap with bill for shade/rain, clean eyeglasses/eye protection, loaded mags in pouches, at least one canteen of water, a high-energy snack, poncho, extra ammo.

Now, fire each shot “by the numbers’, and you’ll do fine. Just remember: double your hit rate and you double your supply of ammo, without spending a penny - or carrying any more weight.

USMC Rules For Gunfighting [with a few additions by Fred]

1. Bring a gun. Preferably, bring at least two guns. Bring all of your friends who have guns. [Rule 1.5: Try to make them a TEAM. And make the ‘guns’ rifles - see Rules 5 & 6]

2. Anything worth shooting is worth shooting twice. Ammo is cheap. Life is expensive. [Rule 2.5: When targets get plentiful, have a rifle which requires only one shot to take out a target, and fire only one shot per target. Running out of ammo in a target-rich environment can ruin your life.]

3. Only hits count. The only thing worse than a miss is a slow miss. [Rule 3.5: A fast hit is better than a slow hit. Rule 3.6: A fast miss is trumped by a slower hit. Rule 3.7: Firing too fast can turn a sure hit into a fast miss.]

4. If your shooting stance is good, you're probably not moving fast enough nor using cover correctly.

5. Move away from your attacker. Distance is your friend. (Lateral and diagonal movement are preferred.) [5.5 Engage beyond 300 yards.]

6. If you can choose what to bring to a gunfight, bring a rifle and a friend with a rifle.

7. In ten years, nobody will remember the details of caliber, stance, or tactics. They will only remember who lived. [Rule 7.5: But caliber, stance, skill and tactics may determine who lives - and who dies - today.]

8. If you are not shooting, you should be communicating, reloading, or running. [Rule 8.5: As long as you have targets, and rounds in your mag, you should be shooting.]

9. Accuracy is relative: most combat shooting standards will be more dependent on "pucker factor" than the inherent accuracy of the gun. [Rule 9.2: Shoot to Rifleman standard. Rule 9.3: A ‘kill’ hit is better than a ‘wound’ hit, but a ‘wound’ hit beats a miss - every time.]

9.5. Use a gun that works EVERY TIME. [Rule 9.9 Bring a rifle you can easily clear when it malfunctions.]

10. Someday someone may kill you with your own gun, but they should have to beat you to death with it because it is empty.

11. Always cheat; always win. The only unfair fight is the one you lose. [Rule 11.5. You have to win every time. They only have to win once.]

12. Have a plan.

13. Have a back-up plan, because the first one probably won't work. [Rule 13.5 Plan B - accurate rifle fire will save your ass!]

14. Use cover or concealment as much as possible. [Rule 14.5 Camo clothing, skin, rifle.]

15. Flank your adversary when possible. Protect yours. [Rule 15.5 Be part of a team!]

16. Don't drop your guard.

17. Always tactical load and threat scan 360 degrees. [Rule 17.5 Target Detection is #1!]

18. Watch their hands. Hands kill. (In God we trust. Everyone else, keep your hands where I can see them) [Rule 18.5 Simplify! Keep them them 300+ yards away and once ID’d as enemy, shoot them – fast and well!]

19. Decide to be aggressive ENOUGH, quickly ENOUGH.

20. The faster you finish the fight, the less shot you will get.

21. Be polite. Be professional. But have a plan to kill everyone you meet. [Rule 21.5 Plan consists of SOP and immediate action drills.]

22. Be courteous to everyone, friendly to no one.

23. Your number one Option for Personal Security is a lifelong commitment to avoidance, deterrence, and de-escalation. [Rule 23.5 Win the soft war now, and you avoid the hard war, later. Rule 23.7 Learn to shoot like a Rifleman now; it’s your number one Option for Personal Security when avoidance, deterrence, or de-escalation is not an option.]

24. Do not attend a gunfight with a handgun, the caliber of which does not start with a "4." [Rule 24.5 Do not get close enough to use a pistol -or even a carbine. Distance is your friend. See Rule 5.]

25. It is not a movie. If you catch a round, save the dramatics, ignore the hit, and keep shooting. You have nothing to lose, and you might even survive.