Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Dude, Take a Breath- The Tactical Oxygenation Blog

I give private instruction on precision rifles, ARs and pistols and I am often asked about my thoughts on breathing.  I tell the student that I think it is a good thing to do and I encourage its continuation.

They want details, though, and maybe you do too. So for everyone’s enlightenment, here we go with Blog Sarge’s theory on “Tactical Oxygenation.”

I break breathing down into two forms for shooting. There is Precision Breathing and there is Combat Breathing. Which one to use is based upon the type of shooting you are doing.

Precision Breathing is for the times when you are going for, well, the utmost precision. This is controlled, deliberate, deep breathing. For this, think of Yoga or any relaxation exercise with breath control.  Break a breath into components. On the inhale your belly and chest expand with incoming air to the maximum extent comfortable. On the exhale the reverse occurs and there is a feeling of relaxation. The exhale typically occurs almost immediately upon completion of the inhale; there is usually not much, if any, of a pause. Once you are comfortably exhaled, there is a natural pause before the next inhale. (Notice I said “comfortably exhaled”, not completely exhaled. There is no need to force more air out than your body wants to release. Forcing more exhale leads to tensing.) With practice, we can extend the comfortable pause before the inhale. For precision shooting, I live in this natural pause. My world is entirely inside it, I live for it. During the pauses, my senses focus, my sights settle, my heart rate slows and my muscles are loose and poised. If I do not get the shot off during a comfortable pause, the cycle starts again, and I pick back up where I left off.  With practice, the shot will almost go by itself when your mind registers that all is as it should be.

Contrast that with Combat Breathing. This will be, by necessity, a faster type of breath. Do not let yourself hyper-ventilate, but concentrate on controlling your breath into a steady rhythm of moderately deep inhales and exhales. Living in, and getting the shot off during, the natural pause becomes less important to me here. Rather, when I need to shoot in combat breathing, I need to shoot RIGHT NOW. So, I simply pause wherever I am in the cycle, press the trigger and then resume the cycle. If you see a shot developing and have time, do a quick in and out and get the shot off during a the abbreviated natural pause.

Beyond being important for controlling the shot itself, proper breathing yields more control of yourself and the situation. The importance of good breathing cannot be over-emphasized. It relaxes the body and mind, provides fuel for the body and helps you to remain focused, centered and in control.


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Too Many Guns- the "Going Straight (or not)" Blog

We were moving display cases around in the store. Boss Chick, Sig Gurl, Tac Sarge, Tech Dude and I were there.

A chipper voice piped up, “Hey, these cases are crooked. We should fix them”. It was Boss Chick. A.K.A., ‘Mrs. Obsessively Organized’. The lack of alignment offended her sense of order.

“You wanna know why they aren’t straight?” It was Sig Gurl posing the rhetorical question. We saw where this was going and waited for it….. “I did it”, she quipped a moment later.

So, why were we re-organizing the display cases at the sales counter, you might ask. Well, you might not actually ask, but I need the question to be asked in order to make my point. So, we’ll assume the question has been asked.

The short answer; we have too many damn guns. And we love it!

We have recently gotten in a crap-load of both long guns and handguns.  Sigs, Glocks, a KelTec KSG, two Springfield M1As, LWRCs, FN shotguns, Weatherby Shotguns, AR15s up the wazoo (and man that hurts), 10/22s in takedown and regular, Kahrs, a Ruger 1911…. Well, if you don’t have the idea by now, you aren’t going to get it if I ramble on.

So, we need help from our loyal friends. BUY SOME MORE GUNS! We’ve been having banner days lately. Business is great and sales are strong so we’ve laid in more supply of guns than I can remember ever stocking. If you haven’t been in lately, stop in again. I have to think that we’ll have something you didn’t even know you had to have.

Cheers, see you soon.

And here's what the wall looks like.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

300 Blackout- Yes, again!

Yeah, I know. You’re tired of hearing me carry on about the 300 AAC Blackout. Too bad. Here’s some more on it so quit whining, pay attention, or get sent to the principal’s office.

I have long felt that, as much as I like the 5.56 for a police patrol rifle round, it just needed more size. It has way more than enough speed and flatness of trajectory and could do well to swap some of both for bullet mass and impact energy.

In 1992 when I started the 12-year-long push for my department to get patrol rifles, the 5.56 was the best thing going. It has proven effective for many police engagements (blessedly not at my agency) but its high speed and flat trajectory are lost in the typical police rifle shooting. These typically are less than 75 yards.

Were I at a department today, I would be pushing for rifles chambered in 300BLK. At any realistic police shooting range the 300 BLK has more oomph than the 5.56.

As for non-police defense usage, the 300 BLK is also ideal. I do not see much use for a personal defense round at much more than typical police shooting distances and probably much less than 50 yards is closer to actual. The 300 BLK is perfect for this.

An argument against the blackout is accuracy. It is simply not a super-accurate, sub m.o.a., long distance sniper round. My home-brewed rifle shoots 1.5 to 2.5 m.o.a. depending upon how well it likes the ammo. Bear in mind that I do not have a high power optic on this. I shoot with a medium quality 1-4x scope. Were I to add on a better quality scope pushing up to the 9 or 10 power range, the groups would shrink. This accuracy is more than enough for the intended purpose. I’ll take the extra energy and bullet diameter and give up 1 m.o.a. any day for this use.

Also, with the relatively small powder capacity of the case, most all the powder is used up well before the 16” barrel length. Sounds like a great candidate for the hopefully-soon-to-be-legal SBR, doesn’t it? Add a nice suppressor and some heavy subsonic ammo, and you have a polite man’s (or woman’s) neighbor-friendly backyard plinking machine.

I have been tinkering with this blog for a while and tonight I came upon the attached article. As much as I hate to admit it, the author makes the case I was trying to make damn well; perhaps even as well as your Blog Sarge.

So, pleased check out this link… 300 BLK Article Link

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Muzzle Devices

Loyal readers will remember that I have built two ARs, one in 5.56 and of course the other is in my beloved 300 Blackout. Both shoot well and recoil isn’t much on either of them. Still, for quick rapid engagement follow-ups, something more than the plain flash hider was needed. So I consulted the resident guru of all things AR, Tactical Corporal.

I basically told him to get me what I should have. I kind of gulped at spending plus or minus a hundred or more bucks per gun for the muzzle device, but heck, it was in the interest of research.

The 300BLK got a Daniel Defense Muzzle Climb Mitigator.  For those needing details, this has a 16 inch fluted Wilson barrel and runs on a direct gas system.  The Daniel Defense critter comes in at about 70 bucks.

The 5.56 is also a 16 inch Wilson barrel with direct gas, this time un-fluted. As with any stock 5.56, it had a sharp but not strong recoil pulse.  Muzzle rise wasn’t dramatic, but it was enough to get you off target, slowing the follow up shots. Tac Corporal screwed a SureFire Muzzle Brake / Suppressor Adapter on the end for me to shoot.  This little feller runs just a bit shy of 150 bucks, but I think it well spent. Also, if I ever get a suppressor from SureFire, it will attach right to this device. (Santa, are you reading this!?)

The first day I had free to hit the range, I took a friend, we’ll call him the Mad Russian, and we had at it.

The difference in both guns was immediately apparent. The Mad Russian has a 5.56 16 inch AR with standard flash hider so we could compare side by side.

Holy crap, what a difference.  Accuracy appears to not have been affected for better or worse on either gun during slow fire. Follow up shots however were fast and rapid multi-shot engagements were quicker and yielded tighter groups. The Mad Russian is just getting into the AR platform and our trips to the range are largely instructional one on one sessions. I ran him through movement drills and multi-target drills with my gun and with his. So you ask, did he find the muzzle devices worthwhile? He stopped at the store immediately after the session and had Tactical Corporal screw one on his AR. ‘Nuff said!

As for the increase in noise to the side of the gun, I didn't notice it much at all with the SureFire on the 5.56 and the increase seemed modest in the 30 BLK.

We have these for the standard 5.56 thread as well as for larger 30 caliber bores. If your rifle barrel isn’t threaded, our gunsmith can hook you up there. We stock device from Daniel Defense, PWS, SureFire and a few others that I can’t remember right now.

See ya in the shop!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Banning Old Guns- The "Ol 55" Blog

This blog is for the folks who aren’t into the modern military rifles and think that they are safe from anti-gun legislation. The, “I only use older guns so I’m not worried about them taking my guns” crowd.

I was thinking about older stuff in my gun safe. I was feeling kind of nostalgic. I thought maybe I’d take out some of the old guns for a shoot; an old Winchester 12 gauge pump gun that was my grandfather’s, a vintage Browning Sweet 16 gifted to me by my great uncle just before he passed away, an ancient Marlin .22 bolt gun.  I got to thinking that these were once modern, state-of-the-art guns. Some, like the Winchester pump, were acclaimed military weapons, serving in the trenches of World War I.

I started on this old gun train of thought while listening to an old Eagles album and singing along with “Ol’ 55.” In private, of course.

So, as I gazed at my once modern, now ancient guns, I thought about the attempts to ban military-type weapons and where it might stop if it got a foothold. Yeah, they want to get rid of our AR and AK type rifles, but will they stop there. Not just no, but hell no!

The Winchester 12 gauge did serve in WWI, WWII and later wars. The semi-auto Browning style is similar to military semi-automatics, the Marlin .22 bolt gun operates exactly the same as military sniper rifles even still in current use.

That old Winchester model 70 or Remington 700 your grandfather left you is exactly like that used so effectively by our military snipers as they keep watch over their brothers in arms.

That old revolver they left you works the same as the revolvers carried in wars by forces from around the world.

That lever action deer rifle that your great uncle left to you is the same design that was used in wars at the start of the last century.

The lesson, and the warning, is that we must be neither complacent nor divided. We must not adopt the attitude that ‘they’ only want to ban someone else’s weapons that are military by design. At the root, most any firearm today was either designed for, or adapted to, military use. The end game is to ban all private ownership of firearms and to disarm us all.