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Proper Firearms Training Can Save Your Life

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Firearms training is essential for all gun owners. But it takes on an additional layer of urgency for gun owners in the prepper and survivalist space. You know better than anyone that the difference between knowing how to properly use a firearm and not knowing enough is the difference between life and death.

It’s common among gun owners to carry without proper training. As if the simple fact of having a gun is going to save your life. However, when the chips are down and your and your family’s life is on the line, you’re not going to “rise to the occasion” – you’re going to fall to your level of training. If that level of training is found lacking, you could be spending your evening in the hospital – or the morgue.

Why Your Life Depends On Proper Firearms Training

Loaded self defense firearms in a tactical bag

You might think you already know how to shoot and chances are good that, if you’re reading this, you do. But let’s think about how you train when you go shooting. 

You’re standing at one end of a range, firing shots down range at a stationary paper target. The target doesn’t move. You’re in an optimal position and firing at a moment of you’re choosing. It might not be as placid as golf, but chances are good that you find your time at the range to be a relaxing diversion, even if you’re training for a sport like hunting or target shooting.

Now compare this to a situation where you have to defend your life or someone else’s with your firearm. You’re shooting when you have to, not when you have a day planned at the range. In fact, someone is coming after you trying to kill you or someone else that you care about. You’re going to be at peak anxiety, palms sweating, nervous system on high alert. Your vision might fail and your fine motor skills are absolutely going to be out the window.

You might think that you can’t train for such a situation, but nothing could be further from the truth. 

The Right Type of Training

The Christmas holiday season can quickly turn from a time of joy to a time of tragedy if you’re not following proper firearms safety regulations. When you have your friends and family over and you’re celebrating, it’s easy to forget the basics of firearms safety. However, it’s even more crucial to remember these rules when you have a house full of people. When there are firearms in homes where children or those lacking experience with firearms may be present, it requires heightened vigilance on your part. Let us help you to secure your home and keep all your visitors safe during the holidays with this guide to firearms safety. Some of this might be old news to you. Read it anyway. There’s no wrong time to brush up on the basics of firearms safety, but the holidays represent a particularly important time to remind yourself. It’s easy to get complacent and that can have deadly consequences over the holiday seasons. Secure Storage Safety with firearms starts with secure storage. If your firearms are securely stored there’s basically no way that you’re going to have any mishaps around the house, over the holidays or any other time. The best way to secure your weapons is with a high-quality gun safe or lockbox where you keep firearms secure when not in use. Safes are by far the most effective barrier against unauthorized access, as well as theft, and accidents. Consider locking your ammunition in a separate lockbox or safe, away from the firearms. This can add an additional layer of protection for your family. Finally, when you are storing firearms outside of a safe or similar lockbox, use gun cable locks. These basically make the gun inoperable unless the cable lock is removed. It is literally impossible to load or fire a weapon that has been locked with a cable lock. Remember that your locks are only as secure as your keys. Any keys you have should be in secure and known locations at all times. This allows you to keep them safe, but also to access your firearms quickly if you have to get at them in the case of an emergency. Education and Awareness Is Key When hosting family gatherings, you must ensure that your family and guests are aware of the presence of firearms in your home and the risks associated with firearms. Briefly discuss firearms safety, especially with the adults so they can communicate with their children in the way that they see fit. If there are children or people unfamiliar with firearms in your home, it’s especially important to be cautious. Keep the firearms out of sight and out of reach while also informing your guests of the importance of firearms safety. The holiday season is supposed to be a time of joy, togetherness, and celebration. Don’t let them become a time of tragedy. Firearms safety during this time is more important than ever, especially when you have visitors who might not be as aware of the power of firearms as you are. By following safe firearms storage practices, educating your family and guests, and remaining vigilant about the location and security of your firearms, you can celebrate the holidays without compromising safety. Who are you expecting for the holidays this year? How will you prepare to keep everyone safe? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

What you need isn’t more practice at the range. In fact, your range training might be a bad use of your time compared to the training you could be doing at home or with a qualified instructor. 

What you need is training for combat, not accuracy. You need training to be ready to shoot at an attacker who is either actively engaging you with his firearm or otherwise threatening your life or the lives of your loved ones. What’s more, you need to be trained on the psychological, legal, and moral aspects of self-defense with a firearm as well. 

Tactical or combat defense training is an absolute must for any gun owner who wants to train themselves for self-defense. However, there are some self-defense prep training techniques you can do from the comfort of your own home that are significantly less expensive than a trip to the range. 

As far as more hands-on tactical training goes, search the web for something local or ask around your local gun range. In-person training is greatly preferred to distance learning. 

Training To Save Your Own Life Right At Home

No, we’re not going to tell you to start shooting at stuff in your living room. What you need to start practicing is dry fire training. This is where you
“shoot” your firearm without any ammunition in it. So you clear your weapon, make extra sure that it’s totally empty, and otherwise, start pointing, aiming, and shooting.

That’s going to help you to be more accurate in general. In fact, many competitive shooters use this technique to make themselves more accurate when it’s competition time. It also costs a lot less because you don’t need range time or ammunition to do it.

Best of all, you can train for the stress of being in an active firefight… sort of. Nothing is going to compare to that but the real thing. However, you can start introducing stress into your training with the following simple techniques. The good news is that they work because your body doesn’t know the difference between different kinds of stress, just different levels of stress.

You can’t do most of these at the range, but you can do them at home with an empty weapon, an Airsoft pistol, or a SIRT pistol. 

  • Standing On One Leg: Sounds silly and maybe looks a little silly too, but standing on one leg introduces the kinds of neurological stress you need to prepare for a real-life gunfight
  • Shooting From Less Than Ideal Positions: Shooting from various compromised positions (one hand, weak side, on your back, etc.) will prepare you to shoot in less-than-ideal conditions long before you absolutely have to. 
  • Noise Stress: You can get recordings online of unpleasant noises to blast at yourself while you dry fire train. Even making your alarm clock blare in your ear while you try to pull, aim and fire will help.
  • Resistant Target: Train with a buddy. Have him come at you or even attack or restrain you while you attempt to pull, aim, and fire. 

Firearms training is a lifelong project, at least if you want to be good at it. These are just a few ways you can get started preparing yourself for the fight of your life.

What are you doing to prepare for a real-life gunfight? What training secrets have you picked up over the years? Share what you’ve learned in the comments below.

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Firearms

Protect Your Second Amendment Rights: Oppose SB 1160 and SB 1253 in California

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On Tuesday, April 2nd at 8:30am, the California Senate Public Safety Committee is slated to review two concerning bills that threaten the rights of firearm owners across the Golden State. As staunch advocates for the Second Amendment, it’s imperative for NRA Members and supporters of gun rights to take action. Senate Bill 1160 and Senate Bill 1253 pose significant threats, and it’s crucial to voice opposition to these proposed measures.

Senate Bill 1160: Annual Firearm Registration Requirement

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Senate Bill 1160 represents a direct assault on the rights of law-abiding gun owners in California. This bill seeks to mandate an annual re-registration process for all firearms with the Department of Justice. If enacted, firearm owners would be compelled to navigate bureaucratic hurdles each year and pay undisclosed fees to maintain their registration status.

This onerous requirement not only burdens responsible gun owners with unnecessary red tape but also sets a dangerous precedent for government overreach into the fundamental rights protected by the Second Amendment. Under SB 1160, failure to comply with the annual registration mandate could result in severe penalties, including fines of up to $1000 and the potential confiscation of unregistered firearms.

Upholding Second Amendment Freedoms: Take Action Against SB 1160

It’s imperative for Second Amendment supporters to stand united against Senate Bill 1160. This legislation threatens the core principles of individual liberty and firearm ownership rights. We urge all concerned citizens to contact members of the Senate Public Safety Committee and vehemently oppose SB 1160.

Senate Bill 1253: Restricting Firearm Possession without Firearm Safety Card

Another concerning proposal slated for review is Senate Bill 1253, which seeks to further restrict firearm ownership rights in California. Under existing law, individuals are required to obtain a Firearm Safety Card to purchase or receive a firearm. However, SB 1253 aims to extend this requirement to possession, effectively prohibiting law-abiding citizens from possessing firearms without a valid Firearm Safety Card.

This additional hurdle not only imposes unnecessary burdens on responsible gun owners but also fails to address the root causes of crime and violence. Criminals, by definition, do not adhere to firearm laws, rendering such measures ineffective at curbing illicit gun activities. Instead, SB 1253 unfairly penalizes law-abiding citizens and undermines their ability to exercise their Second Amendment rights.

Defending Second Amendment Liberties: Oppose SB 1253

Senate Bill 1253 represents yet another attempt to erode the Second Amendment freedoms of Californians. By imposing stringent requirements for firearm possession, this bill unfairly targets responsible gun owners while doing little to enhance public safety. It’s essential for proponents of gun rights to take a stand against SB 1253 and advocate for the preservation of constitutional liberties.

Take Action: Protect Second Amendment Rights in California

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As the Senate Public Safety Committee prepares to review SB 1160 and SB 1253, it’s paramount for NRA Members and supporters of the Second Amendment to make their voices heard. Use the Take Action button below to contact committee members and urge them to oppose these egregious bills. Together, we can defend our cherished freedoms and safeguard the right to keep and bear arms in California.

Do you live in California? What do you do to oppose greater encroachment on your right to keep and bear arms? Leave your thoughts in the comments

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Firearms

The AR-15: A Versatile Platform for Every Shooter

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The AR pattern rifle, affectionately known as the “AR-15,” has become a staple in the firearms community, offering unparalleled versatility and customization options. From budget-friendly builds to high-end boutique rifles, there seems to be a configuration for every shooter’s preferences and needs. But with so many parts available, is there truly a rifle for everyone? And is there even a wrong answer to the AR question?

Diverse Builders, Diverse Builds

The AR-15 has evolved beyond just a firearm; it’s now a sport in itself, with enthusiasts eagerly assembling rifles tailored to their specific desires. Whether someone is aiming for the cheapest build, the most boutique setup, or a specialized rifle for a particular purpose like suppressor use, the AR platform offers endless possibilities. This diversity among builders reflects the platform’s adaptability and appeal to a wide range of shooters.

Navigating Budget Builds: A Personal Journey

Recently, there’s been a surge in interest in building affordable AR-style rifles, prompting many to explore budget-friendly options. One such endeavor involved sourcing parts directly from Bear Creek Arsenal (BCA), a company with a reputation for offering budget-friendly components. Despite initial reservations due to past controversies and quality concerns, the experience of assembling a rifle from BCA parts proved surprisingly positive.

Unboxing and Initial Impressions

Upon receiving the parts from BCA, there was a mix of anticipation and skepticism. However, upon inspection, there was a notable nod of approval for the quality of finish work, packaging, and overall presentation. While some parts lacked robust packaging, none arrived damaged, showcasing BCA’s attention to detail. Despite some vagueness regarding product specs, BCA’s use of 4150 CM-V and 416 Stainless barrels instilled confidence in the build.

Assembly Practices: Attention to Detail

Building the lower receiver proved relatively straightforward, but attention to detail was paramount. Proper torqueing of the castle nut, staking the end plate, and meticulous lubrication ensured adherence to factory specifications and optimal performance. The importance of using proper tools, lubricants, and assembly techniques cannot be overstated, particularly for critical components like the trigger and gas system.

Navigating Upper Receiver Assembly

While assembling the lower receiver was relatively straightforward, the upper receiver presented more complexity and significance. Attention to detail during barrel installation, gas system alignment, and muzzle device timing were crucial for ensuring accuracy, reliability, and safety. Thermal fitting techniques and proper torqueing procedures were employed to optimize barrel-to-receiver fit and gas system performance.

Range Testing and Final Thoughts

After meticulous assembly and function testing, the rifle was taken to the range for reliability and accuracy testing. Using a variety of ammunition types and optics configurations, the rifle performed admirably, showcasing respectable accuracy and reliability. While there were minor issues such as an over-gassed barrel, these were addressed with aftermarket solutions. Overall, Bear Creek Arsenal’s components proved to offer excellent value for budget-conscious builders, demonstrating that affordability doesn’t necessarily mean compromising on quality.

The AR-15 is a highly adaptable platform allowing builds for a wide array of preferences for all kinds of shooters. Whether building a budget-friendly rifle or investing in high-end components, the AR platform offers endless customization possibilities. While each builder may have their own priorities and preferences, the beauty of the AR-15 lies in its ability to accommodate them all, ensuring that there truly is a rifle for every shooter.

Do you own an AR-15? Have you ever built one? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. 

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Firearms

Mack W. Gwinn Jr.: A Tribute to a Firearms Pioneer

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Mack W. Gwinn Jr., a visionary in the firearms industry, passed away on March 11, 2024, leaving behind a legacy of innovation and dedication to his craft. Born in Florida, Gwinn’s journey into the world of firearms began with his service in the U.S. Army Special Forces, where he earned several Purple Hearts and the Bronze Star during seven deployments to Vietnam.

From Military Service to Firearms Innovation

Following his military service, Gwinn transitioned into the firearms industry, where he made significant contributions. One of his notable achievements was acquiring the rights to the Colt IMP-221, a stockless, gas-operated bullpup pistol initially developed for aircrew survival in the U.S. Air Force. Redesigning the concept to accept the 5.56 NATO caliber and standard AR magazines, Gwinn founded Gwinn Arms and introduced the Bushmaster Arm Pistol in the early 1970s.

Pioneering Personal Defense Weapons

The Bushmaster Arm Pistol, an innovative pistol-sized firearm utilizing an intermediate round, predated the concept of personal defense weapons (PDWs) by a generation. Although not a commercial blockbuster, the Arm Pistol laid the foundation for Bushmaster Firearms and left an indelible mark on the industry.

Legacy of Innovation

Beyond the Bushmaster Arm Pistol, Gwinn’s influence extended to various other firearms projects and inventions. He held patents for extended capacity magazines and developed concepts for firearms applications ranging from target pistols to recoil reduction systems. His ingenuity and curiosity led him to explore diverse projects, including vehicle design and accessory development.

Remembering a Trailblazer

Mack W. Gwinn Jr.’s passing marks the end of an era in the firearms community. His contributions to the industry will be remembered for years to come, serving as inspiration for future generations of innovators. In honoring his memory, donations can be made to the Maine Veterans Project, and condolences may be expressed to his family at BrookingsSmith.

Mack W. Gwinn Jr. leaves behind a legacy of excellence, marked by his unwavering commitment to pushing the boundaries of firearms design and technology. His impact on the industry will continue to resonate, ensuring his place among the pantheon of firearms pioneers.

Do you know Mack W. Gwinn Jr? How about his famous firearms? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. 

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