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I recently had an anniversary day. I spent it training American Soldiers to shoot better. It’s been a long time, and come at a personal cost. I’m here, at 46, in a bunk, while my kids are elsewhere. Because if I don’t, who will? There aren’t many that can do what I do. Most of them are far away. All of us are old. All of us know that this war has not seen its darkest days. We can feel the evil, slithering under our feet, in the shadows, whispered on the wind, we watch lives go on living blissfully unaware of the borrowed time they are spending.
My guys and I trained a lot of people; over 10,000 of them, to shoot really well, some got special attention.
4 of them never returned home.
Among the others, some set records, or did amazing acts of bravery under fire – sometimes in the face of piss poor odds and with a bleak prognosis: they are my greatest satisfaction.
Imagine a handful – less than 10 isolated Americans, beyond the reach of supporting arms, alone in a vast wilderness, outnumbered 5 to 1. They could hear the enemy, excited over the radio, believing that at last they would kill, maybe even capture a cut off group of Americans.
Yet these shooters emerged without a scratch, killing at least 50 attackers. No airplanes came to save them. They shot their way out. I don’t need anyone to tell me I did a good job. Those men are alive today living good lives because they could shoot, remarkably – the impacts were immediate and final.
They didn’t get that way by following unit IWQ training plans. Mediocre roads to half assery. No one ever does.
The thing I Know: the better the shooter the braver the Soldier. When a man knows if he can see the bad guy: it’s light out. Such a man is a fearsome thing, otherwordly, a terror, non human, something to flee. The fanatics will rush him, and die in small piles of two’s and threes.
American bad asses, “shooters,” a sprinkling of them in a larger group changes the character of the entire organization. When a unit has skilled shooters, a unit is like a beast on a leash, whose master strains at the leash, leaning back with all his weight, yet the beast drags him forward.
Let slip the leash and the dogs of war will mercilessly put down every beating heart that fails to hide. That’s the pointy tip of American foreign policy. Great shooting skill is a horrible thing to face. The attainment of that skill is easy. The hard part of attaining great shooting skill is getting the Army out of the way.
The biggest enemy is the original sin: Pride. Pride keeps more units from shooting as well as they could. Pride is why every so often the Army is outshot on the battlefield, embarrassingly so. Pride is why it will happen again to some mothers kid.
Humility is your ally. Humility enables you to see things as they are, and do what you must to overcome your challenges. Pride paralyzes you. pride makes you a spectator. pride never let’s you improve. That and general run of the mill ambivalence.
Some people are in the military for god knows what. They tolerate the Army. For them it’s something to get through or take advantage of.
The proud and the ambivalent wreak as much destruction as any successful enemy attack. If you don’t care about building the most fearsome destructive group of humans on the planet, or you don’t get excited to support that same group of humans – go do something else – otherwise, you’re as harmful as a truck bomb.
The Army exists to kill people and break things. When that day comes – and it will – the better, faster, and more efficient we are at these imperatives; the sooner we can go home and safely be with our loved ones.
Honored American Veterans Afield (HAVA) and the San Antonio Police Department (SAPD) announced another very successful HAVA/SAPD National Family Day held last week at the SAPD Training Academy. In 8 annual family day events in San Antonio, HAVA has hosted over 1,400 disabled veterans and more than 2,800 including family members since its inception in 2008.
The A3G Salute to Valor is a 3-Gun match designed to honor our Veterans, and to provide assistance and support to six 501(c) 3 Veterans’ charities that are working hard to bridge the gap between available federal resources and the actual needs that exist. These are community-based, privately-funded organizations which have identified those needs that aren’t being met and are working passionately and diligently to do just that.
In addition to raising money, A3G Salute to Valor hopes to raise awareness and increase exposure for our partner charities. This event will be unique in many ways and we are very grateful to our sponsors for their willingness to stand behind this mission.
We look forward to seeing you at South River Gun Club for this year’s event, and for many more to come!
Join A3G in November and take part in a new, unique 3-Gun competition. Rather than using the traditional 3-Gun format, The A3G Salute to Valor will be broken down into four 3-stage “Segments” that are measured and scored individually under the 3*Gun Nation Practical Division Ruleset. Come and test yourself against some of the best shooters in the country in special segments dedicated to Pistol, Rifle, Shotgun, and of course: 3-Gun.
Our 180 Shooters will form 12 squads that will be further broken down into 6 teams. Each team will represent one of our 6 charities. The winning team’s charity will receive 20% of the collected funds, with the other charities dividing the remaining fund pool evenly.
The fund pool is being raised through match fees, cash donations, sponsor merchandise donations (which will be auctioned at pre-match online auctions and event-day raffles), as well as merchandise sales. Since this is a charity match, there will not be a traditional prize table, but match fees and sponsor donations will be tax deductible, as a charitable donation, to the full extent allowed by law. All shooters will receive a shooter packet for their participation containing a commemorative shirt, challenge coin, and a one-year complimentary 3*Gun Nation annual membership (existing 3*GN members will receive merchandise). Trophies will be awarded for First, Second and Third place finishers in each Segment and Overall.
Spectators are encouraged to come out to the event and see some of the best shooters in the country compete over the course of the 3 day match. A selection of vendors and other Veteran’s organizations will also be onsite for competitors and spectators to visit and talk to.
For a while now there has been a lot of talk about how ineffective the 5.56 service round is. It’s all over the internet gun boards and the popular slick newsstand gun magazines. Time and time again we are all told how the 5.56 is a 200-yard gun, or if you’re using a carbine, you’re stuck with a 50-yard gun. Everyone knows this, it’s just plain common sense! The problem is, it’s not really true. A whole lot of people sound off about something they really don’t know much about and have zero experience with. This amused me for a few years, then as more and more time passed it really started to bug me to the point of aggravation. A certain type will always repeat the same inaccurate info and we all know that. The problem is that it causes those in military service to lose confidence in their service weapon and what it can do. Confidence in your tools is an important thing, if you believe in and know for a fact what your rifle can do, you shoot it better.
Most serious followers of the AR15 platform know about the MK12 rifles and have read stories about 500 to 800-yard kills and how effective it has been in the GWOT. A few are at least vaguely familiar with High Power service rifle matches. But they assume any AR15 type rifle that can be used for these ranges is by necessity some super customized and specialized weapon. Obviously there is truth in that. To shoot a winning score at Camp Perry you have to have some specialized rifle work done and use special ammo. When these accomplishments are brought up in discussion, they are shot down by the people who “know better” because they are not the same guns issued out to troops or normal civilian users for self protection. And so it goes on and on, that the AR15 is a 200-yard gun.
It is not. It will do more than most believe, and it will do it with military-issue ammo.
Twelve-time NRA National Pistol Champion Brian Zins knows a thing or two about NRA Precision/Bullseye (Precision is the new official name for Bullseye) pistol competition. Brian’s thoughts on competition and technique are especially valuable, because he doesn’t always follow the old traditions with his technique. In this article, he shares his thoughts on trigger control.