Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Strong mind and spare parts...


"A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball, and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun therefore be the constant companion of your walks."
-- Thomas Jefferson

   As any of my former students can attest to, Jefferson's point is something I strive to integrate into all my shooting courses. Gunfights generally take place under less than ideal circumstances and I feel training must reflect that reality. It is a difficult thing to maintain an acceptable degree of marksmanship while cold, tired, wet, dirty or injured. A couple concepts to ponder...

1. You rapidly exit your helicopter on a hot LZ and immediately find yourself up to your knees in soft mud. The barrel of your rifle is now packed with mud....do you have the tools available to punch the bore clear? How fast can you do it?

2. An assailant throws dirt in your face, ruining the vision in your dominant eye as you bring your weapon to bear. Have you trained with your non-dominate eye? With pistol and carbine? How fast can you make the transition?

3. You are shot in your support arm rendering it useless. Can you fix a malfunction and return effective fire? With carbine and pistol? What about if your primary arm is the one that goes down, can you perform these tasks with your support arm only?

4. What parts on your M4/AR15 are known to fail? What is the general life expectancy of said parts? Where exactly is your weapon in that timeline? Do you have spare parts? How fast can you change them out?


I bring these particular scenarios up because they actually do happen, and are show-stoppers if not dealt with most ricky tick............ask me how I know.

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