How to Customize Your AR

The Tactical Rifleman crew often gets asked “What are the stats on your rifle?” or “What is your rifle setup?”; as if we prefer certain brands over others. Usually we do not like to recommend one brand over another, as it really doesn’t matter to us. We, first and foremost, want a weapon that is RELIABLE. It has to go BANG every time we pull the trigger. A jammed gun in a competition is the difference between going to the prize table first or twentieth. However, in a two-way gun fight, it can mean the difference between life and death. You are competing with your life.

That said, if we don’t share the statistics and the “Why” behind them, then we are just leaving it up to the Internet Commandoes to put words in our mouths and that isn’t fair to our viewers. So, I asked Jason, our resident SEAL recently retired from the Navy, to do a video about his personal owned Rifle and while he set it up the way he did. While he covers many of the items in the video, I wanted to pen a few words to cover his rifle in more detail. 

First, Jason built this custom gun off of a DPMS Lower. Now, that statement alone makes the Internet Ninjas lose their minds and results in literally hundreds of negative comments bashing Jason for using DPMS and not running a high-quality gun like Daniel Defense or JP Enterprise. So, why did Jason do it? Well, Jason was an enlisted guy in the Navy making a minimal amount of money, while supporting a family. He did not work on Wall Street or any other cush job, making tons of money. He had great weapons at work in the SEAL teams. The DPMS was affordable at the time of the purchase and besides, he was going to customize it anyways. Again, the focus is on RELIABLITY.

The rifle has a 14.5 inch Barrel with a pinned Dead Air muzzle brake. This gives the rifle a legal length of over 16 inches, while still allowing Jason a shorter overall length. The Brake has to be pinned to be legal. If it can be removed, that it is not considered “part of the barrel” by the ATF, and is not included in the measurement.

You’ll note that it has a Daniel Defense DDM4 free floating rail to accommodate the pinned A-frame style front sight. Jason mentions in the video that, at the time of purchase, Daniel Defense was the only brand manufacturing this longer hand guard. There are dozens of comments saying that he is wrong, and that other companies also make this longer hand guard. Again, at the time Jason was building this gun, Daniel Defense was the only brand that Jason was aware of.  So, why this rail? Jason wanted the longer rail to allow him to have more real estate to slide his support hand further out without grabbing the bare barrel.

Jason used to run a Magpul angled fore grip “AFG” to pull the gun into him when shooting. However, Jason has recently been running the new Ryker Grip, and is very happy with it. So much so, that he also just recently did a separate video about just the Ryker Grip. So like it, some don’t. If you are a “hater,” don’t bust Jason’s balls for being willing to give something new a try. That’s how progress is made.

On the left side of the lower receiver, Jason has replaced the small stock bolt release with a much larger Wilson Combat tactical bolt release. Some would say that it is ugly, but Jason had issues in his military past where releasing the smaller bolt release was hampered by neoprene dive suit gloves and other bulky clothing. So, Jason said he didn’t want to deal with that issue with his own weapon and he went large to fix it.

You’ll notice he also added a Midwest Industries QD sling adapter. In the military, operators are not supposed to modify their weapons past a certain level. An example is that they are not allowed to remove the buffer tube.  However, this Midwest Industries QD sling adaptor can be put on at the “operator level” to have a QD point at the base of the buffer tube, so your sling does not change its length when you move your stock.  This was filed down on the one side to not interfere with his firing hand while utilizing the firearm or using the selector switch for a right handed shooter. So, it was a good concept, but not exactly what Jason wanted. Instead of pitching it, Jason filed it down. That is a common theme with SOF guys. We have no problem taking a hammer or Dremel Tool to any piece of kit that needs modification.

The collapsible stock is a CAA cheek rest saddle. It also has storage for AA and 123 batteries. We use earplugs in the storage tubes to take up the extra room so the batteries don’t rattle. 

The Trigger is sexy, but not too light. It’s an old custom trigger. When I asked him the brand, he said he couldn’t remember. Pete Jones did the trigger work for Jason. Maybe Pete can chime in. 

The weapon light is a Surefire M952V LED weapon light, with white/IR lens. This is a pricey light. However, SOF units are loyal to Surefire, because their products have served us reliably for decades. What we really like about this light is the new Bezel that allows you to quickly switch from visible white light to invisible IR light, with a simple twist of the bezel ring. Great feature when you are running Night Vision Goggles.

Jason was always a fan of the old M16A2 carrying handle, because it had a micro-adjustable rear sight for taking shots out to 600 meters. So, when his unit started running red dot sights, he still wanted that rear sight as a backup. So, as you can easily see in the video, he made his own Rear sight. It is a cut down carry handle. He literally used a hack saw and then cleaned it with a file. This allows him to still use his red dot sight (EOTech or Aimpoint) and co-witness with his iron sights.  The iron sights can still be used if the red dot fails (damage or batteries) and also can adjust rear sight for elevation if needed for longer precision shots. 

In this video Jason is running his old M-68 Aimpoint red dot sight. Aimpoints were the first company to make red dot sights, and still put out a great product. Jason is currently testing out several other weapon sights, including a sexy little Vortex. So, be looking for that video in the near future.

Lastly, the only “Gucci” swag on Jason’s rifle is a Custom Gun Rail (CGR) Cover, with a sexy ass SEAL Trident engraved on it. It was a gift to Jason. He earned it. 

So, that’s the statistics of Jason’s rifle. I hope we answered any of the questions that our viewers might have. Again, it has to be a RELIABLE weapon. Once you have a reliable weapon, the next step is learning how to use it. If you are interested in learning how to master your weapon, or learn other Man Skills, just going to and sign up for a class. 

Thanks for watching.

Strength & Honor, TR

For more go to and Follow TR on Twitter-

THRiL CZ Scorpion EVO

The CZ Scorpion EVO | Where it All Started

In 2009 the Ceska zbrojovka Uhersky Brod arms company, better known as CZ in the United States released a modified version of the Laugo LG 205-A submachine gun. Manufactured in the Czech Republic, and imported through CZ USA, based in Kansas City, KS. The new prototype was designed with maneuverability, weight efficiency, and functionality in mind. Chambered in 9X19mm the new CZ Scorpion EVO 3 comes in at just over 6 pounds with a fully loaded detachable high capacity magazine. The CZ Scorpion is designed with urban combat, close quarters, and confined spaces like inside buildings and vehicles in mind. This initial rifle has gained in popularity over the years and has become a keystone of the firearms and shooting industry, much like the M4, AR-15, and AK-47. The CZ Scorpion EVO 3 is highly adaptable and versatile, lending itself to be run as a carbine rifle, a pistol, and a short barreled rifle (SBR). The CZ Scorpion platform readily accepts high capacity magazines with OEM magazine options in 10, 20, and 30 round capacities.

Why 9mm Chambering

9X19mm, 9mm Luger, or just 9mm are all names for the same pistol cartridge, the nation’s most popular centerfire pistol cartridge. 9mm is a versatile centerfire, brass cased pistol cartridge that is easy to shoot, is accurate within its limitations, and is widely available with hundreds of millions of rounds on the market today. Offered in multiple bullet weights and designs on the market including full metal jacket, hollow point, and personal defense rounds. CZ’s choice of the 9mm for the chambering in the Scorpion platform is perfectly matched. Light recoil in the 9mm round makes it a pleasure to shoot, considering muzzle velocity somewhere between 1100 and 1300 feet per second with bullets weighing in over 100 grains, there is plenty of knock down for close range work. The 9mm cartridge is lightweight and compact to carry, and easy to load. Sacrificing velocity and range for convenience and recoil, the 9mm load is a terrific fit for the CZ Scorpion EVO 3 use case of close quarter work.

Versatile Options

Originally designed for military and law enforcement use in the A1 variant, the rifle features a select fire switch providing the shooter with 4 firing options. Safe mode, semi-auto, three-round burst and fully auto fire modes. The A1 model give the operator discretion to select the right fire mode for the situation. CZ quickly offered the Scorpion EVO 3 platform in a civilian model and multiple civilian variants. The CZ Scorpion EVO S1 and the CZ Scorpion EVO S2 are offered in the civilian market in multiple configurations that allow for easy customization and adaptation. Proficient as a carbine rifle, pistol, and SBR; with plenty of rail space and a threaded barrel for accessories like muzzle brakes and suppressors. The CZ Scorpion EVO 3 product line provides enthusiasts with the options they demand.

The Pistol

First available in the United States in 2015 on the civilian market and imported as a pistol with its short 7 3/4” barrel, the CZ Scorpion EVO 3 S1 Pistol is an iconic firearm on the market today. The Scorpion pistol works on a blowback semi-auto action and is equipped with low-profile sights. The pistol features a threaded barrel, and simple ambidextrous controls that are easy to use and reliable.  With features like a swappable charging handle and adjustable trigger reach, the Scorpion is full of features with the shooter in mind. Larger than the 9mm concealed carry mini pistols on the market today, the CZ Scorpion EVO 3 pistol may have a larger frame than many other 9mm pistols, but it offers detachable high capacity magazine functionality, built in accessory rails, and a rugged frame designed for combat.

Make it a SBR

CZ offers the Scorpion EVO 3 S1 as a pistol, with corresponding classification at the ATF. However, with the appropriate licensing, and consideration of federal, state, and local laws; the Scorpion pistol readily accepts the CZ designed SB Tactical arm brace. Under federal law and ATF policy, attaching a stock to a pistol or a device that is intended as a stock constitutes a short-barreled rifle. Short Barreled Rifles (SBR) require registration with the ATF and a federal tax. If a SBR is on your list, and your willing to do the legal and regulatory leg work, the CZ Scorpion EVO 3 S2 with the optional micro brace is the perfect fit. A pint sized pistol with a telescoping or folding stock chambered in 9mm is big on functionality, practicality, and on cool!

Pistol Caliber Carbine

Pistol caliber carbine rifles have been popular for years, and for good reason. A short rifle chambered in a light recoiling, yet effective centerfire pistol cartridge is a practical tool that fits many uses. The CZ Scorpion EVO 3 S1 fits just that bill. Utilizing the proven Scorpion action, fit with a 16.2” barrel and a factory folding adjustable stock, CZ has built a practical and reliable pistol-caliber plinker. The rifle is setup factory with M-LOK attachment points, keeping the profile low and ergonomical while allowing for easy customization. The cold hammer forged barrel is cut with 1/2X28 threads to accept a flash hider, muzzle brake, or suppressor. CZ built in low-profile adjustable aperture and post sights for use as a primary or backup sighting system, providing accuracy and practicality without bulk. The CZ Scorpion EVO 3 Carbine is a lightweight, low recoil, shoulder fired rifle that accepts high capacity mags ready for range time, tactical training, or for things that go bump in the night.

Final Thoughts

A fast handling, lightweight firearm with low recoil and a tough proven action will find its place in the hands of tactical operators, law enforcement, and range time plinkers the world over. The CZ Scorpion EVO 3 is no exception. Law enforcement, Special Forces, and shooting enthusiasts from Egypt to Poland, and Vietnam to the United States have adopted the Scorpion platform in at least one of its versatile forms. Highly adaptable, practical, and versatile from pistol to SBR and carbine too, the CZ Scorpion EVO 3 deserves a hard look. Practical use cases are plenty for this sturdy little transformer including home defense, tactical application, law enforcement, and paper punching range time. Whatever your reason to squeeze the trigger on a CZ Scorpion EVO 3 9mm, it’s sure not to disappoint.


The Importance of Being Able to Shoot on The Move

This week Instructor Zee takes us through “Shooting While Moving.” While Zee comes across as just another guy on the internet, MSG Zee Durham was the Team Sergeant of a Special Forces A-Team, and not just any A-Team; but a CRF Assault Team. What’s that you ask? Those are the guys that do assaults for a living… The best of the best. So, when he talks about assaulter skills like working around obstacles and shooting while moving… well, this guy knows what he is talking about and he has done it “Real World” all over this fine planet of ours.

First and foremost, master the basic fundamentals of marksmanship. However, once we have a good grasp of the shooting fundamentals and safe manipulation of weapons, we need to introduce other complexities into our training. Moving does not only adding complexity, it is adding a necessary ingredient for survival! We cannot sit still and hope for the best when someone is sending bullets our way. Even if you never trained a day in your life, I guarantee that you will move in some manner if you hear the zing of a bullet by your head. Since that is true, we should deliberately train to move in a fashion that sets us up for success, don’t you think? We want to move aggressively and also employ our weapon system accurately so we must have a method that allows for a steady sight picture. That is what we show here. Heel to toe, knees bent for shock absorber support, upper body stays as level as possible. While that sounds easy, it really takes practice. Watching a video is not going to make you a master of shooting while moving.


You need to practice this and you need to practice this a lot. Now, we are big on dry-firing at home. You can also “dry-fire” moving drills at home. However, you wandering around the house with a weapon in your hand may freak out the pets and neighbors. Zee mentions in the video that you can actually use a two-thirds full water bottle in place of your pistol. Turn the bottle over, and grip it like you would your pistol. The water level should be high enough so you can see the level over your hands or the label. Now, just float through the house focusing on heel to toe, knees bent, and trying to keep the water level from splashing around. Trust me, while it sounds silly, this training technique really helps.

From a competition standpoint, it will always be more accurate to plant your feet, engage the targets, and then move to the next array. However, assaulters don’t have the option of stopping when they see a threat, because they have a whole group of other assaulters behind them wanting to get through the doorway. So, they have to keep moving. Likewise, if you are involved in a real gunfight, you too will want to keep moving. Close the distance to the threat. Speed is security, as you are harder to hit when moving.

That said, you are just wasting ammo if you don’t practice it. Wasting ammo and missing in competition will cost you points and positions at the prize table. Wasting ammo and missing in a real gunfight, costs you needed ammo and, more importantly, you are responsible for wherever those missed bullets go. They are going to hit something.

So, once you are done watching the video, go drink some water. Then, when you’re ready, get out to the range and practice shooting while moving. The life you save may be your own.  Thanks for watching.

I hope you enjoyed the video. We put out a new Tactical Rifleman video every Friday. Thanks for watching, and we’ll see you next time.

Strength & Honor, TR.

For more go to and Follow TR on Twitter-

Top 5 Combat Drills-feature

Tactical Video | Top 5 Combat Drills for New Shooters

There are lots of great shooting drills out there. Some are great for slow-fire marksmanship. Some are great for competitive sports, such as IDPA or IPSIC. If you browse across the internet, you’ll find literally thousands of different shooting drills. Many are good, while a few are really great. Others, not so much. I prefer teaching and practicing combat shooting. While some of these skills do cross pollinate, as “the basics” remain the same; there are others that have no place in combat shooting. Again, I practice for combat shooting, and I practice mastery of “the Basics.”

So, when I get asked “Karl, can you show us your favorite Combat Shooting Drills?”, it often surprises them that my favorite drills are literally the same basic drills that are taught at most CQB schools. 

First, the basic “Up Drill.” It is the core movement on getting the rifle onto the target quickly and getting off an accurate shot before the bad guy gets one off on you. At 5 meters, he is not going to miss you. You have got to be the first one to the trigger. Speed is everything. This drill can be varied from the “Low Ready” or “High Ready.” 

Second, is the “Double Tap” or “Hammered Pair;” depending on which name you prefer. Building off of the “Up Drill;” anyone worth shooting once is worth shooting twice. Ammo is cheap; share the love.  

Third, is the “Failure Drill.” This drill builds off of the “Double Tap by adding a follow-up shot to the brain stem. While originally taught to deal with people wearing concealed body armor; I teach it to quickly incapacity a threat, so I can deal with other threats or non-combantants in the room. Take out the brain stem and he is not going to shoot you in the back.

combat drills with guns

Fourth drill is the “Zipper Drill.” We have gotten away from only shooting a bad guy twice. Reality is that the 5.56mm round does not always incapacitate a bad guy as quickly as we would like. Again, ammo is cheap, so share the love. Start center mass and hammer your way up to the melon. Some instructors teach to work “chest to head, then head to torso.” I understand the thought process; however, I just stick with zipping them “Up” to the head.  

The fifth drill is called a “Box Drill” and deals with multiple targets in width. We again build off of the “Double Tap” and “Failure Drill,” but have added an additional buddy. Remember, you must get that round on the bag guy, before he gets a round on you. Except now you have two bad guys to deal with; so you have to get a round on BOTH of them BEFORE they get even one round on you. So, the drill is ran with double-taps on each target quickly; followed up with a single well placed shot to the brain box of each target.  

You’ll notice that these drills are really nothing more than mastering the basics. For new shooters and seasoned assaulters, first and foremost, they need to develop and maintain “muscle memory.” That takes thousands (7-9k) of repetitions of the same CORRECT movements and actions. 

You’ll see that each of these drills builds on the drill(s) before it; so that you are continuing to push those said movements and actions into your subconscious mind. It’s like driving… the first few months, you had to think about brakes and turn signals. Now, you just drive subconsciously. That frees up the conscious mind to focus on signs, signals, and other drivers. Likewise, you need to push all these basic shooting skills into your subconscious mind. That frees up the conscious mind to focus on “Is it a Threat” and “Is it a Threat that warrants Deadly Force?” 

Once, you have mastered these basic drills, then you can add all your critical skills to add spice: 

  • Add Transition to Pistol Drills, every time your rifle runs dry or malfunctions 
  • Add Tactical & Speed Reloads 
  • Add Turning & Moving Drills, to these drills 
  • Use Dummy Rounds, to induce Malfunctions during these drills. 

Once you have mastered these five drills, it is time to put you against the Protimer. Use the timed Critical Task Evaluations (CTEs) to see if you make the standard. If you don’t know them, you can check them out in our Video Archive at our Tactical Rifleman YouTube Channel.  

Again, I know there are thousands of other great rifle drills out there. I know all the Internet Ninjas are gonna start screaming how “Their Drill is Better” or how we “Obviously don’t know how to Shoot.” Yep, you guys are awesome. However, these are still my Top 5 Combat Drills for New Shooters.

I hope you enjoyed the video. We put out a new Tactical Rifleman video every Friday. Thanks for watching, and we’ll see you next time.

Strength & Honor, TR.

For more go to and Follow TR on Twitter-

How to shoot a pistol-Feature

How to Shoot a Pistol | Basics of Shooting a Pistol

This week I get to have a little fun, playing with this video.  It is a really quick video about how to shoot a pistol, covering just the basic fundamentals.  It took us around 3 minutes to film the whole thing. It was fun, basic, and to the point. 

Fact is, the “Special” in “Special Ops” is not about how much cool gear you have, or how many cool schools you get to go to. It is about mastering the basics. That includes the basic fundamentals of pistol marksmanship.

  • Combat Stance:   

Like you’re getting ready to fist-fight. Aren’t you fighting for your life? Think of it as shoulders over knees, and knees over the balls of your feet. You are leaning slightly forward, as the “threat” is to your front. If someone was to turn the corner and jump at you grabbing at your gun, you are prepared to withstand that rush, rather than just falling on your back. We keep our feet slightly wider than shoulder-width, along with the feet being slightly staggered front to back. This allows us to spring frontwards/backwards/left/right, all with one stance. If you have ever seen SOF guys in a bar, look at how they stand; they own “real estate.” That is their space, and don’t enter it unless you are hot with big tits. As for which foot to have forward, many schools teach to always have the support-side foot forward; so, a right-handed shooter would have his left foot forward. I disagree with this, as our end goal is to be able to “shoot while moving” across the modern battlefield. I’m not going to “Skip” forward in combat. Rather, I’m going to “walk” forward. So, I need to be able to shoot with either foot forward. From the waist up, you are the turret of a tank. From the waist down, that is the body of your tank. Accuracy up top; mobility from the waist down. 

  • Strong-Hand Grip 

Hold the pistol high on the back strap. A firm grip, strength wise, but not squeezing the guts out of the pistol. Now, that is different from what some instructors teach… then, why? Make a tight fist, as tight as you can. Now, try to wiggle your trigger finger smoothly. Hard, isn’t it? Now, relax the hand a bit, and try wiggling that trigger finger. Much faster and smoother. Isn’t that cool? So, a firm Strong-hand grip.

  • Support-Hand Grip:   

Lock your wrists, raise your strong-hand thumb and try to cover as much of the pistol grip with your support-hand as possible. This is where all the grip strength is. I squeeze as hard as I can with this hand. This is the hand that is driving the gun left or right, up or down.

  • Thumbs:   

Ensure you stack them properly (strong-hand thumb on top). We are not shooting a revolver.

  • Trigger Finger: 

Put just enough pad of that trigger finger on the trigger to pull the trigger straight back. Sounds easy, but can you do it?. Here’s a test. With your weapon unloaded (seriously double-check), grip the pistol and dry-fire the trigger while aiming at a small dot on the wall. When the sear broke & trigger clicked, did the front sight move at all? If it moved Left, then a right-handed shooter probably had too little finger on the trigger, and needs to slide more finger onto the trigger. If it moved right; then the shooter probably had too much of his trigger finger on the trigger, and he pulled it to the right. So, he needs to adjust to having less finger on the trigger. Makes sense? Keep adjusting your grip until that front sight does not more at all when the trigger clicks. Now, you would not have been able to see this if you were shooting live ammo. You can only see this dry firing.

  • Both Eyes Open 

This is combat shooting. So, practice what your body is going to do instinctively. When your body goes into “Fight or Flight” mode, your heart rate goes way up; everyone knows that. However, dozens of other things are also going on inside your body. Certain vessels are dilating, others are constricting, and all kinds are weird other things are happening, like your pupils dilating. Did it get darker outside? Nope. So, why are your pupils dilating? Well, because your body is scared and your brain is screaming for as much information as possible. Likewise, your brain is going to keep both eyes open because, again, it is scared and wants as much information as possible. So, for you to say that you are going to close your non-dominant eye in combat is the same as you saying that you are going to keep your heart rate at 60 beats per minute. It’s not up to you, you have no control over it. So, why practice with one eye closed in training? Train as you fight; train with both eyes open. 

  • Proper Sight Alignment 

Both front and rear sight blade must be aligned; equal light & equal height. Again, sounds easy. Most pistol instructors have students focus just on the front sight. I agree to an extent. However, the key to long-range accuracy, pistol or rifle, is perfect sight alignment. In the video, I hit a 50 meter plate with my pistol. It’s not magic; it’s perfect sight alignment. I usually get about 50% hits on the same plates from 100 meters. Now, let that sink in. Is it better ammo or a magic pistol? Nope, I just focus on perfect sight alignment. The sights are roughly 6 inches apart. Any sight misalignment doubles every 6 inches. So, if you are a 16th of an inch misaligned, that’s an 8th of an inch off at a foot, a quarter of an inch off at 18 inches, and so forth. There are a lot of “6 inches” between you and a 50 meter target. Again, Both front and rear sight blade must be aligned; equal light & equal height.

  • Breath: 

This is combat shooting; not the Olympics. Breathe! I like to yell.

  • Trigger Squeeze: 

Smoothly roll through that trigger. Don’t slap it. Some people say “don’t Jerk it.” Well, once you start shooting much faster, it quickly turns into a “Controlled Jerk.” Start slow and smooth. Speed will come.

  • Follow Through 

This is where people are assessing the target, in case they missed and they have to shoot again. I like to think of Follow Through a little deeper, again, because this is combat shooting.  Ask yourself: “Did I hit? Did I get Desired Effect? Are there more threats?” Ask that after every shot, and you will have mastered Follow Through.


That’s a lot for a 3 minute video. You can’t get everything off the internet. Sometimes, to reach the next skill level, you need to go and get with a real instructor, take a class, and have him access your shooting form. I can’t do that from here. If you want more help, please sign up for a class, at or at any other professional shooting site near you. 

Master these basic fundamentals of marksmanship and you’ll make yourself a better shooter. They apply to all weapon systems.

I hope you enjoyed the video. We put out a new Tactical Rifleman video every Friday. Thanks for watching, and we’ll see you next time.

Strength & Honor, TR.

For more go to and Follow TR on Twitter-


Gunfight in a Car | Shooting Around a Vehicle

Contrary to what you see in the movies, you don’t want to shoot while your vehicle is moving; you’re just wasting ammo. Think about it; you are only carrying a few magazines; why waste them shooting from a high-speed vehicle at another high-speed vehicle? Fight with your vehicle. The best weapon you have is your vehicle and your driving skills. Don’t have “Combat Driving” skills? Well, sign up for a High-Threat Driving Course with us. We’ll teach you defensive driving and, brother, in combat the best defense is a strong offense! We’ll teach you high-speed vehicle dynamics, threshold braking, off-road recovery, Ramming & Pitting, and all the other great tactical skills so you can make the most out of fighting with someone else’s car or truck. Again, first fight with your vehicle; save that ammo for when your vehicle dies. However, once the vehicle has stopped, there are still things to consider when shooting around a vehicle. Armor, egress, angles, wounded, and so forth all come to mind right off the bat.

VIDEO – This week’s video is by Rob French, showing how to shoot around a vehicle. Rob French is a Weapons & Tactics Instructor at Tier-1 Group LLC, down in Memphis. Besides being a world class training facility, T1G has some of the greatest instructors that I have ever worked with. All are combat vets, and all are subject matter experts in their area of expertise.

In this video, Rob goes into some of the techniques that T1G teaches its students; focusing on initial presentation forward towards the threat. He then covers using that vehicle for cover towards enemy to your flank. There are certain things that will catch your eye, such as shooting through the windshield and where he says “bullets will change angles,” that have been covered in other videos on our video archive. You can search for them in our YouTube Tactical Rifleman Video List. 

Cover V.S. Concealment

This is not magic. It is just using the vehicle for Cover & Concealment, and knowing techniques to make best use of the vehicle while delivering effective fire back on the threat. It is better to have tried and learned ahead of time in a training environment, then to try making it up as you go in the middle of a gunfight. What is Cover vs Concealment? Concealment basically equates to anything that keeps the enemy from seeing you but wont stop bullets (example: a bush). Cover is anything that will stop bullets (example: a brick wall). In reference to Cover & Concealment, all vehicles are not created equal. Without even considering armored vehicles, a heavier vehicle will provide better ballistic protection than lighter vehicles. Rob mentioned the engine block over the trunk, which is obvious. However, he also mentioned the wheel hubs, which many people overlook. Bottom line, all vehicles are different. Judge it case by case. Yes, the trunk normally does not provide much cover, but if you know the trunk is filled with sandbags or other heavy material, it will offer better protection than normal. Remember, the engine isn’t magic either. It is very easy to skip bullets under a vehicle, raping people hiding behind the engine block. So, stay behind the wheel hubs, front or back.

Staying Off the Vehicle

Rob also mentions “staying off the vehicle.” He is referring to how bullets change angles when they skip off of the hood or trunk. Again, we cover this in another video, but it boils down to: Bullets do not skip off the hood like pool balls on a pool table, matching angles. Rather, as they initially touch, bullets push a wave of metal in front of them, like the bow of a boat. Then, once the wave builds up, they either penetrate and enter down into the vehicle, or they angle upward at a steeper angle. Because of this steeper departure angle, it is actually safer to stay several meters off of the vehicle in a two dimensional gunfight. By two dimensional, I mean that all the enemy threats are down at eye-level with you. If there is a threat of enemy being located above, like in second or third story windows, then staying closer up on the vehicle will provide more protection from direct fire. Again, it’s not magic; it is just about being able to read the situation and having the knowledge to assist in rapid informed decisions on the battlefield.

 How to Survive a Gunfight in a Car Part 2

 Video: In Part 2 of How to Survive a Gunfight in a Car, Rob is going to take you through what to do when you have to shoot from within your vehicle. He covers shooting through the windshield, shooting while exiting the door, and shooting while bounding back from the vehicle.

I hope you enjoyed the video. We put out a new Tactical Rifleman video every Friday. Thanks for watching, and we’ll see you next time.

Strength & Honor, TR

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Best Home Defense Guns

OK, I know everyone has their own opinion on “Home Defense” weapons. Well, that includes me. My opinion is “Go with what you know.” My background is 26+ years of military service, with much of that in Special Ops, including Direct Action units. I carried a rifle & pistol during hostage rescues or provided overwatch with a semi-auto sniper rifle while the other assaulters conducted the raid. Since retiring, I went from “shooting & blowing stuff up” to teaching people how to “shoot & blow stuff up.” I also host a YouTube channel called “Tactical RIFLEman.” So, can you guess which weapon I would pick for Home Defense? Again,  “Go with what you know.”

VIDEO: OK, I know everyone has their own opinion on “Home Defense” weapons. Well, that includes me. Now, you know I don’t mind voicing my opinion and I’m a little “long-winded”, but I ask that you bare with me.  My opinion is “Go with what you know.” 

Best Gun for Home Defense?

If you only practice with a pistol; use that pistol for home defense. If you carry a rifle for a living, then it only makes sense for you to use the same type weapon for home defense.  Now, you notice that I’ve mentioned a pistol and a rifle. I haven’t said anything about a shotgun. That surprises many of you, because “everyone” on the internet/TV/movies push using a shotgun for home defense. 

  • It doesn’t go through walls like a pistol 
  • The “Racking Sound” will scare the intruder away. 
  • You don’t have to aim 
  • Better in low light 
  • The Pump Shotgun will never jam 
  • Weapon of choice for Zombies 

Well, call me crazy, but to me, for Home Defense, I want: 

  • Accuracy, so I don’t hit friendlies 
  • Stopping power 
  • Something that I have “Muscle-memory” with, for ease of use in hasty situations 

In my world, Shotguns are for breaching doors and shooting birds. 

Shotgun for Home Defense

For the Shotgun Lovers out there… Yes, I know a shotgun has great stopping power, close up. I live on 63 acres.  Yes, I used “bird shot” for the “long range” hallway demonstration, and your “Buckshot” would have grouped tighter.  Oh course it would have. I was demonstrating the fallacy of what many viewers believe, which is that bird shot is “better” because it won’t go through walls. I could have shot Buckshot at that target, and it would have succeeded, but it wasn’t needed. Yes, I shot “birdshot” at the hostage demonstration, and your “Buckshot” would have grouped better; but only slightly. I have actually demonstrated this very drill with Buckshot many times (remember, I teach this stuff for a living) and the Buckshot always fails the hostage demonstration. Yes, your shotgun has a tighter choke and you are using special “Flight Control” shotgun shells that group tighter. Yep, that’s great. However, this video was for the rest of the planet that is using standard shotguns with standard ammo. 

I like Shotguns. Those are my shotguns on the table. I own close to as many shotguns as I do rifles. I know their strengths and their versatility. That said, there is a reason every hostage rescue and direct-action unit on the planet uses a carbine for a primary weapon system. 

Rifles for Home Defense 

One thing I would like to point out, is that I misspoke when I said “AR.” I meant to say “Rifle.” I was holding one of my ARs in my hands and, as you might have judged by my tone, I was a little amped up during this video. I wasn’t even going to film it, but another “Gun Guy” and myself had just had a heated “friendly discussion” about this subject, and the film crew was like “Can you say that again on film?” If I had to film it again, I would have said “Rifle,” as most any semi-auto rifle is better than a shotgun or pistol for home defense. Whether it is an KelTec, AK, Travor, AR, or a new SIG MPX; a good short carbine will never let you down. 

I’m not going to bring just a pistol to a gunfight; I’m going to bring a rifle. Now, before you comment why I carry a pistol EDC; I carry a pistol every day because I am NOT planning on getting into a gunfight. I carry the pistol just in case. 

Again, go with what you know.  If you don’t train with your firearm, you shouldn’t have it. However, whether you pick a rifle, pistol, or shotgun; if you are proficient with it, you will win the day. That said, there is always room to improve the odds. 

  • Know the angles: You know where the family members are in your house. Avoid shooting those angles. If you can’t; yell for the family members to lay on the ground, then crouch and fire upward at your opponent, taking the loved ones out of the backstop. 
  • Ammo: For home defense, I recommend good tactical frangible ammunition, like that made by Inceptor. Their 5.56mm, AK-47, and 300BLK are all awesome. They deliver all the kinetic energy of jacketed lead ammo, but fragment immediately, preventing the pass-through of multiple objects (think neighbors). What I really like are their tactical 9mm, which has a kind of reversed “rifling’ on the slugs. Think of it as paddle boards on a boat. As soon as it hits anything, this spinning projectile tears itself apart, with these fins helping to increase the effect. The secondary cavitation is incredible. Yes, Frang is more expensive. Isn’t your family worth it? Mine is. 
  • Now, when that home alarm goes off; you can bet I’m coming prepared. I’ll be praying it was nothing. I’ll be praying they won’t be stupid… but if they come to hurt my family, rest assured I will exercise my right to spend the next two weeks cleaning  bio-hazard from all over my walls. 

A good rifle, with a white light and good optic… along with a quality way to secure it safely; that’s all you need. Enough said. Again, just my opinion. Go with what you know. I know I’m choosing a rifle. 

I hope you enjoyed the video. We put out a new Tactical Rifleman video every Friday. Thanks for watching, and we’ll see you next time.

Strength & Honor, TR.

Article Source – Tactical Rifleman

How to Set Up Your AR | AR Setup and AR Accessories

If you have ever gone to a major gun show, NRA show, or to the huge SHOT Show; then you have seen literally hundreds of booths by companies all claiming to have the “Latest and Greatest” weapons and accessories for you to spend your hard-earned money on. Every one of those booths has something “New” and “Better” than the same thing that they were selling last year. Don’t get me wrong; every company out there has to come up with some “new” product every show. So, basically, we have hundreds of “new” items there that looked just like last year’s “new” items. 

My point: New doesn’t mean better. Stick to gear that has a proven track record. Keep it simple. Keep it light. Keep it the best quality that you can afford.

VIDEO: Want to know the best way to set up your AR? You don’t have to upgrade to this year’s “latest and greatest.” I had it taught to me, year’s back, that “you don’t need a new gun until you can out-shoot the one in your hands.” Do you really need a gun that’s capable of .25 MOA groups when you (as a shooter) are only capable of shooting 2 MOA groups? Do you really need this year’s “fastest Shotgun” when you drop half the shotgun shells while loading on the move in a 3-gun competition? Master what you have. When you can outperform your gear; then you upgrade. 

The hot weapon out right now is the “AR” family of rifles. Again, there are hundreds of choices. So, which should I pick? I appreciate you asking. I spent over 26 years in the military, most of that in SOF units, behind a “AR style” M-16 or M-4 Carbine. I had the honor of serving in units that had the latitude to pick and choose accessories (so long as they were MilSpec) and got to try most optics and accessories under the sun. Some are good and some are great; others, not so much.

Which AR to Buy

Let’s start with what rifle to buy.  You don’t have to own one of everything. I would rather own one type of weapon system and shoot thousands of rounds through it, than own twenty different types of weapons and only shoot a few hundred rounds through each type. Where’s the muscle memory or good shooting habits? Which one would be more proficient with the gun in their hand? So, for me; let’s get an AR. 

Quality of the AR

Now, all ARs are not created Equal. That said, you don’t have to buy the most expensive rifle either. The most important factor for me is that the rifle has got to be reliable. It has to go “Bang” everytime I pull the trigger. In the middle of a shooting competition, if your rifle jams, that could be the difference with 10th and 50th place; not that big a deal. However, in combat, you have got to win that fight. If your rifle screws up in the middle of a room, the other guy is not going to just stand there while you try to fix it, and he is not going to miss from only 10 feet away. You came in second place, because you skimped on reliability; good job. Your family members will be proud of you for saving them that hundred dollars, but would rather have you around than a less than ideal rifle.

AR Accuracy 

Second, I want a rifle capable of delivering accurate shots. This is important to me because I have a military sniper’s background, and I teach Precision Rifle courses to LE/Military and civilians alike. I also live on 63 acres of rolling hills. Just ask the deer eating apples in my orchard how accurate my weapons are. We can discuss it while we eat venison burgers. If you live in a small apartment, then long-range accuracy isn’t that important. 

AR Optics 

Third, is you have to be able to hit where you are aiming. That means you need Iron Sights and/or an optic like a reddot scope. You might notice I said “Iron Sights” before I mentioned optics. That is because I believe all new shooters should first master Iron Sights and also that Iron Sights won’t run out of batteries, like some optics will. That said, there is a reason all SOF units run optics on their rifles. They are a great force multiplier; helping to deliver faster, more accurate shots, under stress when it really matters. So, master the Irons; but then invest in a good MilSpec Optic. I’m often asked which brand I recommend… again, get MilSpec and buy the best optic you can afford.

Lights for an AR

Fourth, you need a visible light on your rifle. Why? Well, for my old unit, 90% of our raids and combat ops were during hours of limited visibility. One op that was during the day, was on the second floor of a 400-room apartment building which had the power cut off a month earlier. Even during the day, it was dark as spades in there. You have to be able to identify is it a “Threat, not a Threat, or a Threat that warrants Deadly Force.” So, a good visible weapon light is high on my list. It has to be something that can handle the blast from the muzzle. Again, there are lots of great brands out there, like Surefire and Streamlight. I recommend you get one that has an “instant on” feature; don’t leave it turned on, as it gives away your position. 

Other AR Accessories 

That’s it. I add a sling, as I have trained to transition to my pistol, if my rifle goes down. However, you’ll notice that I haven’t listed all the other dozens of items that we often see people adding to their guns, just because they look “Cool” on TV. If your mission requires it, like IR illuminators or Suppressors, then add it; but understand that every ounce you add is one more ounce that is going to slow down your presentation during a gunfight. Ounces add up to pounds; and pounds add up to slower response times. 

What about the next gun show?  You don’t have to upgrade to this year’s “latest and greatest.” I had it taught to me, year’s back, that “you don’t need a new gun until you can out-shoot the one in your hands.” Do you really need a gun that’s capable of .25 MOA groups when you (as a shooter) are only capable of shooting 2 MOA groups? Do you really need this year’s “fastest Shotgun” when you drop half the shotgun shells while loading on the move in a 3-gun competition? Master what you have. When you can outperform your gear; then you upgrade. 

So, again, keep it simple. Look at your mission; what do you actually want to use your AR rifle for? Then, spend your hard-earned cash on the best quality gear you can afford, that supports what you are actually going to use it for. You can buy all the bells and whistles and make yourself a ten pound rifle that looks great sitting on the shelf. Or, you can be that guy with the slick lightweight blaster, fast as hell, outshooting everyone else on the range.  Your choice. 

I hope you enjoyed the video. We put out a new Tactical Rifleman video every Friday. Thanks for watching, and we’ll see you next time.

Strength & Honor, TR.

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Responsible Armed Citizens | Concealed Carry Drills

Everyday concealed carry has gained more and more popularity in recent years, both in practice and in politics. It’s estimated there are over 16 million concealed carry permit holders in the United States, that’s a 256% increase in permits since 2007. Keep in mind that number does not include folks who carry in the 15 states that allow permitless or constitutional carry, not to mention folks who choose to carry without a permit. There are a variety of reasons folks choose to carry a concealed weapon including personal protection, crime prevention, and sheepdog mentality. Concealed Carry Weapon or (CCW) is a part of everyday life for millions of Americans, for those who carry there are a multitude of considerations that factor into everyday carry. The magnitude of obligation that is assigned with the decision to carry is not limited to choosing a firearm and deciding on a carry method. Personal protection does not end with holstering a loaded pistol on your way out the door in the morning.

Carrying a concealed weapon comes with great responsibility. There is a lot more to arming yourself with a deadly weapon than simply buying a small pistol and a concealed holster. As responsible gun owners and CCW citizens it’s important that we do our part when it comes to concealed carry. It’s critical to familiarize yourself with your chosen firearm, your carry method, and to practice real world scenarios when it comes to CCW. Whether it’s dry fire drills, live ammunition practice, or simply better familiarizing yourself with your pistol, mags, and holster; drills and intentional practice are critical to concealed carry, firearm safety, and an obligation in arming yourself in society.

A quick online search for Concealed Carry Drills will produce over 1 million results at the click of a mouse. It’s obvious that the topic of concealed carry and real world preparedness for those who choose to carry is a critical topic in society today. YouTube channels like USCCA (United States Concealed Carry Association), Iraqveteran8888NSSF (National Shooting Sports Foundation), and On Target all have multiple video series centered around the topic of concealed carry practice and concealed carry drills.

This video details dry fire drill options, by USCCA, it focuses on the use of snap caps for practice and drills for concealed carry.

Iraqveteran8888 has a great multipart series that covers many aspects of concealed carry. Check out this video, number three in the series, detailing drills.

The folks over at NSSF produce quality videos covering a host of topics around shooting sports, personal carry, and firearms in general. Here they discuss drawing a pistol in a car, the options for situational carry, and practice.

Over at the On Target channel, the guys cover everything firearm related, including this terrific video over basic drills for concealed carry.

Choosing to carry a concealed weapon is a personal choice and must be taken seriously. If you choose to add a firearm to your everyday carry, keep in mind the implications and obligations that accompany that choice. Take advantage of the wealth of resources available for training, proof of concept, and practical implementation to keep you and your family safe.


Bump Fire Stocks and Pull/Release Triggers

Full auto machine guns are a dream for many firearm owners, however, there are not that many available for legal private ownership. Due to the small number, 182,000 according to The Truth About Guns, transferable machine guns are expensive. It is a matter of supply and demand. Only 182k guns for the millions of people living in the US means demand increases and the supply is fixed or slowly dwindling as some could be destroyed or worn down from use. So the next best thing is a bump fire stock or pull/release triggers that simulate full auto.

Bump Firing Fun Under Fire

Due to the recent mass shooting in Las Vegas and subsequent mass shootings, bump fire stocks have become the symbol for anti-gun supporters to rally against. The shooter allegedly used a bump fire stock to rapidly fire onto the victims at the Las Vegas shooting. While the Vegas shooting was tragic the numbers do not justify the banning of anything. 58 people died from gun shot wounds and while that is terrible, a terrorist in Nice, France used a 19-tonne cargo truck to kill 86 people. While number of injured are similar. 422 by gun wounds in Vegas and 458 by vehicle in France. There was actually an additional 429 wounded in Vegas, however, there is no direct link to the shooting. These could have been people who were injured when they tried to flee but they were not wounded by gun shots so it is not directly related to rapid firing.

What is bump firing then? It is a form of rapidly pressing the trigger by taking advantage of physics. By holding a rifle somewhat loosely and pulling the trigger, the gun will shift rearward due to recoil. Then using your support hand you gently push the firearm forward again thereby pushing the trigger again into your trigger finger. The process repeats itself and you can fire very quickly. Most shooters tend to fix their finger in place by hooking it onto a belt loop. The problem with bump firing is that it is difficult to actually hit your intended target. The gun is not as controllable compared to a slower firing cadence.

Within the last few years Slide Fire systems came up with a bump fire stock. It replaces the stock and grip of an AR-15 making bump fire easier to perform from the shoulder. The grip is attached to the stock and the AR-15 slides inside the stock. The pistol grip has a protrusion to rest your trigger finger against. That is crucial to bump firing as you saw in the belt loop example above. Then the manipulation is the same. Your support hand pushes the gun forward bringing the trigger into your finger and the gun fires.

Pull/Release Triggers | A Better Way To Fire Fast

A couple years ago two companies figured out an exploit in the definition of a semi auto trigger. The ATF defines a rifle by “fire only a single projectile through a rifled bore for each single pull of the trigger.” However, in the world of competitive shotgun shooting like Trap and Skeet, release triggers

have been adopted. Shotgun shooters manipulate every nuance out of the shotgun for any benefit to their shooting. They found that pulling the trigger can cause issues like pulling your shot when you jerk the trigger thus resulting in a miss. Release triggers use fewer muscles and do not have many negative effects on your shooting. A release trigger works similar to a normal trigger. When you are ready to shoot, you pull back on the trigger but then nothing happens. It is only when you let go of the trigger does the sear become tripped and the hammer is released.

The ATF approved this trigger for semi-auto use even though their definition uses the words “single pull of the trigger”. So Fostech and Franklin Armory got approval from the ATF that pull and release are two separate manipulations of the trigger. Single pull and single release. Yep, that is semi auto. Full auto is defined by multiple shots fired with a single pull of the trigger. Since only one shot is fired on the pull or release it passes the test.

Fostech made their Echo trigger which originally required a proprietary bolt carrier group. One benefit to their design is that you could not have hammer follow. Hammer follow is a negative by product when pulling the trigger too fast. You can actually release the trigger too soon and the hammer does not hit the firing pin resulting in a malfunction. The Fostech Echo was designed so it cannot do that. The hammer cannot be released unless the bolt carrier group is all the way forward.

One limitation to the Fosteh Echo is that you are limited to what gun you can use it in. It only works in AR-15s and while their newer generations now work with full auto carriers, it is still limiting. That is where the Franklin Armory Binary Trigger shines. While in most cases hammer follow is possible, they offer a wider range of triggers for many different weapon platforms. Their BFSIII trigger is for the AR platform but it works in other guns that can use an AR-style trigger. I installed mine into my Smith & Wesson M&P15-22 then swapped it into my Sig Sauer MPX.

According to Naegele Sun of Franklin Armory, their Binary Trigger for H&K roller locks cannot have hammer follow.

The benefit of the pull/release triggers over the bump fire stocks is that it does not require finesse to get the gun to shoot reliably. Sure, the Franklin Armory Binary Trigger can run too fast and induce a malfunction but as long as you slow down a little it will run just fine.

Legality Of Rapid Fire?

Recently anti-gunners have been trying to ban bump fire stocks and anything else that allows a shooter to shoot fast. The problem with this possible ban is that it is open ended and vague. Other than calling out bump fire stocks, it doesn’t really call out specifics. This is dangerous. Vagueness allows more accessories to be banned if it passes the smell test and right now everything smells bad to anti-gunners.

Here is the notice proposed by the Department of Justice…

Department of Justice Submits Notice of Proposed Regulation Banning Bump Stocks

Today the Department of Justice submitted to the Office of Management and Budget a notice of a proposed regulation to clarify that the definition of “machinegun” in the National Firearms Act and Gun Control Act includes bump stock type devices, and that federal law accordingly prohibits the possession, sale, or manufacture of such devices.

“President Trump is absolutely committed to ensuring the safety and security of every American and he has directed us to propose a regulation addressing bump stocks,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “To that end, the Department of Justice has submitted to the Office of Management and Budget a notice of a proposed regulation to clarify that the National Firearms and Gun Control Act defines ‘machinegun’ to include bump stock type devices.”

This submission is a formal requirement of the regulatory review process. Once approved by the Office of Management and Budget, the Department of Justice will seek to publish this notice as expeditiously as possible.

Recently Adam Kraut, an avid second amendment lawyer, and Jonathan Patton of The Gun Collective used a slow motion camera to prove that bump fire stocks do not make a firearm into a machine gun. The historic difference between a machine gun and a regular firearm is how many projectiles are fired with a single pull of the trigger. No matter how fast a gun shoots, if only one bullet is fired with a single trigger pull, it is still a semi-auto firearm and not a machine gun.

Eric of Iraqveteran8888 went up against world’s fastest shooter Jerry Miculek. Eric needed a handicap by using a bump stock while Jerry used his competition semi-auto race gun. They both shot 10 rounds each in about the same time.

So would the Department of Justice proposal not include Jerry Miculek’s finger? Of course not. And as I showed earlier, it is possible to bump fire without a special stock. Organizations like the Firearms Policy Coalition are actively fighting against the DOJ’s bump stock ban proposal. You can check out their work here.

The video by Adam Kraut and Jonathan Patton is one example they are using as evidence to fight the DOJ. The NRA rolled over on the bump stocks as well as many traditional firearm owners. The problem is the second amendment community is divided. Too often some groups do not think such legislation applies to them. Sure the bump stock is a novelty and does it matter if the DOJ bans it? Not for those who don’t use one and never will. However, the slippery slope issue arises. Why Let the government take away any more of our rights?