Episode-350- Mastering the Rifle — 8 Comments

  1. I did the eye dominance test that is described in the show and it showed that I am a right handed, left eye dominant person. This bothered me because I consider myself a good shot and I have used my right eye my entire life. In addition to his I did this test a few years ago and it showed that I was right eye dominant. I am wondering if eye dominance can change. I did a Google search for information on this and I found this explanation of why eye dominance matters, how you can force your dominant eye to change temporarily by closing one eye (I do this), and how using a cloudy lens over one eye can force you to change your dominant eye.

    I need to research this more. I would have a very hard time changing to left handed shooting. Not to mention that I own a collection of right handed guns.

  2. Jack — ’09 is sooo OVER !!

    Great show! I’ve been shooting for 45 years and I learned something new (form, .22 scopes, eating groundhogs )

  3. Great show Jack, especially new shooters using iron sights, and getting away from square range bench shooting.

    I would encourage you to promote practical shooting competitions as another way to practice rifleman skills. Being organized, it might be a little easier for a suburbanite to find than a shootable small game area. I am not talking marksmanship exercises like bullseye, highpower, trap or skeet, but rather action pistol and 3-gun competitions. Competition shooting in general teaches alot of great skills in shooting fast and accurately from various improvised positions, and moving safely and quickly with a weapon, be it pistol, rifle, or shotgun. For rifles, a good 3-gun or tactical carbine match will test your ability to hit targets at unknown ranges in natural environments, often out to 300 yards or so. Alot of stages will have a mix of ranges from zero to way out there, so a realistic flexible rifle is the best way to go. Like buck fever, the stress of competition has a way of bringing out your weaknesses too, in a safe way. It’s not combat stress, but its at least the beginning of some “stress innoculation”, the same as good scenarios in a training class.

    Keep up the good work, have a good weekend!

  4. My .22 is a ruger 10/22 but I have a bolt action Marlin .22 Mag, I’m gonna try and practice with that more but it is also scoped.
    With the .22 I have been (not lately) practicing with both eyes open with iron sights and trying to get the front sight to “float” or “ghost” over my target and it works ok but my eyes do funny things, its just gonna take more practice I guess.
    Great show Jack, I will probably listen again on the weekend.
    By the way, have a good weekend man!

  5. Great show. You motivated me (again). Like you said in your podcast about goals, I try to have bite-sized goals, and to tackle them in order of usefulness if SHTF. My first gun goal was to have the ones I need and to know basic operation and maintenance. Done. This is a skill for any situation. My second goal was to have basic “tactical” skills for self-defense. Done. A .22 LR conversion for my AR helped with this a whole lot. This is a skill for civil unrest, which is a medium-likely scenario. My third goal is to be rifleman so I can hunt for food. I’m still working on that. Your podcast and your ebook will help with that. This is a skill for less likely scenario, which is long-term lack of food from traditional sources.

    Even with what little work I’ve done on the basics, I can’t stress enough how practicing with a .22LR (long gun and handgun) has REALLY improved my skills and rather quickly.

  6. Heavy,

    Your approach is great but one thing I totally disagree with is your underlying logic that you will be more likely to need a gun for defense than to feed yourself.

    Let me make this real easy for anyone to understand. No matter your age ask yourself just two questions.

    1. How many times have you had a physical altercation in your life?

    2. How many times have you had the need to consume food in your life?

    Learn to feed yourself that is the key, if defense becomes necessary the man who knows how to feed himself will be able to defend himself. No one really wants to go into the woods after a Kentucky deer hunter.

    On thinks like 3 gun etc. Fun yes, useful yes but it is still about tactical and most tactical style competition bears no resemblance to reality.

    Get away from open spaces, find woods, shoot skeet on a bank, tin cans or critters. But find woods, deal with real cover, uneven terrain, unstable ground. You know the real world, master that and the rest is easy.

    The thing is we all gravitate to what we know, of course I am no exception. The difference though I feel is I have done plenty of the tactical and open range stuff. After seeing both sides I can tell you I think getting into the dirt is the way to go. Of course as always your differing opinions are welcome and respected even if not concurred with.

  7. Jack:

    You’re totally right that being good at the range does not equal being a good hunter. I can attest to that.

    You’re also right that feeding yourself is far more of an ongoing problem than self defense. But I meant that having to hunt to get food–or I will starve–is something that I see as being less likely to confront me than having to defend myself. I see the possibility of civil unrest as 50/50. I see the possibility of long term (6 months) unavailability of food at about 10/90. Of course there would be an unvailabilty of food if there is civil unrest (or something as simple as a snow storm!) but I’m talking about unavailability of food for such a long period that I absolutely NEED to hunt. I can eat my stored food for a couple of months and can eat non-meat for a couple more. (I have an unusal situation: clams, oysters, and salmon at my BOL.) If I need to hunt to feed myself, it’s darn near TEOTWAWKI and I see this bleak situation as being far less likely than civil unrest.

    You are right that we gravitate to what we know. I know the gun range and gravel pit far better than I know the woods (I’m hunting coyotes now to get better at this and squirrels will be next). I am also hunting because I like it and it sure would be nice even in a short term unavailability of food to have fresh meat. Heck, it would be nice to provide some food from hunting even now when the stores are full of groceries.

    But I totally see your point, especially because lots of your listeners (like me) feel comfortable with self-defense but aren’t experienced hunters. Yet.

    Loved your episode on mastering the rifle.