17 May 22
“And you throw-off every conceptual cloak of self-defense.
You give-up fleshly resistance of your ego.
‘Repentance’ has nothing to do with self-serving ‘sorrow’ for transgressions and resultant poor outcomes.
Repentance is an ecstatic self-emptying, a precipitous change of mind about your mode of thinking and being.”
Christos Yannaras
Urban Rifle Training
During our Urban Rifle and ARTA (Armed Response to a Terrorist Attack) Programs, we see, time and again, the same mistakes with carrying and deploying the rifle for serious purposes.
The problem is not poor technique, which can be corrected through repetition.
The problem is poor philosophy, the only cure for which is personal repentance!
Some students stubbornly cling to dear falsehoods, defending them like their inheritance, even when they demonstrably (over and over) serve their devotees so poorly!
I’m as guilty as anyone else and have found it necessary to “repent” more than once, and I suspect I’m not finished!
When students raise their rifles (while moving), come on target, press the trigger, and nothing happens (or they only get one shot off), the reason(s) is usually:
1) No round chambered. Some are so afraid of “loaded guns” that they carry rifles and pistols (ostensibly for serious purposes) with no round chambered. Of course, they promptly forget about the condition of their weapon(s), and when threats appear, suddenly and unexpectedly, they try to aim and fire only to discover that they’re carrying a bar of soap!
Their “famous last words” are invariably, “This is so unfair!”
2) Magazine precipitously falls out of the rifle immediately after the first shot is fired, leaving the hapless shooter holding a rifle that does him no good!
Magazines not locked in place are a constant, and unnecessary, menace to your personal safety.
The culprit is a casual attitude with regard to the condition of the weapon, and resultant inconsistent handling procedure. Rifle magazines must be briskly inserted, then struck on the bottom, then tugged to insure they are locked in place.
No exceptions!
In some cases, an overcharged magazine will not lock in place no matter what insertion technique is used. Most “30-round” STANAG magazines work best when charged with 28 rounds. In any event, there must be a full, one-centimeter of free depression on the top round. Any doubt, and the top round needs to be removed.
3) Manual safety is in the “on” position when the shooter attempts to fire, fully expecting the rifle to function normally. The trouble is:
It does “function normally,” and the astonished shooter dies on the spot as a result!
The M4’s manual safety “works as advertised,” and it thus needs to be in the “on” position as the rifle is carried while slung (same with the PTR91, CETME, XCR, PTR, Hellion, M1A, FAL, AK, et al).
Most of us agree on that.
Some believe that the manual safety should remain “on” until the last half-second before shooting, and then go back “on” a half-second after shooting.
The trouble with this flawed philosophy is that the shooter gets the false idea that he gets to decide when the fight begins, and when it is over, forgetting that the bad guy(s) gets a vote too!
Time and again, we see naive shooters fire their rifles, then lower them into some kind of “ready position,” and then promptly put the manual safety back to the “on” position, saying to themselves, “Boy, I’m glad that’s over!” all before ever looking around for additional threats.
When additional/unexpected threats suddenly rear their ugly heads, the shooter has to go through a laborious mental shift in order to “wake-up” and embarrassingly re-enter the fight, and he invariably forgets that the manual safety is still “on!”
Operators can’t be afraid of loaded guns! We’re careful in what direction they’re pointed. We know where our fingers go. We train diligently. We know how to handle/operate/carry them correctly.
We, and they, are constantly in an appropriate state of readiness!
Poor/obsolete/naive/non-serious habits and philosophies must fall away, assuming you want to die of old age!
“Choking is thinking too much. Panic is thinking too little.”
Malcolm Gladwell