5 Apr 23
Legitimate Defensive Rifle Skills:
“Some believe they can find satisfaction in good food, fine clothes, lively music, and sexual pleasure. However, when they have all these things, they are still far from satisfied!
They realize happiness is not simply having material needs met. Thus, society has set up a system of so-called ‘rewards’ that go beyond material goods. These include titles, social recognition, trophies, status, political power, and (mostly imaginary) ‘legacies,’ all wrapped up in a package inaccurately called ‘self-fulfillment.’
Attracted by such ‘prizes,’ and goaded-on by social pressure, many expend their short lives, tiring body and mind, chasing these illusory goals. Perhaps this gives them the feeling that they have achieved some kind of ‘standing,’ but in reality they have foolishly squandered everything worth having!
They can no longer see, hear, act, feel, nor think from their own hearts. Everything they do is dictated by whether or not it bolsters their ‘status.’ In the end, they’ve spent their lives following other people’s demands and never lived a life of their own.
How is this different from a slave, or a prisoner?”
Liezi, Lieh-tzu
The pernicious influence of Hollywood, plus modern shooting competitions, can easily confuse/retard aspiring Operators.
When we Operators are compelled to fight for our lives (with a rifle), our most likely stance is going to be momentary standing/unsupported, in-between rapid movements from cover to cover, and that is the way we should be training!
Our rifles are light, handy, short, slim, slick, and fast, always nearby, easily camouflaged, and continuously in an appropriate state of readiness.
When we shoot from supported positions, it is always very brief, and we keep the same grip on the rifle as if we were standing, but support our body, arms, and hands while firmly holding the fore-end and keeping the same pressure of the stock on our shoulder.
Firing-hand grip is able to hold the rifle while reloading, and the strong-side thumb is opposite the trigger finger and in the “up” position. Support-side hand is always well forward (thumb over the top) on the forend, so we can successfully resist gun grabs.
4 MOA (10cm at 100m, 20cm at 200m) is realistically what an Operator with an M4, XCR, VHS2, CETME, M1 Carbine, etc can do from a supported position, particularly when he is full or adrenalin and out of breath!
When shooting from a standing/unsupported position (offhand), 8 MOA (10cm at 50m, 20cm at 100m) is about as good as most Operators can do, again under stress typical of real fighting. I surely can’t do much better than that!
For most competent Operators, at 40m (our zero distance) when we shoot 90 rounds rapidly from a standing position, only a handful of times have I seen even 90% of rounds stay within a 10cm circle.
Unhappily, the trend in the competitive games is to emphasize extreme (and irrelevant) levels of precision, certainly less than 1 MOA.
To achieve this degree of precision, all kinds of “support bags” are routinely used, some as big as pillows!
Competition “rifles” are maladroit, tight, and temperamental, and often weigh twenty pounds! Strong-side thumbs are usually placed on the trigger-finger side of the grip. Bipods, even tripods, are common.
None of this gaming nonsense applies to us, nor should it influence our technique and training. In domestic defense, persuading a jury that a person two-hundred meters (or more) away not only represents an imminent deadly threat, but is also one you can accurately identify, and that of all options available, shooting him is the one that makes the most sense, is going to be a real challenge!

Realistic precision standard for defensive rifle shooting is 4 MOA from a standing position, a little better from supported positions. From an unsupported stance, consistently hitting a 10cm plate at 50m, in-between tactical movements, is good shooting. Predictably hitting the same plate at 200m, under the same conditions, is beyond anything I can do!

A twenty-pound gaming-rifle pretty much doesn’t care how it is held. By contrast, our light defensive rifles will have a slight (insignificant) POI change going from bench/supported to standing, due to the dynamic nature of the rifle itself (vibration).
Our three-magazine drill (hot function testing), when shot offhand and as fast as the shooter is comfortable with the sighting system he is using, might be the best “functional zero” we have. That is, enough rounds to be statistically significant, shot from the way we will most likely use the rifle.
No one is going to carry a twenty-pound rifle all day! In fact, there is no practical need even for a heavy barrel when your rifle is intended for serious purposes
Rifles and calibers we use are surely effective (given sufficient stability and time) against most human threats at 200m, even 300m and further. However beyond 75m, without magnifying optics, I can’t even tell what I’m shooting at!
So, we need to be doing the vast majority of our practical rifle training within 100m, employing cover and rapid movement.
We need to get as good as we can get at that kind of shooting, as fast as we can.
We don’t get to know when the “test” will be upon us. We do know it will be too late to “get ready” then!