Dec 9, 2011

Drill Sergeant Fail

According to psychologist Kurt Lewin, recognized as one of the modern pioneers of social, organizational, and applied psychology, the approach to training and leadership taken by Drill Sergeants and Drill Instructors in the military is wrong.

http://psychology.about.com/od/leadership/a/leadstyles.htm

http://www.nwlink.com/~donclark/leader/leadstl.html

Dec 1, 2011

Request to SARG Leadership

Read this article:
Hire Smart or Fire Dumb

... and this book:
Say It In Six

"Mr. Hoff make's the point that most meetings are a waste of time and they are a waste because people don't come to the point. "

"If you can get your point across, clearly and forcefully, succinctly then you should. The amount of time wasted in excessive verbiage is staggering. "

Or to be more blunt: Stop bringing in retards and learn when to STFU!

ROWE

Fix Work




Proper management skills at meetings.

Nov 30, 2011

Machine Gunnery

My comments on the "Death of Machine Gunnery" probably apply mostly to United States troops.

If this video is any indication, Canadians appear to get it (at least they try to use Fire Commands):


Here are Brits "singing Gimpy"


Sadly, I have not yet found an equivalent video featuring soldiers from the US. If you have one let me know!

Nov 25, 2011

Shooting Skills for Hunters (.30-30 Drill)

The effective range of the .30-30 is about 150-170 yards. Some of the wizzy new Magnums can outperform this by roughly 300 percent, at least on paper. But can the hunter outperform the .30-30? Can you?

The .30-30 WCF (Winchester Center Fire) was a hot little number when first debuted in 1895 but today's hunters complain about this "obsolete" antique. Standard wisdom states this cartridge is best contained within a range of 100-175 yards. A .30-30 will push a 150-170 bullet out at approximately 2200 fps or so. With a 150 yard zero, the bullet will be about two inches above line of sight and around five inches low at 200.
Few hunters possess enough shooting skill that warrants better performance than this. Are you one of them? Find out with the .30-30 Drill.

Begin by getting a good 150 yard zero for that anemic .30-30 (or whatever your favorite hunting rifle is chambered in.) Set up a Y-ring steel target at 150 yards. If you don't have a quality, self-resetting steel target that is about 8-10 inches in diameter, a paper dinner plate at 150 yards makes an ersatz substitute. Get a shooting timer, or a buddy with a whistle and stop watch, to record the time.

Start from standing up. On the start signal adopt a sitting position and fire one aimed shot at the plate. Stand back up and repeat the drill for a total of three shots. After completing this three string/three round sequence from the sitting position, do it again adopting and shooting from prone.

We are shooting exactly at the distance we zeroed giving exact point-of-impact at point-of-aim on a nice, level playing field with no intervening brush, trees, etc. All the shooting is done from the two most stable positions available in the field. Furthermore, the target is presented whole, as opposed to a large animal with the vital zone hidden somewhere inside, thus eliminating the need to estimate target angle. Just hold center and let 'er rip!

Regardless of elapsed time, a hunter claiming to need something better than a .30-30 should get at least 5 hits out of 6 shots (83% hits) on this 6 MOA target every time. If so, our hero can actually make use of the
ballistic capability provided by a .30-30 or equivalent for field shooting. If not, their maximum effective range in field shooting is shorter than 150 yards and the capability of a .30-30 rifle exceeds their present level of skill.

A more competent hunter-shooter who can get those same hits in ten seconds per shot or less just might benefit from a "better" rifle. They possess sufficient skill to warrant extended range.

Variations:
We can repeat this drill out even further. Use the same target and set at 200, 225, 250, 300, or out as far as you dare. Give the shooter an extra three seconds or so for every 50 yards beyond 150. Sight in appropriately and shoot. For example, .308/.30-06 and cartridges of similar ballistics can set their zero to 200-250 yards.

Nov 1, 2011

Altrutising

I invented the word altrutising, a portmanteau of altruism and advertising, as it represents the only form of sponsorship accepted by the Firearm User Network.

We only accept advertising that altruistically benefits our membership, or altrutising.

Altruism
al·tru·ism [al-troo-iz-uhm]

- The principle or practice of unselfish concern for or devotion to the welfare of others.

Advertising
ad·ver·tis·ing [ad-ver-tahy-zing]

- The act or practice of calling public attention to one's product, service, need, etc., especially by paid announcements: to get more customers by advertising.

When considering options to accept sponsorship and support from third party companies, vendors and manufacturers I wanted the ensure that it served to help Firearm User Network members. Traditional advertising, paying to place interrupting messages in front of readers, viewers and/or members, rarely does the end user any good. We avoid this by only accepting Altrutising.

Any outside source of support is returned to the FUNshoot membership in a way that directly and obviously benefits them. Sponsors offset our operating costs, making it less expensive for members to benefit from our services.

For example, a vendor wishes to advertise with us. Rather than broadcast an ad to our membership in exchange for money, sponsors cover our overhead expenses which is passed on altruistically. Members hosting FUNshoot events agree to allow the company to be listed as an official event sponsor in exchange for an 80% discount on event processing fees. Individual premium memberships are extended free of charge. Thus, every sponsor dollar is passed directly to the membership.

Rather than spending money to interrupt people with an ad, sponsor companies are forced to think how they can directly benefit the people they are trying to reach. The advertising becomes altruism. Altrutising.

Jul 14, 2011

Warren Buffett erases the deficit

“I could end the deficit in 5 minutes. You just pass a law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more than 3% of GDP all sitting members of congress are ineligible for reelection.”

Warren Buffett giving us a quick lesson on incentive in an interview on CNBC.

Jul 13, 2011

Truth About Gun Control

"Gun control is like fighting drunk driving by making it harder for sober people to buy cars."

- Ken Hartman

Jul 5, 2011

Ted Nugent on Hunting Marksmanship

Ted Nugent weighs in on marksmanship and its importance to hunters.

The HunterShooter program was created to develop and promote effective field marksmanship for big game hunters. The lack of shooting skill for any hunter demonstrates a lack of preparation and respect for the hunted animal. Ted Nugent echoes this sentiment:

“Accountability is right up there with safety and the law! The same basic principle applies to all “projectile management”, really. Whether it’s arrows from my bow, rocks and marbles out of my wristrocket slingshot, BB’s from my Red Ryder, handguns, open sight rifles or scoped target guns, good marksmanship will only come with certain and intense disciplines.

HunterShooter is the only formal discipline promoting field marksmanship for hunters. Follow Uncle Ted’s advice and get involved today.

Jul 1, 2011

Army Marksmanship Training Facts

The 82nd Airborne Division has a chorus group that travels and sings but does not have a rifle team. The US Army Reserve has several bands as well. The Army recognizes band members by MOS. Previously, each instrument was a separate Military Occupational Specialty. Currently, 42R is the Band MOS and each instrument is an ASI (Additional Skill Identifier.)

There is no MOS or ASI for marksmanship instructor in the US Army. There isn't even any specified, published skill requirement to teach (or attempt to teach) marksmanship to Soldiers.

Jun 26, 2011

Army Reserve Competition

http://myarmyreserve.dodlive.mil/2011/06/24/and-the-winners-are-4/

Well, at least every Army Reserve competition has not been temporarily ceased in the middle of the season for no good reason until further notice.....

Jun 15, 2011

Wikipedia Information Accuracy

How does Wikipedia compare to a traditional encyclopedia?

From Time magazine:

In a study in the journal Nature, researchers chose articles from a wide range of topics from both Wikipedia and the knowledge standard-bearer, Encyclopedia Britannica. The experts sent those entries to "relevant" field experts for peer review.

The verdict? The journal found eight serious errors in the articles — four from each side. However, they also discovered many more minor factual errors, like omissions and misleading statements — 162 in Wikipedia and 123 in Britannica.

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2042333_2042334_2042491,00.html #ixzz1CuqnTOqa

May 19, 2011

United Airlines = SHIT

I was flying United Airlines from Melbourne, Australia to San Antonio, TX on April 10 2011. On the day of the flight United had a mechanical problem with their plane and could not fly us out.

No problem there, as mechanical problems are a reality. I'd rather experience a failure with a plane while on the ground than in the air.

Being unable to take our regularly scheduled United flight, we were instead directed to fly via Virgin Blue to Sydney. This connecting flight was later but should still get us to our originally scheduled leg as United was going to delay our connecting flight in Sydney rather than leave so many people stranded and fly out a half-full plane.

Reporting to the Virgin Blue counter I was informed that I had to pay an additional $150 due to excess baggage. My International flight originally scheduled through United allowed two checked bags but domestic flights only allow one and my second bag cost $150 extra. I explained to the Virgin Blue agent that the original leg of my International flight with United was canceled due to mechanical error and that we were routed through Virgin Blue and was told to take the issue up with United for a refund. She billed my credit card and handed me a receipt.

Arriving in Sydney, we learned that United did NOT delay the leg from Sydney and it had departed half full and on time. We had to find a different flight. The United agent found a flight into Austin instead of San Antonio so we would still arrive in Texas on the same day, just several hours later. OK, no big deal.

Addressing the excess baggage issue with the United agent, we were informed that United would issue a refund due to their mechanical error. She filled out a receipt with the customer service contact info.

After arriving home, I scanned both Virgin Blue and United receipts and forwarded them to the United Customer Service department that handles refunds with a full explanation of what happened. This began a nearly two month odyssey of useless back and forth.

United refunds typically take about seven business days to respond to any contact. The first response I received said they couldn't do anything without the receipts, despite the fact I already had sent them. I re-sent the receipts again with the full explanation.

More waiting...

It took nearly two months to get three emails back from these clowns. The receipts I had proved my claim. The receipt from United clearly stated that this entire issue stemmed from a mechanical error on their plane and that I was routed via Virgin Blue because of it.

The chief clown at United Refunds is one Surinder Singh, United Airlines Passenger Refunds. Mr. Singh also needs a spell checker as his very slow responses typically contained a few typos as well.

His final response to me was that I need to go through Virgin Blue for a refund as it is their fault! He claims that my request was forwarded to them, but gives zero details as to who or where, nor does he indicate to whom I should address this issue.

Problems happen. It is how a person or company responds to them that matters. United completely failed to address this issue, failed to take responsibility for their fault, and took two months to finally decide to blame another company.

United Airlines and Surinder Singh: Fuck you.

May 6, 2011

Army Learning Management System (ALMS) comments

I HATE many of the Army's mandatory online courses! The idea of online courses is great, but the Kindergarten approach of mandatory video/multi-media viewing is STUPID. This slows anyone with a room-temperature IQ or higher because humans read about three times faster than they speak.

Sometimes, I don't have a good high-speed Internet connection available or am on a Linux machine that doesn't run Windows software. Other times, I would rather read and learn off line.

How about offering a text-only version of the tests along with a PDF text book of the task and learning objectives? There are a few Soldiers left that are literate and capable of learning and passing a test from text book instructions. We don't all require spoon feeding via cartoons or movies.

Oh, and the last-minute suspense dates from units given for completing these online classes needs to stop NOW!

Mar 7, 2011

Heraclitus revisited

If you've been in military circles for more than five minutes than you've likely seen that infamous quote attributed to Greek philosopher Heraclitus circulated. Having seen it ad nauseam I have updated it.

Of every one hundred people circulating this email on AKO, ten should not even be here. Eighty are nothing but targets or random tools and douchebags. The nine that are the real fighters are off doing actual training. Ah, but the one - one is the Warrior - and he brings the others home... but probably never receives awards and can't get promoted.

Reticules, Roman name for the Greek Reticles, the demigod of precise vision.
.495 BC (absolutely apocryphal)

Advanced Rapid Fire Kneeling

http://www.youtube.com/user/FUNshootVideo#p/u/4/gOH7NrZNvdM

Mar 1, 2011

Alvin Toffler on Marksmanship

The illiterate of the future will not be the person who cannot read. It will be the person who does not know how to learn.
- Alvin Toffler

I don’t know if Mr. Toffler, author of Future Shock, was a marksman but he summed the problem up nicely. “Literacy” in this field increases only when shooters seek out new and advanced marksmanship challenges.

Consider a person that only reads the same, simple children’s books over and over for twenty years. He has done nothing to improve his literacy or ability to learn beyond an elementary level. Many gun owners, including military, police and hunters, have a very similar shooting “experience.”

Police and military qualifications are designed for novice marksman at the academy and/or basic training. Twenty year veterans continue to qualify on the exact same low-level course and are able to pass with the same low-level results. Hunters take hunter education once (if required) and don’t even have the benefit of this.

Look beyond these limits! Find new courses and events to test your skills against.

Feb 15, 2011

Major General Julian Hatcher on Competition Shooting

Julian Hatcher was a true authority on firearms and shooting.

Regarding competition shooting, MG Hatcher, who was Double Distinguished (both rifle and pistol) commented on “conventional pistol shooting” in his book, TEXT BOOK OF PISTOLS AND REVOLVERS. Low level shooters won’t like this but it matters not. They and their comments played into Hatcher’s hands proving he was right. Note this was written before practical shooting was its own formal, established competitive and training discipline, so Hatcher’s description of “practical” users here refers to gun owners with no competition experience and little to no training (military, police, most gun owners, etc.)
Quote:

Many so-called practical users of pistols or revolvers are fond of making fun of target shooting, and of advice given on how to learn this branch of the sport. Such an attitude is well understood by the psychologist. It is founded on the unconscious jealousy and feeling of inferiority that the poor shot feels when he sees a well trained marksman making scores out his power to equal. Unconsciously he will try to belittle that accomplishment that he does not possess, so that he will seem to his audience to be just as important and well equipped as the good marksman whom he ridicules.

Julian Hatcher; “Textbook of Pistols and Revolvers” 1935

Feb 1, 2011

Ross Seyfried and Champion Shooting Skill

This from Jim Higginbotham.

[O]ne does not want to get the big head about performance. I was once walking around the U.S. Region IPSC Championship (this was before the days of USPSA) with Ross Seyfried, a gentleman of the first order! A vendor asked him how it felt to be the best pistol shot in the world (Ross would become World Champion the next year). His response was:

“I have no idea. The best pistol shot in the world is probably some farmer out in Colorado or someplace who we never heard of.”

It was a point I took a lesson from. Both as to one’s attitude and probably as to the factual reality that there are indeed great shooters who are unknown to the press and public.

Interesting point. As a plinker-type once pointed out to me, a National champion is someone who has only beaten everybody at that match, not everyone in the nation. It is possible that somewhere, some unknown gun owner has managed to independently develop skills and/or never-before-seen techniques that would demolish the very best known champions.

It is also possible to win the lottery twice in the same week. Champion shooters use the best known techniques, training methodologies and equipment to build their skill. Events evolve over time as new ideas are found that prove consistently successful. Continuing on the practical shooting theme, at one time Jack Weaver and Jeff Cooper were unknown gun enthusiasts. Rob Leatham and Brian Enos were as well. Their ideas, radical at the time, proved to be a better way.

What if Cooper and Weaver chose to remain at Big Bear, and Leatham and Enos tucked away in an unknown Arizona gravel pit, content to plink on the weekends and never stepping forward? There are no talent scouts in the marksmanship world. We only know of them now because they created and/or attended shooting events where their skills could be compared and measured. Only after stepping up and consistently demonstrating a high level of talent in open competition did people take notice.

There are several valuable lessons here:

* At no point, regardless of past success, can you assume to know everything. If you do, you’ll likely meet that Coloradan farmer (or Big Bear Leatherslapper or Arizona speed shooter) one day.
* For every single “Coloradan farmer” truly possessing the skill to beat a champ, there are thousands of pretenders willing to claim they can. Find a metric to measure against, or create your own, so you can effectively separate all that chaff from the rare grain of wheat.
* The unknown expert might as well not even exist unless he is willing to at least occasionally shoot somewhere besides his own back forty. The world will never know without his courage and willingness to come forth.

Jan 15, 2011

Tom Gresham On Competition Shooting

Words of wisdom from Tom Gresham, http://www.guntalk.com

How to be a better shot? Compete!


Every shooter wants to be better. More accurate. Break more targets. Reduce the time on a stage of action shooting. So, how do you do it?

Sure, practice is important. Lots of trigger time will make a big difference.Getting instruction will fast-track your improvement. But getting into competition is a surefire way of getting better.

Competition is the engine driving improvement in everything: business, sports, dating, engineering, and certainly shooting. Shooting by yourself at the range can take you only so far. Working with an instructor always makes you better. Getting into competitive shooting, though, gives you purpose, and with purpose you have motivation to do everything better.

If you are a shotgunner, try trap, skeet or sporting clays. Rifle shooters have metallic silhouette, traditional high power and rimfire events, international style shooting, long range competitions, and more. Handgunners can go all the way from bullseye to international (Olympic style), to practical police to Steel Challenge to the action pistol events such as USPSA and IDPA.

For a bucket of fun, there’s three-gun competition, where you shoot handgun, rifle (usually AR-15 platform), and shotguns. This is defensive-style run and gun shooting, so don’t expect wingshooting to play much a part.

Why competition? Even if you are just into a local shooting league for fun, competing drives the focus. You pay more attention when shooting in competition. You develop the ability to maintain your focus over a long string of shooting. That might be a run in IDPA – taking a few seconds – or a 250-bird shootoff in trap. When you compete, you also begin to practice with purpose. You’ll find others you can shoot with, and through that, you learn techniques which make you better.

You also shoot at events with people who are much better than you are. Don’t underestimate the value of watching top shooters in action. They move, shoot and think differently, and if you pay attention, you’ll learn. Besides, there are no secrets. Other competitors usually are quick to share ideas and tips.

Every shooting discipline has an organization that controls competition. Google is your friend, here. Put in “action shooting competition” or “sporting clays” and you’ll find the organizers. Add your city or state to the search and you’ll find events and locations near you.

You know what the hardest part is? Showing up the first time. Here’s the key to making it easy: Call the shooting range, talk to the manager, and say, “Hi, I’m new at this. How do I get started?”

That’s it. Magic. If it’s pistol, rifle, shotgun, or all three, you just opened the door to being a better shooter. You also began the process of making friends with a lot of people who share your passions and your values.

Oh, one other thing. Many shooting sports have classifications, so you won’t be shooting against the world champions (even though you may be at the same events). There are classifications for your shooting ability and even your age. As you improve, you’ll move up to a higher classification. Sounds complicated, but the governing bodies of the sports handle it all for you.

Find a range, find a sport, make the call, and get into competitive shooting.

Jan 1, 2011

Colonel Rex Applegate on Point Shooting

What does Rex Applegate have to say about Point Shooting?

The late Colonel Rex Applegate is still referred to as a point shooting authority. In fact, most point shooting advocates today are influenced by, if not outright copying, Applegate’s methods. During World War II, then 2nd Lieutenant Applegate was tasked with adapting the training being given to British Commando forces for use by OSS agents. Applegate’s methodology was published in his 1943 book Kill or Get Killed. Here’s a quote.

“[T]o say that skill with a hand-gun acquired in the usual kind of target shooting is not desirable for the man who principally carries his gun for use in combat is a mistake. … Target training and combat firing are both needed to make a proficient, all-around combat shot…”

Regarding police training specifically Applegate said,

“Aimed, accurate fire (single or double action) has a definite place in police combat training. After bull’s-eye target accuracy is achieved, the police trainee should then be projected into practical police-type combat ranges, where he shoots at silhouettes under simulated conditions such as he may encounter during routing performance of his many and varied duties.”

You read that right. The man that remains the poster child of point shooting felt that aimed group shooting, on bullseye targets no less, was an important component of combat handgun training. It would seem the point shooting advocates that copy him so often never bothered to actually read his book!

More info:

http://firearmusernetwork.com/2010/06/19/point-shooting-vs-sight-shooting-2/