Ladies and gentleman, I would like to write this to announce a new sub-brand to Krupto Strategic. Parallax Development Group will now be the only portion of Krupto that will be focused on gear (tactical or not). In an effort to push Krupto to be a lifestlye brand for people from all walks of life, I didn't want people to be confused as to whether or not we were a tactical gear company or a clothing company. We are now two separate entities.
Why Parallax?- I came up with the name parallax after pondering on how to best describe what I wanted Krupto to be. I wanted a lifestyle apparel brand but I also wanted to make kit that was simple, useful and well intentioned. I realized that I had two focal points for my company but couldn't align them. SO, just like the parallax adjustment on your rifle scope, things needed to be more clear for the customer. I created Parallax to essentially bring the two focal points of my company to one solid, clear and concise business, but with two different capabilities. I used the Owl as the symbol for the new brand because of their incredible capability to see even the smallest details both at day and at night. I have that same attention to detail with our products. I used the gradient orange bar to illustrate the same graphic commonly seen on the parallax dial leading into the infinity emblem. This demonstrates that we can see clearly, far into the future for our products and future offerings.
I sincerely hope that this falls on a receptive audience and that you continue to support us through this change. We have a few products in the pipeline for Parallax and we are excited for what the future holds. To support our announcement, we will be launching a new shirt and patch branded with the Parallax emblem and graphic.
Mil or MOA?
Choosing between Mil and MOA can be confusing and many folks have an opinion. This is just an attempt to break things down and dispel some of the bad information that is so often shared about this topic.
The real important choice between the two is simply picking what fits your use the best, learning it well, and ensuring you buy a scope that has ‘clicks’ and a reticle that match. There are a few people I’ve met over the years that don’t want them to match and they have a different system that I don’t see many folks use, so I’m not saying you are wrong if you follow a different system as long as you get your hits on target as fast and often as you could using a more common method. There are different types even within MOA and Mil, but I don’t find that important in most cases as long as you understand the system of your choosing. I will say that I think a person should ensure that everything they want to do will be available across the board for their choice, so consider apps, Kestrel, math, and actual field use (for example) to ensure your choice will be well supported.
I’ll start by saying that both work just fine and that I don’t think one is any faster than the other overall. If one part is faster with one of the systems and that’s the part that matters the most to you then go with that system. Keep in mind that someone else may have a different priority set, for good reason. Just be well studied using your gear. There are a lot of misunderstandings about the choice between these two. I’ve used MOA the longest, but prefer Mil now. Either is good so don’t feel like I am trying to convert you or say you chose wrong. I think a lot of these discussions go wrong when a person is not as interested in the facts as they are about defending their position, their gear choice, or even their hypothetical gear choice.
My main reasons for choosing Mil now are:
- More tree type reticle choices (My two main are the h59 and ebr-2c, but you can get an ebr-2c in MOA also) some folks don’t care for a tree at all and some of them are faster and better than me so either way is good
- Everyone I shoot with uses Mil so the communication is easy (although it’s not difficult to work around if you are in MOA, just talk in mph/values)
- The numbers are smaller. This won’t matter to everyone, but when I have 3 targets to engage quickly (sometimes as many as 5) the smaller numbers are easier to remember.
So, those are my reasons for going to Mil. Again, MOA is just fine if you prefer it.
Some of the issues that are incorrect that I see people use as reasons are simply due to a misunderstanding of how all of this works. So often we see a person make a decent argument for one and not the other and most of the time it’s just because the person is better trained on the one they are familiar with. Both are equally ‘easy’ if you learn.
Some of the things people misunderstand:
- Yards – Meters – Inches – Centimeters (metric vs imperial)… It really doesn’t matter what you want to use or what measurement is perceived by you to be easier, because you can use yards and inches with Mil just like you do with MOA. (I’ll explain)
- I haven’t found simpler math for either system once you interchange data types (and math isn't needed a lot anyway).
- Some folks say that you can get a closer zero with MOA than Mil and on certain scopes that may be true. I’ve never seen this as an issue because I’ve always had a good zero that I’m happy with and it isn’t true across the board as far as scope mechanics either. One example would be my Vortex Razor HD GII knob system. The way their knobs work, you aren’t limited on your zero by ‘clicks’. There are others as well and one of my other heavily use scopes (USO ER-25) works this same way, so my zero is in no way limited by ‘clicks’.
Onto the details I am trying to break down.
Why doesn’t it matter what system you think in as far as metric vs imperial?
To put it simply, you can interchange the systems just fine where math is concerned. Meaning I use yards, inches, and Mil and it’s in no way more difficult than when I used MOA. Some folks think you are using inches to determine drop or wind drift (for example) and you aren’t. So, if you are thinking in inches when you are thinking about drop or drift, you are adding unnecessary steps and you won’t be as fast as a person that isn’t. This is a big topic, but I’ll just say that many folks don’t understand how the environmentals affect data from day to day or even hour to hour. After a certain distance, your data will change to a point that will take you off target if you aren’t properly accounting for environmentals. So, if you think you can always remember your drop for 1000 yards, in inches or feet and you then convert that to MOA you are going to miss a lot and be slower than other folks that skip the inches part.
Some of this also gets into first focal plane vs second focal plane, but I don’t want to go there, this is a long read already and I'll make another blog about SFP and FFP. Just understand that if you want to measure with your reticle properly you have to know how to use it properly. If you are using SFP you have to know what magnification to be on for straight conversion and/or if you want a lower magnification, how to convert that.
Simply don’t think in inches for elevation or wind and if you are thinking in inches, you are wasting valuable time.
Think in Mil or MOA. The reason is because this is how we build our data cards, use our phone app, use our Kestrel, or some other method like the Whiz Wheel. When I have a target, I need to know my environmentals, my distance to the target, and my ‘clicks’ for my choice of wind and elevation (or reticle hold if you don’t ‘click’). So this is one point where some folks seem to think you are using inches or the metric system and you aren’t. It doesn’t matter if you are using yards, meters, inches, etc. You just figure your solution in MOA or Mil. To make a different example if you were shooting at a target and you missed it to the left or just want to see how far off center you are, you simply measure with your reticle for the correction. If you use Mil and you are .4 mil left, then you move your reticle over by .4 mil to make your correction (or dial the knob if you dial elevation and we are talking up or down, for example). It’s no different with MOA, if you missed by 2 MOA to the left, then you simply correct by the 2 MOA. You never look out at the target and try to figure out inches, centimeters, etc. There is no reason to and that just wastes time. You have a good measuring stick right in the reticle at your eye. This is why we choose a reticle that allows us to measure. If you don’t like a tree then just have a reticle like the SCR or MOAR that allows you to measure (for example).
Another example: I'm shooting targets at 500 yards and 1000 yards. I never think in my mind about how many inches of drop I have at 500 yards or 1000 yards, I just think of the correct Mil or MOA. Even if you are memorizing your dope, Mil and MOA are easier than inches that you have to convert back to Mil or MOA. Imagine for a moment, that your drop at seal level for 500 yards is 73.4 inches and your drop at 1000 yards is 351.9 inches. This data is a real example from one of my loads. If you are trying to remember inches, you have to remember 73.4" and 351.9" and then you have to be able to convert that to Mil or MOA quickly. If we skip the inches part, things get tremendously easier. In this exercise, remember that your data can and will change at some distance due to current environmentals so we can only memorize drop to certain distances anyway if we want to be precise. So, the same data for 500 yards and 1000 yards is simply 2.8 Mil and 8.5 Mil, or in MOA 9.65 MOA and 29.24 MOA, respectively. Examples like these are where it really begins to show up how much smaller the numbers are in MOA as compared to inches and then again when we compare Mil to MOA.
Since many of us can't remember all of that data, we make good data cards or use other methods like electronics or a Whiz Wheel. And, like everything else, we have a backup plan (or two, or three, or four). For distance, you can use meters or yards. Every match I go to is in yards so I stick with that, but you choose what works for you and the things you will be doing. When ranging with a reticle for distance, you can use meters, yards, inches, centimeters, etc. You have to have all of that worked out ahead of time anyway for data cards or simply click a different choice in your app, Kestrel, or Range Finder if you want to swap from yards to meters, for example. I don’t ever switch because I have no reason to, but you may.
When it comes to ranging with the reticle it still doesn’t matter if you choose Mil or MOA as long as you understand how to get the solution you need. You just have to find your method. My first choice is my rangefinder when possible. Then, I go to my reticle. When I use my reticle, most often I’ll use a phone app that does the math for me, but I always have secondary (and third, fourth, etc) plans such as the actual math or a Mildot Master (for example).
Keep a Rite in the Rain, or a notebook, or a grease pen and plastic, etc or good solar/battery powered calculator if you want to, but just do what works for you and have good back up plans. This is just what I have as a backup or for when I get to a stage where we have to do the math. This is another area where folks will say that one is easier than the other. For me, it is very similar.
Keep in mind that for me the math in long form is my last and slowest option. My first options for a solution when ranging with my reticle are very fast in comparison (phone app, Kestrel, Mildot Master). Try to not get too locked up on the math. Just find the right mathematical solution for you and use faster systems like the Mildot Master, phone app, Kestrel, or build your own data cards ahead of time. Keep the math handy if needed and know how to use it. Really dig into the math to figure out the ‘why’ if you want to. I like that, but a lot of folks don’t. If you do enjoy it, just do some research of your own and really dig in. MOA and Mil are just ways to measure and we can learn a lot by studying and understanding how those measurements work.
Two solutions for ranging:
Distance to target in yards = (height of target in inches/Image size in Mils) * 27.77
Distance to target in Yards = (height of target in inches/Image size in MOA) * 95.5
There are many ways to get to the answer and this is just what I picked. There are other mathematical solutions if you use meters or IPHY (inch per hundred yards) for example.
Some folks choose MOA over Mil for the precision of 1 click.
This is valid to a point. Keep in mind the actual difference and just how small that difference is. Most MOA shooters use and prefer quarter MOA clicks on their scopes. If the difference mattered that much, those same shooters would choose eighth MOA clicks as opposed to quarter MOA clicks. Look at 1000 yards as an example. At 1000 yards a quarter MOA is 2.6” and a tenth Mil is 3.6” for a difference of an inch. Generally, if I see eighth MOA clicks on a scope the person using the scope uses it for bench-rest type shooting. The reason most shooters choose quarter MOA over eighth MOA is because eighth is simply too many clicks for what many of us do with our scopes and the quarter MOA clicks make more sense. For many people the very same thing is true between Mil and quarter MOA. In the real world of practical precision and hunting, the faster smaller numbers are picked by many folks for the ease of remembering them for multiple targets. So, MOA does get a very slight edge for the precision of 1 click - if this part is more important to you than the upsides of Mil then this would be one reason to choose MOA. Just remember the differences are very slight.
The last thing I'll say is that I often hear people say that they stick MOA (or Mil) because it's what they know so it's easier. That really is a fine answer. Sometimes though, digging in a little deeper into both systems would allow a person to see the differences and make a good choice. So often, the reason a person sticks with one system is related to one of the misunderstood topics covered here.
These photos are some of the various ways I get my data in the field and I also added different mathematical methods for ranging. I hope some of this helps someone. These are just my methods and I’m not in any way saying my methods are better than what works for you. None of what I've shared is new information. It's just intended to help a person choose and to remove some of the misinformation that is so often shared about this topic.
AUTHOR: Joshua Bullard from Team Krupto and Bullworx LLC.
Photograph: Wayne Tippetts/Rex Features
In a society where the only acceptable way to think and live is black or white; anyone that steps outside of that preconceived notion now has a title. One that has become synonymous with being a douche. Hipster. I see it every day on social media. You’re either right or left, Democrat or Republican, Pro-life or Pro-Choice. It is no longer acceptable to agree with two views adopted by either spectrum. Some may argue that, in the political realm, that person would be considered a Libertarian. But let’s stray away from the political associations with this unidentified social class. First, we need to try and define what a Hipster is, so that we can dissect it and get a better understanding.
“Hipsters are a subculture of men and women typically in their 20's and 30's that value independent thinking, counter-culture, progressive politics, an appreciation of art and indie-rock, creativity, and historical movements. Hipsters shun mainstream societal conventions that apply to dating preferences and traditional "rules" of physical attraction. It is part of the hipster central dogma not to be influenced by mainstream advertising and media, which tends to only promote ethnocentric ideals of beauty.” -Urban Dictionary-
Although everyone has their own definition of this subculture and what it means to be a hipster, they swiftly jump to a conclusion before ever associating with the person they’ve labeled. Although I’m a young individual, my views, tastes’, ideals and dress has changed drastically in the past 2 years. Having spent the entirety of my young adult life in the Army, I was used to a group defined by the military. The military is a melting pot of social classes, religion, beliefs and culture. You meet everyone from every walk of life, that’s what makes our armed forces so great. But there are common traits that the majority seem to adopt. There is a hatred or disdain for anyone that doesn’t fit a mold. Homosexuals, Atheists’, yuppies, Liberals, and the list can go on. I too was guilty of this narrow mindedness. I had the pleasure and honor of serving with a Staff Sergeant, a phenomenal leader. After he got out of the Army he came out that he was gay to all of those that called him a friend. It was this honesty that caused me to internalize my previous disdain for serving alongside gays. This gay man had proven himself time and time again that he was capable of serving his country with honor and distinction and not try to hit on every guy in the tent. It made me realize that I was a piece of shit for having an issue with what men and women chose to do in the bedroom. Who was I to say what was right and wrong? How hipster of me to “shun mainstream societal conventions”.
Shortly after my discharge I left “small” town Colorado and claimed San Diego California as my new residence. The West Coast is notorious for being Liberal and is often frowned upon and only brought up in conversations across the country as a socialist state full of “Libtards”. Up until this point, I was raised in red states in a conservative Christian family that very blatantly frowned upon certain ways of life and anyone with differing points of view. But now I was smack dab in the center of a city with so much diversity that social classes hardly exist. My friends that I once had in the military were gone, my new friends, made up of a diverse group of working class individuals were now the ones I hung out with on a weekly basis. The conversations were no longer about killing dudes, firefights, defense budget cuts and Jaegermeister. We spoke of issues such as proposed legislation in the city, police corruption, the Tuna season and where the next brewery was going to pop up. It’s this diversity and and new sense of culture that started to change me. I quit using military time, I stopped wearing my Oakley M Frames to the bar, I exchanged my Multicam contractor cap for hair pomade. What the hell was happening to me?!.
This change that I was undergoing wasn’t due to peer pressure from my friends and co-workers, it was a direct result of being cultured and talking to people from various backgrounds and beliefs. People outside of one centralized group with CAC cards. I noticed that my anger, frustrations, sleep issues and every other symptom I brought home from Iraq and Afghanistan was dissipating. When a beer was spilled on me at the bar, my first instinct was no longer to punch the dude in the mouth. I could now find myself at a gay bar with my wife without the overall assumption that everyone there wanted to sleep with me. I was no longer drinking Coors Light and Budweiser, I had grown an affinity for the IPA’s that San Diego is so famous for. This change didn’t feel forced, it didn’t make me feel isolated from the military and the culture I was once so accustomed to. If anything, it was a positive transition. I felt relaxed; free from the demons I had brought back home from so many years of fighting overseas.
My cargo pants were thrown to the back of the closet, my Oakley’s were replaced with something that couldn’t take a shot gun blast, my beer order cost more than 2$ and I found myself spending the holidays with my two happily married middle aged gay neighbors and their 20 year old boyfriend. Hipster was a term frequently used to describe me by my friends out of state. Was I a hipster? did I become gentrified because I had a flexible view on societal norms?. The answer is no. I still owned more firearms than anyone I knew and I shot them on a regular basis. I worked out daily, not succumbing to the frail androgynous millennial we see today. My beard was grown because after 10 years of being forced to shave everyday, I was tired of buying razors. I was socially liberal and economically conservative. I don’t give a damn about the refugees and I believe that the Black Lives Matter movement is a crock of shit that only perpetuates racism. But I also believe that gay men and women should be allowed to do whatever they please and Marijuana isn’t the devil.
There is very little in this world that pisses me off. But when I’m called a hipster because I’m wearing a saggy beanie, button up shirt, slim fitting jeans with leather shoes while drinking an IPA, it enrages me. I don’t know many hipsters that have spent their entire adult life fighting for their country, protecting the citizens of the United States, spend countless hours perfecting their ability to engage targets out to 1,500 yards and run a company that caters to the men that would slit the throat of a terrorist if confronted with them. The hipsters you all are thinking of are the passive, frail vegan men that sit at a Starbucks and bring their typewriter so they can write a column on how great Che Guevara was while wearing their “Occupy Wall Street” shirt.
Hipster isn’t defined by a style of dress, what they believe or what part of town they live in. It’s an un-definable social group entirely. But is it such a bad one? Is it so bad to be repulsed by mainstream media and influenced by creativity, culinary arts and higher education? There are bad apples in every group. There are child molesting priests’ in the Catholic church, there are gun smuggling Democratic politicians like Leland Yee, and there are NFL icons that beat their wife, murder people and fight dogs. Don’t be a part of the problem by immediately writing someone off because you have a different opinion. It’s that mentality that has fractured our country in the past 15 years and continues to do so daily. Celebrate diversity, but stick up for your beliefs in a respectable manner.
**This blog is nothing more than a rant, not to be taken in some insane literal context. Just my opinions.
There’s been a good bit of chatter in the firearms community recently about our weapons being “tools” and treating them as such. By chatter, of course I mean an incident where an instructor from a training company we will choose not to name, was proving a point that weapons are tools, and decided to throw a loaded firearm on the ground and stomp on it. Lo and behold, the weapon discharged and sent a round right into the side of a student’s vehicle. Making matters worse, the instructor decided to pressure the class into keeping their mouths shut and did not report the incident to the host range, but that’s another topic for another day. In order to properly dissect the point that was trying to be made here, let’s do a little brief history on tools.
The earliest tools that historians have tagged for human use are simple rocks, sticks, and other items found in nature and modified for specific uses. These of course evolved over time into more modern items as the discoveries of copper, iron, and other malleable and rugged materials began being discovered and utilized. Then something amazing happened. As civilizations became more developed, mankind began to fabricate and perfect tools for the specific trades they worked in. Now people with specific skill sets were building tools that were specifically designed out of necessity and experience, thus perfecting the tools they needed. For sculptors, it was chisels and hammers, for builders it was masonry tools, and for warriors it was swords and shields. Thus bringing us back to our topic in present day.
The warrior is the second oldest career in the world. Mankind has employed warriors in militaries, as police, and as hired mercenaries since nearly the beginning of time. This vast reaching lineage of experience has offered the warrior a unique insight into developing some of the most perfect tools on the planet, and I’m here to personally tell you that we have done well at it. For the sake of keeping things streamlined, we are going to use Glock handguns when we refer to “weapon” from here on out. I have spent the last decade relying on my weapon to not only provide freedom and security for myself and others, but also as my main source of income. I have not held a job in my adult life that did not require me to carry a weapon. My weapon is my defense tool, and the tool of my trade in order for me to accomplish the specific task that I have been given, whatever level that may be. Much like generations of warriors before me, I have spent thousands and thousands of hours perfecting the skills required to properly utilize the tool that has been assigned to my trade.
Now, some of you out there in the “industry” love to believe that since our tools are firearms, that we are the best at utilizing the tools of our trade. This is a phenomenon that in my opinion, plagues the firearm industry and puts a bad taste in a lot people’s mouths that are not your normal “gun people.” Guns are cool, and because we know how to use one, that makes us more important and better than other trades. Let’s stop that shit right now. We are not unique, we are not special, and we are sure as shit not better than someone who utilizes different tools for their trade. For that matter, just because you have 100k subscribers on your YouTube channel where you post videos shooting in your back yard or at your local range, does not make this your trade. Just because you went to a weekend NRA course and you spend Sundays teaching people at your local range how to shoot paper for $100 a pop does not make this your trade. People dedicate their lives to their trades. Thousands upon thousands of hours of training and practical application are spent so that people become masters of their trade. Surgeons spend a decade of learning, training, and practice so that when they slice you open to save your life, they do not commit even the smallest of errors that could in turn, end said life. As elite warriors, our trade is no different. We dedicate years of our lives to perfecting our usage of our tools, so that when the time comes, we execute its application flawlessly. Much like a surgeon, the smallest of errors in this operation will certainly cause severe consequences. Let’s say you show up in my hospital for an operation, even a minor one. I walk in and you say “how many of these have you done?” and I respond with “None, but I watched it on YouTube and I went to a certificate bestowing course over the weekend.” Food for thought….
For a surgeon, their tool is a scalpel, or any various other type of surgical equipment. Scalpels are strong, sharp, perfectly designed tools that a surgeon relies on for his trade. He knows that his scalpel will not let him down when he needs it, but do you think he throws it on the ground and steps on it ever? A seamstress utilizes specific needles for specific stitching, and she knows that with proper application, her needles will always work for her. Do you think when she’s done she tosses her needles into a bin and guesses what kind of shape they’re in next time she needs them? Just because our firearms are built tough and designed to work in questionable environments, should we take advantage of that? I’ll be the first to tell you that Glocks run, no matter what. I have run them in the worst conditions you can imagine, and when you pull that trigger, that weapon operates. But that doesn’t mean that we take advantage of that fact and brag about how shitty we treat our tools like it’s some sort of wannabe operator badge of honor.
Weapon maintenance is DRILLED into you in the military, to the point of being extreme, but there’s a reason for that. It’s to show you the importance of properly maintaining the tools of your trade. There are thousands of scenarios that could cause your weapon to malfunction, do you want it to be because you were an asshole and neglected to treat it properly? Out of those thousands of scenarios, you can control only a few of them, so why would you not give yourself the advantage?
Stepping on a firearm to prove a point is asinine. It not only shows stupidity, but blatant disrespect for the tools of our trade. We do not spend thousands of hours and years of our lives perfecting our trade to do stupid shit to prove points. Yes our weapons are built tough, yes they are designed to be beaten up, but they are not made to be disrespected and neglected. Surgeons, seamstresses, chefs, cobblers, mechanics, pool boys.. All respect their trade and the tools that make them experts at it. We should be no different. Take care of your weapons, respect your weapons, hell, even baby them if you want, because one day when you need to rely on it, do you want to be relying on a tool that you metaphorically and in some ridiculous cases, literally, walked all over?
Photo by: Adam Bettcher
You frequently hear Veterans talk about missing combat, their disdain for civilians, or their strong desire to go back into the service. These seemingly dissimilar statements share one core feeling and emotion that almost all service members face after leaving the military. Ask any one of them why they feel this way and you will most likely get a multitude of answers such as “the rush of combat, there is nothing like it” or “civilians are just so naive, they don’t know what the world is really like”. Although these may be true statements, I believe that there is a core reason why these men say this. Camaraderie, the brotherhood. Many of us joined the military at an incredibly young and impressionable age. Most came in before the age of 20 and spent the most defining time of their lives in the service during a time of war. There is a polarizing difference between friends and brothers that most people who never served can't understand. Sure, you hear about former prison inmates discuss their “brothers”, the dudes who watched their back while taking a shower in Chino. But Veterans have a different definition, one that goes far deeper and leaves a feeling that takes them well into their old age.
At age 18 I volunteered for the Infantry and was soon after sent to Ramadi, Iraq in 2006. This was the most volatile time of the Iraq war, and I found myself, arguably, in the most contested city of that campaign. This tour showed me that there was a deeper purpose to me fighting under the American flag. A purpose not of which I had thought I would ever see. The politics no longer mattered, the old men sitting on their pedestal in Washington moving us around like pawn pieces were obsolete. I had one purpose now, and that purpose was to make sure that my brothers, the ones whom I had come to love and care for, more so than the family I left behind, made it home safe to their families. It was an unspoken promise, an agreement that we came to the day the first bullet cracked over our heads. We all knew that this was real and that the enemy was playing for keeps. We lost friends and shared tears at their memorial services, but the tears and grief were brief. Our mourning would have to wait for another day.
We came back from that tour to Iraq and I found myself spending every waking moment with those that were my brothers, the same men that I knew, without a shadow of a doubt, would have taken a bullet for me in the streets of Ramadi. As you can imagine, we consumed dangerous amounts of alcohol and cried together in the confines of our barracks rooms. We questioned why we lived and our best friends didn’t. We didn’t have the answers to these questions and soon gave up the search for one. This bond, this brotherhood still exists today. I still text, call and visit with these same guys that I cried with, fought with, and trusted with my life. It’s been 9 years now since that tour to Iraq, and nothing has changed between us.
All of the men that I held so closely during that tour have left the military and entered into the civilian world. I stayed in long after they did but the phone calls were frequent when this happened. The disdain for civilians and their lack of understanding of what we went through was bothersome for my friends. Entering college at the age of 24 was a frustrating experience for them, they hated the students that felt like they had a grasp on what the world was like, and that they had all the answers. This dissension was real, and it was evident. There was no longer a social structure for these combat veterans to confide in. Their closest brother was hundreds of miles away and living his own life, going through the same struggles. They felt alienated, isolated from the rest of society that they were now required to seamlessly coincide with. There was no preparation for this, there is no military program that can help a veteran prepare for the sudden loss of their entire social structure. Their brotherhood is gone.
These guys are now thrown head first into a society that they can’t trust, talk to, or associate with on the same level. It’s just a fact of life that your co-workers can’t possibly understand why you are the way you are. Why you’re so angry at the slightest complaint from a customer; why you feel your boss, whom is the newly appointed 22 year old shift manager is a complete idiot. The VA looks at your forms and gives you a disability rating for PTSD. This isn’t PTSD per se, but it’s a lack of preparedness for the loss of an entire life you once knew. Of course they don’t say anything. A struggling vet, with a shit paying job is just awarded a monthly payment. They take it.
It’s at about this time in their lives that you start seeing their posts’ on Face Book become more bitter towards people, more angry at everyone that never wore a uniform. Their profile picture is 7 years old, a younger, more fit version of themselves taken somewhere in the middle east. These guys start drinking heavily, hoping to “get away” from the world they now live in. The lonely one. Failing to reach out to their boys, ignorant to the fact that they need help, they start abusing the miracle drugs the VA is prescribing and creating a poisonous cocktail of prescription meds and whiskey, eventually finding themselves unemployed due to a variety of possible circumstances. I have seen this downward spiral take hold and have thankfully talked a few brothers off the ledge of malicious thought and depression. I was incredibly fortunate to see the signs early enough and I made a phone call in the middle of the night, hoping that they would pick up. Talks of “the good ole’ days” and words of encouragement have helped more than a handful of honorable men I call friends. But sometimes we’re not so lucky. 22 times a day we’re unlucky.
I’ve been separated from the military for a few years now, and unlike almost every guy I served with, my transitional period required a different process of transitioning into this new life I was to now live and prosper in. I moved to San Diego, as far away from the Army and any person I wore a uniform with. I didn’t want to be around the military, I hated hearing war stories from some gloating soldier that felt like he had a sweet run in Afghanistan. I didn’t want to talk about what I did, what my background was or if I had ever shot a man. I found myself lying to people if I got cornered in a conversation where my military service was on the verge of being discovered. I didn’t do this because I was ashamed of what I did for 8 years, I was incredibly proud of my career. I was just avoiding the inevitable ignorant questions. But who can blame them? Who can blame their curiosity for wanting to know what the war that their country has been in for the past 14 years has been like? I didn’t hate civilians, I envied them. I envied their success, and sometimes, I envied their ignorance. I envied their ability to fall asleep like a baby without having a night cap. I just wanted to fit in, and I knew that my success outside of the Army relied upon it. In my opinion, the suicide crisis that the veteran community is facing isn’t an issue necessarily of PTSD, sure, that of course is included; but the issue is a decimated bond that service members face when they leave the military. There is no brotherhood to be had outside of the military with your new found “civilian” friends. You can’t and shouldn’t expect your co-worker to take a bullet for you, they live in a world where “flight” sounds far more appealing than “fight”. But that is what makes us so great, that is why the society that we call ignorant, needs us so badly. We are the ones they can count on to take that bullet, to fight that threat, and to save their child from a burning car on the interstate. Be the people your country can count on again, men like Alek Skarlatos, Spencer Stone, Anthony Sadler and Chris Mintz. There is a purpose for us yet gentleman, we still have a mission, even outside of the military. You’re needed now, just as much as you’ve ever been. Go be great again.
I begrudgingly write this blog just moments after watching a live news broadcast about the attempted murder of Philadelphia police officer Jessie Hartnett. Given the fact that this shooting took place in Philadelphia, I assumed that this attempted murder might have been perpetrated by an angered man that is sympathetic to the “Black Lives Matter” movement since there has been a public disdain for police. I look up to the TV just before the police chief began to speak and I turn the volume up to listen to him describe the incident in detail. Just before he began taking questions from the media, he had a statement that I’m going to have to paraphrase due to fact the no media channel has quoted him yet.
“Before I turn it over for questions, I want to say that in no way does this incident have anything to do with Islam, the Muslim people or the teachings of their religion and the Quran. This was a vile incident that was committed and we are doing everything in our power to get to the bottom of this. We are praying for officer Hartnett and we will do everything to support his family in this time of need”
Now, after hearing that, my ears perked up and I was waiting to hear the name of the suspect that they now had in custody. His name was never spoken, but images of the crime taking place were shown, that clearly show the man shooting the officer multiple times in his patrol car. He even got up to the point where his arm was inside the drivers side window of the police vehicle. These images, already shocking due to the close proximity of the gunman, were even more shocking when I saw the man wearing a traditional Muslim white robe frequently seen on the streets of any Middle Eastern country. I instantly knew that this was no longer a gang or traditional shooting. Just moments after, one of the press asked the question “what has the man said while in custody?”. The response fucking infuriated me. “He hasn’t said much while in custody, but he said that he swears allegiance to The Islamic State and that he did this in name of Islam and for the one true God Allah.”
Now you may be asking yourself (just as I did), how the fuck does this have nothing to do with Islam or the radical ideals that ISIS pulls/interprets from the Quran? Just yesterday I was listening to Sam Harris on his podcast discussing the sensitive and ever so prominent term Islamophobia. Here is a quote from Sam.
“Talking about Islam today is a dangerous business. Disagreements about the role this religion plays in the world have become a wellspring of intolerance and violence. Cartoonists have been massacred in Paris to shouts of “We have avenged the Prophet!” Secular bloggers have been hacked to death in Bangladesh. Embassies have burned over YouTube videos. And young men and women by the thousands have abandoned their lives in free societies to join the apocalyptic savagery of ISIS. For years, Western politicians and commentators have struggled to understand this phenomenon. And many have struggled not to understand it, denying any link between “Muslim extremism” and the religion of Islam.”
The evidence of Islamaphobia can be seen on every news circuit and pouring out of the mouth of the President as well as the presidential candidates (with one exception). People are afraid to label Islam as a violent religion for fear of being called a bigot and a racist. Sure, the problem isn’t with all Muslims; but the teachings of specific religious ideas like martyrdom, blasphemy, apostasy, prophecy and honor are frequently found within the pages of their Holy Book. A poll in 2014 was published in the Saudi-owned newspaper al-Hayat, they found that an overwhelming 92 percent of Saudis believe that ISIS “conforms to the values of Islam and Islamic law.” Clearly ISIS and their increasingly radical behavior have SOMETHING to do with Islam. This belief that they hold stems from the literal readings and specific texts found in the Quran. Now, if I can play devils advocate here; the Bible has similar texts’ to the Quran that seem to condone violence and seemingly barbaric practices. This begs the question, are we throwing stones at the Quran from a glass house? Maybe, but it’s been quite some time since Christians acted like fucking savages and they choose not to literally interpret verses such as this one.
“Now therefore, kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman who has known man intimately. But all the girls who have not known man intimately, spare for yourselves. Numbers 31:17-18”
I am happy to say that along with the invention of toilet paper, the iPhone, and close-toed shoes, we no longer act like these barbaric creatures from the 7th century, because we are a progressive culture with a moral obligation not to treat the old testament as the literal teachings that still need to be upheld today. To deny that we are in a war is naive, but to deny that Islam is violent, or has anything to do with the increasing and overwhelming number of terrorist acts across the globe is pure ignorance and stupidity.
The progressive Left needs to quit shifting the blame from Islam, to firearms, and cease spreading the blatant lies being told about their readily accessible nature. Jim Kenney, the newly elected mayor of Philadelphia, had this to say about the incident with Officer Hartnett.
“There are just too many guns on the streets and I think our national government needs to do something about that.”
Are you ready for the kicker? The firearm used in the shooting of Officer Hartnett was a stolen police gun issued by the department. The weapon was stolen from the officers home in 2013 and was reported as missing. No, it wasn’t purchased on Amazon without a background check. This is the most blatant blame shift I have ever read in my life. Clearly he has an agenda, and using this terrorist act to further that agenda could not be more evident. And to think, this came from an ELECTED official. As a society, we will continue to lose this domestic battle against radical Islam as long as men and women like this are in office, neglecting the true problem. This is a cancer that needs to be cut out. And just like every cancer, it spreads if left untreated. I will leave you all with this quote from Sam Harris.
“Holding Islam up to scrutiny, rationally and ethically, must not be confused with anti-Muslim bigotry. Cries of ‘Islamophobia’, which have become ubiquitous on college campuses and in much of the liberal press, have been used to silence legitimate criticism. In an open society, no idea can be above scrutiny, just as no people should be beneath dignity.”
Get well Officer Jessie Hartnett
In the world of marksmanship, more specifically, precision rifle, there are a million different opinions on how to do things. “I’m an NRA shooter and this is how I do it”. “My grandpa fought in WW2 and he said this is the best way to do this”. “I read the blog of a guy who says he’s a Delta-Ranger-SEAL and he says to do this.” We all know those guys; the guys with more opinions than brain cells, the guys that hassle the fuck out of you and your wife at the range because he wants to have the biggest dick on the firing line. Even worse is the guy behind his keyboard, trolling the forums and articles, claiming his trusty Mosin Nagant is a sub MOA rifle, and he regularly places in thousand yard matches. Fuck that guy. I’m going to give you a quick piece of advice here that you can take and use, or you can tell me to go eat a big bag of you know what. It’s just another tool for your tool box.
The basis and foundation of hitting any target with your rifle is all about your zero. If you have a shit zero, you’ll have shit shots. It doesn’t matter if you’re just plinking targets with a 600$ AR or if you’re truly passionate about precision rifle and you need sub MOA accuracy out past 600 yards. I can write an entire essay about proper fundamentals, but I want to be more specific here. So, let’s just assume that you can keep all of your bullets within about an inch of each other. When selecting your zero targets, there are a multitude of them on the market, thousands actually. You don’t need to waste your money on that nonsense. Prior to range day, I just snag some 8x10 sheets of paper from my printer and I sit down with a ruler and draw as many 1”x1” squares on the sheet as I can. Make sure that they’re about 4” apart from one another. Fill in all the squares to make them black, it doesn’t matter how you do this. Make sure that the squares are parallel to the borders of the paper so that they’re not crooked.
The key to having a dead on zero is having the same point of aim for every single shot you take. With some of the mass produced targets, they’ll print a big ass bulls eye in the center. If you’re shooting a pistol, that’s all great and dandy, but when you’re trying to get the best shots out of your rifle, that leaves a lot of guessing room as to where your last point of aim is. You don’t want your crosshairs floating in the circle or the box (see image 1), you need the smallest, most precise aiming point possible. The quote from The Patriot comes to mind, “aim small, miss small.” Human error is the largest contribution to having bad shots, so with this tip, we’re trying to eliminate all human error possible.
What I do is I take the 90 degree angle made by one of the corners of a drawn square on the sheet of paper and I match it up perfectly with the 90 degree angle made by my crosshairs (see image 2). This gives me two separate reference points for my point of aim. I know that I can break the shot only when my horizontal and vertical lines are completely flush with the drawn square. When you get ready to take the shot, make sure that you are solely focused on your reticle, not the target square. You want to shoot a 5 round group, using the same point of aim every single time; this will establish where you need to move your turrets so that your point of aim, becomes your point of impact. Adjust your scope accordingly and shoot another 3 rounds. You should be shooting out the corner of the square on the paper; you’re not trying to get your rounds in the box. Once you’re dialed in, annotate the environmental data at your location and slip your scope turrets back to zero. The reason for annotating environmental data is because the temperature, elevation, barometric pressure any number of other factors will change our POI (point of impact) the next time you shoot.
I hope this blog was of some use to you, and I hope that it will allow you to get the most out of your gun. Like I said earlier, this is just another method of getting your zero spot on. If you settle for a 2” group at 100 yds, you’re running the possibility of having 20” of error at 1000 yds. That’s a pretty big margin of error. Many other factors can affect your zero, such as cheap ammo, a dirty barrel, loose scope, etc, etc, etc. Give this a shot next time you hit the range and let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
As trainers and firearm owners, we have a moral responsibility to be as proficient with our tools as possible. When videos like this one surface and come to our attention, it takes every muscle in my body to prevent me from slamming my face against my computer screen until I'm rendered unconscious. This instructor needs to be stripped away of any business license he may possess and should be barred from ever owning another firearm.
**This is all assuming that this video is truly a training video from one of his classes and not a gag or prank meant to get a rise out of individuals like myself.
Countless times during the beginning of my military career I was told to tighten my gear, tape up loose straps, cut off excess 550 cord and to keep my head on a swivel. Early on, I always assumed it was because my leaders were looking for any excuse to fuck with me. Making life difficult on the younger enlisted was something that a lot of guys took joy in, and riding them for anything they could find was a constant occurrence. This process of always looking professional became engrained in me and it was a huge part of my leadership when I ended up taking over my own team, and eventually, my own squad. It wasn’t until about halfway through my career I realized that “looking professional” had a larger purpose than to just please the Colonel when walking around base.
When I said that I was strict on “looking professional” as a leader, I wasn’t talking about a high and tight haircut, polished boots and starched blouses; In fact, I was quite the opposite. I was notorious for having side burns that tip toed the AR670-1 limit, as well as boots that stretched the conventionally issued norm. I was far from a stellar garrison soldier, but when it came time for training or deployments, that was when I ensured my appearance and posture was as best as it could be. I taught my soldiers how to properly pack their ruck, tape excess straps, fit their helmet and orient their chest rigs to the most functional configuration possible. One of the reasons behind this was so that when the shit hit the fan, they weren’t picking up dropped magazines or pushing their helmet up off their nose. There is a larger reason, one that is often overlooked. Appearance is everything; not to the company commander, but to the enemy.
If you place yourself in the enemy’s shoes, and you’re faced with two different groups to attack, chances are, you’re going to attack the group that has the least amount of situational awareness, crooked helmets, weapons slung and MRE packets pouring out of their cargo pockets. You probably aren’t going to pick a fight with the guys facing outboard, heads scanning the mountainside with weapons at the low ready. Perception is everything. If you appear to always be ready for a fight, odds are, the fight will be taken to the element that is less postured and meek in appearance.
After separating from the military I entered the executive protection field, where posturing and situational awareness, in my opinion, is just as critical to the safety of your principal as it was your men. If a person wants to enter a private venue or awards show, they’re going to approach the young kid with his face buried in his cell phone and his ear piece dangling outside of his ear, instead of the agent standing broad shouldered, hands held in front and head scanning the area. It is human nature to read every individual you see and come to a preemptive conclusion of that person. “I can take him” “damn, he’s jacked” “look at those stupid ass shoes”, these are all thoughts that go through our head daily, whether you want to admit it or not. If you’re an attacker, or someone with ill intent, these pre-conceived notions are exaggerated tenfold.
You may be reading this and think that none of this applies to you. You may not be in any line of work that requires you to thwart an attacker at a moment’s notice, but you are wrong. You are your own protection, and your family’s protection. Everyone has something that somebody wants; whether that’s your wallet, your wife’s purse, your car, or even worse, your life. Whenever I walk anywhere with my wife, I position myself according to what I perceive to be the largest threat. If a homeless man is walking towards us, I’m assessing him; I’m looking at his hands, pockets, posture and eyes, and I put myself between him and my wife in the event he wants to cause her harm, he has to get by me first. The best method to prevent an attack is to make eye contact with everyone you can. Humans, by nature, don’t like to make eye contact with complete strangers, it’s almost taboo. By making eye contact with a would-be attacker, you’re instantly letting them know that you are completely aware of their presence, therefore taking the element of surprise out of their actions. This frequently leads that person to move on to a softer target, as was evident when Arthur Bremer was asked why he didn’t attempt to assassinate Richard Nixon. Bremer stated that Nixon’s security was too tight and he didn’t see an opportunity to strike. The posturing of the Secret Service possibly saved Nixon’s life that day.
By writing this blog, I want to make you think about how you carry yourself every day. I want you to always be on guard and to always ask yourself “what if”. You don’t have to seem like a paranoid nut, but by eating at a restaurant with your back against the wall and knowing where the kitchen is, you have already increased the likelihood of your survival exponentially. Taking these few tips and applying them to your life, you may inadvertently save your life or your family’s life. I would like to stay on this earth as long as possible, and I wish the same for you as well, so get your face out of your cell phone and look around you. Your life is more important than showing the world what you’re fucking eating.
*Know where the kitchen is because it almost always has an exit, knives, pots, pans and ample shit to whack someone over the head with.
**The author is also guilty of taking pictures of his food, but he has assessed the room and his surroundings prior.
If you’ve spent any longer than 4 hours in this world we call “The Industry”, then you’re sure to have seen a shirt, patch, banner or some sort of advertisement talking about being a sheepdog. “I’m a sheepdog, I protect the flock from the wolf”….well, I’m not sure that my prior training has bred me to be compared to a fucking Border Collie. A sheepdog sits by idly waiting for the worst to happen to their flock whenever the wolf deems it the right time to attack. Is this what you want to be compared to? Someone that waits to be attacked on the terms of the enemy? I spent far too long training and lost far too many friends to sit back and take it in the ass. I hunt, observe, and pick the opportune time to close with and destroy those that oppose me and my way of life. If you’re not asking yourself everyday “what if?” while eating your breakfast or while shopping for groceries then you’re wrong. What if a shooter comes into the store at this very moment, what if this guy walking towards me tries to grab my wife? What will be your reaction and instinct? Are you prepared to act accordingly or are you going to leave your wife in the aisle holding a box of cocoa puffs while you’re high tailing it to the butcher’s freezer?
I know what you’re telling yourself; you read that last paragraph and were like “yeah right, I’m a big dick pipe hitter who loves his family”. I have no doubt that you believe that, but what is thought and what is fact are two different things. Wearing your Batman suit to the range and shooting a thousand rounds a month will only take you so far. Your pistol, AR, long range and PHYSICAL game need to be on point as well. Neglecting your body and throwing down a few McRibs a week is incredibly detrimental to maintaining a constant state of readiness. Elite units don’t knock out ridiculous workouts so they can look chiseled for the beach, they do it so they can carry their dead off the X, run the 3 miles to the extraction point, hike 5 clicks to the target in the Afghan mountains and carry the necessary equipment for the mission. Now you may be telling yourself; “right, but I don’t need to do any of that”. You’re right, you probably don’t, but you boast about preparedness, always being ready for the wolf and being an A type person. It’s contradictory. Wearing an Ops-Core, Peltor headset, Crye pants and a 700 dollar plate carrier while shooting your LVOA does not negate the fact that you work as a plumber full time; you’re not fooling anyone.
Train as if your life depended on it, train with the possibility of having to run 6 blocks to your house to come confront the person that just broke in and is hell bent on murdering your family. Do you want to arrive, throwing up your cheese fries while digging your greasy TiN coated pistol out from under your FUPA? And when you do arrive, is that “Paper Slayer” patch on your Condor jacket going to translate to putting two in the chest and one in the head of the meth addict rummaging through your bedroom while your wife is hidden in the closet? You’ve confronted the guy with the crowbar digging through your shit, he goes to charge you with the weapon raised above his head and suddenly “click”, your RIP rounds didn’t feed properly and you have a malfunction. You quickly think “what would (insert high speed instructor here) do?” before you know it, you ate a crowbar to the face and you’re wrestling with this dude on the ground getting your ass kicked because you can’t seem to get him into an arm bar so he can tap, just like you practiced at your dojo.
I know this is set to piss a few people off, that is not my intent, I want it to cause you to re-evaluate your priorities in training and will hopefully cause you to change a few of the flaws you have in your current curriculum; because we all have them. It sucks running; it sucks running more when you’re needed to run to help someone and you're so winded you can't touch two fingers together because your heart rate is 195. So get up, get to the gym, get to the range and get in a proper mindset.
**The author has nothing against LVOA, Ops-Core, Crye, Peltor, sheepdog clothing manufacturer's, TiN coating on firearms or the coveted McRib sandwich. They were just used as examples of popular brands within the industry.