How To Properly Fire A Gun

Now that we know a little about gun sights and how to use them, we should discuss the rest of the steps of firing a shot and what your resulting group on paper will tell you. Combined with the first article on sight picture, and a planned article on sight adjustment, this will explain the fundamentals of shooting accurately at close distances. This, in turn, will lead to discussion of shooting positions, and, ultimately, ballistics.

Respiration and its effects on accuracy

One of the more important things to understand about accurate shooting, whether it be pistols or rifles, is that you cannot hold sights on target continuously. Two things prevent you from doing that, and those are that your muscles get tired, and your breathing will mess you up.

I teach rifle shooting as one of my hobbies, and, paradoxically, it is often the young guys, in shape, who also think they know how to shoot, that end up getting out shot by their less physically strong and less experienced wives, girlfriends, or kids. The dudes try to muscle the rifle onto the target, instead of using something commonly called natural point of aim, which abbreviates to NPOA.

Although the discussion is incomplete without explaining shooting positions in depth, the idea behind NPOA is, when you are in a shooting position (prone, seated, or standing), the rifle will point somewhere naturally. This is most easily seen if you shoulder a rifle, and close your eyes. Breathe a couple times, then open them, and notice that the rifle is NOT where you left it on the target.

Establishing NPOA

The novice will quickly move the rifle with his arms where it needs to go, and wonder why his groups are inconsistent. This is because muscle control is not precise, especially over time as you get tired. The trick is to not move your arms, but to move your body. It is best explained by a question posed to a WWII fighter pilot of “how do you aim the guns?” by a young boy. The answer: “You don’t aim the guns; you aim the plane.” The rifle and your body is a unit, move them together to stay reliably on target.

The second concept is breathing. Every marksmanship coach has their thing; the programs I teach come from the old Army shooting courses, which is now only done by the Marine Corps. The key concept here is repeatability. You can’t hold your breath, low oxygen will ruin your shooting, and the act of breathing will move your sights as your diaphragm moves. You want to fire at the end of a breath. Breath normally, exhale normally and completely, and squeeze the trigger at the end of the exhalation, during that 3 to 5 second window before you need to breathe again.

This is called “Rifleman’s Cadence” and is what “rapid fire” actually is. Once you have your position and NPOA dialed in, you should be able to fire one accurate shot (later, more) per breath, on a target, at any range, and continue until you run out of ammo, or need to switch targets.


Riflery is a Zen sport. You lie on the ground, control your breathing, and get into the zone where it’s just you, your weapon, and your target.  You must have two kinds of focus here, with the first being mental. Don’t worry about other things, concentrate on good shooting.

Even if Massad Ayoob himself uncorks a compact .44 in the lane next to you, focus on YOUR shooting.

The second focus is visual. If you are shooting an iron sighted rifle, you need to focus your eye on the front sight. Not the back sight, and not the target. The back sight exists to frame the front sight, and the target is there, and you can’t move it. The only thing you can move is the front sight, and that is what you should focus your eyes upon.

The target is blurry, the rear sight is blurry, but the front sight is in focus. This works for pistols and rifles.

Scopes are both harder and easier. Sometimes, you can focus on both the crosshair and the target, but you need to prioritize the crosshair. Often, you can see your bullet holes, and you can over exaggerate your sight movement at high power, so your target shooting should be done at lowest power on a scope so you don’t chase your bullet holes of previous shots, or get overly concerned with the sights movement and “fuss the shot.”

Trigger control

Most people, misinformed by Hollywood, think that you yank the trigger and it will result in an accurate shot. There are only two times I can think of to punch a trigger, with the first being wing shooting (clay pigeons and skeet and dove hunting, etc) which is a totally different style of shooting, and the second being close range shooting where you are under a time crunch to send lead down range, and a little bit of disruption to your aim by punching the trigger can be afforded. However, many excellent shooters can shoot very fast with good trigger control.

Triggers are a mixed bag, and most stock triggers on budget rifles are bad, but that shouldn’t stop anyone from shooting poorly when they know what they are doing. There are a few terms we should know about triggers. Take-up is the slack in the trigger from its at-rest position until you feel decent resistance.

If it’s a one stage trigger, that resistance after the take-up will “break” at a certain force (usually measured in pounds over here, kilograms elsewhere), and the sear will be released and the hammer or striker will actuate. If it’s a two stage trigger, there will be a lighter force first section, and a stronger second section before the trigger breaks. I tend to think single stage triggers are more for match shooting, and two stage triggers are more for duty/combat work.

Overtravel is when a trigger breaks, but keeps going past that spot, and it can be adjusted out with stop screws and internal work. Sear reset is when you release the trigger after the shot, and the sear resets itself to shoot again. (Full auto guns work differently in that area.) Creep is when you put the amount of force needed to break the trigger on it, but it moves further before breaking, instead of breaking “like a glass rod.” Lastly, roughness in the mechanism is often compared to being gritty.

When firing, you want to press the trigger through its take-up before you fire, and apply some force (either enough to get to the second stage or not enough to break the first stage if it’s a single stage) and keep it there. As you cycle your breath, and the sights come back on the target, apply the last amount of force and break the shot.

Once the shot goes off, you must do two things. Firstly, you must follow through. A golfer does not stop his swing after he hits the ball, he goes all the way. You should not reflexively let go of the trigger, either, for two reasons. The first is that it can actually disrupt your aim, even though the bullet is mostly gone down the barrel, and the second is that you do not need to fully release the trigger to shoot again. If you hold the trigger down after a shot, and release it slowly, the gun will make a click when you reset the sear, and that’s all you need to do. This saves you time on the next shots.

The second thing you must do is call your shot. You must know where the sights are when the shot goes off, and you must be able to call fliers, which are off target shots due to bad aim. If you know you threw a flier out of a group of five, and know it went high left, when you go down to the target, you know to discount the one high and left, knowing that it’s not the gun that did that.

Shot group analysis

In the first article, we covered sight alignment and sight picture. We just discussed breathing, focus, firing the shot, and follow through. Doing this properly, with a good position and sling use (look for these in future articles), will result in good groups.

A group is your collection of holes from the amount of rounds you fired into the target. These should be shot in a string in cadence, and are usually five shots. What we are going to concentrate on now is the shape of group, and not where it is on the target. The size and shape of the group is on you, the shooter. Where the group is on the target is on the rifle, and you fix that by sight adjustment, which will be the next article in this three part series, but the takeaway point here is that you must fix your shooting before you fix the sights, otherwise you won’t know how to fix them.

I will cover the most common group errors I see on firing lines.

Wide open group: This group has rounds all over the place, and it means that the shooter does not have a solid shooting position, or does not have NPOA established.

Vertical stringing: These rounds are in a line up and down, and show that the shooter is not shooting at a consistent point in his breathing cycle.

Horizontal stringing: These rounds are in a line left and right, and indicate bad trigger control.

Diagonal stringing: Bad breathing, and either also bad trigger control, or poor position with the support elbow not under the rifle.

Two groups: This shows that the shooter changed something mid string of fire, and, since you can’t tell which is which, you need to eliminate the change before further addressing the problem.

Note that these groups can be wherever on the target, and, if they are off target, as well as having a shape problem, it means there is a human problem AND a sights problem.


Although I will attempt to break up the monotony of the shooting tutorials here soon, since these are admittedly getting a little dry, with something like “Idiots Seen In The Gun Store,” like the efforts of my colleague Br. Moner, I am trying to get someplace and stick an 8 hour class into a series of articles.

I do agree with one of the comments in the previous article in particular that Ed said. “Don’t learn to shoot from a webpage.” Although I’d happily take anyone here shooting if I could, and I would feel completely competent keeping you safe and teaching good habits and skill on a range in person, the internet, even with videos, leaves a lot to be desired. My intention is to awaken your awareness of the shooting discipline so that you will seek out competent instruction of your own and that my words might help you to discern good instruction from bad and know which areas of the sport, if any, you might be interested in pursuing. Be safe.

Read More: How To Properly Aim A Firearm

157 thoughts on “How To Properly Fire A Gun”

  1. Great article as always. Can’t really add anything to it, just want to give a kudos.
    Now…on to the memes!
    Don’t be this guy.
    This is basically how my daughter treats dating in her generation.
    And of course, everybody will be pleased to note that the recruitment drive for my local militia is going fantastic these days.

    1. This brings up an interesting question btw. While I feel unhappy that I can’t have guns because of my location and the local laws and draconian punishments involved, and while I feel that it should be an absolute right to own and get trained in how to use a gun, I would have no problem with a law that was passed saying that the 2nd amendment is an absolute right for MEN. When I see girls with guns like in these pictures, once I’m don’t thinking it is kind of cute, I usually move on to thinking that it would probably be wiser if women had fewer and not more rights. Anyway, I am pretty sure I know your opinion on male gun ownership as you have been clear as can be, but what about on female gun ownership?

      1. Yeah, if I see a picture on social media of a girl brandishing weaponry, I am terrified. You don’t put a weapon capable of mass murder in the hands of an emotional basketcase. Swipe left.

        1. The Southern/Texas Girls tho, eh, it kind of works actually. When you get them to a range they usually just want to watch you shoot things and judge you based on their pops, which isn’t a bad thing. Usually just a prop for a picture.

        2. I just have mental images of that “Maybe next time he’ll think before he cheats” country music video, who was that Leann Rimes or something? where the girl attacks the guys car, smashing windows and taking a bat to the body. Knowing they have a deadly weapon is a huge red flag to me. No pussy is worth risking your life.

        3. That’s a pipe dream. 90% of country girls wouldn’t dare touch a mans truck lol. Its in a song because its a fantasy. Most country girls have their father at home and he is usually a dip spitting alpha who would probably kick his daughter out of the house for acting like that with a man. lol

      2. I appreciate the fact that my daughter, who despite being raised as a Millenial turned out to be highly traditional and respectful and anti-feminist, can own firearms to protect herself against the slavering hordes of hipsters in her generation. She’s 16 and currently has a .22LR pistol and a Mosin Nagant 91/30 in her room right now that she’s well practiced with. I also like that my wife of so many years is able to carry a means of self defense when I’m not around that allows her to protect herself, the house and our children.
        I don’t mind the real rights for all individuals. Being a female should not disqualify a woman from being able to read or speak (such as it is), nor should it disqualify her from being able to protect herself in a dark parking lot or walking the dog down the street. I’m very serious about the Bill of Rights and this kind of equality is the only kind I will ever endorse.
        Most women I’ve known who are into guns “for real” are generally serious, sober women who are the opposite of the bikini clad babes in the pictures as far as attitude. That said, very few women are really into guns, so it’s kind of a self solving situation from your vantage point.
        Plus, well, you know more than many how I do so love bringing pretty girls to shooting ranges. Heh.

        1. “I don’t mind the real rights for all individuals. Being a female should not disqualify a woman from being able to read or speak (such as it is)”
          I don’t think they should be disqualified from reading or speaking, but maybe they should have some kind of license that women obtain in order to be able to read or speak — a license which can be revoked.
          I suppose your point is fair enough, but I tend to feel similar to @spicynujac below in that tools capable of killing people need to never be given to anyone who tends towards emotion before logic.
          I don’t know why, but when I see women online with guns or trucks (apparently moderately hot women standing next to trucks is a thing) I always think “stfu you stupid cunt”

        2. The ones posing online are generally not the kind that actually take guns seriously. There is a serious “hot girls with guns” thing on the internet (well, yeah, duh) that I see that they mimic if they think it will land them a good old boy right winger type, but they really don’t mean it. A true country girl will generally advertise how she can filet a fish and prepare venison, more than she will go out and try to look like she’s Gun Girl. Real gun girls generally keep more to the serious side of things, and are very few in number.
          When I hit the range with…my friend…recently she was the only chick there. That’s almost always the case at the ranges, if you go to them. Once in a while a girl will be there with a father or boyfriend, but generally you don’t see them show up alone or in groups with other girls. They just really don’t give a fuck and if they even faintly like guns, it’s in the form of “I like the idea of my man having one to protect me”.

        3. Interesting. This is a whole culture I have 0 access to.
          I still think women should need a license to be able to talk.
          I have a friend who says that his goal in life is to never hear the voices of women and children.

        4. “I have a friend who says that his goal in life is to never hear the voices of women and children.”
          Wow, I’m definitely adopting that motto.

        5. One way I can see this is that it is kind of like seeing the girls in the gym. I am fine with them being their to be little cardio bunnies or doing classes or even doing light weight circuit exercises for toning and definition…however, when I see a girl walk in with 28inch quads and break out the chalk and her weight belt in makes me go a big rubbery one…I don’t care how much you go guurrlllism in on social media, if you are doing any of the major compound lifts at more than 2x body weight then you are no longer a girl…you are one of those transdoodles like an opposite bruce jenner and I have no patience for that shit.

        6. Eh, sorta. I don’t see a lot of butch-dyke type gun girls, but they also aren’t the dainty flower types (usually, some exceptions).

        7. I guess I’m more moderate on this issue. On the one hand, handing a female a loaded weapon (or having ammo anywhere near the vicinity) is akin to not declawing the pussy.
          On the other, attractive women posing with things I enjoy has a certain something. Like over this past weekend, she’s standing around holding my mint julep by the lake in her bikini for a few minutes before bringing it over and sitting on my lap, that’s a win-win (and I didn’t have to worry about her “accidentally” misfiring during a mood swing).

        8. Hits home, my ex wife, lets my Kids “feelings” run her house hold, she calls me with, “but he/she doesn’t like this or that” to which I reply “so what? they are not of age to have a say in what they like or don’t like unless its what they want for xmas or their bday.” Fucking hell. Im down for this license thing, where do I sign?

        9. Is the nagant one of the carbine ones or full length?
          And did you get it a while ago for dirt cheap?
          They keep going up in price. And i want a decent one.

        10. Im not trying to call you out but you talk a lot about ….. Friends…..
          While also being all about traditional christian family values.
          How do those things fit in your mind?

        11. Women can still remain relatively feminine, reach double bw squat/deadlift if they have the right levers, pull sumo and just develop a damn fine ass as long as they spend the 3-5 years its gonna take to do it naturally. The 28 inch quad monsters are on the juice and probably have higher testosterone levels than your average lumberjack.

        12. True.
          NEWS FLASH: Copycatting every other woman on dating sites/apps with the cookie-cutter rifle or bow pic when not truly sincere about it turns on no real man, along with any other penis envy-related activity they partake in simply to attention whore.

        13. There will always be a small percentage that go against the grain of the rule. A girl who starts in high school with a coach, goes to college and instead of drinking beer and sucking cock she learns about nutrition and graduates to a better weight coach, gets herself on an IF diet and understands how small changes in form effect the body. She works to keep her ass fine while her legs tone, rarely fucks up, keeps on track, gradually increases weight only because her current weight has been maxed out for the set range she wants to go in not just because she wants to push as much weight as possible, wears gloves so she still has soft hands, doesn’t give new meaning to every trainer at her gym as they run train on her daily, makes sure she does her fasted cardio to keep her body fat low from the extra food she needs to take in to keep up her schedule, avoids injuries and miraculously is a cool girl as well. Ok, I have been in gyms pretty much my whole life and have met, maybe, maybe, maybe 3 like that of the thousands of girls I have met who lift heavy instead of doing stuff like .5-1.5x body weight super and giant setting…
          So yes, not all power lifting girls are like that….but the margin of error is so small that I am still comfortable saying it.

        14. I’ve never actually seen a metafem lifting monster in the flesh, but I have met one chick who basically fits your description above (she was hitting 1.7xbw in squats for 5 reps, so I guess that ALMOST qualifies? She was only 19). I’ll take your word for it that the monsters are more common than the hot lifters.

        15. again, to be clear, I think all girls need to be on the weights. What gets me is the girls who are actively trying to push the weight limits without convern for what their body looks. If she is a beast, I don’t care if her raw score is 1700 I am not going to bone her. I am not talking about young, fit and attractive girls who lift for aesthetics…but straight up, white hand chalk calluses you go guuurl gym cunts

        16. When are you finally running for high public office already so me and 180 million others can vote for you already?

        1. I hope that thing she is holding somehow assists her with making sandwiches

        2. Hard to tell, but it could come in real handy for making doughnuts.

        3. Having read your articles and comments I can tell this is funny but I’m pretty sure I don’t get the joke due to lack of requisite information

        4. HK’s are pricey, premium, awesome guns that some feel are overpriced, and some feel are just awesome. They’re like the Mercedes of guns.

      3. Heh, my right ear hearing is down to 40% for which I can only blame my own stupidity.
        I had a redhead with a fierce rack not afraid to show it, so I thought what the hell, broke my usual no women on the range rule, and brough her along hoping to snap some pics while we are at it.
        Me being me I didn’t have any small caliber long gun, and the least recoil was a shortened FN FAL (.308 cal semi auto). (Protip- never give them handguns)
        So I set her up, showed her unloaded what the steps would be and when to do what, twice. Asked her if she had any questions etc, she said nope, so I took the rifle, clicked in the mag and cycled it, putting it on safety, and handed it back.
        So of course she fired as soon as I told her to take it off safety, while I was next to the barrel/gas port putting on my ear protection…
        I couldn’t hear anything for about 15-20 min and then just a loud beep for the rest of the day…
        So no, I’m not going to a range with women on it. I’ll wait until it’s just guys thank you.

        1. Ha….maybe she was being polite so you wouldn’t have to hear her bitch afterwards.
          Really though, I know less than 0 about guns but I kind of put them in the same category as cars, sports, politics and philosophy…you know, stuff that I never want to be bothered have to explain to women.

      4. I somewhat agree with both you and GoJ. After trying to teach a few girls (including two thirteen year olds) how to shoot, the stance I’ve taken is women have no right to bear my arms.

        1. It’s ok. I am still ok with them bear cocks…specifically mine….more specifically in their mouths I like to call that 2nd Amendment (Female)

        2. I’ve had nothing but good luck teaching the few girls I’ve taken to the range. I’m very serious and sober and I do NOT let them do anything without me giving them an OK in triplicate first, and they are instructed on this very clearly. I really enjoy bending over and guiding a pretty girls hands and body like I was posing a favorite toy of mine and having her obey instinctively, and I really like the response you seen in her eyes when you’re telling her what to do, and the look she gives you when she does it and is practically begging for approval. Shit just turns me the hell on (talking non-family here, obviously).

        3. Upvote if you’d like to see lolknee’s version of the Constitution. Or at least the Bill of Rights.

        4. I wouldn’t change all of it. I still am not quartering any fucking English troops.

        5. well number one would be a government subsidized life of absolute luxury for anyone who has had extensive knee surgery….kind of the deal Socrates asked for

        6. I long for that. Instead, I had to teach a 13 year old the hard way why ear protection is important.

        7. we will need to have a large congress and discuss these issues. I will say free speech is out. Also, rather than a representive republic to Devine right of kings starting with the lolknee dynasty. I think politics will work similar to game of thrones where a hand full of great houses do fealty to the crown and their smaller Vassell houses do fealty to them.

        8. I think trade agreements will work. I will allow you to retain your titles, lands and attendant incomes but I will a tribute in the for of whisky and/or natural blondes depending on which crop is better than year and in return will send you real pizza.

        9. Oh ho ho! You will ALLOW me to retain my titles, lands, and incomes? Surely you jest. As for the trade agreements, what we are giving you is far more valuable than some mere pizzas. You can have the natural blondes and we shall keep the whiskey. Here’s a freebie blonde:

        10. no way…….Booze and very good pizza are about on par. Blondes fall below both of them…they seem better at the moment but do not retain their value at all and often get quite annoying.
          However, I will up the ante. I will trade you an agreed up number of cunty pointy career women who walk well in heals for an equal number of blondes. The Pizza for whisky stands and your titles will stand with full faith and credit in new York when you are my honored guest.

        11. Wait, aren’t there like, maybe, ten Blondes in the entire South combined?
          You want blondes, you come to Ohio. We got blondes out the wazoo. But it will cost you, and we always negotiate in bad faith.

        12. That’s generally the plan when doing such things.

        13. Old York = York, England = Jarvik, Angles-land (pronounce the J as a “Y”), from the occupation of the Vikings during the time of the Danelaw.

        14. If I don’t spout Honky History every now and then it builds up, and I don’t want to explode. Not in that way.

        15. Most women, I suppose. From my experiences, women usually make up the very top and the very bottom of the marksmanship categories, with the overwhelming majority being in the bottom.

        16. Amen brother, you aren’t having any of that “Rum, lash, and sodomy”* nohow.
          [* a quote of Winny Churchill’s regarding what made the British Navy great]

      1. What’s funny is that my daughter really is serious about the gun issue. If a guy passes all the other tests and says he doesn’t shoot, she *may* ask him if he’d like to go to the range with me and her, and if he says “no”, he’s done, no chance with her. If he’s openly anti-gun she will refuse to even talk to him if he flirts.

        1. LoL that’s cool… that’s actually a very effective way for her to filter manginas and such…
          For what I can see down here in Banana Republic, anti-gun male = emasculated leftist pussy that loves to take away the blame of a crime from the criminals and put them on “socitey” (yeah, pleonasms everywhere, but who cares..).

      1. Ouch. I scoped myself firing my buddy’s .30-06 after not having fired a high powered rifle in a long time and from an odd resting position. He was kind enough to not laugh the entire way to the hospital so I could get it superglued up.

        1. I’m fortunate enough never to have done that and can’t imagine how much that would hurt.

        2. It sucked so bad. Felt like I took a punch from Tyson. That whole physics equal and opposite reaction thing is a bitch.

      2. She practiced before on LAW, TOW, RPG and even bazooka – that helicopter, tank or APC she’s aiming at is done for.

    2. My millennial wife was on rifle team in high school. She doesn’t shoot any more but actively encourages me to hit the range. I think she likes knowing there are guns in the house with somebody who knows how to use them.
      My dad has a funny story about teaching my mother to shoot. He got her a pistol and took her to the camp to practice. He set a target out at 20 yards, gave her the whole how to shoot a gun spiel, and handed her a loaded revolver. She aimed, squeezed, dinged the target, handed the gun back to him and said “we don’t have to waste ammo.” Natural crack shot and best trap shooter in the family.

      1. Right, exactly. They are the recruitment rewards. Well spotted.

        1. Depends on if your super powers include being able to be in the same location twice at the same time.

        2. Hey, hey now, nobody can outrun Kratom, not even the Chairman of the ACME Corporation, and anyway that damn lightspeed jetpack prototype doesn’t work right and you know it!

        3. Free engineering advice, open source:
          Fuel the jetpack with Kratom, that’ll be good for warp 21, at least.

        4. I fear something like that might create a reality destroying singularity were it used to fuel a rocket intended to chase after one Kratom/Longjack energized Unabashed.
          After all, it would be like asking if Chuck Norris is powerful enough to defeat Chuck Norris. 🙂

        5. “Sadaam is so Great, that not even Sadaam Himself is great enough to properly represent Sadaam [in court]”* – unless he had a nice blast of Kratom jazzing his brain, but there was no Kratom in Iraq at that time, for the Goddess-Mother of all sons-o’bitches had snorted it all the night before at a greedy-girl session with the entire staff of Abu-Ghraib [interestingly means “place of ravens”] prison after they performed some naked male prisoner foreplay to get them in the mood.
          *Actual Sadaam Hussein quote from his trial which ended in his execution.

    3. That bolt action better be a .223 hihi, the semi/autos sure, even .308 will go but not big bore bolt action.
      Have you heard a girl screaming her head off from breaking her collarbone? I have-no thanks.

        1. Haha my eyes went to the girl first but to the bow quickly, for the simple reason that it’s quite close to my own bow hehe.
          I have a bowtech admiral from a few years ago in camo that is about the same size.
          After looking at it again I think that’s definitely not a full power bow.

        2. Yeah I think it’s a trainer similar to the one I had as a kid. Heh, I should look into investing in a new bow and train with it.

        3. Now I check to make sure, one bald head girl was one too many, nothing to yank on when she was throating (nothing quite like how happy, proud, and smiling they can be after overcoming a mountainous task, makes me see why some find teaching so fulfilling).
          Could still spank that ass, but it’s just not the same without a bit o’ mane to tame.

        4. Come now, son, they still usually have ears, even when bald. You can also palm the back of the head, too.

        5. I married my dog. Threw her out of the house to get knocked up. This year I’ll have 6 dependents for my taxes.

    4. Ghost I can explain your first picture. The guy with the headscarf is just trying to shoot over the guy in front of him.

  2. Damn good work. You have a gift for simplifying a complex subject into easily understandable articles.
    Everyone, with this coming election season make sure you vote. Make sure you do all you can to create new gun owners and bring new men and women into shooting sports. And, make sure you buy your guns just in case Joseph Stalin in a pants suit wins the election.

  3. Practice shooting. A lot. The best thing you can do for yourself if to buy a gun, use it until you break it, then buy another one, and repeat.
    Get some good training. It’s better to have 200 “trained rounds” after using up 800 at a shooting class, than have 1000 rounds sitting in your closet.

    1. I’ve never fired a gun so much that it broke beyond repair. Generally if one breaks or a part wears down, I just disassemble and replace it. Cheaper that way.
      But yeah, agreed otherwise, absolutely.

    2. Ha, break a gun? Buy quality first. I still use my granddaddy’s 1926 Winchester Model 12 for birds.

      1. Indeed. I can’t even count how many rounds I’ve put through my StG-58 and it just keeps on ticking along like a well oiled machine. My Rugers are nearly indestructible, I could probably throw them in a steel furnace and they’d come out without even a hint of damage.

        1. Rugers are beasts. I carry my old man’s 1970’s Security Six with .357 in it for bear protection. He used to carry it for people and/or rattle snake protection. That thing has been around the block.

        2. Some folks call them overbuilt, I call them “just right”. I’m not a fan of guns that feel like they’re made of tin.

        3. Yeah, I’m not a huge gun nut and basically only own guns to hunt with or to practice hunting with so I prefer overbuilt, rugged things that can survive sticks, brambles, mud, rain, and snow.

  4. I have formal training to a very high level (practical too but not relevant) and this is everything required, very clearly and nicely laid out.
    Guys, follow this! There is more to it but this will cover everything important for any practical use out to 150-200yds.
    There are a few more details that pertain to very long distance very high precision shooting but they are irrelevant to the normal shooter. I’m talking about rifle twist and ballistics etc.

    1. There was another author a while back (not this one) who wrote gun articles occasionally and I’d always find myself correcting things in it in the comments.
      Luke Stranahan’s articles are very well put together and I really have nothing but respect for his skill in explaining what can be fore some a very complex topic. Always a favorite read.

  5. Good stuff here. I offer to take young men to the range on the regular because so many of them have missed out. I’m not sure if it was never passed down to them (from grandfather, to father, to son) or if society brainwashed them into thinking “guns are dangerous”.
    Usually it doesn’t take long after I start gun talk with a buddy of mine at work. A few listening will ask about it and I’ll offer to teach them (if they are serious about it).
    I think, if anything, maybe I can help reverse the damage that has been done through single moms, feminism, etc…done to young men over the last so many decades. They’ve been taught to think that anything “manly” is bad, guns are dangerous and you should spend the rest of your days living with your mother.

    1. A dude on my softball wanted to learn to shoot. If he wasn’t such an annoying beta feminized putz, I might have offered to take him. I seriously would not trust his judgment with firearms. Instead I just pointed him at the NRA class for youngins.

      1. This reminds me of a dude I know who’s a bit of a gun nut, mostly collects. He can’t shoot for shit.
        Anyway he is a uber beta, gets his ass kicked all the time, and in general sort of a wimp.
        The bad is that he has now shot though both his floor and ceiling into the appartment above and below while failing at suicide or that’s his story anyway.
        Why the fuck he still has guns is beyond me but his parents being loaded may have something to do with it.

        1. That’s the only proper explanation I can think of. Whiny bitches who collect but never shoot are among the lowest in my book.

        2. See, it’s those type of people who give gun people a bad name. They are the worst. I know I shouldn’t but I fucking get pissed when I see these idiots (usually fat slobs) pull out their $3000 GI Joe fantasy, tiny dick compensaters at the range and then proceed to continually miss the target at 50 yards while the percussion from their boom sticks kicks dust and shells at me while trying to actually hone my ability to kill an animal.

        3. You and me both. In Texas the only ones who use the GI Joe fantasy weapons are idiots who never leave the city and have wet dreams of what to do if some hadji shows up to light a place in the name of Allah.

        4. Up here its the fucking preppers. Great, you own a militia size stock pile of weapons and buy every .22 round that arrives within the city borders. You’ll do real good when the armageddon comes… until you run out of diabetes medicine.

        5. He is exactly that type, he has every fucking imaginable accessory for his ARs etc, like I kid you not huge ass silencer, scopes, lasers, bipod, you name it, he has it.
          I’m sure he’s got way more than $100k in guns and accessories. That’s the reason I still sometimes hang out with him. I don’t often go shooting with him, but I borrow his stuff sometimes for long periods hehe.
          He’s the worst shot I’ve ever seen, and he has the awareness and common sense of a goldfish sometimes. I try to explain to him and correct his position and he keeps repeating he shoots better his way. How the fuck? He’s missing a man size target at 25 fucking yard. The whole target! 3 hit out of a full mag on his glock 17. Sigh.
          Anyway after his ‘suicide attempts’ or whatever the fuck I don’t shoot with him anymore, much less try to teach him.

        6. I used to tell a coworker that there was no point in owning that many guns, because you don’t have any friends.

        7. This made me laugh. I have one of those old Finnish rifles from the continuation war, and can get 1 MOA, simply by using the irons, and not any of this gay ass ACOG crap. No man should buy a semi-auto rifle, if he can’t master a bolt-action first, as a matter of fact, I’ll take a bolt-action, anytime, over some pea-shooting AR.

        8. Lol, my sniper rifle in the service was built by hand using the mechanism of a continuation war rifle, but new match style stock, and a new heavy barrel. And yeah you are right. I’m not even scared much of handguns and ARs because a large part of the people owning them can’t use them for shit.
          The rifle I speak of is this
          My rifle had the Schmidt &Bender optics, never saw the Zeiss ones.
          The rifle is good to about 1000-1100m, not officially but in practice.

        9. Beautiful it is, and the most precise of all rifles I’ve shot. We also had Barrett’s and SVD dragunovs but they were not ever close to as precise as this.
          However the big difference is these are not mass made, each rifle is hand fitted. So it’s much more expensive and hard to service than a mass production rifle.
          I was the last of the sniper trained to use these actually, which I think is a bit sad as it is an incredible rifle. Those who came after me all chose Sako TRG-42’s in 338 Lapland magnum, and I think another year later it was just mothballed totally.
          Another fun fact of the Rifle is the mechanism that the rifle was built on was taken from the selected sniper versions of the continuation war rifles, so quite possibly some were even used by legends like Simo Häyhä.

        10. Fun extra is he is a machinist, so he also had a few absolutely illegal self made guns too.
          Any official who checks his gun cabinet will have enough for an arrest directly.

        11. I think the point is about who is doing it. If it’s some guy who can’t do anything other than buy up all the .22 plinking ammo from here to New York just to stockpile it, it’s fucking annoying.
          I sold off most of my extreme prep stuff to idiots who won’t stand a snowballs chance in hell if/when the shit hits the fan. A lot of it for more than its really worth.
          My stance on prepping now is that it is unlikely to matter much how you prepare, because the threats are too varied to cover. The other thing is being a prepper mostly relies on stuff rather than skills, and being stuck to and having bet everything on one location is not a good way to go.
          My recommendation would be to stock up on skills rather than stuff. Learn how to shoot well, get good at a martial art, get a good base condition, make sure you exercise regularly, eat well, learn bush survival skills, go camping and hiking in the wilderness.
          And one thing that I think will matter more than anything else- have something to fight for. If you don’t have the motivation, you will lose to those who want to win more than you do.

  6. I recently purchased a .17HRM CZ Thumbhole rifle, great piece of kit. Ok you’re not going hunting elephant but the ammo is cheap as chips and it’s great fun to line up a bunch of targets after work and knock out 20 or 30 shots. I’m getting very proficient at the moment and these articles are very helpful.

  7. Anyone here have a century arms c308?
    Ive only read good things about them and would like to know what anyone here knows about them.

    1. Hell no. Century makes horrible roller locking hk style rifles. Pay an extra 100-200 and get a ptr 91. The ptr brand knows how to make the roller locking 308s right, they have much better barrels, and they have a rail welded on the reciever for modern scope mounts.
      The best deals are at I recommend the atlantic arms special with the wide grip handguards and the paddle mag release.

      1. Thank you for your input.
        Its my understanding they have newer c308s that are better than their previous ones.

        1. Not a problem. You are correct, the newer c308s are definitely better than the old ones. I would just make sure you buy with a good warranty just in case there are any issues, or buy a used rifle after you get to do a basic function check and test fire. If it works, you got a winner. Heres a link for the rifle i mentioned. Its $200 more than the c308, but its perfection. Built on original hk tooling, and guaranteed to work. I honestly believe that the ptr line is better than a real preban hk91.

        2. O yea. I know the ptr is supreme quality.
          Thanks again.
          Do you have anu thoughts on the c39v2?
          It is supposedly fantastic.

        3. As far as ak47/74s go, ive owned maybe 8 or 9 of them, and all the different makes over the years.
          The century c39v2 is great. I have had zero problems with mine. If you find one with the magpul folding stock it is worth it. As far as aks go, the only other thing out there that i like is any AK made by DDI. DDI is top notch stuff. The rifle you mentioned and the DDI rifles are in the price range i like, under $900 for aks.
          I guess a purest/collector would prefer an arsenal usa rifle conversion out of bulgaria or a arsenal/kvar from izhmash. Those unfortunately are a little bit more money due to import restrictions. The top of the line ak47 would be a rifle dynamics ak, but those are $2000+.

        4. Cool.
          I think the 39v2 is the way to go. Esp with the milled receiver. Add a lil magpul furniture to lighten rhe load.
          Yep ddi is great. Their new ar10 styles are excellent.

  8. “I’m going to have to let you go. It’s not your performance, it’s just that it has been a tough year. I’d be happy to offer a recommendation.”

  9. Dryfire practice. Can also be very beneficial. Fire the rifle with a dummy round or a spent cartridge in the chamber (if you fire on an empty chamber you may cause damage to the firing pin) if your point of aim shifts then you’re making one of the above errors.

  10. Good article. Becoming a good shooter takes time and lots of practice. Steady position, breathing, aiming/sight picture, and trigger squeeze. Master these 4 basic fundamentals and you will be on point every single time.

  11. Look up Todd Jarrett on YouTube. He has some great instructional videos on shooting and tactical reloads ect. Good learning tool and fun to watch him shoot. Bang! Bang!

  12. I wanna get the RP12 – Double barrelled pump 12ga. Look’s like something to take down a flying saucer or space invaders with. Holds 16 rounds. Anyway, that’s my dream gun right now.

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