From my standpoint all gun owners are obligated to join the NRA. If you are not a NRA Member you can now purchase memberships at a heavily discounted rate. Life Memberships are now only $300, and annual memberships are also discounted. The link for this offer is www.standandfight.com. In addition to supporting a great organization that fights for your family's freedom, NRA memberships also include a subscription to one of the following great magazines American Rifleman or American Hunter. In addition to the magazine subscription the membership also offers free firearms theft insurance and a number of other benefits. Do the right thing and join this great organization today!
As you stock reloading supplies remember to do a quick calculation on how much powder, primers and bullets you need to support the type of cartridges you're reloading. Just like any manufacturing operation you need to plan your inventory to ensure you can build a complete product. Powder is one of the components you should always do a quick calculation to make sure you have enough on hand when you need it. Reloading rifle rounds takes a lot more powder then what is required to reload pistol rounds. For example, I recently purchased 1LBS of Alliant Bullseye powder for reloading 9mm. This amount of powder is good for 1,750 rounds if using 4 grains per charge. This calculation is based on 1LBS=7000 grains. If reloading .308 rifle ammunition your powder requirement is roughly 42 grains per round resulting in 166 rounds when using 1LBS of Accurate 2230 powder. Obviously, you'll need to purchase an equal number of primers and bullets to make a complete cartridge. Be careful not to buy an abundance of one item and not the other because you may fall short of a key component in the future. Pictured is Accurate 2230 which is a great .223 and .308 powder for AR-15 and AR-10 owners. Finally, with reloading supplies there really is no need to worry about shelf life, so buy components when they are available at a reasonable price.
Key to every range activity is to always enforce the following firearms safety rules. Everyone is responsible for correcting anyone that does not follow these essential activities. All shooters should include these safety rules in their range brief. Print a copy of the rules and keep them in your range bag.
Rule #1: Treat every weapon as if it were loaded. Even if you are sure the weapon is not loaded, you still treat it as if it is!
Rule #2: Never point your weapon at anything you do not plan to destroy.
Rule #3: Keep your finger straight and off the trigger until your sights are on the target.
Rule #4: Identify your target and what is behind it. Never shoot at anything that you have not positively identified.
"I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy."
-John Adams (2nd President of the United States, March 1797 - March1801)
JSE Surplus at http://www.jsesurplus.com/ is selling a large number of 30rd AR-15 Troy Battle Magazine for $14. They also have a limited supply of three magazine battle packs for $38. The magazines work well with all AR manufactured lowers. The magazines also include magazines pulls that can be attached to the magazine floor plate to assist with magazine changes (see attached picture). These magazines are a great investment for only $14 per magazine. Like all AR accessories these were selling for well over $30 per magazine during the last buying frenzy. I purchased the majority of my Troy Industry magazines from Dick's Sporting Goods prior to the store pulling any AR-15s and hi-cap magazines from their product line. I make every effort not to shop at Dick's due to their recent policy changes. As a reminder, everyone should have on hand at least 10 magazines per weapon system. If you are below 10 magazines for your AR this is a great product to get you there.
Fundamental to leadership is one's ability to display moral courage when faced with ethical decisions and choosing the correct path. As leaders we must always strive to do the right thing. The following are two perspectives on moral courage.
FM 6-22 Army Leadership provides the following definition for Moral Courage.
• Moral courage is the willingness to stand firm on values, principles, and convictions.
• It enables all leaders to stand up for what they believe is right, regardless of the consequences.
• Leaders, who take full responsibility for their decisions and actions, even when things go wrong, display moral courage.
“The capacity to overcome the fear of shame and humiliation in order to admit one’s mistakes, to confess a wrong, to
reject evil conformity, to denounce injustice, and also to defy immoral imprudent orders.”
—From “The Mystery of Courage” By William Ian Miller.
Travis Haley and Chris Costa instruct the must know shotgun fundamentals in this outstanding instructional DVD. I've always been a carbine person, but this DVD has opened my eyes to the true lethality and proper application of a shotgun. Like other MAGPUL DVD's the instructors use of actual students in a live fire class is the ideal setting for learning by seeing how others improve their techniques. Topics covered in the DVD set include the fundamentals of shotgun manipulation, patterning, firearm's configurations, action types, ammo management while being exposed to realistic scenarios. This DVD is well worth your time and money.
The "1/3-2/3 Rule" is the universal mission planning time allocation tenet that ensures subordinates are allotted enough time to get ready for missions. The rule requires for mission planning, leaders do not use no more than one third of the available time for planning and issuing the Operations Order (OPORD). The remaining two thirds of the time is allocated to subordinate leaders to ensure they have the required time for proper planning and their preparation activities. For example, during offensive operations leaders get one third of the time from receipt of the mission to the group's Line of Departure (LD) time. During defensive operations, leaders get one third of the time from mission receipt to the time subordinate units must be prepared to defend their positions. Leaders use "Reverse Planning" to schedule mission preparation activities by working backwards from the LD or defend time to the present time. When allocating time for mission preparation leaders must also consider factors that impact traditional planning time such as available daylight, inclement weather, and the travel time to and from orders and rehearsals. If any of these factors are believed to slow down subordinate planning activities then leaders must do everything possible to lessen their allotted 1/3 of time in order to give subordinates additional time. If leaders fail to implement the 1/3-2/3 rule subordinates will not have the needed time to effectively plan and rehearse as required for a successful mission.
For mission preparation use the military's Troop Leading Procedures to standardize your approach for mission planning just prior to execution. Below are my general thoughts on key areas to address for each of the eight steps of the Troop Leading Procedures. For additional information on the topic see the Ranger Handbook SH21-76.
Troop Leading Procedures
Step 1. Receive the Mission - Upon mission receipt leaders immediately begin analyzing the mission using the factors of METT-TC. During mission analysis leaders must answer the following METT-TC questions. What is the Mission? What is known about the Enemy? How will Terrain and Weather impact the operation? What Troops/Personnel and Equipment are available for the mission? How much TIME is available? How do Civil considerations impact how the operation is planned?
Step 2. Issue Warning Order - Information gained from the METT-TC analysis is abbreviated and provided as initial instructions to subordinates by issuing a Warning Order (WARNO). The WARNO contains enough information to allow subordinates to begin mission preparations and any necessary movement to support the operation and timeline. Groups must establish Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) that dictate the actions taken upon receipt of a WARNO to include the distribution of supplies such as ammunition, rations, water, and key equipment. In addition the WARNO provides guidance for the conduct of communication rehearsals and maintenance of key equipment. Leaders continually update subordinates when new mission information is received by issuing subsequent WARNOs. There is no standardization for a WARNO format but at a minimum they should include the following key areas: mission and nature of the operation; who is participating in the operation: and the initial timeline. The initial timeline includes the time and place for follow-on coordination meetings, orders briefs, rehearsals and the time of the operation.
Step 3. Make a Tentative Plan - Leaders develop their tentative plan based on the knowledge gained from Step 1's METT-TC analysis. The tentative plan is also continuously updated as new information is received about the mission, the enemy, friendly forces and equipment available. The leader combines the facts gained from the METT-TC analysis with assumptions made for unknown variables to formulate a course of action (COA) on how he plans to accomplish the mission. Leaders must develop multiple COAs to create discussion on how the mission can be accomplished with different solutions and different viewpoints. Each COA is analyzed based on each COAs strengths and weaknesses and then compared to each other. The best COA is chosen to become the tentative plan. The tentative plan is the start point for coordination, movement instructions, reconnaissance and element task organization (assault, support, security). As new information becomes available the leader continuous to update and
refine the plan.
Step 4. Start Necessary Movement - During this step subordinate leaders initiate necessary movement and activities to prepare personnel, weapons and equipment for the mission. Priorities of work are established to ensure all key activities are accomplished to include feeding, weapons/equipment maintenance, and Battle Drill/SOP rehearsals required for the mission. This step normally begins upon receipt of the WARNO. Elements can also begin movement to locations that better support the mission timeline.
Step 5. Reconnoiter - Based on the time available leaders make the decision on what type of reconnaissance to use. If time permits the leader should personally conduct a visual reconnaissance of the area of operation to verify the terrain analysis, confirm the routes, time critical movements in order to gain critical information needed to adjust the current plan. If time is limited the decision is made to conduct a map reconnaissance.
Step 6. Complete the Plan - The leader completes the plan based on the reconnaissance and any information updates received about the mission and the situation. The current plan should be compared to the original mission received in Step 1 to ensure the plan still meets mission requirements.
Step 7. Issue the Complete Order - To assist subordinate understanding of the mission leaders always issue the order within sight of the objective or on the defensive terrain. If access to the terrain is not feasible, the use of a terrain model or sketch is used. Leaders must ensure subordinates understand the following key elements of the operation: the mission, the leader's intent, the concept of the operation, and their assigned tasks. To confirm mission understanding leaders conduct brief back rehearsals with subordinates that require them to repeat key elements of the operation on the terrain model or sketch. Leaders also conduct a final brief back rehearsal with subordinates prior to execution to verify mission understanding.
Step 8. Supervise - Finally, leaders supervise mission preparation by conducting rehearsals and inspections. Leaders use rehearsals to practice essential tasks, reveal weaknesses or problems in the plan, coordinate subordinate element actions, and improve understanding of the operation. Rehearsals should focus on subordinate leader brief backs that show understanding of how planned actions are sequenced and their dependencies for mission success. All rehearsals are to be conducted on terrain that resembles the area of operation and if possible during similar light conditions. As discussed earlier, groups begin rehearsals of battle drills and SOPs upon mission receipt. Rehearsals become mission specific once the final plan is issued. Once the plan is issued subordinate elements only rehearse mission specific tasks. During rehearsals elements at minimum rehearse actions on the objective. If time permits the group rehearses how to assault a trench, bunker, or building, how to breach wire obstacles, and actions on enemy contact. Finally, during Step 8 all leaders must supervise final inspections. Final inspections confirm correction of deficiencies that were identified during earlier inspections. Final inspections conducted prior to mission execution include thorough inspections of weapons/ammunition, uniforms/equipment, mission-essential equipment, individual understanding of the mission and their specific responsibilities, communication systems, rations/water and camouflage.
For those unprepared AR owners that lack extra parts, magazines or accessories now is the time to buy. All AR owners should have an extra Lower Parts Kit (LPK), not only for the extra parts but also for the purpose of having the kit on hand when you buy your next lower receiver. I routinely check JSE Surplus, Midway USA, Brownells and several other online retailers for changes in their magazine and parts inventory. Today I received the AR10 and AR15 LPKs I purchased last week from JSE Surplus. The AR10 LPK manufactured by DPMS cost $60, the AR15 LPK manufactured by CMMG cost $69. Both these prices are far better than the $200 per LPK charged during the last round of failed 2nd Amendment attack legislation. Just like stocks I always urge my friends to buy when prices are low. Do not be caught off guard a second time if the politicians start acting up again. AR parts, magazines and ammunition are all becoming available. Keep up the search and stock up when you can.