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July 2014

In the second part of this series on breaching we will discuss the ever popular “Ballistic” or Shotgun breach, as well as some techniques for breaching windows. If you happen to miss part one please take the time to have a look at it as well. Ballistic breaching This is the technique that everyone is always so keen to learn about, because let’s be honest it’s damn sexy and just plain cool to shoot open a door with a shotgun. But we need to understand that ballistic breaching is not without hazards and thus is a technique where its risk to benefit must be weighed heavily. Let’s start by looking at some of the potential risks and relative benefits of this technique. 1) Over penetration – This is something that depending on the situation is going to potentially have a profound impact. Specifically if there are friendlies or non-combatants on the other side of the door. However this is a risk that by technique and munition selection can be mitigated but not eliminated. 2) Secondary fragmentation – What I’m... Read more →

Breaching is the term used within “Tactical” circles to describe the forced entry of a building or other obstacle. In simplest terms let’s just call it what it is, Breaking & Entering. I like to break reasons for breaching down into four categories Dynamic entry (raids), Exit/Escape, Rescue, and Access (soft entry). It should be understood that breaching is in and of itself a very specialized skill set, in fact we have guys on teams for whom breaching is their primary focus. So understand that my intent here is to only give an overview of some basic tools and techniques that the ordinary man may one day find useful should he find himself in extraordinary circumstances. Now you should be asking yourself what kind of circumstance would cause me to need to breach a target? Well broaden your mind a little and consider that you may need to perform a rescue breach in order to gain access to a family member during an emergency such as a fire, structural collapse or imagine being in the middle of an active shooter,... Read more →

I was asked recently about my “notoriousness” when someone (anonymously of course) tried to make it an issue. I laughed, waved my hand around our surroundings and asked the speaker, “Does it look like we are worried about the opinions of others?” I do not shrink from, but embrace my brigand, outcast reputation. I was the guy that paid no heed to the hall monitor at school and shot spitballs at the teacher. I rooted for Snidely Whiplash and not Dudley Do-Right as a kid. When I came across the word “Pirate” I thought it was perfect. Americans love their outlaws, and their pirates. And it doesn’t matter whether those outlaws were evil as in the case of Bonnie and Clyde, or politically driven good guys as in the case of Jesse and Frank James. The James brothers are lionized and remembered, whereas few can actually name the man that stopped them…and of those who do, most villify Robert Ford. Edward Teach (also known as Blackbeard) is remembered but Lieutenant Robert Maynard is as obscure as fog. James Dean was... Read more →

Continuing with our discussions on optimizing the shotgun, let us discuss ammo. While any and all firearms can be used for hunting that is irrelevant insofar as this discussion goes. That the shotgun can be used for shooting bunnies and birds has nothing to do with its anti-personnel use. One of the prevailing myths with this weapon is that it is versatile due to the variety in ammunition. With respect to the nature of the discussion, that is false. It is not versatile at all and quite specialized…because of the ammunition and its limits. With regards to the operator and the weapon in particular, careful selection of ammunition can make a slightly built shooter quite dangerous with an otherwise ungainly weapon. We really only have three types of ammo pertinent to the study; Bird Shot, Buck Shot and Slugs. Breaching and Less Than Lethal rounds are interesting, but as valuable as signaling flare rounds for what we are addressing. In my opinion, the only viable uses for Bird Shot are for economical training, and for fighting off home invaders in... Read more →

First I want to define the difference between a Carry method from a Ready method. A Ready can be expanded to a Ready To Shoot Position. These are used immediately before and during the fight and share one common attribute - that they either already have the muzzle on target, or allow the quick movement of the muzzle to a target once it has been identified. These are what the bulk of the tactical shooting community are familiar with since they comprise the starting point for all the drills commonly done in a rifle class. But they require a focus and intensity that is short lived. For example, one cannot maintain a modern Contact ready, nor a traditional Low Ready for a five hour hike up a mountain. Different in scope from a Ready To Shoot Position are Carry Methods (one cannot really call them "positions" as one is usually on the move). Carry methods allow for moving the rifle from one point to another. In a military/tactical context, they are used for moving towards the general area of where... Read more →