Author Archive | Jon L

Hitting the Range – Check Your BUIS

I had the opportunity to take two new AR-15 shooters to the range this week and an issue came up that likely affects many users of this rifle platform – proper implementation of back up iron sights (BUIS).

How many of you completely remove your red dot sight (RDS) when you zero your BUIS? I know I used to because it made it “easier.” Nobody wants to miss a chance to use that nifty quick detach (QD) mount that costs some extra hard earned dollars! If this is you, then you may want to try using your iron sights through the RDS to confirm your BZO (battle sight zero).

Having the RDS in place between the front and rear BUIS may change the way you see or index the sights and as a result the point of impact of your rounds may be off enough to notice at 50 yards. This is especially true if your Aimpoint/RDS is set with a “lower 1/3” co-witness mount. Lower 1/3 mounts place the optic slightly higher than the BUIS sight plane so that your view is less obstructed by the front sight. While I see this as a worthwhile benefit, it does make the BUIS a little more difficult to index, see, and use through the RDS.

This issue is mostly negated if you run an “absolute” co-witness optic mount. I personally don’t prefer these mounts because the front sight (I prefer a fixed front sight base on fighting ARs) is a little more intrusive on the “field of view.” I find that guys who typically don’t “trust” RDS tend to run the absolute co-witness mounts so that the irons are easier to use in an emergency.

Everything is a trade-off and I trust my RDS as much as any other high quality gear item I run on my rifles. Anything, no matter how expensive or tried and true, can fail at the worst possible moment and having multiple back up plans is always a good thing. So there you have it – a great reason to get you and your rifles out to the range to test and make sure everything is adjusted appropriately.

Why We Train: The Economy

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last five years, you’re probably well aware of the fragile state of the economy of the United States and the rest of the world. I am not an economist, but the fact that we’re in big trouble is becoming more and more apparent. Anyone who at least takes a regular perusal through the daily news is probably well aware of how thin the veneer of our civilization is and how quickly it could be peeled away. If sudden economic turmoil were to grip our nation, I think it’s safe to assume that widespread disruptions to many basic services could occur quickly. If this were to happen, it could wreak havoc in large metropolitan areas.

My purpose here is not to tell you how to prepare for the possibility of tough times down the road, but to motivate you to reach out to those close to you and maximize your ability to help each other. If you need some motivation to spur you along, then look no farther than this amazingly well done five minute video. This is a problem that has no achievable political solution and runs deep and wide across party lines. Why else would a sitting US Senator feel the need to warn of a financial meltdown in 2-5 years? The bottom line seems to be that things which can’t last forever, won’t.

The sky is not falling… yet. If you haven’t done so, it seems the time is ripe to take an inventory of your personal situation. The good news is that wise and carefully measured preparations will not waste any resources. Hopefully you will find that any steps taken to improve your situation will not only provide peace of mind but will also deepen relationships and enhance your quality of life, regardless of circumstances.

Jogging and Personal Protection

One of the all time best ways to get some great exercise is to go for a run. However, while you’re out there pounding pavement and sucking wind you must understand your vulnerability and take steps to protect yourself.

A small frame revolver can be a great jogging gun with the right holster.

I’ve been a distance jogger for over ten years and fortunately my worst stories of danger on the road include only some unfriendly aggressive dogs and rude drivers. Unfortunately, others have experienced much worse such as abduction, rape, and murder and even death by wild animals or packs of vicious dogs. We haven’t even discussed the threat from all the inattentive drivers on the roadway.

I found this recent news story to be particularly disturbing reference a 60 year old jogger being gunned down apparently at random while standing on a street corner in a Kansas City suburb. Police have reason to believe that a gang initiation maybe a possible motive. There is probably little or nothing that this poor man could have done differently to protect himself from such a senseless, savage attack. The rest of us should reflect on this chilling tragedy and make a renewed effort to to sharpen one of our best weapons, situational awareness.

Avoidance is often the best protection and it’s easiest to accomplish if you can see the trouble coming from a long ways away. How about head phones? Many people probably can’t imagine going on a run without listening to music, but I think most would agree that by “tuning in” to your grooves you greatly diminish your awareness.

Everybody is going to approach this unique aspect of personal protection differently and while carrying a pistol while jogging maybe a great option for some it is not going to be realistic for all. This is one of the few legitimate times to use that fanny pack for concealed carry! A can of OC/CS spray might also be another great option for dealing with pesky dogs. Regardless of whether or not you choose to carry any type of a weapon while out for a run, think through your route and consider any way possible to be more alert and mitigate threats.

Look for a review of the some running holster options coming soon on JTT.

Maximizing Your Fitness

More and more people in America are getting serious about physical training for health reasons, image, increased capability, and being prepared for tougher times down the road. If you’re serious about being prepared, you realize that one of the most important “tools” at your disposal is your physical body. Stewardship of the body is not just important for overall health, but also essential as the foundation for accomplishing any grueling task.

You don't need fancy gear to get fit.

You may have a lot of questions if you are just starting on the road to fitness. Where do you start?  Is running, weight lifting, or calisthenics the best answer? How do you avoid the stagnancy that tends to creep into your workout? I found a good answer to these questions a few of years ago at CrossFit.com. For those of you not familiar with the concept, the CrossFit program creates functional fitness through the controlled chaos of a widely varied exercise program. I will warn you that it is not for the faint of heart! Ever tried doing 150 pullups as PART of your workout? How about 400M of walking lunges? Maybe you’re one of those guys who can effortlessly bang out sets of double unders as you blow through your workout. I haven’t even talked about BURPEES yet (once you’re familiar with sets of them, the mere word strikes fear in the heart of even very fit men)!

You can make a lot of the gear that you need for CrossFit.

Let me break it down for you. Your old workout program – after completing a set of bicep curls, you stroll over to the pec deck while consuming an energy drink and try not to be too obvious as you check yourself out in the wall mirror. Crossfit – after finishing a murderous combination of box jumps, medicine ball throws, and 800M runs you kneel down in the grass and vomit. After some water and rest you’re good to go and ready to take on your day. That pretty much sums it up.

The rig may look like a torture device but it is actually for dips.

I will admit that even though this program has made up the foundation of my physical exercise plan for the last few years, I still wouldn’t call myself a total CrossFitter. I train at home on a mix of hand made and factory produced equipment instead of at a CrossFit gym. I also incorporate regular runs into my program instead of always doing the WOD (workout of the day). I definitely don’t hold myself to the very strict diet that is an integral part of the program. I mean, hey, you’ve got to reward yourself for that killer workout, right? Regardless, I’ve seen incredible gains as a result of CrossFit and after just under three years of grinding it out there is no stagnancy to be found.

Kettlebells and medicine balls are extremely versatile.

How do you make an aggressive PT program like this really work for you? Here are a few of my tips for beginner:

  • Start off by scaling the WOD instead of trying do it Rx, as written.
  • Incorporate something you LIKE to do for exercise, such as running, biking, hiking, etc, and make it part of your weekly rotation instead of always doing the WOD.
  • ALWAYS watch the helpful instructional videos available on the site before doing an unfamiliar exercise.
  • Understand going into it that you will need a substantial amount of equipment if you want to complete most of the workouts at home. That being said, a lot of it can be done with a place to run, a pullup bar, and some basic weights/equipment.
  • Bad form is never good exercise and injuries take a long time to recover from. I don’t attempt some of the more complex olympic lifts because I don’t have the back ground and am not comfortable with the form. Don’t let this scare you off as much can be accomplished by just adapting the CrossFit mentality and adapting it to a workout regimen that is good for you.

Before I started this program I was doing the typical running/weight lifting combo and I was definitely in a rut. I’m very glad I gave CrossFit a try and I encourage you to get started and check out their site!

Why We Train: Pass It On To Your Kids

One of the most important aspects of firearm ownership is properly passing on this heritage and mantle of freedom to the next generation. Of course, the first and most important step is to properly instruct your own children.

Imagine yourself in the following situation: armed home invaders are inside your residence and you have retreated to the bedroom with your children and have attempted to block the door. However, despite your best efforts, the brigands force their way inside, start shooting, and strike your 11 year old boy in the hip. Those seem to be nearly insurmountable odds, but this 11 year old boy has plenty of fight left in him. He was able to shoot one of the home invaders in the neck, critically injuring him and causing the other to flee.

They say “Don’t Mess with Texas” but I think there’s more to it than that which brought about this amazing end to the story. I don’t have any details on this incident besides the brief overview released in the news story, but I’m betting somewhere out there is a very proud papa who properly trained and equipped his son.

While bed wetting liberals around the country couldn’t possibly understand the rationale behind providing firearms for children and training them how to properly use them, I for one am very glad to hear this story of a family where the torch of freedom is being passed. Children are usually a lot more capable than we give them credit for. Range time and responsible firearm ownership being taught in the home is a great way to strengthen relationships and harness the abilities of our children. Say a prayer for this family and injured young hero, and take every chance available to be part of creating a lasting legacy of liberty in your home!

See the story and short video here.

Why We Train: Situations Can Deteriorate Rapidly

I recently came across an article written by a deputy sheriff in Louisiana who posted on Jim Rawles’ excellent site, SurivalBlog.com. If you have never checked out his site, I highly recommend poking around over there as he’s compiled a lot of excellent information and updates daily. Your first reaction to the story maybe something like, “Well, how come I didn’t hear about that on the news?!” I never realized how selective news reporting was in terms of crime until I became a police officer and had the opportunity to be on many scenes that received, or should have received, news coverage.

Today more than ever everything is politics. Local politicians are under increasing scrutiny to “do something” about terribly high crime levels in many urban areas. Often, part of that “doing something” means downplaying crime issues and working hard to re-classify crimes so that fewer incidents make it into the hard stats that get turned into the FBI annually. Big sports towns are especially susceptible as local politicians court teams and work hand in hand with local media to cultivate a positive image of a particular city.

I’m not crying conspiracy here, but as is often the case real truth must be searched for and you can’t depend on anybody to spoon feed it to you. Want to really know what goes on in your area? Befriend a local cop and you might get the straight scoop even though sometimes cops are punished for telling people the truth about their neighborhoods.

Anyway, I digress back to the point.  Read the following description of how fast near anarchy broke out almost immediately after a local power outage. Are you ready to deal with a protracted situation like this? Is it time to start heeding the warning signs and make that move to another location that you’ve been delaying? There are also some good preparedness suggestions at the end of the article.

Check out the full article SurvivalBlog.com.

Jon Responds

Thanks, Matt, for the generous introduction and the opportunity to contribute to the blog. Matt is a pretty impressive, knowledgeable gear guy with a good sense of what works and what doesn’t. I too am very interested in guns and gear but focus will be different.

My contributions will include posts about maximizing fitness, providing motivation to train, and some LE perspective on current events and news stories that I think might interest you as readers. I’m also excited to try my hand at a few firearms reviews and share what I have found that works well in its prescribed role. You won’t want to miss a day here at the blog!

Big Announcement: New Trigger Jerk On Board

I am thrilled to announce that JTT has a new contributing partner on board. The blog is continuing to grow at a rate that it makes sense to have some help and Jon is just the guy for the job. Trigger Jerks, please join me in welcoming my friend, Jon L.

Jon is going to be a great contributor to Jerking the Trigger. His background and real life experiences will help provide valuable insight. Jon joined the USMC reserve in 1999 and was trained as an 0331 machine gunner. Shortly after finishing college his unit was activated, and he served one tour of duty in the Al Anbar province of Iraq in support of OIF II during 2004. After returning home, he was hired by a large metropolitan police department in the midwest where he currently continues to work full time as a patrol officer.

In addition to police and military training, Jon has attended several firearms courses taught by professional instructors. He recognizes the value in staying current in the rapidly evolving world of tactical gear and firearms and looks forward to sharing his perspectives.

Jon is a no BS kind of guy and I am thrilled to have him on board. He is a heck of friend, a heck of a cop, and a heck of a shooter. Over the next several weeks he will start to become more noticeable as he ramps up. This is the first of several big changes that you will see in the coming months at JTT so stay tuned!

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