Competition Shooting in Special Operations

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SGM (ret.) Patrick McNamara (1st SFG, SFOD-D) interviewed by LCDR (ret.) John “Jocko” Willink (SEAL Team 3) about shooting experience within special operations forces. While serving as his Unit’s Marksmanship NCO, SGM McNamara developed his own marksmanship club with NRA, CMP, and USPSA affiliations, running monthly IPSC matches and semi-annual military marksmanship championships to encourage marksmanship fundamentals and competitiveness throughout the Army. This is common throughout military special operations. All Army is an annual Service Conditions match held by the Army Marksmanship Unit at Fort Benning, similar to Service Conditions matches held throughout all NATO and Commonwealth militaries.

https://armyreservemarksman.info/tung-nguyen-memorial-match/


3D SFG(A) Soldiers report that “Most members of SOF (Special Operations Forces) use competitive shooting as a training tool. Our gear looks like that used in 3-Gun because that sort of practical competition is how we set up equipment.”

Common Core Math

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Many people have strong opinions about what is commonly known as Common Core Math. As with most things, the general, popular opinion of laypersons is usually wrong.

This has a number of parallels to small arms instruction. Personnel with minimal experience (which describes most military and law enforcement) assume their limited exposure is The Way and anything that deviates from that must be wrong because they’ve never bothered to consider it.

It’s also similar to anti-gun arguments. Non-shooters with little-to-no formal firearm education that know little-to-nothing about guns and unwilling to study the matter beyond looking at memes are only too happy to spew their opinions on it and demand their way into public policy. Similarly, non-mathematicians with little-to-no formal math education that know little-to-nothing about what the common core approach is intended to teach and unwilling to study the matter beyond looking at memes are only too happy to spew their opinions on it and demand their way into public policy.

As a non-mathematician, my initial, layperson, knee-jerk reaction was similar to the common, negative response: “What is this? That’s not how I learned it!” Then, I took the path less traveled. Within minutes, I was able to Google up writings and videos from the mathematicians that created it (including the video by Dr. Jo Boaler below) and quickly reversed my opinion. Part of the approach is learning how to learn. I quickly found similarities with this teaching approach to what is needed to understand theories in computer science. A few examples:

https://www.ece.ucsb.edu/~parhami/pubs_folder/parh02-arith-encycl-infosys.pdf

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/lambda-calculus/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lambda_calculus

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relational_algebra

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_O_notation

For a given program’s computation, a programmer may not need math knowledge beyond simple arithmetic, however, that doesn’t teach the theory behind how a computer works. Understanding the how and why behind the scenes requires a level of knowledge beyond working a simple algorithm.

Doing math “like they used to teach it” is mechanically working a single, basic algorithm without really understanding. Showing how to solve the same program in different ways “backwards and forwards, inside and out” demonstrates a full command of the knowledge. It’s not about which way is faster (use a spreadsheet or MATLAB if you want the answer fast), it’s about a more deep understanding.

Consider these explanations of the rationale of this education approach by some of the mathematicians that created it. This will take longer and require more deep thinking than blindly sharing and/or liking idiotic memes on social media. Perhaps that’s the cause of the real problem.

https://www.salon.com/2015/11/28/youre_wrong_about_common_core_math_sorry_parents_but_it_makes_more_sense_than_you_think/amp



From Michael Goldenberg The mistake here is pretending that there is any such animal as “Common Core Math.” There is not. There is a set of content standards; there is a set of standards of practice for both students and teachers (which is very similar to the Process Standards from NCTM going back more than a decade).  And then there are a bunch of curricular packages (mostly textbook series for various grade bands, but also some online material, most notably (and horridly) ENGAGE-NY, which has been forced on all public schools in NY State and Louisiana). Those materials are not “the Common Core” but merely various implementations that CLAIM to be aligned to the standards. Period. So anyone who uses the term “Common Core Math” other than to refer to the standards is in error. And that goes for Dr. Boaler, much as I respect her and her work. It’s just silly and misleading and dangerous to pretend that there is some monolithic entity that is isomorphic to COMMON CORE MATH. There isn’t. And likely won’t be. 

Those who know the history of math education in the US know about “The” New Math, c. late 1950s into the early 1970s. But again, no such animal ever existed. There were a bunch of separate projects funded by the federal government to design new approaches to math. Some produced textbooks, but few of those got published and distributed past the pilot schools/district with which each individual project worked. One series, however, did get widely published and used: the Dolciani series. Some people, including people who generally hate what NCTM was pushing in the ’90s and henceforth and also hate “Common Core Math” to the extent that it is similar to those ’90s reform math texts, really LOVE Dolciani. Others despise it. I have mixed feeling about the series. It is VERY formalistic, much more like college math books than anything that appeared in the US prior to the ’60s for K-12.

As someone who now knows a lot of math, they’re okay. But as a kid, I probably would have found them dry and off-putting. And my dad, who had to try to help my younger brothers with homework out of those books, was at a loss, despite having studied math through calculus in school. It was too far from his own experience.  What we see now is people who are reacting against Common Core math books similarly to how my father reacted in the ’60s to Dolciani, but he didn’t blame everything on Obama. He didn’t blame it on Eisenhower or JFK, either. He just knew that he was out of his depth.  

Note, I’m NOT claiming that all the materials being hawked by publishers as “Common Core Math” are any good. Maybe NONE of them are. But that’s not really the issue. Most of what people are screaming about and finding a host of conspiracies behind (see all the crazy videos and many of the nastier comments against Common Core) is just ideas about teaching math better that have been around for decades.

The math isn’t new, and neither, really, is most of the pedagogy. Most of it makes perfect sense if done intelligently, but of course is confusing if it’s presented badly (seriously, folks: what ISN’T confusing in math if presented badly?) or if you’ve never seen it before and are so angry that you won’t even stop to think about how it might be sensible either because you’re embarrassed to say to your child that you simply don’t get it.

Bottom line: calm the fudge down, folks. When the smoke clears and the Common Core is gone, most professionals in math education will still want your kids to learn how to approach math more deeply and thoughtfully than you were presented with. That’s the nature of people who actually care about more than a small elite learning math. I’m one of them. Jo Boaler is one of them. There are thousands of us out there. We’re (mostly) pretty smart folks who spend our lives studying math, kids, learning, and teaching.

You may certainly disagree with anything or everything we think and say, but that doesn’t make it communism or corporate capitalism, either. You can fight it, but you’re not really helping your kids when you do so blindly and with great prejudice, when you swallow every horror story your read and hear, when you react out of fear and ignorance (and tell yourself it’s really out of deep knowledge of mathematics and its teaching, when few Americans really know mathematics deeply or are at all familiar with research on teaching and learning the subject at various levels), and kick and scream that you know more about all this than any college professor or K-12 teacher (you might be right to some extent about any given teacher, of course).

I wait patiently for parents who take the time to actually think rather than just react emotionally. Those who do the former often find that there’s a good deal to like out there, no matter what label is put on it, and the anti-Communist lunatics who post videos here are for the most part out of their minds. But of course, if you need to believe that progressive math (before or after the Common Core label got placed on it) is really about “dumbing down” kids, be my guest. Your loss, and, sadly, your kids’ loss. 

The Accuracy and Reliability of the Sako Finnlight

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by Jay Chambers

The Sako Finnlight is a surprisingly light, high-performance rifle for hunters who make long treks into the wilderness for their game. It’s perfectly trimmed and ideal for young people or those of smaller stature, too.

Sako is well-known and respected for their classic Model 85. The Finnlight is a pared-down version featuring a synthetic stock, fluted barrel, and stainless steel construction. It’s lightweight and extremely durable.

Operation

Integrated rails atop the receiver allow for scope mounting and the polished bolt body means you get smooth operation when lining up a shot. The bolt handle is 2.5 inches with a teardrop-shaped knob that’s easy to grip and features a finish and action to match the barrel.

When the action is cocked, you know it by a red dot indicator on the base of the bolt shroud. It’s an elegant and easy-to-use rifle that doesn’t compromise performance.

Reliability

The proprietary Controlled Round design gives the cartridge rim direct engagement as it’s taken from the top of the magazine. It’s fed at a precise angle allowing for more control, which improves reliability over other rifle designs.

You can’t underestimate the role that comfort plays in reliability, either. Because of its lightweight but durable design, handling is superb. When it comes to an accurate shot, you can count on its ease of use.

Design

Despite its synthetic construction, this rifle has sporty lines and an accented cheekpiece. It doesn’t look cheap like some synthetic stocks do. The black finish makes it look sleek while keeping it practical.

It’s molded from two plastic pieces, so the butt feels hollow, but the sidewalls are thick, so you won’t experience twisting of the free-floating barrel.

The pistol grip features rubber grip panels with small rings that deviate from the usual checkered pattern, making it look like a modern, premium rifle rather than something we’ve seen time and again. They still enable a good grip even with wet or muddy hands.

The large recoil pad cushions the blow of the .270 cartridge.

Barrel

The primary attraction of the Finnlight is its practicality. The 22-inch barrel is perfect for a variety of uses. It’s not too big, and it’s not too small. Goldilocks would be in love.

It’s easy to control, for extreme accuracy. It’s threaded, too, so you can fit a moderator without it getting too cumbersome.

This sporty, gently tapering design is .637 inches at the muzzle and fluted for most of its length. It has a distinctive look not shared with its competitors. This helps to save weight for greater versatility and control over your accuracy.

Scope mounts feature the Opti-Lok system finished to match the rest of the rifle.

When recoil occurs, bases work to grip the action tighter to secure the system from hitting hard.

Trigger

Most Sako rifles feature a standard single-stage trigger with a 3-pound weight. It’s adjustable from 2 to 4 pounds with an allen key at the back of the magazine well.

The trigger blade is slim with grooves to improve grip. The magazine well and the trigger guard are made from two pieces of aluminum and fitted together to match the rest of the rifle.

With a horizontally sliding safety lever, you can easily move it forward to firing or backward to safe. The safety setting locks both the bolt and the trigger.

Enacting a small plunger in front of the safety lever allows for removing the cartridge while keeping the trigger locked.

The magazine release mechanism is called the “Total Control Latch.” It’s designed to prevent an accidental release, which is incredibly useful on a hunting rifle.

Performance

The .270 cartridge is capable of a lot of velocity, and is highly accurate at 100 yards or less. It’s perfect for deer and other big game hunting. However, it’s versatile enough for lightweight shooting, too.

This high-performance rifle warms up after as little as 10 rounds, so it’s ready to go at a moment’s notice and you won’t have any problems with shifting due to heat.

Thread your Finnlight for a moderator and accommodated .22-250 cartridges and transition easily from big game to an exceptional fox rifle.

Overall

The practicality of its design and performance makes it unmatched in terms of accuracy and reliability. It’s not often you find a manufacturer able to marry an attractive design with durability and a lightweight frame while still achieving these goals.

The Sako Finnlight is a perfect combination of everything you need in a hunting rifle. Men, women, young people, beginners, and experienced shooters will all find something appealing about it.

It has excellent out-of-the-box accuracy with a rugged, no-nonsense style. It’s versatility is also an excellent feature. It handles well with soft recoil. It’s the perfect light rifle with a heavy caliber.

The Pros and Cons of the Palmetto State Armory

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by Jay Chambers


Palmetto State Armory (PSA) makes really affordable guns. And, they’re one of the few American manufacturers that makes AK-47 rifles. But, are Palmetto State Armory rifles any good?

There’s been some dissent around the internet about whether or not Palmetto State Armory makes reliable rifles. Who’s right? The fans or the haters?

The truth is somewhere in between. There are pros and cons to buying firearms from Palmetto State Armory. Here’s what you can expect.

Pro: great deals

If you head over to their site, you’ll notice that they have lots of daily sales and limited time discounts. So, there’s plenty of opportunities to get gear at great prices from PSA.

They’re also very selective about what they put on sale. Most models and products that are on sale are in stock in their warehouse. So sale items ship quickly. That may not be the case with every order (but we’ll get to that shortly).

Also, the Palmetto State Armory components and rifles are really well priced. You can get complete PSA rifles for around $500, which is a legitimate deal.

But, if the prices make you skeptical…

Pro: excellent quality

Palmetto State Armory does make some of their own components. However, many of their parts are sourced from other manufacturers.

The third-party components are usually unmarked. But they buy rifle parts from manufacturers like FN Herstal, Midwest Industries, and other companies.

Palmetto State Armory uses bulk pricing to reduce their manufacturing costs and offer better prices to their customers. If you’re concerned that the price looks a bit too low for quality components, worry not. They’re not cutting corners.

In fact, a Palmetto State Armory AR-15 was one of the first AR-15s to pass the AK Operators Union 5000 round torture test. And, it was one of the most basic PSA AR-15s.

That’s not to say that you’ll never have a problem with a Palmetto State Armory rifle. But, any issues are probably anomalies, not the standard.

But, if you do have a problem…

Pro: solid customer service

So far, reports from the field say that Palmetto State Armory’s customer service has been top notch.

Whenever there’s a problem, the company has never hesitated to replace parts and send them in a hurry. Most of the time, customers aren’t even asked to send the defective part back.

The company certainly stands behind their products. And, will make things right if you have a problem.

There are some legitimate complaints about the customer service, though.

Con: slow customer service

Although the customer service is excellent once you get in touch with them, Palmetto State Armory isn’t a huge company. And, it can take some time to get on the phone with a customer service representative.

Some PSA buyers have recommended using the vendor contact page on AR15.com.

The slow customer service is likely a byproduct of the time that they take with each customer. It helps to remember that if you find yourself aggravated by the slow response time.

Con: slow shipping

For most of the daily deals, things go out pretty quickly. And, customers have gotten their gear within a few days.

However, most buyers have noted that, if you order on a Monday, you won’t get your stuff by the weekend. It usually takes five days or more for Palmetto State Armory orders to arrive.

The shipping time isn’t unreasonable. But, if you need your stuff fast, you may have to get it somewhere else, or pay for the quick shipping.

Con: fairly basic rifles

This is only a con for those who want a really sweet rifle right out of the box. But, the complete PSA rifles are fairly simple models. They’re effective, to be sure.

However, they don’t come with a ton of bells and whistles. Most PSA rifles are essentially mil-spec rifles with a few upgrades. Most of the base models are equipped with A2 pistol grips and mil-spec M4 stocks.

So, there are plenty of reasons to upgrade a few bolt on parts, if you get one of the PSA budget rifles.

But, if you want something that’s a little more high end right out of the box, Palmetto State Armory does offer a few models with stainless steel barrels and Magpul MOE furniture. They’re not super custom rifles like you might get from a company like LWRC or Daniel Defense. But, the more expensive PSA rifles are still capable guns.

There’s a range of options. But, the overall trend is that Palmetto State Armory generally makes affordable, reliable rifles, not super custom rifles. 

Conclusion

You may have noticed that none of the cons are related to product quality. That’s because PSA guns are well-made. Quality isn’t an issue.

Many Palmetto State Armory rifles are fairly basic models. So, PSA rifles may not be for everyone. But, you could easily use a Palmetto State Armory rifle as a foundation for building a super tactical rifle. And, it would be a cost efficient method.

In the end, the complaints about Palmetto State Armory are probably overblown. And, the PSA superfans may be exaggerating how awesome Palmetto State Armory rifles are. But, if you buy a rifle from Palmetto State Armory, you’ll get a quality firearm. You may not get it quickly. But, you’ll be happy with it once it arrives.

Top 3 Restored Guns That Look Absolutely Brand New

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Vintage and classic guns have a charm of their own. However, without proper preservation and restoration works, it is quite hard enough to appreciate them. Many of these guns have been handed down from one generation to another. For some families, a vintage gun becomes an heirloom that is accompanied with tales of hunting and adventure with them. 

Due to age and previous use, these old guns are worn by tears and scratches. Some may not even function anymore, but that does not stop families from displaying such prized heirlooms on the wall. 

Some are not intended to be used anymore, but classic rifles and vintage guns do make great additions to any gun collection and display. For some, such prized guns and rifles are only used during hunting season. Either way, you need to preserve and restore these old guns to keep them in good shape. Below are the top 3 restored guns that look absolutely brand new due to quality restoration work.

Winchester Model 88

The Winchester Model is a popular rifle in the 1950s. If your family is big on guns, one of your grandfathers probably owns one. The Winchester Model 88 is a good rifle for hunting bears and moose. If restored properly, the vintage look of this rifle is enough to make it as a prized addition to any gun collector. For some families, it is still being passed on from father to son – and ultimately used during hunting season.

The Sharpshooter Fly Gun

Now this is definitely not in the same level as The Winchester Model 88 rifle, but it is a special fly-swatter gun that deserves a spot on this list. The gun was manufactured back in the 1930s, and it boasts of a highly accurate and precise sharpshooting ability. 

The manufacturers claim that you can kill flies from 6 to 8 feet away with it. However, that would still depend on your shooting skills. Still, it is worth a try – if you don’t mind filling your home with lead shot later on. 

The Sharpshooter Fly Gun is generally harmless compared to other guns, and its novelty makes it a great addition to any vintage gun collection! Sure, you may not kill big bears and deer with it, but at least it helps in pest control.

Smith & Wesson Straight Line Target Pistol

This Smith & Wesson Straight Line Target Pistol is noted for its innovative design and feature during the time it was released. Instead of creating a top-break design based on revolvers, Smith & Wesson decided to create this pistol with an in-line hand cocked striker. The objective is to eliminate the downward push on the barrel which usually comes from a pivoting hammer (a common feature in most pistols).

However, it’s not really the innovative design that makes this pistol really special. This pistol is worth restoring and preserving due to its rarity. This pistol was doing well (sales-wise), but when The Great Depression came in 1929, Smith & Wesson stopped manufacturing them – leaving the market with just 1,870 of these.

Again, any gun would look great with the proper restoration work. These vintage guns however take it to the next level because of their historical value and novelty. Some like Winchester Model 88 can even be used up to this day! You can look up the full list of restored classic vintage guns and rifles here.

Author Bio: Gemma Reeves is a seasoned writer who enjoys creating helpful articles and interesting stories. She has worked with several clients across different industries such as advertising, online marketing, technology, healthcare, family matters, and more. She is also an aspiring entrepreneur who is engaged in assisting other aspiring entrepreneurs in finding the best office space for their business. 

Check out her company here: https://digitoolreview.com/

Hunter Safety Report

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Wisconsin’s 2019 gun Deer Season closed recently. Of the state’s 72 counties, 71 allow hunting. During the nine-day 2019 Deer Season (November 23 – December 1) 564,664 licensed hunters legally pursued big game with firearms. 160,569 deer were legally harvested.

During the nine-day hunt, there were a total of four reported shootings among all 71 counties. Three of these injuries were negligent discharges where the hunter injured himself, and one involved a hand injury where a hunter’s negligent discharge injured a member of his hunting party.

This puts the injury ratio at 1:141,166, or 0.0007%. 99.9993% of Wisconsin’s hunters in 71 counties took to the field and woods with loaded firearms in pursuit of deer for nine days without incident.

The National Safety Council had previously reported twenty years ago that deer hunting typically saw seven injuries per 100,000 participants, making it slightly safer than table tennis (ping pong) and about twenty times safer than golf.

https://firearmusernetwork.com/lessons-learned-of-hunter-education/
https://firearmusernetwork.com/lessons-learned-of-hunter-education-2/

Current trends indicate hunting continues to get even safer.
https://firearmusernetwork.com/deer-hunting-getting-safer/

Wisconsin’s 2019 data indicates this continued increase in safety is still improving and hunters are even safer than ever, going from about seven incidents per 100,000 to one incident per 141,166.


Milwaukee is Wisconsin’s lone county disallowing hunting. During that same nine-day period, Milwaukee county reported 25 people were shot, including seven murders. Good thing they banned hunting!

Freedom Is Scary

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All of your Constitutional Rights come at the cost of safety.

For example, you would be much safer if I could search houses, cars, and people whenever I wanted to, for any reason, or no reason at all. I’d catch more real bad guys. You know those stories about creeps who keep sex slaves locked in their basements for years? I’d find those victims and rescue them. That neighbor of yours who might have a meth lab that is going to send poisonous fumes into your child’s bedroom window, or explode and burn down your house? I’d find out for sure whether a lab was there.

How about all those guys who are probably child molesters, and we’ve got some evidence, but it isn’t enough to convict in front of a jury, especially with that defense attorney throwing doubt all over our evidence? Those guys are on the street right now, and a child you love may be their next victim.

Give up your rights under the 4th, 5th, and 6th amendments, and I’ll make the world safer for you. No question about it.

The only problem is that if you give up all those rights, which are really just restrictions on the things I’m allowed to do to you, what’s going to keep you safe from me?

Every right you have increases your danger from other people who share that right. Free speech? It allows monsters to spread hateful messages, possibly about a group to which you belong, just the same as it allows you to petition your government with legitimate grievances.

That free speech even allows you to argue in favor of discarding freedom and liberty as just too dangerous to trust in the hands of ordinary people. Now that, my friend, is what scares me – that people with opinions like that will spread them to weak-willed individuals who haven’t really thought through the consequences. I won’t argue for taking that right away, though, despite the dangers. That would be even more scary.

Yes, some people in a free society are always going to abuse those freedoms. Criminals are going to hide behind the 4th amendment to conceal the evidence of their crimes. People who commit horrific acts are going to hire excellent defense attorneys who can convince a jury that doubt exists. And, yes, some people are going to use guns to commit murders.

Freedom is scary, but lack of freedom is scarier.

from Paul Harding, Deputy Sheriff

https://www.quora.com/How-can-a-gun-enthusiast-still-claim-their-right-to-bear-arms-is-more-important-than-public-safety

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