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Shoot Like a Sniper: Simple Tips to Hone Your Marksmanship April 19, 2017

 

SNIPER
ReadyNutrition guys and gals, this article is presented in the hopes of giving you a method for being able to practice your marksmanship both on the cheap and (logistically) under “friendly” surroundings.  There are a host of different air rifles to choose from.  I must state there has been a marked deterioration in the quality of air-powered (or pneumatic, if you prefer) firearms over the past thirty to forty years.  No matter: you can still accomplish what you need with what is on the market today.

Fundamentals of Markmanship

Air rifles can be either powered by Carbon Dioxide (CO 2) cartridges, or with an internal pneumatic pump, either with multiple pumps for increasing power or a single pump (as with “break-barrel” models of rifles).  For the most part your standard air guns come in either .177 or .22 caliber models.  Beeman offers one that has interchangeable barrels in both calibers, with the velocity decreasing slightly as the caliber is larger.

There are many things you can do with an air rifle from a hunting and survival perspective.  You can hunt small game quietly without the need for a suppressor if you’re doing it on the q-t, and ammo for it is both affordable and (when the SHTF) able to be reproduced simply (refer to the recent article I wrote on how to build your own forge).

The air rifle or air pistol fires pellets and/or BB’s (little ball bearings) that can be reused repeatedly.  There are several “trap” targets like this one available with replaceable buffer materials on the inside.  These targets enable you to collect your air rifle ammo and use it again.  It is a simple thing to set up a range within your own basement or out in your backyard with an air rifle or air pistol.  Although the motion of the weapon in terms of recoil is reduced from that of a rifle, the fundamentals of marksmanship are the same.  Here they are:


Breathing: Before you pull that trigger, you need to control your breathing, and optimally should pull immediately after you have exhaled

Aim: Self-explanatory, but it involves you zeroing on your target to line up your sights with your eyes and enable you to hit that bullseye.

Trigger squeeze: Should be accomplished with the very tip/end of your index finger, and should be a smooth, non-jerky action akin to squeezing a lemon


This article is not intended to cover rifle marksmanship in general; however, you get the picture.  Hand-eye coordination and the employment of these three fundamentals can be accomplished effectively with the air rifle.  There are several European and Korean firms that manufacture air rifles in “big bore” calibers that can take down large game, if you wish to pursue air rifle marksmanship further.  For starters, you can take your pick from Daisy, Crossman, Beeman, Benjamin, even Ruger, among others in the two mentioned calibers.

Just remember to lay out your range in a professional and safe manner.  Treat your air rifle as a firearm at all times, as it is a type of firearm that can hurt someone severely, or worse if misused or used in an unsafe manner.  As a field-expedient trap, you can even make one out of telephone books/directories mounted in the front of a carboard box.  These work better for BB’s, as the pellets are usually made of lead and the strike tends to deform them.  Safety glasses or goggles are also recommended, as a ricochet can come straight back in your direction.

The air rifle or air pistol are great tools to introduce your kids to principles of firearms safety and train them in marksmanship.  It is quality time spent with them, in which they will learn how to do things the right way before they are old enough to fire that .22 rifle or that Winnie ’94 for the first time.  Affordable and effective, the air rifle is an excellent training tool that you never really outgrow, and can enable you to have your own indoor range during the winter months that is both safe and cost-effective.  Be safe, take care of one another, and happy shooting!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published April 19th, 2017
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SHTF Preparedness: How to Mask Noise and Light Signitures April 15, 2017

This article is an introduction on how to mask the signatures of light and noise that are given off if not controlled.  We are talking primarily about a scenario taking place in the forest, but the techniques can also be applied to an urban setting.  The tougher one of the two to overcome is the noise; however, each poses a challenge that if not handled can lead to a problem when you wish to remain incognito in the field.

How to Diffuse Light in SHTF Environments

First let’s deal with light.  The reason light poses a problem is we need light to see optimally, but in using it at night, the light can be seen by others, giving our position away.  Flashlights and any kind of hand-held lantern, battery powered or otherwise are the main problems here.  There are a few simple ways to cut down on these signatures, and all of them take practice.

  1. No white lenses with movement: you need to obtain a red lens for your flashlight. This will not defeat NVD’s (night vision devices), but it will cut down on being compromised by the unwanted naked eye considerably.
  2. When using the flashlight, cover it up: preferably a poncho over top of yourself and the flashlight, to perform whatever task you need to accomplish when moving at night, such as checking your position on the map, or fooling with equipment of some kind. Keep that light covered.
  3. Adjust your eyes and learn to move in the dark without a flashlight: this will take some practice, and some people may not have the night vision abilities to perform it, especially those with eye problems. For everyone else, practice makes perfect.  Most nights have a little illumination and are not pitch dark (except for the New Moon and a day before and after).
  4. Smokers: you must hide the signature of the end of your cigarette. Through NVD’s it appears to be a flare going off from a distance.  Either cup it within your hands, or inside of an aluminum pouch, such as found with MRE’s (Meal Ready to Eat).  When you light that cigarette you also tend to give off a big signature.  Best thing I can tell you is to quit smoking and really nip it in the bud.  Not to mention the fact that you can smell a cigarette from several hundred feet away.

How to Minimize Noise Levels in Dangerous Situations

Noise is an entirely different animal.  We make noise as we walk.  We can’t help it.

What we can do, however, is control the amount of noise we make…and reduce the amount that would give away our position.  You must practice noise discipline in order to perfect it!  Looking where you walk and where you take your next step is key.  Be keenly observant of where you are moving and through what.  Are you facing a large area covered in dry leaves, with dry weather?  Are there dried branches and twigs strewn all over the place?

How about sticker bushes and nettles in the summertime?  If you’re not crushing them underfoot, how about if one of them whips you across the face?  Unless you are prepared to take the pain of it, you may yell, curse, or cry out.  You should practice moving through all of these different types of substances.  In addition, how about the noise made just as a consequence of your movement?

Many people carry so much stuff, such as keys, change in their pockets, etc., that they mimic a tambourine when they walk.  Let’s not forget our happy, singing, laughing, chirping tracking devices…our cell phones.  Your cell phones: I don’t use one.  You can believe when Uncle Ed tries to reach you or you get a call from Gram-gram, or some other family member, and you’re out in the woods?  The whole world (animal, vegetable, and human) will hear that ringtone.  Clattering gear that is rattling around, the sounds of trampled branches and vegetation, the occasional grunt in fatigue or pain…all of these will give you away.

Any and all of your rattling gear needs to be silenced.  Everything that is loose must be tied down and secured.  This is not just prudent: this is survival.  “What is the situation?” you may ask.

The situation is anything: our happy “Betty Crocker/Holly Hobby” society can change with the blink of an eye into “The Road” by Cormac McCarthy.

Choose the situation.  The situation is unimportant.  What is important here is that you ensure noise and light discipline in order to avoid being obsequious and potentially to evade a pursuer.  Practice walking at night in the woods, and listen to yourself.  When you’re stationary, practice listening to the things that are around you.  If you’re patient and open your eyes, ears, and mind, the woods will come alive for you. Your senses will experience what your normal Western-Consumer marketing environment deadens them to.

Learn to pace yourself by the amount of noise you make and also practice leaving fewer tracks and/or a trail.  Practice negotiating close (thickly-vegetated) terrain and making as little noise as possible.  Skills need practice in order to master them.  Now that the weather is warming up, try some training that won’t cost you anything except time and effort to master these skills.  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published April 15th, 2017
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5 Primitive Skills Preppers Should Know for Survival April 14, 2017

To acquire is good, to improvise is better, and to fabricate is the best of all. 

Fabrication is a survival skill you can practice each day.  You can practice it with your eyes and your hands.  First let’s go over a few of these primitive skills of fabrication that it would bode you good to learn.

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5 Primitive Skills for Preppers to Learn

  1. Cordage: Sounds simple…maybe even overly simple. It is rather intricate.  Cordage is the skill of making rope or string.  You can practice with braiding long stems of grass.  Three pieces, set parallel to one another.  Tie a knot/half-hitch in one end (Here are six survival knots you need to know). Of the three pieces, take the one on the Right end to the middle, the one on the left end to the middle, and the one right (now) to the middle…and repeat.  Simple enough, na?  This basic formula/method can be used with strips of leather, strips of cloth, long strips of inner bark.
  2. Stone tools: there are plenty of books out there on how to do this, as well as innumerable sources on the Internet. Knives, spear points, arrow heads, construction tools (hammers, punches), fish-scalers…all of these can be made out of stone.  Flint is preferable, but you can practice with what you have.
  3. Staffs and staff-tools: these would include spears, fishing poles, bows (both hunting and fire), walking/climbing sticks, clubs, and so forth. Farther on, you can make arrows (fletched for distance, non-fletched for close-in work or fishing).
  4. Fishhooks: Many are the ways to make good fishhooks. You can fashion them out of wood, bone, or stone.  You can also make them out of things easily converted to a fishhook, such as a safety pin.  Doing this, be sure and “notch” the end of the hook, so as to make a little barb.  This will prevent the fish from slipping off of it and escaping.
  5. Fire-starting kit: A fire-bow (with the string portion made of cordage for the optimal practice), a fire-drill, a “spindle handle” (this is what you hold onto when you’re twirling your fire drill to and fro), and a fire-block you can make in a short time. Practice starting fires with it!

Challenge Yourself with Field Training

Another challenge along these lines is to take existing stuff (such as tossed-away cans or fabric that has been thrown away) and “recycle” it into what you can use.  Take an old blanket, sew up the edges, and make a “sailor’s bag”/duffel bag for yourself.  Mind you: if you want to keep it, great.

This is not to make gear for yourself, unless you have no other option; this is to train yourself for a situation such as “The Road,” where (compared to that guy and his kid) you can do a whole lot more with a whole lot less.

Along with that challenge to recycle and repurpose materials is this one: an FTX (as we called it in the Army…a Field Training Exercise).  Yes, now that the weather is warming up…just take yourself out in the outdoors with no supplies except you and a firearm and some backup gear in case of emergency.  Pretend you don’t have the firearm or the backup gear, and keep your hands off them.

Now, have a training exercise.  Live off the land.  Fabricate fish hooks, fabricate fishing lines from cordage and a fishing pole from a sapling.  Forage and live off the land…taking notes as you go.  Don’t use any pages out of that notebook to start the fire!  Use a bow and drill.  Practice with the primitive.  Always use the primitive, and learn the skills of making these tools and weapons.

You’ll have some challenges that will be overcome and you’ll learn to overcome them on your own.  This will build your self-confidence.  These are all perishable skills.  I myself train in this manner frequently, regardless of the weather or the season.  Learn old, forgotten skills and make them new for you…and keep yourself current on them.  It’ll pay off in the end the first time you have to build a raft and you have nothing to build it with.  Nothing to build it with?  If you can make strong cordage and a hand-axe, you can build a raft even in a remote area with no Cabela’s, Bass Pro Shop, or Ace Hardware to be found.

Challenge yourself every day, and when the tough times come, you’ll handle them better.  Don’t stop the training!  How you train in peace is how you’ll fight in war!  Stay in that good fight, drink a good cup of coffee, and keep up the good work!  JJ out!

 

Learn More Primitive Skills

How To Build a Survival Shelter. Your Life May Depend on It

Tips and Tricks for Priming Off-Grid Light Sources

The Number One Knife Skill for Wilderness Survival and Self-Reliance

How to Make a Smokeless Fire

The Prepper’s Blueprint

49 Outdoor Skills and Projects to Try When Camping

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published April 14th, 2017
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