tactical preschool 10

Today I will teach you a lesson in what NOT to do. Perhaps the title should be…“Guns, Common Sense and being a Good Neighbor”.

When you are out with your friends playing with things that go BANG, its is good to remember the Cardinal Rules of Gun Safety;

Rule # 1: Treat all firearms as if they are always loaded.

Rule # 2: Never allow the muzzle of your firearm to point toward anything you do not intend to kill or destroy.

Rule # 3: Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are aligned with your target and you are ready to shoot.

Rule # 4: Be sure of your target, it’s surroundings, and what’s beyond it.

I don’t know about anybody else, but when “I” am out with some heavily armed associates, it’s RULE #2 that concerns ME the most. In other words “DON’T POINT THAT THING AT ME!”


All kidding aside… In the heat of the moment it can become easier than you think to “sweep” your buddy with the muzzle of your weapon.


It is also easy to forget that YOU have other guys with guns around you and step across their line of fire.


One of the nasty effects of combat stress that you tend to get “tunnel vision“. Your “reptile brain” decides that its best to focus all of your attention on the thing that looks like it may KILL you; to the exclusion of the things you cant see that may kill you. Besides pure ignorance, this is perhaps the main contributing factor to how this stuff happens…even with highly trained operators this can happen.

The best way to combat this is to think that your gun could go off anytime and that the muzzle is constantly projecting a “death ray” that will destroy whatever it crosses. If you constantly treat a weapon that way…when you take it out to clean it…when you are walking around the range…while training…etc.  it starts to become second nature to handle the weapon so that it never points at something you wouldn’t want to shoot.

Now. Sometimes you DO have to point your weapon to the other side of a buddy. The way to do that is simply to lower the muzzle of your weapon as you sweep past a friendly then raise it back onto target.

You also need to be aware that your buddy may have to pass in front of YOU. If he does you simply point your muzzle towards the deck till he gets past then snap back up onto target again.

Once again…common sense? Perhaps…but something that needs to be highly stressed.

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tactical preschool 9

A critic of my posts recently said…“That’s gotta be the most worthless “well duh” information I’ve ever read.” Which means that I’m doing my job. Most of this stuff is pretty damn simple, hence the “preschool” thing. Putting it all together and doing it when someone is shooting at you is what makes it hard. Today’s lesson is on what is called “bounding overwatch”.

Bounding Overwatch is a technique that you use while you are maneuvering in hostile territory with a buddy or two and you are NOT actively being engaged. In other words you know that the bad guy is out there but he’s not shooting at you yet.  When there are shots flying back and forth you will likely be using a “fire and maneuver” technique.



To “bound”, one buddy covers likely areas where a bad guy may pop-up while the other moves in a “3 to 5 second rush” to another area of cover/concealment. If the cover element observes an opponent attempting to engage the maneuver element he can place fire on the bad guy  to protect his buddy. The cover element has to be constantly scanning for threats.



Bounding Overwatch is also called “leapfrogging“…after the first guy has found a position he/she becomes the cover element and the other buddy moves up (or back depending on whats going on) to another position of cover/concealment. In this manner the group moves along to their objective.


Bounding Overwatch is a simple and effective way to move through a dangerous area, however it does require some practice and a mutual understanding of the technique between the “operators”.


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