February 25, 2024


SOUSA Optics
File Photo

“It all looks great in the showroom!” ~ Salesman’s expression

Test your gear!

It is not uncommon, during our Urban Rifle Courses, for students (including LEOs) to bring M4s, XCRs, CETMEs, PTR 91s, VHS2s, M1As, M1 Carbines, et al. (upon which they have been naively relying for personal protection) that are not zeroed to any legitimate standard.

Many times, both iron sights and optics are way off, nowhere near where bullets are impacting!?

An unzeored rifle is all but useless, yet many own and keep them around in a “high state of readiness,” yet amazingly have no confidence in sight settings.

On other occasions, student rifles don’t run at all.

A student recently bought an M4 Rifle in such a condition. It would chamber rounds, but extracted cases remained in the receiver and did not eject.

Close inspection revealed that the rifle’s bolt was set up for left-hand ejection, but the rifle’s only ejection port was on the right side, so ejected cases tried to go left, but of course, there was no place for them to go.

M4 bolts usually cannot be assembled incorrectly, causing such a condition, as the camming key only fits in one way and thus cannot be inserted into the bolt from the wrong side. In this case, however, the bolt was manufactured so that it would go in either a right-hand-ejecting receiver or a left-handed-ejecting receiver and thus could be set up either way.

A gunsmith had cleaned the rifle and then naively re-assembled it the wrong way, not paying adequate attention to the task. The rifle’s owner had no idea.

Fortunately, we discovered (and corrected) this gaffe during a training course, and the only negative consequence was thus some personal embarrassment and maybe hurt feelings.

Conversely, when a faux pas like this is “discovered” during a life-threatening emergency, “negative outcomes” will be far more severe and permanent.

Your emergency guns (pistols, rifles, shotguns) need to be “tested” (i.e., shot) on a routine basis so that you can have solid faith in them.

Rifle zeros need to be re-verified regularly.

Accessories (sights, slings, attached flashlights) must be regularly checked to be sure they’re functional and tight.

Emergencies don’t make appointments, and “second chances” are pretty rare these days, as so many astonished homicide victims are (belatedly) discovering.

“The time to fix your roof is when the sun is shining” ~ JFK


About John Farnam & Defense Training International, Inc

As a defensive weapons and tactics instructor, John Farnam will urge you, based on your beliefs, to make up your mind about what you would do when faced with an imminent lethal threat. You should, of course, also decide what preparations you should make in advance if any. Defense Training International wants to ensure that its students fully understand the physical, legal, psychological, and societal consequences of their actions or in-actions.

It is our duty to make you aware of certain unpleasant physical realities intrinsic to Planet Earth. Mr. Farnam is happy to be your counselor and advisor. Visit: www.defense-training.com

John Farnam
John Farnam

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