I returned this Friday from the bush and wish all my brothers in arms a safe return to their families.

A few notes on rifle handling:

1 Never let the barrel touch anything as you shoot. It distorts the barrel action and you can hit something you don’t want to and get hit as a result.
I know this is a novice advice but I have seen people who are supposed to know how to shoot do this under pressure so this is a reminder. A floating barrel which touches nothing but air is the most accurate and we are limited in bodies and bullets.

2 Dry practice is good in many ways and here is one of them. Stand and look around. As soon as you see something moving (a partner if you have any) raise your scope to your eyes and note how long it takes to put him on the cross hairs. Do this drill everyday and add walking, running and different positions to it. It will make you a better shot.

3. Avoid letting your body fall asleep as you shoot. Even if you are prone and relaxed be aware of all your parts and keep both eyes open. After some practice you will note a faster relaxation and awareness when you get into a shooting position and a better control in switching positions.

4. Note that there are strong and weak points in any tool. Don’t strike with the barrel and take your finger out of the trigger hole before you knock on the door. Work on getting to know the ups and downs of your tool which is first you and than anything else.

5. Wherever you go take your rifle with you. This way you will know how to climb a wall with it and how to sit with both hands free with your rifle ready before you have to figure it out under pressure. It is worth it and will make you a smaller target when the time comes.

6. An angry man with a rifle parts with his rifle very swiftly. Avoid being let by emotions when you are working even if you consider your emotions positive such as helping a friend climb a fence or blocking a loud mouth. First there is you and once this is clean and free to work than you can lend the rest to other tasks.

7. Smile on the outside but keep your survival and the work at hand in this order clear in your mind.

8. Find variations to the work you are used to do on a daily basis in order to avoid tension from building up. If for example you are used to do sit ups and leg raises and the ground you are on is full of edges and poison do hip bends and add a friend’s resistance to the work. There is always a way. You just have to find it and know it is not only yours.

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