Chasing the Fad

Every social group has its cadre of leaders that drive the fashion for the entire group. In the firearms community those people can range from highly respected trainers to popular posters on a high-traffic discussion forums, and everyone in between. In the age of the internet it only takes a few milliseconds for a fad to take root and spread like wildfire throughout the community.

Let me give you an example. How about the ever popular hand-forward grip that’s all the rage these days? If you’re wondering what I’m talking about, this is the grip made popular by 3 gun competition shooters and adopted by the tactical rifle community to increase the speed at which they could “drive” the rifle from one target to the next. It’s accomplished by hyper-extending the support arm and grabbing the rifle as far forward as humanly possible.

Chris Costa

Chris Costa using the hand-forward grip, a technique he’s known for using.

Does such a grip help in competition shooting? I think the general consensus “yes”, it does. Most top trainers and competition shooters use such a hold it seems, but how popular is it on the battlefield? One way to ascertain its worth on the field of battle would be to ask, or even watch, Soldiers engaged in a fire-fights. You can get a glimpse of how Soldiers use their rifles by watching hours of video on the popular YouTube channel Funker530. But I can save you a few hours of your valuable time — you won’t see it being used by grunts very often, if at all. Heck, you won’t even see Special Forces using the method much.

Surely SWAT cops use it though, right?  Nope. You’ll be lucky to find footage of them using the method either.

I don’t use the hand-forward method because for me it’s not practical. Having served in the Marines, I can tell you that walking around for hours with your support arm hyper-extended will eventually become physically taxing. I served in a Marine Corps Security Forces Company, and we trained to clear buildings fairly regularly. We “rolled up” on our rifles and tucked our appendages in as tightly as possible to both make for a smaller target and to minimize our profile making it easier to navigate the confines of a structure.

Sure, the hand-forward grip works great for going from one static target to the next in a competition on an open range where you’re shooting for only a few seconds, but in more practical applications it doesn’t work for me. It seems others would agree given the lack of its use in the field. Is it a bad thing in general? I don’t think so, it’s just not wildly popular outside of the tactical training community and competition shooting.

Then we have the whole co-witness buzzword / fad. I will never understand the insistence some have for being able to see their iron sights through their red dot sight (RDS). Advocates of co-witness claim such a sighting arrangement is mandatory thus allowing the operator to quickly fall back to irons should something go wrong with their RDS.

Co-witness sights

This is a break-down of the two types of co-witness people use. Notice the cluttered sight picture of the absolute co-witness.

If you’re having problems with your RDS, get a better sight. I have a couple of Comp M2 Aimpoints that are getting close to being 10 years old that have never once failed. I’ve dropped them, submerged them, froze them, left them turned on for months on end, and they’ve never once choked. The newer Aimpoints such as the T-1 Micro are even more indestructible. As a matter of fact, out of all my friends with Aimpoints I can’t recall one of them having any type of failure — ever. Even the batteries last for 6+ years. I finally changed the batteries in my Comp M2′s because after almost 7 years of constant use I figured it might be a good idea to swap them out.

That’s not to say failures on high-end RDS like Aimpoints don’t happen, they do. My point is that such failures are exceedingly rare in my experience.

The military has switched to using RDS’s and sights like the ACOG. Iron sights are a thing of the past, as they should be. Sure, it’s good to have a set of irons for when the unexpected happens, but given how rare sight failures are these days having a co-witness requirement seems a bit misguided in my opinion. Let’s not mention that the most likely problem you’re going to encounter with your RDS is having the lenses obscured by mud or other debris. At that point, how useful is co-witness? In such a situation you’re going to need to remove that sight ASAP so you can get back to shooting. I would think a quick detach mount is far more valuable than a co-witness requirement.

The same is true for a complete failure of your RDS — lose it. Flip a lever, get it off the rifle, and get back to shooting. If you buy a good quality sight, being hit by a meteor will be more likely than a sight failure though.

I not only fail to see the value in a co-witness requirement some have, I particularly dislike the cluttered sight picture an absolute co-witness affords. Ironically, an absolute co-witness seems to be the pinnacle configuration for advocates of such sighting arrangements.  If they can’t have an absolute co-witness, they’ll begrudgingly settle for a lower 1/3rd.

I find the lower 1/3rd co-witness to be of dubious value, especially in low light situations.

While some fads seemingly linger forever, others eventually fade into obscurity. One such example would be the practice of hooking your support finger around the trigger guard of a handgun. In the 1980′s this fad took the handgun world by storm. Before this fad hit, trigger guards were typically round and in the case of handguns like the Beretta 92, were kind of sexy in appearance. Once the fad took root, all of the gun manufacturers raced to re-contour their trigger guards to include a flat textured surface for wrapping your finger around. They uglied up a number of otherwise fine looking pistols, but did the practice have any merit?

I found that hooking my finger over the trigger guard moved my point of impact to the left. One of the tenants of good marksmanship is applying even pressure on the contact points of the firearm, and to avoid applying lateral pressure. This is true for both handguns and rifles. Any lateral pressure can cause a considerable point of impact shift. When under stress, some shooters would get a death grip on their pistol, apply oodles of lateral pressure they normally didn’t apply when on the firing range, and thus would miss their targets entirely. If you watch some of the top shooters in the country in action, you’ll almost never see them wrapping their fingers around the trigger guard.

While most people today would agree that hooking the finger over the trigger guard is generally a bad idea, the notched and squared front straps on trigger guards persist on modern pistols. Thanks, fadsters.

Then there’s full length guide rods on 1911′s… but I’ll save that for another rant. I could go on for hours.

If you would like me to continue rambling on, let me know in the comments below.

MAC

MAC is an avid shooter, former MCSF Marine, Armed Citizens United board member, NRA member, Oath Keeper and is commissioned as a Colonel by the Governor of Kentucky. Known for his videos on the Military Arms Channel, he also writes for The Bang Switch, for Shotgun News (Be Ready!) and freelances for Guns & Ammo. MAC has been a life long shooter who has an interest in all things that go "bang" but gravitates towards military type firearms.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookGoogle PlusYouTube

  • http://twitter.com/kbucksot Kyle Bucksot (@kbucksot)

    Hi MAC. Nice write up. I have been having a few discussions like this with a couple of good friends. How I was taught in the Marine Corps definitely differs from comp style shooting. Like you said, I have never held a rifle like that and don’t plan to. I have tried and it just feels awkward. By bringing your lead hand back towards the mag well, even on it, your pivot for pieing doors and windows is significantly better.

    Also your elbows will be tucked in allowing for better support to reduce the recoil and get more rounds on target. Another plus is you won’t be hitting your elbows on all kinds of objects and clothing doesn’t get hung up when moving positions. Practice how you play is something I have heard numerous times and feel that if you are going to be using a rifle like this for home defense, you need to practice using it in a defensive posture.

    Thanks again MAC. As always Semper Fi

    • Brett Bass

      Not to get all ‘internet commando’ about it, but having tucked-in elbows and a grip farther from the axis of the bore will not ‘reduce the recoil’ at all; quite the opposite, in fact. Imagine writing your name with a pen: You have a lot more control over where the ink goes if you hold the pen close to the tip, not farther down the shaft.

      The Marine Corps has always been pretty damned good at teaching recruits how to shoot large, static targets during Table 1. It, along with the other branches of the armed forces, has lagged behind significantly in modern combat technique.

      The reason that people like Travis Haley, Chris Costa, etc. shoot the way that they do is because they shoot a LOT, and they have found that the techniques that they teach are the most effective for accomplishing a given mission. These guys are shooters who have a lot of enthusiasm for what they do and a passion for understanding the science of what makes them better at it. I just read an article by Tim over at Gun Nuts Media in regard to an Army White Paper that discussed how long-range competitive High Power shooters were significantly better shots than U.S. Army snipers. His argument is persuasive and logical.

      As a MCSF Marine, shooting was only one small skill out of many that the author was required to learn. As a Marine MP, shooting was also a very small skill out of a large list of things in which we were required to attain a level of basic competence. We spent a lot more time learning driving techniques for patrol and tactical vehicles than how to operate shotguns or M9 pistols. We spent even more time going over mechanical advantage control holds and collapsible baton techniques. We spent days going over how to handle domestic disputes. Shooting was a tiny fraction of the overall experience.

      The reason that many of these modern techniques haven’t been taught has nothing whatsoever to do with them having been found to be ineffective and everything to do with the fact that they weren’t invented in the armed forces and that, honestly, shooting is a small area of the overall military experience.

      That said, these techniques are now being taught at various levels in the Marine Corps. Why? Because they work. Before my 2011-2012 deployment to Kuwait, there was much scoffing about my use of the extended arm technique. Immediately prior to my most recent 2012-2013 deployment to Afghanistan, it was being taught by the instructors. While in Afghanistan, my unit was fortunate enough to get some range time with the SOF soldiers aboard Camp Morehead, and while there, each and every one of them taught the exact same technique. Being Special Forces types, they had customized firearms, and all of their customized M4s had extended handguards to increase their efficiency with the extended arm grip. I have some photos if you want them.

      The short version of this is that just because the armed forces does or does not do something shouldn’t necessarily be an indicator of its effectiveness. The Army wound up with billions of dollars of virtually useless grey camouflage, everyone’s saddled with the suboptimal M9/M9A1 pistol, and the Marine Corps decided to keep the infantry loaded down with M16A4s instead of M4 carbines because it’s harder to do close-order drill with the shorter weapon. No institution is infallible.

      Please do not misconstrue this as a dig against the armed forces. I’m a Sergeant of Marines in the IRR myself, but I’m fully capable of admitting when someone else is better at something than me. I dabble with my area’s local two-gun ‘Friday Night Rifle League’ when I can, and there are regular dudes that are a lot faster and more accurate than me. There’s a 20-year old-looking kid that’s smoking fast. Why? Because he shoots all the time and practices techniques that make him more efficient and effective all. The. Time. I’m man enough to admit that he’s a better shooter than me and smart enough to acknowledge that simply being a Marine does not automatically mean that I should be Better At Everything Than Everyone Else.

      The Marine Corps trains Marines to be competent at a huge variety of things. Shooting being just one of those things. Competitive shooters, firearms instructors, etc. focus on a much narrower set of skills. A three-gunner may have absolutely no idea how to fill out a 10576 card or properly format a letter of release or put together proper camouflage for a hide or whatever. But you can rest assured that he or she is going to know how to shoot at a competitive level.

      If we’re going to improve at shooting, paying attention to what professional and competitive shooters do would be wise.

      Did I shoot with an extended arm technique in Afghanistan? Only on the square range. Why? Because I never had to shoot anybody in the face, and I’m very grateful for that. The most ‘action’ I saw was taking some middling IDF and pointing my M4 at a few ANP types that seemed shifty. That’s it. When dismounted from my NTV, I didn’t walk around pointing my rifle at people with an arm extended C-clamp grip because that would’ve been stupid and dangerous. Similarly, I didn’t walk around while posting security in position Sul or at the compressed low ready with my M9 in a high-thumbs grip. But just because I didn’t use X, Y, or Z technique(s) while deployed as a Marine in a combat zone doesn’t invalidate the utility of those techniques in the slightest. There is a time and a place for each, just like there is for an extended arm grip while shooting a rifle.

      • Molon Labe

        Excellent post, well thought out and executed perfectly, keep it coming Sgt and Semper Fi from a Terminal Lance

      • http://www.nolatacforum.com Brannon LeBouef

        Lot to address here. I have numbered your paragraphs for ease of addressing:

        1 – Nothing about your body reduces recoil, but certain techniques help to manage it better. Recoil is energy that is created by the round detonating. All you can do is manage that energy in the most efficient way as to not disturb the alignment of the muzzle with the intended point of impact on the target.

        2. Yep

        3. True. The biggest problem with what guys like travis and Chris teach is that people do not listen to the application component and only see the flashiness without realizing it’s intended application.

        4. Shooting is also less than 1% of what is needed from a responsible citizen in an armed encounter. However, when that skill is needed, there is no room for failure.

        5.TRUDTH! As someone involved in the writing and formation of the beginning stages of the USMC “Combat Pistol COurse”, the pace at which policy changes move is outpaced by the pace at which the effects of those changes will be positive.

        6. We have seen enough turnover and recycling of guys that the information has started to take root at the unit level. In 2010, I saw a large increase in military guys coming to Travis and I classes between deployments. The story was always the same. They went to deployment #1 armed with the best the Army or Marines had to offer. they got shot at and realized it was not what they needed. WHen they came home, they took it upon themselves to seek out quality training.

        7. Great example.

        8. I was fortunate enough that as a member of the USMC Rifle and Pistol team, A PMI Instructor trainer, and a SNCO, I was able to get the Marine Corps to send me to non-military shooting courses. That of course continued to my time after the Marines. If you get with the S-3, they have a courses manual that has plenty of private sector classes you can attend through the military.

        9. Every Marine is a rifleman. I know it has been watered down a little over the years, but other branches do not even have recruits shoot live weapons depending on their MOS (or so i have heard). i know guys who have been in other services who have not requaled in 10+ years.

        10. Yes, and then figuring out what is combat relative.

        11. Yep.

      • John

        Very true. As good was the Corps is at marksmanship, it is behind the times. For example the pistol qualification course just changed this year to include drawing from a holster and firing at a “human” silhouette rather than a bullseye target. Not sure what took so long.

        Regarding the grip, I actually got into an argument with the Range OIC on my last Table 2 qual. I was using the “hand-forward” grip as you call it, and he tried to correct me. I pointed out that I had shot a perfect score and he still did not like that I wasn’t holding the magwell with my support hand. I then tried to teach him a basic physics lesson about leverage and he still didn’t buy it. He kept falling back on what was “more comfortable.” Needless to say, I pissed him off when I asked him if comfort killed the enemy. We basically agreed to disagree in the end. I’m hoping my “range-high” score (344/350) made him think about what I said after the week was over.

        The point is, Marines (or any military branch) are not professional shooters so they are not always going to be the best at shooting. We are extremely reactive when it comes to developing tactics (IED’s?) including shooting techniques. For God sakes, we are still trained to pivot 90 degrees, raise the rifle and fire from the standing. Show me one video on Funker Tactical of anyone doing that when bullets are flying back at them.

        • http://www.military-arms.com MAC

          “The point is, Marines (or any military branch) are not professional shooters so they are not always going to be the best at shooting. We are extremely reactive when it comes to developing tactics (IED’s?) including shooting techniques. For God sakes, we are still trained to pivot 90 degrees, raise the rifle and fire from the standing. Show me one video on Funker Tactical of anyone doing that when bullets are flying back at them.”

          That helps to make my point, actually. People use what works in combat. Trust me, many of the guys fighting have seen, or even used, the hand-forward grip before (how could they escape it?) but when in an actual fight, they don’t seem to use it. Even a supporter of the method, former Marine, and instructor — Brannon — told us he never used the method while deployed. He’s probably one of the better trained and more experienced guys you’ll encounter, too.

          That’s not to say it’s not being used by some guys, I know that it is. However, it’s not wildly popular despite the fact darn near every guy I see on the range or on YouTube is trying to do it. Granted, 90% of them haven’t been trained in how to properly use it, they’re simply copying what they’ve seen others do because it looks cool. But when you see Soldiers or even SWAT engaged in their jobs most aren’t using it.

          It’s been said in this thread that it’s widely used, but somehow all the combat footage amassed by various outlets almost never capture it in use… as if it’s some super secret activity that only a select few will ever see in actual application. I find that more than a bit suspect.

          Again, I don’t see it as a bad thing. I don’t think it’s a revolutionary technique and I certainly don’t think it has wide practical application. Even Brannon tells us that. However, you can’t seem to escape seeing it used on firing ranges around the country by civilian shooters. It’s a fad.

          • Brett Bass

            Do you have any footage on-hand of people in combat firing multiple rounds at very close-range multiple targets from the standing position? Not to put too fine a point on it, but if I’m able to fire from cover, I’m going to adopt a supported shooting position. The overwhelming majority of footage I’ve seen is people firing from the prone or supported positions at enemies hundreds of yards away.

            And again, just because you can kill Haji while firing from a magwell hold or ‘going full retard’ on a vertical forward grip still doesn’t make those holds more effective than a modern ‘C-clamp’ extended arm grip for controlling the firearm when shooting from the standing position at close-range targets.

            People don’t necessarily default to a technique on which they have not been trained. I see lots and lots of shooters that are generally decent shots with a handgun but who have awful support hand grip technique. Just because something is more or less good enough doesn’t mean it cannot be improved. “Combat effective,” is a pretty low benchmark for accuracy when the only measuring stick is if you can shoot a single unarmored guy with a platoon of infantrymen whose primary MO is to suppress a target until a JDAM can be used against it. That’s a mighty low benchmark.

            There are simple, physiological reasons why shooting with an extended arm works well for controlling a long-gun when firing rapidly from a standing, unsupported position. If it did not have wide practical application, it would not be widely applied in practical shooting competitions by world-class shooters.

            If firing with an extended support arm is merely a fad, when and why do you believe that it will fall out of use amongst professional firearms training circles, SOCOM units, and the competitive circuit?

  • Teebs

    Ramble on man

  • Gee William

    Keep on rambling. That was an enjoyable read.

  • Sean M

    Keep going!

  • http://gravatar.com/jnazari jnazari

    Mac, I loved this article. So true, especially on the grip thing!

  • https://www.facebook.com/tkempster Ted Kempster

    Thanks for the insights, great food for thought!

  • Scott

    I’d love to hear your thoughts on full length 1911 guide rods and beyond.

  • Nathan

    All well said, I for one agree but I am sure you will hear from many that don’t. Ego check. lol

  • M Jarvis

    Rant away! How about your thoughts on DI vs Gas on an AR (if you haven’t done so already)….

  • Seth Harrison

    Ramble, please!

  • http://www.tacticalexistence.com Darrell

    This is a great article Tim I think I may do a video on some of the fads you mentioned.

  • ak74fan

    yes, continue the ramble. very good read.

  • LM

    MAC, appreciate another insightful and useful ran- I mean article! On the RDS cowitness you seem only to address fixed iron sights. Do you see any value in flip-up sights, both as a backup and as a way (if aligned with the red dot) to ensure the shooter is bringing the rifle up to the exact same position regardless of whether the RDS or flipped up sights are used?

    • http://www.military-arms.com MAC

      As a general rule I prefer flip-up sights because they stay out of the way. As a training aid, I’m not sure I see the value in co-witness, but I have no problem with it. Even with flip-up sights, should I have a sight failure, my preference would be to remove the sight entirely. Co-witness is a temporary fix in most cases. The solution to the problem is to either remove the faulty sight entirely or replace it.

      • http://gravatar.com/wantabewarrior Wantabe_Warrior

        I’ve heard one or two places about having a proper cheek weld on your rifle. Wouldn’t having an absolute co-witness with BUIS help muscle train this?

        BTW I’m a young, inexperienced sporting shooter, i.e. no military experience, no hunting experience, no competition experience. Just a couple thousand rounds down range with my SKS (hoping to put rounds through my AR-15 soon though).

  • Amadeus

    Fun read and I agree on most points… But personally for me, at least on polymer striker fired pistols, I like the squared trigger guards for asthetic reasons.

  • Anderson

    A healthy dose of reality for the civilian “tactical” community — especially when guys will buy an incredibly expensive piece of kit just because they saw it being used by the likes of Costa or Haley and think that somehow this will make them a better shooter

  • Support Local

    Keep the rants coming MAC!…..rant video? I agree on the support arm rifle deal….Mine gets tired after only a hour or two of shooting like that when at my pops place…So I bet if you went out for 3 days on a patrol or something like that… holding your arm out there would get old in a hurry…BUT IT LOOKS SOOOO COOL!!!!!

    • http://www.military-arms.com MAC

      Dare I say most people you see using the method in places such as YouTube do so for that reason, it looks tacicool. The same is true of the 2 second AR15 mag change you see people practicing endlessly and showing how quickly can can perform it on YouTube. Ask a Soldier or Marine how many 2 second mag changes they’ve done in the field.

      • http://www.nolatacforum.com Brannon LeBouef

        Probably true. That said, please tell me where having the ability to perform a 2-second mag change is a bad thing?

        • http://www.military-arms.com MAC

          I didn’t say it was a bad thing, I only said it’s not used by those who do the fighting in most cases.

          • http://www.nolatacforum.com Brannon LeBouef

            Just saying…. do not let the low PROBABILITY of the need for a skill, technique, tactic, or piece of gear blind you to the POSSIBILITY of a need for it. Simply prioritize your training assets accordingly. Speed is almost never a bad thing, as long as it does not come at the cost of enough accuracy to get the job done.

    • http://www.nolatacforum.com Brannon LeBouef

      MAC slightly misrepresented the context of a forward grip technique. it is primarily used for direct engagement and often within a CQB context. You certainly would not “patrol” like that as suggested.

      Furthermore, just because someone does or does not use something does not in and of itself make it invalid. We should all be smart enough to know that. Especially, when you take into account that most basic military receive the most basic of group think firearms training. I know, I taught USMC PMI’s for a few years. Military is a McDonald’s training environment and it is all about how many you can serve in a period of time.

      “Special Operations”, real special opertional units, you will not see video of, and those guys are more and more coming to the private sector for training from competition and “newer styled” (for lack of a better word) trainers.

      Also, lasers and lights on the systems that some units run are to the front, so in order to operate them, the hand naturally must be more forward than a mag-well hold.

      I get the point of this “rant”, but it was cursory drive-by at best and while the technique is not the end-all-be-all for everyone, it has great merit and benefit for those who understand it and use it in the proper application.

      Kind of the same argument as one-point vs. two-point slings….

      • http://www.military-arms.com MAC

        You know I highly respect your opinion, but this is one of those things we’ll probably have to agree to disagree on.

        In a private conversation I would like to hear how often you used such a method while deployed over seas.

        When I see those in the tactical community shooting, I almost *never* see them shooting their rifles any other way than with the support arm hyper-extended. If it’s a tool to be used sparingly and only in the proper application, why is it every time many of these folks pick up a rifle this seems to be their default method? To me it would seem their actions indicate it’s to be used as a primary method of shooting and in my experience, being the poorly trained MCSF grunt that I am, its not “all that”.

        We’ll have to delve more into this topic when we get together next, hopefully at SHOT. Who knows, perhaps I’ll walk away a convert. :)

        • http://www.nolatacforum.com Brannon LeBouef

          Definitely worthy of a fireside chat, but I can at least answer one for you about frequency of use…. never. That is because I never found myself in a situation where that technique would have been appropriate. That was kind of my point. I also did not have the opportunity to shoot an RPG at anyone, but while there, I made sure I was good at it, because I might have to.

          I just see many people “ranting” about that particular technique failing to see or mention that context within which it is appropriate.

          The frequency used in training is a valid retort. I know in my case, it is because it is often a time critical type of technique, so we train it more heavily. If I am engaging targets at 350 meters, I generally do not need thousands of repetitions to use a support barricade or position. Also, understand many of the drills you see in classes are designed to train specific elements of a technique or tactic in isolation, so when breaking it down to parts, you actually spend more time in that ” hold” trying to work out the sum of the parts… if that even makes any sense. LOL

          Even being MCSF, unless you got lucky, I am sure you are aware how inadequate your training was when compared to what is out there.

          If this SHOT goes anything like last… doubt anyone will be walking away.. possibly stumbling. LOL

        • bill Radley

          hyper-extension of your elbow is extending your elbow beyond 180 degrees (which anatomically is abnormal). I was at the haley class you took videos at and while he promoted a thumb over bore grip, I don’t remember him saying anything about hyper extension or even full extension of the elbow.

          • http://www.nolatacforum.com Brannon LeBouef

            Correct

      • https://www.facebook.com/jake.hellmann Jake Hellmann

        lolz. it’s just something made-up by people like costa to appeal to the mall-ninja types.

      • Grant

        I’m in total agreement here. Just because soldiers do something one way on the battlefield doesn’t mean there isn’t a better way. How many centuries did it take before people stopped lining up in rows so that one group could shoot (arrows or bullets) at the other? Frankly, some of the people I know who have the worst firearms habits are the ones who learned everything they know in the military.

        I think some of this stuff is less about being a fad and more about people finding better ways to accomplish their objectives. It wasn’t that long ago that the Weaver stance was the end-all, be-all firing stance. Nowadays virtually nobody uses it and everyone has gone to Isosceles. Does that make the isosceles stance a fad? Or was Weaver stance the fad? Or were both just the result of people finding what worked, but later finding something better? What about appendix carry? New fad or a better way to effectively carry a concealed weapon?

  • Jay

    One such pistol made ugly by the squared trigger guard is the CZ75. I loved it with the rounded trigger guard, but the squared one looks so much like an after-thought. I don’t know why CZ doesn’t got back to the original.

    • http://www.military-arms.com MAC

      I agree. The CZ was a sexy beast with the rounded trigger guard. I mentioned the Beretta because my local gun shop got an old 80′s 92 in with the rounded trigger guard and I wanted it sooo badly. I need an Obama money tree in my backyard.

      • https://www.facebook.com/CymruGuardian Colby CymruGuardian Lewallen

        That’s why I love my old CZ52. Nice sleek, drives tacks. No cluttered up ugliness to it. It was made as a military sidearm and doesn’t have any “tacticool” to it.

      • Jake

        I have an Obama money tree. Your not missing out. Its benefits are only imaginary, kind of like gun control. Well, no, exactly like gun control.

      • Nathan B

        I agree with the squared off trigger guard, it for the most part ugly i think it’s one of reason i didn’t buy a glock was the trigger guard. subconsciously i think it why i picked up the Beretta PX-4 in 9mm and FNX-45 was the shape of trigger guard

  • Bob W.

    Lets here about the 1911!

  • David

    Please continue the rant.

  • Gee William

    Curious on your thoughts about the angled foregrip

  • https://www.facebook.com/DXPorker Ronnie Lefler Jr.

    Ramble on sir…

  • 33AD

    MAC – Ramble away, sir!

    Great post!

  • Dan F

    Please, continue to ramble and rant. Not only is this how I learn from more experienced people, but it sheds light on some of the illogical things people do to be “cool” (which I admittedly do).

  • Steve

    Please Ramble On! This article is great. I find myself using the hand forward grip on my AR as its setup with Troy rail covering the entire length of the barrel. I have found it more comfortable when shooting at the range. However, when I’m shooting my Tavor, it forces me back into a compact shooting position. I have found myself comfortable using both.

  • https://www.facebook.com/ronnieandkayleigh.draur RonnieandKayleigh Draur

    I would love the rant on full length 1911 guide rods! I have always wondered if the hype was worth anything

  • Deepy

    Funny and totally true in the same time. Definitely continue rambling.

  • Mark T.

    Very interesting rant. I always enjoy hearing other people’s opinions, especially those with real experience. That’s one of the ways we all learn. I would definitely appreciate more rants if you’re willing to share.

    I’ve seen the hand-forward grip used plenty of times in training and in videos by trainers. I’ve gone back and forth between using that grip and a more traditional grip, and even tucking everything in like you mentioned. I’ve really seen no difference in my shooting at static targets and honestly couldn’t tell you which one I prefer. I can see that a lot of it probably has to do with what situation you’re in. I’ve never had the chance to shoot at moving targets and I’m not in the military so I’ve never been in combat. You’ve provided some useful information and a perspective on the situation that gives me some things to think about. Thanks!

  • http://gravatar.com/1111 Jeff

    The Army does co witness with the Aimpoint.

    • http://www.military-arms.com MAC

      They also require Beretta to put squared trigger guards on their M9′s. They’re the same people responsible for the SCAR having a reciprocating charging handle. :D

      My comments weren’t centered around what the Army does or even advocates. My comments were about the military moving away from iron sights. Also, the reason you see red dots co-witnessing with Aimpoints is because the M4 has been around a long time. The Army used them primary with iron sights at one time, before RDS’s became common place. The M4 has a fixed front sight. It has to co-witness.

      If the Army ever gets round to adopting a new rifle, it will likely have a folding or removable front sight like the SCAR or ACR.

      • Zach

        I’m glad you mentioned the SCAR. That charging handle is so aggravating. One of the reasons I sold mine. I almost went for the XCR, until I found out about its many issues.

  • Nate

    I shoot with my left index finger over the trigger guard. No one ever taught me to do it that, I just naturally started doing it. It works for me at least, I consistently shoot expert when qualling (USMC) and tend to keep tight groups when shooting recreationally. I didn’t know there was much resentment for this grip style.

    Would love to hear more rants btw.

    • http://www.nolatacforum.com Brannon LeBouef

      Nate, your post is a great opportunity to illustrate a few things:

      1. Improper Application/Use through Suggestive/Poor design – Many modern firearms have the serrations and flat face on the trigger guard which mechanically gives the illusion that your finger is SUPPOSED to go there. It was DESIGNED that way. While it very well may have been designed for that purpose, that was most likely done via CAD by a guy who has never fired a handgun and almost guaranteed have no actually knowledge about defensive firearms use… he is a designer who is looking at esthetics and functionality, perhaps advised by someone in marketing who has been influenced by the fads as MAC suggested. Point is, a firearm manufacturer’s job is to sell guns…. not necessarily make guns that are perfect for defensive use. You sell guns by making those which people want to buy. I would take a guess about 10% of guns sold are bought by those who have a solid foundation of knowledge to make a purchased based on true use goals. The other 90% buy what looks cool or has the best marketing behind it.

      2. “It works for me” validation – While there is certainly an element of “one-size does not fit all” when it comes to techniques and gear, to validate something JUST BECAUSE it works for you, especially within a limited context such as “USMC pistol quals” is foolish at best and dangerous at worst. USMC pistol quals are SLOW FIRE and in no way replicate defensive firearms use, even the more modern proposed “combat course”. Of course it will work for you during slow fire, but add in real stress, need for rapid follow-up shots, your movement, adversary movement, and environmental conditions, and your finger on the trigger guard will be a hindrance.

      What other training have you had outside of the standard USMC pistol blocks?

    • Neal

      Nate I’m right there with you brother. My finger wraps around the trigger guard, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s comfortable, natural, and I’m accurate. Works perfect for me and countless others. Disregard what LeBouef wrote, typical hard headed instructor my way or the highway BS. If it works for you keep on using it!

      • http://www.military-arms.com MAC

        You know, this brings up another important point. Do what works for you. We’re all different both physically and mentally, and there’s no “one size fits all” with things such as shooting technique.

        Here’s an example. While in boot camp my PMI (primary marksman instructor) gave me some latitude in how I fired my M16A2 on the qualification range. He kept trying to “fix” my technique, but every time it resulted in missed targets. We had a discussion where I explained that I grew up shooting a Colt AR15 and was actually a very good marksman, but I never had any formal training. Perhaps it was the Kansas boy in me that he ultimately trusted (hicks know how to shoot guns, right?), but he eventually said I could shoot the rifle my way if I promised to bring him the range flag (become the company high shooter). I presented him with the range flag at the end of training, out of 560 Marines I shot #1.

        There’s a moral somewhere in that story.

  • borekfk

    As for hooking the finger aroundt he front of the trigger guard, my P6 has some wear in that area, showing that even in 1980′s West Germany, they were subscribers to that fad.

  • Grant

    Excellent! Please inform the masses that night sights on a pistol are useless 99.999% of the time, and generally a big waste of money.

    • http://www.nolatacforum.com Brannon LeBouef

      Wrong. Especially when nightsights come on a set of metal sights with a good flat front for one handed manipulations.

      I would agree that they are not nearly as “useful” as some people think insomuch as there is a small window of lighting conditions that they really shine (pun intended), however, they do assist in helping to index front sight to target and front to rear when necessary do to distance.

    • http://www.military-arms.com MAC

      I do not agree. I put night sights on all of my carry guns. Lasers on handguns? That’s another story.

      • http://www.nolatacforum.com Brannon LeBouef

        Lasers on handguns is another rant. Try to keep these posts to a single rant. Cowitness is a subject all its own and some good things are coming of this.

  • Deane Durham

    I tried the hyper-extended grip on my 26+” Tavor and shot my left index finger off. No, not really. I shoot IDPA and 3-gun to practice. I will likely never be a hard competitor in either “sport”, so I try and make each match a personal training session. I have no bad feelings for those that are the “gamers’ of the sports. I just personally use my match time as training, so I use grips and follow-throughs based on my perceived training needs not winning the “game” that day. Good article.

  • Ive

    Overall good points made. I will say one thing, although I think hooking your support finger around the trigger guard is definitely not a good idea, I do like the look of square, sharper edged trigger guards more than rounded ones.
    I’ve always liked a box-like mechanical look to things versus rounded organic shapes, in cars and firearms alike.
    Good rant.

  • Logan B.

    Rant away my brother! I have tried the finger thing around the trigger guard and it just doesn’t feel right. And I second you opinion about the longevity of the forward extended arm. No man or woman will hold that for more than 5 minutes without changing or refreshing the hold.

  • Billy

    I agree with your comments on the hands forward grip. Personally, for me, it just doesn’t feel right. Although, it ain’t exactly newly invented by Christ Costa, there’s a pic of some Rhodesian soldiers in the 70s using it with their FALs (it looks like a “posed” pic though).

    http://kyledefoor.tumblr.com/post/41787802056/hand-forward-not-invented-by-anyone-anytime

    • http://www.nolatacforum.com Brannon LeBouef

      Correct. Chris and Travis brought it to light in the mainstream through the Magpul Dynamic videos, which is why it is so “popular” now outside of three-gun.

      • http://www.military-arms.com MAC

        And to this point, many of the people you see using it were never properly trained in its application. They do it only because they see men like Haley and Costa doing it. They imitate their actions without understanding how, or why, it’s being done. I find this to be even more troublesome, and honestly, dangerous. The same goes for various handgun techniques I see people mimicking without proper instruction, like fast draw.

        By the way, this post was in no way a dig on Costa, Haley (a personal friend), Brannon (another personal friend), or others I respect. As I said in my Facebook post, I don’t pretend to be a tactical genius. I can only tell you what works for me and others I’ve worked with in the past.

        • Zach

          ^ This. I tried the forward arm extension “technique”, and it didn’t work for me… Why? Because I’ve never been properly trained to use it. Even if I was, it would feel peculiar to me, and I would most likely go back to my old grip/stance/technique because I’m highly accurate at any distance with what is comfortable to me. This thread is excellent by the way; I’m glad a really good deal of conversation came out of it. As always, love your posts, man.

        • booker

          Agree on all points. It’s interesting how techniques and training styles go in cycles that often out-live their practicioners and proponents. As a result, people teach techniques not for any particular reason, simply because “that’s how we’ve always done it.” Really poor approach, especially when gun fighting. I applaud Travis Haley and his current training efforts because the philosophical approach is so comprehensive.

          Youngsters (those under 30 for sure) never trained on the MP5, they never learned to “wrap the towel.” For a while, that was all the rage, and guys still do it on their M4s even when it doesn’t make sense to do so, simply because it’s what they’ve seen. More often than not, they don’t do it right, do it too aggressively, and I’ve even seen a finger get up so far as to interfere with the dust cover causing a first-round failure to eject.

          Before then, back in the early 70s, the C-Clamp grip was occasionally used. That was before my time, but the grey-beards I’ve spoken to who have kept up with modern training trends tell me about how the technique was used in Viet Nam and through the late 70s by some, eventually giving way to a more traditional rifle technique, but square instead of bladed and with the shooting elbow tucked in, a generally compressed posture as you mention in the post. The new competition style is just an adaptation of that, with a bit more exaggeration and incorporating the benefits of an isoceles pistol stance, pioneered by the likes of Brian Enos, Rob Leatham and Andy Stafford.

          What goes around, comes around!

          • Azurebeat

            I’m curious, what is “wrapping the towel?”

            • booker

              A phrase from the last century to describe a support-hand technique taught at the H&K schools.

    • http://www.military-arms.com MAC

      I didn’t mean to convey that I thought Costa invented the stance, I have no idea where it originated or if anyone can claim responsibly for it.

      As for the picture, I don’t see all of those guys using the hyper-extended method. What I see in the foreground is a big guy with long arms holding the FAL comfortably (with his elbow bent). The smaller black guy in the middle does have his arm hyper-extended, but I’m not sure it’s because of his training. The third guy has a conventional grip on the rifle.

      • http://www.nolatacforum.com Brannon LeBouef

        Also, proper use of that grip is not “Hyper-extended as much as humanly possible”. I assumed that was writer hyperbole, but many do believe that about the technique. If that is what you are doing, then you are not utilizing the technique properly and that explains a lot of the fatigue people feel. That and the fact that holding a 7-10 pound gun any which way from the body will cause fatigue. LOL.

        (not sure what pic you are referring to)

        PS… MC Hammer to illustrate fads… well played my friend. ;)

      • Billy

        Yeah, it looked more like a posed pic to me, but its all I could find. I just noticed my dang auto-correct made his name “Christ” Costa….My bad.

  • David Lee

    Keep ranting.

  • Texas1939

    I’ve been shooting firearms for 60 years and shot competition 20 of those years.I can agree with you 100% on all points.

  • http://gravatar.com/jstephens19k Jordan

    Have to agree on the hand-forward grip. With the carbine sized rail on an m4, combined with gorilla-length arms all while wearing an IOTV it just doesn’t work, I always go back to the mag well

    • http://www.nolatacforum.com Brannon LeBouef

      “…carbine sized rail on an m4, combined with gorilla-length arms all while wearing an IOTV it just doesn’t work..”

      MAC – another reason why you do not see most military using it. Context. Their gear drives a lot of their techniques. A more forward grip is more applicable on midlength and rifle length gas systems.

  • Jay Meredith

    Ramble on, please. They need to hear it….

  • http://gravatar.com/smc1988 smc1988

    Keep “ranting” I wanted to ask you about the costa forward shooting style, I thought I was the only one who didn’t use it I was glad to see you never have either. The co-witness is also silly my only issue is my AR15 has the classic bunny ear front sight and I can’t seem to part with them, I feel like it’d be taking to much away form the classic look. Although I’m open for suggestion, I often look to your tan STAG AR15.

    • http://www.nolatacforum.com Brannon LeBouef

      Lot of hilarious almost-irony in this post. LOL.

      • http://gravatar.com/smc1988 smc1988

        I don’t find the forward grip to be confortable or overly “better” as for sight issue I would prefer a clear sight picture but I’m having trouble parting with that classic AR family front sight.

        • http://gravatar.com/smc1988 smc1988

          Also I should add my rifle has a carbine length gas system lol

  • http://gravatar.com/rev2dalimit rev2dalimit

    Fun read.

    Sometimes fads are passing fads. Sometimes they are growing trends.

  • https://www.facebook.com/brad.steube Brad Steube

    I agree…. continue on.

  • Blade269

    Some very good posts, this is actually the first thread I’ve seen that lets the air out of some of these fads. There seems to be a mentality amongst many shooters that drives them to the next “tacticool” thing I order to be a little more tactical than the next guy. While there are many fads a “cutting edge” competition techniques there is no substitute for training and practice. Cool gear, Velcro, and shemaghs abound in every Airsoft camporee but don’t change the fact that playing combat isn’t and never will be the real thing. Likewise with 3 gun, some great competition techniques that don’t necessarily translate to the real thing. I will confess that I tried the extended front grip, I wondered what all the buzz was about. I was not sold. Granted, I don’t do 3 gun but I do combat for real. I have found the Magpul AFG to be an awesome piece of gear, and that’s what goes with me to the fight. Agree with MAC, for 99% of combat applications you keep the weapon in tight and your CG just slightly forward. An extended reach puts CG way out “over you skis” and IMHO puts a shooter poorly off balance when you are trying to shoot, move, and communicate. It is also very fatiguing, and more so if you are packing a PEQ. Lastly, it’s kind of silly when you are running a 10″ barrel or a sub gun. Just some thoughts and a note of thanks for a really great topic of discussion.

    • http://www.nolatacforum.com Brannon LeBouef

      I see what you are trying to say, but your center of gravity (CG) is not “over your skis” with a forward grip (FG). your CG is and always will be, in relation to the firearm, at the pistol grip. That is unless, you have an ‘improper stance” (I hate the word stance, but in this discussion it has context). The leaning forward, which is what I think you mean by CG, is not a function of the FG and more of poor posture whilst shooting. Proper utilization of the FG, or any grip, should not change your CG in relation to the distribution of your weight.

      Like mentioned earlier, it is not the appropriate hold for all situations or gear choices, like subguns (which is where the magwell hold came from).

      Keep in mind, their is a difference between “trying something out” and being professionally instructed in it and actually vetting out wether it will work for you or not.

      • Blade269

        Brannon – admittedly I was vague, but my “try out” was a bit more detailed – professional instruction and plenty of range time. As a combat technique I was dubious. I really think it does boil down to choice. I will stick with my assertion that an aggressive forward “stance” does shift your CG forward, it’s physics – more weight out at the end of your lever (your arm). Your posture is necessarily tied to your grip to a great extend – it’s all tied together really. When you tuck your limbs in close to your body, your mass is concentrated closer to your center of gravity (CG) and centered over your core. When you spread your limbs out (away from your core) you invariably induce a shift in gravity. In this case, you are spreading it horizontally towards the barrel of the weapon which may actually give you a bit of advantage vs. recoil as well as in the ability to shift the barrel laterally (as in 3 gun). What you give up is your lateral flexibility (ability to shift your whole body) and also you reduce your ability to shift your point of aim in the vertical, particularly if you are wearing body armor. Again, this is based on my experience and is my opinion only. An underside grip closer to the mag well (like an M4, for example) gives a very flexible mix of leverage and retention. We haven’t talked about retention, but in a CQB situation, a grip well forward certainly also presents an adversary with a greater opportunity to take the weapon from you. Not all situations, but I do maintain that the more things you do the same in all situations, the more reflexive your reactions are – you build muscle memory. The more unique or special situation TTPs you employ the greater the chance that your muscle memory will elude you when the chips are down.

        On the cowitness part, I’d also like to chime in. I’m not a big fan of iron and RDS cowitness, EXCEPT with my Tavor. I have a 16″ Tavor with an M21 reflex. I have cowitnessed the flip up sights to the M21 for those few situations where the M21 is not ideal, like dark into light shooting, which actually happens at the range once in a while depending on the time of day, overhead cover, and sun/target geometry. It works great, and when lighting isn’t a problem, the iron sights go back into the rail.

        • http://www.nolatacforum.com Brannon LeBouef

          Roger. Many people think trying a technique out at the range one afternoon is enough to make a decision. Glad to hear you gave it more of an honest vetting than that.

          An aggressive forward stance does shift it forward, but that degree of shift should not change based on the grip you choose. Weight on balls of feet versus heels…etc.

          More weight on the end of the gun does not change the CG. It simply applies more leverage to wherever the CG may be. That said, in the case of more weight on the end of the gun, the case for a “more forward grip” is bolstered to counteract that weight.

          Elbow out on the support arm versus tucked in, like all, is situationally dependent. Also, while there is definitely a “gravity shift”, it is not a CG shift and not enough to validate the argument based on a FG.

          Opinion is one thing; physics is another. While your opinion may lead you to not prefer any particular technique, you do not get to change physics based on your opinion…trust me, I wish we could. LOL

          Center means center. Center is certainly relative spatially based on your body position, but it is still center of that position. I am not tracking what you mean by “horizontally towards to direction of the barrel”

          If you are trying to articulate that a more forward grip makes you lose lateral movement, then I would strongly disagree. That is one thing that it HELPS. I might be misunderstanding your argument though.

          I have no idea what you mean about point of aim in the vertical or how that would even begin to relate to a more forward grip or not.

          “I do maintain that the more things you do the same in all situations, the more reflexive your reactions are – you build muscle memory.” –
          That statement is not only a contradiction, but each part taken independently is scientifically verifiable as wrong and is simply regurgitation of age old instructor speak. I only know this because I used to say the same things until I started learning more, teaching more, and researching more. Logic mandates that the more options you have, the more “flexible” you are. That fact aside, decision making in the context an environment of “combat” is another discussion entirely.

          Muscles do not have memory. Memory is a brain function, and the brain is defined as an organ and not a muscle, although some organs are composed of muscle. While that is arguably semantics, muscles do not have memory as well in the way most people seem to think that statement implies. There is a delicate balance of maintaining CONSISTENCY in the things we do while also learning ADAPTABILITY in the decision making process– again, another article altogether. TTP’s— notice how there are so many of them, each operation redefines them, and every thing has to have them? Every situation is different. We try to have “TTP” that work across multiple situations, but nothing is 100% applicable.

          • Blade269

            I think on most of this we are in violent agreement. Granted, I am not a firearms instructor but as a very accomplished user I appreciate your perspectives to a point. I agree that the more exposure to different techniques and situations in training, the better our ability to recall and employ in actual use. A great analogy that was relayed to me was to think of our brains as a “rolodex”. When a situation arises, we scan our rolodex – if there is a card (i.e. we’ve trained to that type of situation) then we pull out the mental “card” quickly and react. If there is no card, then we pause and are forced to think (vs. react) – that time difference can be crucial. So the more cards in our rolodex (education and training) the more we can react to vs. think about. While I agree physiologically that there is no such thing as “muscle memory” I do believe that it is conceptually correct. Repetition and practice breed confidence, speed, accuracy, etc. In other words, the action at some point becomes natural and instinctive. This is muscle memory. That’s why pilots use checklists over and over, that’s why we shoot thousands of rounds in training – to develop a natural and instinctive technique that we can employ without thinking. And before you skin me alive – I’m not talking about “not thinking about the situation” – I’m talking about not thinking about basic mechanics. When I enter a room my brain should be engaged in taking in the situation and making choices – are there shooters, are there friendlies, what is the most direct threat? If I’m part of a team, I’m clearing my sector. What I should NOT be thinking about is “how should I be holding my rifle, where is my spare magazine, did I turn on my holo sight, should I have brought the dump pouch, etc”. Just some additional thoughts to a fun thread.

          • http://www.nolatacforum.com Brannon LeBouef

            Blade269, I understand what you are trying to say, but I disagree to an extent.

            Read a little about Hick’s Law. I kind of go into it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AhYX9gEL-5E

            While having more
            tools in the toolbox”, “cards in the rolodex”, “files in the folder”, etc certainly give you more OPTIONS to react, they almost always increase reaction time. Depending on the application, reaction time is a more crucial variable than options of reactions.

            Someone is charging you with a knife. On the table next to you are 100 different weapons of varying applicability. The time it takes you to scan and decide on a choice is exceedingly longer than if there were one, or two, or even three choices to pic from.

            “Repetition and practice breed confidence, speed, accuracy, etc. In other words, the action at some point becomes natural and instinctive. This is muscle memory.” AGREED

            • Blade269

              Brannon – I hear you on the “too many cards” theory. Krav Maga uses that basic principle – start with a limited number of simple core techniques that are natural and simple and apply to a wide range of situations. As in all things, there is a balance. But, with practice and repetition, the number of cards your Rolodex can safely and comfortably hold will expand. So, when I first start training to defend against a knife I might effectively learn one or two techniques (front throat, carotid) for example. But as I become more accomplished and train more, I can effectively defend against more realistic and dynamic attacks (slashing, stabbing) – my Rolodex gets more cards.

          • G2619

            Brannon,
            There was a portion of your comment that was a bit misleading. More weight on the front of the gun, provided there are no other changes in body position would, by definition, move your CG forward.

            The only way for the CG not to change is for some other modification in body position to counter it (Something that we do without thought).

            So I would agree that using the grip style above doesn’t modify your CG, but this is because the shooter compensates to stay balanced.

        • http://www.military-arms.com MAC

          “On the cowitness part, I’d also like to chime in. I’m not a big fan of iron and RDS cowitness, EXCEPT with my Tavor. I have a 16″ Tavor with an M21 reflex. I have cowitnessed the flip up sights to the M21 for those few situations where the M21 is not ideal, like dark into light shooting, which actually happens at the range once in a while depending on the time of day, overhead cover, and sun/target geometry. It works great, and when lighting isn’t a problem, the iron sights go back into the rail.”

          To the point of the M21. I’m not a fan of the M21, as a matter of fact it’s one of the RDS’s I dislike most. The dot washes out too easily and most of the reticles I’ve found make precision shots more difficult, and in some cases nearly impossible. If I had a M21 on my rifle, I would want iron sights too. :)

          On the other end of the spectrum, the MOR is an outstanding sight by Meprolight and I think it’s one of the best on the market. It’s also pretty expensive, but well worth the investment.

          • Blade269

            MAC, there are certainly detractors on the M21. I am a bit of a purist when collecting so the M21 went on the Tavor because it is SL3. I am going to put an ACOG 4X on top, I’m really curious to see what the Tavor can do, but it’s become my favorite amongst a very strong stable. I will say that for GP outdoor shooting I am actually a fan of the M21 Forman sized targets 300m and in, I pick up the dot in circle very quickly and find that it really lends itself to reflexive engagements (I know, it’s a reflex sight dummy). I am in the minority on the M21 to be sure, many of my comrades dislike it too, but hey, I like to keep my kibbutz original!

  • http://www.midwestdefenseinstitute.com Tim U

    Rant away. This was a good read.

    I hate the hyper-extended arm and the infamous “tacticool” AR mag change.

    I’ve fallen victim to the idea of having 1/3rd cowitness in the past, but I have since had enough experience that I prefer to have flip-up irons/clear sight picture.

    • http://www.nolatacforum.com Brannon LeBouef

      Why do you hate it? What about it is verifiably invalid in your opinion? Or are you just one of those kids in school who hated whatever was popular without realizing that hating whatever was popular was in itself a popular mindset? LOL

      • MrSatyre

        I don’t even know what constitutes a “tacticool AR mag change”. Would you clue me in? Thanks!

      • Tim U

        I hate it because it just doesn’t work for me. Maybe I’m doing it all wrong and a guru could show what really needs to be done, but I don’t find it faster, easier to stay on target, or in any way “better” than what I have been doing all along. In fact, it seems to make it worse for me.

  • robert nunziata

    Ramble on mac it’s refreshing too hear .

  • M Jarvis

    MAC – I’m really glad you brought this up… being pretty much a complete noob at rifles I was probably going to do the Monkey-See-Monkey-Do thing and try out the extended arm technique because not knowing better, I thought it was the ‘right’ way.

    As it stands now I hold a rifle like I do a shotgun for the most part, and being 6’7″ and having arms as long as mine are, I’d be stuck with something like a 24″ barrel, at least… ;) Plus with my shoulders being screwed up (and neck, and back, and hips, and knees, and…) a more ‘open’ type stance seems to be where I’m going.

    We shall see… picked up an Arsenal SGL21 recently and have yet to make it go Bang, so I guess I’ll know pretty soon what works.

  • https://plus.google.com/110919210137650355108 Layton “Seiran” Boyce

    Ive tried saying things in forums, specifically about the stiff arm move. The response was not civil. Plus the YT channel banned me. LOL Its nuts man

  • Pingback: Chasing the Fad | The Gun Feed

  • Mike B

    By all means, ramble on. Interesting, informative and enjoyable reading.

  • Drmaudio

    I think a lot of these fads come from a “One right technique” or “best technique” frame of mind. It seems many instructors do not understand that the mastery of more then one technique is necessary and that the “correct” technique is situational. This is made worse by competition, which has a fixed set of requirements. Many of the techniques that work best in a given type of competition, while useful and valid, are only applicable to defensive use in very limited circumstance.

    If more people realized that it is best to collect many tools, rather then select a “best” and spend all our time sharpening that one, we would see a lot less of these fads.

    • http://prairiepatriot.blogspot.com Prairie Patriot

      Totally agree. Tools for the toolbox. Right now the classes you see are all close range, “bust em” type courses. I’d like to start seeing more scenario based courses being offered (home invasion, mall shooter, etc). It might help flesh out what techniques work best. Just a thought.

  • Hayden

    Ramble on

  • Ryan

    Keep it coming

  • phightower

    Everybody has an opinion… so here’s mine.
    New to shooting an AR on a regular basis, I have to say the hand forward stance is unnatural. I find it very uncomfortable and although I don’t think a rifle is a lazy boy, I think fatigue is a very important consideration. I tried it for one day and my wrist and elbow ached for the next 2 days.
    I added a Magpul RVG and my overall accuracy went up. It’s more comfortable, easier to bury the stock in my shoulder and puts the flashlight button right where my thumb ends up.
    Not saying it’s better than hand forward but will probably remain the norm.

    As far co-witness… I prefer absolute for consistency.
    Nothing more than that. The dot and the post are in the same place. Irons up or down, dot on or off. The “crosshairs” are always in the same place.
    And yes… IF the optic fails it better be mounted with a QD lever.

    And in regards to Costa. He served our country and he shoots a lot so that’s as far as the respect goes. He isn’t credited for anything he didn’t jacked from somebody else and even the biggest fanboys will tell you he’s a bit of _ _ _ _ _.

    • http://www.military-arms.com MAC

      I won’t rip on Costa, I’ve never met the man. I’ve heard stories, and I know my friend Travis Haley had a falling out with him. Beyond that, I don’t know much about him or stuff that’s gone down in the past… nor do I think it’s any concern of mine. None of what I’ve said here should be construed as a dig on Costa, Haley, or any other trainer. I respect them and would listen to what they have to say, especially Travis.

      • phightower

        I like Haley and his teaching style and is resume’ is top notch.
        Also, if you notice Haley doesn’t stick to one method all the time. He seems to be open to new ideas and that something students should look for in an instructor.

        • http://www.military-arms.com MAC

          Yup, Travis is one of the best out there by far, IMHO.

    • http://www.nolatacforum.com Brannon LeBouef

      “Unnatrural” Please advise what is “natural” about shooting a firearm. Do you mean it is different from what you have been taught in the past and are accustomed to? That would make sense, but unnatural is well… unnatural.

      Like any technique, it takes time to master as well as get used to. A proper handgun grip is often unnatrural, uncomfortable, and sometimes painful for those who are not used to it.

      Just something to think about. Judging a technique by how it “feels” versus how it performs is dubious at best.

      • phightower

        I’m new to the forum but it starting to sink in you like to argue…

        When shooting a gun, my right hand naturally rest with the palm facing in with the thumb a 12 o’clock pointing at the sky. My left hand does the same thing but reversed (or the mirror image.)
        The hand forward, or C grip, cants my hand 90 degrees forward.
        That feels unnatural and puts stress on my wrist.
        A vertical forward grip is like holding a pistol grip… but at the front of the gun.
        It feels natural or “normal”.

        BTW… this is simply my opinion.
        You can shoot shoot your pea-shooter anyway you want.

        • http://Www.nolatac.com Brannon LeBouef

          My bad, I thought the point of a discussion was to discuss. Given the clearly “controversial” nature of the topic and my intimate knowledge of the lineage of it and people being discussed, I thought I might have something to add.

          Plus, I am an instructor, so when I see someone posting something as fact that I know to be wrong, I try to educate them. Often times I become more educated in the discussion process. Win/ win if people are open indeed and actually read and digest other’s post.

          Your Smartass comment and intended slight aside…. Yeah, I like to argue. ;)

          The “c-clamp grip/ thumb-over grip” and “forward hold” are two separate things. The placement of the hand on the rail relative to the magwell and muzzle is independent of the hand placement relative to the boreline(thumb over).

          Lastly, as I was hoping you would realize as you responded, is that “doesn’t feel natural” is not a valid justification to invalidate a technique. The purpose of training is to make that which is unknown, known, and the purpose or practice is to make and that which is unnatural, natural.

          BTW, that is not my opinion. That is verifiable fact and genarally accepted intellectual knowledge that coincides with my personal experience as well as my formal education, personal research, and observation of thousands of shooters and students.

          Thanks, but I do not shoot how I want, I shoot how I find most effective, less I find myself buck naked on the range firing from a kiddie swimming pool filled with ketchup… DONT JUDGE ME.

          • phightower

            You win… I’m wrong. Good luck.

          • http://www.nolatacforum.com Brannon LeBouef

            Thank God you caved, I was running out of creative ways to same the same thing with hopes the light would come on for you.

  • http://prairiepatriot.blogspot.com Prairie Patriot

    I look at all these “styles” and techniques as tools in the tool box. You use what is best at the moment. If you’re humping a rifle at the low ready, then, like you pointed out, it doesn’t make sense. However, if you’re in a close quarters type battle, then if the “C grip” gets you hits faster, then by all means do it.

    I’m an average joe, but that’s how I see it.

    • http://www.nolatacforum.com Brannon LeBouef

      First – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AhYX9gEL-5E

      Second – Your spot on

      • http://prairiepatriot.blogspot.com Prairie Patriot

        Good video. That’s exactly how I think of it as well. I learned this a long time ago when taking martial arts. You practice your “go to” moves, but you don’t neglect the other less used techniques either. Definitely not a new concept by any means.

        • http://www.nolatacforum.com Brannon LeBouef

          Thanks

  • Kyle Turner

    I’m working on my second AR build and I think you changed my mind about cowitnessing my buis. Keep up the good work.

  • http://www.orange-road.com/blog/ Ken Hagler

    I’d been wondering about the extreme forward grip myself. When I learned to shoot in the 1980s, I was taught that you want to provide support for the rifle by resting it on the bones in your arm, which in turn rested on the ground or the bones in your legs. The people in the Youtube videos seemed to be doing the exact opposite of that–providing the least possible support for their rifle. Now I understand why they do that, at least.

    • http://www.nolatacforum.com Brannon LeBouef

      What you were taught in 1980n was marksmanship shooting, where accuracy was the priority at the expense of speed in many instances.

      The forward grip and other more modern shooting styles is an attempt to balance the competing elements of speed and accuracy in the context of defensive shooting.

  • Bhaalgorn

    Of course you won’t see thumb-over-bore on a battlefield. It’s not meant for the battlefield. That’s like saying a Ferrari isn’t used off-road. It’s a big “Duh!”

    • http://www.military-arms.com MAC

      If it’s not meant for the battlefield, then what is it for in your opinion?

      • phightower

        +1

      • Mach0311

        I think it is meant for the battlefield. It just depends what ur doing. They really don’t teach weapons manipulation (in victor units at least) after SOI and most of the sgts there are going over basics so fast it’s hard for them to adopt new stuff. To each their own but I run it with great success.

      • http://Paladincombatives.com Mike Swisher

        Tim, not everything that is done on the battlefield translates to what the rest of us might need. I know that is hard for a Marine to hear. (ribbing)

        • http://www.military-arms.com MAC

          No, but it’s a good indicator as to what works and what doesn’t in a fight.

  • Snake

    Great article, more of these “FAD RANTS” would be appreciated.

  • Molon Labe

    I too was in MCSFBN Bangor however a bit more recently, I was also in Afghanistan. While I didnt utilize a true c clamp style shooting grip while in Security Forces I did experiment with it in the Stan, and no I didnt have my support arm hyper flexed for hours at a time carrying the rifle cross body and then snapping the rifle into position to take a shot was painless and easy. My early self taught hand forward grip as an 8154 came from shooting a 10 lb M4A1 on full auto and finding that if I moved my PEQ 16 and my ” broomstick to the farthest point forward possible it enabled me to sustain more impacts center mass. Keep up the rambling MAC and to each theyre own.

  • MrSatyre

    Everyone needs a good rant now and then. I’m want to learn from the 99.9% of the majority here that knows more than I do, so reading all the opinions is great! Helps me to consider alternatives and issues I might not otherwise have. Thanks!

  • https://www.facebook.com/JeffPederson1986 Jeff Pederson

    +1 for hearing you ramble on. I’m interested.

  • Adam

    Love the rambling, and totally agree on the fads. However, as an infantryman I have used the hand forward on my M4, it was comfortable, but only when I needed it…it wasn’t my only method of shooting, I would use magwell hold or whatever worked best for the given situation in the firefights or room clearing, etc…hand forward sucks in the prone, period. But I just wanted to say some professional fighters do use hand forward. But the biggest fad I hate is the gangster grips or forward grips for quad rails…they are the biggest dupe ever pushed upon soldiers and most grunts I know quickly realized that (but the bipod grips are awesome for when you gotta set down your rifle at the chow hall)

  • https://www.facebook.com/madmattjay Matt Jay

    MAC’s got the time and patience to say the things that pass through my head all the time – which I don’t – so tell all and get everyone operating from the same manual.

  • https://plus.google.com/108067992217283879278 Brent Gaskey

    I like the square trigger guards if for no other reason than it gives more space for a gloved hand.

  • Jacen

    I’ve actually seen Marines in training using the hand grab thing with the vertical foregrip like you see guys holding the Daniel Defense rifles.

    Costa and other instructors have stated that how you grip your gun is really up to the situation you are in, same applies to reloading techniques.

  • Neil

    Ramble truth speaker….. Ramble!!

  • Leo

    I have been bitching about these things for years, nice to know I’m not alone.

  • LeftThumb

    Beginning shooter
    No physical and mental pain
    No movement
    No different positions
    No awkward positions
    = a shooter who uses a single grip as the end all be all. Any delusion of using a single grip will fade away if you’re actually running around with it, let alone with a 90lb pack in 115 degrees.

    Also, how would you if you:
    have a Tavor
    have a short handguard
    have small hands and/or a big handguard
    etc, etc, etc….

  • Joe

    Keep going in the rant! Love the topic and info.

  • Bravo2-5

    6 deployments as an Infantryman with the 82nd Airborne and I can tell you the thumb forward grip is very much in use. The preferred technique for CQM. Just because it’s not in footage doesn’t mean it’s not being used. Little to nothing in combat and training got taped. Also, one of your reasonings for not using extended grip is you didn’t want to walk around for hours like that. Since when are you walking around for hours at the high-ready? I never have. That includes clearing entire villages in Afghanistan and Mulhalla’s in Baghdad.

  • Ed Kern

    Ramble on please

  • Craig Smith

    I agree with all of your points concerning co-witness of iron to optics to irons. They are well reasoned, a cluttered sight picture and all of that. However, I think that there is a good supporting argument for co-witness. If all of your sighting systems co-witness, your stock-weld to the rifle will be identical across the spectrum. Therefore when a bad thing happens to one system, you won’t have to re-accommodate the contact with the rifle to a new sight picture. I think that is the best argument in favor of a co-witness strategy.
    The Aimpoint Pro lines up perfectly with the back-up iron system built in to the Tavor.
    I had an old Colt by C-more AR handle mount 4x scope laying around (with etched illuminated stadia-metric ranging reticle and 5.56 compensating ballistic cam knob). It’s actually a pretty good piece of glass, not one of the cheap Chinese knock-offs. I thought it could finally get some good use on the Tavor, as I had sold off my AR match rifle. The handle mount was never that stable, always a bit of wobble.
    I measured the rail to peep on the Tavor, did a bit of digging and found the American Defense AD-B3 lever mount would fit the bottom of the C-more base. Removed the lever system for the handle mount, then drilled and tapped the base of the scope for the AD rail mount.
    When I got it set up on the rifle, flipped up the peep.. Lo- and behold, I got lucky and they lined up perfectly, peep to center of optic.
    Sure, the C-more is a special application sight. But the quick acting lever system on the AD-B3, the latching knob on the Aimpoint make for super quick sight system change out, and across all three systems I will never have to change the way I hold the rifle.
    That is, I think, the best argument for co-witness. Not so much to use one system with the other, but that changing the system only changes what you see, not how you hug your weapon.

  • Dave Holmes

    Keep ranting!

  • Oliver Johnson

    I hear a lot of folks knock Costa and Hailey. Are they really that bad or are they just easy to make fun of given their popularity?

  • Erik

    I thought Colion Noir had a good explanation on using different techniques, including the hand-forward grip.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAieCYrA-Io

  • Scott

    Please continue. I havnt been alive long enough to know about some of this stuff and I’m enjoying learning…

  • Mach0311

    So I was also a grunt in the corps and I too never used the hand foward grip when running a rifle bc I was taught to use the mag well or vert grip. However, I became an instructor when I got out and adopted the iso grip. I do not use it exclusively though. There are a million ways to skin a cat and sometimes this way works and other times it doesn’t. My shooting on the move benefits greatly from the ISO grip and it doesn’t make you a bigger target if you do it right. If I remember correctly besides Immediate remedial action and speed reloads we didn’t work on a lot of weapons manipulation. I actually had to get my entire squad to stay away from the mag well bc they were inducing malfunctions by touching the mag inadvertently. Idk I don’t think its a fad bc it actually works. A Ssgt once told me about the Groucho walk if it doesn’t hurt ur not doing it right and the ISO grip is killer in that regard so maybe I just like it bc it hurts and it makes me feel high speed but it help my shooting on the move for sure.

  • Stone

    I have been trying to tell people those exact same points about the hand-forward grip for about 4 years now and nobody ever listens to me.

    It really makes me smile knowing at least someone understands.

  • Blade269

    Zach, curious as to your comments on the XCR. I own one, as well as a SCAR16. I realize this thread is a bit off topic, but curious to hear your thoughts, minus the well worn discussion on the SCAR charging handle!

  • Jack

    Please rant some more about these fads…….it’s very informative.

  • CM

    I won’t knock the author of the parent article but your thoughts seem WAY more carefully thought out and much more based on reality. Thank you for your service and thank you for such a great rebuttal.

  • Adam

    by all means mac. carry on. i myself wrap my fingrr around the gaurd. nobody ever told me to do it its just what felt natural. and sure enough i shpot to the right consitantly. (im a lefty)

  • http://www.youtube.com/demoltionranch Demolition Ranch

    MAC, this was very entertaining, and I would love to hear more. I tried the forward grip but it still feels awkward. One of the fads that I have seen come and go are quad rails. I’m talking the big bulky rails. Quad rails used to be the epitome of “tactical” and now they are frowned upon because they are big, bulky, and most people don’t use half of the real estate on them. RANT ON! This is the first post I read on your site, and I liked it a lot.
    Demo

    • http://www.military-arms.com MAC

      I think I will hit on lasers on handguns, full length guide rods on 1911′s and perhaps flash lights on civilian defensive pistols next. That should get more than a few folks riled up. :p Thanks for dropping by, I hope you enjoy the site and swing by often.

      • David

        Please do!!! Can’t wait to see the replies!!!! Specially while I sit in my (BOA) Basement Area Operations!!! Just like everyone else that see something in a video, try it once, and become Jedi Masters on the matter!!! And, apparently there are plenty here!!! By that I mean the internet!!! “From now on all instructions will be given from a comfortable armchair!!!” LOL, too funny!!! Great Job, keep up the videos!!!

      • https://plus.google.com/106000527136355054394 Judson Morrison

        I’d like to read that rant.

  • http://gravatar.com/meancivicsi Michael Y.

    Am I the only one who loves the way squared trigger guards look?

    • Chefjon

      Nope! Me too. I don’t use it, but I like the look. Aesthetics are aesthetics but shooting is *shooting*

  • Shaun

    I couldn’t agree with you more Tim. I think some people got a little butt hurt with this one. Most people are followers and not leaders.

  • James O

    I would maintain, it’s something that the Rhodesians did first (with their FAL’s) that Costa just dug back up… of course when they did it it was to keep the muzzle down when rapidly firing 7.62 NATO, where a far forward grip really does make sense to maintain control-ability.

    Hell, there was a time when far-forward holds like that were referred to as a Rhodie style hold. These days everything old is new again I suppose.

    http://warriortalknews.typepad.com/.a/6a0133ec985af6970b0162fc930d15970d-500wi

  • https://www.facebook.com/kenneth.harper.14 Kenneth Harper

    Brett Bass makes a good point about the NIH (Not Invented Here) syndrome, and asks a good question. Is is possible that the armed services are simply reluctant to introduce something new because they didn’t invent it, or because they don’t have the time to research? One thing I found encouraging about the Marine Corps is that years ago, they were sending their Force Recon people to different places to observe, and train, using stuff they did not get in their own training. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s SWAT team hosted many of their marines for entry training that was not a part of the infantry marine training program. Law enforcement academies are guilty of the same thing. They have little time to innovate because they are fully engaged getting recruit officers through the material they already have, with limited instructor staff, so they run on inertia. And is it really true that the armed forces are not using techniques such as the arm forward hold? Not that it should be regarded as the final word, but in a recent episode on the Military Channel on the Delta Force and other special ops units, I noted that a number of the operators in film clips were using that hold while making forced entries. Is it possible the military is changing, just at such a slow rate that it is hard for observers to notice? Oh yeah, squared trigger guards don’t do anything but make the pistol bigger.

  • Erik

    A flash light on a home defense firearm/pistol is a matter of choice, not a fad. If a crook broke into your home, in the dark, anyone would rather blind and/or see the intruder before firing shots.

    • http://www.military-arms.com MAC

      You’re assuming the best place for a light is always mounted to your handgun. No one said lights weren’t useful.

  • Drawer22

    “Then there’s full length guide rods on 1911′s….” Ok, let’s hear you on that subject ─ and any other musings you might have on that platform!

    Cogito, ergo armatus sum.

  • https://www.facebook.com/tdeschane1 Thor De Schane

    MAC, do you feel the “ritualized gunfight” (Yelling stop, left hand to chest, pop-and-lock 4-step draw stroke, scan-and-assess) would fall into the fad, or practical department?

  • irishsandman

    MAC, I didn’t quite get what you would advocate for using a RDS. I don’t like absolute co-witness for the reasons you list, I also like fixed irons as I have heard of flips ups either being broken off or being awkward to deploy. So I have settles on lower 1/3 co-witness (DD fixed irons with an AimPoint PRO). What would you do? With that set-up?

  • Fmj556x45

    I agree with you MAC on the grip. I’m sure it has it’s place like anything. For me personally it doesn’t work. 14.5″ M4 with an ACOG and a carbine length KAC rail. There really isn’t an easy way to do thumb over bore and still have proper eye relief. Maybe for guys with BLOCK II’s or mk. 18′s but it doesn’t really work on the standard M4. I even ditched my bcm gunfighter charging handle because it was creating training scars.

    I would live to see more tactical instructors teach fighting with issued weapons. Many of them are employees of manufacturers selling something.

    More emphasis should be on getting to and utilizing cover. If I am ever standing in the middle of a field with multiple targets in front of me god help me. Any training that can potentially save a life is worthwhile.

    • LeftThumb

      This is the truth. All of it. I’m always amazed that people train to be standing immobile wide out in the open.

  • Phil A.

    If you were born a ramblin’ man, why fix what ain’t broke. I’ve gotten into it with a few friends and they all see to think the hands forward grip makes them Jason Bourne Rambo. They shoot alright, but I find it is too awkward, but it also feels kind of forced. I also gave hooking my support finger a try on a few guns, and most every time, my finger would come right off the trigger guard with every shot.

    Long story short, put me in the pool of more guys happy to hear your rants.

    Semper fi from the 1/8

  • Max

    The video that was posted to show that “special forces”(the video was of MARSOC, not Army) don’t use thumb over bore or an aggressive forward grip is irrelevant…. why? Because they’re running M203 grenade launchers on bottom/DBALs on top, and you’d have to be able to palm a basketball-and-a-half to use that grip on a rifle like that.

    There is footage and photo-documentation of Force Recon popularly using this type of grip with their rifles nowadays because it just works. The fatigue part of it is null, since you’re not going to up and at it forever, and how far they can generally get their hands is often limited by those short 7″ crappy KAC rails they use.

    There are definitely fads in firearms, but this really isn’t one of them. The same way the weaver stance died out to the handgun isosceles in most applications, the old style will die out to rifle isosceles.

    Fads go away, this isn’t going away. It’s evolution. It’s been around for a pretty long time, and while people have made fun of it, military is adopting it as new recruits filtering in are more open to trying new styles of shooting rather than sticking to what they know and are comfortable with.

    Making fun of rifle isosceles is pretty 3 years ago, man.

  • James Fenwick

    Being a Grunt in the Army and going through Costa course and Thunder Ranch alot of it is right. Soldiers dont rise to the level of threat the fall to there level of training. I was a competition shooter before the Army and thought that it would be the same in the Army as far as how much I would shoot. I was wrong. I shoot way less then I did before. So like any one I tryed to shoot more on my own but as many of us have served that can be limited. So in combat you fall to your level of training. The military shooter (not sniper) does not get the trigger time and advance type of training they need to move beyond the past. I went to the classes to further myself and went with friends and payed out of my pocket for it. I have used the forward support hand method in combat but not on a M4 cause the rail systems are not long enough to do so but I did on a M14 EBR. The rail on a M4 not being long is that military mindset that it dont think it needs to change. Thats why I shot with my support arm extended. As far as it goes for the co-witness at least for the Army is it allows you to get a new optic closer to a zero with not using as much time and ammo which equals money for the goverment. As far as shooting with the irons up I dont agree or see a reason to do so until I need to. This is just my two cents on the subject. The the utube show and love Bang Switch MAC keep it up.

  • Colin

    Tim do bullpups count?
    Due to the layout your support hand would be in the roughly the same area of the barrel as on a conventional hyper-extended rifle grip.
    Just looking at things from a different point of view.
    And I can assure you, no one minds if you have a rant, feel free to continue :-)

  • David

    Please do one about the Crispy Glocks that people take Soldering irons too. It irks me even more when it is a Gen 4.

    • http://www.military-arms.com MAC

      I view stippling much the same way I view tattoos… it seems like a good idea at the time, then years later you think to yourself “what have I done?” :D If you want a more positive grip, get Talon Grips. At least you can remove them.

  • Ryan

    While I am just a aircraft maintainer and not a combat troop I have found that holding the rifle out further (especially with the M16) actually makes the rifle easier to hold and is more comfortable even though it has very little recoil. Everyone has their own preference and this one is mine. It all just depends on the shooter.

  • Josh B

    I dont know that you can really compare the rifle handling between what you’re calling a fad and the weapon usage by SWAT or in combat. Is the extended forearm grip popular now? Sure. But everything comes down to usage.

    SWAT/Special forces generally want to move through structures faster and easier. So they usually run much shorter overall length guns (MP5, SBR M4s, etc). When guns are overall more compact to begin with, this extended arm grip becomes and impossiblity.

    Now for the military. And I feel need to preface this, because someone will inevitably take offense, but I mean absolutely no disrespect to anyone in the military at all. With that being said, aren’t those members in the military, specifically the standard issue baic GI grunts taught to the lowest threshhold when it comes to marksmenship and whatnot? Obviously, the more specialized the position they hold, the more advanced training they have. So to say that you don’t see anyone in the military do this pretty much negates its effectiveness doesn’t hold any water. Just because they don’t do it doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t do it if they were taught it. Besides, the military has proven that they are extremely slow to adapt to new things. The finally switching over to putting emphasis on interval training in place of those stupidily long runs fairly recently shows that.

    Its like with everything else: Do what works best for you at the time you need it. There isn’t one way that works all the time, everytime. Its far better to have an expanded repertoire than limit yourself to just one thing.

    Do what works when you need it most.

  • Balls McGee

    Great Read. Fads…………..a pet peeve of mine

    1. Grip-Forward…don’t like it as it restricts the field of view from the extended arm side. May work “ok” for the skinny minnies, but it is an issue for guys like me with a higher BMI. IMHO In most application the grip forward is entirely impractical as shooting with that grip from a position of cover over-exposes the shooter; and is little more than a marketing tool.

    3. RDS Vs Iron sights…….be equally proficient in both…..period. Learn to shoot with both eyes open. However it is far more important for a new shooter LEARN marksmanship using iron sights than RDS IMHO. There is were the MC went wrong in its marksmanship program. It is my understanding (from info provided by a recent MC recruit) that the MC now teaches marksmanship on acogs….. last year I took that new marine (just out of SOI) shooting and his rounds fired to hit ratio ate the big fat dick against mine while using iron sights at anything past 50 Yds. RDS or of the like have real value in the world of “tactical shooting”, and there is no denying it; but a proficient shooter must be proficient using any firearm, in any condition, under any circumstance.

    4. What is more important above all else is learning to master the cycle of firing at and hitting a given target by applying the fundamentals of shooting in any condition. Breathing, trigger pull, etc which has taken a back seat to looking cool with a high speed grip and doing lightning fast magazine changes.

    5. Competition is a cool thing for some people and good on them for being passionate about it. However the biggest, and most overlooked fad , imho, is reloading/magazine changes…..being able to do it lightning fast while “standing” in front of a static target. Oh how I would make the other motherfucker a dead motherfucker if he did that as an OF. At the end of the day train for “the fight” because in any armed conflict (battlefield, CQB, PD) bullets tend to fly both ways.

  • Molon Labe

    @ Balls Mcgee, hmmmm weird how Steve Fisher from Magpul Dynamics doesnt have any problems with over-exsposure, or blocking his field of vision with thumb over bore aka c clamp, aka “cool guy stance”. Cops, Soldiers, SOF, Marines, Airmen, Sailors dont seem to have this over-exsposure or lack of downrange vision whilst utilizing that other isoceles stance you know the one with a pistol ;)

  • booker

    I never understood why Aimpoints even have a turn-off option. Hell just turn it on half-way and leave it on, replace the battery every four or five years. Done.

    Also, I splurge for the LaRue QD mount and run Aimpoint PROs on my rifles. The LaRue mount is rock solid, lightweight, and has space for battery spares in the mount, can’t beat it. They also send some of their meat rub with each purchase which goes great on BBQ pork butt!

  • Vicious_cb

    Discussion about this topic here.

    http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=140033

  • booker

    Sometimes, too many tools is a bad thing.

  • https://www.facebook.com/greg.young.3532507 Grant Yount

    As a Marine who was trained to shoot both the pistol and rifle by the USMC (and won multiple Expert awards) I can wholeheartedly say that the Marine Corps is so far behind the times that it is detrimental to the individual shooter.

    Mac, I used to really like your reviews, but this little blog entry has changed my mind. You cant see the forest for the trees here.

    • http://www.military-arms.com MAC

      Meanwhile, I had breakfast with one of my local SWAT cops this past weekend. He thanked me for writing an article he felt needed writing. All the guys on the team were talking about it and agreeing that the technique isn’t useful to them in the slightest.

      You used to like my reviews? I find that statement to be suspect. We have one disagreement on a trendy shooting technique and suddenly all of my previous work is bunk? That doesn’t seem at all logical. But then stranger things have happened I suppose. People get emotionally attached to the strangest things it seems.

      • https://www.facebook.com/greg.young.3532507 Grant Yount

        Thats cool that your local SWAT Cop was freed by your blog. However, this former Marine and LEO was not and found your advice to be detrimental to the shooting community. Gentlemen like Larry Vickers have already publicly disagreed with you. You review firearms and do a good job at it, stick to what you know.

        • http://www.military-arms.com MAC

          You have a penchant for the dramatic.

          Detrimental to the shooting community? …ok. Again, we disagree on a single shooting style that’s often times misused and clearly over used by untrained people (confirmed by Brannon who is a respected trainer who worked with Haley) and all of a sudden I’m a detriment to the community?

          I’m flattered Larry took the time to read my article, however I wouldn’t expect him to agree with me given he teaches the technique to people who then go out and use it every time they pick up a rifle as if it’s the only way to shoot a rifle. As Brannon said, he never used it in combat once because it wasn’t appropriate. It’s a specialized tool to be used in special situations, not something to be used as a default shooting technique as so many do.

          Regardless, I would prefer to simply disagree without the melodramatic statements and all the angst. I would think we could still shoot together sometime and have a good time.

      • Blade269

        I have to side with MAC here – these blogs are a great place for discourse and disagreement but at the end of the day, there really are multiple sides to this discussion with no real right or wrong. Of the gazillions of firearm blogs out there I have found the MAC and MAC to be a refreshing breath of fresh air, mainly because MAC doesn’t bow up on his guests and hit them over the head with the “I know everything and I’m the baddest guy on the block” approach. I think it’s a real talent to be able to draw out discussions and challenge your audience with a variety of topics and ideas related to the shooting community. I don’t think MAC needs to stick to gun reviews – this thread was excellent, and judging by the number of responses, struck a chord with many readers. Drive on MAC, ease up a bit Grant! We’re on the same side.

        • http://www.military-arms.com MAC

          Thanks, brother.

          • Blade269

            You are welcome MAC. I fully realize you don’t need me or anyone else to stick up for you, your work speaks for itself. However, as a person who really enjoys the work you do, I felt compelled to try and bring a little perspective to the discussion and hopefully keep us all rowing in the same direction. This really has been a great thread!

  • PeterK

    The arm forward thing is funny. I’ve never heard of anyone advocating it. Someone mentioned Travis Haley, but he sure doesn’t teach that. He teaches a more natural grip. Not hyper extending your arm for literally no reason.

    I dunno. All this stuff seems very true. :) So keep up the fad debunking, haha.

  • Pingback: Retaining the iron sights with optics on my 16 - Page 2

  • Kent

    mc hammer is a little before my time but, I love that referance. XD anyway here are a list of my peeves.
    First off, ALL fads period!
    Grip forwerd on rifle.
    That shit where, in pistol shooting you stick your thumbs in the air like a retard.
    Press cheking an AR by putting your fingers in the ejetion port.
    Promoting the practice of range rules for use in real life combat situations.
    Promoting above fads for use in real life combat situations.
    Actually beliveing that anything made up by people at ranges, schools, comp shoots, ext is acceptible for real life combat situations.
    I would go on but, I made my point.

  • Pingback: Fads in the firearms industry.What do you scoff at? What have you learned to love?