Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Gun Handling

Say Uncle embedded a gun handling video and when I watched it, I thought that the skills were pretty good. When I went to AR quals last week, we talked about magazine changes and they showed me a technique I'd never seen.

Of course, I haven't been considered an operator in twenty years, but some of the skills are still applicable to an old cop in his autumn years. The technique is fairly simple. When you experience a stoppage, push the rifle away from you and rotate it so that you can see into the ejection port. If the bolt's back, you've run dry, so engage the magazine release with your trigger finger and snap the rifle, rotating it clockwise. This flings the magazine out of the rifle, emptying the mag well for a fresh one. With practice, it's pretty quick and the video shows the guys making mag changes with expert speed.

The best of all worlds would be for the magazine to drop free as soon as the release is pressed, but with the AR platform, that doesn't always happen. With the nine magazines I currently have, only two of them will drop free. However, this little technique will eject the most stubborn magazine I've found.

The fact that the video is set to Johnny Cash is a double-added bonus.

Hat tip to Say Uncle.


Rivrdog said...

The fact that you can't see the bolt's position by reference to the op rod handle is one of the reasons I won't own an AR.

Magazine loading will also tell you. For combat (my S.H.T.F. kits for my three battle rifles, a CETME, an M-14 and a Mini-30, have magazines loaded with one tracer in the middle of the magazine, and three as the last three cartridges). I will get visual confirmation of when it's time to reload, and since, in the absence of actual S.H.T.F. combat, it's unlikely that I will ever shoot a rifle dry, that system works for me.

Anonymous said...

This is one of the techniques taught on Magpul's Art of the tactical Carbine DVD set, and I believe the film is of students in that class doing other techniques, like support hand shooting, switching shoulders, and shooting with a partner from behind barricades. They have several good sets of DVDs.

St Paul

aczarnowski said...

I'll echo Matt. The first thing I thought of when the video above first went around it MagPul's carbine DVD.

Simple techniques, layered together, practiced often and done consistently make for impressive gun handling. I need to practice more.

Hyman Roth said...


The mall called, they need you back.

Seriously, though, that tracer technique didn't help trained SAS operators to know when they were running dry ("Immediate Action" by Andy McNab), so what makes you think it will help you?

Anonymous said...

rivrdog, your too tacticool.

Ted N(not the Nuge) said...

SHTF, you're gonna be too busy to count tracers. I know I'm too busy looking for and engaging targets when we do gunnery. This, on the other hand, you can't really F-up.

.02 from a Blackhawk doorgunner.

Will said...

Can't really do it as a lefty. But, the port is right there in front of your face, just need to break cheekweld to confirm bolt open. Bring your right hand back with open palm, bend fingers at the palm when it hits the front of the mag, tap the button with your thumb, tug the mag down and open your hand, and move it toward your fresh mag. If you don't want it at your feet, just keep your hand moving a split second longer before releasing the mag. This typically gives it velocity and a slight side vector to take it off to the right side.

What I find works with the 20 rnd mags is hit the front of the magwell with the index finger for reference, and punch the button with the thumb. The twenties always drop free for me. Might be the weight being centered in the mag body, as opposed to the 30's with their front weight bias. I prefer the 20's, for various reasons. One of which is the gun was designed around it.