Rifle Barrel Cleaning Method For Precision

When I started my time of precision shooting during my late teenage years I cleaned a rifle about like most people who don’t give it much thought.  When I was in college I was lucky enough to be taken under the wing of a benchrest ( NBRSA) shooter with years of experience with match rifles and how to take care of them. One of the many priceless things he taught me was how to clean a barrel in an effective way that really cleaned it, not just played at cleaning.   The method is not revolutionary  during this time but, it does require more effort than what people want to give.  You also have more money invested in quality cleaning tools then a lot of plinkers and dirt blasters pay for ammo.

I’m going to talk a bit about  what I was taught and how to do it and I am going to explain why certain things are done even though some people will tell you different

First, here are some of the basic things needed. A lot of versions of the same things can be purchased anywhere. But like everything in the fire arms world, quality matters and when it comes to keeping your barrel at its top condition, the things you use need thought and care.


Now, other than a decent bench to set everything on, and a way to hold the gun upright to work with, here  are  some of the basic things you need if you want to do it right.

Bore guides are a must. If no one has ever told you why you need them I will explain.   The best cleaning rod to use for cleaning a barrel is a one piece. One piece rods will flex or  become bent ( more on this later) also, some brushes have  bit of metal exposed on the tip. A bore guide will keep the rod straight as it enters the barrel. If you do not have the proper guide to keep it straight,  the rod will wear against the inside of the barrel as you pull it back and forth. This can wear the throat/leade of the barrel where the chamber ends and the rifling begins. This is very bad for your barrel and accuracy. A warped rod will bow and also wear on the barrel further down.  Some people like to use a stainless steel rod ( I am not one of them). The SS rod wearing against the inside of the barrel will do more damage then hundreds of rounds fired.  A lot of fine barrels wear out or are damaged from improper cleaning than from shooting if the person doing the cleaning knows cleaning is a must but does it wrong or without care.  The Guide also keeps solvent and oil out of the chamber  as well as bits of the brush that come off as stronger solvent slowly degrades the brush.    Another reason, is the bore guide keeps solvents from getting into the action and bedding. Solvent will degrade glass bedding and get into a wood stock and soften it or destroying any bedding. Solvent can also strip any oil and grease on small trigger parts, letting it rust and you not knowing, There are a thousand reasons to use a bore guide but not one good reason not to. Buy one and use it.  DO not get a universal bore guide. Get one for each cartridge so it fits properly.  Otherwise you are wasting time money and a good gun(s).

Next is proper brushes. Get quality brushes from some where like ProShot. Walmart brushes are often too small and do not fit tightly. You have to have a brush that fits snug. When it gets loose, toss it out and use another one, They wear out fast when they  are truly cleaning.  When you are done cleaning and the brush is still good. Spray the brush off with something like Brake Parts cleaner or starting fluid, Degrease it and get all the solvent off. One, because the solvent will eat it away if  you leave it. Two. because after each brushing cycle, you need to clean the brush. Why? Because if you do not clean it, you recontaminate the bore again with the old gunk in it you just brushed out. Do not stick a filthy brush back into a bore you are trying to clean.  Spray if off with brake clean, the wet it again with bore solvent and start again.


This leads to the next must have. A solvent bottle that you can squirt onto the brush.  Everyone gets a bigger bottle of solvent. It is a pain and a waste to pour out more on the floor then the brush.  This lets you apply it without waste. More importantly, you use the squirt bottle so you DO NOT DIP THE BRUSH IN THE BOTTLE OF SOLVENT.  When you need to wet the brush again, you do not want to stick the brush in an entire bottle of solvent and contaminate the entire fresh bottle of cleaner.  A lot of people do this without thinking, But it is the absolute wrong way to do it. The dirtier it gets, the less it works and you are just putting crud back into the bore and can not tell when you are getting it clean.

The Next thing is quality cotton flannel patches. They work. They hold solvent and they will pick up solvent and loose fouling. I buy them in 30 caliber size and use scissors to cut them to sizes smaller.  You can buy them sized to caliber , but its up to you. It is important to make sure you use properly fitted patches. If not, they can become stuck or too loose to push out fouling.  I add some small  tooth brushes to go with this.  Next is the jag. The jag is the tip you put on the rod to push patches through. You will see the common military style loop as well.  Do not use the loop.  Use a proper jag to push patches through the barrel ONE WAY then let them fall off after they leave the muzzle.  DO NOT re use the same patch. Why? Because you don’t push fouling out, get it all over the patch, then pull it right back through the barrel to drop fouling off again where you just spent time trying to get it out.  Also, the loop does not allow full contract of the patch as it travels through the bore. A proper jag and patch will fit tight and push  down the  entire barrel length pushing fouling ahead and out, or soaking it up and taking it away. The loop is very close to useless.

Next is the rod, do not skimp on the rod.


Make sure the handle turns free and allows the rod to turn and follow the rifling as it travels through the bore. It has to do this to scrub it. I use a carbon rod only. Stainless steel rods will bend and stay bent. This wears the barrel quickly. The carbon will flex and not bend. There are carbon or plastic coated SS rods, but the same thing happens as a SS rod but worse. The coating will wear off where the rod contacts the inside of the barrel and grit till stick in the coating. So, not only does the SS wear the barrel but the grit in the coating will act as a sandpaper  effect making it worse.  I do not use them because of this well proven down side.  I use the carbon rod and every time I pull the rod from the bore, I have a rag to wipe off the entire length of the rod so no grit, dirt or anything else is on it to re enter the bore and do damage.

It is possible to buy rods caliber specific along with a jag, This allows the tightest fit you can get to keep from damaging the barrel. Rods also come in a varying length  depending on barrel length. I always get one a little longer then I need because of the fact my bore guide might be longer , or maybe I want to clean a long action bolt gun instead of a short action etc.  Do not get one super long, because it will weigh down as it leaves the bore and will bend. this will cause it to rub against the crown. Damage to the crown, or even wear is a fast way to ruin accuracy.  If I have a 26 inch barrel. I will get a 34 inch rod, not much longer, but enough to make sure will work if any thing changes.   With proper bore guides and care, you can use a few common rod sizes and length for a wide variety.  I find a 22 caliber rod and a 6mm will safely clean and work in everything I shoot,up to 30 caliber. In a pinch or you are just starting and do not have a lot to spend, go with a 22 caliber rod and it will do you well for a long time. Just be careful.


I have the rifle above set up ready to clean.  Angle the muzzle down to let the solvent run out and gravity to work for you. The gun has a bore guide in it for the proper 308 chamber. I set the rag under the bore guide at the action tang. This protects any pver spill solvent from getting on the stock and it is handy to have it there to wipe down the rod as I pull it from the bore to clean any fouling off of it.

The cleaning process starts like this.

I take the solvent I am using, which is usually Butches Bore Shine or TM Solutions.These are the two most effective solvent out there that are not ammonia based.  I wet a patch with the solvent very liberally and run it through the bore 5 times. This pushes out any of the big loose fouling and wets the bore. I leave the solvent in for 10-15 minutes or maybe longer if I have the time.  This gives the solvent time to work chemically.  It takes time to start to break down the copper fouling and get into the powder fouling.  IF you have any time at all. allowing it to set will cut down on how much work you do in the long run.

After the wait time I wet another patch and push it through to push out the older solvent that it diluted from the fouling and get fresh solvent in. This also once again pushes out any loose stuff that may have broken away from the cleaner working.

Once this is done I prepare to brush.  I use the proper bore brush of a good quality and wet it heavily with solvent. Some people dry brush. But like my mentor said, you Don’t brush you teeth with no water or tooth paste so why would you try it on a rifle barrel.  After it is wetted using the squirt bottle, not dipping it in the bottle. I start to brush.  One stroke forward and one back is considered one brush stroke.   The USMC in the 60s said 11 strokes would rid the barrel of fouling, but that is wonderfully naive.  I consider 22 strokes at least.  You need to wet the brush again during this.  You will know when it needs more by watching the muzzle.  A brush wet enough to work will cause a mist as it leaves the muzzle and you can see it. If it does not produce this mist, add solvent. Since you are brushing, it is OK to add it to the brush at the muzzle and pull it back through. This helps keep as much cleaner in the barrel as you can while brushing.

After this, start wet patching again. The patches will come out as black as a crows feather and the next few may be green, or blue or purple and black.   The color is from copper breaking down from the solvent. As it reacts to the solvent it changes color. It comes off on your patches and shows as many colors of the rainbow.   Keep wetting patches ( that are cut to the right size and fit tightly) and pushing them through, never re using a dirty patch.

When the wet patches come out clean, its time to brush again.  Spray clean the brush with brake cleaner  re wet it with your squirt bottle and brush again.  If the brush gets loose or easy to slide through like its not touching anything, throw it out and use a new one.   After 22 strokes, start wet patching again.

Depending on how dirty the barrel is, you may have to do this many times if you want the barrel to be as clean as you can get it.  If you take care of the barrel and clean fairly often, sometimes twice is enough. A custom barrel may only need one time. It just depends. It is not fun. It may be hard, dirty and tiresome work, but if you want a clean barrel that will give you all the accuracy it can without fouling, this is what you have to do. It will also keep fouling from letting rust start in.

After doing this cycle, you will come to a time when after brushing the wet patches come out clean or just the color of the solvent.  IF the patch comes out slightly green or blue as if its still fouled with copper. but no black can be seen, you are done. Once the bore is as clean as you are going to get it. the solvent will be breaking down the bristles on the brush and some of that will get in the barrel and be pushed out by the wet patches.  So, if you see now black, but some rainbow color, it is just some of the brush breaking down.   Wet patch it on out until nothing is on the patch but solvent.  You can then, wipe off the crown because it will be dripping with ick.


Above are patches I save during the steps of cleaning.  The patch on the far left was the 1st pushed through the gun with solvent.  The next from left is after brushing.  Next to last is one after wet patching out after following the brush.  Last patch on far right is perfectly clean after wet patching and brushing, Nothing is on it but solvent and at most a dirty finger print from my hand.

At this point you can wet a loose fitting patch with light oil and run it through the bore if you are going to store it for a while.   Take the bore guide out and take a small brush.  If its a 308, I will use a 22 caliber brush,  I wrap a clean patch around the brush, stick it into the chamber and twist it around to wipe out the chamber and dry it out.

I do not use a chamber brush on a match barrel. It does not need it.  On a AR15, yes, but not a bolt gun. Just wipe it out and make sure it is dry. A quality chamber will be reamed tight and true with very little if any carbon fowling coming back into it. Ideally the case will expand and everything is forward of the case mouth. It is not semi auto so the case will stay put until you extract it.  If its a AR15, you would clean the chamber first before the bore and use the AR15 chamber brush. You would do it first so that any fouling in the chamber will be pushed into the bore to be cleaned and removed from the process of barrel cleaning.   You clean and dry the AR15 chamber and insert the bore guide and proceed as above.

There are a few more steps that sometimes need to be taken if things are bad.   If at the end and the rainbow effect on the patches is very bright, you have serious copper fouling.  A way to tell is to dry the bore and take a very tight new brush and slowly run it down the bore. If you feel it get tighter or need more effort in places, this is where copper is a real problem. Probably it is due to some tool marks or a bur or stress from the making of the barrel.  With practice and experience you can even feel it when the brush is wet. After cleaning this way for what seems like a thousand years, I can feel copper fouling almost immediately.

When this happens there are a few options, One is Sweets 7.62 solvent.  It is  made heavily with ammonia. It smells horrible, is super strong and not good for your health at all.  You have to use it outside if you do not want to kill yourself or get divorced. A lot of people carry on the myth that Sweets will devour you barrel but this is just not true.  A test was done by Precision Shooting magazine in 2001 where a section of barrel of both steels was left submerged in Sweets for one year, removed and looked at under a bore scope for signs of etching or erosion.  Nothing was found. The myth started because in the 80s BR shooters would mix Sweets with Shooters Choice  solvent  half and half thinking it would work quicker and they could skip a step.  The reaction of the two powerful solvents would etch barrels.  You do not mix chemicals used for cleaning the bathroom at home and you don’t do with with guns.  The two mixed made something new that would damage a barrel by etching.  Each alone is safe, but mixed, they could damage. Sweets was strong with ammonia so it got the blame.  Do not mix solvents strong enough to burn skin and melt copper.

Sweets 762 solvent is used the same way. But you leave it in the barrel longer. Around 30 minutes is normal. The bottle will tell you now more, but that is a left over CYA thing from the story above spreading and scaring people from wanting to use the stuff. It is ok to leave it in longer.   Once you are done with using it and have the copper out or as much of it as you can get out, dry patch out the Sweets and then “rinse” it  using patches with oil.  Dry the oil out with a dry patch or two then clean with regular solvent to degrease and go on as normal.

If its even worse you can move up to an abrasive cleaner.  The one I use most of the years is J&B Bore Paste


J&B is not a liquid, It reminds me of wet cement. It has abrasive compounds in it that are very gritty. Imagine sandpaper in a wet form. It is very messy to work with and very effective. IF you have not used it before, try to find some one who has. You can do some damage with this stuff but you have to try.  If you have the bent rod I warned of earlier, this will really make it worse.   The traditional way it is used, it by taking a very small cleaning brush, wrap it with a patch and slather JB all over the patch.  The patch has to be on tight and the brush/patch/JB has to be small enough to be able to move almost freely while inside the bore.   You get this concoction in the bore and use short polishing movements.  Imagine trying to rub rust off of a metal part. Or brushing  dried mud off  leather boots.  It is hard to explain and take s a little practice.   It works great and will bring out enough fouling to scare you. It will bring out stuff you never believed was in the steel of the barrel.  It will get copper and powder fouling out,but it is greasy and messy. Clean up of the J&B is a must, if you shoot with it in the bore you will have a strong abrasive being rubbed down the bore at high velocity and temp.  It gets everywhere while using it. But you have to get every nook and cranny clean of it.  It is so abrasive, you can use it to polish feed ramps with if you use a little elbow grease.  It is a great choice for an old tire milsurp barrel that has not seen real cleaning in a long time.  It can really restore  the accuracy of an old fouled barrel from a nice old piece or some old mauser you want to try to get shooting and regular cleaning does not want to help.  But be careful and go slow if you have not used it before.

If you want to try this method buy are afraid of JB, toothpaste with pumice and be used. It is not as rough and it an remove copper it its not too bad but is too  bad for regular solvent.  Tooth paste was used for a long time by some older BR shooter who didn’t want to use JB on their Hart barrels.

As far as solvents go, there really are few that work. I have spent a lot of money and time and work over the years on a lot of stuff looking for a cleaner to cut down on the time spent at the cleaning bench.  Here are a few popular choices that  I will save you the suspense and tell you they just do not work.   CLP.  CLP is a decent lube, it will not clean a barrel well enough for real accuracy work or 1000 yard shooting.   HOPPES no 9  is useless.  It has its rep because years ago it had a very strong adn now very illegal chemical in it.  It made it have its sweet smell that very few people now a days has ever really got a wiff of.  You hear people talk about how great it smells because its a cliche passed down from the 60s.  It does n0t smell like the original that worked great and did smell very sweat.  The EPA ruled the active chemical in it too harmful adn it was removed. Hoppes is worthless not pretty much.   The Stuff you can buy at walmart is useless.  Montana Xtreme is marginally effective as long as you just need to do little cleaning.  Tetra gun cleaning is decent at removing powder fouling. but not strong enough for much else.   Shooters Choice use to be the best. It is still good but there is stuff that is better and woks faster and takes less elbow grease.    Butches Bore shine usurped Shooters CHoice.   Butches was revolutionary when it first hit. It was invented by a BR shooter who developed on his own, sold it himself for a while then Pachmyer got the rights to sell it and market it.  It is good stuff.    TM Solutions is equally good stuff with almost no odor. I like and use TM Solutions and Butches.    For the AR15. you do not want to use Sweets because it is not good for the Chrome bore. For the AR15 I use Butches or TM. If its a precision AR15.  Otherwise I use SLipp2000 carbon cleaner. It is very good and not toxic. It is very effective. All that  is not hype, it works.

You will see some people advocate the foaming bore cleaners.  The CLP and winchester and all the stuff does nto have much use. But, there is one that truly works.  It is called “Wipe Out” it is a foaming bore cleaner and it can be pricey. But it works. No BS.  It snot the answer to every cleaning problem , but it does work and would be a great choice for a fast clean for a M4/AR15.   Otherwise, get out the rod and brush.

As far as warnings, do not use the section cleaning rods, They do more damage then good. The M16 family does not need anywhere as much cleaning as some say, just lube it and it will work. The section rods do more harm to the bore then not cleaning it, Unless it wet or got some mud or something that needs out RIGHT NOW.

The Bore snake is also something you need to avoid. Yes it is a gimmick that sounds great, but they get stuck. break off in the bore and the rope traps abrasive grit that you are sand papering your barrel with.  Use a rod,Bore guide and brush and jag.

You may or may not have heard of KROIL . It is a penetrating oil that became popular  over a decade ago as a cleaning product.  It was used by BR shooters using moly coated bullets.   I am not going to go into the details of why this was, but it was a flop. Kroil does not clean,it will help you take that rusty bolt off the bathroom door, but that sit.  Don’t waste time or money on it.  And while I am on it,  Don;t use moly coated bullets. They are more trouble they worth and if used wrong, can damage the bore and promote rusting and pitting.

The above way of cleaning is not some revolutionary procedure. It is a simple method used for many years buy match winning BR shooters who need their barrels to be squeaky clean. Some of the barrels those guys used were so well made and lapped that wet patching was all it took to clean them. Copper and fouling would not stick. This was a huge advantage because the less time a rod is in a barrel. the less damage it does.  You can over clean. You can clean your bore to death. If you use the method I wrote above you can often see a huge reduction if group size if all other things are quality. You can get an old warhorse shooting well again and get control of the fouling in your precision rig.  Back int the day . we never shot more the 15 rounds before cleaning in this way.  Yes it was a pain, but it kept the rifle shooting its best. That was quite an edge to have when trying to win.  And when shooting at 1000 yards when a lot of things are already working against you, not loosing 3/4 minute from a fouled barrel makes a difference.  A clean barrel is a happy barrel, just like a wet AR15 is a happy AR15.   If you are new to guns or new to precision rifles, this is a tried and tested method for keeping that accurate barrel shooting its best and keeping fouling under control while not doing damage to it from bad cleaning habits.

Trojan Horse Guncase, Carry your carbine like you are James Bond

I am always on the look out for a way to discreetly carry my carbine or various weapons around with me without anyone having any idea what I really have.  I have used different bags made for the purpose over the years. The so called discreet carrying cases are hardly discreet. They look like soft gun cases with no MOLLE. It is obvious to anyone that has any brains what it is.   I have also used sports bags meant for baseball bats or other sporting gear in.  These certainly pulled off the undercover requirement but had no way to get to the rifle very fast. They also suffered from not having any padding or a backer to keep the case walls stiff.  I also worried the weight of the gun would bust through the seams or tear and coming spilling out.

Last week I ran across something that is exactly what I have always felt I needed.   It, is the Comp-Tac  trojan horse long gun case.



No one I showed it to, even come close to guessing it was for a gun.  It has a sport look to it. It could hold a tennis racket, snow shows, a violin,Aunt Martha’s sweater, anything.   The case has stiffeners in the sides to keep the gun from printing or from tearing through.  It has a divider that allows you to put 2 carbines in the case. One side of the divider has MOLLE and the other is covered with velcro.  Inside, you could have a carbine, pistols ( multiple) Mags for both, a light jacket or just about anything.


The PALS side of the divider also comes with the usual velcro straps to hod the gun in place if its short enough to move around.


The other side can hold almost anything. I found I could even get a small chest rig in there.  Of course. it is possible to put so much in it that you can not lift it or you could jam it so full that it turns bulky and out of shape, hurting its purpose of being discreet.

It does not have padding to protect from hard abuse, but it has stiff parts to keep it in shape and the stiffeners will protect the gun from most but the worst case scenario damage. It is not meant to be a Pelican gun case. It is meant to be something you can toss over your shoulder and walk around a college campus with, or keep in your car without any one seeing it is clearly a gun case.

I am really excited about this case and have already tried it out walking around downtown at the local city. Yes, CCW of rifles is legal in my state and I have a CCWD. So make sure you are legal to do this where ever it is you live.  I could go on about the quality of this thing and how well it works all day, but I would sound like I get a commission from selling them.    I will say, this is the 1st real affordable case of its type I have seen, that actually does not look anything like a gun case.  Sure there are the guitar cases and such, but this could pass off as just about anything. The guitar cases look out of place being carried most of the time, and a guitar is just as desirable to a thief as a gun. Maybe more so since the penalty for guitar theft is not as serious as stealing a firearm.      Most other “discreet” cases just look like plain gun bags without MOLLE or pouches on the outside and still come if the usual dead give a way colors like OD green, tan, coyote and black. And no where on the case is a ctactical company logo to give it away to those looking for a clue.



Bag hardware is the standard heavy duty zipper and a nice sling that  has the QD buckles to take it off in a hurry.  It also has two small pockets on the inside for any other use you can find for it.  This is worth buying.  It is not the thing you need for abuse. Nothing will beat a hardcase like a Pelican, but if you need or want to carry it close, with no one knowing, this works perfectly.






Gear4Ops Gen 2 Exo-Gloves

Submitted by Joshua Berry

Third Party Test of;

Gear4Ops Gen 2 Exo-Gloves.

Gear3Ops Gloves Gear3Ops Gloves Gear3Ops Gloves Gear3Ops Gloves

The hype surrounding these gloves promise a lot. They are supposed to be Nomex, Kevlar palms and contain Spectra.  Also,an IR flag and a blackout strap are on board.

Supposedly you get all of this in a $36 package?  Well, let’s see just what a pair of $36 combat gloves can get you when its competitors cost $70+ for comparative gloves.

I plan on slicing at these with my Kershaw knife(this sucker is sharp, by far the best blade I have,) also I plan on burning them to see just how well they hold up. Finally, I’ll punch the hell out of a tree to test the knuckle protection.

I will compare these to my favorite pair of mechanix gloves, the updated Mechanix originals are highly thought of gloves by numerous soldiers.  Let’s see just how they compare.

General Review.

When I got the Gen2-G4Ops Gloves, I was immmediatly impressed with the fit. These are by far the best fitting gloves I have ever used. They are very comfortable and just about as good as it gets for features.

The Slice Test.

 Gear3Ops Gloves

Now, I took my Kershaw to the Mechanix Glove first will let the pictures speak for themselves. I placed the knife on the different parts of the gloves and pressed firmly and sliced rearward on both the Mechanix and Gear4Ops gloves.

Gear3Ops Gloves

My poor Mechanix, rest in peace.



Now for the G4Ops Glove, these things were tough and one cut just was not going to do it! So, I went crazy on these things, both pads took 10+ strikes with my knife till I finally did some damage on the heel pad and the palm took 2 good slashes before beginning to show some damage. No penetration went through the gloves and would have kept the hand completely safe.

 Gear3Ops GlovesGear3Ops GlovesGear3Ops Gloves

The Burn Test.

For this test I took my Lighter and sat there holding it on the gloves till something happened……With the Gear4Ops it was a little disappointing as nothing ever happened! Let the pictures speak for themselves.

Yes I did this with my hand in the glove.

Gear3Ops Gloves

Gear3Ops Gloves

           As you can see….less than exciting, no damage and worked as advertised.


 Gear3Ops Gloves

        How would you like to have your hand in that sucker as it melts to your skin….I’ll pass.

The Punch Test

For this test, I donned the gloves and went out and hit a tree as hard as I could. Aside from slightly red knuckles, they worked very well. The majority of the blow was absorbed. The only part I really felt was where the knuckles pressed into my skin. It also did nothing to the gloves but put some green on them.

Gear3Ops Gloves

So there you have it, the Gear4Ops Gen 2 Exo-Gloves .  For $36? I dare you to find a better glove with as many features as these have. I highly recommend these for the stellar price to performance ratio.

Flame retardent, slash resistant, super comfortable. It doesn’t get much better than that. I look forward to seeing what comes next for this company. I will keep everyone updated on how these continue to wear but it is probably time for a new pair of gloves after what I put these through!

Workplace Intruder Event Lessons Learned

A family friend had an experience this week that I thought was worth sharing. The quotes below are his own words:

“I run a company of close to 50 employees. I have always felt the responsibility to make sure they are safe and happy. I have carried a concealed weapon for close to nine years nearly every time I have left my house. That decision has nothing to do with feeling like a self-proclaimed security guard for our staff. I have carried as a personal choice for my own protection and it just so happens that I now lead 50 people.

I have been into preparedness for five years and always enjoy Cassie’s / Loose Rounds posts on food storage or other family preparedness. A week ago, I drafted an emergency response plan for our staff that was in much more detail than previous information we had. It included information about earthquakes, fires, power outages, pandemics, and intruders, such as a robbery or potentially-violent attack. I set aside time to train our receptionists on what to do in case of a robbery. I never expected that four days later we’d experience that in such an unusual way.

I am often the first person in our building each morning. I have security cameras up on my computer monitor just so I can see who is coming in the front door while I am there (I can hear the door chime but want to make sure I know who it is). A few employees had arrived and it was normal business, until out of the corner of my eye I saw someone behind our building. The back of our building isn’t easily accessible so that was the first red flag.

I zoomed in on that camera and followed a man I didn’t recognize. He then proceeds to begin inspecting our air compressor (which was stolen last summer), our doors, and even our security cameras. Something was up. At this point, no crime had been committed, but it seemed very odd. I quickly ran across the building to another exit so I would be able to watch him from a distance (because he would have left the view of the cameras) and call the police. As I exited the solid, non-window door, the man was standing right there! He had circled around the building and was literally 3 feet in front of me as my coworker and I exited the building. This was my first stupid mistake. I was completely vulnerable and could have been stabbed, shot, or hit over the head. Fortunately, that didn’t happen. Instead, I calmly and kindly asked if I could help him with anything. Expecting a response, I was very concerned when he lowered his eyebrows and just scowled at me as he walked past me.

He began his march toward the front door. I quickly entered the building and ran toward the front. (It didn’t feel right to pursue him and prevent him from going in the front door since we were on the outside of the building. First off, he was quite a bit bigger than me and, second, I wasn’t going to be the one to start a physical altercation.)

I arrived at the lobby about the same time he did, along with another coworker. Of all things, the man started demanding garbage bags (we don’t believe he was homeless nor do we believe he had a mental illness) and started taking business cards. My friend kindly introduced himself and the man responded “you’re a stranger and I don’t talk to strangers.” That was an odd comment. He was given the garbage bags and he left.

The entire time I was watching his hands and movements. I noticed a bulge under his shirt at 6 o’clock but I have no idea if it was a weapon. I immediately called the police and explained the situation, knowing that no major crime had been committed. But I wanted to report the individual casing our equipment. I was told that an officer was on his way. Well, it has been three days and he hasn’t shown up.

My coworkers and I reviewed the entire situation and watched the security camera recordings. We learned some very important things that will help us be more prepared if something like this happens again.”


Jon was very aware of several things that were going on. Most importantly, when he was face to face with the subject, he observed the subjects hands, movements and demeanor. He also was highly aware of a bulge under the shirt at 6 o’clock that could have been a concealed weapon. Jon was focusing on a few of the (Ten Deadly Errors) as it is known in law enforcement, without even knowing it. The Ten Deadly Errors are mistakes and missed signs that can lead to an officers death when missed. While the Ten Deadly Errors are primarily for law enforcement officers affecting an arrest, I find that most (excluding #2) can apply to concealed carry citizen applications and other unusual incidents.

The Ten Deadly Errors:
1. Failure to Maintain Equipment and Proficiency
2. Improper Search, Improper Use of Handcuffs
3. Sleepy or Asleep
4. Relaxing Too Soon
5. Missing Danger Signs
6. Bad Positioning
7. Failure to Watch the Hands
8. Tombstone Courage
9. Preoccupation
10. Apathy

While all of the errors don’t apply, there are several key indicators Jon was picking up on. This showed Jon was aware of possible danger and was also prepared to respond if needed. From my assessment of the total incident, Jon did everything a responsible Concealed Carry citizen should. Jon reflected on this experience and told me he learned some valuable lessons from this encounter.

Here are a few things Jon reflected on:

1. When adrenaline kicks in, your plan goes out the window unless your training is so engrained in your mind that it becomes natural.
2. I could have done a remote lockdown on the building as soon as I saw suspicious activity and prevented him from ever coming in the front door.
3. Do everything you can to prevent becoming vulnerable. I should have exited a door where I had a visual of what was on the other side
4. At one time, my coworker turned his back to the person which made him vulnerable.
5. Police are just as human as anyone else. Restaurants mess up orders and businesses lose shipments. Mistakes happen. We were just surprised when police never showed up. But again, this fortunately wasn’t an emergency.
6. Lastly, there is no such thing as being over prepared.

Jon is right, you can never be over prepared. When an incident happens take the time to think about it afterward. You can learn from these experiences and apply what you have learned in future incidents. Personal defense and being a responsible firearm carrier is a thinking person’s game. Read, train, think and apply your experiences to formulate the most advantageous response during an incident.


Why I hate LMT

I will not and can not advocate Lewis Machine & Tool parts and products.  Why?  Because I hate them.

Now why would I hate LMT?

Bought a LMT lower, had the finish flake off, had to pay to have it refinished.

Bought a LMT upper, had a 10 MOA point of impact shift when running it suppressed.  (Same suppressor provides no POI shift on other uppers I use, and I continue to use that can)

Had a LMT rear sight where the elevation wheel would bind up and require tools to turn past 4.

Had a (different) LMT rear sight where the windage knob spun freely.

Had a (yet another, man I’m a sucker) LMT rear sight where the aperture had a chuck of metal missing from it.  Mind you, that is cosmettic, but had I been the person assembling rear sights I would not have used that part.

Had multiple issues with a LMT MWS, including the chrome lined bore and chamber rusting, loose trigger pins.

Have a LMT bolt that causes poor reliability in any upper it is inserted in.

With the exception of the SOPMOD stock, almost every item I have purchased from LMT has had minor to major issues and I am not the only one.  Shawn has had similar issues with flaking finishes, poor reliability, etc.  I have kept a list of issues other people have had LMT.  Now all companies put out the occasional lemon, but LMT seems to be in the business of making lemonade.

Dealing with malfunctions




If you shoot enough you will eventually encounter a malfunction.

When your firearm stops working, the issue could be any number of issues, bad ammo, bad mags, mechanical failure, user error, etc.  All these malfunctions can be placed in four categories.

1.  Action closed malfunctions.  When the slide or bolt is closed, often you will hear a click when you were expecting a bang.  These malfunctions are usually cleared using the “Tap Rack Bang” technique.

2.  Action open malfunctions.  The slide or bolt is open from an issue such as double feeding or failure to eject.  Clearing these malfunctions generally involve removing the magazine, clearing the action, and reloading.  The acronym S.P.O.R.T.S. is often thrown out in reference to these issues.

3.  Malfunctions unique to a weapons system.  These include rare problems like the Glock “Phase three” malfunction, or the AR15 brass over bolt malfunction.  These generally require familiarity with the weapon system and that particular malfunction to clear quickly.

4.  Malfunctions that require tools, disassemble  or replacement parts.  If you have a squib, or if your firearm is shot by enemy fire, or should a critical part(like a firing pin) break, your firearm is rendered non-operational.  In a fight, you have to make the decision whether to retain this broken firearm or not, then either transition to another weapon system, or break contact and run away.  Outside of combat, a day at the range can be ruined if your firearm is non-functional and you don’t have a way to fix it, or anything else to shoot.


Continuing on this fourth type of issue.  I had a range day ruined when I had a case head separation with a round of Black Hills match ammo.  My broken case extractor sitting at home didn’t do me much good.  I’ve seen broken extractors in bolt actions prevent people from accomplishing what they wanted to do.  As for the picture above, that was an amazing fluke.  The slide stop on a CZ52 got stuck below the magazine follower.  Techniques like Tap-Rack-Bang or S.P.O.R.T.S. isn’t going to help you in a situation like this.

In conclusion, there are issues which will take your weapon out of action.  At those times you need to quickly decide if you can use your back up weapon, or if you need to run.