All the Angles

  Shooting long range at an angle is not what you think. I just watched a video on a long range shooting page on Facebook. The guy doing the video is some kind of former Marine super sniper. Big surprise, right? Everybody who has served in the military in the past decade claims to be a sniper or a SEAL. Who the hell are driving the trucks, cooking the food, cleaning the latrines or repairing the vehicles? When everyone is … Continue reading

Victims in Waiting – One survival tool you need

The rule is never talk to reporters and it’s a good one to follow. They are never on our side and they are rarely honest. But my thoughts are if we refuse to talk with them, nobody will ever hear our side of the story. So I stuck my neck out and consented to the interview. What the result will be remains to be seen, but I trusted the young lady when she said she wanted to present gun owners … Continue reading

Miles to Go

If you ever want a lesson in confusion try researching the history of the mile. It will make you nuts. There is the Roman mile, the Italian mile, the Arabic Mile, the English mile, the Irish mile, the Scottish mile, the Welsh mile and the Dutch mile. Let’s not forget the German mile, Austrian mile, Prussian mile, Danish mile, Hungarian mile, Portuguese mile, Russian mile and the Croatian mile. We must also consider the Statute mile, Imperial mile, International mile, U.S. … Continue reading

Trigger Points

    The decline and fall of American Customer Service   I saw a rant on Facebook from my friend Travis Gibson at MGM Targets today about the changing ethics and attitudes in the gun industry. It’s not just the gun industry, its society as a whole. The Millennial generation is making its mark and it’s an ugly one. However, the gun industry is where we work and so it’s what we encounter most often. Yesterday I ran into one … Continue reading

The Tactical Bludgeon

  (This is excerpted from my new book, Prepper Guns. It is now on sale with an introductory offer of free shipping at Nothing says, “Go away and leave me alone” quite like the .50 BMG.   There is something almost religious about turning loose more than 14,000 foot pounds of energy from a rifle you fire from your shoulder. When you consider that’s about three times the energy produced by most rifles for used for hunting elephants, it … Continue reading

Big Bucks The Benoit Way is Back!

  THE BEST SELLING WHITETAIL HUNTING BOOK IN HISTORY IS BACK! Big Bucks the Benoit Way Now in paperback. All the information, all the bucks, all the Benoits and all the color photos; at a bargain price. See what it takes to track huge whitetail bucks like the legends. Big Bucks the Benoit Way Secrets from America’s First Family of Whitetail Hunting   By Bryce M. Towsley If there is such a thing as hunting royalty, it would be the … Continue reading

Prepper Guns is For Sale!

  “The only one who knows more about guns than Towsley is God, and I’m not sure about that.” —J. Guthrie, as told to Mike Mattly PREPPER GUNS Firearms, Ammo, Tools and Techniques You Will Need to Survive the Coming Collapse   By Bryce M. Towsley Food, water and shelter are very important to survival. But you must also be ready to protect what is yours after a social or economic collapse. If somebody stronger, better prepared and better equipped … Continue reading

Mozambique Drill

The Mozambique drill was made famous by Jeff Cooper after learning about this incident. The story goes that this technique originated with a Rhodesian mercenary, Mike Rousseau. He was fighting in the Mozambican War of Independence 1964-1974. During fighting at the Lourenço Marques airport (modern-day Maputo), Rousseau rounded a corner and encountered a FRELIMO guerrilla, 10 paces away and armed with an AK-47. Rousseau used his Browning High Power pistol to do a double tap, hitting the guy twice in … Continue reading

Turkey Hunting Healthcare Part One

By: Anonymous    “That boy ain’t right!” “Course he ain’t, you damn fool, he’s a turkey hunter.” — Overheard at a local diner   Hello, my name is XXXXXXXXXXXXXX and I am a turkey hunter.   First of all, this recent talk about the government digging deeper into mental problems and taking away guns from people they deem “off” scares me. Why? Because I’m a turkey hunter. If you start letting some damn government official decide who can have a … Continue reading

If You Suck — You Suck

    Don’t blame the gun   There are a lot of gun myths out there that keep getting repeated by lazy gun writers and blowhards in the gun shops or at the range. Another one recently came up. I was tagged in a Facebook posting asking about which gun to bring on an upcoming elk hunt. The guy has a .308 Scout rifle and a Ruger African in .375 Ruger. Several other people weighed in before I did, all … Continue reading

Easter Lessons

   What better way to spend Easter afternoon than shooting guns with your family? We started with some rifle speed drills and when somebody finally ran out of .223 ammo we switched to handguns. I am not sure what the lesson is here, but every single shooter who brought a handgun had a Glock of some kind. I had recently bought a Glock 17 and wanted some trigger time with it. This is a handgun that changed the world and … Continue reading

The Ruger Re-Write

Right now long range precision rifle shooting is running hot. There are several configurations of rifles used for this, but one of the most popular is the precision bolt action rifle built on a chassis. The problem from a buyer’s perspective is that these guns are expensive. An entry level gun starts at about $2,500.00 and they can go up from there. Until Ruger decided to re-write the rules. The Ruger Precision Rifle is a high performance, chassis-built long range … Continue reading

The Ungrateful Nature of Hounds

Sometimes the deal is just too good to pass up. I didn’t need or really want a new shotgun, but the price for the Caesar Guerini Woodlander shotgun was stupid low. So, I wrote the check and put the gun in the vault with plans to flip it and make some money. The trouble is I have a phobia against selling any guns and so it sat there as an “investment” for several years. It had been a tough year … Continue reading

Time to get your can in action

Preppers need to be a bit thick skinned, as most of the public looks at us with smug amusement. For example during a recent medical visit we were making small talk about how we had spent the past weekend. “I was canning venison,” I said. That brought a little smile of superiority to my health care provider. “Who does that anymore,” he asked quite smugly. “I do,” I replied. “So do millions of other smart people.” “I doubt it,” he … Continue reading

Hunting Cows in India

At the SHOT show some years back there was a buzz among the gun and hunting writers that, in order to promote their new products, one of the big optics companies was going to be taking a bunch of writers to Africa for a Cape buffalo hunt. As the week progressed and the invites were handed out, the aisles on the show floor became a display of who had been chosen, and of those who were not. The guys with … Continue reading

A Poor Man’s Sniper Rifle

  If you are looking for a “sniper” type rifle for use out to 500 yards or so, it may already be in your safe. This is a fun project that gets the gun out of the safe and onto the range. The Mosin–Nagant bolt-action military rifle was developed by the Imperial Russian Army in 1891. It is one of the most common military bolt-action rifles in history, with over 37 million units produced. Odds are you have one, or … Continue reading

Steyr Mannlicher L-A1

    This is an excerpt from my new book, “Prepper Guns” due out this spring.   I first ran into this new pistol when I was in Bessemer, Alabama in April of 2014 for the grand opening of Steyr’s new U.S. based facility. At first I thought it was “just another Glock clone.” Then we shot some early production models of the gun in their indoor range and I discovered it was a lot more than that. This gun … Continue reading

A Serious Long Range Rifle

 Long range tactical shooting is huge now, both in competition and for serious tactical applications. It’s also a lot of fun. There is something compelling about placing a bullet on a target so far away you can’t even see it with the naked eye. A target so far off that you are sure you missed long before the clang of a hit reaches your ears. I recently had a purpose specific rifle built in 6.5 Creedmoor just for that use. It … Continue reading

The Lever Action Alternative

This is excerpted from my upcoming book, “Survival Guns for Preppers” due out this spring.     If you are politically oppressed and can’t own the gun you want, this might be the gun you need   There is no question that a magazine fed, semi-auto rifle is the best tool for surviving what’s coming. But what if you are one of those poor unfortunate souls who live where the government doesn’t trust you enough to own one? Well the … Continue reading

A Buck

I wrote this several years ago when I was starting out as an outdoor writer. It was published several times in The Vermont Sportsman and a few other magazines.  I was back on that mountain a few weeks ago and stood under that old treestand. The National Forrest is grown past any good deer habitat and it has choked out the apple trees. I realized that it’s likely no deer had passed by in weeks. The mountain is now a … Continue reading


  Another mass shooting in a gun free zone and this time the crime scene is not even secured yet and our pathetic president is splashing through the blood to attack gun ownership. He promises to keep doing that every time there is a shooting; and he promises that there will be more shootings. At the rate he is escalating his response, I expect he will be standing outside of the next one with lights, podium and a teleprompter waiting … Continue reading

Survival Guns

The concept of a “Survival” gun again has taken on a bit of a romantic notion with the prepper movement. I stand firm that the best survival gun is an AR-15 or AR-L in .308. There is not much that these guns can’t do. They are outstanding for defense and adequate for hunting and foraging. While a lot of what is written is about hunting, I think the biggest issue is going to be defense. Staying alive, particularly in the … Continue reading

Scout Rifles

   Jeff Cooper founded Gunsite Academy, one of the top firearms training centers in the world. He was a prolific writer, leaving behind several books and he was also a hard core big game hunter with world wide experience. One lasting legacy to the gun world is the continuing popularity of the Scout Rifle, which he first began to develop in 1968. He wrote about the idea in his book, The Art of The Rifle. He said, “The scout, therefore, … Continue reading

Things about Hunting You Should know.

How to Read a Track   One trick is to step beside the track and compare how your track looks next to the deer’s. Watch how the snow crumbles in your track and how it is crumbled in the deer’s track. Try to compare that to the temperature in recent hours. Check the edges of the track to see if they are sharp and crisp. The longer a track has been around, the less sharp it is. Even on a … Continue reading

New Tactical Ammo from Barnes

  I guess I have been friends with Coni and Randy Brooks for more than 20 years. They are the folks who owned and ran Barnes Bullets for the past several decades. My wife and I have stayed in their home and have vacationed with them on their houseboat in Utah. We have hunted together a few times, I have visited the Barnes plant multiple times and I can tell you they are some of the finest people in the … Continue reading

My Little Voice

My paternal grandmother was an amazing woman. She was of French Canadian descent and most likely, judging by her looks, a good deal Algonquin Indian; although her generation kept those things secret. She was a tiny, five foot ball of energy and could out work anybody well into her eighties. She had little formal education, but ran several successful businesses and raised five children spread out over more than two decades in age. She developed her own system of math … Continue reading

A Nation of Sheep

    President Obama has proven once again that he has no boundaries by politicizing the murders in Charleston and dancing in the still warm blood of the victims. It was as shameful a display as ever exhibited by any holder of that office. Rather than call for healing and prayer and waiting for all the facts about the shooting to become available as a true leader would have done, he attacked gun owners and the 2nd Amendment in a … Continue reading

Shotgun or Muzzle Loader?

 The choices hunters face when hunting whitetails where rifles are not an option.   In a lot of places, deer hunters have the choice of using a shotgun or muzzle loader during some of the “shotgun” deer seasons. But how do you choose? There are pros and cons to each. The most obvious are that a shotgun has more than one shot, so it’s very fast on the reload. In fact, if you using a semi-auto you can be ready … Continue reading

Swarovski’s New X5 Long Range Scopes

When it comes to long range shooting instruction and opportunity, the best place I know is the FTW ranch in Barksdale, TX. It’s about a two and a half hour drive from the San Antonio airport, but the winding road will take you to a whole new world. As the owner Tim Fallon pointed out, the ranch was the last stronghold of the Comanche and once you see this country you understand why. It is wild country with deep canyons … Continue reading

Building Precision .308 Winchester Handloads

The .308 Winchester is perhaps the favorite chambering for precision rifles used for long range shooting. Here are a few tips and suggestions on how to load great ammo for your bolt-action, precision rifle with the least amount of work.  Cartridge Case  The cartridge case is the foundation for a good handload. If you don’t have the case properly prepared, nothing else matters. Start with new or once fired cases. There is no point in doing a lot of work … Continue reading

When it comes to long range hunting, how far is too far?

  Ethical Long Range Hunting is About a Lot More than Just Hitting the Critter  There are several considerations, but first and foremost is your skill level. Most people will not be honest about that. If you are one of the rare breed that believes in discovering the truth, try shooting at targets at unknown long ranges under a wide variety of conditions. Use a six inch bulls-eye, and make it your goal that every bullet fired must hit that … Continue reading

An Energetic Discussion

    I recently posted a question on Facebook that resulted in unintended debate. I wanted to know who came up with the concept that deer-size game require 1,000 foot-pounds of energy from a rifle bullet. Simple enough, right? What followed was a huge debate about terminal ballistics. One argument that came up was that this standard was from back before expanding bullets and so it doesn’t apply today. We have been using expanding rifle bullets almost exclusively for 120 … Continue reading


Dateline April 1, 2015     What a month for the sportsman! By now most of the snow has melted and with the long winter just passed anyone worthy of the title is feeling bloodthirsty! April is my favorite month for deer hunting. The crowds of November are gone and the deer are easy to sneak up on. They are just recovering from the brutal winter and are still feeling a little weak from months of deep snow, relentless cold … Continue reading

The Best Kept Secret in Concealed Carry Guns?

    As write this I am in yet another hotel room, one of hundreds, possibly thousands, over the years. We just finished up the three day Big 3 Media event near Daytona Beach Florida. It’s been three days of tactical guns and OPA (Other People’s Ammo) which is never a bad thing. I fired everything from a fully suppressed, ultra-short barrel machine gun to a Russian Dragunov sniper rifle. I also shot lots of ARs, AKs, handguns and badass, … Continue reading

UTS-15 The Future of Fighting Shotguns?

It’s a changing world out there and the challenges we face today are different from just a few years ago. Just look at the headlines. Terrorist attacks or natural disasters, coupled with slow or poor response from the government, often leaves thousands to fend for themselves. Also, the looming threat of a man-made disaster, war or economic collapse poses a huge potential for social unrest. It can all result in large gangs of looters or worse, which can mean that … Continue reading

The Right Guns for Zombie Apocalypse

  I know – I know. The zombie thing is old news, a joke, passé. If, like me, you are watching the latest season of The Walking Dead you know that to be true. The two episodes that have run so far were horrible. I fear the show has lost its bearings. But, consider this. Zombies are just a euphemism for social unrest. It’s not polite to talk about shooting people, but whacking zombies is OK. So a tongue in … Continue reading

Lane Benoit’s Hangover Buck

  I was asked today by Outdoor Life to write a short obituary about Lane Benoit for their web site. To help prime the pump I spent a little time looking over some of what I had written about Lane over the years. There is so much good hunting advice and so many stories it was hard to pick a favorit. But, those who knew Lane will recognize that this story from my second Benoit book, “Benoit Bucks” is typical … Continue reading

Lane Benoit

  Lane Benoit passed away February 9th 2015.     As I said to his father Larry so short a time ago I hope he finds clear tracks and short drags.  The world lost a great deer hunter and a great story teller.  This is the opening to the chapter about him in my 2002 book Benoit Bucks.  Lane   Lane is the “middle” Benoit brother. He is a 49-year-old sheetrock hanger who is proud to wear the crown of the … Continue reading

The Reality of it All

  The idea that you can survive social collapse unscathed without the means to defend yourself, your family and your property is naive, foolish and a death sentence. It’s not hard to find examples of what happens today when the “system” breaks down. Just look at New Orleans after Katrina. It was chaos and the cops turned out to be worse than the looters. Speaking of the looters, they were shooting at the helicopters that were showing up to rescue … Continue reading

First Shot Drill

This drill simply teaches you how draw and shoot quickly, a skill that’s extremely useful in a gun fight. In a gun fight the most important shot is the first one. If you can get it off faster than the other guy and hit the target, the odds of winning increase substantially. Forget what you have seen in the movies about the “blinding speed” of the draw. It takes time to get the gun out, line up the sights and … Continue reading

In or Out?

The Question of Bullet Performance  There is a popular theory that a big game bullet should stay in a big animal’s body, “dumping all its energy” and unfortunately many hunters are accepting it as gospel. Personally, I find it irresponsible. A .22 LR will always stay in the deer, dumping all its energy and often resulting in the termination of the deer. Does that make it a deer cartridge? Of course not. When applied with modern rifle cartridges, this theory … Continue reading


  My friend and fellow gun writer Joseph von Benedikt posted this recently on Facebook. “Two days ago, a pit bull leaped into my niece-in-law’s van and attacked her. Thankfully she had her Ruger LCR handy. It bit down on the gun and a portion of her hand–they were literally in its mouth–when she shot it. Knocked it back, then it went to chewing on her leg while she emptied the .38 into it. Died against the gas pedal. Kudos … Continue reading

Use Enough Bullet

I am a true believer in Robert Ruark’s posthumous advice to “Use Enough Gun” when hunting any big game. Why risk all your hard work with anything less?  To somehow “prove” you are a better hunter because you use a cartridge that experienced big game hunters consider too small or inadequate? If that’s the case, I suggest therapy and a new sport.  Something where you can’t wound any animals and leave them to a horrible death in a misguided attempt … Continue reading

Are you ready?

On the television this morning as I ate breakfast was yet another economic guy explaining how the U.S. economy is nothing but a shaky house of cards. He explained about how the Fed is just propping it all up by buying bonds and keeping interest rates low while at the same time printing money at an unprecedented rate. “Their goal,” he said, “or at least what I believe is their goal, is to keep all the balls in the air … Continue reading


“I wish it was reversed so our dogs lasted forever and we had to get a new shotgun every ten years.” -Bob Rose   “New England woodcock hunting over dogs is a unique wing shooting experience,” Bob Rose said. But I was only half listening. He was uncasing a vintage, sidelever Purdy 16 bore double gun and I was having a hard time focusing. It’s the kind of gun I dream about and I suspected it had to be worth more … Continue reading

Winter Carry

“Winter is Coming”  – The motto of House Stark. (Game of Thrones) The meaning behind these words is one of warning and constant vigilance.  Based on the evidence in my part of the world, Global Warming is a myth. For years the old timers here liked to say that “we have nine months of winter and three months of hard sledding.” But, that was back before our winters turned mean. We “northern latitudes” types find that we spend a lot … Continue reading

A Dozen Tips for Rattling Whitetails

Deer seasons are open and soon the rut will be heating up all over the country. Here are a few tips on one of my favorit deer hunting techniques, rattling. 1: Don’t Intimidate Them My wife taught me this one. Like many, I thought that to shoot the dominant buck in the area I had to have a big set of horns. I had a “macho” set that I rattled and banged with loud abandon, but with no luck at … Continue reading

The REAL Truth About Why Law Enforcement is Migrating to the 9mm

After reading yet another “Top Ten Reasons the Cops are going to the 9mm” article we felt compelled to act. Like all the others before it, this article just contains all the flawed data and incorrect “facts” repeated from the last bazillion or so articles with the same title. In the interest of discovering the truth, we sent our crack, undercover, investigative reporter out into the murky world of law enforcement to seek some answers. After multiple late night interviews … Continue reading

One Way To Go

With 9/11 so close behind us, the Benghazi hearings starting today and our president becoming more and more sympathetic to the enemy I thought this excerpt from The 14th Reinstated was timely.  “I thought all our enemies were gone. The only ones who attacked without reason and for anything other than money or perhaps power, were the nutjob Islamic terrorists. But it can’t be terrorists, that problem was resolved a long time ago.” “I remember,” Davy said with a husky … Continue reading

Are You Ready?

 While researching a new book project I bought both of Mel Tappan’s books. For those of you who don’t know, he was pretty much the Godfather of the prepper movement. They called it Survival back then, but Tappan ruled the market in those bleak Jimmy Carter years. Although he died young and unexpectedly, his book “Survival Guns” is a classic. After his death his wife put together some of his columns from Guns and Ammo and Solider of Fortune and … Continue reading

Lessons from the Plate Rack – The J-Frame Edition

What’s the definition of an optimist?  “A guy carrying a J-Frame and a speed strip.” The plate rack is a staple of any 3-gun or USPSA shooting match and it’s also one of the greatest training tools on earth. By varying the size of the plates and/or the distance, the shooter can create a huge range of scenarios. Run it fast with your race gun from 15 yards and you feel super human. Hit all six at 500 yards with … Continue reading

Charlie Bolt

Most hunters, including me, fear the cold when they first start thinking about booking a spring musk ox hunt. I am a northern latitudes kind of guy and I live with long, cold winters and deep snow. I am also usually a “jump in with both feet” kind of guy, willing to try anything once. But I’ll admit that, for the first time in many years, I had doubts. There is something about the thought of venturing north of the … Continue reading

Gun Guy

As an avid reader I am saddened by where novel publishing has gone in recent years. Like so much in America today it is formulaic, simplistic, bland and boring. The old authors are just pumping out trash for cash and the interesting new guys never get a chance. I was bored to tears from all this homogenized “literature” and was browsing the forgotten bookshelves in my abandoned “old” office for something to read. I stumbled onto Elmer Keith’s autobiographical book … Continue reading

Hunting With Short Guns

Back when the earth was flat and my hair was still dark, I was slipping along through an old abandoned apple orchard in Vermont’s Taconic Mountains when a deer suddenly appeared like an apparition out of the morning fog. I drew the long barreled .44 Magnum from its holster, cocked the hammer and, holding the gun in a classic two hand, “Weaver Stance,” I caressed the trigger I had spent hours tuning. The gun shattered the quiet morning and when … Continue reading

The First Family of Shooting

The Rocky Mountain 3-Gun World Match lasted six days this year; five days of competition and a final day for shoot-offs and awards. While my performance was a bit dismal, it was one of the best matches I have ever attended. One reason was the company. Among others, I was squadded with the Miculek family and that made the experience so much better. Jerry Miculek is perhaps the best all-around shooter alive, his wife Kay is one of the top … Continue reading

My Reward?

I am dead. The specifics of the event are not important here, but it is the one thing that I am sure about. Soon after it happened I was met by a man whose description eludes me. He said his name was Luke and asked what I wanted. I had just died and he was asking what I wanted? This was getting a bit weird already. I wanted to be alive again, that’s what I wanted, and I wasn’t exactly … Continue reading

This today from Remington

  July 25, 2014   Remington R51 Pistol Product Update   Earlier this year, we launched the innovative R51 subcompact pistol to critical acclaim.   During testing, numerous experts found the pistol to function flawlessly. In fact, they found it to have lower felt recoil, lower muzzle rise and better accuracy and concealability than other products in its class.   However, after initial commercial sales, our loyal customers notified us that some R51 pistols had performance issues. We immediately ceased production … Continue reading

Survival Lessons from the Industry Masters

I am at the Orlando airport watching steady stream of desiccated, tired looking grandparents staggering by with grumpy kids wearing Mickey Mouse hats. It’s been hot this weekend, but then Florida gets that way in July. I am not sure who thought it would be a good idea to schedule a shooting match in Florida in July, but the Industry Masters is now a sweltering, sweaty memory. I shot on the Hodgdon team and other than the shotgun, I can’t … Continue reading

Beyond the Tactard Tango

I am just back from a two day Reflexive Shooting class at the Sig Sauer Academy. I fired more than a thousand pistol rounds at stationary and moving targets, in bright light, low light and no light, all without sights. I am a happy man. It’s no secret in shooting circles that almost nobody sees their pistol sights in a shootout. At least not in the first critical seconds, which they tell me is when most of the bad stuff … Continue reading

This Again

Imagine if you will a device that can bring all the wisdom and information of the ages to your fingertips, no matter what time it is or where you are? It would change the world, advance civilization and re-write what man is capable of achieving. Or we can use it to post photos of kittens and argue with total strangers. No question the internet has changed the flow of information. Most of that is good. The internet allows us to … Continue reading


If you read my work than you know I am an advocate of using enough gun for any big game. It’s simple, I believe that you can control some things on a hunt and some things you cannot. I just don’t see the wisdom in using a marginal cartridge. That’s in your control, why risk the outcome of your hunt? The way I figure it, if you must err, err on the side of bigger. That gives you more options, … Continue reading

Sometimes the Winning Strategy is to Leave it Alone

 I just spent the afternoon tuning up my Benelli M2 for the Nordic Components Tactical Shotgun match. I installed a new RCI magazine tube and a new recoil spring. I tweaked and polished some trouble spots. Then I did a complete disassembly, cleaning, lube and reassembly. This gun was giving me trouble at the Iron Man match and that’s something I find unacceptable. But it’s not Benelli’s fault, this is a tricked out “competition” gun that’s been highly modified. In … Continue reading

The Best Place

I am just back from 12 days off the grid in Alaska. Well OK, I confess; I did have a Satellite phone. But other than that we were out of touch with the world and a long way away from any other people. My guide was a native of the area, at least in loose terms. We were an eight hour boat ride from his house with pretty much nothing but wilderness in between. As we were hunting brown bear, … Continue reading

The Continuing Saga of the R-51

Against the urgings of every strand of my DNA I had planned to sit this one out. Honest, I did. But I can’t. By now, I am assuming that most of you are aware of the Remington R-51 controversy. I am not talking specifically about the gun itself, but the dust up on the internet. Here is the backstory. Remington has had a long tradition of holding an annual new products introduction seminar. This goes way back and it’s an … Continue reading

Hunting Brown Polar Bears

    It’s not unusual to find myself in a hotel room, it seems like I spend half my life in one. Right now I am in Juneau drying out from a soggy but successful hunt. I have a lot of “stuff,” including two guns, scattered all over this hotel room to dry out. It honestly looks like a camo bomb went off and deposited wet crap on every flat surface. When I opened the door for the Mexican guy … Continue reading

2X2X2 Drill

  This is a Viking Tactics rifle (or carbine) drill developed by Kyle Lamb. The 2X2X2 is a simple drill designed to build speed and accuracy when engaging multiple targets.  The concept is that you suddenly encounter three bad guys at close range and must deal with them quickly with your AR-15. Each target requires two shots to neutralize.  But you must be fast and accurate. Don’t just throw three erratic and panicked double-taps. The key to speed is to … Continue reading

One For The Books

  The two gobblers were trashing the jake decoy, pecking pieces out of his head and tearing feathers off his body. I was tracking the one on the left, because I was sitting on the left and where I am from that’s how we do it. I heard “shoot ‘em” and watched “my” turkey’s head turn to mist. I swung the gun, picked up his brother, who was doing the boot scooting boogie or turkey trot or some kind of … Continue reading

Scratching the Itch for a Sports Car Rifle.

  In early April of 2014, I had the pleasure of visiting the grand opening of the Steyr Arms facility in Bessemer, Alabama. This impressive new facility will change a lot of things, including availability of some of their guns here in the US. Steyr sister companies are Mannlicher and Merkel, so there are guns to keep anybody smiling.   The showroom has an impressive display of firearms, illustrating the huge and diverse range of guns this company offers. The … Continue reading

The Coolest Rifle Ever for Zombies, Disaster Survival, or Just Looking Good at the Range.

I am not sure how many Walking Dead fans read this, but I am sure that like me they spend an unhealthy amount of time yelling at the television. The choice of weapons on that show is absurd. It has gotten better in recent years, but it’s still enough to make a true gun guy foam at the mouth. Darrell’s crossbow is my biggest pet peeve. It looks cool and no doubt it has all the basement warriors watching the … Continue reading

The BS Flags

  I know I have been beating this drum over and over, but what I thought was fiction in The 14th Reinstated seems to be coming true. Frankly it’s starting to worry me. I was using my imagination and trying to see the worst case scenarios for where the country and the world were heading. I thought it made an interesting book and perhaps a cautionary tale about what “could” happen. But I never thought it would really follow the … Continue reading

Trigger Points

If you are a hunter you know what it takes to reach this point. The final moment when it’s all on the line and it’s time to shoot. You have poured your heart and soul into getting here. All the months of hard work, the dripping blood, sweat and tears has all been leading this millisecond when you pull the trigger. Hunting is a process, a journey and this is the last step, the final mile and what follows will … Continue reading

Smart Choices about Fighting Shotguns

  “Don’t get stuck on stupid!” – General Russel L. Honoré to a reporter after Hurricane Katrina.   As shooters we do indeed tend to get “stuck on stupid” sometimes. Case in point, the continued dominance of the pump action tactical shotgun. We left the revolver behind decades ago and in modern times semi-auto handguns predominate with LE, military and serious civilians. The bolt action battle rifle is so WW I. Again, semi-auto rifles are the overwhelmingly top choice for … Continue reading

.223 Remington VS 5.56

. What’s In a Name? Most gun guys know the history of the .223 Remington and that, like so many of our popular cartridges, it started life in the military. Because the military switched to metric designations sometime in the fifties, this little 22-caliber cartridge was called the 5.56X45 NATO (commonly referred to as 5.56) when it was first introduced. The 5.56 surfaced in 1957 as an experimental cartridge in the AR-15 rifle. The concept was to develop a smaller, … Continue reading

Fix it in the Field

Hunting is a tough sport and sometimes bad things happen to your guns. Here are a few of the more common gun problems and how to do firearm repairs in the field. Frozen Bolt First of all, shame on you for this one.  I have seen it happen many times when the temperature drops down in the neighborhood of zero and if your gun fails to fire in extreme cold, it usually means you messed up. You should have degreased … Continue reading

Playing The Game in “Real Time”

There is a game that’s fun to play with your friends. It is simply to pick a historical figure that you would like to spend some time hanging out with. Most quickly pick Jesus, but he is eliminated for a bunch of reasons. First, he’s too obvious. Second, there is no mystery. He will simply do a couple of water tricks; you know, walking on it and turning it into merlot. Then he will raise a dead man back to … Continue reading

What is Prepping?

Recently a writer I have read for years, but never met, contacted me through mutual friends.  He is doing a piece for a national magazine on preppers and asked for an interview. While I write about prepping for magazines and prepping was an undercurrent in The 14th Reinstated, I have never really considered myself to be a prepper. But, I guess in looking at the issue I am one of sorts. I don’t have a bunker or a small army, … Continue reading

The End

I have been a bit remiss in getting new postings up here; but I am sure you understand, I have been hunting. Without dwelling on it, this was a non-typical year of deer hunting for me. I spent more time in the northeast than I have in recent years and more time hunting with friends than on industry sponsored hunts. I got back to my roots a little and was reminded again about how public land hunting can make you … Continue reading


I am a lucky man. Due to my chosen profession as a hunting and gun writer (and a lot of hard work) I have been able to hunt most of the world. As a whitetail nut, I think I have hunted them in just about every good place they live and a few not so good. I live in a place that is in the last category. In fact, Vermont may well be in contention for one of the worst … Continue reading

Which Guns Should You Buy for the Coming Collapse?

Apparently there is nothing that cannot happen today. –Mark Twain I can tell you that no book worth reading in the history of the world was finished on schedule. Anybody organized and disciplined enough to do that is not creative enough to write anything other than a boring book. I know writers like that; precise, on schedule and very organized and their books are snooze fests. Check into all the great writers in history and you will find that they … Continue reading

Gun Guys Have a Tactical Advantage

The food is awful, but it feels good to sit down. A day of shopping at the local mall is not your idea of fun, but it keeps the peace with the family. Just as you are making that slurpy sound with the straw to annoy you wife (most men never really grow up) you hear full-auto gunfire and see a man spraying the food court as he screams “Allahu Akbar” over and over. The mall’s Rent a Cop, who … Continue reading

Water, Water Everywhere . . .

If you have been following the news then you know that the scenario of social and economic crash in the book The 14th Reinstated is not only plausible but may be inevitable. It’s becoming clear that the dollar is on a downward spiral and that government is dysfunctional. We have elected our way into a mess and it might not be fixable. Nearly half of our population does not pay income taxes and a similar percentage now receives money from … Continue reading

The Passing of a Superstar

  “Every sport has its superstar. Larry Benoit is whitetail deer hunting’s.”                               — Butch Towsley – November, 1971   “The magazine cover caused quite a stir when it hit the stands back in 1970. Deer hunters in general take a lot of pride in their skills and tend to be a bit competitive, so when the cover of a Sports Afield magazine asked the question, “Larry Benoit – is he the best deer hunter in America?” most hunters took notice … Continue reading

Gone in a Flash

Midnight is a lonely time in a dark parking lot and I was thinking only of a warm bed as I reached for my car keys. Something hit me hard from the side and I fell against my car. I saw the guy swinging again and moved to block the tire iron. I could see another guy behind him pulling a gun out of the front of his pants. I grabbed my J-Frame revolver with my free hand and my … Continue reading

Guns That Keep You Alive

I don’t know why, but I have a bad habit of finding a hunting company on its last legs and throwing money at them for lousy hunts. I just did that again in Zimbabwe. You know that old adage, “fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me?” Well this was my second trip with this bunch and it just keeps getting worse.  So I guess, “shame on me.” Part of the problem is the corrupt government … Continue reading

Own The Night: Lights and Lasers on Carry Guns

I am a huge advocate of lights and lasers on carry guns and home defense guns and I am just back from the 2013 Crimson Trace Midnight 3-gun match in Bend, Oregon. I have some observations to share on the topic from my experiences there. First of all, you need to test your lights and lasers extensively before you trust your life to them. During this year’s event there was always somebody in the safe area working on their guns … Continue reading

Now Is the Time to Start

I was worn out from travel and trying to recover from some minor surgery, so I spent the day riding the couch. It was my misfortune to turn on a cable show about preppers. If you didn’t know any better you would think they are all complete fools that are a little bit crazy and a lot bit dangerous. This show was set in a compound in Florida which they ran like a military camp. It showed them “training” by … Continue reading


  He was just a boy but he was accepting a man’s job. As soon as the light was better he would take us to the buffalo that had been raiding the tiny patch of corn his family grew on this desiccated and crusted ground. As we waited for the sun, I noticed that he carried an ax made from a truck spring and a mopane tree root. “For the lions,” was the answer when I asked why. I thought … Continue reading

Getting Home

The truth is that I hope The 14th Reinstated remains fiction. But I fear it will not. Just look at what’s happening around the world right now, with riots in multiple countries, including in the USA. I don’t believe that these are all spontaneous uprisings. I think some of them are being orchestrated and I fear they may be the prelude to bad times ahead. When I personalize a copy of the book I usually add the inscription, “Keep your … Continue reading

Richard Writes a Book

If you have followed this Towsley on Tactical blog then you know that Richard Mann and I disagree strongly about the 9mm defensive handguns. But what you probably didn’t figure out is that Richard and I are pretty good friends and we were having a good time with the “arguments.” While we don’t agree on defensive handgun cartridges (and a lot of other things) I will say Richard has a unique mind and is always trying to find the truth … Continue reading

Horny Moose

Four days into this hunt and it was clear that the elk never got an invitation to the party. With nearly fifty daylight hours invested in the effort we had not seen an elk, heard a bugle or even encountered a fresh elk track. By now we all understood and most of us were just going through the motions and riding it out until we could pack out for home. On this day, the only diversion from the monotony of … Continue reading

A Clear-Eye Look at Handgun Stopping Power

There is no question that the internet is the greatest invention of our time, although Al Gore trying to take credit was one of the sleaziest acts ever. You wouldn’t be reading this without the internet. Well, actually you probably would as I have made my living for decades as a magazine writer and it would be published on the remnants of a dead tree, but you get the point. The trouble is that there is no filter on the … Continue reading

Whitetail Home Invasion

It’s never too soon to start thinking about next deer season.  If you hunt public land you understand frustration.  Here is a technique that can lead to success, but the time for scouting locations is now. Time and again I have heard that you need to stay out of a buck’s bedding area because if you disturb him there, he will abandon it and perhaps move out of your hunting area. Good advice if you have a lot of private … Continue reading

Drills for Ultra-Close Fighting Part Two

As taught by Todd Rassa, at the Sig Sauer Academy. As before, all the drills are from a concealed carry holster using concealment garments and are unsighted, instinctive shooting. Do not use a timer for any of these drills. That’s because the focus should be on executing the moves perfectly every time, not on how fast you can do it. If you are focusing on speed, your mind is in the wrong place. The speed will come with practice.   … Continue reading

Ninety Second Bug Out Bag

    If the scenarios predicted in the 14th Reinstated become reality, and it’s looking more and more like they might, you need to be prepared. If you must leave your home in a hurry, can you survive the next few days? When the shit hits the fan nobody can predict the splatter pattern. In the world of understatement it might be a classic to say we live in uncertain times. Floods, fires, severe weather, social collapse and terrorism all hang … Continue reading

Whitetail Tracking Tips From Lanny Benoit

This is excerpted from the book, Benoit Bucks.  Signed copies are available at “There is one way to tell a young buck, even one with big feet and maybe even a big deer that’s young. A young buck has never had much for antlers and he is used to dipping under branches without getting them tangled. When they are fawns, they are used to scooting under branches and stuff and it takes a while to get out of that … Continue reading

Shooting Drills for Ultra-Close Fighting

Part One   As taught by Todd Rassa, at the Sig Sauer Academy.   All the drills are from a concealed carry holster using concealment garments and are unsighted, instinctive shooting. Do not use a timer for any of these drills. That’s because the focus should be on executing the moves perfectly every time, not on how fast you can do it. If you are focusing on speed, your mind is in the wrong place. The speed will come with … Continue reading

Dark Issues

The overhead light at the ATM was burned out and it was dark as I exited the car. Almost at once I noticed several attackers. I drew my 1911 and tried to see the front sight as I pointed at the closest one. There were security lights shining in my eyes, which made it harder to see the target, while the black on black sights that had worked so well at the range just disappeared. I made my best guess … Continue reading

Hoggish Opinions

  I am not one to jump on board gun-writing bandwagons, particularly those I know are wrong. For example, I was under incredible pressure from manufacturers and editors to endorse the 45-caliber muzzle loader craze several years ago. But the numbers didn’t impress me and I resisted. I did have an editor who, while he didn’t agree with me, gave me some latitude. I did the tests, ran the numbers, shot some deer and wrote an article that was critical. … Continue reading

A Few Handloading Tips for the .338 Lapua

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the longest successful rifle shot in history was made in Afghanistan by a British sniper named Craig Harrison. He made three successful shots at 2,707 yards or 1.54 miles. It was so far that it took the bullets nearly three seconds to get there. The rifle was an Accuracy International chambered in .338 Lapua. For long range shooting, the .338 Lapua fills the gap between the .300 Winchester and the .50 BMG. … Continue reading

Is Sequestration a Symptom?

Obama explaining the size of his “Sequestration” I just received word that Obama has ordered furloughs for Border Patrol Agents. This was from an agent who received his, so it’s no longer conjecture at this point. This is following his other “cuts” due to sequestration; a policy he created and forced into play. He also threatened to cut police and fire departments, not understanding that they are state and local, not federal. Somebody must have explained the difference, so now … Continue reading