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

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

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

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

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


  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

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

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

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

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

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


  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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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