Category Archives for "Blog"

How Hot Does A Gun Barrel Get? How Get It Cooler Faster?

As much rifle shooters know, rifle barrels can get extremely hot. While all barrels will heat up, it is most noticeable in rifles, since the metal of the barrel is exposed. However, how hot can they actually get? What damage could this cause?

How Hot Does A Gun Barrel Get? How Get It Cooler Faster?

In this article, we will start with the basics, and eventually work into answering these questions.

The Basics – Why Does a Barrel Get Hot?

To understand this question, you have to understand how a bullet is fired. When you pull the trigger, it causes a firing pin within the weapon to strike a primer on the bullet. The primer ignites the gunpowder, which burns extremely fast. As it burns, it generates gas, which creates pressure and pushes the bullet out of the barrel at a high rate of speed.

The answer is right there. Gun powder burns and expands extremely rapidly, which is very hot. In fact, gunpowder burns near 5000 degrees Farenheit.

Repeating this process over and over again generates more and more heat. This heat transfers to the metal of the barrel, where it can’t dissipate as quickly, and the barrel will feel hot to the touch.

Okay, Cool. So What Does That Mean?

Alright, so now you understand WHY your barrel can get hot. What are the side effects?

First and foremost, a hot barrel can seriously affect your accuracy. While it depends on the exact rifle and barrel, some barrels can be extremely negatively affected by heat.

Match grade accuracy barrels are often less heat tolerant, so you will find that your shooting may be a little off. Common AR-15 and AK-47 barrels on the other hand are more heat tolerant, so you can shoot them more.

However, it could also be much worse than this. In serious situations, you could harm your barrel or your weapon. It would be very hard to do this, but it is absolutely possible to damage your weapon.

How Hot is Too Hot?

Basic reticle scope

Basic reticle scope

So, how can you tell when your barrel is too hot, and how hot can they get?

While there isn’t exactly much science behind it, an extremely common recommendation is that if your barrel is too hot to touch for more than a second or two, you probably shouldn’t shoot with it. Like I said, there isn’t much science behind it, but this is the line of thought that I subscribe too.

But, as far as how hot the barrel can get, it is absolutely possible to have the barrel be glowing red. For this to occur, it would have to be around 1500 degrees Farenheit. However, in a range setting, this would be nearly impossible.

I Want to Shoot More! How Can I Cool Off My Barrel?

There are a couple tricks to cool your weapon off faster.

First, try bringing more than one rifle to the range, and alternating between the two. This will give each rifle time to cool off.

When letting your rifle cool off, take it out of the sun. You should also leave the action open, and stand it straight up and down.

You could also put a cool, damp rag on the barrel, but make sure you get any surface rust off the barrel afterwards.


As you can see, barrels can get extremely hot, and shooting it while it’s too hot could be detrimental to you and the barrel.

Remember, if it’s too hot to touch for a second or two, don’t shoot it! Keeping this simple rule in mind will prevent you from shooting a barrel that is too hot.

If your barrel is too hot, try leaving it in the shade with the action open and standing it up on the butt. This will help it cool off faster.

How Often Should I Clean My Gun?

Ah, the age-old question. It has been answered many times in many different ways. So, what is the correct answer to this question?

As I’m sure we’re all aware, weapons require maintenance in the form of cleaning. If you own a weapon, you’re going to have to clean it. It’s as simple as that.

Owning a gun and not cleaning it is negligent, and could potentially ruin your weapon. I don’t mean to use scare tactics, but these are the facts. Even if you aren’t shooting much, not cleaning your weapon could harm it.

How Often Should I Clean My Gun

How Often Should I Clean My Gun

So, let’s get into the question at hand.

The Basics: Why do I need to clean my weapon?

Simply put, because it gets dirty!

When you clean a weapon, you are cleaning some type of dirty residue. While there are many kinds, this is most often carbon. Carbon buildup occurs in your weapon each and every time you fire it. When the propellant burns, it leaves carbon behind.

Other types of residue could be trace bits of metal, which could be left behind by the bullets you are firing. However, this is somewhat uncommon, and 99.99% of the time, you are cleaning residual carbon out of the weapon.

Another reason to clean your weapon is to remove any rust from it. If you use your weapon outdoors, it is exposed to moisture. Some places are more moist, such as when you are duck hunting in a swamp, or deer hunting in the rain. However, even without precipitation, your weapon is still being exposed to water in the air.

When the metal of the weapon is exposed to any moisture, it could begin to oxidize. As a result, rust will form. Rust on a weapon is not a good thing, especially if it is inside the barrel.

By the way, you should have the best gun safe for the money for your weapons, it will protect your “wife” 🙂

What happens if I don’t clean my weapons?

Eventually, if the carbon buildup inside the weapon gets to be too much, the weapon can stop cycling properly.

If the buildup gets to be too severe in the barrel, the weapon could be similarly negatively affected. The bullet trajectory could be ruined, or worse. If there is too much rust built up, the same thing will happen.

Okay, I get it. Dirty weapons are bad. How often do I need to clean my weapons?

Now this is where it gets a little tricky. No one argues that you do have to clean your weapons, but plenty of people argue about how often it needs to be done.

To put it simply, you really can’t clean the weapon too often, as long as you are using the correct cleaning tools and not putting too much oil on it.

However, we will make a few recommendations for how often to clean your weapon.

Personally, I like to clean my weapons after each trip to the range. I find it to be soothing, but I also realize that not everyone feels this way.

Most weapons will be good for around three to four range trips, dependent on how many rounds you shoot. My recommendation would be to clean the weapon every 250 rounds, if you don’t want to clean it each time you shoot.

If you don’t go to the range much, cleaning your weapon is still important. At the very least, you should break your weapon down and clean it twice per year, if you are never shooting at all.

should you buy or build an ar15

However, there are a few exceptions to these guidelines.

If your weapon is primarily for self defense or home defense, it is extremely important to clean it each and every time. This will ensure it will function each and every time.

For the competition shooter, cleaning a weapon each time you use it is extremely important as well.

Lastly, if you use your weapon in a swampy area or in any precipitation, you should clean it as soon as possible, to get any surface rust off of the weapon before it becomes a problem.


Cleaning weapons is a pretty easy and relaxing thing, but many people don’t know how often you should do it.

I would recommend cleaning your weapons each time you shoot, but not everyone likes to do this. If you prefer to wait, every 250 rounds is probably a decent guideline for you.

When cleaning your weapon, be sure to keep safety in mind. Always clear the weapon and use proper materials and cleaning techniques!


What Scope Does The Military Use?

For decades, civilian firearms fans have bought up military-style weapons, accessories, and optics. It is a near guarantee that weapons based on the current military weapons will be extremely popular. The case in point is obviously the AR-15, which has achieved firearms celebrity status as a result of being closely related to the military M4.

What Scope Does The Military Use

However, what optics are the military using? Are they commercially available?

This is a pretty broad question. The military uses quite a few different optics, and different units often use different optics. Special operations units can use separate optics than conventional forces. However, in this article, we will talk about a few of the optics used in the military, and whether or not you can buy them.

1. M68 Close Combat Optic (CCO)

First up is the M68 CCO, which is extremely commonly used in the Army. The Army has a contract with the manufacturer, and they have literally hundreds of thousands of M68s. However, the sight is used throughout most branches of the military.

On the civilian side, it is available as the Aimpoint CompM4. It is a durable and reliable sight that is extremely easy to use. They are accurate and enjoyable to shoot with.

However, not everyone in the military uses M68s. Many people prefer to shoot with other sights,

2. EOTech 553

One example is the EOTech Model 553. These EOTech sights are a very specific kind of red dot sight. They are actually a holographic sight. What this means is that the reticle is actually a hologram that is illuminated by a laser. This allows for the reticle to be smaller, which increases your accuracy.

In the civilian market, these are priced very similarly to the Aimpoint CompM4. It is another great sight, but the battery life isn’t as good. However, it is also worth mentioning that EOTech was involved in a lawsuit brought forth by the military that the sights were defective, so it may be worth checking out some of the others on our list.

3. Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight (ACOG)

ACOG sights were originally mainly used by special operations units, but they are becoming more common in conventional units throughout the Army and Marine Corps. They are extremely popular, and are my personal choice for weapons optics.

Fortunately for you, Trijicon ACOG sights are widely available on the civilian market! The military uses mostly a few 4×32 versions, the TA31RCO-A4CP, TA31RCO-M150CP, and TA31RC-M4CP. Another one that is used is the ACOG/RMR combo, which is an excellent sight.

However, there are quite a few different magnification options available, so be sure to check out all of them!

My favorite thing about Trijicon ACOG sights, other than the durability, is the fact that they use fiber optics for the red dot, so you never need a battery. I find them to be extremely accurate and easy to shoot, but they are very expensive.

4. Leupold Mark 4

Now, we are transitioning away from M4 sights and onto sniper sights. These are just 2 of the common ones, but it is generally dependent on the shooter. When you get into the most advanced shooters in the military, they often choose their own optics, and there isn’t necessarily much overlap from one sniper to the next.

But, the first common optics for snipers is the Leupold Mark 4, which is available on the civilian market as well.

It is available with a pretty wide variety of magnification ranges. Leupold has come to be synonymous with quality. The Mark 4 is absolutely no different. They are crystal clear and extremely accurate. However, a hefty pricetag also comes with the Leupold name.

5. Schmidt & Bender PMII

Another one that is commonly used by military snipers is the Schmidt & Bender PMII. Just like the Leupold, there’s a huge variety of magnification ranges available. They are extremely high quality, and are even more expensively priced than the Leupold.

These optics should be saved for the most advanced shooters out there. It is of the highest quality, but you will pay for it.


As you can see, there are quite a few different optics that the military uses. As a reminder, this list was just a beginning. There are a few different optics used on machine guns and grenade launchers, which would make this list even longer.

Another thing to consider is that the answer may be changing from day to day. Especially for special operations units, they often change optics frequently and are using the best and newest stuff available.

What To Do When Your AR Is Not Chambering The Next Round

So, your AR isn’t cycling properly. After you fire a round, the next round doesn’t enter the chamber. What could be causing this problem?

In this article, we will talk about some of the most common reasons that this may be happening, and give some recommendations in conjunction.

All of these are very simple fixes, but could save you an embarrassing trip to the gun store.

What to do When Your AR Isn’t Chambering the Next Round

What to do When Your AR Isn’t Chambering the Next Round

Before getting into some of these potential fixes, we are going to assume that you know how to use the weapon properly and have done the basic immediate fixes, such as tapping the forward assist.

Change the Ammunition

Are you using a different ammunition than you usually do for your ar15? This could be the cause of the issue. For various reasons, some weapons don’t like some ammunitions.

Whether it be the casing or the pressure generated by the propellant, your weapon may simply not like the ammunition you’re using. If you find that your weapon doesn’t cycle well using one ammunition, try using a different one.

This is one of the easiest fixes on the list.

Clean Your Weapon

How Often Should I Clean My Gun

How Often Should I Clean My Gun

Another very simple fix is cleaning your weapon.

Carbon buildup can cause your weapon to not cycle well, and it is a very easy problem to fix. If you haven’t cleaned your weapon in a few range trips, try cleaning it out and see how it cycles after that.

Note: Best ar15 scope is good for you if you are own an ar15. Check my article to find the best.

Try Different Magazines

Sometimes ammunition feeding issues can be caused by the magazine you are using.

Perhaps the lips of the magazine or the springs in the magazine are worn out.

Try it out with a different magazine, and see if that works better for you.

Check the Gas Tube

This isn’t necessarily a simple fix, but the issue could be caused by a leak in the gas blowback system.

Start where the gas tube meets the barrel, and work your way back, looking for leaks as you go.

Dependent on the exact issue, it may be a simple fix, or it may require a whole new gas system.

Buffer Spring Issues

An old buffer spring may cause the weapon to not chamber the next round properly. Similarly, a greased up buffer spring could also cause the same issue. Check out the buffer spring, and replace or clean it if need be.

Other Problems

If none of these issues are the one causing the malfunction, it may take a professional to diagnose it. There’s a chance that your bolt, bolt carrier group, or chamber are seriously damaged.

Basic reticle scope

Basic reticle scope


These are some of the basic issues that can cause your weapon to not chamber the next round properly of ar15 rifle.

While there are some simple fixes on this list, not everyone will be familiar with them. Unfortunately, it is not always this simple, and sometimes a professional will have to handle it for you.

List 5 Home Defense Tactics You Need To Know

Owning weapons is great. Owning weapons and knowing how to use them is even better.

Many people own weapons because they are afraid of their home being broken into. However, have you actually thought about what you’re going to do if that happens?

In this article, we will go over some basic home defense tactics. We will make some basic recommendations, but the best thing you can do is have some type of plan.

For this article, we will go over some general courses of action.

Home Defense Tactics

Home Defense Tactics

#1 Avoid

The first course of action is to completely avoid the intruder.

To many gun owners, this may seem strange, but your best bet is to avoid the intruder. Getting into a wild wild west shootout in your living room is not your best choice.

If the intruder does not know you are in the house, barricade yourself somewhere with a weapon, contact the police, and wait it out.

However, if you have children that are in separate bedrooms or the intruder knows that you are home, this may not be your best bet.

#2 Escape

If you and your family are able to easily run from the threat, that is another viable option. If everyone can safely and quietly get out, arm yourself, leave the home, and call the police.

However, with so many homes having bedrooms upstairs, this is likely not possible for you.

#3 Fight

So, if neither of these options work for you, you are going to have to engage the intruder. Before getting into some factors to consider, we are going to assume that your weapon is easily accessible, and preferably is stored with a round in the chamber.

Once you have armed yourself, they key things to consider are cover and speed.

#4 Cover

Cover refers to something that can protect you if you are getting shot at. True cover will stop a bullet. A wall is not cover, because a bullet can travel through a wall. As you can imagine, there are very few things within a home that truly are cover. A brick fireplace or extremely thick/heavy furniture may work.

So, with a lack of cover, there are a few things to think about for protecting yourself. If you can kneel down or engage the target from somewhere other than a normal standing profile, it will help you.

Kneeling makes your body smaller, so there is less to aim at. Shooting from a different perspective (such as from upstairs) will also help, because the intruder will have to make very fast adjustments to where they have to return fire... if they are able to.

While a wall is not cover, it will hide your body and give you a significant advantage. If you can peek out from around a wall, you will be able to get a shot off from an unusual position. The intruder will likely not be able to process getting shot at, your body being hidden behind a wall, and returning fire through a wall in rapid succession.

True cover is ideal. If you can shoot from somewhere that you can’t get shot through, you should do that. However, in a house, this is extremely unlikely.

#5 Speed

The last thing to consider about engaging an intruder is the speed at which you shoot.

Speed will save your life in this type of situation. You need to be able to rapidly engage a target that will likely be moving and potentially firing back.

When I say speed, I mean being able to rapidly acquire, engage, and re-engage the target.

Having a good sight will help, as it will help you acquire the target faster than iron sights. Familiarity with the weapon will allow you quickly turn the safety off and engage the target. Having a bright light mounted to your weapon will also help, as it may temporarily blind the target and give you a little extra time to acquire and engage.

This will come from practice. When you are at the range, practice acquiring and engaging targets faster. Doing nothing but accuracy shooting off of a shooting stand will not help you. Put yourself in some uncomfortable situations, from different positions, and acquire targets as fast as you can.

You can even do dry runs in your house. If you do this, make absolutely certain your weapon is cleared.

Other Considerations

Lastly, keep in mind where you will be shooting. Like we said before, bullets will travel through walls. Make sure you are aware of exactly where everyone in the house is before shooting at anything.

If you are shooting a shotgun with the best scope, most shot will be slowed down significantly, but slugs will definitely travel through walls. 

What Is Slice The Pie Tactic? Is It Work Well?

“Slicing the pie” is one of the most basic tactics. It is extremely useful for clearing a room, hallway, or rounding a corner.

Essentially, this tactic is best used when approaching a chokepoint, and trying to move through to the other side.

Slicing the pie tactic

Slicing the pie tactic

A chokepoint is an area of concern in a potentially dangerous situation, and the best example is a doorway into a room.

There is only one way to enter a room: through the door.

If a shooter is inside the room, and wants to stop someone from entering the room, what’s the easiest way to do so? Simple, aim at the door and shoot anyone that walks in.

Without “slicing the pie” the most likely way to enter the room would be to waltz straight through the door.

If there was a potential shooter inside that room, you would be an extremely easy target.

Going through a chokepoint in a potentially hostile environment is extremely dangerous.

Slicing the pie allows you to be much safer as you enter the room, and if you are in a truly dangerous situation, it will allow you to engage the target before he or she can engage you.

So, ready to learn more about slicing the pie?

The Basics Slicing The Pie Tactic

This tactic is named for a much easier reason than you are probably thinking. Think about when you are slicing a pie.

The pieces of pie fan out from the center of the pie, meaning that they start very narrow, and get wider as it approaches the crust of the pie.

To apply this to clearing a room or a hallway, think of the end of the doorframe or the end of the wall before it opens up into a hallway as the center of the pie.

From there, think about the slices of pie extending out from the center.

Basically, what you are going to do is smoothly and methodically clear where you are trying to go in sections.

Slicing the Pie in a Doorway

Slowly approach the door, while walking alongside the wall. Your weapon should be shouldered and ready to go, in case there is a threat.

Once you get to the point along the wall where you can barely see into the room, you have identified your first “slice.” You will clear that one sliver of room, and then slowly inch forward.

Each time you inch forward, you will see more and more of the room. Another way to say it is that each inch forward reveals another slice of pie.

As you inch forward, clear all of these “slices” of the room, all the way from the door to as far as you can see into the room (hopefully to the back wall). Once You have made your way into the doorway, you have cleared all the “slices” of the room.

You should have gun to denfend from home, and of course you should have best gun safe for the money to make it safe.

Slicing the Pie in a Hallway and Elsewhere

You will take a very similar approach. However, rather than a doorframe, you will be inching around the corner of a wall and clearing down a hallway.

This tactic is very widely applicable. In any situation where there is some type of chokepoint with some cover, you could use this technique to slowly and safely clear the area beyond.

It is extremely useful for going around and between buildings in an urban setting.

It could be used for clearing through a window. It could be used for clearing any number of obstacles.

The basis of the tactic is extremely simple, and once you have mastered the basics, you will find that you will be able to apply this technique in many different areas.


Keep a foot or two between yourself and the wall. This will allow you to inch around the wall slower, without exposing too much of your body.

Take it slow. Your natural instinct will be to move through the motions very fast. However, going too fast is when you are most likely to miss things. Take your time, be safe, and be sure that the area you are visually clearing is actually clear.

Watch the barrel of your weapon. If you are attempting to try and take anyone in the room by surprise, be sure to keep your barrel out of the doorframe. As you are inching around and clearing the room, if your barrel is sticking into the doorway, it will be a dead giveaway that you are there.

Don’t be afraid to safely practice this technique. If you are worried that you may one day need to use this tactic, it certainly won’t hurt to take a few practice runs. Make sure your weapon is clear and no one is in the room, but maybe try clearing into your bedroom once or twice, to give you an idea what the technique should feel like.


“Slicing the pie” is an extremely basic tactic. However, in a situation in which you might need it, it is an absolutely vital skill to have.

If you ever find yourself having to enter a potentially dangerous room, you will be glad that you are familiar with this technique.

Knowing this could very well be the difference between life and death in an extremely dangerous situation. Remember, don’t move too fast!

Check out this YouTube video for a demonstration on how to use this technique!

How To Sharpen A Broadhead

When it comes to bagging a deer, having a sharp broadhead is just as important as mastering the art of long range archery. Without a good blood trail, locating your kill or wounded deer can prove to be quite difficult. A sharp broadhead will puncture the flesh and skin more directly and completely then a dull one, causing more blood and faster bleed out. It’s very similar to any type of sharp knife – the sharper the blade, the harder the bleeding. Here are the best practices for how to sharpen a broadhead.

Identify which type of broadhead you are using and assemble the tools

A fact that many new archers don’t realize is that most broadheads require at least a small bit of sharpening to reach optimum performance. If you’ve bought the kind that are manufactured specifically to be incredibly sharp and not need sharpening, you’re off the hook for now.

I’d venture to say that a vast majority of broadheads will need at least a quick tune up before being ready to hit the field.

I recommend using broadhead arrows when hunting because they penetrate much better than other arrow types, and are also more accurate. Now that we’ve identified the broadhead type, let’s make sure that all necessary tools are on-hand:

  • Broadhead sharpener. These can be picked up at a hunting store or online. It’s worth it to buy a decent one for the garage if you plan to bowhunt regularly. Small, cheaper ones are also available for use on the go if that’s more your style.
  • Sharpening stone. If you don’t have a specified broadhead sharpener, a sharpening stone can get the job done. You’ll have to exercise more control and precision here. Obviously, you don’t want to cut yourself.

Sharpening with a broadhead sharpener

I keep a dedicated sharpener at home, as I don’t really like to do it on the fly or use equipment that isn’t meant for the task. The first step, before any sharpening takes place, is to install the broadhead onto the arrow to make sure it fits properly. Once you’ve got the head onto the arrow, we’re ready to use the sharpener. This tool allows users to hold the arrow by the end near the broadhead. You’ll want to get a secure grip on it using both hands.

  • Place the arrow in the center of the two plates at the top of the sharpener. The broadhead should be on top of the plates.
  • Sharpen the head by running it along the plates, much like you would a kitchen knife on one of those automatic sharpeners. It’s important not to counteract your sharpening by going back the other way.
  • Run it along from the back of the broadhead in towards the tip. This always seems to give more control over the action, in addition to optimizing the sharpening process.
  • Check the head for sharpness by lightly rubbing your finger along it at a perpendicular angle. Again, keep in mind that this is similar to a sharp kitchen knife- if you scrape too hard or the wrong way, you’re going to cut your finger open. I’m not going to sit here and tell you precisely when the head is ready. When it’s sharp enough, you’ll know.
  • If you are using top of the line arrowheads, I highly encourage you to use a dedicated sharpener. This will improve the life of the arrowheads, maintain accuracy, and ensure the best job of sharpening is done.

Sharpening using a whetstone or other file

If you aren’t keen on spening some cash on a nice sharpener, a whetstone will do the trick. Just file the headstone as you would anything else on the whetstone. 3 pronged broadheads are tough to do on a surface like this, but other than that you shouldn’t have any problems.

I don’t recommend doing this with top-notch broadheads, for risk of damaging them and having to spend a bunch of money replacing them. But if you’re out in the field or on a camping trip, having a portable way to sharpen the heads is typically better than nothing.

A bastard file is my favorite of these. Approach it like you’re using a dedicated sharpener, with the broadhead attached to the arrow, and file like you would anything else on there. Again, pretty tough with three pronged heads, but you get the gist. You can take the bastard file anywhere: keep in your pocket or in your satchel.


Broadheads can be sharpened in a number of ways. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been taking the extra time to keep the heads sharp and clean. Accuracy is your best friend when out in the field, and leaving a solid trail of blood to track down the animal is going to make the entire process easier. I hope you’ve enjoyed this article on how to sharpen a broadhead. Please share on social media so that your friends and family can learn the benefits, and feel free to leave a comment. I’d love to get a discussion going.

How To Start A Fire With Sticks

One of the most common questions in the world of camping and sportsmanship is how to start a fire with sticks. This is truly a professional maneuver, as just about any type of miscalculation or stray from the advices process make this task nearly impossible to do. There are three basic formulas, which we’ll get into here. They all take time – it took me most of an entire summer of trying before I even got one fire out of any of these methods. But with time, comes reward. Keep that in mind.

1.Hand Drill Method

For this approach, make sure you have a large quantity of tinder, as the friction depends on it to keep the ember alive and eventually turn it into a flame. Get some grass, pieces of shrubbery, cattails, small bits of wood, anything that burns easily. Pile them all together into a nice mass of burnable material. You’ll need what’s called a spindle, basically a thin, round, but sturdy piece of wood, and a base board as well. Here we go:

  • Cut a divot into the side of the base board, running its height. You can start with a V-shaped notch and then make it slightly deeper with a knife. Put a piece of tinder, like a wood shaving or leaf, underneath the notch to catch ember.
  • Firmly put the spindle piece into the notch. Roll it between your hands without letting it move out of the notch. You’ll want to apply as much downward pressure as you can while moving the spindle between your palms.
  • The goal is to get the tip of the spindle to ember itself, turning a glowing red. When this happens, try to spread the ember onto the piece of tinder you’ve placed underneath the base board.
  • Move the ember to your tinder pile, and employ a good deal of blowing in an attempt to produce a flame. Here is a great video tutorial:

2.Bow Drill Method

With this method, you’re going to start with the same expansive pile of tinder. Employ the same techniques we discussed in the last section. The bow drill method is a little more advanced and requires better ‘on-the-fly’ wood working skills, but also has a slightly higher success rate.

  • Start the same way as with the hand drill method, by cutting the notch into your base board of wood.
  • You’ll need a crossbar, or ‘bow’ shaped piece of wood and will connect it to your spindle, using rope, other pieces of thin wood to tie, or whatever else you can pull together.
  • Attach a small, solid piece of wood on top of the spindle to act as a handle for downward pressure.
  • Place your knee or another heavy object on the baseboard to weigh it down so that it won’t shift or topple during the fire-starting process.
  • Apply pressure to the handle, forcing the spindle down into the notch in the base board.
  • Simultaneously, pull the bow back and forth to create friction. The goal here is to create the same amount of friction as you would in the hand drill method of how to start a fire with sticks, only without wearing out your hands. Hence the bow.
  • Keep going until you’ve got an ember on the bottom of the spindle, then transfer that ember to your small piece of tinder underneath, and then to the large pile of tinder. Once you’ve got the pile of tinder at an ember, blow on it strategically to birth a flame.

This video walks you through the steps.

3.Fire Plow Method

This is the most basic way to start a fire with sticks, but also the most complicated. The fire plow method is essentially just rubbing to sticks together until you get an ember. Let’s outline the best approach for using this method (with the obvious hope that it won’t end up being a last ditch effort!)

  • Widdle one stick down to a dull point. This should be the smaller of the two pieces of wood.
  • The other piece should be much larger and more sturdy. This will serve as the base, the matchbox, if you will. Cut a groove in the top of this log, vertically down from near the top to near the bottom.
  • The goal is to ‘plow’ the smaller piece of wood repeatedly in the groove of the larger piece, creating an ember which will then be transferred to your tinder pile. You’ll want to make sure that the widdled piece is as hot as you think you can get it. The transfer to the tinder pile is direct from the wood, there is no intermediary when using this method. Here is a great video on this method.

How to start a fire with sticks: Best Practices

“How to start a fire with sticks” is now something you (hopefully) won’t have to stress about too much anymore. All three of these techniques definitely require patience, an immense amount of practice, and repetition to master. I recommend working on them in your yard or on a car camping trip several times. They you’ll have the techniques down before you find yourself stranded in the wilderness.

Gather a bunch of loose wood and burn-ables, and keep them on-hand for practice. That way, you’ll also get some experience in what works best for the tinder and what should be kept out. I also recommend practicing your blowing techniques quite a bit, even if its just on your wood-burning fireplace in the living room.

If you become a master at any of these techniques, you should consider teaching lessons to everyone you know – you may end up saving their life!


Starting a fire with sticks is one life skill that definitely is good to master before you have to put it to the test. If you have any tips on how these methods have worked for you, please share in the comments so that others can learn them and employ them in their fire starting. I’ve been doing this for twenty years and just recently feel like I’ve gotten pretty good at it. Sadly, most people don’t know how to start a fire with sticks, so please share this on social media so that we can grow awareness. Good luck!

What Is A Safe Way To Unload A Muzzleloader?

One of the more common questions that new hunters have is ‘what is the safe way to unload a muzzleloader?’

When it comes to muzzleloaders, conventional firearm wisdom is somewhat bullet and propellant charge are loaded in through the muzzle, or open front end, of the gun.

I’ve owned one since my 21st birthday, when my grandpa gifted me the one that belonged to his dad. He also gave me a good lecture on unloading a muzzleloader, which I’m going to pass along to you today.

Historical value

These firearms are immensely popular amongst fans of old westerns, war flicks, and historical battles. The one I got from my grandpa is one of these, in fact it was built in the 1800s.

Muzzleloaders are often used in reenactments and theatrical settings, depicting the guns of old. Despite their historical value, muzzleloaders can be incredibly difficult to unload.

If you have never used one before, watch some old flicks of them in action and take notes on the loading and unloading processes that the shooters follow.

Learning the muzzleloader.

Muzzleloaders are more challenging to use than traditional rifles and guns. It is important to only use black powder with these weapons, anything else can be unsafe. These guns are loud, so always wear protection. Muzzleloaders need to be cleaned after every time they are shot. If attempting to clean a loaded weapon, there’s a great chance that you’ll severely injure yourself or cause structural damage.

  • They also are designed for practicality, not comfort. You don’t want to let the black powder set overnight. Load, and unload, all in the same session, each and every time.
  • If the black powder stiffens, it will have a dramatic effect on accuracy.
  • They can kick like mule (at least by rifle standards) and unless you’re using a modern version, don’t have much as far as ‘amenities.’ Be prepared for a very traditional and basic shooting experience, and be ready to spend some time unloading the weapon.

Remove the breech plug.

These days, most muzzleloader enthusiasts are firing modern in-line muzzleloaders. Unloading this type of firearm is significantly more safe and less time consuming than older muzzleloaders. It doesn’t take any special equipment or training, other than what you can learn quickly from an experienced shooter.

  • All you have to do is remove the breach plug.
  • Once you’ve done that, just push the projectile and the powder out the rear of the barrel.
  • After you’ve done this, load the ramrod (or loading rod) into the barrel. This step is critically important because otherwise, the touchhole may become blocked by random objects during storage. Or, even during a resting period between shooting sessions – this can happen very quickly.
  • These tips are specifically for unloading the muzzleloader without firing the bullet out. See below for tips on unloading through firing, and also check out this video:
  • .

With a CO2 Discharger.

Perhaps the best way to unload a traditional (read: older) muzzleloader is with this method. Take your ready to use discharger and use one of the following methods:

  • Press the discharger against the touchhole, if you are using a flintlock muzzleloader.
  • If the gun is a percussion lock muzzleloader, place the discharger over the nipple and safely discharge the barrel.
  • Be very careful with CO2, and always apply it to the right area depending on your weapon. If you aren’t sure which type of muzzleloader you have, do some internet research to find out before cleaning and unloading. Here is a great video on this.:

Discharging the muzzleloader into a backstop.

This is the most entertaining way to unload a muzzleloader. Shoot the gun into a safe backstop that won’t deflect the bullet back at you or at someone (or something) else. If at a range, this is easily done by simply firing the weapon in the appropriate area. Shoot the muzzleloader into a thick, cushioned setup that is prepared to handle bullets.

If you happen to be out in the wilderness, be very careful and mind these steps:

  • Don’t fire into the ground. This is literally the stupidest thing you could ever do. The projectile may bounce right back up at you, or a member of your party, or strike a dog that is unaware of what’s going on.
  • Likewise, don’t fire into the air either. If you’ve ever heard the old saying “what goes up, must come down,” then you know what I’m talking about. It’s doubtful that you have the inward geometrical skillset to calculate exactly where that bullet is going to land.
  • Because muzzleloaders are so popular with target shoots, use the target as a backstop in those situations.

Break Down

There you have it, the three best practices for how to unload a muzzleloader. As with any gun situation, be careful and follow instructions. I always recommend either reading the manual on your gun, or doing some online browsing to find out as much information as you can about your specific weapon. This is especially true for older guns – they aren’t always as consistent as newer streamlined versions, and each individual one may have its own quirks and funky movements.

When it’s time to store the muzzleloader, make sure the ramrod is in the barrel. Always lean the gun up against a solid and clean rest. You’ll want to make sure that no debris or dirt gets into the barrel, because this can prevent the gun from firing the next time around.


This about does it. I always keep my muzzleloader on its perch in my garage, lifted off the ground so no dirt from the floor gets in there. I’m interested in how easily you were able to unload a muzzleloader the first time- feel free to leave a comment below. And if you have any additional storage tips, I’d love to hear those as well. If this article was helpful to you, please share on Facebook and Twitter, as anything we can do to improve hunter safety is better for everyone. Thanks, and happy unloading!

Do You Reloading Ammo? Let’s Find How To Reload Ammo

When someone asks if you know how to operate a gun, a quick and resounding “Yes!” is certain to burst from your lips.

But do you quickly fall into a crisis of self-confidence afterwards?

If so, it may be because you aren’t confident in your ability to quickly and correctly reload ammo. I first learned from my uncle, and not until my fourth or fifth trip to the range.

Before that, I fumbled around like an amateur because I was afraid to ask how to reload ammo.

Well, today my friend, we’re going to talk about the proper steps to get er’ done.

How to reload ammo: The supplies

There aren’t many supplies, but each one of them is extremely important. Here they are:

  • Reloading press. This can be picked up from a gunsmith or sportsman store.
  • Lubricated casings (we’ll discuss this in the next section)
  • Be sure that you have the right sized bullets to fit the casings you’ve amassed from trips to the range.
  • Gun powder relevant to the shell size. Here is a great video on the basics of how to reload ammo.

How to reload ammo: The basics and getting set up

Reloading ammo is a great way to save some money on your shooting excursions and keep those empty casings from going to waste.

If any of the casings have been stepped on, ran over, or are otherwise disfigured, you’re probably wasting time trying to reload them because the measurements will be off for the gunpowder and bullet placement. Better to just throw those to the wolves. Speaking of casings:

  • Clean the casings prior to reloading. Remove residue and powder with a light cloth. Then, spray some lubricant on the inside or rub some on the cloth and apply, so that the casing stays slick and ready.
  • Insert the cases into your loading press with the handle positioned up.
  • Lower the handle down, resizing the case and forcing the used primers out of position.
  • Do this over and over, for each case you’re planning to reload. Hint: When selecting a reloading press, get one that holds multiple cases at once. This will save you an immense amount of time and effort, as opposed to doing one at a time. Odds are, if you’re only doing one at a time, your newfound hobby of reloading ammo is going to become a chore really

The process of reloading ammo

Now you’re all set and ready to start reloading. Before you begin, double check that everything is in its place and looks ready. Are all of the casings clean and shiny? Loaded correctly? Let’s do this!

  • Start by lifting the handle on the press up to its highest position, and place a fresh primer into the cup of the primer arm.
  • With the same amount of finesse you employ on a deer hunt, push the primer arm into the ramming slot.
  • Bring the case down onto the primer.
  • Remove the casing, and then take a look at the primer. If it’s not flush (or close to it), then you’ve done something wrong. Re-evaluate your setup process for the rest of the casings if that happens.

You have to have the best reloading scale to reloading ammo.

Reload powder into each casing.

This is the most important part, obviously. Make sure that you are using the right powder, otherwise this entire process is going to backfire on you and all of your time will be wasted. The correct weight and variety of powder is essential. Focus intently, and begin:

  • Using a volumetric powder measure, portion the correct amount of powder for each case. You can also use a calibrated dipper if you have to, but I prefer not to do it that way
  • With a funnel, carefully add the powder into the case. If there is any extra powder, immediately remove it from the area.
  • Seat the bullet to the correct depth within the neck of the case. The seating die will crimp the shell and ensure everything is in its proper place. This should be done by putting once casing in the shell holder and lowering the handle on the press. You’ll want to hold the bullet with your thumb and index finger for optimal grip – kind of like the first couple hammers onto a nail until it bites its way into the wood.
  • After the ammo has been reloaded, add a light coat of gun oil to your dies. Clean everything off well. I’ve always preferred to add some gun oil onto the reloading press as well, just to keep it moving nice and smoothly. It’s kind of like a van door, you’ve got to keep it lubed or else it starts to creak. After a while, this can have a negative effect on the reloading process.

That’s about it. After you’ve reloaded your casings, put them into ammo cases and they’re good to go for your next trip to the range!

If you’re using shotgun shells, check the empties for reusable hulls prior to reloading – this can save you some extra time and money. Also, you’ll be using different supplies such as a shell plate, which is used to hold the shell while you add primer and gun powder. As always, be very careful when operating gun materials, as they can be very dangerous.


That about sums it up. I tend to reload ammo a couple of days before heading to the range, that way if there are any problems or I don’t have enough I’ve got plenty of time to hit the shop. If anything doesn’t seem right during the reloading process, discard that casing. Always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to guns. . Have any tricks of the trade you’d like to add?

Leave a comment here and we’ll shoot back and forth. If you found this guide helpful, please share on your social channels – knowledge is power!