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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.

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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.

Tips

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.

Conclusion

“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.

Conclusion

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!

Conclusion

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.

Conclusion

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.

Conclusion

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!

Hunting Blinds: What To Know And What To Look For

Hunting blinds are a common and effective way that a hunter can shield himself from the animal he is after and minimize chances of being detected.

Often, a deer hunter will use climbing equipment to perch himself in a tree and use that as cover, but there are several grounded blinds available for purchase that are easy to pack in, set up, and move around while in the field. Some require the hunter to lie down while others allow for sitting and kneeling/standing.

I have been using the Harter’s Ground Blind for several years now with great success. Here, we’ll discuss different types of blinds with examples for you to check out before making a purchase.

Hunting Blinds: What to know and what to look for

  • Deer hunting blinds

    • Portable- Portable blinds are the most common, and work best for most hunters as they can be packed in and out, and moved from spot to spot quickly. They range in size from small to large enough to fit two to three hunters  and have shooting holes built in. They set up like a tent with stakes and a mesh lining, typically weighing between ten and twenty pounds. A good blind will provide 360-degree shooting capabilities and vision while maintaining disguise from all angles.
    • Permanent- When thinking of permanent blinds, picture a treehouse that a father might build for his kids. Some are made of wood and built on stilts, giving the hunter an extended range of sight, while others  sit on the ground. Permanent hunting blinds will require power tools to assemble, but are durable and will last many years. Permanent blinds are only doable if you own the hunting property, or have an arrangement worked out with the landowner, as they cannot be packed in and out and require an immense amount of labor to put together. Here is a video on setting up permanent hunting blinds.

While they are more comfortable and can be modified to your specific setup and preferences, it’s quite an investment. Some require the purchase of an elevated hunting tower to serve as the base of the blind pod. If you are looking into buying a permanent hunting blind for your property.

  • Tree stand blinds

These are often not much more than a skirt to go around a hunting chair or platform already built into the tree. The benefit of these hunting blinds is that they provide an elevated viewing and shooting area. You will need additional gear to climb the tree and to set up a seating area. Be sure you have fastened the skirt on securely before setting up shop, especially if it’s windy outside.

Duck hunting blinds are similar to deer hunting blinds but designed for waterside landscapes. Often they are designed to look like the tall reeds and plant life that waterfowl thrive in, and feature wider shooting holes that often run the length of the tent’s long side. Around fifteen pounds in weight, give or take, duck hunting blinds are quick to set up and break down.

However, you can build your own duck blind by building a pit deep into the ground using boxes that are built to resemble a 30-gallon oil drum that has been shaped into the landscape .Be sure to put a wooden cover on it so that it won’t fill up with rain when not in use. Again, this is only effective if you are always hunting the same spot.

Conclusion

Personally, I refuse to hunt without a blind, mostly because in addition to camouflage they also provide shelter. You can bring a cooler of beer, food, and other necessities for the hunt and keep it hidden away, and if it rains or is very windy you’ll have protection from the elements.

I don’t own land, so my hunting is done on public land where I have to truck in my blind each time, so I try to keep the process simple by using a tent-like blind with a hunting chair and always bring a blanket. While I’ve always been partial to Harter’s, Ameristep makes many quality products that are affordable and easy to set up.

Have ideas or product recommendations? Share here in the comments and let’s get a discussion going, and don’t forget to blast this article out on social media if you’ve enjoyed it.