….On testing yourself


I just came in from playing with the skull gun. On my last string of 5 only 3 rounds got on the`6″X6″ cardboard. It was a good session.
How can that be GOOD? When I test out equipment or ideas, failure is the biggest part of the learning and improvement cycle.
If something doesn’t work right, or fails altogether, I now know that I need to re-evaluate my ideas, the way I use certain equipment, or just junk it and start over with something better. Without this testing, I would be doing this learning the hard and possibly deadly way in the middle of a fire fight or disaster.
If you think that you have it all figured out. Prove it. Test your assumptions. Reality may be entirely different than what you think it is. Just because something works for you in the best of conditions does not mean it will also work in the worst.
What was my test tonight?
The .223 Skull gun is set up with the .22LR conversion kit at 50 yards with a hasty zero on the dot sight and the IR laser. Target: a 3/4″ dia. red dot on a 6″x6″ cardboard in a 12″x12″ bullet trap. Conditions: overcast sky and failing light going to dark.(BTW I was using a Caldwell chair pod that makes fixed shooting and especially zeroing a joy) I know for a fact that none of the sights are co-witnessed and only roughly zeroed. The laser has been off the gun for repairs.
Using the open+ reticle and the 3x magnifier I shot a 5 round string. It is` hitting high and right. Rather than adjust the windage and elevation after each shot I used the spotter scope to determine the hold- high, low, right or left. After using one string to find my elevation hold (it was shooting high) I used another string to determine the windage hold (it was about 2″ right) I switch to the single dot reticle as the + is not quite working out.  I then held the spot I determined and shot a 10 round string….3 on the dot and the remaining 7 in a ragged 3/4″ hole just below the red dot. It sometimes pays to know a couple of ways to do things. This was also a good test of the procedure used for Horus vision scope reticles, of which I do not have, but plan to get for my LR308 for 500-1000 M. shots.
OK the light is failing fast.  I put on the helmet mounted AN/PVS14 switch it on and check the POI of the activated laser against the dot sights POI. The laser is hitting about 18″ below the dot sight. I activate the NV and hold its strobing dot about 2′ low and fire one round. The trap catches it but there is no strike on the cardboard. This is too much error to correct without adjusting the laser, difficult without a spotter. Lesson learned: get a better co-witness of iron, dot and IR sights and try again later. Also try this without the helmet mount with the NV behind the dot sight rather than the difficult helmet/sight alignment.
I put up the NV helmet and switch to a head harness high intensity LED that reaches out about a hundred yards. At 50 yards it is projecting a 2’x 2′ square of light. This is not an idea I like but I could be forced into it. I use the head harness to illuminate the target, fight to acquire the dot and shoot a very slow string of 5. Three of those make the cardboard, the other two in the trap. This was difficult to do, align the head mounted light and also get a good sight picture on the target. Lesson learned use a weapon mounted light.
This is just an example that triggered the idea for this article. There are many ways to test yourself and your ideas on what is useful and what will and wont work. The first time I fired up my fire pit, I learned that the pump water pressure that was fine for the house would not quickly knock down a bonfire. It probably wouldn’t control a house fire either….time to adjust my previously held ideas. Do you really have the skills to manage the many different components of disaster or grid down, or do you just “think” that you do. Have you tested yourself? Now is the time to find out, while you can make corrections, not later.
Regards, D.

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10 thoughts on “….On testing yourself”

  1. D,

    As you know, any task performed with NVG is much more difficult. If you use a monocular (that preserves night vision in the unaided eye), depth perspective is altered and distance can only be perceived by obscuration or apparent size. Pilots use binocular night vision (two NVG not the optically combined single amplifier) which preserves depth perception so essential to maneuvering and landing aircraft. Another limitation of NVG is a reduced field of vision. I found after the first few times in simulated combat with NVG my neck was sore for days later. The reason is that my head was on a swivel in attempt to compensate for the reduced field of view.

    NVG will always limit our natural senses in some ways while enhancing vision in others. Practice, practice, and more practice is the only way to become proficient.


  2. IR laser, NV helmet, 3X magnifier… Stuff most can only dream about. I feel blessed to have one RRA LAR-15 and an Eotec red dot.

    • I understand what your saying TexasScout. I once thought I would never have night vision – and I still don’t. But – it will happen eventually. I will own a PVS14 some day. Hopefully within two years.

      I have yet to try out my Eotech. Hoping this weekend.

  3. TexasScout:
    You missed the point.
    The article wasn’t about what kind of gear you have and how much it cost.(I’d like to have a MBT!) It was about testing yourself on the gear that you DO own. In your case a rifle with Eotech. Have you tested your and its capabilities to their limits?

  4. No, I didn’t miss the point and yes, I have tested my eotec sight to “limits” what ever that is. It shoots straight and you can remove it and reinstall it with very little change in zero. It works in the cold of winter or the heat of summer, rain or sleet. Drop it and it still shoots straight.

    I was just pointing out that 99% of us can’t afford anything he was talking about.


  5. Head harness LED light $9.00

    Sightmark slide to side 3X magnifier about $80.00

    Sitemark NV, Eotech clone about $89.00

    Lasermax IR laser about $145.00

    ANPVS14 Gen2 w/head harness or weapons mount used about $750

    EoTech dot site $4-500.00

    Research and smart shopping: Priceless

  6. Head harness LED light $9.00 Junk

    Sightmark slide to side 3X magnifier about $80.00 Absolute Junk

    Sitemark NV, Eotech clone about $89.00 Total Junk

    Lasermax IR laser about $145.00 junk

    ANPVS14 Gen2 w/head harness or weapons mount used about $750 worn out crap no warranty

    EoTech dot site $4-500.00 already have one

    Watching your Walmart junk break and you go down, pricless.

    I’ll bet that the OP has NONE of these.

  7. For those of you dreaming about NVGs and IR, JRH Enterprises is a known reliable provider (and advertiser with Modern Survival) of quality NVG. I have used all generations from the earliest Viet Nam era ‘starlight scopes’ to current. Please don’t buy anything without Pinnacle autogating nor anything without the capability to mount on your weapon. Current thought is that the monocular is best for most combat situations in that night vision is preserved in the unaided eye. Binocular vision is required for complex manuevering but at the expense of double weight. No doubt about it, NVR and IR offer unexcelled advantage in the survival situation, both in terms of self defense and hunting. I enjoy walking in the woods at night with NVG just to watch the nocturnal animals. Man is certainly the apex predator on this planet but with night vision better than a jungle cat, his lethality is supreme.



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