I was fourteen years old or thereabouts when one of the elders in my family handed me an old Glenfield Model 30 and told me I had proven ready to receive it. I’ve maintained a steadfast loyalty to the levergun in the decades since that day. I grudgingly accepted AR platform rifles when my teaching responsibilities required me to do so.
The author during his Social Levergun presentation at TacCon19. Photo credit: Tamara Keel
Still, I have maintained a firm grip on my levergun roots. I presented a block on leverguns for defensive use at the 2018 and 2019 Tactical Conferences, and I offer a Social Levergun class.
After my presentation at TacCon19, one of the attendees commented on the need to keep social bolt action rifle skills alive. That comment stuck with me.
I will digress here to mention that about that same time, my buddy, Erik Lund, told me about his adventures in hog hunting out west and taking hogs at distances up to 400 yards. I love it out west. I like shooting hogs. Therefore, I’d probably enjoy shooting hogs out west. One problem became readily apparent though in that I don’t currently (at the time of this writing) own a rifle suitable for taking wild sausage humanely at such distances.
All of this, of course, was a clear sign that I need a general purpose turn-bolt rifle.
Source material for the “practical rifle” is not scarce as the great Jeff Cooper wrote prolifically on the topic. Two extant courses that are keeping Col. Cooper’s material alive are Gunsite’s 270 Rifle and Randy Cain’s Practical Rifle. Aside from those two schools, however, rifle training has taken a marked turn in a Stoner-ly direction since Col. Cooper’s days.
Chris Baker of Lucky Gunner Ammo has addressed the topic in several of his excellent videos such as this one:
Chris delved into modern bolt action rifle equipment here:
The software solution is out there should one choose to look for it. The hardware solution is actually more difficult. I rolled out the above mentioned levergun class in early 2013 at the height of a politically induced buying surge that resulted in a dearth self-loading rifle availability. The current situation is the reverse. AR-pattern rifles are readily available in a myriad of configurations. Current bolt and lever rifle production quality is a shadow of what it once was (on a craftmanship scale) whereas AR-pattern manufacturing is in its golden age.
The most simple solution for a western hunting excursion would be to buy a new upper in a caliber such as 6.5 Grendel and use it with one of my current lowers at half the cost of a new rifle.
Finding a from the factory bolt action rifle in the configuration and caliber that I want is proving to be difficult. While some of the available rifles could certainly be modified accordingly, such modifications would greatly add to the cost of the rifle.
I set out to specifically to not go the AR route, but it turns out that it is actually the most “in common use” rifle platform currently available on the American market.
It’s simply the most… practical.
I previously shared the FPS-1 Target here. I have now added the FPS-2 Target to my line up of targets that shooters can get printed locally.
The small circles are two-inches in diameter. The slightly larger circle has a diameter of four inches, and the other part of the target is the 10-9-8 rings of a B-8 repair center.
It is printable on 11″x17″ paper.
I wanted a target that could be printed cheaply and easily at local print shops thus cutting out the delay and expense of ordering targets from the online suppliers. I created the FPS-1 Target in Microsoft Publisher. A talented coworker who would only relent to sign her work after repeated cajoling drew the eyes, nose, and heart on it, and then I scanned it. (Thanks Beth!!). I’m making it readily available to those who like it and want to use it.
The FPS-1 Target should be printed on 11″ x 17″ paper. The face area is 5″W x 4″H with an inner oval that is 4″W x 2.5″H. The chest area is 7″W x 7″H with an inner heart box that is 3″W x 5″H.
Don’t throw those cardboard IDPA or IPSC targets away. You can easily extend their useful life. All you need is some quality spray adhesive and some paper targets as shown below.
On the left is the San Jose Repair Center from Action Target. The cost is $0.21 each plus shipping if you order at least 100 of them. I’ve started using these in my classes. I like the scoring areas for several of my drills and courses of fire, and a new repair center can be put up quickly. This also saves a lot space in my truck.
On the right is a paper “Langdon Cut” IDPA target from National Target. An order of 100 is $37.00. You have to specify the “Langdon Cut” when ordering.
Claude Werner of The Tactical Professor brought these repair centers from the TargetBarn.com to my attention; so, I am updating this article to include them as an option.
That fine gentleman of the range, The Magnificent Steve, came up with a nifty target stand design. He was kind enough to make some for me that will work for both 18″ and 24″ width targets.
The plans for the stands are available here:
Steve Stackable Stands
I will be teaching a pistol clinic at the Red Hill Range in Martin, GA, (Franklin County) on October 24th. The clinic will culminate in the shooting of the FBI and GA POST qualification courses. Students who pass the courses will receive a letter of documentation to that effect. I am a certified FBI Police Firearms Instructor as well as a GA POST certified Firearms Instructor.
The qualification courses are roughly the skill level of what a decent MM level shooter should be able to do. While certainly not a legal requirement, for a person who carries a firearm, having documentation that you have passed both a state and federal level qualification course could prove beneficial.
For more details and to register for the class, click here.