Understanding Mechanical Offset: Skills, Drills & Solutions


Understanding Mechanical Offset: Skill Drills & Solutions


I have been rehashing some old rifle drills and this one came up.

A VERY important skill-set to review, know and practice for those times when you may have to grab a rifle for home defense or CQ fighting.

Stay Alert, Armed and Dangerous!


Drillin’ with the Kalash

From the Archives, 2012

Been hitting the range lately and wanted to drop a few notes.

This is a guideline. Find what works for you and build your own list.

1. Learning to control the weapon is key. Forget in front of the magazine hold (as seen above) Adapt a full front hand guard grip with a torqueing or twisting motion. Adapt a stance that spreads the recoil evenly.

2. On Reloads, forget retaining empty mags. Underneath charging is the most efficient but work with all of them. The environment, or better yet, how disruptive the environment is, will determine that.

3. Using fresh mags to work the mag release lever can deform mags over time, using your thumb in the same manner will work if you drill on it.

4. If using a Red Dot on your gun, work on “Snapping the Dot”, or learning how/when/where your gun settles (and thusly your optic settles) after the shot is broke. Learn how tension in your core muscle groups effects this as well.

5. “Work out” your red dot to 300 yds. Know hold overs for your load type and gun.

As a sidebar, make sure your irons are on at this range too so in a pinch you can fall back to them.

6. Drill on Clearing Malfunctions while on move.

Failure to Fire, Failure to Extract, Failure to Feed. If it cannot be fixed quickly, find cover and fix it. If situation does not allow, transition to pistol, eliminate threat, then fix it.

7. Transitions

This is made way too big a deal of IMO, but do it however is most efficient for you. I favor two point slings for this very reason. Drop the chunk of wood and sheet metal that is not working and go to something that is.

8. Positional Drills

Making yourself a smaller target can never be drilled on enough.

Learn to shoot from every possible position and be able to reload and clear malfunctions from these positions as well. Always consider in a dynamic fight, MOVEMENT IS KEY.

Never place yourself in a position you cannot spring out of QUICKLY.

Finally, I have been hearing the term “Massive Consistency” a lot lately and I wanted to say something on that.

Never get too tied up with accuracy (as it relates to consistent PATTERNS in combat training) There is no such thing as a “NICE GROUP” in combat!

Consistency should be how we set up on the target and our fundamentals; this will deliver the best results. Your drills should strive to balance these two things: SPEED and ACCURACY, but you must always remember, shooting is a continuum where sometimes one thing is more needed than the other, learning to balance the deviation is our goal.

Never strive to be fast or accurate but a nice mix of the two. In reality, the more accurate you need to be, the more time you will take. In your drills you will see this.

You are MUCH faster at 15 yds than 75yds because you have to be!

Execute the fundamentals Consistently.


Stay Alert, Armed and Dangerous.

How to Reload an AK with an Injured Arm

How to Reload an AK-47 With an Injured Arm


Not a bad skill-set to have in the tool box for a rainy day when one of your wings may be down.

Stay Alert, Armed and Dangerous!

The 4 MOA Rifle Fundamentals Challenge

The 4 MOA Rifle Fundamentals Challenge


A very practical and easy drill to keep your rifle skills sharp.

After position shooting (Standing, Kneeling, Sitting, Prone) you could easily turn this into a simple “Up” drill where on the command “Up” you make your shot. Combine distance, movement, time and positions to make it more fun.

Stay Alert, Armed and Dangerous!

How Realistic are your Rifle Drills?


“The rifle is a weapon. Let there be no mistake about that. It is a tool of power, and thus dependent completely upon the moral stature of its user. It is equally useful in securing meat for the table, destroying group enemies on the battlefield, and resisting tyranny. In fact, it is the only means of resisting tyranny, since a citizenry armed with rifles simply cannot be tyrannized.”

Colonel Jeff Cooper, USMC Ret.


Taking this thought into consideration, the CO needs to be constantly evaluating his rifle drills to ensure they are Real-World Applicable and not “Gun Range Fantasy”.

The over-emphasization of accuracy and non-integration of movement and cover are the primary culprits in “Fantasy Gunfighting.”

I have put together a short list of drills that I use regularly. Take into account all of these drills can be “tweaked” to emphasize any number of challenges, such as reloads, malfunctions, multiple targets, etc.

As a sidenote, always take time to emphasize marksmanship fundamentals (sights, breathing, trigger, trigger, trigger!!) before moving into real world drills.

AK sight1

1. Snap Shots

Quite possibly one of the most neglected skills with a rifle but one of the most needed in the field.

A Rifle Snap Shot can be likened to that quick camera shot you have had to make sometimes on a vacation. You did not plan on taking it, but there it is in front of you, either make it or miss the opportunity for a great picture, the difference being of course with a rifle, either kill the enemy or he kills you!


Cover stops bullets from perforating your body and killing you.

A Moving Target is always harder to hit than a stationary one.

So to tie Snap Shots and Cover together, snap shots CAN BE as much about “COVER FIRE” as anything else, even if you do not have a high percentage shot, I can promise you, if you shoot at somebody it will buy you time to get to cover (if cover is available to move too of course).

Setting up staggered targets at 25, 50 and 75 yards, move to each yardage marker (I use 50 gallon drums for markers and cover) and work on snap shots; emphasizing speed and movement, fire between 1-3 shots at each target while getting to cover.

What should I see?

At these distances, for open sights with an AK or AR, simply super-imposing your front aperture on the mass of the target is sufficient, DO NOT take time to line up the shot with rear and front apertures!

If using a red dot or similar, DO NOT take time to put the dot on the center of mass!! It is sufficient that the target is framed in the “window” of the sight.

Remember: Speed of Movement!



2. Positional Shooting


  • Standing

  • Sitting

  • Kneeling


2. Shooting from Prone

The ground offers the shooter two BIG advantages that are often overlooked:

  • Makes you a SMALLER target and able to take advantage of cover quickly

  • Gives you STABILITY for more accurate shots


3. Cognitive Stress Drills

A skill rarely emphasized much less taught in today’s rifle schools is DISCRETIONARY SHOOTING.  Now I know it is of some debate whether “No Shoots” have any place in CIVILIAN Self-Defense shooting as they do in Law Enforcement Training. The argument being; Why teach a civilian to hesitate at all with their weapon when their life is in danger? Isn’t that eventually just creating more risk for the student? After all, a civilian is not under the same scrutiny as a LEO, right? My answer to this is unequivocally NO!! If anything, CS Drills offer more protection for the civilian student. I mean look at the George Zimmerman trial as an example..look at the spotlight put on that man and his actions (granted there were a lot of factors other than self-defense in play there) but still, when you go into a self-defense trial, you want the entirety of your actions to be UNDENIABLY, BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT, JUSTIFIED! 

Imagine if Zimmerman had “accidentally” wounded or killed somebody during the shooting? His actions then would have been seen as reckless and indifferent..even though he had still acted out of pure self-defense. Teaching a student to ensure that his background is clear and that they have clearly ID’d their target ensures this; and the only way to TRAIN that into somebody is COGNITIVE STRESS. Now, Cognitive Stress is more than just “CHECKING YOUR BACKGROUND” and “NO SHOOTS” during a course, it is also engaging the “rational” side of the brain during the very exacting mechanical process of shooting a gun. Remember: You can NEVER “Take Back” a bullet…there are no “resets” in real life.

One of the ways to integrate CS Drills is  the use of LE Targets  DT-4C “Command Training, Shape and Color” paper targets. These targets have a variety of shapes, colors and numbers, which allow the instructor to  call out a variety of commands to make the shooter “Think” before pulling the trigger. Commands such as “Squares” or “Number 5”, “All Red” or “Odds” can be called out…this gives the drill variety and makes it engaging to the student also.

The Instructor is also doing his or her students a giant favor in adding this degree of SAFETY (and TACTICAL PRECISION) to the course. If in the event a student is involved in a self-defense shooting, when their personal training records are inevitably pulled by the DA, it will show that they went that extra step to ensure that they trained only to kill the bad guy efficiently and not wound or kill innocent by-standers. In this uber-litigious society that we live in, think of it as extra insurance!

in Closing, when you go out to drill guys, don’t use it as an “Ego Petting” session!! Drill on the stuff you SUCK AT, not just the things you can rock thru and ace! Staying REAL is the mark of a True Warrior..Ego Petting is the for the weak, lame ass mall ninja!

Stay Realistic, Stay Deadly and Stay Dangerous!