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How I shoot

by B.B. Pelletier

Several of you have asked to see how I shoot; and with Christmas coming soon, I thought it was time to show you. There are several things I use that you may want to see under your tree this year. If you don’t celebrate Christmas, they’re still valid things for every shooter’s wish list.

MTM portable shooting bench
Edith and I campaigned to get Pyramyd AIR to carry the MTM shooting table, because several readers said they would like to own one. It’s inexpensive and light (14 lbs., 9 oz.) and most of all — portable! I have different shooting ranges in many places, including a couple right here in the house. No matter where I go, indoors or out, this bench is what I use. Even at my rifle range, where the benches are made of concrete and are completely immobile, I choose to use this one and I’ll tell you why: Because I can put it anywhere I want!

Is it a bench or a table? Well, in shooting terminology, it’s always called a shooting bench, even though you don’t sit on it. But MTM chose to call theirs a table, so that’s what I will call it from this point on.

The MTM shooting table when it’s collapsed. It’s a small 14 lb., 9 oz. package that fits flat in the bed of a pickup truck, or stands on the floor of the rear passenger compartment of a mid-sized sedan.

The legs unfold in seconds and the table stands ready to shoot. With this table, you can make a range anywhere — indoors or out.

As long as I have this table, I can make use of almost any space as a range when I want to. If I show up at my club and find all the benches taken, I set this one up on one side of the line and, presto — there’s room for one more.

The table is very light, and the legs fold flat underneath the top for transportation. I did have to tighten all the nuts that hold the hardware together, but I probably set up this table about five times a week and have been doing so for going on two years, so a little maintenance is normal.

I don’t just use the table for benchrest shooting. When I want to shoot pistols it serves as a handy table for guns, ammo and any accessories I need.

If you want something to criticize, the table is a little wobbly. It isn’t steady enough to hold a spotting scope; but when I’m in position behind a rifle, I push against it and nothing moves. Also, I have to slant the table to the left to fit behind it, where a good shooting bench has a top designed with a cutout at the back to allow you to sit next to it. This one won’t support your weight sitting on it, so consider that before ordering. But the good points far outweigh the bad, and this is one of the essential pieces of equipment in my shooting kit.

I’ve had several shooters ask me where they could get a table like this, because at the range you have to use what they have. On our 100-yard range, the benches are all oriented wrong, because the 100-yard berm is angled off to the left and the benches were installed for the 200-yard range. Since most of them are cemented in place, the shooters can’t do much about it, but I can. And now anyone can, because Pyramyd AIR now carries this shooting table.

MTM Predator shooting rest
Several of you spotted the MTM Predator shooting rest in my older reports and asked me about it. The truth is that I was ambivalent about this rest until I tried two more expensive ones, including a Caldwell Lead Sled. This one does everything they do except retard the movement of the rifle. If you need a rest to absorb recoil, this isn’t the one to choose; but if all you need is something to hold the rifle in place as you shoot, I can’t think of anything better. All the super-tight groups you’ve seen me shoot were shot from this rest or off a sandbag.

The MTM Predator shooting rest works for both rifles and pistols. It’s lightweight and quick to set up and adjust. Here it’s shown with the tail piece collapsed.

And here the tail piece is extended. It extends in seconds to accommodate rifles and carbines of different lengths. Or remove it altogether and the rest is for pistols.

A Savage 1920 bolt-action rifle lays in the rest. As you see, the butt is free to move and must be held against your shoulder. Slide the gun forward and back to lower or raise the sights on the target.

Some rifle rests hold the rifle entirely, with the butt held in a socket that takes all the recoil. I’ve used these rests and don’t care for them, because they push me to the side and make sighting more difficult. That’s probably why I like this MTM rest so much. With this rest, the butt of the rifle rests against your shoulder and you absorb all the recoil. And you have more control over the rifle.

Also, most high-end rifle rests have some lateral movement adjustment built in, so you can move the gun from side to side. The MTM rest doesn’t have this. If you need to move to the side, you simply slide the rest on the shooting bench. It’s so lightweight that it’s no problem to move — even when there’s a rifle on it.

If you’ve never used a rifle rest before, the main feature you’ll like is the elevation adjustment. Turning the adjustment wheel allows the rest to move either up or down in very small increments that equate to about one-thousandth of an inch. Combine the adjustment wheel with moving the rifle fore and aft, and you have very fine control over the elevation. And it’s repeatable! Shot after shot will be targeted on the same aim point once the rest is properly adjusted.

Turn the thumbwheel for vertical adjustment. The weight of the rifle will cause it to lower as you turn. The black thumbscrew is to lock the elevation adjustment.

New airgunners take note
A word to the new airgunners is required. If you shoot spring-piston airguns, you cannot shoot directly off a rest like this one and expect to be accurate. You need to lay the rifle on the flat of your hand and rest the hand on something to support the weight. The Shooter’s Ridge Monkey Bag Gun Rest would be ideal.

A stapler!
Pyramyd AIR doesn’t sell these, but I carry one all the time and have worn one out over the past 40 years. You need the stapler to fasten your targets to the backers at the range. If you don’t want to walk an extra 200 yards and anger the other shooters, put extra staples in your pocket the moment you get to the range so you can load the stapler when it runs out — because it always happens when you’re downrange (think about it)! Forget the fancy electric staplers, because they don’t work as well on heavy wood and rubber backers as a manual model. Unless you have arthritis, use a manual stapler.

A stout stapler is a must. Forget the electric ones and just use one like this.

Believe it or not, there are times when a small pair of binoculars comes in very handy at the range. A month ago a buddy of mine bagged a large bobcat on our range because he was able to identify it under the trees while shooting with iron sights. In some countries like Germany, it’s considered extremely bad form to use a scope sight in place of binoculars. Think about it — under that scope there’s a firearm!

Well, that’s about it. These are the essentials I always take to every range. Of course, I carry insect repellant and hand warmers, depending on the season, but these four items are with me all the time. Other than my spotting scope, this is how I shoot.

author avatar
B.B. Pelletier
Tom Gaylord is known as The Godfather of Airguns™ and has been an airgunner for over a half-century, but it was the Beeman company in the 1970s that awoke a serious interest in airguns. Until then, all he knew were the inexpensive American airguns. Through the pages of the Beeman catalog, he learned about adult airguns for the first time. In 1994, Tom started The Airgun Letter with his wife, Edith. This monthly newsletter was designed to bring serious reports about airguns to the American public. The newsletter and Airgun Revue, a sister magazine about collectible airguns, was published from 1994 until 2002, when Tom started Airgun Illustrated -- the first American newsstand magazine about airguns. Tom worked for three years as technical director at AirForce Airguns, the makers of the Talon, Condor, and Escape precharged air rifles. Today, he writes about airguns and firearms for various publications and websites. He also makes videos, and you'll find short clips embedded in some of his artices on Pyramyd AIR's website. Tom is a consultant to Pyramyd AIR and writes under the name of B.B. Pelletier.

72 thoughts on “How I shoot”

  1. That’s interesting, table vs. bench. For instance, in electronics, you hear about a repair bench, or putting an X on the bench to test it, and of course electronic test gear that’d bigger than handheld but not much bigger than a breadbox is referred to as “benchtop” size.

    But no one sits on an electronics bench! At least not after trying it once and getting little bits of wire and solder blobs and flux on themselves!

  2. BB,
    I’ve been away from this blog for two weeks. There are many topics that are very important to me that I have missed. I need to catch up. Please stop writing for a few days until I can catch up. Thank you.

  3. I’m still in London. For the last 3+ days I’ve been operating off a British SIM card in my iPad, the card being on the Vodafone Network. Every time I’ve tried to reach PA and the blog a nasty note comes up saying that Content Control is in effect, and that unless I contact Vodafone (no phone number given) and prove I’m over 18, I cannot reach this sinful PA site (nor most other US-based gun-related sites). Now I’m in a meeting with free WiFi, and so I can avoid Big Nanny.

    Don’t know what will happen to my coms tonight.


    • Pete,

      I wonder if governments and corporations will ever learn that you can’t legislate education, upbringing, and common sense…. Enjoy your stay despite them… 🙂


    • PeteZ:
      Now that is something I didn’t know myself as I only use home PCs to access PA.
      I am assuming the SIM you are using is a ‘Pay as you go’ type rather than one on contract.
      Contract obviously meaning the network presumes to know your age where on ‘Pay as you go’ they don’t.
      Still as Chasblock has pointed out the only ‘butts’ you will see on this site are made of wood so what is the problem? 🙂

  4. BB, Nice table and rest. Realizing the need for a bench myself some years ago I made one from some desktop material left from an office remodel job. Seeing the need for portability, I mounted it on an extra collapsing miter saw stand that I had. It proved to be pretty stable and served the purpose, even for two shooters, though it was quite heavy and a bit large. I have since abandoned the desktop and recommissioned the stand for the saw it was designed for. I now have a table from Office Depot that is about 2′ x 4′ (like one you would but brochures on at a show), wobbly, but light. As far as a stand, I’m using my range bag stuffed with shirts/towels. My groups suffer as a result. Maybe one of those MTM stands will fall out of Santa’s sleigh while making a pass over my house this year! I don’t care if it’s under the tree on stuck in the lawn out front!


  5. BB, That Savage 1920 looks great. No open sights, so I assume it’s a later production (1926-ish?) I can’t tell if it’s a 22″ or 24″ bbl, so hard to guess the chambering. 250-3000 or 300sav? The Savage was 30 years ahead of Remington with this design. This is Savage’s Mauser, isn’t it?


    • KA,

      Yes, it’s very much a Mauser, yet also quite unique. No rear sight, but a plate in the dovetail. Caliber is 250-3000 or 250 Savage and this is one of those rare rifles that shoot less than one inch at 100 yards with factory ammo.

      The former owner told me the trigger was bad, but I found it very light (too light for me) and somewhat crisp. Out of 12,000 that were made, this one is 11,985, so I’m thinking 1931 or ’32 — the last year they were made.

      It’s been reblued and unfortunately buffed heavily, so most of the collector value is gone, but it’s such a sweet shooter that I don’t care.


      • BB, How is the scope mounted? Is that rail from the manufacturer? A lot of people like these and hail them as light and accurate. I now recall you mentioning this rifle in the past.


        • KA,

          Yes, this is that gun I raved about. Recoil is so much less than a .243 that you would be surprised to learn that it generates greater muzzle energy. The scope is mounted on a Redfield scope base attached to the receiver.

          The barrel is probably 22 inches.


      • Wow, I don’t know anything about Savage before their 110 rifle was designed in 1958 or whatever it was. So was this a direct copy of the Mauser like the Winchester 70? Sounds like that Savage quality was already there. 🙂


        • Matt,

          No, this is not a direct Mauser copy. Savage had some features of their own. The 1920 model is very rare these days and almost unknown.

          But speaking of Savages, you should also know they made the model 23 series, in which the barrel and receiver were made from the same tube. And then there is the model 40 (rare, like the 1920), the 340, and finally the 840, which are the forerunners of the 110. And Stevens sold the same guns under different model numbers.


  6. I’ll second the MTM shooting tables. Tough to beat for the price. Lightweight and portable are their strengths. The locking arms underneath the table are easy to bump with your knee while shooting seated. This is an easy fix by drilling a hole in each arm and installing a pin that is held temporarily with a removable locking pin. Fifty cents each.

    One of my posted rules when I was outfitting was that anyone caught glassing a field with a scope would be sent home immediately. No discussion.

    Shame that B.B. didn’t share his list of items that are always in his range bag.


    • Kevin,

      My range bag is mostly boring stuff. It’s mostly airgun related, like plumber’s tape and silicone grease and so on. And there are always a bunch of targets. My bag is actually an MTM case that I got about ten years ago and I really like the capacity.

      Why don’t you tell us what’s in your range bag?


      • I’m not Kevin, but I’ll take this as an open invitation…I always like to see what others carry in their range bags.
        Mine is a LowePro camera case that once the inside partitions were gutted makes a great bag.
        Inside are:
        -small Bushnell spotting scope
        -Bushnell rangefinder
        -Wiley X shooting glasses
        -.511 Tactical shooting gloves (the kind where the thumb and forefinger of the shooting hand can stick out of the glove…makes loading pellets a breeze in chilly weather)
        -hearing protection
        -small first aid kit
        -a tin each of my favorite pellets (about 4 tins)

      • B.B.,

        Forgot to add that I have several MTM shooting tables since I’m shooting at a home made range that doesn’t have any shooting benches. I usually shoot with guest so an extra table became mandatory since I don’t like standing around while guests shoot. I have an old cardtable chair that I shortened the legs on for one shooting bench and an adjustable drum throne for the other. I picked up the adjustable drum throne at a pawn shop for about $20.00. It folds up completely and can be adjusted in height for kids, medium adults and larger adults.

        My range bag is at the cabin but I’ll try to recall all the junk in it. I have a separate ammo bag. I also carry targets separately. I shoot about 20 feet from my vehicle that has all this stuff inside so I don’t need to have my spotting scope in my range bag, targets, pasters etc.

        1-extra shooting glasses and ear protection. many of my guests don’t bring their own
        2-cheap b square gunsmithing kit in the pastic box
        3-break down cleaning rod with jag
        4-notebook and pens
        6-spray gun lube (rem oil and ballistol are in the bag now. rem oil is better for lubing cartridges in the speed loaders)
        7-rag impregnated with ballistol in a ziplock
        8-mini mag flashlight
        10-extra batteries for my red dots. this is a recent addition. don’t ask why
        11-old but clean t shirt
        12-short length of wooden dowel, zip tie, small leather mallet (this is for the ruger mkIII takedown)

        probably some other things I’m forgetting. this may seem like a lot but it’s not a very big bag.


        • Kevin,

          You know, I listen to you when you speak. About three weeks ago I told Edith that I had had it with the cheap safety glasses I’m forced to use. They are made for kids and pinch my rather large melon so they hurt after a short time.

          So we decided to follow Kevin’s lead and get a pair of really good glasses that are beyond Mil Spec. I settled on the Revision Military model that comes with three colored inserts. I don’t know if that is what you wear, but it is better than anything I have ever worn. The yellow brightens up any day and sharpens the sights for me.

          So I listen, too.



          • B.B.,

            My old shooting glasses are now extra’s for guests. I splurged this spring and bought a set of RE (Randolph Engineering) ranger classics. My big head needed larger cables and the classic’s come with your choice of 3 lenses that are included in the price. I chose pale yellow, orange and brown which covers all my different light conditions well. Easy and quick to change lenses too. I really like them. Bought them from Texas Shooters Optical in Houston Texas.

            Sometimes I follow my own advice.


          • When I used to ride mountain bikes most weekends, I would always wear a pair of sunglasses with yellow lenses. They totally eliminated glare, and sharpened darkness and light considerably. I think I read somewhere that it had something to do with countering the blue wavelength of light.

      • Since we’re opening up the bag here…

        Targets- Shoot-n-see and various home printed
        Stapler and staples
        Spare safety glasses for a guest (I wear my prescription ones from work)
        Foam earplugs and muffs for guest
        Cleaning kit
        Assorted tools
        Thumb Ring clip loaders
        Various ammo as needed
        Black, white, and yellow paint markers
        Spare pens and pencils
        Loading notes
        Small 10×25 binoculars
        Plastic bags for trash and used brass
        Brussels sprouts, pumpkin and millet (oh wait…., wrong bag!) 🙂

        Try this again…


  7. OT…woohoo, there will be gun under the tree after all 😉
    I’d mentioned a week or so ago that this would be the first year in the last 5 that there wasn’t an airgun under the Christmas tree.
    Well, after a discussion with the boys mom, she feels the boys have shown that they are safe enough to let them shoot PB’s. She comes from a background that is, if not gun ‘unfriendly’, at least gun cautious. The deal had been that we would stick to air until the youngest was 10 (he turned 8 in August).
    She has been to the range with us a few times and has seen how they behave, and how closely I watch them…and as well how great the other members of the range are towards younger shooters.
    So Christmas will see one of my favorite rimfires under the tree…a CZ455FS (the full stocked mannlicher).
    Ohhhh…I can hardly wait myself, and I know the boys will go crazy.

    • CSD,

      A gun-cautious atmosphere is really a good thing — especially when those who have it do not own any guns. And you have demonstrated that kids properly trained can be safe with guns. I think that’s great. What’s more, Mom is open-minded about the issue.

      Your boys will grow up being safe with guns under all circumstances and as a parent you can’t do better than that.


    • Slick, make sure to send a picture. I think one of the best ways to convince the gun-cautious is not to try too hard and show that you are a steady, reliable character. This is the best medicine for irrational prejudices.


  8. BB:
    Well as you can imagine when shooting from rest at home my kit is a little ad hoc.
    Sat on the floor behind a kitchen stool,with a bean bag door stop on it which is where I rest my hand and rifle.
    When out in the field(not often enough unfortunatly) I keep remembering too late that I’ve been meaning to get a proper shooting stick.I really would like to give one a try.

      • Thank you Dave.
        Going out into the field air gunning for me has meant a lot of trial and plenty of error.
        It is often the terrain which dictates terms when it comes to choosing the spot where I shoot from.
        A shooting stick would give me more options I reckon as you can bet the best spot wont have a handy branch or tree to lean against.
        Cheers again.

  9. The small binoculars are really handy. I have a little Tasco field glasses that saves me a lot of walking at the range I shoot at.

    My job required me to wear safety glasses, so the prescription safety glasses I wore on the job are what I shoot with. I attach the side shields when on the range, and my grandsons always wear safety glasses there, too.

    I am retired now, but expect to keep on getting prescription safety glasses because they are so durable and convenient.

    The range I shoot at has rules forbidding the shooting of any birds or animals on the property. I would not shoot a bobcat anyway: my rule about not shooting cats extends to them, too.


    • Given my eyesight, I had a set of prescription inserts made for an old set of, what’s the name, Gargoyles? (I think the amber’s have been discontinued, but the inserts are still available).

      Prior to my lay-off I’d been considering having a second set of inserts made. The set I have use my sunglasses prescription (both eyes set for distance — since proper scope ocular adjustment should have the output cone “projected” at infinity or near to it). For handguns, I was going to have a set made with the right eye focused around 24 inches, left on distance (my normal daily wear are the opposite, right eye for distance, left eye about 18-20 inches for reading computer monitor; my reading glasses are both eyes set about 12 inches [I tend to read on the couch with a 10-12″ dinner plate balanced on my wrist and chest, with a book in that hand])

      Gets costly to replace a full set of prescription eyewear gets very costly for me…

  10. Awhile back BB recommended the MTM Predator shooting rest so I bought one for my indoor range. I like it very well. It’s light and durable enough that I can throw it in the closet when I want to get it out of the way for family gatherings. I use it with the back support removed (pistol config) so only the front of the rifle is supported. The rest is supported by me. It can be used on any table surface and has very good non slip rubber pads on its “feet”. It is very stable and doesn’t slide around easily.

    My shooting table is not so light but folds up and is easy to carry considering the weight. It’s a Shooters Ridge Deluxe Field and Range Bench. Cost about $120. It has a built in padded seat that folds in so I don’t need to carry around a chair and it has a shooting yoke to rest the rifle on so I don’t need to carry the Predator. The table top is fabric covered and has raised edges so pellets and shells won’t rill off. I haven’t needed the Predator as much since I got this config.

  11. I just now received my Crosman M417 from PA! Yes! I have seen some favorable reviews/shooting demonstrations from this rifle on YouTube. Why does a new danged BB gun get me so wound up? For the remainder of the day, I will be ill communicato. Leave a message at the tone.

  12. B.B. what about a chair? I’ve found at the range that the elevation of the chair and its fit to the bench make a lot of difference. The local range has concrete benches which you can’t beat for stability. But the area where you sit is uneven dirt and the chairs supplied are crappy office chairs. The result is that it is not really adjusted for anyone. I end up leaning way out of position for rested shots. (With a good position, I’m sure everything would be different!) If fit of pellet to bore or cartridge to chamber is all-important for accuracy, so is fit of shooter to bench, but we know all about the importance of natural body position. I will add that I get a big kick out of my BSA spotting scope for which I merely have to turn my head to see the results of my shooting. And since I began reloading, I’m enjoying my brass catcher.

    Thanks for your thoughts the other day on the army sniper. My opinions exactly, but as I think further, I think the game should have been to find the true statement in his little tale because I don’t believe there was any. Army snipers shot the M21 in Vietnam, not a bolt-action. Why would the army send a sniper to Hawaii to train for three years while a war was going on? The Savage 10FP, while a new configuration, is based on the longest-production bolt-action in existence. The airgunning claims are patently false. As for his 1200 yard shot, I saw on a History Channel show that a record for a sniper shot with a .308 was taken in Iraq and was about 1200 yards. So for a wannabe sniper to hit a groundhog at 1200 yards with a 22-250 is just about impossible. When people at the range take 1 shot every 10 minutes and yack with their friends the rest of the time, is this the kind of stuff they talk about? I’m reminded of a character in Mark Twain’s memoir, Life on the Mississippi. Twain became a steamboat pilot at a very young age, and after stepping out of the pilothouse for a second, he was accosted by a passenger. The man took him into the pilothouse and proceeded to explain all of the equipment with completely nonsensical information. Twain kept a straight face and after leaving, he caught a glimpse of the guy standing around a corner, laughing to himself at his prank. Later while minding the helm, Twain was approached again by this guy looking very aggrieved because Twain hadn’t identified himself as a pilot–as if the guy was the victim??!! Twain’s final comment was, “Idiot.”

    All right, folks, I am your war correspondent on the spot with the pepper spraying at UC Davis where I work. However, my method is not exactly like Ernie Pyle’s. At the big demonstration the other day, I was behind a tree at a safe distance, making sure that I had a means of egress in case things got bad. My observations are that far from an “atrocity,” this whole incident was the outcome of elaborate brinksmanship that was probably bound to derail at some point. I do not see any justification for the police pepper spraying students sitting on the ground and posing no threat. Regardless of one’s opinion of their cause, they have a constitutional right to peaceful assembly. On the other hand, the encampment had been allowed to remain standing for a week although it is against university policy. Undoubtedly if there had been a crime in the encampment as there almost certainly would have been based on other examples, the chancellor would have been liable. So, you can’t very well give her the responsibility without giving her the means to fulfill it, and I don’t know what better way there was to move people out than what was done. Watching the whole spectacle, I got the sense that far from an anomaly, maybe the whole thing was the way it was all supposed to work out as part of an elaborate playing of social roles. The policeman hosing down those protesters was probably exercising a Clint Eastwood fantasy of imposing his will with ultimate power. The protester describing how he kissed his girlfriend before getting pepper sprayed would probably have been disappointed with anything less dramatic. The chancellor speaking later with tears in her eyes about the need for dialogue and community was probably realizing her dreams of being a chancellor. So there is a grand display of rhetoric and emotion and nothing constructive really happens at all. Street activism has never been my style. Anyway, what should I find upon biking to school this morning and peering through the mist but a virtual tent city that sprang up overnight like a field of mushrooms and covers the quad. Now what? It does give me pause in aspiring to a career in administration where the big bucks are.

    Anyway, on to the interesting part. Can anyone identify the interesting guns carried by the police that can be seen after about 1:59 of this video?


    They look sort of like paintball guns.


    • They are paintball guns!

      What exactly are they protesting?

      If they want to be treated “like adults” and have a dialog, they should start by acting like adults imho….


  13. SL,
    I think once you master the front sight you’ll find it pleasingly accurate.

    When I flip my rear sight forth and back I don’t see any difference in aperture size. They both look the same. Is yours like that?

        • I do detect a difference in the sights but it is slight. It would be fairly easy to drill one out slightly larger I suppose. If I run into problems, I will give it a try. My favorite aspect so far is how easy the pumping is, by virtue of the long, wide lever, which you will not pinch your fingers on no matter how hard you try.

          My only problem now is finding someone to build a magazine for this gun that will keep 32oz of carbonated liquid frosty cold for hours.

          • SL,
            I think I remember reading somewhere on the internet about a rifle accessory that will do exactly what you want. I believe they called it a picnic cooler. It’s slightly larger than a six pack of beer with room for ice. There are even larger 48 quart version ones but they’re more difficult to attach to the Picatinny rails and make the rifle front heavy.

  14. Regarding the so called sniper, I remember reading a book about a Vietnam sniper who, when needed, was called out of his unit, handed the M-14 that he qualified with as an Expert Marksman, sent out with a helicopter and several “spooks” to fulfill a mission and then copter’ed back. I forget the name of the book but this poor guy did not have the personality to be a sniper and suffered mentally from his numerous outings. It was a sad book, not at all like the Carlos Hatchcock (sp?) biography.

    Matt61, as a student during the 60’s, I saw my share of demonstrations (not a participant – as an engineering student I couldn’t afford to cut class) but for passive demonstrators, the police pulled them apart and carried them away – no beating, no teargas as the students like the ones at UC Davis, were passive. There was no call for the police to do anything but drag them away. That’s not to say there was no flailing nightsticks but typically this was on the rare side and done when the demonstrators provoked the police. I don’t condone the campus police actions nor the NYC police actions. To me, these guys are exactly the type I DON’T want as a policeman. They were the high school bullies we all avoided. They’re still bullies only now they wear badges. I think I’ll stop here as I don’t want to comment on what I think of Bloomberg and Kelly and their secret police force.

    Fred PRoNJ

    • I’ve seen the pictures in books, and if I understand it correctly the 60’s protestors would link arms, and other than hanging onto each other, try to act as dead weights. The idea was to make the cops have to work to pull ’em apart and carry them away, they did not offer any offensive resistance, just acted like dead weights that took work to take away, I think the idea was to cost the municipality money for the cops’ overtime and to show that they had nothing personal against the cops – in fact I think they’d have been very happy to see cops take their side!

      Remember in the 60s there wasn’t the separation between the police and the people that there is now. As a kid in the 60s/70s, I was raised to consider the police the good guys.

      Now, police tend to live far away from the areas they police, and people under say, 40, may not have the feeling of comradeship with police that older people do.

      • flobert, I wonder too if it isn’t partly due to what a lot of parents have tried to instill into their kids over the last 20 years.
        Though well intentioned, the 70’s though 90’s parenting method of telling your kids they can achieve anything…do anything…be ‘all that they can be’ has in some ways backfired.
        I feel that many parents went overboard on these points, and failed to also instill the thinking that often (hopefully) age denotes some degree of wisdom and that at times the ‘whole’ is in fact more important than the individual.
        I see too many young people who have little respect for authority (which does at times deserve to be questioned) or the wisdom of their elders, who sometimes actually do know more than they are given credit for.
        I know that have two young sons it is a constant balancing act…getting them to believe in themselves, while at the same time remembering that others have feelings, rights and deserve respect.

    • Fred PRoNJ,

      My roommate from college is a prosecutor in Los Angeles (has been for decades now). He says that way too many cops are “bullies gone legit”. I knew a couple macho bullies from high school who did in fact tell me that they became cops to “kick ass”. I personally know some good cops, but I’ve also seen (experienced) the alternative. It’s unfortunate when bad apples are given free reign to live out their personal anti-social agenda (and get paid to do it).

      As for the case of protestors, they should not only be allowed, but encouraged, to express their views. This is especially true in a country that goes to war in foreign countries under the guise of “spreading Democracy” (where no democracy even existed – just monarchies, dictatorships, etc).


      • Victor, it’s odd how this has happened to the police in recent years. I deal with a police force (in a city of 1 million) on a weekly basis.
        As well Western Canada’s largest army base is only about 4 miles from where I work and they too are very good clients of mine.
        I’d say that about 80% (maybe more) of cops are good people who are in it for the right reasons…they genuinely feel this is how they can contribute to the good of society.
        But I definitely deal with the odd officer who you just know you wouldn’t want to run afoul of. In a 5 minute conversation you can just tell their idea of controlling a situation would be to ‘whoop your arse’.
        What I am amazed at however is the army. Stationed at our base is the PPCLI (Princess Patricias Canadian Light Infantry) and the Lord Strathcona’s, a tank battalion. About 1/2 the Canadian casualties in Afghanistan came from these two units.
        So unlike the average cop…who in reality has a pretty good chance of going home at the end of the day with nary a scratch…these guys took fairly heavy loses. Yet, again, dealing with them on a weekly basis I have not met one of them who was not respectful and pleasant.
        And whereas a few of the police I’ve met were obviously in the biz for the perceived power over the people they had…the infantry guys…people who were actually in firefights every couple of days…just seemed to be of the opinion that they had a job to do to keep each other safe and to help the Afgan people.

        • Cowboystar dad,

          Part of the issue has to do with understanding the difference between power versus force. My rifle shooting coach, a Marine drill instructor, demonstrated power. He did not try to intimidate, but instead commanded respect. He expressed true conviction in his beliefs, and yet never imposed himself. His words were strong, but more than anything, what you got from him was a sense of responsibility for you. For sure, you always knew that he had your back. They are altruistic, full of hope and belief, and they derive pleasure from seeing greatness in others. They foster a culture in which the best is extracted from those who are willing to apply themselves. They are good soil.

          On the other hand, there are those who’s psychology is entirely about control, and they’ll do anything to get what they want, even if it’s not what is best for others (possibly even themselves). Put in a position of authority, the tool that they use most is force (threat, intimidation, fear). The thought of having your back is not likely to occur to them. Instead, it’s always just a matter of time before they stab you in the back. Their motivation is fear, which is stifling, limiting, and negative. Their culture is like dead soil, where little grows.

          [*] The difference between POWER versus FORCE is that when power is exercised the outcome is always a win-win situation. On the other hand, when force is applied, the outcome is win-lose at best (and too often lose-lose in the end). Also, POWER requires no justification, whereas FORCE does. Think about how these things apply to individuals, leaders, corporations, and whole governments.


          * POWER VS. FORCE – The Hidden Determinants of Human Behavior
          David R. Hawkins, M.D., Ph.D.

  15. B.B. Very interesting blog today. As a relatively newbie to the sport, just over a year, I find it interesting to see the accessories and essentials that are needed. I think back to my competitive archery days, when I carried enough equipment to build a spare compound bow. No telling what one may need in a competition that is a couple hundred miles from home base. Also, I must thank you for putting up part 2 of the Dr. Beeman interview. I really enjoyed going back and listening to part one and then playing part two. Very interesting to hear his 4 favourite guns.

  16. B.B.,

    I’m glad you mentioned the bag for shooting springer’s. I was under the impression that you did most of your testing with a bag. The rest that you do show would apply for firearms and non-springers, as you mentioned.

    As for spotting scopes, I use the same Freeland spotting scope stand that I used in my competition days. It can be weighted down at the base, and with the extension rods, made to adjust to any height. It, combined with a 45 degree eye-piece, can be situated off the table, and directly on the ground. I also use it for pistol shooting. PA should see about carrying these products (base, extension tubes, weights, etc.), if they can. They’re the absolute best!


  17. For Pellet rifles, my shooting bag is my shirt or coat pocket and contains: pellets:). I have my Swiss army knife, also, if needed, but I’m usually within a few hundred yards from the house and I shoot offhand with open sights, so no need to carry much. If I need a shooting rest, there are plenty of fenceposts, tree limbs, rocks, etc.

    Same for rimfire most of the time and centerfire sometimes, but if I go to the range, I take a cleaning rod, some hex wrenches (if scoped), screwdriver, patches, my secret formula gun lube, stapler, targets, and ammo; it all fits in my supersized hard gun cases with the rifle. Cenerfire is about the same. I use the concrete benches and sandbags or a (loaner MTM Predator) rest at the range. I have an 80mm scope I sometimes use for spotting, mainly at 100 yards or more, because I can see the bullet holes easily at 50 yards with the scopes I have on the rifles I shoot scoped. Actually, with my “fancy” scoped .22, I can see the bullet holes at 100 and more yards, but not with the more practical scope on the .30-06, for example.

    Blackpowder is another scenario. If I’m in the “backyard” or on a woodswalk, I carry a shooting pouch with patches (prelubed, either precut or in strips), a ball puller, patch worm, jag, sharp knife, screwdriver, and a set of vice grips (useful if pulling a ball or can be used as a mainspring vice, etc.), caps or flints, leather for the flint, cleaning patches, a rawhide strip (for a stuck ramrod), powder measure(s), balls, nipple/vent pick, and probably a few other things — I’m trying to streamline it, but I’m a little OCD about things. The ramrod is on the rifle. Main powder is carried in horn, and primer is carried in either a smaller horn or a plunger. For match shooting or practice at the range, a box with all the contents noted, except powder is in a flask and primer is from the plunger, plus short starter(s), stapler (just like BB’s), practice targets, two or three kinds of tape, pliers, pipe cleaners, spare nipples and vent liners (that’s a stretch, but you never know, and everything is duplicated three or four times over. I sometimes use the 80mm scope as a spotter, but I have a nice pair of 10×50 binoculars with which I can see holes at 50 yards fine, one of the advantages of the .50 cal. :). Oh yeah, a file, for adjusting elevation, and some super-glue to cinch down windage adjustments in the dovetails, and a knapping hammer for dressing flints. And possibly some alchohol for cleaning barrel, pan, etc. And not to forget: a heavy range rod, plus one or two lighter ones, just in case. I need a bigger box — keep in mind that cleaning afterward requires more stuff, which usually stays in the house or car!

  18. I carry the usual stuff in my range box that everyone has mentioned , tools like screw drivers and the cleaning stuff. I also carry two other items that were not mentioned but have proved very useful at times. Thet are a 1″ Starrett mic and a 2″round magnifying glass.

  19. Thank you for the interesting and useful post. Same to commenters for descriptions of their range bags. I am newly returned to civilian shooting, and found the insights helpful.

    As a matter of curiosity, what mortal insult did the bobcat offer your buddy? Did he eat the dead cat?

  20. Question on the shooting table: I recently stumbled into a Caldwell BR at a garage sale ($10) that weighs 15 1/2 lbs. I assume that that is too heavy for the MTM shooting table? Your take will be much appreciated. Bill in AZ

  21. Regarding “new air gunners take note” do you mean don’t try and use this rest with a springer, instead use a bag, or set the but in the rear support and lower of the front and put a bag on top of it, or is there room to put the bag behind the front support? What about putting your hand between the gun and the front rest? Thank you, I enjoyed the article. I ordered the table, rest and monkey bag. I am shooting chipmunks and targets in the backyard from an upstairs window. I was doing better with a cheap daisy multi pump but it was too hard to load the pellets. I bought a silent cat and started missing some chipmunks and can’t get my groups inside a quarter at 18 yards. Anyone’s input would be appreciated thanks

  22. Thanks for the prompt reply. I am working on my artillery hold. My questions (I realize there were several, sorry) I guess to simplify, were you recommending usage of the MTM predator and a bag at the same time, one or the other, or the predator for fire arms, not as good for spring guns? Thanks

    • Dale,

      I recommend not using the Predator MTM rest with a spring gun. Use a single sandbag that your off hand is on with the rifle on top of it. The goal is for the rifle to move as much as it wants to when it fires.


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