T Nation

The Tactical Life


Are you in J or H? If you don’t want to disclose that info, I completely understand.


@Watchdog Sooner not say on here. It’s a small world. I try to keep my comments fairly onside, but I still like to kid myself that there’s a degree of anonymity lol.


I don’t blame you. It’s nice to have a place to say what you want without worrying about who’s watching.



I’m hoping to get a recurve in the new year. I used to shoot a compound (Elite Energy 32 70#) but lost interest with all the technical aspects and complexities of it. I just want to fling some arrows and do minor upkeep and maintenance. I wouldn’t mind getting some birds with it, either. A take-down set up would be ideal because I travel a lot.

What should I be looking for?


Lots of time to ask questions today.

Looking for some opinions for pistol training.

Option #1- Outdoor range open as long as the sun is shining, weather permitting. 25 yards max distance, outdoor, can move and shoot, set up cover, etc.

Range is over 70 miles away (over 1 hour travel time in good weather, one way) and range conditions in winter can be poor (snow, mud, ice)

Option #2 - Indoor range less than 10 minutes away. Static shooting position. Range is open whenever I could go. Could do movement training in my garage/yard with Gas blowback pistol (I know, but is it better than nothing?)

Option #1 would be ideal, but I wouldn’t have time most days to get to the range and back before the sun went down AND have a training session that wasn’t rushed.

Would the BB pistol be enough just for the movement, or am I putting myself at a disadvantage by not using a real firearm?



How often do you honestly think you could manage Option #1? An hour each way for practice that is weather dependent sounds like a pretty significant barrier to regular range sessions. I wouldn’t want to do it. The decent practice you do is better than the excellent practice you don’t get around to.

Option #2 plus movement with your gas blowback sounds like it would likely result in more regular reps. A good gas blowback that’s as similar as possible to your primary can be an excellent low cost, high volume training tool.

Maybe take the money you save in fuel not driving so far and plunk it down for a couple of training seminars a year?


I used to be a member of the Option #1 range for two years. I let the membership lapse over the summer as I would have been out of the area for a significant amount of time anyway. While I was a member, I had more opportunities to go to the range than I would now and it was still difficult to get out to the range often.

I already have a full metal gas gun. I just wasn’t sure how useful it would be to supplement the real thing. I think for what it is and what I have available, it would be a decent training tool.


I think airsoft can be a great supplement to the real thing, especially with a blowback where the slide moves forcing you to reacquire the sights each round. The only real differences at 15m and in is that you won’t have to manage recoil the same way due to the lower energy and the trigger press and reset may or may not be similar.

That said, grip, platform, sight alignment etc are all very similar. I found pretty good carry over from both airsoft and laser training to live fire fundamentals. Airsoft has the added bonus that if you can find a partner you can do force on force drills fairly easily with minimal gear (eye pro really).

There was a Japanese sport shooter who, due to Japan’s ridiculous gun laws trained almost exclusively on airsoft and, I believe, went on to place at the IPSC worlds. Not bad…

Downside is the bb’s get everywhere, will dimple drywall and hurt just slightly less than Lego when you step on them with bare feet. Speaking from experience…


What laser system are you using?

Not worried about airsoft BBs in my garage. It’s a workshop with 1/2" plywood walls and I can just sweep it up.

Thanks for the insight.


iTarget. It’s decent and inexpensive, not amazing. Works with your own pistol, which is convenient.


Damn, brother, a picture would be worth a thousand words, and, endless memes. lol.


No, I have to plead ignorance on this one. I recognize the name but don’t have any experience with their system.


I have been shooting recurves for years and they are just like handguns, very personal to the shooter. Since a recurve is all physical force, the most important thing is to not over bow yourself. With modern materials, a recurve pulling 55 lbs. at your draw length will kill anything in North America, as long as the arrow is placed in the right spot. I have bows ranging from 85 to 63 lbs, but that is just a personal preference.

First identify what you want it for: small game, deer, larger game, general plinking, etc. Going to small game, deer and small hogs, a 45 to 55 will work well. Get your draw length accurately measured, if you have been shooting a compound will draw length will probably be shorter and remember if you have a bow range at 45 pounds at 28 inch draw length and I come along and pull that bow back 30 inches, the draw weight will usually change 5 lbs per inch. So, that bow will be around 50 lbs. for me.

Custom made recurves are expensive, believe me, I know. I would recommend checking out the used bows at RMS, they are good people and serious traditional hunters. Some other reputable companies:

3Rivers Archery
Lancaster Archery (traditional section)

For one of best book series on shooting a traditional bow: Instinctive Shooting series by Fred Asbell.

Let me know how I can help, I have made a lot of mistakes along the way.


My compound DL is 27.5". I won’t be shooting anything bigger than a deer. I’m thinking 45 should fit the bill, but if my DL is shorter with a recurve maybe 50 would be better.

How much should I willing to spend to get into a quality bow? I do not like cheap gear.

What am I giving up by going with a take-down?

Thanks man.


Stumbled across this thread today and promptly bookmarked it. Thank you @idaho for creating this.

A little bit about myself, I’m active duty US military (with service in two branches, Navy (8 years) and Army (present)), mid thirties and have been an obligate fitness enthusiast due to my line of work, even though my present job sees me driving a desk.

In my off hours I enjoy lifting weights (mostly focused around the bench, squat, press, deadlift and power clean), kettlebell training, reading philosophy, sci fi, and history and training in boxing, Muay Thai and Jiu Jitsu. I have found the various comments on this thread regarding BJJ (particularly when gyms get too sport/competition minded) to be very useful.

Honestly one of the best guidelines I’ve seen for physical fitness for soldiers came from Stephane Robert’s Building the Super Soldier, The guidance on endurance focused on carrying heavy rucksacks, strength and power work, and also intensive conditioning has guided my attitudes on training for almost seven years now.


You are giving up nothing with a take down. Speed, stability, and convenience rule. 45 /50 is fine for deer. If you are new to traditional archery, try to fine a really good used bow or you can look in a bow line call Samick(?) . They make recurve starter bows for around $250. They are good for the price and I use one for bow fishing and it has held up fine.


Welcome, brother, please don’t be a stranger. Looking forward to your insights.


Motivation Monday: AUT INVENIUM VIAM AUT FACIUM-I will either find a way or I will make one.



Thought for the day: I was lying in a hospital bed with a broken nose and a cracked right cheek bone. I had my right shoulder in a sling from an hyper extended elbow. Yes, that’s right, I had the shit beat out of me and was lucky to be alive. Talk about being humiliated.

A supervisor walked in who I respected. He took a long look and said: “Idaho, let me give you some advice” What? I croaked. “you never, ever, know who you are fucking with” . He then wished me well and walked out.

I was pissed off, what kind of shit statement was that? But, the more I thought about it, I realized he was telling me I took the situation lightly, used poor judgement and believed too much in my own abilities. A hard lesson to learn.

Another view:

During the street fighting seminar, Jim West covered a few key points during the lecture.

There are no rules

The outcome of the fight is determined within the first 13 seconds. That means you have 13 seconds to turn your defense into an offense.

Strike hard and strike fast. In other words, the violence of action.

Always keep constant forward pressure on the threat. Stay on the balls of your feet and drive forward until the threat is no longer a threat.

There are no rules


Bottom Line Up Front (BLUF): If you disregard logistics, they will fuck you.

Many military campaigns throughout history have become clusterfucks due to logistics, a classic example often cited being Operation Barbarossa (German Invasion of the USSR, 1941) where the Wehrmacht outran its own supply lines.

Disregarding logistics can also fuck you when it comes to physical fitness. I could have the best Olympic weightlifting coaches in the world design me a program but if I don’t have the logistics right, it’s useless.

I’ve always been the sort to use predominantly barbell based programming. A snapshot of the last five years reveals this:

  • 2013-2014 Mostly Mountain and Military Athlete

  • 2014-2015 the Greyskull Linear Progression

  • 2015-2017 Wendler 5/3/1

  • 2017-Present, Greyskull Linear Progression

The last case in particular was due largely to logistics. I was in a job that entailed spending fourteen or so days of each month driving around the Mojave desert evaluating the training of units. The schedule we follow there entails 1-3 days in the desert and a day back to refit and resupply in the rear then back out to the desert once more the next day for another 1-3 days.

I needed a program that seemed less vulnerable to fewer days in the weight room and thus went with the Greyskull LP for the barbell program. I also didn’t want to deal with going to any of the gyms on post on my refit days and elected to make use of kettlebells (I have a pair each of 16KG, 24KG, and 32KG bells) and a chin up bar in my living room. So during those fourteen day rotations I usually do kettlebell training on my refit days.

The third horse in this troika of not becoming a skinny-fat weakling are calisthenics. The Greyskull LP preaches easy calisthenics at recoverable volumes on a daily basis (detailed here in this article Assistance Work Are You Getting it All Wrong?) and I at the bare minimum did easily recoverable sets of pushups and such both in the field and in the rear. This led to me being able to sort out respectable strength and conditioning even with the crazy ass conditions.

The moral of the story: no matter how ‘busy’ one’s job, if you mind the logistics you can design a program to work around damned near any work/life circumstance.

And if you have an inner voice that says ‘Ain’t Nobody Got Time for That’ it is best to say, “Fuck you, Bitch!” and go from there.