On 27 March 2021 we had another great learning experience at Marksman’s Nest Shooting Range. Attended by about 30 people, we had a guest speaker and also a survivor of a farm attack. She gave us a short reality check. We were able to ask questions and got straight answers.
Competitive shooting activities followed and needless to say we ended on a high with a braai in true Marksman’s Nest style.
If you too want to be part of the fun, learning and activities, call Geoffrey Coetzee 082 7172197 and ask to become a member.
This is also a good time to remind all to join us on 1 May 2021 for the private citizen tactical course called the Advanced Firearm Proficiency Course. This course is not for beginners. By attending, you can earn loyalty points for this activity towards your Modern Day Marksman certification (3x points per activity done at Marksman’s Nest). Call/WhatsApp 082 717 2197
With great power comes great responsibility! And that applies particularly to owning a firearm. We at Marksman’s Nest continually stress the fact that firearms are incredibly dangerous if mishandled or misused. In the light of the recent mass shootings in America, we urge every firearm owner to educate him/herself and act responsibly.
Because of spiralling crime in South Africa, access to gun ownership is imperative. Background checks and restrictions on unsafe individuals owning weapons is something most responsible gun owners support.
Know the laws
Just as a driver needs to know the local speed limits and road rules, a gun owner should be well-versed in restrictions and regulations. You’ll need to apply for the necessary licence and permits.
Take training courses and practise
To keep yourself and others safe, it’s important that you undergo thorough training when you become a gun owner. Attend at least a few beginner’s classes and then graduate to more advanced classes.
Apart from knowing how to handle guns, your biggest priority as a gun owner needs to be stopping other people from handling your firearms. It’s usually said that guns should be kept away from children, but it actually should be kept away from any unauthorised person. To prevent accidents and/or theft, store your gun(s) in a secure place under lock and key – child- and theft-proof.
Use a sturdy SAPS-approved safe, a heavy-duty lock, and a mechanism that can’t be picked. And secure the safe to a wall or the floor.
A good scope
Using proper optics suitable to your hunting rifle goes a long way in ensuring there aren’t any stray bullets. This way you’ll be keeping your hunting partners safe.
Safety in your vehicle
Fact is that most gun thefts take place in vehicles. Lock-boxes and vaults are the best options for your SUV or bakkie. Ensure it’s secured to the vehicle, as well as having its own lock.
Cleaning and care
Improperly cleaned or maintained firearms are extremely dangerous. Prevent accidents by learning how to clean and maintain your weapons properly. Bring your rifles to Marksman’s Nest for hands-on tutorials. However, if you’re too far from us, always choose certified instructors.
Ammo is just as dangerous. Stray cartridges are particularly dangerous when live. Ensure that you haven’t dropped any when you go hunting. In addition, always collect spent cartridges. Any plastic casings or shells that you find should come back with you. The lead content in them will poison wildlife. The plastic is also a choking hazard to creatures.
Fitness matters if you want to be a good marksman. Many people in the shooting and preparedness communities neglect fitness. But here at Marksman’s Nest we advocate a good level of fitness.
First up is general physical condition, followed by strength and work capacity and lastly, high-stress situational preparedness.
Basic physical conditioning and health
This shouldn’t be particularly strenuous. The goal is ensuring a spectrum of capability rather than specialisation. And we don’t distinguish between male, female, young, old or disabled.
Start off with: hand release push-ups; bodyweight squats; the plank; a 1,5-km run, a 6-km ruck. Each of these is a good indicator of health for each area measured: upper body strength, lower body strength, core strength, cardiovascular health and endurance.
Hand release push-up
Start in the prone position with your chest flat on the floor. Your feet should be flexed with toes pointing to the ground. Place your hands at the sides of your chest and roughly even with your nipples. For proper width, consider placing your index fingers so they are just below the fronts of your shoulders as you lay on the ground.
Your arms should angle back about 45 degrees from your shoulders. Press and raise your body off the floor while keeping your back straight. After reaching the maximum height, return to the floor and then lift your hands slightly and squeeze your shoulder blades together.
That’s one repetition. Do at least 10 reps in 3 sets within 2 minutes.
While the push-up is a good test of upper body strength, the classic squat is a good measure of lower body strength. Do at least 50 repetitions within 2 minutes. Start in the standing position with feet slightly wider than shoulder-width and toes pointed slightly outward. Lower yourself until your hips are below your knees and your thighs just past parallel to the ground. Don’t go all the way down. Return to the standing position. Your back should remain as straight as possible the entire time.
The plank tests the deep core muscles responsible for stabilising your torso and lower back. Starting position is on the ground but resting. When you start your timer, you must assume the position and hold it for as long as possible while maintaining the correct form. If any other part of your body (i.e. hips or chest) touches the ground, then the exercise is over. Ideal time is to hold the plank for 1:30.
You could do this around the neighbourhood. Aim for 8 minutes.
This requires you to use some equipment. It could be a weighted vest or something else, but you need to carry 15 kg dry weight as you walk. Moving distance under load is a foundational human skill; therefore, it’s essential for a marksman’s fitness standards. Try walking as fast as possible. Aim for 15 minutes per 1,5 km. Total time should be 1 hour 4 minutes and 40 seconds.
Good luck! We remain yours in fitness.
After a successful course earlier this month, registration has opened for the next Tactical Training Courses on 1 June and 16 August this year. The entry requirement is a BASIC qualification in Handgun, Shotgun & Carbine, as well as a BUSINESS qualification in Handgun, Shotgun & Carbine.
The course objectives include: 1 Draw from the holster; 2 Rapid reload + speed reload/mag change; 3 IA- drill – tack, rack and assess; 4 Clearing a malfunction/high risk situation; 5 JAMS; 6 Failure to go into battery; 7 Reverse grip; 8 CQ shooting techniques; 9 Multiple target shooting; 10 Down and scan; 11 Interview stance; 12 One-handed shooting; 13 Back to target draw and fire; 14 Target left/right; 15 Barricade shooting + Roll-out technique; 16 Dynamic movement; 17 Groucho walk; 18 Barricade shooting; 19 Shooting on the move/box drills; 20 Moving backwards; 21 Moving sideways; 22 Extraction drill; 23 Team work; 24 Barricade crossing- Wall, fencing; 25 Aircraft + sunset photography; 26 Practical shooting assessment: Handgun/shotgun/carbine.
Theory & Practical Aspects
The Theory and Practical aspects covered are: Tactical awareness and preparedness – Body Alarm Reaction; Muscle Memory; Conditioned Reflex; OODA Loop.
Tactical Fundamentals and Considerations covered include: Moving with the Firearm; Body Positions; Grip; Cover & Concealment; Point of Aim.
Tactical Firearm and Ammunition Considerations comprise: Choice of Firearm; Advantages and
Disadvantages of Firearm; Types; Appropriate Ammunition and Considerations; Calibers’ of Semi-Automatic; Firearms and Ammunition; Shotgun Ammunition; Understanding Ballistics; Principles of Penetration.
Tactical Approach and Positioning covers: Bullet trajectory and shooting angles; Vehicle approach and shooting angles; Approach Techniques; Two-Man Covering Formation; High-Risk Approach: Tactical Team; Approaching Stairwells; Shooting Over High Walls and Obstacles.
Tactical Entry & Room Entry Techniques consists of: Stealth Room Entry; Dynamic Room Entry; Stealth Movement in Dark; Unknown Terrain; House Penetration; Hand Signals;
Arrest & Search Techniques include: Arrest Techniques.
Tactical Equipment is the final module.
Be sure to register by phoning or WhatsApp: 082 7172197.
On 6 March Geoffrey and his team concluded yet another successful Close Quarter Defensive Course for Private Citizens. He commented, “What a beautiful course. We combined the Mindset and Awareness module and it went extremely well. Thanks to our astute training team.”
The course outcomes included: mindset and awareness; body alarm; stress factors; muscle memory; theory and practical simulations that will allow a course participant to make sound and legally justifiable decisions in stress-induced circumstances.
“In Level 2 we up the ante with a combination of theory discussions and practical application exercises for private and home defence. You’re taught: the rules of self-defence; personal and home risk assessment; how to make a private citizen arrest; how to think like a criminal; situational awareness; pre-visualisation and practical simulations; as well as muscle memory and stress factors when using your handgun.” With this training your confidence in your ability to respond effectively will grow.
In Level 3 things get up close and personal. We cover multiple attacks; unarmed hand-to-hand combat; and anti-hijacking skills. The fundamentals of being streetwise are covered, as are life-saving decisiveness, ruthlessness and the element of surprising your assailant.
Most importantly, we develop your aggression, meaning you’re taught how to act like you mean it and then of course remaining cool, calm and collected in the most stressful situations. The latter comes with our advanced training to develop muscle memory to the highest degree when using your handgun. Finally, we concentrate on Speed with a capital S: because every second counts.”
Book a seat on one of our next courses.
Hijackings at access gates to complexes and estates in South Africa have increased by an alarming 20%. This is according insurer DialDirect. Citing data from the National Hijacking Prevention Academy (NHPA), the insurer said hijackers preferred spots where vehicles were stationary or moving slowly. “As many as 30 000 hijackings have taken place in SA in a single year.”
“The perfect opportunity for a hijacker to pounce is when you stop to key in a PIN at the gate, or try to find your remote or staff access card,” said Marksman’s Nest chief range officer Geoffrey Coetzee. “Now that life has once again returned to some normality, hijackers too are returning to work.
“By far the best way to foil them, is by embarking on a close-quarter defensive training course at Marksman’s Nest.” Here trainees learn how to change and develop their mindset and awareness. “We also cover how to think like a criminal; situational awareness; understanding the concept streetwise; pre-visualisation and practical simulations; muscle memory and stress factors; alertness, decisiveness, aggression, speed, coolness, ruthlessness and surprise.
The most effective line of defence
SAPS crime statistics for 1 October – 31 December 2020 show 4 794 carjackings over the period. At 2,346, Gauteng had the most carjacking cases,, followed by KZN (791) and the Western Cape (708). The most popular targets are sedans and hatchbacks, followed by bakkies and SUVs.
Geoffrey continued, “The first and most effective line of defence is awareness and this is something which should be learnt over and over. Surviving a hijacking is most often a horribly traumatic experience for victims, whether they’re physically harmed or not. That’s why a close-quarter self-defence course is a life-saver.”
Most hijackings take place in people’s driveways, at traffic lights, at post offices, outside schools or when vehicles are stopped on the side of the road. Other prime scenarios are where people are followed from shopping malls or filling stations. More aggressive syndicates will force cars off the road, depending on how desperate they are to get their hands on a vehicle. And research conducted by Arrive Alive indicates that most hijackings occur between 5 and 8pm.
Geoffrey said, “Always adhere to basic safety guidelines, such as keeping your car doors locked and your windows closed. Ensure that no bags, briefcases or valuables are visible. And when approaching traffic lights at night, slow down so that you reach them when they turn green. Otherwise, when stopping behind vehicles in traffic, always leave half a vehicle length in front of you to allow room for an emergency escape.”
More information on the Marksman’s Nest close-quarter defensive training course here.