So we begin 2017, the fourth year of Everyday Marksman.
With 2016 in the rearview mirror, I can honestly say that it was a difficult year on a lot of levels. My range time took a back seat to family obligations with the addition of my son to our family. I was promoted to a new position at work that kept me very busy in a rewarding manner, but also left me with less spare time. I also initiated my plan for leaving the Air Force in just a few months from now. We will be moving back to the East Coast, and I am hopeful that some of my current prospects workout and I have a new career to move to before I start packing boxes here in California.
From a blog standpoint, traffic increased another 370% over 2015, which itself was a 520% increase over 2014. I honestly never expected to see the traffic numbers that I do now. This was always, and continues to be, something I do for fun and to give me an outlet to write.
The most popular posts on this blog are those specifically concerning the AR-15 rifle, particularly barrels and first time buyers guides. Accessories, such as optics, are also popular posts. This shouldn’t be a surprise, since there were month-over-month record gun sales numbers most of the year, and people are searching the internet for advice on what to buy. Despite the popularity, I do not plan on shifting the focus of my blog to the AR-15. I’m not necessarily after clicks (I don’t monetize this site), and I want to keep this blog focused mainly on marksmanship.
That said, where do I want to go in the next year?
With my pending move back to freedom country, I want to increase my participation in formal training and competition. Those opportunities are extremely limited where I live now, due to California’s firearms laws and the limits they present on equipment. That is entirely different where I am going, though. One of the best shooting facilities in the country will only be an hour or so away (Peacemaker National Training Center). I am particularly interested in their DMR matches, but also plan to compete in their 2-Gun competitions as well.
As far as purchases this year, I have a few in the works. I am not planning on any new rifles, but do plan on purchasing a new optic: the TA-110 ACOG. I still really like my Elcan SpecterOS 4x, and I want to keep it on my 16″ RECCE rifle. The 20″ musket, which has been undergoing some modification, just screams for an optic and I think the battery powered 3.5 ACOG meets all of my needs and wants. On a handgun front, I feel that I’ve been deprived for the last several years by living in California and having to deal with its asinine “approved handgun list.” The two primary purchases I’m planning on are a CZ P01 and a CZ P09. I think these two represent a good balance of size, accuracy, and capacity. Additionally, I’ve been planning on sending my Beretta 92A1 off to Wilson Combat for some work.
Depending on the financial outlook, 2017 may also be the year I finally begin reloading. I’ve had my eye on Hornady’s new(ish) Iron Press, and I think it would represent a great way to enter the world of loading my own competition ammo.
From a marksmanship blogging standpoint, I want to dig back into higher speed application of the principles I’ve written about for the last three years. I’ve spent a lot of time talking about traditional slung up rifle positions. This is primarily driven by the fact that limitations on ammunition capacity and reload speed made it impractical for me to really do anything other than slow-fire precision shooting. With the return to freedomland, I want to change that. Precision is important, but so is getting a hit on target with speed. That may mean less “slinging up” and more improvised positions, which will make for interesting writing.
In all, I look forward to the coming year, and I thank you all for sticking with me on this journey.
Happy New Year!