For the 10th episode of Everyday Marksman Radio, we’re starting something new. From time to time, I want to bring on members of our own community that you see posting in the comments or in the forum. One of the most rewarding things I’ve gotten to do while running this site is have conversations with a variety of people. And while interviews and discussions with the experts is always fun and interesting, it’s the conversations with readers like you that really excite me.

It doesn’t matter if it’s via email, the forum, the comments section, or even a phone call. It’s the community aspect of all of this that really motivates me.

So let’s get into things.

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Finding The Everyday Marksman

The interview starts off with Mark describing how he came across The Everyday Marksman and why he stuck around.

In fairness, it was several years ago and the exact article has since been lost to the sands of time, but the important part is that he stuck around because of the message. The point of all of this is not about shooting fast and expensive gear, but about building a solid base of skill.

Shooting Community Observations

During the discussion, Mark relayed some observations about the kinds of people involved in the shooting sports and tactical training.

A lot of folks who are oriented into the shooting community have a healthy respect for for the weapons and things that they're dealing with. And with that comes a bit of self empowerment. For some guys, and usually it is guys, not always, once again, just my experience here.

Mark Cutright

The hazard is that there’s a lot of ego that gets wrapped up into things. Guys want to shoot faster, louder, and have better gear. For a lot of people that can’t keep their impulses in check, there is a real risk of spiraling down a financial rabbit hole.

Training Experience

Mark found himself involved with Asymmetric Solutions down in Farmington, Missouri. As part of a training subscription, he had the opportunity to take a lot of tactical and medical training from some serious professionals over time.

During that, he learned a lot about weapon handling, situational awareness, and saving lives.

One of the highlights here was talking about the importance of medical training. He relayed a story from a former special operations combat medic discussing blood loss and just how much the human body can lose before it becomes a problem.

I’m sure I’ve heard that number before, but it was the visualization in his story that stuck with me.

We also discuss how force on force training will often be a humbling experience for even those who have a lot of training under their belts.

One of the big takeaways from that course was, imagine a two liter of soda dumped in your kitchen floor.

That's, that's a lot of fluid.

And that's how much fluid you can lose before you need to actually start to be concerned, you're fine with losing two liters of blood.

Mark Cutright

During those force on force scenarios, Mark learned a lot about situational awareness. The story he tells reminds me of a great book i worked through in 2017, Left of Bang by Patrick Van Horn and Jason Riley.

Current Goals

Our conversation pivoted towards Mark’s current goals. Aside from shooting goals and working on the plate rack, he is working on survival skills. Some of the highlights he discusses are primitive skills and wild edibles in his region.

Knives

I knew I wanted to venture into this territory because Mark was one of my sources for my article on field knife selection. Mark runs a small business crafting quality knives.

We discuss what he looks for in a good outdoors knife, as well as some things to keep in mind when shopping around. We also derail a bit talking about people who unnecessarily abuse their equipment.

Wrapping Up

After listening to the episode, be sure to leave a comment down below and thank Mark for participating in the very first Community Highlight. I look forward to doing more of these from time to time, and I think Mark was a great first interview.

Take care!

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Matt

Matt

Matt is the primary author and owner of The Everyday Marksman. He's former military officer turned professional tech sector trainer. He's a lifelong learner, passionate outdoorsman, and steadfast supporter of firearms culture.

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Cutright
Member
Cutright

Matt,

Thanks again for having me on. It was a blast. It’s a great opportunity to participate in what you have going on here and share a perspective with folks who are sharing theirs, and to learn from them as well.

Cheers,

Cutright

Bradford Ayers
Guest
Bradford Ayers

Mark, you mentioned you long range precision outfit cost something like $1400. Can you list what that included in a comment?

Cutright
Member
Cutright

The rifle itself is a Savage FCP-SR, 20″ barrel. The scope is a Millet TRS, x4-16 with Mildot reticle. The rings are Burris Xtreme tactical rings. The bipod is a Harris 6″-9″ legged bipod. I put a Blackhawk adjustable cheek riser on it. Aside from the suppressor, which is not specific to this rifle, that’s it for the gun.

The rest was in reloading dies, which are Lee brand (because I already had the reloading press), and 200 rounds of Remington .308.

I should add that all components were purchased sue to their high value cost to performance ratio. The Savage is a very, very accurate rifle right out of the box and due to the way their bolt locks up to the breach its remarkable how accurate it is. Of course the accu-trigger itself caused the entire industry to adapt to its excellence. The cheek riser is a way to affordably get the rifle stock to more ergonomically fit me and while the stock is plain, it is more than adequate being aluminum reinforced. The bipod was chosen because it works, its construction is solid and its reliable but the feet do tend to roll forward when loaded under pressure when shooting from a smooth surface. The scope was bough on sale and is a compromise of capability and performance as it only reads mildot accurately at 10x but I shoot with it at 16x (true of most scopes that are second focal plane). The scope rings are some of the heaviest duty for the cost and a re pretty much bombproof.

And there you have it. $1400 summarized into the whys and hows. It will shoot about .3 MOA, which is the best shooting I’ve ever done in my life and cant seem to reproduce often.

P.S.
If you can, get one a Savage Model 10 that accepts Accuracy International mags. Magpul makes affordable versions. Savages current branded mags are not easily insert and are a bit clumsy although affordable.

Bradford Ayers
Guest
Bradford Ayers

Thanks a lot Mark. That really helps. I’m planning on attending the sniper course at https://ghostringtactical.com probably within the next two years and would like to get an adequate rifle setup but I don’t feel like breaking the bank like a lot of the competition precision guys do. And I like the idea of really having to develop solid skills as opposed to the equipment making up for my shortcomings.

Cutright
Member
Cutright

No problem. One thing I’d like to add is that if I had it to do over again, I’d go with a different scope. The Millet is a quality build. Really, they’re very durable. However, I think I’d rather have went with MOA adjustments over MIL adjustments as I understand them better. They do make MOA reticles now and I’ll tell you this, unless you’re quick with math in your mind, be sure to match your reticle with your adjustment scales. MOA to MOA and MILDOT to MILDOT. Otherwise you’ll have to convert those the MILDOT reticle values to match your turret adjustment and its very common on more affordable scopes to have a MILDOT reticle and MOA adjustments. By the way, MIDOT is 3.6″ at 100 meters and MOA is 1.047 so you can see how that might be a bugger to figure out on the fly.

The other thing I would have rather saved for was a first focal plane reticle. If you’re not familiar, the reticle scales in size as you zoom. Most hunting scopes are second focal plane and stay the same size no matter what power magnification you’re on. The FFP “cures” the issue of having the MILDOT settings only accurate at 10x…they would be accurate at any magnification with FFP. The downside is typically that a scope that is FFP and has matching adjustments and reticle is a few hundred dollars more (although that is rapidly changing as more and more companies are getting into the optic game). The only other downside to FFP reticles are that they are super duper fine on lower powers and can be easily lost by the eye in busy backgrounds or under stress. Last comment on that, I personally don’t care for FFP on LPVO’s due to 1x is usually “CQB mode” and the reticle is tiny…I want something my eye can’t ignore for short distances.

Anyhoo, I’m going to check out that link. Best of luck with your gun project and I hope I helped!

Bradford Ayers
Guest
Bradford Ayers

Great stuff Mark. Really helpful for a newbie like me. Romeo Santiago, the head instructor for the sniper course at Ghost Ring Tactical, has written a few blog posts regarding selecting your sniper rifle and has similar advice. He says just make sure the reticle matches the turret adjustment, so MILDOT with MILDOT or MOA with MOA. I’m gathering up all this to help me make a sound decision when I’m ready to pull the trigger, haha. Here are Romeo’s blog posts
https://ghostringtactical.com/2019/09/17/selecting-a-scope-for-your-sniper-rifle/
https://ghostringtactical.com/2019/09/17/selecting-a-scope-for-your-sniper-rifle-2/
https://ghostringtactical.com/2019/10/26/chassis-system-or-traditional-stock/

Akm295
Member

Great episode guys! So much good info and thoughtful commentary on training.

@cutright you clearly meant the range toy comment near the end as tongue in cheek snark, but it also raises an interesting point about range time. Sometimes it’s important to go out just for the sake of fun and turn money into noise. Taking a break from training and drills to shoot that handgun you’ve always wanted, that milsurp classic, or the old 22 you grew up on for nostalgias sake. Enjoying shooting just for the sake of it sometimes can get lost by accident.

Cutright
Member
Cutright

You’re absolutely right I do believe. Fun time is necessary. There was a period for a few years where I wasnt doing that at all because my sense of down time/fun time was the training, and it still is to an extent.

I almost always bring a suppressed Browning Buckmark to the range and share with whomever is there with me for some good ol’ .22 plinking time. I always try to shoot whatever is available to try for curiosity’s sake and the fact that it introduces me to a new, slightly different manual of arms.

On thing I’d add, and I AM NOT a professional trainer, just a guy who likes training and shooting, is that I spend a lot of time showing friends what I’ve learned if they want an introduction. Specifically, I’ve spent probably 50 hours this year with 5 different people on several occasions sharing how to draw a pistol and place a shot center mass at 7 yards without aiming, basically instinctive point shooting at close distance. I really, really get a kick out of seeing people learn and grow just un a few short hours. So as I share that, I see all kinds of mistakes I made and many I didnt and learn more about what’s going on physically and mentally depending on the individual. I can then use that to better my own performance.

Also, once they’re competent, we can start hitting the plate range for fun and get a little competitive. But safety first as drawing and reholstering is dangerous for those who are newer.

Anyhoo, you have a good point and thanks for taking the time to share it.

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