4 Things to Do During Self-Isolation

things to do in isolation - COVID-19/coronavirus

In this time of coronavirus-induced self-isolation, what is a gun owner to do with all their spare time?

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I have an entire list of things to work on that don’t involve getting within 600 yards of the possibly infected, much less six feet.

Writing for gun-related publishers is one of those things, but I realize most of you do not have that opportunity. It is a nice one for me, even if it is not my day job.

Thankfully, my day job is also self-employment and mostly virtual, especially since the trade shows have all been shut down.

Sure, money is a little slower coming in right now, as I am sure many of you can sympathize with. That just means I need to cut down on my expenses a bit and make some of those changes permanent.

Here are some of the things I am doing to relieve boredom during self-isolation and, in some cases, save or make money:

1. Clean out the Gun Safe 

Or, clean and use the less-popular guns in the back of the gun safe.

Although I have no empirical proof of gun cleaner fumes having anti-COVID-19 properties, my use of Hoppes #9, Kroil and AWT Extreme Force lubes has protected my house so far.

It certainly increased the Second Amendment smell throughout the house.

Clean out your gun safe while you have the extra time!

2. Practice Drills

Specifically: double-tap, Tueller and Mozambique drills.

Again, I realize that not everyone has a backyard range, but if you can, practicing your firearm skills can help make self-isolation less daunting.

The Double-Tap Drill

This drill is a method of practicing recoil management and getting over the square range “micro group” practice technique, in favor of combat speed and accuracy.

It is impossible to generate micro-groups when the goal is two shots in under half a second. For many, it is also tough to accomplish twin “A-zone” hits beyond five to seven yards.

The accuracy component is especially difficult when done with a typical, smaller carry pistol.

The Tueller Drill

This is used to practice a quick draw and accurate first shot under duress. The original method is to have the shooter and another person stand back to back.

Upon command, the shooter draws and shoots a target set at a 21-foot distance. The other person runs rearward (away from the shooter and target).

The non-shooter stops at the sound of the shot. If they have reached a mark on the ground indicating 21 feet, the shooter has been “stabbed.”

If the shooter gets the shot off first (and hits the target) they are deemed safe.

A more intense version is where the non-shooter starts at the rearward 21-foot line and attempts to touch the shooter prior to the shot.

If house members are participating, there is no additional risk of a COVID-19 transmission.

Mozambique Drill, AKA Failure to Stop Drill

This is a drill created during the Mozambique War of Independence, when a Rhodesian Mercenary (Mike Rousseau) had an up-close encounter with an opponent wielding an AK-47.

When a double-tap to the chest failed to stop the aggressor, a third shot to the head ended the threat and created the Mozambique Drill.

Rousseau related the story to Jeff Cooper at Gunsite, and it became a training technique. In modern use, it is considered a technique to use against armored targets.

There is also a slightly different take where after the chest double tap, the aim is dropped to the hip girdle.

This is done as the hips are a much more stationary/easier target to hit than a bobbing and weaving head.

The downside is, if successful, it usually creates a “mobility kill,” not necessarily a stop in hostilities.

The other issue is the move to the head, which works with the flow of recoil.

A move to the hip as a target is slightly slower, as more recoil recovery is needed. I practice both versions.

.45 ACP - handgun weight
Self-isolation is great for working on drills, like the double-tap.

3. Get Some Reloading Done

The uptick in practice time during self-isolation also means I need to spend time reloading or my minimum par of ammo will be broached.

My Dillon 650 XL is set up for 5.56 rounds and has turned out a few recently. One of my Square Deal B’s is set up for 9mm.

The other one is set up for .45 ACP, and I have been using my Forster Co-Ax to build smaller lots of .40 Smith and Wesson.

The GF’s duty weapon is a .40 S&W, so it is only right that I build some for her to practice with too, even if her in HD pistols are in 9mm.

My stockpile of defense-specific ammo has also been augmented.

I have added 200 rounds of precision 77-grain Berger OTM’s for 300+ yard engagements, and 300 rounds 65-grain Sierra GameKing for closer work in 5.56 NATO.

I’ve also added 300 rounds of 124-grain Speer Gold dot to the 9mm pile, as well as 100 rounds of Federal 165-grain Bonded Tactical in .40 S&W.

I don’t have much need for the .45 ACP, as my only real firing platform is an AR carbine, and it doesn’t get much HD consideration.

Now, once my .45 ACP suppressor comes in and I form the carbine to remove the barrel extension, production will increase there, most likely using Winchester 230-grain Ranger T-series projectiles.

I already had a 5,000-round brick of CCI Mini-Mags (.22 LR) inbound prior to the insanity as well.

This does not mention the much larger increase in practice ammo for each of these calibers.

Between the building, shooting and cleaning up after the practice sessions, a lot of quality time is being spent with my guns.

The aroma of gunpowder, cleaner and lube is wonderful to this slightly high-tech redneck writer during this period of self-isolation.

things to do in isolation - reloading
Self-isolation is great for getting some reloading done.

 4. Embrace Non-Firearm Activities

In non-gun activities, our family has also taken the time to tear out some old rabbit hutches and chicken coops that were unused and rickety.

After removing the unsightly mess, we transformed that area into a 24×30′ garden area.

We recycled some of the fencing to create a barrier to deer, rabbits and other garden thieves.

The goal is to create 2×4′ raised beds with enriched soil, as our native clay is not friendly for all the vegetables and herbs we want to grow.

For now, we have one eight-inch raised bed and the rest at ground height. The soil is very rich from the former rabbit and chicken waste, so we should have a bumper crop.

This will cut our needed trips to the grocery as we harvest carrots, tomatoes, potatoes, corn, herbs, okra, eggplant, lettuce, radishes, sugar snap peas, bell peppers and hot peppers… and should save us money.

We also revitalized our chicken coop with 24 roosts for our 20 chickens. They are producing 9-13 eggs per day and currently, six of the chickens are meat chickens.

We plan on hatching out another three to five meat birds a month to provide for the freezer, crock-pot and frying pan. There is room to up our total to 50-plus birds if we decided or needed to.

things to do in self-isolation - games
Why not make game night a regular thing?

Our family has also instituted game night. Once a week, one member of the family picks a game for us all to play.

The rules are simple: it cannot be computer-based, it must last at least two hours and no one is allowed access to their smartphone or other device, unless it is job-related.

Despite initial WHINING, it is a hit. So much of a hit, one of the kids requested a bonus game night, doing a puzzle with mom.

Additionally, the girlfriend and I have implemented nearly daily chess matches for ourselves, and almost as often, we take turns reading chapters from a book to each other.

Currently, it is a John Ringo novel, Under a Graveyard Sky. In my opinion, quite appropriate, as the storyline is a zombie apocalypse.

Self-Isolation Tips: Conclusion

The productive manners in which you can utilize all this self-isolation time are only limited by your imagination and willingness to get up off the couch.

What are you doing during this period of self-isolation? Let us know in the comments below.

About the Author:

John Bibby

John Bibby is an American gun writer who had the misfortune of being born in the occupied territory of New Jersey. His parents moved to the much freer state of Florida when he was 3. This allowed his father start teaching him about shooting prior to age 6. By age 8, he was regularly shooting with his father and parents of his friends. At age 12, despite the strong suggestions that he shouldn’t, he shot a neighbor’s “elephant rifle."

The rifle was a .375 H&H Magnum and, as such, precautions were taken. He had to shoot from prone. The recoil-induced, grass-stained shirt was a badge of honor. Shooting has been a constant in his life, as has cooking.

He is an (early) retired Executive Chef. Food is his other great passion. Currently, he is a semi-frequent 3-Gun competitor, with a solid weak spot on shotgun stages. When his business and travel schedule allow, you will often find him, ringing steel out well past 600 yards. In order to be consistent while going long, reloading is fairly mandatory. The 3-Gun matches work his progressive presses with volume work. Precision loading for long-range shooting and whitetail hunting keeps the single-stage presses from getting dusty.
The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

1 Comment;

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your discussions, feedback and comments are welcome here as long as they are relevant and insightful. Please be respectful of others. We reserve the right to edit as appropriate, delete profane, harassing, abusive and spam comments or posts, and block repeat offenders. All comments are held for moderation and will appear after approval.