April 19th, 2017

Time Waits for No Man… Use Your Remaining Days Wisely

Mortality life expectancy carpe diem
This photo is one of Nightforce’s series of picturesque “Gunscapes”. SEE MORE HERE.

This story is not (directly) about firearms, or reloading gear, or any of the little details of our sport. It, instead, is about life… and, sadly, about death. The recent passing of a friend (and fellow shooter) got me to thinking, “I’m sixty — what if I only had ten more years to live — how would I want to live my life? What really counts the most? What things would I do differently? What dreams would I pursue?”

From the demographics of this website, I know we have thousands of readers in their 50s, 60s, and 70s. Hopefully we will all live long, happy, and fruitful lives. But it’s not a bad idea to consider that we are all mortal, and the clock is ticking. Consider this — in the United States, the average male life expectancy is 77 years*. Using that number as a benchmark, I personally may have just 17 more years to enjoy life and to do the things I love — shooting, traveling, sailing, camping, listening to music, being with friends and family. Breaking that down into months, I have 204 more months to do fun and rewarding stuff. Just 204 months — that’s a real number my brain can comprehend all too well. If I live an average lifespan, that means I also only have 935 more weekends to do all that I want to do. With less than 1000 weekends remaining, I don’t want to waste a single one.

Living a Life with More Good Times, and Fewer Regrets

Recently, a group of men, very near the end of their lives, were surveyed. They were asked if they would do things differently if they could live their lives over again. The vast majority of these men gave surprisingly similar responses, which fit into five “Life Lessons”. These “Top 5 Regrets of the Dying” were reported in a story by Bronnie Ware, writing for the AARP online magazine. Ware writes: “When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, common themes surfaced.” Here are the five regrets most often mentioned by older men:

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
“This was the most common regret of all. When people realize that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. ”

Lesson: Don’t wait to follow your dreams. Be true to yourself.

2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.
“This came from every male patient [surveyed]. All of the men… deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.”

Lesson: Don’t let your work crowd out other important aspects of life.

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
“Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming.”

Lesson: Express yourself truthfully. Don’t suppress your feelings for decades.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
“There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort they deserved. Many [were] so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years.”

Lesson: Take an interest your friends’ lives; keep bonds of friendship strong.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
“This is a surprisingly common [regret]. Many did not realize until the end that happiness is a choice.”

Lesson: Affirmatively pursue the things that bring you happiness. Don’t just stick to old habits.

Turn Off the Computer, and Do Something Memorable with Your Friends Today
How does this all apply to our shooting hobby? Well, if (like me) you are middle-aged (or older), go have some fun this weekend! Load up your rifle and get to the range. Don’t put off doing the things that make you happy. Call those old buddies you may not have seen in a long time. Renew friendships. Get out into nature. And start figuring out how you can live your dreams. As the saying goes, “Time waits for no man”.


*One of our readers pointed out that the numbers actually work out better than this, because once a man survives to later life, men of his surviving age cohort enjoy a projected lifespan longer than the average projected lifespan from birth. For example, using actuarial tables, a man born exactly 60 years ago (still alive today), has a calculated life expectancy of 23.4 years… meaning he would live to age 83.4 years, on average. CLICK HERE to see actuarial-predicted longevity based on your birthdate.

lifespan life expectancy weekends months years


Practicing What I Preach…
As you read this, your Editor will NOT be sitting in front of a computer. Instead he will be on a boat, taking him 30 miles offshore to this beautiful spot. Three days with no internet, no TV, no Schedule Cs, and no traffic. Just good friends and unspoiled nature. Living like a kid again.

island time gone fishing Editor on holiday

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December 25th, 2016

Merry Christmas to Our Readers Around the World

Merry Christmas scene

AccurateShooter.com EditorMerry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all our readers and especially our 33,500 Forum Members. This marks our 12th Christmas “in business”, and the site keeps growing each year. AccurateShooter.com (and 6mmBR.com) are now accessed by over 550,000 visitors every month. Part of the reason for that success is the knowledge, experience, and technical expertise that our contributing writers (and expert consultants) share with other shooters.

Unsung Heroes Deserve Recognition
I want to take this opportunity to acknowledge some guys who have really helped out with the site. Number one is Jay Christopherson, who performs “mission-critical” work as our information systems manager and Forum Admin. Jay, who is also a talented competitive shooter, has enabled us to maintain modern, high-speed servers, with smart security protections. Jay deserves our thanks for all his hard work, invaluable expertise, and dedication. Thanks also go to Jeff Williams, our “Answerman” who fields miscellaneous questions from our readers. We have a great place to test rifles thanks to our good buddy (and designated trigger-puller) Joe Friedrich. Special thanks go to the 6.5 Guys, Ed Mobley and Steve Lawrence, who contributed SHOT Show videos and regular gear reports. I also want to recognize our correspondents, including Bryan Litz, Vince Bottomley, German S., Jason Baney, Emil Kovan, John Whidden, Mark LaFevers, James Mock, Tony Chow, Gavin Gear and others. And we must acknowledge Boyd Allen and EdLongRange who tirelessly supply story leads for the Daily Bulletin. These guys (and many others) have all contributed much time and effort.

Thanks to Site Supporters and Sponsors
Finally, I’d like to thank all of you who have made donations (large or small) to the site this year. User support is very important. Donations help us provide key services for our readership. We also want to express our appreciation for our many commercial sponsors — from large vendors such as Midsouth Shooters Supply, Bruno Shooters Supply, and Powder Valley to important product-makers such as Berger Bullets, Krieger Barrels, Lapua, and Schmidt & Bender. We’re grateful to all our sponsors and advertisers. In particular, I want to acknowledge Shiraz Balolia, a great friend of the shooting sports, and a gifted marksman in his own right. Shiraz has provided key support for this site though his companies Bullets.com and Grizzly Industrial. We are all part of a very special community here at AccurateShooter.com — and we appreciate your support!

Photo courtesy Freechristmaswallpapers.net.
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March 14th, 2014

So You Want to Be a Gun-Writer….

American Rifleman magazineIf you have always dreamed about making a living writing about guns, here’s your chance. The NRA’s flagship publication, American Rifleman, is looking for an Assistant Editor. This is a full-time gig. You get to test guns, write, edit, and even travel around the country a bit. What’s the catch? Well you may have to pull up stakes and move. This position is based at NRA Headquarters in Fairfax, Virginia. You can’t work remotely or tele-commute.

American Rifleman Seeks Assistant Editor
American Rifleman, the National Rifle Association’s original Official Journal, is seeking qualified candidates for the position of Assistant Editor.

Job Duties: Provides editorial support essential to produce American Rifleman magazine, the American Rifleman Television Show and American Rifleman digital edition accurately, punctually, and in accordance with established standards and policies. Handles editorial preparation and production of monthly departments and daily web content as assigned, including: reviewing manuscripts, fact-checking, copy editing, assembling photo packages, writing captions and headlines, and proofreading. Proofreads departments, features and web content during each stage of editorial production, including checking links and page proofs of digital version of American Rifleman. Assists in compilation and production of monthly “Lock, Stock & Barrel”, “Opening Shot,” “Product Reviews”, and other monthly features. Coordinates “Official Journal” sections in multiple magazines. Sources photographs to be used in various media; writes photo captions; and may do assignment photography.

American Rifleman magazineThe Position requires a BA in English, Journalism or Communications and 1-2 years experience on newspaper or magazine editorial staff. Shooting experience and knowledge are required, as is a broad interest in firearms and Second Amendment issues. The selected candidate must be eligible under Federal law to have access to firearms and ammunition. Working knowledge of electronic publishing is required. Basic photography skills are necessary. Extended hours and business travel are required.

CLICK Here for Full Job Requirements and to Submit a Resume.

Note, if you have production experience in the publishing industry, the NRA is also seeking a Managing Editor for Shooting Illustrated magazine. This job is also based at NRA Headquarters in Fairfax, Virginia.

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February 6th, 2013

NRA Publications Seeks Shooting Illustrated Managing Editor

Shooting Illustrated jobWould you like to write about guns for a living, and “call the shots” at a major gun magazine with a huge readership of shooters around the country? Well, here’s your opportunity.

NRA Publications is accepting applications for Managing Editor of Shooting Illustrated, NRA’s monthly newsstand magazine dedicated to personal protection guns, tactical firearms, concealed carry, and self-defense techniques. The Managing Editor will assist with the management of and provide editorial support essential to the daily operation of Shooting Illustrated magazine and ShootingIllustrated.com. He or she will ensure all work satisfies established quality standards and policies, and meets production deadlines. Candidates should have at least “five years experience in managerial level journalism”. The position is based at NRA Headquarters in Fairfax, Virginia. For a full job description and a list of required qualifications, or to submit your resume, go to www.careers.nra.org. Direct inquiries to NRA Human Resources, careers [at] nrahq.org.

Shooting Illustrated job

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