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Thread: Improving Army Marksmanship

  1. #11
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    My thinking while I was in Basic Training and afterwards, is that the Army system really didn't train you to understand what you were doing. You did what you were told and got rewarded for it or not. Natural point of aim, trigger control and sight alignment, breath control, etc. were all treated as minimally as possible and few soldiers really understood it or had the opportunity to really gain proficiency in it. Soldiers who shot well were typically soldiers who had substantial experience with firearms prior to arriving.

    There are no where NEAR enough rounds alloted to instruction. It takes a novice shooter some real exposure time to get used to the muzzle blast and recoil, even from the little 5.56mm round. This is where the live fire simulator arcade units can be useful because they allow a novice shooter to develop the basic skills and some exposure to recoil and the blast without having to fire live rounds on a busy range.

    Twice yearly qualification is a joke for active units. Monthly would be more appropriate (in my opinion) and weekly training on live fire ranges makes a hell of a lot of sense when in garrison.

  2. #12
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    If you go to old Army bases, you will see the old 1920s style buildings -- white stucco with red tile roofs. Many of hese were designed as company or battalion accomodations -- arms room, signal, mortars, etc on the ground floor (often a half-basement arrangement), offices, mess hall (excuse me, "dining hall") and so on on the first floor, followed by two floors of barracks. In the attics, you find 50-foot, .22 caliber shooting ranges.

    The old Army was serious about marksmanship.

    Of course, these ranges have all been shut down by the EPA.
    Last edited by Vern Humphrey; 01-23-2010 at 08:35.

  3. #13
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    Old Army bases;
    There is an Air Force facility in Wyoming that handles clerical duties, (pay, records) We went there to get our per-diem. One look at the DESIGN of the building, and you KNEW it was an old CAVALRY STABLE

  4. #14
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    My thoughts on Army (no one else's) marksmanship training from another time:

    When I went through BCT in the mid 1960's I found the marksmanship training to be actually excellent. Over a quarter of the 8 weeks training was dedicated to the M14 weapon and the attention to sight alignment and trigger control were both very good. I think the "Trainfire" course that required engaging sillouette targets at various ranges to be excellent and the final qualification course in which the targets appeared at various distances from locations that were difficult to locate at time excellent. I missed expert by two points because I totally missed a target at 50 meters because of overconfidence and failed to locate two other targets.

    Now the bad news. Because I was a rear area type on paper I qualified only one more time. That was on the Redstone Arsenal's 200 yard range on the previous course using the SR bullseye target.

    I shot for "familiarization" a few times in Korea on an impromtu range that wasn't more than 30 yards long.

    Now my job required me to be almost constantly on the road and the M14 went with me every where. There were NKA infiltrators coming down the coast regularly and people did die in the south. I found the training after basic was totally inadequate.

    My son is in Air Force Security, the Air Force's infantry. Their firearms is more frequent but is always on a 1,000 inch range which I personally consider inadequate.

    As a law enforcement officer I qualified quarterly, got practice ammo which I actually used for practice on my own time and attended somewhat regular "survival" and tactical building entry courses which often involved realistic fire and maneuver exercises often with live ammunition, or against adversaries armed with pistols firing paintballs or (ouch) rubber bullets.

    Now being a cop is somewhat dangerous. It is not as dangerous as being in the military deployed to 'the sand pit" where there are no true rear areas. Why should cops get more extensive training than anyone in the military????

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Art View Post
    When I went through BCT in the mid 1960's I found the marksmanship training to be actually excellent. Over a quarter of the 8 weeks training was dedicated to the M14 weapon and the attention to sight alignment and trigger control were both very good. I think the "Trainfire" course that required engaging sillouette targets at various ranges to be excellent ....
    There is nothing wrong with the Trainfire course provided that the marksmanship instruction that comes before live fire on it is adequate. In 1977 my Army marksmanship instruction at Fort Sill consisted of a 50-minute lecture on the "Eight Steady Hold Factors" before we zeroed our rifles. There was no coaching by NCOs and Trainfire doesn't allow a person to evaluate shot groups on paper targets. I believe the Army cut back on marksmanship instruction to save time and money. There are a lot of subjects competing for a finite number of hours of instruction during Basic Training and I believe the time allocated for marksmanshp was cut to make room for other subjects.

  6. #16
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    Default Heres why

    "Why should cops get more extensive training than anyone in the military???? "
    I think its because in the military you are one hell of a lot less apt to get sued, or second guessed by the ACLU. altho the way Obama is going, that may all change.....
    Member OFC

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Sukey View Post
    Old Army bases;
    There is an Air Force facility in Wyoming that handles clerical duties, (pay, records) We went there to get our per-diem. One look at the DESIGN of the building, and you KNEW it was an old CAVALRY STABLE
    John, I remember visiting some friends from boot camp up at Cheyenne Wy.
    Their barracks looked like pre Civil war type buildings too.
    Member OFC

  8. #18
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    Default F. E. Warren AFB

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken C. View Post
    John, I remember visiting some friends from boot camp up at Cheyenne Wy.
    Their barracks looked like pre Civil war type buildings too.
    That is Francis E Warren AFB. It began life as Fort D. A. Russell on the Oregon Trail. It still utilizes the old horse barns and indoor training arenas. It is also an Air Force base without a runway. It now serves the various missile sites in Northern Colorado and southern Wyoming.
    "A generation which ignores history has no past and no future." - Jean Boden

    "In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: It goes on."
    -- Robert Frost

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Funnyrunner View Post
    Pop-up's were good training when I went through Basic & AIT.
    The only thing I disliked was the full-auto fire courses. It seems that an increased number of rounds per minute fired is equal to an increased number of misses per minute. I hope the Army has cured that by removing the full-auto capability and restricting it to the 3 round burst selector switch..

    Full auto has some very restricted usages, like laying down immediate suppressive fire when one stumbles into an ambush, but otherwise full-auto should be reserved for machine-guns.

    When I went through Drill Sgt School there were 11 Infantry MOS guys out of 48 people in the class. When we went to the full-auto range, we were supposed to kill 5 targets with a twenty round mags in 30 seconds of exposure time. The Infantry guys saw this as a waste of ammo, so we all popped each target single shot and had time to spare. The instructors got ticked and said to do it again on full-auto. So, we popped the first four targets single shot and then wasted the fifth target with the remaining 16 rounds.

    I am also dubious of the Trijicon scopes they use. Do they only train on them or do they still teach soldiers to shoot with iron sights? Some innovations are OK as long as the soldiers are also trained to operate without them in case it is broken or malfunctions. I resisted using one for a long time but then finally put one on my AK47 and at longer ranges it is a great time-saver on target acquisition. My AR15 still goes with just the iron sights tho as does my SKS, although I did put an M1 type peep-sight on the rear of the SKS.
    We were trained to fire three-round bursts in full auto usually w/bipod. When they "walked in" the pop ups behind staggered berms, a good shooter could get seven "kills" out of a 20 round magazine. I thought that method was quite efficient.

  10. #20
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    Like John I remember 1955 when we didn't have any arcade games, we just had what seemed like weeks of dry firing. For rapid fire a team mate knocks the operating rod back. A good cure for flinching? Finally the whole Company was loaded up and moved to Leesburg KD Ranges and we got to shoot our old M1s in what is still the match course of fire. Then Transition course shot with 300yd battle sights (from then on we never changed our sight setting), shot from foxholes, behind mounds of dirt, off roofs, through windows at ranges from about 20 to 500yds, ran a pop-up course, a real fun range (even the army couldn't take the fun out).

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