History of American Target Development

Great article on the history of targetry. For the tactical types, check this out:

U.S. Cavalry troopers were required to shoot dismounted, single handed, at 15 and 20 yards on the Army Target "L". After they qualified on foot, they would then repeat the course of fire, this time astride a horse at the gallop.

Those complaining that competition and bullseye shooting doesn’t take real world concerns into account do so from their ignorance of what these events actually are and can be.

A Short History of American Target Development and Evolution
by Hap Rocketto

The evolution of targets continues to meet the needs of the competitor measuring his skills. Double Distinguished Smallbore Rifleman and noted shooting historian Paul Nordquist mused that, “The target is a measuring device one used to measure the abilities of a shooter. As with all measuring devices you pick the one most suitable to the task. No matter which one you pick there is an element of arbitrariness involved.”

With that in mind, and with all of what has been said about target development and evolution, there is one constant through all the years of organized competitive marksmanship in the United States. The object of the game has always been to hit the center of the circle. Dimensions of the target and aiming black, width of the rings, or the distance at which the target is engaged matters not. What is important to remember is that the target has almost always been a circle and, no matter what size the circle, the center is still the center.

Read more:

Army Reserve Soldier hits bull’s-eye during Interservice Rifle Championship

Capt. Samuel Freeman of the US Army Reserve Marksmanship Program took top honors at the 54th annual Interservice Rifle Team Championship, earning the title of overall individual winner, and also took home the Lt. Col. C.A. Reynolds Memorial trophy.

Freeman credits his success to an ability to train at a high levels during a short periods of time. “I might practice once during the course of a week and might not get to practice for another three weeks,” said Freeman, commander of D Company 3rd/518th Basic Combat Training Battalion.

Freeman was among the nearly two dozen Army Reserve Soldiers competing in the 15-match shooting tournament at Marine Corps Base Quantico, which hosted service members from the active Army, National Guard, Marine Corps, Air Force and Navy, June 24 to July 1, 2015.

The team won first-place trophies for the Marine Corps Combat Development Center event, and a 10-man match event. They also won a second-place High Reserve trophy.

Freeman and his teammates travel across the country to help Army Reserve Soldiers hone their marksmanship skills.