OBJECTIVE OF MISSION: (NUMERICALLY LIST EACH OBJECTIVE PRIOR TO VISIT)
1. Arrive safely at Phillips Range, Fort Benning GA
2. Arrive on time and in proper team uniform (ACU/OCP)
3. Fire 2 x 900 matches each day using 22 caliber and Service Pistols
4. Learn the Bullseye pistol course of fire by practicing the sport
5. Fire 2 matches during the week for record to establish baseline scores
6. Evaluate new team members and provide them with feedback based on their performance
7. Provide future training goals and advice about equipment selection for this sport
8. Conduct yourself like a Soldier and represent the USAR with honor
9. Arrive back safely at HoR
VISIT RESULTS : (what happened)
Travel Day 4 Feb 2018
Firing days 5-9 Feb 2018
Travel day 9 Feb 2018 (afternoon/evening)
SUMMARY: The U.S. Army Reserve Service Pistol Team conducted a world-class New Shooter training session at the Army Marksmanship Unit’s facilities at Fort Benning, GA. This was a much-needed event to get new shooters into the sport and teach them how to shoot precision pistol.
The team started training on Monday morning, Feb 5th 2018, with a mix of experienced and new shooters working side-by-side. The first class was on range safety and then we taught the new shooters how to set up targets, how to score targets and how the course of fire is conducted.
The first two days were dedicated to 22 caliber practice only. This helped the new shooters to get familiar with highly accurized Hammerli, Marvel and Ruger pistols that were available for use. No team guns were available for 22 caliber practice because the majority of the team’s Smith and Wesson Model 41s are scheduled to be turned in as unserviceable. Luckily some of the new competitors have already purchased their own 22 caliber pistols, and we had enough other personally owned weapons from among the more experienced team members.
Wednesday, Thursday and Friday morning were dedicated to Service Pistol training. Many of the new team members were surprised at how difficult it is to make good groups with pistols at long range (50 yards) and during rapid fire. They quickly began to learn trigger control from the more experienced team members, and scores went up.
During this training session, we found that 3 team centerfire 1911s (red dot guns) are unserviceable and need to be turned in. They do not shoot good groups any more, and many of their components are beginning to fail. The only way to salvage these guns would be to replace their barrels and all the internal components except for the trigger bow. One other team Service Pistol (iron sights only) was repaired on site by an AMU gunsmith and it is in serviceable condition now. Luckily the repair did not require any parts, only expert fitting and adjustment of existing components.
SFC Griffith (693), SFC Pearman (679), SFC Rosendorn (658) and SSG Combs (669) all posted Service Pistol scores in the high 600’s (out of 900). This is very encouraging, and these individuals show a lot of potential to become great shooters and coaches. SSG Goad showed improvement during the week, as did MAJ Garcia. All shooters except for two individuals posted scores above 700 (out of 900) with 22 caliber pistols, which is also encouraging. The two individuals whose scores were marginal have been counseled and they know what they need to do to meet the standard to stay on the team next year.
The Army Marksmanship unit was extremely helpful and supportive throughout the entire event. They provided us not only with space on the range, but also with supplies and a tower operator to run the matches. Our new shooters practiced right next to Army Marksmanship Unit shooters, who coached and mentored USAR team members multiple times per day. As a result, our new shooters are already starting to show a lot of potential. The AMU’s support for this event was invaluable, we would not have been successful without their help.
COMMENTS: This year’s training session was worth every penny of money invested. The more experienced team members got just as much out of the event as the new shooters, and everyone showed improvement. We absolutely must do an event like this every year either in the springtime or in the fall. The AMU has agreed to support this type of event indefinitely as long as we coordinate it at a time when their range is going to be open (i.e. we need to plan it for a week when they are not “on the road”). We have pictures and video from the training session available if any VIPs are interested.