Improving Marksmanship Programs

Words of wisdom from John Tate

  1. Get competition instilled at the unit level – then post level, etc. I put this first – because it is the most important factor. Getting leadership interested in crucial. Get awards and/or commendations for commanding officers of small units when their people shoot well. If the brass appears to care about something, their minions will too.
  2. Instill competition. Just like PT should be, consider every qual session to be competitive. Post scored and give some sort of prize/praise to the top shooters. Castigate those at the bottom.
  3. Promote self-training. Use on-duty time to show proper techniques (especially dry fire techniques), and have troops practice on their own time. Don’t soldiers work on PT on their own time? Also, don’t you still own boots 24/7? In my day (1960s, 1/2 a century ago) not only boots, but regulars were yours 24/7.
  4. Publish the comparative costs of shooting against other activities that require consumables … like jet fuel for aircraft, guided missiles, projectiles for armor and artillery. I think you can make the case that small arms ammo is cheap. And, if you can copy some of the laser simulation systems, you don’t even need ammo, no worry about lead poison, and no worry about negligent discharges.
  5. Consider a practice from WWI through the VietNam era: Use .22 LR and airguns.
  6. Use reduced size ranges & targets. For rifle, long ranges are hard to use. They take up lots of space and preparation/mainatenance. They require target pullers. They require time just walking back and forth from line to pits. Consider reduced range work. Putting bullets in the same hole at 1,000 inches equates to holding the 10-ring at 600 yds.

Hang Tough – Keep the Faith – Watch your 6.

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NMC shooting with the M1 Garand

The sitting and prone rapid fire stages of the National Match Course were changed to a two and eight sequence when John Garand’s M1 became our issue service rifle. Given the design’s eight round en block clip, loading with eight is obviously no issue. Setting up two rounds can be accomplished without too much fuss by twisting the cartridges in a standard clip. Given this is done before record time begins, it may be fiddly but not a major hassle.

Here’s how to make this procedure easier:

How to make two-round Garand clips
http://www.fulton-armory.com/%5Cfaqs%5CM1G-FAQs%5C2clip.htm

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/1895311304/aggressive-engineering-m1-garand-clip-steel-parkerized

Handling single rounds for the slow fire phase remains awkward. John Tate explains how to make this more convenient.

It’s nice to see all the emphasis on M1 shooting and use in competition. One awkward aspect was loading for slow fire prone. Then I was given a “single shot clip.” What a wonderful assist!

The essence is a standard M1 clip is modified so that it can be inserted into an otherwise empty M1 receiver, where it remains due to a lip that catches on the side of the receiver “rail.” Then, with the bold locked to the rear, the follower in combination with the clip’s lips (R or L) will retain a cartridge just as would an M14 magazine.

To shoot, just push in a cartridge, and release the bolt in the identical fashion to an M14.

If you were an M1 shooter, you would understand what a blessing this is, especially in prone where inserting a cartridge is a pain (it will slip back out due to the muzzle being elevated), or tripping the bolt (just plain awkward in prone).

M1 Garand single shot sled:

Friendly Fire A Hazard To Nuclear Sites?

From John Tate

Speer didn’t oppose the use of more powerful weaponry to protect the plants, documents show. His concern was that officers get sufficient training to avoid missed shots and inadvertently creating larger problems, no matter which weapons they carried.

We sometimes joke about the poor marksmanship and spray-and-pray tactics of some police. But such conduct usually only poses a hazard to bystanders, other officers … oh, and sometimes the bad guy. But what if the recipient of these stray rounds was a functional nuclear power plant where release of radioactive materials, or even a core melt down could endanger hundreds of thousands?

That is the focus of the article linked below; it’s thought provoking.
http://www.ocregister.com/taxdollars/nuclear-715262-security-nrc.html

Interestingly enough, the “nationally recognized course” referred to for their qualification is a 100 yard National Match Course (the NRA High Power rule book is explicitly mentioned as a part of their standard qualification) and NRA PPC with B-27 targets for pistol.

http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/cfr/part073/part073-appb.html