Chatted up a Marine about marksmanship qualification in the service. At least his experience a few years back.
You no longer get $5 extra a month if you shoot Expert, like you did in WWII era. And $5 was money back in the day.
But shooting Expert DOES help you in points toward getting a promotion in the lower ranks, through E-6. (Staff Sergeant)
They shot at 3 different ranges, using a variety of positions and a variety of shooting speeds. All semi-auto.
200 yards/meters, sit kneel stand for slow fire, kneel for rapid fire
300 kneel and prone slow, kneel rapid
500 prone only
And the Marines are very good at practicing those position, called ‘snapping in,’ on young Boots, getting the muscle memory ingrained to make it automatic
They throw in rapid fire and slow fire in there, and they shoot at a full size silhouette target of a simulate chest and head. Presumably about the shape and size of what the enemy would present to a Marine looking to shoot him. If the enemy was less careful and exposed more, that was just gravy for the Marine, but for qualification they wanted semi-realistic shapes to the target. You aren’t going to be shooting at a round ring in battle.
Here are what the Marine's shoot at. The taller "E" one is the 500 yard target:
Regular military types shoot at something a little different at 25 meters with simulated longer distance stuff. Easier to do when you don't have LONG rifle ranges to practice at:
They do do traditional ring-target shooting yes. Mostly in boot camp. And they do do random pop-up steel targets, but my Marine co-worker didn’t have chance to do that.
You have the option to use a loop sling if you so desire and where appropriate. Never on standing.
During slow fire there is an extra smaller area on the ‘Dog’ or D-Target that counts for double. So 2 points. It’s how you can score 65 with 50 rounds. There is no ‘score’ other than that. You hit, or you miss, or you might hit extra good and score double.
Some thoughts… I wish I could shoot well enough to just qualify Marksman. Shooting well enough to qualify Sharpshooter or Expert would be the bees knees. Of course to realize that dream I’d need a lot more practice, and practice is hard to come by. I don’t have a 500 yard rifle range on the same parcel of land I sleep on, like Marines do. And I don’t get paid to shoot with free ammo and access to free expert instruction like Marines do. Of course I am not forced to do a bajillion push-ups at 4 in the GOTTDAMM morning, the negatives can outweigh the positives, at times.
But I can devote more time to rifle shooting, yes. It’s a matter of prioritizing my shooting over other activities, and I am always looking for ways to help maximize the shooty goodness.
My Marine contacts are even saying that the Bad Guys in Afghanistan are starting to train away from just rocking and rolling on full auto and trying to HIT the good good guys. Bad guys getting away from spray and pray? What will they think of next?
Hey, look. My old service, the Navy, has a Marksmanship Team. Shooting NRA style service rifle stuff.
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