Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Beretta M9 redux

I got a work buddy.  I've detailed his exploits before.  The Contrarian is his handle.

He is in the Air Force reserve, and got out of active duty a couple years ago. 

According to the Air Force, he is qualified on the Beretta.  He's never shot one.  Never TOUCHED one.  But he does his web-based training for it every year, as required. 

He has shot them in many videogames, he admits, so he figures he's ahead of the curve.

Now, it's not like he's an MP or a Parajumper or a flight crew member.  He works with computer systems, programming.  Not exactly near the sharp end of the spear, and was never deployed overseas.  But STILL.

I know the military will send deploying folks for refresher training with real guns and real field training exercise.  My brother, the Supply Officer, got to do this before hitting Iraq in 2006.  Maybe the Contrarian would have gotten this before going off to Afghanistan or whatnot.  But he reports that lots of folks in his various units DID deploy without shooting the service pistol.

The Contrarian did have AF training and shooting time on the M-16.  Once.  In Basic Training.  Never got a range slot after that, though he tried.  I think you passed if you didn't kill anyone accidentally and most of the bullet you actually fire went, generally, downrange.  No sighting in was done.

The Sailor I work with did a little better in her basic training.  M9 pistol and shotgun training in Basic. 

The Marines and Army guys I talked to here get actual training-training.  So the DoD hasn't gone completely insane.

Jeff Cooper is spinning in his grave.

Why should I bother familiarizing myself with the Beretta 92?  The military doesn't bother.


DaddyBear said...

Your friend isn't unusual. When I was getting sent over to be an augmentee for Bosnia, my group at Fort Benning had several Air Force guys in it. When we were issued our M-16's, so were they. When we zero'ed and qualified on them, they were coached by instructors from the Infantry school. And when they qualified, it's probably just a coincidence that an Army guy from the range cadre was in the firing position next to them "practicing".

Bubblehead Les. said...

Well, when I went to Navy Boot Camp in Great Lakes in 1976, our "Weapons Quals" was 10 rounds with Single Shot .22 LRs, and half my Boot Company Failed. I, on the other hand, came in Second, because I had just left my High School Rifle Team, where we used similar Rifles. But I was so pissed about how poorly we were being trained, that I didn't even look at down range for my last 2 shoots. I still scored a 91 out of a possible 100.

One of the Staff PO's started yelling at me for "Not taking it Seriously", but the Chief in Charge of the Range came up and sent him away. He gently asked why I did why I did, and I explained that I was on my High School Small Bore Rifle Team, and if this is all we were allowed to be trained with, how in the hell do we defend our Ships if we need to Repel Boarders? He smiled, and told me, that under current Navy Policy, this is all we were allowed to be taught, and that I have to follow what the Pentagon said. But he said, that when I got to the Fleet, that ASAP I should let my command know what my skills were, and to Volunteer to become a "Small Arms Petty Officer", and use every trick in the Book to get as much ammo as possible, and to give my fellow shipmates as much training as I could. Then he handed me 2 more cartridges, told me to shoot again, just so I could get my Marksman Rating, which would help me out in the Fleet.

So I did what he said for my entire Naval Career, which let me put Thousands of Rounds of 7.62 Nato Goodness and God's Own Caliber of .45ACP through our issue M-14s and 1911s, and gave some people the ability to learn how to properly defend themselves and their Families.

Moral of this story? Learn the Beretta. You'll never know if you have to take it off a Dead Soldier who was Improperly Trained due to some Puzzle Palace's Bean Counting Idjits Insanity to "Save" the Gooberment Money by NOT Training our Military Properly (no matter what Branch of the Service) to defend yourself if a Level 4 Outbreak occurs.

Anonymous said...

I concur... Navy Boot Camp in the late 80's in Orlando we shot 22 conversion kits in a 1911 frame. We got maybe 2 mags worth and that was it. In the fleet we stood watch with a full 45ACP 1911 that many people had never fired. If you got friendly with the Gunners Mates you could finagle your way into some range time off the fan tail when we were in international waters... But few ever bothered.

Old NFO said...

I went through in 70, we shot M-1s and .45s in boot, and I shot competitively for the Navy in the early 70's (pistol). If they knew you were a shooter, and fairly good, you could get sent to 'schools' usually run by the Marines. Back in those days, you had to shoot expert 3 years in a row to get the ribbon.

Stretch said...

I was raised by "brown shoe" Army lifers. Uncle Jim carried HIS grandfather's SAA on the way out of Chosin. Dad carried an M-1 carbine in Korea and both tours of 'Nam. His battalion SMG was rather pleased to find out the 'old man' carried what he knew he could fire. That was in '69.
When my cousin was headed for Iraq I offered her any one of my .45s. Was astounded to learn that officers no longer allowed to carry anything other than issued M9s. That my flesh and blood was reduced to carrying a 9mm ...

Boat Guy said...

If you can shoot any self loading pistol, the Beretta should not hold any mysteries for you. About five minutes of foolin around with a clear one and you'll have figured out the switches.
The only thing I would recommend is to learn how to field strip one so you can check the locking block for cracks (the first and most usual defect in an M9).
The Fleet's institutional indifference to small arms proficiency was dismaying, but at least in the 80's we had real guns and the system could be worked if you applied yourself (I was able to consume our annual Non-Combat Expediture Allowance about twice annually 'cause there were other ships that didn't use theirs). My watchstanders shot about 400 rounds of .45 each year