Origins of the National Rifle Association

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Origins of the National Rifle Association

Things about the NRA that don’t suck.

Of course, lamenting about people only being aware of the NRA’s political efforts is their own fault. Far too many card-carrying members are unaware of these programs, such as 98% of that five million membership total that have never participated in the very events that motivated the founding of the organization in the first place.

Double Tap and Target Transitions

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From John Tate

>> In the 70s, I was a bullseye pistol shooter. Not good, but that’s what I shot … as opposed to rifle. In the mid-80s the Navy needed a commissioned officer to be captain of that year’s rifle team. I got drafted! So I became a rifleman. ((Some day I’ll tell you the history of being trained by the best the USMC had to offer.))

[Editor's note: You should write this up as well as I'm sure it's a great story!]

>> Now, what you’ve got to understand is: I’ve never actually shot a proper “double tap.” My ordered pairs, controlled pairs, whatever you want to call them, they are both shot about the same – aim, sight picture, squeeze. Fast enough to pass a qual shoot (draw, then two shots center mass in 2 seconds), but not truly fast.
>> > Now, as Travis Tomasie suggests in this video:

>> So here’s my question: Is this the essence of controlled pairs: good stance, firm grip, good sight picture for first shot; now let the pistol recoil and recover, and just pull the trigger again.

I never liked terms such as “double tap” or “hammers” or the like. Just shoot two (or one or three or five or whatever) shots on the target as needed. Speed is dictated by shooter skill and target size/distance.

Before competing in conventional disciplines with the Army Reserve Marksmanship Program, I held Master classifications from USPSA and IDPA.

Bill Drills (draw and fire six shots at seven yards) were a staple exercise, with the goal of shooting all six shots inside target center (eight inch circle) in under two seconds. Shooting Rapid Fire in the pistol National Match Course requires two second splits (ten seconds for five shots) while the Bill Drill is ten times faster (0.2 second splits with a draw under one second is about two total seconds.) Of course the Bill Drill is shot on a 114 MOA target while the bull (nine ring) on the 25 yard B-8 target is 22 MOA and shot with one hand.

To gain increased shot-to-shot speed, the shooter must eventually start hauling the gun back down from recoil. Solid and consistent grip and stance is critical and a developed shooting platform will have the firearm returning on its own, sort of like Natural Point of Aim. To increase beyond some rate of speed, however, the shooter will have to help the gun down from recoil. Conventional shooters don’t because there’s nothing gained for them going faster than one shot every two seconds.

Here’s where bullseye shooters get hung up: This hauling from recoil can appear to be a flinch or trigger jerk.

A flinch/trigger jerk is better called a pre-ignition push; the shooter muscled the gun while the shot was fired. Recoil control at speed is a post-ignition push; the shooter brought the gun down from recoil immediately AFTER the shot was fired. The time difference is a few hundredths of a second. Yes really, as training time spent with a shot timer will reveal.

These videos with Rob Leatham are good demonstrations:

>> Also, on the referenced video, Tomasie says first move your eyes to the target, then your sights to your eyes. In fact, I just discovered this (sufficient to articulate it) in the last year or so. FLETC has a shotgun drill where you shoot reactive targets, alternating from side to side. What I found is if you move the sights and eyes to the next target, you’ll overswing and have to come back. If you move your eyes to the next target THEN move the sights, you’ll not overswing. My point here is Tomasie is right (DUH!), but he doesn’t explain why the other option produces sub-par results.

In target transitions, I feel as if I’m presenting the gun to each target, not swinging through the targets. Leading with the eyes helps this.

Rob Leatham demonstrates this here:

++++++++

In the 70s, I was a bullseye pistol shooter. Not good, but that’s what I shot … as opposed to rifle. In the mid-80s the Navy needed a commissioned officer to be captain of that year’s rifle team. I got drafted! So I became a rifleman. ((Some day I’ll tell you the history of being trained by the best the USMC had to offer.))

When I retired from the Navy (Jan ’96), I started working with police. That sent me back to the handgun and a new skill: double tap. Now, what you’ve got to understand is: I’ve never actually shot a proper “double tap.” My ordered pairs, controlled pairs, whatever you want to call them, they are both shot about the same – aim, sight picture, squeeze. Fast enough to pass a qual shoot (draw, then two shots center mass in 2 seconds), but not truly fast.

BREAK

Now, as Travis Tomasie suggests in this video:

With a good stance and grip, after the first shot, the pistol will pretty much settle back to the same position. ((I see by your photo that you are double distinguished, so I’m sure you know how this works with a good sitting or prone position in highpower rifle.))

And, as a quick demo for students, I have them extend horizontally a relaxed hand, and then thump one of their fingers. Sure enough, it goes back to where it was.

OK – BACK TO DOUBLE TAP

So here’s my question: Is this the essence of controlled pairs: good stance, firm grip, good sight picture for first shot; now let the pistol recoil and recover, and just pull the trigger again.

———————–

Footnote: On the referenced video, Tomasie says first move your eyes to the target, then your sights to your eyes. In fact, I just discovered this (sufficient to articulate it) in the last year or so. FLETC has a shotgun drill where you shoot reactive targets, alternating from side to side. What I found is if you move the sights and eyes to the next target, you’ll overswing and have to come back. If you move your eyes to the next target THEN move the sights, you’ll not overswing. My point here is Tomasie is right (DUH!), but he doesn’t explain why the other option produces sub-par results.

MSG Norman Anderson inducted into the Army Marksmanship Unit Hall of Fame

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Congrats to MSG Norman Anderson on his induction into the Army Marksmanship Unit Hall of Fame.

I’d have to look back in my data books over the past 6 years to see how many 200s he’s coached me into at the 600 yard line, but it is enough that I have lost count. He’s coached me into a 499 and 497 during important team matches, leading to me getting 4 different trophies from the National Matches.

Great job, Coach!

- SGT Kris Friend

Truth

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All truth passes through three stages.
First, it is ridiculed.
Second, it is violently opposed.
Third, it is accepted as self-evident.

- Arthur Schopenhauer

The Triple Nickel Course of Fire

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The Triple Nickel Course of Fire

DESCRIPTION:

The Triple-Nickel course is used to measure a shooter’s proficiency level and ability to consistently PERFORM ON DEMAND! Through thorough application of fundamentals of marksmanship and weapon handling, this advanced firearm drill evaluates the capacity to save your own life, against multiple assailants, in a short amount of time. The shooter must consistently demonstrate proficiency by maintaining 100% accuracy in the 5 second time allotment; just like in real life…there is no award for losing. This course is shot with a minimum of:
a. A cover garment and a holster one would utilize either on, or off duty.
b. As a Uniformed Officer using the Agency approved duty belt with “double or triple retention” holster, and assigned pistol.

*A minimum of 3 successful attempts (not consecutive) must be accomplished in order to be awarded the coveted “Triple-Nickel” coin. The shooter must complete this task on the day, of the first successful attempt. *

SAFETY PRECAUTIONS:

a. Normal range safety rules apply.
b. Shooters must be efficient in their movements, and cognizant of the barrel direction (laser rule).
c. Shooters must utilize a standard safe holster, and magazine pouch. This holster must me worn as designed. All retention devices engaged.

SCORING:

Number of rounds on each target are 2, for a total of 10 rounds. The scoreable area is the 4/5 ring area on the Tran Star-II or the outer bottle for the QIT target. Unlike most courses of fire, the benefit DOES NOT go to the shooter; liners are considered misses regardless of which side they are located. When scoring this course, if there becomes any doubt on a shot placement, it shall be considered a miss. No questions asked.

SCORING (Hits only)

Hits must be in scoreable areas.
Anything touching the line is considered a MISS.
2 Hits must be in each target for a total of 10.
A reload must have been accomplished before the 5th target.
PACT TIMER run- 5 seconds period.

TRAINING AIDS/EQUIPMENT:

Range, 5 Tran-Star II or 5 QIT targets, 10 rounds of ammunition, PACT TIMER or computerized target system. Box of Tissues.

TRAINING VENUE DESCRIPTION/PREPARATION:
Scoring: Number of rounds on each target are 2, for a total of 10 rounds. The scoreable area is the 4/5 ring area (Tran Star-II) or the outer bottle for the QIT target. Unlike most courses of fire, the benefit DOES NOT go to the shooter; liners are considered misses regardless of which side they are located. When scoring this course, if there becomes any doubt on a shot placement, it shall be considered a miss. No questions asked.

Combat Accuracy

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If you want to be a combat-accurate shooter, be a target shooter first.

Experience Earned

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Experience Earned
by MSG Joe Carlos, US Army Reserve (ret.)

I’ve been associated with military shooting teams since the mid-1980s. During this entire period these teams have been underutilized, underfunded, and misunderstood. Until our wars in the Middle East I was one of the few members of the Reserve Team that had a combat patch. Generals and bean counters tended to think that all the shooting teams did was punch holes in paper and win trophies. When 9/11 hit all that changed real fast, however. Reservists and National Guardsmen from their respective shooting teams stepped forward and volunteered. Some were sent into combat but, fortunately, enough people in charge had the sense to assign most of the shooters as instructors and range cadre at the various Mobilization Stations or Power Projection Platforms.

At these Mob Stations each soldier has to review and demonstrate proficiency in his particular job skills, be it Infantryman, Motor Transport Operator, or Human Resources Specialist. Everyone also has to qualify with his individually assigned weapon, usually an M16/M4. I have all the respect in the world for Drill Sergeants and was one for many years, but Drill Sergeants have to cover all the tasks taught in Initial Entry (basic) Training from Drill and Ceremonies to Combatives. If your son or daughter was mobilizing, would you want any random Drill Sergeant supervising their marksmanship training or would you rather have an instructor that wore a Distinguished Badge on their chest and a President’s Hundred Tab on their sleeve?

When experience in the Gulf demonstrated the need to reach out a little farther on the battlefield, the active component considered all those old Viet Nam-era M14s that had been stored away. However, few personnel knew squat about M14s or shooting at distance because many active duty soldiers put in 20 years to punch the retirement ticket and get out, leaving no institutional knowledge. Reserve component soldiers (Guard and Reserve) tend to stick around longer because the military is supposed to be part time, with some remaining 30 or 40 years. Many on the two reserve shooting teams not only knew the M14 but had earned their Distinguished Rifleman badges with them and were able to show the active component how to do things right. The level of commitment went even further than that. With only 20 or 30 people slotted a military rifle team there wasn’t enough to handle the entire workload. Retired shooting team members stepped forward to help out, not unlike civilian competition shooters teaching marksmanship during the two world wars.

As time went on Designated Marksman training grew. The concept has at least one person per squad trained in long range precision shooting, not as a sniper but as a superior marksman. This person could be equipped with an M14 or M16 with ACOG or similar optical sight. After the fact, a number of organizations tried to lay claim to the Designated Marksman program but it was mostly reserve component shooting team members having competed internationally doing the the lion’s share of the development using lessons learned in those military shooting competitions. When I hear bean counters, politicians, and even other soldiers claiming shooting teams don’t contribute it riles me up and should anger you as well. A military rifle team can be completely funded for the cost of one cruise missile!

Most of the knowledge and research I write in my articles was learned during my decade-plus tenure as a competitor and armorer with the Army Reserve Marksmanship Program.

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