Remembering Fundamentals

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from John Tate

“Military actions are distilled down to shooting, moving, and communicating.”

“The most dynamic of the basics is shooting, and shooting well requires technique, accuracy, effect on target, and an understanding of what you are shooting at. This is a complex skill set, including everything from rifles/artillery to submarine-launched precision-guided missiles and close air support. Those that are doing the shooting and those that are directing the shooting need to be trained and exercised constantly.”

On a related note: Have you ever shot a Highpower match where (for example at 600 yds) the fog/haze/rain was so dense that your couldn’t clearly see your target? So you use a “berm hold” for elevation. Or, same distance, the wind exceeded your rifle’s windage, and you had to aim at the next target over? These are both examples of off-set aim points; attack aircraft crews use the same techniques when using RADAR significant objects as aim points with bomb navigation corrections that will achieve a hit on the intended target.

Every artillery officer knows the effect of wind(s) at altitude(s) on ballistics.

Over-the-horizon targeting can employ similar relational aiming techniques.

My point, the comment of aiming being “a complex skill set” is fully on target. And having all warriors skilled in small arms will likely have positive transfer to other warfare skills.

The service of the author, LTC Ray McFall, USMC (1986 – 2008), overlapped with that of Gen A.M. Gray’s tour as commandant (1987–91). You may remember, Gen Gray said, “every Marine is a rifleman.” That philosophy may have been impressed on McFall during his formative years. But even as a sailor, I’m firmly of the belief that every warrior should be confidently competent with small arms and thus his basic psyche permeated with the skill and will to kill.

Here’s hoping Mattis can return our military to a fighting force with only that focus.
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http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2016/12/shoot_move_and_communicate_back_to_the_basics.html

A Page From History: The First Televised Rifle Match

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Here’s a good bit of history. The following article was published at a time when about a third of the NRA membership held a formal NRA Classification. This is about 2% today.

NRA members receive a Classification (Marksman or higher) by merely participating in an NRA Approved or Registered tournament, or a Sanctioned league, regardless of score. This means 98% of the current membership has never bothered to show up to such events.

The ideas presented in this article will work today but only if people bother to attend and pay a little attention. Improving this among NRA members would be a tremendous help.

More stats and facts on this:
https://firearmusernetwork.com/high-school-shooting-range-1950s-and-today/

The First Televised Rifle Match
https://www.ssusa.org/articles/2016/12/1/a-page-from-history-the-first-televised-rifle-match/

From the April 1955 issue of American Rifleman, an article by Don Mohr on the first televised rifle match.

Television program ideas often develop from unusual occurrences. What we believe to be the first televised rifle match had just such a beginning.

The final construction phase of Allentown, Pennsylvania’s first television station, WFMZ-TV, was underway and any spare moments that were available from my Film and Arts Director position at the studio were spent in improving my shooting form. This was accomplished with a target range I had constructed in my home. The range involves firing from my editing room, through my dark room, and into a bullet trap located in my den. This area isolated from the rest of my home and with doors locked is perfectly safe; however, the initial reaction of visitors is one of disbelief.

Such was the case when one of our Directors, Don Tuckwood, paid a call. Upon questioning my wife as to who could possibly be hunting so close to a residence, and being informed it was merely her husband firing through the dark room, he was about to leave as quickly as he had arrived. It wasn’t long, however, before he became a regular visitor and participant in a number of impromptu matches.

Televise shooting?

One day the question arose, why not place this very thing before the camera? Why not indeed? You can imagine some of the problems involved: the safety factor, the range size, the safe coverage of target, and above all, the audience reaction.

Our large 60×60-foot studio makes a 45-foot range the most practical, and a lockout system plus close supervision by a number of range officers eliminates the possibility of any tiny holes appearing in equipment. Experimenting with my spotting scope and the TV camera, I found I could place the Bausch & Lomb 20-power spotting scope in front of the TV camera, and from a safe distance pick up the entire target, enabling the viewing audience at home to watch all five shooters place their shots, which is quite interesting to watch—even to a non-shooter.

The Remington flyspeck targets are used with 50 bulls, five-in-a-row, and ten rows. This allows our scope shooters to try their luck on two rows with a total of ten shots.

With the blessings of our Manager, Raymond Kohn, five .22 cal. rifles blaze away on Wednesday nights during our “Seven to Nine Show”. This program is planned around 120 minutes of local live entertainment and information. Most anything is presented, from arts to sports to industries to—yes, rifle matches.

Cover other activities with guns
To add interest to this quarter-hour of shooting for those of the audience who may have no desire to watch holes appear in paper (though we’ve discovered that many non-shooters are fascinated by the matches), interviews are conducted on some phase of shooting—cups and medals won by some of our shooters, law enforcement officers and firearms, gunsmiths, how to load ammunition, antique guns, etc.

The studio area is cleared 15 minutes prior to telecast so the shooters can zero in and, to keep the area safe, the match is presented at the very beginning of the show. Often the letters S-H-O-W of the Seven to Nine Show title are shot out by the five shooters as an opening feature.

The participants experience considerably more tension when firing over television as compared with the normal club match. They are well aware of the many eyes peering at every miss. Such stage fright, however, does not deter them from the usual heated discussion of ‘just on the line’ shots.

Scoring, by the way, provides a possible 200 with 20 X’s, and an X is any shot hitting the flyspeck but not touching the circle. A 10 is any shot hitting the flyspeck but touching the circle. Any shot missing the flyspeck is scored as a miss and down 10 points. This is a fast and easy method of scoring right before the camera which I do immediately following the shoot so as to present the winner for the night.

A tremendous amount of credit goes to the local gun clubs who aided me in laying the ground work for the first match. Nineteen men and one brave woman. Five shooters fired per week with each returning to shoot a second time. A local merchant donated a beautiful trophy to the high scorer and sterling silver tieclips for the three group runners-up.

Matches scheduled regularly now
This match proved so effective that we are not conducting a team match to last 10 weeks. At the close of 10 weeks, if enough interest in shooting has developed, we expect to begin a women’s match and a junior division match. The possibilities are endless. What started as another television experiment has blossomed into an interesting smallbore rifle contest, both for the participants and all viewers.

Television stations are always seeking new ideas for programs, particularly programs utilizing local talent and activities. If you approach the program director of your local TV station, perhaps arrangements can be made to program some of the activities of your local rifle and pistol club.


The author placed his Bausch & Lomb 20-power spotting scope in front of the TV camera to capture shots.

On Competition

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Competition is the pressure test of training and practice; it is the means through which resilience is developed. A loss is not a bad thing. A loss is an indicator of development; a lesson. If you do things a certain way you will achieve a certain outcome, the same can be said of winners. Individuals and teams winning competitions were better prepared to compete because their development didn’t involve the simple execution of tasks like an automaton.

Joe Garcia

CCW Lessons From Competition

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My background as a competition shooter has never once been a crutch through any of the realistic training I’ve attended. Instead, what I realized was that, even though I was mostly a race gun shooter, the skills developed in shooting against some of the best in the world translated seamlessly into working with a stock duty pistol, and even gave me an edge when it came to real-world applications.

When I practice my shooting, I don’t run through specialized match stages; instead I focus on specific skillsets that have a direct, positive impact on real-world applications.

Simon “J.J.” Racaza

Racaza’s experience echoes what every competitive shooter with military and police experience has found. People seeking to improve themselves far beyond the minimum standards will excel far beyond the minimum standards most are content to meet. Despite all the fanciful catchphrases and machismo, doing this requires actually participating in something where skills are tested beyond minimums. Cowering behind excuses to avoid such tests accomplishes nothing.

Especially when the excuses are mostly fabrications:
https://firearmusernetwork.com/myth-of-competition-training-scars/

And there are zero examples of any actual problems in the first place:
https://firearmusernetwork.com/training-and-competition-the-dark-side/

Read more:
http://www.recoilweb.com/preview-jj-racaza-discusses-ccw-lessons-from-competition-93359.html

MSG Norman Anderson: Being Of Service Rifle

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An interview with one of High Power’s greatest competitor and coach, MSG Norman Anderson.

http://www.beingofservicerifle.com/interview-norm-anderson/

Rifle Marksmanship: Competition Shooter vs. Military

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A very good bit of instruction from Patrick E. Kelley

Offhand Rifle Shooting Tips

A 10-inch steel plate at 170 yards is about 5.8 MoA. As you can see in the video, the Burris XTR II reticle used has an interior dimension of 1.75 mils (about 6 MoA) which appears just slightly larger than the target.

For reference, basic Army and Marine rifle grouping standard is a 6 MoA group (4cm at 25 yards) fired prone supported. Mr. Kelley is performing this demo offhand unsupported. That’s the skill difference between military-trained personnel and a good competition shooter.

Real World “Experience”

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I often think that we give TOO MUCH credit to “experience.” Someone who has done something a few times, and done it WRONG, but gotten lucky, is a very, very dangerous instructor indeed. I have seen many times a bad decision luckily turn out well, this “validating” that bad decision. Sorry, it just doesn’t work that way…

The ideal, of course, is considerable real world experience using techniques that have served not only that one instructor, but a wide variety of end users well over a long period of time. I put very little faith in anecdotes, one-offs, and “well, I knocked out Mike Tyson, so I must be the best fighter ever. Well, yeah, he did slip and hit his head on the curb just as he was about to knock me into next week, but my one experience PROVES that my techniques are the best!” I’d rather have an instructor who may never have had to use his techniques, but whose STUDENTS perhaps have used them extensively and proven their value.

One of my personal favorite instructors (who is a Grand Master competitor and has been in more than one defensive shooting situation in his life) has the opinion that far too many “cool new techniques” are developed by people who did something once and got lucky. The thought applies, “Well, if I survived this one encounter by shooting the gun upside down and running the trigger with my pinky [because specific circumstances forced this course of action], then it must work all the time!” Then you get Bobby Lee’s Tactical Pinky Inversion school.

That’s the extreme, of course, but if you look at any number of would-be trainers on YouTube, you will see plenty of folks emphasizing one specific skill-set as the solution to all defensive shooting. I don’t trust any instructor who doesn’t express some sense of adaptability, and whose supposed wonder-technique doesn’t stand up to a decent amount of poking, prodding, and questioning by the students.

More here:
http://www.defensivecarry.com/forum/defensive-carry-tactical-training/131459-should-he-really-training-people.html

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