Comparing Small Arms Training: WWII and Today

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Zeroing Day

1942:

taken from this more comprehensive film:

Today:

Gunnery/Musketry

1933:

1935:

1944:

What machine gun gunnery is supposed to look like.

1960:

 

Today:

Who needs sights anyway?

However, this 1971 classic remains my favorite official Army training film of all time.

SHARP was invented after 1971, obviously…

Build New Reality

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Never change something by fighting the existing reality [or, the existing perception of reality.] Instead, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.

– James Dullaghan

Simulators For Training?

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A primary flaw of simulators like the Weaponeer were/are there aren’t enough of them around in routine use to make an actual difference. The Army’s EST 2000 suffers the same problem. Dry practice remains the best “simulator” based on availability and price, but only if you can get people to actually do it regularly and care enough to pay attention when they do.

Improvements via training require regular, programmed, on-going sessions. Instruction serves as an introduction, and may be adequate for tasks/skills that aren’t time-critical, but this ceases to be training after ideas are introduced.

Even lousy physical fitness programs commonly found in military and police PT use recognize that about 3-6 sessions each week are needed for improvement. Skill development for tasks that must be trained – like shooting – are no different.

The Weaponeer could have accomplished the designer’s intent if trainees used it 3-6 sessions a week for the duration of basic training. Instead, recruits get shuttled through it once so the Drill Sergeant can check a block and that’s it.

Weaponeer: A US Army Rifle Simulator from a Bygone Era

Two Ways to Deal with Buck Fever

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Two Ways to Deal with Buck Fever
by David Petzal

Drawing on my extensive medical background, I classify buck fever as a form of hysteria in which your cerebrum and cerebellum shut down simultaneously and you are left either paralyzed and unable to do anything except wet yourself (or worse) or do really odd things like cycling a whole magazine of ammo through the rifle without pulling the trigger.

We know that the sight of a big-game animal can have a profound physical effect on the body. Back in the 1990s, at a plantation loaded with really monstrous whitetails, scientists attached heart monitors to a number of deer hunters who then climbed into their trees stands to await one of these behemoths. When a Serious Deer did stroll by, heart rates went instantly from normal resting (about 72 beats per minute) to close to 200 per minute, which is a trip to the ER for many people.

The only way I know to deal with buck fever is to shoot in competition, which is shooting under pressure, which is what shooting at game is. It doesn’t matter what kind of competition, just as long as you expose yourself to being publicly humiliated if you screw up and rewarded if you don’t. A leisurely afternoon of shooting cans with your .22 will not do this.

Wake Up Call

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This won’t make me any friends, but I’ll say it anyway. I’ll defer to George Patton’s wisdom and have at it. More

The Range Complex

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The Range Complex
Review by Estaban Montoya Martinez

If you want to be the best shooter that you can be, you need to find the best instructors out there. The Range Complex was started by former members of 1 SFOD-Delta, or Delta Force. They have been there and done that, and will help make you better.

I was highly impressed by the 3 Day pistol/carbine course at The Range Complex, and disappointed it wasn’t 5 days long. At the end of it I was able to make a 100 yard shot with my iron sighted Springfield XDm, and was shooting much better with my AR-15. Forewarning, this is not a beginner’s course. The experience I’ve had from shooting Infidel Gunfighter League matches as well as practicing with Service Rifle and Pistol aided my understanding and implementation during this course. However, they weren’t as useful for this particular course as I had originally thought.

Greg Wilson, the instructor of the course I attended, has received the Presidents Hundred nine times in Service Pistol and Distinguished Pistol. He was in the Army Marksmanship Unit and renowned enough that 1 SFOD-Delta requested that he train them how to shoot better on multiple occasions. He has decades of experience and wisdom on shooting. He is known to put his money where his mouth is by shooting against his own students while teaching the course. Greg has a wealth of information and will answer any and all questions that you have.

Starting out, we shot Pistol at 25 yards toward an NRA bullseye target. This seems strange until you realize that it’s hard, and you cannot improve without seeing how far you can push yourself. Shooting at this distance also highlights the errors individuals make in grip, sight alignment, and trigger squeeze that are often hidden at closer distances. It WILL make you better.

I learned during this course that gun handling and shooting are two separate skills. Gun handling you want to do as fast as possible so that you can slow down to make a good shot.

There were several drills that were covered and were explained, the Bill Drill, Cadence Drill, Slow Fire, Target Transitions, Cadence Drills.

There are a lot of things that I and others learned from the course that will help you out with any course you take:

  1. Have proper cold/wet weather gear for the environment, God gets to vote on the weather.
  2. Ensure that you are physically in shape for the course, it’s not too demanding but does require slight physical activity all day.
  3. Ensure that your equipment is good to go, having iron sights off on a pistol or not enough ammo/belt equipment can put a damper on training time. (Though TRC will bend over backwards to help you)
  4. Words mean things, read and comprehend the course flyer.
  5. If you’re traveling, they can secure your weapons/ammo in a DOD approved weapons facility where they are safe.

This course is well worth the money and the time, and I’m looking forward to getting back to one, and using the skills learned there to improve my own skills even more. You’re missing out by not attending.

All Shooting Organizations are Bad!

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Organization

or·gan·i·za·tion [awr-guh-nuh-zey-shuhn]

A definition

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