Proper Presentation (Handgun)

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How to present your handgun from the holster per TC 3-23.35 and TC 3-23.17.

Table III Practice

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Table III is the practice of Drills to prepare use of your equipment for successful qualification. Here’s how to run all of your practiced drills in one sequence.

Soldier marksmanship program improved

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As featured in Army Reserve News:

The Chief, Army Reserve Postal Match program directed by Army Regulation 140-1, Chapter 7 has been updated and improved to make participation easier. Held during the conduct of annual qualification on common Army training ranges, Postal Matches use existing Army training targetry while satisfying the new Army training standards.

As directed by current Army Training Circulars, Soldiers are to conduct six Training Tables to learn a more field relevant training approach to marksmanship. This training requires more realistic conduct with issue weapons along with a series of skill validations as each Table builds to the new qualifications detailed in TC 3-20.40. The Postal Match program provides the means to successfully conduct this skill validation while doubly serving as a competitive event.

The Postal Matches are named after Army Reserve marksmanship luminaries. Maj. Margaret Thompson Murdock, an Army Reserve nurse, was the first woman to win an Olympic medal in shooting. Capt. Horace Wayman Bivens, a Buffalo Soldier serving in reserve to the famed 1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry “Rough Riders” and awarded the Silver Star for his actions during the Battle of San Juan Hill, was the first American to earn a coveted Double Distinguished rating after earning both Distinguished Rifleman and Distinguished Pistol Shot in competition. Gen. William Sutton, a successful competition shooter who served as a commander during World War II, was the first Chief, Army Reserve to formally establish a marksmanship program in published regulation for the Army Reserve. Gen. Harry Mott was the first Chief, Army Reserve to expand the Army Reserve Marksmanship Program to all Soldiers beyond the shooting teams and establish Army Reserve Marksman with Soldiers hosting Postal Matches for their units recognized nationally in Army Reserve Magazine (now Warrior Citizen).

The complete, updated Postal Match, Course of Fire, and Rulebook and issues of Army Reserve Marksman can be downloaded at Video descriptions of these courses and more information are available via the Army Reserve Marksmanship Program official social media at and

Moving Through Barricaded Positions

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A demonstration of how to move through the positions used during the conduct of the new U.S. Army qualification.

Army Qualification Position Overview

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Learn the different shooting positions needed to shoot the new U.S. Army Qualification. References are Training Circulars 3-22.9 and 3.20.40.

Notes on High Power Prone

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From J. C. Tate, CDR USN (Ret.) – Distinguished in 1991

A good prone position is a make-or-break position - for one thing 300 of 500 points are prone.  Also, they say you win at offhand and lose at 600.  I can't argue with that either.  And, as you say, prone ought to be the most stable, all bone & sling, no muscle, relaxed position ... if you build a good one.  How do you know if it's good?  When you fire a shot, your rifle will naturally, effortlessly settle back almost where it was before the shot broke.

Of course, that last comment applies to sitting rapid too.  Which is why I see good shooters spending up to 30 seconds in sitting and 35 in prone rapid, just to build a good, relaxed, natural-point-of-aim position.

That said, here are my comments.  My context is for a right handed shooter.  I am mainly thinking of service rifle/EIC shooting, that's almost all I did.  Also, I shot M1/M14, so recoil was much more an issue than with M16/M4:
  1. Get your sling as high up on your left upper arm as possible. (A bit of spray adhesive will help keep it from slipping down.)
  2. Put the rifle’s forend on the bones where your hand meets your forearm; your fingers should be ‘floppy loose,’ not gripping the forend at all. Position your support/left elbow as close to directly under the rifle as possible. A perfectly vertical support arm is easy to duplicate. If your elbow is not under the rifle, any amount of variance will move the point of impact; if that variance is not the same, your point of impact will also vary. You may need to roll slightly on your left side to get your elbow under the rifle. If that’s the case, then pull your right elbow closer into your side … if possible, dig it into the ground a bit to help avoid slipping on recoil.
  3. Depending on what sort of shooting jacket is allowed (if any) use your shooting/right hand to position the butt well into the chest-shoulder ‘pocket.’ When you then move that shooting hand forward to grip the small of the stock, the pocket will tighten and your jacket folds will grip the stock and help hold it in place. (A little spray adhesive on the butt and on your jacket will help prevent slipping too.)
  4. After building this solid position, you will need to refine it to achieve a relaxed, natural-point-of-aim. To do this:
    a. First wiggle your hips to get as close as possible to that relaxed, on-target position.
    b. If your sights aren’t dead on, slide your right foot to the left or right a bit to move the muzzle in the opposite direction. (Try it! This works for a gentle, lateral adjustment.)
  5. Three peripheral comments. Practice getting into prone, then getting up, and getting down … until you have a reliable routine. When practicing getting into a good prone position, don’t forget to do it with your scorebook and shooting scope so that you know where to place them for use with little or no movement. Finally, practice dry fire with a helper whacking the muzzle to simulate recoil and consistent, on-target recovery. (On an M1/M14, the helper can hit the oprod to cycle the action.)
    I hope these are helpful. They helped me!


Army Qualification Practice

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Learn how the U.S. Army has updated shooting for qualification. This is a simple overview of conducting practice for Table III.

Force on Force Training: FoFTS-Next

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Marines are looking to first upgrade and eventually replace laser shooting simulators. The FoFTS-Next system will allow Marines to move away from decades of semi-accurate laser weapons systems that can often be defeated by standing behind a leafy shrub and cannot replicate the trajectories, drops, shooting experience or effects on target that are desperately needed for live training. “I think this is going to revolutionize the way we conduct force on force training,” Col. Luis Lara, program manager for Marine Corps Systems Command training systems, told Marine Corps Times.

I appreciate that FoFTS-Next addresses the limitations of Instrumented-Tactical Engagement Simulation System (ITESS) and Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System (MILES). That’s all well and good, however, but the biggest limitation is how any of this equipment is implemented.

Having used MILES and MILES 2000, I found it common for units to either not use or not have the Small Arms Alignment Fixture (SAAF) to zero the devices before use. If you were in the Army or Marines and used MILES, read this Technical Manual to check if your unit failed to do this:

Even worse than this is how Force on Force is conducted in the military, or rather, how it too often isn’t conducted. Instead of setting up and running focused and intelligently designed FoF exercises using whatever simulator system might be available (properly set up or not…) many units just stumble around the field for days at a time with this extra gear, ensuring it gets beaten and abused to a point of non-usability for the next unit that borrows it from the Training Aids Service Center or Training Support Center.

Smart troops and good leaders using ancient but properly-setup MILES gear will remain better trained than typical units with FoFTS-Next. Better equipment is only as good as the people using it.

Shooting Skill Review: Olympic Edition

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Just how good are shooters in the Olympics? How difficult is it to shoot at their level? Consider this shoot off between Mary Tucker (USA) and Park Heemoon (South Korea), Women’s 10 Meter Air Rifle, Tokyo 2020 Olympics:

First, it’s all shot standing which is much more difficult than using braced positions.

Second, consider the target. The period in the center is the 10 ring (0.5mm diameter). With a projectile diameter of 0.177 inches shooting a ten demands just over 1 minute of angle accuracy from standing.

Standard dime for comparison

Same target with a 5 shot group using .177 caliber pellets.

Third, as if all that was wasn’t difficult enough, top competitions have been using electronic scoring since 1984 with Swiss Sius systems. Notice how the scores are decimal, such as a 10.9? A shot that barely touches the 10 ring (the period in the center) is scored 10.0. A 10.9 is dead center, essentially threading a needle at 10 meters.

To put it further in perspective, the maximum shot value is 10.9 per shot, a perfect “pinwheel X” dead center on of the 0.5mm 10 ring. The last place shooter at the Men’s 10 Meter Air Rifle at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics (Mahdi Yovari) shot 601.4 in the qualifier, an average of 10.023 points per shot for 60 shots. At this level of competition, being able to hit the ten ring essentially every time still isn’t good enough.

Air Rifle shooting at the Olympic level demands shooting about 1 minute of angle from standing. For reference, most military rifle qualifications can be shot at an “expert” level (and possibly a “perfect” score) by holding 6 minutes of angle accuracy from supported prone. Sniper qualifications can be passed readily, and possibly shot with a “perfect” score, by holding 3 minutes of angle from bipod supported prone.

Something to consider next time you hear someone boasting about qualifying “expert” in the military.

Firearm purchasing and firearm violence during the coronavirus pandemic in the United States: a cross-sectional study

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Injury Epidemiology
Volume 8, Article number: 43 (2021)

Authors: Julia P. Schleimer, Christopher D. McCort, Aaron B. Shev, Veronica A. Pear, Elizabeth Tomsich, Alaina De Biasi, Shani Buggs, Hannah S. Laqueur & Garen J. Wintemute


A surge in firearm purchasing following the onset of the coronavirus pandemic may have contributed to an increase in firearm violence. We sought to estimate the state-level association between firearm purchasing and interpersonal firearm violence during the pandemic.


Cross-sectional study of the 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia from January 2018 through July 2020. Data were obtained from the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (a proxy for firearm purchasing) and the Gun Violence Archive. Using negative binomial regression models, we estimated the association between cumulative excess firearm purchases in March through July 2020 (measured as the difference between observed rates and those expected from autoregressive integrated moving average models) and injuries (including nonfatal and fatal) from intentional, interpersonal firearm violence (non-domestic and domestic violence).


We estimated that there were 4.3 million excess firearm purchases nationally from March through July 2020 and a total of 4075 more firearm injuries than expected from April through July. We found no relationship between state-level excess purchasing and non-domestic firearm violence, e.g., each excess purchase per 100 population was associated with a rate ratio (RR) of firearm injury from non-domestic violence of 0.76 (95% CI: 0.50–1.02) in April; 0.99 (95% CI: 0.72–1.25) in May; 1.10 (95% CI: 0.93–1.32) in June; and 0.98 (95% CI: 0.85–1.12) in July. Excess firearm purchasing within states was associated with an increase in firearm injuries from domestic violence in April (RR: 2.60; 95% CI: 1.32–5.93) and May (RR: 1.79; 95% CI: 1.19–2.91), though estimates were sensitive to model specification.


Nationwide, firearm purchasing and firearm violence increased substantially during the first months of the coronavirus pandemic. At the state level, the magnitude of the increase in purchasing was not associated with the magnitude of the increase in firearm violence. Increases in purchasing may have contributed to additional firearm injuries from domestic violence in April and May. Results suggest much of the rise in firearm violence during our study period was attributable to other factors, indicating a need for additional research.

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