Importance of marksmanship training




 
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August 23rd, 2014  
Remington 1858
 
 

Topic: Importance of marksmanship training


Okay, let's have a poll. How important do you rate small arms marksmanship. Obviously some military forces such as the U.S. Marines rate rifle marksmanship as a critical skill. Others are more concerned with a more basic level of skill: short range targets, safe handling. maintenance. These military forces count on support weapons to do the real work. So, how do you rate the importance of marksmanship training, in general? On a scale of one to five with five being the most important, rate the importance ( in your opinion), of pistol and rifles marksmanship training. Okay, me first: pistol marksmanship , no more than 3, rifle marksmanship, 5. Naturally I understand that certain military jobs such as pilots and military police are going to use the pistol as the primary weapon. I am asking about the relative importance of both types of weapons at initial, entry level training.
August 24th, 2014  
BritinAfrica
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Remington 1858
Okay, let's have a poll. How important do you rate small arms marksmanship. Obviously some military forces such as the U.S. Marines rate rifle marksmanship as a critical skill. Others are more concerned with a more basic level of skill: short range targets, safe handling. maintenance. These military forces count on support weapons to do the real work. So, how do you rate the importance of marksmanship training, in general? On a scale of one to five with five being the most important, rate the importance ( in your opinion), of pistol and rifles marksmanship training. Okay, me first: pistol marksmanship , no more than 3, rifle marksmanship, 5. Naturally I understand that certain military jobs such as pilots and military police are going to use the pistol as the primary weapon. I am asking about the relative importance of both types of weapons at initial, entry level training.
I'd rate rifle 5. Most British troops rarely if ever get to fire or carry a pistol except for Military and RAF Police.
August 24th, 2014  
Kesse81
 
Shooting skill is essential because it forces teamwork and discipline. But combat is chaos and confusion and for me it is more about weapons craft and fire discipline.

Can you hit a target, you're not even sure that you can see?
Is it a head, you shoot at, or just a rock or a clump of bushes?
If you run out of ammo, can you perform a reload before the enemy returns fire at you and kill you?
Can you switch from one objective to another, when they become available?
Can you move from one position to another in order to promote a different view of the battlefield, and possibly reveal more enemy positions to your fire?
Can you shoot accurately while moving at a moving target?
Can you perform fire discipline under attack?

When a firefight begins, training and experience will come in play and fire discipline is critical. Its separates the pros from the amateurs, or more correctly, the living from the dead.
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August 24th, 2014  
Remington 1858
 
 
Totally agree Kesse81. Tactics, both individual and unit are critical skills.. I'm asking about entry level training for new recruits. Many military forces don't have access to live-fire ranges where a soldier can shoot at any serious range. Much of the rifle marksmanship is conducted on short ranges of 25-50 meters or on simulators. Is that adequate? Or do new soldiers require elaborate live fire ranges with camouflaged pop-up targets that react when hit? In countries that are heavily urbanized a range of that kind doesn't exist.
August 25th, 2014  
BritinAfrica
 
 
In the 1800's British soldiers marksmanship had a lot to be desired, so a school of musketry was set up to teach marksmanship. I can't remember all the details off hand, but it appeared to be quite effective. During my time marksmanship was considered extremely important, even among rear echelon troops.
August 25th, 2014  
brinktk
 
 
I will agree that rifles marksmanship should always be a 5. I think pistol marksmanship can range from 3-5 based off the function of the unit. If I'm about to enter a room that is smaller than a closet...I'll take a pistol over a long gun any day.

The insurgent forces in Fallujah were convinced US forces were executing them because of the number of headshots we were able to attain on them. What they didn't realize is that we trained to take advantage of a target of opportunity ever since a soldier/Marine enters the service. With improved optics, and improved long range marksmanship training, we were able to achieve remarkable success in delivering deadly accurate fires to enemy who thought they are safe from such fires.

Every squad had at least one designated marksman to provide overwatch for the units on the ground. This was a huge combat multiplier to the units closing with and engaging the enemy because they could move much easier in urban areas that provided numerous, and in most cases, interlocking fields of fire to the much deadlier and better trained marksman of the coalition.
August 25th, 2014  
JOC
 
 
If I recall during training expert was the highest grade as far as target shooting went at that time using the M-16. Brinktk still true? I was happy when awarded this level of marksmanship. Even back then the Army had quite a sophisticated range consisting of pop-up targets that stayed up for delta time periods at delta distances. The distances for the further certainly went out to several hundred yards max, although most were much closer if memory doesn't fail me.
August 25th, 2014  
Kesse81
 
I agree with Brinktk. Rifel 5 and Pistol 3-5

In Denmark we train recruits on firing ranges from 25 - 200 meters
We also train small unit firing on a field firing range with pop-up targets.

We have a urban training center. It consists of a number of buildings constructed for the purposes of military exercises in urban combat.



August 25th, 2014  
brinktk
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JOC
If I recall during training expert was the highest grade as far as target shooting went at that time using the M-16. Brinktk still true? I was happy when awarded this level of marksmanship. Even back then the Army had quite a sophisticated range consisting of pop-up targets that stayed up for delta time periods at delta distances. The distances for the further certainly went out to several hundred yards max, although most were much closer if memory doesn't fail me.
Yes, we still have these types of ranges for basic training with the targets going out to 300 meters. There are pop up targets and the recruits must shoot from the prone supported, prone unsupported, and kneeling positions during their qualification. They also do a number of field exercises with force on force type fights ranging from the woods to urban areas.

When they arrive at their units (in the combat arms world at least) soldiers will constantly be going to different types of ranges when they're not in the field. These ranges include machine gun ranges(M249 all the way up to M-2), close quarters marksmanship, reflexive fire, night fires, team and squad live fires, grenadier ranges, long range marksmanship(out to 800 meters), team and squad shoot house, advanced rifle marksmanship, pistol marksmanship...to name a few. Hell, I've even had competitive marksman for both pistols and rifles come give blocks of instruction to myself and my soldiers to make our fundamentals even stronger.

Ironically, all that stuff is the easiest part of our training schedule lol...Then we have squad, platoon, and company live fire exercises with IFV 's firing live rounds, as well as mortars, artillery, scout weapons teams (scouting helos), and close air support all dropping ordnance or causing havoc in the objective area...it's quite a sight...and quite fun as well!
August 26th, 2014  
Remington 1858
 
 
Thank you for those well thought -out comments and a special thanks for the photographs of the Danish MOUT ( Military Operations in Urban Terrain) site. It's good to know that proper marksmanship training is still a priority in many military forces. There are, however, still armies where the soldier is issued an AK-47 and two magazines, taken to an empty field, fires at a silhouette targets at 20 meters and is considered trained if he doesn't shoot himself or someone else. You don't want to be around guys like that when live ammunition is being used.
 


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