The link has a photo of a benchrest shooter.
Rifle qualification changes may be coming soon as Corps tries to develop ‘better marksmen’
By: Shawn Snow 3 days ago
The Corps is currently in the process of experimentation and evaluations for proposed changes for the annual rifle qualification.
Training and Education Command provided few details about what those changes may entail, but said the modifications may involve the use of a new automatic scoring system called Known Distance Automated Scoring, or KDAS.
In a request for information posted on the government’s business opportunities portal, the Corps solicited information from industry leaders for a new rifle range auto scoring system that would include electronic visual displays for shooters and range coaches.
The system the Corps is looking for will also automatically score shots and control the shooting pits, removing the need for Marine manual labor to score and adjust targets.
That RFI posted in December noted that the Corps’ course of fire for table one was currently under revision.
All Marines undertaking their annual rifle qualification are required to qualify on the course of fire for tables one and two to receive an aggregate rifle score. Scores are broken down into marksman, sharpshooter and expert for those Marines who qualify on the range.
Table one tests basic marksman skills from known distances shooting from various positions from standing, kneeling, sitting and prone. Marines shoot at distances ranging from 100–500 meters.
The course of fire for table two incorporates combat marksmanship skills born out of lessons learned from the Corps’ counterinsurgency conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
That course of fire recently went under revisions in 2016 to incorporate necessary combat skills like engaging targets with an elevated heart rate, moving quickly into shooting positions, and the ability to determine friend or foe on the battlefield. Table two also involves shooting moving targets.
Marine Corps Training and Education Command said the purpose of the newly proposed changes is “to identify training efficiencies and ultimately develop better marksman.”
Nick Vaughan, a former Marine squad leader who served in Iraq, told Marine Corps Times that the Corps’ adaptations and changes to the rifle marksmanship program over the years have been a step in the right direction by incorporating lessons learned from years of combat experience.
“If I were to make any changes at all, it would simply be to increase the frequency of the event to at least biannual,” Vaughan said. “Marksmanship is a perishable skill, and if leadership is taking marksmanship seriously, then higher frequency of training and larger ammo/training budgets are a must.”
Weapons Training Battalion, Training and Education Command will submit recommendations following its experimentation to Marine Corps leadership for any future decision on changes to the rifle qualification.
Preach it, brother.
“I can’t give you brains, but I can give you a diploma.”
— The Wizard of Oz
"Marksmanship is a perishable skill."
Tell me about it.
Question...would they be better served qualifying using a kill house or some sort of moving targets rather than punching paper at ranges from 100-500 yards? Just asking an honest question.
“Nobody can ever take your integrity away from you. Only you can give up your integrity.” H. Norman Schwarzkopf
Part 2 of the course does include those skills, but probably not in a shoot house. When I was in, there was no part 2. Everything was stationary on the known distance range. I particularly thought that taking the time to "sling up" was pretty unrealistic for the type of shooting most of us would be likely to encounter.
It sounds like they are at least taking some steps in the right direction.
The other thing to remember is that this is referring to the qualification that all Marines shoot, regardless of MOS. The infantry units will definitely be getting additional training.
"They who would give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."
- Benjamin Franklin
"So this is how liberty dies; with thunderous applause."
- Senator Amidala (Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith)
If they do away with LCpls and 5.56mm ink pens in the pits I don't think there will be many 2Lt's qualifying anymore.
The lessons, skills and technique of marksmanship learned on a KD range will pay off.
Not to make anyone mad, but that U.S. Army had almost given up on that ( KD ranges ) for pop-up and 200 yard courses of fire, where the USMC has been using the KD ranges, and your average Marine can shoot circles around the average Army grunt.
What is needed is basic marksmanship training on KD ranges, and then more "real life" practical marksmanship training on unknown distance course of fire and qualification courses afterwards on both.
If you can't shoot accurately on a KD range, understand the basics of marksmanship ( which you will only truly learn on a KD range ) you ain't gonna hit shit in the real world.
Understanding what wind does to a bullet at 500/600 yards is only going to be learned by actually shooting at those ranges.
I shoot NRA National Match Service Rifles, and I'm a master class shooter, and I can tell you that shooting a 100 or 200 yard reduced course is much, much easier at the "500/600 yard" stage then the actual true range. My scores are much higher on the reduced courses; why? Because the wind has very little effect at 100/200 yards and it's easier.
To shoot any distance in the wind to hit well you have to know what you are doing, to learn that you have to do it. There are no shortcuts.
LOL. When I was in the army we stayed at an M9 range for 3 hours longer just so our 2nd LT platoon leader could qualify with her M9. The bitch must have tried and failed more than a dozen times.. what’s sad is that we were military police.. I was one of the “lucky” few who had to ride in the truck back with her and listen to her brag about scoring sharp shooter. (Which most people could do drunk and holding the pistol gangster style..) i really wish I had enough rank to talk shit and remind her it took her half a case of ammo to qualify
I’ve noticed an interesting dichotomy in discussions on the Internet about shooting and weapon-handling skills.
On the one hand the importance and value of good training and practice is generally recognized. More often than not when someone expresses questions or concerns about his/her abilities or someone else’s, the responses inevitably include countless “Get training” suggestions. That advice is of course very sound; few of us become safe, competent shooters solely on our own. There are exceptions, but not many. Getting good training isn’t all we must do to achieve that goal, which is why countless people who’ve received a bit of it don’t turn into very good shooters, but without it as a basis it will be an uphill battle.
On the other hand, whenever we see someone who isn’t a safe, competent shooter because of their unsafe actions at a shooting range, the fact that they miss most of the time during a defensive shooting, or because they have difficulty qualifying with a duty or service weapon, the usual assumption is that they’re just inferior human beings. Very seldom does anyone ask about the quantity and quality of the training they should have received to help ensure they didn’t do all those things.
In the case of an individual at the shooting range with the first gun he ever bought ten minutes ago we might say that he had an obligation to learn to use it before using it. But one nearly universal element of incompetence is not recognizing the extent of one’s ignorance: we don’t even know what we don’t know. (See the Dunning-Kruger effect.)
As for people who carry and are expected to use firearms as part of their professional duties, though, who has the responsibility for ensuring that they can do so safely and competently?
In both law enforcement and the armed forces, that responsibility is ultimately the organization’s. If an organization recruits and accepts into its ranks people who don’t have that knowledge and ability to begin with, it must impart them as part of the training it provides for the tasks to be performed. A school would be considered very lax and irresponsible if it hired someone to drive buses without ensuring that she/he had the knowledge and skill necessary to do it safely and competently.
Unfortunately, as anyone with experience in such organizations should know, that is often not what happens when firearms are involved. The Army gave me some pretty decent training on rifles in Basic—at least by standards of the time—but scant training on the revolvers I was issued throughout my career. The very unusual exception was the several day session at the FBI academy arranged by one unit I was assigned to. (And I never received any meaningful rifle training after Basic either.) The rest of my skills and abilities were developed on my own. Again we might say that the individual has some responsibility for self-improvement, but to reiterate, the ultimate responsibility lies with the organization. If someone who’s expected to be able to handle and shoot a weapon competently doesn’t because of lack of sufficient and proper training, it’s not that individual’s fault. We shouldn’t forget that fact, even if it is highly satisfying to say to ourselves, “What a good boy am I!”
“I can’t give you brains, but I can give you a diploma.”
— The Wizard of Oz
can't disagree with any of that - well-stated
the thing we tend to forget also - just like with LE - there are SO MANY other things that soldiers / Marines must train on IN ADDITION to just becoming better marksmen:
airborne / seaborne / vehicle Ops / maintenance
commo training / automation / computers
medical / first aid
other weapons - anti-tank / mines / MGs
So - like anything else - with 168 hours per week - what are the priorities?
Proverbs 27:17 - As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.
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Marines do shoot at unknown distance and dynamic targets, as well as in shoot houses or combat towns. There are various ranges where table 3 and more advanced training take place.
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