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Posted: 12/8/2003 8:40:47 AM EDT
Here's a question for the military amongst the group:

While shooting at a state range a week or so ago with a pair of buddies. One happens to be a bona-fide new-world-order type, we're yakking and swapping between my 20" HBAR and the Carbon 15 i'd just bought. A couple of guys came around to check our toys out and asked which of the AR and C-15 were more accurate, I told him that I thought the C-15 might be. He pressed further asking what kind of groups I got with it and I looked at my tinfoil buddy and said "Oh, I'm getting about Minute-Of-Blue-Helmet out of it!" Thankfully it wasn't a total bomb of a joke (everyone chuckled) but it brought about the question: How well does the average soldier, American or foreign shoot? Are they accomplished as a recreational shooter would be? What percentage of head/torso shots whould you expect of a typically trained grunt with a battle rifle at 50, 100, and 200 yds?

How about with a handgun?

Dave
Link Posted: 12/8/2003 8:45:50 AM EDT
For better or worse, most of the military types I know are also recreational/competitive shooters as well. And, btw, they are good shooters.
Link Posted: 12/8/2003 8:47:57 AM EDT
It depends who you're talking about. I can say that just about every US Marine can shoot the wings off a fruit fly at 100 yards.
Link Posted: 12/8/2003 8:52:31 AM EDT
Bullshit. I think the standard of marksmanship is higher in the Marine Corps than in the Army, but the average grunt or clerk-n-jerk type is a mediocre shot at best. And the average weapon-handling skill is absolutely dismal. Their reload times could be effectively measured with a sundial, and their muzzle discipline is piss-poor. The average Gunsite/Thunder Ranch/Rogers Institute grad has weaponcraft skills far in advance of the average soldier/sailor/Marine. YMMV, but I've seen it..... QS
Link Posted: 12/8/2003 8:55:03 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/8/2003 8:59:35 AM EDT
Marksmanship in Army at least, can't speak of the other branches, most soldiers would have no problem shooting out to 200 meters on center-of-mass torso shots. Most soldiers have who miss targets in quals, have problems with the 300 meter targets. These misses at 300 are more to rushing the shot as the Army uses timed popups. The Infantry guys will eat up the 200 meter range. Ranger Battalion members I went to PLDC with told me that they like to double tap targets out that far. Those boys can SHOOT!!!!!!
Link Posted: 12/8/2003 9:00:18 AM EDT
Originally Posted By QuietShootr: Bullshit. I think the standard of marksmanship is higher in the Marine Corps than in the Army, but the average grunt or clerk-n-jerk type is a mediocre shot at best. And the average weapon-handling skill is absolutely dismal. Their reload times could be effectively measured with a sundial, and their muzzle discipline is piss-poor. The average Gunsite/Thunder Ranch/Rogers Institute grad has weaponcraft skills far in advance of the average soldier/sailor/Marine.
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I would agree with you to a degree. A few of my buddies have said they shoot more away from duty than on duty. Again, these guys are members of the shooting community as much as they are soldiers or marines, so they [b]would[/b] be better marksmen than the average grunt.
Link Posted: 12/8/2003 9:05:56 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Wobblin-Goblin:
Originally Posted By QuietShootr: Bullshit. I think the standard of marksmanship is higher in the Marine Corps than in the Army, but the average grunt or clerk-n-jerk type is a mediocre shot at best. And the average weapon-handling skill is absolutely dismal. Their reload times could be effectively measured with a sundial, and their muzzle discipline is piss-poor. The average Gunsite/Thunder Ranch/Rogers Institute grad has weaponcraft skills far in advance of the average soldier/sailor/Marine.
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I would agree with you to a degree. A few of my buddies have said they shoot more away from duty than on duty. Again, these guys are members of the shooting community as much as they are soldiers or marines, so they [b]would[/b] be better marksmen than the average grunt.
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That's my point. I love when people say things to me like, "Hey, did you learn to shoot like that in the Army?" [rofl] As if.
Link Posted: 12/8/2003 9:08:02 AM EDT
There's a guy who can hit a blackbird on the wing, at 500 yds, shooting offhand, with a muzzleloader! First shot too! He said so in his post... I would guess that a typical rifleman in the US military may not be shooting Sub MOA groups, but they are proficient in hitting man sized targets at various ranges, AND SHOOTING POSITIONS!
Link Posted: 12/8/2003 9:10:50 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Torf: There's a guy who can hit a blackbird on the wing, at 500 yds, shooting offhand, with a muzzleloader! First shot too! He said so in his post... I would guess that a typical rifleman in the US military may not be shooting Sub MOA groups, but they are proficient in hitting man sized targets at various ranges, AND SHOOTING POSITIONS!
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You'd be wrong about that too...the Army doesn't teach any position other than prone unsupported or prone supported. (shooting from a fighting position or 'foxhole' to you non-vets.)
Link Posted: 12/8/2003 9:10:51 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/8/2003 9:18:12 AM EDT by Mr_Happyface]
In the Army, a soldier has to hit a slightly smaller than man sized target from 50 - 300 yards with one shot... The targets are popups and stay up for a period of time relative to the range they are at... Perfect score is 40 - 20 hits from inside foxhole and 20 hits from prone position. Just to pass you need to score 26 out of 40 Most of my Batallion averages about 30. I average around 38 sometimes better, depending on luck. Got 40 once. Edited because I forgot to add, Marines shoot at stationary targets out to 500 yards I PERSONALLY feel that that is a little unrealistic and useless and the Army's approach toward marksmanship is better. We emphasize scanning zones, aiming, and shooting quickly. Almost snap fireing at the 50 yarders those f'ers are fast.
Link Posted: 12/8/2003 9:12:45 AM EDT
Originally Posted By MountainMan8: It depends who you're talking about. I can say that just about every US Marine can shoot the wings off a fruit fly at 100 yards.
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Easy, easy. Mildly sarcastic, shameless plug. Expy units can shoot pretty damn good though. Maybe a large bumblebee? Don't know about Army. I will say that shooting is becoming a lost art given all this high-tech wizardry. I was always told that battles are won with well-aimed shots. I still believe this to be true.
Link Posted: 12/8/2003 9:15:05 AM EDT
Another interesting tidbit... Last year I went along with a NG unit here in CT during a CQB drill. When we were practicing with cold weapons, one of the sergeants asked me if I had prior service or played "paintball." It didn't occur to him that I might be familiar with weapons for no other reasons than I simply like them and want to exercise my God-given right to self-protection.
Link Posted: 12/8/2003 9:23:13 AM EDT
I will say that shooting is becoming a lost art given all this high-tech wizardry.
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That is not at all true, the training and qualification is still done on good old iron sights. The cool stuff comes after a solid foundation has been built. I forgot to say earlier that, the average Infantry soldier shoots usually above 30 on qualification, they are not allowed to settle for the lowest level (marksman)
Link Posted: 12/8/2003 9:25:58 AM EDT
What about LEOs? I've seen some AWFUL targets from law enforcement. sorry to threadjack. ; ) jim
Link Posted: 12/8/2003 9:31:06 AM EDT
The last time an LEO got into a shootout around these parts, he dumped three full mags (45 rounds!) of 9mm at the BG and only hit him six times. It was a State Trooper, no less.
Link Posted: 12/8/2003 9:37:44 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Mr_Happyface:
I will say that shooting is becoming a lost art given all this high-tech wizardry.
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That is not at all true, the training and qualification is still done on good old iron sights. The cool stuff comes after a solid foundation has been built. I forgot to say earlier that, the average Infantry soldier shoots usually above 30 on qualification, they are not allowed to settle for the lowest level (marksman)
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You're right, qualification and training is still around, I wasn't saying that our military doesn't shoot anymore.
Link Posted: 12/8/2003 10:21:08 AM EDT
I would agree that the KD or SLR course aren't the best combat shooting course out there, but there really not meant to be, but instead are test of applications of shooting fundamentals. The better part of the qualification course is phase 3, transition training, in which you shoot multiple targets, movers, transition between different positions and have to present your weapon while moving, etc. I have shot both the Army and Marine course of fire, neither is really hard, but it was easier to get expert with the army pop up course than the KD or SLR course. You also have to remember that shooting is a very small part of the job. I am sure there are allot of good shooters out there in the civilian world, more than the military to be honest, but it is a totally other question as to whether they would make good soldiers or Marines.
Link Posted: 12/8/2003 10:27:20 AM EDT
Originally Posted By DaveCampbell1: "Oh, I'm getting about Minute-Of-Blue-Helmet out of it!"
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Just wondering: How good is UN body armor? Will the helmet stop an M193 round? How ‘bout their vests (if they have them)?
Link Posted: 12/8/2003 10:35:16 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Cato556: Just wondering: How good is UN body armor? Will the helmet stop an M193 round? How ‘bout their vests (if they have them)?
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Do you understand that there is NO SUCH THING as UN troops? Countries donate/lend troops to the UN, and use their own equipment. And those units are nominally under UN "command" but not really because they can decide to go home at any point. So "UN body armor" and "UN helmets" are just the equipment of whatever troops have signed up for the particular UN mission - like Pakistani, Canadian, Dutch, Turkish, Finnish, etc.
Link Posted: 12/8/2003 10:40:07 AM EDT
Originally Posted By QuietShootr: You'd be wrong about that too...the Army doesn't teach any position other than prone unsupported or prone supported. (shooting from a fighting position or 'foxhole' to you non-vets.)
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Really? I didn't know that. I learn something every day on arfcom. [:)] Back in the old country, we trained prone supported, prone unsupported as well as kneeling and squatting. I have trouble remembering if we trained standing or not. This was with Garands and HK G-3's - don't know if things changed when we adopted the C-7/M-16 (that was after my time). Our infantry rifle-men could relatively easily hit center-of-mass out to 300 meters -but that's on a range. Once you're in the field, and things are chaotic and dynamic, I'd probably not expect the infantry soldier to be accurate beyond 100-200 meters
Link Posted: 12/8/2003 11:54:43 AM EDT
Originally Posted By DK-Prof: Our infantry rifle-men could relatively easily hit center-of-mass out to 300 meters -but that's on a range. Once you're in the field, and things are chaotic and dynamic, I'd probably not expect the infantry soldier to be accurate beyond 100-200 meters
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This is probably about right. The average Joe would and does do better when you give him an ACOG or something similar, but the standard irons and the average ability combined don't make a particularly effective combination. I'd feel very much at an advantage facing one of today's rifle squads at >300 meters.
Link Posted: 12/8/2003 12:01:13 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/8/2003 1:02:28 PM EDT by QuietShootr]
Originally Posted By STLRN: I would agree that the KD or SLR course aren't the best combat shooting course out there, but there really not meant to be, but instead are test of applications of shooting fundamentals. The better part of the qualification course is phase 3, transition training, in which you shoot multiple targets, movers, transition between different positions and have to present your weapon while moving, etc. I have shot both the Army and Marine course of fire, neither is really hard, but it was easier to get expert with the army pop up course than the KD or SLR course. You also have to remember that shooting is a very small part of the job. I am sure there are allot of good shooters out there in the civilian world, more than the military to be honest, but it is a totally other question as to whether they would make good soldiers or Marines.
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Oh, indeed. The measure of a good soldier or Marine is better taken by how fast he can run three miles or how many pushups he can do, how well he presses his uniform,[red] NOT [/red]whether or not he is proficient at his MOS tasks or can use his weapon. This whole skill-at-arms thing is SO overrated. ETA what I meant to say, dammit [;)]
Link Posted: 12/8/2003 12:39:15 PM EDT
All depends on the job,unit and person. Granted, an 11B will generally shoot better than some soft skill. There are those so bad that they should not be allowed to touch a weapon, even in the Infantry units. There are also finance guys that can clean house in a 3-gun match. Sadly, the military cannot afford to have higher weapons skill standards. Half the soldiers in my unit cannot dissassemble an M9, shotgun or AK, as I discovered during a recent class I was teaching. Never mind hitting something with one. Some guys shoot very well, but it's because they take it upon themselves to develop the skill. I think that anyone who's job is to pull the trigger should be able to drop an e-type at 300m with irons, consistiently, no problem. Of course, that will never happen. Oh, my last qual... 39/40 w/irons just to prove to my guys that you don't need your ACOG or CompM to shoot well. The one I missed? The 50m target! Hey, that thing is pretty quick.[:D]
Link Posted: 12/8/2003 12:48:51 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/8/2003 12:50:06 PM EDT by SGTIMAK]
Originally Posted By QuietShootr: Oh, indeed. The measure of a good soldier or Marine is better taken by how fast he can run three miles or how many pushups he can do, how well he presses his uniform, or whether or not he is proficient at his MOS tasks. This whole skill-at-arms thing is SO overrated.
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The term "good soldier" can mean so many things these days. I know a guy that was a week from being chaptered out before OEF. His chain of command didn't like the fact that he never pressed his uniform or spit shined his boots, didn't get a high and tight every week and let leaders know when he thought they were fucked up. A bad soldier in their eyes, even though he trained his soldiers to be as close to proficient as I've seen and maxed the APFT every time he took it. Fast forward 7 months... back from OEF with a BSM for valor and getting out of the Army. And his "leaders" wonder why they can't hold on to what they now call such a "good" soldier. Whatever. [i][/i]
Link Posted: 12/8/2003 1:00:32 PM EDT
Originally Posted By SGTIMAK:
Originally Posted By QuietShootr: Oh, indeed. The measure of a good soldier or Marine is better taken by how fast he can run three miles or how many pushups he can do, how well he presses his uniform, or whether or not he is proficient at his MOS tasks. This whole skill-at-arms thing is SO overrated.
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The term "good soldier" can mean so many things these days. I know a guy that was a week from being chaptered out before OEF. His chain of command didn't like the fact that he never pressed his uniform or spit shined his boots, didn't get a high and tight every week and let leaders know when he thought they were fucked up. A bad soldier in their eyes, even though he trained his soldiers to be as close to proficient as I've seen and maxed the APFT every time he took it. Fast forward 7 months... back from OEF with a BSM for valor and getting out of the Army. And his "leaders" wonder why they can't hold on to what they now call such a "good" soldier. Whatever. [i][/i]
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Nail, hammer. Hammer, nail.
Link Posted: 12/8/2003 1:04:41 PM EDT
Compared to the average shooter on the line at CAmp Perry's service rifle competition? Most military shooters suck. Compared to the average joe blow down at the range, the average infantry type has weapons confidence to blow their doors off and can probably shoot tighter groups at 100 yards with irons than most can manage with a scope. Your average non-infantry type can't shoot worth shit and barely knows which end of the thing the bullet comes out of. In general Marines have a much higher level of range proficiency than Army with qualifications out to 500 meters (Army stops at 300). In the real world of combat I'm not certain the range proficiency matters as rock solid positions and nicely highlighted bullseye targets are none too common on the battlefield. And since most shooting takes place at ranges under 200 meters... I personally feel that the Army ARM moving and pop-up target range should be the real qualification range as it more closely mimicks real world conditions. Honest questions here: Does the Corps use a moving and pop up target range? Does the Corps qualify on a pop-up silhouette range or a known distance bullseye range? In my opinion, to get really good marksmanship skills in the military you need to be in an elite light infantry or special operations unit where the individual shoulder arm is the primary battle winner and lifeline. When you are forced to rely that closely on your personal skill at arms, there is a strong incentive to practice, a lot. Mech infantry units tend to rely more on the Bradley to do the fighting, and in my personal experience individual marksmanship skills just don't get the practice they should get. We didn't even have a full distance range available to us. When we went out for EIB practice and testing we were working on a reduced course, which is complete and utter bullshit. How can you say that an expert rating on a reduced course of fire has anything approaching the value of an expert rating on a full 300 meter pop-up course? I shot a low end sharpshooter on the real course at Benning and squeezed out an Expert rating on the reduced course with a very iffy zero and almost no practice time in MONTHS. I in no way deserved that expert rating, because I know, on a real range, that iffy zero would have translated into a bunch of clean misses low and left, but at the reduced range, the wind and ballistics didn't get a chance to screw things up. I hope most units have better range facilities than we had.
Link Posted: 12/8/2003 2:13:56 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/8/2003 3:27:37 PM EDT by STLRN]
The ability to get to the fight is 3/4s of the fight (read physical conditioning is more important than about anything else) and you ability to punch paper or crazy ivans doesn't really play into you ability to shoot in combat. Everything with weapons and combat is relative, as has been shown many times there is correlation between performance on two way rifle range and a one way range. The performance of those who shoot expert and those who could barely qualify is about the same in combat. People who think rifle range performance is any indicator of battlefield performance sound like they haven't ever been in a fire fight. Any one who thinks a range of any type can really prepare for the chaos associated with real combat are sadly mistaken.
Link Posted: 12/8/2003 2:42:54 PM EDT
Originally Posted By SGTIMAK:
Originally Posted By QuietShootr:
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The term "good soldier" can mean so many things these days. I know a guy that was a week from being chaptered out before OEF. His chain of command didn't like the fact that he never pressed his uniform or spit shined his boots, didn't get a high and tight every week and let leaders know when he thought they were fucked up. A bad soldier in their eyes, even though he trained his soldiers to be as close to proficient as I've seen and maxed the APFT every time he took it. Fast forward 7 months... back from OEF with a BSM for valor and getting out of the Army. And his "leaders" wonder why they can't hold on to what they now call such a "good" soldier. Whatever. [i][/i]
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Amen. The metrics used in many CSS units do not stress basic soldiering, at least not combat weaponry. Think the rifle profiency is bad? Try any crew served weapon or grenade launcher. Why? Money to train using these weapons is hard to come by. I knew many M60 gunners who couldn't perform remedial action on their piece. And forget the M2. And how about using the M203? 3 Freaking yellow powder grenades! These cost $5 a pop with no EOD hazard. Should have fired 20-40 at that cost. I learned my skills in smallbore. The M16 was cakewalk, save the timing of the 50m popups. Never lower than 38 out of 40. Even under the old M17.
Link Posted: 12/8/2003 3:12:04 PM EDT
I can tell you from experiance that the best target shooters are not always the guy's that you want with you when the shit hits the fan.
Link Posted: 12/8/2003 4:50:20 PM EDT
I'm not talking about target shooting. That's the mistake that the "your brains will turn to crap under stress" theorists make, in comparing Perry-type shooting to Gunsite/TR type training. They in no way compare. I'm sure there are a lot of NRA Slow-Fire pistol shooters who can kick my(just using me for an example, not setting myself up as the ultimate gunfighter.) ass at 50 yard bullseye shooting, but they can't shoot, reload, move, and communicate because they've never trained doing so. That's all...
Link Posted: 12/8/2003 5:18:10 PM EDT
Originally Posted By QuietShootr: shoot, reload, move, and communicate because they've never trained doing so.
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Shouldn't unit level training address those things? Other than the range for quals, most shooting training I have done forces all those. In most training the intergration was at least team but I have seen it up to Company level and when you go out to large training facilities (29 Palms) up to Battalion.
Link Posted: 12/8/2003 5:40:50 PM EDT
Unless you are in a SF team, ranger batt or the like, army marksmanship standards are terrible. I believe most unit commanders don't want to practice much because a single accident and their career is gone. When I was in the 101st, back in 99, I had to buy cleaning supplies for my soldiers, my unit didn't have the money.
Link Posted: 12/8/2003 6:10:25 PM EDT
To pharaphrase "The Shootist" it's not plinking tin cans or putting holes in targets it's returning accurate fire while the other guy is shooting at you that makes you a good marksmen. The guy willing to fight and die for his country is much more than a rifleman and it takes that to be a sucessful soldier or Marine.
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