5 DAY PISTOL/CARBINE JUNE 8-12 2009
This week at USTC was the 5 day Pistol/Carbine course. This is a real gem for new to intermediate shooters to really get a hold of the fundamentals of shooting both the pistol and the carbine. This weeks class had a mix of military personnel and former military to civilians that want to master both guns.
I took the students through all of the fundamentals of shooting in the classroom and talked about the color codes for awareness to highlight how important it is to be situationally aware of what is going on around you at all times especially for the military folk who are deploying into harms way. Always keep that head on a swivel and look like a hard target.
We had a mix of pistols on the range from the usual suspects, Glock and Berreta and also an H&K P2000.
They boys had a great time getting plenty of rounds down range while learning critical manipulations with the gun like malfunctions and reloads.
I always harp on my proficiency cycle of, Speed, Efficiency, Accuracy and Repetition or SEAR. With this cycle in mind, the shooter can balance his gun handling skills with his fundamentals to become proficient with the skill that he is learning.
I always see shooters that can't seem to separate these two elements of shooting.
On day three we broke out the carbines and I took the boys through a block of theory instruction relating to the history of the AR platform and its many faces to nomenclature and zeroing. The students really got a lot out of the class especially the zeroing piece.
Here are some jungle tips on Zeroing Your Rifle.
I always opt for a 200 meter zero for a combat rifle. I think that this is ideally matched for the optimum performance of the 5.56 round. With this zero on the weapon the projectile never rises or falls more than about 4.5" from the line of sight over 200 meters. So for high percentage targets that are inside 50 meters, we don't need to hold over in order to strike the target in the A zone or high thoracic cavity. However, if it is a low percentage target or you are required to place shots in an exact location then a small hold over is required to account for your barrel and sight relationship.
At zero meters with irons sights on a flat top M4 receiver the shots will hit 2.5" low.
With a Carry handle mounted to the receiver at the same distance, the shots should hit 4.5" low.
At 25 meters, the Iron sights should hit 0.85" low
At 25 meters, the carry handle should hit 2.6" low.
POA and POI should come together at 50 meters for both and the projectile should only rise approximately 2" at 100 meters and re-intersect the POA at 200 meters.
So the good thing about the 200 meter zero is that from zero to 200 meters we need only to aim center of target and we will only hit between 2.5 inches low or 2 inches high based of your optic set up on the rifle.
Don't forget that the shooter is the weakest link in this process and the amount of shooter error that you place on every shot will effect this system.
After zeroing the rifles up, we moved back to confirm POI/POA at 50 meters. We then moved back to 100m and shot some groups while the students picked up some tips on the prone position, natural line of sight and the test and adjust process.
I then took them through a timed shoot where they had to drop to prone and fire 10 rounds in 1 minute to access their combat zero.
We shot steel all day from 100m to 30 meters learning the manipulations for the rifle that mirror the pistol.
On day 5 I took them through the speed phase where they had to match speed with efficiency to pass the timed quals from the 7 yard line. Some of the more challenging shots to make for this course are,
1 round low ready, .75
6 rounds low ready, 2 sec
1 reload 1 low ready, 6 sec
rectify double feed from aimed in, 8 sec
El prez in 15 sec
The students finished off the final day shooting the mover at 50 meters with the rifle and competing against each other shooting a combo of static then mover across the rang. There were 11 pieces of static steel to engage before the mover stop from either left to right or right to left. The boys put in a stella effort to get most of it done to get piped at the post.
I had then try the same drill with the pistol at 25 as a finally but I think with the searing temperatures and the fatigue at that point they were ready for a cold beer! So it was off to the cleaning station to wrap up the course.
Thanks for a great course fellas. Take care.