Some thoughts on Rifle skills

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    • #95246
      DiznNC
      Participant

        I have been doing a bit more rifle marksmanship training as of late, due to my poor performance at the last RC. I wanted to share some of this with you guys, as stuff you might want to work on, in conjunction with the CRS class and/or the first day of CTT class. Basic stuff really, but when you don’t sustain it, you lose it.

        So here’s some things I would suggest working on, both before and after CRC or CTT. Zero. You can do this at class, but HIGHLY recommend you get this sorted out beforehand (and re-check frequently). Whatever zero you use, make sure you know your “come-ups” for different ranges. At class, you will be shooting at 25-50m on the square ranges, and approx. 50m average on the pop-up ranges. So know where your rifle prints as these ranges.

        Shooting positions. You will be shooting prone, kneeling, and standing. To do better at class, practice “come-ups” in each position. What you are trying to do is build a position so the red dot comes up to your eye, quickly, on demand. Try putting a little bump of “mole skin” or similar material on the stock, so your cheek hits the same spot each time, and red dot automatically comes into view. Do not “turkey neck” and move your head looking for the dot; keep your head stationary, eyes locked on target, and bring the rifle sight to your eye.

        Reloads. The best thing you can do here is sort out your gear before coming to class. I’ve seen lots of variation here. Your kit can either help or hinder you. What you’re looking for is a way of carrying at least 4 ready mags, which are quick to access, with minimum fumbling around, but yet have good retention for the bush. Some kind of single, open-top pouch with internal retention works the best. Either MVT gear, HSGI tacos, or Eagle FB pouches meet this criteria.

        Figure out what method you want to use: beer can or index finger. Then practice a few. Both speed (in-fight), and tac (admin) reloads.

        Malfunction drills. Get in the habit of VISUALIZING the ejection port before doing anything. If you see black (BCG), then you tap, rack, bang. If you see brass (rounds) then you strip mag, rack, rack, rack, reload and go. Practice this by having empty chamber with bolt forward, and setting up a double feed or stove pipe.

        Breathing, dot movement, trigger control. In a dynamic situation, you will be hard pressed to get into positon, break the shot, and actually hit the target. So in conjunction with building consistency in your positions (muzzle lateral movement), you need to work on controlling your breathing (muzzle up and down movement), as well as trigger squeeze. If you try and wait for the red dot to be perfectly aligned with the target, and then try and pull (jerk) the trigger, chances are, you will be off. The red dot will be moving around a little bit, so try controlling it in as tight as circle as possible (or some guys use a “figure 8”), while squeezing the trigger. Dry fire practice with a red dot will tell you exactly where the POA (point of aim) was when the shot broke, if you pay attention to it. Obviously, there’s not enough time for this at class, so maximize this on your own time.

        Examine your trigger finger squeeze on the rifle. Does your finger push the rifle to the left when it squeezes the trigger? Make a fist and extend your trigger finger. Now mimic squeezing the trigger. Notice how the first finger section, from knuckle to next joint tends to move to the left. Now try it on your rifle. If this tends to create too much rifle contact, and possible drag, pushing rifle to left, your shots will print to the left. If so, try moving your trigger finger out a little bit, so it moves straight back, with minimal contact with rifle lower. (This also applies to your pistol shooting).

        I have been known to de-cry square range training as “bullshit” in the past. What I really should have said, is master the basics on the square range, but then don’t stop there, progress to other things, as taught by MVT. They are both important in your tactical education.

      • #95247
        Joe (G.W.N.S.)
        Moderator

          Excellent thoughts! :-)

        • #95248
          Roadkill
          Participant

            Good advice. One point different training. I haven’t been to MVT yet that’s coming, but, please hear me out, in regards to tap,rack,bang. We teach tap,rack,assess. We used to do tap rack bang until someone in Arizona did a tap rack drill in a real gunfight and on the bang portion the guy had dropped his weapon and his hands were in the air. You may think bullshit. Maybe, I never checked to see if the incident actually happened, but it made enough sense to go tap rack assess. You can go bang rather quickly if you still have to.
            Thanks for hearing me out.

          • #95249
            Max
            Keymaster

              Actually Roadkill, that’s a very good point.

              We were training using a virtual reality simulator and on one scenario.. there was an active shooter and I had a partner (real life partner) and the game turned the corner and there was the shooter with his gun pointed in our direction. My partner and I engaged. My gun went click… no bang… so Tap/Rack/Bang… and I shot the guy right after he hit the ground. If that were real life, I’d have lost my head on the liberal chopping block.

            • #95250
              First Sergeant
              Moderator

                Good advice. One point different training. I haven’t been to MVT yet that’s coming, but, please hear me out, in regards to tap,rack,bang. We teach tap,rack,assess. We used to do tap rack bang until someone in Arizona did a tap rack drill in a real gunfight and on the bang portion the guy had dropped his weapon and his hands were in the air. You may think bullshit. Maybe, I never checked to see if the incident actually happened, but it made enough sense to go tap rack assess. You can go bang rather quickly if you still have to.
                Thanks for hearing me out.

                Part of the tap/rack/bang is assessment. Not only to figure out what went wrong with the gun, but you don’t just blindly crank off a round after the rack. You still have to get the gun back into a good shooting position, locate your target(he may have moved or your buddy took care of it), get a good sight picture and then you get bang. If you have none of those, you don’t get a bang. But if you do then you get a bang.

                You are constantly assessing what is going on, it never stops. When you stop doing that, that’s when stupid stuff happens and either somebody gets shot that shouldn’t have, you fire a round that you shouldn’t have or the bad guy you didn’t see puts a bullet in you because you had your head stuck in your gun and don’t have clue what the hell is going on around you.

                We teach Combat skills. Not CCW/LE engagement skills. While some of it crosses over, some of it doesn’t. In a combat situation, if I put another couple of rounds into a guy who is already down, that’s pure insurance. If I do that in a CCW/LE engagement, the courts would have a field day with me.

                That’s part of the problem. A CCW/LE engagement is not combat and never will be.

                FILO
                Signal Out, Can You Identify
                Je ne regrette rien
                In Orbe Terrum Non Visi

              • #95251
                Robert
                Participant

                  As usual the 1st Sergeant speaks wisdom guys. Spot on IMO.

                  General stuff-
                  Please come to ANY class you do with your rifle already zeroed. I have to be blunt here but it’s rude and wasteful of everyone’s time when you have to take class time to zero your rifle. The less time spent on stuff like that, the more time all of us have for learnin’ and that’s why we are here right?

                  An old Vietnam vet talked to us about mag changes one time 25 or so years ago. One of the other “youngsters” like myself noticed that this guy never fumbled a mag change, was always smooth and relatively quick. So he asked him what he could do better- “Practice. If nothing else get you a bunch of empty mags and an empty rifle. Put your gear on and while your sitting around watching TV or whatever, change mags constantly while you are doing that. Don’t look at what your doing, watch TV. Change your gear setup as you need to, try various grips, talk to your girlfriend, try not to pay conscious attention to the mag change. Do that a lot and it will help.

                  Damn if our mag changes got a lot smoother a few months later. I probably looked awful funny sitting in my PJs watching Red Dawn with LBE on changing mags constantly though ;)

                  Ditto with the malfunction drills- gotta put yourself in those bad spots like that if you want to get better with them. Get a bunch of dummy ammo, snap caps, whatever and have your buddy load your mag(s) intermittently with dud rounds. Do those a couple dozen times without pressure then have others start putting some pressure on you while your doing it.

                  IMO, we need to be less worried about the cost of ammo and reasons why we DON’T need to train and practice, and instead looking at ammo as one of the costs of getting and maintaining SKILL AT ARMS.

                  Two days in to the “pockeylips” their won’t be a single one of us that thinks “man I’m glad I didn’t train more…”

                  The alternative is OJT or on the job training and that’s not really an option is it?

                  You picked out next year’s training classes yet?? :good:

                • #95252
                  Roadkill
                  Participant

                    That’s why we say assess. Bang if you have to. Totally agree first Seargent.

                  • #95253
                    DiznNC
                    Participant

                      Good adds guys, Robert, 1st Sgt, spot on as usual.

                      As to tap, rack, bang, sure, the assessment is continuous; I would even say automatic, between rack and bang. I don’t have any heartburn with someone saying “assess” instead. But I also agree with the 1st Sgt here; you gotta understand what situation you’re in.

                    • #95254
                      Roadkill
                      Participant

                        Thanks for listening. Didn’t want to get into a pissin match over semantics. We are I believe all on the same page.

                      • #95255
                        Max
                        Keymaster

                          I haven’t been to MVT yet

                          You will find that one of the greatest sins you can commit on the tactical ranges is firing a shot after the targets have dropped. If there is no target, there is no bang. I really would like to meet the guy who fires a shot because “Tap, rack ,bang made me do it!”

                          I smell BS in his story. He fired when he shouldn’t have and now he is grasping at straws to take the blame off of himself.

                          Then again, the Muscle Memory Gorilla would love it if all students were so OCD about following verbal instruction so exactly….

                        • #95256
                          DiznNC
                          Participant

                            Another nugget I wanted to share with you guys. I recently picked up a 1.25 x 4 power red dot scope for my other rifle. With a RDS on my primary for urban 0-100m engagements, the variable power red dot gives me a little more reach for woodland ops. I had been running the RDS and 3x mag set up, but this scope gives you both in one package.

                            You can spend whatever you want on this stuff. I chose a mid-range option Loopy VX R Patrol 1.25-4×20 with a ADM Recon mount.

                            Now I’ve got good solid target ID out to 400m or so.

                          • #95257
                            Thomas
                            Participant

                              I made this move as well but went with the Leupold MR/T M2. I need a lot more practice wit before I will be comfortable using the sight.

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