So, we finished our first day in our Mid Range Marksmanship and things are going great. The class is based off a military version we did for deploying SOCOM units and I think exemplifies what being a rifleman really means.
Some of the things folks are learning is the shortcomings of their supporting equipment. The class was designed around the standard issue M4 carbine, using standard issue optics, but with match grade ammunition. We talked about what goes into making match grade ammunition and why it is important, but we also talked about the difficulty of acquiring it in sufficient quantities in today’s purchasing conditions. It obviously affects enrollment in open classes, but it is easing up a little.
During the lecture we talk about two external factors related to gear you can control without getting crazy into accurizing the rifle, match grade ammunition and accurized trigger. Of course, we push hard the new Super TRICON trigger from Geissele. It’s a simple drop in part that really helps the shooter reach maximum performance. The face of the trigger is serrated, which allows the shooter to have increased tactile control and feel. A very common trigger error we see is not being on the face of the trigger. Aside from having better control, the serrations give great feedback to the shooter if he is on the face or more commonly the edges. With a straighter profile it allows for better leverage, better leverage means smoother trigger. The ammunition allows the shooter to some extent do the same thing.
We get the question asked a lot, “how accurate should I be shooting?” That’s a difficult question to answer on an individual level, but are standard response is better than 4MOA. When I first told the students this yesterday they were a bit surprised, “you mean 8″ at 200 yards?” Yep, that is exactly what I mean. Well, yesterday we finished at the 200yd line and pretty much the class hit ratio was average with the rest of classes even though this class has some ringers in it.
The problem is it is very hard to maintain that 4MOA accuracy standard when you have a 4MOA gun shooting training ball ammunition that at best is 5MOA. I know that some of the shooters are excellent shots, but when you pull things our of their control like the quality of ammunition at distance it really makes a difference.
So, what’s the big deal? Well, as a rifleman we want to be able to hit what we are aiming at on demand. I see the carbine being used as a sub-gun on steroids and so many bad habits as a result. On the battlefield a true rifleman is a force to be reckoned with and can alter the landscape of engagements. It has been done countless times and while the concept of being a rifleman is easy, the act is something different.
It requires discipline, dedication and consistency. That is the biggest lesson the students are learning is that despite all their best efforts to be consistent if their ammunition is not consistent it is hard to demand more out of them.