USAF Marksman standards, circa 1984?


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sevesteen
October 4, 2006, 12:46 AM
The first time I ever shot an actual firearm was in USAF basic training, 1984. I don't remember exactly what size targets we used, or what range, other than it seemed to be medium sized targets at close range. Guns were M16 converted to .22 rimfire, and were fairly unreliable. IIRC, Marksman was 10 shots each standing, kneeling, sitting and prone, required a 360 out of 400 score, I scored a 351, and I knew which two shots were flyers and what I did wrong. I'm nearly certain that one more chance would have been enough.

Does anyone know the details of target and range? Were Air Force standards for Marksman the same as the other branches? It seemed like an extremely lax standard to be worth a medal.

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SigfanUSAF
October 4, 2006, 01:04 AM
I think the range we used in '98 was 25 meters. That was with 5.56mm though. Top was 25 meter zeroing target, bottom are 40 point qualification. They aren't dated, but the lower says M16A1 on the top.

edit: I realize you are looking for '84 standards, but I thought the A1 target would have been what you used too. No comments on the shot placement please. You can see I grouped great at first, but as the time wound down, and the TI paced behind us, my groups suffered. Believe it or not, that was enough to qualify marksman (35 out of 40)

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=45818&stc=1&d=1159934108

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=45817&stc=1&d=1159934108

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=45816&stc=1&d=1159934494

qlajlu
October 4, 2006, 04:11 AM
Does anyone know the details of target and range? Were Air Force standards for Marksman the same as the other branches? It seemed like an extremely lax standard to be worth a medal.
I went through USMC boot camp in 1963 so there has been a lot of water under the bridge since then. We were issued the M-14 at that time (7.62 NATO of course) and we fired 10 rounds in each firing position which was: at the 200 yd line (off-hand, sitting, kneeling), the 300 yd line (sitting, kneeling, prone), and the 500 yd line (prone). Possible score was 350.

For us, range training and qualifications lasted four weeks (IIRC).

I forget the badge breakdowns, but I qualified as an Expert Rifleman each year of my enlistment. Since a Marine is primarily a riflemen, anyone not qualifying was held back in boot camp until he did. Each and every Marine, regardless of rank or MOS is required to re-qualify with a rifle on an annual basis.

Unfortunately, I do not remember the size of the targets, but they were not silhouettes; they were of the bulls-eye style with the 5 ring being the black circle in the middle.

I am sure things have changed since 1963, but I seriously doubt that the annual qualification for the Marines has been rescinded.

vynx
October 4, 2006, 03:00 PM
My USAF basic was in 1977 I can't remember the scores or targets but I remember thinking at the time that the rating was very lax.

I scored an expert and thought that it would not be expert in Marines or Army. If I remember correctly it was something like get all shots in the black and you are an expert.

Essex County
October 4, 2006, 03:03 PM
We shot the M16 in .223 at a range I can't remember. LOTS of malfunctions and sights set for somebody's barnyard. I was lucky enough to have one pretty decent and was able to get My expert's ribbon. South East Asia was lucky to get the good ones. I was issued the M2 Carbine for about three years when we traded them in for good M 16's. Essex, 50th Tactical Fighter Wing.

mpmarty
October 4, 2006, 03:08 PM
My buddy here in Oregon was ex air force and I have always kidded him that the Air Force is a military organization but that they are just slightly less militant than the Boy Scouts. Where else do they send the officers out to fight while the enlisted men stay behind? Private or semi private rooms in the barracks? With refrigerators? come on, get real.

tenbase
October 4, 2006, 03:29 PM
we also had indoor flush toilets, and electricity too! :neener:

if I remember right, my BMT qualification standards back in '92 were the same as SigFans. Probably used the same battered, rattly, shot-out M16A1s too.

/3702 bmts, flt 289

weregunner
October 4, 2006, 04:12 PM
Yeah, Those targets look familiiar. Entered the USAF in thr early seventies. Shot .223 then. Most of the qulifications were done with the .22 rimfire adapter in place. We enlisted types kept being informed that budget cuts would only allow for .22 rimfire qualification. Shot the 5.56mm. rounds when war threatened and Air Force troops were being sent over to the brush fire war zones. Retired in middle 1990s. For 2 to 3 years before retirement where I was stationed(Langley Airplane Patch) 5.56 centerfire was used in qualification with M16A2s. The only good thing was that the range was open to shoot private arms at scheduled times after off shift. So got to try others AR15s or clones there off of. Considering that support troops are going to be targets when on or near the front lines I wanted to be more proficent and have at least basic infantry soldier training or more due to the fact we were are own guards and infantry. When you gas planes form the front or at support bases in enemy territory .22rimfire training once or twice a year doesn't cut it. Army and Marine units have other tasks than nursemaiding fuelys. We are the soldiers. Needed to be trained as such. Most other training was at least realistic. I would put a whole magazine down range in a few seconds or rapid fire on semi auto and the instuctors thought I missed. After taking a look through the spotting scope and seeing one set of ragged holes in the bull
seye they would just whistle and go watch other troops. when the targets were scored all rounds were on target and I got the expert ribbon 17 times with rimfire and 5.56. The fact that I had been shooting semi auto at targets at 100 to 200 yards for fun at soda cans for the prior 10 years might have had something to do with this. When the .22 M16s were zeroed and were totally accurate how can one miss when one just has little to do to bring the rifle back in target? We shot barricade both sides and weak side just in case one was wounded. Can't brag when all the USAF trainers do is set you up the way one has been shooting for years. It was fun for 20 years. No major complaints. Just hope training has improved over what us older vets recieved. Watching people on the firing line was fun when somone who had never fired a gun of any type realizes that they are going to have to be their own defense and war is night a nice game. A lot of technicians who thought they would never face wars ravages suddenly awaken to the fact that we are legitmate military targets and the enemy is going to try to kill us. Behind the lines doesn't mean out of harms way. Or that the enemy might break through and hit the rear areas with everything they have. Blitzkrieg warefare includes dirupting the enemies supplies and communications. Enjoy life and stay safe folks. Say a prayer for the troops in harms way and for those who serve.

mactex
October 4, 2006, 08:26 PM
I went through basic training in '84 also. The range was at Medina Base and it was 25 yards. We also used the 22 lr ammo and had tons of misfires and jams.

I was pretty tickled though as we went into the last postion. I wasn't new to target shooting and had already blown out the center of my target during the first two positions. One of the TI's walked up to me and asked me to put a few rounds through some other folks targets so that they would pass. He'd point, I'd shoot, they passed! :evil:

Yeah, they had loose standards back then.

Carl

atomchaser
October 4, 2006, 09:22 PM
I qualified in in 1984 while in USAF ROTC field training. We used 38 special revolvers. I don't rember exactly how it was setup. I do rember that the revolvers were so old that a number of them broke (hammer broke off) during the qualifying. I also rember that it was on a Sunday, and the CATM guys were no to happy to have there weekend interupted by a bunch of snotnose officer wannabees and did hesitate to make it very clear that was the case.

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