Navy/Marine Small Arms Practice


January 7, 2003, 02:10 PM
Lately we(civilians) get to see a lot of cool publicity pics of Soldiers/Sailers shooting small arms over the side of ships in open sea.

What are they shooting at? Are they just practicing sight picture, trigger and malfuction drills?

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January 7, 2003, 02:20 PM
Please don't call Marines "soldiers" lest they get irritated with you. :what:

Don't know about the Sailors, but the Marines are shooting at what they hit. :D

January 7, 2003, 02:24 PM
Marines are shooting at what they hit I'll bet they hit POI every time too! :)

Navy joe
January 7, 2003, 03:42 PM
Sometimes they're shooting at targets on the deck edge. Others they are shooting at ammo cans or trashbags tossed in the ship's wake. Most carriers have the "great pumpkin" which is a big inflatable target that is dropped of, then the boat moves off a ways and circles, using it for .50cal practice. Sometimes they are just shooting at the water for supposed "familiarization" with the weapon.

January 7, 2003, 03:45 PM
I'll bet they hit POI every time too! You bet they do! :D

That bullet hits right where it's going, EVERY time.... :D

January 7, 2003, 03:54 PM
Here's what happens on aircraft carriers:

The flight deck will be cleared on the faintail, usually from the rearmost elevators aft. Target stands will be set up, and the shooters fire aft.

The .50 are just shot into the water, though they do load up on API.

January 7, 2003, 04:20 PM
When our Carrer was getting ready to pull into a port for an extended period, the Gunnery division would set up 30 and 50 cal. MGs on the fantail and throw targets into the water. Anyone who wanted to could go aft and shoot the MGs and or 45s. Between the motion of the carrier and the wave action,it wasn't a shooters paradise but what the heck, the ammo was free .

As an aside, I was always told the reason they had those shoots was so they wouldn't have to offload the ammo when the ship docked. Never understood that.

January 7, 2003, 04:27 PM
On our destroyer we had to "shoot the weapon" once per quarter to remain qualified to carry it. Since I was shooting at the ocean you bet I hit what I was aiming at! :)

Sometimes they'd throw various things over the side as targets sometimes we just shot up the water.

Hey, the ammo was free and an M-14 on full auto is kinda cool!

January 7, 2003, 09:11 PM
If no deck-edge targets are visible, they're probably shooting at whitecaps. (The foamy white part of the wave) They make great targets when you're really bored.

Robby from Long Island
January 7, 2003, 10:29 PM
In addition to my active duty in the navy, I put in 6 years in the active reserve. Each year we spent two weeks on active duty somewhere and one year spent it on a destroyer escort, the U.S.S. KYNE, DE-744.

One day we were topside on the chow line for lunch when all hell broke loose right above us. It was a bunch of marines taking target practice with M-14's and the empties from full auto were raining down on us.

Turns out when the garbage is dumped over the side, the sharks show up for a free meal and the jar heads use the toothy critters as targets. Pretty soon the sharks are attacking each other and you are reminded why you never want to fall overboard.:D

Safe shooting.

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