Question for any Vets on target shooting


December 4, 2010, 11:49 AM
This is just a general curiosity for me.

For those in the military, would you be able to share while in the service how frequently were you required and/or allowed to go to the range with your service weapon?

I am curious. I know there is always a general perception in public with LEOs that they are always out there shooting and practicing when in actuality I shoot more frequently than many LEOs.

If you could also include what branch you were in that would be cool.


If you enjoyed reading about "Question for any Vets on target shooting" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
December 4, 2010, 12:12 PM
While in the Marines (98-02) I had to qual once a year. Although from time to time we would get to burn up some "security ammo" that was hitting its one year mark. My MOS was not an "infantry" one so that's all they required from me. The sad part is I did more shooting before I joined the service than I did while I was in!

December 4, 2010, 12:17 PM
Four years in the Air Force Security Police in the '70s, qualified once a year with the M-16 & .38 Smith that we carried everyday at work after basic.
Specialty training with the M60 once at an overseas base.

December 4, 2010, 12:37 PM
I've heard that a squad of SF guys go through more ammo in a day than the average infantry Battalion does in a month. That may be an average month vs. a high day; I'm not sure, but I think it depends more on MOS than on your branch (e.g. Navy probably doesn't do much with small arms, but SEALs probably do more than your average infantry army or marine).

December 4, 2010, 12:42 PM
Once a year for Marines '67-'76. But I fired on the rifle and pistol teams and got to play almost anytime I wanted. Burned a lot of ammo in the process.

December 4, 2010, 02:51 PM
It really depends on the job and on your commanders. In the 82d an Infantry bn is going to minimally zero and qualify before assuming alert mission which is every 18 weeks. Generally during training cycle you are going to have a range week. Good chance there is going to be some live fire ranges as well. The most I ever shot was in Korea during patrolling phase on the DMZ. You had to zero and qualify with you weapon before every patrol so you were shooting every 3 days and you could pretty much shoot as much as you wanted while there since it was all squad run. But I'll say this, its time not ammo that is limited. Most units have ammo left over at the end of the year and if a commander wants to shoot you could end up shooting a lot and often its interesting things like anti-tank rockets that other units are trying to get used to keep their allocations up for next year. I shot about 20 LAWs once in an afternoon which is about 4 times as many as I shot in the rest of a 20 year career. Good times, good times.

December 4, 2010, 03:04 PM
Air Force 1974-80. We shot 100 rounds using the M16 once a year. The last 3 years, we had no ammunition and only disassembled/reassembled the weapon. We were told Congress did not allocate the funds for ammunition (was during the Carter Administration). :(

December 4, 2010, 03:17 PM
Navy '67 - '71. After basic, the only time we got to shoot anything was maybe a ships party, then the ol' Gunner's Mate Chief would bring out some relics found in the brig, then we'd shoot some, other than that, Nah.

December 4, 2010, 03:55 PM
In the Army, '80-'84, shamefully seldom.

Range maintenance was appalling. In ROTC we were taught to shoot IN FRONT OF the near (50m?) targets because the centers of the popup targets were shot out, but the targets not replaced. If "You fight the way you're trained.", I wonder if any Carter era GIs ever unconsciously shot in front of hostiles?

In Korea my troops were too busy on inane details for much shooting.

As XO of a Basic Training company at Ft. Knox, permanent party qualified using Atchisson .22 conversion kits at the MTU indoor range. It was the first time I qualified where everything worked the way it was supposed to. I easily qualified Expert and was high score in the company. I'd never qualified Expert before that.

From talking to Marines who were in at the same time, the Marines took Basic Rifle Marksmanship seriously, and the Army (at least the training establishments and the 2nd Infantry Division) most definitely did NOT.

December 4, 2010, 04:00 PM
im ex navy as well. we qualified with shotguns (from the hip...***) and .45
we never did the shotgun at sea. only the .45 for roving patrol.
as to our guns...they were beyond .50 cal and much more boom.
i was CSM btw....tomahawk VLS 85-89 FC3 ahrens here.

but seriously yea, in the fleet, .45 and that rarely.


December 4, 2010, 04:09 PM
Fired M1 to qualify in basic and never fired again. Not Good for where we were in Korea

December 4, 2010, 05:14 PM
speaking of how much sf shoots, i have only shot with them once, we did some CQB range work with them, i would estimate that 5.56 and 9mm combined each of the 15 odd guys shot 1500-200 rounds in a 6 hour period. before we policed up the brass you coudnt hardly see the gravel anymore, just walking on pure brass

December 4, 2010, 06:20 PM
Army 2002-2005. After Basic, we were required to qualify only once before deployment. 44th MEDCOM, 261st ASMB.

December 4, 2010, 06:29 PM
Coast Guard 95-now. Every 6 months.

December 4, 2010, 06:36 PM
To date, nearly 4 years in, I have only fired 280 rounds in the Air Force. Qualified once with the M-16, 100 rounds. Twice with the M-9, 90 rounds each. So basically, not very often.

Steve in PA
December 4, 2010, 06:49 PM
USMC 1979-1983, Combat Infantry (MOS 0351).

Rifle qualified once a year. Prior to deploying overseas on Med Cruises, we would go out to 29 Palms, CA for additional live fire training. As part of our pre-deployment training, our crew served weapon, 0331, 0341 and 0351 would also live fire with their weapons to prove proficiency.

Brer Rabbit
December 4, 2010, 07:11 PM
During my 30 years in special Forces, the most I shot was between 1979 and 1984 when I averages 100 rounds a day. Mush of the other times was annual qualifications and different live fire exercises. Vietnam to much to count. In my last four years about 50 rounds a week. Unless you are in combat arms annual qual is average--the rest is as previously was up to unit SOP, commanders and availability of ammunition.

Brer Rabbit

December 4, 2010, 07:19 PM
USMC 75-79, never touched a US military weapon after boot. MOS 6657.

I learned too late that if I checked with the right people at special services I could have borrowed a 1911 and got some free ammo to shoot at the pistol range. Darn missed the boat on that one.


December 4, 2010, 07:26 PM
When I was in the Navy at boot camp I shot a .22 pistol once. When I stood petty officer of the watch on the quarter deck I carried a 1911. I never had any training with it and never fired a 1911 the whole time I was in. The pistol fit so tight in the holster you couldn't even get it out without a great deal of effort.

I did get to fire an M16 once at sea. The Marines were practicing and let a few of us also shoot on semi and full auto. The Marine Captain was pretty good with his M16 on full auto. He obviously had a lot of practice.

December 4, 2010, 08:30 PM
While in the Navy, i was required to re-qualify yearly on the M9, m16, and shotgun(mossberg m500) being the ships SAPO (Small Arms Petty Officer) I had an "In" with the range guys at SBNL and could shoot fairly regularly, providing we where not at sea . This varies from command to command and rating also . I was a Torpedoman's Mate on fast attack submarines .

December 4, 2010, 10:01 PM
USAF Jan 63-Dec 66. Think was M1, Basic Training. We used our BRAINS.:neener:

December 4, 2010, 10:08 PM
Army 2002-Present

I'm not infantry or in an infantry unit, so I only get to zero and qualify once a year. Sometimes down range we could get some practice ammo and train more, or while getting ready to go. I shoot far more on my own than on duty.

Shadow 7D
December 4, 2010, 10:33 PM
Army, 82nd Airborne, 82nd Avn BDE (helicopters, not infantry) 00-06
I was a medic, so I got to the range...
4 times a slow year, over 12 on a busy year, preferred to go with the Cav scouts, but/and as a medic I was 'covering' the range, but I always brought my rifle if I could, even if it did piss of the armorer, since it wasn't 'my' unit that was doing it. That was me, and I volunteered to do that, others, got overdue, so less than once a year.

December 4, 2010, 11:22 PM
Air Force 1965 - 1989, qualified with Carbine annually and then M16 annually, sometimes with .38 pistol annually. Then I transferred to Small Arms Tech and got to shoot a good bit more, plus M60, M14, M79, and a few other small arms. Never enough though.:o

December 4, 2010, 11:30 PM
Army 85-89. With the 82nd for 3 1/2 years. We only qualified once a year if I remember correctly. Zero the rifle, 20 rounds for practice, and 40 for qualifying. Never shot a military handgun while in the service. We did shoot a lot of blanks with the miles gear.

I shoot on average now more in one month than I did in all four years in the army.

December 4, 2010, 11:41 PM
USAF 4 years... qualified 3 times in 4 years. Scary to think about it, that for some of your peers that's all the weapons training and practice they'd get.

December 4, 2010, 11:58 PM
I served during the Vietnam war and we only fired 100 rounds a year for qual. Sadly our politicians would rather spend billions on star wars missiles and stealth aircraft than spend money for small arms ammo for practice and qualification. They do not believe that wars are going to be won by the guys down in the dirt and so the individual soldier is at the very bottom of their list. Currently our country is not even able to produce enough small arms ammo for our military so we depend on countries like Israel and South Korea. We only have ONE Govt. operated plant (Lake City) to produce ammo and they have been unable to meet the demand since the early 90s. So if Israel or South Korea are attacked we will have a problem. But we'll have F 22s.

December 5, 2010, 01:27 AM
USMC 82-87
One week live fire every year prior to Qual. Was a range coach for about 2 years. got to shoot a little bit more then but not much. Got invited to try out for the 4th Marine Air Wing rifle team but that would mean another reenlistment. I'd had enough.

December 5, 2010, 01:39 AM
Army regs require ONE record fire qualification per year, however, trigger time largely depends on the unit / MOS.

Different missions, different unit standards.

Some organizations and duty assignments have members that fire more rounds in one year than most will fire in a 20 year career, but you have to volunteer and EARN those assignments.

December 5, 2010, 03:48 AM
US Navy, every 6 months with M9, M16, and M500.

I got to shoot more often because some of the GM's were my buddies and I would help them do the maintenance in the armory. I got to shoot maybe every month.

December 5, 2010, 05:17 AM
USMC Recon 2008-now

As far as rounds fired and different weapons trained with we're probably the 3rd heaviest shooters in the Marine Corps under Force Recon Company (same unit, different budget) and MARSOC (USMC SOCOM unit)

I'm at the end of my first deployment right now, but so far it's been:

Annual rifle qualification
2 CQB shooting packages during a 7 month work-up (1500-2000 rds ea.)
3 or so less structured shoots (live fire maneuvering, ambush and evasion drills, another 1500 altogether)
1 pistol range (maybe 300 rounds ea.)

We do a lot of dry CQB drills as well.

On top of that, we've done a couple heavy gun ranges where we all shoot M240's, 203's M2's, MK19's and AT-4's. 1,000 7.62, 25rds for M203, 500 .50cal, 80 MK19 rds. per guy approximately.

Plus a few ranges during the little time we had off this deployment. M4's, and heavy guns, mostly to function check and re-zero. Snipers shoot their babies as well.

I was lucky enough to wind up with a gun I'd never touched before; the M14 (oh, how I love it now).

We shoot a lot more than other units, but not as much as we'd like to. Many MOS's simply don't need a lot of weapons training. Plus, weapons training isn't everything. In my experience maneuvering and coordinating air/artillery support is much more useful than being a good shot on the target range.

December 5, 2010, 06:25 AM
U.S. Army '72-'76. Mechanic/driver. After basic never got got re-qualify again. Once while stationed in Europe we had to truck the WAC's out so they could qualify at which time I got to shot some rounds but that was it. At that time they wasn't required to qualify in basic. Had a staged alert one time and was given a M16 to walk the perimeter of the base. No ammo issued though. Officer of the day stopped me and asked me what I would do if a person stopped on the street and started to unload bombs/weapons to which I answered I would probably run away as I had no ammo to which I could shot the person/persons doing the deed. To this day still get a chuckle of the expression on his face when I said that. When stationed stateside I was with a MP battalion and got assigned to be a 50 machine gunner on a APC. I had only shot a 50 once with about 100 rounds. If it had become necessary to get deployed in that assignment I wouldn't have known what to do to the 50 if it had jammed.

December 5, 2010, 09:27 AM
I qualified with the M-16 Jan 69 in USAF Basic. With 38 revolver while in OTS in June of that year. Then in the following 10 years of active duty, never fired another shot. Got back in reserves and qualified twice with the M-9 twice in 7 years.

I probably fire as much in a couple of range trips as I do in my entire military service.

December 5, 2010, 09:39 AM
In Armor and MI I have seen about the same result. You go to the range, once a year, twice if you are lucky, and they try to make up for it with a couple of days of movement under fire and CQB training when you deploy.

I have told many people, the army is not a great place to get to shoot a lot. It's better if you are in a door-kicking niche, but for most of the army, (and all institutions, to be honest,) range time is a nuisance that takes time and budget away from other things they want to do, and they resist going at all.

December 5, 2010, 10:08 AM
Alright guys. I would say I am surprised but not so much. As for round fired, the average guy at the range probably does more than your average solider does as part of his/her job.

So my second question tied to this, along with the live rounds, what other training would you say you have gotten that would really push you above and beyond a civilian who has never served?

I guess what I am curious about over all, we send y'all out to fight for us. Would you say when dropped into a battlefield that in terms of your use of firearms and tactics, that you are superiorly prepared in contrast to your enemies?

Would you hold firearms training as a serious part of that preparedness for a battlefield, or other areas of training/readiness?

December 5, 2010, 10:37 AM
Marine Corps 1992-1999

Usually qualification is once a year. There are some things that change that.

I was in AAVs (Amphibious Assault Vehicles) and while on our own we qualed once a year. If we were assigned to a Marine Expeditionary Unit for a deployment usually we had to qual with that MEU again, usually so the MEU can get SOC (Special Operations Capable) qualified.

We also have billets that don't require requalification. For instance I was assigned to the Amphibious Vehicle Test Branch for my last 3 years and I wasn't required to requalify.

Also, once you qualify Expert a certain number of times you don't have to requal. I can't remember if it's 3 or 4 times. I was 4th award Expert and I didn't have to requal. I did have the option of doing the PET course which I never did.

We also had to kinda qualify with the guns on our vehicle. We had a coax M2 .50 cal and MK19 grenade launcher.

So my second question tied to this, along with the live rounds, what other training would you say you have gotten that would really push you above and beyond a civilian who has never served?

I can go all day listing other training we get, especially in a combat MOS that puts us lightyears beyond a civialian. Just what we do at a single qualification week is beyond what a civialian will ever do at a range in a week. Your average civilian probably isn't going to shoot past 200 yards let alone out to 500. They aren't going to have a night fire, they aren't going to have a gas mask relay and those types of things.

MOUT / Urban Warfare Training, basic to advanced tactics depending on your MOS, training on different weapons, usually when we deployed we did training with other countries and usually got the oppertunity to cross train with their weapons.

On one deployment my vehicle had the litter kit installed and the corpsman rode on my vehicle so we had more advanced 1st aid training. On another deployment my vehicle had a line charge kit installed for mine clearing so we cross trained with the engineers on our vehicle and with the M1 tank with the mine plow. We had a little extra training with EOD in case we had a dud rocket and the line of C4 landed on top of our vehicle or the vehicle in front of us which was usually an M1 or another AAV/.

And all this training isn't just a three day class and you never use those skills again. It's done over and over to the point where it becomes reflex.

December 5, 2010, 10:45 AM
That's good to hear FLAvalanche. As is obvious, I have never served but I am forever great full to those of you who have. I have friends who have served in USAF (as a MP), Army (infantry), and Navy (Cryptography). I have heard a lot of their stories. As I did from my grandfather who served under Patton.

I am glad to see for my own sake and others, the scope of training. i have run into a lot of folks who think it is just basic and then you just march around for 4 years. While I will argue with them, I have little to no info to back it up. That is good stuff man. I appreciate it.

December 5, 2010, 11:07 AM
As I said in my previous post, the weapons training doesn't make for good war-fighters on its own. Maneuvering and combined arms practice is much more useful.

During Stateside training I did a lot of dry CQB, patrolling, and surveillance. We also did some live animal medical training. I've certainly done lots of patrolling here in Afghanistan, but not so much of the other two.

Deploying has done more than training could ever have. It has broken a lot of pre-conceptions that I came here with about combat and things like mission planning.

As a recon unit we work extremely hard without the glory associated with special forces. We don't make good money, nor do we get as good of training as the spec ops guys but no civillian can pay any amount of money and get what we have now. It's not something you can buy.

December 5, 2010, 11:12 AM
i was in the af and thought it was ridiculas that we got one day in basic and after that had to qualify once per year. after this i guess that is normal, i find this to be troubling though. just think one less mx missle and their would have been plenty of more ammo to practice with, at least for those units that would benefit from it the most. i was med supply so my unit probably wouldn't have qualified. a friend of mine was in the romanian army, in a support unit, and he told me he got 3rds per year.

December 5, 2010, 11:18 AM
It has happened a couple times. I was at a show where a non-injury AD occurred. It was quite startling when a high powered rifle went off in the convention center exhibition hall.

Ask her if she rides in cars on the street. I think about 40,000 people were killed doing that last year making driving far more dangerous than being at a gun show.

Sorry, I doubt your assertion that she is not anti-gun. Her hysterical reaction to very rare, isolated cases of accidental death and injury tell me she is indeed hoplophobic.

December 5, 2010, 11:35 AM
The advantage I had was that I had shot before a little bit. I wasn't even a GREAT shot. But remember, you are learning next to guys with limited or absolutely no prior experience. They are doing it all for the first time. I never had to feel like I was being rushed and yelled at to learn something completely new, they did.

The bad guys I am facing? No, their marksmanship is the least of my worries. My little brother trained some Iraqi Army on his trip out here, and they (I'm being totally serious here,) didn't even know what the sights were.

December 5, 2010, 11:44 AM
8404 from '93-'00 with 2nd MARDIV depending on theater was shooting anywhere from 15to 500 rds per week with quals every three months.

December 5, 2010, 01:03 PM
In a job that drew weapons from the armory for every single shift we worked, the lack of any actual live fire "training" or regular practice was amazing. :)
Never heard anything at any of the three bases I was stationed at beyond basic about it being a funding or availability issue, they just didn't care.

We could have had it worse, one day at a large British firing range base where we were doing the M60, our captain got to talking with a group of Brits "training" on a range next to ours during a break. He came back a few minutes later & told some of the guys to tote a couple cases of our .308 ammunition over to them.
We had plenty, they had 8 rounds per man to work with.

December 5, 2010, 01:18 PM
As a recon unit we work extremely hard without the glory associated with special forces.

Being in Amtracs and deploying numerous times, I've had the oppertunity to work with just about every unit and Spec Op group you can think of and Recon was always my favorite.

You guys never bitched, complained or whinned and you always got the job done.

Most spec op units think their turds don't stink and usually don't like it when we told them otherwise. They never did like the fact that preferrential treatment went out the window the instant you set foot on my hawg and when you're on it, I run the show.

December 5, 2010, 03:09 PM
Something else to consider is that probably at least 80% of the US military serves in a non-combatant role.
As such, those whose job doesn't involve shooting (with the exception of the Marine Corps) are not considered necessary to expose to much shooting.

December 5, 2010, 04:23 PM
I am In the US Army Infantry, we do go and qual several times a year, probaly 4-6 on average, however it is always (for the last 3 years) on Tunnel C targets (which is the scaled down targets on a single sheet at 25 meters).

While in Iraq this last time( my third) i had an awesome commander, and chain of command in general, and i would come up with the planes, and we would go to the range and shoot a lot. (and no i was not just zero and qual, which seems to be the only "shooting" that the Army thinks that there is). I taught the soldiers in my PLT many things that i had learned from not only personal experience, but also many training courses in the civilian side as well.

This is one of the many reasons that i own an AR type rifle, and that i attend training courses, and shoot so much out of pocket every year.

December 5, 2010, 04:29 PM
To show you the sad state of affairs in the army, while attached to an infantry battalion we qualified once a quarter on are M16s and various other weapons but we had to attend EO (equal oppertunity) training once a month. This was just a few years ago

Ed Wagner
December 5, 2010, 05:24 PM
U S Navy, VN., every 30 days I had to fire 100 rounds MINIMUM from, M60, M 14, 45, and shotgun. I was on the ships landing force and security force. My have been just my command's policy, but we had the highest rated LF/SF in the fleet.

December 5, 2010, 07:19 PM
There are so many other areas of Military training that raises the ability of the soldier above that of the civilian. The biggest one is discipline. Attention to detail, learning to trust in the equipment you are issued, cross training, having a basic understanding of how different weapons and tools work, situational awareness, understanding and implimenting the basics of soldiering aka learning how to be a soldier first regardless of MOS (building hasty fighting positions, preventative maintenance on equipment, and basic combat tactics).

As a Medic, I pulled alot of range duties. Seems like some NCO or Officer was always saying "hey doc, we have some extra ammo/claymores/tracers/grenades/ etc..., want to try it? :D You can guess my response!:cool:

December 5, 2010, 10:20 PM
It depends on your assignments in the Navy. Many Sailors can go 20 years and never qualify or be assigned an M-4 or M-9. If you are in an assignment that requires a gun, it's an annual hands on actual shooting qualification and now, I'll have to look it up to double check, quarterly familiarization which can be with a simulator. It used to be only the annual qualification was required, and that was only for those in the Navy who had need to be issued weapons, which is probably about 20-30%.

December 6, 2010, 01:43 PM
It depends on your assignments in the Navy.

The Navy can be the worst when it comes to weapons/marksmanship. Usually on our deployments, which were always on a Naval Amphibious ship, usually an LSD, we had firearms training days.

Everyone would bring their guns to the flight deck and we would cross train. We'd even take one of our AAVs up there and let the Navy and the grunts shoot the guns in our turret. Grunts brought out their toys. The Navy brought out the single and coax .50 cals on the mounts around the flight deck. Even the CIWS got some exercise.

What always suprised us what that us Amtracers, because of our infinite knowledge on the .50 cal, always had to train the navy gunners how to mount, head space, time, clean, maintain and fire their .50 cals. They simply never did it.

I've been on 5 different LSDs where we had range days and it was always the same. The Navy personnel just didn't use their guns enough to retain the knowledge. It was sad.

Tim the student
December 6, 2010, 02:25 PM
Army regs require ONE record fire qualification per year, however, trigger time largely depends on the unit / MOS.

Different missions, different unit standards.

I agree that it depends largely on unit. I was in 1st ID, and we did the once a year thing - in my experience, my unit placed a really low standards on basic skills. It was by far the worst unit I was ever in. But, we had tanks, and that was where they placed their priority. Came back to bite the leaders in the ass when they learned they would need to make up for a long lack of training when we deployed.

But, I was also in a few Airborne units, and we shot much more than that. We qualified a few times a year, and shot more than that. The last time that I did CQB stuff, we probably each shot around a thousand rounds - which was more than I ever did in training in 1st ID.

dinky Dau Don
December 6, 2010, 04:12 PM
US Army '56 - '65 Qualifying - Division SOP was twice a year - I averaged 300 rds a day 5 days a week and 200 rds on weekends with the M1 then M1A (did I forget to mention for 5 years I was on a Division Rifle team).

As for training that might be above and beyond a civilian = Basic training - Advanced Infantry Training (made basic seem like scout camp) - Ranger School (made AIT seem like girl scout camp) - Jungle Warfare School (not real useful in civilian life) - three tours Southeast Asia (made me really appreciate the previous two schools).

December 6, 2010, 06:03 PM
Varied Army career in the Big Green from 76-96. Three memorable fun days:

a. Tanker at Ft. Lewis, WA...back when we had M60A1's and were issued 1911's and M3's...went to a pistol range and for some unknown reason, far too much .45 ball showed up and it couldn't be returned...we'd be there all night firing our .45's...until somebody got the bright idea to bring out our M3 grease guns and every 30 round mag in the arms room. Made for a fun afternoon!

b. Air Cav in Korea...somehow 2ID got a bunch of AKM's and 7.62x39 and directed "familiarization fire training" we aviators got to play for several hours with spanking new AKM's and all the ammo we could shoot...and didn't have to clean'em!

c. Loggy HQs in northern Germany before the wall fell...had a really worthless HQs commandant...a QM CPT, couldn't hit the broad side of a barn. Failed to qual with his .45...despite many on the staff bending over backwards giving him additional training (and ammo). CG got highly irritated and directed him to qual with the M16...guy bolo'd just as bad...again despite help from Rod & Gun clubbers and long-time NCO's...the QM CPT simply couldn't shoot. In the end, amongst other inefficiencies...I do remember the officer getting a less than stellar command OER that included a statement...this officer failed to qualify on any of the individual weapons assigned to his command....

December 6, 2010, 08:05 PM
In the Navy, once a year I had to show that I knew which end to point at the target, how to load it, and where the trigger was basically. :what:

December 8, 2010, 05:28 AM
Army- Airborne Infantry 85-95: We qualified every 90 days on each weapon system so they staggered them and so it seemed we were shooting SOMETHING every month. The more expensive things (AT-4/ Dragons AT missiles & M203 40mm grenade launcher was almost always sub-munitions.

December 8, 2010, 03:50 PM
U.S.A.F. 1970-1991. I had to qualify annually unless I fired expert, then it was every three years. We fired the S&W model 15, .38 spl. I fired the M-16 in basic and not again until 16 years later for a base sponsored, all local squadrons, competition. I thought SP, LE, and Munitions people shot more, but I'm not 100% sure about that.

December 8, 2010, 10:40 PM
At least 3 or 4 times a month if I wasn't on assignment. I was based in Germany, but was sent all over on various assignments that always required a weapon. I was a Cav Scout in the begining, but things changed in the process after basic. But that's another story. We went to the range often to keep our skills sharp.

December 9, 2010, 12:54 AM
While in the Army (Infantry) we would shoot for qualification right before EIB (Expert Infantrymans Badge) training otherwise we would only seem to get funds for ammo right before the fical year ended (October), when the "use it or lose it" mentality took over. Sometimes we woud get to fire up all the old ammo cleaned out of the ASP, expecially old explosive stuff like mortar rounds, M202 (4 barreled rocket launcher IE:Commando), AT-4s and LAWs.

Right after Desert Storm, Bush SR. started the military drawdown and Clinton expanded on that during the 90's, meaning ammo budgets were pitiful. It took Iraq and Afganistan to increase range time budgets to a more acceptable level for all branches and MOSs. It's nice to see clerks, cooks, and mechanics getting quality firearms training before deploying and most taking it to heart rather than them carrying their assigned weapon only because they were made to.

December 9, 2010, 03:28 AM
Navy.... Ya nuff said :neener:

We would go back to the fantail/flight deck on occasion and pop off some .45, shotgun and m14. As long as we didn't shoot off the non skid we passed.

Tim the student
December 9, 2010, 06:20 AM
It took Iraq and Afganistan to increase range time budgets to a more acceptable level for all branches and MOSs.

Maybe in many cases, but not all. Some units were doing the right thing then too.

December 9, 2010, 06:33 AM
'65-69 w/US Army Security Agency...1st year (basic and advance schooling) only fired M-14 in Basic...3 yrs W Germany only went to range once for 40rd M-14...once, while on duty driver assignment, had to take a satchel of classified docs down to Geissen ('bout 90m south)...SOP called for being armed when such so off to the Autobahn w/ M-14 and 1 empty mag in the passenger seat of the Dodge sedan

December 9, 2010, 03:40 PM
My honest opinion is no unit shoot enough except for the Special Ops community. Some are just better than others and it always has been like that. Firearms use just gets tangled up in administrative BS. Range proticals alone make it difficult and there are just too many other demands on a units time.

December 9, 2010, 04:03 PM
USMC 74-81. Qualified with the M-16 and fam fired the 1911 in basic. Got to shoot the 50 cal. from a 6x6 while in driver training, also qualified with the 106 recoiless mounted to a 4x4 mule. After that just qual with the 16 once a year. Good ol' days.

December 9, 2010, 11:12 PM
USMC 75-79. MOS 6636. So I only got to see live ammo once a year at the range.

Ole Coot
December 10, 2010, 12:45 PM
Late '60s, plenty of practice. I think we averaged about 50,000 rounds per hit. I couldn't attempt to count that high, too old to finish the count.

December 10, 2010, 03:54 PM
US Air Force 97-01. 100 rounds once a year with the M16.
As a LEO, at least 300 rounds every month.

December 10, 2010, 04:03 PM
USMC, 1974-1977

We had to qualify once each year with both the M16a1 and the M1911a1, and that was REAL target shooting. During the rest of the year in field exercises, we'd go through a lot of blank ammo, though. ;)

December 10, 2010, 11:39 PM
During the rest of the year in field exercises, we'd go through a lot of blank ammo, though.

Yea, I always shot expert with blanks. :D

If you enjoyed reading about "Question for any Vets on target shooting" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!