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On soldiers with no shooting experience...

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Beethoven, Oct 12, 2005.

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  1. Beethoven

    Beethoven member

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    True or not, I've read many times how such-and-such agency or the military tries to procure smaller caliber weapons in order to accomodate both recoil-sensitive people and those who haven't shot much and might be put off by the recoil of a larger-caliber weapon.

    Two questions:

    1) Is this true in any way?

    2) If this is true, why doesn't the military (ESPECIALLY the military) solve the problem by simply making recruits shoot more? A LOT more. Why don't they simply make all new recruits shoot A LOT?

    In fact, the more I think about it, the less sense that concept makes; SEALs don't have any special SEAL skills before training; the military teaches them stuff!

    If a recruit has not shot much or at all prior to enlisting, so freakin' what?

    Teach him how to shoot!

    Isn't that the purpose of training; to learn to do something you didn't already know how???

    What's your take?
     
  2. BulletFan

    BulletFan Member

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    Hmmm...

    I've never heard of the military actually teaching shooting skills on calibers smaller than a .223. I mean how much smaller could someone ask for? .17 mach? Too expensive. .22 caliber? Too inneffective. ANYONE can handle the felt recoil and noise of a .223, especially when it comes to an AR. And as far as agencies under the defense umbrella, I highly doubt that too. Any agent looking to carry a gun in the field typically has prior experience in the gun carrying department i.e., Law enforcement, military etc. You just don't get picked as an agent and issued a weapon without the confidence of your superiors to shoot somebody.
     
  3. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    We do teach soldiers to shoot. And we spend a lot of time in simulators and combat theaters -- where shooters face combat scenarios.

    But we also face a population where more and more young men have never even held a rifle, let alone fired one. I suspect the modern recruit would be terrified of the '03 Springfield.
     
  4. Ohen Cepel

    Ohen Cepel Member

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    The only times I have dealt with a sub-cal adapter (.22lr) for the M16 was for use on indoor ranges that wouldn't handle the 5.56 round.

    I'm not aware of any other sub-cal training for small arms.

    Now there are some for the bigger toys. Get's expensive to fire too many AT-4's in a day.
     
  5. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    One of the problems of the .22 adaptor from a training standpoint is that the sights are so high above the bore that when the rifle is sighted for one range, and you present targets at varying ranges, you must aim over the near targets and under the far targets. So for any kind of a scaled combat range it teaches you the opposite of what you should be learning.
     
  6. Kurush

    Kurush Member

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    Well, it's definitely true that the FBI downloaded and eventually dropped 10mm Auto in favor of .40S&W because of recoil issues with less robust agents. I guess they decided it wasn't worth all the extra training and after all if the agent develops a bad flinch it doesn't matter what bullet they're shooting.
     
  7. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    It is a known fact that a cartridge which will not do the job in the hands of a six-foot, 180 lb male will kill reliably when fired by a 5'2", 105 lb female. :rolleyes:
     
  8. Gordon Fink

    Gordon Fink Member

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    I wonder how states that don’t recognize the RKBA have ever managed to field effective armies.…

    ~G. Fink
     
  9. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    By and large, they don't. But it often doesn't show, because they go up against other nations in a similar situation.

    Amongst developed nations, there are three solutions -- one is to use masses of manpower, the second is to use masses of supporting weapons, and the third is to create a professional army and train it well. All of these are very expensive solutions -- the first in terms of lives, the second in terms of material, and the third in terms of money and limited capability.
     
  10. Powderman

    Powderman Member

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    Matter of training? I suppose so.

    But the problem is NOT the Army; it is the recruit. As it has been said, the average recruit nowadays has NEVER fired a rifle before.

    Also, it is a financial consideration. Consider this: (caveat--I have no idea how they train now)

    When I was in the annual qualification was a total of 80 rounds of rifle ammo. If you estimate an average of 90 soldiers in a peacetime company sized element, 80 rounds per soldier, at about $2.50 per 20 rounds (gov't price), that's $900 per year, per company.

    $4500.00 per Battalion.
    $13,500 per Brigade.
    $121,500 per Division (assuming 3 maneuver Brigades, Combat Support, Combat Service/Support, Armor, Artillery and Air Defense Units attached)

    Now, that's per year, in M16 ammo alone--and that's just for qualification time! Never mind that the average soldier will also shoot ammunition for zero and familiarization, night fire, training with NBC equipment, KD ranges, etc. That's a lot of cabbage to consider.

    Add into that the rounds for 7.62, .50, 9mm, .45 ACP, hand grenades, 40mm grenades, etc.
     
  11. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    And when you get right down to it, that isn't even training -- it's just a test to see how bad we are.

    To train a rifleman from scratch takes literally thousands of rounds.

    Of course with the simulators we have now, you can "fire" a lot for little cost, and do it in many varying scenarios.
     
  12. Hawkmoon

    Hawkmoon Member

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    Youngsters, the 5.56 (.223) IS the down-sized round. Whether or not that had anything to do with it's supplanting of the M14 I can't say. But I was in at the time of the transition. I trained on the M14, was assigned for awhile to a unit Stateside that had M1 carbines, and I saw my first M16 after I arrived in Vietnam.

    During basic training, there were a LOT of fellow trainees who flinched ... badly ... when the M14 went off. It wasn't an issue for me because I grew up shooting and I loved guns, but for those who came from different backgrounds, it was a severe problem.
     
  13. Langenator

    Langenator Member

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    The problem with adding more shooting, and thus more time on the range, to initial entry training is not the most obvious one-the cost of ammo. Uncle Sam pays somewhere between $0.005-$0.01 per round for 5.56 ball.

    The problem is actually one of personnel and facilities. Adding more range time, and thus more time overall, to basic training means that each basic training company is able to train fewer batches of new soldiers per year. This means you need more companies (and battalions, etc), and more facilities for them to live in/train on, to train the same number of soldiers.

    Building more barracks is relatively easy, though it requires $$$ and a few years to actually get them built. Ranges are slightly more difficult, requiring land (and a good bit of it) for the SDZs. The long pole in the tent is the drill sergeants and other cadre-the Army is short NCOs and officers as it is, without pulling more out of the line to fill more basic training units.
     
  14. Gordon Fink

    Gordon Fink Member

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    Then the poor marksmanship of American recruits shouldn’t really be a problem. :D

    ~G. Fink
     
  15. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    Unless, of course, we want to win our wars.
     
  16. James T Thomas

    James T Thomas Member

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    the human factor

    There is another problem too, and I believe that they are related.
    That is the infantryman who when under fire, will not return fire; that is correct, there are those who for whatever reason, simply will not fire their weapon at all. Or if they are under scrutiny by their foxhole buddies, will fire over the enemy's heads. The ratio I had heard was as much as 1:4.

    It is for these people that the lighter rounds have been tried, just to "encourage" all the riflement to engage the enemy. The theory may be that if enough firing is done that someone will be struck in all that hail of bullets. The reason for the full automatic selector, used during my tour of duty in Vietnam.

    Surprise: even at close; jungle range, almost all of the automatic fire hit nothing but the bushes. The noise is comforting when you are scared to death, but the enemy is not too impressed. I had to restrict the men I was responsible for to well aimed semi-auto fire, and with that we became quite proficient.
    Here it is right here: We would have been better off ammo wise and kill wise also to have used bolt action rifles which require aimed single shots, or at least the semi fire of the M14.
    Our military is correct in changing the mode to three round bursts on the newer M16 models.

    The problem is not all in marksmanship.

    I have no idea of the mindset of such individuals; wishfull thinking that if I don't shoot at you, then don't you shoot at me. See, I'm a "good guy"!
    (That is -liberal, I suppose) Perhaps screen out those with that world viewpoint from the combat arms for the sake of those who will bear arms.

    Please give your replies combat vets.
     
  17. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    Those figures are from SLA Marshall's long-discredited "studies." Marshall faked his data.

    Certainly in Viet Nam we had no problem with troops shooting in action -- and that included 95-lb Viet Namese binh sis armed with M1 rifles.
     
  18. confed sailor

    confed sailor Member

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    hmmm up at great lakes they handed us poor boots a air powered mossy simulator.
    My RWS break barrel pellet rifle kicked harder.

    though on the subject of recoil im all for protection
     
  19. WarMachine

    WarMachine Member

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    With a military that spends millions and even billions on R&D and production of aircraft alone, I would think that ammo costs wouldn't even be an issue.
     
  20. entropy

    entropy Member

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    I found as a range NCO that soldiers with only Basic Training experience, no prior rifle handling, were more easily trained becuse there were fewer if any bad habits to overcome. Those that had developed a flinch with the M16A1's we were issued usually had not been taught proper shoulder placement and cheek weld; combined with dime drills [dry firing flame suit *on*] and ball and dummy drills, this was often overcome within 10- 15 minutes on the range. Adding in the psychological assertation that one should concentrate on what the rifle (or pistol; I had to coach officers and aviators on the M1911A1's and M10 revolvers before we were issued the M9 popguns [Increase flamesuit to full power] ) will do to the target, not the shooter, and that you'll never feel the recoil in combat (or hunting for that matter), most soldiers were able to overcome any problems with recoil. As for those that believe in the 3 round burst limiter, that should be built into the soldier, IMHO, not the weapon; When I was in, (86-89) this was just starting to be retaught, although it was mostly a moot point as the A2's were being issued.
    As many have already observed in this thread, far too little range time and far too few rounds are alotted for training our soldiers, sailors (to include CG), airmen, and marines. :(
     
  21. enfield

    enfield Member

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    I went to annual qualification with my new Army Reserve unit and got a little trophy for Worst Firer, 1971. I have an Rifle Expert's badge hanging from the little guy's gold arm (won at Fort Polk, LA, 1971).
     
  22. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    Poor or inadequate training -- which is what most kids get when they learn to shoot these days -- can indeed have a negative impact. The technical term is "proactive inhibition" -- what was learned earlier inhibits later training.

    But that in itself is a consequence of the state to which the art of the rifle has fallen in this country. Johnny Junior can't shoot because Johnny Senior, who introduced him to shooting, can't shoot either. And neither can Grandpa Johnny.
     
  23. Hardtarget

    Hardtarget Member

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    I've never been in the Army. I've had two men ( WWII age group) tell me of rifle training. I've seen both of these men shoot off and on, starting back in the sixties, and they can shoot. They both said the Gunnery Sgt. stated he had never had to teach a recruit from Tennessee how to shoot. That was then...this is now. I'm sure things are different today. Both of these men hunted , (and target shooting), before enlisting so that explains some of it. They both were in units with guys from big northeastern cities that had never shot rifles before Army training. Maybe its just a greater percentage now. Think what it would be like if your FIRST rifle was a M1 Garand :what: and today they're whinning about M16s! Its almost too funny!
    Mark.
     
  24. Rufus Pisanus

    Rufus Pisanus Member

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    My first rifle WAS an M1A Garand (in 7.62 NATO)! I loved it!
     
  25. goalie

    goalie Member

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    +1
     
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