Range Pet Peeves

So, that being said, what exactly happened during this first week I was back?

Well, one, I collected my weapon.

And Two, I discovered that I have a major pet peeve for how they do ranges here. I learned that I'm deadly lethal with a full magazine, an M16, and a Sandbag. But take away that sandbag and apparently I'm useless.

See, I had a rifle qualification range on Sunday, where we went to the range and shot at paper targets. And NO, this is not classified information, just common knowledge that you can gather from any military website. So, what was this all about?

First we had to zero our weapons and make sure they fired right. Um, 9 shots baby! One of the first ones I shot that puppy dead center! The first grouping was a little off, just had to get a feel for it, and then by the third grouping, I had them all nice within the sillhoute (er, mispelling, sue me) within a dime sized area of each other.

Yeah, I'm that good.

So after we have the sucker zeroed, we get to the real targets. 20 round magazine, 10 targets, 2 rounds in each target in the prone supported position.

Me, like every other time I've been to the range in the last year, I nailed 19 out of 20. BAM!!! Most of which well within the center of the target.

Move to the next phase. Same scenerio, except for this time, its Prone Unsupported.

Prone Unsupported is my weak area. Where for all of you civilians out there, Supported means that the muzzle of the M16 is supported by some means, usually a sandbag, where the unsupported you are supporting that rifle entirely with your arms.

I was well on my way to qualifying expert in the range with how I was firing Prone Supported. But I got into Prone unsupported, what did I do?

I shot 6 out of 20. And technically, at least four of those shouldn't have counted because the shots hit targets that I wasn't aiming at! On paper targets, I didn't even qualify!

Well, one, it would help if they didn't have us fire on a plywood platform. Just lay on one of those propping up an 8 pound rifle with your elbows digging into the surface for a little while. Yeah, THAT feels good. And then there is this other fact that I mentioned the last time I went to the range. I don't like paper targets because I don't know what I'm shooting at. My sight picture changes slightly because I'm holding the rifle differently in the Prone unsupported as opposed to Prone Supported. What I like about Pop Up Joe is if you miss him, you figure it out when he doesn't go down and you can adjust your hold on the rifle until you can hit him, and then you know where to aim. But with paper targets, well, your just out of luck aren't you? You missed that target? Oh well, you'll figure that out after you emptied out the other 19 rounds as well.

You know, it would help if they let us fire a couple practice rounds in the prone unsupported, just to get a feel for how we need to hold our rifles before throwing this out at us. I mean, we zero the rifle in the prone supported, and they expect us to hold the EXACT SAME POSITION??? I need to figure that position out thank you very much instead of doing it cold turkey. Yeah, I know that some soldiers can do this just fine, but I have learned in my time in the military that each soldier is different. And if I'm shooting that well in the supported and then can shoot squat in the unsupported, don't you think there is something perhaps WRONG there?

Call it a hunch but I would suspect that this means I need more training on firing a rifle in the prone unsupported. *Which means SIM CENTER!!!*

And it would help if I could dig my elbows into something a little softer in the meantime. Besides, if we come under fire, I don't know about you, but I doubt I can dig up a sandbag to make sure I hit the targets properly.

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