If you like, you can download MPEG4 to watch on your iPod video, or various other formats. Or you can watch it here. Pull up another chair; there's plenty of room.
Part 1 covers:
- Sighting and aiming
- Trigger squeeze
- Principles of rapid fire
- Sight adjustment and windage
The film is chock full of great content about shooting the Garand, and is the sort of thing that the Appleseed folks are trying to keep alive. It's also interesting from a historical perspective. For example, this was long before PowerPoint (or even Microsoft, duh), so the presentation didn't have slides. They had to make their own transitions by peeling off pieces of paper that had been covering up the next line of info.
It's also full (mostly at the very end of each part) with folksy exhortations to the troops: "A good soldier is a live soldier", "Every hit means that your country has one less enemy", "It doesn't take a professor to calculate these settings", and my personal favorite, "This man's Army believes in cooperation".
It's also from the period in our history when there was a real effort being made to standardize an American accent. Think the accent used in newsreals. "Immediately" pronounced im-EEG-it-lee instead of im-EE-dee-it-lee. I found this at once charming (in a dead-history sort of way) and distracting (in a dead-history sort of way).
I've seen a lot of training in my time, and given my share, too. This is very, very clear, with practical examples for literally everything shown. I'm actually quite impressed. It was obviously intended to be watched by practical men who may not have had much education, and I'd think succeeded admirably. It also reflects some of the prejudice of that time (and perhaps ours as well): I wonder what men from West Virginia thought when they watched the Hillbilly scene about Kentucky Windage (beginning of part 2).
One thing that struck me (from my own near-death experiences with the Garand) is that the M1 rifles shown here did not automatically close the breech after a new clip was loaded. Could they have been modified to remain open? Having been up close and personal with "Garand Thumb", this really jumped out at me when I was watching.
If you're a rifleman (or want to be one), you'll learn a lot from these.
And well done to the folks at Open Source Movies. I'm going spelunking at their site to see what other great old stuff they have.
UPDATE 1 June 2009 21:45: Welcome visitors from Snarky Bytes. Take a look around - if you like it, it's free! If you don't, well, I guess it's still free.
UPDATE 1 June 2009 22:02: If you didn't come here from Snarky Bytes, he also has some World War II films, in color.
UPDATE 2 June 2009 08:16: Welcome visitors from Traction Control and Gunbloggers!