Saturday, June 7, 2014

Know Your Rifle

Goober said it in the comments, "Know your rifle". If you got your rifle shooting start in the military, you got training on the rifle you were issued. A lot of it may have gone by in a blur, but the information was there.  Once again, we must limit the rifle we will discuss. Picking the AR pattern rifle, here is the USMC rifle markmanship manual. it includes a wealth of information about the AR platform. Here the contents page for Chapter 2.

 The internet is your friend for learning your rifle. YouTube has a surprising number of rifle training videos. Here's the cycle of operation for the M-16:
When I was issued an M-16, we memorized facts about the rifle, it's functions, ammo, range, etc. We lived with the rifle, carried it, practiced disassembly and assembly. We were taught this information by people had both the means and the will to ensure that we were paying close attention. We were trained to shoot it effectively. The last time I held an M-16 was 1983.

When I had the opportunity (and time and money) to join a club that had ranges and competitions suitable for a rifle like that, it was 2002. I bought an AR-15, a model designed for shooting service rifle competition. The day I brought it home I put it on the bench and without a pause, I field stripped it for an initial cleaning and inspection. The memory was right there. I do not know any other rifle design as well as that one.

It might be your bolt action hunting rifle, worn from many years of deer hunting. It might be a new .22, bought for squirrels and tin cans. It doesn't matter what it is. If you are going to be effective and safe with that rifle, you need to know the same sorts of things about your rifle's design and the particular rifle you purchased.

There's a corollary to this.  


Dave H said...

Funny you should bring this up today. I just attended an NRA course on the care & feeding of the M1 Garand. The guys teaching the course are all too young to have used one in military service, but as competitive shooters they probably know their rifles as well as any GI did.

Wyowanderer said...

I'll recommend an Appleseed event to anyone wanting to improve their shooting. The instructors cram two weeks of USMC training into two days, so you won't get everything, but if you'll pay attention, you'll get a lot. They also have a one week boot camp for instructors: I haven't gone through it yet, but I'm told it's good.
You can signup at Appleseedinfo dot org.
Great series of posts, Borepatch.