The photo is of a friend of mine that I taught the Marine Scout Sniper Basic Course with, and we happened to end up on the same contract in Northern Iraq together protecting Boots and Coots oil fire fighters. It was taken in 04ish.
Marksmanship part 1.
It my experiences it has been much easier to take a sniper and teach them how to shoot in a CQB world than take a door kicker and teach them to be a sniper. I believe this is the case because of how much time snipers spend on the fundamentals of marksmanship. When you are shooting from 3 to 25 meters and max of 150 you don't need the fundamentals to be so ingrained and you can have some leeway in those fundamentals. In some cases those fundamentals are unnecessary to develop, you don't need such clear sight picture because in many cases it would take longer than the shooter has to engage multiple targets. However, in developing shooters and those wanting to get better at marksmanship I think that is imperative to develop those basic skills if you have time. In the case of teaching at a military CQB course there isn't time. There is especially no time in a civilian marksmanship course. In the Marine Corps we spent time before sniper school honing those skills without ever putting rounds down range and in our 13 week school we spent 100's of hours developing those skills. We spent hours doing support work to develop those skills. The amount of time we used optics to get into stable shooting platforms whether to observe, range (mil a target) or shoot was incredible. We did it ALL THE TIME. We had blisters from laying down. The thing is, once it is ingrained in the nervous system it never leaves. You may lose your edge, you may lose your ability to read wind but the fundamentals of getting into a good shooting position and applying those fundamentals in a shooting scenario are there. Even the bootcamp and fleet training for marksmanship is more in depth than one would think. In the fleet before becoming a sniper or sniper instructor I was a PMI or Primary Marksmanship Instructor. As a PMI we had Marines lay in an L shape at 20ish yds and dry fire at shooting barrels that had tiny targets painted on them. These hours spent reinforcing the fundamentals sink in and make Marines very good marksman. My problem with many of these high speed courses that are offered don't reinforce or have time to reinforce the very basics of making solid marksman. This is the same with the most basic of weekend shooters. Shooting is an expensive habit and people just throw away money buying ammo, driving to a range or out to the woods and spend thousands of dollars on shooting kit they dont have the skill to use. It is like that turd that buys the ferrari and barely has the skill to drive to Starbucks and buy some gooey coffee drink with his AMEX Black. You look at them and think "douchetard" (That is an Adamism feel free to use it and sink it into national vernacular). The same applies to those that can't shoot and buy shit that looks cool but they still can not shoot.
So, how do you make someone a good shooter?
How do you do that without spending a fuck ton of money? (And yes a fuck ton is even more than a metric ton, plus it is weighed and delivered as baby used baby diapers.)
The cheapest and easiest is to use a decent pellet rifle and shoot inside, your garage or in your back yard. 1000's of rounds for extremely cheap and I guarantee that you will see your flaws. Shoot at between 10 and 15yd and get ready. Do this with open sights. Make sure they are good open sights. Don't, DO NOT start with optics. There are too many variables in learning how to set up a scope and understand how to use a scope. Take away all of that crap and learn how to shoot. Take out all the wind variables, scope, kick, and learn how to shoot.
Next, if you have a scope with some sort of ranging system start to range targets. Don't shoot a real gun until all of range estimations are within 10% of what you laser them to be and your 5 shot pellet group is within an Aspirin.
I will be going over all the fundamentals and what you need to work on and why during subsequent blogposts.
Lastly, pellet rifles the .22 cal kind have no problem taking down small game. They can actually take down larger game than you would think.
10 shots from the prone for breakfast and dinner, 10 on both your dominant and non-dominant side.
Have fun and stand by for NPA