Jun 18, 2008

Good Marksmanship Training

Myth – “Our unit/department shot the qual course a bunch of extra times. It was good training.”

Fact – Shooters improve by focusing on core fundamentals and maximizing feedback.
FM 3-22.9, Page 1-9
“Feedback (precise knowledge of bullet strike) must be included in all live-fire training. The feedback is not adequate when bullets from previous firings cannot be identified …”


The only way to yield consistent improvement is to maximize feedback so the shooter so he can compare his efforts to the results. Some of feedback that would be useful to receive would be:

  • Shooting on a feedback target plotting the exact location of each shot. This can be done on a KD range or electro-acoustic/LOMAH targetry
  • Recording both the call and actual location of each shot in a data book
  • Dummy rounds and dry practice interspersed with live shooting
  • Video recording the shooter as he trains
  • System to trace movement before, during and after a shot, dry or live (e.g., Noptel)
  • A good coach to help interpret the results

We often can’t have all of this available but the more feedback a shooter can get the more he can learn and, consequently, the better he’ll perform. As you can see, RETS “pop up” courses offer almost no feedback. Field courses are fine for testing and qualification, but not for training and learning.

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