Learning to Shoot

(Part three of a nine part series, courtesy of Fred’s M14 Stocks)

Okay, you know what the important issues are – freedom, and its protection against growing encroachment from the Left in this country.

You know that your task is to wake up those sleeping frogs around you, as they slowly poach in the water that gets hotter each year. You understand that you have to get them to the range to learn rifle shooting, and you also have to motivate them to become politically active. Clean up your corner of the country, so to speak.

And you know we need to get back to that concept of a ‘Nation of Riflemen’. You know the importance of the ‘soft’ war, the war being fought out now. You realize that the ‘soft’ war has to be won or, someday, it’ll be the ‘hard’ war.

And you know that any rifle is useful in the protection of freedom, as long as you can shoot it and hit the target, but some are decidedly better than others.

The choices, in order of cost:

the British Enfields;
any SKS;
the M1 Garand;
the FN-FAL; and
at the top of Fred’s heap, the M1A (although a properly modified FAL can give it a run for the money).

In a way, it doesn’t matter what tool you use. Get skilled with any rifle by enough practice and you should be able to reliably hit 10 targets a minute at any range out to 500 yards, maybe 600. Don’t doubt it: a well-trained rifleman with a 100-yr-old Lee-Enfield is still a potent threat on any present or future battlefield.

Ask any General with brains what the value of troops like that would be to his command. His guys will fire hundreds of rounds per hit – partly due to the doctrine of ‘suppressive fire’, but mainly due to poor shooting skills. As Riflemen, you and your team will be firing 10-20 rounds per minute, with hit rates – bullets in the black on target – greater than 90%.

Now, which rifle you choose matters to you, because it is your life that will be on the line, and while 10 hits/minute is impressive to the General, it’s no big deal to you. Why? Because you picked a rifle that’ll allow you 20 – or more – hits a minute.

Given that a battle is literally life-and-death, you want any edge you can get. General Brasshat would be ecstatic to have his guys get ten hits in a minute, but you want the rifle that’ll do 20 or more. When you choose an M1, an FAL, or an M1A, you are reaching for that upper level of performance. The faster those targets go down, the less they’ll be shooting – at you!

Now, let’s talk about learning to shoot the buggers. After all, what good is a tool – even the best tool in the world – if you don’t know how to use the darned thing?

If the Day comes on your watch, you want to show up ready to go. You’ll be eager to be effective in defending Lady Liberty, which means being effective on those targets downrange, which most likely will be UN blue. You know — don’t you? — that there are millions of committed liberals in this country who would answer the call of President Hillary and UN Secretary General Bubba, wave a little blue UN flag, and gladly unlock the gates to let the foreign villains in. Talk about crazy…

And if the Day doesn’t come on your watch, you’ll want to learn to shoot that battle rifle well to preserve the tradition of marksmanship, so you can pass it on to new shooters and the next generation. That way, when the Day comes – and, in the long term, it WILL come – there will be dedicated Riflemen to greet the foreign oppressors and their quisling allies, and show them a proper welcome.

When it comes to learning to shoot, there’s a couple of ways to go about it. The easy way is by ordering our 25-meter AQT targets with the Guide to Becoming a Rifleman [http://www.fredsm14stocks.com/catalog/acc.asp]. And you might as well get yourself a copy, because sooner or later, you’re going to need the info in the Guide.

But just in case you want to start tomorrow, here’s what you do:

1. Using a black marker, make up some one-inch black squares on sheets of white typing paper. Staple them up wherever you can find 82 ft [25m] with a safe backstop.

2. Fire 3 shots at the target, from any position, with your selected battle rifle. Prone might be best. To aspire to Rifleman status, all you have to do is keep the three shots in a 1-inch circle.

Can you do it? If not, you need practice. Sure, you can practice without any instruction, and maybe eventually you will get it right. Just like if you are lost, where if you wander long enough and far enough, you might come out at your destination – possibly. But on the other hand, a map would sure make things easier, quicker – and surer. That’s where the Guide comes in.

There are three general areas of shooting instruction which you must master:

holding, and
firing the shot.

Position uses the strongest part of your body — your bones — to support the rifle to minimize strain and tremor. Position also lines you up properly so the rifle naturally points at the target.

Holding focuses on reducing strain and achieving consistency. You’ll want to know how to get your Natural Point of Aim and use a sling to support the rifle, so you can relax all muscles except those in your trigger finger.

Firing the shot zeroes in on a set routine to follow for each shot, again, to achieve consistency – and to let the rifle go off without disturbing the aim. Done correctly, you’ll also get instant feedback on the shot result.

If you start off right, applying the distilled wisdom of generations of rifle shooters who went before you, it’s much easier to learn to shoot. If you start off getting in the right positions, holding correctly, and firing each shot ‘by the numbers’, you’ll be better off than if you blunder around, rediscovering and reinventing the wheel.

There are also tricks to speed up your learning: ‘ball and dummy’ (the most valuable), the ‘one-round’, ‘two-round’, and ‘four-round’ drills. The Guide also has a list of the ‘Common Firing Line Errors’ so you can work backward – making sure you avoid the errors everyone else makes. Get the Guide, and you’ll also learn about ‘Shot Group Analysis’, so you can look at your group and identify errors from how your shots are located on the target.

However, there is one essential ingredient that’s not in the Guide. Without it, you’ll almost certainly drop out by the side of the road. On the other hand, if you bring this ingredient to the game, you almost certainly will succeed.

None of the information in the Guide will be of the slightest help in becoming a Rifleman unless you persist. If you want to join that elite group known as Riflemen, you’ll persist, even though the positions are initially uncomfortable. You’ll persist, until you control your body well enough to hold your rifle consistently. You’ll persist, until the numbered steps in ‘firing the shot’ are so familiar you can recite them forward or backward, in your sleep! You’ll persist, until your skills develop to the point where you become a Rifleman and join the top 5% of shooters in this country.

You won’t get there overnight, so you’ll persist. And here’s a tip: it’ll help a lot if you get someone else into your personal ‘becoming a rifleman’ program, learning to shoot with you. That way, you can buck each other up when the going gets tough, and you can share in each other’s triumphs as you each reap the benefits of your hard work.

Sometimes people will become interested in what you are doing on the firing line, because you show up with a definite program of activities. They know that they are aimlessly plinking, without a goal, and that they have no idea about learning to shoot better. They are ripe prospects. Recruit them for your benefit and for their benefit. Shooting with other learners will boost your progress immensely. Even more importantly, when you are done, those fellow students may be the foundation of the Rifleman team you’ll want to have ready.

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