Some history on rifle QK-Long Read!!
This is a discussion on Some history on rifle QK-Long Read!! within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Instinct Shooting
The Birth of Quick Kill
Mike Jennings in his 1959 book about Lucky McDaniel and Lucky’s Instinct Shooting technique (published by Dodd, Mead ...
February 24th, 2014 11:55 AM
Some history on rifle QK-Long Read!!
The Birth of Quick Kill
Mike Jennings in his 1959 book about Lucky McDaniel and Lucky’s Instinct Shooting technique (published by Dodd, Mead & Company) defines instinct shooting as, "a method of fire that is based on the innate quality of hand-eye coordination and teaches a soldier to point his weapon as he would point his finger….quickly, smoothly and accurately at any object that suddenly attracts his attention." Who discovered the technique? This will never be known because as Jennings describes it, "The art of throwing accurately, relying on the judgment established thru coordination between hand and eye dates back to early man who learned to throw or propel a stone with his hand and arm or a sling and hit the target he was looking at." The hand-eye coordination is the heart of Quick Kill.
The gunslingers of the pioneer West and today’s football quarterbacks use this hand-eye coordination as did many of the ‘Champion Trick Shot’ shooters, including Annie Oakley. R.L. Wilson and Greg Martin (footnote #1) recorded Miss Oakley’s comments about hitting birds and sighting the target. There are two elements of Oakley’s description that directly relate to the technique of Instinct Shooting. Oakley says, "I always adhere to [shooting with] both eyes [open]..... and .....while shooting, I scarcely realize that I have a gun in my hands. I look straight at the object to be fired at, and the moment the butt of the gun touches my shoulder I fire. A moment’s hesitation invariably means a miss. No one person discovered or invented instinct shooting. Many individuals, thru their own practice and experimentation developed the ability to look at a target and hit it with rock, bullet, or BB!
However, there was one man who deserves to be called the ‘Father’ of Instinct Shooting, Bobby Lamar (Lucky) McDaniel. What is unique about Bobby Lamar McDaniel is not that he ‘invented’ instinct shooting, but that he stumbled on and developed a methodology to effectively teach the uninitiated and unskilled man, woman, or child to shoot like the great natural shots of the past.
In the early 1950s while selling tobacco products to country stores in rural Georgia, Lucky used his natural abilities of hand-eye coordination as a selling tool just as he had done to bring home game for the family table. To entertain storekeepers, Lucky conducted shooting demonstrations with his BB gun or 22 caliber rifle. Lucky discovered that his shooting displays caused bystanders to ask him to teach them the process. As he began doing this, he learned how to teach the technique in a short time with very effective results. As he learned to teach, he found that his students were willing to pay substantially for his services and a new profession was born for Lucky.
Early Contributors: Lucky McDaniel met John Hugenberg and Mike Jennings in 1956 at a local Georgia television station where John was program director and Mike was producing and hosting a Conservation program. Lucky's demonstration won the support of these two men.
In early 1956 Lucky was interviewed on a local Georgia TV station by Mike Jennings, the producer and host of the program. John Hugenberg was program director for the station and is mentioned as John Hughes (his professional name) several times in Mike Jennings book, "Instinct Shooting". Mike and John were very impressed with Lucky’s technique and worked together throughout the 1950s promoting Lucky as an instinct shooting instructor. In the mid-1960s they were able to gain interest from the U.S. Army and the two men defined a program to convince the military to try the system. Mike Jennings wrote a detailed ‘diary’ of how this was accomplished. This "selling" process is summarized in the following paragraphs.
The U.S. Army interest in Instinct Shooting was not something that the Army pursued, the concept had to be ‘sold’ to the Army. The initial step in this ‘selling’ process started with a demonstration given to one of Lucky’s students who had professional ties to the Army, a congressman from Virginia who was also an active member of the National Guard and served as a temporary instructor at Fort Benning in late 1965. While at Fort Benning, the congressman discussed Lucky’s instinct shooting concept with Brigadier General George Forsythe and Major General Robert H. York Jr., Commandant U.S. Army Infantry School. These discussions planted the seed that eventually grew into Quick Kill. In early 1966, General York asked for a demonstration for York, Forsythe and some of their staff at Trinity School (now known as Brookstone School in Columbus, Georgia). General York was impressed with the possibilities of instinct shooting and decided that a program was needed to fully evaluate the concept. Col. Koob, the director of the Weapons Department at Fort Benning, was put in charge of the project and a team was formed.
Hugenberg and Jennings were the original Team members and they added a third member, Gene Stalcup, a long time competitive shooter with extensive combat experience. At that time Gene Stalcup held an International Skeet World Record (309 straight targets in competition). They contacted Gene and he agreed to participate in the effort to convince the Army of the virtues of instinct shooting.
The three man 'Team' that convinced the U.S. Army to incorporate Quick Kill into the Basic Rifle Marksmanship Training Program.
February 24th, 2014 11:56 AM
Pilot test #1
The Team arrived in early March 1966 at Ft. Benning Infantry Hall and Captain Richard Meriaux was assigned to act as project officer for a pilot study. The Pilot test #1 would consist of a platoon (40 men) and four instructors. Five sergeants were selected and taught how to teach the process of instinct shooting. The extra man was trained to assure the team of having four competent instructors. The Army and the Team decided that instinctive fire was to be confined to 0 - 50 meters. Because the instinctive fire was being evaluated for inclusion in the formal marksmanship training program, the Army required that the instinct shooter trainees be evaluated at the end of the training sessions in a standard Army final test that included trainees who had been trained in the established (sight trained) program on the regulation ‘trained fire range’. The major concern was whether the Team could teach other instructors to teach the recruits and how long would it take. Learning the technique was one thing, but teaching others to teach the technique was another. The Team was breaking new ground in the art of marksmanship training. Training the first group of sergeants took two days and a total of 17 hours of instruction. No Army funds were available, so the Team financed their own expenses in pilot test #1.
The first platoon of 40 trainees arrived just one day after the sergeants completed their training. After a short introductory presentation and demonstration, the platoon was divided into four groups and instruction began. Well before noon, the vast majority of the recruits were hitting 8 of 10 four inch targets in the air. Several had successfully hit coins down to penny size in the air. The afternoon of the first day was dedicated to ground target work. The Team found that most of the recruits could learn the ground technique in 30 minutes or less. The trainers had expected to spend the entire first day using BB guns and had assumed that the change from BB gun to service rifle recoil and noise could cause loss of accuracy and confidence, so before moving the recruits to service weapons, the Team planned to give the recruits a transition course using the 22 caliber rifles. This platoon was ready to move to cartridge gun work in the first day, but that was not scheduled, and the Army had not programmed cartridge guns for the training, so the transition training had to be as scheduled the next day.
As the Team worked to assemble the data that would convince the Army of the merits of instinct shooting training they carefully watched not only the results of the shooting achievements, but they constantly looked for other side benefits. After the second day of platoon training the platoon drill sergeant commented specifically to the Team about the effectiveness of the training and on the improved mental attitude of the whole platoon….the recruits were truly enjoying basic training!!! To the Team, recruit enthusiasm was apparent. The men didn’t even want to stop shooting to take the Army mandated 10 minute break in each hour of training.
The next step in the first pilot study was to move the platoon to a Field Firing Range with pop-up targets. In doing this the Team made a serious mistake. The recruits were allowed to engage F type (head and shoulders) silhouette targets at 75 meters with only a "thumb nail" course in sighting procedure and conventional firing positions (foxhole, sitting, kneeling and prone) without any actual firing practice. The targets were appearing for only two seconds and the recruits were required to assume one of the ‘given’ positions and get a shot off in two seconds. The results were disastrous. Not only did very few targets drop, but the confidence the recruits had acquired with the BB gun training disappeared!! It was too late to try to add training to correct the loss of confidence, so the experimental platoon had to enter the competition with the ‘sight trained’ control group and do the best they could. Fortunately, the competition did not turn out to be a total disaster. The instinct shooting group scored somewhat better on close targets, but the results were not particularly significant…. positive or negative.
One final test remained for the experimental platoon. They were to fire ‘for record’ with the other platoons in the training battalion. Firing for record consisted of firing at 84 targets at ranges from 50 to 300 meters. The results of this test were reasonably positive. The experimental group had fewer experts (60 to 84 hits), many more sharpshooters (45 to 60 hits), about the same number of marksmen (30 to 45 hits) and fewer failures (0 to 30 hits).
Col. Koob in his memo to General York reported that "to him, [the results of the Pilot test #1] definitely indicated the system had merit, that he was most impressed with the motivational effect and improvement in soldierly bearing of the men who had been exposed to this experiment, and that, it was his opinion , further experimentation should be carried out..." General York concurred and instructed that Col. Koob should "...continue your efforts and keep me advised."
Pilot test #2
For the second pilot test, the decision was made to include more trainees in the program, so three platoons (120 men) were involved. One platoon would receive instinct shooting training from the beginning, one platoon would be trained in the conventional manner (the control) and the third platoon would be trained conventionally in basic marksmanship and immediately taught instinct shooting. To evaluate the success of the different training programs two specific tests were defined. The first test would have all three platoons compete on a special, unconventional combat range devised by the Team. The second test would compete the platoon trained instinctively against the one trained conventionally. One of the problems experienced in the first pilot test was lack of a suitable ground fire target. So, the Team designed and had fabricated a miniature silhouette target. The target was 4 inches high and 2 inches wide and six were hinged to a three foot two-by-four. The shooter engaged the targets at fifteen feet. In this second pilot test, the transitional firing with the 22 caliber gun between BB gun and service weapon was deleted. However, the Team recognized that the presence of sights on the service weapons could distract the instinct shooters so they decided to try and minimize this problem. The Team procured pieces of plywood 1/4 inch wide and secured the pieces of plywood to the barrels of the M-14s from the back of the front sight to the action. This eliminated the sight distraction and gave the illusion of the straight line plane of the air rifle.
In the second pilot test, recognizing that the recruits in Pilot test #1 had no experience with cartridge guns, the platoon was introduced to service weapons engaging full size silhouette targets at very close range - 15 meters (about 50 feet)!! The purpose of this short range was to make it easy for the trainees to hit the target when shooting the service weapon. The Team felt that this success would build on the confidence already instilled by the air gun training. Four new NCO instructors were trained. Training time for this second group was accomplished in 13 hours, a 4 hour shorter time for training instructors than the 17 hours needed for training the first four instructors.
testing again proved inconclusive. Both platoons trained to shoot instinctively scored better shooting at fleeting targets at ranges from 15 to 65 meters, but they were below the expectation of the Team and the Team was discouraged and had come to the conclusion that the program would be dropped.
Support from someone in the military was needed and badly. This support came from a source not in the U.S. Army, but from a British Liaison officer, Peter Fleming, who had been working with the Team and observing the results of the training throughout the trials. His confidence in the validity of the training and his discussions with Army decision makers caused the Army to continue the evaluation of the concept. (Authors’ note: This British officer was so convinced of the value of the Quick Kill training that he was able to arrange a British government sponsored tour by Jennings and Hugenberg of British bases in the Asian theater. The diary of this trip provides material for another article on the subject of Quick Kill.)
The next meeting of the Fort Benning officers to plot the course of the evaluation was held with the objective to "...establish a basis for official retention of the Team as consultants to the Department of the Army, work out a positive and definitive outline for establishing a course of training that would be, ‘if successful’, presented to the U.S. Continental Army Command for its consideration and, hopefully, its approval." This approval would mean that Instinctive shooting training would be incorporated in the Basic Army Marksmanship Program in all twelve Continental Training Centers. At this point, the Team was asked to consider renaming the program. Col. Koob asked the Team the question, "If we get this program to the point where it is a part of the Military Basic training, what should it be called?" This question was discussed and based on Col. Koob’s suggestion, Instinct Shooting was unanimously renamed Quick Kill!! Within weeks, the Team officially became civil servant consultants (with pay and position) and the project was to begin about October 1966.
In any Army program one of the first steps necessary is to create manuals. In my research in the archives of Daisy, (June 2006) I found a copy of a Quick Kill training manual dated October 1966 that may be the first draft that became the Army Quick Kill manual.
February 24th, 2014 11:56 AM
This manual is unique in several aspects. First, in the forward section, paragraph #2 the manual states that: "The United States Army Infantry School, in conjunction with three civilian consultants (Messrs M.C. Jennings, J.B. Hugenberg, and G.S. Stalcup) has developed and refined effective methods of teaching individual soldiers to hit a target instantly at short ranges with a rifle without using sights – as instinctively as one swats a mosquito..." Second, the document, after describing the training process, includes questions normally asked by recruits, and gives appropriate answers. The formal Quick Kill Manual TT23-71-1 (below) contains no reference to individuals developing the program and has none of the questions and answers. The official training text "Principals of Quick Kill" was published at the United States Army Infantry School, Fort Benning, Georgia, in May of 1967. The official document differs from the Daisy Museum version in that it is written in military manual style without reference to individuals and without the questions and answers.
As soon as the training manual was in the hands of the printer, the next assignment for the Team was to develop several "crack teams [of instructors] from the Infantry School at Fort Benning, to illustrate it [Quick Kill] and its effectiveness whenever necessary throughout the Army anywhere in the world." A group of senior Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs) were assigned to work with the Team to develop this cadre of Quick Kill trainers. The Team trained the NCOs and put together two outstanding demonstration teams of six men each. Each of the demonstration teams could present a 15 to 40 minute show that was not only impressive but entertaining. But, to be effective, the entire NCO group had to be able to train recruits and the trainers needed to practice teaching. When recruits were scheduled into a training base, every hour of their time was defined by the approved training program, so there were no recruits that could be diverted to be used by the Quick Kill trainers. The only recruits that had time available were cooks and bakers, so this group of unlikely marksmanship candidates had to be the ones used to learn Quick Kill (to everyone's surprise, this group trained very successfully!).
Throughout the instinct shooting program, starting with the early demonstrations by Lucky, John, and Mike, various ‘visiting dignitaries’ were encouraged to visit the training site. Each visitor was given a very thorough training experience. Visitors included not only general officers in command positions (i.e. Continental Army Commander), but civilians with important ties to Congressional Committees (i.e. Chief Counsel to Senate Armed Services Committee). Throughout the Quick Kill exhibitions that the Team performed, the technique of presenting well staged, entertaining shows was always a key element. Showmanship was a mark of the Team demonstrations and unique targets, like large cigars, charcoal briquettes, and even a head of cabbage were used as targets (sometimes the shooter would use a shotgun and shred the cabbage or cigar targets). The effects were outstanding and they fit into the choreographed Quick Kill demonstrations.
Selling a major change in a military training program is not easy. It takes showmanship, influence and validity. The Team had developed the concept, had created the interest, had the impressive demonstrations, but the real intent of the effort was to prepare the soldier heading for combat to be more able to survive. As the Quick Kill program was nearly ready to be implemented by the Fort Benning cadre of trained NCOs, the opportunity presented itself to pass the Quick Kill knowledge on to a unit in the process of being deployed to Vietnam. The 199th Light Infantry Brigade was undergoing the final stages of training before shipping out to Vietnam. Because their service weapons were already packed for deployment, the group could not experience the entire training program. The brigade was taken, one company at a time, and was given a demonstration by the Team NCOs. They were also given BB gun training and allowed to engage aerial targets. This brief exposure to Quick Kill training brought two letters of appreciation from the Brigade Commander. "I would like to single out, however, one specific effort put forth by the Weapons Department. Their Instinct shooting program for the 199th could well prove to be the most significant asset we have received in terms of enhancing combat success." Some three months later, Colonel Koob received another letter from the Brigade Commander adding additional information about the benefits the unit received by participating in Quick Kill training. "The units of the Brigade received a two fold benefit from continuing the Quick Kill instruction aboard ship en route to Vietnam. Not only did it increase confidence in their weapons’ capability when there was insufficient time to achieve a perfect sight picture and sight alignment, but it also helped shorten a long sea voyage..."
With all the individual success recorded by the Team, there was still ‘official doubt’ that Quick Kill had been proved adequately to justify changing the established Marksmanship Training Program. The formal Pilot tests #1 and #2 had been accomplished by trainers under the supervision of the Team and the largest group tested had been a platoon. Col. Koob called a conference of all those vitally concerned with and having jurisdiction over basic rifle training. The Team was included as were ranking members of the Small Arms Team (which had jurisdiction over basic rifle training) and Col. Fleming and others who had keen interest in and experience with the system. The conference determined that additional data was needed. It was decided that a program should be undertaken to conduct Quick Kill training at the battalion level at the Training Center at Fort Benning, using Fort Benning drill instructors to teach the trainees rather than the highly developed cadre of trainers. With this test, meticulous records were to be kept and a final determination would be made as to whether or not the Basic Marksmanship Program should be altered to include Quick Kill.
A politically significant step was taken toward military approval before the battalion test was implemented. Just before Christmas 1966, the Team hosted the Army Chief of Staff, the Third Army Commander, and several other ranking officers. The Team chose to have the civilian consultants (John, Gene and Mike) conduct the training of these visitors. At the end of the training the Army Chief of Staff asked, "Why weren’t we teaching this twenty-five years ago?" The answer given was, "Simply, General, because we didn’t know how!" With this tacit approval from the Chief of Staff, the Team was encouraged that Quick Kill could "come out of the closet and show its face to anyone." In recognition of this acceptance by the Chief of Staff, Quick Kill was defined as a temporarily independent section of its own and its complement of manpower was increased. A lieutenant colonel was designated officer in charge, and administrative office space of its own was assigned to implement the last phases of development (Ft. Benning battalion test) before Quick Kill would be officially presented to the Continental Army Command for approval.
In January 1967, the battalion test at Fort Benning got underway. Drill instructors from the battalion were trained by Team NCOs. The battalion drill instructors were then given another group of cooks and bakers to practice their newly learned teaching skill. The battalion was then instructed, company by company, by their own Drill Instructors (under the careful observation by Team consultants and trained Team NCOs). After completing Quick Kill training, the battalion was trained using the standard marksmanship training program including sight training and field firing. The full battalion test results proved to be very impressive. At the end of the training on the record range, the quick kill trained battalion produced several times as many experts as the best battalion among the last four battalions trained at Fort Benning. Additionally, during the fall of 1966 the Team had developed a night firing training program. The instinct shooting trained battalion was tested on the night fire range and their test results were "so superior to those of the previous battalions trained (with no instructions on instinct shooting), that there was no comparison."
With the results of the Battalion test at Fort Benning, General York felt that the program had proved itself and made the recommendation, (letter dated 14 April 1967) "The time has arrived when I can make an unqualified recommendation to you that we incorporate it (Quick Kill) into U.S. Army Basic Rifle Marksmanship Training as a standard technique... I am sure that we are on the threshold of an advance in marksmanship training which will make the American Soldier by far the deadliest individual killer on the battlefields of the world."
On 20 May 1967, official word went out from Headquarters United States s Continental Army Command, Fort Monroe, Virginia, directing in part:
"Approval is granted to integrate the technique of combat rifle marksmanship know as Quick Kill into basic combat training. The following will be accomplished by USAIS (United States Army Infantry School) in implementing Quick Kill in basic rifle marksmanship training.....USAIS will develop a schedule for training of cadre and implementation of Quick Kill for all training centers conduction BCT (Basic Combat Training). Integration of Quick Kill into basic rifle marksmanship training will be completed by 1 December, 1967".
Quick Kill had now been officially inducted into the Army and without question had earned it stripes.
With the official approval, the Army Base at Fort Polk, Louisiana implemented a major effort to accomplish the training defined. Their implementation efforts resulted in the base commander awarding a plaque and a series of photographs of the Quick Kill training facility to Daisy. This commendation is in Daisy’s archives and has an engraved brass cover that extols the air rifle as a valuable training tool for the Army.
February 24th, 2014 11:56 AM
The Air Rifle
A Valuable Training Tool
U.S. Army Training Command
Fort Polk, Louisiana
Major General Ellis W. Williamson
Army personnel were concerned that the recruits would have trouble transitioning from a sightless Daisy BB gun to the M-14s and M-16s used in actual combat, so replica BB guns were made with simulated M-14 and M-16 stocks. Pictures of the replica guns are included in the presentation document given to Daisy by Major General Williamson.
I have had the opportunity to examine one M-16 modified Daisy weapon. From the pictures, it appeared that the modified guns used an actual M-16 heat shield forearm and had handle/sight, butt stock, and lever made from wood and metal. On examining the actual replica, I found that all the pieces were fiber resin molded components. The heavier resin fabrication gave a replica that truly weighed as much as the real weapon. The specimen I examined had an identifying raised area cast in the butt stock indicating that it was cast/molded at Fort Dix. This type of construction indicates that the people making the replica weapons were considering producing a number of them. If the gun was a single prototype, making the modification parts out of metal and wood would have been far simpler. The thought that major production was considered is reinforced by a statement in Cass Hough’s book, "It’s a Daisy"(pg.221). In the section, "Daisy Guns Go to War "describing the Daisy involvement he mentions that the Army asked for a quote for 50,000 M-16 replica guns, but no contract was ever awarded. I have interviewed several people who remember training with M-16 replica BB guns at bases other than Fort Polk.
In September of 1966 the first project officer assigned to work with the Team, Capt. Richard Meriaux, was reassigned to Vietnam to teach the South Vietnamese the intricacies of Quick Kill. Meriaux was in Vietnam until March of 1967. I talked with Richard and his personal thoughts on the contribution of this training are very positive, he felt that the system he taught was very effective and saved lives in combat. We can also document that Quick Kill was being taught in Vietnam from the newspaper of the 25th Infantry Division, the Tropic Lightning News. Restored issues can be found on the Tropic Lightning web site (Tropic Lightning News). The September 30, 1968 issue of the paper includes several items of interest. You will recall that General Williamson had presented the award to Daisy for Daisy’s contributions to Army training. General Williamson was assigned to Vietnam and the September 30, 1968 issue of the paper announced that Major General Ellis W. Williamson had been awarded the Distinguished Service Medal. On page 7 of this issue, Quick Kill is shown being trained to a group of ARVN troops.
Vol 3 No. 40 TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS September 30, 1968
Division Mobile Training Team Aids ARVNs
CU CHI-A mobile training team from the helping forces of the ARVN 25th Infantry Division become more proficient with American arms and tactics in a program that is widely acclaimed by American and Vietnamese officials.
The 19-man team, composed of combat veterans of the 2d Battalion, 34th Armor, is now training the 4th Battalion of the ARVN’s 50th Regiment in a continuing program expected to last many months.
The team trains the Vietnamese soldiers in the use of American weapons, especially the 60mm mortar and the recently issued M-16 rifle and M-60 machine gun.
. . .
One of the favorite subjects deals with the U.S. Army’s "Quick Kill" method of teaching a soldier to react quickly and accurately to a moving target.
A short lecture on the technique is given, and a demonstration is performed in front of the class. The rest of the period is devoted to actual practice by the students.
Employing BB guns the class practices on empty cans in small groups. As each group finishes with the BB guns, they move on to a live-fire range. Here, the skills are put to practical use as a line of six ARVN soldiers move through a rice paddy firing on simulated Viet Cong.
“The ARVN soldier is basically similar to his American counterpart,” stated Lovisone. “He learns fast and is an eager pupil.”
“This program is actually a two-way street for my men,” he said. “We teach them a lot, but in return they teach us some tricks too. For example, the ARVN is very good at searching; they seem to know exactly where to go and what to look for.”
A marked improvement is evident in the units that have already received the training course, but it will be the long-range results that prove the effectiveness of the program.
However, an indication of success came when two ARVN battalions not originally scheduled to receive the training asked the Americans to give them the 28-day course.
25th Infantry soldiers explain the "Quick Kill" demonstration to a class of Vietnamese soldiers.
Group of ARVN soldiers practice the "Quick Kill" method of firing with BB guns before moving to the live fire range.
- - - Updated - - -
Sometime after Vietnam, the Quick Kill phase of Army Marksmanship basic training was deleted from the program. When or why the Quick Kill training was deleted is not known at this time by this author. However, the concept still lives and as of 2006 was an active part of some Army base activities. When James Rutland was a boy of about 12, he met and became a friend of Lucky McDaniel. Lucky taught young James the training concepts that Lucky had developed. James was an athlete and went on to a career as a teacher and coach, but he continued to use and teach Lucky’s methods. After his retirement from teaching, James was asked to work with some Army units teaching the Instinct Shooting techniques. The following images document the reports of success of just two of the training programs that James has conducted (Fort Bragg, N.C. - 16 August, 2005 and Fort Riley Kansas - 18-19 Jan. 2006). In paragraph #5 of the Fort Bragg commendation it states, "I highly recommend this course be available to every company in the Division. It truly has merit when training reflexive fire marksmanship" There are still people in the military who recognize the value of this training..
Paragraph 5: "I highly recommend this course be available to every company in the Division. It truly has merit when training reflexive fire marksmanship."
4th IBCT Photo/Champagne
Sgt. Lucas Horn of HHC, 4th IBCT, fires a BB gun at a tossed target as part of the instinctive shooting taught by James Rutland (left front) to the brigade's noncommissioned officer leaders Jan. 18 and 19.
Training Sharpens Marksmanship
By Mike Heronenius
Give a first sergeant or sergeant major in the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team a BB gun and he can hit tiny targets on the fly without even looking through the gun's sights.
"It's easy, it's surprising, it's effective... it's instinctive shooting," said 4th IBCT Command Sgt. Maj. Jim Champagne.
Champaigne first experienced instinctive shooting training while with the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, N.C. in July 2005. He brought that training to his senior noncommissioned officers at Fort Riley Jan. 18 and 19 during a session at Nichol Barracks at the Kansas Air National Guard's Smoky Hill practice range near Salina, Kan.
Forty-four of the 4th IBCT senior NCOs took the training.
First Sgt. Todd Ziegler of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry, has been in the Army for 19 years and had never done that kind of training. He sat in the command sergeant major's office Jan 31 and admitted he was skeptical about training with BB guns.
He came away from the two-day session convinced it was "very effective" training. "It works," he said.
The whole point of instinctive shooting is for the Soldier to rely on his subconscious ability to point at a target and be right on the mark without having to use a weapon's sights.
For more information about the Quick Kill program, see The "Quick Kill" Program - Daisy's Contribution to our National Defense
Over the months that I have researched the contents of this article, there have been many who have helped in its presentation. First and foremost I want to thank John Hugenberg who was one of the three men who were on the Team that sold the Quick Kill concept to the military. His support and recollections, pictures and copies of the document describing the process have been invaluable. Mike Jennings son and his wife graciously provided pictures of Mike and gave permission for me to shorten Jenning’s manuscript to be published. Examples of the Quick Kill, Quick Skill, and Lucky McDaniels weapons were provided by Bob Boccaccio, Ray Tomoroy, Jack Tramonte, Joe Whorten, Dennis Baker, Tom Woodling, George Nelson, Wes Powers, Gary Sage, Gary Garber and James Rutland. James Rutland was taught the Instinct Shooting concept by Lucky McDaniel. He graciously shared this knowledge with me and actually had me hitting a quarter, a dime and a ball bearing in the air after about only 30 minutes of instruction. His memories of Lucky added much to the manuscript. I have received inputs from R.D. Meriaux, the first officer assigned to the Team at Fort Benning and from Kirk Ramsey and the sponsors of the web site for the Tropic Lightning News who gave me permission to publish pictures and information from their web site of articles. Many individuals shared their memories of Quick Kill training experiences and provided me with a training base yearbook documenting the Quick Kill training. The Daisy company and Museum have been especially helpful in allowing me access to their records and provided me with copies of related material. Many thanks to Joe Murfin, Denise Johnson, Sue Secker, Orin Ribar, and John Ford for their help in obtaining details, big and little, from the Daisy records. Jim Coplen provided the museum and me with valuable literature and records that had been lost to Daisy. There are others not named who have been of assistance and to those people goes a great thanks for your help.
David P. Albert