Small Arms Qualification Stories

Small Arms Qualification Stories

This is a discussion on Small Arms Qualification Stories within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Since OldVet felt the need to call me out on the EXTREMELY rigorous and demanding standards of Air Force small arms "Expert" qualification here ...

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Thread: Small Arms Qualification Stories

  1. #1
    Member Array blanco64's Avatar
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    Small Arms Qualification Stories

    Since OldVet felt the need to call me out on the EXTREMELY rigorous and demanding standards of Air Force small arms "Expert" qualification here What's the story behind your avatar?, a few stories:

    From the late 80's to the mid 90's when I had to maintain my small arms qualification, the criteria for "Expert" qualification was something like all of your rounds had to fall within either the bullseye or second ring. They would run you through a few timed scenarios, firing from various positions. On what I believe was my fourth qualification, the instructor scored my rounds as "Qualified". All of my rounds fell within the bullseye or second ring, except that I apparently missed the target completely with one of my rounds. I thought "that doesn't make sense", but since I had qualified and had previously qualified "Expert" three times, I didn't concern myself too much with it. Since they let us take our targets, later at home when I was looking at it closer I found that he had missed counting where I had double-punched one spot. You could barely make out where I was off about 1/16" from the previous round. Oh well ...

    One of the guys in the squadron told us that on one of his qualifications the woman next to him, who had an administrative role, was struggling. He already had enough rounds on target to qualify, so he started shooting at her target. The instructor caught him and admonished him. Not sure what her final outcome was.

    Feel free to add your own interesting or humorous qualification stories.
    Last edited by blanco64; December 21st, 2012 at 04:57 PM.

  2. #2
    Array msgt/ret's Avatar
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    When I was stationed at Travis we had one individual that shot so bad that the people on either side of him always qualified expert. What shots of his that did hit the target looked like he had been using a shotgun.
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    When you have to shoot, shoot. Don't talk.
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  3. #3
    VIP Member Array OldVet's Avatar
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    Okay, OP--now that you've thrown down the glove!

    Back in my day (Maybe I should have said WAY back in my day?) the target was a simple shillouette, no bullseye, no "X" ring. 75 of 100 on the target to qual, +90 for expert. Head, nose, toes; a hit's a hit. That was for M-16 (either .22LR or 5.56) and S&W .38 revolvers. When I set my . 38 target up, I made a spot COM with a wet thumb just so I'd have something to focus on. The instructor--being the so-called expert--made a big deal and fun of me having to "cheat." After I shot the spot out and basicly left a ragged hole with a few strays, he said he couldn't count at least 75 holes so I didn't qual. I protested to the range supervisor, who told said instructor, "Hell, Sgt XXXX, you can only wish you shot this well. Give him expert.

    The next month, during M-16 qual, the same instructor counted over 100 holes (something like 120), never said a word, and gave me expert. Odd thing is, the guys on either side of me both had 95+. Someone else was really bad!

    In all the recurring quals, I always made expert, so it was no fluke. Still, today, I'm happy to hit minute-of-BG. Maybe I should have stuck with the S&W .38.
    Retired USAF E-8. Curmudgeon at large.
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  4. #4
    VIP Member Array aus71383's Avatar
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    At "Marksmanship Instructor's Course" we had this one incident. We all went up to the 7 yard firing line, with empty pistols. We had loaded mags on us. The instruction from the "Block" was - "With a notional magazine of 0 rounds, LOAD". This was for dry fire practice. "Shooters, fire one notional round, dry fire, when your target appears. You have will have 3 seconds to complete this drill." Targets face, and BANG! One of the guys either didn't know what "notional" meant, or didn't know what "dry fire" meant, or both - or else he screwed up. In any case he got dropped from the course.

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  5. #5
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    OK! The glove has been thrown, and I accept! I caution you, it's a long story!

    I have fired expert ever since I joined the military. As you know, one must re-qualify yearly. So off to the range with everyone else went a good friend and myself. We were shooting M-16s at pop-up targets. One shooter and one coach to each position...well, you know the drill.

    Upon arrival the range officer announced...teams, decide who will be the first shooter, then coaches go to the Ammo Supply Point and pick up (x number) magazines of 20 rounds each. I went for the ammo and Bill went to the trenches. He fired the sequence of positions and passed with flying colors.

    The range officer then bellowed...Coaches, you are now the shooters, shooters you are now the coaches. Shooters, assume a good prone position. Coaches give the shooter one magazine of 20 rounds. We kinda laughed at this as shooter number one had already expended all the ammo and the range officer never announce a re-supply. "Are we clear on the right? Clear on the left? Shooters, engage your targets."

    Well, sir, everybody except me started firing. Seems that I had not heard correctly and was supposed to have gotten enough ammo for both of us to fire. Rats. So there I am, with an empty magazine pulling the trigger and yelling "Bang, Bang Bang". This was great fun until a Major (whom I disliked and who had the same esteem for me) stopped by at a lull in the firing and asked. "Master Sergeant, how's it goin?" I replied, well sir, I know I'm hitting the targets, but some of them do not go down." He stated that "We've had the problem at a few other firing points, I'll just stay here and observe."

    The range officer called, "Coaches...give your shooter one magazine of 20 rounds...shooter, prepare to fire". So I slammed another empty magazine home and took aim....knowing that I was dead in the water. At which point, my enterprising buddy told the Major..."Sir, there is a problem down on point one. His rifle is sporadically firing on full auto." "Humph", said the Major, "I better get down there and see if I can fix the problem". And off he went just as the "Fire at will" call sounded.

    I took aim and dutifully barked...."Bang, Bang, Bang, Bang"!

    I passed with an expert rating, again! LOL
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  6. #6
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    USAF Security Police 1976-1978 shot expert with M16A1 and S&W model 15 38spl,also qualified Saco Lowell M60 machinegun,XM203 40mm grenade launcher
    .In 1977 we caught some British machinegun range on fire in England with our M60's,somebody had a few tracers they missed delinking
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  7. #7
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    When my brother and I took our Hunter Safety Course (1974), they had it in the cafeteria of the HS.
    AND, they had us shoot BB guns as part of a proficiency/safe firearms handling portion of the class.
    One of the kids, Louis, had a patch over his eye, and kept shooting the target of guy on his left.
    He was quickly renamed "DeadEye Louis".

    Most of us found this to be quite entertaining as the instructors tried hopelessly to help him out.

    Dats all I got.
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  8. #8
    Member Array slidewayz240's Avatar
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    Had some Tech Sergeant earlier in the year flag the WHOLE line while conducting a "scan". The instructor yelled cease fire and told everyone but the TSgt to lay down. He then proceeded to rip him a new one and said "How does it feel to have killed EVERYONE!!!"
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  9. #9
    VIP Member Array goldshellback's Avatar
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    Back home in Louisiana !!!!
    The stuff I've seen after qualifying RSO...........

    I qualified 'expert' and never relinquished it. .45 and 9mm.... M14 and M16. M60, SAW, and 20MM.... but SOME PEOPLE I swear....?!?
    Why join the military if ya can't shoot? It's like joining the Navy and KNOWING you can't swim.
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  10. #10
    Member Array Sarge65's Avatar
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    Florida's Emerald Coast
    Qualified with every weapon I shot while in the AF. Got lucky as a comm guy and had a chance to qualify with a variety of weapons:
    38 special
    9 MM

    Only ever shot expert with the M-16 and only missed with the M-9 by one shot.
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