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This is definitely NOT a shot at the brave members of the USCG - just a poke at some training they do. And for some unknown reason why they want to put it on TV.

We were watching a couple of episodes of "Coast Guard: Florida" last night. They perform a lot of drug interdiction / police type missions and during one of these episodes, they had a rather lengthy segment on firearms training for members of the boarding teams. This was done at an indoor range that looked to me to be 20 yards max.

The pistol training looked okay except Mrs OldChap commented that they must be shooting 44 Magnums - the guns, almost every one shown, flipped from 3 o'clock to nearly 12 o'clock under recoil. And nope...those were 9mm Sigs. I think. And the targets!!! Oh the humanity!!!! When they brought the targets in (B21 LEO target) it looked like it had been peppered with a shotgun. My jaw fell slack.

Then they moved to shotguns. This time about 15 yards. Same result, except they were firing prone. Birdshot - and the pattern looked like 40 yards or better!

Last was AR-15 training. Again prone at the range max - 20 yards. Unbelievable. The target looked like someone had unleashed a SAW from 200 yards on it. Shots everywhere! I couldn't speak.

Just a question for any former USCG members. Was the firearm training really that bad? Why on earth would they want that put out for everyone to see? Wouldn't it be better to get a couple of good USMC or Army weapons instructors and improve the skills? OR was this maybe a tongue in cheek - some kind of humor I misunderstood?
 

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I will say my brother was in the USCG and was boarding team trained. I went to the range with him once after that and would never go again. He thought he was too cool for the four rules of gun safety. I also suspected he was not adverse to mixing guns and alcohol. Sadly, he went on to be a small town police chief and later, a big city deputy sheriff. He did not last at either job, for reasons I never found out.

He's now a mortician. At least he can't hurt anybody...
 

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I doubt the Navy VBSS teams are any better since it’s just something people sign up for. Basically the blind leading the blind. There is a reason that even though they do this, NSW, as well as MSRT also do this.
 
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I doubt the Navy VBSS teams are any better since it’s just something people sign up for. Basically the blind leading the blind. There is a reason that even though they do this, NSW, as well as MSRT also do this.
Some distinctions:
  • USCG Boarding Officer Course (BOC): 23 days
  • USCG Boarding Team Member (BTM) Course: 9 days
  • USCG MSRT training: 8 weeks
  • Navy VBSS training: 8 weeks
Also, even though VBSS are volunteers, they are screened for attitude and fitness and get ongoing training. The ROE differences are that MSRT and VBSS can do operations against hostile targets. Boarding teams cannot.
 

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My brother was one of the worst shots with a handgun I have ever seen. Profession - LEO!
 

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Well, look. You all missed it. They train to hit all over the target like that because they are standing on dry land. Believe you me, when they open up from a rocking, yawing boat at targets on another rocking, yawing boat...All their rounds hit an area that can be covered by a...well, a...another boat! ;)
 

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Well, look. You all missed it. They train to hit all over the target like that because they are standing on dry land. Believe you me, when they open up from a rocking, yawing boat at targets on another rocking, yawing boat...All their rounds hit an area that can be covered by a...well, a...another boat! ;)

That is why I carried a 12 gauge riot gun when boarding boats in Viet Nam. :rolleyes:
 

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I have heard rumors they can shoot at the ocean and miss. I do not put much faith in that rumor. Now if it were shooting at the sky...
 

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The thing about shooting at/from a rolling boat has some validity to it. I knew a Chief Master at Arms who couldn't hold his hand steady for beans, but throw a floating 5 gallon foam container overboard and he never missed. He didn't do too good on dry land, either.
 

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Well, look. You all missed it. They train to hit all over the target like that because they are standing on dry land. Believe you me, when they open up from a rocking, yawing boat at targets on another rocking, yawing boat...All their rounds hit an area that can be covered by a...well, a...another boat! ;)
All I needed was for someone to explain it to me. Thanks.
 

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At two of the training courses I took, we attempted to shoot from moving vehicles on dry land. Even though we were moving at extremely slow speed, I found it extremely difficult to get good hits. Very tough to do without a lot of practice.
 
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I have heard rumors they can shoot at the ocean and miss. I do not put much faith in that rumor. Now if it were shooting at the sky...
One evening in Viet Nam, a lookout in a tower reported a light moving in the tree-line on the hill behind us. We went to general quarters. It was a free fire zone and we opened up with everything we had, but the light was still moving. Then came the ceasefire. It was Venus rising through the tree line. We never came close to hitting it.
 

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I've watched my dad trying to hit a ruffed grouse in heavy brush using a Browning 12 gauge semi-auto with the correct Poly-Choke setting. He was a dead shot with a rifle on a stationary target, but more often than not the grouse remained unruffled.
 

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One evening in Viet Nam, a lookout in a tower reported a light moving in the tree-line on the hill behind us. We went to general quarters. It was a free fire zone and we opened up with everything we had, but the light was still moving. Then came the ceasefire. It was Venus rising through the tree line. We never came close to hitting it.
Lucky it stayed out of range.
 

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I've watched my dad trying to hit a ruffed grouse in heavy brush using a Browning 12 gauge semi-auto with the correct Poly-Choke setting. He was a dead shot with a rifle on a stationary target, but more often than not the grouse remained unruffled.
So it was not a Ruffled Grouse?
 
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My Dad said when he was called late in WWII He tested to be a gunner in a bomber crew. He said the test was with two trucks driving on a dirt road, one truck launched clay pigeons and a shooter in the other shot them. With a shotgun. He said it took him about three rounds to figure it out. But once he got the hang of it it was fun.

Our middle son is a Sgt in the Air Force. He says most of the AF only holds a weapon once a year in annual qualifications. He says those aren't pretty! DR
 

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I qualified with the shotgun 1 deployment. They handed us a shotgun with 1 round in the the mag. Had us rack it, and fire it over the side. No target, just shoot it over the side. There were a few times during my deployments when the flight deck was secured for small arms qualifications. They stapled targets to posts, and shot at them while standing on a rocking ship. Wasn't allowed to watch. A couple deployments, we had Coast Guard on board, as we were doing counter narcotics missions. So them and the VBSS teams were the ones boarding the boats. Interesting stuff.
 

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My Dad said when he was called late in WWII He tested to be a gunner in a bomber crew. He said the test was with two trucks driving on a dirt road, one truck launched clay pigeons and a shooter in the other shot them. With a shotgun. He said it took him about three rounds to figure it out. But once he got the hang of it it was fun.

Our middle son is a Sgt in the Air Force. He says most of the AF only holds a weapon once a year in annual qualifications. He says those aren't pretty! DR
Way back when I was in (last century) unless you were in a career field that required being armed or were transferring to a combat area (Vietnam) the only time you qualified with any weapon was in basic training.
 
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