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Old July 15, 2010, 09:30 AM   #1
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When I was a teenager...

I remember watching the winter olympics in Sarajevo. One of the events they had that I had never heard of before was the biatholon. I was inspired.

At the time I had a Crossman pump type air rifle. My best friend and I rode our bikes out to a clearing in the woods where the older boys rode their dirt bikes and ATVs (3 wheelers back then) and we set up a course.

We set out targets consisting of soda cans that were partially filled with sand. These targets were placed at various points on the track (about a 1/8th mile oval) and we timed each other with stop watches as we ran around the track and shot at pop cans and set up a time deduction penalty for missed shots.

It was a blast, and a real eye opener about the effects of heart rate and exhaustion on accuracy. My friend was a better shot than me, and could consistantly beat me at shooting paper targets. He was kind of fat though, and I almost always beat him on or "biathalon". It affected my friend too because he had never seriously thought about his wieght before that, b ut started losing the extra pounds afterwards. He eventually joined the Marines and fought in the Gulf War, something he wouldn't have been able to do if he hadn't lost the wieght.

Of course, right around that time we both started paying alot more attention to girls, so that probably had something to do with it too.

Anyhow, I'm older now and close to retiring from the army after many years as an infantryman, but the self directed stress shooting training I did as a kid is better than alot of the firearms training my unit conducts.

We always focus on the tactics and leadership aspects of preparing for a firefight. Marksmenship training consists of knocking down pop ups from a fixed position. We hear, "shoot move and communicate" all the time, but when we do live fire exercises it is done at such a slow pace no one ever even breathes hard thanks to the risk management controls.

I understand the neccesity of that, but have to wonder if we wouldn't be better off issuing each soldier a bunch of accurized paintball or airsoft gear a couple times a year and just spend a week in a shoot house killing each other.
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Old July 15, 2010, 10:01 AM   #2
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Situationally controling your heartrate, breathing, and stress-mitigated fine motor skills, is an eye opener for every shooter that experiences these effects on a range. It's not something that even half of shooters ever encounter. A drastically increased heart rate can completely break your accuracy if it hits you as a surprise. I believe that every shooter that carries a weapon regularly should have some situational and stress training.
Good topic for T&T.

ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ- Greek:"Come and take them..." Meaning: Here we peaceably stand as armed and free men, willing to defend that peace, and ready to make war upon anyone who threatens that freedom.
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Old July 15, 2010, 01:50 PM   #3
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Try some paintball on a non-flat field. I used to play at a place called Paintball Hill in Napa County CA and it was so incredibly steep. Beating the other team to the high ground was an ordeal. Losing that race to the top meant almost certain defeat.

USPSA shoots, depending on layout, can be good for this as well. Your first couple of organized matches will be an eye-opener, as what you *thought* you were capable of evaporates with match nerves.

Have you heard of Summer Biathalon? It's similar to what you were doing, except it was a Mountainbike/Airgun combination, which sounds fun.
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Old July 15, 2010, 04:31 PM   #4
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The paintball field I used to play on was not the typical tournament style. We played out in the woods with hills, ravines and a few man-made structures and barricades. What I learned was that my range time in the Army didn't prepare me at all for this sort of thing.

There is absolutely no substitute for training force-on-force with simunitions, paintballs or airsoft. It's a huge eye opener.
To a much greater extent than most mechanical devices, firearms are terribly unforgiving of any overconfidence, complacency or negligence.
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Old July 15, 2010, 08:11 PM   #5
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You should look into airsoft or the non-speedball style of paintball. If done correctly, it can be quite eye-opening.
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Old July 15, 2010, 09:37 PM   #6
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I got to use m4 sims when I was in the infantry. Lots of fun and hurt more than paintball or airsoft. They make conversions for m249's and m9's as well.
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Old July 15, 2010, 09:42 PM   #7
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This is what we used
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Old July 16, 2010, 07:18 AM   #8
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Yeah the simunitions are great, for some reason they are hard to get authorized to use. I suspect it's just officers too lazy to do the extra RMA paperwork and unwilling to procure the different barrels and safety gear. It iks sort of expensive. It is also a huge improvement over MILES gear.

I think for thr average member of this forum though that simunitions and MILES gear are something that they'll read about but never see or use.

In fact, I imagine most of the members here rarely if ever actually train beyond doing a couple drills at the range occasionally.

I think that setting up some sort of shoot move and communicate training would be helpfull to everyone, and it could be done as simply as this:
set up a lane with reactive targets (2 liter soda bottles or milk jugs wieghted with 1" of sand would work). Set the targets up in your back yard, spaced out a few feet apart at opposate ends of the yard. Each set of targets would be seperated by whatever distance your yard allows

Then, make a few notecards with the targets listed in different orders. ie 1,1,3,2 or 2,1,3,2. pick a card at random.

Move from position 1 to position 2 engaging the targets in the order it appears on your list. Don't leave your position until you knock down the target. Subtract 2 sec from your time for each miss.

If you did this with a friend and timed each other it would be even more effective. This could be done with airsoft, a bb gun, or paintball in a suburban nieghborhood or with real guns at an informal or private range.

I think it would be very useful, alot of fun, and good exercise.
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Last edited by ISC; July 16, 2010 at 08:13 AM.
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