Promoting Marksmanship

Sweden in 1941 had Nazi-occupied Norway on one side, Nazi-allied (through mutual hatred of the Soviet Union) Finland on the other, and Nazi Germany itself across the Baltic Sea. It was hard being a neutral nation in the midst of all of that. Like the Swiss, the Swedes believed in armed neutrality.

The 1941 Swedish propaganda poster below is promoting marksmanship. The wording translates as “shooting skills increase the defense force.” Both the civilian and the soldier are firing what appears to be a Model 96 Swedish Mauser.

Marksmanship Training For Combat

Traditional marksmanship training in the Army and Marines involves static targets with the occasional moving target. The USMC’s Marine Warfighting Lab in conjuction with the Army’s Asymmetric Warfare Group are working on marksmanship training methods that are much more realistic.

Back in September, the Marine Warfighting Lab gathered data on different techniques using experts from the Basic School as their guinea pigs.

The Sept. 16-27 experiment had a handful of Marine instructors from The Basic School here practicing a series of techniques for hitting moving targets while shooting from the prone, kneeling and standing positions with M4 carbines and the service’s M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle.

They used the tracking method, which involves leading the target before shooting at it. Marines also practiced using the ambush method, which calls for picking a fixed point in front of a moving target and firing as it moves into it.

The third technique is known as the swing through method. The newer technique has the shooter begin firing at the rear edge of the target, moving the muzzle forward to the front while continuing to fire.

The experiment also involved Marines firing in semiautomatic and three-round burst modes from the M4, and full auto from the M27.

The key to the new training are wheeled robotic targets that can move at a speed of over 8 mph. These robotic targets feature a mannequin that will drop when hit either in the head or the “spine”. Whether these targets are rolled out for training in the rest of the Marine Corps and Army may be problematic due to their cost. Each robotic targets costs $100,000!

The video below shows the training using the robots.

Free Classic Shooting Books

The has a list of classic shooting books that are free to either read online or to download in PDF format. And as they say, free is good:

In today’s economy, Free is good. Here’s a list of older shooting books that can be downloaded for FREE from Google Books. This list, created by German Salazar, includes many classic treatises on marksmanship that still have value for today’s competitive shooters. In addition, we’ve included illustrated firearm histories, such as Townsend Whelen’s fascinating book, The American Rifle.

The list of books includes:

  • The Bullet’s Flight From Powder to Target, Franklin W. Mann, 1909, 384 pages.
  • Irish Riflemen in America, Sir Arthur Blennerhassett Leech, 1875, 216 pages.
  • The American Rifle, Townsend Whelen, 1918, 637 Pages.
  • Suggestions to Military Riflemen, Townsend Whelen, 1909, 243 pages.
  • Modern Rifle Shooting From the American Standpoint, W. G. Hudson, 1903, 155 pp.
  • Manual for Rifle Practice: Including Suggestions for Practice at Long Range, George Wood Wingate, 1879, 303 pages.
  • How I Became a Crack Shot — With Hints to Beginners, W. Milton Farrow, 1882, 204 pp.
  • The Gun and its Development, William Wellington Greener, 1907 (8th Ed.) 786 pages.
  • Cartridge Manufacture, Douglas Thomas Hamilton, 1916, 167 pages.
  • Description and Rules for the Management of the United States Rifle, Caliber .30, Model of 1903, United States Army Ordnance Dept., 1904 (5th rev. 1914), 72 pages.

Links to more free shooting and marksmanship books can be found here.

H/T Mark Vanderberg