There are a lot of people out there who like to use military qualification courses as a standard to work toward with their own shooting. It makes sense, after all. While it may be a basic qualification, it’s enough for our men and women in uniform to take into harm’s way to defend our nation. It’s a good starting standard for the average shooter.
Of course, that qualification course may well be changing.
Over on YouTube, the guys at Circle Dog Productions decided to produce a video that delves into what those changes are. As they note, this isn’t official DOD policy or anything and this isn’t a DOD production by any stretch of the imagination.
The upcoming changes were first mentioned during the Maneuver Warfighter Conference, held back in January 2018 at Fort Benning. The changes include the introduction of a barricade from which troops will fire behind and the four phases of fire, with 10 seconds between each one, will now be shot in various firing positions. Soldiers will begin with 40 rounds and four magazines, 10 rounds in each mag.
The first 10-round phase will be fired from the unsupported prone position at ranges from 50 to 250 metres – up to four targets presenting at once. The second will be prone supported firing at from 150 to 300 metres, the third will be from the kneeling position with targets appearing at ranges from 50 to 250 metres while the final phase will be fired while standing (supported by the barricade) with targets at 40 to 200 metres.
Between each phase a small amount of time is given to reload and change firing position. Soldiers will be expected to be spotting and engaging targets at varied ranges.
As a Navy veteran, I’ve never put myself through the standard marksmanship course. Both the original and this one, though, seem to be a good test of open-field shooting. I’ll be honest, I have a hard time seeing much of anything past about 200 yards, so both courses will probably humble me completely. As a result, I don’t do much shooting out that far.
For those who like to shoot these courses of fire to test themselves, though, these look to be plenty challenging for most shooters. I’m sure many of you could probably shoot them in their sleep, of course, which is awesome. Good for you.
If so, this video will hopefully clear up any confusion you might have had over the proposed changes to the qualification course.
Should you be so inclined to see how you scored, here is the proposed scoring, also courtesy of The Firearms Blog:
Expert 36-40 hits
Sharpshooter 32-35 hits
Marksman 28-31 hits
Qualified 23-27 hits
So next time you’re at the range, and you’ve got the right setup to shoot this course of fire, give it a try and let us know how you did. I’m also interested in knowing your thoughts on these changes. Again, I’m a Navy guy. I don’t have experience with this kind of thing, so your thoughts on it would be more than welcome.