Below is an article I just finished and would like to share it with this community. Also, this article has not been proofread yet, so there might be some spelling and grammar errors.
Starting at a very early age if we wanted to participate in hunting, the proper handling of firearms defensively needed to be proven to our peers in advance and this also meant the becoming a good marksman. My brothers and I were taught to believe and consider a firearm as if it was always loaded with live ammunition, this way there was no excuses for accidents. Always keeping the gun pointed at the ground or in the air, but never at a person. Also, being responsible for where a bullet might stop, that met even backdrop needed to be considered before ever taking a shot. This also meant there was never a need to dry- fire a weapon, even releasing the firing pin before putting a rifle away was done by squeezing the trigger back at the same time locking the bolt down. We also were led to believe that dry- firing could damage the gun ?s firing pin. This very well could have been just a myth created by some gun manufactures to minimize squeezing of a trigger, that would help with unnecessary accidents . Especially considering some folks put a lot of value in their guns and would teach their youngsters not to damage them at all costs. Youngsters grow up quick enough realizing that the myth of Santa Claus was only to help make them learn and behave. By the time they figured it out they are already have been trained in the proper way of handling firearms. More likely, this is how they?ll grow to teach their youngsters .
There are some folks who claim dry- firing is necessary part of becoming a good marksmen. One in particular was Charles Babcock who is now deceased, was a Marine sniper that wrote a book that some consider to be the Bible about sniping confirmed with his alleged 93 human kills. One source a combat veteran during August of 65 through June of 66 that personally served with Mr. Babcock during Vietnam from Delta Co 1-for two weeks said and I quote? this guy (Charles Babcock) was a real idiot and would shoot at anything that moved ?. unquote. I?m sure Mr. Babcock was a real hero to some of his follow Jarheads, but taking pride in killing humans is not something worth writing home to mother about or a reckless book. Most good Sportsmen or marksman that hunted over the years could easily make claim, one shot- one kill, to fifty times that amount shooting wildlife and always keeping safety the No.1 priority.
The problem with military sniper training (dry- firing ) it?s designed for offense tactics and handling of weapons in a controlled environment. On the other hand, a lot of youngsters never have any kind of supervision to speak of and once they become a legal age can purchase guns under their second amendment rights. And then talk about scary, I remember all too well hunting during the ?60s before hunters safety courses became law, lots of guys were walking around the mountains in Western Maryland with their safety off not knowing a better from a lack of proper training. Then want to fight or go to war over a bruised ego because someone asked this guy where did they get his training from. Today that answer could very well be, their a student of Charles Babcock reckless book on sniping.
The only 5 important elements needed in becoming a good marksman are listed below. In my humble opinion shooting is about consistency not accuracy with these five things taken into consideration and should be practiced simultaneously.
Alignment -open sites ( accuracy is only a matter of adjusting the scope)
Shooting in groups of 3
Not to anticipate the recoil.
With practice a good marksman using open sites should be able at 100 yards place three consecutive shots that can be covered with a quarter ,with two different methods to tell the shooter if there flinching or pulling the rifle at the point of it going off. First, if the group of 3 is not consistent regardless of its overall outside diameter. Second, have someone other than the shooter randomly load the weapon, then sometimes do not place a round in the chamber. The observer will immediately be able to see if someone?s pulling are closing their eye.
There are two very important things about trying to keep a close group or pattern of 3 shots need to be considered. First, some rifles become overheated after the third round and will not hold a tight group. A good example of this would be the Savage model 110 300 magnum, the barrel on this rifle becomes very hot and the fourth-round does not stay with in a group or pattern. That does not mean to say there?s anything wrong with the Savage rifles, only this is the nature of this particular caliber. Second, mountain rifles are normally designed with a light stock and therefore have a tremendous amount of recoil. One-way to help reduce recoil is by installing a muzzle break. In some rifles like a 280 this can reduce recoil comparable to that of the 243.
Shooting is no different than any other sport consistency, coordination , practice and focus are key elements in fine-tuning a skill levels to bring the skills ( five mentioned earlier) together successfully at one point (accuracy). Leaving. just one element out of shooting would create a handicap and not give the shooter a true picture of their skills. Without this it would be impossible for observer (trainer) or shooter to understand which one of five needed improvement. One very good example would be archery , consistency in one?s technique in their draw ,stand and stop the drawing of the bow before releasing at the same point (cheek) every time. to stop a Just imagine a shooter practicing dry- firing with a compound bow to perfect his release. So unquestionably the argument or claims by some folks that dry- firing is necessary to become a good or great marksmen just does not hold water. One could very easily make an argument that they?re leaving out one very important element in the training process of their mind to deal with recoil with other elements simultaneously with squeezing of the trigger.
A much easier argument could be made that those who openly claim dry- firing is a safe and necessary practice to become a good marksmen, only undermined the myth (is there no Santa Claus).That is very important part of the development process for youngsters in becoming good responsible adult in safe handling of firearms themselves. Moreover, some folks would like to make the point that shooting schools would be comparable to drivers education classes. There again this argument just does not hold water because driving is a privilege under the Constitution not a right. Not to mention, drivers education curriculum is governed by state law for young adults with safety being at the forefront for themselves and everyone else. Youngsters on the other hand are not required by law to have any a kind of training be it safety or otherwise to have firearms in their possession. One could very easily make the point that shooting schools using a curriculum like Charles Babcock sniping book teaching dry- firing as a safe practice, only gives reason for justification to those( anti-gun lobbyist ) who would like to create better gun control laws are in some cases have guns completely removed from society. Some folks (those who have never been properly schooled ) in the firearms community need to ask themselves why is it so important using their first amendment right (freedom of speech) to make claim that something is proven safe as if to be an expert on the subject (safety). At the same time not excepting any responsibility to those claims, that ultimately undermines all our rights to the second amendment.
A special salute to one particular Jarhead (Leoran H Martin) my older brother, who served in the First battalion /First Marines from 64 -67
By Lawrence R Martin ( Larry)
Vietnam Veteran (US Army 69-71 drafted )