4 replies [Last post]
Joined: 03/13/2004
Posts: 3
Reckless Jarhead!

Greetings everyone!
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.

best regards
Larry Martin

Reckless Jarhead!

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.

Controlled breathing

Alignment -open sites ( accuracy is only a matter of adjusting the scope)

Trigger pull-squeezing

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 )

bitmasher's picture
Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2002
Posts: 2974
Reckless Jarhead!

Interesting, I must run in different circles, because I don't recall ever being told that dry-firing was a necessary or sufficient method in learning to shoot accurately. It seems that if a "low kick" environment is necessary in order to condition a shooter not to jerk, then a 22 would have the same effect as dry-firing....

Joined: 03/13/2004
Posts: 3
Reckless Jarhead!
bitmasher wrote:
Interesting, I must run in different circles, because I don't recall ever being told that dry-firing was a necessary or sufficient method in learning to shoot accurately. It seems that if a "low kick" environment is necessary in order to condition a shooter not to jerk, then a 22 would have the same effect as dry-firing....

I totally agree. Below is a link about this person Carlos Hathcock and some might find his personal comments interesting. One could easily draw the conclusion he enjoyed killing humans, not to mention the fact that in some circles his followers do more to undermine what was once considered the golden rule in safe firearms handling.


Location: Maine
Joined: 06/14/2004
Posts: 10
Reckless Jarhead!

This is in regard to the first post, Carlos Hathcock was by far one of the greatest snipers in the USMC. You flagrant remarks about him being reckless is about as wrong as two schoolboys f**king.
I am assuming that you did not serve in a sniper battalion. I am also assuming that you were not instructed under Carlos Hathcock. I am probably correct in saying that all the research that you have done on this was by word of mouth.
Carlos Hathcock was one of the most insparational people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. Someone who suffered massive burns to his body and then later suffered from M.S. and yet still felt obligated to serve his country.... that takes a big man. A lot bigger man then the one that sit's back and thrust a knife into a dead man's back.
Mr. Hathcock was very strict about weapons saftey. Yes dry firing is something that is done in all branches of the military during what is called "grass week". The reason for this is for the marine, soldier, air man, etc. to learn trigger pull and proper techniques. You must remember what they are shooting at do not have antlers, they have weapons and are shooting back at you. A big differences. The bolt in an M-16 service rifle is simialar to that of a standard bolt. It is a lot more reliable where as it is designed to withstand the harsh elements of mother nature. I think that the military knows how to handle their weapons. They (USMC) have been doing it since 10 Nov. 1775. A tradition that is far older then you.
As for your brother serving in the Marines, ask him what Carlos Hathcock is like. If he fills your head with, "He was nothing more then a baby killer" make sure that he tells you that the 8 yr old kid had, not one, not two, but three Ak-47's and was firing at his pause. First shot was a warning, he took of his front tire at 1800 yards, 2nd shot was a clean and quick kill. Is it something that he wanted to do.... I think not. It is something that could have ment him going home to his wife and two year old daughter at that time. That 8 yr old boy was easily giving away his position. Hence, why he had to do what he did.
Take this as you want, I found your information about Mr. Hathcock to be nothing short of moronic. You should really do a lot more research about our fine men and women who serve this Coutnry. I apologize if it is slightly out of line to some of the softer hearted people.

p.s. "...He would shoot at anything that moved" whom ever this combat Veteran was, have you ever thought of how legit. his story is? Seeing as how he could not even give you the correct name of one of the more famous Marines. Does he happen to know who Dan Daily is? Smedley Butler, Chesty Puller? SgtMaj. Skiwonski? Does he know any of these people? Probably not.

way to go putz!


Location: New Jersey
Joined: 07/21/2004
Posts: 1
Reckless Jarhead!

Larry Martin - you sound like one of the most uneducated people I have ever heard, or, you don't bother researching what your writing (in regards to your comments about Gunny Hathcock). Did you ever bother to read the book? You should, might give you some insight to what the man was about.

I?m sure Mr. Babcock was a real hero to some of his follow Jarheads

To the "Jarheads" he saved in the burning Amtrack........You bet your ass he was a hero. The injuries that he sustained saving his brothers nearly cost him his life, yet his first thought was the SAFETY of his brothers. Yeah, this sounds like a guy that would avocate children dry firing weapons.

Question, in the sniper & shooting schools that you seem so dead set against, do you think that they teach to check the chamber before practicing? Make sue that the weapon isn't loaded? No probably not huh?

As for your claim that :

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.

What does youngsters not having any type of supervision have to do with military sniper schools? Are you suggesting that these"yuongsters" will attend a military sniper school to learn how to shoot? Everything that I learned about handling weapons came from my FATHER. Oh, sure, when I went thru hunters ED the talked about gun safety, but it's what my Father taught me that stuck with me.

As for jasonm0341:


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