Your Shooting Buddies

From a galaxy far away, a long time ago…

The discussion began with a very experienced and right-minded shooter discussing the need for rigor in teaching the proper use of a sling during basic rifle marksmanship training.

Another hard-hearted, very competent man then replied:

In my experience, really becoming effective with sling-supported positions takes a lot of time, some painful stretching of unused muscles, and a reasonable height/weight ratio. In USMC bootcamp, we spent an entire 6day/12hour week “snapping-in” on reduced size targets before allowed to bust a single live round. The “snapping-in” was interspaced with classes on sight alignment, sight picture, trigger control, doping the sights for range and conditions, and of course, sling-supported positions. It hurt every single &*%$#! day and was one of the most tedious and exhausting weeks of boot camp.

My current observations suggest that all you can reasonably hope to achieve over the course of a single day event with civies is to help them understand the very basics and motivate them to push forward on thier own time. There is no way to shortcut poor physical condition and lack of skill in one day. To get the most out of these events they need to do their share and bring something to the table. Once they get tired and sore, this “exciting” new shooting sport with the lofty historical overtures doesn’t seem so much fun anymore. Always makes me wonder just how they think they are going to handle the third day of hard wilderness pursuit, with the stress of knowing their family, friends and business associates are seeing thier face all over TV portrayed as a “murderer”.

A friend of mine used to say concerning women, “When you are eyeing that good looking gal in short skirt and heels, you really need to picture her sitting across a very expensive desk with her very expensive lawyer as they lay out their new plan for your finances.”

It’s also pretty sage advice for the lovers of liberty. It’s all internet back slapping and “I love ya man”, but the reality of it is battle rifles are for killing other men, folks that are respected and loved by the majority. Their killing is not going to have folks standing up and cheering.

It’s going to scare the *^%! out of most.

Let me tell you one more thing about killing and the effect it has on your peers. It scares the folks around you and they will think of you differently. Killing in self-defense in the heat of the moment with a group is very different than striking from ambush or even mounting a well-done raid. This concept should not to be taken lightly, nor should the effects it will have on you and your peers, which at that point will be a very small few indeed by the security issues related to your new legal status.

Ever consider what you are going to have do when one of your life long buddies decides he has made a big mistake and wants to go home?

Point being you really can’t think of your “shooting buddies” as they are eating dinner and drinking some beers after the shoot. You need to think of them under very different circumstances. I bring this up because spending the time and money to shoot well are just tiny parts of the big picture and folks that don’t have the gumption to stay in shape and bring minimal skills to the table now don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of ever being effective.

I know this got a little side tracked from sling positions, but not really. IMO, they are both a mental thing. There are no secrets to good shooting – the skills are well documented. It’s just a matter of deciding you are going to do it.

All mental.

21 responses to “Your Shooting Buddies

  1. Ayup. Hell, I can think of the last platoon I had in Germany in the eighties, and I might have had to wax 5 or 6 of THEM, in the event we had to go balls to the walls against the Warsaw Pact. The sillies, here? Yow. Get used to the idea that some hard-hearted stuff is going to have to be done. I ain’t looking forward to it, no how, but there it is.

  2. I don’t have any shooting buddies.

    I guess that makes it somewhat less complicated.

    Logistics, too.


  3. brocktownsend

    Well said.

  4. Beyond the use of the Hasty I have never seen anyone use a sling in the field. Something to do with not having the time.
    Hard-hardheartedness required? I see it more as determination to persevere despite the horrors. Difficult either way.

  5. I am a great fan, and proponent, of the shooting sling. (Although most tac slings don’t seem to permit its use.) I too learned marksmanship in the Marine Corps, and while the shooting sling could be uncomfortable it did make positions more stable. It was taught rigorously at Gunsite; I use it regularly with the Steyr Scout, with which I have taken game, while slung up. It’s a great aid to accuracy.

    • brocktownsend

      when we were young and handsome.
      Aren’t we still?:)

      Think how far we have digressed.

      1. A favorite Confederate song: “When we were young and gay.”
      2. “Coming out” when I grew up meant the debutante presentation………If you add party to it today though, it will bring it up correctly.

  6. Shoot, even the slings today are not designed to be used for stability, etc in firing. Used slings early in my Army career when part of the rifle team, but never saw it in combat. The M16 sling is a good example of that….but let me say one more thing. The weapons used “then” and now are totally different and the concept of the slings being used would be laughed at. Perhaps snipers used the sling years ago, but with the types of weapon they use today wouldn’t make any sense and wouldn’t work anyway.

    For what it’s worth..

  7. First time here. It’s encouraging to see a group who sees reality for what it is. Very encouraging. The future is not a pleasant sight.

  8. Also keep in mind that your buddy, so-called, might one day decide that you’re not enough of a “true believer”, and try to put a round or two in your head.

    That’s the problem with struggles based on ideas, and not on communities and relationships. The idea becomes more important than anyone,.

    Why do I fight?

    It’s not for some silly idea that is worthless without people.


    • Enlightenment is not always pleasant is it AP.
      Good insight. This is why simple ideas are the only ones worth defending.

  9. brocktownsend

    “true believer”

    Reminds me of Mad Dog.

    “No one else could engage the machinegun that trapped Shriver’s men — it was up to Mad Dog. Skittish Yards looked to Shriver and his half-grin restored a sense of confidence. Then they were on their feet, charging — Shriver was his old self, running to the sound of guns, a True Believer Yard on either side, all of them dashing through the flying bullets, into the treeline, into the very guts of Mad Dog’s great nemesis, COSVN. And Mad Dog Shriver was never seen again.”

  10. Ah yes…grass week and the hasty sling. Brings back memories and sore muscles…but that shit worked…and still works. Dio and I discussed this at the Patcom, then we commenced to passing on some of that good stuff we learned back when we were young and handsome. 😀

  11. Cassandra (of Troy)

    The sling part of the piece is worthwhile if circumstances permit classic marksmanship techniques, otherwise it’s pffft. The really important stuff, to me at least, is the following.:

    “Let me tell you one more thing about killing and the effect it has on your peers. It scares the folks around you and they will think of you differently.”

    Largely true, but if those around me become frightened of me instead of being happy at what I’ve done to our enemies, then they’re manifestly NOT my peers, have revealed themselves to be a threat to my person, & as such will be removed ASAP. Once hostilities have commenced, the time’s passed for Ayoob’s “Mark of Cain effect” to be

    “Ever consider what you are going to have to do when one of your life long buddies decides he has made a big mistake and wants to go home?”

    Review the scene in Red Dawn where the Wolverines are debating what to do w/ a Russian prisoner & one of their own (Daryl Bates) who could’ve got them killed in a fit of childish pique. I’m w/ Robert Morris/C. Thomas Howell. In fact, he’s the kind of people I want to be w/ when things get nasty or even when they’re not. Knows what the deal is, doesn’t have a problem doing unto the bad guys as they’ve done to him/others, & isn’t all that worried about what ‘nice’ people think. My kind of folks. Birds of a feather, so to speak.

    And yes, I mean it.

    Cassandra (of Troy)

  12. Cassandra (of Troy)

    Correction to the above comment:

    Once hostilities have commenced, the time’s passed for Ayoob’s “Mark of Cain effect” to be a consideration.

    Such oopsies happen when one hurries, there’s a lesson there!

    (An embarrassed) Cassandra (of Troy)

  13. Pingback: Deer Hunter Revolution | Western Rifle Shooters Association

  14. Semper Fi, 0321

    Those of you who have never had to spend days on end snapping in and learning a tight shooting position don’t understand. Many of you use shit for slings also, big padded crap that can’t be adjusted anyway or tacticool hangers that save you from laying your weapon in the dirt. It’s just a carrying strap, nothing more. Most of us will never use that carrying strap for what it was designed to do, but when I have to, I can still ring plates at 600m, just did it last night as the sun was setting with an M4 at 300m.
    Fast moving combat does not allow for slinging up, but it taught us what we needed to learn about improving long range accuracy, something that will come in handy in my AO in Wyoming.
    I was at Edson Range, snapping in, exactly 40 yrs ago, this coming week!

  15. I’m an old Marine PMI. A hasty sling will make a lot of difference at distance.
    Now days they have slings that carry the rifle for you, but you can’t use a hasty sling, your bayonet, or even throw your rifle away, and grab another if needed.
    I bought the new slings and tried them, I then switched back, and use a sling like I used in the Corps. If I can’t carry my own rifle, I have no business behind it. It I can’t make a 600 yard shot, because the sling is getting in the way, then the sling needs to go.
    New and approved by nutinfancy is not as good as what has worked in combat, and will work again.
    No matter what is going on! Always go with what is proven.

  16. You guys must have contacts and optics !! .. Im stickin’ with my scattergun. That slide works the same as it did them and my muscles still remember it. ; )

    Yank lll