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.