Thursday, September 30, 2010Our Equipment Works!
This past Thursday myself and three other guys from my team were able to join 10 German soldiers for a morning session out on the shooting range. I did not have a lot of confidence with the zero of my weapon, and that it was shooting exactly where I wanted it to. So I was very excited to be able to get out and put a few rounds through my rifle to test it out. The Germans that we were shooting with were very competent, and comfortable shooters, so it was refreshing not to have to spend more time going through safety briefs than we did shooting. They simply explained the limits of the range, objectives for the shooting, and general range safety. After setting up some hasty targets, shortly there after we were shooting. I originally thought I would need to spend most of the morning setting up a 25 meter zero target, shooting three rounds, walking to the target checking my placement, walking back and making any changes, shooting three more rounds, and repeat as necessary. As soon as shooting began it soon became obvious that this technique would not work. All the Germans that we were on the range with began shooting at targets at 100 meters. Generally it is considered kind of uncouth to move up and put yourself in front of other people who are shooting, as well as extremely dangerous. If I was to shoot my weapon I would either get to shoot it at 100 meters or not. Against the berm that we were shooting at were some brightly painted old ammo boxes. These boxes were relatively about the same size as a human chest. From 100 yards I was able to put a full magazine of rounds though the box. This was a bit of a relief, if I could put a bunch or rounds through a box at that range, my weapon is combat effective and I should be able to rounds center mass through of anything else that might threaten me or my teammates. After everyone spent some time refamiliarizing with their weapons, everyone moved up to 50 meters and trained on doing some reflexive fire. Which in some respects can be described like quick draw but with a rifle. For increased training and fun, we next trained with using both our rifle and pistol. Two quick shots with the rifle, simulate running out of rounds or a malfunction so we attempt to quickly transition to the pistol and fire two shots at the same target. Because of all the body armor, ammo pouches, other accoutrements on my body, and where I wear my pistol I found a quick transition extremely difficult. But it was still fun training none the less. After everyone had their fun of shooting, as well as testing each others weapons, and firing a few rounds of the German machine gun we had one last little training session. The Germans had an AK-47, and about 100 rounds of ammo in which to shoot. The best part of the was they brought out an extra ceramic body armor plate, and put it about 25 meters from our position. They asked the first shooter of the AK, to put a couple rounds onto the plate. The results pretty much speak for themselves, the plate stopped two rounds from an AK-47 at almost point blank range. Now just because it stopped the rounds doesn't mean that it wouldn't hurt like the ****ens if I were to get shot, but I have the confidence our body armor would protect me and my fellow soldiers.