Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Basic Range Commands

Brief the shooters on the Range Commands prior to making the range active. Discuss safety and the rules of the range. Identify the left and right arcs. Have the shooters repeat back so you know they were listening.

1. Change the flag Red (Range is Active)
2. Adopt the prone, standing or kneeling position.
3. with a 5 or 10 round magazine LOAD.
5. 25 yard grouping to the center of mass GO-ON
6. Assess if the line is finished
7. the line is finished
9. for inspection clear weapon
10. stand up sling your weapon
11. Change the flag to green (Range is safe)

At anytime, anyone can yell STOP if an unsafe situation becomes apparent.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Canadian Forces Sharp Shooters - Wainwright August 19th 2010

Training camp for the LFWA Combat Shooting Team at CFB Wainwright in Wainwright, Alta. on August 19, 2010. Video by Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A letter from Connaught Range - CFSAC 2009 - Ottawa

September 14th 2009

Tomorrow is the big day. The competition begins and we are shooting for score.

In the morning we shoot matches 1 to 4 (200m), afternoon 5 to 8 (300m). Sept 15th we shoot matches 9 to 12 (500m). Each match has a deliberate, snap, rapid and run-down stage.

We haven’t actually been practicing that much. Range time simply has not been available to be honest. There are a lot of competitors and limited range time and thus we have had a fairly significant period to consider ways of improving and performing dry firing and timing exercises. We are critiquing one another on our styles, methods and techniques. Quite constructive and educational. I have received some coaching and have learned two important fascets of shooting that I was not deploying very effectively. Since I have adopted these lessons my shooting has improved. I shot a 12” 5-round grouping today at 500 metres in full factor 20+ kph winds. My point of impact was not perfect but the grouping in the prone unsupported was very good.
At 500 metres one cannot really see the figure 12 (face) target. The target itself at 500m resembles the period at the end of this sentence which makes a sight reference very difficult. Therefore I am aiming at the four foot target frame in the 6 o’clock position as my visual point of reference. What I have discovered however is that the bottom of the target frames are partially covered by the grass mounds in front of the rifle butts. Depending on the shooting lane you are in the mounds may be taller or lower and thus the two sighting shots before every deliberate are vitally important to make sight adjustments prior to shooting for score.

The other night I was trying to get wireless internet access over at the mess. I was plunking away on my laptop when I heard some chaps from the Royal Canadian Regiment talking about the Rangers and our shooting. I was in civies and they had no idea who I was.

What they had to say was very complimentary not just because what they had to say was positive but due to the fact that no Rangers (or apparent Rangers) were in earshot.

To sum it all up we have been shooting quite well. Of the fourteen 4-CRPG Rangers about half of us regularly hit V-Bulls, Bulls and the Inner rings of the target at all ranges. Thankfully I can count myself amongst those rangers. The fact that we are achieving this with open sights is sufficient to turn a lot of heads. The fact that we are doing this with 70 year old lee enfields with worn and copper fouled bores is another. These shooters were astonished that we were capable of getting any shots on target let alone reliably achieving high scores. Today at 100m Tom Nickel put five rounds under one target indicator at 100 metres. The target indicator is 3” across and covered all of his bullet holes. Many of us are achieving this kind of accuracy reliably. At the end of the day many C7’s will have scored less than the shooters on 4-CRPG. We have three good shooting teams, Red, Green and Black teams. We are forecasting medals for Red and Green Teams.

I was observing some of the other Ranger patrol Groups today. There are one or two good shooters in each group however they are the minority. In 2009 4-CRPG should do very well.

Had better sign off for now. I don’t want to get too confident.

For me winning or losing is not a priority for me. The only entity I am competing with is myself. So long as I improve and have fun doing it I can’t lose. If I get a medal in the process then that’s an extra bonus. Having said that I’m going out there to kick some Ranger ass.

Cheerio folks

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Burns Lake Boot Camp - Bear Defense Scores - Cdn Rangers

Bear Defense Course of Fire  282KB Adobe Reader required
August 9th 2010 - Burns Lake Bear Defense Competition Scores
Adobe Reader Required 124 KB
(Points) / (Seconds) X 100 = Score
formula applies to serials one and two only

Why Mental Training? A few thoughts...

It was very encouraging to see that, at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, there were many athletes working with a Sport Psychology professional as they prepared for the games. It has also been noted that many golfers on the major tours work with a Sport Psychology professional. Slowly but surely athletes, teams, coaches and managers are not only saying that they feel most sport is mental, but that they are doing something about it. They are hiring Sport Psychology professionals, reading books, and devoting time to team building and mental training.

Successful service rifle marksmen generally agree that the discipline of this type of shooting is 75% mental and 25% physical / training / method, etc... I have observed proficient shooters (myself included) lose mental focus while in competition resulting in demoralizing defeat, and in some circumstances, disqualification. The ability to shoot proficiently requires good form, technical ability, familiarity with the weapon, record keeping and good physical condition however the over-arching limiting factor that will define success is mental discipline. Mental discipline allows the shooter to focus on what they are currently doing but also allows them to visualize the next series of steps, movements and precautions before they are required to carry them out. To compound this all of these mental processes must be carried out while the shooter is under stress. Mental discipline is not something that can be learned in an afternoon, it is a type of conditioning that can often take years of training.

Some emphasis should be placed throughout your training regime to recruit a mental marksmanship discipline. Achievements are not solely based on talent and hard physical training, but on mental focus, establishing a clear vision of what the shooter wants to achieve and the desire to obtain it.

We do this by re-enforcing Relaxation, Using Imagery, Setting Personal Goals and using Positive Thinking in all aspects of our Marksmanship Training Regime.

Safety: All exercises will be performed under direct or indirect supervision by experienced RSO’s and ARSO’s. Safety is of utmost importance and is an over-riding focus for your training event. Range commands must be correct in order to avoid confusion on the firing point. Be consistent and assume that every range session is a practice for CFSAC. Make it real.

Physical: include physical exertion as a portion of your regularly scheduled range sessions. Morning warm-ups, stretching exercises and running should comprise a small component of your training regime once your shooters have the fundamentals of marksmanship principles established. Shooters should also be required to perform these physical exercises while carrying their service rifle, just like they would be required to do during Service Rifle competitions. Combine this stress with shooting and engage targets after physical exertion. Start small and work your way up.

Realistic Training: The intention is to be able to simulate service rifle and realistic field situations as closely as possible. The intention of the material and practicum are intended to have great training value in recruiting service rifle shooters and bring home more trophies.

Components of a Mental Conditioning Program: Identifying your unique requirements provides the biggest impact to your shooting performance. However, there are ways you can begin to improve your mental performance and here are a few suggestions on where to start:

Autogenic Relaxation – autogenic also known as self-generated training has the power to actually alter your neural pathways as you change your behavior. Autogenic relaxation is a kind of self-hypnosis that enables you to root positive phrases and mental images in your unconscious. It brings your mind and feelings into harmony with your body as you take on and adjust to new behaviors.

Visualization – visualization is your ability to imagine in your mind certain situations. It not only includes visually seeing the events happening but also allows you to feel like you are almost in the situation. All five senses are present in the visualization including sound, smell, touch, etc. Visualization is a powerful tool when used in a positive matter. However, in many cases shooters replay negative events causing a negative effect on performance. The more vivid the visualization the more it attaches to your memory.

Affirmations – Affirmations are positive statements that you can use to replace your negative mind-chatter. Using affirmations can be a powerful way to transform many of your old attitudes and expectations into positive and vibrant ones.

Muscle Memory – muscle/brain imprinting through controlled plyometrics, body and motor control training helps "train the brain" to react naturally and unconsciously when brought into a real shooting situation. Slow motions that imprint movements that are consistent with the shooting sport will improve overall efficiency.