28 April 2006

Fort Jackson, Day 5

Day Five of NIACT was more time spent at the range. Those who had already qualified on the M16 (not me) went directly to the range to qualify on the M9. The rest of us who hadn't yet qualified went from Camp McCrady to Fort Jackson to two different M16 ranges. Almost everyone (including me over two different qualifying rounds) did absolutely horrible on the new range (for a variety of reasons), so they basically shut that range down.

En route to the original M16 qualifying range, we stopped by the M9 range and qualified there. We shot 10 practice rounds (any stance) and then qualified with seven rounds in the standing position (in 21 seconds), 13 rounds in the kneeling position (seven rounds and then six rounds with a mandatory magazine change in 45 seconds), 10 rounds in the crouched position (five rounds and then another five with a mandatory magazine change in 35 seconds), and finally 10 more rounds in the prone unsupported position (again, five rounds and then another five with a mandatory magazine change in 35 seconds). 24/40 was sufficient to qual; I shot 30/40 which was not great, but good enough for sharpshooter (24-29 marksman, 30-35 sharpshooter, 36-40 expert).

After lunch we moved back to the original M16 range and I started out with a round of 21 (we needed 23/40 to qualify). With some much appreciated assistance from a Drill Sergeant calling my rounds (high, low, etc.), I shot 29/40 and finally qualified on the M16! I finally found a good sight picture such that I shot 9/10 in the prone unsupported position (skipping the 300m target and saving the round) and 10/10 in the kneeling position.

Finally, it was back to Camp McCrady after a long and hot day. Taking the gear off my shoulders felt especially good considering the emotional lows of shooting so bad in the morning and then qualifying with a really good score in the afternoon.

Tomorrow we get a late start and get to shoot reflexive fire and maybe even some heavy weapons. Now that the qualifying is out of the way, the rest should be more fun!
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