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Old 12-14-2009, 09:15 PM
Bob S Bob S is offline
 
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Default USMC Course of Fire, M1903, 1920's

With a lot of discussion regarding changes in the course of fire recently, I thought this might be of passing interest. The picture is from Page 83 of Mark Blumenthal's book Quantico, which is part of the Images of Amercia series.



I'm not sure how much detail you'll be able to see in the pic, but there are several "interesting" things to note. [Edit ... it turns out you can see the detail better in the scan than in the book!] First is the admonition that the "peep sight is to be used at all ranges, both slow fire and rapid fire". This is in contrast to the Army course, and the National Match Course as it was fired with the M1903 at Perry ... rapid fire at 200 and 300 yards there had to be fired with the battle sight. Second, there is no slow fire standing stage. Slow fire at 300 yards was 5 rounds sitting, and 5 from the kneeling position. Slow fire at 600 yards was fired from a sandbag rest, and two sighters were allowed. All rapid fire was on the Dog target (head and shoulders silhouette), even at 500 yards. The times for 200 and 300 yards were as they are today, 60 and 70 seconds, respectively; and it was "standing to sitting or kneeling/prone" The 500 yard rapid fire stage was fired from prone, starting in position, and 80 seconds was the allotted time. Another interesting thing is that successful qualification meant MONEY in your pay envelope. Blumenthal says that for camparison, a Marine private made $25 at the time, but the old Navy cheifs that I served with said that they made $21 a month in 1940/41 as Apprentice Seamen (E1 - not the same as Seaman Apprentice today which is E2).

What is not apparent from the picture is that the 5-ring (the aiming black) of Able target at that time was only ten inches in diameter. Sometime later, it was increased to 12 inches, and that is the one that I am familiar with from when I started in 1965. Even with teenager eyes, I had a big problem seeing that target at 300 yards. Can you imagine shooting sitting at 300 yards on a ten inch bull?? I am thinking "frame hold".

Resp'y,
Bob S.
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Old 12-14-2009, 11:30 PM
Phoenix7 Phoenix7 is offline
 
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Location: Gillette, WY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob S View Post

What is not apparent from the picture is that the 5-ring (the aiming black) of Able target at that time was only ten inches in diameter. Sometime later, it was increased to 12 inches, and that is the one that I am familiar with from when I started in 1965. Even with teenager eyes, I had a big problem seeing that target at 300 yards. Can you imagine shooting sitting at 300 yards on a ten inch bull?? I am thinking "frame hold".

Resp'y,
Bob S.
LOL. I was thinking the same thing (and I'm lucky enough to be able to see a 10" bull at 300 yards...)
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Old 12-15-2009, 10:42 AM
ceresco ceresco is offline
 
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Anyone with an interest in match shooting history--Look for "Muzzle Flashes" a 1944 book by Ellis Lenz. Contains (among other good reading) "Three Weeks, or Through the National Matches of 1940" I look for old books at auctions. The 1940s and 50s were a high water mark for interest in shooting and rifles--probably due to the WW2 effect on so many lives. American Rifleman issues from that period are actually worth reading. Good Shooting.......
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Old 12-31-2009, 10:25 AM
GarandGrabber GarandGrabber is offline
 
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Most interesting...Thanks for posting
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