Thursday, August 12, 2010

Training Thursday

I've been agitating for a class for several years. It seems that before we can carry and use (I hope to God I never have to use it) a rifle, we've got to qualify with it, just like the pistol and shotgun. Okay, fine. When it came time to qualify with the rifle, the young scamp, high-speed-low-drag guy running the range, checked in his range computer. (Range computer.. that ought to tell you something), and told me I wasn't qualified to carry an AR-15.

"The hell you say." I fixed him with a steely gaze. "I've been carrying and using one of these since you were in diapers, son. I've probably got magazines in this bag that are older than you."

"Regardless," says he,"Even with your long service and ancient magazines, you ain't in this computer, and I can't qualify you until you've been through the course."

"Fine" says I, having long knowledge with idiot bureaucracies, "Schedule me for the next class.

So, after much agitation and aggravation, they scheduled a class for us old farts who had never had the class. On the front row of the class this morning were three old farts who had a combined law-enforcement/military experience totaling over 120 years. Like they're going to teach us something about the care and feeding of the AR-15 series of rifles.

We went through the power-point presentation and went to the range, to zero the weapons. I fished a magazine out of my bandoleer and flipped it to the range officer. "Check this magazine. It's got a date on it, and I bet it's older than you."

"My God," says he "this magazine is older than I am. How long has the ammo been loaded in it."

"I loaded that magazine after Desert Storm. I've been keeping it for a special occasion, like a fine wine, or a good bottle of Scotch. I intend to fire it today and take your ammo home as Fresh Stock."

"Fine," says he. "Shooters to the line!"

I am now duly qualified with my old AR. It doesn't have any fancy bells nor whistles on it, not even optics. I did it all with iron sights, 40 year old magazines and 25 year old ammo.

The AR series of rifles is like an adult Barbie-Doll. You can dress it up any way you like and one young warrior came out with a short barreled model with every known accessory mounted on redundant Picatinny rails. As usual, he had problems with it. My old AR, with ancient ammo, operated without a hitch.

I did learn that one of the latest and greatest things today is something called the Single Point Sling. This is the latest marvel in tactical gear and no one who is anyone would be seen without one. I marveled at it, knowing that good troopers have been using these things since the 1850s. They called it the Saddle Ring Sling.

It's funny how things come into and out of fashion. But, I'm now qualified with the AR-15 that I've been carrying for almost 40 years.


Termite said...


You made my week with this story.

Just for kicks-n-grins, you should qualify with your Marlin 1894C. THAT would show the young whipper-snappers a thing or three!

be603 said...

Humility. You'd think it'd get easier as we age, no?

Seems it just gets tested more often.

Anonymous said...

I cried with laughter... Thanks.


Rivrdog said...

Heh. This story brings BIG grin to the Rivrdog's face, because something like this happened to me.

When I was in the Marine Patrol, we had been agitating for a combat rifle or two for some time, with no success.

Finally, the Training Division condemned an AR that had been seized, and issued it. The druggies who had last owned it took poor care of it, and it was a beater!

I took it to the range and it shot fine, though. It had come with a decent combat bag and six magazines.

Soon enough, I was on orders to join the yippy-skippy Tactical Weapons Squad, a bunch of deputies who went around lording it up over their lesser bretheren and sisteren because THEY had ARs. I went out one time to practice with them. The Training Division didn't assign enough RSOs, so there was a long list to wait for individualized instruction.

While waiting, I challenged several of the loudest and most boastful young deputies to an informal match, at only 50 yards, and we posted targets. At "commence fire", we each fired 5 rounds, slow fire, at the pistol targets. I had 48, 2X on mine, shooting with a beater AR and no optics. The others had new rifles with the usual 1.5X optic, and none of them did better than 46, with one shooting in the 30s!

Next set of personnel orders came out, I had been dismissed from the clubby TWS. The Training Division came around and said my old AR "wasn't fit for service" and took it back.

We were issued Remington 870s with a deer barrel (open rifle sights), which suited me just fine anyway, since by then I was a Shotgun Master.

Hobie said...

I use a single-point sling on my AR with an HK snap pretty much like Junior's set up. Since I NEVER carry it in my hands with a sling on it and don't want rattly swivels it is a good deal.