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A tactical approach.

Soon, every Marine who qualifies with a pistol will need a flak jacket and a Kevlar helmet. The recent changes are intended to make pistol qualification more applicable to a combat environment, according to Chief Warrant Officer-2 Mark W. Clark, the Range Control officer-in-charge for Marine Corps Base Camp Butler.

"On the rifle range, Marines are shooting at positions used in combat," he said. "Currently on the pistol range, everyone holds the weapon in their hand at the alert until the targets pop up, no one wears helmets or flak jackets, and the only position used is the standing."

In addition to the Kevlar helmet and flak jacket, the Marine Corps will incorporate the kneeling position at certain distances of the range. At the 25-yard line, Marines will kneel during the slow tire portion and shoot controlled pairs while standing and kneeling. The 15-yard line stage of fire will include the standing-to-kneeling speed-reload drills. The course requires shooters to unbutton their holster, draw their weapon and shoot with one hand from the 7-yard line.

Sgt. Derrick A. Wise, Range Control's chief instructor of combat marksmanship coaches and combat marksmanship training said, "'The holster can be worn at the hip or between the hip and knee, but the flexibility is such the Marine will engage the target from the holster comfortably and efficiently without fumbling around with their gear. They need to shoot here the way they will shoot in combat." The current pistol course point system will stay the same, Wise said.--Lance Cpl. Bryan A. Peterson, MCB Camp Butler
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Author:Peterson, Bryan A.
Publication:Guns Magazine
Date:Oct 1, 2007
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