Weapons training involves handling different types of firearms.
Firearms are the military’s basic weapon for combat. Every military personnel must undergo training to master the concepts and skills needed to use firearms effectively in the field of battle. This training involves handling different types of firearms depending if the training level is basic or advanced.
For basic military firearms training, the trainees usually learn handle a handgun or pistol and a rifle. The most common type of rifle used for basic combat training in 2010 are M-16 rifles. The basic gun training term in the military is referred to as marksmanship training. According to an article on the website Global Security, marksmanship training can be basic and advanced. It can also be divided into sections depending on the topics covered and the skills learned by the military trainees. The sections of training are mechanical, preparatory marksmanship and firing range. Aside from actual firearms, trainees usually use armor, helmets, knee pads, eye protection, notebooks and pens during training.
Mechanical training involves learning the parts and functions of the gun. You will learn disassemble and assemble the weapon and how load and unload the ammunition. You will also learn safety precautions and fixing basic gun malfunctions. You will also learn properly maintain the weapon. In preparatory marksmanship, you will acquire strategies for aiming and firing the weapon, the techniques of squeezing the trigger and target engagement. You will be familiar with the different positions to take when firing guns.
Live fire range exercises follow the preparatory course. This is when concepts and safety precautions learned in previous training must be applied. The instructor and safety personnel check and record the exercises. Trainees are expected to follow shooting instructions and report malfunctions and problems encountered. The exercises are conducted in a controlled environment. Trainees are evaluated for their shooting accuracy and quantity, appropriate positions, reflexes, and reloading tactics, weapon retention and firing techniques.
The teaching methods applied in marksmanship training usually consist of instructor coaching and peer coaching. For mechanical and preliminary marksmanship, a qualified instructor conducts a combination of lecture and demonstration. The instructor may make use of chalkboards, projector and screen and a working model. The trainees will also have a number of hands-on exercises in the classroom and on the field.
For firing exercises, peer coaching can also take place. Peer coaching involves having two trainees assisting and coaching each other. Both soldiers must be at the same proficiency level and experience. The peer coaching aims to enhance learning as the coaches become more aware of what to teach and look for to properly guide their partners.
Advanced weapons training is designed for special forces and troops. One example of specialized troops is the special weapons team of the Navy SEALS. Advanced training covers the handling of high-powered guns. Examples of special guns are the M249 SAW (Squad Automatic Weapon) and the M4 Carbine, which is a converted M-16 semi-automatic rifle. The firing exercises are expected to be more intense and realistic. In an 2010 interview by CNN news with Will McLain, he revealed that shooting exercises may take place in the mornings or evenings in a mock Iraqi village.