I mentioned last week that I had to shoot some guns on the Air Force base during my trip to South Carolina. I wanted to share some information from the experience.
The first gun that we shot was the M9 Baretta M9 which is a semiautomatic pistol. It is the official weapon of choice for the United States Airforce. The airman that gave us the lesson was telling us the history of the weapon (which you can read on Wikipedia), why the Air Force uses it and the proper way to handle it before – during – and after shooting. He had us do some maneuvers while shooting like ducking, getting on knees, or shooting single-handed strong armed and weak armed. It was one heck of a workout! The target we were shooting was seven feet away and was shaped like a body. The Airman instructed us to shoot specific rounds center mass versus head.
Next we fired the M4 which is a semiautomatic with a three shot burst. The M4 carbine is the Air Force assault rifle of choice. The M4 has a 14.5 in barrel, allowing the individual soldier to better use in close quarters. The M4 has selective fire options including semi-automatic and three-round burst. The M4 is also capable of mounting an M203 grenade launcher. (no, I did not get to try that) Unfortunately I don’t have a great shot of the M4 because of time constraint but Jeremy was able to snap a photo of me shooting the rifle.
When shooting the M4, we shot targets 25 feet away. There were two different targets we used. The first was specifically designed to zero out the iron-sights to the shooter. The other target was tiny body figures in a M shape. The goal is to aim center mass at each body going in the M direction. Originally we were using the bi-pod with the rifle for easier aiming. Then the Airman decided to make things difficult for us and removed the bi-pods. Heavy guns, long distance, iron-sight. Not simple!
Then things became more difficult. Three-round burst with the bi-pod is much harder than it sounds. With three-round burst, the second and third bullet follows the first in a straight line. The Airman calls it trailing. I found that interesting. Speaking of interesting. Did you know that the figure-eight shape that you get when aiming a gun is caused from your heart beat? How cool is that?
Melissa’s other cousin Mitch also came down to Charleston, and doesn’t he look ready to shoot some guns?
Safety was a number one priority. We had to wear eye protection, ear plugins and added ear guards. When we finished a magazine, the Airman checked to make sure the gun was empty and we laid the gun on the ground. This was a once a in a lifetime opportunity that will last with me forever. The experience not only was fun and educational but it made me gain so much respect for the power of weapons and for the soldiers that have to use them.
The next photo is another captured from Jeremy (using my camera). This is the Airman showing me how the iron-sights need to be adjusted for my shooting style and eye.
Thanks for reading and happy shooting (cameras),
Gold Five: Stay on target.
Gold Leader: We’re too close!
Gold Five: Stay on target!
Gold Leader: Loosen up!