How well do you shoot YOUR AR/M4gery?


BARFCOM user , Sinister started a great thread to get people actually using their rifles. Sinister is one of those guys who knows what he’s talking about and is very experienced in marksmanship and Army SOF. His thread hopefully gets some people to improve their abilities. You can check out his original thread post below.

I like to shoot.  I think I shoot pretty well.  I like training others to shoot well.

Here are two generic yardsticks for you to measure yourself against, ANY time you feel like it.  USE THE GUN YOU HAVE.  If you don’t have an equivalent to a plain-Jane GI rifle or carbine USE YOURS!

The Army Known Distance Alternate Qualification Course is fired with a plain-Jane M16 or M4, your choice whether or not you want to shoot it with a carry handle, Matech back-up, Aimpoint, Eotech, or ACOG.  GI guns now have RIS or RAS rails.

You shoot against these targets (a simple 1-Meter tall E-type silhouette and a half-Meter tall F-type, or half-silhouette):

Course of fire is simple:  

you get five shots at 300 yards to verify your zero;

at 300 yards you get two minutes to shoot two 10-round magazines (mag change to break position required) at the E-type from the prone position, magazine floor plate on the deck is allowed;

at 200 yards you get 60 seconds to fire a 10 shot magazine at the E-type again, prone, mag on deck allowed;

at 100 yards you get 60 seconds to fire a 10-shot magazine at the F-type, prone, mag on deck allowed.

You get a point if you hit the target anywhere, including a contact hit on any edge.

38 points is an Expert score.  Who cares what the other quals are?

Next is the Combat Rifle Excellence-in-Competition Match (fired for points score).  There are no zero or sighter shots — your hits are all for score (just like in combat).  Everyone has a rack-grade M16 or carbine (NOTE:  M4A1 only at the Army Championships, starting this year) with choice of Matech, Aimpoint, EO, or ACOG (no carry handles at the Army Championships starting this year as they are obsolescent / no longer purchased or equipped on issue weapons).  You wear fatigues, helmet, and minimal web gear to include a mag pouch, canteen, and first aid kit.

You shoot against this target (an E-type silhouette with ridiculously small scoring rings doubles as a pistol target and separates great shooters from beginners.  At 100-yards and closer in other matches there are two silhouettes):

Course of fire is:

starting 25 yards behind the crest of the firing line berm move to the firing line, one magazine of ten shots in two minutes from 400 yards, prone (magazine base in contact with the ground OK);

starting 25 yards short of the 300-yard line with bolt forward on an empty chamber and a 5-round magazine locked in the well, run to the 300-yard firing line and fire 10 shots (total, so a mag change is required) in the prone position in a total of 60 seconds.  Magazine contact with the ground is OK;

starting 25 yards short of the 200-yard line with bolt forward on an empty chamber and a 5-round magazine locked in the magazine well run to the 200 yard line and assume a kneeling position and fire 10 shots (two magazines) in a total of 50 seconds;

starting 25 yards short of the 100-yard line with bolt forward on an empty chamber and a 5-round magazine locked in the magazine well, run to the 100-yard line and fire 5 rounds standing, reload, and fire five rounds kneeling in a total of 40 seconds.

At 75, 50, and 25 yards the two-target board goes up.  The shooter loads a 10-round magazine and locks one in the chamber.  At 75 yards he gets 4 seconds; at 50, 3 seconds; at 25, 2 seconds.  Each target must have five hits, and excess are NOT counted (i.e., 6 on the left and four on the right is two misses).

That’s it.  Simple, right?  Top 10% are recognized as exceptional, and you get an Army bauble to permanently hang on your uniform.  

The Special Operations Combat Rifle EIC is the same course of fire, but you are required to also wear your plate carrier (with plates) and have a gas mask in pouch somewhere on your gear.  As far as the gun, anything goes so the operator is not required to strip or re-configure his true every-day go-to-war rifle to compete / play a game.  M4, M16, 416, Mk18, SPR, DMR, Mk11K, whatevs.

Here, retired ST6 and Delta Operator Kevin Holland wears a Bronze U.S. Army Rifle Excellence-in-Competition Badge on the pocket flap of his Class-A uniform:


  1. That first 40 shot known distance qual course of fire doesn’t look real challenging to me. Not blowing my own trumpet, just saying it seems pretty vanilla, based on what I can do and what I know my mates can do, which is nothing real special. What’s the consensus?

    The Excellence match is certainly more challenging, but still pretty doable, I reckon.

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