Straight Scoop

Straight Scoop

Reading the 25 May newsletter, I came across some information regarding rifle and pistol qualification that needs to be clarified to some extent. I have qualified with the three service rifles that the Marine Corps had up to 1988: They were the M-1 Grand, M-14, and the M-16. From the fifties and well into the eighties, the course of fire for qualification for recruits never changed.

To Fred Romero: There has never has been numerical numbers such as 10s, 9s, or 8s for recruits to qualify with the rifle range during the 1960s. Only 5, 4, 3, 2, and the maggies drawers. Could have confused the numerical numbers for qualification with the pistol as a police officer. Here are the actual numbers.

COURSE OF FIRE – 5O ROUNDS – TOTAL – 250 POINT

200 HUNDRED METER LINE
Ten Rounds Slow fire – Offhand Position – Ten Minutes – 50 Points
Ten Rounds Rapid fire – Sitting Position – Fifty Seconds – 50 Points

300 HUNDRED METER LINE
Five Rounds Sitting and Five Rounds Kneeling – Ten Minutes – 50 Points
Ten Rounds Rapid fire – Prone Position – Sixty Seconds – 50 Points

500 HUNDRED METER LINE
Ten Rounds Slow fire – Prone Position – Ten Minutes – 50 Points

RIFLE QUALIFICATION SCORES
Points Rating
250 to 220 Expert
219 to 210 Sharpshooter
209 to 190 Marksman
189 – Below Non-Qual

With the exception of one time during the late sixties the Marine Corps toyed around with the “C” Course. The “C” course consists of silhouette targets similar to the targets on a combat course. Only the rounds in the black would be counted for score; fours, trays, and deuces were eliminated. The objective was to teach point of aim, point of impact. Only Marines would qualify on the “C” course; the recruits continued to qualify on the “A” course.

Ron Huffman: During recruit training the recruits only fired for familiarization (FAM Fire). There were no qualification badges passed out for FAM fire.

Jim Lunch: During rapid fire the command was with a clip of two rounds lock and load: Or with the other two service rifles, with a magazine and two rounds lock and load; once fired the shooter would insert a clip or magazine of eight rounds to complete the string of rapid fire.

Herb Brewer
1stSgt (Ret)

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2 comments


  • aardq

    Qualified on the bullseye targets in Jan 68 boot camp. Re- qualified on the “C” course of olive drab silhouettes in early 69 at Pendleton. I don’t remember the scoring for the C course, but I did qual as a Marksman.


  • John DeStefano(aka duffle bag)

    In April of 1963 series 312 PI qualified on an experimental course which I believe was called the X course. I do not remember the exact specifics, but it was 200 yds, kneeling 300 yds,sitting and 500 yds prone with a magazine and 20 rounds lock and load, rapid fire . The targets were silhouettes. 200 & 300 yds half silhouettes,chest and head, diagonal shoulder to waist, and half silhouettes left or right. 500 yds was full silhouette from waist to head. The exact times for each distance slip my memory, but I remember the 500 rapid was very quick. It may have been 1minute, but certainly not more than 2. These are just from my memory of 53 years ago.


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