The U.S. Marine Corps are phasing in a new pistol qualification program that requires shooting fast and hitting multiple targets, dropping their ’80s-era qualifications that was focused on precision slow shooting.
The idea is that the new qualification will better prepare Marines for shooting in combat situations should they need to fall back on their sidearm. While the new program won’t be standard until next year, many units are adopting it ahead of schedule.
“In the past, Marines came back from deployment and said when they had to use the pistol, they didn’t feel proficient with it,” said Marine Gunner and Chief Warrant Officer Jordan Kramp. “The best way to understand what it will feel like in combat is to experience combat. The [new program] will give Marines the closest understanding of how to use the pistol in combat, without actually being in combat.”
“Looking at the last group that came through, and this group, these sites want to get onto the program. They’re chomping at the bit,” said Wade. “There are a couple of gunners out there who are saying, ‘I want to get going on this.’ I know at Hawaii, they were ordering targets, they were getting their range infrastructure figured out, and they were training their Marines. As soon as they’re ready, they want to go.”
“This course is more combat-oriented than the pistol qualification previously implemented,” said Cpl. Kyle Abreu-Buendia. “Everything is more rushed. In combat, you’re not always going to have a perfect grip. When the shooter draws the pistol from the holster, it relates to how a Marine will shoot in a stressed environment. Besides, it’s actually more fun to shoot this way.”
What do you think of the new Marine Corps pistol program? Would you use it to train by yourself?