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What Is the Firing Range at Basic Training?

Learn about the basic training firing range in this Howcast video with Sergeant Michael Volkin.


In basic training, you'll become very familiar with the M-16 rifle: unless you're in the Navy: recruits in the Navy don't fire a rifle at basic training, they fire an M-9 pistol. You will learn how to assemble and disassemble the rifle in a matter of seconds. You will also be extremely familiar with cleaning the rifle. Don't worry if you have never shot a weapon before: the drill sergeants will take you through the entire process. Recruits love to go to the firing range because often drill sergeants are nicer to you -- not because they're starting to like you, but because they're surrounded by dozens of recruits that are untrained and holding powerful rifles. On a typical day on a firing range you will go to the armory, sign out your rifle -- and you will be assigned one rifle. Treat it like your baby, give it a name, and handle it with care. Every rifle is numbered, so be sure to remember that number and never forget it. After you have possession of your rifle, you will march or ride to the firing range, where you will wait several hours for about ten minutes' worth of time on the range. Take this time to observe others firing their weapons and learn the ebb and flow of the rifle range. When it's your turn to fire you're going to zero your weapon, which means you're going to customize it to your body's true center of mass. It's gonna be customized just for you. You will then fire your weapon from what's called a prone-supported and prone-unsupported position at targets of varying distance. The fun part for recruits is, based on how many targets you hit, you can win a number of different badges and awards. After you fire your weapon you're simply going to sign your rifle back in to the armory and continue with the day's activities. A couple important tips to remember at the firing range are: never leave your rifle unattended; always be cautious of what's called "muzzle control"; always point your weapon in the direction of the range called "downrange"; and never point your rifle at someone else, or anything you don't intend to shoot for that matter; never call the rifle a gun -- your drill sergeants will definitely show you how much they don't like that.

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