The Evil Princess’ grandson is in town for a shooting visit. At 18, he has made a commitment to join the Marine Corps. He signed up having fired a real gun exactly twice in his life, having grown up as a city kid in one of our nation’s most anti-gun municipalities.
We started him off on Friday, working from the bench to start the hard-wiring between trigger finger, eye, and brain as to what he should see and feel to make a perfect shot. By the end of the day, he was shooting palm-size groups from offhand at 25 yards, and sub-two inch groups in “position-shooting.”
What he had in his hands was my Smith & Wesson Military & Police 15 in .22 Long Rifle. With exactly the same manual of arms as an M4 or M16 (except that it lacks the ability to turn the fire control switch to full auto.) Today he went to an Appleseed event with his grandma, to which he’ll return tomorrow.
That little M&P15 .22 is, I think, an important rifle. It allows young folks to learn marksmanship with the kind of platform they’re likely to be running as their primary small arm if they ever enlist in our nation’s armed forces.
Today, he was one of six or so out of thirty who shot a qualifying score on the Appleseed’s preliminary run with their AQT, or Army Qualification Test. And he did it with the standard iron aperture sights that my friends who are Marines tell me he’ll start with in Marine Corps Basic, shooting against folks who mostly had optical sights.
It appears that the little Smith & Wesson rifle was worth its space in the gun rack. The first of the week, he’ll graduate to 5.56mm, and the Beretta M9 service pistol.