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3 Gun shooting competitions are fast-paced and combine marksmanship, tactics, and athleticism on the range. It sounds like something the military would embrace for training, and now they have. Meet the Marine Corps. Combat Shooting Team.

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The competition has many subdivisions, but the main emphasis is on how each shooter moves through the course with three different guns: a rifle, a shotgun, and a pistol.

The spontaneity and danger of the sport prevents it from being an active training tool for the infantry, but branches of service, like the Marines, are beginning to field teams who are allowed special training time to practice the sport.

 

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The rational is easy to understand. These Marines get to showcase their skills and represent the Corps. They also get to compete along side some of the best shooters in the world. By studying their techniques and training methods, they may be able to bring new ideas back to those who could use these skills in combat.

The Marine Corps. team has been shooting for 12 years. Their current coach, Staff Sgt. Martin Lucero, describes his team’s objectives as a “validation of marksmanship tactics and doctrine.”

“No two stages will ever be the same,” Lucero notes. “You might start with a rifle in your hand, and pistol loaded and holstered, and the shotgun placed somewhere on the range.”

the spontanaeity mimics the chaos of battle, just in a much safer atmosphere. That’s long been the the appeal of 3 Gun and other “practical” shooting sports.

“First thing on your mind obviously is safety,” Lucero said. “You don’t want to do anything to get anyone hurt, but for me, being a shooter for the United States Marine Corps, I’m in the spotlight. I’m representing the Marine Corps, so I’m not going to go out there and act like a fool. If I start missing targets I’m not going to come off the stage and pout like a lot of these civilians do and leave the stage all butt-hurt, cursing and screaming.”

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Here’s a video of them from a recent shoot. Gun nuts will note that they’re not using their issued weapons. Several team members appear to be fielding 1911s. One is even shooting what appears to be an AK-47.