Shooting an automatic weapon can be challenging, especially for beginners, but effectively hitting targets can be even more difficult. However, in order to do any of this the weapon should be grouped and zeroed. 10th Regiment Advanced Camp Cadets learned this today at Weapons Group Zero at Canby Shooting Range.
Weapons Group Zero teaches Cadets how to consistently shoot while simultaneously hitting the middle of the target. To qualify the majority of the Cadets’s shots have to be centered on the the target. Although many were new to shooting, not all of the Cadets struggled.
With some tips from the cadre, Cadet Andras Juhasz, from Loyola University Chicago, was able to group and zero on his first try.
“They really actually corrected some of my forms, especially trigger squeeze,” Juhasz said. “A lot of times I get into a bad habit of trying to pull the trigger with my whole finger instead of just the tip of my finger. So having someone correct me on that even here at camp is a good way to learn and a good way to adapt to the environment.”
Although today was 10th Regiment’s first time shooting live rounds, this was a familiar skill for Juhasz. Back in April, he came to Fort Knox during a field training exercise with his battalion.
“We were at an area called Tobacco Leaf Lake, just outside of base,” Juhasz said. “We ran through rifle [qualification] so we did a zero here at Canby Hill and they also had a paper target which simulated shooting a 300, 100 and a 50 meter target.”
Others didn’t have as much luck with grouping and zeroing as Juhasz did. Among that group was Cadet Jessie Fountain, from the University of North Alabama.
“I didn’t do well, but I’m going to do it again and I’m excited,” Fountain said.
Cadets who don’t qualify the first time are sent to remedial training to get more instruction before they retry to group and zero. Fountain hasn’t had much practice shooting a weapon, but she doesn’t let this discourage her. She continues to stay optimistic and eager to try again.
“It’s ok to not know everything because I don’t know everything. I’m learning now,” Fountain said. “Before when I first started I had never touched a weapon before really until I joined ROTC.”
Despite her performance at the range, Fountain noted that the Cadre were very supportive, approachable and helpful.