Want to do shooting drills like the USMC does? Want to do it with minimal gear and ammo requirements? Then let’s talk about Tables. In the USMC we have several different shooting quals many people are not even aware of. These are called Tables. Table 1 and 2 are shot every year by every Marine. Table 1 is the completely non-tactical 200- to 500-yard rifle range that’s focused on accuracy and fundamentals. Table 2 is our intro into close-range tactical shooting. From there we have Tables 3 through 6 that are tactical quals that focus on close- to mid-range combat. These quals incorporate a ton of different shooting skills and situations including night shoots. Today we are looking at Table 5.
Why Table 5? Because as far as these qauls are concerned, Table 5 requires the least amount of logistics to complete in terms of range use. It also requires very little ammo or supplies to complete. Here is all you need to make magic:
- 1 Semi-auto rifle (I used a SAINT Victor)
- 2 magazines
- Two human-shaped targets 1 yard apart
- 60 rounds of ammo
- Shot timer (you can download one for free on your phone)
- 25-yard rifle range
That’s it, that’s all you need. You can go full Marine and wear a plate carrier and helmet as well, but it’s not necessary for a little fun and skill-building. The Table 5 course of fire is online and can be found with a quick Google search, but I’ll post the course of fire below as well. The course of fire takes place from 25 to 5 Meters, with multiple movement drills between each firing line.
It’s pretty simple to do and easy to understand. The video above will show you the drills and what exactly they are to make sure everything is nice and clear.
As a Marine, back when I was a cool guy, I remember doing this drill multiple times, and doing it at night as well with NVGs and PEQ 15s and feeling like Ghost Recon. There is nothing complicated in these drills. There is no use of cover and you only shoot from the standing position. There is only one reload the entire time.
There is nothing particularly complicated here and that’s not a bad thing, especially for new shooters. You can conduct the drill safely without accelerating past your own level of skill. New shooters will be taught shot placement, quick engagement, and a variety of close-quarters engagement techniques.
It’s also a fun drill, and I used a scorecard to write down my times. Now I keep chasing time, getting a little faster and a little more precise. This would be a great way to teach new shooters once they have established a good set of basic marksmanship fundamentals. It’s more exciting than shooting a standard paper target and gives new shooters a new challenge. You do not need an AR and can even use a .22 LR rifle if you so choose.
I will admit I cheated a hair by using the SAINT Victor. I had an advantage as it has a few features the USMC M4s and M16A4s don’t. This includes a muzzle brake that reduces recoil and a single-stage nickel boron-coated flat-faced trigger. It outclasses the issued guns by quite a bit. However, the USMC does issue its guns with ACOGs and I was using the iron sights.
Regardless of the gun setup you use, you’ll be getting some solid, awesome training with minimal time, ammo requirements, and difficulty. If it works for the Marines, it works for me.