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On October 25-27, 2013, over 40 young shooters and their families participated in the sixth annual U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) Action Shooting Junior Clinic, a three-day event held at Fort Benning’s Krilling range. The clinic’s curriculum included the fundamentals of pistol marksmanship, the fundamentals of rifle marksmanship, drawing and reloading tutorials, movement drills, shooting from standing, kneeling, prone and barricade positions, as well as accuracy and strong-hand/support-hand exercises. The junior shooters ranged from nine to 18 years in age, with even the youngest and smallest students demonstrating uncommon professionalism and a commitment to improving their shooting. Some of the attendees were repeats, like 16-year-old Beth Peel, who was attending her sixth clinic with her sister and family.

Another grizzled vet was David Kidd, who took home yet more useful advice on aiming, moving with a weapon and making faster “A’s” (center-target hits) while eliminating “mikes” (misses). Kyle Holsclaw Jr. and his father, Kyle Sr., were also repeat attendees, eager to take advantage yet again of the quality training offered by USAMU’s top-notch action-shooting team members and instructors. The instructors for this year’s clinic included Staff Sergeant Lee Dimaculangan, Specialist Shane Coley, Staff Sergeant Daniel Horner, Specialist Tyler Payne and Specialist Matt Sweeney.

USAMU CHAMPIONS:
The USAMU action-shooting team is a well-decorated bunch. Shane Coley was the 2012 United States Practical Shooting Association (USPSA) Open champion. Daniel Horner is a five-time USPSA Multi-Gun national champion. Tyler Payne was a finalist at a recent 3-Gun Nation championship. Together, Horner and Payne won both the 2012 and 2013 International Sniper Competitions, beating world-class entrants from Ireland, the United Arab Emirates, Germany, Denmark and the U.S. Army Special Forces, Air Force, Marine Corps and Army National Guard. Established over 50 years ago, the USAMU is dedicated to scientifically advancing the design of firearms and applied ballistics while raising the standard of marksmanship throughout the U.S. Army. Working at the unit’s Custom Firearms Shop, the USAMU is on the cutting edge of firearm technology and helps develop highly accurate ammunition, pistols and rifles for both combat and competition.

In addition to assisting in the development of military match-type small arms, equipment and ammunition, the USAMU also fields teams for Service Rifle, Service Pistol, International Rifle, International Pistol, Action Shooting, Shotgun and Paralympic Team competitions. The unit is also responsible for promoting the U.S. Army, heightening public trust and confidence in the service’s marksmanship and drawing attention to the accomplishments of its shooters and technicians. It’s a task filled in part by the unit’s Action Shooting Junior Clinic. Held annually, the clinic is free to attend and has been the start of many excellent action-shooting careers. Previous attendees include two current instructors, Shane Coley and Matt Sweeney, as well as world-class professional action shooter and Team GLOCK members KC Eusebio and Tori Nonaka. At the sixth annual Junior Clinic, both KC (a former USAMU member) and Tori served as guest instructors, giving shooting instruction classes to attendees’ parents on such basics as stance and grip, as well as more advanced advice that can shave the crucial tenths of a second off a shooter’s match time. As most parents of attendees are shooters, the drills and skills development was their takeaway from attending the junior clinic.

HELPING YOUNG SHOOTERS:
Assisting the clinic was the Scholastic Pistol Program (SPP), which hosted two stages of fire. Instructing the junior shooters were SPP Director Scott Moore and Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation (SSSF) trustee and Team GLOCK’s Ed Fitzgerald. Themselves well-experienced shooters, they provided one-on-one coaching at the firing line, producing immediate improvement in the performance of some of the younger shooters, some of whom had never shot steel before. “This is our second event with the USAMU this year, and it’s a great follow-up to our Collegiate Nationals, which was held during the Army Strong Collegiate Shooting Championships in March,” said Scott Moore. “I can’t think of a better place to bring the SPP athletes than the ‘Home of Champions’ here at the USAMU.”

For more information on the USAMU’s Action Shooting Junior Clinic, visit http://www.usaac.army.mil/amu/. For more information on Team GLOCK, visit http://www.us.glock.com/team. To learn more about the SPP, visit: http://www.sssfonline.com

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