Bob Owens

The saddest truth in politics is that people get the leaders they deserve

Mosby: an introduction to combat riflecraft

Written By: Bob - Apr• 30•13

As a instructor now 13 months into the Appleseed program I’m very impressed with what we teach, both from the perspective of heritage (which you simply can’t get this good anywhere else) and the basic marksmanship fundamentals that forms the backbone of any good shooting.

As good as Appleseed is as a shooting program, however, we never profess to teach anything other than basic rifle marksmanship. Most shoot bosses state point-blank at the very beginning of the first day that we don’t teach tactical shooting or small unit tactics, and if that is what you want, you’re in the wrong place.

We will teach you the skills necessary to take a service rifle (anything from the 1903-A3 to the AR-15) off the rack, zero it, and make hits on stationary “D” targets out to 500 meters with the supplied aperture sights. We’re not saying that you will make the shot at first, but if you master the basics we teach you and practice, you will get there.

The techniques we teach are readily transferable to NRA and CMP service rifle shooting competitions, and are easily adapted to any sort of rifle hunting. What these skills will not do, however, is easily translate to tactical shooting, where your target may be shooting back at you. That is a completely different type of shooting that I am not remotely qualified to address, nor is it in Appleseed’s interest as a program.

Luckily, there are experts out there with years of training and real-world combat experience, and some of those are kind enough to share their experience and their wisdom. One of these gentlemen, a veteran of the U.S Army Special Forces, goes by the handle of “John Mosby” (a tribute to the legendary guerrilla cavalry officer ), and has written a brilliant Introduction to Combat Riflecraft.

It’s quite different from the paper-punching we teach at Appleseed, but, I do feel edified that the basics we teach are solid fundamentals and still apply. Mosby’s Introduction confirms what I’ve heard from combat-experienced Marines, soldiers, and operators that have been through Appleseed and view what we teach as a good foundational course. That allowed, I’d like to scratch together the money at some point to attend one of Mosby’s classes and learn a bit more about tactical shooting. Just like mixed martial artists develop a much stronger overall game by learning different disciplines, learning different kinds of shooting makes you a better practitioner at the range.

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  1. Comrade X says:

    The Grey Ghost! My 2nd son was born in Mosby’s Confederacy up in northern VA in a stone house at the foot of the blue ridge.

    Appleseed is a great program IMHO, because of the heritage part of it; I am seeing non-shooters participating that maybe never would have otherwise.

    But something is going on today, again IMHO; & has less to do with cutting paper and more to do with something the original gentleman (and he was a gentleman, btw I am not so sure our current Gray Ghost is a gentleman, & I love him for that) John Mosby knew a bit about; we are preparing for war!

    Death before slavery!

  2. styrgwillidar says:

    “..where your target may be shooting back at you.”
    – and moving, trying to outmaneuver you and your allies.
    – and outnumber you and your allies.
    etc. etc. etc.

  3. Cole says:

    I’ll definitely check out the article. A little off topic, but I spotted a Youtube channel with your name on it Bob. Assuming it’s yours any plans to put up new videos in the near future?

    • Bob says:

      I do indeed have a channel, but it is more of a placeholder than a destination at this point in time.

  4. lineman says:

    Think we could get enough money together to send Bob to the course after all the effort he’s put forth to open our eyes…I’m up for it anyone else???

    • Comrade X says:

      I’m in for $100.00!

      • lineman says:

        I will match that anyone else want to chip in 5,10, 20, 50 or 100… I think his class is 500 for the east coast…

      • Comrade X says:

        Bob should give us a sidebar that we can make our donations to, he could call it “his tactical fund”!

      • lineman says:

        And a amount meter…

    • Bob says:

      Folks, thank you very much for the offer. It means a lot to me that you think so highly of my efforts here.

      That said, until I get a job I won’t be doing much of anything in the way of training that involves spending money. You have to consider that most weekend courses will go through 1,000 rounds of ammo, and these days that might cost twice as much as the course if you can even find the ammo in the first place.

      I’m using this time to work on practical strength training and endurance to get in better shape, and working on core positions (prone, standing various adaptations of sitting and kneeling) and dry firing.

      Once I get my next gig and get a little money in reserve, I would like to get some training and write reflections/reviews/comparisons for you, as I think that would be a useful resource for the shooting community.

      • Comrade X says:

        Bob, right now since you are not working, you have the time to do this, once you are working again, priorities will change.

        The “the tactical fund” could be for more than the entrance fee, add in airfare, ammo, gear needed, meals (but I’ve heard Mrs. JM may provide that) etc, etc.

        Set a goal with the posted amount meter.

        Then after; you can write about your experience, it gets published, you make some money that you then can donate to the Appleseed Project as an endowment for those under 18 (sounds like a direct TV commercial).

        You see Bob you have to do this because it is really for the children!

        How can you say no?

      • lineman says:

        I second that as long as your physically able to do the course get that set up…Now Bob Git-R-Done….