U.S. Army Fort Lee vs. Holding a pistol

The U.S. Army Fort Lee posted the following quoted text on its Facebook page, and the shares and comments started spreading like wildfire:

Maj. Gen. Darrell K. Williams, commanding general, CASCOM and Fort Lee, fires his 9mm semi-automatic pistol during qualifications today at the installation range complex. Williams joined a handful of Soldiers who fulfilled their yearly weapons qualification at the facility.

The above text was posted together with this picture:

Of course, one picture never tells the full story, but as you can see there’s room for improvement in terms of holding and gripping the pistol.

Crossing your thumbs like that is just an accident waiting to happen, if your thumb gets stuck in the slide you may cut it. A friend of mine – and I take the blame in poor instructions – cut his hand as he borrowed my Glock, and it took a long time before the bleeding stopped. You should at least have both thumbs on the same side of the pistol, and try to get them parallel just under the slide. A good grip is most of the secret in pistol shooting.

I am not sure why the shooter is holding the pistol so close to his face. It could be because he normally uses glasses, but this is pure speculation.

With the development of relatively cheap, reliable red dots I wonder if the Military wouldn’t be able to save money (total cost of ownership) if they started using red dot pistols in training and service.

I have a feeling that the time it would take to instruct and train is the most costly, and this would be reduced by using red dots. I’m pretty sure that the time to hit a target (sufficiently) would decrease and grouping would improve.

Of course, a red dot will never help you grip the pistol better. Only instructions, hard work and training will.

Well the red dot is just another thing that could fail, run out of battery etc., but as long as the window(s) of the sight are clean you can aim with your normal open sights.

I think the picture is embarrassing and should never have been posted, but there it is. As a photographer of live shooting events I get a lot of pictures that I chose not to post. The situation may be perfectly fine, but look dangerous on a photo because of an angle, zoom or similar. And I’ve captured some dangerous situations as well, as pistols have gone into full auto. It’s better to keep those pictures offline. A photographer that has never held a pistol may make another judgement.

All we can hope for is more and better training.



Eric B

Ex-Arctic Ranger. Competitive practical shooter and hunter with an European focus. Always ready to increase my collection of modern semi-automatic firearms, optics and sound suppressors. Owning the night would be nice too.


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  • TheNotoriousIUD

    “Hey boss, youre doing it wrong!”

    – Nobody Ever

    • Jeff

      Me, I say that.

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        On a scale of 1 to 50 how unemployed/divorced are you?

        • Ebby123

          BWAAHAHAHAHAAAA!!
          This is on point.

        • G B

          Two of my promotions have been the result of me respectfully correcting those put in positions above my own. I like where I work.

          And I’ve never been married. I like that too.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            Translation: “I am not in the military”

        • Phillip Cooper

          Being a guy that said that… and says that often if it’s warranted…

          I am married still, and just got a nice promotion.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            Keep it up then:)

          • Phillip Cooper

            Thanksyew, thankyew to the folks that upvoted this. πŸ™‚

        • LGonDISQUS

          “Cheetos covered xbox in the basement.”

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            I keep my cheetos covered Xbox in the living room.

      • A.WChuck

        Same here and I’m neither divorced or unemployed. The “go along to get along” crowd is as much to blame as the bad bosses are to blame.

    • I take your meaning, but I corrected my chief on occasion. If someone is doing something that endangers others, I’m not going to stand by and let it happen.

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        Very true, some things demand attention.

        However, the chances of that guy ever pulling his pistol in combat are up there with me falling face first into Megan Fox’s yoga pants.

        • Mystick

          I think that should segue right into Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin'”…

    • I’ve done this several times, much to the chagrin of those bosses, but it needed to happen. I’ve had bosses tell officers a wrong interpretation of the law, and had to correct them with Supreme Court case law or the very statutes they misquoted (that was not a fan favorite with them because it revealed ignorance).

      I’ve also had to tell commanders to stop standing under a light pole (lit at night) with an armed subject barricaded nearby, or walking down the middle of the street under similar circumstances, or coming inside a residence check and back-lighting officers searching, and then there is my favorite – telling a commander we were not going to “just go in there and get them” when we were faced with 3 possibly armed burglars surrounded in the house they broke into.

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        Yes, when your a-s is on the line then speak up but I choose my battles.

        This isnt worth piping up about. Who cares if he can shoot a pistol well? Hes never going into combat.

        • You’re absolutely right on that! In this situation, its best to raise an eyebrow, look at your trusted buddy with “the look,” and then go about business as if everything is A-OK.

          Your astute awareness of proper etiquette around a 2-star earns you 17,013 points!

      • Mystick

        “Good” officers listen to and heed the advice of their NCO’s.

  • Bert

    All that picture tells us is the army doesn’t take pistol marksmanship seriously. Something we already knew.

    • TheNotoriousIUD

      More time was spent typing this post than the Army spends on pistol proficiency.

      • Michael Rice

        I always thought a pistol was to buy a soldier without a functioning main weapon enough time to booby trap themselves with a grenade before being overrun?

        • Phillip Cooper

          You’ve watched far too many movies, haven’t you?

          • Michael Rice

            Mostly Japanese ones but yeah, probably.

          • Phillip Cooper

            you misspelled “definitely”.

    • Juggernaut

      He is more proficient with a Tec 9

      • David

        Pretty much because hes black right? and the tec 9 is a prolific criminal weapon? how respectful of our service men and nice racist joke dude….not cool

        • Ed

          Yeah, not cool. He should have said Hi-point or jennings, not tec 9.

          • Sledgecrowbar

            The Tec 9 may not be the greatest achievement in firearm machinery, but it has its place. Mostly in Falling Down. I would rate this Major General worthy of being issued a Hi-Point. In .380.

          • KestrelBike

            Tec9 = Columbine, to me. Infamous.

          • LGonDISQUS

            IIRC, they also had a HP995.

        • Guy Slack

          loooooool

          The Columbine killers used a Tec 9. They were white.

          You infer what you infer because you, yourself, hold those racist notions and have just projected it onto someone else.

          It was a funny joke… why? Because he didn’t mention race.

          • Paul Kersey

            Dylan Klebold – Jewish. Not White.

        • DW

          I don’t think he meant that to be racist, because a tec 9 doesn’t have a slide that could bite your hand or hit your eye, while most other regular pistols do.
          Then again Tec9 itself is an odd choice for a weapon, I’d say the General has more of a revolver technique and is not cut out for an automatic.
          Pretty good?

      • Frank Pentangeli

        And holding the gun sideways.

        • David

          Its funny how these comments are allowed but if someone even whispered soemthing about israel in the comment section admins go nuts block ban delete you from the history of fhe blog lol

      • Squirrel

        What a douchebag comment to make.

    • 11b

      ESPECIALLY for a non combat arms MOS. This guy likely sits behind a desk all day and sees a range once a year for an hour at a time. As an infantry guy, I don’t care if some Major in supply can shoot- as long as he keeps the munitions flowing its all good.

      • Al

        “Major”? Lol, he’s described as a Major General. No one will dare to correct him, regardless of his MOS.

        • valorius

          I would’ve. πŸ™‚

          • USMC03Vet

            You’d be on police call at the Mariana Trench after too.

          • valorius

            I was a corporal. A just high enough rank to be taken seriously, just low enough not to give a crap. πŸ˜‰

          • Rap Scallion

            Been there and done that! OOOOORRRAAAHHHHH!

        • El Duderino

          In the Army, generals give up their branch (MOS, kinda) and just become “general officers”.

      • Colonel K

        Once a year? Lucky stiff. Try once every five years or just before a deployment. I never relied solely on military proficiency training for anything, but some members have no choice.

    • PersonCommenting

      When my dad was drafted he said they called mags clips and got a few other terms wrong as well. He wasnt impressed by his training then. Im sure it has gotten better but I dont trust the government to do anything really well.

      • Mystick

        If he served in the time of The Draft, odds are he was shooting, at some point, a rifle that actually used a “clip”…

        • Bradley

          Well there was this thing called Vietnam.

        • PersonCommenting

          Nah he was in the later part of Vietnam, all he had was an m16 and a colt 1911. I think he was drafted in 1969 and got out in 71

          • The Lucky Leprechaun

            That was the height of Vietnam. The US withdrew in 73.

          • PersonCommenting

            He may of served in 72, im getting my dates mixed up. I just know he was in for 2 years. He trained for a year in Louisiana then went out. He trained longer than he should of because he got a real bad case of the flu or pneumonia. He was supposed to be a dental tech but he missed his school so they sent him to 3rd armored.

      • Jim N Kim London

        Might also take into note where “DAD” lives or lived at the time he grew up. Many east coast men over 45 have for whatever reason called magazines “clips” forever. Why don’t know but I have met many who came from the east of the Mississippi River and they have and some still do no matter how many times they are shown hair clips and rifle magazines. Las t clip I remember in a rifle was the M1 Garand and even that was before me and my M-14 in the Corps.

        • PersonCommenting

          Yeah definitely. I dont get all bent out of shape when people call mags clips what I look for is gun safety and yeah some people definitely shouldnt be getting it wrong but my had line is safety. My dad definitely is well over 45. I think he was 20 when he was drafted in 69.

    • Nagurski

      I did, but the fact that me, a random ass E-4 at the time, was put in charge of my battalions pistol training… yeah, I don’t think my superiors took it seriously.

    • Michel_T

      1st. The guy is a major general… he’s probably got a thousand soldiers before him to do the fighting.
      2nd. If it looks stupid, but it works, it’s not stupid.

      • Paul Kersey

        I’m sure affirmative action had nothing to do with him making major general.

    • CavScout

      While most don’t get any real instruction on what’s considered nothing important, the dude is a General. Probably a POG reserve officer. They aren’t good on any weapon system. But hey, they really don’t need to be.

      Most black people aren’t that great with the weapons side either as a rule.

    • Paul Kersey

      The army now accepts men who pose as women and lowered the physical fitness standards so women can pretend to be guys. How seriously do they take anything these days?

  • Jeff

    The dude IS wearing glasses.

    • Anonymoose

      He needs a stronger prescription.

  • Juggernaut

    Y’all know how we be with the gat
    Hit a lick, kick a door then leave with the gat.

  • Gary Kirk

    He’s only using the support hand to fight from holding it sideways..

    • Anonymoose

      I would pay to watch that.

    • Madcap_Magician

      I actually had a black drill sergeant in basic training who was peripherally related to the banger scene in Philadelphia prior to his enlistment. He told us his biggest firearms challenge coming to the Army was that he knew that you held handguns sideways but not how that translated to rifle marksmanship…

    • David

      While i do think this comment is a little more amsuing than the other one ive seen lol, Kids on the south side of Chicago have more war experience than many men on this blog unfortunately, shame

      • Gary Kirk

        Grew up outside of S.E. DC, and around Baltimore.. Know what you mean..

  • Joel

    US Army MHS program estimate: 350 million.

  • Uniform223

    I’m not going to hold it against the CSM. Pistol familiarization and qualification for the vast majority of the Army (and military in general) is not priority on the list. I was more familiar with the M136 than I was with the M9. I took only 1 one hour training session with the M9 and only qualified twice.

  • A.WChuck

    The fact that the picture is embarrassing is likley why it was posted.

  • Dr. Longfellow Buchenrad

    “It could be because he normally uses glasses, but this is pure speculation.”

    I see what you did there…

  • Justanobody

    My first LE supervisor held his pistol thumbs crossed. A grip carried over from the revolver days. He was an FBI certified firearms instructor, SWAT sniper, and SWAT instructor. He qualified with a 100 every time. Bottom line, if you are safe and hit what your shooting at it doesn’t matter how you hold the pistol.

    • Wolfgar

      Time to change the qualification course. He wouldn’t make a C shooter in USPSA holding a handgun like that. Time and accuracy count in any form of self defense shooting.

      • Madcap_Magician

        Any form of self-defense shooting, like USPSA.

        Yep, I went there!

        • Wolfgar

          So your saying crossing your thumbs is OK for self defense shooting and USPSA hand gun hold techniques does not equate to good self defense shooting?

      • iksnilol

        Yeah, thus if you hold your gun sideways upside down but still make fast accurat hits it don’t matter.

        • Wolfgar

          Yea, I see all of the top shooters crossing their thumbs and holding their hand guns sideways, Not! There is a reason why the top shooters hold their handguns the way they do, but hey, hold your tool any way you want to.

          • iksnilol

            Well, I shoot one handed with my other hand either in pocket or grabbing my belt buckle.

            I hit what I shoot at, again, it’s the results that matter. If somebody does something that looks stupid but it works, you can’t really call it stupid.

          • Wolfgar

            The only thing that is stupid is not wanting to shoot. Seriously, learning to hold a handgun properly will improve ones shooting. Many, many, moons ago I thought I new how to shoot until I started competing where time and accuracy mattered. Getting my back side handed to me by a very elderly woman created incentive for me to learn proper hand hold and shooting techniques.

          • iksnilol

            You’re missing my point entirely. I never said I didn’t want to shoot properly (and I do shoot properly), it’s just that some stuff works better for some than others. And if it gives good results I ain’t gonna complain.

  • MrBrassporkchop

    Funny thing, go listen to the Major-General song by Gilbert and Sullivan.

    It was from 1879. The song was kind of a joke at how the modern (at the time) high ranking military officer was highly educated and familiar with military theory but lacked practical military experience. Even back then they were more similar to civilian middle management than a warrior.

    Go read the lyrics and remember the context and at how things haven’t really changed. It’s really kinda funny.

    • Henry Reed

      I play percussion for this show constantly. Great stuff

    • ORCON

      A sat-a-geee???!!!!

    • Mystick

      In 1879, I believe you could still “buy in” to being a commissioned command officer with no formal training if you had the resources and men of your own gathering. Theodore Roosevelt was one of these “buy-in’s”. Show up with a loaded company and they handed you lapels.

      • Old Vet

        But unlike a lot of those “buy-in” types, T. Roosevelt earned his creds on San Juan Hill. A bullet knocked his glasses from his head, and he continued the fight unmolested. Supposedly my great uncle served under him at some point.

  • ORCON

    I remember pulling range detail on Ft. McPherson, a very top heavy post. There were LTCs and SGMs that were putting rounds in the dirt between themselves and the 25M silhouettes. I asked the RO if time allowed could I get on the firing line and qualify. My first time ever touching an M9 and I qualified with a perfect score. The RO pulled my target and myself (a PFC) up infront of the retraining group and publicly shamed them, rank be damned.

    • David Nagel

      The RO is the boss. For a superior officer to challenge him/her would be a violation of discipline and could cost the superior officer. Remember the person seeking qualifications is considered a student under instruction, no matter the rank, and the instructor is the commander, no matter the rank. Of course it must be done with respect.

      • iksnilol

        Nah, we shooters are tribal in nature. You provide less dakka, you get less respect. I don’t give a hoot about how decorated your shoulder is.

        • jcitizen

          No – seriously – in the US military if you diss the RO you will get pile driven into the ground. There are too many accidents at ranges to take any chances at all, and that is how DOD sees it. I’ve had officers begging for me to let them leave because I checked them for a range violation. We almost had some people blown up because of it.

          EDIT: a range officer is generally an NCO not an officer of high rank.

          • iksnilol

            That’s how it should be, RO (Range Officer, right?) knows best at the range. And their job is to keep everyone alive and safe, no matter who they are or think they are.

            Mad respect to ROs.

      • Squirrel

        Best comment on the board

  • Tim

    Is there no internal staff review before an E-4’s picture of the CG goes nationwide? No one on the chain of command thought this was unflattering? Sgt1st Class? Lt.? Major? Anyone? Hello?

    • M

      What if they all thought this is the proper way to operate a M9?

    • Paul Zimmerli

      The Public Affairs Officer should be shot at sunrise. Who in the ranks gives a damn that the CG went bang-bang? Where’s the pic of Sp4 Johnson, who shot a record score for the brigade during annual qualifications? The “Cult of Personality” complex that affects our military needs to be curbed and honest journalism restored. Makes me nauseous…

      • some other joe

        It’s about the boss doing what he told you to do. Sure, he’s not stuck on the range for three hours after he shoots waiting for the rest of the slugs who can’t get their 23 without shooting the Mk I Skilcraft loads, but he was out there meeting the same annual requirement to qualify as you.
        So you have no excuse when your NC/OER says “Failed to attempt to meet weapons qualification standards.”

  • DanGoodShot

    Lol! He’s holdin’ that thing like he’s cuppin’ someone’s nuts n gettin’ ready to give em’ a big ol’ kiss. Maybe this dude’s a real jerk and the dude who posted the pic knew what he was doing when he posted it. Wouldn’t surprise me one bit.

  • Sgt. Stedenko

    Just add some pew pew pew and you have a new meme

  • Y-man

    Well, I’d say we might not know the full context: he might have been firing a string of different scenarios: arms out, arms in [squeezed in a vehicle for instance…], from the hip, overhead…

    I personally do not think ONE picture gives the whole context.

    But who am I to defend him?

    In my country: Officers learn the OLD British side-ways, “duel” stance, in some cases including one fist on hip!

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/607984bd306fea1b07586d231fc5bcb52cab6c0ef09cca7c4063ec8fb5853a5a.jpg

    • Phillip Cooper

      What are they shooting?

      • Y-man

        OLD Browning High Power in 9mm. Most are older than the officers’ FATHERS! I have seen service pistols with ‘smoothbores’!

        Recently, special forces and some units got some Glocks though: I do not know WHICH model, and some others got pistols from Pakistan too…

      • Graham2

        What are they shooting? Birds out of trees, by the looks of it!

    • Paul

      That is the way I learned to shoot a pistol, from my father, long before being issued a 1911 A1 in RVN. Also learned to practice with my weak hand.

    • iksnilol

      Well, it is a handgun. You need to know how to fire it with one hand. Sorta the point of the damn contraption.

      • Is that a dig at the ATF decision in AR pistol with braces? If not, it should be

  • Just say’n

    Yes, it’s silly, but..
    1. He’s a GENERAL, he’ll never have to fire his weapon in anger.
    2. Ft. Lee is home to the Quartermaster Corps, who pretty much never have to fire a weapon in anger.

    Waste of ammo.

  • .45

    I give my father a hard time now and then because he held his thumb over on his Glock like that and cut his hand. Back in the day, he carried a S&W Model 59 and the back end was a bit higher up and he could get away with it. Not so much with his brand spanking new Glock.

  • Ft. Benning recently released a YouTube video for the 2017 Best Warrior Competition. At the 0:27 mark, you can see a Soldier using two fingers wrapped around the front of the M9’s triggerguard. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/06c3d20adbb8af2204ceb613bc111eb37e99b51d2b4f79bb3c8275cdad28ecf6.jpg

    • CommonSense23

      Jerry Miculek frequently wraps his fingers around the front of the trigger guard. Your point is?

      • Jerry occasionally wraps his index finger around the triggerguard, but has the rest of the fingers grasping his strong hand. The shooter in the video is basically cupping the triggerguard.

        • Oregon213

          More importantly, if one person does it with a person weapon that one thing. A large organization should be training to a common standard and making sure people operate as they were trained.

    • gunsandrockets

      Go Lefty!

  • CommonSense23

    People seem to forget that even though he is a general, or a quartermaster. We have had green on blues occur in side major bases, inside TOCs. We have had support troops mauled when they took wrong turns. Basic weapons proficiency, and the ability to fight back are something everyone in the military should be capable of. This general is a product of a broken system.

    • Mick Finn

      ‘Every soldier, a rifleman first.’ Regardless of MOS, weapons proficiency is the most important.

  • John

    This is simply an exercise where you “shoot like a T-Rex”. Common practice for those the army is planning to send back through time….

    ….and yeah, that’s a thing.

  • B Realio

    Cup and saucer technique. It’s old and heard it once from a cop in the early 80’s.

  • Amir

    I am a Marine and did my MOS school on Fort Lee (Bulk Fuel). Regular Army training in general is a kind of a joke but their marksmanship training in particular is not very good. I picked up a secondary MOS as a Range Coach/PMI after about 6 months in. Marines take marksmanship extremely seriously. We had no problem correcting Senior Enlisted or Officers on the rifle or pistol range. They were always willing to take constructive criticism and make the appropriate adjustments to ensure they shot well in qualifications.

  • baserock love

    It always cracks me up when people point to somebody and just assume they must have shooting prowess because they’re “ex military”.

    My buddy, the only other really avid shooter i know besides myself joined the army about 5 years ago and is constantly exasperated with how clueless the other soldiers are about proper gun handling and how abysmally little training everybody gets. He keeps shooting logs and determined that he shot more in one month as a civilian than he did his first 4 years in the army. Basically nobody around him can hit the broad side of a barn and even his superior who gave a class on the function of the m9 pistol had his finger on the trigger and was muzzling the whole class for the hour. He shoots competetively and still isn’t trusted with a scary 9mm pistol.

  • Sergi Kent

    If that guy
    is old enough to be a Major General, then he is still shooting as he
    was taught when he first enlisted: the classic cup-and-saucer grip of the late 1980s. I took a friend’s son shooting who was on leave having just graduated from Air Force Academy in 1992, and he started to shoot Weaver with a cup and saucer grip as well. Just retired last year Full Bird Col. For all I know, they may still be teaching it that way in the academies. Apparently in previous
    qualifications, nobody had the guts to correct the (now) Major General’s outdated stance that
    has (apparently) further degraded over the years, due to lack of any sincere coaching.

    However
    if a General has to start using a 9mm side arm for real, something has
    gone seriously wrong somewhere. Something they rarely plan for. That said, I saw a photo of General
    Norman Schwarzkopf’s bedroom in his headquarters during Desert Storm and he
    had a classic double barrel 12g coach gun leaning on the wall next to his bed.

    • Norm Glitz

      I graduated from the blue zoo in 1970 and taught pistol (revolver actually) a little during the summers. We all used the same grip that’s taught today, with a Weaver stance. we just didn’t call it that. I would illustrate the cup and saucer grip and tell people not to do it because it would “come apart” on the first shot. A few would insist on using it anyway. Oh well, future fighter jock. Then again, my fighter jock brother is more of a rifle guy. NRA high power.

      I have no idea what they’re teaching now with M9s, but my niece, who’s a 2013 grad, shoots very well.

    • CommonSense23

      Even if he was doing tea cup. His grip is still all jacked up.

  • Yankee Lampshade

    Do you seriously want our tax dollars going to put red dots on sidearms that no one will ever even use in anger? It won’t even fit into a standard holster then.

  • jonp

    PEW PEW PEW

    I use a cross thumb grip.

  • Will

    Honestly, you can teach and teach and teach proper technic until you’re blue in the face and officers will still do as they please. Fighter pilots all think they’re born gun fighters or Dirty Harry.
    Plus, what range safety NCO is going to correct a two star general????

  • John Carp

    Were I betting guy, I would say the good General is Cross Eye Dominant. It appears that he is right handed ( R strong hand ) and looking through the sights with his left eye. Wonky, but with proper training can work. As a firearms instructor, with a one dimensional view, I could arm chair quarter back. I could speak on stance and grip, but we are looking at one snapshot in time. For all we know, he was shooting on the move and just rolled his ankle, or was stung by a wasp. In a square range setting, as long as the round ( in the air ) was discharged in a safe direction, it’s all good and can be repeated. All of the Armed Forces pride and even dis-respect, one for another…. Is based upon one still photograph. If a PMI did not sort him out along the way, shame on him! If the shooter disregards instruction, then shame on the shooter.
    But this is one still image!
    Just say’in

  • Rabbi High Comma

    He may not be able to shoot, but he can call in airstrikes on Whites who refuse to pay reparations, or allow a refuge family to move in with them.

  • MR_Mr_Deplorable_Hapla

    On a positive note, he resisted holding his sidearm sideways, and kept his tongue retracted, thus avoiding ‘gangsta’–style

  • 22winmag

    Compact Weaver Stance = Non-story

  • Mike

    Eric B, you are an idiot. Were you even in the military “if so WTF is an Arctic Ranger” ? This soldier happens to be a general and in combat generals aren’t supposed to shoot the enemy. They are supposed to be on the radio, directing the guys whose job is to shoot the enemy.

    Either way, “Arctic Ranger” get over yourself. Don’t go publicly attacking the techniques of a soldier until you’ve had the balls to pick-up a rifle & do your time manning the line.

    • Nuffsaid

      Arctic Rangers are part of the Swedish Armed Forces, specializing in mountain warfare and really, really cold conditions. There was an article on TFB on their snowmobile gear a while back…

  • HoodooTexas

    What BS comments can come out of a stupid article like this. Everyone is an expert. Shouldn’t he be wearing the Delta Charlie Foxtrot Zulu Winter issue semi-arid climate Camo since it’s a Friday and maybe the series nine model p31a/14 helmet? My guess he is knocking the crap out of the target.

  • Cymond

    Red dots on general issue military pistols? Faster hits? And saving money?

    No. From everything I’ve read, a red dot can improve follow up shots/solution times, but the time to first shot is dramatically slower, unless a person has practiced enough to always present the handgun perfectly (higher training cost) or has cowitnessing iron sights to index on target (higher equipment cost). True, red dots are becoming more affordable, but models that can survive on a pistol’s slide cost more than the military pays for a pistol!

  • Breno Tanure

    “Civilians aren’t able to own/carry guns. They don’t have the necessary training that police and other armed branches have”
    Yeah….. Uhh…..

  • John

    >And I’ve captured some dangerous situations as well, as pistols have
    gone into full auto. It’s better to keep those pictures offline. A
    photographer that has never held a pistol may make another judgement.

    Taurus, huh?

  • Don Ward

    I like it when I see gun writers using a C clamp grip criticize other people’s shooting stances. It amuses me.

  • mazkact

    Center Axis Relock gone bad? Well IMHO Center Axis Relock starts bad and ends bad.

  • Squirrel

    Its pretty disappointing that racist jokes have sprung up and not been deleted.

  • some other joe

    And strangely enough, it appears the M17 has a version of the P320 RX slide to accept a red dot.

  • uisconfruzed

    Was “Maj. Gen. Darrell K. Williams, commanding general, CASCOM and Fort Lee” trained by the Mujaheddin???
    I pray for our troops under him his other decisions are better than this.

  • Kodi

    He’d never qualify on a Marine pistol course with that grip and, he’d have everyone trying to correct him.

  • Kodi

    Now that I think about the article, I’m asking myself, how did he make Major?

    • DIR911911 .

      read again , major general that’s 2 stars

  • parabellum

    I had better training in the Air Force (for about 4 hours).

  • jonp

    Well, despite some of the comments about not caring how some General who will never see a battlefield shoots, I care if nothing more than for safety. I want to know that a man carrying a firearm can shoot it.

  • runandgun

    I just showed the picture to my wife and she commented that this is NOT the norm for a soldier in the Army. (at least while she was serving). This person, is likely a higher ranking garrison soldier that wanted a photo opp, rather than letting a real soldier get the recognition. she doesnt want this to lead people to think that they are all that stupid…Our Military sacrifices alot and deserve the respect for that. There are some idiots, but she says the other soldiers would kick his ass for doing that!.

  • Endlesspath

    Another sign of Obama relevant political correctness going awry. Nothing like a modern American soldier-leader unable to handle the most basic of weapons.

  • Saint Stephen the Obvious

    But of course he qualified, he is a MG.

    With that said, I was part of team of firearms instructors that was contracted to teach basic marksmanship and firearms manipulation to MPs at Fort Carson. Now I retired from the Army and did a bunch of grunt stuff but I was surprised at what I saw (we even saw some troopers hold their M9 like in the picture). Here were some of the problems we encountered…

    Problems:
    1. No standardization of uniform, gear or equipment. There were a variety of holsters, magazine holders, etc. Seems each squad had their own idea on what went where. There were mag holders on the front, left, right, some on the back; some had vertical and others had horizontal carriers. First aid pouches & cuff cases were everywhere.

    2. Basic marksmanship – the majority had problems. Many would change their grip between shots then were blaming the firearm on them not qualifying. After a few hours on marksmanship and the basics, everyone did better.

    3. Some people are not Army material – we were amazed that almost all the women could not rack the slide i.e. power stroke. Some women refused because it would mess up their nail job. Some women had such small hands they could properly hold the M9 (and of course they didn’t qualify).

    There was a lot of basics taught, and eventually we moved to moving and shooting, shooting from behind a vehicle and in unorthodox positions. We standardized their gear placement and worked two person team drills. In the end we ran the qualification again and 95% passed with many middle of road shooters qualifying expert. Many who could not qualify, did and they were happy.

    It was a good to get back on base and train the troops. However it was sad to see how low the standards had gone down. Hopefully they will take the training and run with it.

  • Seth Hill

    The PEW is strong with him.

    I was involved in a thread that someone was basically defending his shooting like that, because “it was qualifying” and as long as he qualified that’s all that matters because he isn’t front line and even if he was he wouldn’t use his pistol anyway. My response is that while it isn’t directly part of qualifying, not using the shooting form/hold/etc in qualifying that you were taught can carry over to improper form/hold/etc when you truly need to use your firearm.

  • Jack Evony

    This is somewhat more than just embarrassing. We better prepare to have our butts handed to us in another conflict. There are just not enough elite units to handle the load.

    • ckeltz3

      I wouldn’t worry about him & his like at that time…..they’ll be in the rear-most, 24/7, except for the rare, well planned, per-arranged photo op with ‘the front line troops’ to go on their office walls & into their resume’ packet for their big dollar gigs once they exit.
      We’re good.

  • Brett

    I just want to know if he hit the target.

  • demophilus

    Almost looks like he’s shooting from “rice paddy prone”, all hunched up like that. That might explain it.

    I’ve known some folks to shoot better with their elbows tight to the body like that; it lets them stabilize the weapon with their weight, and not muscular coordination. It also puts their eyes closer to the sights. A stance like that can also be good for shooting from cover, a rest, or hide, or if you’re trying to present a smaller target.

    Still looks wrong, but if he shot well, I’d cut him some slack. Not strack — the Big Green Machine has enough of that.

  • JoeBoomer

    Good article….your observations are spot on.

  • Matt Grimes

    Maj. Gen. had 25-30 yrs to learn to shoot his sidearm while preparing for dinner parties and staff meetings. He obviously failed miserably.

  • Matt Grimes

    Wiki says he’s a supply guy. He’s very smart from the looks of it, lots of Masters degrees and will probably never use that M9 in anger unless you forget to turn in your gas mask before EAS. He’s also a good reminder to go to the range this week. Carry on.

  • LAMan

    Ugh, as a retired Army officer I grimaced the moment I saw the TFB email with a photo “featuring” this grip up close….At least with this audience in the Comments section cheap-seats, I don’t have to explain this disaster-in-the-making to anyone, as you all have been there, seen that. Nonetheless an embarrassing, telling spectacle, isn’t it?

  • Juan

    The Army doesn’t take pistol marksmanship seriously because pistol marksmanship doesn’t matter in a modern combat situation. I know that just made you guys cringe, but it’s true.

    Additionally, when I was in, most soldiers weren’t issued pistols. Only E6 and above, and even then the majority were with non-combat MOS officers. Why focus on training a weapon that most soldiers will never be issued, and that the rest of the soldiers will never use? The budget and time is better spent training other areas.

  • Charlie

    Reminds me of the guy Chris (i think), the oriental who was constantly being hounded for holding his handgun wrong on one of the Top Shot series, but he consistantly was outshooting most of the others. Whatever works for you, I say…

  • Bad Penguin

    When I looked at that picture my thoughts were “That’s got to be a Major or higher Officer”.
    As a former Army officer charged with training soldiers on weapons I met more than a few officers that refused to be corrected on their poor gun handling skills. And you are right, this picture never should have been published as it makes the General look stupid. The General doesn’t look like this so he wont be recognized.

    • RetiredSOFguy

      Uh, they dime him out by name and current billet. I agree, if no one was willing to correct him or if he was unwilling to be corrected, no pictures should have been take.

  • frrst245

    What does his grip matter if he manages to score well enough to be considered proficient?
    I can’t shoot for squat using the “proper” grips and stances, but do OK using what works for me. Maybe he is the same way.

  • Mel_Anosis

    Is this the result of Obama’s fundamental transformation of America?

  • Bloody Bucket

    I think my infantry brothers said the same thing when they saw this picture “POG”.

  • Bloody Bucket

    I qualed twice with the M-9. First as a 240B gunnery right after I got in. I asked the “Instuctor” giving the p.m.i. class about the Modern Weaver stance, (I went into the service late and aready had a couple trips to Gunsite Acadamy under my belt before hand), He told me “No one can shoot fast ad accurately in a modern weaver stance”. Funny thing, I was the only one in the battalion to shoot a perfect score. That’s not saying much, 8 seconds per target,10 for he couple of times two come up. And it’s hits anywhere on the target. Yea, piss poor test of combat effective pistol marksmanship.

  • BigR

    I’ve got news for you!!! There’s a lot of politics going on in the Army! Maybe you were to dumb to notice!!!!

  • Core

    Navy: We had annual five day trainings, quarterly command shoots, monthly division shoots, and bi-weekly shoots during deployments. I will say that the Army produces some of the best shooters out of the Marksmanship Unit. You can’t judge a branch by one dude who spends his days wrangling and disciplining a bunch of soldiers. I was ordered to work with the regular Army once, hope I never have to again.. Worked with Rangers, Light Infantry, and Delta a great bunch of professionals.

  • bthomas

    “Maj. Gen. Darrell K. Williams, commanding general, CASCOM and Fort Lee…” He is not paid to shoot a gun. He is paid to command. It is a waste of time and money for a commanding general to fool around qualifying with a pistol that he will never use for anything except a hip ornament.

  • survivor50

    As an OLD Army Armorer, and Range Master…I’d have flunked this Maj. Gen. and never batted an eye…
    He needs some SEVERE remedial training and get the HOOD out of the General…
    No, I don’t give a damn WHAT you think !!! The truth is a beotch !!!

    • survivor50

      By the way… I do believe that is THE perfect grip…for a 9 iron…

  • Leigh Rich

    I was a 2LT in Ordnance during the Vietnam conflict. Pistol qualifying at the range with a rattling worn out 1911’s was an option. We were all trained as Infantry first. In between the conflicts we used AR 15’s with 22LR inserts to train indoors.

  • Fred Lead

    Obviously he was testing how the pistol performed in a worst-case firing situation.