World War II Pistol Training Video

    Sometimes militaries move backwards in tactics and training. The handgun is a classic example. When I was in the Corps, we trained with live weapons only on static ranges at fixed distances and only in my last year did we finally get a “combat” type Table II rifle course. The handgun was static range only under highly favorable conditions.

    As such, its surprising to see a US Army training video from World War 2 emphasizing the practical application of the handgun through a combat simulation quick-reaction course of fire. Shooters engaged targets at 50 yards prone, 25 yards kneeling, and closer off-hand standing. If anything, it looks like a modern USPSA course of fire.

    I did cringe at the 2:58 mark which emphasizes “safety” (which certainly HAS evolved), which has all the shooters removing their handgun and clearing them, all flagging the instructor. Other things have evolved including how two hands are employed on the grip, the removal of revolvers from service.

    Other things have not changed. Tight grips are required, trigger control is essential, and the usage of sights is absolutely required. Finally, instinctual shooter is encouraged without the use of sights, which is explicitly denied in current courses of fire despite its practical application in close-quarters scenarios.

    Enjoy the video. I wish my training permitted the use of “spectacular” maneuvers…

    Nathan S

    One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

    The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.