The sun rose on a crisp fall weekend at the famous Bedford Contingent in Southern Indiana recently for a great weekend of carbine skills, history and civic engagement! Right from the get go it was clear that Hoosiers know a few things about “hits count.” Our warmup exercise went well with lots of folks hitting consistently at scaled targets, but there was still some room for learning new skills.
We began the weekend with a brief review of the fundamentals of marksmanship and a chance to get zeroed in at 50 yards. Unlike the basic rifle classes, here we mixed things up by using the crossbody sling for support as well as teaching the use of supports in the prone position. After an hour or so in the prone, it was time to get up and get moving! We added in the kneeling and standing positions and also covered emergency reloads by Saturday lunch.
Over lunch on Saturday, we discussed basic strategies for personal protection in the home, and the role the carbine can play in such a strategy. After lunch, we were ready for the first skills test, an adaptation of the historic WW2 M1 Carbine course of fire.
After experiencing a bit of WW2 marksmanship history first hand, we spent the afternoon telling the story of Bunker Hill and working on shooting faster, making precision shots at close ranges while compensating for mechanical offset of the sights, and keeping the gun running by fixing malfunctions. We also worked in scanning to maintain situational awareness. The day wrapped up with a swing at our modern carbine qualifier.
Sunday morning allowed most of us to gather for a brief religious service. Once we got to shooting, we briefly review the highlights from Saturday and fire another qualifier. We also worked in a few additional skills drills: a live fire Tueller drill, a basic introduction to barricade usage for cover and concealment, malfunction practice with dummy ammo, and a few other drills. Over lunch, Kevin treated everyone to a discussion of application of fundamentals out to known distance, laying the foundation for students to ring steel out to a few hundred yards. The final event of the weekend was a chance to shoot the Bedford Challenge, a unique mix of movement, barricades, moving targets, and ringing steel out to 200+ yards.
For civic engagement, we discussed involvement with government at the local, state, and federal level. We’d like to remind our Indiana readers that hearings on Constitutional Carry have been rescheduled for 30 October. Make your voice heard!
This was my first trip out to the Bedford Contingent and I’d like to highlight that this range is a special place. Shannon and Ed, the range hosts, care about making students welcome, there’s a liberty pole by the gate, and the availability of steel, moving targets, and distance to shoot is great. The volunteers that came to Bedford to support this event were fantastic — special thanks to Kevin, AJ, Sharon, Cianin, Luke, and Brian.