USMC New Combat Pistol Training Program

A look at the new USMC pistol training program, slated to replace the old one:


This new program is apparently designed to incorporate a mindset steeped in the battlefield according to the video description.  I guess battlefields work a lot different than I imagined them to be.

Yea I’m not qualified to critique a training program, but I’m going to do it anyway because that’s what I do best.

Those exaggerated 360 degree scans look derpy.  “BUT MIKE IT’S A 360 BATTLE ZONE IRL!”.  Yea Yea I get that but isn’t the saying “train as you will fight”?  Are these guys really going to be in tons of situations where they are calmly shooting a controlled pair an the enemy, ejecting the magazine and doing a 360 degree scan?

Is pulling the slide slightly back (press check I’m assuming?), ejecting the magazine and looking at it (to see if there’s at least 1 round left in it?) something real operators who operate in operations always should do after dropping tangos?

Is tapping the back of the slide, a Beretta M9 thing people do?  Did this operator just do that to look cool?  Should I be doing that to look like I know what I’m doing next time I operate with an M9?

Starting every drill with his hands up in the air by his face seem different than how I would think these guys would train for real life too.  When a marine walks around in a war zone does he always have his hands up there?

Thoughts?  Good way to train for real life situations a marine will encounter?


40 responses to “USMC New Combat Pistol Training Program”

  1. Squirreltactical Avatar

    Jesus I can’t watch any more.

    Sure, look around you before firing the third shot in a failure to stop. Sounds good.

    F’n pogs…

  2. Knowing how much ammo you’ve got left in your gun is never a bad thing, especially if there’s a lull in the action long enough to re-holster. And the slide tap is to ensure that your pistol is not out-of-battery after the press check, better safe then sorry. Seriously, read a book ;)

    1. ENDO-Mike Avatar

      I don’t recall what M9 magazine holes look like, but on a Glock magazine those holes are often useless not to mention hard to see. I would imagine they would be near impossible for your brain to make sense of especially if you’re under extreme stress.

    2. Al Cohol Avatar

      But whats the point of a press check in the first place? Maybe I don’t operate hard enough, but I’ve never racked my slide, with a loaded mag in the gun, and not chambered a round. I’ve also never chambered a round, fired a few rounds off, and ended up with an empty chamber but still had a loaded mag. I can understand checking how many rounds are in your mag, given that there is time in the fight to do so, but I just don’t get the point of a press check. Seems redundant to me, but what do I know, I’m not a smoooooooth operator.

  3. Squirreltactical Avatar

    Too be fair, this is a VAST improvement over the old pistol qual. Just because their 01xx demonstrator is full of derpitude shouldn’t matter.

    Also, Spongebob Reconpants is my new favorite cartoon character. Thank you.

    1. Spongebob Reconpants FTW!

  4. Blazing Zero Avatar
    Blazing Zero

    I tap the back of my M9 all the time. Its a thing we do, like when motorcyclists wave at each other.
    *Tap tap*

    No, no it isnt, im full of shit….

  5. Lord Valvatorez Avatar
    Lord Valvatorez

    A lot of people are trained to tap the back of a pistol’s slide, any pistol, after a press check.

    Because there is a chance the slide didn’t close completely and your pistol won’t fire.

    Its like hitting your forward assist after checking your AR chamber.

    1. thebronze Avatar

      Says who?

      I haven’t seen ANYONE routinely hitting the back of their slide after a press check. If your slide won’t go back into battery after a press check, you should be replacing either parts or the gun.

      There’s a chance that I could wake up gay tomorrow, but the chances are so remote that they’re not even worth mentioning.

      Right, because AR’s fail to go into battery ALL the time….


  6. hnl.flyboy Avatar

    This shit is terrible. Glad I got out. And who press checks after a gun has been firing? Check the magazine, I get it, but press check after each use?

  7. WTH happened to counting your rounds?

    1. Ole'Wolf Avatar

      Ever tried it while getting shot at? More likely to pull the trigger two three times before you realize the slide is locked back. Been there… try it, you won’t like it…

  8. So that’s all well and good. If it’s pitch black (night in the middle of nowhere), then how does a press-check help!?

    1. BBJones Avatar

      you feel for the round in darkness. and it is extremely helpful when loading an empty gun with a full magazine on many models of pistol. Many full magazines are difficult to seat. If not seated fully, a round may fail to go into the chamber.

  9. Considering the course of fire I shot in 2008 was the same as the one I fired in 1989, it’s good that some progress is being made. Agree completely that anything that depends on visuals falls to shit when your in a 3rd world country after the sun goes down.

  10. MakoGroup Avatar

    Looks like they consulted Cory and Erika to come up with this shit

    1. nice one…bonus points for you

    2. truthseeker Avatar

      Actually it looks like someone consulted an Iaido practitioner; starting from a type of ready position, doing 1 -2 cuts (or in this case shots), and then performing a combat awareness/mindset drill (seek out the next threat) before finishing with a ritualized sheathing of the weapon. The purpose of this training is to develop calm, smooth responses to threats. It is primarily mental. The Zanshin, or combat mindset, is at the end of each sequence to address an age-old problem in combat: You are at your most vulnerable at the instant you have just taken out one of the enemy.

  11. The extractor works as a loaded chamber indicator on the M9, all you need is to have your finger wander over it to know if you’ve got a round in the chamber.

    and as far as dropping the mag, unless you’re putting a fresh one in it should be second nature to count your rounds. Keep it in the gun where it will do you the most good and not get dropped in the sand.

    The sad truth is that the grunts don’t get enough firearms training to really be proficient with their guns. That happens after they’ve been in the shit a few times and lived.

    1. BBJones Avatar

      counting rounds works on the range … but in a real situation?

  12. This looks like what a could have been a good idea but sadly to many people that dont actually shoot got involved and alot of good idea fairies got involved. for the non Marines out there you have to understand that this has to be a program that no mater what your job is at Staff NCO Level or some below and officer will have to be able to pass this…this is not meant to be a high speed operator course..simply a revamp to a pistol qualification coarse that hasn’t really seen a revamp since the 70’s….Its the same thing with Rifle Qual… its a joke, any decent shooter will pass with out thinking…any good training will not come as an annual requirement, it will be done from your company S3t if they actually care

  13. Doyletoo Avatar

    Sweet R Lee Ermey!!! These guys have (to borrow a phrase from Tropic Thunder) “gone full retard”! Who the Eff thought this crap up? SERIOUSLY?!! Someone lost their damn mind and needs to be put on KP for the rest of their tour… Watching that hurt so bad I don’t know where to start. Sadly it will probably take some private getting shot when he looks away from the target to “scan and drop his mag then reload it” BECAUSE HE WAS TAUGHT THAT WAY! Hopefully someone like a SEAL or Recon trooper who doesn’t give a sh!t about being politically correct will scream bloody murder to higher authorities before this gets too far…

  14. doyletoo Avatar

    One additional comment: Isn’t the saying “every marine a rifleman”? So if the goal is for this to be realistic, then the “hands up” position of the demonstrator should be replaced with hands holding a rifle. Which, if empty, or malfunctioning, would be the best reason to transition to the M9…. Just my $.02.

  15. I believe about 13% of the Marine Corps is in an infantry MOS. Of those 13%, I would guess that only about 10% are actually “gun guys”. Your average gunner or master sergeant might be “OK” at individual combat marksmanship, but usually they’re too stuck in their ways and insist that you do it their way– i.e. the way the doctrine explains. Of all the shooting schools I went to while I was in a Recon Company, the only decent ones were put on by contractors– usually ex-Force Recon guys who had gotten out. I attended Coaches Course for Combat Marksmanship my last year in. It was so full of DERPitude that in the end I just gave up and did what they told me until I graduated and then I pretty much dumped what they told me.

    It’s all designed for the lowest common denominator. Granted, this is an improvement over the old qual, but its still pretty derpy. Marines are pretty badass on the whole but dont expect your average POG or even 0311 to be a super-high-speed rifle or pistol operator, they just don’t get the training/they are too stuck to doctrine.

  16. If your weapon won’t go into battery without tapping, then it’s time to get a new fucking recoil spring.

  17. Ole'Wolf Avatar

    Taught the same basic course of fire to VA Cops for 10 years right down to the 360… don’t know how many of you are officers or “operators” but despite all the expert comments – aside from the hands too high this has worked outstandingly for us. Of course, we were federal officers dealing with crowds in a hospital setting with LOTS of EDPs… the 360 was essential for us… As for the “press test” a Berretta doesn’t need one you can feel or see the indicator (its red) on the ejection port side of the slide when a round is chambered.

  18. Holy Crap. This is Awesome! You heard the phrase…if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it?

    I guess the USMC is, if it ain’t broke, fix it till its broken. Lol

  19. I obviously need to up my press check game. That was amazing.

  20. thebronze Avatar

    Holy shit, this is bad!!!


  21. Failure to stop…..and you take your eyes off of the threat while the threat is still coming?

    I’m just a squid and I know that is Effed UP!

  22. There’s several factors that make military training look weird

    1) Exaggeration. It’s assumed that people will half-ass out of their nature and especially under stress. Therefore exaggerated scans, shooting positions, etc are taught so that when people “half-ass” it, they’re actually doing it correctly

    2)Safety concerns. When training large numbers in a zero-defect environment (ie, if one accident happens it’s considered a big deal), you unfortunately have to go beyond what’s reasonable with regard to safety just to avoid an incident that is costly in terms of paperwork

    ^For the above reasons military training is never what its cracked up to be, with the exception of small units like seals etc. Teaching is not infinitely scale-able, and you get what you pay for.

  23. DANGER CLOSE 51 Avatar

    WTF is my Marine Corps coming up with. Whoever is in charge of this should be dragged across America to HQMC and flogged.

  24. Sometimes, I feel like people on here have no idea what they are talking about.

    1. You Don't Say Avatar
      You Don’t Say

      Only sometimes?

      The average experience level in these comments consists of watching Magpul DVDs over and over.

    2. Ole'Wolf Avatar


  25. Ninjavitis Avatar

    I spent many years in the Army as (among other things) an armorer. Watching the press-mag-tap routine that this guy has already done enough to be mechanical, I think it might come from a Military perspective of how to solve some of the well known problems with the M9.

    I’ve never handled a personally owned and properly maintained Berretta 92F. I’m guessing it’s a decent hand gun in that instance. I have handled and fired hundreds of Military owned M9s and they are some of the most mistreated and poorly maintained weapons I’ve ever seen.

    You pick them up and they rattle. They are often out of tolerance in so many ways that it needs to just be chucked and replaced but they won’t do that if it still functions.

    Part of the problem is that the M9 is issued to leadership who have either never had to fire a weapon in a real fight or haven’t in so long that they have forgotten what a weapon represents in a combat zone. Life, their own and that of their buddies.

    The non-shooters go to the range twice a year and overseas, the weapon just becomes part of the uniform. The press check is what it is, though not needed. The ammo check looked to me like he was making sure the top round was seated in the mag and not partially stripped when the pistol fired. The tap is something I’ve had to do during time competitions but never at any other time. If your weapon fails to go into battery, it’s pretty obvious.

    I was also concerned about all the attention paid to the security check but looking down to find your spare mag and also to holster. A shooter needs to be able to do all of that and more in the dark. You don’t look down to find the brake pedal on your car. You just know where it is from practice.

    I’m glad to see they are moving the training forward but I’m sorry to see that the Military just keeps chugging along with it’s way of doing things.

  26. Ole'Wolf Avatar

    Okay, this has gotten silly- you only do a magazine exchange once you’re behind cover and/or things have quieted down so you have the time… the WHOLE idea is that you go into a shootout with what you got on you….no resupply while on the spot but you gotta top off to be sure. So, any of you operators really think just dropping half a magazine is you best option? One bullet left is one bullet that may just save your ass. You grab a mag, drop the one in the gun in the same hand, put in the new one, glance check the old one– you see the gleam of brass, stick in in a pocket not a mag bag and drive on… Glance check means you keep the gun up and in your line of sight, even your sight picture if the situation permits. Before anyone starts- only TV heroes and Movie GIs hug up next to cover… experienced shooters know to back off it… Here it goes again… yes, I KNOW some situations demand you hug a wall but I teach that you can shoot thru most walls and doorframes and many things people think are “cover”. This type of sequence is usually taught to get new shooters or shooters new to the idea to get it down pat THEN put the sequence in a tactical training sequence. Muscle memory. One more time, yes tactical mag change you just drop and go… but then, that’s usually in a shoot-n-move situation.
    BTW- the little bit of backstory to much of the “new” training is that it makes you think about what you’re doing and so not just returning fire until you’re dry…not a good feeling…immediate action has it’s place but then you gotta think…

  27. All I wanna know is where is Squidward with the AK?

  28. truthseeker Avatar

    Actually it looks like someone consulted an Iaido practitioner; starting from a type of ready position, doing 1 -2 cuts (or in this case shots), and then performing a combat awareness/mindset drill (seek out the next threat) before finishing with a ritualized sheathing of the weapon. The purpose of this training is to develop calm, smooth responses to threats. It is primarily mental. The Zanshin, or combat mindset, is at the end of each sequence to address an age-old problem in combat: You are at your most vulnerable at the instant you have just taken out one of the enemy.

  29. Steve Grey Avatar

    This is fucking pathetic and a pathetic example of the U.S. Marine Corps Combat Marksmanship Program. That shooter is a “fucking tard” and should never be issued an M9.