Basic principles and recommended shooting fundamentals which have to be included in the exercises of a T-Class competition

Author: Plamen Nikolov

The following basic principles and shooting fundamentals are recommended to be included in the design of the stages of a T-Class competition – alone or as a combination of several elements in one exercise.

Module 1
In this module are evaluated the basic marksmanship skills of the competitor
The exercises in this module should include the following shooting fundamentals:

  1. Accuracy and precision of shooting from stable positions
  2. Accuracy in complex situations:
    a. Time limit
    b. Unsupported shooting or usage of unstable supports (backpack, no rear support, etc)
    c. Zeroing of the score, after a miss
    d. Targets with unsymmetrical shape in relation to the center or similar, which will be difficult to be aimed.
    e. Physical stress
    f. Complex order or shooting
  3. Differentiation of targets
  4. Weapon manipulation and equipment control
    a. Fast bolt/action manipulation
    b. Fast preparation for shot placement from fully secured state and variously placed additional equipment (on the shooter’s body, at a distance from the shooter, on the shooting line, etc.)
    c. Magazine reloading/changing during the scoring time
  5. Fast moving and assuming of final shooting position (standing behind the rifle, after moving from a given distance, etc.)
  6. Transfer of shooting direction at different targets
  7. Shooting “of hand” (without additional support, only sling support) – prone, kneeling, standing
  8. Communication and target evaluation (TeamWork)
  9. Shooting at paper targets, reactive and 3D targets

Module 2
In this module are evaluated the competitor’s skills to react in dynamic and quickly changing conditions under the influence of time limitations and complex shooting scenarios.
The exercises in this module should include the following shooting fundamentals:

  1. Time limit
  2. A group of targets placed at different distances in front of the shooting position, often with different direction of fire.
  3. Unstable and untraditional shooting positions – from windows, barricade, uncomfortable supports, holes, rocking platforms, etc.
  4. Mid-range distances (described in the T-Class Set of Rules for each discipline)
  5. Complex order of target engagements
  6. Fast switching of different weapons – weapon manipulation and shooting under time limitations in the Multi Gun division
  7. Development of unpredicted complications during the course of fire (falling, slipping or similar, maybe associated with light trauma, dropping of equipment, problems with the weapon, etc.) and the ability of the competitor to adapt under time limitations.
  8. Proper communication and tasks arrangement between the shooters in the Team Work discipline.
  9. Shooting at static, reactive, appearing and moving targets.
  10. Shooting at Smart Target systems, which can provide realistic scenarios daytime and nighttime.

The scoring method in Module 2 is “Hit Factor” in which the points from the hits are divided to the time for execution of the exercise in order to calculate the coefficient – “Hit Factor”. In order to be successful in Module 2, the competitor needs to achieve balance between accuracy and speed.

It is also required that the competitor understands the two methods for scoring “Virginia count” and “Comstock”. The first one represents a given number of shots for one target, most often just one shot. The second one means shooting with unlimited number of shots until the target is hit or the shooter resigns.

Module 3
In this module are evaluated the competitor’s skills for long range shooting. It requires practical approach for solving the bullet trajectory in relation to all variables which can influence the bullet path along with the shooting skills to complete such a shot. In Team Work competitions are tested also the skills of the team for communication, observation, target acquisition and target dispersion.
The exercises in this module should include the following shooting fundamentals:

  1. Shooting at distances from 600 to 1000 meters from a stable shooting position
  2. Preparation of the shooting position during the time limits for preparation
  3. Not so rigorous time limit
  4. Decision for shot abandonment opposed to penalty for a miss
  5. Shooting at Smart Target systems, which can provide realistic scenarios daytime and nighttime.
  6. Shooting on the “Hit Factor” method

Although there is a time factor, it should not be so limited or critical as it is for some of the exercises in Module 1 and Module 2. Exercises which are scored by the two methods – points from the hits and “Hit Factor” have to be included in the design of Module 3. The “Hit Factor” method in this module serves to differentiate the results of the competitors with equivalent number of hits, thus giving advantage to those who have completed quickly the process of evaluation of the shooting conditions and successful realization of the exercise. The “Hit Factor” method is necessary in relatively complex designed stages in which there is no opportunity for the shooter to evaluate the targets before the start of the exercise and all calculations for shot trajectory are made within the scoring time. Also, in Team Work competition it will give advantage to the more cohesive team in relation to target acquisition, evaluation of environmentals, observation, spotting and correction of fire.
The “Hit Factor” method can be used for separation of results in Module 3 when the targets are relatively big and easy and the range cannot provide maximum distances of 1000 meters and is limited to shorter shooting distances.