This video, which must be 20 years old, gives a brief overview of combat shotguns in the U.S. military. There’s an error or two – the curator shows us a “smoothbore flintlock rifle,” a contradiction in terms — but the guy with the Winchester is fast, and it’s always fun to watch slugs and buckshot tear up targets.
What I found interesting were the scenes of the shotgun training program developed by the Oregon National Guard. You see soldiers throwing balls into buckets and hoops, and playing darts, all excercises designed to teach the concept that the eye goes to the target, not to the gun. The video presents the idea that once you learn shotgun techniques, you can apply them to close-quarters rifle shooting.
This isn’t a new idea: the Army adopted the theory during the Viet Nam war with “Quick Kill,” a training program that taught instinctive close-range shooting using Daisy BB guns with the sights removed. Trainees learned to shoot metal disks out of the air, shotgun-style, then moved on to engage pop-up targets on the ground. In some cases, they even engaged one another in BB gun fights. For a time, Daisy also marketed “Quick Kill” to civilians, renamed “Quick Skill.” The kits came with sightless BB guns, safety glasses and 4-inch aluminum disk targets.
For my part, I believe it’s much easier to teach a shotgunner to shoot a rifle than it is to teach a rifleman to shoot a shotgun. Once someone learns to aim a gun, it’s very difficult to make them stop aiming and just look at the target and shoot .
I stand ready to be corrected, so have at it.
I am also curious if any of you Viet Nam era vets received “Quick Kill” training and if so, what you thought of it.