AMO Applicant, Taking MSC Small Arms, No Firearms Experiance


Padding would have helped for sure. The one I shot had a metal cap on the butt stock, and after shooting I couldn’t figure out for the life of me why it’s the chosen gun of all the mid-east. Cheap and easy to get, yes, but it fucking hurts!


I can’t remember if the one I shot had a metal cap or what…but good grief it was so much easier to shoot then that big, stupid rifle they made us fire with MSC.


When you arm and train civilian seafarers don’t they become combatant and soldiers under the Geneva Convention?


Only if they initiate hostile acts against others as opposed to exercising the right of (collective) self-defense.


Doesn’t that make the civilian crew that serve on a vessel that is part of a Naval force equal to those serving in Private Military Companies (PMC), especially if they are armed and trained in the use of weapons?

This is an interesting question these days since a lot of PMCs perform tasks that is very similar to that of soldiers:

I.e. If seen as combatants they are protected by the Geneva Convention, but if seen as civilians they may be convicted for any act of violence etc. under civilian law.


The butt of the rifle (the back end) MUST BE TIGHT into your shoulder pocket; right where the bra-strap goes. If it isn’t, it will SLAM against you. Thing in terms of getting punched in the shoulder, vs getting a push. No bruising from pushing.

Also, regarding the “tiny new third mate” who had the rifle on her collar bone??? Wrong spot for a rifle stock/shotgun stock. I think my collar bone would have had issues too.

I’ve shot at AMO for more than 20 years-I’ve seen the evolution there. Tony, Barry & Sharon can be your best friend (if you try, if you listen, and pay attention), and intolerant (for safety reasons) for those who cannot or will not.

With more than 60 years of experience between them, they are a gold-mine of solid information.

  1. Keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot
  2. Keep the weapon pointed in a safe direction/down range.
  3. Treat all weapons as loaded - unless you know for a fact it is not - and then respect it
  4. Know your dominant eye (read about how to determine this)
  5. Align you sights properly (ditto “reading”). Aim for “center-of-mass”. The middle of the sighting black.
  6. Focus on the front sight - not the back sight, not the target; THE FRONT SIGHT!!
  7. Breathe. Squeeze the trigger on the bottom of the exhale - or half way down on the exhale. On the slow fire course, you have time to inhale/exhale in-between each shot-So breathe.
  8. Trigger: It should be on the pad of your index finger, 1/2 way from the tip to the first knuckle from the end.
  9. Trigger: Squeeze the trigger; don’t yank it. Just increase the pressure until it goes “bang”.
  10. Grip: Grip the weapon like a “firm handshake”. Not a death-grip, or a whip grip.

And best of all,

RELAX and ENJOY the experience. If you do what the instructors tell you to do, you WILL pass.

Tell the instructors that you’ve little or no experience and they will go the extra mile - and in the last several years, they have been taking inexperienced shooters out the night before for a familiarization shoot.


The applicable laws regarding the use of force aboard ship in international waters are the laws of the ship’s flag state. I can’t recall the exact language the U.S. Coast Guard uses regarding use of force but in certain specific circumstances it is legal to use lethal force.

EDIT here it is:

Subject to the above, deadly force may only be used in self-defense or defense of others, when an individual has the reasonable belief that the person or persons to which the
deadly force would be directed poses an imminent danger of death or great bodily harm. The objective when using deadly force in self-defense or defense of others is
defense of life. The use of deadly force in self-defense or defense of others may include the use of ordnance fired into a vessel, if necessary for self-defense or defense of others. Accordingly, when confronted with a person or vessel that poses an imminent danger of death or great bodily harm, personnel and vessels to which this guidance applies may use reasonable force, up to and including deadly force, in self-defense or defense of others.


I was a Gunner’s Mate in the Navy, SRF leader, and trained hundreds of sailors in the safe operation and maintenance of small arms. I’m not saying this garbage to blow my own boatswains pipe, only to say I’ve seen a lot and you will pass dude. I’ve seen guys/gals who were literally shaking in their boots from fear of the firearm in their hands and still managed to qualify with pistol and rifle. On the rare case I had to fail someone it was out of safety concerns.

Listen closely to your instructor and do exactly as she/he says. As jbtam99 said make sure your instructor knows your experience level from day one. Any firearm course worth its salt treats you like you know nothing from the beginning so you should be good to go.

Also don’t be that guy I had to counsel because he decided to disassemble his M9 on watch and launched the spring rod into the water.


There was a thread addressing this several months ago.


That was really my biggest bitch about the whole thing. There were maybe 15 people in the class - morning of Day One, they ask “who’s never shot a handgun,” I raised my hand. Only person. Shotgun? Rifle? Same thing, just me. Other guys may not have shot an M14 or an M9, but they had some firearm experience. The instructor came up to me and talked to me for a minute, and she was very nice, but she explained to me that it was going to be hard to pass since there was NO practice allowed. I had never shot a firearm before, and I had to pass this course for the job I had just been hired for.

So the first time I shot a firearm was the first round of the pistol qual - draw and fire 2 shots from 3 yards away. I would have been better throwing the weapon at the paper. Drew from the holster, lined up my sights, and then the guy next to me (at the nice Broward County Indoor Range) fired and I about jumped out of my skin. Not only had I never fired a weapon but I had never been standing next to somebody who was firing one and just didn’t expect it.

Anyway, I calmed down and passed the pistol and the shotgun. Rifle was hard and I didn’t pass that, but the company only needed me to pass the pistol anyway, so it was all fine.

All the dry firing in the classroom is great and all, but practice rounds is what was really needed. I’m glad to see they’re doing that now. @17richeyam you should be all set.


Ok but she’d never fired a gun in her life either - and all the instructors did was roll their eyes when she said, “ow”. They didn’t actually SHOW her how to hold that thing correctly, if she even could. As for putting the friggin thing right where the bra strap goes, that’s not always possible, not always the same place, and not always effective on women with less then 25% body fat. It is, however, if they let you put a friggin maxi pad where the but is ideally supposed to go, but they wouldn’t let her. So I’m giving this young woman a heads up - get some padding and use it - don’t ask, just do it.


The Civilian Marksmanship Program will accept your certificate of completion to fulfill their training requirement. They sell old surplus M1 Garand rifles, M1 Carbines, ammo, etc… In the next year or so they will be selling surplus 1911 pistols, some of WWII vintage.