Getting Back to Marksmanship Basics, Part 1

Getting Back to Marksmanship Basics, Part 1

Visiting an Appleseed Project event brought back memories of his own early shooting training in the Soviet Union.

Marco Vorobiev was a member of the elite Soviet Spetsnaz in Afghanistan in the 1980s. He's a U.S. citizen now and conducts training courses that draw on his special forces training. He'll have a new installment every Wednesday.

I recently visited one of the Appleseed Project (www.apppleseedinfo.com) events in Michigan. A little research on the Internet provided the bare minimum information, giving me the idea this was another rifle class. With that in mind, I got in my truck and drove to Dundee, Mich.

As a firearms instructor, I had my doubts whether I'd discover any new material at this event. Man, was I wrong! What was taught there was nothing new to me, but rather good old long-forgotten marksmanship basics. And that was news to me.


Growing up in the Soviet Union as a child, I was exposed to guns at early age. First, it was competition-style air rifles, moving on to sporting single-shot .22 cal. guns and finally graduating to the AKs. It is easy to imagine that I grew up in the iron-sight era. No collimator sights were available and optical scopes existed only in World War II patriotic books.


So, I was taught basic marksmanship skills from the get-go. Many may not know this, but individual marksmanship in the Soviet Union was highly praised skill: one you could put on your college entry application.

It all started in the 1930s when Soviet Minister of Defense Marshal Kliment Voroshilov was visiting an officer qualification course near Moscow. He observed one officer shooting his Nagant revolver at the 25-meter target. The officer did not hit his target once. When asked about his unsatisfactory performance, he cited the poor workmanship and overall quality of his sidearm.

Voroshilov grabbed the "faulty" revolver, loaded and placed all seven shots into the center of the target. This incident made national news thus giving a birth the new youth movement — "Voroshilov's Marksman". Millions of young boys and girls rushed to rifle ranges to qualify for the badge and title of "Voroshilov's Marksman." My own mother did as well. It was truly a mass movement. Every city and town had a range. Most of inner-city schools had a range in the basement.

Basically, any Soviet youth could get involved in firearms activity from an early age. Almost everyone I knew had shot a rifle or pistol. What's more important is that at every instance there were instructors teaching Soviet kids the fundamentals of marksmanship.


Vorobiev will be writing more about the Appleseed Project in an upcoming issue of SGN.

Kliment Voroshilov, Soviet Minister of Defense and founder of the "Voroshilov


Marksman" youth movement. He was a wily survivor of the Josef Stalin era.

The "Voroshilov Marksman" badge could be proudly displayed by high school or

college students and was an object of admiration. Vorobiev's mother held one.

Voroshilov with high school girls — resent "Voroshilov Marksman" qualifiers.

Personal marksmanship was valued; it's just that very few could own guns.

Soviet high school students hone their skills with rifles at their school's range.

Youngsters started with airguns and worked their way through .22s to AKs.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Kyle Lamb and Eric Poole talk SIG pistols

Kyle Lamb and Eric Poole talk SIG pistols

G&A Editor Eric Poole and Viking Tacticals's Kyle Lamb talks about 2 new pistols from SIG Sauer and a Lipsey's Special of the P365.

The GPO Rangeguide 10x50

The GPO Rangeguide 10x50

If you need to see your game, and know the distance in all hunting environments, the GPO RANGEGUIDE 10×50 is your winning ticket.

Springfield Armory Saint Victor in .308

Springfield Armory Saint Victor in .308

The Saint Victor in .308 features a 16" light weight barrel, M-Lok® free float hand guard and included flip-up sights.

New Bushnell Prime 1700 and Nitro 1800 Rangefinders

New Bushnell Prime 1700 and Nitro 1800 Rangefinders

Jake Edson of Bushnell Optics tells OSG's Lynn Burkhead about the brand new Prime 1700 and Nitro 1800 rangefinders.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Please sign and share the petition to get the required 100,000 signatures by July 27. 2nd Amendment

Tell the White House that the 2nd Amendment Was Not Given to the People by Government

Firearms News - July 02, 2019

Please sign and share the petition to get the required 100,000 signatures by July 27.

If you want to keep the peace, keep and bear arms. Don't give up your guns. Any other choice would be ridiculous. 2nd Amendment

Is Red Dawn Really Just Ridiculous? If Not, Who Would Citizen Disarmament Help?

David Codrea - May 29, 2019

If you want to keep the peace, keep and bear arms. Don't give up your guns. Any other choice...

Want the “Holy Grail” of AR-15 rifles? Brownells has made that possible with their BRN-Proto retro rifle. Rifles

Brownells BRN-Proto Retro Rifle

Patrick Sweeney - July 02, 2019

Want the “Holy Grail” of AR-15 rifles? Brownells has made that possible with their BRN-Proto...

A $50 Ring Loc-Kit gives AirForce Condor airgunners unparalleled power and accuracy. Air Guns

AirForce Airguns Condor Ring-Loc Kit Review

Tom Gaylord - May 29, 2019

A $50 Ring Loc-Kit gives AirForce Condor airgunners unparalleled power and accuracy.

See More Trending Articles

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW OUR CURRENT ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.