You know the adage, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” If the above photo, which purports to show two Wagnerians training Belorussian soldiers, is genuine then I can tell you flat out that these two clowns have no business training anyone. The very first rule of handling a firearm — a pistol or a rifle — is not to point the gun at anything or anyone you are not ready to kill or destroy. PERIOD. NO EXCEPTIONS. But there they are; standing down range from a bunch of guys pointing rifles at them.
I have trained over 100 new shooters and have worked as a volunteer Range Safety Officer at a public gun range dealing with several thousand shooters over a period of three years. The immediate task in teaching a novice how to handle a pistol or rifle is muzzle discipline. The photo above is horrifying. The two trainers are standing in front of the troops who are pointing their rifles in a number of unsafe, dangerous directions. With only two trainers available they should have started with groups of four soldiers in a straight line facing down range. I have never seen nor would I ever countenance doing an L-shape formation to let the trainees practice dry fire. If you want a visual definition of “shit show”, just look at the photo above.
Here are two more photos showing the same failure to safely handle a rifle:
Several of the soldiers pictured have their fingers on the trigger of their rifle with “friendlies” down range. NO!!!!
Just because someone has been in combat does not necessarily guarantee that he knows how to safely operate a combat rifle, like an AR-15 or AK-47. Look at the guy in the very center of the photo. He is standing upright with his rifle aimed at the soldiers to his left (your right as you view the photo). Bad stance and, most worrisome, bad muzzle discipline.
I know first hand that Special Operations personnel, when they go through the initial Operators Training Course, will spend an enormous amount of time doing dry practice (i.e., operating the gun without ammunition). The objective is to build muscle memory and neural pathways so that the soldier or sailor (gots to include the SEALS) gets to the point that putting the rifle on safe or taking the safety off is no longer something the trainee has to think about. It becomes an instinctive action depending on the circumstance. Ditto for keeping the finger off the trigger until you are ready to engage the threat.
I hope this photo is an aberration or is being used as an illustration of how not to teach troops to handle a rifle. Here is a video that shows me doing an emergency re-load drill while shooting at a three inch circle at 10 yards (yes, I hit the circle three times). I am not claiming I am some sort of special ops bubba by any measure. Just want you to see that I know how to handle the rifle safely and how to practice an emergency re-load drill while shooting accurately. My dear friend who was filming this challenged me to catch the second magazine in mid-air after I hit the magazine release. That’s the reason for the laughter. Please note, when I no longer have ammunition in the rifle my finger comes off the trigger.
My point is simple — take a big grain of salt to any story touting the prowess of Wagner or the leadership of Prigozhin. I tend to believe those stories are being fed to the public as an information operation as opposed to journalistic reporting. What is not false or a deception is the fact that tensions are building on the Poland/Belarus border and that Putin has warned that any attack on Belarus will be viewed as an attack on Russia. That should make anyone’s blood run cold.
The post Don’t Buy The Hype That Wagnerians Are Masterful Trainers appeared first on The Gateway Pundit.