Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Unqualified.

I dreamed last night that I got hired for a technical writing gig: To wit, writing a Field Manual for the military on the mounted drill for the M9 pistol.

I'm wondering if anyone in the Army has fired an M9 from horseback in anger? There is an outside chance, you know.

Anyhow, how I wound up with this gig I don't know, because technical writing really isn't my bag, baby. And I was getting all bogged down in nomenclature arguments about everything from pistol parts to horse tack.

This was obviously a very complex version of the basic "unpreparedness" dream where you have to give a book report but you're naked.
.

35 comments:

LMB said...

I seem to recall that there were special forces inserted into Afghanistan that rode horseback with the Northern Alliance, so I'm guessing it's possible.

Matt said...

The M9 being fired from horseback in anger by modern Soldiers is possible I suppose. I am pretty sure the horse wouldn't care if you were angry or not though. Some of the SF troops did use horse transport in Northern Afghanistan in the opening days of that misadventure.

I beleive properly following the manual of arms would be secondary to making sure the horse has been trained to allow gunfire from its back.

Bob said...

Were you wishing for a lanyard loop and a lanyard?

Stretch said...

I've a pre-WWII manual for the 1911 that has a chapter on mounted drill.
I'm sure it will serve as an excellent crib ... er ... basis for the M9 drill.

og said...

Take it from someone who knows intimately: That was a NIGHTMARE. Technical writing is the rectum of writing. I would rather be beaten than to write an operators manual, and I have written HUNDREDS of them.

There is danger in some skills; never let anyone know you are good at something you loathe.

Tam said...

Stretch,

FM 23-35. Mine's right here. :)

Goober said...

I worked at an outfitter one summer running dude strings into the pasayten for deer and black bear. I got more miles in the saddle that summer than most see in a lifetime.

The owner of this outfitter, when asked on multiple occasions by one of the dudes...

Er...

Clients..

Can you shoot from the back of this horse?

Would reply "you can shoot off the back of any horse...

Once."

My experience has been that shooting while mounted is ill advised.

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

But at the NRAAM you signed my copy of Technical Writing: It's My Bag, Baby, by Tamara Keel...

Tam said...

Goober,

Cavalrymen used to do it all the time. The qualification course in FM 23-35 is interesting. :)

NAVIGATOR said...

THERE USED TO BE AN ARMY FIELD MANUAL FOR USE BY MOUNTED TROOPS FOR PISTOL REVOLVER RIFLE AND SABER
PRIOR TO 1942 WE HAD REGULAR AND STATE MOUNTED FORMATIONS THAT HAD TO QUALIFY SO THE BOOKLETS EXIST
YOU PROBABLY COULD VIEW A COPY AT YOUR LOCAL REPOSITORY OF FEDERAL PUBLICATIONS WHICH MAY BE IN THE REFERENCE SECTION OF THE MAIN BRANCH OF YOUR LIBRARY AND/OR
STATE UNIVERSITY LIBRARY OTHER INSTITUTIONS ALSO MAY HAVE IT
IT WAS FREE OF CHARGE YOU MAY HAVE TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT
YOU MIGHT ALSO CONSIDER THE JOHN FORD/JOHN WAYNE MOVIES FOR TIPS
THEY STILL HAD PEOPLE WITH FIRST
HOOF EXPERIENCE WITH THE "MANUAL OF HORSE" ANOTHER FM WHICH YOU COULD LOOK UP

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

Hard to find a good noise acclimated cavalry horse these days. Better order your horse a nice set of cans from Midway for hearing protection on your nag and you'll be fine

rickn8or said...

"... never let anyone know you are good at something you loathe

That needs to be carved in stone somewhere.

Scott J said...

"That needs to be carved in stone somewhere"

Indeed it does. I've made the error countless times over my 18 years as a code grunt.

Joseph said...

I read "mounted drill" and immediately thought Black and Decker had entered the pistol accessory market. In my defense, in a world with shotgun axes, it is far more probable than someone on a horse firing a pistol.

Larry said...

USAF had a mounted unit patrolling the more remote and rugged parts of Clark AB in the Philippines. At least up until Mt. Pinatubo blew its top. They might've had to use their M-9s once or twice. The NPA (New People's Army) was active. They attempted an ambush of the relief convoy going up to Camp O'Donnell in 1988 some 25 miles away at the northern end of the military reservation), but a helicopter crew spotted the activity. After that, people were shuttled back and forth by helicopter.

Paul said...

I'm pretty sure it is a skill we will need to master again. Get the critter used to bangs, and then you should be good to go.

Kind of like bird dogs that the owners take out for the first time on opening day and never see again.

Anonymous said...

Goober,

I have shot off my horse a few times to see if I could ride in fake old west bank robbery. She was a bit skittish but she hung in there.

I later learned they make home made ear plugs for horses that are used in mounted cowboy shooting. She was about the same with or without the plugs.

A friend shot all his deer from the saddle. He would put a rope on them and drag them out to the road. I asked him why he didn't throw the deer up on the saddle.

He said he tried to once and woke up on the ground with no rifle or horse. He found the horse eventually but never did find the rifle.

Gerry

Gewehr98 said...

Re; Vivid Dreams - That'll teach you to wear a Nicorette patch to bed at night!

Tam said...

Never tried those. Does that work?

mikee said...

To paraphrase a WEB Griffin character: Is is not graven on stone that cavalry must be on horseback. The essence of cavalry is rapidly mobile forces operating to flank the opposition forces, break through their lines, ambush them unexpectedly and disrupt their lines of supply.

Modern cavalry can arrive at the fight on a helicopter, an Osprey, a Bradley or an Afghan mule. Then they can bring their weapons into play, including in extremis an M9 handgun.

Ed said...

Nicorette patches worked for my brother when he finally decided to quit smoking after a few decades of smoking. He discontinued using the patches early at the lowest dose as he felt that he no longer needed them. However, he never wore the patches while sleeping at night.

Personally, I went the cold turkey route and just dealt with the nicotine withdrawal disturbances. It was the least of my problems at the time.

Brad K. said...

I don't know. What if the book report is about Fifty Shades of Grey? Or what about Remnant Pobulation (Elizabeth Moon), or Cerise Sinclair's Club Shadowlands, or even the silly version, The Reluctant Master (Lorn Skye)?

Anyway, the technical writing is an allusion to your eclectic variety of knowledges, the horse angle is because you have been bursting into spring, and all the various (interesting) examples of scarce modes of transportation that has caught your attention, lately. Getting bogged down is just an expression of frustration as you overcome the threshold of mastering another facet of craft and knowledge.

Blessed be!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a good reason for silencers.

"Why you got that on your gun?"

"Don't want to harm my horse. Gotta problem with that?"

Cavalry traditionally means an armoured horseman. The latin root is caballarius which became the Spanish caballero and the French chevalier (who we would call a knight in English)

Al_in_Ottawa


Micki Mahoney said...

So, to summarise:

If you want to shoot from your horse, you'd better train him soon; or you'll go up the hill a cavalryman and come down again a dragoon.

Sigivald said...

"Aim at enemy. Avoid shooting Mr. Withers in the back of the head."

Anonymous said...

The 30th Security Forces Squadron at Vandenberg AFB had a mounted unit at one time (maybe they still do). So did LAPD (E Platoon of Metro Division), which allows the Beretta 92F as optional. It's possible that a cop in one of those units had to shoot in the line of duty, from horseback, at one time or another. But I wouldn't bet on it.

Robin said...

This was obviously a very complex version of the basic "unpreparedness" dream where you have to give a book report but you're naked.

So now I'm going to have a nightmare where I'm trying to clear jams in an M9 while on horseback, nekkid.

Goober said...

I know. still doesn't change the fact that my experience With the concept has been bad. Which is all I said.

Goober said...

I never claimed it wasn't possible. Just said my experience with it has revealed it to be ill advised. You can train a horse to dea with it but if you just assume things will go to plan you'll only do it once.

D.W. Drang said...

I'm a little surprised that no one has mentioned that Ronald Reagan's commission in the US Army Reserve was as a cavalryman. Or does that make the the King of the Aspies?

Anyway. Back in '00 or '01 we went to the Western Washington Fair and got to enjoy a show by the 1st Cavalry Division Demonstration Platoon. Talked to the First Shirt afterwards, he said he was the only one in the unit with any real horseback experience prior to joining the platoon. Most of the rest were city boys. The demo was stuff straight out of She Wore A Yellow Ribbon or Fort Apache, shooting balloons or sabering watermelons at a gallop, dismounted man rescue, and all that jazz. Most of the troops got to go to saddler and/or farrier school.
All the Peacemakers and Trapdoor Springfields were the Real Things, had been in the armory since the fin de the previous siecle, as (I think) you put it somewhere else.
Quite a show; the 1SG was the baggiest ham of the bunch, all rebel yells and waving his hat. I figured at the time he was enjoying his last assignment before retiring, but now I wonder if he stuck around...

And it occurs to me that horsemanship, saddle making, farrier-ing, mile packing, and the like would be pretty good skills to teach your Special Operators...

D.W. Drang said...

Here it is in .pdf format FM 23-35, edition of 1940.

An interesting catalog there.
HyperWar: U.S. Army Field Manuals

D.W. Drang said...

I think you'll want to reference the "2-" series manuals there for your technical writing, as well... ;-)

Bram said...

What a nightmare - writing a manual that will never be read. I carried an M9 for a while and never even saw a manual for it.

"The problem with planning against the Americans is that while you can read their manuals to see what they're going to do, the Americans don't read the manuals."
- Soviet General

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous Stretch said...

I've a pre-WWII manual for the 1911 that has a chapter on mounted drill."

That's nothing, I have an original copy of the Royal Navy's "Manual on how to direct cannon fire and broadsides in Ships of Line" (I paraphrase, it's close to that.)

The LAST edition. After than they stopped building ships out of wood and went all hi-techy.

That being said it's fascinating reading, a compendium of all the tips and tricks and procedures on how to do that on ships, in battle, where the below deck visibility is quasi-zero, 1/3 of the gun crews are bleeding or dead and everyone is deaf from the roar of a 30 to 100 huge, hot, black powder cannons.

Frankly, firing a smokeless pistol from horseback seems downright genteel.

Ed said...

You could use this as a starting point:

“COMBAT TRAINING WITH PISTOLS, M9 AND M11”, FM 3-23.35

http://armypubs.army.mil/doctrine/DR_pubs/dr_a/pdf/fm3_23x35.pdf

Write it for the M11/SIG P228, as some users of the SIG P226 and SIG P229 may actually read it.

You may also find this useful, especially "TR 150-25 Marksmanship. Pistol, Mounted (28 January 1924)":
http://www.military-info.com/mphoto/p011.htm