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Leatherwood ART Army Qualification - 1968

9th Infantry Division Sniper Program

In 1968, the 9th Infantry Division in the US Army officially began their Sniper Training and Employment.

Students accepted into the sniper program at the time were volunteers, or "voluntold". 

The mandatory requirements were 20/20 vision, expert rifleman qualification and high motivation. 

Over the course of 18 days, sniper school recruits were taught everything from basic firing positions, trigger pull, sight picture, estimating lead and wind, engaging moving targets, zeroing their optic, adjustment of artillery fire, day/night land navigation and map reading.

ART Scope Rifle Qualification

During the last two days of the course, recruits were to complete the qualification firing. 

ART Qualification Sniper School 9th Infantry Division

The qualification firing consisted of 2 E type silhouette targets at the following distances: 150m, 300m, 600m and 900m.

First round hits would be worth 10 points and second round hits would be worth 5 points. The maximum possible score is 160 points. The minimum qualifying score would be 130 points. 

We decided to try our own version of this ART qualification. To make things interesting, we put the M1000-PRO against our PentaLux TAC-VF 4-20X50 FFP scope. Additionally, we added a shot timer for induced stress. 

At our home range Desert Marksman, we are limited to 630 yards. To make up for the shorter distance, we selected smaller targets. Our target sizes varied from 30" circles to 12" plates at 630 yards. 

Each of the rounds for qualification will consistent of 4 shots at 4 different distances. There will be a total of 4 rounds. Like the original qualification, the maximum score is 160 and the minimum qualifying score is 130.


After 4 rounds of close competition, we both qualified! 

The wind was getting the better of us at the 600 yard target. Definitely will need to practice reading wind from mirage and other details in the environment.

Stay tuned for our deep dive of the US Army Sniper Program in our next Leatherwood Hi-Lux Podcast. 

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