Marine Corps Rifle Qualification

At United States Marine Corps boot camp, recruits are tested on their marksmanship and can earn one of three levels of expertise:

  • “Marksmen” is the lowest score obtained, with a scoring range of 250-279
  • “Sharpshooter” is obtained with a combined score falling between 280-304
  • “Expert” is obtained with a combined score falling between 305-350

These scores are composite of the scores obtained on Tables 1 and 2.

Table 1

Table 1 is the known distance range and is comprised of three targets, each scored from 5 to 0 points (5, 4, 3, 2, Miss). Each recruit fires 50 shots for a maximum score of 250.

  • The “Able” target is 4ft x 6ft with a 12in bullseye and is used for slow fire at the 200 and 300 yard lines, from the sitting, kneeling and standing positions.
  • The “Dog” target looks vaguely like a person looking over a barricade. It’s on 6ft x 6ft paper and used for rapid fire (10 shots in 60 seconds) at the 200 and 300 yard lines, from the sitting and prone.
  • The “B-Modified” target is a human silhouette, also on a 6ft x 6ft paper, and used for slow fire at the 500 yard line from the prone.

At the 500 yard line the recruit is shooting at a target with just a sling for support. The rifle can not touch the ground or anything other than the shooter’s body.

Mastery of the fundamentals of marksmanship is the difference between a 5 and a miss.

During the first two days of training, prior to qualification, there are coaches on the line helping recruits to improve their positions and master the techniques. On qualification day, it’s all on the recruit.

Table 2

Table 2 is combat marksmanship. It consists of 50 rounds (scored 2, 1 or miss), fired at a pair of silhouette targets from the 25 yard line.

The recruit earns:

  • 2 points per hit in the head, chest or pelvis
  • 1 point per hit elsewhere on target


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