American Rifleman - June/July 2021 - 38

NRA HISTORY

NRA Training
As A Lifesaver

W

hat does a 50-foot NRA range
for .22 rifles in Oklahoma
have to do with the combat
effectiveness and survival of a Marine
in Vietnam? In the young life of R.S.
Hildreth, almost everything. Hildreth
at 17 qualified as an NRA junior
sharpshooter. He fired his score at
Tulsa on a 50-foot NRA range.
Hildreth at 19 qualified as a hero.
He fired against a Viet Cong machine
gun at 175 feet. With only his rifle,
he " literally fought a duel " with the
machine gun crew. When his accurate
marksmanship wiped them out, other
Viet Cong manned the weapon. Hildreth
coolly picked them off in turn.
The Silver Star Medal was awarded
Hildreth for his " resolute fighting
spirit, bold initiative and unwavering
dedication to duty ... in the face of
overwhelming odds. " What the citation
clearly implied, without saying, was:
" He had faith in his rifle and himself. "
Never in this century has American
marksmanship been more important
and vital than in the crazy jungle
conflict in Vietnam. And never has
the urgency for homefront rifle training been clearer.
As brought out in the Arthur D.
Little Company research report to the
Department of the Army, " We found

38

that the more marksmanship instruction trainees received prior to service,
the higher their record scores " in military shooting.
Under the programs administered
through the Director of Civilian
Marksmanship and NRA, nearly 6,000
civilian clubs participate in making
firearms instruction available to more
than 400,000 Americans annually. The
participants fire annually 62,000,000
rounds of small arms ammunition
issued by the DCM.
The 1966 national convention of the
American Legion, composed of men who
know war, commended the National
Board for the Promotion of Rifle Practice
and the NRA " for their work in organizing adult and junior clubs, furnishing
trained instructors, and conducting
marksmanship tournaments throughout
the country. " The veterans organization noted that " actual experience
has proven that men entering military
service with previous rifle training are
more capable in combat, thus improving
their chances for survival ... . "
Those words should make people
like J. A. Perrin, Jr., of Loveland, Ohio,
an NRA Life member, feel pretty good.
Joe, Jr. saw to it that Joe III learned
to shoot well enough to win the junior
Expert Rifleman Medal at the age of 9.
JUNE/JULY 2021

AMERICAN RIFLEMAN

Although Joe III had not fired a shot
in the 10 years since then, he easily
qualified as Expert with a service rifle
as a Marine " boot " at Parris Island.
Wherever Joe III serves next, he
stands a better chance of coming home
alive and hearty because of what his
dad calls " good old NRA training. "
That is what the National Rifle
Association is about. It is not all
that NRA does, but if it were, it
would be enough.
-ASHLEY HALSEY, JR., EDITOR,
THE AMERICAN RIFLEMAN, NOVEMBER 1966

" To train members of the law
enforcement agencies, the armed
forces, the militia and people of good
reputation marksmanship and in the
safe handling and efficient use of small
arms, " remains one of NRA's missions.

Top photo courtesy of Armor Plate Press



American Rifleman - June/July 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Rifleman - June/July 2021

Contents
American Rifleman - June/July 2021 - Cover1
American Rifleman - June/July 2021 - Cover2
American Rifleman - June/July 2021 - 1
American Rifleman - June/July 2021 - Contents
American Rifleman - June/July 2021 - 3
American Rifleman - June/July 2021 - 4
American Rifleman - June/July 2021 - 5
American Rifleman - June/July 2021 - 6
American Rifleman - June/July 2021 - 7
American Rifleman - June/July 2021 - 8
American Rifleman - June/July 2021 - 9
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American Rifleman - June/July 2021 - 11
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American Rifleman - June/July 2021 - 14
American Rifleman - June/July 2021 - 15
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American Rifleman - June/July 2021 - 18
American Rifleman - June/July 2021 - 19
American Rifleman - June/July 2021 - 20
American Rifleman - June/July 2021 - 21
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American Rifleman - June/July 2021 - 23
American Rifleman - June/July 2021 - 24
American Rifleman - June/July 2021 - 25
American Rifleman - June/July 2021 - 26
American Rifleman - June/July 2021 - 27
American Rifleman - June/July 2021 - 28
American Rifleman - June/July 2021 - 29
American Rifleman - June/July 2021 - 30
American Rifleman - June/July 2021 - 31
American Rifleman - June/July 2021 - 32
American Rifleman - June/July 2021 - 33
American Rifleman - June/July 2021 - 34
American Rifleman - June/July 2021 - 35
American Rifleman - June/July 2021 - 36
American Rifleman - June/July 2021 - 37
American Rifleman - June/July 2021 - 38
American Rifleman - June/July 2021 - 39
American Rifleman - June/July 2021 - 40
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American Rifleman - June/July 2021 - Cover3
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