Spetsnaz News from Russia

Eighth Practical Shooting Competition of the Russian Spetsnaz

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Posted in column: News Photo: K. Lazarev

In April this year, near the Pesochny Village (Russ. Песочный), at the shooting range of the Nevski (Russ. Невский) Shootin Club eighth consecutive practical shooting competition of the Russian FSB Spetsnaz was organized.

This year`s hosts were operators of the GRAD UFSB special unit of St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region, and competition was participated by operators of 22 departments, more than 100 operators in total. Among the participants were operators of the 604th Special Purpose Center of the FSB, operators of the regional departments, Russian Federation Guard units, as well as officers from elite OMON and SOBR units of the city of St. Petersburg. It should be underlined that this tournament was organized under the motto “Precision, Strength and Speed!”, virtues leading elite Russian special forces operators while carrying out service tasks and duties.

Although of a sporting nature, these competitions are a great opportunity for special forces to sharpen attained skills, as well as to exchange experiences with colleagues from other units of similar types. The team rankings in these events is not so important.

Gear from the national manufacturers as a part of the personal weaponry of the Russian Spetsnaz operator. Photo: K. Lazarev

The organizers have prepared 12 stages in total, designed to be as similar as possible to those these operators already executed or can face in the future. In addition, in order to put participants under the max effort, the stages were prudently planned and placed. All shootings were performed with live ammo, using several types of infantry weapons. For the purposes of the competition several semi-automatic handgun models were chosen, such as national Strike One (Russ. СТРИЖ), as well as Austrian Glock 17 of 3rd and 4th generations and Swiss SIG Sauer P 226, all in 9x19 mm Parabellum caliber. As for the assault rifles, operators used national Kalashnikov models and several tournament stages were completed using the US Colt M4 A4 Commando in 5.56x45 mm NATO caliber. Despite few witty comments on this rifle, operators who used it achieved very good shooting scores. Regarding the weapon modification, organizers did not set any terms, so operators were free to modify their weaponry by mounting different sights such as red dot Aimpoint CompM4, holographic EOTech 512 and 552, tactical lights, vertical handgrips and the like.

Most of the participants used Kalashnikov system rifles. Photo: K. Lazarev

The first stage had to be completed in pairs, made from the members of the same team. Each pair had to shoot all the targets on the stage at least 8 times as quick as possible, but after firing the last round from the assault rifle mag, reloading was forbidden, so they had to switch to their secondary, semi-automatic handguns. Besides every legitimate target there was a friendly one as well, presented with a hostage illustration. Shooting of the friendly target caused negative scores by additional seconds on the total stage-execution time of every pair.

The end of the daylight was planned for the stage that was carried out using thermal vision devices. In the surrounding forest targets were placed and heated for three minutes in order to be visible to these devices, and after the heating stopped, operators were entering stages to shoot, respectively. It is clear that execution speed was of a great importance in this exercise, because as time passes targets were cooling down, therefore disappearing on devices. To successfully complete these stages operators had to hit all the targets.

Contestants competed in shooting at low visibility conditions as well. Photo: K. Lazarev

In the last stage, two teams were competing simultaneously. The goal was to complete the stage before the other team, and due to live ammo, a great attention to the safe weapon handling rules had to be deemed.

After the end of the tournament, the St. Petersburg and Leningrad Region FSB PR officer Dmitry Kochetkov (Russ. Дмитрий Кочетков) delivered an interesting speech to the present journalists and photographers:

You can find lots of warriors on the Internet nowadays thinking they have the right to criticize other people`s work and effort and all they really do is playing video games and nothing more. If found in a real situation, or even here at this shouting range, their arguments would have collapsed like a card tower”.

At the final ranking, the first place took the team of legendary Alphas, who dominated in the last stage of the competition.

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