April 16th, 2018

‘The Gunny’ Has Left the Range — Rest in Peace R. Lee Ermey

R. Lee Ermey RIP death pass away Gunny Mail Call History Channel Full Metal Jacket

Decorated U.S.M.C. veteran, competitive shooter, and actor R. Lee Ermey has passed away at age 74, due to complications from pneumonia. Known to friends and movie fans as “The Gunny”, Ermey will be missed. He was the real deal who exemplified the Marines’ motto: “Semper Fi” (Always Faithful). Earning fame as the Drill Instructor in the Hollywood movie “Full Metal Jacket”, Ermey appeared in over 70 films along with popular television series*. Even after becoming a famous actor, Ermey remained a serious marksman, shooting at Camp Perry and other venues with friends such as fellow Devil Dog Dennis Demille and Hornady’s Dave Emary.

Ermey won a Golden Globe nomination for his signature performance in “Full Metal Jacket”. That launched a new career as a Hollywood actor. Ermey eventually appeared in dozens of popular movies, including “Se7en,” “Prefontaine,” and “Toy Soldiers.” He also hosted successful cable television shows — the “Mail Call” and “Lock N’ Load with R. Lee Ermey” series on the History Channel, followed by “Gunny Time” on the Outdoor Channel.

R. Lee Ermey RIP death pass away Gunny Mail Call History Channel Full Metal Jacket

R. Lee Ermey RIP death pass away Gunny Mail Call History Channel Full Metal Jacket
R. Lee Ermey was a competitive shooter. This photo shows Dave Emary (left) and Ermey (right) shooting the Vintage Sniper Team Match at Camp Perry. (Photo: NRA Blog)

Philip Schreier, NRA Senior Museum Curator, said Ermey’s “support for the U.S. military was legendary, in particular, the Young Marines program, as well as his advocacy for veterans and their treatment at VA Hospitals.” (Read More). Ermey’s friend Bill Rogin said that “He will be greatly missed by all of us. Please support your men and women in uniform. That’s what he wanted most of all.” Rogin noted that while Gunny’s characters were often hard and principled, the real Ermey was a family man and a kind and gentle soul who supported the men and women who serve. (Source: Fox News Report).

A member of the NRA Board of Directors and a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment, Ermey spoke to Fox News in 2016 about being “blackballed” from Hollywood over his political views. “I’ve had a very fruitful career. I’ve done over 70 feature films,” he said. “I’ve done over 200 episodes of [History and Outdoor Channel Television Series shows]”.

Born in Kansas, Ermey joined the USMC right out of high school, enlisting in the Marine Corps in 1961 at age 17. He served for 11 years, including 14 months in Vietnam, before being discharged in 1972. Ermey began his Hollywood career in 1979 as a technical adviser to Francis Ford Coppola, working on the Vietnam War film, “Apocalypse Now”.

Here are some comments from our Forum members, many of whom knew Ermey personally or met him at shooting matches:

“It is a sad day to lose someone who did so much for children behind the scenes. He was a great guy and a patriot. Semper Fi Gunny — may you rest with our lord Jesus Christ.” — J. Bearman

“I shot a mid-range match at Camp Pendleton where he and Donald Jr. were shooting on a team with Dennis Demille. They were pretty sharp! Nice guys every one. Sorry to see R. Lee go so young.” – Watercam

“29 Palms CA, I had the the pleasure to meet and shoot with Gunny Ermey. First class, all the way… Semper Fi and Godspeed Gunny.” — BPD 459

R. Lee Ermey RIP death pass away Gunny Mail Call History Channel Full Metal Jacket

U.S. Marine Corps Service History
In 1961, at age 17, Ermey enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and went through recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego, California. For his first few years, he served in the aviation support field before becoming a drill instructor in India Company, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, where he was assigned from 1965 to 1967.

Ermey then served in Marine Wing Support Group 17 at Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Okinawa, Japan. In 1968, he was ordered to Vietnam with MWSG-17, and spent 14 months in country. The remainder of his service was on Okinawa where he was advanced to staff sergeant (E-6). He was medically discharged in 1972 because of several injuries incurred during his service. On May 17, 2002, he received an honorary promotion to gunnery sergeant (E-7) by the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General James L. Jones.

Commendations: Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross, Meritorious Unit Commendation

* Many biography statements say Ermey has “over 60″ film credits. Ermey himself told Fox News he appeared in “over 70 feature films”, so we use that number.

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April 13th, 2015

New R. Lee Ermey GunnyTime TV Show Premieres April 15th

R. Lee Ermey outdoor Channel Television full metal jacket

R. Lee Ermey, aka the “Gunny”, has a new Television Show on the Outdoor Channel. We’ll be tuning in to GunnyTime with R. Lee Ermey when it debuts April 15, 2015 (yep, Tax Day). Ermey has an impressive resume — An 11-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and active High Power competitor, the Gunny has appeared in numerous feature films and has also starred in critically-acclaimed TV series on HBO, TNT, Showtime and History Channel.

The all-new, half-hour series produced features weapons and weapons technology – past, present, and future. While consulting with top experts, Ermey will demonstrate both historic weapons and modern high-tech firearms and military gadgets. The Gunny also test-drives a variety of weaponized vehicles, such as a Tomcar TM5 with an M249 S.A.W. mounted on it.

Watch Show Preview Trailer

In the show Ermey will be assisted by knowledgeable experts including Craig “Sawman” Sawyer, a retired U.S. Navy SEAL, Grady Powell, retired U.S. Army Special Forces Sergeant, and our friend Kirsten Joy Weiss, ace rifle shooter and host of the popular Sharp Shots YouTube Channel.

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February 28th, 2015

Brian “Gunny” Zins Explains Bullseye Pistol Fundamentals

Brian Gunny ZinsBrian “Gunny” Zins, 12-Time NRA National Pistol Champion, has authored an excellent guide to bullseye pistol shooting. Brian’s Clinic on the Fundamentals recently appeared in The Official Journal of the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association. The CMP scanned the story so you can read it online. CLICK HERE to read full article.

Top Tips from Brian Zins:

Trigger Movement: If trigger control is ever interrupted in slow fire the shot needs to be abored and the shot started over.

Relationship between Sight Alignment and Trigger Control: Often when the fundamentals are explained these two are explained as two different acts. Well, truth be told it’s really kind of hard to accomplish one without the other. They have a symbiotic relationship. In order to truly settle the movement in the dot or sights you need a smooth, steady trigger squeeze.

Trigger Finger Placement: Where should the trigger make contact on the finger? The trigger should be centered in the first crease of the trigger finger. Remember this is an article on Bullseye shooting. If this were an article on free pistol or air pistol it would be different.

Proper Grip: A proper grip is a grip that will NATURALLY align the gun’s sights to the eye of the shooter without having to tilt your head or move your or move your wrists around to do that. Also a proper grip, and most importantly, is a grip that allows the gun to return to the same position [with sights aligned] after each and every shot. The best and easiest way to get the proper grip, at least a good starting postion… is with a holster. Put your 1911 in a holster on the side of your body[.] Allow your shooting hand to come down naturally to the gun.

In recent years, Brian “Gunny” Zins has been shooting 1911s crafted by Cabot Guns.

Brian “Gunny” Zins currently holds 25 National Records.

Brian “Gunny” Zins

NRA Nat’l Pistol Champion: 1996, 1998, 2001, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013

NRA .22 LR Nat’l Champion: 2003, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010

NRA Centerfire Nat’l Champion: 1992, 1996, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006

NRA .45 Nat’l Champion: 1996, 2001, 2005, 2007, 2009

NRA Regular Service Nat’l Champion: 1996, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008

NRA Civilian Nat’l Champion: 2008, 2009, 2010

NRA Nat’l Trophy Individual: 1998, 2003

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July 2nd, 2014

’03 Springfield vs. Enfield vs. Garand Shoot-out with the “Gunny”

Here’s a fun and entertaining video feature from our Daily Bulletin archives. In this USA vs. UK smackdown, “Gunny” Ermey pits his m1903 Springfield and M1 Garand against a British Lee-Enfield. Watch the video to see who comes out on top.

In this entertaining video, retired Marine Gunnery Sergeant and popular TV host R. Lee Ermey, challenges Gary Archer, a British ex-pat, to a shoot-off with classic military rifles. In Round One, Ermey employs a Springfield m1903 while his opponent shoots the British 1907 Lee-Enfield No. 1, MK III. The quick-cycling bolt of the .303-caliber Enfield, and its larger internal magazine, give the Brit an advantage and Archer beats Ermey decisively.

But the Gunny doesn’t give up. For Round Two, Ermey replaces his 1903 with an M1 Garand. The Gunny then proceeds to show why the .30-06 Garand was a superior combat weapon. Gary Archer protests that it’s “hardly sporting” to pit a bolt-gun against a semi-auto like the Garand, but Ermey quashes that complaint saying: “Hey, Churchill, it’s my show. Besides… this is war, I love my M1 Garand… and all’s fair in love and war.”

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May 15th, 2014

Gunny Ermey Hosts New TV Show: ‘Saving Private K-9′

Saving Private K-9, a new, original television show, debuts tonight on the Sportsman Channel. Hosted by ‘Gunny’ R. Lee Ermey, Saving Private K-9 features the dedicated working dogs who perform important tasks for the U.S. Armed Services as well as law enforcement agencies. For the 2,500 teams of canines and handlers who serve with America’s military and law enforcement organizations, the idea of a dog being “man’s best friend” is no overstatement.

Saving Private K-9 Television R. Lee Ermy

Each episode of Saving Private K-9 highlights the featured dogs’ specialized training, battlefield accomplishments, and relationships with their handlers. Many episodes include inspiring accounts of courageous acts by military dogs, as told by those who fought beside them. Additionally, the show will focus on the dogs’ post-service lives, which often involve rigorous rehabilitation prior to adoption.

Watch ‘Saving Private K-9′ Trailer

Saving Private K-9 premiers Thursday, May 15 at 8:30 pm ET/PT. Hosted by actor and former Marine R. Lee Ermey, the series is part of Sportsman’s Salute to Service initiative.

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July 29th, 2009

Ermey Hosts New "Lock N' Load" Series on History Channel

Gunny’s back — starting this Friday (7/31/09) on the History Channel. Marine Corps veteran R. Lee Ermey will host “Lock N’ Load”, a History Channel series which debuts July 31st at 9pm ET. Ermey, acclaimed for his role as a Marine Drill Instructor in the movie Full Metal Jacket, previously hosted the popular “Mail Call” show on the History Channel. The focus of Lock N’ Load will be firepower — and lots of it.

History Channel R. Lee Ermey

Lock N’ Load will be an hour-long weekly series featuring the engineering and development of military weapons. In the new show, R. Lee Ermey, the U.S. Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant, former drill instructor, Vietnam veteran and actor, will get “hands-on with some of the world’s fiercest firearms, including machine guns, tanks, pistols and rockets”. For example, in the debut episode Ermey demos the 3000-round-per-minute Dillon Aero Minigun, and then traces the evolutionary steps that brought the gun to its present place in history. Check out the promo video below:

YouTube Preview Image

In each episode of Lock N’ Load, special high-speed photography reveals the inner workings of a particular weapon — how it performs and what really happens at the point of impact. Advanced 3D graphics help illustrate the technology and design principles behind each weapon. In addition, expert consultants explain the history and engineering of each weapon.

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