Figure E Slow fire silhouette target

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Nine rounds from a supported fighting position and nine rounds from a prone unsupported position.

Battlesight ZeroArmy Silhouette TargetM16 Prone Supported Position

Placement of all 18 bullets also indicates that the firer's rifle zero may be too far to the right. With a better firing performance, sight adjustments can be made while using this target. The analysis procedures used on the zeroing target may be applied to shot groups on these silhouette targets.

The shot-group center on each target indicates aiming techniques. The comparison between the targets fired supported and those fired unsupported also provides useful information. A good performance on this target indicates that the soldier is ready to engage targets at actual range. The soldier who does not hit these scaled silhouette targets at 25 meters should receive remedial training before being allowed to continue to a downrange feedback or the hit and miss portion of the program.

Timed-Fire Target. Following unit field fire training, the soldier may be brought back to the 25-meter range to confirm his zero (he should fire better now than at the start of the program) and to fire the timed-fire target shown in Figure E-3. This target sheet includes a scaled silhouette for each range target represented on the record fire course-50 to 300 meters. While the slow-fire target was fired at the soldier's own speed, the timed-fire target is designed to stress the soldier, emphasizing the task requirements of rapid target engagement under time pressure. The soldier must rapidly shift his point of aim from silhouette to silhouette in the absence of a pattern of clearly defined silhouettes on the target.

Target Silhouettes

The initial firing of the timed-fire target is from the supported fighting position. The soldier is given 45 seconds and 10 rounds of ammunition with instructions to fire one round at each silhouette target. Upon inspection of the target, the soldier can review his own performance, which provides an excellent diagnostic checkpoint for his sergeant/instructor/trainer. The soldier who hits most of these targets will probably qualify with a good score. After the target has been critiqued and bullet holes have been marked or pasted, the soldier repeats the exercise from the prone -unsupported position, having 55 seconds to engage the 10 targets.

The target shown in Figure E-4 represents a good firing performance from the fighting and prone positions. A good firer is aware of the bullet that was pulled (right side -middle target). Only with the worst firers are there any problems telling which bullet was fired at which target. Although there is room for improvement, this soldier can be expected to fire well on record fire. Following the critique of the second firing, these results are recorded and the targets are retained for future reference. No shot groups are fired on this target, but the concept of shot-group analysis is still valid. Considerable information can be obtained by checking the direction and distance of each 10 shots from target center as though they were a 10-shot group.

Target Silhouette Kneeling

Targets in Figure E-1 have the 4-cm circle located at target center while the targets in Figure E-3 have the circle located either above or below target center, except for the 250-meter target. During the training exercise, these targets are scored as hits if the bullets bit within the black. However, the objective is to put all bullets within the circle. To progress at a pace that is not too fast for the soldier to understand, the initial targets use center-of-mass aiming so the soldier understands center of mass while aiming on various size targets. On the timed-fire targets, the option is provided for making adjusted aiming allowances for gravity. That is, the circles are placed on the timed-fire target at the aiming point that will place bullets at target center when firing a target at the range indicated. For example, the soldier must aim low on a 150-meter target to hit target center, and he must aim high on a 300-meter target to hit target center. Therefore, the option to use this adjusted aiming point is incorporated into the timed-fire target.


Units are flexible in conducting 25-meter firing exercises with scaled silhouette targets. The proper use of scaled silhouette targets can make a valuable contribution to a unit's marksmanship program by accomplishing the following:

Soldiers learn how best to aim at targets located at various ranges while receiving precise feedback concerning bullet strike -whether it is a target hit or miss. Soldiers can acquire knowledge of range estimation. What they see through the sights is similar to what they would see if they were firing a target at the actual distance.

• Soldiers learn that close targets can be hit with a quick shot while more distant targets take a more deliberate application of the four marksmanship fundamentals.

• The use of an adjusted aiming point to allow for gravity, target movement, or wind may be effectively practiced.

• The silhouette target provides a permanent record for analysis by the soldier and his leader to assist in identifying and correcting firing problems.

• Soldiers develop confidence in their ability to successfully engage pop-up targets located at actual range.

• This target serves as an important diagnostic checkpoint. If soldiers cannot hit the scaled silhouettes, they cannot hit targets at actual range. Therefore, remedial training is probably needed before field firing is allowed.

• Having developed good firing skills and knowing what happens to bullets while firing at silhouette targets from supported and unsupported positions, the soldier's pop-up field fire practice results in a worthwhile training experience.

The mode of fire may be either slow or timed, any firing position can be used, and any number of shots may be fired before checking the target. (Checking the target after only a few bullets have been fired is more beneficial than checking the target after several bullets have been fired.) When spotting scopes are available, the target can be checked from the firing line without clearing the firing line, which would allow a target check after each bullet fired. The scaled silhouette targets are also excellent for dry-fire training. They incorporate an adjusted aiming point to help the soldier learn the effects of gravity. They could be used, with instructor assistance, to learn about wind -- for example, where should point of aim be for each target on the 10-target silhouette if there were a 10-mph full-value wind from the right.

All firing at the Army training centers is conducted with rifles that are equipped with standard sights. The longrange sight is used on the 250-meter range so the point of aim is equal to point of impact. The targets shown in Figures E-1 and E-3 are available for use by units that have rifles equipped with standard sights. For units that have some rifles equipped with the LLLSS, the slow-fire target shown in Figure E-5 and the timed-fire target shown in Figure E-6 are available. These targets are used the same as the previous targets. From the firing line, the soldier sees exactly the same thing and aims at the black silhouette exactly as he does the previous targets. The only difference is that bullet strike is evaluated based on the dotted circle and the dotted silhouette.

Figure E-5. The 25-meter silhouette slow-fire target.

Fired using unmarked aperture on standard sights or L sight aperture on LLLSS.

Military Slow Fire Silhouette
300 flfl
M16 Paper Qual Target

The target shown in Figure E-7, is a silhouette target designed to be used as alternate course C at 25 meters. The target shown in Figure E-8, is also an alternate course C target, but it has been scaled for 15 meters (50 feet or 600 inches) for use on indoor ranges. (A validated qualification course of fire for these targets is contained in Chapter 4.) Units may use any of the scaled silhouette targets to develop their own unique competitive program. Any action that encourages competition among soldiers can generate interest in developing good firing habits, and can motivate soldiers and sub-units to conduct practice required to develop good marksmanship skills.

Figure E-7. The 25-meter alternate course C-record fire qualification.

METERS ALTERNATE COURSE "C" rtcchd hie qualification

300 M

300 M

METERS ALTERNATE COURSE "C" rtcchd hie qualification

M16 Alternate Qualification
50 M
M16 Paper Qual Target

While the targets scaled for live fire at 25 meters can serve several useful purposes on the 25-meter live-fire range, the perceived range to the target can be changed for dry-fire training by changing the distance to the target. Then, the targets are scaled based on a visual angle from the firing position, which means the 50-meter target is one-half actual size, the 100-meter target is one-fourth actual size, and so on. If the firer views the target from one-half the intended distance (12.5 meters), the perceived range to the target would be one-half -for instance, the 50-meter target would become a 25-meter target, and the 300-meter target would become a 150-meter target. Of course, the opposite would occur if the range to the target were doubled. When viewed from a range of 50 meters, the 50-meter target would appear as a 100-meter target, and the 300-meter target would appear as a 600-meter target. (The reduced targets in this manual could be used for indoor dry-fire training.) A simple procedure for finding the correct range is to adjust the distance while looking through the rifle sights until the 175-meter target appears to be the same size as the standard front sight post.


Precision Firing Information

This appendix provides information to assist instructors/trainers in effectively training M16A1 and M16A2 firers. Instructors/trainers must be knowledgeable on the effects of wind and gravity, ballistics, the elevation and windage rule, and bullet dispersion as they apply to firing proficiency.


All soldiers should have basic knowledge of how the bullet is affected by gravity. Instructors/trainers must know the information contained herein.


The bullet begins to fall as soon as it leaves the muzzle of the rifle. The maximum speed or velocity of the bullet is at the muzzle, so it also begins to slow down as soon as it is fired. Figure F-1, shows that the M193 ammunition drops 24 inches in slightly over one-third of a second. The chart shows the amount of drop relative to the departure line or bore line at 25-meter intervals and the time required to reach each range distance.

Figure F-1. Example of effects of gravity and flight time {M1&3 ball)


Bullet Travel Distance Chart

At first, the bullet travels fast, covering the first 25 meters at an average speed of almost 2,200 mph. The last 25-meter segment shown in Figure F-1 (275 to 300 meters) is covered at an average speed of about 1,450 mph. Gravity causes the rate of drop to increase as flight time increases. Since it takes the bullet more time to travel as the speed slows, the effects of gravity and wind increase as the range increases. Each band on the chart represents 25 meters--the width of the band indicates the length of time it takes to travel that 25-meter segment.

The drop in inches from the rifle bore line is shown on the left side in Figure 1. In this example, finding the number 5 on the left side of the chart and going across to where the bullet is indicated shows the bullet has dropped 5 inches when it reaches 150 meters and has taken. 17 second (column at right) to arrive. The bullet drops 2 inches more between 150 meters and 175 meters, and it takes about .03 second to travel that extra 25-meter distance.

M16A1 and M193 ammunition.

Bullet drop. The bullet is affected by gravity just like any other falling object. Even though the bullet is traveling fast, once it has been fired from the rifle, it falls to the ground as though it were dropped by hand. Figure F-2 shows how much the bullet drops from the bore line of the rifle. If the bore of the rifle were to be lined up on a 450-meter target (the same as looking through the bore and aligning the bore with the target), the bullet would hit 64 inches below the spot where the bore was pointing. This much drop is important if soldiers are to be effective marksmen.

Army M16 Qualification

Compensation for gravity. The firer must compensate for the effects of gravity to engage high-priority targets. The objective of the battlesight zero is to find a zero range that allows for target engagement out to the maximum possible range while requiring minimum adjustments to the aiming point. A study of M16 trajectory data reveals that setting the sights to hit at 250 meters is the best compromise for hitting all targets from 0 to 325 meters without major adjustments to the aiming point. As shown in Figure F-2B, the bullet stays close to the line of sight, but this has been accomplished by pointing the bore well above the target. The bullet drop from the bore line applies equally in this figure. The bore is actually pointing 16 inches above the aiming point at 250 meters and 24 inches above the point where the bullet will strike at 300 meters. With graphics showing only line of sight and trajectory, it appears that the bullet rises and then falls, but this is not true. The bullet's line of departure is the bore line, and it always drops from that line as shown in Figure F-2A. The line of sight and bullet trajectory actually coincide at 42 meters (the bullet starts out about 2.6 inches below the sights) and again at 250 meters, giving the illusion that the bullet rises and falls.

While the trajectory shown in Figure F-2B provides for target engagement out to 325 meters, targets beyond this range would require major adjustments in the aiming point. Therefore, after the 250-meter zero has been obtained, flipping to the long-range sight provides a zero of 375 meters as shown in Figure F-3. This provides for effective target engagement from 350 meters out to the maximum effective range of 460 meters.

M16a2 Rifle Trajectory

It should be noted that the same scale was used in Figures F-2, F-3, and F-4. Therefore, the relationship between the bore line and trajectory is similar in all figures. The bullet drops from the bore line the same way regardless of the zero range.

M16 Bullet Trajectory

M16A2 and M855 ammunition.

Bullet drop. The bullet drop for the M16A2 is similar to that discussed for the M16A1. The M16A2 rifle is zeroed for 300 meters. Therefore, point of aim and point of impact are center of mass at 300 meters with subsequent rear sight elevation settings out to 800 meters. The adjusted aiming points for all targets less than 300 meters are shown in Figure F-5.



Aiming Points Army Targets

Point of aimat each target, at all ranges, is "center of mass" or in the center of the chest. Point of impact is also center of mass. Note that fire on targelat GOOmetars Is a]so effectiva on dOCimeter larger. At KOQmeters, fire does not exceed [he height of a man at any point along its trajectory.

Trajectory. For engagement at ranges greater than 300-meters, setting the correct range on the rear sight elevation knob results in the point of impact being the same.


Teaching an adjusted aiming point is intended to increase hit probability when properly presented. However, soldiers can be easily confused, which could result in degraded performance. Therefore, all soldiers should be taught to aim at target center unless they are confident they know the range to the target, or they have just engaged a close target and missed (presumably high), or they have just engaged a distant target and missed (presumably low), or the strike of the bullet had been observed. Soldiers must be given the correct information so they can improve their firing performance by adjusting their aiming point to allow for the effects of gravity.

The use of an adjusted aiming point could be more important for combat than for qualification since the combat environment is unstructured. For example, the soldier who must fire into a small bunker aperture located at a range of 150 meters could be more effective if he understands he must aim low. Also, a soldier who is trying to hit a bead-and-shoulders type target at a range of 325 meters could increase his hit probability if he aimed high using a regular sight or aims low using the long-range sight. Usually a soldier should aim low for targets closer than 250 meters and aim high for targets farther away than 250 meters. This increases combat effectiveness while adding minimum complications to the marksmanship training program.

M16A1. Theoretically, using these aiming points places the center of each shot group (assuming a perfect zero) at target center, allowing for a maximum number of other variables and soldier error. These adjustments are small and should only be applied by competent firers who wish to improve their firing performance. The aiming points in Figure F-6, are for use with the long-range sight. Since the sight is zeroed for 375 meters, the 350- and 400-meter targets can be engaged with center-of-mass aiming. As ranges exceed 400 meters, some adjustment of the aiming point is required for a better chance of hitting the target.

M16a2 Front Sight Silhouette

M16A2. With the rifle zeroed for 300 meters, the correct adjusted aiming point for targets less than 300 meters is shown in Figure F-7.

Aim Target 300 M16


Marksmanship instructors/trainers should know how the effects of wind influence the flight of the bullet, and soldiers should know how to compensate for such bullet displacement. This instruction is appropriate for all marksmanship training and concurrent training. Wind affects the bullet similar to gravity -as range increases, the effects of wind increase.

The effects of wind vary depending on changes in wind speed and direction. Wind is classified by the direction it is blowing in relationship to the firer/target line. The clock system is used to indicate wind direction and value (Figure F-8). Winds that blow from the left (9 o'clock) or right (3 o'clock) are called full-value winds, because they have the most effect on the bullet. Winds that blow at an angle from the front or rear area are called half-value winds, because they have about one-half the effect on the bullet as full-value winds. Winds that blow straight into the firer's face or winds that blow straight into the target are termed no-value winds, because their effect on the bullet is too small to be concerned with.

Figure F-9, illustrates how the effects of wind on the bullet are similar to the effects of gravity--as range increases, the effects of wind increase.


Figure F-a. Use ol the clock ayatem to apecify wind direction and value.

Figure F-a. Use ol the clock ayatem to apecify wind direction and value.

Benelli Rafaello 121M193 Bullet Drop Chart

A 10-mph full-value wind moves an M16A1 (M193) bullet about 1/2 inch at 25 meters to about 46 inches at 475 meters. (Using the data presented, wind effects for all conditions can be determined.) A wind of greater speed increases bullet movement by a uniform amount -- a 15-mph wind moves the bullet at all ranges 1 1/2 times more than a 10-mph wind. Using these data, firers can determine wind effects for all conditions.

Effects of wind are much greater at longer ranges; however, they are uniform in relation to speed -for example, a 5-mph full-value wind would have exactly one-half the effect shown in the figure, moving the bullet 5 inches at 250 meters, then 10 inches, and so on. A wind of greater speed would move bullets at all ranges 1 1/2 times more than a 10-mph wind, or 7 1/2 inches at 175 meters. The same rule also applies to a half-value wind. A 5-mph half-value wind would move bullets one-fourth the amount shown in Figure F-9 -- 3 3/4 inches at 300 meters.

An easy way to remember the effects of wind is that a 10-mph wind moves the bullet 10 inches at the battlesight zero range of 250 meters. If this information is taken to the standard field fire range with targets at 75, 175, and 300 meters, it is easy to remember that a 10-mph wind moves the bullet 1, 5, 10, and 15 inches at the ranges of 75, 175, 250, and 300 meters, respectively. These numbers can be converted to a 1-mph wind -- 1/10 inch at 75 meters, 1/2 inch at 175 meters, 1 inch at 250 meters, and 1-1/2 inches at 300 meters -- so that when the wind speed has been determined, it can be multiplied with the mph figure to determine bullet displacement.


A wind gage can be used for precise measurement of wind velocity. When a gage is not available, velocity is estimated by one of the following methods:

Flag method. If the firer can observe a flag or any cloth like material hanging from a pole, he should be able to estimate the angle formed at the juncture of the flag and pole. As shown in Figure F-10, dividing this angle by the constant number 4 equals the wind velocity in mph.

Pointing Method Wind Detection

Pointing method. If a flag is not visible, a piece of paper or other light material can be dropped from the shoulder. By pointing directly at the spot where it lands, the angle can be estimated. As shown in Figure F-11, this angle is also divided by the constant number 4 to determine the approximate wind speed in mph. This indicates conditions at the firing position, which could be different at the target position.

Combat Techniques Infantry

Observation method. If the two methods already described cannot be used, the following information can assist in determining wind velocities:

• Winds under 3 mph can barely be felt by the firer, but the presence of slight wind can be determined by drifting smoke.

• Winds of 3 to 5 mph can be felt lightly over the firer's face.

• Winds of 5 to 8 mph constantly move the leaves of trees.

• Winds of 8 to 12 mph raise dust and loose paper.

• Winds of 12 to 15 mph cause small trees to sway.

Wind is highly variable and sometimes quite different at the firing position than at the target position. Even though the wind is blowing hard at the firing line, the bullet path could be protected by trees, brush, or terrain. The wind can vary by several mph between the time a measurement is taken and when the bullet is fired. Therefore, training time should not be wasted trying to teach soldiers an exact way to measure wind speed. Soldiers should understand that the wind can blow the bullet off course but not to overcompensate and miss targets because of applying too much hold off.


Given the nature of the record fire course and combat, it is not appropriate to make sight adjustments for wind; therefore, the hold off technique must compensate for the effects of wind. Placement of the aiming point causes bullets to hit target center when firing the M16A1 rifle in a full-value 10-mph wind (Figure F-11). The firer displaces the center of the front sight post the number of inches shown in Figure F-12 for that particular range.

M16 Bullet Speed

Wind has a minor effect on the M16 bullet relative to the size of the target at ranges out to 100 meters. When engaging targets in excess of 150 meters in heavy winds, adjusting the aiming point into the wind increases the probability of a hit. Wind effects are uniform in relation to speed, that is, a 5-mph wind has one-half the effect of a 10-mph wind, and a 20-mph wind has twice the effect of a 10-mph wind.

Firers must adjust their aiming point into the wind to compensate for the effects of wind. If they miss a distant target and the wind is blowing from the right, they should aim to the right for the next shot. A guide for the initial adjustment is to split the front sight post on the edge of the target facing the wind.

The newly assigned soldier should aim at target center for the first shot and then adjust for wind when he is confident that wind caused the target miss. Experienced firers should be able to apply the appropriate hold off for the first shot, but the basic rule must be followed -- when in doubt, aim at target center.


The elevation and windage rule states that one click of elevation or windage moves the strike of the bullet a specific distance at a specific range. At a range of 25 meters, one click of windage moves the strike of the bullet.33 cm, and one click of elevation on the front sight moves the strike of the bullet.83 cm. To compute the distance (D) that one click of elevation (front sight) or windage moves the strike of a bullet at a given range (R), divide the range (expressed in meters) by 25, and multiply by either .33 cm for windage or .83 cm for elevation.

Windage: D = 25 m x.33 D = Distance in centimeters R

Elevation: D = 25 m x.83 R = Range in meters WINDAGE

To compute the distance that one click of windage moves the strike of the bullet at a range of 300 meters, divide 300 meters by 25 meters and multiply by .33 cm.

300 m

Therefore, one click of windage moves the strike of the bullet 4 cm at a range of 300 meters. Table F-1 illustrates the amount of change in both centimeters and inches of one click of windage at various ranges.

Table F-1. Windage measurements

Distance (in meters)


25 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800

I.45 cm (5/8 inch) 2.9 cm (7/8 inch) 4.4 cm (1 3/4 inches) 5.8 cm (2 1/4 inches) 7.3 cm (2 7/8 inches) 8.7 cm (3 1/2 inches) 10.2 cm (4 inches)

II.6 cm (4 5/8 inches)

*All values rounded off.

Front sight. To compute the distance that one click of elevation (front sight) moves the strike of the bullet at a range of 300 meters, divide 300 metes by 25 meters and multiply by .83 cm.

300 m

Therefore, one click of elevation on the front sight moves the strike of the bullet 10.9 cm at a range of 300 meters. Table F-2 shows the amount of change in both centimeters and inches of one click of elevation on the front sight at various ranges.

Table F-2. Change in elevation for one click on front sight.

Distance (in meters)


25 100 200 300

0.83 cm (3/8 inch) 3.6 cm (1 3/8 inch) 7.3 cm (2 7/8 inch) 10.9 cm (4 1/8 inches)

*All values rounded off.

Rear Sight. The elevation knob adjusts elevation 1.1 inch for each click at 100 meters. If the scale on the elevation knob were cut in half and flattened out it would look like Figure F-13, with each dot and each number representing one click of elevation.

Elevation Knob M16

Table F-3 shows the amount of change in elevation of the strike of the bullet for each click at various ranges -one click equals one minute of angle.

Table F-3. Change in elevation for one click at various ranges on rear sight.


Change in Elevation for Each Click

When aiming at--

300 meters, 1 click = 400 meters, 1 click = 500 meters, 1 click = 600 meters, 1 click = 700 meters, 1 click =

7.7 inches (18.3 cm)

The squares on the M16A2 25-meter zero target are designed so that one click of elevation moves the strike of the bullet one square on the target. Three clicks of windage move the strike of the bullet one square on the target.


Commanders and marksmanship trainers must understand some aspects of ballistics to teach the principles of zeroing and engagement of long-range targets. Ballistics is a science dealing with the motion and flight characteristics of projectiles. The study of ballistics in rifles is divided into three categories: internal, external, and terminal.

• Internal ballistics concerns what happens to the bullet before it leaves the muzzle of the rifle.

• External ballistics deals with factors affecting the flight path of the bullet between the muzzle of the rifle and the target.

• Terminal ballistics deals with what happens to the bullet when it comes in contact with the target. INTERNAL BALLISTICS FACTORS

The overall dimensions of the combat service 5.56-mm cartridges are the same, which allow cartridges to be fired safely in M16A1 or M16A2 rifles. There are internal differences that affect firing accuracy. An ammunition comparison is provided in Figure F-14.

Ammunition Comparison

This increase in projectile length, weight, and configuration requires different twists in the barrels, lands, and grooves to stabilize the M855 bullet in flight (Figure F-15). The M16A1 has a 1:12 barrel twist. (The bullet rotates by the lands once for every 12 inches of travel down the barrel.) The M16A2 has a 1:7 barrel twist. (The bullet rotates once for every 7 inches of travel down the barrel.)

Diameter M16a1 Barrel

The M16A1, with its 1:12 twist, does not put enough spin on the heavier M855 bullet to stabilize it in flight, causing erratic performance and inaccuracy for training or full combat usage (30.48- to 35.56-cm shot group at 91.4 meters and 72-inch shot group at 274.3 meters)(Figure F-15A). Therefore while it is safe to fire the M855 cartridge in the M16A1 rifles, it should only be used in a combat emergency, and then only for close ranges of 91.4 meters or less.

The M16A2 rifle with its 1:7 twist fires both types of ammunition with little difference in accuracy out to a range of 500 meters. The M16A2 and its ammunition are more effective at ranges out to and beyond 500 meters due to a better stabilization of the round.

The two 10-round shot groups in Figure F-15A were fired by a skilled marksman at a distance of 274.2 meters, using the same M16A1 rifle. The 25.4-cm shot group on the left was fired (and zeroed) with M193 ammunition. The 6-foot shot group on the right was fired after substituting M855 ammunition.

Figure F-15B shows two 25.4-cm shot groups fired by the same skilled marksman at a distance of 274.2 meters, using an M16A2 rifle. The shot group on the left was fired (and zeroed) with M855 ammunition. The shot group on the right was fired after substituting M193 ammunition.

NOTE: Both the M193 and M855 ball ammunition can be used in training and accurately function in the M16A2; however, do not substitute between the types during firing. Do not zero with one type and then fire the other for any type of training. Due to the different characteristics of each round, be sure to zero with the same type ammunition that will be used for training. Figure F-15B illustrates how the group changes when an M16A2 is zeroed with M855 ammunition but fires M193 ammunition. The reverse occurs if zeroed with M193 and fires M855.

A simple rule of thumb to use to preclude any problems is:

• When firing the Ml6A1 rifle, use only the ammunition specifically designed for the rifle (M193 ball ammunition).

• When Firing the M16A2 rifle, use the ammunition that was designed for the weapon (M855 ball ammunition).


When the bullet is launched into the earth's atmosphere at some 2,200 mph, its path is influenced by various forces and elements. As the temperature rises, the bullet hits higher on the target. As the atmospheric pressure rises, the bullet hits lower-the higher the humidity, the lower the bullet strikes. A strong wind from the rear causes the bullet to hit high while a strong head wind causes the bullet to hit low. Firing uphill or downhill normally causes the bullet to hit high. Changing light conditions (bright to cloudy, different sun angles) can affect aiming and cause the bullet to hit in different locations.

These factors combined with slight differences in bullet shape and weight, powder charge, chamber pressure, muzzle velocity, barrel erosion influence the flight of the bullet. For these reasons, the firer will probably never see three bullets in the same target hole.

Some factors, such as temperature, produce only small effects at range-for example, a bullet that hits the center of a target at 250 meters when the temperature is 0 degrees Fahrenheit would strike the target 1.905 cm higher when the temperature is increased to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. One click of elevation at this range is almost 7.62 cm. Soldiers should not try to adjust their point of aim by 1.905 cm on a 250-meter target. However, there are a few factors that can influence shooting performance to such an extent that they should be discussed in detail.

The instructor/trainer must know that several variables exist. Some of these variables have a small influence on the bullet, and can complicate and confuse marksmanship training. Time should be spent only on mastering the most significant factors such as effects of gravity and flight time.


Bullet penetration depends on the range, velocity, bullet characteristics, and target material. Greater penetration does not always occur at close range with certain materials since the high velocity of the 5.56-mm bullet causes it to disintegrate soon after impact (see Table F-4).

Table F-4. Example penetration comparisons.

50 meters

300 meters

Pine boards:

M193 7.5 inches (190.50 mm) M855 9.0 inches (231.30 mm)

10.5 inches (265.00 mm) 12.0 inches (304.80 mm)

M193 0.413 inch (10.5 mm) M855 0.551 inch (14.0 mm)

0.137 inch (3.5 mm) 0.413 inch (10.5 mm)


The effects of bullet dispersion and accuracy at various ranges are discussed in this paragraph. Instructors/trainer must have a working knowledge of normal shot dispersion.

Minute of Angle. Minute of angle is a term used to discuss shot dispersion. It is the standard unit of measurement used in adjusting rifle sights and other ballistic-related measurements. It is also used to indicate the accuracy of a rifle. A circle is divided into 360 degrees. Each degree is further divided into 60 minutes, so that a circle contains 21,600 minutes. A minute of angle is an angle beginning at the muzzle that would cover 2.540 cm at a distance of 91.4 meters (Figure F-16). When the range is increased to 182.8 meters, the angle covers twice the distance, or 5.08 cm. The rule applies as range increases: 7.62 cm at 274.2 meters, 10.16 cm at 365.6 meters, and so on.

Meter Zero Target

Increase of Shot-Group Size. Just as the distance covered by a minute of angle increases each time the range changes, a shot group can be expected to do the same. If there is 2.540 cm between bullets on a 25-meter target, then there will be an additional 2.540 cm of dispersion for each 25 meters of range -- a 2.540-cm group at 25 meters (about 3.5 minute of angle) is equal to a 25.4-cm group at 250 meters (Figure F-17).

400 Meter Double Type Silhouettes

The 25-Meter Zero Standard (Figure F-18). A standard E-type silhouette is about 48.26 cm wide; a circle (angle) that is 48.26 cm at 300 meters is 4 cm at 25 meters. Therefore, a soldier that can fire all bullets well within a 4-cm circle at 25 meters and adjusts the sights for zero will hit the target at all ranges out to 300 meters.

Figure F-1B. An angle that covers 4 cm at £5 meters cavers 48,26 cm at 300 meters,

Figure F-1B. An angle that covers 4 cm at £5 meters cavers 48,26 cm at 300 meters,

4cm Zeroing Circle
O 2BM 50M 7&M 1Q0M I25M 1S3M l7hM 2O0M J25M 2EOM 37!>M 300M



This appendix contains guidelines for the instructor trainer for organizing ranges, conducting training, and selecting personnel and equipment to establish a live-fire range during rifle marksmanship training. It also contains the intent, requirements, and brief description of each range.

NOTE: Any change to the authorized qualification courses must be approved by the TRADOC commander. All questions concerning authorized qualification courses should be forwarded to: Commandant, US Army Infantry School, ATTN: ATSH-I-V, Fort Benning, GA 31905.


This section provides guidelines for the instructor/trainer for the conduct of a grouping range. It is designed to include organization, conduct of fire, analysis of shot groups, and shot group sizes.


Fundamental exercises are conducted in two situations: during IET at the Army training centers, and as part of the soldier's individual and collective sustainment training programs within his unit. The organization and conduct of a grouping range are based on the availability of ammunition and the firing ability of personnel in training.

Initial training consists of an explanation of the purpose of a grouping exercise. It highlights individual actions needed to receive maximum benefit from the expended ammunition.

Each shot is fired using exactly the same aiming point (target center of mass). The objective is to fire tight shot groups and to place those shot groups in a consistent location (the actual location of groups on the target is not important). Each three-round shot group must be connected with lines and labeled in sequence -- for example, 1, 2, 3 and so on.

Initial firing is conducted from an individual fighting position or from a prone supported position. Once firing proficiency has been demonstrated from the supported position, grouping exercises can be conducted from the prone unsupported position. For example, if 27 rounds are available for the grouping exercise, 18 rounds can be fired from a supported position and the remaining 9 rounds from an unsupported position. If proficiency is not demonstrated for the first 18 rounds, the soldier continues in the supported position for the remaining 9 rounds.


Organization for training is based on a 200-man unit and a standard 25-meter range of 110 firing points. The unit is divided into two orders -- the first order fires while the second order performs coaching duties. The extra 10 firing points are used to conduct corrective instruction. (The organization described herein refers to Army training centers with proper facilities. When using smaller ranges, the unit is divided into three or more orders.)

On 25-meter ranges, a firing position and sandbags should be provided at each firing point so instruction in firing from supported positions can be conducted (see Figure G-1).

M16 Fire Control

The control tower manages live-firing operations and monitors the progress of training. It is not intended that instruction and training be performed from the tower-training is conducted on the firing line by the instructor/trainer. Before each live-fire exercise, personnel must be briefed on range safety regulations and have hearing protection.

A control or point tower should be centrally located to the rear of the firing line. It should be elevated to permit unrestricted observation of the range, both to the rear of the firing line and to a safe distance beyond the line of targets to the front. All firing commands are issued from the control tower and must be obeyed immediately. The only exception is if an unsafe act occur -- the first soldier to see such an act should command CEASE FIRE.


The instructor/trainer must understand how to correctly analyze shot groups. Shot-Group Marking. If the soldier is to benefit from this exercise and if the instructor/trainer (or coach) is to provide useful guidance, the soldier must mark each shot group for a clear record of his firing practice (Figure G-2). He connects his three bullet holes on his target with a straight line and places a number by the shot group. Then the soldier marks the approximate center of the shot group with an X. (Various shot groups are shown in Figure G-3.)

Figure G-2. Shot-group marking


1 *





Marking the X. The X represents the center of the three shots. When two shots are near one end of the group and the third shot is toward the other end, the X is placed closer to the two near shots. This is not a precise marking that requires a measurement but is a procedure to help in shot-group analysis. The three-round shot group confirms the variation inherent in the rifle, ammunition, and firer. While some of the variation within a single shot group is due to the rifle and ammunition, the firing of more shot groups indicates any firer errors. (Figure G-4 shows three marked shot groups.)

Figure G-4. Central point of nine shots

Figure G-4. Central point of nine shots

M16 Aim Target Point

Locating center of shot groups. The central point of all nine bullets fired can be found by treating the X as a single bullet. If the soldier maintains the same point of aim for each shot, this indicates firing errors or needed sight changes.

Shot-Group Analysis. Shot-group analysis begins by the instructor/trainer observing the soldier while he fires. The purpose of shot-group analysis is to determine firer errors so that the soldier can apply corrections for the next shot group. The target shown in Figure G-5 illustrates that a match-grade quality rifle-ammunition combination, which places all bullets in almost the same hole, helps detect the slightest error. When firing a standard service rifle-ammunition combination, the soldier displays a dispersion pattern that is discounted as firer error.

Figure G-5. Shot groups fired with a match-grade quality rifle ammunition

Figure G-5. Shot groups fired with a match-grade quality rifle ammunition

Meter Zero Target

The targets shown in Figure G-6 reflect possible 25-mm zero performances by standard rifle-ammunition combinations and proper soldier performance. The soldier can fire on all combat targets out to ranges beyond 300 meters. Because the variability of the standard rifle must be considered for accurate and useful shot-group analysis, the instructor/trainer must promote confidence in the soldier and his rifle.

Figure G-6- Shot groups fired with a standard rifle-am munition pomblnations

Figure G-6- Shot groups fired with a standard rifle-am munition pomblnations

Armym16 Rifle

Shot-Group Size. A key to analyzing shot groups is shot-group size. Figures G-7 and G-8 show (near) actual shot-group size. The circles on the reduced targets shown in Figures G-8 through G-11 are 4 cm in diameter, and each block on the target is .7 cm. As in Figure G-7, any shot group within 2 cm (about three squares on the target) indicates that no firer error is involved or that none can be detected. Regardless of the arrangement of the three bullets within the group, no useful information is provided to improve the soldier's firing performance.

Soldiers Silhouette GroupGun Shot Silhouettes
Figure G-10. Shot group« that indicate firer error.
M16 Bullet Wounds

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  • Edward Minor
    How big is 25 meter cm?
    9 years ago
    What does a good sight picture look like on an M16?
    9 years ago
  • sven
    What effect does a 1mph wind a bullets dispersion?
    9 years ago
  • Antje
    What positio to aim on silhouette targets?
    9 years ago
  • Ahmad
    How to allow for wind and gravity in firing a rifle?
    9 years ago
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    Where to aim on a pop up target for a m16 range?
    9 years ago
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    How to hit a 300 meter target with M16?
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    3 years ago
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