Firing Positions

All firing positions are taught during basic rifle marksmanship training. During initial fundamental training, the basic firing positions are used. The other positions are added later in training to support tactical conditions.

Basic Firing Positions. Two firing positions are used during initial fundamental training: the individual supported fighting position and prone unsupported position. Both offer a stable platform for firing the rifle. They are also the positions used during basic record fire.

Supported fighting position. This position provides the most stable platform for engaging targets (Figure 3-8). Upon entering the position, the soldier adds or removes dirt, sandbags, or other supports to adjust for his height. He then faces the target, executes a half-face to his firing side, and leans forward until his chest is against the firing-hand corner of the position. He places the rifle handguard in a V formed by the thumb and fingers of his nonfiring hand, and rests the nonfiring hand on the material (sandbags or berm) to the front of the position. The soldier places the stock butt in the pocket of his firing shoulder and rests his firing elbow on the ground outside the position. (When prepared positions are not available, the prone supported position can be substituted.)

Firing Positions

Once the supported fighting position has been mastered, the firer should practice various unsupported positions to obtain the smallest possible wobble area during final aiming and hammer fall. The coach/trainer can check the steadiness of the position by observing movement at the forward part of the rifle, by looking through the M16 sighting device, or by checking to see that support is being used.

NOTE: The objective is to establish a steady position under various conditions. The ultimate performance of this task is in a combat environment. Although the firer must be positioned high enough to observe all targets, he must remain as low as possible to provide added protection from enemy fire.

Prone unsupported position. This firing position (Figure 3-9) offers another stable firing platform for engaging targets. To assume this position, the soldier faces his target, spreads his feet a comfortable distance apart, and drops to his knees. Using the butt of the rifle as a pivot, the firer rolls onto his nonfiring side, placing the nonfiring elbow close to the side of the magazine. He places the rifle butt in the pocket formed by the firing shoulder, grasps the pistol grip with his firing hand, and lowers the firing elbow to the ground. The rifle rests in the V formed by the thumb and fingers of the nonfiring hand. The soldier adjusts the position of his firing elbow until his shoulders are about level, and pulls back firmly on the rifle with both hands. To complete the position, he obtains a stock weld and relaxes, keeping his heels close to the ground.

Figur« 3-9. Prone unsupported position.

Prone Unsupported Fire Position

Advanced Positions. After mastering the four marksmanship fundamentals in the two basic firing positions, the soldier is taught the advanced positions. He is trained to assume different positions to adapt to the combat situation.

Alternate prone position (Figure 3-10). This position is an alternative to both prone supported and unsupported fighting positions, allowing the firer to cock his firing leg. The firer can assume a comfortable position while maintaining the same relationship between his body and the axis of the rifle. This position relaxes the stomach muscles and allows the firer to breathe naturally.

Figure 3-10. Aller nata prone position.

Figure 3-10. Aller nata prone position.

Kneeling Position

Kneeling supported position (Figure 3-11). This position allows the soldier to obtain the height necessary to better observe many target areas, taking advantage of available cover. Solid cover that can support any part of the body or rifle assists in firing accuracy.

Figure 3-11. Kneeling supported position

Figure 3-11. Kneeling supported position

Firing Positions

Kneeling unsupported position (Figure 3-12). This position is assumed quickly, places the soldier high enough to see over small brush, and provides for a stable firing position. The nonfiring elbow should be pushed forward of the knee so that the upper arm is resting on a flat portion of the knee to provide stability. The trailing foot can be placed in a comfortable position.

Figure 3-12. Kneeling unsupported position

Figure 3-12. Kneeling unsupported position

Kneeling Position Firing Front

Standing position (Figure 3-13). To assume the standing position, the soldier faces his target, executes a facing movement to his firing side, and spreads his feet a comfortable distance apart. With his firing hand on the pistol grip and his nonfiring hand on either the upper handguard or the bottom of the magazine, the soldier places the butt of the rifle in the pocket formed by his firing shoulder so that the sights are level with his eyes. The weight of the rifle is supported by the firing shoulder pocket and nonfiring hand. The soldier shifts his feet until he is aiming naturally at the target and his weight is evenly distributed on both feet. The standing position provides the least stability but could be needed for observing the target area since it can be assumed quickly while moving. Support for any portion of the body or rifle improves stability. More stability can be obtained by adjusting the ammunition pouch to support the nonfiring elbow, allowing the rifle magazine to rest in the nonfiring hand.

M16 Shoulder Aiming

Modified Firing Positions. Once the basic firing skills have been mastered during initial training, the soldier should be encouraged to modify positions, to take advantage of available cover, to use anything that helps to steady the rifle, or to make any change that allows him to hit more combat targets. The position shown in Figure 3-14 uses sandbags to support the handguard and frees the nonfiring hand to be used on any part of the rifle to hold it steady.

Firing Positions
NOTE: Modified positions can result in small zero changes due to shifting pressure and grip on the rifle.

MOUT Firing Positions. Although the same principles of rifle marksmanship apply, the selection and use of firing positions during MOUT requires some special considerations. Firing from around corners could require the soldier to fire from the opposite shoulder to avoid exposing himself to enemy fire.

The requirement for long-range observation can dictate that positions be occupied that are high above ground. Figure 3-15 shows a soldier firing over rooftops, exposing only the parts of his body necessary to engage a target. Figure 3-16 shows a soldier firing around obstacles. Figure 3-17 highlights the need to stay in the shadows while firing from windows, and the requirements for cover and rifle support.

Figure 3-15. Firing over rooftops

Figure 3-15. Firing over rooftops

Fighting Positions ArmyDrawing Fighting PositionsMilitary Cmarksmanship Pictures
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Responses

  • reija
    Which is the most stable platform for engaging target?
    6 years ago
  • murray
    Can you fire prone unsupported during prone supported?
    6 years ago
  • Hazel
    What are the four firing positions ARMY?
    2 years ago
  • natalina
    How to us an A1/A2 M16 rifle in a pron position?
    2 years ago
  • SAGO
    How the us army is taught to fire the m16 rifle?
    2 years ago
  • mindy
    What are the type of firing position?
    2 months ago
  • mat
    What r the Firing position in army?
    2 months ago
  • alexis
    How is the alternate prone firing position different from the prone supported position?
    2 months ago
  • EMANUELE
    How many types of positions during firing?
    23 days ago

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