Trainers must consider the impact of the increased rate of fire on the soldier's ability to properly apply the fundamentals of marksmanship and other combat firing skills. These fundamentals/skills include:
Immediate Action. To maintain an increased rate of suppressive fire, immediate action must be applied quickly. The firer must identify the problem and correct the stoppage immediately. Repeated dry-fire practice, using blanks or dummy rounds, followed by live-fire training and evaluation ensures that soldiers can rapidly apply immediate action while other soldiers initiate fire.
Marksmanship Fundamentals. The four fundamentals are used when firing in the rapid semiautomatic mode. The following differences apply:
Steady position. Good support improves accuracy and reduces recovery time between shots. somewhat tighter grip on the handguards assists in recovery time and in rapidly shifting or distributing fire to subsequent targets. When possible, the rifle should pivot at the point where the non firing hand meets the support. The soldier should avoid changing the position of the non firing hand on the support, because it is awkward and time-consuming when rapidly firing a series of shots.
Aiming. The aiming process does not change during rapid semiautomatic fire. The firer's head remains on the stock, his firing eye is aligned with the rear aperture, and his focus is on the front sight post.
Breath control Breath control must be modified because the soldier does not have time to take a complete breath between shots. He must hold his breath at some point in the firing process and take shallow breaths between shots.
Trigger squeeze. To maintain the desired rate of fire, the soldier has only a short period to squeeze the trigger (one well-aimed shot every one or two seconds).
The firer must cause the rifle to fire in a period of about one-half of a second or less and still not anticipate the precise instant of firing. Rapid semiautomatic trigger squeeze is difficult to master. It is important that initial trigger pressure be applied as soon as a target is identified and while the front sight post is being brought to the desired point of aim. When the post reaches the point of aim, final pressure must be applied to cause the rifle to fire almost at once. This added pressure, or final trigger squeeze, must be applied without disturbing the lay of the rifle.
Repeated dry-fire training, using the Weaponeer device, and live-fire practice ensure the soldier can squeeze the trigger and maintain a rapid rate of fire consistently and accurately.
NOTE: When presented with multiple targets, the soldier may fire the first round, release pressure on the trigger to reset the sear, then reapply more pressure to fire the next shot. This technique eliminates the time used in releasing all the trigger pressure. It allows the firer to rapidly deliver subsequent rounds. Training and practice sessions are required for soldiers to become proficient in the technique of rapid trigger squeeze.
Magazine Changes. Rapid magazine changes are an integral part of sustaining rapid semiautomatic suppressive fire. Soldiers must quickly reload their rifles and resume accurate firing.
Magazine handling. Most units establish the soldier's basic load of ammunition and loaded magazines. The number of magazines vary based on the mission and tactical situation. During combat, some magazines are lost, but it is the soldier's responsibility to keep this loss to a minimum. While training a soldier to reload his magazines, the trainer must emphasize the need to account for these magazines.
The sequence for magazine handling during rapid changes is illustrated for right and left-handed firers in Figure 4-2.
Rifle loading. Removing a magazine from the firing side ammunition pouch is the same for both right- and left-handed firers. Empty magazines must be removed from the rifle before performing the following.
To remove a magazine from the pouch, the magazine is grasped on the long edge with the thumb, and the first and second fingers are placed on the short edge.
The magazine is withdrawn from the ammunition pouch, and the arm is extended forward, rotating the hand and wrist so that the magazine is in position (open end up and long edge to the rear) to load into the rifle. It is loaded into the rifle by inserting the magazine straight up into the magazine well until it is seated. The base of the magazine is tapped with the heel of the hand to ensure the magazine is fully seated.
Removing a magazine from the non firing side of the ammunition pouch requires the firer to support the rifle with his firing hand. His non firing hand grasps the magazine and loads it into the rifle.
Rapid magazine changing. Training and repeated practice in this procedure improves soldier proficiency. The firer does not move the selector lever to SAFE during a rapid magazine change, but he must maintain a safe Posture during the change.
The following is a step-by-step sequence for rapid magazine changing.
• Right-handed firer. Remove the index finger from the trigger and depress the magazine catch button while keeping a secure grip on the rifle with the non firing hand (Figure 4-3). Release the pistol grip, grasp and remove the empty magazine with the right (firing) hand, and secure it. Grasp the loaded magazine with the right hand (rounds up and forward). Insert the loaded magazine into the magazine well and tap upward with the palm of the right hand. This ensures that the magazine is fully seated and locked into the rifle. Depress the upper half of the bolt catch with the fingers of the right hand. This allows the bolt to go forward, chambering the first round. If necessary, use the right hand to tap the forward assist to fully chamber the first round. Return the right hand to its original firing position on the pistol grip. Return the index finger to the trigger.
• Left-handed firer. Remove the index finger from the trigger and release the pistol grip. Depress the magazine catch button with the index finger of the left (firing) hand. Remove the empty magazine with the left hand and secure it. Grasp the loaded magazine with the left hand (rounds up, bullets forward). Insert the loaded magazine into the magazine well and tap upward with the palm of the left hand. This ensures that the magazine is fully seated and locked into the rifle. Depress the upper half of the bolt catch with a finger of the left hand. This allows the bolt to go forward, chamber the first round. If necessary, use the right hand to tap the forward assist to fully chamber the first round. Return the left hand to its original firing position on the pistol grip. Return the index finger to the trigger. The firer must maintain a safe posture during the change.
Figur« 4-3. Magazine ralease catch button being depressed (right-handed Tirer).
When loading from the non firing side, the previous steps are followed with this exception: the loaded magazine is secured and inserted into the magazine well with the non firing hand. The firing hand supports the rifle at the pistol grip. After the magazine is inserted, the firer should shift the rifle's weight to hisnon firingg hand and continue with the recommended sequence.
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