Firing Positions

Before a gunner can hit targets, he must learn to get behind the weapon in a position that allows him to be comfortable, affords him protection, and enhances mission accomplishment.

a. The tripod firing positions are prone, sitting, and standing. They are assumed in the following manner.

(1) The prone position is used when firing from the tripod that is set in a low position. It is assumed by lying on the ground directly behind the gun. The gunner then spreads his legs a comfortable distance apart with his toes turned outward. His left elbow rests on the ground, and his left hand grasps the elevating handwheel of the T&E. His right hand lightly grasps the right spade grip with his right thumb in a position to press the trigger. The position of his body can then be adjusted to position his firing eye in alignment with the sights of the weapon (Figure 5-1).

Sniper Prone Position
Figure 5-1. Prone position with tripod mount.

(2) The sitting position can be used when the tripod is set in a high or low position. The gunner sits directly behind the gun between the legs of the tripod. He may extend his legs under the tripod or cross them, depending on his physique. The gunner then places both elbows on the inside of his thighs to get the best support. He grasps the elevating handwheel of the T&E with the left hand, and lightly grasps the right spade grip with his right hand. He must ensure that the right thumb is in position to press the trigger (Figure 5-2).

handwheel of the T&E with the left hand, and lightly grasps the right spade grip with his right hand. He must ensure that the right thumb is in position to press the trigger (Figure 5-2).

Machine Gun Position Layout
Figure 5-2. Sitting position with tripod mount.

(3) The standing position is used when the gunner is firing from a fighting position. This position is assumed by standing directly behind the gun with the feet spread a comfortable distance apart. The gunner grasps the elevating handwheel of the T&E with the left hand. He lightly grasps the right spade grip with the right hand, ensuring that the right thumb is in a position to press the trigger. Adjustment of the body is allowed in order to align the firing eye with the sights on the weapon (Figure 5-3).

Firing Position

b. The vehicular firing position for the MG is standing. It is assumed by constructing a solid platform to stand on, using sandbags or ammunition boxes; or, in the case of the Ml13 APC, using the commander's seat. The gunner must then ensure that his platform is high enough to place the spade grips of the gun about chest high. He grasps the spade grips with both hands and places both thumbs in a position to press the trigger. The gunner holds the gun tightly to his chest for stabilization; his elbows should be locked tightly to his sides. He sights over the weapon and adjusts his position by flexing his knees and leaning forward to absorb any recoil (Figure 5-4).

Sex Standing Positions
Figure 5-4. Standing position using cupola mount.

c. The antiaircraft firing position uses a standing position when firing from the M63 mount. To assume the position, the gunner stands with his feet spread comfortably apart with his shoulders squarely behind the gun (Figure 5-5, page 5-6). When the gunner is engaging aerial targets, he grasps the upper extension handles with both hands. When engaging low-level aircraft or ground targets, he grasps the lower extension handles with both hands.

NOTE: The kneeling position may be used; it has the advantage of presenting a lower profile of the gunner and also aligns the gunner's eye closer to the axis of the barrel.

Heavy Machine Gun
Figure 5-5. Antiaircraft firing position.

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