Tracking And Leading Exercises

The gunner normally completes instruction in firing at stationary targets before he receives instruction in firing at moving targets. The technique of engaging a moving target differs from that of engaging a stationary target. The gun must be aimed ahead of the moving target a sufficient distance to cause the bullet and target to arrive at the aiming point at the same time. The distance is measured in target lengths. One target length as seen by the gunner is one lead. Leads are measured from the center of mass. The lead depends upon range, speed, and direction of movement of the target. To hit the target, the gunner aims at a point ahead of the target equal to the estimated number of leads, maintains the lead by tracking the target (manipulating the gun at the same angular speed as that of the target), and then fires. Fire is adjusted by observation of strike/tracer (Figure 5-36).

Figure 5-36. Lead technique.

a. Tracking. Tracking consists of maintaining correct alignment of the sights (with or without a lead) on a moving target by moving the gun at the same angular speed as that of the target.

(1) The gunner is required to aim at a prescribed point (center base to take advantage of the beaten zone) on the target and maintain that aim during uniform movement of the target. As instruction progresses, speeds used should differ for successive runs of the target. The speeds the 10-meter targets should move to represent speeds at various ranges are shown in Table 5-2.

TARGETS SPEEDS IN MILES PER HOUR

TARGET SPEEDS IN INCHES PER SECONDS CORRESPONDING TO-

300 M 6 12 24

500 M 4

900 M

7 1/2

2

15 30

8 15

4 9

Table 5-2. 10-meter moving target.

Table 5-2. 10-meter moving target.

(2) The target handler must have practice in moving the target silhouette across the background at the varying speeds.

b. Leading. Mathematical computation or use of voluminous lead tables to obtain exact leads on a moving target are impractical in combat. The simple lead table shown in Table 5-3 gives the amount of lead necessary to hit a target moving at right angles (90 degrees) to direction to hit at speeds and ranges indicated.

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