Figure lit. Applying tk• 1 OO-mlUr writ of m#a*ur« method for nsnget gnaUr than 600 v%*t*rt.
(1) Training should be conducted to familiarize the soldier with the appearance of other familiar objects, such as weapons and vehicles, at various range«.
(2) Factors which affect the appearance of objects must be considered, and an understanding of these factors will help to make estimates more accurate.
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Terrain, or position of the observer
Light and atmosphere
Most of the target is visible and offers a cigar outline.
Looking acroesa depression, most of which la hidden from view.
Looking from low ground toward high ground. Looking down a straight, open road or along a railroad track.
Looking orer uniform surface* like water, snow, deaert, or grain del da.
In bright light or the eun b shining from behind the observer.
The target ii In »harp contraat with the background, or ii silhouetted by res-»on of dza, shape, or color, aeon in the clear atmosphere of high altitudes.
Only a email part of the target i* seen or target la small In relation to its sur» roundings.
Looking acroee a depression« all of which ii visible.
Looking downward from high ground. Vision is narrowly confined as in streets, draws, or forest trails*
In poor light such as dawn» and dusk, in rain, snow, fog, or when the sun is in the obeerver's eyee.
The target blends into the background or terrain.
70. Other Methods of Determining Range
а. To determine range by firing the gun, the gunner opens fire on the target at the estimated range, and moves the center of the beaten zone into the center base of the target by means of the traversing and elevating handwheels. He resets the sight so the new line of aim is at the center base of the target and notes the sight setting on the rear sight. This sight setting may apply only to this gun.
б. When the ground in the vicinity of the target does not permit observation of the strike of the rounds, or when surprise fire on the target is desired, fire is adjusted on a point which offers observation and is known to be at the same range as the target. The gunner then lays his gun on the target when ordered.
e. When moving into positions occupied by other units, range cards prepared by those units can furnish valuable range information on tar gets, suspected targets, and various terrain features.
d. When the tactical situation and time permit, range may be determined by pacing off the distance.
In addition to the ability to determine range accurately, the gunner needs a quick method of measuring lateral distance right or left from a reference point to a target.
a. When the gun is mounted on the MS tripod, width can be measured by aiming on a point and manipulating the traversing hand wheel, counting the clicks from one point of aim to another point of aim. Each click equals one meter at 1,000 meters, or half a meter at 500 meters. This method is accurate but time-consuming.
b. The finger measurement method is not a method of range determination but only a method
FigW9 Hi. Th4 finger m*a*w*m*nt method.
of measuring the lateral distance <in fingers) between two points. To measure the distance in fingers between a reference point and a target, extend the arm with the palm outward, the fingers cupped, and the elbow locked. Close one eye, raise the index finger, and sight along its edge, placing the edge of the finger along the flank of the target or reference point. Note the space remaining between the two ipolnts, and then fill this space by raising fingers until the space is covered. The measurement from the reference point to the target is then stated as being one or more fingers, depending on how many fingers are raised to cover this distance (fig 138).
Section V. PIRE CONTROL AND FIRE COMMANDS
<*. General. Fire control of machineguns includes all operations connected with the preparation and actual application of effective fire on a target. It implies the ability of the leader to open fire at the instant he desires, adjust the fire of the gun(s) on the target, regulate the rate of fire, shift from one target to another, and cease firing. This ability to exercise proper fire control depends primarily on the discipline and the proper training of the crew. Failure to exercise fix* control results in dangsr to friendly troops, loss of surprise effect, premature disclosure of positions, application of fire on unimportant targets, loss of time in adjusting fire, and waste of ammunition.
i. Method* of Fire Control There are several methods of controlling machinegun fire. The noise of battle will limit the use of some of these methods ; therefore, the leader must select the method or combination of methods which will best accomplish his purpose.
(1) Oral. This is an effective method of control; but at times the leader will be too far away from the gun crew(s) or the noise of battle will make it impossible for the gun crew (a) to hear him.
(2) Arm-and-hand signal*. This is an effective method when the gun crew(s) can see the leader. All crew members must understand the standard arm-and-hand signals used to control machinegun fire.
(3) Prearranged signals. These are either visual or sound signals, such as pyrotechnics or blasts on a whistle. Theee signals should be included in appropriate SOP's and must be clearly understood by all crew members.
(4) Personal contact. In many situations, the leader must move to individual crew members to issue orders. This method of control is used more than any other by small unit leaders. The leader must use maximum cover and concealment to keep from disclosing the gun crew's position.
(5) Standing operating procedures, Standing operating procedures are actions the gun crews perform automatically, without command. SOP's, such as those described in (8) above, are developed during the training of the gun crews, and their application eliminates many commands and simplifies the leader's job of fire controL
<j. Chain of Fire Control. The chain of fire control begins with a fire unit leader. Although there is no fixed unit organization for the caliber .50 machinegun, this type of unit can be selected from available personnel The fire unit leader is responsible for both the technical and tactical employment of the gun(s) and the training of the crew. He is responsible for passing on to the crew members all instructions and orders from his next higher leader (commander) regarding the situation and mission. He assigns sectors of fire and firing positions, designates targets to be engaged, adjusts fire, and insures effective coverage of the targets.
d. Rates of Fire.
(1) Rapid: over 40 rounds per minute,
(2) Slow: 40 rounds or less per minute.
(S) Single-shot: one round.
(4) When engaging targets at ranges greater than 1,100 meters, the gunner should use single shot tracer ammunition. Firing the gun one round at a time allows the gunner to deliver well-aimed fire on the target.
I, Adjustment of Fire.
(1) Machinegun fire is adjusted by observing the strike of the rounds, observing the flight of tracers, frequently relaying the gun, or by a combination of these (para 118).
(2) Adjustment by observation of fire is the most important element of fire control if it is bold, aggressive, rapid, and continuous throughout the action. The gunner is trained to observe and adjust his gun's fire without command. He is trained to anticipate the action of the enemy after the initial buret, and is prepared to shift his fire to cover any change in formation or movement of his target If the gunner fails to accomplish this, the fire unit leader must promptly correct him by announcing or signalling subsequent fire com mands. This responsibility to adjust Are continues through the chain of commandB. When subsequent fire commands are given, the gunner makes the required corrections and continues to engage the target without any further command to fire.
(8) If the gun is fired on the tripod mount, subsequent commands are given to make changes in direction, elevation, and the rate of fire. These changes are given orally as, SHIFT RIGHT, SHIFT LEFT, ADD, or DROP. (For arm-and-hand signals see FM 21-60.) When making these announced changes, mils may be used to indicate the amount of desired shift; for example, SHIFT RIGHT 5, or SHIFT LEFT 7. When making changes in elevation, mils are not used, as it is normally difficult to determine just how high or low the center of the beaten zone ie striking the ground in relation to the target.
73, Ffre Commands
Fire commands are technical instructions issued by a leader to enable the unit or crew to accomplish a desired fire mission. Fire commands have been standardized for infantry direct fire weapons, and follow the same sequence. There are two types of fire commands: initial fire commands are issued to engage a target; and subsequent fire commands are issued to adjust fire, change the rate of fire; interrupt fire, shift fire to a new target, of to terminate the alert. A correct fire command is one that is as brief as clarity permits and includes all the elements necessary for the accomplishment of the fire mission. It is given in the proper sequence, transmitted clearly, and at a rate that permits receipt and application of instructions without confusion.
a. Elements of the Initial Fire Command. There are six essential elements of the initial fire command for the machinegun that are given or implied by using one or more of the methods of control. During training, the gun crew repeats each element of the fire command as it is given. This ia done to avoid confusion and to train the crew to think and act in the proper sequence. The six elements of the initial fire command as they apply to the machinegun are, alert, direction, description, range, method of fire, and th$ command to open fire.
(1) Alert. This element bring« the crew (ft) to a state of readiness to receive further instructions. Once alerted, the gunner insures the gun is loaded; the assistant gunner continuously checks with the leader for orders or Instructions and passes them on to the gunner. The oral alert ia announced as, FIRE MISSION. At this command,
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