Chapter Crew Training

Section 1. CREW DRILL

47» General a. The purpose of crew drill is to develop precision, speed, skill, and teamwork in the techniques of examination of equipment, placing the gun into and taking it out of action. In crew drill, precision must be stressed. Once that is attained, speed, skill, and teamwork will be developed.

b. Duties are rotated during crew drill to allow each member of the gun crew to become familiar with the duties of the other members.

<*. Precision is attained only through adherence to prescribed procedure. Precision Is the first consideration. Speed, skill, and teamwork will develop with practice.

d. During crew drill, all oral or visual signals arc repeated. When the fire command is completed, the gunner will give the Assistant gunner an UP. The assistant gunner will extend his hand and arm into the air in the direction of the leader {to indicate READY) and announce, UP.

e. With the M3 mount, the crew must consist of at least four men, including the leader.

44. Crow Equipment

In addition to individual arms and equipment, crew members carry the following equipment for the tripod-mounted machinegun:

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Bftjoculere, compel», one box of ammunition. Tripod.

Receiver, tr »verting and elevating mechanism attached, and headipace and timing gage. Barrel, barrel cover, and box of ammunition.

Squad or Crew Leader

No. 1. Aaeietant Gunner No. fl. Gunner

No. 8. Ammunition bearer

49» Form for Craw Drill a. Position* With Equipment The crew leader commands, FORM FOR CREW DRILL. The crew forms in column, facing the crew leader, with five paces between men, in the following order : assistant gunner, gunner, and ammunition bearer ; the assistant gunner is five paces from the crew leader. When the crew members reach their correct positions, they assume the prone position with equipment arranged as follows (fig 112) :

(1) No. 1 : tripod to his left, trail legs to the rear, front leg uppermost.

(2) No. 2: receiver across his front, back-plate to the right, retracting slide handle uppermost.

(8) No. 8: barrel to his right, muzzle to the rear, and ammunition box to his left front with latch to the right (latch to the front for the new box).

(4) Other members, if present: ammunition boxes in front, one foot apart, latches to the right (front).

(5) Crew leader places the ammunition box to his right, as he faces the crew, latch to the right (front).

6. Rotation of Dutiee.

(1) Duties are rotated to insure that each member learns and is capable of performing the duties of the other members.

(2) The command to rotate all personnel is, FALL OUT LEADER, At this command each member of the crew rises, moves forward, and assumes a new duty. The crew leader becomes the ammunition bearer. The assistant gunner moves forward and becomes the crew leader. The gunner moves forward and becomes the assistant gunner. The ammunition bearer moves forward and becomes the gunner. If the leader is not changed, the command, FALL OUT ASSISTANT GUNNER, is given. At this command, the crew members rise, the gunner becomes the assistant gunner, the am-munitin bearer becomes the gunner, and the assistant gunner becomes the ammunition bearer. When the crew members have assumed their new positions, they call out their new duties in order, ASSISTANT GUNNER, GUNNER, AMMUNITION BEARER.

FIRING. At this command, the crew proceeds as follows :

a. The assistant gunner inspects the tripod M3 mount to insure that:

(1) The indexing levers and clamps oq. the front and trail legs function properly, and the legs are in the short (low) position.

(2) Front leg and trail legs are closely folded; front leg clamp is handtight.

(3) Sleeve lock latch and pintle lock release cam are in working order; pintle lock release cam is down.

(4) Pintle bushing is free from dirt and burrs.

b. The gunner inspects the receiver group to insure that:

(1) Barrel support and breech bearing are free of dirt.

(2) Gun pintle is free of dirt.

(3) Feed mechanism and bolt switch are properly assembled to feed from left (raises cover for proper inspection).

(4) Striker projects through the aperture in face of bolt (closes the cover).

(5) Rear sight is set at 1000 yards (900 meters) windage zero.

Figure 112. Crew formed in column, five paces apart.

50. Inspection of Equipment Before Firing

When the crew is formed with equipment, the comand is, INSPECT EQUIPMENT BEFORE

((5) Traversing and elevating mechanism is securely attached to the receiver.

(7) Traversing handwheel is centered.

(8) Elevating screws are equally exposed (about 2 inches), above and below elevating hand-wheel.

(9) Backplate is latched and locked in place.

(10) Bolt latch release is locked in the down position by the bolt latch release lock.

c. The ammunition bearer inspects the barrel and ammunition box to insure that:

(1) Barrel is clear.

(2) Barrel carrier assembly is securely attached to barrel.

(3) Barrel bearing is free of dirt.

(4) Metallic links are clean (open ammunition box).

(5) Belt is properly loaded and placed in box, the double looped end up.

(6) Dummy ammunition will be used during crew drill and NO LIVE ammunition is present.

(7) The box is closed and latched.

d. When the ammunition bearer completes his inspection, he moves to the gunner's position, with the barrel in his right hand and ammunition box in his left hand. With the aid of the gunner, the ammunition bearer screws the barrel into the barrel extension. The headspace and timing adjustment is now made as prescribed in paragraphs 11 and 12 (fig 113). The ammunition bearer remains on the left and on line with the gunner.

e. The crew leader examines his ammunition as described in c above.

/. At the completion of the inspection, a report is rendered as follows:

(1) The ammunition bearer reports: AMMUNITION CORRECT (or any deficiencies).

(2) The gunner reports: GUN AND AMMUNITION CORRECT (or any deficiencies).

(3) The assistant gunner reports: ALL CORRECT (or any deficiencies) (fig 114).

Batman Prints
Figure 111. Crew ready to place the gun into action.

51. Placing the Gun Into Action

To place the gun into action, the crew leader commands and signals, GUN TO BE MOUNTED HERE (pointing to the position where the gun is to be mounted), FRONT (pointing in the direction of fire), ACTION (vigorously pumping his fist in the direction of the designated gun position).

a. At the command or signal ACTION the assistant gunner grasps the left trail leg near the center with his left hand. Springing to his feet and grasping the tripod head with his right hand, he lifts the tripod across the front of his body with the front leg up, and carries the tripod to the desired location (fig 115). Upon arrival at the position, he places the trail leg shoes on the ground with the front leg pointing upward. Steadying the tripod with his left hand on the front leg, loosens the front leg clamp with his right hand (fig 116), positions the front leg with his left hand, tightens the front leg clamp with his right hand. With his right hand on the tripod head, he slides his left hand down on the left trail leg and with a snapping motion, pulls the left leg (to the left), engaging the sleeve latch. He then alines the tripod for direction, drops the mount to the ground, stamps the right and left trail shoes with his right or left foot, and assumes the prone position behind the mount.

b. The gunner and ammunition bearer move together. When the tripod is nearly mounted, the gunner and ammunition bearer spring to their feet. The gunner places both hands on the spade grips, the ammunition bearer grasp the ammunition box in his left hand and the gun carrying handle with his right hand; both men lift the gun from the ground and move rapidly to the gun position. At the gun position, the ammunition bearer places the ammunition box on line and in front of the leader's ammunition box. The gunner, assisted by the ammunition bearer, inserts the pintle into the pintle bushing. The ammunition bearer stamps the front shoe into the ground with his left foot (fig 117), releases the carrying handle, lowers his right hand and lifts the gun pintle lock release cam. When the gun pintle is fully seated, he presses down the pintle lock release cam with his right hand; then turns to his left and returns to his original position.

c. The assistant gunner holds the left spade grip with his left hand, and with his right hand, lowers the traversing and elevating mechanism to the traversing bar, insuring that the traversing hand-wheel is to the left and the lock lever is to the rear. He then assumes a semiprone position to the left of the gun with his feet to the rear, and his head on line with the feedway. He unlatches and

Figure 117. Mounting the gun.

raises the cover of the ammunition box, removes the ammunition belt, and inserts the double looped end into the feed way and taps the cover with his right hand to insure it is closed.

d. With his right hand, palm-up, the gunner grasps the retracting slide handle, vigorously jerks it to the rear and releases it. The gun is half-loaded (fig 118). He then assumes the correct gunner's position by taking a prone position di rectly behind the gun, legs spread and heels down. His right hand lightly grasps the right spade grip with the thumb in position to depress the trigger. His left hand is on the elevating handwheel (palm down) with his thumb near the traversing slide lock lever. He rests on his left elbow, head as close as possible to the rear sight (fig 119). He then gives the assistant gunner an UP. The assistant gunner announces UP and extends his hand and arm into the air in the direction of the leader.

Figure 118. Gun mounted, gunner half-loading the gttn.

52. Taking the Gun Out of Action

To take the gun out of action, the command is OUT OF ACTION.

a. The gunner raises the cover with his left hand, the assistant gunner lifts the ammunition out of the feed-way, replaces the ammunition in the box, closes and latches the box. The gunner closes the cover, pulls the retracting slide handle to the rear with right hand (palm up) releases it, presses the trigger with his right thumb, and loosens the traversing slide lock lever with his left hand. He rises to his feet, grasping both spade grips. At this time the ammunition bearer will arrive at the gun position. With his left hand, the ammunition bearer grasps the ammunition box and places his right foot on the front leg shoe. With his right hand, he reaches down and lifts up the pintle lock release cam and grasps the carrying handle (fig 120).

Figure 119. Crew ready for action..

b. The gunner and ammunition bearer lift the gun from the tripod, turn right and carry the gun back to their original position. They set the gun down, muzzle to the left, retracting slide handle up. The gunner pulls the retracting slide handle to the rear, alines the lug on the barrel locking spring with the %-inch hole in the right side of the receiver. The ammunition bearer unscrews the barrel from the receiver, picks up the ammunition box and barrel, moves five paces to the rear, places the barrel to his right, muzzle to the rear, ammunition box to his left, and assumes the prone position.

c. The gunner rotates the bolt latch release lock to the right and releases the bolt latch. He checks his sights to insure they are properly set.

d. The assistant gunner assumes a kneeling position behind the tripod and releases the sleeve

Figure ISO. Crew taking the gun out of action.

Figure 121. Folding the trail legs.

lock latch with his right hand, rises to his feet, grasps the front leg with his left hand, and rotates the tripod to a vertical position on the trail legs. With his right hand, he loosens the front leg clamp, folds down the front leg, then tightens the clamp. With his right hand on the tripod head, he rotates the tripod on the right trail leg and releases the sleeve latch, folds the left trail leg against the right, with his left hand (fig 121). Holding the tripod head with his right hand, trail legs with his left, he lifts the tripod across the front of his body, with the front leg up. He turns to the right and returns to his original position. At this time, the crew leader picks up his ammunition box and faces the crew. The assistant gunner places the tripod on the ground, assumes a prone position to the right of the tripod, and announces UP.


Figure 122. Dragging the gun into position.

53. Duties of Crew

To hand-carry gun and equipment, the command is SECURE EQUIPMENT, FOLLOW ME. At this command—

a. The crew leader carries his ammunition box in his right hand.

b. The assistant gunner carries the tripod over either shoulder.

c. The gunner carries the receiver on either shoulder, spade grips to the front.

d. The ammunition bearer carries his ammunition box in his left hand, and the barrel in his right hand, muzzle to the rear; or on his left shoulder with the muzzle to the front.

54. Carrying the Tripod-Mounted Gun

When the gun is mounted on the tripod, it can be moved for short distances by dragging, or by a two- or three-man carry. (In the two- or three-man carry, men should move in step to make carrying easier.)

a. Dragging. The gun is dragged when limited cover or the *situation requires the gun to be moved in this manner. The gunner and assistant gunner drag the mounted gun to the desired position (fig 122).

b. Two-Man Carry. With the gunner on the right and assistant gunner on the left, each grasps the front leg with his forward hand, and a trail leg with the other hand, just above the traversing bar (fig 123).

c. Three-M an Carry.

(1) When the barrel is hot. The gunner is behind the tripod with a trail leg in each hand. The assistant gunner is on the left and the ammunition bearer on the right, each grasps the carrying handle. In addition, the assistant gunner carries the ammunition in his left hand (fig 124).

(2) When the barrel is cool. The ammunition bearer and the assistant gunner each grasp the front leg (fig 125).

Note. Carrying the gun by the barrel may cause damage to the barrel support and the barrel extension.

55. Carrying the Gun to Other Mounts

With the mount prepared to receive the gun, the cradle of the mount is placed in a horizontal position To move the gun to the mount, the gunner carries the right spade grip with his left hand, and a box of ammunition in his right. The assistant gunner grasps the carrying handle with his left hand, and a box of ammunition in his right

Figure 12i. Three-man carry (hot barrel).

hand. Upon arrival at the mount, the gunner and assistant gunner place their ammunition boxes near the mount. The gunner removes the rear mounting (gun-locking) pin with his right hand. The assistant gunner removes the front mounting (gun-locking) pin with his right hand. The gun is placed on the mount. The gunner alines the holes in the rear mounting lugs of the receiver with the rear mounting bracket and inserts the rear mounting pin. The assistant gunner alines the front mounting hole in the front of the receiver with the front mounting bracket and inserts the front mounting pin. (For use of the sideplate trigger with the M63 mount, see TM 9-1005-213-10.)

Billion Dollar Brain
Figure 125. Three-man carry (cold barrel).

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