tain direction over the target. The direction depends on the type of target and whether the target is engaged with a pair of gunB or a single guft. When engaging targets other than point targets with a pair of guns, the targets are divided so that fire is evenly distributed through the target area.
(2) Fire delivered on point targets or a specific area of other target configurations is called concentrated fire.
d. Rates of Fire.
(1) There are three rates of fire with the machinegun; slow, rapid, and single-shot. These rates are established primarily as a guide for training. In training, the rate of fire should be announced to facilitate learning and to provide the gunners with a basis for judging the number of rounds being expended.
<a) Slow fire is any number of rounds less than 40 rounds per minute in bursts of six to nine rounds at 10 to 15 second intervals. It is directed by announcing SLOW.
(O) leap id pre is any numoer oi rounds greater than 40 rounds per minute fired in bursts of six to nine rounds at 6 to 10 second intervals. It is directed by announcing RAPID.
(c) Single-skoL The caliber .50 machine-gun, as compared with other automatic weapons, has the capability of firing one round at a time. It is directed by announcing SINGLE-SHOT. Tfcis rate of fire can be delivered very effectively agalnBt targets at great ranges since it allows the gunner to place well-aimed shots into the target. Single-shot rounds can be fired every 2 or 3 seconds ; however, the rate of fire is dictated by the nature of the target and the range.
(<£> The cyclic rate of fire represents the maximum amount of ammunition which can be expended by a gun in 1 minute. The cyclic rate of fire for the caliber .50 machinegun is in excess of 450 rounds per minute. The gun fires at this rate of fire when the trigger is held down and ammunition is continuously fed into the gun for any given period of time.
Figure 186. Linear target with depth.
(2) The rates of fire below should be followed for maximum effect:
(a) Ground targets are initially engaged using the rapid or higher rate in order to gain fire superiority. Once flre superiority has been gained, the rate of flre is reduced to a point that is sufficient to maintain fire superiority. This reduction in rate of fire is necessary to keep the barrel from overheating and to conserve ammunition.
(b) Aerial targets (chap 11) are engaged using the cyclic rate.
60. Types of Target»
Targets presented to the machinegunners during combat will in most cases consist of enemy soldiers in various formations which require distribution and concentration of flre. These targets have width and depth, and the application of machinegun fire is designed to thoroughly cover the area in which the enemy is known or suspected to be. These targets may be easily distin guishable or may be indistinct and difficult to locate.
a. Point targets are targets which require the use of a single aiming point. Enemy bunkos, weapons emplacements, vehicles, small groups of soldiers, and aerial targets such as helicopters or descending paratroopers are examples of point targets.
b. Linear targets have sufficient width to require traversing fire and no more depth than can be effectively covered by the beaten zone (fig 185).
c. Linear targets with depth are targets which have sufficient width to require traversing fire, and depth which cannot be covered by the beaten zone. A combined change in direction and elevation (traversing and searching fire) is required to maintain effective flre on these targets (fig 186).
d. Deep targets have depth but very little width and can be effectively covered by searching fire (fig 137).
e. Area targets as discussed in this manual have get existB when the enemy is in a certain area but considerable width and depth and require exten- his exact location is not known. A hilltop is a sive traversing and searching fire. This ty'pe tar- typical area target.
Section VII. APPLICATION OF HRE (TARGET ENOAGEMfNT/DIRECT LAY)
81. General a. When machinegun ftre is under direct control of a leader, he designates the midpoint and flanks or ends of a target unless they are obvious to the gun crew (a).
b. When a target other than a point target is engaged by two gunners, it is always divided. Each gunner applies his fire to that portion of the target corresponding to his position with relation to the other gun. Normally, each gunner engages one-half of the target; however, gunners must be prepared to engage tha entire target if necessary. Gunners continue to fire on the target until it is neutralized or until another signal is received from the leader.
e. The gunner's positions should be numbered bo each gunner will know which portion of a target he should engage. (This pertains also to the vehicular-mounted weapons.) It should be emphasized that the positions are numbered, not the guns or gunners.
d. To insure that gunners react quickly and properly when they detect a target or when a target is designated by the leader, standard methods of applying fire to the various type targets are taught. These methods are the same for ground and vehicular-mounted guns.
A point target is engaged with fixed fire. If the target moves after the initial burst, the gun crew(s) keeps fire on the target by following its movement with the gun(s).
83. Linear Targets
Linear targets are engaged with traversing fire.
(1) Normal division. The target is divided at the midpoint; the right gun (No. 1) engagee the right half of the target, and the gun on the left (No. 2) engagee the left half of the target The point of initial lay and adjustment for both guns is at the midpoint of the target. After adjusting on the midpoint, the right gun (No. 1) traverses the right half of the target to include one aiming point beyond the last visible target flank and returns to the midpoint.
(2) Special division. If one portion of the target presents a greater threat than another, the target can be divided so fire is concentrated on that portion presenting the greatest threat. The special division of the target is accomplished by a subsequent fire command after firing begins. The gunners initially lay at the midpoint, regardless of the special division to be made, thus precluding confusion.
b. One Gun. A Single gunner must engage the entire width of a linear target. The point of the initial lay and adjustment Is on the midpoint, or that portion of the target presenting the greatest threat. The gunner traverses to either flank and then covers the remainder of the target.
84. Deep Targets
Deep targets are engaged with searching ftre. When range is announced, it is given to the midpoint of the target.
a. Two Guns. The point of initial lay of both guns is on the midpoint, which is also the point of division. Since enfilade fire (para 64d) is delivered, it is not necessary to adjust on the midpoint of the target because the long axis of the beaten zone will compensate for missing the midpoint. However, should the gunner's beaten zone be out of the lateral confines of the target it will be necessary to adjust fires into the target area. After the initial bursts, the right gun (No. 1) searches to the near end of the target, the left gun (No. 2) searches to the far end of the target. Both gunners then reverse their direction of search and return to the midpoint (fig 188).
b. One Gun. A single gunner initially lays and fires at the midpoint of a deep target, unless another portion of the target presents a greater threat. The gunner immediately searches to the near end then covers the entire target.
85. linear Targets with Depth
Linear targets with depth are engaged with traversing and searching fire. When range is announced, the range to the midpoint is given.
a. Two Guns. The method of division, the point of initial lay and adjustment, and the extent of
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