Chapter Field Firing


55. Purpose end Scope

Field firing provides the soldier with practical experience in firing at realistic targets located at ranges comparable to those of the battlefield. Field firing begins with simple exercises designed to familiarize the soldier with the range, the targets, and the scoring system. During the first field firing exercise the soldier will have sufficient time to check his position and sight picture and fire at the target. However, in subsequent exercises, speed becomes an increasingly important factor since a time limit is imposed on the firer. In later exerciser there are added requirements such as rapid reloading, reducing stoppages, and engaging multiple targets. Initially, the soldier fires from the more stable positions and gradually progresses to the less stable positions. Toward the end of his field firing training, he is required to physically advance toward the targets, quickly move into position, and fire when the targets appear.

56. Center of Target Technique of Target


а. With a 250-meter battlesight zero, a firer can successfully engage targets out to 300 meters with the Ml4 / M14A1 riflelsl by aiming at the center of his target. This is due to the relatively flat trajectory of the 7.62-mm round. Since the rifle has a maximum e//eclive range of 460 meters without the bipod, and a maximum effective range of 700 meters with the bipod when employed in the semiautomatic role, it is necessary to have a method of sight adjustment to effectively engage targets beyond 300 meters.

б. This sight adjustment is accomplished as follows:

111 Insure that the 250-meter battlesight zero has been calibrated on the rear sight (para 541.

121 Determine the range to the target to the nearest 100 meters.

131 Place the determined range on the rear sight by alining the appropriate range line on the elevation knob with the index line on the receiver. For example, if it is determined that the range to the target is 600 meters, aline the "6" <600 meter) line on the elevation knob with the index line on the receiver. This method should enable the firer to hit close enough to the target to obtain kills out to the maximum effective range of the rifle by aiming at the center of the target.

e. Effects of Wind. Winds blowing across the firer's front will cause some lateral movement of the bullet while in flight. The effects of wind on a projectile depends on the velocity of the wind, the direction of the wind, and the range to the target. As the wind velocity and range to the target increases, the effect on the bullet increases. The firer compensates for wind effect by employing hold-off. Refer to paragraph 116 a for a more detailed explanation of wind effect.

57» Rapid Reloading;

During a 25-meter range firing, the soldier receives initial training and practical exercises in the techniques of rapid reloading. To continue his training in this skill, the soldier will fire several exercises during which he must rapidly reload. To conduct these exercises, the ammunition is issued in two magazines. As soon as the firer has expended all of the ammunition in the first magazine, he must rapidly reload and be ready to engage the next target when it appears. The soldier armed with the M14 rifle may run out of ammunition and not realize it until he attempts to fire. In such cases he should still attempt to reload and engage the target within the prescribed time limit. In any event, there is no time added to the exercise for the purpose of reloading.

SB. Reduction of Stoppages During the later field firing exercises, one dummy round should be placed among the live rounds in the firer's magazine. When this round fails to fire, the soldier must rapidly apply immediate action, resume his position, and fire at the target. Unless the soldier learns to perform this action rapidly and almost instinctively, the target will be gone before he can fire. In combat, a slight hesitation in performing immediate action might give an enemy soldier just time enough to fire a killing round. Since speed is important, the firer must not be given additional time during the exercise to perform the immediate action required.

S9. Positions and Engaging Single Target a. Field firing continues the soldier's training in firing from both supported and unsupported position*. However, greater emphasis is placed on the combat application of these firing positions. Since the combat rifleman may be either moving or in a stationary position when he encounters the enemy, he must he proficient in rapidly assuming a firing position and engaging targets in either situation. In some field firing exercises, the firer engages targets from stationary positions, while in others he is required to walk forward and. when targets appear, rapidly assume a position and fire. Speed is emphasized by limiting target exposure times. As he progresses through field firing, ench soldier should eventually be able to effectively engage targets at ranges out to 200 meters within 5 seconds and targets beyond 200 meters within J 0 seconds.

b. The purpose of imposing different time limits for targets at different ranges is to emphasize the fleeting nature of combat targets, and the definite correlation which exists between the range to the target and the time required to hit it. As a general rule, it requires more time to fire an effective round at longer ranges since the firer must take extra care in his application of fundamentals. From the combat rifleman's viewpoint, this relationship between range and time must also take into consideration the degree of personal danger posed by enemy targets. Normally, the closest enemy targets «re the most dangerous, and the speed with which they are engaged becomes increasingly important as the range decreases. Considering all of these factors then, the combat rifleman must possess both speed and accuracy in firing on enemy targets. At shorter ranges 1200 meters and lessl speed must be emphasized and at longer ranges (over 200 meters) accuracy must be emphasized. For soldiers moving in the open, these factors have an added application in determining the beet firing position from which to engage surprise enemy targets. In such situations, the standing position is obviously the quickest and easiest firing position to assume. However, it is also the least stable. Experience has shown that in the standing position the chances of hitting targets beyond 100 meters within 5 seconds are slight The prone position, on the other hand, is the most stable of all the unsupported position s; however, it too has limited application on the battlefield. The reason is that once in the prone position, the firer will usually discover that terrain and / or vegetation has masked the target. Thus* firers moving in the open, who detect targets lieyond u range of 100 meters, should normally assume the kneeling position. Through practice, the firer ran determine which of the positions provide the best combination of speed, accuracy, and observation for various target situations and his ow n capabilities.

fiO. Engaging Multiple Targets If a combat rifleman observes three enemy soldiers, he fires at the one presenting the greatest danger to him. normally the nearest. When he fires, he can expect the other two to quickly seek cover. Consequently, the rifleman must be able to rapidly shift hw point of aim and fire at a second and even a third enemy wldier before they have an opportunity to reach a protected position. The last exercise« conducted during field firing training are designed to present such multiple target situations to the firer. As in the single target exposure exercises, the firer must engage the targets within prescribed time limits and from various firing positions.

61. Application of Marksmanship Fundamentals and Corrective Instruction a. Although field firing exercises are primarily designed to develop skills which cannot be logically developed on 25-meter ranges, the fundamentals learned during this earlier training phase must continue to be emphasized. Instructors should check firers particularly for indications of improper trigger control. Many soldiers firing under pressure of a time limit will develop a tendency to jerk the trigger. This error must be corrected before it becomes a habit.

b. A second fundamental frequently slighted on the field firing range is that of position. Continued emphasis must be placed on the Importance of correct body position. Since time is a factor in field firing exercises, it should be emphasised that it requires no longer to assume a correct position than it does an incorrect one, and that firing results are considerably better from a correct position. Firers committing major errors in fundamentals should be returned to the 25-meter range for corrective instruction.


62» Range Facilities

Whenever possible, field firing exercises should be conducted on standard field firing ranges constructed for this specific purpose. If such ranges are not available, field firing can be conducted on a known distance range. However, both the known distance range and course of fire must be modified to accomplish this. Even with these modifications, the firing conducted on the known distance range is, at best, expedient training and cannot be oon-

«klrred comparable to the benefit* gained from (raining nn standard field firing rangea.

63. Operation of Standard Field Firing Range The standard field firing range is constructed on open, flat terrain having a minimum depth of 300 meters I fig «31. The vegetation is removed so that target* will be clearly visible to the firer. The standard range consists of 35 lanes, and will accomodate a maximum of 105 soldiers in three 35-man firing orders. Foxholes and stamps are placed along the firing line in order to continue training in firing from supported positions. Control points are also required to regulate the forward progress of firers during movement-type exercises. The stumps and foxholes are used as two of these control points. Numbered stakes are placed forward of the foxholes and other stakes are placed in rear of the stumps to provide additional control points. The starting points are located behind the rear numbered slakes and can be designated by atakes, a line placed on the ground, or a line of ready chairs.

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