Forefinger

Figure 98. Grip of the right hând.

(41 The right elbow. The location of the right elbow in extremely important as it provide» balance to ihe firing position». Position the right elbow to the side ho that the right upper arm forms an angle of between 90° and 45° to the ground (fig 99). The nearer to 90° the right upper arm is held, the more stable will be the firing position. In no case should the angle be less than 45°. As a quick reference to insure correct location of the right elbow, the firer's shoulders should be checked to insure they are level and nearly parallel to the ground. It should be pointed out that failure to hold the right upper arm and shoulders in this manner is the most common error found in firing from either of the two bipod supported positions. In distributing fire to cover a linear or area target, many firers will move only the right elbow when making adjustments to the lay of the weapon. This causes the right shoulder to drop and with only this part of the body behind the weapon, dispersion of fire becomes exceptionally wide and erratic. When lateral adjustment in the lay of the weapon requires a movement of the elbows, the entire body must be realined directly behind the weapon.

(5) Position of the cheek istock weld). Because of the grip of the right hand on the pistol grip, the soldier will not have a thumb and cheek spot weld. Therefore, there is no index to insure* that the cheek is placed on the stock at precisely the same point each time the weapon is fired. It should be emphasized that the cheek must be placed on the stock at the same point each time the automatic rifle is fired so that the eye will always be in the same relationship to the aperture of the rear sight. This is essential for consistent accuracy. During marksmanship training a small piece of masking tape may be placed on the stock at that point which the firer has found most suitable so that he will place his cheek at precisely that point each time he fires.

M14a1 Rifle
Figure W. ¡.oration of the right elbou.

16) Breathing. The effects of breathing in automatic rifle marksmanship are the same as in semiautomatic rifle marksmanship. In later phases of marksmanship training (transition firing), and in combat, the automatic rifleman will often he required to fire a rapid aeries of bursts (or single shots at long-range targets). In delivering this type of fire, the automatic rifleman must learn to exhale and take a moderate breath between each hurst.

(71 Muscular tension. Contrary to the necessity for relaxation in semiautomatic firing, muscular tension of parts of the body is a necessary steady hold factor in automatic rifle firing. As stated in the explanation of the grip of the left hand, (1) above» the firer must exert a strong pressure directly to the rear on the front handgrip. This can be accomplished only by tensing the muscles of the left arm. The stronger the pressure, all other factors being correctly applied, the less dispersed will be a burst of automatic fire. Although this muscular tension is exerted primarily by the left arm. a certain tensing of the stomach and abdominal muscles will unavoidably occur.

Trigger control. The automatic rifleman must be proficient in two types of trigger control: that used in semiautomatic fire and that used in automatic fire.

(at Semiautomatic fire trigger control.

Trigger control is the independent action of the forefinger on the trigger. The trigger must be brought straight to the rear with an initial pressure to take up the slack, followed by a continuous increase of pressure. The trigger finger should contact the trigger at some point between the tip and second joint of the finger. The finger mutt not touch the side of the stock as this will cause pressure to be applied at a slight angle rather than straight to the rear. Such a side pressure on the rifle, no matter how slight, will tend to pull the sights off the aiming point. Correctly applied pressure on the trigger causes no movement of the rifle barrel. It also prevents the rifleman from knowing exactly when the rifle will fire, thus helping him to avoid flinching. Trigger control is the most important of the steady hold factors, and without its proper application the other marksmanship skills are practically useless. Therefore, instructors should continually em* phasize this fundamental throughout automatic rifle marksmanship training.

(b) Importance of trigger control. Since trigger control is not only the most important steady hold factor but also the most difficult marksmanship fundamental for the inexperienced firer to master, the majority of shooting errors stem directly or indirectly from the improper application of this technique. Failure to hit the target results frequently from the firer jerking the trigger or applying pressure on both the trigger and the side of the rifle. Either of the actions can produce misses.

(c) Automatic fire trigger control. Correct trigger control in automatic fire has an additional purpose. The number of rounds in a burst is governed by manipulation of the trigger. Throughout automatic rifle marksmanship training, emphasis must be placed on the use of three-round burst. To fire a three-round burst, the soldier must press the trigger to the rear and immediately release it.

83. Positions a. In automatic fire, positions are an important aspect of marksmanship, To better understand this, let us assume that the firer has a good zero, aims his weapon correctly, and properly applies all of the steady hold factors in firing a burst of three rounds. The first round of that burst will hit the target at the point of aim, but this will not necessarily be true of the second and third rounds. The first round hits the aiming point the same as when a round is fired singly; however, the recoil from the first and subsequent rounds will disturb the lay of the weapon progressively with each round of the burst.

The relationship between the point of impact of the first and subsequent rounds of the burst will depend to a very great degree on the stability of the firer s position. The firer*s body, directly behind the weapon, serves as a foundation, and his grip serves as a lock to hold the weapon against this foundation. The better the body alinement and the steadier the grip, the less dispersed will be the rounds of a burst of automatic fire.

b. There are three positions which provide the most accurate means of delivering automatic fire with the M14A1 and the M14 (modified K The three positions are the underarm firing position, the bipod supported prone position, and the bipod supported foxhole position.

Not*. If the tactical aitnatioo neccMitStea firing from tin •tending, kneeling, or kneeling wpported firing portion the* •am¡automatic fire will provide the beat remit».

(1) Underarm firing position. This position (fig 100) is used in those situations where the automatic rifleman is required to move short distances when contact with the enemy is imminent, or to engage close-in, fleeting targets. By placing the right forearm along the stock, the rifleman is able to exercise greater control over the automatic rifle. This position is assumed in the following manner:

(a) With the right forearm, place and hold the rear portion of the stock against the body at a point between the waist and the armpit.

(b) It is unnecessary to use a sling; however, the sling may be used to support the automatic rifle, reduce firer fatigue in carrying the weapon, and allow the left hand maximum freedom for magazine changes. The sling is placed over the right shoulder. The use of the right shoulder to support the automatic rifle in this position gives the firer optimum flexibility in reacting to tactical conditions because he is not unduly restricted by the sling. The muzzle end of the sling rises on the outside of the stock and barrel; the butt end of the sling rises on the inside of the stock.

(c) To attain the best balance when firing, the left foot should be well forward of the right. When the firer must continue to move while firing 1as in the assault), he attempts to fire bursts in a rhythmic manner. He bends at the knees and leans forward as in a boxer's crouch.

M14a1 Rifle

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