Classes Of FiRe With Respect To The Target

Respect The Target
Beaten Zone Target

Fire with respect to the GUN includes:

Fixed Fire - that delivered against a stationary point target when the depth and width of the beaten zone will cover the target.

Traversing Fire - that distributed in width by successive changes in direction. With the tripod-mounted gun, the changes are made in 2- to 6-mil increments on the traversing handwheel between bursts. If denser fire is needed, a 2-mil change in direction will cause an overlap of beaten zones to insure complete coverage of the target.


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Searching Fire - that distributed in depth by successive changes in elevation. When firing the tripod-mounted gun over level or uniformly sloping terrain, the changes are made on the elevating handwheel in 2-mil increments. When fires are delivered into terrain sloping away from the gun, less than 2 mils of change may be required. Gunners will learn the amount of change to apply through experience. To get good target coverage, a burst is fired after each elevation change.

Traversing and Searching Fire - that distributed in width and depth by successive changes in direction and elevation. With the tripod-mounted gun, the changes in direction are made in 2- to 6-mil increments on the traversing handwheel. The amount of elevation change is determined by the slope of the terrain and the angle of the target. To get good coverage, a burst is fired after each COMBINED change in direction and elevation .

Swinging Traverse Fire - that delivered against targets too wide to cover with the traversing handwheel, or targets moving so rapidly across the gunner's front that he cannot maintain effective fire while using the traversing handwheel. To deliver this type of fire, the gunner loosens the travers-ing-slide-lock lever to allow the traversing and elevating mechanism to slide freely on the traversing bar. Changes in direction are made by applying pressure (left, or right) to the rear of the gun. Changes in elevation are made by turning the elevating handwheel.

Free Gun Fire - that delivered from the tripod mount against targets requiring rapid major changes in direction and elevation which cannot be applied with the traversing and elevating mechanism. This fire can also be delivered from the vehicular mount against targets that cannot be adequately covered by selecting a series of aiming points. To deliver this type of fire from the tripod mount, the gunner removes the traversing and elevating mechanism from the bottom of the receiver, allowing the gun to be moved freely in any direction. To deliver this type of fire from the vehicular mount, the gunner changes direction and elevation by applying pressure to the rear (left or right) of the gun.

NOTE: Swinging-traverse and free-gunfire cannot be delivered with the bipod mount. The other types of fire can be delivered with the gun mounted on the bipod, tripod, or vehicle mount.


Range determination is the process of finding the distance between two points. In most situations, one of these points will be the observer's own position. The other point may be a target or prominent terrain feature.

THE ABILITY TO DETERMINE RANGE ACCURATELY IS A KEY SKILL NEEDED BY THE GUNNER TO ACCOMPLISH HIS MISSION. Not only does the accurate determination of range affect his marksmanship, but it is also required in the reporting of information and the adjustment of artillery and mortar fire.

There are several methods of determining range, to include measuring distance on a map, pacing the distance between two points, estimating range, using an optical rangefinder, and using registration fire. However, the gunner does not usually have a map, and he rarely has access to an optical rangefinder. He can pace the distance between two points if the enemy is not within range. Firing rounds just to determine the range is not desirable since it may reveal the machinegun position to enemy observers. Most of the time, the gunner must use techniques that require no equipment and that can be used without exposing himself or revealing his position. There are two methods of determining range which meet these requirements: the 100 METER-UNIT OF-MEASURE method and the APPEAR-ANCE-OF-OBJECTS method.

100-Meter- Unit-of-Measure Method. To use this method, the gunner must be able to visualize a distance of 100 meters on the ground. For ranges up to 500 meters, he determines the number of 100-meter increments between the two points he wishes to measure. Beyond 500 meters, the gunner must select a point halfway to the target, determine the number of 100-meter increments to the halfway point, and then double it to find the range to the target.

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