Engaging Linear Targets With Depth Single

Linear Depth


S7TV 1 1 ' '

for both guns is the same as that prescribed for linear targets. The gunners employ enough search between bursts to keep the center of impact on the base of the target

One Machine gun. A single gunner initially lays and adjusts on the midpoint of a linear target with depth, unless some other part of the target presents a greater threat. The gunner then traverses and searches to the near flank, then back to the far flank.

Hard-to-Identify Linear Targets with Depth. The flanks and midpoint of a hard-to-identify linear target with depth should be designated with machinegun or rifle fire. The reference-point method should not be used, because a minimum of two reference points are required to show the angle of the target


The leader designates an area target by indicating the width and depth of the target. Area targets are engaged with traversing and searching fire.

Machineguns in Pairs, The target is divided at the midpoint; the right gun fires on the right half and the left gun fires on the left half. The point of initial lay and adjustment for both guns is on the midpoint.

After adjusting fire on the center of mass, fire is distributed by applying direction and elevation changes that give the most effective coverage of the target area. The right gunner traverses to the right, applies the necessary amount of search, and fires a burst He traverses and searches up and down until the right flank of the area target has been reached. The left gunner traverses and searches to the left flank in the same way.

Both gunners then reverse the direction of manipulation and return to the center of mass, firing a burst after each combined direction and elevation change.

Example of a fire command to engage an area target:





One Machinegun. A single gunner engages an area target by laying and adjusting on the center of mass, then traversing and searching to either flank. Upon reaching the flank, direction is reversed and the gun is traversed and searched in the opposite direction.


Machineguns need not be limited to supporting fire roles in the attack. In many situations, the leader can get best results from themachineguns by placing them in the assault (maneuver) elements. The procedures described are used when assaulting in a line, such as during a night attack or during the final stages of a day assault when fire superiority has been gained.

To assault successfully, crew members must:

• Deliver fire effectively without use of sights.

• Move rapidly and maintain aline-ment-

0 Reload rapidly to prevent lulls in the firing,

• Keep the fire low on the objective area.

• Distribute fire properly.

t The bipod legs are down for instant use in the prone position if necessary .

• The left hand is holding the hand-guard of the forearm assembly.

• The right hand is on the trigger-mechanism-group grip.

• The rear of the stock is held firmly against the forward portion of the right thigh.

• The left foot is pointed in the direction of the target during firing.

• The right foot is placed to the rear to provide stability.

• The gunner leans toward the target before and during firing.


There are three firing positions which may be used when firing the M60 machine-gun in the assault — hip, shoulder, and underarm. The use of each position at the proper time allows gunners to place effective fire on the enemy without alining the sights. In all assault firing positions, the gunner adjusts his fire by observing the tracers and the impact of the bullets in the target area. To support the machinegun in the assault, a sling is attached to the gun and placed over the gunner's shoulder. It supports the gun in the underarm or hip position.

Hip Firing Position. The hip firing position is used to get a heavy volume of fire in the target area when rapid movement is not necessary. This position is stable, but it is awkward to use while moving. Not less than nine rounds are fired in each burst. When firing from this position:

Military Shooting Positions

Shoulder Firing Position. The shoulder firing position is used to hit specific points in the target area when rapid movement, is not necessary- The gunner pauses and fires a burst as his left foot strikes the ground. This position gives accuracy, A maximum of nine rounds is fired in each burst. When firing from this position:

• The rear sight and bipod legs are down. To aim, the gunner alines the front sight with the target, depressing the muzzle so the top of the front sight is below the target.

• The gunner's hands and feet are placed the same as when firing from the hip position.

• The stock of the gun is held firmly into the shoulder, and the gunner leans toward the target before and during firing.

0 Once the gunner has fired a burst, he removes the gun from his shoulder and holds it in the ready position. He raises the gun back to his shoulder to fire the next burst. This reduces muscular tension and fatigue.

Underarm Firing Position. The underarm tiring position is used when closing with the enemy and when a heavy volume of fire and rapid movement are required. During limited visibility, this position may he used during the entire assault. The gunner's movement is continuous, and he fires a SHORT burst each time his left foot strikes the ground. (Firing a short burst each time his left foot strikes the ground is only a technique, not a requirement) A maximum of six rounds is fired in each burst. When firing from this position:


Gif Clipart Machine Gun Fire M60

# The rear sight and bipod legs are down.

• The gunner's hands and feet are placed the same as when firing from the hip position.


Gunner Clipart

• The gun is held firmly, well up into the right underarm and the right side of the chest. The gunner leans forward while firing.


Machinegun crews must move rapidly and maintain alinement with the other members of the assaulting element. To accomplish this, gunners must use the following techniques:

Move as rapidly as possible, consistent with their ability to fire accurately and maintain alinpmont*

Maintain aline men t by guiding on the base man, first team, or squad, using visual contact when possible. Use special techniques such as watching muzzle flashes and muzzle blasts, and sometimes making physical contact, during limited visibility.


Gunners and assistant gunners must reload rapidly to avoid lulls in the firing. This can be achieved by practice and by applying the following techniques:

Prior to the assault, the gunner conducts prefire checks on the gun- The assistant gunner removes the cardboard cover from the top of the bandoleer. He inspects the ammunition to insure that it is clean and serviceable, and he checks the bandoleer for serviceability.

During the assault, assistant gunners assist in reloading the gun; however, if the assistant gunner is hit, the gunner must continue moving forward and reload as rapidly as possible. The sling will assist the gunner in using both hands to reload. The assistant gunner move« to the left of the gunner, carrying a belt of 100 rounds of ammunition. He attaches it to the end of the belt in the gun before that belt is expended. If the gunner becomes a casualty, the assistant gunner must take the gun and continue in the assault or move to the objective for the consolidation and reorganization,


Gunners have a tendency to fire high in the assault. To overcome this, they must be trained to boldly depress the muzzle when firing and then adjust upward. It is easier to adjust upward than downward, and firing low takes advantage of ricochets.

The use of tracer ammunition provides a means of adjusting fire. At night, it aids in illuminating the objective area and has a demoralizing elleet on the enemy.


To properly distribute fire over the objective, gunners must fire and adjust rapidly and continuously on as much of the objective area as possible without endangering friendly troops. They must give priority of fire to enemy automatic weapons.


Fire delivered over the heads of friendly troops is called OVERHEAD FIRE. It is used during training ONLY AFTER TROOP SAFETY IS CHECKED AND VERIFIED.

The terrain and visibility dictate when overhead fire can be delivered safely. Refer to AR 385-6;} for a complete summary of training safety requirements.

Overhead fire CANNOT be safeiv do livered on a target at a range greater than Hf>0 meters from the M60 machinegun, and it is not delivered over level or uniformly sloping terrain.

Overhead fire is delivered with guns on TRIPODS because they provide greater stability and accuracy, and because vertical

mil angles can be measured by using the elevating mechanism.

Ideally, overhead fire is delivered when there is a depression in the terrain between the gun position and the target. The depression should place the gunner's line of aim well above the heads of friendly troops.

The squad leader normally controls overhead lire. He lifts or shifts the fire when the friendly troops reach an imaginary line, parallel to the target, where further fire would cause casualties to friendly troops. This imaginary line is called the SAFETY LIMIT. The leader of the friendly troops may direct lifting of fire by prearranged signals transmitted by radio, wire, or visual means.

The safety limit can be determined by observing the fire or by using the gunner's rule.

To determine the safety limit by observation, the leader uses binoculars to see how close the fire is to advancing friendly troops.

A safety limit can be selected by using the gunner's rule before the gun is fired. The accuracy and safety of this method depends upon the gun being ACCURATELY zeroed and the range to the target being correctly determined. The gunner's rule is used only when the target is between 350 and 850 meters from the gun. The gunner's rule consists of the following procedure:

Determine the range to the target and set the range on the rear sight.

Lay the gun to hit the target.

Raise the rear sight slide to 1,100 meters.

Depress the muzzle of the gun 10 mils by using the elevating hand wheel (one click equals 1 mil).

Look through the rear sight and note the point where the new line of aim strikes the ground. An imaginary line drawn through this point and parallel to the target is the


Reset the range to the target on the rear sight, re-lay on the target, and prepare to fire.

Cease or shift fire when troops reach the



The following safety measures MUST be applied when delivering overhead fire:

Firmly emplace the tripod mount.

Use field expedient depression stops to prevent the muzzle of the gun from accidentally being lowered below the SAFETY LIMIT.

Do not deliver overhead fire through trees.

Inform commanders of friendly troops when tire is to be delivered over their heads.

Insure that all members of the crew are aware of the SAFETY LIMIT.

I)o not deliver overhead fire if the range from the gun to the target is less than 3f)0 meters or more than 850 meters.

Do not use a barrel that is badly worn.

During training exercises, do not lay guns where their trajectories will cross at a point directly over the heads of friendly troops; and consult AR ^85-6*'I and local safety regulations concerning overhead fire.


At times, it may be desirable to employ machineguns from defilade positions.

A rnachinegun is in defilade when the gun and its crew are completely behind terrain which masks them from the enemy (usually on the reverse slope of a hill). The gun must fire up and over the hill. Its fire must be observed and adjusted by a crew member who can observe the target from a position on a flank or to the rear of the gun (on higher ground). A defilade position allows little opportunity to engage new

Advantages. The crew has cover and concealment from enemy direct fire weapons.

The crew has some freedom of movement in the vicinity of the position.

Control and supply are easier.

The smoke and flash of the gun are hidden from the enemv.

Disadvantages. Rapidly moving ground targets are hard to engage because adjustment of fire must be made through an observer.

Targets close to the mask usually cannot be engaged.

It is hard to get a final protective line.

targets. The tripod mount is used when firing from defilade because the gunner can measure vertical angles with it. This makes changes in elevation for adjusting fire easier, and, if data is determined during daylight, the crew can fire from the same position after dark.

A machinegun is in partial defilade when it is positioned just back of the crest of a hill so that the crest provides some protection from enemy direct fire and the gun is still able to engage its target by direct-lay techniques.

The essential elements in the engagement of a target from position defilade are mask clearance, direction, elevation, and adjustment of fire. If possible, a minimum mask clearance (minimum elevation) will be determined for the entire sector of fire. However, it may be necessary (due to the slope of the mask) to establish clearance for each target.

If the mask is <rS00 meters or less from the gun position, place a 300-meter range setting on the rear sight, lay on the top of the mask, and add 3 mils (clicks) of elevation with the elevating hand wheel.

If the mask is over <M)0 meters from the gun position, place the range setting to the mask on the rear sight, lay on top of the mask, and add 3 mils (clicks) of elevation.

Was this article helpful?

0 0


  • David
    How to engage linear targets?
    2 years ago

Post a comment