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Firing weapons is only part of overall NBC training. Soldiers must first be familiar with NBC equipment, its use, and proper wear before they progress to learning the techniques of MOPP firing. Trainers must consider the impact of MOPP equipment (hood or mask, gloves, overgarments) on the soldier's ability to properly apply the fundamentals of marksmanship and combat firing skills.

a. Operation and Function Modification. Handling the rifle, performing operation and function checks, loading and unloading, and cleaning are affected by MOPP equipment. Movements are slowed, tasks take longer to complete and often require more effort. Vision is impaired, and care is needed to avoid damaging MOPP equipment and possible exposure to lethal agents. Because of the great differences between no MOPP and MOPP4, soldiers must be trained in all aspects of operation and maintenance of the weapon while practicing at the highest MOPP level. Only through repeated training and practice can the soldier be expected to perform tasks efficiently.

b. Immediate Action. Under normal conditions a soldier should be able to clear a stoppage in three to five seconds. Under full MOPP, however, this may take as long as ten seconds to successfully complete. Dry-fire practice under these conditions is necessary to reduce time and streamline actions. Hood or mask and gloves must be worn. Care must be taken not to snag or damage the gloves or dislodge the hood or mask during movements. Applying immediate action to a variety of stoppages during dry fire must be practiced using dummy or blank ammunition until such actions can be performed by instinct.

(1) Vision is limited to what can be seen through the mask lenses or faceplate. Peripheral vision is severely restricted. The lenses or faceplate may be scratched or partly fogged, further restricting vision.

NOTE: Soldiers requiring corrective lenses must be issued insert lenses before training.

(2) Scanning movement may be restricted by the hood or mask. Any of these factors could adversely affect the soldier's ability to quickly and accurately detect targets. Additional skill practice should be conducted.

c. Marksmanship Fundamentals. Although the four marksmanship fundamentals remain valid during MOPP firing, some modifications may be needed to accommodate the equipment.

(1) Steady Position. Due to the added bulk of the over garment, firing positions may need adjustment for stability and comfort. Dry and live firing while standing, crouching, or squatting may be necessary to reduce bodily contact with contaminated ground or foliage. A consistent spot or stock weld is difficult to maintain due to the shape of the protective mask. This requires the firer to hold his head in an awkward position to place the eye behind the sight.

(2) Aiming. Wearing a protective mask may force firers to rotate (cant) the rifle to see through the rear aperture. The weapon should be rotated the least amount possible to see through and line up the sights. The center tip of the front sight post should be placed on the ideal aiming point. This ideal aiming procedure (Figure 7-18, page 7-20) should be the initial procedure taught and practiced.

(a) If this cannot be achieved, a canted sight picture may be practiced. The normal amount of cant needed by most firers to properly see through the sights has a limited influence on rounds fired at ranges between 75 meters or less.

(b) Rifle ballistics causes the strike of the bullet to impact low in the direction of the cant (when a cant is used) at longer ranges. Due to this shift in bullet strike and the many individual differences in sight alignment when wearing a protective mask, it is important to conduct downrange feedback training at ranges beyond 75 meters on known-distance ranges. This allows soldiers to determine what aiming adjustments are needed to achieve center target hits. Figure 7-19, page 7-21, shows what might be expected for a right-handed firer engaging a target at 175 meters with no cant and a certain amount of cant, and the adjustment in point of aim needed to move the bullet strike to the center of the target. Figure 7-20, shows what might be expected for a right-handed firer engaging a 300-meter target.

The adjustments in point of aim for left-handed firers are the opposite of those shown in Figures 7-19 and 7-20.

(c) Although bullet strike is displaced when using a cant, individual differences are such that center-of-mass aiming should be used until the individual knows what aiming adjustment is needed. When distant targets are missed, a right-handed firer should usually adjust his point of aim to the right and high; a left-handed firer should adjust to the left and high. Then, the aiming rules are clear.

(d) All targets should initially be engaged by aiming center mass, regardless of cant. When targets are missed while using a cant, firers should adjust the point of aim higher and opposite the direction of the cant. Actual displacement of the aiming point must be determined by using downrange feedback targets at ranges beyond 75 meters.

(3) Breath Control. Breathing is restricted and more difficult while wearing the protective mask. Physical exertion can produce labored breathing and make settling down into a normal breathing rhythm much more difficult. More physical effort is needed to move around when encumbered by MOPP equipment, which can increase the breath rate. All these factors make holding and controlling the breath to produce a well-aimed shot more energy and time consuming. Emphasis must be placed on rapid target engagement during the limited amount of time a firer can control his breath.

(4) Trigger Squeeze. Grasping the pistol grip and squeezing the trigger with the index finger is altered when the firer is wearing MOPP gloves. The action of the trigger finger is restricted, and the fit of the glove may require the release of the swing-down trigger guard. Because the trigger feels different, control differs from that used in barehanded firing. This difference cannot be accurately predicted. Dry-fire training using dime-washer exercises is necessary to ensure the firer knows the changes he will encounter during live fire.

2. Initial sight picture lor right-handed firers wealing protective mask,

2. Initial sight picture lor right-handed firers wealing protective mask,

M16a1 Rifle Characteristics
Figure 7-18. Sight picture when canting the rifle while wearing a protective mask (75-meter target).
Carbine Operator Breakdown
Figure 7-19. Engagement of 175-meter target.
M16a1 Assmbly
Figure 7-20. Engagement of 300-meter target.

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  • leila
    How to fire an M16A1 rifle with a protective mask?
    5 years ago

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