Firing Positions

During preliminary marksmanship instruction only the basic firing positions are taught. The other positions are added later in training to support tactical conditions. The two firing positions used during initial training are the individual foxhole supported firing position and the basic prone unsupported firing position. Both offer a stable platform for firing the rifle. They are also the positions used during basic record fire.

a. Individual Foxhole Supported Firing Position. This position provides the most stable platform for engaging targets (Figure 4-22). Upon entering the position, the soldier adds or removes dirt, sandbags, or other supports to adjust for his height. He then faces the target, executes a half-face to his firing side, and leans forward until his chest is against the firing-hand corner of the position. He places the rifle hand guard in a V formed by the thumb and fingers of his nonfiring hand, and rests the nonfiring hand on the material (sandbags or berm) to the front of the position. The soldier places the butt of the weapon in the pocket of his firing shoulder and rests his firing elbow on the ground outside the position. (When prepared positions are not available, the prone supported position can be substituted.) Once the individual supported fighting position has been mastered, the firer should practice various unsupported positions to obtain the smallest possible wobble area during final aiming and hammer fall. The coach-trainer can check the steadiness of the position by observing movement at the forward part of the rifle, by looking through the Ml6 sighting device, or by checking to see support is being used.

Supported Firing Position
Figure 4-22. Individual foxhole supported firing position.

NOTE: The objective is to establish a steady position under various conditions. The ultimate performance of this task is combat. Although the firer must be positioned high enough to observe all targets, he must remain as low as possible to provide added protection from enemy fire.

b. Basic Prone Unsupported Firing Position. This firing position (Figure 4-23) offers another stable firing platform for engaging targets. To assume this position, the soldier faces his target, spreads his feet a comfortable distance apart, and drops to his knees. Using the butt of the rifle as a pivot, the firer rolls onto his nonfiring side, placing the nonfiring elbow close to the side of the magazine. He places the rifle butt in the pocket formed by the firing shoulder, grasps the pistol grip with his firing hand, and lowers the firing elbow to the ground. The rifle rests in the V formed by the thumb and fingers of the non-firing hand. The soldier adjusts the position of his firing elbow until his shoulders are about level, and pulls back firmly on the rifle with both hands. To complete the position, he obtains a stock weld and relaxes, keeping his heels close to the ground.

Prone Firing Position
Figure 4-23. Basic prone unsupported firing position.
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