Singlelead Rule For Moving Targets

For the firer to apply precise lead rules he must accurately estimate speed, angle, and range to the target during the enemy soldier's brief exposure. The single-lead rule (place the trailing edge of the front sight post at target center) places effective fire on most high-priority combat targets. At 100 meters, the rule begins to break down for targets moving at slight and large angles.

a. Lead Requirements. To effectively engage moving targets on the battlefield, soldiers must understand lead requirements. Figure 7-28 shows the amount of lead required to hit a 300-meter target moving 8 miles per hour at a 90-degree angle. Aiming directly at the target would result in missing it. When an enemy soldier is running 8 miles per hour, 90

degrees to the firer, and at a range of 300 meters, he covers 4 1/2 feet while the bullet is traveling toward him. To get a hit, the firer must aim and fire at position D when the enemy is at position A. This indicates the need for target lead and for marksmanship trainers to know bullet speed and how it relates to the range, angle, and speed of the target. Soldiers must understand that targets moving fast and laterally must be led by some distance if they are to be hit.

Figure 7-28. Lead requirement based on distance and approach angle.

(1) To hit a target moving laterally, the firer places the trailing edge of the front sight post at target center. (The sight-target relationship is shown in Figure 7-29, page 7-32.) The single-lead rule automatically increases the lead as the range to the target increases. (Figure 7-30, page 7-32, shows how this works, with the front sight post covering about 1.6 inches at 15 meters and about 16 inches at 150 meters.) Since the center of the front sight post is the actual aiming point, placing the trailing edge of the front sight post at target center provides a .8-inch lead on a 15-meter target and an 8-inch lead on a target at 150 meters.

(2) This rule provides a dead-center hit on a 15-meter target moving at 7 miles per hour at a 25-degree angle because the target moves .8 inches between the time the rifle is fired and the bullet arrives at the target. A 150-meter target moving at 7 miles per hour at a 25-degree angle moves 8 inches between the time the weapon is fired and the bullet arrives. This rule provides for hits on the majority of high priority combat targets.

Moving Rifle Targets
Figure 7-29. Single-lead rule.
Leads For Moving Targets
Figure 7-30. Lead increasing at greater ranges.

b. Target Speed. Figure 7-31 reflects the differences in lateral speed for various angles of target movement for a target traveling at 8 miles per hour at a distance of 150 meters from the firer. The angle of target movement is the angle between the target-firer line and the target's direction of movement. An 8-mile-per-hour target moves 24 inches during the bullet's flight time. If the target is moving on a 15-degree angle, it moves 6 inches (the equivalent of 2 miles per hour).

Leads For Moving Targets
Figure 7-31. Target movement (distance) at various angles.

(2) Since the target lead is half the perceived width of the front sight post, at 100 meters the standard sight provides 5.4 inches of lead for the M16A1/2/3/4 and M4 front sights (Table 7-1).

ANGLE OF TARGET MOVEMENT (Degrees)

RANGE: 100 METERS

(STANDARD SIGHT) TARGET SPEED

4 MPH

6 MPH

8 MPH

5

+4.9"

+4.5"

+4.3"

10

+4.1"

+3.5"

+2.7"

15

+3.5"

+2.5"

+1.5"

20

+2.8"

+1.5"

+.2"

25

+2.2"

+.7"

-1.0"

30

+1.7"

-.2"

-2.0"

35

+1.1"

-1.1"

-3.2"

40

+.6"

-1.9"

-4.3"

45

-2.7"

-5.4"

50

-.4"

-3.3"

-6.2"

55

-.8"

-4.0"

-7.0"

60

-1.2"

-4.5"

-7.7"

65

-1.5"

-4.9"

-8.4"

70

-1.7"

-5.3"

-8.8"

75

-1.9"

-5.6"

-9.2"

80

-2.0"

-5.9"

-9.6"

85

-2.1"

-5.9"

-9.7"

90

-2.1"

-6.0"

-9.8"

NOTE: Plus (+) indicates bullet strike in the direction of movement; minus (-) indicates bullet strike behind the target center

Table 7-1. Angle of target movement.

Table 7-1. Angle of target movement.

c. Target Distance. The front sight post covers only a small part of close-in targets, providing hits on close targets moving at any angle and any speed. However, if the lead rule is applied on more distant targets moving at a slight angle—for example, 5 degrees at 100 meters—the bullet strikes forward of target center, about 4 inches with standard sights and about 7 inches with LLLSS sights. Soldiers must be taught to fire at targets as though they are stationary until lateral movement is observed (15 degrees).

(1) The rule provides for many speed-angle combinations that place the bullet within 2 inches of target center (Table 7-1). Since the soldier is expected to fire a 12-inch group on moving targets at 100 meters, the rule provides for hits on the majority of targets. Even the worst case (a 90-degree target moving at 8 miles per hour) would result in the shot-group center being located 9.8 inches behind target center. If bullets were evenly distributed in a 12-inch group, this would result in hitting the target 40 percent of the time.

(2) Soldiers should be taught to increase their lead if they miss the targets, which increases their probability of hitting all targets. The amount of additional lead required should be developed through experience with only general guidance provided. For example, if there is much lateral movement of the target and the soldier feels, by applying the lead rule and firing fundamentals, he has missed the target, he should increase his lead.

(3) The training program must be simple and provide soldiers with only relevant information to improve their performance in combat. All soldiers should understand and apply the single-lead rule in the absence of more information. Soldiers should understand that moving targets coming toward them or on a slight angle (0 to 15 degrees) should be engaged as stationary targets. Information should be presented and practice allowed on applying additional lead to targets for soldiers who demonstrate this aptitude.

d. Target Angle. The single-lead rule does not apply to targets moving at small and large angles (Table 7-2).

(1) A walking enemy soldier at 250 meters is hit dead center when he is moving at 40 degrees. Hits can be obtained if he is moving on any angle between 15 and 75 degrees. When he is running, a center hit is obtained when the target is on an angle of 18 degrees; misses occur when he exceeds an angle of 30 to 35 degrees.

(2) The information provided in Figure 7-31 and Table 7-1 (page 7-33) is designed to enhance instructor understanding so proper concepts are presented during instruction. For example, a target at 100 meters moving at 6 miles per hour receives a center hit when moving at 29 degrees. When moving at an angle less than 29 degrees, the bullet strikes somewhat in front of target center. When moving at an angle of more than 29 degrees, the bullet strikes somewhat behind target center.

STANDARD SIGHT

RANGE

4 MPH

6 MPH

8 MPH

25M

48°

30°

22°

50M

47°

30°

22°

100M

45°

29°

21°

150M

44°

28°

20°

200M

41°

27°

19°

250M

40°

26°

18°

300M

33°

21°

16°

350M

38°

24°

18°

400M

35°

22°

17°

450M

33°

21°

16°

Table 7-2. Target angle when dead center; hits occur using the single-lead rule.

Table 7-2. Target angle when dead center; hits occur using the single-lead rule.

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