Area Targets

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

a. SAWS IN PAIRS. The target is divided at the midpoint; the right SAW fires on the right half and the left SAW fires on the left half. The point of initial lay and adjustment for both SAWs 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 comand to engage an area target:

FIRE MISSION

FRONT

REFERENCE: LONG PINE TREE, CENTER MASS TARGET: AREA, LEFT FIVE ZERO, RIGHT FIVE ZERO 700

SUSTAINED AT MY COMMAND FIRE

b. ONE SAW. 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 SAW is traversed and searched in the opposite direction.

5-14. ASSAULT FIRE REQUIREMENTS

SAW gunners need not be limited to supporting fire roles in the attack. In many situations, the leader can get best results from the SAWs by placing them in the assault (maneuver) elements. The procedures described below 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, gunners must:

• Deliver fire effectively without use of sights

• Move rapidly and maintain alignment

• Reload rapidly to prevent lulls in the firing

• Keep the fire low on the objective area

• Distribute fire properly.

5-15. ASSAULT FIRE POSITIONS

There are three firing positions that may be used when firing the SAW in the assault — hip, shoulder, and underarm. TTie use of each position at the proper time allows gunners to place effective fire on the enemy without aligning 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 SAW in the assault, a sling is attached to the SAW and placed over the gunner's shoulder. It supports the weapon in the underarm or hip position.

a. 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. When firing from this position:

(1) The bipod legs are down for instant use in the prone position if necessary.

(2) The left hand is holding the handguard.

(3) The right hand is on the trigger-mechanism-group grip.

(4) The rear of the stock is held firmly against the forward portion of the right thigh.

(5) The left foot is pointed in the direction of the target during firing.

(6) The right foot is placed to the rear to provide stability.

(7) The gunner leans toward the target before and during firing.

b. SHOULDER FIRING POSITION. The shoulder firing position is used to hit specific points in the target area when rapid movement is not

M249 Shoulder Rest

HIP FIRING POSITION

necessary. The gunner pauses and fires a burst as his left foot strikes the ground. This position gives accuracy. When firing from this position:

(1) The bipod legs are down. To aim, the gunner aligns the front sight with the target, depressing the muzzle so the top of the front sight is below the target.

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

(3) The stock of the SAW is held firmly against the shoulder, and the gunner leans toward the target before and during firing.

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

Gewehr Schie Ganzk Rper

SHOULDER FIRING POSITION

c. UNDERARM FIRING POSITION. The underarm firing 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 be used during the entire assault. When firing from this position:

(1) The bipod legs are down.

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

(3) The weapon is held firmly, well up into the right underarm and the . right side of the chest. The gunner leans forward while firing.

M240 Machine Gun Clipart

UNDERARM FIRING POSITION

5-16. MOVEMENT, SPEED, AND ALIGNMENT

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

a. Move as rapidly as possible, consistent with their ability to fire accurately and maintain alignment.

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

5-17» RELOADING

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

a. Prior to assault, the gunner conducts prefire checks on the weapon. He inspects ammunition to ensure that it is clean and serviceable, and he checks the box for serviceability.

b. During the assault, the gunner must continue moving forward and reload as rapidly as possible. The sling will assist the gunner in using both hands to reload.

5-18. FIRE AD JUSTMENT

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 effect on the enemy.

5-19. FIRE DISTRIBUTION.

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.

5-20. OVERHEAD FIRE

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 385-63 for a complete summary of training safety requirements. Overhead fire CANNOT be safely delivered on a target at a range greater than 800 meters from the SAW, and it is not delivered over level or uniformly sloping terrain. Ideally, overhead fire is delivered when there is a depression in the terrain between the SAW position and the target. The de pression should place the gunner's line of aim well above the heads of friendly troops.

a. SAFETY LIMIT. The squad leader normally controls overhead fire. 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 troopB 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 iB to advancing friendly troops. A safety limit can be selected by using the gunner's rule before the weapon is fired. The accuracy and safety of this method depends upon the weapon 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 800 meters from the weapon. The gunner's rule consists of the following procedure:

(1) Determine the range to the target and set the range on the rear sight.

(2) Lay the weapon to hit the target.

(3) Raise the rear sight to 1,000 meters.

(4) 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 SAFETY LIMIT.

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

(6) Cease or shift fire when troops reach the SAFETY LIMIT.

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

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

<2) Do not deliver overhead fire through trees.

(3) Inform commanders of friendly troops when fire is to be delivered over their heads.

(4) Ensure that all gunners are aware of the SAFETY LIMIT.

(5) Do not deliver overhead fire if the range from the weapon to the target is less than 350 meters or more than 800 meters.

(6) Do not use a barrel that is badly worn.

(7) During training exercises, do not lay SAWs where their trajectories will cross at a point directly over the heads of friendly troops; and consult AR 385-63 and local safety regulations concerning overhead fire.

5-21. DEFILADE POSITIONS

At times, it may be desirable to employ SAWs from defilade positions. A SAW is in defilade when the weapon and its gunner are completely behind terrain that masks them from the enemy (usually on the reverse slope of a hill). The weapon must fire up and over the hill. Its fire must be observed and adjusted by a squad member who can observe the target from a position on a flank or to the rear of the weapon (on higher ground). A defilade position allows little opportunity to engage new targets. A SAW 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 weapon is still able to engage its target by direct-lay techniques.

a. ADVANTAGES

(1) The gunner has cover and concealment from enemy direct fire weapons.

(2) The gunner has some freedom of movement in the vicinity of the position.

(3) Control and supply are easier.

(4) The smoke and flash of the weapon are hidden from the enemy.

b. DISADVANTAGES

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

(2) Targets close to the mask usually cannot be engaged.

(3) It is hard to get a final protective line.

5-22. ENGAGEMENT

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.

5-23. LAYING THE SAW FOR DIRECTION

The observer places himself to the rear of the weapon on the weapon-to-target line and in a position where he can see the weapon and the target. He aligns the weapon for general direction by directing the gunner to shift the weapon until it is aligned on the target. A prominent terrain feature or landmark visible to the gunner through his sights is selected as an aiming point. This aiming point should be at a greater range than the target and at a higher elevation. When laying the weapon on the aiming point, the range setting on the rear sight must correspond to the range to the target.

If the aiming point is on the weapon-to-target line, the weapon is laid on the aiming point and is thereby aligned for direction.

If the aiming point is not on the weapon-to-target line, the horizontal distance is determined using the best means available (usually binoculars) and announced to the gunner.

5-24. LAYING THE SAW FOR ELEVATION

The observer measures the vertical distance from the aiming point to the base of the target using the best means available and directs the gunner to depress the muzzle of the weapon. The weapon should now be laid to hit the target.

5-25. CONTROLLING FIRE

Fire from position defilade is controlled by an observer in a position near the weapon. An example of a fire command used to engage a target from position defilade is as follows (the weapon has already been laid for direction and elevation):

AS LAID

AT MY COMMAND FIRE

AIMING POINT

AIMING POINT ON GUN-TO-TARGET LINE GUN-TO-TARGET RANGE: 1,000 METERS

GUN-TO-TARGET RANGE: 1,000 METERS

DIRECTION: WITH REAR SIGHT AT 1.000

DIRECTION: WITH REAR SIGHT SET AT 1,000 METERS, LAY GUN ON AIMING POINT

ELEVATION: DEPRESS GUN 12 MILS

METERS. LAY GUN ON AIMING POINT; TRAVERSE GUN LEFT 14 MILS

ELEVATION: DEPRESS GUN 12 MILS

ADJUSTING FIRE BY OBSERVER

CHAPTER 6

Techniques of Fire During Limited Visibility

6-1. TERMINOLOGY

a. SECTOR OF FIRE. A sector of fire is an area to be covered by fire that is assigned to an individual, a weapon, or a unit. SAWs are normally assigned two sectors of fire: a primary sector and a secondary sector.

b. FINAL PROTECTIVE FIRES. Final protective fires (FPF) form an immediately available prearranged barrier of fire designed to stop enemy movement across defensive lines or areas. These fires consist of the fires of machine guns, mortars, and artillery, and include the SAW's final protective line (FPL) and mortar and artillery indirect fires.

c. FINAL PROTECTIVE LINE. An FPL is a predetermined line along which grazing fire is placed to stop an enemy assault. If an FPL is assigned, the SAW is laid on it except when other targets are being engaged. An FPL becomes the SAW's part of the unit's final protective fires. An FPL has the following characteristics:

(1) It is fixed in direction and elevation; however, a small shift for search must be employed to prevent the enemy from crawling under the FPL and to compensate for irregularities in the terrain or the sinking of the bipod legs into soft soil during firing.

(2) Fire can be delivered under all conditions of visibility.

d. PRINCIPAL DIRECTION OF FIRE. A principal direction of fire (PDF) is a priority direction of fire assigned to cover an area which provides good fields of fire or has a likely avenue of approach. It is also used to provide mutual support to an adjacent unit. Weapons are laid on the PDF if an FPL has not been assigned. If a PDF is assigned and other targets are not being engaged, weapons are laid on the PDF. A PDF has the following characteristics:

(1) It is used only if an FPL is not assigned; it then becomes the SAW's part of the unit's final protective fires.

(2) When the target has width, direction is determined by laying on one edge of the target area and noting the amount of traverse necessary to cover the entire target

(3) The gunner is responsible for the entire wedge-shaped area from the muzzle of the gun to the target, but elevation may be fixed for a priority portion of the target.

6-2. ENGAGEMENT OF VISIBLE TARGETS

During limited visibility (darkness, and during daylight when smoke, fog, rain,-or snow is present), it is hard to detect and identify targets. The leader's ability to control the fire of his weapons is also reduced, so he may instruct the gunners to fire without command when targets become visible. Gunners should engage targets only when they can identify them, unless ordered to do otherwise. For example, if one gunner detects a target and engages it, the other gunners will observe the area fired upon and add their fire only if they can identify the target or if ordered to fire at it.

Tracer ammunition helps a gunner engage visible targets during limited visibility, and it should be used if possible. Gunners must be trained to fire low at first and adjust upward when visibility is limited. This overcomes the tendency to fire high under those conditions.

When two or more weapons are engaging the same linear targets, linear targets with depth, or deep targets, no attempt is made to divide these targets as is done when visibility is good. When visibility is poor, the center and flanks of these targets may not be clearly defined; therefore, each gunner observes his tracers and covers what he believes to be the entire target.

6-3. VARIOUS TARGETS

a. LINEAR TARGETS. The gunner lays on what appears to be the center of mass of the target. With the bipod-mounted gun, the gunner traverses rapidly back and forth across the target by selecting successive aiming points.

b. LINEAR TARGETS WITH DEPTH. The gunner lays on the center of mass of the target. He then traverses and searches the target, covering the side closest to his position first. With the bipod-mounted gun, the gunner selects successive aiming points, covering what appears to be the entire target by observing his tracers.

c. DEEP TARGETS. The gunner first lays on the center of mass of the target. He searches down to the near end and then up to the far end. With the bipod-mounted weapon, the gunner covers the entire target by selecting successive aiming points and observing his tracers.

One type of target for the SAWs during limited visibility is enemy crew-served weapons. These enemy weapons may be identified during limited visibility by their muzzle flashes. To engage these targets, the gunner uses his night vision device. Fire should be delivered at the rapid rate and adjusted by observing the tracer stream.

6-4. PREDETERMINED FIRES

Predetermined fires are used to cover target areas such as avenues of enemy approach, likely sites for enemy weapons, and probable enemy assault routes.

a. GRAZING FIRE. A good FPL covers the maximum area with grazing fire. Grazing fire can be obtained over various types of terrain to a maximum range of 600 meters.

To obtain the maximum extent of grazing fire over level or uniformly sloping terrain, the gunner sets the rear sight at 600 meters. He then selects a point on the ground which he estimates to be 600 meters from the weapon, and he lays, fires, and adjusts on that point

If the gunner cannot obtain 600 meters of grazing fire because of a break in the terrain at ranges less than 600 meters, he determines the range to the break, indexes that range on his rear sight, and then lays, fires, and adjusts on that point.

AT RANGE TO LAY ON BREAK

RANGE TO BREAK

BREAK IN UNIFORM

DEAD SPACE SHOULD BE COVERED BY OTHER WEAPONS

GRAZING FIRES

AIMING POINT

To prevent enemy troops from crawling under the 1-meter-high grazing fire, a few mils of search (downward) should be applied by lowering the muzzle of the weapon.

b. DEAD SPACE. The extent of grazing fire and the extent of dead space may be determined in two ways:

(1) In the preferred method, a weapon is laid for elevation and direction (and cleared). A member of the squad then walks along the FPL while the gunner looks through his sights. In places where the soldier's waist (midsection) falls below the gunner's line of aim, dead space exists. Arm-and-hand signals must be used to control the soldier who is walking and to obtain an accurate account of the dead space and its location.

(2) Another method is to observe the flight of tracer ammunition from a position behind and to the flank of the weapon.

c. FIRE CONTROL. Predetermined targets, including the FPL or PDF, are engaged on order or by SOP. The signal for calling for these fires is normally stated in the defense order. Fires on predetermined targets may be controlled by arm-and-hand signals, voice commands, or pyrotechnic devices.

SA Ws fire the FPL or PDF at the rapid rate of fire unless the situation calls for a higher rate. When engaging other predetermined targets, the rapid rate of fire is used unless a different rate is ordered.

d. METHODS OF LAYING THE SAW FOR PREDETERMINED TARGETS. Field expedients serve as the only means of engaging predetermined targets in secondary sectors and aiding the gunner in moving quickly from one target to another in the primary sector during limited visibility.

(1) The Notched-Stake or Tree-Crotch Technique. The notched-stake or tree-crotch technique is used with the bipod-mounted weapon to engage predetermined targets within a sector or to define sector limits. This method is effective under all conditions of visibility and requires little additional material.

The stock of the weapon is placed in the rest of a notched stake or tree crotch and is adjusted to hit selected targets or to define Bector limits.

Shallow, curved trenches or grooves are dug for the bipod feet. These trenches allow rotation of the bipod feet as the stock is moved from one crotch or stake to another.

Targets For M249

TRENCHES FOR BIPOD LEGS

NOTCHED-STAKE OR TREE-CROTCH TECHNIQUE OF ENGAGING PRESELECTED TARGETS

(2) The Horizontal Log or Board Technique. This technique is used to mark sector limits and engage wide targets. The horizontal log or board technique is good for all conditions of visibility. It is best suited for flat, level terrain. The bipod firing position and grip are used, and the procedure is as follows:

(a) Place a log or board beneath the stock of the weapon so that the stock can slide across it freely.

(b) The sector limits may be marked by notching or placing stops on the horizontal log or board.

. > - • . >. v. • . . >" 1 • • ••

SECTOR LIMIT STAKES

CHAPTER 7 Marksmanship Training

7-1. PHASES AND ORGANIZATION

SAW marksmanship training includes qualification training on both the basic (10-meter) and the transition ranges. Marksmanship training is conducted in three phases: bipod instructional firing on the basic (10-meter) range; qualification practice and record firing on the basic (10-meter) range; and practice and qualification firing on the transition range. This chapter is specifically designed to assist unit commanders in the preparation and conduct of a SAW qualification program. It lists all the equipment and personnel required to conduct basic and transition firing.

Training outlined in this chapter is applicable to a unit of 200 to 250 soldiers. The training must be modified for units of other sizes.

A standard basic (10-meter) range can accommodate a unit of about 200 to 250 soldiers at a time; therefore, concurrent training may not be required. A standard transition range (10 lanes) cannot accommodate a unit of that size at one time; therefore, concurrent training is required to make the best use of training time.

M249 Saw Qualification Target

TARGET LINE

CONTROL FIRING LINE TOWER

BLEACHERS

LAYOUT OF A BASIC (10-METER) RANGE

An officer assigned as the principal instructor or alternate instructor may perform the duties of safety officer; however, the officer in charge cannot also act as safety officer. Chartmen and demonstrators may be used as lane or safety NCOs, group leaders, and assistant instructors, depending on the type of instruction. (Local range regulations may permit the use of an NCO as safety officer.)

7-2. OBJECTIVES

During basicmarksmanship training with the bipod-mounted SAW, the objectives and fundamentals of automatic fire marksmanship are taught and then applied and reinforced during live-fire exercises. This instruction is designed to introduce the gunner to the characteristics, noise, and recoil of the weapon during firing. The areas emphasized in marksmanship training are as follows:

a. Dry-fire exercise b. Obtaining an accurate initial burst c. Distribution of fire d. Observation and adjustment of fire e. Operating with speed.

Initially, emphasis will be placed upon attaining proficiency in the first four objectives. Speed will come as a by-product of constantly training.

7-3. DRY-FIRE EXERCISES.

Dry-fire training is conducted to train the gunner in techniques for loading, proper holding, firing, reducing stoppages, and clearing the weapon. In addition, it incorporates all the aspects of live firing, except that it is performed with dummy ammunition. Position and grip, sight picture, and trigger manipulation are the same as those used during live fire.

a. FIRING SEQUENCE. Each dummy round is aimed and fired at the aiming paster on the 10-meter target.

(1) During the firing of each dummy round, the gunner observes his sight picture through the feeding, locking, and firing cycle, which provides feedback on his ability to maintain his hold/sight picture.

(2) Immediate action is applied after firing each shot in order to extract and eject the dummy cartridge and return the bolt to the cocked position. The charging handle is returned to the forward position.

(3) If at the completion of the firing cycle, the gunner observes movement of the sight picture any greater than 1/2 centimeter off the point-of-aim, his position and/or holding techniques are not steady.

b. SIGHT SETTING AND SIGHT CHANGES. These exercises are to train the gunner in the proper operation and adjustment of the rear sight.

(1) Adjustments for range are taught by requiring the gunner to manipulate the rear sight to each range setting (300 to 1,000 meters), noting the even-numbered range settings are on the left side of the scale wheel, and odd-numbered range settings are on the right. Rotation of the knob (rear knob) toward the muzzle increases range, while rotation toward the stock decreases range.

(2) Adjustments for windage are taught by requiring the gunner to traverse the rear sight across the entire allowable clicks. Rotation of the windage knob (front knob) toward the muzzle moves the peep aperture right, while rotation toward the stock moves the aperture left.

(3) Fine adjustments for elevation are taught by requiring the gunner to manipulate the peep aperture through its maximum range from bottom (0 clicks in elevation) to the top (approximately 9 clicks elevation). Clockwise rotations decrease elevation, while counterclockwise rotations increase elevation. Each 180-degree turn equals a 1/2-centimeter change in impact at a 10-meter range.

(4) Starting position for zeroing an unzeroed gun:

(a) The starting position will be taught as center for windage (approximately 12 clicks L) and 500 elevation (peep sight at lowest position).

NOTE: Each sight may vary as to how many clicks are needed to canter the sight. To check your sight, start with the sight all the way to the right and, while counting the clicks, rotate the windage knob backwards until it stops on the left side. Divide the number of clicks by two. Example: 24 clicks = 12 to center. If the number of clicks is uneven, use the larger figure. Example: 23 dicks = 11 + 12: use 12.

(b) Recording zero is taught by determining the total adjustment required —from the starting position — and recording the final sight setting.

(c) Adjust the sliding scale at the rear of the eight to center the large index line under the zeroed windage mark on the sight.

NOTE: Soldiers should practice the tasks until they become proficient before they are given the c. DRY-FIRE PROFICIENCY (PERFORMANCE) EXAM. The thrust of this program is performance-oriented training. It emphasizes learning by doing. Proficiency will be tested on a pass/fail basis. The evaluation tests in Appendix A will be used for this purpose. Soldiers who fail must be retrained and retested. Soldiers who have passed the dry-fire proficiency exam,

proficiency test may be used to assist in the training of soldiers experiencing difficulty. A soldier must demonstrate skill in all the tasks of the dry-fire proficiency exam before he is allowed to progress to 10-meter live firing.

d. REMEDIAL TRAINING. Remedial training must be given to soldiers who fail to pass the performance objectives. Remedial training is essentially retraining on those tasks in which the soldier has failed to demonstrate proficiency. Following retraining, the soldier will be reteBted in those tasks.

7-4. FIRE COMMANDS

The standard fire command is used as a means of control during marksmanship training. The fire command, as it applies to the basic range, must be explained to the gunner. The element« are given (as appropriate) before each firing exercise. The gunner takes action as directed and repeats each element as it is announced. For a detailed explanation of fire commands, refer to Chapter 5. Some of the elements are:

a. ALERT. The alert is given as a fire mission. Upon hearing the alert, the gunner loads his weapon and places the safety lever on FIRE.

b. DIRECTION. Since the targets appear to the gunner's front on the basic range, direction is given as FRONT.

c. DESCRIPTION. Description is given as PASTER NUMBER (pasters 1 through 8 as appropriate), at which time the gunner lays on the announced paster.

d. RANGE. A range setting of 500 meters on the rear sight assembly is always used on the basic range. This is announced as FIVE HUNDRED, at which time the gunner must ensure that his rear sight assembly has the correct range setting.

e. METHOD OF FIRE. Firing on the basic range with the bipod-mounted weapon is a point target, so the method of fire is announced as FIXED. The gunner fires either single rounds or bursts of six at a rate slower than the sub8tained rate; therefore, the rate-of-fire element is omitted.

f. COMMAND TO OPEN FIRE. This is announced as AT MY COMMAND. When the gunner is ready, he announces UP and extends his left hand and arm in the READY signal. When all gunners are ready to fire, the command FIRE is given.

7-5. TARGET ANALYSIS AND SCORING

a. The basic machine gun marksmanship target is used on the basic range. The following explanation of the target, including the size of the aiming pasters and scoring spaces, will aid in zeroing the SAWs and will facilitate control during firing exercises.

b. The target consists of four sections, lettered A, B, C, and D. Each section has scoring spaces for eight fixed-fire exercises (scoring spaces 1,2,3,4,5,6, 7, and 8) and two traversing and searching exercises (scoring spaces 5 and 6, and 7 and 8).

c. Each scoring space is 4 centimeters wide and 5 centimeters high. The black aiming paster within each numbered scoring space is 1 centimeter square.

d. Targets are analyzed and scored to determine the gunner's proficiency and to see if more training is needed in any of the fundamentals of SAW marksmanship.

e. During bipod firing, a target is best analyzed by considering the common errors of SAW marksmanship. The common errors shown below assume a properly zeroed weapon.

INCORRECT SIGHT PICTURE

INCORRECT GRIP. THE GUNNER IS NOT LOCKING HIS ELBOWS AND SHOULDERS PRIOR TO AND DURING FIRING

INCORRECT SIGHT ALIGNMENT

INCORRECT SIGHT ALIGNMENT AND SIGHT PICTURE

INCORRECT POSITION AND GRIP. THE GUNNER'S LEFT ELBOW MOVED. THE GUN-NER SHOULD LOCK HIS ELBOWS AND SHOULDERS PRIOR AND DURING FIRING.

INCORRECT POSITION AND GRIP. THE GUNNER'S RIGHT ELBOW MOVED. THE GUNNER SHOULD LOCK HIS ELBOWS AND SHOULDERS PRIOR TO AND DURING FIRING.

IMPROPER TRIGGER CONTROL

COMMON ERRORS ENCOUNTERED ON THE BASIC 10-METER

SAW RANGE ^

NOTE: Large shot groups are usually caused by incorrect position and grip; small shot groups outside of the scoring spaca are usually caused by incorrect sight alignment, sight picture, or zero.

7-6. OBTAINING AN ACCURATE INITIAL BURST

The fundamentals of obtaining an accurate two- to three-round initial burst include firing position, grip, aim, trigger manipulation, and a good zero on the weapon.

a. FIRING POSITION AND GRIP. In automatic fire, position is the most important aspect of marksmanship. To better understand this, assume that the firer has a good zero, aims his weapon correctly, and properly applies a steady hold in firing a burst of two or three rounds. The first round of that burst will hit the target at the point of aim; however, this will not necessarily be true of the second and third rounds. The first round hits the aiming point the same as when a round is fired singly. The recoil from the first and subsequent rounds will disturb the lay of the weapon progressively with each round of the burst. The relationship between the point of impact of the first and subsequent rounds of the burst will depend on the stability of the firer's position. The firer's body, directly behind the weapon, serveB as a foundation, and his grip serves as a lock to hold the weapon against this foundation. The better the body alignment and the steadier the grip, the less dispersed will be the rounds of a burst of automatic fire. The SAW firing position and grip require the gunner to:

(1) Assume a prone position and place the folding shoulder rest on the right shoulder. An imaginary line drawn through the weapon should bisect the right shoulder and the right buttock.

(2) Spread his legs to a comfortable distance apart with heels down as close to the ground as possible.

(3) Grasp the pistol grip with his right hand with his index finger resting lightly on the trigger. His left hand should be placed on the comb of the stock with thumb curled underneath.

(4) Position his right cheek against the forefinger of the left hand at a point between the second joint and the hand to form a spotweld. A conscious effort should be made to position the left hand and cheek at the same spot on the stock each time the weapon is fired.

(5) Apply a firm, steady pressure rearward and to the left to bring the weapon tightly into the shoulder and neck while aiming and firing.

(6) Keep his shoulders level and his elbows an equal distance from the receiver of the weapon.

M249 Shoulder Rest

IMAGINARY UNE

NOTE: Helmet intentionally omitted to show hand positions.

LEGS A COMFORTABLE DISTANCE APART HEELS DOWN, IF POSSIBLE

y RIGHT CHEEK POSITIONED AGAINST

THE FOREFINGER OF THE LEFT HAND

NOTE: This is an example of the position and grip. Iff soldier has problems obtaining proper sight picture with this grip, he should shift to a position that allows him a proper sight picture.

FIRING POSITION

NOTE: LEFT-HANDED FIRING. Reverse side» for the previous instruction. Keep in mind thet the SAW e>ects expended brass snd links at s 90-dagree angle to the RIGHT of the weapon end downward. Caution should be taken to avoid bouncing brass.

b. AIM. The gunner aligns the peep sight with the round sight aperture on the front sight, which places the front sight post in the center of the peep . sight. An imaginary horizontal line drawn through the center of the peep sight would touch the top of the front sight post. Add an imaginary vertical line through the center of the peep sight; it would bisect the front sight post. / The gunner centers the top of the front sight post on the center base of the target.

M249 Zero Procedures

SIGHT PICTURES

c. TRIGGER MANIPULATION. The trigger is not squeezed as with a rifle; it is pulled straight to the rear and then released. This aids the gunner in controlling the number of rounds in each burst.

d. TEN-METER ZEROING. This is accomplished by adjusting the rear sight until the strike of the projectiles coincides with the point of aim at a given range. Zeroing the SAW on the basic machine gun range is accomplished by the following step-by-step procedure. The SAW will hit the point of aim at 10 meters when the range elevation knob (rear knob) is set at 500 meters.

Step 1 — Set Sights. The gunner must first center his sights by rotating the windage knob (front knob) forward toward the muzzle until the peep sight is completely to the right. He then rotates the knob rearward toward the stock (peep sight moves left) 12 clicks. Each sight may vary as to how many clicks are needed to center the sight. To check your sight, start with the sight all the way to the right and, while counting the clicks, rotate the windage knob backwards until it stops on the left side. Divide the number of clicks by two. Example: 24 clicks = 12 to center. If the number is uneven, use the larger figure. Example: 23 clicks = 11 + 12; use 12. He then sets the elevation at 500 meters. Fine adjustments for elevation are made by rotating the peep sight. Rotating the peep sight clockwise lowers the peep sight and the impact of rounds. Counterclockwise rotation of the peep sight raises the peep sight and the impact of the rounds. For this step, the peep sight is adjusted to its lowest position.

Step 2 — Fire a Three-Round Group. Once the command to fire is given, the gunner will fire three single rounds loaded individually at the center base of the aiming paster A1 or Cl on the basic machine gun marksmanship target (FSN 6920-078-5128). He does not make any adjustments to the sights while firing these rounds. The shot group must be 11/4 inches (3.2 centimeters) or smaller to establish the center of the group in relation to the center base of the aiming paster. Additional shot groups should be fired as necessary.

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  • semira abaalom
    Is the m249 an area weapon?
    2 years ago

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