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29 November 2007 - 01:44 AMAs a USARMY NCO and shooting instructor for my unit, I can not agree with many of the positions shown. There are 4 fundamentals to good marksmanship, 1 steady position, 2 good sight picture, 3 breath hold, and 4 trigger squeeze. With out a steady position you are not effective and many of his positions are not as steady as they could be.
Iím sure this was well intended and thought out, itís not all bad advice, I just see a lot of mistakes that become bad habits. When I have the time, Iíll get a better resource for you guys to look at.
This is straight from FM 3-22.9 Rifle Marksmanship M16A1, M16A2/3, M16A4 and M4 Carbine. It's not perfict but should still help some of you out.
You can find this (with illustrations) and many other FMs at
-5. THE FOUR FUNDAMENTALS
The soldier must understand and apply the four key fundamentals before he approaches the firing line. He must establish a steady position allowing observation of the target. He must aim the rifle at the target by aligning the sight system, and fire the rifle without disturbing this alignment by improper breathing or during trigger squeeze. These skills are known collectively as the four fundamentals. Applying these four fundamentals rapidly and consistently is the integrated act of firing.
a. Steady Position. When the soldier approaches the firing line, he should assume a comfortable, steady firing position. The time and supervision each soldier has on the firing line are limited. He must learn how to establish a steady position during integrated act of dry-fire training (Figure 4-15). The firer is the best judge of the quality of his position. If he can hold the front sight post steady through the fall of the hammer, he has a good position. The steady position elements are as follows.
(1) Nonfiring Handgrip. The rifle hand guard rests on the heel of the hand in the V formed by the thumb and fingers. The grip of the non-firing hand is light.
(2) Rifle Butt Position. The butt of the rifle is placed in the pocket of the firing shoulder. This reduces the effect of recoil and helps ensure a steady position.
(3) Firing Handgrip. The firing hand grasps the pistol grip so it fits the V formed by the thumb and forefinger. The forefinger is placed on the trigger so the lay of the rifle is not disturbed when the trigger is squeezed. A slight rearward pressure is exerted by the remaining three fingers to ensure that the butt of the stock remains in the pocket of the shoulder, minimizing the effect of recoil.
(4) Firing Elbow Placement. The firing elbow is important in providing balance. Its exact location depends on the firing/fighting position used. Placement should allow shoulders to remain level.
(5) Nonfiring Elbow. The non-firing elbow is positioned firmly under the rifle to allow a comfortable and stable position. When the soldier engages a wide sector of fire, moving targets, and targets at various elevations, his non-firing elbow should remain free from support.
(6) Cheek-to-Stock Weld. The stock weld should provide a natural line of sight through the center of the rear sight aperture to the front sight post and on to the target. The firer's neck should be relaxed, allowing his cheek to fall naturally onto the stock. Through dry-fire training, the soldier practices this position until he assumes the same cheek-to-stock weld each time he assumes a given position, which provides consistency in aiming. Proper eye relief is obtained when a soldier establishes a good cheek-to-stock weld. A small change in eye relief normally occurs each time that the firer assumes a different firing position. The soldier should begin by trying to touch the charging handle with his nose when assuming a firing position. This will aid the soldier in maintaining the same cheek-to-stock weld hold each time the weapon is aimed. The soldier should be mindful of how the nose touches the charging handle and should be consistent when doing so. This should be critiqued and reinforced during dry-fire training.
Figure 4-15. Steady position.
(7) Support. When artificial support (sandbags, logs, stumps) is available, it should be used to steady the position and support the rifle. If it is not available, then the bones, not the muscles, in the firer's upper body must support the rifle.
(8) Muscle Relaxation. If support is used properly, the soldier should be able to relax most of his muscles. Using artificial support or bones in the upper body as support allows him to relax and settle into position. Using muscles to support the rifle can cause it to move due to muscle fatigue.
(9) Natural Point of Aim. When the soldier first assumes his firing position, he orients his rifle in the general direction of his target. Then he adjusts his body to bring the rifle and sights exactly in line with the desired aiming point. When using proper support and consistent cheek to stock weld the soldier should have his rifle and sights aligned naturally on the target. When correct body-rifle-target alignment is achieved, the front sight post must be held on target, using muscular support and effort. As the rifle fires, muscles tend to relax, causing the front sight to move away from the target toward the natural point of aim. Adjusting this point to the desired point of aim eliminates this movement. When multiple target exposures are expected (or a sector of fire must be covered), the soldier adjusts his natural point of aim to the center of the expected target exposure area (or center of sector).
b. Aiming. Having mastered the task of holding the rifle steady, the soldier must align the rifle with the target in exactly the same way for each firing. The firer is the final judge as to where his eye is focused. The instructor or trainer emphasizes this point by having the firer focus on the target and then focus back on the front sight post. He checks the position of the firing eye to ensure it is in line with the rear sight aperture.
(1) Rifle Sight Alignment. Alignment of the rifle with the target is critical. It involves placing the tip of the front sight post in the center of the rear sight aperture (Figure 4-16). Any alignment error between the front and rear sights repeats itself for every 1/2 meter the bullet travels. For example, at the 25-meter line, any error in rifle alignment is multiplied 50 times. If the bullet is misaligned by 1/10 inch, it causes a target at 300 meters to be missed by 5 feet.
Figure 4-16. Correct sight alignment.
(2) Focus of the Eye. A proper firing position places the eye directly in line with the center of the rear sight aperture. When the eye is focused on the front sight post, the natural ability of the eye to center objects in a circle and to seek the point of greatest light (center of the aperture) aid in providing correct sight alignment. For the average soldier firing at combat-type targets, the natural ability of the eye can accurately align the sights. Therefore, the firer can place the tip of the front sight post on the aiming point, but the eye must be focused on the tip of the front sight post. This causes the target to appear blurry, while the front sight post is seen clearly. Two reasons for focusing on the front sight post are:
(a) Only a minor aiming error should occur since the error reflects only as much as the soldier fails to determine the target center. A greater aiming error can result if the front sight post is blurry due to focusing on the target or other objects.
( Focusing on the tip of the front sight post aids the firer in maintaining proper sight alignment (Figure 4-17).
(3) Sight Picture. Once the soldier can correctly align his sights, he can obtain a sight picture. A correct sight picture has the target, front sight post, and rear sight aligned. The sight picture includes two basic elements: sight alignment and placement of the aiming point.
(a) Placement of the aiming point varies, depending on the engagement range. For example, Figure 4-17 shows a silhouette at 300 meters where the aiming point is the center of mass, and the sights are aligned for a correct sight picture.
Figure 4-17. Correct sight picture.
( A technique to obtain a good sight picture is the side aiming technique (Figure 4-18). It involves positioning the front sight post to the side of the target in line with the vertical center of mass, keeping the sights aligned. The front sight post is moved horizontally until the target is directly centered on the front sight post.
Figure 4-18. Side aiming technique.
(4) Front Sight. The front sight post is vital to proper firing and should be replaced when damaged. The post should be blackened anytime it is shiny since precise focusing on the tip of the front sight post cannot be done otherwise.
(5) Aiming Practice. Aiming practice is conducted before firing live rounds. During day firing, the soldier should practice sight alignment and placement of the aiming point. Using training aids such as the M15A1 aiming card can do this.
c. Breath Control. As the firer's skills improve and as timed or multiple targets are presented, he must learn to control his breath at any part of the breathing cycle. Two types of breath control techniques are practiced during dry fire. The coach/trainer ensures that the firer uses two breathing techniques and understands them by instructing him to exaggerate his breathing. The firer must be aware of the rifle's movement (while sighted on a target) as a result of breathing.
(1) The first technique is used during zeroing (and when time is available to fire a shot) (Figure 4-19). There is a moment of natural respiratory pause while breathing when most of the air has been exhaled from the lungs and before inhaling. Breathing should stop after most of the air has been exhaled during the normal breathing cycle. The shot must be fired before the soldier feels any discomfort.
Figure 4-19. Breath control for engaging single targets.
(2) The second breath control technique is employed during rapid fire (short-exposure targets) (Figure 4-20). Using this technique, the soldier stops his breath when he is about to squeeze the trigger.
Figure 4-20. Breath control while engagement of short-exposure targets.
d. Trigger Squeeze. A novice firer can learn to place the rifle in a steady position and to correctly aim at the target if he follows the basic principles. If the trigger is not properly squeezed, the rifle will be misaligned with the target at the moment of firing.
(1) Rifle Movement. Trigger squeeze is important for two reasons: First, any sudden movement of the finger on the trigger can disturb the lay of the rifle and cause the shot to miss the target. Second, the precise instant of firing should be a surprise to the soldier. The soldier's natural reflex to compensate for the noise and slight punch in the shoulder can cause him to miss the target if he knows the exact instant the rifle will fire. The soldier usually tenses his shoulders when expecting the rifle to fire. It is difficult to detect since he does not realize he is flinching. When the hammer drops on a dummy round and does not fire, the soldier's natural reflexes demonstrate that he is improperly squeezing the trigger.
(2) Trigger Finger. The trigger finger (index finger on the firing hand) is placed on the trigger between the first joint and the tip of the finger (not the extreme end) and adjusted depending on hand size, grip, and so on. The trigger finger must squeeze the trigger to the rear so the hammer falls without disturbing the lay of the rifle. When a live round is fired, it is difficult to see what effect trigger pull had on the lay of the rifle. It is important to experiment with many finger positions during dry-fire training to ensure the hammer is falling with little disturbance to the aiming process.
(a) As the firer's skills increase with practice, he needs less time spent on trigger squeeze. Novice firers can take five seconds to perform an adequate trigger squeeze, but, as skills improve, he can squeeze the trigger in a second or less. The proper trigger squeeze should start with slight pressure on the trigger during the initial aiming process. The firer applies more pressure after the front sight post is steady on the target and he is holding his breath.
( The coach/trainer observes the trigger squeeze, emphasizes the correct procedure, and checks the firer's applied pressure. He places his finger on the trigger and has the firer squeeze the trigger by applying pressure to the coach/trainer's finger. The coach/trainer ensures that the firer squeezes straight to the rear on the trigger avoiding a left or right twisting movement. The coach/trainer observes that the firer follows through and holds the trigger to the rear for approximately one second after the round has been fired. A steady position reduces disturbance of the rifle during trigger squeeze.
© Wobble area is the movement of the front sight around the aiming point when the rifle is in the steadiest position. From an unsupported position, the firer experiences a greater wobble area than from a supported position. If the front sight strays from the target during the firing process, pressure on the trigger should be held constant and resumed as soon as sighting is corrected. The position must provide for the smallest possible wobble area. From a supported position, there should be minimal wobble area and little reason to detect movement. If movement of the rifle causes the front sight to leave the target, more practice is needed. The firer should never try to quickly squeeze the trigger while the sight is on the target. The best firing performance results when the trigger is squeezed continuously, and the rifle is fired without disturbing its lay.
4-6. 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 4-21). 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.
Figure 4-21. 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 4-22) 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.
29 November 2007 - 12:56 AMI have to agree with many of these guys; it is completely the style of play and not the gear you chose to use. Many times I have played "dagger" with a stock pump. Were there times that I wished I had my auto? You bet! But I was still having fun and effective in my position on the field. I honestly think using a heavier gun would be more of a handicap to me than a pump gun.
29 November 2007 - 12:48 AMIím in the ARMY so my job demands that I am in reasonable shape. Besides the usual running, pushups and situps I do very long road bike rides (6-8hrs pedal time) and mountain biking whenever possible.
25 November 2007 - 01:45 AMmuzzle loading rifles dedicated to shoot round ball have a twist some ware around 1 in 70in (in othere words almost straight). This was a huge improvement over smooth bore muskets and I would imagine that simaller rifleing in a PB gun would have simaler results.
25 November 2007 - 01:30 AMif there were 1 of each put on a completly even field who would win? they all had been playing for the same amount of time, they all hade there choice gear custom to fit there position, and they all had there choice of weapon, and paint? who would win
I think the patientce of a good sniper would eventualy win out, as long as there was no time limit.
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