We are continuing our discussion on the functional element of control. Specifically we will be discussing ‘calling the shot.’ The reference for this is TC 3-22.9 Change 1, dated January 2017.
Calling the shot, is when the Paratrooper notes where the sights or reticle is when the weapon discharges. This is essential so that the Paratrooper can perform a shot-by-shot analysis of their groups. This expression is usually given in a clock direction and inches from their desired point of aim. If the Paratrooper is on target, then the call is ‘center-hold.’ If the Paratrooper is honest with themselves at the beginning, there will be very few center calls.
This also means that the Paratrooper is responsible for every call, both bad and good. This reinforces in the Paratroopers’ mind that they are the primary safety of the weapon, and responsible for knowing their target, what’s in front of, around, and behind it.
When the shot is called, a Paratrooper can diagnose bad habits. For example, if the paratroopers keeps jerking their trigger, and they are right handed, they will notice the sights will be right of the target when the trigger breaks.
Calling the shot carries over from the rifle into every weapons system that has a human component to the shot process. The only exception being remotely operated systems like the CROWS. Calling the shot in a crew-served weapon assists the Assistant Gunner in knowing whether the Gunner pulled their shot, or whether it was a bad fire command.
For all these weapons systems, the habit of calling the shot should be reinforced during dry-fire. The Paratrooper calls the last location they see the reticle/iron sights when the trigger broke.
So to sum up, we’ve discussed calling the shot, we discussed what it means, why it is important of the Paratrooper to do, and what it provides the Paratrooper. We will continue our discussion on control as we discuss rates of fire for the M4.