Category Archives: Training

Running the Irons.

Iron sights have been part of shooting since the very least April 19th 1775. Aiming was a major part of our tactics that helped defeat the British unaimed volley fire. This being said, it should come as no surprise that we have learned, used, and lost uses for iron sights in all environments from jungles, deserts and even the frozen landscapes of Siberia. I am going to talk about a few of those techniques here. First anyone ever wonder why there are 2 apertures on the M16/AR15 platform? Most people have looked and wondered but never cared. Some wondered then tried switching between the two and found no gain from it. There is a reason for it but first we need to talk about sight alignment. Photo courtesy of FMJ Armory, LaGrange, GA TC 3-22.9 states “sight alignment is the relationship between the aiming device and the firer’s eye. To achieve proper and effective aim, the focus of the firer’s eye needs to be on the front sight post or reticle. The Soldier must maintain sight alignment throughout the aiming process.” It goes on to say for iron sights it is the “the relationship between the

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Malfunctions

We are continuing our discussion on Control. Specifically, we will be addressing how to handle malfunctions, which is a particular part of the shot process that was not addressed under the fundamentals. Our Reference for this discussion is TC 3-22.9 Change 1, dated January 2017. A malfunction is anything that occurs to interrupt the cycle of function of the weapon. The TC describes it as: “The Soldier controls which actions must be taken to ensure the [threat] is defeated as quickly as possible based on secondary weapon availability and capability, and the level of threat presented by the range of the [threat] and its capability.” This means that the Paratrooper needs to determine how to most effectively neutralize the threat based on their assessment. They do this in one of three ways: Their secondary weapon to can eliminate the threat, their secondary weapon cannot eliminate the threat, or they have no secondary weapon to transition too. We will discuss each of these separately. If the Paratrooper has a secondary weapon, and they believe they can neutralize the threat with it, they will transition to that weapon. Secondary weapons are usually a pistol for an M240 Gunner or the M4 Carbine

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Follow Through With the M4 and M4A1

We are continuing our discussion on control. Specifically we will be addressing Follow-through for the M4 and M4A1 platforms. The Reference for this discussion is TC 3-22.9 Change 1 dated January 2017. The M4 series weapon has a variable trigger weight due to the burst trigger control group. The weight can vary as much as three to eight pounds depending upon where the sear is at in the burst cycle. So how do we compensate for that variable trigger pull? The answer is follow-through. Follow-through is the continued application of the shot process until after the shot has been fired. This means that the Paratrooper keeps applying the elements of the shot process until the weapon ceases movement from the recoil pulse. A practical application of follow-through is keeping the head in the same position, firing eye (or both eyes open, in the case of the CCO and RCO), and holds the trigger back until the recoil pulse ceases, then lets off enough to allow the trigger to reset. Body position remains the same, and breathing is either steady or held, depending upon the conditions of the particular shot. There are nine components to follow-through, they are Recoil Management, Recoil

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Slaughtering Sacred Linguistic Marksmanship Cows: Following up “Clickbait”

Author’s note: Context is important. The previous post here was intended for the military audience. Judging by things I’ve seen from others it may be applicable to law enforcement entities as well. Without experience based frame of reference it may be tough to get the reasoning in these posts. Nothing personal, just putting it up front. The intent was spur conversation. In that vein, the post seems to have been successful. Was the initial statement and title misleading? Maybe. Was it clickbait? Maybe. Did it get people to read, use critical thinking skills, and discuss? One comment answered that for me: “I shared this article on my personal blog FB page, which is populated by soldiers I served with who wouldn't normally read an article about the profession. Within an hour, it was read by multiple people who would otherwise not give a professional circular this sort of attention. Now they are thinking, and they've been exposed to a higher concept.  The "clickbait" worked. I'll take it.” Note to self- don’t make a habit of doing things that can be considered clickbait. There were a few comments saying it’s semantics. So let’s look at the definition of semantics. Source is

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Thermal Boresighting

We are continuing our discussion on the Boresight. Specifically, we will be boresighting thermals. The reference for this is TM 9-5860-226-13&P dated August 2007. The boresight needs to be zeroed to the weapon prior to zeroing anything else. To learn how to zero the Laser Boresight, and why it is important to do this, reference the TTP article post prior. Thermals are handled slightly differently than the primary optic for the weapon. To set up the weapon for thermals, you will get in as stable a platform as possible. Once that has been accomplished, you will then have to give the Paratrooper on the weapon a refined point of aim to see the aim point with. If I were to just use a sheet of paper, there would be nothing there to indicate to the paratrooper where the point of aim is. To give them a refined point of aim, the Paratrooper at the Target holds their fingers on the two ovals flanking the aim point on the offset target.  Two people are required for this: the Paratrooper on the weapon, the Paratrooper Making adjustments on the thermal, and the Paratrooper at the target. The process starts by the Paratrooper on

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Stop Marksmanship Training

Since this organization is very gun friendly and dedicated to knowledge I should now have your attention. I just said it and will reiterate. STOP MARKSMANSHIP TRAINING IN THE ARMY. Weapons proficiency training is just that. If you call it marksmanship training and that’s your focus you’re doing it wrong. I’ve used the terms weapons proficiency training and weapons employment in my circle for a while and gotten on my soapbox when friends and colleagues say marksmanship training. I’ve verbally bludgeoned young NCOs and company grade officers to change their vernacular and some came along, some didn’t. Why? It’s simple. My personal definition of marksmanship is the ability or act of using a ballistic tool to put a hole in something at distance. It’s that simple. You’re a great shot? Awesome. Can you reduce a complex stoppage, in the dark, with rain or mud slickened hands? It doesn’t matter how well you shoot if you can’t keep your gun running. Do you have the mindset to continue shooting until the threat is down and obviously out of the fight rather than firing that shot or pair and looking to see where your bullets went? Good job champ- you just got

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Standard Qualification for the M4

We are going to start a discussion on qualification standards. Specifically, we are going to address what the standard is for qualification with the M4. The references for this is TC 3-22.9, change 1 dated January 2017. Appendix F of TC 3-22.9 Change 1 states that “The 25-meter scaled target alternate course is used when a standard record fire or KD range is unavailable for weapon qualification.” What is the definition of ‘unavailable?’ For the purposes of this discussion and in general, ‘unavailable' means no pop-up qualification range exists at the duty station. So if we have a place like Fort Bragg, where there are multiple pop-up ranges, but you are unable to schedule it due to a lack of previous planning, does that still count as ‘unavailable?’ The answer is no. Paratroopers need to qualify on the standard qualification range. This will build confidence in their ability to engage targets past 25 meters, which is all they are getting with the ALT-C target. Units need to incorporate the Integrated Weapons Training Strategy into their unit training plan in order to be able to plan successfully and utilize the six qualification ranges on Fort Bragg efficiently. Moreover, it is important

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Rates of Fire for the M4 and M4A1

We are continuing our discussion on control. Specifically we will be addressing the rates of fire for the M4 and M4A1 platforms. The Reference for this discussion is TC 3-22.9 Change 1 dated January 2017. The Paratrooper needs to determine what rate of fire meets the needs of their specific engagement. Just as each threat is different, each shooting technique is slightly different in their applications. There are three rates of fire that we will discuss: Slow Semiautomatic fire, Rapid Semiautomatic fire, and automatic or burst fire. We will discuss each one of these in sequence. Slow semiautomatic fire is fires typically used in a training environment or when the Paratrooper has time to take a well-aimed shot. Examples of this are when the squad is engaging targets in the defense past 300 meters. The rate of fire for this is 12 to 15 rounds per minute, approximately one round every 4-5 seconds. This rate of fire is also used in a training environment to allow the Paratrooper to focus on their shot process. Rapid Semiautomatic fire is approximately 45 rounds per minute. It is typically used for multiple targets or when the soldier is within 300 meters of the

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Fire Control for Machine Guns

We are continuing our discussion on Fire control for machine guns. Specifically, we are addressing what fire control is, and what methods are available to the Paratrooper. The reference for this discussion is ATP 3-21.8 dated April 2016. Fire control includes all the actions the Paratrooper does in planning, preparing, and applying fire on a target. Generally, it is a team or squad leader who does this, but based off the nature of the Airborne, a paratrooper needs to have an understanding of fire control so as to make it more effective. Fire control is organized by whether it is terrain-based or threat-based. The team or squad leader designates targets, identifies their midpoint, ends, or flanks, and lets the gun teams know what rates of fire and classes of fire to use. The Gunner (or team) then engages on the Squad or team leaders’ signal, adjusts rates of fire, shifts, and lifts fires, all based off fire control measures. The noise and confusion of battle can limit the effectiveness of some of these methods, therefore, the Paratrooper needs to use multiple methods to ensure the signals are sent at the appropriate times. the methods are illustrated above. For today, we

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Even More On Boresighting

We are continuing our discussion on the Boresight. Specifically, we will be boresighting lasers. The reference for this is TM 9-5860-226-13&P dated August 2007. The boresight needs to be zeroed to the weapon prior to zeroing anything else. To learn how to zero the Laser Boresight, and why it is important to do this, reference the TTP Thursday post from last week. Lasers are handled differently than the primary optic for the weapon. To set up the weapon for lasers, you will place the weapon in as stable a platform as possible with the boresight on its point on the offset. The Paratrooper does not need to hold the weapon, a gun vice or shadowbox will work. Once that has been accomplished, you will then use the adjusters on the laser to adjust to the point on the target for the IR aiming laser. Always use the IR aiming laser, not the visible aiming laser. The IR is the primary laser you will use in combat, and even though they share the same optical bench, you want to zero the primary laser to the weapon. The Paratrooper does not need to be behind the weapon at this point, as there

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