Category Archives: Weapons

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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Aimpoint RDS and Pistol Mounting PSA

Aimpoint RDS and Pistol mounting PSA Last year I finally got into the RDS equipped Glock game, using a ALG Defense 6 Second Mount on a Gen 4 Glock 22. About 100 rounds into learning the gun, the dot disappeared. I contacted Aimpoint, and they took care of replacing the pre 2009 well used and abused 4 MOA T-1 with a new 2 MOA T1. In the meantime I used another pre 2009 used and abused 4 MOA T-1 on that gun. It had no issues in the mean time.   A couple months ago, I received a testing model of the Raven Concealment Balor optic mount. I took the used 4 MOA T-1 and put it on the Balor and then mounted it on the Gen 4 Glock 22. About 200 rounds into it, well dot/dial broke. Again, I contacted Aimpoint. Aimpoint rapidly took care of warranty work on this, but more importantly for those interested in a Aimpoint RDS on a Glock, I received the following advice. While there is no proof that the Aimpoint T-1 family is being killed on pistols, there have been more than one optic killed when mounted to a pistol. While researching that,

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More Zeroing With Boresight

We are going to continue our discussion on the Laser Boresight. Specifically, we are going to talk about how to zero the enabler with a zeroed LBS. The reference for this is TM 9-5860-226-13&P dated August 2007. To learn how to zero the Laser Boresight, and why it is important to do this, reference the TTP Thursday post from last week. Now that we have established a good solid zero for the boresight, the next task we will conduct will be zeroing the weapon. To do that, we start with as solid a position as possible. There are three people involved in this process: the Weapon man making corrections to the optic, the Target man who has secured the appropriate offset to the wall, and the Paratrooper whose weapon is being zeroed. The Paratrooper assumes a very stable position. The prone supported with a sand sock if possible is ideal. Bench rests or a gun vise are an excellent method of securing the weapon as well. The Paratrooper acquires their sight picture with their optic, and as soon as their dot is on the dot at the center of the target, they call out ‘mark.’ The Target man looks at

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Machine Gun: Ammunition Planning

We are continuing our discussion on machine gun theory, specifically we are addressing an oft overlooked thing for support by fire: Ammunition planning. I know most of us thought we were joining the military and we wouldn't have to do math anymore, but we were wrong. Ammunition planning is in doctrine in the ATP 3-21.8 dated April of 2016. The first thing you must know is what the rates of fire are for your specific weapons system. Pictures one and two illustrate the sustained, rapid, and cyclic rates of fire for our machine guns. Once that is done, as a part of the mission planning process, the weapons squad leader needs to identify key events, allocate ammunition to each event based off SOP, some units want 15 seconds of rapid rate to establish the support by fire or when shifting fires. Others want 30. The Weapons Squad Leader takes that into account and gets the total figures needed per gun. The Weapons Squad Leader then analyzes this amount and adjusts if necessary. The main planning point with this is knowing your rates of fire. Sustained should be approximately nine rounds per burst with a four to five second pause in between. That

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Follow Up on TC 3-22.9

A year ago, we finished the last edits on the TC 3-22.9 that published in May of 2016. For those that have taken the time to read this book, you know it’s very different than the books we have used since the 1970’s.  For those that haven’t, this post will hold less value because you have no context. I just wanted to take a few minutes to post up some responses to issues that have been brought up recently from those that are finally realizing that there is a new Sheriff in town. First off, I want to explain a bit about how books are produced in the US Army. The short version is an NCO or Officer sits at a computer and types the book. From there it goes to paid editors who are SMEs in formatting, word usage, and English. The writer has a graphics team who make bad pictures into awesome things. Then the book is set through several levels of what is called Staffing. Staffing is simply getting the draft into people hands for comments. Usually it starts with stake holders and prior to publishing the draft is sent to “World Wide Staffing” The draft is

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How To Zero The Laser Boresight To A Weapon

We're going to do a talk through on how to zero the laser boresight to a weapon. If you have any questions on what this piece of kit is, and why it is important, check our TTP post from before. The Laser Boresight can be used with regular 5.56mm, 7.62mm, and .50 caliber weapons, sniper weapons are excluded due to the nature of the rifling of their barrels. This system is unique compared to bullet-type lasers, in that it is zeroed to the individual weapon's barrel. This means that you get closer to the true line of bore for that weapon. To zero it, you will first select and screw in the appropriate mandrel by hand. Do not tool tighten the mandrel, as it will crack the nut loose from its polymer case, and then you have an LBS paperweight. You will then place it in the barrel of the weapon until the mandrel is snug against the crown of the barrel. Then you will ensure the weapon itself is stable. A rock-solid bench-rest type of position is preferred for the weapon, so that the soldier need not hold it at this point. Once that is complete, you will begin

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The Do Everything Carbine

We see rifles set up for Close Quarte Battle (CQB), Designated Marksman (DM), Special Purpose Rifle (SPR), General Purpose (GP) and a myriad of other acronyms. While I fully support building of fine firearms, I just wanted to talk about a Do Everything carbine. First off, we must look at our application of the rifle. That’s the first thing we should determine prior to the build. Just like with cars, somethings are very specific and hinder other roles. The AR platform can literally be adapted to any role and is only limited by caliber. That limit is based on application as well. So here are some basic questions to ask when planning a build. What do I want it to do? What will I be doing the most? What is my skillset? What ranges will I be using it at the most? What type of shooting will I be doing? What is the budget?   Once you have some of these answers you can start planning the build. In days of old some things that were “facts” helped lead us in a direction. We thought that for accuracy at 600 yards we needed 18-20 inches of barrel hence the SPR.

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