Tag Archives: Master Gunner

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

READ MORE

Please follow and like us:

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

READ MORE

Please follow and like us:

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

READ MORE

Please follow and like us:

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

READ MORE

Please follow and like us:

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

READ MORE

Please follow and like us:

Low Power Variable Optics

We will be discussing optics, and what trends there are in the civilian market that may carry over to the military force modernization efforts. One of the biggest trends in the optics market for firearms the past few years has been in Low-Power Variable Optics. For the Definition of this discussion, a low-power variable optic is a scope that is a 1-6 or 1-8 power scope, that has very little parallax. A Low Power Variable optic, such as the Leupold Mk VI 1-6 gives the Paratrooper the capability of engagements from near to far. For day-to-day use, the optic is left on 1x, and as needed, the Paratrooper can dial up the magnification to be able to reach out and engage targets more efficiently. Moreover, there has been improvements in reticle technology. We now have reticles available similar to the one presented in the above picture, that allow the Paratrooper to apply a more precise hold for both wind calls and moving targets. A simplified ‘christmas tree,’ like in picture two, makes it possible for consistent shot placement. When you couple this reticle with a first focal plane scope, it makes the reticle change scale based off the magnification selected.

READ MORE

Please follow and like us:

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

READ MORE

Please follow and like us:

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

READ MORE

Please follow and like us:

Q/A on IWTS

We are answering some questions that have been brought up in reference to the Integrated Weapons Training Strategy and how it is reported. As we discussed in previous posts, there are six tables for each gate, and four gates that take the unit from individual training through unit training. Specifically today, we will address what it takes for a squad or.vehicle crew to be qualified. The reference for our discussion is TC 3-20.0 dated June 2015. Above illustrates what this looks like for the squad. Table I is a Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures evaluation. Gate II is simulations: for the squad, this entails use of simulation systems to practice coordination between the teams. Gate III is the TADSS, for the squad is MILES Gears. Table IV is the squad STX lane. It is dry-fire as an organization. Paratroopers need to practice not only their shot process, but also need to be communicating with their fellow team members. Team leaders need to learn and reinforce that they are in control of what the team does or does not do. New squad leaders learn that this is where you take that step back and look at the bigger picture. Table V is

READ MORE

Please follow and like us:

Fire Commands

We are going to address something that is common for machine guns and AT weapons to need to know; fire commands. The reference for this is FM 3-22.68 Dated July 2006. A fire command is a command given to deliver effective fire on a target quickly and without confusion. There are six elements to a fire command: the Alert that the guns are going to fire, a cardinal direction to the target, along with an estimated range, a description of the target, the Method of fire, and the command to fire. We will discuss each of these elements separately. The alert lets the gun teams know which guns will be engaging the threat: Gun 1, Gun 2, or both. The direction can be done one of three ways: by speaking, pointing (either with a hand, or with a laser), with tracer fire, or with reference points. The description gives the gunners a visualization of what the target is, if they cannot see it clearly (or at all, in the case of defilade fires). The range is an estimation by the weapons squad leader. A technique that can be used is to take the laser range finders that are a part

READ MORE

Please follow and like us: