What does ‘Calling the Shot’ with a Pistol Mean?


For Manual Monday, we are continuing our discussion on control and the pistol. Specifically, we will be addressing what calling the shot means for the pistol. Learning all elements of the shot process for the pistol is vital, as the M17 will be fielded to elements of the 82nd within the near future. The M17 will also be going to more people than it is currently. So all of us need to improve our shot process with the pistol. The reference for this discussion is TC 3-23.35 Dated May 2017.


For accurate shot analysis, the Soldier must know exactly where the sights are when the weapon discharges. Errors such as flinching or jerking of the trigger are visible in the sights before discharge.

Calling a shot refers to a firer stating exactly where the Soldier thinks a single shot strikes by recalling the sights relationship to the target when the weapon fired. This is normally expressed in clock direction and inches from the desired point of aim.

The Soldier is responsible for the point of impact of every round fired from their weapon. This requires the Soldier to ensure the target area is clear of friendly and neutral personnel, in front of and behind the target. Soldiers must also be aware of the environment the target is positioned in, particularly in urban settings—friendly or neutral personnel may be present in other areas of a structure that the projectile can pass through.

Calling the shot makes the Paratrooper focus on what they are getting from their shot process. When they analyze their engagements after firing a course of fire in training, it can help them to identify issues and give them a starting point on how to  correct them.

Keep in mind, the pistol is the most perishable skillset for any Paratrooper to learn. The best combat shooters in the Army will devote the majority of their training time to this weapons system, even though it might be utilized in less than one percent of the engagements they encounter. The reason being when they need that pistol, they need to be fast and accurate.

So to sum up, we’ve discussed what calling the shot is. We also discussed methods of training to be proficient with it. Next week, we will continue our discussion on the functional element of control as we address Follow Through.

#weaponsmastery #shotprocess


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