The rules of firearms safety. Weapons safety status. Treat Every Weapon as if it is Loaded. Ensure Positive Identification of the Target and its Surroundings. Weapons hold, Engage only if engaged or ordered to engage. Weapons tight, Engage only if target is positively identified as enemy.
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Resources This post contains affiliate links. Click here to learn more about what that means. In this capacity, the rate of fire for the M4 rifle is not based on how fast the Soldier can pull the trigger. Rather, it is based on how fast the Soldier can consistently acquire and engage the enemy with accuracy and precision.
Consistently hitting a target with precision is a complex interaction of factors immediately before, during, and after the round fires. These interactions include maintaining postural steadiness, establishing and maintaining the proper aim on the target, stabilization of the weapon while pressing the trigger, and adjusting for environmental and battlefield conditions.
Excerpt from TC In , the Army released TC The previous edition, FM The circular is designed for all soldiers, regardless of skill level. It is a reference for anyone to use when reviewing marksmanship skills. TC Someone figured out that efficiency and ease of reference are valuable qualities. The first few chapters are about the weapon system itself, the various accessories, and their usage. The remaining chapters are about the employment of the weapon, with each chapter focusing on the elements of good marksmanship.
What follows is a quick breakdown of each chapter. I highly recommend checking out and saving the complete document. Each chapter builds upon the information found in the previous one. Chapter 1: Overview Chapter 1 details several fundamental elements that will be built upon in the remainder of the manual.
A graphic from Chapter 1 illustrating the three principles of good marksmanship: accuracy, precision, and consistency. Accuracy and precision are often used interchangeably, but they are not the same thing. The chapter details safe weapons handling as well as common terminology for weapon condition and employment.
The chapter also introduces concepts such as overmatch, engagement range, visibility conditions, and terminal ballistic performance. The concept of Overmatch is a major component of this chapter. Overmatch is the Soldier applying their learned skills, employing their equipment, leveraging technology, and applying the proper force to create an unfair fight in favor of the Soldier.
Excerpt of the definition of Overmatch from TC The diagrams here are actually very useful, much more so than the edition. As you will see below, Chapter 2 of this publication stripped out all of the accessories discussion of the previous edition and turned them into their own chapters and appendices. There is a very good description of both Minutes of Angle MOA and Mils, as well as useful diagrams of the various reticle types commonly found on combat rifles.
With red dot sights, there is a useful diagram for holdover reference. The list is not comprehensive, though. It focuses on the M68, RCO, and thermal sight. Chapter 4: Mountable Equipment Chapter 4 is a quick overview of other mountable equipment such as underbarrel grenade launchers, shotguns, bipods, vertical foregrips, and white lights. Chapter 5: Employment Chapter 5 is where the rubber really starts to meet the road.
It talks about the shot process and the supporting elements of it. The shot process is broken into the three sections; pre-shot, shot, and post shot. Chapter 5 of TC There is also a section talking about target detection, identification, and prioritization. Included in this latter section is a paragraph concerning the identification of friendly forces. The target location is the determination of where a target is in your operational environment in relation to the shooter, small unit, or element.
Locating a target or series of targets occurs as a result of the search and acquisition actions of each Soldier in the small unit. Once a target is located, the threat location can be rapidly and efficiently communicated to the rest of the unit.
These paragraphs do not do justice to the actual difficulty of locating and communicating a target, especially when there is fire. Chapter 6: Stability TC This chapter does a fantastic job describing each of the main firing positions. Each has a diagram describing the various elements of the position. The previous edition only included standing, kneeling, and four variations of prone unsupported, supported, roll-over, reverse roll-over.
This, in my view, is one of the most visible indicators that the new manual is more about successful marksmanship in the field and not just about passing the qualification course. Chapter 7: Aim Chapter 7 begins with listing the elements and actions that the shooter must keep in mind to make a successful shot: Weapon orientation.
Resource Review: US Army TC 3-22.9 Rifle and Carbine Marksmanship