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Old 4th Oct 2001, 02:52 PM   #1
Tiffy
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Priniples of marksmanship or Why I can't shoot around corners

A quick lession in marksmanship, the British Army way.
or
Why YOU can't shoot in an arc from 90 degrees to your left to 45 degrees to your right while lying down without moving.


The four principles of marksmanship are:-

The grip and position must be firm enough to support the weapon adequatly.

The weapons must point naturally towards the target.

Sight alignment, ie aiming must be correct.

The shot must be followed through.


Lets look at these point one at a time.

The grip and position must be firm enough to support the weapon adequatly.

This is your shooting position and how you hold the weapon. Your position and grip must support the weight of the weapon with out any undue stress, as well as be adequate to control the recoil when the shot if fired. Thats why we shot from the prone by choice, kneeling or sitting (I prefer sitting) next, a crouch if we must and standing to scare the birds. As an indication as to how must difference this makes to shooting I can hit a man sized non-moving target at 500m about 80% of the time when prone with the current British Army service rifle (L85A1), but my shooting is so degraded when standing that at 100m I'd expect to hit about 50% of the time, if that. This point also cover those who like to rest the weapon on the palm of their left hand and not grip the furniture of the weapon firmly. You'd love the look on these peoples gaces as they squeeze of their first 7.62 round and the rifle leaps about a foot of the hand.

The weapons must point naturally towards the target.

This is the reason you can shoot in an arc around you without moving. When you force a weapon to point at a target, your muscles tend to want to go back to there rest point. So as you fire the shot the rifle drifts in the direction and the round misses the aim point in the same direction, ie if your forcing your aim to the left, your rounds will tend towards the right side of the target. Some people can be very good at forcing a single shot and getting damned near on target, but your not going to group that way, and in my Army we only want people who can group to 120mm at 300m (and thats barely adequate shooting). When your shooting, if you have the time, you adjust your bodies position. A good way to see if your naturally point at the target is to aim, close your eyes and relax the weapon down, then bring it back into the aim with your eyes still closed, then see where the weapon is pointing. THAT is its natural aim point and you can adjust your position accordingly.

Sight alignment, ie aiming must be correct.

This is the one I have lease problem getting over to people. What this means is that the fore sight tip should be placed in the centre of the rear sight appature AND on the aim point AT THE SAME TIME. Its preety easy stuff and I'll assume you all know what I'm talking about here, afterall we all manage to hit something when playing INF ;c)

The shot must be followed through.

This is probably the hardest point to get across, and although I could spout my principles of marksmanship verbatum after basic training, it was about 3 years latter that I finally understood this point and went from being an average shot to a expert. The follow through is all the things you do from the moment you decide to squeeze the trigger. The first thing is to control your breathing, pausing it as you get your final sight picture. You the sqeeze the trigger, firing the round. Now comes the bit I didn't understand. You pause, with the trigger still squeezed and your breath still held. This stops you moving the weapon before the round has left the barrel. You then gently release the trigger and at the same time observe where the weapon is now aiming. Your round WILL have landed about in this point with a slight drift towards your original point of aim. If you've carried out priciple two correctly these two point are so close together it makes no difference. You start breathing normally again and prepare to fire another shot. At no point in this procedure do you move your position or that of the weapon, unless your need to go back to pinciple two because your not pointing naturally at the target. Even if you have a bolt actioned weapon you only move your right hand (I'm sorry for any southpaws out there but the Armys very discrimatory and only really caters for right handed shooting) to the bolt, work the action and return to the trigger grip. Your wouldn't even lift your right elbow because that disturbes the shooting position.


Obviously the above is somewhat modified in actual combat, and with type of application of fire being employed.

I hope this gives a useful insight into how military marksmanship is taught and applied, and I hope that people can see from this why the prone shooting stance in INF is correct by making you move your body when changing your point of aim.
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Old 4th Oct 2001, 03:20 PM   #2
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Curse that mirror-twin bull****...

Damn, I'm a lefty. Still, this is some really good stuff. I'm going to print all this up and give it to my friend (he plays CS, but wants to learn how to shoot).
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Old 4th Oct 2001, 03:55 PM   #3
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"in the army there are no left handed, you are either right handed or wrong handed"

love that one
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Old 4th Oct 2001, 05:09 PM   #4
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In defence of Lefties, in my time I have had to make up 3 L85A1 rifles for left handers. You need a damned good reason to justify the costs involved, but it can be done. Most left handers just learn to shoot right handed.

As a small point, when we used the L1A1 I used to regularly practice shooting left handed with it, so I could shoot from either shoulder. Wasn't very good left handed though :c(
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Old 4th Oct 2001, 05:10 PM   #5
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Nice, makes me want to get a rifle & try to hit something.

So, have you noticed people shooting around corners or something? Why did you use that reference?
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Old 4th Oct 2001, 05:22 PM   #6
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daps way of markmanship

See dude
point gun
click mouse
kill enemy

Only prob is if you have a 560 ping like me at night
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Old 4th Oct 2001, 05:50 PM   #7
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In defence of leftys, We rulez! I can take an air rifle, throw it up itn the air, grab the pump, cock it, load it, and snap it to my shoulder almost perfectly aimed at the target. Err, maybe not, but leftys can shoot a right handed gun perfectly, you just have to toughne up a bit, since the hot casings come flying out at your right arm.
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Old 4th Oct 2001, 07:16 PM   #8
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But remember if a righty shoots his gun with his left hand, in the British Army, he gets an earfull of hot casing :c)

I love bullpup configured weapons, they make all those little decisions in live so easy.

Shoot with my left hand and get hot metal between the ears.

Shoot with my right hand and mybe hit the target.

Hmmmm I wonder
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Old 4th Oct 2001, 08:13 PM   #9
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I just sooo had to comment on this...
ITS A GAME DAMNIT!!!!
heh with that said.. damn good post on the textbook presentation of shooting in the aspect of the Royal British Army.
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Old 5th Oct 2001, 08:35 AM   #10
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One of the reasons I do not prefer bullpups, is because you cannot switch the rifle over to the other hand without chewwing on some brass.

With practice, most anyone could become a passable shot with their off-hand.

Great stuff Tiff. Doesn't sound too different at all from the way I was taught and teach.
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Old 5th Oct 2001, 09:02 AM   #11
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The next FN weapon, the F2000, will be an ambidextrous one.
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Old 5th Oct 2001, 01:22 PM   #12
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Hey Tiffy, maybe you should comment on leaning and straffing ...
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Old 5th Oct 2001, 01:41 PM   #13
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OK Tiffys take on Leaning. In real life its very hard to hit anything, because your not observing rule two. The weapon isn't naturally pointing at the target. But it could be done. Usually you'd move so that the rifle rests on the wall or whatever your leaning around, and you'd be either prone or knelling correctly, so the problem wouldn't really happen. Leaning OK as a work around for the fact you can't just move a bit of your head around the wall for a quick look.

As for STRAFFING, words fail me. Do that in my section attack and I would personally shoot you before you shot someone else. Its not controlled and your antics would give the section position away. Its not realistic at all. In INF sideways movement is to rapid, particularly when running. You just can't move sideways that fast with out falling over. Try it sometime, but don't do it on a hard surface.
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Old 5th Oct 2001, 02:35 PM   #14
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agreed you can't move sideways that fast, but the inf guys don't move sideways, they twist their torso with makes for impossible accurate schooting at distance but for cqb i think it is how i would do it, I certanly would NOT sidestep cause it's less controlled.
the problem is: IRL for rightys, strafing "inf style" to the right is no problem but to the left is near to impossible cause you have to twist your torso outwards. I hope you guys understand but i have no better way of explaining, if you don't get it try it.
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Old 11th Oct 2001, 05:06 PM   #15
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damn, i can't believe i missed this thread...
this is great stuff, tiffy, and it definitely sounds like what i was taught and had to teach, as with storm...

on leaning:
one of our annual marksmanship test positions involved being positioned behind a wodden tree mock-up, and firing around it... what i personally did was to stick my left (supporting hand) thumb out and brace it against the tree, so i would have a stable firing platform... leaning was actually very minimal... and don't get me started on the way the inf soldier actually tilts his weapon to either side...

on hot brass:
there's of course the easier way to adapt to lefties, and taht's the cartridge deflector we use on our m-16s for lefties... it's simply affixed to the ejection port and deflects casings slightly forward so they don't hit you in the eye... luckily for me, i'm a rightie...

Quote:
With practice, most anyone could become a passable shot with their off-hand.
aye, you should hear the man's story of his most recent range qualification when he had a busted right shoulder...
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