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Rifle Fundamentals


Rifle Fundamentals

 Before handling any type of firearm please remember the following:

Rules of Safe Gun Handling

RULE 1:  Treat every gun as if it were loaded.
·        ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY UNDERSTAND THE STATUS OF YOUR FIREARM SYSTEM AT ALL TIMES!

RULE 2:  Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.
·        NEVER “INTENTIONALLY” COVER ANYTHING WITH THE MUZZLE OF YOUR FIREARM THAT YOU DO NOT WISH TO DESTROY!

RULE 3:  Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to fire.
·        YOUR FINGER SHOULD BE OFF THE TRIGGER AND THE WEAPON ON SAFE UNTIL YOU HAVE A SIGHT PICTURE AND YOU WANT THE HAMMER TO FALL!

RULE 4:  Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.
·        IDENTIFY YOUR TARGET.  KNOW WHAT IS BEHIND IT, IN FRONT OF IT, AND WHAT’S FLANKING IT!

 


5.56 NATO vs .223 Remington

In development of the 223 Remington as a sporting cartridge, Remington slightly modified the 5.56 NATO to improve accuracy for the varmint bullets popular during that era.  The throat area or freebore of the 5.56 NATO chamber is approximately .025" longer than the 223 Remington, allowing more "jump" to the rifling lands.  The maximum chamber pressure for the 5.56 NATO is approximately 3,000 psi higher than the 223 Remington.  Combined, these characteristics allow for higher propellant charges; greatly increasing velocity for superior downrange performance.  Firing 223 Remington ammunition in a 5.56 NATO chamber creates a reduction in pressure, sacrificing velocity.  Firing 5.56 NATO ammunition in 223 Remington chambers will produce a dramatic rise in pressure which increases stress on the weapon, risking wear, permanent damage and/or injury.


















Fundamentals of Basic Rifle Marksmanship  

  • Grip
  • Stance
  • Sight Alignment
  • Sight Picture
  • Trigger Control
  • Breathing
  • Follow-Through

Distance and the Fundamentals: 

As distance increases, the Fundamentals become more important.  As less than 15 yards it is difficult to miss a man-sized target; at greater distances, particularly beyond 25 yards, the attention to Sight Alignment, Trigger Control and all other fundamentals must increase. 

Distance is Time:
 

Tactically, distance is time.  The greater the distance from the threat, the more time there is to resolve the situation.  If shooting is required, this may mean more time to apply the fundamentals.

Grip:

Shooting Hand

    • The forearm and trigger hand form a line
    • The grip or stock is held firmly by the thumb and 3 fingers
    • The trigger finger must be placed flat on the trigger so that it can be pressed straight to the rear without touching the receiver.
    • The hand should be in the same position for every shot.

Support Hand

    • Centered on the fore-end with the finger held together.
      • It is critical that the support hand only “supports” the rifle.
    • Forma “V” with your thumb and fingers and simply place under the fore-end for support.
    • Point Index Finger aligned with barrel.
    • Support Arm – Elbow is directly under the fore-end to provide bone support.
    • Elbows – pointed down
      • Advantages of Training Consistently with Elbows DOWN:
        • Maintain a smaller profile
        • Move in close quarter without hitting elbows
        • Prevents telegraphing movement around cover
        • Bone supports the gun resulting in less fatigue and steady aiming and firing position.

Butt Placement

    • Toe of the stock is placed in the shoulder pocket. 

Stock Weld

    • Is the position of the cheek on the stock.
      • Properly placed in the shoulder pocket, the head rests naturally on the stock.
    • Establishes eye relief, which is the distance between the eye and the rear sight (approx. 2-3”)

Elbows Pointed Down 

Stance: 

Stance need to be a stable yet mobile platform from which to fire fast, accurate shots at possibly multiple, moving threats. 

Upper Body

    • Should face the threat when possible.
      • Helps maintain stability and good body armor coverage
      • Expands ability to see immediate threat area and scan side and rear areas easily.
      • Allows more flexibility to move in any direction
      • Helps keep weapon in the shoulder pocket.

Lower Body

    • Feet are parallel and approx. shoulder-width apart.
    • Shooting Hand side toe dropped back 2 to 8 inches.

Aggressive & Balanced

    • Stance must be balanced front-to-rear and side-to-side with knees slightly bent, allows shooter the ability to move instantly in any direction.

Weight Forward

    • Lean aggressively forward into the stance at the waist.
    • Both knees are slightly bent.
    • Body weight is over the balls of the feet.
    • A forward stance provides greater control over the gun, which will result in reduced muzzle rise and faster follow up shots.

 
Sight Alignment:  

The relationship of the front sight to the rear sight. 

                   

  • Aperture Rear Sight
    • Look through the rear aperture
    • Focus on the front sight blade 

Sight Picture:

 The placement of the aligned sights on the target.  The shooter has 3 things to look at: the front sight, rear sight, and target.  The “Point of Focus” should be on the Front Sight, with the Rear Sight Blurred, and the Target More Blurred. 

  • Point of Aim = Center Mass of the Target Offered or Selected:
    • Primary Reason: it is the biggest part of the target and allows the most room for error.
    • Secondary Reason: it has the greatest concentration of vital organs, where a hit is more likely to stop the threat.
                    

Trigger Control: 

Movement of the Trigger, Until the Gun Fires, without Moving the Sights.  This is the key to marksmanship.

  • Mental Process
  • Finger Contact Between Tip & First Joint
    • Trigger Press must be Straight to the Rear
    • Too Much Trigger Finger
    • Too Little Trigger Finger 

Breathing: 

Traditional breath control is not practiced at close distances.  It becomes increasingly important as distance increases, or when a precise shot is required. 

Natural Respiratory Cycle: The way the body breathes normally is to exhale, pause for 1-3 seconds, and inhale.  This pause is called the “Natural Respiratory Pause.” 

Natural Respiratory Pause:
This is the ideal time to accomplish trigger press.  It is the time when the body is most at rest.  It is also the most easily repeated position.  Depending on stress level and physical exertion, the Natural Respiratory Pause can last as long as 5 seconds.
 

Extended Respiratory Pause:
For the average shooter, the shot should break within 3 seconds.  Beyond this, the sight picture will degrade and the arc of movement will increase, both of which may cause the shooter to jerk the trigger.  If the shot has not been fired within 3 seconds, the shooter should take a breath, exhale to the natural respiratory pause and start the shot again.  Obliviously, this applies to a long-range precision shot and not a close-quarter gunfight.
 

Follow-Through: 

Maintain Marksmanship Fundamentals until the bullet has left the barrel.

  • Maintain Sight Picture & Position
  • Reset Trigger
  • Re-align sights
    • Did I Hit?
    • Do I need More Hits?

Mental Discipline & and Fundamentals:

Clear the Mind: For the tacks at hand.  All other thoughts are thrown out of your mind.  Get down to the business at hand – NOW! 

Concentrate: This is essential to winning a lethal encounter.  You must concentrate on the fundamentals and the constantly changing situation.  The two most important fundamentals are Sight Alignment & Trigger Control. 

  1. Confidence, Positive Thinking, Self-Control: Set attainable goals in small stages 
  1. Know You Can Win: Enter any lethal encounter with confidence in you ability to WIN.

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