M14 / M14A1 Rifles and Rifle Marksmanship (FM 23-8)
1. Purpose and Scope
This manual provides guidance for presenting instruction with the Ml4 and M14A1 rifles. It contains a detailed description of the rifle and its general characteristics, procedures for disassembly and assembly, operation and functioning of the rifle, types of stoppages and action to reduce them, types of ammunition, maintenance, fundamentals of rifle marksmanship, battlesight zero, field firing, target detection, automatic fire, quick fire pointing technique, record fire, and advanced marksmanship training.
The objectives of the United States Army rifle marksmanship program are to-
a. Develop in every soldier during training-
(1) The confidence, will, knowledge, and skills required to fire a rifle and hit enemy personnel in combat.
12) The ability to apply correct techniques of rifle marksmanship when functioning as an individual in a unit engaged in combat.
h. Insure that every soldier maintains a continuing degree of proficiency in combat rifle firing, consistent with the mission of the unit to which he is assigned.
c. Provide in time of peace a large number of shooters from which potential precision marksmen can be selected and further trained to successfully compete in interservice, civilian, and international competition.
d. Provide in time of war, an instructor base or cadre for sniper training, if it is required.
c. Insure that every soldier can properly maintain his weapon.
3. Training Conditions
a. The procedures and techniques used in the United States Army rifle marksmanship training program are based on the concept that riflemen must be proficient marksmen capable of effectively applying their shooting skills in combat. The degree of proficiency attained by a rifleman is largely dependent upon correct instruction and the proper application of marksmanship fundamentals. Initially, during marksmanship training, emphasis is placed on learning or reviewing shooting fundamentals. These fundamentals are taught in an environment designed to prepare soldiers for combat-type training exercises. Thus, emphasis on the combat applications of marksmanship is gradual, and such training is based on conditions affecting marksmanship on the battlefield. The more common of these battlefield conditions are as follows:
(1) Enemy personnel are seldom visible except in the assault.
(2) Most combat targets are linear in nature and will consist of a number of men or objects irregularly spaced along covered or concealed areas such as ground folds, hedges, and borders of woods.
(3) Most combat targets can be detected by smoke, flash, dust, noise, or movement and will only be visible for a brief moment.
(4) Combat targets can be engaged by using nearby objects as reference points.
(5) The range at which individual personnel targets can be detected and effectively engaged will rarely exceed 300 meters.
(6) The nature of the target, irregularities of terrain, and vegetation will generally require a rifleman to use a position other than the prone position to place effective fire on the target. In a defensive situation the rifleman will usually be firing from a foxhole position or other type defensive emplacement.
(1) Selecting an aiming point in elevation is difficult because of the low outline and obscurity of most combat targets.
(8) The conditions of rifle fire in combat rarely require or permit mechanical adjustments of the rear sight.
(9) Targets in combat requiring time-pressure fire are basically of two types:
(a) A single fleeting target that must be engaged within a minimum unknown time period.
(b) A number of distributed targets engaged within the time they remain available. In the latter case the firer, at times, may select the time spent in engaging individual targets.
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