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Whether organic to the unit or attached, machine guns provide the heavy volume of close and continuous fire needed to achieve fire superiority. These formidable weapons can engage enemy targets beyond the capability of individual weapons with controlled and accurate fire.
This appendix addresses the capabilities, limitations, and fundamental techniques of fire common to machine guns. Leaders must know the technical characteristics of their assigned weapon systems and associated ammunition to maximize their killing and suppressive fires while minimizing the risk to friendly forces. Table A-1 lists machine gun specifications and technical data. Read the FMs specific to the machine guns listed in Table A-1 for complete information regarding their technical specifications.
Machine gun specifications continued. Machine gun fire has different effects on enemy targets depending on the type of ammunition used, the range to target, and the nature of the target. It is important that gunners and leaders understand the technical aspects of the different ammunition available to ensure the machine guns and automatic weapons are employed in accordance with their capabilities. Machine guns and automatic weapons use several different types of standard military ammunition.
Soldiers should use only authorized ammunition that is manufactured to U. The M machine gun is organic to the Infantry platoon and provides rifle squads with a light automatic weapon for employment during assault Figure A The M can also be used in the machine gun role in the defense or support-by-fire position.
The M fires from the bipod, the hip, or from the underarm position. The hip and underarm positions are normally used for close-in fire during an assault when the M gunner is on the move and does not have time to set the gun in the bipod position. It is best used when a high rate of fire is needed immediately. Accuracy of fire is decreased when firing from either the hip or shoulder. For use against light materials and personnel, but not vehicles. Generally used for adjustments after observation, incendiary effects, and signaling.
When tracer rounds are fired, they are normally mixed with ball ammunition in a ratio of four ball rounds to one tracer round. M ball ammunition can be fired with the M, but accuracy is degraded. It should therefore only be used in emergency situations when M ball is not available. M tracer ammunition can be fired with the M, but accuracy is degraded. It should therefore only be used in emergency situations when M ammunition is not available.
The MB is organic to the Infantry platoon. Two machine guns and crews are found in the weapons squad Figure A The MB can be fired in the assault mode tm emergencies, but is normally fired from the bipod or tripod platform.
FM – Appendix A – Machine Gun Employment « Infantry Drills
It can also be 3-2.265 mounted. The platoon leader through his weapons squad leader employs his MB machine guns with a rifle squad to provide long range, accurate, sustained fires against dismounted infantry, apertures in fortifications, buildings, and lightly-armored vehicles. The MB also provides a high volume of short-range fire in self defense against aircraft.
Machine gunners use point, traversing, searching, or searching and traversing fire to kill or suppress targets.
For observation of fire, incendiary effects, signaling, and for training. The MK 19 is not organic to the weapons company, not the Infantry platoon, but because there are many times when Infantrymen use it, it is described in this appendix.
The MK 19 supports the Soldier in both the offense and defense. It gives the unit the capability of laying down a heavy volume of close, accurate, and continuous fire Figure A The 3-22.665 19 is normally vehicle mounted on a pedestal, ring, or weapon platform, but can also be fired from the M3 tripod. The HE round is effective against unarmored vehicles and personnel.
This is the standard round for the MK 19 and comes packed in either or round ammunition containers. It can penetrate 2 inches of steel armor at zero-degree obliquity and inflict casualties 3-22.655 to 15 meters from impact. It arms within 18 to 30 meters of the gun muzzle. Comes packed in a round container. It has a wound radius of 15 meters, but lacks the armor piercing capabilities of the HEDP round. It arms 18 to 36 meters from the muzzle.
For use against enemy personnel and light material targets. Aids in observing fire. Secondary purposes are for incendiary effect and for signaling.
For incendiary ffm, especially against aircraft. For use against 3-2.265 aircraft and lightly-armored vehicles, concrete shelters, and other bullet-resisting targets. For combined armor-piercing and incendiary effect, with the additional tracer feature. This section is designed to illustrate the characteristics of machine gun fire, the types of enemy targets that might be engaged, and how to successfully apply machine gun fire on those enemy targets.
Read the appropriate FM as shown in Table A-1 for more weapon-specific information on engaging enemy targets with a particular machine gun. A burst of fire is a number of successive rounds fired with the same elevation and point of aim when the trigger is held to the rear. The number of rounds in a burst can vary depending on the type of fire employed.
Trajectory is the curved path of the projectile in its flight from the muzzle of the weapon to its impact. The major factors that influence trajectory are the velocity of the round, gravity, rotation of the round, and resistance of the air.
As the range 3-22.65 the target increases, so does the curve of trajectory Figure A Maximum ordinate is the highest point above the line of sight the trajectory reaches between the muzzle of the weapon and the base of the target. It always occurs at a point about two-thirds of the distance from weapon to target and increases with range.
Like trajectory, maximum ordinate increases as the range increases Figure A The cone of fire is the pattern formed by the different trajectories in each burst as they travel downrange. Vibration of the weapon and variations in ammunition and atmospheric conditions all contribute to the trajectories that make up the cone of fire Figure A The beaten zone is the elliptical pattern formed when the rounds within the cone of fire 3-2265 the ground or target.
The size and shape of the beaten zone change as a function of the range to and slope of the target, but is normally oval or cigar shaped and the density of the rounds decreases toward the edges. Gunners and automatic riflemen should engage targets to take maximum effect of the beaten zone. The simplest way to do this is to aim at the center base of the target. Most rounds will not fall over the target, and any that fall short will create ricochets into the target Figure A Because of dispersion, only that part of the beaten zone in which 85 percent of the rounds fall is considered the effective beaten zone.
As the range to the target increases, the beaten zone becomes shorter and wider.
Conversely, as the range to the target decreases, the beaten zone becomes longer and 3-222.65 Table A The length of the beaten zone for any given range will vary according to the slope of the ground. On rising ground, the beaten zone becomes shorter but remains the same width.
On ground that slopes away from the gun, the beaten zone becomes longer but remains the same width. This is the space between the muzzle of the weapon and the target where the trajectory does not rise above 1.
Gunners 3-222.65 consider the danger vm of their weapons when planning overhead fires. Surface danger zones SDZs were developed for each weapon and are defined as the area in front, back, or fj of the muzzle of the weapon that provides a danger to friendly forces when the weapon is fired. The SDZ is not just the area that comprises the cone of fire as it moves downrange.
It also involves the possible impact area on both sides of the gun target line and the possible dispersion of material caused by the strike of the rounds, the possible ricochet area, and any area to the rear that is adversely affected by the effects of firing the weapon Figure A SDZs were developed primarily for ranges and must be complied with when training, but they should also be complied with in combat when possible to minimize risk to friendly forces.
Army 322.65 automatic weapons fires with respect to the ground, target, and weapon. Paragraph A discusses methods of determining dead space.
Automatic weapons achieve grazing fire when the center of the cone of fire does not rise more than 1 meter above the ground. Grazing fire is employed in the final protective line FPL in defense and is only possible when the terrain is level or uniformly sloping. Any dead space encountered along the FPL must be covered by indirect fire, such as from an M When firing over level or uniformly sloping terrain, the machine gun MB and M can attain a maximum of meters of grazing fire.
The M2 can attain a maximum of meters. Plunging fire occurs when there is little or no danger space from the muzzle of the weapon to the beaten zone. It occurs when weapons fire at long range, when firing from high ground to low ground, when firing into abruptly rising ground, or when firing across uneven terrain, resulting in a loss of grazing fire at any point along the trajectory Figure A Fires with respect to the target include enfilade, frontal, flanking, and oblique fire Figures A-9, A, and A These targets are normally presented to gun teams by the enemy and must be engaged as they are presented.
For instance, if the enemy presents its flank to the gun crew as it moves past their position from the left or right, the gun crew will have no choice but to employ flanking fire on the enemy. Channeling the enemy by use of terrain or obstacles so they approach a friendly machine gun position from the front in a column formation is one example.
Enfilade fire occurs when the long axis of the beaten zone coincides or nearly coincides with the long axis of the target. It can be frontal fire on an enemy column formation or flanking fire on an enemy line formation. This is the most desirable class of fire with respect to the target because it makes maximum use of the beaten zone. Leaders and gunners should always strive to position the guns to the extent possible that they can engage enemy targets with fmm fire Figures A-9 and A Frontal fire occurs when the long axis fk the beaten zone is at a right angle to the front of the target.
This type of fire is highly desirable when engaging a column formation. It then becomes enfilade fire as the beaten zone coincides with the long axis of the target Figures A-9 and A Frontal fire is not as desirable when engaging a line formation because the majority of the beaten zone normally falls below or after the enemy target.