SQUAD AUTOMATIC WEAPON TARGET ENGAGEMENT
INTRODUCTION (5 MIN)
(ON SLIDE #1)
1. GAIN ATTENTION. PFC McLaughlin, a machine gunner with Company I, 3/5, had volunteered for a second tour of duty in the Korean War. On the night of September 4-5 of 1952, he was recognized for the following actions:
“For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. While operating under a barrage of enemy artillery and mortar fire at a strategic combat outpost, PFC McLaughlin set up plans for the defense of his platoon which proved decisive in the successful defense of the outpost. When a battalion attacked during the night, he maintained a constant flow of devastating fire upon the enemy, alternating employing two machine guns, a carbine, and hand grenades. Although painfully wounded, he bravely fired the machine guns from the hip until his hands became blistered by the extreme heat from the weapons and, placing the guns on the ground to allow them to cool, continued to defend the position with his carbine and grenades. Standing up in full view, he shouted words of encouragement to his comrades above the din of battle and, throughout a series of fanatical enemy attacks, sprayed the surrounding area with deadly fire accounting for an estimated one hundred and fifty enemy dead and fifty wounded. For his indomitable courage, superb leadership, and valiant fighting spirit in the face of overwhelming odds, he received the Medal of Honor.”
2. OVERVIEW. Good morning, my name is _________. The purpose of this period of instruction is to introduce Target Engagement with the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon. This period of instruction will coverer firing positions, ammunition, loading, and rates of fire. This class will directly relate to the class on maintenance and operations.
Have the students read the learning objectives to themselves as you read them out loud. Emphasize the task in each learning objective to the students. Check for understanding by asking questions, and required.
3. LEARNING OBJECTIVES
a. TERMINAL LEARNING OBJECTIVES
(1) Given a squad automatic weapon, ammunition, and target(s), while wearing a fighting load, engage targets with an M249 squad automatic weapon by achieving effects on target. (0300-M249-1008)
(2) Given a loaded squad automatic weapon, requiring a barrel change, while wearing a fighting load, change barrels on a squad automatic weapon by returning the weapon to service. (0300-M249-1002)
(3) Given a squad automatic weapon, ammunition, while wearing a fighting load, perform immediate action on a squad automatic weapon by returning the weapon to service. (0300-M249-1003)
(4) Given a squad automatic weapon in which immediate action has failed to remedy the situation, while wearing a fighting load, perform remedial action for a squad automatic weapon, by returning the weapon to service. (0300-M249-1004)
b. ENABLING LEARNING OBJECTIVES.
(1) Given a list of choices, identify the types of ammunition employed by the M249 squad automatic weapon, in accordance with MCWP 3-15.1. (0300-M249-1008a)
4. METHOD/MEDIA. I will teach this lesson using the lecture method with the aid of PowerPoint presentation, and your student handout. Additionally, you will perform practical application of this lesson prior to your live fire evaluation.
Explain to the students the procedure for completing the Instructional Rating forms (IRFs). Inform students the IRFs will not be collected until the entire period of instruction, to include the associated practical examination, has been completed.
5. EVALUATION. You will be evaluated on this period of instruction by a performance examination in which you will have to demonstrate proficiency in M249 SAW target engagement.
6. SAFETY/CEASE TRAINING (CT) BRIEF. We are all safety officers. If you observe an unsafe situation during this period of instruction, inform one of your Combat Instructors or me and we will address the problem. In the event of an evacuation, we will all move in an orderly manner to the assembly area located ____________________, where your Platoon Commander will conduct a personnel and weapons count and then you will be passed further directions as needed. Additional safety measures will be discussed during the practical application period of this lesson.
(ON SLIDE #2)
TRANSITION: Are there any questions on the purpose of this lesson, how it will be taught or how you will be evaluated? Let’s go into detail on the firing positions.
(ON SLIDE #3)
BODY (204 MIN)
1. FIRING POSITION. (10 Min)
In the prone position the gunner puts his right shoulder against the butt stock. A straight line extending through the barrel and receiver passes through his right shoulder and hip. His legs are comfortably spread, and his heels are down (if possible). His right hand is on the pistol grip with his index finger on the trigger. The gunner exerts a firm pressure forward while aiming and firing. The kneeling and standing positions should only be used when absolutely necessary. These positions reduce the accuracy of the gun and should only be used if the prone position is not available due to combat conditions or locations.
(ON SLIDE #4)
TRANSITION: Are there any questions on the proper way to lay behind the gun? (Pause and receive questions). If there are no more questions I have one for you.
QUESTION: What must the gunner form with his body when he lies behind the gun?
ANSWER: Form a straight line from the barrel to leg.
Now that we know how to get into the proper shooting position, lets cover what the weapons conditions are for the M249 SAW and how to load it.
(ON SLIDE #5)
2. Weapons Conditions. (2 Min)
Let’s recall that the M249 SAW fires from the open bolt position and we should never put it on safe unless we have locked the bolt to the rear. This is going to provide us with special weapons conditions that will tie into the loading of the gun.
a. Condition 1. Bolt locked to the rear, rounds on the feed tray, feed tray cover closed, weapon on safe.
b. Condition 2. Does not apply.
c. Condition 3. Bolt forward, rounds on the feed tray, feed tray cover closed, weapon on fire.
d. Condition 4. Bolt forward, no rounds on the feed tray, feed tray cover closed, weapon on fire.
(ON SLIDE #6)
TRANSITION: We have just discussed the weapons conditions for the M249 SAW, are there any questions? (Pause and receive questions). If there are no more questions I have one for you.
QUESTION: What is condition three for the M249 SAW?
ANSWER: Bolt forward, rounds on the feed tray, feed tray cover closed, weapon on fire.
Now lets discuss how to load the M249 SAW using a belt of ammunition of a M16 magazine.
(ON SLIDE #7)
3. Loading. (6 Min)
The M249 SAW can be loaded 2 ways; with a belt or a magazine. Remember that a magazine should only be used during emergencies.
To load the gun with a belt:
(ON SLIDE #8)
a. Belt Loading
To load the M249, the gunner must first clear it as has been described in your previous M249 lesson. With the feed cover raised, the gunner makes sure his face is not exposed to the open chamber area while loading.
(ON SLIDE #9)
When loading belted ammunition, always cant the weapon to the right. Make sure the open side of the links is facing down, and place the lead link tab or first round of the belt in the tray groove against the cartridge stop. The rounds should be placed flat across the feed tray. With your left hand, count five to six rounds down to hold ammunition in place on the feed tray, while at the same time closing the feed cover with your right hand. When closing the feed cover, always place your hand in front of the rear sight to prevent accidentally changing the sight adjustment. This places the M249 in condition three.
(ON SLIDE #10)
To place the weapon in condition one, pull the charging handle to the rear with your right hand, place the weapon on safe with your left, and return the charging handle forward. The weapon is now in condition one.
Give a demo of loading with a belt.
(ON SLIDE #11)
b. Magazine Loading.
Let’s recall that the M249 SAW can be loaded with a magazine and should only be used during emergencies. To load a gun with a M16 magazine follow these procedures;
(1) To load the M249 SAW with a 20-30 round magazine, the weapon must first be cleared. Thus ensuring the weapon is in condition four.
(2) With the cover closed, insert the magazine it into the magazine well on the left side of the receiver. Push the magazine firmly into the well until it seats and the release tab clicks into the recess on the magazine, this will place the M249 SAW in condition three.
(3) To place the weapon in condition one, pull the charging handle to the rear with your right hand, place the weapon on safe with your left, and return the charging handle forward. The weapon is now in condition one.
TRANSITION: We have just discussed how to load the M249 SAW using a belt of ammunition or using a M16 magazine for the M249 SAW, are there any questions? (Pause and receive questions). If there are no more questions I have one for you.
QUESTION: which method of loading the M249 is only used in emergencies?
ANSWER: Using the M16 magazine is used only in emergency
Now lets discuss how to unload and clear the M249 SAW.
(ON SLIDE #12)
4. Unloading and Clearing. (8 Min)
To unload and clear the weapon, simply perform the clearing procedures. Then punch the bore with a cleaning rod to insure nothing is in the bore and chamber.
(ON SLIDE #13)
TRANSITION: We have just discussed how to unload and clear the M249 SAW, are there any questions? (Pause and receive questions). If there are no more questions I have one for you.
QUESTION: How does one clear the M249 SAW?
ANSWER: To unload and clear the weapon, simply perform the clearing procedures
Now, lets discuss the ammunition for the M249 SAW.
(ON SLIDE #14)
5. Ammunition. (2 Min)
The M249 SAW Squad automatic weapon fires a 5.56MM round that comes in a disintegrating metal linked belt. It comes in plastic boxes that have a 200 round belt.
(ON SLIDE #15)
TRANSITION: We have just discussed ammunition for the M249 SAW, are there any questions? (Pause and receive questions). If there are no more questions I have one for you.
QUESTION: What size round does the M249 SAW fire?
Now, lets discuss the ammunition types for the M249 SAW.
(ON SLIDE #16)
6. AMMUNITION TYPES. (2 Min)
a. Ball – Tip is painted green
b. Tracer – Tip is painted orange
c. Blank - No projectile
d. Dummy – No primer and six flutings on the cartridge
(ON SLIDE #17)
Here is what some of the ammo looks like.
(ON SLIDE #18)
TRANSITION: At this time are there any questions on the ammunition types for the M249 SAW? (Pause and receive questions). If there are no more questions I have one for you.
QUESTION: What are the four different types of ammunition the M249 SAW use?
ANSWER: Ball, Tracer, Dummy, and Blank
Now that we know the different types of ammo and how to load them, lets discus how to shoot the M249 SAW.
(ON SLIDE #19)
7. Target Engagement. (8 Min)
Obtaining an accurate initial burst of fire on the target is fundamental to good marksmanship. This is accomplished by correctly estimating the range to the target and by correctly setting the sights on the machinegun.
(ON SLIDE #20)
Setting the Sights. Determine the range and set the sights. The rear sight has 2 knobs. Use the one closest to the buttstock to set the elevation (range). It is graduated from 300 to 1000 meters.
(ON SLIDE #21)
Sight Alignment and Sight Picture. Sight alignment is obtained in the same manner as the M16 service rifle: the front sight post centered both vertically and horizontally in the rear sight aperture. Sight picture is obtained by placing the front sight tip on the center base of the target.
(ON SLIDE #22)
TRANSITION: Now that we have just discussed target engagement, are there any questions? (Pause and receive questions) If there are no (more) questions, I have a question for you.
QUESTION: When setting the sights on the M249 SAW, how is your rear sight graduated?
ANSWER: It is graduated from 300 to 1000 meters.
(ON SLIDE #23)
8. Rates of Fire. (2 Min)
The rates of fire help to control the amount of ammunition that is used and help support the changing of barrels and the reloading of ammo. The 3 rates are;
a. Sustained. 85 rounds per minute fired in a 3-5 round burst every 4-5 seconds. The barrel must be changed every 200 rounds at this rate of fire.
b. Rapid. 200 rounds per minute fired in a 8-10 round burst every 2-3 seconds. The barrel must be changed every 200 rounds at this rate of fire.
c. Cyclic. 850 rounds per minute. The barrel must be changed every minute at this rate of fire.
In order to achieve the sustained and rapid rates of fire the Gunner and A-Gunner must practice. Proper trigger control must be used. Do not squeeze the trigger of a machine gun like a service rifle. The trigger must be pulled quickly and held down for the appropriate amount of time. A common ISM that is used to achieve the sustained rate of fire is to hold the trigger down for the amount of time that it takes say “Die little people die, get some, release.”
Now that we know the rates of fire and how often we have to change the barrels, here is a demonstration of a barrel change.
On the next slide give a demo of a barrel change.
(ON SLIDE #24)
TRANSITION: At this time are any questions about the rates of fire? (Pause and receive questions). If there are no more questions I have one for you.
QUESTION: What is the rapid rate of fire for the M249 SAW?
ANSWER: 200 rounds per minute
We have covered how to shoot the M249 SAW. Now we need to know how to handle common problems that may develop during firing.
(ON SLIDE #25)
9. Stoppages and Malfunctions. (8 Min)
Problems you may experience while firing the machinegun are stoppages and malfunctions. With a stoppage the gun has stopped functioning. A malfunction is a failure of the gun to function satisfactorily; the gun will fire, but fires improperly. Two of the more common malfunctions are sluggish operation and runaway gun.
(ON SLIDE #26)
Sluggish Operation. During sluggish operation, the gun fires very slowly. It can be due to excessive friction or loss of gas. Excessive friction is usually due to lack of lubrication or excessive dirt/carbon in the gas system or on the bolt and receiver rails. Excessive loss of gas is usually due to loose connections in the gas system. There are 2 ways to reduce sluggish operation. When firing cannot be ceased and when firing can be halted.
While Still Firing. Add more lubricant to the working parts of the gun.
Firing Complete. To remedy continued sluggish operation, dis & ass, clean, lubricate, tighten or replace parts as required.
(ON SLIDE #27)
Runaway Gun. This is when a gun continues to fire after the trigger is released, thus firing is uncontrolled. A runaway gun is usually caused by a worn, broken, or burred Sear (the Sear Shoulder is unable to grab the Operating Rod and hold it to the rear). One action can be taken to stop a runaway gun if the impact area poses no threat to friendly troops. But there are two ways of stopping a runaway gun if it is imperative that the gun stops shooting.
If No Danger To Friendly’s. Let the weapon fire the remainder of the ammo.
If Safety Is An Issue.
Break the link belt (grasp link belt and twist it firmly).
Grab the cocking handle and pull it all the way back and hold. Place weapon on safe and perform clearing procedures.
(ON SLIDE #28)
Stoppages. A stoppage is an interruption in the cycle of function caused by faulty action of the gun or defective ammunition; in short, the gun stops firing. Stoppages must be cleared quickly and firing resumed. But before we talk about fixing a stoppage, we have to understand two possible conditions that can result in serious injury or death. A Hang Fire and Cook Off.
Hang Fire. A hang fire occurs when the primer of the round has been struck by the firing pin but some problem with the propellant powder causes it to burn too slowly and delays the firing of the projectile. A time of 5 seconds is allotted for this malfunction so that round is not ejected from the gun before the powder in the cartridge ignites.
(ON SLIDE #29)
Cook Off. A cook off occurs when the heat of the barrel is high enough to cause the propellant powder inside the round to ignite even though the primer is not struck. Immediate action is completed in a total of 10 seconds to ensure that the round is extracted before the heat of the barrel affects it.
(ON SLIDE #30)
TRANSITION: At this time are any questions about stoppages and malfunctions? (Pause and receive questions). If there are no more questions I have one for you.
QUESTION: What is considered a runaway gun?
ANSWER: This is when a gun continues to fire after the trigger is released, thus firing is uncontrolled.
Now lets discuss Immediate and remedial action.
(ON SLIDE #31)
10. Immediate and Remedial Action. (7 Min)
Immediate action is the act of fixing a stoppage without investigating its cause. If immediate action fails to clear the stoppage the gun will have to be cleared, inspected for the problem and returned into action. This is known as remedial action. If you experience a stoppage first:
Alert the rest of the squad by sounding off “misfire” 3 times and count to five in order to guard against a hang fire.
“Pull, Push” Pull the cocking handle, locking the bolt to the rear, and return the handle fully forward. This must be done within 5 seconds to guard against a cook off which can occur after 10 seconds.
While performing “pull, push” watch for the ammo to feed and eject. Ejection takes place in two places. The link ejects from the right side of the gun while the brass ejects out of the bottom.
If “feeding and ejecting” take place continue to fire.
If the gun fails again wait another 5 seconds in case of a hang fire.
Determine if the gun has a hot or cold barrel. A hot barrel is when you have fired more than 200 rounds in a two-minute span or have been firing at a high rate of fire. A hot barrel can cause a “cook off” and you should wait 15 minutes during a training environment before conducting remedial action.
If the barrel is cold or you have waited 15 minutes for the barrel to cool, perform remedial action.
(ON SLIDE #32)
If during immediate action (“pull, push”), you do not see feeding and ejecting, determine if you have a “hot or cold barrel” and proceed to remedial action.
(ON SLIDE #33)
If during immediate action (“pull, push”), you cannot pull the bolt to the rear, determine if you have a “hot or cold barrel” and proceed to remedial action by getting the bolt to the rear by any means necessary.
(ON SLIDE #34)
INTERIM TRANSITION: Are there any questions on immediate and remedial action? (Pause and receive questions). If there are no questions, lets move into the practical application portion.
(ON SLIDE #35)
PRACTICAL APPLICATION (135 Min)
This Practical Application is designed to allow the student to practice the procedures for getting into the proper firing position, loading the weapon with a belt of ammunition and a M16 magazine, sight manipulation, dealing with Stoppages and Malfunctions and Barrel changes. Student instructor ratio will be 400:16
PRACTICE: The Students will be guided through getting into a proper firing position and taking the weapon from condition 4 to condition 1. Then the student will be assigned a target and ordered to notionally fire at it. During firing the student will be presented with various scenarios of malfunctions and stoppages that may occur during firing for which the student will have to get the gun back into action.
PROVIDE HELP: The students will be broken down into 8 equal groups with 1 Combat Instructor per group. The instructor will remain with the same group for the entire practical application period and will conduct the following phases;
PHASE 1. Firing positions and loading. Students will assume the prone position behind the weapon and will practice both loading procedures; belt fed/cover open and with an M16 magazine. Students will understand the differences of each condition as they go through the steps of loading.
PHASE 2. Sight setting, aiming in on the target and engaging the target.
PHASE 3. Malfunctions, Stoppages and Barrel changes.
1. Safety Brief: It is required that all Combat Instructors read the Safety Brief to the students. Ensure all members of the group are present and understand the Safety and Cease Training requirements.
2. Supervision and Guidance: Ensure all students perform and master all procedures.
3. Debrief: Ensure that all students have performed all the procedures. After the practical application ask the students if there are any questions.
TRANSITION: Now that we have conducted the practical application for this period of instruction do you have any questions? (Pause and receive questions).
(ON SLIDE #36)
SUMMARY (1 MIN)
During this period of instruction we have covered the firing positions and the steps required to fire the M249 SAW. The information you have learned today will enable you to operate the M249 SAW squad automatic weapon in a combat environment.
Instruct the students to fill out the Instructional Rating forms. Provide the students with instructions regarding what to do and where to form in preparation for the next training event.