UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS
WEAPONS TRAINING BATTALION
COMBAT MARKSMANSHIP CENTER OF EXCELLENCE
MARINE CORPS COMBAT DEVELOPMENT COMMAND
QUANTICO, VIRGINIA 22134 5040
COMBAT MARKSMANSHIP COACHES COURSE
APPROVED BY ___________________ DATE _____________
(ON SLIDE #1)
INTRODUCTION (3 MIN)
1. GAIN ATTENTION. Range estimation is the determination of the distance from your location to a distant point. The ability to determine range is a skill, which must be developed by your shooter to engage targets at unknown distances in a combat environment. To engage a target in the field with accurate fire, your shooter must take time to determine the distance between themselves and the target. Practice in acquiring range estimation skills will ensure quick and effective target engagement on the battlefield. By the end of this period of instruction you will be able to train your shooters to understand how to determine range between themselves and their target to ensure effective engagement of the target.
(On slide #2)
2. OVERVIEW. Good morning, my name is . . . The purpose of this lesson is to discuss range estimation. I will cover this by discussing estimating range by eye, factors that will affect range estimation, and the point of aim technique.
(On slide #3)
Introduce learning objectives.
. LEARNING OBJECTIVES
a. TERMINAL LEARNING OBJECTIVE. Given targets at unknown distances, range supplies, equipment, prepared shooters, and an unknown distance range. Coach target engagement with the service rifle or carbine at unknown distances, so that all performance steps are accomplished and all shooters achieve shooter proficiency level per MCO 3574.2_.
b. ENABLING LEARNING OBJECTIVE. Given targets at unknown distances, range supplies, equipment, prepared shooters, and an unknown distance range; explain range estimation so that all performance steps are accomplished, and all shooters achieve shooter proficiency level per MCO 3574.2_.
(On slide #4)
4. METHOD/MEDIA. This lesson will be taught using the informal lecture method. I will be aided by a power point presentation.
Explain Instructional Rating Forms to the students.
5. EVALUATION. You will not be evaluated on this period of instruction.
6. SAFETY/CEASE TRAINING (CT) BRIEF. There is no safety brief associated with this lesson. (or give the brief)
(On slide #5)
TRANSITION: Are there any questions relating to how this lesson will be conducted? If not, let’s talk about estimating range by eye.
BODY ( 25 MIN)
(On slide #6)
1. ESTIMATING RANGE BY EYE. ( 15 Min)
a. Unit Of Measure. To determine the total distance to the target using the unit of measure, your shooters must visualize a distance of 100 meters on the ground, and then estimate how many of these units can fit between themselves and the target.
(1) Limitation. The greatest limitation of the unit of measure method is that its accuracy is directly related to how much of the terrain is visible. This is particularly true at greater ranges. If a target appears at a range of 500 meters or more and only a portion of the ground between your shooter and the target can be seen, it becomes difficult to use the unit of measure method of range estimation with accuracy.
(a) Proficiency. Proficiency in the unit of measure method requires constant practice. Throughout training, comparisons should be continually made between the range estimated by your shooter and the actual range as determined by pacing or other, more accurate measurement.
(On slide #7)
b. Appearance Of Objects Method. To use the appearance of objects method, your shooters must be familiar with the sizes and details of personnel and equipment at known distances.
(1) Limitations. Anything that limits the visibility (such as weather, smoke, or darkness) will also limit the effectiveness of this method.
(2) Proficiency. To become proficient in using the appearance of objects method with accuracy, your shooters must be familiar with the characteristic details of objects as they appear at various ranges.
(On slide #8)
c. Rifle Front Sight Post Method. The area of the target that is covered by the front sight post of the rifle can be used to estimate range to the target. By comparing the appearance of the rifle front sight post on a target at known distances, your shooters can establish a mental reference point for determining range at unknown distances. Because the apparent size of the target changes as the distance to the target changes, the amount of the target that is covered by the front sight post will vary depending upon its range. In addition, your shooters eye relief and perception of the front sight post will also affect the amount of the target that is visible.
(1) More Than 300 Meters. The service rifle front sight post will cover the width of a man's chest or body at approximately 300 meters. If the target is less than the width of the front sight post, you should assume the target is in excess of 300 meters. Therefore, your BZO cannot be used effectively.
(2) Less Than 300 Meters. If the target is wider than the front sight post, you can assume that the target is less than 300 meters and can be engaged point of aim/point of impact using your BZO.
(On slide #9)
b. Visible Detail Method. When observing a target, the amount of detail seen at various ranges gives your shooters a good indication of the target's distance. They should study the appearance of a person when they are standing at a range of 100 meters. Your shooters should fix the persons appearance firmly in their minds, carefully noting details of size and the characteristics of uniform and equipment. Next, they should study the same person in a kneeling position and then in a prone position. By comparing the appearance of these positions at known ranges from 100 meters to 500 meters, your shooters can establish a series of mental images that will help determine range on unfamiliar terrain. They should also study the appearance of other familiar objects such as weapons and vehicles.
(1) 100 Yards. At 100 yards/meters, the target can be clearly observed in detail, and facial features can be distinguished.
(2) 200 Yards. At 200 yards/meters, the target can be clearly observed, although there is a loss of facial detail. The color of the skin and equipment is still identifiable.
(3) 300 Yards. At 300 yards/meters, the target has a clear body outline, face color usually remains accurate, but remaining details are blurred.
(4) 400 Yards. At 400 yards/meters, the body outline is clear, but remaining detail is blurred.
(5) 500 Yards. At 500 yards/meters, the body shape begins to taper at the ends. The head becomes indistinct from the shoulders.
(6) 600 Yards. At 600 yards/meters, the body appears wedge-shaped with the appearance of no head.
(On slide #10)
c. Bracketing. The bracketing method of range estimation involves estimating the shortest possible distance and the greatest possible distance to the target. For example, your shooter might estimate that a particular target is as close as 300 meters away but could be as far as 500 meters away from their position. The estimated distances are then averaged to determine the estimated range to the target. In this example, the average of 300 meters and 500 meters is 400 meters.
(On slide #11)
d. Halving. The halving method of range estimation can be used to judge ranges out to 800 meters. Your shooters can estimate the distance to the halfway point between their position and the target. Your shooters then will double that distance to get the total distance to the target. This method operates on the premise that it is easier to estimate 400 meters than 800 meters. Your shooters must be careful when judging the distance to the halfway point. Any error made in judging the halfway distance will be doubled when estimating the total distance.
(On slide #12)
e. Combination Of Methods. Most of the methods previously discussed require optimal conditions with regard to the target, terrain, and visibility. Therefore, it is likely that a more accurate estimate of range can be obtained by utilizing a combination of methods to support your shooters estimate. For instance, two of your shooters could estimate range using different methods and compare their findings. The average of the two responses should be close to the range to the target.
(On slide #13)
TRANSITION: Now that we understand estimating range by eye can someone tell me what method is the more accurate for estimating range by eye?
Answer: The combination of methods is the more accurate method for estimating range by eye.
We have learned about estimating range by eye now we need to cover factors that will affect range estimation.
(On slide #14)
2. FACTORS AFFECTING RANGE ESTIMATION. (5 Min)
a. Nature Of Target. The nature of the target can affect your shooters perception of the target, which will in turn affect their ability to estimate the range to the target.
(1) Clear Day. An object with a regular outline such as a steel helmet, rifle, or vehicle on a clear day will appear to be closer than one with an irregular outline such as a camouflaged object.
(2) Contrasting Targets. A target that contrasts with its background will appear to be closer than one that blends in with its background.
(3) Partially Exposed. A partially exposed object will appear to be farther away than it actually is.
(4) Larger Objects. A target will appear farther away if the target is smaller than the objects surrounding it.
(On slide #15)
b. Nature Of Terrain. The nature of the terrain can alter your shooters perception of the distance to the target.
(1) Upward Sloping Terrain. Upward sloping terrain gives the illusion of shorter distance.
(2) Downward Sloping Terrain. Downward sloping terrain gives the illusion of greater distance.
(3) Dead Space. Terrain with dead space will tend to make the target appear to be closer.
(4) Smooth Terrain. Smooth terrain such as sand, water, or snow will give the illusion of greater distance.
(On slide #16)
c. Light Conditions. Light conditions will affect your shooters ability to visibly see their target and make estimating range more difficult.
(1) Visibility Of The Target. The more clearly a target can be seen, the closer it appears to be. Smoke, fog, rain, or anything else that obscures vision will give the illusion of greater distance.
(2) Position Of The Sun. The position of the sun will also affect estimation by eye. When the sun is behind your shooters, it lights the target better so the target will appear to be closer. When the sun is directly beyond the target, the glare will give the illusion of greater distance.
(3) Firing Position. Depending on the firing position assumed the shooter may not have a clear line of sight to their target. Targets appear farther away if the observer is in a prone position.
(On slide #17)
TRANSITION: Now that we understand the factors affecting range estimation can someone tell me what illusion upward sloping terrain can give?
Answer: Upward sloping terrain will give the illusion of shorter distance.
We have learned about the factors affecting range estimation now we need to cover the point of aim technique.
(On slide #18)
3. POINT OF AIM TECHNIQUE. ( 5 Min)
a. Purpose. When the distance to a target is beyond the BZO capability of the rifle and there is no time to adjust the sights, offset aiming techniques can be used.
(1) Point Targets. Point targets are targets out to a range of 550 meters, the maximum effective range of the M16A2 service rifle. Targets the size of a man can be engaged with accuracy out to 550 meters with the service rifle.
(On slide #19)
(2) Predetermined Points Of Aim. In the point of aim technique, predetermined points of aim sector the target horizontally. The tip of the front sight post held at shoulder level is considered one point of aim; the tip of the front sight post held at the top of the target’s head is considered two points of aim.
(a) 300 – 400 Meters. When range to the target is estimated to be beyond 300 yards/meters out to 400 meters, hold one point of aim.
(b) Past 400 Meters. When the range to the target is estimated to be beyond 400 yards/meters out to 500 meters, then hold two points of aim.
(On slide #20)
(3) Hasty Sight Settings. While a BZO is considered to be a true zero for 300 yards/meters, your shooters must be capable of engaging targets beyond this distance. When time permits using a hasty sight setting is more accurate then using the point of aim technique.
(a) How To Apply A Hasty Sight Setting. A hasty sight setting is a rear sight elevation setting that is temporarily applied to engage a target that is inside or outside of the BZO capability of the rifle. A setting of 8/3-2 at 200 yards for the M16A2 and 6/3-4 with the M16A4 (e.g., for precision shooting such as a head shot) is also considered a hasty sight setting. The M16A2 service rifle sighting system design allows sight settings for distances out to 800 meters in 100 yard/meter increments. The M16A4 allows sight settings out to 600 meters/yards. This is accomplished by dialing in the appropriate range numeral on the rear sight elevation knob that corresponds to the range to the target.
(On slide #21)
TRANSITION: Now that we understand the point of aim technique can someone tell me where to aim the front sight post to hold one point of aim?
Answer: To hold one point of aim the front sight post must be aimed at shoulder level.
(On slide #22)
SUMMARY: (2 MIN)
To accurately estimate range takes practice. Precision enhances accuracy and, ultimately, survival on the battlefield. Without being able to accurately estimate range it becomes a guessing game, and that time lost could calculate into fatalities on the battle field. Those of you with the Instructional Rating Forms please fill them out and place them at the back of the classroom.