Saturday, September 25, 2010

Meat on the Gun

As I was perusing some pictures on the facebook, I came across this-

Notice the GIANT space between the butt of his carbine and his shoulder.  At this point the shooter has as much stability as you would shooting an over-sized pistol, probably even less due to the length and weight of the rifle, especially with how close his vertical grip is to the receiver.

One of the most common pieces of advice I give shooters is to "get as much meat on the gun as you can."  I don't remember where I first heard it, but it is one of the most solid pieces of advice I've ever been given.  A good solid cheek weld, buttstock firmly in place against your shoulder.  And it's an AR/M16 type of weapon, don't be afraid to get your face close to it, it's not going to kick you in the nose.

Damn I look good!

Good solid hold, what recoil there is on this gun is going straight into my shoulder.  Solid cheek weld, which enables you to maintain a consistent sight picture.

Another picky point about the first shooter.  Notice how high up the rifle is in relation to his shoulder.  Here's a classic MS paint visual aid-

The red line is going straight through the boreline of the rifle.  Notice how Mr. Stoner conveniently placed the stock on that same line.  Pretty smart guy.

Unfortunately, the soldier in the picture has the rifle high up in his shoulder.  Notice the arrow sailing straight over and past it.  If the carbine was in contact with his shoulder, it would just be the toe end, and combined with the high force vector, this causes the toe of the stock to act as a pivot point, causing an increased amount of muzzle climb.

Scroll back up to the pic of me, and notice the empty case hanging just past my shoulder, and note the photo is at the moment of firing.  Quick controlled pairs on that rifle are lots of fun.  Full contact of the butt transfers the force evenly against the shoulder, and preventing that pesky rotation, which is the reason that the stock is in line with the action in the first place.  Having full contact with the buttstock on an AR/M16 type weapon reduces the muzzle flip to nearly zero.

Just had to get that out of the system.


James R. Rummel said...

Good post.

Jester said...

I agree with you on those comments, in particular with the placement of the forward pistol grip in relation to how he holds the rifle. At the very least he could push that grip further down the rails to the muzzle if he is slap firing like that.
I ran with it in the same place as he does and prefer to do so, but that buttstock is tight in to my shoulder. With the grip in that particular position I can really tug it in nice and tight for a secure hold, and important consideration once your laden down with all the assorted gear the military has.

Fred said...

I'm a huge proponent of "driving the gun," so getting that support arm way out is pretty important to me. If you're doing a lot of transitions between multiple targets it helps keep your muzzle under control much better than a mag-well grip where you have 16+ inches of heavy steel inertia hanging out in front of you.

But for the love of Odin, if you have a stock, use it!

Boss Mongo said...

Agree with all...but: neither of the firers pictured are wearing body armor. I always found that body armor screwed with my butt-stock-weld to a distracting degree, and never failed to be a pain in the ass. On the armor, the butt-stock doesn't feel as stable or secure as it should. Pull it outside to the outer shoulder or upper arm, and your arm is in an unnatural and fatiguing position.
Take the time to bring the weapon up, put the butt-stock to the outside of the shoulder, and then wedge (shrug) it in, and you just lost a good half-second on engaging the threat.
I'd like to fire the weapon in a t-shirt, but rounds coming the other way argue that keeping the armor on is probably a good idea.

Fred said...

The soldier pictured is wearing body armor. Having spent plenty of time wearing the same armor, I've never had an issue with getting the stock in contact with my shoulder, even for fast snap shooting. I'd gladly trade a half second to ensure I'm getting rounds on target rather than spraying the area and loosing even more time with the weapon bouncing around unsupported.

Jester said...

The newest body armor, while I find it to be much more uncomfertable than the first stuff with the SAPI plates did make it easier to shoulder a weapon, and it was light years ahead of the Kevlar Flack Jackets from the 70's and 80's.
For me a 16 inch barrel I can field shots quicker and control it more with a grip infront of the mag well, But I did observe mag well holds caused me issues. Now take the M16 Length barrels, then I moved the forward pistol grip out further.

Anonymous said...

How do you know what's happening in the pic? Was there a detailed caption? Could he have been tossing rounds at sommeone 6 feet away, or to keep a head down as he was shooting and moving the rifle to his shoulder? I love the armchair commando in his t-shirt and ball cap at the one way range.

Fred said...

The circumstances of the photo do not really pertain to the discussion. The point is that a good solid hold is essential to accurate and consistant shot placement. (The photo is from a live fire range stateside if it is that important to you.)

As for the "armchair commando" comment, I'll keep that in mind next weekend whem I'm in the field. I guess that patch on my right sleeve and Combat Action Badge on my chest are just for show.

Fred said...

Also it's a polo shirt. If you're going to insult me on my personal site, at least pay a little more attention to detail. (Of course the fact that you didn't bother checking the"about me" section tells me the same thing...)

Boss Mongo said...

As I said, "Agree with all."
Still, TTP developed for w/body armor vice w/o body armor are not interchangeable. If your armor was never an impediment to a good stock-weld (or, better, never an impediment that required a lot of range time to internalize work-arounds that aren't covered in the standard train-up), then you must've been issued better kit than me.
Polo shirt contentions?
Lighten up, Frances...

Fred said...

The polo shirt comment was directed at Anon up there, he kind of chaffed me a bit.

The key is having correctly sized armor. The stuff I was issued overseas fit "right" (well, they didn't make it in "stupid tall" then, so my groin protector was more of a stomach protector... but the fit was right over my torso.) Last time I qualified though I didn't have my own armor, and the only sets available at the range were XL with matching plates. In that case it did suck, and my score reflected it.