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Throwing of Hand Grenades

Employment of hand grenades and various throwing positions outlined in FM 3-23.30

Since few Soldiers throw in the same manner, it is difficult to establish firm rules or techniques for throwing hand grenades. How accurately they are thrown is more important than how they are thrown. If a soldier can achieve more distance and accuracy using his own personal style, he should be allowed to do so as long as his body is facing sideways, towards the enemy's position, and he throws basically overhand. There is, however, a recommended method of throwing hand grenades.

  1. Employ Grenades. Use the following procedures:
    1. Observe the target to mentally establish the distance between the throwing position and the target area. In observing the target, minimize exposure time to the enemy (no more than 3 seconds).
    2. Grip the hand grenade in the throwing hand.
    3. Grasp the pull ring with the index or middle finger of the nonthrowing hand. Remove the safety pin with a pulling and twisting motion. If the tactical situation permits, observe the safety pin's removal.
    4. Look at the target and throw the grenade using the overhand method so that the grenade arcs, landing on or near the target.
    5. Allow the motion of the throwing arm to continue naturally once the grenade is released. This follow-through improves distance and accuracy and lessens the strain on the throwing arm.
    6. Practice the necessary throws that are used in combat, such as the underhand and sidearm throws. Soldiers can practice these throws with practice grenades, but they must throw live fragmentation grenades overhand in a training environment.
  2. Throwing Positions. In training, throwing positions are used for uniformity and control, and to familiarize Soldiers with the proper manner of throwing grenades in combat if the situation allows a choice. Consider the following throwing positions when employing grenades:
    1. Standing. The standing position is the most desirable and natural position from which to throw grenades. It allows the Soldier to obtain the greatest possible throwing distance. Soldiers normally use this position when occupying a fighting position or during operations in fortified positions or urban terrain. Use the following procedures when throwing from this position:
      1. Observe the target to mentally estimate the range. Use the proper handgrip, and arm the grenade while behind cover.
      2. Assume a natural stance with the weight balanced equally on both feet. Hold the grenade shoulder high and hold the nonthrowing hand at a 45-degree angle with the fingers and thumb extended, joined, and pointing toward the intended target.
      3. Throw the grenade with a natural motion, using the procedures described in paragraph A.
      4. Seek cover to avoid being hit by fragments or direct enemy fire. If no cover is available, drop to the prone position facing the direction of the grenade's detonation.

Standing Throwing Position

  1. Prone-To-Standing. The prone-to-standing position allows the soldier to throw the grenade for a greater distance than the alternate prone but he is exposed more. It is important to minimize the exposure time and to have covering fire suppress the target and other enemy positions that can hit the thrower.

    1. Lie down on the stomach with the body parallel to the grenade's intended line of flight. Hold the grenade at chest level.

    2. Place the hands in a push-up position and stand up while holding the grenade in the throwing hand.

    3. Assume a natural stance with the weight balanced equally on both feet. Hold the grenade shoulder high and hold the nonthrowing hand at a 45-degree angle with the fingers and thumb extended, joined, and pointing toward the intended target. Try to assume a good standing position-the throw will be longer and more accurate-but it is more important to quickly get up and prepare the grenade.

    4. Throw the grenade with a natural motion.

    5. After throwing the grenade, drop to the ground on the stomach and press flat against the ground.

Prone to Standing Throwing Position

  1. Kneeling. The kneeling position reduces the distance a Soldier can throw a grenade. It is used primarily when a Soldier has only a low wall, a shallow ditch, or similar cover to protect him. Use the following procedures when throwing from this position:

    1. Observe the target to mentally estimate the throwing distance. Using the proper grip, arm the grenade while behind cover.

    2. Hold the grenade shoulder high and bend the nonthrowing knee at a 90-degree angle, placing that knee on the ground. Keep the throwing leg straight and locked with the side of the boot firmly on the ground. Move the body to face sideways toward the target position. Keep the nonthrowing hand at a 45-degree angle with the fingers and thumb extended, joined, and pointing toward the enemy position.

    3. Throw the grenade with a natural throwing motion. Push off with the throwing foot to give added force to the throw. Follow through with the throwing arm as described in paragraph A-5.

    4. Drop to the prone position or behind available cover to reduce exposure to fragmentation and direct enemy fire.

Kneeling Throwing Position

  1. Prone-To-Kneeling. The kneeling position can also be used when the Soldier is in the open. The prone-to-kneeling position allows the soldier to throw the grenade farther than the alternate prone, but he is exposed more. It is important to minimize the exposure time and to have covering fire suppress the target and other enemy positions that can hit the thrower.

    1. Lie down on the stomach with the body parallel to the grenade's intended line of flight. Hold the grenade at chest level.

    2. Place the hands in a push-up position and assume the kneeling position while holding the grenade in the throwing hand.

    3. Hold the grenade shoulder high and bend the nonthrowing knee at a 90-degree angle, placing that knee on the ground. Keep the throwing leg straight and locked, with the side of the boot firmly on the ground. Move the body to face sideways toward the target position. Keep the nonthrowing hand at a 45-degree angle with the fingers and thumb extended, joined, and pointing toward the enemy position. Try to assume a good kneeling position-the throw will be longer and more accurate-but quickly getting up and preparing the grenade is more important.

    4. After throwing the grenade, drop to the ground on the stomach and press flat against the ground

Prone to Kneeling Throwing Position

  1. An alternate prone position reduces both distance and accuracy and is used only when an individual is pinned down by hostile fire and is unable to rise to engage his target. Use the following procedures when throwing from the alternate prone position:

    1. Lie down on the back with the body parallel to the grenade's intended line of flight. Hold the grenade at chin-chest level and remove the safety pins.

    2. Cock the throwing leg at a 45-degree angle, maintaining knee-to-knee contact and bracing the side of the boot firmly on the ground. Hold the grenade 4 to 6 inches behind the ear with the arm cocked for throwing.

    3. With the free hand, grasp any object that will provide added leverage to increase the throwing distance. In throwing the grenade, push off with the rearward foot to give added force to the throw. Do not lift the head or body when attempting to throw the grenade as this causes exposure to direct enemy fire.

    4. After throwing the grenade, roll over onto the stomach and press flat against the ground

Alternate Prone Throwing Position