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Firing Positions for the M72 Series LAW

The M72-series LAW can be fired from either shoulder by simply reversing the instructions

The M72-series LAW can be fired from either shoulder by simply reversing the instructions. Though each weapon can be fired from all four of the basic firing positions, individual physique determines exact body and hand positions. Firing from a supported position naturally increases accuracy, which improves the odds for a first-round hit or kill. Basic safety considerations are the same for all light antiarmor weapons, but additional considerations for each firing position are provided here.

STANDING POSITION

Two standing positions are used: a basic standing position and one modified for the infantry fighting position.

Basic Standing Position

Raise the launcher slightly higher than shoulder level. Execute a left face, rotate your shoulder under the launcher, and spread your feet a comfortable distance apart. Move your left foot 15 to 24 inches forward, keeping your hips level and your weight balanced on both feet. To obtain a firm, stable position, tuck both elbows tightly into your body. To track a moving target, turn your body at the waist―not with your legs. This enables you to track the target smoothly. Unless you are behind a protective barrier, such as a wall, the standing position exposes you more than any other position to enemy observation and possible suppression. Place your nonfiring hand about 4 inches from the front of the muzzle, with your firing hand on the rear cover. After placing the weapon on your shoulder, release the rear cover and place your firing hand on the trigger. Cup the launcher in the palm of your nonfiring hand. Position your firing eye as close to the rear sight as is comfortable.

WARNING:  Always keep the launcher pointed in the direction of fire.

Basic Standing Position

Modified Standing Position

Use this position when you occupy an infantry fighting position. Assume the basic standing position, but instead of stepping forward, lean against the back wall of the fighting position. Ensure that the venturi or rear of the weapon extends beyond the rear of the fighting position. The figure below shows the modified standing position for the M72-series LAW. Ensure that NONE of the following are in your backblast area:

  • Other Soldiers.
  • Other fighting positions.
  • Equipment.
  • Any part of your own fighting position.
  • Obstructions within 5 meters.

NOTE: Leaders must ensure that light antiarmor weapons are positioned so that the backblast misses other fighting positions.

DANGER:  NEVER FIRE FROM WITHIN A COMPLETELY ENCLOSED, UNVENTILATED BUNKER OR FIGHTING POSITION.

Modified Standing Position

KNEELING POSITION

The basic kneeling position is the best position for tracking moving targets. The modified kneeling position is best for engaging stationary targets, since it is a supported position. However, either can be used for stationary or moving targets.

Basic Kneeling Position

Kneel from the basic standing position onto your right knee, keeping your left thigh parallel to the ground. Rotate your lower right leg 90degrees to the left. (This removes your right foot from exposure to the backblast.) Keep your right thigh and back straight and perpendicular to the ground. Point your left foot in the direction of fire and tuck your elbows in to your sides. Though this is not a supported position, it should be a firm, stable one. (The figure belows shows the basic kneeling position.)

Basic Kneeling Position

Modified Kneeling Position

From the basic kneeling position, sit back on your right heel. Place the back of your upper left arm on your left knee, making sure you do not have bone-to-bone contact between your left elbow and left knee. Keep your right elbow tucked in close to your right side. Use any protective barriers available. (The figure below shows the modified kneeling position.)

Modified Kneeling Position

SITTING POSITION

The sitting position is the most stable firing position. In this position, the arms are placed on the legs for support. Depending on his physique, the firer can use either of two versions of the sitting position, which are both suitable for engaging stationary targets.

Basic Sitting Position

Sit on your buttocks while facing the target, and spread your feet a comfortable distance apart. Lean forward and place the backs of your upper arms on your knees, avoiding bone-to-bone contact. (The figure below shows the basic sitting position.)

Basic Sitting Position

Modified Sitting Position

From the basic sitting position, cross your ankles for added support. Raise or lower your knees to adjust for elevation on the target. (The figure below shows the modified sitting position.)

Modified Sitting Position

PRONE POSITION

The prone position is the most dangerous position due to its proximity to the ground. Ideally, the ground should slope downward from the rear of the launcher, which reduces the effects of the backblast.

  • Lie on your stomach with your body at a 90-degree angle to the direction of fire, and with your body and legs to the left of the direction of fire, for the improved launcher lie with your body at a 45-degree angle.
  • Ensure that neither the body nor the legs are in the backblast area.
  • Unlike other firing positions, the prone position prevents you from placing the launcher on your right shoulder. Instead, you must hold the launcher in place against your upper right arm. For stability, apply extra pressure on the firing mechanism with your right hand. The prone position is the least stable of all firing positions. You must practice it often to become confident using it. (The figures below show the prone position for M72A2/A3 and the prone position for the M72A4/5/6/7 due to the improvements of the rockets.)

DANGER:  FAILURE TO MAINTAIN A 90-DEGREE OR A 45-DEGREE ANGLE FROM THE DIRECTION OF FIRE COULD CAUSE INJURY OR DEATH TO THE FIRER.

Prone position for M72A2/A3

Prone position for the M72A4/5/6/7