Techniques of firing with the M9 Pistol
Firing techniques include the use of
hand-and-eye coordination, flash sight picture, quick-fire point shooting, and
Hand-and-eye coordination is not a natural, instinctive ability for all
soldiers. It is usually a learned skill obtained by practicing the use of a
flash sight picture (see paragraph b below). The more a soldier practices
raising the weapon to eye level and obtaining a flash sight picture, the more
natural the relationship between soldier, sights, and target becomes.
Eventually, proficiency elevates to a point so that the soldier can accurately
engage targets in the dark. Each soldier must be aware of this trait and learn
how to use it best. Poorly coordinated soldiers can achieve proficiency through
close supervision from their trainers. Everyone has the ability to point at an
object. Since pointing the forefinger at an object and extending the weapon
toward a target are much the same, the combination of the two are natural.
Making the soldier aware of this ability and teaching him how to apply it
results in success when engaging enemy targets in combat.
- The eyes focus instinctively on the center
of any object observed. After the object is sighted, the firer aligns his
sights on the center of mass, focuses on the front sight, and applies proper
trigger squeeze. Most crippling or killing hits result from maintaining the
focus on the center of mass. The eyes must remain fixed on some part of the
target throughout firing.
- When a soldier points, he instinctively
points at the feature on the object on which his eyes are focused. An impulse
from the brain causes the arm and hand to stop when the finger reaches the
proper position. When the eyes are shifted to a new object or feature, the
finger, hand, and arm also shift to this point. It is this inherent trait that
can be used by the soldier to engage targets rapidly and accurately. This
instinct is called hand-and-eye coordination.
Flash Sight Picture.
Usually, when engaging an enemy at pistol range, the firer has little time to
ensure a correct sight picture. The quick-kill (or natural point of aim) method
does not always ensure a first-round hit. A compromise between a correct sight
picture and the quick-kill method is known as a flash sight picture. As the
soldier raises the weapon to eye level, his point of focus switches from the
enemy to the front sight, ensuring that the front and rear sights are in proper
alignment left and right, but not necessarily up and down. Pressure is applied
to the trigger as the front sight is being acquired, and the hammer falls as the
flash sight picture is confirmed. Initially, this method should be practiced
slowly, with speed gained as proficiency increases.
Quick-Fire Point Shooting.
This is for engaging an enemy at less than 5 yards and is also useful for night
firing. Using a two-hand grip, the firer brings the weapon up close to the body
until it reaches chin level. He then thrusts it forward until both arms are
straight. The arms and body form a triangle, which can be aimed as a unit. In
thrusting the weapon forward, the firer can imagine that there is a box between
him and the enemy, and he is thrusting the weapon into the box. The trigger is
smoothly squeezed to the rear as the elbows straighten.
This technique is for engaging an enemy at 5 to 10 yards away and
only when there is no time available to get a full picture. The firing position
is the same as for quick-fire point shooting. The sights are aligned left and
right to save time, but not up and down. The firer must determine in practice
what the sight picture will look like and where the front sight must be aimed to
hit the enemy in the chest.