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Showing posts from August 11, 2012

On the SAW Range

Firing on the M249 Range (My best side!!!)

Part of this weekend's training--the best part--was a stop at the M249 SAW (Squad Automatic Weapon) range.  I was there to take pictures, but when we arrived, the last group of firers were finished and the next ones had not arrived.

So I got to fire 200 rounds at the large panel targets that serve as both zero and qualification targets.  The training plan called for firing at one of the ranges with pop-up targets, but a last-minute change meant the firing would all be done on what is usually the zero range.

At Fort Sill in 2009, the day I spent on the full-scale SAW range was one of the best days I spent in pre-deployment training.  At Sill we had pop-up targets out to 400 meters.  Today we just had the 10-meter panel.  But the thrill of putting accurate automatic fire on target is the same.

SAW with 200-round ammo box

On the paper panel are lines of silhouettes just few centimeters are set in lines.  To qualify the gunner fires a thre…