Hours 3,4,5,6, 7
FM 23-9 Rifle Marksmanship M-16A1/2/3/4/M4 (April 2003)
MCRP 3-01A USMC Rifle Marksmanship (October 2012)
Warrior Skills Level 1
Hour 3: Sling Use and Positions
Hour 4: Iron sights, Mechanical Zero, and Battlesight Zero (BZO)
Hour 5: Record books and BZO range
Once you've gotten this far, take your weapon, and data book, and a box or two of ammunition, and take your rifle and a zeroing target to the range.
Get in a good prone position, use the sling, and fire an aimed group of three slow-fired, deliberate shots, aimed center-of-mass, at a BZO target at 25m.
Move downrange when safe, plot the center of your group, (or use a spotting scope, binoculars, etc.) then apply the sight corrections indicated on the BZO target.
Repeat until your 25m group is on the center of the target.
If you want to take your time confirming this, go ahead.
When you get multiple groups, and/or every round, on the "X", you're good to go, and your weapon is BZO'ed.
Record the clicks you put on the front sight, and any windage on the rear drum, to achieve your battlesight zero changes from mechanical zero.
(Major League Tip:
If you're really smart, besides your data book, you'll put this on a small slip of paper/card or white tape on the stock, and cover it with waterproof clear packing tape, so it's always there. If the weapon gets screwed with, you know where to start to get it back to zero. If the BZO ever changes, reconfirm a new BZO the same way as above, and change the tape. And if there's some slop between an adjustable stock and the buffer tube, you can put that data on the buffer tube, covered by the sliding adjustable buttstock, so only you know it's there when it's back in place, and it's protected from the elements, and isn't a camo fail. If you're rocking a fixed buttstock instead of the M4gery adjustable, put the info inside the buttstock cleaning trap, same-same. Easy peasey.)
And BTW, while you can adjust the front sight with a nail, pen tip, or the end of a cartridge, don't be a schmuck: splurge the $10, and buy an AR-15/M16 A1/A2 sight adjustment tool. Maybe even get two or three of them. Keep one in the mil-spec buttstock or belt pouch cleaning kit that should be with you whenever you're carrying or shooting the weapon. It'll keep you from buggering up the front sight and detent, and it's hella easier to make BZO adjustments. You use field expedients when you're out of other options, not as a first choice.
Remember, it's easy to be hard, and hard to be smart. Be smart.
When your weapon is battlesight zeroed, that means the rifle is set to hit anyone from 0-300Y/m somewhere useful if you aim at their center of mass, and before we take windage into account. Which we'll cover next.
Hour 6: Wind and Windage
That's the basics of windage. Read carefully the information for the M-16 variant (or whatever you're carrying/using), so that you know what one click of your windage adjustment equals, at every range from at least 0-500Y (i.e. if 1 click is 1/2" adjustment @100Y = then it's a 2 1/2" adjustment in bullet strike @500Y. Or whatever yours is.)
When you put windage on the sights, trust the mechanics of the sight to apply the correction. If you use "Kentucky windage", and cheat the hold to the side, and adjust the sights, you'll be chasing the target all day long, and be all fornicated up in short order.
Hour 7: 200Y practice
Go to the range and practice, Try to do so at an actual 200Y range. (You can't learn to hit a golf drive by practicing on a putting and chipping green.) If this is absolutely impossible, use targets 1/2 the size at 100Y. It won't teach you windage corrections, but it's better than nothing. The effects of wind at 100Y are negligible, unless there's a storm or hurricane inbound. They start to show up at 200Y. At 300Y, you'll know if the dope on your rifle needs to be changed, in a hurry.
Start with a 200Y practice, doing about one aimed shot/minute.
If you can put three targets out, do that.
Shoot one of them standing up (offhand).
Shoot the next one kneeling.
Shoot the next one sitting.
Five rounds apiece, one minute per shot, loaded one round at a time over an empty magazine.
The three targets let you see windage corrections for each position, and your basic accuracy via the group size. It also shows you scoring, if you're worried about that.
Use the sling, applied correctly on your left arm. I don't give a damn about "combat" commandos telling you otherwise, we're teaching you to hit your target first. Do it right.
(And BTW, you can use a hasty sling support, even when you're getting shot at. FYI.)
In between rounds, use the data book. Call your shots, look at them or have someone else do it, and plot the actual impact versus your call. If you're putting three in a row the same place, and it's not the bullseye, adjust your sights. Record the adjustment(s) made in the data book.
Concentrate on shooting with the proper form and marksmanship factors with each and every shot.
Stance, hold, stock placement, cheek weld, front hand support, sight alignment, sight picture, breath control, trigger control.
BRASS: Breathe, Relax, Aim, Squeeze, Shoot.
Stop and plot.
Lather, rinse, repeat.
You may find taking an 8" long inch block of 2"x4" and drilling 7/16" holes (The cartridge case is 0.003 inches larger than a 3/8ths bit) halfway through, in three parallel rows of 5 or 10 holes on the wide side, makes a handy loading block to put your rounds in for this part of slow fire. You'll also make most range "helpers" STFU, because they'll think you know your stuff.
You can also either record the fundamentals on a player/smartphone app, and listen to them on earbuds, or just talk to yourself out loud, if that helps. Go over in your head, or play into your ears, the steps all along the way, until they're second nature.
5 rounds standing, 5 rounds kneeling, 5 rounds prone.
You can easily do 45-60 rounds in an hour, examine and patch your targets on range breaks.
You don't have to worry about 400 other recruits, so you can get 3-4 days practice at this distance in a one hour session, if you apply yourself diligently and honestly.
If you're having trouble, or there's one handy, get an experienced and educated marksman or shooting instructor to come with you, watch what you're doing, and coach you so you learn good habits and apply good technique, and break bad habits and sloppy technique.
If you're really not getting it, HIRE ONE.
Either way, they're watching you, not the target, and correcting flaws.
You're crawling now, so you can walk and run later.