Author: SSG Ian Tashima, CAARNG Asst State Marksmanship Coordinator
This piece was originally posted on the CA Military Department Combat Shooting Team page on Facebook, here.
Attention! This post has nothing to do with any carry or ready position during combative or defensive situations. This post is focused on the square range practice during Army weapons qualification that calls for Soldiers to walk around with “muzzles up, and down range.” It is not commentary on civilian carry in public, it is not focused on battlefield scenarios. It is only focused on the administrative handling of rifles and carbines while on the flat range, as when conducting grouping, zeroing, practice and qualification. The context of the post is purely administrative carry while at the range.
“Keep your muzzle up, and downrange” isn’t in AR 385-63 or Pam 385-63. Stop doing this.
Furthermore, it isn’t in California’s local installation Regulation (350-1) at Camp San Luis Obispo and Camp Roberts.
More people have been flagged by Soldiers waving their muzzles around like a Gibson guitar, trying to do as Sarge tells them. Quit it.
TC 3-22.9, Rifle and Carbine, provides several safe, effective and doctrinally correct carbine carry positions that enhance safety, without the wild gesticulations inherent with muzzles up, and moving around others.
Safe Hang is a great option, while moving on and off firing points, and anywhere in the ROCA, during group, zero, practice and qualification range sessions.
Hang, Safe Hang, and Collapsed Low Ready provide several advantages:
- Rounds never leave the training area and land in cantonment, civilian and public property, highways, schools, etc.
- Ensures that any round launched due to a negligent discharge is immediately captured by the largest backstop/berm ever known: the earth.
- Limits the movement of muzzles and always keeps them pointed into a positive back stop.
- Permits safe movement around others.
- Even when going completely “hands off,” as with the Hang carry position, Soldiers’ weapons are always pointed in safe direction.
- Collapsed Low Ready provides the most control and permits increased readiness, beyond positive control.
Muzzles up, and down range, provide none of these benefits, and enables muzzling of Soldiers’ bodies, from head to toe.
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