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The M4 Carbines are lightweight, gas-operated, air-cooled,

magazine-fed. shoulder-fired weapons that can be fired in
either three-round bursts, or semiautomatic. The purpose of
the weapons is to provide personnel an offensive/defensive
capability to engage targets in the field. The adapter rails
allows the operator the capability to mount various accessories
on to the M4/M4A1 Carbines.
Caliber ................................. 5.56 mm
Weight ................................... w/30 (loaded) round mag 7.5 lb
Length ................................... Buttstock Closed 29.75 in
Buttstock Opened 33.0 in
Mechanical Features:
Riffling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (RH 1/7 twist)
Detachable carrying handle w/integral accessory mounting rail
Buttstock has four positions; closed, 1 R open, 3/4 open, and fully Open.
Firing Characteristics:
Muzzle Velocity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2,970 fps
Chamber pressure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52,000 psi
Cyclic Rate of Fire................. 700-970 rpm (approx.)
Fire Selector ............................ SAFE-SEMI-BURST (M4)
Max Effective Rate of Fire:
Semi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45rpm
Burst/Auto . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90 rpm
NOTE: If the rifle will not be fired immediately close the ejection port cover.
DO NOT interchange bolts between weapons.
• 1. Inspect hand guards (1) for cracks, broken front or rear tabs and loose heat shields.
• 2. Inspect front sight post (2) for straightness and check depression of the front detent.
• 3. Inspect compensator (3) for looseness.
• 4. Inspect barrel (4) for straightness, cracks or burrs.
• 5. Inspect charging handle (5) for cracks bends or breaks.
• 6. Inspect rear sight assembly (6) for the capability to adjust windage and elevation and the spring should
retain the short range or long range sight in position.
• 7. Inspect gas tube (7) for bends or retention to barrel.
• 1. Inspect bolt cam pin (1) for cracking or chipping.
• 2. Inspect firing pin (2) for bends, cracks or sharp or blunted tip.
• 3. Inspect for missing or broken gas rings (3).
• 4. inspect bolt cam pin area (4) for cracking or chipping.
• 5. Inspect locking lugs (5) for cracking or chipping. Inspect bolt face (6) for
• excessive pitting.
• 6. Inspect extractor assembly (7) for missing extractor spring assembly with
• insert and for chipped or broken edges on the lip which engages the
• cartridge rim.
• 7. Inspect firing pin retaining pin (8) to determine if bent or badly worn.
• 8. Inspect bolt carrier for loose bolt carrier key (9).
• 9. Inspect for cracking or chipping in cam pin hole area (10).
• 1. Inspect buffer (1) for cracks or damage.
• 2. Inspect buffer spring (2) for kinks.
• 3. Inspect buttsock (3) for broken buttplate or cracks.
• 4. Inspect for bent or broken selector lever (4).
• 5. Inspect rifle grips (5) for cracks or damage.
• 6. Inspect for broken or bent trigger (6).
• 7. Visually inspect the inside parts of the lower receiver (7) for broken or missing
1. SAFE: Place selector lever on SAFE: Pull charging handle to rear and
release. Pull trigger. Hammer should not fall.
2. SEMI: Place selector lever on SEMI. Pull trigger. Hammer should
fell. Hold trigger to the rear end charge the weapon. Release the
trigger with a slow, smooth motion, until the trigger is fully forward (an
audible click should be heard). Pull trigger. Hammer should fall.
3. BURST : Place selector lever on BURST. Charge weapon and squeeze
trigger, hammer should fall. Hold trigger to the rear, pull charging
handle to the rear and release it three times. Release trigger. Squeeze
trigger. Hammer should fall.
1. Feeding (Figure 4-3). As the bolt carrier group moves forward , it clears
the top of the magazine, the expansion of the magazine spring forces the follower and
bolt with enough force to strip a new round from the magazine.
2. Chambering (
Figure 4-4). As the bolt carrier group continues to move forward, the face of the bolt t
3. Locking (Figure 4-5). As the bolt carrier group moves forward, The
pressure exerted by the contact of the bolt locking lugs and barrel extension causes the
4. Firing (
Figure 4-6). With a round in the chamber, the hammer cocked, the
firer squeezes the trigger. The
hammer strikes the head of the firing pin, driving the firing pin through
This ignites and causes the powder in the cartridge to
ignite, forcing the projectile from the cartridge and propelling it
through the barrel. Before the round
leaves the barrel, some gas enters the gas port and moves into the gas tu
is directed into the bolt carrier. The
5. Unlocking (Figure 4-7). As the bolt carrier moves to the rear, the bolt assembly
rotates until
the locking lugs of the bolt are no longer in line behind the locking lugs of the barrel e
6. Extracting (
Figure 4-8). The bolt carrier group continues to move to the rear. The extractor (which
extracts the cartridge case from the chamber.
7. Ejecting (Figure 4-9). With the
bolt carrier assembly continuing rearward, and the base
of a cartridge case firmly against the face of the bolt, the cartridge is then pushed
out of the ejection port by the action of the ejector and spring.
8. Cocking (Figure 4-10). The rearward movement of the bolt carrier
re-cocks the hammer, and places it back into the firing position.
1. Slap upward on magazine to make
sure it is property seated.
2. Pull charging handle all the way back,
and hold.

3. OSERVE the chamber to ensure round

has been ejected.
4. Release charging handle
to feed new round. Don’t ride
the charging handle Forward.

5. TAP forward assist.

6. Shoot




c. Steady Position.
• (1) Nonfiring Handgrip. The rifle hand guard rests on the heel of the hand in the V
formed by the thumb and fingers. The grip of the non-firing hand is light.
• (2) Rifle Butt Position. The butt of the rifle is placed in the pocket of the firing shoulder.
This reduces the effect of recoil and helps ensure a steady position.
• (3) Firing Handgrip. The firing hand grasps the pistol grip so it fits the V formed by the
thumb and forefinger. The forefinger is placed on the trigger so the lay of the rifle is not
disturbed when the trigger is squeezed. A slight rearward pressure is exerted by the
remaining three fingers to ensure that the butt of the stock remains in the pocket of the
shoulder, minimizing the effect of recoil.
• (4) Firing Elbow Placement. The firing elbow is important in providing balance.
Placement should allow shoulders to remain level.
• (5) Non-firing Elbow. The non-firing elbow is positioned firmly under the rifle to allow a
comfortable and stable position.
• (6) Cheek-to-Stock Weld. The stock weld should provide a natural line of sight through
the center of the rear sight aperture to the front sight post and on to the target. The firer's
neck should be relaxed, allowing his cheek to fall naturally onto the stock. A small
change in eye relief normally occurs each time that the firer assumes a different firing
position. The soldier should begin by trying to touch the charging handle with his nose
when assuming a firing position. This will aid the soldier in maintaining the same cheek-
to-stock weld hold each time the weapon is aimed.
b. Aiming. (
Figure 4-16). Any alignment error between the front and rear sights repeats itself for e
(1) Focus of the Eye. A proper firing position places the eye directly in line with the
center of the rear sight aperture. When the eye is focused on the front sight post,
the natural ability of the eye to center objects in a circle and to seek the point of
greatest light (center of the aperture) aid in providing correct sight alignment.
(2) Sight Picture. Once the soldier can correctly align his sights, he can obtain a sight
picture. A correct sight picture has the target, front sight post, and rear sight
aligned. The sight picture includes two basic elements: sight alignment and
placement of the aiming point.
Another good technique to obtain a good sight picture is the side
aiming technique (
Figure 4-18). It involves positioning the front sight post to the side of t
c. Breath Control.
(1) The first technique is used during zeroing (and when time is available to fire a shot) (
Figure 4-19). There is a moment of natural respiratory pause while breathing when most of the

(2) The second breath control technique is employed during rapid fire (short-exposure targets) (
Figure 4-20). Using this technique, the soldier stops his breath when he is about to squeeze the
d. Trigger Squeeze.
Trigger squeeze is important for two reasons: First, any sudden movement of the finger
on the trigger can disturb the lay of the rifle and cause the shot to miss the target.
Second, the precise instant of firing should be a surprise to the soldier. The soldier's
natural reflex to compensate for the noise and slight punch in the shoulder can cause
him to miss the target if he knows the exact instant the rifle will fire.
The trigger finger (index finger on the firing hand) is placed on the trigger between the
first joint and the tip of the finger (not the extreme end) and adjusted depending on
hand size, grip, and so on.

Peer coaching is using two soldiers of equal firing proficiency and experience to
assist (coach) each other during marksmanship training.
(1) The coach checks to see that the-
• Rifle is cleared and defective parts have been replaced.
• Ammunition is clean, and the magazine is properly placed in the pouch.
• Sights are blackened and set correctly for long or short range.
(2) The coach observes the firer to see if he-
• Uses the correct position and properly applies the steady-position elements.
• Properly loads the rifle.
• Obtains the correct sight alignment (with the aid of an M16 sighting device).
• Holds his breath correctly (by watching his back at times).
• Applies proper trigger squeeze; determines whether he flinches or jerks by watching
his head, shoulders, trigger finger, and firing hand and arm.
• Is tense and nervous. If the firer is nervous, the coach has the firer breath deeply
several times to relax.

(1) Match-Grade Performance. Shot group at 25 meters.

(2) 2-Centimeter Shot Groups. When firing a standard service rifle and standard
ammunition combination the dispersion pattern may be up to 2 centimeters apart
without human error.

Shot groups indicate no firer error.

(3) 3-Centimeter Shot Groups. This is the minimum acceptable firing performance. The
soldier should ensure he is properly applying the four marksmanship fundamentals.

Shot groups indicate minor shooting error.

(4) 4- to 5-Centimeter Shot Groups. The placement of shots in these groups (about 4 to
5 centimeters apart on the target) reflects considerable shooting error. Any of these
three shot groups could have been a change in position, sight picture, breathing,
trigger squeeze or an erratic round.

Shot groups indicate considerable shooting error.

(5) 6-Centimeter or Larger Shot Groups. The placement of shots in these groups (more
than 6 centimeters apart on the target) reflects major shooting error. Any of these
three shot groups could have been a change in position, sight picture, breathing; or
trigger squeeze, or the firer may be anticipating the shot. Firers with these shot
groups should receive extensive dry-fire training to help correct firing problems.

Shot groups indicate major shooting error.

Shot groups with inconsistent aiming.
Shot groups with consistent aiming and major shooting error.
Shot groups with inconsistent aiming and major shooting error.
Other Potential Problem Areas. Ensure-
• Nonfiring eye is not shuttering.
• Equipment is fitted properly.
• Soldier is not flinching when the trigger is pulled.
• Soldier is firing with the dominant eye.
• Soldier is wearing glasses if applicable.
• Soldier is maximizing full use of the supported position.
• Correct aiming (A), initial shot-group results (B).
Perfect Zero
The M68, CCO is a reflex (nontelescopic) sight. It uses a red aiming
reference (collimated dot) and is designed for the "two eyes open"
method of sighting. The dot follows the horizontal and vertical
movement of the gunner's eye while remaining fixed on the target.
No centering or focusing is required.

Modified Fundamentals. The fundamentals of marksmanship are

modified as follows: 1. The soldier must zero with the same cheek
position he will fire with because the parallax free is only effective
beyond 50 meters.
2. The preferred method of aiming using the M68 is to keep both
eyes open, which allows a much greater field of view and makes
scanning for targets much easier. Position the head so that one eye
can focus on the red dot and the other eye can scan downrange.
Place the red dot on the center of mass of the target and engage.
3. The soldier must keep the rifle and M68 in a vertical alignment
each time he fires.
NOTE: The aiming method used to zero must also be used to
M68 Dry (Nonfiring) Zeroing.
• Starting with a securely installed and live-fire zeroed BIS, adjust windage and
elevation on the reflex sight until the center of the aiming dot is at the tip of the
front sight post when viewed through the BIS while assuming a normal firing

25-Meter Zero Procedures.

When zeroing the M68, CCO at 25 meters, a designated impact zone must be identified
on the 25-meter zero target. Starting from center mass of the 300-meter silhouette
on the 25-meter zero target, count down 2 1/2 squares and make a mark. This is now
the point of impact. From this point, make 4x4 squared box around the point of
impact. This box is now the offset and is the designated point of impact for the
M68. Soldiers will aim center mass of the 300-meter silhouette and will make
adjustments to the M68 so that the rounds impact in the 4x4 squared box, 2 1/2
squares down from the point of aim. Other procedures are the same as standard iron
sight procedures.
• Two clicks = 1 centimeter at 25 meters for windage and elevation.
• One click clockwise on elevation moves bullet strike down.
• One click clockwise on windage moves bullet strike left.