Rates of Fire for the Rifleman

This is something I have harped on in the past, and Mike does a better job of laying it out than me. One of many things that I have seen over the years, and always thought was a huge dis-service, was instructors teaching team tactics to armed citizens, and having them just mag dump in a given direction when contact is called. It gives me chills to watch a group do this on video, with no belt fed support weapons, and then hear the deafening sound of silence as the entire team runs dry and has to reload about the same time. As an armed citizen, in a worst case scenario, you had better manage your ammo wisely. VERY wisely….

Von Steuben Training & Consulting

“CONTACT FRONT!!” The instructor initiates the battle drill with a shout. “CONTACT FRONT!” The squad immediately echoes the call and deploys into a skirmish line facing the enemy, bringing maximum firepower to bear in the direction of contact. The students immediately begin firing off rounds in rapid succession while the squad leader assesses the situation to determine his next move.

Let’s take a look at the individual rifleman in this scenario. What is he shooting at? How fast is he shooting? What determines his rate of fire?

Often when I observe students participate in this sort of drill, the first thing that happens is they fire a lot of rounds very quickly, delivering hammered pairs into a distant hillside at an astonishing rate. And for their first few times, I allow them to do this so that they learn a valuable lesson: You can easily burn through six magazines in…

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