THE SWIFT TRAINING RIFLE MUSKETRY TRAINING SET.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR USE.
The SWIFT TRAINING RIFLE, designed for indoor training, is a dummy rifle and target in one; the rifle, while similar in outward appearance to the service rifle, has one big difference-instead of firing bullets it is equipped with a pair of darting pins which strike the target and recoil immediately into the body of the rifle.
It follows, therefore, that the rifle must be kept at an unvarying distance from the target, and for this reason the two are connected by a moveable metal yoke which is attached to the rifle by a hook under the stock, and to the sides of the target stand by screws.
The target stand is on rollers, thus permitting free movement of the rifle.
. The SWIFT MUSKETRY TRAINING SET consists of:
Case for rifle.
Folding target stand with connecting yoke.
Sight control frame (for testing precision of rifle).
Paper target sheets.
Container for target sheets.
TRAINING RIFLE. (Drawings 1 and 2).
The SWIFT TRAINING RIFLE is the same in shape as the real service rifle except for the fore end, and the same in weight and balance.
The sights of the training rifle give the same view when taking aims as those of the service rifle.
The backsight, B, is adjustable in direction.
,The handling of the breech bolt is the same as in the service rifle.
The release of the trigger is the same as in the service rifle, the two pressures being clearly felt.
The training rifle being actually a sort of crossbow in which the bow is substituted by a strong spring, the shot is made by the arrow C running forward inside the stock. After having pierced the paper target, this arrow instantly recoils.
The fore part of the arrow C is bent upwards into a swan neck D ending in two pins, E and F, which are parallel to the arrow and to each other, and also to the sighting line of the rifle.
One of these pins, E, the point of which is conical, and therefore pierces a round hole in the paper target, runs exactly on the sighting line of the rifle as the arrow moves forwards and backwards. A special device ensures that this pin does not obscure the aim; when the rifle is at full cock the pin is pulled back in such a way that the swan neck is behind and slightly below the level of a bearing roller G; and as the arrow moves, the swan neck is lifted by this roller, thus bringing the round pin E into the sighting line.
The sights are adjusted so that the sighting line runs through the exact centre of the body of the round pin. Thus the centre of the round hole pierced in the paper target by the pin, shows with absolute exactitude the point through which the sighting line passes at the moment of " firing.".
At the moment of shooting, the pins E and F, being attached to the rifle and forming a rigid prolongation of it, dart forward, pierce the paper target deeply, and remain embedded in it for the fraction of a second before recoiling. Thus the slightest movement of the rifle while firing is instantly and irrefutably recorded on the target by the shape of the holes made in the paper, showing clearly all mistakes made by the shooter, such as breathing, wobbling, jerking, etc.
This teaches the trainee to keep motionless at the moment of the release of the trigger and for the fraction of a second after, because, if he moves, or jerks the rifle, before the pins have sprung back out of the paper, the edges of the holes will be torn; and if he breathes while firing, the hole made by the pin E will be oval instead of completely round.
The auxiliary pin, F, parallel to, and on a level with the main pin, E, has a flat spear head shaped point which tears a slit in the paper (thus making it impossible to mistake it for the round holes pierced by the pin E) and shows clearly if the rifle has been tilted.
SIGHT CONTROL FRAME.
Before each lesson or practice, the instructor should test the precision of aim of the training rifle. For this purpose the sight control frame is provided.
Method of use. Fit the sight control frame to the training rifle by means of the screw U (Drawing 4) and glue a strip of paper tightly across it, or clip it on with ordinary 2-'2" letter clips.
Let the glue dry, then cock the rifle, shoulder it, release the trigger, recock the rifle, aim and see if the sighting line at the topmost accurate aiming passes exactly through the centre of the round hole made by the pin E.
If it is out of alignment, adjust the backsight by means of the nut V.
Check if the round hole is perfectly round and if the slit made by the pin F is level with it, i.e., if the centres of both holes are exactly parallel to the top edge of the backsight.
If not so, adjust the pins, bending them gently by hand.
After having removed the sight control frame do not forget to screw in screw U so as not to tear the target paper while shooting.
CARE AND CLEANING OF THE SWIFT TRAINING RIFLE.
When the rifle is not in use, cover the fore end with the wooden cover provided. This fits on to the rifle, and prevents the pins from being damaged.
I. Remove oil from external parts with dry rag and examine.
2. Oil the bolt action slightly.
3. Test for precision with sight control frame.
I. Remove dust and perspiration with dry rag, examine and slightly oil all external parts of rifle.
I. Remove the " cap," oil all frictional parts, reverse the rifle, and allow oil to drip inside trigger, on the sear, cocking piece, butt rod, etc.
2. Clean as in After use. General Notes.
It cannot be too strongly stressed that the useful life of the rifle depends upon the care with which it is used and stored. At the close of the training period the rifle should be returned to its case, which should only be stored in a cool dry place, i.e., not on a concrete floor (or a similar damp place), or near a heating stove. Great care in storing is necessary to prevent the hardwood stock twisting as a result of damp. The best position for storage is on a table in a room kept at a fairly even temperature. It will be appreciated that if the fore-end of the rifle twists, adjustment of the needles becomes difficult, or in bad cases would render the rifle useless.
Never leave the rifle in a " cocked " position or attached to the target yoke, or with the butt plug in position.
Assuming the firer has had preliminary instruction in holding, aiming, and trigger release, the SWIFT TRAINING RIFLE enables him to apply the knowledge he has gained, without expenditure of ammunition. His faults are instantly shown, thus making it easy for him to reach and maintain the high standard of marksmanship that is so essential for units armed with the rifle.
The SWIFT TRAINING RIFLE has two important characteristics, which reproduce exactly the requirements when handling a service rifle. They are loading and holding. Unless the bolt is drawn back correctly, the rifle will not fire. If the butt has not been forced back into the right shoulder, just as a service rifle needs to be, to absorb the recoil, it is impossible to release the trigger.
COMMON FAULTS IN SHOOTING.
Faults can generally be attributed to incorrect holding, aiming, trigger release, breathing, inaccurate focussing (resulting in blur), gun-shyness, and insufficient determination.
Holding. Unless the left hand grips the rifle correctly at the point of balance, and thus supports, controls, and directs the rifle, shots will be widely scattered.
Aiming. The firer must reproduce through the sights a correct picture of the relationship between the sights and the aiming mark, i.e., the tip of the foresight must be in the centre of the aperture, and that combination of sights must be directed at centre of target or the lowest central portion of the target, except when (a) aiming off for wind, (b) aiming off for movement, (c) when there is a known error in the rifle, or (d) when firing with fixed bayonet.
Aiming faults are due to too much or too little foresight, or sights inclined right or left. The sights should always be focussed in the following order: Look through the sights at the aiming mark, then with the blade of the foresight in the centre of the aperture, move the rifle until that combination of sights is directed at centre of target.
Shortly, the aiming sequence of focussing is- aiming mark, backsight, foresight, aiming mark. If this sequence is strictly observed, blurring will be obviated.
Trigger Release. The firer has already been taught that the left hand is responsible for supporting, controlling and directing the rifle. The right hand, too, by exerting a firm grip round the small, assists in controlling; but its main function is to release the trigger without disturbing the point of aim.
With correct holding, the direction of the pressure is down the centre of the stock, but as the natural act is to press the trigger rather than squeeze it, the unpractised firer will find that his shot has struck to the right of the aiming mark. The reason is that his finger is pressing instead of squeezing and he has dragged the muzzle to the right. To release the action correctly, the first joint of the fore-finger should be wrapped round the lower part of the trigger, the thumb over the top of the small and squeezing towards the finger, the remaining three fingers gripping the small of the butt. If a steady, consistent squeeze is maintained, there will be no movement of the muzzle. Sometimes novices release the trigger with the tip of the finger rather than the first joint, and this causes the shots to strike to the left of the aiming mark.
Gun-shyness. Men suffering from gun-shyness subconsciously anticipate the shock of discharge and push the right shoulder slightly forward. Where it is not possible to trace the firer's fault, the movement of the right shoulder may be responsible. With the SWIFT TRAINING RIFLE, the firer becomes so completely confident in the handling of a rifle that the novice's natural nervousness is dispelled.
Determination. In action, there are so many things happening, that unless a man is well trained to concentrate only on the objective, his shots will be wasted. The novice, therefore, must start early in his training to concentrate.
The following sequence is recommended to men learning to shoot, and is based on Service instructions. Every time he brings the rifle to the shoulder, he should :
I. Examine the blade of the foresight to see that rifle is not tilted.
2. Close disengaged eye to limit field of view and to assist concentration on the aiming mark.
3. Move rifle until correct picture of sights and aiming mark are seen.
4. Restrain the breathing. (Chest movement must reproduce a movement in the rifle. This is to be avoided).
5. Squeeze the trigger.
6. Maintain correct holding for a second or two after releasing the trigger. (Follow through).
Begin shooting with the SWIFT TRAINING RIFLE with the butt spring X put out of action by the plug Y, the men lying prone, with the rifle resting on rolled blankets, coats, or alternatively, sandbags, to represent a shallow trench. The prone position gives maximum control and is most useful for elementary training.
From the very first lesson the men must accustom themselves to:
I. Open and close the bolt correctly. To do this, they must seize the knob of the bolt in the thumb and forefinger of the right hand, raise it and pull back fully, so that the empty case is ejected and the lower part of the face of the bolt can engage behind the next round to be fed into the chamber. The bolt is closed by a forward and downward movement, the right thumb and forefinger maintaining the same position. This is emphasised because novices sometimes develop the bad habit of closing the bolt with the palm of the hand.
2. Bring the rifle to the shoulder to the correct aim position with the minimum movement, taking a deep breath and closing the disengaged eye at the same time.
3. Restrain the breathing the moment the aim is caught.
4. Squeeze the trigger.
5. Keep absolutely still for a second or so after releasing the trigger.
6. Breathe out fully and reload quickly.
As soon as the men are able to hit the points aimed at with accuracy, remove plug Y, and make them shoot with the butt end firmly embedded in the shoulder and pressed back with the left hand. Unless they hold the SWIFT TRAINING RIFLE exactly as a service rifle should be held, there will be no firing action.
Having developed proficiency in firing from the lying position, the men should be taught to shoot kneeling, from behind an upright cover. This is very important for street fighting, or fighting in woods. In this position, they should be crouching behind the corner of a wall or a big tree, leaning to the right to aim and shoot, and pressing the rifle firmly leftward, against the cover, always keeping the body concealed.
Later, the same thing is practised standing, leaning sideways with the rifle, the right leg being kept behind the cover. When all this is mastered, the men are taught to shoot free-handed, starting from the prone position, then kneeling, sitting, standing, and eventually, left-handed.
AIMING OFF FOR WIND AND MOVEMENT.
Here is a useful guide to aiming off for wind, using classification TARGETS with a fresh wind (10 to 12 m.p.h.) directly across the target:
At 200 yards - aim off 6 inches
300" - 15"
500 " - 24 "
At service TARGETS up to 400 yards-one figure's width from the centre into the wind. (Imagine another figure standing windward of the man aimed at). Over 400 yards - two figures' width.
The figures on the SWIFT training target are suitable for practical application of the above instructions for service target shooting.
For oblique winds, halve the allowance. For stronger winds, increase the allowance proportionately to the table above.
In aiming off for movement, the following rules are recommended, but it must be remembered that individual rifle fire will seldom be effective beyond 300 yards against single men enemies or against single vehicles over 500 yards.
At a man walking - one figure's width.
At a man running -t wo figures' width. -
A t vehicles and horsemen - one length.
QUICK HANDLING AND SKILL.
The standard to be attained is that the firer will place ten well-aimed shots on the target in 40 seconds. This does not include recharging the magazine. This speed need not impair the accuracy of firing in the least, but it can be attained only by constant practice. One way to acquire this speed and skill is to know the correct way to handle the bolt and to practise it until the wrist becomes almost part of the mechanism of the rifle. Another very important thing is to ensure that the point of the left elbow is not moved while reloading at the shoulder, thus assisting in automatic alignment.
The mechanism of the SWIFT TRAINING RIFLE irrefutably recording the smallest errors and inaccuracies in handling the weapon, the men acquire and develop remarkable self-control and confidence which carries them successfully through contests and prize shooting. In actual fighting, this self-control is vital, because the firer must maintain his standard of accuracy or become a liability to his section.
The daily use of the SWIFT TRAINING RIFLE will have a tonic effect on the nerves, muscles, eyes and lungs, and therefore men should be encouraged to keep in " shooting trim " without cost of ammunition.
THE FINAL STAGES.
The SWIFT TRAINING RIFLE undoubtedly enables men to be trained as marksmen before they ever reach the open range. But to complete the training they should fire a few rounds to become accustomed to the noise of firing and the recoil of the rifle.
TRAINING RIFLE MATCHES
There is plenty of entertainment in indoor matches and competitions with the training rifle, the scoring being based on the definition of the efficiency of the fire, i.e., the number of TARGETS hit within the shortest time, with the smallest number of rounds fired.
The competitors shoot one after the other in allotted order. They agree between themselves as to the position for shooting, the TARGETS to be hit, and the score of hits required (for instance-" three tommy-gunners' heads at 150 yards "). A referee is appointed to time the shots and count the number of rounds fired.
Every competitor starts in the agreed position, but with the rifle uncocked. At the command " fire " he cocks the rifle and begins to shoot, until the agreed number of selected TARGETS is stated by the referee to have been hit. The referee then multiplies the number of shots including misses by the time (in seconds) taken, to arrive at the final score. The lowest score wins.
The decision of the referee regarding hits and misses, i.e., whether the round hole is completely within the dotted line or not-is final.
In the case of a draw, or by special arrangement, a handicap of steadiness may be added, holes slightly torn or not completely round, though still well within the dotted line, adding half a round to the number of shots made by a competitor.
Such scoring is a real test of self-control and coolness, and is of great value as a preparatory exercise for actual firing.
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