Cover Shooting: Live Fire Training Drill

My recent posts on:

‘The Citizen Unconventional Rifle Squad: Arming with .308?’

‘Citizen Unconventional Tactical Team (CUTT): Order of Battle’

Have raised the concept of ‘Cover Shooting’ again (The Drake Method).

Here is a post explaining cover shooting: ‘Rhodesian Cover Shooting (The Drake Method)

In short, this is a variation on the standard RTR drill whereby the soldiers would react to contact, get into cover, and then go through a process of cover shooting to a standard SOP: You can adapt the SOP. A standard SOP would involve cover shooting through 2 magazines (40 rounds) of 7.62 from their FN FAL rifles, and then fight through the enemy using superior light infantry skills.

Cover shooting would involve stitching up the ground in front of you with rapid aimed fire into all available cover. The idea is that you can’t see the enemy, because they are well camouflaged, so you shoot from left through right, near to far. You are in contact, but the enemy are well hidden. The vital point is that you are not trying to flush the enemy, not recce by fire, but simply to kill him in place.

You have to use your common sense – this assumes a  free fire area without the presence of non-combatants. It was also developed for bush country where there is a lot of …well, bush…..relatively low lying with termite mounds, vegetation and trees. So, a mix of cover and concealment, in which the enemy would be well hidden with his AK. In fact, the enemy tended to overdo camouflage so that it could usually be said that, if it looked like a bush, it was probably an enemy!

So if you walked into a contact and the enemy was obviously in sight, for example shooting at you from a ridge, don’t bother cover shooting the ground all the way up to the ridge, just engage what you can see!

One of the strengths of this cover shooting drill was the use of 7.62 x 51 which would punch through the kinds of trees that the enemy would take cover behind.

If you operate in an area that may benefit from cover shooting, then you can adapt your break contact SOPs to suit. Instead of RTR and then fight out, you can adapt it to RTR – cover shoot for (x number) of magazines) – fight out.

The drill:

Using an area of natural cover and concealment, set up a series of targets to the flank (left or right) of a trail, representing the head and shoulders of a prone enemy. Preferably, these targets cannot be seen. These should be at any ranges from close (10 meters) through maximum 100 meters, depending on the ground/vegetation you have.

Patrol the team of anything from 2 to 4 personnel, along the trail and at the right moment, call “Contact (Left/Right)!” You can also simulate initiating the contact with an effects fire team (firing off to a flank).

The shooters will immediately face the threat, return fire (into cover if there is no enemy seen) and take cover. They will then proceed with the cover shoot drill, expending an agree upon amount of ammunition, perhaps 2 magazines. They will shoot to the left side, center mass and right side of all pieces of cover/concealment/trees that they observe to their front, going from left to right/near to far.

Once the drill is complete, assess the targets for hits.

If you only have an open field/range, you can simulate this drill by placing simulated cover out there, with targets behind. You can use cardboard or plywood fake cover, but preferably logs set up like the base of trees etc. This will give you a  clue on penetration.

Now, go out and shoot it twice with both your 5.56 AR and your 308AR and see which is more effective on the cover….;-)

Remember the argument for potential use of .308 battle rifles at the ‘graduate level’ is not just about long range effect, but also heavier hitting at close ranges.

Enjoy! I will post results on here if you send me something usable, photos etc.