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4/1/2020 4:14:10 PM
4/1/2020 6:58:51 AM
Posted: 1/9/2005 1:33:35 AM EDT
FALLUJAH, Iraq (Dec. 30, 2004) -- Marines with Battalion Landing Team, 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit currently assigned to the 1st Marine Division, fired captured enemy weapons during a familiarization exercise on a range outside the city of Fallujah Dec. 30.

In what’s known as “fam fire,” the Marines were afforded the opportunity to fire foreign weapon systems under the supervision of Staff Sgt. William Hornsby, assistant operations chief, who was responsible for range safety.

“We already know what the business end of an AK-47 does, but we wanted to see what type of skills they (insurgents) must have in order to engage Marines,” Hornsby said.
Sixteen Hawaii-based leathernecks took turns firing the weapons at targets approximately 30 meters away from their firing positions.

“We wanted to get a feel for how the enemy handles their weapons,” said Sgt. Christopher Anderson, 29, and vehicle commander from Willows, Calif. “It wasn’t as impressive as we hoped…they’re very inaccurate weapons.”

The weapons were captured from insurgents in Fallujah during Operation Al Fajr and were saved from destruction for training purposes.

Between them, the Marines fired more than 500 rounds of ammunition from three different weapon systems that included AK-47s. The Marines also took advantage to zero their own service weapons.

“Our Marines have a stronger sense of satisfaction that they can accurately manipulate their weapons faster than the insurgent enemy,” Hornsby added.

The Marines witnessed first-hand the type of control needed to accurately put rounds down range with the enemy “bullet slingers.”

“Trying to hit anything more than 75 yards gets pretty tricky,” Hornsby said.
Regardless of the weapons’ performance, the Marines still had a good time.

“I’ve never fired an AK-47 before, so it was pretty sweet getting to pop some rounds off on full automatic,” said Lance Cpl. Jonathan J. Wheeler, 25, an anti-tank assaultman and Sunnyside, Wash. native.

As the sun dropped below the horizon, the Marines cleared all weapons of any ammunition before leaving the range. They left feeling more confident about their training and their overall ability to engage the enemy and defeat him.


Link to High-Res Image
Marines with Battalion Landing Team, 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit of the 1st Marine Division fire captured AK-47s during a "fam fire" Dec. 30 on a range outside of Fallujah. The firing was part of a shooting exercise designed to give Marines a chance to fire weapons captured from insurgents during Operation Al Fajr.


Link to High-Res Image
Sgt. Christopher Anderson, a vehicle commander from Willows, Calif. with Battalion Landing Team, 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit of the 1st Marine Division fires a captured AK-47 during a "fam fire" Dec. 30 on a range outside of Fallujah. The firing was part of a shooting exercise designed to give Marines a chance to fire weapons captured from insurgents during Operation Al Fajr.


Link to High-Res Image
Lance Cpl. Jonathan J. Wheeler, 25, a Sunnyside, Wash. native and anti-tank assaultman with Battalion Landing Team, 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit of the 1st Marine Division fires a captured AK-47 during a "fam fire" Dec. 30 on a range outside of Fallujah. The firing was part of a shooting exercise designed to give Marines a chance to fire weapons captured from insurgents during Operation Al Fajr.
Link Posted: 1/9/2005 1:57:42 AM EDT
Great photos, thanks
Link Posted: 1/9/2005 2:03:43 AM EDT
second photo looks great in High-Res
Link Posted: 1/9/2005 2:06:22 AM EDT
Good idea!

The more you know about guns the more proficent you are with them.
Link Posted: 1/9/2005 2:19:54 AM EDT
Thanks, great pics!
Link Posted: 1/9/2005 2:27:26 AM EDT
those marines would probably find the Ak's to be much more accurate if they actually used the shoulder stock instead of shooting them like an overgrown pistol.  the AK is good out to at least 300 yards, so those marines shouldn't get too complacent.  thankfully the enemy has very little training.  
Link Posted: 1/9/2005 2:41:58 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Sawgunner101:
those marines would probably find the Ak's to be much more accurate if they actually used the shoulder stock instead of shooting them like an overgrown pistol.  the AK is good out to at least 300 yards, so those marines shouldn't get too complacent.  thankfully the enemy has very little training.  



They are using the weapons in the configuration that they were in when captured from insurgents. The whole point is to see how effect the enemy is. If the enemy is using the rifles in a stockless manner then that is how they should test them. Many of the photos i've seen of bad guys using AKs shows that the insurgents prefer to use the rifle with the stock folded or completely missing from the rifle. This severely limits the capability of the rifle. Now the marines know just how much that capability is limited.
Link Posted: 1/9/2005 9:09:57 AM EDT
btt day shift
Link Posted: 1/9/2005 9:28:21 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/9/2005 1:54:52 PM EDT by thompsondd]
Check out the sparks coming from the muzzle on the last one:

Link Posted: 1/9/2005 1:38:37 PM EDT
How do I get a forward grip for my new Vector underfolder?
Link Posted: 1/9/2005 1:42:45 PM EDT
Just a thought, but why do AK variants that offer a forward grip have it reversed? ala AMD65?
Link Posted: 1/9/2005 1:46:25 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Sawgunner101:
those marines would probably find the Ak's to be much more accurate if they actually used the shoulder stock instead of shooting them like an overgrown pistol.  



I was thinking the same thing.
Link Posted: 1/9/2005 1:48:26 PM EDT

Originally Posted By j-fonz:
Just a thought, but why do AK variants that offer a forward grip have it reversed? ala AMD65?



The AK has a "rocker" type magazine well.  The forward-slant grip barely allows magazine clearance as it is.

The Romananians have backward-slant foregrips, but they're shorter in length.
Link Posted: 1/9/2005 1:54:16 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Sawgunner101:
those marines would probably find the Ak's to be much more accurate if they actually used the shoulder stock instead of shooting them like an overgrown pistol.  the AK is good out to at least 300 yards, so those marines shouldn't get too complacent.  thankfully the enemy has very little training.  



exactly, they blame it on the weapon just because they cant hit what they are aiming at.
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