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The Effect of Gender, Rifle Stock Length, and Rifle Weight on Military Marksmanship and Arm-Hand Steadiness
ARMY RESEARCH INST OF ENVIRONMENTAL MEDICINE NATICK MA
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The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of gender, rifle stock length and weapon weight upon marksmanship performance and arm-hand steadiness. Thirteen female and fifteen male soldiers were recruited. Performance on the Noptel marksmanship simulator showed no gender differences in marksmanship with the M16A2 rifle standard and the M4 carbine a lighter rifle. Reducing the stock length from 10.3 to 7.0 significantly improved marksmanship scores for both male and female soldiers. Weapon weight was a critical factor shot group tightness was better with the lighter M4 carbine 6.9 lbs versus the heavier M16A2 rifle 8.4 lbs. Similar findings were found with arm-hand steadiness measures shorter and lighter weapon configurations permitted better steadiness regardless of gender. Overall stock length and weapon weight should be considered in any new combat weapon design. Further investigation of these effects during live-fire with standard Army issued ammunition is warranted to confirm the generalizability of these results.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE