A US Army Soldier metaphorically took all the fundamentals of marksmanship and ripped them to shreds before grinding them into the sand with her foot, making a fool of herself while operating an M-249 SAW in the most unsafe manner.
Specialist Hammer, who goes by the moniker “Titan” on YouTube, gave much in the way of excuses for her unsafe and sloppy weapons handling skills, but little to any of it holds water.
In the video, the E4 can be seen performing the dreaded “chick-lean” (so named because inexperienced female shooters have a tendency to lean backwards while firing), which only serves to increase fatigue and make the weapon less controllable.
Specialist Hammer complained that the M249 was heavy and hard to hold, despite the fact that it weighs a mere 17-20 pounds, depending on configuration, and that the length of pull is easily considered to be ergonomic enough- even by “little people” standards.
Letting loose with long bursts, Specialist Hammer’s dreadful “chick lean” did not help her control the weapon, which danced all over the place.
“This weapon is designed to be placed on top of a vehicle, in a turret or placed on the ground,” she wrote in the video’s description, not realizing that infantry troops carry it every day, and often (humorously) assign it to the smaller grunts in the unit. “It is very heavy and is not designed to be fired in the way I was firing it.”
Despite being stabilized by a worried range supervisor, Hammer continued to fire wildly until the SAW suddenly stopped functioning.
“I could barely hold it up,” she said, “And then it jammed.”
Attempting to clear the malfunction in the opposite way she was shown during Army Basic Training, Hammer was chastised by a disembodied voice on a bullhorn that urged her to “keep it downrange.”
“Oh my gosh,” she exclaimed, bucking under what is around the average weight of a 1-year-old.
Hammer served as a medic in the US Army, which begs the question of whether or not she is physically capable of treating and moving casualties under fire- particularly if operating an M249 is a difficult task.
Fortunately, she was assigned to a Military Police unit, who no doubt kept an eye on her, and even helped her stabilize the weapon and finish her belt of ammunition.
“Grenades are still my favorite,” she remarked. “Unless they’re being thrown at me.”
Despite Hammer’s claims that the M249 “is not available to civilians,” several variants of full-auto M249s (or FN Minimis, as the rest of the world calls them) exist in civilian circulation, though they are rare (must be made before 1986) and very, very expensive. In addition, a semi-auto variant is available for sale to civilians, though the usefulness of a semi-auto SAW is questionable.
The SAW has been the intermediate cartridge squad automatic workhorse of the US military for some time, and is being phased out in favor of newer designs.
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