The value of a fire card as a source of information is only part of its importance. I believe that the process of compiling them is no less important than the result, since this forces you to carefully study the assigned sector, outline the enemy’s landmarks and possible locations, estimate the distance to each object and mark them along with roads and paths in the diagram.
Fire cards, purpose, contents, filling order, sample fire cards.
Army fire cards must contain at least 10 arcs displaying about 1000 meters – which is the maximum range for a 7.62 mm caliber M24 and M40A3 sniper rifle. But if you use a .300 Winchester Magnum or .50 caliber sniper rifle, you should do a circuit for 1200 or more meters.
On police fire cards, usually only 300 meters in range is displayed, but they should be made the same size as army fire cards so that they can put all the necessary data.
Fire Card Fill.
First plot the reference points and possible places where the target appears. In our example, we included in the diagram the edge of the forest, a church, a bridge, a tennis court and a shallow ditch near the road. These places will become landmarks. They are registered and numbered.
Then you should evaluate the distance to each of them either with the help of a range finder, or by taking the arithmetic average of the estimates of the range of the sniper and observer. Then, write down the settings of the reference midpoint or the offset value of the aiming point for a moving target for each landmark.
You should not thoughtlessly sketch landmarks at a distance of the nearest 100 yards (left). It is necessary to accurately calculate the distance to the object before entering it into the scheme.
In the last column “Notes” you can record the features of the goal, for example, the slope of the tennis court, the angle of the church, requiring special amendments. A small circle in the upper right corner is for an arrow indicating the direction of the wind. The data should be checked at least once every half hour.
If there are sections in the sector with different wind directions, they should be noted on the right in the diagram, indicating the direction and speed of the wind. All data should be entered in pencil, as they may need to be adjusted..
The finished fire card should be with the observer who can read from it the information necessary for the sniper to fire. When participating in an operation of a larger unit, a copy of the fire card should be handed over to the higher command to be included in the general fire planning scheme.
A fire card should be made if you are in a shelter for more than 5 minutes, and during this time no targets were found. It is an indispensable element of detailed observation of substitution. Between the observation of the terrain, the sniper and observer must study and remember the fire card.
Sample Fire Card.
We included in the book a sample of a fire card that can be copied, provided that they will be used only for official needs. Please do not delete the line indicating the source.
Based on the book “The Perfect Sniper. Study Guide for Army and Police Snipers ».
Maj. John L. Plaster, USAR (Ret.)