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Can target effects or discomfort ratings discriminate between small-arms weapon configurations?
journal contributionposted on 26.10.2020, 03:26 by Jemma L Coleman, Frank Morelli, Jodie McClelland, Kane J Middleton
Defence acquisitions use accuracy measures as a discriminating factor in weapon purchases, but assessments are generally completed in static, supported postures at static targets with few differences being seen between configurations. The aim of this study was to investigate whether an assessment requiring repositioning between shots could reveal differences. Participants shot at a static target under four conditions: an unweighted rifle and the addition of a mass fixed at three different positions. Accuracy and timing as well as discomfort measures were captured and compared. Hit percentage, consistency and timing varied over time, and timing increased with the addition of mass in two out of the three conditions. There was an increase in discomfort with the addition of mass further from the participant. The results showed that relying on accuracy and consistency measures alone to make acquisition decisions could have the consequence of purchasing equipment not fit for the human.Practitioner summary: This research shows that relying on accuracy and consistency measures alone to make weapon-system acquisition decisions could have the consequence of purchasing equipment not fit for the user. Further research should focus on 'upstream' issues such as muscle fatigue and aim point stability in order to better understand human-weapon-system interactions.