Infantry Drills

F-28: Surface Danger Zone

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F-28. Surface danger zones were developed for each weapon and are defined as the area in front, back, or side of the muzzle of the weapon providing a danger to friendly forces when the weapon is fired. The surface danger zones is not just the area comprising the cone of fire as it moves downrange. It also involves the possible impact area on both sides of the gun target line and possible dispersion of materiel caused by the strike of the rounds, the possible ricochet area, and areas to the rear adversely affected by the effects of firing the weapon. (See figure F-9.)

F-29. Surface danger zones were developed primarily for ranges and must be complied with when training, but they also should be complied with in combat when possible to minimize risk to friendly forces. (Refer to DA Pamphlets 385-63 for more information.)

Figure F-9. Surface danger zones for machine guns

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Go Back To: U.S. Army FM 3-21.8: The Infantry Rifle Platoon and Squad