Publications & Resources

Development of Sensor-Based Measures of Rifle Marksmanship Skill and Performance

Mar 2009

Paul D. Espinosa, Sam O. Nagashima, Gregory K. W. K. Chung, Daniel Parks, and Eva L. Baker

Measures of rifle marksmanship skill and performance were developed using a prototype instrumented laser-based training system. Measures of performance were derived from laser strikes on a video-projected target. Measures of rifle marksmanship skill—breath control, trigger control, and muzzle wobble—were developed from shooters’ breathing and trigger squeeze patterns. Existing marksmanship instructional materials and expert shooters’ breath and trigger control profiles guided the development of the skill measures. A shooter’s breath control was described as where and how long into the respiratory cycle the trigger broke. A shooter’s trigger control was described as the duration of the trigger squeeze. A shooter’s muzzle was described as the total acceleration during the two seconds prior to the shot. The use of sensor-based measures provides insight into exactly how a shooter is executing two of the three skills considered to be the fundamentals of rifle marksmanship.

Espinosa, P. D., Nagashima, S. O., Chung, G. K. W. K., Parks, D., & Baker, E. L. (2009). Development of sensor-based measures of rifle marksmanship skill and performance (CRESST Report 756). Los Angeles: University of California, Los Angeles, National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST).