Field of fire

The field of fire of a weapon (or group of weapons) is the area around it that it can easily and effectively reached by gunfire. The term "field of fire" is mostly used in reference to machine guns. Their fields of fire incorporate the beaten zone.

The Beaten Zone is a concept in indirect infantry small arms fire, specifically machine guns. It describes the area between the "first catch" and the "last graze" of a bullet's trajectory. At the first of these points a bullet will hit a standing man in the head, at the last of these points, as the bullet drops, it will hit a standing man in the feet. Anyone standing within the beaten zone will be hit somewhere from head to foot.

The concept works best as part of a static defence with the area covered by a position plotted out beforehand. Usually the machine guns will be mounted on a tripod and indirect fire sights (such as a dial sight) fitted in addition to, or instead of, direct fire ones. Fire can then be called in by spotters to engage specific points in the guns field of fire, even if out of sight of the machine gunners.

Overlapping machine guns, creating a crossfire, using the beaten zone concept, together with the idea of enfilading were an important part of World War I.

Beaten zone can also refer to the area that shells will usually land in when fired from an artillery piece. It is in the shape of a rectangle with the longer sides parallel to the direction of fire because artillery tends to deviate more forwards and backwards than right and left.


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • field of fire — noun the area that a weapon or group of weapons can cover effectively with gun fire from a given position • Hypernyms: ↑tract, ↑piece of land, ↑piece of ground, ↑parcel of land, ↑parcel * * * : the area that can be covered by the fire from a… …   Useful english dictionary

  • field of fire — ugnies laukas statusas T sritis Gynyba apibrėžtis Plotas, kurį iš nustatytų pozicijų vienu ar grupe ginklų galima aprėpti ugnimi. atitikmenys: angl. field of fire pranc. champ de tir …   NATO terminų aiškinamasis žodynas

  • field of fire — The area which a weapon or a group of weapons may cover effectively with fire from a given position …   Military dictionary

  • field of fire — the area covered by a weapon or group of weapons firing from a given position. * * * …   Universalium

  • field of fire — noun The area that a projectile weapon (or group of weapons) can reach from a given position …   Wiktionary

  • field of fire — firing range, area where it is permitted to practice shooting with live ammunition …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Field of fire (disambiguation) — The term field of fire or fields of fire may refer to:* Field of fire, the area around one or several weapon that can be reached by bullets. * Field of Fire (DS9 episode), a seventh season episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine . * Field of Fire… …   Wikipedia

  • Field of Fire (album) — Infobox Album Name = Field of Fire Type = studio Artist = Richard Lloyd |250px Released = 1986 Recorded = Mistlur One Stockholm, Sweden 1985 Genre = Rock Length = Label = Moving Target/Celluloid Producer = Richard Lloyd Stefan Glaumann Reviews =… …   Wikipedia

  • Fire marshal — A no smoking sign at a gas station by order of the state fire marshal. The fire marshal is often charged with enforcing fire related laws. For the same job role in the UK, see Fire Safety Inspector. A fire marshal, in the United States and Canada …   Wikipedia

  • Fire investigation — Forensic science Physiological sciences …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.