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Weapon Handling

Upon receipt of a Stinger weapon-round from the ammunition supply point (ASP), it must be checked to be sure it is suitable for firing. The weapon should be removed from the shipping and storage container and inspected in accordance with (IAW) the "services upon receipt" checks, which are found in TM 9-1425-429-12. This manual does not cover preventive maintenance checks and services (PMCS). However, this chapter does contain an abbreviated set of weapon checks which may be made under field conditions when the time and tactical situation permit. Such a time may be at (or near) the ASP or when converting a missile-round to a ready-round. In addition, this chapter describes weapon handling and safety precautions which must be followed by Stinger gunners to prevent injury to personnel and damage to equipment.


When the Stinger team first receives a weapon, the markings on the container (case) should be checked to be sure that it contains the proper weapon. Yellow squares, on two diagonally opposite corners on the case and yellow data markings, indicate it contains a live round.

Containers for trainers are marked with blue colored squares for the tracking head trainer (THT) and bronze for the field handling trainer (FHT). In addition, the data markings are white and these containers have the word "INERT" on the top of the case.

The Stinger weapon-round and IFF interrogator containers are sealed to prevent environmental damage. Before either case is opened, the pressure relief valve should be pressed with the finger. When the rushing noise (if any) stops, the internal pressure of the case is the same as the pressure outside the case. The missile-round container does not have a pressure relief valve.


Stinger Handling Procedures

Weapon Checks

Safety Precautions

When out of its container, the weapon should be rested carefully on its side. Do not stand the weapon on end. Be sure that the launch tube has the proper color markings--four 1-inch yellow squares. If it does not, return the trainer to the ASP and exchange for a weapon-round.

While the gunner is walking, he should carry the weapon by placing the carrying sling over his shoulder. The weapon should be carried horizontally at a slight angle. The sling should be tight enough to prevent the weapon from swinging.

The protective covers (BCU receptacle front-end and IFF connector caps) should not be removed until preparing to fire or while inspecting the weapon.

Stinger equipment and trainer markings are in TM 9-1425-429-12 and TM 9-6920-429-12.


When Stinger weapons are issued, and sufficient time is not available to perform all the checks listed in the technical manual, the team chief and gunner must, as a minimum, make the following checks. This does not mean that the other checks listed in TM 9-1425-429-12 should be overlooked, if time permits.


Under field conditions, and if the tactical situation allows, full checks should be made on a daily basis. Checks should be made at times when the team is in a reduced state of alert. These checks are especially important for those weapons which have been outside of their containers and exposed to bad weather. Fu1l checks are found in TM 9-1425-429-12.

Note: Although sunlight normally will not cause damage to the seeker, care should be taken to keep an uncovered seeker pointed away from the sun.


A well-thought-out and organized procedure for checking the Stinger weapon-round will insure that it can be fired when it is needed. If any of the items listed are defective, then the component which it belongs to is considered not ready/available.


Missile-round critical checks are as follows (see Stinger Weapon-Round illustration):

  • Check the blowout disk 1 to insure that it is not cracked or broken.

  • Check the launch motor squib leads 2 to insure that they are not damaged or broken. (Do not remove the adhesive cover; just run your fingers along the wires.)

  • Check the launch tube 3, while you are doing your other checks, to insure that it is not cracked or broken.

  • Check the color in the humidity indicator 4 window. If tan, replace at once with a green desiccant cartridge. Do not use the launch tube for 24 hours. If the indicator turns tan again within that 24-hour period, there is too much moisture in the launch tube. Turn the tube in to the ASP.

  • Remove the front cover and inspect the IR window 5 to insure that it is clean and not scratched, broken or cracked. If the window needs cleaning, use lens cleaning tissue. (See paragraph 3-5 of TM 9-1425-429-12.)

  • Check the range ring 6 to insure that it is not loose or defective.

  • Check the rear sight reticle 7 to insure that it is not loose or defective.

    If the paint seals on the screws holding the range ring or rear sight reticle to the sight assembly are broken, assume that they have been tampered with and do not use the launch tube until boresight has been verified.

  • Check the two acquisition indicators 8 and wires (see illustration above) to insure that they are not damaged.


    Before doing these checks, check to see if a BCU is installed. If a BCU is installed, do not inspect the gripstock assembly. Do not remove the BCU. The following checks will be done during weapon firing:

  • Check the safety and actuator device 9 by pressing and releasing the lever. A click should be heard and the lever should return to the normal position.

  • Check the uncaging switch 10, in three positions (center and both ends), by pressing and releasing the switch. A click should be heard each time and the switch should return to the caged position.

  • Check the firing trigger 11 by squeezing and releasing the trigger. A click should be heard and the trigger should return to the normal position.

  • Check that the latch mechanism 12 holds the gripstock assembly securely to the launch tube.


    The following are BCU critical checks (check all BCUs 13):

  • Check the color of the heat-sensitive indicator. It should be pink. If not, discard the BCU.

  • Check the holes over the burst disc diaphram. If the silver foil has been ruptured, discard the BCU.

    Note: Do not remove an installed BCU to do the following checks.

  • Check the rubber cap over the needle to insure that it has not been punctured. If so, the BCU may only be used in an emergency.

  • Check the needle without removing the rubber cap to insure that it is not bent. Do not attempt to straighten a bent needle; instead, discard the BCU.

  • Check the BCU housing to insure that is is not cracked. If so, discard the BCU.

    Note: Weapon mating procedures are outlined in TM 9-1425-429-12.


    During annual service practice firing, there should be no personnel closer to a firing point than 50 meters (164 feet). Under combat conditions, personnel within 15 meters (50 feet) of the weapon run a high risk of being injured by flying glass and debris. The team chief should be close to the gunner's side to insure that he is not endangered by the weapon's backblast. Allow at least 5 meters (16 feet) safety distance from equipment. Under combat conditions, these safety distances for personnel and equipment may not always be feasible. Damage to radio equipment may result if it is within the backblast area. Always inform the unit that you are supporting of the noise and backblast safety hazards.

    Stinger firing range requirements for surface danger zones are described in (SNF) FM 44-1A.

    Additional safety measures to be observed are as follows:

  • Fire only from a standing position.

  • Wear ear protectors, helmet, and flack jacket when firing. Personnel within 125 meters (about 400 feet) should also wear ear protectors.


    Permanent deafness will result if personnel are exposed to more than two firings. Proper hearing protection must be worn!

  • Use the plastic eyeshield on the weapon sight.

  • Do not fire at an angle greater than 65. The flying debris caused by the missile backblast presents a hazard to the gunner if this angle is exceeded or if the launch tube is within 30 inches of the ground.

  • Always superelevate. By superelevating, you make use of a built-in, 10 degree angle that compensates for missile drop during the coast phase.

  • Do not discard a used BCU into dry brush or grass or near flammable materials.

    Before inserting the BCU, make certain that the safety and actuator device is in the SAFE position. The Stinger weapon is shipped with a cap covering the BCU receptacle. The cap should be kept in place until just prior to BCU insertion. Remove the receptacle cap by turning it counterclockwise. Place it in the BCU container found in the shipping and storage container for use at another time. You can also place the cap on some convenient location of the body (pocket, inside shirt, etcetera). Insert a BCU into the receptacle and turn it clockwise until it locks in place.

    The case of the BCU gets extremely hot (400F) 3 to 5 minutes after activation and remains too hot to touch for approximately 30 minutes. Do not grab the BCU except by the heat-insulated cap. Remove the BCU immediately after firing.

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