The Effects of Weight and Weight Distribution on Muscular Activity and Trunk Posture when Sighting a Rifle

The advent of new weapon-mounted technologies poses new challenges for assault rifle design. Changes in rifle weight and center of mass (COM) can have significant impacts on soldiers’ rifle handling and ability to engage a target. Defense Research and Development Canada (DRDC), as part of a larger NATO Task Group, have hired Human Systems Inc., to investigate integration issues associated with new weapon systems. Testing will be conducted on a highly secured live-fire range using experienced Canadian soldiers as subjects. Human Systems Inc. is responsible for project management and subjective data analysis. Queen’s investigators will contribute to the project by providing objective (biomechanical) data analyses. The effects of total weapon weight and COM will be assed using Electromyography (EMG) to monitor muscle activity and weapon mounted accelerometers to monitor weapon slew. By combining Queen’s objective data with Human Systems’ subjective data, it is hoped that objective criteria and threshold limits values can be developed which will enhance the selection process of future weapon mounted technologies.

Faculty Supervisor:

Dr. Joan Stevenson


Jessica Selinger


Human Systems Inc.





Queen's University



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