Quantifying the Effects of Weapon Weight on Lethality through Holistic Modeling


  • Justin Byers
  • Ryan Leemans
  • Stephanie McDermott
  • Vikram Mittal




Though it is widely known that weapon weight affects shooter stability, the quantitative effects on lethality and survivability are not well known. This issue stems from weapon lethality primarily being captured by equipment properties. A more holistic analysis can be performed by treating the soldier as a system by incorporating human factors with equipment performance specifications. This analysis requires the building of human factor models to appropriately capture lethality. The model development effort started with the collecting of data from experiments where the shot group accuracy was measured for weighted rifles. The resulting data was used to generate a mathematical model. This model, along with other human factor models, was integrated into the Weapon Lethality Service (WLS), a cloud-based simulation. The WLS was then set up to represent possible combat situations; the results were used to quantify the change in soldier lethality and survivability from changing the weapon weight.


Handley, H.A. (2017). Defining Human Capability from Soldier and Task Data. Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, 61, 791-95. doi:10.1177/1541931213601682

Kemnitz, C. P., Rice, V. J., Irwin, J. S., Merullo, D. J., & Johnson, R. F. (1997). The Effect of Gender, Rifle Stock Length, and Rifle Weight on Military Marksmanship and Arm-Hand Steadiness. (Technical Report T98-5) Natick, MA: U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine.

MacCalman, A.D., Sanchez, S.M., McDonald, M.L., Goerger, S.R., & Karl, A.T. (2016). Tradespace Analysis for Multiple Performance Measures. In T. M. K. Roeder, P. I. Frazier, R. Szechtman, E. Zhou, T. Huschka, and S. E. Chick (Eds.), Proceedings of the 2016 Winter Simulation Conference (3063-3074). Piscataway, NJ: IEEE Press.

Markey, A., Katz, A., Henderson, D., Jefferson, D., and Mittal, V. (2016). Modeling Human Factors for the Soldier Systems Enterprise Architecture. Presented at the General Donald R. Keith Memorial Conference, May, West Point, NY

Mittal, V. (2016). Increase in Operational Energy Requirements for Dismounted Rifle Squad between 1991 and 2014. Presented at the Military Operations Research Society Symposium, June, Quantico, VA.

Poole, E. (2009). US Army’s M26 Mass 12 Gauge. Tactical-Life.

Program Executive Officer (PEO) Soldier. (2015). Soldier System Integration Dismounted Baseline Version 2.0 for the Soldier System. Program Director Soldier Systems and Integration.

U.S. Army Maneuver Center of Excellence (MCOE). (2013). Soldier Division Portfolio Assessment Briefing to Director, Capabilities Development and Integration Directorate.



How to Cite

Byers, J., Leemans, R., McDermott, S., & Mittal, V. (2019). Quantifying the Effects of Weapon Weight on Lethality through Holistic Modeling. Industrial and Systems Engineering Review, 6(2), 75-81. https://doi.org/10.37266/ISER.2018v6i2.pp75-81

Most read articles by the same author(s)

1 2 > >>