A Comparison of Target Detection and Rifle Marksmanship During Live and Simulator Firing With and Without Caffeine Consumption


  1. Keefe, A.A.
  2. Tikuisis, P.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Toronto, Toronto ONT (CAN)
This study compared the effects of caffeine ingestion on target detection and rifle marksmanship during live and simulated firing. Thirteen male, rifle-trained Canadian Forces (CF) reservists performed a total of 1 familiarization and 4 experimental sessions over an 8 day period. Familiarization was conducted on the small arms trainer (SAT), while the 4 experimental sessions were randomly and evenly distributed between 2 sessions of SAT and Automated Targetry System (ATS) live shooting. Each session was comparised of 8 shooting sequences one hour following the ingestion of 300 mg of caffeine or placebo. Shooting sequences included both friend-foe (FF) and vigilance (VIG) tasks and were performed in the following sequence: two FF engagements (4 minutes each), four VIG engagements (30 minutes each), and two FF engagements (4 minutes each). The shooting session lasted approximately 2.5 hours for both the caffeine and placebo trials. Performance measures during the shooting session included friend-foe discrimination, and marksmanship accuracy and precision. Assessments of thermal comfort and tiredness preceded and followed the shooting session. The Environmental Symptoms Questionnaire was administered pre- and post-shooting, whle the Task Load Index was administered post-shooting only. Blood was sampled immediately prior to the beginning of the shooting session and was used to determine plasma caffeine levels. Caffeine resulted in lower subjective sensations of effort and an incr

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Report Number
DRDC-TORONTO-TR-2003-003 — Technical Report
Date of publication
01 Jan 2003
Number of Pages

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