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A weapon mount is a weapon component used to secure an armament. Weapon mounts can be broken down into two categories:Static mounts and Non-static mounts.
A static mount is a non-portable weapon support component used on a self propelled vehicle.
A gun turret protects the crew or mechanism of a weapon and at the same time lets the weapon be aimed and fired in many directions.
A turret is a rotating weapon platform. This can be mounted on a fortified building or structure such as an anti-naval land battery, or on an armoured fighting vehicle, a naval ship, or a military aircraft.
Turrets may be armed with one or more machine guns, automatic cannons, large-calibre guns, or missile launchers. It may be manned or remotely controlled, and is often armoured. A small turret, or sub-turret on a larger one, is called a cupola. The term cupola also describes rotating turrets that carry no weapons but instead sighting devices, as in the case of tank commanders. A finial is an extremely small sub-turret or sub-sub-turret mounted on a cupola turret.
The protection provided by the turret may be against battle damage or against the weather, conditions and environment in which the weapon or its crew operate.
A coaxial mount is mounted beside the primary weapon.
Nearly all main battle tanks have a coaxial machine gun mounted to fire along a parallel axis to the main gun. Coaxial weapons are usually aimed by use of the main gun control. It is usually used to engage infantry or other "soft" targets when the main gun collateral damage would be excessive, or to conserve main gun ammunition.
A fixed mount fires on a parallel axis with the vehicle. The vehicle itself must move in order to fire about all axis. Fixed mounts are most commonly found on aircraft.
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A Non-static weapon mount is a sub-class of weapon mount that is portable.
A monopod has one leg and does not provide stability along the coordinate axis of motion. Monopods have the advantage of being light and compact although when used in fireing mode it does not have enough stability to be used with large firearms. Monopods are typically used on short-barreled, precision-fire firearms. They are also used as "butt spikes" as a rear support on precision rifles.
The bipod permits the operator to rest the weapon on the ground, a low wall, or other object, reducing operator fatigue and permitting increased accuracy.
Bipods can be of fixed or adjustable length. The better ones can be tilted and also have their tilting point close to the bore central axis, allowing the weapon to tilt a little left and right, allowing a quick horizontal sight picture on uneven ground and keeping the operator close to the ground. Bipods are for the most part folded forward, not back.
A tripod has three legs and provides stability along the left-to-right and for-and-aft coordinate axis of motion. Tripods have the disadvantage of being heavy and bulky although when used in firing mode it has enough stability to be used with large firearms. Tripods are typically used on long-barreled, rapid-fire firearms.
The tripod permits the operator to rest the weapon on the ground and thus the gun feels lighter to the shooter and accuracy is increased.
Another form of tripod is the tripod gun handle. The tripod gun handle provides a forward vertical pistol grip plus a slide out pivotal tripod. It is attached to the gun by a picatinny rail. The legs of the tripod can be deployed by the press of a button and can be pushed back up into the vertical grip.
Shooting sticks are portable weapon mounts used by field shooters, like hunters and snipers, as a practical alternative to commercial -pods. Shooting sticks can be of fixed or adjustable length and can be home- or factory- built.