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The Hurt Locker: Specifically: Sharpshooting

 
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Zephyr
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2009 9:17 pm    Post subject: The Hurt Locker: Specifically: Sharpshooting Reply with quote

Just saw "The Hurt Locker" and was fairly impressed. I'm curious, though, about the actual facts behind long-distance sharpshooting. There is an extended scene in which a firefight goes on at about a half-mile distance, and the whole thing seemed a little unlikely to me. Does anybody have any authoritative commentary to make? Let me know, too, whether you saw the movie and what you thought of the verisimilitude of the scene.

Z

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2009 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't seen that movie, but immediate free association produces the "Marine Sniper Deer Hunting" youtube, 950 yard head shot.
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I believe the Mujahadeen have sniped Soviet soldiers in Afghanistan during that conflict with British 303 Lee Enfield rifles upwards of 800 meters. I don't know if they used scopes or not, Enfields are infantry rifles from earlier in the 20th century that were not designed with scopes in mind.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2009 7:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I have not seen the movie.
However, shooting at 800 meters without a scope is almost impossible. I have trouble seeing a man sized target clearly at 300m. Most of the shooters I know say anything after 500m is a lucky shot without a scope.

A 1/2 mile firefight... well, the Afghan's do just shoot across valleys, completely inaccurate fire of course, and we can shoot back... depends on the weaponry... not with the M-4, our main rifles, but with sniper rifles, and platoon machine guns, you can definitely start returning fire... but it would be incredibly hard to see an enemy that was partially covered and concealed through hiding behind a rock... much harder yet to hit that small speck. But, in these cases, quantity of bullets can sometimes make up what quality of aim can't...

Snipers can be effective out to a mile... but even that is only for the best of the best... massive things can happen to the wind over a mile's distance, so no matter how thorough your understanding of the ordnance of a bullet is... winds can be completely random.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2009 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was a rifle range coach for 18 months as temporary at MCAS Cherry Point duty when Desert Storm was over. I can tell you that it can most definately be done with the proper weapon. In the Marines that would be the M-14 sniper rifle. The muzzle velocity of the 14 is much higher due to the fact that it is a 7.62mm vs the 5.56mm in the M-16. The Marine Corps has competition shooters that represent each base and they travel. They compete on decimal target using M-14's without scopes but they do allow spotters. I have seen in practice members of the Cherry Point rifle team put 6 out of 10 shots in the 5x ring and the remaining shots no higher than the 3 ring from 1000 yds. The 5x ring on a decimal target is no more than about 4-5 iches across and the outside ring is approx 2 feet across. A good sniper and spotter are unstoppable. Some of you know the story of The Marine Sniper, Gunny Hathcock. There have been several books written about this dude, and I can tell you he had many confirmed kills much further than a half mile. The longest confirmed kill he had was 2500 yards with the M-14......Think about that shit, over a mile away...It absoloutely can be done and is being done right now by Marine Corps Snipers all over Afghanistan. Those dudes are hard as they come, and really disciplined......PEace
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2009 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies. I guess I'm the only one who has seen the movie (I recommend it).

I can give a bunch of details about the scene without spoiling it in any way, so here goes:

The US team has both a scope and a 2nd guy spotting. The rifle in use is firing (pardon me while I get all technical here) "really big bullets" which are being loaded into some sort of bolt-action weapon.

Now that you folks have clarified that the distance (750 yards or meters) is reasonable, the things that seemed a stretch were the following:

1. The guy doing the shooting was, in his day-to-day duties, working in a bomb squad. So when he picked up the rifle (which was not his and which he was probably unpracticed with) and started hitting [CENSORED] (even with a scope and a spotter) my first reaction was to think that he was some sort of X-Man with hidden mutant powers. But maybe any Army Ranger can do spectacular feats like this (given the right equipment and a spotter?). To what extent is skill at sharpshooting teachable versus innate? And does it require constant practice, or is it like riding a bike?

2. The view of the targets (Haji!) is highly distorted by heat waves, and the spotter's directions are things like "a little to the left."

Anyway, I ended up with the dual reaction of "Holy Shit" and "No Fucking Way." Followed immediately by "glad that wasn't me out there."

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2009 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zephyr wrote:
Thanks for the replies. I guess I'm the only one who has seen the movie (I recommend it).

I can give a bunch of details about the scene without spoiling it in any way, so here goes:

The US team has both a scope and a 2nd guy spotting. The rifle in use is firing (pardon me while I get all technical here) "really big bullets" which are being loaded into some sort of bolt-action weapon.

Now that you folks have clarified that the distance (750 yards or meters) is reasonable, the things that seemed a stretch were the following:

1. The guy doing the shooting was, in his day-to-day duties, working in a bomb squad. So when he picked up the rifle (which was not his and which he was probably unpracticed with) and started hitting [CENSORED] (even with a scope and a spotter) my first reaction was to think that he was some sort of X-Man with hidden mutant powers. But maybe any Army Ranger can do spectacular feats like this (given the right equipment and a spotter?). To what extent is skill at sharpshooting teachable versus innate? And does it require constant practice, or is it like riding a bike?

2. The view of the targets (Haji!) is highly distorted by heat waves, and the spotter's directions are things like "a little to the left."

Anyway, I ended up with the dual reaction of "Holy Shit" and "No Fucking Way." Followed immediately by "glad that wasn't me out there."

Sko makes some good points. 1000yds w/o scope! Shit! I can't even see a target at that range.

To answer your questions Z...
To be an awesome shot like Carlos Hathcock, some of that is certainly innate. He is pretty much the best sniper ever. But... much of this stuff can be taught. The USMC has the best snipers in the country, probably the world... this is a consistent thing, year in and year out... so that has to be the training. Back to innateness though. I firmly believe I could never be a great sniper... but, my papa could be... he's always been a deadeye. So, I guess my mom's genetic contribution took over. Part of it for me is my vision, like I said before, I can't see much of anything w/o a scope at 500m... and the other part is I am a bit shaky in general... you have to be able to control your body completely for this stuff... a fraction of a mm problem over 1/2 mile distance... that fraction of a mm is now a 10 foot miss... (slight exaggeration). Officers don't need to be good shots though, and pretty much can't be snipers in the US military these days, so my marksmanship shortcomings didn't matter.
And, yes, it does require constant practice to get that good. Once you have gotten that good though, it isn't as hard to maintain... its just the getting there.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 9:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Check out this story (can't be sure that its 100% accurate):
Quote:
This 19 year old ex-cheerleader (now an Air Force Security Forces Sniper) was watching a road that led to a NATO military base when she observed a man digging by the road. She engaged the target (I.e., she shot him). It turned out he was a bomb maker for the Taliban, and he was burying an IED that was to be detonated when a US patrol walked by 30 minutes later. It would have certainly killed and wounded several soldiers.

The interesting fact of this story is the shot was measured at 725 yards. She shot him as he was bent over burying the bomb. The shot went through his butt and into the bomb which detonated; he was blown to pieces. The Air Force made a motivational poster of her:

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 1:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It reads like bullshit to me. If it was true the sniper would almost certainly have been named. And the gal in the photo looks a lot like Lilly Evangeline, from Lost (and, FWIW, The Hurt Locker).

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In no way Im I comparing myself to the experts here but my daddy taught me to shoot at an early age and I was in duck blinds since I was about 6. Shot a ton of skeet and trap during early high school and and college. I had not fired a weapon in at least 10 years and a few years ago I went to a skeet range with some friends and used a borrowed shotgun. I don't know how but I finished second just about 16 -20 targets short of the guy who goes shooting all the time. These were the targets where you walk to stations and the different clays are lauched to simulate different game so there was a good variety of targets. I had never done those kind of clays before. I was used to the standard Trap and Skeet courses.

Anyway it was just like riding a bike for me. I was really surprised. I nailed like 5 out of my first 6 targets. It just came back real naturally. I know rifles are a whole different animal. Guess all those hours freezing my ass off shooting duck, geese, dove, etc paid off.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 7:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zephyr wrote:
It reads like bullshit to me. If it was true the sniper would almost certainly have been named. And the gal in the photo looks a lot like Lilly Evangeline, from Lost (and, FWIW, The Hurt Locker).

Yeah, I think its a fake too... but I do like cute girls with guns, so...
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I qualified as an expert on the M-16 and was assigned a "sniper" position in the Army reserve unit I was in

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this was 1983 and I just realized I was being a Patriotic American in Reagans version of America, somewhat..

any way I was given one of these one weekend on maneuvers down at Ft Carson, Colorado.

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no live ammo except on the range though.. not bad there but didn't hit them all, I hit 40 of 40 w/ the M-16 in basic this was more of a pin point accuracy they were looking for with this.

So ishot the thing 30-40 times and then the real fun began.. put the brand new at the time laser equipment on and headed up a tree for the rest of the weekend

smoking..yep


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these.. only took a couple times looking thru that scope at someone 1500+ yards away to know I had made a mistake by enlisting...
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like we should put together a LSP shooting team!
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just came back with a group of kids from a National Armory base field trip in Ithaca
and the one weapons aficiandao, said the sniper rifles were dead on from 1300 meters.
Don't know if he was grandstanding or not, but that's my 2 cents! (also not an expert by any means, all I own is a bunch of good fishin' knives)

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 7:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cowboysth24 wrote:
I just came back with a group of kids from a National Armory base field trip in Ithaca
and the one weapons aficiandao, said the sniper rifles were dead on from 1300 meters.


Wow. 8/10ths of a mile in 4/5ths of a second? Isn't that a Jefferson Airplane tune? Is this what they were singing about? Crying or Very sad

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 9:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cowboysth24 wrote:
I just came back with a group of kids from a National Armory base field trip in Ithaca
and the one weapons aficiandao, said the sniper rifles were dead on from 1300 meters.
Don't know if he was grandstanding or not, but that's my 2 cents! (also not an expert by any means, all I own is a bunch of good fishin' knives)


the M-14 I had back when was great to about 1,100 meters I was told, above where I mentioned 1500, I am not certain I would have hit the 1 individual at that distance, but if there was a group of 4-5 certain one would have taken the bullet, if I had the guts to pull the trigger that is.

I had the shooting skills but the Killing skills were lacking
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

aikowolf wrote:
cowboysth24 wrote:
I just came back with a group of kids from a National Armory base field trip in Ithaca
and the one weapons aficiandao, said the sniper rifles were dead on from 1300 meters.
Don't know if he was grandstanding or not, but that's my 2 cents! (also not an expert by any means, all I own is a bunch of good fishin' knives)


the M-14 I had back when was great to about 1,100 meters I was told, above where I mentioned 1500, I am not certain I would have hit the 1 individual at that distance, but if there was a group of 4-5 certain one would have taken the bullet, if I had the guts to pull the trigger that is.

I had the shooting skills but the Killing skills were lacking

Nice fillmore!
I now own an M1A, which is the civilian model of the M14. Damn good rifle. I call it a "ranch defense weapon".

I also read that many of the soldiers don't pull the trigger in combat... the majority even. I think in the days of conscription that is to be expected. Now we have all volunteers, and dudes pull the trigger, but still some don't. I know I had an opportunity where I could have, and didn't, and it turns out I made the right choose because he wasn't drawing his hidden weapon (I saw him hide it), but rather was drawing a magazine! What a retard he was (totally drunk Iraqi)... anyhow, glad I had the judgment to wait, because it was literally point blank, and if he fell to the ground with a magazine in his hand instead of a gun, I would have to live with that...

Anyhow, we arrested the turd, for about the 3rd time... he was mixed up with the insurgents, but sometimes they hunted him... a real oddball in the purest sense of the word. Probably dead by now, but hopefully when he needed it.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

lucasmcain wrote:
Sounds like we should put together a LSP shooting team!


I could set everyone's dope.....
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kochman wrote:
aikowolf wrote:
cowboysth24 wrote:
I just came back with a group of kids from a National Armory base field trip in Ithaca
and the one weapons aficiandao, said the sniper rifles were dead on from 1300 meters.
Don't know if he was grandstanding or not, but that's my 2 cents! (also not an expert by any means, all I own is a bunch of good fishin' knives)


the M-14 I had back when was great to about 1,100 meters I was told, above where I mentioned 1500, I am not certain I would have hit the 1 individual at that distance, but if there was a group of 4-5 certain one would have taken the bullet, if I had the guts to pull the trigger that is.

I had the shooting skills but the Killing skills were lacking

Nice fillmore!
I now own an M1A, which is the civilian model of the M14. Damn good rifle. I call it a "ranch defense weapon".

I also read that many of the soldiers don't pull the trigger in combat... the majority even. I think in the days of conscription that is to be expected. Now we have all volunteers, and dudes pull the trigger, but still some don't. I know I had an opportunity where I could have, and didn't, and it turns out I made the right choose because he wasn't drawing his hidden weapon (I saw him hide it), but rather was drawing a magazine! What a retard he was (totally drunk Iraqi)... anyhow, glad I had the judgment to wait, because it was literally point blank, and if he fell to the ground with a magazine in his hand instead of a gun, I would have to live with that...

Anyhow, we arrested the turd, for about the 3rd time... he was mixed up with the insurgents, but sometimes they hunted him... a real oddball in the purest sense of the word. Probably dead by now, but hopefully when he needed it.


was never in real combat myself, but I believe point-blank, or appearing to be point-blank thru a high powered scope is a hell of a lot more challenging to pull the trigger than say a silhouette at 200meters you're firing at..
and I was a volunteer, I got caught up with the wrong crowd of gun-loving, god fearing, patriots in High school, thank God that did not last long and started hanging with the Freaks again
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2009 2:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anther reason to always have a sniper handy:


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2009 9:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Camel spiders... just another reason the middle east & afhganistan suck.
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PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2010 11:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know my 8mm Mauser's iron sights included distance adjustment out to 1000 meters, and I have no doubt it could chuck em out that fair. The full metal jacket loads i had bought bulk from an add in "american Rifleman' were 175 grain with a muzzle velocity of 4200 fps. Good brush gun, but didn't leave much varmit left for taxidermist when hollow points were used.
Speaking of "Am Rifleman' I remember an article from the early 70's entitled "Hit Your Hat From 1000 Yards"

Maybe I'm wrong, thot I saw on history channel snipers now using some 50 caliber sniper gun, reaching out 1500 yards and more.

M107
Caliber: .50 BMG (12.7x99 mm)
Length: 1,448 mm (57.0 in)
Barrel length: 737 mm (29.0 in)
Weight (unloaded w/ scope): 12.9 kg (28.4 lb)
Magazine capacity: 10 rounds
Weight of magazine: 1.87 kg (4.1 lb)
Accuracy: 3 Minutes of Angle (MOA)
Muzzle velocity: 853 m/s (2,800 ft/s)
Maximum Effective Range: 1,830 m (6,000 ft)[15]
Maximum Range: 6,812 m (22,349 ft)[15]
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PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 7:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, with a scope they are routinely hitting 1500... without a scope, anyone who can see a target that is man sized at 500 meters or more has really good eyes. I can't. Even at 300 it is pretty blurry for me.
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PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 8:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

500 yds for us was the able target, which was like half a man from the waist up...It was fuzzy for sure, even with my glasses correcting me to 20/20....Like I said before, watching the rifle team shoot decimal from 500 yds with the M-14 was incredible....10x ring all day long and I have no idea how they did it, and I can shoot. I think 10x is 6 inches across, but Im not sure.
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PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The M-14 is a damn fine rifle. I have the civilian equivalent, the M1A... still haven't been able to actually shoot it yet because $ has been so I tight I can't afford ammo!
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PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I watched an episode of Frontline a long time ago on the (this would be the immediate post-Soviet invasion era) Afghani Mujahideen and I could swear they said they would all buy a goat, have contests where they would tie up the goat at 1000 meters, and whoever shot and killed it first with open sight British 303 Enfields would keep the goat, which was a fair prize since money/goods were very scarce there. Good way to practice for sniping enemies in the desert there too.
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PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 10:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You know cheese, after I posted I was wondering about firing in the desert....I never shot in a climate that hot. Physics tells me with the molecules of air so spread out in the extreme heat, accuracy should be improved a little...Please tell me Koch if I am way off here, as I have never fired in a climate like that.....At the range when I was a coach, the joke was to make sure you qual'd in July or August because you would fire straighter. The humidity was so high and it was hot as hell....I know the round would travel furthur in a desert climate, but Im not sure about accuracy or windage.
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PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 11:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't really answer that question. My platoon didn't have snipers yet (that would come later, in Afghanistan, when I was not a platoon leader anymore), so we were shooting regular M-4s etc with no one but the PSG a qualified sniper... and we never brought it up.

I could ask my dad though, he knows a ton about ballistics.

Something that you face more of in the desert, in general, that would potentially cancelled out the heat bonus... winds.
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PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 9:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
There is an effect on the powders based on extreme temperatures either hot or cold. Long distance shooting also is effected by the mirage factor - heat waves from the ground making sighting more difficult. You should google the effects of heat on rifle accuracy.
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PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kochman wrote:
Quote:
There is an effect on the powders based on extreme temperatures either hot or cold. Long distance shooting also is effected by the mirage factor - heat waves from the ground making sighting more difficult. You should google the effects of heat on rifle accuracy.


Not to mention the expanding and contracting of the barrel related to temperature differences...

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PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, on the first shot especially, which is all a sniper should be taking.

I actually saw a program from USMC Sniper hero Carlos Hathcock... how he got people trained up.
Quote:
The Carlos Hathcock Method of Sighting in a Rifle.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

As mentioned before, I was a very young Marine Sergeant when I came up to THE Marine Corps Rifle Team the first time as the junior Armorer.

I didn't grow up using high power rifles. We used shotguns to hunt quail, rabbits, squirrels, pheasants, ducks and geese. I used a Mark I Ruger Target .22 pistol for racoon hunting and used a Model 74 Winchester .22 to really learn the basics of rifle marksmanship. My introduction to both high power shooting and long range shooting was in Marine Corps Boot Camp. On Qual Day in Boot Camp, I ran 7 consecutive bullseye's from the offhand position at 200 yards. The 8th round was a pinwheel bullseye, but it was on the target next to mine, so I got a maggie's drawers. Knee High wind got me after that and I fell apart and only shot Sharpshooter in boot camp.

I bought a sporterized Mauser in .308 with a scope on it from a fellow Marine during the time I was going through the Armorer's OJT program on Camp Pendleton. I used that for ground squirrel hunting, but was never really satisfied with my zero on the rifle. So after I came up on "The Big Team," I asked the second senior Armorer - Ted Hollabaugh, if he could show me how to REALLY sight in a rifle with a scope. He said sure and he would do it, but since we had all the talent in the world at MTU, why didn't I ask one of the shooters? Well, I was a young kid and I didn't know any of the shooters that well - most of them were much older than I. That's when he suggested I ask Carlos Hathcock for some help. I didn't know Carlos then and did not know of his exploits in NM and Sniper shooting. Ted talked to Carlos about it and Carlos stopped by the shop later that afternoon.

Carlos looked at me and said, "So you want to sight in your rifle, eh? OK, thoroughly clean the bore and chamber. Dry the bore out with patches just before you come down to Range 4 tomorrow at noon on the 200 yard line. Have the sling on the rifle that you are going to use in hunting." Then he went on about his business.

When I got to Range 4 the next day, he had a target in the air ready for me. He told me to get down in the best prone position I had. He checked me and adjusted my position just a bit. Then he said, "Before you shoot. The MOST important thing I want you to do is take your time and make it the best shot possible. It doesn't matter how long you take, just make it a good shot. ALSO, and this is as important, make sure you give me an accurate call on where you think the bullet hit the target." After I broke the shot, I told him where I thought the bullet had hit. He checked it by using a spotting scope when the target came back up. He grinned just slightly and said, "not a bad call." He then took a screwdriver and adjusted my scope a bit. He had me record everything possible about the shot and weather, humidity, temperature, wind, how I felt when the shot went off, what kind of ammo I was using, the date, and virtually everything about the conditions on the range that day. I had never seen such a complete and precise recording of such things in a log book. He told me that if a fly had gone by the rifle and farted while I was shooting, to make sure I recorded that. Then he told me to thoroughly clean the bore and chamber, and have it dry when I came back at 12 noon the next day. I was kind of surprised he only had me shoot once, but when you are getting free lessons - you don't question or argue.

The next day, he told me the same thing. I called the shot and it was closer to the center of the bullseye. He made another slight adjustment and told me to clean the bore and chamber, dry the bore thoroughly and come back the next day at noon. Then we recorded everything possible about that day. The following day, the shot was darn near exactly centered on the bullseye. Then he told me to clean and dry the bore before coming back the next day. Then we recorded everything about that day.

About a week into the process, Ted asked me how it was going. I said it was going really well, but we were only shooting one shot a day. Ted grinned and said, "How many shots do you think you are going to get at a deer? Don't you think you had better make the first one count?" There was a level of knowledge and wisdom there that I immediately appreciated, though I came to appreciate it even more as time went on.

We continued this process with the sitting position at 200 yards, then prone and sitting at 300 yards and 400 yards. Then we went down to 100 yards and included offhand in the mix. Each day and each shot we recorded everything possible in the book and that included the sight settings for each positon at each yard line. We also marked the scope adjustment settings with different color nail polish for each yard line.

When that was over after a few weeks, I thought I had a super good zero on the rifle. But no, not according to Carlos. He started calling me up on mornings it was foggy, rainy, windy, high or low humidity, etc., etc. and we fired a single shot and recorded the sight settings and everything else about the day. (I actually used four or five log books by the time we were through and put that info all into one ring binder.) I almost had an encyclopedia on that rifle. Grin.

Well, after a few months, we had shot a single round in most every kind of condition there was. Then about the 12th of December, it was REALLY cold and it seemed like an artic wind was blowing, there was about four inches of snow on the ground and freezing rain was falling. He called me up and told me to meet him at Range 4 at noon. I had gotten to know him well enough to joke, "Do you really want to watch me shoot in this kind of weather? He chuckled and said, "Well, are you ever going to hunt in this kind of weather?" I sighed and said, "See you at noon."

By the next spring, I had records for sight settings for the first shot out of a "cold" barrel for almost any weather, position and range I would use and temperature/wind/humidity condition imagineable. He had informed me months before that was bascially how he wanted all Marine Snipers to sight in their rifles as only the first shot counts, though of course they would do it out to 700 yards on a walking target and further on a stationary target. They also practiced follow up shots, of course and we did some of that as well. It gave me great confidence that I could dial in my scope for anything I would come across.

Some years later in the late 90's or realy early this century, I was talking to a Police Sniper and he was really impressed I knew Carlos. I told him about the way Carlos had me sight in my rifle and suggested he do the same thing as he was a sniper for the Henrico Country SWAT team. He had never heard of that and took it to heart. About two and a half years later, he got called to a domestic situation where a husband had a handgun to his wife's head and was going to kill her. After the Sergeant in charge and the Pysch guy determined the husband was really going to do it, the Police Officer was asked if he could hit the guy at just over 200 yards and not hit the wife. He said he knew he could (because he had followed Carlo's method), so they told him to take the shot. One shot and the perp's head exploded. The wife was scared crapless, but unharmed. When he told me about it about when I saw him the first time a week after the incident, the first thing I asked him if he was OK about taking the shot. He understood I was talking about the pyschological aspects and he really appreciated it. He said, it had bothered him a little that night until he remembered that if he had not taken the shot, the wife would have died. I checked back with him and he really was OK with having taken the shot. I've checked back every gun show I see him at and I know he is doing fine about it.
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tizi



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PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2010 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hallo, hallo, my american friends .... I guess now it is my turn to tell you about my experineces in the Croatian Army.

I was drafted in 1999 the war with the serbs have just ended but the Croatian president Franjo Tudjman was still alive. I tell you so because I was ment to be assigned in the Presidential Army (yes ....... then a day the president Tudjman had his own army under his command and not under the Ministry of defence).

The problem was that in 1 year that "special army" was allowed home just 1 or 2 times, but the most serious problem was my antimilitaristic attitude. So, we had a "regular army" trial od the first 3 months and I was a disaster: I tried 2 full shootings to targets in 100 m disatance. The resoult was that I didn't get even 1 bullet on the target, so the very same target was used by the next solider.
My superiors were so impressed that they expelled me from the Presidential army lists, and I went straight to the office of the commander and did "paper work" until the end of the draft service .... AND I HAVE BEEN HOME EVERY WEEKEND Very Happy

This was my first and last experience with guns! When I was in the US nobody could belive me that I have no knowledge of any member of my family that have ever owned a gun! I can tell it for sure starting from my grandparents on!

It is very interesting for me to read this thread and to understand that most of you have such deep knowledge of all of that!

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Kochman
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PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2010 12:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is fascinating how in Europe, so many people don't have access to guns, and never have in their lives, yet their nations make and export guns all over the world, and just decades ago hunting was ok, etc... now it takes an act of God to get a firearms permit in Europe... and no one really minds. It's the norm.

Over here it is constitutionally protected of course... let's not let this crumble into a political debate on firearms though folks... if you want that, you know where to post it. And, bring your A game.

It was frustrating for me, because when I moved to Italy, I couldn't bring any of my guns, even to hunt... When my dad was in the army, he brought his to Germany and hunted a lot (also no longer possible)... hunting of course is a useful way of controlling populations so animals don't overpopulate and starve (in Europe the forest rangers generally do it now in an official capacity, but just waste most of the meat)

My wife, European, was very excited when she moved her to go shooting. She never had touched a firearm before...
First I put her through my own version of a gun safety course, and after a while of this, when I thought she was ready, I took her shooting.
She shoots better than I do! And she loves it. The guys running the range made jokes at my expense... Laughing

I have had some form of firearm that was "mine" since I was in Kindergarden (4 years old?). My pappy got me a BB gun, which I could only have while he was around. He taught me safety, and over the years I was able to go hunting with real guns (like after I was 10) with him, but never allowed to handle guns without him around. Basically, once I hit 18, I was allowed to get my own, etc...
So, yes, it has been in my life since I could remember...
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PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2010 1:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like your pappy and my pappy were on the same page there Koch. I was in duck blinds at a very young age and was allowed to shoot my first duck when I was six. Scared the crap out of me but once I got past that I was in that blind with my old man practically ever Sat during hunting season. Then it was onto Goose Hunting, Turkey hunting etc.

I really miss those times and I'm not sure how the younger generation feels about hunting. I mean it seems like such a lost art. When I go home to visit my mother now, I visit some of the old hunting spots but I never hear any shots anymore like I used too. Conservation was also part of my upbringing as well. Ducks Unlimited is one of the stronger conservation orginizations out there and I learned how to respect the environment and the different species. It's cool now to see that Geese for example made a huge comeback. Back then you were very limited on how many you could shoot. Canvas backs made a big comeback as well.

Anyway interesting point on the difference of the way we are brought up in the so called gun culture here as opposed to Europe.
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PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2010 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, there are limits within all hunting seasons, it is pretty well organized to ensure survival (or growth if needed) of the mating population, while at the same time, keeping them below overpopulation limits. Box, don't you do this kind of stuff?

Ducks Unlimited is a good organization, and like you, this is how I learned my conservation. My dad used to always say, "the Indians said, 'leave the land how you found it'."
Pretty solid logic.

I will pick up hunting again at some point. If I have a son at some point, I will definitely teach him to hunt. Better to know how to hunt and not to need to, than to need to hunt and not know how!
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tizi



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PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2010 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love this Forum also for this little things: cultural differences.
I think that in Europe the guns are not sold freely not because of a "cultural" reasone, but I think that this goes down in history.
In Europe you had almost everywhere a strong government control of rulers over the population (most of the times right or left dictatorships) so no rulers had ineterst of having the armed population ... for obvious reasone.
So security was, and still is a task of the government ... which has always been this way so people never thought to do it themselves.
Today I am happy that this is still pretty much so in Europe.

On the other hand I love the US from its foundations untill today has always been a democracy ... even with all the specific cultural differencies that can seem strange form over here.

Reading the previous posts I can see how deep this cultural relations go and that the guns issue is not so simple as most of people in Europe think.

Thanks for sharing your memories!

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PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2010 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

America was born in firearms... we had to violently overthrow tyranny... therefore it is deeply ingrained.

Also, we have more open spaces than Europe, so hunting is more popular and available.
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PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2010 5:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great discussion on differing views of firearms, USA vs EU.
My dad was a police officer and self-taught gunsmith. I was raised with a shooting range in the basement and A LOT OF GUNS around the house.
It wasn't unusual to see a thompson 45 dismantled for cleaning on his workbench. Here'sa pic of dad and the thompson out at the range, as he instructed members of other departments on it's use.

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I remember dad, it pulls up and to the right.
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PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2010 6:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kochman wrote:
Box, don't you do this kind of stuff?


I have in the past done some game census and set tag numbers for particular units; now I am more into the habitat end of it, which I enjoy much more.

I had similar experiences with firearms and my grandfather and father, as you Koch and lucasmcain, since as early as I can remember. They taught me all about safety and how to hunt, but I love it more than both of them combined, and have been working hard to get my 4 boys to feel the same way. All the kids love to shoot; they've been doing it since they were old enough to hold a gun by themselves.

I can't imagine growing up without firearms! We have more than one could shake a stick at in the house. For security purposes, I won't give exact details, but we could arm the entire family with a handgun, high powered rifle, rim fire rifle, and shotgun, each, and have leftovers...

Wish I had that many guitars! Very Happy

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PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2010 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You could start your own Partridge Family...
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PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2010 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kochman wrote:
You could start your own Partridge Family...

Do you mean "Cartridge" Family? Got to make for a better sit com concept than "The Brady Bill Bunch"
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PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2010 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If only we could agree on music as much as guns, in the family. Two of the boys and I play guitar, one boy drums, one boy fiddles, youngest girl and wife play keys, oldest daughter plays her cell phone only... Sad

Forgot to say in my last post that I also have found that women tend to be better shots than men. I bet my wife and/or daughters could throw down a tighter group at 200 yards than any of the males in the family. But, none are as fast on the upswing when a critter is in range, or quiet enough to pull a good sneak when archery hunting. Smile

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PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2010 7:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Koch, a comment about how good of a shot your wife is never shooting before being taught by you.....I never fired a weapon pror to entering the Marines. I think being taught the proper way on the same weapon makes all the difference....I shot a 209(out of 250) in boot which is not so good. BUT, once I got to Cherry Point and spent some time with a good coach, I shot a 232.....With that jump, they had me qual again 4 months later to rate me for coaching(I assume from the jump in score) and I shot a 237. After that I was fapped out to the range and qualed everyone coming back from Desert Shield. That was some of the best duty I had and it lasted almost 8 months....My point in all of this is that never firing before and then being taught how to shoot the correct way made all the difference. Guys who often had the hardest time were guys who grew up in the country firing shotguns all the time. My highest was a 239, which I am still proud of today. Shooting was everything in the Marines.
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PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2010 8:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, overtime people tend to pick up bad habits, which I definitely did, especially with the pistol, which is what we were firing.

In the army we have 40 rounds/40 targets... 20 from the prone supported, and 20 from the prone unsupported.
To get the best rating, expert, you had to hit 36/40... I achieved that once over almost 6 years. But I was over 30 everytime.

My PSG had sniper training, and he hit expert everytime as well as training all our NCOs to train all the joes how to shoot. Awesome dude. He almost died in the Battle of Wanat in Afghanistan, which is a pretty big deal of battle over there resulting in the chain of command getting disciplined for their failures...

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This was the next deployment my unit had after I got out.
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PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2010 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just reread my post and I did not mean to say I personally qualled everyone coming back from Desert Storm....I was just part of the beefed up team of coaches to assist because so many that came back needed to be qualled. I still got my pith helmet somewhere....
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tizi



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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 5:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well ... now I am happy that Croatia finally joined NATO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I know who is gonna come here to cover my ass in times of trouble Very Happy

Well ... I guess it would be enough a couple of US families to conquer at least the military facility where I was stationed for 1 year. We had just 5 "armed" soliders protecting a big facility (sleeping all day long). All the bulletts were taken away from the machine guns because some idiot a few years before I got in the army did shoot to some bird an almost killed a german turist swimming from the nearby resort facility. So, the commandars took away the bullets from every gun like .... forever. They said that the civilians will be scared enough by just seeng the weapons and ...... it did work Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

You know that the drafted soliders are not motivated at all!!! Most of them are highschool kids who think about evenings with girls!

Anyway I think I am happy the EU way I don't like guns, never needed one, and I prefer my children to raise that way. If they want guns they can go to the Police or Military Academy.

But, I respect and I am very fascinated to read Your posts. This is the single most different aspect in the US/EU culture I have disovered so far (as well as when I lived in Virginia)!!!!

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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 8:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Anyway I think I am happy the EU way I don't like guns, never needed one, and I prefer my children to raise that way.

The old quote goes...
It is better to have and not to need, than to need and not have.

This can go for a number of items, not just firearms.
Just some food for thought.


In Italy everyone knew were to get guns in a pinch. The Nigerian illegal immigrants, quite numerous, could supply anything you needed off the black market.

Who provides such services in Croatia, Tizi?
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tizi



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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kochman wrote:
Quote:
Anyway I think I am happy the EU way I don't like guns, never needed one, and I prefer my children to raise that way.

The old quote goes...
It is better to have and not to need, than to need and not have.

This can go for a number of items, not just firearms.
Just some food for thought.


In Italy everyone knew were to get guns in a pinch. The Nigerian illegal immigrants, quite numerous, could supply anything you needed off the black market.

Who provides such services in Croatia, Tizi?


Very Happy

1 - 0 for you Tino ....I have to admit!
.... and yes in the black market you can find a lot of guns in CRO ... after the war there is simply poor control over it. And yes both Croatia and Italy do sell weapons to poor nations!

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I finally saw this movie...

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OK, I liked it. It was a bit off the mark, but the setting was done really well... It was filmed in Jordan, and that is probably as close to Iraq as you can get a scene without being in Iraq or Syria...

The guy would have probably had his ass handed to him for not following procedure... probably.

The sniping scene was a little lame, because it takes more training than the shooter for the army most likely would have had. Also, if he has been in at least 8 years, why is he only an E-5 SGT (the first level of SGT). They made him seem very knowledgeable, etc... he should be higher ranking.

OK, where the movie started to go downhill, for me... when the protagonist thought the boy he knew was dead and went off the reservation, etc... Come on.

It got worse, the tactics of the scene were Eldritch got shot... totally NO WAY that would've happened. They would not split into 3 individuals like that. They really overdid the whole maverick theme of the protagonist for that scene.

One more gripe, the drunken violence scene. Not impossible, but highly unlikely.

Good things, other than the actual setting...
There are soldiers who are serious risk takers, and most of them spent at least some time in the Rangers, as the star did.
The trauma issues that Eldritch has, pretty realistic. There is a lot of second guessing and depressing topics in war...
The doctor, he was a tool bag. He had no control over the civilians, because he was soft. He should've NEVER been left alone though.

End of review...



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Kochman
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I finally saw this movie...

SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT



SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT



SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT


OK, I liked it. It was a bit off the mark, but the setting was done really well... It was filmed in Jordan, and that is probably as close to Iraq as you can get a scene without being in Iraq or Syria...

The guy would have probably had his ass handed to him for not following procedure... probably.

The sniping scene was a little lame, because it takes more training than the shooter for the army most likely would have had. Also, if he has been in at least 8 years, why is he only an E-5 SGT (the first level of SGT). They made him seem very knowledgeable, etc... he should be higher ranking.

OK, where the movie started to go downhill, for me... when the protagonist thought the boy he knew was dead and went off the reservation, etc... Come on.

It got worse, the tactics of the scene were Eldritch got shot... totally NO WAY that would've happened. They would not split into 3 individuals like that. They really overdid the whole maverick theme of the protagonist for that scene.

One more gripe, the drunken violence scene. Not impossible, but highly unlikely.

Good things, other than the actual setting...
There are soldiers who are serious risk takers, and most of them spent at least some time in the Rangers, as the star did.
The trauma issues that Eldritch has, pretty realistic. There is a lot of second guessing and depressing topics in war...
The doctor, he was a tool bag. He had no control over the civilians, because he was soft. He should've NEVER been left alone though.

End of review...



SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT



SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT
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