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September 27, 2012


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JJ -
Most interesting article. Consider adding an ASLI attachment to your scope. It along with a simple algorythm that computes density altitude will help you increase first round hit accuracy when shooting from elevations below or above your target. The DA calculation will especially help your longer-range howitzer adjustments to increase your long shots. I found an affordable ASLI at http://www.precisionweapons.com/prod-588.htm (military snipers do not use tools that do not provide them an advantage.


p.s. You are pretty much corredt regarding the prime objective of the military to kill large numbers of the enemy in as short amount of time. Where you move to the fringe area is that the infantryman has more tools at his disposal than just his rifle. The notion being is to attrit the bad guys at distances beyond rifle capabilities - often referred to as "Over the Horizon" targets, then far targets, and lastly up close and personal engagements (fire-fights). Where you are "On the Mark" is the skill of the rifleman in the understanding the basics of marksmanship that helps him survive on the field of battle. As an old Infantry Officer, I can tell you that objectives can only be taken and held by boots on the ground; that said, using all the tools at the infantry's disposal saves lives. More can be said on the tactical and strategic subjects, but the foundation of force-on-force engagements is Snuffy the rifleman.

john jay


years ago my brother graduated from basic training in the national guard.

his class of trainees received an annual, which recorded events during basic, and also has pictures of his training class.

in it, some interesting articles. one that i have never forgotten, was entitled, "artillery, the queen of the battlefield."

big guns are very effective.

small arms, by and large, are very ineffective. a study i read while writing this article noted that it is calculated that one enemy adversary is killed by small arms for every 200 to 250 thousand rounds fired, presumably at him.

but, it noted that while small arms fire seldom hits anyone, (in a statistical sense, small consolation for the fellow who is actually struck), it has a very high probability of killing that person. something like 20%,if i remember correctly.

this sounds preposterous.

but, i've never forgotten an interview i read of an aged finnish veteran of the various wars fought with the russians in and around wwii.

the reporter asked him, was it hard to shoot your enemy: she was speaking in philosophical & ethical terms, you see.

he answered, more grounded in physical reality, oh yes, they scurried around and hit behind things, and shot back at you. it was very hard.

i don't know how many of the 250 thousand rounds that reality accounts for, but, more than some, i would imagine.


p.s. and, yes, i have noted many times in these pages, that the prime objective of weapons is to get your adversary off the ends of your teeth and claws.

it only makes sense.


JJ -

I don't recall the stats of round hits versus rounds fired, but your numbers would indicate that there may be too many fully automatic weapons in the hands of soldiers who have a dump-truck full of bullets following next to them.

As far as personal interfaces with reporters (and something I will never forget), I was interviewed by one my first tour in Vietnam when I was a Warrant Officer (my second tour was as an Infantry Captain). When he learned I was a helicopter gunship pilot, he asked me how I could shoot women and children. I replied that it was easy if you aim a little lower and don't lead them as much as men. That ended my one chance at fame.


p.s. On the matter of the "Queen of Battle" it is the Infantry that is known as the Queen of Battle and the Artillery as the King of Battle. I have been told that the Infantry gets fucked most of the time when mission objectives are handed out and that it is the Infantry who tells the Artillery where the balls go. And in all candor, this was long before the days of "Don't ask, don't tell."


John, I think you're picking at nits. If your crosshairs or mildots are subtending, get a finer set.

I don't know what any official goals are, but my battle rifle max effective range thingy would be "how far away can you pop your head up, find your target, aim, fire, and get your head back down in 7 seconds or less, while hitting the target 2 times out of 3." Any time longer and you're a sniper with better equipment, shooting from cover. Or you're a statistic.

john jay


i acknowledge the point on the nits.

the fact is, almost any more or less modern calibers are pretty sufficient to the task of long range shooting, if you have an accurate rifle and sufficient optics.

hell, the brits made sniper rifles from enfields and the .303 british, and they worked pretty well by all accounts.

and, it isn't very prudent to be lollygagging around the battlefield, or behaving like a tourist.

speed is life. in fighter planes, in shooting.

thanks for the read, and thanks for the comment.


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