Print Story Things ain't what they used to be
By anonimouse (Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 08:47:37 PM EST) (all tags)
Once upon a time, when anonimouse was younger and slimmer than he is now, he used to go clay pigeon shooting with his father and a number of friends whenever he went back to see his family in $RuralShire between University and working 'daaahn sowth'.

Unfortunately, however, he was piss poor at it, and because the loser bought the beers, anonimouse always had to remember to take £30-40 to these outings....

It came to pass that anonimouse was sent to Germany on $Project, and over there he met a German reserve major. Over numerous bottles of Weissbier, anonimouse revealed his shooting issues. Said major explained to anonimouse how to shoot properly, including stance, keeping both eyes open, target tracking, leaning into the gun (also reduces bruising to shoulder) and breathing.

Anonimouse returnethed home and found that he never had to buy the beers again. Even better, he found that he won prizes at minor shooting events at country fairs and so on. Winning fairground prizes still eludes him, however, due to the inexplicable ability of fairground air rifles to fire in random directions.

He strongly suspects that said major might be a little disappointed in this Times report... it seems the mythical German soldier from WW2 able to overcome poor odds, has disappeared into the past. British troops seem to be capable but under-resourced, so is it only the US that can field a reasonably skilled, well equipped soldier nowadays?

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Things ain't what they used to be | 9 comments (9 topical, 0 hidden)
Fairground air rifles by TheophileEscargot (2.00 / 0) #1 Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 12:29:38 AM EST
Tried those with a guy who was a really great shot. When he got the card back, all his shots were in a tiny little group the size of a penny... in the very top left corner of the card. scoring zero.

Nice rifle, shame about the sights...
It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?

Nah, by LinDze (2.00 / 0) #2 Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 12:41:07 AM EST
AU and CA field some good guys, if you're counting RAR/SASR as "infantry".

-Lin Dze
Arbeit Macht Frei
For the purposes of this by anonimouse (2.00 / 0) #3 Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 02:21:50 AM EST
I'm not talking about elite units (otherwise we would go into SAS/SBS yada yada yada), I'm discussing the training level and equipment standard of the average professional soldier a country puts into the frontline.

Girls come and go but a mortgage is for 25 years -- JtL
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(Comment Deleted) by xth (2.00 / 0) #4 Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 02:49:07 AM EST

This comment has been deleted by xth

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As far as I know by Phil Urich (2.00 / 0) #5 Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 03:58:20 AM EST
the Canadian Army puts a huge amount of time and effort into training their basic infantry. To be fair this is somewhat offset overall by a shortage of much of what other militaries have (ex. helicopters, transport planes, decent tanks) but if speaking only of the average/basic professional soldier the Canadian infantry members are very well trained and quite well equipped (with a few outrageous issues such as when they suddenly joined in on the initial stages of the Afghanistan mission, where the preparations hadn't even remotely been made and they were sent out into the desert with forest camo).

I guess what I'm saying is, although Canada's infantry might be theoretically impressive, things like the lack of air support, the need to hitch rides with other armies to get across the oceans and the tendency of our transport helicopters to fall out of the sky has blocked the Canadian Army from gaining much renown.

(Disclaimer: I'm a Canada/USA dual-citizen and I've always found it amusing that the standard Canadian infantry rifle is of almost identical make to the American one but with the caveat of the Canadian military caring about and trusting their infantrymen enough to let them use full auto and to give them scopes as standard issue).

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I thought by anonimouse (2.00 / 0) #6 Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 04:09:53 AM EST
..full auto was disapproved of in military circles because of the huge expenditure of ammo for little result.

However, I have wondered why scopes are omitted from the rifles of the normal soldier.

Girls come and go but a mortgage is for 25 years -- JtL
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IAWTP by Phage (2.00 / 0) #7 Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 04:43:23 AM EST
The three round burst is usually sufficient.
With the scope I had always heard that it was due the scopes not being ruggedised enough for the average squaddie, resulting in an inaccurate rifle when compared to open sights.

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you might be right about 3-round burst by Phil Urich (4.00 / 1) #8 Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 06:39:44 AM EST
but "usually sufficient" doesn't necessarily mean "never useful". Certainly it isn't terribly hard to be able to toggle between all three settings, as I believe most AK variants can do, if I'm not remembering wrong? And honestly I'm fairly certain that at least in the American case it was mostly a budget decision, regardless of the tactical justifications (even if they're true) given afterwards. At least from what I've read the way it was normally put was that the problem with ammo wastage was in troops without enough training; the proper solution is to give them more training, not to dumb down their weapons. More problematic, the initial modification to burst rather than auto (with the M16A2) had serious design flaws which detracted from both reliability of function and accuracy. So they had solved a budget problem, sure, but to replace it the way they did belies something other than pure tactical reasoning.

As for scopes, if the scopes are ruggedised enough for the average squaddle then you should probably make an effort to make them rugged enough rather than depriving your troops of them, or maybe use them or not depending on the expected conditions (most are easily detachable, no? I know at least with the C7 they are, although since their manufacturing has diverged from the M16 series I don't really know). Certainly there hasn't been any big problems I've heard of with the Canadians using scoped weapons in Afghanistan, there been anything in the news (and the Canadian media tends to freak out at even the slightest chance of our soldiers being in danger, not that I'm saying that's right or wrong). I've certainly heard complaints about equipment (I have some close friends who in turn know lots of infantry guys, what with Canada's biggest military base being essentially right outside my city) but never about the scopes. Actually everyone seems to be pretty happy about them.

All that being said I've picked most of this up piecemeal and second-hand, so I'm not exactly going to swear on it. If you're big into military geek-ery I'm sure you generally'd know better than me, just saying as far as I know and've heard.

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Im pretty sure it has to do with engagement by LinDze (2.00 / 0) #9 Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 11:04:26 AM EST
distances. Also why theres that whole Designated Marksman guy whos carrying a different weapon system. Really though, you're just bringing up the whole "7.62 vs 5.56 as general issue" argument. And just about every govt on the planet went with the 5.56 equivalent 40 years ago.

Now that I think about it, red dots dont count as "scopes" for you?

-Lin Dze
Arbeit Macht Frei

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Things ain't what they used to be | 9 comments (9 topical, 0 hidden)