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  #11  
Old 03-01-2014, 01:05 PM
DaveInGA DaveInGA is offline
 
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JH,

I really wasn't interested in getting into a debate about which is better, but since you opened that can of worms, I'll bite. Answers in quote below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZvenoMan View Post
DaveinGA, great post, but consider this (regarding your last paragraph)
Sure the .30 is more effective past 600 than the .556, but wasn't part of the switch because WWII and Korea data showed the majority of engagements were less at those ranges and more in the 60-300 yard range? If you're saying less than those ranges, yes, the data did show that.

So, a smaller, lighter platform allows more ammo and is best optimized for that range? Ever heard of the .30 carbine? My Father, who was an "Intelligence Man" (WWII Marine version of Scout/Sniper) carried one when he was on scouting missions. Was real handy for those banzai charges. So again, nothing worth debating.

I bet most soldiers in a jungle or CQB environment would pick an M4 over an M14 most days, but in the desert clearly it's another story. So why limit to one, when 2 (proven systems) are soooooooo much better. Which is what my Father carried through most of the war. His other rifle for most of the war was a 1903 sniper rifle. He carried two versions. One of which he described as "having a Unertl scope and one carrying a 4 power scope and being roughly finished, cheaply made to be turned out quick." (1903A4) So he personally had the best of both worlds. And many units had a mix of such weapons, depending on the time period.

Not wanting to open the .556 vs .30 debate, but now we train for the engagements we expect, and equip for them. We can re-equip for longer ranges (.30 platforms like the M14, etc.).Now this is where the stupidity comes in. Long range engagements in jungle environments do happen and we should arrive trained and equipped to deal with them. In fact, a buddy of mine who fought in name, carried an M14, refused to give it up when the M16's showed up. Turned out, it saved his platoon's rear ends one more than one occasion when they ran into gook snipers.

We don;t train for 600-1000 yards, but the skills remain in the inventory.
"in the inventory" is a ******** poor place to have skills and weapons when you're getting your rear shot off by someone who's out of your range. Every man in the squad should have the training to shoot out to the maximum range of opfor's weapons. Combine that with a mix of high powered and medium powered rifles, you've got something that works well.

Sure, our current desert adventures have shown the value of retaining the capability for 600-1000+. Duh, how many good men died in the sandbox due to lack of that capability? It takes time to call in air, artillery, etc. During that time, the enemy can cost our soldier's lives. Nowadays, troops are expensive to train. Better they be fully trained and properly equipped right from the git go.

But my opinion is that the history shows the adoption of the .556 to have been a good decision. Had we retained the .30 platforms through SEA, Panama, etc. there would be some debate as well. Right here is where I see you misinterpreted what I wrote. My thinking was we should have retained the ability to shoot out to 1000 yards and have platforms to do so, aka the .308 AR that is now available as a sniper rifle and I sincerely hope as a squad designated marksman rifle. But the subject was about the ability to shoot at long distances and I'm seeing more and more postings by younger men on shooting forums who think one needs scopes to shoot at those ranges when in truth, with proper training, they do not.

As long as we study the history, data, and technology and continue to adapt and have capabilities for different environments we will prevail, when we let politics, ego and $$$ decide, ouch......Fact is, every single decision related to weapons is affected by politics, money, the ego's involved and to some degree, by the history, data and technology. See the OH-58 and "Ladybird Johnson" for more details on such decisions.

And as near as I can tell, history, data and technology are dictating we should be considering a two caliber system. One for shorter ranges and one for long, built on the same platform with as many interchangeable parts as possible. Sadly, Gene Stoner, our last great weapons genius, designed such a system, but the military didn't buy it and should have. Wait, they did - after he died.
So basically you were arguing to the choir, except I believe you should train every man to shoot to 1000 yards. So that if that man carrying the long range weapon falls, another man can pick it up and continue to provide the squad a long distance option when needed. And it will be needed, at some point, no matter where on the planet you are.
  #12  
Old 03-01-2014, 01:50 PM
ZvenoMan ZvenoMan is offline
 
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Dave, I didn't say I made the decision, I am just stating why (as I understand it) it was made. The logic seems sound. The FACT that some chose not to continue training (as you mention, should all be trained to shoot to 1000?) is not a decision I agree with, for the same reasons as you mention.
Designing a weapon system is simple, many talented engineers and corporations are capable of doing so.
Rolling it out and maintaining it are where the stories are made.
Look at the M16; well designed and tested, but when issued without cleaning equipment and when the ammo was swapped to a higher residue propellent, for it;s first widespread combat employment, that was "a problem", and many, to this day blame the weapon system itself when as history has shown, it was easily corrected. It shouldn't have to have been, but there it is.
I believe (fortunately I am not in charge of much....) that for this discussion, 2 systems, a smaller CQB style platform, and a larger long range designated marksman/sniper system (and associated support such as LMGs, air support, indirect fire, etc......) is the way we should train and equip.
What those weapons should be is irrelevant; we have the M4 and M14 (great base, but needs 21st century update or replacement for "attachments"), but we could evolve them, deploy one of the universal lego platforms, whatever.
But we didn't, we don't currently so we are where we are.
I'm pretty sure most wars are fought with equipment best suited for the last war.

JH

Last edited by ZvenoMan; 03-01-2014 at 01:50 PM. Reason: decimal problem, again!
  #13  
Old 03-01-2014, 09:44 PM
CNCprogrammer CNCprogrammer is offline
 
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25 years ago I and a friend used to shoot my Remington '03 (not 03A3) at 1000 yards at a 55 gal. drum sized target. A couple of shots to get sights adjusted for current conditions (temp, pressure, humidity, wind) and we could drop the rounds in there. The ladder sight is good enough and rifle accurate enough for a competent (practiced) marksman to make kills at the distances mentioned in France in WWI.
  #14  
Old 03-02-2014, 04:02 PM
fartblossom1953 fartblossom1953 is offline
 
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Other than the current sniper schools the military operates a lot of the average soldiers ability to engage long range targets with a 30 cal or largely or larger caliber was lost to progress. The military doesn't bother with the level of position shooting with a sling as in the past, they put a bipod on. Why shoot iron sights, use an optic or halo for heavier recoil rifles. That being said, I like the current ethos with military marksmanship since it helps me against 20 year old eyes at CMP matches where the caliber and rifles sights are stipulated. Recoil is my friend not theirs.
  #15  
Old 03-03-2014, 08:31 AM
Just Me Just Me is offline
 
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I'm sure you all do realize that every marine that I know of qualifies with iron sights out to 500 yards. We would routinely hit 10 shots in a row in the bull in the prone position using slings only (can't rest your rifle on a sandbag).

Most of us relied on the 500 yard marksmanship to boost our scores. I do not doubt that 800-1000 yards is achievable by a good percentage of marines of today, or 80 years ago. Especially if you can rest your rifle on a solid object.

I also don't doubt that Marines of any year would not pass on the challenge for some long distance jousting.
  #16  
Old 03-03-2014, 08:37 AM
Just Me Just Me is offline
 
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Oh my, I just learned that the USMC has transitioned to optics for qualification at the range. So scratch what I said earlier, Marines have been using iron sights for 237 out of 239 years.
  #17  
Old 03-03-2014, 09:09 AM
horticattleman horticattleman is offline
 
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WHAT! Optics? Well I am proud to say I used iron sights at 500 yds and hit hit hit. I d remember thinking in boot camp that it was impossible, but after learning the principle of how to do it it was actually quite easy.

And speaking of Belleau Wood, we earned the name Devil Dogs there for a reason!
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  #18  
Old 03-03-2014, 09:35 AM
ZvenoMan ZvenoMan is offline
 
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Maybe they added an optics stage because optics are pretty much standard now?

But does this really mean they no longer qualify with iron sights? I would find this hard to believe.
JH
  #19  
Old 03-03-2014, 09:40 AM
horticattleman horticattleman is offline
 
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Especially considering we were always told iron sights was the only way. Never rely on anything else incase it broke.....
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Participating in a gun buyback program because you think criminals have too many guns is like having yourself castrated because you think your neighbor has too many kids.

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  #20  
Old 03-03-2014, 11:15 AM
cannonshooter cannonshooter is offline
 
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If our beloved Corps has done away with teaching Marines how to shoot at 500 yds with iron sights then when Mr. Murphy shows up and the optics break and they need to practice the AT&T philosophy of reach out and touch someone long distance they will not be ready. The Army does not train every soldier past 300 yds and they suffer when it comes to longer engagements. Now if the Corps is doing the same thing we too will suffer.
Mack
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