Spray and pray, or aimed shots in "real" combat?


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The Real Hawkeye
May 11, 2006, 10:14 PM
Someone on another thread commented that in combat the best approach is spray and pray, and that this is what he sees when he sees images of real combat, so that must be the best approach. That fact, however, doesn't necessarily mean that's the best approach, and I've seen plenty of footage of professionals in combat taking carefully aimed shots with an AK or other weapon. That is the most effective way to use one, in fact. You should not, in my opinion, pull the trigger unless your sights are lined up on something. Otherwise, you are just wasting ammo. Anyone have a different opinion?

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goon
May 11, 2006, 10:44 PM
I wouldn't really support just haphazardly sending rounds all over the place but I wouldn't say that you should always have your sights lined up on something either. If someone were firing in my general direction I wouldn't know whether they were aiming or not. All I would know is that bullets were hitting near me. Since getting shot is generally a bad thing, I would want to not get shot and probably take action to avoid that. That would decrease my ability to accurately fire my own rifle. So I disagree that firing without sighting is always just a waste of ammo.

Niner
May 11, 2006, 11:23 PM
I never was sure what this meant although it makes pretty good sense in one way that it can be taken.

Have you ever "aimed" at a soda can with a pistol and as you fired off multiple rounds you saw the rounds hit the dirt and walked the rounds into the can? Kind of like taking a water hose with the water turned on and "walking" it to the tomato plant.

In combat... in Vietnam as I knew it... people shot at a point of fire received more than at somebody, most of the time, unless it was up close and personal. All those sniper books are something else, mostly bull sh...t. And the best thing about a semi or fully auto rifle is that you can watch the hits move, like spaying a garden hose, into the target. It isn't the same as one shot and one kill. It is a dfferent thing.

You give fire also to "surpress" fire. If you are shooting back in the general direction the other guy probably has his head down . That gives you an advantage. You don't have to be the best shot. You just have to have the best firepower.

trickyasafox
May 11, 2006, 11:58 PM
i prefer the term "while there is lead in the air, there is hope"

The Real Hawkeye
May 12, 2006, 12:03 AM
good points. I have to admit I hadn't considered some of them.

SnakeEater
May 12, 2006, 12:22 AM
It's called "suppressive fire". Upon initial contact lay down suppressive fire to disrupt the bad guys ability to take well aimed shots. Some lucky hits might occur, but the real damage is done by those cool few who actually aim after being engaged.

Seraph
May 12, 2006, 12:24 AM
Suppressive fire allows soldiers to maneuvre more freely upon the enemy, by making it dangerous for the enemy to raise his head up to return fire. If you can achieve a superior volume of threatening fire, you will likely suppress the enemy's attempts to move or fire upon you. This is why infantry tactics tend to involve the use of high volume weapons, such as MG's and SAW's, to suppress the enemy, while other elements, such as rifle marksmen, are maneuvred into positions of advantage, from which to make decisive kills. A terrorist running around, firing full auto, with his AK held high up over his head, is using Spray and Pray, and he and his side will probably lose. A soldier who shoulders his weapon, and quickly fires bursts in the direction of the enemy, perhaps using only his front sight base to aim, is employing Suppressive Fire. His shots are probably landing threateningly close to the enemy,

MM
May 12, 2006, 12:30 AM
This technique is especially effective when using 16" naval guns !
SatCong

Limeyfellow
May 12, 2006, 12:57 AM
As others have said its merely suppressive fire techniques in use and using volume fire at target areas. Nothing really new about it. The tactics have been used for over a century.

LAK
May 12, 2006, 06:54 AM
Suppressive fire is a calculated tactic applied to specific targets or target areas. Not a good general practice.

In works discussing and recounting everything from general warfare to sniping it has been suggested that the average rounds fired for each enemy dead was 25,000 in WW2, 50,000 in the Korean War and 100,000 during the Vietnam War. By far the most cost effective efforts during the Vietnam War were sniping activities, where approximately 1.3 rounds were fired for each enemy dead.

While it is improbable that an entire army could be trained to produce such results, certainly an army intensely schooled in marksmanship and provided the right tools could do much better than 25,000 rounds per enemy dead.

Some of the best accounts of the effective emplyment of rifles and marksmanship can be found in accounts of the Great Boer War. Aside from the use of shrapnel shells, Maxims etc, volume rifle fire was used suppressively and effectively at individual targets at distances ranging from very close out to a thousand yards or more.

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redneck2
May 12, 2006, 07:04 AM
If you're of the "one shot, one kill" theory, you'd never use automatic weapons

1911 guy
May 12, 2006, 07:57 AM
While I think that if you're alone it's not a good idea to spend too much effort suppressing fire at the expense of killing the enemy, it has a wide application in actual warfare. We used six man fire teams, everyone having a different role depending on where you were in the line-up. One automatic rife man, two to give suppressive fire when others were reloading, three to get hits. Since the Navy doesn't get saws, our auto man was the guy who flipped his switch. Yes, USN gets full auto M-16's not three round burst models. This allowed us to switch the line up at any time, except when we had a larger force and had an M-60 in tow. Then, switching up wasn't as much of an issue because you had more rifles on the line.

1 old 0311
May 12, 2006, 08:24 AM
Gaining fire superiority is critical in a ambush. Also when they are 'in the wire.' Other than that aimed fire is the way to go.

Kevin

dfaugh
May 12, 2006, 09:04 AM
As mentioned there's a time and a place for both...Full auto (especially from a SAW or heavy machine gun) is useful to keep the enemies "heads down" while maneuvering, etc. But, you'll see the the real "shooters" using aimed fire, when they have good cover and defined targets.

The Real Hawkeye
May 12, 2006, 09:14 AM
So, if I am understanding you all, if I only had a six man team, and I had four accurate centerfire rifles (say, four Winchester Model 70s), and two Ruger 10/22s with high cap mags, four highly experienced shooters, and two somewhat less accomplished shooters, the most efficient use of my resources would be to assign the two less skilled shooters the 10/22s and make their job laying down suppressive fire, while the other four take the accurate centerfire rifles with which they would find advantageous positions and wait for enemy heads to pop up over cover to pick off.

Niner
May 12, 2006, 09:50 AM
Going to war with a 10/22 isn't an altogether good idea..... but remember...if the other side has a forward observer, or has air support, you are in deep trouble no matter what small arms you have. :)

The Real Hawkeye
May 12, 2006, 10:01 AM
Going to war with a 10/22 isn't an altogether good idea..... but remember...if the other side has a forward observer, or has air support, you are in deep trouble no matter what small arms you have.No, dude, not war, per se. Let's say, however, you have a ranch on which some heavily armed pot growers are located, and action is required right away, for some reason (e.g., your boys are camping out in that area). You have six men, including yourself, and the six rifles I mentioned. What's the best use of your available resources? The .22s are certainly able to cause people to take cover, even out to 250 yards. Just aim high. I can make the sand kick up where I want it at 250 yards with a .22, and anyone at the receiving end is going to hear lots of pings and pongs. Once they have taken cover, the guys with the accurate rifles can take shooting positions for carefully aimed shots, while the cover fire continues. What's wrong with the strategy? I have fifty round mags for the 10/22s, by the way, in this hypo.

PS This is ALL hypothetical. I don't even own a 10/22, though I do have several Model 70s.

pcf
May 12, 2006, 03:32 PM
The ability to mass fires has been essential to organized fighting units since spears were thrown and arrows launched.

Someone on another thread commented that in combat the best approach is spray and pray, and that this is what he sees when he sees images of real combat, so that must be the best approach.

Wouldn't "best" be the way that efficiently accomplishes the mission with the smallest amount of acceptable losses?

In works discussing and recounting everything from general warfare to sniping it has been suggested that the average rounds fired for each enemy dead was 25,000 in WW2, 50,000 in the Korean War and 100,000 during the Vietnam War. By far the most cost effective efforts during the Vietnam War were sniping activities, where approximately 1.3 rounds were fired for each enemy dead.

Nearly 7 out of every 100 men in WWII would become a casualty. 2.5 out of every 100 men would become a casualty in Vietnam. Counting bullets is an asinine way to measure the efficiency or "cost effectiveness" of war.

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2004-1/574869/IWOMachinegun.jpg
A Machine Gunner on Iwo Jima

30-06 lover
May 12, 2006, 03:46 PM
Spay and pray has it's worth. I am currently trying to become an LEO and am taking numerous classes for a degree in the field. One of the instructors (A man that changed my life) is a recently retired LEO. He stated to me that he had been in several shootouts during his time as a LEO, and spray and pray saved his butt a few times, as well as some civilians. He said he was the first to arrive at an active shooter scene where civilians were stuck hiding from the active shooter. He got to a location where the civilians were and told them to run out of the area when he started firing. He got into position stood up just enough, then emptied the mag as fast as he could. He told me that once the active shooter started taking rounds, he hit the floor for cover, giving the civilians time to escape. My instructor told me that once he and another officer got the area cleared, they waited for good shots and took him out...I believe he shot twice and the other officer once...three hits, two seconds, no more bad guy.

Spray and pray can work and has it's place, but for most shooting, aimed shots are much better.
-Mike

Byron
May 12, 2006, 03:50 PM
If an enemy is in your vision,eliminate. If return fire is coming from a specfic to general area,fire in that area.Spray and pray waste too much ammo and resupply can be hard from the air. It is no fun running to get crates of ammo a chopper just kicked out overshooting where your company is. Byron

AndyC
May 12, 2006, 06:30 PM
Sometimes suppressive fire is all one can do - did a fair amount of this (controlled, aimed semi-auto fire) during ambushes of our convoy in Iraq. Full-auto was only from the SAW and it was still very controlled.

Vern Humphrey
May 12, 2006, 07:10 PM
I wouldn't really support just haphazardly sending rounds all over the place but I wouldn't say that you should always have your sights lined up on something either.

In combat you don't often see live enemy soldiers. As a company commander, I trained my troops to vizualize a shallow box. The bottom of the box is the line where you know there are no enemy that close, the top is where you know there are no enemy above that. The right and left sides of the box are your limits.

1. No automatic firing (except as noted below.) Firing an M16 full auto will cost you $50 (in 1960s dollars!)

2. You should see someone else shooting into your box. If you don't, widen your sector.

3. In most cases, the box will be 2 to 4 front sights high (try it from a prone position.)

4. Platoon leaders and squad leaders carry magazines full of tracer ammo:
a. Mark sectors with two shots at the left limit, two at the right limit and two in the center. (this pattern allows people who don't see all the tracers to estimate the sector.)
b. Steady firing at one point means "everyone shoot at this point."
c. Full auto tracer fire at one point means "machineguns engage this target."
d. Cease fire is by word of mouth.

5. Without specific commands or an indication of an enemy position, cover your sector, using aimed, closely spaced shots.

6. When a target is suspected, cover that area with very closely spaced shots.

James T Thomas
May 12, 2006, 07:25 PM
An interesting post; one of personal interest.
My experience was as a combat platoon leader; Co.D, 2/7 Cav. First Air Cav. Divison, Vietnam, 1968-'69. During my tour of duty, I served with three Co's, and more Lt's than I care to remember. That is, all these men were KIA; the officer's were first to go. We battled the NVA mostly, the VC were no match for any of the good US units.

SnakeEater: We were never able to disrupt the bad guy's ability to take well aimed shots, though I'm sure we forced him to do it quicker, and therefor, less accurate. The men who lived, and became "veterans" -very soon too, hardened themselves to "take aim after being engaged," just as you said, and that is what made us formidable. I found that generaly the men who were hunters, backwoodsmen, and that type were the most capable. However, I did have a few urban types who were exceptions; e.g. NYC, etc.

Seraph: Your conception of supp. fire as allowing soldiers to maneuver more freely is what I observed. It gets the enemy down and restricts their movement; rather than ducking their head and precluding them from exchanging fire. That is the difference in this thread I am reading.
Often with the initial moments of fire men will take cover, but the vets will in a moment get a view of the battle so that they can defend themselves. Even when the rounds are kicking up dirt nearby.
These men have "steeled" themselves; guts, courage, determination.
"Pinning" fire is an actuality. "Suppressive Fire" is a myth!

SatKong: Never heard the Missouri's sixteen inchers, but would have loved to called them in. Have been near enough to "Arc Strikes" 500 lb. bombs to feel like an earthquake, and watch the sky become overcast with the dirt churned up.

LAK: I had to constantly enforce fire discipline amoung the men I had responsibility for, and as they became seasoned, then, after that, only with the "FNG;" ...New Guys. Our ratio of shots fired to enemy dead was no where near 100,000. I would estmate five enemy soldiers per magazine. The 20 rounders.

By the way, you AR shooters with the 30 round magazines. Instead of posturing at the range with those, try lying prone, and see it those mags don't interfere with leveling and shouldering your rifle. They also instill in your mind the "spray and pray" phenomenon that we are discussing.

When you are frightened, very frightened, the normal response is to make a show. Fire a lot and make horrendous, but useless, noise.
We had the "flip the switch" full auto capability, that 1911 guy mentioned, and could uselessly empty a magazine at the press of the trigger.
Difficult as it is to believe; even at close -jungle distances, the full auto "spraying" did not result in an enemy casualty most of the time.
Our army; military had, at one time, been trained to "produce such results" that well aimed fire can get, (LAK) but it also requires discipline; experienced combat vets to set the example. Leadership.

Kevin Quinlan: I was caught in a cleverly laid, company size ambush, and caught with such ferocity, it is almost impossible to gain fire superiority.
If they are "in the wire" they are at such a disadvantage, then, I agree, "aimed fire" is the way to go. Even if there are waves of them.

30-06 lover: "Spray and Pray" may cause the inexperienced soldier to take cover, but not the man who has been there and knows. He will quickly take aim and kill you. Trust me.

Byron: Had been in an all day long battle, and got down low to where resupply was critically requested. We did get up and get those crates, at great risk and some casualties, but by then, those poor "spray and pray" men were gone, and those who remained had learned that hard lesson of fire discipline. Please drop me a personal about what unit you were with and some of your experiences, if you want.

Sincerely, Jim Thomas.

Vern Humphrey
May 12, 2006, 07:34 PM
30-06 lover: "Spray and Pray" may cause the inexperienced soldier to take cover, but not the man who has been there and knows. He will quickly take aim and kill you. Trust me.

Amen.

Against trained, battle-hardened troops, "suppressive fire" must be killing fire. You can't scare good troops by shooting over their heads. Your shots must be slamming into their cover and ricocheting off the paraphet, and giving them the choice of stay down or die.

The Real Hawkeye
May 12, 2006, 08:50 PM
Wow! That's what's great about this site. Ask a question, and you get people with real world experience answering it.

Dan Morris
May 12, 2006, 09:02 PM
Back in another life....1964, I was trained to do accurate aimed fire. As I am still here, ...42 years later, it must have worked!
JMO
Dan

arjppj
May 13, 2006, 12:06 AM
haven't been in war, but i have played a lot of paintball. by the time you get set on something and take your sweet time making sure your right on, you get popped by 3 paintballs. The only difference is i can wash off and jump in the next game. I think i would be a spray and pray kinda guy.

1911 guy
May 13, 2006, 12:14 AM
If you're rattling lead into every shrub and bush, you may not be keeping your enemy at bay. Suppressive fire has to be close enough, as Vern Humphrey said "slamming into their cover and ricocheting off the parapet", to be of any use. Fire landing thirty feet away isn't going to keep me from sticking my neck out. Pinging around the rock I'm hiding behind will.

Lebben-B
May 13, 2006, 07:46 AM
Enemy exposures are fleeting, particularly in an urban area. Just because you took fire from only one BG in one window or doorway does't mean that that's the only BG in the building. So supressive fire is used on that floor/section of the building to allow the assaulters to get into a position to take down the building, if necessary. And "Pray and spray" is a poor nick-name for supressive fire. All shots should be aimed, if not at a definite target then at an area of suspected/expected activity as directed by the TL/SL/PL. More precisely, supressive fire is a form of area fire.

Mike

Niner
May 13, 2006, 08:11 AM
Here's another feeble thought. Nobody has mentioned light conditions..or lack thereof. A long time ago, in the delta of Vietnam, a lot of contacts happened at night. A platoon would split into two sections and go off under cover of darkness to preselected ambush locations and setup for the night.

Now...in those days only snipers had starlight scopes mounted to their M14's. The rest had M16's, M40s, an M60...all with iron sights. Try taking your rifle shooting at night with iron sights. Try some thick overgrown area, away from any city lights. Try a night with little or no moon or in the pouring rain. At best what you are doing is pointing, not aiming. It helps to have a tracer round every few in your magazine though.

By the way, in those days first contact wasn't made by shooting. First contact was made by claymore, then shooting. Particular enphasis was given to the M60 machinegun. The M60 gave a comforting meaning to "spray". :D

LAK
May 13, 2006, 08:20 AM
The Real Hawkeye,

I think your conclusion concerning the hypothetical scanario is quite accurate. The employment of .22 rimfires in this way is quite cost effective in general terms. .22 ammunition is cheap and can be plentiful on hand. Two people alternately shooting and loading could put up a very effective barrage out to moderate ranges. Pistols with plenty of spare mags could be equally effective at shorter distances.

pcfNearly 7 out of every 100 men in WWII would become a casualty. 2.5 out of every 100 men would become a casualty in Vietnam. Counting bullets is an asinine way to measure the efficiency or "cost effectiveness" of war.
Most of those general casualties were the result of morter, shell and bomb fragments.

The thread topic concerns the employment of small arms. Counting bullets is a measure of efficiency in enemy dead for small arms rounds expended.

While heavy shell fire and bombs have doubtless been a significant morale killer in warefare, it is noteworthy that people like Capt Herbert McBride wrote in his account of WW1 that the greatest morale killer was aimed rifle fire.

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Byron
May 13, 2006, 09:08 AM
James and Vern's comments are well made. Low on the ground made me less of a target.The 20 round magazines (we loaded 18 per mag) did not keep the profile up. We operated deep in the Central Highlands. Ours was a free fire area. Our CO, Capt Militon Daugherty taught us fire discipline.It was his third tour in Nam as the first two were as a Senior NCO w/SF. Knowing when not to shoot was as important as knowing when to. Our 60 gunners were very disciplined in their firing. I was blessed to be in a company of excellent officers. I was a draftee and a PFC but learned from the Old timers quickly. Byron http://4id-dragoons-nam.us/947.html

colt.45
May 13, 2006, 11:08 AM
your right, you should always take well aimed shots. but there is a thing called "suppresive fire" where you just point and shoot off a bunch of rounds to make the badguy go for cover. this gives you time to moove and or waid for him to pop up so you can put one in his head.

thats why we invented full-auto weapons.

Vern Humphrey
May 13, 2006, 11:21 AM
but there is a thing called "suppresive fire" where you just point and shoot off a bunch of rounds to make the badguy go for cover. this gives you time to moove and or waid for him to pop up so you can put one in his head.

Unaimed "suppressive fire" isn't.

Would you cower in terror until the enemy killed you, because a few rounds passed over your head? Of course not!

Rattling off rounds in the general direction of the enemy may make our guys feel better, but it has no effect other than that.

Suppressive fire to be effective must be killing fire. It only suppresses if you force the enemy to choose between immedate death or staying under cover.

Automatic fire from bipod mounted machineguns directed at the immediate area around a suspected target is effective. Tripod mounted machineguns, properly used, are very effective. But full automatic fire from hand-held weapons is useless.

And all fire is meant to kill. If it isn't, it's just wasted ammunition.

kennyboy
May 13, 2006, 11:32 AM
Aimed shots are generally taken on the traditional open battlefields, unless laying down suppressive or covering fire. However, in jungle or densely covered environments, spray and pray tactics are used because the enemy may not be visible and aimed shots are just as good as unaimed, sprayed shots.

Vern Humphrey
May 13, 2006, 11:56 AM
Aimed shots are generally taken on the traditional open battlefields, unless laying down suppressive or covering fire. However, in jungle or densely covered environments, spray and pray tactics are used because the enemy may not be visible and aimed shots are just as good as unaimed, sprayed shots.

Virtually all of my fighting has been in jungles. I made it a policy to charge soldiers $50 for firing an M16 on full auto.

I trained soldiers to visualize "the box" as I explained in an earlier post. The box is the target -- the top of the box is the limit above which the enemy cannot be, the bottom is the limit below which he cannot be. Try lying down, and you'll see the box is usually two to four front sights high.

The ends of the box are the right and left limits. Place closely spaced aimed shots into the box, and you're killing. If you see signs of enemy -- a bit of haze, dust, brush moving, shoot at that. Shoot carefully all around it -- you'll find a body or a blood trail there after the fight.

I trained platoon leaders and squad leaders to control fire, and we practiced it. We got very good at killing.

The Grand Inquisitor
May 13, 2006, 12:18 PM
Spray and Pray versus aimed fire is pretty relative based upon situation and load out. If you have a PKM with a full drum, and three belts and there is a group of Mujahedin swarming you, it sounds like a good idea to lay down as much suppresive fire to slow them down, allow for a hasty retreat, and, if you're lucky, hit someone.

But, if you have and AK74 and you're on a ridge over looking a small Muj base camp, you'd be better off firing careful aimed shots to hopefully ensure at least one or two hits/kills versus laying down 2 or 3 mags of ammo, giving up your groups position, and starting a pitched battle without wounding anyone.


It's all a matter of situation- I don't buy in to the whole "lone wolf, one shot one kill" sniper fantasy, but a trained maskman with a PSL, SVD, or M14/21 can do wonders for his company at 250-500 yards. Being a good shot also applies to being a machine gunner - firing your PKM or SAW wildly without trying to keep on target is just going to get you killed or waste alot of ammo and barrels.

Diomed
May 13, 2006, 12:58 PM
While heavy shell fire and bombs have doubtless been a significant morale killer in warefare, it is noteworthy that people like Capt Herbert McBride wrote in his account of WW1 that the greatest morale killer was aimed rifle fire.

Was McBride referring to fire from the average rifleman or from snipers? Recall that the Germans had specialists - snipers - in play for some time before the Brits figured out there was a specific reason, and not just bad luck, for the "plague of head wounds".

colt.45
May 13, 2006, 01:10 PM
im not talking about just blindly shooting anywhere. just taking less time on your shots and being more aggressive on the trigger. if bullets are flying in your general direction, and you have cover, you WILL take it. unless of course you have been trained to ignore your basic instincts.

dont laugh, but i play woods paintball and people dont think normally when theyre under fire. aggressiveness andmental games are the real ultimate battle tactic, most people get so scared when they get charged that they forget that they can fight back. if i even shoot in their general direction, they hide.

Vern Humphrey you are one of the few people here that have seen combat, and i respect that. im just telling you my ideas and experiences.

Vern Humphrey
May 13, 2006, 03:59 PM
Spray and Pray versus aimed fire is pretty relative based upon situation and load out. If you have a PKM with a full drum, and three belts and there is a group of Mujahedin swarming you, it sounds like a good idea to lay down as much suppresive fire to slow them down, allow for a hasty retreat, and, if you're lucky, hit someone.

If it doesn't kill, it doesn't suppress. And you can't run away any faster than they can chase you.

If you have a machinegun, use controlled bursts at known or suspected enemy locations.

MNgoldenbear
May 13, 2006, 04:28 PM
PS This is ALL hypothetical. I don't even own a 10/22, though I do have several Model 70s.
Come now, Hawkeye, how can you NOT have AT LEAST ONE 10/22 lying around somewhere? Get with the program! ;) :D

Byron
May 13, 2006, 05:32 PM
When I joined D Co, 3/8th Inf,4th Inf Div, I knew I was in the worst of conditions. I was thankful so many were old timers in my platoon. Recently I was able to meet with the prior platoon sgt of my platoon which was on his third tour.What he instilled in 3rd platoon carried on when I left the field.When Capt Daugherty took over, it was natural not to consider full auto, it was a non issue. The link I placed in my last post gives a brief description of March 5,1969. In the last few years we have been finding each other and most of all Capt Daugherty.

Cosmoline
May 13, 2006, 05:51 PM
Spray and pray as I think of it is UNAIMED wild firing in the general direction of what you think might be the enemy. It's a stupid waste of ammo. Supressive fire is aimed and coordinated shooting at a particular position, usually to keep the enemy pinned down while bringing a tank, artillery or airstrike in to destroy them. They are two very different things.

The best example of "spray and pray" firing I can think of comes from a film shot during the Tet Offensive, where one US soldier is lying in a ditch holding his rifle over his head and blindly shooting at a tower about 300 yards away. All that sort of thing does is tell the enemy exactly where you are.

Lebben-B
May 13, 2006, 05:54 PM
If it doesn't kill, it doesn't suppress. And you can't run away any faster than they can chase you.

If you have a machinegun, use controlled bursts at known or suspected enemy locations.

Preach it!

The Real Hawkeye
May 13, 2006, 06:02 PM
Come now, Hawkeye, how can you NOT have AT LEAST ONE 10/22 lying around somewhere? Get with the program!Yeah, I know, blasphemy. I used to have one, but sold it years ago. Have a Taurus semi auto .22 now. Like it almost as much.

LAK
May 14, 2006, 04:13 PM
DiomedWas McBride referring to fire from the average rifleman or from snipers? Recall that the Germans had specialists - snipers - in play for some time before the Brits figured out there was a specific reason, and not just bad luck, for the "plague of head wounds".
IIRC McBride simply referred to it as aimed rifle fire. Someone with their sights lined up and planted on you, as it were.

And I would feel the same way. When a plane drops bombs or artillery shells fall there is are elements of random chance. If someone lines up their sights on you and sends a bullet directly at you - things are alittle more certain.

The British army has had many a harsh lesson in a number of major conflicts - many of them repeats.

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Diomed
May 14, 2006, 09:02 PM
LAK -

Interesting, since (if I remember correctly) most non-artillery related combat wounds and deaths came from machine gun fire, not rifle fire. I'd have to check to be sure on that, though.

The British army has had many a harsh lesson in a number of major conflicts - many of them repeats.

Considering aimed rifle fire had been giving them complete freakouts fifteen years earlier, it is pretty perplexing that it would be a continuing problem in WWI. (I guess I find the simplistic "Machine guns!" explanation comforting somehow. :))

LAK
May 15, 2006, 03:28 AM
Diomed,

Incidently, on the subject of the rifle in battle; while he seems best known for his fiction, Arthur Conan Doyle's work, The Great Boer War is an excellent read. A very good balance of the more technical aspects of the fighting - along with the political and other aspects of the war.

One of the best IMO.

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