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Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Flying Pig, Jul 20, 2009.

  1. Patroklos

    Patroklos Deity

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    I don't think the LAW or equivalents are represented in nearly the numbers you see in either old Soviet Forces or ex second world/third world armies.

    I guess if you are invested in human wave tactics and only expect your guys to get off a shot or two, you might as well make it an RPG round instead of a rifle bullet. Bang for your buck!
     
  2. Flying Pig

    Flying Pig Utrinque Paratus

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    Probably right - the Line Infantry pack normally about 2 or 3 per section of 10. Don't know how many the Soviets used to have but it seems like the Taliban have a lot of the things.
     
  3. SS-18 ICBM

    SS-18 ICBM Oscillator

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    If you could have one specific (i.e. not something vague like "reliability") guaranteed characteristic in a service rifle, what would it be?
     
  4. Flying Pig

    Flying Pig Utrinque Paratus

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    I'm assuming that vital statistics such as safety catch, trigger and the like come as standard? It's not easy beyond that; I've fired the SLR and the M16 in anger, and been issued with and fired a more modern SA80, albiet never actually in a combat zone - oh, and I guess you could count the SMLE mark 4 from cadet days. There's no one feature of any of those which really stands out; I liked the larger calibre of the SLR on the range and in many more warlike situations but I can't say that I ever found the M16 inadequate for the tasks we asked of it, although I know that other people have complained that the smaller round doesn't have as much stopping power. Equally I liked the bullpup design on the SA80 (it makes shooting a lot easier and drastically cuts down on weight) but in combat it makes it less effective fitted with a bayonet than the SLR or SMLE, which was practically a spear once fitted up! As such I'm going to say 'a design which contains the minimum of - particularly small - working parts while still being effective'. A lot of soldiers recently complain that the SA80 is too complicated and that the excessive number of parts leads to more stoppages when parts get fouled by carbon - personally I'd just tell them to clean the thing more often, mind!
     
  5. kochman

    kochman Deity

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    Accurate and easy to use sight posts.

    This is kind of a vague question though... I mean, reliability is the most important thing... range is mediocre (I can't see too far clearly anyhow)... accuracy is paramount.

    Rate of fire!

    Caliber...

    So many factors...

    All things being guaranteed to be at least "medium" quality though, I would go for accuracy.
     
  6. Flying Pig

    Flying Pig Utrinque Paratus

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    'Accuracy' is a bit vague! I think he's going for a specific design feature. One feature I did find very impressive was the wedge on the back of the trigger on the SA80 - that means that if it's full of snow, the trigger cuts through and you can still fire.
     
  7. SS-18 ICBM

    SS-18 ICBM Oscillator

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    Can't you use optics to compensate for that? Or you just prefer iron sights?

    I'm fine with characteristics.Being able to put rounds on target is certainly a quantifiable characteristic. If you can be specific, then go ahead.

    You ever had to use it? :)
     
  8. kochman

    kochman Deity

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    Yes, accuracy... that really comes down to the barrel, and it's rifling... so, that's what I would go for...

    Hmmm, the wedge, simple little gadget sure enough. Doesn't hurt to have it!

    Those break. Anyhow, as I mentioned above, if the rounds don't go the same place every time, given the same aim, optics cannot compensate for that.
     
  9. Flying Pig

    Flying Pig Utrinque Paratus

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    Iron sights all the way. There are many reasons why they're better, although a lot of shooters disagree. However, they're wrong.

    In that case: reliable enough to make me feel confident that it will not jam in the course of a day-long firefight, and accurate enough for accurate rapid fire up to 100m, accurate deliberate fire up to at least 400m, and suppressive fire out to at least 600m.

    The only theatre in which I was issued an SA80 was much, much too sunny for snow, but we filed wedges into the back of our M16 triggers on exercise in Norway with the Royals once, and I had my platoon do the same when we went down to the Falklands - of course, down there it was cold enough that the actions themselves mostly froze up!
     
  10. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    So would you say that optical sights have no advantage other than for snipers or low light gear?
     
  11. Flying Pig

    Flying Pig Utrinque Paratus

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    Well, this is a very thorny issue, so if you'll indulge me for a minute - as well as shooting for the Parachute Regiment and the Army, I've been shooting for Wales for some time now, so I like to think I have too much experience just to put it down to 'yes' and 'no'.

    Optical sights make the target appear bigger. You're right to identify the two situations in which this is very much advantageous - at very long range, where the target is too small to be easily seen, and at night, where radioactive compounds are used to allow the rifleman to see the target as if it were illuminated. They are useful in these situations because you simply can't aim at the enemy without one; if you like, they become the least-worst option (another advantage at long range is that the crosshairs are normally marked with minute-deviations from the centre, allowing you to adjust for minor changes in wind and light without coming out of the aim to adjust the sights themselves).

    The reason I prefer iron sights boils down to the causes of innaccurate shooting. In an inexperienced or badly equipped shot, most error is down to the handling - the weapon is moving up and down from the breathing, or the shots will go off laterally because the weapon is twisted, or it's simply shaking around because the shooter doesn't have the support to hold it exactly on target (bearing in mind that a bullseye on a TR target is one-thirtieth of a degree across - you're aiming at an apple from 300m). However, most experienced shooters using a sling (or a bipod, or even the magazine as a monopod, as the Army team used to on the SA80) will have the vast majority of the error coming about from what I call 'point-of-aim deviation' - literally pointing it in the wrong place. This is generally the result of an error in perception of where the centre of the fore-sight actually is (to illustrate this, draw a circle and put a dot in the middle, then measure it to see how close you are).

    Since the deviation is absolute rather than a percentage of the sight (try doing that test with a very big circle and a very small circle, and see what percentage error you have), a sight which magnifies the target by four times also magnifies errors of this sort by four times. With highly exact sights like those you find mounted on the top of sniper rifles, this isn't a problem - the increased precision of the sight itself more than compensates for this effect. However, with sights like the SUSAT which are intentionally not so precise (the Army wants its riflemen to maintain a high rate of reasonably accurate fire rather than take six weeks to take the perfect shot and as a result be unable to suppress the enemy), it becomes very obvious indeed. As such, equipping normal service rifles - in a military such as ours with high standards of marksmanship - with optical sights will lead to a decline in accuracy. Of course, the Army redesigned its marksmanship tests in light of this, and, surprisingly, SUSAT-equipped SA80s are being hailed as the most accurate rifle in the world under these tests.
     
  12. SS-18 ICBM

    SS-18 ICBM Oscillator

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    Wait, what about a reflex sight?
     
  13. Flying Pig

    Flying Pig Utrinque Paratus

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    In my view, they allow either (in the case of big sights) for more centering errors, or (in the case of red dots) for more issues with head position - the 'foresight' is then massively smaller than the rear-sight, whereas in a good target rifle it takes up nearly all of the sight picture - in fact, we use the smallest rear-sight that will allow us to see the target clearly.

    Edited to add that where they excel is in taking a reasonable shot quickly - again, the military's more interested in that, normally, than accuracy in itself.
     
  14. Glassfan

    Glassfan Mostly harmless

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    Agree, overall firepower typically wins over precision accuracy in ground combat. Also, daily wear and tear (bumping, knocking, falling to the ground) drives scopes out of alignment. Leave them to the snipers.

    ps: LHO shot JFK at approximately 88 meters. His rifle had a x4 hunting scope so in effect the shot was 22 meters - a putt. Now 88 meters is a chip shot even with regular iron sights (the closest set of targets at Parris Island is 200 yrds). But the angle of the shot from the sixth story of Texas School Book Depository to JFK on Elm Street moving directly away meant that LHO could put JFK's big fat head onto the lower vertical reticle and let it ride up to the crosshairs.
     
  15. cav scout

    cav scout The Continuum

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    I'm not a huge fan of the M68 CCO. It has parallax problems under 50 meters. This isn't a huge deal at that range really, its just that is was marketed to the army as parallax free. Honestly I think its the back up iron sights that turn me off the most. They just feel clunky.

    There are times that I miss my old M16A2 with iron sights (most often when i'm on the range qualifying... and then I remember how much easier the M4 is to lug around).
     
  16. Borachio

    Borachio Way past lunacy

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  17. Flying Pig

    Flying Pig Utrinque Paratus

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    Oh god! The back-up sights on the SUSAT are a pinhole at the back and a hair at the front, about four inches apart - good luck trying to hit anything at all with that!

    I will say that for the SA80; it's light - I was given one to take on Granby, and although in my role if I was using it something had gone badly wrong (I was a staff officer with one of the joint special forces HQs) it's still essential to carry it just in case (and to create the right 'warzone' mentality in the men, seeing as we had the best part of a squadron of SAS sitting around waiting to be sent on various extremely dangerous patrols), and so it was nice to have something that, well, doesn't weigh anything.

    Hadn't thought of that - we never had a major problem with it on the CWS (the night-sight; although that thing's rubbish enough that I don't think we would have noticed). That said it's a very valid point - sniper rifles are looked after very carefully, to the point that we often keep them in their cases slung on our backs while we patrol, maybe with a normal rifle in hand.
     
  18. Borachio

    Borachio Way past lunacy

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  19. Glassfan

    Glassfan Mostly harmless

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    And on the "lighter side", fatigue has recently (decades) been a consideration in the design and weight of infantry rifles. Just try to imagine the Redcoats lugging those heavy Brown Bess's across the width and breadth of the Empire, taking pot shots from Yanks and Maoris and Boers "out in the midday sun".

    Rifles have had slings for at least two centuries, but it's only been in Iraq and Afghanistan that we've begun noticing those "sling mounts", which carry the rifle at the ready - center chest, freeing up the troopers' hands, and relieving him of the dead weight of the weapon on long patrols. Probably a five dollar item that's priceless in the field.

    Just sayin...
     
  20. Borachio

    Borachio Way past lunacy

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