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Thread: Sniping in the beginning

  1. #1
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    Sniping in the beginning

    Read an interesting article in The American Rifleman on-line magazine:
    https://www.americanrifleman.org/art...niping-part-5/
    The article outlines some of the equipment problems that the snipers had to overcome, e.g., using standard issue ammo in a SMLE with an off-set scope (off-set so that the rifle would fit the regulations requiring it to be ready for charger loading). Despite the problems, in the trenches in WWI, the time for a sniper to locate the target aim and fire a shot was about 3 seconds and the distances were up to 300 yards.
    There is also info about a book (Sniping in France, with notes on the scientific training of scouts, observers, and snipers
    by Prichard, Hesketh Vernon Hesketh) written on the subject which is available as a free download from the net:
    https://archive.org/details/snipinginfrancew00pricrich

  2. #2
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    Interesting re SMLE's used having to be accurate to 2 MOA at 100yds, I'll read the book to see if there is anything on how they achieved that one.

    Offset scopes do have one theoretical advantage: shooter keeps his head down!

  3. #3
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    Good read, a lot of those hard learnt lessons will still be forming the ground work of sniping today

  4. #4
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    read this book if you get a chance . . . starts at the 15th century and comes thru to the present, particularly good section on the American Cval War.

    Sniping - The History of Sniping and Sharpshooting

    R
    without a picture . .. it never happened !

  5. #5
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    Understanding your enemy??
    Background to John Sedgwick's last words

    Major-General John Sedgwick was an important figure in the American Civil War and was considered by his men to be a brave and inspiring leader. Nevertheless, the general public would now be unaware of him but for the rather unfortunate assertion he made just before dying.

    At the U.S. Civil War skirmish of Spotsylvania Court House, Sedgwick was deploying his men to face the enemy, with Confederate snipers hindering their preparations. His statement "They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance" are probably some of the best-known of all 'famous last words'. They may sound contrived, but are in fact precisely what he said just before being shot. The alternative version "They couldn't hit an elephant at this dist..." is apocryphal and an elaboration made for comic effect, as is made clear by this verbatim report made by General McMahon, who was at Sedgwick's side at his untimely death.

    I gave the necessary order to move the troops to the right, and as they rose to execute the movement the enemy opened a sprinkling fire, partly from sharp-shooters. As the bullets whistled by, some of the men dodged. The general said laughingly, "What! what! men, dodging this way for single bullets! What will you do when they open fire along the whole line? I am ashamed of you. They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance." A few seconds after, a man who had been separated from his regiment passed directly in front of the general, and at the same moment a sharp-shooter's bullet passed with a long shrill whistle very close, and the soldier, who was then just in front of the general, dodged to the ground. The general touched him gently with his foot, and said, "Why, my man, I am ashamed of you, dodging that way," and repeated the remark, "They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance." The man rose and saluted and said good-naturedly, "General, I dodged a shell once, and if I hadn't, it would have taken my head off. I believe in dodging. "The general laughed and replied, "All right, my man; go to your place."

    For a third time the same shrill whistle, closing with a dull, heavy stroke, interrupted our talk; when, as I was about to resume, the general's face turned slowly to me, the blood spurting from his left cheek under the eye in a steady stream. He fell in my direction ; I was so close to him that my effort to support him failed, and I fell with him.

    As McMahon makes clear, Sedgwick's actual final utterance was "All right, my man; go to your place", but his preceding sentence is just too good to ignore in any collection of last words.
    Scouser and rossi.45 like this.
    Boom, cough,cough,cough

  6. #6
    Member rossi.45's Avatar
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    estimated to be a 1000yrd shot . . . and surprisingly, considereing the gear the sharp shooters had, it was not an uncommon distance, there were longer shots
    without a picture . .. it never happened !

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    An indication of the larger magnum cartridges/calibres being used today.
    Probably a Sharps or similar 50 calibre - assuming the range estimation of 1000 yards is reasonably correct.
    1000 yards (2/3 of a mile), a man would be a very small target at that distance - a lucky shot in my opinion.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by WallyR View Post
    An indication of the larger magnum cartridges/calibres being used today.
    Probably a Sharps or similar 50 calibre - assuming the range estimation of 1000 yards is reasonably correct.
    1000 yards (2/3 of a mile), a man would be a very small target at that distance - a lucky shot in my opinion.
    Certainty an element of luck but also a man with a very good knowledge of his rifle, load and the conditions. A well calculated shot with nothing to loose and everything to gain.
    When there's lead in the air there's hope.
    WallyR likes this.

  9. #9
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    The Whitworth rifle was used with great effect at 1400 yards and was often used with great accuracy at over a mile There are some great civil war stories about the Whitworth. The above story is one of them
    WallyR and rossi.45 like this.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by WallyR View Post
    a lucky shot in my opinion.
    you should really read about their exploits before you call it luck . . . its a remarkable read and highly recommended for anyone enterested in riflemen

    R.
    Maca49 and WallyR like this.
    without a picture . .. it never happened !

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by WallyR View Post
    An indication of the larger magnum cartridges/calibres being used today.
    Probably a Sharps or similar 50 calibre - assuming the range estimation of 1000 yards is reasonably correct.
    1000 yards (2/3 of a mile), a man would be a very small target at that distance - a lucky shot in my opinion.
    Wally no fluke I shoot like that all the time! Heavy barrel smooth bore slug BP rifles. I want one!
    WallyR likes this.
    Boom, cough,cough,cough

  12. #12
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    As far as lucky shots go, I think it was the golfer, Gary Player that said, "The more I practice, the luckier I get." I have found this to be somewhat true... except when it comes to Lotto!
    Scouser, viper and WallyR like this.

  13. #13
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    And women.

  14. #14
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    ouch
    i hear ya

 

 

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