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Way back when I was learning how to shoot at variable ranges I was also learning how to reload. A family friend had been saving his 30-06 brass for years and had several hundred cases. My first big game rifle was a standard military 8mm Mauser with a Zice 2x scope and a Lee dot.

He offered to purchase components if I would reload ammo for him and even purchase components for my own use. The deal was each year we would go out in the sage brush, hang balloons at various ranges and each shoot 100 rounds before antelope season opened.

I figured it was a good deal, the practice was all off hand, balloons out to a thousand steps all the way in to about 50 yards. One would call the target, the other shoot, if he missed the other would shoot. Back and forth until the ammo was gone. We played this game and others for years.

He always shot the Remington 180 grain bronze tip bullet. Can't remember what I shot, but it was always the same grain weight and manufacturer at his command. What we learned was the trajectory of our rifles over a long range. No range finder, only our eyes and the hit or miss results. Over the years we got pretty good at hitting the balloons.

The other day a friend brought over his new tactical rifle - along with his range finder. We had a little match, he used his range finder, worked on his scope and shot. I simply estimated the range and shot for the trajectory of the load and rifle I was using.

He had a lot to learn about his rifle - nothing against him or his outfit.

My question: Is all the tactical stuff attempting to take over practical or actually making practical more like the computer I am using to write this question?

Your thoughts?
 

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I think you'd enjoy the latest Bob Lee Swagger epic from Stephen Hunter, I, Sniper. :wink:
 

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I did... Bob Lee, by virtue of skill made a shot that he wasn't supposed to make...

I don't think there will ever be a substitute for intimate knowledge of your gun and ammo but if you've got the time to measure the range and wind, go to the compter and crunch the numbers and then make the appropriate sight adjustment the chances of a first shot hit are good... but by then I had already killed the prairie dog.. :wink:

The shooter/spotter system being taught now uses both but if the TV shows are accurate the guys who have a spotter who gives them good range and wind information always seem to win...
 

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Ed Fowler said:
My question: Is all the tactical stuff attempting to take over practical or actually making practical more like the computer I am using to write this question?

Your thoughts?
Not at all, most of the "tactical gizmos" the US military uses works; there's a reason they buy it. But just like how you took the time to educate yourself on how to use your rifle, it sounds like your friend had all the latest gizmo's, but didn't know how to use and employ them. Use them right, they become a good, useful adjunct to your primary equipment on the battlefield. Use them wrong, and you're trusting in bad information. As you know first hand, it takes a lot of ammunition to learn how to hit any shot at any distance. For a military, that's a whole lot of money. If you can give them a device to help them figure out hot to hit a certain shot, without needing tens of thousands of rounds of practice, then you've saved a whole lot of money.

What's more, once that person knows how to use the device properly, his effectiveness goes up over even those who have learned to shoot like you have.
 

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Another neat one, a Tom Clancy novel called "The Bear and the Dragon" featuring a retired WW2 sniper from the Red Army, who is living in Siberia when the Chinese decide to get unfriendly.....
 

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DavidE said:
Another neat one, a Tom Clancy novel called "The Bear and the Dragon" featuring a retired WW2 sniper from the Red Army, who is living in Siberia when the Chinese decide to get unfriendly.....
That was hilarious! An old codger, being evacuated kicking and screaming, finally allowed to take one shot, just to shut him up... :lol:
 

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If you can give them a device to help them figure out how to hit a certain shot, without needing tens of thousands of rounds of practice, then you've saved a whole lot of money.
Since we're talking "tactical" here. "One shot, one kill." That's the design behind the gear. Because if you miss, they're going to shoot back. It's not about the money.
 

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DavidE said:
Another neat one, a Tom Clancy novel called "The Bear and the Dragon" featuring a retired WW2 sniper from the Red Army, who is living in Siberia when the Chinese decide to get unfriendly.....
Met an old codger once from Finland. During the Russo-Finnish war, he was taken prisoner and sent to a Siberian gulag. While at the gulag, he killed a guard, disarmed him and escaped. He W A L K ed across Russia (all 11 time zones) over the next (just shy of) two years, killing one more Soviet during his walk. When he got across the lines, he approached the fist German soldier and asked to join so he could resume killing Russians. There was a book written about the guy, but I couldn't tell you what it is. All I know is, I would never want to piss that guy off, 'cause anyone who would walk across Russia so he could kill more Russian soldiers is one serious dood in my book.

When I met him, I was young but I was VERY impressed by the guy.
 

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I like the Finns.

The story I like was the one about the guy who shoulder fired a Lahti (20mm kind) and took out a bunch of Soviet tanks and troops during the "Winter War" as they called it.
 
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