OK, I might be wrong about a quarter. I meant 1" circle that is 1 MOA. It is
easily achieved with either of my two PSL-54C rifles without any accurizing
and using cheap Bulgarian surplus ammo still available at $85/tin. Sure one
would need a bench rest to do this.
But that is not to start a discussion about sub-MOA shooting and
handloading. This is just to illustrate that 25 yards head shot in
absolutely nothing to write home about even using cheap civilian weapon with
* KSI@home KOI8 Net < > The impossible we do immediately. *
That was a reporter who likely got something or other garbled. Or maybe it
wasn't snipers at all, maybe they tagged them with a Phalanx--don't know if
it can fire single rounds or not but the latest ones do have surface attack
capability as well as antiair.
The Navy does have stabilized mounts for weapons down to 7.62mm or smaller
but they aren't sniper rifles.
Yeah, and here's where the SEALs get really high marks. Imagine the skill
necessary to attach a fair-sized gyroscope to the underside of the pirate's
As for sniping, you might enjoy the following excerpt from a Lee Childs
--- begin quote
First thing out of the barrel of Reacher's Barrett was a blast of hot gas.
The powder in the cartridge exploded in a fraction of a millionth of a
second and expanded to a super-heated bubble. That bubble of gas hurled the
bullet down the barrel and forced ahead of it and around it to explode out
into the atmosphere. Most of it was smashed sideways by the muzzle brake in
a perfectly balanced radial pattern, like a doughnut, so that the recoil
moved the barrel straight back against Reacher's shoulder without deflecting
it either sideways or up or down. Meanwhile, behind it, the bullet was
starting to spin inside the barrel as the rifling grooves grabbed at it.
Then the gas ahead of the bullet was heating the oxygen in the air to the
point where the air caught fire. There was a brief flash of flame and the
bullet burst out through the exact center of it, spearing through the burned
air at nineteen hundred miles an hour. A thousandth of a second later, it
was six feet away, and its sound was bravely chasing after it, three times
The bullet took five hundredths of a second to cross the [parade ground], by
which time the sound of its shot had just passed Reacher's ears and cleared
the ridge of the roof. The bullet had a hand-polished copper jacket and it
was flying straight and true, but by the time it had passed soundlessly over
McGrath's head it had slowed a little. And the air was moving it. It was
moving it right to left as the gentle mountain breeze tugged imperceptibly
at it. Half a second into its travel, the bullet had covered thirteen
hundred feet and it had moved seven inches to the left.
And it had dropped seven inches. Gravity had pulled it in. The more gravity
pulled, the more the bullet slowed. The more it slowed, the more gravity
deflected it. It speared onward in a perfect graceful curve. A whole second
after leaving the barrel, it was nine hundred yards into its journey. Way
past McGrath's running figure, but still over the trees, still three hundred
yards short of its target. Another sixth of a second later, it was clear of
the trees and alongside the office building. Now it was a slow bullet. It
had pulled four feet left and five feet down. It passed well clear of Holly
and was twenty feet past her before she heard the hiss in the air. The sound
of the shot was still to come.
Reacher's bullet hit Borken in the head a full second and a third after he
fired it. It entered the front of his forehead and was out of the back of
his skull three ten-thousandths of a second later. In and out without really
slowing much more at all, because Borken's skull and brains were nothing to
a two-ounce lead projectile with a needle point and a polished metal jacket.
The bullet was well over the endless forest beyond before the pressure wave
built up in Borken's skull and exploded it.
Reacher was watching it through his scope. Heart in his mouth. A full second
and a third is a long time to wait. He watched Borken's skull explode like
it had been burst from the inside with a sledgehammer. It came apart like a
diagram. Reacher saw curved shards of bone bursting outward and red mist
--- end quote
You can read one of Child's books online at leechild.com.
Then you'll go buy the rest.
And before you say "What does an ex-British lawyer know about sniping?"
remember the similar question "What the fuck does a real estate broker in
Virginia know about global submarine warfare?" That question was asked by
every major publisher in declining "The Hunt for Red October." Clancey's
book was eventually published by the Naval Institute Press, whose last big
seller was a tabulation of tide tables for Hudson Bay, 1886-87.
Um, probably not. This same story was posted on a guns newsgroup.
Respondents agreed the only area where there might have been a problem was
in the beginning when Childs said "The powder in the cartridge exploded in a
fraction of a millionth of a second..."
Some experts said that was an exaggeration and others said, depending on the
powder load, it was just barely possible.
If you have experience or information tending to refute the physics in the
story, please feel free to share. Otherwise, just enjoy the story.
It was schlock writing in the first degree. BAD poetic license and over the
top exageration for the video game crowd. Exactly what is a "fraction of a
millionth"? Nothing you can pin down, just like the rest of the article.
Hand polished bullets? Air catching on fire? What horse crap.
I agree that the writing was not the best. The author could have spent more
time on the smells wafting along on the gentle breeze he mentioned and, like
any good romance novel, he could have told us more about what each of the
actors was wearing and what each protagonist thought about the clothing of
But as to your questions:
One-tenmillionth of a second is a "fraction of a millionth" of a second.
Sniper bullets ARE hand polished (and hand-loaded and micked to tolerances
of less than 1/1000ths of an inch). I don't know about the "air on fire"
business, but I suppose super-heated air can do odd things.
Anyway, you don't have to stay up the rest of the night. Just find a
reference or two that snipers use production-grade bullets, that .50 caliber
bullets don't begin detonation in less than a millionth of a second, or that
there are no flames exiting the barrel.
The velocity of solid explosives can exceed 390,000 fps. Assuming 2" of
powder in a .50cal cartridge, all the powder could burn in
2 / 12 /390,000 = 4 ten-millionths of a second (note this is less than "a
millionth of a second).
That seems to be close to the minimum burn time.
So is one hundredth or 5 hundred and forty seven thousandths of a millionth.
Which is it?
Only by self deluded comic book droolers. Not even benchrest shooters are
that lame. They polish the barrel and coat the bullets.
You "suppose" the writer might be exaggerating jes a tad for effect?
You find 'em. I got better things to do. Oh, and another one... I'll
guaran-damn-tee you no shooter views the target being hit through his scope
after launching a Ma Duece round from a shoulder fired weapon. But, go
ahead and live the fantasy.
The upper limit is obviously a millionth, anfd this value is less.
So in other words, it's equivalent to saying "in less than a millionth
of a second" which is a measurable number. And that ls all thatr matters.
That's a cop-out. I know nothing, but your credibility is very low
when you argue like this.
Jeez, what a lot of swamp gas over something so similr. If you read
the books about Carlos Hathcock, you'll run across the tale of him
setting a scope on a big .50 MG, using it single shot, and snipping at
ranges that would give a ghost the creeps...or make more ghosts.
As time passed, weapons improved, but, jeez. hand-polished bullets
when you're up to your ass in jungle, wading through streams,
crawling in mud, sweating fear bullets, using your clothing as a
toilet to keep from having to move, staring down poisonous
snakes...nah. Same for all the millionth of a second shit. Gunpowder
burns, slow or fast, it burns, but not that fast. I enjoy Childs'
books, but it's time to bring in that "willing suspsension of
disbelief" when you KNOW he's full of crap. He's another writer who
either has never been in a fight, or hasn't since childhood. I laughed
my ass of with Dan Brown's tales of fights in his best seller, but it
was bad enough I couldn't finish the book. Childs isn't that bad, but
for a Brit, he doesn't do too badly with U.S. weapons--most of the
The story of Hathcock working a counter-sniper tactic hunting down a
VN sniper and finally nailing him--with a bullet right through the
optics of the enemy sniper's scope as he was aiming at Hathcock--is a
classic, and well illustrates the lack of the likelihood of perfect
weapons and ammunition, but the abilities of a single man on a
mission, with a lot of experience and a lot of expertise.
Well, for openers, if flames exit the barrel that pretty much negates his
millionth of a second as the powder would have been entirely consumed before
the bullet left the muzzle thus no flames.
Watch high speed photos and you'll see no flames coming out until the bullet
leaves the muzzle.
As for snipers and "production grade bullets", define "production grade".
If you mean Chinese Army rejects, no, they don't use those. If you mean
Sierra match grade, they do use those, or did a while back.
So what? Gunpowder is not "solid explosives", it is a propellant. In an
ideal cartridge, grain dimensions and composition would be adjusted to
sustain for the entire duration of the bullet's passage through the barrel
the highest pressure that the firearm could tolerate. Burning all the
powder in a millionth of a second would be very inefficient in that it would
produce a pressure spike with rapid decline as the volume behind the bullet
Which is not relevant to the real world.
It's also totally unrealistic for a real-world firearm.
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