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Old 04-22-2013, 07:27 PM
Jungle Work Jungle Work is offline
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Default Shooting the M16/AR15 In Combat



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I joined the US Army in 1967. I was trained with the M14 in basic and the M14 and M16 at the Pre Airborne School at Ft. Gordon. Didn't do any shooting in Ranger School. And did a ton of shooting in Training Group.

I was taught to zero the M16 with a Combat Zero at 25 meters. We learned to shoot at different locations on the human target for different distances. This was not precission shooting, but Combat Shooting. Less than 175 meters, shoot for the lower a part of the torso or the groin area, 175 meters to 400 meters, shoot for Center Mass of the Chest, at ranges over 400 meters we were taught to aim at the head. This was on an average sized person. When I was in the Army all qualifications were out to 500 meters with M14s, M16s and M60 Machine Guns. In Training Group, we shot different types of weapons, sub guns, rifles, shotguns, MGs at different ranges. But again 500 meters if it was a qualification with rifles and MGs.

I volunteered for Vietnam after Training Group and was sent. I had an uncle was was a gunsmith and machinist in Portales, NM who made me two mounts for M16a that fit on the carrying handle similar to many made today. We went down to El Paso and visited with Doc Weaver and he gave me rings and two K6 Scopes for my trip. He was a great and grand ol' man. He said that if one fogged or was damaged, send it back and he'd send me another. Never had a bit of trouble with either scope. I mounted it on a M16A1. I carried a XM177E2 if we were working in the mountains or Central Highlands.

There was no problem making shots with the M16A1 out to 600 meters on Mr. Chuck if the wind was not a factor. Shots on Moving Targets, Smaller Folks and further distances could be made with more difficulty, but again the more experience you had, the better you did. When I drew ammo for my M16A1 it was not match ammo, but I always drew a case (2 .50 cal cans) that were of the same lot. I was good ammo and was accurate. The biggest problem with making good shots with the M16 at distances was the wind. I still have the two mounts and scopes. When I returned to the states after two years of being involved in ground combat in Vietnam I went to the 82nd along with my two scopes and mounts. One scope fogged one wet and dreary week at Uwharrie National Forrest. I sent it back to Weaver and got a new one back. Great scopes.

There was a common belief among combat troops in Vietnam that if you could hit a Can of Ham and Lima Beans aka Ham and MFers at 25 yards with your M16 it had a good combat zero.

For whatever it worth.

Jungle Work
Old 04-22-2013, 07:37 PM
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In the Marines with the A2wedid an initial sight in at 36yrds with the rear sight set to 300 yrds I believe. Once you had that zero you were pretty good to go at 200, 300 and 500 yrds. As far as body parts or where on the body to aim, it was aim at center mass because of the highest hit% But that was back in 98-02...back in the "Old Corps" I have always wanted to be able to say that!!
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Old 04-22-2013, 08:10 PM
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Thank you for your post. Some common sense from practical experience is so refreshing in arenas so cluttered with armchair commandos.

That decked out AR with $3,000 of toys attached is worthless if you dont know the basics, have field EXPERIENCE and are able to be steady whilst taking fire.

Not for everyone, its not a game.

EB
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Old 04-22-2013, 08:25 PM
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Here is the best video I have seen when it comes to zero distance for ar's. not saying any distance is better than others but it shows the difference.

Old 04-22-2013, 09:47 PM
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Thanks for your post, service, and relating your experiences!
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:31 PM
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No problem with the platform, it's the cartridge I'm not fond of. Around here a 35 pound coyote hit in the boiler room with a quality soft point (NOT a FMJ) at 250-300 yardss will still go a long ways. Even the 243's performance starts to suck at 300ish. Beyond that we go with 30 caliber. MUCH better at anchoring them.

No problem hitting them at range. Making an ethical kill shot is what we want. A little bullet just pencils through. Not much for wound channel or blood trail. A 30 caliber or bigger doesn't depend on velocity and still has some pretty good smack left even at 600.

That's my experience. Your mileage may vary.
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Old 04-23-2013, 06:22 PM
scaatylobo scaatylobo is offline
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I am a bit of a realist and as such I do NOT see taking shots at +200 yards unless I am using a dedicated rifle set for that distance = under a scenario such as SHTF etc.

I appreciate that above poster shooting all the distances with an M-4 to show the different effects of zeroing at all zones.

But after a 25/50/100 yard shot,I see LEAVING a hot zone if at all possible.

If I were defending a "position" then I will have a dedicated distance rifle to handle those shots as I imagine I will be facing a op for that has the same abilitys.

I want to be one better,or I lose.
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Old 04-23-2013, 09:30 PM
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The past 8 years and two theaters I have been using an ACOG.

In 2006 I went to squad designated marksman (SDM) school just prior to a 15 monther to Baghdad, and was one of the lucky few back then to receive an ACOG. 25 meter zero gave me accurate stadia out to 700 meters.

Most times I fired my weapon was at night though via a PEQ-2 and PVS-14.

In Afghanistan my job was much different than as an E3 SDM in an infantry company like I was in Baghdad. I spent the same if not more time out in sector but shot less, and still carried an ACOG.

Going back now but with a new optic, a spectre, so ill see how this one goes.
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Old 04-23-2013, 09:37 PM
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I am sincerely grateful to you for your service and for keeping me safe. I have a son who served in the Air Force for 29 years and a son-in-law in the Air Force for 20 years; a husband who served in the Army during the Korean War and is disabled, a father in the Army in Germany during WWII. I also have a brother-in-law who was a helicopter pilot in Viet Nam who has lost his hearing from the loud motors and part of one hand during a crash. God Bless the USA and especially those who serve and have served. I cannot thank you enough.
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Old 04-23-2013, 09:45 PM
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We zero'd at 36 meters in the Corps and just aimed center mass... pretty solid zero at all ranges. Once you got beyond 300 meters, you dialed in with the elevation drum for point targets. On our trips to the sandbox, it worked VERY well.

I'd recommend trying different ones out and see what dope works for your specific weapon system. I'd HIGHLY suggest learning to use the iron sights with great proficiency first before strapping on the toys that will eventually fail you when you need them most (we trialed the original OEG from Trijicon and eventually threw them in the cargo pocket during live fire, they weren't happy with us).

FWIW, I have everything set for a 36 zero and that's what the tribe learns and shoots with.
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Old 04-23-2013, 10:19 PM
ronnyyun ronnyyun is offline
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Some common sense from practical experience is so refreshing in arenas so cluttered with armchair commandos.
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Old 04-23-2013, 10:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justsaymo View Post
No problem with the platform, it's the cartridge I'm not fond of. Around here a 35 pound coyote hit in the boiler room with a quality soft point (NOT a FMJ) at 250-300 yardss will still go a long ways. Even the 243's performance starts to suck at 300ish. Beyond that we go with 30 caliber. MUCH better at anchoring them.

No problem hitting them at range. Making an ethical kill shot is what we want. A little bullet just pencils through. Not much for wound channel or blood trail. A 30 caliber or bigger doesn't depend on velocity and still has some pretty good smack left even at 600.

That's my experience. Your mileage may vary.
What softpoints are you using? At 300 yards, depending on your barrel length, there are only a few 5.56 rounds still opening up meaningfully at that distance. Try:

70gr TSX (if you have 1/7 twist)
62gr TSX (if you have 1/9 or faster twist)
64gr Gold Dot

Those are the only rounds I know of that will still get it done regarding expansion at 300 yards from a 16" barrel in 5.56 caliber. Try them, and get back with us. I am curious about your findings. People I know who shoot animals at that distance love them, predominantly the 70gr TSX.


*****

Part of this is why I am going with the 300BLK. I love SBR's because I love running suppressed (for the sake of what hearing I do have, my ears just suck, hereditary, I think). The 300BLK will fully expand to .60+ caliber at 300 yards from a 9" barrel using 110gr TTSX. However, the 70gr 5.56 TSX will still open to 0.45-0.5" at 300 yards from a 10.5" barrel, as well. It's a seriously bad bullet. All of the TSX line is, although in 5.56, they vary by purpose and design. Threshold for the 70gr is 1800fps. 1900fps for full expansion (double caliber).
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Old 04-24-2013, 07:50 AM
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First off, I'd like to extend a heartfelt "Thank You" to all of you for your service to our country.
And thanks, again, for sharing your knowledge & practical experience with all of us.
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Old 04-24-2013, 08:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justsaymo View Post
No problem with the platform, it's the cartridge I'm not fond of. Around here a 35 pound coyote hit in the boiler room with a quality soft point (NOT a FMJ) at 250-300 yardss will still go a long ways. Even the 243's performance starts to suck at 300ish. Beyond that we go with 30 caliber. MUCH better at anchoring them.

No problem hitting them at range. Making an ethical kill shot is what we want. A little bullet just pencils through. Not much for wound channel or blood trail. A 30 caliber or bigger doesn't depend on velocity and still has some pretty good smack left even at 600.

That's my experience. Your mileage may vary.
Your experience makes sense. At 250 to 300 yards, 223 bullets drop below 1800-2000 ft/sec required for them to expand. After that, they act more like a FMJ bullet. Not enough to kill a coyote in its tracks, but enough to take an enemy soldier's mind off shooting at you.
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Old 04-24-2013, 05:24 PM
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Went to an Appleseed http://appleseedinfo.org/
FANTASTIC Program. EVERYONE SHOULD ATTEND AT LEAST ONCE

They will teach you how to become a rifleman.
Zero your rifle at 25m and you will be zeroed at 25m and at 283m
Then use this as a guideline
Less than 175 meters, shoot for the lower a part of the torso or the groin area,
175 meters to 400 meters, shoot for Center Mass of the Chest,
at ranges over 400 meters we were taught to aim at the head.

Here is a link to articles about marksmanship and Appleseed
http://www.fredsm14stocks.com/articles.asp
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Old 04-24-2013, 05:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jungle Work View Post
I joined the US Army in 1967. I was trained with the M14 in basic and the M14 and M16 at the Pre Airborne School at Ft. Gordon. Didn't do any shooting in Ranger School. And did a ton of shooting in Training Group.

I was taught to zero the M16 with a Combat Zero at 25 meters. We learned to shoot at different locations on the human target for different distances. This was not precission shooting, but Combat Shooting. Less than 175 meters, shoot for the lower a part of the torso or the groin area, 175 meters to 400 meters, shoot for Center Mass of the Chest, at ranges over 400 meters we were taught to aim at the head. This was on an average sized person. When I was in the Army all qualifications were out to 500 meters with M14s, M16s and M60 Machine Guns. In Training Group, we shot different types of weapons, sub guns, rifles, shotguns, MGs at different ranges. But again 500 meters if it was a qualification with rifles and MGs.

I volunteered for Vietnam after Training Group and was sent. I had an uncle was was a gunsmith and machinist in Portales, NM who made me two mounts for M16a that fit on the carrying handle similar to many made today. We went down to El Paso and visited with Doc Weaver and he gave me rings and two K6 Scopes for my trip. He was a great and grand ol' man. He said that if one fogged or was damaged, send it back and he'd send me another. Never had a bit of trouble with either scope. I mounted it on a M16A1. I carried a XM177E2 if we were working in the mountains or Central Highlands.

There was no problem making shots with the M16A1 out to 600 meters on Mr. Chuck if the wind was not a factor. Shots on Moving Targets, Smaller Folks and further distances could be made with more difficulty, but again the more experience you had, the better you did. When I drew ammo for my M16A1 it was not match ammo, but I always drew a case (2 .50 cal cans) that were of the same lot. I was good ammo and was accurate. The biggest problem with making good shots with the M16 at distances was the wind. I still have the two mounts and scopes. When I returned to the states after two years of being involved in ground combat in Vietnam I went to the 82nd along with my two scopes and mounts. One scope fogged one wet and dreary week at Uwharrie National Forrest. I sent it back to Weaver and got a new one back. Great scopes.

There was a common belief among combat troops in Vietnam that if you could hit a Can of Ham and Lima Beans aka Ham and MFers at 25 yards with your M16 it had a good combat zero.

For whatever it worth.

Jungle Work
Good posting. I was also in the Central Highlands near Plieku on my second tour. My first tour 66-67 was near Nha Trang with the 4th Air Commandos. Unlike many, I always loved the M-16 and bought a Colt Sporter as soon as I got out. (So old it's not an 'A1, and doesn't have the fwd assist. I do think the rounds were more effective then with the old twist and 55 grain ammo. Just my opinion.
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Old 04-25-2013, 09:30 AM
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i like the video explaining the 25 yard zero, a buddy of mine at work is always harping on me since mine isn't a "tack driver" i said well i don't shoot from a bench or have a 24 inch bull barrel with a leupold scope, mines the 600 dollar stag arms carbine with an okay aimpoint yet i can hit coke cans at 100 yards with her, or as i like to say "i can hit minute of man if i need to" i think it all boils down to knowing how your rifle functions and operates, as others have stated here if you don't know how to shoot then that 1,500 dollar rifle is useless.
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Old 04-25-2013, 10:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BenRumson View Post
i like the video explaining the 25 yard zero, a buddy of mine at work is always harping on me since mine isn't a "tack driver" i said well i don't shoot from a bench or have a 24 inch bull barrel with a leupold scope, mines the 600 dollar stag arms carbine with an okay aimpoint yet i can hit coke cans at 100 yards with her, or as i like to say "i can hit minute of man if i need to" i think it all boils down to knowing how your rifle functions and operates, as others have stated here if you don't know how to shoot then that 1,500 dollar rifle is useless.
AND most who shoot from a bench ,have NO ability to shoot offhand and do not try as it 'makes them look bad'.

If you can hit a soda can at 100 yards offhand,your MORE than GTG !!.

I am very happy to 'minute of man' at 100 yards !.
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Old 04-25-2013, 01:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scaatylobo View Post
AND most who shoot from a bench ,have NO ability to shoot offhand and do not try as it 'makes them look bad'.

If you can hit a soda can at 100 yards offhand,your MORE than GTG !!.

I am very happy to 'minute of man' at 100 yards !.

Exactly!!! People should try out the tac bays too. Sitting on a bench is nice but try holding the rifle without a bipod and shooting.
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Old 04-25-2013, 01:32 PM
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When I served it was with the L85A1. We were taught to aim at the groin at 100 metres, chest at 200 metres and the head at 300 metres.
But I'm not sure if the twist on the L85 is a little tighter than the M16 (I think the M16 is a touch longer??).
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