Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Confederate Yanker explains how guns work (on TV)

I've already talked a little bit about the Confederate Yanker's most horrible post, and also pointed out in the Yanker's comments that he talks a good game, but must not be a very good marksman himself. That comment disappeared, so I thought I'd post a longer version here.

He wrote:
The claim of the rifle being sighted at 750 yards is simple hearsay repeating of the suspect's claim; one cannot determine wher [sic] a weapon is zeroed with any certainly [sic] by simply looking at the weapon's scope. If the police haven't fired it, they simply don't know if it is sighted at 750 yards, or if it has even been sighted at all. One must also take into account that the weapons were [sic] plain view with no protective case in the suspect's pickup truck when confiscated, and the jarring of a moderately-sized pothole could easily render a scope's zero worthless at all but close range.

There is little chance that those arrested posed any serious threat, or even had a plan at all.

An average shooter with a scoped rifle can hit a man-sized target at 100 yards with regularity. An average shooter who has been practicing can make the same shot at 200 yards with no discernible change in point-of-aim. A good shooter who knows his gun, ammunition, and wind conditions can make the shot at 300 yards most of the time, but much beyond that, wind drift, ballistics, shooter experience, imperfections in trigger control and limitations of the weapon and ammunition make such shots improbable even on a stationary target with plenty of time to prepare and fire.
As I pointed out in comments, anyone who can't consistently hit man-sized targets at 250+ yards without a scope (using only adjustable iron sights) isn't much of a shooter. Had he ever served his country, he'd know that people do it every day on Army shooting ranges, shooting at pop-up targets that give them only three seconds to sight and shoot. Even the worst Army shooters have to hit a few at that range just to qualify and, where I'm from, that's still not great.

Also, the dude clearly doesn't know what he's talking about when it comes to scopes. He says that the "claim of the rifle being sighted at 750 yards is simple hearsay repeating of the suspect's claim." He's right that one can't tell if it's "zeroed" at that range, but having a policeman shoot the rifle wouldn't tell you either, because--as any good shooter knows--a weapon is zeroed for an individual shooter's grip and sight picture, not for the weapon. In other words, if I zero my weapon, the weapon is good for me, but would probably not work for someone else, especially when you think about the angles you get at 750 yards.

However, there are many scopes that have an adjustable objective ring on the downrange end, which has numbers on it corresponding to distances. In other words, far from it being impossible to tell the distance at which someone has sighted a weapon, all some FBI agent would have to do is pick the rifle up and look at the number on the scope, which I assume happened in this case.

I sure do love these know-nothing, fake-ass tough guys who blog on the right.

Update: Typo corrected.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

250+ yards, though, not years.

1:02 PM  
Blogger Nitpicker said...

Oy. Thanks.

1:07 PM  
Blogger Pecunium said...

Small corrections: Army ranges are measured in meters. 250m = 277 yards.

The 50m target is up for 3 seconds. for each 50 meters further an additional second is added, so the 250 meter target is visible for 7 seconds.

T. Karney

3:37 AM  
Blogger Pecunium said...

If you care, I did some work on how the ballistics of the plot would work out, and wrote it up at my blog Pecunium

4:12 AM  
Blogger Nitpicker said...


I knew about the metric measurement, but just kept writing in yards as it was the measurement the Yanker used.

5:55 AM  
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