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Old 21st January 2021, 07:01 AM   #1
Captain_Swoop
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Evolution of 'snap' or 'reflex' shooting

This came up in a politics thread, I thought I would start a seperate thread.

There wee comments on some pictures of people carrying AR-15s without sights.
It was speculated that they may have been purchased by people who don't know what they are doing as you are expected to add optical sights these days and irons aren't put on.

SteveAitch posted a link to a wiki page on 'Point Shooting' which is a method of shooting 'reflexively' as favoured by shooters using shotguns after birds etc
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Point_...fle_Quick_Kill

Apart from being illustrated with a picture of a soldier obviously using a reflex sight it made me think of a series of videos made by 'British Muzzle Loaders' on the evolution of the technique by the British Army in WW2.
They are part of his larger series on the use of the Lee Enfield and the evolution of the British 'Manual of Arms' through the war years.

Here is the first of a two parter working through the 'manual of arms' for 'CQB' and it's effectiveness with Lee Enfields on the range.
He's his usual thorough self and joined in Canada by the 'Bloke on the Range'

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Part two

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'Advanced' Snap Shooting

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By the latter half of the war the techniques for 'snap' or 'reflex' shooting in what was called 'Close Quarter Battle' (CQB) had evolved quite considerably.

Last edited by Captain_Swoop; 21st January 2021 at 07:10 AM.
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Old 21st January 2021, 07:13 AM   #2
Bikewer
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I think sportsmen, especially small-game hunters using shotguns, have always used some form of “unaimed” shooting.
Back when I was in my teens, in the early 60s, a fellow came out with a system of training this to a high degree, using BB guns. His idea was that since you could see the BB in flight, it was pretty easy to train yourself to hit even quite small objects using binocular vision and “triangulating” the gun as the lower point of the triangle formed by your eyes.

He had people hitting thrown BBs in only a week or so of training. I practiced this for a while, being a BB enthusiast at the time, and got rather good at it.... The army was so impressed that they incorporated it into it’s recruit training a couple of years later.

So.... I assume it’s still a “thing”, even though the current rage seems to be the contemporary run of “optical” red-dot sights.
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Old 21st January 2021, 07:27 AM   #3
Captain_Swoop
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even using a red dot correctly takes training and practice.

British training featured 'shooting from the hip' quite heavily in it's early versions.
Even in late war pictures and film advancing troops aren't using the modern 'high port' or ready position, the rifles are carried low across the body.
It wasn't expected that the rifle would be brought up until action was imminent whereas modern footage shows rifles carried high and ready all the time.

Last edited by Captain_Swoop; 21st January 2021 at 07:30 AM.
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Old 21st January 2021, 04:41 PM   #4
arthwollipot
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I would assume, in my ignorance, that the low carry was preferred due to the weight of the weapon and the strain of holding it high for extended periods. Soldiers were trained to fire from the low position because the time it took to raise to a sighting position could put them at higher risk. Am I far wrong? I make this assumption based on my experience with swords, which are held relaxed until you come within engagement range, at which point you adopt a guard and immediately move to action. But as we all know, I have no experience with firearms.
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Old 21st January 2021, 09:28 PM   #5
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It should be in the film and tv 'peeve' thread but modern films set in WW2 always show the infantry carrying their rifles in a modern position.
Another thing back then was the lack of modern muzzle and trigger discipline. look at old photographs of soldiers and you will see a lot of the time they had fingers on triggers all the time and they weren't shy about where their rifles were pointing.

This is all commented on in the linked videos and in other vids from BML in his 'Musketry of the Second World War' and 'Musketry of 1914' series'

(Musketry was the official term for drill and use of rifles up until the 1950s)
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Old 21st January 2021, 09:55 PM   #6
Hellbound
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
I would assume, in my ignorance, that the low carry was preferred due to the weight of the weapon and the strain of holding it high for extended periods. Soldiers were trained to fire from the low position because the time it took to raise to a sighting position could put them at higher risk. Am I far wrong? I make this assumption based on my experience with swords, which are held relaxed until you come within engagement range, at which point you adopt a guard and immediately move to action. But as we all know, I have no experience with firearms.

I wonder if it might have been an early idea if suppressive fire. Suppressive fire is unaimed fire intended to keep the enemy in place and heads down. Basically, the squad fires shots every few seconds in a pattern, a few feet off the ground and level. Keeps the enemy in place and prevents them crossing open terrain.

I could see that being useful when advancing; massed hip fire as you move would tend to keep the enemy from chancing a run while you advance, and make them nervous about popping up to shot back,


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Old 21st January 2021, 11:41 PM   #7
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I used to shoot a compound bow without sights instinctively. Was very common in the club. Conscious estimation of range and the alignment of the right sight pin takes time.
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Old 22nd January 2021, 04:02 AM   #8
Captain_Swoop
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Originally Posted by Hellbound View Post
I wonder if it might have been an early idea if suppressive fire. Suppressive fire is unaimed fire intended to keep the enemy in place and heads down. Basically, the squad fires shots every few seconds in a pattern, a few feet off the ground and level. Keeps the enemy in place and prevents them crossing open terrain.

I could see that being useful when advancing; massed hip fire as you move would tend to keep the enemy from chancing a run while you advance, and make them nervous about popping up to shot back,


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That is exactly it.
If you watch the linked videos the manuals explain that was one of the reasons for it.
In the early manuals advancing troops were trained to fire their rifles from the hip and to keep advancing, even a near miss will disrupt the enemy shooter.
This becomes obvious in the section where they work through the various exercises 'live' on a range with pop up targets.

In theWW1r the US developed the Browning Automatic Rifle to give 'walking fire'. It was fired from the hip and used to suppress the enemy as an advance was made across 'no mans land'
To help control the fire a special 'cup' was attached to the soldiers waist belt that the butt end of the stock fitted in to. This helped to reduce the recoil of the weapon.

Here is a video demonstration of Walking Fire with the BAR.
No attempt was made to do much aiming at all though.

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Old 22nd January 2021, 08:58 AM   #9
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Sykes & Fairbairn discussed point shooting with handguns extensively in the book "Shooting to Live". They based their technique on lessons learned with the Shanghai Police prior to WW-II.

During the war they both went on to become instructors for the British SOE, SAS, and Commandos, and the American OSS, Rangers, Paratroopers, and the Canadian/American 1st Special Service Force.
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