People will die of fright in anticipationTil they were outed, Trijicon, Inc. : Brilliant Aiming Solutions™ featured little Bible quips on their advanced combat optical gun sights, things associated with death and destruction. Friend FDChief recently made note of this on MilPub (Blessed Are the Snipers), and we will extend it since Rifle Marksmanship is one of Ranger's life tools.
of what is coming upon the world
I can see clearly now, the rain is gone,
I can see all obstacles in my way
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind
It's gonna be a bright, bright
--I Can See Clearly now the Rain is Gone,
All of us Old Goats were taught basic Rifle Marksmanship with iron-sighted, .30 calibre service weapons. This training included Known Distance Shooting prone, sitting and kneeling and offhand. All positions were fired both slow and rapid fire. All these aspects and the course of fire (200, 300 and 600 yards) were modeled after the National Rifle Association National Match Course.
The only difference from the NRA was that military matches issued GI ammunition while civilian matches shot their own personal match ammo using a service rifle. Ranger's first National Match competition was through the Director of Civilian Marksmanship at Camp Perry, Ohio.
The last time pulling range duty for ROTC Summer Camp (Ft. Bragg), the course of fire was simply foxhole, standing and supported shooting at pop-up silhouettes. That was the sum total. Since soldiers usually do not carry around foxholes or field sandbags in their rucks, this course did not provide realistic combat training.
But for scopes. In the past, only the 1903/A4, M1C and M1D and the XM21 service rifles were issued with scopes for sniper use. Interestingly, the effective range is not extended by using a scope, since the limiting factor is the shooter's ability and the accuracy of the rifle. The figure is usually 460 meters normal rifle range for the average shooter and rifle.
If one cannot shoot sans scope, adding one does not change one's inability to hit the target. If you flinch without a scope, you will probably flinch worse after you are bitten by a scope.
The ACOG/Trijicon brags it's Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight is "the most technically advanced combat gun sight available" (brownells.mil-le.com, pg. 39). The US Marine Corps has contracted 800,000 ACOG's at $660 Million USD ($825 per unit in 800,000 lots) for the USMC. Not such a good deal when the catalog lists them at $792-$836 for lots of one, depending on the mounting system.
Probably the Bible quote costs the USMC extra.
The following questions arise:
* How many people are in the USMC? Why are they ordering so many scopes?
* Why is a $792-$836 scope being added to a $1,500 rifle? Why not just train the soldiers to use the factory iron sights?
* Why put an ACOG on an auto-fire weapon?
* Does the use of this scope really effectively extend the 5.56 mm round's range to 800 meters?
* If the enemy is beyond 460 m., why not just work them with mortar and artillery fire?
* If we are currently using Rules of Engagement, then we can't fire until fired upon, and clearly, anybody doing so will not engage unless within 460 m. So, what is the advantage to our soldier's using the ACOG?
* If the enemy is 400-600 m. away, why not apply 7.62 Machine Gun fire on them? Anything further is why God created Redlegs and mortarmen, God bless their souls.
* The AK47, DPM MG and RPD MG are all iron-sighted, 460 m.-effective weapons. We are fighting rag-tag, rag bags for heaven's sake.
So, we now have an issue rifle, with ACOG scope, which costs $2,575 (including after-market add-ons), but what is it?
It is a rifle that often malfunctions in combat. This is a functional as well as a training problem. Fire discipline must be inculcated in the troops; shooting to make noise alone overheats a weapon. Excessive full auto/burst regulated fire also prematurely overheats the weapon.
If we are putting ACOG's on every rifle, then we should eliminate the auto/burst function on the service rifle for all except one auto rifleman per team. Aimed fire should be stressed.
There are several competitive and perfectly serviceable sights and scopes on the market. All are sold by Brownells and can be viewed online. These included the Burris fast-fire ($219.95) and the Trijicon Red Dot ($310.83). There are three pages of comparable M16-family scopes, many of which are more economical and just as serviceable as the ACOG.
Just my opinion based on a lifetime of shooting rifles.