A Rifleman’s War…

Earl has this up at his blog, but I’m reposting here because it’s important people understand what is going on in the Sand Pit…

Afghanistan has become a rifleman’s war.

Because we are fighting a counterinsurgency campaign against a tribal warrior society we have and increasingly continued to limit the use of supporting arms. Machineguns are even proscribed in villages and cities for fear of inflicting innocent civilian casualties.

The result is that we must rely more and more on our riflemen to engage and defeat the enemy. We know that 52% of the fights in Afghanistan begin at 500 meters and go out from there.

Recent publications by Dr. Lester Grau (Foreign Military Studies Office) indicate that a majority of the fights in Helmand Province are between 500 and 900 meters.

The problem is that we don’t teach soldiers to engage with their rifles at those ranges anymore.

Those of you who were at Blogarado, remember the little target I put out there about 550X? THAT is the engagement range! Go to Small Wars Journal and download the entire article, it’s worth the read!


A Rifleman’s War… — 9 Comments

  1. This is why I go to Camp Perry and lay in the sun all day to shoot 600M in the President’s 100 match. You really gotta watch the wind and dial in the elevation (13 clicks up from the 200M zero on my rifle), and the 7.62mm round finally gains an advantage over the 5.56mm at those ranges.

  2. Neither my eyes , nor my breathing is really up to long range shooting any more . I still have fun plinking out there though

  3. The 50BMG is great at that range, but they are a hard hump because they are so frigging heavy.

    The 7.62 NATO is fine at that range and out to about 800 meters, BUT you have to watch the ammo. You can’t shoot standard ball ammo and get acceptable kills at that range because the standards on the cartridges are not tight enough. If you go to Lake City Golden Match or something like that, you’re fine.

  4. Lake City M118 175gr HPBT. The gold standard of .308 ammo. Bought enough back in the day to keep me going for a while and there’ll always be one 400-rd can in reserve.

  5. NFO, that a very good friend of mine was killed in the Stan on the 16th for this very reason, they had to close to achieve kills. This pisses me off. I know I’m not great shakes long range, but I could have been trained to be. We all could have.

    Sorry for the rant, you’re right it’s a good read.

  6. ME- Concur, and I’ve got a can or two of M118LR sitting someplace too 🙂

    FD- Yeah, but the kids aren’t even being given the BASICS!

    LL- Concur, but it’s not like LC can’t MAKE more rounds that will work…

    Oscar- My sympathies for your loss. I only hope somebody in the Army wises up in time…

    WSF- concur!

  7. When I was doing BRM in the Army with the M16A2 rifle, the max range we would shot at was 300 meters. I know the rifle has the capacity to hit targets at 500 meters on an area target.

    That said, the M4 much shorter than the 20-inch barrels M16A2. I am sure this is making the job more difficult for our troops.

  8. At Parris Island in 1973 we only shot the M16A1 out to 300 yards, so even the outfit that was/is “the cult of the rifle” reduced their standards (since regained with the M16A2/SS109.
    I can’t get too wet-in-the-skivvies about M118 as I’ve seen some QA problems with some lots (to be fair there was a NAR on them though).
    IF we decide to actually train and fight the Rifleman’s War we’re gonna need something that’ll buck the wind and have better terminal velocity than the 5.56.
    Agree that TRAINING is even more important than any other component. I was just saying to a colleague that I wouldn’t feel at all bad being issued an M1 today as long as somebody could keep me in full clips.