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Old 05-31-2011, 03:59 PM   #1
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Default Going back to basics

I was reading something along time ago about how much lead was used in each of our wars to effectively kill an enemy solder. It went something like this,

Revolutionary war = 1 lb of lead per kill

The war of the States = 5 lbs of lead per kill

The First World War = 12 lbs of lead per kill

World War 2 = 70 lbs of lead per kill

Vietnam War = 480 lbs of lead per kill

These are not the actual numbers sense I don’t really remember them but they are some place in that range. Also estimated based on actual numbers of M-16 rounds used in Vietnam Vs. 7.62x51 rounds used worked out to be 10,000 rounds per kill of 5.56 and 1.5 rounds per kill of 7.62. Wish I still had the link to the site it was interesting to say the least.

Just what am I getting at here? Well I am glad you asked, based on what is lacking in training today vs. what was trained many years ago, I do believe that we should go back to basics of rifle marksmanship. Years ago a solder was taught to be a marksman, to make each hit count. Today it seems that they just want lead thrown down range until you hit something.

Maybe its time to go back to some good old fashion Bolt action rifles and make each shot count.



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Old 05-31-2011, 04:48 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by opaww View Post
I was reading something along time ago about how much lead was used in each of our wars to effectively kill an enemy solder. It went something like this,

Revolutionary war = 1 lb of lead per kill

The war of the States = 5 lbs of lead per kill

The First World War = 12 lbs of lead per kill

World War 2 = 70 lbs of lead per kill

Vietnam War = 480 lbs of lead per kill

These are not the actual numbers sense I don’t really remember them but they are some place in that range. Also estimated based on actual numbers of M-16 rounds used in Vietnam Vs. 7.62x51 rounds used worked out to be 10,000 rounds per kill of 5.56 and 1.5 rounds per kill of 7.62. Wish I still had the link to the site it was interesting to say the least.

Just what am I getting at here? Well I am glad you asked, based on what is lacking in training today vs. what was trained many years ago, I do believe that we should go back to basics of rifle marksmanship. Years ago a solder was taught to be a marksman, to make each hit count. Today it seems that they just want lead thrown down range until you hit something.

Maybe its time to go back to some good old fashion Bolt action rifles and make each shot count.

Kind of been doing the bolt action thing for the last couple of years now. Way more satisfaction in putting holes in holes.


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Old 05-31-2011, 06:22 PM   #3
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I've got a MAS mod. 45. It's a French made .22lr training rifles. They only made them for a few years, 5-8 IIRC. Bolt action, Mouser safety, STIFF trigger.

When I used to shoot it all the time, I could run a pop can with the can only rarely coming to a stop.

It's funny when you watch a USPSA shoot. People will knock over 5 out of six pepper poppers with one shot each, then rushing the last target and not taking the time to aim they will empty a mag and a half trying to hit it.

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Old 05-31-2011, 06:24 PM   #4
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Vietnam War = 480 lbs of lead per kill
Spray and pray?
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Old 05-31-2011, 09:46 PM   #5
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OPAWW, you might have gotten that information from me either on this forum or another. I was discussing this a year or two ago. My sources for the Vietnam war was the American Rifleman magazine. A few years back they did an article on the sniper rifles of Vietnam. They were the ones claiming 1.3 rounds per sniper hit and IIRC the regularl army-marines-navy fired 55,000 rounds per causulty. In our new wars the numbers were far greater rounds per causualty because of our doctrine of suppressing fire, to keep the enemies heads down while a kill team gets into position. This last statement is hear say as I have never read any written official documents on the subject.

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Old 05-31-2011, 09:52 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by 30-30remchester View Post
OPAWW, you might have gotten that information from me either on this forum or another. I was discussing this a year or two ago. My sources for the Vietnam war was the American Rifleman magazine. A few years back they did an article on the sniper rifles of Vietnam. They were the ones claiming 1.3 rounds per sniper hit and IIRC the regularl army-marines-navy fired 55,000 rounds per causulty. In our new wars the numbers were far greater rounds per causualty because of our doctrine of suppressing fire, to keep the enemies heads down while a kill team gets into position. This last statement is hear say as I have never read any written official documents on the subject.
It is possable, sense I only got 2 brain cells left and one don't work any more, it is hard to remember where I read something at.
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Old 06-01-2011, 12:28 AM   #7
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It is possable, sense I only got 2 brain cells left and one don't work any more, it is hard to remember where I read something at.
Come on now. Your still a spring chicken!

30-30, the doctrine of supressive fire has existed since WWII. The rifles now just shoot faster. That was the rational for the A2's 3 shot burst.
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Old 06-01-2011, 08:25 AM   #8
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I also added some technology information to what you posted to also help explain some of the additional reasons why the amount of spent lead increased over the years.

Revolutionary war = 1 lb of lead per kill and no fast firing devices.

The war of the States = 5 lbs of lead per kill with the introduction of the Gatlin gun and very heavy use of grapeshot.

The First World War = 12 lbs of lead per kill and the first major war where cumbersome, heavy machineguns were first used.

World War 2 = 70 lbs of lead per kill and the first major war where fairly lighter weight machineguns, submachineguns and BARs were used in combat.

Vietnam War = 480 lbs of lead per kill and the war where almost all troops had access to automatic fire weaponry in the form of the M-60 machinegun and the new M-16 select fire rifles.

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Old 06-01-2011, 10:12 AM   #9
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I do not think the numbers are correct for VN by a long shot. The VC and NVA were known to carry off their dead after a fight leaving the body count low. I just find it hard to believe that 54194 rounds of 556 were used to kill a single NVA/ VC.

Also tactics are much different than the revolutionary or civil war. When fighting the Brits everyone would meet in the middle of the field in lines and aim then fire you didn't shoot officers and you didn't shoot the drummer or flag barer either.

Now days you are taught to cover fire so your unit can move up and advance to the objective. Shooting one person doesn't keep everyones head down Shooting 2k rounds from a pair of SAW's does.

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Old 06-01-2011, 11:26 AM   #10
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I'm going to just assume that the numbers are correct for the purposes of this thread. The number of soldiers killed by the enemy vs the number we kill I believe has also changed dramatically but this number for the better.
NonParty Politics: 100-to-1 Kill Ratio

If that's the case then I think the military is worth much more than their weight in lead.

Keep in mind that that number includes bombs, grenades, explosives, tanks, vehicles, planes(you know those lead planes we got), etc. I'm thinking that number isn't just lead but raw materials.



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