Murphy's Law: June 26, 2004


One of the least mentioned reasons why snipers are increasingly popular in the U.S. Army and Marines, has to do with logistics. During the Vietnam war it was discovered that 200,000 rifle bullets were fired for each enemy soldier killed. But snipers fired 1.3 bullets for each enemy soldier killed. The 200,000 5.56mm and 7.62mm bullets weigh over four tons. But 1.3 7.62mm sniper bullets weighs a little over an ounce. OK, so snipers fire more bullets in training, but that's still going to end up with four tons being compared to a few pounds. You cannot have an army of snipers. There are many combat situations (like being ambushed), where a sniper getting off single, well aimed, shots would not be the most effective response. If you are ambushed, you want to put as many bullets on where you think the enemy is, as quickly as possible. But there are many combat situations where a few well placed shots will do a better job than hundreds of less well aimed bullets. Even for the regular troops, single shots are now favored over emptying a 30 round magazine with fully automatic fire. Every bullets counts, especially when you have to move them thousands of miles before you can use them. 


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