Anybody still use old school techniques?

shooter98

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I'm of the age where when we learned to shoot long range, we were taught the thumb technique for yardage and then using whatever was around for wind (grass, flags, leaves, smoke etc..) and we did pretty good. Now, I find myself using bdc scopes, laser range finders, phone apps etc... and I actually have a lower percentage of on target cold bore shots than before. So, just for s&g my buddy and I went out to our range and left all the technology home. We found ourselves having a blast again, and being on target pretty well. Is anybody still using the old school techniques and if so which techniques are you using?
 

RobertB

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That's great to hear. I believe in doing what it takes not to lose your past experience. I have modern systems and just old rifles. One my LR target rifles I have weather meters/ ballistic computers/fancy scopes/ different length bipod with QD mounts. I love them but also like taking my old M70 rifles out with a sling and seeing what I can do. I don't get near the results I do with my modern tools but yes, it can still be done. And there are guys out there with much more knowledge/experience than me that will prove me right. I get humbled all the time by old school techniques and I don't knock those guys at all.
 

seanh

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Back in the day, we didn't have any of the tools that are readily available now...we simply shot a lot in a variety of conditions. Simply put, we got to know our gun and load. You didn't need a wind meter- you knew by looking at what was going on down range...we learned how to read mirage...we learned how to estimate range with our reticle or some gauge such as a finger nail.

Today...I still don't have a laser range finder, ballistic computer, weather gauge...I don't need one. The time it takes to take readings and enter in info, I've already sent rounds down range using Kentucky windage/hold over...for hitting steel or shooting game, it's plenty accurate.

Sooner or later, the tool will fail- battery will die (you forgot extra batteries), they'll be a software issue or simply the electronic device will simply fail- board component goes out. You need to learn how to shoot on your own without the tools or you'll miss your shots.
 
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kraigWY

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I'm pretty much old style, but again I'm old.

Yeh I play with technology a bit but for serious shooting I revert to my old style which has worked for about 40 or so years.
 

Joe L

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I'm so new to shooting a bolt gun (Thanksgiving 2012), that "old school" means nothing to me. I am an engineer, so I love all the gadgets and calculations anyway. Heck, I'm even building a target-cam to use at a measly 500 meters. I'm just lucky to be able to buy a relatively inexpensive off-the-shelf Savage firearm that is so well made that I can put all the gadgets to work.

Joe
 

Sterling Shooter

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Today's definition for marksmanship seems to be "buying equipment that serves as a substitute for not having any marksmanship skill". I greet folks everyday who have recently purchased AR style rifles with as issued irons. These folks complain that they can't hit the target and therefore want a dot sight. With the dot sight mounted they can indeed hit the target and their marksmanship quest is over. These folks still no nothing about marksmanship and are pretty much capable of only hitting targets which can be hit intuitively. The consequence for these folks replacing perfectly superior BDC irons with the dot is versatility and capability. They loose pretty much everything they initially sought from the AR they bought.

I don't care about this stuff anymore unless the shooter who is confusing executing the firing tasks with actually knowing something about good shooting is professing skill. That gets me somewhat miffed, since this shooter, no matter the intention, is not capable of teaching anyone anything about marksmanship and thus will thwart an interested person's pursuit of marksmanship.

At any rate, I see most folks these days having fun with their rifles fitted with bipod and scope in complete ignorant bliss of anything actually important to good shooting. These folks are likely to never experience the thrill that comes to the accomplished marksman on the range or in the field for having mastered it all. In any endeavor you get out what you put in. But hey, instead of seeking out an understanding let's just turn on the TV and watch some "sniper show" to see what gear those guys use. Yeah, having that gear will get us to the promised land for sure.
 
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sinister

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I have tools and I like and use gadgets -- but I don't depend on them.

I have been in the field and in combat long enough to know if you're dependent on something and it fails you may not have any options. Adding backups can be problematic ("Two is one, one is none...").

I've seen some folks who no longer keep even an analog printed drop chart around, depending on the app in their phone or Nomad. Never seen someone use a phone in combat for their data. Kinda curious to hear of someone's face illuminated when they tap their phone or tablet display screen and wondering why the bad guys took off running (or worse).

Been there when a primary radio's LED palmtop screen blacked out due to cold temperatures.

Of course this is all from a military perspective -- if your biggest threat is running out of dip, coyotes, batteries, or prairie dogs it's irrelevant.

Having read reports of a Marine sniper squad getting overrun and slaughtered means it can happen.
 

40xs

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At my age I'm probably one of the worst for being slow to warm up to technology. I know, I know... I need to join the twenty first century. lol. but part of me takes a little pride in being able to do things the " old fashioned way ". I've learned through the years a decent degree about ballistics and trajectory by shooting .22's and 30/30's and what not and have a decent " feel" for how a bullet will fly and end up. It's that level of "calculated guess" that gets you by when nothing else is available.
 

ksthomas

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There's actually a LOT to be said for this, all across the board. And I agree completely with Sterling that gadgets have been mistaken for "skills" where marksmanship is concerned. Too many tools that simplify some very complex tasks, and we become reliant on them to the point of forgetting how to do them ourselves. Or in the cases of some younger shooters, never having learned them in the first place. Marksmanship is something that can be aided tremendously by some of these advancements, but I don't think they can ever serve as a substitute for those basic skills.

Goes far beyond that, though. Some 20-25 years ago, virtually nobody outside the professional ballisticians circle had the slightest clue what Ballistic Coefficient was. Most had never even heard of it, much less understood how it's used. I saw a very well known and widely respected gunwriter do an article in Guns & Ammo where he attempted to describe BC. As he put it, it had to do with the relationship of a bullet's time of flight in atmosphere as compared to its theoretical TOF in a vacuum. I waited to see if the guy would get eaten alive in the "readers write" section the next month, and it never happened. So not only didn't the writer have a clue, neither did the editor who approved the article, nor any of the readers who were now thinking it all related to TOF through a vacuum. I was tempted to ask him if that was an upright vacuum, or a canister model, or did it make a difference? Today, we have shooters who are freely discussing G1 vs G7, but still don't seem altogether clear on the fact that there's also a G2, G3, G4, GL, Hodsock, Ingalls, Mayevsky, Gavre, etc. out there as well, all because we now have computer programs that you can punch in G1 or G7. Until Bryan Litz and Berger opened these particular doors a few years back, the G1 was all the average shooter knew of, and still didn't really understand what it meant. Personally, I'd suggest that anyone wanting a better understanding here pick up a copy of Hatcher's Notebook, and take a look at the tables inside. Work out a few BCs, longhand with pencil and paper, and you'll have a much better grasp of what we're dealing with here than any dozen computer programs will provide.

Ditto for the interior programs like QuickLoad. Take the time to play with some of the variables in actually working out the equations, and you get a much better feel for how those variables interact with one another. Anybody ever work with Powley Computer? The little slide rule developed by Homer Powley to determine loads, velocities, pressures, etc., before we had the modern PCs? A great tool, and one that really gave you an inside view of all the interactions that go on inside a case upon firing. All those formulas can still be found in print in any of several publications, and are well worth taking the time to work through.

Maybe I'm over reacting here, but anytime you watch a high school graduate get that deer-in-the-headlights look of near panic when they have to make change from a $5 purchase without resorting to the calculator, well, you get the idea.
 

bodywerks

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If you can afford to shoot thousands of rounds a month at varying distances and conditions then the old school method is quite useful. As I'm sure you're aware, with experience comes more experience...
For a new shooter or someone that is more into the science behind bullet trajectory, technology trumps old school
 

kraigWY

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I was watching a show on the Military Channel about the retreat from the Chosen Reservoir and it got me thinking about this thread.

It was -20 and colder. No resupply, getting equipment to work was horrendous.

Then I got to thinking about my 19 years with the Alaska National Guard, most of our training was in the winter.

Batteries just wont work. You can't carry enough, or carry the means to keep them warm on any time of extended operation.

About the time I saw the Chosen Reservoir show the moron NK leader was rattling sabers.

Got me to thinking, are we, our military, prepared for such an extended engagement in sub-zero weather? A while back I read in the Wall Street Journal an article saying for a 72 hour operation our average soldier carries 7 lbs of batteries.

I know the M16 system can be kept running in extended sub-zero temps, (I've done it, I've taught it). But I'm not sure about the fancy optics we have now.

I remember a Brim Frost several years ago where the 101st came to Alaska, They weren't prepared, they couldn't even use their vehicles. We ran circles around them because we were old school.

I've been in the Big Horns hunting and half the time couldn't get my GPS to find satellites, two different GPS, just weird conditions. Also had batteries crater in my GPS and Laser Range Finder. Never had a map and compass fail me.

Jungles are just as bad. Nothing like a slimy humid jungle to turn everything to crap. That silt from rice paddies gets into everything. Not sure I'd even consider a scope in such conditions.

But what do I know, I'm just an old has been, don't have to worry about it cause I'm not going to Korea nor am I'm going to any jungles. I'll just deal with the Wyoming winters.
 

Graham

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Gadgets can never substitute for skill, I don't know where that idea came from.

But there are two sides to everything: Maps are often more accurate than GPS. But they don't designate targets very well. I know people who have waited for the computer map in the vehicle to update while they were taking incoming rounds. Bad idea. A map is better in that situation. And even then, preparing one's knowledge of the route trumps a map. Either way, and anywhere you are, there is no excuse for 1) not knowing your location; and 2) memorizing your dope to 700 yards.

With regard to technology, it doesn't always make us safer or more capable. Without leadership it simply accelerates the rate at which things go south.
 

Name Enough

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I'm old school. Been shooting for 50 years. Learned something called Kentucky Windage in the Army. I gauge wind as being a 2" wind or a 4" wind or maybe even a 5" wind. I only shoot out to 500 yards. I may have to revise my thinking as I now have a rifle that will get me out to 800 or 900 yards. I use a Z600 reticle on my Zeiss scopes and this provides good holdover hash marks out to 600 yards. It works for me.
 

Fuzzball

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"Is anybody still using the old school techniques and if so which techniques are you using?"

Yep. About the same methods as you.

When the SHTF event occurs all that modern solid state digital electrical stuff is gonna instantly quit from the EMP. Us old guys won't quit.
 
G

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I've never been a fan of whizzbang gizmo's, seen to many go to shit when they first came out. The front sight of a M14 or a TO&E slit card never required battery's to range with. A map and compass ranges just as well, if not better. The one thing most folks never think about is as of late we have not had to deal with an enemy that is as electronically savvy or outfitted as we are.
Every device that grabs/reads RF also transmits a signal, might be very small and not detectable past XXX meters but the fact it does is cause for concern to some. Yes they have to detect and react, where we only have to act but,.... Also like was said above one or three good EMP's and most of all the high tech is now but useless weight, let alone should a Sat or 5 of them fail. Wait until the military shuts off the Sats to civies, you would not believe what items have to time sink with them just to provide a basic took for granted service. Yes many things are shielded from EMP and time sink, but what about the rest of the chain those items rely upon that are not?
I've seen guys that went with pedometers instead of knowing or staying current with their pace counts and using the two pocket method.
When it all goes to shit, knowing how to use two sticks correctly, might make all the difference, but who cares lighters are everywhere, right?
 

proneshooter

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For a new shooter or someone that is more into the science behind bullet trajectory, technology trumps old school

That is an oxymoron if I ever heard one. If you were more into the science behind the bullet you would drop the PDA with the software you know nothing of and pick up some books on fluid mechanics and start reading. But that means you would have to know how to solve differential equations too. And that leaves about 75% of the population of the US and about 99% of its HS grads out of the game.
 

waste_knot

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I still buy beer in 3 piece soldered seam steel cans that require a lever action can opener.
R'member that! That was when men were men and Schlitz was the largest selling beer in the word. "When you're out of Schlitz, you're out of beer".
Perma-tabs and drawn and wall ironed alum cans with their fancy spun necks who needs um!
 

lowlight

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    A PDA has nothing to do with being "old school" unless you are talking about doing long hand math in the field. If your idea of being old school is running a formula with a pen and paper or calculator then you're clueless.

    You can easily run the numbers using a ballistic computer before you ever leave the house and be 10x more accurate and effective than any old school rule of thumb which was probably written for a completely different bullet. You can run any series of accurate data tables and charts for your rifle and bullet combo then bring those to the field and never use a battery powered device. Laminate it and never look back. Not to mention the ease to simulate different wind conditions on the fly so you can teach yourself how these changes effect your bullet. It simple requires an old school technique called studying. Using a PDA in the field I know the High, Low, and Average Wind hold before any can do a formula and I know those better than 1MPH which is critical. No hold for an 8 to 10 MPH wind, I know the hold for the 6 low, the 12 high and the 9 average and what the difference between all three are before I lay behind the rifle. Then I can use the mirage to tell me where I am in that cycle.

    Also I challenge anyone who advocates old school range to come out here and try engaging targets with their reticle faster and more accurate than me and my laser. I will even carry the extra weigh of a spare battery maybe even 2. We all know if your battery fails it was 1. Your fault for not changing it before you went into the field or 2. Using shit Rayovacs in which case trying to save money cost you. I for one cannot remember the last time my batteries died. I set targets all day yesterday from 200 to 1200 yards a few sub moa too and if you think you're accurately ranging a 10" plate 1100 yards away with your old school 10x scope and mil dot reticle you must be a NYC bridge salesman. Lately I have even taken to buying the 3x more expensive lithium type batteries and Duracell advertises their new models last 10 years. Progress


    Knowing how to use a map & compass, sure, understanding the fundamentals of marksmanship absolutely but not acknowledging that technology is the reason records are being broken and ranges are extending is just lying to yourself. Everyone hated the M16 compared to the M14 but it broke every record the 14 had, so much for old school. Take those old school methods and shoot ELR with them and let me know how that works out for you. Sure you can pace off the point of the triangle and shoot an azimuth to the target than break out the paper and pen for your Trig problem, or you can tap it with a PLRF 25c BT that is Bluetooth to your ballistic computer and have a solution in a single button push. I know both methods but damn if I am pacing off 100 yards in 2 directions just to get a range.

    The only old school method required is curiosity .... The drive for knowledge both new and old, a little of bit curiosity and some old fashion study goes a long way. Shunning one is just as bad as ignoring the other.
     

    kraigWY

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    Maybe...........but.

    I spent a lot of time on extended field problems in the Arctic. We had to carry extra radio batteries just like any other place, but the problem is batteries don't work that well in extreme cold weather. You can change batteries but that means taking another cold battery from your ruck that didn't work either.

    The only radio we could get to work 100% of the time was the PRC 109, because it didn't use batteries, it had a hand crank. When its -40 and colder, its not hard to find someone to crank the generator cause that puppy warmed you right up.
     
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    or you can tap it with a PLRF 25c BT that is Bluetooth to your ballistic computer and have a solution in a single button push.
    Until we are on a battle field where our enemy is just as good with finding/using electronics as we are, the argument old vs new is but a waste.

    The day will come soon(we may be past it all ready, don't know) when having anything that emits RF will be a major down fall, less be we become a arrow point on a gird screen, or only having the ability to proceed and succeed, via a battery devices solution. Don't get me wrong I'm all about letting technology do the work but when our enemy's have just as good (or better) EMP ability than us, I don't want our guys thinking one, is everything. We as a Nation have made that mistake more than a few times in our history.
    Also the adage what is best for top score is all that, seems to not hold water. For if the 16 was the be all, 14's would have not had to been called out of retirement as a stop gap. As I recall the AR 10 preceded the 15, then 16, and its record was dismal at best. Given 47+ years of "Improvements" on one design anything is possible.
     

    lowlight

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    Kraig

    What percentage of the wars of the past 100 years were fought in the Arctic ? And for how long ? How many ground troops ?

    I really don't see a protracted conflict happening above the Arctic Circle or somewhere around the South Pole... Sure cold effects a lot of things, but did they have New Generation Lithium Batteries back when you fighting the colds of Alaska ?

    I really don't think the 14 was ever really "called out of retirement" on an official capacity, it was just a bunch of nostalgic guys who heard DAD talk about the M14 and found some were still running around. Hardly any were high speed National Match versions, just a bunch of left overs. The Navy had a ton so it made sense to try and use them. They went to great lengths to get them to work and it was less than successful. Just a bit of history refusing to die. If OLD SCHOOL Guys weren't constantly crowing about the 14 you would have never seen it show up in the last 10 years.

    The AR10 is another way to extend range and increase energy downrange. Plus it "looks" like an M16 so that helps its cause. The 308 is always gonna be better than an 5.56, but the M14 was not the prize it has earned in time. The bullet can still beat the 5.56 it's the GUN that cannot ...

    The PSR is a 308, 300WM and 338LM.... technology, it's about the bullets, and the ability to adjust on the fly. My PSR I can swap calibers in 1 minute with a single allen wrench. When I got it the 338 barrel was on, it was nothing to move it back to 308. That tech is the direction we are going. Need to practice, use your 308, need to fight in an urban setting try that 308 or 300WM, heading to the mountains stick the 338LM on all in minutes.

    This idea that "some day" our enemy will have the capability to find a sniper using a PDA in the field is ludicrous, when that happens we'll have something new. And last time I checked the majority of the wars we are fighting are against cave dwellers in a 3rd world country. When the time comes fight a country with the same technology we'll certainly leap frog ahead. Not in our lifetime, so why ignore it because you fear, "someday" some alien race will home in on your signal and zap you... I am pretty sure nothing today smaller than a truck mounted unit will find you 2000m away using your PDA... maybe a Drone but then he can find you with Thermal and to my knowledge Thermal Defeating Ghillie Suits are not standard issue.

    If you are shunning anything because of what happened 50 years ago, or because of what might happen 50 years from now you need to wake up in the present.
     

    sinister

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    I cannot argue that technology is great when it works. Extreme cold and wet/humidity are the enemy of electronic devices. The Rockies and the Yukon can compete with Korea, Scandinavia, the Balkans, the Andes, and the Hindu Kush -- and once you've stepped off the bird or AMTRAC and have to resort to reach-back resupply and repair you can be hosed, quick.

    Today's military has hundreds, if not thousands, of fantastic gadgets to make killing fast and efficient. It can also fail to where you need to default to something like a printed firing chart, table, map, and compass (whether for a rifle or howitzer). Having a laminated table, chart, or data book (albeit previously run on a desktop, laptop, notebook, PDA, or Kestrel) in your pocket is old school -- formulae compensating for all your variables (including velocity, G7 ballistic form, weather, altitude, temperature, pressure, barrel wear, twist, and whether your dingaling dresses left or right while in prone or position) is not -- folks have been doing math since before Hatcher.

    Does it ever happen? I've been on enough exercises, evals, and combat spins to know nothing my Uncle issues is infallible, and on more than one occasion we've had to default to back-ups. I have seven or eight military free fall reserve parachute rides and a couple of real-world bail-outs or ride-downs.

    By nature our planning system works on the acronym "PACE," for PRIMARY - ALTERNATE - CONTINGENCY - and EMERGENCY.

    I've had radios that would only work after a full day of charging on solar panel, plus hand-cranking to get out short burst transmissions; failed sniper optics in the field (internal fogging; no internal adjustment, or not focusing); lasers that failed due to seawater corrosion; and broken weapons (bolt handles cracking off, bolts not cocking, and semis not feeding).

    All those were on United States Special Operations Command-issued equipment, which some may or may not assume might be a grade above what Snuffy or Benotz would be issued in the General Purpose Forces.

    Not saying the stuff we issue isn't great, high-speed, or cutting edge -- but if man made it and Uncle issued it it might fail (even with the best waterproofing and packing job). Training and capability has to be more than one level deep. For many/most that's a bridge too far when it comes to time and treasure investment -- they want the quick fix, now.

    Just as a point of curiosity (since my experience is SF and Army-based) do the Marine Scout-Sniper or Scout-Sniper Instructor Course use lasers and PDAs yet? I don't think the two Army schools (Benning and Robinson) do. Still based on stubby pencil, fingers-and-toes, and the abacus. I don't think something as simple as the Kestrel is even addressed.
     
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    lowlight

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    Sure but that is not just "electronics" when you talk about extreme cold on gear... people stop working well too.

    My brother works in the Movie industry making Batteries, Anton/Bauer - Manufacturer of Batteries and Chargers for Broadcast, Digital Film and Video Professionals they actually just won an Technology Oscar this year. Their batteries power cameras and all movie electronics around the world. To include the Arctic. How do you think documentaries are made. They even follow guys on the Iditarod as well as filming stuff at the Poles.
    The only question is "how long" you want the camera to last. Their operating range is -50C for their current batteries. The tech exists...

    Nobody is saying not to use anything, but instead saying the idea you shouldn't because it will fail is stupid. The idea that someday it won't work so never use it... that is the issue. As I have clearly stated, know both, but practice with the best tech you can, there is no reason not too. Absolutely stuff fails all the time, not just in extreme conditions, but that doesn't mean you ignore it.
     

    sinister

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    Amen -- preach it, brother!

    Sometimes the "Practice both" gets lost in the background static or time and motivation available. Folks don't normally practice the "Too hard/difficult" stuff -- no instant gratification.

    RISK = PROBABILITY X CONSEQUENCES. If it's not worth your life or mission success people will work on something else (like haircuts and sexual harassment prevention or some other myriad of topics)..
     
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    If you are shunning anything because of what happened 50 years ago, or because of what might happen 50 years from now you need to wake up in the present.
    I doubt that. History is the best teacher I've ever known, as my crystal ball sucks. Every time we as a nation have put all our eggs into one basket we have been bit in the ass hard. The biggest that the general public knows is the F-4 and it's lack of a gun. That B/S decision not only killed stick jocks but boots on the ground as well. I Remember when spray and pray was the rage, but luckily the guys that trained us/I were old school. They had seen what worked and what was pie in the sky in/from WW II, Korea, and one guy from the Congo. One good "Event" and we would be at the same level the rags are. Now given we have 12 years of toe to toe with them and they seem to be still on the play ground, I've have to say High tech may not be, the be all. Ever wonder how it would play out if they had the same tech ability as us, I have over and over, and come to the same conclusion. High tech war toys are about money, more than fighting a war. WW II took less than 1/3 the time we have dicked with these guys.

    Wait until it's China, Russia or another electronically savvy country, the first casualty on our side will be our ability to send and use, one's an zero's. That UN-anounced war is going on every day now within this country and the folks that are running our defense are as nervous as can be.
    For they know what will happen, when the right key strokes get "entered" that our electronic house of cards is over.
     

    lowlight

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    Unless you are reading Jules Verne or HG Wells, and watching SyFy, history doesn't explain technology, only good decisions and bad in terms of tactics.

    Technology is not bound by history, at least not that I have seen, it only helps to show you how far we have come.

    What is the History Lessons of the Night Vision, other than the Germans fielded it in WWII, does that unit teach you anything about today;s use ?
     
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    Not talking about the history of tech. It's the history of putting all ones eggs into one basket. Having high tech is all well and good but knowing how to complete a task w/o it, is where i stand. Nightvision has came a long way from the first M3, or IR scope I used on a M-113, and I bet knowing how to "Night Walk" is not even taught anymore.
    If high tech was all that, the Germans should have won, we would have won a few more past WW II, and not taken 12 years of playing with cave dwellers.
     

    kraigWY

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    Ranger Eyes, love them.

    While at a ranger indoc course at the Benning School for Boys, we use to take our hats off, hold them out at arm's length and see how long it took the guy behind us to run into a tree.
     
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    Show me one line where I said to put "all your eggs in one basket" please quote me ...
    You never said in this thread but, have implied it many times over threw the years, w/o adding nuance. Granted high tech sells, and I'd not trade my 3rd gen pvs4 for an M3, but I still know how to operate at night w/o either if need be. Could I still be as effective w/o it, probably not,... but not knowing/having the ability as a backup is,...but as they say, only a one. I've seen kids that were perfect in math with a calculator, but when the power fails at MickyD's,... making change was beyond them.

    Kraig,

    I'd venture to guess many small things have went by the wayside in training, fishing line to led men to a ambush site in pitch black, hooks attached to trip wires, simple stuff.
     

    lowlight

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    Oh I implied it .... never said it, in fact I said quite the opposite.

    Now answering someone, Today, even yesterday would it be smarter to say:

    Go to JBM Ballistics for Free, put your bullet and Muzzle Velocity in along with your details like Sight Height and Environmental conditions then run the numbers for your rifles

    Or ...

    Use the following the formulas the try your hand at the long hand math...

    Range X Wind MPH / CONSTANT = MOA

    Understanding you need the correct constant or you risk being slightly off... Constants are for 168 SMK while the person asking the question maybe shooting something different --- so they need the constant formula too but the easiest way to get the correct constant without having real world dope you shot is to use a Ballistic Computer.

    So they need the constant formula plus the Drift Formula, probably the conversions from inches of drop to MOA as most manufacturers provide the information in Inches... so that is 3 different long hand math formulas when they can get both with a single "calculate" using JBM for free... Not to mention output the answer in both Mils and MOA so they can see the difference. So let's add a 4th equations the conversion of MOA to Mils as many are getting Mil based scopes.

    the choices again:

    So convert inches in drop to MOA, then run the wind drift, after adjusting the constants, finally converting to Mils from MOA .... all with a calculating do it over and over for every range necessary.

    Go JBM Ballistics Online, select bullet from library, add in MV, Sight Height, Ranges, and Atmosphere, select Mils and MOA then calculate

    New Shooters please weigh in on what sounds better.

    Yes I use technology, however in my class I teach both.... in some cases I teach all three... You make a lot of assumptions without knowing a thing about how I operate or what I advocate.

    Screen shots from my Power Point for my Basic Class

    Screen Shot 2013-05-13 at 5.23.08 PM.jpg

    That is for converting Manufacturer data

    Screen Shot 2013-05-13 at 5.23.59 PM.jpg

    Wind Formulas in MOA

    Screen Shot 2013-05-13 at 5.23.37 PM.jpg

    Wind Formulas in Mils

    I also show tables and charts you can make and print as well I give directions to JBM and then after Chronographing every students rifle in an INDOOR Range we go back to the class and I run a JBM Chart for each one before we head to the outside range and shoot at distance.

    My Slide Show for my basic class is about 150 slides long ... just for starters
     

    Sterling Shooter

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    All,

    Over a century ago, Col. Townsend Whelen put to words what's important to good shooting. Nothing has changed since then except the technology which we use as aids or substitutes to marksmanship. Col. Whelen said that most folks with average intelligence could learn how to shoot; but, those having a lower order of intelligence could not learn how to shoot. He said these folks did not know how to use their brains. Today, I see too many folks who do not know how to use their brains. Some come to this forum seeking advice on problems which they could solve themselves if they knew how to use their brains. These folks use technology as a substitute for marksmanship, while those who do indeed use their brains use technology as aids to marksmanship. In either case, technology seems to be a godsend. The only concern I have about technology is that some folks with really big brains, who are just getting into shooting, are bypassing the fundamentals today, simply being unaware of them or of their necessity; and thus, these folks will not likely get to the highest plateaus of good shooting, since they do not know everything that's important to good shooting.
     
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    Graham

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    All,

    Over a century ago, Col. Townsend Whelen put to words what's important to good shooting. Nothing has changed since then except the technology which we use as aids or substitutes to marksmanship. Col. Whelen said that most folks with average intelligence could learn how to shoot; but, those having a lower order of intelligence could not learn how to shoot. He said these folks did not know how to use their brains. Today, I see too many folks who do not know how to use their brains. Some come to this forum seeking advice on problems which they could solve themselves if they knew how to use their brains. These folks use technology as a substitute for marksmanship, while those who do indeed use their brains use technology as aids to marksmanship. In either case, technology seems to be a godsend. The only concern I have about technology is that some folks with really big brains, who are just getting into shooting, are bypassing the fundamentals today, simply being unaware of them or of their necessity; and thus, these folks will not likely get to the highest plateaus of good shooting, since they do not know everything that's important to good shooting.
    Sterling, talking about your allegedly superior intelligence and your disdain for any substitute for traditional marksmanship training has nothing to do with the OP's question about using manual methods of range estimation and trajectory calculation. Besides, I am sure there are plenty of ignorant people who are very good marksmen.

    I'll save you the standard re-post:
    You should expect to hit where aimed. Beginning with the fact that the bullet will ALWAYS go in the direction the barrel is pointed, to hit where aimed, only requires recognition for where the barrel is pointed and the ability to pull the trigger without disturbing aim, supporting those two tasks with a steady position.... Focus on pointing the rifle with consistent sight alignment and pulling the trigger without moving the rifle, utilizing smooth trigger control.... you have not yet learned how to use your brain to be enlightened from your own experimentation.

    And I'll save someone else the standard reply to your re-post:
    Do you understand how meaningless your advice is?

    Do you understand that no one pays attention to you when you repeat the same exact nonsense regardless of the topic at hand?

    Do you understand that the mechanical accuracy of a rifle has absolutely nothing to do with any principles of marksmanship?
     
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    Papa Zero Three

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    Been there when a primary radio's LED palmtop screen blacked out due to cold temperatures.
    .

    Commo gear is an excelent example of our reliance on Tech. One of the things I felt was a huge mistake was the removal/reduction of morse code from the Echo Q course cirriculum. New Tech is one of the reasons for this, the other(s) are outside of this topic, but none the less it goes to show be it cold, sun spots or murphy, if your commo PACE plan has items that all have an LED screen and or computer chip(s) it is vulnerable to failure if all the stars line up right and you have a bad day. Morse code and one time pads are as old school as it gets and is the least tech dependant, it's the man behind the leg key and understanding how it all works together. Much in the same way that knowing stubby pencil formula methods and sound principals in marksmanship is what allows some people to shoot comfortably without any electronics.

    Now, with that said, I also completly agree with what has been said by Lowlight in posts #20 and #34. The modern equipment and tech are hard to go toe to toe with using the older methods/equipment be it timeliness/speed and or the users required knowledge/skill level. The toys/tech are nice to have but if your house is built entirely on the foundation of their being available , you might be in for a surprise one day. Which is why as cumbersome as some of it may be, it is still good to learn and practice some of those "long hand" methods every once in awhile.
     

    kraigWY

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    I really like reading Whelen but I like and agree with Gary Anderson's quote: "There are no Hopeless Shooters"
     

    Sterling Shooter

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    I really like reading Whelen but I like and agree with Gary Anderson's quote: "There are no Hopeless Shooters"

    Kraig,

    I think there is hope for ANY who want to learn. Those folks know that they don't know how to do it; and, they are motivated to learn. However, many casual shooters I see today think being able to execute the firing tasks is synonymous with marksmanship. These shooters are drawn to "match grade' gadgets to boost their performance instead of self improvement. Since, they do not believe there is anything more to shooting than pulling the trigger, they are not interested in learning what they believe they already know. They say " I already know how to shoot" when their awkward relationships with the gun and ground makes it evident that they actually know nothing about good shooting. I think Col. Whelen may have had that in mind when he said folks do not know how to use their brains. When you think you know how to do it there is very little motivation to engage the brain.

    All, except Graham

    I think when folks get the idea from the advertising they've read, that good shooting is all about their equipment, technology does not serve them but instead deceives them. Deceive enough folks that good shooting is all about equipment and marksmanship will loose its relevance.
     
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    lowlight

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    Interestingly,

    if you follow Benchrest or the FClass Open crowd you'll see very little if any "old school" techniques demonstrated.

    The best equipment engineered and fired from positions that take much of the shooter out of the equation. Where are the principles of Townsend applied . Is Gary Anderson doing math on the line ? I suspect not a single equation, it was all figured ahead of time, he already knows and is not breaking out a calculator or worst a pencil. Except to record his hits for later study.

    Coaches with the teams use tech, they use spotters and kestrels to monitor the changes, the shooter, shoots the changes as relayed to him via the coach. We all know you, as the shooter cannot shoot if your head is in the spotter or with a scope and your eye is on the changes and not properly quartering the target. At some point the decision must be made. Old school math, is an exercise for home when you're not out shooting. If your head is the equation it's being distracted from the firing task.

    Tech does cause the same problems, guys expecting one outcome who get something else begin to doubt and question, thus being taken off task.

    The act of shooting, engaging in the firing task is not a question of old or new, there is no fundamental shortcut. There is no tech short of bench rest that completely removes the shooter. FClass shooters use support and light triggers much in the same way bench rest did, and does. They use better bullets, barrels and stocks, along with excellent optics to maintain consistency. But again, I never saw one being distracted with the math.

    Old school is being misunderstood here, old school math will never be more successful than new techniques to determine the same answer. You're arguing or debating the Pen & Paper vs the Ababcaus vs the Computer. Computers win every time. None of those press the trigger, the shooter does, and the less the mind drifts the better you can focus on the firing task.
     

    lowlight

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    Sterling

    During the match last week, I snapped this photograph, it shows a rifle with a drop & drift chart.
    969211_10151700182892953_401350624_n.jpg


    How the shooter arrives at that number can come in a variety of ways. Because we are NOT talking about "old school" shooting techniques, but rather old school methods of figuring drop and drift.

    As noted earlier, there is no "old school" formula out there in circulation that is designed to work 100% with any one cartridge & rifle combination. They all require some type of adjustment and because of the nature of math, that adjustment usually means a type of trial and error to reach the constant necessary to achieve utmost accuracy. Computers on the other can adjust for those changes and contain a library of data on a variety of cartridges. As well, they can model the atmospheric conditions better than a person can, especially when being feed direct data from a pocket weather station. We are not meteorologist so we cannot read the weather to the degree these devices can. The old school principle here is preparation, how the shooter chooses to prepare his data is one of choice. How he chooses to arrive at his answer that he will then use in the field. If we attempt to extract these answer in the field, we are distracted from the firing task.

    Shooting, as we all know require some basic principles to work, still I think we can both point to a very good shooter who breaks a fundamental here and there. Consider the shooter with the light trigger press who "taps" the trigger and does not follow through. Logic around the fundamentals says, that should not work successfully, but yet we see examples of it everyday. One way to overcome this lack of fundamentals is to engineer a support system to "hold the rifle steady" thus allowing the shooter to compromise the fundamentals of marksmanship. In stead of a steady hold with bone support, we have a bipod or rifle rest. These aid the shooter, where his sling shooting would surely suffer his lack of support, his benchrest shooting is now competitive.

    The technique of moving the sling from underneath the stock to the right side for a right handed shooter is still not widely used. But many of use feel putting the sling to the right side of the stock helps control a number of effects that you can't see when it is on the left or hanging from the bottom. It's all the same when it comes time to fire the rifle, but that small change is a modern technical change that might progress a shooter to another level. In practice it might only be noted by the very best, but still, the little things matter.

    The math behind the computer is very similar, however they now have more factors to work with. They are not limited in their scope, they can adjust on the fiy to any rifle and bullet, something the long hand math cannot do without time consuming effort. there is still a formula driving the computer, but the power to combine more than one formula doesn't exist anywhere else but inside the chip. We can't do it with the Paper & Pen.

    So yes, tech of this type is displacing it. Sure there will always be people who want to know "why" the computer arrived at that answer. But there is no longer a need too. We can focus on the task at hand, which is successfully engaging the target. How well a shooter prepares is really the debate...

    Software is capable of producing an answer to a screen, or printer. That printed sheet can then be laminated and used under any condition on the planet. Why would anyone question specific data for the rifle & bullet combination vs a rule of thumb or worst, solution for a 308 when they are shooting a 6mm ? All the current "old school" wind drift formulas are designed around the 30 cal, it requires a whole series of work ups to change it.

    That photograph was shot a week ago, look at the breakdown in ranges, the details was never seen 25 years ago.
     

    kraigWY

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    ..........
    The best equipment engineered and fired from positions that take much of the shooter out of the equation. Where are the principles of Townsend applied . Is Gary Anderson doing math on the line ? I suspect not a single equation, it was all figured ahead of time, he already knows and is not breaking out a calculator or worst a pencil. Except to record his hits for later study......

    Gary Anderson (as did Whelen) teaches fundamentals, and he is damn good at it, based on the results he's getting from the CMP Junior Programs and His CMP GSM MI programs.

    All the technology and math in the world isn't going to do you one bit of good if you don't have the "old school fundamentals" down.
     

    lowlight

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    Gary Anderson (as did Whelen) teaches fundamentals, and he is damn good at it, based on the results he's getting from the CMP Junior Programs and His CMP GSM MI programs.

    All the technology and math in the world isn't going to do you one bit of good if you don't have the "old school fundamentals" down.

    Your reading comprehension is pretty much non-existent ...

    Tell me what teaching the fundamentals of marksmanship has to do with a ballistic computer or how it translates to "old school" vs New Tach...

    Is there a New Technology that explains the fundamentals in a different way we are all missing ?

    You guys have constantly confused the Fundamentals of Marksmanship with "old school math" for determining Drop and Drift ... that is what this is about.

    Yes you can engineer the shooter out of the equation as in Benchrest but we are not talking about technological advances that all the shooter to remotely fire a rifle, we are talking about math.

    Gary Anderson teaching the fundamentals is probably exact no different as anymore else as the definitions for NPA, Trigger Control, Follow Through, etc have not changed... yes some of us define "straight back on the trigger" differently, but it's still "straight back on the trigger" there is no "old school' definition. Maybe you can stretch the concept where Gary is teaching sling shooting and I teach around a bipod. So he is gonna be off at an angle while I am gonna be straight back behind the rifle, but the idea of NPA is the same... He is just recoiling with a sling and I am recoiling from a solid support. Not exactly old school vs tech...

    He still has to know his Dope, he still needs to figure Drift and Drop and I guarantee you, he is not teaching them to break out a pen and paper on the line just before the shot... he is teaching them to get that information before they even left the house.

    Stop trying to pretend you have some "old school" insight that is being left behind and off the range... Fundamentals are Fundamentals period and not subject too old vs new.
     

    Grump

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    Okay, so the true question is about "old school" calculations of the dope.

    Or, "new school", the "firing solution". Not the shooting skills fundamentals, but how to calculate/figger/guess/estimate where exactly to point the barrel, somewhere away from the line of sight.

    So, on stuff like "reading the wind" and such to adjust our aim, etc., I usually like what LowLight has to say. But this:

    "Also I challenge anyone who advocates old school range to come out here and try engaging targets with their reticle faster and more accurate than me and my laser. I will even carry the extra weigh of a spare battery maybe even 2. We all know if your battery fails it was 1. Your fault for not changing it before you went into the field or 2. Using shit Rayovacs in which case trying to save money cost you."

    I'm not the guy to take you up on this challenge, being a slow-talking man who's prone to taking three extra looks to make sure before I commit to the shot. But if I ran 20-30 rounds per week under some drill/skill development conditions for 2-3 months, taking better notes than I usually do and then triggering my barely above-average memorization skills, then maybe I could become the guy to challenge you and maybe we'd come out even. As fast AND more accurately. This I believe is possible, and some mil it/drill-it types are surely MUCH faster than I am.

    But here's where I just gotta call bullcrap on you. I believe in the old-school backups to tech. Tech fails, and for reasons extending way beyond power failures. Your high-quality batteries do not guarantee useful laser readings.

    I also firmly believe that in only a few years, someone will have some detection and targeting systems in place that will guide a crew's HE rounds to a 15-meter radius kill zone within a few seconds of a laser rangefinder being pulsed in that general direction for more than a quarter-second. Using a LRF could getcha killt.

    Just 8 days ago I had to mil my paper target, not on a square range and I really didn't care that much about having a distance not evenly divisible by 100. Lighting and atmosphere and the twigs in between resulted in NO laser readings to be had. Got a tiny 3-round group that was about .35 mil high, in part because dusk was approaching and I didn't recalculate for the higher altitude. Using the other load's velocity introduced further error. My bad.

    Yes, when it all works, laser + drop chart is faster for almost everyone. I'm glad you teach more than that.

    So, answering the OP, yes, LowLight and others still teach old school on ranging and drop and wind calcs, a lot of us still know them, and sometimes they do get used.
     

    lowlight

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    The targets at the Ranch in Douglas are still up, anytime you want to race. or better I will give you one year to train, anyone for that matter.

    Come to the 2014 SH Cup, if you Top 25 using just your reticle I will pay for the entire trip plus $500. You lose you owe me $1000 plus your entry fee and the trip is on your dime.

    The course is simple, every target is UKD from 2 MOA to 1MOA in size, you have 5 minutes per stage to locate & range ten (10) targets including engagement. In fact we can go in blind with no prep time and see who is faster... Targets are from 200 yards to 1200. If you don't want to race me, we get anyone with a laser to use as a par time.

    I will accept that challenge any day of the week and twice on weekends. Your reticle against my laser & PDA. Just name the day.
     

    kraigWY

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    There are times technology wont work help. There are times it will. I agree it may be faster on the target range, but I want old school to fall back on if I'm facing the elephant in Indian country.

    01.jpg
     

    Steve Garbe

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    Gentlemen,

    An interesting discussion to be sure. Having no combat experience I am unqualified to comment on tactical situations and I guess those who know me would describe me as "Old School" on just about everything. I am impressed with the new shooting aids/programs/computers/gadgets that I have been made aware of in the last few years and can see their worth...when they work. But I agree with the wise philosophy of using both old and new technique and being proficient at each. It provides for a Plan A, B, C, D and E.

    I do have some competition experience that has shown me the value of being able to engage the computer between my ears and make a fast judgement call on conditions. I feel that this ability isn't defined as either "Old" or "New" school but simply "practical" marksmanship that isn't reliant upon batteries. Being able to make a shot when nothing has gone according to plan is a good skill to practice.

    As a professional guide I saw time and again that most human of traits...planning for the event that was least likely to happen. Most clients had given much thought, and purchased equipment for, the 500-yard shot on a elk while being totally unpracticed and unprepared for the 100-yard (or less) shot that actually presented itself. One memorable group of clients, who possessed all the newest range-finding scopes and modern rifles, were challenged with hitting a coffee-can, offhand, at 50 yards. Not one could do it.

    Old technology is not bad technology, it is just "tested" technology. New technology is frequently "misunderstood" technology. I feel that the wise rifleman makes use of, and understands, both.

    Just my thoughts on an interesting topic.

    Steve