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Freethinker
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quote:
Originally posted by DamageInc:
Do you think Border Patrol agents never take sniper fire?


You obviously know a lot about the subject, so thanks for chiming in.

As I posted, if that sort of thing is happening and they are responding with their own countersniper fire despite the dangers of doing so rather than taking cover or, yes, running away, I’m eager to learn about them. Please post some links to the accounts so I can read up on them and become convinced of their need for long range precision rifles. I haven’t been able to find anything of that nature, so I’m grateful that you’re aware of them and can point me in the right direction.

I am also curious what your basis of knowledge is about the effectiveness of the 6.5 Creedmoor for defending against human targets. Is that something that has been tested extensively? Again, I would be very grateful for any information you can provide about that or anything else pertaining to the subject that you’re obviously aware of.




“Most men … can seldom accept the simplest and most obvious truth if it … would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions … which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabrics of their lives.”
— Leo Tolstoy
 
Posts: 38402 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by sigfreund:
I am also curious what your basis of knowledge is about the effectiveness of the 6.5 Creedmoor for defending against human targets. Is that something that has been tested extensively?

Whisky...Tango...Foxtrot...

Do you have any frickin' clue that the Scandinavian people have used the 6.5x55 Mauser -- which is very similar in velocity and energy to the 6.5 Creedmoor -- to effectively hunt MOOSE?

MOOSE. Big ass MOOSE.

Wow. Just wow.
 
Posts: 5460 | Location: Colorado | Registered: January 26, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by sigfreund:
quote:
Originally posted by DamageInc:
Do you think Border Patrol agents never take sniper fire?


You obviously know a lot about the subject, so thanks for chiming in.

As I posted, if that sort of thing is happening and they are responding with their own countersniper fire despite the dangers of doing so rather than taking cover or, yes, running away, I’m eager to learn about them. Please post some links to the accounts so I can read up on them and become convinced of their need for long range precision rifles. I haven’t been able to find anything of that nature, so I’m grateful that you’re aware of them and can point me in the right direction.

I am also curious what your basis of knowledge is about the effectiveness of the 6.5 Creedmoor for defending against human targets. Is that something that has been tested extensively? Again, I would be very grateful for any information you can provide about that or anything else pertaining to the subject that you’re obviously aware of.


You obviously don’t know much, if anything about conditions of the border or the employment of LE precision shooters ( call them snipers, counter snipers, Tactical Observers - it’s semantics).

You seem obsessed with this idea of “counter sniping” being agents coming under fire, getting a rifle out of the trunk and returning fire. Did you see this on TV ?

BP Agents take fire from south of the river (and return fire) on a regular basis. No one needs to “convince” you of anything, it is reality on the border and has been for decades.

Regardless, precision rifles are only authorized for specializrped units such as BORTAC.

The shooters work as part of a two man Tactical Observer team just like other LE/Mil teams. They are part of and work in support of a larger BORTAC team. These teams are normally conducting pre-planned operations in remote areas including mountains, desert, etc.

The TO team will normally pre position and provide overwatch /long cover for operations like high risk interdiction operationa. One example of this is setting up what is basically an “ambush” intercepting drug loads, and the rip off crews which prey on them.

If you want a more detailed example this type interdiction operation look up the operation which resulted in the death of BPA Brian Terry.
 
Posts: 310 | Location: Texas | Registered: March 25, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
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Thanks, HCM, for all that. (But no, I haven’t watched teevee on one that I’ve owned since 1972 when mine was stolen by government contractors when I went to Korea, so unlike what is obvious about most Americans, I don’t get my ideas or knowledge there.)

I keep hoping for specific information about these things and continue to be disappointed, but I will attempt to find out about the one you mentioned. Are you aware of any books or articles on that operation?

As for the effectiveness of the 6.5 Creedmoor as an antipersonnel cartridge I have little doubt that it would “do the job” as the magazine article writers put it. The reason I ask such questions, though, is that I’ve been interested in human—not hunting—wound ballistics all five plus decades of my adult life and if there’s one thing I know for certain as a result of all that study is that such information is often highly flawed: incomplete, just plain wrong, or both. When someone makes a categorical statement about the subject, I extend the courtesy of believing that he has specific and reliable bases for his statement and isn’t simply extrapolating from something else that may be similar, but not the same. Although I haven’t had much experience hunting big game myself, through the miracle of the Internet it’s possible to clearly observe that when such animals are shot, they very often react in ways that would sadden a law enforcement sniper if he were trying to instantly end a criminal threat.

I have a lot of respect for your contributions here, fritz, but I gather that I’ve annoyed you with my explanations of why law enforcement snipers seldom, if ever choose lower-powered cartridges that allow shooters to spot bullet impacts themselves. Perhaps I’m wrong about the source of your annoyance, but in any event annoying you wasn’t my intent. I believe that when something like this is being discussed, it’s important for people who may be students of the subject to have a fuller understanding of the factors involved. And if someone keeps saying, “You have to be able to spot your own bullet impacts,” in a discussion of this specific subject, I may keep explaining how law enforcement sniping is different from competition shooting and why that’s not something most law enforcement snipers believe is true.

Added: Thanks to all for these discussions, even when people believe I’m an ignorant idiot. Every challenge forces me to reevaluate my knowledge and opinions. Although it doesn’t happen frequently ( Wink ), everything I learn that’s new or different makes it all worthwhile.




“Most men … can seldom accept the simplest and most obvious truth if it … would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions … which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabrics of their lives.”
— Leo Tolstoy
 
Posts: 38402 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by sigfreund:
In other words, the lighter recoil of the 6.5 offers no practical advantage at reasonably likely LE sniping engagement distances...

You’ve shot with offgrid at the Chaffee County range, possibly with Alpine and Scott, too. Given that I’ve been there, too, let me guess how at least one of those days went.

Offgrid walked up to the bench line with his rifle, one mag, and a rear bag. He plopped down on the ground next to a bench, observed conditions briefly, and fired one shot at the 1040-ish yard tall & skinny plate next to the tree. Then he fired four more rounds fairly quickly at the same target. Figure 3/5 hits on a windy day, 4/5 hits on a normal day, and maybe even 5/5 – like I saw him do one day. He probably used some flavor of 6mm or 6.5mm bore. Afterwards he told you he not only saw the impacts, but also the trace of the rounds for the final 300-400 yards.

Of course, offgrid is just a gamer dude who shoots at steel. Cold bore shots with minimal prep time, with the goal of making that first round count, probably have no bearing for LEOs.

You likely tried the same with your 308, or maybe with a 300WM. Your hit percentage was low and you had trouble spotting your impacts. Maybe you tried his 6 or 6.5mm, and your hit percentage increased, as did your ability to see your own results. I know mine increased going from my Creedmoor to his Dasher.

Later offgrid shot from a kneeling position behind a bench – bipod on the bench, buttstock supported by a tripod leg. With this method he showed very high hit percentages on 1 MOA pasters at 100 yards, and on 1 MOA steel at the midrange distances (400- 500 yards?). You may have tried the same with your heavier caliber rifles – is so, it probably didn’t go so well. Assuming you tried again with offgrid’s (or Alpine’s or Scott’s) 6mm rifles, your hit percentage increased.

Distances could have been 50, 70, or 90 yards. With targets sized for the relative distance, the results wouldn’t have changed much. The smaller caliber rifle would have had produced better accuracy, regardless of who was behind it.

How do I know this? Because I’ve shot with offgrid, doing similar drills -- at Chaffee and other ranges.

****
I had the fortune of shooting with Nick Irving, shortly after he returned from the sandbox as a Ranger Sniper. I recall he had 35-ish confirmed kills. He used a 308 KAC SR-25 while deployed. In our training course he had his first chance to shoot 6.5 Creedmoor rifles – my GAP bolt action and the land owners GAP-10 semi auto. Nick is one of the finest shooters one could ever imagine. He stated if he had the lower-recoiling 6.5s during his deployment, he would have shot more accurately.

****
Jacob Bynum owns Rifles Only. He is the head instructor there and one the finest shooters one could ever imagine. Jacob’s been a 308 guy since dirt was invented. In the last few years he’s begun to appreciate how 6.5s and 6s make accurate shooting easier. This comes not only from his personal experience, but that of the boatloads of contractors, LEOs, and alphabet-agency shooters he trains.

***
Andrew is a SWAT team leader in Ohio. He also serves as a SWAT instructor for surrounding counties in Ohio. Andrew is ludicrously fast and accurate with pistols, carbines, and precision rifles. When I trained under Andrew, his agency only used 223 and 308. After shooting the 6.5 precision rifles used by most of the students in his course, he was looking to change from 308 to 6.5 as rifles and/or barrels need replacing.

****
Frank Galli was a Marine Sniper, and subsequently an instructor at Rifles Only. He now runs Snipers Hide website, and he teaches precision rifle to LEOs, agencies, and civilians. Frank has been on the 308 bandwagon since Moby Dick was a minnow. Read a few articles on the ‘Hide and you’ll see how strongly Frank now recommends 6.5s over 308 for both LEO and competition use.

****
Every accomplished shooter I know states that that they shoot lower-recoiling rifles noticeably more accurately than higher-recoiling rifles. Regardless of target distance. Regardless of shooting position. Actually, the less stable the shooting position, the more important a lower-recoiling caliber becomes.

Even the law enforcement guys state that being able to spot their own shots is important. This is from guys who have pulled a trigger with cross hairs on a bad guy.
 
Posts: 5460 | Location: Colorado | Registered: January 26, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
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Originally posted by fritz:
Even the law enforcement guys state that being able to spot their own shots is important. This is from guys who have pulled a trigger with cross hairs on a bad guy.


Thank you. I learn things here that I’ve never seen discussed elsewhere. I have over 60 articles and books (mostly the latter) in a bibliography on sniping and not one has discussed the importance of using a lower-powered cartridge for the purpose to improve accuracy. In fact, the movement among military snipers has been toward more powerful rounds, such as to 300 Winchester Magnum from 308 Winchester.

Next time you talk to the law enforcement snipers who have used the 6.5 Creedmoor or other less-powerful cartridges than the 308 Winchester against human targets, please ask them to publish their views and findings in the appropriate literature. I eagerly await reading those details.

Thanks again. Please, however, don’t bring a straw man into this discussion with a comment about “just a gamer dude who shoots at steel.” You don’t believe that of him and I’ve given you no reason to think I believe it, so it has no place here. I have nothing but respect for the knowledge and skills of you long distance shooters who regularly post here, and that’s especially true of offgrid who has personally taken the time to assist me with my own shooting. He taught me techniques that I incorporated into my own training and qualifications, and I am extremely grateful to him and all the others who are the reason for much of what I know. We may disagree about certain things, but it’s not because I don’t respect your ability to express them in a rational manner.




“Most men … can seldom accept the simplest and most obvious truth if it … would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions … which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabrics of their lives.”
— Leo Tolstoy
 
Posts: 38402 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Although I favor the 6.5CM, I wouldn’t bet on the USSS adopting the 6.5CM anytime soon..
quote:
Originally posted by DennisM:
quote:
Originally posted by sigfreund:


The 6.5 Creedmoor is indeed better for long distance engagements, but what’s the chance that a DHS sniper will ever be shooting someone at 900 yards? A shooter spending his own money and wanting to win competitions will choose equipment based on what is best for his purposes, whereas when it’s taxpayer money, all that matters is if someone can convince his bosses that all the cool kids are using it.


The primary DHS consumers of the new setup will be USSS. Their shooters might train for longer-range shots, but in their normal working "bubble," 300 or less. Also, it's unlikely, IMO, that the sudden need for 6.5 is being driven by the guys who are actually shooting.

I'm skeptical of change for the sake of change.


_____________________________________________________________________
”At pretium libertatus“
امّا شما مشخص خواهد شد كه با همه شما را ملاقات کنند
 
Posts: 10846 | Location: Carolina but Texas in my heart | Registered: November 13, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I like and concur with your observations here..
quote:
Originally posted by fritz:
I have virtually identical precision bolt action rifles in 308 and 6.5 Creedmoor. Thousands of rounds through each rifle, with maybe 10 years behind the 308 and 7 years behind the 6.5. Many times in practice I shoot them side by side, at the same targets, under the same conditions.

The accuracy potential of both rifles is similar enough, although ultimately I give the 6.5 a .1" or so advantage at 100 yards. My 6.5 groups are more consistent, however. Flight ballistics (drop and drift) are pretty similar out to 250 yards, but by 300 yards the 6.5 has a noticeable hit percentage advantage on small targets.

The real advantage of a 6.5 is reduced recoil. Those of us who shoot where we must spot our own impacts, be ready for an immediate follow up shot with a corrected wind/elevation/hold, and often from less-than-optimal positions understand that a 308's recoil makes such situations more challenging. In this way a Creedmoor/6.5x47/260 is hands down better than a 308.

The 6mm bores (243/6x47/Creedmoor/Dasher/BRX) are even better than the 6.5s for recoil management.

There's no doubt that the 308 is a great cartridge -- one that can do a lot things quite well. But in this arena, the 6.5s can do it better.


_____________________________________________________________________
”At pretium libertatus“
امّا شما مشخص خواهد شد كه با همه شما را ملاقات کنند
 
Posts: 10846 | Location: Carolina but Texas in my heart | Registered: November 13, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by sigfreund:
Next time you talk to the law enforcement snipers who have used the 6.5 Creedmoor or other less-powerful cartridges than the 308 Winchester against human targets, please ask them to publish their views and findings in the appropriate literature.

You'll likely be waiting a long time. I find such information is passed on face to face, after training sessions and competitions. The guys I've been around don't seem to have the time or the desire to publish.

If you're serious about acquiring similar knowledge/experience, I recommend face to face interaction. Training courses are one option. In Colorado, Brian Whalen and Frank Galli are options. If a little travelling vacation is on the docket, Rifles Only, Gunsite, JP, Thunderbeast, Thunder Ranch, and K&M come to mind.

Competitions are another option. There are LEOs and ex military in these events, not just weekend hobbyists and sponsored competitors. National Rifle League has a great match in northern Colorado, and our own Alpine is heavily involved in putting that match on. Over the winter -- Alpine, offgrid, Scott, and I shoot at a low-key match in the town of Rifle. I believe there are still monthly matches at the Fort Carson range at Colorado Springs, but my schedule this year has been hectic. There are monthly matches at the Pueblo West range -- both center fire and rimfire rifles. The monthly match at Raton's Whittington center is quite good, and inexpensive, too. Be prepared to be humbled.

*****
Last year I shot a precision rifle match in Albuquerque, NM. I was told I would get my butt kicked my first time out at this match. I did. IIRC the first day's time limits were 120 seconds per stage, the second day's times drop to 90 seconds per stage. Stages generally had 8-12 rounds on target, multiple targets, often with movement between shooting positions. The clock started with the gun at port of arms, and then we had to move and build shooting positions. I finished just below middle of the pack for the match. I had a rough first day, but improved on the second day.

The top LEO was a 20-something year old Army sniper, who had just been accepted to the school to become a sniper instructor. Which means he can shoot. IIRC he finished about 1/4 down the standings, and he was quite humbled. At the post-match awards ceremony, the Army sniper said he would be taking his experiences from the match back to the sniper school to make our snipers better.

I chatted with him briefly afterwards, first thanking him for his service. I asked what his takeaways were from the match. In short:
-- The competitors' ability to keep the gun on target, see impacts, correct for wind with subsequent shots. Most stages required building shooting positions in non-traditional ways. We shot from prone in only a few stages.
-- The competitors' ability to engage multiple targets rapidly, without looking like they were hurrying.
Most of the top guys in this match were shooting 6mm or 6.5mm bores.

Who knows if such information will be put in print from the Army.
 
Posts: 5460 | Location: Colorado | Registered: January 26, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
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Okay, thanks for all that advice. Personal circumstances make it very unlikely I will ever again have the opportunity to get involved in competitions or otherwise spending time away from home, but one never knows and I should at least see if I can ever make anything work. I especially appreciate knowing which training you recommend.




“Most men … can seldom accept the simplest and most obvious truth if it … would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions … which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabrics of their lives.”
— Leo Tolstoy
 
Posts: 38402 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Bringing this back up to return to my question about whether law enforcement snipers would be better served in their actual missions with a lighter-recoiling cartridge like the 6.5 Creedmoor than the traditional 308 Winchester. This isn’t offered for those who already know which is superior, but for anyone who might still have questions. Some reiterates my earlier comments, but in a more concise form.

I did research the engagement HCM referred to above: “If you want a more detailed example this type interdiction operation look up the operation which resulted in the death of BPA Brian Terry.” Unfortunately, and as is far too often the case, nothing about that incident addressed the matter under discussion. There were evidently no snipers involved and certainly no discussion of the superiority of one rifle cartridge for such operations over the other. In fact, that incident evidently occurred at very close, voice-hailing distances. When I am referred to something I must look up myself to answer a question, one would expect that the person making the referral has at least some familiarity with the matter himself. Sadly, but not unexpectedly I must admit, that was not true this time. But if anyone has any relevant real-world information to cite, I am still interested.

And in the possibility that readers of this thread might actually wonder about differences in the performance and suitability of the 6.5 and 308, I’ll offer these figures. Firearms recoil can be calculated in different ways depending upon the desired outputs, but a quick and dirty way if the cartridges are fired from similar guns is to simply multiply the bullet velocity times bullet weight and divide by 1000 to get manageable results (i.e., “power factor”). Those results probably won’t satisfy a professor of physics teaching engineering majors, but they do give direct comparisons.

When fired from TRG-22 rifles, these are the recoil figures of two common loads:
Hornady 140 grain 6.5 Creedmoor ELD at a personally-measured velocity of 2626 fps: 368 PF.
Hornady 155 grain 308 Winchester TAP at 2825: 438 PF.

So, the recoil of the 308 is indeed significantly higher than the 6.5’s, but to what benefit? As I’ve indicated before, the 6.5 doesn’t recoil so much lower even with a heavy rifle like the TRG-22 that I can reliably spot my own shots at close range law enforcement sniping distances. But what about bullet energy? If the sniper must take something like a body shot to neutralize a deadly threat as quickly and thoroughly as possible, what is the difference? The 308 load generates ~2746 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle; the 6.5 generates ~2143 foot-pounds, or about 78 percent of the 308 load. Does that difference matter? Perhaps, perhaps not. But there’s no doubt that it’s significantly less.

Then there’s the trajectory. According to my Applied Ballistics calculator, the total drop at 250 yards (which would be a very long LE sniper shot), is about 17.5 inches for the 308 load, and about 19.3 inches for the 6.5(!). Hmm … how did that happen? The 6.5 is supposed to have a flatter trajectory, isn’t it? Well, the obvious difference is due to the much lower velocity of the 6.5 bullet. What if we look at a faster-stepping round like the Norma 130 grain open tip match. That bullet is not nearly as suitable for law enforcement sniping purposes as either the 6.5 ELD bullet or the 308 TAP, but its trajectory should be flatter at 2816 feet per second muzzle velocity from a TRG. Again, using the AB calculator, its drop at 250 yards with all other data being equal is about 17.0" as compared with the TAP’s 17.5, or a whopping 1/2 inch. Wow.

Again, I don’t expect to change any made-up minds, but hope it will be enlightening to those who are, like me, seekers of the truth.

Added: But regardless of what I may believe myself, I am always eager to learn something new, especially if I am wrong. So I will ask that anyone who can answer my previous questions about actual law enforcement related sniping actions to do so.




“Most men … can seldom accept the simplest and most obvious truth if it … would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions … which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabrics of their lives.”
— Leo Tolstoy
 
Posts: 38402 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by sigfreund:
Bringing this back up to return to my question about whether law enforcement snipers would be better served in their actual missions with a lighter-recoiling cartridge like the 6.5 Creedmoor than the traditional 308 Winchester. This isn’t offered for those who already know which is superior, but for anyone who might still have questions. Some reiterates my earlier comments, but in a more concise form.

I did research the engagement HCM referred to above: “If you want a more detailed example this type interdiction operation look up the operation which resulted in the death of BPA Brian Terry.” Unfortunately, and as is far too often the case, nothing about that incident addressed the matter under discussion. There were evidently no snipers involved and certainly no discussion of the superiority of one rifle cartridge for such operations over the other. In fact, that incident evidently occurred at very close, voice-hailing distances. When I am referred to something I must look up myself to answer a question, one would expect that the person making the referral has at least some familiarity with the matter himself. Sadly, but not unexpectedly I must admit, that was not true this time. But if anyone has any relevant real-world information to cite, I am still interested.

And in the possibility that readers of this thread might actually wonder about differences in the performance and suitability of the 6.5 and 308, I’ll offer these figures. Firearms recoil can be calculated in different ways depending upon the desired outputs, but a quick and dirty way if the cartridges are fired from similar guns is to simply multiply the bullet velocity times bullet weight and divide by 1000 to get manageable results (i.e., “power factor”). Those results probably won’t satisfy a professor of physics teaching engineering majors, but they do give direct comparisons.

When fired from TRG-22 rifles, these are the recoil figures of two common loads:
Hornady 140 grain 6.5 Creedmoor ELD at a personally-measured velocity of 2626 fps: 368 PF.
Hornady 155 grain 308 Winchester TAP at 2825: 438 PF.

So, the recoil of the 308 is indeed significantly higher than the 6.5’s, but to what benefit? As I’ve indicated before, the 6.5 doesn’t recoil so much lower even with a heavy rifle like the TRG-22 that I can reliably spot my own shots at close range law enforcement sniping distances. But what about bullet energy? If the sniper must take something like a body shot to neutralize a deadly threat as quickly and thoroughly as possible, what is the difference? The 308 load generates ~2746 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle; the 6.5 generates ~2143 foot-pounds, or about 78 percent of the 308 load. Does that difference matter? Perhaps, perhaps not. But there’s no doubt that it’s significantly less.

Then there’s the trajectory. According to my Applied Ballistics calculator, the total drop at 250 yards (which would be a very long LE sniper shot), is about 17.5 inches for the 308 load, and about 19.3 inches for the 6.5(!). Hmm … how did that happen? The 6.5 is supposed to have a flatter trajectory, isn’t it? Well, the obvious difference is due to the much lower velocity of the 6.5 bullet. What if we look at a faster-stepping round like the Norma 130 grain open tip match. That bullet is not nearly as suitable for law enforcement sniping purposes as either the 6.5 ELD bullet or the 308 TAP, but its trajectory should be flatter at 2816 feet per second muzzle velocity from a TRG. Again, using the AB calculator, its drop at 250 yards with all other data being equal is about 17.0" as compared with the TAP’s 17.5, or a whopping 1/2 inch. Wow.

Again, I don’t expect to change any made-up minds, but hope it will be enlightening to those who are, like me, seekers of the truth.

Added: But regardless of what I may believe myself, I am always eager to learn something new, especially if I am wrong. So I will ask that anyone who can answer my previous questions about actual law enforcement related sniping actions to do so.


The reason for the flatter trajectory of the 6.5 is the BC, so it doesn't really make a big difference until longer distances. A .308 168 grain ELD at 1,000 yards needs about 3 mils more elevation (about 108 inches), than a 6.5 140 grain ELD at the same distance, and needs about 1/3 less adjustment or hold for the same winds (most distance shooters dial for elevation and hold for wind). Those numbers are from my ballistic calculator, but are also verified on 1,000 yard targets. Whether LE needs 1,000 yard capability is another discussion, but if you want to understand why 6.5 is preferable, that's it in a nutshell (along with being able to spot hits esier).
 
Posts: 3389 | Location: WI | Registered: June 27, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I fully understand ballistic coefficients, trajectories at long distances, and related matters.

What others clearly don’t understand, however, is that law enforcement sniping does not involve shooting at distances that make such differences of any significance. To choose a cartridge based on an unimportant factor is what I’ve been discussing, but I’m beginning to realize that for some people who have no experience with sniping at all, much less law enforcement sniper operations, I must just accept that it’s one of those “You wouldn’t understand” things.




“Most men … can seldom accept the simplest and most obvious truth if it … would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions … which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabrics of their lives.”
— Leo Tolstoy
 
Posts: 38402 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by sigfreund:
So, the recoil of the 308 is indeed significantly higher than the 6.5’s, but to what benefit? As I’ve indicated before, the 6.5 doesn’t recoil so much lower even with a heavy rifle like the TRG-22 that I can reliably spot my own shots at close range law enforcement sniping distances.

But what about bullet energy? If the sniper must take something like a body shot to neutralize a deadly threat as quickly and thoroughly as possible, what is the difference? The 308 load generates ~2746 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle; the 6.5 generates ~2143 foot-pounds, or about 78 percent of the 308 load. Does that difference matter? Perhaps, perhaps not. But there’s no doubt that it’s significantly less.

Then there’s the trajectory. According to my Applied Ballistics calculator, the total drop at 250 yards (which would be a very long LE sniper shot), is about 17.5 inches for the 308 load, and about 19.3 inches for the 6.5(!). Hmm … how did that happen? The 6.5 is supposed to have a flatter trajectory, isn’t it? Well, the obvious difference is due to the much lower velocity of the 6.5 bullet. What if we look at a faster-stepping round like the Norma 130 grain open tip match. That bullet is not nearly as suitable for law enforcement sniping purposes as either the 6.5 ELD bullet or the 308 TAP, but its trajectory should be flatter at 2816 feet per second muzzle velocity from a TRG. Again, using the AB calculator, its drop at 250 yards with all other data being equal is about 17.0" as compared with the TAP’s 17.5, or a whopping 1/2 inch. Wow.

Recoil:
Some of us actually can see our impacts at domestic sniper distances, especially with 6.5 and 6mm chambers. No way with 308. Can't see them all the time at such short distances, but with practice it becomes more common. This past weekend I saw my 6.5 punch holes in paper at the 100 yard sight in range. In competition I was picking up my own trace well before impacts on 300 yard targets -- maybe at 100 yards. Regardless of whether you can or can't see impacts at these distances, a low recoiling rifle will get your scope back on target faster than a high recoiling rifle.

Trajectory:
It's true that if we futz with a ballistics program, set our sight-over-bore height to 0", there will be less drop from a speedy 308 bullet than a slower whatever caliber bullet. But last I checked, we humans use sights which sit over the top of the bore. Scopes, too. My bolt actions have a sight-over-bore of 1.8", which is pretty common. So....in the real world, assuming a typical zero of 100 yards, drops at 250 yards with 7k DA on my rifles are:
8.1" for FGMM 175 (308)
7.5" for FGMM 168 (308)
6.3" for Hornady 155 Amax (308)
5.9" for Corbon 155 Scenar (308)
6.4" for Hornady 140 (6.5)
5.8" for Hornady 120 (6.5)
Overall, not a significant difference for any cartridge, assuming the user has elevation dope.

It's my understanding that most agencies which deploy 308 use 175 grain SMK bullets. In one training session with Rifles Only, I shot my 308 with Corbon 155 Scenars. I was kicking butt compared to the other 308s with 175s, so one student who was borrowing Jacob Bynum's 308 (the AIAW with over 100k rounds) asked for a few rounds to try. After a couple of great shots in the AIAW, the bolt got sticky. Jacob came over to see what was up, and upon learning of the results, he wasn't happy with me. Course of fire stopped, and a lecture began. He asked if I would let other 308s shoot the Corbon 155s. A couple of students volunteered, and their bolts on their Remy's got sticky after a few rounds. Basically, the Corbon and Hornady 155 ammo is loaded quite hot, and this causes extraction problems in many rifles. Not in my GAP, but in enough rifles that agencies pretty much won't use them. Jacob stated this, and I'll bet Jacob has direct contact with more LEOs/agency shooters than just about anybody around. So the common LEO/agency rounds are FGMM 175/168 and Hornady 168. Oh gee whiz, the 6.5 120/140 flies flatter than 168/175.

Energy on target:
As noted previously, I've shot with Nick Irving, an Army Ranger Sniper with 35-ish kills, using a KAC SR-25 and 308 SMK 175. His preferred engagement distances with this setup was 350-750 yards. (Actually, Nick almost always talked in meters, so add a little to these distances.) More-or-less out of AK-47 range, but still within his effective accuracy & kinetic energy range. By my calculations, that means 1,788 foot pounds at 350 yards, decreasing to 1,072 foot pounds at 750 yards. In other words, he felt 1000 to 1100 foot pounds did the job on human targets.

Andrew, an Ohio SWAT officer I've trained with, has killed 3 people with his SBR 223 AR-15. Even at close range, energy on target couldn't be more than 1100 foot pounds. Andrew stated the bad guys dropped like a sack of potatoes with upper thoracic cavity hits.

The fact that you're even questioning a 6.5's energy levels of 2000+ foot pounds at domestic LEO distances just boggles the mind.

Deployment:
Two weeks ago during the in Douglas, WY team match, an active Army team talked of their deployment. Their unit (sounded like in Afghanistan) had been testing 6.5 Creedmoor sniper rifles for two years. With positive results. Compared to their older 308 rifles, recoil was reduced, range was increased, and ability to spot impacts was increased. The two guys felt they would be using 6.5's full time in the near future. The only question was the bullet. Given the Army's tradition of SMK in 308, they suspected a 130 to 140-ish SMK was likely in the works.

Last week I was squadded with two Toronto LEOs. One was using a Ruger RPR in 6.5. The Toronto "marksman" teams (Canadians prefer more polite terms) were evaluating 6.5 rifles and one of the LEOs in my squad was using the Raton match as one form of test. I got the idea their transition from 308 to 6.5 would occur in the near future.
quote:
Originally posted by sigfreund:
Again, I don’t expect to change any made-up minds, but hope it will be enlightening to those who are, like me, seekers of the truth.

Made-up minds....hmmmmm.....you may consider a quick peek in the closest mirror
quote:
Originally posted by sigfreund:
What others clearly don’t understand, however, is that law enforcement sniping does not involve shooting at distances that make such differences of any significance. To choose a cartridge based on an unimportant factor is what I’ve been discussing, but I’m beginning to realize that for some people who have no experience with sniping at all, much less law enforcement sniper operations, I must just accept that it’s one of those “You wouldn’t understand” things.

I think most of us understand that at a typical domestic LEO sniping distances of 100 yards max, flight ballistics do not come in to play for virtually any modern bullet moving 2400-3000 (-ish) fps.

Furthermore, energy on a human target doesn't come into play at these distances, either, as 2000+ foot pounds with significant permanent and temporary wound channels will do the trick.

Many of us understand the difference in shooting a rifle we can control, and recoil is a significant part of rifle control. By no means is recoil and its management an unimportant factor of marksmanship. If recoil mitigation is something you do not understand, then yes, this discussion is at a crossroads.

As far as what most of us don't understand is actually pulling a trigger with the cross hairs on another human. I haven't done it. Never plan to. Never hope to. But I have direct contact with those who have.

So Sigfreund, to be absolutely blunt.....What's your personal, direct, crosshairs on a human, then torched off a round, sniper experience? What experience shows that 6.5 will be inferior to 308? Seekers of the truth want to know.
 
Posts: 5460 | Location: Colorado | Registered: January 26, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by sigfreund:
I fully understand ballistic coefficients, trajectories at long distances, and related matters.

What others clearly don’t understand, however, is that law enforcement sniping does not involve shooting at distances that make such differences of any significance. To choose a cartridge based on an unimportant factor is what I’ve been discussing, but I’m beginning to realize that for some people who have no experience with sniping at all, much less law enforcement sniper operations, I must just accept that it’s one of those “You wouldn’t understand” things.


I think everyone here understands that most LE engagements are at shorter range. But you can't blame them for wanting to be prepared for any scenario. What if they have an "active shooter" high up in a tower or building, and there is no cover or concealment for hundreds of yards around the tower? Just because most shots are at shorter distances doesn't mean the longer shot could never happen. Also, this thread was about Homeland Security, which is not typical LE. It includes the border patrol, and there could be some really long shots out in the southwest. If some drug cartels start sniping on a border patrol from 1200 yards away, don't you want them to have the ability to respond, rather than have to run and hide while the cartel moves whatever contraband through that area? We already discussed the fact (in this thread) that Homeland Security and the Border Patrol are not typical LE and could potentially have some long engagements.

You also wrote this: "Hmm … how did that happen? The 6.5 is supposed to have a flatter trajectory, isn’t it? Well, the obvious difference is due to the much lower velocity of the 6.5 bullet." which makes it seem that you don't really understand ballistics. You started by choosing a light-for-caliber bullet in the .308, and a heavy-for-caliber bullet in the 6.5, which was apples to oranges, skewing trajectories, energies, and velocities. If you wanted a fair comparison, you would have used a 168 or 175 ELD .308 against a 140 ELD from the Creed, and from the same barrel length (your numbers appeared to use a shorter barrel length for the 6.5). Then the muzzle velocities would have been similar, and the ballistic coefficients would also be optimized for a longer distance comparison. 168 ELD has a substantially better BC than the 155 does.
 
Posts: 3389 | Location: WI | Registered: June 27, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by DamageInc:
168 ELD has a substantially better BC than the 155 does.


Thanks for demonstrating my point.

Regarding your suggestion that I treated the 6.5 unfairly in my example above by using its velocity from a shorter barrel than the 308, please note: “When fired from TRG-22 rifles, these are the recoil figures of two common loads:”

The TRG-22 rifles both had the same length barrels, 26 inches. And astonishing as it may seem, I also understand the effect of different barrel lengths on muzzle velocities in addition to ballistic coefficients, trajectories, environmental conditions, etc. For others who are interested in such subjects, I recommend reading the series of books by Bryan Litz, all of which I have read myself, and recently reviewed right here on the forum:

http://sigforum.com/eve/forums...0601935/m/6860019244

Detailed firearms ballistics is evidently not a subject of great interest to many shooters, but those of us who are interested benefit from some excellent works these days.

But to return to the question I asked some time ago:

“As I posted, if that sort of thing is happening and they [the Border Patrol] are responding with their own countersniper fire despite the dangers of doing so rather than taking cover or, yes, running away, I’m eager to learn about them. Please post some links to the accounts so I can read up on them and become convinced of their need for long range precision rifles. I haven’t been able to find anything of that nature, so I’m grateful that you’re aware of them and can point me in the right direction.”

I will check back from time to time to see if anyone posts any relevant answers, so anyone who can, please do.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: sigfreund,




“Most men … can seldom accept the simplest and most obvious truth if it … would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions … which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabrics of their lives.”
— Leo Tolstoy
 
Posts: 38402 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by sigfreund:


The TRG-22 rifles both had the same length barrels, 26 inches.

...Detailed firearms ballistics is evidently not a subject of great interest to many shooters, but those of us who are interested benefit from some excellent works these days.


Was that with a factory load or handload? If factory, then your measurement of 2626 was way off. A factory 6.5 ELD should be up around 2700 from a 26" barrel, and Hornady make very consistent ammo.

I stand by my statement, that you compared apples to oranges, and only compared short distances, in an effort to validate your opinion that Homeland Security won't benefit from a switch to 6.5. There are legitimate advantages to the switch that have been thoroughly explained in this thread.

Ballistics are of interest to all of us long-distance shooters. But some of us have decades of real world experience, in addition to reading . Forming shooting opinions from books is never as beneficial as real-world experience. I can tell you all about how much better the 6.5 BC bucks the wind (than .308), but until you shoot both at 1200 yards on the same breezy day, you won't understand it as well. It's real, and it's a very significant difference.
 
Posts: 3389 | Location: WI | Registered: June 27, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have read through this entire thread and have come to the conclusion that I do not care if they change to 6.5 or not. I wish everyone who responded to this thread, and everyone that has ever shot a 308 or a 6.5 continued happiness and well being.
 
Posts: 1356 | Location: Spokane, WA | Registered: June 23, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by DamageInc:
A factory 6.5 ELD should be up around 2700 from a 26" barrel, and Hornady make very consistent ammo.


I would normally ignore anyone who implied that I was a liar or utter firearms and ammunition ignoramus, but on the slight possibility that this discussion might be read by others who are actually interested in the information being discussed, it was factory ammunition based on 20 rounds fired, not the three to five usually reported in these threads by the experts. And that’s also true of the several different lots of the Hornady 308 Winchester 155 grain A-MAX TAP that has been fired in at least nine different rifles without showing any high pressure signs.

You raise an interesting point, though. I was somewhat surprised myself by the 140 grain ELD velocity, especially from a 26 inch barrel, but then I tested the 120 grain A-MAX load that’s supposed have a MV of 2910 fps. The average result I got with 20 rounds fired over one of the two Oehler 35P chronographs I own was 2823 fps. (The same instrument was used to obtain the Hornady 155 grain velocities, so the 6.5 wasn’t being discriminated against.)

I’m still interested, BTW, in answers to the question I posed and reiterated above, but as I enjoy being a member here, that’s probably the extent of what I will continue to discuss.




“Most men … can seldom accept the simplest and most obvious truth if it … would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions … which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabrics of their lives.”
— Leo Tolstoy
 
Posts: 38402 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Stlhead:
I have read through this entire thread and have come to the conclusion that I do not care if they change to 6.5 or not. I wish everyone who responded to this thread, and everyone that has ever shot a 308 or a 6.5 continued happiness and well being.


I concur.
I don't know enough about the topic to make a meaningful contribution but appreciate being able to learn from those that do.


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Our Founding Fathers were men who understood that the right thing is not necessarily the written thing. -kkina

Building high performance custom homes on beautiful Smith Mt. Lake, VA
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