[LMB] OT: combat

J Selin harimad2001 at yahoo.com
Sat Dec 24 10:50:44 GMT 2005

>> M. Traber wrote:
>> I can vaguely remember reading a study that something
>> like 9 in 20 rounds expended in combat results in an
>> injury or death,

> Dan added:
> The statistics I've heard put it much lower than that. The
> way I heard it, only about 1% of the bullets fired in combat
> actually hit the target they were aimed at. I don't know
> how the study this came from handled covering fire, which is
> not aimed at anyone in particular, but just in the general
> direction of the enemy. That might be what dragged down the
> percentage.

Before WWI, as guns and rifles were getting better, the emphasis was
put on accuracy, partly because soldiers didn't get many shots.  In
the late 1800s, when machine guns saw broad combat usage[1] it was
realized that, given the ability to fire rapidly (the Maxim gun fired
up to 500 rounds per minute[2]), it was more effective to fire
frequently than accurately.  An added advantage is a soldier can
learn to be an effective machine gun operator with far less training
than learn to be an accurate, slow firer.  Snipers are, after all, a
small specialty.  As a result, for WWI and since, the emphasis has
been on lots of fire rather than accurate fire. [3]  Given this, I
expect the current figure is closer to 1% than to 45%.


[1] Gatling's gun was produced during the US Civil War but wasn't
used broadly. http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/FWWgatling.htm


[3] "The History of the Gun," produced by the History Channel.  (A
surprisingly accurate series, given it's a History Channel production.)

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