[LMB] OT: combat

Victoria L'Ecuyer vlecuyer at ksu.edu
Wed Dec 28 16:12:17 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,

From: "Dan Tilque"
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.

There's a book "On Killing" by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman (retired) that covers this and related topics. It has numbers on this subject and IIRC both of you are correct, just for different wars/decades. The military is making a concerted effort to ensure that 100% rounds aimed and fired are actually aimed at the enemy rather than the sky or the ground or something other than a person, enemy or not.

Grossman gives an example from the American Civil war. After a battle, they found a (muzzle loading) rifle that had something like 14 rounds packed into the barrel. The weapon wasn't defective, because they fired it and all 14 rounds came out. The soldier just didn't fire between loads. 

If you don't mind needing to scrub your mind a bit, it's a good and informative read. I wound up reading one chapter a week. It wasn't because the writing was bad or the information was hard to understand (he's very clear and concise). It was because I had to read something happy. My pattern was one chapter on killing followed by a week's worth of romances. 


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