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Thread: Accuracy vs. Marksmanship

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    Minas Moth's Avatar Sabre of Secession
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    Default Accuracy vs. Marksmanship

    I have started this thread mostly because in the game (especially in the mods) people seem to confuse the accuracy of a weapon and the marksmanship (or skill to fire the same weapon) of its user. These I hold entirely "un-confusable" especially in terms of smooth-bore muskets (brown bess, french 1777 infantry musket, 1842 springfield musket) and rifled muskets (1853 enfield, 1848 mississippi, 1861 springfield etc...). From the research I got my hands on it seems that my views are true as in ACW weapons that were used were effective everywhere from 1,200 to even 2,000 yards (in some cases), but the actual killing was rarely done above 250-300 yards and even then soldiers ussually overshot the enemy...

    It seems though that not all agree with such an assumption, so I would appreciate any opinion on the contrary and the conformation of the same...
    Last edited by Minas Moth; February 28, 2013 at 07:50 AM.

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    Col. Tartleton's Avatar Tribunus
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    Default Re: Accuracy vs. Marksmanship

    I mean if you put yourself in their situation a good smooth bore isn't all that terrible if you're target shooting, but it's awfully hard to shoot accurately while standing up in a hail of bullets and you can't load and fire a muzzle loader, rifle or not, lying down. So to some extent the weapon may have been very accurate but the limitations of the weapon still meant that you weren't going to have good accuracy, all things considered.

    Alternatively you've got guys with Garands in WW2 not shooting at all and guys in Vietnam or Afghanistan emptying magazines with no hope to kill.

    The gun can be accurate, but people aren't marksmen under fire.
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    Hanny's Avatar Pili Posterior
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    AUSSIE11's Avatar Shisai
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    Default Re: Accuracy vs. Marksmanship

    Saying a weapon is effective out to range X is also a bit of a fallacy unless conditioned.

    An example is yours truly with an old favourite the 30-06. A blindly fired 06 probably still has enough velocity to kill someon out to 5 odd km, the question is whether it can do that accurately and consistently. Myself i have a nice rifle and i like to think of myself a good shot, with a 4x scope i can hit a 44 gallon drum at 1 click without too much trouble, if im prone, braced and not under pressure. now here is where accuracy vs. marksmanship comes into it. hunting i'll never take a shot any where near that long, not even half that distance because when you are in the field, even shooting braced everything is against you, you're normally tired, stressed, excited and uncomfortable, all of which effects your shot, and this is not in a combat situation, bambi doesn't shoot back! most times hunting i won't take a shot beyon 200m because of this combination.

    Now using me as an example unconditionally you could say my range is 5km, 1km or 200m depending upon the conditions you place upon me and my rife, be they weather, fatigue, environment or equipment, and this is before you even add enemy action!

    This is what often happens when discussing weapons. A smoothbore may still hav the velocity to kill at 2,000m, in a controlled environment a good marksman may be good to 300m+, but when you combine all the fators of shooting in an uncontrolled environment and enemy action the accuracy would decrease dramatically down to the 50 odd meters you often read about, and even then it could be iffy.


    For a rifled muzzle loader the situation is similar, the absolute lethal range would be a little less than a smooth bore and the accurate ranges would probs be a twice as far with period ammunition and propellent.

    So in conclusion accuracy is a wonderful concept in training and training for accuracy can increase combat efficiency, however field accuracy will always be well below possible training accuracy and ranges in by far the majority of cases.
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    Condottiere 40K's Avatar Tribunus Laticlavius
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    Default Re: Accuracy vs. Marksmanship

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    justicar5's Avatar Centurio Primus Pilus
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    Default Re: Accuracy vs. Marksmanship

    Quote Originally Posted by AUSSIE11 View Post
    Saying a weapon is effective out to range X is also a bit of a fallacy unless conditioned.

    An example is yours truly with an old favourite the 30-06. A blindly fired 06 probably still has enough velocity to kill someon out to 5 odd km, the question is whether it can do that accurately and consistently. Myself i have a nice rifle and i like to think of myself a good shot, with a 4x scope i can hit a 44 gallon drum at 1 click without too much trouble, if im prone, braced and not under pressure. now here is where accuracy vs. marksmanship comes into it. hunting i'll never take a shot any where near that long, not even half that distance because when you are in the field, even shooting braced everything is against you, you're normally tired, stressed, excited and uncomfortable, all of which effects your shot, and this is not in a combat situation, bambi doesn't shoot back! most times hunting i won't take a shot beyon 200m because of this combination.

    Now using me as an example unconditionally you could say my range is 5km, 1km or 200m depending upon the conditions you place upon me and my rife, be they weather, fatigue, environment or equipment, and this is before you even add enemy action!

    This is what often happens when discussing weapons. A smoothbore may still hav the velocity to kill at 2,000m, in a controlled environment a good marksman may be good to 300m+, but when you combine all the fators of shooting in an uncontrolled environment and enemy action the accuracy would decrease dramatically down to the 50 odd meters you often read about, and even then it could be iffy.


    For a rifled muzzle loader the situation is similar, the absolute lethal range would be a little less than a smooth bore and the accurate ranges would probs be a twice as far with period ammunition and propellent.

    So in conclusion accuracy is a wonderful concept in training and training for accuracy can increase combat efficiency, however field accuracy will always be well below possible training accuracy and ranges in by far the majority of cases.

    Hence the rise of the assault rifle, with it's underpowered (in comparison with a battle rifle) round. At the ranges combat takes place, the reduced recoil and ability to carry more rounds outweighed the lower energy. Compare the .308 winchester with the 7.62 soviet.
    Last edited by justicar5; March 01, 2013 at 12:03 PM.

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