Home Main Category General Firearms

Hey Zee...

GunNutGunNut Posts: 7,642 Senior Member
Was reading on another forum some dude who just got a mint Mauser and was wondering how to scope it (heathen)  :s

So that made me wonder...  the real game with those old battle rifles was to send bullets at long distances to good effect against troops.  Sooooooooo I started thinking....... usually bad idea, me thinking... in the hands of someone that CAN ACTUALLY SHOOT, how far do you think you can reliably hit a human silhouette target with the issue open sights on your vintage war guns?  Assuming ideal circumstances.  Daylight, clear calm day, and such.

Not a challenge, but if you are so inclined I’m REALLY curious as to what the result of this test would be, IF you have some time to play...  in the meantime an educated guess will do.  As I said, I just started wondering.  You read a lot of wild anecdotal stuff in war accounts but I don’t know if it’s real or wishful thinking.
«13

Replies

  • Big Al1Big Al1 Senior Member Posts: 8,502 Senior Member
    I can give you a little back ground on that!! Most of the old battle rifles were actually zeroed at about 250 yards. The old sights like on an 03, '98, Krag, 1884 trap door were very complicated and usually required about a week of training just to figure out how to use them properly! Some Enfields had a volley sight for lobbing rounds at long range!
    See the source image

    My BIL, the one with two Johnsons, has an original training manual for the trap door. It instructs, with pictures, how to hit infantry at 1000 yards by aiming aim at the heads of the horse mounted troops!!
    But I see where your going here!! This would be an excellent experiment for Zee, and he could even do it bare foot!!
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,466 Senior Member
    I’ve shot 300 yrds on steel with my 96 Swed Mauser and my 03 Springfield when I was working up loads (as far as my club range goes). 

    I’ll try 700 one of these days at my friends place. 

    Varmintmist shoots comps with his Springfields our to 600, I believe?

    Still a believer that, if you can see it, you can hit it. 

    (Within the realm of physics.)
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 24,985 Senior Member
    ...and he could even do it bare foot!!
    In heels.
    My jungle carbine is sighted out to 800 yards, and as Al notes - the Brits were noted for their long range volleys.

    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
    )O(
  • GunNutGunNut Posts: 7,642 Senior Member
    My ex wife’s uncle won Camp Perry 1,000 yards with an M1 many moons ago but I don’t think the target at that distance is representative of a human torso.  My thought would be how many times can you reliably hit a human torso at how many yards type of scenario.  700 yards would be extremely cool and I have always agreed with your see/hit philosophy.
  • GunNutGunNut Posts: 7,642 Senior Member
    Big Al1 said:
    I can give you a little back ground on that!! Most of the old battle rifles were actually zeroed at about 250 yards. The old sights like on an 03, '98, Krag, 1884 trap door were very complicated and usually required about a week of training just to figure out how to use them properly! Some Enfields had a volley sight for lobbing rounds at long range!
    See the source image

    My BIL, the one with two Johnsons, has an original training manual for the trap door. It instructs, with pictures, how to hit infantry at 1000 yards by aiming aim at the heads of the horse mounted troops!!
    But I see where your going here!! This would be an excellent experiment for Zee, and he could even do it bare foot!!
    So that’s very interesting.  I’ve always heard that battle rifle sights had settings for such distances so groups of shooters could lay down volley fire.  Not for accurate shooting at an individual combatant.  What you are saying seems to contradict this!
  • GunNutGunNut Posts: 7,642 Senior Member
    zorba said:
    ...and he could even do it bare foot!!
    In heels.
    My jungle carbine is sighted out to 800 yards, and as Al notes - the Brits were noted for their long range volleys.

    I absolutely understand volley fire.  I’m really interested in the rifle/capable shooter ability to inflict single accurate killing hits on enemy combatants using the stock sights of the time.  Kind of what would the realistic “effective distance” Of the rifle/human combo be?
  • Big Al1Big Al1 Senior Member Posts: 8,502 Senior Member
    I imagine the volley fire theory goes back to the days of the long bow when they launched thousands of arrows and saturated the target area!
    See the source image

  • AntonioAntonio Senior Member Posts: 2,986 Senior Member
    With my Mausers (7.65 & .308 '91s and '98 actions) I can hit a human torso using factory "W" iron sights as long as I can clearly see it; consistently (75% or up?) maybe up to 550 yards prone & with a front rest (Sand bag usually), pretty much what you can consider "field conditions". A spotter helps a lot specially when light and wind conditions aren't ideal.

    In the 200-300 yards range I can hardly miss in the same conditions and even with no rest nor spotter. Have been shooting 7" steel discs (human head size?) @ 220 yards with probably 70% consistency; worst results were with the M-1 Carbine but I'd blame the ballistics of the cartridge rather than the rifle

    Below 220 yards, any position & no rest maybe 70% of the time with quick shots, and 100% in prone with or without rest. @ 110 yards the "head shot" hit rate is close to or 100% even with the Carbine.

    All of these with little or no cross wind and using surplus military ammo or plain cheap FMJs (WWB, UMC and such). If eyesight is still serviceable (I wear contacts for 2.0 farsight) and you know your shooting drills, old military rifles can be VERY accurate even with those "W" sights American shooters usually don't love.

    Best iron sights for those rifles are probably the Garand's, but still I like the Mauser's better probably 'cause I grew up shooting those.
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 24,985 Senior Member
    GunNut said:
    zorba said:
    ...and he could even do it bare foot!!
    In heels.
    My jungle carbine is sighted out to 800 yards, and as Al notes - the Brits were noted for their long range volleys.

    I absolutely understand volley fire.  I’m really interested in the rifle/capable shooter ability to inflict single accurate killing hits on enemy combatants using the stock sights of the time.  Kind of what would the realistic “effective distance” Of the rifle/human combo be?
    Depends on the rifle and especially the human - but  you knew that. Me? Probably about 50 yards!
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
    )O(
  • GunNutGunNut Posts: 7,642 Senior Member
    EXCELLENT!  This is the kind of info I was wondering about.  My experience with these type rifles has been pretty much at 100 yards and I've never had a way/place to stretch their legs out further so this question has been rolling about in the back of my head for a while.  When the guy in the other forum asked how to scope his gun, my initial reaction was why?  when you are past finding a decent load or seeing how military FMJ ammo groups when sighting in your gun, the game could be different when you are shooting these military weapons.  Not trying to get bug sized groups out of a hunting or benchrest rig.  Hitting paper/metal silhouette at distance sounds like a lot more fun.
  • AntonioAntonio Senior Member Posts: 2,986 Senior Member
    GunNut said:
    Was reading on another forum some dude who just got a mint Mauser and was wondering how to scope it (heathen)  :s........




    Regarding '98 action Mausers, you can scope them with long eye relief scopes mounted in special bases that replace the rear sight leaf, thus no permanent alteration to the rifle is done (Like drilling, cutting the stock, bending the bolt handle, cutting the safety, etc.); also you can get an extended safety lever to replace the original one. Such parts are available online and in most big vendors.

    Sadly most of the time owner will choose a permanent alteration.
  • GunNutGunNut Posts: 7,642 Senior Member
    zorba said:
    GunNut said:
    zorba said:
    ...and he could even do it bare foot!!
    In heels.
    My jungle carbine is sighted out to 800 yards, and as Al notes - the Brits were noted for their long range volleys.

    I absolutely understand volley fire.  I’m really interested in the rifle/capable shooter ability to inflict single accurate killing hits on enemy combatants using the stock sights of the time.  Kind of what would the realistic “effective distance” Of the rifle/human combo be?
    Depends on the rifle and especially the human - but  you knew that. Me? Probably about 50 yards!
    Oh, I get that.  That's why I specifically asked Zee because I know him to be a rather capable rifleman.  If I gave my wife an '03 and asked her to hit the earth she'd probably miss...  :D
  • GunNutGunNut Posts: 7,642 Senior Member
    edited December 2019 #14
    Antonio said:

    Regarding '98 action Mausers, you can scope them with long eye relief scopes mounted in special bases that replace the rear sight leaf, thus no permanent alteration to the rifle is done (Like drilling, cutting the stock, bending the bolt handle, cutting the safety, etc.); also you can get an extended safety lever to replace the original one. Such parts are available online and in most big vendors.

    Sadly most of the time owner will choose a permanent alteration.
    The thread in question specifically said no long eye relief scopes.
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 7,928 Senior Member
    Ive read the SMLE volley sights were not very effective in actual use.

    Ive also read that certain troops using that rifle were so well trained in speed of repetitive shots that recipients mistook incoming fire as machine gun fire.

    It would be interesting to see comments from Varmintmist.

  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 8,496 Senior Member
    I am already looking forward to the range report.
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • GunNutGunNut Posts: 7,642 Senior Member
    Ive read the SMLE volley sights were not very effective in actual use.

    Ive also read that certain troops using that rifle were so well trained in speed of repetitive shots that recipients mistook incoming fire as machine gun fire.

    It would be interesting to see comments from Varmintmist.

    I’m hoping he’ll chime in.
  • GunNutGunNut Posts: 7,642 Senior Member
    I am already looking forward to the range report.
    Hopefully he’ll find the time to do it.
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,457 Senior Member
    GunNut, here's how the Army and Marines qualify riflemen, and the yardages they must fire at to attain the rating. Kind of interesting; doesn't say irons or scopes, but it's still pretty impressive shooting to get that rifleman badge.


      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • Diver43Diver43 Senior Member Posts: 12,142 Senior Member
    edited December 2019 #20
    GunNut said:
    zorba said:
    ...and he could even do it bare foot!!
    In heels.
    My jungle carbine is sighted out to 800 yards, and as Al notes - the Brits were noted for their long range volleys.

    I absolutely understand volley fire.  I’m really interested in the rifle/capable shooter ability to inflict single accurate killing hits on enemy combatants using the stock sights of the time.  Kind of what would the realistic “effective distance” Of the rifle/human combo be?
    Kind of like Matthew Quigley? 

    Expert, Sharpshooter, and Marksman for Army qualifications if I remember right.


    Logistics cannot win a war, but its absence or inadequacy can cause defeat. FM100-5
  • GunNutGunNut Posts: 7,642 Senior Member
    Diver43 said:
    GunNut said:
    zorba said:
    ...and he could even do it bare foot!!
    In heels.
    My jungle carbine is sighted out to 800 yards, and as Al notes - the Brits were noted for their long range volleys.

    I absolutely understand volley fire.  I’m really interested in the rifle/capable shooter ability to inflict single accurate killing hits on enemy combatants using the stock sights of the time.  Kind of what would the realistic “effective distance” Of the rifle/human combo be?
    Kind of like Matthew Quigley? 

    Expert, Sharpshooter, and Marksman for Army qualifications if I remember right.


    Yeah that...
  • mitdr774mitdr774 Member Posts: 1,770 Senior Member
    edited December 2019 #22
    Furthest I have shot with iron sights was 200m.  That is the furthest range I have even been to.  Not a whole lot of range options around me.


    There are also options like this that replace the rear sight with a scope mounting base.  No alteration other than remove a part and replace with another.


  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 18,118 Senior Member
    edited December 2019 #23
    Ive read the SMLE volley sights were not very effective in actual use.

    Ive also read that certain troops using that rifle were so well trained in speed of repetitive shots that recipients mistook incoming fire as machine gun fire.



    The British Army invented the "Mad Minute" during WWI....All the troops on the line would cut loose with everything they had for a minute...the SMLE added greatly to the volume of fire put downrange.

    It was also a speed shooting exercise...the record IIRC was 38 rounds on a 24" target at 300 yards in one minute...set in 1914...

    As I think about it...it would be interesting to see someone duplicate that
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • GunNutGunNut Posts: 7,642 Senior Member
    tennmike said:
    GunNut, here's how the Army and Marines qualify riflemen, and the yardages they must fire at to attain the rating. Kind of interesting; doesn't say irons or scopes, but it's still pretty impressive shooting to get that rifleman badge.


    My daughter was the last one to go through qualifications with the M4 right before her last deployment to Bagram AFBwhere she was issued one.  She called me to complain how bad it sucked since they use this BS little target that is supposed to simulate shooting at distance but you are really only 25 yards away.  No moving and no real scenarios simulating combat.  Basically hit the paper and don't shoot the "instructor".  THANK GOD!!!!! the girl got proper training BEFORE she joined the Military.  She can still shoot circles around just about all her peers.
  • GunNutGunNut Posts: 7,642 Senior Member
    mitdr774 said:
    Furthest I have shot with iron sights was 200m.  That is the furthest range I have even been to.  Not a whole lot of range options around me.


    There are also options like this that replace the rear sight with a scope mounting base.  No alteration other than remove a part and replace with another.


    Pretty rifle!!!   But again, the guy did not want a EER scope and my point is that I think I'd like the challenge of shooting these rifles at human sized silhouettes without glass as a game better than shooting for groups.  

    I don't currently have any kind of a milsurp that I can think off that will do but now I'm tempted to make that a reasonably short order goal so I can play at my range which will take me to 300 yards or bring it out to visit my son where he's has a 1500 yard range close to his house.  

    In the meantime I do have a few sporterized rifles with the original iron sights which are still on as a "backup".  I might have to remove the glass off my '39 Sauer Mauser and see what I can do with it.
  • GunNutGunNut Posts: 7,642 Senior Member
    Big Al1 said:
    I imagine the volley fire theory goes back to the days of the long bow when they launched thousands of arrows and saturated the target area!
    See the source image

    And that would make an awful lot of sense!
  • N454casullN454casull Member Posts: 671 Senior Member
    A few years back a couple friends and I took a CMP M1 Garand and hit the 600yrd line. We put up some gallon milk jugs and had at it. Over the course of the time shooting all three of us managed to hit a milk jug. I don’t remember how many shots it took any one person but we all did it. 

    I would imagine if you shot that gun a lot and got familiar with its ballistics you could get pretty close pretty often on a man size target. 

    This was also off of a bench with a sandbag type rest. The jugs were on a high burn and it was relatively easy to spot your own misses in the dirt/dust. Basically we walked it in.  

    Also this was when I still had “young” eyes and could see that far. 
  • SpkSpk Senior Member Posts: 4,739 Senior Member
    Diver43 said:
    GunNut said:
    zorba said:
    ...and he could even do it bare foot!!
    In heels.
    My jungle carbine is sighted out to 800 yards, and as Al notes - the Brits were noted for their long range volleys.

    I absolutely understand volley fire.  I’m really interested in the rifle/capable shooter ability to inflict single accurate killing hits on enemy combatants using the stock sights of the time.  Kind of what would the realistic “effective distance” Of the rifle/human combo be?
    ...


    Expert, Sharpshooter, and Marksman for Army qualifications if I remember right.


    Or as we used to call them, Expert, Sharpshooter and Pizza Box. 😁
    The two on the left are the ones worth wearing.
    Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience -- Mark Twain
    How easy it is to make people believe a lie, and [how] hard it is to undo that work again! -- Mark Twain

  • GunNutGunNut Posts: 7,642 Senior Member
    A few years back a couple friends and I took a CMP M1 Garand and hit the 600yrd line. We put up some gallon milk jugs and had at it. Over the course of the time shooting all three of us managed to hit a milk jug. I don’t remember how many shots it took any one person but we all did it. 

    I would imagine if you shot that gun a lot and got familiar with its ballistics you could get pretty close pretty often on a man size target. 

    This was also off of a bench with a sandbag type rest. The jugs were on a high burn and it was relatively easy to spot your own misses in the dirt/dust. Basically we walked it in.  

    Also this was when I still had “young” eyes and could see that far. 
    We’re you fiddling around making adjustments with the sights or just taking some Kentucky windage/elevation?  One of my goals is to get good with the battle sights on whichever gun I end up picking for this endeavor so I can make hits repeatable.
  • GunNutGunNut Posts: 7,642 Senior Member
    Spk said:
    Diver43 said:
    GunNut said:
    zorba said:
    ...and he could even do it bare foot!!
    In heels.
    My jungle carbine is sighted out to 800 yards, and as Al notes - the Brits were noted for their long range volleys.

    I absolutely understand volley fire.  I’m really interested in the rifle/capable shooter ability to inflict single accurate killing hits on enemy combatants using the stock sights of the time.  Kind of what would the realistic “effective distance” Of the rifle/human combo be?
    ...


    Expert, Sharpshooter, and Marksman for Army qualifications if I remember right.


    Or as we used to call them, Expert, Sharpshooter and Pizza Box. 😁
    The two on the left are the ones worth wearing.
    Pizza Box!  That’s funny right there... 🤣
  • mitdr774mitdr774 Member Posts: 1,770 Senior Member
    I still need to take my M1's to a range.  I refuse to shoot them at 50 yards.
Sign In or Register to comment.
Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Guns & Ammo stories delivered right to your inbox every week.

Advertisement