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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm sure everybody is familiar with the show and the myth itself. Carlos Hathcock supposedly shot an enemy sniper through the scope of his rifle. The myth isn't specific if it traveled the entire length of the tube before exiting and hitting the man in the head or if it exited the tube and still hit scored a head-shot.

Mythbusters set out to bust the myth. Their first experiment suggested the myth was a bust. They used a .308 Winchester (not a .30-06) and a low-end modern sporting scope. We all know a modern scope has multiple lenses, compared to vintage scopes, like that which would be found in a communist military, maybe have no more than two or three lenses. Without a doubt, it was decided that there was enough variability from the scenario in the myth to give it a revisit.

After switching to an M1 Garand in .30-06 and a period correct scope, they Mythbusters crew finally got it to happen, only with steel-core armor piercing bullets. Its very unlikely APs were used in '06 for an accuracy round by Marine sniper teams, especially not in the '06 case. However, it was enough evidence for them to call it "plausible."

I began to wonder if it was likely that the bullet wouldn't have to pass the entire distance of the tube and exit the ocular lens to score a head-shot on an enemy and a confirmed kill. After having a 15+ year-old Tasco's turret break on me, I decided that it was a worthy test.

I chose to use a 142 gr. SMK from my 6.5-284 launched around ,3000 fps rather than my .308 Winchester as I wanted to be sure the bullet was as close to the center of the tube as possible. The shot was to be taken at a minimal distance as to ensure accurate placement as well. After double checking zero and putting four rounds through a dime, I preceded to take a shot. I secured the scope with wire and pointed it directly at the position from which the shot was to be made.

I zoomed to 25x and took up the 21 ounces of trigger until the firing pin released. The heavy 20 pound rifle recoiled ever so gently as to not remove the sight picture. The scope quickly flipped in the air like a squirrel shot with a large centerfire rifle. As the somersault came to an end, we moved in to examine the kill.

The nitrogen still filled the air with its distinct odor. After walking behind the stand, the scope was finally found thirty feet from its origin. The objective was completely. As it appeared, it was forced through the bottom of the bell (or possibly it was a fragment of the bullet that made the large hole?) while the inside was filled with glass shards.

Approximately 3/8" behind the turret another small hole appeared which measured over .5". The tube was bent on both sides of the turret. It was evident the bullet had made it past the objective and the first few lenses immediately. Further examination proved the bullet did not exit the ocular lens. This was the only lens that wasn't penetrated before the bullet was deflected out of the aluminum tube.

Had the bullet not been deflected, it likely would have passed through the ocular lens, but what bullet could do so besides the AP? By the position of the exit hole, it was completely evident that the enemy sniper would have been killed if he were looking through the scope.

It is undeniable that this experiment proves a man could be killed with a shot through the scope. Nowhere in the biography does it say the bullet passed the objective and the ocular as Mythbusters is suggesting.

For those interested, I'll post pictures in the photo gallery.






















 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Well I hadn't heard anybody doing it besides the Mythbusters crew. I am new here, so I don't know if it was done in the past by somebody here. The scope quit working, so I thought I may as well try it for no more than a replacement cost of $30.00 compared to who knows how much to get it fixed.
 

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I have no faith in mythbusters. They simply do not research anything enough. They did this test a while ago to see if a car audio system could actually break glass... and they did so by placing 8 10" subs around a drinking glass in an otherwise empty room. As a professional car audio installer and competitor, I can find about 15 flaws that they created. The subs facing each other, the sound waves would cancel each other out. The boxes in the middle of the room rather than in a car, you would lose all acoustic vibration (which, incidentally, is what causes the breakage.) They used low end subs which, in a competition, would not even hold up against a well designed system with 2 12" subs. They used sealed boxes, and on top of that, the boxes were too small.

Being a competitor, I have seen glass shattered a few times... And anyone into competitions knows for a fact that glass shattering is NO myth. But, Mythbusters "Busted" the myth. How? By absolutely screwing up every last little detail. They do NOT know enough about certain aspects of categories such as this to accurately make a determination on anything, really. I stopped watching the show after that episode.


That said... I do not believe the "myth" of carlos is dead, just because they say it is. Their hear-say carries no weight with me.
 

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Yes MB couldn't possibly recreate the scene without knowing more. First of all the precise range is fairly critical eh?

Personally I believe he made the shot by aiming at a glinting scope, and that the round may or may not have passed through all or part of the tube before hitting the enemy.

Hathcock himself didn't claim to have made the through-the-scope shot did he? Probably grew in the telling by others in his outfit?
 

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taylorism said:
Hathcock himself didn't claim to have made the through-the-scope shot did he? Probably grew in the telling by others in his outfit?
In "Marine Sniper" and "Silent Warior" they both tell this story and if i remember right the bullet passed all the way though the tube and struck the enemy in the eye. I have the books at home, i will have to check tonight. Granted those are not autobiographies so there is a possibility of the details being off, but i was under the impression Henderson interviewed Hathcock and others to check his facts.

-Andy
 

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Well like many who have heard the story, I dont know if it went all the way through or not. I do think he shot the scope and killed the target.
I would not want my eye to a scope that was shot by a 30.06. I dont care if it goes all the way through or not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
With this test, a 6.5-284 couldn't put a 142 gr. SMK @ 3000 fps MV through all the lenses, but the exit hole was behind the turret and came out at an angle it would have still be a head shot for what its worth.

If he did shoot the enemy through the eye, is it possible it came out of the tube and hit the weak eye rather than the dominant eye used for sighting?
 

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Well gee, I use an old scope for finish lapping rings. You method of disposal is MUCH more fun, Tyler.. :lol: Good write up.

Nate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks! We've been wanting to do that since reading "Marine Sniper" about ten years ago!
 

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taylorism said:
Hathcock himself didn't claim to have made the through-the-scope shot did he? Probably grew in the telling by others in his outfit?
I bought a DVD "Carlo Hathcock: In his words" where he was interviewed by John Plaster. It just came in the mail today so I watched it this evening. He tells the story of the infamous shot through the scope. During the interview he says by the look of things he was just quicker on the trigger otherwise he would have been killed. When asked how he knew that he would have been killed he says "because I shot right through his scope, right straight through his scope. Never touched a side".

Just FYI...thought some of you guys would be interested in that.

-Andy
 

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Guys, we keep beating the dead horse, but we have not used the same style glass the VC snipers used. I am guessing without looking back here, but I think it was probably a PU or PE scope on a 91/30 rifle. If so the internals are very different than modern glass, and the body is much much shorter. Once I get back healed up enough to go the range again, I might try it on a PE or PU or both, and se what happens, I will use a 30-06 to get it right too.
 

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the other point to this is as said it was a pe or pu scope on a 91/30 and Carlos used .30 M72 ball match ammo which is the 172/3 gr fmjbt bullet
he also was using a win M70 in .30-06 ,tests that I have seen and read all say the fmj ball rd of .308 performs better on glass than the hpbt match bullet and as said in the interview with John Plaster he said it went straight thru the scope and into the snipers head not exact words.
Mark if you decide to try this and dont have any M72 rds i may have a few do have a number of the 173 gr M72 bullets mil surp pulldowns.
but just my thoughts
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
When it was done on Mythbusters the second time, they used a period correct Soviet scope. My question is, are there any pictures of the rifle that was captured with the shot through the scope?
 

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I've never seen a range for Hathcocks shot, but I'm guessing it was probably at least a couple of hundred yards and not the extremely short range used on Mythbusters. Due to this two other factors not considered is that bullets are not fully stabilized for several yards when they exit the barrel, and that bullets tend to cause more damage to the target relative to the damage to the bullet as the velocity decreases.

As to Mythbusters.
Most of the myths they test are myths that have several versions and several possible scenarios for each version. The myth they tested on the speaker myth was whether the speakers themselves were the direct cause of the glass breaking, which will not happen unless the frequency of the sound matches the harmonic resonance of the glass. What usually causes the glass in cars to break is the sound placing enough stress on the window frame to cause the glass to shatter or causing the glass to vibrate and hit something hard enough to break it. Another less common cause is that the sound waves from two different sources can actually effectively multiply the frequency of the sound and cause the frequency acting on the glass to reach the harmonic resonnance level. On the Hathcock myth, what they tested was whether a bullet could reliably penetrate the optics of a scope and hit a sniper in the eye, and not whether it actually happened to Hathcock which they admitted it did. In their testing they could not reliably duplicate the facts. Which led them to their conclusion, which was the same as Hathcock's stated conclusion concerning the shot. Which was that is this: That it was a one in a million lucky shot, which Hathcock and Mythbusters admitted.
 

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tylerw02 said:
When it was done on Mythbusters the second time, they used a period correct Soviet scope. My question is, are there any pictures of the rifle that was captured with the shot through the scope?
Hathcock stated that he picked up the rifle and turned it in to intelligence. There are several possibe scenarios as to it's fate
1. It was left as recovered and stayed in a warehouse or armory in Vietnam for any further needs.
2. It was left as recovered and sent to the U.S. and is currently in a warehouse or armory here any further needs.
3. It was fixed for evaluation purposes and then stayed in Vietnam.
4. It was fixed and sent to U.S.
5. Any of the first four scenarios occured, but the rifle was destroyed.
6. It was destroyed in the field.
7. Someone snuck it out of a armory or warehouse in the U.S. or Vietnam and has it in their private collection in the U.S. or Vietnam.
...

Its possible photo's could have been taken at anytime after he turned it in, but none are known to exist.
 

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Guys, we keep beating the dead horse, but we have not used the same style glass the VC snipers used. I am guessing without looking back here, but I think it was probably a PU or PE scope on a 91/30 rifle. If so the internals are very different than modern glass, and the body is much much shorter. Once I get back healed up enough to go the range again, I might try it on a PE or PU or both, and se what happens, I will use a 30-06 to get it right too.
Mark I am with you brother 100%, if you need any help I am there ;)

I've never seen a range for Hathcocks shot, but I'm guessing it was probably at least a couple of hundred yards and not the extremely short range used on Mythbusters.
I spoke to Hathcock at a SOF show in Vegas many years ago and we spoke in detail about that kill. The shot if I remember correctly was just over 400 yards .

Just my 2 c


Mike
Tac Ops
 

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!!!

400yds?!! :shock: Now, that was one lucky shot!
Slip
 

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I'm sure everybody is familiar with the show and the myth itself. Carlos Hathcock supposedly shot an enemy sniper through the scope of his rifle. The myth isn't specific if it traveled the entire length of the tube before exiting and hitting the man in the head or if it exited the tube and still hit scored a head-shot.

Mythbusters set out to bust the myth. Their first experiment suggested the myth was a bust. They used a .308 Winchester (not a .30-06) and a low-end modern sporting scope. We all know a modern scope has multiple lenses, compared to vintage scopes, like that which would be found in a communist military, maybe have no more than two or three lenses. Without a doubt, it was decided that there was enough variability from the scenario in the myth to give it a revisit.

After switching to an M1 Garand in .30-06 and a period correct scope, they Mythbusters crew finally got it to happen, only with steel-core armor piercing bullets. Its very unlikely APs were used in '06 for an accuracy round by Marine sniper teams, especially not in the '06 case. However, it was enough evidence for them to call it "plausible."

I began to wonder if it was likely that the bullet wouldn't have to pass the entire distance of the tube and exit the ocular lens to score a head-shot on an enemy and a confirmed kill. After having a 15+ year-old Tasco's turret break on me, I decided that it was a worthy test.

I chose to use a 142 gr. SMK from my 6.5-284 launched around ,3000 fps rather than my .308 Winchester as I wanted to be sure the bullet was as close to the center of the tube as possible. The shot was to be taken at a minimal distance as to ensure accurate placement as well. After double checking zero and putting four rounds through a dime, I preceded to take a shot. I secured the scope with wire and pointed it directly at the position from which the shot was to be made.

I zoomed to 25x and took up the 21 ounces of trigger until the firing pin released. The heavy 20 pound rifle recoiled ever so gently as to not remove the sight picture. The scope quickly flipped in the air like a squirrel shot with a large centerfire rifle. As the somersault came to an end, we moved in to examine the kill.

The nitrogen still filled the air with its distinct odor. After walking behind the stand, the scope was finally found thirty feet from its origin. The objective was completely. As it appeared, it was forced through the bottom of the bell (or possibly it was a fragment of the bullet that made the large hole?) while the inside was filled with glass shards.

Approximately 3/8" behind the turret another small hole appeared which measured over .5". The tube was bent on both sides of the turret. It was evident the bullet had made it past the objective and the first few lenses immediately. Further examination proved the bullet did not exit the ocular lens. This was the only lens that wasn't penetrated before the bullet was deflected out of the aluminum tube.

Had the bullet not been deflected, it likely would have passed through the ocular lens, but what bullet could do so besides the AP? By the position of the exit hole, it was completely evident that the enemy sniper would have been killed if he were looking through the scope.

It is undeniable that this experiment proves a man could be killed with a shot through the scope. Nowhere in the biography does it say the bullet passed the objective and the ocular as Mythbusters is suggesting.

For those interested, I'll post pictures in the photo gallery.






















Hathcock himself said it never touched the sides.
 
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