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Hello,
Their was a post on militaryphotos.net about a sniper in Iraq. Some of his tactics came under critism. Some thought it was too barbaric to do the tactic he used. I should probly explane what it was:
"Sometimes a guy will go down, and I'll let him scream a bit to destroy the morale of his buddies," said the Marine corporal. "Then I'll use a second shot."
Does this tactic sound proper? I would not think so beacuse it would require a second shot (one shot one kill, right?). I have also heard that it is more dammaging to moral to have some one jsut die, no suffering, then to have them fall down scraming. So I was wondering your thoughts on this...
Where the artical came from:
http://www.militaryphotos.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=12660&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0
 

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?

I read that artical before...there was a similar one about 2 Army snipers circulating as well. I seriously doubt that was real......if it was I am sure it was taken out of context.....dropping thier comanding officer with one shot where nobody knows where it came from is way more effective. I single wounding shot or a spoiler round would show a lack of skills and give your enemy more time to locate you.
 
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One of the major psychological impacts of a sniper is the fact that he delivers instant and unseen death from nowhere. He is a shadow. He strikes and then is gone before the enemy can react. One shot, one kill is not only good for destroying enemy morale, it is a definite benefit to keeping the sniper alive. One more thing. Just as when hunting game animals, you owe it to your quarry to deliver a quick, clean kill. A sniper carries the burden of looking his enemy in the eye before taking his life. His enemy is not some faceless object seen at a distance. You see his eyes, his expression as he receives your bullet. If not for him, then you owe it to yourself to do it right the first time, everytime. You'll sleep better that way.

K2
 

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wouldnt it be better to kill them instantly?
if ya just shoot them to wound them to make them suffer, you wouldnt appear to be as skilled and they might fear you less? just a thought...
and i could definitely see how a second shot is going to be more risky in giving away your position
i would always try to give my prey the instant death as a hunter
 

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As has been mentioned, this serves no purpose. I would not be surprised to discover the article is not ligit. We (at least I) have never trained to wound, this is combat, you shoot to kill, or be killed. Everyone here knows multiple rounds fired from the same hide is just asking for it.

I will also agree with K2, you do owe it to your querry to make it clean and quick if possible, there is no glory in making someone suffer.

Now, I was also trained in target selection, and picking the right target, at the right time can have huge amounts of psyche effect on the enemy.

MEL
 

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Actually, a killed target has less of a psychological effect than a wounded target that is screaming with pain. Also, it ties up more people to take care of the wounded than is required to take care of the dead(A doctrine started by the US Army, with the introduction of the 5.56x51).

As for shooting to wound and not only killing, having practiced to also be able to assist law enforcement, shooting to wound rather than to kill eases both the mental burden and the response from the rest of the community(And gee, some people still wonder why police corps with hard tactics have more problems with civilian cooperation than police corps with soft tactics.....). And, it's a proven fact that the more violence the police is willing to use, the more violence criminals are willing to use to have a chance of getting away. In Sweden, the vicious cycle has been police getting pistols, then the criminals started using pistols, then police getting SMG's as backup weapons, then the criminals started trying to get hold of automatic weapons. The same thing has been observed in Finland, Denmark, Norway, Netherlands, UK and Germany.
 

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Nek,

Thats very interesting, as over here the police snipers train to kill, as effeciently as possible (brain stem). This is because its the only way to insure the bad guy isn't going to pull the trigger and kill a hostage. When I went through an FBI resident SWAT sniper school here in Montana, we trained for nothing but lethal shots at the brain stem from 25 - 200 meters.

I always find it interesting to hear about the differing tactics from places around the world.

MEL
 

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Mel:

Over here, police snipers are taught to avoid killing if possible. As an example, a shredded muscle and/or shattered bone in the upper arm will quite effectively disable the entire arm. It's also useful to practice such shots, since the head will not always be visible, the target might well be armoured. If the sniper has only practiced to take the shot if he can make it lethal, he or she will be rendered impotent in such a scenario(And the scenario is not unlikely. And no, claiming that it's too hard to hit the arm or something does not hold with me ;) The required target zone for severing the brainstem is much smaller than the arm or the hand or even the weapon.

And, as I mentioned, the psychological pressure of knowing that the SWAT team out there is using lethal tactics will be greater than knowing that the SWAT team tries to avoid killing if possible. That increased pressure leads to more nervousness which in turn gives you a more unstable situation.
 
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NEKEKAMI:

I agree with Mel, it is interesting to gain different perspectives and learn the reasoning behind things. My sniping experience has been all military, so our objectives and rules of engagement were a little different than what the police sniper has to contend with. You make a good point for a wounding shot in non-military scenarios. You guys also must not have as many lawyers over there as we have here.

K2
 

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K2:

My primary training and tasks are military in nature, yet of a very defensive kind. We're responsible for responding to alarms from weapons caches, radio repeaters and masts and similar objectives in our area, and to contain and neutralize the intruders. I.e, we're training to hunt special forces. We often act as OpFor against Kustjägarna(The unit which has that friendly rivalry with the SEALs) and we've had some chances to practice against various foreign units. But, we have some secondary tasks too, and that's assisting Law Enforcement, either with search and rescue, helping with road blocks and containment, and we can be tapped to assist with siege busts and similar, if the police think the suspects are too heavily armed and armoured for police to handle. Thus, we've developed a lot of tactics within our platoon that are adapted for such situations, including non-lethal tactics. Those non-lethal tactics come in handy in military situations too, such as if we'd happen to encounter a hostile command post or such. Capturing commanders and comms officers is highly prioritized.
 

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Yep, my time was mainly spent doing all military. But, the CO recognized the changing ROE's of the military and thought it would be beneficial to receive some Law Enforcement specific training, which is when I went to the FBI school. It was very good cross training and I highly recommend it. The training focused very much on brain stem, but other areas were also taught, its just that even a shot to the arm is considered to still leave the possibility of muscle twitch, arm jerking, etc to fire off a round. And like K2 said, you must not have the lawyers that we do over here!

MEL
 

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Mel:

*Nods* No such thing has been observed in Sweden, Norway, Finland or the UK however(Those are the national police forces I'm most updated on). I've seen the nasty effects of a 7.62x51 smashing through an upper arm or a thigh. It's not pretty, and since it's so far off the center of mass, they usually lose balance and twist slightly. If it's a hit to the thigh, they often drop and lose their weapon.

And no, we don't have the same kind of lawyers over here.
 
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Supposing that the bullet nicks a nerve ending, even in death that could lead to an involuntary trigger pull, which in turn could lead to a dead hostage, etc.

But back to the ORIGINAL query (although I love gigression as much as the next one) Although I necessarily do not agree with this tactic of shooting to only at first to wound and cause unneeded pain as opposed to death, there certainly would be benefits to doing such a task, especially if you are part of a lone sniper team that stumbled onto a group of enemy soldiers (an admittedly unlikely oppurtunity in a law enforcement scenario :) As happened in a scene in the excellent movie Saving Private Ryan, the lone German sniper took a shot at an American soldier standing unawares with his platoon. The man fell, wounded, to the ground, and his fellow soldiers assumed defensive positions to minimize casualities caused by the unseen sniper. Now the idea behind this was to draw out into the firing range more victims who intended to help their fallen brother. The German's intent was for when enough people had amassed in an effort to lead the soldier to safety, he would begin to pick them off, one by one, as they would have been preoccupied with the rescue attempt. This would have been aningenious tactic, as the sole mission of the sniper was to inflict as many casualities to the enemy as possible, and his actions would have bought him time to complete his goal. Incidently, while waiting for more American soldiers to be lured out of hiding, the German was downed by a bullet through the eye, delivered by none other than the American counter-sniper...
 

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Jake:

Just so you know: A hit to the brainstem is not a guarantee that "Ticks" do not occur and causes muscle contractions etc either. It just reduces the risk to a certain degree(And how much depends on the target)
 
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Definitely not a guarantee, its just that a hit to the central nervous system is more likely to stop any potential involuntary post-mortem movement than a nonlethal shot to an arm or a leg, at least predominantly, and of course theoretically. But no, there is no real guarantee of a shot stopping all involuntary movement.
 

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Jake:

A hit through the central nervous could just as well cause a "short circuit", which would trigger a lot of signals too, which is kinda scary.
 
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Definitely scary, however I was once conversing with an aunt of mine who is a certified nurse. She informed me that if the central nervous system is completely severed (i.e. a shot centrally through the brain stem) all connections would be cut off, leaving the brain rendered unable to send any nerve signals whatsoever, causing the body (which would most likely at that time be a corpse) to slump limply to the ground, like a cooked spaghetti noodle would if you tried to get it to balance vertically (admittedly an interesting comparision for a sniper website) However she has personally never seen this happen to prove it one way or the other, that is only what will happen according to her instructors and textbooks. But it does make sense. If there is no provisions to send a signal of any sort, one will most likely not be sent!
 

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Jake:

That's a truth with modification. Just because the brain is cut off and can't send signals doesn't mean that signals can't go out over the nerve system. Many nerve clusters as well as large parts of the spine can initiate signals too. And a bullet passing through the body can very well cause a current on a nerve, causing ticks, twitches, muscle cramps, pulling triggers etc.
 

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Well, not to be gruesome about this... but its literally been proven hundreds of times over that it does work. The affectionate term being "lights out". Its just like turning off the light switch.

MEL
 
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