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Snap-Shooting in Close Combat- Infantry Journal 1944

Snap-Shooting in Close Combat- Infantry Journal 1944

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Published by Rick Gaines

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Published by: Rick Gaines on Mar 27, 2011
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11/12/2012

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Snap
Shooting
#
In
Close
Combat
By
Captain
Stephen
Stauers,
USMCR
TH
E
VALU EOF
HI
P-LEVEL
snap
shootingcontinues
La
be amatter or controversy,
notwithstandinp
the amountof close-in combatfiringin this war,especially in thePa cific theaters.
Th
ose opposed
to
snapshooting decryits relativeinaccuracy andminimizeitssuperiorityinspeed.
Th
osewhofavor snapshootingemphasize its effectiveness in close combatwhere thefirst shotsseparate thequick from thedead. Thefunctionof snapshooting isclear.
It
is iutended for shortrange(twentyyards and
unde
r)combat firing where troopsaremoving
qui
cklytoward eachother. Insuchsitu ations it has beenobservedthat almost every man'sin stinctive reactionisto fire
qui
ckly,with
out
'stopping tobringthe weapontohis shoulder.
\
Th
eopinions
or
assertions
contained
in
this articlearcthe private
one
s
of
theauthor
and
are
not
to be con
strued
asofficial
or
reflect
ing
theviews
of
the
Navy Dep
artm
ent
or
the
naval
serviceat l
arg
e.)
-
Such
hastyfiringwithout benefitof previouspractice
is
rarely accurate.Amoving oppone
nt
fiveyards away can be missed entirely. Yetto alignsightson him at that range is
to
anchoryourselfinthe position of aclaypigeon ina shooting gallery.Not only isthe stationaryshoulder-aimer very vulnerahle inclose-quarterscomba
t-
a bayonet-wielding enemy can readilyparryhis weapon barrel and run him through-hut the originalopponent mayhimselfhitthe slowaimer first withsnapshots.
The
purp
ose of hip-level snap shooting istocanalize natural reactionsand
mak
efirstshotsasquick andaccurateaspossible.
Th
eprincipal elements in hip-level snapshootingare f
our
: speed, mobility,r
edu
cedvulnerability,
night
effec
tiv
en
ess,
By snapshooting it ispossible toget off initial shots ill thepiecelevel and pointingittowardthe target.lt'is therefore effectiveatni
ght
whenclose-range targets can be detected only by shadoworsound.
Th
emainargument usuallymadeagainst snapshooting isthatit lacks accuracy, theimplication beingthatany thinglessthan one
hundr
edper cent accuracy atclose range isdeplorable.Butthis reasoning omits thevital time element.For even ifashouldershootercould scoreone h
und
redper cent hitsbetweenthe eyesbyshoulderaiming that would dohim nogoodifseveralenemyslugs hadhit himwhile he was aiming. Although then
onn
al accuracy-of snapshooting isabom sixty per cent(with ageneral range of variation from thirtyto-ninetyper cen
t),
the volumeand speedof fireis whatproducesthegreateroperational effect. Inasmuch as
thr
ee shotscan befired hy snap shootingin thetime it takes tofirethe first aimed shot, the snapshooter islikelytobe the winnereven ifhis score is only thirty-threeandone third per cent. Forhis one hitprecludesthe
hundr
edpercentscore ofthe aiming oppon
ent
.
Fur
thermore,thesnapshooter'sshots thatmissarenot whollywithouteffect. Firing practically inthe face ofthe enemysoldier impairshis aimingor prev
ent
sit altogether.Itis on thisbasisthathip-level snap shooting should be evaluatedas a combatsupplement tostandard rangemeth ods offire.
Th
ebasicprinciple of hip-level snapshooting istohold thepiecelevel at the side,clear of thehip,and pointedat -'--
__
haILa_s£cond,_iu
__
contrast
.t
o
the oneand
a.half
to
tW0
F:"
thetarget.
An
hour of positionpractice andafewclipsof seconds it normally takes togetoff thefirst shoulder-aimed shot.Troops in thefield, after an hourof position
pr
actice,haveaveragedthree shotssnapshootingin thetimeit took themtoget off one shotfrom the shoulder.
Of
theirthree shots,oneand two were hitsonsilhouette targets atten and twenty yards.
Th
emobility ofthesnap shooter enables him to ap proachhistargetrapidly without thenecessity ofstopping tofire.Besidesincreasinghistactical effectiveness, thisre duces his vulnerability,for hepres
ent
s a crouched movingtargetratherthan an upri
ght
stationary target.
Hi
slowersilhouette alsoreducesthechanceofbeinghit. Sightinginsnapshooting is accomplishedby holding
30
firing
wiII
considerablyenhance
any
soldier's close-combatfiring effectiveness.Snap shooting tactics are not
int
endedto minimizethe importance ofcoverandconcealment,onwhich the range methods of firedepend,
and
whichshould beused toad vantageasmucH aspossible.
But
especially inan assault, whenafightermustadvance short distancesuucovered, snapshootingon therun maybehisbest "cover"as wellas hisbest attack.
INFANTRY
JOURNAL

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