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View Full Version : How to train for 3 simultaneous head shots at sea?


Doggieman
April 13, 2009, 06:16 PM
Seriously, does anybody know how those SEALs put 3 bullets in 3 heads at 75 feet at sea, and when it appears from what I've read that one of the pirates was in the cabin (thru-window shot?).. all at the same time? At night? :eek:

I'm curious. :confused:

kraigwy
April 13, 2009, 06:26 PM
Just like you train for everything else, YOU PRACTICE.

The boat rolls, You and your rifle roll with it. Its timing, timing you only get from practice.

Watch the Sniper Compititions on the Military channel. Its quite interesting what these people do.

Another fun thing its two baloons floating arount at 300 yards, one is the bad guy, one is the hostage. With a bit of practice you can judge the flow of the baloons and fire as it gets ready to float through your cross hairs.

I've taught several sniper schools, its not really hard once the shooter catches on.

Its timing, timing you get from practice.

Doggieman
April 13, 2009, 06:29 PM
and how do they all shoot at the same time?

Are they hooked up by radio and one guy goes, "Ok I can take a shot" the second guy goes "Uh hold on mine went behind something" etc etc.

Seems like all the stars would have to align for that to happen. And humans can be unpredictable. Suppose one pirate sneezes right as you're about to pull the trigger and his head bobs all over the place.

And what kind of scopes do they use? And what kind of sniper rifles? Ammo? reloads? ;)

Deaf Smith
April 13, 2009, 06:32 PM
I have no doubt all three had radio headsets so they could communicate with each other and the team leader/spotter.

When the 'go' signal went, the leader could have said, "On my count of 3 fire. One, Two, Three...". Or he could have said, "fire at will'.

And I also have no doubt they had more than one team so one set could rest while the other team kept their scopes ready.

They also could have split the shots. Right shooter aim for the one on the right, middle aim for the one in the middle, etc...

They had good co-ordination and THEY COULD SHOOT!

Well done SEALS.

Jofaba
April 13, 2009, 06:58 PM
We were talking about that at work last week. My immediate response to HEARING (not seeing, this is important) that hey were on a "life raft" was why they didn't just snipe the pirates. I now realize that it was a covered raft, entirely different than what I was visualizing.

Still, the first response from my friend was that sniping off a boat into another boat would be fairly difficult. I rolled my eyes and said "there's an obvious fix for that" and as I knew would be the case, my incredibly intelligent friend (that's no sarcasm, this guy seems to know EVERYTHING and it's a privilege picking his brain) knew what I was hinting at and replied "gyroscopics". In otherwords, a gyroscopic platform to shot from.

There's been no word of that so I can only assume they did it old school. Incredibly impressive and incredibly proud of them.

I will say that I am surprised at the pirate reaction. They're apparently very stupid when they should be just "forgetting the whole thing". Well, its their lives they're playing with.

Doggieman
April 13, 2009, 06:59 PM
I'm thinking you'd want 2 guys aiming at each pirate, total of 6 guys. That way if one misses then the other takes him out real quick.

That's how they hunt big game in africa. The guide lines up a shot and if he doesn't see the animal drop immediately after you fire, he finishes it off with (hopefully) one extra shot.

Sarge
April 13, 2009, 07:07 PM
The signal may have been for simultaneous engagement on radio command; or engage target 2 and 3 on the report of the shot for target 1. Might have been engage first target at first opportunity and then terminate additional threats immediately. There are too may 'might haves' to say with any certainty what happened, and the folks who know aren't saying for obvious reasons- op sec. What is not speculation is that our military has fine young folks in all branches, with SPECWAR folks who train for any and all engagements. God bless them all. We can be thankful they are willing to accept these missions and that they have the skill, bravery and determination to emerge victorious.

Night vision optical sights and/or momentary illumination would solve the 'darkness' problem and the 'rolling seas' matter has been addressed.

You can still do pretty good 'night/moving target work' with quality conventional optics and good training. When I was involved in LE sniper stuff, we hung a 2 liter bottle in a shoot house, suspended from the ceiling on a 3 foot cord. A mag light in the corner was the only illumination available to the designated marksman, set up on a pitch black hillside, 100 yards away. On radio command a brave soul in the shoot house would give the bottle a hard swing and then run like hell over the side berm. On his clearance, the DM would engage the bottle as it swung, through a 2x2 foot 'window'. A 'hostage' dummy (we could never get anyone to volunteer for that job- dang sissies) sat about a foot off from where the bottle would be if it weren't swinging. Our better shooters got to the point they could routinely bust the bottle as it swung- and one shot was all you got.

Never underestimate the effectiveness of a well trained and committed individual, with a good rifle in his hands. Folks fitting that description are precisely the reason we are free.

Deaf Smith
April 13, 2009, 08:07 PM
I hear now the three kidnappers were kids. That is 15 or so year olds with no real training. The leader was on the Bainbridge.

Still don't matter. Kid with an AK, that has been brought up in such a place as Somilli, well no doubt they are cold blooded killers. Not real skilled, but still killers.

I also suspect the AK went off by accident. To bad, so sad.

Hirlau
April 13, 2009, 08:13 PM
http://i277.photobucket.com/albums/kk73/typhoonwinds/seal.jpg
:eek:

bbqbob51
April 13, 2009, 08:15 PM
I wonder what kind of rifles and in what caliber did these snipers used?

Sarge
April 13, 2009, 10:56 PM
LOL Hirlau :D

darrentxs
April 13, 2009, 11:15 PM
Probably the tried and true, "on you marks, get set, GO!"

JohnH1963
April 14, 2009, 12:11 AM
I think everyone has it wrong on this scenario.

Do you really believe all 3 of the guys were up and about? Where is the video of the shooting incident? There are videos of these types of shootings all the time by the US military on youtube.

This happened at night so the most likely scenario was that 1 or more of the pirates was resting while the others were sitting down. What is the likelihood that all were standing up in the middle of the night on a small raft that is bobbing up and down on the ocean?

The shots were probably made using night-vision equipment. The raft was being towed by the ship and it was only 20-30 yards away.

We will never know truly what happened...

Doggieman
April 14, 2009, 03:02 AM
here's a pretty good article in Slate that explains how it might be done:

http://www.slate.com/id/2216031

alloy
April 14, 2009, 06:17 AM
Maybe there were 9 guys firing at the same time.:)

KSFreeman
April 14, 2009, 06:35 AM
SEAL training? In addition to Sleeping, Eating And Lifting, training involves beach volleyball, proper sunglasses selection and trying to get your resume and headshot to the right casting director.

Dog, they go to school and practice not until they get it right, but until they cannot get it wrong.

Glenn E. Meyer
April 14, 2009, 01:41 PM
There are plenty of Seals at the gun store and show - you can ask them. :D

Daugherty16
April 14, 2009, 03:10 PM
While some of the more specific details may never come out, we know all we need to know: Seals 3, BG 0.

Just some brave young Americans - and fine soldiers - keeping us free. Doing their jobs especially well in the middle of the night. Apparently they starting slowly reeling in the tow line, brought them in to about 40 yards or so. That's reason # 1 for 3 headshots at sea. Aside from the Seals being excellent riflemen and generally accomplished snipers (reason # 2) and all-around tough hombres. And of course they were using nightscopes of one variety or another (reason # 3).

The next time we have the opportunity, we should each buy a couple of beers for an American service man or woman. And tell them simply, thank you for what you do. I doubt if they hear it enough.

Bauer
April 14, 2009, 03:17 PM
I'm thinking you'd want 2 guys aiming at each pirate, total of 6 guys. That way if one misses then the other takes him out real quick.

That's how they hunt big game in africa. The guide lines up a shot and if he doesn't see the animal drop immediately after you fire, he finishes it off with (hopefully) one extra shot.
I can't imagine they do this. Maybe if they shot at the same time but no way they do it like you say they hunt big game in Africa. Far too many variables changing in that split second.

buzz_knox
April 14, 2009, 03:20 PM
Having two shooters per target is a tactic used when there is intervening material, such as glass. The slight difference in reaction times allows one round to take out the glass before the other round reaches it.

kraigwy
April 14, 2009, 04:07 PM
Back to the original question, training for shooting from a boat:

Years ago, I was the company comander of C Co. 2/297th Inf. Alaska National Guard. This company consisted of Alaska Natives (Eskimos). The Company Headquarters was at Shishmarif, on the Berring Sea, and the company consisted of four other villages, Brevig Mession, Tellar, Wales, and Little Dimede.

These people lived mostly off the sea, fishing and hunting. I went out several times in little boats hunting seals. You shoot those little suckers while bobbing around in a boat, normally all you get a shot at is their little heads. You have to kill them or they would sink and you'd loose them.

You'd be suprise, as I mentioned in my earlier post on this topic how with a bit of practice and timing you can get where you can hit those little suckers.

I dont mean to be little the Seals in the Rescue opperation. Which the way I understand it, started with a water jump and having to swim (or rubber raft to the ship and sneak on. Then the corranated attack to pop all three badguys at once. Water jumps are the most fun part of airborne operations. We had to do a water landing twice a year. Seems I always caught a cold.

I've worked with SEAL teams when I was in a SF Unit. Those guys are impressive, if not a bit crazy.

Catfishman
April 14, 2009, 05:53 PM
I am very proud of our Navy. I think the shots very pretty simple. The hard part was pulling the towed vessel to calm waters and realing it in to within 25 meters. Those pirates must have been absolute morons. I doubt the world lost a total of 200 IQ points when those three shots rang out.
I feel these were chip shots for the Seals and very doable for anyone who knows their way around a rifle.

longcall911
April 14, 2009, 05:56 PM
does anybody know how those SEALs put 3 bullets in 3 heads at 75 feet at sea
Your federal tax dollars hard at work...

I too, am very proud of those men. One shot, one kill.

For anyone interested in helping our snipers in uniform, you can donate money and/or equipment at: http://www.americansnipers.org/items.html.

It's a great cause. (I have nothing to do with the site or organization.)

/*tom*/

Creature
April 14, 2009, 06:02 PM
They used rolling airframe projectiles equipped with a Mk1Mod1 "Eyeball" guidance system.

Deet
April 14, 2009, 07:05 PM
Good job, Seals rule.

Steviewonder1
April 14, 2009, 07:27 PM
The lifeboat had been gradually pulled towards the destroyer. It was only 40 yards off the tail of the boat. That is just a bit longer than your average range. Caliber was likely .308 and 10 power night vision enhanced scopes. These guys parashooted into the ocean to be picked up and brought on board of the destroyer to do the mission.
What a great way to end the day!

Brit
April 15, 2009, 09:10 AM
Possibly aiming down at 30 degree? angle, was not the best bet whilst the Captain was inside that self contained lifeboat.

How about a seal (or two) hanging off the back of the LB, little loops all over, gun of the day in two hands (they would be secured via clips so hands free) ear piece radio in place. "On three, One. two, three!" the one with the AK, history. The two in the hatch, shot from the water, from each side of the hatch. All shots would be frangible 9mm.

Remember bits of body and bone can be lethal, why use a 2700 fps .308 into the skull, when a burst of 9mm frangible would do the trick, especially from sea level aimed up.?

Wondered why no video? That's why, seaborne assault, Navy Seals live in that medium. Do you think they want their tactics played live on the 50" flat screens in Somalia. You can be sure of one thing, how ever that wee scene was played out, it will not be on Utube any time soon.

Creature
April 15, 2009, 09:21 AM
Possibly aiming down at 30 degree?

No way. The deck of the fantail on a Arliegh Burke DDG (Flight IIA) is about 15 ft above the water line. No way was there a 30 degree angle.

click here for photo (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:USS_Mustin_(DDG_89)_stbd_stern_view.jpg)

As for actual tactics involved, there isnt a whole lot involved other than positioning on the fantail of the DDG and waiting for clearnace to get a clean shot off.

va87
April 15, 2009, 10:00 AM
Its hard for us to believe this, but for the guys that did this....it was just another day at the office.

Once those guys get past Hell week, complete BUD/S, finish up all of the other specialized training, and get out to the operational fleet, there is no "gee-whiz" factor there for them. It is their job, just what they do. The guys that pulled the triggers last week have sent untold thousands of rounds down range, likely into human targets, likely in every concievable climate and situation. Popping three sammies at night in a boat was no big deal for them.
IT IS to us and the rest of the nation, but for those guys.....

It was just another day at the office.

Thank GOD for them!

Ian0351
April 15, 2009, 11:53 AM
Hoorah SEALs.
Hoorah Practice.

FM12
April 20, 2009, 10:34 PM
Never underestimate the effectiveness of a well trained and committed individual, with a good rifle in his hands. Folks fitting that description are precisely the reason we are free.

The BEST two sentenances I've read on any forum in a long time!

We should all be as well trained and committed to something!

Nnobby45
April 20, 2009, 11:08 PM
At one time, LE had a device that amounted to a control board monitored by a commander remote from the snipers.

The sniper rifles had a special trigger system that could only be fired from the board. When a sniper had his sight on the target, he pressed the trigger. When the Commander saw each sniper's light lit on the board at the same time, he knew they were all on the target, and could then press the fire button.

Don't remember if he could fire three or five weapons at once.


System was obviously developed for taking out multiple individuals at the same time.

Don't know if that system saw much use, or if it's even still around. Have heard very little about, but it's long enough to have been perfected if it's currently in use.

However the SEALS did it, it's going to remain their secret while the rest of us speculate.

vox rationis
April 20, 2009, 11:15 PM
OK here's my Mall Ninja Sniper Simultaneous Shot System (MNSSSS): :)

Actually I think it might work :eek:

Each shooter activates a pressure sensitive switch when he's got a clear shot, that illuminates a green light on a control panel; each shooter is poised to take the shot while he's indicating green. You then have a team leader that is in charge of giving the shoot order. When all shots indicators are green, he gives the order: "shoot". All shooters fire at the same time. :cool:

You can also periodically rotate the shooters on station so that they can maintain a ultra high level of concentration.

kraigwy
April 21, 2009, 01:22 PM
Some people watch way too much TV

Its TRAINING FOLKS, nothing but good hard consistant TRAINING.

vox rationis
April 21, 2009, 05:31 PM
Some people watch way too much TV

Its TRAINING FOLKS, nothing but good hard consistant TRAINING.


...oh yeah, well.... you are just jealous that you don't have my fancy system :p







:D

lawboy
April 23, 2009, 12:05 PM
I DO NOT KNOW IF THE SNIPERS USED THIS DEVICE. However, I will mention it here because I do know that such a device was developed and tested for sniper use in the 1980s. I have a book that discusses its use and training and has photos of same in my firearms library. Really, in this day and age a device like this could me made very small, light and reliable, and wireless to boot.

It is a simple computerized firing mechanism that is attached to the three rifles. As the snipers get clear shots on target, each one holds his trigger down. If the shot goes away, the individual snipers release their triggers. If at any time, all three triggers are depressed, the computer fires the guns simultaneously. Simple as that. The system will only fire if the specified number of inputs are occurring at once. With this system, you could have 50 shots taken together on 50 targets by 50 snipers.

Ian0351
April 23, 2009, 01:22 PM
While we're at it... I'm sure that CNN gave us all the straight dope on how this whole ordeal went down... No OpSec, no intentional disinformation for potential hijackers. Nope, the American public has a right to know!

2harp2hooter
April 23, 2009, 10:01 PM
Seriously, does anybody know how those SEALs put 3 bullets in 3 heads at 75 feet at sea, and when it appears from what I've read that one of the pirates was in the cabin (thru-window shot?).. all at the same time? At night?

I'm curious.


Basically, it comes down to Training. The SEAL Teams, along with NavSpecOps in general, train to a very high degree. Others on here have obviously delved into more specifics in relation to such, but I can simply state from experience that SEALs can consistently hit a 2 Inch Target at 1000+ Ft., during Recreational Shooting.

quinn2187
April 24, 2009, 07:53 PM
did anyone see the pictures of the liferaft releasedafter the incident was over? i saw one on the news with more than three bullet holes in the boat. maybe not as precise as being said. maybe 3 bad guys standing in boat, one hostage sitting lower. 3 good guys sent 3 busrt high, while the navy makes the 4th bad guy watch. now i have absolutely no idea how this actualy went down, but the picture did show multiple bullet holes in the boat.

zxcvbob
April 24, 2009, 08:02 PM
Each shooter activates a pressure sensitive switch when he's got a clear shot, that illuminates a green light on a control panel; each shooter is poised to take the shot while he's indicating green. You then have a team leader that is in charge of giving the shoot order. When all shots indicators are green, he gives the order: "shoot". All shooters fire at the same time. Put all those switches in series (or into an AND gate) and the light or buzzer doesn't come on until all three buttons are pushed simultaneously. They don't need a spotter to tell them when to fire, that only creates a delay.

(I dunno if that's how they did it, but it would be plausible and cheap to implement)

Swampghost
April 24, 2009, 09:10 PM
When I was a kid, back in the '50's and 60's, Dad had an 80 ft. sailboat and when we hit bluewater I was allowed to haul out my .22 rifle and shoot at collected trash.

Shooting from a moving vessel at another moving target definitely takes some skill. As far as a spotter, no way, no use other than range and you will NEVER make a distance shot under these conditions.

If you really want to get into details, I have them. Wave lengths/heights, ship roll rates. In the end it all goes back to instinct shooting which is what Dad was teaching me.