It is interesting to hear the words, “spray and pray” quoted. I have seen statistics from WWII, Korea and Viet Nam and yes it is amazing how many rounds were fired in each of those wars for each enemy soldier killed. I have not seen statistics for Iraq and Afghanistan but I imagine those wars would reflect the same trend.
In Nam I burst fired or semi fired my M16, even with helicopter re-supply my worst nightmare was running out of ammo so I don’t consider what we did to be spraying and praying although I will admit to doing a lot of praying over there, still do.
I just shot eight different machine guns over this last weekend and it was easy to fire each one on burst fire except for the German WWII MG42, however I have never been put in the position of being overrun or mass suicide charges and I think a well trained infantryman should have the option of semi auto or burst fire or full auto.
Snipers are a whole different ball game, while extremely dangerous if you have done your job well the enemy you are about to take out does not even know you are there and there is no incoming fire so you can concentrate on the shot. I would compare snipers to the bowmen, the longbowmen and recurve shooters of ancient battles.
The average grunt or infantryman I would compare to a gladiator, you are going to close with the enemy and kill him in hand to hand combat or in modern days close quarters combat, a very violent and messy affair.
Sure we should all train and competition does add some stress but it can never equal the stress of the survival instinct which they say is the strongest instinct of the human animal. When you are about to die it is amazing what kicks in and what your mind and body can do, it is such a high I at one time thought if I could be that way all the time it would be unreal what I could accomplish if only you could be that way without it being combat, and for that reason only I dreaded going back to dull and slow civilian life. But then reality sunk in, to be that high on adrenalin all the time would probably kill anyone within a week.
Sometimes you do react without thinking and I have been in firefights where I was almost like a robot and detached mentally, other times things went into slow motion but my body was moving lighting fast, it was still slower than my mind moving at light speed and that is why it seemed like slow motion so you can think faster than you can react. Combat does other strange things to you also.
So yes, training and competition are important, I carry my firearm for two reasons, one to defend my life or the lives of loved ones or others and two if someday a man actually does take me out, I want to at least have the chance to take him along for the ride.
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