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Old 10-02-2017, 02:20 PM   #1
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Urban Sniper

Fifty-one years ago an ex-marine suffering from a brain tumor climbed the tower of the University of Texas in Austin and started sniping at people. In the early stages of his rampage fifteen people were killed, but then citizens, including university students, started firing back from every side of the tower and Whitman's ability to make aimed shots was severely diminished.

We are more civilized now.
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Old 10-02-2017, 02:39 PM   #2
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I get your point but you're comparing a free-standing tower to a crowded hotel.
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Old 10-02-2017, 03:42 PM   #3
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The shooter was about 380 yards away laterally, and 100 yards up. What's your holdover with your carry pistol? What's your holdover with a scoped AR?
BTW, there are innocents in the rooms above and below.

Last edited by Tim Burke; 10-02-2017 at 03:45 PM.
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Old 10-02-2017, 03:47 PM   #4
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Oooops. Redundant post, sorry.
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Old 10-02-2017, 06:25 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by CaptainGyro View Post
Fifty-one years ago an ex-marine suffering from a brain tumor climbed the tower of the University of Texas in Austin and started sniping at people. In the early stages of his rampage fifteen people were killed, but then citizens, including university students, started firing back from every side of the tower and Whitman's ability to make aimed shots was severely diminished.

We are more civilized now.
If I remember correctly, it was a civilian with a .22 rifle who went up with an Austin cop and killed Whitman. No, the guy no longer gets credit for his actions.
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Old 10-02-2017, 07:18 PM   #6
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Yep, your right Tim. Been watching too many Hollywood movies. I guess what I was trying to say is I would have liked to have been helpful. Hate to see the bad guy hurting a lot of people.


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The real use for a rifle in that case would be rip the scope off and use it to try to pinpoint the BG's location, then call that in for SWAT.

Ironically, this is one of the situations my briefcase-AR build was designed to counter, but with an effective range limit of 300yd level it would have been no help returning fire.

Let's see: c^2=a^2+b^2... a=380, b=100... thank God for Excel, calculus Bucking Flows... about 393 yards of slant range, plus windage and drop trying to hit the Hole In One one a target 30 stories up.

I'm sorry, but even if you have really good optics, you're probably not gonna make a precision shot at 400 yards out of a 10" barrel even if you're loading Mk 262.
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Old 10-02-2017, 08:33 PM   #7
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I'm sorry, but even if you have really good optics, you're probably not gonna make a precision shot at 400 yards out of a 10" barrel even if you're loading Mk 262.
Ever hear of a cowboy named Elmer Keith?

Elmer Keiths 600 yard shot
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Old 10-02-2017, 08:52 PM   #8
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Top, realistically how many of us here are in Elmer Keith's league? I know I'm far from it... if we got the whole board together on the same range and shot for beers I'd probably end up being the one buying the round, and most of the time when I was shooting alongside some local cops in college the only reason I never had to buy was that when I didn't get lucky on scores there was somebody getting hit with a Sportsmanship Penalty that put their score below mine. lol
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Old 10-03-2017, 03:06 AM   #9
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The shooter was about 380 yards away laterally, and 100 yards up.
The shooter was about 380 yards away from his targets; anyone returning fire need not stand in the kill zone.

My point was not that anyone returning fire was going to get a bullseye under what would have been extremely unfavorable conditions...it was that anything that complicated that guy's firing solution had the potential to save more lives than it endangered. I have spent considerable time in hotel rooms in my life, and it is inconceivable that the guests in the rooms immediately above and below the shooter had not fled or taken cover after the first few mags were emptied.

When I was an instructor pilot in the Air Force the crown prince of a middle eastern ally was sent to our base to earn his wings. His security detail was a cadre of State Department agents who some of us got to know pretty well. They had access to some first-class firearms, but their counter-sniper weapon was a long-barreled Wingmaster firing slugs.

"Are we going to hit the guy?", one of the agents asked rhetorically. "Maybe not, but one-ounce chunks of lead hitting anywhere nearby are going to keep his head down until someone does."
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Old 10-03-2017, 04:47 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by CaptainGyro View Post
anyone returning fire need not stand in the kill zone.
If I have a shot, he has a shot.

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it is inconceivable that the guests in the rooms immediately above and below the shooter had not fled or taken cover after the first few mags were emptied.
If there's an active shooter in the hotel, I'm staying in my locked room.

I'd be shocked if there weren't people standing at the windows looking out, trying to see what was going on.
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Old 10-03-2017, 05:23 AM   #11
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Top, realistically how many of us here are in Elmer Keith's league? I know I'm far from it...
Sixty years ago I was almost that good with a 6" barreled .357 and a rest but not any more. Oh, and my target was the size of a car and maybe 300 yards out. Today I'm happy to keep them all in the chest area at 7 yards rapid fire.

About 8 years back I was shooting against a young BP agent at 10 yards and the instructor was calling the shots. While I matched him shot for shot I can't do that today.

Last edited by csmkersh; 10-03-2017 at 05:26 AM.
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Old 10-03-2017, 11:21 AM   #12
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I was there all weekend, seminar at the Mandalay. Gave a couple of drunk Canadians a ride to the concert. My plane left probably as the excitement was starting. It's a LONG shot indeed, I bet Tim's provided range is probably about spot on.

If you were outside to see what was going on, you wouldn't be able to return fire. If you were inside the hotel/casino, you likely wouldn't know what was going on until it was pretty much over. Nor would you know where the shooter was.

This was a situation where a CC holder just wasn't going to make a difference.
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Old 10-03-2017, 11:36 AM   #13
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Sixty years ago I was almost that good with a 6" barreled .357 and a rest but not any more. Oh, and my target was the size of a car and maybe 300 yards out. Today I'm happy to keep them all in the chest area at 7 yards rapid fire.

About 8 years back I was shooting against a young BP agent at 10 yards and the instructor was calling the shots. While I matched him shot for shot I can't do that today.
Offtopic: Hang in there, man, getting old sucks but is infinitely better than the alternative.

"Considering where the rest of my West Point class is today, pretty good actually."
Douglas MacArthur, USMA Class of 1903's "last man standing" on his 80th birthday, to one of his WWI subordinates asking how it felt to finally be "old"
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Old 10-03-2017, 11:46 AM   #14
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Just to clarify, my original post had nothing whatsoever to do with handguns or concealed carry...I'm not sure how that logical leap was made. In Austin, folks actually went to their dorm rooms or apartments and retrieved long guns.

I was commenting on the fact that in those days this seemed like a logical thing to do, and by all (non-media) accounts it was at least partially effective. Nowadays urban denizens seem to be much less willing or able to grab a long arm and defend what's theirs. Still, in the hurricane-prone parts of the country where defense against looters is a genuine concern, this scenario might well have had a different outcome.

Kevin, I'm sure I speak for everyone when I say we're glad that you got out of there unscathed. Great story.
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Old 10-03-2017, 01:12 PM   #15
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This was a situation where a CC holder just wasn't going to make a difference.
I've given this some thought, and I'd have to agree. But it was an exceptional circumstance, and as we all know, CC holders do make a difference almost every day--if not several times a day.
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Old 10-03-2017, 02:03 PM   #16
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I've given this some thought, and I'd have to agree. But it was an exceptional circumstance, and as we all know, CC holders do make a difference almost every day--if not several times a day.
Agreed on all counts.

When people "loose-their-chit" and start killing people, historically they want to do it up close so they can see the damage they do. Most "lone wolf" assassins over the past 150 or more years have used a handguns (when they use firearms). Incidents were rifles are used historically were an anomaly. I wouldn't say they're an anomaly anymore, they're probably starting to become an actual statistic...which is not good news for anyone.

Still, this particular incident still qualifies as an anomaly because it was at long range. Most who use rifles still do their killing at very close range, and this guy was nearly 400 yards out. Dear God I hope there are no copy-cat's of this one. I love outdoor concerts when the weather is nice, and that could kill off outdoor concerts.
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Old 10-03-2017, 02:07 PM   #17
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Kevin, I'm sure I speak for everyone when I say we're glad that you got out of there unscathed. Great story.
Very happy to be home with the family where I belong. I checked the list and while there was a couple from BC who were killed, the couple I gave a ride to the concert was not among them.
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Old 10-03-2017, 04:59 PM   #18
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Anybody seen that video done by the taxi driver?Sounds real but odd that people are not responding might be fake?
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Old 10-03-2017, 08:59 PM   #19
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BTW, we need a Fire Mission on why a Commiefornia prosecutor posing as a "conservative" on what used to be RedState is all wet echoing the calls for bans on bump-fire, and how full of it he is that it'll be "just this, won't ban anything else."

https://www.redstate.com/patterico/2...e-bump-stocks/

Hit this one HARD, folks!
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Old 10-04-2017, 06:38 AM   #20
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Like it or not, the jihad against bumpstocks has already begun, and IMHO, will likely happen. I personally think these stocks are a stupid novelty item for people who enjoy wasting ammo, however I don't WANT a ban.
I REALLY HATE this "legislating by atrocity" concept the politicians seem overly fond of the past few decades. It WILL bite the Constitution so badly one day it will be damaged beyond repair ---- and some say that's already happened.
Whatever does result legislatively, the libs' eternal war on the 2A will continue ad infinititum.
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