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Thursday, December 22, 2016

Sometimes You Can Surprise People With A Little Esoteric Knowledge

This is Steven Petrick posting.

Within my own little area of expertise, I know a great many things. A lot of them picked up by a sort of osmosis by being around other people of similar interests.

Even so, even within that little area of expertise there are a great many things that I do not know.

Still, I can pull up surprising bits of information simply because something fits into that area where I devoted a lot of my life and attention.

Thus when someone expressed surprise that the fifth longest recorded sniper shot was made with an M2 Browning .50 machinegun, I am able to state with firm confidence and not checking any resources that those weapons were in fact used, with scopes, as sniper weapons in the Vietnam conflict.

Most individuals without an interest in how things work in the military are probably unaware that while the M2 Browning is a "Machinegun" it can be set to fire single shots. (Yes, I know how this is done, it is a simple rotation of the wrist to accomplish it, while I was never a "gunner," I was familiarized with the weapon as part of my training.) While moving them tactically (even non-tactically if you cannot get a vehicle to do so) is not any fun at all, I do not think there is any American infantry man that does not otherwise love this weapon (as long as the bad guys have not captured it and turned it back on us). Mr. Browning's gun is one of those weapons which no one has found a way to replace (although the U.S. military has tried).

Set on its tripod with its traversing and elevating mechanism and a scope, a good shooter can dial in a target, and send a little love tap down range.