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Short Range Very Precise?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/18/2014 at 19:05
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Hello everyone, I'm a brand new first time poster. I'm working on a project for my department where I'm a trainer. We currently field M-4's in our patrol cars for all officers. In fact, we phased out shotguns out completely because we wanted as much training time on  the rifles as we could get. We cover a very large and densely populated college campus so precision shooting is something we are very concerned with.

 We are looking into establishing a designated marksman program. The goal isn't to be able to make super long sniper type shots, but we do see a scenario where a bad guy within about 10-50 yards might be covering a hostage and we are very interested in being able to place a very highly accurate shot at that distance. We are looking at using the Remington m700 SPS Tactical in .223 for this. The rifles would be carried in Pelican cases in the trunk of patrol cars so they won't get banged around too much, but a rugged optic would be better.

My question is this, given the short ranges, what kind of optic (fixed vs. variable) and what power should we be looking at? We have 1-4 M223's on the M-4's but I'm thinking that for more precision we might want something a little stronger. Would a 6X be good? Is 10X too much?

I have very little experience with optics. Most of my career and shooting experience is with iron sights so any input here would be greatly appreciated.


Brian

Los Angeles

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/18/2014 at 23:45
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If you are looking for extreme precision at short range, Brian, you should be looking at something with adjustable parallax that can get down to the ranges in question.  Magnification per se is not too critical, but you should be looking either at fixed 6x or a variable that gets down to at least something along those lines.

You do want to make sure that the scope sits as low as is possible since tall height over the bore makes short holds slightly more difficult.

What is your budget?

I would be looking at Vortex Viper PST 2.5-10x32, SWFA SS 3-15x42 and perhaps a few others.

With fixed power scopes your options are bit more limited, but SWFA SS 6x42 should be at the top of your list.

By the way, I also live in LA, so if there is something specific you want to try I always have a bunch of stuff I am testing lying around.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/19/2014 at 01:22
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koskin, thanks for the reply. The budget is kind of open right now. If I can find something in the sub $600.00 range that would be nice but getting the right tool is most important. I'll look at the scopes you listed. My brain is leaning toward fixed simply because the situation in which it would be used is likely to be fast paced and I'm thinking being very familiar with a simple optic would work better than trying to make quick changes on the fly. As for parallax adjusting? All new to me, so I'll have to fire up my google fu and learn about that. 

As for mounts and rings I have no idea what I should be looking for. I've always been a pistol guy and now with the rifle, I've got a lot of catching up to do!

I'll be frequenting this forum trying to learn as much as I can. I appreciate the help!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/19/2014 at 04:21
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One scope you might look into is the Acog 4 x 32 Scope, Full Illuminated Crosshair, .223 Ballistic Reticle.  I agree that you don't want to be fiddling around with magnification in a critical situation, and shouldn't have to at close range.  An illuminated crosshair may be handy in variable light conditions.  This scope is supposedly relatively parallax free, but I'm not the one to try to explain that one to you :)
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/19/2014 at 08:44
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given your conditions, and that the decision to shoot or not will probably be made by someone else, the targets are not "stable", and the shorter range out to 200 yds. , the SWFA 3x9 would be ideal. The lower magnification range would allow you to "track" the target movement without loosing them, and still have high enough power if needed.  The precision in this situation comes from time constraints and not the cone of fire size.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/19/2014 at 15:14
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Originally posted by TheBronze TheBronze wrote:

koskin, thanks for the reply. The budget is kind of open right now. If I can find something in the sub $600.00 range that would be nice but getting the right tool is most important. I'll look at the scopes you listed. My brain is leaning toward fixed simply because the situation in which it would be used is likely to be fast paced and I'm thinking being very familiar with a simple optic would work better than trying to make quick changes on the fly. As for parallax adjusting? All new to me, so I'll have to fire up my google fu and learn about that. 

As for mounts and rings I have no idea what I should be looking for. I've always been a pistol guy and now with the rifle, I've got a lot of catching up to do!

I'll be frequenting this forum trying to learn as much as I can. I appreciate the help!

Parallax adjustment is basically two things: 
- ability to focus the image for your distance
- ability to tune out the apparent shift in the point of aim with respect to the point of impact when the position of your eye behind the scope shifts

As far as your concern about having an extra adjustment to make goes, honestly I think it is unfounded.

I run into this argument occasionally and I am always amazed by it.  It is however, very common, despite making very little sense.

For example, let's say you think that 6x is the right magnification for the vast majority of engagements you might have and the most commonly expected engagement distance is 50 yards.

So, get a 3-15x42 scope, set it on 6x, set the parallax optimized for 50 yards and do not touch the controls unless you have to.

Operationally, it is just like a 6x, unless you have some sort of an unexpected scenario.  Then, a variable scope gives you some additional options that you would not have if you got a fixed power scope.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/19/2014 at 17:49
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Welcome to Optics Talk. 

I have a SPS Tac in .223. She's a dandy. Sub MOA with hand loads and a trigger job.  

I currently have a Leupold VX-R 3-9x on it, but I really like Dale's idea of the SS 3-9x, or Mr. Koshkin's 3-15x suggestion. The SS has better glass than the Leupold. 

I would also humbly suggest a stock change and a detachable magazine system. I've incurred feeding issues with mine and switched to AI magazines.      

I run Talley one piece mounts. LOVE 'em. TAB slings or Tactical Intervention sling and your set. 






Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/19/2014 at 18:59
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Cheap brings up a very good and often overlooked point.

while most .223 bolts are very accurate, very few bolts feed and extract well. Out of at about 20 I've used over 40 years maybe 2-3 could be counted as flawless in the function '

some of the worst I've had

Kimber, Sako, Remington, Winchester.

Two of the best I've had,  the new Mossberg MVP, and the Howa 500, with the 10 shot mag.

The Mossberg uses regular 15 mags and has a modified bolt, to enhance stripping of the round.

Actually head shots to 25-50 yds. is just a long handgun shot, and part of the standards in most IPSC matches. Parallax considerations on a scope in this type of application causes more problems than solves, however it is nice to have on bowling pins at 600 yds. It becomes more important if you are using some type of ballistic holdover reticle, but none of this is a consideration here.

Your M-4s are adequate for this type of shot, and a 1x4 would work well. If your thinking precision in terms of something like an ocular placement, the time constraints probably won't allow you to stabilize the target long enough.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/19/2014 at 20:32
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Thanks everyone for all the input. It's definitely giving me a lot to think about. This rifle is still experimental and we haven't decided to deploy it yet. Its intent is for a "designated marksman" program where the best shooters would have them in addition to the M-4's that everyone has. 

Since its an experiment I'm the guinea pig for this one so I'm building the rifle to see what we can make it do. We also have a couple of other uses for the rifle and that's getting shots at an active shooter that is out on a quad and in the open. We have places where it would be very hard to get closer that 150 meters to someone wearing armor and walking around spree shooting, so the idea that this could be used for that as well is in the thought process. 

Finally, we have a lot of assemblies where speeches are made that might provoke a violent response. We have traditionally covered the rooftops in a counter sniper/over-watch role with the M-4's, but we think a bolt gun might serve us better. Notice all the scenarios are still relatively short range compared to something a real sniper type rifle could do.   

We currently train for these scenarios with the M-4's but when we start running situations kind of fast sometimes we see a tendency to forget the off-set. We keep getting holes showing up where they shouldn't. While a handgun can be used at 25 meters its a dicey shot. If we have time a rifle is what we want to use. 

The idea for this rifle is to have something that I can not only hit the baddies head but be able to choose a very small part of the head at a realistic, across the street or across the room distance. 

I'll look at the 3x9's carefully. It seems they are much more plentiful anyway. I also need to get a bipod mounted and some sort of sling. Since this gun will be used indoors as well as out I'm considering getting a shorter barrel. Correct me if I'm wrong but at very close range I don't think that would hurt the ballistics too much. But the shorter rifle can be very handy when trying to get an angle though doors, hallways or cubicles. We do a lot of room clearing with the M-4's and even though they are short I sometimes miss the MP5. I find myself transitioning to handgun, or just going in with only a handgun a lot. I should mention that even though we are a campus department our investigations have us doing warrant service all over the L.A. area. Fun stuff sometimes!

As for a stock, I have no idea what would be good. Right now it's got that rubber one on there but in my research I've read that its not too popular. My only wish is for something light and tough. Other than that I'm not sure what to look for. 

Thanks again for all the comments. It helps having people to run things past to see if I'm on track or not! 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/20/2014 at 06:32
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If life or death accuracy is your aim, and I think it would be here, then switching the factory Hogue stock out is a MUST. That stock can flex. 

One consideration would be to go with a AI .223 chassis. You get a much better shooting platform and the benefit of a 10 round, AI detachable magazine. All for about $750 in one fell swoop. Put a Timney trigger in her and your all set. 

http://www.eurooptic.com/aics-aics-short-action-15-fixed-stock-dark-earth.aspx

I think your on the right track here. The 20" barrel is ideally suited for situations you described and mine is a SWEET shooter. It rivals my beloved .308 in accuracy. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/20/2014 at 09:07
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A precision rifle for 10-50 yard shots that also might be called upon to make a 150 yard shot?

I've written probably 10 paragraphs thus far, decided the tone wasn't right, and deleted them.

How are the M4s set up?  What make/model?
Have you had high-quality carbine training for the would-be DMs?
How many rounds do your DMs fire through their current weapons per year?


A very precise shot, off-hand, at 10 yards is all about very high quality training (and lots of practice) and not at all about a specialized weapon.

In truth, and with all due respect, I think you are discussing about 5 different issues on this thread, only one of which is a precision rifle set up for shots 50 yards and beyond.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/20/2014 at 13:01
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I'm kind of with RC on this, and I'm going to ask some questions of the OP.
Since your in L.A.; have you contacted the L,A.P.D. SWAT Team for advice, or the L.A. County Sheriff's Dept.? I would think this issue has already been addressed by them, and they would have a wealth of information.
What level of training do your officers have with their patrol rifles? In Kentucky, while there is no minimum level of training for the patrol rifle, the Ky. Dept. of Criminal Justice Training (DOCJT) offers a 40 hour in-service training course for the patrol rifle, patrol rifle instructor (open only to firearms instructors), and new this year, a designated marksman course. In the patrol rifle class, close in shots are covered.
Are you using a 1-4X optic on all of your current patrol rifles or just some of them?

Now, here are some of my thoughts. Ditch the bolt action rifle idea for close in precision and save it for your 150yd shots. By the way, rarely does a SWAT sniper make a shot over 100yds. Training is more important than equipment. With training you can overcome the problem of shot placement and mechanical offset at close range. A scope will only slow you down at 10yds, but it will speed you up at 150yds., so if you have to have a scope then the lowest power shouldn't be over 1.5x for a variable.

Now I'm not an expert, and I didn't sleep in a Holiday Inn Express last night, but I have been a  police officer for 37 years and a firearms instructor for 35, as well as a certified police instructor in many other topics, so I may not know what I'm talking about.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/20/2014 at 13:39
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I'm NOT qualified to say, but I would like to ask this. 

IF...you were to make a life or death shot on a bad guy at or past 50 yards, would you rather have a accurized bolt gun with a 3-9x scope, or a chromed lined M-4 with a 1-4x something at your disposal?
Or are you all saying this is more of a training issue?

I respect both your opinions, (you know that), but I don't get the rub here. In my inexperienced mind, the bolt gun wins THIS scenario hands down. Right?? 

Thank you for taking my call and I'll listen to your responses off line. Call         
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/20/2014 at 16:06
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CT, you know I love you like a brother, but give me the M4. That said, it is going to depend on the totality of the circumstances. Now I'm not going to get into the virtues of the two rifles on accuracy because they will both shoot minute of bad guy. What I will get into is that one makes a good sniper rifle, and the other makes a good designated marksman rifle, and that is what the OP asked about.

I understand the OP's dilemma because I work under similar conditions; probably worse. A 150yd shot is a real possibility. the limiter to that shot is bystanders, and it doesn't matter if you have iron sights, a 1-4x scope, or a 3-15x scope. If you don't have a clear shot then you don't have a shot and cover is your friend.

A sniper performs a different role from a designated marksman (DM) and needs different equipment, even though in law enforcement distances may be the same. In simplest definition the sniper sets up on his target and takes the shot from his best possible position, The DM travels with his group and provides accurate fire when needed. If I'm LE a DM, I want a reasonably accurate semi-auto rifle with a scope that will let me engage targets from close to medium range. If I'm a LE sniper, I want an accurate rifle with a scope that will let me see the color of the target's eyes from 50yds to 300yds.

Gotta go, sorry.
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Thanks for the clarification, Lynn. I think I confused the "sniper" and "designated marksman" differing roles.
Good copy.  


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/20/2014 at 16:20
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Originally posted by cheaptrick cheaptrick wrote:

I'm NOT qualified to say, but I would like to ask this. 

IF...you were to make a life or death shot on a bad guy at or past 50 yards, would you rather have a accurized bolt gun with a 3-9x scope, or a chromed lined M-4 with a 1-4x something at your disposal?
Or are you all saying this is more of a training issue?

I respect both your opinions, (you know that), but I don't get the rub here. In my inexperienced mind, the bolt gun wins THIS scenario hands down. Right?? 

Thank you for taking my call and I'll listen to your responses off line. Call         

Way too many variables to give a concise answer to that question.  I could answer it, but you'd have to answer 50 or so questions before (impromptu shooter, setup time, backdrop, single target or multiple, what is the ingress route and how secure is it, will the shooter see me before I am in position, are there supporting officers, if so with what are they equipped, etc,etc.etc.) If it plays out the way the OP is asking (rapid response to an active shooter, no prep time, little on-the-ground intel, no idea if single shooter or multiple, and MANY bystanders) M4, every time, I even have the rifle set up for just that - SS 3-9X with dope from 10 yards to 500, and a red dot offset on the scope set at 10 yards.



Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/20/2014 at 16:24
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10-4. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/20/2014 at 18:36
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"How are the M4s set up?  What make/model?
Have you had high-quality carbine training for the would-be DMs?
How many rounds do your DMs fire through their current weapons per year?"

Right now ALL officers carry an M-4. We use that instead of a shotgun. We use a standard Colt 6920 with a 1-4. Each officer gets 32 hours of training per year on a variety of different styles of shooting, but mostly CQB and fifty yard type shots. 

Currently we don't have a DM program. It is being developed and this rifle is merely a test bed to see if it has merit. We see shooters of all levels, some very good and some...well, you know. The goal is to have the patrol force as well trained in the M-4 as possible given our budget constraints. 

The idea that a handful of our very good shooters, the kind of guys that buy their own gear and shoot on their own time, might be developed into a Designated Marksman program was floated. We are looking at the bolt rifle as a possibility for when we need much greater accuracy, particularly around hostages. We used to have pistols, shotguns and the M-4, but the training time required for the M-4 meant something had to go. The shotgun, as much as we love 'em, has limited use in a crowded environment. We kept four of them and converted them to breaching guns but the M-4 is now our go to long gun. As good as the M-4 is we want to see if we can get even better for the very short ranges we are most likely to have to work at. 

As for LAPD and SEB we do talk to them but what they do is very different from what we do. LAPD's SWAT team has more than an hour ETA to us on a good day so we really need to be able to function until they can get there...if they get there. History has shown that these events are usually over long before they would be able to arrive. Hell, they are usually over before ANY law enforcement arrives. 

As for this gun I'm trying to work picture a 5150 holding a girl with the neck with a knife to her throat. We can't get closer than say twenty yards to him. We're keeping him contained when he decides to start cutting and the rule of diminishing damages means we need to do something. Do we send a shoot into his head with the M-4? Or is the bolt gun on a bipod over the trunk a better solution? We really don't know and that's what we're trying to find out so we're doing a variety of things including variations on the M-4 and a couple of bolt guns. 

I'm starting the experiment with the M700 in .223. We have another guy putting together the same gun in.308. I'm concerned that the .308 might have too much penetration for this job. The 5.56 round we use is a Federal hollow point and it stops in just about everything. I'm thinking a similar .223 round would be even better since it's slightly slower. 

Right now none of the experimental guns will be deployed. We are looking at probably two years or more of trial and error before something would be reduced to paper and then maybe another year before a policy could be written and training could begin. 

With all that in mind, I appreciate everyone's help in getting me up to speed. The only scope I ever used was on a Bradly Infantry Fighting Vehicle and it's not quit the same thing. I've been doing a lot of reading to get up to speed but its not easy. The whole rifle / caliber / scope world is like asking a motorcycle rider about oil. You'll get a lot of different opinions!   

Right now I'm probably going to buy a SS 3x9 just to get started. As for a bipod I'm assuming the Harris? Seems like that's what I keep seeing. 


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/20/2014 at 19:33
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Harris deploys quickly, is easy to load, and is a good deal for the price.  I have a few Harris and a few Atlas, both have advantages.  For the scenario you spell out, Harris is the better bet.  Tie a piece of 550 cord between the legs, deploys fast as hell, rock solid base for a good shot.

As for the scenario and the weapon, no idiot with a knife is going to remain in the open with a knife to someone and let you deploy a bolt gun on a bipod.  Stupid as some people are, few miss superior firepower.  Deploying a long gun usually takes training in camouflage/cover/concealment, and those take time and money.

I don't think Beltfed meant for you to call LAPD SWAT, I think he meant talk to them about their weapons and tactics for this scenario.  We could be a bunch of old, fat, inbred rednecks with no real world experience, and that is not what you want giving advice on such a topic. (It just so happens, we are not.  Not all of us, anyway.)

Bolt guns are great, no question; and for the vast majority of hostage situations, they are the ticket; however, they are not usually front line weapons, and they take time to get to the scene.  If an M4 is on scene, you need training in place to have prepared for that scenario.

Colt makes a good rifle, well capable of a mostly precision shot at 10-50 yards (easily a 3 MOA rifle in the right hands and with decent ammo and a good optic - and 3 MOA at 10-30 yards is well within a medulla oblongata.) Take a Colt on the line now, swap the barrel to a 18" match, put on a bipod, add a 1-4X optic, and train, train, train.  There's your DM program and weapon.  You should have one bolt gun for anything that exceeds 100 yards, otherwise, medulla oblongata, trigger control, breath control, natural point of aim, solid marksmanship mechanics.

I hope you never have to use any of this, but...


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And add a Geissele trigger.

That too.
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Originally posted by Rancid Coolaid Rancid Coolaid wrote:


We could be a bunch of old, fat, inbred rednecks with no real world experience, and that is not what you want giving advice on such a topic. (It just so happens, we are not.  Not all of us, anyway.)


[​IMG]
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/21/2014 at 09:47
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Ok, I'm a little old, but not dead, and I might be a little fat but it's expected at my age, and I'm NOT inbred, my parents came from different hollars and I think riding the busiest beat in the busiest District in Hooterville counts for somethingBucky

I can't argue with what Rancid said. Short of forming your own SWAT team a DM program is probably your best option. It all depends on the size of your force and budget of course and the willingness of the powers that control the purse and policy.

RC was right about what I meant about asking LA SWAT for advice. You might also want to contact DOCJT. They just started a training course for designated marksmen and may have some valuable information. Besides, it's always better to present ideas that came from a Government agency than to say "I got it off the Intranet", even if it's the same information. If you would like, I can try to get you some contact information.
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For clarity, my remark about old, fat, inbred redneck was not directed at anyone, at all.  My intention was to say basically what BeltFed said (but he said it better): info from the internet should always be suspect.  Some of us know quite a bit about what the OP wishes to accomplish, but me saying I know something and me actually knowing something: very different things.

If I offended anyone, I apologize.

Carry on.
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I think your post's were very insightful, both Lynn and RC. I pray the OP takes what these men said in consideration. They KNOW.  

I had no business trying to lecture the OP on when, how, why and with what an operator should deploy a sniper or DM weapon in a forward area, because I am woefully unqualified. 

Respectfully.    
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