zombie apocalypse training, 7: urban warfare
The setup: SCAR-17S in 7.62×51 / .308 with GRSC Combat Rifle Scope. Shots fired at 100yards off a swivel bipod / grip pod canted slightly left. Ammo: 145 gr mil surplus FMJ. No sandbags or other stabilizing devices used. These were free hand shots.
First off: On this particular target, we have what is, for me, the clearest indication of an actual 100 yard head shot. And that’s because the target uses for its graphic a life-size head representation (about 10.5″) — which is in keeping with the specific design of the combat reticle on the GRSC scope (the horse shoe that frames the aim point represents the 10″ average head size at each of its target distances, along with, through dashes at longer ranges, the 20″ span of the average shoulders). Within that head area, I marked off the 4x4x2.5″ T-box to represent the non-flinch medulla oblongata kill zone. For these shots, I used no illumination on the reticle. I pulled one shot slightly left, but it still made the target area.
I also aimed for a 4.5 x 4.5″ area of the shoulder, as well a smaller 3×3″ chest/heart shot, and the gun hand. The hardest shot for me in this drill was the heart shot, because at 100 yards and 6x magnification I couldn’t quite make out the outline of the box I’d drawn. I plan on buying some thick, brightly colored masking tape to solve this problem in the future. Still, you can see where the shots hit based on my estimation of where the box likely was. On these shots, I illuminated the reticle.
The next drill simulates shots taken at around 200-220 yards (based on the size of the head in the graphic). At that range, head shots are more difficult, obviously, particularly when you’re still going for the T-box. Not to make excuses, but again, seeing the box at that distance was very difficult, and the head blended in with the background buildings. Still, I was able to put 3/5 into the T-box, with one miss each to the left and to the right. Missing to the right, however, meant a hit to the neck, because of the cocked angle of the head. In truth, I think had I aimed at the forehead rather than trying for the medulla shot, I’d have hit the head on all 5 shots. But there’s no harm in training to be as precise as possible.
I then went after the heart. I couldn’t see the box, but I could make-out the tattoo and the medallion, and based my shots on those locations. I had a very nice five shot grouping.
The stomach shots you see were rapid fire and a couple of them missed the mark. But to be honest, I was finishing off a magazine and was just looking to hit the torso lower than the heart. I hit 3/5 in the box with the other two in the lower abdomen.
Drill 3 used a mostly life-sized head (about 9″) and added an obstruction: the shotgun being pointed at my shooting position. The key here was to view the shotgun as part of the T-box and shoot at it that way. The trapezoid measured about 3.5 x 3.5 x 3.25″ x 1.75″. Out of the 11 shots I took, 10 hit inside the T-box, with one slightly low, hitting the thumb of the shotgun support hand. I also hit both eyes, which is kinda freaky — especially when the target is traveling back to you and you can see the holes for the first time.
Drill 4 was also very difficult: the head size on the graphic suggests an approximate real shot distance of about 200 yards, with the head in partial profile. And as you can see in the picture, I wasn’t able to see parts of the T-box, either because of the hat obstruction of the angle of the head. Consequently, and much to my sorrow, I ended up shooting a civilian standing behind the shooter. Then again, with .308 FMJ, with over penetration I might have hit him anyway even on the three shots where I was able to hit the T-box. For a 2.5″ x 2″ x 1.5″ target, I’m encouraged by 3/5, particularly with the grouping of the hits: those 3 shots were within an inch, and two of them were within less than 1/2″. But I won’t be happy until I put all five shots on target.
I also aimed at a 2.5″ x 3.5″ area under the armpit, which I figured would act as a lung and heart shot. I was able to put all five shots on target. Below that is a stomach/side shot. Those were rapid fire shots, and while the grouping isn’t as precise as some of the more deliberate shots, I still put them in the box. So that’s a nice sign of competency.
I also took a half hour yesterday to do some pistol range shooting, with both my FNP 45 Tac and my Taurus 24/7 OSS Tac in .45 acp. These were rapid fire drills, emptying mags at 7 yards and then 10 yards. How the graphic size would equate to a recalibration of the distance, based on the size of the head and torso, I’m not sure, though I’m tempted to guess it nearly doubles it in effect (if anyone knows, please tell me). I set the pistols up to be cocked and locked with one extra already chambered, so the FNP fires 16 from a single magazine (15 + 1) and the Taurus 13. On one of the Taurus mags, though, I was a cartridge or two short.
I aimed for the head, the heart, and the stomach, with one special shot that I saved for last. The guy in the lane next to me, who I didn’t know was watching, got a real kick out of that final shot, too. “He had it coming,” I told him.
I had no misses at 7 yards and 1 at 10 yards. Not sure if the miss was with the FNP or the Taurus. The FNP has a Trijicon RMR amber holographic dot reflex site (4 MOA); the Taurus I use just the iron sights.
Here’s another 7 and 10 yard drill with both pistols. This, because of the life-size head and the situation being simulated, was particularly good for a rapid-fire pistol drill. I aimed mostly at the head and chest, with a few shots taken at the gun hand. I’m happy to say I was on target and would have done some serious damage with my home defense pistol, the FNP 45 ACP, which I keep loaded, when at home, with premium hollow point defense ammo in +p.
Finally, just to be comprehensive, here’s the first target I shot on the rifle range yesterday, making sure I had the GRSC rifle scope perfectly zeroed in at 100 yards. You can see the adjustments being made — I started left and a bit high, overcompensated in the adjustment and went low right — until I finally put the last 6 shots within the 1″ zone, including two on the bull’s eye. The final 4 shot grouping was about 1″ – 1.5″, again, shooting free hand off the swivel bipod.
So, there you go.
The way I look at it, any of these armed assailants might turn into zombies — and particularly nasty ones, too — once the global outbreak hits. So I may as well put them down now.
Consider it an act of charity or mercy. Or don’t, and just assume I’m a sociopath. Either way, the results are the same. Which is kinda cool.