Observing Bullet Impacts

The five soldier figures in our illustration on page 318 depict ways of determining chat a subject has actually been hit by a bullet.

The lower left figure typifies what's normally expected—visible blood splatter and obvious effects on clothing or equipment. Just above him, we see another subject hit through the left breast, but the only visible sign is the blood splatter that hit the wall behind him. You might also see the momentary reflection of blood spatter as it flies through the air behind him, which sometimes looks like a puff of smoke.

The man to his upper right is collapsing unnaturally. He's obviously not diving or controlling his fall; it's as if his body has liquefied. This effect can vary from a violent twisting due to bone impact to sliding passively straight to the ground.

On the far right, we may actually hear che audible "slap" of the bullet if the target's more than 200 yards but less than 400 yards away. The rifle muzzle blast dissipates by che time the bullet's gone 200 yards, but we won't hear a slap after about 400 yards.

The center and final example wouldn't be known to me if I hadn't seen it myself. This soldier's uniform is dusty, and the only way we know he's been hit is the dust that puffed just above his left pocket.

But the complicated part is detecting misses. Unless there's a strong crosswind, misses usually are long or short of the target, with short hits typically the easiest to detect since their impact point is within your field of view. When you absolutely can see no sign of impact, the odds are that it went high.

Frequently, you'll be able to see the bullet tracc or track as it passes through mirage near the target. This wisp of a trail—as illustrated at right—looks like a very thin jet contrail. Visible less than one second, the trace is created by the bullet's wake cutting through shimmering heat waves. Because the trace drifts at the speed of the wind, however, it's accurate only at the instant of the bullet's passage.

One late afternoon at Gunsite, while spotting for Eduardo Abril de Fontcuberta, a Spanish Foreign Legion officer and sniper advisor to the Spanish arm}', I observed the unusual phenomenon of actually seeing a flash of light off his bullet jackets as they neared the

Bullet trace is visible in mirage.

target. This split-second twinkle of reflected light was possible because the sun was nearly setting and only about 20 degrees to the side of his bullet path. So it's possible to adjust from such a reflection, but only under these limited circumstances.

When it conies to adjusting fire, the clever

Spotting AND TARGUI D F T K C riO N

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Hunting Mastery Selected Tips

Hunting Mastery Selected Tips

Deer hunting is an interesting thing that reminds you of those golden old ages of 19th centuries, where a handsome hunk well equipped with all hunting material rides on horse searching for his target animal either for the purpose of displaying his masculine powers or for enticing and wooing his lady love.

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