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9/19/2017 7:27:10 PM
Posted: 1/10/2006 6:25:38 AM EDT
Greeting to all, but something has been on my mind for a while now. We all know about private training (blackwater, etc etc) as well as military and LEO training. But is there even a remote chance that a person desiring to learn, can simply learn from books and from visual encounters? I mean, being the skeptical man I am, I cant help but feel that if a man can design and master much more difficult concepts in this life, why cant he teach him self how to shoot? Oh well, I guess if this is not possible I would have to fork out the $1000 per class to train at blackwater, or join the military.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 6:46:59 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/10/2006 6:49:48 AM EDT by infsqdldr]
it is easy to recreate the training scenarios, but not the environment (stress, fatigue). you can learn from books, but you also must be able to put that knowledge into practice. i learned more about shooting the m16 by reading one book, than i ever learned from anyone in the army. but i learned to shoot the m16 better during 4 yrs in the army, not possible with a book. basically, you have to learn about it, and do it. you can do training on your own, you just have to know what to train on.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 6:54:24 AM EDT

Originally Posted By infsqdldr:
it is easy to recreate the training scenarios, but not the environment (stress, fatigue). you can learn from books, but you also must be able to put that knowledge into practice. i learned more about shooting the m16 by reading one book, than i ever learned from anyone in the army. but i learned to shoot the m16 better during 4 yrs in the army, not possible with a book. basically, you have to learn about it, and do it. you can do training on your own, you just have to know what to train on.



What book was that???
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 6:59:53 AM EDT
If by "self-taught" you mean self-trained, sure.
Going out, performing stalks, practicing camoflage, knowing your rifle's dope.
If by "self-taught" you mean reading a lot of books, and never practicing, then, no.
There has to be physical waork done, not just intellectual.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 7:16:06 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/10/2006 7:16:50 AM EDT by Dace]

So if I asked you about art, you'd probably give me the skinny on every art book ever written. Michelangelo, you know a lot about him. Life's work, political aspirations, him and the pope, sexual orientations, the whole works, right? But I'll bet you can't tell me what it smells like in the Sistine Chapel. You've never actually stood there and looked up at that beautiful ceiling; seen that. If I ask you about women, you'd probably give me a syllabus about your personal favorites. You may have even been laid a few times. But you can't tell me what it feels like to wake up next to a woman and feel truly happy. You're a tough kid. And I'd ask you about war, you'd probably throw Shakespeare at me, right, "once more unto the breach dear friends." But you've never been near one. You've never held your best friend's head in your lap, watch him gasp his last breath looking to you for help. I'd ask you about love, you'd probably quote me a sonnet. But you've never looked at a woman and been totally vulnerable. Known someone that could level you with her eyes, feeling like God put an angel on earth just for you. Who could rescue you from the depths of hell.


Same thing applies here.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 9:51:03 AM EDT
It's called camping and hunting. Do enough of both and you'll be pretty good in the field with scouting and shooting. Infantry tactics would be much tougher to learn on your own.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 9:55:31 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 10:40:20 AM EDT
Learning anything is more of a journey than a destination. I know it sounds corny but it is true.

I have been fortunate enough to study with some very good instructors and I think it is worth the money. This does not mean that I think I have wasted my time leaning from books and discovering on my own.

When I'm in a training rut, it is usually time for a lesson. Doesn’t matter if I'm on the firing line or playing my guitar.


Link Posted: 1/10/2006 11:06:43 AM EDT
The shooting part of being a sniper is not very hard to learn. Wind estimation and compensation is the hardest part of it.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 11:09:07 AM EDT
Good Will Hunting?


Originally Posted By Dace:

So if I asked you about art, you'd probably give me the skinny on every art book ever written. Michelangelo, you know a lot about him. Life's work, political aspirations, him and the pope, sexual orientations, the whole works, right? But I'll bet you can't tell me what it smells like in the Sistine Chapel. You've never actually stood there and looked up at that beautiful ceiling; seen that. If I ask you about women, you'd probably give me a syllabus about your personal favorites. You may have even been laid a few times. But you can't tell me what it feels like to wake up next to a woman and feel truly happy. You're a tough kid. And I'd ask you about war, you'd probably throw Shakespeare at me, right, "once more unto the breach dear friends." But you've never been near one. You've never held your best friend's head in your lap, watch him gasp his last breath looking to you for help. I'd ask you about love, you'd probably quote me a sonnet. But you've never looked at a woman and been totally vulnerable. Known someone that could level you with her eyes, feeling like God put an angel on earth just for you. Who could rescue you from the depths of hell.


Same thing applies here.

Link Posted: 1/10/2006 11:26:23 AM EDT
I think the two biggest problems with that idea are that there are things that are just really hard to put into words, and that there are things you just can't know about what you're doing wrong while you're doing them. It takes someone else watching to see you do it. But that person has to know what to look for, hence the value of a good instructor.

For example, I was doing drills at a class last summer and some of my shots were going low. I assumed I was jerking the trigger on those shots, but the instructor came over and said I wasn't following through. As soon as the trigger broke on the last shot of the drill I was lowering the gun and trying to "score" the shots.

Another example: I got Jeff Cooper's The Art of the Rifle for Christmas. He describes various shooting positions and I've read those chapters several times and I'm still not sure I'm getting them right. A few minutes with someone who's been to Gunsite would be so much easier. In last month's SWAT magazine one of the columnists describes a technique for peering around corners that I still haven't deciphered from the description in the column.

Cooper also talks about how we can see things with our eyes, but not "see" them with our brains. He tells of hunts where they'd stop to rest and he'd ask the guide if he saw anything. He'd answer yes, and point out things that Jeff could clearly see, but hadn't spotted because he didn't know what to look for. I suppose if you spent enough time out there you might learn what to look for; or you might never see them, because you didn't have someone to say "look here".
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 11:30:27 AM EDT

Originally Posted By JWC6:
Good Will Hunting?


Originally Posted By Dace:

So if I asked you about art, you'd probably give me the skinny on every art book ever written. ... But I'll bet you can't tell me what it smells like in the Sistine Chapel. ...






It would seem so: IMDB link
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 11:39:48 AM EDT
You can learn almost everything on your own except fieldcraft. I don't give a rat's ass how much hunting, etc you have done. I learned more in the first day out than I did in my entire youth and basic training.

You also don't get the criticisms on what you cannot see - but what a trained scout does (and thus your counter sniper). You might think you are really good - a right rambo stalker playing around in your ghillie - but the moment you are approaching an assigned target, with observation points all around, manned by experts, you learn how hard it is to be unseen on approach, to take the shot (or more than one shot, depending on mission), and to get your butt out of there unseen.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 11:40:39 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/10/2006 11:49:41 AM EDT by petagunner]
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 11:45:20 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/10/2006 11:47:42 AM EDT by Currahee]
I would think it's possible. Surely a lot of succesful "snipers" were self taught. Many of the folks around here extole the value of professional training. I don't dissagree, but I don't have the time or the money now, so I "self train" on combat marksmanship.

I read a book, A do drills at home, and I go to the range. I practice, against a clock, against a friend, against myself. Then I rinse and repeat. I watch videos of myself shooting, I watch videos of three gun shooters etc.


I would think that some degree of sniping proficiancy could be reached the same way. Get the FMs, get a couple of good books about snipers. Read them. Build your rifle and practice with it in varying conditions ranges etc. Know the "dope." Practice some stalks, the best bet here would be to get a buddy to hunt you while you stalk, then switch. Do it a bunch. Go camping and don't be seen by other campers. Spend three hours low crawling across you yard. You get the picture.

EDIT: Hunting would certainly help too, but I know many folks who think that being a good hunter would make them a good sniper, and their usually wrong by my estimation. The important thing is knowing wehre the skills overlap, or more importantly knowing where they don't.

Learning something on your own takes far more dedication than other methods of learning. Keep that in mind.

Just $.02 from someone that thinks everyone should have as much military skill as possible.

Link Posted: 1/10/2006 11:45:27 AM EDT
It is possible, if you spent enough time training yourself, that you would eventually discover the techniques and lessons that other people discovered long ago. This is usually described as reinventing the wheel.
Another problem with only shooting on your own is that you have no standard by which to judge yourself. Same goes for competition. You might think you are great, but until you put those skills up against other people, you might not be nearly as good as you think you are. By the same token, someone else might attain the same level of skill you have in a fraction of the time because he didn't have to learn everything the hard way. They didn't have bad habits to overcome because they learned to do things the right way from the beginning.

Make no mistake about it, paying $1000 to take a class at Blackwater isn't going to make you trained. It might give you the basics to take home and attempt to master.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 12:47:27 PM EDT
One thing about taking a class from real snipers is that they have survived being snipers
to teach that class..

Another thing is they are very picky about who they even let into their classes as they dont
much care about wasting their time...not everyone has the right stuff in the first place
which is why many promising young wannabe snipers who are selected fail to finish...not that they still cant be excellent line troops..just not adequate snipers ..at least at that particular time in their lives.

You can read a book on being one...and then even go out and attempt to be one....but survivng is a whole
'nother business...

This according to a few guys I used to work with who attended and nearly passed as well as some
who did graduate the 9th Inf Div Sniper School, Dong Tam,RVN '69

Link Posted: 1/10/2006 12:54:46 PM EDT

Originally Posted By PEACEMONGER:
But is there even a remote chance that a person desiring to learn, can simply learn from books and from visual encounters?



I would equate it to trying to learn Drill and Ceremonies from a book with out going out on a parade ground and actually having a Drill Sgt march you around and drop you when you fuck up.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 7:30:53 PM EDT
I think most anything can be learned by reading and applying- however it takes someone who has mastered an art to see your mistakes which is where you really learn from. Sniper/Counter sniper is not an area where mistakes can be made.

This is like asking can you become an expert fighter by renting videos or reading books? No- it takes years of training under someone else to hone such skills, develop muscle memory, instincts, hardness, control, breathing etc. Also just as fighting skills can be something that can be lost over time, so can shooting skills if not practiced properly. Once learned, always practiced.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 7:34:08 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/10/2006 7:34:31 PM EDT by EPOCH96]

Originally Posted By Mike_L:
I think the two biggest problems with that idea are that there are things that are just really hard to put into words, and that there are things you just can't know about what you're doing wrong while you're doing them. It takes someone else watching to see you do it. But that person has to know what to look for, hence the value of a good instructor.

For example, I was doing drills at a class last summer and some of my shots were going low. I assumed I was jerking the trigger on those shots, but the instructor came over and said I wasn't following through. As soon as the trigger broke on the last shot of the drill I was lowering the gun and trying to "score" the shots.

Another example: I got Jeff Cooper's The Art of the Rifle for Christmas. He describes various shooting positions and I've read those chapters several times and I'm still not sure I'm getting them right. A few minutes with someone who's been to Gunsite would be so much easier. In last month's SWAT magazine one of the columnists describes a technique for peering around corners that I still haven't deciphered from the description in the column.

Cooper also talks about how we can see things with our eyes, but not "see" them with our brains. He tells of hunts where they'd stop to rest and he'd ask the guide if he saw anything. He'd answer yes, and point out things that Jeff could clearly see, but hadn't spotted because he didn't know what to look for. I suppose if you spent enough time out there you might learn what to look for; or you might never see them, because you didn't have someone to say "look here".



glad I'm not the only dumbass that couldn't figure out what to do with my feet for that "pushing out" technique

EPOCH
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 11:40:10 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 12:20:51 AM EDT
"pressing out" is really just about working back off of cover instead of dry humping it to minimize the angle and minimize the exposure of the shooter but that column was horrible. 1 stinkin photo would have made it clear.

as far as self trained sniper....no. not even close.

90% of sniping is fieldcraft, not shooting. who would grade your stalk, how would you know if your self taught techniques are effective. just because your buddy cant see you at 100m doesnt mean anything. a big part of the training is psychological and you cannot impose that kind of stress on yourself. i cannot overstate the value of the wisdom imparted by the training cadre that isnt in the book. tidbits of field genious by instructors who have been there, done that. i still have the books, and i havent cracked them once while i was in that field or since, but i often heard the words of instructors replayed in my mind.

besides, what range will let you sprint from the 500m line to the target and back to drop and take a shot
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 12:22:09 AM EDT
Teaching yourself to shoot is one thing - and it can surely be done.

G. David Tubb is self-taught. I think we can all agree that he is capable of putting round after round on target, at incredible ranges.

Sneaking up on (and escaping from later!) another human being is a whole different show. An alert human is not fooled by the simple camo tricks that can get you within bayonet range of a deer.


By all means, buy the books. Become a proficient shooter. Learn to read the wind, shoot long ranges, and reduce your group sizes to the maximum capability of the rifle system you are using. Spending 500 bucks on ammo will not hurt you in the long run. The ONLY way to get good with a rifle is to shoot. Frequently.


Then if you really want sniper training - go pay for it. If you go into the program with good shooting skills, you will be that much better off. You will still need help learning to apply those skills under stress...


My favorite quote from an old operator:

"When you haven't had any food for three days, and you are so tired you can't remember your own kids names - the last goddamn thing you want to do is mil-dot math!"


It is a LOT different than shooting at paper.


Lem.


.
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 3:39:36 AM EDT

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
So if I asked you about art, you'd probably give me the skinny on every art book ever written. Michelangelo, you know a lot about him. Life's work, political aspirations, him and the pope, sexual orientations, the whole works, right? But I'll bet you can't tell me what it smells like in the Sistine Chapel. You've never actually stood there and looked up at that beautiful ceiling; seen that. If I ask you about women, you'd probably give me a syllabus about your personal favorites. You may have even been laid a few times. But you can't tell me what it feels like to wake up next to a woman and feel truly happy. You're a tough kid. And I'd ask you about war, you'd probably throw Shakespeare at me, right, "once more unto the breach dear friends." But you've never been near one. You've never held your best friend's head in your lap, watch him gasp his last breath looking to you for help. I'd ask you about love, you'd probably quote me a sonnet. But you've never looked at a woman and been totally vulnerable. Known someone that could level you with her eyes, feeling like God put an angel on earth just for you. Who could rescue you from the depths of hell.



Expert from Robbin Williams, in Good will Hunting... Good 1
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 3:45:22 AM EDT
Having a view like this from the back porch won't hurt your quest any......



IMO, you can do anything ya set your mind to, as long as you remember to keep good records and PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE.

Mike
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 3:48:08 AM EDT
Fortunately shooting is a solo activity, youre odds of training yourself to be a sniper are far better than training yourself to be a black belt or a racecar driver. I wouldnt advise sneaking up on your neighbor and shooting him with a paintball for practice sake. The DC dumbshit was mostly self taught and look at all the stupidity he inflicted.
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 6:16:18 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/11/2006 6:24:46 AM EDT by Gunzilla]
Well... you really are asking two questions, as someone else pointed out, the sniper's gig is largely fieldcraft and tactics. Further, from my experience, if you ever really *have* to be a sniper, someone will be right there to make sure you get the needed training and equipment...

That said, you can teach yourself to be a shooter, but there are a couple of cautionary comments: Try to have someone that knows what they are doing work with you every so often. It is quite possible to do something pretty well, but not the best you can, because you are doing one little thing wrong... and it is hard to "untrain" the adult learner.

Lots of places still have free firearms safety and hunter classes that will get you range time with what is most likely some of the locals that have been shooting for many years... The gun shop culture still breeds invites to saturday morining shoots with the same crowd.

Finally, I would take what is in most books with a grain of salt... in order to sell the book, many authors "come up with something new"... which does mean it is better, or even works.

as for the obligatory movie quote answer by proxie, I never have seen good will hunting so will something from Army of Darkness work?
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 7:20:16 AM EDT
In any combat training whether with guns, knives, or hand to hand you can learn more in a day of personal training than in a month of solo training. Are there self taught professional fighters and marksmen? Sure, but they are few and far between. If you can afford training, buy it.
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 10:49:59 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Gunzilla:
as for the obligatory movie quote answer by proxie, I never have seen good will hunting so will something from Army of Darkness work?



And this, is my BOOM STICK!
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