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  1. paperbackwriter

    paperbackwriter Banned Contributor

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    What's it like getting shot at?

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by paperbackwriter, Oct 30, 2018.

    I could never be a soldier or work in the military on the front line. Guns just scare the hell out of me. I try to imagine what it is like being on the front line. Man, I'd be suffering severe anxiety, probably diarrhea. I'm just not cool under any pressure anyway. But flying bullets? No thanks.
    Some of you who have been in the military care to share?
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2018
  2. JLT

    JLT Contributor Contributor

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    I wasn't in the military, but I got shot at once. I was flying my hang glider at Plaskett Ridge, just above Sand Dollar Beach on California's Pacific coast, and somebody was shooting at me from the ground. I figured later that I must have been flying over somebody's pot farm, and he was trying to scare me off.

    I remember feeling two things:
    1. You don't know how painfully slow hang gliders fly until you've been shot at.
    2. Either the farmer wasn't really trying to hit me, or he'd been sampling too much of his product. At any rate, I looked for bullet holes in the glider after I landed but didn't find any.

    After that, I could never look at duck hunting again without rooting for the duck.
     
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  3. Hammer

    Hammer Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I have never served in the actual forces but I was in the CCF (Combined Cadet Force) at school. We had to undertake what is called "basic training" - mostly a lot of fun for teenagers/young adults but one of the scarier things was takimg a turn in the bunker on the firing range. It was perfectly safe behind a thick wall of concrete, but we had to score and change the targets which were just a few feet above so the bullets were flying overhead and embedding themselves in the sand that was right in front of us.

    On another exercise we were sat on a hillside with the regular army shooting over our heads - this time there was no protection, we had to trust their ability (and exaggerated senses of humour...). The aim was to teach us what it is like to be under fire and to try to estimate where the fire was coming from and at roughly what distance by listening to the crack and thump that a live round makes - the crack is the thing going overhead faster than the speed of sound, the thump is the gun going off which you hear a while later! The regs were all dug in, so we had no chance of seeing where the bullets were coming from. Also terrifying. We were taught ambush techniques (with blanks), ran full military assault courses, route "marches" (think ten mile run through Wales in full uniform and carrying a Lee-Enfield), fired a huge variety of weaponry (from handguns to Thompson machine guns and Bren guns, even got a chance with "enemy" weapons) on ranges, dawn raids with blanks and thunderflashes...

    One of the reasons I chose my son's school was that it was one of the few which still offered CCF, sadly due to military cuts they went paint-balling )c:
     
  4. Sixgun

    Sixgun New Member

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    It sucks. And it's counterintuitive. Speed of light > speed of sound, so you see flashes, then the bullets arrive, then the sound of the weapon firing arrives. New guys will literally stand there staring at some Pashtun guy firing at them from 400m with an ancient AK-47, because it takes a second to realize that yes, the gun is being fired and yes, it's shooting at them.

    It's eerie:

    flash flash, zip zip (rocks and dirt fly as rounds impact), pop pop (sound of gun firing)
    flash flash, zip zip, pop pop

    At night it's f*****g scary.

    Also grenades shake the ground beneath you like god dropped a deuce, the movies never really get just how powerful they are.

    Full disclosure: I armied in the army from 2001-2006, and earned all sorts of badges and stickers for being great at it.
     
  5. mrieder79

    mrieder79 Probably not a ground squirrel Contributor

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    I was never in a firefight, per se, but my tent did get hit by a rocket. Fortunately it was a dud and only fragmented, nothing worse than a few scrapes and bruises. Strangely enough, it seemed pretty commonplace at the time. Of course, we'd been in country for several months and over time you sort of get used to the idea of people lobbing rockets and mortars at you. Its a little like driving on a freeway. Sure, you can be killed at any moment by someone texting or driving drunk, but nobody really dwells on it and pretty soon, you don't really think about it unless you actually drive by a crash.
     
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  6. Sixgun

    Sixgun New Member

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    Holy crap dude, like one of the old soviet rockets? They're huge! Or was it a home-built* one?

    Pucker factor: maximum

    *totally not Iran and we can't say that
     
  7. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Admin Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    the first time I was under fire (in Belfast) I just stood there like an idiot watching the tracer hosing in - my main feeling was one of outrage, they were trying to kill me, how dare they... until my sergeant grabbed me and pulled me into cover.
     
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  8. Some Guy

    Some Guy Manguage Langler Supporter Contributor

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    HFS guys! My lame experience was shooting at a dry lake. We began to notice occasional tinks, and felt bits of sand hitting us. Someone was shooting back! We had probably spent a good minute trying to figure out what the sound was. Bong! One scored a hit on our propane tank, answering our question. No significant damage, or casualties, but we packed in seconds and trucked out dumb asses outta there! I still freak out about how we just stood there. I now theorize that their shots, and ours, were actually skipping across the lake bed.
    My only other experience was at a desert shoot (about thirty of us) we had three range masters, bench shooting line, supervised kids area, 1500m armored targets, even a spotter's platform. I was behind the firing line, cleaning up near the spotters platform. Heard a huge bang that did not belong and felt a huge pain in my thigh - no blood, WTF? A very high energy round had hit the bench, and destroyed one of the rifles, a five or so thousand dollar setup (2k$ scope too). It was the bolt handle that hit me, and we never found it. I still enjoy shooting, and have been back many times. I would rather be lucky than smart. YOLO.
    o_O
     
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  9. Necronox

    Necronox Contributor Contributor

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    Never been shot myself, or never have seen someone being shot. But I have seen the aftermath and talked to people who have been shot. Including an Australia helicopter gunner who was shot from the ground in the Vietnam war. In his case, he never actually said what is felt like other than jokingly saying “like a giant mosquito” (or some other insect that bites, he changed it almost every time you asked him) but I think that was more in jest.

    Then, when I was very young, perhaps 6 or 7 I was lucky enough to talk to this old French war veteran. He was closing on 100 at the time and was an old world war 1 and 2 veteran (he served in 1914 when he was 16 years old. He joined against during world war 2 only to be captured during the fall of France and serve out the rest of the war captured. His experience during world war 1 meant that they made him an officer, which probably saved his life during his tenure as a POW)

    I remember the stories he told me very clearly (I was fascinated by him). Anyway, when asked what it felt like being shot, he said it is mostly just the mind — in the midst of battle he did not notice immediately he had been shot, noting just a minor pain. But the moment lulled out it was different since there was no longer the heat of battle to distract him. He said the worst part was the recovery as he could do nothing but sit there and focus on the pain/discomfort. If I remember correctly he had been shot in the upper abdomen... but not entirely sure anymore
     
  10. mrieder79

    mrieder79 Probably not a ground squirrel Contributor

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    Dunno what kind. I was underground beneath the tent, so I never saw it. There wasn't much left of it when it hit, so we're not sure. It was in Iraq and they were shooting whatever they could get their hands on so God only knows what it actually was. They would build dirt mounds, lay gutters on them, then lay the rockets in the gutters with timed fuses. The rockets hardly ever hit anything.

    Its funny, my company commander had been asking for brigade engineering assets to put concrete barriers around the tent for weeks. The day after the rocket, the barriers were in place. lol.
     
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  11. Sixgun

    Sixgun New Member

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    Why does this not surprise me...oh wow, that vein in my forehead that hasn't throbbed since I ETSd just started throbbing again. Good to know it's still there. Hooah logistics hooah
     
  12. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Admin Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    The IRA used to shoot a thing we called a PRIG (which was a bastardised acronym for an IRPG Improvised rocket propelled grenade) .. it was basically a giant firework launched out of a drainpipe and wouldn't do much to a carrier but they shit you right up when they hit your landrover and blew the riot screens to bits.

    They also had the old models of the M72 LAW (the ones that had a cardboard launching tube) - those would damage a carrier or blow up a landrover, but fortunately they were shit at aiming them and the only time one was fired at my guys it hit the roof of our Saracen and bounced off to explode against a nearby house - the only damage was to our underwear, and the amount of time I had to spend doing paperwork afterwards.

    they also had a think called a barracks buster which was a mortar/rocket bodged up out of a gas bottle - those could do a lot of damage but were inaccurate as shit. (you may recall that they launched four at downing street (not exactly a small target) in '91. All missed
     
  13. NobodySpecial

    NobodySpecial Contributor Contributor

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    I grew up in Chicago; survived being mugged, stabbed, 3 drive bys, had a window shot out on my truck going through Wicker Park, and managed to get shot by an old woman, somewhere between 80 and 800 years old, while repossessing her grandson’s Mustang. It was a court ordered repo- he lost the car in a divorce- and I got the papers. I found the car, hooked it up, and as soon as the wheels left the ground, the alarm went off. I drove a little way out of the parking lot to set the safety straps, and this old lady in a bath robe and pink fuzzy slippers yells out ‘You aint taking my grandson’s car.’ And she fired off six rounds from a .25 pistol, five hit the bed of my truck, one of which hit a hydraulic line, and one skipped across the parking lot under the truck and caught me in the shin. 1, it was a .25, not a powerful gun to begin with, and 2, it skipped across the parking lot losing a lot of what little momentum it had. It barely broke the skin. Before the police and EMTs even got there I pulled it out with the same needle nosed pliers I used to pull cotter pins from shifter linkages, put a bandaid on it and was ready to move on to the next car. I’d really like to be the tough action-movie-hero type and say it didn’t even slow me down, but truth is it burned like a mother f ‘er, hurt like hell, and I limped for a couple weeks after. It’s no fun being shot or shot at.
     
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  14. paperbackwriter

    paperbackwriter Banned Contributor

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    some awesome stories here. thanks guys
     

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