Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

Snipers and scopes

Discussion in '☆☆ New Recruits ☆☆' started by sniper man, Jan 28, 2020.

  1. sniper man

    sniper man New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2020
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi peeps, I have a kar98 and zeiss 4x (bith replicas) and was wondering if sb can tell me if snipers used turrets or holdovers, and what zeros did they use and why ?
    Can't find anything anywhere on this topic, and would really like to know to try and challenge myself to 700m
    Cheers.
     
  2. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2008
    Messages:
    11,307
    Likes Received:
    1,862
    Had a discussion about reticles a few days ago. I'll see if I can find that site, it was informative on a variety of related subjects.
     
  3. sniper man

    sniper man New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2020
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    thank you !
     
  4. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    6,329
    Likes Received:
    1,698
    Location:
    The Arid Zone
    You may learn something from this.

     
  5. harolds

    harolds Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2011
    Messages:
    1,642
    Likes Received:
    266
    +Sniperman: I don't think your question can be answered with any finality. It would boil down to what the individual sniper was comfortable with. I'm sure that on stationary targets at the longer ranges, the sniper would probably use the turrets. However, at closer ranges (<300m), the sniper probably just use an estimated holdover/under, especially if the target had to be fired at quickly. I suspect the range on the scope would be set to whatever range the target would most likely be at. So if our sniper felt that most opportunities would be from 100 to 300 meters, he would set his scope at 200 and hold over or under at the extreme end of the range spectrum and just hold "center of mass" for anything roughly in the middle.
     
  6. Takao

    Takao Ace

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    Messages:
    8,289
    Likes Received:
    1,753
    Location:
    Reading, PA
  7. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    6,329
    Likes Received:
    1,698
    Location:
    The Arid Zone
    I'm guessing, but with *some* knowledge on the subject and just a little research. The 8mm Mauser used by the Wehrmacht had much more of a rainbow trajectory than say, the American 30.06. The slug was heavier and it had lower velocity; a 180(ish) grain slug at about 2,400 feet per second vs the 30.06 with a 150 grain slug at about 2,800 feet per second. The old rule of thumb from my distant yoot when everyone used the 30.06, was to sight in two inches high at 100 yards and you'd be on target at 200 yards and just a tad low at 300 yards (six inches) - not so low that you'd have to worry about hold over on a deer. I was taught this by my father and his friends, most of whom were WWII vets. And back in that day, hunting cartridges were still that weight (150 grains) and velocity, though soft points rather than full metal jacket like military ammo. Today there are different weights and shapes to slugs and they are loaded to different pressures, etc. BUT, you can still buy old school 150 grain slugs at 2,800 fps. The ballistics charts will bear out that "two inches high at 100 yards" rule.

    Knowing that, but not having done much shooting with the 8mm Mauser, I'm guessing that with the poorer trajectory German snipers had to very well trained in range estimation, and probably used the turrets. I couldn't find anything on the traditional (military) 8mm, but even with modern sporting ammo (the only ballistics chart I could find), the bullet drop is kind of awful, like 24 inches low at 300 yards (w/ 100 yard zero) and 62 inches low at 400 yards. To put it graphically, if a sniper could see an enemy soldier's head out there past 300 yards, he'd have to estimate the range to within just a few meters to expect a hit. So, even with excellent range estimation he'd use the turrets because that removes just one more variable from the shot.

    .
     
  8. harolds

    harolds Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2011
    Messages:
    1,642
    Likes Received:
    266
    Not so sure about the "rainbow trajectory", KB. The "180(ish)" 8mm bullet had a better BC than the 150gr. 30-06 bullet. That would mean that the projectile would hold its velocity better at longer ranges. That's why the Germans switched from a light spitzer bullet to a heavier spitzer boat-tail design. This would be especially important when shooting at longer ranges. I doubt there was much difference in the two from 300m and less.
     
  9. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2008
    Messages:
    11,307
    Likes Received:
    1,862
    Plonked. Nothing there relevant.
     
  10. harolds

    harolds Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2011
    Messages:
    1,642
    Likes Received:
    266
    Update: I believe the WW2 8mm mauser load was with a 198gr. bullet, making the BC much higher than the 150gr. 30-06.
     
  11. Jack B

    Jack B Active Member Patron  

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2019
    Messages:
    656
    Likes Received:
    212
    Location:
    Deep in the armchair
    I load 30-06 with 178, 180, and 200 grain projectiles. The 150 grain rounds can be loaded smokin' fast--near 3000fps.

    Most GI ammo for the Garand was loaded with 151 grain rounds, however, better accuracy was obtained with the older, heavier 173 grain rounds. (My rifle does better with a 178 grain bullet.)

    The 30-06 was a derivative of the 30-03, which was inspired by the nasty 7x57mm German rounds being shot at US troops in Cuba.

    On paper, the 30-06 can be loaded to shoot higher velocity rounds (for a given weight) than the 8x57 Mauser. Ballistic coefficient is a factor of bullet shape and length, so weight does play a role in the BC, but can't be used as the sole determinant of BC.

    I think the 8x57 Mauser and 30-06 Springfield are pretty close, for all practical purposes, for a military rifle. No surprise there, both cartridges were designed around the same time and for the same purpose.

    I don't think that I've seen a comparison between a 30-06 fired from a Garand (not a M1903) and 8x57 Mauser fired from a K98. The platform may have a very distinct effect on performance.

    Keep in mind, too, that both armies had variations in their ammunition over the course of the war, performance varied accordingly.
     
  12. harolds

    harolds Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2011
    Messages:
    1,642
    Likes Received:
    266
    The shape of the 8X57 bullet was a spitzer-boat tail. This shape maximizes BC. The M2 ball of the 30-06 was tailored to make sure that the Garand operating rod would keep operating. This kept the MV down to 2800fps or so. The '03 Springfield could take much hotter loads than the Garand but then the Garand was designed for a less powerful .277" cartridge.
    As a personal note on load variations: The Krauts came up with some weird ersatz ammo towards the end of the war. When I was in college, a friend and I got hold of some of this surplus ammo. We fired it through an old K98 I had. We each fired it twice. It kicked so hard that we both were knocked back a couple of steps-this along with a horrendous muzzle flash! We buried the rest of that ammo in an isolated spot on the Laramie Plains. Nasty, nasty stuff!
     
  13. Jack B

    Jack B Active Member Patron  

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2019
    Messages:
    656
    Likes Received:
    212
    Location:
    Deep in the armchair
    Good point about the original Garand design. :thumbup:

    Even now, reloading manuals caution against putting hot ammo into a Garand.

    I wonder what it was you guys were launching out of that K98! Sounds dangerous, to be sure. :eek:
     
  14. harolds

    harolds Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2011
    Messages:
    1,642
    Likes Received:
    266
    Actually, we did take one of those rounds home and dumped the powder out of it. The "powder" looked like chopped up photo film. Probably used for the nitrate in it. What that film was soaked in, I have no idea.
    Oh, by the way, the cases were made of steel-every one split when shot.
     
  15. sniper man

    sniper man New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2020
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you everybody for awesome replies, I kept digging and found some german optic manuals, long story short the zeroed rifles at 100m (some at 300 even 600m)and used dials for elevation and kentucky windage for wind. Thank you kodika, Takao, Harold, Jack
    Takao thanks for the link
    Harold you're prob right, they probably used both depending on circumstances!
     
  16. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    6,329
    Likes Received:
    1,698
    Location:
    The Arid Zone
    Maybe I got too wordy up there, but the trajectory information buried in there is from ballistics charts. I could not find one on the 181 grain projectile used in WWII, but the drop on the 170 grain projectile I found is kind of awful. That does not mean the 8mm Mauser was a lousy sniper rifle, only that range estimation would be far more critical than with 30.06. I used to shoot Sharps black powder rifles in .45/70 and .45/90 and once properly zeroed found it surprisingly easy to get hits on the range, at *known* ranges out to 500 yards or so. However, when shooting at targets of opportunity when you must estimate range, it became a very difficult challenge. Those big black powder slugs have much more of a rainbow trajectory than any WWII cartridge, but range estimation is everything with any long range shooting. The bullet drop on the 8mm makes that skill far more critical. A fifty yard error with a 30.06 may still hit your target, but with 8mm that is a miss.

    .
     
  17. Jack B

    Jack B Active Member Patron  

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2019
    Messages:
    656
    Likes Received:
    212
    Location:
    Deep in the armchair
    Bullet drop on a 30-06 at 1000 meters is a bit more than 10 meters. At 500 meters, you are still seeing a couple of meters of bullet drop. And that's from a bolt-action, likely there is significantly more drop with a Garand, shooting Garand ammo. I betcha the 8x57mm isn't much worse, depending on the ammo, it might even be better. Remember that the USA's M1 ball was slowed down at the request of the Army National Guard in the 1930's. So they were not shooting optimal .30-06 rounds. The German ball ammo was highly regarded (perhaps while production was still running smoothly.) and they did produce 'match grade' sniper rounds. Don't sell that 8x57mm short!

    True, I think, range estimation when using either weapon would be a highly valuable skill. I wonder what typical 'sniping distances' were in WW II?

    I've read of some 1000 yard shots being made with the 30-06 in other conflicts, but that seems like a very long shot to me. (I keep my 30-06 shots to 400 yards or closer for hunting purposes.) I've practiced making 1000 yard shots, but am fairly woeful at that distance, even with a .300 Win-Mag. And that is at a known distance. Out in the field, without the benefit of modern rangefinders, accurate distance estimation would have been an essential skill and art.
     
  18. harolds

    harolds Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2011
    Messages:
    1,642
    Likes Received:
    266
    Well, Kodiak and Jack, I went on the Terminal Ballistics Research website and read up on both the 8X57 and the 30-06. Here's the ballistic story in somewhat compressed form:

    Both the '06 and the 8X57 started out life with heavy for caliber round nose bullets. Actually, the '06 was then the 30-03. Both rounds then went to bullets weighing about 150grains, following the French lead. Velocities being around 2700-2800 for both rounds. These were the loads that were used in WW1.

    During the inter-war years, both countries developed loads that utilized heavier, high BC bullets. This was done because these heavier, more streamlined projectiles gave better trajectories at longer ranges, which in turn gave machine guns a longer effective range! The German load was a 197grain spitzer boat-tail with a velocity of 2500fps and a BC of .547. The U.S. load (designated M1 ball) was a 174 grain bullet at about 2700fps. However, when the USA adopted the Garand, it was found that the operating rod wouldn't bear up under the heavy load so we reverted to a 150 grain flat point bullet with a BC of .338 (M2 ball).

    Therefore, the 8X57 WW2 round had a flatter trajectory than the 30-06 M2 ball. This is why there's such a whoopdedoo over the 6.5 Creedmore. It has a very long and ballistically optimized shape which gives it a superior long range trajectory over other, faster, bullets.
     
  19. Jack B

    Jack B Active Member Patron  

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2019
    Messages:
    656
    Likes Received:
    212
    Location:
    Deep in the armchair
    I think we're all in agreement, harolds, that a better BC is desirable for range and accuracy. I can believe that the M2 ball (not to be confused with M2 AP) was not as accurate. I think this was understood at the time. I'm fairly sure that US snipers were using the older, more accurate, M1 ammo for that reason.

    I'd like to see some actual 'dope' on the various rounds. I doubt that the 8x57mm was significantly 'better' than an M1 round shot through a M1903. I suspect the 03-06 has the edge there (but I could be wrong). The M1903 was still being used as a sniper rifle in Korea and Vietnam, it was/is a good rifle. Still, we're splitting hairs comparing the 8mm to the .30 cal, especially, as KB points out, compared to the .30-40 Krag or .45-70.

    Edit: I don't think the M2 round had a flat 'point', I think it had a flat 'base'. The flat base creates a vacuum and drag, reducing the BC. You got me curious, so I checked on wiki and stole this photo:

    [​IMG]

    This shows the development of the US projectile from the '03 to the M2 AP. I circled the M1 (left round) and M2 (right round). You can see how the M2 was a step backwards from a ballistics point of view.
     
  20. harolds

    harolds Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2011
    Messages:
    1,642
    Likes Received:
    266
    You're right. I meant flat "base". U.S. snipers could have also used the "National Match" ammo which was an even better version of the M1 ball.
     

Share This Page