Infantry: August 18, 2000


The Army continues to debate the value of daylight target scopes for infantry rifles. There are three schools of thought.

1. Scopes do not really improve accuracy that much as they must be carefully aligned to the weapon.

2. Scopes work, and should be issued to one man in each squad or fire team to provide the unit with a designated sharpshooter who (using a standard rifle and standard ammunition) attack specific designated targets with a high probability of success. The problem here is that a relatively junior soldier often makes the fire/don't-fire decision in initiating an ambush or defense.

3. Scopes work, but are too good to waste on anyone except squad leaders and maybe team leaders. This individuals can use the scopes more to examine distant targets than to actually shoot at them. A squad leader might study an enemy defensive position through his scope and then fire tracers at particular targets he wants other soldiers to engage. The Marines seem to have reached a compromise, giving the scope to each fire team's second-in-command.--Stephen V Cole


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