Combat tactics 101: Melee weapon choice

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Re: Combat tactics 101: Melee weapon choice

Post by Malleolus » Sun Apr 01, 2012 9:28 pm

squinty wrote:
Doc Torr wrote:For style, I've always preferred the Han Solo approach to things.
As in this quote?
Han Solo wrote:“Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.”
Machetes have a bad guy rep right now, thanks to unpleasant association with Rwandan genocides and South American gangs.
Thing about Zombie Combat Tactics is, except perhaps for the endurance required if you get overwhelmed by the horde, Zombie Combat is a lot easier than active, smart, fast human combat. Who wouldn't rather shoot at slow shuffling moaning foes that don't know enough to take cover, as opposed to fast running, quick thinking, organized, human foes who can shoot back?

Likewise for a "melee weapon" - something purpose designed for fighting is a lot more important if you're fighting a sentient foe who can fight back, and might have a few moves of his own. Whereas zombies, again, don't exactly fight. They just keep advancing. An agricultural implement designed to hack or reap might be just fine against foes that are more like mobile stalks of grass than living animate threats.
ehhh... yes and no. Yes, zombies don't have the ingenuity of a human, but they don't tire, don't stop, and don't back down no matter what you do to them, and unless you are a crack enough shot to get headshots with every bullet, you won't have a reprieve like you would in a battle with a human because they duck for cover, a zombie will always advance on you till it's dead or consumed you. And that's just the shamblers your referring to. What if they're faster, somewhere between that and ragers, or ragers all together.
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Re: Combat tactics 101: Melee weapon choice

Post by Malleolus » Sun Apr 01, 2012 9:30 pm

squinty wrote:Fook it. I'm takin' Nun Chucks.

I don't mean two sticks with a little rope or chain between 'em. I mean two Chuck Norrises in Nun's habits.
Or two groundhogs on a rag....
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Re: Combat tactics 101: Melee weapon choice

Post by velojym » Sun Apr 01, 2012 9:47 pm

I would put a *lot* of my resources into zombie diversion, once I was sure exactly what turned 'em on the most. If it's noise, I'd be all about having a slingshot and a bag full of M80s, using my machete on those who got too close while I'm trying to launch my bird bombs.
Other than that... just gotta improvise.

I'm remembering the blood pits at all the trendy meat packing plants. It'd be almost funny to throw a bit of uncoiled barbed wire in the bottom and bait 'em from the opposite side.
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Re: Combat tactics 101: Melee weapon choice

Post by squinty » Sun Apr 01, 2012 11:00 pm

Malleolus wrote:
squinty wrote:
Doc Torr wrote:For style, I've always preferred the Han Solo approach to things.
As in this quote?
Han Solo wrote:“Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.”
Machetes have a bad guy rep right now, thanks to unpleasant association with Rwandan genocides and South American gangs.
Thing about Zombie Combat Tactics is, except perhaps for the endurance required if you get overwhelmed by the horde, Zombie Combat is a lot easier than active, smart, fast human combat. Who wouldn't rather shoot at slow shuffling moaning foes that don't know enough to take cover, as opposed to fast running, quick thinking, organized, human foes who can shoot back?

Likewise for a "melee weapon" - something purpose designed for fighting is a lot more important if you're fighting a sentient foe who can fight back, and might have a few moves of his own. Whereas zombies, again, don't exactly fight. They just keep advancing. An agricultural implement designed to hack or reap might be just fine against foes that are more like mobile stalks of grass than living animate threats.
ehhh... yes and no. Yes, zombies don't have the ingenuity of a human, but they don't tire, don't stop, and don't back down no matter what you do to them, and unless you are a crack enough shot to get headshots with every bullet, you won't have a reprieve like you would in a battle with a human because they duck for cover, a zombie will always advance on you till it's dead or consumed you. And that's just the shamblers your referring to. What if they're faster, somewhere between that and ragers, or ragers all together.
Ahead shot on a shuffling, Romero style zombie? Not so tough to make. At what qualifies for "close" range with a rifle, the shufflin' moaner will still take several minutes to get to you. And a human ducking for cover isn't a reprieve, it's a person who will continue the fight. Whereas a zombie who doesn't duck for cover = shot head. Reprieve.

Fatigue is what will kill you, as zombie numbers grow exponentially. Even then, I'd tire more slowly shooting from an improvised rest than swinging a "melee" weapon. So something designed to be swung for hours, over and over, might be the best melee weapon.

Ragers? Well, we're just fucked then but at least we aren't limited, anymore, to headshots and ragers do eventually die. The way ragers were portrayed in 28 Weeks Later they seemed almost as interested in puking, bleeding, or slobbering on their victims as they were in eating them. Something long enough to keep them out of arm's length/splash range. A boar spear with a cross piece to keep them from running up the shaft, or a trident/the aforementioned pitchfork.
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Re: Combat tactics 101: Melee weapon choice

Post by foxx » Mon Apr 02, 2012 12:37 am

I like the boar spear, it can be used in a variety of ways. It can be used like a hook, a bow staff, thrown, used in a slashing swing, or of course to stab. Pair up with a partner that can finish them off, after you stab them, for a safer fight.
If you can get a fence or a wall between you and the Zombies, the extra reach will come in handy. I would want the spearhead slender enough to fit through chain link fence, Zombies always seem to put their faces right up to the fence. Imagine standing on a wall, out of their reach, yet your spear can easily reach out and stab their heads. Other barricades will also offer safe cover while the slender spear can fit through small spaces. Every time you see a Zombie face looking in your window, stab them in the face.
The spear also allows you to be right next to your buddies without needing to swing your weapon, but in the open, it can give you lots of swing/arc range as well.
What I want is a Gladius mounted on a 5' oval shaft.

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Re: Combat tactics 101: Melee weapon choice

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Mon Apr 02, 2012 12:45 am

Malleolus wrote: ehhh... yes and no. Yes, zombies don't have the ingenuity of a human, but they don't tire, don't stop, and don't back down no matter what you do to them, and unless you are a crack enough shot to get headshots with every bullet, you won't have a reprieve like you would in a battle with a human because they duck for cover, a zombie will always advance on you till it's dead or consumed you. And that's just the shamblers your referring to. What if they're faster, somewhere between that and ragers, or ragers all together.
There is no reprieve in a gunfight until they're dead. Trust me.
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Re: Combat tactics 101: Melee weapon choice

Post by squinty » Mon Apr 02, 2012 12:56 am

Doc Torr wrote:
Malleolus wrote: ehhh... yes and no. Yes, zombies don't have the ingenuity of a human, but they don't tire, don't stop, and don't back down no matter what you do to them, and unless you are a crack enough shot to get headshots with every bullet, you won't have a reprieve like you would in a battle with a human because they duck for cover, a zombie will always advance on you till it's dead or consumed you. And that's just the shamblers your referring to. What if they're faster, somewhere between that and ragers, or ragers all together.
There is no reprieve in a gunfight until they're dead. Trust me.
I'll take your word for it. Hope I never find out first hand.
I'll take daydreaming about combat with slow moving foes too cognitively impaired to even duck, fall back, or parry a strike over the real thing, with real people who can think and fight, any day.
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Re: Combat tactics 101: Melee weapon choice

Post by Zpocalypse_GBG » Mon Apr 02, 2012 11:28 am

Malleolus wrote:What if they're faster, somewhere between that and ragers, or ragers all together.
Set Spear Vs. Charge... Lots and lots of spears.

Hell, I'd do my best to outfit every wall I can with as many pointy sticks as possible. Right at head level.

Take an old wire bedframe, turn a lot of the wire on one side so it's pointing out, perhaps 6 inches a to a foot, all over the frame.

set up multiple frames on your walls facing the zombies. As they charge you they impale themselves on the frames, and you need do is routinely remove the old ones to make room for the new.
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Re: Combat tactics 101: Melee weapon choice

Post by Malleolus » Mon Apr 02, 2012 12:09 pm

Doc Torr wrote:
Malleolus wrote: ehhh... yes and no. Yes, zombies don't have the ingenuity of a human, but they don't tire, don't stop, and don't back down no matter what you do to them, and unless you are a crack enough shot to get headshots with every bullet, you won't have a reprieve like you would in a battle with a human because they duck for cover, a zombie will always advance on you till it's dead or consumed you. And that's just the shamblers your referring to. What if they're faster, somewhere between that and ragers, or ragers all together.
There is no reprieve in a gunfight until they're dead. Trust me.
That's not what I meant... dang it how do I describe it? A zombie won't duck, hide, or do anything but push unrelentlessly. Only a head shot will put them down... I'm not saying a back and forth gun fight isn't hell, far from it, I have no experience in it and hope to not ever. But it's... different in my mind having to face an enemy that you can pump 50 rounds into a single target and they don't stop coming at you unless you get a killing head shot. I'm not saying that it's necessarily harder to face a zombie, but there is a totally different dynamic to the combat scenario is what I meant. They aren't stopping to reload or attempting to hide, it's just a constant push.
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Re: Combat tactics 101: Melee weapon choice

Post by Malleolus » Mon Apr 02, 2012 12:22 pm

squinty wrote:
Ahead shot on a shuffling, Romero style zombie? Not so tough to make. At what qualifies for "close" range with a rifle, the shufflin' moaner will still take several minutes to get to you. And a human ducking for cover isn't a reprieve, it's a person who will continue the fight. Whereas a zombie who doesn't duck for cover = shot head. Reprieve.

Fatigue is what will kill you, as zombie numbers grow exponentially. Even then, I'd tire more slowly shooting from an improvised rest than swinging a "melee" weapon. So something designed to be swung for hours, over and over, might be the best melee weapon.

Ragers? Well, we're just fucked then but at least we aren't limited, anymore, to headshots and ragers do eventually die. The way ragers were portrayed in 28 Weeks Later they seemed almost as interested in puking, bleeding, or slobbering on their victims as they were in eating them. Something long enough to keep them out of arm's length/splash range. A boar spear with a cross piece to keep them from running up the shaft, or a trident/the aforementioned pitchfork.
In my mind I see zombies being inbetween. The ones that were runners in life as a sport/enthusiast are going to have the muscle memory for the coordination to "run" on flat surfaces, but that's a really complex set of motions requiring active control on all but flat terrain. Other than that, I see zombies as moving slower than the average human, but not just shambling along like the romero.

It's not a matter of just getting a random headshot either, in humans and likewise in zombies. You have to score a hit in the fatal T, which runs (basically) from just outside your eyes into your nose and down to the chin to get a flat out kill in a human. This is because the shot travels through and severs the brain from the body. With zombies, which don't use the vast majority of the brain, you are going to have to shoot in this area because unlike a human that can die from the trauma of the shot to the brain (after a while) the zombie does not have this limitation. There are people who survive being shot throught the head, having pipes run through their heads, etc. all the time because it did not sever this area. It's not like in hollywood where any old headshot will drop the zombie...

ETA: this is also why a sniper uses a heavy caliber rifle rather than a smaller round like the .22. The envelope that is generated by this round (especially when you get into the really heavy rounds like the .50 caliber) has a much greater effect on the target. At really large caliber's like the .50, it's impact zone is so great that even a glancing blow can literally rip an arm off because of the air envelope it generates around the bullet.
Last edited by Malleolus on Mon Apr 02, 2012 12:32 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Combat tactics 101: Melee weapon choice

Post by squinty » Mon Apr 02, 2012 12:24 pm

Malleolus wrote:
Doc Torr wrote:
Malleolus wrote: ehhh... yes and no. Yes, zombies don't have the ingenuity of a human, but they don't tire, don't stop, and don't back down no matter what you do to them, and unless you are a crack enough shot to get headshots with every bullet, you won't have a reprieve like you would in a battle with a human because they duck for cover, a zombie will always advance on you till it's dead or consumed you. And that's just the shamblers your referring to. What if they're faster, somewhere between that and ragers, or ragers all together.
There is no reprieve in a gunfight until they're dead. Trust me.
That's not what I meant... dang it how do I describe it? A zombie won't duck, hide, or do anything but push unrelentlessly. Only a head shot will put them down... I'm not saying a back and forth gun fight isn't hell, far from it, I have no experience in it and hope to not ever. But it's... different in my mind having to face an enemy that you can pump 50 rounds into a single target and they don't stop coming at you unless you get a killing head shot. I'm not saying that it's necessarily harder to face a zombie, but there is a totally different dynamic to the combat scenario is what I meant. They aren't stopping to reload or attempting to hide, it's just a constant push.
Yeah, all zombie movies end the same way - the implacability of the foe, plus the exponential growth of numbers, = inevitable death and zombification for the heroes - eventually.

But pushing on relentlessly - but slowly - without trying to avoid incoming fire = not a very menacing foe. I'd rather be faced with a zombie than another guy wielding a melee weapon like my own. And I'd rather have to shoot at a zombie than be in an actual firefight. By the time the Zombie is 50 or 25 yards away, still minutes away at shuffling pace, a head shot should be easy enough to make - if you pumped 50 rounds into a single zed you need to slow down and draw a breath. (It's easy as pie on a stationary silhouette. I haven't tried it on a silhouette stumbling straight towards me at an agonizing crippled pace, but I bet I could do it. On a target that ran, ducked, zigzagged, shot back, coordinated with his friends to give him covering fire or distract me as he came in? Nope. I couldn't ever.)

Which might be hard to do, I admit, when your head is full of "OMG the dead walk! The dead walk! How is it possible?"

But Zombies of the classic head shot shuffler variety, while they do always getcha in the end, are more of an environmental threat than an enemy or predator. Any one - or ten - is easy enough to deal with as long as you are ready and mindful. They catch up to you the way age, or cold, or hunger, or Murphy's law catches up to you. You slip and fall, fall asleep, get distracted, fight with another teammate etc.

And, did you really type:
Malleolus wrote:It's not like in hollywood where any old headshot will drop the zombie...
I love that in this forum we can criticize Hollywood zombies for not behaving like 'the real thing!' :lol:
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Re: Combat tactics 101: Melee weapon choice

Post by Malleolus » Mon Apr 02, 2012 12:29 pm

squinty wrote:
Malleolus wrote:
Doc Torr wrote:
Malleolus wrote: ehhh... yes and no. Yes, zombies don't have the ingenuity of a human, but they don't tire, don't stop, and don't back down no matter what you do to them, and unless you are a crack enough shot to get headshots with every bullet, you won't have a reprieve like you would in a battle with a human because they duck for cover, a zombie will always advance on you till it's dead or consumed you. And that's just the shamblers your referring to. What if they're faster, somewhere between that and ragers, or ragers all together.
There is no reprieve in a gunfight until they're dead. Trust me.
That's not what I meant... dang it how do I describe it? A zombie won't duck, hide, or do anything but push unrelentlessly. Only a head shot will put them down... I'm not saying a back and forth gun fight isn't hell, far from it, I have no experience in it and hope to not ever. But it's... different in my mind having to face an enemy that you can pump 50 rounds into a single target and they don't stop coming at you unless you get a killing head shot. I'm not saying that it's necessarily harder to face a zombie, but there is a totally different dynamic to the combat scenario is what I meant. They aren't stopping to reload or attempting to hide, it's just a constant push.
Yeah, all zombie movies end the same way - the implacability of the foe, plus the exponential growth of numbers, = inevitable death and zombification for the heroes - eventually.

But pushing on relentlessly - but slowly - without trying to avoid incoming fire = not a very menacing foe. I'd rather be faced with a zombie than another guy wielding a melee weapon like my own. And I'd rather have to shoot at a zombie than be in an actual firefight. By the time the Zombie is 50 or 25 yards away, still minutes away at shuffling pace, a head shot should be easy enough to make - if you pumped 50 rounds into a single zed you need to slow down and draw a breath. (It's easy as pie on a stationary silhouette. I haven't tried it on a silhouette stumbling straight towards me at an agonizing crippled pace, but I bet I could do it. On a target that ran, ducked, zigzagged, shot back, coordinated with his friends to give him covering fire or distract me as he came in? Nope. I couldn't ever.)

Which might be hard to do, I admit, when your head is full of "OMG the dead walk! The dead walk! How is it possible?"

But Zombies of the classic head shot shuffler variety, while they do always getcha in the end, are more of an environmental threat than an enemy or predator. Any one - or ten - is easy enough to deal with as long as you are ready and mindful. They catch up to you the way age, or cold, or hunger, or Murphy's law catches up to you. You slip and fall, fall asleep, get distracted, fight with another teammate etc.

And, did you really type:
Malleolus wrote:It's not like in hollywood where any old headshot will drop the zombie...
I love that in this forum we can criticize Hollywood zombies for not behaving like 'the real thing!' :lol:
Well, I say that because Hollywood contradicts itself here. They say that zombies have all the physical limitations of humans but then fail follow through in this regard.
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Re: Combat tactics 101: Melee weapon choice

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Mon Apr 02, 2012 12:49 pm

I'll take slowly shuffling, allowing me to line up a beautiful double tap to the head, or crack a kneecap over ducking, running, firing from 400m+ and requiring multiple shots to stop due to high doses of opiates.
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Re: Combat tactics 101: Melee weapon choice

Post by squinty » Mon Apr 02, 2012 1:12 pm

Malleolus wrote:
squinty wrote:And, did you really type:
Malleolus wrote:It's not like in hollywood where any old headshot will drop the zombie...
I love that in this forum we can criticize Hollywood zombies for not behaving like 'the real thing!' :lol:
Well, I say that because Hollywood contradicts itself here. They say that zombies have all the physical limitations of humans but then fail follow through in this regard.
Depends on the movie, really. In "Return of the Living Dead" and "The Walking Dead" Zombies can move and act even when there's little mechanical means left for them to do so. For instance, a bisected dog on a specimen board barks and yips, even though it's trachea is bisected down the middle. A zombie strapped to a table can talk to investigators, even though she lacks a diaphragm.
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Re: Combat tactics 101: Melee weapon choice

Post by Malleolus » Mon Apr 02, 2012 3:34 pm

I never said it was the only place it contradicts itself :lol:
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Re: Combat tactics 101: Melee weapon choice

Post by squinty » Mon Apr 02, 2012 10:16 pm

Malleolus wrote:I never said it was the only place it contradicts itself :lol:
freakin' frackin' zombies...on top of everything else, they won't even stay consistent from scene to scene, let alone movie to movie.
At least they don't sparkle...yet.
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Re: Combat tactics 101: Melee weapon choice

Post by Maverick299 » Mon Apr 02, 2012 10:24 pm

ETA: this is also why a sniper uses a heavy caliber rifle rather than a smaller round like the .22. The envelope that is generated by this round (especially when you get into the really heavy rounds like the .50 caliber) has a much greater effect on the target. At really large caliber's like the .50, it's impact zone is so great that even a glancing blow can literally rip an arm off because of the air envelope it generates around the bullet.

Please, please tell me this is meant to be a joke........
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Re: Combat tactics 101: Melee weapon choice

Post by squinty » Mon Apr 02, 2012 10:46 pm

Maverick299 wrote:
ETA: this is also why a sniper uses a heavy caliber rifle rather than a smaller round like the .22. The envelope that is generated by this round (especially when you get into the really heavy rounds like the .50 caliber) has a much greater effect on the target. At really large caliber's like the .50, it's impact zone is so great that even a glancing blow can literally rip an arm off because of the air envelope it generates around the bullet.

Please, please tell me this is meant to be a joke........
Where'd that quote come from? I don't remember it from this thread.

ETA: Oh, it's an edit.
Larger and faster do make bigger wounds, all else being equal, but no, "air envelopes" surrounding bullets aren't a factor in how they injure the target tissue.
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Re: Combat tactics 101: Melee weapon choice

Post by Malleolus » Mon Apr 02, 2012 11:11 pm

squinty wrote:
Maverick299 wrote:
ETA: this is also why a sniper uses a heavy caliber rifle rather than a smaller round like the .22. The envelope that is generated by this round (especially when you get into the really heavy rounds like the .50 caliber) has a much greater effect on the target. At really large caliber's like the .50, it's impact zone is so great that even a glancing blow can literally rip an arm off because of the air envelope it generates around the bullet.

Please, please tell me this is meant to be a joke........
Where'd that quote come from? I don't remember it from this thread.

ETA: Oh, it's an edit.
Larger and faster do make bigger wounds, all else being equal, but no, "air envelopes" surrounding bullets aren't a factor in how they injure the target tissue.
I did say glancing, and the impact force can do just that, but I'm not using the right terminology today anywhere evidently. My brain has officially shut down from class :)
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Re: Combat tactics 101: Melee weapon choice

Post by squinty » Mon Apr 02, 2012 11:17 pm

Malleolus wrote:
squinty wrote:
Maverick299 wrote:
ETA: this is also why a sniper uses a heavy caliber rifle rather than a smaller round like the .22. The envelope that is generated by this round (especially when you get into the really heavy rounds like the .50 caliber) has a much greater effect on the target. At really large caliber's like the .50, it's impact zone is so great that even a glancing blow can literally rip an arm off because of the air envelope it generates around the bullet.

Please, please tell me this is meant to be a joke........
Where'd that quote come from? I don't remember it from this thread.

ETA: Oh, it's an edit.
Larger and faster do make bigger wounds, all else being equal, but no, "air envelopes" surrounding bullets aren't a factor in how they injure the target tissue.
I did say glancing, and the impact force can do just that, but I'm not using the right terminology today anywhere evidently. My brain has officially shut down from class :)
Or maybe you're more of a medieval weapons expert than you are a ballistics expert. Nobody knows everything. :wink:
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Re: Combat tactics 101: Melee weapon choice

Post by Jeriah » Mon Apr 02, 2012 11:55 pm

squinty wrote:A zombie strapped to a table can talk to investigators, even though she lacks a diaphragm.
What does that have to do with it?
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Re: Combat tactics 101: Melee weapon choice

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Tue Apr 03, 2012 12:08 am

Malleolus wrote:
squinty wrote:
Maverick299 wrote:
ETA: this is also why a sniper uses a heavy caliber rifle rather than a smaller round like the .22. The envelope that is generated by this round (especially when you get into the really heavy rounds like the .50 caliber) has a much greater effect on the target. At really large caliber's like the .50, it's impact zone is so great that even a glancing blow can literally rip an arm off because of the air envelope it generates around the bullet.

Please, please tell me this is meant to be a joke........
Where'd that quote come from? I don't remember it from this thread.

ETA: Oh, it's an edit.
Larger and faster do make bigger wounds, all else being equal, but no, "air envelopes" surrounding bullets aren't a factor in how they injure the target tissue.
I did say glancing, and the impact force can do just that, but I'm not using the right terminology today anywhere evidently. My brain has officially shut down from class :)
Please show me a .50 cal ripping an arm off with a glancing blow. Please. I've spotted for both M2s and SASR (.50cal sniper rifles) and even rounds hitting elbows, legs, faces, etc. failed to do anything more than hit and exit with massive trauma. Although there was a kneecap shot that took off the leg, but M2s have nasty rounds that go "pop" when they hit.
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Re: Combat tactics 101: Melee weapon choice

Post by mantis » Tue Apr 03, 2012 8:13 am

Maverick299 wrote:
ETA: this is also why a sniper uses a heavy caliber rifle rather than a smaller round like the .22. The envelope that is generated by this round (especially when you get into the really heavy rounds like the .50 caliber) has a much greater effect on the target. At really large caliber's like the .50, it's impact zone is so great that even a glancing blow can literally rip an arm off because of the air envelope it generates around the bullet.

Please, please tell me this is meant to be a joke........
It certainly is funny anyway! :D
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Re: Combat tactics 101: Melee weapon choice

Post by Jeriah » Tue Apr 03, 2012 8:31 am

When I hear "air envelope" I think of the railguns from Eraser. :lol:
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