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Lessons learned from paintball

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by Landmonster, Mar 1, 2010.

  1. Landmonster

    Landmonster

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    I played paintball for the first time this past weekend.

    I played from about 9 AM, to 3 PM, and I learned several lessons about gun fighting in general. Please tell me if you agree or disagree.


    A) Close "Combat" is very physically demanding from an aerobic standpoint. Unless you're used to running, sprinting, squatting, and moving continuously for several minutes at a time, you will be at a disadvantage in a real gunfight or shootout. (I played mostly on small fields, like Speedball)

    B) Weight of your gear and gun are key. I was using a rental gun, which weighed more than most of the premium guns. Repeatedly shouldering this gun, and carrying it and running with it for 5 hours got tiring. Even a gun that was several pounds lighter would have been considerably easier to use. (The gun was not heavy, but shouldering and moving it hundreds of times became fatiguing.)

    C) Weapon accuracy is important. My rental gun was clearly not as accurate as many of the high end guns other players were using. My paint at 20-30 yards was hitting in a wide radius, whereas other players were able to focus in on me at the same distance. In a real shootout, only a small portion of the enemy may be exposed, so accuracy differences between guns become more important. You may expend many more valuable rounds with an inaccurate gun trying to hit a small, yet visible, target.

    D) For a real life "skirmish", you need to carry more ammunition than you think. I went through about 200 balls (rounds) the last 10-minute game I played. I wasn't wasteful, I was simply using aimed fire to keep the enemy pinned down, and to give my teammates cover. I went through roughly 200 rounds in about 10 minutes. In fact, I think the more ammo you can use, the better your chances would be for survival. A high volume of fire is useful for keeping the enemy at bay, and keeping you alive.

    D) Iron sights are difficult to use in stressful/fast-paced situations. When you're moving, and trying to shoot at other moving targets who are shooting back, there is precious little time to try to use iron sights on a gun. You need to be able to use some other alternative sighting method. If you pop up from above cover, you need to be able to acquire targets quickly. I think some easy-to-see optics would be advantageous, like an Aimpoint.



    Conclusions.

    All of this made me realize that in real life you'd probably want a very light weight, accurate gun, with some sort of optic sight designed for fast target-acquisition. You'd want to be able to move easily, quickly, and be able to carry a large amount of rounds. Thus, an AR15 with a fighting optic seems like an ideal combat setup.

    I imagined running around with one of my heavy AK47s with iron sights, mediocre accuracy, and 300 rounds of 7.62 ammo, vs. a lightweight M4 clone with an Aimpoint, with 300 rounds of 5.56 ammo.

    Given my experiences from paintball, the M4 seems like it would be considerably easier to use in a shoot out. I imagine the AK would seem like a heavy and less than accurate "rental" gun.


    Edit: Please let know if you believe these impressions are valid. I've never been in combat, and this is the first day of actual paintball games I've played.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2010
  2. Landmonster

    Landmonster

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  3. DEADLYACCURATE

    DEADLYACCURATE Senior Member

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    Paintball is really fun, and I think the experience would be of some help to you in a real world combat situation.
     
  4. DEADLYACCURATE

    DEADLYACCURATE Senior Member

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    Btw go to the forums list. Start at the bottom and go up. A little ways up there is a paintball and airsoft forum.
     
  5. garyjandfamily

    garyjandfamily

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    F) If you want to learn about the importance of using available cover, take your three teen-aged boys out paintballing with you... :wow:
     
  6. whitetiger7653

    whitetiger7653 NRA Life Member

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    I'll agree with those. I felt the same way when playing the few times I did. One thing to add. When I played twice with everyone using the same equipment tactics and training decided the winner.
     
  7. DEADLYACCURATE

    DEADLYACCURATE Senior Member

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    How bout 3 semi pros with awesome guns and gear against you and a friend that have never played before. I can sum it up in one word. Painful. Things like being snuck up on from behind and being shot in the back from about 10 feet with nitrogen powered balls moving about 480 fps while you are wearing nothing but a t-shirt, gym shorts, and a cup.
     
  8. Gallium

    Gallium CLM

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    If I was in a real gunfight lasting more than a few seconds, I would hope that there would be a squad sized bunch of guys around me wearing the same uniform, fighting the enemy. Most gunfights last a few seconds.

    Adrenalin tends to take care of your physical needs (pain management/awareness) in the short run.

    'Drew
     
  9. ssgrock3

    ssgrock3

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    if time to prepare for an ambush, know that frozen paintballs hurt worse....do not do this to anyone who can whip you or you want to remain a friend.
     
  10. exmdshooter

    exmdshooter WWJMBD?

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    Not a paintballer, but my grandson was, and was quite good at it. My impression of the few games of his that I watched:

    1) Paintballers go through an amazing amount of ammo. The guns, while semiautomatic, have very light triggers and most players use them like submachine guns, firing as many rounds in the general direction of the "enemy" as they can. The guns also hold a lot more rounds than a typical firearm. Conclusion: paintballers waste an incredible amount of ammunition. It's cheap, and if they run out, nobody actually dies. Also, any "hit" takes a player out of the game. In the real world, your gotta incapacitate or kill someone to take them down.

    2) From the standpoint of cover, concealment, and maneuver, it struck me that paintball is probably pretty good practice for a "real" tactical engagement. But see the "hit" comment above. In the "real" world, only "real" hits (or multiple "real" hits) count.

    3) The "physicality" of the sport is real. Lots of running, ducking, jumping, and dodging about. It's definitely a young person's sport, and even then requires one to be in excellent physical condition. Part of this, I believe, is due to the relatively confined space in which the contest takes place. Me, I'm a fat old fart but a decent shot. My preference would be to find some nice cover / concealment and never let anybody get within a hundred yards of me :supergrin:

    Oh, and one more thing. If they do manage to close, I want to be able to get on the horn and call in arty or an air strike!
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2010
  11. BigKid

    BigKid

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    In my opinion, unless you approach it the correct way (if training for a tactical situation), things the game teaches you are not conducive to real world encounters. Such as:

    As mentioned above, spray and pray reign supreme in paintball. When in doubt, paint the bunker. Maybe one will sneak through and get enough on the guy to be ruled out. When the bell rings to start a match, throw a few down range at a high arc, you never know, you might get lucky.

    Bushes are adequate cover. You might get splattered but most ref's wont call you out off of splatter.

    Wear bright clothing to show team spirit instead of clothing that lets you blend in to your surroundings.

    A popular tactic (when I played) was the komikazi. Run up the middle and take out as many as you can. If you get more than 2 people, you were successful. This was especially useful towards the end of a match that you have at least a 1 person lead in. Pretty sure that isn't in my bag of tricks for real life QC.

    Wear baggy clothing so that the balls have a higher tendancy to not break. Bullets, however, don't really care how baggy your clothing is.

    Prolly more but its been awhile since I was paintballing.

    I like the idea of airsoft though. Its on the honor system (unlike paintball) so that is frustrating I am sure, but I think people take a more realistic approach tactically.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2010