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Firing a 7.62 Rifle

Red_ArremerRed_Arremer Registered User regular
edited July 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
I have a question for those who have some experience in shooting. I've fired a .357 magnum revolver with little to no discomfort, but I've been thinking about firing a full-sized rifle chambered in 7.62. The problem with this is that I currently weigh around 27 kilograms and I'm about a meter tall, and I've never shot a long gun braced against my shoulder. I also have some bursitis in both shoulders from exercising too much/other. By my hopeful (and messed up) logic I should be able to fire one, because child soldiers shoot Kalishnikovs all the time. On the other hand I've also heard that these guns kick like hell even for large adults. Is there some safe way to figure this out short of going ahead and risking an injured shoulder? Any helpful advice is appreciated.

Red_Arremer on
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    FiggyFiggy Fighter of the night man Champion of the sunRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    You are 3 foot 3 and weigh 60 pounds?

    Figgy on
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    Red_ArremerRed_Arremer Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    A few inches taller, but around there, yeah.

    Red_Arremer on
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    h3nduh3ndu Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    7.62 x what? 54, 51, 39? Your size shouldn't matter too much, depending on how you are firing - if you're doing it from a bench or from the prone you should be A - OK no matter what; from standing though - well - even then I don't think it will have too much of an adverse effect on you.

    The recoil on the the 7.63x39 (I'm assuming this is the round you're using, as it is common), isn't really all that bad. It's no 50 bmg. And the 54 and the 51 are both just dandy as well.

    What rifle are you using?

    edit - and where in Michigan are you at? I lived in Grosse Pointe for like ten years.

    h3ndu on
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    ransimransim Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I have a question for those who have some experience in shooting. I've fired a .357 magnum revolver with little to no discomfort, but I've been thinking about firing a full-sized rifle chambered in 7.62. The problem with this is that I currently weigh around 27 kilograms and I'm about a meter tall, and I've never shot a long gun braced against my shoulder. I also have some bursitis in both shoulders from exercising too much/other. By my hopeful (and messed up) logic I should be able to fire one, because child soldiers shoot Kalishnikovs all the time. On the other hand I've also heard that these guns kick like hell even for large adults. Is there some safe way to figure this out short of going ahead and risking an injured shoulder? Any helpful advice is appreciated.

    Well, I own a AK-47, and really the kick isn't bad. I can imagine if it were full auto it might be worse, but single shot isn't bad, semi auto has a bit more kick but its still not really bad. My comparison would be against a .45 handgun (talk about kick), a magnum revolver (I don't even know what the caliber was but it was huge and holy kick batman), and a 12 gauge shotgun.

    http://www.ak-47.us/HowToShootAK-47.php

    Really the important thing is make sure you're aware of your surroundings, that the gun it set properly against your shoulder and you relax a bit. And don't freaking shoot while sitting. Stand or kneel.

    If you stand use the instructions on that site, it also helps if you go with someone who has experience with the gun, let them fire it first and see what it looks like. They should also be able to instruct you in how to hold the gun properly. Its easier to show then explain, for me at least.

    Caveat: Shooting while sitting can be ok, but make sure whatever you're propping the gun on is stable/sturdy. It won't help a damn bit if its wobbly/unsteady.

    ransim on
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    Red_ArremerRed_Arremer Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Thanks for the advice so far guys. The caliber would probably be 7.62x54mmR or 7.62x51mm NATO. h3ndu: I live near Flint, not in the city anymore, but I spend a lot of time there. Isn't Grosse Point near Detroit?

    Red_Arremer on
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    ZenitramZenitram Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    7.62x39 isn't bad at all, and it's usually fired with a heavy rifle making the impact even less noticeable. This is the AK-47.

    7.62x51 are NATO rounds and they pack some more punch, but it's nothing you shouldn't be able to handle. Just brace yourself on the first shot to see what it's like, don't do what some do and hit your face on the stock/scope.

    Anything less than a hunting round and you should be ok. I'm 180 lbs and I don't even like firing those.

    Zenitram on
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    KistraKistra Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    What is the rifle like? A semi-auto that uses some of the gas to open the chamber will have a lot less kick than a bolt action rifle firing the exact same round.

    I started competing with an m-14 at age 14 and the kick didn't bother me but on the other hand I hated practicing with my .308 (7.62) hunting rifle at the same age. I would think as long as you are using good form and have the rifle really pulled into your shoulder/body you shouldn't have too much issue with the kick from a semi-auto rifle. You may have an issue finding a rifle that fits you well and a stock that is too long will make it much harder to cradle and the kick will be worse.

    Why would you prop the gun on something while in the sitting position? I always found sitting to be the most consistent position for me when I was shooting a 14 because you sort of rock a little bit and that absorbs some of the recoil rather than it pushing your elbow straight back like in prone position.

    Kistra on
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    DocDoc Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited July 2010
    If you're that worried about it, start prone or sitting.

    Doc on
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    28682868 Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Proper firing form and you'll be ok. Whoever is shooting with you should coach you.

    Hell, if it's an AK then child_soldier_uganda.jpg suggests that you'll be able to handle it.

    It's the gun of choice for the assholes who corrupt children into fighting their wars because it is so powerful and so manageable.

    That said I have two, but for funsies I prefer my M4s.

    2868 on
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    Red_ArremerRed_Arremer Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I would love to shorten an M14 for myself, but I will probably be testing the round with someone else's bolt action rifle (not really a hunting rifle). Because of my arm length, I should probably customize the rifle in the first place, though I don't want to buy a gun and figure out the kick is harmful. Thanks for all the replies so far!

    Red_Arremer on
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    EliteLamerEliteLamer __BANNED USERS regular
    edited July 2010
    I fire 7.62x54r... So much fun and cheap..

    EliteLamer on
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    corky842corky842 Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    EliteLamer wrote: »
    I fire 7.62x54r... So much fun and cheap..

    Yes.
    Plus, the heavy wood construction helps with the kick. I have an M44:
    (not my site)
    nagant_m44.jpg
    I had read that the M44 was designed and sighted in for being shot with the bayonet open and if you shot it with the bayonet closed it would change the point of impact. Had no idea it would change as much as it did.
    D'oh, no wonder I haven't been able to hit much with it. :oops:

    corky842 on
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    BeltaineBeltaine BOO BOO DOO DE DOORegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Simple test:

    Load only 1 round.

    You get to check out the kick, the single shot will go harmlessly downrange and if something crazy happens there's no ammo left in the weapon to go off inadvertently.

    That being said, I've fired 7.62 rifles. Pretty sure a Mosin-Nagant is 7.62x54mm. At any rate it really wasn't that bad. Most rifles are heavy enough that recoil isn't much of an issue.

    Beltaine on
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    ArrathArrath Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Beltaine wrote: »
    Most rifles are heavy enough that recoil isn't much of an issue.

    Pretty much. I have a Mosin as well and the kick isn't very bad at all. Nothing that'll make you sore in the morning.

    Arrath on
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    Peter PrinciplePeter Principle Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I own a .357 (2 1/2" barrel, S&W 686+), a few 7.62x39s (Chinese 'n Russian SKS, SLR-95), and a 7.62x51 (Springfield M1A). Of course, these things vary on several factors, not just the caliber, but also the load you're firing (.38 target load? 180 gr. hunting rounds?) and the firearm configuration (target barrel vs snubbie, after market recoil pads, poorly installed optical devices, etc.) FWIW, my subjective pain ranking of the firearms I own, lowest to highest:

    7.62 Russian < 7.62 Nato < .357 with lighter loads < .357 with full house loads. None of those compare to catching my funny bone on the back of my chair, however.

    Peter Principle on
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    HozHoz Cool Cat Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Here is someone roughly twice your size firing roughly twice the caliber rifle.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hniNWL8EnJc

    Hoz on
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    NoquarNoquar Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I will echo the above. You will probably be just fine as long as you utilize proper technique.

    However, stay away from larger hunting caliber rifles. They pack a punch for your size. I fire a .300 RUM and it will ruin your and my day if you are sloppy.

    Noquar on
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    TaranisTaranis Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Fire your first few rounds from a supported position (ie rest your weapon on a sandbag or wooden block while retaining a firm grip with your non-firing hand).

    You might want to consider firing rounds with the lowest grain available (wolf has some 148 gr rounds, not sure if they come any smaller).

    ransim wrote: »

    This site is pretty terrible. The guy pictured has poor form (he needs to keep his elbows against his body amongst other things) and the tips are inaccurate.

    Taranis on
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    Red_ArremerRed_Arremer Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Thanks, all these replies have been great. I'd love to have my own M14 with a modified stock, but those things are damn expensive. I think that I will test fire the 7.62x54R first. Should I have any problems modifying a stock so it is shorter? What if the stock is wood? Would a reputable gunsmith be able to modify an M14/other rifle to this size? I'm also worried about reaching my left arm to hold the barrel as well.

    Red_Arremer on
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    DocDoc Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited July 2010
    Thanks, all these replies have been great. I'd love to have my own M14 with a modified stock, but those things are damn expensive. I think that I will test fire the 7.62x54R first. Should I have any problems modifying a stock so it is shorter? What if the stock is wood? Would a reputable gunsmith be able to modify an M14/other rifle to this size? I'm also worried about reaching my left arm to hold the barrel as well.

    Considered a Mini-14 or Mini-30? It's a Ruger that looks like a scaled down M14. The Mini-30 fires 7.62x39.

    Doc on
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    ransimransim Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Taranis wrote: »
    ransim wrote: »

    This site is pretty terrible. The guy pictured has poor form (he needs to keep his elbows against his body amongst other things) and the tips are inaccurate.

    Do you even know what you're talking about? Elbow out or elbow in depends entirely on the stock of the gun, the gun, and the person shooting. Elbow out deepens the available pocket for resting the rifle butt.

    Elbow out will give you better recoil control then tucking your elbow in. Tucking in is better if you're shooting in a enclosed or tight space and want to reduce your profile. For just general shooting elbow out is far better.

    But really do whatever is most comfortable to you and feels the most stable. The information in that AK website is basically reproduced in several places.

    http://www.hunter-ed.com/mt/course/ch6_shooting_positions.htm

    But hey if you don't believe me, this is what the USMC has to say:

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/432351/USMC-MCRP-301A-Rifle-Marksmanship
    "The right elbow should be positioned naturally to provide balance to the position and create a pocket in the shoulder for the rifle butt. If the elbow is correctly positioned, it helps to form a pocket in the right shoulder where the rifle butt rests. The exact placement of the elbow varies with each shooting position but shoud remain consistent from shot to shot, ensuring the resistance to recoil remains constant."

    pg 46, see figure 5-15

    In fact, anyone looking for good information on how to shoot I'd check this out.

    ransim on
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    Red_ArremerRed_Arremer Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    The Mini-14's are cool guns and are most likely cheaper, but they're only 10 inches shorter than an actual M14, and I would still have to get it modified. Besides, M14's Rock.

    Red_Arremer on
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    FatsFats Corvallis, ORRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I imagine Taranis does know what he's talking about, yes. I find my elbow goes out proportional to recoil, but I only chicken wing with a 10/12 gauge.

    Edit: That said, I don't think it's going to matter in this situation.

    Fats on
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    DocDoc Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited July 2010
    The Mini-14's are cool guns and are most likely cheaper, but they're only 10 inches shorter than an actual M14, and I would still have to get it modified. Besides, M14's Rock.

    Yes, they do. I have a Springfield M1A National Match.

    It's a large firearm, to the degree that you'll probably be forced to abandon the wood stock and go with some sort of adjustable stock if you want to modify it for regular, comfortable use:

    gpebrm14kit.jpg

    A large portion of the reason I own mine is interest in its history, and doing the full synthetic thing would destroy a lot of that for me.

    Doc on
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    Red_ArremerRed_Arremer Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Doc wrote: »
    The Mini-14's are cool guns and are most likely cheaper, but they're only 10 inches shorter than an actual M14, and I would still have to get it modified. Besides, M14's Rock.

    Yes, they do. I have a Springfield M1A National Match.

    It's a large firearm, to the degree that you'll probably be forced to abandon the wood stock and go with some sort of adjustable stock if you want to modify it for regular, comfortable use:

    gpebrm14kit.jpg

    A large portion of the reason I own mine is interest in its history, and doing the full synthetic thing would destroy a lot of that for me.

    I also think a lot of the "tactical" M14s are ugly and too busy looking, but I don't know of anyone who would retool the wooden stock to be shorter and more comfortable, or how much that would cost, or if even then I would be able to hold the barrel in my left hand. I expect that a good gunsmith could deal with these things? I don't know if I would want to put the money down for a completely customized gun. Hopefully the metal and plastic ones aren't the only option.

    Red_Arremer on
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    DocDoc Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited July 2010
    The part of the stock where your front hand goes is called the "forestock."

    In terms of being able to reach it, it's a matter of shortening the back of the stock enough to reach. You can't do much about the length of the action. You could install a forward vertical grip of some sort, which could help some.

    The reason I suggested a slightly different firearm is that the M14/M1A with a wood stock is just about the most poorly suited rifle that I can think of for what turing into something that you'll wind up happy with. You'll probably have to to take off some of the barrel length and forestock for weight/balance purposes, then take out a big chunk of the rear stock. You say that you don't want to put the money down for a fully customized firearm, but that's really what you are asking for.

    Doc on
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    Red_ArremerRed_Arremer Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Ah, "forestock". But yes, you're right, I guess I would have to have a fully customized rifle. I was thinking that some length off of the butt stock would do the trick, but from what you're saying that sounds a bit too hopeful. Maybe I would just have to be happy with a modular EBR.

    Red_Arremer on
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    FatsFats Corvallis, ORRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Doc wrote: »
    The reason I suggested a slightly different firearm is that the M14/M1A with a wood stock is just about the most poorly suited rifle that I can think of for what turing into something that you'll wind up happy with. You'll probably have to to take off some of the barrel length and forestock for weight/balance purposes, then take out a big chunk of the rear stock. You say that you don't want to put the money down for a fully customized firearm, but that's really what you are asking for.

    They make shorty shotgun stocks, I'd be surprised if there wasn't a short wooden option for the M1A. It'll be a little awkward, sure.

    Honestly I think the OP should get a .22 rifle first, unless he's shooting simply for the experience of having done so.

    Fats on
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    TaranisTaranis Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    ransim wrote: »
    Taranis wrote: »
    ransim wrote: »

    This site is pretty terrible. The guy pictured has poor form (he needs to keep his elbows against his body amongst other things) and the tips are inaccurate.

    Do you even know what you're talking about? Elbow out or elbow in depends entirely on the stock of the gun, the gun, and the person shooting. Elbow out deepens the available pocket for resting the rifle butt.

    Elbow out will give you better recoil control then tucking your elbow in. Tucking in is better if you're shooting in a enclosed or tight space and want to reduce your profile. For just general shooting elbow out is far better.

    But really do whatever is most comfortable to you and feels the most stable. The information in that AK website is basically reproduced in several places.

    http://www.hunter-ed.com/mt/course/ch6_shooting_positions.htm

    But hey if you don't believe me, this is what the USMC has to say:

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/432351/USMC-MCRP-301A-Rifle-Marksmanship
    "The right elbow should be positioned naturally to provide balance to the position and create a pocket in the shoulder for the rifle butt. If the elbow is correctly positioned, it helps to form a pocket in the right shoulder where the rifle butt rests. The exact placement of the elbow varies with each shooting position but shoud remain consistent from shot to shot, ensuring the resistance to recoil remains constant."

    pg 46, see figure 5-15

    In fact, anyone looking for good information on how to shoot I'd check this out.
    000_0036.jpg

    Positioning your elbow out like that is anything but natural, and will yield a less stable firing position. Muscle relaxation is critical for rifle marksmanship, and it cannot be achieved when you chicken wing. Nothing in that marine field manual supports your argument (if you actually read the portion about the standing the position, it states that you should rest your elbow against your ribcage cage when utilizing the above stance). The marine in the figure you referred to has his elbows close to his body.

    I've yet to fire a weapon in any caliber that required me to raise me right elbow in order to compensate for the recoil.
    008.jpg

    Problems with the above picture and pointers on the site regarding the prone position:

    -The heels should be as close to the ground as possible, if not touching the ground.
    -The position of his non-firing hand, while not necessarily incorrect (but certainly less than ideal), should grasp the lower portion of the butt stock, steadying it against the pocket of his shoulder while using bipod legs.
    -Feet and elbows do not have to be kept shoulder width apart. The distance between your elbows should be adjusted in order to keep your shoulders level.
    -Your body should be positioned directly behind your weapon, not at an angle.




    Alt post
    RTFM

    Taranis on
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    FatsFats Corvallis, ORRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Taranis wrote: »
    I've yet to fire a weapon in any caliber that required me to raise me right elbow in order to compensate for the recoil.

    I bought some 3" magnum slugs that made my shoulder go numb.

    Fats on
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    GungHoGungHo Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    ransim wrote: »
    But hey if you don't believe me, this is what the USMC has to say:

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/432351/USMC-MCRP-301A-Rifle-Marksmanship
    I've always been tickled by this manual's instructions on how to properly sight-in on Wilson from Home Improvement.

    However, we always got berated if we chicken-winged. I'd bring my elbow a little off my ribs when I shot a rifle with a straight stock (e.g. DMR, M40) offhand, because it's easier to do what Taranis is describing with a pistol-gripped rifle like a M-16, and even more easy with a vertical foregrip (then you can bring your left elbow in). With a straight stock, at least for me, it's uncomfortable to crane my wrist (and I'm pretty flexible) as much as it'd require for me to keep my elbows attached to my torso, so that ends up fucking with my aim far more than any stability changes added by lowering my elbows.

    The biggest issue is really a matter of form and keeping your arm relaxed so you're aiming steadily, but if your arm is sticking out there and/or if you're not straight behind your weapon, you're making it harder for you to move through a confined area and, worst of all, you're giving your enemy a bigger target.

    At the end of the day, do what works for you.

    GungHo on
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    SeeksSeeks Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Until you get up to African calibers, you should probably be alright. I'd imagine it's more of a center of gravity thing than a mass thing. Full disclosure: In addition to being 6' even, I've also been a fat fuck all my life, so I might be 100% wrong.

    Seeing as how you live in Michigan, you're going to want to check the laws on what you're allowed to do to stocks, and what types of stocks you can buy. Michigan's somewhat notoriously anti-gun. If you can't modify stocks or buy adjustable stocks, consider getting either an AK-47 or some soviet-style AKM / SKS variant, as the stocks tend to be shorter than "American" stocks. I guess Russian guys were a bit smaller, or had shorter arms, or the stocks were built to compensate for winter jackets. This also applies to some Mosin-Nagants, by the way, so if you're looking at 7.62x54R that might be the way to go.

    Keep in mind that if you get a Nagant, you're going to be doing a hell of a lot of cleaning.

    If you're looking into a .308 (7.62x51), definitely try before you buy. A lot of CETME or FAL clones weigh a bit... somewhere around 15-20-ish pounds. That might not seem like a lot, but it definitely is if you're not bracing the weapon in some way. They've also got quite a bark, which makes it seem like they kick harder than they do, even with a heavy-ass rifle.

    You could say similar things about a Nagant, but honestly, I didn't find it to be as harsh... not to mention that for $100 or less (or whatever they're going for these days), it's still a damn good deal.

    Whatever the case, if you can't find anyone with a .308 or 7.62x54R, you can probably find someone with a .30-06. There isn't a huge difference between any of these calibers, so if you can handle a .30-06, you can handle the others.

    Seeks on
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    Red_ArremerRed_Arremer Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Thanks for all the help guys. From what all of you have been saying, I take it that I should be able to fire a 7.62xwhatever rifle. Question answered.

    Red_Arremer on
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    tinwhiskerstinwhiskers Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Just a final comment make sure you hold the stock tight into your shoulder(it actually reduces the recoil you feel), especially if the gun is scoped. My uncle still has the 1/2 circle scar over his eye from when he first shot a rifle and newtons 3rd law decided to say hello.

    tinwhiskers on
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    LearnedHandLearnedHand Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited July 2010
    I'm sorry, but this is the weirdest thread I've ever seen.

    Is this a child writing? I tend to think that it isn't. So...three foot three and sixty pounds? I don't know the preferred term but...I guess it's somebody who is short-statured.

    Well, no problem there, of course. But why do they give their height and weight in metric? At first, I thought it was somebody from Europe. But no. Michigan is the location.

    And then talk about child soldiers as support for the notion that they should be able to fire a gun without difficulties? It's weird. The whole thread is weird.

    And people actually answer this bizarre question, giving their own experiences of firing assault rifles for the lulz. Where are these people living? Mostly the Deep South, one would assume. But this is going on in Michigan too?

    Whole thread is bizarre. And the fact that nobody else pointed out how bizarre this thread is adds to the bizarre nature of it all.

    LearnedHand on
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    ArrathArrath Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Nothing at all bizarre about the thread. If I was the OP's size I'd be asking about it too, since quite a few rifles are as long as the OP is tall.

    Weirdest thing would be the child soldier bit, but it seems to be a valid comparison by way of size and such.

    Arrath on
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    FatsFats Corvallis, ORRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    And people actually answer this bizarre question, giving their own experiences of firing assault rifles for the lulz. Where are these people living? Mostly the Deep South, one would assume. But this is going on in Michigan too?

    That would be a weird assumption, guns are fun everywhere.

    Fats on
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    ZenitramZenitram Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    And Michigan crazies are even more bizarre than Deep South crazies.

    Zenitram on
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    b0bd0db0bd0d Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    The answer is obvious.

    Aliens

    Short. Slim. Confusion about units. Location. They're probably doing research into what human weapons they might have to use in the invasion. I assume that all adults will be killed to reduce the risk of an uprising and children to be used as slaves and/or food. Perhaps they're worried about child armies trying to rise against them and what to know what weapons need to be removed first.

    Yeap. Aliens.

    b0bd0d on
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    ransimransim Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    And people actually answer this bizarre question, giving their own experiences of firing assault rifles for the lulz. Where are these people living? Mostly the Deep South, one would assume. But this is going on in Michigan too?

    Whole thread is bizarre. And the fact that nobody else pointed out how bizarre this thread is adds to the bizarre nature of it all.

    Didn't find it particularly bizarre, maybe the child soldier comparison but even that isn't out of line. Its a fairly normal thing for someone to ask, even barring the size of the person, especially if they've never shot a gun of that type before.

    If anything your assumption that having guns means you're from the deep south is more bizarre to me.

    I live in Virgina but generally go shooting in Maryland. Last I checked neither Northern Virginia or Maryland were considered "deep" south.

    You also realize that there are a lot of gun owners in northern states too, like the Dakotas, Maine, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, or I dunno ALASKA.

    :P

    ransim on
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