Darry Barry confirms the wingnut’s deepest suspicions.
[Obama’s] goal, in his acceptance speech, will be to win over the undecided voters — the people who are unsure of what he really stands for, or who have received emailed rumors that he is a Muslim, or a socialist, or a vampire, or a lesbian. His goal will be to show, with no disrespect to the Muslim socialist vampire lesbian community, that he is a regular person just like you, except he has Vision and Leadership. After that, he will lay out his specific policies for building a brighter future. Then he will turn into a bat.
While Barry’s humor is always welcome, the possible assassination attempt on Obama by apparent meth head white supremacist wingnuts is unsettling.
The TimesOnline UK has a video interview with Nathan Johnson, one of the arrested, saying the others told him of their plan to assassinate Obama from on high with a .22-250 rifle sighted at 750 yards, a shot a skilled marksman could pull off. He also contradicted himself a few times. Can’t imagine why an alleged outlaw biker would inform on compatriots unless he was up on serious charges and wanted to cut a deal. Which means he could be making stuff up. Or not.
Bob asked me some questions about the 22-250 in preparation for this post. It’s a small, fast round designed for varmints.
Just to be clear, 750 yards would be a hell of a shot. Ballistics are a funny thing, but to give you an example, a decent 45-grain bullet fired at 4100 fps would drop 63 inches over 600 yards (the most my ballistics calculator will handle)– more than five feet– and hit the target with a little over 200 ft-lbs. OTOH, a 90-grain hollow point boat tail is twice as heavy, would move at just over half the speed, would drop 103 inches, and hit its target with 550 ft-lbs– and it would mushroom on impact, a very deadly combination.
With a gun zeroed at 750 yards, hand-loaded ammunition, predictable wind, and lots of practice by a skilled marksman, the shot is not impossible. But most people (including me) couldn’t do it, it takes a special stillness– ironically enough, somewhat akin to meditation.
None of this is surprising.
Nice run down, DJ, but the bottom line remains that a .22 223/250 just does not have much of a punch to begin with, let alone beyond seventy-five or a hundred yards. And we’ve known this since Nam. I’ve heard stories from both hunters and veterans of earlier wars (1912, WWI, WWII, Korea) of thousand yard kills with a fifty cal (Valdez is Coming!), but never gave ’em much credibility. I’ve got a couple of deer at five hundred yards with my old Savage (300, model 99G revolving), and a black bear at at three hundred or so, but I think they were as lucky as skillful. I have, would, never try for anything bigger – elk, moose, grizzly – at more than three hundred, and the human body, especially a head shot (crucial to such an attempt), is such an incredibly small target…
I think it’s all media bullshit.
According to Wiki, the record is a mile and a half with a .50 caliber sniper rifle– at the high altitudes of Afghanistan by a Canadian sniper. That’s another variable: at high altitude (and Denver is the “mile high city”) a bullet has less friction, travels farther, and loses less momentum. My calculator assumes the bullet was fired at sea level.
Which of course shows that a ballistics calculator is useful for estimates, but the only real way to know what a bullet will do in the field is practice, practice, practice.
BTW, at that range, a person would be nuts to try a head shot. Like a jackrabbit (at significantly closer range): aim for the body mass, rely on the transferrence of momentum on impact.
(I suspect the bullets used in Vietnam, like all modern military bullets, were Full Metal Jacket, which won’t mushroom on impact, they just pass right on through. A hollow point or soft point, on the other hand, transfers far more of the bullet’s momentum to the target.)
I grant you it’s an unlikely plan. There aren’t a lot of people who could make that shot. I do have a friend, a former Olympic shooter, who regularly hits a 2-foot disk at 1,000 yards with a .300 Weatherby out at the range, but I can’t even see the damn thing with the scope I’ve got. His scope cost more than most of my rifles put together.