Author Topic: What's firing a .50 cal sniper rifle do to snipers' heads?  (Read 2682 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline milnews.ca

  • Info Curator, Baker & Food Slut
  • Directing Staff
  • Army.ca Relic
  • *
  • 449,450
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 22,712
    • MILNEWS.ca-Military News for Canadians
What's firing a .50 cal sniper rifle do to snipers' heads?
« on: December 16, 2019, 21:17:37 »
Seems to be a question the CAF's research arm is trying to find a more detailed answer to -- this from buyandsell.gc.ca ....
Quote
... Requirement: Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC)-Valcartier wishes to acquire a total of 50 units of a commercially available smart mouth guard meeting a well-defined technical specification. In addition, DRDC wished to acquire two storage cases that can be used for storing and charging the mouth guards at the shooting range.

Background: Recently, members of the CAF sniper community have expressed concerns regarding the effects of being repeatedly exposed to recoil from long-range rifles. Specifically, there is a concern that the high rate head kinematic that snipers experience during firing of a 0.50 caliber rifle might have a cumulative negative effect on their health. In order to assess the potential risk of developing a brain injury from the repeated firing of long-range rifles, the head kinematics of Snipers during a typical firing event needs to be characterized.
 
The Weapons Effects and Protection (WEP) section of DRDC recently undertook research work to quantify the head kinematics of snipers during the firing of a 0.50 caliber rifle. Direct measurements of head kinematics were successfully taken on two operators using prototype instrumented mouth guards developed in-house. The prototype mouth guards were custom-built for the operators based on individual teeth imprints obtained from a local dentist. The mouth guards were instrumented with a high-sensitivity 6 DOF accelerometer allowing the measurement of all 3 linear accelerations and all three rotational velocities. Indirect measurements of the head kinematics were also successfully taken from high-speed stereo-videography in order to confirm and validate the readings from the accelerometer. This pilot study allowed DRDC to confirm the applicability of the mouth guard method and to identify the technical requirements for a smart mouth guard to be capable of monitoring the head kinematics of a Sniper during the firing of long-range rifles. These technical requirements include, among other things: the sensors bandwidth, the sampling rate, the recording time and the data filtering scheme.
 
Unfortunately, the internally developed prototype mouth guards use very expensive instrumentation that requires cabling to be routed from the operator's mouth to a data acquisition system. It is not a suitable solution for carrying data collection at a shooting range on multiple shooters.  In order to support a larger study for which 25+ snipers will be monitored throughout an extended period of time, DRDC needs to procure an integrated commercial device that meets the identified performance requirements while being wireless and more affordable.  Also, because the identity of subjects of the future study will be known only shortly before the start of the study, it will be impossible to procure customized mouth guards for everyone. Therefore, DRDC seeks a commercial device that can be fitted by simple thermoforming of the mouth guard on the teeth of the user (Boil&bite process or equivalent). 
 
In the context of future study, DRDC envisions that the mouth guards distributed to a given unit will be stored at their main training facility. The data collection and recharging of the mouth guards will be handled locally at the training facility. Therefore, there is also a requirement for a device which would be used for storage, data download and recharging. Training facilities may not have network connectivity ...
More details in attached bid document.
“The risk of insult is the price of clarity.” -- Roy H. Williams

The words I share here are my own, not those of anyone else or anybody I may be affiliated with.

Tony Prudori
MILNEWS.ca - Twitter

Offline SeaKingTacco

  • Army.ca Fixture
  • *****
  • 159,795
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 5,633
  • Door Gunnery- The Sport of Kings!
Re: What's firing a .50 cal sniper rifle do to snipers' heads?
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2019, 00:27:48 »
I totally mis-read the title of this thread...

Offline CBH99

  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • 31,660
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 899
Re: What's firing a .50 cal sniper rifle do to snipers' heads?
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2019, 00:36:23 »
Think we all did...  ;)
Fortune Favours the Bold...and the Smart.

Wouldn't it be nice to have some Boondock Saints kicking around?

Offline daftandbarmy

  • Army.ca Legend
  • *****
  • 268,455
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 14,679
  • The Older I Get, The Better I Was
Re: What's firing a .50 cal sniper rifle do to snipers' heads?
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2019, 01:06:31 »
I totally mis-read the title of this thread...

Geez... what a bunch of psychos  ::) (joking! joking!) :)
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

Offline CountDC

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 29,260
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 1,570
Re: What's firing a .50 cal sniper rifle do to snipers' heads?
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2019, 08:31:18 »
Yep - first thought was a lot.   :nod:
“non-commissioned officer (NCO)” means a member holding the rank of sergeant or corporal.

QR&O's

Offline Blackadder1916

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 205,875
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 3,132
Re: What's firing a .50 cal sniper rifle do to snipers' heads?
« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2019, 11:57:24 »
Like most I thought the subject matter would be different. But when reading the piece my first thought went to this topic.  If the effects of repeated "mini" concussive actions to the head are concerning to the limited sniper community would there be a similar concern and study if regular combatives training was a compulsory activity army-wide.
Whisky for the gentlemen that like it. And for the gentlemen that don't like it - Whisky.

Offline medicineman

  • Well stuck into my new job and thoroughly enjoying it.
  • Army.ca Fixture
  • *****
  • 151,365
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 7,427
  • In Arduis Fidelis
    • Fed By The Firehose
Re: What's firing a .50 cal sniper rifle do to snipers' heads?
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2019, 12:34:05 »
Like most I thought the subject matter would be different. But when reading the piece my first thought went to this topic.  If the effects of repeated "mini" concussive actions to the head are concerning to the limited sniper community would there be a similar concern and study if regular combatives training was a compulsory activity army-wide.

I seem to recall there being concerns in the early days regarding retinal issues as well due to the concussive effects...and after being around some firing, even with the suppressors on, you really feel that thump.

MM
MM

Remember the basics of Medicine - "Pink is GOOD, Blue is BAD, Air goes in AND out, Blood Goes Round and Round"

I may sound like a pessimist, but I am a realist.

Offline Hamish Seggie

  • Army.ca Legend
  • *****
  • 235,042
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 10,551
  • This is my son Michael, KIA Afghanistan 3 Sep 08
Re: What's firing a .50 cal sniper rifle do to snipers' heads?
« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2019, 16:46:55 »
How about looking into the concussive effect the 84 mm Karl G has on the troops ?
Freedom Isn't Free   "Never Shall I Fail My Brothers"

“Do everything that is necessary and nothing that is not".

Offline Old Sweat

  • Army.ca Fixture
  • *****
  • 223,505
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 7,906
Re: What's firing a .50 cal sniper rifle do to snipers' heads?
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2019, 16:54:35 »
In September 1968 I had the pleasure of forming and commanding the M109 wing. We drew the guns from Base Supply, organized and trained ourselves, and then began to train gunners ranging from TQ3 fresh from the depot up to senior commissioned and non-commissioned members. One of our first tasks was to support a trail run by DRE(S) to measure the blast overpressure from live firing. To put it mildly, the results would have been concerning, if anybody took them seriously.

Offline dangerboy

  • Army.ca Subscriber
  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *
  • 334,304
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 3,011
Re: What's firing a .50 cal sniper rifle do to snipers' heads?
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2019, 17:15:06 »
How about looking into the concussive effect the 84 mm Karl G has on the troops ?

The CAF is looking at that as well as the effects of breaching.

All right, they're on our left, they're on our right, they're in front of us, they're behind us... they can't get away this time.
- Lt Gen Lewis B. Puller, USMC

Offline FJAG

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 232,610
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 2,734
  • Ex Gladio Justicia
    • Google Sites Wolf Riedel
Re: What's firing a .50 cal sniper rifle do to snipers' heads?
« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2019, 17:27:16 »
In September 1968 I had the pleasure of forming and commanding the M109 wing. We drew the guns from Base Supply, organized and trained ourselves, and then began to train gunners ranging from TQ3 fresh from the depot up to senior commissioned and non-commissioned members. One of our first tasks was to support a trail run by DRE(S) to measure the blast overpressure from live firing. To put it mildly, the results would have been concerning, if anybody took them seriously.

During my basic arty Offr course I was the number 3 on one of our M109s during live fire. At one point we layed the gun at an elevation a little higher then usual and I stepped back just before firing. I looked up, through the open hatch in the ceiling to see the muzzle quite clearly (this was in the A1 short barrel days) and as the gun went off I was slammed back into an ammo rack and my helmet liner went flying out of the side hatch. After that I stayed a lot closer to my sight under cover.

There were more than one story of safety officers standing between the guns too closely and being lifted off their feet.

Always makes me wonder if the longer barrels on the M777s keep the blast away from the Nos 2 &3 who are pretty much out in the open.

 :cheers:
Illegitimi non carborundum
Semper debeatis percutis ictu primo
Access my "Allies" and "Mark Winters, CID" book series at:
https://sites.google.com/view/wolfriedel
Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/WolfRiedelAuthor/

Offline Jarnhamar

  • Army.ca Legend
  • *****
  • 319,366
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 11,426
Re: What's firing a .50 cal sniper rifle do to snipers' heads?
« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2019, 18:04:19 »
How about looking into the concussive effect the 84 mm Karl G has on the troops ?

There's firing tables in BGL 381- Ranges and Trg Safety about how many rounds people can be exposed to in a day the problem is no one listens to it. People get laughed at for bringing it up.
There are no wolves on Fenris

Offline daftandbarmy

  • Army.ca Legend
  • *****
  • 268,455
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 14,679
  • The Older I Get, The Better I Was
Re: What's firing a .50 cal sniper rifle do to snipers' heads?
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2019, 18:25:18 »
There's firing tables in BGL 381- Ranges and Trg Safety about how many rounds people can be exposed to in a day the problem is no one listens to it. People get laughed at for bringing it up.

Sometimes, when I was feeling a bit woozy from running the 84mm range I'd take a break by running the grenade range because - Infantry :)
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

Offline medicineman

  • Well stuck into my new job and thoroughly enjoying it.
  • Army.ca Fixture
  • *****
  • 151,365
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 7,427
  • In Arduis Fidelis
    • Fed By The Firehose
Re: What's firing a .50 cal sniper rifle do to snipers' heads?
« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2019, 18:26:07 »
Sometimes, when I was feeling a bit woozy from running the 84mm range I'd take a break by running the grenade range because - Infantry :)

And your sinuses were cleaned out anyway right?

MM
MM

Remember the basics of Medicine - "Pink is GOOD, Blue is BAD, Air goes in AND out, Blood Goes Round and Round"

I may sound like a pessimist, but I am a realist.

Offline dangerboy

  • Army.ca Subscriber
  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *
  • 334,304
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 3,011
Re: What's firing a .50 cal sniper rifle do to snipers' heads?
« Reply #14 on: December 18, 2019, 14:22:20 »
There's firing tables in BGL 381- Ranges and Trg Safety about how many rounds people can be exposed to in a day the problem is no one listens to it. People get laughed at for bringing it up.

Of course those tables were for hearing and have not been updated to include Traumatic brain injuries.
All right, they're on our left, they're on our right, they're in front of us, they're behind us... they can't get away this time.
- Lt Gen Lewis B. Puller, USMC

Offline daftandbarmy

  • Army.ca Legend
  • *****
  • 268,455
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 14,679
  • The Older I Get, The Better I Was
Re: What's firing a .50 cal sniper rifle do to snipers' heads?
« Reply #15 on: December 18, 2019, 17:03:14 »
And your sinuses were cleaned out anyway right?

MM

It was fun experimenting with how close one needed to get to the 84mm when it was firing before the big invisible stick bashing on one's head stopped.

One needed to be pretty close as I recall.
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

Offline ArmyRick

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 26,940
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 1,969
  • What the????
Re: What's firing a .50 cal sniper rifle do to snipers' heads?
« Reply #16 on: December 19, 2019, 05:44:30 »
84mm. Yup, read the details. A guy named Craig Hood and I were A/RSO (Bay NCOs) for the 84mm ranges, we put through 2 platoons of candidates about 40 each in one day. My head was fine no problems, now pass me that jar of peanut butter before I pour it in my webbing while on leave running to slow down for something.
M'eh

Offline stoker dave

  • New Member
  • **
  • 3,585
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 49
Re: What's firing a .50 cal sniper rifle do to snipers' heads?
« Reply #17 on: December 19, 2019, 11:39:57 »
There's firing tables in BGL 381- Ranges and Trg Safety about how many rounds people can be exposed to in a day the problem is no one listens to it. People get laughed at for bringing it up.

OK, I know nothing about firing weapons and I have no business in this thread.

But that statement above really sets me off.  You have safety procedures in place for a reason.  If you are choosing to (or being directed to) ignore documented safety procedures that is a failure of discipline and a failure of leadership.

It is that kind of attitude - choosing which regulations to obey and which not to - that leads to all kinds of problems.

For reference, I was in the navy.  Now I work at a construction site.  If someone doesn't follow safety procedures (or tells others to ignore safety procedures) they are taken off the site immediately and will likely be fired. 

I know this comes across as pretty heavy handed and for that I apologize.  Without drifting too far off the original topic, can someone enlighten me on this?