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Ian A. Kerr

Tracking Bullet Vapour Trails

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Folks,

I believe that it was in a a Robert Morningstar article that I first read about this.

If memory serves, he claims to have id'd several additional shots in the Z film based on their vapour trails. ( May have been someone other than Morningstar )

I have to admit that I was and I have remained quite skeptical of such claims. That is until I saw a TV program on military snipers the other day wherein an interviewee was describing the feats of Carlos Hathcock, and other renowned wartime snipers and claimed that after missing the first shots at an intended victim because he couldn't see the bullet strikes, a spotter defocused his scope and was then able to track the bullets via their vapour trails, thus allowing him to relay the info to zero in on the target.

My question is to anyone who'd know : - Is it possible to track vapour trails ? And, if so, would it actually be possible to see them on film eg.) the Z film ?

Ian

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Folks,

        I believe that it was in a a Robert Morningstar article that I first read about this.

If memory serves, he claims to have id'd several additional shots in the Z film based on their vapour trails. ( May have been someone other than Morningstar )

        I have to admit that I was and I have remained quite skeptical of such claims. That is until I saw a TV program on military snipers the other day wherein an interviewee was describing the feats of Carlos Hathcock, and other renowned wartime snipers and claimed that after missing the first shots at an intended victim because he couldn't see the bullet strikes, a spotter defocused his scope and was then able to track the bullets via their vapour trails, thus allowing him to relay the info to zero in on the target.

        My question is to anyone who'd know : - Is it possible to track vapour trails ? And, if so, would it actually be possible to see them on film eg.) the Z film ?

Ian

Ian,

This is an old myth that many of the snipers from SE Asian, Central and South American Operations claimed, but it is merely a myth. Their claims came from the ability to detect the vapour trails due to the dense wet air of the Asian jungles and Central and South Amercian Rain forests. A rough trajectory can be seen with high powered rifle bullets in flight utilizing a heat sensory vision enhancement opticals. But this is only a quick observation and does not narrow the trajectory to the point of redirecting fire. I know some work has been done through the DOD with utilizing certain film to capture bullet trajectory, but am not aware of any success.

Al

Edited by Al Carrier

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