Definition of "tactical"

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by sscoyote, Jun 9, 2004.

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  1. sscoyote

    sscoyote Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2003
    I've often wondered how the word tactical applies to LR shooting or sniping. I looked it up in Websters and the technical def. of tactic (noun form) is--a device or expedient for achieving a goal, or the technique or science of gaining objectives. Technically wouldn't this encompass all forms of shooting? How does LR shooting or sniping differ regarding the use of the word, and can LR shooting/hunting be classified as "tactical"?
  2. Nighthawk

    Nighthawk Well-Known Member

    Mar 2, 2002
    I don't think the word "tactical" typically applies to LR hunting. Shooting I think yes depending on how your going about it. For hunting I think that most people will use a heavy custom rifle. They don't have to concern themselves with being secret. I took this out of a dictionary... "Of, relating to, used in, or involving military or naval operations that are smaller, closer to base, and of less long-term significance than strategic operations."
  3. Dave King

    Dave King Well-Known Member

    May 3, 2001

    I'll offer that some of the rifles used for LR hunting fall into the realm of what is considered a "tactical" rifle. My rifles, for the most part, would be considered "tactical" in that they are specifically "hardened" for rough use and "abuse". These rifles do not sport tight match chambers, are not tight necked and have been beefed up in areas known to fail during rough use. I could easily ship my 308 Win to a Marine sniper in Iraq and he/she would probably be quite comfortable with it as to durability and suitability to task.

    I also often hunt in a fashion modeled on a more tactical background. Sand sock as a rear rest (always carried attached to my hunting "purse" (pack)). Bipod front rest, shoot from the prone position, positioned for a commanding view of a large area but not skylighted or landlocked. I expect to make a killing shot with the first round and am none too pleased to need a second shot.

    I do not expect benchrest precision from my rifles SUB .5 MOA being adequate (many of my rifles will shoot in the .25 MOA area on a good day). I do however expect 1 MOA accuracy under most conditions and my hunting method (the more tactical model) allows me to achieve this easily. The drawback to my method is that I'm limited to about 1000 yards (far far edge) and am more comfortable with a 650 to 700 yard outer limit.

    Does this help a bit???
  4. chris matthews

    chris matthews Well-Known Member

    May 14, 2001
    I think Dave and Nighthawk are both right- let me explain.
    Def of tactical-device or technique to gain an objective but typically use in military operations to paraphase both definitions.
    Tactical does apply to LR hunting because you use devices and/ or techniques to gain an objective ie the 6x6 bull across the meadow bugling his head off. This would be taking the definition in it's simplest form.
    Whether we like it or not military operations (read sniping) is the hunting of humans, the most dangerous game of all.
    So in this sense tactical does apply to hunting. Especially with hunters like Dave and myself- our gear and style of hunting reflects military "tactics."
    However like Nighthawk mentioned the word "tactical" has become synonamous with the military. But you do see the regular hunting shows using catch phrases like "deer tactics" or "tactics for toms."
    Clear as Alberta muskeg, eh?
  5. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I guess I'll chime in here.. I like to think of tactical as applied to a rifle as a specified weapon for a specified purpose.. I shy away from saying the word sniper when talking about my rifles unless I am in company that I know and understands what I mean... My weapons are tactical weapons used for hunting... I have ( with the help of Chris ) defined and applied my intended uses into building a rifle for that purpose... so you can say tactics were applied... can a pellet gun be a tactical weapon .. absolutly if your inteded target are rats or somthing there of, and you have a pellet rifle with applied accesories to help you eliminate or kill your intended target...

    I think I am saying what I mean....

    In most individuals eyes tactical means "military or LE" for killing bad guys or the enemy.. but I like to think of tactical as a specific weapon for a specific purpose following the criteria setforth when building that weapon...
    clear as mud??!!
  6. Duff

    Duff Well-Known Member

    Apr 15, 2004
    Oh god, I love this word! [​IMG] To me, tactical is more about the person and state of mind-not the rifle. Sure some equipment is better suited or specifically designed for rough-military use. But to me, a trained expert with a shiney lever action is probably more "tactical" then the wanna be with a $3500.00 smoke pole. Better equipment certainly helps, but it's more about how you get the job done.
  7. D.P.

    D.P. Well-Known Member

    May 21, 2004
    Duff well said
    Not my quote but.
    An average shooter with superior tactics will beat a superior shoter with average tactics???!!!
  8. chessman

    chessman Well-Known Member

    Apr 30, 2004
    I Like to joke with friends that tactical means different things to different people. When buying "Tactical" items the word seems to mean black, heavy, and expensive.
  9. sscoyote

    sscoyote Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2003
    Pretty good Chessman-- i like that.

    Sounds like the word has a very loose or broad meaning when it comes to hunting/shooting. This is kinda what i've figured. Thks all