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Please explain (from "The Patriot") "Aim small, miss small" (vanity)
2/4/04 | self

Posted on 02/04/2003 8:24:07 AM PST by rudy45

I saw the movie Sunday night on TBS. Early in the movie, Benjamin Taylor (the Gibson character) enlists his two younger sons to rescue Gabriel (the oldest son and Heath Ledger character). As they wait in ambush, Taylor asks the sons to repeat what he had taught them about shooting. They reply, "Aim small, miss small."

What does this phrase mean? Thanks.


TOPICS: TV/Movies
KEYWORDS: banglist; copernicus5
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1 posted on 02/04/2003 8:24:07 AM PST by rudy45
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To: rudy45
Translation: Aim for a small spot on your target, like a uniform button. Even if you miss that tiny spot, you still hit the target.
2 posted on 02/04/2003 8:26:50 AM PST by Charles Martel
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To: rudy45
Normally when shooting one picks a sub-target on their main target. I.E. you don't shoot at a man, you shoot at a button on his shirt. In engineering-speak, you want to make the error signal as small as possible.

Get Thee to the Range !!

3 posted on 02/04/2003 8:27:51 AM PST by AdamSelene235
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To: rudy45
What he said!
4 posted on 02/04/2003 8:28:25 AM PST by sean327
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To: rudy45
One interpretation is here:

"Aim Small - Miss Small": A Lesson In Proactive Goal Setting
5 posted on 02/04/2003 8:29:19 AM PST by TomGuy
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To: rudy45
Pick a small point on your target and aim for that. If you aim at a covey of quail, you will probably miss them all. If you aim at one bird in the covey, you have a much better chance of connecting.
6 posted on 02/04/2003 8:29:32 AM PST by E. Pluribus Unum
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To: rudy45
Benjamin Taylor (the Gibson character)

That was Benjamin Martin...

7 posted on 02/04/2003 8:30:05 AM PST by krb (the statement on the other side of ths tagline is false)
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To: rudy45
Careful, deliberate marksmanship ensures that a missed shot will be closer to the point of aim than a hasty and erratic discharge.

'Aim Small, Miss Small' might mean the difference between a hit through the head, and a hit through the neck ... both of which bring the desired result.

'Aim Small, Miss Small' is the opposite of 'Spray And Pray'.

8 posted on 02/04/2003 8:30:25 AM PST by The KG9 Kid
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To: rudy45
It means that if you take your time and aim accurately at a small area of the target, like the bullseye on a paper target ("aim Small"), then any inaccurate shot will obviously not hit the bullseye, but chances are it will still hit somewhere on the intended target ("miss small").
9 posted on 02/04/2003 8:31:02 AM PST by VMI70
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To: rudy45
you want to make the error signal as small as possible.

Correction...you wish to make error as small as possible and the err. sig. as large as possible....

Many nitpickers lurking here.

10 posted on 02/04/2003 8:39:13 AM PST by AdamSelene235
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To: *bang_list
(small) bang
11 posted on 02/04/2003 8:44:11 AM PST by Atlas Sneezed
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To: TomGuy
That was a great article!
12 posted on 02/04/2003 8:45:24 AM PST by cyborg
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Of course, the characters in the movie are firing with smooth-bore muskets. Most were not even equipped with gunsights, as it was an exercise in futility. Not that this stopped the movie from showing Mad Max firing from the hip, while running, and bringing down multiple targets crouching behind cover in the middle of a forest. Ah, Hollywood.
13 posted on 02/04/2003 8:47:03 AM PST by Calvin Coolidge
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To: TomGuy
Excellent link. Thanks.
14 posted on 02/04/2003 8:50:50 AM PST by Bob
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To: AdamSelene235
Yea! Go thou and become proficient!
15 posted on 02/04/2003 8:51:12 AM PST by dljordan
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To: Calvin Coolidge
I especially liked some of the ridiculously long range shots with pistols...those were a hoot.

"The Patriot" was as historically inaccurate as any supposed historical picture of the last 10 years, but because it was "politically correct" from the FR point of view, it usually gets a free pass around here.
16 posted on 02/04/2003 8:52:25 AM PST by John H K
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To: John H K
No movie is free from poetic license. IT'S A MOVIE. Sheesh... I'm going to see Gods and Generals, but I know not everything is going to be accurate. You think ANY movie is really accurate on any point?

Some people are never satisfied.
17 posted on 02/04/2003 8:55:42 AM PST by cyborg
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To: Calvin Coolidge
Is there any chance that some of these guys had rifled muskets? I know that Dan Morgan's riflemen had rifled muskets and were picked marksmen. I know a "Kentucky" rifle when I see one, but is there any reason that you couldn't fit a rifled barrel to a musket?

I'm not a coal-burner, but it seems possible to me.

18 posted on 02/04/2003 9:02:25 AM PST by AnAmericanMother (. . . "smokeless" powder is dirty enough for me, thank you . . .)
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To: TomGuy
bump read later
19 posted on 02/04/2003 9:04:09 AM PST by Jason_b
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To: cyborg
Maybe it's some kinda movie lingo too. Gibson seems like a swell guy, but that film, frankly, stinks.

Oh, I know I'm gonna get it now....

20 posted on 02/04/2003 9:04:27 AM PST by onedoug
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To: onedoug
Maybe it's me, but I liked it and saw nothing wrong.
21 posted on 02/04/2003 9:07:21 AM PST by cyborg
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To: cyborg
There's a difference between pedantic "that guy's uniform should have had 6 buttons, not five" and the sort of rampant, egregious fabrications "The Patriot" engaged in.

What basically offends me is that The Patriot PRETENDED to be historically accurate; they made a big deal of having hired historical consultants so that they could say they did; then then proceeded to ignore them totally.

I mean, the central incident of the movie (the church burning) was totally and completely invented out of whole cloth. That's not trivial.
22 posted on 02/04/2003 9:11:59 AM PST by John H K
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To: cyborg
Could you tell us where "SHEETS" BYRD (IF) he shows up. (reason: not to spend money to enrich ted turners projects)
23 posted on 02/04/2003 9:15:23 AM PST by skinkinthegrass (Just be because your paranoid,doesn't mean they aren't out to get you. :)
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To: onedoug
There's no accounting for taste. Try to watch the DVD version with a surround sound capable DVD and TV.

The sound effects in the movie are just unbelievable. I saw one rating site that listed the movie's audio effects as being in the top five of all.

The sounds of the cannon shots are done in such a way that you can follow its audio trajectory across the room you are viewing the movie in , totally cool.
24 posted on 02/04/2003 9:15:54 AM PST by UB355
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To: John H K
I agree. I just sw it for the first time over the weekend, and was amazed not only by its historical inaccuracy, but also its disconnection from reality in terms of how the weapons of the day were portrayed and employed.

Utterly and completely ridiculous. That movie is total, 100% Hollywood crapola. That its producers even hinted that it was in any way historically honest, accurate, or relevant is laughable.

25 posted on 02/04/2003 9:20:27 AM PST by Sicon
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To: John H K
I stopped watching history movies for accuracy. It kills enjoying the movie. Although I never really cared for old war movies, esp. old slave movies like Roots.
26 posted on 02/04/2003 9:21:38 AM PST by cyborg
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To: Calvin Coolidge
Powder..patch..Ball FIRE!

Of course, the characters in the movie are firing with smooth-bore muskets. Most were not even equipped with gunsights, as it was an exercise in futility

I shoot regularly with a group of men who use smoothbore flintlocks. They can hit what they want out to 125yds without a problem with great regularity

Also 15-25 yds with a flintlock/caplock pistol and hitting a knockdown squirrel target 6 out of 6 times is not uncommon for the guys who practice.

These guys are hobbyists, having to depend on your weapons for your life helps you be dedicated in your practice. Colonists HAD to be good.

27 posted on 02/04/2003 9:21:56 AM PST by BallandPowder (Muzzleloaders have the longest ramrods!)
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To: AnAmericanMother
I'm not entirely positive that I am correct, but I think that the term "musket" implies a reasonably large amount of windage between the projectile and the barrel. With a musket you can essentially drop the projectile down the barrel. A rifle, on the other hand, has rifling, and, for the rifling to work, the projectile must fit tightly against the barrel. For a Long Rifle (whether called Kentucky or Pennsylvania), the ball must be forced down the barrel. The rate-of-fire is slow, whereas, with a musket, because the ball moves more easily, the rate-of-fire is much faster, perhaps twice as fast as that of the rifle.

One downside is that the ball to some extent carooms its way out of the musket, decreasing its accuracy. And, of course, with the rifle, the angular momentum of the spinning ball helps to maintain accuracy.

The rifle-musket was used in the War of Northern Aggression (the Third War of Independence). It was made possible by the development of the Minie Ball (more properly, the Minie Bullet). The Minie ball, of course, is conical with a hollow base. The projectile does not have to forced down the barrel, and it has a hollow base. This base expands when the weapon is fired, causing the base to expand and the projectile to engage the rifling of the barrel. The rifle-musket, then, has roughly the same rate-of-fire as the musket with greatly increased accuracy. The Minie bullet was invented in the 1840s, I believe.

With black powder the barrel fouls rapidly, so that even with a musket, the ball must be rammed home. Loading a long rifle becomes even more difficult with powder foully.

28 posted on 02/04/2003 9:24:17 AM PST by bagman
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To: Calvin Coolidge
Actually, the colonists did not have the smoothbore military muskets. They had rifled barrels, hint; Kentucky/Pennsylvanian/Virginian RIFLES. The accuracy of these rifles were a serious threat to the British. The militia were used as marksmen and snipers infront of the regular army, who were using the Charleville .65cal smoothbore. The British were using the Brown Bess .75 (3/4 of an inch of lead at you) smoothbore, which was far more less accurate than the Charleville
29 posted on 02/04/2003 9:24:51 AM PST by Zavien Doombringer
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To: cyborg
I stopped watching history movies for accuracy. It kills enjoying the movie.

My thoughts exactly. I don't watch the movies for historical accuracy, at least most of the time.

30 posted on 02/04/2003 9:25:19 AM PST by Just another Joe
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To: AnAmericanMother
The answer is, a rifle is a rifle, a musket is a musket. Most Muskets were used by the military, rifles were used for hunting. To answer your question, yes, a rifle barrel can be fit to any stock, however the touch hole for a flintlock must line up correctly, or it will not fire. A Cap-lock however, needs to make sure the hammer contacts the nipple correctly.
31 posted on 02/04/2003 9:30:22 AM PST by Zavien Doombringer
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To: Sicon
The "Patriot" is a composite of "The Swamp Fox" Francis Marion and Thomas Middleton.

What is real about the movie is the South Carolina lowcountry swamps that Marion and Middleton waged their guerilla war out of. The movie was shot there. And Marion in particular is still revered there

It's also where I grew up.

Historical accuracy aside, I loved the movie. Brought back a lot of memories of my childhood in the SC lowcountry.
32 posted on 02/04/2003 9:30:55 AM PST by ganeshpuri89
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To: Calvin Coolidge
I beg to differ. The Kentucky rifle that was used by many American militia was rifled (hence the name "rifle"). Accuracy left much to be desired with the maximum accuracy of about 2 to 4 MOA (minutes of accuracy, it equates to about 2-4" from point of aim at 100 yards or 4-8" at 200 yards). Not great, but generally good enough to hit a man sized target at 200 yards.

The muskets had horrible accuracy. At best maybe 24 MOA (that's TWO FEET from point of aim at 100 yards). That is why the opposing sides walked right up to each other shoulder to shoulder and fired en masse. They are also much cheaper to manufacture.

P.S. I post most of this for those who may not be familiar with guns.
33 posted on 02/04/2003 9:32:57 AM PST by Blood of Tyrants (Even if the government took all your earnings, you wouldn’t be, in its eyes, a slave)
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To: BallandPowder
What size target at 125 yards?

I've heard National Park Rangers give the effective range of the Brown Bess (standard British musket of the American Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars) has being 40 yards. I've also heard of testing by the British army which claimed that a man-sized target could be hit with some regularity at 100 yards.

I've never fired a smoothbore musket and defer to your experience, but it is important to give a little more information regarding the target size.

34 posted on 02/04/2003 9:34:49 AM PST by bagman
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To: onedoug
That's OK Doug - you can dislike it if you want. :-) Everybody has their own tastes. Personally, I liked it, if only for the fact that Mel Gibson wanted to make a movie about the Revolutionary War. We don't have enough movies about our fight for independence. And this one - however inaccurate - at least bases some of the story (very loosely) in fact. I watched it again recently after having seen it only once, and found I enjoyed it more than the first time.
35 posted on 02/04/2003 9:35:00 AM PST by sneakers
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To: John H K
Again you are wrong...The baseline in history is accurate, though the characters are fictitious. The final battle accuratley depicts the Battle of Cowpens, before the long chase behind Cornwallis to Yorktown. Study your U.S. History...Morgans Militia were depicted as the frontline militia in Cowpens, and the battle tactics were true to form. Re-enactors from the Virginia 7th regiment of the continental line were there as extras.
36 posted on 02/04/2003 9:35:21 AM PST by Zavien Doombringer
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To: John H K
I beg to differ and yet am in agreement. The Church burning was hollywood. The British revered God and would not stoop to burning a church, courthouse maybe, but not a church. The Historic accuracy follows the correct timeline of the revolution. You don't see all of the battles, but the movie is about the struggles of a father to make the world around his family safe, and what he had to do to keep it together.
37 posted on 02/04/2003 9:41:54 AM PST by Zavien Doombringer
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To: bagman
Powder..patch..Ball Fire!

Target size at 125 yds? How about a dinner plate. We use a knockdown target with a 10" plate in the kill zone of a bison sillouette. If you don't get the hit the plate doesn't go down.

Also you must remeber that smoothbore muskets were anywhere from 58 to 76 caliber roundball or anywhere from double to triple the size of a 45 caliber wadcutter. That much lead running at over 800 ftpersec would hit a man and could rip his arm or leg most of the way off of his body...

38 posted on 02/04/2003 9:42:32 AM PST by BallandPowder (Muzzleloaders have the longest ramrods!)
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To: rudy45
In shooting, the focus is on the front sight. The rear sight and the target will be out of focus. When a person is shooting, there is a wobble zone that has to be dealt with. With practice and the development of muscle memory, good shooters can place the front sight on the target faster than novices and their wobble zone will be smaller. When a person is trying to shoot fast, sometimes the front sight anywhere on the target is acceptable but it has to be a trade off between speed and accuracy. Picking out a small area on a target will slow down a hurried aim.
39 posted on 02/04/2003 9:44:33 AM PST by Shooter 2.5
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To: bagman
Powder..patch..Ball FIRE!

40 yds... I guarantee that you wouldn't want to face a Brown Bess at 40 yds...

40 posted on 02/04/2003 9:45:07 AM PST by BallandPowder (Muzzleloaders have the longest ramrods!)
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To: BallandPowder
I guarantee that I don't want to face a BB gun at 10 ft.

My family motto starts "He who fights and runs away...."

41 posted on 02/04/2003 9:47:20 AM PST by bagman
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To: Zavien Doombringer
Powder..patch..Ball FIRE!

Zavien Doombringer signed up 2003-02-04 Newbie huh?

Militia used what they owned.

42 posted on 02/04/2003 9:48:16 AM PST by BallandPowder (Muzzleloaders have the longest ramrods!)
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To: John H K
The Patriot" was as historically inaccurate as any supposed historical picture of the last 10 years, but because it was "politically correct" from the FR point of view, it usually gets a free pass around here.

Au contraire John H K. Revisit the various FR threads posted around the movie's initial release (July 2001). There were hundreds of replys that argued against the movie's historial accuracy.


43 posted on 02/04/2003 9:54:33 AM PST by Stand Watch Listen
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To: bagman
powder..patch..Ball FIRE!

I'm not entirely positive that I am correct, but I think that the term "musket" implies a reasonably large amount of windage between the projectile and the barrel

You are not correct.
When loading ANY muzzleloader the correct procedure is Powder.. Patch (wrapped around the ball)..Ball. This is then rammed down the barrel with the ramrod. Patches are lubricated and their purpose is to provide a gas/friction fit between the barrel walls and the ball.

44 posted on 02/04/2003 9:57:17 AM PST by BallandPowder (Muzzleloaders have the longest ramrods!)
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To: Calvin Coolidge
Yeah, I know what you mean. A friend of mine told me that he really enjoyed the movie "Predator" w/ Arnold Schwarzeneggar but it was ruined for him at the end. Acoording to him, nobody could outrun and survive a small nuclear blast by jumping off a cliff into a lake!

(nevermind that the entire movie dealt with an 8 foot tall semi-invisible, crab-faced alien with dayglow green blood...)

Ya'll need to get a life. It's a MOVIE!

45 posted on 02/04/2003 10:01:23 AM PST by Hatteras
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To: cyborg
You said...."No movie is free from poetic license. IT'S A MOVIE. Sheesh... I'm going to see Gods and Generals, but I know not everything is going to be accurate. You think ANY movie is really accurate on any point? "

I say..."There is one movie that I can say is absolutely correct...BAMBI VS GODZILLA!!!!" Guess who wins. This is a real movie. It played for 3 minutes.

46 posted on 02/04/2003 10:20:49 AM PST by Radioactive
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To: BallandPowder
To here, yes and?
47 posted on 02/04/2003 10:46:57 AM PST by Zavien Doombringer
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To: Zavien Doombringer
Just my two cents: The Church burning was pure Hollywood, and I don't like it in the movie. However, there was a sort-of similiar incident in South Carolina I believe where some of the King's Friends did burn a barn with the horses in it. That was considered pretty horrific. I wonder if it may have been that incident which they dramatized for the movie. As for the King's soldiers revering churches and not defiling them- I've heard that they did defile many churches during the occupation of Boston, some used for stables, some used for prisons, the pews burned for firewood, and some burned. This from the Micheal Medved First Person History tape series.
48 posted on 02/04/2003 10:50:49 AM PST by Red Boots
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To: Blood of Tyrants
I shoot a .40 rifled flintlock at clay birds at 50 yards with no problem. There is no doubt a good flintlock rifle could hit a man at 200 - 300 yards, once you have calculated the bullet's drop for that range.
49 posted on 02/04/2003 10:53:00 AM PST by TexasRepublic
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To: TexasRepublic
I shoot a .50cal Flint, I love it... I seem to have good accuracy at 100 yds, after that, I am pretty much off of the paper. I can shoot a hanging clay pidgeon at 75yds, but I am still getting the feel, give me a few more years :)
50 posted on 02/04/2003 11:10:08 AM PST by Zavien Doombringer
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