The Nation has a slightly different take on the “fake bullets” headline from TNN. It claims that the snipers “seven hours of questioning yesterday, two Army marksmen [PPT: that's the political bias of The Nation, using the Army brass terminology for the snipers who didn't get deployed but really did] dispatched during the political unrest of 2010 insisted they had used only rubber bullets when firing at approaching militant protesters…”.
Further, the claim was that they “used M-16 assault rifles and rubber bullets against militant red shirts who were trying to attack the security forces. They said the scope in a photo taken during their operation belonged to a BB gun, and not an assault rifle.”
PPT won’t get into the debate on who they claim to have been firing on. However, we do want to question the rubber bullets and BB gun scope claims, which appear to be only in The Nation.
“Rubber bullets”: we are not ballistics specialists, but we are skeptical. For a start, rather like TNN, the Bangkok Post refers to “blanks.” We will look at “rubber bullets” because claims like this one often grow to legend status especially amongst those who want to believe the Army. As far as we can tell, the claim is untrue for M-16s apparently require muzzle adapters to fire “rubber bullets” (see Box 1.5 9n this PDF) or the bullets have an extremely short range making any kind f scope unnecessary. If readers know more, let us know. At this point,we are filing this claim under “Lie.”
BB gun scope: Again, we are not experts, but a look at a few scopes for BB/air guns on the web suggests that to gun dopes like us, a scope’s a scope, and when properly fixed and sighted, a scope assists in targetting. Filed under “Trying to confuse.”
We’d like to hear more from people with more knowledge on this.