This is such a powerful episode. Very heavy! I remembered it (from seeing it when it was originally on), after I watched it again last week. But, the videotape scene was still a surprise. I knew what was coming, but still didn't prepare me for it. Even watching it again, I jump! It is such a compelling episode, but hard to watch at the same time. Your heart just aches for Magnum, can't imagine going through that. Have to say that Tom Selleck is one of the most incredible actors. No one can cry like he can!
Just a few things I am puzzled about though. The report Magnum finds in Buck's house says transport to Ile Debonnevie. I am assuming that is in France? Is it? I tried to google it to find the area, but nothing came up. My French and French geography are lacking, but I am wondering if that is a real place? If it was France, Magnum took a boat from Hawaii to France?? Was he in Hawaii when he got the boat? That area didn't quite look like Hawaiian geography?
I was also wondering what Magnum was writing on the ammo box.
I guess he was trying to figure out the maximum capability of his gun? Not a weapons expert either.
Magnum is shooting a Steyr SSG 69, Model P 1 made in Austria, and is an very accurate rifle used by police and military around the world as their go-to sniper rifle. It fires the 7.62 x 51 NATO round, civilian version is the 308. He already knows the ballistics for a 308 caliber, 168 grn bullet, muzzle velocity +/- 2600 fps. So if he is sighted in say at 300 yards, he knows how much the bullet will drop at 400 yards, 500 yards, 800 yards...whatever. And he knows how high it will shoot at say, 200 yards. Hawaii can be windy and he has his data on wind drift. Figuring wind drift, the velocity and direction at various ranges is what separates the really good marksmen from everyone else. Anyway, his scope is probably a Kahles 6x with mil dots or mil marks. Usually there is a dot every 5 mils and a small line every 10 mils. You look through the scope and note the number of mils that is bracketing your target. Then you input into the formula a known height, same range and multiply x 1000 and you get your distance to the target. A human, belt to head, is very close to 36" so this becomes your known height. This is how it was done in Vietnam before laser range finders that are used today. At longer ranges the trajectory is pretty radical. If he was thought his target was 880 yards, as an example, and it actually was only 800 yards, his bullet would impact about 42" higher than his point of aim! If he is sighted in at 300 yards and his target was 100 or 200 yards he would only have to hold a few inches low and past 300, say to 350, he would hold on the head to hit the torso. Past that, you have to know the range. Snipers will use known heights on buildings, cars, tanks or perhaps the person to get that "known height or width". Today's snipers are a team, with a spotter and a laser range finder on a spotting scope. They'll be able to see the air disturbance caused by the bullet and call the shot so the rifleman can adjust his aim. I believe the longest" confirmed" is about 2500 meters, Afganistan, by a Canadian soldier, Rob Furlong, using a 408 Cheytac. The round Magnum was using is effective to perhaps 1000 yards. In any case, if he took the shot that burlap on his muzzle would have done nothing but cause him to miss. Had he used a suppressor his round would have to be subsonic and that would have ruled out any long range shot.