Fundamentals for Lazing

Here are some insights for yielding a range measurement when initially it appears you cannot, as well as how to stretch your ranging to the maximum distance possible. 1. Aim the laser as precisely and solidly as your rifle. Not only is it essential that you laze the correct object, but I've found that steadying the laser increases the likelihood that enough light is reflected for the sensor to get a reading. Optical depth of field for a distant target can visually confuse your aim, so laze...

Special Sniping Environments

America's War on Terror finds U.S. troops combating foes in a variety of environments from Iraq's parched western desert to Afghanistan's Hindu Kush mountains and the steamy jungles of the Philippines. Were war to erupt on the Korean Peninsula, snow and cold would be components of fighting there. Each of these terrains and climates offers such distinct challenges and opportunities that it's worth taking a closer look at how they affect sniping.

UpDown Compensation The Quick

I cannot take credit for inventing this brilliant means of up down compensation since I picked it up from the FBI. But their formula wasn't mature, and it took some work to refine it, so it no longer can be called the FBI Technique, either. I've dubbed it quick fix because you can calculate it all in your head and adjust your scope especially a BDC about as quick as it took you to read this sentence. It's not micrometer-precise, but it's so fast that it's really deadly. Captain McBride would be...

Different Mounts and Rings

A mount consists of two components the squarish base that attaches to the receiver, and the rings, which hold die scope to this base. The most often encountered base on U.S. military sniper rifles is the Picatinny rail, military standard 1913, intended to accommodate a variety of optics, lights, lasers, and night vision devices. All major base and ring manufacturers have modified their products to be compatible with this rugged but very precisely designed mount. For example, the Nightforce...

The Electrical Circuit Gate

All you're really doing is setting up an electrical circuit with a gate that you close mechanically with your rifle bullet. This gate is a gap in the circuit between a battery and an electrical blasting cap. This blasting cap, in turn, is inserted in the first of a series of claymore mines. The other claymores are linked together by det cord, each of which has a nonelectric blasting cap crimped at each end. By setting it up this way, when the first claymore goes, the others instantly follow....

Drop from yd zero

-66.9 -58.7 -65.6 -63.6 -58.8 -66.8 -62.2 -72.3 -66.8 Sierra's renowned BTHP MatchKing bullet. within 2 10 of a grain, and jacket wall concentricity has a fine .0003 of an inch maximum tolerance. Brown helped me put to rest one myth about this bullet. 'The hollowpoint design is a byproduct of our production process, not for expansion upon impact, he said. Formed jackets are fitted into a precision die upside down the lead is pressed in at a carefully controlled rate until all but an exact,...

Bipods

More than any other accessory, the bipod has helped long-range riflemen improve their shooting performance. A bipod offers better stability and steadiness than anything exccpt sandbags. In essence, with a bipod a shooter carries his prone support with him. The most frequently encountered bipod, mounted on the Army's M24 Sniper Weapon System and popular among police snipers, is the lightweight, tubular one made by Harris Engineering. Attached to the front swivel stud, the Harris bipod folds its...

Selection and Training

Simply said, the Soviet sniper is the best shot in his platoon, based on an assessment after he arrives at his unit. Most likely, prior to his induction the sniper was a member of his neighborhood DOSAAF (Voluntary Society of Assistance to the Army, Aviation, and Navy) shooting club and ideally should have been an accomplished competitive rifleman. The Soviet civilian marksmanship training competition system, which includes DOSAAF, is first-rate, having produced world and Olympic shooting...

Caliber Combat Records

Born in the closing days of World War I, the .50-caliber cartridge came about when gunmaker John Browning was rushed to produce a heavy machine gun. To expedite things, he upscaled his already successful .30-caliber M1917 machine gun, proportionally scaling up its .30-06 cartridge and voita, the .50 caltberl Actually, this heavy machine gun was also the first .50-caliber sniper rifle, topped by a scope and fired single-shot during the Korean War. For the first time, an enemy could be engaged at...

Moly Coated Bullets

In recent years there have been many claims that coating a bullet with molybdenum disulfide increases velocity and improves long-range accuracy. Without question, a thin layer of moly makes the bullet slicker, reducing friction as it travels down a bore. As an added benefit, the bullet slighdy coats the bore, leaving it cleaner and somewhat impervious to powder fouling, and thus easier to maintain. Whether applied as a liquid that dries into a film coating or impact plating using a tumbler and...

Scopes On Assault Rifles

WD-40 on a scope, since they may penetrate to the interior and cause fogging. Check the turret covers to ensure they're tight and the O-rings intact, since this is the primary avenue for dampness to invade a scope. And check the hex screws on the mount and rings to confirm they are snug. Under no circumstances should you disassemble a scope. If you do, the dry nitrogen inside will leak and your scope will become prone to fogging. Such moving parts as a zoom ring, BDC, or adjustable objective...

Countersniper Engagement

In modern history there's never been a battle so dominated by snipers as was Stalingrad, the 1942 high-water mark of German conqucst in Russia. With aggressive attackers pitted against determined defenders, this most bitter urban would see the ultimate sniper encounter in history. By October 1942, the Germans had seized nine-tenths of the city, which artillery had so reduced to rubble that the Reich's wean,' soldiers called the fighting Rattenkrieg, or the War of the Rats. Combatants on both...

Making Each Shot Count

Many years ago, while training Southeast Asian mercenaries, I'd challenge a student to assume his sexiest assault stance and riddle a nearby silhouette with full-auto fire. Gleefully, he'd tuck his M16 or AK-47 beneath his armpit and, brt-t-t-t-t-t-t, 30 rounds would rip through the air but go only God knows where. The amazed students, upon examining the intact silhouette, could see that, despite sound and smoke, a lot of bullets carelessly sprayed will hit nothing. My point exacdy. In order to...

Canting

Canting is the slight misalignment of a scope's crosshairs, when the vertical line is not exactly vertical and the horizontal line is not exactly horizontal. The scope is turned slightly right or left and must be rotated back to the center. if your scope is canted, you'll tip your rifle while firing and dump bullets right or left, with the effect increasing with distance. For example, you could find that for each six clicks in elevation, the canted crosshair pulls you one click to the left, a...

Coated Lenses

Quality scopes have coated lenses, which can be recognized by tipping the glass until you see a purple, blue, or even yellow reflection. Both sides of each lens are coated with a metallic fluoride so thin that it is measured in millionths of an inch and applied microscopically with an ion gun. This coating, which reduces reflection, enhances the passage of light and thus significantly improves how much we can see when looking through it. Prior to the development of optical glass coating...

Calculating Target Movement and Leads

All the data published here re- 1 2 fleets a target moving 90 degrees to the path of your bullet, that is, moving directly right or left, which is full value. Look at the illustration at right. Should the target move oblique right or left, whether toward or away from you, use one-half the value, since in rela- Target movement will dictate full value, half value, or no compensation. dve terms he's crossing your front at half the speed. When he's heading directly toward you or away from you,...

The Longest Shot In Iraq

Attesting to the improved long-range accuracy of the M118LR round is its performance in combat in Iraq. On 11 November 2004, USMC Sgt. Herbert Hancock, chief Scout-Sniper with the 1st Battalion, 23rd Marine Regiment, engaged a 120mm mortar crew firing on Marines from Fallujah, across the Euphrates River. Hancock and his teammate, Cpl. Geoffrey Flowers, climbed to a rooftop to spot the mortar crew. Just as they brought Marine mortar fire on the insurgent position, Hancock laid his crosshair on...

USMC Quantico Army Sniper School

Maximum, but tests showed that accuracy improved as overall length increased, so 2.855 inches became the new load's final length, which still allowed feeding from magazines into semiauto weapons. Interestingly, it had been found that lengthening the cartridge improved accuracy because it reduced the distance the bullet had to jump from the chamber to the rifling (across the leade), enabling a truer, straighter entry into the bore. With the bullet, the brass case and the load now refined,...

Maneuver Elements Support Elements

Like their military counterparts, police sniper teams contain a shooter and a spotter. gas is a specialized function handled by two-man gas teams. Modern tactical units use gas wisely to divert a suspect's attention, deny him access to some parts of a structure, or temporarily disable him during an assault. HOSTAGE NEGOTIATOR This could be a department psychiatrist or an officer trained especially in negotiation skills. During protracted situations, usually involving hostage takers, a...

Psychological Screening

Most men become snipers because they're self-reliant, take pride in their skills, and want to do and be only the very best. They desire to fight as a small unit so success or failure, life or death their very fate is determined largely by their own exertions. In an environment often driven by Sniper Unit Organization and equipment unthinking violent momentum, they want to fight smart. They epitomize the American spirit. For some peculiar reason, though, the sniping mystique can attract the...

Cases and Load Bearing Gear

We've prepared separate data boxes that list all the items recommended for carrying in each of the following containers and rucksacks. Here we will describe just the features and requirements for these containers. Because military snipers spend several days in the field on each operation, they'll tend to carry the large rucksack much more than will a law officer. Still, the principles here apply to both military and police snipers. TACTICAL VEST OR WEB GEAR Probably made of nylon, this is the...

Ball Ammunition

The hard outer surface on ball rounds causes them to retain their shape and dimensions after impact and, due to nonexpansion, convey the least amount of energy into a target. Although it's not scientific, I've estimated that a ball round conveys roughly 50 percent of its energy and loses half its velocity while transiting a human target. Ball ammo tends to have the deepest penetration because it maintains an efficient, dynamic shape, but this also causes an overpenetration danger due to its...

Wind Invisible But Decisive

Full-size Leica Geovid 7x42mm binoculars are both great glass and an excellent laser rangefinder. A distinguished rifleman once told me, A plinker studies trajectory tables a master studies the wind. His point was well taken. While accurate range estimation is absolutely essential, most long-range shooters learn to judge distances and compensate correctly. They know it's important, so they do it. But that leaves the other great factor of longrange accuracy wind estimation and here is U.S....

Other Sniper Threats

Where two-man spotter-sniper teams most likely exist in Russian forces would be in Spetsnaz elements, but they'd be employed primarily on special assassinations and deep-penetration raids. Sniper teams also likely exist in GRU Special Operations units, as well as within Razvedchiki (scout) units. Beyond Russia and among the incorrigible Communist regimes, detailed information is scant. North Korea remains a distinct threat and maintains many snipers in the Light Infantry Brigades and Special...

Military mm Bullets And Barrels

Considerable confusion and a seeming decline in accuracy have accompanied the adoption of the heavier-barreled M16A2. Adding to the confusion has been adoption of the Belgian SS-109 62-grain bullet as the U.S. M855 round, which replaces the original lightweight 55-grain M193. We'll sort through this below, but keep one thing clearly in mind use the original, lightweight 55-grain round in the original, lightweight M16 AR-15 and performance will be fine. Likewise, fire the heavier round with the...

The Extremerange Shooting Environment

The importance of accurate range calculation is never so great as when shooting at extreme distances. The farther your bullet travels, the more its trajectory becomes a plunging arc, where even tiny errors grow into major significance. A range estimation error of only 5 percent means little at 400 yards, but at 1,500 yards that puts your .50-caliber projectile's impact point about 8 minutes long or short. Your bullet will sail a dozen feet over your target's head or thud harmlessly into the...

Differences Between Police And Military Snipers

Police officers prior to the engagement. The police sniper usually has only one target per operation, and he neutralizes that target with just one round. One bang and he goes home. His military sniper counterpart, on the other hand, usually engages many targets during a single operation, perhaps even during a single engagement. The military sniper moves, spots, fires moves, spots, fires moves, spots, fires in a dangerous setting in which potential hostiles are all around him. The enemy...

Physical Condition

Minin's recommendation that a sniper be physically fit and hardy with sharp vision and hearing, a good memory, and quick reactions. A fit rifleman more steadily holds his rifle, solid muscle better withstands recoil, he bears loads without undue fatigue, and overall he stays alert longer and can go farther, faster. Many police SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) units train hard and long and maintain high standards of physical conditioning. But whether your tac team...

Sniper Selection

Frederick Russell Burnham, the American explorer-adventurer who led Britain's scouts in the Boer War, described his scouts as half wolf and half jackrabbit. What a fining description for the sniper and how fining that Bumham said this. For Burnham's most accomplished recon soldiers were Scots of a Highland regiment known as Lovat's Scouts 16 years later, these phenomenal woodsmen became the British army's first sniper unit. Yes, a sniper is a bold tempter of fate, but he also must be a wise...

Bullet Drop Compensators

A Bullet Drop Compensator (BDC) is a dial mounted atop the scope that can be rotated to certain preset distances. After zeroing, just set your BDC to the indicated range, which moves the elevation to the correct height then, aim dead-on and fire. Since the sniper doesn't have to consider a lot of ballistics or compute his elevation change, he can detect a target and engage faster than a rifleman using target knobs and more accurately than a rifleman using holdover. Some BDC-equipped scopes,...

The Concept of Fade Distance

A human with normal 20-20 vision can distinguish a 1-inch object at 100 yards if it's in stark contrast to its surroundings. This translates to 1 A40A, meaning 2 inches at 200 yards, 6 inches at 600 yards, etc. This determines an object's fade distance. When an object is smaller than 1 MOA, human eyes won't be able to resolve it enough to distinguish it from its environment. Therefore, the sniper's challenge is to keep every aspect of himself and his gear so well broken up that nothing's...

Adjusting the Snipers Fire

If the sniper missed, the spotter must tell him by how much, exactly describing the impact point. This is an important distinction the spotter doesn't tell him how much to correct he only gives him the raw data. The sniper interprets this data and decides how to adjust his scope or hold for a corrected follow-up shot. The fastest most easily understood way of describing to the sniper where his round impacted is via a mil dot reticle in a spotting scope because both spotter and sniper are using...

Prefiring Checklist

Most of the following prefire actions are so obvious that any shooter automatically remembers to do them, right Wrong. At one time or other, I've forgotten every single one of them. Copy this checklist, keep it in your record book, and use it during each range firing session. AMMUNITION OF SAME LOT NUMBER AMMUNITION CLEAN AND SERVICEABLE ANYTHING TOUCHING THE BARREL ANY BRUSH OR CAMO MATERIAL OBSTRUCTING VIEW SANDBAG OR SUPPORT ADEQUATE BIPOD FIRMLY IN PLACE, ON STABLE SURFACE SCOPE CANTING IN...

Wind Drift Data

BTHP Match Distance in Yards therefore, you divide 72 by 8, which equals 9, and you click off 9 MOA on your scope at 1 4 MOA increments, or 36 clicks. On another scope, you'd hold into the wind what you estimate to be 72 inches from your target about the height of a man. Where shooting into the wind gets tricky is when it's gusting or you must deal with several winds. Old-time shooters will tell you not to wait for pauses during a steady wind, that you'll have much better results...

Trigger Control

As you should realize by now, trigger control is an important component of this integrated act of exact shooting. But trigger control is Make a practice of holding your thumb along the stock to avoid shifting the rifle. Make a practice of holding your thumb along the stock to avoid shifting the rifle. especially important because, more so than any other factor, an improper trigger pull will lead to inaccuracy or complete misses. Simply put, correct trigger control is the ability to release the...

How to Compute UpDown Compensation

Keep in mind that up down compensation is quite separate from compensation for distance, even though it similarly increases with range. Our starting point is finding bullet drop, which is the ballistic measurement of how many inches a bullet falls when a rifle barrel is perfectly parallel to the earth. Each cartridge Angled up down compensation is required for rooftop shooting, such as demonstrated here atop the Pentagon. Angled up down compensation is required for rooftop shooting, such as...

Range Estimation Techniques

Incorrcct range estimation is the biggest cause of long-range misses more so than bad wind estimation, more so than jerking a trigger, more so than a poor hold or lead, more so than incorrectly computing up down compensation. If you blow the range estimate, you've most likely blown the shot. There are several reasons why. The biggest is that a bullet's trajectory which is an arc begins more and more to plunge at great distances so that a little error has a big effect. We've depicted the...

Optics Test Pattern

We've designed the chart on the next page so you can evaluate optics and determine which binoculars, rifle scope, or spotting scope gives the best resolution. Purchasers of this book are authorized to copy this chart for their own or agency use, provided they do not remove the credit line and don't reproduce it for sale. The pattern's as wide as it is high, consisting of three distinct stripes. Copy it and post it at least 25 yards away or beyond the optics' minimum focus distance. Start by...

Ammunition Weapons and Accessories

SNIPER RIFLE WITH SCOPE AND BIPOD We'll deal with these items at length in a later chapter. A sniper rifle should be of .308 Eagle s combination softcase and drag bag is very popular with snipers. caliber or larger. It should have a zoom scope or fixed-power scope with quality at least equal to that engagement. The police spotter, too, should have of the rifle. The bipod attaches not to the barrel but an assault rifle so he can add mass fire to rus at the front swivel or to a rail beneath the...

Know the Center

Knowing your scope's mechanical center the MOA center for up down elevation and right left windage will save you time and effort when you have to recenter the reticle before zeroing. After zeroing, this information allows you to know the remaining up down clicks after adjustment and can indicate the need for a shim if there's not enough elevation to go to maximum range. The reticle should be crisply focused, but you also need to know the exact MOA measurements in your reticle so you can use it...

Crackbang Calculations

The crack-bang technique works because we can accurately calculate the time difference between a supersonic bullet reaching a certain point and the slower speed-of-sound bang that catches up with it but only to 500 yards. So you will appreciate its limitations, we're providing the data below. We've designated 500 yards as the maximum practical distance because beyond that, the time difference becomes too thin for accurate estimation. You cannot slice a second much thinner than 1 5 without using...

From a yard zero

Assumes 1 4 MOA per click, 15 MOA pe r rotation, as on Leupold Mark 4 LR scopes. Arrayed outward in all four directions from the center are four evenly spaced dots called mil dots, but that's a slight misnomer it's the space from center dot 10 center dot that measures one mil, not the dot itself. A typical sniper's first impression of these mil dots is, At least they're small enough not to interfere with my aim. Once you learn to use these dots, however, and realize that short of a laser,...

Comeups

The concept of comeups can be credited to the military service that has paid more heed to rifle marksmanship and shooter development than any of its American rivals, the U.S. Marine Corps. Going back at least to the Ml Garand and probably the 1903A3 Springfield , the idea of comeups was to know the exact Minutes of Angle a rifleman needed to raise his sights to go from one distance to another at 100-yard increments. I recall a scene in the epic film The Sand Pebbles in which Steve McQueen...

Snipers in Support of River Crossings

As with any other assault, snipers support a river crossing with fire rather than cross with the attacking troops. Snipers are especially well equipped for supporting river crossings due to the great reach of their rifles, which is much important enemy weapons such as the shoulder-fixed antiaircraft missile we've illustrated because it already knows their location. But snipers also could mount an effective diversion or supporting attack alone by pinning enemy forces at another nearby objective....

Simultaneous Engagements

In certain situations, it's useful for several snipers to simultaneously engage the same target or multiple targets. Police snipers may Snap-shooting is fast, not fancy. Just quarter your target, then fire center-mass, like this Gunsite student. mands, Standby . . . ready . . . fire, using three distinct words that are unlikely to be mistaken during the stress and confusion of a real-world engagement. Ideally, the command countdown is given by a spotter or sniper employment officer. Things get...

Adjusting Eye Relief

Since most military and police sniper rifles are handed down from previous users, there's a hesitancy for the inheriting marksman to change anything that has worked in the past. This attitude is not entirely wrong if it ain't broke, don't fix it but when it comes to eye relief, it's a big mistake. Whether you're mounting or remounting a scope or you've just been issued a sniper weapon, you must adjust the eye relief. Excuse my harping, but I must emphasize correct eye relief is critical to...

Blending with Your Surroundings

A moment ago we touched on the important relationship between color and size our general rule is, the closer your colors match those around you, the tougher it becomes to visually resolve your shape. But it's more than just coloration. To match his environment effectively, a sniper must develop a keen appreciation for colors, textures, foliage shapes, density, and depth. Look around you I mean really look around and take time to notice details. Recognize that a sniper's slice of the woods is...

The Effect Of Range Estimation Error

Because a bullet's trajectory starts as a gentle slant, then plunges more and more as it slows, long-distance range estimation is much less forgiving than short-range errors. To help you appreciate this, we're providing data for .308 168-grain Match to show what a mere 10-yard range error does to bullet placement at various distances. Now consider how easy it is to think a target's 750 yards away when it's actually 800 but this 50-yard error not even 10 percent would cause your bullet to hit 32...

Ghillie Suit Limitations

Ghillie Head And Shoulders

While providing excellent camouflage, Ghillie suits have limitations, too, the biggest one being stifling heat from layers of thick Sniper capes cover just the head and shoulders. They work well when it's too hot to use a full Ghillie suit. Sniper capes cover just the head and shoulders. They work well when it's too hot to use a full Ghillie suit. The best camo pattern ever devised, the author believes, is this USMC digital scheme. points break up die wearer's outline effectively, almost...

Duties of a Sniper

Target enemy snipers and surveillance teams. Target commanders, officers and pilots, that is, to target the head of the snake and then handicap the command of the enemy. Assist teams of mujahideen infantry with suppressive fire. These teams may include RPG brigades or surveillance teams. Target U.S. Special Forces, they are very stupid because they have a 'Rambo complex,' thinking that they are the best in the world. Don't be arrogant like them. Engage specialty targets like communications...

Planning Movement

Scout Sniper Hide

The most fundamental thing to understand about sniper team movement is that the team plans its route so it avoids enemy contact until it wants to begin engagements. Therefore, while planning the mission, the team studies its map, paying special heed to natural lines of drift places where humans naturally prefer to walk, such as along ridgelines, down the long axis of valleys, etc., as wc examined in the target detection section. It was by studying lines of drift that I was able to anticipate...

Optics For Cal Shooting

72mm Rifle Scope

Sporting an immense 72mm objective lens and 34mm tube, this Zeiss 6-24x scope was designed especially for heavy rifle sniping. required elevation, but it's worth taking a closer look at some of them. The excellent Nightforce NXS scopes offer not just sufficient elevation but quality glass and high magnification, up to 25x. I've fired the l.eupold I6x a great deal on .50s and can say nothing but good about it. It's military-rugged and holds true to the elevation and windage settings. This scope...

Tactical Employment

You can exploit an enemy's ignorance of your effective range and the long-range threat posed by a heavy rifle, especially when occupying a new position in those first few days on a stabilizing battlefield, before he appreciates the power of your optics and the reach of your bullets. This is prime shooting time. On the other hand, when moving into established defensive positions, you may wish to just surveil and observe for a few days and record an elaborate range card before you fire your first...

Police Sniping Missions And Operations

This section is purposely brief, not because there isn't much to learn about law enforcement sniping operations, but because I cannot disclose much here without placing both law officers and possible hostages in jeopardy. Some bad guys can afford the price of this book, so I'd just as soon keep them guessing as to how exacdy a police tac team would handle them. These details will be disseminated at a future point when I'm assured a confidential supplement to this manuscript can be kept out of...

Mm M Ball Penetration Data

Flying bullet and even reposition yourself to exploit such a backstop. The other aspect of media is learning exactly what kind of penetration you can achieve when engaging a barricaded enemy or suspect. We have U.S. Army data from several ballistic tests, fired both for the 5.56mm and 7.62mm NATO rounds. Keep in mind that these are full metal jackct military rounds, not softpoint or hollowpoint. It's important to observe that the 5.56mm is a most peculiar bullet that penetrates deeper into...

Wolfpacking

Why this wire is cut A well-placed ambush, such as that of a wire repair team, makes a good introductory engagement for a new sniper. WOLFPACKING. This sniper area ambush has overlapping fields of fire, inflicting both casualties and confusion. These U.S. Army snipers are defending 3 major road against sudden attacks by RPG rocket teams. These U.S. Army snipers are defending 3 major road against sudden attacks by RPG rocket teams. and begin rotating duties with another sniper team to take turns...

Spotter

M14 or M16A2 w M203 40mm Spotting Scope Handgun Laser Rangefinder It's the company commander or platoon leader who determines how these decentralized sniper teams are employed in his operations the battalion doesn't take snipers or sniping into account while planning. Tie downside of such a configuration is that sniping emphasis may decline and snipers cannot train to as high a standard as when they're in a single platoon. But this is usually remedied by a battalion commander's oversight and...

Sgarms Academy

18 Industrial Drive Exeter, NH 03833 603-679-2003 www.sigarmsacademy.com An offshoot of the prestigious firearms company, SIGARMS Academy offers three five-day Tactical Marksman Observer courses, with the full variety of military and police sniping subjects, from Ghillie suit construction to ballistics, marksmanship, and assorted fieldcraft. The basic course is sufficiently fundamental that students need no prior experience with a scoped rifle.

Countersniping Techniques

The best countersniper weapon wc have is a friendly sniper team you. As a trained, equipped sniper, you think like your foe does, see your surroundings complete with dangers and opportunities like he does. You're equipped with great optics similar to his and you have a weapon capable of reaching him. Essentially, you're the thief needed to catch a thief. Equally, though, you're also the most knowledgeable countersniper expert in your unit and the commander's key adviser on the subject. How your...

Locating the Sniper

When we say locating the sniper, it doesn't mean pinpointing his exact location with a single glance. Recall that, like you, he will attempt to exploit available concealment and use any trick he can to stay invisible, from preparing dummy positions to masking with ccho. You could be lucky and observe him immediately, but this is unlikely. Realistically, you'll probably start your search by narrowing his possible positions that is, analyzing the situation enough that you can reduce him to...

Shim Thickness Changes by X MOAs

The importance of preserving elevation MOAs of adjustment becomes clear with a specific example. Let's say your scope has 30 MOAs total elevation and you have a .308 rifle with a 300-yard zero. After zeroing, you find you have 10 MOAs down and 20 MOAs up, but in order to engage targets at 100 yards you need -5.25 MOAs, and to fire at 800 yards you require 23 MOAs. You need three more up MOAs to adjust for 800-yard shots. Therefore, by inserting a .005-inch shim under the mount's front, you will...

Ambidextrous Shooting

Both police and military snipers must practice firing from both shoulders. Soldiers learn ambidextrous shooting so they can take advantage of every target opportunity that presents itself as well as grab the best cover that's available. A law enforcement sniper attempting a hostage-rescue shot prefers to relocate his hide rather than fire from his weak shoulder especially considering liability and legal overtones. When firing in self-defense, however, even a lawman needs to be able to exploit...

Special Sniping Operations

Caliber Sniper Rifle Shot

Since the capture of Baghdad by U.S. armed forces in 2003, more Americans have been killed by roadside bombs in Iraq than any other method. It's the greatest threat faced by Coalition forces and war on the cheap for the insurgents once an improvised explosive device IED is in place, it requires only one man to detonate it, making this an economical way to fight U.S. forces. Probably the most effective counter co roadside bombings is the employment of sniper teams in a clandestine surveillance...

The Sniper Engagement Sequence

Professional soldiers train for combat action by practicing battle drills, a set of specific steps they execute when suddenly thrust into dangerous situations, similar to football special teams mastering quarterback sacking and punt blocking. These drills are thought out carefully so each action happens in correct sequence and contributes to the overall engagement. After wrestling with all the actions a sniper must accomplish many of them critical but easy to forget or do out of order- I...

Facial Pastes and Sticks

Marine Snipers Ghillie Suits

No veil or Spandoflage can substitute for correctly applied facial coloration. When used properly, a camoed face doesn't look like it's been painted it no longer looks like a face at all. Here are the basics for applying coloration. First, realize that the human eye sees dark colors as receding, or going away, but it interprets light colors as advancing, or sticking out toward the viewer. Therefore to trick the eye, reverse the high and low points of your face, using dark or light colors. The...

Current Usbased Training Programs

Box 12111 Prescott, AZ 86304 928-778-5623 www.chucktaylorasaa.com Chuck Taylor's American Small Arms Academy offers a seven-day, military-oriented sniper course, at the end of which students are shooting to 600 yards. The final three days are spent in the field, shooting an assortment of tactical exercises. 408 North Simpson Grandfield, OK 73546 580-479-5559 www. badlands tactical, net Oklahoma-based Badlands Tactical has a four-day basic and five-day advanced course, oriented toward law...

Reactive Targets

Iron Maiden Sniper Targets

I'm a great fan of reactive targets because they make shooting fun and draw on a shooter's concentration in ways a paper target cannot. Constantiy look for ways to integrate these into your shooting drills. BALLOONS Inexpensive and very flexible, balloons can be inflated to predetermined diameters, then sorted by color to represent hostages and captors, etc. Helium-filled balloons tethered to bushes and stakes can transform any open meadow into a shooting gallery. CLAY PIGEONS Since they're 4...

Illuminated Reticles

When first introduced a decade ago, illuminated reticles amounted to on off lights that backlit your crosshairs so that, theoretically, you could shoot in low-light conditions where your reticle otherwise became indiscernible. Problem was, many glowed so bright that they could degrade your night vision at the very spot in your eye that most intensely was trying to see your target. And since they were battery-powered, it seemed that here was just another gadget to break and suck up batteries. My...

While Invisible I See and Destroy

Before concluding dangerously that the Soviet-era sniper is a pushover, recall Vassili Zaitsev at Stalingrad, who killed more than 400 Germans with his sniper rifle. Or how about the naval infantryman Filipp Yakovlevich, who shot 346 of the Reich's warriors in the Caucasus. The Germans frequently cursed Slav cunning, as they called the perfectly executed fieldcraft and tactics of their Russian tormentors. This is not far removed from my belief that the best snipers are close to the earth men...

Paper Targets

COMMON BULL'S-EYE The humblest of targets snipers use, it's employed for about half of all live-fire practice. A sniper warms up on the bull's-eye target, then goes on to other types for shooting drills. DIAMOND BULL'S-EYE This is best for zeroing a rifle because it allows precise alignment of crosshairs at the diamond tips. It can also be used for practice fire. DARK SILHOUETTE Lacking any features, this could be a military Type D or an IPSC Official Practice Target. Dress it up and add a...

Urban Wind Effects and Estimation

Urban winds are confusing, contradictory, and especially difficult to see in a downtown area. As our illustration shows, among a city's major buildings the wind will vary direction and speed, Integrating sniper fire between two teams at different heights. Integrating sniper fire between two teams at different heights. HIGHEST STORY GUNS CAN HIT WITH DIRECT FIRE The downside of a ,50-caliber rifle, however, is its considerable weight and bulk, which precludes most fast movement or stalking....

Target Knob Comeups gr BTHP Match from a yard zero

Assumes 1 4 MOA per click, 15 MOA per rotation, as on Leupold Mark 4 LR scopes. Assumes 1 4 MOA per click, 15 MOA per rotation, as on Leupold Mark 4 LR scopes. TARGET KNOB COMEUPS M118LR .308 175-gr. BTHP Match Assumes 1 4 MOA per click, 15 MOA per rotation, as on Leupold Mark 4 LR scopes Assumes 1 4 MOA per click, 15 MOA per rotation, as on Leupold Mark 4 LR scopes TARGET KNOB COMEUPS .223 5.56mm 69-gr. BTHP Match Assumes 1 4 MOA per click, 15 MOA per rotation, as on Leupold Mark 4 LR scopes...

Suppressed Rifle Employment

308 Compact Rifle

For all its ballistic shortcomings, there are stili tactical situations in which a suppressed sniper rifle is a welcome tool. The most obvious use is eliminating sentries, especially during a hostage rescue, such as when Americans were held in Iran in 1979-1980. Had Delta Force reached the U.S. Embassy compound in Tehran, suppressed sniper rifles could have removed gate guards without alerting other terrorists until the rescuers had penetrated the embassy grounds. There were usable firing...

Jackaling Shadowing an Enemy Force

This tactic was practiced by Viet Cong guerrillas early in the Vietnam War and directed primarily against South Vietnamese units but eventually American ones, too. A two-man guerrilla team followed a conventional unit from a safe distance and, perhaps every other day, crept close enough to shoot one soldier. These here we can observe the components to make this trick most effective. First, initiate it under the cloak of darkness, which inspires confusion and makes recognition most difficult....

Mantracking

Mantracking Prints

By now it should be clear to you that a sniper team's operating environment demands independent and immediate action since external support may not be available or is too distant. This is just as true for police sniper teams as military ones. Indeed, several police sniper team missions, such as clandestine drug lab recon and remote airfield surveillance, require skillful interpretations of signs of suspect activity, both to develop intelligence and to enhance officer survival, while tracking is...

The Emerging Caliber Threat

Despite a U.S. protest n 2005 the Austrian Interior Ministry issued an export license to famed gun maker Steyr to sell 800 .50-caliber sniper rifles to Iran. These high-quality, single-shot, bolt-action Model 50 HS rifles have an effective range of 2,500 meters, comparable to quality American .50-caliber bolt guns. We asked the Iranians to give us a certificate stating that the end user of the weapons would be the Iranian In 2005, Iran received some 800 high-quality Steyr police, an Austrian...

Body Position

Now we come to the last component of our integrated act of firing, the correct and consistent assumption of a solid body position. Which position you use for any particular engagement will be dictated by your target, ground clearance, and available support. As a sniper, you'll always exploit any kind of support within reach, whether you use a standing, kneeling, sitting, or prone position. Support may be enhanced, too, by using your sling. The steadiest position is prone, followed by-sitting,...

Info

As these old-timer shooters compute the clicks, though, they say it out loud as, Why, 400 yards, that's four-quarters of an inch, or one full inch, meaning one click will equal an inch of movement. And 700 yards, that's seven-quarters of an inch, or one and three-quarters movement per click. My good friend Jim K-Bar Kauber, a retired Navy SEAL Master Chief and former Gunsite precision rifle rangemaster, has his own handy formula for determining sight changes at...

Cold Barrel vs Warm Barrel

Recognizing that consistency equals accuracy and vice versa, a sniper constantly looks for ways to increase his shooting consistency and diagnoses any causes of inconsistency. Variations in rifle barrel temperature lead to variations in where a bullet impacts because a hot or even warm barrel will warp at least slightly. How much it warps, how quickly it warps, how differently it warps according to different kinds of ammo these add more variation and lead to still more inconsistency. The...

Techniques to Improve Shooting

The quality of your practice will never exceed the quality of what you put into it. To start with, never fire practice with anything but match-grade ammunition military or commercial or you're just wasting your time. You should occasionally fire ball and tracer ammo, but that's for familiarization, not for serious practice firing. If you keep some ammo loose for alert purposes or return from the field with loose ammo, these are the rounds you fire in practice. This way you rotate your...

Expanding Bullets

Our next category, expanding bullets, include softpoint, mushrooming, and hollow-point rounds, all designed to increase in diameter after impact and thus deliver far more energy into the target than a ball round does. These rounds also are called hunting or dumdum bullets. In the illustration at left, I've noted that an expanding bullet delivers roughly 70 percent of its kinetic energy and loses that much velocity, resulting in less danger of overpenetration. And because this wider projectile...

Bolting A Rifle Invisibly

Practice rapid reloading using the five-round holder developed by the author. line the inside of the pouch with Gore-Tex to protect the ammunition from rain. I'd eave a small flap at the top to be folded over underneath the snap, which should keep water out and prevent any condensation problems. Now let's see how you'll use this setup to reload quickly and simply. First, after firing your last round, ensure that you leave the bolt pulled well to the rear so there's plenty of upper receiver...

The Chechen Influence

While some Chechen fighters have infiltrated Iraq, in the area of sniping their influence has exceeded their numbers. During much of the past decade, Islamic radicals have fought Russian forces in the breakaway Chechnya Republic and learned a great deal about urban warfare, especially during battles in the country's capital, Grozny. Their combat achievements have been significant, including Unconcerned about the civilians that surround him, a Palestinian masked sniper fires 3t Israeli troops,...

The Story Of Mil Dots

Jack Cuddy Usmc

Remember those World War II submarine movies where the captain ranged an enemy ship through his periscope Actually, he was measuring the ship's length in mils and since whole classes of ships were built to the same dimensions, he already knew its length in yards. Thus, in the same way we range today with a mil dot reticle, he could range that ship, then accurately launch torpedoes to intercept it. This mil system for ranging goes back at least to World War I, when artillery forward observers...

Night Sniper Movement arid Stalking

A police sniper, too, must be concerned about remaining invisible during night movement, especially in rural areas while reconning a suspected clandestine drug lab or surveilling a remote airfield, for instance. NIGHT CAMOUFLAGE PATTERNS L-R woodland, black, olive drab, desert night, and gray. Photo credit Roger Kennedy probably 10 times harder to spot than a moving one. At very close range, of course, run for cover. But in either situation, be sure to protect your shooting eye's night vision...

Zoom vs Fixed Power

Sniper Exploit

There are pros and cons to zoom and fixed-power spotting scopes, beginning with size and weight. The average fixed power is about 10 ounces lighter than the zoom scopes, and it's probably about an inch shorter. For these reasons, as well as the fact that they're less complicated, I generally find fixed-power spotting scopes more suited for sniping. Earlier we observed that 30x is about the maximum magnification for a spotting scope, since higher powers become too readily disrupted by mirage....

Near Vs Far Wind

When faced by multiple crosswinds, doctrinally you should time your shot so one wind is calm and the bullet passes through the other, which is the only one you compensate for. Does it make any difference which of these winds is the one you shoot through Absolutely, and our drawing shows why. Assuming both winds are of equal velocity, the near wind has more time to push the bullet sideways and will cause it to be much farther off target than a far wind. Therefore, you should shoot when the near...

Sniping in the Desert

Everything in the desert is farther or greater than in other environments. .Movement rates are faster how far you must roam to find the enemy is greater visibility is farther and shooting distances are longer, too. Because of this, many spotters prefer to carry the balliscically superior 7.62mm M21 or M25 system rather than a 5.56mm M16 or M4 carbine. Just as in snow country, the desert's harsh, glaring light may be overwhelming when you look through your scope. To improve target clarity....

Using Target Knobs

Most police rifle scopes adjust elevation not with a BDC but with target knobs, and for good reason. A military-style Bullet Drop Compensator allows quick elevation dialing for a rapid engagement, but the trade-off is a decline in precision. Rccall that in the last chapter, it was noted that the Army's Leupold Mark 4 M3A scope raises elevation at 1 MOA per click, while the USMC's Unertl has 1 2 MOA increments. Thus, a police sniper's realistic engagement distances perhaps 50 yards out to 200...

Temporary Sniper Hides

A sniper exploits the best hide position from which he can place fire into his target or assigned sector of fire. It could include a bunker with overhead cover upper left , using a rucksack for support. Or he could take cover under a vehicle, keeping the engine block above him and a wheel before him, staying in shadow, and not extending his muzzle beyond cover upper right . He could choose a tree hide center , but this isn't usually his first choice since wind will sway it, he cannot displace...

McMillan Sniper School

The McMillan Sniper School is an offshoot of the McMillan rifle company, which builds high-quality sniper weapons. The school's five courses benefit from realistic live-fire training at a sizable former movie set in the Arizona desert. Most phases last two or three days, plus a special 11-day course designed to prepare U.S. military snipers for combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. Instructors include a cross-section of state, federal, and local police and military snipers.

The Mosinnagant Sniper Rifle

Chechen Sniper

Although now obsolete, the Mosin-Nagant Model 1891-30 sniper rifle may yet be encountered on Third World battlefields. This World War D Soviet rifle was the North Vietnamese Army's primary sniper weapon during the Vietnam War. Distinguished by its lengthy barrel and turned-down bolt, the Mosin-Nagant fires the same 7.62x54mm rimmed cartridge as the SVD sniper rifle, making it battistically comparable to the American .30-06. High-quality versions of the Mosin-Nagant were produced in Finland and...

Reality Hunting Patterns

Asat Face Mask

Some real camouflage breakthroughs have come from private-sec tor developments, which have fielded an incredible array of patterns. Perhaps the handiest pieces of police sniper camouflage are the mesh pullover suits made in Realtree brown or gray. These can be compressed into a beer-mug-sized space for convenient storage and be donned in less than a minute. Further, its mesh allows good ventilation in summer. These mesh suits won't hold up as long as regular-weight camo suits, but the cost is...

Detailed Scanning

If you failed to detect targets using a hasty or deliberate scan, you go on to the most thorough technique, the detailed scan. There's no time limit this is the way you'll scan until you find a target or target indicator. Now is when you employ all optical devices and formally divide the sector among you for long-term surveillance, as explained in another section. You're ready for the long haul. As shown in the second scanning illustration panel, you look at every single place an enemy could...

Shooting into the Wind

To shoot accurately into a wind, compensate by holding or aiming in the direction the wind is coming from. This is shown in the illustration on this page. As the bullet travels downrange, it drifts into your target. In order for this to work, however, you must know exactly how far to compensate. We've prepared detailed ballistic tables at the end of this chapter that show the wind drift for the most popular military and police sniping loads, to include .308 168-gr. BTHP Match M 118LR 7.62mm...

Tracer Rounds

A sniper employs tracer rounds to signal and direct the fire of others. While it's probably true that tracer will wear a quality barrel much faster than will other bullets, it should be no problem firing tracer as 1 to 2 percent of your annual practice. You need familiarity with firing tracers because they perform different ballistic-ally than other rounds. In addition to their faster speed 2,750 fps and lighter weight 141 grains which causes them to hit higher than heavier match bullets they...

The Ultimate Sniper The Surveillance Role

Today in Afghanistan and Iraq, sniper teams often are being employed purely in a surveillance role. Due to their team's superior optics and observations skills along with their ability to hide in plain sight more so than other soldiers and marines, these scout-snipers are more likely to detect enemy forces emplacing improvised explosive devices IEDs , smuggling people and weapons across borders, or many other hostile activities. Most such surveillance missions are clandestine that is, teams are...

Zeroing A Sniper Rifle

Acceptable zero, your work's not done. Now you must test your scope to see if it shifts when you change magnification or elevation or operate the Bullet Drop Compensator. Since you zeroed a zoom scope at its highest magnification, now you'll check it at lower powers. Fire a 3.5-10x scope at 6x and 3.5x and carefully compare the point of impact to the initial lOx impact. If there's any variation, record it if it's 1 MOA or more, replace the scope. I once used a collimator to test four different...

The SVDs xmm Rimmed Round

The Russian 7.62x54mm is the only rimmed military cartridge now in use worldwide. Developed in 1891, it's a product of the same era that produced two ballistically similar venerable rounds, the .303 British Enfield and U.S. .30-06 Springfield. Originally chambered for the Model 1891 Mosin-Nagant, this 54mm-long round is not interchangeable with the AK's 7.62mm cartridge, which is only 39 millimeters in length. Today's 7.62x54mm primarily serves as the PK machine gun round, and most cartridge...

Mediumweight Sniping The Lapua Magnum

If you can imagine a cartridge that's halfway between the .300 Winchester Magnum and the ,50-caliber Browning, then you've pretty well defined the .338 Lapua Magnum. It's made by shortening a .416 Rigby case 2 10 of an inch and necking it down to .338. Purposely designed in the late 1980s as a long-range military sniping round, the .338 Lapua Mag was intended for bolt-action rifles that were still light enough for stalking and maneuvering. The importance of a barrier-penetrating sniper rifle...