Other Priority Targets

Crew-served weapons include belt-fed machine guns, some antitank and antiaircraft weapons such as the SA-7 Strella missile launcher illustrated at right and belted grenade launchers like the Russian AGS-17. These are more important than the ordinary enemy rifleman because they more profoundly influence the battle and, in some cases, you may very well be the only friendly with the optics to see them. Materiel targets usually include things like radios, optical sights on mortars and artillery...

Sniping Mission Planning Considerations

Traditionally, independent sniper patrols and operations involved only a two-man sniper team, although several such teams may have been operating in mutual support. However in Iraq, where terrorists have specially targeted American sniper teams, their composition has been beefed up, with as many as four men two snipers, an extra M16-armed rifleman, and a SAW machine gunner. The trade-off is a larger potential signature and, of course, the need for a larger hide to conceal them. We've...

Viewing Through A Zoom Scope

Unlike its fixed-power cousins, a zoom scope can have its magnification changed to fit the specific demands of your situation and needs. This feature requires some emphasis because most snipers set a zoom scope on its highest magnification and never exploit this capability. When spotting through a rifle scope, give your eyes frequent rests to prevent strain. Close-Quarters Self-Defense Shooting 3-5x Reduce magnification to low power when marching or stalking through woods and jungle, where...

Edged Tools

FOLDING SAW This is the handiest edged tool you can have, and even a moderately priced one can zip through a 2 x 4 in minutes. Used to clear a narrow field of view or firing port, improve camouflage, and perform a host of other cutting needs. Useful for both military and law enforcement snipers. SNIPS Small but very sharp, used to prune just a bit of grass and leaves away from your sniper hide to allow undetectable firing. Also handy for constructing and maintaining your Ghillie suit. EDGED...

Trajectory by Yards Expressed in Inches

Lighter bullets in 40, 55, and 60 grains. These rounds, I think, lend themselves more to entry team operators armed with M4 carbines than snipers. The .223 family also includes military ball rounds, either the original 55-grain bullet that served in Southeast Asia or, more recently, the 62-grain bullet that offers deeper penetration and improved range. Military tracer, too, can be quite useful in some situations as a day or night signal aid, especially for coordinating with aircraft. (I left...

Laser Rangefinders

Bushnell makes an entire family of laser rangefinders rated for distances from 400 to 1,500 yards. Their optical quality won't replace a team's binoculars, but they're economically priced, they work, and they belong in every police sniper's kit. Bushnell's 800-yard model really is pocket-sized and very handy. More than a few sniper teams in Iraq and Afghani stan unable to obtain lasers from their supply system are purchasing their own Bushnells. Swarovski has long manufactured high-quality,...

Yards Meters Wind Speed seconds seconds mph

I have a Kestrel 2000 thai I use primarily to check my wind estimates yielded from old-fashioned estimation techniques. (A de-liar I call it.) What's wonderful is that this instrument gives you an honest yardstick for gauging all the contributing winds, too. Carefully measuring the wind around me on my Kestrel and watching the local effects, I then look for similar effects downrange to help gauge those winds. Even if you have gauges available, however, you still must learn other wind estimation...

Understanding And Exploiting Echo

Echoes are generated when sound waves reflcct off such hard surfaces as hillsides, buildings or large rocks, and can be very confusing, as demonstrated in Dallas when President John R Kennedy was slain. To this day, some witnesses swear they heard gunshots from a grassy knoll as well as the building in which Lee Harvey Oswald concealed himself. Photos from the scene show motorcycle officers with guns drawn rushing the knoll., and even so-called experts argue about the total number of shots...

Tube Diameter

Many riflemen don't realize that scope tubes are not necessarily the same diameter. While the great majority of high-power scope tubes are 1-inch (25mm) wide, an ever-growing number are 30mm, a reflection of the influence of European designs, which frequently employ the wider tube widths. Schmidt & Bender and Zeiss have developed even wider 34mm tubes for scopes intended for .50-caliber rifles. The 30mm tube (right) allows more light passage than a 1-inch tube. The benefits of a wider tube...

Small Arms Training Academy

Box 651 Gillette, WY 82717-0651 307-686-4008 www.dlsports.com Dave Lauck's D& L Sports is a custom firearms builder, especially of AR-15 based rifles and ,45-caliber pistols. Among his training academy's many courses is a three-day Practical Precision Rifle class that takes place on an 1,800-yard range. He also hosts a major annual three-gun competition that includes firing to 1,000 yards. Snipercraft's founder, Derrick Bartlett, is a Miami-area police sniper and author...

Doctrine and Perceptions

Like all things in the So net Red Army, the sniper has been employed in sufficient numbers to overcome his individual quality shortcomings. As Stalin used to say, Quantity has a quality of its own. This is not to diminish the Red Army sniper's abilities his achievements during World War II speak for themselves. But the sniper concept as taught in the former USSR is not the same as that taught at Quantico or Fort Benning the Soviet sniper's role is not precision fire but long-range aimed fire....

Follow Through

This is an essential part of each shot you take, not for what you do during it but what you prevent by going through the act of follow-thro ugh. First, a definition. Follow-through is a process by which the shooter maintains continuous concentration and nonreaction after firing a shot so he develops a mental and physical habit of allowing no disruption whatsoever at the instant of shooting. It's as if he didn't even fire a shot. The significance of follow-through becomes more apparent when you...

The Proofs in the Pudding

Obtain an ample supply of black-tipped .50-caliber armor-piercing ammunition, enough so you can test-fire, zero, and tactically employ cartridges from the same lot. These AP rounds usually are more consistent and accurate than M2 ball ammo. Test-fire the guns one at a time against a target that's at least 400 yards away You don't need optics yet since you're just learning which gun shoots the tightest groups. Set each gun for single-shot firing and sandbag it heavily so you can shoot it with...

Long Range Police Shooting

Since the average real-world police sniper shot is less than 100 yards, and his environment is an almost exclusively urban one, is there any need for law enforcement snipers to practice shooting at long distances I say absolutely yes. In the first place, longrange shooting magnifies errors that are not even apparent at 100 yards and therefore cannot otherwise be diagnosed and corrected. Equally, though, the police sniper needs to explore his own and his rifle's full spectrum of capabilities....

Military Sniping Organization

This is how a decentralized sniper configuration appears in Ranger and Reserve Component Infantry battalions. This is how a decentralized sniper configuration appears in Ranger and Reserve Component Infantry battalions. This is a consolidated sniper platoon configuration as found in USMC and U.S. Army Lighrt Infantry battalions. This is a consolidated sniper platoon configuration as found in USMC and U.S. Army Lighrt Infantry battalions. A decentralized organization is found in U.S. Army Ranger...

Yards

Drift 0.5 1.9 4.2 7.5 12 18 25 33 43 56 69 84 101 121 143 Nuances in up down angles matter, too. By now you're saying to yourself, how's a sniper to keep track of all these things without a computer Exactly.' That's what the long-range shooting specialists at CheyTac Associates realized, inspiring them to devise a special ballistics computer program for handheld PCs that takes into account all these meteorological factors, plus a dozen other considerations. Not only does their Advanced...

The M Long Range Round

When I began instructing sniping in the early 1980s, America's military sniper round was the Ml 18 Special Ball, a 173-grain, 7.62mm (.308) cartridge. Though it incorporated an excellent Lake City Army Ammunition Plant brass case and it was more accurate than the standard military M80 ball round, the M118's accuracy could not compare to civilian match ammo. At my request, Lance Peters, an Olympic-level rifleman, extensively tested the TRAJECTORY TABLE, .308 168-GR. BOAT-TAIL HOLLOWPOINT (MATCH)...

Observing Bullet Impacts

The five soldier figures in our illustration on page 318 depict ways of determining chat a subject has actually been hit by a bullet. The lower left figure typifies what's normally expected visible blood splatter and obvious effects on clothing or equipment. Just above him, we see another subject hit through the left breast, but the only visible sign is the blood splatter that hit the wall behind him. You might also see the momentary reflection of blood spatter as it flies through the air...

Taking the Shot

The world does not come crashing to a halt if a military sniper misses a shot. It's merely a fact of life that imperfect range and wind estimation, sudden target movement, rough trigger release, or a host of other reasons will cause misses at great distances. But the military sniper attempts imperfect shots at times because they're the only shots he has, or the target, if hit, is so valuable that it deserves even an iffy shot. When you have an enemy full colonel visible at 800 yards in a gusty...

Miscellaneous Additional Gear Available But Not Carried

Kevlar Helmet Ghiilie Suit Gas Mask Sleeping Bag Camouflage Netting Still Camera Video Camera Night Vision Devices Tele photo Lenses TRIPOD Used to support the spotting scope since a hand cannot hold it steady enough for longrange viewing. Tripods can be simple, folding, three-legged affairs or complicated and very adjustable with micrometer-like dials. BINOCULARS Used together with the spotting scope for visual overlap in both field of view and magnification power. We'll examine binoculars in...

Finish

Obviously, a sniperscope should have a matte finish, either bead-blasted, anodized, or some kind of parkerized acid dulled. None of these is especially superior to the others for reducing reflection, but the harder, thicker finishes offer more protection against rust. But even if your scope has a high-gloss finish, you can just wrap tape and camouflage cloth around it and that will eliminate reflection. Or, better yet, spray paint your scope and rifle to fit the coloration in your area of...

Urban Spotting and Target Detection

Urban spotting is especially complicated because you're virtually surrounded by target indicators straight lines abound, as do man-made cover and concealment, and so forth. If you try to surveil all target indicators intensely, you'll go buggy. To distinguish a hostile in this confusing maze, watch for even slight movement* which requires using naked eyes and binoculars extensively until movement's detected. Only then do you switch to your spotting or rifle scope. Urban locations worthy of...

Ghillie Hats and Veils

The camouflaged hat is as important as the G-suit itself because it's the highest part of the prone sniper and must blend into the suit and camouflaged rifle. Netting identical to the G-suit is sewn to the hat, so about 15 inches of it hang across the front and rear. The sniper ties burlap to these squares, just like the G-suit this creates a drape that will hang smoothly from the top of his head right across the scope for an uninterrupted, indistinguishable silhouette. My hat includes layers...

Offensive vs Defensive Threat

Unfortunately, too many people in the sniping community think the only dignified way to counter a sniper is with a one-shot kill from long range which I heartily dispute. The problem is that overfocusing on this one-shot solution limits and delays effectively dealing with an armed opponent who may be harvesting more lives with each passing minute. You need a host of assorted counter-sniper techniques so you immediately can match a workable one to any situation you encounter. Before covering...

Proper Grip

Grasp the rifle at the pistol grip using a handshake grip firm but not so tight that it induces any tremor. Lay your thumb beside the stock rather than across it so it allows you to keep your shooting hand in line and trigger finger free to pull the trigger directly back. Thumbhole and through-the-stock grips such as the Russian SVD, the Accuracy International, and my own Choate stock are designed to keep the shooter's hand in line, as if he's shooting a pistol for undistorted, natural aiming....

Being Able to Say No

Related to this burdensome requirement never to miss, a police sniper much more so than his military counterpart must have the capacity to say NO He must have the guts to assess the situation honestly, weigh this against his rifle and his own abilities, and let his supervisor know whether the shot can be taken. Often, leaders do not fully appreciate a rifleman's capabilities, passively accommodating their desires can lead to disaster. It could well be that the best chance for a hostage rescue...

Clothing

BASIC UNIFORM The Marine Corps digital camouflage pattern uniforms are certainly suitable as a sniper's basic field camouflage, as is the Army's woodland pattern or desert three-color Battle Dress Uniform, or BDU. The newer Army Combat Uniform (ACU), however, appears so light colored, at least to me, that it seems best suited for a desert environment. All these uniforms have reinforced knees and elbows and lots of pockets. GORE-TEX RAINWEAR It's hard not to be a fan of clothing made from this...

NipeR

AN ADVANCED TRAINING MANUAL FOR MILITARY AND POLICE SNIPERS Ultimate Sniper The Video (video) Advanced Ultimate Sniper (video) SOG A Photo History of the Secret Wars SOG-. The Secret Wars of America's Commandos in Vietnam Secret Commandos Behind Enemy Lines with the Elite Warriors of SOG An Advanced Training Manual for Military and Police Snipers by Maj. John L. Plaster, USAR (Ret.) Copyright 1993, 2006 by John L. Plaster ISBN 10 1-58160-494-7 ISBN 13 978-1-58160-494-8 Printed in the United...

Quick Reaction Forces

As learned in Iraq, it's essential to support sniper teams with a Quick Reaction Force (QRF), usually platoon in size that, as its name implies, can immediately respond when a team is suddenly attacked by a numerically superior force. To be effective, this cannot be a contingency plan but an organized QRF that's ready to go and can reach an endangered team's location faster than it can be overrun typically, for planning purposes, no more than 15 minutes. Ideally, the QRF is backed up by...

Fieldcraft

Fieldcraft includes the many supporting skills a sniper must develop, things such as wind estimation, camouflage, and observation. The value of outdoor sports and hunting experience cannot be understated, because how else can a young man learn such skills I attach more significance to those who hunt elusive game. Squirrel, turkey, or deer hunters can develop into superb snipers. Bowhunters know much about woodlore and camouflage. But it's more than these definable skills. It's an attitude, a...

Other Match Loads

Despite the military's switch to the 175-grain load, the 168-grain BTHP Match continues to be the most popular police sniping cartridge in the United States and much of the Western world. That's because the 168-grain performs as accurately as the 175-grain at 600 yards or less, and most police sniper engagements take place well under 100 yards. The longest U.S. police sniper shot that I've ever heard of was 275 yards, which, extreme as that was, still fell far under the distance at which it...

Positive Clicks and SubMOA Adjustments

Until fairly recendy, most scope windage and elevation adjustments were accomplished on plates held in place by friction. Spring resistance to rotation was all that maintained your zero if you wanted to record that zero, you could be no more precise than merely noting where a plate's indicator lines were set. This meant you couldn't be very precise at all. Many quality scopes have replaced simple friction plates with very precise adjustments that audibly click with each sub-MOA increment. One...

Safety and Comfort Items

KEVLAR HELMET Whether police or military, a sniper doesn't usually wear a helmet because it makes stalking more difficult and surrounds his head in a distinct outline. Police snipers usually leave their Kevlar helmets at the precinct, but it may be worth bringing along if responding to a hostile sniping incident. When accompanying a unit, military snipers should wear the same uniform, including a helmet, to avoid distinguishing themselves and becoming a target for enemy snipers. GAS MASK...

Reticle Dimensions

You may have heard that spider silk is used for crosshairs. Well, spiderwebbing only 1 5000 of an inch wide and amazingly strong was used for all kinds of military and scientific optics until the 1940s, when processes were perfected for making the ultrathin metal wires that replaced them. Today we use reticle wires made of steel or brass alloys that withstand shock and heavy recoil much better than the spider silk of olden days. When it comes to modern scopes, the most critical reticle...

Lots and Lots of Lots

Yes, consistency, and there's yet another way to add a bit more consistency to our ammunition performance, and that's by using rounds only from the same manufacturer's lot. In the same lot of ammunition, all the primers were made on the same equipment, with the same compound, probably by the same person, and likely on the same day. The powder came from the very same batch, which was mixed at the same time, shipped on the same day, stored in the same way and for...

Winchester The Sniping Workhorse

.308 SNIPING PROJECTILES (left column, top to bottom) Hornady TAP 165-gr3in barrier Federal 165-grain Tactical Longbow frangible (middle column) Hornady TAP 155-grain A-Max Hornady TAP 168-grain A-Max Sierra 168-grain BTHP Black Hills moly on 175-grain Sierra BTHP (right column) M80 147-grain ball M993 military armor piercing military tracer M118 Special Ball 173-grain (obsolete). At left is a Snapcap for dry-firing. suspects were solidly hit with .223 bullets but went on to kill hostages or...

Gr And Mlr Lead Comparison

Can you see why Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett were such fine riflemen Although my preference is the counting sevens technique which I double for a trotting target and or halve when it's oblique you could just as well memorize leads and do the same thing 1, 2, 3.5, 4.5, 6, and 7. Whatever works best for 3'ou is the most appropriate technique. Another technique uses a rifle scope's mil dot reticle for very exact moving target compensation, which we've covered extensively in that section the mil...

Zero Verification

A sniper should verify his weapon's zero in the following situations. These are listed in order of importance, but ideally all require verifying Any hint scope was knocked, knobs turned After separating action from stock After unpacking from shipping Cheekrest height or butt length changed Switching to a new lot of ammunition Temperature change of + - 20 degrees Altitude change of 1,500 or more feet Before each planned operation ONE-SHOT ZERO (L-R) Aim carefully and fire one shot note its...

Followthrough

Natural POA, comfortable, muscle tension, butt in shoulder Final fine adjust- Steady, merits, taking slack stable, out of sling, grip firm beanbag, bipod steady Absorb recoil, continue steady hold, eject car-ridge, reload Scope picture is clear, fills the eyepiece, target visible Slight reticle move- Crosshair exact-ment due to beathing, iy on target, in focus back and forth at target and reticle Continue focus on target, observe results, call shot

Assessing Scope Quality

Not long ago, one of our NCOs spent two days trying to track down national standards for optical glass so we could evaluate scope lenses. He learned there were no hard data standards for comparing lenses. I tried to find some kind of comparative assessment of scopes, kind of a Consumer Reports, but no such comparison exists. While I could do an assessment myself, it wouldn't be a detached and scientific study without thousands of dollars worth of equipment, much beyond my already overstressed...

Anecdotal Evidence of Incapacitation

But there still are knowledge gaps and opinion chasms when it comes to rifle bullet effects. Corporal Sanow and I once discussed the subject at length, swapping personal observations and experiences. It was Sanovv's view that rifle bullets having a remaining velocity of more than about 1,200 to 1,300 fps would cause injuries through temporary cavitation as distinct from wound channel damage. 1 share his belief that a rifle bullet's cavitation pulse becomes so sharp, so sudden, so violent, and...

Fastest Round Average Velocity Slowest Round

The perfectly lazed range to the precise compensation you applied. But you sdll missed. The reason was the change in altitude. You had zeroed your rifle at the Kabul Airport, elevation 5,931 feet above sea level, and attempted to engage the al Qaeda fighter on a 15,000-foot ridgeline, some 9,000 feet higher. The problem is not chat gravity decreases when you're farther from the center of the earth it's that the air becomes thinner and there's less drag, causing your bullet to fly faster with a...

Short Range Advantages

The simplest solution to up down confusion and the one most police snipers apply is to keep the distance as close as they can, say no more than 100 yards. Look at the chart showing this short-range information. No matter whether you're firing .308, .223, or .300 Mag. or the suspect's at 30 degrees or 60 degrees, by virtue of your short range, the maximum possible error is only about an inch when you aim dead-on. Already we've cited stalking forward as one way of reducing the effect of a heavy...

The Snipers Environment

Both police and military snipers operate in stress-filled environments, but how the stresses are generated, and how they can affect you, are quite different. The military sniper, day in and day out, operates in great personal danger because he probably is behind enemy lines. Every single move, his tiniest act, must be modified to remain undetected, for his only true security is invisibility. When he shoots he must displace, or certain retaliation will crash upon him. He cannot relax from the...

Longrange Accuracy

Like a test pilot exploring the limits of his flight envelope, Skip Talbot test-fired his .50 caliber at quite extreme ranges up to 3,000 yards, the greatest credible accuracy experiment I've yet come across. Firing his custom civilian match rounds at an 8 x 10-foot sized 55-gallon drums 1,250 yards away during demonstrations of M2 ball accuracy and penetration. I hit the drum about 70 percent of the time, while a couple of our marksmanship instructors did a bit better. Dr. Kaplan, a master...

Precisely Aiming Your Caliber

Having tested and selected the best gun, your next step is to outfit it with optics, and here the challenge is primarily one of scrounging, for although the .50 caliber has a dovetail for a mount, the military doesn't provide the mating mount and rings. My best advice is to befriend a depot-level machinist, then guard his handiwork as if it were gold. Despite mirage problems, you should use a 20x or larger scope so you can select targets at 1,000+ yards. Since you'll be firing free recoil...

Step Further

Although to many it would seem that these cards offer all the ballistic dope you need for shooting, you still haven't fine-tuned your elevation enough for long-distance threading the eye of the needle. I recommend that you turn that 3x5 card over and jot down at 25-yard increments all the distances from 50 yards to 1,000 yards, then at each 25 yards enter target knob settings or BDC fine-tuning. This will become especially important past 500 yards, where you begin to see considerable elevation...

USMC Scout Sniper Instructor School

Weapons Training Battalion Marine Corps Combat Development Command Quantico, VA 22134-5040 This is the USMC's highest level sniper training school, founded by GySgt. Carlos Hathcock in 1977. The nine-week Quantico school produces instructors for all other Marine sniper training courses. Students also come from other military services, federal agencies, and even foreign countries. Sniper school cadre assist the design and testing of U.S. sniping-related items, from camouflage to weapons to...

Designated Marksmen

Though the concept goes back to the earliest days of rifle-armed infantry, the early 21st century has seen considerable American interest in platoon- and squad-level infantrymen assigned the additional duty of Designated Marksmen (DM). The Marine Corps has even fielded custom-built M14s and M16A3s for these (respectively) platoon and squad sharpshooters. The Designated Marksman Rifle (DMR) is an accurized M14 that incorporates a match-grade barrel and McMillan pistol grip stock with an...

Ballistic Tests of Rifle Bullets

Fackler who found that gunshot wounds into swine flesh could be reproduced and calibrated in a mixture of 10-percent ordnance gelatin when maintained at 40 F. Thus a bullet that penetrated 7 inches in living flesh would equally penetrate 7 inches in Dr. Fackler's gelatin mixture, making ballistic tests much simpler and more valid. Cpl. Ed Sanow of the Benton County, Indiana, Sheriff's Department used this gelatin mixture to conduct a series of rifle bullet ballistic tests in 1991,...

X

Close your right eye and look at the ,X with your ieft, moving this image back and forth. At about 18 inches, the sniper at left will disappear. binoculars, with their wider field of view and overlapping vision, more effective than a spotting scope. If the moon is to your front or side or there's any urban light reflected in the sky, try to silhouette your foe by positioning yourself on slighdy lower ground. We've illustrated this to show that even dropping prone on relatively flat ground can...

Objective Lens Size

Think of that front objective lens as a funnel, a gatherer of light within reason, the bigger it is, the better for long-range shooting. And this is especially useful in the reduced light of night or in the shadows of a jungle's heavy canopy. Furthermore, the higher the scope's magnification, the larger the objective lens must be in order to have sufficient light for most shooting situations. As is covered elaborately in the section on optics, the exit pupil of any optical device, including a...

Urban Range Estimation

More so than any other operating environment, a laser rangefinder works at its peak in an urban setting. The widespread presence of solid structures and reflective surfaces with squared, perpendicular sides makes for reliable, long-range lazing to a device's maximum range. But this setting also contains plenty of aspects that lend themselves to fairly accurate range estimation using eyeball and manual techniques, too. Unlike rural areas, urban ones contain regularly spaced or standard-sized...

Counting Fence Posts and Power Pylons

If you look closely around your operational area, you'll probably notice some kind of man-made feature emplaced at regular intervals that you can use for range estimation. The most frequently encountered are fence posts and power pylons or telephone poles. Any of these can be very useful, but take care that they really are positioned at a standard interval. Since power pylons are so cosdy to erect, and most landowners don't like them, power companies tend to place them as far away from each...

Basic Offensive And Defensive Tactics

Identical to that of an observation post a triangle so it's automatically understood that trained observers vvich optics occupy this position. But to instantly distinguish its sniper role, I've inserted a circle and crosshair inside it. Graphically, this describes perfectly what's present here. The sniper hide symbol can be in a friendly unit position, all alone on a distant hilltop wherever there's a sniper hide, or Final Firing Position (FFP). Next, we must depict an independent sniper team's...

Sustenance

Our recommendation is that a police sniper carry with him enough sustenance for eight hours and have additional food and water in his large rucksack for 24 hours on-site without resupply. While there may not seem much need for food, you well could find yourself in a perfect hide that you've occupied motionless for hours, then suddenly a support person walks up with a Big Mac and fries, blowing your cover completely. This has happened before, real-world. Military snipers obviously must bring...

UpDown Compensation Minutes of Angle

We've published a special chart with .308 and M118LR information for 45 degree up down compensation and compared it to MOAs and 1 4 MOA clicks so you can see how to apply this data to a BDC, target knobs, or an elevation ring. Now we're getting ready to start cooking so pay close attention. Our first leap in logic set in your brain that 45 degrees is the only data you truly must learn. Forget about the long lists in 5-dcgree increments, etc. Just learn 45 degrees and apply this compensation...

Hostage Rescue Shooting

This section must be brief and pointed, because disclosing too much here could benefit any hostage taker who got his hands on this book. Hostage-rescue shooting is the most psychologically and physically demanding kind of sniping. There's not the slightest room for error, nor is there opportunity for spotter rounds or second chances. Everything depends on one trigger squeeze. Don't attempt a shot beyond your ability. Don't allow superiors or others to rush you. Employ at least two sniper teams...

Range Estimation Capability

To some degree, any scope having a duplex reticle can be used for range estimation since it contains several exact widths and heights that will subtend predetermined measurements at distances you can then estimate. Indeed, Leupold explains how to do this with literature that accompanies its scopes, and we teach you these techniques in the range estimation section. Some scopes come with special range estimation devices, such as the mil dot reticles in Leupold and Unertl military sniperscopes....

Breaking An Engagement

How many rounds does a sniper fire in a single engagement I'll give you some food for thought. Ordinarily you can count on only one shot per engagement, not just because your targets will disappear and aggressively react, but a second or third round could very well pinpoint your location. Think about it your first round surprises the enemy, but they still learn your general direction and distance a second shot has their every eye and ear turned your way and a third Well, it can only raise your...

Smell

Wind acts on scent like it does on sound, carrying it toward you or pushing it away from you. Sometimes our SOG recon men could determine they were ncaring a North Vietnamese base camp purely by the putrid smell of nuoc mam fermented fish sauce or the harsh aroma of Vietnamese tobacco. In another region or continent, it could have been the smell of coffee at dawn or the stench of a guerrilla band's unsanitary latrine. The greatest problem with a sniper smoking, I believe, is that he...

Engaging A Fleeting Target

A fleeting target is a stationary hostile who exposes himself for only a few seconds, then ducks back into cover and concealment until he again exposes himself. Examples include an artillery forward observer in an observation post or a soldier concealed behind a log and occasionally peering over its top or an enemy sniper attempting to spot you. This is the most realistic suspect activity for police sniping situations, too. Essentially, engaging a fleeting target is a game of patience and...

The Accurate Barrel

When it comes to barrels, you should be more concerned with the quality and precision of manufacture than whether a barrel's made of stainless steel or a chrome-moly alloy, although stainless stands up longer to wear. Producers may proudly declare the superiority of their barrel-making process, but there doesn't seem to be any inherent advantage in hammer-forged or button rifling. Both techniques create stress because steel is crushed into the desired shape and the stress relieved by heat...

Exit Pupil and Twilight Factor

Chapter 11 explains these ratings, but I think they've been much overstressed. You can have a cheap, poor-quality scope with an oversized objective lens and manipulate exit pupil and twilight factor ratings. You're stuck with third-class lenses, ground not nearly so well as another scope that didn't rate as high. The Leupold Mark 4 is a good example. Its M3 military version has an exit pupil of four, which seems barely adequate, but the lenses are so well ground and coatings are of such high...

Yards yards yards yards

BTHP 750 475 375 170 Federal Match .308 168-gr. BTHP 1600 1150 970 510 Fed. Prem. .300 Mag. 200-gr. BTSP 2520 1970 1890 995 indicted dramatically more damage into the target and penetrated much deeper than did the AK or any of the .223 rounds, with much of this damage due to fragmentation and tumbling. Sanow was surprised by how poorly the .223s penetrated ballistic gelatin, with all rounds barely meeting the FBI minimum standard of 12 inches. After about 75 yards,...

Natural Night Vision

If we didn't have two eyes, we'd be in big trouble because this overlapped vision helps compensate for the natural blind spots in each human eye. Blind spots Absolutely. In daytime it's easy to find the blind side in your nsion. Look at our special black illustration below and cover your right eye while focusing your left eye on the X. Now, move the book back and forth. At about 18 inches, the crawling silhouette disappears because there's a spot inside your eye receptors that lacks...

The Winchester Ballistic Advantage

A term cited repeatedly in this book is ballistic advantage, the great benefit you have over potential opponents due to your .308's performance. I coined this term so snipers could cleariy understand that at ranges beyond about 400 yards, their rifles are inherendy more accurate, more powerful, and more lethal than the assault rifles carried by their adversaries. At shorter ranges, an assault rifle's large magazine capacity and high rate of fire give an opponent the advantage. Therefore, think...

The Legality Of Opentipped Match Bullets

At first glance, it would appear that hollowpoint match bullets such as the Sierra and Hornady 168-grain and Sierra 175-grain MatchKings violate the Hague Convention of 1907, which forbids projectiles or material calculated to cause unnecessary suffering. In the past, this clause has been found to encompass so-called dumdum bullets that mushroom or expand violently and break apart. Civilian ammo boxes describe match loads as BTHR meaning boat-tail, hollow-point. Does that mean these rounds are...

Lubricants arid Solvents

Epoxy-bedded rifles require special concern while cleaning because solvents can seep into the receiver area and transform that iron-hard material into a gummy mess. Thus, when cleaning the bore on an epoxy-bedded rifle, keep the muzzle lower than the receiver so any excess solvent runs out the barrel, not into the bedding. Some shooters go a step further and brace their rifles upside down during cleaning, making it impossible for solvent to come in contact with the lower receiver. This is not...

Target Detection

Est real-world account I've come upon is from World War II, via a 1953 article in American Rifleman, in which a spotter put a precision rifleman's fire on a target that he couldn't even see. Using a 20x spotting scope, Robert Sears could discern a German machine gun firing away at 800 yards with such deadly effect that an infantry company could not cross a river. He had a competitive rifleman comrade fire (using ordinary open sights) at what he called a reference target a rock the rifleman...

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,...