Shooters Attitude

About half of achieving superb performance is your attitude. It can either help you or hinder your development. The few problems I've had coaching riflemen were due to their egos. You can take pride in what you do and how well you do it, but when it reaches the point that it masks errors or closes your mind to further progress, it's no longer pride but blind ego. A sniper's surest, fastest route to hell is to become oblivious to his own shortcomings. As Dirty Harry once said, A man's got to...

Adjustable Objective Lens

By adjustable, we mean the objective lens can be focused, which not only allows for a clearer target image but, as a by-product, also reduces or eliminates completely any parallax. (Other concerns about parallax will be addressed later in this chapter.) Some scopes with adjustable focus use a ring on the objective lens. Most modern sniperscopes, however, put this adjustment in a knob on the left side of the scope, opposite the windage knob. Having used both types, I think the side-mounted knob...

Boresighting

The final step before zeroing your rifle is to boresight it, which will save considerable time on the range. There are two ways to boresight a rifle, with the first requiring that you literally sight down the rifle's bore. To do this, take out your bolt and firmly sandbag or prop your rifle so it's pointing at a small object about 100 yards away. Remove the scope's turret caps so you can adjust the windage and elevation. Now, look down the rifle's bore and, through the rifling, pick out that...

Capacity and Reloading

A total capacity of five rounds one in the chamber and four in the fixed magazine is adequate for a sniper rifle. Single-shot, hand-fed weapons may be suitable for benchrest competition, but they're just too limiting for sniping. Still another useful feature is a hinged fioorplate to facilitate safe unloading. The majority of sniper rifles, including the Remington in its many military and police variations, fit this bill. If I had my way, however, all sniper rifles would employ short,...

Coloration and Materials

My Ghillie suit is green and forest-oriented, while the other one we've pictured is brown and grassland- or desert-oriented. My G-suit actually contains six colors and three different textures, which were spray painted to tone down light spots and blend it all together. Just one sleeve probably contains 200 to 300 burlap strips. My suit uses hand-tied netting, made from ordinary string, to hold the burlap in place. I did it this way just to prove it could work effectively. Otherwise, most of...

Conducting a Delay with Snipers

A delay is a defensive operation in which ground is traded for time, with an advancing enemy slowed or temporarily halted, usually by a weaker force. The classic example is the Battle of Thermopylae, the 480 B.C. delay of a 100,000-man Persian army by King Leonidas of Sparta and his 300 royal guards. Their spirited defense of a mountain pass so narrow that only 10 men could advance at once bought enough time to mobilize the Greek army and prepare an ultimately successful defense. The key to...

Contrast

Contrast is similar to shape, except here we're talking about conflicts in color and texture, which usually result from poorly prepared camouflage. Contrast indicators include, as we've illustrated, leafy branches used as camouflage below a pine tree (meaning improper matching of natural camouflage), cut live camouflage foliage changing color or becoming limp as it dries, concentrating too much leafy foliage to conceal something, and outlines that are in conflict with shadows, which indicate...

Detonating the Ambush

Located high in the tree is your actual target the gate you'll close with one bullet. Your hide could be 400 to 600 yards away, depending on the target's size and your marksmanship abilities. When the enemy enters the kill zone, fire one well-placed shot to detonate the entire claymore series. Since your muzzle blast will be masked by the detonation, you can safely wait to engage an enemy relief force or call indirect fire. On the next page we've illustrated several styles of mechanical gates,...

Engaging Materiel Targets

A sniper's ability to place shots precisely into vulnerable points gives him the capability of degrading and destroying materiel targets in addition to human ones. It's only a matter of knowing where these Achilles' heels are located and how best to impact them. First, understand that you'll always achieve the deepest penetration and least likelihood of ricochets by having your bullets impact at 0 degrees obliquity that means impacting perpendicular to the target's surface. As our illustration...

Equipment Consistency

You strive to use the same components in the exact same way, shot after shot. This means that ideally you should not swap rifles with your teammate, but each of you should have your own exclusively. In the case of law officers, who tend to shoot more so in hostage-rescue scenarios, this exclusiveness is especially important, both for shooter confidence and liability. Military snipers may have to share a single sniper rifle, but they heighten consistency by using a single zero and firing the...

Focusing the Eyepiece

Although the scope's eyepiece focus should be factory-set for 20 20 vision, don't assume it's properly set, since someone could have futzed around with it or maybe you're inheriting the scope from a previous shooter with slightly different vision. I'm talking about focusing on the reticle, not the ability to see objects through the scope. An in-focus reticle with crisp edges and crosshairs enhances precision shooting. Depending on your scope, you'll find that the rear eyepiece or a threaded...

Human Nature Vulnerabilities

The one quality I saw in combat that consistently got men killed or caused others to die was arrogant overconfidence some fool thinking he knew it all. Any one of the human vulnerabilities listed below can get you killed or cause you to fail to accomplish your mission. Master these qualities and you will have mastered yourself. Overconfidence Inattention Indifference Hasty Decisions Lack of Planning Bad Tactical Habits Anger Emotionalism Undue Curiosity Too Easily Distracted Laziness...

Human Sign

The section on tracking deals with human sign extensively, so we won't repeat it all here. For target-detecdon purposes, all you need to remember is that man tends to be a messy beast who leaves tracks and trash in his wake, and the larger the enemy force the less concerned they are about concealing human sign. They may have perfectly prepared overhead camouflage. USMC Scout-Snipers transmit a digital image on the Marine Air Ground Task Force Secondary Image Dissemination System (MSIDS). but...

Info

Due to a bullet's trajectory, range estimation accuracy becomes more critical with distance. becomes less and less accurate. Usually, it's better to divide the total distance in half, as shown next, then estimate just the closer half and double it. Not surprisingly, this is called the half-distance technique. When using any range estimation technique and especially when eyeballing compare your results with those of your teammate and split the difference. Usually, this average is more accurate...

Laying the Ambush

Align your claymore series to cover an ambush kill zone, perhaps on a trail or edge of a road used by the enemy. Be sure to conceal the claymores Run the electric wire behind a tree or rock, with the positive wire running up to the gate. For safety's sake, don't connect the interrupted circuit to the battery unless you're sure no friendlies are in the kill zone, and make sure you aren't too close to the backblast area. If all is well when you make the connection (i.e., it doesn't detonate),...

Legalities and Policies

The most basic difference benveen a police and a military sniper is how each employs deadly force. No law officer would ever take a shot which is deadly force unless a suspect is a threat to himself, another police officer, a bystander, or a hostage. But quite the opposite applies to a military sniper in combat. He readily will engage a confirmed enemy soldier, and his target need not be an immediate threat to anyone. The hostile soldier's mere existence is a threat to our forces, it is...

M Caliber Armor Piercing Incendiary API Yard Zero

* SLAP ammo is not suitable or safe for some rifles. This round approximates the Raufoss Mk 211 Grade A trajectory. This round approximates the Raufoss Mk 211 Grade A trajectory. U.S. Department of Defense review reconfirmed that the Mk 211 was legal to employ against both materiel arid personnel targets. Propaganda generated by the ICRC claim has been sufficient that some American snipers in Iraq actually carry with them copies of the Department of Defense legal review. More recently, research...

Major Police Mission List

SKYJACK BUS AND TRAIN HIJACK HIGH-RISK WARRANT SERVICE MOVING VEHICLE INTERDICTION COUNTERSNIPER COUNTER WMD SEIZURE CORDON AND SEARCH SMALL VEHICLE ASSAULT DIGNITARY PROTECTION WITNESS PROTECTION OVERWATCH OF DRUG BUY CLANDESTINE DRUG LAB RECON SURVEILLANCE SAFEHOUSE RECON SURVEILLANCE REMOTE AIRFIELD RECON SURVEILLANCE MARITIME AREA RECON SURVEILLANCE BORDER SURVEILLANCE But when it's just your team operating behind enemy lines Any shot taken after the first one stacks the odds against you....

Marksmanship

When it comes to marksmanship, the candidate must be at least a rated expert rifleman which he soon learns is only a starting point for sniper-level shooting. His involvement with weapons ideally goes beyond service rifle qualification. My interest in firearms date back to a childhood in which I was expected to handle a rifle alone in the woods by the ripe age of 8. Perhaps the candidate has been a competitive shooter, or maybe he has a deeper grasp and fascination with weapons than the average...

Match HPBT Bullet Yards and Fractions of a Second

100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 .11 .24 .38 .53 .70 .87 1.06 1.27 Obviously, the closer your target, the sooner the bullet reaches him, which means (for him) it's far more dangerous to expose himself for 1 second at 100 yards than at 500 yards. Add to these times the amount of time it would take you to spot him, shift focus to one eye, look through the crosshairs, and squeeze off a shot. With practice, you should be able to engage a target that exposes itself for 1.5 to 2 seconds. The snipers I...

Mil Ranging Shortcuts

Here are a few ways to speed up your mil-ranging. First, get your spotter a small handheld calculator, so he can tap out the mil formula data as quickly as you read it through your scope. He tells you the indicated range, you dial your BDC, and bang It gets a little more complicated in darkness, but you can figure your own way around that challenge. Another shortcut is the Quick Mil Dot Calculations chart we've printed on page 126. Copy it, cover it with clear tape or acetate adhesive, and use...

MLR gr BTHP Match

Target could be long gone by the time you renew your aim. If there's plenty of time, with your target lax and unconcerned about your possible presence, by all means, dial all your dope and take that picture-perfect shot. But quite often you'll find that a well-placed shot, fired quickly, is more certain of success than a perfectly planned shot fired a little later.

Mm M Ball

100 yards-Fail 400 yards Easy 300 yards-Max 400 yards Easy 300 yards Easy 200 yards Max 400 yards Easy Recently I tested a variety of sniper rounds against Living trees to measure their penetration, to help you determine both the cover they offer and what it takes to punch through one when a hostile is firing from the other side. After only a few firings, I found that my results did not parallel those in the preceding paragraphs. Unless you find yourself in a lumberyard shootout, it's unlikely...

More about Hunters

But it's been mostly hunting experience that traditionally has marked a man as a potential sniper. The Germans historically called their snipers J gers or hunters, so close is this linkage. The Russians especially liked snipers with hunting experience. Their greatest sniper of World War II, Sgt. Vassili Zaitsev, had been a prewar hunter and trapper in the Ural Mountains. The best Australian snipers of World War II were experienced kangaroo hunters who knew that a badly placed shot ruined a...

Mosinnagant Basic Data

Cartridge Russian 762x54mm Rimmed Weight 11.3 lbs. 5.1 kg) Overall Length 48 inches (122 cm) Barrel Length 29 inches (72.6 cm) Rifling 4 grooves, 1 10 rt-hand twist Capacity 5 rounds, fixed magazine Max Rate of Fire 10 rpm Aimed Rate of Fire 3-5 rpm Scope Types 3.5x PU or 4x PE Reticle Type Adjustable post Obsolete but with a distinguished record, the Soviet 1891-30 Mosin-Nagant sniper rifle with 3.5x PU scope.

Most Important Spotting Advice

Your mind cannot, detect something unless it has enough lime to see it. In order for your brain to recognize something, your eyes must linger on it long enough to register an impression. Rotating your head too fast creatcs an indecipherable blur. I've learned to pace my eye movement by consciously scanning from one point to another, then going back and doing it again half as fast, dien repeating this yet again at one-quarter the speed. This slowest pace becomes rhe pace for all subsequent...

Mounting the Scope

Before installing anything, clean all screws and screw holes with acetone or alcohol to eliminate any oil or grease that could reduce tightness. If you're remounting this scope or it previously was on another rifle, you should take time here to restore the crosshair's mechanical center, a procedure explained on page 113. Begin mounting by attaching the base using hex screws, upon which you have applied a thin coating of Gun-Tite, a special adhesive made by Loctite, to anchor them in place. When...

Mounts And Mounting

The same exacting standards of quality demanded in a sniper-grade rifle and scope must be found in its mount, too. It's the height of foolishness to acquire a S 1,700 rifle and an 800 scope and connect them with a 815 mount and rings. Mount quality results from close tolerances during machining some mounts not only have poor tolerances, but they aren't even machined they're stamped out of soft alloys. And bccause these soft alloys have a different hardness and density than a rifle receiver's...

Night Camouflage

Among current U.S. military uniforms, I think the most effective night camouflage is provided by the Marine Corps' dark shade digital pattern. After that, the classic woodland pattern found on Army BDUs is efficient, as is the computer-generated checkered black-and-green desert night pattern developed a decade ago. Gray is a decent night color, especially for police who may have to blend in among civilians during an infiltration. But gray reflects light somewhat and can be silhouetted. Black...

Night Sniper Hides

There's a tendency for snipers to overextend themselves in the darkness that is, to occupy a hide that may be excellent for night engagements but becomes extremely dangerous by daylight. Evaluate your night hide in this respect, and be ready to relocate well before dawn into thicker, safer cover. An excellent temporary night hide would be in a ditch or creek bed from which the sniper can take a shot then withdraw without having even once exposed himself directly to small-arms fire. And when it...

Optics Weapons and Ammo

More than anything, I think engaging from an aircraft is a target-acquisition challenge, so the first issue for consideration is your optic. Due to its limited field of view and the exaggerated visual effect of aircraft vibration, I'd gauge the least effective optic as the lOx fixed scope found on most military sniper rifles. Perhaps with a great deal of practice, a really fine shooter could master his 1 Ox in a swaying helicopter, but most men find it extremely difficult. If you have a...

Other Lazing Tips

Use caution when employing a laser after dark against an enemy outfitted with night vision equipment. Most infrared laser rangefinder beams can be seen in night goggles and weapon sights, dramatically compromising your location. Lazing over water generates some unique considerations. Bushnell engineer Tim Carpenter has noticed that humid air absorbs laser wavelength light like a sponge. I've found that laser beams can bounce invisibly off water onto a distant object, then back, and yield an...

Parallax

Parallax is like radioactivity in that it is feared mostly because it isn't understood. For all the overly complicated articles I've read that warned me about its mysterious effects, it was finally Leupold that cut through the hocus-pocus with one uncomplicated declaration Don't worry about parallax. Here's why if you're using a quality rifle scope that's been factory-set to be parallax-free at 150 yards, the worst possible parallax error is only 1.3 inch at 500 yards Unless you're wearing an...

PGN x degree field of view range of yards

Sporting rifle designer, Yevgeniy Dragunov, and carries his name in its official nomenclature, Snayperskaya Vintovka Dragunova (Dragunov Sniper Rifle). Mr. Dragunov crafted the SVD along the lines of a sporting rifle, yielding a graceful but deadly appearance that added to its mystique. Using molded fiberglass in its hollowed, one-piece butt and pistol grip, this was the first Russian weapon to employ such high-tech materials now commonly found in AKs and PK machine guns. While externally...

Police Tactical Unit Organization

Law enforcement sniper teams are one component of a larger tactical unit, sometimes referred to as SWAT. Just as is true for the military, police tactical units are configured into distinct elements grouped together according to function, then mixed and matched or tailored to conduct any specific operation, Along with two-man sniper teams, a typical police tactical unit includes the following elements COMMAND AND CONTROL Normally, tac unit leaders are not heavily involved on-site during...

Practice as Youll Operate

Your practice fire will not be very useful unless it accurately reflects how you actually operate in the field. Rolling out a comfortable shooting mat and pulling on your custom shooting jacket have as much to do with sniping as with an expedition to Mars. But there are some other practices, less obvious, that are just as unrealistic. I've seen some snipers don strap-on recoil pads on the firing range. Would they really have such pads in the field And what about earmuffs It's better to use...

Q o

Select a spot with clear tracks, divide total footprints by two. 400 yards or more. But 30 or more prints imply a platoon, which would have two medium machine guns, and since these fire full-size 7.62mm rounds, you would have no advantage just che need to be more careful when you engage. Since a platoon usually prefers to move through wider forested cover than would a squad, you can anticipate where they'd cross an upcoming stream just by looking at the density of adjacent...

Quickfix Degree Updown Compensation On A Bdc Distance

(0.7 of 500 yards), aiming dead-on, and letting rip. Look at the chart showing 45-degree quickfix compensation, which shows the actual yards, what 0.7 of these distances equal, how low you'll be holding in inches, and the amount of error you've accepted. When your target is 30 degrees up down the process is the same, except now you use 0.9 so that when you're shooting 600 yards you set your BDC at 540 yards and aim dead-on, etc. Again, you're accepting some error, but it's relatively tiny at...

Rotating Rifles

Another liability issue for police riflemen is the rotation of rifles among officers, which can cause doubts about the weapon's current zero, its condition, and how reliably it will place a bullet exactly where intended. Some small law enforcement agencies have anempted to economize by having officers share one or two sniper rifles, which is distinct from the military practice of rotating weapons between spotter and sniper. In the military, one man uses the sniper rifle while his partner has an...

Russias New Sniper Rifle

As many sniping authorities including me The SV-98's porro-prism scope increases magnification to 7x, but it's still not as powerful as most Western sniper scopes. (Photo credit Valery Shilin Guns Club) C o i n r r r s x i i i n G Tactics a x d T l c h n I q u i- s 479 Russia's SV-98 bolt action replaces the SVD rifle. Though it resembles the AW, it is of entirely different design. (Photo credit Valeiy Shilin Guns Club) forecast more than a decade ago, Russia finally replaced its SVD semiauto...

Selecting Your

Start by examining several .50 calibers the typical infantry battalion has six to 10 Brownings, so look at each of these. More than anything else, find a traversing and elevating (T& E) mechanism that fits smoothly on a tripod's traversing bar, with crisp, well-defined clicks of elevation and windage. Here's where you'll get much of your consistency. Next, pay close heed to how straight and true the bolt face is machined. Place a dummy round on the face to see how firmly and straight it's...

Shape

This target indicator is somewhat abstract. It means looking for something that doesn't fit, a shape that's contrary to its surroundings. In our illustration we show a few horizontal lines from a concealed tank, which is in the midst of vertical lines from trees and foliage. Other shape indicators include a plain shape among much detail, something that looks regular in a sea of randomness, and straight lines amid curves. Sometimes this discernable shape is not the object or target indicator...

Shims

A shim is a very precise, thin wafer of brass used to raise or lower a scope suffering from enormous elevation adjustment problems. If your scope is having problems such as requi-ing 10 MOAs from the mechanical center to reach boresight you may have consumed so many MOAs that you cannot later adjust the scope for dead-on aiming during long-range firing. By inserting a shim between the rear scope base and receiver, you can raise the point of impact and greatly increase up MOAs. A shim placed...

Shooter Consistency

The habits you develop in practice which I call a shooter's stvle must be the same on a Use a beanbag (a sock filled with sand) to raise or tower the rifle butt with your nonshooting hand for steady, micro meter-1 ike adjustments. range when punching paper as it is when you're on a rooftop plugging bad guys. Let's start with your scope picture. You should see your full field of view, with no distortion on the edges. The relationship between proper field of view and eye relief, parallax, and...

Smoking

It's better that a sniper candidate not be a smoker, but this is a choice best left up to the sniper, not to those who would select him. Smoking should not be used as a basis for exclusion, any more than consuming alcohol or drinking coffee, all of which affect sniper performance to some extent. The sniper must recognize how smoking impacts his trade. In daytime his cigarettes will generate smoke and smell, while at night they create a visual signature. His marksmanship can deteriorate if he's...

Sniper Marksmanship

A sniper practices shooting to develop consistency. Keenly attentive, he looks for ways to introduce consistency into his every litde task because he knows that consistency equals accuracy and accuracy equals consistency. If his rifle is tuned for consistency, and with his every shot he uses the same scope sight picture, trigger pull, breathing, and body position and a dozen other tinier subskills the inevitable result will be accurate shooting. To make the difference between all right shooting...

Snipers Supporting an Air Assault

A heliborne air assault should land friendly forces direcdy on or very near their objective, so close that they can rush to it on foot quicker than the enemy can reinforce it. It's because the first lift of landing troops must be prepared to let loose with a wicked, massive fusillade of fire that snipers should not be on that lift every aircraft seat, I think, is needed for machine guns and assault rifles. But the second lift certainly should include snipers, and their priority target would be...

Sniping in Jungles

An unfortunate misimpression generated by several recent books is that sniping was widely practiced during the Vietnam War. I don't wish to diminish the honor and achievements of Vietnam snipers, but we must realistically recognize that a jungled environment is not normally suited to longrange engagements. The usefulness of sniping is dictated by terrain, and Vietnam's triple-canopy jungle did not generally lend itself to sniping. The major exceptions were the devegetated northern hill country...

Sniping in Mountain Country

Mountain sniping is characterized by frequent high-angle uphill or downhill shots, long-distance shots across chasms, and terrain that lends itself well to stalking and concealment. With many ridgelines and jagged fingers, this environment should afford you plenty of protection from enemy small-arms fire, too. Also, the many sound reflective surfaces found in mountains readily generate confusing echoes, which you can exploit to great effect by how you position your hide. Maybe my judgment's...

Special Operations Target Interdiction Course

Company D, 2nd Battalion, 1st Spccial Warfare Training Group Ft. Bragg, NC 28307 This is an advanced course, with the prerequisite that students already be sniper-qualified. Emphasis is placed on Special Ops roles and environments along with extreme-range shooting using advanced heavy weapon systems. Most graduates are destined to assignments throughout the Special Ops community. Many major metro policc departments, such as Dallas and Los Angeles, along with state-level law enforcement...

Sterilizes Site When Abandoning Hide

Probably is better at estimating range and wind and evaluating targets. Due to liability, police snipers do not rotate weapons each should have a rifle assigned exclusively to himself. But police snipers must also rotate rest share or they won't be able to last during a protracted incident and, face it, most incidents that eventually lead to a police sniper taking a shot are protracted ones. Military units are configured according to mission, equipment, doctrine, and the terrain on which...

Substituting Other mm Ammunition

Ideally, a sniper fires only match-grade ammunition from the same lot. But what happens when, in a pinch, no match ammo is available Although there will be a decline in accuracy, your rifle is capable of firing any NATO- standard 7.62x51mm cartridge. These Western military rounds display a special interoperability circle-and-crosshair symbol on their base, which should be easy for a sniper to remember. Also note that several European countries describe boat-tail bullets as streamlined, a term...

Table Of Contents

CHAPTER 1 CHAPTER 2 CHAPTER 3 CHAPTER 4 CHAPTER 5 CHAPTER 6 CHAPTER 7 CHAPTER 8 CHAPTER 9 CHAPTER 10 CHAPTER 11 CHAPTER 12 CHAPTER 13 CHAPTER 14 CHAPTER 15 CHAPTER 16 CHAPTER 17 CHAPTER 18 CHAPTER 19 CHAPTER 20 CHAPTER 21 CHAPTER 22 CHAPTER 23 APPENDIX I APPENDIX II APPENDIX III Acknowledgments vii Preface ix Sniper Unit Organization and Equipment 1 The Sniper's Rifle 37 Sniperscope Basics 79 Using a Sniperscope 105 Bullets and Ballistics 129 Basic Sniper Marksmanship 171 Advanced Sniper...

Tactics

I'm not sure how a sniper candidate can develop an appreciation for tactics other than to study military history and read books such as this one. The study of military history helps develop a feel for the relationships between fire and maneuver, cover versus concealment, and concentration versus dispersion. Most relevant are small unit tactics below the level of Napoleon or Clausewitz. I strongly recommend Sun Tzu's The An of War, a 300 B.C. Chinese treatise on deception and warfare that's...

Targeting US Snipers

There can be no question that Iraqi insurgents have especially targeted U.S. snipers. Besides being the number-one priority on an Iraqi terrorist Web site (see sidebar, page 492), American snipers are despised for their effectiveness, so detested that insurgent propaganda frequendy accuses them of heinous offenses such as killing women and Muslim holy men crimes so despicable that any punishment is justified. Though most often these are opportunistic attacks, some appear to be focused on...

Techniques That Work

First, it's most effective for the pilot and shooter to sit tandem, that is, the shooter behind the pilot. Why That way both can look out the same side of the aircraft at the same general view of the target area, which simplifies communications and target descriptions. As the shooter, you'll find more stability by being seated, but a tether offers more freedom of movement than a seatbelt. Do not use the airframe to steady your rifle since any direct contact will convey vibration. Instead,...

The Magnificent Winchester Magnum

TRAJECTORY TABLE, .300 WINCHESTER MAGNUM 190-GR. BTHP MATCH Trajectory in Inches, Distance in Yards Zero 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 900 1000 .375 H& H Mag. Fed. Prem. 250-gr. BTSP A bullet's design dictates what it does to a target. appropriate one as the target and situation dictate or when it's the only ammo available. The three most basic types of bullets are ball, expanding, and frangible, as we've illustrated.

The One Shot Emergency Zero

There's one last zero technique to consider, and it's accurate enough for an emergency but not for true precision shooting. It's very fast and could mean the difference between life and death. Carefully aim at a target or any surface that leaves a visible mark where you hit it. You should aim at a precise point. Now fire one round. Wedge your rifle into a rigid, solid position with sandbags or other supports so it won't move even a bit. Remove the turret caps so the elevation and windage dials...

The Opposing Sniper

With the Soviet Union dissolved and gone, why-put any particular focus on the Soviet sniper Is it worth studying Ivan and his distinctive SVD rifle It is, and here's why. Recall that throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Soviet SVD rifles and Communist Bloc instructors appeared in most Mideast countries, perhaps half the nations of Africa, and several in Latin America. While you may not encounter a Soviet sniper today, you could face snipers equipped and trained in Red Army doctrine. By combining...

The Snipers Bullet

One bullet is not the same as the next. This is the simple statement with which I begin ballistics classes because it is critical that a sniper acquire an appreciation for even slight differences in bullet performance. Consider the data in the chart, Bullets Are Not the Same. Say we're hunting mule deer in Wyoming, and you suddenly discover you've misplaced your .30-06 ammunition. Luckily, I also have a .30-06, so you ask to borrow a few rounds. For sure. Since you're a more attuned shooter...

The Targeted Sniper Attack

The insurgent's best snipers are employed in carefully planned attacks against somewhat fixed targets, such as a soldier at a guard post, security personnel outside a public building, or a GI manning a guard tower at a U.S. base. We know that these operations involve their finest shooters because with uniformity, these are one-shot kills usually head shots carefully placed to bypass the victim's body armor. These usually are shoot and scoot attacks, but if the sniper's first shot misses he may...

Trigger Control

Safety is off, finger lightly on trigger Take slack out, pull directly back, just to edge of release Straight, clean pull breaks clean, too Deeper inhale exhale Inhale half, HOLD Back to normal SECONDS 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 SECONDS 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 jerk-firing a two-stage trigger that is, instead of a steady pull, just one quick jerk to fire cspccially in an emergency. But no matter single- or...

US Army Sniper School

Company C, 2nd Battalion, 29th Infantry Regt. In addition to its instructional role, the Ft. Benning sniper school is the U.S. Army's receptacle for lessons learned and a test bed for new sniping weapons and gear. This five-week course is the active Army soldier's sole means for earning the Bravo-Four sniper certification. In addition, the school hosts an annual military sniper competition that draws competitors from throughout the U.S. military and several foreign countries. Five years ago, I...

Using a

When I tell students that one of the easiest and most accurate ways to estimate range is using a map, they typically seem to say, Why, I could've thought of that. This is so fundamental and so obvious, but very frequently it's the last method a sniper thinks of using and it should probably be the first. Clearly, the most direct approach is to plot your location and that of your target and simply measure the distance. That doesn't always work, though, because sometimes you're not sure of your...

Whats a Mil

A mil is an angular width, just like a Minute of Angle is an angular width, except the mil is a little wider. Recall how 1 MOA represents 1 inch at 100 yards, 2 inches at 200 yards, 8 inches at 800, etc. The mil dot concept is similar, except it primarily has been used to measure distances when adjusting artillery fire. As any artilleryman or mortar gunner can tell you, 1 mil equals 1 6400 of a circle. Much more importantly to us, however, this same 1 mil angular width equates to 1 yard at...

Wind Estimation With A Laser

A coupie of years ago, a friend with the Defense Department told me about research under way at Los Alamos National Laboratories to design a laser that could measure wind not just where you were but at a distance as well. Checking the Internet, I found that the Israeli Atomic Energy Commission's Yavne Soreq Research Establishment also is looking into laser wind measurement. This is, however, raw, basic research, and I doubt we'll see a usable device anytime in the next decade. But that got me...

Winter Camouflage Patterns

Rarely is snow so deep and terrain so featureless that pure whice totally dominates a winter scene. Be just as keen eyed when assessing varied winter coloration as during summer. Add some green if you're in pine woods, black and gray shadows to match rocks, yellow lines for standing corn stalks, etc. I've noticed that subtle gray-blue stripes can really enhance white camouflage. Fight the mistaken inclination to wear only a white parka. As our illustration above shows, this highlights you...

M Cal Gr Bt Bullet Muzzle Velocity

Distances in Yards Trajectory in Inches operating environment, which, like his dope, will vary somewhat. I must also thank the same unnamed SEAL for providing similar comeup data on the M8 Armor-Piercing Incendiary (API) cartridge, which does double-service because it's ballistically comparable to our next new round, the Raufoss Mk 211 Mod 0. Developed in Norway and manufactured under U.S. government contract by Olin-Winchester, the Raufoss is an exploding armor-piercing round containing a...

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...