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 one carrier that's always with you, no matter the tactical situation. Inside its pouches are the minimal items needed to take a shot, survive, and communicate with others. If you must strip down to the lightest possible load, you still retain your vest/webgear, which has the bare essentials needed to accomplish your mission.
DITTY BAG OR LIGHT RUCKSACK: The ditty bag is cited because many police use them, but here we urge law officers to switch to a light rucksack. In contrast to a ditty bag, a light ruck on your back frees you to carry your rifle in both hands, enabling you to climb, run, and shoot. When combined with his webgear, a police sniper's light rucksack contains everything he needs for eight hours on-site with no resupply or assistance. You carry this rucksack into your sniper hide position, but in a fix you could conceal it and stalk forward and still accomplish your mission with the vest/webgear contents.
LARGE RUCKSACK: This is actually your reserve stow bag, in which everything else is stored. Generally there's enough gear in here to allow 24 hours on-site with no further assistance or resupply, when combined with the contents of the small rucksack and vest/webgear. Police snipers bring
CASES AND LOAD-BEARING GEAR. The ditty bag (center) is not as useful as a military rucksack. Critical gear is stowed in vest or webgear.
this )arge rucksack to the scene but keep it locked in their squad or tac team van. In that few minutes he has to grab gear once alerted, a police sniper transfers an item or two from the reserve stow bag into the light rucksack he carries on his back. It's possible a police sniper could have a special mission lasting several days—like a remote airfield surveillance—which would demand so much extra gear and food that the large rucksack becomes his primary gear container. He shifts nonessential gear into the light rucksack, which he leaves behind.
RIFLE HARDCASE: Whenever being transported nontactically, your rifle should be kept in a hardcase. Although this provides complete protection, your greatest concern must be to prevent damage to the scope, the most vulnerable component of a sniping system. Any hardcase meeting airline luggage standards is acceptable, whether made of plastic or aluminum. All are foam-lined, but the addition of internal Velcro tie-downs is excellent A larger rwo-gun case is preferable, I think, because you can stow and carry extra items alongside your rifle. After opening your case in rain or high humidity, be sure to allow the foam to dry before re-storing the rifle in it. A related point: keep one or two silica gel packets in the hardcase to absorb dampness and protect the weapon from rust.
DRAG BAG OR SOFTCASE: While the hardcase is essential for shipping and storing your rifle, at times there simply won't be enough space for so large a container, such as when riding aboard a tactical aircraft or vehicle. While your scope is in a softcase., it's especially important to protect your scope with a strap-on Eagle scope cover. The drag bag is similar to a softcase, but it's heavily camouflaged and dragged behind the sniper while low-crawling. A combination nylon drag bag and softcase is manufactured by Eagle, just for sniper use.
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