Equipment Consistency

Spec Ops Shooting

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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 rifle individually as much as if the rifle was assigned only to one man.

Consistency is also achieved through ammunition by firing only match-grade rounds, ensuring that operational ammo and practice ammo are from the same lot. When you change lots, you rezero your rifle for the new batch of ammunition.

If you have a zoom rifle scope, you should prefer to fire both practice and real-world at the same magnification—usually the scope's highest. And you zero your scope set at its maximum power, too.

I don't know any military or police snipers who use earmuffs on real operations, and therefore I don't think you should use this type of hearing protection during practice. The larger muff types can cause you to develop a peculiar spotweld and possibly cant during range fire, which you could overcome with modified technique. But since you wouldn't have muffs in the field, your point of aim/point of impact could shift slightly. It's more realistic to use ear protectors that fit entirely in your ear, of which there are several effective brands, so that even if you forget them or choose not to use them in the field, there will be no disruption of consistency.

This consistency extends to the use of a beanbag to support the rifle's heel for exact aiming. If you use one in practice, you should use one on real operations, too.

Practice firing both with sandbags and bipod so you'll know the slight differences in results. I can shoot a group about 1/4 MOA tighter with a sandbag rest.

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