Physical Condition

Spec Ops Shooting

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I agree with Soviet Col. R. 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 does this or not, you must stay in shape or you'll begin avoiding strain subconsciously by dashing at a low trot when you should low-crawl, or walking conspicuously around a wall rather than pull yourself invisibly over it. Poor shape, laziness, and bad tactics go hand-in-hand.

The U.S. Army physical training (PT) test is adequate for police, although the SWAT teams I'm most familiar with have higher physical standards, approaching the PT levels of Special Forces and Ranger units.

As far as eyesight goes, a sniper needs at least

20-20 vision since much of his job is spotting and surveiiling. Eyeglasses? Correctable vision is acceptable if the sniper has nonglare eyeglass lenses and keeps a spare set with his gear.

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