Simultaneous Engagements

Spec Ops Shooting

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In certain situations, it's useful for several snipers to simultaneously engage the same target or multiple targets. Police snipers may

Snap-shooting is fast, not fancy. Just quarter your target, then fire center-mass, like this Gunsite student.

Advance Stress Fire Engagement

mands, "Standby . . . ready . . . fire," using three distinct words that are unlikely to be mistaken during the stress and confusion of a real-world engagement.

Ideally, the command countdown is given by a spotter or sniper employment officer. Things get a little tougher when the countdown must be given by a sniper who's also firing. I call this position the "base sniper" because the rest synch their shots to him. His challenge, then, is to control his breathing so well that he can talk even as he's squeezing his trigger. What works best, I've found, is to speak in a dull monotone so there's no variance in exhaling. This process works really well if the snipers are outfitted with voice-activated radios.

No matter how the countdown is given, the shooters must hone their ability to "jerk-fire"— that is, instead of squeezing steadily and not even realizing the shot's about to break, they feel it coming and time it to break exactly in unison. This takes some practice, with drv-fire of great assistance.

It's especially important for police snipers to have a clearly understood codeword to halt the countdown if some emergency or change arises. You can select your own word, but make sure it does not sound even remotely like "one" or "fire."

Before making a real-world simultaneous engagement, I strongly suggest several dry-fire rehearsals just to get things honed and everyone ready.

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