Sniping in the Desert

Everything in the desert is farther or greater than in other environments. .Movement rates are faster; how far you must roam to find the enemy is greater; visibility is farther; and shooting distances are longer, too. Because of this, many spotters prefer to carry the balliscically superior 7.62mm M21 or M25 system rather than a 5.56mm M16 or M4 carbine.

Just as in snow country, the desert's harsh, glaring light may be overwhelming when you look through your scope. To improve target clarity.

Afghanistan combines winter and mountain shooting environments, challenging this U.S. Army 10th Mountain Division sniper.

reduce the amount of light entering your objective lens with a homemade aperture, easy to fashion out of tape and cardboard. Be sure to color it to match your camouflage.

Dust is a never-ending problem. As our troops have found in Iraq, desert sand contains powder-fine granules—finer than powdered sugar—that adhere to lubricated weapon components. The best treatment is a dry lubricant like Smooth-Kote and its related cloth applicator, Tuf-Cloth, which molecularly bond to metal, leaving a layer of molybdenum disulfide particles that lasts a long time. If you don't have these products available, use the absolute minimum of lubricant and wipe off your bolt, chamber, receiver, and magazine twice daily. Also put a piece of tape across your muzzle to keep sand out. (This shouldn't affect your zero, but be sure to test that this is so before going into the field.)

Range and wind estimation is particularly difficult in trackless desert country. With few visible objects or terrain features to establish perspective or scale, the "naked eye" range estimation techniques we covered in Chapter 12 don't work well. A laser rangefinder is essential for desert shooting.

DESERT CAMOUFLAGE PATTERNS. (L-R) Six-color, brown Realtree, tan, night desert checkered, and three-color. (Photo credit: Roger Kennedy)

In Chapter 13 we already discussed the excellent Marine Corps digital desert pattern, so to that well add the Army's three-color pattern. The presence of pink in three colors is especially effective because, although desert coloration is dominated by brown shades, sunlight diffuses and reflects pink across desert sands, a fact exploited by both British and German desert camo in World War H. The newer Army Combat Uniform's universal digital pattern, I believe, is inferior to the three-color camo because it's too gray, although it's not so bad that it won't work.

Plain tan or khaki isn't bad either, especially when it's enhanced with spray paint or local natural camouflage. When you tie the colors to your specific area, the results are always better.

We've included brown Realtree mesh as a desert candidate because once the sun's down, bright daylight patterns too readily reflect light and silhouette the wearer. Even if you can acquire only a darker jacket, this added touch will greatly enhance night concealment.

Finally, one of the most useful pieces of desert clothing is the anorak, a hooded pullover jacket whose warmth is most welcome at night. Ideally, your anorak should be reversible, like those issued to Special Ops units, with daytime camo on one side and a night pattern on the other.

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Hunting Mastery Selected Tips

Hunting Mastery Selected Tips

Deer hunting is an interesting thing that reminds you of those golden old ages of 19th centuries, where a handsome hunk well equipped with all hunting material rides on horse searching for his target animal either for the purpose of displaying his masculine powers or for enticing and wooing his lady love.

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  • thelma rivera
    How to snipe drug runners in the desert?
    3 months ago

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