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New sniper philosophy after Iraq/Afghanistan?

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  • New sniper philosophy after Iraq/Afghanistan?

    With our experience gained in Iraq and Afghanistan:

    Are we still convinced that the bolt action sniper rifle is the way to go?

    Or perhaps, is the accurate semi-auto the way of the future for 30 caliber sniper weapons?

    Is the fast follow-up shot more needed than one shot one kill accuracy?

  • #2
    The bolt will always be the dedicated sniper weapon, a sniper is an ultra accuarate weapon system, the surgeon of the battle field. Semi auto SWS such as the Mk II Mod 0 are becoming popular in closer urban terrain and MOUT where ranges are shorter and targets more fleeting. The Mk II is great under these conditions and by removing the optic doubles as a main battle rifle when needed.

    What has changed is the acceptance of optical sights on regular infantry weapons. The ACOG 4x32mm family of sights are becoming the norm on line infantry weapons and also all M16A4's in the Marine Corps. The "Martyr maker" is proving to be a very rugged, GI proof, optic and is a real asset in CQC in both OIF and OEF.

    Take care...Jim
    "A FAMILY THAT STANDS TOGETHER AND FIGHTS TOGETHER STAYS TOGETHER" The combined Dutch Family...


    "But I've a rendezvous with Death, at midnight in some flaming town, when spring trips north again this year, and I to my pledge word am true, I shall not fail that rendezvous"

    Alan Seeger, KIA Belloy-en-Santerre 4 July 1916, Legion Entrangere, American poet.


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    • #3
      I think the biggest thing to come out of these two conflicts the the change/improvement of the publics preception of the job. The American people are tired of hearing of our troops killed by 'insurgents' and any method by which these threats are eliminated before they can get close to our troops is welcome. Quite a welcome 'change' from the "kill unidentified targets at long range" veiws of years past.

      Rob
      "Hammer the Americans hard enough and you forge the best weapon in the world."
      -Captain Simeon Ecuyer, 1783


      May your rifle always shoot straight, your mag never run dry, you always have one more round than you have adversaries, and your good mate always be there to watch your back.

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      • #4
        A good sniper can shoot a fast follow up shot with a bolt action rifle. Remember, that the more shots you fire as a sniper, the more chance the enemy has to zero in on you location.

        Tom
        T.Bruner

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        • #5
          Gas guns will replace bolt guns. The bolt gun will stay and be the extreme range weapon. In 338LM and up calibers.

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          • #6
            The things I'd like to see done to the M24:

            Stock utilizing a detachable magazine ( would love to see it be the AICS )
            Adoption of a scope mount akin to the Remington MARS
            Replacement of the PVS10 with the PVS22/Knightscope 007
            Surpressor ( I'm 50/50 on this one-would add a lot more capability to the weapon and reduce some risks of detection by muzzle signature to the shooter, but it's one more thing to get damaged and need training on. The mounting point for the front sight base on the 24's barrel would make a good attachment point. )

            Funny thing is, apparently Remington has already developed an M24A2 ( found a pic from the SHOT Show. Don't know if the Army is looking acquiring it or not-hope so because all the modifications are a matter of parts swapping that can be done to the existing M24s ).

            As far as organization of snipers in the Army. Don't know yet, there's some big changes coming with the new Units of Action, ie all Infantry units ( incl mech ) getting dedicated sniper detachments independent of the Scout Platoons. A well overdue improvement IMO.

            I don't see gas guns replacing bolt guns. I do see though, the need for gas guns being available. Either AR10s or the MK 11 Mod 0 JY is so fond of. The MK11 is already in the supply system and was issued to line units ( 1 per ) under RFI.
            "Speed is fine. Accuracy is final." - Larry Vickers

            LGOP: a small group of ?pissed-off American paratroopers? who are well trained, armed to the teeth, and lack serious supervision. They collectively remember the commander's intent as, "March to the sound of guns, and kill anyone who isn't dressed like you ..."

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            • #7
              I'd like to see some improvements on the M40A3. Most notably, change it back to the M40A1.

              Comment


              • #8
                Part of my question may be answered by where the action is taking place.

                While I can see the traditional sniper role of infiltrating over an X day period, laying wait until just the right moment, then popping the badguy (a la Carlos H. in VN) being applicable for wooded terrain.

                I wonder if the same tactics are used today in the Afghanistan/Iraq environment which is more high desert/low desert and urban warfare. And frankly, with vehicles being pretty much able to get you from any angle.

                Again, I am talking 30 caliber weapons, not the 338, 405 or 50.

                In these cases, I am assuming the role of the sniper is accurate, repeatable fire versus one-shot and scoot. This is what I glean from the reports I am hearing about..no first hand knowledge here.

                And as the sniper is more and more integrated into the combined operations of a major force, will they become more of the accurate-repeatable-fire force mulitiplier rather than the lone sniper team sent out to get the lone bad guy.

                That is where the semi-auto versus bolt question comes from. I wonder if USMC/Army sniper training is changing at all with the new experience we are gaining.

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                • #9
                  I'd like to see some improvements on the M40A3. Most notably, change it back to the M40A1[/b]
                  Not trying to start a flame, just wondering why?

                  I used the M40A1 when I was in and like it very much, but the A3 addressed many of the gripes we had about the A1, namely the stock design. The A3 is also a more hardened weapon than even the legendary tough A1 was.

                  I like the minor improvements that USO has done to the Unertl, and the A3 mounting system is superior.

                  I say stay with a bolt gun, but add a detachable mag and a variable power scope. USO makes an awesome 3.2-17x44 that would be great. Variable scopes have come a long way and are most definitely tough enough to do the job.

                  I do think that for MOUT applications, a good semi- with an even lower power optic would be the thing.
                  www.precision-applications.com

                  It's knowing that when I get up in the morning and my feet hit the floor, the Devil says, "Shit! He's awake!"

                  Shortly before World War I, the German Kaiser was the guest of the Swiss government to observe military maneuvers. The Kaiser asked a Swiss militiaman: "You are 500,000 and you shoot well, but if we attack with 1,000,000 men what will you do?" The soldier replied: "We will shoot twice and go home."

                  "There are so many Russians, and our country so small, where will we find room to bury them all?" - anonymous Finnish soldier

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The A3 stock design is a tool of satan. I'd like to slap the guys who made the decison to use it. It's the worst part of the rifle. The forend is too square to patrol with comfortably. The adjustable cheekpiece is useless in my opinion, and usually ends up replced with isomat and riggers tape(sound familiar?) The multi-attachment sling points are also lost on me. The pistol grip is the most uncomfortable design I've ever fired, and even more so in positions other than prone. Add on to that the fact that it helps up the weight to 18.5 lbs., and only a delusional masochist would chose it as a field rifle stock. The only worthwhile things on there are the harris bi-pod and the adjustable length of pull, and they could have still put those on a nice, ergonomic hunting styled stock.
                    I do like the picatiny base and rings. Not a big fan of rings with spacers though. In all actuality, once my scope is on (which is before I ever recieve it), and since we're not not "allowed" to fidgit with it unless we also carry a 2112 MOS, it doesn't really do anything for me.
                    The new bolt release on the A3 is cool and all I suppose, but I never really saw any problems with the old one. They didn't upgrade to a removable magazine, so no improvement there, either.
                    I wouldn't disagree with the statement about a new scope. I have two friends/co-workers who have the USO 3.2-17X44 mentioned earlier as a suggested replacement. I do like the larger 30mm tube(35mm on one of theirs) and the ability to adjust the power, but in all honesty, from what I've done and seen, the 10X unertel shined when needing to quickly change elevation from one range to another. I also think 17X is a bit more than needed on a .308. I was actually thinking of getting a USO scope and went to their office to look a few over and pick someone's brain who was in the know about their manufaturing process. Definately a nice company turning out a top notch product. They didn't have .5 MOA windage adjustments or locking occular focus rings, both of which I'd want on a combat rifle. I'm sure they would have been willing to work something out with me though, for a fee of course. They're also quite pricy and I'm not really sure they'd buy me anything tangable that the Leupolds couldn't give me with less money left over for ammo.
                    Another thing is the finish. I know the A1s would rust a little if you had them get splashed with salt water and didn't clean them soon afterwards, but the A3s take it to a whole other level. The A3s I've used and been around will rust if you sneeze on them, and that's brand new, not older than I am like allot of the A1s. It's rediculous. It would be nice to get weapons with some sort of weatherproof coating, possibly even in a flat, earth tone color.
                    Accuracy wise, I couldn't really notice any difference. They're both very accurate. I think I'm personally more accurate with the A1 because of the way I shoot and how I prefer to grip the rifle, but that's just me.
                    Hope nobody got butt hurt about me bashing the A3, but that's just the way myself, and some of the other snipers I've worked with feel about it. They don't call it "the railroad tie" for nothing.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Great reply and to the point.

                      I haven't shot an M40A3, so I'll go with your real world experience. I haven't used the A3 stock on anything, but I do like the A4's and A5's, without ever having used either in the field.

                      I surely remember the foam and rigger's tape! I used packing foam from a mortar crate, but same thing.

                      I found the A1 forend too narrow and round for shooting off field expedient supports. Sounds like they went too far in the flat and square department. Possibly something in the middle of the 2 would work. I'm know it's not allowed, but some field expedient shaving down of the forend would probably work, as long as you sealed it afterwards. Sound's like an easy fix for our 2112's.

                      I thought the Unertl was great and never had a problem with it. I do like the stainless components of the USO, though.

                      I was of the same mind as you when I first got out of the Corps,"you just don't need anything more than a 10x" was my philosophy.

                      Now that I've had exposure to a lot more stuff, I've rethought that. It's easier to take a 17x and power it down than try to go up on a fixed 10x. If you have to make out details at a distance, that extra power sure helps.

                      No surprise to hear that the Corps' new rifle has as many gripes built into it as the old one, just in different areas.

                      As always though, they are performing in an outstanding manner in the hands of our highly-trained Scout-Snipers. Welcome home and thanks for a job well done.
                      www.precision-applications.com

                      It's knowing that when I get up in the morning and my feet hit the floor, the Devil says, "Shit! He's awake!"

                      Shortly before World War I, the German Kaiser was the guest of the Swiss government to observe military maneuvers. The Kaiser asked a Swiss militiaman: "You are 500,000 and you shoot well, but if we attack with 1,000,000 men what will you do?" The soldier replied: "We will shoot twice and go home."

                      "There are so many Russians, and our country so small, where will we find room to bury them all?" - anonymous Finnish soldier

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        CM SHOOT,

                        the M40A3 wears a McMillan A-4 stock, not the McMillan A-3 stock. If you have shot the A-4 stock, and like it, you would like the M40A3 except for its 18.5 pound weight.

                        Skittles, you can thank Gunny Jim Owens for the M40A3.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Then I like it!

                          I only shot it prone on a KD range, didn't have to hump it or shoot it "field expediently".
                          www.precision-applications.com

                          It's knowing that when I get up in the morning and my feet hit the floor, the Devil says, "Shit! He's awake!"

                          Shortly before World War I, the German Kaiser was the guest of the Swiss government to observe military maneuvers. The Kaiser asked a Swiss militiaman: "You are 500,000 and you shoot well, but if we attack with 1,000,000 men what will you do?" The soldier replied: "We will shoot twice and go home."

                          "There are so many Russians, and our country so small, where will we find room to bury them all?" - anonymous Finnish soldier

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            For the ones saying no to the gas guns.
                            How much time have you spent on an AR10? In the past 2/3 years.
                            Are you basing your comments on use of the M14?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Just my .02 but I never liked the forend on the A4 either. MUCH prefer the A3 in all ways but the A1 excells for me in odd postions such as high angle shots- not the pretzel I once was... I like the grip structure on the AICS, just a heavy booger.

                              Better definition between "sniper" and "designated rifleman" or "squad sniper" vs. "scout sniper" might better define the type weapon ideal for each. I have something in each flavour but if I do not know what type of shooting I will be doing, I grab my SPR clone.
                              Bill

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