The wonderful world of the precision marksman


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Powderman
June 20, 2006, 11:40 AM
I wanted to relay my experience with (drum roll, please...) my first ever CALL OUT! (Insert bells, whistles, and cheers!)

It seemed that at our High School (note: I think that this could only happen in Indian Country), which is a Tribal school, we had a bunch of really savory characters who were coming to graduation to see "their kids" graduate, to wit:


Local Crips and Crips-affiliated gangs, 3 ea.

Local Bloods and Bloods related gangs, 2 ea.

Local wannabees, with attitude, 1 ea.

1% motorcycle club, 1 ea.


(No, I'm NOT joking.)


Since these groups usually don't play well with others (even among themselves) the decision was made to make a proactive stand to avert violence. A metal detector was installed at the door, and SRT was called out.


The rest of the team members got to sit in an auxiliary building, in gear, with air conditioning.


Yours truly went to the roof.


I was pumped up! Here I was, ready to go on my first call-out! I was ready.


My optimism waned somewhat, starting with the roof access. Up many flights of stairs, culminating in a 30-foot ladder climb. I slung my rifle by its nice leather sling across my back, and started to climb.


First observation: A 12 pound rifle, with optics, dragging itself around to hang from your neck by a broad leather strap, thus severely reducing the capacity of your airway, is NOT fun. (First note to self: Get a 3 point sling!!)


Of course, the two extra boxes of GM Match, binoculars, notepad and two water bottles in my cargo pockets did not help too much, either, at they tried their level best to make me lose my balance each time I advanced a rung. Rounding out the picture was the complete set of duty gear with all the accoutrements.


Another officer had gone up before me, and was standing at the access hatch offering words of engagement. These words of engagement usually consisted of snickers and every now and then, a "Dude, are you OK?" My reply was usually sharp, acerbic and witty. Unfortunately, it always came out sounding suspiciously like "urk" and "gaack".


I finally made it to the roof. Awright! Here we go!


I quickly settled into the prone, setting the rifle beside me on its bipod, and started ranging known points of engagement.


On a black rubber roof.

In a black jumpsuit.

In full gear.

On a 75 degree day.


The novelty wore off within 15 minutes, as I laid there simmering in my portable sauna. I felt like a dying cockroach--all I could do to alleviate the misery was to wiggle a bit now and then.


A passing bird chose to mock me unmercifully by landing near my head and chirping merrily. I cast a baleful glaze at it, knowing that it could fly away into the wonderful breeze which taunted me occasionally. To vent my increasingly foul mood, I imagined it on a spit, slow roasting.


After 4.5 hours of cooking, I was finally told to stand down and to come off the roof. I thought for a while about just rolling off the edge, laying down in the grass and sprinkling myself in spices, because there was surely cooked pork that day. I did not do so because the fall would surely have hurt my rifle.


Lessons learned:


1. Get a mat. And a drag bag. Preferably both. Blackhawk makes a combination that holds rifle, ammo, data book, binos, and even a CamelBak, which can be had for about $110, give or take a few bucks. It easily converts to a shooting mat.


2. The most important job of the sniper/precision rifle is gathering information BEFORE you have to take the shot--if it ever comes to that. While there on the roof, I did not chamber a round, and the covers stayed on the scope. But I established commo with my team leader, advising him and the others of every potential threat that came onto the grounds. I was also able to take some real neat group and individual photos for our gang intel books.


So, there you have it--the glamourous world of the police sniper.


Yours,

Eagle (about 15 pounds lighter)


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RaetherEnt
June 20, 2006, 12:07 PM
Interesting insight!

Now on to the good stuff...

What are you shooting?

1911Tuner
June 20, 2006, 12:46 PM
Powderman...that was great!:D

All the Chairborne Rangers and Mall Ninjas who think that being a police or military sniper is Oh-So-Tacticool just haven't really considered what they
are required to do sometimes. Like...lie perfectly still for hours with a bursting bladder while ants crawl around under their clothing or a big, hairy spider decides to use their forehead for a lookout point. (Got snakes?):D

My brother-in-law is a Lieutenant with the WSPD. He told me a story about their SET/SWAT sniper that was on a call out, and...after having to lie in the underbrush for hours until he was stood down...discovered that his hide was made up largely of Poison Ivy...to which he is deathly allergic.

All together now....AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!:eek:

mbs357
June 20, 2006, 12:53 PM
I thought it was a great story. =D
The real heroes aren't the ones that blow up bases and karate chop tanks in half...
It's the ones that bake on roofs because their superiors told them to!
Good job!

Red Tornado
June 20, 2006, 02:49 PM
That was wonderful Powderman, thanks for sharing. I'll bet you just can't WAIT to get back on that roof and do it again. Sounds like sniping is almost as exciting as real life detective work. ;)
RT

Powderman
June 20, 2006, 04:24 PM
RaetherEnt:

I use a Savage 10FP-LE2A, with the Choate stock, and a 3-12x56 Kahles scope. The ammunition is Federal GM match, which is the 168 grain Sierra MatchKing, moving at about 2650 fps.

Correia
June 20, 2006, 04:31 PM
Black uniforms SUCK. :) I don't see the fixation on them by so many tac teams. (I know, I sell the new ACU style uniforms in solid colors to tac teams, and by far the best sellers are black). Usually black is mandatory, but my gosh, it just cooks in the sun. OD green or tan just make so much more sense.

cavman
June 20, 2006, 04:32 PM
Wow. I am really divided on this one. Powderman you are just doing your duty and were there to protect those in attendance, and are pleased to have been chosen to take the Call. Congratulations are in order, I guess.

However, I guess because that this was a High School graduation, and that a Sniper on the roof is totally foreign to me, I think...wow. A Sniper on the roof at a high school graduation...

I don't know, I hate the thought that there are High schools that think Snipers on the roof are a good thing.

Maybe I am just trying to hide from reality, but that just floors me.

have a great day and be safe,
cavman

wheelgunslinger
June 20, 2006, 04:35 PM
At least you had the opportunity to assess your gear in a situation that was real, and now have the opportunity to implement those changes. Next time, you'll be better prepared with your gear and with your physical conditioning, hopefully.
Plus, you didn't have to shoot anyone, which means everyone played nice at graduation. and that's a good thing.:cool:

Powderman
June 20, 2006, 04:41 PM
cavman:

The whole reasoning was to BE prepared, just in case. The metal detector at the door did its job: I counted at least 30 attendees who saw the detector, and went back to stash something in their cars. :uhoh:

Second, and the most important part, is this: I could have gotten up and walked around, and not have cooked so much. But my initial objective was met: to remain undetected. Since I had things like little fat, plump, meaty birds taunting me unmercifully, I think I accomplished this well.

Translated: The attendees and graduates had NO idea that I was on the roof--or that in a storage building, there were five other guys with AR's and suppressed MP5's, just in case.

But, the deployment ended in the very best way: No shots fired, no one arrested, and no one knew we were there. Kewl beanz--even if there WAS a side dish of slow roasted pork, smothered in jumpsuit. :evil:

1911Tuner
June 20, 2006, 04:51 PM
cavman spake:

>I don't know, I hate the thought that there are High schools that think Snipers on the roof are a good thing.

Maybe I am just trying to hide from reality, but that just floors me.<
*****************

Possibly not because they feel like it's a good thing to have a sniper on the roof, but because...given the battlegrounds that many of the public schools have become...they feel like it's a necessary thing. Sad commentary.
In my day, we'd have a fistfight or two with a rival football team on Friday night after the game...and then everybody involved would go to the same keg party on Saturday and get along fine.

Today...with the rival gang factions in attendance...we have the potential for a small war zone, complete with firefights and body bags on campus.

There's your reality...and it floors me too, brother. Is there an answer?
Well...As harsh as it sounds...public caning might be a place to start.

Zero_DgZ
June 20, 2006, 04:56 PM
You sound like a good candidate for some HeatGear or similar ultra-zooty high tech moisture dissipating undergarment of the type that all the cool kids are wearing these days.

308win
June 20, 2006, 05:35 PM
In my day, we'd have a fistfight or two with a rival football team on Friday night after the game...and then everybody involved would go to the same keg party on Saturday and get along fine.

You were much more civilized in North Carolina than we Illinois boys in central Illinois; we would fight during and after the football game on Friday and then continue same at the Wick (dance club) on Saturday. In small town Illinois this would probably still be the drill; I guess living in the 'sticks' isn't all bad. We are about due - proly overdue - for a gang dust-up in the Columbus area. The indigenous bangers, the Somali's, and the Hispanics are not playing well with each other; hopefully they will all shoot straight and take out each other instead of a civilian.:D

wheelgunslinger
June 20, 2006, 05:52 PM
You were much more civilized in North Carolina than we Illinois boys in central Illinois; we would fight during and after the football game on Friday and then continue same at the Wick (dance club) on Saturday. In small town Illinois this would probably still be the drill; I guess living in the 'sticks' isn't all bad.

If Tuner is talking about growing up in Lexington or thereabouts it's not exactly the nicest place these days. Nor back then, depending on how old he is.
I grew up in the mill towns just a couple of hours west of Tuner.
I wouldn't bet money against snipers on the roof at our football games.

1911Tuner
June 20, 2006, 06:53 PM
308win said:

>You were much more civilized in North Carolina than we Illinois boys in central Illinois;<
***************

Well...Most of us were kin to each other.:D
-----------------------

Wheelgunslinger...Dead spot on. I'm lucky to be well-removed from the town proper out here in farmville. Live on a private road with two neighbors who are 4th generation to the area. Didn't grow up here though. Just moved in from the King/Rural Hall area a year ago...which is 20 miles south of Mayberry, NC and Pilot Mountain (Mt. Pilot) filled the picture window that led out onto the deck.

And on the age...Well, let's just say that I have clear memories of tunes by Bill Haley and the Comets makin' the charts.:cool:

jeepmor
June 20, 2006, 07:18 PM
30 people see the metal detector and then go back to the car to offload something metal. This is sad, very sad. But I reckon you got some good gangbanger intel for the dossiers.

6 policeman in ambush just in case something happens, at a high school graduation.

I'm going to have to say that seemingly (todays standards) abusive, overdisciplinary fathers of the 50's and 60's really had it right, society did turn out better with stern discipline being the norm. Nearly all the kids in my high school were more worried about their parents discipline than that would be brought about by the law, and I think that's a good thing.

The worst thing that happened in my high school were the fistfights with the rival high school. And yes, they all patched up their differences and gathered round the beer kegs in the dunes on Saturday night. I miss small town values.

And being in a small town, gun racks and big trucks were the norm. But everyone knew that guns weren't for fighting, someone could get hurt that way, you could go to jail, it would ruin your life as you knew it, it was always just understood. I'm not sure where these values were lost in America since graduating in 1987, but they are no longer present and it's a sad state of affairs to lose that common sense amongst our youths.

Even sadder to me is that my generation is largely, if not entirely, responsible for that loss, not the kids.

Wiley
June 20, 2006, 07:25 PM
Powderman:

Just keep repeating to yourself: "That which does not kill me, makes me stronger!" :)

Even though it would add some weight, a couple of cold packs in a soft cooler would seem to be in order. There are also chemical heat packs available. Your comfort should be one of your priorities.

Thanks for being on the pointy end!

cropcirclewalker
June 20, 2006, 07:55 PM
Today...with the rival gang factions in attendance...we have the potential for a small war zone, complete with firefights and body bags on campus.

There's your reality...and it floors me too, brother. Is there an answer? If we could just declare the War on Drugs a victory and beat a hasty retreat then the Crips and the Bloods wouldn't have much to fight about, would they?

They could even perhaps become productive citizens and get a job or something.

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