What makes a sniper a sniper?


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grafsk8er
July 17, 2007, 09:05 PM
what qualifications/standards/achievements does it take to become a true sniper?

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Jorg Nysgerrig
July 17, 2007, 09:09 PM
I suppose you'd first have to define what you mean by "true sniper".

The Deer Hunter
July 17, 2007, 09:12 PM
You need plenty of tacticool accessories :neener:

Bob F.
July 17, 2007, 09:16 PM
The media..........

kcmarine
July 17, 2007, 09:17 PM
You need plenty of tacticool accessories

Furthermore, you need wall- climbing boots.

USSR
July 17, 2007, 09:18 PM
LE or military? Suggest you go to Sniper's Hide with questions on Snipers or tactical shooting.

Don

Geno
July 17, 2007, 09:19 PM
There are some excellent books on the topic. The US has a shorter history of formal snipper than other countries. In fact, our sustained program is quite young. By that I mean, for many years, and through many wars and times of peace, the military tended to activate and then deactivate the snippers. The history channel had a good program on the topic recently.

The Deer Hunter
July 17, 2007, 09:25 PM
There are some excellent books on the topic. The US has a shorter history of formal snipper than other countries. In fact, our sustained program is quite young. By that I mean, for many years, and through many wars and times of peace, the military tended to activate and then deactivate the snippers. The history channel had a good program on the topic recently.

The program as we know it is young, but the whole idea is not new to the country.

Bitswap
July 17, 2007, 09:34 PM
Well, are you hunting people or quadrapeds?

If you have your scope sighted in at 200 yards and can accurately adjust it to hit something at 400, or 300, or 500 yards taking wind into account, your good enough IMO.

Now if your military, it's a whole 'nother ball game. They're trying to kill you too, are usually smarter than bambi and are looking for you with binocs.

Bezoar
July 17, 2007, 09:46 PM
look at the best snipers we have record of. Most of them have these qualities:

very accurate with a properly sighted in weapon
have no qualm about putting a bullet through someones head
can conceal themselves very well
no emotion

RNB65
July 17, 2007, 09:53 PM
The Marines will be glad to show you.

http://science.howstuffworks.com/sniper7.htm

Bitswap
July 17, 2007, 09:56 PM
A little snippet I saw on tv last night. In Veit Nam, for the infintry, it took 500 rounds to kill one enemy. For snipers it was 1.3 rounds.

KC&97TA
July 17, 2007, 10:02 PM
Smarty Answer: Being able to shoot a Snipe... A small British Bird, were "Sniper" Came from.

LEO: 0-100M, placeing a single shot in less than 1/2 MOA

Military: 1000M qual, dealing with mother natures worst, stalking ones prey unseen, also takeing into account Counter Sniper.

USMC annual qualification with Rack Grade M16's goes; 200, 300 & 500 yards, with windage and elevation adjustments on open sights. Are all Marines Snipers?

There's a few websites snipercountry.com or snipersparadise.com

Quintin Likely
July 17, 2007, 10:56 PM
Observational skills. Watching who's doing what, why they're doing it, and when they're doing it.

Heavy Metal Hero
July 17, 2007, 10:59 PM
Being so dedicated to your country that you would take up such a miserable job.

Freelance Tax Collector
July 17, 2007, 11:18 PM
Definately a silencer, a rifle in a caliber more than or equal to .308, but preferably .50 bmg, a hubble telescope on a 1913 80 MOA drop rail, and some black clothes and a tourettes like habit of shouting BOOM HEADSHOT! :eek:

Some will say that only the proper training (military suffering) will earn someone the title of "sniper". If this were true, then we would only be encountering "single shot ambushes by a hidden aggressor" in our more urban combat zones. However, a sniper isn't any ol' turd-burglar with a rifle. I think the best description would be an individual or small team firing single rounds from a concealed location while they may be exploiting something of a ballistic advantage.

Run on sentences.... :fire:

Spiggy
July 17, 2007, 11:18 PM
From my freind Jacob, currently serving in this occupation:

"a marine corps scout sniper is a marine highly skilled in fieldcraft and marksmanship who delivers long range precision fire at selected targets from concealed positions in support of combat operations."

Alphazulu6
July 17, 2007, 11:29 PM
The Army has a GREAT sniper school in Arkansas. It is a two week intensive school that trains and qualifies individuals to be snipers. The attrition rate is fairly high (70% pass rate or so) but they will learn not only how to shoot but how to aquire targets, movement, and concealment techniques inherent to small unit tactics.

I am not saying its a Ranger School type program, and I personally was never a Sniper Platoon Leader, but my buddies that were said their Soldiers seem to enjoy it as their mission in Iraq was always something new.

The Army does have teams that go to certain posts and train Soldiers of units that are preparing for a combat tour. This is very important when time/money is limited and there are many Soldiers in need of being trained.

glockman19
July 18, 2007, 12:03 AM
There are some excellent books on the topic. The US has a shorter history of formal snipper than other countries. In fact, our sustained program is quite young. By that I mean, for many years, and through many wars and times of peace, the military tended to activate and then deactivate the snippers. The history channel had a good program on the topic recently.

What Doc said. teh History Chanel had s good show. IMHO If you are proficient with a mil dot and can hit a 12"x12" target @ 1,000 yards/meters you can call yourself a sniper.

Alphazulu6
July 18, 2007, 12:08 AM
IMHO If you are proficient with a mil dot and can hit a 12"x12" target @ 1,000 yards/meters you can call yourself a sniper.

Shooting accuracy and precision is literally 10% of what it takes to be a US Army Sniper. Yes it is true that the shooting is a requirement but it is a given requirement that you can shoot. If the Soldier cant shoot to begin with then the unit leadership shouldnt be sending them to the Sniper School to learn and train as they wont qualify.

Those who have been involved with the US Army Sniper trade will tell you that 99% of the time snipers will be used for route security and recon missions. Once they fire that shot their position is given away. If they can stay stealthed (and move to new locations without being detected), the information that they can relay over the radio in terms of enemy situation/strength/activity is far more useful than their one-shot-one-kill abilities.

SaMx
July 18, 2007, 12:14 AM
if you use it to hunt snipe, duh

kcmarine
July 18, 2007, 12:23 AM
In the military context, basically,a sniper is anyone using a rifle to make precision shots at a target (usually human or material) from medium to long distances from a concealed position without being detected.

Or you could be hunting the Snipe species of bird. Which seems way lamer.

Langenator
July 18, 2007, 12:32 AM
USMC annual qualification with Rack Grade M16's goes; 200, 300 & 500 yards, with windage and elevation adjustments on open sights. Are all Marines Snipers?

Not really. First of all, the black target on a white background is extremely easy to see. A real person, against a real background, unless they're wearing one of those orange prison jumpsuits, much more difficult target. Second, nobody is trying to find you and kill you when they find you when you're on the qual range.

And have the Marines started shooting qual in full battle rattle yet?

No, I haven't done the Marine qual, but I've shot the All-Army matches, which are very similar.

For military snipers, infiltration, observation, reporting, and exfiltration, all without being spotted, are much more important than shooting ability. More guys fail out of sniper schools for failing stalks than for failing shooting.

Besides, isn't it much better to get into position, find the Tangos, and kill them with a JDAM or Hellfire and leave them wondering what the hell happened?

ProficientRifleman
July 18, 2007, 01:25 AM
does it take to become a true sniper?

The willingness to go out alone or with only your spotter, into bad guy country and do the work. Thats what makes a sniper.

Its is like the difference between a school trained pilot who "knows how" to fly a 170...he has the certificate, and has been through all the classes, slolo'd and is fully qualified.....

And a natural pilot who can get into any bird and fly by the seat of his pants, because he understands aerodynamics and what makes it fly. He can do magic with nearly any airplane he straps on.

A true sniper will go out and take the fight to the enemy because he knows he can. Not because he is "school trained".

Medusa
July 18, 2007, 02:45 AM
Second, nobody is trying to find you and kill you when they find you when you're on the qual range.

And not just to kill, enemy uses whatever they can to kill ya - AT rockets, artillery strikes (from mortars to heavy ones), maybe napalm your location, run you down with a tank.

Otherwise the most important is mental state - will to do the job and will to learn the trade as much as possibly.

Scorpiusdeus
July 18, 2007, 11:29 AM
Patience

jeff-10
July 18, 2007, 12:07 PM
A mission. Being able to shoot well doesn't make someone a sniper. Its a specialty like being a tank driver or a patrolman.

Shifty
July 18, 2007, 12:18 PM
most people confuse marksmen and snipers. especially the media.

if you havent already, i urge all of you to read the book "Shooter" written by a recently retired marine sniper named Jack Coughlin

CWL
July 18, 2007, 12:28 PM
I have been taught that a "Sniper" is a job classification.

One earns this designation by fulfilling the educational, training and testing requisites.

One may be a very good marksman but that doesn't make him/her a "sniper".

One may own a great precision rifle, but that does not make it a "sniper" rifle.

Same as just owning a hose, ledgerbook or stethoscope do not make you fireman, accountant or doctor.

Lonestar49
July 18, 2007, 12:29 PM
...

Starting with a Culley..

Ending with a Cold-Shot..

LS

Rifleman 173
July 18, 2007, 01:07 PM
Think of a sniper as "an engineer." It is the purpose of an engineer to solve problems. A sniper solves problems in the form of enemy personnel. There is no one solution for a sniper to use. A sniper MUST have the ability to THINK. He must think about how to eliminate an enemy soldier or a group of enemy soldiers. He must think ahead of potential trouble so that he can escape after he takes out any enemy soldiers. He must know how to call in artillery strikes, airstrikes and naval cannon fire. He must know how to use a radio in a PROPER fashion along with its codebooks. He must know first aid. He must know how to work alone, with a spotter, with a small team, a large team, a platoon, a company, a battalion and so on. He must be selective in his attacks so that they are accurate and so that he hits the right target. He must know all about shine, shape and silhouettes, camouflauge and ghillie suits. He needs to know about ballistics, distances, bullet drop and feet-per-second. He has to know about landmines, claymore mines and boobytraps. He has to be willing to go hungry, go without sleep and never let his guard down. He will crawl miles and miles upon his belly to get to his target. He lives in the mud, rain, dirt, sand, snow, jungle and forests. He knows, without a doubt, that if he is captured alive by the enemy that they will show him no mercy. He will be very slowly tortured or killed outright if he's lucky. After he gets out of the military, some people will shun him because, "He's one of THOSE snipers." He will be denied work because, "He's one of THOSE sniper guys." In spite of everything, he will prevail. He will eventually find a niche for himself because he knows that he has too much talent and personal confidence in himself to be denied. A sniper, more than anything, is perseverance with two legs. Any other questions?

ATC
July 18, 2007, 01:18 PM
Marksmanship is the easy part, not the sole qualification for military sniping.

As for what a true sniper is: "Sniping" means firing from a concealed position, nothing more.

The Deer Hunter
July 18, 2007, 01:28 PM
They're trying to kill you too, are usually smarter than bambi and are looking for you with binocs.

Bambi is harder to kill than people.

siglite
July 18, 2007, 10:04 PM
No one mentioned the math skills :)

phridum
July 19, 2007, 02:46 AM
The math skills are killer. When we started going over calculating range using mil-dots, they asked us who needed a refresher on long division and multiplication. No one did, so we proceeded with the sample problems on the board. After 15 minutes, he came back and asked who needed refresher courses. Everyone raised their hands.

A calculator will make you calculate faster, but it certainly makes you *slower*.

And I'm sorry Shifty, "Shooter" is a work of fiction. Jack Coughlin is a joke who fabricated all that crap. It may be a good story, but so "Robinson Crusoe". If you beg to differ, I'd love to put you in touch with my Marksmanship Instructor from the Camp Pendleton course. He's made a personal mission of de-bunking that book.

jjminch
July 19, 2007, 05:40 PM
So what's the deal on the "Shooter" book then? Don't really want to whore up the thread, I just though it was a good read.

Shane333
July 19, 2007, 06:06 PM
Rifleman 173,

That was a beautiful post.

Frog48
July 19, 2007, 11:02 PM
Depends on the type of "sniper" you're talking about...

The average shot that a LE sniper takes is ~50 yards. LE snipers dont have to worry about stealthiness, deploying alone, or sustaining themselves in the field for days upon days.

Military snipers shoot in terms of hundreds and thousands of yards. But shooting is the easy part. Their forte is surveillance/recon, target designation, etc.

pdowg881
July 19, 2007, 11:04 PM
a sniper is a person who shoots snipes. The birds.

Dark_Harvest
July 20, 2007, 03:44 AM
he's also not the guy responding to this juvenile thread...


seriously.
:what:

TimboKhan
July 20, 2007, 05:58 AM
Jack Coughlin is a joke who fabricated all that crap. It may be a good story, but so "Robinson Crusoe". If you beg to differ, I'd love to put you in touch with my Marksmanship Instructor from the Camp Pendleton course. He's made a personal mission of de-bunking that book

Touching upon a very intense source of personal irritation of mine, the same is true of Jarhead. If you ever want to listen to me cuss at extreme volume, bring up that POS movie/book/author. Bluntly put, I knew "Swoff" and "Swoff" is a bald-faced liar. Of course, anyone who was in the military in general and in the USMC in particular can see through his lies pretty quickly.

On the sniper front, it's a combination of things. Training, fieldcraft, marksmanship above and beyond the standard, mindset and attitude. Technically, if your a Marine, it means that you have passed the required training and are given the MOS designation 8541 (Scout Sniper). Really, it's a job that has been very highly dramaticized in recent years. I think a lot of people are under the impression that it is a very exciting and cool job, full of adventure and danger, but the reality is something different. The reality is that you spend inordinate amounts of time doing pretty much nothing but looking around and searching for targets, followed by a very brief period of action when you pull the trigger, followed by more looking around and searching for targets. Look, read the Carlos Hathcock book "Marine Sniper: 93 confirmed kills". It's interesting and neat and a must-read for any real gunny, but in the end his story boils down to long periods of discomfort and fighting off boredom, broken up by the occasional shot.

Now, let me make it clear that I am not disparaging snipers. Tactically, snipers are an intensely valuable asset, as has been proven time and again in the recent war on terror. I most certainly am not disparaging Carlos Hathcock, who really is a pretty revered figure in the Marine Corps. I am simply saying that it just isn't as exciting as people seem to think it is, most of the time.

Rifleman1973, your post was very nice, and accurate. I would simply point out that many of the skills that you said a sniper must have, so too must the average infantryman.

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