Maquis Forces International
Scout Sniper Course By Force Colonel Larry Henderson Colonel Cary Griffin Colonel Marc Easterly Corporal Steven Gillis M.F.M.C.
Required courses: New member exam, Marine Boot camp, Recon MOS course
The Marine Scout Sniper has special capabilities, training and equipment. He is silent, unseen, cunning, and deadly. His job is to deliver long-range precision fire at selected targets from concealed positions, which cannot be engaged successfully by the rifleman because of range, size, location, fleeting nature, or visibility. His rigorous training requires the development of basic infantry skills to a high degree of perfection. The Marine Scout Sniper School at the Marine Corps Training Center incorporates a wide variety of subjects designed to increase the Scout Snipers' value as a force multiplier and to ensure his survival on the battlefield and to complement the Marine Corps combined arms operational concept. He must be highly trained in long-range rifle marksmanship and fieldcraft skills to ensure maximum effective engagements with minimum risk
Sniper versus marksman or sharpshooter
Selected snipers in history
==Equipment==� History The term sniper is attested from 1824 in the sense of “sharpshooter.‿ The verb to snipe originated in the 1770s among soldiers in British India in the sense of “to shoot from a hidden place,‿ in allusion to snipe hunting, a game bird known for being extremely difficult to locate, approach, or shoot. Those who were skilled at the hunting of this bird were thus dubbed “snipers.‿ During the American Civil War, the common term used in the United States for much the same function was “skirmisher.‿ A Civil War army often protected itself when on the move by using such concealed marksmen, who were deployed individually on the extremes of the moving army. Generally, such skirmishers were selected on the basis of prior proven hunting and marksmanship skills, and they were often older men in their 40s or 50s. The term sniper hence did not reach widespread use in the United States until somewhat later than the American Civil War. In the last few decades, the term “sniper‿ has been used rather loosely, especially by media in association with police precision riflemen, those responsible for assassination, any shooting from all but the shortest range in war, and any criminal equipped with a rifle in a civil context. This has rather expanded the general understanding of the meaning of the term. It has also given the term “sniper‿ mixed connotations. Alternative terms are usually more specific, especially for police snipers, such as “counter-sniper,‿ “precision marksman,‿ “tactical marksman,‿ “sharpshooter‿ or “precision shooter,‿ some of which have also been in use for a long time. Different countries have different military doctrines regarding snipers in military units, settings, and tactics. Generally, a sniper’s goal in warfare is to reduce the enemy’s fighting ability by striking at a small number of high value targets, such as officers. Soviet Russian and derived military doctrines include squad-level “snipers,‿ which may be called “sharpshooters‿ or “designated riflemen‿ in other doctrines. They do so because this ability was lost to ordinary troops when assault rifles (which are optimized for close-in, rapid-fire combat) were adopted. Military snipers from the U.S., UK, and other countries that adopt their military doctrine are typically deployed in two-man sniper teams consisting of a shooter and spotter. The two have different functions and hence their assignment corresponds to their skills, but a common practice is for the shooter and spotter to take turns in order to avoid eye fatigue. Typical sniper missions include reconnaissance and surveillance, anti-sniper, killing enemy commanders, selecting targets of opportunity, and even anti-matériel tasks (destruction of military equipment), which tend to require use of rifles in the larger calibers such as the .50 BMG. Snipers have of late been increasingly demonstrated as useful by U.S. and UK forces in the recent Iraq campaign in a fire support role to cover the movement of infantry, especially in urban areas. The current record for longest range sniper kill is 2,430 meters (7,972 feet), accomplished by a Canadian sniper, Corporal Rob Furlong, of the third battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (3 PPCLI), during the invasion of Afghanistan, using a .50 BMG (12.7 mm) McMillan bolt-action rifle. This meant that the round had a flight time of four seconds, and a drop of 78.4 meters (257 feet). The previous record was held by Carlos Hathcock, achieved during the Vietnam War, at a distance of 2,250 meters. By contrast, much of the U.S./Coalition urban sniping in support of operations in Iraq is at much shorter ranges, although in one notable incident on April 3, 2003, corporals Matt and Sam Hughes, a two-man sniper team of the Royal Marines, armed with L96 sniper rifles each killed targets at a range of about 860 m with shots that, due to strong wind, had to be “fired exactly 17 meters [56 ft] to the left of the target for the bullet to bend in the wind.‿ In the Bosnian War, and for much of the Siege of Beirut, the term “sniper‿ was used to refer to what were generally ill-trained soldiers who terrorized civilians, mainly by firing at them from hi-rise windows and rooftops. During the Siege of Sarajevo, the main street of the city became known as “Sniper Alley‿. THE MARINE SCOUT SNIPER The Marine Scout Snipers primary mission is to deliver precise long-range fire on selected targets. He creates casualties among enemy, slows enemy movement, lower their morale, frightens enemy soldiers and adds confusion to their operations. The secondary mission of the Marine Scout Sniper is to collect and report battlefield information and to act as forward observer for the artillery. A well trained Marine Scout Sniper, combined with the inherent accuracy of his rifle, is a versatile supporting arm available to a Marine Commander. He could be employed in all levels of conflict. This includes offensive and defensive combat in which precision fire is delivered at long ranges beyond the effective range of an ordinary phaser rifle. It also includes combat patrols, ambushes, counter-sniper operations, forward observation elements, information gathering, call for fire, and retrograde operations in which snipers are part of forces left in contact as stay behind forces. Selection FINDING THE RIGHT MARINE Candidates in the Marine Scout Sniper training require careful and rigid selection process. Unit Commanders must initially screen the individual's records for potential aptitude as a sniper before recommending one for the training. The rigorous training program and the increased risks in combat require high motivation and the ability to learn a variety of skills. Therefore he must have excellent personal records. The Marine Scout Sniper School guidelines for screening a scout sniper candidate are as follows: Marksmanship. The sniper candidates must be an expert marksman and must pass the standard AFP Record Firing as expert. Physical Condition. The Marine scout sniper, often employed in extended operations with little sleep, food or water, must be in outstanding physical condition. Good health means better reflexes, better muscular control and greater stamina. His Physical Fitness Test results should be above average based on AFP standards. Vision. Eyesight is the Marine sniper's prime tool. Therefore, a sniper must have 20/20 vision. Color blindness is considered a liability to the sniper due to his inability to detect concealed targets that blend in with the natural surroundings. Mental condition. Sniper candidates must pass the Neuro-psychological Exam conducted by psychologist of the Major Service Command. These are "not" the typical exams that military personnel are required to take for reenlistment or promotion. This exam is specially configured to determine the candidate's reliability, loyalty, initiative, discipline and emotional stability. Smoking. The Marine Scout Sniper should not be a smoker. Smoke of an unsuppressed smoker's can betray the sniper's position. Even though a sniper may not smoke on a mission, his refrainment from nicotine intake may cause nervousness and irritation, which lowers his efficiency. The Commander's involvement in personnel selection for scout sniper training is critical. To ensure his candidate's successful completion of sniper training, the Commander must ensure that the sniper candidate meets the prerequisites set by The Marine Scout Sniper School. Immediately after passing the neuro-psychiatric exams, the candidate undergo's the Marine standard Physical Fitness Test wherein they are required to do the minimum requirement of 7 pull-ups, 52 push-up in two minutes, 62 sit-ups in two minutes, 100 half-knee bends in two minutes, and a three-mile run in twenty one minutes. These candidates then undergo the AFP standard record firing. Scout Sniper School TRAINING THE SCOUT SNIPER Come opening day, the lives of the sniper candidates will never be the same again not only for themselves but for their unit as well. For each training phase or module, they are required the get an average of at least 80% both in the written and practical exercises, to be able to check out and move on to the next module. Those who fail to get the passing marks will be automatically dropped out from the course. For the next 12 weeks, you will wake up as early as 3 in the morning and turn in as late as 12 midnight. you will be learning more marksmanship, scout sniper equipments care and maintenance procedures, and a do a lot of shooting either downrange or at the training fields. you will also learn all about the different types of ammunition, sniper sighting devices, special sniper equipments, communication equipments, effects of weather, engagement of moving targets, call for fire and so on. Those lucky enough who could go this far will be allowed to learn more about sniper field techniques, mission preparation, sniper operations and tracking / counter-tracking. The Marine Scout Sniper works and trains as a two-man team. At this stage they will learn that a sniper's primary and secondary duties are as a sniper and as an observer respectively. Therefore, each team member must train both as a sniper and as an observer. As a sniper team leader, you will learn how to plan the day to day activities of the sniper team and the proper employment of your special weapon - the sniper weapon system. The observer on the other hand will learn how to effectively observe everything within sight or hearing and likewise learn the proper employment of his weapon - the IIIc phaser rifle with M63A1 grenade luancher, or M41A3 with M63A1 grenade luancher which gives the team greater suppressive fire and protection. The last phase of the training is called the sniper sustainment training or the sniper Field Training Exercise. For 1 month, each team will be tested for what they have learned with one sniper instructor assigned to rate each team. They will also undergo a 1 week continuous activity covering all the triad of military skills with emphasis to stalking, long-range target engagement, night navigation and night firing with minimal rest, sleep and food. This is called the snipers "Hell Week". The training then will culminate with a three-day and night Survival, Evasion and Escape exercise before each team member can finally earn the title of a MARINE SCOUT SNIPER. The very nature of Marine Scout Sniper training requires that the sniper candidates are physically and mentally prepared for the stress and rigors of training and sniping. Self-discipline and positive mental attitude can contribute tremendously to such psychological and physical readiness. But morale, cohesion and integrity are also part of team readiness and potency. And if they realize and understand that self-discipline and positive mental attitude can help them to achieve these goals, then they could be considered truly as a Marine Scout Sniper. The Marine Scout Sniper is not just a good shooter. He is the best shooter and the best ghost rider a unit can ever have. He brings death from afar and abandon's all hope for the enemy who only dies tired if he runs. To the sniper candidates, there is still a long and arduous way to go before he earns the title of Marine Scout Sniper and its golden eagle and cross-hair Badge. WELCOME ABOARD - THE MARINE SCOUT SNIPER SCHOOL. Consistency The key to sniping is consistency, which applies to both the weapon and the shooter. While consistency does not necessarily ensure accuracy (which requires training), sniping cannot be accurately carried out without it. Although there is always a degree of randomness due to physics and the nature of bullets, a precision sniping rifle must limit this effect. When fired from a fixed position, all shots must be extremely close together, even at long range. Similarly, a sniper must have the ability to estimate range, wind, elevation, and any other major factors that can alter the shot. Mistakes in estimation compound over distance and can decrease lethality or even cause a shot to miss completely. Snipers generally prefer to zero their weapons at a target range, although it can also be done in the field. This is where the sniper calibrates his rifle with his scope at a particular range (typically at the most common encounter distance) such that shots will reliably strike their target. A rifle must maintain its zero in the field, or else it must be re-zeroed before the next encounter. Once zeroed, the rifle can be adjusted for other distances or for wind using estimates, calculations, and scope features. The military need for consistency is highest when a sniper is firing the first shot against an enemy unaware of the sniper’s presence. At this point, high-priority targets such as enemy snipers, officers, and critical equipment are most prominent and can be more accurately targeted. A sniper must know how a hot or cold gun barrel, different surrounding temperatures, and different altitudes can affect the flight of the bullet. Once the first shot has been fired, any surviving enemy will attempt to take cover or locate the sniper, and attacking strategic targets becomes more difficult or impossible. Snipers are volunteers accepted for sniper training on the basis of their aptitude as perceived by their commanders. Military snipers may be trained as FACs (Forward Air Controllers) to direct military air strikes, FOs (Forward Observers) in artillery target indication, and as mortar fire controllers (MFCs). Effective sniping in a military context may necessitate assuming a stationary position for days at a time. Fatigue and muscle stiffness often result from the mandatory immobility. Also, urination and defecation into a bag or other container may become essential. These factors alone contradict much of the glamour portrayed in popular movies. Targeting The range to the target is measured or estimated as precisely as conditions permit and correct range estimation becomes absolutely critical at long ranges, because a bullet travels with a curved trajectory and the sniper must compensate for this by aiming higher at longer distances. If the exact distance is not known the sniper will compensate incorrectly and the bullet path will be too high or low. As an example, for a typical military sniping cartridge such as 7.62 × 51 mm NATO this difference (or “drop‿) between 700 m and 800 m is 8 in (200 mm). This means that if the sniper incorrectly estimated the distance as 700 m when the target was in fact 800 m away, the bullet will be 8 in (200 mm) lower than expected by the time it reaches the target. Laser range-finders may be used, but is not preferred on the battle field because a laser can be seen by both the sender and the receiver. One useful method is comparing the height of the target (or nearby objects) to their size on the mil dot scope, or taking a known distance and using some sort of measure (utility poles, fence posts) to determine the additional distance. The average human head is 150 millimeters (6 inches) in width, average human shoulders are 500 mm (20 inches) apart and the average distance from a person’s crotch to the top of their head is 1 meter (39 inches). To determine the range to a target without a laser rangefinder, the sniper must use the mil dot reticle on a scope to accurately find the range. Mil dots are used like a slide rule to measure the height of a target, and if the height is known, the range can be as well. The height of the target (in yards) ×1000, divided by the height of the target (in mils), gives the range in yards. This is only in general, however, as both scope magnification (7×, 40×) and mil dot spacing change. The USMC standard is that 1 mil (that is, 1 milliradian) equals 3.438 MOA (minute of arc, or, equivalently, minute of angle), while the US Army standard is 3.6 MOA, chosen so as to give a diameter of 1 yard (36 inches) at 1,000 yards. Many commercial manufacturers use 3.5, splitting the difference, since it is easier with which to work. Explanation: 1 MIL = 1 milli-radian. That is, 1 MIL = 1x10^-3 radian. But, 10^-3 rad x (360 deg/ (2 x Pi) radians) = 0.0573 degrees. Now, 1 MOA = 1/60 degree = 0.01667 degrees. Hence, there are 0.0573/0.01667 = 3.43775 MOA per MIL, where MIL is defined as a milli-radian. On the other hand, defining a mil-dot by the US Army way, to equate it to 1 yard at 1000 yards, means the Army's mil-dot is approximately 3.6 MOA. It is important to note that angular mil (mil) is only an approximation of a milliradian and different organizations use different approximations. Please see three definitions of the angular mil. At longer ranges, bullet drop plays a significant role in targeting. The effect can be estimated from a chart which may be memorised or taped to the rifle, although some scopes come with Bullet Drop Compensator (BDC) systems that only require the range be dialed in. These are tuned to both a specific class of rifle and specific ammunition. It must be noted that every bullet type and load will have different ballistics. .308 Federal 175 grain (11.3 g) BTHP match shoots at 2,600 ft/s (790 m/s). Zeroed at 100 yards, a 16.2 MOA adjustment would have to be made to hit a target at 600 yards. If the same bullet was shot with 168 grain (10.9 g), a 17.1 MOA adjustment would be necessary. Shooting uphill or downhill can require more adjustment due to the effects of gravity. Wind also plays a role, the effect increasing with wind speed or the distance of the shot. The slant of visible convections near the ground can be used to estimate crosswinds, and correct the point of aim. All adjustments for range, wind, and elevation can be performed by “holding off‿ by eye, also known as Kentucky windage. The most accurate way is called “dialing in‿ the scope. This adjusts the scope so that the crosshairs point at the target, while also accounting for the effect of the factors above. With precision mechanics, dialling in is more accurate, as the eye can more easily line up and hold the target. For moving targets, the point of aim is in front of the target. This is known as “leading‿ the target, where the amount of lead depends on the speed and angle of the target’s movement. For this technique, holding off is the preferred method. Anticipating the behavior of the target is necessary to accurately place the shot. Velocity of a sniper bullet Sniper rifles generally project bullets at the same velocities employed by general purpose firearms. However, they often use projectiles with particularly high ballistic coefficients (i.e. they often use bullets that are very aerodynamic.) Depending on the rifle, bullets typically travel between 2600 and 3400 feet per second at the moment they leave the rifle's barrel. A bullet traveling at these speeds crosses the length of 7 full-size football fields in one second. The bullet slows down considerably due to friction with the air over these distances. The distance a bullet will travel is determined by its shape, weight, launch velocity and launch angle as with any projectile, the study of which is referred to as external ballistics. In practice, the limiting factor on range is bullet deceleration. In sniping, it is generally considered essential that the bullet still be travelling at a supersonic speed by the time it reaches the target, because accuracy is compromised when a bullet's velocity falls below this speed. In the case of the typical 7.62 × 51 mm NATO (.308 Winchester) sniping round, this equates to a maximum theoretical range of about 800 meters. Conversely, slower subsonic bullet velocities might be desirable at close ranges when, because it will drastically reduce the sound or noise generated by the bullet (and rifle), especially when the rifle is also fitted with a sound suppressor (commonly known as "silencers"). This would help the sniper to remained concealed or undetected. The terminal ballistics (sometimes called stopping power) of a bullet is also an important factor limiting the range in which it can be used effectively and is determined, in part, by its velocity. This is because a certain minimum amount of the kinetic energy is deemed necessary to be effective (the amount varies with the target and the type of bullet). This kinetic energy is a factor of the bullet's weight and velocity and as such will decrease as the velocity of the bullet decreases. So while the bullet might still strike the target, it might not carry enough kinetic energy to be effective. This effective distance can be extended by the use of armor piercing ammunition, because even though this type of bullet will typically carry the same kinetic energy as an ordinary bullet, it has a greater penetrative effect by virtue of its design and hence would still be effective. This is an important consideration in the case of a sniper where an armor piercing bullet would penetrate a helmet or bulletproof vest ("body armor") at ranges where an ordinary bullet would no longer be able to penetrate it. The best marksman and rifle combination are still unable to reliably hit targets at ranges beyond 1000 meters. At extended ranges, the effects of factors such as air density, wind, bullet drop estimations and variances between individual rounds are increased. It is not uncommon for the effective range of a sniper system to be stated as 600 to 800 meters. Camouflage Special care has to be taken with the telescopic sight, because the front lense cannot be fully covered and is made of a highly reflective surface (normally polished glass) off which the glare of the sun can easily reflect, drawing attention to the sniper's position. Common solutions are to avoid exposure to direct sunlight by taking up a position in a shaded area or by cover the lense in non-reflective materials (some type of duct tape, fabric or metal mesh) leaving only a small slit to see through. Snipers also have to take into account their appearance under infrared (IR) light, because many armed forces now employ thermal vision devices that work in this spectrum of light as opposed to normal night vision devices that simply gathers and intensifies normal light. Some clothes or equipment stand out when viewed with thermal vision devices and care has to be taken in selecting and covering equipment so that the sniper is not readily visible when viewed under infrared light. Clothing or equipment not readily visible under infrared light is said to have a "low IR signature". Plastic or foil "thermal blankets" can also be employed to cover a sniper and their equipment, but these in turn must then be camouflaged (often local foliage or material). Shot placement Shot placement varies considerably with the type of sniper being discussed. Military snipers who generally do not engage targets at less than 300 m (330 yd), usually attempt body shots, aiming at the chest. These shots depend on tissue damage, organ trauma and blood loss to make the kill. Police snipers who generally engage at much shorter distances may attempt head shots to ensure the kill. In instant-death hostage situations, police snipers shoot for the cerebellum, a part of the brain that controls voluntary movement that lies at the base of the skull. Some ballistics and neurological researchers have argued that severing the spinal cord at an area near the second cervical vertebra is actually achieved, usually having the same effect of preventing voluntary motor activity, but the debate on the matter remains largely academic at present. Positioning To perform civil pacification, sniper-suppression, and intelligence, a sniper or pair of snipers will locate themselves in a high, concealed redoubt. They will use binoculars or a telescope to identify targets, and a radio to provide intelligence. Snipers use deception, in the form of camouflage, unusual angles of approach, and frequent, often slow movement to prevent accurate counter-attacks. Some snipers are able to shoot an observant target from less than 90 m (98 yd), while the target is searching for them, without being seen. Targets Snipers can target personnel or materiel, but most often they target the most important enemy personnel such as officers or specialists (e.g. communications operators) so as to cause the maximum disruption of enemy operations. Other personnel they might target include those who pose an immediate threat to the sniper like dog handlers who are often employed in a search for snipers. A sniper identifies officers by their appearance and behavior such as wearing high-rank uniforms, talking to radio operators, sitting as a passenger in a car, having military servants, or talking and moving position more frequently. If possible, snipers shoot in descending order by rank, or if rank is unavailable, they shoot to disrupt communications. Since most kills in modern warfare are by crew-served weapons, reconnaissance is one of the most effective uses of snipers. They use their aerobic conditioning, infiltration skills and excellent long-distance observation equipment and tactics to approach and observe the enemy. In this role, their rules of engagement let them engage only high-value targets of opportunity. With heavy .50 calibre rifles, snipers can shoot turbine disks of parked jet fighters, missile guidance packages, expensive optics, or the bearings, tubes or wave guides of radar sets. Such methods often employ anti-matériel rifles. Similarly, snipers may shoot locks or hinges instead of using a door-opening charge. Psychological warfare To demoralize enemy troops, snipers can follow predictable patterns. During the Cuban revolutionary war, the 26th of July Movement always killed the foremost man in a group of Batista's soldiers. Realizing this, none of them would walk first, as it was suicidal. This effectively decreased the army's willingness to search for rebel bases in the mountains. An alternative approach is to kill the second man in a row, leading to the psychological effect that nobody will want to follow the "leader" on first position. A common technique for a combat sniper to use when facing superior forces (especially those untrained in sniper or counter-sniper tactics) in relatively close combat is to fire at a particular target's abdomen; the specific objective being a slow death by blood loss. The hope is that, following the initial duck-and-cover reaction by the target's comrades, one or more of them will expose himself to further fire in an attempt to help the downed target. The sniper may then eliminate or attempt, again, the same type of shot on the comrade and repeat the cycle, thus maximizing his effectiveness. This has an extremely negative psychological effect on the sniper's target unit, as they are exposed to the suffering of their comrades, but are powerless to assist them. The phrase "one shot, one kill" has gained notoriety in popular culture as a glorification of the "sniper mystique." The phrase embodies the sniper's tactics and philosophy of stealth and efficiency. The exact meaning can be explained thus: a single round should be fired, avoiding unnecessary and indiscreet firing every shot should be accurately placed, resulting in quick, suffering-free death for the enemy unlike other infantry, who fulfill many military needs, a sniper's role is solely to inflict death on the enemy. Whether the phrase actually reflects reality is of course subject to debate, but it has been widely used in literature and movies. Counter-sniper tactics The occurrence of sniper warfare has led to the evolution of many counter-sniper tactics in modern military strategies. These aim to reduce the damage caused by a sniper to an army, which can often be harmful to both fighting capabilities and morale. Ultimately, well-trained snipers are difficult to stop. However, there are methods available (used singly or in concert) which can be used to make life difficult for them or generally cause hindrance. Snipers in irregular and asymmetric combat The use of sniping (in the sense of shooting at relatively long range from a concealed position) to murder came to public attention in a number of sensational U.S. cases, including the Austin sniper incident of 1966, the John F. Kennedy assassination, and the Washington sniper serial murders of late 2002. However, these incidents usually do not involve the range or skill of military snipers; in all three cases the perpetrators had US military training, but in other specialties. News reports will often (inaccurately) use the term sniper to describe anyone shooting with a rifle at another person. Sniping has also been used in irregular and asymmetric warfare situations, for example in the Northern Ireland troubles, where in the early seventies a number of soldiers were shot by concealed riflemen, some at considerable range. There were also a few instances in the early '90s of British soldiers being shot with .50 calibre Barrett rifles. In Northern Ireland, in addition to the uses listed above, a sniper was quite often a form of bait called a "come-on", whereby the sniper's position would be made obvious to a British patrol so as to draw them into an ambush in their attempt to close on the sniper. The sniper is particularly suited to combat environments where one side is disadvantaged to the other. A careful sniping pattern can leverage a very few individuals and resources to thwart movement or other progress from a much better equipped or larger force. Because of this perceived difference in force size, the sniping attacks may be viewed as the act of a few persons to terrorize (earning the moniker terrorists) a much larger, regular force - regardless of the size of the force the snipers are attached to. These perceptions stem from the precept that sniping, while effective in specific instances, is much more effective as a broadly deployed psychological attack Sniper versus marksman or sharpshooter Some doctrines distinguish a "sniper" from a "marksman" ("sharpshooter") or "designated marksman". While snipers are intensively trained to master field craft and camouflage, these skills are not necessarily required for sharpshooters. Snipers often perform valuable reconnaissance and have a psychological impact on the enemy. A sharpshooter's role is mainly to extend the reach of the squad to which he is attached. A sniper also uses intensive training for mastering the art of stealth, concealment, and infiltration for forward placement and surveillance duties making the role more strategic than a squad-level sharpshooter. Thus, sharpshooters are often attached at the squad level (in the case of squad designated marksmen), while snipers are often attached at higher levels such as battalion. A notable exception to this are "elite" military units such as the 75th Ranger Regiment and United States Marine Corps Reconnaissance Battalions which utilize snipers at the company level. The main difference in these two rather different roles are that a sharpshooter is often used in urban areas, where they may work with police or such other law enforcement agencies, while a sniper will work mostly in the field, often in jungle and other well covered grounds. A sniper is also usually equipped with a highly-accurate bolt-action sniper rifle and a pistol (silenced or otherwise) as their sidearm, while a sharpshooter may utilise semi-automatic rifles (not all of them sniper rifles designed to cover such great distances), bolt-action hunting rifles, or even accurate assault rifles (carbines are usually not chosen as they have due to smaller size, less accuracy (also greater recoil from less weight) and also less velocity). As such, a sniper specialises in well-placed single shots, where stealth, timing, a good choice of target will determine their effectiveness in their use, while sharpshooters, mostly used in hostage and other such police related situations, work at closer distances, often with the need to place their shots in a far shorter length of time, and often several in quick succession. In addition, because sharpshooters have neither the same degree of surprise or stealth at hand, are often forced to shoot rapidly moving targets (albeit from shorter distances). With the proliferation of larger caliber weapons, especially .50 sniper rifles, the sniper support may carry an anti-material rifle in addition to his assault rifle, although the weight can be prohibitive. Most importantly, sharpshooters aren't taught the same level of camouflage and stealth skills which come with the role of a sniper, as these skills are less necessary in both their application and working environs. The distinction is often blurred however, by sharpshooters such as police marksmen, who often act as the eyes and ears of a situation's response team before entry, or squad designated marksmen, who use their rifle's enhanced optics from covered and concealed positions to provide effective and accurate aimed fire. Selected snipers in history Marie Ljalková with an SVT-40. She was a Czechoslovak sniper who fought for the Soviet Union during World War II. Sergeant H.A. Marshall of The Calgary Highlanders. Canadian snipers in the Second World War were also trained scouts. Specialized equipment includes No. 4 Mk I(T) rifle and scope combination and a camouflaged Denison smock. PAC Photo, by Ken Bell (Sep 1944). British Army sniper in the Second World War. IWM Photo.Even before firearms were available, soldiers such as archers were specially trained as elite marksmen. Pre 20th century Ninja or Shinobi (16th century Japan) - supposedly trained to cover retreating armies, targeting officers from concealed positions. One of Japan's most famous warlords, Takeda Shingen was reportedly fatally wounded by a sniper's bullet. Timothy Murphy - killed British General Simon Fraser during the pivotal Battle of Saratoga faltering the British advance and losing them the battle. Napoleonic Wars - British employed some rifle companies dressed (unsportingly) in green to avoid detection and shoot enemy officers. On ships sharpshooters were sometimes deployed in fighting tops allowing them to shoot enemy officers, easily distinguished by their gaudy uniforms. Admiral Horatio Nelson died from the wound inflicted by a French sharpshooter during the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. British Rifleman Thomas Plunkett (Peninsular war) - shot French General Colbert at a range of between 200 and 600 metres using a Baker rifle. Colonel Hiram Berdan (American Civil War) - commanded 1st and 2nd US Sharpshooters and were trained and equipped Union marksmen with the .52 caliber Sharps Rifle. It has been claimed that Berdan's units killed more enemies than any other in the Union Army. Sgt. Grace (Battle of Spotsylvania Court House, 1864) - sniped Major General John Sedgwick at the then incredible distance of 730 m (800 yd), with a British Whiteworth target rifle causing administrative delays in the Union's attack, leading to Confederate victory. Sedgwick ignored advice to take cover, his last words according to legend were, "They couldn't hit an elephant at this dist-" upon which he was shot. In reality, he was shot a few minutes later. 20th century Simo Häyhä (Winter War / Second World War) - regarded by many as the most effective sniper in the history of warfare being credited with up to 542 Soviet soldiers using a Mosin-Nagant Model 28 and iron sights. Vasily Zaitsev (Battle of Stalingrad, Second World War) - credited with sniping 225 German officers and soldiers subject of the film Enemy at the Gates and the book War of the Rats, both fictionalized accounts. Lyudmila Pavlichenko (Second World War) - a female sniper with 309 confirmed kills. Carlos Hathcock (Vietnam war) - achieved 93 confirmed kills. He held the record of longest confirmed kill at a distance of 2,250 meters for 35 years until 2002. 21st century PPCLI Corporal Rob Furlong (Operation Anaconda, Afghanistan) - holds record for the longest-ever recorded and confirmed sniper kill at 2,430 metres (1.5 miles) using a .50 caliber (12.7 mm) McMillan TAC-50 rifle. Equipment TR-116 Sniper Rifle The TR-116 was developed by Starfleet for use in areas where normal phasers would be useless - within dampening fields or radiogenic environments, for example. The weapon was designed to be as simple and foolproof as possible - it used a chemical explosive to fire a Tritanium bullet and had no electrical or optical systems at all. The performance was poor by the standard of phaser weapons - range was limited to around one kilometer at most, and the largest feasible magazine was only capable of carrying thirty or forty rounds. However, in the kinds of environments the rifle was designed to operate in most opponents would be completely unarmed, while species like the Klingons would be reliant on swords and knives. Against that kind of opposition the TR-116 was more than adequate. The development of regenerative phasers which can also operate within energy-hostile environments made the TR-116 obsolete, and Starfleet dropped the program as soon as they were confident of its replacement. For some years the design remained merely a forgotten replicator pattern, but in 2375 a modified TR-116 was used to commit three murders on board Deep Space Nine. The altered weapon included two major changes. First, it was fitted with a microtransporter; when the bullet was fired the transporter beamed it to within less than 10 centimetres of the target. By using an exographic targeting sensor the killer was able to scan through many layers of bulkheads, allowing the TR-116 to be fired through walls or flooring. Chief O'Brien reproduced these alterations on another TR-116, which Lieutenant Dax subsequently used to find and capture the murderer. Operating the weapon is simplicity itself; the targeting scanner is located on the rifle, transmitting its viewpoint to a headset worn by the user. A simple thumb control moves the viewpoint forwards and backwards, allowing it to pass through walls as needed. The targeting graphic cues the user to fire whenever a target is in the line of fire. Some thought has been given to producing the modified TR-116 as a field weapon, but while the displaced targeting system is ingenious the basic limitations of a projectile weapon remain. Since phaser beams can be transported on the way to the target much as bullets can, displaced firing is likely to become a feature of phaser weapons in the future. Type IIIc-a Compression Pulse Rifle Another weapon pioneered in the 2370s and perfected in the 2380s, this is the rifle that serves as the Marine Corps' primary small arm. this is another weapon modified by the Empok Nor weaponsmiths, the rifles recieve further upgraded emitter crystals, capacitance bank, focusing coils, and power cells. The re-finished weapon is slightly lighter, more durable, and has a much longer power cell life, and greater range and accuracy. This rifle is typically fitted with a Skraag-Johansen 528 mm X 44 mm, with 50 mm objective, 100X scope equipped with light amplification, and Infrared. Allowing the weapon to engage targets nearing three kilometers. XMR-5A2 Sniper Rifle embed Paint.Picture The XMR-5A2 is a recoil dampened, bullpup design rifle with a polymer stock, free-floating barrel, muzzle brake, and flash arrestor which is designed for engaging targets beyond 2,500 meters. Caliber: 8.7 mmX100 mm Length: 64 in. Weight: 6.4 kg (12 lbs.) Barrel Length: 54 in. Twist, Right Hand: 1 turn in 6 inches Lands and Grooves: 8 Trigger Weight: 2.3 lbs. Torque: 55 in./lbs. Magazine Capacity: 10 rounds Max. Effective Range: 3,000 meters Optics: Skraag-Johansen 528 mm X 44 mm, with 50 mm objective, 100X scope equipped with light amplification, and Infrared. Ammunition: The MXR 5 frifle is designed around the 8.7x100 mm round. The bullet itself is 147 grains in weight, 8.7 mm in diameter and 27 mm in length, boat-tailed, copper jacketed with a hollow core to promote radical expansion on impact with very little fragmentation. On impact the bullet expands to nearly 20 mm The case is 82 mm in length and 18 mm in diameter, tapering to 9.3 mm. The bullet extends 18 mm from the end of the casing. Balistics testing has shown that using a Cardassian subject at 3,000 meters the round will penetrate the forehead, reaching maximum expansion just as the trailing end of the bullet passes through the cranium, penetrating the back of the skull with a tapering wound channel reaching 85 mm upon exiting the skull of the test subject. Ghillie suit Snipers with extreme requirements for infiltration and camouflage use a ghillie suit, also known as a yowie suit. The ghillie suit was originally developed by Scottish game wardens to better count game and catch poachers. Ghillie suits can be constructed in many different ways. Some services make them of rough burlap (of the hessian kind) flaps attached to a net poncho. US Army Ghillie suits are often built using a pilot's flightsuit, battle dress uniform (BDU), or some other one-piece coverall as the base. A full cover of rough webbing or fishnetting in a durable fabric is attached in irregular patterns designed to hide lines and blend in. Then, this is weathered using mud, by dragging it under or running over it with a car, and applying manure. When on location, as much of the local foliage as possible without restricting movement is applied to blend in. It is customary for the Ghillie suit to be made by the sniper, rather than bought. An inherent problem with ghillie suits is internal (and sometimes, external) temperatures. Even in relatively moderate climates, the temperature inside of the ghillie suit can soar to over 50 °C (120 °F). This can also cause fire concerns, and usually suits have spray on flame retardant applied.