Whats the main variable in being a Sniper?

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Whats the main variable in being a Sniper?

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Fri Apr 08, 2016 5:55 am

Surprised at the cost of the latest and greatest sniper rifle: $38K



http://www.gizmag.com/l115a3-sniper-rif ... pictures#1

Two questions: What makes this rifle so expensive? Is it only limited production.... or lots of rejects with quality control on the final product: you know, good enough as a combat rifle, but not good enough as a sniper rifle...and why not make them that way---just like computer chips?

THAT, and I wonder... what is the hardest part of a good long range sniper shot? Seems to me after everything is set up and wired in.... all sniper shots should be about the same? What distinguishes one sniper from another? It "should not" be eyesight, or breathing technique, or any other variable I can think of that cannot be "set" by training of the soldier and precision of the equipment.

Am I missing something?..... you know..... beyond the usual.
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Re: Whats the main variable in being a Sniper?

Postby TJrandom » Fri Apr 08, 2016 6:10 am

Surely - it is the ability to `setup and wire in` - this being a manual, and personal human activity.

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Re: Whats the main variable in being a Sniper?

Postby ElectricMonk » Fri Apr 08, 2016 7:36 am

I guess training will get many soldiers to the point where (with the right equipment, spotter and other support) they can take an average shot.

The bigger question is: how many people will be able to keep on killing at a distance?

Chris Kyle with 160 confirmed kills was an extreme case - most never get anywhere near that number.
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Re: Whats the main variable in being a Sniper?

Postby Aztexan » Fri Apr 08, 2016 4:07 pm

I'm waiting on Gawd's input on this.

I would guess you have to have, among other things: patience, determination, great decision-making skills, and the willingness and balls/guts to blow a {!#%@}'s head off at a thousand yards.
Then you eat, {!#%@}, sleep and do it again.
{!#%@} trump!

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Re: Whats the main variable in being a Sniper?

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Fri Apr 08, 2016 4:32 pm

Aztexan wrote:I'm waiting on Gawd's input on this.

I would guess you have to have, among other things: patience, determination, great decision-making skills, and the willingness and balls/guts to blow a {!#%@}'s head off at a thousand yards.
Then you eat, {!#%@}, sleep and do it again.

Sounds like a plan. Browning M2 .50 cal. can kill at four miles. The bullets are supersonic. That means people start dying around you before you hear the first shot. If you're good you can guess the direction they're coming from. If not, you die.
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Re: Whats the main variable in being a Sniper?

Postby ElectricMonk » Fri Apr 08, 2016 5:10 pm

The longest confirmed shot was 2,707 yd (2009) using the weapon in the OP.

This, more than anything else, has convinced me not to be become a Supervillian after all.
I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
Spoiler:
1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
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Re: Whats the main variable in being a Sniper?

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Fri Apr 08, 2016 5:26 pm

ElectricMonk wrote:The longest confirmed shot was 2,707 yd (2009) using the weapon in the OP.

Yeah, I hear that a lot when I mention four miles. So...

GUN TALK
. . . terms and definitions you should know.
Your gun fires 750 to 850 shots a minute—14 shots a second. The bullets, weighing nearly two ounces each, leave the barrel at 1,977 miles an hour—2,900 feet a second. This speed is called the muzzle velocity. Even at a distance of four miles—the gun's maximum range—one of those bullets will kill a man.


http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/ref ... /GUNS.html

The "confirmed shot" you mentioned was an aimed shot. If I wanted to suppress an area I'd just hose in the lead.

850 rd/minute. Each round 2 oz. Twin mounts. 1700 2 oz round a minute on a area of my choosing.

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Re: Whats the main variable in being a Sniper?

Postby Matthew Ellard » Fri Apr 08, 2016 11:58 pm

It is my uneducated guess, when a sniper's rifle is of such high quality, the problem is going to be more about the quality of the rounds being used. I don't know, but I imagine a US Army sniper is using normal mass produced rounds.

I also think that such a high quality weapon is probably not suitable for general issue on the battlefield. It looks a bit hard to strip and keep clean. I note that the German and Russian snipers in WWII used normal army issued rifles with scopes fitted for that exact reason.

I guess the other thing is "What is the most common battlefield environment" that regular snipers would encounter. Although these very distant shots are impressive, I doubt they are very common. I imagine most shots are about a city block because of all the people that have to support snipers. I know that there would be snipers doing long shots across open terrain, but as Gawdzilla points out a heavy machine gun, returning fire, will always outweigh a sniper in the open. Snipers are not really "open terrain" fighters.

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Re: Whats the main variable in being a Sniper?

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sat Apr 09, 2016 12:06 am

I've always thought it would be "cool" to have a huge gun, more almost a cannon, hooked up to a computer, telescope and whatever else would be needed, to make single fire kill shots from 10 miles away....and I mean single shots not exploding shells. Or.... realistically, I guess exploding shells would be useful too.

More basic questions....what would be the limiting factor in such a sniper cannon? Visual acquisition of the target I would think as a sniper cannon.... with an exploding shell I think very tight gps coordinates could be called in? All sorts of Mayhem.

On the issue of "wiring in" the weapon system, I'm thinking that once the telescope is matched to the barrel accuracy that all the "firing solutions" are set. Dial in the numbers and then all you have to do is put the cross hairs on the target: a very mechanical process. No skill really, no art. Just the precision of the parts. NOT that experience doesn't make you better at anything never done before.....but common.... putting crosshairs on a target.... not that hard.

I see Matt has responded. Bullets, yes part of the tech........ lets see.
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Re: Whats the main variable in being a Sniper?

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sat Apr 09, 2016 12:16 am

Matthew Ellard wrote:]It is my uneducated guess, when a sniper's rifle is of such high quality, the problem is going to be more about the quality of the rounds being used. I don't know, but I imagine a US Army sniper is using normal mass produced rounds.
Of course, I don't know either but I would have thought special sniper rounds as well meaning a ration of as exactly the same fungible bullet as can be made? Meaning---one could take standard rounds but just further evaluate and group them into sniper packages. This all goes to "wiring in" the precision of all the parts leaving only lining up the crosshairs left to do. The rifle is special made, the Team is special trained, I'd think the ammo would be too?

Matthew Ellard wrote:I also think that such a high quality weapon is probably not suitable for general issue on the battlefield. It looks a bit hard to strip and keep clean. I note that the German and Russian snipers in WWII used normal army issued rifles with scopes fitted for that exact reason.
I remember that Gary Cooper movie about that rifleman using a standard rifle with no scope or anything else... making turkey calls to get the Germans to poke their heads out and look. I believe it.
xxx

Matthew Ellard wrote:I guess the other thing is "What is the most common battlefield environment" that regular snipers would encounter. Although these very distant shots are impressive, I doubt they are very common. I imagine most shots are about a city block because of all the people that have to support snipers. I know that there would be snipers doing long shots across open terrain, but as Gawdzilla points out a heavy machine gun, returning fire, will always outweigh a sniper in the open. Snipers are not really "open terrain" fighters.
I dunno. I see a lot of current news footage of locals fighting ISIS and they are mostly just firing blind over a wall into the air...and vice versa from the lack of worry on anyone's face....... and they are always only 100 to 300 feet away from each other. Hmmm...the pros and cons of expert sniper fire vs massive fire power. I can see several pros and cons to each approach.....making sense then that both are used.
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Re: Whats the main variable in being a Sniper?

Postby Matthew Ellard » Sat Apr 09, 2016 12:23 am

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:I've always thought it would be "cool" to have a huge gun, more almost a cannon, hooked up to a computer, telescope and whatever else would be needed, to make single fire kill shots from 10 miles away....and I mean single shots not exploding shells. Or.... realistically, I guess exploding shells would be useful too.
...and that is sort of what the Germans did. They put open sights on their "anti aircraft" extreme high velocity 88mm cannon and added a mechanical computer to the body of the gun. This absolutely devastated British armour in the Western desert campaigns. Solid shot, "panzergrenate 36" would penetrate front plate armour at 2 to 3 kilometers

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote: More basic questions....what would be the limiting factor in such a sniper cannon?
I actually know this. Curvature of the earth becomes a new factor.

Interestingly, for ships, an enormous technological breakthrough was to have the guns fire when the ship was level as ship continuously roll back and forth.

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Re: Whats the main variable in being a Sniper?

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sat Apr 09, 2016 12:31 am

Good points Matt. Google says: "For an observer on the ground with eye level at h = 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m), the horizon is at a distance of 2.9 miles (4.7 km). For an observer standing on a hill or tower 100 feet (30 m) in height, the horizon is at a distance of 12.2 miles (19.6 km)." //// I had thought it would be more than this....but I'll go with google. So....my telescope needs a 100 foot tower. Not that outrageous.

I take switching the targets from people to other important targets....making the sniper cannon a valuable concept....yet not to my perception generally used? We use airplanes (Warthogs) instead?

I thought Battleships had "gyroscopically stabilized firing platforms" which with your statement doesn't strike me as very practicable given the size and weights involved. Waiting for the guns to be "level" makes a lot more sense---knowing nothing about it as I do. EDIT: HAH!==and maybe that is exactly what is meant by gyroscopically stabilized? I have always thoughts the entire gun carriage was stablized.... but it makes more sense just to stabilize the firing solution?
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Re: Whats the main variable in being a Sniper?

Postby Matthew Ellard » Sat Apr 09, 2016 12:33 am

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:I thought Battleships had "gryroscopically stabilized firing platforms" which with your statement doesn't strike me as very practicable given the size and weights involved. Waiting for the guns to be "level" makes a lot more sense---knowing nothing about it as I do.
You are probably right. I was thinking pre-world war I

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Re: Whats the main variable in being a Sniper?

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sat Apr 09, 2016 12:35 am

I added an edit to my comment..... and we could both be right?
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Re: Whats the main variable in being a Sniper?

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Sat Apr 09, 2016 12:56 am

Why not just get a Tar-Aiym Krang and be done with it?
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Re: Whats the main variable in being a Sniper?

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sat Apr 09, 2016 1:10 am

wut dat?
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Re: Whats the main variable in being a Sniper?

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Sat Apr 09, 2016 1:29 am

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:wut dat?

Image
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Re: Whats the main variable in being a Sniper?

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sat Apr 09, 2016 1:57 am

Thats a totally stupid thing to think..... if you even do..... as opposed to trolling for idiots which appears to be your delight.

Why in the world should x number of people individually google a rare term that could have many or specialized meaning known only to yourself INSTEAD OF....one single person post in a clear and lucid "informing" manner?

Know what I mean? aka= grow up.
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Re: Whats the main variable in being a Sniper?

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Sat Apr 09, 2016 3:23 am

Okay, stay stupid.
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Re: Whats the main variable in being a Sniper?

Postby Flash » Sat Apr 09, 2016 3:48 am

I hit an empty can of coke at two meters with my deadly water pistol. Not bad eh? And that's without the whole optical thingy.
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Re: Whats the main variable in being a Sniper?

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sat Apr 09, 2016 7:06 am

A snipe hunt or fool's errand is a type of practical joke that involves experienced people making fun of credulous newcomers by giving them an impossible or imaginary task..... or one that is a waste of time to stroke the weak ego's involved.
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Re: Whats the main variable in being a Sniper?

Postby Blacksamwell » Tue Jun 28, 2016 10:13 pm

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:What makes this rifle so expensive? Is it only limited production.... or lots of rejects with quality control on the final product: you know, good enough as a combat rifle, but not good enough as a sniper rifle...and why not make them that way---just like computer chips?


High precision, small volume manufacturing combined with a large margin. They're making the parts one or two at a time using CNC processes and assembling the parts by hand. Its an example of boutique manufacturing serving a niche market that has deep pockets.

The interesting thing is that those expensive rifles won't necessarily out shoot far less expensive rifles. Today's manufacturing tech means that even the cheap rifles one can buy off the shelf will shoot well.

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:THAT, and I wonder... what is the hardest part of a good long range sniper shot? Seems to me after everything is set up and wired in.... all sniper shots should be about the same? What distinguishes one sniper from another? It "should not" be eyesight, or breathing technique, or any other variable I can think of that cannot be "set" by training of the soldier and precision of the equipment.

Am I missing something?..... you know..... beyond the usual.


Not that I have much experience with long range shooting, but I have dabbled enough learning how to make shots out to 300 yards with my hunting rifle to know what's involved. The hard work is gathering all of the information needed to feed the ballistics program. The field of external ballistics is well developed and the software will get you very close if you are able to accurately feed in the figures for altitude, barometric pressure, wind speed and direction, angle of the shot, muzzle velocity of the bullet, the ballistic coefficient of the bullet, and there's more. It just depends on how accurate you need to be.

But even when all of those objective measures are accounted for, there are the variables that can't be summarized easily. Calling the impact of wind on the projectile is the most difficult thing to learn. You can easily calculate how far a steady wind blowing directly across the bullets path will push the bullet while the bullet is in flight. However, in reality the wind at the bench is different than the wind at the target. Experienced shooters will use streamers and wind socks set on the range to judge what the wind is doing and adjust the placement of their shot accordingly. Inexperienced shooters such as myself hope for calm days.

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Re: Whats the main variable in being a Sniper?

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Tue Jun 28, 2016 11:16 pm

Remember that the parties making the claims of "longest kill" have to get their statements approved by DOD. And DOD really doesn't want people to know how far they can kill. But we do know that the M2 Browning .50 cal. can kill at four miles. Not an aimed shot, but still a kill shot.
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Re: Whats the main variable in being a Sniper?

Postby Flash » Tue Jun 28, 2016 11:42 pm

Yeah? :dunk:

But at what distance can you knock wings off a fly? :pardon:
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Re: Whats the main variable in being a Sniper?

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Tue Jun 28, 2016 11:47 pm

Flash wrote:Yeah? :dunk:

But at what distance can you knock wings off a fly? :pardon:

With a Davey Crockett rocket you can knock them off at five miles.
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Re: Whats the main variable in being a Sniper?

Postby Flash » Wed Jun 29, 2016 3:40 am

:laffout:
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Re: Whats the main variable in being a Sniper?

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Wed Jun 29, 2016 3:42 am

Gawdzilla Sama
But we do know that the M2 Browning .50 cal. can kill at four miles. Not an aimed shot, but still a kill shot.
//// Seems to me a kill "SHOT" is one that hits the intended target. Otherwise, you are only talking about the range of a projectile.

Its totally definitional. Mine better than yours.
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Re: Whats the main variable in being a Sniper?

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Wed Jun 29, 2016 6:25 am

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:
Gawdzilla Sama
But we do know that the M2 Browning .50 cal. can kill at four miles. Not an aimed shot, but still a kill shot.
//// Seems to me a kill "SHOT" is one that hits the intended target. Otherwise, you are only talking about the range of a projectile.

Its totally definitional. Mine better than yours.

You need to read between the rifling.
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Re: Whats the main variable in being a Sniper?

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Wed Jun 29, 2016 6:41 am

Gawd: nice play on words....but no.

Define a kill shot. Right now, yours is any bullet that kills a person. Could be from a box of ammon that falls into a fire. The WHOLE POINT of the kill shot is NOT the kill, but the shot. A trained person taking aim and hitting what they aim at. THAT is a kill shot.

Read closely enough, I'm sure that is between the riflings as well.
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Re: Whats the main variable in being a Sniper?

Postby ElectricMonk » Wed Jun 29, 2016 8:34 am

Right - I don't think any projectile weapon can be accurate at 4 miles because even the tiniest effects will lead to deviations larger than half the size of a head/chest.
Just shooting into a large crowd from four miles will probably kill somebody (or even a few if the bullet punches through), but that is not a Kill Shot.
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Re: Whats the main variable in being a Sniper?

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Wed Jun 29, 2016 9:28 am

...EM---maybe so.........but I wouldn't bet against an expert marksman taking a few days/weeks to "study up" on the shot....and wait for a calm day.
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Re: Whats the main variable in being a Sniper?

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Wed Jun 29, 2016 11:34 am

My point is that the gap between "official longest aimed shot" and "maximum kill range" is quite wide. AND if the best shooters could, I believe, move that mark forward. It would be in the interest of the people giving the orders that this not be known. This may be why some people go out as one rank and two weeks later they're two ranks higher.
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Re: Whats the main variable in being a Sniper?

Postby Blacksamwell » Wed Jun 29, 2016 1:53 pm

ElectricMonk wrote:Right - I don't think any projectile weapon can be accurate at 4 miles because even the tiniest effects will lead to deviations larger than half the size of a head/chest.


The precision of a rifle is often measured in minutes of angle (MOA). If a rifle is capable of shooting a group of shots that are all within an inch of each other at 100 yards, that rifle and ammunition combination are shooting approximately 1 MOA. 1 MOA is rather good and is the requirement for some police or military for their rifles. Getting groups below 1 MOA requires a LOT of precise work on both the rifle and ammo and all of these measurements are under calm or controlled environment (no or little wind).

The group size will grow proportionate to the distance. So a 1 MOA rifle/ammo combo will print a 2" group at 200 yards, 4" group at 400 yards... and so on. At 4 miles, assuming no other factors, 1 MOA works out to a group size of 70.4 inches. That's best case scenario. I don't know of any caliber of rifle that a human could carry as a sniper rifle that will reach out to 4 miles and stay supersonic the entire journey. When the bullet scrubs off speed due to friction with the air it eventually slips below supersonic speeds. Transitioning from supersonic to subsonic can often destabilize the bullet such that past that transition point the shot is no longer precise. At distances past that point, 1 MOA of precision is no longer possible (at least with that bullet).

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Re: Whats the main variable in being a Sniper?

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Wed Jun 29, 2016 3:08 pm

[ct]Or at least that's what they want you to believe.[/ct]
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Re: Whats the main variable in being a Sniper?

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Wed Jun 29, 2016 11:12 pm

Black Sam: good info. Thanks.

I googled (most precise moa rifle) and was rewarded with some good reads. One rifle showed .5moa at 1000 yards.

So.............makes me think if moa was your issue to work on, some great gains "NOT OUT OF THE BOX" but very seriously worked on, could be had. While the goal is "One Shot, One Kill"....nothing in the rule book says you can't keep shooting as long as the guy is still smoking his cigar?

I can see a dedicated team working to minimize the variables for shots that practicably are too long to take.......but are still "possible."
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Re: Whats the main variable in being a Sniper?

Postby Blacksamwell » Thu Jun 30, 2016 3:04 pm

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:I can see a dedicated team working to minimize the variables for shots that practicably are too long to take.......but are still "possible."

And what if that "dedicated team" was a computer built into your scope that took into account all of the necessary variables, digitally tagged your target, and didn't let the bullet fly until you put the crosshairs precisely where needed to make a perfect hit?

http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2013/03/bullseye-from-1000-yards-shooting-the-17000-linux-powered-rifle/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zjaMs-F5nRI

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Re: Whats the main variable in being a Sniper?

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Thu Jun 30, 2016 3:05 pm

Charles Whitman would be fascinated.
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Re: Whats the main variable in being a Sniper?

Postby Blacksamwell » Thu Jun 30, 2016 3:29 pm

Gawdzilla Sama wrote:Charles Whitman would be fascinated.

Yes, perhaps.

But so would anyone interested in using technology to aid in aiming. There's nothing inherently evil about that. I thoroughly enjoy developing my own hand loads for my rifle and constantly working to improve my results using whatever tech I can apply. I can't afford this kind of tech but I would get a kick out of taking one for a test drive.

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Re: Whats the main variable in being a Sniper?

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Thu Jun 30, 2016 3:43 pm

I fired my first long gun in 1965, property of a one-legged Marine that "adopted" me. He had some interesting souvenirs from S.E.A., including one sniper rifle that had markings in Chinese, Vietnamese, and English.
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Re: Whats the main variable in being a Sniper?

Postby Blacksamwell » Thu Jun 30, 2016 4:06 pm

Although not specific to sniping, this youtube video series from Ryan Pahl takes you through his efforts to compete in long range rifle shooting. I think it provides a ton of interesting details about what it takes to repeatedly make accurate and precise shots at long range.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLCD31A83F7643E23C


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