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Thread: Snipers Sniping & Countering them

  1. #41
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    Here is good reading about calibres.

    http://www.remingtonmilitary.com/art...02005.05MH.pdf

    and about Hard Target Interdiction.

    http://www.remingtonmilitary.com/art...02005.03MH.pdf

  2. #42
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Default Michael Haugen, U.S. Army of Course !

    Kaur,
    Thanks for the links. Chief Warrant Officer Haugen is very well known in SF circles. His bio and indepth knowledge of firearms can be found here:
    http://www.boomershoot.org/general/mikebio.htm

    BTW, the boomershoot folks add a whole new meaning to long distance marksmanship (Precision rifle shooting at exploding targets)

    The typically tranquil community of Teakean-Cavendish will be shaken up as nearly 200 people gather in North Central Idaho for a weekend of explosives and guns at the 9th annual Boomershoot, April 28 - 30, 2006.

    Diverse shooters and spectators from throughout the world are expected to attend Boomershoot, including law enforcement officers, scientists, engineers, computer programmers, and members of the Boeing Pistol & Rifle Club. Others are gun rights activists, such as Stephanie Sailor, three-time Illinois U.S. Congressional candidate (Independent), known for running cyber campaigns on a $0 budget.

  3. #43
    Council Member SGTMILLS's Avatar
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    Default Snipers

    We were asking for sniper training only weeks into our rotation because by the time our intel got up and down the chain of command, the infantry snipers would show up on the wrong day, or wrong time, etc. etc. engineers asking for sniper training was too off the wall for 101st, i guess. this is a def. improvement to the system. who doesn't need more accurate snipers on their side?

  4. #44
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    Default XM-109 25mm

    Barrett Arms hopes to raise the bar even higher with the introduction of its new XM-109 25mm payload rifle.

    The centerpiece of the XM-109 system is the 25mm HEDP ammunition it fires. A scaled down derivative of the low velocity 30mm HEDP M789 ammunition fired by the AH-64 Apache attack helicopter, the MX-109's 25mm ammunition has been judged to be 2.5 times more effective at destroying targets than a .50 caliber armor-piercing round. It is expected that this ammunition can penetrate nearly 40mm (an inch and a half) of armor plating at 500 meters, or blast open doors from around the corner. In other words, it gives the Soldier breaching capability on fortified positions, while minimizing exposure to enemy fire, thanks to its effectiveness at greater distances. Also in the works are a number of specialized rounds, ranging from solid core AP ammunition to non-lethal/ crowd control munitions utilizing inert rubber balls, and RC agents.

    XM-109

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    Default Little Known Sniper

    I'd be very interested in hearing from anyone who knew Waldron. I've been trying to find out more about this somewhat mysterious individual.

    Waldron was from Syracuse, N.Y. On January 25, 1953 he joined the navy, which he left on July 27, 1965.

    He enlisted in the Army on May 7, 1968, and was discharged March 16, 1970. For the last 9 months of his enlistment he was a Sniper Instructor at the Sniper School at Ft. Benning, GA.

    LTC. Robert K. Brown, editor/publisher of Soldier of Fortune, wrote an article on Waldron called "Silent Death in Vietnam," which includes some after-action reports describing Waldron's activities. I believe this was published in the mid 1980s. For actions within the 3-month period of January 1969-March 1969, Waldron was not only awarded two DSCs but a Bronze Star and a Silver Star.

  6. #46
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    One reason he may have faded from sight is the record of the 9th ID in that region during that time. Now, let's be VERY clear that I'm not saying Waldron did this, but the 9th under Ewell (the division commander at the time who also wrote "Sharpening the Combat Edge") had something of a history of padding its body counts (very out of balance ratios of weapons to bodies tends to raise an eyebrow...and it's interesting that in "Sharpening the Combat Edge" Ewell talks about KIA 'exchange ratios' as a measure of combat effectiveness but remains fairly silent about weapons captured). They did a lot of night operations which seemed to boil down to shooting anything that moved after dark (again, this is something of a generalization, but it is commented on in many sources including Krepenevitch's book on Vietnam and "Self Destruction"). I think John Paul Vann had some sharp words about the 9th ID's combat operations.

    If he was being used to pad body counts, I could see where that might contribute to his estrangement.
    "On the plains and mountains of the American West, the United States Army had once learned everything there was to learn about hit-and-run tactics and guerrilla warfare."
    T.R. Fehrenbach This Kind of War

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    Default Sharpshooter/DM employment

    Sharpshooters or designated marksmen: riflemen trained and equipped to engage with precision rifle fire at distances past the effective range of the average troop with the issue rifle; however, not trained or equipped (or experienced enough?) for true sniper operations.

    How many are needed and where do they belong?

    One per rifle squad? In a platoon weapons squad? In a company weapons platoon to be to be employed at company level or attached out as needed?

    At one time I would have said one per rifle squad but this assumed squad fire and maneuver. That would have allowed the squad's DM to stay with the squad's fire element. But in an understrength squad, a squad that probably has to fire or maneuver, a DM at squad level doesn't seem like a good idea.

    I don't think you would want a DM at squad level if that squad has to conduct an envelopment, would you?
    "Pick up a rifle and you change instantly from a subject to a citizen." - Jeff Cooper

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    Good thread Rifleman.

    Yeah, I've been thinking about this for a while since I saw the Brits switch their LSWs from the LMG to the DM roles. I rather agree with you Rifleman; I doubt that DM's are very good at Squad or Section level under normal circumstances. If you want people to deal with long-range targets or "special" targets like enemy heavy weapons crews, then you want those people to be as free as possible from having to deal directly with the enemy to the immediate front; that's what the guys in the Squads and the Sections are there for. That said, there will be circumstances where attaching them out to the Squads and Sections may be necessary.

    I suspect that if you were to have about 4 DM's, normally held at Platoon level, the Platoon Commander or 2 i/c would be able to coordinate their fires better, and the DM's could operate in pairs, with one pair able to keep fire on the enemy's heavy weapons crews and depth targets if the other has to displace. Alternatively, the DM's could also functiona little more in the classic Rifleman role by skirmishing ahead or to the flanks of the Platoon under certain circumstances, and really causing the enemy some consternation even before the Platoon attacks; or in the defence, the DM's again acting as classic Riflemen could be used to cover the Platoon's withdrawal by slowing the enemy down.

    This brings me to another point about DM's. I think that they should probably be called Riflemen, not Designated Marksmen or Shaprshooters. If they are armed with a Rifle with a full-length barrel and an optical sight, and preferably with a bipod as well, coupled with a little advanced Marksmanship training and some Scout training, I think that they might be rather close in tactical concept to the Riflemen of old, and just as useful. When you think about it, the "Riflemen" in the Squads and Sections aren't really Riflemen any more, they're classic Carbineers, armed with short-barrelled rifles and used to win the Firefight and then to Assault in Close-Quarter Combat.

    Call me a Traditionalist (and I am) , but I think that bringing back classic Riflemen, in a modern form, would be a very good way to go.

  9. #49
    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rifleman View Post

    @ Sharpshooters or designated marksmen: riflemen trained and equipped to engage with precision rifle fire at distances past the effective range of the average troop with the issue rifle; however, not trained or equipped (or experienced enough?) for true sniper operations.


    @ I don't think you would want a DM at squad level if that squad has to conduct an envelopment, would you?
    This discussion may be somewhat fruitless unless we have a shared understanding of terms.

    To my mind, and that of the British Army and IDF an "Marksman is merely member of a fire team equipped with a 5.56mm weapon with a 20-inch barrel, optic sight, and bipod. He should be able to consistently hit targets out to 6-800m. This is part of the current fad for fire teams with a 5.56mm LMG, Sharpshooter and a 40mm UGL.

    I don't think this makes sense. I'd have 2 x 8.6mm or 7.62mm bolt action rifles at the platoon level and train 4-5 men how to use them out to 1,000m for the 7.62mm and 1,800m for the 8.6mm. I estimate, the 8.6mm takes about twice as long to train, and probably cost 5 times as much overall.

    These men would be Long Range Rifleman, not snipers. They would have all the normal infantry skills, but be expert at getting the best out of the weapon. I would put them with the Platoon Recce Teams. They would carry the rifle and an IW.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norfolk View Post
    This brings me to another point about DM's. I think that they should probably be called Riflemen, not Designated Marksmen or Shaprshooters. If they are armed with a Rifle with a full-length barrel and an optical sight, and preferably with a bipod as well, coupled with a little advanced Marksmanship training and some Scout training, I think that they might be rather close in tactical concept to the Riflemen of old, and just as useful. When you think about it, the "Riflemen" in the Squads and Sections aren't really Riflemen any more, they're classic Carbineers, armed with short-barrelled rifles and used to win the Firefight and then to Assault in Close-Quarter Combat.

    Call me a Traditionalist (and I am) , but I think that bringing back classic Riflemen, in a modern form, would be a very good way to go.
    Interesting to me, given my interest in frontier history. The 71st of Foot, Frasier's Highlanders, didn't encounter designated marksmen when they hit Daniel Morgan's skirmishline at Cowpens. They encountered Riflemen with a capital "R."

    Of course it's also historically accurate that by The Late Unpleasantness of 1861-65 () the term sharpshooter had started to gain broad usage for special skirmishing units. Most line infantry units had rifles by then but only a few men got the weapon's full capability out of it. Evidently they thought another term was needed for distinction.

    Incidentally, it's a myth that frontier America was a nation of riflemen; the good'uns were always the minority. A farmer with a fowling piece was far more common than a longhunter.

    The longrifle on the early American frontier seems to have been sort of like the longbow in medieval England; you almost had to be bred to the weapon culturally. It shouldn't have to be that way, of course, since the fundamentals of marksmanship aren't that hard. But even today you see some troops that can never seem to "get it" no matter how much instruction they receive.
    "Pick up a rifle and you change instantly from a subject to a citizen." - Jeff Cooper

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    Okay, two folks so far for keeping them at platoon level. Slightly different ways of going about it but both agreed that the DM should not be a member of a standard squad or fire team.
    "Pick up a rifle and you change instantly from a subject to a citizen." - Jeff Cooper

  12. #52
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    I see no reason not have DMs at the squad level. They are still available to the platoon if needed but they are also available to the squad leader during decentralized ops. DMs aren't snipers. They don't have bolt-action sniper rifles. They are ordinary infantrymen who may or may not have a more accurate version of the weapon that the rest of them carry but who does have more training/skill in engaging targets at longer ranges. He still fights as a regular infantryman but he has an additional skill-set (and possibly weapons system) that the squad/platoon leader can tap into if needed. At least that is how I understand the concept and that is how it makes the most sense to me.

    SFC W

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    Quote Originally Posted by Uboat509 View Post
    I see no reason not have DMs at the squad level. They are still available to the platoon if needed but they are also available to the squad leader during decentralized ops. DMs aren't snipers. They don't have bolt-action sniper rifles. They are ordinary infantrymen who may or may not have a more accurate version of the weapon that the rest of them carry but who does have more training/skill in engaging targets at longer ranges. He still fights as a regular infantryman but he has an additional skill-set (and possibly weapons system) that the squad/platoon leader can tap into if needed. At least that is how I understand the concept and that is how it makes the most sense to me.

    SFC W
    What we are envisioning here is a Rifleman equipped with something more along the lines of the LSW, which is too long for quick handling in Close-Combat. Furthermore, in a Firefight, the Rifleman so armed in a Squad or Section may be too busy trying to beat down the enemy immediately to his front to be free to deal with enemies at long range. If he is normally held at Platoon, he has a rather better chance of being free to deal with the enemy in-depth, as the Squads and Sections will be dealing with the enemy to the immediate front. Having a few guys in the Platoon HQ that can lay down fires out to 800m or so with single shots or 2-3 round bursts against heavy weapons crews and depth-targets is probably easier to do than one guy in each Squad or Section trying to do so with the enemy right in front. That at least, is the general idea that we seem to have in mind.

  14. #54
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    Default No DM at the squad/section level

    The Marine Corps' current rifleman, armed with a rifle combat optic, M16A4, and Gripod combination VFG/bipod closely approximates what a squad designated marksman needs to be capable of, if we ever had a need for one. No need to fancy Harris bipods or free-floating barrels. Enhanced training is the key for guys like that, but sustaining their training will always be the toughest part.

    What if they are all fresh out of a DM course and the platoon commander and platoon sergeant aren't good marksmen, or are more concerned with fire and maneuver? Slapping a more powerful or variable scope on the rifle would not necessarily mean that they are training to a higher standard, but perhaps simply carrying more weight.

    A DM or two at the platoon level would be more appropriate in my mind. DMs are great for static security/defensive ops, but less so for dismounted offensive operations. However, even if he is not going to be out on the stalk, I strongly believe that he needs a trained spotter. The spotter could be another equally capable DM, with his own weapon that is zero'd to his requirements. Two teams of two DMs apiece and (4) rifles would permit continuous operations from a static position for somewhere around 12-24 hours. Again, the emphasis is on continuous observation operations. I was a DM with a match-grade bedded M-14 in my early enlisted days, and the business of glassing an area with binos is one of the most mind-numbing and tiring tasks around.

    As for the weapon, if we want good effects against light material and considerable range, it would need to be something in the 6.8mm - 7.62mm range of calibers. There is something to be said for simply sticking with a 5.56mm, given the state of urbanization that is projecte in just about every strategic doctrinal pub out there, or the range of concept papers churned out each fisal year. What's a good range requirement in an urbanized area? 800m...1,000m? We'd have to take a hard look at whether or not firing windows are posible out that far first, methinks.

  15. #55
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    Don't forget that it's not all distance it is also sub 1 inch accuracy. The ability to peel a bad guy off a good guy in the close confines of urban territory and ranged from 25 meters to 300 meters as an operational space is imperative. Another also under appreciated element is penetration and sustained velocity of a round through at least some type of material. Whether it be glass, or plaster sustained effectiveness beyond the first surface for urbanized terrain is important.
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    I think that Wilf's point about .338 rifles at platoon level (used by marksmen, not snipers) is very good idea. In Afganistan, were a lot of patrols are carried out by company-sized units, the contact demands (often) long range precision fire, that even .50 MG's are not able to provide.

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    Quote Originally Posted by selil View Post
    Don't forget that it's not all distance it is also sub 1 inch accuracy. The ability to peel a bad guy off a good guy in the close confines of urban territory and ranged from 25 meters to 300 meters as an operational space is imperative.
    With this you are leaving the realm of the DM and moving firmly into the realm of the sniper. This type of training requires specialized weapons with highly specialized training. I don't know about the Marines but the Army does not do this type training with its snipers, at least not big Army snipers. In any case, the situations where this type of precision shooting in close proximity to friendlies is fairly rare.

    SFC W

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    A Designated Marksman is "Designated." Having a M16A4 with an optic sight and bipod or L86A2, is relatively cheap and simple to do, but you are still limited by the fire team organisation, and weapons characteristics.

    Having two large calibre bolt action rifles available to the platoon and training the best shots in the platoon to use them is nothing to do with sniping.

    I just call it Long Range Rifles. The UK issued the 8.6mm L-115A1 to Para and Marine platoons for that reason. The new 8.6mm L-115A3 will soon become the issue rifle to the sniper platoons.

    It takes no more time to teach someone to use a long range rifle with a good scope than it does to train them to use a guided weapon or SF GPMG.

    Modern sniping is far more about qualification than operational role.
    Last edited by William F. Owen; 12-23-2007 at 02:17 AM. Reason: Spelling, cos it's early and no coffee yet!
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    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

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    I was thinking of a marine with upgraded optics package on something chambered in Lapua .338 or similar. Good for penetration, but necessarily giving up the capability as a regular grunt. Definitely not scout/sniper quality, but better than average, and hopefully average is still pretty darn good.
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    It takes no more time to teach someone to use a long range rifle with a good scope than it does to train them to use a guided weapon or SF GPMG.

    Modern sniping is far more about qualification than operational role.
    Could you provide a little more detail as to why you believe those two statements?

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