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Old 10-06-2005   #1
DDilegge
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Default Snipers Sniping & Countering them

Moderator's Note

There is an open thread Are snipers and recon still valid in infantry battalions? which maybe of interest. If required this thread can be re-opened; it was closed in March 2015. A small number of threads were merged, in particular a thread from Iraq (OIF) on the insurgents using a US veteran's knowledge (ends).


"The maker of a track-wheeled robot used in Iraq and Afghanistan is developing a version designed to locate the source of sniper fire."

"IRobot Corp.'s joint project with Boston University's Photonics Center could protect soldiers by helping them quickly locate snipers and either steer clear of them or fire back...."

Source: Associated Press (5 Oct 05) at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...100502001.html

Note: I remember the USMC working a similar program several years ago during its Project Metropolis experiments. Not sure if this is a related technology, a new effort, or associated with the acoustic counter-sniper system (Boomerang) mentioned towards the end of the article.

Last edited by davidbfpo; 03-21-2015 at 10:21 PM. Reason: Move Mods Note to here from below
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Old 01-16-2006   #2
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Default Snipers Sniping & Countering them

15 Jan. London Daily Telegraph (via Washington Times) - U.S. Army Sniper Nails Record Shot.

Quote:
Gazing through the telescopic sight of his M-24 rifle, Army Staff Sgt. Jim Gilliland, leader of Shadow sniper team, fixed his eye on the Iraqi insurgent who had just killed an American soldier.

His quarry stood nonchalantly in the fourth-floor bay window of a hospital in battle-torn Ramadi, still clasping a long-barreled Kalashnikov. Instinctively allowing for wind speed and bullet drop, Shadow's commander aimed 12 feet high.

A single shot hit the Iraqi in the chest and killed him instantly. It had been fired from a range of more than three-quarters of a mile, well beyond the capacity of the powerful Leupold sight, accurate to 3,300 feet.

"I believe it is the longest confirmed kill in Iraq with a 7.62mm rifle," said Sgt. Gilliland, 28, who hunted squirrels in Double Springs, Ala., from the age of 5 before progressing to deer -- and then to insurgents and terrorists.

"He was visible only from the waist up. It was a one-in-a-million shot. I could probably shoot a whole box of ammunition and never hit him again."

Later that day, Sgt. Gilliland found out that the American soldier who had been killed by the Iraqi was Staff Sgt. Jason Benford, 30, a good friend.

The insurgent was one of between 55 and 65 Sgt. Gilliland estimates that he has shot dead in less than five months, putting him within striking distance of sniper legends such as Carlos Hathcock, a Marine who recorded 93 confirmed kills in Vietnam...

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Old 01-20-2006   #3
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Default Sniper Rounds and more...

An item in today's Washington Times Inside the Ring.

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Sniper Rounds

An Army judge advocate general (JAG) temporarily banned Army and Marine Corps snipers from using a highly accurate open-tip bullet.

... mistakenly thought the open-tip round was the same as hollow-point ammunition, which is banned. The original open-tip was known as Sierra MatchKing and broke all records for accuracy in the past 30 years.

The difference between the open-tip and the hollow point is that the open tip is a design feature that improves accuracy while the hollow point is designed for increasing damage when it hits a target.

About 10 days ago, the Army JAG in Iraq ordered all snipers to stop using the open-tip 175-grain M118LR bullet, claiming, falsely, it was prohibited. Instead of the open-tip, snipers were forced to take M-60 machine gun rounds out of belts and use them instead.

The order upset quite a few people here and in Iraq who said the JAG ignored the basic principle of every military lawyer that there is a presumption of legality for all issued weapons or ammunition that are made at the military service level at the time they are acquired.

"She forced snipers to use less accurate ammunition, thereby placing U.S. forces and Iraqi civilians at greater risk," a Pentagon official said of the JAG, who was not identified by name. "And she incorrectly issued an order. JAGs may advise a commander, but they cannot issue orders."

After Army lawyers were finally alerted to the JAG's action, the order was lifted and the JAG was notified that the open tip was perfectly legal for use by snipers. However, the reversal was followed by the Army officials' taking retaliation against a sniper who blew the whistle on the bogus order. The sniper lost his job over a security infraction in reporting the JAG.
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Old 02-15-2006   #4
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This was a huge deal. I hope the young shooter gets squared away by the powers that be.
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Old 07-16-2006   #5
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Default XM110 Semi-Automatic Sniper System

July issue of Army Magazine - XM110 Semi-Automatic Sniper System by Scott Gourley.

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Representatives for Army Test and Evaluation Command are conducting operational testing on the newest addition to the U.S. Army arsenal: the XM110 7.62 mm semi-automatic sniper system (SASS). As that testing is under way, there is a high likelihood that small numbers of the new system will begin entering the field in response to urgent need requirements.

According to Lt. Col. Kevin P. Stoddard, U.S. Army product manager (PM) for Crew-Served Weapons, the XM110 program evolved in response to a field requirement from some U.S. Army sniper teams. Those teams are currently equipped with the M24 7.62 mm sniper weapon system and the M107 .50-caliber semi-automatic long-range sniper rifle. Because snipers operate in teams, their equipment requirements fall under the PM for crew-served weapons.

“Right now the Army has an M24, which is bolt action,” Stoddard explained. “Then we came along with the .50-caliber, the M107, which is a .50-caliber semi-automatic. It’s designed to reach out beyond 1,000 meters [to engage] anti-materiel targets. Then units came along with a new requirement. They were looking for [the ability to engage] light-skinned materiel as well as personnel with 7.62 mm. They were also looking for a weapon that would be good in a close urban fight as well.”

The requirement for a new semi-automatic sniper system was released at the end of 2004. The Army called for “a 7.62 mm semi-automatic sniper system capable of delivering precision fire primarily on anti-personnel targets out to a range of 1,000 meters. This system must be a man portable, shoulder-fired system using military standard 7.62 x 51 mm caliber ammunition but optimized for the open-tip M118LR long-range ammunition. In addition, M993 armor piercing (AP) ammunition will be fired based on specific mission requirements. Compatibility with the existing family of military 7.62 x 51 mm caliber ammunition is also required. The primary components of the system include a rifle, detachable bipod, hard transport/storage case(s), soft carrying case(s), cleaning/maintenance equipment and manuals. The weapon will have a flash/sound suppressor, high capacity (up to 20-round) detachable box magazines; rails/mounting surfaces for mounting fire control (optics, backup iron sights and aim-light) systems; variable power optics/electro-optics (in order to engage targets between 50 and 1,000 meters); and an accompanying spotting scope with range estimation reticle(s) and a night vision interface.”...
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Old 10-29-2006   #6
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Default Iraqi Rebels Learn From U.S. Sniper Guru

29 October London Daily Telegraph - Iraqi Rebels Learn From U.S. Sniper Guru by Robert Watson.

Quote:
Iraqi insurgents have formed a special sniper brigade which is drawing its inspiration from a US training manual by one of America's most revered snipers.

A new insurgent propaganda video shows how guerrillas have dramatically upped their kill rate of US soldiers with the help of The Ultimate Sniper, written by a retired US Marines major, John Plaster.

The tactics they have gleaned from the book, which is available on the internet along with an accompanying DVD, are thought to be behind a steep rise in the level of sniper fire on US troops in recent months.

A total of 36 such attacks have been recorded by the US military in Baghdad alone this month, of which at least eight are believed to have been fatal. In January, by contrast, sniper fire incidents were barely above single figures, and deaths relatively rare.

The video is thought to have been made by the Islamic Army of Iraq, whose followers are drawn largely from the 400,000 former Iraqi army soldiers who were dismissed by the US...
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Old 10-29-2006   #7
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Major Plaster was in the Army not the Marine Corps and when he was in MACV/SOG he was in a SF slot. This article seems like a propaganda piece to me.

Last edited by bismark17; 10-29-2006 at 05:07 AM.
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Old 10-29-2006   #8
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Default John Plaster on the Web

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Originally Posted by bismark17 View Post
Major Plaster was in the Army not the Marine Corps and when he was in MACV/SOG he was in a SF slot. This article seems like a propaganda piece to me.
Here is his Ultimate Sniper web page.
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Old 10-29-2006   #9
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Default U.S. Military Probes Sniper Threat in Baghdad

29 October Reuters - U.S. Military Probes Sniper Threat in Baghdad by Paul Holmes.

Quote:
The U.S. military has begun looking more closely at shooting attacks on troops in Iraq to establish whether they are carried out by snipers, according to a spokesman.

The change reflects concern over an insurgent video-CD that appears to show a series of shooting attacks on U.S. and Iraqi forces in Baghdad by a purported sniper brigade from the Sunni militant Islamic Army.

The video, which Reuters has seen, was handed out in Sunni parts of western Baghdad last week as a "gift" to mark the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. It shows 28 separate attacks, several of them involving precision shots to the head.

Narrated by a man described as the brigade "commander" and subtitled in English, it claims the marksmen use a training manual written by a retired U.S. Army Special Forces officer.

"Ultimate Sniper," written in 1993 by Major John L. Plaster, is freely available through online bookstores. It was updated this year "for today's Global War on Terror," according to www.ultimatesniper.com, which calls it the bible of sniping...
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Old 10-29-2006   #10
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Makes sense. Urban terrain is perfect for snipers. They are small so they can hide, buildings give them lots of oportunities for positions....

It is right to learn, even from the enemy - Ovid
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Old 10-29-2006   #11
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The IA have rolled up a few of these guys here. When you catch them they do not look like Tom Berringer. Some are pretty good, or at least claim to be. Most of their equipment is a modified SVD. The Iraqi Islamic Army is real, they are a learning enemy, and moderately tactically and technically proficient - they can improvise. There numbers are not as great as they imply either, but they can mass a reasonable ammount of guys. However, the IA are better equipped, receiving better traning, and in most cases they are better led; and they are gettng better all the time - at least from my perch. The AIF (Anti-Iraq Forces) are also fairly good at IO, but the results are far less then the claims, but like the sniper, even the myth has an influence. If the press would do a little analysis they might figure out that they'd been made an instrument of an AIF IO campaign, but the proper place for a horse is behind the cart isn't it?

Last edited by Rob Thornton; 10-29-2006 at 05:23 PM.
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Old 10-29-2006   #12
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Default John Plaster is the real thing

John Plaster is a true American hero who has walked his talk and then some. If you haven't read his book SOG, I highly recommend it simply for inspiration. The exploits of these men read like fiction, but they're not. I'm not arguing they were strategically important in the long run, that is open to debate. I have no doubt that John is seriously disappointed that the terrorists/ insurgents are using his book; however, if you looked at the number of books on Paladin press that could be, and are, used my terrorists, anarchists, etc., it is somewhat alarming. I don't think there is any feasible way to prevent this spread of technical and tactical knowledge, it is simply an aspect of our environment we have to be aware of. Our enemy will learn and improve over time, and he can learn from us through many different venues to include books like John's on sniping and assorted others, or unclassified military texts, various history books, various movies/documentaries, hot washes after fighting us, sharing experiences and TTP on the web, etc.....

I doubt there is an effective method to disrupt this type of learning, but there are methods for poisoning the well.
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Old 10-29-2006   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
.... if you looked at the number of books on Paladin press that could be, and are, used my terrorists, anarchists, etc., it is somewhat alarming. I don't think there is any feasible way to prevent this spread of technical and tactical knowledge, it is simply an aspect of our environment we have to be aware of. ...
There is nothing that effects the evolution and acquisition of knowledge more than the predator to prey relationship --- me
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Old 10-30-2006   #14
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Default Proliferation of knowledge

There was a study (I think RAND did it) on the exponential increase of knowledge. The gist was that becasuse of new knowledge sharing technologies and techniques, knowledge could be modified and exploited to make new information at exponential rates as never before. The study offered up an almost unfathomable estimate of how much knowledge had been added between the years of 2000 & 2005. Of course the internet as mentioned, has taken on a life of its own. It is the multi-billion headed hydra with outlets all over. The questions are how to use it to maximimum advantage, and how will the enemy attempt to use it to his? Max Boot did an interesting piece on the Information Revolution in Sunday's Early Bird.
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Old 10-30-2006   #15
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Default Max Boot Link

Here is a link to Max Boot's commentary Are We the Mongols of the Information Age? that appeared in yesterday's Los Angeles Times.
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Old 10-30-2006   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Thornton View Post
There was a study (I think RAND did it) on the exponential increase of knowledge. The gist was that becasuse of new knowledge sharing technologies and techniques, knowledge could be modified and exploited to make new information at exponential rates as never before...
Not sure if this is the exact study that you're referring to, but the two-volume study, Aptitude for Destruction, from RAND published last year is definitely worth the read:

Organizational Learning in Terrorist Groups and Its Implications for Combating Terrorism

Case Studies of Organizational Learning in Five Terrorist Groups

(Note: The 5 case studies are of Aum Shinrikyo, Hezballah, Jema'ah Islamiyya, PIRA and ELF/ALF)
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Old 11-04-2006   #17
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It is not just this particular book and/or DVD. They have learned the hard way about how effective a single sniper team can be. On the other hand, Coalition snipers are breaking records because these morons still send their kids out in the middle of the street with an RPG or rifle. It is fairly terrorizing to be standing in an alley and watch one of your jihadist buddies run out into the street to send off an RPG only to see him blow apart from a single .50 caliber round before he hears the report of the rifle. So, they leave that particular alley and some other dumb group comes along and occupies it with the same results. Later on, word around the campfire puts the pieces together. No pun intended. They're learning.

Last edited by Culpeper; 11-04-2006 at 04:45 AM.
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Old 11-18-2006   #18
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Default Related...

17 November Washington Times - Inside the Ring:

Quote:
Military officials often say the insurgents in Iraq are a "learning enemy" — able to adapt to tactics and defenses used by U.S. and allied troops.

As defenses against improvised explosive devices improve, insurgents are turning to sniper attacks.

One technique they apparently learned from the United States is the method used by murderers John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo, who terrorized the Washington, D.C., area in 2002. Muhammad and Malvo killed 10 persons and wounded several others by firing rifle shots through a hole in the trunk of their 1990 Chevrolet Caprice.

Now the insurgents in Baghdad are using the same technique. Military officials recently discovered 40 vehicles modified for sniper attacks. The vehicles had holes drilled through the sockets for two taillight bulbs. "One hole was for the scope and one was for the barrel," a defense official tells us, who noted that they appear to have picked up the technique from the D.C. snipers...
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Old 11-18-2006   #19
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40 vehicles? That's a lot of vehicles. Nevertheless, and a little off subject, but I have heard that some snipers in-country have exceeded Gunnery Sgt. Jack Coughlin's record. The combination of a .308 and .50 sniper nest is very effective against insurgents, whom actually provide easy targets. Insurgents that are planners aren't dumb I can see them adapting and returning fire in the same genre. I also suspect that snipers are nothing new to the insurgency since many are ex soldiers of the old Iraqi Army as well as trained mercenaries from countries such as Syria. The enemy has been using snipers all along. Another deal is that we have plenty of armorned vehicles with sharpshooters. Something, no doubt, the insurgents have suffered great loss from and counter adapted with added stealth to live another day and do it again.
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Old 11-28-2006   #20
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Default Sniper Information

Hello -

In the past this forum has been a great resource in regards to sniper information and Iraq. I am interested in any of the latest lessons learned or presentations on the Iraqi sniper threat or anything regarding sniper campaigns and urban areas, or where would be a good place to look. I'm looking at this from a local law enforcement perspective.

Thanks,

Pete
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