I've been involved in some lively discussion concerning realistic sniper portrayal in FPS games and wanted to get the straight poop from the Pros.
Some Gamer's are arguing that Police, SWAT, and Special Ops CT/AT Snipers will setup and/or engage at fairly close range; 50 Meters and less... I'm only going on what I've read but that seems rather too close to me...
The same fellows argue that Snipers always equip with a sidearm or back-up weapons, and while I'm sure some do "always" also seems a bit counter to what I've read and counter-intuitive to how many sniping SOP and missions are described...
What's common practice in Urban sniping? Is there anything like a minimum effective distance for a Sniper's role in a tactical mission where he's no longer effectively a Sniper? Do Snipers always pack a back-up weapon or side arm?
My impressions were that range, stealth, concealment, and rigorous training and planning where the SOP, and that Snipers didn't function in close support of any sort of assault.
Well first off, this is what I have gathered from watching all the shows about snipers I can and learning from this site. So if I'm wrong they will correct me.
First in Police/Urban scenerios snipers often engage within 100 yards. Second I do not know for sure if Police snipers do use sidearms. I am sure they are issued them and some (or most, I'm not for sure) carry them. Third any good SWAT team does have a sniper no matter how close or far away. While the sniper might never take a shot they are there first to get intel and then if neccessary take a precision shot.
According to FBI statistics the average sniper shot taken by a SWAT sniper is 71 yards. The law enforcement sniper operates in a whole different realm than military. LE snipers will train mostly at 100 yards, but will verify adjustments at 25, 50, 75, 200 and any where in between, and some times furthere. For military sniping, we like to START at 300 meters and go out past 1000. I've been trained in both, and both are equally challenging for different reasons.
As far as sidearms, we carry them when ever we can... but its purely for self defense.