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Good read.
Paper puncher and occasional hunter myself.
I'm chasing the Zen moment of a perfectly made shot.
For me it is similar to when I played baseball in School.
There are those moments when you are in the Zone and everything is slow motion.
You see all the detail of the pitcher's face.
You see the laces on the ball and the ball and bat make contact.
For me that is like calling the shot and seeing the bullet trace.
That is much easier with a rimfire shooting subsonics at 100 yards to experience. At extended range with a light recoiling round you can do that with a centerfire.
Just watching the bullet disappear into the same ragged hole that the ones before it have opened up is amazing.
That keeps me coming back.
 

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A few years ago, I signed up for a "precision rifle class" at a training facility that did a lot of local, state, and regional police training as well as other government agencies. This class was intended for civilians but I had been to some civilian pistol and AR classes and there were always a couple police or military of some kind in there. As a result, I had a chance to interact with a variety of people with different training needs and with people who carried guns for a living. In this particular case, I was one of only two civilians and the class largely became about police marksman training.

Interestingly, the term sniper was almost never used, not even by a couple government "contractors" who were just "brushing up". Terms like marksman (or designated marksman), special operations, even SWAT were used, but not sniper. Not even the instructor (who was an experienced Marine sniper) used the term sniper much. I think that to them, snipers were the other guys. The ones who crawled around in combat zones behind enemy lines.
 
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The author of this article is a local guy (Geneva, NY).

I've met him but know him only by reputation.

In the opening paragraphs of the article the author contends that there is some kind of confusion between a military sniper and a service rifle competitor. (The author is a service rifle competitor.)

There is? I've never witnessed any such confusion. Seriously, a guy trussed up in a shooting jacket laying on a mowed mound on a KD range shooting an iron sight equipped service rifle is generally confused with a military sniper? I don't think so.

He then goes on to describe in detail the obvious differences between a competitive shooter and a military sniper.. (As he imagines those differences to be.)

The author then goes on to claim that:

"each community sees the other with a certain amount of disdain."

He claims that:

"the sniper views competitive marksmen as paper punchers and that competitive marksmen view snipers as less inept in the shooting skills"

What? Less inept? Perhaps he meant to use the word "adept". In any case the article could have used some serious editorial proof reading.

In the article there is a photograph of the author holding a scoped rifle captioned with:

"Steve Sciarabba with his M24 Sniper Weapon System (SWS) on mission with US Armed Forces, Afghanistan in 2004." (Steve worked as a civilian contractor.)

A quick glance at the photograph will reveal that the rifle is not an M24 leaving the rest of the caption's claims in doubt.

I see little merit in this article.
 

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This is the only sentence that I read and the only one I needed to read: “From my perspective the only difference between the sniper and the competitive marksman is simply this: In competition, it’s about winning; in sniping, it’s about surviving.”

That may be relatively true for a Designated Marksmen, but the skills required of a sniper go far beyond just shooting.
 

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...That may be relatively true for a Designated Marksmen, but the skills required of a sniper go far beyond just shooting....
How right you are!

Take a look at: TC 18-32 (FM 3-05.222) Special Forces Sniper Training and Employment, November 2013, Appendix B Mission-Essential Task List.

Of the six individual task Subject Areas only one, Subject Area 6, involves shooting.

Of the five collective tasks listed only one, Task No. 7-5-1869, involves shooting.

In the old FM 23-10 Sniper Training, 17 August 1994 of the nine chapters only one, Chapter 3 deals with Marksmanship. All the rest is about all that "other stuff" a US Army Sniper needs to know to do his job.

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... and that is why actual "snipers" deserve to have the title reserved for those that have earned it. Marksmen, in any other capacity, can be, should be, and are called something else. I have out-shot numerous actual snipers... but they could "out-sniper" me any day when it came to actually doing that job.
 

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Ones credentials are moot, having never shot a comp, I can honestly say that your guys who do game, have taught me a ton of great stuff. I had disagreed in an earlier post regarding Police/ Military, and titles. At the end of the day my oppinion means nothing.

I admire you guys who pony up the money, and bust your asses, to become, the best you can be. That tells me a lot about who you all are. I admire your commitment. Regardless of definition. We ALL share a common vision and passion for the " Art Of The Rifle" .

We may argue a lot, but at the end of the day, I'd be honored to purchase any one you a ice cold tasty beer, and just kick back and learn about you and life.

God bless each of you.

PussyCat
 

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A good number of "people" think that sniping is shooting. It's no different than the rest of the military perception. They show the sexy "commercial" worthy stuff in advertisements, movies, etc. What they don't show is the mountain of other stuff that's done in preparation. Sniping is a pretty small percentage of skilled marksmanship and the vast remainder is skills like, land navigation, cover and concealment, reconnaissance, calling for indirect fire and CASS, infil and exfil ops, mindless days of observation, etc, etc, etc. The ability to shoot is only one small, important, but small skill a sniper must have in order to be successful in combat operations.

I think a lot of people have this perception that every sniper mission is some sort of glorified assassin affair. The reality is that good snipers are an incredible combat asset and can be used in a number of ways. The concept of "sensor-shooter" is still very valuable in conventional warfare and most guys who did it for a living would tell you that they'd rather engage a target with a radio and some sort of longer range asset than with their rifle.
 
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... and that is why actual "snipers" deserve to have the title reserved for those that have earned it. Marksmen, in any other capacity, can be, should be, and are called something else. I have out-shot numerous actual snipers... but they could "out-sniper" me any day when it came to actually doing that job.
And they can do it on demand in some nasty, dirty, hot, cold and you name it conditions. Seen them work with almost standard rifles and glass, many years ago. That's what the difference is.
 

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Natdscott, if you don't mind me asking, what are the designations you list on your footer? Particularly the 1st two? What is the President's Hundred? I am confident it is some achievement and I congratulate you in advance. Just curious.
 

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hmm.

Well, I compete in, amongst other things, this masochistic little sport known as NRA Highpower, with a masochistic little rifle configuration most commonly known as and M-16A2.

Most of my Signature items below were done with that rifle. We shoot at a 2 MOA target from Standing, Sitting, and Prone positions, a sling being the only allowed support mechanism in the latter two. We shoot from 200 through 600 yards. We use the iron sights that came on the rifle, and no magnification is allowed. For all you US Marines, it's very similar to the old rifle qualification course, just more rounds, and a hundred yards further.

Like many NRA sports, we have a 'handicap' system whereby younger/newer shooters don't have to continually be beaten to hell by competing head-to-head with elite shooters. High Master is as high as that classification system goes, and it requires that a shooter can maintain 97% of shots at, or well within, a 2 MOA circle from 200-600 yards, from all three positions, in slow and rapid fire. For reference, a Military "Expert" qualification, requires 88% on a bigger target.

The United States Distinguished Rifleman Badge is an internationally sought achievement only possible with a US Service Rifle (currently limited to either an M1A, M16, or M110 configuration). It has been going in the Military since about 1885, and there are currently about 2,2XX Civilians to have achieved it since that time, most of whom are long dead. Hap Rocketto wrote a better summary than I could ever hope to, so I'll just cite it here for you, and you can read at your pleasure:

http://thecmp.org/wp-content/uploads/Distinguished_History1.pdf


The President's Hundred Tab can only be earned one time per year, in the National Match Presidents Rifle Match. It is the modern equivalent of the Service Rifle American Championship that used to be called just The President's Match. The top 100 shooters in the match, of ALL military teams members and civilians alike that are able to attend, are awarded the Tab, and some military members are authorized to then wear the Tab. It is the most sought-after Service Rifle achievement in the world, bar none. The match is extremely challenging, and gives absolutely no quarter to a mistake of any kind. It USED to be that the Commander-in-Chief wrote letter(s) to the Winner and even Tab recipients. When they cared.

We're the best 100 in the world for a day at least, but it's an achievement that few ever reach, and far fewer ever repeat.

President's Hundred Tab - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



Now, for the record, some of the best shooters that this country has ever produced have been well-versed in Highpower and/or Bullseye Pistol long before they ever tried other things, at greater distances, and higher speeds, on 1 and 2-way ranges. This trend continues, and examples of it are a lot closer than you might think.

-Nate
 
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Wow Nate. That is incredible. I salute your skill but can't really appreciate it. I can't even imagine hitting a 2moa target at 600 yards with no scope-standing of all positions! That is amazing. It seems you have mastered the art of shooting. I did not know such things were possible. When I read your posts from now on, my perspective will be somewhat different. You are an undeniable expert. Congratulations on your achievements.
 

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Thanks, Mike. I grew up crawling around in the dirt and running around the woods with a .22; it's served me well, and continues to be a highly adaptable skill.

A point of clarification is that the Standing stage is most often fired from 200 yards.

I have shot some on my feet from 600, and a lot of practice at 300, but the trouble with long range offhand is that most guys don't want to stand up and try to call wind, while ALSO trying to hold the gilt-edged concentration that it requires. Add in a little older eyes trying to focus irons on a target that far away, and it gets to be a real challenge in a hurry.

But I'd happily shoot an offhand match from 1,000. Why not? It's not like it's a 2-way range.

-Nate
 

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And they can do it on demand in some nasty, dirty, hot, cold and you name it conditions.
That is actually a skill that is well worth practicing for all kinds of shooting. The precision rifle course I mentioned before contained a lot of that and it derives from the requirements for a police marksman (or sniper if you must). One thing that they have to learn is to get on target and stay on target until they are given the command to shoot. Sometimes, they can shoot at their discretion and other times it means pull the trigger now!

Try doing drills where you get on target and hold for 20, 30, 40 seconds or more, until someone says shoot. And the instant they say shoot, you shoot. You find out real fast if you are shooting from a good comfortable position.
 

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That is actually a skill that is well worth practicing for all kinds of shooting. The precision rifle course I mentioned before contained a lot of that and it derives from the requirements for a police marksman (or sniper if you must). One thing that they have to learn is to get on target and stay on target until they are given the command to shoot. Sometimes, they can shoot at their discretion and other times it means pull the trigger now!

Try doing drills where you get on target and hold for 20, 30, 40 seconds or more, until someone says shoot. And the instant they say shoot, you shoot. You find out real fast if you are shooting from a good comfortable position.
I understand. Got to see some old boys laying in crap for hours and seems whole wild world of critters are eating them up and your in Indian territory to take one or more Weedmonkeys. When they do get in, their pulling leeches off themselves, after doing low slow crawl through a rice-paddy.:cool:
 

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That is actually a skill that is well worth practicing for all kinds of shooting. The precision rifle course I mentioned before contained a lot of that and it derives from the requirements for a police marksman (or sniper if you must). One thing that they have to learn is to get on target and stay on target until they are given the command to shoot. Sometimes, they can shoot at their discretion and other times it means pull the trigger now!

Try doing drills where you get on target and hold for 20, 30, 40 seconds or more, until someone says shoot. And the instant they say shoot, you shoot. You find out real fast if you are shooting from a good comfortable position.
I know what your saying, but my time for doing that is gone. I'm 69 years old and three other old farts that's held together in some cases with screws. We shoot from tables in the sandbox here in Arizona. We shoot everything from 500 , 1,000 yards and a one mile. Just having fun.
 

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I know what your saying, but my time for doing that is gone. I'm 69 years old and three other old farts that's held together in some cases with screws.
Well, I was 60 when I took the class. We didn't have to low crawl through the swamp or anything, it was a nice day in WV, but the skill to just lay there while holding your sights on target is still a worthwhile thing to practice.
 
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