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I feel like opening the mother of all cans of worms...

What do you guys think is the best general SWS ever? As far as a few things go...I don't know all the criteria so don't be shy to add more/correct me...

1)Accuracy
2)Reliability
3)Range
4)Power (harder targets)

Just to be fair I'll give my opinion, feel free to tear it up lol :wink:

M-21 it is for me. The M-14 is reliable, accurate enough to engage targets (AKA People) out to 1,000 Y I bet. Quite a long distance dedication but in the hands of a master (read: much much better shot than Muzzleblast) and 7.62 can penetrate plenty. Maybe there are a lot of more powerful rounds out there but I have seen some amazing dirt clouds and flying debris from the business end of my 300 WinMag. I know a sniper clears that stuff away from a prepared site but the noise of that sucker carries, too. The only thing I can fault it with is maybe it's magazine could be in the way sometimes...then again, it does hold 20...and 10 rounders could be found. Not so bad in the case that, God forbid, the sniper has to handle some baddies up close and personal.
 

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u know i have to agree with Muzzleblast. the M 21 might not get 1/4 moa but for the role of killing the enemy, its hard to beat. the best part about it in my opinion is the Redfield scope. with a decent mag (3 - 9x) it has an auto range finder/bullet drop compensator built in. the 20 rnd mag it VERY usefull as a supressor can be attached and 20 rnds would allow the sniper to go longer periods without rearming. im a big fan of Bolt action rifles but in terms of field sws, the M 21 is hard to beat!



ahh.....good ol m21
 

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Tactical Operatons Lima 51.. the one w/ the McMillian A4 right?
combines McMillian stock, good looks, 1/4 moa or better accuracy :), .308 cal :)
 

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Yeah... I huge can of worms, and I'll give me typical answer, "there is no best sniper rifle". Just whats best for particular user/situation.

But, I will chime in and say the big argument against the M21 is the semi-auto. Reliability is a small concern, flinging brass (target identifiers) all over the terrain is a BIG concern.

MEL
 

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I think they've got it pretty darn close with the M24! Sentiment goes to the M21, but the flying brass can be a problem. The sniper has to rely on stealth, and the bolt gun is better in that respect. I'm a die-hard M14 fan, but my vote for the best SWS is the M24.

K2
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Glad you decided to enter the fray, Mel! :twisted:

Brass all over the place was one thing I forgot to consider, you have me there. I knew it woudn't be too long before someone came up with something I overlooked...and, the ol Tactical Ops looks sweet too

Hey Max, right on lol...seems like the younger guys are into semi autos ...sooner or later I'll grow out of it. It's just a phase lol.
 

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You would be amazed how fast you can follow up shots with a bolt action. At a couple hundred yards I would even bet a good bolt action guy could shoot tighter groups in the same amount of time (say 60 seconds/10 rounds) then a semi auto guy. Just takes some practice.

As far as the best SWS....I would lean toward a M40 A3.....but I really like accuracy international stuff. Oh great now I am ready to argue with myself.
 

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FLEA:
i was argueing with myself over a bunch of Tac Ops rifles, M24, M40A3 and even the bigger weapons AI Super magnum, Dakota T-76 Longbow and more heh
still not sure my decision is final either.. but w/ any fo the rifles i mentioned are winners and mayn mroe i didnt mention are just as good
 

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I am not a sniper, but from what I've read from alot of different webpages. I believe the M40A3 is one of the best sniper rifles. It might be that I'm just a little bias to the USMC (my father was a jarhead) and thats what I want to get into. But from what I've heard that the USMC armorers designed the M40A3 to be the best sniper rifle. But in the end it comes down the the person behind the rifle.
 

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No question its the person pulling the trigger that makes or brakes a sniper rifle. Carlos did all right with what is now considered antiquated technology.

I'd vote for the M40A3, even if I wasn't a former jarhead (just glad that I do not have to haul that beast around the bush for days on end).

The M-24 stock just doesn't do it for me, and Tac /OPs weaponery is not sufficienty integrated to qualify as fully deployed, at least for my vote.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
It does depend on who's finger is on the trigger, you guys are right about that...Maybe a better way of stating the question would be: "If there could be but only one SWS in the world, what would you want it to be?"
 

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Well, I am not going to name a rifle, because then everyone will think I'm biased and my reviews on the site will be baseless. So I'll step away from trying to pick one rifle.

But, I will make comments about various peoples selections. Now, I have a lot of experience with the M24, and I agree with previous comments about the stock. The cheek piece is not high enough for a majority of the shooters, and many (myself included) had to tape on poly pad as a make shift cheek piece, in order to get a proper cheek weld. Also, I do not like the way the LOP adjustment works, it rarely maintains your adjustment for very long. I personally like spacers.

The long action on the 7.62 is also a negative. While if you are careful you can get it to feed pretty good, its still a hassle, and the length of bolt operation with a long action does slow you down ever so slightly.

MEL
 

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Well folks, I am not a sniper but I'd still like to give my $.02 about what I would choose if I were one.

For a bolt-action, it would be hands down the M40A3 for all of the reasons already mentioned. Extremely accurate, reliable, well made, with one sweet scope, the M40A3 certainly does it for me!

Concerning semi-autos, it is a toss-up. Either the HK PSG-1 or the Walther WA2000. Both are well-made, accurate, powerful (although the WA2000 in .300WM gets the nod here), and good looking rifles to boot! One drawback to each is that they both, to the best of my knowledge, utilize the same 6x Hensoldt scope. As wonderful as that scope is, I would prefer a bit more adjustability in power, but I would certainly be able to make do with the Hensoldt! In the ned I would probably go with the Walther WA2000 for the fact that it is much more powerful, being able to be chambered in .300WM, and is considerably shorter in length due to the bullpup design.

But I do have one question concerning semi-autos. Now maybe I am just ignorant, but I do not understand the problems concerning empty brass being left behind. It seems to me that if you have to fire more than once with a bolt gun, you will still have to deal with empty brass being flung all around. And as a military sniper will most likely be working during wartime, if the cartridge cases were found they would not seem out of place. And even if they were found, its not like they could b identified or traced back to a particular person. All of the NATO countries use the .308, so they couldn't even be able to tell for sure it was the US firing on them. I just don't understand the importance, but maybe I just miss the point. Enlighten me.

Now I do understand that if it were not a standard military operation, but a extremely covert one like an assassination, then I can understand the importance of not leaving any indication that you were there behind when you leave.

Jake
 

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Jake:

As far a military snipers are concerned....even during war time they do thier best to stay hidden.....target identifiers is not so much brass left on the ground as much as throwing it 10 to 20 feet through the air.

Its a real easy way to give away your position by throwing a shiny object through the air by where you are shooting from.
 

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Okay, there are a few things to be addressed with this issue of brass being left behind.

First, we attept at all costs to shoot once from a hide. Twice is max. If we screw up and end up firing like crazy FROM A HIDE, well, it doesn't matter much anyway, you'll probably be dead.

Some of the reasons not to leave brass includes:
The USA is the only one that uses Lake City M118 or M118LR. If some one finds your brass, you've instantly told them there is an American sniper operating in the area. YES, that is important info you DON"T want them to know.
Also, if the bad guys find brass, guess what, you just told them where you were setup at. They are not dumb, they can now look at where you fired from, determine the range, your skill level, what type of positions you like to shoot from, and other valuable tricks of your field craft skills. Any clues they have, is bad for you in the future.
As was already mentioned, the movement of bright shinny things is not good for concealment.
Its flat out sloppy, and sloppy gets you killed :) (okay, not a lot of quantitative info there, but its all a mindset)

Hope that explains a little of why we don't like flying brass.

MEL
 

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If you've already taken one shot, doesn't that mean the enemy already know a sniper is operating in the area? I mean, unless you have individual soldiers wandering in the wild taking pot shots at people, it's pretty obvious who did it, especially if there is no follow up.
 

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It would still throw it close enough to give away your position if anyone saw. I wander if you can just put a piece of camo netting or guile suit over the chamber. Just so that it prevents the case from flying so far. Surely there is some way around that.
 

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What things are there to consider about an ultimate sniper rifle system. Heres what I can think of:

1. Accuracy
2. Reliability
3. Weight
4. Balance
5. Power of the cartridge
6. Semi or Bolt???
7. Comfort
8. Optics
9. Durability
10. Length

What else?
 

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The cloth or ghille might get stuck in the Action if you do that. That's bad. You also need to be able to manipulate your rifle with ease, and a net over it won't let you do that.

Weight isn't too big of an issue when considering an SWS. Unless you are heading out to take out Hard Targets, the rifle will not weigh more then 20 pounds. Length too, isn't too big of an issue. You aren't going to be finding ANY SWS's with over a 30 inch barrel. It's just not done. Unless you are aiming to fail to sell your product.
 
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