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This contest is fueled by the following news: A sniper is a specially trained soldier, hitting important targets from first firing, equipped with a high accuracy rifle with a telescopic sight. An artillerist, pilots etc, who can hit the target with the first projectile (mines, bombs, missiles) are also called "snipers".
The term "Sniper" originated from the verb "snipe", a tiny and careful bird, the hunting of which required thorough masking and shooting from longer distances.
The sniper should be skillful in marksmanship, camouflage and field craft. The key to sniping is consistency, which applies to both the weapon as well as to the shooter. The sniper must have the ability to estimate the range, wind, elevation and any other major factors that can alter the shot.
The following professions are understood under the term "Sniper":
Sniper – saboteur:
This is most famous type of sniper, well acquainted with computer games, films and literature.
The sniper acts alone or with a mate (accomplishing firing cover and target designation) and at a distance from the main troops.
Task — the secret elimination of strategic targets (officers, patrols and strategic equipment).
So as not to make its position known, often the sniper shoots at the target under the cover of background noise (weather phenomena, sideways shooting and explosions etc).
The attacking range ranges from 500 meters to several kilometers.
The arms of the sniper – saboteur: a high accuracy rifle with a telescopic sight, usually with manual recharging.
Camouflaging the position plays an important role and hence done with the utmost thoroughness. Materials at hand (Branches, bushes, sand, mud, litter etc), a special "Shaggy" ghillie suit or already prepared shelters (Bunkers, trenches, buildings etc) are used for camouflaging. Contrary to widespread opinion, snipers do not establish positions for shooting on trees, since it is very difficult to shoot at target with accuracy and any miss of a shot can lead to further difficulties.
For the first time, designated marksman appeared for compensating the moderate range of submachine guns (For example: the effective range of the gun Kalashnikov is approximately 300 meters). In the 1990s a new battle profession "Designated Marksman" was introduced by Israel and the USA. Criticized for "insufficient" accuracy of the SVD (Dragunov's Sniper Rifle), the semiautomatic rifle of the Designated Marksman executes the function perfectly.
Designated marksmen are integral ("organic") members of regular infantry squads or platoons, much like machine-gunners or grenadiers. Sometimes, Designated Marksman work in pairs with machine gunners (covering group).
The task: to increase the combat radius of the infantry and the demolition of strategic targets (machine gunners, other snipers, grenadiers, calculation of antitank guided missiles, communicators).
As a rule, Designated Marksman does not have enough time to select the target and shoots at targets falling in his field of vision.
Range: Rarely exceeds 400 m.
Weapons: The self-loading rifle and the main stress while selecting the weapon is on a light weight and reliability. Sometimes, such snipers are equipped with machine guns with a telescopic sight, selected from several weapons with respect to "Hitting accuracy" criterion.
Extraordinarily mobile and frequently change positions.
As a rule, such snipers have the same camouflage facilities as the other soldiers are provided with.
Police snipers typically operate at much shorter ranges than military snipers and the range rarely exceeds 200m, since the police snipers operate in city conditions. But at the same time, the targets of police snipers are few: To hit the criminal, threatening with a pistol, it is necessary to shoot him at the occipitocervical junction so that the criminal cannot fire back by reflex. One of the first tasks during the training of police snipers in the USSR is to shoot at a target "Hand with pistol" from a distance of 100 m (For comparison: a similar task is done during the training of soldiers— to hit the leading target from a range of 200 m).
Police snipers are deployed to free hostages and also for protecting the undertakings, prone to terrorist attacks.
Observers are seated in a bunker or in a deep trench; the area is surveyed through a periscope but not through binoculars.
The surroundings of the positions are patrolled by several mobile sniper pairs, having radio communication with the command post.
The field uniform of the officers slightly differs from the uniform of the soldiers. Soft markings do not allow in estimating the rank from a distance.
Smoke screens help against snipers.
Peculiarities of a sniper ambush:
A cloth, tied to a tree branch, is considered as a zeroing position (the cloth is tied to the branch to estimate the wind velocity.)
The name board "This area is zeroed-in by a sniper" is placed at the service area.
A sniper ambush is sometimes found as per de-camoflouged signs: Traces, trampled grass etc.
Washington, D.C. area sniper suspect John Allen Muhammad previously had elected to represent himself in his capital murder case. He was using his gun as a hunter, only the targets were innocent people. However, he has "fired" himself and handed his defense over to his former lawyers. Muhammad is on trial arising out of charges that he killed Dean Harold Meyers at a northern Virginia gasoline station during a shooting spree last October that took the lives of ten people in the D.C. metro area.
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