[Ultimate Sniper, 2006 New and Updated!] John L. Plaster - Ultimate Sniper 2006 _ An Advanced Traini

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Unformatted text preview: THE ULTIMATE MAJ. JOHN L. PLASTER, USAR (RET.) AN ADVANCED TRAINING MANUAL FOR MILITARY AND POLICE SNIPERS PALADIN PRESS • BOULDER, COLORADO Also by John L. Plaster Ultimate Sniper: The Video (video) Advanced Ultimate Sniper (video) SOG: A Photo History of the Secret Wars SOG: The Secret Wars of America's Commandos in Vietnam Secret Commandos: Behind Enemy Lines with the Elite Warriors of SOG The Ultimate Sniper: An Advanced Training Manual for Military and Police Snipers by Maj. John L. Plaster, USAR (Ret.) Copyright © 1993, 2006 by John L. Plaster ISBN 10: 1-58160-494-7 ISBN 13: 978-1-58160-494-8 Printed in the United States of America Published by Paladin Press, a division of Paladin Enterprises, Inc. 7077 Winchester Circle Boulder, Colorado 80301, USA. + 1.303.443.7250 Direct inquiries and/or orders to the above address. PALADIN, PALADIN PRESS, and the "horse head" design are trademarks belonging to Paladin Enterprises and registered in United States Patent and Trademark Office. All rights reserved. Except for use in a review, no portion of this book may be reproduced in any form without the express written permission of the publisher. Neither the author nor the publisher assumes any responsibility for the use or misuse of information contained in this book. Visit our Web site at . Illustrations by Bradley Hopkins and Tami Anderson Photo on back cover, bottom row, far right copyright © by Jon Hill WARNING T he procedures, drills, and techniques outline d in thi s book are intended for official military and law enfor cem ent use only. It is not the int ent of th e author, publish er, or distributor s of this book to en cou rage read er s to perform any of th e techniques or drills in this book withou t pro per professional training and supervision. Attempting to do so can result in severe in jury or death to the rea der or bystanders. This book is for academic study only. TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER 1: CHAPTER 2: CHAPTER 3: CHAPTER 4: CHAPTERS: CHAPTER 6: CHAPTER 7: CHAPTER 8: CHAPTER 9: CHAPTER 10: CHAPTER 11: CHAPTER 12: CHAPTER 13: CHAPTER 14: CHAPTER 15: CHAPTER 16: CHAPTER 17: CHAPTER 18: CHAPTER 19: CHAPTER 20: CHAPTER 21: CHAPTER 22: CHAPTER 23: APPENDIX I: APPENDIX II: APPENDIX III: Acknowledg me nts • vii Preface· ix Sniper U nit Organiz ation and Equipment • 1 The Sniper 's Rifle • 37 Sniperscop e Basics • 79 Us ing a Sn iperscop e • 105 Bullets and Ballistics • 129 Basic Sniper M arksm an ship • 171 Advanced Sniper M arksm an ship • 203 Special Sh ooting Situ ations • 231 Heavy Rifle Sni ping • 263 Binoculars and Sp otting Scopes • 291 Spotting and Target Detection • 305 Range and Wind Estimation • 337 Camouflage for Sn iping • 361 Stalking and M ovement • 389 The Sniper's H ide: The FFP • 401 M antracking • 4 15 Basic Offen sive and Defen sive Ta ctic s • 4 25 Sniping in an U rba n Enviro nment • 443 C ountersniping Ta ctics and Techniques • 459 Counter sniping in Iraq • 483 Special Sniping Operations • 503 N ight Sniping Operation s • 5 19 Special Sniping En vironments • 537 Gl ossary of Sniping and Marksmanship Terms • 551 Current U.S.-Based Training Program s • 563 References • 569 v ACKNOWLEDGMENTS This second edition of The Ultimate Sniper is dedicated to the United States of America's military and law enforcement snipers, sharpshooters, and designated riflemen. Though few ever receive the recognition they deserve, our world is a better and safer place thanks to their great dedication, skill, and courage. Hundreds of snipers, long-range riflemen, tacticians, optics experts, and firearms industry professionals have helped me since the publication of the first edition, sharing not only their tactics, techniques, and lessons learned but new ideas, weapons, and devices, many of which I've incorporated into these pages. Among this diverse group, first I thank my old Special Forces friend, Steve Stormoen-the first edition's mysterious "S.S."-who finally has come in from the shadows; all my colleagues and friends at Gunsite Training Center, including Dr. Richard jee, Neal Terry, Jim "K-Bar" Kauber, Bill Jeans, Jack Furr, Bill Atkins, Eric Olds, Chris Mayer, Chris Caracci, and Ted Yost; the Marine Corps' most accomplished Vietnam War sniper, Chuck MaWhinney; Marine sniping legend GySgt. Carlos Hathcock; Department of the Army JAG, Mr. W Hays Parks; Sgt. Darryl Schmidt, St. Paul Police Department; Sgt. Charlie Dodge, Minneapolis Police Department; Sgt. Neal Terry, Albuquerque Police Department; Agent Fred MacDonald III, Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics; MSgt. Steve Holland, 5th Special Forces Group; Tom Slowik, Arizona Crisis (SWAT) teams; George Lainhart, College vii Park, Georgia, Police Department; FBI Special Agent Bowen Johnson; FBI Special Agent Mike Balen; Ed Sanow and S. WA. T. Magazine; Olympic rifleman Lance Peters; .50-caliber world record champion, Skip Talbot; Will Von Gal, who generously sponsored the Super Sniper Shootout competitions in the United States and Europe; Garth and Fred Choate, both serious riflemen, who helped me develop and manufacture my sniper rifle stock and the Rifle Stabilizer; Bushnell optical engineer Tim Carpenter, who explained the technicalities of laser rangefinders; Barbara Mellman-Skinner at Bushnell, for much support; Leupold's Garth Kendig, a friend and supporter; Shep Kelly of Federal Cartridge Company; my longtime gunsmith friend, Gene Mayo; Dr. B.R.G. Kaplan, M.D., for insights on wound ballistics; the Fifty Caliber Shooters Association; and fellow Green Beret vet and author Jim Morris. Additionally, I thank the cadre at the U.S. Army Sniper School, the U.S. Marine Corps Scout Sniper Instructor School, and the 5th Special Forces Group Sniper Training School for their hospitality during my visits. For the considerable amount of ammunition consumed to evaluate and test weapons, I thank Steve Hornady at Hornady ammunition, Jeff Hoffman at Black Hills Ammo, and Mike Larson of Federal Cartridge. My original sniper school cadre, who helped launch me on this interesting journey more than 20 years ago, each contributed in his own way: viii TH E UL T IM A T E SN I PER MILITARY INSTRUCTORS LAW ENFORCEMENT INSTRUCTORS Lt. Col. Gary Sch raml Officer L yle Beau ch amp, Minneapolis Police D ep artment Sgt. 1st Class Gary G amradt Lt. Col. Dave L oehr Sgt. 1st Class Blaine Nelson Capt. Wendell Daluge Sgt. 1st Class M ichael C orrow Officer L yle Del an ey, Minneapolis Police D ep artment Sgt. G ar y Hill, Minneapolis Police D ep artment Special Agent Ke vin C rawford, FBI 1st Lt. Charles Weebee SSgt. Timothy C ole Sgt . Dan H ar shman , St. Paul Police D ep artment 2nd Lt. Dave Beckering Sgt. Darryl Schmidt, St. Paul Police D epartment SSgt. Robert Siefert WO 1 Jeff Luikart SSgt. Timothy Web er CSM Dick Wagaman SSgt. Michael Anderson Sgt . 1st Cla ss Darryl Brown Sgt. Brent H enry MSgt. Clifton Evan s Sgt. John Lepowski MSgt. Ste ve Li sch alk Sgt. Michael M aherud MSgt. Robert Payne Sgt. Lance Peter s MSgt. Carl Peterson Sgt. Gary Zacharias MSgt. Daniel Purkat Spec. 4 Brad H opkins Sgt. Steve Campbell, Mississippi Bureau of N arcotics Agent Tommy Squires, M ississippi Bureau of N arcotics Trooper Dave \X'atson , Alabama Hi ghw ay Patrol MILITARY SUPPORT PERSONNEL SgtMaj . Robert Rosch en 1st Lt. Joseph Seaquist IvlSgt. James Olson T his se co nd edition 's photographers and ph oto technicians include my lovely wife, Gail , along with Roger Kennedy, C harles Farrow, and D oug Black. Many of Brad H opkins' first editi on illustrations hav e b e en retained, reinforc ed by new drawing s from Tami Ander son. And finally, I th ank Paladin Press publish er Peder Lund, a fellow Spe cial Forces combat vet, and my editor, Jon Ford, for their help and encouragement. PREFACE mind but the integral sniper role for every type of conventional and special operation. Until 77w Ultimate Sniper this had not been done, nor had sniper skills been clearly divided into three distinct areas-marksmanship, tactics, and fieldcraft-and addressed in the depth they demanded. Much of what I wrote existed as bits and pieces in diverse places, but no manual or book or guide had so thoroughly assembled them, focused exclusively on sniping. And yet, The Ultimate Sniper equally contained original thoughts and techniques, from ballistic data cards (now often copied) to the sniper engagement sequence, the concept of "ballistic advantage" (later elaborated as countersniper "overmatching"), and even a clear definition of "accurate," to name a few. From Croatia to Canada, from Alaska to Alabama, snipers, sharpshooters, and long-range riflemen found The Ultimate Sniper to be the "bible" of their craft. The Philippine Marine Corps so highly regarded it that they copied its art for their sniper unit logo, and the Karen National Liberation Army translated sections for their resistance fighters. The chapter on night operations was so authoritative that the 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines, reproduced it for all its Marines. Sgt. 1st Class Earl S. Ellis, an AllArmy Sniper Champion and NCOlC of the Army Sniper School, told me he found inspiration in its pages to revise the Army's latest sniper training manual. Probably the greatest compliment came from USMC Maj. Ed Land Though the first edition of The Ultimate Sniper represented the best of what was known about sniping in 1993, this art and science advanced so remarkably in the following dozen years that a second edition has become a necessity. Thanks to these updates, changes, and revisions, I believe that this new edition will help advance sniping well into the 21 st century and prove as revolutionary as the original book. And it was revolutionary. Never before had a sniper training manual addressed mantracking, for example. And though manuals cited compensation for crosswinds, they lacked the simple advice that you can neutralize the wind's effect by reducing your distance or shifting up- or downwind. Sniper training curriculum did not even address up/down ("slant") shooting. Having spent years in combat behind enemy lines and years instructing snipers, I knew that our institutional knowledge and combat experience were much greater than what was depicted in the manuals. I was concerned that this precious knowledge, paid for in blood, might be lost-only to have to be relearned, with still more blood paid. That's why I wrote The Ultimate Sniper-to explain things like natural lines of drift, to provide relevant insights on ballistics, optics, shooting techniques, ammunition, human vision, parallax, smart ways to divide sectors of fire, plus the role of snipers in every type of military operation-not just the two-man, independent missions that most often come to ix x THE U LT IMA T E S NI P E R (ret.), fo u nder of the m odern Marine sniper training program and current N ational Rifle Associatio n secretary, who told an audience he'd h op ed to write a b o ok su ch as T he Ultima te S niper- but now he wouldn't have to. Several first edition prophecies came to be . As I'd anticipated [po123], the Ml1 8 Special Ball r ound was improved into today's M 118LR. F u rt h e r , a s I wrot e in 199 3 [p o 7 6 ], " T h e T rijicon AC O G, I think, sho uld be on at least h alf th e M16A2s in th e U SM C and the U.S. Army." That's nearly their prop ortion among our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan as of this writing. H er e are some new prophecies. The next leap forward in long-range sh ooting technology will b e a Bullet Drop C ompensator that's as precisely adjus table as target kn ob s. Not long aft erward-p erhaps in the next decade-we'll see an automa ted electroni c reticle that's tied to a laser ran gefinder so th at, as quickly as you laze the distan ce, the reticle instantly resets itself for d ead- on aim ing. The ot h er improvement is m ore mundane : a rationalizing of all snip ing units of m easurement-mils, yards, meters, and M inutes of Angle-so there's a sim pler "yard s t ic k " a n d n o need t o tr an sl ate a ll the se co nfusi ng figures and fracti ons when calculating and com pens ating. W hat's ne w in thi s edi tion? Well, although tactics d on't change, where and how we apply them d o. Thus you will fin d here greater elaboration of sniping tactics and techniques against terrorists and insurgents, especially in the mountains, deserts, and urban areas of the Middle East and Central Asia. We've dev oted an entire new chapter to countersniping in Afghanistan and Iraq. You'll also find new rifles, new cartridges, and breakthroughs in emerging technologi es, some already applied and others that have yet to go beyond prototype s and lab principles. Some of the recent histori cal accou nts are drawn from my new book-which I'll hop efully fin ish with in the next yea r-on the history of sniping and sharpshooting . When it's published, it will be the m ost detailed and complete book ever written on the subject. And here's an important adm in note: U.S. ballistic tables normally us e ya rd s, so we're using yar d s almost exclusiv ely in this book. Should you need to convert yards to meters, multiple by 1.0936; to convert m eter s to yards, multiple by 0.9144. As in the first edition , I urge you to suppo rt and join the National R ifle Associ ati on, a nd e ncou rage yo u r fri end s a n d rel atives to d o like w is e . F or future ge ne ra tio ns of gr eat riflemen , we must protect thi s grea t American birthright, th e Second Ame ndme nt. And finally, I ask you to join m e in ass isting today's U. S. Army and M arine C orps snipe rs on th e front lines of the War on Terror via th e Ad opt-aSnip er program. F ounded by a T exas p olice snipe r, Brian Sain, th is nonprofit grou p supplies hard-to- find gea r a n d in form at ion fo r our military snip er s serving in remote, far-flu ng places. You can reach th em on th e Internet at ericansnipers.org. Maj. John L. Plaster, USAR (ret.) January 2006 S N I P'E.B/,'(J NIT ORGANIZATION AND EQUIPMENT SNIPER TEAM ORGANIZATION grumbling and shirking are absolutely necessary qualities. We've listed the sniper's and spotter's duties in the box on the following page, but it must be understood that there is always a mutual contribution within a listed task; the responsible team member ultimately sees that it's accomplished, but to some degree his partner contributes to A properly organized sniper team consists of two men, a sniper and a spotter. Both are qualified and fully trained snipers, so more appropriately it could be said a team consists of two A two-man military sniper team has two trained snipers. In order to function snipers who rotate weapons and duties at regular effectively, however, one will intervals. shoot (the sniper) while his partner watches (the spotter), with each rotating these everything that's done. Some jobs are shared, like splitting the sector so duties on a regular basis. Also, since a military sniper is armed with a slow- both can surveil, but even here there mu st be some firing, low-capacity, bolt-action rifle, his partner rotation and relief or one will suffer eyestrain. And at needs a high-capacity, automatic weapon-I recom- times, one will rest while the other works, one will mend the M 16A2 with an 1\1203 40mm grenade secure while his teammate digs, and so on. It's genlauncher-for team defense against unexpected, uine teamwork. The member with the most experience should be short-range contacts. The two men swap weapons when they rotate roles. the team leader, but his primary task is to educate his Given that they are only two men, a sniper partner and elevate his skills on a par with his own so team mu st operate truly as a team to stand any they can rotate jobs completely yet suffer no decline chance of accomplishing its mission and sur viving in capability. Teamwork. M ost often, the newer sniper serves as the in a very dangerous environment . Compatibility, a readiness to share, and a wil- observer, but some authorities would argue that the lingness to rotate dutie s without pettiness and more experienced of the two should spot since he 1 2 TH E U LT I MAT E S NIP ER SNIPER'S DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES Writes Operations Order Coordinates with Other Units Follows in March and Covers Rear Obscures Backtrail during March Leads While Stalking Leads While Following Enemy Tracks Selects Sniper Hide Location Shares Hide Construction Detects and Announces Target Indicators Observes Half Sector with Binoculars Adjusts Scope for Wind, Range, and Angle Shares Range Estimates with Spotter Decides Engagement Priorities Engages Human and Materiel Targets Designates Night Targets with Tracer SPOTTER'S DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES Obtains and Prepares Any Special Gear Leads in March, May Fire Defensively Follows While Stalking, Obscures Sign Covers Team While Tracking Enemy Shares Hide Construction Draws Sketches and Range Cards Shares Range Estimates with Sniper Observes Half Sector with Spotting Scope Detects and Announces Target Indicators Identifies Targets by Priority Estimates Wind Times the Wind and Tells Sniper to Fire Backs Up Sniper's Shot Observes and Reports Bullet Impact Operates Radio Records Information Vectors and Coordinates Other Teams Operates Diversionary Devices Sterilizes Site When Abandoning Hide probably is better at estimating range and wind and evaluating targets. Due to liability, police snipers do not rotate weapons-i-each should have a rifle assigned exclusively to himself. But police snipers must also rotate/rest/share or they won't be able to last during a protracted incident-and, face it, most incidents that eventually lead to a police sniper taking a shot are protracted ones. Military units are configured acco rding to mission , equipment, doctrine, and the terrain on which the y'll fight, balan ced again st flexibility and simplicity to keep the unit controllable. These factors are as applicable to a sniper unit organization as for an armor division. And from these factors have evolved two basic concep ts for organizing sniper elements: consolidation and decentralization . The sniper structure m ost frequ ently found in U.S. militar y organizations is a consolidated one, with snipers in their own battalion-le vel platoon that operates directly under the S2 Intelligence Officer or S3 Operation s Officer. As the chart shows, this is the sniper configuration foun d in U.S . Marine Corps units as well as in U.S . Army Light Infantry Divisions. In m ost organization s using this arrangement, the snipers also serve as battalion scouts, a goo d matching of skills and mission s. In fact, the U SM C officially calls these men " Scout-Snipers," assigned to a Surveillance and Target Acquisition (STA) platoon . The benefits of a con solidated snipe r plato on are many. First, they can train together and focu s their efforts on sniping, under the control of platoon-level leaders wh o appreciate and support their needs. Second, since the y're a battalion-level asset, their role is considered and integrated in every battalion operation. Consolidation afford s great flexibility in combat, allowing the battalion sniper em ployment officer to concentrate or disperse the snipers to fit the situation and the mission. For instance , all snipers can be focused along one enemy avenue of approach, massed within one company's area if the terrain best suits sniping, or split evenly, with three sniper teams attached to each company or one team for each line platoon . They also can run independent, battalioncontrolled operations. MILITARY SNIPING ORGANIZATION BATIALION C.P. I I I I INFANTRY COMPANY INFANTRY COMPANY INFANTRY COMPANY I I I INFANTRY PLATOON W/SNIPER INFANTRY PLATOON W/SNIPER INFANTRY PLATOON W/SNIPER This is how a decentralized sniper configuration appears in Ranger and Reserve Component Infantry battalions. BATIALION C.P. SCOUT/SNIPER PLATOON I I I I INFANTRY COMPANY INFANTRY COMPANY INFANTRY COMPANY SCOUT/SNIPER PLATOON HQ I I I I SCOUT/SNIPER SQUAD ONE SCOUT/SNIPER SQUAD TWO SCOUT/SNIPER SQ...
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