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U.S. army sniper school

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Unread 08-02-2007, 01:55 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Casper Wyoming
Posts: 44
sniper schools.

Spent a few years in the teams. We used a sniper 14(308). 300 win mag rem 700 mcmillan stock and the 50 recoiless. Everyone says there are better cartridges. But the 308 has know data for everything(glass, armor data. logistics and so on. 0-roughly 6-700 (308) out to 1200 (300) bigger stuff and for fun the 50. Remember it is not hunting. Things shoot back so the most important things are to be able to shoot undetected. the next is counter intelligence. the last is pinpoint accuracy.
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Unread 08-05-2007, 12:57 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: North Louisiana
Posts: 748

There's a VAST DIFFERENCE betwixt sitting on a hillside in the Rocky Mountains waiting for a muley or elk to shoot than an enemy combatant what can shoot back at you! Unfortunately....'Hollyweird' has blown all out of porportion this sniper game! Too many 'youngsters' equate it the way some guys do with becoming military fighter pilots aka....nothing but silk scarves around their neck and open cockpits! Sorry....nothing could be further from the truth. It's a hard/hot/dirty/dangerous business that takes a certain mental psyche that most people don't have. You either have what it takes....or you don't! Shooting ability don't mean squat unless you can handle the mind game necessary for this business! Carlos was more at home in the bush than anywhere else; reason why he was able to do what he did. Most guys today if left in the bush for 3 days are ready to climb the walls because of lack of company and THAT WON'T WORK under combat conditions! So...for those that read this thinking of entering the sniper'd best give yourself REAL SERIOUS mental considerations before saying...I DO!!
"You don't have no idea how little I care!"

Monte Walsh
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Unread 08-06-2007, 06:48 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Wilmington NC
Posts: 4,691
Well said!

I ran the first combined officer/enlisted SFQC years ago. We had a Ranger qual Captain quit during the 4 day survival exercise that was used at that time. Each student was put into an area and not allowed to talk to anyone to include the instructors until the end.

This guy could not take the isolation and not talking to another human for 4 days.

Think how many times in your life have you not talked to another human for any period of time.

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Unread 02-09-2014, 10:50 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 6
Re: U.S. army sniper school

howdy, went to sniper school an-kae viet-nam will never forget my tour as a combat sniper,with the 4th inf 1/12, used the m-14 rifle, xm-21, mine was very accructe, I still shoot the m-14, its part of you, at least for me. would like to here from other nam sniper some day. thanks, mike billings,mt
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Unread 02-09-2014, 01:03 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Great Falls, MT
Posts: 8,789
Re: U.S. army sniper school

Originally Posted by longrifle70 View Post
howdy, went to sniper school an-kae viet-nam will never forget my tour as a combat sniper,with the 4th inf 1/12, used the m-14 rifle, xm-21, mine was very accructe, I still shoot the m-14, its part of you, at least for me. would like to here from other nam sniper some day. thanks, mike billings,mt

Greetings from the Great Falls side of the Big Sky Country ... welcome to LRH and enjoy!

Nice to see another Montanan ... and thanks for your service to our great nation. Cheers!


I voted for my "FREEDOM", "GUNS", and "MONEY" - keep the change - UNK.

"I am always proud of my country!"

"Leadership Rule #2: Don't be an ***hole." - Maj Gen Burton Field.
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Unread 02-10-2014, 02:01 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: greenwood, IN
Posts: 4,024
Re: U.S. army sniper school

Originally Posted by Buffalobob View Post
As Shawn mentioned there are many different flavors of snipers. Regular Army, special forces, marine corps. There are many different ways of deploying snipers and each has its advantages and disadvantages. In the late 60’s and early 70’s both the regular army and the special forces used what is now known as a national match M-14. This was a glass bedded action with a match barrel and some work done on the trigger (maybe some more stuff). Scopes were relatively low power – maybe 8x or 10 x Bausch and Lomb on quick detachable rings and bases. It was this period of time that US forces were switching from the M-14 (308) to the M-16 (223).

Stateside training was an ongoing thing and the Special Forces snipers would shoot “matches” on a lot of Saturdays and for some reason they liked me(or disliked me) and I would be requested to be Range Officer for them. I think it was probably that I didn’t give a sh1t what they did as long as they let me shoot some. The easiest way to tell a match 14 was the brown glass line all around the action. Once you saw that you knew what the gun was for.

Vietnam was a different story. There was the Chu Lai sniper school. Run by Olympian Major Lones Wigger

and then Virgil Umphenour who is now a guide up in Alaska


Men were selected from the ranks to go to sniper school for 4 weeks after they had been in combat for long enough to determine that they were calm and cool enough to be a sniper. Training was pretty much about shooting. The trainees were not necessarily great riflemen before they went and some were not when they returned to the field. They learned range estimation, wind , drops, leads. Spotting for each other, taking care of their rifle and scope. Supposedly once a month or two months (I forget now) they went back to Chu Lai to have the armorer go over their rifle and scope and to get a refresher. Mostly they got cold beer and clean sheets once a month while the rest of us got muddy rice paddy water and leeches.

The way we worked was in three teams of six or eight men with two of the men of each team being snipers. During the day each team would be in a ”sniper “ mode where we just watched and waited for someone to shoot at just like one would watch and wait for a deer or elk at long range. As evening came we would switch to “ambush” mode and I would assign each team a trail to set upon to ambush anybody moving down it. So at night the snipers would take their scopes off and put them in their cases and rely on iron sights. We would always make sure that a sniper was never assigned to a flank position because the semi auto cyclic rate of fire was not anywhere as good as a 16 and you could not let the NVA break out of the kill zone once you had them in it. In a six man team with two snipers this was obviously a little tricky on judging just how much to bite off in the dark and not bite off more than you could chew. Put another way, sometimes it was wise to just let the NVA go on down the trail if there was too many of them.

But in the daytime a sniper never had to worry if he missed because no NVA in his right mind would attack. With three teams including a M-60 we would smoke anybody stupid enough not to run. Remember each team is on high ground and usually within 600 –1000 meters and the cross fire would be devastating. Plus we could move and circle immediately. One day we held over a hundred NVA pinned in a gully at a distance of 500yds with my snipers and M-60. They had nothing but ankle high grass between them and us and we had the high ground. They only tried to get to us once and broke after only covering 50yds because the snipers got to them so quick and so well. While the 16s opened up and made a lot of noise the NVA never got into 16 range and I got to yelling at my men to quit acting dumb because we might need the bullets once it got dark. The NVA could easily see me running up and down the ridge line but there was nothing they could do about it.

When we would assault a village or camp I would place the snipers in an overlooking spot on each flank and they would provide covering fire while those of us with M-16s would do the actual assault. This worked very well because the snipers would get anybody who tried to run out of the village or camp (at least anybody they could hit – sometimes they would miss).

I had a second tour sniper who set the Division record for distance one day. How good was this man with a gun? The best I have ever seen. In the year I have been on this forum no one has made a shot anywhere close to some of the shots I saw him make. Remember he was shooting a semi- auto 308 with no laser rangefinder no instant weather station and no exbal PDA, no custom loaded bullets (Lake City Match) and he still made the shots.

Anyway, lots of people have read of Hathaway and the way he operated and I just tell this stuff so you understand that there were other ways to operate and other guns used.

Memories are a funny thing. They come and go. here are some other peoples Old war horses

SF in Afgahnistan - Look on the table against the wall- all the pretty toys.

Spec Forces

what is this

first of all "Welcome Home Brother"

My battalion was out of Chu Lai, and the first shots I fired in country was at their range. I was with the group that followed shortly after the previous FNG's were ambushed on the way to that range (now you know the time frame). Didn't see all that many snipers in my tour, but always knew they were there.

Now the fellow you refer to; was he blond headed? Had a cowboy last name? I saw this guy make a 900+ yard sucking chest wound in the five o clock shadows while the guy was setting in a tree. He used a national match M14 with peep sights! Of course there was the well known photo of the Marine using a bolt gun making a 1300 yard kill out of a 12 foot john boat in the middle of a river! (photo was on the front page of The Stars & Stripes news paper.

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Unread 02-10-2014, 02:19 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: greenwood, IN
Posts: 4,024
Re: U.S. army sniper school

Originally Posted by Buffalobob View Post

I would echo every thing Dave said except for minor points that aren't worth discussing.

It is my understanding that you can sign a garuanteed contract with the Army for certain hard to fill specialties. As Dave said, a medic has the third most dangerous job in the army during combat. Never equate courage with carrying a gun. Courage is throwing your gun down and taking the aid bag and running across an open field or rice paddy to a wounded man and making sure he doesn't die while people are shooting at YOU.

A couple of points. Parachute pay- known as jump pay is extra money above your basic pay. Same for combat pay. A couple of years of jumping out of airplanes and carrying heavy backpacks will damage you spinal column for the rest of your life. Within a year of getting out of the army I was flat on my back in bed taking prescription muscle relaxers. All of that said, I played league basketball until a couple of years ago when I shattered my right hand and I ran marathons so it is not as bad as all that.

If you do not sign a guarantee then you are at the mercy of a huge impersonal gov't machine.
story goes that the 196th had a combat medic that was a conscientious objector (just didn't want to kill anybody). I have zero problems with that! The young man won the CMH for actions out by the Hiep Duc Ridge, and will forever be a hero in my eyes
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