Rifle Calibers for F-TR and PRS Tactical Division – and Why .308 Winchester?

By Mark V. Lonsdale – STTU

Based on a number of questions from shooters hoping to get into F-Class Target Rifle (F-TR) of Precision Rifle shooting, there is obviously some confusion floating around concerning rifles and calibers. One individual, who was shooting a 6.5 Creedmoor, thought that because he was on a  bi-pod, not a tripod, he would be in F-TR. Not so. Another was tossing up between .243 Win. and 6.5, because that’s what the local gun shop “expert” told him. Again, a case of so called “experts” not reading the rules or being competitive shooters. If a shooter wants to learn about any form of competition, go to a local match and talk to the better informed serious shooters.

F-TR mid-range (600 yards) and PRS are both long range shooting events where a new shooter can have fun and gain a lot of experience with a relatively inexpensive rig (less than $1,500). But as with any precision shooting sport, if a shooter wants to do well at the national level, and is willing to put in the time and practice, then he or she is still going to need a custom purpose-built rifle with high-end optics. But keep in mind that the amount an aspiring champion invests in the rifle(s) is a fraction of what they will spend on practice ammunition, reloading equipment, travel to matches and entry fees.  And I say rifles, plural, because F-TR, PRS Bolt Gun, and PRS Gas Gun all have different features and requirements.

F-TR and PRS Tactical were created so that law enforcement and military shooters could use their issued rifles to compete – therefore only .308 Winchester or 5.56 NATO / .223 Remington. Those are the only two calibers a shooter can shoot in F-TR or PRS Tactical. The additional requirements for FT-R include a bi-bod and a rear bag, but no tripods or muzzle brakes. Rounds are loaded singly in F-Class so a magazine is not required.

The top F-TR shooters are running custom built single shot bolt actions (Kelbly, Panda), heavy 30″+ barrels (Bartlein, Krieger), custom stocks such as the McMillan XiT, light target triggers (Timney, Jewell), high-end optics (Leupold, Night Force), and wide, purpose-built bi-pods (Phoenix Precision).  So even in F-TR, an agency sniper rifle with a 22″ barrel will be up against an $8,000 custom F-TR rifle. But like me, you can still go out with your sniper rifle or varmint rifle, with factory Federal Match ammo, and gain some good experience reading wind at the mid-range 600 yard matches, plus have a great day shooting alongside like-minded individuals.

Derek Rodgers Rifle

Custom built F-TR rifle belonging to one of the US Team


Rem700 LS-Mark8 ELR

Sniper rifle built on a Rem 700 action with a 23″ Krieger barrel, McMillan M40A3 stock,                      and Leupold Mark 8 Scope, shooting factory Federal Gold Medal Match                               168 & 175 grain SMKs 

For PRS Tactical division, again, the rifle must be .308 Winchester or 5.56 NATO / .223 Remington. The heaviest projectile permitted in .308 Win. is 178 grains launched at no more than 2,800 fps; and for .223 Rem. it is 77 grains at no more than 3,000 fps. Rounds are loaded from the magazine in PRS, so detachable magazines are a necessity, and muzzle brakes are permitted. It is also not unusual to shoot over 100 rounds in a PRS match so an excellent day or two’s experience at multiple ranges.

McMillan A3-5 Adjustable

Rem 700 .308 Win. action with McMillan A3-5 adjustable stock, Badger Ordnance trigger guard/detachable magazine, topped with a Leupold 4.5-14x scope.

These same limitations for bullet weight and muzzle velocity extend to PRS Light Gas Gun division (.223 Rem) and Heavy Gas Gun division (.308 Win.)  There is also a Bolt Gun Production division in PRS where the rifle and scope combined cannot exceed $4,000. See precisionshootingseries.com for all the rules.


Posted in .223 Remington, .308 Winchester, F-TR, Firearms, Leupold, Long Range Shooting, McMillan Stocks, Precision Shooting, PRS, Sniper | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

ROBAR Firearms NP3 Finish

By Mark V. Lonsdale – STTU

Over the years I have tried several finishes on my handguns and rifles, to include conventional gun blue, Pakerizing, black phosphate, hard chrome, electroless  nickel plating, Roguard and NP3. Of all of these, NP3 has truly impressed me with its lubricity and resistance to corrosion.

When I first had Robar of Phoenix, AZ, NP3 one of my carry handguns, it was because I was working in a salt water environment and my blued guns were literally rusting overnight. I also had a problem that when I was training in the desert, the sweat running down my side was running into the holster with the same result – a thin film of red rust by morning.

Sig228 Carry9mm

Every day carry (EDC) SIG P228 9mm with NP3 finish.

Ever since I began using NP3 in the early 1990s, I have no longer had this problem, and I still work in hot, humid environments. I also had Robar NP3 the bolts of my sniper rifles to slick up the actions.

SR90 300 Fixed M3

Bolt of my SR90 300 Win Mag with NP3 finish. Definitely slicks up the action and makes the bolt easier to clean.


Robar 7mm Mag sniper rifle with NP3 bolt and Roguard barrel and action

From the Robar webpage:

Robar’s® NP3® finish is an electroless nickel-based finish for steel, stainless steel and aluminum alloys that co-deposits sub-micron particles of PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene), otherwise known as Teflon™, with electroless nickel.

NP3® metal finish offers many benefits. NP3® permits firing for longer periods of time between cleaning, dirt and powder residue have no wet or oily surface to cling to. When cleaning is required, the effort needed is minimal – usually requiring only a soft cloth. NP3® is very corrosion resistant. It provides a high lubricity and low friction co-efficient, greatly increasing the life expectancy of a firearm due to reduced friction wear. NP3® is a satin gray, non-reflective color ideal for all firearms.

NP3® can be plated to all internal parts giving smoothness to the action not found with any other coating. In cases where the NP3® has been perforated, the corrosion shows no tendency to spread or migrate under the coating. NP3® also carries a lifetime warranty.



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Federal Gold Medal Berger 185 grain Juggernauts

By Mark V. Lonsdale – STTU

For shooters who do not have the time or inclination to hand load, Federal’s Match Grade ammunition has long been the staple diet for many of those shooters. Back in the 1980’s, when Federal Match ammo came in red and white boxes, the 168 grain Sierra Match King (SMK) was first choice for our sniper training and the standard by which we judged all sniper ammunition. While its thin jacket and integrity through barricades was less than ideal, the accuracy and consistency was superb.

This has continued to today where we still use the Federal Gold Medal Match (GMM) 168 grain as out baseline standard for .308 Win. rifle evaluations. I have also been using the 168s for 600 yard competition shooting with no complaints.

Rem700 LS-Mark8 ELR

Tac Ops Lima 51 .308 Win. sniper rifle with Leupold Mark 8 scope 

The introduction of the Federal GMM 175 grain SMK added another option to the game. We now test all rifles with both Federal GMM 168 and 175 grain  to see which one produces the better accuracy. The general recommendation has been that 1:12 twist barrels work well with the 168s, and 1:10 the 175s, but this is not a hard and fast rule. In some cases we have found 1:10 barrels that perform best with the 168s, but the 175s come into their own out past 600 yards when it comes to wind deflection.

Now we have a welcomed new addition to the Federal lineup — the Federal Premium Gold Medal Berger 185 grain Juggernaut, a Hybrid Open Tip Match (OTM) Boat Tail. We have just started evaluating this ammunition and getting excellent sub-MOA results at 100 yards. Next step is to run it out to 600 and 1,000 yards.

Fed Juggernauts

Federal Berger Juggernauts

Federal GM Berger 185 grain Juggernaut Hybrid OTM — group at 100 yards 

080517 CS and Group

Federal Premium Berger 185 grain Juggernauts


Posted in .308 Winchester, Ammunition, Berger, F-TR, Federal Match, Firearms, Leupold, Long Range Shooting, McMillan Stocks, Precision Shooting, PRS, Sniper, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Importance of Indexing Your Scope Mounts

By Mark V. Lonsdale, STTU Training Director

While running the return to zero evaluations in the previous article, we decided to try moving the mount further up the rail to see if it made a difference. We were using an American Defense UIC rifle with an AD cantilevered mount and a Leupold scope, so already knew that we were using high quality products that consistently returned to zero when removed and replaced.  But when we moved the mount forward on the rail, the result was a dramatic shift in point of impact.

VX 2-7 Mount Rail CU

In the image above you can see the placement of the scope mount at the forward edge of the received. The cantilever overhangs the fore-end handguard, but the actual mount is on the receiver. This is the same index reference we used for all the previous tests.

When the mount was moved one slot forward on the Picatinny rail (see arrow), the grouping at 100 yards moved 10 inches to the left. When moved back to the last slot on the receiver the group returned to zero. The reason for this is that the rail on the handguard is not integral to the receiver, so not machined in one monolithic piece. So while the rails appear to be in line, there is sufficient offset to throw the shots 10 inches to the left at 100 yards.

Lesson Learned: Always take note of exactly where your rings or one-piece mount are indexed on the receiver rail. Count the number of slots from the front or rear so that you can always reset the mounts to the same location.

MK 4 Leupold

Leupold Mark 4 mounted on an American Defense UIC Mod 2 .223 Wylde


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American Defense Scope Mount Tests

By Mark V. Lonsdale, Training Director STTU

The goal for today’s testing was to evaluate whether AD scope mounts returned to zero after being removed and replaced. For the testing we used a Leupold VX-1 2-7X, 1″ tube, in the AD-Recon 1 STD mount, and a Leupold Mark 4 3.5-10X, 30mm tube, in the AD Delta-C 30 STD mount.

MK4 VX 2-7

Two Leupold scopes and AD mounts used in testing

After zeroing, the testing was done at 100 yards utilizing relatively inexpensive American Eagle 62 grain ammo; so the expectation was not sub-MOA groups, just consistent, repeatable combat accuracy. This could be defined as staying within a 3-inch circle at 100 yards. Future testing will be done with Federal Match ammo.

For the testing, we shot a 5-round group on one target with the Leupold VX-1 set on 7X, then changed scopes and mounts and shot a 5-round group on another target with the Mark 4 on 10X. We then replaced the VX scope and shot another 5-round group on the first target; followed by changing to the Mark 4 and shooting another 5-round group on that target. This was repeated three times.


                       Leupold Mark 4 mounted on the American Defense UIC Mod 2                                              with AD-Delta-C 30mm mount

In all cases the groups stayed within 0.5″-1.0″ of the previous groups and stayed well within the 3″ circle.

In addition to the positive cam locks and precision machined rails, one of the reasons that the American Defense mounts have a high level of return-ability can be attributed to the thick cross bolts that all but fill the slots in the rail (see pic below). Cheaper mounts use thinner bolts that allow the mount to move back and forth.

ADM QR Mount

Note the thickness of the cross bolts that contribute to a positive return-ability


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Afghanistan OEF 2001-2008

A few images from Northern Afghanistan with General Dostum


A few from Kandahar and Spin Boldak on the border with Pakistan

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Iraq OIF 2004

A few images from Iraq during the Fallujah uprising

Clockwise: Bomb damage assessment from an incoming rocket; with Oscar PSD team; with General Paul Eaton, Combined Military Assistance Training Team (CMATT); morning briefing at Taji Military Camp, just north of Baghdad; with the only poster of Saddam not shot up by the Marines, at an Iraqi weapons development center.


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American Defense AR Patrol Rifle

By Mark V. Lonsdale – STTU

I have just begun evaluating the American Defense UIC Mod 2 so check back for progress and updates. What I can tell you is that, when I purchased it a couple of weeks ago, it was not a planned purchase. I just happened to be in Barney’s Law Enforcement sales picking up a Glock 43 and saw the rifle on the rack.

ADM UIC Mod2 with Leupold

Needless to say, I was so impressed with the quality, finish and trigger that I purchased it on the spot. So now I also have the AD mounts to run evaluations with the Aimpoint, one inch tube Leupold 2-7X, and a 30mm Leupold Mark 4 3.5-10X. Will also shoot it in the State Patrol Rifle qualifications next month, even though I already know it will shoot a 100% score.

AD-68 C STD_Aimpoint

More to follow…


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Which Applied Ballistics Mobile App or Firing Solution is Right for You?

By Mark V. Lonsdale

STTU Training Director

If you are involved in long range shooting, for competition, recreating, or taking care of “more serious business,” then you will be familiar with Applied Ballistics AB Mobile App for firing solutions. But this engine is available in the Kestrel wind and weather meters, the SIG Kilo 2400ABS rangefinder and now the new Garmin Foretrex 701 GPS. So which one is right for you?

AB 701 Kestrel

Here it is in a nut shell. If you can afford all three, then buy all three since redundancy is a good thing. But if you always shoot on a known distance range, then you do not need a rangefinder. The Kestrel will be a significant aid and you will find that having the Garmin 701 on your wrist is very convenient for quick solutions when conditions change.

AB Sig_kilo_2400_abs

If you are a backwoodsman, hunter, or military sniper, then the rangefinder is an essential and the GPS is extremely useful – but you still need the wind/weather meter. Most military operators are currently wearing the Garmin 401 so it may be time to step up to the 701. For law enforcement snipers in a municipal environment, distance is critical but the need or a GPS or wind effect is minimal. For county law enforcement snipers who may have to operate in rural environments involving longer distance, then all three will be useful, but if you already have a reliable rangefinder and GPS, then just go with the Kestrel ABS wind/weather meter.

AB Garmin Foretrex 701

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Law Enforcement Snipers – Asset or Liability



Reducing Liability Exposure through the use of Select Personnel,

Professional Training and Superior Weapons Systems

By Mark V. Lonsdale

    While individuals and agencies give serious consideration to selecting sniper rifles and equipment during the development process, the same level of consideration is not given to the importance of professional instruction and training. Even when equipped with the best sniper weapons systems, deploying snipers who are unskilled or poorly trained could not only lead to tragedy, it could open an agency up to charges of negligence and the resultant costly litigations.

However, in this modern litigious society, even the best training and equipment does not shield an agency or individual sniper from years of litigation. Case in point – the FBI incident at Ruby Ridge, in August 1992, when the wife of Randy Weaver was shot by a highly trained HRT sniper. This questionable shooting was the result of modified rules of engagement that were issued to the FBI snipers before they deployed into the woods around the Weaver cabin.  After reportedly being approved and signed-off by headquarters the snipers were instructed that, “if any adult in the compound is observed with a weapon after the surrender announcement is made, deadly force can and should be employed to neutralize the individual. If any adult male is observed with a weapon prior to the announcement, deadly force can and should be employed.”

This was tantamount to a “shoot to kill” order as opposed to the standard use of deadly force in “defense of life only” shooting policy used by most agencies. The result was years of investigation, litigation and finger pointing most of which focused on the sniper when it should probably have been directed at the bureaucracy and command personnel.


Another problem is the failure of command to understand or appreciate the capabilities of the snipers. Military snipers have suffered under a long history of being misused by commanders unfamiliar with their unique abilities, and there are cases where law enforcement snipers have been assigned to traffic duty and outer perimeter by equally uninformed incident commanders. Even though a sniper element can be deployed in a variety of roles on tactical operations – for example, as part of the assault group, perimeter security, or prisoner reception – snipers usually have very specific tasks to perform. These are primarily centered around observation & reporting and, if necessary, engagement of a target with precision fire.

Whether police or military, the snipers operate under a set of conditions that leave very little room for error. Mistakes can have tragic results, so any deficiencies in equipment or training will prove to be a major liability exposure for the individuals and agencies involved.


Every aspect of sniper operations, from command & control to equipment and training, must reflect currently accepted national standards and procedures for the judicious use of deadly force in a long rifle capacity. The days of sending out some minimally trained deputy with a deer rifle to serve as SWAT sniper are long gone. Any damage to person or property, resulting from that officer’s actions, directly or indirectly, will have the ambulance chasing lawyers licking their lips in anticipation of their day in court or a fat settlement check.

Before an agency gets into the SWAT or sniper business, the administration and command staff should be prepared to commit adequate time and funding to professionally train and equip the team. Black tactical uniforms and submachine guns do not make a SWAT team – even though many smaller agencies continue to deploy all-volunteer SWAT teams and snipers, with little to no administrative or financial support, and equally weak standards and training.

Developing a professional tactical capability requires significant financial commitment on the part of the agency, not just for the initial equipment purchases but also for professional basic training, weekly team training, operational overtime, a suitable training facility, and considerable amounts of ammunition.

The following represents several of the more obvious potential liability exposures for an agency utilizing snipers.

Potential Exposures:

  1. Unqualified or poorly trained long riflemen (“Hughie and his deer rifle”)
  2. Sub-standard Selection & Qualification Requirements, or no written standards at all
  3. Sub-standard Initial Basic Training
  4. Inferior Weapons Systems more suited to hunting than tactical operations
  5. Inferior Ammunition that is not “match grade”
  6. Poor Inter- and Intra-team Communications
  7. Lack of Training Time (One morning per month is not enough)
  8. Lack of frequent Documented Training
  9. Lack of Written Policies, Procedures (SOPs) and Rules of Engagement (ROE)
  10. Undocumented Individual Qualification Shoots (if any at all)
  11. Unrealistic Training usually under ideal conditions on a 100-yard target range
  12. Unrealistic Targets (Bullseye or benchrest targets at 100 yards)
  13. No Through-medium Shooting (Windows / Glass doors / Barricades)
  14. No Moving Target training
  15. Unscientific approach to Equipment and Ammunition Selection and Testing
  16. Lack of Critical Decision-making Shoot / No Shoot Drills & Scenarios


Over the past decades we have had “assigned snipers” turn-up at STTU sniper matches with the cheapest ammo available, no data log books, and virtually no basic marksmanship training or skills. They had received no formal training before being assigned the sniper’s slot on the SWAT team, and the only practice they had had consisted of 20 rounds per month, at 100 yards, from a bench-rest or prone position with a bipod. They seldom if ever trained in low light conditions or at night; never under less than ideal conditions like wind or rain; seldom at close-proximity hostage-taker targets; and never through a glass window into a realistic structure.

The concept that training must replicate reality, within the bounds of safety and reason, is not new in either law enforcement or military. Further more, in wrongful-death litigations, failure to document satisfactory levels of performance under a variety of realistic training conditions, can only serve to damage the reputation of the sniper team, the agency, the city, or the county that employs them.

Sniper Urban


A well-trained, competent sniper team can be a significant asset on most tactical operations. Two advantages of deploying snipers are that they should be able utilize their stalking and concealment skills to move undetected in a scouting mode; or neutralize a treat at long-range before exposing the assault rescue team to hostile fire. In addition, because of their specialized training, equipment, and long-range optics, snipers can supply the following:

  1. Scouting & Reporting
  2. Stronghold / Breacher Intelligence
  3. Suspect Descriptions / Observations
  4. Constant up-dates on the Situation
  5. Approach Commentary & Security for the Assault Element
  6. The Long Range Option (one well placed shot)
  7. The Low Light / Night Option (if equipped with night vision scopes)
  8. Superior Penetration on Barricades (heavy caliber .308 Win. or .300 Win Mag.)


There are also several limitations to the use of long rifles in a traditional law enforcement sniper role – one being that they are of little value on operations that take place inside buildings  where the inside distances are too short for the powerful optics and heavy calibers. To compensate, snipers equipped with light caliber scoped carbines such as the M4/AR15 can be deployed to dominate long corridors or large rooms, conference halls, and warehouse storage areas.

Snipers are not the solution to all of the problems confronting an Incident Commander. There are times when snipers cannot, or should not be deployed. Before deploying the sniper element, there are still several factors or limitations that must be considered. These include:

  1. The distance from the nearest cover to the stronghold or suspect location
  2. Suitable field of observation or fire from the snipers’ position
  3. The ability of the snipers to observe the suspect’s movements
  4. The snipers’ difficulty or inability to relocate quickly in a fluid tactical scenario
  5. The potential for over penetration on soft targets or thin walls
  6. The agency’s policy and rules of engagement in engaging suspects known to be dangerous but not immediately threatening life
  7. The fact that executing the Sniper Option will still require an immediate follow-up assault to secure the safety of the hostages
  8. The time and budgetary obligation to ensure that snipers receive frequent specialized, documented training and qualifications


Apart from the fact that a sniper’s bullet cannot be called back, and the results are often terminal, the SWAT or Sniper Group commander should keep the above points in mind when considering the sniper option. Most tactical operations benefit from the deployment of snipers in some role, but an in-depth discussion as to the advantages or disadvantages of snipers for each particular scenario is beyond scope of this article.

It should be remembered that the snipers are just one of many “options” in the incident commander’s proverbial toolbox. The tactical decision process of where and when to deploy the sniper elements will be made by the Incident Commander and/or the Sniper Group Commander. However, in many cases, since the snipers will often have the best picture of the unfolding situation, it will be up to the individual snipers to “advise” the command element on how they could be best utilized once he or she has moved up into a position of advantage.

 Sniper Counter Sniper by Mark V Lonsdale


Sniper training is structured around the two primary roles of the sniper:

  1. Precision medium to long-range rifle shooting
  2. Surveillance and intelligence reporting

In shooting, the law enforcement SWAT or hostage rescue sniper aims to stop with certainty the life-threatening activity of the target (subject). This is often achieved with one well-placed high-velocity round to the target’s head, heart or spine from 50-150 yards – a very different situation to the high-speed, close-quarter, self-defense gunfights of the street cop.

To have the sniper skills and confidence to execute this type of shot requires many hours of disciplined training and coaching. When considered in light of all the other job-related skills of the sniper, it becomes apparent that an effective sniper program is one that requires time, energy, and dedication on the part of the snipers, and financial commitment on the part of the agency.

A basic military sniper school will usually run at least six to eight weeks and the FBI was sending their HRT snipers through the 8-week Marine Corps Sniper School at Quantico, just to lay the foundation for future training.

In contrast, the average law enforcement sniper school is usually concluded in a barely sufficient one or two weeks – since that is often all the time and funding that an agency has allocated for training. The only reason that a basic police sniper school can be condensed into two weeks is that there is virtually no long-range shooting, range estimation, wind reading, or prolonged stalking exercises, as found in the military schools. Training concentrates on short to medium range shooting, reporting skills and positive target recognition.

A “basic” school is exactly what it implies – merely a basis or foundation for future training and experience. It is not possible to fully train a sniper from scratch in one or two weeks, especially a special operations sniper tasked with complex hostage rescue scenarios. So, to reduce the need for longer sniper programs, and to maintain the efficiency and intensity of the training, it is essential that the instructor have good raw material to work with. This requires a professional approach to the selection of sniper candidates who already possess above average marksmanship skills. Further investment training should be for those who have demonstrated a genuine aptitude for the mission.


The topic of sniper weapons systems is a separate discussion, but sufficient to state here that even the best-trained snipers, if issued sub-standard weapons or ammunition, are a liability to the department or agency. Similarly, top-of-the-line sniper weapons that are not correctly set-up, maintained, and zeroed are also a potential liability. In both cases, and particularly on operations, a totally justified shooting or in policy use of deadly force could easily become a wrongful death when a high-velocity round, intended for the hostage-taker or terrorist, misses and hits the hostage, or over penetrates into an innocent by-stander. This is where the “weapons system” approach is so critical to sniper training and operations. The rifle, the optical sights, the scope mounts, the ammunition, the accessories, and the shooter must all come together as an effective and consistently accurate shooting system.


Military snipers log shooting data as an aid to shooting, but law enforcement snipers must also document practice sessions and qualification shoots for legal record and to off-set liability exposure.

The data log is a collection of the shooter’s experiences and performance, of his or her rifle and optics, that has considerable impact on the sniper’s decision-making process when planning or anticipating a shot. There are several factors that can affect the accuracy of a weapons system and the cold-shot placement in particular. When any one condition changes, for example the type of ammunition, angle to the target, air temperature, elevation, or even lighting, the bullet can strike off of the intended point of aim. By logging data from all training sessions, under a variety of conditions, the sniper will develop a database that will better prepare him or her to anticipate the changes in bullet impact with the changes in range, equipment, shooting location, or environmental shooting conditions.

Armed with this information, collected over a period of time, under varying conditions and in several locations, the sniper will begin to better understand external ballistics and gain the experience to be a more consistent shooter. The sniper data logbook will also give a record of the rifle’s accuracy, or loss of accuracy, and an indication of when a new barrel may be justified.

From a liability standpoint, a detailed and professionally maintained data log will attest to the training and experience of the sniper, should his or her skills or equipment be called into question after a shooting.


There is no great secret to becoming a competent professional sniper – it simply requires an understanding and familiarity with the weapon system and regular disciplined training. This requires both time and ammunition, so an agency must allocate adequate time and funds for training or there will be significant exposure.

However, in a dangerous field such as tactical operations, particularly when dealing with armed suspects who do not play by the rules or adhere to the standards of law abiding citizens, the issue of liability can never be completely negated. It can however be significantly reduced. The following is a summary of the key points to off-setting liability as it relates to sniper deployment:

  1. Deploy only Trained & Qualified Snipers
  2. Adhere to Selection & Qualification Standards
  3. Establish written Policies, Procedures (SOPs) and Rules of Engagement (ROE)
  4. Seek Professional Basic Sniper Training
  5. Invest in quality Sniper Rifles, Optics and support equipment
  6. Budget for adequate Match Grade Ammunition
  7. Invest in quality Tactical Communications
  8. Require regular, disciplined, realistic Training with Reality-based Scenarios
  9. Document all Training & Qualification Shoots
  10. Run periodic full-mission-capability FTXs that incorporate all tactical assets and critical decision-making Shoot / No Shoot Drills for the Snipers

A final word of advice to the snipers out there: Pass this paper up the chain-of-command to your commanders and administrators. They may then see the light and allocate additional funds for training and better equipment, thus reducing their liability exposure.


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