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Sniping...Our New Growth Industry

From Feild&Stream's The Gun Nut blog Petzal: Sniping...Our New Growth Industry
Up until our excellent adventure in the Sandbox, sniping has been one of the orphan children of the services. But things have changed big-time. M-14s, which a few years ago were referred to as “rifles that were obsolete on the day they were issued,” are being dug out of storage and given new, retrofitted lives as dedicated sniper rifles such as the M24, M25, and the snazziest of all, the Marine Corps’ M39 EMR (Enhanced Marksman Rifle, see photo), a $3,000-plus weapon that is almost completely unrecognizable as an M-14. It seems that having one guy who can really shoot send a single bullet downrange is more efficient than expending 25,000 rounds per casualty, which is what we did in Korea and Vietnam.

The Army has just awarded Remington a contract for a new bolt-action sniper rifle to replace the M24. This one will be designated the XM2010, will be in .300 Win Mag, not 7.62 NATO, and will have a suppressor as standard equipment.

And there’s more. Lockheed-Martin has been awarded a contract to develop the One-Shot System, an electro-optical system that will not only calculate everything affecting the flight of a 7.62mm bullet out to 1,200 yards but will show a sniper where to hold. By everything I mean everything—wind, temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, range, gyroscopic drift, whether your spotter has just farted, you name it. It is supposed to guarantee a hit on the first shot under all conditions.

The project will cost $6.9 million, which is OK because you and I are paying, and the first 15 units for field testing are due to be delivered in October, 2011. You thought the Burris Eliminator goes too far? Wait till this works its way into the civilian market.

I am indebted to regular bloggers C. Banks and J. Blauvelt for the above intel.
Well that's rather cheap when you consider a USMC sniper costs a million bucks to train.
It sounds very gucci, but the best gadgets in the world cannot guarantee a hit at all ranges. The rifle and optics will almost always do what the manual says they will. It is the introduction of the human that causes the errors. Even a slight shivering in the cold, misalignment , tension. Can cause a miss at extreme ranges. Sniping is a bit of a dark art, I have been on the point and checked everything but felt that although my tables say one thing my experience means I will back off a click or two or the wind is not half or full etc. Other firers can have a different perspective and slightly different settings but you both end up hitting what you fire at. Most of this kit is good stuff but needs to come with a " well **** me" setting.


Book Reviewer
It will calculate absolutely everything, except the velocity of the bullet due to manufacturing/powder variations, and the bit about the wind 200 yards away from you and your windometer thingy. That's why even on ranges, you check the range flags all the way down the range, or in the field, you check the grass, dust, leaves on trees and bushes (all the way to the target) and mirage effects.

Lovely idea and all that, but not strictly speaking correct. When atmospheric laser interferometry reaches maturity and can be built into your weapon-mounted weather station, or perhaps when we have radio-controlled flight surfaces on bullets that keep them on target all the way we can guarantee a one shot kill out to 1200, but until then, it's just a nice story.

XM 2010 Written by christian on April 28, 2011
Top Army weapons officials told Kit Up! that they have fielded a number of the XM2010 sniper rifle rebuilds to sharpshooters in Afghanistan already and are set to have all 8 BCTs in the field popping .300 WinMag by mid-May.

Lt. Col. Chris Lehner told Kit Up! in an April 26 interview that he’d just returned from Afghanistan where he gave the XM2010 to snipers “in two different locations” and worked through a three-day course on the weapon’s use, maintenance and capabilities.

We bring all the snipers into one location and within three days, they are minted XM2010 killers. They can use that weapon system like nobody’s business.

He also revealed that within a short time after the long-range-death-dealers took their new rifles to the outpost, they were plinking bad guys from “ridgetop to ridgetop.”

We got reports that immediately within a few days after returning from our training that they were nailing fellows at 1,000 meters without a problem. … They want to get back to their unit so quickly and whack somebody with this thing — they’re itching to get back on a helicopter [after the training] and go whack somebody. And they have…

But Lehner said there’s a lot more to the rifle’s accuracy than it’s powerful caliber.

The optic is a little bit different. It’s a first focal plane reticule with a Horace reticule on it. They’re able to point and shoot and don’t have to do the calculations and the range estimations that they used to do with mildots out to a certain distance. So they’re able to shots out very, very quickly and follow up shots very quickly. And even when they do have to go past a certain range and do some range estimation, they’re about to get it out quicker than they ever have before. We’re confident that they’re going to be able to outgun anyone that’s in their path — even another sniper firing back at them.

The service is on a path to field 250 XM2010s by mid-May. As Kit Up! readers might remember, outgoing PEO Soldier BGen Pete Fuller said he wanted to “pure fleet” the entire Army sniper community with the XM2010 rather than keep the M24 around. It’s unclear where that’s going to go given a new M110, (maybe) new M4, M4 upgrades and a suite of cammo uniforms, but we’ll see.

One thing’s for sure, some snipers in the field speak pretty highly of the new system…

“They listened to snipers when they built it, so they took everything into effect,” said U.S. Army Staff Sgt. David Dickson, Company C, 2nd Battalion, 29th Infantry Regiment sniper instructor, and a native of Southern Pines, N.C. “You can shoot a 10-inch shot group from 1,000 meters.”

The XM2010 will be assigned to sniper teams in Afghanistan before it is distributed to the rest of the Army.

“It is very smooth when shooting the rifle, the scope makes it really easy to accurately hit the target,” said U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Dennis Long, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team 34th Infantry Division, Task Force Red Bulls, and a native of Williamsburg, Iowa.

“It’s a good system and I am very pleased it was able to be distributed so quickly,” said Kreuser. “It’s another system that will help us push the enemy back.”

Read more: http://kitup.military.com/2011/04/xm2010-nailing-fellows-in-afghanistan.html#ixzz1KqHuReGK
Anyone going to climb over their .338 Lapua Mag for a .300 Win Mag?

It will calculate absolutely everything, except the velocity of the bullet due to manufacturing/powder variations, and the bit about the wind 200 yards away from you and your windometer thingy. That's why even on ranges, you check the range flags all the way down the range, or in the field, you check the grass, dust, leaves on trees and bushes (all the way to the target) and mirage effects.
Yeah, pain in the arse. That's why I use GPMG(SF). A 40rnd burst should hit the ******. 50 cal HMG is very accurate.
what exactly is a Horace reticule and how would one work can you tell me please?
That's a (phonetic) typo. Its a 'Horus' reticule. It basically is a reticle with multiple milliradian markings in the First Focal Plane so that the sniper can quickly make windage, holdovers, holdunders and lead corrections without the need to make adjustments to the elevation or windage dials.

Personally I think that they look a bit cluttered and I prefer the P4F reticle on my Schmidt and Bender.

Thanks to all for the expert opinions.

Those of us who are unfamiliar with the Horus reticule and system might like to watch the promotional video:


It would seem to be easier to adopt if you're new to the craft. That should help bulk up numbers of designated marksmen.


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