SST & Snipers

Snipers the Basics

Military snipers from Caprica, Leonis, and other colonies that adopt their military doctrine are typically deployed in two-man sniper teams consisting of a shooter and spotter. A common practice is for a shooter and a spotter to take turns in order to avoid eye fatigue.
Typical sniper missions include reconnaissance and surveillance, target marking for air-strikes, counter-sniper, killing enemy commanders, selecting targets of opportunity, and even anti-matériel tasks (destruction of military equipment), which tend to require use of rifles in the larger calibers such as the .50 BMG.1



Good training is essential to provide a sniper with the skills needed to perform well. Military sniper training aims to teach a high degree of proficiency in camouflage and concealment, stalking and observation as well as precision marksmanship under various operational conditions. Trainees typically shoot thousands of rounds over a number of weeks, while learning these core skills.

Snipers are trained to squeeze the trigger straight back with the ball of their finger, to avoid jerking the gun sideways. The most accurate position is prone, with a sandbag supporting the stock, and the stock's cheek-piece against the cheek. In the field, a bipod can be used instead. Sometimes a sling is wrapped around the weak arm (or both) to reduce stock movement. Some doctrines train a sniper to breathe deeply before shooting, then hold their lungs empty while they line up and take their shot. Some go further, teaching their snipers to shoot between heartbeats to minimize barrel motion.

The Math of a Sniper

To determine the range to a target without a laser rangefinder, the sniper must use the mil dot reticle on a scope to accurately find the range. Mil dots are used like a slide rule to measure the height of a target, and if the height is known, the range can be as well. The height of the target (in yards) ×1000, divided by the height of the target (in mils), gives the range in yards. This is only in general, however, as both scope magnification (7×, 40×) and mil dot spacing change. The USMC standard is that 1 mil (that is, 1 milliradian) equals 3.438 MOA (minute of arc, or, equivalently, minute of angle), while the US Army standard is 3.6 MOA, chosen so as to give a diameter of 1 yard (36 inches) at 1,000 yards (1,000 m). Many commercial manufacturers use 3.5, splitting the difference, since it is easier with which to work.

Explanation: 1 MIL = 1 milli-radian. That is, 1 MIL = 1x10^-3 radian. But, 10^-3 rad x (360 deg/ (2 x Pi) radians) = 0.0573 degrees. Now, 1 MOA = 1/60 degree = 0.01667 degrees. Hence, there are 0.0573/0.01667 = 3.43775 MOA per MIL, where MIL is defined as a milli-radian. On the other hand, defining a mil-dot by the Caprican Marine way, to equate it to 1-yard (1 m) at 1,000 yards (1,000 m), means the Marine's mil-dot is approximately 3.6 MOA.




Often in situations with multiple targets, snipers must use a special kind of tactic. After firing a few shots from a certain position, snipers are known to move unseen to another location before the enemy can figure where he is and mount a counterattack. Snipers will frequently use this tactic to their advantage, creating an atmosphere of chaos and confusion. An experienced marksman will make it seem as if an entire squad of snipers is engaging the targets. In sniper jargon, this is known as "relocating".

Sound masking

As sniper rifles are often extremely powerful and consequently loud, it is common for snipers to use a technique known as sound masking. This tactic, in the hands of a highly skilled marksman, can be used as a substitute for a noise suppressor. Very loud sounds in the environment, such as artillery shells air bursting or claps of thunder, can often mask the sound of the shot. This technique is frequently used in clandestine operations and infiltration tactics.


Establish Fields of Fire

Once a Sniper Team has setup an position, to ease the work between Shooter and Spotter a field of Fire is established.
Three to five points, easily recognized in the terrain is picked out, the range established and a codename issued.
Example: Blown out house at the end of the road by the lamp post, range 400, name House.
When targets appear, it will quicken the designation and targeting by simply choosing the closest 'codename' and then add noted amount of marks in the scopes/binoculars reticle.
If without any optic aids, knuckles often works as measurements.
Example: House, two left. Cylon moving east to west.

Duties of an SST Member



* Support combat operations by delivering precision fire on selected targets.
* Establish concealed sniper/observation sites from which targets are analyzed, engaged, and information gathered.
* Use map and compass for day or night land navigation.
* Operate and maintain weapons and optical equipment employed by the scout sniper team.

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