Falklands War Sniper Rifle

Chelonian

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@Caversham recently posted a link to an interesting feature about a new, high-tech, carbon fibre Russian sniper rifle. Arguably the UK has contributed more to the craft of marksmanship in general—and sniping in particular—than any other nation.
In some UK military circles sniping fell out of fashion duriing the 1970s but the Royal Marines almost certainly did more to keep the skills alive than any other service.

Below is a link to an NRA feature from 2016. The title 'Royal Marine Sniper vs. Warship: Sniper Wins' doesn't quite tell the whole story but for anyone unfamiliar with the action on South Georgia in 1982 it's a good read:

https://www.americanrifleman.org/articles/2016/4/21/royal-marine-sniper-vs-warship-sniper-wins/

The type of weapon described in the feature is the middle one in this line up of three generations of UK sniper rifles:

vintage_L96A1_L42A1_No4T.jpg

Image pinched from a FB group.
 

Caversham

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The KB in the Troop that I rejoined after recovering from injury, also won the shooting medal. He went onto become a PW1 and eventually a sniper instructor. He also became a six times Queens Medalist at Bisley and then towards the end of his 34 year career, general secretary of the Royal Marines Rifle Association.

He was an avid supporter of the role of snipers and did a lot to ensure that the specialisation remained within the Corps. He once wrote an excellent article about snipers and made the point extremely well that at 20p per round, a well trained sniper offered far better value per kill than any other form of weaponry. He was awarded an MBE for his services.

The last I heard he had become a firearms advisor for a Police Force.

Alan
 

Fibonarchie

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“To few, to far” is a book of the battle, I believe written by one of the marines there.
 

Rover

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upload_2018-1-21_10-32-26.jpeg

Dragunov Sniper Rifle.

Good job the Argentineans did not have this.
 

ThreadpigeonsAlpha

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Not going to lie. This thread is turning me on a little bit.

I remember getting the chance to fire a .50 sniper rifle. Damn near creamed my panties.
 

Rover

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Not going to lie. This thread is turning me on a little bit.

Enjoy......


From a post on OAMAAM.

Things have moved on and continue to develop. The deployment of snipers is covered at staff college (CO's course) = not just for deployment as a force multiplier weapon/obs/surveillance capability - but also for ISTAR integration. See below:

RM sniper course are 13 weeks – was 5 weeks (my course) having recently been increased from 9 weeks - this is after attending a 1 week selection – additional focus on marksmanship

Reconnaissance Troop in 40 & 45 (includes a sniper section)

42 commando now the home of the Maritime Sniper Team

Juliet Company 42 Commando fields specialised Maritime Sniper Teams (MST). These 2-man teams deploy on Lynx and Merlin helicopters that are operating from Royal Navy vessels on maritime security and counter narcotics operations.

Note: MSTs were previously deployed by S Squadron 43 Commando. S Squadron was moved into Juliet Company 42 Commando in 2017 when 42 Commando re-roled as a Maritime Operations Commando.

The role of an MST is to provide overwatch for Royal Marines / Royal Navy boarding teams. When supporting Fleet Standby Rifle Troop (FSRT) missions, a single MST is deployed. Operations by the Fleet Contingency Troop (FCT) - which may involve opposed boardings with hostages onboard - are usually supported by 2 teams in 2 helicopters.

Maritime Sniper Team - Weapons

The MST have 3 different weapon systems available to them.

Depending on the mission, they may use a designated marksman rifle (DMR). This is a semi-automatic, scoped rifle, chambered in 7.62mm x 51mm NATO. MSTs have used variants of the Heckler and Koch G3 rifle in this role, and more recently, the L129A1 Sharpshooter rifle.

If more firepower is needed, the MST sniper can turn to the L121A1 anti-material rifle. This bolt-action weapon fires a .50 BMG round which can disable boat's engine, a method employed against smuggler's speed boats. In this role, the L129A1 is fitted with a short range optic such as an EOTECH red dot.

Finally, MSTs are trained in the use of Royal Navy helicopter door guns such as the .50 Cal M3M heavy machine gun mounted in the Wildcat HMA2.


British Army Sniper Training

Snipers with the Parachute Regiment and Household Cavalry learn their trade at the Household Division and Parachute Regiment Centralised Courses (HDPRCC) school at Pirbright, Surrey, England. The HDPRCC sniper course is 9 weeks long, split into marksmanship (firing the L115a3) and field craft (stalking, concealment etc.) modules.

For other army cap badges, each battalion runs its own sniper selection cadre. Students who pass their unit's SSC then attend the Basic Sniper Course (Part 1) run by Sniper Division, Support Weapons School at the Infantry Battle School (IBS) at Brecon in Wales. This is a multi-week course that covers marksmanship. Students then return to their unit for Part 2, which covers field craft.


Further training may be undergone at Sniper Wing, Direct Fire Support Division, Specialist Weapons School, Warminster via a Sniper Commanders Course. This 12 week advanced course teaches the command, planning and logistical skills needed for the role of Sniper Section Commander and Sniper Platoon Commander. The course includes Urban Operations, Counter Sniping, Command and Control and Tactical employment modules. They are also trained to act as instructors for their unit's sniper cadres. The course is also open to Royal Marines and RAF Regiment snipers.

RAF Regiment Sniper Training

RAF Regiment snipers go through a 9 week selection and training program held 3 times a year at RAF Regiment Training Wing, RAF Honington.

The first part is a 4-week sniper selection course. The program begins with a Sharpshooter Course which provides a grounding in marksmanship and field craft.

Only 12 of the initial 24 students are then selected to go on to Basic Sniper Course. This is a 5 week course that covers use of the L115a3 rifle, judging distance, camouflage and concealment, stalking, map reading and observation, shooting, sniper knowledge and RAF Regiment sniper doctrine and tactics. The course culminates in a 2-week-long practical exercise. This includes 'the stalk' - in which students attempt to infiltrate across 1.5km of terrain, get in position, fire their weapon and withdraw to a safe area, all without being spotted by the instructors.

RAF Sniper Section Commanders undergo a 7 week Sniper Section Commanders course which enables them to command a sniper section in a RAF Regiment Field Squadron. It also qualifies them as a sniper instructor capable of running continuation training at a Field Squadron level.
 

Chelonian

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Not going to lie. This thread is turning me on a little bit.

Some more sniper rifle porn. These weapons are freely available on the open market if one holds the required Fireams Certificate. Basically no different from any other bolt-action rifle.

This Accuracy International example (with accessories, including killflash) recently appeared for sale. It's a civilian equivalent clone of the L115A3:

L115A3.jpg

Back in the day I owned a bog-standard ·303 Lee Enfield Mk 2 No. 4 rifle and I always hankered after a L42A1 but could never justify the expense. Many L42A1s—like this example below—are now in private ownership and much loved:

l42a1-1.jpg
 
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