Sniping Tidbits

  • The term sniper was developed during the 19th century during the British occupation of India. The term referred to a hunter of snipes, a game bird.
  • Ghillie suits were developed by Scottish game wardens during the 19th century to catch poachers.
  • Hiram Berdan (North) and Robert E. Lee (South) were the first in history to set up units of designated marksman or sharpshooters, this happened during the American Civil War.
  • The Germans, during WWI, were the first to use specially trained snipers.
  • The USSR was the first to employ snipers in two-man teams.
  • Hisketh Pritchard started the first Allied sniper school. (During WWI in the UK, trained both British and American snipers.)
  • Kipling devised the KIMs game for use by Canadian Snipers.
  • The best estimate as to the average amount of rounds expended per kill in the Vietnam Conflict (For U.S. Army Soldiers) is 200,000. The average rounds expended per kill by U.S. Army snipers in Vietnam was 1.3
  • The first U.S. Army sniper school was set up in 1954-55 during the Korean war (though after the cease fire) by the AMU (Army Marksmanship Unit)
  • The current U.S. Army sniper school was established in 1987
  • There is a sign at the USMC sniper school that reads “The average rounds expended per kill with the M16 in Vietnam was 50,000. Snipers averaged 1.3 rounds. The cost difference was $2300 v. 27 cents.”
  • In World War II, German snipers recieved the following rewards: 20 Kills – Wrist Watch 40 Kills – Hunting Rifle 60 Kills – A personal hunting trip with Hermann Goring
  • The U.S. Army determined that the average soldier will only hit a man size target 10% of the time at 300 meters with the M16A2 rifle. The U.S. Army standard for snipers is to hit 90% first round hits at 600 meters with the M24 SWS. That is at least an 1800% improvement over the average soldier.
  • The most kills achieved by a female sniper was by Lyudmila M. Pavlichenko, a Soviet sniper from the Ukraine in WWII. She is credited with killing 309 enemy soldiers.
  • The USMC Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) for Scout Sniper is now 0317, formerly 8541
  • The US Army MOS identifier is B4 (Bravo Four) which is appended to your MOS (11B20B4, etc)
  • The longest documented unclassified confirm kill by a sniper team is 2475 meters (2706 yards) accomplished by a UK sniper, Craig Harrison, in Afghanistan using a L115A3 338 Lapua sniper rifle in November 2009.
  • The longest kill, that we know of, is a confirmed kill at 3,540 meters (3,871 yards) by a Canadian special forces sniper attached to Joint Task Force 2 using a McMillan Tac-50 .50 BMG sniper rifle. The sniper’s name and other details are classified.

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