CONTRIBUTOR’S NOTE: Here’s part II of my post on SOCOM’s search for a precisions sniper rifle. The comments below come from an active SEAL sniper in the field now.

In the search for the best all around sniper support/modern battle rifle, I’m thinking of a gas piston system vs. a gas impingement system. This does three things: 1) keeps carbon and debris out of the chamber 2) provides the ability to adjust to accommodate suppressors and increased rate of fire 3) eliminates need for a buffer tube, allowing for folding and fixed stock options. 

Which leads to my second requirement for a folding yet adjustable stock and cheek weld 1) for varieties in length of pull, amount of armor or other gear between shoulder and stock 2) length reduction, think mobility transitions, PSD, parachuting, packing in/concealment/silhouette etc.

Third point, swappable and free-floating barrels with length and twist rate configurations, 10 inch to 20+ depending on the mission (important note here: weapon to not require a specialty tool for any modifications). 

Fourth, integrated rail system with enough length to accommodate back up iron sites, primary optic, magnifier and night vision optics, as well as the ability to accept the FN40GL. 

 

Fifth, non-reciprocating side charging handle 1) eliminates need for shooter to break cheek weld to cycle weapon 2) eliminates need for forward assist button as you can seat the round in the chamber by pushing the charging handle forward 3)  non-reciprocating charging handle allows for traditional shooting positions for practical and competition applications  4) charging handle capable of ambidextrous setup for left or right handed shooter, adaptable to offhand shooting positions and wounded shooter operation. 

Sixth, ambidextrous buttonology (magazine release, selector switch) for the same reasons mentioned above.  Seventh, this must be offered in primarily and at the very least .308 caliber/7.62 by 51mm and adaptable down to .223/5.56. 

Eighth, must accept traditional magazines for both the SR-25 and M4 in the rifles converted form.

Ninth, just a reminder, no requirement of specialty tools for any modifications!  See the Robinson XCR, The Magpul Masoud and Massada/Remington/Bushmaster ACR, The FN SCAR L/H, SCAR Heavy with a conversion kit for 5.56.

{ 83 comments… read them below or add one }

SgtA January 12, 2011 at 10:17 am

I don't see how this describes a precision rifle in any way, more so an accurized battle rifle. Drop a requirement or two and you've described accurately ever existing platform out there, so this isn't a terribly 'new' requirement, as RFP's for those systems have already emerged. While a Massoud or SCAR-H SSR most closely matches this, KAC's EMC, the British L129, new Colt modular rifle, or even the Mk14 rifles meet the majority of these descriptions.
The gas piston argument also falls short on a precision weapon, especially since the chamber will still end up coated in carbon under any volume of firing, and other options already exist to modify gas volume for suppressed and unsuppressed firing, such as the Noveske switchblock.
Weight is still going to become a paramount consideration for these – folding stocks, gas pistons, extended modular rail systems, and toolless barrel trunnions with RTZ ability all add weight, so it's back to the issue that a rifle that can do anything become too heavy to take anywhere.

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Walter January 12, 2011 at 10:20 am

At least they didn't request a soft serve ice cream machine on it.

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terry January 12, 2011 at 10:26 am

SgtA , Right on target !!!!! another lame article pushing a very narrow view because somebody thinks there an expert?? Ha!!!

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Justin January 12, 2011 at 11:40 am

The author is a former SEAL sniper (who according to his posted credentials had 13 years in the teams), and he states that these comments come from a fellow SEAL sniper in the field. Would you rather take the view of some gun writer who has never seen combat, or a Navy SEAL from the tip of the spear? I thought the article sounded like the same set of requirements that have been floating around for a while, nothing new, but that doesn't justify your arrogant comment.

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theCelt January 12, 2011 at 11:54 am

If you can get something like that and have it be extremely accurate go ahead, but it seems like an assault rifle to me.

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Dominik January 12, 2011 at 12:05 pm

That's where the "/modern battle rifle" comes in.

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Simester January 12, 2011 at 5:24 pm

I agree with the critical posts; this reads more like 'What a SEAL wants in a rifle' rather than 'What a SEAL wants in a precision sniper rifle'….

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Unistat January 12, 2011 at 5:51 pm

Well, to be fair, doesn't everybody who shoots a rifle want it to be precise?

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carg January 12, 2011 at 6:03 pm

Shouldn't there be a distinction made between SF sniper and regular sniper.

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Dan January 12, 2011 at 6:24 pm

LWRC REPR

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Jon January 12, 2011 at 6:35 pm

LWRC carbines used in Afghanistan by the DEA are crap. They're great for urban SWAT and personal defense on the homefront, but those guns were so bad in the Afghan sand the DEA agents my buddy was deployed with were begging for the Colt M4s the GIs had.

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Archie January 12, 2011 at 10:47 pm

Would love to see something to back that statement up other than a "my buddy" statement…

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Cold&Wet January 12, 2011 at 7:41 pm

Poster NOT an active SEAL or one with combat deployments. How about: "What a former SEAL, sniper qualed with nowhere near 13 yrs in the Teams wants"

Gas pistons do not keep carbon and debris out of the chamber, in fact the HK416 & 417 are very dirty in this regard. There are serious detriments to "gas piston". Louder with suppressors. More substantial recoil impulse. There is no specific ability to adjust for suppressors inherent in gas pistons any more than a DI weapon. HK416 no adjust, some versions 417 adjust. A variable gas port is a design feature than can be added to any gas driven weapon DI or not. A folding stock, as apposed to a collapsable stock has little to offer in an accurized semi weapon. LOP adjust, great, folding.. for what?

TIn the search for the best all around sniper support/modern battle rifle, I’m thinking of a gas piston system vs. a gas impingement system. This does three things: 1) keeps carbon and debris out of the chamber 2) provides the ability to adjust to accommodate suppressors and increased rate of fire 3) eliminates need for a buffer tube, allowing for folding and fixed stock options.

10-20 variable barrel length, variable twist..right… how much dope is one supposed to become unconciously competant with. Pick a format, likely 18" in .308 or 22"-24" n .338 and know your dope in & out.

All SOF sniper systems presently have enough rail space for the electrico optic suite needed for whatever mission set. Rails needed, really?

Ability to mount a grenade launcher on a sniper support weapon, wtf? 1/2 ass cumbersome comprimise that sucks, bad. Grenadiers should use a dedicated platform. The 6rd drum milkor doesn't suck and immediate correction for rds on tgt rules.

Ambi controls are nice, ala Robarms XCR or remington ACR, esp for assaulters and others trying to expose limited body parts for a second or two, taking low percentage shots.. but for a sniper support weapon not so critical.

"must accept sr25 or m4 magazines" who cares about legacy crap, move forward. And to gear weapons toward a disposable $6-15 magazine is ridiculous. The 6x35mm KAC & 7x46mm murry both are remarkable cartridges with fantastic performance envelopes.. if adopted would do well.

Clearly the OP hasn't had his claws on the hk416/417, KAC xm110 carbine, or other less viewed leading developments in the field. The points brought up indicate to me no recent or relevant activities in warfighting or RDT&E

Which leads to my second requirement for a folding yet adjustable stock and cheek weld 1) varieties in length of pull, amount of armor or other gear between shoulder and stock 2) length reduction, think mobility transitions, PSD, parachuting, packing in/concealment/silhouette etc.

Third point, swappable and free-floating barrels with length and twist rate configurations, 10 inch to 20+ depending on the mission (important note here: weapon to not require a specialty tool for any modifications).

Fourth, integrated rail system with enough length to accommodate back up iron sites, primary optic, magnifier and night vision optics, as well as the ability to accept the FN40GL.

Fifth, non-reciprocating side charging handle 1) eliminates need for shooter to break cheek weld to cycle weapon 2) eliminates need for forward assist button as you can seat the round in the chamber by pushing the charging handle forward 3) non-reciprocating charging handle allows for traditional shooting positions for practical and competition applications 4) charging handle capable of ambidextrous setup for left or right handed shooter, adaptable to offhand shooting positions and wounded shooter operation.

Sixth, ambidextrous buttonology (magazine release, selector switch) for the same reasons mentioned above. Seventh, this must be offered in primarily and at the very least .308 caliber/7.62 by 51mm and adaptable down to .223/5.56.

Eighth, must accept traditional magazines for both the SR-25 and M4 in the rifles converted form.

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Stefan S. January 13, 2011 at 12:45 am

Just because your a SEAL doesn't mean you are the only ones who can shoot. I'm not a SEAL but this former SOF guy hits bowling pins at 1K yds. NP. There are kids in Somalia with more kills than most of us. Combined. – Cappesch?

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eric January 13, 2011 at 1:46 am

a) You should take the time to look something up before you type; this wasn't posted by Christian, but by another guy who has supposedly retired from the teams, and he says himself that these requests were made by a different person, an active duty SEAL sniper.

b) The cleanliness of piston vs. impingement directly relates to the design of the producer; piston offers a drastic reduction in overall parts movement, allowing fewer things to fail by their motion being impeded from carbon buildup. If you've forgotten, the AK is a gas piston rifle, widely regarded for accuracy (although done so by foregoing accuracy). Piston AR variants experience trouble because of the AR template was not designed to be piston-driven, issues pertaining to gas block cleaning and the exposed op rod. While the DI system works amazingly under the right conditions, there is potential to create a piston rifle that eliminates the major problems the AR-15 does experience. That is what Magpul was trying to create with the ACR and all the entrants to the SCAR tests.

c) He addressed the issue of a folding stock: modularity and lower profile

d) The GL, barrel length and Ambi requests are made in the hope that the operator will only need one rifle for their deployment, where in the case they may need to be attached to a DA role they can simply reorganize their rifle, instead of trying to find a std. carbine (although I do agree that having to re-sight for each barrel/cartridge/optic is not something that seems superbly logical). That, and these guys don't exactly carry a grenadier around with them, no sniper does. They have limited manpower and try to pack as much firepower in as they can, which is why most Marine snipers in their 3/6 man teams carry 203's on each of the M4's they bring.

d) the reliance on STANAG mags/cartridges is just because they are available in-country, partially because they can take mags from regular units if need be. The fewer deviations there are, the more likely you are to find ammo when you need it.

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Chuck Pierce January 13, 2011 at 3:50 am

Please do not jump on me for what I am about to ask. What do SEALS do, I always though that the Marines were the special operators for the Navy. I do have to admit that they are well trained and do a great job. But…….

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Riceball January 13, 2011 at 6:47 am

No, as good as Marines are we are not special operators, we serve as both a force in readiness (able to get anywhere with a shore line with a reinforced battalion sized unit within 48 hours) as well as an amphibious force for forced entries onto an enemy shoreline. But, the Marines do also have their spec-ops types of their own as well as units within SOCOM but even though we are considered to be an elite military force only the spec-ops types within the Corps are SEAL, Delta, & Special Forces level elite.

As for the SEALs, they're are the Navy's spec-ops types. Their mission varies but it often involves going to places where they technically shouldn't be and either getting a lay of the land and reporting back or bringing on a world of hurt to the bad guys. One SEAL team, SEAL Team 6 IIRC, is specifically trained and tasked for the counter terrorism mission like Delta is supposed to be.

Hope that helps some. You can definitely find more out just by doing a search online, Wikipedia, though not always accurate, is a good start.

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Wake January 13, 2011 at 9:34 am

Nice post. The "spec-ops types" being referred here are often more formally referred to as SOF (Special Operations Forces) – usually the units under SOCOM's command. Also, Team 6 is often referred to as DevGru (Naval Special Warfare Development Group, I believe), although I think I remember reading that they and Delta Force (CAG, Combat Applications Group) were both recently renamed to keep their profile low.

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MarkM January 13, 2011 at 4:26 am

Di is a gas piston action. Whether the piston is on the barrel or in the bolt carrier, gas directly impinges the piston face and it gets dirty. Pistons with operating rods that then move the bolt ADD more parts, it's the inherent engineering of DI that makes it LESS complicated with FEWER moving parts. Take a longer look – the back of the DI bolt is the piston face, when the pressure cycle hits, it remains stationary, the gas cylinder is what moves.

Chamber deposits are entirely caused by blowback from the barrel as the case is extracted. All self loading actions get residue in the chamber because of it, piston, DI, or roller lock. Little to no residue can make it into the chamber from the DI action, it's ported into the gas key, directed into the carrier cylinder, and as the bolt carrier assembly expands, is exhausted out the twin ports facing the ejection port.

Regardless of the experience level of a lot of users, they miss the fundamental engineering elegance of Stoner's system and how it works as a firearms design. Then again, they aren't necessarily tech heads, users shoot, move, and communicate as a priority. Sciencing out little details like whether it really makes any difference where an adjustable gas block should go is not their specialty. They just use the thing, they don't wire it with transducers and read temps off an infra red thermometer. Getting the dope on the ammo's ballistics at every ten yards is more important to their activities.

I appreciate the rest of the observations of what a sniper/combat rifle needs, when it comes to the action, I'll leave it to weapons engineers who study gunpowder, materials, construction techniques, and suffer the hassles of cost/benefit ratios. User input is extremely important, no doubt, and the latest combat rifles certainly are better for it, but user input is only as good as it's factual understanding makes it.

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RustyShovel January 13, 2011 at 6:09 am

Brandon is right. The title of the article doesn't match the content. A "precision sniper rifle" and a "sniper support / battle rifle" are two very different things.

The article's title needs to be changed to avoid further confusion.

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Infidel4LIFE January 13, 2011 at 6:27 am

Im probably wrong, but the LWRC SABR may be in this class. It has a 14 and 20 inch interchangeable barrels, its 7.62 and comes w/ a suppressor. Im sure there are plenty of options.

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Neal January 13, 2011 at 6:47 am

A paracord loop on the specialized tool, or just stuff it into the stock, forearm, pistol grip, etc. I don't see anything really wrong with it. With a little more development time and a little gubment R&D money, the XCR could meet all of these objectives.
This is kind of reaching into the "all-in-one rifle" idea again. But, I'm not a groundpunder, or a SEAL, or an airman, or a grunt, leatherneck, devil dog, soldier, or sailor. So, as always, your mileage may vary.

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Doc LZ January 13, 2011 at 7:11 am

apparently you have not had to use a gas tube weapon very much. Yes a piston sysytem will leave some carbon but a gas tube unit pushed a significant amount of additional carbon.

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Jose Diaz January 13, 2011 at 8:41 am

Gentlemen,
It is nice to have all these good things around when you need them but in essence the basic message is:
"Most of the time it's not the arrow who is at fault but the Indian"

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theCelt January 14, 2011 at 7:45 am

Understood, but what's with the sniper rifle part of it?

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SEALs are 2nd January 15, 2011 at 1:21 pm

Gents. Here are some facts that cannot be disputed. SEALs are made up of former cooks, bakers, and candlestick makers who go through 6 months of training and are all of the sudden "America's tip of the spear." Realistic? Hardly. I'd say that when it comes to shooting, patrolling, and everything that has to do with land warfare, SEALs are no where near the top. Rangers, Marines, Army SF, Marine SOFs, Recon, and SS's are far more advanced. More facts. The men in these units have been shooting, patrolling, and everything land related, for way longer. Everything that the SEAL/BUDs program has learned has either been learned from the Marines or Army. My point is: SEAL sniper's input should be taken with a grain of salt.

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crackedlenses January 15, 2011 at 2:42 pm

The Army's special operations do not spend half as much time doing maritime operations as the SEALs, if I am not mistaken…..

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brandon January 16, 2011 at 2:11 pm

Spoken like a true gentleman and don't believe everything you see on the Discovery Channel or Wikipedia.

All respect to Rangers, Army SF, Delta, Air Force and USMC (fought with all of them in Afghanistan and they're all solid)

SEAL Fact#1-the 6 month training is only a selection process……then you begin approx. 24-months of advanced tactical training. Fact#2-when it's dark, cold and stormy, no one wants anything to do with it or has the training to cope. -Brandon

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Former Sub sailor January 16, 2011 at 7:25 pm

That is among the most idiotic of comments I have ever read on this site, and I've seen a few. First of all, SEALs can be selected from other enlisted NEC's, but they can also join up and go straight to the seal training program. More "facts":The men in any unit have only been patrolling, shooting, and everything else, for as long as they have been doing it. Just because the Army or Marines are 200 years old, doesn't mean you have your great great great whatever out there running a LRRP. The Marine's or Army's instructors may have a longer tradition, but it's retarded to think that they would have held back or only passed on select skills to the other branches.
My point is: to say categorically that one SF operator is better than another just based on what branch they're from is amazingly asinine.

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Former Sub sailor January 16, 2011 at 8:02 pm

Since my response to "SEALs are 2nd" is apparently deleted, here it is again: This is about the most idiotic thing I've ever seen on these boards, and that's saying something. First of all, while SEAL's can opt in from a variety of other NEC's, they can also go straight to BUD/S from boot camp. Also, while the Army and Marines might be 200 years old, your great great great whatever isn't still out there running patrols. Main "fact": Someone out there has been shooting, patrolling, and everything land related for as long as they've been doing it, not their service. While I'm no expert on all the schools that SF operators go through, I do know that quite a few are cross-branch. To think that an instructor is going to hold back or not teach a certain skillset to a certain student just because they're from a different branch is ludicrous.
My point is: Categorically stating that one SF operator is better than another just because of the initials after their name is quite asinine. Training has a lot to do with is, but so does the individual's own character and innate abilities.

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SEALs are 2nd January 17, 2011 at 1:27 am

Great point. Still doesn't negate the facts. It is said that SEALs are America's premier maritime force, (even that's debatable according to Marine Force Recon who's lineage is Marine Raiders who've taught UDT's everything maritime.) No offense to SEALs, their great at ship takedown's,VBSS and such. The truth is however that Marine and Army soldiers have a longer history, therefore a greater advantage of lessons learned and lessons taught than that of the Navy SEAL snipers. Not that some SEALs aren't great snipers, its just that the average Marine and Soldier sniper is more trained and proficient at sniping than the average SEAL sniper. It's an easy truth to understand, the proof is in the history.

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eric January 17, 2011 at 12:47 am

Have you ever met any SEALs? Because I know 4 that can drop a .308 Win on a half dollar at 800 yards with variable cross winds. The raw physicality, mental tenacity, and intelligence required to make it through BUD/S hold back all but the best in the service. While the other traditionally land-based services do make part of their selection though the identification of advanced soldiers, it's just as easy to try out right from the start with the 18x option which is similar, if not easier without the swim, than the screen for BUD/S. They may not necessarily be the most naturally talented, but they come out of it with no operational deficiency because of it.

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Stefan S. January 17, 2011 at 4:31 am

A TRUE quiet Professional won't tell you he's this or that. Actions speak volumes!

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seagoingbellhop January 19, 2011 at 6:12 am

sounds as if, the acr is a good solution, collapsable, easily converted with no tool, flattop, good range{depends on the operator}, high cap, supressable, so audio and visual profile are controlable.. sounds like a good middle ground, with remington now producing it, its got achievable production rates

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seagoingbellhop January 19, 2011 at 6:18 am

the devgru.,, to my knowledge is the same team still

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seagoingbellhop January 19, 2011 at 6:32 am

lol, you keep telling yourself that one tinkerbell, someof the best operator's i've had teh distinction of working with are teams, their professional, trained up right and highly skilled, get into a nail drivin contest with their shooters you'd better have a fat wallet, its gonna be alot lighter when all is said and done.. so children shut up and let the adults talk

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John G January 19, 2011 at 6:33 am

Several years ago, the History Channel ran a program about the the various SF branches in the US military. At one point in the show they were interviewing a former CO of Delta Force (now called 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment – Delta,) which is the Army's elite SF unit, and they raised the question of which SF branch had the best and toughest training. Bear in mind that this guy was career Army and rose through the ranks to command their most elite SF team. He said that without a doubt the SEALs had the toughest training and were the best-trained US SF operators.

And I'm betting he's far more knowledgeable of this subject than anyone posting on this forum. All our SF guys are top notch, tough and deadly, but if a career Army SF officer and former CO of Delta Force says the SEALs are the best, that's good enough for me.

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SEALs are 2nd January 19, 2011 at 1:20 pm

Gentlemen, my statement wasn't whether or not the SEALs have tough training, or whether or not they're qualified operators. The answer to both by the way is a commanding YES. My statement is that, though SEALs are reputable Maritime SF operators, when it comes to sniping they're 2nd tier. Lets make and exception for DEV-GRU of course strictly because they have access to other sniper schools and their snipers most likely have much more gun time then the average "team guy."

My conclusion is a result of the history of each services' sniping program, the content of training, and the success rate of their snipers in combat. If we look at the Marines and Army, their programs have been around considerably longer. This is a factor because it allows the snipers to review the pattern of lessons learned in both successes and failures.

FACT: SEALs were attending Marine Snipers Schools until the early 2000s, when they opened their own school.

If we break it down a little further, I believe that Soldier and Marine snipers in the Infantry are more skilled snipers than the average SF sniper in any service. This is because these men wear only one hat. SF operators wear many hats and to them sniping is just one of their skills. Whats the old adage " I'm not as scared as the man with 100 guns, I'm scared of the man with 1 gun who knows how to use it well."

I've wasted enough time on this subject . SEALs are good shooters, and killers but aren't the best snipers, by far.

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crackedlenses January 19, 2011 at 1:22 pm

If the man has only one gun, I can figure a way around it. If the man has 100 guns and is reasonably good with all of them the chances of my survival significantly decrease…..

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Steve January 20, 2011 at 1:10 am

What a douche.
"FACT: SEALs were attending Marine Snipers Schools until the early 2000s, when they opened their own school."
Where you getting your "FACT"?
So what you are trying to tell everyone is:
You have been a shooter AND an INSTRUCTOR at Army, Marine Corps, Army SF, and Navy SEAL Sniper schools and thus know who is best (or not the best).
Like I said, what a douche.
P.S. SEALs have had their own school since 80's, they ALSO attended (and occasionally still do) Army SF, and USMC Sniper schools.
You are an uninformed purveyor of B.S.

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Agent Orange January 19, 2011 at 7:29 pm

I'm wondering if you made those observations after you washed out of SEAL training?

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Steve January 20, 2011 at 1:37 am

What a douche.
++Poster NOT an active SEAL or one with combat deployments. How about: "What a former SEAL, sniper qualed with nowhere near 13 yrs in the Teams wants"++
I personally know Brandon (guy giving his opinion in the article) he is a veteran of OEF/Afganistan.
So shut your stupid mouth, douche.

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Steve January 20, 2011 at 1:43 am

What a douche.
"In the search for the best all around sniper support/modern battle rifle, I’m thinking of a gas piston system vs. a gas impingement system."
You don't read so good, do you?
"all around sniper SUPPORT/MODERN BATTLE RIFLE,"

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Steve January 20, 2011 at 1:46 am

Really? It is right there in black and white…
"In the search for the best all around sniper support/modern battle rifle, I’m thinking of a gas piston system vs. a gas impingement system."
You don't read so good, do you?
"all around sniper SUPPORT/MODERN BATTLE RIFLE,"

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Steve January 20, 2011 at 1:50 am

R-E-A-D IT!
"In the search for the best all around sniper support/modern battle rifle, I’m thinking of a gas piston system vs. a gas impingement system."
YOU DON'T READ SO GOOD, DO YOU?
"all around sniper SUPPORT/MODERN BATTLE RIFLE,"

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ELETE January 20, 2011 at 8:22 am

For those of you who think SEALs are not the ELETE ,what do you do? Have you ever tried becoming a seal? If you did i`m sure you are one of those who quit the first week of bud`s and are still pissed with us because you could not cut it, you quit the seals the seals did`nt quit you. Grow up, do your job the best you can and give respect where repect is due. TO THE ELETE.

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Over and Out January 20, 2011 at 6:51 pm

Elete?

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WCM January 20, 2011 at 12:42 pm

For those of you who have served, are serving or will serve in this wonderful country's Armed forces, I have a Big Thank you for your service!
For those of you playing cowboy in the firearms industry having never served I say STFU!

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actionwriter January 20, 2011 at 5:30 pm

Humerous. SEALS are "2'nd tier?" Where di Gomer get that? I guess the "First Tier" need a break and thats why SEALS are called to take out the pirates, terrorists and the first choice of DHS, CIA and in country? WHO is it that you consider "First Tier" Poster? Second misinformation fact; SEALS trained with marines early on but were the best of the best waaay before they "opened their own school in 2000" They were trained at SWUPAC on board NAS North Island back in 1960. Look in the station paper THE NORTH ISLANDER and you will see an article on them written by yours truly. They were located in a small secured area on the quay wall by the Coronado gate. Keep the information strait if you are going to post it.

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Over and Out January 20, 2011 at 6:50 pm

@actionwriter

Doubt you wrote about it with the way you spell. Humerous? Di? Strait? Just saying

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Fred January 21, 2011 at 12:47 am

call me old school ut you just could not beat the M24 or the M40 for a precision shot….and the barrett "for those MUST HAVE LONG SHOTS" although the barrett was a heavy weapon….16 years as a army sniper the conditions i worked in way different than those of the seals or even todays army……

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Michael G. Foth January 21, 2011 at 7:22 am

Agree wholeheartedly.

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Michael G. Foth January 21, 2011 at 8:04 am

Wow, what kind of sniping are we talking about. I think, after being only Army since 1968, there is no one best branch/field/.what ever. First of all, all of our training, mental, physical and tactical sometimes don't mean squat. If you are in the wrong place at the wrong time… Every military member should strive to be the best they can. If you look me in the eye and tell me you will stand by my side, I would go back to war with you tomorrow – Army, Navy, USMC (Semper Fi !), SF, Ranger, SEAL, whom ever. (BTW, I was that grey haired LTC watching your initial training at Bragg in 2005 – better thee than me! (BTW2 – we ALL have our personal preference in weapons – M14, heavier than crap, but reliable – we took it in shower to clean it!! – Beretta M9 – no so much!) (You can email me until AKO kicks retirees off web mail) – C'mon, one Team, one FIGHT!!! (BTW3, you young leaders, saw plenty of DIRTY M-4's and M-16's standing in line at DFAC at both Speicher and TQ – watch those maintenance indicators – dirty screws in the butt plate)

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Karl Dunkleberger January 21, 2011 at 9:38 am

Please take my words with agrain of salt, Never special forces but did serve . We read alo about prior exsperiances , and rule #1 A sniper rifle , is a sniper rifle! A grenade Launcher is a grensade launcher !
Never Marry the two of them together!
Ps. Best Ammunition is why Cannadians prefer american Ammo!
Thank you all who served!

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18D January 22, 2011 at 6:46 am

A point of clarification for all of you video game playing wannabees:

In general, references to 1st or 2nd or 3rd Tier refer to who's giving you your marching orders and paying your tab. Thus, SFOD-D and DEVGRU, being a national level asset, would be a 1st Tier element. Rangers normally fall in as 2nd Tier as they're an Army asset. SF groups, having an AOR and being assigned to an area commander when in theater (PACCOM/EURCOM/etc) are effectively 3rd Tier. When a Ranger company or an SF-ODA gets assigned to a Tier 1 task force, they assume that level. In this regard, SEAL teams would be considered 2nd Tier (assets of the Navy, unless otherwise assigned). Trust me when I tell you that no one in the community really cares about what Tier you are. All that matters is that you do your job.

Make sense?

About all this garbage of who's better, etc. . . I've met Marine 0311s with more brains and heart than some SEAL Medics I've worked with. I've met SF team guys who could barely tie their shoes. Most SEALs and SF guys I've had the honor of working with were outstanding humans committed to a very hard job . . At the end of the day, professional is as professional does.

Using poor grammar to argue over the relative merits of one unit over another is childish.

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JWC January 22, 2011 at 8:47 pm

I can see that you have never trained with them. All branches of SOF have there jobs to do. I've trained with most and seen what they can do. A sniper is going to use the best weapon thats available to him. So until you've put your feet in his boots. Stick to what knowelge you have about weapon systems.

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JWC January 22, 2011 at 8:54 pm

Well John, a Ranger, an SF/Delta Force Recon PJ they will all argue this one.

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ssg January 23, 2011 at 3:33 pm

There is only one the entile to be called SF and that belong to the Army…

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JWC January 22, 2011 at 9:00 pm

MOMBASA, Kenya — In a daring high-seas rescue, U.S. Navy SEAL snipers killed three Somali pirates and freed the American sea captain who had offered himself as a hostage to save his crew. Tell this captian that was captive by the pirates. A shot off a ship moving around in water, hmmmm damn good shot to me.

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JWC January 22, 2011 at 9:09 pm

Airborne Sir.

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DiverDan75 January 22, 2011 at 11:20 pm

IDK, it still comes down to the point that the piece just needs to be reliable, easy to clear and get back in operation, and the guy using it can hit what he's aiming at…center to the silhouette and have the proper dope on your distance/wind etc and you'll get your pink mist. When I started in 'Nam we were testing a "new" heavy barrel mod. 70 Remington and using a McMillan M1 for the long shot or if you needed to "cut through" obstacles, but an M79 to get "to and from", felt like a damn pack mule, but never missed. I'd love to try some of the new systems out there, and after being in Desert Storm I can imagine that powder they call sand could be a pain in the …. to keep actions clear (no wonder they use AK's). At least they have the new smaller sat. phones and radios and not have to lug that damn PRC-47, especially in that heat.

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DiverDan75 January 22, 2011 at 11:20 pm

If they could get a system that could make your range, and keep it under 10 pounds loaded with a decent sized clip, that would fire in extreme heat and conditions at a rapid rate, then they'd have something. (Maybe with a brass catcher if needed to police your location, and not have to dig all around the powder only to have the wind uncover it for "them" later)
As far as "who's the best", yes we did do training with other branches, but under ANY conditions I'd still call for a S.E.A.L.. The best "sniper" is the guy with the eye, no matter what branch he's in!
(I hope my keyboard didn't skip any letters, so I don't get a nastygram from "Mr Spellcheck")

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SpellCheck January 23, 2011 at 12:30 pm

Looks good. Only thing I can see is that you need a period at the end of the first paragraph.

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really? January 23, 2011 at 11:26 am

it sounds like a lot of jealousy out there in comment land. To the eperson stating that seals are 2nd you really need to do your research and keep your ignorance subdued until said research is comolete. Find out where the seals came from and compare that with when any of the other sf groups came out. Try starting with udt's. Then find out who trained who and where it came from. Seals are not cooks and such as you mentioned and I can only hope you make your comments one day around those of us who have been there and done that. Then maybe you will learn not to run your suck about things that you have no experience or education to talk about.

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SEALs are 2nd January 23, 2011 at 1:22 pm

Gentleman, please wake up. Navy SEALs are good at what they do. Unfortunately, when it comes to sniping, they're not as great as all of you hope them to be. In no way am I trying to discredit them as a whole, I'm only conveying the fact that other service snipers, collectively, are far, far better. To reply that "SEALs are the toughest of SF operators," or that "SEALs are chosen by Delta Force commanders as the best," is irrelevant. Those statements, and in fact most of your statements are debatable at best. Again, I do give credit to Dev-Gru snipers just because I believe they have a significant more amount to gun time.

Fact: Most of the men who become SEALs do not have any prior weapons training, whatsoever. If don't know, the men who become SEALs come from the blue navy meaning they're cooks, mechanics, intel, and what have you. Traditionally, to become a SEAL sniper they must have deployed in a team, and have distinguished themselves as a shooter. Significance=Ranger, regular army, and Marines (Air Force snipers are more DM's) come from the infantry where they learn to shoot immediately. This means that by the time they become snipers, they have years of shooting, patrolling, and all else sniper related. SEALs might have half the time behind a rifle by the time they become snipers. The best snipers have the most gun time. SEALs don't have as much as Marines or Soldiers.

Fact: Army and Marine have been sniping for at least a century before SEALs were even created. Yes, historically SEALs have learned all that they know about sniping, (and everything else) from Army and Marines. I'm not discrediting what they do today, I'm only stating their history.

Fact: The most successful snipers in GWOT have been regular Army and Marine snipers. Iraq and Afghan belong to Soldier and Marine Snipers. Why? How many SEAL snipers are their? Not even a 5% of the amount of Marine and Soldier snipers. This means Marine and Solider snipers are consistently sniping and consistently operating. They're doing 95% more of the work than SEAL snipers. That's indisputable.

I can go on and on. Listen, I'm not questioning what it takes to become a SEAL or how tough each man is. I'm only telling you the facts. SEALs are not the best snipers, they're not even close.

(The SEAL snipers who shot the pirates were DEV-GRU.)

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young yet wise January 23, 2011 at 3:15 pm

I’ve been reading through all of the post here and it turns into a measuring contest. Some of you are right, “it’s not the arrow but the Indian.” If my opinion matters, and I don’t care if it doesn’t to you, but, it seems to me that anywhere you go you hear the same speech, albeit in different lingo, that consistency is accuracy. Consistency. Too many changable items doesn't equate.

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Jerry Curtis January 24, 2011 at 10:07 am

After reading through these posts I am reminded of young boys pissing in the snow. I understand the Seal's point of view do to the variable conduction they operate under, but for all the Holier than Thou out there it just so happens that Force Recon and Delta Teams work under the same conditions and what is good for one is good for all. For those who operate as strictly snipper it is a different story with different needs. As for who is the best, I have to agree with "young but wise," "it isn't the arrow but the Indian" and that my friends really depends on the moment. There is not a horse that can't be rode or a cowboy that can't be thrown. I am a Viet Nam Vet and while in country meant a number of snipper who wore different hats, including a couple CIA and Air America guys. We may have talked about different shots but we knew we were fighting the same war and were brothers in that.

About 4 years ago I went through the PTSD program first at Lyons, NJ and then at Martinsburg, WV. And again I found that we were all American Veterans Army, Navy, Marines, even a few Air Force, mostly Viet Nam Vets but a few from todays Viet Nam and there were no pissing contests I was proud to find. Through I was finally thrown out for getting into it with the bull shit artists, who claimed to have been in combat. These are the ones that talk the most and know the least. If you haven't really been there you just can't talk the talk. This infuriates me there were plenty of opening should these asses wanted to go. Seems I hearing a little of that here.

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Eric January 25, 2011 at 7:10 pm

actually, what you last stated as a fact does not make a whole lot of sense; if you have a larger body to test , you're going to have a much higher likelihood of finding vastly greater deviations, that's statistics. And while collective training does boost overall ability and knowledge amongst all members, vast numbers of operational personnel do not immediately equate to a much higher skill level. And to say SEAL snipers aren't seeing the same amount of action is just plain wrong; these guys are out in the field a lot more than they aren't: a lot. And you forget that main service snipers do not plug that many shots, they mostly provide LRRO,, which is why they need very precise bolt guns, SEAL snipers a lot of the time are providing closer support for SF operations, which is why they look for a semi-automatic platform for a target rich environment, but still would like to retain accuracy and range so that they don't need another rifle. Aggregately, main branch snipers do a lot more work and do house most of the best snipers, by statistical analysis. But to say they aren't even close is very misled; I personally know 3 who I have seen drop cold bore shots well over 1000M+, maybe even 1500+. You don't just accidentally make it through BUD/S, you have to have to make it through, and a lot of the guys who line up have been shooting for most of their lives.

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Eric January 25, 2011 at 7:13 pm

The rough draft of this rifle was actually already created by Cobb Mfg. years ago in response to the SCAR solicitation, where the rifle was not only convertible down from 7.62 nato to 5.56 nato, but .338 Lapua and .30-06 as well. You have to see the thing; they used three receiver pins, and changed out the magwell and upper receiver for each cartridge.

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alfredschrader January 29, 2011 at 11:09 am

Ok Sarge, I'm a weapons manufacturer. The selection of 7.62mm is actually a good choice by the SEAL. 5.56 is too light for serious targets and the 50 cal ammot is just plain too heavy to carry. The lesser accuracy of short barrels tends to limit their use. The longer the barrel the better. Accurate rifling grooves with the bore absolutely concentric inside the barrel (this can be checked with a Cordax machine), and with the iron sights straight & parallel to the barrel, you have a good gun. A good scope is nice, but can actually limit your shot success because targets seldom sit long enough. For this iron sights are superior. The greater the spread between the sights, the more accurate the rifle. To be good you need to be able to judge range by eye. I'm amazed at people that have rifles with thousand dollar plus scopes that lay it against something placing stress on the barrel which will cause it to bend. Even a bend of only .002 inch (two thousandths of an inch) can throw your 300 yard shot off by 2 inches. Can openers, etc. to the rifle is not a good idea. Could warp the barrel Simply take some hand versions. …Alfred-

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Bleedair January 30, 2011 at 7:47 am

and somebody else thinks "their" is spelled "there".

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Spizmar January 30, 2011 at 10:55 am

"Who cares about legacy crap, move forward…"
Logistics. This is a specialized weapon, and he wants to be able to use what everyone else is using, in a jam.
Otherwise, he has to sit and reload mags when he could otherwise just use available mags.

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Texan March 23, 2011 at 8:12 pm

Navy is going to go to all Seals.. IMHO for the better.. They can take over all the navy.

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recon john March 27, 2011 at 8:35 am

I'm a recon viet nam vet, who saw seals always playing cowboy using any weapon they wanted ,any uniform they wanted (inculding blue jeans) and severing 6 month tours and returning home with a chest full of salad. WHY DO SEALS NEED ANYTHING MORE THAN ANY OTHER SPECIAL-OPS TEAMS? why spend money on a SEAL SUPER SINPER RIFLE, when snipers in combat are making almost 1 mile shots now

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Steve April 8, 2011 at 5:59 am

I just came from the Barrett factory
I have one thing to say:
MRAD!!!
.338 .308 or .223
With everything you just asked for in the above posts
All you change is the barrel amd the bolt head!
No tools required!
Go see for your self. Google Barrett MRAD

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276pedersen January 17, 2012 at 7:05 am

I've read through these comments, trying to skip over the nonsensical ones. I don't see what is so controversial about the author's requirements for a weapon. It's 2012, these are all very reasonable requests! Why can't a precision sniper rifle have what he's asking for, other than the fact that people are hung up on "That's a battle rifle, it has to have X Y and Z a sniper rifle can't have that."

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capt. p. eric august February 18, 2012 at 10:01 am

TRUE STORY; I WAS A BRAND NEW 2ND LT JUST ARRIVED IN PENSACOLA FOR FLIGHT TRAINING AFTER OCS IN QUANTICO, 1970, BEING HUNGRY AT 1600 IN THE AFTERNOON I WENT TO THE OFFICERS CLUB, 1ST TIME, AND STOOD IN AN EMPTY ROOM WITH ONE NAVY TYPE, LOTS OF PHILIPANOS, STEWERDS, AND A GIANT TABLE WITH STEAM BOAT ROAST AND ALL THE TRIMMINGS ETC.
I FILLED MY PLATE WITH LOTS OF CRUSTY, CRUNCHY ROAST FAT AND WANDERED OVER TO THE TABLE WHERE THE NAVY TYPE WAS SEATED AND ASKED IF I COULD JOIN HIM???(ABOUT 6' 4' 240 LBS AND FIRE ENGINE RED HAIR AND A CLEFT IN THE CHIN LIKE KIRK DOUGLAS'S YOUNGER BROTHER AND ARMS AS BIGS AS BOTH MY LEGS TOGETHER) HE SAID YES AND DOWN I SAT DIVING INTO MY MEAL FROM OCS HEAVEN, AFTER SEVERAL BIG BITES I SAID WOW YOU GUYS MAKE GREAT CHOW, AND HE LOOKED KIND OF PUZZELED AND ASKED WHY DO YOU SAY ME AND I PIPED UP AND SAID WELL I JUST ASSUMED YOU WERE THE HEAD OF THE KITCHEN! HE SAID WHY DO YOU SAY THAT????? AND I SAID BECAUS EI SEE YOU INSIGINA THAT YOU HAVE THAT GOLD FORK SO I ASSUMED YOUR WITH THE KITCHEN STAFF FOR THE OFFICERS……………….WHERE UPON THIS GIANT OF A GUY STANDS UP AND YELLS AT THE TOP OF HIS LUNGS, MARINE,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,IF YOU DONT KNOW WHAT A NAVY SEAL IS THEN GET THE **** AWAY FROM ME RIGHT NOW……………………………….I COULD HAVE STOOD STRAIGHT UP AND NOT BEE SEEN IN COMMCERIAL CARPET………….. THATS IS HOW SMALL I FELT AND STUPID. I LEARNED QUICKLY WHAT THE NEPTUNES SPECTOR WAS AND IT IS NOT ANYTHING TO DO WITH THE NAVY CHOW HALL TO SAY THE LEAST. IT WAS MONTHS TILL I ATE IN THE "O"CLUB IN THE AFTERNOON AGAIN. I FINSIHED FLIGHT TRAINING IN RECORD TIME AND GOT MY CHOICE IN JETS AND NEVER FORGOT HOW I LEARNED HOW TO RECGONIZE A NAVY SEAL AGAIN!

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capt. p. eric august February 18, 2012 at 10:12 am

TRUE STORY; I WAS A BRAND NEW 2ND LT JUST ARRIVED IN PENSACOLA FOR FLIGHT TRAINING AFTER OCS IN QUANTICO, 1970, BEING HUNGRY AT 1600 IN THE AFTERNOON I WENT TO THE OFFICERS CLUB, 1ST TIME, AND STOOD IN AN EMPTY ROOM WITH ONE NAVY TYPE, LOTS OF FILIPINOS, STEWARDS, AND A GIANT TABLE WITH STEAM BOAT ROAST AND ALL THE TRIMMINGS ETC.
I FILLED MY PLATE WITH LOTS OF CRUSTY, CRUNCHY ROAST FAT AND WANDERED OVER TO THE TABLE WHERE THE NAVY TYPE WAS SEATED AND ASKED IF I COULD JOIN HIM???(ABOUT 6' 4' 240 LBS AND FIRE ENGINE RED HAIR AND A CLEFT IN THE CHIN LIKE KIRK DOUGLAS'S YOUNGER BROTHER AND ARMS AS BIGS AS BOTH MY LEGS TOGETHER) HE SAID YES AND DOWN I SAT DIVING INTO MY MEAL FROM OCS HEAVEN, AFTER SEVERAL BIG BITES I SAID WOW YOU GUYS MAKE GREAT CHOW, AND HE LOOKED KIND OF PUZZLED AND ASKED WHY DO YOU SAY ME AND I PIPED UP AND SAID WELL I JUST ASSUMED YOU WERE THE HEAD OF THE KITCHEN! HE SAID WHY DO YOU SAY THAT????? AND I SAID BECAUSE I SEE ON YOUR INSIGNIA THAT YOU HAVE THAT GOLD FORK….. SO I ASSUMED YOUR WITH THE KITCHEN STAFF FOR THE OFFICERS……………….WHERE UPON THIS GIANT OF A GUY STANDS UP AND YELLS AT THE TOP OF HIS LUNGS, MARINE,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,IF YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT A NAVY SEAL IS THEN GET THE **** AWAY FROM ME RIGHT NOW……………………………….I COULD HAVE STOOD STRAIGHT UP AND NOT BEEN SEEN IN COMMERCIAL CARPET THAT'S IS HOW SMALL I FELT AND STUPID. I LEARNED QUICKLY WHAT THE NEPTUNE'S SPECTER WAS AND IT IS NOT ANYTHING TO DO WITH THE NAVY CHOW HALL TO SAY THE LEAST. IT WAS MONTHS TILL I ATE IN THE O CLUB IN THE AFTERNOON AGAIN. I FINISHED FLIGHT TRAINING IN RECORD TIME AND GOT MY CHOICE IN JETS AND NEVER FORGOT HOW I LEARNED HOW TO RECOGNIZE A NAVY SEAL AGAIN!

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capt. p. eric august usmc ret February 18, 2012 at 2:12 pm

TRUE STORY; I WAS A BRAND NEW 2ND LT JUST ARRIVED IN PENSACOLA FOR FLIGHT TRAINING AFTER OCS IN QUANTICO, 1970, BEING HUNGRY AT 1600 IN THE AFTERNOON I WENT TO THE OFFICERS CLUB, 1ST TIME, AND STOOD IN AN EMPTY ROOM WITH ONE NAVY TYPE, LOTS OF FILIPINOS, STEWARDS, AND A GIANT TABLE WITH STEAM BOAT ROAST AND ALL THE TRIMMINGS ETC.
I FILLED MY PLATE WITH LOTS OF CRUSTY, CRUNCHY ROAST FAT AND WANDERED OVER TO THE TABLE WHERE THE NAVY TYPE WAS SEATED AND ASKED IF I COULD JOIN HIM???(ABOUT 6′ 4′ 240 LBS AND FIRE ENGINE RED HAIR AND A CLEFT IN THE CHIN LIKE KIRK DOUGLAS’S YOUNGER BROTHER AND ARMS AS BIGS AS BOTH MY LEGS TOGETHER) HE SAID YES AND DOWN I SAT DIVING INTO MY MEAL FROM OCS HEAVEN, AFTER SEVERAL BIG BITES I SAID WOW YOU GUYS MAKE GREAT CHOW, AND HE LOOKED KIND OF PUZZLED AND ASKED WHY DO YOU SAY ME AND I PIPED UP AND SAID WELL I JUST ASSUMED YOU WERE THE HEAD OF THE KITCHEN! HE SAID WHY DO YOU SAY THAT????? AND I SAID BECAUSE I SEE ON YOUR INSIGNIA THAT YOU HAVE THAT GOLD FORK….. SO I ASSUMED YOUR WITH THE KITCHEN STAFF FOR THE OFFICERS……………….WHERE UPON THIS GIANT OF A GUY STANDS UP AND YELLS AT THE TOP OF HIS LUNGS, MARINE,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,IF YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT A NAVY SEAL IS THEN GET THE **** AWAY FROM ME RIGHT NOW……………………………….I COULD HAVE STOOD STRAIGHT UP AND NOT BEEN SEEN IN COMMERCIAL CARPET THAT’S IS HOW SMALL I FELT AND STUPID. I LEARNED QUICKLY WHAT THE NEPTUNE’S SPECTER WAS AND IT IS NOT ANYTHING TO DO WITH THE NAVY CHOW HALL TO SAY THE LEAST. IT WAS MONTHS TILL I ATE IN THE O CLUB IN THE AFTERNOON AGAIN. I FINISHED FLIGHT TRAINING IN RECORD TIME AND GOT MY CHOICE IN JETS AND NEVER FORGOT HOW I LEARNED HOW TO RECOGNIZE A NAVY SEAL AGAIN!

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IWO2 February 28, 2012 at 6:59 pm

I know this was over a year ago but after reading this I just had to say "good for you." Seriously. Far to many people have zero clue what SOF guys, Seals included, actually do, yet they feel they are qualified to discus and evaluate their every move. Rather then actually asking, they pander to their "favorite" unit in pointless and fact-less screaming matches. ("Seals suck! its all about delta." "no delta's just a bunch of whiny prima donnas its all about ST6," "They're called devgru now idiot" etc etc etc) So good for you for actually asking, and not assuming call of duty is a true story.

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Partydown November 6, 2013 at 7:21 pm

Hold on a minute……..”Fifth, non-reciprocating side charging handle 1) eliminates need for shooter to break cheek weld to cycle weapon 2) eliminates need for forward assist button as you can seat the round in the chamber by pushing the charging handle forward 3) non-reciprocating charging handle allows for traditional shooting positions for practical and competition applications 4) charging handle capable of ambidextrous setup for left or right handed shooter, adaptable to offhand shooting positions and wounded shooter operation.” I think you are just asking for a charging handle that is in a different location than an m4 right? Also it sounds like you want a reciprocating charging handle, because a no recuperating charging handle is not attached to the bcg. Everyone also needs to keep in mind that seals are not infantryman, plain and simple, as a former grunt keeping in mind that I’m not special and that none of us should have overly inflated egos, just cause you can pt like a beast and you are a scuba knife fighting cqb sniper ninja who HAHO jumps all over the earth when you are operating, does not mean you are a great shooter, or a great fighter.

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