Sniper Shoot

My favorite shooting club, Greenport Tactical Association, just had a sniper match.  The stages utilized a team approach which involved both a spotter and sniper.  People put together their own teams before the match and the smarter ones practiced together as much as possible before the match.  

It was a small match at varying distances ranging from 200 yards to less than 50.  A foam core shoot house was constructed to let the spotter “clear” the way for the sniper.  Most of the targets were the expected type, swinging steel plates, some cardboard IDPA targets, paint balls and fruit, specifically apples and oranges.

A little out of the ordinary was the car stage.  The sniper fired from a roof ridge line at a suggested automobile.  A plastic water jug served as the radiator/engine block and two IDPA targets served as driver and passenger.  What was unusual was the sniper had a real automotive windshield to shoot through.  Each sniper got a new, unused windshield to perforate.

sniper prepares to shoot car windshield
Even at this distance you can see the glare.  Perhaps a polarizing filter on both the camera and the scope would have helped both shooters.
The 200-yard fruit shoot was interesting.  Fruit, being biodegradable, could be left there after the match.  Even with the mark 1 eyeball a solid hit could be recognized.  The little dot of fruit would suddenly expand into a white ball and disappear.  It was very cool.

I didn’t shoot the match, but I did learn a few things.
.223 Remington will penetrate a tempered safety glass windshield at 144 yards if you’re shooting 55g FMJ or SS109, the green tip penetrator round.  Hollow points tend to fragment and not punch through and hole your target.  No problem with .308, as you might expect.  

Two targets behind windshield
The water jug represents the engine block, but can you see the targets? 

At least one sniper reported the reflection and glare off the glass window made it impossible to see the targets.  He had to shoot at where the driver and passenger would normally be.  Perhaps the spotter, with a different angle could have confirmed the identity of the targets and their placement.  Do I need to discuss the value of the Team?

One of my instructors told me once about the value of having a little 10-round AR magazine loaded with SS109.  I believed him, he has seen the elephant and has the injuries to prove it.  It was nice to have it confirmed.

Sniper shot, .308 at 144 yrd punches through safety glass windshield
Even up close your can barely see the targets.  If you're going to take a sniper shot at a car, you better know who is in it!
I also watched the shooters replace the fruit at 200 yards.  They were smaller than I expected.  I shoot half size human pop up targets at Camp Perry at 300 meters and found that difficult.  Moving targets at 200 yards might not be as easy as you think.

Two yards and two moving targets
Shooters replacing the shot fruit as seen at 200 yards

The entire match also pointed out to me the value of two rifles.  The sniper’s rifle and the spotter’s rifle have drastically different functions and one gun can’t do it all.  Your vision of what could happen and your response to it should determine if one or perhaps both rifles are needed.


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