Army Mods Sniper Competition Rules

Ravage

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http://www.military.com/news/article/army-mods-sniper-competition-rules.html?ESRC=eb.nl

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Snipers from around the world will soon shoot against each other at Fort Benning, Ga., but this year they'll have to leave their fine-tuned rifles and high-powered optics at home.

For the first time in the eleven-year history of the U.S. Army International Sniper Competition, all competitors will use the same sniper rifle and optics of equal power.

The new rules are designed to "level the playing field, so it isn't so much an equipment race," said Capt. Daniel Wilcox, who overseas Army Sniper School at Benning as commander of C Company, 2nd Battalion, 29th Infantry Regiment.

The Sniper School-hosted competition has become a popular event for the sniper world. Teams come for the chance to showcase their skill but also to learn different techniques and tips from fellow snipers.

This year, teams from Canada, Australia, Ireland, Germany and possibly Thailand are expected to participate, Benning officials said. So far, there will also be 16 teams from the active-duty Army and National Guard, as well as from the Marine Corps and Air Force.

The competition is scheduled for Sept. 23-30 and will include a sniper symposium, range time for zeroing weapons and competition events running Sept. 27-29.

Benning officials try to make each competition more challenging, and this year is no different. They announced their intention to prohibit teams from competing with their own sniper rifles in a May 19 memo to all competitors.

Members of the sniper community question the restriction since it runs contrary to training practices that encourage these precision shooters to become intimately familiar with the sniper weapons they take to war.

Benning officials maintain that the competition will test all of the competitors' sniper skills -- from stalking to detecting concealed targets -- not just shooting.
But there will be several shooting events where contestants will have to engage stationary and moving targets, both day and night.

Each sniper team will be issued a bolt-action rifle chambered for 7.62mm. The rifles, which are on loan from the Army Marksmanship Unit at Benning, are very similar to the Army M24 sniper rifle but have a short action instead of a long action, Benning officials say.

Competitors will be allowed to bring their own day optics, as long as they are no greater than 12 power. While it usually depends on the mission, some snipers use up to 20 power optics. Night optics will be issued prior to the competition.

The tighter restrictions are designed to "keep the outcome of the competition based around shooter ability and not equipment; this is in keeping within the best interests of all the competitors and the spirit of the competition," according to the memo.

Each sniper team will also be issued an M110 semiautomatic sniper rifle to serve as a spotter's weapon and two M9 9mm pistols.

Wilcox took command of Sniper School in June after the new rules were approved. He said he is aware of concerns snipers have about going into a competition with an unfamiliar weapon.

"They will be given two days to shoot that weapon before the competition," Wilcox said. "They are not going to just show up, and we hand them a gun and it's time to go. We will see how it works. We are going to do it, but I'm not going to say it is going to be like that forever."

In addition to the new weapons rules, this year's competition will run at a faster pace with most events occurring simultaneously over approximately 72 hours, Wilcox said.

"Last year they tried to do the 72-hour continuous ops thing -- and that sounded really sexy -- but what they didn't really do was run events simultaneously, so even though the intent was to keep them going for three days, they would get to an event and be in a holding area for two to four hours," Wilcox said.

"Two to four hours times 10 events, that's 20 to 40 hours of sleep in 72 hours. That's more sleep than I get during the work week. There will be less down time over the course of the competition."

Before the competition starts, competitors are required to attend a sniper symposium Sept 23-24. Each team will have to give a 10-15 minute presentation about their training program, weapons and lessons learned from past operations.

The winning team will have their names put on a trophy that remains at the Sniper School. A number of companies will be donating prizes as well.
"There is going to be cool stuff, guns and optics for the winners," Wilcox said.
 

Diamondback 2/2

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I understand the fairness aspect, but I think they could have accomplished the same by creating different divisions that allow competitors to compete against other using the same type of equipment.
 

pardus

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I think if your Army/unit issues gear so shitty you can't compete with anyone in the world, then that Army/unit needs to address their shitty gear issue.
Since when was war fair? A dumb, politically correct decision IMO.
 

Diamondback 2/2

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I think if your Army/unit issues gear so shitty you can't compete with anyone in the world, then that Army/unit needs to address their shitty gear issue.
Since when was war fair? A dumb, politically correct decision IMO.

In a perfect world that would be the case, in this world some units have better budgets than others, some services apply more budget to other capabilities and some just have to make do with what they have.

ETA: Although the Int Sniper comp is about training and sharing info, it is also a competition, it's not "war" it's no different then a bunch of different units playing base ball. Competition breeds high level performance, it also breeds equipment that helps people win. I don't see anything wrong with that, but again just make it fair by equipment based divisions. That way you don't have teams winning purly off of equipment.
 

gits

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Those guys are just friggin pansies who got spanked last year. Undoubtably with them issuing M110s theres a high chance they could be issuing dud's for M110s. Which makes it completely unfair when there are M110s that vary from shooting .5MOA (Lucky gun) to anywhere from 1.5-2.5 MOA. Its pretty ridiculous. I don't know what QC they run on issuing M110s but it would be easy to issue out the "duds" while they shoot their good ones. These guys are turning the comp into a joke. On a funny note Max 12 power scope? Looks like there won't be any Horus reticles dominating except maybe guys who decide to sport a Horus Hawk.
 

Mac_NZ

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This is either going to be remembered as pure genius or the biggest load of horse shit since they cleaned the set on Mr Ed.

My jaded inner child thinks the latter.

In other news, everyone who shows up for Bisley or AASAM this year is getting issued an SA-80 or an F-88 with two days to practice before the competition starts in the interests of a level playing field.
 

DA SWO

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Those guys are just friggin pansies who got spanked last year. Undoubtably with them issuing M110s theres a high chance they could be issuing dud's for M110s. Which makes it completely unfair when there are M110s that vary from shooting .5MOA (Lucky gun) to anywhere from 1.5-2.5 MOA. Its pretty ridiculous. I don't know what QC they run on issuing M110s but it would be easy to issue out the "duds" while they shoot their good ones. These guys are turning the comp into a joke. On a funny note Max 12 power scope? Looks like there won't be any Horus reticles dominating except maybe guys who decide to sport a Horus Hawk.

Best thing to do is not show up.
As an outsider, it appears this rule is designed to make the AMU and Sniper School look good, and to negate any "advantages" the SOF units are perceived to have.
SOCOM should just run it's own competition.
 

Diamondback 2/2

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Wow, fucking really? Fuck going and shooting a competition, they are making me shoot a rifle maintained by AMU (you know that organization that has the world’s best marksman and gunsmiths). Fucking stupid, I would much rather take my shitty M24 that has been maintained by E3 unit armor who knows jack shit about precision rifles. Oh I know what it is, it’s AMU and Sniper school wanting to fuck with SOF, take away their big advantage over AMU…:rolleyes:

FYI: I won the Combat Pistol match at 2007 Warrior Challenge, with a M9 pistol issued to me at the match, with no practice and the damn thing had a 4 inch hold to the left.

Surly you SOF and international soldiers can get your zeros and dope figured out with 2 days on the range, if not then maybe you really shouldn’t be there…

I'll admit, its not the best way to do things, again different divisions would have been better, but it sure aint the end of the world, and being able to use a different platform with free ammo and a shooting experince comparable to none, I think everyone can get past it and have a good competition. If not, no worries, there are plunty of soldiers like me who would jump at the chance to go compete in this match...
 

Hitman2/3

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I agree that as a Sniper you should be able to pick up any Sniper rifle and use it effectively. That being said I would say that this mod is ultimately bullshit. When you work with a weapon for months or years especially a specific weapon using it becomes instinct, you know how it feels, you know the weight, you don't have to think about it, you know just by the size of the target in your scope where to hold for elevation, you don't have to try to use it you just use it. Specifically when your talking about a high stress competition where everything has to be instinctual in order to come out on top. Even for the Army Snipers its kind of BS because once again they have to get use to that rifle, but at least its the same type of rifle. For the other competitors its a disadvantage. For example with a 1911 I don't even have to think once I decide to engage a target the next thing I see is the gun on target and my barrel smoking with a hole right were I wanted it. Switch me over to a glock or M9 and I'll still hit the target and be able to quickly reload and clear malfunctions, but their will be a slight delay from thought to action and I will have to actively think about what I'm doing. I think an event where shooters have to engage targets with a enemy rifle, SVD or G3, would be awesome and realistic. However, taking away the rifle the sniper has shot for years and then telling him to perform at his best with a new rifle while other competitors use what they're use to isn't right. If any combat weapon should be customized to the user the Sniper rifle is that weapon.
 

Loki

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I read this when it first came out on Military.com . It appears to me some losers were still hurting with their last place standing so they changed the rules... Isn't the intent to evaluate what works , what doesn't and gather info and foreign teams equipment and capability.

Respectfully
 

Etype

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It's stupid that they are shooting with M24s, or similar guns. No one in the Army shoots 7.62 NATO sniper guns anymore. Hell, even 4th ID has .300 win mags as of at least 6 months ago. The idea of a spotter using a different gun than the shooter is equally stupid. Chance and Ed proved last year that there should be no such thing as a spotter. Two shooters, shooting the same gun, with high powered scopes on both. You then sequence fire correcting off of each others shot, this is the way of the future- it's the fastest and best way to do it, and the best way to do it. Yes, they did win with 7.62 NATO guns, but they were LaRue OBRs, and they shot them everyday- oh yeah, and they weren't handcuffed by conventional thinking.

Benning sniper school, get yourself out of the box, break the chains. The SOTIC committee has shown you the light, and proved to you how much brighter it really is. When SOTIC trained teams fill out the top 3 at YOUR competition, it's a message you need to respond to.
 
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