LEO sniper training


168 grain negotiator
Oct 8, 2010
Canton Ohio
I am stepping up our SRT snipers' training, and am looking for a variety of qualification courses, practical courses of fire for training, and other training exercises related to sniper-spotter communication, target identification, movement, etc. Sure appreciate anything sent my way! Feel free to post here or e-mail me directly.

Just a couple questions.
What was the training you received? In your critique of this training, what would you remove/add/edit/fix etc? Are you going to be the primary instructor for this course, and bluntly, what do you feel gives you the qualifications to do so? Honest question. I have seen too many people that may be a natural behind the gun, but have no place in a class room.

What size / budget is your jurisdiction?

There are a lot of people here that have been there and done that, but there is also a huge difference between LE Sniper training and DoD.

I am not trying to be a dick, but these answers may help me point you in a couple directions of some absolutely perfect instructors.

I am an idiot, so I offer any help I can. ;-)

Cabbage just went through some quals and should pipe up with his gay mouth. Where are you fag? Oh well, PM him and he might be able to help.
Good questions. Not to worry; I totally get it. Strictly short-range urban enviroment. We're a small - 28 man department; got 4 snipers, including myself. As the Special Response Team's leader, I really shouldn't be behind a rifle, but maintain my skills. Our guys were trained up by the FBI and State of Ohio, again, pure law enforcement. I've got 28 years, started on a long gun in '91, bunch of tactical & leader stuff. Academy and in-service instructor as well. I'm our primary instructor. Our budget is close to zero; we only get two-hour of blocks for training, and we each get 20 rounds per block. Always a cold bore, confirmation groups. Beyond that, I want to spend the time working on alternative shooting positions, range estimation, fleeting / moving targets, target identification, sniper-spotter communication, hides, etc. I'm looking for qual courses from other states to challenge my guys, practical shooting exercises, assorted of face-recognition exercises & targets, and so on. I've been using a few "shape" targets from the DoD side. Just want exercises and topics that others have used successfully to keep my guys on their game.

Thanx much for any help you can send my way
You ever run the O course for time with guns then shoot? Or do some type of pt even, like a run around the range with burpees at 4 corners or a building climb over the range shack. It's one thing to climb, it's a whole different thing with a precision piece of equipment.

One drill everyone should know and that I haven't heard much of from LE guys is the Accuracy 1st 12in/10in drill is the cats meow for momentary exposure type targets. Allows you to range it and get a hit on the torso out to 600m with just your rifle scope. I'll type it out for you later on if you're not familiar.
Try Crosshairs Inc. Ed Gross is a great instructor and runs one of the best Advanced Sniper Course I have ever attended.

One of my best friends is a SWAT Sniper down in VA and he went through a Crosshairs Inc course and thought it was very good.
The Germans have a great setup where they can use a MOUT site for sniper scenarios with remote-controlled dollies that carry 3D target dummies. If your guys are in multiple positions and on comms, they can work numerous scenarios with an arrangement like that incorporating command and control with friendlies in and out of the line of fire in whatever challenges you want. The remote-controlled carts shouldn't be very expensive.

The Brits have another way to skin the same cat, with a mockup city block with threat and non-threat targets swarming in and out of shops, suspended by cables. That setup would cost more, but once you had it, it could be used indefinitely.

Blind chamber checks should be SOP for your guys, but I always like to see malfunction drills revisited regularly, even with bolt guns.

One cheap drill that's worth doing is the one where the snipers all get on line @100 yards and engage 2 shots standing, 2 shots kneeling, 2 shots sitting and 2 shots prone in 30 seconds.

The comms have to not only be squared away and familiar within the sniper crew, but with whoever's going to be giving the green light, as well, especially if there'll be any command fire option.

The Ausies like to do a lot of high-speed moving targets (runners) at closer ranges, for tracking challenge. They're great at it. Headshots on runners all day long.

Any time you push the snipers to get into a final firing position rapidly and engage a threat on short notice, especially if the position is on a roof, requires climbing, or awkward position setup, that can be a good challenge.

Just some initial thoughts.
One of the things I found that helped my rifle marksmanship was shooting a scoped air rifle daily.

There is no training in the world like shooting squirrels out of a tree. LOL I could not agree more with TW, the best training I have found rifle is consistent practice in all conditions, posistion and limited lighting. I use a target model ruger 10-22 as a trading tool for my PSS.

Great post Trip