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Hidden dealers of sudden death (UK-Snipers)
http://news.scotsman.com/ ^ | Sat 17 Mar 2007 | IN KAJAKI

Posted on 03/16/2007 11:22:12 PM PDT by chasio649

THEY had been waiting since before dawn, dug into a makeshift hide, almost half a mile behind enemy lines.

The four Royal Marine Commando snipers sat huddled in the dark, scouring a Taleban compound through the scopes on their L96A1 sniper rifles.

They had been watching the target since before dawn. The order to fire came an hour after first light. They levelled their bolt-action, single-shot rifles at two Taleban sentries less than 250 metres away. Village dogs were barking but the insurgents never saw their killers.

The marines counted down from five, in unison, and the crack of four bullets rang out as one. The two sentries fell down dead. Confirmed kills: two, collateral damage: zero, and the snipers withdrew.

"They [the other Taleban] were looking around for us but they couldn't find us. We could see them and they weren't very happy," Corporal Simon, 36, told The Scotsman.

The snipers do such a sensitive job that few have been interviewed before, and those interviewed by this newspaper would only use their first names.

The sentries became the 39th and 40th kills of the elite and ultra-secretive Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) unit who, for the last six months, have been operating as part of 42 Commando in Helmand prov-ince. "We are the sharp end of the needle," Corporal Simon said.

The Taleban fighters killed during an operation this week had been based in the village of Olehabad, three-and-a-half kilometres from the marines' remote outpost at Kajaki.

Kajaki is the site of a dam and hydroelectric plant and is in desperate need of refurbishment. The USAID organisation is funding a project to add another turbine but before work can begin, it has insisted that a 6km safety zone is established. So far, marine commandos have cleared a 3km area outside the dam, but beyond that the Taleban are still very much in control.

It is outside this area that the snipers are at their most effective. Under cover of darkness, they patrol into position, dig a hide and wait. They fire off only a few shots before withdrawing.

They are backed up by a troop of marines who hide nearby and they also have a fire-support team travelling in highly mobile, heavily armed, open-topped Land Rovers to call upon.

On the latest operation, as the marine snipers were extracting themselves, they were ambushed from several directions by Taleban insurgents, who at times were as close as 200 meters. Smoke mortars were fired from a nearby hill and the snipers got back to base safely.

"As we collapsed our position we knew we were getting flanked and were ambushed and pinned down with small arms for a bit," said the corporal. The snipers' job in Afghanistan is made more difficult because Taleban rebels routinely use women and children as shields. They have also been known to dress as women and hide weapons under shawls.

"I've seen a fighter sitting on a motorbike with a woman and a kid on the back ... that's the hardest thing, finding the target," said the corporal. "I have a wife and kid, too, and I don't want to take the shot if I'm going to hit the wrong person."

The elite Royal Marine snipers take every precaution to ensure the man in their crosshairs is the one they want. All have graduated from Commando sniper school, considered the best course of its kind in the world.

"We have a pass rate of only 30 per cent - it's tough to get through," said Marine Ben, 22.

"The Royal Marine sniper school is the best in the world," added Marine Brendan, also just 22.

• THE L96A1 sniper rifle used by British forces in Afghanistan is manufactured by the Portsmouth company Accuracy International.

It was purpose-built for sniping, rather than being a variant of an existing weapon.

The company says it uses performance enhancing features learned in Olympic and international target shooting in the design of its weapons.

Accurate to a range of 1,000 metres, the rifle can shoot groups of 7.62mm bullets in a 51mm radius at 550 metres. It is generally fitted with a Schmidt & Bender 6 x 42 scope.

It has special de-icing features allowing it to be used effectively at temperatures as low as -40C. The stockhole, bolt, magazine release and trigger guard are large enough to be easily used while wearing heavy gloves.

The L96A1 is recognised as one of the best sniper rifles in the world and is used by the armed forces of Australia, Belgium, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands and Singapore.


TOPICS: Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; United Kingdom; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: oneshotonekill; snipers; wot
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1 posted on 03/16/2007 11:22:15 PM PDT by chasio649
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To: chasio649

This sounds bad, but they wouldn't use women and children for shields if we just shot through them. =-\


2 posted on 03/16/2007 11:29:07 PM PDT by miliantnutcase ("If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. If it stops moving, subsidize it." -ichabod1)
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To: chasio649

Pix, where are the pix of the L96A1 sniper rifle?


3 posted on 03/16/2007 11:29:57 PM PDT by MHGinTN (If you've had life support. Promote life support for others.)
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To: miliantnutcase

best put on the flame retardent suit


4 posted on 03/16/2007 11:30:32 PM PDT by Nailbiter
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Well here we go ...


5 posted on 03/16/2007 11:32:41 PM PDT by MHGinTN (If you've had life support. Promote life support for others.)
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To: Nailbiter

*pulling up asbestos pants*


6 posted on 03/16/2007 11:33:50 PM PDT by miliantnutcase ("If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. If it stops moving, subsidize it." -ichabod1)
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To: MHGinTN

That looks like an AWM/AWP. What's the difference between them?


7 posted on 03/16/2007 11:35:41 PM PDT by miliantnutcase ("If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. If it stops moving, subsidize it." -ichabod1)
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To: chasio649
the rifle can shoot groups of 7.62mm bullets in a 51mm radius at 550 metres.

Ain't the metric system wonderful?

8 posted on 03/16/2007 11:41:55 PM PDT by Oztrich Boy ("Red Meat. We were meant to eat it")
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To: chasio649
If America ever fell completely, I would fight for England.

think Magna Carta
9 posted on 03/17/2007 12:58:34 AM PDT by RunningWolf (2-1 Cav 1975)
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To: miliantnutcase
This sounds bad, but they wouldn't use women and children for shields if we just shot through them.

I have a buddy who had to go to therapy three times a week for a year after he mistakenly shot a woman and her kid in Afghanistan.

Heh. Used to call him "shooter" before that, but it was a little too cruel to call him that after he got back. Thankfully, a new opportunity presented itself after he got his girlfriend knocked-up and we nicknamed him "pops" or sometimes "daddy-o".

10 posted on 03/17/2007 1:05:40 AM PDT by Zeroisanumber (Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?)
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To: miliantnutcase
This sounds bad, but they wouldn't use women and children for shields if we just shot through them. =-\

That is one reason we need to redefine war crimes in the WOT

11 posted on 03/17/2007 1:34:00 AM PDT by Charlespg (Peace= When we trod the ruins of Mecca and Medina under our infidel boots.)
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To: chasio649
two Taleban sentries less than 250 metres away

Less than 250 metres away and that is sniping? They were right in pretty close unless they had a good get away plan..

There is a whole lot more to their story going on there than their marksmanship IMO
12 posted on 03/17/2007 1:36:47 AM PDT by RunningWolf (2-1 Cav 1975)
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To: chasio649
As we collapsed our position we knew we were getting flanked and were ambushed and pinned down with small arms for a bit," said the corporal

Something definitely seems to be wrong with allied sniping these days. In the past, whenever I've read about some western sniper getting into a fix, it has been because he has met an equal. Now days, our snipers seem to be getting spotted and harried by what ever incompetent that runs their way.

13 posted on 03/17/2007 1:52:16 AM PDT by Ajnin (Neca Eos Omnes. Deus Suos Agnoset.)
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To: chasio649
L96A1 is a 10 or 12 shot magazine fed weapon, not a single shot. Accuracy International states rifle is fitted with Henshold telescope, not that this makes any difference.

As far as shooting through human shields goes, the 7.62 ball will go through a couple of shields out to 500 meters. If we did shoot through them, their use would soon become unpopular.

14 posted on 03/17/2007 3:59:12 AM PDT by Lion Den Dan
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To: Ajnin
we knew we were getting flanked and were ambushed and pinned dow

I don't understand, sounds like this turned into a firefight where our guys were retreating. If there are enough of them to fire back, wouldn't that invite some kind of counter-trap or ambush? Wouldn't we or the Brits be interested in setting things up so that bad guys shooting at UK snipers would in effect be inviting thier own demise?

Hunker down in a fort and sneak out to snipe at an enemy that shoots back vigroously. My ignorance must be showing.

15 posted on 03/17/2007 4:55:47 AM PDT by Tom Bombadil
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To: Lion Den Dan
The media exposure to an accepted policy for shooting through women and children would effectively end the war and ruin any sympathy to the American efforts for a long time.
16 posted on 03/17/2007 5:08:39 AM PDT by DainBramage
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To: chasio649
They levelled their bolt-action, single-shot rifles at two Taleban sentries less than 250 metres away.

A couple of issues on this posting:

1. "bolt-action, single-shot rifles" don't have storage for additional bullets, like the single-shot 22 cal I had when I was 14 years old. There you load each bullet by hand for each shot. These rifles have magazines to hold additional shells. Noted, they are not "automatic rifles".

2. Why shoot the sentries? Why not wait for those being guarded? Seems like a small kill, with all due respect, as they say in "Jolly Ol' England".

17 posted on 03/17/2007 5:10:45 AM PDT by jws3sticks (Hillary can take a very long walk on a very short pier, anytime, and the sooner the better!)
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To: chasio649

Sentries have got to be a very low grade target.


18 posted on 03/17/2007 5:13:57 AM PDT by TweetEBird007
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To: RunningWolf
Less than 250 metres away and that is sniping? They were right in pretty close unless they had a good get away plan.. There is a whole lot more to their story going on there than their marksmanship IMO

Four snipers to take out two "sentries?" And from service rifle distance?

Doesn't pass the smell test...

19 posted on 03/17/2007 5:19:16 AM PDT by papertyger
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To: chasio649
The marines counted down from five, in unison, and the crack of four bullets rang out as one...

I wept that was so beautiful.

20 posted on 03/17/2007 5:34:29 AM PDT by IllumiNaughtyByNature (When Can We expect a Movie about Milli Vanilli?)
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To: papertyger

It seems more like a puff piece to "warn" the enemy to their presence. I trust no paper that talks about Special Ops. Special Ops. should be like your mother farting, you know it happens but you shouldn't think about it or talk about it.


21 posted on 03/17/2007 5:43:34 AM PDT by IllumiNaughtyByNature (When Can We expect a Movie about Milli Vanilli?)
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To: RunningWolf

That's what I thought.I've shot woodchucks at that distance with iron sights.If they had said 800 meters I'd have been more impressed.


22 posted on 03/17/2007 6:10:03 AM PDT by Farmer Dean (Every time a toilet flushes,another liberal gets his brains.)
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To: Oztrich Boy
"... the rifle can shoot groups of 7.62mm bullets in a 51mm radius at 550 metres"

... the rifle can shoot groups of .30 cal bullets in a 4" circle at 600 yards.

23 posted on 03/17/2007 6:14:36 AM PDT by robertpaulsen
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To: Farmer Dean
in my younger years (between 10-16) I would go rabbit hunting almost every day. I could hit a jackrabbit at 300 meters no problem with my mini-14 (5.56cal/.223mm). I loved that gun
24 posted on 03/17/2007 7:02:30 AM PDT by MrJapan
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To: MrJapan

or was it 5.56mm?!
:P


25 posted on 03/17/2007 7:03:21 AM PDT by MrJapan
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To: papertyger
Four snipers to take out two "sentries?" And from service rifle distance?

Target practice?

26 posted on 03/17/2007 7:05:21 AM PDT by mewzilla (Property must be secured or liberty cannot exist. John Adams)
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To: mewzilla

Excuse me, live fire exercise :)


27 posted on 03/17/2007 7:07:20 AM PDT by mewzilla (Property must be secured or liberty cannot exist. John Adams)
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To: mewzilla

Hell son, round these parts that's clearing the chamber!

And we don't need three buddies to help...


28 posted on 03/17/2007 7:14:14 AM PDT by papertyger
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To: chasio649

bump


29 posted on 03/17/2007 7:14:16 AM PDT by VOA
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To: robertpaulsen

51mm is more like 2" (2" = 50.8mm).


30 posted on 03/17/2007 7:15:17 AM PDT by reg45
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To: papertyger

New Olympic event? Synchronized sniping? Hey, I'm just glad these men are on our side :) God bless them!


31 posted on 03/17/2007 7:16:32 AM PDT by mewzilla (Property must be secured or liberty cannot exist. John Adams)
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To: Ajnin

Iraq and Afghanistan are relatively open country.


32 posted on 03/17/2007 7:21:29 AM PDT by AEMILIUS PAULUS (It is a shame that when these people give a riot)
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To: Oztrich Boy

51mm is about 2 inches. 550 meters is a little under 600 yards. A rifle that will stay in a 2 inch radius group (4 inch diameter) is pretty good


33 posted on 03/17/2007 7:22:28 AM PDT by SauronOfMordor (Never try to teach a pig to sing -- it wastes your time and it annoys the pig)
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To: chasio649

"...before work can begin, it has insisted that a 6km safety zone
is established ... marine commandos have cleared a 3km area ...
they patrol into position, dig a hide and wait. They fire off only
a few shots before withdrawing ... They are backed up by a
troop of marines who hide nearby..."
--
Its going to take an awfully long time to clear
the other 3km of the perimeter with this strategy.


34 posted on 03/17/2007 7:24:22 AM PDT by Repeal The 17th
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To: reg45
"51mm is more like 2" (2" = 50.8mm)."

Correct. A 2" radius. What I call a 4" circle.

35 posted on 03/17/2007 7:43:11 AM PDT by robertpaulsen
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To: mewzilla
New Olympic event? Synchronized sniping?

Na Na Na Nah Na "powpow" "powpow"...

:o)

36 posted on 03/17/2007 7:58:39 AM PDT by papertyger
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To: SauronOfMordor
A rifle that will stay in a 2 inch radius group (4 inch diameter) is pretty good

So we're talking about a half minute of accuracy. They should be taking shots from three times that range, then the mohammedens wouldn't be mucking up their exfil.

37 posted on 03/17/2007 8:03:40 AM PDT by papertyger
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To: papertyger

Exactly.If they had had some more distance,then they could have knocked off a bunch more Taliban-then called for artillery cover and withdrawn.Is anyone using silenced sniper weapons like a 300 whisper caliber bolt gun?They could have killed just about everybody at the site with a couple of those guns.


38 posted on 03/17/2007 9:11:36 AM PDT by Farmer Dean (Every time a toilet flushes,another liberal gets his brains.)
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To: Farmer Dean
Is anyone using silenced sniper weapons like a 300 whisper caliber bolt gun?They could have killed just about everybody at the site with a couple of those guns.

Ya know, I'm familiar with the concept, but I kinda wonder if they are a little specialized for military applications.

I can't imagine any way to actually suppress a rifle without sending the gases all hither and yon. That's got to play holy hell with sniper level accuracy...especially with multiple shots.

Also, the payload to powder ratio has got to REALLY restrict the range those things are good at.

I'm sure they're great for sentry removal (how ironic), but general application?

39 posted on 03/17/2007 9:24:46 AM PDT by papertyger
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To: papertyger

The weapons are good to 300 meters in skilled hands,and modern suppressors don't hinder accuracy.The new suppressors work by cooling and redirecting the expelled gases internally with multiple baffles and ported tubes.Mine works great,but does heat up fairly quickly.


40 posted on 03/17/2007 9:39:26 AM PDT by Farmer Dean (Every time a toilet flushes,another liberal gets his brains.)
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To: TweetEBird007; jws3sticks
Sentries have got to be a very low grade target.

When it comes to effective sniping, there's no such thing. Much of the art of sniping is psychological warfare.

41 posted on 03/17/2007 9:49:20 AM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: Lancey Howard

Good point.


42 posted on 03/17/2007 10:03:44 AM PDT by jws3sticks (Hillary can take a very long walk on a very short pier, anytime, and the sooner the better!)
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To: miliantnutcase

Shoot them all

Let God sort them out.


43 posted on 03/17/2007 10:22:19 AM PDT by ridesthemiles
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To: Ajnin
Probably they got drawn into a running firefight because they shot from inside 250m. That's pretty close, getting into standard infantry range rather than sniper range. Heck, I'm only a fair shot and I could hit a man sized target at 250.

I'd have thought they'd want to be at 400m plus... But then, I guess you can't pick the terrain and cover... Sometimes it is just going to be an in-tight mission.

44 posted on 03/17/2007 10:35:12 AM PDT by CodeMasterPhilzar
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To: chasio649
The two sentries fell down dead. Confirmed kills: two,

I like the hunting regulations in Iraq: Open season on game, no permit required, no bag limit, no tagging of the carcass required and you don't have to clean your kill..........

45 posted on 03/17/2007 10:44:05 AM PDT by Hot Tabasco
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To: Farmer Dean

MOA?


46 posted on 03/17/2007 10:48:24 AM PDT by papertyger
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To: chasio649

Lets not start to blubber, Real men dont use their wives & children as shields!


47 posted on 03/17/2007 10:50:19 AM PDT by Minutemen ("It's a Religion of Peace")
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To: Lancey Howard
When it comes to effective sniping, there's no such thing. Much of the art of sniping is psychological warfare.

Yeah, the effectiveness of confusing the S%@t out of a bunch of hadjis by four guys engaging them with bolt action rifles from well inside the range of their own weapons must be devastating...especially when they take down guys whose job is to stand roughly out in the open...and get ambushed on the way out... ;o)

48 posted on 03/17/2007 10:59:20 AM PDT by papertyger
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To: Minutemen
Lets not start to blubber, Real men dont use their wives & children as shields!

No, silly infidel pigdog: They use YOUR wives and children as sheilds!

49 posted on 03/17/2007 11:01:48 AM PDT by papertyger
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To: Farmer Dean
Is anyone using silenced sniper weapons...

I have been in the target trench while there were bullets passing 10 feet overhead.

The bullet is going supersonic, so the shock wave makes a loud snap. It is almost as loud as the rifle.

You cannot stop the sound from the shock wave, so they would know that someone is shooting at them even it the rifle had a silencer.

It also sounds like the rifle is close by, so if they start looking for it, they will look much too close to themselves, and not out where it originated.

50 posted on 03/17/2007 11:02:06 AM PDT by Dan(9698)
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