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8 Sniper Rifles to Take Down Terrorists
Since the dawn of time there have been fearmongers. To gain influence, power, money or a combination of all three, these terrorists have relied on scare tactics to achieve their goals. Throughout history, weapons of all shapes and sizes have been used in the fight against terrorism. In today’s world, snipers play a large part in counter-terrorism. Those snipers rely on their military gear, most specifically their trusted sniper rifles. Be it so humble, we here at the Military Gear Blog have compiled a list of sniper rifles used by military snipers, police officers and other counter-terrorist organizations.
Reported in 2005 by Marine Corps News, one sniper killed a terrorist from more than the max effective range of 1,000 yards — at the time this was the longest range confirmed kill in Iraq. The Marine sniper was operating the supremely accurate M40A3 sniper rifle to take out the insurgent who stood 1,050 yards away.
The United States Air Force sharpshooters train with the M24, which is the military version of the Remington 700. It’s a bolt action rifle. A key part of its accuracy is due to its heavy, stainless steel, powdered-coated barrel. The M24 Sniper Weapon System includes the rifle, the detachable telescopic sight and other accessories. Snipers can hit targets within 800 meters with ease. The weapon is also used by SWAT teams nationwide.
XM2010 Enhanced Sniper Rifle
From the ashes of the M24 Reconfigured Sniper Weapon System rises the XM2010 Enhanced Sniper Rifle (ESR). Developed through the efforts of PEO Soldier for the U.S. Army, the sniper rifle is considered a total conversion upgrade as features such as chambering, barrel, stock, magazines, muzzlebrake, suppressor and optics have changed. Intended to replace the M24 in the field, 250 of the weapons will be deployed to U.S. Army snipers by the end of December 2010. While it hasn’t taken out any insurgents as of yet, the increased effective range (1,200 meters) will surely assist Army snipers in taking out terrorists.
The British Army’s Special Air Service is a special forces regiment that was formed in the 1940s. Many of their missions are counter-terrorism related. Essentially, they focus on taking out insurgents. One of the rifles found in their armory is the AW50. It features a fold-out bipod and retractable spike in the stock for improved stability. In order to better conceal the sniper’s location, the rounds are loaded into the breech via a bolt action and the operator can ejected the empties manually. The AW50 is said to effectively fire up to 1,500 meters away.
Operation Marlborough: In 2005, the Telegraph UK published a story about the mission of a 16-man SAS patrol. The soldiers’ goal was to take out three suspected bombers. To ensure a clear shot, the four sniper teams waited patiently for the terrorists to exit the Baghdad house. The men had gone over the strategy over and over again as it was imperative that each suicide bomber was shot at the same moment with a single head shot to each, otherwise they would be able to detonate one of the devices. Each sniper team was equipped with a L115A. Three snipers shot that day; three insurgents died. Mission successfully completed. via Free Republic
Along with the recently regaled HK416 used in the Abbottabad raid, Navy SEALs also have been known to shoot a sniper rifle or two. Some swear that the most effective sniper rifle in their arsenal is the MK11, which has a max range of 1,500 yards (1,371 meters). In addition, the rifle is durable and touted to perform in nearly any environment. Extremely accurate, the rifle has a free-floating, 20-inch barrel and free-floating rail accessory system.
M14, M21 & M25
One of the U.S.’s Tier One counter-terrorism groups, the 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta (aka Delta Force) performs covert missions, such as recuing hostages or raids. Operating outside of the normal military channels, its unconventional nature has led to its members carrying customized weapons, so it’s a bit hard to name one sniper rifle of choice. In the past, Delta snipers were reported to carry M14s, later upgrading to M21 and then M25 rifles. Terrorists don’t stand a chance.
We are only too aware that terrorism can happen within the United States borders. In light of past terrorist attacks, some elite law enforcement agencies have decided to add the Heckler & Koch PSG-1 to their armories. The PSG-1 can only be used effectively within 600 meters, but is said to be one of the most accurate semi-automatics in the world. It isn’t a common fixture in most departments due to its steep price.
Undoubtedly, there are many more sniper rifles and other weapons that are employed to fight the good fight. If you know of any other sniper rifles, please tell us about it in the comments section. We appreciate input and encourage you to share your thoughts. Civilly, if you please.
Aside from sniper rifles, what other counter-terrorist weapons are out there?