Project White Feather is a U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM)-sponsored effort to apply advanced sniper weapon fire control technology that will extend range and increase first round hit probability for special operations applications. As envisioned, the fire control will provide the shooter a real-time ballistically corrected aim point with input from a laser crosswind sensor, laser range finder, inertial sensors that measure weapon motion, as well as other sensors.

The Weapons & Materials Research Directorate of the Army Research Laboratory published a white paper of these efforts called Sniper Weapon Fire Control Error Budget Analysis

To establish a baseline, groups of snipers and competition shooters were tested. Weapon Pointing (aiming) Error, the ability of a shooter to hold his or her aim on target, was obviously a key test.

According to their tests, the standard deviation of aiming error for the best, formally-trained operational snipers was three times worse than tested High Power and Long Range competition shooters sufficiently skilled to compete successfully in national level match competition at Camp Perry and the like. In fact, the worst competition shooters tested were as good or better than the best snipers in basic holding and shooting fundamentals.

Sniper Weapon Fire Control Error Budget Analysis
Weapons & Materials Research Directorate, Army Research Laboratory

Table 4. Sniper’s Approximate Aiming Error

SIGMA (in mils) – Constant Across Range

Page 16

Quality of Shooter:       Operational sniper         Camp Perry competitor

< .300 Magnum

Best                                     0.30                                       0.10

Worst                                    0.80                                       0.30


Best                                     0.50                                         0.20

Worst                                  1.20                                          0.50


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