US Marine Scout Sniper Documentary

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Here’s a summary: Take what you learn by attempting to win shooting matches and apply that improved skill and knowledge to the field environment.

Carlos Hathcock:
“What I used when I was sniping, I learned when I was competing.”

Chief Warrant Officer Arthur Terry originally started the program in Hawaii at the Pu’uloa Range Training Facility near ʻEwa Beach and Pearl Harbor (now Joint Base Harbor-Hickam). Gunner Terry’s sniper program trained Carlos Hathcock.

Gunner Terry served as a sniper in Korea. More accurately, he used his competition shooting experience with an accurized service rifle to engage specific targets. Upon returning to the States, he was assigned to Marine Corps Base Hawaii, running a shooting team and starting a formal sniping program in the 1950s. This began being known as the Scout Sniper program as scouting was required to first find a target and high level shooting skill was required to get hits.

Terry had officially retired after Korea, however, Major General Alan Shapley, then-commanding general of the Fleet Marine Force, Pacific, “reacquired” him for a single purpose: Developing a sniper program, starting with the shooters from the Marine Rifle and Pistol team in Hawaii. Shapley was preparing for future conflicts after Korea. Terry was given a new service number and “unretired” into a Warrant Officer position with the mission of turning shooters into snipers. Given his sniping experience in Korea, Gunner Terry was directed by FMF brass to start this program. It wasn’t unusual for Shapely or generals from 1st Marine Division dropping in to Terry’s office for updates.

Arnold Vitarbo and John Verhaal were among the skilled competitive shooters on Gunner Terry’s cadre. Jim Land and Carlos Hathcock were some of their first students.

Another interview of a Viet Nam era sniper:

Tactical Sniper Shooting Techniques–DVD

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David Tubb demonstrates his ideas for precision rifle shooting in a law enforcement environment. Here is an overview of some of his feats therein:

– From sling-supported prone, hold half the size a one-inch paster at 50 yards (1 MOA).
– Shooting sustained/rapid fire from sling-supported sitting, fire 5 shots inside 3 MOA.
– Starting from standing, adopt a sling-supported prone position and hit eight 8×12 inch plates at 200 yards in 12 seconds.
– Using a vehicle engine block as cover, adopt a sling-supported kneeling position, engage a 8×12 inch plate at 200 yards, and return behind cover in about five seconds.
– Police snipers typically shoot at less than 100 yards. Tubb discusses the trajectory issues and sight settings needed and performs demonstrations on coins (US quarters) to prove the point.

If you can do better than all of this, please, make your own video! I’ll gladly pay to watch it! No, there isn’t tactics in this video, rather, it is a series of marksmanship ideas useful for police snipers.

Yes, he discusses a vest he designed because it specifically addresses the police sniper’s needs. All riflemen realize the benefits of a shooting sling, but a loop sling is too slow to put on and uncomfortable to wear for long periods. The Ching sling solves the loop-up time problem for field shooting but still ties the shooter to the rifle. Tubb’s design removes the arm loop or cuff and uses the back of the vest as the attachment. A competition-style ball joint sling attachment provides instant on and off and the sling neatly tucks out of the way when not in use.

A top level shooter analyzed a real problem and offered a good solution. Better still, he provides impressive demonstrations proving the validity.

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