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These were the Russian standards prior to the Second World War

Since I first found this info I have communicated with other MN collectors who have accessed these documents, as I have, from the National Archives.

Excerpts from the Soviet Army Musketry Manual 1932

Source: US Military Attaché, Riga, Latvia. Report # 8272

March 29 1933 Received @ War Dept Washington April 18 1933

MI Div document # 2037-1998 Secret Subject:Soviet Army Sniper Training {excerpts, M} Training Program:

Exercise #1 Open sights circular target 300/400 meters, 26 rounds, 3 sighters, 10 record at each distance. Prone with support. Minimum score @ each range: 60

Exercise #2 Telescopic sight Target: figure w/ LMG 800 meters 5 rounds, unlimited time allowed, prone w/ support. Minimum score: 2 hits.

Exercise #3, two man team. Sights: not specified, target 1/2 sil disappearing type x2. 300 & 400 m. 5 rounds 35 seconds after loading, any position. Minimum score: hit both targets @ both ranges w/i specified time.

Exercise #4 Sights not specified. Target: rapidly moving light tank w/driver figure, range 300 m. 5 rounds Requirements: rifleman makes 50m rush to prone position, Tank appears for 25 seconds; moves 50 m in that time. 2 hits.

Exercise #5 open and telescopic sights. Targets: periscope. loophole, head and 1/2 figures. 15 rounds, time: 10 minutes familiarization, 75 sec firing course, + one unlimited target, not specified. Requirements: targets disappear or run at random ranges from 100-500 m. random times and intervals, to front and flanks. (score not specified) The entire training course is repeated several times, using 200 rounds 7.62mm, before the five stated record exercises. In addition, the preparatory sniper training also uses 110 rounds of .22 cal familiarization firing.

'The sniper's weapon is the ordinary rifle which has been chosen @ the factory for it's ballistic qualities. An accurate record is kept of it's use and all cartridges fired.'

W.E. Shipp
(signed) W. E. Shipp, Major, GS Military Attaché
 

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Very impressive considering the crude weapons and optics they were using at the time. Bet GK couldn't do it with his 10" CAR.

RIKA
 

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gunkid couldn't do it even with the best of the best equipment they now make.
 

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What's intriguing in WWII literature is that only the Japanese never "trained up" their snipers to shoot the Officer's, NCO's, Radiomen, etc. They shot anyone. While this may temporairly diminsh a unit's effectiveness, the leaders would pull the unit back together and kill the sniper and continue the mission.
 

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When you consider that the standard Soviet sniper scope was 3.5 power, this is really amazing.

A typical 1891 Moisin-Nagant sniper rifle will shoot three rounds of ordinary 154 gn FMJ into 1-1.5 inches at 100 yards...and that's with the dinky 3.5X scope.
 

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The Russians trained large numbers of snipers, both men and woemen in the 1930s using these courses and that equipment, They were highly effective in WW2. The Germans hated them. They were trained to shoot officers and NCOs first.
 

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Ever hear of Berdan's Sharpshooters. They were in the Civil War (yankie side.) Berdan wanted them to fight as a regiment, as in regimental strength. And being trained to shoot for officers you can guess what kind of dammage a whole blessed regiment of sharpshooters would do to any opposing enemy regiment!

Funny how we contentrate tanks into divisions, planes into groups and wings, but no, they scatter snipers all over the place in little packets. Makes you wonder what would happen if they had whole companies and battalions of them all in one spot.
 

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That would be a bad idea. Snipers are not equipped for formation fighting, or going toe to toe with enemy infantry. By their nature, they are best off in small teams. However, what IS very effective is the Marine Corps/Airborne concept of the designated marksman. What is also effective is old-school, and to my knowledge only the Marines currently practice it, although the Army is coming around, and that is the idea that each infantryman is a marksman. We've given up the idea of close range volley fire that some idiot came up with in the '60s (should have learned from, oh, say, the revolutionary war why this doesn't work). We're now getting back to the idea of the individual marksman, which the Marines and a few Army units never gave up on.
 

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Magnum, they would be poorly used only if they use the same sniper tactics they use now for fighting. But if they totaly reconfigured to fight as battlefield sharpshooters, that would be another matter. That's the point. Imagine a whole regiment of sharpshooters and develop tactics around the precision that such a regiment would be capable. Enguagement distances might start at 800 yards or more! Think of 1000 yard ambushes. Or when a squad can time their opening shots together and just take out a whole opposing squad in a second. Or the concept of 'fire and manuver' but at unheard of ranges.
 

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DJetAce said:
Magnum, they would be poorly used only if they use the same sniper tactics they use now for fighting. But if they totaly reconfigured to fight as battlefield sharpshooters, that would be another matter. That's the point. Imagine a whole regiment of sharpshooters and develop tactics around the precision that such a regiment would be capable. Enguagement distances might start at 800 yards or more! Think of 1000 yard ambushes. Or when a squad can time their opening shots together and just take out a whole opposing squad in a second. Or the concept of 'fire and manuver' but at unheard of ranges.

That COULD be done, using something like the M21 system. But should they be engaged up close, the scopes will be a problem. Perhaps what would be more versatile would be to have one designated marksman per squad, rather than per platoon. Far ambushes do happen, but utilize artillery and mortars. Using the modern computerized aiming systems, the first volley is often very close to dead on, and if you have rocket artillery available, the cluster munitions make up for lack of frist round accuracy.

I do remember back in Gulf War I, it was talked about arming riflemen with a 3.5x scope that rode high so the irons could be used, but at range, one could fire through the scope. Not full-on snipers, but a good idea.
 

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GBullet said:
I was planning to post some info on Civil War sniping at GBullet's Place.

Would that interest anyone?
It would interest me GB, The United States Sharpshooters regiments are a dascinating piece of history.
 
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