What is a sniper rifle?

The sniper rifle has become a legend among the civilian population and is the subject of fierce controversy among professionals. Our article will give an idea of what it is.

Sniper rifle in a nutshell

The sniper rifle differs from other types of weapons in its increased accuracy of shooting at long distances. Its feature is the presence of a large-diameter telescopic sight with a significant increase. As a rule, scopes are equipped with a built-in rangefinder and reticle. The longer stock than usual is worth mentioning. Cheeks and stock length can be adjusted to adapt to the particular shooter. Some models have a folding stock at an angle for easy transport. The receiver is equipped with attachment points for attaching additional equipment. The barrel is characterized by increased strength and a thicker section than conventional barrels. This ensures that there is no significant difference in accuracy between hot and cold barrels. The inside of the barrel is not chrome-plated to exclude the slightest inaccuracies in processing. If necessary, the barrel is equipped with a silencer. Most models have a flame arrester or muzzle brake. The rifle is often fitted with a bipod and has additional accessories.

Types of a sniper rifle

Sniper rifles for the police

Sniper rifles are divided into police and military. The police most often work in the city. This means short to medium distances. The weapon is not used in harsh environmental conditions, 24/7, throughout the year. Therefore, its corps can be made with less stringent requirements than the corps for the army. In addition, cramped urban conditions require a more compact rifle, and therefore the barrel of a police rifle is somewhat shorter than that of a military one.

Sniper rifles for the military.

Military sniper rifles are designed for longer ranges. Therefore, the barrel has an increased length. They have maximum precision, a robust body. They are suitable for repair and modification in combat conditions. Frequently, the military has to travel considerable distances, so the weapon is lighter in weight than the police use.

Sniper rifle styles

There are many models for different ammunition and different purposes. There are models for the destruction of equipment, personnel, and demining. They differ in caliber, penetration, range, and firing accuracy. Among them, you can find bolt-action and semi-automatic rifles.

Weapons with a longitudinal slide mechanism are most often used as a sniper rifles. Its reliability, accuracy, relative cheapness, and lighter weight make it popular with police and the army.

And for NATO special operations, demining, where fast-firing at multiple targets is required, the semi-automatic rifle shows itself better. But this shooting sacrifices accuracy over long distances. However, it has the logistical advantage that it is possible to use standard ammunition.


The most common and versatile ammunition for sniper rifles is the 7.62 × 51 mm cartridge (.308 Winchester). Both the army and the police actively use it. It works great at distances of about 600m. For urban conditions and reaches up to 500m, use .223 calibers. For 900m, the .300 WM works best, and for longer distances, the .338 Lapua Magnum works best. Army snipers actively use the last two cartridges. .50 BMG caliber is used for mine clearance and destruction of vehicles. But this ammunition was created for a machine gun, not for a sniper rifle. A series of such shots can cause physical discomfort in the shooter due to the strong shock wave. Anti-material sniper rifles can hit targets at a distance of about 2.3 km and have significant penetration. But their accuracy, to put it mildly, is not perfect.

Optics for a sniper rifle

Sniper rifle optics are made of extra-low dispersion glass and have 40-50 mm lenses with full multilayer coating. It features smooth target zoom and fine detail. Mostly they use 4-40x magnification, but there are models with up to 80x magnification. The devices use a built-in reticle to help determine the distance to the target. Sometimes they use grid illumination at night. Optics for a sniper rifle is equipped with a unique fire adjustment system: milliradian or angular. It allows for more accurate fire than standard optics. A military sniper rifle has an accuracy of 1-3 MOA (0.3-1 mrad) and a police one – 0.25-1.5 MOA (0.1-0.5 mrad). Many scopes are equipped with anti-fog protection and a fully insulated, impact-resistant housing. Night vision and thermal sights are used for night shooting.

The sniper rifle is a highly accurate, sensitive mechanism requiring professional use and maintenance. Recently, sniper rifles have attracted the interest of hunters and snipers. We recommend that you take this weapon as responsibly as you can. Its superior fighting qualities, durability, reliability, and ease of use will surely win your heart.

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