A two-man team from the 75th Ranger Regiment bested a crowded field of snipers from around the world last week in the 18th Annual International Sniper Competition– for the second time in as many years.
The other 29 teams in the week-long match ranged from one from the II Jutland Dragoons from Denmark (8th lace) to one from the 890th Paratroopers if the IDF (19th place) and the Dutch Army’s 42nd Limburgse Jagers.
More detail, images and video in my column at Guns.com
Sniper teams from eight NATO countries recently visited Austria to use the Alps for some specialized training at Austria’s Hochfilzen Training Area. In such a beautiful part of Europe, the released photos from the event look like they came right from a postcard, but with a bonus sniper team inserted.
More in my column at Guns.com
The great combined Austro-Hungarian Army of Emperor Franz Josef– as well as its two national reserve forces, the Royal Hungarian Honvéd and Imperial Austrian Landwehr–fielded the enbloc clip-fed Mannlicher M1895 rifle for the last few decades of its existence.
Chambered in 8x50mmR, some 3.5 million(ish) of these were made by FEG in Hungary and Steyr in Austria as well as by CZ/Brno (the latter just starting in 1918.)
The straight-pull bolt action typically used a 30-inch barrel to produce a very hefty 50-inch rifle.
However, one of the rarer variants, sniper rifles which used telescopic sights made by Reichert, Kahles, Suss, Fuess, and Oigee, saw much lower production numbers, with just 13,000 made. Luckily Austria was home to the lion-share of optics makers at the time!
An even rarer subset of these was the M95 sniper carbine. Yes, sniper carbine.
And, as the Italians took most of these for war reparations in 1919-20, which Rome subsequently scrapped, they are one of the rarest of all sniper breeds.
My homie Ian has details on such a rifle, below.
Two pictures, about a century apart, but in the same part of the world and with the same context.
Just waiting for ET to kick up a fight somewhere past Uranus sometime around 2090, then we can put a Space Force sniper team here for a third picture follow-up.
The Europe Best Sniper Team Competition being held this week is like the World Cup of military marksmanship, but with tougher competitors. Held at the U.S. 7th Army’s Grafenwoehr Training Area in Bavaria for the past week, according to the Army the event tests “marksmanship skills, physical prowess, and mental agility while engaging in team-building competition.”
In all some 36 teams from 17 NATO countries joined by heavily armed and Russia-adjacent neutrals Finland and Sweden, faced off in a set of professional skill tests– and there is a ton of really nice hardware on display.
Much more in my column at Guns.com.
From the Hungarian site Kapszli comes a great piece on the Swiss Army’s innovative Model 1851 Federal Rifle, otherwise known as the Feldstutzer or Eidigenössischer Stutzer.
“The Model 1851 rifle at the time of the acceptance was truly the best military rifle of its age. First of all, it fired a much smaller diameter and lighter bullet than any other military rifle. While the French military rifle fired a 17 mm bullet, the American and British a 14.7 mm bullet, the Swiss rifle fired a 10.4 mm bullet weighing only 16.5-17 g. The bullet was pushed from the bore with a relatively high 60-grain charge of fine grade black powder resulting in a 440 m/s muzzle velocity and a flat trajectory.
The flat trajectory was a key feature in Switzerland the soldier had to master shooting downhill and uphill. The Swiss army consisted of free people for many centuries. These civilians were more important to the state than to let them be killed in melee combat so sniping the enemy from a safe distance was always an important element of the Swiss tactics since the introduction of firearms. It is also a reason why the shooting sports have been always so popular in this beautiful little country.”
Much more here
The Army has announced that Sig Sauer’s 1-6x24mm Tango6 optic has been selected to equip the service’s new Squad Designated Marksman Rifle.
The Tango6 series scope, as selected for a 6,069-unit SDMR requirement, will include a flat dark earth aluminum main tube, 762 extended range bullet drop compensation illuminated front reticle and a red horseshoe dot for daylight target acquisition.
More in my column at Guns.com