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Guess who out-shot the Marines and NSWG?

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

Like sniper team postcards?

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.

Norwegian Army Telemark Battalion sniper team takes aim at targets across a valley. Note the Barrett MRAD. (U.S. Army Photo)

Dutch sniper engages targets in a valley below

More in my column at Guns.com

Now that is Tyrolean

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.

Thus. Also, great overshoes.

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.

A WWI-era Steyr M95 sniper rifle with a 20-inch barrel and a three post-C. Reichert Wein-marked 3x optic. It carries a “Wn-18” acceptance mark. (Photos: RIA)

The optic uses a three-post European style reticle and a very…peculiar mount.

My homie Ian has details on such a rifle, below.

The more things change…

Two pictures, about a century apart, but in the same part of the world and with the same context.

An ANZAC soldier trying to spot Turkish snipers during the Gallipoli Campaign, 1915 Turkey, raises his Wolseley pith helmet on his Enfield as his buddy observes for Ottoman muzzle flash.

A USMC Marine uses his entrenching tool to hold his helmet and attract enemy fire while a spotter searches for targets through a small hole in Fallujah, Iraq, 2004

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.

Sniper Olympics

A Dutch sniper team leaving room for Jesus while getting a good supported position. Also, hopefully, the Dutch government saved a ton of money on that Glock holster contract.

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.

A sniper from Finland on the stress lane. Renowned for marksmanship (ever heard of Simo Haya?) the Finnish Army use the Sako-built TRG-42 as their TKIV 2000 rifle, as well as the more legacy Valmet TKIV 85/Mosin 91 conversion in 7.62x53R– not to be confused with the old standard Russian 7.62x54R, although it can use that in a pinch.

Much more in my column at Guns.com.

You do know the Model 1851 Feldstutzer, yes?

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.

Via Cap & Ball (Kapszli)

“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

Sig 1-6x Tango optic to outfit Army’s new SDMR

Sig’s 1-6x24mm TANGO6 optic will top off a variant of the Heckler & Koch G28E rifle to serve as the Army’s new SDMR, replacing legacy accurized M14 rifles. (Photo: Sig Sauer)

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

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