Tag Archives: Sniper

You know the C20, eh?

The Colt Canada-produced C20 semi-automatic Intermediate Sniper Weapon is being acquired for the Canadian Army in small numbers.

Produced domestically by Colt Canada in Kitchener, Ontario, the semi-automatic C20 has an 18-inch barrel with a 1-in-10 twist and is reportedly pretty friggen accurate. Testing showed the rifle to fire 8,000 rounds with no stopping and deliver an average of .66 MOA over 144 five-round groups using 175-grain Federal Gold Medal Match.

The overall length on the C20 is 38-inches while weight is 9.1-pounds. It has a 46-slot continuous MIL-STD-1913 top rail and a handguard with M-LOK accessory slots in the 3-, 6-, and 9-o’clock positions. (Photo: Colt Canada)

More in my column at Guns.com. 

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.

Camo grass suit: The hottest thing in 1942 Solomon Islands sniper wear

From the Thayer Soule Collection (COLL/2266) at the Archives Branch, Marine Corps History Division

“SNIPER GOES TO ROOST— Garbed in captured Japanese sniper’s outfit, a U.S. Marine on Guadalcanal Island proves that the Japs are not the only fighters who can “shinny” up a coconut tree, secret themselves in the lush foliage and hammer away at unsuspecting troops. Here he is giving them a mock dose of their medicine…

A U.S. Marine dons Japanese snipers outfit and mocks ascent into a palm tree. So well taught in the art of camouflage are the Japanese that were it not for the report of their rifles it would be almost impossible to spot them. Photo was taken on Guadalcanal, B.S.I.P.”

“This is one of mine. This is Sergeant Art I believe, or maybe Sergeant Fue. I get them mixed up. He was one of the survivors of the Getge patrol. Here he’s demonstrating the way the Japanese used that clip thing to climb the trees. Japanese rain cape, Japanese helmet, Japanese rifle. And before he went up, he was very careful to make sure everybody knew that he was one of us and not one of them.”

“Coming down” From the Thayer Soule Collection (COLL/2266) at the Archives Branch, Marine Corps History Division

November 4, 1942: “The U.S. Marine at the right shows a companion how he looks in a Japanese sniper’s jacket made of long-haired animal’s skin. The skin blends in with the underbrush making such snipers extremely difficult to locate.”

OFFICIAL U.S. MARINE CORPS PHOTO 6013611

Labeled “Japanese sniper suit for use in trees”

The above capture surely leads to this report:

“Japanese Camouflage Garment” from Tactical and Technical Trends, 14 Dec 1942, via Lone Sentry

The garment shown in the accompanying sketch was captured in the Solomons area. A number of similar garments were found packed in bales, and in at least one instance, one was found on a Japanese sniper shot out of a palm tree by U.S. Marines.

It is made from the shaggy, reddish-brown fiber that grows at the base of the fronds of the coconut palm tree. Sheets of this fiber are sewed together to form the garment.

It can serve as a camouflage garment to be used in areas where there are quantities of coconut palms. It has been used by snipers strapped in among the fronds of palm trees, and it could also be used effectively on the ground under suitable color conditions.

Comment: This type of garment is widely used in Japan as a raincoat. Those made of coconut palm fiber are used by Japanese fishermen, while the Japanese farmer makes his with reeds or rushes.

Beyond that, the suit was published in YANK in 1943, as a reference moving forward for Japanese uniforms (look at the right-hand corner).

White Sniper: Simo Hayha’ by Tapio Saarelainen

During the 1939-40 Winter War between Finland and the Soviet Union, a hunter and farmer by trade by the name of Simo Hayha returned to his reserve unit and picked up 542 confirmed kills with iron sights.

While versions of Hayha’s story is well known in the West, the 192 pages of Tapio Saarelainen’s White Sniper goes past the second and third-hand accounts and brings you, as Paul Harvey would say, the rest of the story.

It should be noted that Saarelainen is a career military officer who spent two decades training precision marksmen for the Finnish Army and even helped write that Scandinavian country’s manual for snipers. Besides this obvious resume to prepare him to write the work on Hayha, the author also met and interviewed the Winter War hero dozens of times over a five year period.

That’s a good part of what makes White Sniper such an interesting read is that it is drawn largely from first-hand accounts from a man who has been referred to as the deadliest sniper in history, but also from those who lived next to, fought alongside with, and knew the man personally. As such, it sheds insight on the man not known in the West. Such as the fact that he used his own personal Finnish-made Mosin M/28-30 rifle that he had paid for with his own funds. That his outnumbered fellow Finns, fighting alongside him in the frozen Kollaa region during that harsh winter, called him “Taika-ampuja” which translates roughly as the “Magic Shooter.” That he took almost as many moose and foxes in his life as he did Russians. That he was unassuming in later life, spending most of his time calling on old friends in his yellow VW Bettle.

More of my review here.

To check out Saarelainen’s book on Amazon here.

Calling Camp Pendleton….Calling Camp Pendleton

The first Marine Corps snipers in Vietnam often found themselves using rifles forwarded from stateside shooting teams, such as this classic Model 70 with it’s huge 14x Unertl Sniper.

While Marine snipers after WWII were stuck with Korean War-vintage M1C Garands with offset mounted 2x optic, competitive rifle teams in the Corps eschewed the M1C for special order target model rifles such as the Winchester Model 70, for use in National Match events.

The example Ian with Forgotten Weapons above has a serial number that places it in the 1956 era and was owned by a retired Marine colonel who was Captain of the Marine Corp rifle team at Camp Pendleton around that time.

One Marine who came from just such a rifle team environment and went to Vietnam, where he used a similar Model 70 (with an 8x Unertl) for a time was Gunnery Sgt. Carlos N. Hathcock II, who won the Wimbledon Cup trophy at the 1965 National Matches at Camp Perry, Ohio with a M70.

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The work was taken from my column at Firearms Talk and my articles for several different magazines. From the jacket: ” Thoughts on Firearms Tactics and Training by noted firearms instructor, writer, and security consultant Christopher L Eger is a collection of more than 50 articles covering firearms training, tactics, interesting weapons and ammunition, and survival in a modern time. It offers fresh and unique perspective to help you survive and carry forward.”

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Thanks to everyone! Enjoy the freebee!

Shooting the M40A5 Sniper Weapons System

Amphibious Reconnaissance and Scout Sniper Marines from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit train combat marksmanship with Marines and Navy SEALS from the Republic of Korea and Royal Thai Marine special forces. Marines of the MEU’s scout sniper platoon led a brief period of instruction before all parties fired at multiple targets ranging from 100 to 400 meters. All three nations fired the Marine Corps’ M40A3 and M40A5 sniper rifles. Soundbites include Staff Sgt. Darrell Rushing – Scout Sniper Platoon Sergeant, Weapons Company, Battalion Landing Team 1st Battalion, 4h Marines, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit. (Keller, Texas). Produced by Sgt. Paul Robbins Jr.