"Our smart weapon"

(To Andrea Sapori)

The image depicted a camouflaged Marine with his M40 Remington sniper rifle. This is, to this day, the most effective recruitment advertising campaign ever conceived by an armed force.

It was the 90s, and the USAF used images of F15Es and F117s for the same purposes. stealth who hit targets with "laser" precision during the 1sta Gulf War, the US Navy was still recycling the slogan "Join the Navy and you'll travel the world", when the Marines published a photo of a soldier armed with his sniper rifle. Brilliant!

The approach to tiro long range (conventionally the one that goes beyond 300 meters) must bear in mind that this discipline (it is not a sport) must necessarily draw on the "field" experiences of military sharpshooters. This cannot be ignored.

Anyone wishing to undertake the technical, physical, psychological path, which will lead to placing a rifle shot between 400 and 1600 meters (and even further) in a 50x60 centimeter target, must know that physics, mathematics, chemistry, meteorology, mechanics, biodynamics , are subjects with which he will come into contact on an ongoing basis. 
This is why long-range shooting is a discipline.

You need:

  • Order, mental and physical. 
  • Humility, to learn from every shot fired.
  • Listening, to ourselves, to the weapon, to the ammunition, to the environment around us, to the experiences of others.

It almost seems like I'm talking about a Jedi Knight from Star Wars... well this is partly true.

Carlos Hatchcok (photo), perhaps by far the best of the Marines' snipers (people who know a lot about long-range shooting), said he survived his three tours of duty in Vietnam thanks to the ability to "close himself in a bubble of pure concentration" during his missions. He is a great example.

Now, without exaggerating, I can guarantee that "finding yourself" and becoming one with your rifle while chambering the shot and focusing the target in the scope, given a well-done technical preparatory work, is a bit like being one Jedi who uses "the Force" (I hope those reading this have seen at least one film from the Star Wars saga...).

A dear friend of mine, excellent PRS shooter (www.precisionrifleseries.com) and a great expert on the physical and mechanical dynamics of weapons, gave me these words: "I have always had the psychophysical perception that rifle shooting is a kind of time machine. Time expands when you are about to press the trigger, and then the awareness of the target hit anticipates the sound of the bullet's impact on the plate".

It's absolutely like that. All the technical knowledge, the adjustments, the control of one's breathing and, believe me, even the beating of one's heart, will lead a small piece of tapered metal to hit a target placed at a distance varying from 3 to 15 football fields, so to speak. . There are smaller provinces, even nations.

Try to count them, visualize them, imagine them, 15 football fields, placed one after the other: that's a lot of space. Yet, if you have managed to control yourself and your weapon system, after a hit to your shoulder you will see a puff of dust on the target and, after a few seconds, you will perhaps even hear the sound of the impact.

3, 5, 10, 15 football fields. Lots of space. Which you now control.

That's why that camouflaged marine in the woods is "the real smart weapon": a man and his rifle.

Photo: US Marine Corps / web