This section describes the equipment necessary for the sniper to effectively perform his mission. The sniper carries only what is essential to successfully complete his mission. He requires a durable rifle with the capability of long-range precision fire. Spotting equipment, scopes, night vision sights, ghilliesuits etc.


The sniper team employs night and limited visibility devices to conduct continuous operations.

a. Night Vision Sight. The US AN/PVS-4 is a portable, battery-operated, Electro-optical instrument that can be hand-held for visual observation or weapon-mounted for precision fire at night. The observer can detect and resolve distant targets through the unique capability of the sight to amplify reflected ambient light (moon, stars, or sky glow). The sight is passive thus, it is free from enemy detection by visual or electronic means. This sight, with appropriate weapons adapter bracket, can be mounted on the M16 rifle.

(1) Uses. The M16 rifle with the mounted AN/PVS-4 is effective in achieving a first-round hit out to and beyond 300 meters, depending on the light conditions. The AN/PVS-4 is mounted on the M16 since the nightsight’s limited range does not make its use practical for the sniper weapon system. This avoids problems that may occur when removing and replacing the sniperscope. The nightsight provides an effective observation ability during night combat operations. The sight does not give the width, depth, or clarity of daylight vision; however, a well-trained operator can see enough to analyze the tactical situation, to detect enemy targets, and to place effective fire on them. The sniper team uses the AN/PVS-4 to accomplish the following:

(a) To enhance their night observation capability.

(b) To locate and suppress hostile fire at night.

(c) To deny enemy movement at night.

(d) To demoralize the enemy with effective first-round kills at night.

(2) Employment factors. Since the sight requires target illumination and does not project its own light source, it will not function in total darkness. The sight works best on a bright, moonlit night. When there is no light or the ambient light level is low (such as in heavy vegetation), the use of artificial or infrared light improves the sight’s performance.

(a) Fog, smoke, dust, hail, or rain limit the range and decrease the resolution of the instrument.

(b) The sight does not allow seeing through objects in the field of view. For example, the operator will experience the same range restrictions when viewing dense wood lines as he would when using other optical sights.

(c) The observer may experience eye fatigue when viewing for prolonged periods. Viewing should be limited to 10 minutes, followed by a rest period of 10 minutes. After several periods of viewing, he can safely extend this time limit. To assist in maintaining a continuous viewing. capability and to reduce eye fatigue, the observer should use one eye then the other while viewing through the sight.

(3) Zeroing. The operator may zero the sight during daylight or darkness; however, he may have some difficulty in zeroing just l before darkness. The light level at dusk is too low to permit the operator to resolve his zero target with the lens cap cover in place, but it is still intense enough to cause the sight to automatically turnoff unless the lens cap cover is in position over the objective lens. The sniper normally zeros the sight for the maximum practical range that he can be expected to observe and fire, depending on the level of light.


US team AN/PVS-5. The US AN/PVS-5 is a lightweight, passive night vision system that gives the sniper another means ofcourse observing an area during darkness. The sniper normally carries the goggles, the observer has the M16 mounted with the nightsight. The goggles make it easier to see due to their design. However, the same limitations that apply to the nightsight also apply to the goggles.


AN/PVS-7 Series. The night vision goggles, AN/PVS-7 series has a better resolution and viewing ability than the AN/PVS-5 goggles. The AN/PVS-7 series goggles have a head-mount assembly that allows them to be mounted in front of the face so that both hands can be free. The goggles can be used without the mount assembly for hand-held viewing.

Night Vision Goggles, AN/PVS-7


AN/GVS-5. Depending on the mission, snipers can use the AN/GVS-5 to determine the range to the target. The AN/GVS-5 (LR) is an individually operated, hand-held, distance-measuring device designed for distances from 200 to 9,990 meters (with an error of plus or minus 10 meters). It measures distances by firing an infrared beam at a target and by measuring the time the reflected beam takes to return to the operator. It then displays the target distance, in meters, inside the viewer. The reticle pattern in the viewer is graduated in 10-mil increments and has display lights to indicate low battery and multiple target hits. If the beam hits more than one target, the display gives a reading of the closest target hit. The beam that is fired from the set poses a safety hazard; therefore, snipers planning to use this equipment should be thoroughly trained in its safe operation.

Laser Observation Set AN/GVS-5.


Binoculars is the preferred optical instrument for conducting hasty scans. The sniper should adjust the binocular until one sharp circle appears while looking through them. After adjusting the binoculars’ interpupillary distance (distance between a person’s pupils), the sniper should make a mental note of the reading on this scale for future reference. The eyepieces are also adjustable. The sniper can adjust one eyepiece at a time by turning the eyepiece with one hand while placing the palm of the other hand over the objective lens of the other monocular. While keeping both eyes open, he adjusts the eyepiece until he can see a crisp, clear view. After one eyepiece is adjusted, he repeats the procedure with the remaining eyepiece. The sniper should also make a mental note of the diopter scale reading on both eyepieces for future reference. One side of the binoculars has a laminated reticle pattern that consists of a vertical and horizontal mil scale that is graduated in 10-mil increments. Using this reticle pattern aids the sniper in determining range and adjusting indirect-fires. The sniper uses the binoculars for:

Calling for and adjusting indirect fires.

Observing target areas.

Observing enemy movement and positions.

Identifying aircraft.

Improving low-light level viewing.

Estimating range.


Other equipment the sniper needs to complete a successful mission follows:

a. Sidearms. Each member of the team should have a sidearm, such as an M9, 9-mm Beretta, or a caliber .45 pistol. A sidearm gives a sniper the needed protection from a nearby threat while on the ground moving or while in the confines of a sniper position.

b. Compass. Each member of the sniper team must have a lensatic compass for land navigation.

c. Maps. The team must have military maps of their area of operations.

d. Calculator. The sniper team needs a pocket-size calculator to figure distances when using the mil-relation formula. Solar-powered calculators usually work well, but under low-light conditions, battery power may be preferred. If a battery-powered calculator is to be used in low-light conditions, it should have a lighted display.

e. Rucksack. The sniper’s rucksack should contain at least a two-quart canteen, an entrenching tool, a first-aid kit, pruning shears, a sewing kit with canvas needles and nylon thread, spare netting and garnish, rations, and personal items as needed. The sniper also carries his ghillie suit in his rucksack until the mission requires its use.

f. Measuring Tape. A standard 10-foot to 25-foot metal carpenter’s tape allows the sniper to measure items in his operational area. This information is recorded in the sniper data book.


The following data pages can and should be used to gather and record information.
Everything from ammo to weather is kept.
In the event that one shot one kill is required,
you can use the book as a reference for proper "dope" for the critical shot.


1. Today's date

2. Type of round - i.e. match grade or regular and the "lot" number (batch number).

3. Number of rounds fired today.

4. Total number of rounds fired - itīs important to keep track of this number. The average barrel life of a M24 is 5000 rounds. What is your barrel life?



1. Sheet number out of number of sheets used.

2. Your name - if more than one person uses the book.

3, Date and time - time of day will change light conditions, so for future reference itīs nice to know this type of info.

4. Your location.

5. Serial number - this is just the number of the event you are logging down. (1,2,3,4,5)

6. Time the event happened.

7. Location of the event - direction and distance to it.

8. Describe the event.

9. What did you do during the event - observed / moved to new location etc.

observation log


1. Terrain description

A. Lay of the land

B. Vegetation

C. Roads

D. Structures

E. Building materials

F. 3 Dimensions

G. Distance from your position

2. Draw a picture of the engagement from your perspective.

3. The sketch name should be named after the most prominent object in the sketch (i.e the water tower)

4. Your location again.

5. Weather conditions - this may effect the light conditions and the perspective on certain things.

6. Magnetic north

7. Number of this sketch.

8. Your name.

9. Rank.

10. Date / time



This is very important in the authors opinion.If you have any time at all to accomplish this, do it. This gives you the opportunity to estimate range to everything in the engagement area and log it down. Then once the bullets start flying you can quickly change your "dope" on targets by using the known distance objects as target reference points (TRPs).

1. In the main portion of the sketch you will draw the engagement area. Each line will represent a given distance from your position. The distance each half circle represents is your choice (50m, 100m, or 20m) it depends on your maximum effective range for your particular engagement area.

2. In the box at the end of the line that a structure is on (building, dirt pile, and car) you will record the distance, elevation that you will use for that distance and the windage you will use for a target if it appeared at that point. (The windage will change over time so this should be logged in pencil)

3. On the main sketch ranges an also be noted for points of interest. The idea is log as much info as possible so when the stress level goes up you give "Murphy" less of a chance at screwing up your shooting by figuring the formulas ahead of time.

4. Temperature - remember this can affect the trajectory if it changes over the course of a day.


This is used during range practice. You gather all-important data. Then later when you experience similar weather conditions you can simply flip through you data book and find the "dope" that works for you. Then that first shot will impact on target. It helps reduce the "guess" in your shots.

1. The range to the target - you should use a different page for each range.

2. The ammo lot number - different lot numbers will produce different trajectories.

3. The light conditions

4. Draw the mirage (for quick reference on wind call)

5. The current temperature

6. Time

7. On the small target draw an example of where you normally hold your cross hairs.

8. Draw the light direction in the form of an arrow.

9. Draw the wind direction in arrow form

10. In the numbered shot boxes you will:

A. Record the elevation and windage you are using before you take each shot. This will be used to find the "correct dope."

B. After each shot "call" your shot and draw a small point indicating where you last saw your cross hairs as you squeezed the trigger.

11. On the large target on the right side you will:

A. Make a point of the actual location of the bullet impact after each shot. Then the shot will be numbered for later comparison.

12. In the top right boxes you will note the "correct dope" after the 10 shot group is completed. This will be used later as a fast reference.

* The same information is used on the moving target data sheet. The only differences are you will need to note the amount of lead used for each shot. You should also practice shooting at targets moving both right and left. The amount of lead will change with the direction of the target. The author is right handed and applies less lead on a target moving from left to right because of trigger pull. This is noted and learned from.