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Old March 14, 2013, 08:40 PM   #1
MB21
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Sniper Rifle vs Hunting Rifle

So I am curious, what really classifies something as a "sniper rifle?" I got in an argument today with a guy I know who thinks most bolt rifles are snipers, not hunting. Personally, I see a sniper such as the M24 as just a hunting rifle. Unless something in history is highly considered as a sniper, such as a Mosin or Springfield '03, I really don't see how there is any difference. But this is just one 18 year old's opinion.
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Old March 14, 2013, 08:51 PM   #2
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It has been suspected by many that this is how the politicians will re-name our hunting rifles in order to make them sound evil to the uninitiated. Just like making up a new meaning for the term 'assault rifle'.

It's just a matter of semantics but, politics aside, the meaning to different shooters might depend on where they live. If I lived and hunted in an area full of forested hills and mountains, a hunting rifle might mean a 30-30 or a slug gun. To someone who lived out in the wide open spaces of the west, a hunting rifle might be one that will hold sub-MOA groups at 400 yards and beyond. To the guy from the forest, that other gun is a sniper rifle. To the westerner, it's a hunting rifle.

A rose by any other name....
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Old March 14, 2013, 08:53 PM   #3
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well there are the ones that were actually used as the role of a sniper rifle, enfield 4T, springfield 1903A4, mosin nagant PU, etc etc... then there are the 15 pound ugly as hell heavy guns in 50 BMG and other retardedly large calibers that obviously aren't going to be lugged up at down hillsides all day in search of elk and deer that I can only classify as snipers...
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Old March 14, 2013, 09:02 PM   #4
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Re: Sniper Rifle vs Hunting Rifle

A sniper rifle is used by snipers (or sniper wannabes) and a hunting rifle is used by hunters. Thats pretty much what separates them. I'd say a sniper would prefer a detachable magazine more than a hunter, and would rather not be using a stainless model. But both need to be rugged and accurate.
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Old March 14, 2013, 09:10 PM   #5
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As a former Australian army sniper I get ticked off when people use the term sniper rifle because a sniper is someone who is highly trained and gone though a difficult course to earn the term sniper so I would call them long range precision rifles and any rifle can be a sniper rifle because its the sniper behind that weapon that makes it that,look at simo hayha he used a iron sighted mosin and Carlos hathcock using a m2 50cal on some ops so it's the training that makes the sniper so even a hunting rifle like a browning x-bolt could be a "sniper rifle".
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Old March 14, 2013, 09:17 PM   #6
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I have a sniper rifle....oh, wait, no it is a long range hunting rifle.

It would be Tacticool if it were a sniper rifle. Instead it is just a Sav 12BVSS in 300WSM with a 3-12 scope. The load is 190 gr Berger VLD's at ~3000fps highly tuned to the rifle.
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Old March 14, 2013, 10:03 PM   #7
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I guess its a sniper rifle if a Sniper uses it. The Vietnam era sniper rifles were pretty much what we would call a varmint rifle today with the exception of round they were chambered for. I know a Law Enforcement sniper that uses a .22-250 with a used to be beautiful walnut stock. His rifle is a sniper rifle, technically speaking.
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Old March 14, 2013, 10:29 PM   #8
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i tend to agree with liambobbi. The rifle is just a tool... The highly trained person pulling the trigger makes it a sniper rifle. I don't remember the exact numbers but our sniper course only has like2 weeks of marksmanship out of I think 9 total weeks to become a sniper. Just because I need a very accurate rifle to hunt at 400 yards here on the Colorado plains doesn't mean I have a sniper rifle. It just means those animals can see you from a long ways away.

I had the pleasure of shooting a M110 while in Afghanistan and to me it was just like shooting any other rifle (except the silencer.. ) I have and of course extremely similar to shooting my issued M4. I couldn't get the full potential out of that rifle like he could... because he's trained.
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Old March 14, 2013, 10:35 PM   #9
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Agreed.

A sniper rifle is any long gun used by a shooter with the mindset, expertise and training.

In that same sense, though, a good sniper's rifle can also be called a hunting rifle--because that is exactly what you are doing. However, you are hunting a target to save the lives of your fellow soldiers, officers, neighbors or others.
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Old March 14, 2013, 10:40 PM   #10
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Only difference I see is that military snipers must use FMJ ammo.
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Old March 14, 2013, 10:46 PM   #11
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You tag the name "Sniper" to a rifle you can jack up the price.
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Old March 14, 2013, 10:58 PM   #12
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Quote:
Only difference I see is that military snipers must use FMJ ammo.
Um...not quite.

M118 ammunition uses the 175 grain Sierra MatchKing (BTHP). .300 Win Mag (forgot the mil designation) uses the 190 grain SMK.
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Old March 14, 2013, 11:04 PM   #13
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Quote:
M118 ammunition uses the 175 grain Sierra MatchKing (BTHP).
M118 used the 174 gr military "match" bullet which was FMJ. It was orginally called Match Ammo. Loaded in Which Box. Later it was loaded in Brown boxes and was called Special Ball.

M118LR was then developed, it used the 175 SMK which was open point. Not really considered a hollow point.
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Old March 14, 2013, 11:33 PM   #14
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Quote:
Only difference I see is that military snipers must use FMJ ammo.

Also don't forget the Raufoss Mk 211, an explosive round, used by the US against material and personnel.
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Old March 14, 2013, 11:53 PM   #15
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if you are a member of a NATO military then yes you have to use FMJ, however I defy you to find a single SWAT sniper in the US that uses a FMJ. they may not be quite as well trained as a military trained sniper but they are still very good at what they do and deserve that title.
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Old March 15, 2013, 12:07 AM   #16
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My 2 cents worth;

The words "Sniper-Rifle" (in that order) are just a marketing strategy.

Snipers use rifles. There is such a thing as a sniper's rifle, but "sniper rifles" are like "assault wallets" and "assault boots" "tactical shirts" and so on.

In my day the USMC M-40 was just a plane jane version of a Remington M700 short action in 308, and it mounted a plane jane version of the Redfield Accu-Trac scope. Marine snipers used them, but they were "M-40s", not "Sniper rifles".

Hathcock used a standard M-70 Winchester bull gun

The most successful rifle in the history of sniping is the Mosin Nagant. Some of the bst snipers used them with Iron sighs only and they were just infantry issue rifles.

The Germans used a refined GEW M-98 Mauser in WW1 and WW2, and the same action, stock and barrels were used on other rifles including those sold to civilians.

A good sniper can use any rifle to its best advantage.
Buying a "Sniper Rifle" no more makes you a sniper than buying a guitar makes you a rock star.

Any accurate rifle can be a snipers rifle. Some have more range and accuracy than others, but it’s still 99% up to the man, not what he’s shooting.
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Old March 15, 2013, 01:39 AM   #17
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Re: Sniper Rifle vs Hunting Rifle

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wyosmith View Post
Buying a "Sniper Rifle" no more makes you a sniper than buying a guitar makes you a rock star.
That's awesome...
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Old March 15, 2013, 09:23 AM   #18
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Man behind the gun and intended target is the difference. Truthfully, sniping IS hunting-the game is HUMAN(but that's only part of the job).
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Old March 15, 2013, 11:04 AM   #19
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From what I've read in articles about "sniper rifles", durability against change is part of the deal: No wood, since moisture can mess up the zero. Next is the precision build, to make it into a true tight-group target rifle: Truing up the bolt face, e.g. Air-gauged barrel, I'd figure. Various other tweaks. Maybe an adjustable stock, since the fit is highly important.

That's not necessary in order to have a good hunting rifle, where relatively minor tweaking can easily create decent 500-yard capability for accuracy.

Optics? A fixed 4X will let you ruin Bambi out to 400 or 500 yards, but odds are that you'd want much more when trying to kill a man at 800 or 1,000 yards.
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Old March 15, 2013, 03:33 PM   #20
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I have a Savage 10BA which for me is a precision rifle.
If a sniper were using it it would become a sniper rifle.

What I consider to be the difference between a precision rifle and a hunting rifle is the weight.
The Savage 10BA weighs in at 14lbs without a scope or rings.
That is not a rifle you will want to carry through the woods or shoot standing up unsupported.

Savage sells the the same barreled action in a more conventional stock which weighs in the neighborhood of 9lbs. Not a lightweight but much better than the alternative.
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Old March 15, 2013, 04:53 PM   #21
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To be a sniper, you've got to back it up. It isn't the rifle, it's the man behind it.

Simo Hayhai has arguably the most kills as a sniper. 505 confirmed kills during the Winter War in Finland. He used a Model 28/30, a variant of the Mosin-Nagant. With iron sights.

On the other hand, Carlos Hathcock reportedly used a Model 70 Winchester, and a scope-mounted Browning M2.

It's not the rifle, it's the man behind it.
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Old March 15, 2013, 06:07 PM   #22
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A sniper is a person not a thing. Any rifle carried by a sniper is a snipers rifle but it's not a "sniper rifle". It is still just a rifle no matter who carries it.
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Old March 15, 2013, 07:03 PM   #23
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Hard for me to get worked up about it. Some labelling is purely marketing, so I just ignore it. To me, generally, rifles are either mostly for hunting, or mostly for targets. Some few are sorta crossover.

Seems like using "sniper", "tactical" or "police" is somewhere in the neighborhood of 99 and 44/100 percent marketing--or being influenced by it to the point of worrying about it.
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Old March 15, 2013, 08:41 PM   #24
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In the current climate, the actual meanings don't matter. I was very much around when JFK was killed and the Carcano was described as a deadly, long range military sniiper rifle. There were several proposals to ban "military style" rifles, copies of the evil Nazi Mauser; that meant, of course, all bolt action rifles.

If the antis succeed in banning "assault rifles", they are not going to quit. Some are so full of hatred for all guns and gun owners that they won't stop short of a Holocaust for all "gun freaks". Others love the fame and the money that espousing gun control brings them. Either way, they won't quit.

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Old March 15, 2013, 09:57 PM   #25
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It's just the latest scare/smear term,like "assault rifle."
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