View Full Version : Best Sniping Round

May 28, 2007, 02:44 PM
What in your opinion and experience is the best snipping round available in the market. Let us poll.

May 28, 2007, 02:55 PM
Snipping? You mean like scissors...? If I were going to snip something, I would choose a round based upon distance to target, size of target, the target's armor or lack thereof, and weather conditions. When I snip varmints, I like a nice light and fast bullet, when I snip bigger critters, bullet weight increases.

May 28, 2007, 03:20 PM
There are many nice .308 rifles and a lot of high-quality .308 ammunition out there, so it would probably be at the top of the list.

The .300 Winchester Magnum and .338 Lapua are also top-of-the-line choices.

.50 BMG is great but high-quality rifles and ammunition are expensive and rare.

I'm sure the 7.62x54R would do well if you could find some match-grade ammo.

May 28, 2007, 03:27 PM
I like Fiskers.They are inexpensive, sharp and snip pretty clean.

May 28, 2007, 03:28 PM
Does snipping require a spotter? If so, what is his role exactly? Does he hold the back-up shears? :D

As far as what's the "best" it would probably depend on alot of factors, some being:

level of penetration needed
desired platform (i.e. which chamberings are available for the gun you want to use).

That said, a skilled marksman can overcome most variables like wind, humidity, heat, etc., with a wide variety of calibers.
For taking out engine blocks, and EOD, etc., most seem to lean towards the .50 BMG firing platforms (Barrett, etc.)
For squad designated marksmen, most are being issued the Crazy Horse build of the M-14/M-21, which is chambered for 7.62 NATO. This is also the same chambering used by our Marine Scout Snipers, etc. for most work, although primarily from a different platform.
Also, I'm not in the military, so this is just stuff that I've read and heard from friends that are enlisted. Maybe some active duty guys can be more helpful.


May 28, 2007, 03:34 PM
Don't forget about police snippers ! .223 and .308 seem to rule the urban SWAT units, but 'out in the county' there are a hodgepodge of rifles used for the purpose ranging from 30.06's to 7mm Mag to .338 win mag. Yeah, Fiskars are pretty good, but Gerber makes some damn nice snippers:p

May 28, 2007, 03:56 PM
i chose the 408 chey tac, which could have been the 408 tech you listed, but i wasnt sure so i picked other. i picked it based on it being the best choice for almost anything. enough power for hard targets, but a flatter trajectory than the infamous bmg round

May 28, 2007, 03:59 PM
There are many different rounds used for sniper work. Depending on the area, purpose, range, and many other things.

There isnt one do-all round for use as a "sniper"

I dont think many of us here are snipers per-se but there are a few people who shoot long range varmints and targets. There are many many different calibers that can be used for these purposes.

The longest shots I have taken were about 300 yards and they were on game animals.

May 28, 2007, 04:01 PM
I dont think any of us here are snipers...

i wouldnt be so sure. im not, but i would bet there are several here who are

May 28, 2007, 04:20 PM
Sorry forgot the M on any i meant to say that i didnt think many of us were snipers maybe a couple. Most of us are just hunters and target shooters though.

May 28, 2007, 04:23 PM
I like the 7.62x54R Because It's cheap to practice with surplus Ammo. Then there is high quality new Ammo available.

I might try to cut paper with this.

May 28, 2007, 04:25 PM
My wife works in a fabric store, does a lot of work at the cutting table (cutting the yardage off a bolt of fabric that the customer wants). So, does that make her a "professional snipper"? BTW, she says Gingher is better than Fiskars.:D

Getting on topic, +1 on all the points made already regarding variables of circumstance. IMHO, there can be no perfect round for all situations. As an all-around good one that covers a wide range of possibilities, I expect that the .308 is hard to beat, and I suppose that's why it's the usual chambering in general use by US military snipers. Leaving out special purpose/situation rounds (see below). So I voted accordingly.

I didn't see .300 Win Mag listed on the poll...think 190gr Match; Federal's been packaging it in GI ammo cans lately. ;)

May 28, 2007, 04:32 PM
Depends on the range. Tell me the possible intended "range of ranges", then I can answer.

out to 50, 100, 150, 200, 300, 400, 500, 600, 800, 1000, 1250, 1500, more?

.45 acp & .22lr are bullseye rounds.

Oh yes, and for snipping fabric, I'd go with a full-auto Thompson 1927 - it's heavy enough to stay on target and "snip" a straight line in the cloth.

May 28, 2007, 05:07 PM
.300 Winchester Magnum

May 28, 2007, 05:22 PM
+1 for Fiskars! They stay sharp forever!

May 28, 2007, 06:06 PM
My snipper (sic) is a bolt action .30-06 commercial Mauser I bought back in the early Pleistocene. It's plain, reliable, and has shot 1 moa (give or take a hair depending on the ammo) with different loads. I'm not Gunny Hathcock and don't expect to nail somebody thru the neck at 800 yds. I bought it for Mastodons and cave bear, but they went extinct.

May 28, 2007, 07:23 PM
I'm gonna go with .338 Lapua, at least for situations where overpenetration isn't a concern.

May 28, 2007, 08:25 PM
Well if I'm going to be doing any sniping I always bring a shotgun, just remember 3 round limit when hunting them.

Mike U.
May 28, 2007, 08:50 PM
Informative and hilarious! What more could one ask for in a thread? Well, aside from nekkid pics, but, let's not go there. :o

IDK, the .308 seems to be pretty good at what it does. There are really good tack driver rifles in that caliber and a LOT of great loads for it, seemingly everywhere. It's a good choice. Then again, the same can be said for the 30.06. It would be a toss up between those two for me. Hard to choose a favorite between them. :confused:

And as for snippers, Fiskars does the snipping around here. From linen sheets to chicken bone and everything in between. :eek:

Trapper L
May 28, 2007, 08:59 PM
Considering that our military has bottomless pocketbooks, their choice in Viet Nam and Iraq is the 7.62 that we know as the 308. I have a good friend that carried a Remington Model 40 in Nam with a 6 power Redfield scope. He is among the few with a Red Chinese confirmed kill at 1000 yards. He still has the guys belt buckle for proof. He can also tell you stories about being put on ridges during sweeps only to have the VC come out of the valleys and over run their positons due to lack of firepower. If I were to chose one caliber for sniping, it would be the 7.62.

May 28, 2007, 09:08 PM
The best for general purposes? .308 Win by far. The best all around (1000m +), the .338. Get a .308 first and then when you move up to the big leagues go .338.

May 28, 2007, 09:12 PM
Small bore, any of the modern 6.5 offerings like the 260 Rem AI or 6.5x284, altho hand loading the 6.5x55 is a valid option.

Medium bore, 338 Lapua Mag, 338 RUM, 340 Weatherby. They all work, but the Lapua has the most commercial rifles and ammunition available.

Big Bore, 416 Barrett, 408 Cheytac, wildcat 375-408. These are ALL freaking expensive, not a price break on the 50 BMG at all.

These are my choices for "best", but only in the hands of the best shooters. For a beginner a 308 should be the first choice because of the wealth of rifles, quality ammo with ballistics data. Precision shooting is an expensive hobby, and the 308 is about the cheapest way to get into it. For longer ranges a 300 WSM or 300 Win Mag is a good choice.


May 28, 2007, 09:24 PM
The .300 Winchester Magnum and .338 Lapua are also top-of-the-line choices.

He speaks the truth. For anti-personnel, those are about the best you can get.

.50 bmg has it's place, i.e. armored targets and/or very long ranges.

.308 is very good at what it does and performs exceptionally in that role, but for serious long range work there are better choices.

May 28, 2007, 09:36 PM
Federal .308 168gr Matchkings!!:D

Jeff F
May 28, 2007, 11:15 PM
I did not vote.
It really depends on the maximum range your going to be working and what your shooting at. .308 is pretty good to moderate range but a 30.06 will out shoot it at 800 + yards. A .300 win mag will shoot way out there. I've been around a few guys that do extreme range work at 1000 meters + and they all use hand loads that were tailored to each rifle. For me the best would be the one that gives me a five shot group starting with a cold barrel that only makes one hole in the X ring. I'm still looking for that rifle.

May 29, 2007, 06:10 AM
The best?


either that or a .308 win


Jim Watson
May 29, 2007, 06:22 AM
If you are a real snipper, SWAT, Army, or USMC will issue you what they think suitable. Otherwise, it is just hobby equipment.

May 29, 2007, 08:16 AM
I understand that these guys are pretty good snippers, come bris time:


May 29, 2007, 08:17 AM
Ff, Nice!!

May 29, 2007, 09:14 AM
Funny, but before I voted I was thinking it would be about half for .308 and about half for all others. Gosh, kinda made me proud to guess right.

The .308 is very good at realistic ranges with plenty of retained energy, good accuracy, lots of experience, and great development in shooting platforms, bullets and loads. It is also very common which makes finding ammo and components do-able and affordable in any corner of the world, even the most remote.

Specialty rounds abound, and the benchrest guys can prove that tinkering will take you well beyond 1,000 yards if you imagine that will be valuable to you. I just don't visualize the need, so I stuck with .308 and plan to shoot quite a bit more than I would with something more exotic.

May 29, 2007, 02:55 PM
I guess .308 or 7.62x51 NATO has the day so far. I like it since it shoot very well in my HK 91.

May 29, 2007, 04:26 PM
Too many choices, and then not enough.

I chose .308 out of your list, but would probably take a .300 Winchester Magnum over the .308.


May 30, 2007, 12:44 AM
#1 rule of snipping at a bris: don't flinch!

May 30, 2007, 03:44 AM
I would vote for something in the 6.5mm like the 6.5-284, but the 260 Rem is also good and easy on barrels. Now if you want to go a bit extreme go with the 6-284. This of course is all for paper snipping and not for destroying scud missiles at a mile away. josh

Mike U.
May 30, 2007, 04:17 AM
Sniping scud missles a mile away?
Talk about EXtreme Skeet Shooting!

I LIKE IT!! :cool:

Where do I sign up? :D

May 30, 2007, 06:02 AM
I can't believe you left the .338 Lapua Mag. It may be non-PC (politically correct) to call it a purpose made sniper round but it's as close as they come! It even outperforms .50 BMG under some conditions. Anyway, if I had to pick off your list, I'd go for the .308. It's a fabulous caliber and a great all-rounder, 30.06 goes in third place. Stuff like this I found with a quick google search adds to my consternation about you leaving it off the list.

The .338 Lapua was designed to arrive at 1000 meters with enough energy to penetrate 5 layers of military body armor and still make the kill. The effective range of this caliber is about 1 mile (1600meters) and in the right shooting conditions, it could come very close to the 2000 meter mark, provided you have the right rifle/ammo/optics/shooter/spotter combination. Realistically, 1200 meters is well within the average sniper. This caliber is designed primarily as a military extreme range anti-personnel round, there really is no Law Enforcement applications, unless you need a super penetrating round for either armored vehicles, or for barricaded suspects. There is not a lot of rifles chambered for the .338, but the list is growing with the likes of Sako, AI, and others producing .338 sniping rifles. Ammo is another problem, match ammo is sometimes difficult to find, but it is becomming more available as time passes. We all know the legal liability of using hand loads, so that is out of the question. Another concern is the recoil of this caliber, even with a good muzzle brake, its brisk. So don't try a rifle without one. Be sure to practice the fundamentals of shooting to try and prevent a flinch from developing.

Recommendations: For military extreme long-range anti-personnel purposes, the .338 Lapua is king. Even the .50BMG falls short (Do to accuracy problems with current ammo). This caliber is not recommended for Law Enforcement.

You shouldve spell checked your post eh? "Snipping" he he!:p

May 30, 2007, 07:50 AM
I picked .308 seeing as how .338LM wasn't on there. I agree with Benonymous, the .338LM is probably the best out there at the moment.

May 30, 2007, 11:36 AM
The role, distances involved, etc are completely different when comparing Police snipers to Military ones....hense you see a scattering of .223, .243, .270,and .22-250 in addition to .308Win in various police agencies. Most Police sniper shootings take place within 75yds, and one of the longest recorded was 240yds. Police agencies have also been known to use scoped/suppressed Ruger 10/22's to flatten the tires on a potential get away cars, take out yard lights/street lights before a raid. .308Win is the one used by most agencies.

Military on the other hand, deals with extended ranges and destroying equipment as well as personell. And issue what is appropriate for the circumstance and goal . .308(7.62x51) is the standard, but when missions require over 1000yd shots you get into the .338Lupua and .50BMG territory.

May 30, 2007, 12:32 PM
Personal choice, 7.5x55 Swiss.

Yeah, I know it's a .308 (really, you can reload them with any .308 bullet), but it's the gun it's for. A K-31 with a St. Marie scope mount and a good scope is a scary good sniper. The rifle as-is is a 1 MOA rifle, add a scope and consider that the straight-pull bolt is much faster than a traditional bolt and...I like it, at least. :D

May 31, 2007, 07:56 PM
.308 rules the feild! M14

June 9, 2007, 09:42 PM
I guess the real question is ammo availability. If you took that out of the equation and looked at ballistics, that is objective. It is hard to beat a .300 Mag, 6.5-284, or for that matter the .270. The 308 is a rainbow ballistically compared to the choices.

June 9, 2007, 11:05 PM
The 308 is a rainbow ballistically compared to the choices.

Yes, but as I understand, it's one hell of a predictable rainbow.

It seems that many of the opinions on this thread are based on the availability of weapons, or what NATO says. So a better question would be, if you could have your dream sniper rig, what would it be chambered for?

June 10, 2007, 03:30 PM
.338 LaPua in A.I. rifle, as used by Royal Marine commando snipers.

June 10, 2007, 04:04 PM
Anti-personnel, ultimate extreme-range rifle, out to 1,500 yards or more? Something in either .338 rem ultra mag or .338 Lapua mag.....mebbe even .408 Cheytac or .416 Barrett:



make mine WITH a muzzle brake!

I'd imagine that a .338 lapua or .338 RUM rifle & round could hit and kill a man-sized target at any range at which *I* could hit a man-sized target, so no need to go bigger than that. Armalite AR-30 is a good accurate economy rifle in .338 lapua. For that matter, a .338 win mag is not a half bad long range round.

OTOH, if you're going for anti-materiel applications (vs. vehicles, etc. - bigger, tougher targets), or for TRYING to hit a man-sized target out to 2,000 yards (and I do emphasize *trying*), then you might want to step up to .408 CT, .416 Barrett, or .50 BMG (or bigger).

As for a very-long-range rifle (out to 1,250 yards, let's say), a good turnbolt chambered in .300 win mag, .30-.06, .280 rem, .270 win, .260 remington, 6.5x55 swede, 6.5mm-'06, or 6.5-.284 Norma would work well; other good choices too though. I'd prefer to stay with a 6.5 round so I could run comfortably sans muzzle brake (.300 winmag can wear on you).

For a mere long-range rifle, 1,000 max, .308 win will work fine & dandy, and is the best round to go with on a budget, as great rifles can be found in stock configs in .308.