“An analysis of the techniques and tactics of enemy snipers reveals several points of interest. Enemy snipers are organized into teams or cells. The team (5 men) and the cell (3 men) are trained as snipers by an organized unit with which they operate. Snipers have used the K-44 rifle (7.62mm Mosin-Nagant) with scope attached. This is a bolt-action rifle with a 5-round magazine. Maximum effective range with the scope is 1400 meters, and the maximum horizontal range is 3500 meters.
“Trained snipers employ mines and other explosive devices to cause casualties; to channel friendly troop movements and to facilitate their own withdrawal. Snipers may engage at distances between 50 to 600 meters depending on the terrain. The snipers are usually deployed so as to permit the friendly force to be engaged initially from head on, and then from the flanks and rear. The initial fire is usually aimed at the point element in an effort to fix the friendly unit’s attention toward its front.
“Remaining snipers are concealed in predetermined positions along the route of friendly advance. The flank and rear snipers’ principal targets are the unit commander and men carrying automatic weapons and radios. Enemy snipers usually do not fire more than about 5 rounds, with most casualties resulting from the first 2 or 3 rounds. Trained snipers will normally maintain contact with a target by withdrawing along preplanned routes paralleling the route of advance of the friendly column. Firing is continued from predetermined positions.
“Much of the fire reported as sniper fire can be attributed to local guerrillas. Such fire can be distinguished by its larger expenditure of ammunition and the shorter ranges involved. It is also usually less accurate. The local guerrilla operates independently, with a sector of responsibility rather than as part of a team.
“The basic tactic of enemy snipers should be studied to determine the most effective means of countering them. Unit commanders should bear in mind that harassing or sniper fire can be extremely effective, and can slow or even halt the friendly advance.”
Some things never go out of style: Afghans with the No. 4 Lee-Enfield (first adopted 1941) and RPG-7 (1961).
3. Attack from high ground.
4. Fire their weapons from directions intended to steer their targets toward a larger ambushes and/or IEDs.
5. Travel light. Superior mobility allows one to choose the site of engagement and, perhaps more importantly for survival, disengagement and in rugged terrain and mountains that mobility still often comes down to foot travel.
3. Driver positions vehicle.
4. Video cell may record the shooting.
5. Shooter confirms specific target from camouflaged platform viewpoint and shoots.
6. Vehicle moves calmly into traffic patter and departs area.