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Opinions on best sniper rifle.......

ShannonHayesShannonHayes Posts: 211 Member
edited May 2019 in General Firearms #1
I'm just wondering what everyone's opinions are on the best sniper rifle? I've heard, among other things, .338 Lapua, .308 Winchester, .30-'06, 6.5 Creedmore. Just wondering what all you guys think.
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Replies

  • das68das68 Posts: 662 Senior Member
    edited May 2019 #2
    I'm just wondering what everyone's opinions are on the best sniper rifle?

    do you mean calibre or platform also?


    L96A1 or L115A3 in my very limited experience

    https://forums.gunsandammo.com/discussion/38487/two-men-in-a-shed

    quote




     













  • ShannonHayesShannonHayes Posts: 211 Member
    Very interesting video. Very cool gun! But, can the 7.62mm go the distance of, say, the .338 Lapua or the 6.5 Creedmore? I'm asking bcuz idk. And second question: how were you lucky enough to get one of these L6A1 rifles? Or is your rifle the L115A3 you also mentioned? And where can I get info on the L115A3? 
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 8,466 Senior Member
    As with many things "best" is going to depend a lot on what you're trying to accomplish.

    Unless you're REALLY good, the trajectory of 7.62 becomes really hard to keep up with past 800-900 yards.  Yes, a few studs have gotten kills with it in excess of a thousand yards, but just because your box of .22 LR says "dangerous to 1.5 miles" doesn't mean that's the best distance to shoot it at.  It's really accurate within the shorter distances that a lot of the less newsworthy shots happen at, doesn't kick much, and is comparatively cheap.  In more recent years, however, optics and ammo advances have stretched what the intermediate caliber assault rifles can do, so the .308's distance advantage isn't what it once was.  It is NOT a better sniping round than the .30-06 it replaced but some ill-conceived notions of logistics associated with interchangeability with machine guns drove it into the role.

    The .338 Lapua, as far as I know, still holds the record for longest range military success - something in excess of 2700 yards.  The rifles are not notably bigger or heavier than the .308 and .300 Win Mag counterparts.  Since the parent cartridge for the Lapua is the .416 Rigby, it's got some exotic dimensions and cannot be used in standard hunting actions, so the cost of the gun is usually a bit staggering - same for the ammo.

    A lot of .300 Win Mag being used - a bit of a compromise between the two.

    I've briefly tested a couple of Accuracy International (more conventional layout) and Desert Tech (bullpup bolt action) rifles.  Probably kings of the hill in my book.  They're built for military use and serviceability as opposed to any number of re-purposed deer rifles you could mention.  Expensive because of it, but war's never been cheap.

    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,526 Senior Member
    Actually, the record the second-longest were both shot with a .50 BMG.  The new record was set about 2 years ago, and is over 2 miles. 

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Longest_recorded_sniper_kills#Confirmed_kills_1,250_m_(1,367_yd)_or_greater

    As Bigslug said, "best" is a nebulous term.  Distance, target, and other constraints enter into play.  Much like you a .30-06 is overkill for prairie dogs, a .50 BMG would be overkill for most urban sniping roles.  However that .30-06 is dandy for deer and elk, and the .50 BMG comes into its own in Afghanistan.
    Overkill is underrated.
  • shotgunshooter3shotgunshooter3 Senior Member Posts: 5,840 Senior Member
    "Best" is highly subjective. As Biglug alluded to, the 7.62 NATO has been king of the castle for a long time largely because of logistical concerns. It does fine within it's performance window, but there's better out there. 

    USASOC has started using the 6.5 Creedmoor, and both the USMC anf US Army are switching to .300 Win Mag as their primary round, so there's that. 
    - I am a rifleman with a poorly chosen screen name. -
    "Slow is smooth, smooth is fast, and speed is the economy of motion" - Scott Jedlinski
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 21,547 Senior Member
    Military or police?
    Foreign or domestic?

    "Best"
    is going to depend.

    Last I heard, the average domestic police sniper engagement is under 100 yards. So what "officer Smith" needs from a sniper rifle in metro "wherever" is a LOT different than what "Staff Sergeant Smith" needs in the mountains of Afghanistan. 
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • das68das68 Posts: 662 Senior Member
     how were you lucky enough to get one of these L6A1 rifles? Or is your rifle the L115A3 you also mentioned?

    lucky enough to take the queen's shilling







  • ShannonHayesShannonHayes Posts: 211 Member
    As far as the "best" part of my question, I was just wondering what each of y'alls preferred would be, I guess is the best term. Now that it has been mentioned, I remember watching a documentary or something on TV and they mentioned that the .50BMG held the record for longest sniper shot. I recently read a couple of articles in gun magazines that said that the U.S. D.O.D was adopting a new .300 cartridge for use in the military's sniping programs. I'll flip thru my magazines and see which one it mentioned and get back to y'all on that. I hope this thread proves to be a big topic and draws a lot of replies. I'm really interested in seeing what different peoples opinions are on this subject. Have any of the forum members served or are serving as snipers?
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 7,581 Senior Member
    Cartridge choice all depends upon the use or what it is being tasked for. 
    Many times the 308 is the perfect platform, while at other times a 50 (or cartridges in between) is the best choice.     Depends on the need of the mission.
    Sometimes it is the 223 that is called on for the job.
    The AI is undoubtedly one of the best, if not the best in the bolt action category-Totally modular!
    I am not, and have never worked for the Government, LE, or the military. 
    Just a goofball that like to play at distance.  I don't do two-legged critters.
    I am a hunter, shooter and a varminter, who usually uses single-shot specialty pistols for over 90% of what I hunt and shoot.
    Most active or past snipers are not going to respond to your question FWIW.
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • TugarTugar Senior Member Posts: 2,287 Senior Member
    As an amateur military historian and avid reader, I have a few opinions. To me, it should be a bolt action rifle. Not that semi-autos can't be accurate but the bolt guns and typically easier to make into the longer range version that a true sniper would use. 

    I say true sniper as I see too many say the Dragunov is, but that's only true in the Soviet doctrine of what a sniper is, which is more suppressive fire along with targets of opportunity.

    As for caliber, the 7.62 gets the nod more because of logistics are MUCH easier (as was already pointed out) that you don't have to carry several very specialized ammo types. If need be you can scavenge 7.62 from other sources in a pinch. 

    I myself prefer bolt guns for longer shots as many marksmen do as the physiological effect of making every shot count.  My personal favorite is the Steyr SSG 69.

    As for the larger guns, I suspect that the number of shooters that can really make those 1500 + meter shots are not as many as would like to think they can. Just like many people can own fast Porsche, Ferrari, McLaren, et al.....how many can really push those platforms to there intended limits without incident. Not many. 
    Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.
    Winston Churchill
  • Johnny rebJohnny reb Member Posts: 653 Senior Member
    The 300 PRC has been adopted for use by some tier 1 teams. It’s a necked down 375 ruger. Time will tell how it does.
  • SpkSpk Senior Member Posts: 4,196 Senior Member
    Tugar said:

    ...

    Just like many people can own fast Porsche, Ferrari, McLaren, et al.....how many can really push those platforms to there intended limits without incident. Not many. 
    It's not about skill... It's all about the toys!
    :D
    Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience -- Mark Twain
    How easy it is to make people believe a lie, and [how] hard it is to undo that work again! -- Mark Twain

  • das68das68 Posts: 662 Senior Member
    edited May 2019 #15
    Spk said:
    Tugar said:

    ...

    Just like many people can own fast Porsche, Ferrari, McLaren, et al.....how many can really push those platforms to there intended limits without incident. Not many. 
    It's not about skill... It's all about the toys!
    :D


    how true

    I did raise a few eyebrows at the 600m butts with the L96A1

    they were not shooting back at me though

    very good tool

    not my trade



    the poster who may know how good the 7.62 Nato is at distance

    don't seem to post much now

    maybe is off somewhere using it?







  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    Shannon, who are you planning on sniping, and do you have a good plan in place to get away with it afterwards?  If you're not a psychopath bent on wholesale murder, then engage in all the mental masturbation you can stand by asking hypothetical questions on a gun forum!  During the 20-something years I've been a member of this forum, your question has been asked and answered at least a hundred times, maybe more.  The answers haven't changed much!
  • das68das68 Posts: 662 Senior Member
    edited May 2019 #17
    Teach said:
     During the 20-something years I've been a member of this forum, your question has been asked and answered at least a hundred times, maybe more.  The answers haven't changed much!
    the askers seem to have dumbed down a bit though, eh?
    :|

  • PegasusPegasus Senior Member Posts: 2,775 Senior Member
    edited May 2019 #18

    The 7.62 NATO is garbage at anything past 800 yards.  The bullet used in that loading is simply not made for long range.  The US Military uses a M118 LR loading in their .308 caliber sniper rifles and that is loaded with a 175SMK, which is the bottom of the barrel for long range performance.

    I am just a lowly competition shooter who shoots a .308 exclusively in competition, so I know the .308 Winchester quite well, especially for long range; I bleed Varget powder and I wear size 308 shoes, (308mm that is.)

    Inside 800 yards the 308/7.62 is quite decent but since I am not a sniper, have never been a sniper and do not play one on TV, I haven't a clue what the accuracy requirements are for such a mission. For competition purposes, where the X-ring is 0.5 MOA at ranges from 300 to 1000 yards, you need something much better than 7.62 NATO or the M118 LR loading.


    The 6.5 Creedmoor was developed specifically for long range competition to supplant the .308 Winchester ammo available in factory loading.  It has done that quite well.  It kicks less than a .308 and it travels further with its high BC 6.5mm bullets.  Given a choice between the .308 and the 6.5CM, I would chose the latter, if I were starting all over again, and maybe even if I wasn't.

    The 300Winmag, as it's known in some circles takes over from the .308 to about 1500 yards.  It's not too much of an improvement over the 6.5CM, but it uses heavier, bigger bullets, if that's important.

    The .338 Lapua is a bear and it requires a heavier rifle and a muzzle brake, which is not always a good thing for sniper purposes, I am told.  I don't know from suppressors.  The .338 LM or NM kicks more, is a heavier rifle and the ammo is much bigger and all that may be a consideration.

    The 50BMG is still used, especially by certain military units.  The rifle is yet again bigger and heavier than the .338LM/NM and it definitely requires an aggressive muzzle brake.  It's a great anti-materiel rifle.

    There's also the .416 Cheytac and the .416 Barrett and various other ones.  It really all depends on what the mission is as to which is best, but if by best we mean the longest reaching "sniper rifle" it's going to be something like the 50BMG or one of the .416s, with which I am totally unfamiliar.


    I will say that you have to have a suitable optics on the rifle to extract accuracy from it, along with appropriate ammo and something known a skills.  Even with all that, the reason these long shots are rare is simply because they are extremely difficult to pull off and the last requirement for success is usually in short supply; luck. 

  • das68das68 Posts: 662 Senior Member
    edited May 2019 #19
    Pegasus said:

    The 7.62 NATO is garbage at anything past 800 yards.

    Inside 800 yards the 308/7.62 is quite decent but since I am not a sniper, have never been a sniper and do not play one on TV, I haven't a clue what the accuracy requirements are for such a mission.

    well
    thank you for your input

  • timctimc Senior Member Posts: 6,684 Senior Member
    I own a few that could be the best but in my hands they don’t have a chance!
    timc - formerly known as timc on the last G&A forum and timc on the G&A forum before that and the G&A forum before that.....
    AKA: Former Founding Member
  • timctimc Senior Member Posts: 6,684 Senior Member
    edited May 2019 #21
    Come to think of it, I do have a custom Ruger 1022 with a Boyd’s thumb hole stock .920 barrel, topped with a Leupold VX3 3x9x40mm scope, BX trigger group, I did the bolt shave job on it and running a Silencerco Sparrow II suppressor. Now that’s a pretty fair tree rat sniper out to 50-75 yards.
    its all about perspective!
    timc - formerly known as timc on the last G&A forum and timc on the G&A forum before that and the G&A forum before that.....
    AKA: Former Founding Member
  • FisheadgibFisheadgib Senior Member Posts: 5,797 Senior Member
    Very interesting video. Very cool gun! But, can the 7.62mm go the distance of, say, the .338 Lapua or the 6.5 Creedmore? I'm asking bcuz idk. 

    It appears that your knowledge of ballistics is limited and you might consider picking up a copy of Bob Forker's book "Ammo&Ballistics". It lists the velocity and energy of a huge variety of manufactured ammo in most common calibers.
    snake284 wrote: »
    For my point of view, cpj is a lot like me
    .
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 7,581 Senior Member
    Let me just say that even with factory ammo, that anyone can buy, multiple 308 Winchester rifles have made hits on a man sized target at a mile.  Can it be done? Yes.  Is it the best option for ELR shooting?  No.
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 11,355 Senior Member
    das68 said:
    Teach said:
     During the 20-something years I've been a member of this forum, your question has been asked and answered at least a hundred times, maybe more.  The answers haven't changed much!
    the askers seem to have dumbed down a bit though, eh?
    :|
    Das- please be kind to the newbies.  
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 11,355 Senior Member
    edited May 2019 #25
    Teach said:
    Shannon, who are you planning on sniping, and do you have a good plan in place to get away with it afterwards?  If you're not a psychopath bent on wholesale murder, then engage in all the mental masturbation you can stand by asking hypothetical questions on a gun forum!  During the 20-something years I've been a member of this forum, your question has been asked and answered at least a hundred times, maybe more.  The answers haven't changed much!
    Teach- this is obviously a newbie to the shooting sports, and someone that needs to gain knowledge from people more experienced- not someone who needs to learn that gun owners and enthusiasts are close minded meanies that belittle people for wanting to learn stuff that they obviously don't know.

    Please be kind to the newbies.  Your attitude toward new (and established) members has driven people away from this forum.  I like having you around- you are a font of knowledge on a lot of stuff that really matters.  I want to keep you around.  But we cannot keep this behavior going.
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • PegasusPegasus Senior Member Posts: 2,775 Senior Member
    das68 said:
    Pegasus said:

    The 7.62 NATO is garbage at anything past 800 yards.

    Inside 800 yards the 308/7.62 is quite decent but since I am not a sniper, have never been a sniper and do not play one on TV, I haven't a clue what the accuracy requirements are for such a mission.

    well
    thank you for your input


    I'm somewhat perplexed by your comment.  It would seem to me that you consider my input to be worthless simply because I am not a sniper or a sniper-wannabe.  On the other hand I have shipped about 700 pounds of exquisitely jacketed lead 210 grains at a time to 1000 yards over just the last 5 years alone and continue to do so every month at a rate of a couple of pounds per session.  I've also played as a wind coach to a team of .308 shooters in winning several state matches, and medaling in National and World competitions.


    I know what the accuracy requirements are for competition, I do not know what they are for sniper purposes, but I doubt they are anywhere near competition levels; the issued equipment is simply not up to that level.

  • das68das68 Posts: 662 Senior Member
    Das- please be kind to the newbies.  

    copy that


  • das68das68 Posts: 662 Senior Member
    edited May 2019 #28

    Pegasus said:
    das68 said:
    Pegasus said:

    The 7.62 NATO is garbage at anything past 800 yards.

    Inside 800 yards the 308/7.62 is quite decent but since I am not a sniper, have never been a sniper and do not play one on TV, I haven't a clue what the accuracy requirements are for such a mission.

    well
    thank you for your input


    I'm somewhat perplexed by your comment.  It would seem to me that you consider my input to be worthless simply because I am not a sniper or a sniper-wannabe.


    Das- please be kind to the newbies.  

    that include this newbie also?
    >:):D






  • SpkSpk Senior Member Posts: 4,196 Senior Member
    Perspective:

    Competition shooters:
    Shooter 1 "Looks like another overcast windy day."
    Shooter 2 "Dang it!"

    Snipers in Country:
    Sniper 1 "What's the SITREP?"
    Sniper 2 "No food. No Water. Hot as balls. No sleep in the last 48 hours. Exhausted from that 30 Km hump. And we're still receiving sporadic enemy fire from that civilian compound 1400 yards out."
    Sniper 1 "So the usual? Well let's get this thing done!"

    Luke 14:11

    Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience -- Mark Twain
    How easy it is to make people believe a lie, and [how] hard it is to undo that work again! -- Mark Twain

  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    edited May 2019 #30
  • PegasusPegasus Senior Member Posts: 2,775 Senior Member
    edited May 2019 #31
    Spk said:
    Perspective:

    Competition shooters:
    Shooter 1 "Looks like another overcast windy day."
    Shooter 2 "Dang it!"

    Snipers in Country:
    Sniper 1 "What's the SITREP?"
    Sniper 2 "No food. No Water. Hot as balls. No sleep in the last 48 hours. Exhausted from that 30 Km hump. And we're still receiving sporadic enemy fire from that civilian compound 1400 yards out."
    Sniper 1 "So the usual? Well let's get this thing done!"

    Luke 14:11


    You're making the classic mistake of equating competition with snipering.  You will have a hard time finding anything that I ever wrote that makes that mistake in anything but sheer accuracy capabilities.

    This is EXACTLY why I always state that I am not a sniper and have never been, want to be or play one on TV.  This is also why I said that I do not know what the accuracy requirements for snipering are.

    I do explain that I am VERY familiar with the ballistics of a .308 Winchester and that I know the capabilities of the issued equipment and why it falls way short (laughingly so) of world-class competition equipment.

    I should also point out that competitions take place regardless of the conditions, unless it's a veritable downpour or lightning storm.  This is why my match rifle has attachments for a light rain cover that is also part of the overall weight and I designed mine so it covers my ammo box also while on the line.  The rifles are so tight that we have to make sure there is no water on the cartridge lest we get a kaboom on the line due to high pressure because of water on the ammo.

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