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Jan 20 10 11:09 AM

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Hi People,

I know i've been posting on here for a while but it seems that this season i will actually get to join you for some shows.
I've spoken to Bob and discussed a few things about what i need etc and i'm thinking of portraying the platoon sniper so i will be adding some various items to my kit to gear it more towards the scout sniper role. I've lined up an M14 with scope etc and am now working on my load bearing kit.

I really need some webbing, i never seem to be able to find any - have considered going to Moore Militaria but i know i will be shafted by customs, and something looks a bit off in the photo's on Costa's website, has anyone bought the webbing from SOF or is it best avoided?

I want the basic rig, not to fussed about the buttpack because my uniform bible says they were rarely used as GI's  hated them and their placement.

Anyway any kit offers would be gladly investigated

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#2 [url]

Jan 21 10 2:04 AM

No thats the same but there is not really any seperate / special element to the sniper, spoke to Bob, Snipers were basic grunts every platoon had a sniper and spotter most of the time they patrolled with the everyday operations, just provided a long range weapon for versatility, basically just a grunt with a scope performing another job in the unit much like the RTO, machine gunner, FO, or any other guy.

They did do a certain amount of roaming around but usually went out on patrol with the line then slipped off or a bit and then re-appeared with the patrol before they came back in.

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#4 [url]

Jan 21 10 7:32 AM

Sorry, i typed that in a hurry this morning and reading it again it looks like i was a bit snippy! Didn't mean to be.

Yeah i spoke to Bob, or emailed him not sure which now and he said as long as i'm a grunt first and foremost hes cool with the added element for the group, i told him i'll always be a grunt at heart anyway...

Probably gonna be in straight fatigues most of the time and maybe have some camo lurking about for every so often.

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#6 [url]

Jan 21 10 12:13 PM

My 2 cents for what its worth:
A fair number of guys stuck with and carried M-14s with and with out scopes largely because they lacked confidence in the M-16. Among line troops I saw more 14s without scopes than with.
The Army discouraged this and many commanders prohibited it but it was still not uncommon.
A good many more troops would have done so if they had been able to.
Incidently already in 67-68 I saw a very few M-16's equiped with a scope made by Colt they were rare and it was not a very good scope but I did see a few.
No documentation - strictly from observation.

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#8 [url]

Jan 21 10 12:27 PM

Theoreticaly our first generation starlight scopes could be mounted on an M-14 but would make the rifle very un weildly I don't believe I ever saw one actualy carried that way but ... if line units did carry such weapons they would have to be kept well wrapped up durring the day to prevent light damage to the scopes. More comonly the starlight was carried in its own light blocking case and hand held.

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#9 [url]

Jan 21 10 12:39 PM


As always its a pleasure to hear from you on an subject. I gather from everything i've read that the M14 was a better rifle. Its good to hear it first hand so to speak. One reason i'm going for the M14 sniper look is because i think the M16 just looks plain awful with a scope on it, i've done a fair bit of looking and found it was more common for the snipers to carry the M14, Remington M40 or the Winchester M70 rather than any of the M16 variants. I gather this is partly because the M14 fired the 7.62 round rather than the 5.56 - i suppose if you're looking to do the damage with one shot you want to achieve maximum damage.

Incidently anyone who hasn't read it yet should buy and read "Marine Sniper" - by Charles Henderson.

Its the story of one of Vietnams most devastating snipers Gunny Carlos Hathcock - He left Vietnam with 93 confirmed kills, but into the 1000's of unconfirmed including a Chinese Advisor.

Dave i always welcome your input so always feel free to post onto anything i write

Cheers Buddy

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#10 [url]

Jan 21 10 1:42 PM

Ahh, I didn't realise that. I thought most snipers were picked out from good marksmanship and given a M-16 scope, not a ware a lot used M14s instead. Thanks for the information Dave.

And Guns, (sorry, I'm terrible with aliases and I can't fpr the life of me remember your name!) Any considerations on a little bit of scrim (or substitute)?

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#11 [url]

Jan 21 10 4:58 PM

Although im not a expert on sniper's the two most renown sniper's although there was many more were Carlos Hathcock and Chuck Mawhinnie i believe both favoured the springfield 30-30 and
the Remington my self and LT joe have seen Chuck's rifle in the Marine Corp's museum at Qauntico
they both used redfield scope's,i believe a m16 would not have been a lot of good for distance sniping
as the round is to light to cause much damage over those type of distance's (Dave correct me if im wrong) most vet's i have spoken to have told me they would set the site's on a m16 for approx
200 yard's with no windage as most firefight's they took part in were under that distance.
yes i have told Glen he can be a sniper as he want's to specialise as one the same as if someone want's to become a grenadier for instance, is all we ask in these case's is firstly they are a ground pounder first and if thay want to specialise they must do the bookwork and get it right.
Glen dont buy stuff from SOF they are normally double dear i just put a full set of webbing together for my grandson for £60-00 be patient it will come.


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#12 [url]

Jan 21 10 9:17 PM

Bob – Steve- and Guns a go go, please excuse my rant. Believe me I am certainly not an expert on sniper’s either, but rifles are my thing.

Both the Army and the Marine Corp. had formally trained snipers. I never met one, and never saw an assigned Army sniper, but then I never spent time with a regular infantry unit. I did how ever see a couple of Marine sniper’s near Hue not long before Tet of ’68. Those two were both using Winchester Mod. 70’s. The pre 1964 Model 70 was the gold standard for sniper rifles at that time and up through the late 1980’s for both military and police sniper rifles. The Remington 700’s have gained in popularity for that purpose over the years. I was speaking about regular infantry soldiers carrying the 14’s not officially designated snipers. LRRPs occasionally did some “sniping” but while I was there we never had any officially designated snipers. I think at that time both Army and Marine sniper’s were using 7.62 (also known as the .308 Winchester) match grade ammo, not .30-06 Springfield but I could certainly be wrong about that, the .30/30 Winchester is a US sporting rifle ctg not used in Vietnam and certainly not a sniper round.

The .30-06 which was used in US Springfield, Enfield, M1 Garand rifles, the BAR, as well as US 30 cal. machineguns, and the 7.62 NATO which was used in the M14, M60 machine gun, and VN era mini guns use the same .30 caliber bullet and both are readily available in match grade loadings.

M16s of the era were not effective at long ranges because of the light weight of the military issue ball projectiles and the weapons rifling which was not designed to stabilize bullets heavy enough to maintain their velocity and energy over long ranges. Basically the lighter a bullet is the faster it loses its velocity and energy, and the more it is affected by cross winds. After the war long range heavy bullet 5.56 loads and barrels designed to accommodate them have been introduced.

I don’t thing the 16s I saw with scopes were ever actually intended as sniper weapons, as far as I know they were carried by regular infantry soldiers but would certainly improve the odds of hitting your target out to a couple of hundred yards. The scopes were certainly not sniper or long range quality, they were made with long eye relief to be fast, light, and compact not necessarily precise. The reticule was a simple thick post more suited for rapid combat type shooting than for sniping or long range. They were made with a straight tube to allow the shooter to see his iron sights under the scope if needed. If I can figure out how to attach a photo I’ll send you a picture of one of the 16 scopes I was talking about. The one I have is not a Colt it’s a Chinese made replica but it is made to the same outward dimensions and appearance as the issue ones.

The M14s I was referring to were not sniper rifles they were just issue grade rifles either with a scope or with out, and we for the most part used standard issue military ball ammo.

The 14 I carried had a 4 power side mount scope, and a full auto selector switch. The side mount allowed you to also instantly switch to iron sight. I don’t know if 14’s were used as assigned sniper weapons by specifically trained personnel at the time but if they were I’m sure they would have been match grade rifles with match grade ammo. M14 based rifles are still being used as sniper weapons today. Current M14 scope mounts put the scope directly over bore.

“Better” is a relative term either the 7.62 or the 5.56 round has sufficient power to put a man out of action at any range the shooter can hit him. The problem with the 5.56 of that era was that neither they nor the rifles that fired them were capable of long range accuracy a miss with a .30 caliber or even a .50 caliber is no more effective than a miss with a 5.56, but a body hit with any of them will put a soldier out of commission.

Bob the whole time I was in I was never on a regular rifle range. I sighted my rifles in at the camp dump at relatively short ranges an M14 sighted in at 25 meters should be about 2” high at 100 and dead on at 200, at 400 it would be about 2’ low. 400 to 500 meter shots at standing men are relatively easy with such guns 200 meters would be a long shot for the 16s of the day. LRRP firefights were generally pretty short range affairs.

Bob when were you and Joe at Quantico? I spent about 3 months there in 1984.

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#13 [url]

Jan 22 10 4:30 AM

nice piece of info Dave as i said im no expert but we learn from guy's like you all the time
and the info can then be passed on when needed to.
me and Joe drove up to Washington after the 2007 reunion in Georgia and on the way stopped
of at the museum it was awesome funny thing was trying to find the museum we somehow
ended up in the Marine Barrack's and had the wrong end of M16'S in our face but when we explained what had happened the guy's on gaurd were in fit's of laughter and pointed us in the right direction. and then the next day trying to find Arlington cemtery we ended up in the Pentagon
car park Joe swear's he will never do another road trip in the state's with me again hahha.


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#14 [url]

Jan 22 10 7:48 AM

Steve , my name is Glen.

Dave, that wasn't a rant that was a history lesson on armament and ordnance as always i enjoy reading your posts, i certainly agree that from what i've read the 30-06 rounds were the ammo of choice, i've also learned that the army sometimes had trouble sourcing these rounds and indeed Sniper officers such as Capt. Jim Land often purchased match grade ammo for use in the field.
Interestingly i'm currently at the end of Hill 488, and Charles Hildreth who wrote the book was a Marine recon sniper, however when he arrived at Chu Lai they didn't know how to use him or the 4 other snipers he arrived with so they were just put into a recon platoon. Incidently the snipers all trained with the M14 but when they finished the course there was some sort of problem and they ended up being issued M1-D Garands.

Its good when the knowledge crosses over from books and personal accounts because as you mentioned he says Recon guys were allowed M14's with a full auto selector because they would need the punch of quick rounds if they were engaged.

I have tried to source a Winchester 70 first but i could only find one,  don't even get me started on sourcing an UNERTL 8 power scope and its like hens teeth. I have settled for the M14 because in further reading i've found that the M14 found favour with the marksmen slightly later in the war as it was readily available as was the ammo. It then evolved into the M25 sniper system (XM25 during testing), like you say they still use an M14 now in the form of the M14 EBR which is basically an M25 made with modern materials. Also in the sniper pairings you tended to find one of the rifle Dave mentioned and an M14, allowing a bit of automatic fire if it was needed but also accuracy.

Bob i will definately do my bookwork, i have been doing for quirte some time but now i'm re- brushing my work

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#15 [url]

Jan 22 10 8:58 AM

Glen &  Bob Thank all of you guys for the kind words.

When the Winchester re designed the model 70 in 1964 to economize and facilitate manufacturing, the pre ’64 actions became gold and were hoarded by shooters for building long range rifles. While I was at Quantico at the FBI Academy in 1984 I spent a lot of time on the Marine Corps rifle range. The FBI armorers had boxes of new unused pre 64 actions stored for building and maintaining the FBI’s sniper rifles.

The post ’64 actions were not nearly as popular for a number of reasons and the source of pre ’64 models had just about dried up, I was amazed at how many the FBI had acquired and hoarded for future use. Reportedly the Army and Marine Corps had hoarded similar stockpiles.

Talking with some of the other old LRRPs there are stories concerning one guy who served in the unit in the 60’s and again in 72 on a subsequent tour. This guy reportedly carried an M1 as his preferred weapon. Personally I’d have been concerned about the 8 shot capacity!

The M14 was in essence an improved version of the M1, but both the M1 and M14 are very accurate reliable rifles that continue to rival the best bolt actions in accuracy.

Incidentally the mod 70, the Springfield ’03, the , and the Remington 700 are all essentially attempts to copy and improve upon the German Mauser 98. Interesting that a rifle first used in the 1800s remains in this century as the premier design for long range rifle accuracy.

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#16 [url]

Jan 22 10 10:02 AM

An interesting "glitch" I notice that when I write something using micro soft word then copy and paste it on this forum the copy often for some reason omits portions of my text - sometimes words sometimes whole sentences wonder what the heck causes that?
In my last post the last paragraph should have read:
Incidentally the mod 70, the Springfield ’03, the Enfield, and the Remington 700 are all essentially attempts to copy and improve upon the German Mauser 98. Interesting that a rifle first used in the 1800s remains in this century as the premier design for long range rifle accuracy.
Also kind of a sad commentary that after more than 200 years people are still useing these rifles to shoot at each other.

I'll shut up for a while now so as not wear out my welcome. You guys all have a good day and as the Rangers say KEEP ON KEEPING ON.

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#17 [url]

Jan 22 10 11:17 AM

You're not outstaying you're welcome at all Dave! All of this is information I was not aware of, and would have carried on being ignorant of unless you had informed me otherwise!
Also, underneath the box in which you type (Or Copy/Paste) there is a small green button which says 'Upload Files' - Click this, then select the image you want on the forum, and click upload!
It'll appear when you make the post.

And why am I not too concerned/suprised  Captain?

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#18 [url]

Jan 28 10 10:00 PM

Glen Bob & Steve hopefully this works out

Attatched is a photo of the scope which is outwardly similar to the ones I saw in VN on M16s with its mount, and a second picture shows it mounted on my Colt AR15 A2 Carbine (Civilian semi auto version) Also I included a shot of my M1A (civilian semi auto version of M14) with modern over bore mount by Springfield Armory

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