“In this profession, the romantic or the heroic is actually not enough. The sniper's motto "meanness, meanness and deceit." The closer you can get to the enemy, the better. Yes, even shoot at close range, the most important thing is to accomplish the task, ”the former officer of the Russian special service confessed to the“ Military Industrial Courier ”.
In 70 – 80-ies, in the Soviet special forces units of the KGB and the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and later in the special forces detachments of the Russian special services, separate sniper units did not exist. There were so-called freelancers armed with Dragunov automatic rifles, who, although trained under a separate program, were actually not much different from ordinary fighters.
“De facto, he is a sniper, and de jure takes the machine gun and went into the assault group,” recalls one of the publication’s interlocutors.
Started from scratch
The first among the CIS countries to the idea of creating full-time sniper units came in Ukraine, where they not only formed a separate group as part of unit A of the SBU, but also armed it with high-precision rifle complexes, in particular, American Blazer rifles.
In Russia, the intelligence services thought about the development of sniping only after taking hostages in the maternity hospital of Budyonnovsk and the special operation that followed, in which officers from special forces from both the FSB (then FSK) and the Interior Ministry took part.
Snipers were allocated for the storming of the maternity hospital, but their work was not entirely effective. It became clear that we need specialized units, staffed by fighters who have been trained in a separate program.
The first to develop a training program for snipers began in the Federal Counterintelligence Service, whose employees not only analyzed all the documents available at that time, but also raised archival, in particular, times of the Great Patriotic and Civil Wars.
It immediately became clear that everything would have to be created virtually from scratch. At that time, the last combat training program written for snipers was dated 1952 for the year, and all subsequent ones were reprinted with some cosmetic changes.
Often, FSB special forces officers are criticized for giving a lot of attention to foreign experience, in particular to the US, when developing a new program.
“There is nothing strange in this. In peacetime, only two countries did not stop training snipers - the United States and, if my memory serves me, Australia. All the others act according to the principle “There is war, which means that you need to train snipers, there is no war — you can overclock snipers”. This applies to both Europe and the USSR after the Great Patriotic War. But the sniper school is not born from scratch, it’s an experience accumulated over decades. We have carefully studied the American developments in order to take the best and introduce them with us, ”one of the MIC’s interlocutors specified.
In the new combat training program it was established that snipers should act as a pair. From the outset, it became clear what tasks snipers will perform in positions, as well as the time required to perform these tasks. And it was decided that the eldest in a pair (the one who shoots) must conduct calculations for entering amendments, and the second number carries out observation and corrects the shooting.
“The American“ green berets ”have the one who conducts surveillance in a pair. He also calculates the amendments and gives a ready-made solution to the first number, which shoots. We abandoned this approach. When the shooter of the elder in the pair considers everything himself, and also introduces amendments, experience greatly helps him. If they simply give them a task, it can be treated insufficiently critically, ”explains the interlocutor of the Military Industrial Courier.
According to the newly created program, our snipers were trained not only for high-precision shooting, but also for aiming and adjusting artillery fire and aviation. “At first we thought that we could all do it ourselves. But then, when they realized that there wasn’t enough shooting technique, they came to a children's trainer who had been learning how to lie, breathe, pull the trigger, relax for a whole year ... After that, the quality of shooting increased, especially for long distances, ”recalls the former commandos.
By the beginning of the second Chechen war, the FSB special forces snipers reached a fairly high level, showing excellent results not only in competitions, but also in service and combat activities. Therefore, the Defense Ministry appealed to them for help when they began to create specialized companies, training courses, etc. in the military department.
At the same time, the Ministry of the Interior chose to develop a program for combat training of snipers on their own. However, after some time, she nevertheless asked for help from the Federal Security Service.
In 2006, representatives of the FSB for the first time took part in the World Shooting Championship among army and police snipers held in Budapest, where, to the surprise of all participants, they immediately won first place. It is this victory that is considered to have summed up the many years of work that began after the terrorist attack in Budennovsk.
“When the staff went to the championship for the first time, nobody there took them seriously. And the task was simple - to take part, to understand the system. But they got a little carried away and immediately won first place, ”says one of the participants of those competitions.
It should be noted that the Hungarian championship is not only one of the most prestigious, but also quite complex, requiring participants to have a high level of training and experience. On the day the competitors did 18 – 20 exercises designed for only one, maximum two shots. By the end of the work exhausted completely.
Originally in the newly created sniper unit used rifles MC-116. But already in 1997, the British AW, designed by Malcolm Cooper, world champion in shooting, was purchased.
AW (stands for Arctic Warfare) is a major upgrade of the L80 sniper rifle adopted by the British army in the 96s. That, in turn, was created at the beginning of the 90-x by order of the Swedish military to operate in extreme Arctic conditions. Later, the new high-precision shooting complex was purchased by the military departments and special services of more than 20 countries.
"This is what is called the human factor in stories. There were people in Russia who knew Malcolm Cooper closely. After all, he is not only the creator of the rifle, but first and foremost a four-time world champion in shooting. Having created AW, he showed it to his friends, sports shooters from Russia, ”recalls one of the veterans of Russian sniping.
The British rifle became interested in the Russian special forces, and after brief disputes, they began to buy it, and at the same time two models - under the cartridge .308Win and under the .338Lapua-Magnum. A little later, in addition to AW, Finnish TRG rifles were purchased.
At one time, Cooper said that the best in the world is his rifle, and the second is the Finnish Sako TRG. From the point of view of their combat use by our snipers, this is how it turned out.
Everyone has their own handwriting
What is the difference between a policeman and a military sniper? It is from the field of application: a police officer works in cities and towns, where the firing range does not exceed 250 – 300 meters. But it requires a very accurate single shot. When conducting anti-terrorism measures, it’s necessary to shoot not just at a terrorist, but into an area of instantly fatal injury, experts say.
The human body is conventionally divided into three zones. The first is an instantly fatal wound (MSR), with the defeat of which the terrorist dies on the so-called relaxation of his psychophysiomotor activity and cannot pull the trigger or detonator.
The second is the zone of mortal wounds (SR), if a sniper gets into it, the terrorist dies instantly, but still has time to do something. The third is the injured zone, hit in which does not lead to instant death.
Many believe that the MCP area is the whole head. This is not true. Police sniper need to get the first and only shot in the area of the cerebellum and medulla. When viewed from the front, this is a triangle connecting the eyes and the tip of the nose, and on the side is only a small dot behind the ear.
The rest of the head is the CP zone. The slightest mistake will lead to the fact that the terrorist before death will have time either to kill the hostage or to detonate the bomb.
The instant-fatal injury zone is only about ten centimeters. The average sniper rifle fires with an 1 MOA accuracy (angular minute). That is, roughly speaking, three centimeters per hundred meters. Therefore, in order to be guaranteed to get into the MCP, the sniper must shoot from a range of no more than 300 meters, or even closer.
The work of a military sniper involves shooting at a long range, often over a kilometer. In the event of a miss, the military can make a second shot, making the necessary amendments.
“For a police sniper, the weight of the rifle itself is not important, because it will still be brought to the site of the operation. Well, he will pass or run a certain distance - he will not break. Therefore, heavier rifles for police snipers, even preferable with a small caliber. And for military sniping weight and size weaponsThe weight of the ammunition is crucial. After all, it is necessary not only to reach the place of operation, but also to return, but also to complete the task, ”explains the source.
But the problem of masking on the ground is the same for both the policeman and the military sniper. If we are talking about distance, then there is no such disguise where the sniper would be absolutely convenient. Of course, he can climb under the ground, then, like the hell out of a snuffbox, jump out and shoot at close range. But if a sniper has to work in an open area, then the minimum distance to which he can crawl is 90 – 110 meters from the target. If he gets closer, they will see him. You can dissolve in the background, but still the sniper breathes, moves, produces movements uncharacteristic of the terrain and is easy to detect.
When firing at maximum distances and at the limit of the rifle's capabilities, each has its own specific style. As an example, the teachings of one of the sniper units, held in the mountains. As targets, in order not to run from one vertex to another, special plastic was used, cracking with an accurate bullet hit.
All targets were hit the first time, but when the unit commander checked the calculations and the amendments that the snipers made before opening fire, it turned out that they differed greatly among all his subordinates.
“When firing at the maximum range, each sniper in his own way considers, observes the wind, makes adjustments. And here the second component is already included - experience. Often you don’t even understand why you’ve gotten it that way, or that’s where you put the aiming point. Therefore, in the sniper case a lot of subjective. Yes, at the initial stage of training, when you prepare a person from scratch to a certain level, there are some cliches. Then, when you already pass this level, subjectivism appears, ”the interlocutor shares his feelings.
But the most important thing for a sniper is to always be realistic about his capabilities. “If you want to achieve something, you have to tell yourself the truth that you can for today. After all, shooting skills are not innate, they must be acquired and brought to the level of instinct. Then it turns out a professional, ”sums up an experienced sniper.