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Posted: 10/6/2009 10:09:53 AM EST
Our military seems to employ 2 man sniper teams. One man is the shooter and the other is the spotter. You would think that having 2 shooters would be more effective. Obviously they know better than I do; so dedicating 1 guy to the spotting scope must be critical. Why?
Link Posted: 10/6/2009 10:11:33 AM EST
Spotting scope can see more of what is going on around the target while the shooter is focused primarily on the target. At least, that's my thought on it.
Link Posted: 10/6/2009 10:11:40 AM EST
Call windage and elevation. Range subsequent targets. Call shots. All this lets the shooter concentrate on the job at hand

Link Posted: 10/6/2009 10:13:08 AM EST
cuts the workload in half, maximizes efficiency.
Link Posted: 10/6/2009 10:13:29 AM EST
The spotter usually carries an M4. Better for defense.

Using the scope, the spotter can better evaluate targets, he can estimate wind speed using the mirage, and he can call out shot adjustments or confirm results. The spotter is also a skilled sniper, they can swap tasks.
Link Posted: 10/6/2009 10:14:30 AM EST
The spotter sometimes has a rifle. During Hathcocks famous annihilation of the NVA company, his spotter was shooting an M14.
Link Posted: 10/6/2009 10:16:25 AM EST
Is it true the "spotter" is the better shooter?
Link Posted: 10/6/2009 10:16:28 AM EST
Originally Posted By Skillshot:
The spotter sometimes has a rifle. During Hathcocks famous annihilation of the NVA company, his spotter was shooting an M14.


My favorite part of the book.

Link Posted: 10/6/2009 10:17:10 AM EST
The spotter typically carries a defensive weapon.

Like others said, it also helps to have 2 brains working on the range/windage information to make sure the first shot is perfect.

Also, a good spotting scope is far superior to a riflescope in the amount of magnification, field of view, etc.
Link Posted: 10/6/2009 10:17:27 AM EST
Originally Posted By Skillshot:
The spotter sometimes has a rifle. During Hathcocks famous annihilation of the NVA company, his spotter was shooting an M14.


I think they always have a rifle.

Link Posted: 10/6/2009 10:17:45 AM EST
Originally Posted By BigJ_223:
Is it true the "spotter" is the better shooter?


No.

They're both snipers. Equally trained and equally skilled.
Link Posted: 10/6/2009 10:18:50 AM EST
Originally Posted By BigJ_223:
Is it true the "spotter" is the better shooter?


Not necessarilly .... although the spotter is usually looked at as the smarter of the two. Any monkey can pull a trigger, it takes brains to make the wind calls and be able to get the shooter on target if his first round is off.
Link Posted: 10/6/2009 10:18:54 AM EST
As others have said - division of labor makes the team more effective. One can focus on delivering the shot, the other on observation and calling range and windage.

Two shooters would be just two individuals co-located, rather than a team.
Link Posted: 10/6/2009 10:19:36 AM EST
Originally Posted By BigJ_223:
Is it true the "spotter" is the better shooter?


Shooting teams often have spotters who are very good riflemen themselves. They have to be, to properly coach the shooters and feed them good info.

In sniper teams I think spotter and sniper usually trade roles, but in a very critical shoot the better shot will probably act as sniper.
Link Posted: 10/6/2009 10:19:42 AM EST
Originally Posted By BigJ_223:
Is it true the "spotter" is the better shooter?


The spotter is the senior member of the team.
Link Posted: 10/6/2009 10:20:16 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/6/2009 10:21:07 AM EST by PBIR]

Originally Posted By Outsydlooknin75:
Originally Posted By BigJ_223:
Is it true the "spotter" is the better shooter?


Not necessarilly .... although the spotter is usually looked at as the smarter of the two. Any monkey can pull a trigger, it takes brains to make the wind calls and be able to get the shooter on target if his first round is off.

Where did you hear that?
Link Posted: 10/6/2009 10:21:18 AM EST
Originally Posted By Outsydlooknin75:
Originally Posted By BigJ_223:
Is it true the "spotter" is the better shooter?


Not necessarilly .... although the spotter is usually looked at as the smarter of the two. Any monkey can pull a trigger, it takes brains to make the wind calls and be able to get the shooter on target if his first round is off.




Link Posted: 10/6/2009 10:21:23 AM EST
Because the sniper just works the rifle, the spotter's job is to find the target and place the shot. The guy looking through the rifle scope trying to plant the bullet isn't scanning the whole battlefield and judging windage and such. He's focused on putting the bullet where it is supposed to go. The spotter does more than half the work.
Link Posted: 10/6/2009 10:22:06 AM EST
Originally Posted By Outsydlooknin75:
Originally Posted By BigJ_223:
Is it true the "spotter" is the better shooter?


Not necessarilly .... although the spotter is usually looked at as the smarter of the two. Any monkey can pull a trigger, it takes brains to make the wind calls and be able to get the shooter on target if his first round is off.




Your post is full of ignorance and fail.

Spotters are snipers. They are trained the same way. If you don't think that both the sniper and spotter can make the windage/elevation calculations, then you're seriously misinformed.
Link Posted: 10/6/2009 10:22:38 AM EST
Originally Posted By Cypher214:
Originally Posted By BigJ_223:
Is it true the "spotter" is the better shooter?


No.

They're both snipers. Equally trained and equally skilled.



No two people are really equal.

Can be real close, so that on any given day the "lessor" of the two might do better.
Link Posted: 10/6/2009 10:23:03 AM EST

Originally Posted By 0612Devil:
Originally Posted By Outsydlooknin75:
Originally Posted By BigJ_223:
Is it true the "spotter" is the better shooter?


Not necessarilly .... although the spotter is usually looked at as the smarter of the two. Any monkey can pull a trigger, it takes brains to make the wind calls and be able to get the shooter on target if his first round is off.





Your tag line made me laugh. Carry on.
Link Posted: 10/6/2009 10:24:46 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/6/2009 10:30:42 AM EST by kno3sc3h40]
To the OP and anyone else interested. Link is the 1997 field manual, it will answer your question, and much more.

Department of the Army FM 23-10

Edit. Sorry. I fixed the link, the other pdf was only the TOC.

Link Posted: 10/6/2009 10:27:37 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/6/2009 10:31:23 AM EST by Cypher214]
Originally Posted By DonS:
Originally Posted By Cypher214:
Originally Posted By BigJ_223:
Is it true the "spotter" is the better shooter?


No.

They're both snipers. Equally trained and equally skilled.



No two people are really equal.

Can be real close, so that on any given day the "lessor" of the two might do better.


Take two USMC Snipers and have each of them fire 10 five-shot groups with the same rifle.

I can guarantee that there won't be enough variation between the two to call one "better" than the other.

Equipment and conditions are the only variable factors at that level of proficiency. The shooters are usually as close to perfect as one can get, due to the level of training.
Link Posted: 10/6/2009 10:28:29 AM EST
I know there are others here, but Gobshyte, better known to many of us as Sosabowski, can be found over in the World at War thread in the War Games forum. He is/was British .mil and a sniper. I'll have to ask him who is smarter, him or his spotter.
Link Posted: 10/6/2009 10:29:18 AM EST

Originally Posted By Cypher214:
Originally Posted By DonS:
Originally Posted By Cypher214:
Originally Posted By BigJ_223:
Is it true the "spotter" is the better shooter?


No.

They're both snipers. Equally trained and equally skilled.



No two people are really equal.

Can be real close, so that on any given day the "lessor" of the two might do better.


Take two USMC Snipers and have each of them fire 10 five-shot groups with the same rifle.

I can guarantee that there won't be enough variation between the two to call one "better" than the other.

Yep, the spotter and shooter are usually interchangeable.
Link Posted: 10/6/2009 10:32:57 AM EST
Originally Posted By Cypher214:
Originally Posted By BigJ_223:
Is it true the "spotter" is the better shooter?


No.

They're both snipers. Equally trained and equally skilled.


and the senior (unless agreed beforehand) is usually the spotter and makes the call on the shot, most importantly whether to take it or not.
Link Posted: 10/6/2009 10:37:33 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/6/2009 10:52:15 AM EST by winddummy82]
Originally Posted By Outsydlooknin75:
Originally Posted By BigJ_223:
Is it true the "spotter" is the better shooter?


. Any monkey can pull a trigger.


you know this for fact? ok son... put the soldier of fortune magazine down...

AFTER you go win a high power shooting match come back and tell the rest of us how any monkey can do it. until then...stfu
Link Posted: 10/6/2009 10:38:26 AM EST
Originally Posted By danpass:
Originally Posted By Cypher214:
Originally Posted By BigJ_223:
Is it true the "spotter" is the better shooter?


No.

They're both snipers. Equally trained and equally skilled.


and the senior (unless agreed beforehand) is usually the spotter and makes the call on the shot, most importantly whether to take it or not.


Makes sense to have the man with more field experience making the final call.

The roles change back and forth depending on the mission.
Link Posted: 10/6/2009 10:40:07 AM EST
I am always amazed at how many "gun people" think any monkey can pull a trigger accurately.

Eliminate all wind, all bullet drop, all of that nonsense, and most of those people still can't shoot for shit, since they always assume other factors are at play. These are usually the highpower guys who scoff at Air Rifle and indoor Smallbore shooters. Most spend their time at the range chasing the bull.
Link Posted: 10/6/2009 10:41:48 AM EST
Originally Posted By DonS:
The spotter usually carries an M4. Better for defense.

Using the scope, the spotter can better evaluate targets, he can estimate wind speed using the mirage, and he can call out shot adjustments or confirm results. The spotter is also a skilled sniper, they can swap tasks.




+1 to this. Two guys with sniper rifles only are in BIG trouble if engaged at close range.
Link Posted: 10/6/2009 10:43:27 AM EST
Originally Posted By Bohr_Adam:
I am always amazed at how many "gun people" think any monkey can pull a trigger accurately.

Eliminate all wind, all bullet drop, all of that nonsense, and most of those people still can't shoot for shit, since they always assume other factors are at play. These are usually the highpower guys who scoff at Air Rifle and indoor Smallbore shooters. Most spend their time at the range chasing the bull.


Both members of a two man sniper team are highly trained experts. Shoot accurately over extremely long distances is extremely difficult. Being able to pull the trigger and put a bullet into a person from a mile away is a feat of amazing skill, and it takes the skill of two experts working together.
Link Posted: 10/6/2009 10:45:47 AM EST
Originally Posted By Red_Label:
Originally Posted By DonS:
The spotter usually carries an M4. Better for defense.

Using the scope, the spotter can better evaluate targets, he can estimate wind speed using the mirage, and he can call out shot adjustments or confirm results. The spotter is also a skilled sniper, they can swap tasks.




+1 to this. Two guys with sniper rifles only are in BIG trouble if engaged at close range.


But, that is a secondary function of the spotter. The spotter is there to guide the sniper to put the bullet on the target. The sniper is there to operate the machine which puts the bullet in the target. The spotter also provides force protection (I guess that's what they call it) for the team, but it is his secondary function. Preferably, a sniper team doesn't get engaged.
Link Posted: 10/6/2009 10:46:28 AM EST
Originally Posted By Bohr_Adam:
I am always amazed at how many "gun people" think any monkey can pull a trigger accurately.

Eliminate all wind, all bullet drop, all of that nonsense, and most of those people still can't shoot for shit, since they always assume other factors are at play. These are usually the highpower guys who scoff at Air Rifle and indoor Smallbore shooters. Most spend their time at the range chasing the bull.


+1 to this.

I have enough problems with breathing and trigger control. Toss in some wind and I'm screwed.
Link Posted: 10/6/2009 10:48:11 AM EST
Originally Posted By motown_steve:
Originally Posted By Bohr_Adam:
I am always amazed at how many "gun people" think any monkey can pull a trigger accurately.

Eliminate all wind, all bullet drop, all of that nonsense, and most of those people still can't shoot for shit, since they always assume other factors are at play. These are usually the highpower guys who scoff at Air Rifle and indoor Smallbore shooters. Most spend their time at the range chasing the bull.


Both members of a two man sniper team are highly trained experts. Shoot accurately over extremely long distances is extremely difficult. Being able to pull the trigger and put a bullet into a person from a mile away is a feat of amazing skill, and it takes the skill of two experts working together.


Agreed. Hence the way it is done.

I was merely responding the the idea that the shooter needs no special talent, and need only make the proper adjustments called by the spotter. That is Hollywood nonsense and I continue to be surprised how many "gun people" believe this. Of course, many "gun people" can't shoot for shit.
Link Posted: 10/6/2009 10:49:07 AM EST
Originally Posted By Cypher214:

Makes sense to have the man with more field experience making the final call.

The roles change back and forth depending on the mission.


Your post made me think of this image from our friend Oleg Volk:



LOL
Link Posted: 10/6/2009 10:52:55 AM EST
Originally Posted By motown_steve:
Originally Posted By Red_Label:
Originally Posted By DonS:
The spotter usually carries an M4. Better for defense.

Using the scope, the spotter can better evaluate targets, he can estimate wind speed using the mirage, and he can call out shot adjustments or confirm results. The spotter is also a skilled sniper, they can swap tasks.




+1 to this. Two guys with sniper rifles only are in BIG trouble if engaged at close range.


But, that is a secondary function of the spotter. The spotter is there to guide the sniper to put the bullet on the target. The sniper is there to operate the machine which puts the bullet in the target. The spotter also provides force protection (I guess that's what they call it) for the team, but it is his secondary function. Preferably, a sniper team doesn't get engaged.


Agreed, BUT in the event the team is spotted and engaged at close range, if both were to be weilding sniper rigs they'd not be long for this world. So it's only natural to have the spotter carry something for CQB. No need for two long-distance rigs. I can tell you that were I a sniper in a hide with my teammate, I'd feel MUCH more comfortable knowing he was packing an M4 or similar than another scoped bolt rifle.

Link Posted: 10/6/2009 10:54:28 AM EST
Originally Posted By Cypher214:
Originally Posted By BigJ_223:
Is it true the "spotter" is the better shooter?


No.

They're both snipers. Equally trained and equally skilled.


i was also under the impression that the spotter was the senior sniper, with more experience to read the elements
Link Posted: 10/6/2009 10:55:56 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/6/2009 10:56:52 AM EST by John_Wayne777]
Link Posted: 10/6/2009 10:57:16 AM EST


two snipers with two rifles each




Link Posted: 10/6/2009 10:57:23 AM EST

Originally Posted By Skillshot:
The spotter sometimes has a rifle. During Hathcocks famous annihilation of the NVA company, his spotter was shooting an M14.

John Burke? Didn't he run out of ball ammo and had to start shooting Hathcock's match ammo through the M14?
Link Posted: 10/6/2009 10:58:34 AM EST
from FM23-10 chapter 1

"b. Snipers work and train in 2-man teams. One sniper's primary duty is that of the sniper and team leader while the other sniper serves as the observer. The sniper team leader is responsible for the day-to-day activities of the sniper team. His responsibilities are as follows:

(1) To assume the responsibilities of the SEO that pertain to the team in the SEO's absence.

(2) To train the team.

(3) To issue necessary orders to the team.

(4) To prepare for missions.

(5) To control the team during missions.

c. The sniper's weapon is the sniper weapon system. The observer has the M16 rifle and an M203, which gives the team greater suppressive fire and protection. Night capability is enhanced by using night observation devices."

AND

1-4. SNIPER AND OBSERVER RESPONSIBILITIES
Each member of the sniper team has specific responsibilities. Only through repeated practice can the team begin to function properly. Responsibilities of team members areas follows:

a. The sniper––

■Builds a steady, comfortable position.
■Locates and identifies the designated target.
■Estimates the range to the target.
■Dials in the proper elevation and windage to engage the target.
■Notifies the observer of readiness to fire.
■Takes aim at the designated target.
■Controls breathing at natural respiratory pause.
■Executes proper trigger control.
■Follows through.
■Makes an accurate and timely shot call.
■Prepares to fire subsequent shots, if necessary.
b. The observer––

■Properly positions himself.
■Selects an appropriate target.
■Assists in range estimation.
■Calculates the effect of existing weather conditions on ballistics.
■Reports sight adjustment data to the sniper.
■Uses the M49 observation telescope
for shot observation.
■Critiques performanc
Link Posted: 10/6/2009 10:59:46 AM EST
In tanks, the commander calls the shots. Gunner lets the rounds fly.

Same with sniper teams.
Link Posted: 10/6/2009 11:07:33 AM EST
Link Posted: 10/6/2009 11:11:02 AM EST
Originally Posted By wgjhsafT:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJ52yIe3eYM


I was waiting for that
Link Posted: 10/6/2009 11:11:09 AM EST
Not much of a better answer than this.

Thanks for posting that manual.
Originally Posted By kno3sc3h40:
from FM23-10 chapter 1

"b. Snipers work and train in 2-man teams. One sniper's primary duty is that of the sniper and team leader while the other sniper serves as the observer. The sniper team leader is responsible for the day-to-day activities of the sniper team. His responsibilities are as follows:

(1) To assume the responsibilities of the SEO that pertain to the team in the SEO's absence.

(2) To train the team.

(3) To issue necessary orders to the team.

(4) To prepare for missions.

(5) To control the team during missions.

c. The sniper's weapon is the sniper weapon system. The observer has the M16 rifle and an M203, which gives the team greater suppressive fire and protection. Night capability is enhanced by using night observation devices."

AND

1-4. SNIPER AND OBSERVER RESPONSIBILITIES
Each member of the sniper team has specific responsibilities. Only through repeated practice can the team begin to function properly. Responsibilities of team members areas follows:

a. The sniper––

■Builds a steady, comfortable position.
■Locates and identifies the designated target.
■Estimates the range to the target.
■Dials in the proper elevation and windage to engage the target.
■Notifies the observer of readiness to fire.
■Takes aim at the designated target.
■Controls breathing at natural respiratory pause.
■Executes proper trigger control.
■Follows through.
■Makes an accurate and timely shot call.
■Prepares to fire subsequent shots, if necessary.
b. The observer––

■Properly positions himself.
■Selects an appropriate target.
■Assists in range estimation.
■Calculates the effect of existing weather conditions on ballistics.
■Reports sight adjustment data to the sniper.
■Uses the M49 observation telescope
for shot observation.
■Critiques performanc


Link Posted: 10/6/2009 11:12:02 AM EST
many people also forget the mental aspect of having 2 people. dont forget a lot of times these guys are out there for DAYS not hours. two people means you are not completely alone, it means someone is there to watch your back and, you are KILLING people, someone else to share that kind of stress helps a lot. it gives more confidence and there is an ability to confim hits and misses. two people is vital. not just for mission accomplishment but also for sanity.
Link Posted: 10/6/2009 11:14:36 AM EST
The USMC field manual is FMFM 1-3B but it is from 1984. It reads differently from the U.S. Army version.
Link Posted: 10/6/2009 11:18:36 AM EST
Originally Posted By BigJ_223:
Is it true the "spotter" is the better shooter?


When pairing new guys, the spotter is almost always an experienced shooter....
Link Posted: 10/6/2009 11:19:22 AM EST
Originally Posted By Cypher214:
Originally Posted By Outsydlooknin75:
Originally Posted By BigJ_223:
Is it true the "spotter" is the better shooter?


Not necessarilly .... although the spotter is usually looked at as the smarter of the two. Any monkey can pull a trigger, it takes brains to make the wind calls and be able to get the shooter on target if his first round is off.




Your post is full of ignorance and fail.

Spotters are snipers. They are trained the same way. If you don't think that both the sniper and spotter can make the windage/elevation calculations, then you're seriously misinformed.


Link Posted: 10/6/2009 11:34:12 AM EST
On the history channel they had a sniper from iraq on there. He said his spotter carried a m4 or m16 (i dont remember which) and he would engage the close in targets that may require more than 1 shot such as guy running back to the car or multiple close in threats.
Link Posted: 10/6/2009 11:46:55 AM EST

Originally Posted By CouncilOfDave:
Not much of a better answer than this.

Thanks for posting that manual.
Originally Posted By kno3sc3h40:
from FM23-10 chapter 1

"b. Snipers work and train in 2-man teams. One sniper's primary duty is that of the sniper and team leader while the other sniper serves as the observer. The sniper team leader is responsible for the day-to-day activities of the sniper team. His responsibilities are as follows:

(1) To assume the responsibilities of the SEO that pertain to the team in the SEO's absence.

(2) To train the team.

(3) To issue necessary orders to the team.

(4) To prepare for missions.

(5) To control the team during missions.

c. The sniper's weapon is the sniper weapon system. The observer has the M16 rifle and an M203, which gives the team greater suppressive fire and protection. Night capability is enhanced by using night observation devices."

AND

1-4. SNIPER AND OBSERVER RESPONSIBILITIES
Each member of the sniper team has specific responsibilities. Only through repeated practice can the team begin to function properly. Responsibilities of team members areas follows:

a. The sniper––

■Builds a steady, comfortable position.
■Locates and identifies the designated target.
■Estimates the range to the target.
■Dials in the proper elevation and windage to engage the target.
■Notifies the observer of readiness to fire.
■Takes aim at the designated target.
■Controls breathing at natural respiratory pause.
■Executes proper trigger control.
■Follows through.
■Makes an accurate and timely shot call.
■Prepares to fire subsequent shots, if necessary.
b. The observer––

■Properly positions himself.
■Selects an appropriate target.
■Assists in range estimation.
■Calculates the effect of existing weather conditions on ballistics.
■Reports sight adjustment data to the sniper.
■Uses the M49 observation telescope
for shot observation.
■Critiques performanc



http://biggerhammer.net/manuals/23-10/ch2.htm
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