The “Practical Not Tactical” CO Sniper Rifle

From the Archives, 2014



In a previous article entitled “The 5 Gun Theory” I expounded on the logic of the CO owning at least 5 types of firearms in order to be adequately prepared to survive and defend himself adequately. One of those guns was a .30 Caliber scoped bolt-action or semi-auto rifle to be used for hunting and sniper work. It is that gun and the training that goes with it that we are going to discuss.

Now since the driving mantra behind the Civilian Operator Lifestyle is “Practical not Tactical”, I wanted to explore a subject which is not really talked about much in most “Sniper” or “Precision Rifle” training courses, and that is for the EVERYDAY CIVILIAN, what type of rig and training is the most realistic and practical for what that CO will most likely be doing with the weapon system? Just to be clear: This is not a rifle for shooting steel gongs and paper and impressing your buddies at the range.


You see, most all weapon training courses, whether you are talking about Handgun, Assault Rifle, Shotgun or Long Range Rifle are typically approached from either a Law Enforcement and sometimes a Military Training approach/method. Now depending on the trainer and his expertise, this can be made to work for most weapon systems, because MOST OF THE TIME the skill-sets transfer and are applicable. For example, with a Handgun, as long as the trainer integrates specific civilian-type carry issues and scenarios, it works.

This is not the case with Sniper training. As a civilian, if you are picking up a sniper rifle, you are picking it up as a GUERILLA SNIPER, not a Law Enforcement or even a Conventional Military Sniper. This demands and calls for a unique tradecraft that has no parallels in conventional type training. The CO CANNOT AFFORD to waste his time sharpening skills that are not applicable to his particular tradecraft. For example, WHY waste the time and money attempting to hit targets at 1,000 yds, when the farthest shot you will most likely have to make as a GUERILLA SNIPER will be under 400 in an urban environment most likely? Yeah, 1,000 yd and one mile shots are fun to watch on You-Tube, and for the Military Operator in dirka-dirka A-Stan who is packing a $12,000+ Rifle and Scope, this may be a typical shot, but for the CO GUERILLA SNIPER, who is operating in his own backyard, it makes much more sense to prepare to make closer, higher percentage shots, as this will most likely be the scenario he faces. For more on Guerilla Sniping  check out Fry the Brain by John West.



We have to remember that as a Guerilla Sniper, the CO has to RE-DEFINE the meaning of what a “Sniper Rifle” can be. Now as John West elaborates in his book Fry the Brain, anything from a Ruger 10/22 to a Stock AR-15 CAN BE USED as a “SNIPER RIFLE”, it just depends on the situation. For our cause however, a scoped .30 Caliber is the most practical choice, for the primary reasons that this will (or can be)  a duel use gun (man killing and hunting for meat) and no better caliber exist for those two task than the .30 caliber. For those of you that think the two worlds of hunting and sniping cannot cross over and mesh, I direct you to two historical points.

The First is Carlos Hathcock, one of the deadliest Marine Snipers to ever walk the face of the Earth with 93 Confirmed kills. One of Carlos’s first rifles was a stock Winchester Model 70 .30-06 topped with a 8x Unertl Scope. The Second is Charles Whitman, the UT Tower Sniper ( Another Marine). Whitman killed 16 and wounded 32 in 1966 during one of the most violent college campus shooting spree’s on record. Whitman’s primary rifle that day was a Remington Model 700 in 6mm with a 4x Scope, in which he made kill shots out to 500 yds.

Now I am not about to open up the eternal can of worms which begins with the idiotic phrase:”Buy this rig because it is better than that rig.” What I am going to do is present to you that you DO NOT need to take out a second mortgage on your house or risk divorce to have a decent sniper rig!

Now before I continue, I want to address the fact that there is a HUGE amount of “gun snobbery” out there when it comes to precision, long-range rifles. There is the “custom” crowd, who maintains only a custom tube can give you the accuracy you need to be considered a “SNIPER” (BS!!) There is the “modification” crowd, who absolutely love to talk triggers, sears, scopes, barrel twist and ballistics. Typically their snobbery has to do with BRANDS of after market parts. Now all these things are fine as HOBBIES, but contrary to popular opinion, there is only a certain degree of accuracy the CO sniper rifle needs (minute of man versus minute of a fly’s ass). As I said before, we are NOT building a TARGET RIFLE, but a MAN KILLING and HUNTING RIFLE. Like I said PRACTICAL is our aim here!

So as far as the rifle goes, no “off the shelf” gun manufacturing company has went further to offer the average, everyday joe civilian more practical bang for his buck than Savage Arms. 

Speaking from experience, I personally don’t think you can find a better out of the box, off-the-shelf bolt action rifle than their Model 11/111 Long Range Hunter. Although they have many caliber choices for this model, (including the ever-popular, but uber-overkill .338 Lapua Mag) the venerable .308,  .300 Win Mag and .300 WSM are awesome choices for the CO Sniper. My reasoning for not choosing the .338 Lapua (or the .50 BMG for that matter) goes back to the “practical not tactical” thing: it is simply TOO MUCH GUN for what the CO would typically need. Add to this the exorbitant cost of ammunition, and you have all the reasons you need. I mean seriously, why own a weapon that you could only afford to shoot maybe a few times a year and by “shoot” I mean only five rounds at a time!

The CO needs a weapon system he can shoot regularly, because precision rifle work requires trigger time, lots and lots of trigger time, and choosing a caliber that handicaps that is just stupid. Now if you want to buy a .50 BMG or .338 Lapua or .416 Barrett for the simplest and most basic of all reasons, BECAUSE YOU CAN and it’s currently LEGAL TO OWN, then by all means! But let’s be clear on our reasoning before we jump off that cliff!

So let’s talk scopes. Now this is the area where the “gun snobs” really love to flaunt, and unfortunately, in this area, they are right to a degree. A Precision rifle CANNOT CONSISTENTLY be precise with INFERIOR GLASS. No Way, No Day. I don’t know if any of you have tried to cut corners with the cheaper scopes and experienced the frustration of the scope not being able to hold zero, and floating all over the paper, but I will tell you, it can, at the end of the day, make you want to cry.

And though there is no cutting corners in this area, there is finally a compromise. A Scope that offers you the full benefits of the higher priced glass but at reasonable “CO prices “check out Lucid Optics. In a recent article from Guns America, Lucids L5 Model is put through the paces, and although the distances are a bit much for what the CO would realistically need, nevertheless, the scope proves it’s metal without breaking the bank!

So there it is in a nutshell guys. I know it was brief, but I intend to do some more intensive, more specific articles in the future on sniping to help you guys along on your journey.

Stay Alert, Armed and Dangerous!


The Grim Lessons of Charles Whitman

Being a Born and Bred Texan who grew up 1 hour from Austin, the story of Charles Whitman is infamous.

Funny how over 52 years ago the Mass-Shooter Pathology was born right in front of us and nobody really paid attention? How did this happen? 

How about instead of blaming the Gun, we look back and LEARN from incidents like this?


The era of mass public shootings began with Charles Whitman in 1966.  He taught us all we need to know to prevent or minimize such events.  We ignored his lessons.

On August first of that year,Whitman rode the elevator to the top of the Clock Tower at the University of Texas at Austin.  He rolled a hand truck along with him that carried a footlocker full of guns and ammunition.  Soon after ensued the first mass murder in a public place in America.

Texas Monthly Magazine published an in-depth story for the 40th anniversary of this episode in American history.  It is entitled “96 Minutes” – you know why.  It contains many quotes from individuals who were there or were immediately affected by those events. If, after you read that, Whitman’s Lessons are not then apparent, then come back and read on, because those lessons are here named and explained.

Read the Remainder at American Thinker

Texas History: The Grand-Daddy of Campus Mass Shootings

Although the first paragraph of this article is a dead giveaway it was written by some spineless no-nuts liberal, please disregard that and continue on…this is actually a pretty good article; And Don’t Forget to watch the clip of the documentary. -SF


Powerfully Retold 50 Years Later: The Story of the UT Campus Shooter Charles Whitman

Texas is famous for its love affair with guns. Elected officials in the Lone Star State can’t move quickly enough, it seems, to equip everyone who is not a toddler or a recognized mass murderer with firearms.

Enter the new Texas-centered documentary Tower.

It’s a spell-binding recreation of an extraordinary event: that day in 1966 when someone ascended to the top of the clock tower at the University of Texas in Austin, and began firing a rifle at anything and everything. The siege continued for an astonishing 96 minutes. It was the first campus mass shooting.

By the time the gunman, Charles Whitman, a former marine sharpshooter turned architectural engineering student —  with an arsenal, including a 6 mm Remington rifle with a telescopic sight, an M1 semi-automatic carbine, and several handguns — was finally killed, the toll was 16 dead and three dozen wounded. The siege traumatized the nation — back before this kind of pointless carnage became so common.

I saw Tower, appropriately, in Austin — during the South by Southwest (SXSW) film festival. It was interesting to see it in the state capitol, and one of the most liberal, tolerant places in Texas — ironically, perhaps the place where one might normally feel the least threatened by firearms.

The film, which won SXSW’s audience award for Feature Documentary, itself is a feat of innovation. It is a dramatic reconstruction, a mix of archival footage, voice-overs from present-day interviews with the survivors and “rotoscopic” animation.

This kind of thing has perhaps never been done before — at least I have never seen a film rendered quite this way — and both the story and the technique are riveting. It moves relentlessly from the first shot until the gunman is subdued, then continues into interviews and recollections, bringing us up to date with some of those whose lives intersected on that extraordinary day.

Read the Remainder and Watch a Short Clip of the Documentary at Who What Why

Anti-Texas Campus Carry Petition Trips Over Inconvenient Truth



USA – -( “Overturn SB 11 ‘Campus Carry,’” busybody hoplophobe and legislative process ignoramus Sara Peters of Portland, OR, demands in a petition to the Texas State Senate, State House and Governor. When the petition was posted is unclear, but it looks like the earliest signature and comment was made 18 days ago, and at this writing they still have over 700 signatures to go for a total goal of 2,500. That’s in spite of being open to signers from all states and, per a drop-down country menu, from anywhere in the world.

So much for grassroots clamoring.

“They’re taking our oases of education, some of the most important institutions in our country, and using them as laboratories to test the limits of gun rights,” Peters whimpers in self-righteous angst. “And putting hundreds of thousands of students at risk in the process.

“Guns have no place on our campus, or any campus,” she insists, just like she actually knows what she’s talking about. “These places should remain institutions of higher learning, free from the worries that guns and violence bring. Our college campuses, where we harbor and educate our future, are not the place to experiment with gun rights.”

So much for an argument that forgoes emotion and convinces with unassailable logic. Maybe if she’d added a blurb about unicorns, her unwitting contention that predators should have a free pass and plenty of defenseless victims would resonate strongly enough to put the signature tally over the top. Then again, perhaps there’s a reason such a modest goal was picked in the first place.

But that’s not where Peters demonstrates how someone who presumes to teach doesn’t even belong in the classroom without some heavy deprogramming and plenty of prerequisites, starting with the fundamentals. Because to make her point, she brings up UT Austin sniper Charles Whitman and his 1966 bloodbath as the reason why everyone who’s not a psychotic monster must ensure they’re vulnerable to those who are.
Read the Remainder at Ammo-Land