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PostWatch: An irregular correction to the Washington Post

Brought to you by Christopher Rake


Wednesday, October 16, 2002
5:53 PM

Observations on snipers as posted in the Letters section at

The @#! jerk may be ex-military, or he may not, but what he almost certainly is not is an ex-military sniper. The ranges he's working at are too short (living here in Fredericksburg I know that for a fact, at least for the two that occurred down here). No school-trained sniper would want to operate at these (from a real sniper's point of view) extremely short ranges. Our snipers, both USMC and Army, operate at ranges of 1,000 meters or more. A Canadian sniper in Afghanistan just set a new 'record' (if you want to call it that) with a kill at almost 3,000 meters. True, those men use .50 cal weapons to operate at those ranges, and the 5.56 (aka .223 caliber) round is really only good out to maybe 500 meters, but it's the training. No sniper would be that sloppy. That obvious. That, well, "hasty" is the word I am thinking of. This yahoo is shooting from just a few hundred yards, at most. Will this matter much in any of your stories? No, probably not. But at least you have some tidbits that might help you with the accuracy of any story you're working on. Whatever else, the guy is not an ex-military sniper.

The reports this morning, before I left for work, said the latest murder took place at a range of about 40 yards.

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