TW • We hear you’re taking your old sniper rifle…

TW • We hear you’re taking your old sniper rifle out of mothballs. What’s up?

I’ll be shooting my ’03 and a M1 Garand in Creedmor matches, some regional competitions and at the Nationals at Camp Perry, Ohio. I love it all, but what I’m looking forward to most are the new sniper matches at a few shoots. At Camp Perry, it’s called the “Vintage Sniper Match.” A lot of us old shooters and gun collectors have sniper rifles we haven’t shot in years. They’re tucked away back in closets and safes. Now we have a chance to get these vintage sniper rifles into competition.

TW • How are these sniper rifles different?

They’re the ’03 sniper rifles, .30-06. Back in the day, they took the ’03, modified it and customized it, put a smart barrel and a scope on it, and that was the sniper rifle. You have two-man teams, a trigger-puller and a spotter. You shoot with the rifle on a sandbag, then switch over. It’s a timed event, with each target up for 20 seconds. It’s a lot of fun. The ’03 and M1 Garand matches, and now the ’03 Vintage Sniper Match.

TW • Any new tricks to improve your scores?

The off-hand position is eating my lunch. There is a certain amount of meditation, talking to myself, going on when I step up to the 200-yard line to take the off-hand shot. I just don’t have any sure cures for my unsteady eyes and hands. I’ve had coaching, and I’ve tried everything in the book. So I just get up there and do the best I can. I had an 83 in one match last year. Pretty good for me, off-hand.

PFC E.J. Foley of the 143d Infantry, 36th Infantry Division, cleans his M1903A4 sniper rifle near Velletri, Italy, 1943.

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  • Patrick Martin

    Lee, You may want to try this. I know you have a great trigger pull, so don’t do a slow squeeze like in the prone position; pull like you would in a timed bowling pin shoot with a pistol. Take a breath, aim above your target, exhale during decent then hold, when you have a clear sight picture, let her go quickly. It’s all one motion from decent to pull if you know what I mean. Try it in practice a few times I think it will work for you Gunny.

  • Would the “smart barrel” that you speak of on the ’03 be the same as a 2 groove sniper barrel?

  • Remember your traing. Sight in, hold your breat, let it out slowly, squeeze the trigger. In your minds eye, you are shooting a man, who is directing fire onto men in your platoon, your job is too take him out before he calls in another mortar attack. Keep that in the back of your head, and you will do fine.

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