The sniper has been a common component to the battlefield since the rifle made its first appearance. The designs and capabilities of these weapon systems are similar and their abilities are further enhanced by the addition of specialized scopes, buttstock and bipod arrangements. However, the amount of training and experience separates the average sniper from the true marksman. The sniper rifle has been a mainstay of the army for over a hundred years now. The sniper itself has become the ultimate assassin capable of avoiding detection, making his way to within a few hundred yards of his target, dispatching said target and returning to his extraction point – all the while going days without contact, communications or a healthy dose of sleep and eats. Ultimately, it is the designated sniper’s responsibility to remove a targeted threat in the form of a high ranking official, military officer or rogue enemy element from being an effective part of the modern battlefield. Today we have rounded up Top 5 Sniper Rifles.
5. MCMILLAN TAC 50
The Mcmillan TAC 50, also known as “Big Mac”, is a 50 caliber sniper rifle. It currently holds the record for the world’s longest “confirmed kill” shot at 2,657 yards (over 1.5 miles). The TAC 50 is precision engineered to sling the incredibly large 50 BMG cartridge, the largest bullet used for military sniper rifles. Shooting this large round at effective ranges up to 1,800 meters, the TAC 50 is often used to take out engine blocks as well as personnel.
4. BARRETT .416 MODEL 99
Introduced in 1999, the Barrett Model 99 shoots a .416 (10.6×83mm) centerfire rifle cartridge. Being smaller than the .50 BMG, this bullet flies at a higher velocity because of its aerodynamics. While a 50 BMG carries more weight, this specially designed cartridge cuts through the air at faster speeds which reduces the sniper’s obsticles (wind speed, moisture and temperature). Its effective range is 2,600 meters (approximately 1.6 miles).
AWSM (Arctic Warfare Super Magnum) is a light-weight sniper rifle built to withstand extreme weather conditions. It is a bolt action sniper rifle that fires the .338 Lapua cartridge, which is the first round designed specifically for sniper rifles. The primary feature of the AWSM has de-icing features via the fluted bolt design. It fires in all weather conditions, every time with extreme accuracy. The effective range using its .338 round is just over 1,200 yards.
2. BARRETT M107A1
The Barrett M107 is a tried-and-true sniper rifle. However, its large length and overall weight made it quite the task for moving in and out of locations. With those issues in mind, Barrett redesigned the beloved .50 caliber with weight in mind, hence the M107A1. This is the latest version that dropped 5lbs in weight while still maintaining its deadly accuracy. In addition to the reduced weight, the M107A1 was designed to be used with a suppressor. Like other .50 Cal sniper rifles, this weapon can be used to take out engine blocks in vehicles as well as personnel up to 2,000 meters away.
1. CHEYTAC M200 INTERVENTION
Without a doubt, the world’s deadliest sniper rifle is the CheyTac M200. The flawless design pushes its .408 round down range well over 3,000 feet per second. The cartridge was designed for accuracy by balancing the linear and rotational drag, helping the bullet to fly flatter and farther. The CheyTac Intervention currently holds the world’s record for best group at a distance of 2,321 yards (3 bullets were fired within 16 & 5/8 inches). In addition to this record, the M200 was featured on the TV show “Future Weapons” where a former U.S. Navy SEAL hit a human-sized target at 2,530 yards, 3 out of 6 shots. Its effective range is roughly 1.4 miles.