The NY Times is reporting that among the 20 guns police found in Seven Paddock’s Mandalay Bay hotel room were “two rifles with scopes on tripods.” According to reports, the attacker used a hammer to smash the hotel window and then used one or both of the weapons to fire on the crowd across the street.
Along with “hundreds of rounds of ammunition” were rifles described as “AR-15 type.” However this same description was also originally used to describe the Cold War era SKS rifle used in Virginia to injure Rep. Steve Scalise at a baseball game. So take that with a large grain of salt.
Machine guns and other automatic weapons are typically used in conjunction with a tripod or a bipod of some sort. Automatic gunfire is wildly inaccurate, and the addition of a stabilizer such as a tripod improves the accuracy. Tripods are also used in this same manner by police snipers during sporting events, and by military snipers firing from hidden positions.
Again, reports are still sketchy and New York Times reports rarely have more experience with firearms than what they’ve seen in ‘The Matrix.’ More details as they become available.