Writing for officer.com, Mark Lang sounds the death knell for the .308 bolt action rifle as the SWAT officer’s go-to sniper rifle in his article Hunting Rifles for a SWAT Sniper? Not Any More, Mr. Lang somehow fails to mention the Remington 700’s trigger troubles. He’s also not satisfied by the bolt-action rifle’s limited ammo capacity . . .

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The .308 hunting bolt rifle was designed to kill varmints not people. Consequently, the follow up shot or shots required was not as important if the shooter missed and the animal got away. Who could possibly need more than four or five rounds at the ready? The ability to reload on demand and continue to engage a target(s) is critical for the police sniper. The interior magazines design only support (4) four rounds compressed and a (5) fifth round chambered. The police sniper is only good for a maximum of (5) five rounds before he has to hand load a single round into the chamber, close the bolt and fire. Depending on the snipers training and efficiency in performing this, it may be the difference between saving a life and losing a target of opportunity.

Mr. Lang goes on to talk about ergos — and neglects to name a suitable replacement. So, what rifle for our long-range boys in blue?

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137 Responses to DeSantis Gunhide Question of the Day: What Rifle for Police Snipers?

  1. A Red Ryder BB Gun… Somebody using military justifications for a police weapon should not be allowed to carry anything more dangerous when in uniform.

    In all seriousness, uniformed police should be restricted to six shot revolvers and pump-action shotguns while on duty. There is no reasonable scenario where they would need to put down a larger volume of fire if they are acting in their law enforcement capacity.

    • The statists and those cops who wish to lord over their fellow citizens wish them to be the standing army of which our Founders were so afraid. This escalation of police militarism needs to stop.

    • What do those against standard capacity mags say? If you can’t do the job with 5 or 6 rounds then you shouldn’t be carrying the gun.

      Is today Use Their Words Against Them Day?

      • When you can’t tell the difference between the police and a military unit, you know you’re living in a police state.

        • But what does it mean when you can’t tell the difference between a military unit and your neighbors? I think that is a good thing. I think cops should be able to have anything I can have, and nothing more.

        • As private citizens? Sure. On duty, I want them to be a bit more restrained.

          I would change my mind if qualified immunity was removed from the legal dictionary. If cops were held directly accountable for every shot fired the same way private citizens are, then we can talk.

        • And remember, these guys were called up to handle 1 guy armed with two semiauto handguns where there was what, another 300 cops maybe?

          Yea, it was a serious thing, they didn’t want people to get hurt, they didn’t know the real threat at that time. But they showed up with some serious force that day.

          Makes you wonder what they are really worried about.

        • “If cops were held directly accountable for every shot fired the same way private citizens are, then we can talk.”
          No need to talk other than to agree.

    • Im not against limiting the number of rounds cops carry carry, but I’ve seen the argument (here in California), “If the cops don’t need more than 6 rounds and a pump shotgun, then why do you need that as a peacable citizen?”…… And the argument works for those who don’t think very hard for themselves, which seems to be a growing trend these days.

      If its good enough for us it should be good enough for the cops and vice versa.

      We out number and out gun the combined forces of the police and military 100 to 1 and most of them agree with us on rights issues (there are a lot of outspoken ststist police, i know). The police and military only exist because we have a functional society. They are 100% consumers and absolutly depend on a productive and willing citizenry. They know we can take them out enmass if we so desire. They are only “blue/green canaries”. When our society starts to slip they will be the first to go….. You shouldnt be so scared of the police pwrserge.

      • No one knows how hopeless a task it would be to get us into the boxcars more than the police. That’s why they do it one law at a time, through political stoogery.

    • Can’t tell if serious or just ignorant.

      Do you want someone with a six shooter rolling up to a bank robbery? How about an active gun man? or a terrorist attack? What about a hostage situation? If your family was being held hostage by a lunatic would you want the officer making the shot to save your family to do it with a shotgun? or an actual precision rifle?

      Wow.

      • Given the alternatives? I’d prefer that the cops be as restricted as possible. Just like I prefer my government as restricted as possible.

      • Are YOU serious?

        The popo in UK largely manage with NO firearms. So yes a 357 with 2 speedloaders works for me. Perhaps will give him time to engage brain while faced with a reload.

      • No kidding.

        That’s one of my frustrations with TTAG. Everyone knows bad cops and it seems nobody knows good ones. The solution isn’t disarming cops, it’s holding cops and citizens to the same standards and respecting the Constitution. Arrests and exonerations need to be based upon a thorough investigation and the totality of the circumstances. Clearly we have too much government and gun control when the government hides facts (or emails!). Clearly part of the problem is a corrupt and complicit media who tries cases in the court of public opinion, followed by masses of useful idiots who’ve made up their minds based upon insufficient facts. And then steal big screen TVs in the name of “social justice.”

        Taxpayers and cops walk the same streets and are exposed to a lot of the same people. They should be held to the same standards and have access to the same weapons. Taxpayers are less likely to be in an altercation, and less likely to have backup. Cops are more likely to be in an altercation, and more likely to have backup. Cops have to deal with that a$$hole driving a stolen car or coming down from a bad meth high. If they get a call they’ve got to get it underway.

        Unlike many here I’ve actually used weapons and tactics. And I’ve fought hand to hand. If you want cops to have inferior weapons you aren’t a tactical expert. If you want cops to have better training and more accountability than you very well might be.

        • “The solution isn’t disarming cops, it’s holding cops and citizens to the same standards and respecting the Constitution.”

          Just so. Americans don’t like double-standards which is exactly what qualified immunity constitutes. The practice increases social distance between the police and other citizens—always a bad thing, in itself—and contributes to the kinds of dysfunctional police practices that obscure the hard and often dirty work of good cops. But, rather than removing qualified immunity from the law, given the exponential growth in self-armed private citizens I think qualified immunity should be extended to every legally armed citizen who defends himself/herself with a gun. The specter of a prosecutor sending a private citizen to jail for something he’d allow a cop to go home with a pat on the back is disgusting. And, thinks to our increased media visibility, entirely too visible.

        • “The solution isn’t disarming cops, it’s holding cops and citizens to the same standards and respecting the Constitution. ” Ring a bell loud and clear. That’s exactly it.

        • I agree with all of this. Just to amplify ” Taxpayers are less likely to be in an altercation, and less likely to have backup. Cops are more likely to be in an altercation, and more likely to have backup.”

          It’s the crime victim who will be almost certain to be at the scene of the crime, when the crime occurs, and it is the cop who will almost certainly not be there. So who should be armed? How can anyone argue, only the cop? This is absurd. It needs to be all of us. At least those who have a care to be.

        • The solution isn’t disarming cops, it’s holding cops and citizens to the same standards and respecting the Constitution. Arrests and exonerations need to be based upon a thorough investigation and the totality of the circumstances.

          I agree completely. I just need to know how it can ever realistically be made to happen.

          One of the questions on many PD pre-hire psych evals is “Would you give your mother a speeding ticket?”.
          If you answer “yes” you are judged to be an a-hole, but some depts are looking for that. If you answer “no”, then you’ve already made one step down the slippery slope.

          Are you gonna arrest your kid for some weed? What about his friends? You gonna arrest a cop (especially a local, let alone in your dept) for DWI if they didn’t kill someone? What about your buddy in Narco who has discovered that cocaine really is a helluva a drug. He doesn’t have a problem, but he likes to have a bullet in his pocket when he goes out clubbing?

          Everybody makes mistakes. Any one of us here who can say with a straight face that they haven’t done at least one thing in their life, that had they been caught, would have screwed them for 10 years is a liar. Or has never done anything. At all. Ever.

          We all (generally) like to help our friends and relatives. Human nature, being a good person. Moreover, a cop depends on his co-workers for that back-up. If you pop the wrong guy, your response time for that much needed back-up may get really slow. Or worse.

          So, how does that translate into fair treatment for the kid who just bought his first bag of weed, or the guy who’s wife is a chronic alcoholic and not the wife of the K9 officer? Because she’ll be covered the 10th time she passes out in a drive-thru. What’s gonna happen to some random out-of-towner?

          The real problem is malum prohibitum laws, that are subject to the most insane degree of selective enforcement, prosecution, and have horrible consequences for those snared in the net. Which hurts no one, but is against some pointless law.

        • 16V,
          You are, at the same time, very naive AND the man I want as my police chief.

          And my neighbor…

        • OMGun, As someone who is routinely referred to by friends as ‘the most jaded mofo I have ever met’ I am curious as to what you find “naive” about the post.

          Not to be an ingrate in any way, I am just interested.

    • Ummm, have you ever heard of the North Hollywood Shootout?
      Ignoring that example, on the surface, it appears that regular Police don’t need a lot of firepower and can wait for SWAT. However, the new way to deal with active shooters is for regular police to engage as quickly as possible, without waiting for SWAT. Clearly, they need more than revolvers and pump actions to deal with a shooter armed with god knows what.

      How about we train our police better, arm them right but also allow citizens to carry as they wish so we aren’t defenseless against possible oppression?

      • Please explain how having a Glock rather than a heavy revolver is any advantage when you only have one target to shoot at. My ideal scenario would be for police to direct the response of armed citizens rather than roll in as some sort of paramilitary unit.

        The way I see it, a free society could get away with one police officer per 10,000 people rather than the 1 per 500 that seems to be the rolling trend today.

        • You sound like Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden with that reasoning….. “How many rounds do you need to kill Bambi?” indeed. You’d fit right in with the other New York politicians who don’t see the practical need for semi autos, standard cap magazines, and also make a career out of hating the police……. pwrserge for mayor of New York!
          Also, if you factor in shifts, days off, and vacations, the ratio of citizens to on-duty police (who are also armed citizens whether you like them or not) is about 10,000 to 1.

        • 1. We’re talking about police on-duty who have far more legal protection in how they use their toys.

          2. You’re seriously going to tell me that cops are only on-duty 5% of the time? Really? Where can I get a job like that?

        • I don’t see much to disagree with, except that when serious shit goes down organizing armed people didn’t work so well for Gary Cooper.

      • How about all the cop’s tacticool $hit always has to get bigger, better and more expensive. Tax payer money of course, not theirs. For every scenarios you can come up with, they can come up with a bigger and better one to justify the dollars.

        Just take some illegally carried guns off some guys in California and call it a day. Or buy them at an antique show.

    • Really? You can’t be serious. How about Miami 1986? Or North Hollywood 1997? Or Deputy Kyle Dinkheller’s murder in Lauren’s County GA, 1998? Google any of those. All of them were outgunned. I feel under gunned with my Glock 22 on a daily basis, I know I can’t get to my shotgun fast enough if I really need it. There’s no reason the average citizen should have their defense options restricted and there’s no reason cops should either.

      Do you not realize the percentage of cops that are Pro 2A? Police One did a gun control survey of cops in early 2013 or 2014, don’t remember the numbers but it was a fairly large sample size and cops around the country turned out to be overwhelmingly Pro 2A. Read for yourself here: https://www.policeone.com/Gun-Legislation-Law-Enforcement/articles/6183787-PoliceOnes-Gun-Control-Survey-11-key-lessons-from-officers-perspectives/

      And you would have us sent back 40 plus years in sidearm technology? SMH

      • Until cops can prove that they are agents of law enforcement and not jackbooted thugs, I’d prefer them to go back 400 years in sidearm technology, not 40. Let them enforce the law with flintlock muzzle loaders and if that proves insufficient we can talk about special case exceptions rather than giving them urban assault vehicles and automatic weapons because they are too pathetic to do a simple traffic stop without drawing down on random motorists.

        In many countries, police are completely unarmed. Be thankful we pay for you to have the toy you’ve got.

        • Cops are Pro-2A until their fat salaries, pensions and health care for life are on the line. Please.

        • Their issued sidearm is not a toy. It’s a deadly weapon. If you want to make your comments, go ahead. But keep the sarcasm out to get your point across and be taken seriously.

        • Given how police treat their weapons, “toy” is appropriate. I find it interesting that cops have several times the negligent discharge rates of civilians and military.

      • “Do you not realize the percentage of cops that are Pro 2A”

        According to a single rigged poll from brownshirt hotspot policeone.com

        Meanwhile the cops willfully take orders from anti-2A politicians and appointees.

    • I love my various revolvers, and some days I wonder about carrying them on duty. However having seen first hand what the gangs are packing nowadays, I’ll keep my semi and my carbine thanks.

      • Not if tax dollars were used to pay for them you won’t. If you don’t feel you can do your job without rolling around like some sort of urban commando, feel free to turn in your badge.

        • If a stock carbine with iron sights and a semi pistol makes an urban commando then you’re painting the majority of TTAGS readers as at least that. What did you think of jwt’s setup in his truck? I thought it was pretty cool, and it’s his perogative if he wants to keep it there. The day they try to tell me to start confiscating people’s guns is the day I’ll turn in my badge.

        • The point is that you’re there to protect and serve. Not harass, rob, and intimidate.

          Until the police force serves their primary purpose rather than as an agent of government oppression and revenue generation, we need to look at any way to keep them in check. Taking away your toys until you can prove that you will use them responsibly is a good start.

          Or do you think that the government has the right to take my money because a cop claims that they didn’t see me wear a seatbelt and then come and kidnap or kill me if I refuse to give them said money.

          Oh, and I don’t see any serious number of CA cops stating that they will refuse to enforce the retarded CA gun laws.

        • Lol, this is sounding more and more like someone who is upset about a ticket.

          Anyway I’m cool with you carrying what you want. Have a nice day 🙂

        • Sorry he’s not a cop sucker Dave. You probably respond better to them folks. Tell them some of your important cop stories and $hit.

        • @Dave

          I don’t see you refusing to enforce unconstitutional malum prohibitum laws that exist solely to take money from tax payers.

          Maybe if cops actually protected and served people rather than acting as the modern equivalent of the Sheriff of Nottingham, people would hate you guys less?

          How about we start with refusing to enforce any laws not related to direct damage to people or property?

        • The problem with cops refusing to enforce malum prohibitum laws, is that it is a subjective judgment.

          A simple example (albeit one that is apt to generate 200+ comments hereabouts): are abortion bans malum prohibitum?

          Rule of law, as a concept, relies on all people in the system performing their respective roles properly. This includes cops enforcing duly enacted laws. If they start enforcing them selectively, it’s only a matter of time before selectivity wrt laws translates to selectivity wrt whom they are being enforced against (statistically speaking, even today, the same infraction is significantly more likely to get police attention, and possibly even get you arrested, if you’re black).

          The proper and fair approach to deal with stupid laws is to get them repealed by the appropriate means – i.e. via legislatures, state and federal, and occasionally via courts when the laws are unconstitutional.

    • LA Bank of America Robery and shootout should be the only examply you need to understand the foolishness of your six shot position.

      LE Snipers are not assault forces, they are precision threat elimination. .308 Is still perfect for the job at hand.

      • We understand the example of the LA shootout perfectly. In the case of dire need the police can always run down the street to the nearest gun store and grab a load of ARs at a moments notice! That IS what happened in your example, yes?

  2. Not sure what kind of scenario this guy is envisioning, but the 700 PSS worked just fine for me.

  3. I don’t think this man understands the meaning of the word ‘sniper’. One shot, one kill? Anybody?

    • I think he is confused on what it is police are suppose to do. Full on military assault isn’t it, but with the Feds giving out bonuses for stealing property from citizens, this is the kind of thought process you are gonna get.

      Red Ryder is all this guy should be trusted with!

      • As long as they get home safe at night…

        Really, percentage wise, what are the odds that going back to carrying a Colt Trooper with a Remington 870 in the trunk would actually cause the average officer to be harmed? Truth be told it would probably save cops based on their propensity to form circular firing squads when they corner a bad guy.

  4. The .308 hunting bolt rifle was
    designed to kill varmints not
    people.

    My bullshit detector just exploded.

    • My first thought as well. I imagine that taking out a rabbit at 800 yards will put little meat on the table. The vast majority of sniper shots are less than 100 yards anyway, so how much power–and how many shots–does a police sniper really need?

      • I punched Federal AE 168gr OTM round into Hornady’s ballistic calculator to see what a .308 would do to a rabbit. 696lb/ft. At sea level no less. So I’d say that the rabbit would have to be sitting on your table when you shoot him from 800 yards if you want to put meat on your table. That would do it. It would also put meat all over your walls and your ceiling, but it would definitely put meat on your table. Ground meat.

    • Yeah, the 308/7.62 NATO has approximately the same ballistics as a 30-06. The main criteria in the development of the 30-06 round was to bring down a cavalry horse with one shot at 1000 yards. Now the 308 round isn’t quite that good, maybe good enough to take down a horse a 750 yards, but if he considers a horse a varmint then I suspect he has never seen one up close and personal. If he is so concerned about the inability to reload a Remington 700 fast enough I would recommend finding an ’03 Springfield or a Mauser 98 and using that. Those stripper clips load up fast.

  5. “So, what rifle for our long-range Boys in Blue?”

    Whatever their tactical shooters are able to use competently and accurately…

    • +1
      No need to be gear nerd. Just use what works. The average police sniper engagement is at about 50 yards, utilises about 1.5 bullets, and lasts about 4 seconds.

  6. I like quick follow up shots. Technologically, the rifle they want would probably be a nice AR-10 or an AR-15 with a good Grendel barrel. But until the police unions decide to support my right to have guns like that I absolutely do not support them having guns like that.

  7. Customization issues are there, but are mostly inherent to the stock…plenty of options. Mechanical malfunctions are serious, but don’t apply to “bolt action hunting rifles” as a class.
    Needing more than 5 rounds in a precision rifle?…how often does that happen to LE?

    • Regardless of how often police snipers think they need more than 5 rounds, how about the fact that more rounds requires a magazine that extends down from the rifle and interferes with the operator’s ability to use the rifle in the prone position … an possibly in other positions as well?

  8. Agree with all the ‘red ryder’ comments. What is missing here is the fact that the police sniper deploys much closer to the target than a military sniper. A military sniper is offensive in nature, while the police sniper is SUPPOSED to be defensive in nature. The fact that the authorities ignore this is not relevant to that it is still the logical way.
    A police sniper is supposed to take out a single target, probably shielded by a hostage. This is why they need the extreme accuracy, even from close range. It grants the ability to slip a round past a non-target(perhaps by inches), and into the target. For this they don’t even need a repeater, just an accurate singe shot.
    Since they have little need for follow up shots, capacity is not relevant.
    The fact that they use offense as the ‘reason’, plus the obvious falsehood about the .308 being designed for varmints, gives the lie to this obvious piece of propaganda.

  9. “The .308 hunting bolt rifle was designed to kill varmints not people.”

    What in the exact f*ck is he talking about? .308 Winchester is a commercial variation of 7.62x51mm NATO, which was explictly designed for military use. I.e., killing and wounding people. It is very good at that. Just like the .30-06 that it was designed to replace, and the .300 Savage it was based off of. Hell, all three of those rounds have been used to shoot everything from African plains game to Grizzly bears…how the f*ck is that a varmint round? Is he ignorant or confused that .308 is not .223 (which also does just fine on people sized game, regardless of being a varmint round)?

    Sure, Remington designed the 700 for hunting….but wtf does that have to do with being specifically for VARMINTS?

    TTAG, for the love all things righteous and holy, please stop posting these grossly poorly written, error filled peices from other sources. Yall are great at reviews and socio-political commentary, please do more of that and less reposting of crap writing. It is bad for the low-information readers who are looking to be educated. If this is an intentional click-bait thing…I’m done.

    • Good God Jim. Stop whining and don’t click on these type of posts. Move on to your type of article. Lots of us enjoy this type of post. Like antique shops and California concealment.

      • Oh, right, I almost forgot TTAG has to supply pointless, bullsh*t that is factually wrong to keep the hipster millennials entertained.

        If this is what the next generation of gun owners is looking for in Web content, I have serious questions about their metal capacity to handle dangerous objects. Maybe there should some restrictions on gun ownership.

        I also almost forgot that millennial hipsters insist on getting their panties in a twist when anyone reacts in a manner that is less than hyper-excited, to the type of pointless bullsh*t that millennial hipsters like reading. If this qualifies as reading.

        Thanks for reminding me.

        • Jim,

          I think you are missing two points here.

          First of all, it is useful to be aware of untruths coming from police and politicians. This article is an example of such. (Obviously .308 Winchester is more than a “varmint” cartridge and Remington 700 actions are fine choices for snipers, especially police snipers … thus the police source who claimed differently is full of bull$hit.)

          Second, this article is a “question of the day”. And the question is, what sniper rifle should police have? Share your opinion of what sniper rifle police should have and why you think they should have it.

        • Hey Dick, I mean Jim, not all of us “millennials” are hipsters, nor are all of us stupid, or expect stupid material on the web. Your old ass attitude is showing…

        • To all ad hominem attackers…
          At least Jim and Pwrsurge have points to make in their posts. If “old ass” and such was the best factual argument I could muster up, I’d take my ball and go home…

  10. If this idiot thinks the .308 is only good for varmints, what does he propose to use for human targets? A 20mm cannon?

    Besides, nobody needs more than five rounds to shoot a deer hostage-taker, right?

  11. I’ll agree with all the others that say Red Ryder.

    I’d also like to add that I think the roster list of SWAT members for any given police force should be a matter of public record.

  12. Question of the Day: What Rifle for Police Snipers?

    Silenced 45ACP subsonic on a MechTech glock.

    heehee.

  13. .308 was plenty good enough for Lon Horiuchi at Waco and Ruby Ridge. What do they want to “upgrade” to, belt-fed machine guns? MIRVs?

  14. I have to disagree with the Red Ryder comments. He may put someones eye out with it and is obviously neither knowledgeable enough in the topic or mature enough in its treatment to be entrusted with something which can maim a person. For this individual I suggest a single shot NERF pistol.

    For police in general working in concert with a SWAT team (as I can only assume a police marksman would be) any rifle that can be used effectively at standard police distances. The need for rapid follow-up shots and engagement is more appropriate for the entry team than the marksman who should not be engaging multiple targets and messed up if he is reengaging the same target.

  15. Sniper rifle is a specialized weapon not generally issued to everyone. Limited ammo should not be a problem.

    My question is ….. how many people are you planning on sniping. Maybe this guy needs a special test and some counseling.

    I guess he thinks a cops shotgun should be AK style with 75 round drum.

    Maybe he thinks he is robocop.

  16. I suppose what he’s getting at is something like a LaRue OBR 5.56 with a 20 shot mag. Although, I believe just going to a semiauto rifle vs bolt would increase the speed of followup shots without having to give up the extra power of a .308 BTHP or whatever police snipers prefer to use.

  17. Ok, he has some valid points, an off the shelf Remington 700 is lacking some features namely the ability to adapt NVDs and lasers. The DBM is a nice feature to have, but it hardly seems like a killer feature considering they hardly operate in a target rich environment like say Iraq. And the trigger issues are problematic.

    But you can easily fix those issues without buying a new rifle. There is a railed bridge that can be installed on the stock over the barrel (and not touching the barrel so as to maintain the freefloat) or the Larue Stomp to hold NVDs. Magpul stocks cheaply bring DBMs to the Remington 700. And aftermarket triggers maintain safety margins, while bring the trigger down into an acceptable range.

    All these would be cheaper than junking a working rifle, in favor of buying something like the M2010 or others. And when you current rifle is worn out, then perhaps it is time to look at other rifles on the market.

        • And that comment applies to a handful of agencies that make bad headlines. You’re falling prey to the same kind of thinking that leads fence sitters to be anti gunners. One bad guy with a gun makes all guys with guns look bad. Unless you’re marginally intelligent and have the ability to see through a headline.

        • The fence sitters are too busy watching the Kardashians for me to worry about what they read here.

        • Sorry William, you are I the wrong place if you are craving cop suckers. Take your serving the community bull$hit and shove it. You are getting paid to do a job, just like everybody else. No one is making you get up and go to your particular job every morning. Serving the community…whatever

      • In all fairness, I have met and dealt with some outstanding police officers, we people of the gun ask not be judged by the bad apples of our community, Should be not do the same for police?

        • Nope. Extra powers come with extra scrutiny. A bad gun owner goes to jail. A bad cop gets a desk job, a slap on the wrist, and his full pension and benefits.

          When police unions are disbanded and the concept of qualified immunity is removed from the law, we can talk.

        • No, they get fired, imprisoned, and sued for so much money they never own another thing for the rest of their life. I’ve seen it happen to a cop who got swung on first and never pulled a weapon of any kind in retaliation. And some of those guys aren’t even bad cops, just cops who made mistakes. I’d love to see you come do our job for a day, you second guess people having never been in their shoes. Have you ever put your life on the line for someone else’s well being? Because I’ve done it two fold, Afghanistan and my community. You strike me as one of those people who love to sit and criticize people for doing their best at something you’re too chickenshit to do yourself.

          And if you happen to be a vet how can you not see the parallels? Or were you a Fobbit?

        • Can’t speak for anyone else, but I’m generally pro cop but anti cops. We have far too many laws and regulations, so we have to employ 10 times a reasonable number of enforcement officers. Then we convince people that they’re better off refusing to take responsibility for their own safety. It’s based on a fallacy that the cops can magically be anywhere they’re needed in an instant.

          They spend the vast majority of their time sitting in their squad cars waiting to catch someone doing 10mph over the artificially low speed limits so they can stop them and take their money. That’s got to be a terribly boring and pointless existence. So when something does happen they get all excited and rush to the scene looking for some action. They want to be heroes just to validate their existence. But all they usually end up doing is shooting the neighbor’s dog.

        • @Williams

          The problem is that there are far too many situations where a cops can royally jack up or outright act maliciously and walk away scot free. You know damn well that the military doesn’t get nearly the same protection for their incompetent jackasses that cops do.

          I was a 1371. If I fucked up in any major fashion I would expect at least a NJP if not a full court. A cop more or less has to kill somebody to get into any serious trouble, and some of the time, not even then.

          Are there good cops? Yes. The problem is that the majority of good cops are going to get hosed by the raging assholes who think their badge gives them extra rights. The reality is that the police force is nowhere near as good at weeding out the dangerous fuckups in their ranks as the military is.

          Think of the reduced firepower as an incentive to clean house before it’s done for you.

  18. I think any sub MOA bolt gun would be superior for police snipers to a semi auto. A semi auto that accurate would (usually) be prohibitively expensive. In this case precision trumps all.

    • There’s no such thing as “prohibitively expensive” when you’re spending someone else’s money…

      • No such thing as prohibitively expensive? Try working for my department. Our crown Vic’s are falling apart and some deputies are still carrying Gen2 Glocks. Some of our new deputies wait up to a year to get their vest.

        If you want to have all the guns you want and no police take yourself and your family to Somalia. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to be able to walk down to the bazaar and pick up a PKM for the price of a pair of Nikes. But I’ll try to work that out in a stable society where the law has teeth.

        • Funny how many countries get by without equipping their cops with urban assault vehicles or automatic weapons. I mean seriously, how do they keep the Somali warlords at bay?

          Given what cops get paid, I think you can afford to splurge on a $400 vest and a $350 Glock.

  19. Police shouldn’t need a “long range” anything. Full stop. I read somewhere most police snipers train for shots inside of 100yds where millimeter precision is absolutely critical. I dare anyone to find a round more practical for that scenario than a 20-22″ barrel 308 spitting some form of 175-185gr OTM projectile. You won’t find it.

    They could outfit ever single SWAT teams’ Remington 700s with a Badger M5 AICS bottom metal for way less than even the initial studies/RFPs on changing weapon platforms. Remington mil spec 5r/700p are damn good out of the box rifles.

    Sounds like someone just wants to wine and dine with some contractors.

  20. There seems to be confusion between “Sniper Rifle” and “Designated Marksman Rifle.”

    If you need to hit at 1,200 yards, or hit with something even harder than a 30-06, or hit a postage stamp within 500 yards, you’re going to need a bolt-action, big caliber sniper rifle. An Arctic Warfare Magnum. It’s costly, requires a lot of training, doesn’t have much of a rapid-fire capability. Learn to cope.

    If your needs are not so demanding, Just get an AR-10 in .308. It’ll do the job, and it’s enough like the standard AR patrol rifles that police use that the training burden will be reasonable.

    • I don’t know about police units as they are not standardized, but in several of the military units I have served with, the only major difference between a qualified sniper’s rifle and a SDM’s rifle was the caliber. The first used an AR10 platform, the second a AR15 platform. If you take a look at some of the military sniper competitions, you’ll see the top scores are almost always gas guns shooting 1/2MOA. If weight and cost are not a concern, and you are shooting a .308, there’s no real advantage in a bolt gun anymore.

  21. Somewhere I heard that the average police “sniper” shot is at 80 yards or less. AR15 poodle shooters would probably do just fine for that job.

    And I don’t even like the ar15. But in an urban environment it would seem to have a lot going for it.

  22. I think that the writer doesn’t understand firearms very well.

    First, there is no semi-auto that can be tuned to deliver the same level of accuracy, esp. cold bore shot placement, as a bolt gun. For police type of engagements, the first shot’s placement matters most of all. The best rifle actions out there might not be the Rem700 itself, but they will be Rem700 clones. They’ll take Rem700 aftermarket triggers, use Rem700 compatible stocks, etc.

    Second, the appraisal of the .308 is, well, just flat-out wrong. If anything, the .308 is too powerful for many police engagements, with over-penetration of walls behind a human target not only possible, but entirely likely. Something in the 6 to 6.5mm, perhaps with a 120 to 140 grain bullet weight, would be a better choice and offer efficacy in terminal ballistics without as much potential for overpenetration, if one chose the bullets well. The frangible rounds in .30 cal will be down in the 110 to 120 grain range anyway, so why not just go to 6.5mm, get some better Bc’s for the same bullet weight and call it done?

    Magazine limitation? Really? When has any sniper had to lay down 20+ rounds (or even 10+ rounds) in quick succession? If you’re racking in the rounds that fast, I think you’re no longer in the mode of ‘sniping,’ and someone else other than the sniper has royally screwed up.

    Stock issues? OK, he probably has an issue here. However, I have to tell him that there’s more options for custom and high-end tactical stocks based off a Rem700 action than any other type of rifle action.

    • >> First, there is no semi-auto that can be tuned to deliver the same level of accuracy, esp. cold bore shot placement, as a bolt gun. For police type of engagements, the first shot’s placement matters most of all.

      But that shot is likely to be made at a distance under 100 yards. There are plenty of semi-autos that are capable of putting a round in the eye of the target at that distance, if the shooter does their part (this would be 1 MOA or so; many ARs are capable of that out of the box). Sure, a bolt could be made even more accurate, but do they need any more accuracy than that?

      >> Magazine limitation? Really? When has any sniper had to lay down 20+ rounds (or even 10+ rounds) in quick succession? If you’re racking in the rounds that fast, I think you’re no longer in the mode of ‘sniping,’ and someone else other than the sniper has royally screwed up.

      And someone else can screw up. I could imagine some hostage scenarios where the snipers’ goal would be taking out as many terrorists as they can get to, as fast as possible, to minimize civilian casualties, e.g. because the team actually doing entry botched something, or was simply unable to advance at the required speed. A semi-auto with a large magazine would be very handy in that case.

  23. Unsuitable for killing people…yet the Remington 700 is the base rifle for no less than 3 military sniper rifles…

    Interesting. Very interesting. Either the military is using the wrong tools, or the guy who wrote this article doesn’t feel that the humble Remington 700 is sufficiently tacticool for the SWAT teams.

  24. The threat has increased so the police have stepped up their game. That’s fine as far as it goes, but when the police become a paramilitary force there is something wrong with the way our government thinks. Who are they afraid of, if it is not us, the lawfully armed citizen?

    • What possible threat could justify police regularly rolling out in MRAPS with automatic weapons? That’s what the National Guard is for.

  25. Lang’s original article is just kind of weird. I guess he is arguing that the unaltered base model 700adl is poor for police spinning. Is that even a thing? How many units that actual have a designated police sniper role are even running with a basic 700ADL? Are there any?
    Of course, he was hard to take seriously with that .308 comment in there.

  26. I Don’t know that going with high BC 6 or 6.5 class ammunition would make a ton of difference under 100 yards. You aren’t concerned about staying supersonic at 1200 or bucking West Texas winds at distance either. The .308 ballistics are very good at urban distances. The 6mm/6.5 Creedmoor, etc. are easier on the recoil, but heavy barrel .308s don’t recoil much either. In addition, the ammo is cheap and plentiful. No need for a Surgeon or AI setup. Rem. 700 with a proper trigger. Keep the gun quality but relatively inexpensive along with the ammo, using the savings on training and practice. As far as ammo capacity, who cares how many rounds it holds as long as it is enough. I see no problem with 10 or 20 round magazine. If you don’t need them, don’t shoot them. If you want, go with something like an 18″ barrel. No accuracy loss, ease of handling, and the velocity loss won’t matter much under 100 yards.

  27. It appears to me that semi-autos would make more sense for police snipers, since their engagement distance is typically very short – often as short as 30 yards, and almost never more than 100. You don’t need a particularly accurate gun, given these constraints – 1 MOA should be plenty, and many affordable semi-auto platforms are capable of that and then some. And accuracy aside, semi-autos offer a lot more options, which, granted, might not be needed most of the time for a police sniper – but I bet they would come in handy if and when they are desperately needed…

    As far as caliber, again, at that distance accuracy and BC probably don’t matter much. I mean, even a .22 has a very flat trajectory within the first 70 yards. So whatever they use, should probably maximize terminal ballistics, and specifically stopping power. Which, as I understand, usually means large-caliber, heavy, expansive bullets.

    So, the ideal police sniper gun would probably be something like an AR-10 chambered in .450 Marlin (or .45 Raptor etc), loaded with expansive solid copper bullets that only expand in tissue, but are otherwise mostly barrier-blind (for shooting through cover).

  28. When is the last time you heard of a police sniper getting the green light to take somebody out and actually doing it?

  29. I am confused about what kind of community law enforcement this guy thinks a police sniper needs more than 5, military-designed combat cartridges loaded at one time for. What, you have to Danny Glover the entire posse of bad guys from your hide in the rocks, so Kline, Glenn, and Costner can get away from John Clease?

    What is this guy’s scenario? For one thing, cops show up in gaggles. If he’s SWATting they were called in, so there’s a bunch of them, with time and prep, deploying into a known-ish situation. What do you need to bullet-hose for?

    Maybe a patrol cop has an argument for carrying full fusillade loaded, as he doesn’t know what he’ll be patrolling into, but that’s the opposite of a SWAT law enforcement scenario. Same argument for non-uniformed citizens.

    We don’t know what we’ll be assaulted by, and have to meet it with what we have to hand, so, yeah, like Serpico, how many are there? SWAT folks called in have some idea what they are walking into, and the odds in their favor. That’s the point of SWAT units.

    • DBM bolt-action rifle is not a “bullet hose”. Think about switching ammo type (dump match, load bonded breakers) quickly.

  30. A Ruger Precision Rifle chambered in 300 BLK. Since most LE sniper shots are <100 yds, expanding subsonic loads could be an added option. And the barrel can be 16" or less for the caliber. Oh and don't forget the silencer.

  31. When we (my dad and I) switched from 30-06 to .308 win for deer we were disappointed in its performance. I rate the .308 at something less than satisfactory for medium game.

    When the time came to “reach out there” the only cartridge that satisfied my itch was .338 Lapua, and I found my rifle in a Sako offering flashily called the TRG-42. Yeah, it’s a bit pricey, but the base rifle comes with most of the stuff you need right out of the box. And the built in features offset a lot of the expense of modifying a lesser offering to suit the task.

    The TRG-42 works for me in every way. Nuff said!

    Charlie

  32. What he tried to get across is probably “…however, in 2016, some 35 years later, departments still continue in large part to purchase and issue a hunting rifle variant to police snipers. This is f**king wrong, because purpose-built rifle is so much better for very important task”. His post seems rather wordy for the point delivered, but a) I am not in position to criticise, and b) judjing by his other posts, police specialists have to deal with rather overwhelming idiocy of management (aren’t we all?).

    (b) probably explains why obvious solution (purpose-built 700, either chassis or traditional stock with DBM, bottom rail and adjustment, just not top-of-the-line with 5000+$ tag) is not ubiquitos around US. Anything built to the likes of TacOps short offerings, with detachable mag, 20″ .308 barrel and required amount of adjustment, will do. Except for rate of fire, but semi-autos are not discussed by Mr.Lang,

  33. Most cops are killed with their own gun. Every bullet a cop shoots has a chance to injure or kill an innocent person. Making cops gunless like Britain would save cop lives, and if they never shot anything, think of all the civil unrest that won’t happen?

    How many of the Waco bikers were killed by the police?

  34. When I was on the team as the sniper (we preferred sharpshooter since I didn’t go after targets of opportunity) I had to purchase my own weapon and started with a Remington Sendero in 308 but the accuracy was not good enough with the approved ammo. Then purchased a Sako TRG-22 and WOW. In evaluating our area we realized that one long gun was not the answer so we actually had approval for several different depending on the situation and call. I had an AR15 A2 HBAR, an actual M-14 (government surplus, Department issued, and very limited in usability), and approval for a 50BMG (in this case it was to be an AR50) along with the 308 bolt guns. The other sharpshooter used a Remington police bolt in 308 but I never used his though he did practice with mine. Oh I have a TRG-42 also but no longer in LE being retired (couldn’t handle the politics any longer)

  35. guess the Author is telling us that if he was at 100 yards and the swat guy missed, then the shooter would not have time to load another round before he the target got away also implying that all Remington 700’s had trigger problems, guess he never heard of drop in triggers, or not everyone use’s a 700! as for more horse power a 6.5 or 7mm08 are just as lethal as a .308 also easier on recoil and either one will carry 1k without going transonic with most loads, put in an A10 frame, wala somebody’s wet dream, Seems back in the day I knew a fellow that could load a single round in 2-3 seconds pick up lead on a moving target. In my opinion the 30-06 cartridge has few or better equals. of course that was first round ever fired at 12.

  36. Shorty Barrett 50 with Raufoss. Sure there’ll be some collateral, but this is Murica, collateral is what we do.

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