Books & Resources

Books and Stuff about Sniping

This section of Sniper Central is here to give you our own reviews on books and other sniping related stuff that we have personally read or have experience with. We also have an affiliation with Amazon.com so we could link straight to the specific book on the Amazon site. For those of you so inclined to purchase, just click on the book image on the left. These reviews are personal reviews and may not reflect the same views as what more traditional book review writers may write, but they are what we personally feel about the book. We also try to relate how relevant the subject matter is to the topic of sniping.

 



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SAS and Elite Forces Guide Sniper, Sniping Skills From The World’s Elite Forces~ Martin J. Dougherty
When we first opened this book we had high hopes due to the large amount of well illustrated pictures that appeared to show how to perform the various tasks of sniping. Unfortunately as we began to read the book we discovered that the book was very superficial and showed only the basic skills of sniping and at a very high level, without any real detail on actually how to do the various tasks. For a book that is supposed to provide the skills from the SAS and other elite forces, it spends too much time on the history of sniping, the roles of a sniper, how a sniper is selected, etc. When it finally gets around to discussing the skills, it only says that “A sniper does this”, or “a sniper does that”, but never provides any real detail on actually how to do it. Do not get us wrong, it is not complete rubbish, but when the title says “Sniper Skills From The World’s Elite Forces”, you expect some more meat. This book is good for perhaps the very basic enthusiast beginner who is interested in what a sniper does, but it s certainly not a complete field guide. As we did mention, it does have very good illustrations, and a lot of them.

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Fry the Brain, The Art of Urban Sniping and its Role in Modern Guerrilla Warfare~ John West
We really did not know what to expect with this book and we ended up getting a lot more than we hoped. First we need to mention that the author is a career special forces operator and has seen it all up close and for real, so the context from which it is written is from a true expert in the field. What the title refers to is a phrase used during the Bosnia conflict in the 1990’s where the terrors of unrestricted sniping on military and civilian targets caused mass hysteria, panic and outright atrocities. The results of which would Fry the Brain, both psychologically and literally with a bullet. The effects of guerrilla sniping is the focus of the book and the author does a very thorough job of explaining the tactics, methods and results of this type of warfare. He also goes on to provide many detailed case studies showing the way urban guerrilla sniping has been used and describes its effectiveness. One of these case studies is even the assassination of JFK, where he elaborately describes what more than likely really happened. He also provides suggestions and methods for countering the unique threat or guerrilla sniping that has become more prominent in the past few decades and will like continue to play a major roles in conflicts in the future. The book is very thorough and can drag on at times, but it is detailed with many valuable lessons to be learned. It is a highly recommended read for anyone who maybe preparing to deploy into hostile environments, both military and law enforcement.

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The White Sniper: Simo Hayha ~ Tapio A. M. Saarelainen
When we found out about this book we were excited to read it as there is not a lot of information out there about the sniper with the most confirmed kills (542). The author is a career military man in the Finnish Armed Forces and he himself has taught sniping and was involved with writing the current Finnish sniping manual. Over a several year period before Simo Hayha passed away, the author befriended and spent a lot of time with him conducting interviews and getting to know the man. If you would like to know about the “The White Sniper” himself, then this book likely will provided you with the most information available. Unfortunately, that is still not very much information. Do not expect to discover much about Simo Hayha’s exploits, tactics, or even deployment information. He was a solitary man and even though the author knew him well, Simo Hayha still did not provide many details. The book does contain a lot of pictures of him and as much information as is possible, but there is more information in the book about the Winter War and the Kollaa front than about the sniper Simo Hayha. There are several appendix’s as well, but they seem to be there to fill more pages in the book than provide insight into the man himself. The author is very much a fan of Mr. Hayha (and rightly so) and a lot of what is written comes across as a bit over the top with flowery terms of exceptionalism, but without the details to explain what warranted the praise. Some of that is likely due to English not being the author’s first language and his personal relationship with Simo. Regardless, this book is perhaps the best information out there on the legendary sniper and the history of that particular conflict is also interesting and worth reading.

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Sniping: An Illustrated History ~ Pat Farey and Mark Spicer
When it comes to books about sniping, Mark Spicer has become one of our favorite authors. He has real world experience and a wealth of knowledge pertaining to the subject matter. So when we picked up this book a few years back, we were once again impressed with the quality of the book and its content. It is a large format book and as the title indicates, it is filled with illustrations and photos of sniping. There are a lot of books about the history of sniping out there, and many of them have the same or even more detailed information about the historical subject matter than this book. But what sets this book apart is that it provides a large amount of very high quality pictures, both historical black and white photos as well modern color pictures of historical items, that help illustrate many of the topics that are discussed in the book. There are many pictures that are not seen in any other book and the book itself is also filled with stories and insight into the world of military sniping. Unfortunately it appears that the book is no longer in print, but if you come across a copy of it, it is very much worth adding to your collection and we highly recommend it. Hopefully if demand for the book is high enough it will go back into print.

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The Wind Book for Rifle Shooters ~ Linda K. Miller and Keith A. Cunningham
To start off this review, I got really tired of reading books about ‘The History of Snipers” so I wanted to look for something more useful to snipers and shooters, something that was more of a “how to” book. As most of you likely know, beyond missing your range estimation, wind is the number one reason for missed shots and it is the least technical variable that we deal with when shooting long range. Meaning, you cannot just read a number from a wind meter and dial in a fixed number on your wind dial and get a hit. You have to learn the art of reading the wind and that is what this book attempts to do. It is written by two very accomplished competitive long range shooters and better yet, they include comments and tips from all of the great competitive long range shooters both from the past and more recent. The book is tailored and written for competition shooters, but there are a good number of tidbits that are very applicable to sniping as well. I will honestly say that I learned a few things that I have begun to apply to my own shooting. Because the book is geared to competition shooting, there is a good amount of information that does not pertain to snipers, like how to read range flags, but there is enough other information that does apply to sniping that I can recommend this book for anyone that is looking to help improve their wind reading and shooting. It is written in an easy to read manner with many diagrams and pictures to try and help explain the difficult things you see when reading wind. I was glad we picked this book up and read it.

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Through the Crosshairs: A Histor of Snipers ~ Andy Dougan
I will first mention that this book was published in 2004 and it appears to be out of print currently. Yes, it is yet another book about the history of sniping, and yes, it has much of the same information that is contained about the history of sniping that is found in most of the others like it. But I do have to give credit to Mr. Dougan as he is a very good writer and has a way of bringing history to life which makes for an entertaining read. This book has much more traditional history incorporated into it than most books on sniping. There is so much non-sniping history that it probably contains as much military and civil history as it does sniping history. Unfortunately there are some parts of the book that are incorrect and other parts that exaggerate a bit, and as is common with many that do not have actual experience in the field of sniping, the book can be a bit over the top in ‘rah-rah snipers are the rulers of the battlefield’ mentality. As was mentioned, the writer is a very good teller of history and the research into the history was well done, but with some inaccuracies, some artistic liberties taken for entertainment, and for the lack of recent information due to it being published over a decade ago, there may be some better options out there.

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Confirmed Kill ~ Nigel Cawthorne
The complete title of this book is Confirmed Kill, Heroic Sniper Stories from the Jungles of Vietnam to the Mountains of Afghanistan. As the long title indicates, the book is a compilation of stories about various snipers from the Vietnam War until today. Unfortunately, the stories are for the most part just the same stories taken from the various other books written by or about the snipers themselves. The stories are written in the words of the author, Mr. Cawthorne, so they have a slightly different twist, unfortunately, it is a twist that was a little too rah-rah and portrayed the snipers more as a video game super warriors than the hard working dedicated craftsmen they are. A good number of facts and figures were also incorrect with wrong data given about rifles and ammo used and in some cases, the completely wrong rifle was cited. In other cases, a different effective range was cited for the same rifle that was used by different snipers in different chapters. The compilation of different stories about different snipers through the various wars is a good idea. Unfortunately I feel it would be better to get a more detailed and accurate account from the sources directly by reading the other written texts about the same snipers mentioned in this book.

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Kill Shot: The Deadliest Snipers of All Time ~ Charles Strong
Kill Shot starts from the very earliest days of what is considered sniping and then moves toward modern day. Along the way the author outlines the history of sniping and includes stories and photos of some of the most famous snipers. The book only discusses military sniping and does not include any law enforcement snipers. There are some interesting stories and photos, but if you have read some of the other good books about the history of sniping, you will likely not find much new. There are a few photos that we had not seen before and some interesting facts presented. Unfortunately, there are many basic items of fact that the book got wrong. Things such as nomenclatures of some pictured rifles, or what branch of the service a sniper served in, etc. Because of those inaccuracies, we were having a hard time knowing which of the interesting new facts we learned were actually correct. Beyond those mistakes, the material is pretty good and presented in a good way with a good amount of interesting photos, paintings and diagrams. If you have not read many books about the history of snipers, this might be a good one to start with, just be aware that some of the little facts are not correct. Perhaps a revised version is on its way.

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100+ Sniper Exercises ~ Eduardo Abril de Fontcuberta
Now this book was a nice surprise. We did not know what to expect when we saw the title and ordered the book thinking it might contain a lot of fluff and may not offer many useful suggestions, but it turns out that the author is a highly experienced sniper with lots of ideas and thoughts and the information is good. The exercises cover many different topics beyond just shooting drills, such as individual sniper selection, team organization, equipment, training routines, fieldcraft exercises and of course shooting drills and techniques. There are a lot of pictures and samples from real world teams around the world and it addresses US Marine, Army and Law Enforcement applications and techniques. If you are running a sniper team(s) and are looking for some fresh training ideas, this is a good book to put on the shelf for reference.

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James 516 ~ BJ Bourg
James 516 is a crime mystery novel that involves many of the characters being Law Enforcement snipers. From the get go you can tell that the author has some familiarity with snipers and law enforcement and when you read his bio you will see that he has a 20 plus year career with law enforcement and has worked with snipers as well. While most of the details are accurate, there are parts that are a bit far fetched and not realistically possible, but for the most part these are rare not too distracting. There are even portions of the book that are describing the shooting drills of the sniper team, and these are typically real drills that would be run by a sniper team for training. The crime and mystery part of the Novel are also entertaining and you can tell the author again has experience with crime scene procedures, routines and investigations. Overall the book was not too bad with a good plot that had some fun twists and there was enough about the sniping side of things to keep us interested here.

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Shooter ~ Jack Coughlin, Casey Kuhlman, Donald A. Davis
This is perhaps the single book that started the modern trend of sniper memoirs from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. The book has always had some detractors and now after reading it, I can see why. There is a lot of ego present in the book, which can rub some people the wrong way and the book could certainly have used some polish to help it relate better to the average reader. Between the use of the term “Smoke Checking” for bad guy shot, to the casual demeanor Mr. Coughlin uses to refer to his superior marksmanship, it can certainly be taken the wrong way. Mr. Coughlin does also address his dream of a mobile sniper strike team throughout the book, but it is not mentioned in a lot of detail. The general concept is explained briefly and it is a good idea for mobile and urban conflicts like Mr Coughlin experienced in Iraq and some lessons can be learned. In regards to general sniping, there is not a lot of detail on the “how to”, but there is some good detail on some of his engagements as the data was taken from his log book. On a whole I personally did not enjoy the book much, but there was enough information to make the read pass without too much pain.

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Sniper in Helmand ~ James Cartwright
James Cartwright, not his real name for security reasons, retells his six month tour in Afghanistan as a part of the British Army. James was a part of a sniper section and a team leader and he tells of his experiences during his tour there in 2007. The author provides a fair job of explaining the day to day operations of a modern military sniper team, though there is not a lot of detailed descriptions of sniper operations themselves, but there is enough to keep it interesting. The writing style is a bit unpolished and you can tell he is not a professional author, but that does provide a feeling of authenticity to the book. The reader can tell this is a real firsthand account of what happened with James and his team. No, it is not an instant classic or even an exceptionally great book, but it does provide an authentic view into a modern day sniper without over-hyping what actually happened.

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Sniping in France 1914-18: With Notes on the Scientific Training of Scouts, Observers, and Snipers ~ H. Hesketh-Prichard
This book is considered one of the original Sniping Classics. Hesketh-Prichard is considered by many to be one of the founding fathers of modern day sniping, he hailed from Great Britain and served during WW I in many capacities, nearly all of them related to sniping but he is most noted for his schools that he founded for several different British Armies. He and his team created the curriculum and tactics for sniping on the allied side during WW I and many of these tactics are still in use today. This book was written by Hesketh-Prichard and comprises his firsthand accounts of various training, tactics, and exploits of snipers during the war and how they turned the tide in favor of the Allied snipers. The book does not provide gritty details, but it does provide a look inside the mind of a soldier who was living and operating during the infancy of modern sniping when most everything was learned by trial and error which often times lead to death. This book is considered one of the classics for good reason and it is well worth reading.

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Hardin Hollow ~ D. Larry Patterson
This novel is based on a fictitious female girl raised in the Deep South by her father who was a former US Army sniper that returned from Bosnia as a badly wounded war veteran. The story moves along following the young girl as she is raised by her single father and learns the art of sniping from him and then eventually has to avenge her father’s death and other misdeeds performed by some local miscreants. The plot is fairly simplistic with no major surprises or plot twists as it just moves along through the story. Be warned, the dialog among the bad guys is insanely profane and crass and while it may be accurate for the geographic area (I honestly do not know) it detracts from any positive aspects of the story and distracts from the plot line. Keep in mind, I spent a good amount of time in the military with its associated language and use of profanity, and the dialog and language in this book was enough to be a turn off and at times made it hard to read. If you do not think it would bother you and you are looking for a story where the good guy (or gal in this case) wins without trouble, then give it a shot.

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Shifty’s War ~ Marcus Brotherton
This is the authorized biography of Sergeant Darrell “Shifty” Powers whom most of you will probably recognize as the sharpshooter from the Band of Brothers HBO mini-series, itself based on the true account of Easy Company during WWII. The family of Sgt. Powers commissioned the author, Mr. Brotherton, to write the biography of Sgt. Powers. While “Shifty” was not a sniper in its strictest sense, he was a sharpshooter, having taken out a few German snipers through the conflict. He was regarded as the best marksman in Easy Company and operated in a similar role as a designate marksman today with his M1 Garand. This book was oddly written from the first person perspective as if it were Sgt. Powers memoirs, which it was not, and I probably would have preferred that it be written in the traditional third person perspective. Regardless, the book was a good read and provided some personal insight into what the 101st went through in WWII. The book was well researched and drew from many interviews with Sgt. Powers, who passed away a while ago, and while the book does not offer much in terms of sniper history or instruction, it is none the less a good book for us all to read to help remember what our greatest generation went through on the ground in Europe, and it does have the marksman twist as well.

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Into Hell’s Fire ~ Douglas Cavanaugh
This book is a bit different than most sniper related books we review here. Into Hell’s Fire is a spy novel based in the former Yugoslavia during their devastating civil war in the early 1990’s. We read it because the infamous ‘Sniper’s Alley’ is mentioned, and plays a part, in the story. Unfortunately it was not an integral part of the story and as such sniping was not a central theme in the story, but rather played a minor part. While the book is a novel, it is a historical novel and a lot is learned about the region as well as how sniping played such a large role, though a devastatingly negative one, in the conflict. The story is decent with an enjoyable plot, though not an overly complex or deep one. The history is fascinating, but at the same time it is sad to see to what depths humanity can sink. By reading the book you will not learn much about sniping, but you will learn about the role that it played in the conflict, which itself can be a lesson in the psychological effect of sniping, and how to potentially counter it, as well. For a self published book, the editing was actually quiet good and it has a more professional feel than many other self published books that are out there.

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Team Reaper, 3rd Ranger Batt’s Deadliest Sniper Team ~ Nicholas Irving
This book is an autobiography written by Sergeant Irving that tells the story of his deployment to Afghanistan as a sniper team leader in the prestigious Third Ranger Battalion. The book is fairly fast paced and spends only a limited amount of pages on his life story and focuses more on the actual deployment and combat. There are a number of good stories with a good amount of detail to engage the reader and those stories give the reader an understanding of how a sniper team operates within a Ranger Battalion. The problem is that the book appears to be self published without an editor, and it shows. The only grammar correction appears to have come from the spell checker on the author’s computer as the grammar throughout the book is really bad. And that is coming from an infantry grunt that is not great at grammar himself (that would be your humble author)! Unfortunately it gives an amateur appearance and makes it difficult to take the book serious. In fact, just having a high school English teacher, or any college graduate read through the manuscript once would have made a significant improvement. The horrible grammar is unfortunate as the story is a good story to be told and could have been an entertaining read if the reader was not constantly trying to determine what word was really intended to be written. If you need another sniper book to add to the library, give it a try, else wait until someone does at least a minor edit on the book. Yes, we read the revised edition, which apparently only added another chapter to the book, itself riddled with grammatical errors, and did not revise or correct the grammar throughout the rest of the book.

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The Red Circle: My Life in the Navy SEAL Sniper Corps and How I Trained America’s Deadliest Marksmen ~ Brandon Webb & John David Mann
This book is an autobiography written by Brandon Webb about his life, including his time as a sniper for SEAL Team 3 as well as the head instructor at the SEAL Sniper School. The book starts off a bit slow with Mr. Webb providing a recount of his childhood and events that lead to his pursuing becoming a Navy SEAL and then eventually becoming a sniper. Some of the details drag on a bit and it is not until half way through the book before the reader learns about Mr. Webb becoming a sniper. Many of the parts leading up to that point are interesting on a personal stand point, but be aware that the book is not completely about sniping. The sniping parts are fairly vague but there is enough detail about various missions to provide a good understanding of how Special Operations snipers operate. It is good to see the non-glorified, yet perhaps more important, parts of sniping emphasized in the book. One part we particularly enjoyed is the telling of the passion that Mr. Webb has for teaching, especially teaching the art of sniping. It is good to see and hear that others love to teach as we do here. For those chapters alone it made the book worth reading here at Sniper Central. There is also a good message about sticking to your goals and overcoming obstacles, which is a good message to hear. The rest of the book is fine, but similar to many of the other books about recent snipers that are currently gracing the shelves of the book stores, but the teaching chapters and positive message is what made this book stand out versus the others.

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The Sniper Anthology: Snipers of the Second World War ~ 10 Authors
This book is a compilation of 10 different histories and/or stories of 10 different snipers during World War 2. Each chapter is written by a different author about a sniper of their own choosing. It is similar to a compilation of short stories and each is true to varying degrees. Some of the authors are well known authors that have written other books about snipers and sniping such as Adrian Gilbert, Dan Mills, Martin Pegler as well as others. Some chapters and authors did a better job of research than others, or there was just more information available about their specific sniper. Buy overall there were a few stories that were interesting and new, though if you have read many other books about sniping during this time period, you will have heard about many of the snipers listed in the book such as Simo Hayha, Vasili Zaitsev, and others. Since each chapter is written by a different author, they each have a different feel to them and cover their subject in a different level of detail. Overall it was an interesting book with some new material and if you are interested in sniping during World Ward 2, than this is a good book to read. If you are looking for an in depth detailed history of the sniping activities during the war, this is probably not the book for you.

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Sniper Pocket Book ~ Frank Fletcher & Rupert Godesen
This little book is a field guide that is designed to fit into the pocket and provide a quick reference for sniping skills. There are many sections including history, organization, marksmanship, fieldcraft, range-e and some interesting facts thrown in as well. The book is well written by someone with obvious experience and there are numerous illustrations and images to help explain the subject matter. The book also comes with a plastic protective cover to help preserve it in foul weather. The authors are British, which is not a bad thing since the UK sports some of the best snipers in the world. All-in-all the book provides a good amount of useful information about a wide variety of topics as it relates to snipers. Perhaps it is not an all-encompassing book that covers all aspects of an operational sniper, but it is a handy reference book to store in your pocket.

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Sniper Elite: The World of a Top Special Forces Marksman ~ Rob Maylor & Robert Macklin
This book is a telling of the military career of Rob Maylor, first with the British Royal Marine Commandos and then with the Australian SAS. The book is a fast reading first hand account of Rob’s career and how he deployed around the world serving tours in Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan. Rob went through several different sniper schools in both the UK and Australia and operated as a sniper on most of those tours. While the book does cover some of the exploits of his operations as a sniper, there are not a lot of detailed accounts of sniping, but it does give a good overview of how the modern day sniper is deployed and utilized. Of course things are a bit different in elite units such as the SAS so the deploying of snipers may be a bit different than conventional units. Overall the book is a good and easy read and gives another good account of life as a military member today and while you do not get a lot of details about sniping, there is enough to keep it interesting worth a read.

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Sniping in the Great War ~ Martin Pegler
The First World War started nearly 100 years ago and as it moves further from our memories we tend to forget the magnitude of “The War to End all Wars”. Martin Pegler does a very good job reminding us of just how prevalent sniping was during the great war and while historical records are somewhat lacking and hard to find, he has managed to piece together a good amount of historical information to outline the importance that sniping had during this war. In the book there is more information as it pertained to the U.K and her allies than that is provided for the Germans and their allies, but there is still some information on the German sniping program as well. There are many excerpts from the various journals and books written by the big names in sniping during that time and it is interesting to read about the problems and successes straight from their own writings. There are not a lot of detailed accounts of sniping stories, but there is enough to keep the book interesting and moving well. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the history of sniping, especially since WWI is regarded as the start of the modern era of sniping and many of the tactics, methods and equipment we use now were developed during WWI. Some of those things have evolved since then, but some of them have not. The book is well documented with many footnotes and while a bit slow at times, as history books can be, it is still worth the effort and the reader will be well rewarded with a wealth of historical information.

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Through the Crosshairs of a Scope ~ Bill Anthony
Well, there are sometimes when I really have to force myself to finish a book. This was one of those times. While the back cover indicates this book is fiction, it is promoted as being a firsthand account of actual events; of course it has to be marked as fiction because it is classified. I can honestly say that based off of the countless number of incorrect facts and information and the recounting of impossible shots, that the book is indeed complete fiction. Unfortunately it is pretty bad fiction. This is the debut book from the author Bill Anthony, but that does not excuse the very simplistic writing style. It is also obvious that it is a self-published (print on demand) book with the absence of an editor as there is an extreme amount of grammatical and spellings errors, and this is coming from someone (myself) who will never claim to be adept at grammar! The accounts of the book supposedly take place from 1964-1966 and are written from the perspective of one of the members of a 4 man “special ops” team that did such things as insert hundreds of miles by foot to take out a radar station in Russia, or shoot several soldiers on the other side of the Berlin wall in broad daylight, shoot the pilot of a new Mig-15 from 800 yards, just as the aircraft is lifting off the runway, with one shot from an 8mm Mauser. etc. I hate to just talk about the negatives of a book, but I had a hard time finding any good aspects of the book to bring up, even taken as fiction, it was not entertaining. Based on all of the points mentioned, I cannot recommend this book.

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American Sniper ~ Chris Kyle with Scot McEwen and Jim DeFelice
This book has received a lot publicity because of the fact that Chris Kyle is now the most lethal sniper in US Military History with 160 confirmed and 95+ unconfirmed kills. The book itself is an autobiography and is written from Mr. Kyle’s perspective. An interesting part about the book is that there are paragraphs throughout the book written by his wife Taya and her perspective. The book flows well and while the author covers enough detail to know what is going on, there are not a lot of explicit details about the engagements, just some basic information about situations he found himself in. The book is a good look into the mind of some of our elite soldiers who have been in combat nonstop for 10 years now and you can see how the constant stress of combat can affect the psyche. The book covers some back ground history of Chris Kyle and how he was raised and how he got into the SEALs, etc. Throughout the book you can tell that the author was dedicated and loved God and country and how that even impacted his marriage. Again, there are not a lot of details about training or even details about equipment used, but a lot of that is restricted for operational security. At some point down the road it would be very interesting to get the “detailed” version of the story, but for now this book offers a good look into one of the best of the best and how sometimes it takes as much luck as it does skill to enter the annals of history. I recommend the book. (Warning: decent amount of ‘military’ language. Not recommended for the young)

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Seal Team Six: Memoirs of an Elite Navy SEAL Sniper ~ Howard E. Wasdin and Stephen Templin
As the title of the book indicates this is the memoir of Howard Wasdin, who was a sniper in the elite Navy SEALs, and more specifically was a sniper for SEAL Team Six, their top tier counter terrorist team. The book is written in the first person perspective, as you would expect from a ‘memoir’ and it is fairly well written and enjoyable to read. You follow the author through his career and learn about his life before the SEALs as well. There is a decent amount about sniping included, both the good and the bad, the successes and the failures, though you will not find a lot of details about the sniping, just enough to keep sensitive information secure but it does provide enough detail to understand what is going on. The author served from the late 80’s through the early 2000’s where he suffered combat wounds and earned a Silver Star in Mogadishu, Somalia as part of the “Blackhawk Down” events. There are a few times when the book jumps between a narrative and more journal style of entries, but it does still flow smooth enough. The book also covers the depression and other personal trials that Mr. Wasdin suffered as a result of his wounds and stresses but ends with a very positive and uplifting conclusion. I would consider the book more about the experience and less about the details of a sniper and or life in the SEALs. The book is a good read though not extremely sniper oriented.

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Out of Nowhere ~ Martin Pegler
The cover of this book indicates it is a history of the military sniper, from the sharpshooter to Afghanistan and in reality the author does a pretty good job of it. There is not a lot time spent on the history of the firearms which is a good change from most of the other “history of sniper” type of books and instead it does offer a lot of individual accounts of various snipers throughout the years, including some unique quotes and documented experiences from several centuries ago. This aspect of this book made it a good read with enough background information and history to provide the required knowledge, but not too much to make the book dry. This is the updated version of the book which includes an additional chapter involving the latest Middle East conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. The only real complaint I have is that the author missed some fairly obvious details about the US equipment used which should of been caught before publishing, though the author and publishing company are based in the UK which probably explains the errors. Mr. Pegler is also a historian and as such does not himself provide insight to the life of a sniper but has approached it as a historian, providing an unbiased view, though perhaps missing some of the finer details that someone with experience may have presented. The progression of the book is nice, covering the major conflicts in the world over the past several centuries where snipers played a role. Overall this is a good book on the sniper role itself mixed with good personal quotes about the topic from actual snipers that have served in those conflicts.

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Jack Hinson’s One-Man War, A Civil War Sniper ~ Tom McKenney
This historical book takes you back to what would be considered the earliest days of sniping. Jack Hinson was a reluctant and older participant in the Civil war on the South side of the conflict. He wanted to remain neutral but the unfortunate slaying of two of his sons pushed him to take sides and he took up his one man sniping campaign along the Tennessee River. He is credited with over 30 kills at ranges in excess of 600 yards. The Author is a retired USMC Lt. Colonel who served in both Korea and Vietnam and is a historian who did extensive research into the Hinson story. With the author being from the South there did seem to be a certain bias toward the position of the South, though he does make an effort to present both sides to various events. There is not much detail on techniques or tactics beyond general conditions, especially for conducting such long range shots with early rifle technology. Lt. Col. McKenney also becomes quite descriptive and detailed in regards to other things such has personal feelings, smells, sounds, etc. in a way that not even the most detailed journal would include and those artistic liberties become a bit too much by the end of the book. Overall it does provide a very interesting look into not only a dramatic and somewhat tragic true story, but also a look into early sniping activities. There is a lot of background and build up provided before the actual one man war portion of the book begins, but this does provide some good historical information about that time in American history and in that particular theater of operations.

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Sniper: American Single-Shot Warriors in Iraq and Afghanistan ~ Gina Cavallaro and Matt Larsen
This book is another compilation of actual stories from Snipers who have and are currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. The book is primarily written by Gina Cavallaro and she does a good job of narrating the individual sniper’s stories mixed with their actual words. It is apparent that she has a good amount of experience writing these types of books and articles and I felt that both the authors did a good job of portraying the stories and snipers. It was not over the top and in some cases clearly showed the emotion and hardship that snipers and combat soldiers in general have to experience. While you will probably not learn anything new about snipers or sniper operations during these conflicts, it does provide a good overall look at sniper operations with both Infantry snipers in line units as well as Special Operations snipers. Not a bad read at all.

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Sniper Rifles: From the 19th to the 21st Century ~ Martin Pegler
Compared to some of the other more in depth books covering the subject of Snipers and Sniper Rifles, this book is a little light and doesn’t go into as much detail as those other books. But it does give a decent overview of the history and development of the sniper rifle over the years. Because it is not as in-depth it is a pretty quick read and the one thing I did like about the book is that there are some very nice high quality illustrations in the book that are original, some of them I would like to have as framed art. There is also a good amount of photos as well to compliment the text. Even though it is a light covering of the topic I did pick up one or two tidbits of history I did not know, though there were probably just as many errors and inaccurate pieces of information as well. Mr. Pegler is from the UK and there is a UK slant to the writing but if you are looking for a quick read about the history of sniper rifles to include developments in as recent as 2010, it will work and the price is right.

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In The Trenches 1914-1918 ~ Glenn R. Iriam NEW!!
There are not many books written about sniping in World War I but there are a few such as ‘A Rifleman Went To War’. This book is the memoirs of Frank Stanly Iriam who served with the Canadians on the front lines in W.W. I from 1914-1918. Frank spent nearly 4 years in the trenches operating as a scout, scout section leader and a sniper during that time. It is remarkable to think of spending that amount of time in some of the most inhumane conditions imaginable including being gassed several times. The book is a very personal account of his time in combat up until he was severely injured and removed from the front lines toward the end of the war. The account includes some personal confrontations with superior officers and there are times where you get a decent amount of complaining about various officers, but for the most part, the book is a good personal account of some intense fighting and trench warfare and it does provide an insight into how scout and sniping operations occurred during trench warfare, more so on the scouting. The amount of sniping details is limited, but there is enough to make it a worthwhile read. The books written in first person and are memoirs of Frank, so there are grammar oddities and other interesting wording that is a result of the period it was written. It has been nearly 100 years since W.W. I and the “great war” tends to be over shadowed by W.W.II, but this book brings some of the details to light and reminds you of just how bad the fighting conditions were. It is always amazing to see and hear of the fighting strength of young men that are fighting for a cause and this book is worth reading if you get the opportunity.

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Red Sniper on the Eastern Front ~ Joseph Pilyushin
Much like the book “Notes of a Russian Sniper” by Vassili Zaitsev, this book is the Memoirs of Joseph Pilyushin who was a sniper who fought from July of 1941 through Febuary of 1944 up at and around Leningrad. Pilyushin was not one of the top ranking snipers during the war, though 136 kills is very impressive, but his story is quite compelling and his writing style is much more personal. He does not actually talk in much detail about the details of the conflicts but does a good job of portraying the emotions and feelings. Pilyushin was older, 38 years of age, when he went to war so his perspective is quite a bit different than most memoirs you read. Of course, the great losses he suffered during the war would also change his outlook on the war; he lost his wife and one of his sons earlier in the war from artillery shelling, and then lost his other son later in the war, again to the shelling of the city Leningrad. Because of these losses, the accounts are more personal and emotional but there are still some good accounts of combat and the use of snipers during the battles on the Eastern front. The translation to English is not bad, but not as good as “Notes of a Russian Sniper”. There are a few notes to help explain things as well as explain some corrections made from the original Russian version of the book that were inaccurate. All and all, it is a good read without the graphic detail and provides a better insight into the emotional perspective of an older soldier literally fighting to protect his home town.

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Notes of a Russian Sniper ~ Vassili Zaitsev
This book is the one written by the legendary sniper Vassili Zaitsev many years ago and recently republished again. It was an interesting read from the perspective of Zaitsev himself and does provide a good account of his personal experiences. The translation was performed by several people and is very well done and there are a good number of foot notes explaining certain words and nuances of Russian culture that English speakers may not know. This also included some good information about Soviet military organization that I found helpful. The writing style from a half century ago is a different style than the war accounts you read now as you do not typically get the gory details. What you do get is a personal perspective of the Soviet mindset during WWII when their country was being over run by Germany. Having read several accounts from both sides of the war during the invasion of the Soviet Union, I can say that Zaitsev seems genuine in his feelings and recounting of his stories. There are some sketchy parts were the details are not enough to determine how authentic some stories may be, but for the most part it is a good personal account of Zaitsev’s experiences and the experiences of Soviet snipers during the Battle of Stalingrad. As you might imagine, his own personal telling of his story is nothing like the movie “Enemy at the Gates” and more authentic and believable. For those looking for more details about the famous ‘Duel’ might be disappointed as the story is not overly detailed in his telling of the encounter and you may not learn anything new about it. All in all, I did find the book worth reading and a good learning tool.

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Trigger Men: Shadow Team, Spider-Man, the Magnificent Bastards, and the American Combat Sniper ~ Hans Halberstadt
The author, Mr. Halberstadt, has done a pretty good job with this book compiling a series of true stories told by the people that experienced them. These stories are primarily from a year period in Iraq from several different units. There is also a few stories from other conflicts prior to Iraq as well as some information about the history of snipers and some details about the current sniper schools in the USMC and US Army. Over all the author is a bit over the top in terms of “rah rah snipers are the ultimate soldier” enthusiasm, but it does not detract too much from the down to earth telling of sniper operations by the actual snipers. It was a pretty good read and it does give a good feeling of how modern day sniper operations in a built up area go down and for that I recommend it as a good read.

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Sniper Ace: From the Eastern Front to Siberia ~ Bruno Sutkus
This is not a typical book written by an accomplished author but rather more like a summary of the authors own sniper log book during WWII. The first half of the book covers Bruno Sutkus’ fairly short but active combat time on the Eastern Front as a sniper. There is some information about the German Sniper school and other very interesting historical information about the German Sniper program during the war. It does read like a log book and actually has many log entries from his 209 confirmed kills including many photos from his log book as well as letters and commendations. For these reasons the book is worth reading, though it is a bit slow in the 2nd half of the book which covers his time spent in Siberia after the war and up until he finally gets back to his native land. I did find some parts of the book a bit troubling about his involvement as part of the Hitler Youth organization and the fact that it does not appear that he recognizes any wrong doing on the part of Germany during WWII, but there are not many comments about these subjects and if the book is treated as a soldier’s After Action Report (AAR), it does have some good information.

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Silent Warrior: The Marine Sniper’s Vietnam Story Continues ~ Charles Henderson
This book is an add on to the the book that introduced the world to Carlos Hathcock, Marine Sniper, way back in the mid 1980’s. This book contains much of the several hundred pages that were removed from the original manuscript of the Marine Sniper book as well as some additional information from the later years of Gunny Hathcock’s life and I especially enjoyed the additional chapter on John Burke as well, it was well worth it. It was also nice to get some more information and details about some of the events but there is a decent amount of “literary license” where Mr Henderson filled in what various people may have been thinking or doing, including Gunny Hathcock at the end of his life. He admits in his forward that he had done so, so it is not a huge deal. The book is fairly scattered and covers a broad amount of events and I would not recommend this book until after you have read the original. Preferably this one right after the first. It is a pretty good addendum to the original and does provide some further insight into the legendary Marine and Sniper.

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Long Rifle: A Sniper’s Story in Iraq and Afghanistan ~ Joe LeBleu
Well, this was a fairly interesting book but I did not find it as enjoyable as others on the subject and certainly not very in depth. It tended to be a shallow covering of a sniper’s (LeBleu) experience in Iraq and a very brief mentioning of a little of LeBleu’s experiences from a tour in Afghanistan. Neither experience was very intriguing or many details covered and the author seemed quite “confident” in his decisions and knowledge on various non sniping subject matters including politics. The read was fine, just not one I particularly enjoyed compared to other offerings from other authors in the same type of situations. There are not many sniping details covered so the read is more of a personal opinion type of book from the first person perspective. Enjoy it for what it is, just don’t expect a detailed telling of sniping engagements and be prepared to wade through a lot of opinions on various subject matters.

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Sniper One: On Scope and under Siege with a Sniper Team in Iraq ~ Sgt. Dan Mills
Wow! This has been one of the most enjoyable books to read on the subject of sniping in Iraq. Sgt. Mills was a Platoon Sgt in charge of a Sniper Platoon in the U.K. military (1st Battalion, Prince of Wales Regiment), over in Iraq in 2004. Sgt. Mills has a good writing style which makes it easy to read but what makes the book so good is the descriptions of the way of life of the modern sniper and soldier during combat. It is also an excellent illustration of how the modern day sniper integrates and operates with an infantry battalion. There are many times when the snipers are on patrol with standard battle rifles, SA80’s in this case, and operating in a infantryman role, and then other times they have their sniper rifles, L96A1’s, operating in a traditional sniper role. I think this is far more common then perhaps sniper teams would like to admit but shows the true versatility of the modern sniper. There are some very good stories and incidents in the book and you find yourself caught up in the same emotions as the participants. All in all, a great choice for a good read without much political thoughts… just soldiers doing their duty the best that they can.

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Backshot: Starfist: Force Recon, Book 1 ~ David Sherman & Dan Cragg
This book is a little different from what we typically read and review for this page in that it is a science fiction novel. Looking for an easy Sci-Fi read I picked up this book because of the military theme and hoping to find a good series to read in the future. It turns out this book, number one in what appears to be a long series, has a very heavy sniping theme, based several hundred years in the future. I liked the authors’ ideas on the future of military and infantry technology, especially in regards to Force Recon as well as sniping and how it would still play an integral role on the battlefield. It is a fun read that has sniping elements, and for that it was exactly what I was looking for in this type of book. Both the authors are ex-military so they get the protocol right as well as some of the inter service rivalries and those feelings. All in all, a good sci-fi read if that is what you are looking for.

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Ronin: A Marine Scout/Sniper Platoon in Iraq ~ Mike Tucker
Ronin, unfortunately, is a true tale of a sniper platoon in the USMC that fell under the command of a commander who did not know how to properly utilize his Scout Sniper platoon. The author, Mr. Mike Tucker, was attached to this sniper platoon for about a 6-7 month time period and he relays interview information in the book. It is written in an odd format with most of the book composing of various interviews and after a while you get the feeling it is almost like a gripe session. But it appears (remembering that every story has two sides of which we only hear one side in this book) that it was justified frustration. There is not a lot of actual sniping experiences relayed in the book but it does outline and show the problems that can develop when a commander does not know how to properly utilize snipers and scouts and what will happen if soldiers loose trust in their commanders. If you are looking for a book with sniping experiences in it, this book is not for you, if you are interested in examining the various psychological effects of stress induced on combatants and the failure of leadership and the troops working together, this book offers a lot of insight.

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Hogs in the Shadows: Combat Stories from Marine Snipers in Iraq ~ Milo S. Afong
I will have to say that I was quite impressed with this book. Sgt. Afong did a very good job relating a good all around assortment of stories of combat snipers over in Iraq. What possibly made the book so good is that the author, Sgt. Afong, served as a Sniper over in Iraq which allows him to tell the story in a different manner than the typical author who only interviews those that were there. Though Sgt Afong was there and writes the book, there was only a single fairly simple chapter relating to his story. The rest of the chapters were personal accounts about various other Snipers that served within the USMC in the same areas during 2004-2005. There are possibly a few over the top hurrah moments in the story telling but for the most part it is down to earth and there are some good tidbits to be gained from reading the book in regards to sniping in the sort of environment snipers find themselves in over in Iraq. Sgt. Afong has a straight forward writing style that is easy to read and as a whole the book was a nice change of pace from some of the self promoting or profiteering combat story telling that has become popular today.

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Sniper, A History of the US Marksman ~ Martin Pegler
Well, perhaps a more appropriate title for the book might just be “A History of the US Marksman” as there is more history about the early development of the rifle and its use in combat than there really is about Sniping and/or Snipers. Perhaps it is just because I have read so many books about sniping that I have just read about the history of the musket and rifle development too many times and it has grown old, but I would probably prefer to see this information left out of books supposedly about the history of sniping. The development of the ball and cap just is not entirely relevant to the history of US Sniping. Descriptions of equipment used by the early marksman is one thing, but a full dissertation about the development of the various ignition systems is a bit out of place in a book titled “Sniper”, I would prefer to have read more history about the marksmen themselves and training. Still, there is some good information about some of the various conflicts that US Snipers were involved in, there was just not as much detail and information as there was about the development and history of the rifle.

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13 Cent Killers, The 5th Marine Snipers in Vietnam ~ John J. Culbertson
This book is written by a 5th Marine Sniper veteran from Vietnam which is both good and bad. The good part is that it is coming from someone who was there and is the real deal, and for that alone the book is probably worth reading. But I will be honest and say that the book is more a culmination of unrelated short stories, or experiences, of the 5th Marine Snipers in late 1966 and early 1967, and is not a historical account. It can be difficult to follow as the stories are not necessarily in chronological order and typically do not relate to each other from one chapter to the next. The writing is not the greatest as there are a few too many “… the enemy’s head exploded like a smashed pumpkin” references as well as some odd inconsistencies like referring to the 173gr bullet and then in another chapter referring to it as a 168gr bullet, without any sort of explaining of why they may have been using 168’s (I don’t believe they ever did). Beyond that, the separate stories/chapters are good for giving an account of what it was like to be a combat sniper on the Vietnam battlefield and Mr. Culbertson certainly deserves credit for sharing the experiences of the 5th Marine Snipers, and for that, despite the books shortcomings, it is worth the read.

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Illustrated Manual of Sniper Skills ~ Mark Spicer
I will say right off the bat that I really enjoyed this book. Mark Spicer is an experienced sniper with the UK military and this book itself is different in that it is not the same sniping manual that you see now a days, but instead it is a book outlining things learned from both good schools as well as real world experience. The subject matter is more along the lines of advanced knowledge and covers some very good topics. I especially appreciated the section about mountain sniping since I am here in Western Montana and I have already tried several of the ideas mentioned in the book that are not typically taught in any of the US schools. A lot of the mountain section comes from the German Alpine Sniper school that Spicer attended. The other wonderful part about the book is the photos, there are a lot, and they are very good. Real world photos as well as training. With the author being from the UK, there is a European influence to the book which again is nice to have a different perspective on things. All and all, I recommend this book.

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Snipers: Stalkers and Shooters – A History of Snipers ~ Kevin Dockery
This book is a different read than your typical book about sniping, as the first half of the book takes you through the very early development of sniping tactics starting with the Long Bow in the medieval period up through modern sniping in Iraq and the history of Law Enforcement sniping. The second half of the book is personal biographies of some current military and law enforcement snipers written by their own hand, as well as a few industry professionals. The historical part was interesting but it seemed to have more details and information on the very old weapons and tactics then it did with the development of the modern day sniper and tactics today. There were a few things that were not quite right but for the most part it did have a good amount of little facts you don’t see in most of the other books. The Biographies were okay, especially the military ones, though some of them drug on a bit and were perhaps a bit repetitive. Overall the book did offer some interesting facts I did not know before and the biographies, while seeming a bit out of place and almost like a separate book, offers some personal connection to the snipers themselves as men.

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Octopussy and The Living Daylights ~ Ian Fleming
We all know who James Bond is from the movies, but the reality is the original books written by Ian Fleming are considerably more realistic and in my opinion more enjoyable. This was actually the first of the James Bond books I have read and I now plan to read more. The reason I read this book was because I heard that “The Living Daylights” was about sniping and worth the read. This book is actually a compilation of 4 short stories about James Bond, of which “The Living Daylights” is the one we care about, though the other three are good as well. If you recall the movie of the same title, there is a scene when 007 uses a Walther WA2000, the entire story is about the preparation of and the taking of that particular shot taken in the movie. The details of the sniping incident are fairly accurate, though there are some tactical flaws in Bonds sniping techniques. It is apparent that Ian Fleming did some good research leading up to the writing of this story, but back in the late 50’s and early 1960’s the tactics were not as developed as they are today and Mr. Fleming missed a few obvious flaws, but still it is an entertaining read and nice to see an entire short story dedicated sniping. I enjoyed it.

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Snipers: Profiles of the World’s Deadlist Killers ~ Craig Cabell and Richard Brown
This book takes a different look at snipers and sniping. While there is a brief history of sniping and some facts and tidbits sprinkled throughout the book, it really focuses on a few historical snipers and their shots. The book is written by two authors that really have no experience in sniping and it shows in various spots with some of their comments and opinions, and in some places it does distract from the book as there are some things that are just way off base. But it is a different take from the standard sniper book that seems to be rubber stamped into publication as of late. It has no real info about tactics or techniques and a brief and not very detailed section about equipment, but that was not the focus of the book. If you would like to read about some interesting historical snipers, good and bad, and some 3rd party insight into what “might” have happened in cases like the JFK assassination, then this book is worth the read.

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Sniper on the Eastern Front ~ Albrecht Wacker
This book also bears the title “The Memoirs of Sepp Allerberger”. Sepp is a fictional name given to an actual sniper to protect his identity. The book is the Memoirs of Sepp who joined as a young man just in time to be a part of the German withdrawal from Russia and up to its defeat in Germany. He became a sniper soon after he joined and survived the remainder of the war becoming the 2nd highest scoring sniper in his Theater of operation and was awarded the Knights Cross. The book is an okay read with a few good and interesting photos, but there is a lot of focus on the brutality of the Russians during the war with numerous accounts of prisoner brutality, though only minor mention of the German’s equally brutal treatment of captured Russians. The insight and recounts of the battles are interesting especially to see how a sniper operated in a war of losing ground. But the frequent and very descriptive telling of gruesome scenes detracts some from the book. Yes, tell how the soldier caught a snipers bullet in the head, but do we really need to know the details of how the skull shattered and where all of the fleshy tissue ended up? What otherwise is a very unique story and experience worth telling of an Eastern Front sniper is sidetracked by unnecessary gruesome details of little importance.

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A Rifleman Went to War ~ H.W. McBride
Henry McBride is one of the forefathers to modern sniping in the US Military. This book is a real treat and a book that everyone with military interest should read. It is a first hand account of his own experiences during W.W.I. Henry did not think the USA was getting into the war fast enough so he went North in 1915 to join the Canadians and headed over to France. The book is an enjoyable read and written in a free spirited manner that I enjoyed. H.W. is not overly dramatic or over zealous in his recounts of the war, he just matter-of-factly explains how it was. It is quite amazing how much of what he says is still true nearly 100 years later. H.W. was mostly a machine gunner during his two years of fighting in the war but he did operate as a sniper for several months during trench warfare, and there are a few chapters about it. His big agenda for the book is to emphasize the importance of rifle marksmanship and the individual infantryman, and yes, that is still the same 90+ years later.

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One Shot – One Kill ~ Charles W. Sasser and Craig Roberts
This book has been around for a while and includes many real accounts about combat sniping as told by the men pulling the trigger. There are stories from many of the major conflicts in the past 75 years and overall is a good read. It may not be overly great reading and some of the facts may be sketchy based on memory, but the various stories do provide a good overall view of combat sniping.
Spirit of a Sniper ~ Bill Russell
This book is an interesting and entertaining read. The book is published in limited release and is available via direct contact. The book is based on the actual events of a South African sniper in WWII, as written by the subject himself. It is a bit odd in that it is written in the third person, which makes it read more like a novel than historical non-fiction. It is obvious in spots that some content was created to fill in the story, and it may be hard to determine fact from fiction. But that does not detract too much from the book itself. The book is interesting in both its sniping content, which is detailed and appears mostly accurate, and in the history of the South African military involvement in the various African and European campaigns. The Zulu influences are strong throughout the book, but not too much to cause a major distraction and it does offer additional insight to the culture of South Africa. I enjoyed learning about another part of the world and how they employed their snipers, even if history was enhanced by literary freedoms. If you are interested in reading it, you can contact Hendrik van der Schyff via email to order a copy, currently its $15 USD.
Sniping Pamphlet No.28
Nigel Greenaway is reproducing this excellent sniper manual used by U.K. snipers. Its an excellent reprint of the 1946 No. 28 Pamphlet (U.K. military manual). There is a lot of information contained within the manual, and while its not nearly as in-depth or as long as FM23-10, it still contains a large amount of useful data. The information is more of a practical field nature, not so much of a technical nature. I found the tidbits and pointers that are in the manual are still very much useful today. There is more information about field craft then marksmanship, but that has always meen the specialty of the U.K. snipers. I found the manual excellent, and a valued addition to any library for both its historic value, and the information contained within. The cost is $25 USD or £15 sterling (cash only). Email Nigel Greenaway if interested in purchasing the manual.

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White Feather ~ Roy and Norm Chandler
When I first heard about the new book about Carlos Hathcock several years ago, I feared that it would be a direct slam against the book by Charles Hendserson, I have been pleasantly surprised, as there is even a section in this book that praises the book by Henderson, very classy. This book is very in depth look into the life of the late Carlos Hathcock II, not just his war time exploits, but his entire life, including such things as his successful competition shooting and many other accomplishments. There are a lot of photos and copies of historical documents. This book is a great historical source of information and I strongly recommend it. Click on the image of the book to be taken to the Iron Brigade Armory site to purchase the book.

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Marine Sniper: 93 Confirmed Kills ~ Charles Henderson, E. J. Land
This is the book that starts the interest for most people. It is about Carlos Hathcock, mostly about his exploits in Vietnam, but also with some insite into his childhood and post war experiences. Its great reading, and it makes you appreciate just exactly how much Gunny Hathcock did. The book is highly recommended.

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Sniper One on One : The World of Combat Sniping ~ Adrian Gilbert
This series of books by Adrian Gilbert are a very good look into sniping, and its history. There is no actual tactics or how to information involved, its more about the actual use of sniping and their historical role in combat. Very very interesting reading.

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Stalk and Kill : The Sniper Experience ~ Adrian Gilbert
Another book in the series by Adrian Gilbert. This one is focused more toward the actual experiences of the sniper, in a wide variety of conflicts. Once again it is more of a history book, but not a historical reference. He gathers a lot of first hand accounts and presents it in a tasteful way.

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Sniper : The Skills, the Weapons, and the Experiences ~ Adrian Gilbert
This book goes more into the the technical side of sniping, and the developement history of the training, equipment, and tactics of sniping. It also goes into the impact of modern eletronics and other devices on sniping. This series of books by Adrian Gilbert covers about all the aspects of sniping, and does a pretty good job.

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The Ultimate Sniper : An Advanced Training Manual for Military and Police Snipers ~ John L. Plaster
This is one of the more popular technical manual, and it has a ton of information. The book takes you from ground zero and works from there. It covers most of the aspects about being a sniper, from choosing your weapon, to ballistics, to special sniping applications. I personally think the book has a lot of fluff, but makes a good beginners manual.There is now a new edition of this manual that fixes a lot of the mistakes that were in the original edition and they have cleaned up a lot of the fluff as well. It is now a pretty good manual and worth owning. (The purchase link to the left goes to the latest edition)

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Sniper Training : Fm 23-10
Well, here it is in all its glory. This is the Field Manual that the US Army uses for its training. Since I am US Army trained, I’m very framiliar with this book, and it covers all the aspects of sniper training. The Army (at least instructors at the Sniper School) has come out with an addendum about sniper employment, but I doubt its included with the copy you buy from amazon. Keep in mind that this is an Army field manual, it is not written for the general public, so its not a good “reading” book. Its just stuffed full of useful info.FM23-10 has been superseded by a newer manual that is not authorized for general distribution, but FM23-10 is still available.

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U.S. Army Special Operations Target Interdiction Course : Sniper Training and Employment
Well, here is the “other” army sniper training manual. The Special Operations Target Interdiction Course (SOTIC) has actually been around longer then the standard US Army sniper school. Once again, this is a US Army training manual, and isn’t the best “reading” but its packed full of info.

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U. S. Marine Corps Scout/Sniper Training Manual
This is a collection of lesson outlines that are used to teach the blocks or instruction at the USMC scout/sniper school. The information is dated (I believe 1979) and is in a odd format (that of a lesson outline). There is some valuable information, but it takes some digging in a clumsy format to retrieve, never the less, it is there. Obviously some of the equipment covered is no longer in use, like the redfield scopes.

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U.S. Marine Corps Scout-Sniper : World War II and Korea ~ Peter R. Senich
Peter Senich is one of the big name history guys when it comes to sniping. His books are loaded with historical pics and copies of documents. The books are purely historical reference, and contain very little narrative or discriptions, but that is what the books are suppose to be. This one is about the USMC sniper program and equipment during WWII and Korea.

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German Sniper : 1914-1945 ~ Peter R. Senich
Here is another of Peter Senich’s books, this one deals with the German snipers during both the World Wars. Contains a whole ton of pics of all the german rifles and optics used during that time period. Its a must of those history buffs out there.

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The Master Sniper and Point of Impact ~ Stephen Hunter
Okay, well, they are novels, they are about sniping, and they are entertaining reading. Don’t take them much beyond that. Not everything is accurate, but they do a better job then most movies out there. Enjoy the books for what they are.

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The War of the Rats ~ David L. Robbins
This book is historical fiction about the legendary sniper duel between Zaitsev and Thorwald during the battle of Stalingrad. There is a love story mixed in, which kind of hurts the overall story of the book, but the book has a lot of historical accuracy mixed with fiction, and offers some good entertainment along with historical data that allows you to learn some history at the same time.

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Dead Center ~ Ed Kugler
Ed wrote a good book here. It was about his two years spent in vietnam as a USMC Scout Sniper. Ed’s time in country was not spent as a traditional sniper, but more as a small unit hit and run tactics. There are certainly times when him and his teammates used their sniping skills, just not as much as some might think. I actually think Ed’s experience is more in line with most soldiers who spent time as an operational sniper. I enjoyed reading the book, and recommend it.

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Dear Mom : A Sniper’s Vietnam ~ Joseph T. Ward
J.T. was an accomplished sniper in vietnam, and this is his story, based around his letters he sent home to his mother. The book has some good stories about JT’s experiences, and it reads ok. I didn’t find it as good as some of the others, but its worth reading. Plus, it has the destinction of being the book that exposed Charles B. Mawhinney to the spot light.

Software


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Sniper Elite ~ Namco
Sniper Elite is a pure sniper game, but, it is a sniper game for the general public, so it is not a simulator and is very dumbed down. But it does have things like ballistics that most games with snipers in them do not. The game is scripted missions with not a whole lot of freedom to do various things, and a long shot is about 150 meters. So, if you are looking for a good sniper simulator, this is not going to satisfy you. But, it is entertaining and is a pure sniper game.

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Rainbow 6 Gold ~ Red Storm Entertainment
Okay, well, I like games also! A few things, Rainbow 6 is a great game, but it has its limitations. The fact that ballistics are not modeled is the biggest draw back. While Rainbow 6 doesn’t model snipers exactly, there are areas that where a simu-snipers can be used. Especially if you play the excellent multi-player games.

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Rainbow 6 : Rogue Spear ~ Red Storm Entertainment
This is the sequel to Rainbow 6, and it actually models snipers, giving them special deploy positions in the planning phases, and some other capabilities. It actually has a couple of sniper rifles. (PSG-1, SVD, M82A1???, and the Walther WA2000). The game also sports other updates to the original R6, but still no ballistics modeling.

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Ghost Recon ~ Red Storm Entertainment
Well, here is the next in the line from Red Storm. This is a more “military” based game then the Rainbow 6 family. The maps are more wide open, and there is more of a focus on squad based tactics. In regards to sniping, its probably the best yet. Ballistics have been modeled on a very limited scale, but better then before. There is also ghillie suits and the ability to go prone. The multiplayer games are much more slow and not nearly as fast pace shoot’em up, which can be good for some, but boring for others. The single player game is lots of fun.

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Delta Force Land Warrior ~ Nova Logic
Okay, okay! Enough already! I’ve had so many requests and mention of the DF series of games I decided to put it up. I have never been a real fan of the DF games, they are just too arcadish for me, the realism just isn’t up to the level of the R6 games. BUT, DF does indeed model ballistics a lot better then R6. There is a huge following for this game, so a lot of people obviously do not feel the same as me. To be honest, I have not played this one multiplayer, it “might” be better then the single player.


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Hitman & Hitman 2 ~ Eidos New!! 11/22/02
Here are some games that portray the “darker” side of the art of sniping. While its a game, I do not recommend these games for anyone who is not mature. These games portray the criminal life of assination. For a single player games, they do a great job of creating the sense of survival and sneak and peak. They are not just shoot’em up games, you have to actually think and plan. The orginal Hitman was revolutionary, but the newly released Hitman2 is more “evolutionary” and some think it didn’t live up to the hype. Either way, the games are fun and an interesting twist on the sniping profession (and one I do not support in the “real world”).

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Operation Flashpoint ~ Code Masters New!! 11/22/02
Operation Flashpoint is another first person shooter, but on a grand scale. Not only is there some sniping involved, but there are tanks, aircraft, and other vehicles to operate. Flashpoint actually made an effort to portray ballistics and likewise offers more realism. Of course, its not totally accurate but is at least better then then “laser” rifles most all FPS. Everything in Flashpoint is BIG, landscape and all. Overall, its not a bad play, though sniping takes a very limited role.

 


Videos & DVDs
 


Click on the above image to search amazon.com for all sniper related Videos and DVDs.


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Enemy at the Gates (Added 08/15/01)
This is the most recent “sniper” movie, it was released in early 2001 and was fairly successful. It attempts to recreate the historical duel between Konings/Thorvald and Zaitsev. The movie is okay as a movie, but I was not too happy with it. They missed a good opportunity to portray snipers in a better light, and to really show some good sniping scenes, but they didn’t. I didn’t like that every shot was a head shot, the ending was completely screwed up (the real one was better), and that there were several inconsistencies. But hey, its entertainment I guess, and probably worth watching.

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Carlos Hathcock:Marine Sniper
To be honest, the quality of the video is pretty bad, its pretty much just a home video camera recording an interview with Carlos Hathcock. The saving grace is Carlos himself, as he relates a lot of personal experiences and some other insites.

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Ultimate Sniper
This video is intended to go along with Col. Plasters “Ultimate Sniper” book, but I didn’t find the video very useful. In fact, it was pretty disappointing. I don’t know if I’m expecting too much, but the video was all fluff, and only skirted on important issues. There could have been a time limitation, but it just didn’t seem to have much focus, and showed just about enough to get someone in trouble.

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Sniper
Well, here is the one full length movie that is all about a sniper(s). Unfortunately they really blew the technical side of sniping. There is not enough room on this page to write all the things they got wrong in the movie. But I will give it one thing, its entertaining. If you go into it with an effort not to criticize everything about the sniping art, then it’ll probably be entertaining to you.

 


If you have any other media you would like me to check out and post a review, please email us!Return to main page.