What was the weapon of choice for the best snipers in history?
Snipers also called marksmen, are considered elite forces of every army. Sometimes, it is hard to believe in their achievements. They are eligible when it comes to effective elimination of enemies. They are beating the greatest records of long range hits. Without them, it is hard to imagine how many of military operations would have a chance of success. Obviously, such results are deriving from their training, experience and psychological predisposition but the weapon of choice is also very important. Now, sniper are using the weapon that has a lot of emergent add-ons and high class of optical sights. Once, that was not the case. Snipers were using much simpler equipment, even if that was the army could provide. What was the weapon of choice for the best of them?
Simo Häyhä was a Finnish sniper, considered the best in history. It’s not an accident that he was called “White Death” – derriving from his white camouflage suit, that he wore when he was fighting. During the Winter War, which took place in 1939-1940 and was fighten between USSR and Finland, that was the best camouflage. Simo Häyhä single-handedly killed 505 soldiers of the Red Army. Until today, this record stands as unbeaten by anyone. What weapon did he used?
Usually he was using a Russian rifle – Mosin, specifically it’s Finnish version, Mosin M28. He was also using version M28/30 “Pystykorva”, interesting because of the fact, that it was lacking optical sight, used in marksmanship. Intriguingly enough, it was a matter of choice not accident. He put his money on the less advanced gun because, according to him, when using optical sight, he had to change position, rising his head, which could give him away. Additionally, there was a risk of light reflecting from the lenses.
Wasilij Grigorjewicz Zajcew, although definitely behind in the ranking, when compared to Finnish soldier, has also been considered a great sniper. This Soviet soldier killed 242 soldiers during the Second World War. Although such high number may derive from Soviet propaganda, it is worth mentioning what he was using. In the beginning that was a Mosin wz. 1891. A weapon he operated so well and efficient, that no longer than 10 days later he was shooting with Mosin dedicated to marksmen.
Chris Kyle is a far more recent hero in somparison to the previous two. He is considered the most efficient American sniper. Four times, he was sent to Iraq on the millitary mission for his country. As a sniper he killed 255 enemies, including 160 hits confirmed by Pentagon. What makes such difference in results? There are very strict rules in USA regarding confirming good sniper shots taken by the soldiers.
What was he using? One of his best achievements was to use McMillian Tac-338 with .338 Lapua cartridges to eliminate Islamic fighter for freedom, equipped with nothing else but... rocket launcher. American sniper was able to eliminate him from almost two kilometers (1920 meters). What were his additional choices? According to his memorials, his favourite weapon was Win Mag .300, weapon based on Remington 700. He was also using Mk. 12. Rifle in his mission to Iraq. That weapon, based on M4A1 rifle had a great range and efficiency, but it required a 2 to 3 hits, to eliminate the enemy.