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Police-Law Enforcement Sharpshooters

1631 Views 6 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  oneminute
I got this old bud of mine who is a retired USMC Scout/Sniper and me and him are always talking about the old semi auto vs bolt action rifles debate. While I pretty much agree with him that for military applications, the bolt action rifle is the way to go, I am not so sure I would agree entirely with Law Enforcement applications.
I know that there are less moving parts in a bolt action rifle and that helps with accuracy. But as I saw once on a documentary of LE Sharpshooters, one police officer said, "I see these guys bring in all kinds of high tech gear...like laser range finders....I just say....dude! your hitting a target 25 yards away".
Thinking upon that statment...I thought, a semi may have some important aspects for law enforcement. I believe a semi, such as a M21 will be well suited in ranges less than 100 yrds that require precision pin point accuracy.
In urban situations as well, the need for quick follow up shots may become crucial, in fact in the very same documentary, they showed a foul up in a hostage situation, where the sharpshooters bullet deflected off the window, the rest of the SWAT team was slow to react, and the sniper was chambering another round with his bolt, when the gun men open fired on the hostages...I just think, perhaps if he had a semi, he could have quickly shot the main one who did the shooting even though the bullet deflected. What are your thoughts?
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I would still stay with the bolt action over the M21. I was at school with several LE Snipers for a long range shooting class. One of the excersizes we had to do was hit four eight inch steel plates and a 12 incher at 300 yards. It was set up as a race for something fun for the students. There were 9 steel plates with the 12 inch in the center and 4 eight inch plates on each side. Just to prove that a bolt action is just as fast as a semi-auto one of the instructors, a Police Capt. and head of a SWAT team himself with 3 tours in Viet Nam as a Sniper and member of SOG showed us how it was done. He started at one side and hit all 4 8" plates and the center 12" in 8.2 seconds with a Remington 700.
I did the same excersize with my Blaser LRS2 in 10.8 sec. I got beat by 2 FBI Agents and another Police sniper. It proved to me that you can fire accurately and quickly with a bolt action. The limitation is the 5 round capacity in the magazine.
If I was in a situation where the need for more round capacity withouu reloading and the target was under 200 yards I would want my Match M1A in my hand. But if I only needed that 1 or a possible follow up shot
give me one of my Chandlers.
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I think

I think with the resurgence of the M14 in the military, you will begin to see LE agencies bring out their old surplus M14s and put them into service, but not as sniper rifles.

I think military and LE see the advantage of the .30 over the .223 slug for anything with a distance.

Just last week, the Calif Dept Fish & Game shot a escaped tiger with a M14.

Also, now that they are becoming more civilian marketed rifles, there is more interest.

I just hope that there is a similar resurgence of available parts and accessories.

As far as Military and LE snipers - I think they will stick with the bolt gun.
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Law enforcement is already using the M14 in a patrol application. Believe me, if they have the gear, their using it.
There are a few top marksman I met shoot both. The test is one hole
one shot.
Yes, one hole one shot... the million dollar shot! As long as you cold bore properly it does not matter what you shoot. Bolt guns tend to group better, but as long as the first shot out of the tube goes where it should- bolt or gas makes no difference.
The cold bore is truly the most important shot. The bullet and the bad guy don't care what it comes out of as long as it hits where it needs to.
One of the reasons I bought an M1A was for this very job. I have used Remington, Steyr, and Winchester bolt rifles over the last seven years as our sniper team leader. I think the semi auto is a more versatile tool for MY job. I am not down in the mouth about bolt guns. Still love them! My partner uses a Remington 700 and I have faith in his abilities with his rifle.
I don't agree with the guy that made the 25 yard comment. I do believe there is a place for that high tech gear. It should be in addition to basic skills though. I don't remember where he was from but I know I have been on some deployments where I was 25 yards away, but I have been on several where I was 250 yards away also. BTW I don't have any laser range finders, fish finders, wind meters or ouija boards......But I still think they have merit and would like some of that stuff :)
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