I have to admit it. I am on a military-surplus sniper rifle kick. In my real life, I desire and need extremely accurate rifles. I find anything less than that to be frustrating. But in my personal life, I have come to really enjoy early military sniper / DMR rifles made between 1900 – 1970.
It’s the damnedest thing! Truth be told, most sniper rifles from that era just can’t hold a candle accuracy wise to modern precision rifles. They just don’t. Sure…the die-hards and internet experts are probably upchucking on their keyboards as they read this, but it’s true. A 1-MOA rifle isn’t even in the same universe when compared to what’s being run these days. And anything over 1 MOA is a blind squirrel looking for a nut. And while we are being honest, MOST modern mass-produced hunting rifles will outshoot top of the line sniper rifles from 60 years ago. How’s THAT for pissing in someone’s Wheaties?
It’s a technology race much like the, “Space Race”: machining technology, metallurgy, consistently in ammunition manufacturing, scope technology, ballistics technology, trigger technology, etc, etc, etc, etc. The modern precision rifle game is very much a battle fought between the smallest lines of a child’s six-inch ruler. Huge amounts of money spent for smaller and smaller gains. I know this all too well. My current rig? $7000. Sounds exhausting doesn’t it? I get tired just thinking about it.
Enter the Military Surplus Sniper Rifle. By definition you are out of the space race. The guns are set. The scopes are set. The only areas you can tweak are maybe hand-loaded ammunition. But I don’t bother. There are enough quality factory loadings to get the job done. I can easily make head shots on steel at 100 yards. I can make a headshot at 200 yards. And ringing a steel, man-sized silhouette at 400 yards, with your first shot, really starts to get you thinking about what does accuracy actually mean?
Quickly instead of holes in holes, you are practicing positional shooting and getting instant feedback on steel. It’s fun as hell. And it will make YOU a overall better precision shooter. It won’t take too long for this thought to enter your mind: Is my shooting at the same practical level of a WWII era sniper? In this era of Hollywood-mythical-sniper-worship, it’s an interesting idea to contemplate.
In closing, I will say this. If you are someone who just can’t get jazzed over the high-dollar arms-race that has taken over the PSR circuit, take a hard look at some of the classics. The reproduction rifles are as good as the originals. And if you already have an original sniper but don’t want all the risk and cost associated with damaging an original optic, the re-pop glass is a fantastic option. Buy an old rifle. Get some steel targets. And make shooting fun again.
“Shooting Guns & Having Fun”