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What Caliber Do Snipers Use?

Views: 1652     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2023-06-24      Origin: Site


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What Caliber Do Snipers Use?

There are many armies around the world, and each army uses its own caliber respectively. Within these armies or military forces, you can imagine that not all sniper units use the same caliber!
So we will make generalizations about this recurring question. Without a doubt, the most common caliber used by conventional sniper units is the 7.62mm. There are many variations depending on the country, we will find for example:

  • 7.62×54 mm R in the Russian and Belarusian armies, widely used with the Dragunov and its civilian variant the Tigr: this is a rimmed rifle cartridge that was developed by the Russian Empire before the Bolshevik revolution. It is also used in light machine guns such as the PKM or the PKP Pecheneg.

  • 7.62×51mm NATO in America and the European countries that are part of the NATO program (there are many of them). It’s a rimless bottlenecked rifle cartridge developed in the 1950s after WW2. The first rifle to use this caliber was the M14. Today we note its use with the FN Scar, the M40 sniper, the M24, the Blaser R93 Tactical, the T93 sniper rifle… The list is long.


Among sniper rifles, we also find the use of larger calibers offering a higher probability of hitting a target on impact. The .300 Winchester Magnum and the .338 Lapua Magnum are popular for this type of operation. The use of anti-material cartridges also allows to reach about the same performance: the 12,7 mm, the 14,5mm or even the .50 caliber allows the snipers a slightly larger margin of error, and the possibility to shoot faster in front of imminent danger.

Even with a large caliber, if the sniper does not know how to calculate the distance to his target and quickly take into account multiple variables that influence ballistics, he will only be able to miss his target. So let’s see what calculations snipers use to make surgical shots.



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