I need help learning what the worst sniper rifle would be for a novice?

Erik Brush

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Apr 1, 2013
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Hi folks,

I'm hoping to get some good feedback from those in the know about some of the sniper rifles least preferred or with the poorest effective range. Allow me to briefly clarify. I'm an author working on part 2 of a post Apocalyptic novel in which a character has been set up to fail. The adversary has made sure that the person in question has acquired a sniper rifle knowing full well where the shooter will attempt to pick them off. The character who set this up is a twisted slaver taking her caravan in for trade. The shooter is the last member of a family that she has enjoyed eliminating.

As she is warned by some of her scouts that there is a shooter on a nearby mesa (this is in the American Southwest) the main character is not concerned. The reason for this is that she is aware of the effective range of the rifle and the distance that the road comes closest to the sniper. What I need to know is what would be a more limited type of rifle (bearing in mind that I am not well versed with sniper rifles) that could be shot but due to both wind and range and the caliber being shot NOT really do much damage or be effective?

I am grateful for any suggestions and advice on a rifle (perhaps a bolt action) that fits the bill?

Thank you in advance for your feedback folks!

- Erik
 

Sportin Wood

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    Are you fucking kidding me?? Best answer is any of Frank's AI's on a sunny day with no wind... or the airsoft rifle that JasonK just sold in the PX....
     

    Veer_G

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    Call her "Masie," and outfit her with a rusty air rifle, preferably Crosman (sp.?) or Daisy.
     

    Erik Brush

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    Thanks everyone. I'll be taking notes, and then doing my range and lethal effectiveness research on the serious suggestions. Cheers!
     

    Miles2go

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    Gunna be hard. Pretty much any functioning rifle chambered in a legitimate battle caliber can be lethal in the right hands at any reasonable distance.

    But...look at the fairly new and very popular 17 HMR. Super accurate to 200 yards (ie stacks 1/2" groups at 100y) but then loses energy and speed after that due to it's low weight (15.5 grain) and ultra low ballistic coefficient (.115). For comparison, a 230g round nose 45 acp (considered by all to have poor aerodynamics) has a ballistic coefficient of about 0.200. A good long range .308 has a bc of about 0.500 and the ultimate 50 BMG can get over 1.00. The 17 HMR can be blown hard by wind at a distance because the bullet retains no energy or speed at distance. Rifles can be found in Mall Ninja Sniper versions...set up with an ultra awesome $150 Simmons sniper scope it may fit the bill.
     

    elfster1234

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    not being a dick or anything, but isn't an effectively poor range & low damage sniper rifle an oxymoron? wouldn't it just be a crappy rifle? if I had to try and answer your question (if i'm understanding you correctly):

    1.) if semi-auto in post apocalyptic world, maybe a ranch style mini-14 in .223 cal with a crappy scope??? somewhat light barrel and not heavy barrel, can be somewhat accurate but not really, and not much knock down power for the .223... really not known for sniper rifles, well..... for semi auto that is. but then again, your novel is about the end of the world so you take what you can get. Also, would kick around an SKS in 7.62x39 but with a modified scope mount... Not really a sniper rifle, but there are loads of SKS's.

    http://www.google.com/search?q=mosi...42,d.aWc&fp=5e3154fd7916601a&biw=1104&bih=698

    http://www.google.com/search?q=mosi...42,d.aWc&fp=5e3154fd7916601a&biw=1104&bih=698




    2.) if bolt action in a post apocalyptic world, maybe a really shitty mosin nagant with a crappy mount & scope?? but it kinda has the effective knock down power of a .308, but not the most accurate rifle in the world & drops like a rock after 500yards? many wasted bullets due to missed targets, and many dead WW1 and WW2 men due the massive volume of the mosin nagants in the world. Still found today at very cheap prices and usually covered in cosmoline for long term storage... maybe your character found a full crate of mosin nagants covered in cosmoline and cleaned all the cosmoline off with mineral spirits. Just happened to find a crate full of 7.62x54r ammo next to the cosmoline covered mosin nagants.

    http://www.google.com/search?q=mosi...oIGIDg&sqi=2&ved=0CAcQ_AUoAQ&biw=1104&bih=698


    Hi folks,

    I'm hoping to get some good feedback from those in the know about some of the sniper rifles least preferred or with the poorest effective range. Allow me to briefly clarify. I'm an author working on part 2 of a post Apocalyptic novel in which a character has been set up to fail. The adversary has made sure that the person in question has acquired a sniper rifle knowing full well where the shooter will attempt to pick them off. The character who set this up is a twisted slaver taking her caravan in for trade. The shooter is the last member of a family that she has enjoyed eliminating.

    As she is warned by some of her scouts that there is a shooter on a nearby mesa (this is in the American Southwest) the main character is not concerned. The reason for this is that she is aware of the effective range of the rifle and the distance that the road comes closest to the sniper. What I need to know is what would be a more limited type of rifle (bearing in mind that I am not well versed with sniper rifles) that could be shot but due to both wind and range and the caliber being shot NOT really do much damage or be effective?

    I am grateful for any suggestions and advice on a rifle (perhaps a bolt action) that fits the bill?

    Thank you in advance for your feedback folks!

    - Erik
     
    Last edited:

    tt123

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    Something nice and light, chambered in .50 BMG and fitted with an NC Star scope should fit the bill.
     

    McCrazy

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    I would say Elfster is on the right track with the Mosin Nagant. Plentiful old sniper rifle that may be fairly easy to acquire post apocalypse but is not very effective at the longer ranges compared to more recent precision rifles.

    I suggest going with that and letting this thread die before the usual suspects make the thread devolve beyond recognition.
     

    Former0302

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    I would say a standard battle rifle equipped with a sub-standard scope. If the shooter was unfamiliar with rifles, it would look like it was up to the job...but a battle rifle is really only expected to get around 2-3 MOA. Let's say it's a 3 MOA rifle, at 600 yards the rifle is only capable of holding about an 18 inch group (if the shooter and ammo is perfect). Potentially still deadly, but not very precise. Maybe something like an AK-47 variant with a SVD scope or an FAL.

    Another thought is that the rifle could be matched up with sub standard ammo. That could make the margin of error even larger.

    Or perhaps the rifle / scope is sabotaged before the shot...the zero is messed with or the spotter calls the wrong wind / elevation change.
     

    Flying Goose

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    Have you thought about your shooter coming across a modified or tampered with rifle? As stated above even the worst rifles inside of a certain distance will be deadly. Also since its a post apocalyptic theme have you thought about what calibers are the most used and most available. ie Military ones NATO and Russian saying that I like the idea of the 17hmr but the availability of those rounds would be rare in this setting whereas a 7.62 NATO will be super common?
     

    kraigWY

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    If I reading this right, you're looking for something or some rifle that would screw up a sniper shot.

    It's been done, kind of, in a book anyway. In Hunter's "Master Sniper" the bad guy was looking for something sub sonic so he went with a special made assault rifle (been years since I read the book so I don't remember what kind). The story takes place in the closing months of WWII.

    The bandit was using cast bullets and reduced loads but good enough for a given range, but before he got to where he was suppose to engage the target (a kid) he got in a fire fight, and ended up leading the barrel causing the accuracy to go Ka-Poot. So he missed.

    It was a good read anyway. Mostly the investigation part where they were tracking down the bandit.
     

    Veer_G

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    Serious answer: provide the character with what looks to be a serious rifle by way of caliber selection, make of the action, and choice of a quality optical sight, but outfit it with a shot-out barrel that wouldn't be obvious in a brief visual inspection, and purposefully have the telescopic sight installed so that (a) the point of impact is nowhere near the point of aim at a given, standard distance at which rifles are usually sighted in, say, a hundred or two hundred yards or, for that matter, meters, and (b), the scope is mounted in inadequate, cheap rings and base that have been imperfectly mounted and inadequately tightened. You have to know the distance and other conditions at which you intend the character to shoot to understand the effect of powder weight/type, and projectile weight/type. The longer the distance, the more the negative effect can be made to multiply. As was noted above, a rifle that can maintain a group of holes on a target within a 2" circle at 100 yards will make those same holes reliably in a 20" circle at 1,000 yards, if, and only if it has enough propulsion behind it from powder, effective weight when it strikes the target, and a sufficient design and geometry to deal with the vicissitudes of winds from 360 degrees, which may strike the projectile from a half a dozen different directions along the trajectory, wind being only one external factor that affects long-distance accuracy.

    Frankly, some research might have put you onto a live source where, for the price of a few beers, you could have shopped for the exact answer to this, and perhaps a few other questions. At a dollar a pop for store-bought .308 these days, with middling rifles going for $3K and up with all the trimmings, the wisdom such as you seek doesn't come cheaply in its development.
     

    E. Bryant

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    Have the character perform a high-angle shot on a moving target with a Carcano.

    <ducking>
     

    Veer_G

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    Have the character perform a high-angle shot on a moving target with a Carcano.

    <ducking>

    I award you an arbitrarily high number of bonus points for historical irony.
    </ducking>
     

    pawprint2

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    At one time the 30-30 was chambered in a bolt action rifle, this along with a tasco scope could be the worst "long range" sniper rifle combo, that may actually work in a story.
    A 30-40 Krag, with shortend barrel(16 in for that real tactical look), the stock must be multi color camo, leapers scope, anti cant device, multi use sling, bipod, flash light, laser, rear stock bag, rear mono pod, big multi chamber muzzle break, big cat tail for leapers scope, extra sling attachment points (3 or 4), ammo pouch attached to sling, EXTRA large latch to open ammo magazine, some sort of flip up open sights, and have the whole thing packaged in a large (camo of course) drag bag. The "custom" drag bag should hold extra ammo, cleaning supplies ( to include:grease and oils), bino's, sketch book, pens and pencils, extra battery packs, lens cleaning supplies, bug repellant, first aid pouch, water purifiation supplies, face paint, gillie suit, several "combat knives", foot powder, and a multi tool. As we want him to travel light, he can always keep a couple of canteens full of water on his web belt, next to hid- all stainless steel 1911, and a couple of spare mags along with his rolled up poncho. His boonie hat should have a couple of spare rounds tucked into his hat band (made from 20 feet of 550)- don't forget to add a few fish hooks and a spare firing pin in the hat's brim.
     
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    G

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    Hi folks,

    I'm hoping to get some good feedback from those in the know about some of the sniper rifles least preferred or with the poorest effective range. Allow me to briefly clarify. I'm an author working on part 2 of a post Apocalyptic novel in which a character has been set up to fail. The adversary has made sure that the person in question has acquired a sniper rifle knowing full well where the shooter will attempt to pick them off. The character who set this up is a twisted slaver taking her caravan in for trade. The shooter is the last member of a family that she has enjoyed eliminating.

    As she is warned by some of her scouts that there is a shooter on a nearby mesa (this is in the American Southwest) the main character is not concerned. The reason for this is that she is aware of the effective range of the rifle and the distance that the road comes closest to the sniper. What I need to know is what would be a more limited type of rifle (bearing in mind that I am not well versed with sniper rifles) that could be shot but due to both wind and range and the caliber being shot NOT really do much damage or be effective?

    I am grateful for any suggestions and advice on a rifle (perhaps a bolt action) that fits the bill?

    Thank you in advance for your feedback folks!

    - Erik
    NM M14 w/a ART 1 or 2, w/o a cheek piece and a M14e2 Bi-pod mounted correctly.
    That set up, can be out shot by a rack gun with iron sights, by a qualified shooter.
     

    okrebel92

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    Hi folks,

    I'm hoping to get some good feedback from those in the know about some of the sniper rifles least preferred or with the poorest effective range. Allow me to briefly clarify. I'm an author working on part 2 of a post Apocalyptic novel in which a character has been set up to fail. The adversary has made sure that the person in question has acquired a sniper rifle knowing full well where the shooter will attempt to pick them off. The character who set this up is a twisted slaver taking her caravan in for trade. The shooter is the last member of a family that she has enjoyed eliminating.

    As she is warned by some of her scouts that there is a shooter on a nearby mesa (this is in the American Southwest) the main character is not concerned. The reason for this is that she is aware of the effective range of the rifle and the distance that the road comes closest to the sniper. What I need to know is what would be a more limited type of rifle (bearing in mind that I am not well versed with sniper rifles) that could be shot but due to both wind and range and the caliber being shot NOT really do much damage or be effective?

    I am grateful for any suggestions and advice on a rifle (perhaps a bolt action) that fits the bill?

    Thank you in advance for your feedback folks!

    - Erik

    1359197831377_zpsa6ed090d.gif


    422393_263073170440664_254009044680410_561687_1065522115_n.jpg


    lolsks.jpg
     

    Veer_G

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    Chrome Mini 14 , ever watch the A-Team show, they fire a bazzillion rounds and never hit a person

    Just so that the OP has accurate information, I think you're referring to a Ruger AC556.
     

    dbsinh2o

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    Watch a couple of episodes of "Sons of Guns" on Discovery. More material than you'll know what to do with.
     

    boltstop101

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    If you had to chose between a highpoint 9mm carbine with a red star 4x12 scope and a wrist rocket with a bag of marbles. I think most guys would pick the high point.-------trouble makers lol
     

    BoilerUP

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    Remington 742 in 30-06 with a Nikon Prostaff scope.

    Popular with hunters (and a SHTF cahmbering) but unreliable and inaccurate - ask me how I know...
     

    aur0ra145

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    MAS-36 with a Leapers scope. Make sure the character camouflages the rifle with jute/burlap, just like Jude Law in his autobiography "Enemy at the Gates."
     
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    tomcat mv

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    Mmmm..thinking an old Kentucky long rifle that's been hanging over Gramma's fireplace for 200 years.
     

    Beyschaefer

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    I'll take a semi-serious stab at this one... having tried some writing of my own from time to time.

    First I have to clarify the situation a little.
    Has the character in question acquired a "sniper rifle", or an available firearms with which to attempt to make a semi-long range shot against people targets?
    In the latter case, in a "post apocalyptic" setting, a garden variety hunting rifle, with a lot of miles on it, and ammunition that has been reloaded several times (with unknown quality control), may fit the bill.
    Scenario being that the rifle has a scope of low quality, and ammunition being inconsistent, the shooter would not necessarily know if the rounds he used to sight the rifle in with (that is, learn the drop for the distance he's shooting and lateral drift given any given wind conditions) is going to perform the same as the rounds he has in his hands NOW.
    A "typical" hunting rifle in .308, .30-06, .243 or a dozen other calibers could all fit the bill - with the variable being the inconsistency of ammunition.
    If you have no way of knowing if the five rounds in your rifle will all shoot at the same velocity, bullet weight, etc, then you will have a very hard time making a "first shot" hit at ANY distance.

    Hope this helps...
     

    Veer_G

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    All Bob Lee Swagger needs is a Nylon 66 and a 2 liter pop bottle ...
     

    Erik Brush

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    Thank you so much for the great suggestions and advice. The tampering idea is a good one. And yes the idea was the weakest or least effective sniper rifle for the character. Obviously (as was mentioned) having a non-functioning sniper rifle defeats the purpose of a sniper rifle. But the idea is to have the protagonist (unfamiliar with the range of the rifle and with only a few shells to make his attempt) shooting at the antagonist who set the whole thing up, from too great a distance and with too much wind and too little "punch" to make a lethal shot.

    In essence I need the character to try to snipe unsuccessfully with the rifle and the one who set it up to be casually aware that she is out of range of the shooter before he is subdued and brought to her by approaching soldiers working for the antagonist.

    Thanks again. A few of the suggestions here are really outstanding. I am most grateful to you guys for your feedback and help with this. Cheers!

    - Erik
     

    Mustafa

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    I'm voting for the Mosin Nagant as well. It is a decent rifle with a strong historical track record, but shitty mounts (which are the norm for the Mosin these days) and a shitty scope, combined with the relatively shitty ammo we've got for them in the US equates to a rifle that COULD be good, but more than likely barely holds onto minute of barn.
     

    Erik Brush

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    Thanks Mustafa! That seems to be the best choice. I'm leaning toward the Mosin-Nagant M91/30PU Sniper rifle. I appreciate the feedback.
     

    Former0302

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    I still say a scoped AK-47 variant. Rifle and ammo should be pretty common in the post-apocalypse. The energy of the round starts dropping off pretty fast as the ranges increase. Also, to someone without much firearms knowledge, it has that scary evil battle rifle look so obviously it would serve as a sniper rifle if it was scoped.

    The M91/30 PU I think would be a more reliable choice in reality, and therefore not the better choice for the story.
     

    shankster..

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    Vagina_G's extensive longrange shooting knowledge is reavealed:

    "As was noted above, a rifle that can maintain a group of holes on a target within a 2" circle at 100 yards will make those same holes reliably in a 20" circle at 1,000 yards, if, and only if it has enough propulsion behind it from powder, effective weight when it strikes the target, and a sufficient design and geometry to deal with the vicissitudes of winds from 360 degrees, which may strike the projectile from a half a dozen different directions along the trajectory, wind being only one external factor that affects long-distance accuracy."

    LOL. You should stick to Cheetos. You even admitted the longest range you have ever been to was 300 yards. Show us your longrange bolt gun with today's date and your turban next to it Veer.
     
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    shankster..

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    Vagina_G's extensive longrange shooting knowledge is reavealed:

    "As was noted above, a rifle that can maintain a group of holes on a target within a 2" circle at 100 yards will make those same holes reliably in a 20" circle at 1,000 yards, if, and only if it has enough propulsion behind it from powder, effective weight when it strikes the target, and a sufficient design and geometry to deal with the vicissitudes of winds from 360 degrees, which may strike the projectile from a half a dozen different directions along the trajectory, wind being only one external factor that affects long-distance accuracy."

    LOL. You should stick to Cheetos. You even admitted the longest range you have ever been to was 300 yards. Show us your longrange bolt gun with today's date and your turban next to it Veer.

    1j2T0DP.jpg
     
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    Starvingboy

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    9mm hi-point with a big 'ol honkin scope. It's what I cut my teeth on, dots on dice accurate at 50yds, but the 'ol 9mm just does not reach out and touch much past 100yds, at least in my experience. Somebody with no experience would shoot short distances, be impressed, and not realize a pistol round will fall very flat very quickly. 10 round mag adds the "Tacticool" factor. That, and among people who know guns, they're decent, mostly reliable, and so cheap (all around) as too be pretty much disposable.

    Anyone know the max effective range of a 9mm? At 600 yds, if you could lob it in that far, it would probably bounce off your coat.
     

    Brettdec

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    Tough to set up a premise like that. If your sniper has a brain in his head, he's gonna laugh and say "Come on, where's the real weapon for this mission?" when he's handed a substandard/insufficient rifle. If there is nothing else available, he will test it to see what it will do before taking it into the field.

    I would find it most believable if the antagonist tampered with an effective rifle and/or the ammunition AFTER the hero had tested it and believed it to be accurate. If the rifle were being pointed at me I would;

    1. Run a rat tail file over the crown of the muzzle (This could be seen upon inspection) The rifle would be inaccurate, but deadly at close range.
    2. Heat the firing pin spring to weaken it. (Not as easy to spot. This would cause misfires. Changing one takes a few minutes unless you swap bolts. That would only take a few seconds.)
    3. Swap the bolt for one that has fractured lugs. (Could be found if carefully inspected) This would send the bolt through the shooters face upon firing.
    4. Swap the ammo for grenade loads. Pack a .308 round full of black powder, a magnum primer and JB weld the bullet into the neck. Kafloooey! Your snipers face is removed.

    Or, other options might be.

    A. Swap the ammo for duds. (your character would know for certain he was set up after the 3rd dud in a row.)
    B. Swap the ammo for inconsistent loads with unbalanced bullets. If the bullets were drilled off center from the base, the tampering would remain hidden unless the bullet were pulled from the case. Then the jig would be up. If the holes were drilled large enough, the bullets would tear themselves apart as soon as they exited the muzzle. This would be difficult to figure out at first because everything feels normal with the recoil. A really experienced shooter would notice that the vortex from the bullets flight path was missing, but might shoot a few rounds before accepting that the ammo was worthless.
    C. If the tampering was anything that the antagonist might have to explain, switching only the top round in his magazine with a tampered round would be hard to figure out as the evidence would be destroyed upon firing. This might be very easy to write off as a fluke or bad luck. Here is a suggestion for a tampering method that would take the rifle out of service for an entire firefight without incrimination:

    Shoot a piece of brass with hot loads until it shows signs of web separation. Anneal it at the web to soften the brass, so that the case head will fail and separate upon firing. This could be ensured by loading with black powder or otherwise over pressuring the load. The bullet could be unbalanced by drilling the base off center in order to insure the shot is completely inaccurate. After the shot, instead of extracting, top portion of the brass would stick in the chamber making it impossible to chamber another round until a tool was used to remove it. This is a common enough occurrence with automatic rifles that some militaries include an extraction tool in the standard issue cleaning kits. A precision rifle shooter would be unlikely likely to carry this tool in the field because the ammo is reliable enough that weight of the tool isn't warranted.

    Or,

    You could hand him a Mini 14 equipped with a Tasco scope and aftermarket mags, then tell whatever story you like! If he walks into harms way without testing it, he deserves to die!
     

    Switchblade

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    I'll play...

    Hand a dilettante marksman a .338 Lapua magnum and watch as they flinch, yank the trigger and screw the shot up after the first initial shot and the big recoil kicking their ass and getting scope bonked. Same for a 'little' .308(7.62x51 NATO). A first shot scope bonk, from turkey necking an improperly mounted scope always makes follow up shots off by dilettante shooters. I watched a good friend who 'built a sniper rifle' from a Weatherby 300-338 Magnum(Howa hunting rifle, I believe). No change of stock, really tall rings, a leupold gold ring 50mm scope and the first shot,"BONK!" "Damn bubba, this thing sucks! Here, you try to shoot it!" A few minor adjutments later, BOOM. no problem. Here ya go, try it now.
    BONK! "fuck this shit, this rifle sucks!" "See if you can zero it and shoot five rounds in your chrony for me"

    Sooooo, eight rounds later, then five more to verify it was dead nuts on at 100M I was done shooting HIS 'sniper rifle'.
    I opened my case, pulled out my 700P in it's McMillan A5 with its USO ST10 optics system(scope, rings, base), and received a low whistle,"Daaaaaammmmnnnn Bubba, THATS a 'sniper rifle'!"
    Meh, not really Bird, it's a competition rifle all painted up. Cold bore shot, upper right center of X. Next four shots, obliterated the X. Here Bird, go ahead.
    First shot, as he got in real tight to the scope, BONK! "Maaan fuck this shit, lets go get a beer!"

    It took me two weeks to get Bird back to the range to UNTRAIN his non shooting ass and get him to shoot right. He even shot his own rifle without bonking his eye too...then went and traded it for a 308 a few weeks later.

    Give a dilettante shooter ANY rifle with a scope, let them bonk and they won't hit shit at all. It's not the rifle man, it's the shooter! It always is
     

    Victor N TN

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    Knoxville TN
    If you want to make him look bad, get him the best rifle and scope you can. Then give him 1 box of premium grade commercial ammo, 20 rounds to practice with. When he comes back from practice, give him a box of same ammo that has been "doctored" in some way. Sprayed with WD40 daily for a couple of months or boiled in water on the stove for a day or three. Wipe with a cloth with alcohol when finished with "doctoring" and let air dry in the open before reboxing so there will be no smell.
     

    M1Amen

    Private
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Dec 27, 2010
    0
    0
    38
    an AK-47 chambered in 7.62X39 with a Tasco scope and a bipod clipped to the barrel
     

    Erik Brush

    Private
    Minuteman
    Apr 1, 2013
    5
    0
    I appreciate all of the feedback and ideas folks. It's a lot of great info. I think that I'll be picking your heads more in the future as the series develops. This is part 2/book 2 of the first volume. I've not paid as much attention to the firearms in the first part of the story (book 1.) as it has a myriad of plots and moves pretty quickly, but good info and reliable data helps in writing a good story. As an author the one thing I always hate is when I read a book and the writer has written everything beautifully, but then screws up some detail in an area that I am well versed in. I can read a book like that and know that maybe what the author is sharing will fool the general public, but those in the know laugh and shake their heads. So when I describe things in my books I always like to go to the experts in those areas and learn what they have to share, because I want the stories to not "fool the reader", rather I want the stories to share something believable so I am not patronizing those who know better.

    So thanks again everyone. You guys rock, and I am very grateful.

    Cheers!
    - Erik