The sniper will only use match grade ammo, at all times and from the same batch number,

when a new lot is used then you must re-zero your system this applies to all changes with new ammo.


History & science of ammunition

The importance accorded to rifles as the determining factor of success in sniping can lead to a displacement key role of ammunition. If ammunition is substandard the best rifle in the world will perform badly. For the ammunition must be of superior quality so that it perform consistently in all conditions.

Accuracy is dependent on the consistency of the round, so that each time trigger is pulled the bullet will travel up the barrel of the velocity and previous bullet will travel up the barrel same velocity as previous bullets, and will describe same ballistic trajectory. If this consistency of operation, is not forth coming then the ammunition will be unsuitable for sniping purposes. As a result, snipers use match, ammunition which is manufactured under stringent conditions of quality control.

Small-arms ammunition consists of a cartridge primer, a propellant charge and a bullet. The round was developed in the latter part of the nineteenth century and still remains the basis for sniper ammunition.

The cartridge case acts as the container for the propellant and bullet. It must be sufficiently strong, withstand the rigors of handling in combat conditions, be resistant to corrosion and prevent the ingress of moisture,  in addition,the case must be flexible enough to expand to seal the chamber when the bullet is fired and be able to return to its original size to enable easy extraction.

The material most able to meet these requirements is brass (70 per cent copper, 30 per cent zinc) which combines strength and elasticity with a good resistance to corrosion.

In describing the caliber of a military round (using metric measurement), it is customary to refer to both the diameter of the rifle bore and the length of the cartridge case, as a way of providing an indication of ammunition performance. Thus, for example, the standard 7.62 x 5 1 mm NATO round has a bullet diameter of 7.82mm, designed to fit a bore of 7.62mm (the bullet is always slightly bigger than the bore, to force it into the rifling), and a cartridge case length of 51mm.

Although something of a misnomer, most cartridge cases are termed rimless, which despite having a rim (to aid extraction) actually means that the rim is formed by the recessed groove within the wall of the case and does not protrude outwards. Protruding rimmed rounds were found to be difficult to operate in automatic-firing magazines, although some have had a long life, and include the British .303in and the Russian/Soviet 7.62 x 54mm R (hence the "R" suffix).

The primer is held in a recessed pocket in the base of the cartridge case. Once struck by the firing pin, the composition in the primer is ignited, the flash traveling along a fire hole (or holes) to the propellant in the body of the case. Primers were made from fulminate of mercury or potassium chlorate, or a combination of both.

Although providing a good flash, these materials led to case corrosion and rusting in the rifle barrel, and have been replaced by lead styphenate, which does not have these deleterious effects yet provides suitable ignition.

The propellant provides the motive force which sends the bullet hurtling up and out of the barrel. The power of a few grains of propellant is enormous. A fairly standard round (the British .303in Mk VII) develops a pressure of 18 tons per square inch at the point of ignition; this spins the bullet at a rate 2640 revolutions per second as it leaves the muzzle at a velocity of 2500 feet per second (Rifle No. 3, Mk 1).

The bullet has a maximum range of 3400 yards, and when fired in the vertical plane it will rise to a maximum height of 9200 feet, taking 17 seconds to reach its apogee and taking 45 seconds to return to the ground, still spinning and base first.' And when a full-power, high-velocity bullet hits the human body, at ranges of anything up to a mile, the results are suitably devastating.

The modem rifle round owes much to the development of celluloid in the 1870s. Nitric acid was added to celluloid fibers, and then mixed with alcohol and ether to form a gelatinous medium which then could be rolled into thin sheets, dried and cut into particles of nitrocellulose.

The use of celluloid allowed the bum rate of the propellant to be regulated, in contrast to gun cotton (cotton soaked in nitric acid) which was unsuitable for small arms. Although called powder (from gunpowder days), nitrocellulose is, in fact, manufactured into one of three granular shapes-ball, flake and stick-according to the production process used. The size of the granules varies the burning speed of the propellant; a slower burn rate is generally preferred in rifle ammunition.

In the late nineteenth century, the single-base propellant (nitrocellulose) was supplemented by a double-base propellant (nitrocellulose and nitroglycerine). Nitroglycerine increased the energy of the powder although it was subsequently discovered that its greater flame temperature reduced the life of the barrel. As a consequence, nitroglycerine is used only in small quantities in modern ammunition.

Some propellants-such as that used in the NATO 7.62mm round-remain single-based and contain approximately 98 per cent nitrocellulose, the remainder comprising preservatives and stabilizer to improve shelf-life, lubricants to reduce barrel wear and additives to cut down muzzle flash.

The bullet is the last component of small-arms ammunition, and is the active element which produces the end result. Musket balls were made of lead, and even today lead antimony (a slightly harder compound) is used to make rifle bullets (the standard antipersonnel bullet is commonly referred to as a "ball" from this historical association). Lead antimony has the advantages of being sufficiently heavy to carry at long ranges and hit the target with sufficient power, and yet be soft enough to deform slightly at the moment of ignition and grip the rifling in the barrel.

The introduction of the high-velocity propellant nitrocellulose placed too great a stress on the lead bullet, so it was enclosed in an envelope of a harder metal, usually either cupro-nickel or a more economical gilding metal of copper and zinc. The result was known as a full metal jacket (FMJ) bullet, although the base of the bullet was left unjacketed to allow the force of the ignition to push the soft lead core into the rifling.

The shape of the rifle bullet is governed by its requirement to maintain high-velocity at long ranges. As a consequence it is designed to be narrow with a long-pointed tip so that it cuts through the air as efficiently as possible. To reduce base drag, bullets intended for sniper use are usually made in a boat-tail configuration, that is, the bullet is tapered at the base, reminiscent of the stem of a boat. As with all other components of the round, the bullet must be manufactured to the highest standards to maintain a consistent level of performance.

Since the 1970s, work has been ongoing in transforming the rifle ammunition from its standard configuration. An experimental round has been developed that dispenses with the traditional case:

the propellant itself is molded into the right shape so that it will fit directly into the rifle chamber. Other unorthodox designs concentrate on replacing the conventional bullet with multiple projectiles, fleschettes and adding sabot rounds.

At present they remain in the experimental stage and are unlikely to replace brass cartridge ammunition for some time. This is especially true of the sniper, who values consistency of operation over other factors, such as an economical and lightweight round.

The development of sniper ammunition will take place through the introduction of a more powerful cartridge to replace the standard 7.62 x 5 1 mm NATO round. As many such replacements already exist, progress in this field is more a question of logistics than technology.



Used mainly within  police sniper missions it has gained popularity over the last few years as a sniper round.
The 243 Winchester was introduced by Winchester in 1955 for their Model 70 bolt action and model 88 lever action rifles. The 243 was quickly adopted by Savage for their Model 99 lever and Model 110 bolt action rifles.

All of the British and European manufacturers began chambering bolt action rifles for this round. In fact, even Remington, who developed their own 6mm, had to recognize the popularity of the 243 and started chambering their rifles for it. The 243 (6mm) Winchester is nothing more than the 308 Winchester case necked down.

Original development and publicity was due largely to the efforts of gun writer, the late Warren Page, who along with other wildcatters worked out a similar version before Winchester.

The 243 is probably chambered in more different rifles than any other cartridge, except possibly the 30-06 Springfield. All other manufacturers of rifles offer this caliber.

The 257 Roberts and the 250-3000 Savage are supposed to cover the same range and certainly do. However, the 25 caliber bullets don't have the same sectional density for long range varmint shooting until bullet weights get up to 120 grains., And then the velocity falls off badly All major domestic and overseas manufacturers of commercial ammunition offer this caliber.


This being by far the most used caliber within sniping, also known as the .308 win,The .308 Winchester has won more benchrest matches than any other cartridge above the 6mm caliber. And continues to win more Hunter class benchrest matches than all other cartridges combined. The .308 is also one of the most popular big game cartridges, not only in the U.S. but in many other countries as well.

This cartridge was developed by the Ordnance Dept. of the U.S. Army Soon after World War II, the U.S. Government issued contracts to Winchester and Remington for assistance in the development of a replacement cartridge for the .30-06. The result of those efforts was a shorter version of the .30-06 called T-65.
After extensive testing, it was to become the first NATO-adopted
standard cartridge, the 7.62mm NATO, or 7.62x51mm NATO cartridge.

Winchester requested and received permission to introduce the cartridge commercially as the .308 Winchester. The result has been worldwide acceptance in a range of sporting firearms.

The military endeavor was to improve upon the .30-06 Springfield round, which had been in service since 1906 (or 1903 if one considers it's real origin as the .30-03). The result was a round of substantially less weight and size, while retaining the same bore diameter as well as only a negligible drop in ballistics (muzzle velocity was within 100 fps of the larger round).

The .308 has been neck-sized successfully to a variety of commercial caliber's. These include the .243 Winchester, the 7mm-08 Remington and the .358 Winchester. All are excellent choices for short-action rifles, covering a wide-range of applications.

Realizing that any cartridge adopted by Uncle Sam was sure to become popular among civilian shooters, Winchester beat Remington to the punch by dressing the 7.62mm in civvies and calling it .308 Winchester. It was a good move. The .308 went on to enjoy the popularity as a big game cartridge, not only in bolt action rifles but in pumps, single shots, autoloaders, and lever actions as well. Which pretty much sums up the primary reason for the .308's success. Its short overall length enables rifle manufacturers to offer it in any type of rifle.

Choosing the .308 instead of the .30-06 in a bolt action, slide action or autoloading rifle doesn't make sense simply because the shorter cartridge can never be made to equal the performance of the longer cartridge. But in a lever action rifle such as the Savage Model 99, the .308 is far superior to the .30-30 class of cartridges.

.338 magnum lapua

This round has and is becoming the most used round to bridge the gap between the .50 and .308 in terms of tactical use it is superb, weighing much less than a light-fifty system, but giving great accuracy and ballistics and power,many military snipers are seeing the advantage with this round.

With its 300 grain bullet traveling at over 2,800 fps at the muzzle the .338 Lapua Magnum shoots flatter, easily out pacing lesser caliber's. The .338 compares favorably to advanced .50 BMG rounds, even out performing most standard loading in that caliber.

The minimal wind drift of the 338 LM allows more shots "on target" than is possible with smaller caliber's. The .50 caliber weapons typically display less wind drift, however the 1/2 MOA accuracy potential of the .338 LM greatly offsets the added wind bucking ability of the larger round.

The 338 LM retains more energy at 600 meters than the 308 Match round has at the muzzle.  At 1500 meters it still retains more than a thousand foot-pounds of energy.  The greater retained energy combined with the larger cross section of the .338 projectile, provides a round that hits spectacularly hard even at extreme ranges. 

When simply "hitting" a target isn't enough choose a   .338 LM for total results.

.50 BMG

The .50 Browning Machine Gun cartridge (.50 BMG) was inspired by the effectiveness of German antitank rifles of W.W.I. John Browning subsequently developed the fully-automatic
heavy machine gun and ammunition, adopted by the military in 1923. The cartridge remains in use today not only by the U.S., but all over the world.

In relatively recent military developments, the .50 BMG's role has expanded ... it now enjoys use in sniper-rifle configuration, its heavy bullet providing thousands of yards of effective range.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the .50 BMG/rifle configuration has made quite a splash in the civilian market, with sophisticated rifles from such companies as Macmillan and Barrett fetching prices of $4000+.

These rifles are capable of consistently producing groups under 3 inches at 1000

Nominally, the .50 BMG propels a 720 grain bullet at 2910 fps, producing nearly 13,000 ft-lbs. of muzzle energy. Benchrest rifle employ weight and special muzzle porting (applying muzzle blast rearward) to maintain recoil at manageable levels. Because of the intensity and redirection of muzzle blast, special consideration must be given to personnel positioned to the sides of the shooter.

Here is the Barrett, as you can see the .50 is a big round against the 7.62 NATO   

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