A sniper team often observes in several ways: with the naked eye, using mini-binoculars, binoculars, a rifle scope and telescope. Each of them individually has its own drawbacks regarding distance, field of view or magnification. However, with proper integration and sharing of available optics, a sniper team can minimize all the disadvantages and maximize the benefits of optical instruments.
Correct integration and sharing when observing with the naked eye, mini-binoculars, binoculars, rifle scope and telescope.
The most important observation system, with a magnification of 1x, which nature has supplied us with is our eye. Among all the optical systems available to snipers, only his eyes give the widest field of view – 150 degrees or more. Our eyes are exceptionally sensitive and will notice the slightest movement of the target. I knew cadets who noticed camouflaged targets at a distance of about 300 yards with the slightest movement of the boot. That’s how sensitive the human eye is..
This amazing system can process up to 60 different images per second, like flickering frames of a movie. If you shift your eyes slowly enough, the brain will have time to process each of these images, and you will be able to notice a lot. However, if you turn your head faster than the brain processes the images, you will not see anything except the “veil”, which we often talk about, but rarely can determine.
During visual observation, you should move your gaze slowly, giving the brain the opportunity to process what it sees. Observation with the naked eye is impeded by glare, which cause the pupil to narrow. At the same time, it becomes very difficult to consider anything near a light source. A classic shot from films about the Second World War: enemy soldiers suddenly appear out of bright sunlight. The legitimate use of such visual disguise.
Native Americans and other Aborigines simply but wisely improved their vision by simply covering their eyes with their hand. You can do just the same or watch the sunlit area, sitting in the shade.
Vision also deteriorates if you look at the same point for too long. This is easy to avoid if you focus your eyes on the right place, but move them slightly. In the dark and in poor lighting, the human pupil increases in size by almost 3 times, but a person sees at night much worse than many animals. Vision also worsens due to lack of vitamins or smoking.
Application for observation of mini-binoculars, binoculars, rifle scope and telescope.
The first thing to consider when integrating mini-binoculars, binoculars, the optical sight of a measuring tube rifle is the width of the observation area, which is also called the “field of view.” To calculate the following field of view parameters at a distance of 100 yards, we determined the average width for more than 70 optical devices. The following are defined:
Naked eye – 1000+ feet.
Mini binoculars – 30 feet.
Full Size Binoculars – 30ft.
Rifle scope 11 feet.
Spotting Scope – 7ft.
The figure below shows what the field of view looks like when focusing on a target 100 yards away. With the naked eye, the observer sees the whole terrain and may notice movement. As shown in the center, when using the binoculars and binoculars, the field narrows to the size of a house. Through the rifle scope, we can see the window in much more detail. When using a telescope, you can consider the facial features of the suspect, as shown in the lower right.
Field of view when observing a target with the naked eye and using mini-binoculars, binoculars, rifle scope and telescope.
The width of the hole through which you look and the distance to it also affect the field of view. As shown in the figure, the closer you are to the hole through which the observation is conducted, the larger the field of view. Moving away, you narrow your field of vision, but it will also be more difficult to detect you.
Features of using mini-binoculars, binoculars, rifle scope and telescope for observation.
Given the special optical capabilities of the sniper team, you should use the capabilities of optical devices as intelligently and effectively as possible. The first rule is: start your observation from a wide field of view and narrow it down. Small areas should not be seen with a telescope. Except when something unusual was discovered when observed with the naked eye or using less powerful optics.
Further, team members should not use the same optics at the same time. Devices must complement each other. This means that if one is observing with the naked eye, the second is viewing the area through binoculars. If one uses a telescope, then the second should conduct surveillance through rifle scope.
Optical devices should be integrated in such a way that their fields of view and magnitudes overlap each other, providing better contrast and a different visual perspective. Another observation rule: a sniper should not observe too often through the scope, in order to avoid eye strain.
A sniper usually looks through the scope only if the observer has detected signs of the presence of the target. In other cases, he should observe with the naked eye or with mini-binoculars. The telescope should be used extremely limited. Only in cases when it is really necessary to more carefully examine the signs of the presence of the target.
Remember that the telescope has a very small field of view. Someone told me that it takes 10 times longer to survey the area with a telescope than to do the same task with mini-binoculars or binoculars.
Usually, only the observer uses the telescope, while the sniper fires, and also because it is difficult to change optics after finding the target. Optics can only be exchanged when there is a change of duties and an exchange of weapons in a team. Usually every hour in army sniper teams.
Despite the fact that this is a reasonable strategy, many sniper teams do not do what is considered the “best option”. A few years ago, during a Mississippi police sniper competition, a policeman and his team mate won a surveillance competition. When friends began to inquire about how he succeeded, the investigator of the Drug Enforcement Bureau proudly said: “An old Indian trick”.
As the others moved away, he turned to me, winked and whispered: “Shoot!” We just did it right. ” The secret and the truth is to do everything “as it should”.
When surface surveillance fails, the sniper crew proceeds to a detailed inspection, which requires a thorough, lengthy search using optical instruments. In order to properly inspect a site using the appropriate optical instruments and without undue effort, it should be divided by one of the following two methods.
On the left, the figure shows how to divide the site in two along a linear landmark, such as a river or road. An observer using more powerful optics (full-size binoculars and telescope) observes a more distant area. A sniper observes the nearest area through a rifle scope and using mini-binoculars. With an hourly shift of duties, team members change optics and observation sites, which reduces eye strain and keeps a fresh look.
The second figure shows how to divide the site depending on the possible location of the target. An observer using more powerful optics also watches the more distant part, and a sniper – the neighbor. For example, an observer observes a farm in the distance, fresh trenches on the right side of the hill, and a house in the center of the site. The sniper will follow the bridge, a source of smoke and two parapets right in front of them. As with dividing a site in two, the optics and responsibilities should change every hour.
Based on the book “The Perfect Sniper. Study Guide for Army and Police Snipers ».
Maj. John L. Plaster, USAR (Ret.)