The most powerful optical device used by the sniper team are spotting scopes. More than any other optics, a high-quality telescope helps you trick your opponent. Because you can detect and observe him much better than he can imagine. His ignorance makes him vulnerable.
Spotting scopes, purpose and possibilities, variable and constant magnification tubes, reinforced construction, tripods and mounts for spotting scope.
Since telescopes provide the narrowest field of view, you should use this instrument as a research tool. And not for ordinary observation and inspection. First, detect a sign of purpose using the eyes or binoculars. Then go to the telescope to examine the suspicious place. The only optical tool that will give you the best opportunity to detect a carefully masked adversary is telescopes.
However, the physical effect of observing through high magnification lenses with only one eye, as well as a narrow field of view, means that you must use telescopes prudently.
Purpose and scope.
Spotting scopes best fulfill several surveillance tasks. When a sniper shoots, the eye of his observer sticks to the eyepiece of the pipe, because its high magnification allows him to see the smallest visual effects of a bullet that cannot be recognized with binoculars.
When conducting practical shooting at a shooting range, telescopes will save your time by half, since you do not have to go to the targets to check your results. Also, your telescope is your best optical tool for reading a mirage. To study the speed and direction of the wind, which is a difficult practical task.
Far better than most binoculars, the telescope can actually give you the opportunity to look through the blinding glare or bright incident light to find a target that could never be detected with your eyes. Penetration through a display from a window is an excellent example of a possible scenario in real life. And here you will find a scale with which you can make out goals, almost like magic.
But before you mistakenly conclude that such magic can be applied to any situation, remember that your eye pupil is only about 6-7 mm at night. Here! There is not a single telescope that comes close to the night width of your pupil, which is the optical restriction we make using a higher magnification. The telescope can only complement, but not replace, binoculars. And this emphasizes my earlier conclusion: to be effective, optics must be complementary.
Variable and constant magnification telescopes.
There are opinions for and against telescopes with constant and variable magnification, starting with size and weight. On average, a telescope with a constant magnification of 10 ounces is lighter than a telescope with a variable magnification. And about an inch shorter. For these reasons, also because they are less complex, I generally believe that telescopes with a constant magnification are more suitable for sniping.
Previously, we observed that a magnification of 30x is maximum for the telescope, since a higher magnification is easily destroyed by a mirage. Considering this ceiling, it is doubtful that you will be able to fully exploit models with variable multiplicity, almost all of which have a multiplicity of more than 30x, some even up to 60x.
This does not mean that manufacturers are crazy or make unsuitable products. It only means that they are not best suited for sniping. Such a higher multiplicity only works well when shooting at a shooting range. Or perhaps to watch animals in the mountains.
Although there is room for compromise. Some high-quality telescopes can change a constant magnification to a variable. Just by replacing interchangeable eyepieces, a feature used in several brands. Without increasing weight and size, this can make telescopes of varying magnitudes perfectly suitable for sniping. Like the American army telescope M144 15-45&# 215; 60 mm.
Heavy duty telescopes.
When discussing the features of telescopes for sniping, we must attach particular importance to the so-called “reinforced” models, which have a ribbed rubber coating to improve resistance to shock. This is an absolute must for rough field use..
Emphasizing their special use again by focusing on their disproportionate size, we call telescopes of variable magnification “anti-tank” optics. Oversized pipe Bausch Lomb 15-60&# 215; 60 mm is simply too large (about 18 inches) and too heavy (48 ounces) for use by a sniper in the field. While the pipe is Swarovski 20-60&# 215; 80 mm even bigger and heavier.
But I believe that every law enforcement agency needs at least one of them, or perhaps an astronomical telescope. There are certain unusual tactical situations in which a large focal length and the multiplicity of such pipes would be fully used, in fact, they could turn out to be critical.
Two situations that immediately come to mind. Aircraft hijacking that you must collect information about but cannot get close enough for normal observation. Or a crazy sniper on the roof, whose high-rise location cannot be observed in any other way, except from the shelter at the top of the tall buildings located in the distance.
Although the police sniper team may not use “anti-tank” optics in each case, they still need to have these heavy optical instruments at the distance of one radio call.
In more familiar conditions, these heavy telescopes are useful when shooting at a shooting range. They give you the opportunity to observe groups of shots even at a range of 200+ yards. But before you are seduced by their optical capabilities, do not forget that these telescopes are too heavy and bulky for daily use in the field.
Tripods and telescope mounts.
Unlike ordinary binoculars or mini-binoculars, to clearly observe through telescopes, you absolutely need a tripod. Even firmly attached to the tree, you will not have sufficient stability to distinguish between distant images, holding the telescope in your hands.
I prefer simple tripods. Because they are compact and light in weight. Never forget that you actually have to carry this whole mechanism on yourself. Some tripods have adjustable screws for vertical and lateral adjustments, and tilt angle and work fine, but they are too bulky for an already crowded backpack.
Although I used a tripod from a video camera for observation purposes, this is the case when the higher you raise the pipe, the more it sways. So winning in height, you lose stability. But there are other ways to increase height. During actual observation of the airfield, I was able to firmly attach my telescope to a 6-inch tree trunk right at eye level in a sitting position, achieving excellent results.
But this only worked because my focus was on a particular taxiway. Already firmly attached in place, my telescope was aimed only at this place.
There are also clip-mounts with which you can attach your telescope to a car window or spincestula. If I used to defend holding the binocular eyepieces in front of your eyebrows for better results, now I must tell you the exact opposite when using a telescope.
Once it is focused on the desired location, do not touch it at all. Due to its high multiplicity, the slightest vibration will imperceptibly impair the image. The most reliable way to stabilize a pipe with a tripod on a windy day or on uneven ground is to temporarily hang a bag of sand under its center. It also works well when using a tripod as a support for shooting..
Use of telescopes.
Using the telescope, rest your eyes more often and periodically switch to binoculars to prevent eye strain. According to the Standing On Standard Procedure (SOP) instruction, to avoid eye strain, you must change roles and optics with your partner every hour.
Based on the book “The Perfect Sniper. Study Guide for Army and Police Snipers ».
Maj. John L. Plaster, USAR (Ret.)