Sniper training

  • Hey guys. I am Marty. I introduced myself the other day but in the strength of transparency I will give y'all a little history sense this is my first post. I am a marksmanship instructor at Ft Benning. I have taught at the USAMU and other places. I have helped to create marksmanship programs all aver the world (South Africa and Germany) to name a few. If anyone has questions about creating a training plan for marksmanship from 300 to 600 meters I am your guy lol. I recently graduated sniper school in December (class 0217) and I am looking for advice to develope my long range skill. I want to build a rifle that will help me develop and maintain my profienciy in long range shooting.I want to develop my ability to call wind. That was the most difficult thing I faced in school other than target detection (which was a huge bitch lol). sorry this is such a long post but I felt like it was necessary to tell y'all who I am and where I am coming from. I have looked for information on all the other forums but I could not find anything that answered my specific questions. I felt like y'all were the the people to ask. I have a couple of specific questions.

    1. I think I would like to shoot 308. That's what we shoot at work and my range on post will only allow me to shoot out to 800m. I fully understand the benefits of 6.5 but I do not know if going 6.5 will allow the same training as 308 i.e. wind. (I do not intend to compete only to train)
    2. I am looking at a Howa 308 barreled action and placing it in a traditional stock. The options for the Howa are 20" threaded or 24" non threaded. I don't know which to pick and am really looking for advice on the barrel length and the advantages vs disadvantages of both. Is a muzzle brake that important? If it is, would it be better to go 24" and have it threaded at a smith? Sorry for such a long first post but I really hope y'all can help me out in my search for these answers. No one else seems to be able to. Thanks guys. Marty.

  • Welcome Marty.
    My experience with Howas has been excellent.
    I chose the 24" barrels for a little better MV over the 20".
    If there was 1 gripe I have with the Howas is the stocks they have available from factory. Buy a barreled action and an aftermarket stock if you go the traditional stock route as you mentioned.
    If you intend to compete in FTR a muzzle brake is not allowed. They sure are nice but practicing with a brake can screw you up when you shoot with out one.
    Howa did just came out with an aluminum chassis which is a big step in the right direction.
    I have one Howa (.223) in an XLR chassis and 1 (.308) in a Bell and Carlson Medalist stock.
    I prefer the chassis to the stock as I can tailor cheek weld, LOP and recoil pad(height and cant) to me.
    Aftermarket has some great stock as well as chassis options, McMillan and Manners as well as some less expensive makes.

  • I really appreciate the quick reply. I have looked at the chassis. I have shot several chassis guns. ( 2010 in 300wm) we shoot that a lot. I looked at all the chassis options for the Howa and for whatever reason I am still really drawn to the traditional stock. Might be my love for the m24. I have always found the chassis, in my opinion, to be very front heavy and don't have enough weight in the stock. I would for sure buy an action and drop it in an after market stock. I guess my main question would be should I go 308 or 6.5? Or more so does 6.5 translate to 308 as far as training at 800m. If that makes any sense. Kinda like if I shoot a really nice 2011 pistol will it translate to the beretta I carry at work? I don't know if that makes sense.

  • @martyfranklin
    The .308 will teach you more about the wind than the 6.5 and I can sure understand having an affinity to traditional stocks, main thing is that it works for you.

  • Thanks I appreciate it. That is what I was kinda thinking just wanted to bounce it off y'all before I made a decision.

  • My .223 Howa is barreled with a Bartlien #9 Heavy Varmint contour. This is about the same as the AMU contour but stays straight at the breech for a couple of inches more. The barrel is 24" and is .935 at the muzzle. I mention this as it is in the XLR element chassis and the rifle balances right in front of the magwell with an atlas PSR bipod attached. Rifle with scope and bipod weighs 17.2 lbs.
    My .308 is in a B&C Medalist stock and sports a m24 contour barrel; it required about 2.5 lbs. of lead in the butt to balance the rifle; it also weighs in around 17 lbs.

  • hmm that is interesting. That is the first that I have heard of the chassis being more balanced than a traditional stock. Do you have the tactical stock on the xlr?

  • @martyfranklin Yes, the tactical as well as the folding hinge.
    The stock Howa barrel is much lighter I believe the 24" is .875 at muzzle.

  • CWGIEVu.jpg

  • Ok cool. That's good to know. That was one of my main concerns without being able to handle it. The chassis I have shot ,in my opinion, didn't handle as well as a full stock. I.e. M40 or M24. I knew the manners were real nice as well as the McMillan. That is a nice looking rig though. I really like the ar "style" I am very familiar with it.

  • Go with what makes you happy. I sure am lovin the XLR!
    Now, McMill or Manners are awesome also. I do not know if Grayboe inlets for Howa.
    I think they do and that is another good option if available.

  • Lol you are echoing a lot of what I had already heard. Which means it must be right. The xlr seems to be the route to take. I appreciate your insight. It's nice to know about the 24" 308. That was a kind of sticking point for me but I feel like it will be more versatile. It's always easier to make a barrel shorter. A lot harder to make it longer lol.

  • Hello Marty.
    Nice to see another member from Georgia.
    I am up in Pike County.
    If you ever do want to compete, there are some decent venues within a reasonable drive.
    You probably have the nicest one at work though.
    If you ever get involved in smallbore or air rifle with the JROTC programs, Griffin GA Is one place you could recruit.
    Ft Valley has a regular schedule.
    Just South of you Blakely used to have 1000 yard matches regularly but have stopped.
    River Bend in Dawsonville is probably too far but they do Service Rifle and 600 yards MR. F-TR would be 308 or 5.56
    South River does High Power
    Talladega Marksmanship Park isn't too far either and has the electronic scoring.
    I really want to go there and try it.

    Welcome to Gunhive.
    You will get excellent advice here.

  • @mamalukino said:


    Mamalukino, what grip is that on your chassis? It looks like it has a rest for the thumb on the left side. Is that right?

  • @ramirojpc The Grip is a Sierra Precision SPR.
    It does have a thumb rest on the left and a very nice palm swell on the right.
    They are made for ARs and needed slight modification to fit the XLR.

  • @mamalukino said:

    Sierra Precision SPR

    Is it this one at Brownells?

  • @ramirojpc
    That is it. I got this one about 5 years ago for an AR precision rifle build but never used it.
    I ended up using an Ergo Tactical Deluxe instead.
    To fit the XLR I needed to remove some material on the right side, that small step at the top of the grip.

  • Marty,

    What kind of budget do you have to work with? (budget rifle, optic, support kit/accessories separately please) What kind of round count do you plan on seeing each month/year? Are you planning on shooting suppressed? Will your training be positional as well as prone, or strictly prone? Are you going to hunt with it, or strictly targets?

    Making recommendations without this information at minimum would be like telling someone which house to buy without first asking if you had a family and were in your 50's or were a college bachelor.

  • If it were me, I would get the same rifle as what you are using at work.