Three phases in writing information on the data card (Figure 3-23) are before firing, during firing, and after firing.

a. Before Firing. Information that is written before firing is—

(1) Range. The distance to the target.

(2) Rifle and scope number. The serial numbers of the rifle and scope.

(4) Ammunition. Type and lot number of ammunition.

(5) Light. Amount of light (overcast, clear, and so forth).

(6) Mirage. Whether a mirage can be seem or not (good, bad, fair, and so forth).

(7) Temperature. Temperature on the range.

(9) Light (diagram). Draw an arrow in the direction the light is shining.

(10) Wind. Draw an arrow in the direction the wind is blowing, and record its average velocity and cardinal direction (N, NE, S, SW, and so forth).

b. During Firing. Information that is written while firing is—

(1) Elevation. Elevation setting used and any correction needed. For example: The target distance is 600 meters; the sniper sets the elevation dial to 6. The sniper fires and the round hits the target 6 inches low of center. He then adds one minute (one click) of elevation (+1).

(2) Windage. Windage setting used and any correction needed. For example The sniper fires at a 600-meter target with windage setting on 0; the round impacts 15 inches right of center. He will then add 2 1/2 minutes left to the windage dial (L/2 1/2).

(3) Shot. The column of information about a particular shot. For example: Column 1 is for the first round; column 10 is for the tenth round.

(4) Elevation. Elevation used (6 +1, 6,6 -1, and so on).

(5) Wind. Windage used (L/2 1/2, O, R/l/2, and so on).

(6) Call. Where the aiming point was when the weapon fired.

(7) Large silhouette. Used to record the exact impact of the round on the target. This is recorded by writing the shot's number on the large silhouette in the same place it hit the target.

c. After Firing. After firing, the sniper records any comments about firing in the remarks section. This can be comments about the weapon, firing conditions (time allowed for fire), or his condition (nervous, felt bad, felt good, and so forth).


When the sniper leaves the firing line, he compares weather conditions to the information needed to hit the point of aim/point of impact. Since he fires in all types of weather conditions, he must be aware of temperature, light, mirage, and wind. The sniper must consider other major points or tasks to complete a. Compare sight settings with previous firing sessions. If the sniper always has to fine-tune for windage or elevation, there is a chance he needs a sight change (slip a scale).

b. Compare ammunition by lot number for best rifle and ammunition combination.

c. Compare all groups fired under each condition. Check the low and high shots as well as those to the left and the right of the main group—the less dispersion, the better. If groups are tight, they are easily moved to the center of the target; if loose, there is a problem. Check the scope focus and make sure the rifle is cleaned correctly. Remarks in the sniper data book will also help.

d. Make corrections. Record corrections in the sniper data book, such as position and sight adjustment information, to ensure retention.

e. Analyze a group on a target. This is important for marksmanship training. The firer may not notice errors during firing, but errors become apparent when analyzing a group. This can only be done if the sniper data book has been used correctly. A checklist that will aid in shot group/performance analysis follows:

(1) Group tends to be low and right.

Left hand not positioned properly.

Right elbow slipping.

Improper trigger control.

(2) Group scattered about the target.

• Incorrect eye relief or sight picture.

Concentration on the target (iron sights).

Stock weld changed.

Unstable firing position.

(3) Good group but with several erratic shots.

• Flinching. Shots may be anywhere.

• Jerking. Shots may be anywhere.

(4) Group strung up and down through the target.

• Breathing while firing.

• Improper vertical alignment of cross hairs.

Stock weld changed.

(5) Compact group out of the target. Incorrect zero.

Failure to compensate for wind. • Bad natural point of aim. Scope shadow.

(6) Group center of the target out the bottom. Scope shadow.

Position of the rifle changed in the shoulder.

(7) Horizontal group across the target.

1* Scope shadow. Canted weapon. Bad natural point of aim.


Holdoff is shifting the point of aim to achieve a desired point of impact. Certain situations, such as multiple targets at varying ranges and rapidly changing winds, do not allow proper windage and elevation adjustments. Therefore, familiarization and practice of elevation and windage holdoff techniques prepare the sniper to meet these situations.


This technique is used only when the sniper does not have time to change his sight setting. The sniper rarely achieves pinpoint accuracy when holding off, since a minor error in range determination or a lack of a precise aiming point might cause the bullet to miss the desired point. He uses holdoff with the sniperscope only if several targets appear at various ranges, and time does not permit adjusting the scope for each target.

a. The sniper uses holdoff to hit a target at ranges other than the range for which the rifle is presently adjusted. When the sniper aims directly at a target at ranges greater than the set range, his bullet will hit below the point of aim. At lesser ranges, his bullet will hit higher than the point of aim. If the sniper understands this and knows about trajectory and bullet drop, he will be able to hit the target at ranges other than that for which the rifle was adjusted. For example, the sniper adjusts the rifle for a target located 500 meters downrange and another target appears at a range of 600 meters. The holdoff would be 25 inches, that is, the sniper should hold off 25 inches above the center of visible mass in order to hit the center of mass of that particular target (Figure 3-24). If another target were to appear at 400 meters, the sniper would aim 14 inches below the ureter of visible mass in order to hit the center of mass (Figure 3-25).

target were to appear at 400 meters, the sniper would aim 14 inches below the ureter of visible mass in order to hit the center of mass (Figure 3-25).

b. The vertical mil dots on the M3A scope's reticle can be used as aiming points when using elevation holdoffs. For example, if the sniper has to engage a target at 500 meters and the scope is set at 400 meters, he would place the first mil dot 5 inches below the vertical line on the target's center mass. This gives the sniper a 15-inch holdoff at 500 meters.

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