The evolution of sniper rifles in the Indian Army

todayMarch 30, 2022

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India has come a great distance on the subject of its sniping capabilities. Lately, the Military inducted sniper rifles from Finland, which boast of an efficient vary of 1,500 metres

The Indian Military’s firepower capabilities has acquired an enormous increase because it formally inducted the Sako .338 TRG-42 sniper rifles from Finland for troopers deployed alongside the Line of Management (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir.

In response to a report filed by information company PTI, the transfer is to make the snipers extra deadly amid a change in operational dynamics alongside the LoC.

An official informed PTI that between 2018 and 2019, there was a sudden improve within the variety of sniping incidents alongside the LoC and Worldwide Border (IB) prompting the Armed Forces to induct higher sniper rifles and practice its snipers towards such assaults.

India has a protracted historical past of utilizing sniper rifles and the .338 TRG-42 sniper will change the .338 Lapua Magnum Scorpio TGT by Beretta, and the .50 Calibre M95 by Barrett.

We have a look again on the completely different sniper rifles that the Indian Military has used and their evolution through the years.

Indian Military snipers

Earlier than we delve into the matter of sniper rifles, let’s first perceive who’re snipers and the function they play within the Indian Military.

The phrase ‘sniper’ owes its origin to the British Indian Military of the late 18th century. A snipe is a migratory water chook, which has now turn into uncommon in India. An elusive chook, the snipe was troublesome to shoot — each on the bottom and on the wing, resulting from its habitat in slushy waters, its alertness and its dodgy, ever-changing flight.

To shoot a snipe on the bottom or on the wing, extraordinary abilities of area craft and marksmanship had been required. A soldier proficient in capturing snipes was known as a ‘sniper’.

A sniper is a marksman who engages targets from positions of concealment or at distances exceeding the goal’s detection capabilities. The identify comes from the verb “to snipe”, which originated amongst troopers in British India in reference to capturing snipes, a chook that was thought-about a particularly difficult for hunters resulting from its alertness, camouflaging color and erratic flight behaviour. AFP

As we speak, sniping is a extremely expert, precision killing enterprise for many armed forces. They’re extremely efficient in standard and counter-insurgency (CI) operations.

Within the Indian Military, troopers coaching to turn into these expert marksmen are despatched to Infantry Faculty at Mhow in Madhya Pradesh for a four-six week coaching capsule.

The coaching at Mhow features a mixture of firing follow and makes an attempt to mentally attune the marksman to patiently await their goal via cardio and yoga classes and respiratory workout routines to boost focus.

Weaponry utilized by Indian Military snipers

Within the Fifties, there was a Sniper Part of 10 males in every Infantry Battalion. They used the Lee Enfield .303 No 4 Mark 1(T) Rifle, thought-about to be one of many best sniper rifles which proved its mettle throughout World Struggle II.

The consultants at Discovery Channel have named it the third finest rifle of all time (behind the AK-47 and the American M16).

In response to a report revealed in Livemint, the .303 was not solely utilized by the British to defeat the Germans within the Struggle, but in addition the rifle with which Lawrence of Arabia captured Aqaba. It’s the rifle that lower down the Sikhs at Jallianwala Bagh in 1919.

The gun gained cult standing when Rudyard Kipling penned the poem The Grave of the Hundred Head.

When the Indian Military converted to the semi-automatic 7.62 mm Rifle within the Sixties, no alternative was discovered for the previous sniper rifle. For the following 30 years, the Indian Military had no specialised sniper rifle.

That modified within the early Nineteen Nineties when the Dragunov SVDN Sniper Rifle with a variety of 1300 metres was launched.

The Dragunov was designed by Soviet weapon designer Yevgeny Dragunov within the late Fifties. The weapon was put via exhaustive testing throughout environments earlier than the previous Soviet armed forces started inducting them. By the late Nineteen Seventies, the weapon was utilized in fight in a number of international locations throughout continents.

From the legendary Lee Enfield 303 to Sako TRG42 The evolution of sniper rifles in the Indian Army

An Indian soldier wields a Dragunov sniper rifle as he patrols a highway overlooking military barracks in Gingal Uri, some 90 km north of Srinagar close to the Line of Management (LoC). AFP

The Russian Dragunov sniper rifle makes use of a 7.62×54-MMR cartridge and was extensively utilized by the Indian Military.

Until the late 2000s, the Indian Military continued to make use of the Dragunov sniper rifle. It was in 2019 that it was introduced that the Dragunov would get replaced with the Beretta .338 Lapua Magnum Scorpio TGT and the Barrett .50 calibre M95.

The US-made Barrett M95 is an anti-material rifle which has a variety of 1,800 metres. An anti-material rifle means the bullet can really pierce via steel.

In response to stories, the gun is a bolt-action sniper rifle chambered in a .50 Browing Machine Gun cartridge (12.7×99mm).

From the legendary Lee Enfield 303 to Sako TRG42 The evolution of sniper rifles in the Indian Army

The Victrix Armaments .338 Lapua Magnum Scorpio TGT, owned by Italian agency Beretta. Picture Courtesy: Victrix Armaments/Fb

The opposite rifle was the Victrix Armaments .338 Lapua Magnum Scorpio TGT, owned by Italian agency Beretta.

This rifle makes use of the .338 Lapua Magnum (8.6×70mm or 8.58×70mm), a rimless, bottle-necked, centre-fire rifle cartridge.

The .338 Lapua Magnum cartridge is predicated on the legendary .416 Rigby searching spherical that was used extensively in Africa throughout the first half of the earlier century.

The .338 Lapua Magnum is a high-velocity spherical, translating right into a flat trajectory for distances effectively past the correct vary of normal assault rifles. Since it’s no light-weight spherical both, this implies the bullet has excessive vitality too, which interprets into larger penetration and knockdown energy.

A shot fired from this rifle can thus penetrate peculiar physique armour of an enemy soldier at ranges exceeding a kilometre.

No marvel then that British corporal Craig Harrison in 2009 set the then world document for longest confirmed sniper kill in fight when he killed two Taliban fighters with two consecutive .338 Lapua Magnum photographs from virtually two-and-a-half km.

Harrison’s third shot destroyed the machine gun these males had been working. The flight time of the bullet was an unbelievable 5 seconds.

Each these weapons had been used within the Afghanistan and the Iraq wars.

From the legendary Lee Enfield 303 to Sako TRG42 The evolution of sniper rifles in the Indian Army

The TRG 42 is a bolt-action sniper rifle designed and developed by the Finnish gun maker Sako. Picture Courtesy: Sako

And now comes the Sako .338 TRG-42 sniper rifles. The TRG 42 is a bolt-action sniper rifle designed and developed by the Finnish gun maker Sako.

The rifle is designed to fireside highly effective .338 Lapua Magnum-sized cartridges. These rifles weigh 6.55 kg with out ammunition, and have an efficient vary of 1,500 metres.

In response to defence consultants, it’s thought-about one of the correct and reliable weapons worldwide.

Snipers in popular culture

Snipers have earned a particular place in well-liked tradition with many books and films reflecting their reputation.

Hollywood films reminiscent of The Deer Hunter and Enemy on the Gates have glorified the function of snipers.

There was additionally the 1993 film known as Snipers and the well-known 2014’s American Sniper which noticed Bradley Cooper taking part in the function of Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle whose pinpoint accuracy saves numerous lives on the battlefield.

With inputs from companies

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Written by: soft fm radio staff

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