Most often snipers are used as part of sniper pairs. Using snipers in pairs allows them to:
better ensure mutual security;
correctly distribute the time of active work by distributing the load;
deploy, find and destroy targets faster;
reduces psycho-emotional overload;
We will call them the first and second numbers. The first number is a shooter with a rifle, the second number is armed with a support weapon. It can be either a self-loading rifle (SVD, VSS can be suitable for this role), or it can be an automatic rifle with a grenade launcher, since the second number is responsible for short-range fire targets that may arise during the advance to the site of the main operation. the second number is the main one in the pair. Number one only completes the operation with his well-aimed shot, and all the preparation and cover lies on the second number.
The duties of the second number include the selection and assignment of priority goals, preparation and testing of special equipment. He is leading the march, he is the leader. And all the measures for the defense of the pair lie mainly on him. When entering the final firing position, he follows the first number, that is, he becomes the follower. He covers the first number from pursuit, since he must have a weapon that allows him to suppress targets at close distances. Together with the first number, he participates in the preparation of field long-term shelters, makes sketches and fire cards. His word is decisive in determining the distance to the target. He conducts observation with the help of a telescope, binoculars assess the wind, measure meteorological parameters, carry out all ballistic calculations and inform the first number only a ready-made correction that must be entered into the sight. It takes into account the change in the wind and gives the command to the first number "fire" when it considers that the settings made on the scope correspond to the wind that is present at the moment. He makes a connection; captures all intelligence information that is revealed along the way; directs and coordinates support units, if any; installs special equipment, including explosives and other devices; removes traces of stay when leaving a position. Now who would argue that this is the main number in a pair? In fact, the leader of the pair is the second number. And maybe we need to break the tradition and call him the first number.
The first number follows the second on the march and covers the rear; removes traces throughout the march; leads during the exit to the final firing position, which is equipped with all means and methods of camouflage; leads while moving in the footsteps of the enemy; conducts observation with binoculars; introduces correction for the sight to the wind, distance, angle and other parameters; shares his opinion on the distance to the target, since it is still a subjective and collaborative process, especially in the absence of a laser rangefinder. It destroys manpower and material targets. Its own practice of distribution of functions has developed in sniper triples and fours. The pairs are used mainly in the army and police units. In special forces, for example, in the US Marine Expeditionary Force (namely the snipers of its reconnaissance units - Marine Force Unit), as well as in the "seal" sniper teams (SEAL), they prefer to work in threes. The main weapon of fire in the trio is a .50 caliber rifle (or rifles), usually a Barrett M82A1.
THE MAIN OBJECTIVE OF THE SECOND NUMBER
The task, which has not yet been discussed, but which is the main one for the second issue, is the hit score. Naturally, a hit can be assessed visually at a distance of one hundred meters, through binoculars and a sight, you can see something at a distance of up to three hundred meters, but it is impossible to estimate a hit per kilometer without resorting to special methods. There is a special method that has long been developed in the West and is actively used in the sniper business. For some reason, almost no one here knows about him. The fact is that the flight of a bullet is visible through the spyglass. More precisely, you, of course, do not see the bullet itself, but you see that vortex, the vortex flow that the bullet leaves behind. It is not easy to observe this trail at different distances and in different weather conditions, because when you have such a phenomenon as a mirage (when the earth gives off heat, the air heats up, and we observe this movement of heat flows of air into the pipe), then this trail is visible enough well. In winter, when the mirage effect is not so clearly present (although it is still visible in powerful pipes), it is very difficult to see this vortex flow. This can only be done by precisely positioning the observer relative to the shooter.
Sometimes it happens that moving the observer 10 cm to the right or left of the shooter no longer allows him to see anything. It takes a lot of experience and good enough optics to find the desired vantage point. This is influenced by both the position of the second number relative to the shooter, and its position relative to the weapon. Especially if the first number has a heavy caliber, say, 50, where there is a large waste of powder gases and dust, then it is necessary to position there in such a way as to be slightly behind, sometimes even 3, 5 or 7 meters behind the shooter so that the flight of the bullet does not interfere with seeing the gases escaping during the shot.
The basic principle is to be located strictly along the axis of the bore just behind and above the butt of the weapon. Sometimes it happens that when located slightly to the right, in 10-20 centimeters from the axis of the trunk, it can be seen remarkably, and sometimes, that is not visible along the axis, and, accordingly, you need to move back relative to the arrow. Determining the point of observation is a great art, and the result is achieved only with long-term practice.
The second number evaluates whether a hit occurred or not, along this trail. He does not try to see a hole in the target, because in a target that is a kilometer away, you cannot really see anything. He looks at the vortex trail and immediately gives a ready-made correction to the first number for entering into the scope. He gives it exactly in the direction where he needs to take out, and does not state where the bullet went. The second shot, the first number, usually shoots with an offset on the grid, since he does not have time to introduce correction to the vertical correction drum.
In a situation when the first shot is fired and another one is needed, it should be borne in mind that the enemy's attention is already focused on you. The enemy can take counter-sniper measures, and then the second shot is a fatal risk (although if it is fired after 2-3 seconds, it is quite safe).
How does it work in practice? The second number sees that the bullet passes, say, a meter to the right of the figure. He makes corrections, for example: "aim the meter to the left". There are more precise methods that require reticle that are the same for the scope and the telescope. Take, for example, the grid "Mil-dot", which has 8 points on the crosshair vertically and 8 points horizontally. The best option would be such a technique when the second number detects, observing into a pipe with exactly the same grid, 2 miles (dots) to the right of the center. And immediately the first number is followed by the command "aim two miles to the left", "fire". A shot must be fired immediately after this. Further, depending on the situation, they can look, or they can collect equipment and quickly leave the position. Usually, a reliable hit occurs if the wind flow has not changed sharply or the shooter is not mistaken.
2-3 seconds is enough time to reload the rifle and fire a second shot, even from a bolt-action rifle. And this is the time during which the bullet travels a distance of more than a kilometer.
During this time, the second number sees the hit and immediately, without a pause, issues a correction. A pause is only allowed in the event of a sudden and abrupt change in the wind.