Defeat a sniper quickly?
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Defeat a sniper quickly?


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Old 04-11-2014, 04:22 AM   #1
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Default Defeat a sniper quickly?

I wasn't sure where to put this and it might be a stupid question, but could snipers be "obsolete"(not really the right word?)? Say a sniper had to take out a well guarded and important target. Couldn't he easily be spotted and killed if someone had a thermal scope since they pick up heat? I know they have there place in the field because not everyone has thermal scopes and what not but if someone does, they could easily be spotted and taken out right?


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Old 04-11-2014, 05:25 AM   #2
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I wasn't sure where to put this and it might be a stupid question, but could snipers be "obsolete"(not really the right word?)? Say a sniper had to take out a well guarded and important target. Couldn't he easily be spotted and killed if someone had a thermal scope since they pick up heat? I know they have there place in the field because not everyone has thermal scopes and what not but if someone does, they could easily be spotted and taken out right?


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a lot of that depends on the range of the thermal scope. snipers usually operate from long distances, which is one element they use to their advantage.

IMO, i think many are being used in more urban environments than in some of the past conflicts where snipers were used and the distances they operate at normally are not as far. they are still used for long distance purposes and still taught to shoot long distances though and more than likely will always be. an urban environment has a different type of ingress and egress than a wooded jungle or desert environment.
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Old 04-11-2014, 07:16 AM   #3
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You have to realize that most items, including thermal scopes, do not work as well as portrayed in Hollywood. There are some practical points that would not make the thermal scope the be-all, end-all to snipers.

First, thermal detection devices require a difference to work properly. Humans at 98.6 F usually stand out on cool nights easily. But if it is hot out, or the sun is heating up vehicles or corrugated steel on buildings, it gets harder to differentiate a human from objects nearby.

Second, deploying thermal scopes to everyone on a protection detail can be financially prohibitive. Even though there is usually some money floating around, special equipment like this is only distributed on an as-needed basis when it is likely to be needed, and then only to a select few. Breakage, loss and theft would quickly make the costs spiral out of control, so snipers are unlikely to face them en masse while on a mission.

Thirdly, what Axxe said about operating distances. Trained snipers could conceivably target the thermal-armed guard before he gets seen.

Fourth, thermal does not see through cover, concealment or the Earth. Hiding behind a tree, building, in a bunker or a log-covered hole can seriously reduce or eliminate thermal signature, meaning that a sniper using cover could complete his mission without ever getting spotted.

Finally, if a sniper either knows he'll be facing thermal scopes or discovers it before being killed, he could take certain precautions to negate it. Wearing neoprene or other heat-dampening materials would foul the heat signature, making identification harder, the sniper could also employ solid cover through most of his approach, or even do something as simple as releasing a herd of animals for hundreds of heat signatures or as vicious as making one huge signature - start a fire, or fires. He could use a corrugated metal shed to hide in or even under a hot vehicle where his signature would blend.

That was just off the cuff and would obviously require greater detail and planning, but it gives an idea of how thermal could at least be challenged by a well-trained professional.
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Old 04-11-2014, 07:27 AM   #4
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another point is this. at what distances are thermal devices good for? if a sniper is at say 300-700 yards away and even in somewhat in the open, would a thermal device be able to read his heat signature at thos ranges?

and like any highly sophistecated electronic device, the higher the quality and resolution it can operate at, the higher the cost involved.
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Old 04-11-2014, 12:53 PM   #5
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the best civilian models of thermal imaging devices are easily over $30,000 and thats for the civilian ones. The LE/Military versions cost waaaaay more and are not much better than the civilian ones. The previous posters brought up tons of great reasons why thermal is not the end all be all of snipers, but you also should watch this skip to 17 minutes in and it will discuss a tactic that sniper use to hide and make a shot without being detected.
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Old 04-11-2014, 07:30 PM   #6
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Now, if you were to mount your thermal imaging device on a small, remote-controlled aircraft, that might make things a bit more difficult.
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Old 04-11-2014, 07:37 PM   #7
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Speaking asymmetrically, most of the guys we've been fighting don't have access to thermal scopes or anything we'd consider even mildly sophisticated. IEDs are about as creative as they get. If we go to war with a major power we may have to rethink a few things...but as long as they're running around with AKs and setting boobytraps I think our snipers still have the edge.
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Old 04-11-2014, 11:18 PM   #8
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All good points ^^^ I was thinking the same thing yesterday, what happens if its really hot outside?


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Old 04-11-2014, 11:38 PM   #9
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There have been counter sniper systems in use for many years. They use acoustical triangulation which I've heard some can locate down to the 10 meter range (or they advertise as much). I've never seen one in action in real life...
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Old 04-12-2014, 12:03 AM   #10
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There have been counter sniper systems in use for many years. They use acoustical triangulation which I've heard some can locate down to the 10 meter range (or they advertise as much). I've never seen one in action in real life...
I can't remember what city tried to deploy a system that was supposed to lead officers to gun fire. After they wore out all their patrol cruisers on false alarms they decided that triangulation only works on paper.
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