Defeat a sniper quickly?

Discussion in 'Training & Safety' started by beastmode986, Apr 11, 2014.

  1. beastmode986

    beastmode986 New Member

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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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  2. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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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.
     

  3. TekGreg

    TekGreg Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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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.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2014
  4. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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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.
     
  5. seancslaughter

    seancslaughter New Member

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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. [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHPSDaDBeXE[/ame]
     
  6. orangello

    orangello New Member

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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.
     
  7. 7point62

    7point62 Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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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.
     
  8. beastmode986

    beastmode986 New Member

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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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  9. MoreAltitude

    MoreAltitude New Member

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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...
     
  10. John_Deer

    John_Deer New Member

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    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.
     
  11. therewolf

    therewolf New Member

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    There's low tech ways to defeat

    high tech systems. When smart

    bombs first came out, they were using

    concentrations of ammonia to detect

    enemy encampments, till the VC started

    urinating as a platoon into an animal

    skin, and hanging it high up into a tree

    to defeat the bomb's ammonia sensor.

    Thermal imaging? What if the sniper

    sets up a bunch of white-hot

    Hibachis in a square mile area,

    then camps out near one of them?
     
  12. Garandman1945

    Garandman1945 New Member

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    I'm a volunteer firefighter and we use thermal imaging cameras for fires. The major drawback with those is that they take the surface temp of whatever they are looking at, with no penetration whatsoever. Also when looking at leafy brush there are a lot of surfaces and it hinders the reading a lot. A sniper therefore could hide behind a bush or a bed-sheet or anything which he is not warming up and be invisible to thermal imaging.
     
  13. deathkricket

    deathkricket New Member

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    The Army uses the boomerang system on their vehicles which is not bad if you can keep it running but it is not used to hunt down snipers but more of a lets not go that way sorta thing and to plot locations you are taking fire from.
     
  14. Alpha1Victor

    Alpha1Victor New Member

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    Through my experience as a Marine Corps sniper, thermal detection was never an issue. Range is limited but most of all we are taught to shoot from cover. My favorite is something we called the hoop ring shot. That's where we would make a shot through a hole in the wall just big enough for the bullet to pass through.
     
  15. TekGreg

    TekGreg Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    I've seen more than one Hollywood production that has depicted "thermal" as also having X-ray capabilities...even through stone! This is why almost any sort of concealment will defeat thermal and snipers are experts in concealment.

    I always loved the movies and T.V. shows that show the entire rifle and half the sniper hanging out of a window or tree to take a shot. Fail! Of course local circumstances will dictate what type of cover is used, but the reason they have a sniper designation is because they are professionals at cover and concealment...and patience.
     
  16. kbd512

    kbd512 Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Yes and no.

    First, you have to know where to look. A rifle that fires a powerful cartridge could easily be utilized to engage a target at a distance of over a mile. That's a lot of area to have under constant observation from the ground. You'd need a computer to decide if detections were animals or humans or a lot of trained operators.

    It is also possible to defeat a thermal imager with thermal camouflage. The best thermal imagers can't detect someone who is camouflaged appropriately. That's why human observation is so important.

    Apart from that, technology exists to back azimuth a shot and return fire. Typically that type of technology is something mounted to a vehicle or affixed to a static emplacement, but efforts are underway to miniaturize it. Even that kind of technology has issues in employment and can be defeated, directly or indirectly.

    In general, with the current state of technology, snipers are mostly countered using snipers and the detection technology is utilized to pinpoint firing points and then have your own snipers take care of the issue from there.
     
  17. TekGreg

    TekGreg Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    This is going to sound strange, but it's almost beautiful that this is something that has not been conquered by technology and still has a purity of intercourse between people. The X-Box Generation has not been able to come up with a push-button solution to taking out a sniper, and the sniper still does his work with intelligence, skill, cunning, and a single bullet. The only answer is another human who must possess the same qualities, but exercise them better. It's warfare at its most raw and unspoiled by technology. The current trend towards dehumanizations of warfare is chilling, so it's nice to know it still exists on this level.
     
  18. kbd512

    kbd512 Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Whether a sniper is concealed or not, the military solution is pretty simple. Anything that looks like it could conceal a firing position they will bring as much firepower to bear on as quickly as possible.

    I liked the movie "Saving Private Ryan" because it depicts exactly what will happen if you do something like that. The Wermacht realized they were being shot at by a marksmen and, even though he managed to kill a number of their soldiers, one of the soldiers walked up to the tank they had with them, had a quick chat with the commander, and the gunner promptly put a shell through the tower where the marksman and his partner were located. Problem solved.
     
  19. John_Deer

    John_Deer New Member

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    There are occasions that snipers will need to take long shots. Most of the time it is better for the sniper to work closely with his target. If you fire a single shot that catches your target by surprise no one will be able to tell what direction the shot came from.

    Hunters have seen echoes freeze a herd of deer. The deer have no idea where the shot came from so they freeze.

    I have had people shoot very close to my home and I couldn't tell exactly where the shot came from. I did catch the poachers but I caught them by blocking the exit points not by being able to find them.
     
  20. 7point62

    7point62 Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    How true. :D 105 willy pete is good anti-sniper...nape is better. Nothing like a couple of fast movers incinerating 4 or 5 acres of hostile territory to eradicate a pesky sniper. I've pulled the chain more than a few times. Its a beautiful thing.