“Talent hits a target nobody else can hit. Genius hits a target nobody else can see,” observed the German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer. With numerous parallels existing between the art of precision long range rifle shooting and many of the most popular sports in America today, it’s little wonder that the iconic image of the American rifleman is as red, white and blue as apple pie and major league baseball. In a taking a closer look at exactly what goes into making an effective marksman on the range, some of the finest riflemen in America today allow us to take a peak into their sniper drag bags.
“This is a state-of-the-art sniper rifle, it’s a Robar SR-90,” explained legendary special forces sniper Maj. John Plaster in his 1993 instructional video titled, “The Ultimate Sniper.” According to Plaster, some of the features that went into making his sniper rifle include being in .308 caliber, a heavyweight, fluted, target grade barrel with a recessed crown, coupled with an adjustable stock and trigger. “For weapons, in addition to personal sidearms for self defense, a sniper team obviously has a sniper rifle. In this case, it’s an SR-90 Robar. Here, we have an SSG made by Steyr," Plaster continued. "The spotter’s weapon is an M16A2. Which means it’s got a heavier barrel and fires a slightly heavier, 62-grain round for better long range ballistic performance."
“Here’s one. It’s a Savage Model 10. And this is kind of an entry level target rifle,” explained Rex Tibor of RexDefense.com in his November 27, 2012 YouTube video titled, “Sniper 101 Part 12 – Rifle Selection. According to Tibor, an expert in precision long range shooting, “This one is in .308 caliber. This has a 20-inch barrel, it’s a bull barrel (a heavy barrel). And this particular one, I believe, I forget what they call it. It’s the Tactical model. The Savage model FP or something like that. And it’s got kind of a bigger bolt knob that will give you a little more leverage if you’re...for ejecting your rounds and stuff. Lifting your bolt. And this one has been Duracoated,” explained Tibor. “I Duracoated this for the guy who owns it. And it’s equipped with an SWFA Super Sniper scope.”
Searching for more examples and information, “But what I want to talk about was these two 110’s,” explained TacticalResponse.com’s James Yeager in his August 27, 2019 YouTube video titled, “Long Term Report – Savage Sniper Rifles.” Going over some of the basic parameters of the rifles in question and how they are initially setup, according to Yeager, “Savage 110’s. Harris bipods. I’m going to swap those out for Accu-Tac bipods pretty soon. We’ve got rings and bases and good stuff on here. And then the SWFA Super Sniper scopes on here. And we’ve broken one of the sniper scopes and sent it back. These things have been in service 10-years. 10-years,” Yeager explained. “And these are our loner rifles for the sniper class. And they are still sub-MOA guns after that many shooters.”
“Savage bolt guns are just fantastic,” Yeager continued. “If you’re looking for your first bolt gun into the long-range world I can’t tell you not to get a Savage 110.”
“We get a lot of questions about those SWFA variable scopes,” Rex Tibor went on to explain in his March 7, 2017 YouTube video titled, “Q & A: SWFA vs. Vortex scopes, .308 issues, Terminal Energy etc.” According to Tibor, “If you look back in the podcast I kind of stick to my general conclusion. I really had a lot of enthusiasm for the fixed power optics due to their incredible value. For $300 bucks you can get a fixed 10 which was actually a military contract scope that had very, very reliable turret adjustment mechanisms. So, when you would crank your knobs on the scope it would adjust very reliably," explained Tibor. "And for $299 that’s a pretty good feat to accomplish.”
When peering into the classic American riflemen’s drag bag one will find several implements at his disposal including high end binoculars, spotting scopes, laser range finding equipment, communication systems etc. None of which is as important as the mind of the marksman himself and of course his particular rifle of choice. With consistent and proper training with the proper tools of the trade the sportsman can satisfy his innate, natural human desire to find order through chaos in carrying on the longstanding American tradition of precision long range rifle shooting. Because "talent” the German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer once theorized, “hits a target nobody else can hit. Genius," the philosopher reasoned, "hits a target nobody else can see.”