What Are Sniper Rifles?

what are Sniper Rifles
Sniper Rifles

Snipers, whether shooting from nearby concealed positions or extreme distances, often have only one shot to complete their mission and with that being said need to be using the best rifles that they can. Sniper rifles have been specially modified for such tasks for law enforcement and military snipers. This article on sniper rifles will explain to you the basics of sniper rifles, the characteristics of sniper rifles, and list some of the good sniper rifles.

What Are Sniper Rifles?

Sniper rifles are specially modified firearms, often bolt action rifles, that military and law enforcement snipers use during special missions. The targets vary with the situation, but besides people, military sniper targets may include supplies, support equipment, transportation, or communications. The sniper usually has only one shot. The first shot reveals the sniper’s existence and location, and as soon as it is taken, it is usually both the end of the opportunity and the beginning of increased danger for the sniper. This means that a premium is placed on accuracy and reliability for both the weapon and the rifle scope, which may well be part of an entire system that is purchased together.

Characteristics of Sniper Rifles

Free Floating Barrel: You can stick a dollar between the barrel and the mounting.
  • Free Floating Barrel: In order to keep the barrel from touching as little of the weapon as possible and reduce recoil vibration, sniper rifles have free-floating barrels. To keep humidity from affecting the receiver, wood is replaced with fiberglass or other material.
  • BOLT-ACTION VERSUS SEMI-AUTOMATIC: Though bolt-action rifles are often used, both because they have few moving parts and because shell casing ejection, which might give the sniper away is handled manually rather than automatically, semiautomatic weapons are sometimes used.
  • Some sniper rifles are made to be easily modifiable, with an adjustable cheek piece and butt-plate, fire control, an ambidextrous bolt release, and ability to take different capacity magazines and different size cartridges.
  • Law enforcement and military weapons differ based on their typical use. Military weapons have to stand up to long periods in extreme weather conditions, be carried for long distances and are more likely to require use in the prone position and longer shots. When used to target objects, larger calibers may be used.

Sniper rifles usually also have an excellent scope, and bipod, and a stock made for prone firing. They may have a threaded muzzle so that a silencer can be attached. Examples of bolt-action sniper rifles include the Remington 700 SPS, made for law enforcement; the M-24 SWS (Sniper Weapon System), used by law enforcement and the military; and the Remington Modular Sniper Rifle (MSR), the 700 USR, 700 FED, and 700 XP (Export), and the XM2010 Enhanced Sniper Rifle (ESR) for military use. Examples of semiautomatic sniper rifles include the Remington RSASS (Remington Semi-automatic Sniper System).

Calibers of Sniper Rifles


Sniper rifles take various calibers to help accommodate them to different missions, some taking only one caliber, and some able to accommodate a wider range. For example, the M24 SWS comes in 7.62 NATO only or 300 Winchester only models.

On the other hand, the Remington MSR can handle 338 Lapua Magnum in 5- or 10-round magazines; 338 Norma Magnum in 5- or 10-round magazines; 300 Winchester Magnum in 7-round magazines; and 7.62mm NATO in 10-round magazines.

Popular Sniper Rifles

While there are a lot of sniper rifles out there, just like all other types of rifles and pistols, there are some that are better than others. Even so when one person says that rifle A is the best sniper rifle, it may be for them but not you. Here are some of the most popular sniper rifles manufactures that have proven to be reliable and very accurate.

  • Bushmaster- Bushmaster sniper rifles include the Bushmaster M4, Bushmaster Gas Pistol ORC, and the Bushmaster 7.62x39mm rifle.
  • H&K- H&K models include the H&K PSG1, H&K MSG90, and H&K SR9.
  • Sig Sauer- Sig Sauer models include the SigSauer SSG-3000 and the SigSauer SG 550 sniper.
  • Beretta- The Beretta sniper rifle is the Beretta M501.

While there are many more sniper rifles out there it is best that you find one that fits your needs and budget!

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