Armory, Self Defense, And EDC > General Firearm Discussion

Do You Believe Sniper Data?


David in MN:
This came up in a conversation with some family. I've got doubts.

First, every country has an incentive to create a hero. Why wouldn't they just inflate kills and distances? And as a propaganda campaign why wouldn't you want the enemy thinking there is an invisible ghost of death who can shoot 9 miles and hit your nose? And if I wouldn't believe the Kremlin about anything why do I accept their sniper data?

Did Ivan Sidorenko and Lyudmila Pavlichenko account for 809 kills? Maybe. Maybe not. Do I think they are shooting to kill at 1000 yards with 1940s Soviet ammo in a 1940s Mosin Nagant with a 1940s optic? Maybe not. I can get behind the idea that there were some people very gifted in moving stealthily and making great shots but this is more a 200 yard game than some kind of death ray.

The two most prominent American snipers Carlos Hathcock and Chris Kyle both seem mentally off in interviews. Kyle made stuff up about New Orleans. Hathcock claimed to hit a Vietnamese sniper "though the scope". So our two biggest have maybe some doubts to their credibility.

Here's some food for thought about how the Zaytsev Konig fight (Enemy at the Gates) never happened:

Now I'm not suggesting there aren't amazing shots out there. I've trained with a few that stunned me. I'm being mentored in long range shooting by a real expert who does shoot a .338 a mile. I know it can be done. But are the historical numbers believable? Or propaganda? I believe modern data much more but the historical stuff raises questions. I know all these people were good with a rifle but maybe the resume is a little padded?


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