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The sniper pages of GOW

Written by: Markus P. Pönkä

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This is the first time when there is an article about sniping in the GOW in english. This article IS NOT about equipment or ammo, it IS about the nature of sniping. This page may be updated regularly or may not...

Saying "one shot, one kill" (in Finnish "laaki ja vainaa") is important in sniping. Your goal is always to make a kill. "Modern spray an pray" tactics has noting to do about sniping, even some guys say that they need to have a semi-automatic sniper rifle.

The tradition

During 1920's and 30's The Civil Guard was the place where finnish men learned to shoot well. The army didn't taught much about shooting. Even as young as 12 years old boys were thought to shoot. Winter War's famous snipers, like Simo Häyhä,  were members of  The Civil Guard. For example Häyhä used a iron sight rifle for sniping. And it wasn't sniper rifle, it was standard military rifle M28-30. In modern days none would even imagine to use iron sight rifle for sniping. But how he managed to kill over 250 enemy soldiers (and 250 more with M/-31 Suomi-SMG) with rifle that was just a standard issue?

It isn't the rifle that makes the kills. It is the man WITH the rifle! A skilled man with a average rifle is far more efficient that a poorly trained man with a excellent rifle. Well, it is nice to have sniper rifle that shoot 0.3 MOA, but in reality it isn't necessary. If you have a sniper rifle that shoot always under one MOA, that is enough. You will be able make kills out to 1000 meters or 1100 yards. One MOA is 293 mm  @ 1000 meters. The chest of human is larger than that.  One MOA is 87,3 mm @ 300 meters. You can still make head hits at that distance.

"The Finnish standards for snipers" are that sniper must be able to make:

Head shot every time when distance in under 300 m

And these are under all conditions. No matter how rainy or windy weather is.

Modern Day

And here we are, at the 21th century. All kinds of gadgets in our rifles... But you must remember that noting can replace training. Don't practice just at shooting range. Only under field conditions you can test your equipment reliability and usefulness. Training is much more, as you snipers and tactical shooters know, than just shooting. You must "know" the wind and shooting range.   Making adjustments to scope must be practiced. And so on...

And practicing also other stances than prone in important. In tactical competitions you may not be required shoot from kneeling, off hand or standing position, but the real world is different. In war it is possible that your enemy is 300-500  m away and the only possible shooting stance in standing. If you practice it regularly, you will be able to make the shot and hit.

Perhaps the the shooting  practice should be divided to following categories:

The percent are how much it should be practiced of the whole shooting time.

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Targets for practice

Using a pure bulls eye target for training is nonsense. Best targets are human silhouettes like the IPSC -targets. The vital organs should be printed or marked into  the target(s), although not visible to the shooter. In the USA there are many good human silhouette targets. Ask from your local gun shop for those. The eyes, mouth, nose, hand and even perhaps legs should be visible on target.

One Finnish web site called  Metsä  has a traditional target "The official head ring target of the Civil Guard". You can download it for free from And when you print it, the 10 ring should be 50 mm diameter. So you must print it in parts if you want to have target of it's original size.  Good shooting range is about 600 meters for this target...


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