I forgot to post this when the story ran last week, but we got exclusive information about a radical change to the rules that govern the Army sniper competition this year.
Snipers from around the world will soon shoot against each other at Fort Benning, Ga., but this year they'll have to leave their fine-tuned rifles and high-powered optics at home. For the first time in the eleven-year history of the U.S. Army International Sniper Competition, all competitors will use the same sniper rifle and optics of equal power.The story goes on to say that part of the reasoning was that foreign competitors had a hard time bringing in their own rifles. But Kit Up! has also heard from some high-end competitors that this is akin to telling Tiger Woods he can't bring his own clubs to the Masters but has to rent instead.
The new rules are designed to "level the playing field, so it isn't so much an equipment race," said Capt. Daniel Wilcox, who overseas Army Sniper School at Benning as commander of C Company, 2nd Battalion, 29th Infantry Regiment.
Now, I understand the reasoning on both sides: if you're a top shot, you should be able to put a round through a fleas ass at 200 yards whether it's a BB gun or a custom .338 Lapua. By the same token, it seems to me that precision marksmanship at this level is all about how in tune you are with the gear you shoot. Again, it's like asking a professional golfer to use rentals -- it throws to game too much to chance...
What say you?
[EDITOR'S NOTE: It's confusing, but the "Army" in answer #1 is meant to distinguish "regular Army" as opposed to USASOC Army.]