In military and law enforcement terminology, a sniper rifle is a precision-rifle used to ensure more accurate placement of bullets at longer ranges than other small arms. A typical sniper rifle is built for optimal levels of accuracy, fitted with a telescopic sight and chambered for a military centerfire cartridge. The term is often used in the media to describe any type of accurized firearm fitted with a telescopic sight that is employed against human targets, although "sniping rifle" or "sniper's rifle" is the technically correct term for such a rifle.
The military role of a sniper (a term derived from the snipe, a bird which was difficult to hunt and shoot) dates back to the turn of the 18th century, but the true sniper rifle is a much more recent development. Advances in technology, specifically that of telescopic sights and more accurate manufacturing, allowed armies to equip specially trained soldiers with rifles that enable them to deliver precise shots over greater distances than regular infantry weapons. The rifle itself could be based on a standard rifle (at first, a bolt-action rifle); however, when fitted with a telescopic sight, it becomes a sniper rifle.
Famous quotes containing the word rifle:
“At Hayes General Store, west of the cemetery, hangs an old army rifle, used by a discouraged Civil War veteran to end his earthly troubles. The grocer took the rifle as payment on account.”
—Administration for the State of Con, U.S. public relief program (1935-1943)