Alternate Methods of Range Estimation

* Paper-Strip Method. The paper-strip method is useful when determining longer distances (1,000 meters plus). When using this method, the sniper places the edge of a strip of paper on the map and ensures it is long enough to reach between the two points. Then he pencils in a tick mark on the paper at the team position and another at the distant location. He places the paper on the mapís bar scale, located at the bottom center of the map, and aligns the left tick mark with the 0 on the scale. Then he reads to the right to the second mark and notes the corresponding distance represented between the two marks.

* 100-Meter-Unit-of-Measure Method. To use this method, the sniper team must be able to visualize a distance of 100 meters on the ground. For ranges up to 500 meters, the team determines the number of 100-meter increments between the two objects it wishes to measure. Beyond 500 meters, it must select a point halfway to the object and determine the number of 100-meter increments to the halfway point, then double it to find the range to the object.

* Appearance-of-Object Method. This method is a means of determining range by the size and other characteristic details of the object. To use the appearance-of-object method with any degree of accuracy, the sniper team must be familiar with the characteristic details of the objects as they appear at various ranges.

* Bracketing Method. Using this method, the sniper team assumes that the target is no more than X meters but no less than Y meters away. An average of X and Y will be the estimate of the distance to the target.

* Range-Card Method. The sniper team an also use a range card to quickly determine ranges throughout the target area. Once a target is seen, the team determines where it is located on the card and then reads the proper range to the target.

* Combination Method. In a combat environment, perfect conditions rarely exist. Therefore, only one method of range estimation may not be enough for the teamís specific mission. Terrain with much dead space limits the accuracy of the 100-meter method. Poor visibility limits the use of the appearance-of-object method. However, by using a combination of two or more methods to determine an unknown range, an experienced sniper team should arrive at an estimated range close to the true range.

* Laser Range Finder. When the sniper team has access to a laser observation set, the set should always be used. It can provide the sniper team range to a specific target with great accuracy. When aiming the laser at a specific target, the sniper should support it much the same as his weapon to ensure accuracy. If the target is too small, aiming the laser at a larger object near the target will suffice (that is, a building, vehicle, tree, or terrain feature.)