The sniper has been a common component to the battlefield since the rifle made its first appearance. The designs and capabilities of these weapon systems are similar and their abilities are further enhanced by the addition of specialized scopes, buttstock and bipod arrangements. However, the amount of training and experience separates the average sniper from the true marksman. This appendix describes the characteristics and capabilities of prevalent sniper weapon systems from around the world from the perspective of the US military. The sniper rifle has been a mainstay of the army for over a hundred years now. The sniper itself has become the ultimate assassin - a sort of modern-day "ninja' - capable of avoiding detection, making his way to within a few hundred yards of his target, dispatching said target and returning to his extraction point - all the while going days without contact, communications or a healthy dose of sleep and eats. Ultimately, it is the designated sniper's responsibility to remove a targeted threat in the form of a high ranking official, military officer or rogue enemy element from being an effective part of the modern battlefield. It gives precedence to the old adage of removing the head of the snake to cut off support to the rest of the enemy army.
Sniper rifles come in a powerful array of automatic and bolt-action styles and makes. Most are often modified with specialized telescopic sights and bipod systems, offering the very best in accuracy-inducing ergonomics. Sniper rifles have more recently been fielded in the highly-lethal .50 caliber round capable of penetrating engine blocks let alone human bodies covered in body armor. In addition to advanced in recoil, specialized ammunition and highly technical sights have also made their way into the hands of this very unique soldier. Though most usually have this image of a sniper working alone behind enemy lines, a sniper is only made better by the use of a spotter, following the target through his own scope and calling out adjustments in trajectory and windage as needed. This working in unison provides a most powerful - and lethally hidden - element to any war planner's playbook. Consequently, it does not take too much experience to be trained in being a sniper-type element on the opposite side. It then becomes a case of the hunter becoming the hunted.