While at SHOT Show I had the pleasure of meeting Brian K. Sain, one of the founding members of AmericanSnipers.org, a non-profit association dedicated to supporting our snipers. Snipers require extremely specialized equipment that is very costly and as a result they often operate without it. Since 2002, AmericanSnipers.org has been raising money to provide direct support to our snipers. Be sure to check out www.AmericanSnipers.org and show YOUR support!
The WTA and AmericanSnipers.org have similar philanthropic missions, which would explain why we hit it off! I hope you enjoy my interview with Brian -- he is pictured all the way to the right side -- in a ghillie suit -- typical sniper!
Why did you start AmericanSnipers.Org?
www.AmericanSnipers.org was initially born out of a simple request for mission essential equipment from friends who were employed as SWAT snipers here at home and dually assigned as military snipers in the National Guard and Marine Corps Reserve. Monies were raised for the needed gear and a small surplus was left over. The surplus monies were not “ours” to keep, so the military sniper schoolhouses were contacted to determine if others were in need. The need was found to be huge and covered the entire spectrum of the professional sniper community; so we pledged to assist every military sniper we could, for as long as we could maintain the program. The program took on a life of its own and since 2002, has morphed into a program that has supported almost 800 different units in the US military.
What are the current needs of our snipers?
Optics (Riflescopes, binoculars, and laser range finders), mounting systems for those optics, weapon cleaning supplies, Manfrotto tripods, periscopes, magazine pouches for 7.62 semi-auto platform weapons and Eberlestock rifle packs are some of the most common requests we receive.
How can we (LE, WTA, etc) help?
The best thing LE can do to help us is to help get the word out. Contact everyone in your personal network and let them know of the need and the site address. www.AmericanSnipers.org Individual officer’s good names are the best advertising we can get.
Do you have any opposition to female snipers? What has been your experiences teaching snipers?
Some of the most efficient and successful snipers in history have been women. The female snipers of the Russian Army during WWII are legendary. Not every one is cut out to be a sniper. This applies to both males and females. I have had female students in class perform as well (or better) than some of the men. Both men and women have inherent strengths and weaknesses but performance is what matters. Sniping entails far more than just shooting and gender is of no consequence to a sniper instructor. The math is simple. If you can do the job, you pass. If you cannot, you fail.
What influenced you to become a sniper?
I grew up hunting the bayous and forests of Southeast, Texas and Southwest, Louisiana. I appreciated the challenge to do something that many others either cannot, or will not do. SWAT snipers are triple volunteers. They volunteer to be police officers. They volunteer for SWAT and they volunteer for the sniper team (whereas most want to be assigned to entry).
Do you have any recommendations on equipment or ammo for new or potential snipers?
Sniper rifles and ammunition are a lot like golf clubs. One needs to pick the right tool for the job. A high quality, bolt action rifle, in .308 Winchester is the staple of the community although there are others for mission specific applications. Ammunition choices should be based on terminal performance rather than accuracy alone. The Hornady AMAX projectiles are well proven in this regard. They are match accurate but designed for terminal performance on human targets. The 180 grain, Nosler, AccuBond loading from Black Hills Ammunition is quickly becoming the industry standard for dealing with suspects behind intermediate barriers.