Book Review: Maritime Sniper Manual

When I served as a sniper in the US Army I was never given the Tom Berenger award or any such non sense, but having conducted dozens of combat operations as a sniper and having graduated from the Army sniper school, I would not have thought that this book would be packed full of new content that I had never heard of before.

The “Maritime Sniper Manual” has something to teach junior and veteran snipers alike. The manual is broken down in a logical manner and presents the information in easy to digest bits and pieces as you read the book. Here is some of the information I learned that I have never read from any other source:

-How to make wind calls based on sea conditions (ie: size of the waves)

-How to time your shots between waves and synchronize your breath rate with them

-An in depth discussion on environmental factors such as how water temperature effects air temperature, which as we know effects external ballistics.

-A detailed look at shooting through the different types of glass that can be found on large ships

-Where is the best position on a ship for a sniper to place himself and how to construct a steady firing position once he gets there.

These are just a few of the “take aways” to be found in this manual. Other topics include tactics, equipment checklists, verbage to be used between the spotter and sniper, and much more. I’ve found that in this line or work that myth often over takes reality but in this case the author has both feet well grounded, making realistic assessments of what the sniper can and cannot realistically accomplish.

Some of the topics seemed rather academic such as the discussion about the Magnum effect, Poisson effect, and the Coriolis drift but like GI Joe says, Knowing is Half the Battle. The chapter about casualty first responder (medical) treatment also seems somewhat misplaced in this manual, however the information it contains is so critical to soldiers operating in any environment that I can understand why it is included. That said, the author breaks down CFR into concise data points in a manner that makes this chapter an ideal reference or quick refresher.

The Maritime Sniper Manual is packed with new information that previously could only be obtained through hard experience in the field. The appendixes are also useful, such as John Plaster’s piece on aerial platform shooting. Having buzzed around Afghanistan in a helicopter doing just that, I wholeheartedly agree with his assertion that peering through a ten power scope in this situation is ridicules.

Making an excellent companion to Plaster’s “The Ultimate Sniper”, this book will be referenced by snipers and other marksmen for years to come.


Filed under Action Adventure, Weapons and Tactics

10 responses to “Book Review: Maritime Sniper Manual

  1. Go get those Somali pirates!

  2. John

    Good Morning Jack,

    I noticed in RF that your snipers ended up with 300 Win-Mags. Is that based on your experience base speaking or are these new developments?

    Just wondering is all…


  3. I had a .300 WinMag assigned to me when I was a sniper, a quality weapon for sure! However, the SIG Blazer rifles used in the book are a gun I’ve only read about but I do have experience firing that caliber of gun.

  4. John


    My experience with the 300 WM is limited to my fathers deer-rifle, it only had an old wood stock and kicked like a mule. One heck of a rifle but I liked our 300 Savage better for the type of hunting we were doing (Mulies and coyotes). The 300 WM is in my brother’s gun safe now. I am looking around for something new to plink with. Of course my book budget is soaking down my rifle budget pretty hard right now!

    The SIG Blazer in the book was rather deadly….

  5. The SIG Blazer is a really innovative design. It’s also modular so you can use one platform to fire various calibers by switching out barrels. .300 Winmag is a little over kill for plinking, if for no other reason than because ammunition is so expensive these days…I don’t even want to imagine what match grade .300 WM is going for…

  6. John

    Excellent point – though the funnest ammo I ever fired was the old banned sabot “fast” rounds a couple decades ago (I think the round was a 223 off 30-06 brass). Things would go through telephone poles (fenceposts only) like butter as I remember.

    I’ll likely end up plinking with 223 rounds – though a weekend cracking off 50 BMG would be a hoot, but very pricey. Lot’s of OT to pay that one off. Gotta be nothing compared to what you have sent down for the USG.

    The book is in my cart – since I put it in from your review it should send you a tip once I push the button.

  7. Thanks John, it makes for an interesting read. The author is a fascinating individual as well, check out his facebook page when you get the chance. He has some great pictures of sniper hides on there.

    I think the funnest round I ever got to shoot was the .50 caliber Raufoss rounds mentioned in the beginning of my novel…explosive API!

  8. Already did Jason, I didn’t write an in depth review by scanning the author’s mind via telepathy after all! Keep up the good work over at Paladin, I’m a long time reader of the work you guys publish. Thanks!

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