For those in the LE side of sniping, the first round is for the most part, the most important. In a hostage situation, the first round HAS to hit exactly the spot it was meant for or some one is very likely going to die. Maybe more than one. A precision rifle has to be able to hit the exact same spot every time on demand, no questions asked. There is no room for debate on this. In my opinion, if a LE sniper can not, on demand, lie prone and hit a 1 inch dot at 100 yards with his weapon, assuming there is nothing wrong with the gun, scope, ammo etc) he needs to go home. Or, at least be taken off active sniper duty until his skill is sharpened to this point.
But to get to this point, a rifle capable of delivering this critical hit is a must. There are all kinds of thoughts on how to make a gun this accurate but I will save that for another time. For now, I am going to talk about a drill to test a LE sniper rifle over long periods of time to make sure it can deliver if and when the time comes.
Since the weather and temp does change in most parts of the US. It is very important that the gun is tested over the widest range. If your job is a LEO sniper, you need to test this over months and a variety of temp and weather conditions. Not only will this prove the gun but build your confidence in it and yourself. Keeping a record of the testing could also be something that you use to CYA at a later date.
The group above was fired over 5 months from summer to winter, from a FN Sniper rifle. in active use. The 1 inch black square shows five shots into the black. With two shots outside that looks like fliers, but were actually hits on thumb tacks for fun by the sniper.
All shots are “cold bore” as they should be. Shots from a LE sniper are going to be cold bore, and since this is the most important shot and most likely to have a different POI from lesser rifles, the test needs ( has) to be done under cold bore shot conditions. Some of the temps ranged from 39 one day to -9 two weeks later. The rifle still hit in the same spot. Everything was recorded for later possible use. Temp, time of day, cloud cover, date and wind direction are just a few notes. If you can not do this on demand, I damn sure do not want you having to shoot past my head or a loved ones head if any of us are a hostage. I doubt many entry team officers would want you shooting past their ears either if you can not place one past them with this precision. LEO sniping is not military sniping where center mass is usually good enough,.
Rifle is the excellent FN sniper which uses the Model 70 action and match grade FN barrel with chrome lining, Not usually something precision shooters want in a target rifle or sniper rifle, but FN has some how pulled it off. Leupold optic and Federal Gold medal 175 grain HPBT. This rifle can be counted on to do this on demand, any time of year no matter the weather if user is skilled enough to be a Sniper in a LE environment.