M2 Sniper System – Vietnam.


M2 sniper

This was sort of an experiment done during the Vietnam war.  I am going from memory here but IIRC, the scope is a Unerlt that was issued to Marine Snipers. In 1967, Carlos Hathcock made a 2,50 hundred yard kill with that configuration a record that stood unbroken until 2002.  I think the gentleman serving as spotter is no other than Jim Land who founded the new Marine Sniper course. Amazingly, no branch of the US military had an active Sniper course or snipers available until they were needed in combat and then they had to start from zero as the thought of snipers was not palatable to the Regular Military.



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  1. I’ve been a fan of Carlos since I learned about him in the Marines in 73. He’s up there on my list of heroes along side Chesty Puller.

  2. William Ashbless : March 27, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    I’m thinking a lot of luck entered into that 2500 yard shot. M-2’s featured a ‘cone of fire’ that made them great for hitting large targets at distance, but individual accuracy would not be a feature. Do we know if armorers tweaked that gun specifically for Hathcock or was it bone stock except for scope?

    • As far as I can remember, they tweaked and worked on that M2 with Hathcock himself getting into it. It took him three shots to bring the NVA down.

    • The M2 has a single shot mode that is actually remarkably accurate. Hathcock also would spend hours fiddling with the ammunition to only take the most consistent ammo he could find, creating piles he planned on using for sniping. Between single shot mode and some techniques Hathcock developed to screen ammo he actually got quite a capable system working.

      In fact, armorers weren’t even involved in the scope mounting, Hathcock fabricated the mounts himself.

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