Adjustable Objective – This is a ring around a scope’s Objective Lens Housing that allows you to adjust the Parallax setting of the rifle scope.
Battle Dress Uniform (BDU’s) – The name for the fatigue uniform worn by many military and law enforcement personnel.
Bolt Gun – A slang term used to refer to a bolt action rifle.
Brass – Slang for spent cartridge casings.
BRASS-F – This is an acronym used for the mental checklist during firing. Breathe, Relax, Aim, Stop, Squeeze, Follow-through.
BTHP (Boat Tail Hollow Point) – Describes a match bullet that is constructed of a lead core and copper jacket. The base is tapered and the tip is hollow to assist in lowering it’s aerodynamic drag. BTHP’s are not considered “hollow point” or “frangible” ammunition for the purpose of the Laws of War or the Hague Convention.
Click – A Click is one unit of adjustment on a rifle scope. Usually denoted by an audible or tactile “click”. A click is also military slang for one Kilometer.
Data Book – This is a shooters record of training. It allows for recording of previous shots and environmental conditions. It allows a shooter to look back at previous effects and better determine his Dope for the current conditions.
Dope – This is the windage and elevation correction that a shooter will dial onto his sighting system in order to hit the target with his shots. It does NOT stand for Data On Personal Equipment. I have yet to locate where this misinformation came from. Dope is an English word that means to figure out; calculate or devise.
Drag Bag – A case or container to transport and protect a rifle during a stalk. The construction of a drag bag is usually heavier than a standard rifle case due to the abrasion resistance required when pulling it across rough terrain.
Eagle Globe and Anchor (EGA) – The Emblem of the United States Marine Corps.
EREK – Erector Repositioning Elevation Knob. This is a proprietary elevation knob designed by US Optics for use on their rifle scopes. This knob allows for the erector assmbly to be positioned in the rifle scope tube independant of the erector screw.
Final Firing Position (FFP) – The FFP is the location from which a sniper takes his shot.
Follow-Through – Continuing to apply the fundamentals of marksmanship after the shot has left the barrel.
Gas Gun – A term used to describe a semi-automatic gas operated rifle. (i.e. AR-15 or AR-10)
Ghillie Suit – Ghillie is the scottish term for “guy” or “man”. The Ghillie suit was originally used by Scottish game keepers to keep watch over the game and hide them from poachers. The Ghillie has been used in many forms by many different countries. Marines generally construct their Ghillie’s as a right of passage before going to the Scout Sniper Basic Course. Materials used are determined by what can be “tacticall acquired” at the time of construction and are as unique as the Marine constructing it. Common materials are camo netting, jute taken from burlap sandbags and old utilities or NBC suits. Ghillie Suits are a means to break up a Sniper’s outline and help him to attach natural vegetation to blend in to the terrain. A Ghillie alone will not hide a Sniper and a naked Ghillie is likely to stand out very well in a natural setting. Ghillies are best suited to a woodland or jungle environment.
Headspace – The measurement from the breechface to the part of the chamber that stops the forward motion of the cartridge.
Head Stamp – The markings on the “Head” of a Cartridge Case. The Head Stamp usually denotes the manufacturer of the Case and sometimes the caliber of the cartridge.
Hide – A shooting position constructed by the Sniper Team to aid in concealment and offer some ballistic protection from incoming fire. A properly constructed field hide resembles a two man bunker from the inside, but it almost completely invisible from the outside while providing good fields of fire for the Sniper. Urban Hides are limited to the imagination of the Sniper.
HOG’s Tooth – The HOG’s tooth is a .308 projectile pulled from a issued match round for the M40 sniper rifle. It is drilled through and hung on a piece of 550 cord. The HOG’s Tooth is awarded to new Marine Snipers at the end of the Scout Sniper Basic Course.
Hunter of Gunmen (HOG) – This is a nickname given to Marine Scout Snipers once they have graduated the Scout Sniper Basic Course. Prior to graduating the students are referred to as PIGs (Professionally Instructed Gunmen).
Kim’s Game – Kim’s Game is a memory enhancing or testing game. The military uses the Kim’s Game to teach observation and attention to detail. In a military Kim’s Game ten man-made objects of military nature are laid out on the ground. The students are given a set amount of time to observe the objects, but they may not touch or disturb them. The students then may be required to complete a task or go about other daily activities. At a later time they will be required to recall the details of the items they saw. The specifics of grading the game vary. The name “Kim’s Game” originates from the novel “Kim” by Rudyard Kipling. It does NOT stand for “Keep In Memory System” or other acronyms that are floating around.
Lake City (LC) – Refers to the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant in Independence, MO. This plant is responsible for the majority of ammunition for the US Military’s small arms. “LC” is the head stamp found on most surplus military ammunition and brass casings.
Mil – Short for Milliradian. A Milliradian is an angular measure. Mathematically a Milliradian is 1/6283rd of a circle. This is what is commonly used for rifle scopes. There are other versions of the Mil in use depending on the application. The military recognizes a Mil as 1/6400th of a circle for the purposes of map reading and fire support. Mils will be covered in depth in our range estimation article.
Mildot – A Mildot is used in a Mil Reticle to assist in range estimation and holds for elevation and windage. They are usually 0.2 or 0.25 Mils in diameter. Most are round although some can be football shaped. Unertl and Burris are two companies who use football Mildots.
Mildot Master – A slide rule type calculator used for range estimation with a Mil Reticle. (review)
Minute of Angle (MOA) – MOA is an angular measure that equals 1.047 inches at 100 yards. For simplicity this is usually rounded down to 1″ at 100 yards, 2″ at 200 yards, 3″ at 300 yards, etc. The simplified version is sometimes referred to as IPY (inch per hundred yards) or SMOA (Shooters MOA).
Mountain Ruck – This term is used by Marines to describe the “Alice Pack, Large” usually carried by Scout Sniper Teams due to it’s increased cargo capacity
Objective Lens – The lens in an optical system that is closest to the target.
Ocular Lens – The lens in an optical system that is closest to your eye.
Objective Rally Point (ORP) – The ORP is the location where the team stops to make any final preparations before moving into the FFP. Also may be the point that the team returns to when the actions on the objective are complete.
Parallax – The difference in the plane in which the reticle is focused and the plane in which the target is focused in a rifle scope. This can be observed by moving your eye around behind the rifle scope. If the reticle appears to move in relation to the target then Parallax is present. If the reticle appears fixed on the target, then the scope is “Parallax Free” at that range. Parallax is more apparent at ranges that are shorter than what the Parallax adjustment is set for.
Point of Aim (POA) – The position of the sights relative to the target.
Point of Impact (POI) – The location of the shot hole on the target.
Range Card – A table showing range and windage corrections for a specific load.
Reticle – The cross-hairs, lines, dots or post that you use to line up on the target.
Ruck – Short for Rucksack. Used to describe just about any type of backpack carried to the field. See “Mountain Ruck”.
Scenar – A line of low-drag match bullets manufactured by Lapua.
Sierra Match King (SMK)- A line of bullets manufactured by Sierra for Competition Use. These bullets are characterized by a tapered “boat tail” and a small hollow “open tip”. The open tip serves to lessen the wind resistance and does not have any expanding properties as found in traditional “hollow point” ammunition. SMK’s are favored among many competition shooters and also used in some military precision ammunition.
Single Load – A term to describe loading one cartridge at a time through the ejection or loading port of a weapon.
Stick – A slang term used to describe a precision rifle.
Trigger Reset – After the initial shot has been fired slowly releasing the trigger will usually result in a “click” being heard or felt. This is the trigger resetting for the next shot. This usually only applied to semi-automatic weapons.
Turret – A turret is one of the two adjustment knobs on a riflescope.
Unertl – The company that originally manufactured target scopes and later the Unertl 10x rifle scope used on the M40A1 and M40A3 Sniper Rifle. The Unertl company no longer exists in any substantial form and the name has traded hands several times.