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GUNS Magazine January 2012 Digital Edition - Page 8
STORY: Clint Smith PHOTOS: Heidi Smith the LonG-rAnGe rifLe Who says it isn’t affordable? quipment has evolved quite a bit since I used my first scoped rifle—a Remington 700 ADL in .308— in my official capacity as a SWAT rifleman / sniper / countersniper / precision rifleman / designated rifleman in 1975. And yeah, all of those nomenclatures were correct based on what era of political correctness we were in or what was required by the agency. From a precision rifle school perspective in the ’70s, except for some in the military, there weren’t many rifles available in the civilian market, as Vietnam was winding down and everyone was in the peace and love mode… sort of. custom rifles. Thinking I needed one, I had my first custom rifle for LE applications built by Fred Sinclair of New Haven, Ind., in 1975 on a Remington 700 in .308. I took a lot of heat over that rifle as it only had a 20" barrel and I was often asked, “Where’s the rest of your rifle?” Then again, it turns out now my thoughts for a shorter compact rifle for police applications might have been a correct E A 1975 SWAT photo showing many of the not-soexotic firearms used in times past. The second from left sniper rifle is a stock Remington 700 with a Leupold scope mounted to it. Cop stuff The best rifle shooters were the benchrest guys of the era who shot The only upgrade to this Remington 700 LTR was a large bolt knob and a fancy paint job to the stock. one. Most of the Sinclair work was in the stock and the truing of the action and barrel. I mounted a Leupold fixed 4X scope, and it was a solid rifle for the world I was in, where I needed to positively identify targets and justifiably engage them. I taught Countersniper (or sniper) skills starting in 1983 for private students before it was the rage it is today. The rifles of that era were 8 W W W. G U N S M A G A Z I N E . C O M • J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 2