American Rifleman - September 2017 - 107

duty, an editorial in the NRA magazine
pleaded, "To send these men back to
private life would be a fatal mistake."
But demobilization was inevitable.
Twelve months after the Armistice,
U.S. Army strength dropped from
3.25 million to 224,000, and later to
just 147,000. The post-war Army had
no room for 40-year-old captains and
60-year-old majors, no matter their
marksmanship knowledge. A dozen
Camp Perry instructors were detailed
to the Ordnance Corps to inspect
rifles for long-term storage, another
dozen was discharged. The rest soon
went back to civilian life, replaced by
a smaller staff of career soldiers.
The Camp Benning Infantry School
continued sniper training in 1919
and, according to a July 27, 1919,
New York Times article, dispatched
a sniper demonstration team to the
National Matches at Caldwell, N.J.
The Times hailed the demonstration
as a "feature attraction," that proved
especially popular with the public.
Despite such attempts to promote
Army snipers and sniper training,
high-level interest waned and then
funding went away. After 1920, there
were no newspaper mentions of the
sniper school or any military sniper
training anywhere in the United
States, Canada or Britain.
For a short while, competitive
rifle shooters kept alive an interest
in sniping. The 1921 NRA matches

included a sniping-related, "Special
Telescope Match," with participants
firing heavy-barrel Springfield rifles
topped by A5 Winchester scopes.
Marine Sgt. J.W. Adkins won the
match, placing 80 of 100 shots in the
36" bullseye at 900 yds., and 91 of
100 shots at 1,000 yds.
A "Sniper Match" was also featured
at the 1922 United Services of New
England Matches, where Marine, Army
and National Guard rifle teams shot at
a 200-yd.-wide simulated village with
pop-up and moving targets. Although
the Sniper Match proved "popular
beyond all expectation," there appears
to be no further record of this match,
or any sniping-related match held
anywhere. Everything related to sniping simply went away.
Thus, during World War II and the
Korean and Vietnam Wars, necessity
would demand the temporary rebirth
of sniping, paying in blood for the
knowledge that had been abandoned
in the past.
As for the Small Arms Firing School,
that name and the concept of training shooters attending the National
Matches at Camp Perry did not end. So
well-received was that effort that it has
been a tradition ever since. Today the
Small Arms Firing School is instructed
by the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit
from Fort Benning, Ga., and is as wellreceived and worthwhile today as it was
100 years ago.

Sniping In The Trenches

T

he author has just completed his latest book, Sniping in
the Trenches: World War I and the Birth of Modern Sniping
from which this story is excerpted. Major Plaster is also the
author of The Ultimate Sniper as well as The History of Sniping and
Sharpshooting, the latter being, hands down, the finest and most
comprehensive work on the subject to date. But Maj. Plaster has
continued to find more information on snipers and sniping since
the latter was published. The result is a book covering the rifles, optics and ammunition, plus the training and tactics used by both the Allies and the Germans during
the Great War.
From France and Flanders, to Gallipoli and the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, there is
detailed information on men-the snipers themselves-that has not been reported
on in decades, and certainly not in one volume. Too, firsthand accounts are included
from American, British and Canadian snipers. The 8½"x11" hardbound, 280-pp. book
contains nearly 500 photos and is available from Paladin Press (paladin-press.com).
The price is $40 plus shipping. www.ultimatesniper.com
-MARK. A. KEEFE, IV, EDITOR IN CHIEF
AMERICANRIFLEMAN.ORG

SEPTEMBER 2017

ȍ
LO C AT E A D E A L E R AT :

WWW.LEGACYSPORTS.COM

107


http://www.paladin-press.com http://www.ultimatesniper.com http://WWW.LEGACYSPORTS.COM http://www.AMERICANRIFLEMAN.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Rifleman - September 2017

Contents
American Rifleman - September 2017 - CW1
American Rifleman - September 2017 - CW2
American Rifleman - September 2017 - Cover1
American Rifleman - September 2017 - Cover2
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 1
American Rifleman - September 2017 - Contents
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 3
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 4
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 5
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 6
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 7
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 8
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American Rifleman - September 2017 - 10
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 11
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 12
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American Rifleman - September 2017 - 14
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 15
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American Rifleman - September 2017 - 18
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 19
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 20
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 21
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American Rifleman - September 2017 - 26
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 27
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 28
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American Rifleman - September 2017 - 31
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American Rifleman - September 2017 - 36
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 37
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 38
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American Rifleman - September 2017 - 40
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 41
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 42
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 43
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American Rifleman - September 2017 - 45
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 46
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 47
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 48
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 49
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 50
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American Rifleman - September 2017 - C1
American Rifleman - September 2017 - C2
American Rifleman - September 2017 - E1
American Rifleman - September 2017 - E2
American Rifleman - September 2017 - MW1
American Rifleman - September 2017 - MW2
American Rifleman - September 2017 - S1
American Rifleman - September 2017 - S2
American Rifleman - September 2017 - SW1
American Rifleman - September 2017 - SW2
American Rifleman - September 2017 - W1
American Rifleman - September 2017 - W2
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 100
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American Rifleman - September 2017 - 112
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 113
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 114
American Rifleman - September 2017 - Cover3
American Rifleman - September 2017 - Cover4
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