What makes a successful LE sniper?

A SHOT Show LEEP session profiled both the professional and personal components to be fit for sniper duty


There are two components to a LE sniper’s job: personal and professional. The professional component is the easiest – job description, equipment, maintenance, mission readiness and skills. The personal component is much more complicated and rests on the sniper’s physical, mental and emotional fitness for duty.

These categories can be further broken down into stress management, spiritual beliefs and life priorities. The SWAT sniper cannot let his or her priorities get jacked up over the job – nearly every LEO knows what this means, because after all, we’re all human.

This SHOT Show LEEP (Law Enforcement Education Program) session was presented by Jeff Chang and Tyler Ellsworth of Standing Offhand.

Jeff let us know that the session was not going to focus on the gun or the ammo but was to be about the person and their technique. He started us off with the concept that combat sniper techniques don’t translate 1:1 to LE snipers. Military snipers, like Jeff himself once was (Semper Fi!), do not need to be retrained per se, but there are significantly different rules of engagement, legal considerations and desired outcomes.

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