The Ultimate Sniper
An Advanced Training Manual for Military and Police Snipers
By Maj. John Plaster, USAR (Ret.)

< 1999
By Scott Powers

This is it. The END ALL of Sniping information manuals. This book is written by a man who is intimately familiar with the art of sniping and the training of snipers. If you buy only one book on the subject, THIS IS IT. Period. End of discussion. If I were to run a class on the tactical environment and the proper deployment of long-range rifleman, THIS BOOK WOULD BE REQUIRED READING. I feel that strongly about it.

The text is entertaining, informative, accurate and, above all, emminantly readable. John's style is never preachy but, when you finish a section, you are ready to raise your hands skyward and shout "I see the light!" He is the first author I have read who has explained those marvelous Mil-dots in a manner immediately understandable--and, in fact, John has the wordsmithing ability to portray every subject found within this work in such a way that you will quickly follow the meaning and reach understanding without any head scratching whatsoever.

In the text you will find accurate comparisons of a variety of sniper- quality optics, rifles, ranging systems, and camouflage. Of the 453 pages within, I never once found myself bored or ready to put the book down. Between the covers you will find a huge amount of data on ballistics, come-ups, ranging reticles, hides and concealment techniques, camo, wind drift, weapon systems, the use of light and shadow, tactical movement and fieldcraft...well, I could go on indefinitely! The mind boggles!

If you are the procurement officer for a police department and need reliable comparative advice, look no further. Within the pages of "The Ultimate Sniper," you will find a laundry list of optics, their specifications, and the weapons on which you will likely mount them. John even goes so far as to provide a visual chart by which you can physically compare the clarity of the optic glass BEFORE you buy. I photocopied the chart, took it to a sporting goods store, and tested 10 telescopic sights of mixed quality. You can actually see the difference. It is little touches like this that make this book a "must read- must have."

If I do not sound objective in this review, well, quite frankly, I'm not. I have read this work three times now and found each reading valuable. You will pick up on different aspects of the art of long range marksmanship with every reading. After reading the section on proper scope mounting, I went back and removed every one of my scopes and re-installed them the RIGHT way. My way was very good but John's meticulous attention to detail makes you want to do it again, just to make sure.

In summation, this work is part history book, instructional training manual, data encyclopedia, buyer's guide, and shooters bible. It is well laid out, filled with illustrations, photographs, and charts. Above all, it is a joy to read. No yawns found here. I make you this promise; if you buy this work, you WILL be pleased. It can be purchased from Paladin Press and other sources for approximately $35 and is worth every penny.



Back to Book and Videotape Reviews