British Sniping Rifles Since 1970

...Weapon Series No 80, from Osprey Publishing

Title: British Sniping Rifles Since 1970
Author: Steve Houghton
Publisher: Osprey Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-4728-4235-0

Number 80 in Osprey's Weapon series and a subject which I always think carries a degree of what I would describe as a 'mystique'. An 80-page soft-cover book in the usual Osprey style and the modern development of the sniper rifle for the modern British Army. A prompt to make changes was the appearance of the Soviet Draganov, their telescopic sight equipped 'Marksman's' rifle. This tells that story.
The book gives a well detailed story of 3 rifles, starting with the L42A1 which was a specialist sniper conversion of the long service Lee Enfield No.4. The requirements for sniping had changed, and it was replaced by the L96A1, which in turn has been more recently replaced by the L115A3. The book takes us through the development stories, as well as the requirements for the ammunition, the sights, night vision devices and even the spotting scopes all along with the changing needs of what combat conditions have influenced their designs. Add plenty of photos, along with cutaway artwork of the different rifles, the features of a modern sniping rifle are quite different to the older weapons.
I learnt a lot from this one, not only on how they have been designed, developed and indeed used, but the influences of civilian target shooters on the needs of a military rifle. Amazing how long the old Lee Enfield rifle remained in service but fascinated to see the evolution of the modern snipers weapon to what is used today, and the number of items that make up their CES (Complete Equipment Schedule), the list of things that should be standard issue with the rifle..
Thanks to Osprey for our review copy.