Indeed, a good sniper knows how to choose well his hiding place, and the noise of his single shot cannot reveal him. His hit--generally a lethal one.
—the IDF History Department, War of Independence Chronicles
A sniper rifle is specially constructed to hit targets accurately at a longer range than standard small arms. They come in a variety of sizes and types. As an artifact it has strong connotations of power and exoticism, delivering instant death from afar. Those using it are usually seen as a special class of fighter through the mindset and skill-level involved: see Cold Sniper, Friendly Sniper. Outside wartime scenarios it has mixed or sinister association with assassins. An assassin's sniper rifle will often be convertible to components for a stealthy getaway.
It's generally the reason behind Pink Mist. May be used with Scope Snipe and (for dramatic rather than functional reasons) Laser Sight. Related to Boom! Headshot! and Pretty Little Headshots. Subversion of Short-Range Long-Range Weapon. Despite the similar name, it is not used in a Snipe Hunt.
Anime and Manga
- Madlax has a wide assortment of extra cool sniper rifles:
- Limelda—a professional Cold Sniper—sports a H&K PSG-1.
- Madlax uses a Remington M24 SWS Custom in one episode.
- And Luciano wields a SAKO TRG-21 as shown in the page image.
- Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha has Vice's Magitek sniper rifle.
- Mana's long-range weapon of choice in Mahou Sensei Negima is a Remington M700 sniper rifle. She uses this to especially great effect during the Mahora Festival arc. During her Big Damn Heroes moment in Chapter 280, Mana wields a Barrett M82, which she summons from between her breasts.
- The Dynames and Cherudim Gundams in Mobile Suit Gundam 00 both carry mecha sized energy rifles that are used in the same way as a conventional sniper rifle. Oh, and the Dynames has another sniper rifle that can hit targets in orbit... from the ground. This can become ridiculous when Gundam-sized sniper disguise nets are used. Before 00, several sniper-style Humongous Mecha were featured as part of the backstory, though the only one to gain any real notice is the GM Sniper II, which was the strongest unlockable in the Sega Dreamcast game Rise from the Ashes.
- Caine the Longshot from Trigun uses a sniper rifle with a ridiculously long barrel—so long it droops from its own weight when slung over his shoulder, and actually has bipods all the way down the length to raise it when he sets it down on the ground.
- The Evangelions occasionally use sniper rifles in various episodes of Neon Genesis Evangelion. However, since Angels are best engaged at close range, these rifles usually prove ineffective. Rei in Unit-00 usually carries the sniper rifle if one is issued to the Evas, using one at close range against Armisael (to little effect). Shinji also uses the prototype positron rifle against Ramiel.
- Naturally, being a show about giant mecha, the rifles are as tall as skyscrapers.
- Balalaika from Black Lagoon used them in Afghanistan, with great skill.
- Her skill was justified by the fact that she had been training as an Olympic marksman for years prior to the war.
- Yoko from Gurren Lagann uses a heavily modified Barret M-82A.
- Duke Togo occasionally uses one to assassinate his targets in Golgo 13. However, since he usually operates from somewhat closer range, he more often uses an M-16.
- In Monster, Tenma uses a prototype that was turned down by the German army.
- Shows up from time to time in Texhnolyze, especially by Yoshi, to aid in his manipulative Wild Card escapades.
- In Yu Yu Hakusho, the Chapter Black arc features a one-line character known as Sniper. His power? Making targets appear on Yusuke's body that he can hit with anything, including knives, a car, a bullet, dice, a rock, etc.
- Shooter is all about it. And the sniper weapon depicted actually shoots a pipsqueak finned dart to provide pinpoint accuracy at ranges impossible for conventional bullet shot from threaded barrel.
- A Dragunov is used in John Woo's The Killer by the title character to carry out the hit at the dragon boat festival.
- Actually a mock-up built from a Chinese Norinco Type 56 assault rifle.
- The fourth Rambo film has the mercenary "School Boy" and his trusty Barrett M82CQ. After all, for this franchise, your sniper needs to be the type that dispenses death with .50 caliber rounds.
- Truth in Television for military snipers.
- Lethal Weapon's Martin Riggs uses a sniper rifle at one point to back up his partner Murtaugh when his family gets kidnapped.
- Used in Smoking Aces by one of the would-be assasins, just to emphasize how absurdly powerful it is, her partner says: '.50 cal? What are you trying to take out? A jumbo jet?'
- James Bond uses sniper rifles in several films, including From Russia with Love, The Living Daylights, Licence to Kill and Die Another Day. Also, The World Is Not Enough's lengthy Action Prologue involves a female assassin's use of a Laser Sight-equipped sniper rifle.
- Eraser features railgun sniper rifles that fire aluminum bullets at "close to the speed of light". They also have X-Ray scopes.
- In Dan Abnett's Warhammer 40,000: Gaunt's Ghosts novels, snipers carry a "long-las", which may be customized. Larkin had to stop using his on Gereon for a lack of ammunition. When, in The Armour of Contempt, Curth reveals she kept it safe for him, he is so delighted it even distracts him from the fact he just lost his foot.
- The Day of the Jackal: the title character has a custom-built sniper rifle whose parts can be disguised, eg the barrel becomes part of a crutch.
- The Executioner. Cold Sniper turned Vigilante Man Mack Bolan prefers elephant guns for sniper rifles—using first a Marlin .444 lever-action, then the Weatherby Mark V in .460 Magnum calibre. This leads to several Your Head Asplode moments.
- In Specter of the Past, a sniper rifle that shoots an invisible laser beam is used along with a special reflection device to implicate Han Solo in a murder designed to stir up trouble for the New Republic.
- There are a slew of them in GURPS: Ultra-Tech. Some highlights: The Payload Rifle can carry a miniature anti-tank round with pinpoint accuracy out to nearly two miles, the Laser Sniper Rifle would be accurate to ten miles if its beam could do damage at that distance.
- Which is why you get a gamma ray laser with the FTL beam option and add a high quality scope to it. A good sniper can use it to take the head off a target at 100 miles (161 kilometers) away.
- Sniper rifles are a separate class of weapon in Shadowrun, they tend to be limited in rate of fire and be horribly inaccurate if fired in any situation other than from a stationary position after aiming carefully, but they deal more damage than any other firearm and are better at penetrating personal armor than anti-tank missiles.
- PlanetSide has the Bolt Driver, and the Heavy Scout Rifle. The Bolt Driver can take down unarmored infantry in one shot, and fires a single bullet larger than some guns. The Heavy Scout Rifle, on the other hand, has a ten shot magazine, and does far less damage.
- Resistance: This one can slow down time. Not used in online mode for obvious reasons.
- Team Fortress 2: Used with Laser Sight.
- Deus Ex includes a sniper rifle whose sight crosshairs wobble, with less wobble as your skill improves.
- Mass Effect has a sniper rifle similar to Deus Ex.
- Mass Effect 2 removed the wobble and added a time slowdown when scoped for Infiltrator. It also added three new sniper rifles:
- The Mantis - one-shot, very effective and powerful against armour but weak against barriers;
- The Viper - multiple-shot, weaker than the Mantis but more effective against barriers, and;
- The Widow - quite possibly the best weapon in the game. One-shot, deals as much damage as the grenade launcher, effective against all defenses. It should be—it was designed to fight shielded and armoured vehicles, and the recoil would break the bones of a normal human. Only available for Legion or as an Infinity-Plus-One-Gun for Soldier / Infiltrator Shepard.
- DLC adds the Incisor - slightly weaker than the Viper, good against everything, and fires in three-round bursts. That's right, a burst-fire sniper rifle.
- Mass Effect 3 keeps all the rifles from 2 and introduces plenty of new ones. The Black Widow (modded Widow with less damage but three shots), the Cerberus Raptor (weak, but high rate of fire), the Indra (Alienware giveaway, weaker than the Raptor, but fully automatic) and the N7 Valiant (Collector's Edition, capabilities in between Black Widow and Viper). Oh, and the Geth Javelin - one shot, slightly weaker than the Widow but sees through enemy cloaks and fires ferrofluid.
- The Resurgence and Rebellion DLC Packs add a couple more sniper-rifles exclusively for multiplayer. The batarian Kishock Harpoon Gun (one-shot, impales enemies on glowing spears and lets them bleed out) and the turian Krysae Rifle (explosive ammo).
- Counter-Strike's infamous AWP, somewhat less infamous SG550, and not-infamous-at-all Scout.
- Max Payne's sniper rifle allows for bullet cam which follows the bullet as it travels to Max's target. Max's sniper rifle is a Remington 700 variant with a detachable mag. His Action Girl counterpart, Mona Sax, uses a Dragunov SVD for sniping people off.
- In Hitman, Agent 47 uses a variety of sniper rifles during his career. The one he uses in Hitman: Blood Money is a Walther WA-2000, only 176 of which were built.
- Half Life series: Gordon Freeman prefers a sniper crossbow. In the second game, the crossbow is built from spare parts and can pin an enemy to a wall, and also uses glowy sizzle rebar as ammunition.
- The expansion pack Opposing Force gave its protagonist, Corporal Adrian Shepard, an actual sniper rifle.
- In Mirror's Edge, all sniper rifles are apparently Barrett M82s. That Faith survives being hit by one of these brutes belies the fragile in her Fragile Speedster.
- Call Of Duty 4 features a lot of sniper rifles, including a Barrett M82 in the Sniping Mission. Said Barrett shoots so far away, you can see the bullet flying through the air and need to compensate for wind.
- Modern Warfare 2 takes this a bit further, featuring a grand total of 5 sniper rifles (4 usable in multiplayer): the M14 (called M21 in multiplayer), a semi-automatic battle rifle that goes very well with a silencer and scope; the Dragunov, a not-that-powerful one (this is the one not available in multiplayer); the WA 2000, a rare semi-automatic piece of equipment whose only limitation is the slow reload time; the Barrett M82, yes, the same beast; and the Intervention, a massive bolt-action that makes a very satisfying sound when you fire it and, were not for the slow reload times, would be the best thing to take out Juggernauts.
- The sniper rifles in Wolfenstein 3D wobble for a few moments after the scope is engaged. Walking or aiming will cause the wobble to increase—sometimes to the point of disengaging the scope, while standing still and crouching will cause it to decrease faster.
- Prey has a weird Organic Technology-based sniper rifle, complete with a scope in the form of a tentacle that latches onto your eyeball. It doubles as your assault rifle-type weapon.
- Wild ARMs 3 has the Gungnir HAG35 of the Mighty Glacier sniper, Clive Winslet. Very accurate and very damaging.
- One of the five available classes for your squad in Valkyria Chronicles is the eponymous sniper who carriers, as you'd imagine, a sniper rifle. Unfortunately due to them being effected by a specific crouch game-mechanic, they aren't all that useful initially. They get much more useful as you level up and better rifles & orders become available.
- The arcade versions of the Silent Scope Mounted Gun Game series are well-known for their sniper rifle gimmick. If you look inside the scope of the simulated gun, the scope simulates a real sniper rifle scope. Usage of this is practically required, as your on-screen targeting sight is too imprecise to hit a far-away enemy with it.
- In Clive Barker's Jericho, telekinetic sniper Abigail Black wields a customised sniper rifle, named Flash Thought, equipped with an underslung grenade launcher. She also has an ability known as Ghost Bullet, whereby she fires a shot and telekinetically steers the bullet to her targets - just one such bullet is able to strike up to three separate enemies.
- Unreal Tournament had a Sniper Rifle as its second-most powerful weapon, with the announcer intoning "Headshot!" when you peg an enemy in the coconut. It was taken out of UT2K3, replaced with a variant that shot lightning bolts, but returned in UT2K4.
- Each game in the Metal Gear Solid series has at least one featured sniper battle, though with two exceptions, you don't actually need to use the game's sniper rifles. In Metal Gear Solid 4, the M82A2 (Modified Barrett M82), available from Drebin, is recommended by Hideo Kojima. For good reason.
- In Resident Evil, Alfred Ashford's Weapon of Choice is the Sniper Rifle, complete with Laser Sight—though he can never seem to hit anything at all. He even misses Claire at point blank range.
- The Sniper Rifle in Star Fox Assault is lethal regardless of where you hit. It's only limited by coming with low amounts of ammo and requiring you to be zoomed in.
- Golden Eye 1997 is widely credited as being one of the first games to feature a variable-zoom sniper rifle. The developers chose to show off this property by making the sniper rifle accessible within a few seconds of starting the first level of the game—an area with numerous towers and long-range lines of sight...
- Perfect Dark features an alien tech sniper rifle called the Farsight. It features an x-ray scope, a motion tracker, and bullets powerful enough to instantly penetrate every wall in a level and kill with a shot to the foot, it may be the most overpowered weapon ever seen.
- The Farsight is a railgun intended to be used against the enemies who have shields and the boss monster. Interestingly, if used with either the light amplification goggles or the IR goggles, you get a view from the goggles, instead of the x-ray view. The light amplification goggles makes it look like you're firing the gun from Eraser. The IR goggles does the same thing, only with a red tint.
- There are also many.
- Margarete uses one in Shadow Hearts, where it functions as a substitute Death spell. It actually works on bosses!
- Every Halo game features one; it's one of the only weapons that barely changes with each release. The Covenant equivalent, the Beam Rifle, is more or less the same, but runs on a battery rather than bullets. Halo: Reach featured different weapons, being a Prequel. The Beam Rifle has been replaced with the Focus Rifle, which deals continuous damage at the same range. A different, almost Game Breaker, Sniper Rifle, is available. It is incredibly accurate and can destroy tanks.
- To break it down:
- UNSC Sniper Rifle System 99 S2 Anti-Materiel series. 14.5x114mm Armor-Piercing Fin-Stabilized Discarding-Sabot. 2300-meter range. Several variants. Games' human sniper rifle.
- Covenant Type-51 Particle Beam Rifle. Halos 2, 3, and ODST. Exactly What It Says on the Tin. In the hands of Jackals on Legendary, will leave you screaming in incoherent rage.
- Covenant Type-52 Special Applications Rifle, aka Focus Rifle. Halo Reach. The love child of a sniper rifle and a sentinel beam. Good shield-drainer.
- UNSC M99 "Stanchion" Special Applications Scoped Rifle. Novels only. Coilgun sniper rifle, accelerates a .21-caliber round to 15 kilometers per second. Can literally blow a person apart from over 6 kilometers out. Only a few people are trained to use it.
- To break it down:
- Syndicate's sniper rifle was long range, but had the power of a pistol. Might as well use the laser or the gauss gun for sniping instead.
- Cold Winter, a Golden Eye 1997-inspired PlayStation 2 FPS, features no fewer than four different types of sniper rifle through the course of its story missions.
- The Ratchet and Clankseries has sniper rifles from Going Commando onward.
- Red Faction: Guerilla has sniper rifles. It can be fired scoped and unscoped. It is often possible to get a one-shot-kill with the rifle, as opposed to several other weapons which require an enemy to be generously hosed down with fire. Its' rate of fire is low so it is not ideal when facing several drones at close range.
- It also has a "Gauss Rifle" that has an X-ray scope and shoots through most hard objects. It can be used to great effect against vehicle crews, and the last bossfight against the enemy commander being IN A TANK is way too easy with it. It is not an instakill (exept for headshots) but it does good damage.
- This is sort of the whole point of Sniper Elite.
- The original Jagged Alliance 2 features the M24 SWS and SVD, although deliberately gimped to prevent them from breaking the game.
- In a fan based mod called version 1.13, more than 30 unique sniper rifles are featured, with varying roles such as silenced(VSS Vintorez), semi-automatic DMRs covering ranges of up to 700 meters(M14 EBR, M21, SVD, SR-25, MSG-90, SCAR-H with 24 inch barrel, etc), dedicated anti-personnel(DSR-1, AI-AWM, TRG-42, ERMA SR-100, etc) or anti-materiel(M82A2, OSV-96). The effectiveness of sniper rifles has also dramatically improved in 1.13, to the extent that some are able to engage targets from more than four times the effective range of assault rifles. Unfortunately, the enemy has them too. Not so much a game breaker when your mercs are suffering headshots from across the map.
- To prevent the new long range sniper rifles from obsoleting every other rifles in the game, a couple of restrictions are enforced. As the magnification value of the scope increases, the sniper sees further while looking down the scope but suffers more severe tunnel vision so that one can't see enemies sneaking from the side. (They don't show up on the screen unless the sniper changes stance and turns around, or if there are no other buddies to cover the flanks). In addition, shots may get severely inaccurate if the enemy manages to get within regular assault rifle range.
- In Dark Void, the player uses a sniper rifle called the Reclaimer. Sniping becomes MUCH more fun when you can shoot from virtually ANY vantage point using your Jet Pack.
- In Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga, some of the many, many characters carry one of these. Interestingly, when aiming, rather than going into first-person mode, the Wii cursor becomes a targeting reticule with a zoomed-in picture of the action in it.
- Sniper Rifles are fairly common throughout the Fallout series. They tend to have small magazines and slow firing rates coupled with long range and significant bonuses to accuracy and critical rate.
- Fallout: New Vegas features the most powerful sniper rifle in the series: the .50MG Anti-Materiel Rifle. Deliberately designed after the PGM Hécate II , the AMR allows the player to one-shot some of the most powerful enemies in the game with normal .50MG rounds, and also allows the use of armor-piercing, incendiary, and explosive rounds. The only reason it's not a Game Breaker is because the rifle itself weighs as much as three other guns, and the ammo on hardcore mode will weigh you down if you carry more than 25 rounds. Then the Gun Runners Arsenal DLC was debuted, giving the AMR lighter weight, faster fire, and a suppressor. Yes, a suppressor for the anti-tank gun.
- Samus gets to use one called the Imperialist in the Metroid Prime Hunters single-player mode. In multiplayer, the Imperialist is Trace's signature weapon, and it allows him to turn invisible when standing still long enough.
- Brink has "light rifles," which function mostly like sniper rifles, except that the firepower is so low that it can only kill light-bodied opponents in one-shot with no buffs.
- Anarchy Reigns has one as a pick up item to use against your enemies.
- Being a Halo Machinima, many characters in Red vs. Blue use them at various times. Church is the one who uses it the most, but has terrible aim; failing to hit anyone with it. Even Caboose shows better marksmanship.
- In the real world, the 12.7x99mm round is far too heavy to affected by the wind, and certainly wouldn't spiral around like that.
- There's an option in the machine settings to turn the scope off and replace it with a scope on the main screen, but why would you want to do that?