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Early Vietnam Sniper Rifles

The story of the Mosin-Nagant 91/30 PU, the M1D and the Winchester M70.

Early Vietnam Sniper Rifles
Photos by Mark Fingar

As the United States committed to helping South Vietnam in 1959, the U.S. military was caught unprepared for the requirements that the Vietnam War would place on precision, long-­range, small-­arms engagements.

In the initial stages of the war, the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) and Viet Cong were operating in the open because of the inability of the U.S. military to bring accurate long-­range fire to bear. Not to mention, NVA snipers harassed U.S. troops from ranges that the U.S. troops could not reach with return fire.

Up to this point, sniper training in the U.S. had been ad-­hoc and informal. The situation quickly changed as the U.S. military adjusted its...

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