Rifles & Optics of the European Best Sniper Squad Competition 2016

Eric B
by Eric B

TFB’s Pete recently wrote about the European Sniper Competition, hosted by the U.S. Army in Germany.

The competition included competitors from Belgium, Denmark, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The squads were tested during four days, with 30 different “stations” from sniping, navigation and medical.

Out of curiosity me and a few friends started scrolling through all the pictures, looking at the videos, trying our best to identify which rifles, optics and other equipment the snipers were using. The result can be found below in pictures and writing.

Did we get all of the rifles and nationalities right? No, certainly not. Some are quite difficult and there are many, many better experts out there than us. Please help in the comments section below if you spot mistakes.


Accuracy International is clearly over-represented in these pictures, in 7,62×51 mm NATO.

There are a few Berret MRADs, in .338 Lapua Magnum, and SAKO TRG-42s, most likely also in .338 Lapua Magnum.

The US Team seems to be using a variation of M2010 Enhanced Sniper Rifle, possibly SR-25, M110s and Remington Modular Sniper Rifle. But we could be wrong, some look very similar when picutres don’t give everything away (for an untrained eye).

In terms of optics, it seems “everyone” was using Schmidt & Bender, except USA with Leupolds.

You will also find a few G36s, Ak4s (G3), SCAR-H and HK 416 and 417.

There are a few EOTechs, Elcans and Hensholdt sights on various rifles.

Let the show begin:

Below: An U.S. Soldier, assigned to the 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment, plotting a map during the land navigation exercise. Is that an SR-25 with Magpul PRS stock, or M110?

Below: Looks like Heckler & Koch G36s with EOTechs and magnifiers. The least accurate combination of all times? (sorry I had to)

Below: Thumbs down from the spotter. I guess that would indicate a mike. M2010 Enhanced Sniper Rifle with Leupold?

It’s pretty bad ass to shoot from a boat. Accuracy International on a tripod.

Shooting from a boat. In IPSC Shotgun World Shoot we shot buckshots from a boat in one stage. This looks a lot more challenging, and I guess the crew has to be very still in the boat. Note the empty shell that breaks the water from the M110.

One soldier commented: “It was very hard because we never do training on the boat or helicopter” – well maybe you should.

Below: SCAR-H in 7,62. Looks absolutely massive. This is a Lithuanian soldier. Note the muzzle protection.

Looks like a quick attach mount.

Lithuania Adopts FN SCAR-H Precision Rifle (7.62mm)

Lithuania’s Ministry of Defense has purchased $3.9 million worth of the designated marksmen version of the FN SCAR-H rifle, the SCAR-H PR, along with Schmidt & Bender optics. While they will not say how many were ordered, my guess based on the contract value, would be about 750. Defense News reports … Lithuania’s Ministry of Defense … Continue reading

Latvian soldier making his rifle look like grass. He’s pretty successful at it, but I guess it’s an AI based on the grip.

Below: A British sniper preparing for the stalking event. Possibly a L115 A3 Accuracy International AWM?

Below: A Danish sniper. Looks like a Spuhr mount with an Aimpoint Micro on the side. H&K 417 ‘Sniper’ with a 20″ accurized barrel.

Below: I hope this Italian sniper is not shooting with a barrel support. I would be scared to death in a helicopter with an open door. SAKO TRG-42 in .300 Winchester Magnum or most likely .338 Lapua Magnum. The TRG-42 is used by the 9th Parachute Assault Regiment and the Gruppo di Intervento Speciale.

Swedish Coastal Ranger, with a PSG-90 (Sniper Rifle 1990). Note the Trident patch to the left, similar to the US Navy SEALs.

The PSG-90 is essentialy an Accuracy International L96A1 AW. (Arctic Warfare). Atlas bipod to be noted.

Below: Latvian snipers, with Accuracy Intl. rifle and mount.

Another Spuhr mount, on Accuracy International.

Below: Belgian team with an Accuracy International. I would love to see the FN Ballista more, but not here.

Below: M110 Semi-Automatic Sniper System. Winners of the longest sound suppressor.

The M2010 Enhanced Sniper Rifle in action.

.300 Winchester Magnum about to go down range. Unfortunately for the US team, the spotters called out a lot of mikes (misses) here, but they weren’t alone.

Surefire SOCOM Muzzle Brake? Probably a safe bet to say they’re using Surefire suppressors?

Most likely the Swedish Team with the PSG-90, Accuracy International AW.

SAKO TRG-42 with a massive muzzle brake. .338 LM I presume. S&B optics.

Most likely an English sniper with Accuracy International AWM, L115 A3.

In the .338 Lapua Magnum version, this rifle has the record for the longest recorded sniper kill, at 2 475 meters.

AI AW most likely in .338 LM, AI mount and S&B optics.

Below: I think this is Norway, the winners. Barret MRAD in .338 Lapua Magnum and Schmidt & Bender PM 2 5-25×56 optics. Lasers and stuff going on on the Picatinny. Looks like an Atlas bipod, at least on the second rifle.

Below: Swedish Team, with PSG-90 and Ak4 (Heckler & Koch G3) and – most likely – Hensholdt.

Below, a better picture of the latest edition of the Swedish AK4, upgraded with Spuhr’s hand guard and stock. This rifle was not in the competition, but will soon find its way out to selected units. Due to budget cuts, the old Hensholdt was considered “good enough” in a benchmarks.

Someone taped his Ak4 (HK G3) real good with camouflage. The Hensholdt is well protected.

Notice the Swedish Pistol 88, or Glock 17 in 9×19 mm. No magazines inserted.

Couldn’t find any pictures of other units with visible handguns.

Norwegian soldier from the Telemark battalion, with Heckler & Koch 416N and Elcan Spectre 1-4.

Another angle, the laser clearly visible.

Swedish soldiers with PSG-90B on tripod.

Below Swedish Ranger with PSG-90.

I think that’s a Remington Modular Sniper Rifle (MSR).

Another Remington Modular Sniper Rifle? I would advice against using dark sunshades in these conditions, but it looks cool.

The teams one the Podium?

Thanks to Mattias. I hope we got most of them right, but please comment below.

Eric B
Eric B

Ex-Arctic Ranger. Competitive practical shooter and hunter with a European focus. Always ready to increase my collection of modern semi-automatics, optics, thermals and suppressors. TCCC Certified. Occasionaly seen in a 6x6 Bug Out Vehicle, always with a big smile.

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3 of 36 comments
  • .45 .45 on Nov 11, 2016

    Never really put much thought into it before, but how exactly does one to about putting grass and weeds onto their rifle? Looks like twine in the pictures to me, but I also notice it on there without anything else, so is that really what it is for?

    • Jono102 Jono102 on Nov 12, 2016

      @.45 A few methods,
      Small loops of tire tube or rubber bands looped over the barrel and optic,
      A sleeve over the rifle with loops/elastic to thread it through,
      Thin elastic or shock cord zig zag along the barrel and optic, to name a couple.

      It not uncommon to see extra rubber bands or tire tube looped on to the barrel, optic, hand guard or cocking handle for this or any other needs, especially when you need to "manufacture" concealment

  • Nathan Nathan on Nov 15, 2016

    To bad that the belgian armed forces are secretive. I looked on the website and there were only 2 pictures of them and none of them showed there faces or weaponry. They probably used the ax338 and the fn scar pr