FBI Swat Observer / Sniper School

Event Phone: 205-248-4860

  • October 21, 2019 - October 25, 2019
    9:00 am - 5:00 pm


Contact Sgt. Tim Guy with the Tuscaloosa Police Department to register – 205-248-4860

The school will be one week in duration. It will commence at 9:00 A.M., on October 21st, and end at 5:00 P.M., on October 25th. The classroom and range instruction will be held at the Tuscaloosa Police Department Firing Range.  2201 New Watermelon Road, Tuscaloosa, Al, 35406
The course will consist of instruction and training similar to that which prospective FBI Observer/Snipers receive at the FBI Academy, Quantico, Virginia.
1. Administrative:
A) Due to a limited number of firing positions and instructors, selection will be limited.
B) Inasmuch as this course will be taught under the guidelines of the FBI Firearms Training Unit, only students who successfully qualify will receive certificates of Completion. A copy of the qualification requirements is enclosed.
C) Attendance is required for the entire course.
2. Equipment (equipment considered critical for successful completion of the course is represented in Bold type face):
Police Observer/Snipers will be REQUIRED to provide all basic shooting equipment. Each student will be required to have his own equipment, to include (but not limited to):
A) Scoped Rifle, preferably .308 caliber. Many of the major manufacturers (Remington, Winchester, Ruger) offer a “Police Special” or “Sniper” rifle. We have found 10X (10-power) scopes to be the most useful, all-around choice. FBI SWAT Snipers use a Leupold 3.5-10x variable power scope, with target style positive-click 1/4 minute adjustments. A scope of lower power than 8X would most likely cause problems
qualifying. The rifle/scope combination must be capable of at least one minute of angle accuracy (e.g. one inch @ 100 yards). A hard case and/or drag bag is recommended for the rifle.
B) 300 rounds of Match Grade service ammunition. This ammunition should be the same as that which would be used on an actual call-out. FBI SWAT Snipers use Match Grade 168gr. Boat Tail Hollow Point. Some students in past schools have attempted to use less than Match Grade ammunition and experienced accuracy and/or qualification problems.
C) Hearing and eye protection. No students will be allowed to fire without proper safety equipment.
D) Cleaning equipment for the rifle (Cleaning rod, bore brush, patch tip, patches, solvent, oil, etc.)
E) Twenty (20) power (minimum) spotting scope with tripod or bipod, for examining the target. 20X allows you to see .308 caliber holes at 100 yards. The spotting scope is the one piece of equipment which may be shared by two students. It is not recommended to use a magnification of more than 45X.
Students will find the following items, while not necessary, to be very helpful.
F) Shooting mat.
G) Sandbag or bipod. A Harris Low Bipod is very helpful in attaining a solid shooting position. A bipod is a good alternative to, and much lighter than, a sand bag. If no bipod is available, students should bring a sand bag for support during shooting. Qualification without a sand bag or a bipod will be very difficult.
H) Rear rest bag.
I) Camouflage clothing and face paint.
3. Physical requirements:
Police observer/snipers should be in good physical condition prior to attending the course. Besides spending long hours on the firing line, shooters will be
required to satisfactorily complete the basic FBI SWAT physical fitness test (2 pull-ups with full SWAT gear, 40-yard sprint with body armor and carrying unloaded shotgun or rifle in 8 seconds, and tactical obstacle course). Although not a physical fitness school, a physical test is necessary to maintain Quantico standards and to insure course completion with minimal risk of physical injury. THE TEST WILL BE GIVEN AT THE END OF THE FIRST DAY. Students who are at increased risk of injury due to poor physical conditioning will not be allowed to complete the course.
4. Uniform Requirements:
All students should report to the school in their SWAT issue uniforms. Students should also have range (Battle Dress utility) type attire for the other portions of the school. It is suggested that students dress for the school principally as they would on an actual call-out. This will allow students the opportunity to become familiar with shooting in the same uniform they might be deployed in.
Additionally, students should plan to wear their respective SWAT Team uniforms on the last day of the school for a class picture.
The following is a list of suggested clothing:
A) Camouflage utility top
B) Camouflage utility trousers
C) Boots
D) Camouflaged hat
E) Rain Gear. Inclement weather (Snow, rain & a combination of the two) has been experienced in some schools we have taught. Inasmuch as all firing is done outdoors, students should plan for the worst weather. Extra clothing may be advisable.

If additional inquiry is necessary concerning the above school, Sgt. Tim Guy may be contacted at 205-248-4860.
The course is a ten (10) round course in which the shooter must shoot 90% or better to qualify. The course is pass/fail in two sections, the “cold-bore” shot and the repetitive shots.
The “cold-bore” shot is the very first shot after removing the weapon from its case. This shot simulates an actual operational shot in that no warm-up shots will be afforded the sniper in the event he/she is deployed. If the “cold-bore” shot is missed, the shooter fails the qualification run.
The shooter is required to attain hits on eight (8) of the next nine (9) shots to qualify.
All shooting is done at 100 yards from the supported prone position. The course and times are as follows:
SHOT #1 – “COLD-BORE” – Shooter begins standing behind his/her weapon with one round placed beside the weapon. On command, shooter has one (1) minute to load his/her weapon, take his/her position, and fire one shot into the scoring zone of life-size face target. REMEMBER, “COLD-BORE” IS A PASS/FAIL SHOT.
SHOTS #2 & 3 – Shooter begins standing behind his/her weapon with two rounds placed beside the weapon. On command, shooter has two (2) minutes to load his/her weapon, take his/her position, and fire two shots into the scoring zone of 1/2 life-size face target (simulates 200 yard shot).
SHOTS #4, 5 & 6 – “STRESS SHOT” Shooter begins standing behind his/her weapon with three (3) rounds placed beside the weapon. Shooter then goes for a four (4) minute jog to elevate his/her heart rate. Upon returning to his/her rifle, shooter jogs in place behind his/her rifle until given the command to fire. Upon command to fire, shooter has one minute ten seconds (1:10) to load his/her weapon, take his/her position, and fire three (3) shots into the scoring zone of the life-size face target.
SHOTS #7-10 – Shooter begins standing behind his/her weapon with four (4) rounds placed beside the weapon. Upon command, shooter has two (2) minutes to load his/her weapon, take his/her position, and fire four (4) shots into the circle target.
SCORING – Possible 100%, minimal 90%. Shots which touch the scoring lines will be counted as hits.


2201 New Watermelon Road, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, 35406, United States