Precision Guns and Optics: A Winning Combo


Daniel and I shot the Mammoth Sniper Challenge as a team, competing in the Extreme Tough Man division. The match, known for being one of the most difficult, required that we carry all the guns, gear, ammo, and food we needed for three days/two nights and eight courses of fire. We rucked everything, through obstacles, for a total of 23 timed miles (18 minutes per mile maximum).  We slept outside in freezing temperatures and shot dynamic stages that tried our physical limits just as much as our marksmanship skills. Our success was undoubtedly determined by our keen selection of guns and optics.

We ultimately won the match because we made our hits. I shot primary; my targets were 400-1040 yards. Daniel shot secondary; his targets were 150-650 yards. The target sizes ranged from ½ to 3 MOA.

Our rifles were identical (total weight of each rifle with scope and bipod was 14.5lbs).  Here’s the breakdown:

Surgeon Scalpel Short Action Rifle with a PROOF Research Barrel


Photo Credit: USAMU, SFC Piper

Action:  Surgeon Scalpel 591 Short Action

  • Very smooth bolt throw
  • Easy bolt lift after firing

Barrel:  28” Carbon Fiber wrapped PROOF Research

  • Immediately shot great
  • Consistently 0.3 MOA results
  • POI did not walk when barrel heated during courses of fire and during testing

Candice5shot100yrd  Dan5Shot300yrd

Pictured above: Candice’s 5 shot group at 100 yards (Left) and Daniel’s 5 shot group at 300 yards (Right)

Trigger:  Jewell Trigger, set to 2lbs

  • Light pull
  • No grit
  • Crisp break
  • Easy to adjust

Brake:  Badger Ordnance FTE Muzzle Brake

  • Extremely effective in mitigating recoil

Caliber:  .308 Winchester

Ammunition:  Federal Premium, 7.62x51mm, 175gr Sierra Matchking

Stock:  McMillan A-5

  • Easy to adjust cheekpiece
  • Adjustable length of pull

Bipod:  Sierra 7 Bipod

  • Quickly attaches and detaches to picatinny rail
  • Tension adjustable pan and track features
  • Legs lock individually at the 0,45,90,135,180 degrees
  • Raptor feet provide stability on barricades

Photo Credit: USAMU, SFC Piper

Rifle Scope:  Leupold Mark 6 3-18x44mm with H59 reticle with Leupold Mark 4 Steel Rings

  • Tracked properly
  • Great clarity
  • Lightweight
  • Rugged
  • Locking elevation turret
  • Easy to use zero stop

Spotting Scope:  Leupold Mark 4 12-40x60mm with H32 reticle

  • Very clear
  • Easy to see trace
  • Durable
  • Used in conjunction with Aimpoint (T1 micro)
  • Used with Bushnell tripod

Photo Credit: USAMU, SFC Piper

Image Stabilized Binos:  Fraser Optics Gyro-Stabilized 14x40mm

  • Extremely quick to employ
  • 2 depths of field to see trace
  • Compact
  • Low energy consumption
  • Very rugged
  • Can see trace as well or better than a spotting scope to 600 yards
  • These binos would be better if they had a Horus reticle

Photo Credit: USAMU, SFC Piper

Huge thanks to Surgeon Rifles, PROOF Research, and Leupold Optics for making products that are innovative and unparalleled.



  1. Congratulations on the absolutely great shooting. Your rifles are fantastic and I will be reaching out to PROOF Research about the barrels for some upcoming rifle builds I am planning.

    • Thanks so much! Those PROOF Research barrels were so impressive! Each 28″ barrel was about 6lbs. lighter due to being carbon fiber wrapped. We were shocked at the accuracy of both rifles straight out of the box! Your money will be well-spent. Please let me know how it works out for you!

    • Hi! Thanks for the question. I am going to be doing another complete review of the gear we used. But, in short, we used Gregory Baltoro packs (Daniel’s was a 75, mine was a 65). I’ll have that article up with in the next week.

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