Basic Sniper Description

The OTOA Basic Sniper School instruction begins in the classroom with an understanding of equipment selection and setup, followed by ammunition selection and internal, external, and terminal ballistics review. Range instruction focuses on fundamental marksmanship skills, including alternative shooting positions, rifle zeroing, grouping, and scope tracking. Live fire exercises and function drills are designed to test the soundness of the rifle/optic combo in field conditions, and students will practice engaging paper and steel targets out to 300 yards (range dependent) using a mix of improvised positions. The course concludes with a preventative maintenance and equipment care session.

Students must pass the OTOA Qualification Course of Fire and Exam and a written exam to complete the course successfully.

This is a hands-on, high-intensity course in which students practice tactics and techniques in the field.

This course is restricted to OTOA Members and sworn officers of a United States governmental agency.


The following is a detailed list of what the OTOA recommends each student bring to the 5-day Basic Sniper training.


Body Armor is MANDATORY for this class. Any of the following three options is acceptable:

  • Level III “Tactical” body armor
  • Plate carrier and Level II or Level III soft body armor
  • If you DO NOT have "Tactical Body Armor," Concealable Level II or Level III is acceptable 

Ballistic helmet (if issued)


All precision rifles are REQUIRED to be "ZEROED" before you arrive for the first day of class.

Precision rifle with adjustable turret scope, bipod, and sling


  • Five hundred (500) rounds of match-grade ammunition.


ANY / ALL EQUIPMENT for a “call out” or SWAT / SRT activation

  • Tactical team or training uniform for 5-days – mandatory
  • Gloves – we recommend gloves compatible with weapons manipulation
  • Clear eye protection – mandatory
  • Hearing protection – mandatory
  • Ball cap – mandatory
  • Pen and notebook – mandatory
  • Water and food – mandatory - NO MEALS PROVIDED
  • Binoculars, spotting scope
  • Weapons cleaning supplies
  • Databook, Data PDA, Data Computer, or Data Phone app
  • Sunglasses, Bug spray, and sunblock - recommended
  • Inclement weather gear for both cold and wet weather - recommended
  • If you are allergic to bees, outdoor plants, or animals, please bring your epinephrine pen or other medication.


  • Spotting Scope
  • Pruning Shears
  • Shooting Mat / Alternate shooting support, i.e., backpack, tripod, shooting sticks, etc.
  • Ghillie Suit


If you are allergic to bees, outdoor plants, or animals, please bring your epinephrine pen or other medication.

Life-threatening allergies and pre-existing injuries or conditions must be reported to the OTOA training staff on day one of training.


Day 1 

0800-1000 - Paperwork, Waivers, Intros, Basic Sniper Power Point Scope Theory 

1000-1030 - Shooting Positions/Marksmanship

1030 -1100- Data Books/Cold Bore

1100- 1130- Ballistics

1130- 1200- Weapons Maintenance/Weapon breakdown/Explain torque specs 

1200- 1230 Lunch

1230- 1245- Prone Demo/ Show Press Check/ Explain Ocular adjustment

1245- 1345- Check Rifles/ Confirm Zeros at 25 yards

1445- 1630ish (End of Day) - Range Time

  • Grouping Drills
  • 5 Dots
  • Low Magnification Vs. High Magnification shooting
  • FBI Qual
  • Scored Event
  • MISC Drills if Time Allows

Day 2 

0800-0845 - MIL/MOA Range Estimation/Range Card PPT 

0845-0930 - Mil-Dot Range Estimation Exercise

0930- 1030 - Sniper Deployment/Equipment

1030-1100 - Camouflage/ Urban hides

1100- 1200 - Greenside Concealment Exercise

1200- 1630ish (End of Day) Range Time

  • FBI Qual
  • Grouping Exercise
  • 100-yard Scope Drill (4 MOA/ 1 mil up/down/left/right)
  • Suppressor Demo/ Barrel Harmonics Demo
  • Tripod/ Shooting Sticks Demo
  • Tripod Drills 100 - 58 yards
  • Scored Event
  • Shooting from and around Barricades
  • OTOA Qual

Day 3 

0800-0830- ASA Data 

0830-0900 - Legal

0900- 1000 - Sniper Shooting Debrief

1000-1100 - Observation/Intel/Kims Game

1100-1200- Kims Game / Observation Exercise

1200- 1630ish (End of Day) Range Time

  • OTOA Qual
  • Unsupported Shooting (sit/kneel/stand)
  • Weak side prone (50 yards)
  • Data Collection 25 yards
  • Ammo Differences Demo (the 3-round group with different types of ammo)
  • Suppressor Demo/Rifle Cant/ Barrel Harmonics Demo
  • Multiple targets/Rapid Bolt
  • Scored Event

Day 4

0800-1000 - Multi-Jurisdictional Ops and Moving Targets
1000- 1600 Range Time

  • OTOA Qual
  • FBI Qual
  • 100-yard confirmation
  • 150 – 300 yards DOPE and No DOPE
  • Coordinated Fire
  • Scored Event
  • Tripods- Standing/Kneeling @ 200 yards
  • 1-time only OPOTA QUAL Opportunity

1600- 1630 – TEST Review

Day 5 

0800- 0900- TEST
0900 - 1300 Range time

  • OTOA Qual (1/2 MOA Sniper Coin Opportunity)
  • FBI Qual
  • Scored Event (stress shoot)
  • Sniper Observer Drill – (Faces)
  • Shooting with full callout gear
  • Final Competition (Head to Head challenge)
  • Misc Drills if Time Allows

1100- 1300 - Moving Targets

1300- 1400 - Instructor Critiques need to be completed before the Certificate will be available on OTOA  website; Present Top Gun Certificate/ Hand out Coins