Organized into six parts and arranged chronologically, Plaster’s book starts with the first rifleman—especially those of Daniel Morgan in the American Revolution—then moves into the sharpshooters of both sides during the American Civil War, the small wars and technological revolution that occurred from 1865 to 1914, then the development of the military sniper during World War I and World War II. He then covers the sniper of Korea and Vietnam before moving into post-Vietnam War era, Iraq and Afghanistan, and concluding with the future of the military sniper.
The book is packed with hundreds of informative sidebars ranging from the legendary “Captain Jack” of French and Indian War, to Civil War riflescopes, to Australian Billy Sing at Gallipoli, Germany’s infra-red Vampir sight of World War II, to the Barrett Rifle, to the sniper rifles used by Iraqi insurgents today. The sidebars alone would merit a book of their own, but here they are built into a very readable and comprehensive overall history.
Signed copies of "The History of Sniping And Sharpshooting" are available from the author at UltimateSniper.com, P.O. Box 100, Iron River, WI 54847; (888) 258-0626. The hardbound, 81/2”x11” 704-page book includes 895 photos or illustrations and costs $89.95 plus $12. shipping. It’s an expensive book, but worth every penny.
In checking with others with specific areas of expertise, American Rifleman’s Editor-In-Chief Mark Keefe called Plaster’s coverage of Australian, British and Canadian snipers, their equipment and tactics in World War I and World War II—an area in which he has knowledge of the arms and the historiography—“masterful and comprehensive.” He added, “The beauty of this book lies not only in its detail, but in the seamless weaving together of the evolution of the rifles, ammunition, people and tactical doctrine into a flowing narrative.”
I have studied in detail the parts of this book I was involved in during the beginning of the Marine Corps sniping program in Hawaii (1961) through Vietnam and the post-war period. This is the first time I have seen published information during these time periods to be complete and accurate.