Vietnam was a conflict in which American snipers proved to be very effective. But at the start of the war, there was no formal sniping school in the U.S. Marine Corps. A young captain by the name of Edward J. Jim Land, Jr. set out to change that. He recruited men like Carlos Hathcock and scrounged up heavy-barrel Winchester model 70s fitted with you Unertl target scopes to begin the Marine sniping war in Vietnam.
Before Major John L. Plaster, one of the world's foremost authorities on sniping, was an army officer working on a sniper school for the army reserve, he was a Special Forces sergeant and a team leader in the Studies and Observation Group, carrying out dangerous and clandestine missions behind enemy lines. In Part 3 of American Rifleman TV's "The Men and Guns of The Vietnam War," Major Plaster discusses Marine snipers in Vietnam, and the 300 Green Berets lost on these missions, including many who are missing even today. And speaking of Marines, Field Editor Wiley Clapp, who was a Marine captain in Vietnam, recalls the first time he and his men went up against the AK-47.