The term sniper is attested from 1824 in the sense of “sharpshooter.” The verb to snipe originated in the 1770s among soldiers in British India-in the sense of: “to shoot from a hidden place,” in allusion to snipe hunting, a game bird known for being extremely difficult to locate, approach, or shoot. Those who were skilled at the hunting of this bird were thus dubbed “snipers.”
In the last few decades, the term “sniper” has been used rather loosely, especially by media in association with police precision riflemen, those responsible for assassination, any shooting from all but the shortest range in war, and any criminal equipped with a rifle in a civil context.
In the Bosnian War, and for much of the Siege of Beirut, the term “sniper” was used to refer to what were generally ill-trained soldiers who terrorized civilians, mainly by firing at them from hi-rise windows and rooftops.
During the Siege of Sarajevo, the main street of the city became known as “Sniper Alley”.
These military issued handbooks provide the doctrine for the sniper training of accurate, efficient and observant snipers. This knowledge is not limited to the act of pulling the trigger, but camouflage, stealth movement, selecting firing position and much much more.