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Arctic Warfare.

A good sniper is terrifying. Hidden death that lurks in a hillside: unseen
and able to precisely quench targets with a single bullet. If you’re lucky, such a threat will only send
a chill down your spine: and if you’re not – well, you might never
hear the shot. The Arctic Warfare series of rifles are purpose-built
for precision. It has found fame through its confirmed kill
distance records: and in its depiction in games, most notably as Counter-Strike’s AWP. So what place do precision weapons have in
games? What makes sniper rifles such a desirable
choice for some players? And what is it about bolt-actions that makes
’em deal more damage? The Arctic Warfare’s story starts in England,
in 1978. At this time, the British Army were reliant
on the 19th-century Lee Enfield rifles for their marksman roles, designated the L42A1. While there’s nothing wrong with a classic
bolt-action, there was definitely room for a more modern, specialised long-range weapon. Accuracy International was founded by a group
of skilled competitive shooters, looking to design and build a new tactical rifle. Their first design was the Precision Marksman,
or the PM, in 1982. It was designed in response to the British
Army’s search for a new sniper rifle, and would emerge triumphant in competition, earning
the L96A1 designation. Built for precision from the ground up, the
platform is bedded on a solid aluminium chassis, surrounded by a distinctive drab green hollow
polymer stock. Not content with a single contract, AI shot
for the Swedish military, who were in a similar position to the Brits – seeking to replace
their World War 2-era rifles. The Precision Marksman design was modified
to cope with extremely cold temperatures – with a milled bolt that minimised the surface area
able to freeze together, and a larger trigger guard to allow the use of heavy gloves. These changes gave the updated rifle a new
name: the Arctic Warfare. It was accepted into service by the Swedes
in 1991, as the PSG 90 – and the British Army adopted the improved version as the L118A1. Later variants of the Arctic Warfare include
the AWF with folding stock – and the AWP, intended for law enforcement use with plain
black furniture. The AWS is a suppressed version, with an integral
suppressor, and similar is the AW Covert – which comes with a shortened barrel and folding
stock. The AW Magnum expanded the calibre offerings
to a higher power band: with chamberings in .300 Win Mag and .338 Lapua Magnum. These rounds deliver more kinetic energy on
target, extending the rifle’s reach and flattening the bullet’s trajectory. This makes the Magnum offerings particularly
suitable for extreme ranges – and the AWM was adopted by the British Armed Forces under
the L115 designation. It was this variant that would cataput the
Arctic Warfare into the record books – as the AWM is responsible for the longest ever
confirmed sniper kill, at two thousand, four hundred and seventy five metres. The shot took place in 2009, during the War
in Afghanistan – fired by British sniper Craig Harrison, Corporal of Horse in the Blues and
Royals Royal Horse Guards. An incredible feat that placed the platform
amongst the finest long-range rifles: no doubt, the Arctic Warfare is every inch a marksman’s
weapon. It was never meant to be cheap, nor intended
for mass-production: these rifles are specialist weapons for a specialised role. Perhaps it’s this ’boutique appeal’ that has
led to the familiar green thumbhole stock cropping up in a number of video games. Such weapons have always had a tough transition
into interactive entertainment: truly realistic sniping is a test of patience and precision,
engaging unseen and far from the fray. Games normally take some liberties for the
sake of balance – and so virtual sniping usually takes place at closer ranges and at a faster
pace than reality. Some titles do pride themselves on wide open
maps – the Battlefield franchise, for instance – but most FPS insist on cramming you and
your rifle into a small arena surrounded by automatic weapons. They are still top of the tree when it comes
to ranged damage and precision – so while you might not have a spotter at your side,
you can still vex the opposition from across the map. There’s a curious trait shared by all bolt-action
weapons in games: they all seem to do more damage than their semi-automatic counterparts,
even if they’re of the same calibre. Counter-Strike’s AWP is top dog in terms of
damage, and is the only weapon to kill an opponent in a single hit at any distance,
anywhere above the legs – armoured or not. It’s this depiction that cemented the Arctic
Warfare’s iconic status: the Counter-Strike AWP is a legendary weapon, and certainly amongst
the most recognisable weapons of first-person shooters. This popularity in Counter-Strike has led
to its appearance in other titles – but no matter the game, the rifle is always amongst
the most deadly on offer. This is certainly true within the Call of
Duty series, with the Arctic Warfare rifles appearing as the L96 in Black Ops, the L118A
in Modern Warfare 3, and the L115 in Call of Duty: Ghosts. So, why is the rifle always so powerful? It’s not for the sake of realism – but instead
a question of balance. While you can empty a semi-automatic weapon’s
magazine within a couple of seconds, a bolt-action weapon must be manually cycled for every shot
– which means a drastically slower rate of fire. The high damage of such weapons is necessary
to keep them relevant, then – and as a side effect, this places a much stronger emphasis
on first shot precision. Luckily, you’ll most often find the Arctic
Warfare supplied with a scope by default. A highly magnified view proves a double-edged
sword, however – and can help to further reinforce the intended long-range role of the weapon. Often, your peripheral vision will be blocked
out entirely while aiming – and while some games, such as Call of Duty: Ghosts, offer
a dual-rendered view – you will still suffer in the reactivity stakes. A closer view helps when tackling distant
targets, but a narrower field of vision can blind you to closer threats – and readjusting
your sights to an unexpected angle can take critical time. This tunnel vision, paired with an intrinsically
slow rate of fire, generally makes the weapon ill-suited for close quarters battle: but
of course, there are still some who’ll try. The Arctic Warfare series might be known by
many names: but there’s no mistaking its uncompromised performance. It demands first-shot precision, and severely
punishes wayward shots: but if you want to freeze out the opposition… …this rifle is ice cold. A refined weapon of precision that is deadly
in every incarnation. Its power compels a cult-like following: those
who live for the thrill of a one-shot kill. It’s seldom the easy option: its potency reigned
in with slow output and exacting function. The Arctic Warfare: Record holder. Purpose-built. Powerhouse. Thank you very much for watching, and until
next time – farewell.

100 thoughts on “Arctic Warfare.

  1. A Finnish Soldier nicknamed white death confirmed kills 500 Soviets with an outdated rifle nothing but iron sight. Enough said.

  2. 5:45 Does TF2 really count? AWPer Hand is a downgrade from Sniper's stock rifle, being far louder without dealing more damage.

  3. Counter Strike 1.6:
    Magnum Rifle


    I love how CS 1.6 became too specific on what brand of bullets the rifle was firing with

  4. facts: the bolt action increases the speed, caliber, and armour piercing effects while giving armour-piercing and full-metal jacket rounds the properties of a hollow point.

  5. "Slow Rate of Fire"

    Simo Hayha, who could shoot a target 500 meters away at a rate of 16 rounds per minute using a Mosin Nagant: Am I a Joke to you?

  6. Well the record fell again to a canadian with the same rifle as the previous record
    But man he meant it serious 3450m
    What is it with the canadians and the tac50

  7. Then you play krunker and the AWP is broken. Most people can't play it, but those that do are impossible to kill unless you gangbang them with automatics

  8. in phantom forces (roblox) there are the L115A3 and the AWS, but not AWP, and i think thats rather uncommon
    also they dont come with a scope equiped (but ready to be equipped) but a iron sight

  9. Unturned is good for sniping, open map and you can camouflage, bullet drop can be turned on or off and you have to aim ahead. You also have to be aware of muzzle flash

  10. It's funny watching this video now after the Canadian sniper beat this Brit with a whopping 3,000m kill using (I think) the M107.

  11. "Sniping your enemy is like hunting any other animal. Fire at the wrong moment and your chance will be forever lost." – Viktor Reznov

  12. Actually, the reason the AWM sniper rifle is more powerful is because it shoots magnum cartridges, which are more powerful but also have much higher recoil; it is impractical for use in a semi-automatic weapon, which is why it is bolt-action.

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