Whether it’s Iraq, Afghanistan or just a standoff hostage situation here at home, it’s skilled snipers who heroically nail the bad guys while sparing the innocent.
Sniper’s Hide’s video setup, including the (blue) Anton/Bauer ElipZ battery between the camera and the tripod mount But they weren’t just born with the ability to thread a needle with a bullet at half a mile. They learn from people like Frank Galli, owner and precision rifle instructor of Sniper’s Hide, based in Kingsville, Texas.
Frank takes aspiring special operations personnel into the mountains and into helicopters, simulating the unusual angles that they might find later on the battlefield or crime scene. And, he shoots video of the snipers as part of the training.
To keep cameras running on long days in the field, he’s moved up to the ElipZ battery from Anton/Bauer. It’s lightweight enough to pack up a mountainside in a Battle Labs “assault pack” that holds a small cameras like a Panasonic HMC-150, a laptop, along with a pair of the batteries.
For Galli, the batteries are lasting seven hours, mounting directly between camera and tripod. Even with days in the field lasting from 8 a.m. into the night, two are all he needs.
In the past, built-in batteries on small consumer cams didn’t last long enough; so he had to use bulky external batteries. Several would only last about two hours.
The ElipZ installs and releases easily, provides power to both the cameras and an attached light, and even helps improve the overall balance of the camera.
Why go through all that trouble to shoot the shooters? Today’s special operations personnel have a lot of skills to master, and sometimes marksmanship doesn’t get all the attention it needs. Video lets the students see themselves and most easily correct and improve their technique.
“Their success rate goes through the roof after they see the videos,” he said.