As a firearm owner and firm defender of our individual rights, one of the more aggravating things I stumble across on the cortex from time to time are Fudds proclaiming the demonic natures and other dangers of "evil black rifles" / "assault weapons" / etc., while simultaneously bitterly clinging to their wood-and-blued-steel bolt-action hunting rifles (aka "high-powered sniper rifles") and duck shotguns (aka "street-sweeping bullet hoses"). Obviously these narrow-minded individuals have never bothered to read a certain poem by a certain reverend, and when that decidedly-not-a-fallacy-for-reasons-that-will-soon-become-apparent slippery slope is pointed out to them… well, their reactions often remind one of those exhibited by full-blooded anti-rights cultists.
Well, my dear Fudds, this is what we were talking about:
How would a gun dealer define a sniper rifle?
The Shooting Edge, one of Calgary’s leading firearms dealers, lists the non-restricted, Czech-made CZ 750 Sniper on its website.
This reputable gun shop highlights the rifle’s effective range of just under half a mile and the fact that it was designed for "use by the elite military and law enforcement snipers".
It’s not a duck gun. Nevertheless, the CZ 750 Sniper will no longer be listed if the Harper government’s gun registry repeal bill passes.
In this specific case, we will forgive C4SR’s ignorance of firearms, as exhibited by his apparent thinking that any center-fire bolt-action rifle could be qualified as an effective "duck gun", and instead replace that phrase with "It’s not a hunting gun."
So what is a CZ 750?
Ceska zbrojovka’s page on the rifle makes it clear that is a bolt-action rifle chambered in .308 Winchester and complete with a 10-round removable magazine, weaver rail for optic-mounting, a muzzle brake, 26 inch barrel, adjustable trigger, and all of the other bells and whistles one would expect for a long-range tack-driver. Unfortunately, that webpage does not specify the rifle’s lineage, so we have to look elsewhere.
This The High Road thread, this SniperCentral thread, and this Wikipedia entry all seem to agree – the CZ750 is a very well dressed ("tarted up", according to some forum posters) CZ550, with very little – if anything at all – being done to the actual action, bolt, barrel, or anything else on the rifle.
So what is a CZ 550?
Only one of the most ordinary hunting rifles you have ever laid your eyes upon, and I would wager that with a competent, skilled, trained shooter behind the trigger, any of those CZ550s that have a similar barrel length and caliber as the CZ750 would be capable of similar performances and effective ranges.
In other words, those two rifles pictured above are functionally identical.
This is why water-carrying Fudds are so very annoying – "gun control" extremists like C4SR there will just keep finding new and more-frightening ways to redefine existing firearms until such time as all of them can be controlled, restricted, or limited into oblivion. Magazine-fed semi-automatic rifles become "assault weapons"; magazine-fed semi-automatic shotguns become "street-sweepers"; and here, right before our eyes, a rather generic bolt-action hunting rifle has been arbitrarily recategorized by an ignorant hoplophobe as a restriction-worthy "sniper rifle"*.
By way of answering his original question, in truth, a "sniper rifle" is precision, accurized rifle, chambered for a centerfire cartridge (typically one of the standard military ones), complete with a telescopic optic that allows the operator to engage human-sized targets at ranges beyond most small arms’ capacities.
So… what does that sound like to you? Darned near every gorramed "hunting" rifle in existence. Sure, maybe anti-rights cultists can claim that "military service" is what separates a "hunting" rifle from a "sniper" rifle. They could claim that… but they would be idiots – both the M24 and M40 sniper rifles are built from the actions of Remington 700s, probably the most prevalent hunting rifle in America, and police departments do not even bother renaming the 700 when they use it in the field.
So is it a "hunting" rifle or is it a "sniper" rifle? It does not matter; it is the intent of the user that determines whether the rifle will be used for hunting or sniping purposes, and intent is non-transferable .
I just wish the Fudds would realize that and stop being useful idiots for anti-rights cultists by buying into whatever new "scare words" are dreamed up for firearms – a gun is a gun, and, eventually, if those "gun control" extremists have their way, they will be coming for your gun, complete with all of the "scare words" they can come up with. How about we not let them get that far, eh?
[Update] John Hardin also has his own take on the famous poem, which turns out to be significantly more apt than my adaptation (at the bottom of the page). [/Update]
(* – Yes, the manufacturer and gun store call it a "CZ 750 Sniper" – that is purely a marketing gimmick, no more meaningful than saying a car has a "track-ready suspension", and they made no attempt to regulate the rifle based off that name. C4SR, on the other hand, did.)