Yes, many of the period manuals on Sniping discuss how to make a suit as do the early editions of the Canadian Army Training Memorandums. If you have access to lots of hessian, you can easily make one out of that material.
That`s exactly what I need Ed, Thanks.
Does it give instructions in the manual? "i.e. attach netting to blouse, hang strips of hessian from netting" Or are they more vague?
I`d like to make one in the WW2 style to go with my display.. Thanks, Kevin
There was a base garment (factory made and Crown issue), basically like a baggy hooded smock made from OD netting material - large ennough to fit over BD AND a Denison and still be a hair loose. You would then sew strips of scrim to the suit to match the environment. Examples of actual sniper Ghillies run from guys who look like the Swamp Thing like modern ghillies tend to be, down to guys who have less scrim on their ghillie than I have on my helmet.
I do not recall the wartime manuals giving specifics on the construction of the suit -- there are MAJOR differences between the wartime sniping manual and even the 1946 manual. Unfortnately, my wartime manual is on loan right now. But Ghillies are ALWAYS assembled by teh sniper, from a base garment and scrim. Use long strips of scrim, and comb out the last 2-3". This will result in the softening of edges you want without having you look like a walking Afro.
Thanks Rick. I`ve seen the "net smock" but it seems very few of those were actually used, at least from the photos I`ve seen.
What I`m really after is what wartime construction techniques were recommended. i.e. did they advise you to cut netting to fit over the shoulders and chest? More netting to legs?
From looking at period photos, they seem to have a lot of scrim on the leg area..few modern suits have this.
I saw a bit of wartime film on teh History Channel some time ago, showing Canadian infantrymen in Normandy. One of the chaps was carrying a No4(T) rifle, and had a bit of scrimmed hessian (frankly, it looked like a large potato sack) done up as a hooded shoulder-length cape and apparantly attached to his epaulettes.
Which led me to some "experimental archaeology:. . .
I worked a little with this consept out of curiosity -- if you split one side out of a large burlap sack (readily available to a soldier), stitch two fore and aft straps (or strings) that can have teh BD (or Denison) epaulettes run through them, and scrim the hessian well, you have a VERY useable ghillie "suit" that is functional for a sniper providing supporting fire, but doesn't significantly obstruct movement.
You end up swapping the ability to operate behind enemy lines as a "wandering bush" (a fairly rare occurance for most people equipeed with No4(T)'s, actually), but retain a get-up that will provide concealment for you on a 120 degree arc to your front -- provided you are firing from a supported position or prone (as you SHOULD be, as a sniper).
Keep in mind there are two types of snipers (even in organizations that don;t officially diffierenciate, the difference DOES exist). Even where all snipers go through the same training, and get issued exactly the same kit, the differences exist. It's not even necessarily a differenciation in individual snipers -- if all of them are good enough, it can merely be a differeciation in sniper MISSIONS.
There is the guy who uses his sniper rifle as a unit support weapon. These guys need mobility more than absolute concealment. They have to be able to keep up, and NOT look tremendously out of place (and identified as "significant targets") if they get attacked while marching down the road with the rest of their battalion. They can afford to swap out a little concealment, as they are NOT operating alone, and have the chaos of a large unit's small arms fire and such to hide in. They are also NOT doing that "Enemy at the Gates" style sniper duels. These snipers (often referred to by the US as "designated marksmen") make up at least 90% of your sniper force.
Then there are the guys who go out alone, or with a 1-2 man security/spotter element, and hide in one place for hours or days, waiting for very specific targets -- like other snipers, or "field grade and above" officers. These guys are the ones who absolutely need the "Swamp Thing" ghillie.
The 22C spotting scope is for the 6-pdr A/Tk gun and is not for sniper rifles. At the risk of sounding like I am pushing my own books (again) you might want to invest in "Without Warning - Canadian Sniper Equipment of the 20th Century". http://www.servicepub.com/sniper.html