Book Review: The British Sniper – A Century of Evolution

Steve Houghton’s newly released book “The British Sniper: A Century of Evolution” is an excellent reference on British sniper rifles, accessory equipment, and training from World War One through the present. Where Skennerton’s work ends in the 1980s, some of Houghton’s best information covers the Accuracy International L96A1 and Arctic Warfare rifles. The whole work is nicely illustrated in color, and provides a very digestible history of both rifles and optics, as well as supplementary gear like spotting scopes and sniper-specific clothing. The text is also dotted with first-hand anecdotes from snipers discussing the different rifles and their actual use.

Houghton covers a variety of aspects of his subject matter. In addition to the development and use of the different rifles, he also discusses markings and practices that are quite useful in authenticating rifles – quite useful in a field where fakes are not uncommon. I would highly recommend a copy for anyone interested in sniping or British military small arms!

It is not available on Amazon, instead being sold directly through the publisher. Price is 57 pounds plus shipping, and orders should be directed via email to:


    • Yes, it does.
      The description of the competition between the M85 and the L96 is pretty indepth.

      As for the book as a whole – I´ve finished the first reading of my copy yesterday and will only quote a phrase from the website: “a joy to own and handle”.
      Well worth the price.

  1. Back in the day I would have asked Bradford (UK) Library Service to get this book. I would have read it, as would many borrowers because they were interested. I will request this book tomorrow. It’ll never be bought, but at least some Darlek may have to personally contact me as to why my request could not be fulfilled.

  2. There is an Australian TV mini series called “Gallipoli” that shows them using Galilean sights. I’d like to try them out too.

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