Tag Archives: Sniper

RIP Chris Kyle


I am saddened to have to announce the tragic loss of another one of our own.  This has been a hard year for the Special Operations community, perhaps the SEAL community most of all.

Today Chris Kyle was shot and killed at a shooting range at the Rough Creek Lodge in Texas, murdered along with a second individual.

Chris had been volunteering his time to help Marine Corps veterans suffering from PTSD and mentoring them.  Part of this process involved taking these veterans to the range where one of them snapped and killed Chris and his neighbor for reasons that remain unknown at this time.  The perpetrator then stole Chris’ vehicle in an attempt to escape but we have received word that the police have since arrested him.


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Shooting the HK 417 at SHOT 2013

So far we are weapons hot here in Las Vegas for the SHOT show.  I hosted Inside the Team Room, filmed in The Foundation Room at the top of the Mandalay Hotel yesterday.  The guests were former 3rd Ranger Battalion soldiers Isaiah Burkhart, Clyde Carmody, and Nick Irving.  I think we got some great stuff on tape, the bulk of the show will consist of funny and ridiculous stories from Ranger Battalion with an equal amount of time spent on combat deployments.  Inside the Team Room will now go in to Post-Production and I will keep you up to date for when the first episode goes live.

Jack, Burkhart, Carmody, and Nick

Jack, Burkhart, Carmody, and Nick

Finally getting some sleep, Burkhart, Nick, and myself headed out to the Media Range Day with Brandon Webb this morning.  We got to fire some guns but it was way colder than anyone expected.  Not at all a fun day to shoot!  We did check out the new Gen. 4 10mm Glocks which were pretty sweet.  I also finally got some trigger time on the HK 417.  In my novel, Target Deck, I have the team sniper carry the 417 as his primary weapon.  I didn’t have any experience behind this rifle myself but when some experts in the field that I know tell me that this is their favorite semi-automatic sniper rifle I am willing to take their word for it.

Shooting the HK 417, as you can see it was a little windy

Shooting the HK 417, as you can see it was a little windy

The rifle itself fired much like the SR-25 but with the gas-piston upper receiver the recoil goes straight to the rear of the rifle as opposed to pushing the rifle to the rear and upwards with a traditional gas gun.  Long distance marksmanship (and marksmanship in general) is a perishable skill and unfortunately I don’t get much trigger time these days as I live in New York City and don’t get away from my college studies as much as I might want too.  Yeah, I had no trouble knocking out the center of a steel target, but that is with a 7.62 rifle, with a ten power scope, from about 75 meters away.  Not exactly an impressive sniper shot.  However, I came away from my experience with the 417 thinking one thing: I WANT ONE.




Filed under Gear, Pictures, Weapons and Tactics

Get the SOFREP!

The Best Ranger competition is coming up soon!  Catch up on the details before it kicks off in a few days.

Read about Chris Schulenburg, a Selous Scout and perhaps the world’s greatest Recon specialist.

Read my exclusive interview with a Recce trooper from Singapore!  He’s also the cover artist for my novel, Reflexive Fire.

Find out about the next Stuxnet type attack, this time called Duqu, before it happens.  I’ve been talking to insiders and everyone is scared of what this Trojan virus is going to unleash.

A sniper from 3rd Ranger Battalion (who served in my old platoon) named Nick Irving has published a book called Team Reaper this week.  Check out some excerpts from the book here.

Ross Hall hooked me up with a copy of his excellent Ranger history book called The Ranger Book.  Ross did an outstanding job and you can read my review and view a table of contents of the book on SOFREP.

Cyber-Terrorism: Don’t believe the hype that Uncle Sam and the defense contractors are trying to sell you.

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Aerial Platform Support: Perception is not always reality

“As a professional shooter it is important never to overestimate your skills and even more unforgivable to misrepresent your skill level to commanding officers who will probably take those perceptions into account during mission planning. This is especially true of snipers preparing to conduct specialized tasks like providing target interdiction from a helicopter based platform.”

Get the low down on this misunderstood field at Kit Up!

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Filed under Special Forces, Weapons and Tactics

Special Forces Worry about M110 Durability

“The Army rolled out the M110 to much controversy, but in response to valid concerns and shifting tactical situations that snipers were encountering overseas. With soldiers fighting in built up urban areas, target ranges were decreased and the number of targets often increased, creating a need for a semi-automatic Sniper system to be fielded Army wide. However, many of us in the Special Operations community felt that the Army was getting the short end of the stick with the M110.”

Read the rest at Kit Up!

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Book Review: Maritime Sniper Manual

When I served as a sniper in the US Army I was never given the Tom Berenger award or any such non sense, but having conducted dozens of combat operations as a sniper and having graduated from the Army sniper school, I would not have thought that this book would be packed full of new content that I had never heard of before.

The “Maritime Sniper Manual” has something to teach junior and veteran snipers alike. The manual is broken down in a logical manner and presents the information in easy to digest bits and pieces as you read the book. Here is some of the information I learned that I have never read from any other source:

-How to make wind calls based on sea conditions (ie: size of the waves)

-How to time your shots between waves and synchronize your breath rate with them

-An in depth discussion on environmental factors such as how water temperature effects air temperature, which as we know effects external ballistics.

-A detailed look at shooting through the different types of glass that can be found on large ships

-Where is the best position on a ship for a sniper to place himself and how to construct a steady firing position once he gets there.

These are just a few of the “take aways” to be found in this manual. Other topics include tactics, equipment checklists, verbage to be used between the spotter and sniper, and much more. I’ve found that in this line or work that myth often over takes reality but in this case the author has both feet well grounded, making realistic assessments of what the sniper can and cannot realistically accomplish.

Some of the topics seemed rather academic such as the discussion about the Magnum effect, Poisson effect, and the Coriolis drift but like GI Joe says, Knowing is Half the Battle. The chapter about casualty first responder (medical) treatment also seems somewhat misplaced in this manual, however the information it contains is so critical to soldiers operating in any environment that I can understand why it is included. That said, the author breaks down CFR into concise data points in a manner that makes this chapter an ideal reference or quick refresher.

The Maritime Sniper Manual is packed with new information that previously could only be obtained through hard experience in the field. The appendixes are also useful, such as John Plaster’s piece on aerial platform shooting. Having buzzed around Afghanistan in a helicopter doing just that, I wholeheartedly agree with his assertion that peering through a ten power scope in this situation is ridicules.

Making an excellent companion to Plaster’s “The Ultimate Sniper”, this book will be referenced by snipers and other marksmen for years to come.


Filed under Action Adventure, Weapons and Tactics

Castle Fortress in Afghanistan (Part II)

More pockmarks from decades of warfare.

This place was like crawling around an MC Estcher sketch.

The approach up to the entrance.

The edge of the compound.

This should give you an idea of the kind of terrain you encounter in this part of the world.  Off road driving skills are a must.

Team picture.  Myself on the far left with the SR-25 and spotting scope at my feet.  Next to me is a sniper buddy with the .300 WinMag and two other team members with suppressed M4 rifles.



Filed under Afghanistan, Pictures, Weapons and Tactics

Day to day living conditions in Afghanistan

In a past post I showed some pictures of our compound in Iraq in 2010, where we lived in CHU’s.  CHU’s are Compartmentalized Housing Units imported to Iraq from Italy.  Basically they are micro-trailer homes, or a really high end whack shack, depending on your point of view.  Still, that is pretty good living compared to Afghanistan in 2004 where as a dozen troops, we were crammed into a GP Medium tent.  In this picture you can see my bunk, with the jumbo sized duffle bag sitting underneath (jumbo sized for transporting dead hookers of course!), and my SR-25 sniper rifle laid out on my shooting mat.

Okay, okay, let me explain the crucifixes…  We built those to sling our combat gear over.  The shoulder straps of your body armor rest on the lateral portion and your helmet sits up on the vertical piece at the top.  This way your gear is always ready to go at a moments notice.


Filed under Afghanistan, Pictures

Afghanistan Pictures (Barret .50 Cal)

My printer/scanner came in the mail today so I began scanning all my old pictures from Afghanistan.  I’ve got some pretty good ones, I think, so keep an eye out for them over the next month or two.  Here is a preview, me shooting the .50 caliber Barret Anti-Material rifle.

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Filed under Action Adventure, Afghanistan, Pictures, Weapons and Tactics

Chapter Eleven now online

Deckard pointed to the front door, his other hand gripping his rifle, directing his men into the casino.


The assault squads pushed through screaming civilians and made entry through the double doors, the sounds of slot machines emanating from within.

A gunshot cracked in the darkness, Deckard looked up just in time to lunge out of the way.

The would be trigger man went face first into the cement, his teeth skipping across the street and bouncing off Deckard’s booted foot. Edging backwards he looked up, the neon lights on the building preventing him from seeing into the darkness above.

Spraying the lip of the roof with a hasty burst of fire, he continued backing towards the protection of one of the assault trucks, his shots taking out segments of the neon bulbs. Another shot sounded, another body collapsed forward, this one down with arms hanging limply over the edge of the roof. His H&K G3 rifle smashed through another neon sign on it’s way down before landing on the sidewalk amid a shower orange sparks.

The Sigs were a good choice after all, Deckard reflected.

Running back across the street he pushed through the door and into another gunfight.

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Filed under Action Adventure, Military Fiction