Rifle

Top shot, six dead scumbags with a single shot

This has to be one for the record books.

Six dead taliban ratbags with a single shot.

A British sniper in Afghanistan killed six insurgents with a single bullet after hitting the trigger switch of a suicide bomber whose device then exploded, The Telegraph has learnt.

The 20-year-old marksman, a Lance Corporal in the Coldstream Guards, hit his target from 930 yards (850 metres) away, killing the suicide bomber and five others around him caught in the blast.¬† Read more »

So this is what guns were made for!

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EXCLUSIVE – Independent analysis of Robin Bain’s finger marks [GALLERY]

A reader left the following comment on last nights Bain post where Joe Karam once again spread murk and bullshit in his bid to undermine due process.

I opened the photos from the Herald in Photoshop.
I used Photoshop to look at the RGB colour values of the marks.
It shows the marks on Robin’s thumb are a dark red.
Whereas it shows the test firing cartridge smudges are a dark gray.
In other worlds, Robin’s thumb marks are closer to the colour of blood/scratches than they are to cartridge soot.

I thought I would look at what he says in Photoshop. Here are my attempts at obtaining the colour codes…and yes the commenter is correct, they are in the red spectrum not in the gray spectrum. I have marked the location I obtained the test pixel with a yellow arrow if you want to try and duplicate it. ¬† Read more »

Learn your weapons before writing about them Jack Tame

Jack Tame has an article about how cool it is to fire an AK-47. They are cool, but nowhere as near as cool as the M249 light machine gun he is actually holding.

m249

 

The article goes further and rambles on about assault rifles. Even his caption mentions assault rifles.

The problem is if you are going to write about assault rifles then get some facts straight. ¬† Read more »

American Sniper

ŠĒ• American Rifleman

It takes skill, discipline and dedication to consistently shoot the X-ring on targets. It takes a whole lot more to consistently slot bad guys that can also shoot back.

Six years ago, while fighting raged in Iraq’s cities, I heard that American snipers were racking up phenomenal numbers of kills, possibly overtaking the Vietnam War records of U.S. Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Carlos Hathcock (93), Marine Sgt. Chuck Mawhinney (103) and Army Staff Sgt. Adelbert Waldron (109). The rumor was true.

America‚Äôs new record sniper recently stepped from the shadows with publication of his combat memoir, ‚ÄúAmerican Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History.‚ÄĚ During four tours in¬†Iraq, former U.S. Navy SEAL Chief Petty Officer Chris Kyle logged 160 confirmed kills and almost twice that many ‚Äúprobables.‚ÄĚ

I spoke with Chief Kyle, a veteran of the West Coast-based¬†SEAL¬†Team 3, and learned that, surprisingly, he doesn‚Äôt like to swim and has little enthusiasm for parachuting‚ÄĒbut he loves to shoot. Since shouldering his first Daisy BB gun during his boyhood in Odessa, Texas, to the .300 Win. Mag. rifle he most often used in Iraq, shooting has been his favorite pastime. Still he would have to attend the three-month SEAL Sniper School in order to develop mastery of the skills necessary to ply his trade.

That is a whole lot of dead bad guys…but somethimes they shoot back:

Kyle usually worked with, or in support of, conventional U.S. Marine and Army forces, providing covering fire as they advanced into insurgent-held neighborhoods in areas such as Fallujah, Ramadi and Baghdad‚Äôs Sadr City. Typically his 16-man SEAL platoon seized ‚Äúcommanding terrain,‚ÄĚ often the tallest building in a neighborhood, even if that meant infiltrating ahead of U.S. forces. Because most Iraqi buildings stood only one or two stories high, from a four-story building the platoon snipers were able to dominate an area. The SEAL platoon went in with plenty of firepower: machine guns, grenade launchers, shoulder-fired rockets and lots of ammunition. ‚ÄúWhat‚Äôs not understood,‚ÄĚ Kyle explained, ‚Äúis that in an urban area, after that first shot, you‚Äôre not going to sneak anywhere‚ÄĒyou‚Äôd better be ready to fight. When you go into a city, there‚Äôs no moving. You‚Äôre defending. At times we were really stuck out there; it left us hanging but those guys needed our support. We were in danger, but so be it.‚ÄĚ Twice Chief Kyle was hit by enemy bullets‚ÄĒluckily absorbed by his body armor‚ÄĒand shaken by several nearby IEDs.

And his preferred weapons and ammunition?

From these elevated perches, he exploited the great reach of his favorite rifle, a custom-built Remington Model 700 bolt-action chambered in .300 Win. Mag. During his final tour his favorite rifle became a .338 Lapua Mag., which offered great reach and impressive barrier penetration.

Like a golfer picking the best club for a given situation, SEAL snipers could select among a variety of¬†rifles¬†that best fit their tactical setting. For long-range precision Kyle brought his bolt-action .300 Win. Mag.; for closer-range shooting, when quick follow-on shots were likely, he had a 7.62×51 mm NATO Mk 11, the Navy‚Äôs version of the semi-automatic Stoner SR-25; and for assaults, he had a short-barreled 5.56×45 mm NATO rifle similar to the Colt M4 Carbine. Only during his final tour did he have a .338 Lapua Mag. bolt-action. His standard .300 Win. Mag. load was a 190-grain match round manufactured by Black Hills Ammunition, which also loaded the 77-grain, 5.56 mm ammunition he fired. He fed his semi-automatic 7.62 mm rifle with 175-grain, M118 Long Range ammunition loaded by¬†Federal.

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Friday Firepower – 700 WTF

via the Firearm Blog

Check out this – The 700 WTF, a custom rifle and custom round.

The cartridge, named the .700 WTF (“What The F…”) and is made by fire forming a .50 BMG brass case, trimming it to 3″ in length and then sizing it. The round is loaded with a 1132 grain paper patched .700 lead cast bullet.

The rifle, with just a 16.25″ barrel, can push the 1132 grain of lead up to 2300 fps. Thats 13,000 ft/lbs of energy, right up there with the .50 BMG and far exceeding the .700 Nitro Express.

A damn good idea

I think I will have to add an NRA Laser boresight to my Birthday/Christmas wishlist.

The NRA Laser Boresight is the most accurate, easy and inexpensive way to sight in your firearm. You get on target faster because a laser light is projected down the bore of your rifle and onto your target showing your bullet strike point. Great for sighting in or confirming your zero, your boresight can be used when and where shooting is not an option.

…Simply insert the boresight in your chamber and sight in from 15 to 100 yards. Dot size is 1‚ÄĚ at 25 yards.

Wednesday Weapons – Tikka T3 Lite Stainless

On my drive back from Palmerston North I stopped off in Taupo to go to the NZDA range so I could finish off sighting in my new Tikka T3 Lite Stainless rifle from Hamills Manukau.

Tikka T3 Stainless Lite, Left hand, Gun Works Suppressor and Zeiss Conquest Scope

I had previously blogged asking readers for a choice of calibre. I had pretty much decided on a Tikka T3 for a number of reasons, but still needed to choose the calibre. I selected .308 because I decided that this was to be a bush hunting rifle with the ability should I need it to reach out to 600m. Mostly though it will be used in the bush and not for longe range.

I decided in Tikka for a couple of reasons. Firstly because they offered a left-hand version. Remington did too in .308 but their offering has a varmint stock with a heavy barrel and it just didn’t shoulder right for the way I hold a rifle. The Tikka snaps up cleanly to the shoulder and straight into position. I just feels right and that is one of the most important factors is fast accurate shooting.

The Tikka weighs in at a light and handy 2.8kgs. The technical specifications explain the rifle like this:

The TIKKA T3 LITE STAINLESS is based on a two locking lug T3 all-weather action. Bolt features spring loaded plunger ejector and it can be easily stripped down for maintenance. Bolt and receiver are made of stainless steel.The single-column detachable clip MAGAZINE holds 3-4 cartridges. Single-column 4-6-shot (depending on caliber)magazine is available as accessory (not in Short Mag calibers).The single-stage TRIGGER pull is adjustable from 1 kg to 2 kg (2 to 4 lbs). Safety is two stage type and locks the trigger and the bolt handle when engaged. All models are available with a single-set trigger as option.The STOCK is made of glass-fiber reinforced copolymer polypropylene and has a butt plate system where the length of pull is adjustable by means of spacers. Straight stock features ambidextrous palm swell.TIKKA T3 LITE STAINLESS is supplied without OPEN SIGHTS. Integral rails for the scope mounts are on the top ofthe receiver. Receiver is also tapped to receive standard (Weaver) scope mount bases.The free-floating, stainless steel BARREL is cold hammer-forged. Non Magnum models available also with short barrel with thread (calibers 338 Federal, 8x57IS and 9.3×62 M15x1, other calibers M14x1) at the muzzle for muzzle brake or suppressor assembling.

Gunworks Canterbury Muzzle capMy barrel wasn’t threaded for a suppressor but I was so impressed with the work done by GunWorks Canterbury on my 17HMR that I sent this away for a suppressors to be fitted as well. I chose a full over-barrel suppressor but didn’t opt to shorten the barrel. Again the work done is superb with a nice screw cap at the muzzle for when I won’t be using the suppressor.

While I am talking about the suppressor, I have to rave on a bit about just how effective these are. Now I am no sook when it comes to shooting. I have fired everything from a .22 to a .50cal and I am not one to moan about recoil or noise. You certainly don’t get to complain about noise hanging onto an M2 or a L7A1 or a C9 when you let strip with a belt. SLRs aren’t any quieter and don’t get me started on bullpup weapons like the Steyr AUG.

However this suppressor rocks. I reckon it gives a 50-70% reduction in perceived sound. The .308 now doesn’t even roar, it sounds like a .22 Magnum and only barely. I swear my 17HMR without the suppressor is louder. The guy on the range beside me couldn’t believe it and he knew all about muzzle¬†blast¬†and noise firing his .25-06 Sako A7.

Not only does the suppressor take away noise but it makes the felt recoil a whole lot less too. Gunworks reckons felt recoil is reduced by 50%, I believe them.The Sako guy was definitely off to book his rifle in for s suppressor after he fired my rifle.

When I got the rifle from the team at Hamills, Zee adjusted the trigger to a nice crisp break. This trigger breaks like glass and catches you by surprise as it does, every time. I love it. I also got the new set trigger T3 that is available and this is something special. You just push the trigger forward till it clicks and the trigger is set. Then it just snaps and fires perfectly every time.

Taupo range and my Tikka T3I previously blogged about the Zeiss Conquest 3.5-10×44¬†MC with a Rapid-Z 600 ret¬≠i¬≠cle¬†I put on the rifle. This scope rocks. The light gathering ability makes a huge difference. As I said earlier there was a guy with a Sako A7 .25-06. He had just bought the rifle and was sighting it in. Sako make beautiful rifles. They charge accordingly for their beautiful rifles.¬†Ironically¬†Tikka rifles are made in the same factory from the same barrel blanks, however their rifles are more than $1000 cheaper.

We got chatting, as you do while you are waiting for barrels to cool and he asked about my rifle and scope. He asked what they were worth and made choking sounds. He then told me about the hot deal that he had scored from the chaps at Hunting and Fishing. His rifle came with a Burris scope. As we got chatting though it became clear that he was frustrated with seeing the target and as a consequence was also spraying his shots. He couldn’t believe anyone would spend more on a scope than what he had. In the end seeing is believing and so I handed him a mag and said go find out. He took up the offer for a couple of reasons…to try out the suppressor, to check out the scope, and well, free ammo offered by a complete stranger is always a good score.

Well I nearly had to fight him for my rifle back. He was now convinced on all counts, the suppressor, and having sat next to him while he blasted away with the .25-06 I certainly know why, and also on the scope. He just couldn’t believe the clarity and the light-ness through the scope. He exclaimed that he could see all his shots on the target. I just grinned. This was why I get my gear from Hamills in Manukau. They know their stuff, they know their gear and more importantly they take the time to learn, listen and understand the needs of their customer. The Sako guy isn’t happy, he now doesn’t trust Hunting and Fishing advice and more importantly he probably won’t go back there. None of that is my fault, I just gave the guy my rifle to shoot.

Anyway I digress, but the next part links to the Sako part of the story. As I mentioned Sako rifles are superb, but they do cost a lot more than their cousins from Tikka. Sako tout the A7 as a guaranteed 1MOA rifle.

Sometimes, a firearm’s accuracy will be measured in MOA. This simply means that under ideal conditions, the gun with certain ammunition is capable of producing a group of shots whose center points (center-to-center) fit into a circle, the average diameter of circles in several groups can be subtended by that amount of arc. For example, a¬†1 MOA rifle should be capable, under ideal conditions, of shooting an average 1-inch groups at 100 yards, a¬†2 MOA rifle an average 2-inch groups at 100 yards, etc.

In laymans terms if is accurate. Tikka simply states that they state:

just incredible out-of- the-box accuracy, silky smooth operation and uncompromising reliability with Sako’s beautiful finish and rigorous attention to detail as standard. With the Tikka T3, you hit one of the most difficult targets in the shooting world: true value.

Out of the box accuracy of the Tikka T3Now this is where I get hard. This rifle is accurate. Bloody accurate. In fact after sighting in I was able to shoot several sub-MOA groups, off a Harris bipod. Paul at Hamills can’t believe it, but the proof is in the targets. We are going to work up some custom loads now and shoot off a sandbag and see how close we can get the group. At Taupo I was using Federal Power Shok 150gr factory ammo. I was very impressed. Tikka certainly does have incredible out-of-the-box accuracy. It might not be guaranteed but when you are saving over $500 over an A7 you can put that in your scope, and that brings me back to Sako guy. Sure he got a theoretically better rifle, but by sticking a stink scope on it he¬†diminished¬†the capabilities of the rifle. However I think his biggest problem was that he was just a tits shooter. After I plugged the group shown here I gave him a magazine and he sprayed it all over the target. The problem was his rifle/scope combination or even mine, the problem was him, and given his flinching with the awful .25-06 I can understand why.

The Tikka T3 can’t really be beaten at the price point that it is. So far I can’t fault the rifle, the scope or the suppressor. Now it is time to take it off the range and go knock over some deer, goats or other varmint that readers need me to come take care of.

I have learned a couple of things too. Not all gun stores are equal, nor is their advice. I highly recommend the folk at Hamills Manukau for the best of advice. Any time you go in there they are chatting with loads of happy customers. The other I have learned is that value for money is hard to find and you certainly get it with a Tikka T3, add on a quality scope and your smile will be from ear to ear.

I will blog later on the benefits of getting out in the field with a good gun or rifle in hand and enjoying oneself again. Boy I have missed shooting and it is a real pleasure to once again enjoy the sport. It is made even more pleasurable with great toys and great mates.

Now all I need is some nice spots to control the pests that abound. Let me know through the tipline if you have anything that needs dispatching. With a 17HMR , a .308 and a 12ga Beretta there isn’t anything I can’t sort out for you.

Friday Firepower – Accuracy International L96

I was reading a review of a new book about two British Snipers called¬†Dead Men Risen: The snipers’ story

Operating from a remote patrol base in Helmand, two British snipers were responsible for killing 75 Taliban fighters in just 40 days. In one remarkable feat of marksmanship, two insurgents were dispatched with a single bullet.

The arrival at the newly-established Patrol Base Shamal Storrai (Pashto for ‚ÄúNorth Star‚ÄĚ) in late August 2009 of Serjeant Tom Potter and Rifleman Mark Osmond marked the start of an astonishing episode in the history of British Army sniping.

Within 40 days, the two marksmen from 4 Rifles, part of the Welsh Guards Battle group, had achieved 75 confirmed kills with 31 attributed to Potter and 44 to Osmond. Each kill was chalked up as a little stick man on the beam above the firing position in their camouflaged sangar beside the base gate ‚Äď a stick man with no head denoting a target eliminated with a shot to the skull.

Osmond, 25, was an engaging, fast-talking enthusiast, eager to display his encyclopedic knowledge of every specification and capability of his equipment. He had stubbornly remained a rifleman because he feared that being promoted might lead to his being taken away from sniping, a job he loved and lived for. Potter, 30, was more laid back, projecting a calm professionalism and quiet confidence in the value of what he did.

Potter had notched up seven confirmed kills in Bara in 2007 and 2008 while Osmond’s total was 23. Both were members of the Green Jackets team that won the 2006 British Army Sniper Championships.

These guys can shoot.

Most of the kills were at a range of 1,200 metres using the 7.62 mm L96 sniper rifle.

The snipers used suppressors, reducing the sound of the muzzle blast. Although a ballistic crack could be heard, it was almost impossible to work out where the shot was coming from. With the bullet travelling at three times the speed of sound, a victim was unlikely to hear anything before he died.

Walkie-talkie messages revealed that the Taliban thought they were being hit from helicopters. The longest-range shot taken was when Potter killed an insurgent at 1,430 metres away. But the most celebrated shot of their tour was by Osmond at a range of just 196 metres.

On September 12th, a known Taliban commander appeared on the back of a motorcycle with a passenger riding pillion. There was a British patrol in the village of Gorup-e Shesh Kalay and under the rules of engagement, the walkie-talkie the Taliban pair were carrying was designated a hostile act. As they drove off, Osmond fired warning shots with his pistol and then picked up his L96, the same weapon ‚Äď serial number 0166 ‚Äď he had used in Iraq and on the butt of which he had written, ‚ÄėI love u 0166‚Äô.

Taking deliberate aim, he fired a single shot. The bike tumbled and both men fell onto the road and lay there motionless. When the British patrol returned, they checked the men and confirmed they were both dead, with large holes through their heads.

The 7.62 mm bullet Osmond had fired had passed through the heads of both men. He had achieved the rare feat of ‚Äėone shot, two kills‚Äô known in the sniping business as ‚Äėa Quigley‚Äô. The term comes from the 1990 film Quigley Down Under in which the hero, played by Tom Selleck, uses an old Sharps rifle to devastating effect.

Most people would struggle to shoot a stationary target at 196m let alone two on a motorbike attempting to get out of Dodge fast. The fact that these two regularly knock over bad towel-heads at over 1000m is a testament to their skill.

The rifle they describe using is the L96 by Accuracy International. Their skills just go to show that the .308 or 7.62x51mm NATO is a very accurate and hard hitting round out past 1000m.

Coincidentally on The Brigade was a photo of a British sniper using this exact weapon in the circumstances explained in the book.

Accuracy International L96 sniper Rifle  in Afghanistan

 

Wednesday Weapons – Which calibre?

Time for something different.

I am wanting to buy a new hunting rifle. But I’m stuck. Which calibre?

I have been looking for some time for a new rifle and I am pretty much settled on a Tikka T3, left hand bolt. For years I have used bolt actions that are right handed and can easily do it, but I’ve decided that my new rifle should be left handed just so I can be selfish.

So now it comes down to calibre.

This is where is gets tricky. Every one is a fan of something. So let’s explain my hunting situation. I¬†have¬†up until recently done most of my hunting in close bush, and mostly after Sika. My favourite spots are in¬†the¬†central North island around the Kaimanawas and Kawekas. Recently though I¬†have¬†been doing some hunting where shots up to 600m are possible. Before you wince, I can make shots at that range and much further, so for me it then comes down to best tool for the job.

Ideally I would have two rifles. One for bush and one for long range hunts. The long range rifle would be based on a T3 Super Varmint because it has a heavy barrel and an¬†adjustable cheek piece stock. It would¬†have¬†to be in .300WSM though because Tikka don’t currently make a 7mmWSM which would be my reference. However my limited budget precludes two hunting rifles at present so I need to pick something that can handle both.

The three most popular hunting calibre in NZ are .308, 7mm08 and .270 Winchester. Anything¬†larger¬†like a .27oWSM in a T3 Lite would be¬†uncomfortable¬†to shoot, due to muzzle blast and lack of a heavy barrel, and humping a heavy barrel around the boonies isn’t fun either.

So what calibre? Now I will point out that I can and will reload, so the¬†availability¬†of factory ammunition isn’t really a factor. I¬†await¬†your considered opinions.