Sniper

Good shootin’ Tex

Yordan Militch is an attention whore

Who is Yordan Militch?

He bought medals off Trade Me, pinned them to his chest – and made up elaborate tales about life as an SAS soldier.

Yordan Militch captivated crowds with stories of picking off the enemy as a sniper, and saving his mates from dangerous situations.

But his tall tales came to police attention after he spoke at an educational course in Hastings last year.

He admitted yesterday that he just got carried away.

“I thought I was something I wasn’t, and that was it.”

Militch wore six medals when he spoke at the Landmark Forum and described himself as one of the most decorated soldiers in New Zealand, the police summary presented to the Napier District Court said.

He described serving in Afghanistan and East Timor, and being deployed as a sniper.

He claimed he was awarded two medals for saving his mates, and the others recognised his peacekeeping efforts.

It is an interesting personality trait when people blatantly lie about themselves in a way that’s easy to verify. ¬†We’ve seen the extended story of Pearl Going on Whaleoil over the years, and now Yordan joins the ranks.

It is clearly a mental condition that seeks attention and reward for things that you never actually achieved in real life. ¬† Read more »

Still got it

The Super Bowl is a gun-free zone. Oh really?

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The photos were released without permission by a company that manufacturers [sic] one of the parts of the rifle. They were sent to the company as a thank you for their private feelings of accomplishment. …this was nothing spectacular.

This sniper is in the same hide for every NFL game in that stadium. ¬† Read more »

Shot!

An Aussie sniper team has nailed a Taliban commander at a staggering 3079 yards (2815 meters) with a Barrett M82A1.

Earlier this year a Commando sniper team was secreted in Helmand. Through binoculars at a distance invisible to the naked eye they spotted a group of Taliban. The soldiers having means of identifying targets went through a process of obtaining verification and permission to engage.

Two marksmen using Barrett M82A1 50 calibre rifles simultaneously fired. The bullets were six seconds in the air. One killed the Taliban commander. It is not known for certain which sniper fired the fatal shot.

While there have been no triumphant press releases, in the tight global Special Forces sniper community the shot is much discussed, because it seems certain to be a world record.

As the bullet yawed through the thin air on a windless morning, GPS aids measured the distance at 2815m. That amounts to 2 1/2 times the length of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The targeted Taliban would not have heard the gunfire.

The previous world record achieved by British Corporal Craig Harrison occurred also in Helmand in November 2009. Firing from a distance of 2475m, Harrison killed two Taliban.

Do the count…Boom…1¬†Mississippi, 2¬†Mississippi, 3¬†Mississippi, 4¬†Mississippi, 5¬†Mississippi, 6¬†Mississippi, Smack!

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Finland Facts – Better gun makers

When Gerry Brownlee focussed on David Shearer’s new found admiration for Finland, he missed out some vital information.

I doubt David Shearer had thought of this either, but it came to me while shooting and killing deer with my Finnish rifle.

Tikka and Sako are both top rifle brands, renowned for accuracy and Tikka especially known for value for money. I’m pretty sure that more Tikka and Sako rifles are sold than any other brands. The reason is they are simply the best bang for your buck.

I have a Tikka T3 Lite Stainless in .308 calibre.

The other thing the Finns are known for is their brilliant snipers. They don’t come much better than¬†Simo H√§yh√§ who was an absolute killing machine:

Nicknamed “White Death”¬†by the¬†Red Army, was a¬†Finnish¬†sniper. Using a modified¬†Mosin‚ÄďNagant¬†in the¬†Winter War, he has the highest recorded number of confirmed sniper kills ‚ÄĒ 505 ‚ÄĒ in any major war.¬†H√§yh√§ was also credited with over 200 kills with a¬†Suomi KP/-31¬†submachine gun,¬†for a total of 705 confirmed kills.

Imagine what his kills would have been had he used the Sako TRG M10 instead of a Russian rifle.

I’d happily trade Fonterra for Sako and Tikka.

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The mind of a sniper

What goes on in the mind of a sniper?

Chris Kyle is a sniper, the best in the world. He describes his job:

As US forces surged into Iraq in 2003, Chris Kyle was handed a sniper rifle and told to watch as a marine battalion entered an Iraqi town.

A crowd had come out to greet them. Through the scope he saw a woman, with a child close by, approaching his troops. She had a grenade ready to detonate in her hand.

“This was the first time I was going to have to kill someone. I didn’t know whether I was going to be able to do it, man, woman or whatever,” he says.

“You’re running everything through your mind. This is a woman, first of all. Second of all, am I clear to do this, is this right, is it justified? And after I do this, am I going to be fried back home? Are the lawyers going to come after me saying, ‘You killed a woman, you’re going to prison’?”

But he didn’t have much time to debate these questions.

“She made the decision for me, it was either my fellow Americans die or I take her out.”

He pulled the trigger.

Kyle remained in Iraq until 2009. According to official Pentagon figures, he killed 160 people, the most career sniper kills in the history of the US military. His own estimate is much higher, at 255 kills.

According to army intelligence, he was christened “The Devil” by Iraqi insurgents, who put a $20,000 (¬£13,000) bounty on his head.

Married with two children, he has now retired from the military and has published a book in which he claims to have no regrets, referring to the people he killed as “savages”.

Israeli researchers have found something a little different:

But a study into snipers in Israel has shown that snipers are much less likely than other soldiers to dehumanise their enemy in this way.

Chris Kyle killed an estimated 40 people during the second battle of Fallujah in 2004

Part of the reason for this may be that snipers can see their targets with great clarity and sometimes must observe them for hours or even days.

“It’s killing that is very distant but also very personal,” says anthropologist Neta Bar. “I would even say intimate.”

She studied attitudes to killing among 30 Israeli snipers who served in the Palestinian territories from 2000 to 2003, to examine whether killing is unnatural or traumatic for human beings.

She chose snipers in particular because, unlike pilots or tank drivers who shoot at big targets like buildings, the sniper picks off individual people.

What she found was that while many Israeli soldiers would refer to Palestinian militants as “terrorists”, snipers generally referred to them as human beings.

There were about 20 gunmen escorting a convoy and one of them was unlucky enough to get in the sight of my scope. The distance was about 300m, almost nothing for a sniper.

A few seconds later I saw him lying motionless.

In the heat of the moment my only thought was to shoot more and more. I saw the figures rushing in panic and trying to hide.

We killed all of them, except three or four who were wounded and captured. Afterwards I blamed myself for not being cool-headed enough. I thought that if I had been calmer, I would have killed more enemies.

We were proud of ourselves, but now I am ashamed.

If I was asked today, I would say it’s very hard to kill, but more than 20 years ago I was too young.

“The Hebrew word for human being is Son of Adam and this was the word they used by far more than any other when they talked about the people that they killed,” she says.

Snipers almost never referred to the men they killed as targets, or used animal or machine metaphors. Some interviewees even said that their victims were legitimate warriors.

“Here is someone whose friends love him and I am sure he is a good person because he does this out of ideology,” said one sniper who watched through his scope as a family mourned the man he had just shot. “But we from our side have prevented the killing of innocents, so we are not sorry about it.”

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Photo of the Day

Fallen ANZAC Hero – Matthew Lambert

As our SAS boys bury their own hero, the Aussies have repatriated the body of Matthew Lambert.

Matthew Lambert was an Aussie sniper killed in Afghanistan. Here is his ramp ceremony from Afghanistan.*

*If there is anyone with video of Doug Grant’s ramp ceremony I would love to post it to honour our Kiwi hero.

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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