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Снайперская винтовка JP MR-10

His .338 Lapua Mag

In his book, Kyle mentioned they didn’t have .338 Lapua rifles in training, but started getting them later during the war. Unlike his other weapons, it wasn’t type classified rifle or caliber, meaning there wasn’t a detailed specification for the rifle. Kyle said “there are a number of different manufacturers, including McMillan and Accuracy International.”

Kyle recounts “I used a .338 on my last deployment. I would have used it more if I’d had it.” He goes on to say, “The bullet shoots farther and flatter than a .50 caliber, weighs less, costs less, and will do just about as much damage. They are awesome weapons.” He was obviously a big fan of the .338 Lapua, and the only drawback he mentioned was “my model’s lack of a suppressor. When you’re shooting inside a building, the concussion is strong enough that it’s a pain – literally. My ears would hurt after a few shots.”

This was the rifle that he made his longest confirmed kill with, which was a 2,100 yard shot. That is 1.2 miles (or 1.92 km for you metric guys)! Kyle includes the photo below in his book, and adds this caption: “A close-up of my Lapua .338, the gun I made my longest kill with. You can see my ‘dope’ card – the placard on the side contains my come-ups (adjustments) needed for long-range targets. My 2,100 yard shot exceeded the card’s range, and I had to eyeball it.” Wow.

His .338 was the rifle featured on the cover of his autobiography, American Sniper. The rifle image was likely extracted from the photo below of Chris Kyle with the rifle.

This photo of his .338 Lapua rifle was also included in his autobiography, on the inside cover.

The scope on that rifle resembled a Leupold design, so I contacted Leupold Tactical to see if they could identify the model. They said it looked to be a Leupold Mark 4 3.5-10x40mm LR/T Illuminated model. Based on Kyle’s time of service, they said the scope likely featured their TMR reticle, but they couldn’t be sure. So at 10x magnification, that makes the 2,100 yard shot even more impressive!

I’ve heard people say it was a McMillan TAC-338 rifle, although Kyle didn’t specify in his book. But as I was researching this, I noticed McMillan has a rifle package for the TAC-338 that looks virtually identical to the photos of Kyle’s rifle from his autobiography. From the scope, to the rings, to the stock, to the MIRS rail, to the muzzle brake, to the bipod, to the bottom metal and magazine, and even the leather sling! I’m going to go out on a limb and say he had the .

Here are the specs that are on the McMillan TAC-338 Rifle Package, and likely what was on the Kyle’s .338 Lapua rifle as well:

  • McMillan G30 Long Action
  • McMillan A5 Stock with integral adjustable cheek-piece, spacer system for adjustable length of pull, flush cups, and one stud
  • Schneider 26.5” Medium-Heavy Contour Barrel with 1:10” twist
  • McMillan tactical muzzle brake
  • Leupold Mark 4 3.5-10×40 LR/T scope with M1 turret and illuminated mil-dot reticle
  • 20 MOA scope base made by McMillan
  • McCann Industries Integrated Rail System (MIRS) Rifle Mount
  • Turner Saddlery Synthetic Leather Sling
  • Harris 6-9” Swivel Bipod

In the movie, American Sniper, they tried to stay true to the rifles and techniques Kyle actually used. Bradley Cooper went to multiple training sessions with Scott Reitz of International Training Seminars to learn basic techniques on breathing and marksmanship before they started filming the movie. You can see Cooper is holding a McMillan TAC-338 Rifle Package in the photo at the range with his trainer. So obviously, the movie producers thought that was the rifle Kyle used as well.

The .50 Cal

This may come as a surprise, but Kyle was not a fan of .50 cals … at least not most of them. He said, “The fifty is huge, extremely heavy, and I just don’t like it. I never used on in Iraq. There’s a certain amount of hype and even romance for these weapons, which shoot a 12.7x99mm round. There are a few different specific rifles and variations in service with the US military and other armies around the world. You’ve probably heard of the Barrett M-82 or the M-107, developed by Barrett Firearms Manufacturing. They have enormous ranges and in the right application are certainly good weapons. I just didn’t like them all that much.”

He goes on to say, “Everyone says that the .50 is a perfect anti-vehicle gun. But the truth is that if you shoot the .50 through a vehicle’s engine block, you’re not actually going to stop the vehicle. Not right away. The fluids will leak out and eventually it will stop moving. But it’s not instant by any means. A .338 or even a .300 will do the same thing. No, the best way to stop a vehicle is to shoot the driver. And that you can do with a number of weapons.”

But, Kyle did explicitly make one exception to his comments about the .50 cal rifles, saying “The one .50 I do like is the Accuracy International model, which has a more compact, collapsible stock and a little more accuracy; it wasn’t available to us at the time.” Here is the Accuracy International .50 caliber model Kyle was referring to, the AI AX50:

His Favorite Post-Service Rifle

When you’re in service, you don’t get a lot of choices for which rifle you use. They’re issued to you, and you use them. Kyle was obviously proficient with any rifle you put in his hands. But, the question that is interesting to me is “What did a rifle expert like Chris Kyle choose to shoot after he retired from active service and could pick anything he wanted?” He gives us the answer in his book:

“Since I’m talking about guns, I’ll mention that my current favorites are the weapons systems made by GA Precision, a very small company started in 1999 by George Gardner. He and his staff pay close attention to every detail, and his weapons are just awesome. I didn’t get a chance to try one until I got out of the service, but now they’re what I use.”

I contacted George Gardner, and asked for more specifics of the rifle that he built for Kyle. George said Kyle was referring to his GA Precision Gladius chambered in 308, and he sent me this photo of Kyle holding his GAP rifle.

Gardner said Kyle’s rifle was a standard Gladius, although “standard” is a poor adjective for such a rifle. It is a tackdriver, and GAP guarantees the rifle to shoot 1/2 MOA groups or better with match-grade factory ammo.

You can see in the photos, Kyle continued to use Nightforce scopes as well. However, I was able to zoom into one of the the photos of Kyle with his rifle and see that the lowest power was 5x … not 5.5 or 8. That means it’s likely a Nightforce ATACR 5-25×56 scope topping his GAP Gladius.

You can see in the photo a box a Black Hills Match ammo. Kyle says in his book, that while he was in service “Our rounds were match-grade ammo bought from Black Hills, which makes probably the best sniper ammo around.” That’s quite a statement coming from Chris Kyle. He obviously believed that, because it looks like he continued to use Black Hills ammo even as a civilian.

Стрелковое оружие, боеприпасы, приспособления и аксессуары XIX-XXI вв

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