September 12th, 2016

Sniper story

This story could be turned into a movie. It already seems like a movie in terms of the distance, and the timing of the rescue:

A sharpshooter killed a top ISIS executioner and three other jihadists with a single bullet from nearly a mile away — just seconds before the fiend was set to burn 12 hostages alive with a flamethrower, according to a new report.

The British Special Air Service marksman turned one of the most hated terrorists in Syria into a fireball by using a Barett .50-caliber rifle to strike a fuel tank affixed to the jihadi’s back, the UK’s Daily Star reported Sunday…

Just before the sniper rescue operation outside of Raqqa, Syria, “the SAS team moved into an overwatch position above a village where they were told the execution was going to take place,” a source told the Star.

“Up to 12 civilians were going to be murdered — eight men and four women.

“The executioner gave some sort of rambling speech . . . then when he finished, the SAS sniper opened fire,” the source said.

The captives were then rescued by British and US special forces.

And I must say that it made me think of this scene from “The Adventures of Baron Munchausen,” a movie that a lot of people dislike but that I think is a masterpiece:

21 Responses to “Sniper story”

  1. junior Says:

    Saw Munchausen when I was a kid. Thought it was great. I haven’t seen it since, though, so I don’t know if I’d still like it.

    Truth is often stranger than fiction, particularly, it frequently seems, when an English-speaking military is involved. I made an observation along those lines to my uncle when talking about a scene in the movie ‘Blackhawk Down’. If it weren’t explicitly based on historical events, then it would be treated much like Sting’s character (I think he’s the actor) in Munchausen who early on in the film is slated for execution because he claims to have pulled off a series of (off-screen) improbable and heroic acts against the enemy.

  2. Yancey Ward Says:

    I also thought Munchausen was a masterpiece, though not quite to the same degree as Brazil.

  3. The Other Gary Says:

    The British Special Air Service marksman turned one of the most hated terrorists in Syria into a fireball by using a Barett .50-caliber rifle to strike a fuel tank affixed to the jihadi’s back, the UK’s Daily Star reported Sunday…

    OMG, how perfect is that? The scumbag about to torch a dozen hostages gets torched himself! Live by the flame, die by the flame…

  4. Cornhead Says:

    Hillary says no US boots on the ground in the Middle East and therefore this won’t happen in her war on ISIS.

  5. parker Says:

    The Barett 50 cal is devastating in skilled hands. This was an excellent piece of marksmanship.

  6. miklos000rosza Says:

    I’m very happy to hear of the sniper’s shot and the successful operation.

    I never saw Baron Munchausen because for some time I was preoccupied with the strange case, here in the Pacific Northwest, of Tabitha Bates. Enough time has passed I judge it safe to use her real name.

    This was when I was working nights in ER. We received a warning about Tabitha — who used a variety of names — as she was the foremost example of Munchausen’s Syndrome then known. She had managed to spend 49 of the previous 52 weeks as an inpatient at hospitals in Oregon, Washington and Idaho.

    She could fake grand mal seizures particularly well, but also was capable of depressing the breath-sounds in one lung, did not mind seeming to lose control of bladder and bowels, and could be a poor historian or a very good one depending on her sense of what might best work.

    She was 26 years old, somewhat overweight though not grossly obese, and her only goal in life was to be in the hospital.

    We never saw her, as far as I know.

  7. OM Says:

    Lapua ,338 magnum rifle is not a big or heavy as a 50 cal Barett and just as effective, or so I’ve read.

  8. parker Says:


    The Lapua 338 is an excellent cartridge, capable of long range precision. But sometimes size does matter. There is no comparison between the damage a 50 cal can cause over that of a 30 cal. The 50 can destroy something behind cover that the 30 cal can not reach.

    I shoot and reload the 8MM, a caliber I am confident with. The 8MM is slower than the 338, but within its effective range its a killer. But it does not compare with the range and on target energy or foot pounds of the 50. with the 8MM I am accurate at 400 yards, and not bad t 600. Skilled 50 cal shooters are accurate beyond one mile (1760 yards).

  9. OM Says:


    True, I guess a lot depends on the situation, one size is not best for all. (Captain Obvious speaks 🙂 )

  10. Jayne Says:

    Fantastic, poetic, Homeric, story of the killing of the savage ISIS murderer.

    My husband and I had fun on the “Fairy Tale Road” in Germany on summer. Hamlin town was fun with the open air reproduction of the story and the rat shaped loaves in bakery windows and castles and the brothers Grimm Museum with a gigantic Rapunzel’s braid hanging down a few stories.

    But, with regards to Munchhausen, because he and I enjoyed the movie so much, we were delighted to find there was a Munchausen reenactment planned and pulled off into the town where the author lived.

    Ha, ha! Of all the stops along the way, this particular one required a better mastery of the German language than we possessed, since the “reenactment” consisted of two guys speaking German up on a balcony. And one assumed that the Munchhausen character was telling raucous jokes/lies!!!! But we couldn’t get any of them.

  11. OM Says:


    A post regarding 1000 yd sniper shots:

  12. OM Says:


    Reading both linked stories illustrates your point regarding the 50 cal. Browning; long range precision and energy on target (but at the cost of a heavier firearm).

    In the first case long range precision was called for in the second case long range precision was needed but it was also necessary to penetrate walls (masonry or concrete?) to kill the targets. In the second case armor piercing rounds were used and 30 were fired on the target using a semi-auto Barett.

    In the first case a .338 Lapua magnum rifle might have done the job too, but a 50 cal Browning serviced the target quite adequately. Time to leave my armchair for the next QB assignment!

  13. Waidmann Says:

    I’m a little shaky regarding the science here. I thought firing a round though a gas tank would not cause it to explode. Something about the improper gas/air mixture.

    Now, granted, napalm (or whatever is used in flamethrowers) isn’t gasoline, but will it actually ignite upon an impact like this one? Without a spark of some sore?

    It’s a great story, and I hope it’s true, but I’d like a little more details before I believe it totally.


  14. Trimegistus Says:

    The Left has decided that this war must be lost. Therefore there can be no heroism. No movies, no parades. Obama (assuming he even bothered to read the intel briefing about this) probably thought it was too bad that a Muslim community organizer was murdered by a white man.

  15. Daniel in Brookline Says:

    Now that’s what I call good shooting!

  16. junior Says:

    Waidmann –

    Flamethrowers are notoriously volatile, and vulnerable to exploding when the tank is penetrated by a bullet. The wearer also tends to be a popular target on a real battlefield because infantrymen are terrified of the things (with good reason), and will prioritize the guy with a flamethrower as a target.

    As a result, using one on the battlefield, or even standing close to the guy who’s carrying it, tends to be an unpopular battlefield duty.

  17. OM Says:

    Junior and Waidmann:

    If you are really interested:

    Ian also discusses the rifle bullet (non-tracer) blow up the tank scenario if memory serves me.

  18. Richard Aubrey Says:

    When I was in, the zippo had an igniter in the nozzle that you initiated just before unloading the product which passed over the igniter.
    Maybe the sniper waited for the igniter to start.
    In addition, smashing metal into and through metal may create a spark. Or somebody was smoking.

  19. Jenk Says:

    Somebody was smoking–until his fellow jihadis put out what was left of the dirtbag. See, it isn’t just the US military that burns crap in the field….

  20. parker Says:


    That is a very good discussion of what is involved in making long range, precision shots. Long range snipers have a spotter along side them. He measures wind and trajectory to enable the shooter to know where to adjust sights and where to hold. Amatuers like me, shooting at medium range targets have through experience learned how to judge wind speed and adjust sights.

    BTW, it is difficult to find places to shoot beyond 300 or 400 yards. The range where I am a member has berms at 400 yards. Fortunately, I have a friend in Wyoming who has his own range that allows me to try my hand at 600 yards. My eyesight is still 20/20 but it is a challenge to shoot 12 inch groups at that distance.

  21. OM Says:


    Oh, the wide open spaces of WY. Worked there in the late 70’s and trained there in 2012. Had some interesting times there, some good times too; running the trails just outside the fence around “town” and spooking Pronghorn antelope was not unusual.

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