Thursday, March 06, 2008


A Goliath Sniper Rifle May Take Some of the Physics Out of War. And by "Goliath," he simply means a typical rifle chambered in .50 BMG.
William Graves, owner of GPS Defense Sniper School, teaches Army Airborne soldiers how to use this 5-foot-long gun. He has invited me to this sunbaked backcountry to experience it myself. I'm wearing two types of ear protection — earplugs and an electronic decibel-filtering headset — because the M107's report can be deafening. At a safety briefing earlier this morning, Graves was disturbingly tactical: "Hold the gun tightly when you fire or it will kick and break your nose. If anything happens, take as many gauze rolls as you can and stuff them directly into the wound. If it's something to do with high-caliber rifles, it's going to be catastrophic."

I shiver as Graves scans the terrain and points to a speck on a hillside 700 yards across the canyon. Through the crosshairs of my 14X Leupold Mark 4 scope, it resolves as a head-sized rock. I wedge the stock into my shoulder and hug it tight.

Then a little math. Bullets don't fly forever — they fall in a shallow parabolic curve. Using a ballistic chart that Graves pulled off the Internet, we twist the elevation knob to lower the scope 14 minutes of angle (1 MOA equals 1 inch per 100 yards). I'm now aiming about 8 feet above the target. Hitting the rock should be simple. Advises Graves: "Move the trigger without moving the rifle."
First, whoever heard of the mere recoil of a .50 BMG causing a "catastrophic" wound that one would have to stuff several rolls of gauze into?

Second, if Graves is who he is supposed to be, why did he have to hunt down a chart from the Internet?

Third, as the last paragraph quoted above shows, the .50 BMG doesn't render physics irrelevant.

Journalism, shmournalism.


  1. On further review, the "Bullsh*t" call stands. Good catch.

  2. This person sounds like he is writing from his video game experiences.

  3. Yeah, it doesn't sound like he's been around many large guns. Does he even know there are handguns with the same caliber?

  4. Hogwash. Plain and simple.

  5. You are correct. This journalist is full of it.

    Graves and the rest of his crew at train some of the best snipers in the world, they know their stuff.

    He didn't report anything that was said or taught accurately, and made up whatever he thought sounded good.