All in the Family featured the curmudgeonly Archie Bunker. Archie was television’s most famous grouch, blunt, blustering, straightforward and untouched by the PC crowd. He was the archetype of the conservative male. Michael desprately tried to reeducate him, but he persisted in his breviloquence.

Looking back at the last 40 years, we realize: ARCHIE WAS RIGHT!


A Good Day at Work

Hero SAS sniper saves father and eight-year-old son from being beheaded by ISIS maniac
The brave British marksman saved the terrified eight-year-old and his father after taking out the crazed jihadi with a head shot from 1,000 metres away. 
The special forces crack shot then killed two other members of the hated terror group, who were also taking part in the sick planned execution. 
ISIS militants had decreed that the little boy and his father must die after branding them "infidels" because they refused to denounce their faith. 
They were just seconds from death when the hero sniper intervened to stop the barbaric killing in the Syrian desert. The pair were part of the minority Shia sect of Islam which ISIS considers to be heretical. 
First, the pic at the top of the article is a AW 338 not the 50 cal mentioned in the article.  Since a Brit wrote the article for other Brits, we probably should cut him some slack.  At least they didn't use a picture of a Red Ryder.

Second, I agree that fighting to protect someone is brave.  If you are, as the story claimed, 1,000 meters away from a man with a knife, you aren't in much physical danger.  Even if you account for the other guys with AK 47's, you're still not in any real danger.  Being able to hit 3 bad guys within seconds and keeping them from doing harm, makes you a good shooter.  Job well done!  Accolades for being brave? Not so much.

Third, the sniper isn't a hero.  I think what he did was good, right, just, and most defiantly necessary.  I'm glad he did it.  I'm all for stopping the murder of good people by Muslims.  That makes you a soldier doing his job, but it doesn't make you a hero.

Forth, I would enjoy having better information than what the author chose to share.  We are told that:
  • The first shot was a head shot.  I find this unlikely for a couple of practical reasons.  
  • The shot was done at 1,000 meters.  This probably isn't true either.
  • We are lead to believe that the shooting was fast and that all targets were instantly neutralized
      • This was done supposable by:
        • 1 shooter
        • 50 cal rifle
        • Silenced rifle
  • I'd like to know if the weapon was a semi-auto similar to a 82A1
  • I'd like to know if the SAS stops the executions of Christians and Jews or is it just Shia Muslims that are under its protection.
I'm fully aware that everything in the article is within the realm of theoretical probability.  I've made 1,000 yard shots on 9 inch targets (apx size of kill zone on Human head).  It can be done.  I've also shot 50 cal precision rifles with quality optics.

Long distance shooting is precision work.  The 50 cal rifle, even with a silencer, recoils a good deal.  For one shooter to score 3 one shot kills on 3 targets in a short time frame he would have to manage the rifles recoil fast enough to make those shots before the targets could move.  This leads me to believe he would have been using a semi-auto rifle.  Those tend to recoil fairly dramatically.

Here is what I think happened.  A spotter shooter team or maybe two or more teams working together set up at different hides and simultaneously eliminated a series of targets.  I also think the distance was under 1,000 yards and/or they did not use head shots.

The SAS are professionals.  They would have done everything they could to assure victory.  Which means fighting smart and giving themselves the best edge.  Nick Gutterridge wanted to write an engaging piece on a disserving story.  He succeeded.... but he is short on facts, and believability.


  1. Susan8:34 AM

    Very good story indeed. I would suspect that what might have motivated the SAS in the first place was that one of the victims was a kid.
    He might have been heartsick over other stories of beheadings of kids in the media and maybe decided that on that day, it just wasn't going to happen. Since this outcome was outstanding, I tend to not care too much for how it all went down, just that it did, and the SAS and the father and son were all in one piece, ready to live and fight another day.

    I also have to wonder if the ISIS killers were so deep into their bloodlust that they just could not comprehend of somebody moving in at the last minute and saving the day. That kind of jolt to their reality could have bought the SAS guy/guys some precious time. Snipers don't need much.

    Bear in mind, I am not a shooter like you are, so that is why I don't care initially about the serious details. But I can always count on you to figure them out.

  2. The idea of a lone military sniper is more mythology than fact. At least today anyway. Military snipers generally function in a team of a shooter and a spotter. In the field the teams are often deployed so they can work in conjunction with each other to maximize control over the battlefield or to support troops in their missions.

    BUT.....The SAS is an elite commando unit, they use unconventional tactics.....

    This is true and the mission of the team, its goals and methods of operation aren't in question. Neither are the skills of the SAS. They are very good at what they do.

    I'm questioning the reporter's version of events. I checked some of his other work. He isn't out with the troops. This guy writes from the comfort of his flat in England. He wasn't there. Someone told him a story about something that happened and he embellished a story to make it sound good.

    A 50 cal BMG round in a good rifle is capable of engaging targets over a wide possibility of ranges even beyond 2,000 yards. A good shooter, and I'm going with the assumption that everyone in the SAS are good shooters, is going to shoot sub moa. The skill set is there.

    Had I been there and wrote the story:
    1. Sniper team Alpha was positioned in an overlook 873 yards form the ISIS execution site.
    2. Sniper team Beta was our support on the left flak.
    3. Our goal was the elimination of the ISIS cell operating in the village.
    4. We had one 6 man squad we were supporting.
    5. Intel suggested that a beheading was to occur at noon.
    6. Our objective was to use this opportunity to eliminate the ISIS cell.
    7. Sniper teams were positioned before dawn.
    8. At 07:00 hours a large crowd exited the village and assembled at the execution site.
    9. ISIS operators were intermixed with the civilians.
    10. An opportunity presented its self to eliminate 3 ISIS personal involved in the execution.
    11. After action intel confirmed the motivation for the execution was the prisoners were members of a different Muslim faction than ISIS.
    12. Due to the random nature of the execution the ground team was unable to route out more ISIS personal.
    13. Several ISIS operators left the village after the intervention at the execution.

  3. It is probable that the story as given to the reporter had a few details fudged so that they were not revealing methods or intelligence sources. This was a release for PR so details may have been embellished for that purpose. It may not have been the reporter doing all the embellishment. Look at all the smart bombs dropped in the first gulf war. We later found out they missed more than they hit.

    1. True. I think that there has been a lot of mystification about the 1,000 yard shot. It seems like no sniper story is complete without someone making one. Most shots fired in anger take place inside of 400 yards.