Skip to comments.Same crack sniper rifle killed SEVEN British soldiers in Basra with American-made bullets
Posted on 04/09/2008 8:03:38 PM PDT by PotatoHeadMick
Seven British soldiers were shot in Basra last year by the same sniper rifle, the Ministry of Defence has revealed.
The troops were picked off one by one on the streets of the southern Iraqi city by a weapon firing high-velocity American-made bullets.
Rifleman Aaron Lincoln, 18, Kingsman Danny Wilson, 28, Kingsman Alan Jones, 20, Corporal Rodney Wilson, 30, Rifleman Paul Donnachie, 18, and two others who have not yet been named, were all killed by bullets from the same weapon, said a spokesman for the MoD.
But he could not verify that a single gunman was responsible.
Rifleman Lincoln, of the 2nd Battalion, The Rifles, was killed on April 2 last year by a single bullet that penetrated his protective glasses and helmet, an inquest in Spennymoor, County Durham, heard yesterday.
Of the five soldiers that have been identified, four were shot in April. Corporal Wilson was killed on June 7.
Ballistics expert Ann Kiernan told the inquest: "There had been several incidents where projectiles have all been discharged from the same rifle."
The bullets were made by arms manufacturer Lake City Arsenal and the hearing was told the military cannot yet provide helmets strong enough to withstand such powerful ammunition.
Rifleman Lincoln's platoon had been sent on to the city streets as part of an operation to divert enemy attention from a re-supply convoy of 30 trucks due at the British camp.
Coroner Andrew Tweddle said he was concerned the bullet had penetrated the soldier's helmet, but noted evidence given that the Army were unable to "provide a higher level of protection".
He recorded a narrative verdict of unlawful killing, adding that Rifleman Lincoln was shot by enemy fire. "He sustained a single gun shot wound to the head,' he said. 'This 5.56mm, U.S. manufactured round was not fired by friendly forces.'
It’s not hard to do. We’ve left or sold literally kilotons of the stuff all over the world in the last 40 years.
Also, someone’s got some problems, because the current helmet is proof against 5.56 NATO.
I don’t get it; are they claiming an American shot him?
Blame America! It’s easy to do.
But he could not verify that a single gunman was responsible.
I would suspect that it's the same person firing the (same) weapon.
The caption to the picture in the article is “Aaron Lincoln: Killed by American-made bullets”.
We’re in the process of moving Iraqi Army away from the AKs and giving them M-16A2/M-14s.
We need to send a Carlos sniper of our own to stalk and kill theirs.
Well, no. Military helmets are not constructed to resist direct hits by battle rifle ammunition. In fact, they never have been.
Just tossing this out there...since I'd bet some freeper might know.
How does the helmet stand up to M855 SS109 Penetrator ammo, 62 grain with steel tipped penatrating core?
It’s Basra, so it could be some bad guys in the Iraqi forces.
Ok, read the article at the link [after posting, in fine freeper fashion]. Lake City Arsenal, huh? Birthplace of my .308
ball ammo boattails. They work real good in an old re-worked Mauser I used to be fond of. But then that gun used to really like 180 grn Federal “Classic”. ‘Can’t seem to find that particular ammo anymore...but it was amazingly good in that old rifle. There were times I could pick off a golf ball at a hundred yrds with set-up, using iron sights, to boot. Don’t quite have the eyes for it, now.
Plus it's available through military surplus, for instance, you can buy it right from Cheaper than Dirt.
Does that, or something similar come out of Lake City?
Lake City Ammunition is a supplier to the military. The ammo could have been found locally after a battle or stolen after a convoy ambush or any number of other ways. It does not mean it was bought in the US.
Sounds more like someone has one of Saddam's hunting rifle's, ie, a 22-250 loaded with military bullets.
Of course not, the article states clearly that they were not killed by friendly fire, merely that the sniper has access to American made ammo, there’s no implication that there’s an American sniper shooting British soldiers.
I’d forgotten about that one. It doesn’t do so well against that - but it does well against the prior version.
That said, the Marines are beginning to deploy a new helmet which *will* stop the SS109 *cold*. Of course, the soldier will be unconscious or have a snapped neck... but the round won’t go through.
Should also mention that the Spanish (of all people) current issue helmet is proof against SS109 as well as 7.62 lead ball at all but the closest ranges - and this has been proven in Bosnia. I believe the current German helmet is also as good.
There are also a number of non-issue helmet makers that have models that are SS109 proof at *any* range.
No, not if it's a 22-250 like that post suggests, since the last paragraph of the article states;
That might leave the possibility of a .223 nominal diameter [projectile] handload? I don't use .22-250. Is it .223 diameter projectile?
So we can forget about handloads, or 22-250's, I guess. If the investigation was correct. I doubt the British would make such an exact "Lake City" claim, if there wasn't some basis for it.
I wish there were a few kilotons floating around SoCal gun shows. .223 is getting expensive these days!
I’m saving up for a pair of rifles - an FN FAL of some kind and the new Kel-Tec RFB in 7.62.
“Wouldn’t you love to know how they got their hands on US made ammunition.”
I have boxes of Lake City ammunition. It’s supposedly the “match grade” military ammunition, suitable for competition. They dumped tons of the stuff on the market years ago; mine isn’t new manufacture by a long shot.
My question is, who makes ammo for the Brits?
The source of the bullets and rifle is irrelevant. The problem is the person targeting the British soldiers. Proving that the same rifle was used in each case means it is likely that there is ONE person to track down.
The rifling pattern might be enough to make an educated guess about the manufacturer of the rifle. Rifling can spiral in a right or left direction. The rifling can be created by cutting, button rifling, or by forging the barrel around a mandrel. Each manufacturer has a particular technique. S&W uses a "gain twist" rifling that rotates faster at the muzzle than at the breech. The value in that approach is less deforming of the bullet.
I know a guy that took a 5.56 to the back of the head. Knocked him out cold but the round didn’t penetrate.
One sniper. Using 5.56 NATO Lake City manufacture ammo. Like others have said here, they themselves have bought surplus 5.56 Lake City, so the ammo may or may not have come from directly from currently used U.S. forces, supply source.
Or it may have, since we've provided more than a few of our own M-16 variants, and ammo, to Iraqi forces. Some of it, once under the authority of the Iraqis, has walked off. Or so news articles I have read [a while back] have reported. I have no reason to believe that this is not possible.
This sniper might be toast already, if he'd been one of Mookie's boys.
Second, "cannot yet provide helmets strong enough to withstand such powerful ammunition" is not supported anywhere in he article.
"Such powerful ammunition" suggests either (dangerously) hand loaded .223 with or without non standard bullets, or mil-std loads with after market bullets (I've done both with Brit .303), or they're referring to issue 5.56, which is, in fact, "high power" by definition (necked, center fire, jacketed, high velocity).
In fact, all they can honestly say is that it was a 5.56 round, article does not specify armor piercing, standard jacketed, commercial, or other.
Relative power isn't in the equation unless they are assuming it because the helmet was penetrated. (As far as that goes, the standard test for a military round used to be it's ability to punch through a standard helmet at 100 yards.)
Coming out on the same day - I wonder if this is someone's attempt to balance (or improve upon) the "Iraqi's snub British troops" report from the Basra operation??
Someone much more recently GI than I am might need to correct me, but -
A head shot, on a helmet, at some considerable range, with a varmint round?
(Target only has to move a fraction for "penetration" to mean "somewhat dented")
I'd happily strap that on if the target was a ground squirrel but for a hostile and helmeted human I'd want .308/.300 Win and I'd go for heart/lungs or pelvis. (Putting him down beats a missed shot or an embarrassing dent.)
Get a SOCOM if you don’t have one already.
Yes, that’s Lake City ammo.
Surprising that a comparitively light round (5.56 mm) would penetrate a helmet.
Thanks. I would guess that this is std ammo over there and the source and probably the shooter is one of the friendly Iraqi forces.
Saw it, tried it, am more likely to get an M14 later, then convert to LAW483 stock.
Also, the FAL balances better for me. And the parts and mags are tons cheaper.
Yeah - but the crack about “no helmets can withstand it” is false.
That said, this may be “field resupply” as we and the Iraqis have lost men equipped with such weapons, and the terrs probably got ahold of some.
Best way to stop a sniper is with another sniper. Instead of making a big deal over this guy using US-made ammo, the Brits should be stalking this guy.
Hard to do that sitting on an airfield outside of town.
There are literally billions of ‘em in that area.
That the opposition got their hands on 7 is no surprise.
FAL is a great rifle. So is M-1A.
Have reloaded ammo for thirty years, but her's your information, .224" - .22 WMR, .222 Remington, .223 Remington, .22-250 Varminter, .223 WSSM (http://www.chuckhawks.com/rifle_bullet_diameter.htm)
Wrong, the Brit's only have the bullet, a green tipped .224 penetrator, there is no way they would know what it was fired from, since many custom barrels use the same number of rifling's and just change the twist. But if it was a left are right hand twist might help.
Where does the green tip info come from? A link to that might be nice. If what you say is true (green tipped .224 penetrator) then is it safe to assume that only Lake City makes it?
I could look up domestic sources for the product myself.