Archive for March, 2017

Deadliest Snipers and their tools of choice.

March 20, 2017

These Are the 10 Deadliest Snipers in History


Extreme marksmanship has been a part of war ever since firearms became the tools of choice. There are just some people who can do things with a rifle that others cannot.

The following list contains what we believe to be the 10 deadliest snipers of all time. The list may not be ordered based on the number of confirmed kills or the longest shots made, but by taking into account an entire career.

10. Senior Sergeant Roza Shanina, Soviet Red Army

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Shanina was one of the more well known female snipers in history. She joined the Soviet Army after her brother was killed in 1941. As a marksman she amassed 59 confirmed kills in her very short career. She rose to command the 1st Sniper Platoon (184th Rifle Division). She was awarded the Orders of Glory and Medal of Courage. She was killed while shielding a commanding officer during an artillery attack at the young age of 20.

9. Sergeant Fyodor Okhlopkov, Soviet Red Army


Okhlopkov is credited as being one of the most effective Soviet snipers during World War II. He is credited with 429 kills. His service earned him the Hero of the Soviet Union in 1965 as well as an Order of Lenin. Okhlopkov was initially passed over for these awards due to his ethnicity.

8. Billy Dixon, American Civilian

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Billy Dixon is one of only eight American civilians to receive the Medal of Honor. Dixon helped found the Adobe Walls settlement in Texas during his time as a buffalo hunter. When the settlement was attacked by hundreds of Native Americans, Dixon ended the battle by using a borrowed .50-90 Sharps rifle to shoot and kill the chief of the attackers nearly a mile away. Dixon took three rounds to make the shot and later acknowledged it was a “scratch shot”. However, that didn’t stop the rest of the country from naming it “The Shot of the Century”.

Following his time as a hunter, Dixon became a civilian Army Scout. During this time, Dixon and four Army Cavalrymen were surrounded during the Battle of Buffalo Wallow. Dixon’s sustained, accurate rifle fire held the enemy off for three days until weather forced them to end their attack. For his actions during this battle he was awarded the Medal of Honor. Dixon’s total kill count during the battles is unknown.

7. Major Lyudmila Pavlichenko, Soviet Red Army

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Major Pavlichenko is regarded as the most successful female sniper in history with 309 confirmed kills. Pavlichenko was a 24 year old university student when Germany invaded Russia in World War II. She was one of the first sets of citizens to volunteer for service and specifically requested infantry service. She refused an offer to become a nurse. Due to her accuracy with a rifle she became one of the first 2,000 female snipers in the Soviet Union. She was one of only 500 to survive the war.

6. Staff Sergeant Adelbert Waldron, United States Army

Waldron served in the Vietnam War and racked up 109 confirmed kills, the most of any marksman during the conflict. According to Sniper: Master of Terrain, Technology, And Timing, He Is A Hunter Of Human, Adrian Gilbert:


One afternoon he was riding along the Mekong River on a Tango boat when an enemy sniper on shore pecked away at the boat. While everyone else on board strained to find the antagonist, who was firing from the shoreline over 900 meters away, Sergeant Waldron took up his sniper rifle and picked off the Vietcong out of the top of a coconut tree with one shot (this from a moving platform). Such was the capability of our best sniper.

5. Master Corporal Rob Furlong, Canadian Forces

Furlong, for a time, held the record for the longest confirmed sniper kill in military history at 2,657 yd. According to Wikipedia:

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In March 2002, Furlong participated in Operation Anaconda in Afghanistan’s Shah-i-Kot Valley. His sniper team included MCpl. Graham Ragsdale (Team Commander), MCpl. Tim McMeekin, MCpl. Arron Perry, and Cpl. Dennis Eason. A group of three Al-Qaeda fighters were moving into a mountainside position when Furlong took aim with his Long Range Sniper Weapon (LRSW), a .50-caliber McMillan Brothers Tac-50 rifle, loaded with Hornady A-MAX 750 gr very-low-drag bullets. He began firing at a fighter carrying an RPK machine gun. Furlong’s first shot missed and his second shot hit the knapsack on the target’s back. The third struck the target’s torso, killing him. The distance was measured as 2,430 m (2,657 yd). With a muzzle speed of 823 m/s (2,700 ft/s), each shot reached the target almost four seconds after Furlong fired. This became the longest sniper kill in history at the time, surpassing the previous record set by his teammate, Master-Corporal Arron Perry, by 120 m (130 yd).

4. Captain Vasily Zaytsev, Soviet Red Army

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Zaytsev took part in one of the most iconic sniper battles of all time – The Battle of Stalingrad. During that battle, Zaytsev racked up 225 of his 400+ confirmed kills. This includes the killing of 11 enemy snipers which earned him lasting acclaim. Many of Zaytsev’s kills are credited at distances of greater than 1,000 meters. He often used a standard Mosin-Nagant rifle during battle. For his service, Zaytsev was awarded the Hero of the Soviet Union award as well as the Four Orders of Lenin award.

3. Chief Petty Officer Chris Kyle, United States Navy SEAL

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No list of the deadliest snipers in history would be complete without Chris Kyle. Kyle is credited with being the deadliest sniper in United States history with 160 confirmed kills and numerous other unconfirmed kills. He received two Silver Star Medals, five Bronze Star Medals, one Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals. Kyle wrote a bestselling autobiography, American Sniper, which was later turned into one of the top grossing films of all time. Kyle, along with his friend Chad Littlefield were shot and killed by Eddie Ray Routh at a shooting range in 2013.

2. Gunnery Sergeant Carlos Norman Hathcock, United States Marines

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Carlos Hathcock is regarded as one of the most prolific US snipers in history. While his kill count isn’t as high as Kyle’s and his shot distance may not be the longest ever recorded, Hathcock is considered the best sniper in US history, even by Kyle, who once said “I had more kills, but that doesn’t mean I’m better than (Hathcock) is. I was just put into a position where I had more opportunities. I definitely cheated. I used a ballistic computer that tells me everything to do. So, I was just a monkey on a gun.”

Hathcock once rigged an optic to an M2 machine gun and used it to record a confirmed kill at 2,500 yd, which is still the 5th longest confirmed sniper kill in history. Hathcock amassed 93 confirmed kills during the Vietnam War.

1. Second Lieutenant Simo Häyhä, Finnish Army

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Simo Häyhä is the single most successful sniper in military history. Nicknamed the “White Death” for his totally white camouflage and eerie white mask he wore in combat, the Finnish marksman amassed at least 505 confirmed sniper kills during the Winter War between Finland and the Soviet Union. He recorded an additional 200 kills with a submachine gun. More amazingly, Häyhä recorded all of his sniper kills without using an optic. His Mosin–Nagant rifle was equipped only with iron sights. Häyhä died of old age in 2002, living to the age of 96

Fun fact

March 16, 2017

The number of civilian-owned firearms in the US grew 66% between 1991 and 2011, leading the firearm murder rate to decline 52%. #guns #2a


March 16, 2017

You can pass all the gun laws you want, but criminals are going to ignore it because they are criminals. – Marco Rubio

According to the Journal of Quantitative Criminology, US civilians use guns to defend themselves and others at least 989,883 times per year.

March 16, 2017

Did you know?

March 16, 2017

People with concealed carry permits are 5.7 times less likely to be arrested for violent offenses than the general public.

Interesting article. I agree

March 15, 2017

Professional Firearms Training – Who needs it?

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This article was originally published on DRTV on Aug 27, 2010.

There is a considerable difference in knowing how to operate and discharge your rifle or pistol and knowing how to fight with it. I recently taught a Defensive Handgun Course which was attended by a top competitive shooter who had placed second in the world in his discipline. Several times every day this fine gentleman would mention that he was learning a great deal more from the class than he had expected to learn. As skilled as this shooter is, he understood that knowing how to use a firearm extremelywell and knowing how to fight with a firearm are two different things.

Suggesting to most people that they might benefit from professional firearms training is often taken as an insult. When firearms training is suggested we usually hear comments like, “I think training is a great idea but not for me because I was raised around guns, I have been around guns all my life, we always had guns in our home, my dad taught me about guns when I was six years old, I am a life member of the NRA, I was in the military, I was in the Air Force 50 years ago, I was trained by a police officer, I worked as a security guard, I have been hunting since I was a toddler, I have seen every John Wayne movie ever made.” The list goes on and on and we have heard it all. Without taking these “impressive qualifications” apart one at a time, may I simply say they are largely irrelevant to the defensive use of firearms.

There are a few special operations military units which generally receive excellent firearms training. However, having been an Infantry Light Weapons Sergeant in the Air Cavalry in Viet Nam, a Police Officer for nearly 35 years, a Firearms Instructor for 42 years and a SWAT Instructor for 14 years, I can assure you that most military and law enforcement firearms training is sadly lacking. Being a skilled hunter can be helpful if your self defense scenario is one involving sniper skills. As for the relationship between any of these other “qualifications” and the skills required to survive armed combat, I cannot find a connection.

I started riding motorbikes when I was quite young. I started riding motorcyclesfor daily transportation in 1965 when I was 18 years old. I owned several motorcycles off and on throughout my adult life. I thought that I knew how to ride a motorcycle. In 1994 I attended a state sponsored Motorcycle Safety Course and discovered to my surprise “I did not know anything about riding a motorcycle.” Yes, I could start my bike and ride to work or ride off for a weekend trip, but once I received professional training I discovered that I knew nothing about staying alive on two wheels. I soon learned that I did not even know what there was to know. Almost 30 years of riding and I did not have a clue. The fact that I was still alive was a coincidence. I went on to attend numerous additional motorcycle courses, became an instructor for MSF and later for Harley Davidson and I am still learning. Now I appreciate how much I still have to learn.

Would you buy a motorcycle and teach yourself how to ride? Many people do just that. Of the 30 riders killed in “accidents” in the state of Utah in 2008, how many had attended professional training through MSF? Not one. Each of those riders who were killed was self taught or assisted by well meaning friends and relatives. Riders killed who had professional training, zero. Riders killed who had not attended professional training, thirty.

When I was 11 years old my father, who was an airline Captain flying cargo on military contracts, had me “fly” a (4 engine) DC-4 across the US. I did a fine job of holding course and altitude for 10 hours as I recall. If you had asked me then if I knew how to “fly” I would have said yes, absolutely. I did not know how to start the engines, take off, land, raise and lower the landing gear and flaps, navigate, communicate, deal with any emergency or the hundreds of things that a pilot had to know. It was not until I was in my teens and attended flight school where I received my commercial pilot’s license that I fully realized the difference between holding heading and altitude and actually being able to “fly” an airplane. I did not know what there was to know, so how could I have been aware that I did not know it?

Would you buy an airplane and teach yourself how to fly? It has been done but not often. Would you teach yourself how to Sky Dive or become a SCUBA Diver? If you wanted to become a “Concert Pianist” would you seek professional instruction or just figure it out yourself? Why on earth do people believe that they can teach themselves how to win a gunfight? I can only assume that most people know so little about defending themselves with a firearm that they cannot even imagine what there is to learn.

When someone tells us why they would not benefit from professional firearms instruction we can only say that none of us know what we do not know. How can we. If you are interested enough to be reading this, then I must assume you are one of the rare exceptions.

No one knows everything there is to know about armed combat because there are infinite variables involved. Despite having considerable training and experience, Stacey and I continue to attend additional training as often as we can and we live by the adage, “Sometimes an instructor, always a student.” There is always more to learn.

We hope that you will be wise enough to seek professional firearms training. If you do, you will have a life changing experience. You will gain peace of mind, knowing that you can protect yourself and your family. Such confidence will be based on “skill at arms” and not some illusion about irrelevant past experience. What you may have done once or twice in your life is the not the measure of your preparedness. What you can do now, today, on demand is what matters.

Self defense is not only a right but it is aresponsibility. Your family believes that you are their protector. Is that true or is it merely a fantasy? Hundreds of Americans each year must live with the fact that they were unable to protect their loved ones from unspeakable crimes because they were unprepared. As retired police officers we can tell you from experience, “when your life is in imminent danger and the outcome will be determined in the next three seconds, the police are only minutes away.”

The safety and survival of your family is in your hands. This has always been true and it will always be true. Accept this truth and learn how to provide your loved ones with the protection they expect and deserve. Seek out and attend professional training. You will find such training to be hard work requiring discipline. You will also discover thatDefensive Firearms Training is an “enjoyable and addicting” experience. You will be planning to take your second course even before you finish your first. Contrary to the popular misconception,“You will not rise to the occasion, but instead you will default to your training.” How relevant is your training?

Larry and Stacey Mudgett


Larry Mudgett is a long time Rangemaster and Instructor at Gunsite. Larry and his wife Stacey also run classes in Utah through their own school, Marksmanship Matters. Larry retired from the LAPD after nearly 35 years where he served as the Chief Firearms Instructor at the LA Police Academy for 13 years and the Chief Firearms Instructor and team member for LAPD SWAT for 14 years. Larry also served as an Infantry Light Weapons Sergeant in the First Air Cavalry in Viet Nam 1967-1968. Larry trained the first USMC Special Operations Training Group at Camp Pendleton and was an adjunct firearms and hostage rescue instructor for the DOE Central Training Academy for 10 years. He currently teaches Rifle, Carbine, Pistol, Double Action Revolver and Single Action Revolver.
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6 Responses to Professional Firearms Training – Who needs it?

  1. Rob Pincus

    August 27, 2010 at 10:10 am

    Excellent Article.

  2. Gary Snowden

    September 1, 2010 at 10:47 am

    Larry I totally agree with your statement I am a 3 yr firearms instructor of a government agency most of our employees never fired a weapon until they came to work for us. So it goes without saying most would not be able to react in a life or death situation I believe the old adage learning is life long. never quit training if that makes any sense to you.

  3. Jim Fullenlove

    October 11, 2010 at 7:55 pm

    Larry; Excellent.
    I just returned to Kentucky after attending the Gunsite 250 course. I have been shooting for 35 years, a KY certified law enforcement firearms instructor for 22 years teaching KY’s concealed carry courses for the last 14 years since retiring. I do all the teaching but don’t receive much for myself.
    My first day on the range 2 weeks ago with Jerry, LaMonte, Ron & Ken, I was told I was standing WRONG, and holding my pistol WRONG. You can teach an old dog new tricks.
    Even though I was still chasing the pistol on Thursday and making other minor mistakes under time pressure, I saw a drastic improvement in my gun handling and my ability/ confidence. I am now definitely a sheepdog!

  4. Len La Cabeza

    February 29, 2012 at 9:58 pm

    Wow…this a great article on who needs Professional Firearms Training and why. Please take the time to read this article and many of the other great ones on DRTV. Thank you.

  5. Sheri Herson-mudgett

    September 11, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    Wow this is a wonderful article. I am looking forward to taking your class and soon Sammy. A true professional!!!

  6. GregWasHere

    June 22, 2014 at 7:31 am

    I’m very much pro-gun control/anti-NRA …and I loved this article.
    You did all of us a big favor by writing a sane, clear, spot-on article that doesn’t sell paranoia and hype like so many other sites. I imagine that we may disagree on some things, but I also imagine I would not lose the respect that you earned from me today.
    I’ll probably never spend the time and money on fire-arms, but if I did, I’d hope for a teacher like you.

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