Russian Sniper Propaganda unironically parroted by Mother Jones

It is no surprise that Mother Jones would run a hit piece on the NRA. I won’t link to that original article, feel free to google it if you want to.

The NRA has been under fire for its Russian links. The outfit has refused to provide Congress with complete information about funding it receives from overseas, including Russia. McClatchy has reported the FBI is investigating whether Torshin illegally funneled money to the NRA to help Trump win the presidency. (The NRA was among the biggest pro-Trump spenders in the 2016 election.) And the ORSIS trip is another link between the NRA and Russia. The NRA did not respond to a request to explain whether the organization had any qualms about plugging a Russian weapon of concern to the US military.

This Russian rifle could be dangerous for American soldiers—and Russia has been arming its own military and security services with the weapon and distributing it around the world. In a recent article in Popular Mechanics, David Hambling, a military technology expert, notes that the T-5000 is changing “the shape of future battlefields” to the disadvantage of the United States. (“For now,” he notes, “the solution [for US forces] is simple—run.”) Still, the NRA—whom Trump has called “great American patriots” and whose convention he addressed on Friday—allowed itself to be used by ORSIS to promote the weapon. For the group, guns do seem to transcend all, including national security.

What is more surprising is how much traction this naked propaganda got, until you realize that journalists are generally both “leftist” and “stupid” which makes anything that seems juicy and makes the NRA look bad something they’ll pick up on.

Places such as “We are the mighty” simply parroted the MJ story without any context or fact checking.  Business Insider also got into the act: “The NRA helped promote this deadly Russian sniper rifle that has the US military worried”

Rifle discussed: Orsis T-5000 in 338 Lapua. Also discussed is the Russia Next Generation Warfare Study. The authors of the article pull an awful lot of quotes out of context.

Here’s the facts and context: The Orsis T-5000 is similar to the M24 338 Lapua or the AI AWM in that it is essentially hand made in small batches to support military sniper missions. The US military has had to deal with the Steyr HS50 showing up in “insurgent” hands in the middle east for years now. What the Russia Next Generation Warfare highlights isn’t the equipment, but the tactics enabled by the equipment, which are changing the understanding of how Russia wages warfare with snipers now, as opposed to the way they used to.

But really, the phrase “deadly sniper rifle” and “most powerful sniper rifle” are pretty common propaganda phrases as Russia seeks to create an image of a military ready and capable of going head to head against the US.

Here’s another fluff piece swallowing the Russian sniper mythology hook line and sinker:

Funny quote: “The T-5000 fires .388 Lapua Magnum ammo, delivering 5,000-foot pounds of energy – twice of that from the Dragunov – to a target 2,000 yards away. The American McMillian TAC-338, on the other hand, can reach only 1,700 yards.”

This is a very interesting statement, and if you believe it you are an idiot. The Mac Tac-338 is designed for 1,500 meter shooting, which is right at the 1,700 yards quoted. The reason why is that pretty much every single 338 Lapua projectile is going to go subsonic after 1,400 meters (at sea level anyways), which drastically increases the drop per distance. You don’t run out of bullet energy or momentum with a 338 Lapua, you run out of drop on the scope, and then you run out of stadia lines to do hold overs, but rest assured that there is no magic sauce that makes a 338 projectile from a T-5000 travel along a different ballistic path than a 338 projectile fired from a Tac-338.

If you want to specify a 2,000 yard range for a 338 Lapua, just give it a scope with lots of vertical adjustment and fire it at a high enough altitude that you can make the hit repeatedly at 2,000 yards. Making propaganda is easy, especially when you have journalists who are “leftist” and “stupid” to buy your story hook line and sinker because they may have played “Call of Duty” once or twice.

Another bit of propaganda: Mirror Headline: Russia to deploy world’s most powerful sniper rifle in Syria capable of killing jihadi target 2 MILES away (note the 2016 publication date on that story)

Rifle discussed, SVLK-14 in 408 Cheytac (Similar to EDM Windrunner)

Seems like we should be shaking in our boots, right?

Well, not so much: Russia unveils ‘Ferrari’ among sniper rifles with a kill range of over 4 km. Called SVLK-14S Sumrak, the rifle is not meant for combat but is a mere collector’s item. (note the 2018 publication date on that story)

What happened between 2016 and 2018 that changed the story from “killing Jihadi’s at 2 miles!” to “not meant for combat, mere collectors item”? Well either the rifle didn’t perform as advertised in Syria, which is a likely possibility as many tight tolerance target rifles lock up tighter a rusted bank vault in the sand of the middle east, or the piece from 2016 was just propaganda.

But here are the facts: The 408 Cheytac is not as powerful as the 50 BMG or 12.7×107 Russian rounds already used by snipers across the world, although some 408 Cheytac loads do overtake some 50 BMG loads after a certain distance for energy remaining. The 408 Cheytac was evaluated by the DOD and USMC for possible adoption and found to be no advantage over the 50 BMG in terms of long range accuracy. Sure the 408 Cheytac beat machine gun ball ammo, but it didn’t do any better than 50 cal match ammo.

Now, the Mother Jones article referenced a Popular Mechanics article. Popular Mechanics headline: “This New Russian Sniper Rifle is Redefining ‘A Safe Distance’”

Rifle discussed, Orsis T-5000 in 338 Lapua Magnum (Similar to MSR, M24 338 Lapua, C-14, AI AWM)

Now this really references the Next Generation Warfare Study (NGWS) which noted the Russian tactic of a “three layer Sniper ambush” where the first layer would be “marksmen” the second layer would be “snipers with standard sniper rifles” and the third layer would be “elite snipers with medium bore or large bore” sniper rifles. In Ukraine the Russians tried this tactic out and it worked quite well for them and it is something that the US military has not dealt with before.

However, we have nearly two decades of having insurgents conduct long range ambushes using 12.7 and 14.5mm heavy machine guns. Same reaction drill.

However, the standard “react to sniper” drill has always been “get out of the kill zone, call for indirect on the suspected sniper position.” That hasn’t changed just because the Russians started adopting the same 338 Lapua sniper round that NATO allies have been using since at least the 1990s.

Getting off of the T-5000, lets go to another puff piece on Russian sniper equipment: Russian Sniper Rifle Turned Syrian Commando’s Favorite

Rifle discussed: OSV-96 (which is similar to M107/M82 Barrett in size, weight, and intended tactical role) That article is little more than free advertising for Russian military exports, and Russia has a vested interest in selling military gear to buyers, it is one of the few products where it can compete against the west in terms of acceptable quality.

But…lets compare a list of Russian sniper rifles.

The list of Russian Sniper Rifles isn’t that long:


Dragunov (SVD-63) sniper rifle
Dragunov SVU
Chakuvin (SVC, SVCh)
Mosin–Nagant (no longer official issue, still seen on “Little Green Men” in combat zones)
SV-98, 7.62x54r variant (Russian Airborne)


KSVK 12.7


VKS sniper rifle

338 Lapua

Orsis T-5000
SV-98, 338 Lap variant (never fielded to my knowledge)
Chukavin 338 Lap variant

9.3 Brenneke

SVDK (because semi automatic elephant gun, why not?)

9×39 (subsonic)

VSS Vintorez

It seems like a pretty impressive list, as it covers “heavy, intermediate, standard, and short range subsonic” nicely.

Then again, if Russian snipers were so invincible, Russia wouldn’t protest the US selling sniper rifles to Ukraine:

Now that the US is selling sniper rifles to the Ukrainians  we may see if better gear leads to better outcomes in east Ukraine. My guess is that the US sniper rifles will be largely symbolic as the real “center of gravity” for the Donbass region is the massive indirect fires from cannon and rocket artillery rather than snipers that are set up in static defensive positions.

I think that the biggest mistake, made by leftist publications like Mother Jones, is that somehow the equipment makes the sniper. That could not be further from the truth. The United States is full of men and women who own rifles capable of “sniper grade accuracy” at distances out to a mile or more. Unfortunately the United States is not full of men and women who have trained their skills to shoot accurately out to a mile. In fact, if it weren’t for a chance for Mother Jones to try to paint the NRA in a bad light I would expect that they wouldn’t have bothered with publishing the story at all, but the standard readership for Mother Jones is just as likely to be uninformed about exterior ballistics as a the average NRA member is on intersectional gender identity politics.

Just to show you why I’m not worried about Russian sniper rifles…

Here’s a list of comparable sniper rifles not made by Russia.

Some 338 Lapua Sniper Rifles not made by Russia

Barrett M98B
Barrett MRAD
Blaser R93 Tactical
C14 Timberwolf
Desert Tech SRS
DSR-Precision DSR-1
FN Ballista
GOL Sniper Magnum
H-S Precision Pro Series 2000 HTR
Longbow T-76
M24 Sniper Weapon System
Remington MSR
Otto Repa SOC
PGM 338
Sako TRG
Savage 110 BA
Steyr SSG 08
Accuracy International Arctic Warfare Magnum
Armalite AR-30

Some 408 Cheytac Sniper Rifles not made by Russia

BCM Europearms S.a.s.
CheyTac Intervention rifle series – CheyTac LLC.
E.D.M. Arms XM04
PGWDTI Timberwolf .408 CheyTac – Prairie Gun Works Defence Technologies Inc.
Lawton Machine LLC. (Lawton Rifle Barrels)
G.A.C precision rifles
RND Manufacturing, Inc.
Tactilite T1 (single-shot) AR-15 .408 Chey Tac upper
Vigilance Rifles VR1
Desert Tactical Arms HTI
Cadex Defence Shadow

Some 50 Caliber Sniper rifles not made by Russia

Accuracy International AS50
Armalite AR-50
Barrett M90
Barrett M95
Barrett M82/M82A1/M107/107A1
CheyTac Intervention
L.A.R. Grizzly 50 Cal
PGM Hécate II
McMillan Tac-50
Steyr HS .50

I won’t even bother listing the 300 Win Mag, 308 Win, 6.5 Creedmoor, and 300 Blackout sniper rifles because there is only one of me, and there are a “whole lotta them.” Please just trust me that in nearly any town in the US large enough to support a Walmart or a sporting goods store I could go in with a credit card and come out with the right kit to give a Sniper to enable to make first round hits beyond a 1000 meters. They might not have the rifle I want in stock, but they could get it or something comparable (such as a Howa 1500 in 300 Win Mag with a heavy profile barrel) from a distributor in a few days at the most.

There are actually way more rifles that should go on each list, but my point should be very clearly made that Russia is really trying to play “catch up” in the sniper game rather than truly being a world leader. The fact that they are using Sniper rifles to duplicate long range ambush tactics that the US last used in WWII (albeit with machine guns for the most part) is interesting, but not really a game changer as the response of “get out of the kill zone, call in indirect fire” is still valid.

To sum up, Mother Jones has always been a magazine by traitorous scum for traitorous scum, Russia is just the latest scapegoat to explain why Hillary lost (seriously, get the hell over it already), and hating on the NRA is just something that stupid leftist journalists do. The NRA is a single issue organization, and that issue is gun rights, and the Mueller investigation is going nowhere fast. Why don’t leftists just come to grips with Hillary being unlikable, un-electable (except as a Senator for some reason) with all the charisma of a syphilitic cactus.

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