A former US Marine sniper with extensive experience in Somalia and Iraq, Gunnery Sergeant Jack Coughlin has collaborated with Oregon-based journalist John R. Bruning to produce this engaging collection of sniper stories from the recent US involvement in Iraq. Coughlin – well known to American military readers from his autobiography, Shooter, and the Kyle Swanson series of sniper novels – displays his extensive knowledge of the theory and practice of sniping to good effect.
The opening section of Shock Factor describes the role of SEAL sniper teams in the bear pit of Ramadi during 2006, with due respect accorded to the exploits of the legendary Chris Kyle and a good description of Jim Gilliland’s exceptional 1250-yard shot with just a 7.62mm M24 rifle against an al-Qaida sharpshooter. Unsurprisingly, in a work from a Marine Corps soldier, the next section turns to actions by USMC Scout Snipers, notably during the drive on Baghdad in 2004. The book concludes with an in-depth look at the operations of sniper teams from the Oregon National Guard, and how well these ‘part-time’ soldiers adapted to the rigours of counter-insurgency warfare.
Packed full of sniper lore and rugged back-woods wisdom, Shock Factor will be a valuable addition to any sniper-enthusiast library.
St Martin’s Press, £17.16 (h/b), £10.92 (p/b), 326 pages