THE Rifle

This may well be the most significant individual weapon in US Small Arms History.

THE Rifle

While THE rifle no longer exists exactly as it did on that day on that target, more of it is present in this photograph than anywhere else. You’re looking at history here ladies and gentlemen. Thanks to LAV for sharing it with us.

94 Responses to “THE Rifle”

  1. Paul says:

    Is this the OBL rifle?

  2. Joshua says:

    they did say the 416 is the weapon on the initial reports (was assuming just speculation)

  3. Eric says:

    The rifle no longer exists? what happened to the actual rifle?

  4. Jack says:

    I hope so. Nice knowing the last thing ever pointed at him said “this side towards enemy”.

  5. Austin says:

    Sweet. Out of curiosity, source?

  6. Andrew says:

    what is the end cap device that is on the suppressor?

  7. sean says:

    That is a 416 not a 417 correct?

  8. Reseremb says:

    It has the Remington modular handguard that night?
    Thanks to LAV for showing this piece of history.

  9. Toby says:

    Well all I can say is that I have no love for the HK 416 or any of it’s variants. No doubt there will be plenty of people on here that will argue that I am wrong and that I don’t know what I am talking about. I can assume safely that 90 percent of those have had carry it let alone rely on it. My disdane with weapon though stems from actual combat use with it. For five years I have used this over priced over engineered hunk of crap. Say what you will but in my professional opinion based on actual service use I will ALWAYS use a Colt before I use the HK. Period. I will not go into specifics here but trust me, you can do so much better at half the cost. Sorry to piss anyone off. Just the facts my brothers.

    • seans says:

      I am curious, what configuration were you carrying it in? Was it a 10 inch? And you were at a place that were forced to carry a HK?

    • You've got to be kidding me says:

      I’ve used one operationally for more than 6 years now, they are very reliable and accurate. I’d prefer my current HK to my old S.I Colt any day, even if it’s a little heavier…its reliable just like an AK. But then again, the right weapon in the right hands can wreak havoc on anyone = shooters choice.

    • Terry says:

      Toby, I’m certainly not going to say you are wrong. Experiences vary. I used a 416 upper supplied by Crain for a number of years in OIF and OEF on various Colt M4 lowers and had no issues what so ever. Up to this point I haven’t been introduced to anything better so I’m a fan.

      • Terry says:

        typo…Crane not Crain.

        • Toby says:

          I have experienced a ton of carrier tilt which led to the rifle actually destroying itself one shot at a time. The diaper sights are no good nor is he chinsy front site(10 inch configuration). I do not like the recoil created ( that being said I know how to manage, lol), I HATE an AR that is proprietary. Now, I do love the barrel and the ease of rail removal. Just saying, 20 years an no issues with my Colt A1, especially with our MK18 upper from DD. like our brother said earlier, shooters choice! GOD bless you guys!

          • seans says:

            Wait you are complaining about a rifle that has removable sights. You organization had the money to run HK416s but not the money to invest in alternate backup iron sites. Or you didn’t feel like plopping down $200 bucks on a pair of sites. And you were forced to use the HK416?

            • You've got to be kidding me says:

              Alright, the only thing superior in this world over anything else is The USA, and that is the only substantial fact, ever…BOOM!!!

            • TomcatTCH says:

              Very clearly he said he doesn’t like carrier tilt first.
              That the stock sights suck was not first. It was second.

              You focused on the second thing listed, because it is fixable.

              How about the carrier tilt? Bueller?

              • Jaeger416 says:

                Well isn’t toby a special little snowflake. His misspelling of Crane, Calling the DI system an SI system, failure to provide anything but speculation, other tips in his writing and a very evident lack of knowledge regarding the 416 platform lead me to believe that toby is a fraud.

                A quick perusal of a different article on this very same site pretty much shows that toby is yet another internet trained, airsoft, wannabe badass with zero practical experience.

                The other article I mentioned:

                • Matt says:

                  I can Assure you that Toby is the farthest thing from a fraud you’ve ever known.

                • Toby says:

                  Not allowed to change out any accessories do to restrictions, never commented on Crane(that was someone else), and I did not list my complaints in any one order. As for who I am- you must know me then. Yes, ask SSD and Eric will tell you I am the furthest thing from any kind of military or real world experience. I play a lot of Playstation, that is how I got my pedigree. Lol, brother you need to relax. And it may surprise you that people who carry a gun may not care on a blog about spelling. More than anything, I knew some one like you would start hating. What do I know. Oh, by the way- I am special. My tab says so.

                  • Toby says:

                    Oops, no that was me. Sorry. I forgot I wrote that. As for my typo. I don’t care I can spell it Krane or Craine, maybe I can spell it Kraaaaaaneeee. Who cares. I don’t, they are great for helping us with weapons, TIs, post inspections, accessories, and some times some new prototypes. I do not know any one there would care if I misspelt Crane, at least they never cared when we spoke and corresponded. But yes yeager, I misspelt it. I will not get those points on Scramble, lol.

                • SSD says:

                  He’s real

                • Terry says:

                  I’m the one that misspelled “Crane” Jaeger. Poor job of proofreading on my part before hitting “send”. My bad.

          • CDJ says:

            Toby, either you had a developmental model. Carrier tilt was not an issue when they hit the DEVGRU, Special Forces and SWAT. By that time they were going between 40,000 and 70,000 rounds before failures. I Have an upper right now with over 25,000 round not one breakage, and it just keeps going and going.

            • Toby says:

              That is good to hear, but we are not using it at my unit(it is a special one) but that is good to hear. I can not believe all the hate I am getting from a combat vetted analysis. Unbelievable, I have always said guns are like women, no two men like’em the same. I expected some hate from this post though. As for me I am probably one of a few who are not HK fans to begin with. Over engineered, over priced, and frankly not the best ergonomics. That is just my professional and personal opinion. No biggie

              • Bman says:

                Toby, I think you made legitimate points. I have never touched a 416 but have played with all sorts of big name piston guns and I wasn’t all that thrilled about the added cost and weight. I, however, have the luxury of keeping my rifles spotless and dripping with oil so they just haven’t appealed to me. The tilt issue is just another reason I remind myself that my rifles are just fine for my use. I still wonder what ratio of scars to 416s are preferred in the various SOF units. Anytime I talk to SF buddies or people from other units, its mixed and some couldn’t care less about the piston guns.

                Just be glad you didn’t make a pro law enforcement comment. There would be haters coming out of the woodwork who become experts on policing, crime stats per capita, patrol tactics, hostage rescue, active shooter response and investigations and the like in the time it takes to read a few blogs.

  10. MGunz says:

    Toby, care to share, I’ve heard nothing but good things about the 416 from both military and LE? (Never carried one myself) Plus the tests look impressive?

    • James says:

      I shot a few that were going to the local SWAT in my area. They were so bad last I heard they were thinking about getting rid of all of them and switching back to the rifles they were using before. They would have had to replace parts on all the rifles in order to make them function as promised. They were crap with the silencers and even more crap without. The instructor was an armorer too so not like we were using them incorrectly.

  11. BradKAF308 says:

    I know it’s just a tool, but, It’s a tool that was used to remove a very painful rusty nail. This was a very historical event. It should have been retired for that reason as it marks a point in time, political, historical, emotional, financial, personal, technical, tactical. It is an item that people will want to see or touch to connect them to all of that. Nice to see it, thank-you. Thank you also to its Operator.

    • MikeM says:

      It’s a tool. It’s job isn’t done ’til it’s broke or ’til something better comes out. Making a museum piece would be a waste in my opinion. Kinda wish she was a LaRue, though, haha.

  12. Kris says:

    Great pice of history. Am I the only one curious about the ammo used? I am assuming it was either MK 262 or MK 318.

    • Mike Perry says:

      Barnes 70 grain TSX is what I read

      • seans says:

        God tell me you didn’t get that from that crappy Kill Bin Laden book.

        • Mike Perry says:

          No. I read on the net about the SEAL’s using Barnes all-copper bullets. The 70 grain was supposedly preferred over the 62 grain. In the end, no one really knows what was used.

          • Jason says:

            Lot’s of people know what was really used, they’re just not posting it on the internet.

  13. TM says:

    Zero chance LAV’s head didn’t explode when he saw the VTAC sling. Zero chance.

    • Jon C says:

      It’s an LBT sling

      • Will says:

        Sorry bro, that is indeed a VTAC sling made on a limited run through ADS, the following slings were indeed made by LBT, difference is the color of the 1″, LBT made theirs initially with single sided AOR1 web, then double sided.

  14. Angry Misha says:

    I wanna give props to HK, AAC, MAGPUL, Insight, Remington, Geissele and company for not exploiting the: “THE Rifle” train unlike some other companies that make illumination and sound attenuation devices that would’ve been on it like a fat kid on cake

  15. ski says:

    Once again. Reading these threads reminds me of why I stopped.

  16. Dalton says:

    What is the cap over the suppressor?

  17. Matt says:

    I’ve read on other sites that it’s a scope cover to keep debris out of the muzzle from the helicopter. Who knows if that’s really true.

  18. Jimbo says:

    It looks like the caps that came with our original Insight weapon lights at first glance.

  19. Kaos-1 says:

    We get a picture of “The rifle” , but still no picture of “The target”. Just some bullshit story of burial at sea , per Islamic tradition . My ass

    • JOKER says:

      Look out everybody, conspiracy theories in the house! He’s not dead, he’s smokin dope with Elvis and tupac…

  20. Thomasjane says:

    For what it’s worth, Mark Owen (author No Easy Day)posted this pic of his HK416 on Instagram in December..

    (No red HK back then though ha ha)

    • Dead On The X says:

      That’s the same photo at the top of the thread. I smell some advertising here. I wonder if this is the beginning of a “stand-in” type promotion from HK (and Owen)? Not the actual gun that killed OBL but this gun was there too.

  21. pbla4024 says:

    Really? What about the Carcano model 91/38? And derringer?

    • SSD says:

      what are you talking about?

      • pbla4024 says:

        Do you really consider this as the most significant individual weapon in US Small Arms History? There is quite long list US presidents shot dead. Lincoln (derringer), Kennedy (Carcano), Garfield (bulldog revolver), McKinley (Iver Jonson revolver)… Wouldn’t those be more significant?

        • jose gordon says:

          I’m with you…”the most significant small arm in U.S. History”????? It may be one of them…but it isnt the MOST significant…

        • SSD says:

          Those aren’t issue weapons. When I say US Small Arms, I’m thinking issue weapon used by a member of our armed forces. You’re talking about criminals.

          • jose gordon says:

            Small arms are small arms…issued or not, its just one of a few significant issued weapons in U.S. history…not the MOST signifcant one…it has historical signifgance,, yes, but not the most significant.

  22. jack says:

    HK should use that pic to make a give away poster… just sayin

  23. Chris U'5 says:

    As a lover of firearms and military history this picture has genuinely made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.

    What an amazing piece of history!

    Thank you very much for sharing this LAV and SSD.

  24. BillC says:

    I’m a little slow this morning, haven’t had my second cup of coffee yet. It took me too long to realize what “THE” rifle meant.

  25. CRH says:

    As much as I loved to waste my time reading through the thread with all the arm chair stupid question commentary and opinionated comments on performance with absolutely no substance, how about some ACTUAL Story to go with the photo. Like this is the OBL rifle, these are the specs as seen, it is currently locked in a vault, or in a museum etc. etc.

  26. JaegerSchnitzel says:

    Is it parkerized under the front sight base????

  27. Theoverheadarmpull says:

    What original parts are missing in the photo?

  28. Still don’t understand why the military is so fond of Eotech optics, as opposed to Aimpoint red dots.

    • jose gordon says:

      The Military… isn’t just some users in the Military are…

    • BillC says:

      Depends on what unit, etc. I saw just as many Aimpoints as EOTechs. My unit had the full range of Aimpoints: CompM3’s, CompM4’s, and CompM4S’s. Then to finish it out, the plethora of ACOG’s. My friends unit ran Elcans. How and who gets what is either the flavor of month or hand-me-downs from other or previous units. They are all fine optics with different strengths and weaknesses. I like Aimpoints because of their ridiculous battery life and the current gens use a single, easy to find AA.

    • straps says:

      I know EOTech has market esteem the polar opposite of HK (at least outside this thread), but I own 552s and 553s that have been zeroed for dozens of guns (ARs to 590A1 to M4s to M249s and back) over millions of rounds that continue to function flawlessly.

      Battery life (especially on the 552?) Advantage Aimpoint. Field of view (bearing in mind the importance of field of view when targets move and shoot back?) Advantage EOTech. Hands down.

      Yeah, I know, zombie reticle.

      • Toby says:

        My experience is that the EOTech is a great optic and is still completely relevant, but… I do not trust their reliability any more. I have had too many fail to operate after consistent recoil over time. The battery pack has been a consistent problem. I understand that they have made great strides forward to correct this and have but for me I still like a permanent optic like the ACOG or Spector DR. It has day and night illumination and still have a fixed reticle when illumination fails. That is strictly just my opinion. That is all. GOD’s speed brothers.

  29. magpullover says:

    this is mark owen’s gun the second shooter..its from his instagram.. check it out for more amazing things that devgru uses

  30. GreenTip556 says:

    I don’t think it was “maintenance” that put this rifle in this condition. My theory is a little more tragic unfortunately. Not long after Neptune Spear, Extortion 17 crashed and took a lot of brave American souls with it from The DEVGRU, JTAC, National Guard, and 160 SOAR with it. I’m guessing this was retrieved and put back together as best as possible after teh EREC (Emergency REClaimation) team got to the crash site.

    • SSD says:


      • Mike D says:

        160th SOAR and Extortion 17? Maybe you should do some research before posting a comment on a topic you obviously know nothing about.

    • magpullover says:

      nope all those guns were destroyed… this is mark owens gun the guy who wrote the book

      • GreenTip556 says:

        Didn’t “Mark Owen” say he wasn’t the man who fired the shot? I mean for it to be “THE Gun” wouldn’t it have to be someone else’s.

      • Trajan says:

        Just curious, but why were they destroyed? Intentionally, unintentionally….?

  31. GreenTip556 says:

    My apologies. I had an SA failure. I thought this was related to this:

    Also, I knew it was an NG flight, I brain-farted on 160 SOAR on habit.

    Won’t happen again.


  32. Joe momma says:

    Ummm not sure if it’s been covered or not, buuutttt….what’s on the end of the suppressor….?

  33. wheeler says:

    I need that as a wallpaper.

  34. Toinou says:

    Well first off all Mark Owen published the picture already, so this would be his rifle and he’s not the one who killed OBL (thought he did shot him when he entered the room).
    Second off all, as far as I know the military version of the 416 doesn’t have the “Heckler & Koch Defense Inc Sterling VA” on its lower body, yet here these markings are clearly visible. So either it got replaced with a civilian-type lower body, or it’s just not the rifle that killed OBL.

    • Thomasjane says:

      The ones issued to that unit absolutely are marked as such.. Except the one I’ve seen is marked Ashburn, VA, not Sterling.

  35. Henrik says:

    This is amazing. A 416 managed to kill a sick old fart that probably were minutes away from a natural death anyway.