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What Sniper Rifle Did Chris Kyle Use [Surprising] 

Dakota Potts | Updated February 26, 2024 | Why You Should Trust Us | How We Earn Money
Cover photo for "What Sniper Rifle Did Chris Kyle Use" with a man looking through the scope of a sniper rifle, article title, and logo

Chris Kyle, the legendary Navy SEAL sniper, had an impressive array of weapons at his disposal during his four tours of duty in Iraq. But what sniper rifle did Chris Kyle use most often?

Find out the firearms this iconic sniper relied on to bring down his targets and protect his fellow servicemen.

For more on sniper rifles, see our guide to the top 300 win mag sniper rifle picks money can buy.

Key Takeaways

  • Chris Kyle’s favored sniper rifle was the McMillan TAC-338
  • He also used semi-auto rifles such as the US Navy Mk-12 5.56 and the SR-25 7.62 (Mk-11)
  • Kyle’s longest confirmed kill shot was made from approximately 2,100 yards or 1.2 miles away

What Caliber Did Chris Kyle Use as a Sniper?

Chris Kyle used various calibers during his time in Iraq. He was known for using 7.62×51mm NATO cartridges along with his rifles.

Image showing a 7.62×51mm NATO cartridge in one hand and a box of cartridges on the other hand

But what rifle did Chris Kyle use in Iraq? That’s the more popular question I’ve seen.

Well, one of his go-to rifles was the SR-25 7.62 Rifle (also known as Mk-11). This rifle was semi-automatic and part of the AR-style family. However, he wasn’t a huge fan of this specific rifle due to its reputation for jamming in the field. 

Image of an SR-25 7.62 Rifle with a mounted scope

Kyle also used the US Navy Mk-12 5.56 Rifle. It’s another AR-style, semi-auto rifle that came in handy for certain situations.

More on that later…

Image of a US Navy Mk-12 5.56 Rifle on top of a wooden platform

Besides these rifles, Chris Kyle preferred the McMillan TAC-300. This tactical rifle, chambered in .300 Winchester Magnum, weighed about 12 pounds and had a 26-inch barrel length. The TAC-300 provided accurate long-range shots, making it fitting for a skilled sniper like him.

As the needs of the battlefield evolved, so too did Kyle’s choices in weaponry, displaying his adaptability and impressive marksmanship regardless of the rifle in his hands.

While in Iraq, Chris Kyle was known for effective sniping with a large number of confirmed and unconfirmed kills. 

“You have to slow your heart rate, stay calm. You have to shoot in between your heartbeats.”

Chris Kyle

Where Is Chris Kyle’s Sniper Rifle?

Chris Kyle, a decorated US Navy SEAL sniper, used a variety of precision rifles during his service. He often relied on these rifles to protect Marines during his four tours in Iraq, but his rifles were returned into the possession of the Navy after his service.

In his autobiography, he mentioned a few of his favorite sniper rifles, which were tailored to suit different combat situations.

One of the rifles he frequently used was the .338 Lapua Magnum caliber MK.13 Mod 5. This weapon had a reputation for its tremendous stopping power and longer effective range. In addition to that, the rifle allowed him to achieve remarkable accuracy over extended distances.

Image of .338 Lapua Magnum caliber MK.13 Mod 5 on display

Sometimes, when he needed more firepower, Chris Kyle opted for the semi-automatic .300 Winchester Magnum Mk 11 sniper rifle. This powerhouse provided high precision and increased flexibility for rapid fire when engaging multiple enemy targets.

Throughout his career, Chris Kyle was also known to use the 7.62x51mm caliber Mk 12 Designated Marksman Rifle (DMR) for shorter-range engagements. The compact size and versatility of the Mk 12 made it ideal for urban warfare and close-quarters combat.

All these rifles played a significant role in Chris Kyle’s success as a sniper, and this legend continues to inspire many generations of sharpshooters today.

What Rifle Did Chris Kyle Use in Iraq?

Chris Kyle used various rifles during his tours in Iraq, such as semi-auto rifles US Navy Mk-12 5.56 Rifle, and SR-25 7.62 Rifle (aka Mk-11) like I mentioned above.

But what gun did Chris Kyle use for his long shot?

Well, his go-to rifle was the bolt-action McMillan TAC-338. This weapon was customized to fit his needs. It was powerful and accurate, just what a sniper needs. McMillan even created a replica for the movie “American Sniper.”

Image of McMillan TAC-338 on top of a black case

This sniper rifle stands out as the weapon responsible for Kyle’s longest confirmed kill shot, which was approximately 2,100 yards or 1.2 miles away. This feat has not only cemented Kyle’s legacy but provides a testament to the effectiveness and prowess of his favored rifle.

As for where is Chris Kyle’s sniper rifle now, that info is hard to find. It could be with his family or in possession of the military.

Fun Fact

According to research, 72 percent more women are hunting with firearms today than just five years ago. And 50 percent more women are now target shooting. Combined, Americans hunt 228 million days per year and sales of hunting gear are growing faster than all other segments of the sporting goods industry. Source: suncommunitynews.com

Chris Kyle Son Death News

Now, there has been talk circulating online that Chris Kyle’s son, Colton, may have passed. However, this may just be a rumor, as there has been no confirmed source or reliable publication reporting Colton’s death.

Chris Kyle’s children faced tragedy when their father was shot and killed. Taya, Chris Kyle’s wife, was left to raise their two kids alone. 

The kids have tried to move on, living their lives in as normal a way as possible. They’ve been surrounded by love and support from family and friends to help them through the grieving process. 

Despite Colton making little appearances in public and preferring his personal life to remain private, he has appeared with his mother at various events honoring his father. Chris Kyle’s legacy lives on through his children.

So, How Did Chris Kyle Die?

Unfortunately, he tragically died on February 2, 2013, when he was shot by a fellow veteran at a shooting range in Erath County, Texas.

If you’re looking to learn more how to shoot like a Chris Kyle, see our guide to proper rifle control.


What happened to Chris Kyle’s sniper rifle?

Chris Kyle’s sniper rifles were returned to the Navy after his service. Some of the rifles might be on display in museums or used for training purposes.

What did Chris Kyle use for a sniper?

Chris Kyle used a variety of sniper rifles during his service, such as the US Navy Mk-12 5.56 Rifle, the SR-25 7.62 Rifle (aka Mk-11), and the McMillan TAC-338.

What was Chris Kyle’s favorite sniper rifle?

Although he used several different rifles, it’s believed that Chris Kyle’s favorite sniper rifle was the McMillan TAC-338. This specialized sniper rifle was designed for long-range precision and lethality.

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