Inside the world of the sniper

Vanity Fair has published an article about the experiences of “Russ Crane”, a Texas Guardsman sniper deployed in Afghanistan. It is a long but interesting read.

During World War II, snipers were seen as a spooky, merciless “Murder Inc.” by other soldiers—the brutal intimacy of their kills made them a breed apart. But in Afghanistan, where avoiding civilian deaths is a top priority, U.S. military sharpshooters may have found the war that needs them most. Going inside the world of Texas Army National Guardsman “Russ Crane,” who has dropped a Taliban fighter at 806 meters …

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Arjan Blom

    I’ll tip my hat to both the sniper and the author of this piece. Both are true professionals.

  • gunslinger

    looks like quite a read. hopefully i’ll have some break time here and can take an in-depth look at it. i remember watching on history a special about snipers. one guy said it’s a mental challenge because unlike the normal soldier who’s bullets are marked “to whom it may concern” a sniper knows who that bullet is for and when exactly they will end the individual’s life. it’s an enormous challenge to know those things, but still be able to perform to protect us back home. i don’t envy them one bit. but i respect them for all they do.

  • Ztryfe

    A little long, but helps to give you a good idea on the sniper’s feelings and driving forces.

    Wonderful read…… Thanks for the link Steve!

  • Tom

    Excellent article. I’d have like it to be longer, actually, gone into more depth. I could read a book about this guy.

  • kurgen99

    Excellent story

  • Jim

    I found the part about the man’s house, made of stone and set 500 meters in from the road, a bit odd. It was introduced in a way that implies that he is afraid of some sort of concerted attack against his family, but then later denies just that.

  • charles222

    He probably just takes noise isolation real seriously.