Sydney Siege

    It seems that every time an event occurs that receives a massive amount of media attention and has multiple law enforcement agencies involved, all the interesting small arms in use come out of the woodwork and make themselves available to the viewers around the world. It’s a pity that there is usually an event where someone is killed that is apart of these times, such as when the Ferguson riots and in this case, the two innocent victims in the Sydney siege. These photos are a compilation of photos in the news depicting the New South Wales Tactical Operations Unit. if you need a good recap of how it unfolded, Sky News has a good video report out.

    The fact that any of this footage became available to the public is quite impressive, on the same level as when the SAS handled the Iranian embassy hostage crisis (which ironically, is just like Sydney in that a violent Iranian is taking hostages and gets cut down by law enforcement). Even if it is just the breeching and entering portion of the operation, it’s still fascinating. In this case the large blasts at the start of the video appear to be the shotgun in use by the hostage taker. Tragically, this is probably when the first victim of the crisis was killed when he tried to disarm the hostage taker. After some of the team is inside, you can hear the smaller reports of the M4s going off, and notice how most of the fire, if not all of it, is all semi automatic. None of this full auto fire going on in the movies.

    This is another video from the siege, and shows alot more than the first video. Why didn’t the snipers on scene just shoot the gunman through the window? Contray to popular movie belief, when bullets enter glass, unless the target is right in front of the glass, there is no telling where that bullet is going to go. NRA Blog has a post about it as well as a report published in 1993.



    This shooter-spotter team is seen throughout the day during the crisis with their Accuracy International AICS stock mated to what appears to be a Remington 700 action with a flutted barrel. I can’t really tell what the firearm on the spotters vest is, but judging from the precence of shotgun shells on other officers, I’m assuming its a pistol grip 12 gauge shotgun for breaching.


    Guy on the right appears to have an H&K UMP .45 with an Aimpoint sight and surefire light mounted on the left side. His buddy seems to have two holsters, and really ought to be dual wielding. All these officers appear to be armed with .40 S&W Glock 22s as issued to the New South Wales police force.


    A great comparison of various laser aiming modules in use by the police, black PEQ 1 on the left and tan PEQ 16 on the right. Notice the extensive use of ARC rails on most of the helmets of the officers.


    The officer on the right here seems to be the outlier from all the other officers in this post, because he has a short barreled AR carbine, has a different uniform on than the others, and even appears to have a bandolier of 40mm smoke grenades.


    The ARs in use by the Tactical Operations Unit are of some interest because there a great variety in diversity between officers. Whether this is unit driven or personal preference driven or a combination of both, it is not known. Most of the AR carbines seem to be either dedicated Barrett 5.56 REC7s or upper receivers of a different manufacture with REC7 handguards.One thing many of them do have in common are the original Colt buttstocks as is seen on the left in this photo.


    This officer has the REC7 with an XPS EoTech, PEQ16 and shotgun shells but I don’t see a breaching shotgun. He also has a Magpul angular grip.


    Someone is going to have to change batteries later on as they left their PEQ16 on!


    You can see the distinctive handguard of the REC7 here. But the puzzling thing is the front sight post. Either the M4s are from another manufacturer and they added the REC7 handguards, or it was a contract for the police in the early stages of the Barrett REC7.


    The same sniper as before, but his partner has a UMP40 (assuming .40 cal instead of 45 ACP so ammunition can be interchangeble with their Glock 23s in .40 caliber).


    Magpul galore with the angular grip, magazine, and floorplate.


    Infantry Marine, based in the Midwest. Specifically interested in small arms history, development, and usage within the MENA region and Central Asia. To that end, I run Silah Report, a website dedicated to analyzing small arms history and news out of MENA and Central Asia.

    Please feel free to get in touch with me about something I can add to a post, an error I’ve made, or if you just want to talk guns. I can be reached at [email protected]