A new sniper drama set in Iraq will hit theaters today, just in time for the Memorial Day weekend.
The movie, The Wall, sets up an interesting premise: a sniper team—a shooter and a spotter—come upon several individuals in the middle of the desert near some vehicles and a broken bit of brick wall jutting out of the sand.
From a distance, they can’t tell if the people are alive or dead. Upon closer inspection, the shooter, Matthews, sees they are, in fact, deceased, just before he’s wounded by an enemy sniper hiding in the distance.
The sniper then opens fire on the spotter, Isaac, who is hit at least once before he takes cover behind the wall, forced to leave Matthews alone in the open.
The enemy sniper then begins talking to the two men in English over their radios, taunting them and psychologically berating them, trying to force them into making a mistake.
With both men wounded and bleeding, the film is a race against time and an enemy who has them in his scope, with the two main characters isolated on an island in an ocean of sand with nothing but each other and these few weapons they carry:
M24 Sniper Weapon System
Matthews carries an M24 Sniper Weapon System, which is the military and police version of the Remington 700 bolt action rifle topped with a Leupold Mk4 LR/T M1 10x40mm fixed power scope.
The rifle entered military service in 1988 and is still in use to a limited capacity today, in variants including A2, A3, and E1, with 15,000 built. The M24 features a 24-inch or 27-inch barrel and is chambered in either 7.62x51mm NATO (M24, M24A2) or .338 Lapua Magnum (M24A3) with an effective range of 875 yards and 1,640 yards, respectively.
The original M24 featured a 5-round internal magazine whereas later variants have a detachable box magazine with the same capacity.
In April 2014 the system was fully phased out with the last M24 converted to the new M2010 Enhanced Sniper Rifle. The M2010’s biggest difference from its predecessor is that it’s chambered for the .300 Winchester Magnum cartridge, which gives the rifle 50 percent additional effective range relative to the 7.62 NATO. It’s possible to chamber the dimensionally larger round because the M24 was designed with the “long action” version of the Remington 700 receiver, accommodating cartridges up to 3.34 inches in overall length.
The U.S. Army developed the new sniper rifle system to help American snipers engage targets in the mountainous and desert terrain of Iraq and Afghanistan.
The M2010 has also been integrated with the TrackingPoint smart scope, which includes a computerized scope that marks a selected target, gathers and compensates for external factors, and uses a special trigger that does not pull until the system is sure the bullet will land where intended. The Army purchased six TP systems in January 2014 for testing. The system costs between $22,000 and $27,000 to be installed on a bolt-action rifle and can allow even a middling marksman to achieve hits out to 1,250 yards.
Other differences from the M24 include a new chassis that maximizes the amount of physical adjustments a sniper can make to make the rifle fit them better. The buttstock folds to the right to shorten the rifle for easier transport and better concealment when necessary.
It is also fitted with a quick-attach/detach Advanced Armament Corporation suppressor and muzzle brake to tame the recoil and flash of the .300 Win Mag. The M2010 is fitted with a Leupold Mark 4 6.5-20x50mm ER/T M5A2 Front Focal variable power telescopic sight with a 34mm tube. It can be fielded with the AN/PVS-29 or AN/PVS-30 clip-on Sniper Night Sight. The rifle is also treated with advanced corrosion resistant coatings.
Isaac is armed with an M4 carbine as his primary weapon with a rifleman’s loadout of STANAG magazines. It’s hard to tell if his carbine is partially painted to match the desert sand, or if it’s just really dirty throughout the trailer, which is entirely possible as the location of the titular wall is extremely dry and dusty.
His gun looks to be outfitted with a minimum of accessories, including an EOTech Advanced Target Pointer/Illuminator/Aiming Laser unit, (ATPIAL), a vertical foregrip, and what appears to be an Aimpoint Comp M4 optic.
With his rifle and his spotting scope, Isaac makes some holes in the wall and is constantly trying to find the enemy sniper that has him and his partner pinned down.
At one point in the trailer, he uses his M4 to let loose with some suppression/distraction fire aimed at the top of the wall, so that Matthews can roll into position with his rifle as some dust blows up, giving them some cover.
The M4 was introduced in 1994 as a shorter and lighter variant of the M16A2 assault rifle. Like its parent rifle, the M4 is chambered in 5.56x45mm NATO and operated through an air-cooled, direct impingement gas system. It features a 14.5-inch barrel and a telescoping stock standard. Since its introduction, the M4 has been used extensively by the U.S. Army and Marine Corps, in many cases replacing the M16, which can prove cumbersome in vehicles and urban environments.
In this shot below, we see Isaac taking cover behind the wall with his Beretta M9 sidearm laying in the sand near his head.
Matthews also appears to have an M9 in a drop-leg holster platform. The Beretta M9 is a 9mm handgun that has been the standard sidearm for most of the U.S. Military since 1985. On the civilian market the pistol is sold as the Beretta 92FS.
We’ve reported that the U.S. Army, after a long process, held trials to choose a new handgun after it decided the Green Machine wouldn’t be adopting a new version of the Beretta pistol, the M9A3.
After the trial, which included entries from FN, S&W, Glock, CZ and others ultimately saw the Sig Sauer P320 modular handgun platform beat out the other entries. It was chosen to become the M17 and replace the M9, a substitution that is beginning now.