Rifle Breakdown: Travis Haley Najaf Blackwater DMR

By now, everyone interested in military rifles knows who Travis Haley is, and most have seen the video of him, and his coworkers in Blackwater, engaged with insurgents on a rooftop in Najaf, Iraq. The “Turkey Shoot” rifle featured in the video is the subject of quite a bit of misinformation regarding its specs and components, I will try to put much of that to rest in this article.

No, this rifle is NOT an M16A4, Mk12, SDMR, SAM-R or any other US military rifle. The base rifle is a Bushmaster 20″ DMR. Bushmaster supplied many rifles and carbines to Blackwater in the early 2000’s. This one has an A2 upper featuring a heavy profile, chrome lined 1/7 Bushmaster match barrel. It features a standard A2 stock and A2 grip. It is unclear whether the muzzle device is a standard A2 or the KAC NT4. It is interesting to note that the front sling swivel has been removed from the front sight post.

Perhaps the most unique element to this rifle is the ARMS # 59 SIR Rail system. This system features an integrated riser rail mounted to the upper and an offset top rail to allow for the use of inline night vision. The SIR also features removable picatinny segments along the sides of the rail.

Mounted to the ARMS rail is a CQD front sling mount and an ARMS #32 bipod mount holding a Harris BRM-S with Schuster Lever.

The rifle is topped with a Mark 4 Leupold 3-9×40 with and illuminated Mil Dot reticle. ARMS #22 Medium, (non lever stop), rings hold the Leupold and Butler Flip Caps protect the lenses. The rear sight is the ARMS #40 mounted behind the SIR upper rail.

Now for the most commonly misunderstood part of this rifle, the IR Laser.

This rifle DOES NOT have a PEQ2 mounted, it has an Atilla 200 IR Laser system. Travis has specifically noted this when discussing the rifle in the past. These lasers were seen on a few SFG rifles but most commonly were found on contractor rifles. They were popular due to their strong output of 150mw compared to only 50mw for the AN/PEQ2. These lasers also feature a unique drop-down pressure switch.

That covers the DMR used by Travis Haley in Najaf. As always if anyone has any questions please reach out via Email, Facebook or Instagram. Check out the Links page for the the original Najaf video.


Cade Johnson

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