John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo were the DC Snipers.
The gun taken from the alleged sniper’s Chevy Caprice is described as a Bushmaster XM15-E2S A3, manufactured by Bushmaster Corp. of Windham, Maine.
The rifle is a custom made, highly accurate AR-15, which is the semi-automatic, civilian version of the military M-16.
Bushmaster rifles are known among serious combat target shooters as the Rolls Royce of AR-15s. They are “accurized” for more reliable consistent, long-distance accuracy. The .223, however, is unreliable beyond 400 yards.
The A3 designation in the model number signifies a rifle with a removable handle. The handle rail can then be used to mount a telescopic sight. It has a competition-grade barrel which is chrome lined for longevity and ease of cleaning.
As with all AR-15/M-16s, it fires the .223 cartridge. It will, by design specification, penetrate a soldier’s helmet. The bullet is very light at 55 grains, but tumbles and breaks up when it hits flesh
XM15 Rifle Facts:
The upper receiver and barrel assembly has a fully adjustable rear sight.
The upper and lower receivers are easily opened for cleaning and inspection.
The bolt group and barrel extension are designed with locking lugs that lock the bolt group to the barrel extension.
The forged aluminum upper and lower receivers reduce the weight of the rifle.
The bore and chamber are chrome plated for long life and ease of maintenance.
Caliber: .223 Remington / 5.56 mm
Weight: (depends upon model) 20″ Bbl. Rifle = 8.27 Ibs. / 3.75 kg
Length: (depends upon model) 20″ Bbl. Rifle = 38.25″ / 97cm
Barrel Rifling: R.H. twist; 1 in 9″; 6 lands & grooves
Firing characteristics: muzzle velocity approx. 3,260 fps; chamber pressure 52,000 psi
Maximum effective rate of fire: 45 rounds per min. / semi-automatic
Max effective range: 550 meters (individual/point targets) / 800 meters (area targets)
Maximum range: 3534 meters
Not really a ‘sniper’ rifle as described by the US media but a semi-auto M4 copy.