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A double tap to the left side of the head (or perhaps one to the head one to the chest) from a US Navy SEAL Team SIX member is reportedly what killed Osama Bin Laden.
Which means that most likely the gun used to blow away part of Bin Laden’s skull was the Heckler & Koch HK416 (at least that’s what I’m hearing via a corpsman in devgru [friend of a friend of a friend]). Which makes more sense for a breach into a dark room with an undetermined number of people than does a handgun:
The United States Army’s Delta Force collaborated with the German arms maker to develop the new carbine. During development Heckler & Koch capitalized on experience gained developing the Bundeswehr’s Heckler & Koch G36 assault rifle, the US Army’s XM8 rifle project (canceled in 2005) and the modernization of the British Armed Forces SA80 small arms family. The project was originally called the HK M4, but this was changed in response to a trademark infringement suit filed by Colt Defense.
Delta Force replaced its M4s with the HK416 in 2004 after tests revealed that the piston operating system significantly reduces malfunctions while increasing the life of parts. The HK416 has been tested by the United States military and is in use with some law enforcement agencies and special operations units. It has been adopted as the standard rifle in one NATO nation as well.
A modified variant is undergoing testing by the United States Marine Corps as the M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle. After the Marine Corps Operational Test & Evaluation Activity supervised a round of testing at MCAGCC Twentynine Palms, Fort McCoy, and Camp Shelby (for dust, cold-weather, and hot-weather conditions, respectively), limited fielding began for 458 IARs to four infantry battalions (one per each Marine Expeditionary Force and one reserve) and one light armored reconnaissance battalion; all are slated to deploy to Afghanistan in 2011.
However, if it was a handgun (as some assumed based on the ‘double-tap’ description, which is most commonly taught with handguns), it most likely would have been the H&K USSOCOM:
This handgun was developed under request from US SOCOM (Special Operations Command) and entered the competition with Colt for OHWS – Offensive Handgun Weapon System – first offensive handgun for US Military since the adoption of the Colt M1911 Govt. The request was issued in mid-1991, and the only other major competitor to H&K was the Colt company with its SOCOM pistol. By the 1993 H&K delivered first prototypes of its contestant, and eventually HK SOCOM pistol became the Mk.23 model 0 pistol, issued by US Special Operations command to its operators. The Mk.23 mod.0 is chambered for venerable .45ACP cartridge, which provides greater stopping power than a NATO-standard 9mm Luger cartridges. Mk.23 mod.0 is designed to safely and reliable fire most powerful .45ACP +P ammunition, either with ball (FMJ) or expansive (JHP) bullets. Mk.23 mod.0 is usually issued with quick-detachable silencers, made in USA by Knight’s Armaments Co, and with laser pointing module, which installs on the underbarrel rails.
As pointed out by N2L in the comments of another post,Team SIX members have to be able to double-tap a 3×5 index card at 30ft with this .45 ACP.
If you’ve ever been to the range with a .45 ACP, you know how ridiculously good of a shot that is.
Which officially makes Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-AZ) a much bigger badass than the world’s most infamous terrorist…(and, really, a bigger badass than pretty much anybody). Of course, Giffords was shot in the head with a .9mm, and Bin Laden was hit with a .45 ACP. Which is why I carry .45 ACP (Springfield XD 45ACP Compact) and not a .9mm.
We’ll probably never get an official confirmation on which weapon actually fired the fatal kill shot, but you can bet you ass that if we did know, you’d sell a gazillion versions of that model on the open market.
(NOTE: This post has been edited from it’s original version, before we knew more about the breach and the teams on this mission)