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In the last part of the movie American Sniper, Chris Kyle is seen aiming towards the hiding spot of Mustafa (the Butcher's sniper), and just before shooting the target the camera moves towards the crane and the wall built by the engineers. This sequence doesn't look right to me, since it was recorded as if it were the taken straight from the sight of the rifle, and moving it would have meant moving the whole rifle in a completely different position from the shooting one.

So my question is: does that sequence have a "practical" explanation (by which I mean, moving the rifle wouldn't hinder the acquisition that much so it could have happened) or was it an artistic license?


2 Answers 2


After re-watching this, this scene was definitely artistic license. The reason I say this is because there are only 2 ways to achieve this:

1) Kyle would have to move the entire rifle, which is impossible because the hole in the wall that he was looking through would have blocked his view, or

2) Kyle would have had to pivot the rifle on the legs of his sniper stand, which would have caused him to move so much that he probably would have been spotted by the other sniper.

While #2 is possible, it's just not practical for a sniper. And the crosshairs of the scope were visible the whole time, so it was definitely intended to make it look as though it was his view through the scope.

  • Thank you for the answer, that's what I thought while I was watching.
    – RCap107
    Jan 14, 2015 at 13:20

I just watched the movie. I'm pretty sure what you are seeing is two different scopes - one from the insurgent (looking at the wall) and on from Kyle's rifle. The view changes back and forth between them, showing that the insurgent Mustafa has targeted another US soldier and is about to fire, then alternately showing Kyle's rifle aimed at Mustafa.

Mustafa's scope reticle has something that looks like a red carat '^' mark, while Kyle's rifle had the more traditional "crosshairs" reticle.

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