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A Marine’s Rifle

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A Marine’s Rifle

Chuck Mawhinney was probably born to be a Marine sniper. “My father was a Marine during World War II. I started shooting at a very young age, and he taught me to shoot like the Marines taught him, so there wasn’t any big transition from hunting in Oregon to becoming a sniper.”

Mawhinney graduated from high school in 1967 and immediately joined the Marine Corps—with an agreement that he didn’t have to report until October, after deer season. He graduated from Scout Sniper School at Camp Pendleton in April of 1968 and was sent to Vietnam the next month. He started to “hunt” again almost immediately. More than three decades later, when the totals of modern American snipers were added up, it was discovered that Mawhinney had 103 confirmed kills, more than any other Marine, along with another 216 “probables.”

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