Words and Pics: Cade Johnson


Anyone reading this blog will know who Travis Haley is, mainly because of the success of his company, Haley Strategic Partners and the pervasiveness of its products. Similarly, readers will no doubt be aware of his Force Recon past.

Then, there’s this: the video of him and his Blackwater colleagues on a rooftop in Najaf, Iraq, engaged with insurgents.

The ‘Turkey Shoot’ rifle featured in ‘The Battle for Najaf’ has been the subject of much discussion regarding its spec and components. What follows is my own analysis, which I hope will put much speculation to rest.


Contrary to some theories, this rifle is not an M16A4, Mk12, SDMR, SAM-R or any other US military issued rifle. The base rifle is a Bushmaster 20″ DMR, and Bushmaster supplied many rifles and carbines to Blackwater in the early 2000’s.


This DMR has an A2 upper featuring a heavy profile, chrome lined 1/7 Bushmaster match barrel. It also features a standard A2 stock and A2 grip. It is unclear whether the muzzle device is a standard A2 or the KAC NT4.

Interesting to note, the front sling swivel has been removed from the front sight post.

The element which is perhaps most unique to this rifle is the ARMS #59 SIR. This ‘Selective Integrated Rail’ system features an integrated riser rail mounted to the upper, and an offset top rail to allow 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.

Optical Aiming Device

The rifle is topped with a Mark 4 Leupold 3-9×40 with an illuminated Mil Dot reticle. ARMS #22 Medium (non lever stop) rings hold the Leupold and Butler Flip Caps to protect the lenses.

The rear sight is the ARMS #40, mounted behind the SIR upper rail.

Laser Aiming Device

Now for the most commonly misunderstood part of this rifle, the IR Laser. It’s not a PEQ2.

In fact, it has an Atilla 200 IR Laser system. Travis Haley 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 RetroRifleBlog@Gmail.com, Facebook or Instagram.

Bio: Cade Johnson

Cade Johnson has several years of experience in the firearms industry and currently works in sales for a major manufacturer. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own.


The original article on which this one is based, is featured on Cade’s own blog: Retro Rifle Blog.

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