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Shooter: The Autobiography of the Top-Ranked Marine Sniper

3.96  ·  Rating Details ·  3,628 Ratings  ·  158 Reviews
Jack Coughlin is the Marine Corps' top-ranked sniper, the man who personally brings America's military muscle to the enemy's front door. In twenty years of active service, he has accumulated one of the most impressive records in the Corps, ranging through many of the world's hot spots. During Operation Iraqi Freedom alone, he recorded at least thirty-six kills, thirteen of ...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published April 1st 2007 by St. Martin's Press (first published May 1st 2005)
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Apr 13, 2009 Carolina rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm keeping my two star rating - I finished the book this weekend, really could have been one chapter - that goes like this...

"I am the best Marine in the sniper world, I have a crappy relationship with my wife, I go to training and change the entire system for the snipers, we go to war, I am the only sniper the commander above me wants on the battle field, commander Bob is a dweeb so I disobey him and go to the war front to kill bad guys, I come home and the marriage is over, I am the best Mari
Feb 08, 2009 Jared rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So that one guy was Marine sniper 93 confirmed kills. This dude has fewer but he still manages to spill blood all over the desert. One thing is for sure, there is no lack of confidence in the snipers of the world. I just like these books because it reminds me that things are not always as they appear. Lots of political insight...from the Marine perspective and frankly a lot of information and feeling that has been lacking in the Iraq news coverage. I think stuff like this and say...a good Justin ...more
May 28, 2013 Matt rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
Coughlin et al. present an interesting presentation of the life of a sniper, particularly as it relates to the War in Iraq. Insight, some of which directly from the point of view of the soldier, helps to flesh out the time in the Middle East and the day-to-day happenings not reported by media outlets. They bring the reality of the war, and an angle of war as means of employment, to the forefront. For men paid to kill within the military system, it is an eye-opener and one that the reader may fin ...more
Oct 06, 2015 Scycer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you have seen a marine in movie or in real life you will hear the same confidence and focus on action throughout the book. For a guy from India, I am amazed at the level of patriotism indicated by the American Armed forces. I am sure that even our military folks are awesome but the positivity and belief that we can carry out any action is something I am yet to come across.

The book is about the life of Jack Coughlin and his dream of building a mobile sniper force as a strategy for urban comba
Ryan Irish
Nov 22, 2010 Ryan Irish rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Shooter was number one on the list of New York Times Bestseller in 2005. Shooter is an autobiography of the top ranked marine sniper in the Iraq war in 1993. Gunnery Sargent Jack Coughlin performed the world's farthest sniper shot. He carried a bolt action .50 caliber sniper rifle with a "magical" scope. His mission was Operation Iraqi Freedom. As he ran through blistering hot desserts and bizarre battlefields killing his targets one by one he has over sixty confirmed kills. in the book
Feb 18, 2008 Amanda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Adults and teens, regardless of their political views
Recommended to Amanda by: Frank (father-in-law)
While I don't think this book is for everyone, I do think it deserves 5 stars (though it should have spent more time with the copy-editor, as there are some obvious errors). It was a fascinating, first-hand, account of the war in Iraq from the perspective of a Marine sniper. It was written very honestly and bluntly, a style that typifies most military men, yet Jack was able to infuse the book with humor and emotion.

It was truly amazing to hear this story told from a first-hand, military perspec
Mar 14, 2010 William rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book probably has a very narrow audience, and will probably fall into the "like it or hate it" catagory for most people. It is a first hand account of a little know military specialty. More importantly, it gives a good insight into how a lot of our military approach their jobs as soldiers and defenders of our nation. For those of us "on the outside", it seems almost crazy to acutally be enthusiastic to go to war. But we fail to keep in mind, that's what these people train for. We aren't sur ...more
Josh Cline
Jan 31, 2012 Josh Cline rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Book Review for "Shooter" By Jack Coughlin and Casey Kuhlman

This book, for me, was one of the greatest war stories ever to be told. It was so in depth, and used so many little details to really paint a picture. You should definitely read this if you're into very detailed books about war.

Jack Coughlin was a staff sergeant over in Somalia. He was one of the best snipers there. Since looking through the scope, he could really see and describe the things he saw, which really came out in his writi
Jun 07, 2012 Gina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history-military
I wanted to read something about what it's like to look through the scope of a sniper rifle in wartime, and this book delivers a straightforward, sometimes blunt, easily readable account of just that. It's the story of Jack Coughlin and Casey Kuhlman's experiences on the March to Baghdad. I had not read anything on the Iraq War, and after reading this book feel that was an oversight. All Americans were involved in this, we all put these guys on the ground, and to hear about their experiences onl ...more
Sep 27, 2012 Rob rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
There was a part of me that wanted to like this book very much.

It is clear from this book and others like it (ie. Ambush Alley) that the Marine Corps has evolved
greatly from my days of service (1960-1964) and the technology and combat training
is certainly superior to that of my time.

I found it hard to feel much affinity with GySgt Coughlin as he seemed to come across
as egotistic and arrogant in pursuing a course of action that others had rejected (mostly
his superiors).

On the other hand, he came
I borrowed this from my friend, because it seemed like an interesting read, especially for someone who occasionally dabbles in military-related books. It was my first book dealing with Iraq, so I wasn't sure quite what to expect. I think it could've been better.

The pros:
The book is well written, and the the events happen in the correct chronology.
I especially liked the ProMet part and how Jack Coughlin was able to establish a new, mobile way of sniping.
It has several fast paced parts where I r
Nov 25, 2010 Tyson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fairly unbiased and true account of the second Iraq war. While the book has several gung-ho moments Coughlin does a great job of explaining how warriors must put their emotions on hold in order to complete their missions. While he does reveal how he handles his demons from his actions he mostly describes how the standard sniper doctrine is outdated and how he and his team contributed to a more modern tactic that places the sniper on a constantly moving battlefield.

A very engaging novel with a
Oct 04, 2010 Ed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A quite readable, well-written account by a Marine sniper/sergeant in the vanguard of the Iraqi invasion by the Coalition forces. He describes his grim experiences as a sniper and his clever innovations to boost the snipers' military effectiveness as mobile warriors used in urban war zones like the Iraqi cities. He was there at the famous toppling of the Saddam Hussein statue in the city square in Baghdad. If you want to read the fighting soldier's view of the invasion, this is a good source. So ...more
Katrina Miller
Nov 05, 2015 Katrina Miller rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Operation Iraqi Freedom freed the citizens of Iraq from the power of Saddam Hussein. Many American Soldiers fought for this cause and sadly, many have died. “Shooter,” an autobiography of Jack Coughlin, shows this war through his eyes; a top-ranked Marine Sniper. War impacts someone not only physically, but mentally as well. Captain Casey Kuhlman and Colonel Bryan McCoy are by his side while he’s on that battlefield. They all belong to the 3rd Battalion and that is where the top-ranked sn
David Saad
Apr 10, 2015 David Saad rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is different than most books I've read because it is non fiction, and an autobiography. My book is Shooter by Gunnery SGT. Jack Coughlin, USMC, and Capt. Casey Kuhlman, USMCR, With Donald A. Davis. Jack Coughlin is the main person in the book, he was an amazing personnel for the Marine Corps'. With more than sixty confirmed kills, Jack Coughlin is the Marine Corps' top ranked sniper. Shooter is his in depth first person of a sniper's life on and off the modern battlefield.
Gunnery Sgt.
Dec 27, 2014 Jengordon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had actually picked this book up for one of my kids, but ended up reading it myself. A fascinating narrative by a Marine sniper (well, by his ghost-writer), it's hard reading because the writing is choppy and because every few pages Coughlin waxes philosophical about how he's shooting people because it's his duty, these people are dangerous, etc., in a tone that suggests that he's put these bits in there because he knows he's supposed to, not because he's actually bothered by what he's spent a ...more
Malik Jordan
Feb 09, 2014 Malik Jordan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Army, Marines, Veterans, war lover
Recommended to Malik by: Litt Teacher
Shooter was a very stale book to me and i didn't like this book. It was very hard to get into not only was it stale,but there were points in story that was filled with action. Shooter is really a book for men and women that are in the Army,Marines, or vets. If u really are into to war stories it for, if your not into war and are just a casual reader, or care about how many pages are in the book DON'T read this book.
Shooter was book about events in the Iraq war. It a autobiography about a top ran
Jan 15, 2010 Phil rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although the story is written with a classic republican and somewhat of a redneck attitude, it is still quite admirable to listen to some of the hardships soldiers are exposed to, even in a war so one sided. However this book also brings to light what it takes to be sniper.
Jeff Yoak
This is a well-told autobiography of a Marine Corps sniper. The subject is generally interesting, but yet my attention started to wander and I lost interest. If you are particularly interested in the subject matter, I'd recommend the book.
Sep 30, 2014 Clark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well-written retrospective of one soldier's perspective of the Second Gulf War (2003-2008).

Like the sniper scope the author uses, this book provides an up-close glimpse of what life was like for a single sniper sergeant, and his immediate team. It's not an overview of the entire conflict. Surprisingly, the book says virtually nothing of the physics and technical aspects of long distance shooting, focusing instead on the authors role in developing mobile sniper teams that fight on the front line
Jul 05, 2015 Becky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2015
The Iraq War from the first hand perspective of a marine sniper. It was an interesting read. Sort of a middle ground between the vignettes of American Sniper and the story in Lone Survivor. A little bit about the history of snipers and a view of their evolution. He gives his straight forward view of what life was like on the ground. He exposes some of the disfunction of a peace time military going to war. He show some of the challenges of deployed married life. He has a bit of an ego but that is ...more
Christopher Taylor
This is a Goodread, fast paced and so full of superhuman efforts that it's entertainment. There is enough techno mil in it for those of us with some experience that it keeps us wanting more. To read more than I liked it stop here.


I had a real tough time with the episode involving the insertion of the Combat Controller and how they mysteriously vanished with no follow up on the craft that it felt like a wasted part of the scenario.

In the story it was a chip in the cog that caused me to t
Sep 08, 2016 Joeydag rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
As a young teen I read a few combat memoirs from the Russo-German front in WW2. I call it combat porn. As a teen I had no compunction about reading about death being dealt out in combat as a dehumanizing experience. The author directly addresses this question and gives his personal answers to the experience. It is jarring and perhaps destructive to a personality. This book covers his experience in the successful invasion of Iraq and details his professionalism, devotion to our country, and his s ...more
The author's purpose in writing this book is to describe a first person view of a sniper in operation Iraqi Freedom. The book is about, the author, Jack Coughlin's entire experience as being a marine sniper for over twenty years. He had around thirty six confirmed kills and thirteen of them being in a twenty four hour time period. The author is informing us on what he went through during his experience in Iraq and also talks a little bit about his home life.

The theme could've been a couple diffe
Larry Bassett
In politics in 2012 there is a lot of talk about the lack of compromise, the hardening and inflexibility of positions. As a person predominantly on the left for most of my adult life, I have experienced that inflexibility in my own life. I have opposed all war. I have boycotted grapes and lettuce and Wal-Mart. I have voted for third parties and donated money to radical causes like the War Resisters League and Planned Parenthood. (Just so you aren’t confused, where I live now Planned Parenthood i ...more
Andrew Miller
The book "Shooter" was about a marine snipers first hand account of his Iraq tour after 9/11. He talks about all of his difficulties both in the army and in his personal life back home. It goes into details on training they had previously to 9/11 and then all the little battles and towns they went through on their way to Baghdad. Throughout the story he keeps track of his kills and details like what was going through his head during the time of the shot. He also talks about how he is trying to ...more
James Walton
When I was reading Shooter I found out that my favorite character is SGT. Jack Cougnlin. The reason I picked him is that he is a very skilled sniper and that he doesn’t take crap from anyone. While I was reading my least favorite character was started to be Capt. Casey Kuhlman. He would talk trash to all the snipers and would disagree with them. I will give him credit of how good he can fight but he is my least favorite character. While reading this book it made me happy and a little sad. The r ...more
Rennie Heza
Aug 21, 2013 Rennie Heza rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who can handle gore
Recommended to Rennie by: Kobo
Shooter is an autobiography describing a top ranked marine sniper’s deployment in Afghanistan during Operation Desert Storm. Coughlin not only discusses the physical aspect of war, but also focuses on his thoughts towards the war against the Taliban and the effects of his troubled past as a highly trained killer. In this gripping account from the battlefield, Coughlin tells the story of war from his own perspective, ranging from unexpected shootouts to stealthy, slowly-developing long range kill ...more
Book review I have read a book called Shooter
I enjoy this book because of all the action and adventure; it’s a book that can teach you about self defense. I have read this book three times! There’s explosives, heavy guns, terrorist, and it’s just about the same that’s happening in the middle east. So if you like weapons of mass destruction this is your book!
This book is all about C.I.A (government) chasing an elite marine who got framed, he traveled from South America to Africa to Middle East
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Gunnery Sgt. Jack Coughlin’s autobiography, Shooter, describes his experiences as the top-ranked marine sniper in the Iraq War.

Coughlin is also the author, with Donald A. Davis, of the Kyle Swanson Sniper Novels: Kill Zone, Dead Shot, Clean Kill, and An Act of Treason.

Coughlin grew up in Waltham, Massachusetts, and joined the Marines when he was 19. He served with the Marines during the drive to
More about Jack Coughlin...

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“Legend says Gabriel’s trumpet will sound the last judgment. I do the same sort of thing with my rifle.” 0 likes
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