Is the “Black King” Featured in the Movie Shooter a Real Rifle?

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Our Associate portal can be found here

Yes and no. The black king rifle used by the main protagonist in the movie shooter is a fictitious gun. 

Let’s start with the original writer who created the Black King rifle, alongside Bob Lee Swagger, a US marine sniper character. 

Shooter, a 2007 American Legend

The rifles featured in Shooter and its off-shoot TV series of the same name can be termed collectively as the Black Kings. We first saw these long-range weapons in the 2007 action thriller, Shooter, written by Jonathan Lemkin and directed by Antoine Fuqua.  

Beyond what every movie buff knows, the script for Shooter was based entirely on a 1993 novel called Point of Impact. This book, amongst other ‘rifle glory’ novels, was the work of Stephen hunter, an avid gun enthusiast.

Point of impact was the first of the author’s novels that features USMC gunnery sergeant Bob Lee Swagger, a scout sniper. In this novel, Hunter describes the Ten Black Kings as a set of Winchester model 70s from pre-1964. 

These custom made set of guns had walnut stocks so dark they appeared as though black. The rifles were rare, never offered for sale, but only gifted to a select few by Winchester.

A Sneak Peek

In Stephen Hunter’s novel The Third Bullet, the Black King rifles play a prominent role. Shooter was released by Paramount Pictures on March 23rd, 2007 in the US. 

In this Di Bonaventura picture production, the Shooter, Bob Lee Swagger, is played by Mark Wahlberg as a semi-retired force recon vet. He is framed for murder by shady private military types after they trick him into participating in stopping an assassination attempt on POTUS.

When the shot is taken, it’s not by Bob Lee Swagger. He’s double-crossed and shot but manages to get away. 

It also appears as though the Shooter missed the US president and killed an Ethiopian dignitary instead. Swagger plays vigilante from there on, and many people lose their lives.

He finds the ones responsible, uncovering in the process an oil consortium plot that had targeted the Ethiopian archbishop all along. The final confrontation involves his dry firing a black king rifle at the leader of the private military guys, a US army colonel.

Finally, Bob Lee Swagger is exonerated and gets away with the girl. 

The Mythical Shooter Black King Stand-Ins

Under the guidance of Patrick Garrity, an ex-US marines scout sniper, Mark Wahlberg was trained for various sniper weapons and tactics. The movie uses an array of long-range sniper rifles, including a CheyTac Intervention, a Barrett M82, and the definitive USMC M40A3.

Weapons and Tactics in Shooters 

Several tactics can be discerned in Shooter, some involving switch shooting techniques from right hand to left. This was mainly because Wahlberg is left-handed and accommodated the injuries sustained by his character, Bob Lee Swagger.

Training for mark