The McMillan C15 is the TAC-50 , a bolt-action .50 calibre sniper rifle. Canadian snipers used these in Afghanistan to great effect. Several teams operated in support of American troops e.g. on Operation Anaconda, and their help was so appreciated that the Americans awarded each man a Bronze Star for bravery.
- Master Corporal Graham Ragsdale
- Master Corporal Tim McMeekin
- Corporal Dennis Eason
- Corporal Rob Furlong
- Master Corporal Arron Perry.
One sniper, Corporal Rob Furlong, attained fame for the longest distance kill shot, 2,430 m (2,657 yds) by a sniper during Operation Anaconda 2002 March 2 to 11. Although this record has since been surpassed (in 2009), as most records eventually are, it garnered a lot of attention at the time and did a lot to raise World opinion about the skill of Canadian military.
How did the Canadian Government react to the World record long-distance shot and the award of the Bronze Stars? Not well at all. They were embarrassed that Canadian soldiers were superb at doing their job. This happened as well regarding the Battle of the Medak Pocket where Canadian Peacekeepers came under direct attack and fought back, suffering no casualties . The Canadian Government hushed up this first ‘battle” Canadians had fought in since the Korean War. Canada has developed a myth, starting in the 1970s approximately, that Canada’s soldiers are not warriors, but rather are mild-mannered Peacekeepers, bravely standing between two hostile parties. That is actually an extremely dangerous role and Canadians have been killed on Peacekeeping duties.
The Canadian government’s “institutional memory” is greatly flawed and they forget that Peacekeeping is only one of many roles a Canadian soldier may be called upon the fulfill. A soldier’s primary duty is to fight.
Look on the Internet for the article “We were abandoned” published in MacLean’s magazine 2006-05-15. This is the true story of the Canadian snipers deployed in Afghanistan.
Here is the actual rifle, serial number 99GA004 which Furlong used for that World record shot. The photos show it while on display at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa in 2007. The photos were taken by Colin MacGregor Stevens and I have retouched them slightly, mainly to remove glare, spots and reflections as the rifle was inside a Plexiglass case.
Link to the Canadian War Museum’s artifact catalogue for this sniper rifle. On the Internet on can search for the Canadian War Museum’s Collection. it is confusing as they are also under the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, Quebec and that seems to be a separate data base. I have no ;posted a link as their site is not secure. “Object Number” (i.e. Accession Number) 20080103-001 Rifle made in 1999 by McMillan Bros Rifle Co., Inc. Model C15 ( TAC 50). Serial number 99GA004 The Loan description is very poor as it says it was used in Canada (only) and does not mention the World record shot at all.