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Hard X-rays can penetrate solid objects, and their largest use is to take images of the inside of objects in diagnostic radiography and crystallography.
The roentgen (R) is an obsolete traditional unit of exposure, which represented the amount of radiation required to create one electrostatic unit of charge of each polarity in one cubic centimeter of dry air. The rad is the (obsolete) corresponding traditional unit, equal to 10 millijoules of energy deposited per kilogram. The sievert (Sv) is the SI unit of equivalent dose, which for X-rays is numerically equal to the gray (Gy).
X-rays are generated by an X-ray tube, a vacuum tube that uses a high voltage to accelerate the electrons released by a hot cathode to a high velocity.
In crystallography, a copper target is most common, with cobalt often being used when fluorescence from iron content in the sample might otherwise present a problem. X-ray fluorescence: If the electron has enough energy it can knock an orbital electron out of the inner electron shell of a metal atom, and as a result electrons from higher energy levels then fill up the vacancy and X-ray photons are emitted. So the resulting output of a tube consists of a continuous bremsstrahlung spectrum falling off to zero at the tube voltage, plus several spikes at the characteristic lines. In medical diagnostic applications, the low energy (soft) X-rays are unwanted, since they are totally absorbed by the body, increasing the dose.
To generate an image of the cardiovascular system, including the arteries and veins (angiography) an initial image is taken of the anatomical region of interest. A specialized source of X-rays which is becoming widely used in research is synchrotron radiation, which is generated by particle accelerators. The most commonly known methods are photographic plates, photographic film in cassettes, and rare earth screens. Before the advent of the digital computer and before invention of digital imaging, photographic plates were used to produce most radiographic images. Since photographic plates are sensitive to X-rays, they provide a means of recording the image, but they also required much X-ray exposure (to the patient), hence intensifying screens were devised.
Areas where the X-rays strike darken when developed, causing bones to appear lighter than the surrounding soft tissue. Contrast compounds containing barium or iodine, which are radiopaque, can be ingested in the gastrointestinal tract (barium) or injected in the artery or veins to highlight these vessels. An increasingly common method is the use of photostimulated luminescence (PSL), pioneered by Fuji in the 1980s. The PSP plate can be reused, and existing X-ray equipment requires no modification to use them. For many applications, counters are not sealed but are constantly fed with purified gas, thus reducing problems of contamination or gas aging.
Some materials such as sodium iodide (NaI) can "convert" an X-ray photon to a visible photon; an electronic detector can be built by adding a photomultiplier. This process produces an emission spectrum of X-ray frequencies, sometimes referred to as the spectral lines.
The intensity of the X-rays increases linearly with decreasing frequency, from zero at the energy of the incident electrons, the voltage on the X-ray tube.
A second image is then taken of the same region after iodinated contrast material has been injected into the blood vessels within this area. The contrast compounds have high atomic numbered elements in them that (like bone) essentially block the X-rays and hence the once hollow organ or vessel can be more readily seen. In modern hospitals a photostimulable phosphor plate (PSP plate) is used in place of the photographic plate. In his autobiography, Kyle said people ask a lot about the weapons he used as a sniper, so he talked some in the book about the specific rifles he used. The spectral lines generated depend on the target (anode) element used and thus are called characteristic lines. These two images are then digitally subtracted, leaving an image of only the iodinated contrast outlining the blood vessels. Photographic film largely replaced these plates, and it was used in X-ray laboratories to produce medical images. In the pursuit of a non-toxic contrast material, many types of high atomic number elements were evaluated. After the plate is X-rayed, excited electrons in the phosphor material remain "trapped" in "colour centres" in the crystal lattice until stimulated by a laser beam passed over the plate surface. Electrons accelerate toward the anode, in the process causing further ionization along their trajectory.


Kyle described the wide range of weapons and rifle systems he used in different situations, but I wanted to focus on the few he said were his favorite sniper rifles.So, I went back and re-read his book, and scoured the internet for the best photos I could find of his actual rifles.
The radiologist or surgeon then compares the image obtained to normal anatomical images to determine if there is any damage or blockage of the vessel.
In more recent years, computerized and digital radiography has been replacing photographic film in medical and dental applications, though film technology remains in widespread use in industrial radiography processes (e.g.
For example, the first time the forefathers used contrast it was chalk, and was used on a cadaver's vessels. This process, known as a Townsend avalanche, is detected as a sudden current, called a "count" or "event". I even contacted manufacturers like Accuracy International, GA Precision, Leupold, and Nightforce to get more specs on Chris Kyle’s rifle setups. When the film is developed, the parts of the image corresponding to higher X-ray exposure are dark, leaving a white shadow of bones on the film. I expected this all to be well documented, but it took a lot of detective work to put together clues from different places.
Photographic plates are mostly things of history, and their replacement, the "intensifying screen", is also fading into history. The metal silver (formerly necessary to the radiographic & photographic industries) is a non-renewable resource. Thus it is beneficial that this is now being replaced by digital (DR) and computed (CR) technology. Where photographic films required wet processing facilities, these new technologies do not. It’s an excellent all-around cartridge, whose performance allows for superb accuracy as well as stopping power. And on closer targets, you don’t have to worry about too much correction for your come-ups.
Kyle said “Other services fire the round from different (or slightly different) guns; arguably, the most famous is the Army’s M-24 Sniper Weapon System, which is based on the Remington 700 rifle. These were nice rifles.”Although Kyle doesn’t specify that this was a SOCOM Mk-13 in his book, industry experts tell me that is likely what he was using.
If you take that info to consideration, the scope in the photos must be a Nightforce NXS 8-32×56. He added that at the time, they were configured with 0.25 MOA click adjustments, and either the Nightforce Mil-dot or MLR reticles. They were bad-ass.”In 2013, sculptor Greg Marra wanted to pay tribute to Chris Kyle by making a life-size sculpture of the hero as a gift to his family. It was important to Marra that the statue was holding an exact replica of Kyle’s rifle, down to the smallest detail. Kyle’s wife allowed Marra to use his rifle for the project, and he contracted a company named NVision to scan a high-resolution 3D model of the rifle.The rifle pictured below is Kyle’s sniper rifle they scanned for the sculpture.
Unlike his other weapons, it wasn’t type classified rifle or caliber, meaning there wasn’t a detailed specification for the rifle.
When you’re shooting inside a building, the concussion is strong enough that it’s a pain – literally. My ears would hurt after a few shots.”This was the rifle that he made his longest confirmed kill with, which was a 2,100 yard shot. You can see my ‘dope’ card – the placard on the side contains my come-ups (adjustments) needed for long-range targets. Based on Kyle’s time of service, they said the scope likely featured their TMR reticle, but they couldn’t be sure. So at 10x magnification, that makes the 2,100 yard shot even more impressive!I’ve heard people say it was a McMillan TAC-338 rifle, although Kyle didn’t specify in his book. But as I was researching this, I noticed McMillan has a rifle package for the TAC-338 that looks virtually identical to the photos of Kyle’s rifle from his autobiography. From the scope, to the rings, to the stock, to the MIRS rail, to the muzzle brake, to the bipod, to the bottom metal and magazine, and even the leather sling! Bradley Cooper went to multiple training sessions with Scott Reitz of International Training Seminars to learn basic techniques on breathing and marksmanship before they started filming the movie. You can see Cooper is holding a McMillan TAC-338 Rifle Package in the photo at the range with his trainer.
So obviously, the movie producers thought that was the rifle Kyle used as well.His Favorite Post-Service RifleWhen you’re in service, you don’t get a lot of choices for which rifle you use.


But, the question that is interesting to me is “What did a rifle expert like Chris Kyle choose to shoot after he retired from active service and could pick anything he wanted?” He gives us the answer in his book:“Since I’m talking about guns, I’ll mention that my current favorites are the weapons systems made by GA Precision, a very small company started in 1999 by George Gardner.
I didn’t get a chance to try one until I got out of the service, but now they’re what I use.”I contacted George Gardner, and asked for more specifics of the rifle that he built for Kyle.
George said Kyle was referring to his GA Precision Gladius chambered in 308, and he sent me this photo of Kyle holding his GAP rifle.Gardner said Kyle’s rifle was a standard Gladius, although “standard” is a poor adjective for such a rifle. However, I was able to zoom into one of the the photos of Kyle with his rifle and see that the lowest power was 5x … not 5.5 or 8. Kyle says in his book, that while he was in service “Our rounds were match-grade ammo bought from Black Hills, which makes probably the best sniper ammo around.” That’s quite a statement coming from Chris Kyle. There’s a certain amount of hype and even romance for these weapons, which shoot a 12.7x99mm round. There are a few different specific rifles and variations in service with the US military and other armies around the world.
You’ve probably heard of the Barrett M-82 or the M-107, developed by Barrett Firearms Manufacturing.
But the truth is that if you shoot the .50 through a vehicle’s engine block, you’re not actually going to stop the vehicle. Kyle, a Texas native, served four combat tour in Iraq and elsewhere between the start of the war and 2008.
He retired as chief petty officer, and along the way, collected an armload of hardware, including two Silver Stars and five Bronze Stars with Valor. He donated part of his cut of the book’s profit to the families of fallen servicemen and veteran charities.
Kyle started Craft International after he retired from the service, a training company for elite military and law enforcement professionals. Kyle understood the difficulties a veteran goes through adapting back to civilian life, and he tried to help fellow veterans make that shift. Kyle was at a range with a 25 year old veteran suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), when the young man turned a weapon on Kyle.Kyle’s years of service, and admirable character attracted thousands of people who lined the highways during his funeral procession to pay honor to the fallen hero and his family. But Kyle was a man who was selflessly giving of himself not only to his country, but to other veterans who faced the same struggles he had himself … to the point of death. Cal is a life-long learner, and loves to help others get into this sport he's so passionate about.
His engineering background, unique data-driven approach, and ability to present technical and complex information in a unbiased and straight-forward fashion has quickly caught the attention of the industry. I really had to do some detective work to get it all together, but luckily I know people at the different companies involved and can pretty quickly recognize some of the components. I had read his book a couple years ago and enjoyed it more than I thought I would going into it.
I’m not really into the military sniper part of long-range shooting, although I know a lot of shooters are. There is a debate out there on what scope he used, but I didn’t remember him saying that in the book. I will say that there are cartridges out there that offer superior external ballistics and less recoil. Lots of great shooters love the 308, but there are just other more modern cartridges to consider that could increase your hit probability on long range targets.
As he said there are a lot of weapons that can do a better job that are lighter, smaller, more accurate, and less expensive. Unless there is something I haven’t seen yet, Mk 211 is the only match grade API round in use.
Cal September 3, 2015 at 10:37 pmJon, I have a friend who was special forces and this week he told me the story of the first time he used a 50 in combat.
I appreciate the input!Thanks, Cal Joseph Jones January 18, 2015 at 5:59 pmI am just taking a stab at this but most all of the enemy combatants in Iraq and Afghanistan use civilian vehicles as their transportation.




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