Following on from the success of the kit breakdown posted last year, I thought it was time to revisit the SEAL Team franchise… With the kit covered to a reasonable depth, I figured we should probably take a look at the actual hardware used within the show. This will also provide a bit of an update as i’ll be covering the key bits of weaponry used from the Pilot up until Season 2 Episode 12.
I’ve not been able to chat with the armourers for the show so its difficult to tell if the show uses Airsoft or blank firing replicas for any of the scenes, I’d be surprised if they haven’t at least considered it due to the relative high cost and safety aspect of using firearms on a set, but to my knowledge there have yet to be any obvious errors on screen such as motor grips or high cap wheels being shown so its not beyond the realm of possibility that they actually use real firearms exclusively and suck up the cost and training as just part of making an authentic show.
So before going into the nitty gritty, How accurate is the weaponry used? Are the set ups “Kosher” and are they a good representation of what you’d see used by DEVGRU? Well the truth is it’s very difficult to find an accurate answer to that question (despite what the armchair commandos will tell you), theres reference photos where certain set ups are seen with DEVGRU operators but basing a generalisation upon one particular set up or even a handful of set ups is probably not a wise idea.
On the flip side, the age old argument that “SF can have whatever the hell they want” doesn’t hold a great deal of weight anymore. Sure, theres always going to be a little variation between set ups and personal preference for one mount or optic over another but in general your going to find that the role defines the weapon and optics used, not the individual.
That being said, SEAL Team benefits from a cast and crew with over 100 active and former service personnel and law enforcement officers. I’d find it difficult to accept that they wouldn’t use that immense knowledge base and reach out to “the teams” to ensure that they were representing them well, albeit with necessary changes for OPSEC concerns.
Before we get our geek on… In order to understand the weapons and how they are used, Let’s take a look at Bravo Team, the individuals and their roles within the team.
Bravo Team – DEVGRU (Formerly Seal Team Six) – US Navy
Bravo Team operates as a Reconnaissance (Recon to my colonial readership) and Direct Action (DA) element, they generally use intelligence from both HUMINT (People) and SIGINT (Signals/Radio) to develop a plan that allows them to use the element of surprise and their technical capability such as Night Vision Goggles to allow them to punch far above their weight and fight on their terms. The don’t appear to fight or train within a Squadron but as a pretty separate entity, this appears to be shifting back subtly within the series but no mention is made as to the teams position within DEVGRU.
They rely on speed, surprise and violence of action to achieve their goals and aim to be back out of harms way long before a protracted firefight takes place. Their gear is relatively light and their combat load outs often only feature a handful of spare magazines. The team has a wide range of capabilities from close range weaponry to bolt action sniper platforms and support weapons, they also appear to have a light Anti Armour ability in certain missions and are also quite adept at using what’s around to meet challenges that should appear.
Jason – Team Leader/Assaulter
Pretty much what you’d expect from a Team Leader of a small assault team , As one of the primary assaulters he wields a Heckler & Koch 416D with a 10.5″ barrel.
Jason tends to lead the team from the front so having a rifle set up for CQB allows him to be an effective element of the team. Jason has also been seen on occasion with the Heckler & Koch MP7A1 as have others in the team, especially when staying covert or for personal defence when carrying long rifles such as the SR25. Sidearms are either the Glock 17 or 19 depending on the mission.
Ray – Second In Command/Marksman
Ray’s role in the team is as Jason’s right hand man, he also offers guidance to many of the team and acts as a moral compass. If Jason is seen as the father of the team then you could argue that Ray is the mother. His tactical role is usually that of Marksman, he tends to favour the 7.62 semi-automatic platforms such as an M110 SASS or SR25 Enhanced Carbine (Very similar looking upon first glance) but on missions where a Marksman is unwarranted he’ll carry a 416 in its usual CQB configuration.
A side note is that due to his darker skin than that of his team mates he will often find himself in a covert role that just wouldn’t work for one of his lighter skinned team mates. As such he tends to have more screen time with a pistol than his co-stars. He favours the Glock 19 but has on occasion been seen with a suppressed Glock 17 when covert infiltration is key to the mission.
Sonny – Support Gunner
Sonny acts as the teams firepower, generally he’ll jump on the biggest weapon the teams carrying. He is more often than not seen with the Mk46 Mod 1 but when the mission requires it he’ll get to work with the H&K 416 or very rarely a sniper rifle platform such as the DTA Stealth Recon Scout in .338 Lapua. As all of the team he carries a sidearm, up till now he’s been seen with Glocks… A 17 or a 19 series depending on the mission.
Clay – Assaulter/Marksman
Working as both a Marksman or Assaulter for the team, Clay has probably used more different weapons than anyone else on the show. There has also been a degree of development within his character and the choices seem to reflect that. His skill behind a long gun was immediately taken into account and it shows the degree of trust put in him when the very first mission as part of Bravo Team he was trusted with being one of the teams two Marksmen, Armed with the SR25 Enhanced Carbine. His other weapons have varied through the timeline but have included the MP7, Accuracy International AX338, A 14.5″ barrelled H&K 416, A 10.5″ barrelled H&K 416 and the SR25 based M110 SASS.
Brock Reynolds – K9 Handler/Scout
Brock, played by (SEAL Team Technical Advisor and real world Law Enforcement Officer) Justin Melnick serves as the teams K9 handler and tracker, Using Cerberus (Played by Justin’s real world partner Dita “The Hair Missile”).
Whilst the Belgian Malinois is arguably his main weapon, he is also armed almost exclusively with the H&K 416 in the standard CQB configuration. He also carries a Glock 19 as a sidearm or his primary weapon when in plain clothes.
Trent Sawyer – Medic/Assaulter
Summer Kairos – US Navy EOD
Semi-Permanently attached to Bravo Team as their EOD tech, Summer is a polar opposite to Sonny’s loud Texan SAW gunner. Weighed down with EOD gear and acting as a “strap” (Attached personnel) he relies on the team for their firepower. He does carry an MP7 for personal defence and has proven to be more than capable in defending himself.
So lets dig the detail on how these weapons are set up, primarily the bulk of rifles used in the show are the Heckler and Koch 416D 10.5″ Rifle with a Tango Down pistol Grip and a Geissele SMR Rail. This is known to be in use with multiple USSF units including DEVGRU, so a good choice to have in the show. The ones in the show appear to be actual H&K 416‘s and not the Civilian H&K MR556‘s that often act as a stand in on other shows, a nice touch and one that shows the attention to detail that the technical staff have on this show.
Accessories are varied but generally fit within a set template. Assaulters such as Jason, Brock and Trent will use 10.5″ length rifles with EoTech EXPS-3 Holographic Sights, AN/PEQ15 Laser/Illuminator units, Magpul RVG Vertical Grips and Surefire SOCOM 2 Suppressors.
The slings are tough to ID but one one or two occasions a seam can be seen running down the dead centre of the padded section, this would point towards the LBT Ultralight 2 point sling (Which has a history of use with DEVGRU although it might not be the most up to date) mounted using what appears to be the QD points on the rail and stock, however Clay does appear to use a H&K type clip in the front of his “Marksman 416”.
Another interesting addition is the Unity Tactical Micro Fusion Hub 2 with the BUIS and Wing Mount attachments, notably seen on Clay’s H&K 416 in S01E11 but more recently most of the H&K 416 rifles in the show… These enable a Surefire M300 Scout Light to be mounted in an optimal position alongside the AN/PEQ units.
There are exceptions to these set ups, In the pilot episode Bravo Team use standard quad rail H&K 416Ds with older first gen SOCOM suppressors and even mounting the occasional optic that isn’t seen after the Pilot such as Ray Perry’s rifle which stands out due to its Aimpoint T2 sight (The only time its seen in the show on this weapon platform).
The other notable exception is the 14.5″ 416D seen used by Clay Spenser when in a Designated Marksman role (Usually in support of Ray’s M110 SASS), With this weapon he tends to favour a short dot scope, Closer inspection reveals it to be the Vortex Razer HD Gen 2… A likely real world choice even with stiff competition from the likes of Leupold and Schimdt & Bender.
The next most commonly seen weapon is Sonny’s SAW… He favours the Mk46 Mod 1 with the standard telescoping stock, Ammunition is generally from a 100 round “nut sack” under the weapon although in one episode during a confrontation with the Mexican Cartels he is seen “Ramboing” the ammo freehand into his weapon with a 200 round box attached underneath the weapon itself.
Optics wise it’s generally an EoTech EXPS3 on its own but he has mounted an EoTech G33 Magnifier on a flip to side mount on several occasions and more recently an Elcan Spectre DR optic which would make for a very interesting airsoft set up. Other accessories are a Grip Pod, AN/PEQ 15 and more often than not a Surefire SOCOM 2 Suppressor. The sling used is incredibly tough to ID as most shots of Sonny show his primary either in use or across his chest, it’s probably a lot more comfortable to find a little nook to perch the SAW on his plate carrier than to let it hang. It does appear to be held at the front via a paracord loop, I’d hazard a guess that it’s an LBT sling as used with the H&K 416 or possibly a dedicated support weapon sling such as the Blue Force Gear offering.
Ray’s M110 SASS is often set up in the same way, the primary difference is whether or not he chooses to run a suppressor. The optics are generally Leupold (M3 Mk4?) and I’ve not yet IDed the mounts… In season 2 he has started to use a Wilcox Raptar IR laser/Illuminator in place of the previous season’s AN/PEQ 15 and a B&T Atlas Bipod.
Ray shows a bit of old school flair in some of his gear choices and the M110 is no exception… KAC Rail covers and a Crane Stock complete the rifle, giving it a very old meets new vibe.
The MP7s used generally fit the same format, The Brugger & Thomet Rotex 2 PDW Suppressor is invariably used with the teams MP7s, An AN/PEQ 15 and often a Surefire M300 Scout Light will be mounted to the weapon with the primary optic being an Aimpoint T2 on all the MP7s seen so far in the show.
These compact PDWs are seen being used on several missions by Clay, Trent, Ray, Jason and even Lisa Davis when Ray is otherwise engaged.
The Glocks used are pretty run of the mill, The Glock 17s come in suppressed and unsuppressed flavours but lack the additional touches that seem to be all the rage with real world SF units… All except Ray’s “Wet Work” Glock 17 which appears to feature Trijicon Tritium Suppressor Sights, A long suppressor of unknown origin (Possibly Silencerco judging from the profile) and a Surefire X400 Ultra Weaponlight/Laser. The other Glocks seem devoid of the most basic additions without so much as a Surefire strapped below them… As a pure back up weapon it makes sense to keep it pretty minimal and I’m not fluent with USSF SOPs so I’ll give them benefit of the doubt and say it’s a plausible set up… The Safariland 6354DO holsters used are certainly one that’s popular with SF Operators.
Onto Clay’s SR25 Enhanced Carbine, A Nightforce ATACR 4-16 x 42 F1 Riflescope with an Atlas Bipod being the standard set up and the IR devices swapping from as AN/PEQ 15 to a Wilcox Raptar in season 2.
According to sources within the show, the barrel length was shortened by Knight’s Armament Company (KAC) from 16″ to 14.5″, whether this is to replicate a real world mod I don’t know, but for short range work where punch and reach are offset by a need for compactness, inches often count… This being especially important if mounting a suppressor such as the 7.62 Surefire SOCOM as above.
So with the key weapon systems out the way, what else do we see the team using? Well there’s some interesting additions that might be based on aesthetics for the show or in part on real DEVGRU weapons. For example, Trent’s Silencerco Maxim 9… An interesting choice and certainly something that could have certain applications. But nothing that a suppressed MP7 probably couldn’t do more effectively. This is one of the rare examples of a weapon that probably isn’t seen with SF being used in the show, I could be wrong though… Feel free to correct me if I am!
Another oddity is the Desert Tactical Arms SRS Sniper Rifle, Both in that it’s an unusual weapon and that it’s only user is Sonny, and only in one mission. Maybe it’s a personal favourite of his or perhaps a team weapon brought out for certain missions but it’s a rather unusual choice. However, I’m sure it’ll please a few airsofters to know that it’s a legit choice for a SEAL Team CBS loadout.
Shotguns are not something seen often in the show, but the team does occasionally employ one for breaching. Trent and Sonny (rarely) carry a Remington 870 Custom with a railed pump holding a Magpul RVG. This is seemingly held in a weapon catch and not slung, being dropped before entry and possibly retrieved once the area is secured.
One thing that is noticeably absent is Grenade Launchers, no one (Bar the below example) seems to carry a 40mm launcher which seems a bit unusual.
Ray was seen with a cut down M79 “Pirate Gun” in either a modified S&S Precision M320 Holster or a custom kydex job. It’s only been seen in one episode but they’ve yet to use anything of the sort in anger, I’d have said that it’s difficult to simulate a 40mm munition but with reasonable Airsoft Replicas on the market and TAG rounds being more than capable of simulating the outgoing projectile it wouldn’t be too hard to make it look convincing.
This leads me into my next point… Anti-Armour weaponry. Trent appears to have carried an M72A9 LAW for quite some time without us spotting it, when he gets the chance to use it he appears to be rather happy… I can only assume that the payoff for carrying an extra few kilos has been a long time coming.
So that about wraps it up for the weapons, It’s not a complete listing and I’m sure it’ll be added to over the next few months.
As for the Acknowledgments, the below sources were used and proved invaluable.
IMFDB (In Movie Firearm Database) Without a doubt the number one contributor in this article, building a very good foundation for each section.
IMDB In Movie Database (For high res copies of certain promotion stills)
Tactical Kit UK (For information regarding the slings)
Reptile House Blog (Information regarding the Heckler & Koch 416)
The Instagram accounts of:
Max Theriot (Clay Spenser)
David Boreanaz (Jason Hayes)
A.J. Buckley (Sonny Quinn)
Neil Brown Jr. (Ray Perry)
Justin Melnick (Brock Reynolds)
Tyler Grey (Trent Sawyer)
Ruffin Prentiss (Summer Kairos)
Mark Semos (SEAL Team Writing Staff)