The best books on snipers in the Vietnam War

Michael Lee Lanning Author Of Inside the Crosshairs: Snipers in Vietnam
By Michael Lee Lanning

Who am I?

I served as an infantry platoon leader, reconnaissance platoon leader, and rifle company commander in Vietnam and observed the direct results of snipers. I am the author of 30 non-fiction books on the military (six specifically about the Vietnam War), sports, and health that have sold more than 1.1 million copies in 15 countries and 12 languages.

I wrote...

Inside the Crosshairs: Snipers in Vietnam

By Michael Lee Lanning,

Book cover of Inside the Crosshairs: Snipers in Vietnam

What is my book about?

At the start of the war in Vietnam, the United States had no snipers; by the end of the war, Marine and army precision marksmen had killed more than 10,000 NVA and VC soldiers--the equivalent of an entire division--at the cost of under 20,000 bullets, proving that long-range shooters still had a place in the battlefield. Now noted military historian Michael Lee Lanning shows how U.S. snipers in Vietnam--combining modern technology in weapons, ammunition, and telescopes--used the experience and traditions of centuries of expert shooters to perfect their craft.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of The Long-Range War: Sniping In Vietnam

Why did I love this book?

Contains the history, along with exceptional pictures and illustrations, of Army and Marine snipers in Vietnam. Along with history it details the fielding of rifles, scopes, and suppression devices. More technical than “war story” it provides an excellent base document on which to build an education on long range shooting by American soldiers and Marines in the Vietnam War.

By Peter R. Senich,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Long-Range War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is the most complete report ever on the U.S. military's unprecedented use of snipers and sniping equipment in Vietnam. Highlighted are the fielding of the XM21 sniper rifle and the Adjustable Ranging Telescope, plus the application of sound suppression devices and special carbines so typical of the unconventional warfare in SE Asia. 8 1/2 x 11, hardcover, photos, illus., 280 pp.

Book cover of Dead Center: A Marine Sniper's Two-Year Odyssey in the Vietnam War

Why did I love this book?

This is the first person narrative of Kulger’s two years as a scout sniper with the 4th Marine Regiment. Relates what it is like to look through the scope, pull the trigger, and watch your target die. Kulger’s experiences mirror that of most Marine snipers in the war. This is the reality of being a scout sniper, not the fiction that is often written about the elite Marine shooters.

By Ed Kugler,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dead Center as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


Raw, straightforward, and powerful, Ed Kugler's account of his two years as a Marine scout-sniper in Vietnam vividly captures his experiences there--the good, the bad, and the ugly. After enlisting in the Marines at seventeen, then being wounded in Santo Domingo during the Dominican crisis, Kugler arrived in Vietnam in early 1966.

As a new sniper with the 4th Marines, Kugler picked up bush skills while attached to 3d Force Recon Company, and then joined the grunts. To take advantage of that experience, he formed the Rogues, a…

Book cover of 13 Cent Killers: The 5th Marine Snipers in Vietnam

Why did I love this book?

Titled after the cost of a single sniper round, this book details the performance and accomplishment of scout snipers in the 5th Marine Regiment. Culberson and his fellow Marine snipers exhibited patience, stealth, marksmanship, and pure courage to make their sniper platoon the most decorated in the Corps. Uncommon valor was a common virtue among these one-shot killers.

By John J. Culbertson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked 13 Cent Killers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“It’s not easy to stay alive with a $1,000 bounty on your head.”

In 1967, a bullet cost thirteen cents, and no one gave Uncle Sam a bigger bang for his buck than the 5th Marine Regiment Sniper Platoon. So feared were these lethal marksmen that the Viet Cong offered huge rewards for killing them. Now noted Vietnam author John J. Culbertson, a former 5th Marine sniper himself, presents the riveting true stories of young Americans who fought with bolt rifles and bounties on their heads during the fiercest combat of the war,from 1967 through the desperate Tet battle for…

Book cover of American Sniper: Chuck Mawhinney

Why did I love this book?

There are many books, some greatly fictionalized, claiming just who was the most effective USMC sniper in Vietnam.  Although extremely brief, this book confirms just who was the top Marine sniper in the Vietnam War.  Mawhinney had 103 kills.  Unlike other snipers who have embellished their accomplishments, Mawhinney has remained modest and off the grid.  He alone sits at the top of the list of "Marine snipers with the most kills."

Point of Impact

By Stephen Hunter,

Book cover of Point of Impact

Why did I love this book?

This first in a series of 12 novels about Vietnam Marine sniper veteran Bob Lee Swagger. The book focuses on time after his return home and is set up as the patsy in an assassination plot. To survive and bring revenge and justice, Swagger has to rely on all the skills and knowledge he learned as a sniper in Vietnam. Hunter is a combat veteran of the war and knows about what he writes. He is one of the finest novelists of his generation.

By Stephen Hunter,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Point of Impact as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Bob Lee Swagger is one of the best snipers in the world, but he is about to be set up. In 1963, RamDyne, the illegal sub-agency linked to the CIA, framed Lee Harvey Oswald for J.F. Kennedy's assassination. Now the FBI and RamDyne are after Bob as the potential assassin of the President.

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the Vietnam War, snipers, and revenge?

9,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the Vietnam War, snipers, and revenge.

The Vietnam War Explore 194 books about the Vietnam War
Snipers Explore 12 books about snipers
Revenge Explore 87 books about revenge

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