Star of “Shooter” said his skills left his Marine Sniper trainers speechless

“Shooter,” a TV show on USA Network, is based on the hit movie staring Mark Wahlberg and debuted its first episode on Tuesday.

The show was originally set to premiere in July but the network pushed back the date twice in the wake of the deadly ambushes on police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge.

The show’s star may not be as well known as Mark Wahlberg, but apparently he is an unknowingly  natural shot.

Ryan Phillippe told The Wrap he was better-than-expected marksman while training for the role.

“I’m there with three Marine snipers, which can be a little intimidating,” Phillippe said. “But in all truth and honesty, and this can be backed up by many sources, on my second shot at 900 yards I hit a 12-inch steel target and the Marines kind of didn’t know what to say.”

While his shot may have seemed impressive for him, a single shot on target is usually considered to be luck by many experienced shooters.  Real skill is consistently hitting the same target from different firing positions with varying atmospheric conditions.

Marines are not required to just hit one target with one bullet. The Marine Corps weapons qualification requires Marines to shoot 50 rounds at targets that are 200, 300, and 500 yards away from the prone, sitting, kneeling, and standing positions.

Philippe plays the role of Bob Lee Swagger, an “off-the-grid” Marine sniper veteran, in the show which has almost the exact same premise as the movie -a sniper veteran being coaxed into action to thwart the killing of the president.

Since the release of the first episode , the reviews have been mixed.

“Some of the dialogue is cheesy (“Your country needs you”), and characters feel like cardboard cutouts. (The best acting in the bunch comes from 7-year-old Lexy Kolker, who plays Bob Lee’s daughter Mary.),” reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

On the other hand, the film critics -who mostly have little knowledge or enthusiasm for firearms- have pointed out that the show uses a serious attention to detail when it comes to shooting scenes.

“The episode also includes multiple shots of (imagined) bullets barreling toward the president’s head, and a level of detail about sightlines, wind speed and trajectories that borders on the fetishistic,” reports the LA Times.

The next episode airs on Tuesday at 10 p.m. on USA Network.

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