The SEAL Team show has been going strong for five seasons and into its sixth. I don’t watch much TV, but I decided to peep at a few episodes as I was curious and ultimately I wanted to see what guns this SEAL Team used. I watched a few episodes from each season and found myself consistently surprised.
After a bit of research, I found out that CBS hired consultants from the Delta, Green Beret, and SEAL communities. Not only are these guys advisors, but they act in the show as members of SEAL Team. Delta operator and Ranger Tyler Grey plays Trent, SEAL Scott Foxx plays Full Metal, and SEAL Mark Sermons plays Keith. Additionally, the Team’s K9 handler is Justin Melnick, a police K9 handler.
It makes sense that the show has some elements of realism. I’m not a SEAL and certainly have no clue the tactics DEVRGU, aka SEAL Team 6, uses, so I can’t comment there.
So let’s focus on the firearms of SEAL Team and see how close the show gets to reality.
The main firearms of ‘SEAL Team’
The primary rifle of SEAL Team seems to be the HK 416. Off the bat, this is relatively realistic. DEVGRU famously used the HK 416 when they killed bin Laden. The HK 416 is very similar to the M4. It mimics the gun’s controls and layout while using a proprietary short-stroke gas-piston system. The Team uses both 14.5 and 10.4-inch models.
In the sniper rifle department, we see guns like the SR-25 and M110, and these are classic SEAL and SOCOM semi-auto sniper rifles. We also see the Barrett M82 getting some action as well as the MRAD and SCAR CS20. These weapons have seen action in the United States military and make sense when they pop up.
On the handgun side, the SEAL Team guys wield the Glock 17 and Glock 19 handguns, which are entirely believable. SEAL Teams and SOCOM as a whole have adopted the Glock series. Interestingly enough, we never see them use the rail with a light, and I only saw one using a red dot. In keeping with military themes, we see one operator use a SIG m18 in the fifth season, which was neat.
The special purpose options
When things get super tight, the SEALs wield the MP7A1, a personal defense weapon-style submachine gun designed for extreme close quarters. This is another real weapon the SEAL teams use for special roles. It uses a 4.6x30mm round that falls between a rifle and pistol round and offers more range and penetration than your standard pistol caliber.
The machine guns of choice of my favorite character, Sonny, are the Mk 46 and Mk 48 series from FN. These are unique variants of the M249 SAW that ditch the barrel handle, magwell, and vehicle/tripod mounting lugs to save weight. The Mk 46 is the 5.56 variant that’s reasonably light; the Mk 48 fires the more powerful 7.62 NATO but weighs about seven pounds more.
These machine guns are used by USSOCOM and provide a light capable weapon when maximum firepower is needed. I doubt DEVGRU, and by extension, SEAL teams, have to use them often because their method of fighting is your typical maneuver warfare. However, when you need an LMG, you need an LMG.
Finally, we also see the ‘Pirate gun,” described by Mark Bissonette in No Easy Day. This sawn-off M79 grenade launcher offers a pistol-sized 40mm weapon for laying down HEDP. We see the SEAL Team variant even use a Trijicon RMR as a mini red dot sight.
Most of the SEAL Team weapons are outfitted with the latest in modern firearm accessories. The addition of Eotech optics, G33 magnifiers, Vortex LPVOs, and PEQ15s alongside weapon lights are fairly realistic and stick to what we know most modern special ops troops utilize. Additionally, most of the individual rifles, SMGs, and machine guns wear suppressors, which is completely realistic.
The HK416 rails are Geissele Super Module HK variants, a modern choice that makes sense for these elite commandos. The accessories are realistic, down to the modern two-point slings and Magpul stocks.
The training variants
Throughout the series, we see SEAL Team training extensively. Part of that training is simunitions and the shows use real simunition setups. We see blue Glocks and blue suppressors and bolts in rifles. This is a nice and realistic touch.
The above weapons are far from the only guns we see in SEAL Team. Of course, bad guys have their own, but the SEALs will occasionally use an oddball. The SIG MCX Rattler pops up to give the guys the shortest platform in a rifle caliber available. We also have the Maxim Defense SDX serving as an indigenous weapon because it fires 7.62x39mm.
The classic MP5 pops up here and there in various configurations as does, in one episode, the bullpup Desert Tech Stealth Recon Scout as a sniper rifle. We also see the M32 multiple grenade launcher pops up once. Some of these guns are just for the show, but others likely have a place in the DEVGRU armory as a pull-it-when-you-need-it type tool.
‘SEAL Team’ and reality
It’s likely that the weapons DEVGRU uses in 2022 could be different with different accessories, parts, and pieces. DEVGRU’s equipment and setup are also likely classified.
I think SEAL Team gives the average viewer the most realistic look at DEVGRU equipment. I’m surprised at how good of a job the show has done, especially for a network show. It’s worth the watch, and I plan to start from the beginning and check out the first five seasons as time permits.