These nutjobs have to be stopped
They will be stopped with forensic ballistics, not by vigilant cops catching the sniper in the act. What ballistic facts have been released are sketchy, and have been (characteristically for the press) poorly reported.

The bullets recovered may indeed be consistent with those used in the .223 Remington cartridge. But that does not mean that they were fired from a .223 Remington, also known as 5.56 x 45mm or 5.56mm NATO. The same diameter bullet, even the same bullet models themselves, are used in dozens of other, more powerful hunting cartridges. The graphic descriptions I have read so far of the wounds and placement suggest this, rather than .223 in the urban carbine. Any shooting enthusiast can rattle off the names of such cartridges. Update: Kim du Toit rattles some of them here.

Handguns can be had in these cartridges too, though these will be single-shot handguns with a bolt action or a "cannon lock" to contain high pressures. These handguns do not lend themselves to concealment inside the waistband. But they are capable of the accuracy and range exhibited here.

The police reports confirming the .223 caliber---the diameter of the bullet, actually dot two two four inches---can also be smoke. How much of the bullet's material has been recovered?

Bullet manufacturers routinely brag on "high weight retention," how much of the bullet is left, as a percentage of original weight---some is expected to be lost. Hunting bullets get mushroomed, flattened, and fragmented, such that the original dimensions of the bullet may be difficult to determine. They are built to expand, to bring the animal down immediately, nothing inhumane about it. In contrast, military bullets are more likely to be recovered intact, and less likely to do such spectacular damage, because they are constructed not to expand, in accordance with the Geneva Conventions, and they are driven with less energy so the rifles firing them have a longer useful life.

So the bits of lead and gilding metal that were recovered could be from a .243", a .25", maybe even a .264". Blogs4God has conjectured a caliber of .308" though I don't buy that either. They could have been fired from your granddad's Savage 99 in .22-250, or a Swedish Mauser '96 in 6.5x55 (the model numbers are abbreviated years of introduction, beginning in Eighteen, not Nineteen). The rifle could be older than everyone investigating the crime today.

Of course, if I were investigating these crimes, I would not release more of the ballistics I've discovered than I absolutely must to satisfy the baying press. Nor would I be above minor disinformation to protect the progress of the investigation.

So I'm not sold yet on the notion that the sniping is being done with off-the-shelf .223 Remington ammunition and/or with an AR.

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