The film American Sniper" logged the most successful January weekend of all time and has sparked debate in Hollywood as well well as earning an Oscar nomination for Best Picture.
Here is a look at Christopher Kyle and other successful snipers in history.
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Chris Kyle served as a member of SEAL Team 3 over four tours of Iraq. He accumulated 160 confirmed kills and 255 probable kills before retiring in 2009. He is the most accomplished sniper in U.S. history and earned the nickname "Devil of Ramadi."
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Craig Harrison used the L115A3 Long Range Rifle, seen here, in November 2009 to strike two Taliban machine gunners in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. The shots were made at a range of 2,475 meters. The mile-plus distant shots are the longest recorded sniper kills in history.
Master Sergeant Gary Gordon deployed to Somalia in the summer of 1993 as part of Task Force Ranger. He was killed in an incident that was made into the film "Black Hawk Down." He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.
Credit: U.S. Army
Randall David "Randy" Shughart was also killed in Mogadishu, Somalia in 1993 trying to defend the crew of a downed helicopter as depicted in the film "Blackhawk Down." He was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously.
Credit: U.S. Army
Gunnery Sgt. Carlos Hathcock II had 93 confirmed kills during the Vietnam War. Official kills had to be witnessed by an accompanying officer (as well as the spotter). Hathcock estimates the number of North Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong personnel he killed to exceed 300.
After serving in Vietnam Hathcock established the Marine Corps Scout Sniper School at Quantico, Virginia.
Here, the finished trophy dedicated to Marine marksman Carlos Hathcock II sits in the community center in Lincoln, Maine (hometown of Gary Gordon) Thursday, June 26, 2003.
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Major John Plaster
Major John Plaster served three tours in Vietnam and wrote several books about snipers.
Plaster's book "SOG: The Secret Wars of America's Commandos in Vietnam" became the basis for the game "Call of Duty: Black Ops."
U.S. Army sniper Bert Waldron recorded 109 kills over 16 months while serving with the 9th infantry division in Vietnam. The record was not surpassed by a member of the U.S. military until Christopher Kyle.
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Soviet Sniper Vasily Zaytsev describes a shoot-out with German snipers named Erwin König and Heinz Thorvald during the Battle of Stalingrad. German personnel records do not record any snipers by that name, but the account was made into the film "Enemy at the Gates" with Ed Harris, seen here, playing König.
Credit: MP Film Management
Finnish sharpshooter Simo Häyhä was nicknamed "White Death." Over the course of 100 days in the Winter War of 1939-1940 he recorded 505 confirmed kills of Soviet soldiers.
Häyhä chose to use iron sights over telescopes to aid in concealment. He also described keeping snow in his mouth to keep his breath from being seen in temperatures that ranged from -40 to -4 Fahrenheit.
Liudmyla Pavlychenko volunteered for the Soviet army in June 1941 when Germany invaded the Soviet Union. She recorded 309 confirmed kills during the war.
She was one of 2,000 female snipers in the Soviet military during the war.
Sgt. Alvin C. York, led an attack on German machine gun positions during the Meuse-Argonne offensive, killing 28 Germans, taking 32 machine guns and capturing 132 German soldiers prisoner.
York, seen at left inspecting a Garand rifle with Under Secretary of War Robert P. Patterson in 1941 was a supporter of the U.S.'s support of Great Britain before the U.S. entered World War II. That same year the film Sergeant York was released with Gary Cooper playing York. It was nominated for 11 Oscars and won two.
William Edward 'Billy' Sing
Billy Sing fought in the Gallipoli Campaign with the Australian Imperial Force during World War I. He recorded 150 confirmed kills but may have had as many as 300.
Col. Hiram Berdan formed two regiments of sharpshooters that fought at several battles in the Civil War including Gettysburg, Chancellorsville and the Second Battle of Bull Run.
New Yorker Timothy Murphy joined Morgan's Riflemen in 1777. At the Battle of Saratoga Gen. Benedict Arnold commanded Murphy to kill British Gen. Simon Fraser. Murphy climbed a tree and shot Fraser from a distance of 300 yards.