SEAL Droppings

Over the weekend Navy SEALs conducted an operation into Somalia under the cover of darkness to take down a key Shabaab militant, a man that goes by the name of “Ikrima”.

The SEALs came ashore near the southern town of Barawe and made their way towards the seaside compound where Ikrima was thought to be located. The SEALs entered the compound and took up positions based upon intelligence gathered prior to the raid.

A single Shabaab fighter stood guard outside of the building where Ikrima was hiding. The man calmly smoked a cigarette as he walked deliberately back inside the structure giving no indication he had spotted the SEALs lurking in the darkness outside. Suddenly, the man came back through the doorway firing an AK-47 at the SEALs — the fight was on.

Very quickly the SEALs were overwhelmed with heavy fire, something they weren’t expecting given intelligence reports. Through a window the SEALs could see their target. However, try as they might, they couldn’t find an angle to breech the building and gain access to him. The operators could also see children intermingling with the fighters as the battle heated up, which concerned them greatly.

As heavy fire continued to rain down on their position, the SEAL team leader made the decision to pull back to prevent unintentional collateral damage to the civilian population. The mission was a wash, but luckily none of the SEALs, who numbered less than a dozen, were injured or killed.

The terror organization, Shabaab, released images showing some of the gear dropped by the SEALs during the heat of battle. This gives us a rare glimpse into the gear America’s elite warriors are using these days.

SEAL Team 6 Somalia gear


Starting at the upper left-center of the image we see an HK MP7A1 magazine. The little 4.6x30mm caliber SMG is one of HK’s latest offerings. HK considers the MP7A1 to be a Personal Defense Weapon (PDW) and it’s designed to give near rifle like penetration with minimal recoil. The polymer magazine pictured could hold either 30 or 40 rounds of ammo, we could tell which if the end of the magazine were visible in the image.

Laying just to the right of the MP7 magazine is a Magpul windowed EMAG. From what we know, this is standard kit for DEVGRU operators, who are formerly known as SEAL Team 6.

In the middle, just below the two magazines, we see what appears to be a flash-bang diversionary device (expended).

To the right of the grenade a Garmin satellite navigation device can be seen. Of all the gear left behind, this has the potential to be the most damaging as it likely contains waypoints used by the SEALs.

Then we have the ammo which creates a half-circle around the bottom of the image. The 5.56x45mm ammo on the right side of the picture is the relatively new M855 replacement known as the SOST (Special Operations Science and Technology) round, or the MK318. The MK318 Mod 0 ammo is designed to improve accuracy and barrier penetration as well as lethality. It features an open-tip 62gr bullet and has a claimed effective range of 600 yards.

The ammo on the left side of the circle appears to be 4.6x30mm ammo from the MP7A1 magazine.

As for the other miscellaneous bits and pieces seen in the picture, I’m not sure what they are. If you know, please tell us in the comments below.

I’m thankful our warriors made it home from the mission unscathed with the only US casualties being a few lost items. Better luck next time, fellas.


Thanks to our readers, I have more info on the gear seen in this image.

The small packet at the upper left is a Revision anti-fog wipe used on protective eyewear. 

After some discussion I think the consensus is that the ammo to the left is 4.6x30mm and the ammo to the right is MK318.


MAC is an avid shooter, former MCSF Marine, NRA member, Oath Keeper and is commissioned as a Colonel by the Governor of Kentucky. Known for his videos on the Military Arms Channel, he also writes for The Bang Switch, for Shotgun News (Be Ready!) and freelances for Guns & Ammo. MAC has been a life long shooter who has an interest in all things that go "bang" but gravitates towards military type firearms.

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  • FooSchnickens

    You sure that’s not just the 4.6 ammo emptied out of the MP7 mag? There’s 40 rounds of it so that would go hand-in-hand with the mag’s capacity.

  • darthjahona

    Hey Mac, The little package at the top left is a Revision Anti fog Wipe.

  • Capt. Obvious

    The ammo on the left is clearly not 5.56. It looks to simply be the 4.6x30mm ammo extracted from the MP7A1 magazine.

    • darthjahona

      Considering the Garmin is about 3 inches long and those rounds are about half the size that would fit the profile for 4.6x30mm.

    • Wahlly

      Also, the ammo on the right is not MK318, as it has a red-tip which MK318 does not.. It seems larger too, possibly a .308, and also appears to be a tracer hence the red top, but idk why Navy Seals would be using tracers in a mission like this….

      • F.A.G.

        Old school SpecOps always carry a mag of tracer rounds to ID targets for air assets. Of course this is an “Oh Shit” measure as tracer fire also serves to locate the IDer for the bad guys.

  • Woopedpup

    Are you sure that is 7.62×51? It looks a lot like 300 Win Mag. The case looks much longer than .308.

    • Drmaudio

      I don’t think it is 300 win Mag; I doesn’t seem to be belted. You are right that the size difference seems too large. 308 case is 6mm longer then 5.56. This seems to be 50% larger. I think it is more likely that we are looking at 4.6 and 5.56, but it is hard to tell from the image.

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  • Alligam

    Our brave SEALs made the difficult, but correct, choice of pulling back from the target area. I know that this decision was not taken lightly. As professional as they are, I’m sure they would rather have got their target

  • Sheepdog78

    What disturbs me is that the single guard almost seemed to know that they were out there, possibly beforehand. Now, I know our guys aren’t superhuman and they make mistakes, although they are few and far between, but either this guy knew they were there to begin with or he was extremely cool about their arrival (not typical of these less-than-well-trained fighters). I smell something fishy.

    • booker

      Man of the Muj in Somalia have been fighting for 10, 15, 20+ years. They might not be well-trained, but they are battle hardened. Mistake #1, underestimate the enemy. Clearly the intelligence and planning for this mission were deeply flawed. That the GPS wasn’t tethered in addition to the velcro strap is disturbing, although that doesn’t appear to be a high-precision unit.

    • miles

      He probably did not want to alarm them. If he saw them and didn’t make it obvious, that gives him the element of counter-surprise. Surpsing the attacker. Also, if he panicked, he probably would’ve died

  • Nathan

    Mac is correct. That is definitely 5.56 NOT 4.6. 4.6 is basically the same size as 5.7×28……..much shorter than 5.56 as pictured above.

  • CharlieKilo

    4.6 is similar to 5.7. Neat little round. Ammo on the right looks too big to be 5.56 though. If you do a rough size comparison to the EMAG, looks like it might be a hair too long.

  • gunslinger307

    Seals do not just randomly lose full mags, GPS’s or grenades of any type. They are not that careless.. or inefficient. Just saying Semper Fi

    • Eric Stevenson

      I don’t find it hard to imagine that a magazine gets dropped if you’re trying to reload on the move while someone (or several someones) are shooting at you. We also don’t know if the magazines pictured are the only ones found. Maybe there were several partial magazines found?

      The grenade is used.

      No comment on the GPS.

    • Primo Victoria

      Because things always go according to plan, right?

    • booker

      Right, sometimes they lose full helicopters.

  • Dave

    soo.. they dropped 2 loaded mags & a GPS unit? I understand the mags, but how do you drop a wrist mounted GPS?

    • Justin

      Firefights aren’t exactly choreographed affairs.

    • jason

      At least it wasn’t a helicopter they failed to destroy, this time

    • Chad Baker

      In the perfect world where everything goes according to the plan, you don’t. That’s not the world we live in. Gear gets tangled, snags, breaks, etc. They don’t show that in Call of Duty.

    • Bullet tooth tony

      snags on something during fight, you probly arent as concerned for finding anything with ak’s firing at you, have you ever lost something and not noticed on a casual day,, ok now try it with a person trying to kill you, the gps, would only have the locals of the mission at hand, so its not gonna be a intel nightmare, they wouldnt be using same spots again anyways.

  • Ben

    MAC, that almost looks like 6.8 spc on the left. I dont know if they use it at all. Projectile looks too big for 5.56 and smaller than a 7.62.

  • Chad Baker

    I’d almost be willing to bet that the GPS had its fill cleared either before it was dropped, set to clear automatically or fried remotely.

    In Somalia that GPS more likely to be like the Coco-Cola bottle in The Gods Must Be Crazy movie.

    • bast3l

      good reference, i lol’d

    • Xusee

      I dont think so. people there have satellite phones and all kind of GPS. You can buy this at the famous bakara market!

    • booker

      A commercial Garmin like that isn’t designed for classified information, so whatever is in there is almost certainly generic and of no value. Probably shows the route they took from the ship to the shore, and some alternative landing points. It communicates by bluetooth, I doubt they modified a $150 GPS to wipe remotely, which would require an antenna and firmware modification.

      One of the ongoing problems with SOCOM is they procure COTS equipment and use it without it going through the formal DOD acquisition procedures which includes test and evaluation (real T&E, not just handing it out to Solders to see what they think or if they can break it). They are so low drag, they think they can thoroughly test it themselves, which just isn’t the case. It breaks or falls off or fails in some other way, and they wind up wasting taxpayer money, spilling information, making themselves vulnerable, and a host of other issues. But that’s another story.

      Further, Somalia is a semi-modern country, at least in the cities. The fighters know what a GPS is. They use satellite phones, they are able to deliver fairly accurate mortar and artillery fire, they have mobile radar systems, mobile jam/anti-jam systems, and so on. When they captured and killed two French combatants not too long ago, they also captured a trove of technology, including their personal weapons and two NVDs (FLIR I believe). No doubt they knew exactly what they got and how valuable they are. The worst mistake is to underestimate your enemy.

  • Bob Gregory

    You don’t leave a functional device such as the GPS behind unintentionally. Perhaps it was left for a specific reason, just a thought.

  • Tom

    Doesn’t look like they wiped the memory of the garmin

  • kperryman777

    You drop the Garmin on purpose, that’s how. I swear the ammo on the right looks more like 30.06. Is that even possible? Why they have loose rounds out at all?

    • MAC

      It’s crazy how the ammo looks in the picture, the dimensions seems off on both rounds. I suspect this is due to the angle at which the picture was taken, and due in part to lens distortion from the camera used.

      I suspect the ammo was taken from magazines and laid out for display.

      • JD MAK

        There’s a visible difference in the appearance of length between the rounds in the upper left and the lower center of the display due to perspective. That would play a part in the perceived difference in size of the mags and ammo. Even the round at the very top left appears to be a hair too long to fit into the mag, but it’s likely an optical illusion. A few centimeters at the right angle makes all the difference.

  • Drmaudio
    From the other angle, It looks more clear. I am guessing 4.6 and 5.56 Primarily because from this angle the mags look appropriately sized, and the larger case measures approximately 50% larger, which would be correct for these two rounds.

    • V. Lopes

      Exactly! I agree, and think they didn’t use any cartridge that we didn’t know that they used. That’s it: Hk 4.6 x 30 mm and .223 Remington 5.56 x 45 mm NATO rounds. I bet these rounds were supposed to be used on HK416 carbines and Hk MP7A1 submachine guns.

  • Josh B

    You know, I hate being captain conspiracy here, but I could see a situation where these terrorists, which have “ties” (whether real or fictional) to other terrorists, give the GPS that just happened to be left behind to their Syrian/Iranian counterparts, use the information on it to “find” a location to attack and in turn, giving the government the reason needed to start the war they have been pushing for lately.

    I hope that isn’t the case, but its not like our government hasn’t proven time and again that it is capable of shit like that. Just saying.

  • Alex

    you’d have to compare the cartridges closest to the magazine because small lenses have depth of field shift. i.e. closer objects look much larger than they should and distant objects stretch away much faster than you’d expect. (take a picture of a long table or something with long parallel lines to see it in action)

    It looks like they are from the smaller magazine.

  • roque

    i bet that amo is spiked and the gps is a decoy this was left… too make enemy feel they win when this was all plan i bet that gps has a tracker and hidden camera watching them now as we speak getting a lot recon information .. the flash bang i dont know maybe just a gift in way make it look like they made a mistake .. watch in news tomorrow or week from now that target seals want will be in their hands

    • Bubba retired

      Are you kidding left behind for what SEALS spend more time with the USN public affairs than training This time it was not an old man and his gardner. Some one dropped some gear who gives a crap

    • booker

      Why would they leave spiked 4.7 ammo… or even 5.56? These Somalis all use old Soviet equipment, they don’t give a damn about 70 rounds of ammo they can’t even shoot, and do you think that after decades of civil war in Somalia and a decade of fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan, they don’t know about booby-trapped ammo?

      It’s simple, our guys had to withdraw in a hurry and dropped some stuff in the scuffle. Who cares? The self-annointed expert evaluation of every detail of the ammo and lens effects in a propaganda photo is pointless. Like the circle of grunting experts who all gather around the guy who has a failure on the range, everybody grunting and finger fucking the gun with their own opinion of what happened. Clear the chamber and move on!

  • Jon

    None of the sost rounds I’ve been issued had paint. I’ve never had any otm rounds with paint.

  • Alex

    The respective owners of those mags probably made a speed reload with those rounds still inside… and yes, that makes 5.56 the rounds to the right… I saw some other pic and I’m pretty sure of that…

  • Jeff

    Agreed. From the green lines I added, it looks like they would fit just fine.

  • Hybris

    “As heavy fire continued to rain down on their position, the SEAL team leader made the decision to pull back to prevent unintentional collateral damage to the civilian population.”

    I realize that when I say this it is the highest level of being politically incorrect but I get unbelievability angry when choices like this are made.
    We kill the militant and if there are local civilians in the crossfire then so be it.
    If the SEAL had pulled back to get out of the way of a Tomahawk strike or even naval shelling I could understand, but scrubbing a mission because you can’t engage the enemy without possibly hitting the civilians just shows how our military doctrine has been infiltrated by the need to be PC and how afraid of world opinion we are.

    Now I can’t blame the SEAL’s they follow orders based off of the doctrine made up by people far higher up the chain then they are and they make the best of it. It still jerks me that is how we tie the hands of our soldiers especially fighting in a unconventional war.


    As for the dropped items we can always back track that GPS and see if that leads to bigger fish so to speak.

    • Rational Skeptic

      I’m thinking the “avoiding civilian casualties” is double-speak for “We were gonna’ get our ba!!s blown off if we stay here… What’s a good excuse for a retrograde maneuver?”

      And you’re wrong: if we actually cared about world opinion WE WOULDN’T SHOW OUR DIRTY LAUNDRY SO MUCH! Also, y’think the world is gonna’ look at us differently if a few kids get shot by highly-trained US military personnel? Doubt it… Once we bombed our third wedding in Afghanistan (and killed dozens of women and children), the world figured out we don’t give a fu@k.

      Team America… FU@K YEAH! Killin’ kids to save the mutha’fuhkin’ day-ay-ay!

  • V. Lopes

    The ammo on the left side is Hk 4.6 x 30 mm caliber rounds and the other ammo on the right side are .223 Remington 5.56 x 45 mm NATO caliber rounds.

  • Garrett

    MP7 mags come in 20 or 40 rd counts, not 30. The mag pictured is the 40 rd capacity, since the 20 round one ends flush with the pistol grip with a wider flange. The 40 round mag still has this flange as an over travel stop midway down its length, but the rest of the mag sticks out below it.

  • Curt Casdorph

    The GPS more than likely only contains their boat’s LZ, and the location of the ship they deployed from. And since we are going by the mainstream media’s parroting of events as laid out by the Administration, it is possible there were casualties which would better explain why items were dropped. The combatants would have had to outnumbered the SEALs by 3:1 without civvies to cause a draw back, cant figure out why there was no flanking unless they were caught early after beaching.

  • Rusty_S

    The stuff on the right is a Black Hills load of a 70 Grain Barnes TSX, the same round that whacked Bin-Laden.

    • WKL

      That’s what I was thinking as well, but the pics are distorted.

  • Molon Labe

    This was most likely a plant as that model of GPS is a bit outdated for a tier one unit to be rollin with just my $0.02

  • beefeater

    Yeah, kill those children that were possibly being used as human shields. If they get caught in the crossfire, then so be it. It’s not like those types of actions would feed into terrorist recruiting propaganda or anything.

    Also, sometimes being the “good guy” means your hands are tied. If you throw certain protocols out the window, then you aren’t any better than those you are fighting.

    Your statement isn’t politically incorrect, it’s just incorrect. How about you let the pros make the calls on their missions?

  • beefeater

    If it isn’t obvious, this comment was directed at Hybris, but it didn’t post properly.

  • andrew

    i do like that the flash bang say not to handle and contact police or military

  • Joe

    Is it possible the 5.56 rounds are M855A1’s?

  • Jim

    The watch looking thing is a Garmin Foretrex 401 wrist GPS.

  • Alex

    It had been rumored that DEVGRU & perhaps CAG have been using a 70 grain TSX all-copper bullet similar to that offered on the civilian market. However the ballistic tips of these factory loaded rounds are brown instead of blue. I can’t quite tell what the color is for the tips of the bullets, perhaps they’re brown?

    • jason

      Alex- it’s not a rumor. SOCOM has been using a 70gr. “Optimized” “Brown Tip” 5.56 round for awhile now. Since at least early 2008.

      It it the Barnes 70gr TSX, all copper bullet. TSX rounds have no ballistic tips, they are open tip match designs. Most of the SOCOM issued ammo has brown painted tips.

      Mac- those are definitely not M318. M318 is used by the USMC, and has a shorter bullet with no paint/color on the tip.

  • Jak0Spades

    It’s also possible that some of these items don’t belong to the SEALs, Al Shabab posted pictures of the the corpse of one the French DGSE commando who was killed during the rescue attempt of Alex Denis in Somalia back in January. The mission was a failure and resulted in the apparent death of 2 commandos and the hostage ( sources claim 15-20 Al-Shabab militants were killed).

    They might have kept some of the items to reuse them for a PR stunt in the event the where attacked again by western forces.

    PS: I know there are other pics of the gear they captured, though these are exposed alongside the body of my fellow countryman and therefore I have not posted the links out of respect.