Full Name: Bob Lee Swagger
Nationality: American
Organization: None
Occupation Other - Former Sniper

Creator: Stephen Hunter
Time Span: 1993 - 2017


Bob Lee Swagger is a former U.S. Marine Sniper.

Born in 1946 and raised in Polk County, Arkansas, Swagger is the son of a Medal of Honor winner named Earl Swagger, a State Trooper who was killed in the line of duty when the young boy was 9 years old.

When he was old enough, Swagger followed in his father's footsteps and joined the Marines. He was trained to be a sniper and during his three tours in Vietnam with the CIA's Special Operations department, he earned the nickname of 'Bob the Nailer'. [According to Wikipedia, he was officially credited with 87 combat kills but in reality actually dispatched nearly 400.]

Receiving a wound in the hip towards the end of that conflict, Swagger would retired from the Marines with the rank of Gunnery Sergeant but the depression that followed would bring on far too much drinking, resulting in the break-up of his second marriage.

For the next decade and a half, he would live an almost hermit-like existence back home. When the events told in the first recorded adventure take place, his attitude is forced to change and his life starts anew.

The adventures of Swagger are part of this compendium because, while he is not a spy or would want to be considered one, he seems to find himself in the middle of governmental intrigue and having to deal with or against operatives in a wide variety of alphabet agencies.

The many stories related to Swagger run a wide gamut of times and places and events. Some look back to his father and the escapades he had. One even goes a generation further back to the grandfather Swagger never knew. Yet another lets the readers know about the son that Swagger lost as an infant during his time serving in Vietnam. And many move the life of Swagger along in a fascinating and quite varied journey.


Number of Books:9
First Appearance:1993
Last Appearance:2017


Number of Movies:1
First Appearance:2007
Last Appearance:2007

1 Shooter Shooter
Director: Antoine Fuqua
Writer: Jonathan Lemkin
Actors: Mark Wahlberg as Bob Lee Swagger, Danny Glover as Colonel Johnson, Kate Mara as Sarah Fenn
Released: 2007

A more modern version of the first Bob Lee Swagger book, it tells how the ex-soldier is approached by a former commander to help figure out the most likely site for an assassination attempt. When it goes off, the killing is blamed on Swagger and he must go on the lam to prove his innocence.


Number of Episodes:18
First Appearance:2016
Last Appearance:2017

Ryan PhillippeBob Lee Swagger [ 1-2 ]
Omar EppsColonel Johnson [ 1-2 ]
Shantel VanSantenJulie Swagger [ 1-2 ]

Another version of the initial Bob Lee Swagger adventure, this USA Network series provides an ongoing serial into Swagger's attempt to prove his innocence.

Note: The data is derived from two terrific sites that I visit a lot: and Special thanks to those who maintain such terrific source of information.
1 Point of Impact
Episode 1-1, first aired 11/15/2016

2 Exfiltration
Episode 1-2, first aired 11/22/2016

3 Musa Qala
Episode 1-3, first aired 11/29/2016

4 Overwatch
Episode 1-4, first aired 12/06/2016

5 Recon by Fire
Episode 1-5, first aired 12/13/2016

6 Killing Zone
Episode 1-6, first aired 12/20/2016

7 Danger Close
Episode 1-7, first aired 12/27/2016

8 Red on Red
Episode 1-8, first aired 01/03/2017

9 Ballistic Advantage
Episode 1-9, first aired 01/10/2017

10 Primer Contact
Episode 1-10, first aired 01/17/2017

11 The Hunting Party
Episode 2-1, first aired 07/18/2017

12 Remember the Alamo
Episode 2-2, first aired 07/25/2017

13 Don't Mess with Texas
Episode 2-3, first aired 08/01/2017

14 The Dark End of the Street
Episode 2-4, first aired 08/08/2017

15 The Man Called Noon
Episode 2-5, first aired 08/15/2017

16 Across the Rio Grande
Episode 2-6, first aired 08/22/2017

17 Someplace Like Bolivia
Episode 2-7, first aired 08/29/2017

18 That'll Be the Day
Episode 2-8, first aired 09/05/2017


A movie that did not get much kind words from the critics but which I enjoyed a whole lot back in the mid 2000s got me interested in an author that up to then I had only seen on the bookstands. I had not yet picked up a Stephen Hunter book but kept "a-meanin' to". I really enjoyed that movie, taken from the first adventure, and I wanted to read more.

Now, the book told quite a different story since the movie had "updated" its timeframe. Nevertheless, I was hooked on Bob Lee Swagger. He was a touch older than I and had a whole lot more experiences than I did but I could relate. And being a sucker for great writing and getting it in the pages of this book, I kept reading.

I kinda read 'em out of order which is totally unlike me but there was a good reason. I did not read the sorta prequel, Dirty White Boys, or a couple of the Earl Swagger books until much later but until I got serious about possibly adding Swagger to the compendium, it did not seem to matter that much.

And I am adding him now because someone recently suggested him and as I was reconsidering, I decided "why not?". And since I love to add series written extremely well about very interesting characters, well, it became a "duh!" moment.


My Grade: A


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