[Rushtalk] New Long Distance Kill Shot Record

Carl Spitzer Winblows at lavabit.com
Tue Dec 4 19:30:47 MST 2012

New Long Distance Kill Shot Record (8,120 Feet / 2,706.67 Yards) 

Here is something that has been in the news the last few days. A British
Army soldier by the name of Corporal Craig Harrison, of the Household
Cavalry, set a new record for the longest shot in combat. Twice. Cpl.
Harrison fired two shots at Taliban machine gunners in Afghanistan .
They were confirmed via GPS to be 8,120 feet from Cpl. Harrison's
position. That is 1.54 miles. More than a mile and a half. To make it
even more astounding, the range was almost 3,000 feet beyond what is
considered the effective range of the weapon. At that range the bullet
takes around 3 seconds to reach the target. 

The previous record was set in 2002 for a sniper kill at 7,972ft. That
shot was made by Canadian Corporal Rob Furlong, of Princess Patricias
Canadian Light Infantry, who was using a .50BMG McMillan TAC-50 rifle. 

Harrison accomplished this feat with the above pictured weapon, a L115A3
rifle. The weapon is manufactured by Accuracy International in Britain
and is chambered in the .338 Lapua Magnum cartridge. This is significant
because the previous two shots that held the world record were with
weapons chambered for the .50BMG. The .338 is a cartridge designed for
accuracy and power beyond the range of the older 7.62mm rifles. It has a
much flatter trajectory, which makes the complex trigonometry problem of
finding the right arc to lob the bullet onto the target much easier. It
is one of several other "lighter" rifle rounds like the .300 Win
Mag., .416 Barrett, and .408 CheyTac that have been designed with
extreme long range shooting in mind. Of especial importance is the
velocity past 1000 meters, the shape of its trajectory and how long the
cartridges stay supersonic. 

The Accuracy International Arctic Warfare .338 is a bolt action,
detachable magazine-fed, precision rifle. The rifle is about 15 pounds,
unloaded and without optics. It can mount a variety of telescopic
sights, laser designators, and night vision or thermal sights. In
British service, it usually mounts a S&B 5-25x56mm day scope. The
extra-large objective lens size of 56mm gathers a lot of light, making
shots possible in the dawn, dusk, or into the shadows. The L115A3 can
also mount a suppressor, helping to reduce the report flash and dust
from the powerful rifle. The barrel is free floated for increased
accuracy and is fluted for strength and cooling without excessive

You don't get all that performance cheap though. News reports put the
rifle at around $25,000. But if you put it in the right hands and it can
hit a sized target from 4500 feet. More importantly, even at extreme
range, the bullet retains its power, hitting with more force than a .44
Magnum at 25 feet. 

It was just unlucky for the Taliban that conditions were so good and we
could see them so clearly. We saw two insurgents running through its
courtyard, one in a black dishdasha, and one in green. They came forward
carrying a PKM machine gun, set it up and opened fire on the commanders
wagon. The first round hit a machine gunner in the stomach and killed
him outright. He went straight down and didn't move. The second
insurgent grabbed the weapon and turned as my second shot hit him in the
side. He went down, too. They were both dead." 

Cpl. Harrison had a memorable tour of duty, making the two impossible
shots, having a bullet deflect off his helmet, and surviving an IED
blast that broke both of his arms. He is reportedly healing well, and
has returned to duty. 

Corporal Harrison 

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