New world record long-range sniper kill?

According to an Australian newspaper, the record now stands at an amazing 1¾ miles!

Earlier this year [an Australian] Commando sniper team was secreted in Helmand. Through binoculars at a distance invisible to the naked eye they spotted a group of Taliban. The soldiers having means of identifying targets went through a process of obtaining verification and permission to engage.

Two marksmen using Barrett M82A1 50 calibre rifles simultaneously fired. The bullets were six seconds in the air. One killed the Taliban commander. It is not known for certain which sniper fired the fatal shot.

While there have been no triumphant press releases, in the tight global Special Forces sniper community the shot is much discussed, because it seems certain to be a world record.

As the bullet yawed through the thin air on a windless morning, GPS aids measured the distance at 2,815m [3,078½ yards]. That amounts to 2 1/2 times the length of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The targeted Taliban would not have heard the gunfire.

The previous world record achieved by British Corporal Craig Harrison occurred also in Helmand in November 2009. Firing from a distance of 2,475m [2,706.7 yards], Harrison killed two Taliban.

There’s more at the link.

That’s an amazing achievement.  Shots at that distance require a level of talent, practice and accumulated skill that’s so high as to be almost unbelievable.  A tip o’ the hat to the Australian snipers concerned.



  1. Well done! Those lads are on the bottom rung of the artillery ladder. At the equator, the earth is spinning at about 1000 mph. If my math is correct, the target moved about 9 feet during the bullet flight. Of course any adjustment they made for this would depend on azimuth of the shot.

  2. It must have been more than the will of Allah, that is incredible accuracy. I guess the comment about the TARGETED Taliban killed before he heard the shot indicates he died before the sound of shot reached him (50 BMG is pretty loud).

    Well done soldier.

  3. Well done to them! The coriolis calculations alone work out, as RHT said, to about 9 feet, figuring the wind and other variables, that is an amazing shot! A quick run through my ballistics program yielded this- 3500 yds-9419.5 drop in in.-257.0 drop in MOA 790.1 10k wind in inches 21.6 10 kt wind in MOA 108.0 coriolis in inches 795.3 arrival velocity 8.374 time of flight in seconds. That is one helluva hold over for drop and hold off for wind/coriolis!!!

  4. The bullet travels far faster than the speed of sound, which is about 1100 feet per second at standard temp and pressure at sea level. It falls with increasing altitude.

    I would have to say there is an element of luck involved at shots at that distance. Even variations in air density along the path of the bullet can deflect a bullet from the aim point.

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