Longest Sniper Shots Military History, Battlefield Snipers

Rankings are much easier when there is empirical data involved. Length is a measurable quantity — like with the longest sniper shots in history.

There are a lot of factors involved when looking at these unbelievable shots. Each shot features different weapons, places, military outfits, battlefield scenarios and shooters. The one commonality is that each shot is impressive in its own right.

Most of the shots on the list are post-2000, except for one that took place all the way back in 1967 and was the long-standing recording for 25 years. The most recent shot — and also the current record — hit a target more than 2 miles away.

Without further ado, let’s examine the eight longest sniper shots in military history.

Longest Sniper Shots No. 1

  • Shooter: JTF2 sniper (name withheld), Canada
  • Location: Iraq, May 2017
  • Weapon: McMillan TAC-50

Not much is known about this record. However, the team used a McMillan TAC-50 with a modular aluminum Cadex stock (known in Canadian service as the C15A1) and loaded with 750-grain Hornady A-MAX ammo. The rifle used a Schmidt & Bender PM II scope paired with a TacomHQ Charlie TARAC optical device. There is a lot of misinformation out there, but reports state that the Joint Task Force 2 sniper was firing from a high-rise during the operation, and the bullet took just under 10 seconds to hit the target.

Longest Sniper Shots No. 2

  • Shooter: CoH Craig Harrison, UK
  • Location: Afghanistan, November 2009
  • Weapon: Accuracy International L115A3

The record from Corporal of Horse (CoH) Craig Harrison has been covered by a multitude of media outlets, but none supplied accurate data about it. Even his own book, The Longest Kill, does not discuss the ballistics of the shots.

Harrison made his record-breaking shots after his commander and some Afghan soldiers took fire while patrolling in Helmand Province in November 2009. In his own words, “Conditions were perfect, no wind, mild weather, clear visibility. The first round was a miss, and the second hit a machine gunner in the stomach. He went straight down and didn’t move. The second insurgent grabbed the weapon, and my third shot hit him in the side.”

In 2013, I tried to replicate Harrison’s shots in an article for Rifle Firepower magazine. I repeated the shots with my own .338 Lapua Magnum rifle, shooting the same Lapua 250-grain Scenar and Lock Base ammunition Harrison used. In both cases, I found that the optical system was the greatest limitation, even more than the subsonic flight.

Longest Sniper Shots No. 3

  • Shooter: Corp. Rob Furlong, Canada
  • Location: Afghanistan, March 2002
  • Weapon: McMillan TAC-50

As a member of the 3rd Battalion of Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry during Operation Anaconda in Afghanistan’s Shah-i-Kot Valley, Furlong witnessed and took aim at three Al-Qaeda fighters armed with a 7.62x39mm RPK machine gun.

Furlong’s first 750-grain Hornady A-MAX shot missed the machine-gun-toting insurgent, and his second hit the gunner’s backpack. The third shot from the McMillan TAC-50 struck the target’s torso and killed him.

Longest Sniper Shots No. 4

  • Shooter: SAS sniper (name withheld), UK
  • Location: Iraq, May 2017
  • Weapon: CheyTac M200 Intervention

The M200 Intervention in .408 CheyTac was reportedly on loan to the British army as part of a battlefield trial. The kill shot happened in a classic countersniper operation in Mosul after a four-hour game of cat and mouse that ended when the ISIS sniper let his guard down as he moved.

Longest Sniper Shots No. 5

  • Shooter: MCpl Aaron Perry, Canada
  • Location: Afghanistan, March 2002
  • Weapon: McMillan TAC-50

Master Corporal (MCpl) Aaron Perry was a member of a Canadian team of snipers deployed to Afghanistan that supported NATO and Northern Alliance forces during Operation Anaconda. The six snipers on the team amassed over 20 confirmed kills in a matter of days during the battle.

Longest Sniper Shots No. 6

  • Shooter: Sgt. Bryan Kremer, U.S. Army
  • Location: Iraq, October 2004
  • Weapon: Barrett M82A1

Sergeant Bryan Kremer’s 1.43-mile shot is the longest made by an American sniper, and it’s impressive considering he used a Barrett M82A1 rifle with Raufoss Mk 211 ammunition.

I have personally shot thousands of 661-grain Raufoss multipurpose rounds in M82A1s with 4.5-14x50mm scopes. In my humble opinion, this record is probably the most impressive of the eight records listed here.

Longest Sniper Shots No. 7

  • Shooter: Gunnery Sergeant Carlos Hatchcock II, USMC
  • Location: Vietnam, February 1967
  • Weapon: Browning M2

Hathcock held the record for the longest confirmed sniper kill for 35 years. The 2,500-yard shot was just one of the 93 confirmed kills Hathcock made during his career. At one time, the North Vietnamese Army placed a $30,000 bounty on him due to his soon-to-be legendary status as a sniper. But while every NVA sniper pursued “White Feather,” the nickname given to him by NVA and Viet Cong personnel due to his habit of wearing one in his bush hat, none were successful. The gunnery sergeant’s military career came to an end after his transport unit struck an anti-tank mine. He later passed away in 1999.

Longest Sniper Shots No. 8

  • Shooter: South African sniper (name withheld), UN
  • Location: Congo, August 2013
  • Weapon: Denel NTW-14.5

This record-breaking shot took place during the Battle of Kibati in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. During the battle, an unnamed South African sniper killed six M23 rebel officers in a single day. His longest kill that day was an amazing 1.32-mile shot using a Denel NTW-14.5 anti-material rifle. This is the longest confirmed kill ever made with a 14.5x114mm cartridge.

The NTW-14.5 is the NTW-20 fitted with the 14.5 series barrel and bolt. It can also chamber the less powerful 20x82mm and 20x110mm rounds. The rifle is not man portable at approximately 75 pounds, but its 1,026-grain bullet—traveling at 3,300 fps—is quite devastating.

This article is from the 2018 issue of Ballistic Precision. To subscribe or purchase individual copies, please visit OutdoorGroupStore.com.

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