A Canadian sniper just shattered the world record for the longest kill shot. In a coalition engagement last month, our friend from up north eliminated an ISIS combatant from over two miles away. You read that right, the shot was over two miles long. The shot was recorded at 3,450 meters, smashing the previous record set in 2009 by British sniper Craig Harrison.
The unnamed sniper was part of a US-led coalition focused on taking out Islamic State militants in Syria using strategic air attacks with local ground support troops. The Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR) has undertaken multiple strategic strikes against ISIS militants across Syria, fended off a surprise ISIS attack on their garrison back in April, and is now back in the news for another amazing feat. The sniper, a member of Canada’s elite Joint Task Force 2, used his McMillan TAC-50 long range sniper weapon to lob a .50 BMG Hornady AMAX over 11,300 feet to drop an ISIS militant. The names of the sniper and his spotter have been redacted to protect operational security. According to military sources, the shot took out an ISIS attack on allied Iraqi forces. The sniper mission was a precise application of force used instead of a dropping a strategic explosive, thus preventing unnecessary loss of civilian lives.
A Record Shattered
The previous record for longest kill shot was 2,475 meters. The newest shot blows the old record away by nearly a thousand meters, clocking in at 3,450 meters. That’s 11,319 feet, 3,773 yards, or just over 2.1 miles. To understand the distance of this impressive shot, let’s take a look at some similar distances (in US and Canadian numbers):
- Nearly 38 football fields
- The length of the National Mall from the Capitol Building to the Lincoln Memorial
- 3 and a half times the length of Chicago’s Navy Pier
- Nine Empire State Buildings
- 40 Statues of Liberty stacked on one another
- 13,583 Strips of Bacon (the normal kind, not the Canadian kind)
- 1886 and a half Gretskies
- 142 Canadian Maple trees
- 56.5 ice hockey rinks
- 188 Tim Hortons lined up in a row
More than just windage and elevation, in order to calculate the trajectory of a shot at this length, the sniper has to take many things into account. At ranges that long, you have compensate for the air temperature, humidity and air pressure, the altitude differences between shooter and target and curvature of the earth, the twist rate and spindrift of the bullet, and even the Coriolis effect of the earth spinning. That’s a lot of calculus for one shot. Think about that next time miss the paper at 500 yards!
Among Good Company
The as-of-yet-unnamed sniper joins an elite crowd of shooters. Here’s the current list of longest confirmed sniper kills.
- Unnamed JTF2 Sniper, Canada, 3540 meters, McMillan Tac-50 with Hornady AMAX .50 BMG
- Craig Harrison, United Kingdom, 2475 meters, Accuracy Int. L115A3 with Lockbase .338 Lapua Mag
- Rob Furlong, Canada, 2430 meters, McMillan Tac-50 with Hornady AMAX .50 BMG
- Arron Perry, Canada, 2310 meters, McMillan Tac-50 with Hornady AMAX .50 BMG
- Brian Kremer, United States, 2300 meters, Barret M82A1 with Raufoss .50 BMG
- Carlos Hathcock, United States, 2286 meters, M2 Browning Machine Gun with .50 BMG
- Unnamed Special Forces Sniper, South Africa, 2125 meters, Denel NTW-14.5 with 14.5x114mm
- Nicholas Ranstad, United States, 2092 meters, Barrett M82A1 with .50 BMG
- Chris Kyle, United States, 1920 meters, McMillan Tac-338 with .338 Lapua Magnum</li>