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What is the Farthest a Sniper can Shoot?

The longest sniper kill shot record was set in November 2009 by Craig Harrison, a sniper for the Household Cavalry of the British Army. He shot two Taliban soldiers from 8,120 feet (2,475 meters) — more than 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometers). The record previously was held by Canadian Corporal Rob Furlong, with a kill shot of 7,972 feet (2,430 meters).

More Firing Facts:

  • Harrison used a L115A3 Long Range Rifle. The bullets are estimated to have traveled at 3,071 feet per second (329 meters per second), reaching the target soldiers in about 6 seconds. The shot was far enough away that the soldiers likely didn't even hear them.

  • Harrison's shot was reportedly achieved under optimal environmental conditions, with little outside influence on the bullet's trajectory. A noted shot at a shorter range of 2,821 feet (860 meters) was achieved by a Royal Marine sniper team under less ideal conditions. Corporal Matt Hughes and Corporal Sam Hughes hit their target under dire wind conditions that required them to shoot 56 feet (17 meters) to the left for a successful shot.

  • The word sniper comes from a hunting expedition by British troops in British India during the 1770s. One of the soldiers was able to shoot a snipe, a particularly difficult bird to hunt, and was thereafter called a sniper.

Discussion Comments

By anon331903 — On Apr 25, 2013

Mention should also be made of Carlos Hathcock, a US Marine who held the record for some 35 years (1967). Hathcock made his kill at an estimated 2,500 yards, or 2,300 meters. He used a standard Browning .50 cal machine gun with a x10 scope attached, which he is credited with pioneering and ultimately led to the modern .50 cal sniper rifles.

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