There is an old saying that “Records are made to be broken.” Well according to Canadian military officials, that is just what happened during a recent engagement with ISIS forces in Iraq. According to the story, a Canadian elite special forces sniper has shattered the world record for the longest confirmed kill shot in military history at a staggering distance of 3,450 meters. In English speaking countries that would be just over two and one tenth miles.
Military sources say the sniper, who is a member of Joint Task Force 2, killed an ISIS Terrorists with a McMillan TAC-50 sniper rifle. The sniper was firing from a high-rise during an operation that took place within the last month in Iraq. To put the shot in context, it took the bullet just under 10 seconds from the time the trigger was pulled until it hit its target.
“The shot in question actually disrupted a Daesh [Islamic State] attack on Iraqi security forces,” said a military source, who stressed the operation fell within the strictures of the government’s advise and assist mission. “Instead of dropping a bomb that could potentially kill civilians in the area, it is a very precise application of force and because it was so far way, the bad guys didn’t have a clue what was happening.”
The source told the Daily Mail that the kill shot had been independently verified by both video camera and other data. He went on to say, “There’s hard data on this. It isn’t an opinion. It isn’t an approximation. There is a second location with eyes on with all the right equipment to capture exactly what the shot was.”
A military insider told The Globe: “This is an incredible feat. It is a world record that might never be equaled.” Which is an over-statement, trust me, someone will break that record sooner or later as weapons and ammunition continue to be improved.
The previous world record was held by British sniper Craig Harrison, who shot a Taliban gunner with a 338 Lapua Magnum rifle from 2,475 meters away in 2009. For operational security reasons, sources would not reveal the names of the elite Canadian sniper and his partner, nor the location where the action took place.
Once a sniper team has located their target, the snipers all follow the same methodical approach before each shot. Breathe in, out, in, out, find a natural pause and then squeeze the trigger. “Canada has a world-class sniper system. It is not just a sniper. They work in pairs. There is an observer,” a military source said. “This is a skill set that only a very few people have.”
Making any super-long-range shot requires math skills, great eyesight, precision ammunition, excellent firearms, and superb training. “at the distance where you have to account not just for the ballistics of the round, you have to adjust for wind, for firing from a higher location downward and as the round drops you have to account for that. And from that distance you actually have to account for the curvature of the Earth.”
It is not something that just anyone can do.