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British Sniper Sets New Long Distance Kill Shot Record - 8,120 Feet

British Sniper Sets New Long Distance Kill Shot Record – 8,120 Feet

AmmoLand Gun News

AmmoLand Gun News

Afghanistan --( Here is something that has been in the news recently and is worth bringing up again. In 2009 a British Army soldier by the name of Corporal Craig Harrison, of the Household Cavalry, set a new record for the longest shot in combat. Twice. Cpl. Harrison fired two shots at Taliban machine gunners in Afghanistan.

They were confirmed via GPS to be 8,120 feet from Cpl. Harrison’s position.

That is 1.54 miles. More than a mile and a half. To make it even more astounding, the range was almost 3,000 feet beyond what is considered the effective range of the weapon. At that range the bullet takes around 3 seconds to reach the target.

The previous record was set in 2002 for a sniper kill at 7,972 ft. That shot was made by Canadian Corporal Rob Furlong, of Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, who was using a .50BMG McMillan TAC-50 rifle.

Harrison accomplished this feat with the above pictured weapon, a Accuracy International L115A3 Rifle.

Accuracy International L115A3 Rifle

Accuracy International L115A3 Rifle

The weapon is manufactured by Accuracy International in Britain and is chambered in the .338 Lapua Magnum cartridge. This is significant because the previous two shots that held the world record were with weapons chambered for the .50 BMG. The .338 is a cartridge designed for accuracy and power beyond the range of the older 7.62mm rifles. It has a much flatter trajectory, which makes the complex trigonometry problem of finding the right arc to lob the bullet onto the target much easier. It is one of several other “lighter“rifle rounds like the .300 Win Mag., .416 Barrett, and .408 CheyTac that have been designed with extreme long range shooting in mind.

Of special importance is the velocity past 1000 meters, the shape of its trajectory and how long the cartridges stay supersonic.

The Accuracy International Arctic Warfare ..338 is a bolt action, detachable magazine-fed, precision rifle. The rifle is about 15 pounds, unloaded and without optics. It can mount a variety of telescopic sights, laser designators, and night vision or thermal sights. In British service, it usually mounts a S&B 5-25x56mm day scope. The extra-large objective lens size of 56mm gathers a lot of light, making shots possible in the dawn, dusk, or into the shadows. The L115A3 can also mount a suppressor, helping to reduce the report flash and dust from the powerful rifle. The barrel is free floated for increased accuracy and is fluted for strength and cooling without excessive weight.

You don’t get all that performance cheap though. News reports put the rifle at around $25,000. But if you put it in the right hands and it can hit a head sized target from 4500 feet. More importantly, even at extreme range, the bullet retains its power, hitting with more force than a .44 Magnum at 25 feet.

It was just unlucky for the Taliban that conditions were so good and we could see them so clearly. We saw two insurgents running through its courtyard, one in a black dishdasha, and one in green. They came forward carrying a PKM machine gun, set it up and opened fire on the commanders wagon. The first round hit a machine gunner in the stomach and killed him outright. He went straight down and didn’t move. The second insurgent grabbed the weapon and turned as my second shot hit him in the side. He went down, too. They were both dead.”

Cpl. Harrison had a memorable tour of duty, making the two impossible shots, having a bullet deflect off his helmet, and surviving an IED blast that broke both of his arms. He is reportedly healing well, and has returned to duty.

Corporal Harrison

Corporal Harrison


  • 10 User comments to “British Sniper Sets New Long Distance Kill Shot Record – 8,120 Feet”

    1. Dave in San Antonio on April 4, 2014 at 3:27 AM said:

      IMPRESSIVE…nothing less.

    2. Jay Hanig on April 4, 2014 at 4:17 AM said:


    3. D.R.A. on April 4, 2014 at 6:18 AM said:

      Bloody well done

    4. Great story, but what’s this about “in the news the last few days”? This happened in 2009.
      Thanks for the update on Corporal Harrison.

    5. Ray Helberg on April 4, 2014 at 9:11 AM said:

      Well done, Thank you for your service

    6. hippybiker on April 4, 2014 at 9:23 AM said:

      That is an impressive shot with .308. However, Carlos Hathcock shot a man in Viet Nam with a Ma Deuce at 2 miles.

    7. Dog Handler on April 4, 2014 at 10:35 AM said:

      Nice shooting!

    8. leftent on April 4, 2014 at 7:42 PM said:

      Superb shooting!
      Back in the 70’s we were making 900m shots with our Parker-Hale C3’s (Militarized PH 1200 in .308NATO) and it certainly wasn’t easy! It’s good to see that this generation’s soldiers with this generation’s equipment has handily surpassed that.

    9. Rusty Cannon on April 6, 2014 at 10:47 AM said:

      Obviously Corporals can make good use of rifles, even if they cost $25,000. I am sure that the Commander who Harrison saved thinks that is a low price for something so good. Congrats to Harrison for a job well done.


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