British Sniper Sets Longest Sniper Shot Record – 8,120 Feet

longest sniper shot
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


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Limey, American G.I. I don’t care, great shot from a “True Hero” saving soldiers lives! Cpl. Harrison you are my Hero.
From an American Vet, Thank you for your service!
With gratitude and respect,

Jeffrey Krajchan

Makes me proud to be british, Live long and prosper
Your service is greatly appreciated


Sure they can the same crew that was supposed to evac us in the 1st gulf war and screwed up and left the limeys as you call us on the ground, don’t get to excited about American forces


If a Limey made that shot,if a Limey really did make that shot it was pure luck ! American snipers can only consistent make world class shots like that ! I know that for fact !

Robert W

Some people just love to believe their own BS! READ THE BOOK!


I agree lucky(if 1 of 1,000,000 things would have been different it wouldnt have happened)….but very crazy insanly skilled. Wonder how many shots it took to get on target (previous record holder took 5…5th shot connected)


I’m your fan


It was not luck, it was SKILL. Corporal Harrison, you are a hero, thank you my friend……..


When everyone wants a fitty, but the .338 come home strong. Im a bit worried about the cheytac though it might come up soon!


I’m completely speachless…… Harrison you are a true ghost .


Impressive but now the enemy knows how far they need to look for snipers. One reason snipers never talked about how far.



Rusty Cannon

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.


Yes I think more snipers low cost combat. After a wile they will get the idea of a shot never heard and from a place never seen.


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.

Dog Handler

Nice shooting!


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

Tony Mcnicol

Actually Carlos hathcocks longest shot kill was 2500 yards,which is 1.420 miles and not 2 miles!

Ray Helberg

Well done, Thank you for your service


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.


Bloody well done

Jay Hanig


Dave in San Antonio

IMPRESSIVE…nothing less.