Canadian Sniper in Iraq Makes Longest Confirmed Kill Shot in Military History

Longest Sniper Shot Record - 8,120 Feet
British sniper, Cpl. Craig Harrison, set the last long distance kill shot record – 8,120 Feet

Canadian Shooting Sports AssociationCanada-(Ammoland.com)- The Department of National Defence has confirmed that a Canadian sniper has broken the record for longest confirmed sniper shot in military history.

The soldier, a member of Canada’s elite Joint Task Force 2 (JTF2) special forces unit deployed to Iraq, targeted and killed an Islamic State fighter in Mosul at a distance of almost three and a half kilometres.

“The Canadian Special Operations Command can confirm that a member of the Joint Task Force 2 successfully hit a target from 3,450 metres,” the Department of National Defence confirmed in a statement to Global News.

“For operational security reasons and to preserve the safety of our personnel and our Coalition partners, we will not discuss precise details on when and how this incident took place.”

The extreme distance shot shatters the previous record of 2, 475 yards (2263 m) set by British Corporal Craig Harrison in Afghanistan in 2009. Canadian soldiers currently claim three of the top five longest confirmed shots ever recorded in the history of warfare.

DND officials stress that this engagement did not contravene the Canadian Forces mission in Iraq known as Operation Impact, which specifies a training and advisory – as opposed to frontline combat – role.

“The advice and assist tasks provided by the Special Operations Task Force (SOTF) remain consistent with those that have been provided since the start of Operation IMPACT,” The Department said in a statement to Global News. “The SOTF provides its expertise to Iraqi security force to detect, identify and defeat Daesh (ISIS) activities from well behind the Iraqi security force frontline in Mosul.”

“As stated multiple times in the past, members of the Canadian Special Operations Task Force do not accompany leading combat elements, but enable the Iraqi security forces who are in a tough combat mission.”

While DND officials cannot disclose specific details of JTF2 operations, a Canadian firearms and target shooting expert says the obstacles faced in making a shot at such extreme distance are varied, and all present a huge degree of difficulty.

“First of all, there is bullet drop due to gravity,” Tony Bernardo, Executive Director of the Canadian Shooting Sports Association tells Global News. “And the bullet drop would be unbelievable. At just a thousand metres [the drop] can be several feet., and it increases exponentially as you move farther out.”

“The second factor is wind drift. Very small amounts of wind [can] make major drifts in the trajectory. A simple 10 mph breeze at [a distance of] 1000 m will make a difference of a few feet.”

At such extreme distance, the travel time for the bullet can be as long as ten seconds – meaning the shooter must account for the rotation of the Earth underneath the bullet as the shot travels.

Even an operator’s heartbeat can throw off his sight picture by a few millimetres – the difference of feet or metres once the bullet travels the intervening distance.

“When you’re sitting there at a shooting range with a rifle at 100 m, looking through a 14 or 15 [magnification] scope, you can actually see your heartbeat in the crosshairs because your body is translating it to the sight system,” Bernardo said. “And that’s only at 100 m, not 3500 m.”

Most sniper teams, including those of the Canadian Forces, operate in two-man units: one soldier acts as a spotter, with a laser range-finder and a hand-held computer, while the other soldier aims and fires the rifle at the target.

The rifle was a McMillan Tac-50 – known as a C15 Long Range Sniper Weapon.
The rifle was a McMillan Tac-50 – known as a C15 Long Range Sniper Weapon.

In this case, the rifle was a McMillan Tac-50 – known as a C15 Long Range Sniper Weapon in Canadian military parlance – a .50 calibre bolt action rifle with a 5-round capacity, in service with the Canadian Forces since 2000.

“We arguably make the most accurate .50 calibre rifle there is,” Brian Clyde with McMillian Firearms Manufacturing tells Global News. He says the longest distance the company ever tested the weapon to was 3000 yards (2743 m) – the extreme range of the company testing facilities.

The fight to permanently cripple the so-called Islamic State will require at least another year of hard-fought battles in Iraq and Syria according to Brig.-Gen. Daniel MacIsaac, who assumed command of Operation Impact in March.

In an interview with Global News earlier this month, MacIsaac said he fully expects the Canadian mission to be extended beyond the current end-date of June 30, 2017.

“We’re foreseeing that soon, before that date, we’ll receive a new revised mandate,” he said. “I’m sure we’ll continue to be here after the 30th of June.”

Canadian warplanes with bombing capability were pulled out of the mission by the Liberal government in early 2016, but hundreds of Canadian men and women remain in place to assist with training, reconnaissance, medical operations and other support roles.

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hippybiker
hippybiker
4 years ago

I read somewhere years ago the the late, great Gunny Hathcock took a target out in Vietnam at over 10,000 feet. Correct me if I’m wrong. It was said he used a ma duece with a special scope mount.

Michael Coughlin
Michael Coughlin
4 years ago
Reply to  hippybiker

The rifle he used was a scoped M-2 .50 cal. on a sandbagged tripod equipped with an 8x Unertl scope. Distance was 2500 yards. I believe it was in January 1967.

Silence Dogood
Silence Dogood
4 years ago

EXCELLENT!!

Semper Fi my brother

Inky Mark
Inky Mark
4 years ago

Congratulations Canada’s armed forces, credit needs to go to both shooter and spotter, who did most of the work

BillyBob Texas
BillyBob Texas
4 years ago

CONGRATS !!! Proud of you!! Extend this poor guy’s tour for another year……more work to be accomplished !!

John Pahl
John Pahl
4 years ago

Thanks to the spotter who did all math to make the shot possible. Just think about it. Wind, bullet drift, bullet drop, Humidity and air temp., and least thought about is the curve of the earth. All had to be calculated to make this work. They were a great team. We need more training in this field.

Vanns40
Vanns40
4 years ago
Reply to  John Pahl

Not only just plain wind drift but possibly a couple of cross drifts! It just boggles the mind. From the days where I qualified with an M14 and iron sights at 600 yds to this is just incredible. If I weren’t so old I’d love to go through one of the long distance training schools.

marc disabled vet
marc disabled vet
4 years ago
Reply to  Vanns40

@v40
same go’s for You me and the rest of 3-4-3 1972 usmc
that was a nice shot, spotter , scope , what ever it took !

Rudy F
Rudy F
4 years ago
Reply to  Vanns40

That old M-14 US Army basic training 1/69 – 2/69, Fort Ord, Ca. M-14 one of the Great Guns!

Matt in Oklahoma
Matt in Oklahoma
4 years ago

Anyone know what glass was used?

XX
XX
4 years ago

Great shot, eh? One more ISIS mofo sent to hell.

Wild Bill
Wild Bill
4 years ago
Reply to  XX

@XX Correct both times.

marc disabled vet
marc disabled vet
4 years ago

Nice Shooting AAH