We know a sniper is someone whose job is to shoot or kill someone from afar without hitting anyone or anything other than the target. But it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. Snipers take into consideration a lot of things, like their weapon, ammunition, wind velocity and direction, air density, and even the rotation of the earth – the mastery of which allows them to perform deadly miracles.
Yes, no one knows exactly how many sniper miracle-workers are out there, since most snipers work in a military setting, and most military operations are secret. However, here in this post, we bring you some of the longest confirmed sniper shots in military history from around the world. Take a look.
In November 2009, Harrison was fighting against the Taliban in Afghanistan when he came upon two machine gunners outside the city of Musa Qala. Although the light was clear and there was no wind, the gunners were 2,475 meters (2,707 yards) away. To get his bearings, he fired nine rounds at the men with his L115A3 rifle hitting the first man in the gut, the second in the side, and then the machine gun. This was confirmed to be the longest shot to date.
Rob Furlong was part of Corporal Arron Perry’s team, the man who holds the longest recorded sniper kill whose record Furlong beat a few days later. As they scoured the Shahikot Valley in Afghanistan’s Paktia province, they encountered three Al-Qaeda fighters who were making their way to higher ground. Furlong shot at one of the combatants thrice. The first one missed the target, the second one hit the other man’s backpack, while the third fatally struck the enemy’s torso. With a distance of 2,430 meters (2,657 yards), it became the longest sniper shot on record.
Corporal Perry and his sniper team were part of Operation Anaconda – scouring the Shahikot Valley in Afghanistan’s Paktia province to take out Taliban and Al-Qaeda positions. Using a McMillan Tac-50 rifle, Perry hit an enemy combatant at a distance of over 2,309 meters (2,526 yards), breaking Hathcock’s 1968 record of longest sniper shot in history. The Americans were so impressed, they nominated him for a Bronze Star medal.
Kremer set a new record during Operation Desert Storm in Iraq in March 2004. Although the exact details remain unknown, he maintains the longest shot on record for an American sniper as of 2015. Using a Barrett M82A1, he fired a Raufoss NM140 MP 0.40 caliber bullet to hit an enemy combatant at a distance of over 2,299 meters (2,515 yards).
A Barrett M82A1 used by Kremer to make his record shot.
Carlos Hathcock remains a legend in the military because he made 93 confirmed kills during the Vietnam War, though he insists he killed between 300 and 400 enemy troops. It is said that he was so deadly that the Vietcong put a price on his head. His most famous kill occurred near Da Nang in central Vietnam, when he hit an enemy sniper through that man’s own rifle-scope. Hathcock’s bullet smashed through the glass and hit the enemy in the eye, killing him instantly.
Nicholas Ranstad set a new record in January 2008 while at Kunar Province in Afghanistan. He was on guard duty, protecting a road crew when he spotted four Taliban fighters in the distance taking cover. Ranstad fell to his belly and despite his targets falling beyond the adjustable range of his scope, he managed to hit one from a distance of 2,092 meters (2,288 yards).
Riechert was on top of an oil tank in the city of Latifiyah, Iraq, when US Marines on the ground came under fire. This was in April 2004. Despite being shot at himself, he managed to provide cover for the troops, hitting several of the attackers with his Barrett M82 rifle. When he saw three insurgents setting up a machine gun behind a brick wall, he switched to an armor-piercing Raufoss Mk 211. Guessing where they might be standing, he managed to hit them all.
Corporal Hughes was part of the 2003 invasion of Iraq when he found two Iraqi soldiers holed up in a bunker half a mile away. Only small portions of their heads and torsos were visible as they moved around their secured position. The heat was ferocious and the wind was blowing hard. To compensate, Hughes did not aim his L96, 7.62 caliber rifle directly at his chosen target. He instead pointed 38 feet above and 56 feet to the left, hitting one man squarely in the chest and killing him instantly.
In August 1993, Doug Conley threatened to kill himself with a revolver leading to a two-hour standoff with the police. Conley kept the pistol aimed at his head, so to end it, the authorities called in Plumb. Plumb positioned himself on his belly some 82 yards away beneath a pine tree. As Conley became more agitated, Plumb’s commander ordered him to shoot. Using his Steyr SSG PII rifle, Plumb managed to hit and shatter Conley’s gun, which was still in the suicidal man’s hand. In doing so, Plumb saved the man’s life.
The SSG 69 as issued to the Austrian military.
Corporal Simo Häyhä fought for Finland against the Soviet Union during the Winter War (1939-1940). He was such an effective sniper that the Russians called him the “White Death” because of his winter camouflage. In under 100 days, Häyhä made 542 confirmed kills with an M/28-30 rifle, an average of five kills a day. To make it even more challenging, he didn’t even use telescopic sights. He used iron sights, instead.