Recently, the Washington Post ran a story on the Canadian Special Operations sniper that successfully shot an ISIS target in Iraq from more than 2 miles away. It’s being reported as breaking a world record for the longest confirmed kill shot in history. This feat beats the previous record for longest confirmed kill shot in combat by 1,065 meters.
Long range shooters know that a critical part of success depends on having accurate environmental data coupled with a proven ballistic solver. A source in the WaPo article describes the challenges presented for this particular extreme long-distance shot:
"For the soldier to hit his target at 3,540 meters (3,871 yards) he would need to account for every atmospheric factor available. Wind speed, temperature, barometric pressure, the bullets yaw and the rotation of the earth would all need to be considered before pulling the trigger. These variables, once harnessed from devices such as a handheld weather meter and potentially range-finding equipment on the gun, would then be processed through a ballistic calculator that would let the shooter make the necessary adjustments on the rifle’s scope."
Kestrel Weather Meters have long been a standard tool for military sniper teams. SOFREP News (News and Intelligence from Spec Ops Veterans) talked about how Kestrel meters played a role in this record-breaking shot:
“From their sniper hide, a number of factors lined up making the record-breaking shot possible. Using Kestrel wind meters and ballistic software, the guess-work has been removed from ballistics. This truly makes sniping a science, as successful shots are based on math. On this particular day, there was little wind and no mirage. Through their scope, the sniper and spotter saw the target remaining still long enough for them to hit from 3,540 meters away.”
Based on what is known about the JTF2’s rifle and equipment involved, along with the atmospheric details, and some reasonable estimates, we are able to you take you inside the record-breaking shot by recreating it in the Kestrel 5700 Elite with Applied Ballistics.
Breakdown of the Shot Parameters used in the Kestrel 5700 Elite:
- The McMillan Tac-50 rifle
- (API) .50 caliber armor piercing incendiary round
- Optic Unknown
- Adjustments dialed into the scope by the JTF2 sniper were approximately 113 mils of elevation and 6.5 mils of windage
Note: The rifle used by the Canadian JTF2 team had been customized in order to gain the mil elevation needed to reach a target at such great distance by attaching special rails to the weapon.
The ballistics screen in the Kestrel 5700 Elite displays Direction of Fire, Maximum Ordinate, and Bullet Drop. This information is what the four-man Canadian JTF2 sniper team needed to take the historic long-range shot.
Kestrel 5700 Ballistics Screen
The numbers tell the story of the shot. The bullet took approximately 10 seconds to engage with the target and dropped an astonishing 15,000 inches during flight.
The skill of this sniper team is undisputed. The accuracy required for such extreme long-range shots depends on the right tools and proven ballistics science. We are proud to support the military community and allied troops around the world by making tough, trusted products that enable military professionals to complete their missions successfully.
For more on long range shooting with Kestrel meters, visit kestrelballistics.com.