back to article Canadian sniper makes kill shot at distance of 3.5 KILOMETRES

A Canadian sniper has reportedly shot dead an Islamic State terrorist from the astonishing distance of 3,450 metres – more than two miles away. The astonishing feat of marksmanship took place within the last month "in Iraq", according to the Toronto Globe and Mail. A "military source" – almost certainly the Canadian armed …

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    1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

      1 - the round slows down during its journey

      2 - total distance traveled is more than direct point-to-point (round going into the air with a curved path back down to target)

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Florida1920 Silver badge

        Hans beat me to it. If the trajectory was flat and the bullet maintained its muzzle velocity over the distance, the time in flight would be 3.75 sec. The article was clear about the trajectory, the need for the shooter to "hold over," so it doesn't take a rocket surgeon to understand the longer flight time.

        It must have been difficult to see the impact points of the sighting shots, so there must have been a lot of "Kentucky Ottawa windage" involved in making the shot. Translation: Skill.

        https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Kentucky_windage

        1. smudge Silver badge
          WTF?

          Let's assume that there were several sighting shots, and that they got closer to the target. Wouldn't the target therefore know that he was under fire, and consequently be unlikely to hold still in an exposed location for nearly 10 seconds? It's either complete bullshit or a lot of luck.

          1. Florida1920 Silver badge

            Wouldn't the target therefore know that he was under fire, and consequently be unlikely to hold still in an exposed location for nearly 10 seconds?

            Not necessarily. There was an earlier record, again by a Canadian IIRC, where the shooter was trying to hit a Taliban carrying a rocket launcher. Although bullets were striking around the target, he apparently never thought they'd hit him. And probably never knew they did.

            There's an earlier anecdote, about Union General John Sedgwick. From Wikipedia:

            Sedgwick fell at the beginning of the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House, on May 9, 1864. His corps was probing skirmish lines ahead of the left flank of Confederate defenses and he was directing artillery placements. Confederate sharpshooters were about 1,000 yards (900 m) away, and their shots caused members of his staff and artillerymen to duck for cover. Sedgwick strode around in the open and was quoted as saying, "What? Men dodging this way for single bullets? What will you do when they open fire along the whole line?" Although ashamed, his men continued to flinch and he said, "Why are you dodging like this? They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance."[5] Reports that he never finished the sentence are apocryphal, although the line was among his last words.[6] He was shot moments later under the left eye and fell down dead.

            Charles McMoran Wilson, 1st Baron Moran, wrote a book titled "Anatomy of Courage," based on his experiences during the First World War. In it, he relates seeing a British officer walking in the open between trenches, while enemy machine-gun bullets were spattering all around. Walking, not running.

            And finally, there's a famous quote attributed to none other than Winston Churchill: "Nothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shot at without result." (http://desertonfire.blogspot.com/2009/07/source-of-famous-churchill-quote.html)

            1. Florida1920 Silver badge

              Not necessarily. There was an earlier record, again by a Canadian IIRC

              Bloody Captcha made it impossible to correct this in time. The shooter I referred to was British sniper Craig Harrison.

              In November 2009, Harrison consecutively struck two Taliban machine gunners south of Musa Qala in Helmand Province in Afghanistan at a range of 2,475 m (2,707 yd) using a L115A3 Long Range Rifle. In a BBC interview, Harrison reported it took about nine shots for him and his spotter to range the target.

              1. Alan Brown Silver badge

                "In a BBC interview, Harrison reported it took about nine shots for him and his spotter to range the target."

                He also described how during the ranging, the bullets were landing far enough away from the target that their impact probably wasn't audible over the firefight the target was sniping at (and without hearing protection, you're not going to hear much after firing a few shots anyway)

            2. Tom 7 Silver badge

              Wouldn't the target therefore know that he was under fire,

              You do some sighting shots that are close to the target but not close enough to give the game away. My uncle was an artillery major in Burma and he used to try and work out cross winds and temperatures from different heights - you cant do this when sniping but when laying wast to areas you can get enough shots in to get some feel for it apparently. I guess modern shell would tell you all you need to know just before they hit now. Wont be long before a 0.5" can do that too!

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              > he relates seeing a British officer walking in the open between trenches, while enemy machine-gun bullets were spattering all around. Walking, not running.

              Well, people do get used to all sorts of things (or alternatively, they just snap and stop caring).

              Besides, what about that stiff upper lip, my dear chap? Just because someone is firing a machine gun at you it doesn't mean you should lose your composure.

              1. Ian 55

                A Bridge Too Far: 'During the filming of scenes which see Anthony Hopkins running across the battleground, the real Lt.Col. John Frost complained of the way he was being portrayed, saying, "You wouldn't run the crossfire. You'd show the enemy contempt for danger by crossing the road slowly." '

            4. thames

              @Florida1920 - "he relates seeing a British officer walking in the open between trenches, while enemy machine-gun bullets were spattering all around. Walking, not running."

              That was entirely normal behaviour for professional British officers. They didn't duck under enemy fire.

              If you read General Slim's book "Defeat into Victory" about how he turned the situation around fighting the Japanese in Burma and India, there is a part where he came under mortar or artillery fire (I can't remember which) by the Japanese while he was in the open. Rather than running or "hitting the dirt" (as the movies put it), he simply gritted his teeth and continued to stride forward through a hail of fragments. He could not let himself appear to flinch before enemy fire in front of his men. One of his Gurkha SNCOs saw this and laughed loudly and shouted jokes at him as he knew exactly what was going on (he of course knew British officers as well as anyone).

              There are plenty of anecdotes such as this one. Years later when the war movies were made, the directors and writers were told by their consultants (often soldiers who had been there) that their scripts were wrong, and that the British officers who had been at the battles in question did not duck under enemy fire. The directors however would decide that the film would be more exciting and the scene look more dangerous if the heroes were seen to be dodging the bullets rather than just striding forward with their chin up. Read the books by the people who were there, and you get a very different story from the movies.

              1. werdsmith Silver badge

                That was entirely normal behaviour for professional British officers. They didn't duck under enemy fire.

                As proved by Lieutenant Colonel H. Jones in 1982.

                1. Valerion

                  That was entirely normal behaviour for professional British officers. They didn't duck under enemy fire.

                  As proved by Lieutenant Colonel H. Jones in 1982.

                  And, indeed, one Corporal Jones, who refused to panic under any circumstance, and insisted - often loudly - that those in his presence also should not panic.

                2. W4YBO

                  "As proved by Lieutenant Colonel H. Jones in 1982."

                  I was unfamiliar with that name. Googling it improved my day. A fine example of bravery and selflessness.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                > That was entirely normal behaviour for professional British officers. They didn't duck under enemy fire.

                So only under fire from their own troops?

                1. John Presland

                  From the Italian campaign:

                  The Germans fly over - the Brits duck; the Brits fly over - the Germans duck; the Americans fly over - everyone ducks.

              3. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                > That was entirely normal behaviour for professional British officers. They didn't duck under enemy fire.

                A bit of romanticism and artistic licence on the part of "those who were there" always makes a story more interesting, though not necessarily more true.

                A friend of mine, a professional historian, finds that about the most accurate account of social behaviour you can get about historical times on non-academic literature, comes from the Black Adder series.

              4. JLV Silver badge

                >didn't duck

                That may not always make military sense depending on the sophistication of your troops, your enemy's and your CnC capabilities.

                Consider what happens if a leader gets taken out. That quite possibly will demoralize and/or take out decision-making capability for the entire unit.

                Read up on the successes of the Germans in early Eastern front. Turns out that, at least for tanks, the Germans could easily spot and identify the unit leader (only ones equipped with radios). Take them out early and the whole unit would mill around and remain as shooting ducks. The rank and file weren't trained for initiative and they probably feared an NKVD bullet if they retreated.

                Ditto life expectancies for Lieutenants @ D-Day, with nicely marked up helmets. Or Lieutenants landing in hot LZs in Vietnam.

                OTOH, the British armed forces have always relied heavily on their NCOs, it's what makes them good. So the officers could afford it, to an extent. Russia for example, is traditionally very light on NCOs, it's basically officers and soldiers.

              5. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                I've read Slim's book "Defeat into Victory" and hold him in high regard. He was a modest and capable general, well liked by the troops, both Indian and British (I read a British soldier's account from the trenches). But if your view of British officers is of holding their chin up, unflinching against hostile fire, then I think you've been reading only British accounts of that history. Even Slim's early chapters describe a chaotic and panicked retreat from Burma and Singapore. But you have to read other accounts, especially Indian accounts of the same events to understand that in retreat the British empire and its army often were far too concerned with their own safety at the expense of the civilian refugees, even blocking fleeing, starving civilians from exit roads so that they and their families could flee first. They saw the British take food from precarious and starving villages and use it as a stockpile to ensure their own food safety in Europe and elsewhere. Far more Indians than British died as a result of WW2 and many of those deaths were due to the British efforts to save themselves at the expense of their subjects. No doubt there was bravery too, on the part of the British (and Indians, Americans and troops from a number of other nationalities) in the battles of Imphal and Kohima and in the subsequent recapture of Burma and Singapore. But British behavior during that initial thumping at the hands of the Japanese in Burma guaranteed that their already precarious empire in India was all but finished.

          2. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

            "Let's assume that there were several sighting shots, and that they got closer to the target. Wouldn't the target therefore know that he was under fire, and consequently be unlikely to hold still in an exposed location for nearly 10 seconds?"

            Not neccessarily. I dimly remember bits from basic training about stuff like this (but it's been 30 years now), and off the top of my head:

            1. You might not even notice a couple of incoming shots around you, depending on what they hit and how buisy you are. Especially if they come from far away and the sound, even if you actually hear it, doesn't match the timing of noise/impact you are familiar with.

            2. Let's say you notice and recognize the sighting shots for what they are - but you can't tell where they are coming from. All you know is that there is a sniper somewhere who's really far away. So for all you know, shifting your position might make it easier for the sniper to hit you. At the sime time you know that you are relatively hard to hit where you are right now due to the distance. I guess I'd toss a coin.

            3. Let's say you notice the shots - and conclude that someone wants to drive you away from your position. Maybe to lure you into the range of, say a mortar or something like that.

            1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

              Plus, of course, there may be other people shooting at you who are even closer. If you're exposing yourself (fnarr fnarr) that's quite likely, as you may be engaged in shooting at them - as well as avoiding given them an easy target.

          3. W4YBO

            "...and consequently be unlikely to hold still in an exposed location for nearly 10 seconds?"

            A sniper has a spotter sitting beside him with a high power spotting scope. The projectile would've been subsonic by the time it reached the target, so doubtful that the target would've noticed just another projectile, 0.2" bigger than the other ones being fired at them.

            "extreme long range small arms ballistics is a bit of a hit-or-miss affair (ho ho)"

            Visit Camp Perry for the National Rifle Matches, and then say that.

            Good article! Thanks, Gareth!

          4. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Would the target actually have heard the shots from two miles away?

            If so, would he assume that shots from a long way away were aimed at him?

          5. phuzz Silver badge

            There's another reason why the target might not have taken cover. Given how high the shooter had to aim, the bullet would have been coming down at an angle.

            The target might have heard incoming rounds, and made sure that they were behind cover that blocked *horizontal* shots, whilst the sniper's bullet would have dropped down over this cover before hitting the target.

            1. Eddy Ito Silver badge

              Given how high the shooter had to aim, the bullet would have been coming down at an angle.

              It's not actually that bad. While the drop makes the elevation sound impressive the stated angle of 327 arc minutes is 5.45 degrees. To put that into perspective it's about the long edge of a business card at the distance of a meter so while considerable it's not exactly a lob. Judging from the drop of at 3700 and 3800 yards the downward angle would only be in the range of 10 to 15 degrees depending on the actual BC of the projectile.

              1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                "To put that into perspective it's about the long edge of a business card at the distance of a meter so while considerable it's not exactly a lob."

                Just to add into the mix, no one here knows what the difference in altitude was between the sniper and the target.

                1. Alan Brown Silver badge

                  "Just to add into the mix, no one here knows what the difference in altitude was between the sniper and the target."

                  This was covered in the releases. The Sniper was on top of a high rise building whilst the target was at ground level, so the answer is "considerable"

          6. Dr Dan Holdsworth Silver badge
            Boffin

            Suppose our putative Taliban is out on a battlefield, where people are actually shooting already. In this case, several factors both cultural and practical come into play.

            Firstly, if our target is busy then he might not even notice bullet impacts around him.

            Secondly, even if he does see impacts, he may just ascribe these to random battlefield stray rounds that aren't actually meant for him.

            Thirdly, as he cannot see or hear a sniper (too far to hear the muzzle blast, and the rounds will be subsonic by the time they get to him) he may just think he's out of range and disregard the shooting as inaccurate fire that won't get him.

            Fourthly, the man might actually be rather stupid, be that from lack of education, nutritional deficiencies early in life or even rampant inbreeding. Certainly anyone smart enough to realise the dangers of front lines isn't going to wander about willy-nilly in front of the enemy.

            Finally, there is an attitude prevalent in that part of the world that predestination exists to a greater or lesser extent and that when Allah thinks it is time for you to go, you die; up to then no worries.

            All of these plus the fact that he cannot actually see enemy forces might contribute to his apparent unconcern under fire.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Missed one. Maybe he's not a trained soldier but a farmer who signed up to defend his homeland and doesn't even know these things are possible.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                > Missed one. Maybe he's not a trained soldier but a farmer who signed up to defend his homeland and doesn't even know these things are possible.

                Missed another. Maybe he was a British officer who doesn't duck under enemy fire.

            2. JLV Silver badge
              Headmaster

              >Suppose our putative Taliban

              Be more impressed if you didn't confuse Afghanistan (Taliban) with Iraq. Also, Talibs and ISIS are actually fighting each other in Afghanistan so not that interchangeable.

              BTW, rather impressed that our gov (Canada) decided to forego the token 6 or so jets we were bombing ISIS with before and send out more useful (and politically risky) boots on the ground instead. Godspeed and keep safe to our soldiers there.

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              > Suppose our putative Taliban is out on a battlefield

              Suppose we buy him a GPS and point him back to Afghanistan so he can get to the right battlefield.

              The events in question happened in Iraq and involved a so-called islamic state affiliated person, "Dr" Holdsworth.

        2. joed

          "so there must have been a lot of "Kentucky Ottawa windage" involved in making the shot. Translation: Skill." - I'd argue that just as much luck is required for such a small target (considering that no 2 bullets are the same and neither are conditions along their trajectory). OTOH, shooting .50 cal does not necessitate direct hit (at least this is the case early on the way) with bullet's shockwave having potential to rip one's limbs off. BTW, I recall seeing one of these tac-50 for sale at a pawn-shop/gun store in Sates - I bet for self defense (though no concealed carry).

          1. imanidiot Silver badge

            .50 cal near misses ripping limbs off is total bullshit and an urban legend. It's been tested plenty of times and it's complete hogwash. Think of it this way, if a bullet were creating such a powerful shockwave, where is that energy coming from? Wouldn't the bullet slow down incredibly fast? A bullet is designed to have as little shockwave as possible, as any shockwave dissipates energy that is subsequently not delivered to the target.

            1. Steve the Cynic Silver badge

              ".50 cal near misses ripping limbs off is total bullshit and an urban legend."

              Indeed, but it has its origins in a phenomenon called "hydrostatic shock", where on an apparently "non-vital" hit in one part of the body, the shock of the impact travels through the body causing injuries in other parts of the body.

              Of course, this, too, may be a myth, but it's a lot more believable than the sonic boom shockwave tearing parts off.

              1. ThePiper

                Hydrostatic Shock

                I was involved in the development of a rock splitter device that used hydrostatic shock to break up inconvenient boulders. During a demo aimed at destroying a boulder about 2 m high, the boulder split up and a chip of rock nearly took my ear off.

                Needless to say I am a believer.

                Now if hydrostatic shock can destroy a boulder that size, I shudder to think of the damage the same shock could do to human tissue.

                1. styx-tdo

                  Re: Hydrostatic Shock

                  crystalline structures react vastly different to being shocked than soft, wobbly tissue.

                  a diamond shatters to dust when hit with a hammer, humans in general do not do that (sadly?)

              2. PatientOne

                @ Steve the Cynic

                It's an odd one regarding bullets: High powered rounds can cause little damage to soft targets - they tend not to tumble on impact so the exit wounds tend to be smaller, even with a .50 cal. So the bullet would have to hit a vital point to kill, yet 7.62mm rounds were more likely to kill than 5.56mm (which are more likely to tumble on impact). The reason was put down to hydrostatic shock - that the bullet sets up a shock wave while passing through soft tissue / bodies, which causes death. 5.56mm didn't do this as it tumbled instead, causing lots of tissue damage and a larger exit wound, but this was less likely to kill the person shot.

                So, yes, hydrostatic shock is a 'thing' which explains why higher powered rounds would kill and lower powered rounds would wound, despite the wound characteristics.

                Or that's how it was explained to me back in the day. Along with 'inbound fire has right of way', 'there's no such thing as friendly fire' and 'always check for the exit wound before applying the wound dressing: That's the big messy one they're bleeding out from'. My favourite from that time was, of cause: 'The shooting stopping isn't evidence that it's safe to go check the wounded'.

                1. Spanners Silver badge
                  Pint

                  @patientone

                  My favourite saying was that "tracer works in both directions".

                  1. Paul Stimpson

                    Re: @patientone

                    Add to this the first rule of armed combat, "If the enemy is in range, so are you." (if you have equivalent weapons)

                    Also, "If the enemy has more capable weapons than you, them being out of range doesn't mean you're safe." example, You have a 5.56 assault rifle, the enemy has a .300 Winchester Magnum sniper rifle and is 1000m away. You stand no hope of hitting them but you're toast.

            2. tedleaf

              Tumbling bullets,even at low velocity/energy levels can cause immense damage,I can believe a deformed tumbling .5 could tear an ARM off if it hits the arm high up or out high on the shoulder.I've seen massive wounds in deer created by deformed tumbling bullets,things can re-accelerate if they convert straight line velocity into tumbling or bouncing off bones etc..

          2. simoncaldow

            (considering that no 2 bullets are the same.........)

            There are any number of companies around the world who will sell you matched rounds (the prime example being Lapua). Each piece is hand balanced to ensure that the ballistic characteristics of each round are as close to identical as technically possible. After all, why leave such things to chance?

            They do cost a pretty penny mind!

    2. Philip Stott

      Did you think for even a second before submitting that incredibly ill informed screen barf?!?!

      For your sake, I sincerely hope not.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It does

      The bullet has decelerated to subsonic speeds (900feet/s) by the end of its journey.

      As far as "anybody shooting back" the only commonly used weapon around those parts capable of shooting back at that distance is the ZPU. If they did not have it, the sniper could (and probably did) take shot after a shot after a shot without them being able to shoot back. Until he (or she - women are actually even better than men at this) hit them.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It does

        > (or she - women are actually even better than men at this)

        That is exactly my experience! Any hard data to explain if this is actually the case, and if so, why?

        Puzzles me, but I have consistently found that a good markswoman outperforms a good marksman. :-( <-- yes I am a male, technically at least.

        1. Tcat

          Re: It does

          Gawd. I don't want to sound sexist...

          Look up the IRS (USA) classification of "computer" in the 1940's.

          It was woman that did calculations for the military.

          Neroscience suggests men and woman brains have different wiring.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: It does

            > It was woman that did calculations for the military.

            More to do with it being considered a "proper" occupation for a lady at the time, and perhaps not wanting to "waste" men, who could be used at the front.

          2. aqk
            Coat

            Re: It does .. not sexist but pre-COBOL..

            You are possibly thinking of Adm. Grace Hopper, who with her staff of calculating ladies, programmed the ENIAC back in the '40s..

            Pleased with this, she then went on to develop COBOL, and thus lost all credibility, the poor thing. So all they could do was make her an admiral. But sadly COBOL was out of the bag and managed to survive.

        2. Spanners Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: It does

          > (or she - women are actually even better than men at this)<

          I was only in the OTC (long ago) so I can say it applies to students as well.

          Perhaps its about the different ways males and females concentrate?

    4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "t's gonna be going very slowly at the end."

      IIRC someone was killed in S Belfast by a stray from N Belfast which must be a comparable distance.

      However I did for a while, have some sort of handgun round* on my desk with a nice fibre impression on it; it was said to have been stopped by an ordinary nylon jacket.

      *Don't ask. I wasn't a ballistics expert. Someone just passed it to me do a fabric comparison.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        > it was said to have been stopped by an ordinary nylon jacket.

        Wearer of the jacket must have been Russian. For them Kevlar is a sign of weakness.

      2. Jaybus

        "it was said to have been stopped by an ordinary nylon jacket."

        Slow is a relative term. This particular projectile has a mass of almost 42 g., or about the same as a carpenter's claw hammer. An overhand throw would suffice to kill small animals. At "just subsonic" velocity, it would make a real mess of just about any living thing. And comparing to a handgun round, a .45 ACP fires a projectile with a mass of around 13 g. and muzzle velocity of around that same just subsonic speed, so the .50 BMG at 3.5 km has around 3x more impact energy than the .45 ACP has at point blank range.

        1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

          "This particular projectile has a mass of almost 42 g., or about the same as a carpenter's claw hammer"

          Factor of 10 out. A standard claw hammer like mine is around 450g.

          1. jake Silver badge

            450g for a claw hammer?

            What are you driving, push-pins? Mine runs 650g, near enough. (Vaughn 23oz California Framer ... probably a trifle heavy for a 40 hour work week, but I like it for my needs).

    5. Andromeda451

      it added up

      well enough to take out the bad guy. Pfffft he's done. If I could I'd buy that sniper team drinks.

    6. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Whatever speed it's going, once it leaves the end pf the barrel it's subjected to 10m/s^2 downwards acceleration in addition to whatever air friction is slowing it down by.

      How far does a dropped object fall in 10 seconds? That's more-or-less the vertical amount you need to compensate when aiming (the height of the Shard is about right)

      Even with modern measuring instruments capable of dynamically measuring air movements along the path that's a hellaciously impressive shot.

  2. Paul 25

    Am I being stupid, or does this paragraph have something missing?

    "Thanks to the incredibly long distance for the shot, the sniper's target would have heard the boom of the round being fired approximately a tenth of a second before it hit, with the sound wave reaching him 9.88 seconds after the shot was fired. Had the sniper been 250m closer, his target would not have heard it coming."

    The bullet spent 9.7s in the air according to the last part of the article, and the sound took 9.88s to get to the target, so how would the target have heard the boom of the round being fired 0.1s *before* it hit?

    Have some of the numbers been flipped around or am I missing something?

    1. frank ly Silver badge

      Re: Am I being stupid, or does this paragraph have something missing?

      I assume that the round was supersonic for most of its path, otherwise the sound of the shot (direct path) wouldn't have taken almost the same time as the 'hit' via a parabolic path.

    2. gazthejourno (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Am I being stupid, or does this paragraph have something missing?

      Gah. The numbers are right - I must have mentally transposed them when writing this up and drawn the wrong conclusion by mistake.

      He literally wouldn't have heard it coming.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Am I being stupid, or does this paragraph have something missing?

        It just strikes me that these kind of descriptions and discussions always include descriptions which do not use SI units. So what does that say about the occurence of these events and the people describing them, I wonder?

        1. Glenn Booth

          Re: Am I being stupid, or does this paragraph have something missing?

          SI units? Pah.

          How many Reg standard Linguine did the bullet have to travel? Real metrologists need to know.

        2. Spanners Silver badge
          Go

          Re: Am I being stupid, or does this paragraph have something missing?

          When dealing with US non-standards, try and use the following

          Distance - furlongs

          Volume - Gills for small quantities and acre-feet for large

          Weight - stones

          Tine - fortnights

          and so no.

    3. Tcat

      Re: Am I being stupid, or does this paragraph have something missing?

      Welcome to VooDoo

      Air pressure, temperature, wind and direction, Humidity ... Sound or RF? It's all a SWAG (Scientific Wild Ass Guess).

    4. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. wyatt

    I read a book by a former US Navy Seal (The Killing School: Brandon Webb) recently. There's some very interesting information about what a sniper has to learn and consider. Anyone who takes a shot like this, whilst in a hostile environment and manages to get on target is impressive. Canadians feature in the book as being quite good at the job..

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Canadians vs Americans

      I think this is a good example of 'less is more'. The Amercians would have more than likely going in all gins blazing and hoping for the best that something good gets hit. Canucks are more reserved (like the Brits) and aim to do more with less.

      1. Obitim
        Pint

        Re: Canadians vs Americans

        Have a lovely upvote for the cracking spelling error

        Flaming gins all round!

        1. David 132 Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: Canadians vs Americans

          Flaming gins all round!

          Ineffective for sniper work - the bullets are too sloe.

          Still, it's a tonic for the troops.

          1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
            Coat

            Re: Canadians vs Americans

            Ineffective for sniper work - the bullets are too sloe.

            Still, it's a tonic for the troops.

            Was he using a Martini-Henry rifle?

            1. David 132 Silver badge
              Pint

              Re: Canadians vs Americans

              Was he using a Martini-Henry rifle?

              Touché. Upvoted.

              Wandering off-topic... here in Oregon, the "Don't Drink & Drive" roadside signs use a representation of a martini glass, of all things.

              I find this highly amusing - the unavoidable mental image is of plaid-clad burly PNW lumberjacks daintily sipping their martinis in roadside taverns before getting in their logging trucks to weave unsteadily down the highway.

              1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
                Happy

                Re: Canadians vs Americans

                I like to have a martini,

                Two at the very most.

                After three I'm under the table,

                After four I'm under my host.

                ==========

                As no lumberjack said, ever.

                1. werdsmith Silver badge

                  Re: Canadians vs Americans

                  Snipers are very unpopular PoWs.

                  1. Ian 55

                    Re: Canadians vs Americans

                    Assuming they get taken prisoner rather than just killed.

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Canadians vs Americans

                  "I like to have a martini,

                  Two at the very most.

                  After three I'm under the table,

                  After four I'm under my host.

                  ==========

                  As no lumberjack said, ever."

                  Well, I can think of one lumberjack who may have said something like that....

                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QgaRd4d8hOY

      2. Nolveys Silver badge
        Black Helicopters

        Re: Canadians vs Americans

        Canucks...aim to do more with less.

        I remember that by the time the CH-124 helicopters were replaced they all had extra gauges installed to measure the change in mass due to parts falling off. The pilots had to really be on the ball and use both the fuel gauge and the parts meter to try and ballpark how many parts had been lost. This would often become more difficult as the flight went on as the fuel gauge would often fall off.

        It was generally not recommended to fly with less than 80% of the parts still attached. For longer missions crews were provided with large baskets full of binder twine, duct tape and chewing gum.

      3. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: Canadians vs Americans

        The Amercians would have more than likely going in all gins blazing and hoping for the best that something good gets hit.

        Nope... a sniper is a sniper is a sniper. They don't blast away (gins blazing) and hope. They're careful and methodic.

        1. asdf Silver badge

          Re: Canadians vs Americans

          >Nope... a sniper is a sniper is a sniper.

          Yep from Carlos Hathcock to that Finnish dude (edit: Simo Häyhä) whose face got wrecked. Nationality doesn't matter all that much. You rarely hear it mentioned but not only did the North Vietnamese have a few good ones but I seem to remember the same with Iraqi insurgents and it wouldn't surprise me if ISIS does as well. Some men are kind of made for hunting other men regardless of nationality.

      4. Chemical Bob

        Re: all gins blazing

        Once we fire up the auxiliary ginerators there are no capacity problems.

    2. thames

      Three of the top five long range sniping records are held by Canadians. The British sniper mentioned in the story who was the previous record holder had taken the record (by 45 metres) from another Canadian sniper. The record holder before that one was yet another Canadian.

      Canada takes sniping very, very, seriously, and puts a lot of effort into it.

      1. JLV Silver badge

        Iirc the unit of one of the Canadian snipers in question, came under friendly fire by an USAF F16 a few weeks month later and 4 of them were killed.

        This, 2002, was an early indicator of US trigger happiness as the pilot was reportedly dosed, as per policy, on stimulants and had no real reason to engage unidentified infantry outside of his designated area.

        No disrespect intended to US airmen, but early US high command policy in Afghanistan was focused way too much on body counts and did not consider the drawbacks of civilian casualties in a COIN setting. This - and the willful neglect* of nation building of the Bush administration - probably did quite a bit to get Afghanistan to where it is today, despite the sacrifices of so many brave soldiers.

        * read Douglas Feith's War and Decision (2007) and he pretty much brags about they weren't dumb enough to nation-build (along with bragging how great a job they did in Afghanistan).

        1. asdf Silver badge

          > but early US high command policy in Afghanistan was focused way too much on body counts

          Tommy Franks is the single biggest asshat US general since Westmoreland (edit: forgot about Michael Flynn who was a lieutenant general, that guy is just a simple and plain traitor). Even his memoirs are supposedly a total dumpster fire where he tried to take credit for both Iraq and Afghanistan (hahaha dumbass). That and he said we were one terrorist attack from abandoning the constitution and putting him in charge. Funny how he also let Bin Laden escape to Pakistan as well.

        2. This post has been deleted by its author

  5. Alexander J. Martin

    Shootnote

    Shurely?

  6. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    WTF?

    12 000 inches --> 1000 foot offset?

    Can that be right?

    Testing out one of those new DARPA super-duper scopes?

  7. MotorcyclesFish

    milliLinguine per furlong-metre

    Pick a measurement system - metric, Reg or retro, and stick to it!!

    1. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: milliLinguine per furlong-metre

      *sigh* the reg has already done this but the writer hasn't checked with the reg' s units and measurements desk.

      For the record the shot covered a distance of 24642.8571 linguine (Lg) which is a hell of a distance to make tomato sauce...

      1. mosw

        Re: milliLinguine per furlong-metre

        > For the record the shot covered a distance of 24642.8571 linguine (Lg) which is a hell of a distance to make tomato sauce...

        Seems to me that in this context linguine (Lg) should be converted to units of standard army rations.

        1. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

          Re: milliLinguine per furlong-metre

          Are we talking imperial rations or metric?

  8. Steve 114
    Thumb Up

    More detail please

    If it was the first aimed shot, that's 'a record'. If it was part of a considered fusillade, and got lucky, well... congratulations anyway.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: More detail please - or maybe less

      If it was the first aimed shot, that's 'a record'.

      Luckily for the shooter, the invigilators from the Guinness Book of Records weren't around to check exactly whose bullet ended up in the shootee. If I were a betting man, I'd guess that it was one from much nearer that arrived at the right time.

      Talking of records, I'm personally all for the permanent rubbing out of IS, the Taleban, AQ, Boko Haram, and all the other religious tossers with a medieval mind set. I don't even mind if we have to bring back James Puckle's square barrel device to do it. But to go round trumpeting as a new record who's popped off a shootee at extreme distance would seem to me to be a very good way of inflaming the opinions of those who wish to be inflamed. And that group is primarily the dimwits radicalising themselves in Canada, the UK, US or Europe.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: More detail please - or maybe less

        Read the article.

        "There is a second location with eyes on with all the right equipment to capture exactly what the shot was."

        And while I agree that using two cans full of ammo would (slightly) diminish the astonishing nature of the hit, even walking 10-15 shots in with the help of forward observers and spotters at this range requires a preposterous amount of skill, in addition to some luck. This was also then a team effort, where only the person pulling the trigger is likely in the limelight, even though the target may not have been more than a speck on the shooters scope at two miles out.

        Keep in mind that at a certain point in long range marksmanship it becomes impossible to make a consistent and deliberate hits, just possible deliberate hits that found their targets. Due to the bullet flight times the fact the target didn't bend down and tie their shoes is out of the shooters hands. All they can do is try to put the bullet where the target is most likely to be when it gets there. That's when skill alone can't cut it. You would need both great skill and a degree of luck, accurate ballistics tables, a skilled spotter, and apparently Forward Observers who called the shots in.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: More detail please - or maybe less

          You hit one !

          It wasn't the one I was aiming for

          Nevermind

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: More detail please - or maybe less

          > the fact the target didn't bend down and tie their shoes is out of the shooters hands

          That's the sort of thing that would really piss you off, when you see the bullet kick up dust right behind where the gentleman was supposed to be.

          I guess I would just drive over and strangle him with my own hands if I came across someone so discourteous.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: More detail please - or maybe less

        Say what you like about Boko Haram, but "A Whiter Shade of Pale" is still a bloody good track.

      3. iron Silver badge

        Re: religious tossers with a medieval mind set

        You missed the DUP.

        We really can't complain about religious tossers with a medieval mind set in other countries now we have our very own in the government.

  9. Peter2 Silver badge

    Bootnote

    Your correspondent knows a thing or two about long-range target shooting out to 1,000yds with a .308" Win Target Rifle, as defined by the NRA of the UK. Extreme long-range shooting with larger cartridges isn't something I've done much of, so if you think I'm wrong above, weigh into the comments section and show your working.

    1,000 yards? Mere middling range. The Lee Metford rifle of 1888 was equipped with volley sights out to 3500 yards and they hit people at that range. (admittedly by telling an entire regiment "10 rounds volley fire at the target 3,500 yards in front of you, FIRE!")

    Not quite single shot sniping, but shooting at this range isn't really, is it? ;)

    By the way, nice shooting if you can actually hit anything at a thousand yards. That's a long shot.

    1. Julian Bradfield

      I have met someone who has shot a perfect 100 at 1000 yards. Unsurprisingly, she's on the GB match rifle team.

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge

        Ive hit targets at 1000yrds (with a gpmg....)

        seriously good going to hit with a rifle.

        1. Oengus Silver badge
          Pint

          I've hit targets at 1000yrds (with a gpmg....)

          I have watched 2 kangaroos bound across a classification range at less than 300 yards with 10 GPMGs (M60's) firing and watched the fall of the tracers to see the 10 gunners attempt to take out the 2 'roos. All missed and the 2 'roos kept going. I have also done the 1000 yard shoots with a .308 target rifle with open (peep) sights (OMark 44 - shooting the same rounds as the M60) to score 95+ consistently.

          The M60 can kill at greater ranges than 1000 yards but the chance of getting hit is pretty slim... mind you if someone is shooting at me with a gpmg you can bet I will be keeping my head down (and that is the purpose of the gpmg...).

          A beer for the sniper at the centre of this story.

          1. werdsmith Silver badge

            There are easily found youtube videos of hunters shooting rabbits at 250-500 metres.

            1. Citizen99

              "There are easily found youtube videos of hunters shooting rabbits at 250-500 metres."

              "Kill the wabbit"

              "Duck Season !"

              That'th dethpicable! Rabbit Theathon!"

          2. wyatt

            Automatic weapons aren't designed to hit a certain spot but to cover an area (beaten zone) as described here:

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Field_of_fire_(weaponry)

            For them to miss isn't unexpected, it'd suppress a target and potentially take it out which is what's needed of them.

    2. Jim-234

      Hitting a man sized target at 1000 yards is consistently repeatable with a the standard NATO 7.62 / .308 round using a variety of ammunition if you have a good rifle/scope and have a good shooting position.

      If you move up to the .338 it becomes a near you can't miss unless you do something wrong.

      If you have solid prone shooting station and have the rifle/scope setup right & have the correct elevation/windage dialed in, then just about anyone who can shoot without jerking and hold it steady could hit a man sized target at 1000 yards with minimal training.

      1. Ian Mason

        The writer said 'target rifle' by NRA rules. If he'd said 'match rifle' he could have been using a scope, but 'target rifle' implies nothing more sophisticated than a peephole sight - no magnification, lenses or other optical aids in sight.

  10. harmjschoonhoven

    I have no experience

    as a sniper or otherwise. But I took the trouble to buy and read Einführung in de Lehre vom Schuss by Dr. Karl Gey and Dr. Horst Teichmann, Leipzig & Berlin, 1941. Printed in Germany.

    Other publications from the same publisher Physikalische Denkaufgaben aus der Welt des Soldaten. Any takers?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They would most certainly not be using M33 ball. These guys would be shooting match grade low-drag stuff such as the 750 grain Hornady A-MAX.

  12. PerlyKing
    Boffin

    Am I missing something?

    Sorry ;-)

    If the bullet followed a ballistic path and was in the air for 9.7s, using s = 0.5at**2 it would rise and then fall ~115m wouldn't it? What am I missing here?

    1. HieronymusBloggs Silver badge

      Re: Am I missing something?

      "If the bullet followed a ballistic path and was in the air for 9.7s, using s = 0.5at**2 it would rise and then fall ~115m wouldn't it? What am I missing here?"

      Air resistance?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Am I missing something?

        I think you are spot on. The vertical component of the ballistic path is only a function of time and gravity. I came up with a height of 376.36 feet if it does travel for 9.7 seconds.

        If the rifle was at a height of 16 feet and pointed horizontal and as the bullet exited the muzzle another was dropped in free fall from the same height which would hit the ground first regardless of muzzle velocity?

    2. Stoneshop Silver badge

      Re: Am I missing something?

      What am I missing here?

      Well, a Dastardly Daesh at 3500 yards (unless you happen to be this particular Canadian sniper, which I doubt). And drag. The vertical component of the bullet's speed is not affected by gravity only but by the vertical component of the bullet's drag, which decreases with at least the square of the speed (and probably some higher-order factors). So you're not dealing with a pure parabola, and you would have to wrangle some fierce higher-order equation series to get at the right answer.

      1. Tridac

        Re: Am I missing something?

        Bringing it back to computing, old ww2 / 50's books on analog computers, fire control radar etc, often use balistics and time of flight equations as an example....

  13. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

    Risk to the shooter

    Article suggests that the sniper would be relatively safe, as target wouldn't have anything capable of firing back over that range. There is always the risk that there are other enemy troops closer to the sniper, so he needs to maintain cover to avoid giving away his position

    1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: Risk to the shooter

      A couple of points: the muzzle flash may not be noticeable at that distance, the sniper is likely firing very slowly - may be a minute between shots, and standard assault rifle only has an effective range of about 300 meters. Depending on how noisy the area was another rifle might not have been noticed. Also, snipers are trained to find tactical positions that make return fire difficult. The part most do not realize is sniper rifles are optimizing for 1000m + ranges while the standard issue infantry assault rifle is effective out to about 300m. Actually one of the best cures for a sniper is an artillery barrage, as a howitzer has a longer range and much bigger bang.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Risk to the shooter

        > Actually one of the best cures for a sniper is an artillery barrage

        Then again, that's the standard American "cure" for anything, as José Couso would attest if he were alive.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Risk to the shooter

      I was once shown a picture of an apparently empty space and told to spot the sniper. After using my two guesses pointing at wrong spaces I was shown picture two with the sniper standing up in their gilly suit. I genuinely wouldn't have spotted them and could only have picked them out by luck or running out of alternative places to try. Good luck at two miles.

  14. boltar Silver badge

    29" barrel

    "Though details on the precise specs of the C15 rifle are surprisingly tricky to find, the factory Tac-50 is supplied with a 29" barrel."

    If thats the barrel width then perhaps it wasn't such an amazing shot after all. Of course one then has to ask how they got the battleship up there in the first place!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 29" barrel

      The skill isn't so much the hitting of the target, it's the being able to cope with the recoil

      1. Dazed and Confused Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: 29" barrel

        Given how long the Belfast's 6" barrels are, with a 29" barrel the target might have been poking his head in the end wondering what this long metal tube was.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 29" barrel

          Given how long the Belfast's 6" barrels are, with a 29" barrel the target might have been poking his head in the end wondering what this long metal tube was.

          The Iraqi supergun was intended to have a circa 1m bore, and a barrel "only" 156m long.

          1. Dazed and Confused Silver badge

            Re: 29" barrel

            The Iraqi supergun was intended to have a circa 1m bore, and a barrel "only" 156m long.

            The V3 barrels were 5.9" bore and about 100M long,

            I don't think Sadam was really trying when he ordered his new central heating pipes.

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Happy

      Re: 29" barrel

      Have you not heard that radio documentary by Spike Milligan, 'Trouble at the Barami Oasis'?

      "Put that 20,000 tonne battleship down Neddy, or my men will drink the oasis!"

      1. Alistair Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: 29" barrel

        @IAS

        Aaahhhh, a voice from my chilhood.

      2. Woza

        Re: 29" barrel

        Damn! Trapped by a brilliant stratagem, and a common-or-garden forty-four thousand ton battleship.

    3. Chemical Bob
      Boffin

      Re: 29" barrel

      "one then has to ask how they got the battleship up there in the first place"

      A rather enormous flatbed truck.

      1. Roger Varley

        Re: 29" barrel

        "one then has to ask how they got the battleship up there in the first place"

        A very long run-up?

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: 29" barrel

          "one then has to ask how they got the battleship up there in the first place"

          Obviously, it stood in a chair.

          Why do they paint battleship hulls red? So they are camouflaged in cherry trees.

          Why have you never seen a battleship in a cherry tree? They use very good camo.

      2. DropBear Silver badge

        Re: 29" barrel

        "one then has to ask how they got the battleship up there in the first place" - A rather enormous flatbed truck.

        Wait, what? Aren't battleships the standard floats for hydro-blimps...?

  15. SudMonkey

    Altitude

    It's worth noting that the linked article states: "while firing from a high-rise".

  16. Pat 12

    You wrote "Though details on the precise specs of the C15 rifle are surprisingly tricky to find."

    Rubbish, stop using self censoring UK google and use DuckDuckGop for example. There are loads of websites providing detailed info on tactical rifles etc., not least of which is the manufacturer's own.

    http://www.mcmillanfirearms.com/mcmillan-rifles/tactical-rifles/

    https://infogalactic.com/info/McMillan_Tac-50

    And UK British army kit... British Armed Forces AWM 338, designated L115A3

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accuracy_International_AWM

    http://www.army.mod.uk/equipment/23223.aspx

    So, why would you write that? ♥

    1. gazthejourno

      The version of the product as advertised may well differ from the product as sold to a bulk buying customer with enough purchasing clout to specify his own deviations from the published spec. It would be incautious of me to assume the civilian Tac-50 is the same as the issued C15 and C15A1 in the absence of positive supporting data - and as this isn't a contentious point or one that someone's trying to hide, I don't feel the need to go out on a limb. For what it's worth, the C15A1 definitely does differ in that the stock is not the McMillan own brand fibreglass product, not that that makes a significant difference to its shooting consistency for our purposes here.

      I wouldn't assume that, say, British Airways' DC runs identical kit to what is presented in the manufacturer's catalogue just because the list spec for their boxen includes xyz TB of storage.

      1. Jim-234

        Most likely the Civilian version can be built to order being slightly better for a specific purpose than the Military version, or built to the same specifications if desired.

        In addition, you could probably load more specialized / more precise ammunition yourself also.

        You'll find in the Extreme long range shooting world, at least in the USA & Canada, the military is usually following what has been tried and proved by the civilian target shooters, then adapted to fit the specific mission requirements for the purchase contract. (Much the same as a target shooter may exactly specify what they want on the build of their rifle, down to barrel/stock/action & trigger type etc.)

        1. Oengus Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          (Much the same as a target shooter may exactly specify what they want on the build of their rifle, down to barrel/stock/action & trigger type etc.)

          Speaking from experience I know that each shooter may have started with the "standard" stock on their target rifles but then would spend a few weekends (or months) customising it to suit themselves. This would include modifying the the "bed" of the barrel, length of the stock, position of the sling mounts etc. We even had people that would create their own fully custom stock from a piece of wood (this was in the days before fibreglass moulding and Carbon Fibre).

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > There are loads of websites providing detailed info on tactical rifles etc., not least of which is the manufacturer's own.

      The chances of the weapon as used by Canadian forces being stock are slim. The journalist would have been pointing out that he does not know in what aspect their differ (if at all).

  17. Jim-234

    Equipment is the easy part, the skill to do it in a combat situation is the amazing part.

    There are several various calibers dedicated to precision shooting out to the 2 mile + range.

    The .50 BMG is probably actually the hardest to get on target, with the .408 and .375 rounds being a bit easier.

    The recoil isn't going to be too bad, it all depends on the setup of your rifle

    (A .50 with a suppressor will feel like a nice stiff mule kick, vs. with a tank style muzzle break, it's downright pleasant. )

    Getting the hits on a target of the type that might shoot back or move, when you are in a combat zone & don't have all day to walk your shots in, is where the true skill comes in.

    It seems the Canadian snipers do tend to excel at some of the really long range stuff.

    Shooting at 1000m ranges with steel targets, is a very Zen like experience, where once you send it, you have time to reload and then relax and such before the sound of the hit makes it's way back to you.

    It's a great science doing all the computations for arc angles, maximum rise height, speed at the different locations during flight, stability through the transonic range and all that, plus bullet design stabilization vs not being able to correct etc. Nice little tricks like being able to hit someone behind a hill or barrier etc depending on the arc and all that fun. Or shooting over something to hit something directly but much further behind it.

    On a 2 way range, it's way harder & those Canadians have some amazing skills & probably tons of practice. ( $10k scopes with $20k rangefinders & even more expensive doppler wind measurement devices, do help cut down the amount of rounds it takes to get on target by a huge amount).

    As equipment gets better shots get longer, these days 1000m is pretty much the entry for saying you are a long range target shooter, with most of the boasting being done just inside the 1500m to 2000m range and the experimenters hitting the side of a barn at 3000m and 4000m

  18. tedleaf

    As a very good "natural" I can tell you it was part of a group of shots,you might just get lucky once in a few million and hit first round but odds are very against it.

    Fixed point against fixed point is good,I've been realy impressed if target had been mobile,that's nearly all luck v skill.

    My best,swooping seagulls at triangulated from fixed points to have been 1800 yards,impact point out at sea so hard to properly measure,single standard 7.62mm ball,fired from L1A1,open sights,stood up.i called the shot,waited 5 seconds,cloud of feathers.witnessed by two very,very experienced UK soldiers and range control officers..

    At ultra long ranges,it's luck,the target can decide to go have a wee,sit down,or anything.

    There are stories of Russian troops building/converting 20mm cannons for this kind of job in Afghanistan 1. !!!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      cloud of feathers.witnessed by two very,very experienced UK soldiers and range control officers

      Why are you allowed to shoot the flying rats, when the rest of us find the RSPB and Plod getting all hot under the collar if we so much as hoof a teency stone at them?

    2. tiggity Silver badge

      Hope you could ID the gull species correctly at that range!

      Not every bird that flies off the UK coast is a maligned herring gull. All sorts of things, some you would definitely want to hit (e.g. exotica such as some albatross species spotted off UK waters), but plenty of rare stuff that could be confused with herring gull without proper bird ID training that are in massive decline already without potshots hassling them further

  19. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    IT Angle

    I think the comment

    from Accuracy international is needed here when it was asked about the previous best shot.

    "Anything at that range is more down to luck than anything else"

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: I think the comment

      As Gary Player said, "the more I practise, the luckier I get."

      When you're shooting at that range, the target only has to sneeze for you to miss. Or even just decide to go for a walk 5 seconds after you pulled the trigger.

      But it still takes immense skill and practise to get close, or in fact get into the right position to even be able to take the shot without getting yourself noticed, or killed.

  20. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
    Pint

    Updated: 3,540m

    G&M update: "Editor's Note: The distance of the record-breaking shot is 3,540 metres, not 3,450 as reported in an earlier version of this story."

  21. wrangler

    "Thanks to the incredibly long distance for the shot, the sniper's target would have heard the boom of the round being fired approximately a tenth of a second after it hit. . ."

    I suspect not.

  22. 2Nick3 Bronze badge

    My M16 had a maximum range of 3600m

    Oh, you mean an aimed shot that hits the target?? Well, that's different then. Bloody amazing at that.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Strelok

    I do not own a 50 BMG, so I had to look up values. But this is what I put into Strelok and what I got out...

    Distance: 4101 yards (sorry, US here)

    Slope angle: 0

    Wind speed: 0

    Wind direction: 0

    Weather: altitude 112', temp 90 F, pressure 29.41 ihHg

    Cartridge: bullet weight 700 grains, Ballistic coefficient (G1) 0.62, bullet speed 2978 fps @ 100 degrees fahrenheit

    Answer:

    Vertical adjustment of 49,622.24 inches (1,260.404896 meters)

    Sound speed: 1153.3 feet per second

    Time of flight 19.9 seconds

    Muzzle energy (out of barrel) 13784 ft-lbf

    Retained energy (at impact) 68 ft-lbf

    Now maybe I entered stuff in wrong for the bullet, but Stelok is a pretty standard ballistics calculator.

  24. Luiz Abdala

    Uninformed guess.

    I heard somewhere that .50 cal ammo in anti aircraft machine guns in WWII were capable of damaging airplanes 7km away. That is, a full-auto machine gun, with tracer rounds every 5th shot, allowing to lead into the target.

    So, being 7km their effective range, I totally believe a 3.5km shot, with a couple of leading shots, can hit a man.

    So, that record can still be broken, but not by a 10km or 15km shot, on standard .50 cal ammo.

    1. SkippyBing Silver badge

      Re: Uninformed guess.

      .50 cal sounds a bit small for that, the effective range when fitted to an aircraft was only a few hundred yards. Not saying there weren't AA guns with that range, just probably not .50 cal or anything man luggable.

      Full disclosure, I've fired a .50 cal from a helicopter and we weren't aiming at anything that far away. I did hit it though.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Uninformed guess.

        As far as I can remember, the Barretts 82 (also .50 cal) could still kill someone through a brick wall after 3km. That doesn't mean they were ever aimed well enough to do so (edit: 1km "effective" range). Being an old fogey, I remember when 6 of them being found in Northern Ireland meant the army had a tempory halt on using helicopters, as they made such juicy targets. That was back when we had proper terrorism (as financed by the USA).

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Uninformed guess.

          > That was back when we had proper terrorism (as financed by the USA).

          Upvoted.

  25. Fr. Ted Crilly

    you call that a sniper rifle...

    This is a sniper rifle.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/8.8_cm_Flak_18/36/37/41

    I remember reading a Gun Digest annual article waay back when.

    Apparently 88's were being tested at Aberdeen proving ground during the war several of the captured guns were well capable of 1 minute of arc (MOA) shooting at 1000 yards [thats essentially a 10 inch circle] with some of the test guns appearing to (maybe) do a little better, which I suspect may have had more to do with ammo variation etc. Although given the size of the 'oles in the target boards its open to a bit of debate No doubt this was achieved under as perfect still temperature and wind conditions etc.

  26. grizewald
    Unhappy

    A new low for The Reg!

    Since when did dressing up a murder with nerdy details make for good news?

    All we we have here is some propaganda about a soldier killing someone in a country that his country isn't at war with puffed out into a tech story by adding some dubious ballistics nerd interest to it.

    WTF?

    Not just "less of this" but "none of this" please!

    1. GrumpyKiwi Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: A new low for The Reg!

      Boo hooo hooo. Go cry into your pillow snowflake.

    2. Pompous Git Silver badge

      Re: A new low for The Reg!

      "All we we have here is some propaganda about a soldier killing someone in a country that his country isn't at war with"
      I can assure you that the Islamic extremist that was killed would have had no compunction whatsoever killing you. He and his ilk don't appear to need formal declarations of war before killing non-combatants in London, Paris, Brussels, Sydney...

      [Further comment deleted on legal advice]

    3. SinceYouAsked

      Re: A new low for The Reg!

      Murder is the wrongful taking of life. No Country defines the killing of an enemy soldier as murder. If you, my little child, thinks that the taking of any life is murder; the sadly you are going to be unable to come to peace with the world as it really is.. and probably needs to be. I suppose you don't have a problem with rabid dog biting children either... because killing a dog is "murder" too.

      So take your misuse of words and find another forum to preach your simplistic view of life on Earth.

      You... my good sir are an idiot.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A new low for The Reg!

        > No Country [sic] defines the killing of an enemy soldier as murder.

        That depends very much on the circumstances under which the killing takes place.

        For instance: https://www.judiciary.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/sentencing-remarks-lcj-r-v-alexander-blackman-20170328.pdf

        And by the way, there is no need to capitalise "country".

        1. DocJames

          Re: A new low for The Reg!

          Yes, it's killing and hence repungent. (Or at least should be.)

          However, it's in a war zone and snipers tend to be among the best (ie least) in terms of collateral damage. The terrorist/enemy combatant is a legitimate target.

          Glorifying the killing is wrong. Respect to the sniper is not. You need to be careful not to mix the two up (that applies to all posters...)

          DOI: not a gun person, but glad that some are, but also sad that they are needed. It's complicated and we shouldn't pretend it's not.

          1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

            Re: A new low for The Reg!

            "DOI: not a gun person, but glad that some are, but also sad that they are needed. It's complicated and we shouldn't pretend it's not."

            This, basically, is why I can't be a Quaker.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A new low for The Reg!

      > All we we have here is some propaganda about a soldier killing someone in a country that his country isn't at war with puffed out into a tech story by adding some dubious ballistics nerd interest to it.

      You do make a good point by bringing up the wider context and also by observing that this is not the sort of thing that should be glorified in the interests of "pop culture" like coverage.

      The team in question were doing what my limited schooling in international law and knowledge of the surrounding events lead me to believe is a legitimate mission carried out in accordance with the relevant rules and customs. However, you are right that the chain of political events that led to this unfortunate situation as well as the tone and nature of the media coverage of the present operation (at a time when the vast majority of the population in the West do not have first-hand military, let alone combat, experience) is something that can and should be questioned.

  27. JJKing Bronze badge
    Flame

    One size does not fit all.

    He and his ilk don't appear to need formal declarations of war before killing non-combatants in London, Paris, Brussels, Sydney...

    Sydney??? WTF, that idiot was a nutter who had mental issues which made him a mental nutter but not a terrorist. He was called one by the police, in part I believe, to cover their fuckups in the "rescue" and by the Govt because they could use that to impose more Terror Laws to "protect" the people.

    London had terrorist attacks.

    Manchester had terrorist attacks.

    Paris had terrorist attacks.

    Brussels, Berlin, Nice, Boston, Bali and a plethora of other locations have suffered terrorist attacks but Sydney had a nut job who took hostages and killed one. Do not denigrate these other locations and their citizens who have suffered as a result those cowardly attacks by lumping that Monis idiot in with those other horrific criminals.

    THANK YOU to the Canadian sniper and ALL military personal who have helped make the world a safer place after American politicians totally fucked it up by invading Iraq and so help bolster the ISIS mentality and as such, spread.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Seems odd

    Rah Rah Rah

    Records set!

    Bully for us!

    -------------------

    Someone died.

    Maybe they were a right bastard, but they died.

    Yes its war, but the celebrating nerd-out seems a bit incongruous.

    Let the down votes commence:

  29. Potemkine! Silver badge

    More calculation

    What is the probability that a bystander goes between the shooter and his target during the 10s between the firing and the impact?

    1. hplasm Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: More calculation

      That's why we don't see giants in warfare any more.

    2. Baldrickk Silver badge

      Re: More calculation

      Pretty low - chances are he was involved in fighting. Most bystanders would be doing their best to stay out of the way.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Heard immediately afterwards..

    ...SOOOOORY, eh?

  31. 0laf Silver badge
    Pint

    1337 skillz

    Having shot a lot as a pimply yoof and not having been bad at it (shot at the cadet cup 4x in Bisley).

    I used to be a decent shot at 300 and 600m, moving up to 900m was a massive leap so being able to even get close to an enemy at these ranges is really quite awesome.

    A pint to our fine highly skilled Canadian brethren

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    my wife was shaken

    and I'm being serious. She was shaken and disgusted, that this news is celebrated in the media as some sort of sports record. I mumbled something about human nature and boys and their toys. Looking how its found its way into the IT site, and the number of comments it's generated it is indeed a "juicy" story to be exploited, eh?

    1. wyatt

      Re: my wife was shaken

      What is being appreciated is a group constantly pushing boundaries. Be it the engineers designing the weapons or the people using them. I'd hedge a bet that no one on this forum wants their forces to be deployed into a combat situation, whatever the political reasons for doing so.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: my wife was shaken

      She's right. Many nerds (not all) do seem to be insensitive types emotionally speaking. I'm not calling them out as sociopaths, but wallowing in the technical details of warfare and enjoying it does not surprise me at all.

    3. JimC Silver badge

      Re: my wife was shaken

      We live in a society that regularly depicts and even glorifies rape, assault, murder, organised crime and goodess knows what else in fictional entertainment on TV, computer and cinema screens. In many ways I find that much *more* disturbing than paying attention to the real thing. Of course it may be that nothing of that sort ever gets onto a screen in your home. However if it does, then perhaps...

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: my wife was shaken

        Not stirred?

    4. itzman
      Pirate

      Re: my wife was shaken

      I can't remember the exact quote, but "For every woman tending a child, there is a soldier with a rifle tending a frontier" was the gist of it.

      How civilised is a flush toilet? But someone has to build the sewers and maintain the sewage plants.

      A large part of today's problem is that we have a generation who have absolutely not the first clue as to how the world works, who have de facto political power.

      They have the ethics and morality and comprehension of 6 year olds at kindergarten, demanding 'safe spaces' from authority figures.

      There are no safe spaces in Afghanistan. People are killing each other daily. They would like to kill people in Britain too, and sometimes they succeed.

      Yet the siren call of socialism 'if everybody were nice to each other' remains a childish plaint. People are not nice to each other. Basic game theory shows that being a murderous barbarian is actually a successful strategy against 'nice people'.

      We have an army, so that nice people can be nice to each other. By killing the ones who are not so nice.

  33. 0laf Silver badge

    War

    War and those who take part in it have been celebrated as heroes since the before the dawn of civilisation.

    It's not going to stop any time soon.

    It wasn't that long ago we were bashing each other on the head with rocks for sport. We're still monkeys with high ambition.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: War

      delete the thing about ambition - most are happy as they are

  34. cray74
    Paris Hilton

    America comments

    When interviewed for this article, Canada's southern neighbor said, "What? Canada? That far? I didn't know they even had guns. And they always seemed so nice and quiet..."

    1. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: America comments

      Most Americans would assume that a Canadian would apologise afterward.

  35. Milton Silver badge

    Hmm, much debate ...

    I think we have to take the kill as verified, given the clear statement that a second OP saw the whole thing. They won't have *easily* been fooled by a hit from shorter range (if indeed there were any friendlies closer to the target).

    And yes, if it was the first shot, that's an absolute phenomenon and I expect the sniper himself to accept he had some amazing luck—but let's be clear, even with an exquisitely built, selected and polished 50 cal round in a supremely well-engineered rifle with pristinely accurate optics and the range lasered to the centimetre, it would still take only a brief thermal out of some intervening wadi, anywhere 'twixt muzzle and target, to make a miss that wouldn't even ruffle the bugger's hair. My guess is that having got the range and windage as perfect as possible, our sniper friend expended at least a handful of rounds before floating one onto our bad boy. I don't detract from his skill in the slightest—hitting a double decker bus at that distance is impressive with anything smaller than a 20mm autocannon—but the intervening variables of air and even gravity are profoundly perturbative at those distances, even with a chunky 50 cal slug. (I'm not familiar with the "Tac-50" but I guess it's fundamentally similar to the Barrett).

    By the bye, I'd be very interested to know if that shot is even possible with a smaller round, like the 7.62 we used to have in our slurs. I'm guessing even a bench-viced AI loading 7.62 wouldn't hit a man-sized target at 3.5 klicks out of fifty rounds: ballistic coefficient simply too small?

    PS: This is a strange thought, but I just found myself wondering: what perimeter do the Secret Service enforce for the presidential protection detail, when he's exposed outside? Will it increase now?

  36. The answer is 42

    Do Americans have the same rules as the British?

    Incoming fire has the right of way.

    What you thought was a diversion is the main attack.

    Remember-your weapon was made by the lowest bidder.

    1. aqk
      Meh

      Remember-your weapon was made by the lowest bidder

      Unless it's an AK47....

  37. Spaceman Spiff

    Depending upon the gun and round, about 10 seconds to hit a target 2 miles away is about right. That said, there was a lot of luck in this shot, as well as skill. Previously, the longest kill shot by a sniper was 1300+ meters - around 1 mile.

    1. dew3

      "Previously, the longest kill shot by a sniper was 1300+ meters - around 1 mile"

      Not even close. The previous record was 2707m (almost 1.7 miles). Craig Harrison of the UK Household Cavalry.

  38. lone ranger

    Anonymous Coward,

    I think you have some details mixed up regarding the Canadian mission. I quote:

    "The Canadian military said in a statement that members of the nation’s Special Operations Task Force “do not accompany leading combat elements, but enable the Iraqi security forces who are in a tough combat mission. This takes the form of advice in planning their operations and assistance to defeat Daesh through the use of coalition resources.”

    Resources, obviously in reference to the use of snipers rather than regular ground troops. This is as opposed to the U.S. involvement with both regular ground troops AND SUPPORT for the Iraqi Army. This indicates several potential concepts of fighting, not the least of which is the range of engagement. House-to-house and street-to-street by the U.S troops is significantly different from sitting in an elevated position lobbing .50 caliber bullets from +2 miles away at an unsuspecting target.

    Also, please be aware that it is the U.S arms and ultimately the ammunition which has allowed the Canadian sniper's actions to shine. But it also adds another aspect to the story which is often forgotten or just plain left out. The sniper's spotter is routinely the resource which actually makes the shot a success. It is his assessment of all of the variables (math and meteorology) which contribute to the ability of the shooter to make these shots. He is part of the team which makes all of this possible.

    But it should be pointed out again that the sniper's spotter was not the only spotter on call. The stories all state that there were at least two other resources using video equipment for confirmation of the kill. Now, this begs the question of why video confirmation is required of a supposed low level ISIS soldier being killed? Justification of the mission to the commanders of the forces? Or making sure that the attempt stands for the record books? Either one leaves me a little cold with the thoughts of justification. It makes me question why the sniper team was not closer in with the video team since the quality of video requires a closer proximity to the activity? The only sub answer I could conceive is that the command selected, maybe by a suggestion from the sniper, the elevation of the high rise at +2 miles away, in order to increase the potential for a successful shot. All-in-all though, this begins to smell of more RP than an actual required military activity.

    Best regards.

  39. earl grey Silver badge
    Unhappy

    "idiot was a nutter who had mental issues "

    That's pretty much every religion. And yes, they're all over the world.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Meaningless English

    In plain English, the sniper had to point his rifle at a spot slightly higher than London’s Shard skyscraper, which measures 310 metres to its tip, in order to hit his mark.

    Or over 19600 arc-seconds!!!!!

    oh. 5 degrees. yay.

  41. Jonathan G

    On a different topic . . . .

    Hey, this doesn't have anything to do with the story, but I expect the readers & commentators might be able to give me more information. I read about a WW2 story where a U.S. army group needed to pass through a German town. The town had been abandoned but for multiple snipers. Instead of seeking out the snipers and taking losses, the commander had jeeps with .50 caliber machine guns race up and down the main road firing wildly at the wooden buildings. Once the buildings had been properly shot up, the troops marched through without taking losses. It was an innovative way of dealing with the hidden snipers. Anyway, I read about this somewhere and now can't find the story -- does anyone know the name of the town or the commander who devised the strategy?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: On a different topic . . . .

      > or the commander who devised the strategy?

      Strategy?

  42. itzman

    Runs those numbers again?

    in 9.7 second an object in 1g will fall 1/2 g t^2

    say 10 seconds and 10 meters per second square for simplicity that's 500 meters/1500 feet to very round approximations.

    But I seriously doubt that anyone would be using ammo that was transonic and only just

    speed of sound 600mph. distance about 2 miles = 12 secs.

    So far numbers stack up, but 50 cal sniper rounds have far higher muzzle velocities..around 850m/s. and are optimised for low drag so flight time to target at 3750 meters is 4.5 seconds.

    And suddenly the T squared term is way way less. Only 100 meters drop.

    And 100 meters at 3750 meters is a mere 1.52 degrees above line of sight.

    Its hard to get precise info on the actual ammunition, but 50 cal sniper rounds are said to be able to remain supersonic up to 1500 meters...

    So maybe that 9 second flight time is realistic.

    Oner is reminded of the wartime instruction 'never fly straight for more than a secind for every thousand feet you are up' as the flight-time of AA shells was about that., You simply moved away from where they aimed at.

    Perhaps that is the answer to long range snipers. a constant drunkards walk should see you randomly off ground zero.

  43. CPO (Retd) RCN

    The bullet was a 750 gr. Hornady with a muzzle velocity of 13,000 foot pounds.

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