All but one of the top six longest sniper shots in history have taken place this century. Read on to learn about the six longest sniper shots of all time.
All six of the longest sniper shots of all time have taken place in the 21st century and all were taken at distances over 1 1/4 miles. Training, natural shooting ability, high quality equipment, and a little bit of plain old luck are necessary to consistently make such long range shots under demanding conditions.
Long range shooting has dramatically evolved since the invention of the gun. Just 200 years ago hitting a target 100-200 yards away with a single shot was quite a feat. Now, well-trained marksmen using the most sophisticated shooting equipment ever developed can successfully engage targets over a mile and a half away.
Technology is certainly a major part of the equation, but there is much more involved than that. Read on to learn more about these incredible marksmen and how they made the longest sniper shots of all time.
Click through the slideshow to see the six longest sniper shots of all time.
#6 Unnamed South African Recce Sniper: 2,125 m (2,324 yd)
Nationality: South Africa
Date: August 2013
Rifle: Denel NTW-14.5
Conflict: Battle of Kibati, United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Even though it is the most recent entry on this list of the longest sniper shots of all time, few people are familiar with the circumstances of it because it occurred in a little known conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The South African Army currently has soldiers operating in the Congo supporting the efforts of the United Nations to stabilize the country. During August of 2013, they were attacked by rebel forces and the Battle of Kibati raged for several days. A South African sniper (whose name has not been released) made this incredible shot with a Denel NTW-14.5 anti-material rifle during the battle. This is the longest-range confirmed kill ever made by the 14.5x114mm cartridge.
#5 Gunnery Sergeant Carlos Hathcock: 2,286 m (2,500 yd)
Nationality: United States
Weapon:M2 Browning Machine Gun
Legendary United States Marine Corps sniper Gunnery Sergeant Carlos Hathcock had 93 confirmed kills in Vietnam, one of which was this incredible shot that he made on a Viet Cong guerrilla at a range of 2,500 yards (1.42 miles). Firing from a fixed position on a Marine Corps fire base in Vietnam, Hathcock used an M2 Browning .50 cal machine gun (similar to the one in the photo), firing in single shot mode with a 10x scope mounted on it when he made the shot.
Hathcock’s record for the longest sniper shot of all time stood for over 35 years before it was broken in 2002.
Henderson, Marine Sniper 2003, p 285
#4 Sergeant Brian Kremer: 2,300 m (2,515 yd)
Rifle:Barrett M82A1 (M107)
SGT Kremer’s 2,515-yard (1.43 miles) shot narrowly edged out Gunnery Sergeant Hathcock for number four on this list. Kremer’s shot is the longest confirmed kill of the Iraq War (beating Navy SEAL Chris Kyle’s famous shot by over 400 yards) and the longest confirmed kill ever made with a Barrett M82A1 sniper rifle (known in the Army as the M017).
This is also the longest confirmed kill ever made by an American sniper.
#3 Master Corporal Aaron Perry: 2,310 m (2,526 yd)
Cartridge: .50 BMG
Conflict: War in Afghanistan
Master Corporal Aaron Perry was a member of a Canadian team of snipers deployed to Afghanistan who supported NATO and Northern Alliance forces during Operation Anaconda in March of 2002. The six snipers on the team amassed over 20 confirmed kills in a matter of days during the battle. One of the confirmed kills was made by Perry, a 2,526-yard (1.43 miles) shot that narrowly broke Gunnery Sergeant Hathcock’s 35-year-old record for the longest confirmed sniper kill of all time.
#2 Corporal Rob Furlong: 2,430 m (2,657 yd)
Date: March 2002
Conflict:War in Afghanistan
A member of the same team of snipers as his comrade in arms, Master Corporal Aaron Perry, Corporal Rob Furlong broke Perry’s new record for the longest range sniper shot of all time just days after Perry set the record himself. Furlong’s record stood for over seven years before it was broken. Interestingly enough, this is still the longest ever confirmed kill made by a rifle firing the .50 BMG cartridge.
#1 Corporal Of Horse Craig Harrison: 2,475 m (2,707 yd)
Date: November 2009
Rifle: Accuracy International L115A3
Conflict:War in Afghanistan
The number one spot on this list of the longest sniper shots of all time is held by Corporal of Horse Craig Harrison of the British Army with a 2,707-yard (1.53 miles) shot he made in Afghanistan. He set this incredible record in November 2009 when engaging a Taliban machine gun team in Helmand Province.
During the engagement, he actually made this incredible shot twice, killing both men manning the machine gun. To give you an idea of just how far of a shot that is, it took over three seconds for his bullets to reach the target. What makes this shot even more impressive is that these shots were made at a distance over 1,000 yards greater than the normal maximum effective range of this rifle.