This is quite a record. Canadian elite special forces sniper makes record-breaking kill shot in Iraq – The Globe and Mail
A sniper with Canada’s elite special forces in Iraq has shattered the world record for the longest confirmed kill shot in military history at a staggering distance of 3,540 metres.
That’s 2.2 miles, for you metrically challenged types.
I was in a “discussion” on social media with someone who couldn’t understand that a Canadian held this record, and not someone from the USA.
I tried to explain, that Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia actually give their snipers rifles designed for long distance work.
As best I can determine, the US Marines and the US Army use sniper rifles (that would be the M40A5 and M24 respectively) based on the 7.62X51 NATO cartridge. Both rifles have a barrel length of 24 inches. PALMA (long-distance competition) rifles in 7.62 NATO come off-the-shelf with 28 inch barrels, and custom rifles are often 30 inches or a bit longer, because that cartridge benefits tremendously from the extra barrel length. Even then, it isn’t 3000 meter capable. If I am wrong about what weapons the US military is using, please note it in the comments. I understand that the Marines have been looking for a replacement, but the .338 Lapua rifle I saw mentioned as under consideration had also been cut down to 24 inches. Someone with more experience in that caliber will have to say if that makes sense or not. I’m sure the 24 inch rule is out of deference to some US military doctrine, but not everyone agrees with it.
The Canadian special forces soldier used a McMillan TAC-50 sniper rifle, that shoots the BMG .50 caliber round, with a barrel of 29 inches. That is another round, built around relatively slow-burning powder that benefits from increased barrel length. [Photo of Tac-50 via Wikimedia Commons and User MathKnight]
A recent record holder, Craig Harrison, formerly a Corporal of Horse in the Blues and Royals cavalry regiment of the British Army, used an Accuracy International L115A3 chambered in .338 Lapua Magnum, which sported a 27 inch barrel. [Photo of L115A3 rifle via Wikimedia Commons and user Andrew Linnett]
Click either image for a larger view of the weapons used.
The Australians provide their snipers with Barrett 50 caliber rifles. I have no direct evidence, except the 2800+ meter shot they made a few years back, but I expect they are using the 29 inch barrels for that weapon.
All that said, the current record is quite a feat, with whatever weapon is used.