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8 Longest Sniper Shots in History

by Brian Lynn   |  September 27th, 2011 95

Technological evolution has increased the range and accuracy of firearms and ammunition throughout history. Just as the use of the minie ball in the Civil War and the rifled bore of the American long rifle during the Revolutionary War, modern weaponry has made today’s sharpshooters the deadliest ever, and the experts agree.

“Global conflicts over the past 25-30 years have taken place predominately in and around urban areas,” said CW3 (US Army Special Forces, Retired) D. Brad Smith. “So, the demand for well-trained sniper teams that are equipped with ‘state of the art’ sniper weapons systems and are fully capable of interdicting threat targets in a setting where both non-hostile civilian and hostile military forces are present and often intermingled, is growing.”

Smith is a 23-year veteran of the US Army Special Forces, a graduate of the Special Operations Target Interdiction Course (SOTIC), now known as the Special Forces Sniper School, and a former instructor for the Special Forces Advanced Reconnaissance Target Analysis, among other achievements.

“The U.S. and its NATO allies have committed a considerable amount of funding to expand and improve sniper training over the past years,” he said.

While seven out of eight of the longest sniper shots in history have taken place in the last decade, better technology and training are only two variables in the long-distance shooting equation. Teamwork, natural skill and even luck all factor into the longest kill shots in the military books. The variables when shooting at distances up to one and a half miles can be staggering. It takes more than technology and know-how to tackle crosswinds, elevation and even the Earth’s rotation. Click through the photos to get all the details on the longest sniper shots in history.

  • bigjohn

    Now those are some very dangerous men with very dangerous weapons and skill sets. I love it!

    • bob

      it was 9 shots to make the longest kill anyone could do that

      • Shutupbob

        why isn't your name in this list if you know so much and "anyone could do that"

      • Micheal

        yeah you idiot if your so badass

      • bob

        the 9 shots where on previous days so he could get the range the day in question it was three shots in a row

      • SNIPERFAN

        LOL ANYONE COULD DO THAT???!!!! DUDE DO U KNOW HOW MUCH SKILLS U NEED IN ORDER TO KILL AN ENEMY 1.5 MILES AWAY??

  • Frank

    The sniper now more than ever is a force multiplier without parellel. Semper Fi guys!

  • Mel

    Yes these are some dangerous men but I think an honorable mention is due.

    While I don't have the item available at the moment I read a while back about an American Sniper in the USAF who made a shot I believe in the 1500 range or close to it that is a WOMAN.

    • TLB

      Mel, you should Google "sniper records" some time. The highest number of kills was not the latest wars, but WW1. And a good many of THEM were women. They are not long distance records, but what the hell? They took out someone's enemy.
      http://www.militaryphotos.net/forums/showthread.p….

    • hfsjansharr(YT)

      What was the round that was used? A .50 cal? From the article:"His shot might not be the longest ever, but it is believed to be the longest with such a common round."

      • name

        No .308 or 7.62 x 51.

      • Mike

        If you read the article again you will see Ammunition: .338 Lapua Magnum LockBase B408 bullets

      • hfsjansharr(YT)

        I was replying to 'Mel', who said: "I read a while back about an American Sniper in the USAF who made a shot I believe in the 1500 range or close to it that is a WOMAN."

        To which I asked:"What was the round that was used? A .50 cal? From the article:”His shot might not be the longest ever, but it is believed to be the longest with such a common round.”

        • SNiper

          Dont u know women can do it 2 Duhh!

  • Charles Coffman

    It is alleged that in 1874, in the "second battle of Adobe Walls", a buffalo hunter named Billy Dixon shot an Indian at 1538 yards (as later measured by Army surveyors) with a .50 caliber Sharps rifle.

    http://www.juntosociety.com/native/adobewalls.htm

    • valdemar

      e possível dar no alvo a 1500 metros se não for móvel!!
      Se for um alvo móvel, já não e para qualquer um ,
      tempo e de 5 segundos ao alvo,tudo conta ,vento rotação da terra !!!!

  • Fernando Linares

    Bring in The snipers!

  • Norman Fraser

    I heard the one about the "Sharps", it is considered a myth. Imagine the bullet used and the propellant.,,,,, nah.

    • Tim McNamara

      1500 yards with black powder and iron sights !

      A myth of epic proportions.

      • Paul Kronfield
      • Bill

        You obviously know nothing about long range black powder rifles, precision iron sights or the Billy Dixon/Adobe Walls incident.

    • Sam Madsen

      Various modern marksmen have demonstrated that the Adobe Walls shot was plausible, although the chances of a first round hit were pretty small. However, Billy Dixon himself reportedly admitted that it was a lucky shot. The Big Fifty Sharps certainly could produce enough kinetic energy to carry a projectile that far and for a hit to be fatal. However, the trajectory that far out must have been pretty rainbow shaped. Even given all that, "Quigley Down Under" is still one of my favorite movies.

    • Jerry M. Brinkman

      The Sharps shot was far from a myth. Billy Dixon was a professional Buff. Hunter, having killed literally thousands of Buff as all different distances. They had been involved in a shoot-out with a large band of indians for several days and took their shots as they came. The Indian Chief felt that the group was at a safe distance and, as an insult to the men as Adobe Walls, mooned the hunters. Billy was pressured into taking a shot by the other hunters, as he was the best shot in the bunch; and after hitting the chief, the tribe left for safer grounds.

    • AndersonIN

      Sounds to me like it was a HIT not a 'myth'. LOL

  • Rob McKendle

    The Sharps story may be more accurate than some people believe. See http://powderburns.tripod.com/sharps.html

    • Charles Coffman

      Thanks for the posting. I wasn't aware of that.

  • http://????? T.Mac

    THESE ARE ALL FANTASTIC, BUT WE FAIL TO CONSICER ANOTHER "SNIPER" – THE US NAVY'S BATTLESHIP(s)

    TRY A ~2700 LB PROJECTILE FIRED FROM A MOVING (IN ALL 3 AXES) PLATFORM LANDING IN A SOMEWHAT LESS THAN 100 ft CIRCLE AT 12 + MILES. . . . .

    THAT's SHOOTING !! (AND THEY COULD DO IT 9 AT A TIME!!)

    PS: I OWN A .416 BARRETT AND USE IT. . . . . .

  • Frank G Tennessee

    On my bucket list ……………. send just one round.

  • Tim McNamara

    I am a retired member of 3PPCLI and I can tell you, the marksmanship of the Canadian Light Infantry Soldier was held to VERY high standards. I know you Yanks like to crap on us but, it just shows how ignorant you are of the best allies you will ever have. I have worked with the USMC in Pendleton, the Rangers in Ft. Lewis and the Gurkhas, etc. As soldiers, we learned a lot from each other but, I guess Americans have decided that Canada is an enemy state. Too bad.

    • Robert Bianco

      Hey I served with some great Canadian soldiers and sailors in the Vietnam war I have nothing but praise for them. This must be your opinion because in all of the VFW,American Legion, Amvets and all other military fraternal orig. We all agree.

      • Tim McNamara

        Well then, tell Janet Nepolitano, who blames us for 911.

        I don't dislike Americans at all and I know this is a sniper evaluation not a political venue.

        • JED

          Janet Napolitano said she was simply misunderstood. Then she said "I know that the September 11th hijackers did not come through Canada to the United States". She is simply terrible at running her huge, misshapen, misbegotten agency. No one could do it well, but just about anyone could do better.

        • Fastercat, SWC, USN

          American Patriots know that nothing Napolitano says is true.

    • Fred Miller

      The #2 and #3 spots in this article are taken by Canadians, and the #1 spot by One of Her Majesty's own. I'm suprised that you missed these points. I have had the good fortune to serve with members of both the British and Canadian military, I kinda think that makes them "Allies".

      459th Security Forces Squadron / Combat Arms

      • Tim McNamara

        Ask Janet Nepolitano.

    • Elden Dalley

      What the hell are you talking about Timmy? If we thought of you as the enemy, we would have blown you butts up by now

      Elden Dalley

      • Tim McNamara

        Hey Elden, that's exactly what I mean. Your director of—

        "Homeland Security" as much as blamed Canada for 911.

        However, your comment is amusing and predictable.

        Americans love to blow butts….up.

        Don't be mad "Eldy"

        • Thisis Insane

          In my opinion, most of us don’t care much for the Department of Homeland Security, anyway.

    • Jim Davidson

      Sorry to hear you feel that way Tim, I don't think that is true…We due tease y'all eh,but at least you haven't started speaking Spanish…French is bad enough lol. Push comes to shove we are all on the same team.

      • Manuel Vazquez

        You came out with the Spanish comment out of the blue Jim, what's wrong with it? or are you teasing the Spanish spoken folks as well?

        • Scott Moore

          It was a pretty funny comment, relax and don't get offended. If Jim's opinion is that Spanish is worse than French, and French is worse than English, then that's ok. He didn't say anything about the 'folks' that speak Spanish. I personally can't stand to hear a bunch of Spanish jabbering, but I'm sure my neighbors can't stand my southern English jabbering.

    • http://www.att.net Doug Alley

      Sir: please know ost of US don't share the feelings you mention. Most evryone is disgusted that an Idiot Maladministration closed the world's oldest, longest international border. My "one nation" pledge doesn't include god, but it includes Canada. The US has miles to go before it stands shoiulder to shoulder with Canada. Examples: abolishing state murder, free health cared, minting beautiful coinage.

    • GeeAyeJoe

      Don't believe those libs in Canada. They lie just like ours…

    • anonymous US Army

      no not all of us have and i have fought right next to some Canadian soldiers as well as quite a few other countries and i have a VERY HIGH respect for the training we received and the friendships that evolved. yes we do like to pick on Canadians but a lot of us still do know where our roots come from BTW i live in south Louisiana and have friends in Canada. eh? lol sorry i couldnt resist.

      • Silk Eotd

        I’m glad to see someone from Louisiana who knows about the connection to Canada. It’s strange but I have friends online from Louisiana and they really had no clue and I couldn’t understand that as I figured that should be a basic part of the history class in school down there. ;)

    • Jimmy Dell

      Tim,

      I served in the USMC in 1963 and had a Canadian in my outfit, I considered him a friend and a good Marine. However if you're traveling in Canada with a "Suppurt the troops" decal and U.S. plates on your car, be prepaired for some very unfriendly hand and finger gestures. Personal expierence.

      • guest

        Learn how to spell, Jim.

        • Thisis Insane

          give it a rest, spelling nazi.

      • Silk Eotd

        I’m sorry you’ve had bad experiences in Canada. I’ve never known anyone to do that here myself but there are going to be idiots in every country no doubt. My father served in the U.S. forces himself and he was Canadian. One of our family friends from here also served 35 years in the U.S. Navy. Another Canadian I met served with the U.S. in Vietnam. There’s a lot of Canadians through the years who have served in the American forces, even 45,000-60,000 who served in the U.S. Civil War. But of course, there is a very different mindset here regarding the military and various military operations/wars but I’d like to think most Canadians are gracious enough not to be outright rude about their feelings/thoughts on the subject when Americans are visitors in our country.

    • bob C.

      Pretty soon, decent folks will all be moving to Canada on their way to Alaska or Canada, where I already own property.
      Either they kill us, or we kill them!

    • Silk Eotd

      I understand what you’re saying. I was just over on an American military site where someone had posted a video of a Canadian broadcast about the Canadian sniper teams who went in and fought a 19 day battle alongside American troops in Afghanistan to rid the area of Taliban and free American airborne troops pinned down by Taliban snipers. That is in fact where Rob Furlong’s world record happened too. They performed tremendously well and were recommended for American medals for saving American lives. You’d think the American response on that page would be a gracious one, instead there was lot of insulting and rude posts basically saying that Canada did one thing and that our snipers are nothing special, etc. I know there are some Americans who genuinely appreciate our efforts and I thank them, but it’s responses like that which make you feel pretty insulted, especially since they clearly had no idea as to the live of sniper expertise that Canada has. I want to say thank you as a Canadian for your service and that I appreciate the level of honour, loyalty and expertise with which your regiment operates. ;)

      • Silk Eotd

        *level* not ‘live’ ;)

  • Jim Rankin

    It matters not from whence these fine freedom fighters and many others just like them come from. They are sent to us by a greater power in the name of freedom! GOD BLESS OUR FREEDOM FIGHTERS!

  • John Lofland

    J.L.

    Remember to remain " ALWAYS FAITHFUL " to those in harms way.

  • Chuck Longo

    How times have changed. My father told me that in WWII if we captured a german who EVEN had a telescope on his rifle, they executed him on the spot.

  • bhp9

    Generally speaking the common foot soldier has shunned the sniper for a variety of reasons. In WWI they brought down artillery fire on their position which in turn got a lot of resting soldiers killed. As late as Viet-Nam they were shunned by other common soldiers as cold blooded killers that did not kill in a fair face to face fight but killed the enemy while he was eating his lunch, bathing or going to the rest room. There is seldom the heroic scenarios depicted in Hollywood movies or sensational books about sniping. The gullible do not realize that books and movies are sensationalized to make money.

    • Chuck Longo

      Great reply! I guess the same argument can be applied to WWII bombing raids and even our current drone strikes. At what point do we lose the image of heroic winning as opposed to just using superior tech to kill someone who doesn't have it?

  • http://WVRam Ray Wilson

    Does it matter who has the longest shot or where they are from. As long as we are fighting for the same cause.

  • one-shot

    Tim..flush out YOUR headgear…Michigan elected a Canadian(Granholm) Gov….os1k

    • GeeAyeJoe

      Hey one-shot, Yeah Gov Granholm. To para-phrase her and our state motto: "If you seek a destroyed peninsula, look about you"….

  • Chance Hoover

    During the Bosnian war the snipers were villified. Now they are glorified. Seems like everyone wants to have a conditional view of killing people. Dead is dead and there is nothing fun about it. I like to shoot and play with guns and I did my year in Viet Nam. So I am entitled to my opinion and my opinion is that there is nothing fun about killing. Sometimes it has to be done but it is not to be looked forward to.

  • chuck

    I find it heartening that folks are taking a small offense about the Canadian's comment that how USA craps on Canada, maybe we joke too much but i've NEVER met a Canadian i didnt like. And I'd be hard pressed to name a better allies

    • yea

      your right

  • Jim Davidson

    1st SFG Nam 1963 we were taught if it is a fair fight run….Three to one odds in your favor at least…all the points go to the winner, style points don't count. We were Indians in Indian country it worked….RVN Bn.s would get their butt kicked every time they went into our AO….They played Cowboy and circled the wagons and Victor Charles piled on.

  • Ronald R. Huetter

    Billy Dixon's shot with a .50 caliber 1874 Sharps at Adobe Walls, Texas, which knocked an Indian off of his horse at almost a mile away, is not a myth; it was witnessed by a number of people and is relatively well documented. Black powder rounds of the later 19th century (and even today) were capable of extreme accuracy, especially at longer ranges for technical reasons I won't get into here. It should be noted that Dixon freely admitted the shot was the result of not just his shooting prowess, but also a hell of a lot of luck.

  • ken glanzer

    I need the phone number of the editorial dept. Please call me and tell me what it is ken glanzer 605 729 2077 asap

    • Ben O'Brien

      Ken,

      What is this regarding?

  • Tom

    If you talked to Carlos about that shot, it was a miss. The target was getting a drink of water and raised up into the round.

  • AndersonIN

    If you listen to him talk Obama killed Osama all the way from the White House!!! Shouldn't that be on here???? LOL

  • Gary Duran

    Am I too old to be a sniper? I don't eat much any more. Can't sleep have time. Can't pee most of the time either, plus I can follow directions…just point me that a' way.

    Any American in uniform, passed, preseant or future, is a hero.

    • guest

      Gary,
      You don't seem to follow spelling and grammer directions (have OR DO YOU MEAN HALF).

      As far as age and being a sniper, the world will be satisfied if you hear a splash when you are able to pee. Nobody likes tt clean up after someone missed that target.

      • G-U-E-S-T

        gammer OR DO YOU MEAN GRAMMAR? tt OR DO YOU MEAN TO? I mean if we’re just here to point out flaws…

  • sniper

    unfounded.—no facts at all.

  • mkk41

    We Yanks and Rebs have a great deal of respect for the Canuck fighting man. It's your liberal politicians and policies we have a problem with.

    • guest

      Mkk41,

      And you Mkk41 don't understand basic economics. If you can read try to understand Galbraith.

    • GUEST

      Go drive around in the mud. And eat some catfish after that. You guys are still trying to win the Civil War… or should I say the war against NORTHERN AGGRESSION!!!

  • http://http skeedaddy b

    listed as #1 ,and it took 9 times in perfect conditions to range the target? HAW HAW

  • RetMAC

    Seems the author did not do his research. SPC Nicholas Ranstad, US Army, 2 January 2008, Kunar Province, Afghanistan. 2297-yards confirmed. 1-Shot. Barrett .50.

    • Phil

      The author is not saying he had the longest shot, he said he had the 8th longest shot…. This guy used .308cal / 7.62x51mm….. Read the article bro.

  • Randy Keding

    Another thing that no one is saying is that the Billy Dixon and other s at that time era all shot for a living , Buffalo or Indians, they shot one gun and knew how to use it!

  • what

    I shot one at 2,709 ft give or take 1 ft. So I win. sorry dudes.

    • duh

      Still way short of number one on here man

  • Edwin

    Sniper is definetly the way to be. Any kind of training is better than no training. Hunting is the best training, but I'm not going hunting for deer with a .50 cal.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sandhu.bhupinder2 Sandhu Bhupinder

    SNIPERS HAVE IMMENSE PATIENCE THAT IS WHAT PAYS.ALL LONG DISTANCE SHOTS HAVE TO BE FROM ONLY SOME SPECIAL SHOOTERS

  • anon

    i can can do better.try 3000 feet

  • Carbinecasey

    My hat is off to all those guys! It takes a real man with a steady hand and discipline to kill another man and shoot that at that distance. No matter it it was one shot or nine shots, still very good shooting. I can shoot a rifle, but nothing like those brave men!!!

    • Robert Triplett

      The morbitity of war does not make ones hand unsteady,its called staying alive to do it again the next day and next and next………………

  • Yea

    Number 1: The legendary Simo Häyhä (The White Death)

    Wait, he's from Finland?

    Yes, and he and his comrades gave one hell of a fight against the invading Soviets. Despite being outrageously outnumbered in every category, the Finnish made the Soviet's life hell in 1939-1940. Check out the causality list on the Wikipedia page.

    He was a hero among heroes. Simo Häyhä was 5'3" and a farmer from Finland. He was a killing machine. Over the course of 100 days during the Winter War he sat in trees and behind snow and sniped Russians with iron sights. He preferred iron sights to a scope because he believed the scope exposed him too much. He must have not been exposed at all.

    After killing dozens of Soviets, they devised missions just to kill him. They ended up coming so close to him that he would have to spray all of them with his sub-machine gun. He killed 150 of them just with a sub-machine gun. After a couple of failed missions to kill him, they sent in a team of counter snipers. He killed them all. Oh yeah, and this was all in weather that was 20-40 degrees below zero.

    So the Soviets decided to artillery strike the hell out of the general vicinity that he was in. Shrapnel from these strikes struck his coat, but that didn't stop him.

    Eventually after killing 706 Soviets, a bullet struck Simo in the head.

    Did that stop him? No, two weeks later he was out of the hospital despite "half of his face" being blown off. He lived to be 96, dying in 2002.

    The legend of "The White Death" is forever immortalized in history. Some of his comrades claim that he killed even more than 706 people. After all, it was probably easy to lose track since he has the most kills of any foot soldier in recorded history.

    • http://www.facebook.com/shawn.thompson.94064 Shawn Thompson

      his shots were close range, its not a list of most kills. its a list of furthest shots

    • Bill

      This is longest shots not best sniper or most kills.

  • qwer

    1998 called. It wants its slideshow back.

  • Dan

    How about Chris Kyle? 2810 YARDS? With at least 900+ confirmed kills!

    • http://www.facebook.com/shawn.thompson.94064 Shawn Thompson

      163 CK for kyle. where the hell did you get 900 plus confirmed….

  • kirkdickinson

    How could you forget Billy Dixon 1,538 yd shot in 1874 with a Sharps 50-90 buffalo rifle? That was longer than 7 and 8 on your list and 130 years before.

  • dave
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