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.