A Canadian sniper in Iraq killed an Islamic State fighter from a distance of 3,540 meters, or almost 2.2 miles.
The Canadian Special Operations Forces Command released a statement confirming that a member of Joint Task Force 2 made the shot, but for security reasons did not identify the sniper or say when and where the shooting took place.
The statement said only that the shot occurred in the past month, and that the task force “provides its expertise … from well behind the Iraqi security force front line in Mosul.”
The Canadian sniper used a McMillan Tac-50 rifle, and the shot was recorded on video, said Sue Beler, communications adviser for Canadian Special Operations Forces Command. The bullet was in the air just for under 10 seconds, she said.
Guinness World Records names the record holder for longest shot as British sniper Craig Harrison, who shot two Taliban fighters in Afghanistan from 2,474 meters, or a little over 1.5 miles, in November 2009.
The Canadian’s shot topped that by 1,000 meters.
Army Staff Sgt. Jared Reinhart, a sniper instructor at Fort Benning in Georgia, said sniper tactics and equipment are “continually evolving, but at that distance a lot of effects come into play.”
“Technology can only go so far,” Reinhart said. “At that distance, certain atmospherics cannot be mitigated. You don’t know what the wind is doing.”
Reinhart figured that “a little bit of luck was involved” in the shot, adding that he didn’t know how many shots the Canadian took before hitting the target.
The Canadian sniper, Reinhart said, “definitely outshot the capability of his weapon system.”
Dean Cork, owner and lead instructor at Crosswind Precision Marksmanship Academy near Grand Junction, Colo., acknowledged that advances in weaponry and optics have boosted marksmanship, but said “it all comes down to skill and fundamentals.”