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Hotshot sniper in one-and-a-half mile double kill

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by Joe Potosky, May 3, 2010.

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  1. Joe Potosky

    Joe Potosky Well-Known Member

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    Hotshot sniper in one-and-a-half mile double kill

    Times Online - Michael Smith

    A BRITISH Army sniper has set a new sharpshooting distance record by killing two Taliban machinegunners in Afghanistan from more than a mile away.

    Craig Harrison, a member of the Household Cavalry, killed the insurgents with consecutive shots — even though they were 3,000ft beyond the most effective range of his rifle.

    “The first round hit a machinegunner in the stomach and killed him outright,” said Harrison, a Corporal of Horse. “He went straight down and didn’t move.

    “The second insurgent grabbed the weapon and turned as my second shot hit him in the side. He went down, too. They were both dead.”

    The shooting — which took place while Harrison’s colleagues came under attack — was at such extreme range that the 8.59mm bullets took almost three seconds to reach their target after leaving the barrel of the rifle at almost three times the speed of sound.

    The distance to Harrison’s two targets was measured by a GPS system at 8,120ft, or 1.54 miles. The previous record for a sniper kill is 7,972ft, set by a Canadian soldier who shot dead an Al-Qaeda gunman in March 2002.

    In a remarkable tour of duty, Harrison cheated death a few weeks later when a Taliban bullet pierced his helmet but was deflected away from his skull. He later broke both arms when his army vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb.

    Harrison was sent back to the UK for treatment, but insisted on returning to the front line after making a full recovery.

    “I was lucky that my physical fitness levels were very high before my arms were fractured and after six weeks in plaster I was still in pretty good shape,” he said. “It hasn’t affected my ability as a sniper.”

    Harrison, from Gloucestershire, was reunited in Britain with his wife Tanya and daughter Dani, 16, last month. Recalling his shooting prowess in Helmand province, he said: “It was just unlucky for the Taliban that conditions were so good and we could see them so clearly.”

    Harrison and his colleagues were in open-topped Jackal 4x4 vehicles providing cover for an Afghan national army patrol south of Musa Qala in November last year. When the Afghan soldiers and Harrison’s troop commander came under enemy fire, the sniper, whose vehicle was further back on a ridge, trained his sights on a Taliban compound in the distance. His L115A3 long-range rifle, the army’s most powerful sniper weapon, is designed to be effective at up to 4,921ft and supposedly capable of only “harassing fire” beyond that range.

    “We saw two insurgents running through its courtyard, one in a black dishdasha, one in green,” he said. “They came forward carrying a PKM machinegun, set it up and opened fire on the commander’s wagon.

    “Conditions were perfect, no wind, mild weather, clear visibility. I rested the bipod of my weapon on a compound wall and aimed for the gunner firing the machinegun.

    “The driver of my Jackal, Trooper Cliff O’Farrell, spotted for me, providing all the information needed for the shot, which was at the extreme range of the weapon.”

    Harrison killed one machinegunner with his first attempt and felled the other with his next shot. He then let off a final round to knock the enemy weapon out of action.

    Harrison discovered that he had set a new record only on his return to UK barracks nine days ago. The previous record was held by Corporal Rob Furlong, of Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, who was using a 12.7mm McMillan TAC-50 rifle.

    Tom Irwin, a director of Accuracy International, the British manufacturer of the L115A3 rifle, said: “It is still fairly accurate beyond 4,921ft, but at that distance luck plays as much of a part as anything.”

    News of Harrison’s success comes amid concern over a rival insurgent sharpshooter who in a five-month spree has killed up to seven British soldiers, including a sniper, in and around the Taliban stronghold of Sangin.

    In a later incident during the tour, Harrison’s patrol vehicle was hit 36 times during a Taliban ambush. “One round hit my helmet behind the right ear and came out of the top,” he said. “Two more rounds went through the strap across my chest. We were all very, very lucky not to get hurt.”
     
  2. Joe Potosky

    Joe Potosky Well-Known Member

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    <object width="640" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/Fwxn9aGRjrI&rel=0&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xd0d0d0&hl=en_US&feature=player_embedded&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/Fwxn9aGRjrI&rel=0&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xd0d0d0&hl=en_US&feature=player_embedded&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowScriptAccess="always" width="640" height="385"></embed></object>
     
  3. short shucker

    short shucker TS Member

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    Thanks for the post Joe! This article is a lot more complete than what was poted yesterday. Do you have a link to the story?

    This one states the sniper was using the L115A3 which is a .338 Lapua based cartridge. I knew a .50 BMG could reach out that far, but I had no idea a .338 could as well.

    ss
     
  4. Joe Potosky

    Joe Potosky Well-Known Member

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    A related article in regard to bullet size...

    Smaller Bullet Gets The Longer Shot

    May 4, 2010: It was recently revealed that, last November, a British sniper (corporal Craig Harrison) set a new distance record when he killed two Taliban in Afghanistan, at a range of 2,620 meters (3,120 feet). He did this with a L115A3 rifle firing the 8.6mm Lapua Magnum round. The previous record was held by a Canadian soldier, corporal Rob Furlong, who dropped an al Qaeda gunman at 2,573 meters (7,972 feet) in 2002, also in Afghanistan. Furlong, however, was using a 12.7mm (.50 caliber) rifle. These weapons are good at 2,000 meters or more, but weigh twice as much as the 6.8 kg (15 pound) 8.6mm rifles.
    Three years ago, the British Army began replacing most of its 3,000 7.62mm L96A1 sniper rifles with one modified to use the .338 (8.6mm) Lapua Magnum caliber round. This Accuracy International "Super Magnum" rifle is basically a L96A1 "Arctic Warfare" rifle modified to handle the larger, 8.6mm Lapua Magnum round. The new rifle (the L115A1) weighed 6.8 kg (without a scope), was fifty inches long and had a 27 inch barrel and a five round magazine.

    Snipers in Iraq, and especially Afghanistan, have been calling for a longer range round, but find the 12.7mm (.50 caliber) weapons too heavy. The .338 (8.6mm) Lapua Magnum round has an effective range (about 1,500 meters) about 50 percent greater than the 7.62mm standard NATO round. Like most long range rounds, if the weather (clear) and winds (calm) are right, you can hit targets farther away. Those were the conditions Harrison encountered when he took his three shots (the third one hit the machine-gun the two Taliban were using.)

    The 8.6mm round entered use in the early 1990s, and became increasingly popular with police and military snipers. Dutch snipers have also used this round in Afghanistan with much success, and have a decade of experience with these larger caliber rifles. Recognizing the popularity of the 8.6mm round, Barrett, the pioneer in 12.7mm sniper rifles, came out with a 7 kg (15.5 pound) version of its rifle, chambered for the 8.6mm.

    Corporal Harrison, a member of the Household Cavalry Regiment, recently returned from Afghanistan. While there, he was lightly wounded by gunfire, and later suffered a broken arm when his vehicle encountered a roadside bomb. It took a while for someone to go double check the distance of his shot, using GPS. He only learned that he broke a record after he returned to Britain last month.
     
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